Review: The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop by Abby Clements

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 0 comments
Title: The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop
Author: Abby Clements
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781471137037
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Full of mouth-watering flavours, sunshine and escapist adventure, The Heavenly Italian Ice Cream Shop will delight readers with a taste for sweet treats and romance. 

Anna and her husband Matteo are ready to embark a delicious Italian adventure. After a year and a half running their ice cream shop on Brighton beach and raising their baby Isabella, Matteo is starting to miss Italy. A shared passion for ices means it's easy to settle on a new business idea - they'll open a shop in the town's cobbled square, a short walk from the sparkling blue sea. For a while, life is sweet; but then Matteo's overbearing family get involved...

Anna's younger sister Imogen feels like things are finally coming together - she's living with boyfriend Finn in a beach house in Brighton, and her photography is taking off. Then her career stalls, and the lure of Capri - and a man from her past - prove difficult to resist.

Review: Little Black Lies by Sharon Bolton

Monday, 29 June 2015 1 comments
Title: Little Black Lies
Author: Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Format: eBook
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780593069202
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
What's the worst thing your best friend could do to you?

Admittedly, it wasn't murder. A moment's carelessness, a tragic accident - and two children are dead. Yours.

Living in a small island community, you can't escape the woman who destroyed your life. Each chance encounter is an agonizing reminder of what you've lost - your family, your future, your sanity.

How long before revenge becomes irresistible?

With no reason to go on living, why shouldn't you turn your darkest thoughts into deeds?

So now, what's the worst thing you can do to your best friend?

My Week in Books #26

Saturday, 27 June 2015 2 comments
From tomorrow (Sunday) I'll be away for a week. All of the week's reviews and tweets have been scheduled so (assuming they work!) all RTs are greatly appreciated as always. 

Also from July I will no longer be posting five reviews a week, instead I'll be posting a minimum of THREE with more depending on how much reading I get done. I'm currently reading more of my 'own' books so not sure how many of them I'll want to review and I am not accepting review requests for the next few weeks. 

Goodreads Target


Review: If You Don't Know Me By Now by A. L. Michael

Friday, 26 June 2015 0 comments
Title: If You Don't Know Me By Now
Author: A. L. Michael
Publisher: Carina UK
Publication Date: 2nd July 2015
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Imogen has come to London to make it as a writer. At least, that was the plan. Finding herself in a dead-end job serving coffee to hipsters was not on her to-do list. And even if gorgeous colleague Declan does give her more of a buzz than a triple-shot cappuccino, Imogen can feel her dreams evaporating faster than the steam from an extra-hot latte.

Until her anonymous tell-all blog about London’s rudest customers goes viral – and suddenly, Imogen realises that landing the worst job in the world might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to her! As long as she can keep her identity to herself...

Review: Those We Left Behind by Stuart Neville

Thursday, 25 June 2015 1 comments
Title: Those We Left Behind
Author: Stuart Neville
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Publication Date: 25th June 2015
Pages: 368
ISBN: 9781846556968
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
When 12-year-old Ciaran Devine confessed to murdering his foster father it sent shock waves through the nation.

DCI Serena Flanagan, then an ambitious Detective Sergeant, took Ciaran's confession after days spent earning his trust. He hasn’t forgotten the kindness she showed him – in fact, she hasn't left his thoughts in the seven years he’s been locked away.

Probation officer Paula Cunningham, now tasked with helping Ciaran re-enter society, suspects there was more to this case than the police uncovered. Ciaran’s confession saved his brother Thomas from a far lengthier sentence, and Cunningham can see the unnatural hold Thomas still has over his vulnerable younger brother.

When she brings her fears to DCI Flanagan, the years of lies begin to unravel, setting a deadly chain of events in motion.

