blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Fifteen Coffins – Tony J. Forder*

From the bestselling author of the DI Bliss series comes an enthralling mystery thriller.

The truth can set you free – or bury you.

When FBI Agent Sydney Merlot returns to her home town in northern California to wind down her late father’s PI business, she soon finds herself on the wrong side of the aftermath of a high school shooting.

Sydney’s childhood friend – who is now county sheriff – plus the local PD, the mayor’s office, and most of the town’s inhabitants, are convinced the horror ended when the gunman was killed. Now they just want to be left alone to mourn. But Sydney has other ideas – and she is not alone.

While having to work through her own personal grief, Sydney is openly intimidated and receives anonymous threats. After discovering she is under surveillance, she begins to fear for her life. During her investigation she gains several allies, but as the days pass, Sydney doesn’t know who to trust, and which new friends might actually turn out to be foes…

Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.
Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder, and Cold Winter Sun.
In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins which was released just last November.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.
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Tony can also be found on Instagram.

My thoughts:

This was a really clever thriller, with lots of distractions, possible suspects and dodgy dealings, events being manipulated from the very top.

As FBI agent Sydney Merlot attempts to pack up her late father’s life, she becomes embroiled in the possibility that the supposed school shooter was in fact not the real killer at all – but a harmless boy tricked into playing a role that made him the fifteenth coffin.

The plot races along, with dangers around every corner, people trying to throw Sydney off track and a vicious cabal who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets protected.

*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: Coyote Fork – James Wilson*

British journalist Robert Lovelace travels to California to report on the social media giant Global Village. He’s horrified by what he finds: a company—guided by the ruthless vision of its founder, Evan Bone—that seems to be making journalism itself redundant. Appalled, he decides to abandon the project and return home.

But as he leaves he has a disconcerting encounter that sends him off in a totally different direction. Soon he finds himself embarking on an increasingly fraught and dangerous mission. The aim: to uncover the murky truth about Evan Bone’s past and his pathological disregard for the human cost of the behemoth he has created.

Robert’s quest takes him from San Francisco to a small college town in the Midwest, to the site of a former hippie commune in northern California, introducing us to a range of vivid characters and confronting us with the price we pay—online trolling, the loss of privacy, professional ruin—for living in an “interconnected” world. Finally, he makes a startling discovery—and is thrown into a completely unforeseen existential dilemma.

A timely, stylishly written, and brilliantly conceived metaphysical thriller, Coyote Fork carries us on an unforgettable journey, before bringing us face to face with the darkness at the heart of Silicon Valley itself.

James Wilson is a London-based writer. His previous novels include The Dark Clue, The Bastard Boy, The Woman in the Picture, Consolation, and The Summer of Broken Stories. He has written BBC TV and radio documentaries, and is the author of a work of narrative nonfiction, The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America, which won a Myers Outstanding Book Award.

My thoughts:

A clever, convoluted thriller that is a lot more complex that at first glance and with an ending that left me going “and then what happened?” as I really wanted to know the fallout from the investigation.

Robert is a smart reporter, for all that he’s a travel writer, he has the instincts of an investigator – he keeps on tugging on the thread of the story to see what comes along next – even after being warned off. He makes a fascinating protagonist.

He’s determined and nothing will stop him as he collects ghosts whose deaths need resolving and laying to rest. They follow him up and down California, urging him to keep seeking answers.

He’s both helped and hindered by the people he meets, some seek to lead him astray and others drop crumbs he follows till the bitter end – keeping the reader guessing.

An involving and interesting look at how tech companies can change and ruin lives, cancel culture and how very rich people manipulate and bury the origins of their power.

*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 Failsafe Query – Michael Jenkins

TheFailSafeQuery

Welcome to the blog tour for action-packed thriller, The Failsafe Query by Michael Jenkins! Read on for an excerpt and a chance to win a print copy of the book!

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The Failsafe Query

Publication Date: July 2018

Genre: Thriller

The Failsafe Query is a gripping thriller set in the contemporary world of modern British espionage.

Sean Richardson, a disgraced former intelligence agent, is tasked to lead a team to search for Alfie Chapman, an Intelligence officer on the cusp of exposing thousands of secrets to the media. This includes a long lost list of Russian moles embedded since the Cold War, one of whom remains a public favourite in the British parliamentary system.

