blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Babysitter – Phoebe Morgan*


Who knew her secret? And what happened that night?

‘I loved it, those twists!’ B A Paris, Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors and The Dilemma

‘A cracking page-turner’ Cara Hunter, Sunday Times bestselling author of All the Rage

On the hottest day of the year, Caroline Harvey is found dead in Suffolk. Her body is left draped over a cot – but the baby she was looking after is missing.

Hundreds of miles away, Siobhan Dillon is on a luxurious family holiday in France when her husband, Callum, is arrested by French police on suspicion of murder.

As Siobhan’s perfect family is torn apart by the media in the nation’s frantic search for the missing baby, she desperately tries to piece together how Callum knew Caroline.

What happened that night? Was Caroline as innocent as she seemed – or was she hiding a secret of her own?

My thoughts:

So I totally got the guilty party wrong when reading this and playing guess the murderer, the twists at the end were very clever, and the title suggests the babysitter as the villain not the victim so I was wrong footed from the start, which shows just how good Phoebe Morgan is at what she does.

This was a cracking read, lots of red herrings and turns, really, really good stuff. I’m not sure what more I can say really!

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

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Book Review: Daughters of Night – Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Lucia’s fingers found her own. She gazed at Caro as if from a distance. Her lips parted, her words a whisper: ‘He knows.’

London, 1782. Desperate for her politician husband to return home from France, Caroline ‘Caro’ Corsham is already in a state of anxiety when she finds a well-dressed woman mortally wounded in the bowers of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. The Bow Street constables are swift to act, until they discover that the deceased woman was a highly-paid prostitute, at which point they cease to care entirely. But Caro has motives of her own for wanting to see justice done, and so sets out to solve the crime herself. Enlisting the help of thieftaker, Peregrine Child, their inquiry delves into the hidden corners of Georgian society, a world of artifice, deception and secret lives.

But with many gentlemen refusing to speak about their dealings with the dead woman, and Caro’s own reputation under threat, finding the killer will be harder, and more treacherous than she can know . . .

My thoughts:

A sort of sequel to Blood & Sugar, this is a fantastic historical romp of a novel as Caro has to solve a murder and several other crimes and misdemeanors along the way.

I really enjoyed this book, the writing really flows and the plot carries you along with it.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book with no obligation to review.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Rules – Kerry Barnes*

Holed up in prison, Mike Regan is offered a deal – his freedom in exchange for his firm taking down the gang that is supplying a new dangerous drug that has hit the streets. What starts as a game soon becomes a shocking revelation with devastating consequences.

Meanwhile, Mike’s fiancé, Zara Ezra, has her own firm to run. But when the so-called Governor is out to take her down, she has her own decision to make – either fight, run, or write her own rule book…

My thoughts:

If you like the gangsters are the heroes genre of thrillers, then you’ve probably already heard of Kerry Barnes.

Rather than a police procedural this book is on the other side of the tracks and the bad guys make the rules.

An enjoyable romp through a London that most people wouldn’t recognise,of gangs and guns, is at heart about people. And people can be messy and complicated, even while trying to rise to the top and stay alive.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Music From Another World – Robin Talley*

It’s summer 1977 and closeted lesbian Tammy Larson can’t be herself anywhere. Not at her strict Christian high school, not at her conservative Orange County church and certainly not at home, where her ultrareligious aunt relentlessly organises anti-gay political campaigns. Tammy’s only outlet is writing secret letters in her diary to gay civil rights activist Harvey Milk…until she’s matched with a real-life pen pal who changes everything.

Sharon Hawkins bonds with Tammy over punk music and carefully shared secrets, and soon their letters become the one place she can be honest. The rest of her life in San Francisco is full of lies. The kind she tells for others — like helping her gay brother hide the truth from their mum — and the kind she tells herself. But as anti-gay fervour in America reaches a frightening new pitch, Sharon and Tammy must rely on their long-distance friendship to discover their deeply personal truths, what they’ll stand for…and who they’ll rise against.

My thoughts:

umm, where was this book when I was a teenager trying to figure my stuff out?

With a soundtrack of punk and Patti Smith, the letters and diary entries that comprise this amazing book are so real and full of heart and angst and I would not be a teenager again if you paid me!

Sharon and Tammy are trying to find their places in the world, while the world seems determined to stop them. From Tammy’s controlling aunt, to the very politics of the time (Harvey Milk is running his first campaign), there’s a lot to take a stand against. But also a lot to stand for.

I loved the descriptions of Sharon’s punk gigs and the feminist bookshop and Tammy’s awful church meetings.

This book has an enormous amount of heart and wears it proudly on its sleeve.

Reading this as we head into Pride month (June in the UK) makes me miss the celebrations more as events have been cancelled due to the current lockdown, and this feels like an antidote to that.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: After Darkness – J.F. Johns*

Year 2160

RULE #.1

Humans AND Cyborgs are prohibited from communicating in any shape or form with each other.

RULE #.2

Curfew is from 12 p.m until 7.30 a.m

Applicable to ALL citizens, humans AND cyborgs.

RULE #.3

All propaganda against the government, written or verbal is a crime.

RULE #.4

All the above laws if broken are punishable by death.

WELCOME TO THE NATION

Are you ready?

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J.F.Johns is 27 years old and was born and raised in Spain. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at ARU in Cambridge, UK.

She won the Indie Book Awards 2017 for best book written by an author under the age of 25, and was a finalist for best book cover with her novel Eternal Darkness.

