#Blog Tour BLACK SUMMER by M.W.CRAVEN #BookReview @TheCrimeVault @MWCravenUK @bethwright26 #BlackSummer #TeamTilly

ABOUT THE BOOK

After The Puppet Show, a new storm is coming . . .

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He’s currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?


And then Elizabeth goes missing again – and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW

The wait is over for those of us who Loved  The Puppet Show and it’s just fabulous to have Poe and Tilly back once more, and this time the search for a murderer is a little too close for comfort for them and leads to some extremely  tense situations that had me holding my breath on a number of occasions!

In a case 6 years ago, Poe found the murderer of a young girl to be her father, a celebrity chef, which caused a huge fuss at the time.  What happens when the victim shows up seemingly alive and well 6 years later though?!  Poe is totally thrown and wondering just what he missed first time round that could have led him to make such a mistake.

His dogged determination is one of his main qualities and it’s needed now more than ever to help get to the bottom of this case, knowing that the father in jail will be out for revenge. But something isn’t adding up to Poe and who better to get back on his team than Tilly! Still as blunt as always, it’s fabulous to be back in her company and her analytical brain is put to good use with so many threads to look back over.

I loved the pace of this book – knowing that they were up against time restraints really puts them under pressure and as the truth of what exactly did happen 6 years ago becomes clearer, it was actually more horrific than could have been imagined.  The profiling and man hours that they put in really gets to show just how thorough that police work is to get to the truth – from video interviews, blood tests and inspecting the crime scene – and when the evidence starts pointing towards Poe himself being involved, it really gets gripping and twisted!  There is less of Tilly in this book, although she still plays a key role, but it’s right that the main focus is on Poe with all his troubles – past and present! – and the mix of tension, action and suspense was just perfect!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE NASEBY HORSES by DOMINIC BROWNLOW #BookReview @DominicBrownlow @LouiseWalters12 @damppebbles

Delighted to be the latest stop on the wonderful Blog Tour for THE NASEBY HORSES. My thanks to the author, publisher and Emma of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours for letting me be part of it all and to share my thoughts on this stunning book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Seventeen-year-old Simon’s sister Charlotte is missing. The lonely Fenland village the family recently moved to from London is odd, silent, and mysterious. Simon is epileptic and his seizures are increasing in severity, but when he is told of the local curse of the Naseby Horses, he is convinced it has something to do with Charlotte’s disappearance. Despite resistance from the villagers, the police, and his own family, Simon is determined to uncover the truth, and save his sister.

Under the oppressive Fenland skies and in the heat of a relentless June, Simon’s bond with Charlotte is fierce, all-consuming, and unbreakable; but can he find her? And does she even want to be found?

Drawing on philosophy, science, and the natural world, The Naseby Horses is a moving exploration of the bond between a brother and his sister; of love; and of the meaning of life itself.

Published by Louise Walters Books

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/dp/1999630564/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574678393&sr=8-1 

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/dp/1999630564/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574679865&sr=8-1

 Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-naseby-horses/dominic-brownlow/9781999630539 

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Naseby-Horses-Dominic-Brownlow/9781999630560

 Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Naseby-Horses-by-Dominic-Brownlow-author/9781999630560 

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/the-naseby-horses,dominic-brownlow-9781999630539

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dominic Brownlow lives near Peterborough with his two children. He lived in London and worked in the music industry as a manager before setting up his own independent label. He now enjoys life in the Fens and has an office that looks out over water. The Naseby Horses is his first novel. It was long listed for the Bath Novel Award 2016.

Social Media: 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DominicBrownlow 

Louise Walters Books: https://www.louisewaltersbooks.co.uk/dominic-brownlow

MY REVIEW

Haunting, Absorbing, Unsettling. Just 3 words I think perfectly captures my thoughts on this book which has totally entranced me from start to finish!  And I think it takes a very special kind of writer who can elevate such a simple storyline of someone being missing into something so beautiful and captivating.  It’s fair to say I loved this book!

It’s told from the point of view of 17 year old Simon. It is his twin sister, Charlotte, that has gone missing and without her he’s trying to make sense of the world he lives in as they shared such a close bond.  He’s having to deal with his own feelings along that of his parents who are obviously both distraught at their daughter going missing.

He’s also an epileptic which means that he experiences everything around him so vividly, especially after a seizure and some of the descriptions that the author uses during these times were so staggering.  

