Review: The Year of Taking Chances by Lucy Diamond

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 0 comments
Title: The Year of Taking Chances
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 1st January 2015
Pages: 324
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
The bestselling author of The Beach Cafe is back with another warm and witty novel, all about New Year's Eve and brand new starts...

Because love is always worth the risk...

It's New Year's Eve, and Gemma and Spencer Bailey are throwing a house party. There's music, dancing, champagne and all their best friends under one roof. It's going to be a night to remember.

Also at the party is Caitlin, who has returned to the village to pack up her much-missed mum's house and to figure out what to do with her life; and Saffron, a PR executive who's keeping a secret which no amount of spin can change. The three women bond over Gemma's dodgy cocktails and fortune cookies, and vow to make this year their best one yet.

But as the months unfold, Gemma, Saffron and Caitlin find themselves tested to their limits by shocking new developments. Family, love, work, home - all the things they've taken for granted are thrown into disarray. Under pressure, they are each forced to rethink their lives and start over. But dare they take a chance on something new?

My Top Five Books of 2014

Wednesday, 24 December 2014 2 comments
Happy Christmas Eve! I've been excited to share my Top Reads of 2014 and thought Christmas Eve would be the perfect time to do so. I've been Tweeting about it for a while, and may have mentioned in a couple of reviews that certain books might be in my Top Reads, well ignore everything I've said and anything you might have read as my opinion has changed numerous times.

The first thing I noticed is that it's very crime oriented! I have read books from so many different genres in 2014, but crime is my absolute favourite and it's always those books that tend to stick in my mind more than most and it's the genre I've read the most since I was a teenager. Anyway, here it is:


Guest Post: Christmas Gifts for Foodies by Stella Newman

Tuesday, 16 December 2014 0 comments

To celebrate the release of Stella Newman's A Pear Shaped Christmas, I am kicking off the blog tour today with a seriously amazing guest post where Stella tells us her ideal Christmas gifts for foodies. You WILL salivate, and you will want to sample everything listed here. I did anyway! I'm usually in London on this very day every year, sadly this year I'm not. Online shopping it may have to be... Hope you enjoy!

A Pear Shaped Christmas is out now, published by Headline


Review: Fire Point by Sean Black (5/5)

The sixth novel in the Ryan Lock series. Ryan Lock and Ty Johnson are in Los Angeles and on the trail of an unlikely cult who are planning on taking their message to the world in the most devastating fashion imaginable.














Guest Review: The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths (3.5/5)

Thursday, 11 December 2014 0 comments
Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another 'trick', the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger...

Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman (3.5/5)

Tuesday, 9 December 2014 0 comments
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

Review: Together for Christmas by Carol Rivers (5/5)

Monday, 8 December 2014 2 comments
August 1914, London. Britain has just declared war on Germany, and the whole country seems to be in uproar. Flora, Hilda and Will, who grew up together in St Boniface orphanage sit in the sunshine in Hyde Park on a rare day off, discussing the impending war and the changes it will bring to their lives. Will means to go off to fight, Hilda hopes to better her current lot in life as a maid at the charitable institute, Hailing House, but Flora is content with her job as assistant to the Isle of Dogs' kindly Doctor Tapper. Taking a vow, they pledge to always be there for each other, come what may.

It soon becomes clear that the war will not be over by Christmas, as so many thought, and the first zeppelin raids bring casualties flooding into the surgery where Flora works. Tragedy strikes in the trenches, too, and Will returns home with physical and mental wounds too deep for Flora to be able to nurse back to health.

In the meantime, Hilda has taken herself away from London to work as a maid at the sumptuous house of Adelphi. But it is not long before she finds herself out of her depth. And the consequences of her choices will lead to a shocking discovery that will change the course of the three orphans lives forever.

Review: A-Z of Hell: Ross Kemp's How Not to Travel the World by Ross Kemp (4.5/5)

Friday, 5 December 2014 0 comments
Ross Kemp's fascinating guide of the worst places in the world.

Want to know where to discover the perfect sunset in Fiji? How about a tropical paradise in St Lucia, or one of the world’s beautiful natural wonders in the Alps?
Well this is NOT the book for you.

