Blog Tour Extract~ Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

Hi everyone,

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Cold Breath by Quentin Bates, and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Bates, Quentin.jpg

Quentin Bates made his escape from suburbia at the end of the seventies as a gap year turned into a gap decade spent in the north of Iceland. He worked ashore and at sea before returning to England and, once finally ashore for good, drifted by accident into journalism.

Finally the lure of fiction became too strong to resist. Sergeant Gunnhildur and the series of novels she features in have their origins in a deep affection for Iceland and its people, and an intimate knowledge of Icelandic society and its language, customs and quirks.

Today Quentin divides his time between the north of Iceland and the south of England, translating books from Icelandic in addition to working on his own fiction.

About the book:

COLD BREATH.jpg

Gunnhildur reluctantly allows herself to be taken off police duties to act as bodyguard to a man with a price on his head . . .

Hidden away in a secure house outside Reykjavík, Gunna and the high-profile stranger, a guest of the interiors minister, are thrown together – too close for comfort. They soon find they are neither as safe nor as carefully hidden as Gunna and her boss had thought. Conflicting glimpses of the man’s past start to emerge as the press begin to sniff him out, as does another group with their own reasons for locating him. Gunna struggles to come to terms with protecting the life of a man who may have the lives of many on his conscience – or indeed may be the philanthropist he claims to be.

Isolated together, the friction grows between Gunna and the foreign visitor, and she realises they are out of their depth as the trails lead from the house outside Reykjavík to Brussels, Russia and the Middle East.

Cold Breath by Quentin Bates

Extract:

Go for a walk,’ the pale man suggested. ‘Don’t go far. Don’t go out of sight.’
The plump man opened his mouth to speak and then quickly shut it. It had been an instruction, not a suggestion.
‘How long?’ he asked, his voice quivering. Next to him his wife could not hide the helpless hatred in her eyes.
‘Twenty minutes,’ the dark man said, pointing to the wavelets being whipped up on the surface of the lake by a bitter wind. ‘Leave your phones on the table. Go that way and walk around the lake. Be where we can see you.’
‘You . . . ?’ the woman began.
‘Come on, Hanne. We don’t have a choice,’ the man muttered to his wife, taking her arm. He stared steadfastly ahead as they walked away, while she shot a single furious glance over her shoulder towards the two men.
It was supposed to be the holiday they had been looking forward to. For the first time there was no need to hurry. There were no longer projects to manage, classes to teach, meetings to attend, deadlines to meet, or jobs waiting for them to return to. Retirement meant they could spend as long as they wanted touring this rocky island they had long wanted to visit, arriving before the tourist season got underway and taking things slowly, dawdling around the northern coastline as they made their way to Reykjavík, stopping whenever and wherever they saw fit.
That had been the plan, she reflected bitterly, until the unwelcome visitors had arrived one night before they had got as far as the ferry, with an offer they dared not refuse.
‘How long should this take?’ the pale man asked, watching as the tubby man and his stick-thin wife walked stiffly, arm-in-arm, around the shore of the lake.
‘Not long. Under the driver’s side bunk. Tools?’
They disappeared into the camper van, and the dark man opened a compact tool box on the table as he looked around.
‘Nice truck,’ he said. ‘House-proud people. Very tidy.’
‘Maybe they
wanted the place to look its best for their visitors.’
The elderly couple, still arm-in-arm, returned windblown after a slow walk around the grey waters of the lake where the wind filled the air with spray.
‘We’re finished. Thanks for your co-operation,’ one of the men said, standing up from his seat in the camper van’s back door as the couple approached.
‘It’s not as if we had a choice in the matter,’ the woman snapped at him, her voice loaded with helpless anger.
He shrugged. ‘It’s not our choice either, I’m afraid. Now we’d like you to go away and enjoy the rest of your holiday. Forget you ever saw us.
It goes without saying that you won’t say a word to anyone, ever. In which case you’ll never hear from us again.’
The pale man dipped a hand into his pocket and took out a sheet of paper folded into four. He held it up and handed it to the woman.
‘What’s this?’
‘Take a look.’
She unfolded it carefully and stiffened as she saw it. Her husband’s face sagged as she showed it to him.
‘Your
house. Your daughter’s house,’ the pale man said, his finger sliding over each of the four pictures. ‘Your son-in-law’s business. And this is where your mother lives. Just so you know. Not one single word.’