The action moves with absorbing pace and intrigue across Central Asia and Europe as the puzzle begins to unfold through a deep hidden legacy.

Tense, fast paced, and insightful, The Failsafe Query twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic finale.

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Excerpt

Sean left Baker Street, heading south towards Oxford Circus. The sun blinded him as he strode purposefully, but at a slow pace. A distant siren, merged with the heavy traffic, accompanied the persistent noises in his mind. His heartbeat rose. His thoughts became intense as he reminded himself of the trauma that people had inflicted on him.

He had one more thing to tend to before he left London. And it involved a kill.

He turned right onto Crawford Street, then back on himself, and made numerous turns down the quiet Marylebone back streets. He headed back towards the Edgware Road and made a deliberate U-turn, browsing occasionally at some of the antiques in shop windows. Finally, he turned left onto Enford Street and walked quietly into the Thornbury Castle pub. He made his way to the bar and ordered a pint of Rebellion beer. He paused, turned his back to the bar and cast his eye around the few local punters before making his way to the far corner of the pub, which provided an excellent view of the entrance.

Exactly twelve minutes later, ‘One-Eyed’ Damon walked through the entrance. A beast of a man, just shy of six foot seven inches of sheer bulk, he made his way to the bar with a white stick. No words were exchanged as the bearded barman slipped a pint of pale ale across the bar and indicated with a glance that Sean was sat on the higher deck in the corner.

One-Eyed Damon was a Northern Ireland and Iraq war veteran. A surveillance and weapons expert who, even with only one eye left, was still at the top of his game and who had contacts in the city who could do anything that was needed. Pick a lock, Damon was the man. Provide a weapon or plant some bugs, Damon was the man. He shuffled up the small steps and crouched over his pint next to Sean.

‘Long time, mate,’ Sean said.

‘You’re looking old and angry,’ One-Eyed Damon replied, smirking widely as his false eye glistened and twinkled in the low light. He was wearing a Union Flag lens.

‘Fuck off mate, you know I’m never angry. Just badly mad,’ Sean retorted. ‘And you can wipe that smile off your face, at least until you’ve paid me back for keeping your arse out of jail all those years ago.’ Sean had provided a glowing reference at Damon’s court martial in Colchester after Damon had ‘accidentally’ beaten up an RAF officer for touching up a woman in a Southend bar.

One-Eyed Damon broke into laughter. ‘Great days those, mate – he deserved it and you did indeed save my arse. But I hear it’s you who’s been in jail getting your arse pounded this time, Sean.’

‘Very fucking funny,’ Sean said. ‘Anyway, what’s the SP?’

‘No one is on your tail,’ Damon said, lifting his head from his beer and looking cautiously around the bar. ‘I followed you from that swanky hotel, all the way to Baker Street and then on your very obvious counter-surveillance route around Marylebone. You really need to sharpen up on your skills you know, mate.’

‘My mojo is coming back – don’t you worry about that.’

‘What’s next then, Sean?’

‘A kill,’ Sean said. ‘A slow one, but a purposeful one that I need you to look at. I’m going to be busy for a while with a job. Are you happy to do some stuff for me?’

‘Yep. Normal fees please though.’

‘Not a problem.’ Sean pulled out a small business card. ‘I need you to find this man. Find out everything about him, where he’s living, his pattern of life, who he’s shagging, what he loves, the lot.’ One-Eyed Damon turned the card over. The name on the card was Frazer, with a telephone number and a company address.

‘I assume this is the guy that got you shafted then?’

‘You could say that. Be careful though. He’s running Albanian gangs in the city as well as major drug-running operations across the continent. He takes pleasure in hurting his friends too.’

‘Fine. A real bastard then, who needs sorting out. I’ll find out everything about his movements and people. I look forward to hearing your plan on the kill.’

Sean stayed silent, smiled and stood up ready to leave.

‘Go via Samantha,’ he said. ‘She’s the conduit for this job. And feel free to leave a marker for him – just so he knows.’

Available on Amazon!

About the Author

18300654

I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.

