Books On The Underground

Thursday, 31 July 2014 0 comments

Ever since I first read about this fantastic initiative I have wanted to take part. Despite being in London quite a few times a year I thought that the chances of finding a book myself were pretty slim, so I emailed the people behind the scheme and requested some stickers so I could leave some books around the Tube myself.



I have now chosen some of my favourite reads from the past few months and cannot wait to distribute them around the network on Tuesday 5th August! Follow me on Twitter @bookaddictshaun where I'll be Tweeting throughout the day as I leave the books at some of my favourite stations and lines (yes, I'm a Tube nerd) and fingers crossed they are found by book lovers who might share their find on Twitter too!

Find out more about Books On The Underground on their website or follow them on Twitter to keep up with books they will be leaving on the Tube!

One book I can reveal is the excellent The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley which is reviewed here however I'm keeping the titles of the other five books secret until Tuesday!



Most Wanted: Every Time I Think Of You by Tracey Garvis Graves

Most Wanted is going to be me showcasing the releases I am most excited for in 2014 (or early 2015). There are some fantastic looking books coming soon from some of my favourite authors.

First up is Tracey Garvis Graves, who catapulted to the top of my favourite authors list when I read her debut novel On The Island. On The Island was just so good that I struggled to put my thoughts into words. I now class it as one of the best books I've ever read I loved it that much

Then in 2013 Tracey released a continuation of sorts to On The Island with the novella, Uncharted. Once again she blew me away with her incredible ability to tell such a beautiful story and to do so in such a short book. The wait for her next book Covet seemed to take an age but eventually it arrived. Now I'm not the target audience for Covet, but what I am is a reader who wants to show a book can be enjoyed by anybody despite its genre. Covet was again another brilliant book and is a favourite of mine for a number of reasons.

You can read my reviews for Tracey's books here.

Excitement levels for Tracey's next book are therefore extremely high and that book is Every Time I Think Of You and it sounds amazing.

Every Time I Think Of You

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

Find out more on Tracey's website

Pre-order on Amazon

Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Richard Madeley (5/5)

Not until she was 16 did Stella Arnold learn the full truth about her father, how handsome, charming James turned out to be a cold-blooded extortionist, racketeer - and killer. Knowing now what he was capable of, already fascinated by the dark backwaters of the human psyche, Stella pursues a degree in psychology. A doctorate in a top American university beckons, the chance to delve further into the mind of a psychopath. And to ascertain if such tendencies can be inherited...

In the late summer of 1962 Stella is on a plane to Boston. Bright, beautiful and fashionably English, she dazzles everyone she meets. Invited to Martha's Vineyard, to a barbeque in the company of JFK and Jackie Kennedy no less, she holds her own easily in the impossibly glamorous setting. But far away, on the sweltering Florida Keys, a scene of terror is unfolding - and Stella is drawn to investigate a murderer even more ruthless than her own father...

From the author of the bestselling Some Day I'll Find You comes an utterly mesmerizing story of deadly obsession, taking us deep into the mind of a killer and of the young woman sent by the White House to help track him down...

Review: Abattoir Blues by Peter Robinson (4/5)

BANKS IS BACK - AND THE HUNT IS ON.

When two boys vanish under mysterious circumstances, the local community is filled with unease. Then a bloodstain is discovered in a disused World War Two hangar nearby, and a caravan belonging to one of the youths is burned to the ground. Things quickly become much more sinister.

Assigned to the case, DCI Banks and his team are baffled by the mystery laid out before them. But when a motor accident throws up a gruesome discovery, the investigation spins into a higher gear - in another direction. As Banks and his team struggle desperately to find the missing boy who holds the key to the puzzle, they find themselves in a race against time where it's their turn to become the prey...




Hall of Fame Review: An Evil Mind by Chris Carter

Tuesday, 29 July 2014 0 comments
Title: An Evil Mind
Author: Chris Carter
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 31st July 2014 (HB) / 16th July 2015 (PB)
Pages: 496
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A freak accident in rural Wyoming leads the Sheriff's Department to arrest a man for a possible double homicide, but further investigations suggest a much more horrifying discovery - a serial killer who has been kidnapping, torturing and mutilating victims all over the United States for at least twenty-five years. The suspect claims he is a pawn in a huge labyrinth of lies and deception - can he be believed?