 

Check out the tour:

Cold Breath - Quentin Bates - Blog Tour (2).jpg

Blog Tour~ Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir Ellen’s Review

Morning all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Lilja author photo.jpg

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

About the book:

TRAP cover.jpg

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.
Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.
With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

Trap by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Ellen’s Review:

Having read Snare the first in this trilogy I was delighted to get tangled up in the next book Trap. I absolutely adore the covers for both books, so simple but eye catching and would look a treat together on your bookshelves! Although this could be read as a standalone I would recommend reading Snare to fully enjoy Trap.

In the beginning of the book Sonja and Tomas are in Florida after escaping from the drug smuggling trade that her ex husband Adam had embroiled Sonja into. However this freedom is cut short when Tomas is kidnapped and Sonja is forced to return to the clutches of Adam and the drug gangs and back to Iceland. You can really sympathise for Sonja and her situation; she is desperate to get Tomas back and resorts to agreeing to once more return to the drug smuggling with the help of her friendly, look-the-other-way customs officer Bragi. Sonja is not going to give in without a fight and is soon caught up in a risky plot involving the deadliest criminals to ensure her family’s safety.

Meanwhile Sonja’s lover Agla is struggling with her own problems; awaiting trial for financial misconduct and attempting to pay back some massive debts. Once more I struggled to warm to Agla, she just appears so fragile and needy when it comes to Sonja and I worry how she would cope if their relationship came under pressure and she was rejected altogether.

I really enjoyed Trap and look forward to reading the final book in the series.

Check out the tour:

Trap First BT Poster .jpg

Blog Tour ~ Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Today is Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Lisa Hill

Lisa grew up in the village of Bussage, near Stroud, in the Cotswolds until she returned to Cheltenham as a teenager. She is married to her very own hero, Matt, and has three sons, Hamish, Archie and Laurence. Her first encounter of a romance author was chats over the garden wall between her father, Godfrey, and Mrs Cooper from the neighbouring village of Bisley. It came as quite a surprise in later life to find that Mrs Cooper was in fact Jilly Cooper! Lisa’s writing inspiration now comes from other Cotswolds authors including Jill Mansell and Katie Fforde.

Lisa writes contemporary women’s fiction with a light-hearted tone. What interests her most is people, their interactions, emotions and relationships. It’s probably why her career to date has been based in property; she confesses herself that she is ‘naturally curious’.

When she’s not busy writing, helping Matt run his electrical empire, or being her sons’ taxi service, Lisa enjoys long walks with the family gundog, Sparky, and is training to be a counsellor where she hopes, one day, to be able to provide therapy in the form of writing to those who need it.

Lisa is a graduate of the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme and attributes this supportive and informative scheme to her career to date, including her debut novel, Meet Me at Number Five, and this year’s perfect summer read Heart in the Right Place.

About the book:

Heart in the Right Place.jpg

Lottie Hardwicke is Yorkshire’s answer to Kirstie Allsopp, but ten years spent raising her three children with husband, Drew, has relegated her to Saturday Girl status at the family estate agents. This is Lottie’s year; she’s turning over a new leaf and is going to make her time in property less of a borderline obsession and more of an actual career. Only, she hasn’t bet on her interfering in-laws returning to scupper her plans or her teenage crush, celebrity Tom Thorpe, arriving in the village and offering her the opportunity of a lifetime, which could compromise everything…

Can Lottie have it all? Can she be a hands-on mum and get her career back, without wrecking her marriage in the process?

Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill

Ellen’s Review:

Now and then I like a bit of sparkle from my reading choices, not the twinkling vampire kind but the type of book that you can skip through merrily with a smile on your face and a real feel good factor. Heart in the Right Place by Lisa Hill delivered precisely all the feels that I was looking for and more!

