30 Sept 2017

Blog Tour Book Extract / Zero Avenue by Dietrich Kalteis

About the book:

Set to the cranking beat and amphetamine buzz of Vancouver’s early punk scene, Zero Avenue follows Frankie Del Rey, a talented and rising punk star who runs just enough dope on the side to pay the bills and keep her band, Waves of Nausea, together. The trouble is she’s running it for Marty Sayles, a powerful drug dealer who controls the Eastside with a fist.
When Frankie strikes up a relationship with Johnny Falco, the owner of one of the only Vancouver clubs willing to give punk a chance, she finds out he’s having his own money problems just keeping Falco’s Nest open. Desperate to keep his club, Johnny raids one of the pot fields Marty Sayles has growing out past Surrey, along Zero Avenue on the U.S. border. He gets away with a pickup load and pays back everybody he owes. Arnie Binz, bass player for Waves of Nausea, finds out about it and decides that was easy enough. But he gets caught by Marty’s crew.
Johnny and Frankie set out to find the missing Arnie, but Marty Sayles is pissed and looking for who ripped off his other field — a trail that leads to Johnny and Frankie.
About the author:

Dietrich Kalteis is the award-winning author of Ride the Lightning, The Deadbeat Club, TriggerfishHouse of Blazes and Zero Avenue. Nearly fifty of his short stories have been published internationally, and he lives with his family in West Vancouver, British Columbia.

Social networking links:
Website: http://dietrichkalteis.blogspot.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dietrich.kalteis/
Twitter: @dietrichkalteis

October 3

Buy links:

Chapter 2 Excerpt
[Frankie] walked in, Falco’s Nest open to the indie music scene. Johnny Falco being the second club owner with the balls to do it. Most venues around town treated punk like taboo: pogo dancing leading to underaged drinking, leading to drunken fist fights, leading to police raids and shutdowns.
Johnny moved here from back east, got to know the punk scene in Toronto, told her about living in the Lawrence Hotel, rooms like two bucks and change a night, a Sabbath cover band called Never Say Die stayed down the hall, the band living on potatoes and soup packets. Getting to know them while bowling with empty ketchup and beer bottles in the hall, driving the landlord crazy.
She loved hearing Johnny tell about the Toronto scene: the Viletones, the Demics. Bands like the Diodes, Cardboard Brains and Teenage Head out of Hamilton, venues like Larry’s Hideaway on Carlton. Johnny saying he wished he’d been on the coast to catch the Furies before they split up, loved their sound, getting out here a couple years too late.
Photos were tacked up behind the bar: him standing arm in arm with Frankie Venom, another one of him and Daniel Rey, producer for the Ramones, one with Carole Pope out front of the Concert Hall.
Lachman over at the Buddha was first to do it in Vancouver, bringing the sound to town. The Young Canadians, still called the K-Tels back then, put on a hell of a show, followed by the Subhumans. The Buddha had been packed ever since, Lachman still trying to live down the night he kicked out Hendrix, back in the club’s R&B days a decade earlier, Lachman telling anybody who’d listen the guy just played too loud.
Falco’s Nest had been catching the Buddha’s overflow since opening its doors eight months back. Johnny usually short on cash, but long on ideas, showcasing new talent, giving bands a chance to jump off the hamster wheel of shit gigs available to them. The local papers called both clubs a spawning ground for a new terrorism on the sensibilities, but Vancouver’s punk scene didn’t read the dailies — fans flocking from as far as Mission, giving the “No Fun City” image a good shake.
Not sure who Johnny had booked in tonight, she walked by the posters plastered across the storefront window. Hoping to duck Marty till later, she’d come to hear some music, have a beer with Johnny then drop in at the Buddha, catch some of D.O.A.’s second set. The guys sometimes letting her sit in. Her Flying V locked in the trunk, just in case.
She stepped into the warmth and the smoke.