I feel privileged to have served for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, working in Defence Intelligence and Counter-Terrorist Bomb Disposal operations, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.

I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007

The Failsafe Query is my debut novel, and I hope you enjoy the follow up novel, The Kompromat Kill, and my third in an ongoing series, The Moscow Whisper. Each can be read as standalone novels.

Michael Jenkins | Facebook | Twitter

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Blog Tour Schedule

November 2nd

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Book Dragons Not Worms (Spotlight) https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/?m=1

@the.b00keater (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

November 3rd

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

November 4th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

Cocktails and Fairy Tales (Spotlight) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Books Teacup & Reviews (Spotlight) https://booksteacupnreviews.wordpress.com/

Rambling Mads (Review) http://ramblingmads.com

November 5th

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Spotlight) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

@bookandwinelovers (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/bookandwinelovers/

November 6th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

Read & Rated (Spotlight) https://readandrated.com/

Sophril Reads (Spotlight) http://sophrilreads.wordpress.com

Blog Tour Organized By:

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Stranded – Stuart James*

A family trapped. A psychopath on the loose. Let the game begin…

What could be more innocent than going on holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

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My thoughts:

This was gripping, heart in mouth stuff, it made me think of a horror film, which I think it would make a great one. It seemed so innocent to start with, then suddenly Ben, Lisa and Milly are plunged into a nightmare.

The sadistic killer who has kidnapped a coach load of people and now holds Ben’s family too, wants to play twisted games with their lives and has stranded them in the middle of nowhere.

Not all the passengers are good people, some of them are guilty of terrible things, but it’s not the killer’s place to decide their punishment, despite him doing just that.

Utterly sinister and totally twisted, this is one nightmare holiday.

*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: Five Little Words – Jackie Walsh*

..Can destroy your life

Wow, wow, wow, this book had me guessing all the way to the end!’ ☆☆☆☆☆ Reader Review

When new mother, Laura Caldwell, opens the card dropped through her letterbox, she expected to see a heartfelt note, congratulating her on the birth of baby Shay.

Instead, she sees a message that makes her blood run cold. ‘Your husband is a murderer.’ It couldn’t be true, could it? Not Conor, her adoring husband. He couldn’t be behind the brutal killing of local barmaid, Vicky. Not him.

But while Laura fights to discover the truth about her husband, she’s also holding dark secrets of her own; secrets she’s spent years trying to hide. Could the card be a desperate attempt at revenge – or could her husband really be a murderer? There’s a tangled web between this perfect couple – and the truth might just destroy them…

Jackie Walsh lives in Dublin with her husband Paul and dog Layla. She is a member of the Irish Writers Centre and The Irish Crime writer’s group. After years spent building her own business she decided to take time out and pursue her interest in writing. With a lot to learn, Jackie attended classes, writing groups and travelled to lots of festivals and launches She secured a publishing deal with Hera Books who published Familiar Strangers and The Secrets He Kept in 2019 and Five Little Words in 2020.

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My thoughts:

Small towns hold lots of secrets and people with ulterior motives. Why was the dead woman so interested in Laura? Who thinks her husband’s a killer?

Laura has just had a baby, and now she’s plagued with fears about Conor, fending off her overbearing mother-in-law, and investigating a murder on the side.

Laura’s life seems charmed but bubbling under the surface are some dark facts from her past and Conor’s. They married four months after meeting and now they’re parents. Can you really know someone that well in such a short time?

As Laura digs deeper into Vicky and her new family, things start to surface and her worries mount.

Clever, engaging and with a shocking end twist, this is a domestic thriller and a half.

*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: Betrayal – Lilja Sigurđardóttir*

Burned out and traumatised by her horrifying experiences around the world, aid worker Úrsula has returned to Iceland. Unable to settle, she accepts a high-profile government role in which she hopes to make a difference again.

But on her first day in the post, Úrsula promises to help a mother seeking justice for her daughter, who had been raped by a policeman, and life in high office soon becomes much more harrowing than Úrsula could ever have imagined.

A homeless man is stalking her – but is he hounding her, or warning her of some danger? And the death of her father in police custody so many years rears its head once again.