Review: After the Fire by Jane Casey

Wednesday, 24 June 2015 0 comments
Title: After the Fire
Author: Jane Casey
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9780091949693
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
After a fire devastates the top floor of a tower block on the Maudling Estate, Maeve Kerrigan and her colleagues are called in. Their presence is needed because it’s a sensitive investigation – not because the blaze was caused by arson, or because several residents died, but because a body was found in the car park below the tower. It appears that controversial MP Geoff Armstrong, trapped by the fire, jumped to his death rather than wait for rescue. But what was he doing in the very unglamorous surroundings of the Maudling Estate? And why did he choose to die when rescuers weren't far away?

The police can't assume that Armstrong was the arsonist's target. As Maeve and Derwent pick through the wreckage, they uncover the secret world of the eleventh floor, where everyone seems to have something to hide. It’s a tough investigation, made harder by Maeve's private life unravelling. Without her ex-boyfriend Rob’s steady influence, she’s behaving recklessly, in a way that’s likely to harm her – or someone close to her – before long.

Review: Ghost Flight by Bear Grylls

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 0 comments
Title: Ghost Flight
Author: Bear Grylls
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 464
ISBN: 9781409156819
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A mother and child savagely abducted from a snow-swept mountainside.

A loyal soldier tortured and executed on a remote Scottish moor.

A lost warplane discovered in the heart of the Amazon jungle, harbouring a secret of earth-shattering evil.

A desperate race to defeat a terrifying conspiracy emanating from the darkest days of Nazi Germany.

One thread unites them all. Only one man can unravel it. Will Jaeger. The Hunter.

Review: The Hunt by Tim Lebbon

Monday, 22 June 2015 0 comments
Title: The Hunt
Author: Tim Lebbon
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 18th June 2015 (eBook) / 16th July 2015 (PB)
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780008122904
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Escape and they’ll kill your family. The cruellest game. The highest stakes. Only she can bring his family back alive…

Rose is the one that got away. She was the prey in a human trophy hunt organised by an elite secret organisation for super-rich clients seeking a unique thrill. She paid a terrible price. Every moment since she has been planning her revenge … And now her day has come.

Chris returns from his morning run to find his wife and children missing and a stranger in his kitchen. He’s told to run. If he’s caught and killed, his family go free. If he escapes, they die.

Rose is the only one who can help him, but Rose only has her sights on one conclusion. For her, Chris is bait. But The Trail have not forgotten the woman who tried to outwit them. The Trail want Rose. The hunters want Chris’s corpse. Rose wants revenge, and Chris just wants his family back.

The hunt is on…

#NewAuthorForMe: Who I'm Reading

Sunday, 21 June 2015 0 comments

July is almost upon us (how?!) and me and Kat from Best Crime Books and More, and anybody else who will be joining in, will be spending the month reading new (and old) authors. I have so many books and authors on my TBR that I can't possibly get through them all in July but I have chosen some authors who I want to read the most (and who I already have on my Kindle TBR!)

Clive Cussler

It's so hard to know where to start with Clive's books but given that I love Boyd Morrison's books I'm going to read the co-written Piranha first. The covers for Clive's books standout so much on bookshelves (where I first noticed them) and because he's written so many I think it's going to be a case of just picking random ones to read rather than trying to read in order!


Author Interview: Anya Lipska

Friday, 19 June 2015 1 comments
I am having an unofficial Anya Lipska week on the blog at the moment with reviews for all three of her Kiszka and Kershaw books having been posted on the blog recently. I thought then it would be nice to round things off with a short Q&A with the author herself, who happily obliged! If you've missed the reviews you can see them here, otherwise I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A.

Anya's latest novel is A Devil Under the Skin and my review can be found here. The book itself is out now!

A Devil Under the Skin is a little different to your previous books two books. Can I assume you are an author that will continue to mix things up with each book that you write? 

I hope so. It’s important to keep the plots and content fresh – and constantly to challenge myself – but I’m also aware that readers view returning characters almost as old friends (I’m the same, when re-encountering iconic characters like Ian Rankin’s Rebus), so it’s crucial to keep them true to their essentials, whatever curveball fate might throw at them.