But if you want to know about meeting transvestite prostitutes in a South African prison, or being attacked for a can of tuna in the Congo, buying crack cocaine in a Venezuelan prison or being chased by dogs in a haunted house in Belize, then look no further. Ross Kemp has visited the worst places in the world, and here they are in all their horror – in a handy A to Z format.
This is not one hell of a travel guide. This is a travel guide to hell.

Review: Mickey's War by Sandra Prior (4.5/5)

Thursday, 4 December 2014 0 comments
It’s been fifteen years since Mickey Taylor – known as “Dangerous” in the seedy East End – was released from prison. Now, he and his brother, Martin, are living off the successes of one of the biggest underground criminal networks in all of London.

Since all of the crime is hidden behind legitimate businesses, Mickey should be able to breathe a sigh of relief. He should be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. But as Mickey has learned over the years, once you start to get comfortable, your world turns upside down. It happened first when Mickey’s father was killed, and then again when Mickey’s mother died.

This time, it’s greed that sends Mickey’s life spiraling out of control.

As soon as London is awarded the 2012 Olympics, his mind flashes to a plot of land in Stratford that the Taylor family has owned for 40 years. Always looking for an earner, Mickey figures he can make a massive fortune by selling the land now. So, he decides to evict the man and his family living on it – none other than family friend Frankie, a man known on the streets as the King of the Gypsies. However, things get anything but friendly when Frankie refuses to find a new spot for his thriving scrap metal business. Instead of backing down, Frankie vows to destroy Mickey if he tries to move forward with his eviction plans.

Mickey can’t focus all of his attention on this latest feud, though. While he’d love nothing more than to bury Frankie and make his fortune, he gets pulled off course by a drug shipment that’s been hijacked. In the blink of an eye, Mickey is forced to fight two major foes at the same time. It’s the ultimate war on two fronts.

He’s well-versed in danger, but has he taken on too much this time? Will Mickey’s war drag him down for good?

Review: The Great Christmas Knit Off by Alexandra Brown (5/5)

Wednesday, 3 December 2014 0 comments
Heartbroken after being jilted at the altar, Sybil has been saved from despair by her knitting obsession and now her home is filled to bursting with tea cosies, bobble hats, and jumpers. But, after discovering that she may have perpetrated the cock-up of the century at work, Sybil decides to make a hasty exit and, just weeks before Christmas, runs away to the picturesque village of Tindledale.

There, Sybil discovers Hettie’s House of Haberdashery, an emporium dedicated to the world of knitting and needle craft. But Hettie, the outspoken octogenarian owner, is struggling and now the shop is due for closure. And when Hettie decides that Sybil’s wonderfully wacky Christmas jumpers are just the thing to add a bit of excitement to her window display, something miraculous starts to happen…



Quercus #GreatestGift Christmas Campaign (5 Book Giveaway!)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 0 comments



I am thrilled and honoured to be part of Quercus' Christmas campaign! I have 5 books to giveaway, which I have chosen myself. You can find more about the campaign on the Quercus website here. I have been asked to write a short post about why I think books are the #GreatestGift.

Guest Post: The Inspiration for Doggo by Mark B. Mills

Monday, 1 December 2014 1 comments
Today I'm excited to be kicking off the Waiting for Doggo blog tour with a short guest post from author Mark B. Mills about the inspiration for Doggo. Hope you enjoy and if you haven't read my review yet of this fantastic book you can do so here

One man. One dog. One big love. The perfect novel for anyone who loves MARLEY AND ME, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or ONE DAY.

No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.

Review: I'll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson (4/5)

Friday, 28 November 2014 0 comments
Have you ever given up on love?

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.

Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there'll just be one love in his life: New York.

At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.
But the city has other plans . . .



Review: Cold Feet At Christmas by Debbie Johnson (3/5)

Thursday, 27 November 2014 0 comments
Running out on your wedding shouldn't be this much fun!

A remote Scottish castle on a snowy Christmas Eve. A handsome husband-to-be. A dress to die for. It should have been the happiest day of Leah Harvey's life - but the fairytale wedding turns sour when she finds her fiancé halfway up the bridesmaid's skirt just hours before the ceremony!

Fleeing the scene in a blizzard, Leah ends up stranded at the nearest cottage, where she collapses into the arms of its inhabitant - a man so handsome she thinks she must have died and gone to heaven!