The case is immediately handed over to the FBI, but this time they're forced to ask for outside help. Ex-criminal behaviour psychologist and lead Detective with the Ultra Violent Crime Unit of the LAPD, Robert Hunter, is asked to run a series of interviews with the apprehended man. These interviews begin to reveal terrifying secrets that no one could've foreseen, including the real identity of a killer so elusive that no one, not even the FBI, had any idea he existed... until now.

Author Interview with Chris Carter



Today I am so excited to share with you a Q&A with one of my favourite crime writers ever and a writer who I consider to be one of the best the genre has to offer. That author is Chris Carter. I have a page for Chris on my blog under my Favourite Authors section which you can read here and you can also see my reviews for his books here.

Not only am I sharing the Q&A today but I am also sharing my review for his latest book, An Evil Mind which is a Hall of Fame review so please check that out here.

This is only my second ever Q&A with an author so I tried to ask some good questions. I think the answers are brilliant and really enjoyed reading them so I hope you do too.

1. Where do you get the ideas for your killers? They are just (it sounds bad to say) brilliant and are some of the most evil and brutal I've ever read about...

First of all, thank you so much for the compliment. I really appreciate it, and I’m so glad that the characters come across so well.

All of my stories (plot, killers, and some of the characters) are essentially a combination of reality (things that I either experienced or studied during my days as a criminal psychologist) and fiction. Well, a lot more fiction than reality. The truth is that most of it just comes out of my crazy head.

2. How then do you unwind after writing these scenes? If I read before bed then I struggle to sleep! So how does this affect you as the writer?

It’s a little easier for authors because writing a scene is quite different from reading it. When you write it, it doesn’t all come out at once. For example, I’ll write maybe two or three sentences, stop, reread it, think about what I will write next, write another one or two sentences then stop again, and so on.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see that the scenes won’t have the same effect on the writer as they will on a reader. The reader gets to read the entire scene as a block, no interruptions, so hopefully he/she will get to experience the full desired effect of the scene (suspense, fear, excitement, etc.). The writer does it in little tiny pieces, so the effect gets a little lost. Also, if the scene includes some sort of surprise, the writer doesn’t get to experience that surprise because he/she spent quite a bit of time thinking of what to write to surprise the reader.

In saying all that, there have been a few scenes that I have written that have affected me quite a bit, so I had to stop and go for a long walk. That’s usually what I do to unwind.

3. Robert Hunter has quickly became one of my favourite fictional detectives ever. Is there any inspiration behind him?

The truthful answer to that question is – no. Hunter was really a fluke. When I started writing my first novel – The Crucifix Killer – I obviously needed a protagonist, a detective, so I created one off the top of my head.

I had worked with many detectives and law enforcement agents in the past, and the one thing I didn’t want to do was create a detective who shared some of their most typical characteristics – someone who loses his temper easily, can be very intimidating most of the time, lacks patience, etc. I wanted a calmer than most detective, someone who’d use reason, instead of muscle. I also really wanted to use criminal behavior psychology in my novels, but I didn’t want to write a separate character for a profiler, or criminal psychologist, so I combined that into my main character.

I’ll admit that Hunter does share several personal characteristics with me, but a lot of authors do that.

4. My favourite Hunter book was One By One, after finishing An Evil Mind I'm now torn between the two... Do you have a particular favourite from the series or one that you enjoyed writing more than the others?

I couldn’t say that I have a favorite book out of the series. I absolutely loved writing all of them. But I’ll admit that I have struggled with the plot of certain books more than others. What I can say is that The Crucifix Killer will always mean a lot to me because it was the book that started it all. It was the book that gave me my new career.

5. Your books are widely acclaimed and receive many 5 star reviews and ratings across various platforms. Do you take notice of these reviews/ratings?

No, I don’t. It’s something that comes from being a psychologist. I fully understand the psychological effects that reviews can have on a writer. And just because I understand the psychology behind it, it doesn’t mean I won’t get affected by it. It’s like that old saying – just because one is a doctor, it doesn’t mean one can’t get ill.

The problem with reviews is – a writer can read 1000 good reviews and 1 bad review. Guess which one the writer will remember the most. And it can also affect you subconsciously. For that reason I stay away from reading reviews as much as I can, good or bad.

