Posted in Book Review, Crime, Noir, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

The Shadow Friend Alex North 4*#Review @writer_north @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks #BookReview #psychological #suspense #Crime #Supernatural #horror #TheShadowFriend

The victim was his friend. So was the murderer.

Twenty-five years ago, troubled teenager Charlie Crabtree committed a shocking and unprovoked murder.

For Paul Adams, it’s a day he’ll never forget. He’s never forgiven himself for his part in what happened to his friend and classmate. He’s never gone back home.

But when his elderly mother has a fall, it’s finally time to stop running.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. A copycat killer has struck, bringing back painful memories. Paul’s mother insists there’s something in the house.

And someone is following him.

Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterwards, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again . . .

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK – Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story which is a fusion of genres is atmospheric, poignant and resonates.

Paul returns to his home village twenty-five years after a murder that left one boy dead, one a killer and the other gone without a trace. Paul’s viewpoint is both past and present. A recent murder introduces the police procedural element with the detective’s point of view.

This is a contemporary gothic style story. It’s creepy with elements of horror, poignant and mysterious. Slow pacing builds the suspense and makes the horror elements more intense.

This is a niche read, but for those, it appeals to, it’s addictive and memorable.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Mystery, Romance

The Lie Hilary Boyd 4*#Review @HilaryBoyd @PenguinUKBooks @MichaelJBooks #BookReview #TheLie

I just thought you should know who you’re married to . . .’

Romy and Michael had it all. 30 years of marriage, two wonderful sons and a beautiful home.

Until a letter arrives containing a shocking accusation, and everything falls apart.

Fleeing to an idyllic countryside village to find time to think, Romy finds herself drawn to Finch, a handsome stranger with a tragic past. Is this a chance to start again?

But then the phone rings: Michael is in hospital. He says he needs her help . . .

From the No.1 bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park.

Amazon UK Waterstones

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK- Michael Joseph via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an intense family drama. It explores the fragility of relationships and the damage caused by lies and dark secrets. Romy and Michael are a successful couple although she’s undoubtedly put her husband’s career as a barrister above her career aspirations she’s happy until she receives a letter. It makes her question her belief in her husband, her life to date. What should she do?

The ensuing moral dilemma damages her marriage and forces her to leave. Second chances avail themselves, but a life-changing event forces Romy to return to her former life and face the consequences.

Driven by vivid characters, this is an absorbing story full of darkness and mystery. Romy’s role as a mother defines her and almost forces her into a prison-like existence. Clever twists and contemporary issues make this story relevant.

The pacing is slow, but this fortifies the suspense, and the powerful ending is worth the angst.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

Murder Ahoy! Fiona Leitch 5*#Review @fkleitch #Cozymystery #murdermystery #cruiseship #humour #crimefiction #MurderAhoy @rararesources #ABellaTysonMystery #BlogTour #BookReview

Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world – the Big Apple.

She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up – as well as fake not-really-dead bodies – Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour.

Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I always enjoy a good murder mystery, and this is one that captures my imagination. Bella Tyson is a successful crime writer hired to host a murder mystery event on a first-class cruise ship from England to New York. Things do not work out as envisaged, and she embroiled in a real murder mystery as the main suspect.

This story fits well into the cosy mystery genre with vibrant but believable characters, all of whom could be guilty of murder. There are clues along the way as Bella tries to identify the real murderer and clear her name before they reach New York.

Bella is a lovely character with a witty sense of humour that lightens the darkness of the plot and her current situation. Sensory imagery, engages the reader in the plot and setting, on a luxurious cruise ship. The ending ties everything up in a satisfying way.

I like the informal writing style in the first person letting the reader share Bella’s emotions and investigative thoughts. It allows the reader insight into the amateur sleuth’s mind, making it an immersive experience, and a great escapist read.

Fiona Leitch

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.

Twitter Pinterest

Posted in Cover Reveal, Crime, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Siren Song Rebecca McKinney #CoverReveal @BexMcKinney @lovebooksgroup #SirenSong #lovebookstours #paranormal #PsychologicalThriller #Crime

A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?

Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.

Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…

Rebecca McKinney is a writer, therapist and community development practitioner, living and working in Midlothian, Scotland. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers, three cats, and a growing collection of musical instruments.

Previous novels:

The Angel in the Stone: shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize, 2017: Sandstone Press

Blast Radius: 2015: Sandstone Press

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal

Bound to You Alyson Caraway @alycaraway 4*#Review @vulpine_press #TheDemonKnights @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BoundToYou #AngelsandDemons #HeavenandHell #fantasyromance #paranormalromance #BlogTour #BookReview

She’s a power-hungry battle angel
Coriel is determined to rid the world of demons and prove she has what it takes to be archangel. But when a fierce battle ends in tragedy on her orders, she is banished from the Heavens—and finds herself at the mercy of Hell’s sexiest and most powerful demon knight.