And when Rob Cavelli suddenly finds himself with an armful of soaking wet, freezing cold, and absolutely gorgeous bride on the run, he's more than happy to welcome her into his snowbound cottage this Christmas...

Review: Make My Wish Come True by Katie Price (4.5/5)

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 0 comments

Take one showbiz reporter; one sexy TV chef; one creepy ex-boyfriend plenty of sex and scandal and you have all the ingredients to Make My Wish Come True from the bestselling Katie Price.

Storm always wanted to be a celebrity reporter. But when she lands the job of her dreams, it costs her her best friend.

However, apart from her creepy ex-boyfriend, Storm loves the job. Until she’s asked to go undercover to find out if sexy TV chef Nico Alvise is cheating on his girlfriend. Storm knows it’s wrong but agrees because she likes him. A LOT. And she’s determined to protect him.

She didn’t bank on them falling in love though. But Nico has secrets to hide, and he hates journalists.

So when he finds out what Storm does, the fallout is brutal.

Suddenly jobless, friendless and heartbroken at the most romantic time of the year, Storm knows that no matter how hard she wishes, Nico will never forgive her…

Review: One Man Crusade by Steven Suttie (3.5/5)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014 0 comments
A HEART-POUNDING BRITISH CRIME THRILLER

The police have a pretty big problem.

Somebody has started shooting unsuspecting citizens dead as they go about their daily business in the north west of England.

But it is a very specific type of person that the gun man is targeting. Paedophiles.

In order to keep the public calm, the police have no alternative but to explain the killer's motive.

And that's when things start to get really tricky for the investigating officers.

Guest Post: Tammy Cohen on Writing Crime (and Dying For Christmas Giveaway! x3)

Monday, 24 November 2014 0 comments

I recently read and loved Dying for Christmas, it was gripping, absolutely twisted and just a really thrilling read. Thanks to Transworld I have three copies to giveaway along with an exclusive guest post from Tammy Cohen about writing crime (which is very funny and original so give it a read!)

You can read my review of Dying for Christmas here and good luck if you enter!



Guest Post: How I Turned my Day Job into a Critically Acclaimed Crime Thriller by Anthony Quinn

Sunday, 23 November 2014 0 comments
London at the dawn of 1918 and Ireland's most famous literary figure, WB Yeats, is immersed in supernatural investigations at his Bloomsbury rooms.

Haunted by the restless spirit of an Irish girl whose body is mysteriously washed ashore in a coffin, Yeats undertakes a perilous journey back to Ireland with his apprentice ghost-catcher Charles Adams to piece together the killer's identity.

Surrounded by spies, occultists and Irish rebels, the two are led on a gripping journey along Ireland's wild Atlantic coast, through the ruins of its abandoned estates, and into its darkest, most haunted corners. Falling under the spell of dark forces, Yeats and his novice ghost-catcher come dangerously close to crossing the invisible line that divides the living from the dead.

Review: Getting Over the X - Steve Brookstein (4.5/5)

Friday, 21 November 2014 0 comments
It was the stuff dreams were made of. It became the ultimate nightmare. Being the first winner of the X Factor in 2004, Steve Brookstein should have had it all. Instead, he tells a story of a man sold down the river by his own record label as they championed the runner-up, G4, and forced him into an album of cover songs.

This is the story of what really happened, from vicious personal attacks by Sharon Osborne and Louis Walsh to threats from Max Clifford about going public. A decade on, and Max Clifford is inside and severely discredited. So is Andy Coulson, an editor who ran many of the untrue stories about Steve. He has been dubbed a pub singer, a fake, a flop and bitter as the narrative that begun on the show became adopted by journalists who thought he was fair game, frequently reviewing gigs that they hadn't been to or inventing quotes he hadn't said, and always regulated by a toothless Press Complaints Commission.

Ten years on, Steve is now able to lift the lid on the show itself and analyse for the first time exactly what Max Clifford said when he rang to say, 'Talk to the press and we'll bury you.'

Review: Fear No Evil by Debbie Johnson (3.5/5)

Thursday, 20 November 2014 0 comments
The dead don't like to be ignored…

Jayne McCartney, Liverpool's only female private eye, is soon to get a crash course in this and other ghost-related facts.