Review: A Devil Under the Skin by Anya Lipska

Title: A Devil Under the Skin
Author: Anya Lipska
Publisher: The Friday Project
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780008100353
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Things are looking up for Janusz Kiszka, big-hearted 'fixer' to London's Poles. His girlfriend/the love of his life, Kasia, is finally leaving her no-good husband to make a new life with him, and he’s on the brink of a deal to ensure their financial security for years to come.

Then Kasia vanishes – and the big Pole’s world is torn apart. Convinced she’s been abducted, he must swallow his pride and seek the help of an old contact – maverick cop Natalie Kershaw, who’s been suspended following a fatal shooting. But the search swiftly takes an even darker turn… What connects Kasia’s disappearance and a string of brutal East End murders? And who is the mysterious and murderous enforcer stalking the streets of London?

Meanwhile, time is running out for Kasia. To reach her, Kiszka must confront a gut-wrenching dilemma that will shape the rest of his life.

Hall of Fame Review: Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh

Thursday, 18 June 2015 2 comments
Title: Return to Bluebell Hill
Author: Rebecca Pugh
Publisher: Carina
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 288
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

Review: River of Souls by Kate Rhodes

Title: River of Souls
Author: Kate Rhodes
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781444785562
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Jude Shelley, daughter of a prominent cabinet minister, had her whole life ahead of her until she was attacked and left to drown in the Thames. Miraculously, she survived. A year later, her family ask psychologist Alice Quentin to re-examine the case.

But then an elderly priest is attacked in Battersea, his body washed up at Westminster Pier. An ancient glass bead is tied to his wrist.

The river has always demanded sacrifices, and now it seems a killer believes it's calling out for more.

Alice is certain that Jude and her family are hiding something, but unless she can persuade them to share what they know, more victims will drown...

New Author Month (July)

Wednesday, 17 June 2015 2 comments
I think one of my favourite bloggers Kat, from Best Crime Books and More must be a bit of a mind reader because no sooner had I finished two books from 'new' (to me) authors she asked whether I would be interested in a month where we read authors who are new to us.


Like Kat I do jump on the bandwagon somewhat, and hate it when everybody is talking about an author I haven't read because I want to know what is so good about the author or the book. I have a never ending list of authors I want to read (but should be able to narrow it down) and I'll post a blog post soon featuring some of the authors I am planning to read, and also some of the authors I think you should read.

Author Interview: Milly Johnson

Today I am far too excited to be sharing a Q&A with the amazing Milly Johnson! Her latest book Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café is released tomorrow (June 18th) and you can read my review here. I am a huge fan of Milly and I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A.

Milly, did you have as much fun writing Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café as I did reading it? It is a LOT of fun, with some incredibly hilarious moments. 

I had a lot of fun – I always do. If I can’t have fun with it all, I think that would shine through.  I love writing stories and taking my readers on an emotional journey. Writing books is my dream job and I put my heart and soul into every one. I always feel quite bereft when I have to leave the world I have created.

You do also write some really heartfelt scenes though, and create characters that your readers can really believe in. What - if anything - would you like people to take from this book? 

I would like people to think that it is never too late to change things in your life. You should be the happiest you can be and there is no use settling for second best when you could make some effort and have more.

Review: Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café by Milly Johnson

Title: Afternoon at the Sunflower Café
Author: Milly Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 18th June 2015
Pages: 512
ISBN: 9781471140464
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Connie Diamond has always been her husband Jimmy's 'best girl' - or so she thought. But then she discovers that he's been playing away for the past twenty-four years, and that the chocolates she believed he bought her as a sign of his love were just a cover-up, and she is determined to get revenge.

Along with Della Frostick, Jimmy's right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, (who Jimmy is about to replace with his young mistress) Connie decides to destroy Jimmy's life from the inside. Together they will set up a rival business, Lady Muck, and they'll make him wish he had never so much as looked at another woman.

Chocolate had been Connie's guilty pleasure but now it is a cruel reminder of Jimmy's deceit. But then she meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kind chocolate-brown eyes start to melt her soul. Can Brandon cure Connie's affliction and help heal her broken heart…?