6. What is your favourite thing about being an author?

The truth is that I love everything about it – the writing, the research, creating a character (hero or villain), developing the plot, the freedom that it gives me – everything.

7. As one of my favourite crime authors, do you have any favourites yourself?

I don’t think I can say that I have a favorite author, but someone I admire a lot is Frederick Forsyth.

8. Do you treat yourself or do anything to celebrate the finishing and/or publication of your books?

Not always, but sometimes. I just go out with friends and party.

9. I know you probably can't say but worth asking anyway... Will we see more from Hunter in the future or are you working on something else?

Yes, I can say it. I guess that as long as readers want to read Hunter novels, I’ll keep on writing them. So far, so good :-)

Thanks so much for Chris to agreeing to answer these questions. You can find out more about him on his website here.

An Evil Mind is released on July 31st and you can read my 5 Star Hall of Fame review here.

Book Clearout Giveaway

Monday, 28 July 2014 0 comments
I am having a book clearout and thought it would be better to offer the books which are Like New to followers and readers rather than just give them away to sit on a shop shelf somewhere. 

I have 50+ books to choose from, a mixture of Crime, Chick Lit and YA so there is definitely something for everybody. 

The list of books will be sent to the winner who can then choose the 2 books they would like.

Entry is via the Rafflecopter giveaway where you can do any or all of the options. 

The giveaway is open to people in the UK only and entries will be checked and any fakes removed. 

Giveaway is open for 2 weeks and if successful will be a monthly thing.

Review: By Their Rules by Roger A Price (4/5)

A new, ruthless and implacable mastermind from Africa has surfaced in gangland, carrying out his darkest deeds in the murky grey shadows of London's back streets. But, following the multiple slaughter of a large number of policemen by this monster, and his intention to commit further atrocious crimes, the challenge has to be met. The result is that this reign of terror is likely to have catastrophic consequences so emergency action is imperative.

Together, Lee and Burrows form a talented, resourceful, athletic team of experienced investigators who become dedicated to the eradication of this evil, yet powerful killer. But Cabilla's awesome control of his murderous gang who torture victims to death, and his totally ruthless plans still appear to be gaining ground throughout the City...


Review: Ostland by David Thomas (5/5)

Friday, 18 July 2014 0 comments
February 1941, wartime Berlin. Brilliant, idealistic young detective Georg Heuser joins the Murder Squad in the midst of the biggest manhunt the city has ever seen. A serial killer is slaughtering women on S-Bahn trains and leaving their battered bodies by the tracks. Heuser must confront evil eye-to-eye as he helps track down the murderer.

July 1959, peacetime West Germany: a pioneering young lawyer, Paula Siebert, is the sole woman in a federal unit investigating men who have committed crimes of unimaginable magnitude and horror. Their leader has just been arrested. His name is Georg Heuser. Siebert is sure of his guilt. But one question haunts her: how could a once decent man have become a sadistic monster?

The answer lies in the desolate wastes of the Russian Front, the vast landmass conquered by Hitler’s forces… the new empire the Nazis call Ostland.

Based on an extraordinary true story, Ostland is a gripping detective thriller, a harrowing account of the Holocaust and a thought-provoking examination of the capacity for sin that lurks in every human soul.

Review: Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh (4/5)

Spademan used to be a garbage man. 

Before the dirty bomb hit Times Square. 

Before his wife was killed. Before Manhattan became a burnt-out shell. 

Now he's a hitman. 

It's not so different from his old job - waste disposal is waste disposal. He doesn't ask questions, he works quickly and he's handy with a box cutter. But when his latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist, the client's sordid agenda brings chaos into Spademan's uncluttered life. 

Spademan must navigate the wasteland of New York to finish his job, clear his conscience and make sure he's not the one who ends up in the ground.

Inside & Out Book Tag

Thursday, 17 July 2014 0 comments
I'm trying to add content to my blog other than reviews and book tags seem to be a good way of doing so. I found this tag over on Books, Biscuits and Tea which is a blog I have followed for a long time. The tag was originally created by MathomBooks on YouTube. Feel free to take part if you fancy it.

I Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough (Discuss)

Hmm. Depends on the book, more often than not a lot of books give away so much information about the plot that it can ruin the first half of the book because you know for example it's leading up to a major plot development or something like that. But at the same time I don't like going into books blind without some idea of what it's about so I do read blurbs a lot of the time!