Until now she’s kept her snooping firmly to the dodgy, sometimes dangerous – but definitely human – Liverpool underworld. But that all changes when an elderly couple approach her with a terrifying story…

Their daughter, a 19-year-old student, died falling from her halls’ window. But she didn't jump, they insist – she was pushed. By a ghost.

Who or what is walking the halls of Hart House? And will this case end up haunting Jayne forever…?

Review: Waiting For Doggo by Mark Mills (4/5)

Wednesday, 19 November 2014 0 comments
One man. One dog. One big love. The perfect novel for anyone who loves MARLEY AND ME, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE or ONE DAY.

No-one ever called Dan a pushover. But then no-one ever called him fast-track either. He likes driving slowly, playing Sudoku on his iPhone, swapping one scruffy jumper for another. He's been with Clara for four years and he's been perfectly happy; but now she's left him, leaving nothing but a long letter filled with incriminations and a small, white, almost hairless dog, named Doggo. So now Dan is single, a man without any kind of partner whether working or in love. He's just one reluctant dog owner. Find a new home for him, that's the plan. Come on...everyone knows the old adage about the best laid plans and besides, Doggo is one special kind of a four legged friend...and an inspiration.


Review: No Mercy by Roberta Kray (4.5/5)

Tuesday, 18 November 2014 0 comments
The addictive new thriller. No one knows crime like Kray.

Maddie Layne's life hasn't been the same since her sister was murdered. The police never found Greta's body so all Maddie was left with was unanswered questions - and her orphaned nephew, Zac, to look after. She works hard to make sure Zac has everything he needs; she even tends graves for some extra cash. Maddie isn't looking for any trouble.

Lucy Rivers died decades ago under suspicious circumstances and the people responsible believe the entire affair is over. And then the mysterious Cato hires Maddie to tend to Lucy's neglected grave. Maddie starts asking innocent questions, but when she learns that the deaths of her sister and Lucy are linked she knows she must dig deeper.

Lena Gissing, matriarch of one of the East End's most vicious families, has a vested interest in making sure the truth stays buried. She's not about to let a nobody like Maddie Layne get in the way...

Hall of Fame Review: Bad Blood by Casey Kelleher (5/5)

Monday, 17 November 2014 0 comments
Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family.

In the underbelly of Soho s organized crime ring, everyone knows that retired boxer Harry Woods is not one to mess with. And that goes double for his family.

Harry has it all: the big house, the flashy cars, and an abundance of wealth. As much as money talks in his world, Harry knows deep down the only thing that really counts is family. Haunted by the sudden death of his wife, he ll do anything to protect his children, but truth is a heavy burden and hidden secrets can unravel even the strongest of bonds...

Without loyalty, family are bound together only by blood. Bad blood.

Review: Falling by Emma Kavanagh (4/5)

Friday, 14 November 2014 0 comments
A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.

Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

'Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head...'

Review: It Must Have Been the Mistletoe by Judy Astley (4/5)

Thea’s parents decide to host a big family Christmas in a house by the sea… even though they are, in fact, about to split up. Thea herself is newly single - her sister and brother are both settled, with children, homes and a future. But Thea’s boyfriend has ditched her in favour of his pedigree dogs, and Thea can’t decide whether or not she minds.

There will be copious food and drink, holly and mistletoe, lots of bracing walks and a wintry barbecue on the beach. If it seems an odd way to celebrate the final break-up of a marriage and the Moving On to new partners, no- one is saying so. But then no-one had anticipated that the new partners might actually turn up to complicate the sleeping arrangements.

As Cornwall experiences the biggest snowstorm in living memory, the festive atmosphere comes under some strain. Will Thea manage to find some happiness for herself? Will the mistletoe work its magic on them all?

Review: The Informant by Susan Wilkins (4/5)

Thursday, 13 November 2014 0 comments
Corrupt cops. Ruthless criminals. Obsessive love.

Set in London and Essex, The Informant is a story of ruthless criminals, corrupt cops, obsessive love and the villainy that operates on both sides of the law.

As a drug-fuelled teenage tearaway, Kaz Phelps took the rap for her little brother Joey over a bungled armed robbery and went to jail.

Six years later she's released on licence. Clean and sober, and driven by a secret passion for her lawyer, Helen, Kaz wants to escape the violence and abuse of her Essex gangster family.