He’s the demon knight who wants her
Rather than take his rightful place on Hell’s throne, Zagan prefers to spend his days in the human realm corrupting souls—and he’ll end the life of any angel who tries to stop him. But rather than slay the beautiful battle angel when he has the chance, he binds her to him with his life-saving kiss, forcing her to obey his every command.

The line is drawn
Coriel has no choice but to submit to her captor, though the curse of his kiss is not what lures her to him. While Zagan takes great pleasure in exerting his dominance over the Heavens’ fiercest warrior, he soon wants her to do more than just his bidding. As the war between angels and demons rages, he wants her by his side … to rule Hell as his queen. 

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story does not follow the traditional lines of good versus evil. It explores the concepts of heaven and hell and the supernatural fantasy beings that reside there. Coriel is an angel destined for great things she believes this and so do many others, but she impetuous and rails against authority, so she has enemies too. Zagan is a demon knight the next king of hell until he clashes with Coriel.

Betrayal and passion define this story. The first in the series there is considerable world-building which slows the pace a little but is necessary for the series development. Conflict, deceit and lust threaten the stability of the two worlds and draw the characters into danger.

If you enjoy escaping to a different world with omnipotent characters, and hot passionate attraction this is for you.

Thanks for wanting to learn more about me! I’m Aly, and I’ve been writing since middle school. I’ve always been a fan of paranormal, fantasy, and supernatural fiction. I’ve consumed it in many forms, including from books, movies, video games and anime. I would walk home from school hoping a black cat with a crescent moon on its forehead would come to me and tell me I was a reincarnated superhero, just like in the anime Sailor Moon. When that didn’t happen, I wrote my own Sailor Moon fanfiction, then original stories, all with strong heroines with magical powers. I realized my own magical power was my love for storytelling and world building.

I’m in love with my characters finding a love worth dying for. I love putting them in impossible situations and seeing how they figure things out and persevere. I really hope that you enjoy their journeys, too!

When I’m not writing about lusty demons, angels, and other paranormal beings, I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, and maltipoo. I’m an avid video gamer, student of Japanese, tea aficionado, crafter, reader, and all-around nerd. I strongly believe in the healing powers of retail therapy.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Noir

The Big Chill Doug Johnstone 4*#Review doug_johnstone @Orendabooks #TheSkelfs #BlogTour #TheBigChill #CrimeFiction #PI #noir #humour #BookReview #literaryfiction @RandomTTours

Haunted by their past, the Skelf women are hoping for a quieter life. But running both a funeral directors’ and a private investigation business means trouble is never far away, and when a car crashes into the open grave at a funeral Dorothy is conducting, she can’t help looking into the dead driver ’s shadowy life.

While Dorothy uncovers a dark truth at the heart of Edinburgh society, her daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah have their own struggles. Jenny’s
ex-husband Craig is making plans that could shatter the Skelf women’s lives, and the increasingly obsessive Hannah has formed a friendship with an elderly professor that is fast turning deadly.

But something even more sinister emerges when a drumming student of Dorothy’s disappears, and suspicion falls on her parents. The Skelf women find themselves immersed in an unbearable darkness – but could the real threat be to themselves?

Fast-paced, darkly funny, yet touching and tender, the Skelf family series is a welcome reboot to the classic PI novel, whilst also asking deeper questions about family, society and grief.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orenda Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Stories centred around funeral directors always seem to combine darkness and humour with the possibility of crime and this, in essence, is what’s going on here. This is an atmospheric novel. It has vivid imagery and vibrant characters. It’s easy to imagine the events as they unfold, and this makes it addictive reading.

The second book in the series it reads well as a standalone but if you like to know the minutiae of the characters perhaps read book one first? Told from the three main characters’viewpoints it gives the reader an omnipotent view of the story. The plot is complex and detailed but seen through the characters’ eyes riveting reading.

Character-driven you get to know each of the women well and their familial relationship. This story explores love and loss with a poignant intensity relieved by insightful touches of humour. It’s an engaging fusion of family drama, and crime detection, which works well. The Edinburgh setting is evocative and gives the story a unique edge.

Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is the author of more ten novels, most recently Breakers (2019), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year and A Dark Matter (2020), which launched the Skelfs series. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home, which he drew on to write A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a
songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s alsoplayer-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller, Travel

Hunter Killer Brad Taylor 4*#Review @BradTaylorBooks @AriesFiction @HoZ_Books #International #Thriller #military #political #BlogTour #BookReview #AriesBlogTour #HunterKiller

The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.

The Taskforce were once apex predators, an unrivalled hunting machine that decimated those out to harm the USA, but they may have met their match.