N New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

As much as I love a hardback they are an absolute pain to read. It's impossible to get in a comfy position with them and reading them in the bath is almost impossible. Lovely to look at but that's about it. I love eBooks and being able to take my Kindle anywhere but nothing beats a brand new paperback. The feel, the smell, everything. So paperback most of the time but eBooks are so cheap it's usually a case of me buying them more. 

S Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean? (Tell us why)

Absolutely not, books are to be read not defaced. If I need to make a note of something I'll make it in a notepad. I try not to ruin my books in any way at all, that includes folding pages or bending the spine. If it's a library book I'll bend the hell out of the spine because someone has usually already done it first but hate it when I see that someone has written in it!

I In your best voice, read for us your favorite 1st sentence from a book.

Hmm, I don't think I have one to be honest! No particular book stands out for me from its first sentence apart from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Something so simple that you wouldn't have any idea of the magical world you were about to be exposed to and fall in love with if you didn't know what the books were about.

"Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much."

D Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you're deciding on a book? What if you're unsure of the author's gender? 

I want to say no but thinking about it I guess it does. Most of (in fact nearly all) of my crime fiction reads have been written by males and every chick lit book I've read has been written by females. I don't know why I think it'd be weird for a man to write a chick lit book given that I read them (and know of male authors that do write in the genre) but I don't know how well a man could write a female character given that chick lit is very female oriented in terms of getting inside the character's head and obviously the romance element. 

E Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there? (Do confess thy sins, foul demon!) :)

I never used to back when I couldn't not finish a book but now, with a to read list I'll be dead before I finish I just can't waste time on crap books and so if there's one I'm not enjoying I will either skim read it or read the last couple of chapters. The last few times I've done this I have realised you could read the first few chapters and the last few chapters and still grasp the story without the rubbish in between. Life is too short to waste on books that you don't love. 

&

O Organized bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves? 

No bookshelves. I keep all of my books in boxes. Weird I know but I don't like clutter or books sitting on shelves gathering dust. Also I only really tend to buy and keep books I will read over and over again and want to keep them in a good condition. I do have a few of my favourite books dotted around my room though and a tbr pile of books I plan to read in that particular week.

U Under oath: have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)? 

Yes. Gone by Michael Grant because of its coloured pages which I just loved. I had a general idea what the book was about but even if I didn't I wanted those books and so I bought them! Luckily the Gone series is as amazing as the coloured edges.

T Take it outside to read, or stay in? 

Given that in the UK we get a few weeks of sunshine a year most of my reading is done indoors. I don't particularly like reading outdoors in busy or loud areas as I like silence (or as close as you can get living in a terraced house) whilst reading so tend to just read at home.

If you like the look of this tag then feel free to copy and post on your blog and link it in the comments section as I would love to check them out.

Blog Tour: Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye



Today I am excited to be part of Lyndsay Faye's blog tour for Seven For A Secret. Lyndsay will be talking about her top ten historical novels and why she likes them. Historicals aren't something I've read a lot of but I am intrigued by the sound of some of the books listed below.

I recently reviewed Seven For A Secret and also the first book in the series The Gods of Gotham so be sure to check them out if you haven't already. For crime fiction fans looking for something a bit different I highly reccommend them, both extremely enjoyable reads that I read in no time at all. I am now impatiently waiting for more from Lyndsay.

Lyndsay's Top 10 Favourite Historical Novels

The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber: I adore this book for its lush language, its feminism, its unsparing look at the sex industry, and most of all for Sugar--she just rocks likes absolutely nobody's business.

The Solitary House by Lynn Shepherd: I have seldom encountered a novelist who so deftly plays with existing canons. This book toys with the gaps in Dickens's Bleak House, and the results are absolutely marvelous.

Mr. Timothy by Louis Bayard: Any fan of historicals who hasn't read Louis is missing out, big time. A novel about a grown-up Timothy Cratchit who is finding himself and solving crime? Yes, please.

Sutton by J. R. Moehringer: I was doing a book tour and had run through my plane reads and picked this up at random. Touching, beautiful, and a continual guessing game, entirely first-rate writing.

The Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King: Laurie is really just the gold standard when it comes to style and storytelling. She is outstanding, and a wonderful person to boot.

The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe: Did you want a historical mystery that touched on the Boston Brahmins, the wreck of the Titanic, and spiritualism in the early 20th century? Here you are!