Joey is a charming, calculating and cold psychopath. He worships the ground Kaz walks on and he's desperate to get her back in the family firm. All Kaz wants is a fresh start and to put the past behind her.

When Joey murders an undercover cop, DS Nicci Armstrong is determined to put him behind bars. What she doesn't realize is that her efforts are being sabotaged by one of their own and the Met is being challenged at the highest level.

The final test for Kaz comes when her cousin, Sean, gets out of jail. He is a vicious, old-school thug and wants to show Kaz who is boss. Kaz may be tough enough to face down any man, but is she strong enough to turn her back on her family and go straight?

Review: Dead Man Walking by Paul Finch (4.5/5)

His worst nightmare is back…

As a brutal winter takes hold of the Lake District, a prolific serial killer stalks the fells. ‘The Stranger’ has returned and for DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, the signs are all too familiar.

Last seen on Dartmoor ten years earlier, The Stranger murdered his victims in vicious, cold-blooded attacks – and when two young women go missing, Heck fears the worst.

As The Stranger lays siege to a remote community, Heck watches helplessly as the killer plays his cruel game, picking off his victims one by one. And with no way to get word out of the valley, Heck must play ball…

A spine-chilling thriller, from the #1 ebook bestseller. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and James Oswald.

Review: The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell (4/5)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 2 comments
Every bookshop has a story.

We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books. We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.

Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France. Meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains. Meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.
And that’s just the beginning.

From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).

The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.

Review: Dying For Christmas by Tammy Cohen (4/5)


I am missing. Held captive by a blue-eyed stranger. To mark the twelve days of Christmas, he gives me a gift every day, each more horrible than the last. The twelfth day is getting closer. After that, there’ll be no more Christmas cheer for me. No mince pies, no carols. No way out …

But I have a secret. No-one has guessed it. Will you?



 




Review: The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver (3.5/5)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 0 comments
The mince pies are cooling, the lights are twinkling, and just when you think you’re a roasted chestnut away from the perfect Christmas….along comes the new gift-wrapped treat of a book from Jenny Oliver. Enjoy!

Christmas at the Davenports’ house was always about one thing: food. But when sisters Ella and Maddy were split up, Ella to live in London with their Dad, and Maddy staying in Greece with their Mum, mince pies lost their magic.

Now, a cheating husband has thrown Ella a curved snowball…and for the first time in years, all she wants is her mum. So she heads back to Greece, where her family’s taverna holds all the promise of home. Meanwhile, waitress Maddy’s dreams of a white Christmas lead her back to London… and her Dad.

But a big fat festive life-swap isn’t as easy as it sounds! And as the sisters trade one kitchen for another, it suddenly seems that among the cinnamon, cranberries and icing sugar, their recipes for a perfect Christmas might be missing a crucial ingredient: each other.

Review: The Christmas Surprise by Jenny Colgan (4/5)

There will be more than one surprise in store for sweetshop owner Rosie Hopkins this Christmas, in the brand new novel by Sunday Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan

Includes mouth-watering recipes

Rosie Hopkins, newly engaged, is looking forward to an exciting year in the little sweetshop she owns and runs. But when fate strikes Rosie and her boyfriend, Stephen, a terrible blow, threatening everything they hold dear, it's going to take all their strength and the support of their families and their Lipton friends to hold them together.

After all, don't they say it takes a village to raise a child?

Treat yourself and your friends to Jenny Colgan's heartwarming new novel this Christmas.

Guest Post: Jo Thomas on the Location and Characters in The Oyster Catcher

Monday, 10 November 2014 0 comments
Kindle Bestseller and RNA Joan Hessayon Award Winner The Oyster Catcher is Jo Thomas's irresistibly feel-good Irish novel of facing the past, finding your feet and falling in love.

Dooleybridge, County Galway. Population: 482 (or thereabouts). The last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.

But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequined shoes and a crashed camper van for company.

One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for Sean Thornton, the local oyster farmer, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and a wild, unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.

Join Fi on her romantic, unpredictable adventure as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way...

Guest Post: Changing Gear - Becoming a Thriller Writer by Dreda Say Mitchell


Two murders. Two different crime scenes. One killer?

Mac wakes in an smashed-up hotel room with no recollection of what has happened. With his lover's corpse in the bathroom and the evidence suggesting that he killed her, Mac is on a mission to uncover the truth and find the real killer.

