blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Trials of Koli – M.R. Carey*

Read my review of the first Book of Koli here.


The Book of Koli is the unforgettable story of a young boy struggling to find his place in a world where nature itself has turned against humanity: Everything that lives hates us…

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls. He’s wrong.

My thoughts:

Koli and his companions, Ursula and Cup are on the road, trying to reach London and find whoever is sending out a signal, but the journey is dangerous.

I enjoyed this a lot more than the first book, it felt more fully realised and I liked that the perspective went back and forth from Koli and Spinner, back in Mythen Rood.

A lot happens in the pages of this second novel – Koli and his friends fight off attacks from old enemies and of course nature, which really has it out for humans, and who can blame it.

They do meet some good people though, ones who offer them help rather than threats.

Meanwhile Spinner is trying to find her place in Mythen Rood, having married Haijon in the previous book. She’s beginning to see some things about the all powerful Ramparts that leave her with questions no one wants to answer.

This was a really good book and I’m already looking forward to the third and final installment.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: A Song of Isolation – Michael J Malone*

Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job.

The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse.

Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country. While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings.Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers.

His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit.A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

Michael lives in Ayr.

My thoughts:

This was very good, dark and shocking at times but ultimately redemptive and hopeful. Examining what happens after someone is convicted of a terrible crime and the impact on their loved ones, a different perspective than perhaps expected.

But then Dave is innocent, so the suffering he and his family endure should never have been theirs. Victims of a manipulative and jealous conspiracy, their lives are forever changed.

Amelie, hounded by the press, flees to Bordeaux, her ancestral home, in search of peace and anonymity, never giving up on Dave.

But only when the truth is shockingly revealed can they truly recover.

Gripping, moving and powerful, this is another excellent novel from Michael Malone and Orenda Books, worthy of a space on every shelf.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The High Moments – Sara-Ella Ozbek*

NY RESOLUTIONS – THE PLAN

Exercise 6 times a week

Have sex once a month min. (counts as exercise)

Delete Tim’s number

Move out of home TO LONDON (career??)

Make more friends

Be better

New Year’s Day is the ultimate cliché for Scarlett: hangover, check feeling weepy, check broken sense of self, check check check.

Jobless and stuck living at home with an academic mother who has no time for pep-talks, the one saving grace for Scarlett is that her friend, Billie, still works at the pub down the road. But even the pub is losing its appeal.

Desperate to do something, she moves to London with no plan, no money and nowhere to stay.

Unsurprisingly, she finds herself crashing on her ex-boyfriend’s sofa with all of her terrible life choices for company.

It’s after Scarlett starts interning at a modelling agency that she takes her first step to becoming something – but it’s also her first step to becoming something else. Each terrible decision she makes leads to another and her life begins to spiral.

But people are starting to know her; she’s starting to become someone. And surely it’s better to be someone – even if it’s someone you hate?

With a vein of dark humour at its core, The High Moments offers an astute, often stark look at the fashion industry and the issues you can face as a woman in your twenties – fans of Girls and Emma Jane Unsworth’s Animals will love this.

Sara-Ella Ozbek is a London-bred author of South African and Turkish descent.

After graduating from the University of Exeter with a BA in English Literature, she interned at Vogue magazine and subsequently fell into a job at a modelling agency.

After six exciting, if somewhat draining, years as an agent, she left to pursue a career in writing. She attended the New York Film Academy screenwriting programme then went to Los Angeles where she joined the hustle of the screenwriters.

Out of the frustration and misery came her first novel, The High Moments.

Aside from the novel, she has written non-fiction for titles including Because Magazine, Suitcase, Tatler, Drugstore Culture, Voyage D’Etudes and Soho House Notes.

My thoughts:

Wryly funny, and full of the mistakes you make in your twenties, this reminded me of the girls I used to know, all now grown up and sensible thirty-somethings, but formerly disaster prone, panic driven and messy like Scarlett.

First jobs, falling in love with the wrong men (and women), spending entire paychecks on shoes (whoops, that one was me) and desperately trying to work out where they belong. I didn’t work in fashion but I definitely understood Scarlett.