Review: I'm Dead Again by Keith Nixon

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 0 comments
Title: I'm Dead Again
Author: Keith Nixon
Publisher: Caffeine Nights
Publication Date: 11th May 2015
Pages: 232
ISBN: 9781910720226
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
I'm Dead Again: David Brodie, literally once ace reporter, is on a serious downward slide with his ex-wife, ex-job and ex-bank balance hanging around his neck.Until he receives a phone call. From a dead man. Soon it could be ex-life.

When the corpse of her ex-husband turns up in dubious circumstances Emily Hollowman enlists ex-KGB and current tramp Konstantin Boryakov to investigate. With stone cold killer, Mr. Lamb in tow the pair discovers all roads lead to disgraced businessman, Gordon Dredge, the man who cost Brodie everything...

But Dredge is in trouble too, in debt to gangland boss Stevie 'The Steroid' Oakhill. But Oakhill has his own problems, a Chechen by the name of Adam is trying to take his business.

The hilarious follow-up to bestselling The Fix - gangsters, murder and a multitude of sarcasm await... who will die first?

Review: Death Can't Take a Joke by Anya Lipska

Monday, 15 June 2015 0 comments
Title: Death Can't Take a Joke
Author: Anya Lipska
Publisher: 27th March 2014
Publication Date: The Friday Project
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780007524402
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
When masked men brutally stab one of his closest friends to death, Janusz Kiszka – fixer to East London’s Poles – must dig deep into London’s criminal underbelly to track down the killers and deliver justice.

Shadowing a beautiful Ukrainian girl he believes could solve the mystery, Kiszka soon finds himself skating dangerously close to her ruthless ‘businessman’ boyfriend. Meanwhile, his old nemesis, rookie police detective Natalie Kershaw is struggling to identify a mystery suicide, a Pole who jumped off the top of Canary Wharf Tower. But all is not what it seems…

Sparks fly as Kiszka and Kershaw’s paths cross for a second time, but they must call a truce when their separate investigations call for a journey to Poland’s wintry eastern borders...

Author Interview: Gilly Macmillan

Friday, 12 June 2015 0 comments
Today I am sharing a Q&A with Gilly Macmillan whose brilliant debut Burnt Paper Sky is out now in eBook format and in August in paperback. It really is one of those must read books, and one that I highly recommend. You can read my review here, and I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A.

Can you introduce Burnt Paper Sky for those that don’t know what it’s about? And are you able to reveal how the book got its title?

Burnt Paper Sky is about a mother, Rachel, who takes her son Ben and their dog for a walk in the woods one Sunday afternoon. Rachel allows Ben to run ahead of her, out of her sight, to play on a rope swing and by the time she reaches the swing he has disappeared without a trace. The story follows what happens next, from Rachel’s point of view, from the point of view of one of the police officers on the case, and also via the media storm that ensues.

I had a working title for the book that my agent felt was a bit boring and she suggested I come up with something better before we submit to publishers!  Cue a long night of thinking during which I went back to the manuscript for inspiration. Burnt Paper Sky describes the moment when Rachel looks up through the trees at the white winter sky above and sees that darkness is creeping in around its edges, like a piece of paper in the fire. I loved the sound of the words together and the fact that they relate to this awful, crucial moment in the story.

Review: Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Title: Burnt Paper Sky
Author: Gilly Macmillan
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: 5th February 2015
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780349406374
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.

But what really happened that fateful afternoon?

Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?

The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Author Interview: Fergus McNeill

Thursday, 11 June 2015 0 comments
Today I have Fergus McNeill on the blog with some great answers to my hopefully not boring questions! I was reading his short story Broken Fall when I thought it'd be a good idea to have Fergus on the blog for a Q&A given that the review would be short. You can read that review here, and I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A! Check back tomorrow when Gilly Macmillan will be featured.

Broken Fall is currently free on Amazon!