While Pike is preparing to join the team on a counter-terrorist mission in South America, a friend is killed in South Carolina. The authorities believe it was an accident, but Pike suspects the attack was meant as a message to him. When he loses contact with the team in South America, Pike becomes convinced the Taskforce is under attack.

His men are the closest thing to family he has. He will do anything – even ignore direct orders to stand down – to find them.

Amazon Aries Store Amazon UK

Aries Fiction

I received a copy of this book from Aries -Head of Zeus Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story gets your attention from the first page. Focusing on contemporary issues, it’s complex plot delivers an intense and often violent read. It’s part of a long-running series but reads as a standalone. Although to appreciate the team dynamic and character development, it’s advisable to read the books that come before, which I haven’t yet.

The setting is vividly described and evokes all the reader’s senses. The plot is fast-paced and keeps its momentum until the various sub-plots integrate into an impactful conclusion. The cast of characters is believable and the connection between the various team members, authentic and relatable.

Geopolitics, revenge and ruthless individuals define this story. Pike and his team are diverse and flawed, but their commitment to each other resonates.

Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor is the New York Times bestselling author of the Taskforce series, with nearly 3 million copies sold. He channels his decades of experience as a Special Forces Commander in the US army into his thrillers. In the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment—Delta, Taylor commanded multiple troops, a squadron and conducted operations in classified locations. Now he lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife and two daughters.

Twitter Website

Posted in Blog Blitz, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Romance

Change of Life Anne Stormont @writeanne @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BlogBlitz #ContemporaryRomance #Family #Drama #Life #ChangeofLife

Be careful what you wish for…

Wife to heart surgeon and control freak, Tom, and mother to four adolescent children, Rosie feels taken for granted as she juggles family life and her work as a teacher. She longs for a change of life.

When she hits a teenage boy with her car, her life explodes into uncharted territory. The boy is Robbie – and Rosie discovers he is part of a terrible secret that Tom has kept for seventeen years. Then Rosie is diagnosed with breast cancer.

Rosie leaves home and begins the fight for her life. Meanwhile, Tom is forced to learn what it means to be a husband and father. He struggles to keep his family together and strives to get his wife back.

Amazon UK

Anne Stormont was born in Scotland and although she has travelled all over the world – including a teaching exchange to South Africa, four trips to Australia and several visits to the Middle East – it’s where she still lives.

She began making up stories as a child in order to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult, being busy with motherhood and working as a teacher, it took a long time and a mortality wake-up call for her to get that first book written.

She’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and enthusiastic gardener. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Change of Life was her first novel and she has since published three more. Her books are all set in Scotland and are contemporary romances where the main characters may be slightly older but are not necessarily wiser.

You can find out more about Anne and her books at her Website 

Posted in Cover Reveal, Psychological Thriller

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t Carla Christian #CoverReveal #CarlaChristian @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

Twitter -  Cover Reveal - The Things I Want To Say But Can't  (1).png

‘A lifetime of endings, a million goodbyes. None of them right. It’s funny what you remember when you’ve got nothing else to think about. All those things you should’ve said while you had the chance. You never learned, did you? You never, ever learned.’

Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind.

Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right.

Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.

Amazon UK

Carla Christian lives in the Lake District in the North of England. A busy working mum of two teenagers, she has a passion for writing, art and travel, and these interests have been a part of her for as long as she can remember. 

Constantly inspired by both the good and the bad in the world around her, she spends much of her time creating in one way or another; be it painting canvases for the blank walls of her new home, sketching pictures to capture memories of the many travel adventures she’s been lucky enough to go on, baking fantastical cakes with her daughter, or writing endless beginnings to a million unfinished stories.

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t is her first novel.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Blog Tour, Friendship, Romance

The Secret of You and Me Melissa Lenhardt @MelLenhardt @MillsandBoon #Romance #LGBTRomance #BookBlitz #MillsandBoonInsiders #TheSecretofYouandMe

You always come back to your first love

Nora hasn’t looked back. Not since she left home, and her broken heart, far behind her. But now tragedy calls her back, where she must finally come face to face with ex-boyfriend Charlie, and best friend Sophie. Only now will she be able to confront her past—and reconcile her future.

Sophie seems to have everything. Married to Charlie, with a wonderful daughter and a successful career. Yet underneath that perfection lies an explosive secret. A secret that ripped through their town and destroyed her friendship with Nora. So when Sophie finds out that Nora has returned, she hopes Nora’s stay is short. The life she has built depends on it.

But first love doesn’t fade easily. Memories come to light, passion ignites and old feelings resurface. As the forces that once tore them apart begin to re-emerge, both Nora and Sophie must accept that true love is something worth fighting for.

Amazon UK