They’ve recently moved into a new house from London to the Fenlands and Simon has felt unsettled about certain things from the moment they walked in the door.  As the story unfolds, you are aware he’s not the most reliable of narrators but you are transfixed by his way of thinking and the way his mind processes things.

His voice is a wonderful breath of fresh air – I do love a quirky character and he is definitely one of those!  His determination to find out what has happened to his sister never lets up, and leads him down the path of looking into local history and folklore.  It often feels like many of the adults around him aren’t being totally honest with him and you get a real sense of his frustration at being shut out of the search and investigation.

This was one of those books that really surprised me with how invested I became in the characters and setting.  He seeks comfort though his hobby of birdwatching and it was always interesting to watch him seemingly go into shut down mode as he tried to cope with his sister not being there for him by returning to watching out for birds and devoting his outlook towards them when things got tough for him in the ‘real world.

A stunner of a book!!

★★★★★

#AudioBookReview FAHRENHEIT 451 by RAY BRADBURY

ABOUT THE BOOK

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television ‘family’. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known.

MY REVIEW

Wow!! I listened to the audio version of this, narrated by Tim Robbins, and if there ever was a perfect bit of casting, then this was it! I was hooked on his every word!! It just brought it all to life so vividly and made for a perfect reading/listening experience!!

It’s always been one of those books I’d heard so much about but had never picked up and it was worth the wait! The setting and content made it all feel very relatable in 2019 with books being burned and people being controlled of what they were told,the short attention spans of people and the constant lack of free thinking or joy!

Guy is one of the fireman whose job it is to track down books and burn them! But his way of thinking is changed when he meets the wonderful Clarice, a young girl who questions everything, notices the little things in life and pines for life the way it used to be -the way shes’ been told about. And this begins his journey to find out more of why life is being so controlled and what he can do about it.

I found this book to be terrifying, brilliant, breathless and extremely profound. The use of Tim Robbins to bring it all alive was just the icing on the cake so can highly recommend the audio version! Loved it!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour Christmas in Little Penhaven by Angela Britnell #BookReview @rararesources

Delighted to be one of the fabulous bloggers taking part in the Blog Tour for CHRISTMAS IN LITTLE PENHAVEN by ANGELA BRITNELL.  My thanks to the author and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all to share my review!  And hopefully get you all in the festive mood nice and early!

Christmas in Little Penhaven

Have yourself a little Cornish Christmas …

Wannabe author Jane Solomon is expecting an uneventful Christmas in her Cornish village of Little Penhaven.

But then super fit American gym owner Hal Muir comes to town, and suddenly the holiday season looks set to be far more interesting. Hal is keen on embracing every British tradition on offer, from mince pies to Christmas pub quizzes – and perhaps some festive romance too …

Purchase Links

Kindle UK: https://amzn.to/2VmckwI

Kindle US: https://amzn.to/2MjQ7eA

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2oZQqU1

Nook: https://bit.ly/35ioUSn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville,Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out www.angelabritnellromance.com or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.

MY REVIEW

Little Penhaven became one of my new favourite locations in the first in the series – One Summer in Little Penhaven – so it’s been an absolute delight to be able to visit there again and catch up with some of the characters.  You don’t need to have read the first book though to fall in love with the  storyline and characters in this book and I may have another book boyfriend crush thanks to being introduced to Hal in this story!!

This story follows Jane, who is a wannabee author, and she’s expecting another quiet Christmas with very little going on!  She’s got a lovely group of friends who are always there for her, but she’s kind of got into a bit of ‘safe’ rut and it’s been ages since she’s connected with anybody romantically and even her writing seems to have suffered as she’s still not finished her novel.

Hal is new to town as he’s Sam’s cousin and needed to get away from life in America.  You know he’s hiding something about the reason he needed an escape so it’s intriguing to see that storyline develop and shows a really different side to him as he always appears so confident.  He’s up for a proper english Christmas so is happy to join in with the activities and finds himself spending more time with Jane as they both share darker pasts that they’re struggling to break free from.

What I love about these stories is just how relatable they are, and how you feel part of the community just reading about the goings on and the problems facing the villagers.  There’s a lovely side story featuring Jane and her brother and shows how the importance of a male role model can make such a difference if energies are directed in a positive manner!