I reckon anyone who’s ever been young and chaotic will find some empathy for Scarlett, desperate to move out of her judgmental mum’s house and the small Devon town they live in, to grow up and be Someone.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Coming Home to Hope Street – Marcie Steele*

Step across the cobblestones, pull back the curtains and peek behind the doors in the second instalment of The Hope Street Series. Catch up with old friends and fall in love with new ones in a story of friendship, second chances and new beginnings.

Livvy has no choice but to return to Hope Street, the childhood home she left over twenty years ago. Along with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Pip, she turns up on the doorstep, hoping for forgiveness from her sister.

Hannah thought she’d never see Livvy again. She’s overwhelmed with emotion but locks away her real feelings. How could Livvy stay away without any contact? And why has she come back now?

It isn’t long before the charm of the market town of Somerley begins to work its magic. Hannah is opening a book shop in the square, adjoining The Coffee Stop, and Livvy’s offer to help out brings the sisters closer together.

But when someone from Livvy’s past arrives unannounced too, he threatens everything she’s built up since her return. Can Livvy convince her sister, and her new friends, that her intentions to return were good ones? Or will her dreams of settling down and being happy again become nothing but a closed book?

Marcie Steele is the pen name of Mel Sherratt. For as long as she can remember, she’s been a meddler of words. Born and raised in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, she’s a romantic at heart and has always enjoyed writing about characters that fall in and out of love, have good friends to hang around with, and live in communities with great spirit.

She can often be found sitting in her favourite coffee shop, sipping a cappuccino and eating a chocolate chip cookie, either catching up with friends or writing on her laptop. Whether she writes crime or women’s fiction, she loves making up things for a living.

You can find more about Marcie Steele on Mel Sherratt’s website

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My thoughts:

This was like a big hug in a book, the bond between Livvy and Hannah might have been stretched thin but it rebounds when they’re reunited and as Livvy starts to open up about the years they’ve been apart, it grows stronger.

A book about making mistakes and mending fences, finding your place and a bookshop! They say you can never go home again, but you can if you live on Hope Street! *I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Emily Knight I Am… Becoming – A. Bello*

Homecoming. Sacrifice. Family. Fire.
The Knights are finally reunited and ready to defeat Neci once and for all. But Neci is one step ahead and is targeting them one by one. When Neci takes one of Emily’s best friends hostage, Emily leads the elite team on a rescue mission but nothing can prepare them for what Neci has planned.

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A. Bello is an award-winning author and publishing entrepreneur, born and raised in London, where she still lives and works. In 2018, Abiola was named ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ by London Book Fair.
Abiola wrote her first novel at the age of eight – when she fought monsters and dragons on a daily basis – and experienced her first taste of ‘being published’ after winning a school poetry competition at the age of 12. Seeing her words in print fuelled a passion for writing that remains to this day.
The first incarnation of the Emily Knight story can be traced back almost 20 years; Abiola wanted to fill the gaping hole in children’s fiction for an inspirational, strong, black, female, young protagonist. This ‘gap’ in publishing remains in today’s publishing world despite continued calls for more diversity in terms of the authors creating the books and the characters and plot lines within the stories.
She is the founder of The Lil’ Author School and co-founder of The Author School (shortlisted for The Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2016 and celebrating its fifth birthday in 2020). Abiola is also co-founder of The Diverse Book Awards and Hashtag BLAK.
Abiola is regularly asked to contribute to the media; she has been featured in About Time Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Female First, Daily Mirror, BBC1XTRA, The Bookseller, The British Blacklist, Melan Magazine, London Post, and many more.

Abiola is also a regular at literary festivals and gives talks to children in primary and secondary schools, as well as to young writers and people wishing to get into the publishing business.

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My thoughts:

This was a fun and enjoyable read, Emily and her family and friends are super powered humans who fight against evil versions led by a woman called Neci.

Emily is fifteen, and as well as dealing with teenage dramas, she’s dealing with being a warrior, and the return of her long lost father and brother, both of whom are seen as heroes and attract attention Emily would rather avoid.