I’m a Yorkshire lass so loved that this story was set in Harrogate, a place I am quite familiar with. Lottie and Drew Hardwicke are the main characters but there is a wide and varied cast to support them. Lottie’s best friend Jude and her dad Jack, Drew’s parents Pamela and Edward and the celebrity blast from Lottie’s past Tom Thorpe. Each have their part in the story and I loved how all the narrative threads wove together and tied up neatly to deliver the perfect package of a heart-warming tale.

All the elements of family life can be found in the pages of Heart in the Right Place; the good and the bad. It was great to see the realities of what happens when things aren’t quite right and the issues that we all have to overcome. I have to say that I’d love a Tom Thorpe character to arrive into my life and solve some of my problems! In my head he was Sean Bean and who would say no to a visit from him??

This was the first book of Lisa Hill’s that I have read and I will definitely be looking out for more.

Check out the tour:

Heart-in-The-Right-Place-Blog-Tour.jpg

Recent Reads Rapid Reviews

Hey guys,

I’m back again with another batch of recent reads for review. I swear, I’ll get back to fuller reviews soon, but this is really helping me clear the backlog of books…

I think! 🙂

The Gods of Love

The Gods of Love: Happily ever after is ancient history . . . by [Mostyn, Nicola]

Meet Frida: divorce lawyer, cynic and secret descendant of the immortal love god Eros. She’s about to have a really bad day . . .

When a handsome but clearly delusional man named Dan bursts into Frida’s office and insists that she is fated to save the world, she has him ejected faster than you can say ‘prenup’.

But a creepy meeting, a demon or three and one attempted kidnapping later, Frida is beginning to face the inconvenient truth: Dan is in fact The Oracle, the gods of Greek mythology are real and Frida herself appears to be everyone’s only hope.

The world is doomed.

I had seen this one popping up on social media, and Ellen had read it too so I figured I would give it a shot. I actually enjoyed it more than I expected! It is a super fun read. It reminded me of something, but I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. Anyway, yeah it was definitely a quirky read, with some unexpected turns in the story. I would happily pick up book 2 whenever its out!

The Gods of Love by Nicola Mostyn

World After

World After: Penryn and the End of Days Book Two by [Ee, Susan]

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what’s left of the modern world. When a group of people capture Penryn’s sister Paige, thinking she’s a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.

Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige.
Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels’ secret plans, where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.

Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can’t rejoin the angels, can’t take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Ok. So I loved Angelfall. It was a cracking opener to the trilogy and it set everything up really well for the subsequent books. Enter World After. I got about halfway into it and it just kinda got stuck. I found it lost pace, and there was a lot of focus on lesser characters, when all I wanted was Penryn and Raffe! Less explosive than Angelfall, but it was still an ok middle for a trilogy. I will definitely be buying book 3 because I need to know what will happen with these two characters!!!

World After by Susan Ee

Night School

The Midnight Line: (Jack Reacher 22) by [Child, Lee]

Jack Reacher is having a bad day.

It would be a dumb idea to make it worse. 
Reacher sees a West Point class ring in a pawn shop window. It’s tiny. It’s a woman cadet’s graduation present to herself. Why would she give it up? Reacher was a West Pointer too, and he knows what she went through to get it.

All he wants is to find the woman.

He’ll have to go through bikers, cops, crooks, and low-life muscle.
If she’s ok, he’ll walk away. If she’s not … he’ll stop at nothing.

Best advice: stay out of his way.

I love the Jack Reacher series of books, and The Midnight Line was no exception. Reacher is like a dog with a bone in this one. Spotting a West Point Class Ring in a pawn shop while on a bus rest stop, he wants to know who owned it and why it was pawned. So begins a story that ticks along slowly, unfolding layer by layer until we are presented with the unexpected towards the end of the story. I really enjoyed The Midnight Line, it was a great story and it kept my attention. Not quite the Reacher of old, but still a goodie all the same!

The Midnight Line by Lee Child

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (aka Confessions of a Shopaholic)

Meet Rebecca Bloomwood.