Can you introduce DI Graham Harland and your books to those readers who might not have read them yet?

Graham Harland is a Detective Inspector with Avon & Somerset Police. When we first meet him in 'Eye Contact' he has a fairly bleak outlook on life, following the death of his wife, but over the course of the series he finds solace in the cases he's assigned to. My books do have a little bit of 'police procedural' in them, but I like to focus on the human side of things too. Also, I usually try to devote around half the chapters to my baddies – I know it can be unsettling, getting into the head of the villain, but once you're there you've got the best seat in the house to enjoy the story.

Review: Broken Fall: A D.I. Harland novella by Fergus McNeill

Title: Broken Fall: A D.I. Harland novella
Author: Fergus McNeill
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 15th January 2015
Pages: 135
Source: Free on Kindle
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
When Detective Inspector Graham Harland first sees the body, it's just a tragic little bundle lying at the foot of the stairs, the shock of white hair bright against the dark carpet.

It looks like a straightforward accident. Albert Errington, aged seventy-nine, lived alone in his Bristol home and appears to have taken a nasty tumble down the stairs late one night. His death seems a terrible shock for his son and daughter, and his long-term carer.

But ever-observant, DI Harland is sure this isn't an accidental death. And he will find out who is trying to get away with murder...

Review: Where the Devil Can't Go by Anya Lipska

Wednesday, 10 June 2015 1 comments
Title: Where the Devil Can't Go
Author: Anya Lipska
Publisher: The Friday Project
Publication Date: 7th February 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 423
ISBN: 9780007504589
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A naked girl has washed up on the banks of the River Thames. The only clue to her identity is a heart-shaped tattoo encircling two foreign names. Who is she – and why did she die?

Life’s already complicated enough for Janusz Kiszka, unofficial 'fixer' for East London’s Polish community: his priest has asked him to track down a young waitress who has gone missing; a builder on the Olympics site owes him a pile of money; and he’s falling for married Kasia, Soho’s most strait-laced stripper. But when Janusz finds himself accused of murder by an ambitious young detective, Natalie Kershaw, and pursued by drug dealing gang members, he is forced to take an unscheduled trip back to Poland to find the real killer.

In the mist-wreathed streets of his hometown of Gdansk, Janusz must confront painful memories from the Soviet past if he is to uncover the conspiracy – and with it, a decades-old betrayal.

Guest Post: Behind the Scenes of The Dish by Stella Newman

Today I have a guest post to share from Stella Newman for the blog tour for her latest (and very enjoyable) book, The Dish. You can read my review of the book here. If you enjoy the post then make sure you check out this amazing Christmas food-related post Stella wrote for the blog last year. The Dish is out now

Behind the Scenes of The Dish
by Stella Newman

My new book, The Dish, is about a restaurant critic who falls in love with the head chef at London’s worst restaurant.  I always try to research my books as thoroughly as possible, so in the course of writing the novel I ate out quite a bit.  I shan’t tell you what I think London’s worst restaurant is – there’s more than enough mean-ness on the internet already.  However I’m more than happy to share five of the fantastic places I ate which do feature in the book, though sometimes tweaked in the name of artistic licence.

Review: Yours Truly by Kirsty Greenwood

Tuesday, 9 June 2015 2 comments
Title: Yours Truly
Author: Kirsty Greenwood
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 21st November 2013
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781447247272
Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Newly engaged Natalie Butterworth is an easy-going girl. She'll do anything for a quiet life and if telling a few teensy white lies keeps her friends and family happy, then so what? It's not like they'll ever discover what she's really thinking...

Until one night, thanks to a pub hypnotist, Natalie's most private thoughts begin to bubble up and pop out of her mouth. Things get very messy indeed, especially when some sticky home truths offend her fiancé.

Natalie must track down the hypnotist before her wedding is officially cancelled. So along with bad influence bestie Meg, Natalie finds herself in the Yorkshire Parish of Little Trooley - a small village bursting with big secrets, nosy old folk and intriguing Wellington-wearing men.