I hadn’t read the previous books in the series and I think I might have got into this faster if I had, it took me a little while to understand what was happening and who everyone was.

I’ve recommended the series to a few friends raising daughters who read and who might enjoy having a female hero.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Mistress – Jill Childs*

It wasn’t until that night that I found out he had been cheating. I never would have guessed it of Ralph – I was still head over heels in love with him then. I would have done anything for my husband… that is, until I found out what he was really hiding.

The night it happened, I was late home from a parent-teacher conference. Things hadn’t been the same between us recently and I was hoping we could start over – make things right over a bottle of wine and an early night like the old days.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I sometimes think I never really knew Ralph at all. Because I never thought he’d be capable of doing what he did. It wasn’t only dangerous, it was very, very wrong. And I’m not talking about the affair with Laura.

As I said, I came home that night hoping to finally fix things with the man I love. The very last thing I expected was to find my husband murdered.

No marriage is ever what it seems from the outside.

A compulsively unputdownable domestic thriller from a USA Today bestselling author. Perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Silent Wife.

Jill always loved writing – real and imaginary – and spent thirty years travelling the world as a journalist, living overseas and reporting wherever the news took her. She’s now made her home in south-west London with her husband and twin girls who love stories as much as she does. Although she’s covered everything from earthquakes and floods, wars and riots, she’s decided some of the most extraordinary stories are right here at home – in the secrets and lies she imagines behind closed doors on ordinary streets just like yours.

My thoughts:

This was a very twisted thriller that seemed pretty straightforward to begin with but as Laura’s mental state deteriorates, and she loses her grip on reality, it starts to become clear that there’s something else going on here, something darker and more twisted than first appears.

I really enjoyed this book, the revelations of what’s really been going on, then the massive about face a character commits right near the end, completely altering the direction everything seems to be going, it certainly keeps your attention!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.
My thoughts:
blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: May Day – Josie Jaffrey*


If the murderer you’re tracking is a vampire, then you want a vampire detective. Just maybe not this one.It’s not that Jack Valentine is bad at her job. The youngest member of Oxford’s Seekers has an impressive track record, but she also has an impressive grudge against the local baron, Killian Drake.

When a human turns up dead on May Morning, she’s determined to pin the murder on Drake. The problem is that none of the evidence points to him. Instead, it leads Jack into a web of conspiracy involving the most powerful people in the country, people to whom Jack has no access. But she knows someone who does.

To get to the truth, Jack will have to partner up with her worst enemy. As long as she can keep her cool, Drake will point her to the ringleaders, she’ll find the murderer and no one else will have to die.
Body bags on standby.

May Day is the first book in Josie Jaffrey’s Seekers series, an urban fantasy series set in Oxford, England.
Goodreads

My thoughts:

This was a good slice of crime noir, with added fangs. Vampire detectives investigating crimes potentially committed by their own crime, finding all kinds of creeps lurking in the shadows along the way.

Keeping their bloodthirsty secrets safe from the human population and making sure not too many bloodless corpses turn up is a full time job, so the last thing they need is a weird murder.

These vamps seem to be Daywalkers, blending in amongst the students and locals of Oxford as they carry out their investigation, problem is it all seems to loop back round to the people they least want to be guilty.

Riddled with pitch black humour, pop culture references and a healthy dose of old fashioned British irreverence, this is an excellent new addition to the vampire literary canon.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: For When I’m Gone – Rebecca Ley*

Because there’s never enough time to say goodbye…

Sylvia knows that she’s running out of time. Very soon, she will exist only in the memories of those who loved her most and the pieces of her life she’s left behind.

So she begins to write her husband a handbook for when she’s gone, somewhere to capture the small moments of ordinary, precious happiness in their married lives. From raising their wild, loving son, to what to give their gentle daughter on her eighteenth birthday – it’s everything she should have told him before it was too late.

But Sylvia also has a secret, one that she’s saved until the very last pages. And it’s a moment in her past that could change everything…

My thoughts:

A moving and bittersweet story of a family, its endings and beginnings. Sylvia is dying and her children are still young, her husband doesn’t know all the ins and outs of their routines, what their favourite foods are, the fact she keeps a double of their daughter’s stuffed toy hidden away.