As they both begin to open up, it’s clear to see that they’re so good for one another and you just hope that their pasts aren’t going to stop them from being happy and achieving their dreams.  A wonderfully uplifting and heartwarming story!

★★★★★

#BookReview A PERFECT EXPLANATION by ELEANOR ANSTRUTHER #LibraryLoveChallenge

The Observer: Fiction to look out for in 2019

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892–1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll.

Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.

published by Salt Publishing

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon UK

Publisher Website

hive.co.uk

whsmith

MY REVIEW

This is a book based on the author’s own grandmother, and wow what a story! I listened to the audio version, alongside reading the paperback, and found it to be utterly compelling – it’s heartbreaking, tragic and left me feeling torn as to who to side with as each story was revealed over different timelines. It just goes to show how messy families can be, especially when there’s money and standing to be thought of.

The art of compassion and understanding seemed to be long forgotten by many of the characters as they faced really troubling times, and the least of their worries seemed to be the concern for the children involved. They became a by product of the battle of wills between some very powerful individuals who were dealing with their own emotional turmoil, but had very little support to get through it.

The story is told from a couple of perspectives over the timelines and I found this such a brilliant way of seeing the story evolve – from Enid being in a home feeling so bitter towards life awaiting a visit from her daughter, to Enid looking back to her past as she dealt with her own less than compassionate family and how that affected her in how she dealt with wedded life and motherhood. They say what we see shapes, and this is clearly demonstrated in this book.

And at the heart of the story are the children, especially poor Fagus who had medical issues but nobody knew how to deal with him and he had such a tragic life with little care. The anger and resentment from his brother and sister too who were also pushed aside by those they trusted was clearly felt too and brilliantly portrayed throughout. Their indifference to their mother in her later life was understandable but you could just see history repeating itself over and over.

I had so many mixed emotions towards Enid – she had such a sad life surrounded by people who clearly didn’t understand her post natal depression, and was expected to live a life she just didn’t want for the sake of the family. It was a brilliant portrayal of family dynamics, the mother/daughter relationships and a real battle of wills with nobody seemingly prepared to be more understanding towards one another and do the best for the children.

The audio version was a wonderful listen – beautifully narrated and brought the characters to life perfectly. 

★★★★★

#BlogTour BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by SADIE RYAN #BookReview @rararesources

A real treat to be on the Blog Tour for BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by SADIE RYAN so thank you for stopping by today! My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting it all together and letting me be art of it all!

Behind Closed Doors

She’s in your house, now she wants your life … 

Tina Valentine has it all: the loving family, the beautiful house, the successful career. 

But then Megan Pearson starts work at Tina’s law firm and with her arrival the perfect world Tina has built for herself starts to collapse as it becomes clear that the newcomer is intent on infiltrating every aspect of her life. 

Something is obviously wrong with Megan but nobody else seems to see it. As the mind games and manipulations continue, Tina comes to the sickening conclusion that now she’s opened the door to Megan, it’s going to be impossible to make her leave …

Purchase Link – amzn.to/2WBOWLB

About the Author

 Sadie Ryan is a British author with two grown up children, she lives with her daughter, adorable rescue dog and cat in a small village in leafy Cheshire in the North West of England. She writes psychological suspense/domestic noir novels. She has completed three psychological suspense/domestic noir novels and is currently writing her fourth. Her first book, Behind Closed Doors, was snapped up by publishers Ruby Fiction and published in May 2019. Her second will be out in January 2020. When asked where she gets her ideas from, she says, ‘From observation, inspiration and lots of wicked thoughts.’

Social Media Links

 www.sadieryan.co.uk  

                          @The__SadieRyan   Twitter

                                       Sadie Ryan Author   Facebook

                                       Sadie.ryan.author    Instagram

MY REVIEW

Yay for twisty thrillers!! And this is another fabulously gripping read that I haven’t been able to put down since starting it, as I was just eager to find out what would happen next and how it would all end! And the twists didn’t let me down!!

Tina has the perfect life – great job, wonderful husband, lovely children – BUT that’s all about to change at the same time as Megan Pearson starts working at the law firm where Tina is hoping for promotion. Her professional manner starts to slip – she forgets things, misplaces important files – but is it her or is someone else setting her up for a big fall?

Tina is an intriguing character – beneath the glossy, successful exterior she alludes to secrets that she’s been keeping from her husband. Does he need to know? I know I wanted to find out, but it’s all cleverly played out that you’re kept waiting for things to fall into place and those secrets to be revealed.