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell: sometimes a historical novel toys with an era in the best possible way, and Gatsby lovers will adore this Jazz Age tribute to excess, obsession, and girls behaving badly.

City of Women by David R. Gillham: a taut, mesmerizing account of the lives of the German women left to fend for themselves in the last days of WWII era Berlin, and the wrenching choices they make.

Beloved by Toni Morrison: occasionally, a historical novel is not merely artful, but important. Every accolade ever given this book is deserved, and her unflinching examination of the devastation wrought by slavery will never cease to be heartrending.

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters: how often do you get to pick up a book starring a touching and sympathetic lesbian protagonist who passes as a man in 1890s London? Pick up this one.

Seven For A Secret is out now and is published by Headline. Buy from Amazon

 
Author Bio

Lyndsay was born in 1980. She worked as an actor doing professional theatre for ten years before turning to writing. In the course of her acting career, she went to college in the Bay Area, learned how to sing, moved to NYC with her husband, and had a ferociously, indecently great time. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Dust and Shadow: an Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H Watson and The Gods of Gotham and is a member of The Baker Street Babes, Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, and The Baker Street Irregulars. For more information on Lyndsay, go to www.lyndsayfaye.com

Review: Liverpool Angels by Lyn Andrews (4/5)

Born at the turn of the twentieth century, Mae Strickland is only a few days old when her mother suddenly dies. Her aunt Maggie brings Mae up together with her own children, Eddie and Alice, and the girls become like sisters. In spite of Mae's unhappy start, life feels full of promise.

Then, as the First World War looms, everything changes. While the local men - including young Eddie - leave to fight, Mae and Alice train as field nurses. As they travel to the front line in the wake of family tragedy, nothing can prepare them for the hardship that lies ahead.

Yet there is solace to be found amid the wreckage of the war, and for both, romance is on the horizon. But it will take great courage for Mae and Alice to follow their hearts. Can love win out in the end?

What A Girl Wants Blog Tour: Extract and Giveaway

Wednesday, 16 July 2014 5 comments
Today on my stop of the What A Girl Wants blog tour you can read my review for the book, an extract from it and then enter to win a copy (UK only). 
 
A summer bestseller from the immensely popular Lindsey Kelk

Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life.

Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. From London to Milan, with high fashion and low behaviour thrown in, she’s going to have to make up her mind what a girl really wants…

Hall of Fame Review: What A Girl Wants by Lindsey Kelk (5/5)

A summer bestseller from the immensely popular Lindsey Kelk

Being arrested in your own bedroom is never a good start to the day. Tess Brookes really needs to sort out her back-stabbing flatmate – and her life.

Should she gamble all on the new photography job she’s landed, or snap up the offer from long-time crush and best friend Charlie to start up on their own – in more ways than one? There’s just one small thing she hasn’t mentioned. Or rather, one tall thing. He’s handsome, infuriating and called Nick…

For the first time, Tess has to choose between the life she always dreamed of and a future she never imagined possible. From London to Milan, with high fashion and low behaviour thrown in, she’s going to have to make up her mind what a girl really wants…

Hall of Fame Review: Lawless by Jessie Keane (5/5)

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 0 comments
From bestselling author Jessie Keane comes Lawless, the heart-racing sequel to Nameless.

Only the lawless will survive . . .

It is 1975 and Ruby Darke is struggling to deal with the brutal murder of her lover, Michael Ward. As her children, Daisy and Kit, battle their own demons, her retail empire starts to crumble.

Meanwhile, after the revenge killing of Tito Danieri, Kit is the lowest he's ever been. But soon doubt is thrown over whether Kit killed the right person, and now the Danieris are out for his blood and the blood of the entire Darke family.

As the bodies pile up, the chase is on - can the Darkes resolve their own family conflicts and find Michael Ward's true killer before the vengeful Danieris kill them? Or will they take the law into their own hands . . .


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Friday, 11 July 2014 4 comments


I received this award three times and from some of my favourite bloggers: Sam from The Book Corner, Tracey from Crime Reader and Margaret from Bleach House Library so thank you! I only started my blog in March of this year and have already interacted with so many amazing bloggers. I'd wanted to make a blog for the longest time but felt put off by the sheer amount of them, after a few weeks of starting my own I was kicking myself for not doing it sooner. No matter how bad your day is it's nice knowing there's this community of book lovers on Twitter who are always there to talk with!