Excerpted from Zero Avenue by Dietrich Kalteis. © 2017 by Dietrich Kalteis. All rights reserved. Published by ECW Press Ltd. www.ecwpress.com

Continue reading Blog Tour Book Extract / Zero Avenue by Dietrich Kalteis

27 Sept 2017

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Book Review / Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon

Forty-one-year-old school nurse Kate Cypher has returned home to rural Vermont to care for her mother who's afflicted with Alzheimer's. On the night she arrives, a young girl is murdered—a horrific crime that eerily mirrors another from Kate's childhood. Three decades earlier, her dirt-poor friend Del—shunned and derided by classmates as "Potato Girl"—was brutally slain. Del's killer was never found, while the victim has since achieved immortality in local legends and ghost stories. Now, as this new murder investigation draws Kate irresistibly in, her past and present collide in terrifying, unexpected ways. Because nothing is quite what it seems . . . and the grim specters of her youth are far from forgotten.

More than just a murder mystery, Jennifer McMahon's extraordinary debut novel, Promise Not to Tell, is a story of friendship and family, devotion and betrayal—tautly written, deeply insightful, beautifully evocative, and utterly unforgettable.

Published:     10th April 2007
Publisher:  William Morrow
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


I hereby declare that Jennifer McMahon has been added to my list of favourite authors of all time - and I have only read one of her books so far!!!!  I just could not put this one down.  Initially, when picking this book up I thought it was going to be a thriller, a whodoneit or maybe a chase to catch the killer.  Yes, this is a thriller but it is so much more than that.

This story is split between the past and the present.  You have Kate, the main character who is returning home to care for her ill mother.  On her return, a girl is murdered.  You would think this is disturbing enough but this is not the first time Kate has experienced a death.  In the past, three decades earlier, we see her story when she was a child where she makes friends with the 'potato girl'.  With those two stories running alongside each other, I very much had the sense of something else going on.  Maybe something paranormal?

I adored this book.  If I had to catagorise this I would call it a haunting suspense with quite a few plot twists to keep you on your toes.  Very creepy but addicting!!!  Can't wait to read more from this author.

Continue reading Book Review / Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon

25 Sept 2017


Book Review / See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

All’s not well at the Hummingbird Creek wellness resort. No one can see in. No one can get out…
New from the talented author who brought you Lying About Last Summer: a psycho-chiller to wake up your darkest phobias. If you got to live in a luxury hotel with world-class cuisine, a state-of-the-art sports centre and the latest spa treatments, would you say ‘yes please’? 

Well, that’s kind of what Hummingbird Creek is like. No wonder Mae feels lucky to be there. It’s meant as a rich-kid’s sanatorium, but she isn’t sick. Her dad is the top psychiatrist there. But one day Mae breaks a rule. NOT a good idea. This place is all about rules – and breaking them can hurt you…

Published:     2nd March 2017
Publisher:  Scholastic
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


What I liked about this story...  In this story we follow the main character Mae who lives at Hummingbird Creek, which is a 'wellness report'.  Where parents send their troubled kids to get better.  There is a lot more to this wellness report then meets the eye.  It was the twists and turns in this story that won it over for me.  Just when I thought something had happened and someone was responsible that may have not been the case.  I was truly surprised by the ending, something I definitely was not expecting!   I also found this book be very creepy which was excellent considering I read this in the evenings!  This is very much a who's who type of book.   I was always guessing who was the 'baddies' and who were the 'goodies', sometimes guessing right and sometimes guessing wrong. 

In summary...   A very intriguing thriller that certainly has a few twists and turns.  I would highly recommend this book but it is definitely best to go into this book not knowing a great deal more than the book synopsis.

Continue reading Book Review / See How They Lie by Sue Wallman

24 Sept 2017

Blog Tour Book Extract / Hope to Die by David Jackson

When the victim seems perfect, is it the perfect crime? The gripping new serial killer thriller, from the runaway bestselling author of CRY BABY.