The arrival of Megan at the firm immediately gets Tina on the back foot and she’s suspicious from the offset. But everyone else at the firm, including Tina’s husband Glyn, adores the new recruit and Tina begins to wonder if maybe she’s overthinking things or maybe she’s just going mad! She’s driven to extreme measures at times to try and prove her theories but Megan always seems to come out smelling of roses so maybe it is all in Tina’s head?!

I loved the pace of this story – they way it plays out you’re constantly wondering just who is to blame, what went on in the past, and why would this woman have it in for Tina in the first place if she was manipulating the situation she found herself in. A cracking thriller!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by ROBERT NEWCOME #UnknownSoldier #BookReview @NewcomeRobert @UnicornPubGroup @Bookollective

An honour to be the stop today on the Blog Tour for the wonderful THE NAME BENEATH THE STONE by Robert Newcome. My thanks to the author, publisher and Bookollective for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Three generations, one family, connected by an historic secret. 1917 Private Daniel Dawkins fights at Messines Ridge and Passchendaele. He writes home to his true-love Joyce, but reveals little of his extreme bravery, his kindness, his loyalty to his comrades and the horrors they experience on the Western Front.

 1920 Captain Peter Harding is tasked with a secret mission to assist in the selection of a body dug up from the battlefields of Flanders to be buried in Westminster Abbey as the ‘Unknown Warrior’. Events take place on that expedition that come to haunt him for the rest of his life.

 2011 Sarah Harding discovers Daniel s letters and Peter s diaries. Together with historian James Marchant she pieces together the hidden truth behind the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior and must decide what to do with it. Values are challenged and characters are tested in this gripping novel which asks what if the identity of the Unknown Soldier was discovered – and should that secret ever be revealed? 

published by Unicorn Publishing Group

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon £10.11

whsmith  £10.11

hive.co.uk  £9.55

MY REVIEW

I think it’s books like these that show you just how important it is to keep the stories of the bravery and sacrifice that many made in times of war, and I found myself totally absorbed by this story and all the many layers and timelines it encompasses.  

Set over 3 timelines, each chapter of the story is brilliantly told as a work of fiction based on fact.  In the later timeline, 2011, we have Sarah Harding who is nursing her father has he approaches the end of his life and she uncovers many letters in his possession from his time in the war and they start a chain of research and discovery off as she wishes to find out more about the past and her family link to the story of the unknown soldier.

The timelines also go back to 1917 and 1920 – in 1917 Daniel Dawkins shares his thoughts on all he has seen on the front line and the tragedies he was close to.  The banter that the soldiers shared – men and boys who came from normal backgrounds who were thrown into extraordinary circumstances, and I really loved these moments in the story.  It took you right back to try and gain a little understanding of just how they made sense of what they were witnessing and what they were being expected to do by those in charge. How the different personalities amongst them all dealt with the many horrific sights they came face to face with, and how they tried to help those struggling.

And then the 1920 storyline was that of the Unknown Soldier. How it was thought that bringing home a body from France to bury at Westminster could unite the country and those grieving their lost loved ones.  So many different emotions spring to mind when you think of those lost, and those who are at home not knowing where their loved ones are buried. And to those involved in choosing and transporting this unknown soldier back to the UK as well.

As Sarah starts to put all the pieces together of this astonishing family drama, it became a book that I found it difficult to put down.  There were so many threads to follow that each had so much intrigue that you could easily have had a book written just about each timeline!

What I loved was the human aspect of the storyline.  When we read about history we see the numbers and the cold hard facts, but this kind of book gives you a glimpse behind the scenes – the kind of people involved, how those left at home dealt with not knowing or hearing reports on the radio or in papers, the decisions that had to be made on the frontline and just how they even managed to keep going when they were faced with impossible missions and they’re constantly losing their friends and colleagues but they had to keep on fighting.

This was an enthralling and emotional book and one I’m very glad to have had the pleasure of reading. Alongside the ‘fiction’ element, there’s also a clever use throughout the book of newspaper articles of the time, telegrams from the King and all the goings on behind the scene which helped give more depth and perspective to the news that was filtering back to those in the UK.  

Highly recommended!

★★★★★

YouTube footage of the 1920 funeral of the Unknown Soldier