8 Dec 2017

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Book Spotlight / Whippoorwill by R L Bartram

Barely fourteen, Ceci Prejean is a tomboy running wild in the hot Louisiana summer. After breaking the nose of a local boy, her father decides to enlist the aid of Hecubah, a beautiful Creole woman, with a secret past, who takes Ceci in hand and turns her into a lady.

Now, eighteen-year-old Ceci meets and falls passionately in love with a handsome young northerner, Trent Sinclaire. Trent is a cadet at the West Point military academy. He acts as if he knows Ceci. They begin a torrid affair, even as the southern states begin to secede from the Union.

Only weeks before their wedding, the Confederate army attacks Fort Sumter and the civil war begins. Trent is called to active service in the north, leaving Ceci heartbroken in the south. Swearing vengeance on the union, after the untimely death of her family at the fall of New Orleans, Ceci meets with infamous spy master, Henry Doucet. He initiates her into the shadowy world of espionage. After her failure to avert the catastrophe at Gettysburg, Ceci infiltrates the White House.

There, she comes face to face with Abraham Lincoln, a man she’s sworn to kill. Forming a reckless alliance with the actor, John Wilkes Booth, she is drawn deeper into the plot to assassinate the President of the United States. A Confederate spy in love with a Union officer, her next decision will determine whether she lives or dies...





EXTRACT



Trent was lucky. The Confederate musket ball that was intended to kill him merely grazed his brow. He lurched violently back in his saddle. His horse reared wildly, throwing him, unconscious to the ground, directly into the path of his own cavalry advancing only yards behind him. At the far end of the field, Sergeant Nathanial Pike and his men, engaged in the hasty formation of a skirmish line, watched helplessly as the scene unfolded. As Trent hit the ground, a Confederate soldier appeared out of the shadows. Small and slight, little more than a boy, he lunged forwards, grabbed the officer by the lapels of his coat and dragged him out of the path of the galloping horses. Throwing himself across the man’s prone body, he shielded him from the pounding hooves. The cavalry thundered past oblivious, in the half-light, to the fate of their captain.

As the danger passed, the rebel rose to his knees and appeared to search the unconscious man. “God damn thieving rebs,” Pike snatched his pistol from its holster, his thumb wrenching back the hammer. Before he could take aim, the rebel stopped searching. He leaned forwards and, cradling the officer’s face in his hands, bent down and kissed him, full on the lips, long and hard. Pike’s pistol, arm and jaw dropped simultaneously. Something, some noise, some movement, made the rebel look up and glance furtively around. He jumped to his feet and, with a final backwards glance at the fallen man, melted into the shadows, like a wraith. It was some moments before Pike’s jaw snapped shut, his teeth meeting with an audible click. He rounded on his men. “Did you see what I just saw?” he demanded. His question was answered with shrugs and scowls. Not one man there could swear he hadn’t dreamed it. Then suddenly, they heard it, far off, plaintive and eerie, the cry of a whippoorwill.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


With Historical Romance as his preferred genre, Robert has continued to write for several years. Many of his short stories have appeared in various national periodicals and magazines.
His debut novel “Dance the Moon Down”, a story of love against adversity during the First World War, gained him considerable critical praise, being voted book of the month by “Wall to Wall books”
His second novel “Whippoorwill” tells of a passionate affair between a young southern woman and a northern man at the beginning of the American Civil War.
He is single and lives and works in Hertfordshire.
 





Continue reading Book Spotlight / Whippoorwill by R L Bartram

6 Dec 2017

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Book Review / Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker


Karl Savage is dead.

He must be. His ex, Anjelica, is in prison for murdering him in an arson attack. Multiple forensic experts testified to finding his charred remains.

So when Anjelica begs investigative journalist Morgan Vine to prove her innocence, it seems an impossible task. It doesn't matter that Karl was abusive. That Anjelica has a baby to care for. That she's petrified of fire. The whole world knows Karl is dead.

Then he walks past Morgan's window . . .


Published:     24th August 2017
Publisher:  Bonnier Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 2, Morgan Vine
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW

This.  Book.  Was.  Fantastic.

Despite the fact that I had not realised this was a book 2 in a series, I loved this book and can't wait to pick up book 1.  This had a great mixture of suspense and mystery.  As this is book 2 in a series, I won't go into too much detail about the plot but what could be better than having someone who is dead, someone in prison for that murder and that someone who is dead may not be dead?  What is happening!!!!!

Twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.  Loved it!  What's even better is, hopefully, this will not be the end of the series.   The way this one left some questions...  Note to author, you need to write more of this series!







Continue reading Book Review / Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker

4 Dec 2017

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Book Review / City of Saviors by Rachel Howzell Hall


Los Angeles Homicide Detective Elouise Norton encounters her toughest case yet in City of Saviors, the fourth installment in the critically acclaimed mystery series from author Rachel Howzell Hall.

After a long Labor Day weekend, seventy-three-year-old Eugene Washington is found dead in his Leimert Park home. At first blush, his death seems unremarkable―heatwave combined with food poisoning from a holiday barbecue. But something in the way Washington died doesn’t make sense. LAPD Homicide Detective Elouise "Lou" Norton is called to investigate the death and learns that the only family Washington had was the 6,000-member congregation of Blessed Mission Ministries, led by Bishop Solomon Tate.

But something wicked is lurking among the congregants of this church.

Lou’s partner, Detective Colin Taggert, thinks her focus on the congregation comes from her distrust of organized religion. But Lou is convinced that the murderer is sitting in one of those red velvet pews―and that Bishop Tate may be protecting the wolf in the flock. Lou must force the truth into the light and confront her own demons in order to save another soul before it’s too late.


Published:     8th August 2017
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 4, Detective Elouise Norton
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

What I liked about this story...   Although it might help to start from the beginning of the series, you don't have to.  The best part of this story for me was the investigation.  Following Detective Elouise Norton trying to discover what was going on was by far the best part for me, with a whole range of characters who could be the killer.  There was also a very surprising twist in this story that I had not expected.

What I didn't like about this story...   Apart from the surprising twist near the end of the story, this was very predictable read for me, which I have to be honest and say that it was a bit disappointing as the one thing I enjoy about these type of stories is the unknown, not knowing what is around the corner. 







Continue reading Book Review / City of Saviors by Rachel Howzell Hall

29 Nov 2017

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Blog Tour Book Review / Know Me Now by CJ Carver

A SUICIDE. A MURDER. A CONSPIRACY.
DIGGING UP THE PAST CAN BE DEADLY . . .

A thirteen-year-old boy commits suicide.

A sixty-five-year old man dies of a heart attack.

Dan Forrester, ex-MI5 agent, is connected to them both.

And when he discovers that his godson and his father have been murdered, he teams up with his old friend, DC Lucy Davies, to find answers.

But as the pair investigate, they unravel a dark and violent mystery stretching decades into the past and uncover a terrible secret.

A secret someone will do anything to keep buried . . .





Published:     14th December 2017
Publisher:  Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 3, Dan Forrester
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher





MY REVIEW

Now I know that this book is book 3 in a series and no I haven't read the first 2 booked in this series but luckily you don't have to.  This is one of those books that you can read independently of the series or part of the series if you choose to.  That said, I am definitely going to be checking out the first two books now I have read and thoroughly enjoyed this one.

This story felt very real with a lot of twists and turns that really kept me at the edge of my seat wanting to know what actually happened and what will happen.  I think what when I do check out the first two books in this series I am going to re-read this one and see what I think of it then.  Will it change my opinion?  The best thing about this book was the sense of adventure, suspense and the twists and turns.






Continue reading Blog Tour Book Review / Know Me Now by CJ Carver

27 Nov 2017

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Book Review / The Mother by Jaime Raven


I’ve taken your daughter, as punishment for what you did …

Prepare to be gripped by the heart-stopping new thriller from the author of The Madam.

South London detective Sarah Mason is a single mother. It’s a tough life, but Sarah gets by. She and her ex-husband, fellow detective Adam Boyd, adore their 15-month-old daughter Molly.

Until Sarah’s world falls apart when she receives a devastating threat: Her daughter has been taken, and the abductor plans to raise Molly as their own, as punishment for something Sarah did.

Sarah is forced to stand back while her team try to track down the kidnapper. But her colleagues aren’t working fast enough to find Molly. To save her daughter, Sarah must take matters into her own hands, in a desperate hunt that will take her to the very depths of London’s underworld.


Published:     7th September 2017
Publisher:  Avon
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher




MY REVIEW


After reading and loving The Alibi by this author, I just had to read this one!   Great suspense and a few twists and turns, that is all I need in a good thriller.  Oh and, of course, a good plot.  This book had all of them.  You have the one question right from the start, your daughter has been kidnappeed for what you did, what was the reason?  That question alone kept me reading.  I had to know why!