She has a great flat, a fabulous wardrobe full of the season’s must-haves, and a job telling other people how to manage their money. She spends her leisure time … shopping.

Retail therapy is the answer to all her problems. She knows she should stop, but she can’t. She tries Cutting Back, she tries Making More Money. But neither seems to work. The letters from the bank are getting harder to ignore. Can Becky ever escape from this dreamworld, find true love, and regain the use of her credit card?

I was eager to read a non-crime book, and this one was on my TBR for ages. I actually love the movie, so I was interested to see how different (similar) they would be to each other! I’m not going to lie, I spent a lot of the book comparing it to the movie, so I can ony imagine what I would have been like if I went about it the other way around! I definitely enjoyed this one. It was light-hearted, fun, and it definitely catered to my shopaholic heart. Although I am not as bad as Becky, thankfully! I actually went and bought the others in the series after finishing this one, so its safe to say I enjoyed it!

The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Ok! That’s it until the next batch. If I have time, I have a couple of actual reviews to get done so keep an eye out for those too!

Until next time, happy reading 🙂

September 2018 Book Haul

Hi guys!

Its book haul time! 🙂

*For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books, ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

So, here’s what I’ve added to my library since last month:

  1. Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson
  2. Geek Girl by Holly Smale
  3. I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk
  4. I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk
  5. I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk
  6. I Heart Hollywood by Lindsey Kelk
  7. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  8. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  9. Frostbite by Richelle Mead
  10. The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett
  11. Shopaholic Ties The Knot by Sophie Kinsella
  12. Shopaholic & Baby by Sophie Kinsella
  13. Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
  14. Shopaholic Abroad by Sophie Kinsella
  15. Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
  16. The Rule of One by Ashley Saunders
  17. Gilded Cage by Vic James
  18. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
  19. How To Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry
  20. The Caged Queen by Kristen Ciccarelli
  21. Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt
  22. Cold Bones by David Mark
  23. Down To The Woods by M. J. Arlidge
  24. Strange Ink by Gary Kemble
  25. The Hangman’s Hold by Michael Wood
  26. The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin
  27. Blackout (US) by Ragnar Jónasson
  28. A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan
  29. No Way Out by Cara Hunter
  30. Dracul by Dacre Stoker & JD Barker
  31. Vengeful by V. E. Schwab
  32. The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
  33. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  34. One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk
  35. The Dead Girls by Derek Flynn
  36. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
  37. Storm Rising by Sara Driscoll
  38. The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  39. The Machinery by Gerrard Cowan
  40. Do You Dream of Terra Two by Temi Oh
  41. Still Lives by Maria Hummel

So, there you go! 41 books isn’t too bad at all, I actually thought it was less until I started to compile the list!

Have you read any of these? Would you? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

DraculVengefulCara HBill RyanMultipLeEmiko JMJAMuLtiMel SbSAND

Blog Tour ~ The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech and I’ll be sharing her review with you all in just a little bit!

About the author:

thumbnail_Louise Beech.jpg

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be
Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in
My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in
the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has
won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the
Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport
Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of
Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre,
where her first play was performed in 2012

About the book:

thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover final.jpg

Be careful what you wish for…
Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he
wishes it hadn’t…
Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve.
When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…
Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems
to be guided by fate. Or is it?
What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech

Ellen’s Review:

Louise Beech has once more broken me with her beautiful writing, her intention must be to crush my usually stony reading heart to dust! The Lion Tamer Who Lost is primarily a love story about Ben and Andrew but their journey was never going to be an easy one. Ben is 23 years old and living at home with his brash and bigoted father. Ben is struggling with his sexuality and fears of rejection by his family. Andrew is an older man that enters Ben’s life and turns it upside down. Can they make their relationship work? I really enjoyed the coincidences that occurred in TLTWL, this is a subject that fascinates me in real life so I never struggled to believe it’s place in the book.

The story is told over different timelines; Ben/Andrew in the past and the present where we find Ben working in a Lion sanctuary obviously trying to get over something. This “something” is gradually revealed throughout the novel and there is not much more I can say without spoiling the reading experience for others.