She’s an animal lover, and spends her free time playing with her adopted dog and rescued cat, drinking too much coffee and posting book photos on her Instagram.

She believes in the art of dramatic sighing and eye rolling. She works as a ninja, but has been told several times that she’s not very good at her job.

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Giveaway – win a copy of Johns’ debut novel Eternal Darkness

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs.

Scarlet Lock is neither.

She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress.

With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in.

Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.

Enter here

My thoughts:

Although this book starts a series loosely connected to the author’s previous trilogy, you don’t have to have read those books to follow this one.

Cyborgs were once exiled from the world of humans but now they have returned but the law forbids humans and cyborgs from interacting or even acknowledging the other exists, so when Terra starts dreaming about a cyborg in need of her help and then sees him in waking life, she is determined to try to find out who he is.

The secrets she learns will change her forever.

I thought this book’s concept was interesting, I found Terra a bit whiny and annoying at times, and the cyborgs were definitely more interesting as characters; there’s a lot of back story there.

I did feel the battle against the Big Bad was over and done with quite quickly, and bits felt a bit rushed, which was a shame as other parts could have been shorter and given the plot more room to stretch out.

Overall this was a good read, although all dystopian fiction these days feels a bit too real at times, I liked the idea of the cyborgs and the Destroyer, the creepy twins not so much.

If you like your dystopia quirky and not plague related, then you should give this a read.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: These Lost & Broken Things – Helen Fields*

Maiden-Mother-Murderer
How dangerous is a woman with nothing left to lose?
The year is 1905. London is a playground for the rich and a death trap for the poor. When Sofia Logan’s husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her penniless with two young children, she knows she will do anything to keep them from the workhouse. But can she bring herself to murder? Even if she has done it before…
Emmet Vinsant, wealthy industrialist, offers Sofia a job in one of his gaming houses. He knows more about Sofia’s past than he has revealed. Brought up as part of a travelling fair, she’s an expert at counting cards and spotting cheats, and Vinsant puts her talents to good use. His demands on her grow until she finds herself with blood on her hands.
Set against the backdrop of the Suffragette protests, with industry changing the face of the city but disease still rampant, and poverty the greatest threat of all, every decision you make is life or death. Either yours or someone else’s. Read best-selling crime writer Helen Fields’ first explosive historical thriller.

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An international and Amazon #1 best-selling author, Helen is a former criminal and family law barrister.

Every book in the Callanach series claimed an Amazon #1 bestseller flag. Her next book, the sixth in the series, ‘Perfect Kill’ is due out on 6 February 2020. Helen also writes as HS Chandler, and last year released legal thriller ‘Degrees of Guilt’.

Her previous audio book ‘Perfect Crime’ knocked Michelle Obama off the #1 spot. Translated into 15 languages, and also selling in the USA, Canada & Australasia, Helen’s books have won global recognition.

Her first historical thriller ‘These Lost & Broken Things’ comes out in May 2020. A further standalone thriller published by HarperColllins will come soon.

She currently commutes between Hampshire, Scotland and California, where she lives with her husband and three children.

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My thoughts:

It took me a while to get into this book, but once Sofia had stopped flapping about and started working for the less charming than he thinks Vinsant the story picked up and I enjoyed it more.

Told through a mixture of flashbacks to Sofia’s past and her present predicaments, the story of a woman with a taste for killing is interesting, a lot of crime (especially historic crime fiction) often embraces the idea that women aren’t ruthless enough to kill and those few that do won’t use violence or force.

Sofia kills for two reasons – to protect those she loves and for revenge. Her strength and weakness is this need to take lives.

A much more complex and rich story than it at first appears, These Lost & Broken Things is ultimately redemptive as Sofia comes into contact with the growing women’s rights movement.

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

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Ash Mountain – Helen Fitzgerald*

Fran hates her hometown, and she thought she’d escaped. But her father is ill, and needs care. Her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city, anyway. She returns home to nurse her dying father, her distant teenage daughter in tow for the weekends.

There, in the sleepy town of Ash Mountain, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem, she falls in love for the first time, and her demanding dad tests her patience, all in the unbearable heat of an Australian summer.

As past friendships and rivalries are renewed, and new ones forged, Fran’s tumultuous home life is the least of her worries, when old crimes rear their heads and a devastating bushfire ravages the town and all of its inhabitants…

Simultaneously a warm, darkly funny portrait of small-town life – and a woman and a land in crisis – and a shocking and truly distressing account of a catastrophic event that changes things forever, Ash Mountain is a heart-breaking slice of domestic noir, and a disturbing disaster thriller that you will never forget…

Helen FitzGerald is the bestselling author of ten adult and young adult thrillers, including The Donor (2011) and The Cry (2013), which was longlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and is now a major drama for BBC1.

Her 2019 dark comedy thriller Worst Case Scenario was a Book of the Year in both The Guardian and Daily Telegraph.

Helen worked as a criminal justice social worker for over fifteen years. She grew up in Victoria, Australia, and now lives in Glasgow with her husband.

My thoughts:

This is a timely tale of small town claustrophobia and the secrets, resentments and dangers that lie close to the surface just waiting to be revealed.

As Fran negotiates her relationship with her past and her family, dark deeds swirl up to the surface and forest fires loom in the dry brush.

As well as Fran, her daughter Vonny is also developing connections and a relationship to the small town, though hers is less fraught perhaps.

With a dramatic final act that wrecks devastation on many, this lingers with the reader long after the final page.

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