On a snowy December evening, Mary Cowper is walking her dog through the churchyard of Liverpool Cathedral - and that's when the killer strikes.

Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, Mary seems to be almost angelic - no-one has a bad word to say about her, let alone a motive for such a violent murder.

And Cody has other things on his mind too. The ghosts of his past are coming ever close, and - still bearing the physical and mental scars - it's all he can do to hold onto his sanity.

And then the killer strikes again . . .


Cody walks home. His car is still at the station on Stanley Road, but he decides there’s no point in going all the way over there just to drive it back again. He’ll get a taxi to work in the morning.
The snow falls much more lightly now, but is still crisp underfoot. Rodney Street is eerily calm and still. Frozen in a past century. It is not hard to imagine this night as a Georgian Christmas Eve, or something straight from the pen of Dickens. To picture huge wreaths on each of these glossy doors. And, inside, wealthy parents drinking nightcaps as they joyfully fill their children’s stockings and prepare for the festivities and excesses of the following day.
And then Cody gets to his own building, his own door. He stares at the brass knocker and sees it mutate into the angry, despairing face of Jacob Marley’s ghost. In Cody’s head the carol-singing fades, and the mournful moaning starts up. And it’s with a heart as heavy as lead that he takes out his key and lets himself in.
Inside, he listens to the whispers and the creaks and the tiny scrabbling noises of the building and its unseen inhabitants, and he wonders how much of it is real and how much is conjured up by his fevered brain.
Because, yes, his mind isn’t as well as it should be. He’s got problems, and he accepts that. But there’s hope now. Light at the end of that long, sanity-constricting tunnel.
He moves through the hallway. Past the doors to the dental reception area and the surgeries. They are closed now. Locked up tight. The doors keep hidden the instruments of torture, the memories of pain and decay. The smells linger, though. Those nauseating antiseptic odours that are always associated with places of healthcare.
At the bottom of the stairs he pauses, as he often does. He considers going right to the end of the hallway, to that door behind the stairs. The door he fears most. It leads down to the cellar. It’s always locked at night, and he doesn’t know why it frightens him so much, but it does. Sometimes he stands with his ear against that door, listening for whatever might lurk on the other side. And sometimes he is convinced he hears things. Scratches and groans and possibly even murmurs. He tells himself that it is mice or the boiler or the wind finding its way through the grates. But he’s never fully convinced.
Tonight he decides against that particular episode of self-amusement, and heads straight up the stairs. At the first turning he glances out of the curtain-free window. The snow in the walled rear yard is pristine, untouched.
Except . . . Are those footprints? There, leading towards the yard door. No. Can’t be. Just a trick of the light.
On the first floor he passes more locked doors onto abandoned surgeries, then stops at his own. He finds his keys on the dimly-lit landing, then unlocks the door with a clatter that reminds him of the chains shackling another of the ghosts that confronted Ebenezer Scrooge.
Bah, humbug,’ he mutters to himself, then smiles and pulls open the door, wincing as its hinges squeal in complaint.
He locks the door behind him. Ascends another set of stairs to his flat on the top floor. Instantly he feels more relaxed. The world outside is closed off. He can be himself, with all the things both good and bad that it entails.
It is late and he is exhausted and he needs sleep. But he also knows that sleep will elude him for a while yet. His mind is too occupied.
For one thing, the current case has gripped the analytical centre of his brain and refuses to let go. The figure of Mary Cowper he has floating around in there seems a bit like Mary Poppins, drifting with the breeze as she clutches her umbrella. Was she really that goody-two-shoes? Or was there a much darker side to the woman, yet to be discovered?

Continue reading Blog Tour Book Extract / Hope to Die by David Jackson

22 Sept 2017

Author Interview / Ray Britain

Accused of pushing a boy to his death, DCI Doug Stirling watches helplessly as an incompetent officer bent on destroying him investigates. 