What puzzled me a bit with this book is the question of your daughter has gone missing, your ex-husband goes all out in trying to find her but you don't get involved until halfway through the story.  That part confused me a bit.  

With the exception of a bit of a slow pace in the middle of the book, this was a great read.  I did guess the twist in this story but I still enjoyed the ride of getting to that point. 







Continue reading Book Review / The Mother by Jaime Raven

23 Nov 2017

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Book Review / The Shock by Marc Raabe


A THRILLER THAT YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN - FOR FANS OF TANIA CARVER AND M. J. ARLIDGE.

When Laura Bjely goes missing during a storm on the Cote d'Azur, the only thing her friend Jan finds is her smartphone - with a disturbing film in the memory.

Back in Berlin, Jan's neighbour is discovered with a bloody message left on her forehead.

As Jan searches for answers about what happened to Laura, he is thrown into a nightmare of madness and murder.

An exhilarating and merciless psychological thriller from the author of The Cut.





Published:     24th August 2017
Publisher:  Bonnier Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

I have to admit that this book fitted into the catagory of 'this one is just not for me'.  I had a few issues that I just could not get past with this one.  Firstly, it was a lot more disturbing than I had imagined with a lot of what I believed were graphic sex scenes that I just did not get on well with.  That's just not my thing, so any stories with that in immediately turn me off.  I also found this story to be slow paced with not a lot of twists and turns, which is not what I was expecting and mixed with the above and the fact that I didn't really like the ending - I didn't enjoy this one.

That said there was one aspect that I did like and that was the investigating into Laura's background.  I liked that part as there was a hint of mystery of the unknown. 
Continue reading Book Review / The Shock by Marc Raabe

20 Nov 2017

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Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann


Elspeth May, a young female journalist who never seems to be in the right place at the right time, suddenly gets her big break only to find that no one will ever believe her story.


When a local woman is found murdered in her own home, slashed viciously across the throat, the police begin a manhunt of the surrounding villages, unsure exactly of who or what they are looking for. Elspeth, accidentally first on the scene, finds her interest piqued, and sets out to investigate the details surrounding the crime. In doing so she finds herself constantly battling against Peter Shaw, a police sergeant working on the case and under suspicion due to a terrible incident that occurred on a previous investigation. More murders follow, each of them adopting a similar pattern. What links the victims? And why are some of the local people trying to cover things up


Published:     12th September 2017
Publisher:  Titan Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher



MY REVIEW

A very interesting story indeed!  I wasn't sure what to think about this one when I first went into it.  Was it a thriller?  Was it supernatural in some way?   I wasn't sure what to think about the folklore aspect of it - was it real or was it made up with a mad person behind it?   This was definitely a creepy thriller style book with the perfect backdrop of a little town where nothing usually happens, which just happens to be Elspeth's home town.

With a lot of twists and turns in this story I wasn't sure which way to look and who could be behind the murders.  I wasn't really surprised by the ending, by that point I had figured out most of what was happening but the most enjoyable part of this story was the build up and following Elspeth as more and more is uncovered.
Continue reading Book Review / Wychwood by George Mann

13 Nov 2017

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Book Review / Secrets in Death by JD Robb


A new novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series: Lt. Eve Dallas must separate rumors from reality when a woman who traffics in other people’s secrets is silenced.

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally—with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…


Published:     5th September 2017
Publisher:  Piatkus Books
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 45, In Death
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher





MY REVIEW

What I love about this series is the fact that you don't have to read them in order.  Now, I do have to admit that this goes against almost everything I do.  I like order.  I like starting at 1 and ending at 10 and so on.  I usually don't pick up things halfway through.  This is the exception.  There are 45 books in this series.  To be able to read this series in order and read this one, I would have to read 44 other books in the series.  This is something I am definitely going to plan to do, maybe for 2018, but for now I just wanted to experience this story.  With this series, you do not have a to pick them up in order.  You can pick up any one you want and get reading.  I have read a few of these now in this way, there is a 'bigger picture' that would be better experienced probably if you started at book 1.

What I liked the most about this story, honestly, was the ending.  Don't get me wrong, the build up was really good but the ending I was not expecting and threw me completely.  I loved it! 


Continue reading Book Review / Secrets in Death by JD Robb