But he's in a race against time with less than a day to unravel the mystery. Still reeling from a personal tragedy Mac isn't afraid of pain. Hot on his heels is tenacious Detective Inspector Rio Wray. Double-crossed and in the line of fire, Mac has to swim through a sea of lies to get to the truth.

But only Mac knows he's been living a double life. Can he be sure he doesn't have the blood of a dead woman on his hands?

Guest Post: Emma Kavanagh on Writing Police

Friday, 7 November 2014 0 comments
A brilliant debut psychological thriller by a former police psychologist. Perfect for fans of Nicci French, Tana French and S. J. Watson.

A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.

Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

'Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head…'

Review: It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane (5/5)

Thursday, 6 November 2014 0 comments
Delia Moss isn’t quite sure where she went wrong.

When she proposed and discovered her boyfriend was sleeping with someone else – she thought it was her fault.

When she realised life would never be the same again – she thought it was her fault.

And when he wanted her back like nothing had changed – Delia started to wonder if perhaps she was not to blame…

From Newcastle to London and back again, with dodgy jobs, eccentric bosses and annoyingly handsome journalists thrown in, Delia must find out where her old self went – and if she can ever get her back.

Review: One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin (4/5)

Wednesday, 5 November 2014 0 comments
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to One Hundred Proposals.

If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn't get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and the.PerfectProposal.com have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times - made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship….

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

Have yourself a very merry Christmas indeed with Holly Martin’s Christmas novella.

Guest Post: The First Piece I Ever Wrote by Clare Dowling

Irish bestseller Clare Dowling's new novel is warm,witty and refreshingly honest. Whether you're a mother, a sister, a daughter or a grandmother, this hilarious story of teenage pregnancy and mistaken identity is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.

Every family has its ups and downs ...

Aisling Brady is miserable. So is her husband Mossy. The three kids are too. Yet nobody dares say a thing. Instead the Bradys keep their heads down and grimly look forward to another miserable Christmas in Dublin.

What Aisling doesn't know is that this year, they will get the most unexpected gift of all. One that will bring joy and heartbreak, hope and a string of sleepless nights.

As their world is turned upside down, questions have to be asked. But are the Bradys ready to face the truth about themselves? And what each of them has done?

Extract: Written in the Blood by Stephen Lloyd Jones

Tuesday, 4 November 2014 0 comments
The new, enthralling supernatural thriller from Stephen Lloyd Jones, following his highly acclaimed debut THE STRING DIARIES

High in the mountains of the Swiss Alps Leah Wilde is about to gamble her life to bring a powerful man an offer. A promise.

Leah has heard the dark stories about him and knows she is walking into the lion's den. But her options are running out. Her rare lineage, kept secret for years, is under terrible threat. That is, unless Leah and her mother Hannah are prepared to join up with their once deadly enemies.

Should the prey ever trust the predator?

Is hope for future generations ever enough to wash away the sins of the past?

With a new and chilling danger stalking them all, and the survival of their society at stake, they may have little choice...

Review: Vendetta by Dreda Say Mitchell (5/5)

Monday, 3 November 2014 0 comments
A fast-paced, race-against-time thriller. Dreda is the female equivalent of Simon Kernick and Stephen Leather.

Two murders. Two different crime scenes. One killer?

Mac wakes in an smashed-up hotel room with no recollection of what has happened. With his lover's corpse in the bathroom and the evidence suggesting that he killed her, Mac is on a mission to uncover the truth and find the real killer.

But he's in a race against time with less than a day to unravel the mystery. Still reeling from a personal tragedy Mac isn't afraid of pain. Hot on his heels is tenacious Detective Inspector Rio Wray. Double-crossed and in the line of fire, Mac has to swim through a sea of lies to get to the truth.

But only Mac knows he's been living a double life. Can he be sure he doesn't have the blood of a dead woman on his hands?

Guest Review: Other Halves by Nick Alexander (4/5)

Friday, 31 October 2014 0 comments
THE HOTLY ANTICIPATED SEQUEL TO THE No.1 KINDLE BESTSELLER 'THE HALF-LIFE OF HANNAH'

Hannah and Cliff’s marriage is over. After a traumatic family holiday, Cliff’s lies have been exposed and Hannah has been reunited with her lost love, Cliff’s brother, James. But after fifteen years together, and forever bound by love for their eleven-year-old son, Luke, breaking free and starting again seems impossible.