A man is found savagely murdered. Short of experienced investigators, ACC Steph Tanner risks her own career by appointing Stirling to lead the investigation. But, haunted by the boy's smile as he let go of his hand, does Stirling still have what it takes?


So, who is Ray Britain?
A fair question. I was a police officer in the United Kingdom with a varied career in both uniform and detective roles and completed my career in a high rank, but the investigation of crime and the camaraderie amongst detectives always remained my preference. As a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) I led complex crime investigations, some of which engaged discreet national capabilities and for many years I was also police Negotiator.

Okay, so why the pen name?
For reasons of personal and family security I use a pen name because, over the years, I locked up many criminals, some violent. However, not all of them understood it was their actions that led to their imprisonment! Also, in my senior ranks I was increasingly involved in discreet, national law enforcement capabilities which I can’t discuss as the Official Secrets Act still applies.

You were a police hostage negotiator?
Yes, for fourteen years. The full title is Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator and in the UK it’s a voluntary role, over and above the ‘day job’ - one’s day to day responsibilities - which frequently means being ‘called out’ of a warm bed to go and assist police colleagues faced with a variety of difficult situations.

For example?
That’s one of the attractions of the role, you never know what your next deployment might be. Often, it’s negotiating with someone to surrender peacefully to armed officers and so avoid being killed or harmed themselves. But more often it was to negotiate with people intent on taking their own lives, usually highly distressed and unable to think or act rationally, and bring them back to safety. Sometimes, it was to negotiate the release of hostages being held at gunpoint or other weapons. It should be remembered that in the UK, except for a relatively small number of exceptionally highly trained specialist firearms officers, police officers perform their duties unarmed. One of the few countries in the world still to do so.

How long were you in the police for, and where?
For over thirty years in the Midlands region of the UK - Police services are typically based on traditional county lines. The Last Thread is set in and around the city of Worcester and future books are likely to be set either within the county or in neighbouring areas, as the storyline requires.

Why did you write ‘The Last Thread’?
I’ve always wanted to write a book and the common advice is to stick with what you know. There were other reasons too. As a professional investigator, I’m often frustrated by the inaccurate and improbable representation of crime investigation in the many television dramas that enter our homes each evening. Whatever the complexity of the crime, they are almost always solved within impossible time frames and with the most sophisticated technology immediately available. It provides entertainment, of course, but it’s far from the reality of everyday investigations. Consequently, it raises public expectation beyond what is always achievable. Like all aspects of the public sector, the police service is cash strapped and must operate within tight, and tightening budgets.

How accurate is your story to real investigations?
Very! From the need to work with limited resources, often with dated equipment and in accommodation that’s often cramped, inadequate or well past it’s ‘best by’ date, right down to aspects of internal and external political pressures that any SIO can expect to work with in leading his or her investigation.

What was the best and worst part of writing?
The best part is getting the story out of my head and onto the page, plotting its twists and turns and the red herrings to make it interesting for the reader. The worst bit is editing and proof reading! However, it does lead to a better story and allows me to strip out irrelevant stuff and, I hope, make for a better read.

How did you approach the cover design?
I wanted something that was a bit moody and hinted at the underlying sinister theme of the story line and subsequent investigation. I found a local photographer I could work with and, together, we constructed the image you see. I hope you like it as much as I do.

What do you read for pleasure?
I like good crime fiction that reflects real world and is grounded in reality. Some plots are so fantastical that I don't complete the book. I like biographies too. Other people's lives interest me.

What is your e-reading device of choice?

What's the story behind your latest book?
Everything I've written is drawn from my professional experience, or as observed through the investigations of colleagues. Apart from drawing on memories of my Father, my characters are all fictitious but they are informed by some of the people I've had the privilege to work alongside over the years.

Where can I buy your book?
I plan to publish ‘The Last Thread’ as an eBook on Sunday 1st October on Amazon (ISBN 978-1-9998122-0-1) and, hopefully, there will be a paperback version too. I’m also looking at publishing on Smashwords but there’s a lot to learn about the Indie author process!