I loved the Lion Sanctuary setting of The Lion Tamer Who Lost; Louise’s descriptions are so vivid that I was immediately transported to Africa. The relationship between Ben and his lion cub Lucy was a delight and really gave an insight into Ben’s determination and strength of character. He refused to give up on Lucy and was obviously so attached to her and her success in becoming part of the pack. I think Lucy was actually my third favourite character after Ben and Andrew!

Louise’s writing is so powerful that in my mind Ben and Andrew are real people. For days after I’d be thinking about them before catching myself and remembering it wasn’t a film I’d watched or anyone in my life that actually existed. To be able to create that depth of emotion and recognition in a character from a reader takes some doing.

A gorgeous book which deserves all the stars!

Check out the blog tour:

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final.jpg

Recent Reads Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

I’m back again with the next batch of reviews, and these are all books I have read in the past couple of months. I actually think I’m up as far as August now so YAY! 🙂

Percy Jackson and The Battle of the Labyrinth 

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth (Book 4) (Percy Jackson And The Olympians) by [Riordan, Rick]

Half Boy. Half God. ALL Hero.

Honestly, blowing up another school was the last thing I wanted to do.

As the son of a Greek God, I’ve had my share of near-death disaster – and now my arch enemy Luke wants to invade our camp via an ancient labyrinth.

If he succeeds, thousands of bloodthirsty monsters will attack. So it’s goodbye sunshine, hello darkness as four of us descend into the terrifying underground and beyond . . .

So I ploughed through these, begging the library to get them in if they weren’t available on BorrowBox and I’m so glad I did. These books are just so much fun, I love the relationships between the characters, and I really enjoyed the plot in this one. Plenty to keep me turning the pages and it made me eager to read the final book in the series!

Percy Jackson and The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Angelfall

Angelfall: Penryn and the End of Days Book One by [Ee, Susan]

It’s been six weeks since the angels of the apocalypse destroyed the world as we know it. Only pockets of humanity remain.

Savage street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night.

When angels fly away with a helpless girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Including making a deal with the enemy.

Angelfall had been on my kindle for ages and in need of a change I picked it up one night to read. I was hooked immediately. I feel like I’ve gone through a thing of reading about fallen angels, as Laini Taylor has angels in her books too. And before either of these series, I hadn’t read any! Angelfall was a great opener. Chock full of action, avenging angels, the odd bloodbath, genuinely tons of stuff to keep me reading. I was so glad I had book two waiting for me as well because this one ends with a bit of a cliffhanger. Definitely recommended!

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian 

Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian (Book 5) (Percy Jackson And The Olympians) by [Riordan, Rick]

Most people get presents on their sixteenth birthday. I get a prophecy that could save or destroy the world.

It happens when you’re the son of Poseidon, God of the Sea.According to an ancient prophecy, I turn sixteen and the fate of the entire world is on me. But no pressure.

Now Kronos, Lord of the Titans, is beginning his attack on New York City. And the dreaded monster Typhon is also heading our way. So it’s me and forty of my demi-god friends versus untold evil . . .

I was so sad to get to the end of these books. Honestly, it left me a bit bereft because I had devoured them and become wholly invested in everyone’s fate. The Last Olympian was a fitting end to the Percy Jackson books though, and while there are no more of his exploits to read, there is a TON of other books in the Camp Halfblood universe. I can’t recommend this series highly enough, for both kids and adults. Wildly entertaining, and with real heart, these are books that have so much going for them that it’s hard not to love them!

Percy Jackson and The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Hold Back The Stars

Hold Back the Stars by [Khan, Katie]

Ninety minutes.

A few years from now, not too far in the future, two people meet.

It is a classic story of boy meets girl.

Except that it’s not.

When we find them, they have an hour and a half left.

Unless they can save themselves, they won’t survive.

The clock is ticking.

Hold Back The Stars confused me a little if I’m honest. I enjoyed it, but I kinda got lost a little bit on the way. I know loads of people have read this and loved it, but I think that because I got lost I found it hard to stick with it. But I did. And it was a lovely story.

Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan

Have you read any of these? Would you? Let me know 🙂