When the girls get stuck in the village with no means of escape and no way to break the hypnotist's spell, Natalie is forced to face the truths she has been avoiding her whole life...

Author Interview: Nigel May

Monday, 8 June 2015 0 comments
Today I am very excited to share this Q&A with one of Bookouture's most recent signings, Nigel May (who has been called the male Jackie Collins!) His first book with Bookouture is out very soon and is called Scandalous Lies and they have also repackaged his two self-published books Trinity and Addicted. You can read my review for Addicted here. I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A.

How did it feel when Bookouture offered you a publishing deal? And, more importantly, how did you celebrate? 

To say I was excited would be an understatement. I had been aware of Bookouture for a long time as two of my favourite writers, Victoria Fox and Anna Lou Weatherley, are part of their wealth of authors, so when Claire from Bookouture first emailed me before Christmas last year I was beyond thrilled. I was in the middle of writing Scandalous Lies at the time and when I told them about that they seemed really excited as they love the other books I have written. On the actual day I signed my four book deal I was literally popping with excitement. It’s six years or so since I first started writing my first book Trinity so to actually see them all sparkling and new and part of a book deal has been a dream come true. The day the deal was announced I was actually in bed in a Premier Inn in Hammersmith getting over jet lag as I’d just flown back from Toronto. Glam, eh? But I was at a concert in London that night so I celebrated with a few glasses of something bubbly.

Review: The Three by Sarah Lotz

Title: The Three
Author: Sarah Lotz
Publisher: Hodder
Publication Date: 26th February 2015
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9781444770384
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.

There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.

The message is a warning.

Guest Post: Nikki Owen on Inspiration

Saturday, 6 June 2015 0 comments
Today I am excited to be a part of the blog tour for Nikki Owen's brilliant debut novel The Spider in the Corner of the Room. A thought-provoking and at times quite gripping story that I have no hesitation in reccommending. You can read my review here, and in the meantime I hope you enjoy this guest post from Nikki about her inspiration for writing The Spider in the Corner of the Room.

What was your inspiration for writing The Spider in the Corner of the Room?

I love a good daydream. It rocks, right - that act of staring into space, mouth hanging open like a fish on the deck of a boat, dribble drooling from the corner of your lips (or, you know, maybe not…). It can be your best, most influential look. And why? Because daydreaming is an inspiration.

Review: The Spider in the Corner of the Room by Nikki Owen

Title: The Spider in the Corner of the Room
Author: Nikki Owen
Publisher: MIRA
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
ISBN: 9781848453739
Source: Lovereading Review Panel
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
‘My name is Dr Maria Martinez and I am – was – a Consultant Plastic Surgeon. I am 33 years old. Place of birth: Salamanca, Spain… And I was convicted of the murder of a Catholic priest.’

Maria is in prison.

She says she’s innocent and is fighting to clear her name.

Because deep down she knows the truth better than anyone.

Doesn't she?

Review: The Martyr's Curse by Scott Mariani

Title: The Martyr's Curse
Author: Scott Mariani
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 356
ISBN: 9780007486182
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Could Ben Hope have found peace at last?

That’s the question he’s asking himself after his wanderings through Europe have led him to a remote medieval monastery in the French Alps. A haven of serenity, a place he wants to remain.

But wherever Ben goes, trouble is never too far behind.

When a team of merciless killers invade his newfound sanctuary and slaughter the innocent monks, Ben’s revenge quest quickly draws him into a bewildering mystery of stolen treasure, deception and murder.

What is the truth behind the cache of gold bullion apparently hidden for centuries under the monastery? What is the significance of an ancient curse dating back to a cruel heretic burning in medieval times? What are the real ambitions of the enigmatic leader of an organisation of doomsday ‘preppers’ calling themselves Exercitus Paratorum: the Army of the Prepared?

As he works to unravel the clues, Ben is confronted with a terrifying reality that threatens to devastate the world and reshape the whole of our future. The race is on to prevent the ultimate disaster, and there’s only one man who can do it.