What are you working on next?
I have several story lines and plots mind-mapped and will resume writing once I’ve got ‘The Last Thread’ out to market. As an Indie author, I’ve found there’s a lot of work involved in getting your work published to market and then in marketing your brand. Having said that, I’m finding it a fascinating experience.

Describe your desk
An organised mess!

What motivated you to become an indie author?
The ease of getting your work out there, rather than writing off to mainstream publishers. But, there's a hell of a lot of work after that in getting yourself noticed!

If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’m not sure. I admire the work of Sebastian Faulks very much and have read a lot of his work. He has an insightful mind and builds his characters extremely well. 
What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?
Having led a very ‘structured’ working life I get fidgety if I’ve nothing to do. Consequently, I treat writing, to a point, as my ‘job’. I start early(ish) in the morning and keep going until I’ve had enough, or my eyes demand a break. Usually to go to the gym where I can ease off cramped muscles, think, and keep mortality at bay!

What am I reading now?
I’m reading a travelogue style book, ‘Why the Dutch are Different’ by Ben Coates. It’s a slightly sideways look at the Dutch, their history and culture and is interesting. I love history.

Website: http://www.raybritain.com/
Twitter: @ray_britain
Facebook: Facebook profile

Continue reading Author Interview / Ray Britain

20 Sept 2017

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Book Review / Songs About Us by Chris Russell

A modern love story for the Zoella generation - for anyone who has ever dreamed of being 'with the band'.

Two months on from the explosive finale to book one, Charlie's life is almost back to normal again: rebuilding her relationship with her father, hanging out with best mate Melissa, and worrying about GCSEs. All the while, Gabe's revelations about her mother are never far from her mind. And neither is Gabe.

It's not long before Charlie is pulled back into the world of Fire&Lights - but the band seem different this time. But then again, so is she...

Meanwhile, tensions between Gabe and Olly continue to run high, leading to more turmoil between the band members and press than ever before. But when Gabriel and Charlie stumble upon yet another startling truth that links them together - everything they have stands to implode in front of them.

Biographical Notes

At the age of thirteen, Chris Russell formed pop/rock band The Lightyears with his best friends from school. Since then, The Lightyears have toured all over the world, performing everywhere from Wembley Stadium to Glastonbury, and trashing a grand total of zero hotel rooms. In 2013, after a three-month stint ghostwriting for a One Direction fan club, Chris developed an obsession with boy bands and came up with the idea for Songs About a Girl. He is currently busy writing the next book in the series, gigging with The Lightyears and fanboying in the general direction of Harry Styles.

Published:     13th July 2017
Publisher:  Hodder
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  13th July 2017
Source:  Library


I can't tell you how excited I was to discover that book 2 in this series (Songs about a Girl) was out.  I read the first book, Songs about a Girl, last year I believe and absolutely adored it.  I could not wait to jump back in to see what was going to happen next.  This book was like visiting an old friend.  I immediately remembered all the characters and what had happened previously and was ready to follow what was going to happen next with Charlie and the others from the band, as well as her best friend.  Of course, as this is book two in a series I can't reveal too much of what happened in this book but I can tell you I read this book in one sitting, could not put it down!  There is a lot more family history revealed in this book and that was certainly one of the main reasons I couldn't put this down.

I just cannot wait to see what happens in book 3..........

Continue reading Book Review / Songs About Us by Chris Russell

18 Sept 2017


Book Review / The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn't a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?

Published:     15th June 2017
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


What I liked about this story...  Right in the middle of my thriller reading kick I discovered Ruth Ware and loved The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark Dark Wood.  So I was obviously excited about reading this one!  The one aspect I absolutely adore about Ruth Ware's stories is the suspense.  There's a lot of it and its good.  Right from the word go I was hooked in following Isa as she gets the mysterious text message that calls her back to her home town for some mysterious reason that we have yet to discover.  From then on it was all about what happened when she and her friends were younger and what are they trying to hide?  That, by far, was my favourite part of this book.  The suspense and wanting to find out what happened next. 