So she writes to him, she reminds him of their beginnings, of the births of their children, of how they started out, to ease the pain of saying goodbye.

This was so painful to read but at the same time so tender and full of love that I couldn’t put it down. It lingers with you, the reader, that total love of a mother for her children, a wife for her husband.

She also writes letters to her mother and sister, keen to repair the cracks in their relationships, knowing her children will need them as they navigate a motherless existence.

This is an incredibly impressive debut novel, full of heart and incredible depth of feeling.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Orfeia – Joanne M. Harris, illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins*

The stunning new novella from No 1 bestselling author Joanne Harris: Orfeia is a gender-flipped retelling of the Orpheus Myth, beautifully illustrated by Bonnie Helen Hawkins.

When you can find me an acre of land,

Every sage grows merry in time,

Between the ocean and the sand

Then will you be united again.

So begins a beautiful and tragic quest as a heartbroken mother sets out to save her lost daughter, through the realms of the real, of dream, and even into the underworld itself.

But determination alone is not enough. For to save something precious, she must give up something precious, be it a song, a memory, or her freedom itself . . .

Joanne Harris is an Anglo-French writer, whose books include fourteen novels, two cookbooks and many short stories.

Her work is extremely diverse, covering aspects of magic realism, suspense, historical fiction, mythology and fantasy.

In 2000, her 1999 novel CHOCOLAT was adapted to the screen, starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. CHOCOLAT has sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was a global bestseller.

She is an Honorary Fellow of St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and in 2013 was awarded an MBE by the Queen.

Her hobbies are listed in Who’s Who as ‘mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion’. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16 and runs the musical storytelling show Storytime.

Joanne lives with her husband in Yorkshire, about 15 miles from the place she was born.

Find out more on her website or follow her on Twitter

My thoughts:

As a Joanne Harris fan, I knew this book would be a treat but I didn’t know how much it would be for a fairy tale and mythology nerd like me.

Inspired by the myth of Orpheus, who travels to the Underworld of Hades to bring his wife Eurydice back to the living world, this magical novella sees Fay descend to Death’s realm to ask for her daughter Daisy’s life back.

Along the way she encounters the fairy King Alberon who tries to convince her to stay in his realm, the Night Train full of the dead, that never stops, and other strange beings, like a singing tiger.

I could see shades of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, the story of Persephone, and so many others peeking out through this beautiful tale. I also liked the inclusion of the correction about who perches atop the fountain in Piccadilly Circus – it’s not Eros, but Anteros.

Which also features stunning illustrations, conjuring images of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, and the otherworldly creatures that haunt traditional folklore.

This is altogether an absolute delight, a tale of love and loss, both a retelling and a completely new myth.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

reviews, books, blog tour

Blog Tour: Accidentally in Love – Belinda Missen*

Don’t miss the new laugh-out-loud rom com from the author of One Week ’Til Christmas!

Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Rosie Walsh and Josie Silver.

In the space of a week, Katharine Patterson has quit her job, decided to move back home, and broken up with the guy she thought was the one.

No big deal.

Because Katharine has a plan. She’s going to open her own art gallery, just like she’s always wanted.
What she’s not going to do is worry about boyfriends.

Then she meets Kit, a handsome and talented local artist. He might be the most stubborn person Katharine has ever met. He might also make her feel like no one ever has before.

And Katharine might be about to fall accidentally in love…

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Author Bio – Author and sometimes foodie, Belinda is a ridiculous romantic who met her husband
after being set up by a friend two states away.

Residing in country Victoria, surrounded by books, cat-fur, and half-eaten cake, Belinda divides her
days between writing rom-coms, baking, and indulging her love of comic books.

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My thoughts:

This is a fun rom com about moving on and then meeting the most infuriating person ever, and whoops, falling in love!

Anyone who loves the enemies to lovers trope will love this. Well written and highly enjoyable.

Perfect for curling up on the sofa and giggling when the weather can’t decide what season it is, I recommend some decent chocolate to snack on while reading.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.