As Úrsula is drawn into dirty politics, facing increasingly deadly threats, the lives of her stalker, her bodyguard and even a witchlike cleaning lady intertwine. Small betrayals become large ones, and the stakes are raised ever higher…

The award-winning internationally bestselling author Lilja Sigurðardóttir returns with Betrayal, a relevant, powerful, fastpaced thriller about the worlds of politics, police corruption and misogyny that feels just a little bit too real…Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland.

An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, including Snare, Trap and Cage, making up the Reykjavik Noir trilogy, which have hit bestseller lists worldwide.

The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

My thoughts:

A political thriller, set in Iceland, with Úrsula steps into the role of Minister of the Interior, intending to stay a year but fate conspires against her from the start – or maybe it’s people around her.

Her father’s supposed killer, a homeless man called Petur, keeps turning up, there’s death threats to contend with and she has so many things she wants to do while in post.

Fast paced, I didn’t realise that all this action was only set across two weeks, so much happens. There’s all sorts of twists and turns and the final scenes are shocking and sew up all the various plot points. Brilliant.

*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: Emergence – Shira Shiloah*

A SCALPEL WIELDING VILLAIN.

A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT FAILS.

A WHISTLEBLOWER THAT PROTECTS HER PATIENTS – NO MATTER THE COSTS.

Trusted anesthesiologist, Dr. Roxanne Roth, is healing from the loss of her fiancé by consuming her time with work. It doesn’t hurt that her new love interest, Dr. Justin Kirkland, spends almost as much time at the hospital as she does.

Entranced in the throes and complications of new love, Roxanne looks forward to work every day. Her time at the hospital would almost be cathartic if not for Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon, who is quickly amassing a pile of complaints – and bodies.

Despite trying to avoid Webb, Roxanne finds herself working alongside the doctor during a routine, low-risk surgery. Fueled by cocaine and ego, Webb intentionally sabotages the case, leading to the patient dying on the operating table.

Roxanne’s tenuous grip on recovery is shattered with her patient’s death, quickly replaced by anger and a drive for justice. Now Roxanne will do anything to protect her patients from the killer on the other side of the sterile surgical field—before he can silence her as well.

In this gripping, sinister medical thriller, Dr. Shira Shiloah will leave readers wondering about the potential evil lurking behind every surgical mask.

“Authentic characters and a vivid hospital setting enhance a tense medical tale.”

– Kirkus Review

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Dr. Shira Shiloah is an anesthesiologist and author of the debut thriller, Emergence, that details Dr. D.K. Webb, a neurosurgeon who intentionally maims and kills his patients in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Shiloah bring both a personal and professional perspective for what may happen when a sociopath holds a scalpel.

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My thoughts:

Written by a real anesthesiologist, so all the medical details are correct, this is a gripping thriller about malpractice and murder, featuring a ruthless psychopathic surgeon and the brilliant anesthesiologist who is determined to bring him to justice after a series of patients are left much worse off than before he went anywhere near them.

As someone with a neurological condition, Webb, the villain, is my worst nightmare, thank goodness my doctors are all more in line with Dr Roxanne Roth, the hero, kind, compassionate and good at their jobs.

Webb doesn’t care about his patients, colleagues or even his girlfriend, preferring money and drugs to his job and responsibilities.

He is a monster and Roxanne is driven to stop him after the death of a patient who should not have died. What ensues is gripping, horrific and it is only Roxanne’s determination and strength that ensures Webb doesn’t evade justice forever.

A great debut novel, with pace, strong characters and hopefully more to come. I could see this easily becoming a new medical TV series – there’s so much drama and intrigue here.

*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 House Mate – Nina Manning*

The perfect life? …Or the perfect lie?

When Regi moves into her new house share, she’s ready for a clean slate. A new home. A new routine. A new identity…

Desperate to escape the shadow of her past that follows her everywhere she goes, Regi finds the ideal distraction in the perfect lives of others on social media.

But as innocent scrolling turns into an unhealthy obsession, Regi will soon learn that seeking perfection comes at a price…

A gripping psychological suspense from the international bestselling author of The Daughter In Law. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, K L Slater and Jackie Kabler.

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Nina Manning studied psychology and was a restaurant-owner and private chef (including to members of the royal family).

She is the founder and co-host of Sniffing The Pages, a book review podcast.