What I didn't like about this story...  As much as I did enjoy this story, there were a couple of aspects of this book that I wasn't particularly fond of.  The first of which is the presence of Isa's baby daughter.  I could not understand why she took her daughter with her and not left her with the baby's father.  She obviously knew that the situation she was getting into was dangerous, why on earth would you take your baby there as well?  There was also as aspect of the story where the baby daughter was used as a plot twist which I didn't particularly like because to me it was obviously that was the only reason she was in that particular scene.  The ending was also a bit blah for me.  It was an ok ending but not as explosive as I was expecting. 

 In summary...   A great suspense with the same feel as her previous books.  Although there were parts of this book that I didn't like it is definitely worth picking up to find out for yourself what you think.   If you have not tried reading a Ruth Ware book, I would honestly start with In a Dark Dark Wood as that was my favourite.

Continue reading Book Review / The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

13 Sept 2017


Book Review / Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

“Are you happy with your life?”

Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious.

Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits.

Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

From the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy, Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of.

Published:     26th July 2016
Publisher:  Crown
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Library


What I liked about this story... This book was weird and I kind of liked it!  I certainly have not read anything like this before.  You have the main character, Jason Dessen, who is attacked by a mysterious character and knocked unconscious.  The next thing he knows he awakes being surrounded by strangers in a world that he does not recognise.  How can he find his way back to his family?  Maybe the way back is not as easy as it seems.  What I liked the most was the fact that things were definitely not all as it seemed.  You might think that this is a case of finding out who the attacker was and why he did it would be very simple, but its not.  I liked the fact that this book took a turn into the unexpected, for many reasons that I won't go into as that would spoil the story but for this reason it is definitely worth picking it up to give it a try.

What I didn't like about this story...   Despite the above, there were one or two things that didn't quite gel with me with this story.  Once I got to about halfway the story got very repetitive where Jason was trying to find his way back to his family and failing many times.  The ending to this story was just straight up weird but interesting.  I liked that part but felt that there was a particular character that I felt was unbelievably trusting and I certainly would not be in the circumstances that character faced.

In summary..  This book is definitely worth a try but bear in mind that it can be a bit repetitive and certainly takes a turn for the weird (in a good way).  

Continue reading Book Review / Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

11 Sept 2017

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Book Review / The Mayfly by James Hazel

It's happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

Published:     15th June 2017
Publisher:  Bonnier Zaffre
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Book 1, Charlie Priest
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


At 432 pages long it is not a short book but that didn't stop me from picking it up one Sunday morning and not stop reading until I reached the final page, only stopping for lunch!  Every time I thought I should put the book done and do something productive, I turned the page and someting else happened that made me keep reading!

We follow Charlie Priest as he investigates a murder that is far more complicated than he had ever imageined.  Stretching as far  back as the second world war.  If this had just been a murder mystery without the WWII element to it, it would have been an ok read for me.  It was the sense of history catching up to the present that kept me reading, not wanting to put this book down.

The suspense in this book, for me, was high calibre (along with the rest of the book).  It was the one of the main reasons I kept reading.  I had to know what happened next and what would happen at the end not to mention having to figure out the characters and their motives, which was hard enough as I was never sure if the person I am reading about is who they say they are.  And that ending...  What a twist!

James Hazel is now a must read author for me.  I can't wait to read more!

Continue reading Book Review / The Mayfly by James Hazel

10 Sept 2017


Author Interview / Blog Tour - 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.

  1. If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

Answer: James Patterson. I know he churns them out like a factory but his books are always tightly-written and well-plotted. It would be fascinating to see how he works. His style and short chapters are often criticised but they’re popular with readers and he’s not the world’s top selling thriller writer for nothing.