Author Interview: Lucy Atkins

Friday, 5 June 2015 0 comments
The Other Child is the latest novel from Lucy Atkins and it is a really great book. It is available to buy now and you can read my review here. In the meantime I hope you enjoy reading this Q&A with Lucy.

Can you introduce The Other Child for readers who don't know what it is about?

The Other Child is a story about a catastrophic marital secret. Tess, is a photographer and single mother, falls in love with Greg, a paediatric heart surgeon. He’s American, and when he’s offered his dream job back in Boston they relocate from London, along with Tess’s little boy Joe. But Tess has fallen unexpectedly pregnant, and life in the affluent Boston suburb isn’t straightforward: creepy things start happening in the big rented house – Tess knows she is being watched, the neighbours are behaving oddly, Joe is distressed and homesick, the pregnancy feels fragile - and then, in the basement, Tess finds something that threatens to destroy everything she loves.

Review: The Other Child by Lucy Atkins

Title: The Other Child
Author: Lucy Atkins
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781782069874
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5
Purchase: Amazon
Sometimes a lie seems kinder than the truth ... but what happens when that lie destroys everything you love?

When Tess is sent to photograph Greg, a high profile paediatric heart surgeon, she sees something troubled in his face, and feels instantly drawn to him. Their relationship quickly deepens, but then Tess, single mother to nine-year-old Joe, falls pregnant, and Greg is offered the job of a lifetime back in his hometown of Boston. Before she knows it, Tess is married, and relocating to the States. But life in an affluent American suburb proves anything but straightforward.

Unsettling things keep happening in the large rented house. Joe is distressed, the next-door neighbours are in crisis, and Tess is sure that someone is watching her. Greg's work is all-consuming and, as the baby's birth looms, he grows more and more unreachable. Something is very wrong, Tess knows it, and then she makes a jaw-dropping discovery...

Guest Post: Half The World Away: Unfamiliar Territory by Cath Staincliffe

Thursday, 4 June 2015 0 comments

Cath Staincliffe's latest novel is Half the World Away which I have reviewed here, finding it to be a rather addictive story. What really stood out to me, even before reading the book, was the Chengdu setting. Whilst reading the story it was clear that Cath had carried out some impeccable research, and so I asked whether she would be able to write a guest post for me about it. And she did! So, hopefully you enjoy reading it and if you haven't already picked up Half the World Away then make sure you do!

Review: Half the World Away by Cath Staincliffe

Title: Half the World Away
Author: Cath Staincliffe
Publisher: Constable
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781472117977
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Newly graduated photography student Lori Maddox spends the year after university travelling and visits China where she finds work as a private English tutor. Back in Manchester, her parents Jo and Tom, who separated when Lori was a toddler, follow her adventures on her blog, 'Lori In The Orient'.

Suddenly communication stops and when the silence persists a frantic Jo and Tom report her missing. It is impossible to find out anything from 5,000 miles away so they travel out to Chengdu, a city in the south-western province of Sichuan, to search for their daughter.

Landing in a totally unfamiliar country, with no knowledge of the customs or language, and receiving scant help from the local authorities, Jo and Tom are forced to turn detective, following in their daughter's footsteps, tracing the people she mentioned in her posts, interviewing her friends, colleagues and students. It's an unbearably difficult challenge and, as the days pass, the fear that Lori is lost for good grows ever larger.

Author Interview: Lucy Diamond

Wednesday, 3 June 2015 0 comments
There are some moments as a blogger that are pretty surreal, pinch yourself moments and one of them has got to be the chance to ask some of your favourite authors some questions about their work. I'm really enjoying doing these Q&As and the latest is with the lovely Lucy Diamond whose latest novel Summer at Shell Cottage is released June 4th and it is another winner from Lucy. You can read my review here, and I hope you also enjoy reading the Q&A!

Can you introduce Summer at Shell Cottage for those that don't know what it's about?