Her debut psychological thriller, The Daughter in Law, was a bestseller in the UK, US, Australia and Canada.

She lives in Dorset.

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My thoughts:

This was very cleverly done, flipping between Regi now and what seems to be Regi in the past, but then a massive set of twists throw all of your assumptions in the bin!

There’s also a Mrs Hinch style instagrammer in the mix, which seems banal but Regi gets very curious and goes digging.

A very clever, very gripping thriller that just isn’t what it seems at all. I think Nina might just be a bit of a plotting genius!

*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: Left Hanging – Maria Frankland*

Two’s company in a marriage. How do you cope when there’s three?

Ed and Kerry Huntington-Barnes have an idyllic life, with their five-year-old twins, successful careers, a luxurious house and an affluent lifestyle. Yet the secrets they’re harbouring force their separation. Kerry is fighting her own demons, amongst which is the knowledge that she is the wrong gender for her husband to ever truly love her.

Parallel to this is the death of a local man, Russell Lawson, which affects both Ed and Kerry in different ways. Will his widow Davina, and the other shadows that surround their separation and Russell’s death, destroy their lives, and their sons’ lives even further?

This is a story that portrays the darkness that can exist inside marriage and the hatred that can linger amongst families that are supposed to love each other.

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Maria Frankland’s life began at 40 when she escaped an unhappy marriage and began making a living from her own writing and becoming a teacher of creative writing.

The rich tapestry of life with all its turbulent times has enabled her to pour experience, angst and lessons learned into the writing of her novels and poetry.
She recognises that the darkest places can exist within family relationships and this is reflected in the domestic thrillers she writes.
She is a ‘born ‘n’ bred’ Yorkshirewoman, a mother of two and has recently found her own ‘happy ever after’ after marrying again.
Still in her forties, she is now going to dedicate the rest of her working life to writing books and inspiring other writers to also achieve their dreams too!

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My thoughts:

This unravels in a very satisfactory manner, beginning with a suspected suicide that leaves Ed reeling, and determined to end his sham of a marriage.

His wife, Kerry’s, fury knows no bounds and as things start to spiral, Ed’s malignant estranged father returns, angry at Ed and after revenge.

What seems to be a domestic drama suddenly becomes a shocking thriller and goes in a totally different and utterly unexpected direction.

Very clever, gripping and full of darkness, under a thin veneer of respectability.

*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 Wicked Oath – Michael L. Lewis*

A wicked conspiracy. A diabolical offer.

Survival: a matter of life or death!

Behind the walls of Blackleigh, a prestigious public boarding school in northern England, lurks wickedness and bullying. Those in power form a conspiracy to devise any means to expel certain boys. Surviving for their victims becomes a matter of life and death…

Jonathan Simon, in his second year, returns to school to find that ruthless prefects – Sleeth, Tunk and Miller – are in charge of his house. Things take a turn for the worse when the new Headmaster starts, and Jonathan and his friends are targeted.
As the pressure mounts, friendships become closer and scheming increases as unexpected revelations occur.

For Blackleigh, the year is just beginning…

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Michael L. Lewis was born and raised in England. After preparatory school in London, he was educated at Stowe School, Buckingham. Michael now lives in Los Angeles, California, has a law degree, and writes full-time. He was on the Board of Trustees for several schools and has been a
member of the same book club for twenty-five years.

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My thoughts:

I love boarding school stories, I don’t really know why, and this trilogy is very dark. You don’t have to have read The Oath (book one) to read this one, but it is also very good.

As Jonathan’s second year at Blackleigh, things have changed and now the nastiest bullies at the school have all the power. Their pledge to destroy Jonathan and his friends through cruelty and violence puts lives at risk.

But positive changes are coming too.

This book is dark and twisted, Sleeth and Tunk are violent, cruel and have no regard for anyone else. Their twisted interpretation of the school rules sees them met out extreme and disproportionate punishment.

Jonathan is a great character, resilient and kind, with a great inner strength and determination. He manages to find the good things in life, despite the horrors of the behaviour of the prefects.

I’m looking forward to reading the third book at some point and finding out how Jonathan’s school days end, and how the school changes with the new headmaster and the addition of female students.

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