  1. What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

Answer: I’m one of those authors who writes in longhand before committing anything to a computer. I fill up hundreds of notebooks every year. My day almost always begins with a long walk to one of the many coffee shops in Southampton, where I live. There are two reasons for this – firstly I get some exercise and secondly the time I spend drinking coffee is usually the most productive of my day. For some reason the words flow more easily when I’m among other people rather than cooped up in my tiny office at home.

  1. What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

Answer: I find the hardest part of writing is coming up with the first sentence of the next chapter. When I’m working on a book I try to write at least one chapter every day. Often I’ll sit up late until I come up with that first line. It’s a psychological thing, I suppose. Once I’m off the starting block I have an idea where the chapter is taking me and it’s easier to get stuck in.

  1. When and why did you first start writing?

Answer: I started writing as a teenager and finished my first book at fifteen, but it wasn’t good enough to send to publishers. It was my mother who got me interested in writing because she was a big Agatha Christie fan and this encouraged me to read as well. Once I started I couldn’t stop and I was soon coming up with my own ideas that I thought would make good stories. Before long I was writing them down and there was no stopping me.

  1. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Answer: The idea for The Mother came from a newspaper report about child abduction. It unsettled me because I have children of my own. I then began to explore the possibility of writing a book about a child who goes missing. However, I discovered that there are quite a lot of them out there so I knew it would have to have something that would set it apart. That was when I hit on the idea of a baby being taken by someone purely as an act of revenge against the mother. There’s a lot more to it than that but I don’t want to give too much away.

  1. Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

Answer: I do read as much as I can, usually about three books a month. I stick to the crime/thriller genre and that way I pick up lots of ideas. I’ve just finished reading Her Last Breath by Tracy Buchanan which I really enjoyed. I’m now half way through Perfect Prey by Helen Fields.

  1. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

Answer: My advice to aspiring writers is to ignore most of the advice you’ll receive and do what feels right for you. Read as many books as you can to learn how other authors do it. And never be discouraged by bad reviews. We all get them.

Continue reading Author Interview / Blog Tour - The Mother by Jaime Raven

5 Sept 2017


Book Review / Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

'They think I hurt someone.
But I didn't. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.'

From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

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


What I liked about this story...  I wasn't sure what I was getting into reading this book.  I really wasn't prepared for how heartbreaking this story would be.  I can't tell you how much I cried reading this and that was not just for the ending.  This was the first time I have read a novel which is written solely in verse.  With that and the plot, it just made this book such an emotional read for me.   You have Ed who is on death row, scheduled to be executed any time now.   Joe is Ed's brother who travels to where Ed is to see him again.  For me, the best part of this story was following Joe and Ed, see how they get along and find out what happened in the past although some of the facts are kept vague so you can come to your own conclusion.  I really wanted to wish all the best for Ed but at the same time wondering did he do what he was on death row for?  With this book, you also get to see the effects of death row on the family around the prisoner.   That, for me, was the best part of this novel. 

What I didn't like about this story...  This story gives you the choice of whether Ed committed the crime or not.  He must have done because he was on death row or he can't have done because of this, that and the other.  Although not knowing but make me think more about the story, I would preferred to have had a definate answer and be able to concentrate on the effects of what was happening with Ed's family. 

Continue reading Book Review / Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

3 Sept 2017

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Book Review / Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes

Published:     15th April 2014
Publisher:  Walker Childrens
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Bought


I was on the look out for a relaxing summer read that I could also laugh along with.  This one definitely hit the right spot.  Reagan O'Neill is the main character in this story who has broken up with her boyfriend and gets swept into the world of her best friend and country superstar Lilah Montgomery.  Along with following the story of these two best friends, we follow Reagan as she is pulled into this celebrity lifestyle and seeing if she will find happiness.  We also have the story of Lilah who it may seem that she has it all but does she?  

I wanted something easy to read, romantic with elements of comedy and that is exactly what I found here with this book.  A great read for the summer.

Continue reading Book Review / Open Road Summer by Emery Lord