A new life in Australia with James beckons for Hannah – but can she embark on this adventure without losing the love of her son? And can Cliff finally face up to issues he has suppressed since adolescence and find happiness in a confusing world?

Amid the turmoil of separation, and with Luke caught in the crossfire, both Hannah and Cliff face the challenge of rebuilding their lives. To make the other halves of their lives count, they need courage and determination. But perhaps it’s more than they possess . . .

Review: Prince Charles_HRH's guide to Great Britishness by @Charles_HRH (4/5)

Thursday, 30 October 2014 0 comments
A hilarious guide to being British from the hugely popular and award-winning Twitter parody of Prince Charles

There are plenty of guidebooks on Great Britain, but none have been given the all-important Royal Seal of Approval. Who better to teach the world than the heir to the throne?

His Royal Highness will cover everything from History ('Might have to sell France to pay for Richard III's car park fine') to British cities ('If you're wondering why the British are so good at cycling and rowing, take a look at the cost of public transport') and The Arts ('The Madness of King George III - fantastic film. Americans didn't go to the cinema because they hadn't seen the first two. Awkward)'.

Tackling the all-important issues such as why we Brits can form a perfectly ordinary queue with just two people, or why we love a Full English Breakfast despite the fact it contains 465,873 calories, Prince @Charles_HRH's Guide to Great Britishness is a hilarious romp around our sceptered Isle.

Hamelin's Child by DJ Bennett (5/5)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 0 comments
Michael Redford died on his seventeenth birthday – the night Eddie picked him up off the street, shot him full of heroin and assaulted him.

Now he’s Mikey and he works for Joss. With streaked blond hair and a cute smile, he sleeps by day and services clients at night. Sometimes he remembers his old life, but with what he’s become now, he knows there is no return to his comfortable middle-class background.

Then he makes a friend in Lee. A child of the streets, Lee demands more from friendship than Mikey is prepared to give. But the police are closing in on them now and Mikey’s not sure anymore who he really is – streetwise Mikey or plain Michael Redford.

Hamelin’s Child was long-listed in the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. A thriller set in the seedy world of London's drug rings, this book contains strong scenes and adult material. 

Guest Review: Confessions by Kanae Minato (3/5)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 0 comments
Her pupils killed her daughter. Now, she will have her revenge. 
 
After an engagement that ended in tragedy, all Yuko Moriguchi had to live for was her four-year-old child, Manami. Now, after a heartbreaking accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation. 

But first, she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that will upend everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a maniacal plot for revenge. 

Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you'll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in harm's way. You'll never look at a classroom the same way again.

Guest Post: Debbie Johnson on Writing in Different Genres

Monday, 27 October 2014 0 comments
The dead don't like to be ignored…

Jayne McCartney, Liverpool's only female private eye, is soon to get a crash course in this and other ghost-related facts.

Until now she’s kept her snooping firmly to the dodgy, sometimes dangerous – but definitely human – Liverpool underworld. But that all changes when an elderly couple approach her with a terrifying story…

Their daughter, a 19-year-old student, died falling from her halls’ window. But she didn't jump, they insist – she was pushed. By a ghost. And when Jayne discovers that the spooky Hart house has seen more than its fair share of tragic deaths, she can't help but get drawn in…

Who or what is walking the halls of Hart House? And will this case end up haunting Jayne forever…?

Review: Dead Gorgeous by Elizabeth Flynn (3.5/5)

Saturday, 25 October 2014 0 comments
Fashion model Kirsty Manners is young, beautiful, and recently dead...

Kirsty Manners is trying to make it as a model. As the in-house model for the Ivano King fashion house and girlfriend of Ian King, the man behind the label, she believes she is well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon and D. I. Angela Costello is called to the scene.

First enquiries center on the local gym where Kirsty, her dangerous ex-boyfriend, Darren Carpenter, and her jealous flatmate, Sandra Hodges, worked out. But things are more complicated. Ian King is considered to have lost his edge. Why then is he so buoyant about his latest collection for London Fashion Week? What about his new girlfriend, Eleanor Chandler, who openly admits to having a reason to wish Kirsty dead?