7 Things About Me

1. I hate listing things about myself as I am the most boring person ever

2. I am a Pepsi Max addict

3. I am addicted to US TV shows even though all the best ones have ended (One Tree Hill, Friends, Dexter, Breaking Bad, Gossip Girl, CSI: Miami) but The Vampire Diaries is amazing

4. Cyprus is my favourite place in the whole world

5. I would love to go travelling one day

6. I am a Tube nerd (London Underground)

7. I love sleeping (and would get so much more reading done if I could wake up early)

Most people have been nominated now multiple times so I've decided to just list ten blogs that inspire me, that I love to follow and a few reasons why. In no order:

1. Best Crime Books for being my go to website for crime recommendations. Brilliant reviews and honest too, if a book is crap then she will say so! Also a huge Kimberley Chambers fan like me so deserves points for that!

2. Sharon from Shaz's Book Blog for being one of the busiest bloggers out there! Whether it's a giveaway, an author interview, book news etc you can pretty much see something new every day of the week on this blog.

3. Laura from She Loves to Read for being one of the best and most enthusiastic bloggers out there but for also being an amazing person. I don't know her in real life but I wish I did. She is just such a lovely person and very inspirational too (so perfect for this award)!

4. Becca from Becca's Books for some of the most incredible reviews in the blogging world. They are so enthusiastic and detailed you can tell this is a blogger who really loves what they are doing and wants to share her love of books with everyone.

5. Kevin from I Heart Chick Lit for being the best chick lit blog on the Internet. Amazing reviews and a clear love for books and run by one of the nicest people in the blogging community. A must visit blog for me and one I visited long before setting up my own.

6. Sam from The Book Corner. Very honest and detailed reviews and a clear love for books. Sam is one of my favourite bloggers to follow.

7. Raven from Raven Crime Reads for being one of my go to websites for crime recommendations. Before blogging I'd use Raven's blog when looking for a new read, with honest reviews I've found if Raven says a book is good then it probably is!

8. Victoria from Victoria Loves Books for being the only person that can use GIFs in reviews without making it look annoying and arrogant and for being absolutely hilarious on Twitter. Also for being the biggest and best Harry Potter fan I know. A blogger I followed long before starting my own she's just brilliant. 

9. Megan from Reading In The Sunshine for being one of the nicest people in the blogging world. Another blog I followed before starting my own. Passionate, detailed and honest reviews Megan is a blogger everyone should (and probably already does, follow)!

10. Simran from Sim's Bookish Thoughts. A blogger I think should have a lot more followers! A busy girl who still manages to fit in reading alongside some fantastic reviews. I particularly like the review for The Good Children, not one I would ordinarily choose but reading this review got me interested.

Review: The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh (5/5)

Thursday, 10 July 2014 0 comments
A gripping debut psychological crime novel about family lies and dark secrets in an isolated community as a series of women go missing.

People still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother who vanished years ago from the town of Henbane, deep in the Ozark mountains.

When one of Lucy’s friends is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost women: by the mother she never knew, and the friend she couldn’t protect.

But her search for answers, in a place where secrets are easily concealed, leads her to a chilling discovery.

And with this revelation, she must grapple with the meaning of family, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Review: Until Death by Ali Knight (4/5)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014 0 comments
Marriage is a prison for Kelly.

Her controlling and manipulative husband Christos videos her in the house, has her followed and tracks her every move. She may be desperate to leave, but she's not stupid. If she runs, he'll make sure she never sees her children again.

Christos has a mistress, Sylvie, keen to pander to his every whim and even keener to step into Kelly's shoes, should she ever vacate them. Kelly thinks it's stalemate for their twisted threesome, but one of Christos's container ships is about to dock in London with a secret cargo that will change all their lives forever. 

If Kelly is to escape, it will be in a way she never imagined, and people will get hurt...

Review: Power Games by Victoria Fox (5/5)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014 0 comments
SEVEN INFAMOUS CELEBRITIES

The most exclusive invitation of the year has been issued; the supermodel, the thief, the senator, the heiress, the paparazzo, the pop prince and the playboy board a private jet. Destination: paradise. 