It’s about a big family holiday in south Devon. Everyone has arrived looking forward to beach fun, cocktails and lazy days… but there are all sorts of secrets simmering below the surface, threatening to turn family relationships upside down. Add sunshine, heartbreak and a few surprises, then stir…

Review: Summer at Shell Cottage by Lucy Diamond

Title: Summer at Shell Cottage
Author: Lucy Diamond
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 350
ISBN: 9781447257806
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
A seaside holiday at Shell Cottage in Devon has always been the perfect escape for the Tarrant family. Beach fun, barbecues and warm summer evenings with a cocktail or two - who could ask for more?

But this year, everything has changed. Following her husband's recent death, Olivia is struggling to pick up the pieces. Then she makes a shocking discovery that turns her world upside down.

As a busy mum and GP, Freya's used to having her hands full, but a bad day at work has put her career in jeopardy and now she's really feeling the pressure.

Harriet's looking forward to a break with her lovely husband Robert and teenage daughter Molly. But unknown to Harriet, Robert is hiding a secret - and so, for that matter, is Molly...

Author Interview: Laura Wilson

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 0 comments
Today I am sharing a Q&A with Laura Wilson whose latest book The Wrong Girl is released on the 4th June. It comes very highly recommended by me and you can read my review here. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A!

Can you introduce The Wrong Girl for readers who might not have read what it is about?

In 2006, 3-year-old Phoebe Piper went missing during a family holiday. Despite massive publicity and a long investigation, no trace of her was ever found. Seven years later, Molly Armitage, aged ten and recently uprooted from London to a Norfolk village, finds her great uncle Dan dead in his bed. Although she remembers nothing of her early years or abduction, Molly has been sure for some time that she is Phoebe. Everything in her life points to it, and now she has the proof she’s been searching for: Dan’s cryptic final note.

News of Dan’s death brings his wealthy hippie sister Janice back to Norfolk where, for the first time, she is re-united with Molly’s mother Suzie, the daughter she gave up for adoption in 1970. It’s not the joyous occasion Janice hoped for – Suzie is angry and resentful – but she is intrigued to learn that a conquest from her days as a groupie lives nearby. He is Joe Vincent, a rock star who, forty years earlier and at the height of his fame, turned his back on public life.

As she is drawn back into the past, Janice begins to wonder if Dan’s death and Joe’s reputation as a reclusive acid casualty are quite what they appear... And then Molly disappears.

The Wrong Girl is a compelling tale of the dark side of celebrity obsession, of how we choose the guilt we can live with, and how, despite our best efforts, the past comes back to haunt us all.

Review: The Wrong Girl by Laura Wilson

Title: The Wrong Girl
Author: Laura Wilson
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781782063094
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
In 2006, three-year-old Phoebe Piper went missing on a family holiday. Despite massive publicity and a long investigation, no trace of her was ever found.

Seven years later, Molly Jackson, aged ten and recently uprooted to a Norfolk village, finds her great uncle Dan dead in his bed. Molly remembers nothing of her early years, but she's been sure for ages that she is Phoebe. Everything in her life points to it and now, finally, she has proof.

Dan's death brings his hippie sister Janice back to Norfolk where she's re-united with Molly's mother Suze, the daughter she gave up for adoption decades earlier. Janice discovers that a former lover, Joe Vincent, lives nearby. Joe was a rock star who, at the height of his fame, turned his back on public life.

As she is drawn back into the past, Janice begins to wonder if Dan's death and Joe's reputation as a reclusive acid casualty are quite what they appear...

And then Molly disappears...

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Monday, 1 June 2015 0 comments
Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Doubleday Childrens
Publication Date: 4th June 2015
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780857534583
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Meet Audrey: an ordinary teenage girl with not so ordinary problems.

Aside from her completely crazy and chaotic family, she suffers from an anxiety disorder which makes talking to her brother's hot new best friend a bit of a challenge.

But Audrey has a plan to help her face her fears and take on the world again. First stop: Starbucks.

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