Behind the gleaming smiles and flawless makeup of the glamorous fashion world, Angela's enquiries uncover theft, drug-addiction, prostitution, and imprisonment--and suddenly her own life could be in danger.
Kirsty Manners is young, beautiful, and ambitious. And dead. Kirsty was trying to make it in the fashion world. As the in-house model for Ivano King and having dated the great designer himself, she believed she was well on her way. But Kirsty is found dead in her flat one Sunday afternoon, and D.I. Angela Costello is called to the scene. Kirsty has left behind a lovesick ex-boyfriend and a jealous flatmate. And what about King’s new girlfriend, who openly admits she has a reason to wish Kirsty dead? Behind the flawless make-up and gleaming catwalks, Angela’s enquiries uncover theft, drug addiction, prostitution – and suddenly her own life could be in danger… - See more at: http://www.lionhudson.com/display.asp?k=9781782641315#sthash.QXljd0km.dpuf

Epic Book Post

Friday, 24 October 2014 1 comments
Anyone who has worked with LightBrigade PR will know that they do some fantastic campaigns when they send books out to bloggers. I was extremely jealous when Paul Finch's recent book The Killing Club was released and bloggers received personalised proofs. Well, I received a parcel myself in the post today and it was very exciting. I thought it was that good it deserved its own post, so enjoy!


Review: The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas (4/5)

Dooleybridge, County Galway. Population: 482 (or thereabouts). The last place Fiona Clutterbuck expects to end up, alone, on her wedding night.

But after the words 'I do' have barely left her mouth, that's exactly where she is - with only her sequined shoes and a crashed camper van for company.

One thing is certain: Fi can't go back. So when the opportunity arises to work for Sean Thornton, the local oyster farmer, she jumps at the chance. Now Fi must navigate suspicious locals, jealous rivals and a wild, unpredictable boss if she's to find a new life, and love, on the Irish coast. And nothing - not even a chronic fear of water - is going to hold her back.

Join Fi on her romantic, unpredictable adventure as she learns the rules of the ocean - and picks up a few pearls of Irish wisdom along the way...

Hall of Fame Review: The Dying Place by Luca Veste (5/5)

Thursday, 23 October 2014 0 comments
Once inside…there’s no way out

A fate worse than death…

DI Murphy and DS Rossi discover the body of known troublemaker Dean Hughes, dumped on the steps of St Mary’s Church in West Derby, Liverpool. His body is covered with the unmistakable marks of torture.

As they hunt for the killer, they discover a worrying pattern. Other teenagers, all young delinquents, have been disappearing without a trace.

Who is clearing the streets of Liverpool?

Where are the other missing boys being held?

And can Murphy and Rossi find them before they meet the same fate as Dean?


Review: A New Menace by Roger A. Price (5/5)

Newly retired from the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, John Burrows is shocked to be called back by his old bosses for one last job. And not just any job – he's on the tail of his old adversary, the infamous Jonny Moon, a dangerous and volatile criminal who will stop at nothing to get his own way.

When a civilian is kidnapped and tortured by Moon's associates after a botched surveillance operation, Burrows knows he's in deep water. Not only must he track down Moon and deal with a mole in the ranks, he must do all this without Moon finding out who he is. Or who his partner, Jane Lee, is – the officer who, last time they met, showed him that he's not invincible.

A New Menace is a taut thriller, an exciting tale of covert surveillance, lies, deception and double agents.

Guest Post by Leigh Russell: The Challenges of Writing A Spin-off Series

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 0 comments
Second in the new series featuring DI Ian Peterson

'Moments before, he had been enjoying a day out at the races. Now he could be dying…. As he fell a loud wind roared past his ears, indistinguishable from the roar of the crowd. The race was over'.

A man plummets to his death during the York Races. Suicide or murder? Newly-promoted DI Ian Peterson is plunged into a complex and high-profile case, and as the body count increases, the pressure mounts for his team to solve the crimes quickly.

But the killer is following the investigation far more keenly than Ian realises and time is running out as the case suddenly gets a lot closer to home...

Review: The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews (4/5)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014 1 comments
Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself...

Romance is in the air and secrets are about to be uncovered. It's going to be a night to remember at The Christmas Party.

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