SEVEN DEADLY SINNERS

Someone is watching. Someone who knows the dark secrets and the wicked reputations lurking beneath their glamorous facades. When it comes to revenge, knowledge is power. Vanity, pride, lust, greed - whatever their crime. 

ONE PUNISHMENT FITS THEM ALL

No one sees the plane go down, but everyone knows who was on board. Seven notorious passengers, on an island that does not welcome visitors. The challenge is to survive. Let the power games begin.

Hall of Fame Review: One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin (5/5)

Saturday, 5 July 2014 0 comments
‘Is there really such a thing as a perfect proposal?

Over the next hundred days I intend to find out. I will find one hundred ways to propose to our Chief Proposer Suzie McKenzie and post the results here for your enjoyment. One thing’s for sure, not one of my proposals will be on top of the Eiffel Tower with a dozen red roses.’


Best friends Suzie and Harry are partners in romance. That is, they run the.PerfectProposal.com, coming to the aid of would-be grooms to create the ultimate marriage proposal.
But when Harry decides to catapult the business into the big leagues with a PR stunt all Suzie can see is a hundred days of heartbreak stretching ahead of her. But however exotic the location, or breath-takingly romantic the setting, Suzie has to keep remembering that ‘Marry Me?’ is the one question she can’t say yes to.

This business proposal should come with one hundred broken heart warnings...

One hundred proposals, one hundred chances to say yes.

Hall of Fame Review: Baring My Heart by Chanelle Hayes & Anna Pointer (5/5)

Friday, 4 July 2014 0 comments
Appearing on the eighth series of Big Brother in 2007, Victoria Beckham lookalike Chanelle Hayes quickly became a national talking point thanks to her tears, tantrums, and explosive relationship with fellow housemate Ziggy Lichman. 

As one half of golden couple "Chiggy," feisty Chanelle was propelled to stardom and soon established herself as a darling of the British tabloid press and magazine cover girl. But despite being one of the most successful BB housemates of all time, with a flourishing modeling career and even a foray into the pop world, there is so much more to Yorkshire born-and-bred Chanelle than showbiz ups and downs. 

For the young mum’s life has been etched with tragedy, right from the moment she was born in prison in November 1987. Just a few months old, she was orphaned when her drug-addicted mother was brutally murdered, and she was sent to live with foster parents before later being adopted. 

With the real reason for her mother’s death shrouded in secrecy, Chanelle’s teenage years were marked by an agonizing quest for the truth—which saw her go to extreme and devastating lengths for answers, including attempted suicide. Her rocky past has also been plagued by eating disorders, while Chanelle’s romantic history has been defined by heartache and despair. And despite doting on son Blakely, born to soccer player Matthew Bates in 2010, her volatile relationship with the child’s father played out through the courts to a miserable end. 

At times brutally honest and astonishingly sad, Chanelle’s story does not make for easy reading, and she is the first to admit that she is no angel. But amidst all the heartbreak are humorous, wry observations and moving anecdotes which would soften a heart of stone. And in spite of all her troubles, Chanelle has emerged a stronger, happier woman, who has finally tackled her demons and can now embrace a brighter future with confidence.

Guest Post By Laura McHugh: The Inspiration Behind The Weight of Blood


Today I am excited to share with you a piece written by Laura McHugh about the inspiration behind her debut novel The Weight of Blood. I will be posting my review sometime next week but was struck by the blurb of the novel, and how different and intriguing the story sounded, and it turns out there is an incredible story behind the book. Read on to discover what that story is...

Inspiration for The Weight of Blood

"I wanted to write a novel set in the Ozarks, where I had lived as a child, because I was still haunted by memories of the place twenty years after I’d moved away. I’d been an outsider in an isolated mountain community that always felt a bit sinister beneath the surface. Soon after we moved into our ramshackle house in the hills, I met the elderly woman who lived down the dirt road from us. “If you see a grave in the woods,” she said, “keep walking.” As a kid with an active imagination, I was both frightened and curious, wondering who might be buried underfoot, and how they had died. I began my novel with the discovery of Cheri Stoddard’s dismembered body, though initially I wasn’t sure how the young girl had met such a gruesome end. As I was writing, I came across a news article about a shocking crime that took place in one of the small, rural towns where I’d grown up. The crime itself was disturbing, but what really struck me was that it had taken place over several years, with multiple people involved, in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business—and yet no one said a word. They had all kept this terrible secret. That crime inspired Cheri’s story and changed the course of the novel."

With thanks to Laura McHugh for this guest post  

The Weight of Blood is out now and is published by Hutchinson at £14.99.

A gripping debut psychological crime novel about family lies and dark secrets in an isolated community as a series of women go missing.

People still whisper about Lucy Dane’s mother who vanished years ago from the town of Henbane, deep in the Ozark mountains. 

When one of Lucy’s friends is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost women: by the mother she never knew, and the friend she couldn’t protect. 

But her search for answers, in a place where secrets are easily concealed, leads her to a chilling discovery. 

And with this revelation, she must grapple with the meaning of family, the secrets we keep, and the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love.

Buy from Amazon

Review: The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye (4/5)

Thursday, 3 July 2014 0 comments
1845. New York City forms its first police force. The great potato famine hits Ireland. These two seemingly disparate events will change New York City. Forever.

Timothy Wilde tends bar near the Exchange, fantasizing about the day he has enough money to win the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams literally incinerate in a fire devastating downtown Manhattan, he finds himself disfigured, unemployed, and homeless. His older brother obtains Timothy a job in the newly minted NYPD, but he is highly skeptical of this new "police force." And he is less than thrilled that his new beat is the notoriously down-and-out Sixth Ward-at the border of Five Points, the world's most notorious slum.

One night while making his rounds, Wilde literally runs into a little slip of a girl-a girl not more than ten years old-dashing through the dark in her nightshift . . . covered head to toe in blood.

Timothy knows he should take the girl to the House of Refuge, yet he can't bring himself to abandon her. Instead, he takes her home, where she spins wild stories, claiming that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of 23rd Street. Timothy isn't sure whether to believe her or not, but, as the truth unfolds, the reluctant copper star finds himself engaged in a battle for justice that nearly costs him his brother, his romantic obsession, and his own life.

Review: After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts (5/5)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 0 comments
After 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life... and real love.

Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy's head is spinning. And she's stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend - his arch-rival - would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?




Review: The Abduction by Jonathan Holt (4/5)

The Abduction is the heart-pounding, adrenaline-fuelled follow up to Jonathan Holt's highly acclaimed international thriller The Abomination-a modern tale of mystery, treachery, and intrigue that moves between the physical and virtual worlds of Venice, Italy, blurring the boundary between dark fantasy and terrifying reality

An unlikely trio must form an alliance to save a kidnapped young girl and untangle a nefarious plot that reaches back decades.

Second Lieutenant Holly Boland is an intelligence analyst trained to look for clues ordinary investigators miss. When a U.S. army officer's daughter is kidnapped from an American base in Venice, Holly is sure that the mysterious abductors want more than a ransom.

Venetian police captain Kat Tapo has found a webcam feed embedded in the encrypted website Carnivia.com, a virtual Venice. It streams video of a terrified teenage girl, hooded and tied to a chair. A strand of text scrolls across the screen: "Sensory deprivation is not torture." Is the girl the missing daughter of the American military officer? Who is behind the cryptic message?

Daniele Barbo, the genius webmaster and creator of Carnivia, has never let the government access his servers, and finding the missing girl is not his problem. But then secrets from Italy's dark wartime past begin to surface-revelations that could put them all in danger. To save his own skin, Daniel must decide how far he's willing to let them in.

In a race against time, Holly, Kat, and Daniel must find the shocking truth . . . or watch as more than one innocent life is sacrificed.

Review: Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes (5/5)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 0 comments
The start of a thrilling new crime series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Louisa Smith from a sensational, authentic crime fiction voice.

In the crisp, early hours of an autumn morning, the police are called to investigate two deaths. The first is a suspected murder at a farm on the outskirts of a small village. A beautiful young woman has been found dead, her cottage drenched with blood. The second is a reported suicide at a nearby quarry. A car with a woman's body inside has been found at the bottom of the pit.

As DCI Louisa Smith and her team gather evidence over the course of the next six days, they discover a shocking link between the two cases and the two deaths—a bond that sealed these women's terrible fates one cold night, under a silent moon.

In this compelling new detective series, Elizabeth Haynes interweaves fictional primary source materials—police reports, phone messages, interviews—and multiple character viewpoints to create a sexy, edgy, and compulsively readable tale of murder, mystery, and unsettling suspense.


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