Blog Tour: The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Amazon best selling author of ‘intelligent and haunting’ psychological thrillers VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL and THE WOMEN. 

S E Lynes is a writer, tutor and mentor. Formerly a BBC producer, she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland, Italy, and now lives in Greater London with her husband, three kids and her dog, Lola. 

Her critically acclaimed debut, VALENTINA, was published by Blackbird Digital Books in July 2016. Her second novel, MOTHER was published by Bookouture in 2017, followed in 2018 by THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL. In August 2018, VALENTINA was published in a new edition by Bookouture and THE WOMEN was released in 2019. Her new novel, the dark and gripping family drama, THE LIES WE HIDE, is published Dec 4th 2019.

Susie Lynes has also published two children’s books in Italy: Il Leopardo Lampo and La Coccodrilla Ingamba, both available at Amazon.it

Find her on:
Facebook S E Lynes Author
Twitter @SELynesAuthor

About the book:

The truth can set you free, or make you a prisoner…

Thirty years ago, Nicola Watson lived with her parents and older brother in a respectable suburb. At ten years old, she didn’t yet understand why her stomach tightened when she heard her father’s heavy tread as he returned home late at night, or why it made her brother Graham’s stammer get worse, or why one night her mother Carol woke them both, wide-eyed and whispering, and took them out of their home and into the unknown.

Now a successful lawyer in the city, with a life poles apart from her dark beginnings, Nicola has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she stands in her mother’s house, remembering the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.

All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

A gripping, emotional story of family secrets, and the strength of a mother’s love in the darkest times. The next powerful read for fans of The Silent Wife, Kerry Lonsdale and Emily Bleeker.

The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes

Ellen’s Review:

I have previously said that a new SE Lynes book was a major event in the Devonport household; would the same be true for The Lies We Hide which is a departure from the author’s usual genre? Heck yes of course it was!! This may not be a psychological thriller but it contains the heart and soul of Lynes’ beautiful writing which shines through regardless of the genre. Essence de Lynes if you will, it permeates every page!

Nicola Watson has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she returns to her mother’s house and remembers the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.

As a child she was oblivious to why her mother Carol woke them in the middle of the night and the reasons behind them fleeing. All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

The Lies We Hide is a family drama/saga; I was gripped from the beginning and desperate to find out all the truths that were hidden. This is a very emotional read and highlights the impact domestic abuse has on the whole family (and beyond) and the lengths people will go to to ensure the safety of their children.

One of the standout characters for me was Richard, the clergyman that Graham (Nicola’s brother) speaks to during his time in prison. I loved the face that their chats helped both of them overcome their personal issues with the past. I’d happily read a novel just about Richard!

In summary, while The Lies We Hide is not a thriller as such it contains plenty of shocks and twists. I urge you not to dismiss this just because it’s a shift of genre for the author, embrace the change!

Five stars from me!

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Blog Tour: One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

Hayley Webster is a writer and teacher who grew up in Newbury, Berkshire. Her first novel, Jar Baby, was published by Dexter Haven in 2012 and, as Hayley Scott, three books in her Teacup House series for emerging readers were published by Usborne in 2018. She has written for GraziaThe Observer Magazine, and did a sold-out event at Edinburgh festival in 2018, and she’s a mentor on the 2019 National Writers Centre Escalator scheme. She lives in Norfolk with her daughter.

About the book:

Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

Click the link below to order your copy:

One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster

Ellen’s Review:

Well! Wrap me up in Christmas paper, put a HUGE bow on and cover me in glitter for I have just read the perfect festive book! One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster has already been heralded as the feel good Christmas book of 2019 and I am 100% behind that statement. Full of nostalgia, love, friendship, community spirit and a little sprinkling of crime – you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Christmas has been ruined for those that live on Newbury Street, Norwich. Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes and there are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the people of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust even within their own families. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide. But we all know Christmas is traditionally a time for miracles and with just a little hope and help from each other they might just find a solution.

I really loved One Christmas Night and it’s actually one of those rare books that I would read again and again, even with its elements of sadness and suspicion it feels like a warm blanket of festive comfort and a reminder of what is actually important at that time of year. The writing is exquisite and I was transported into the homes of the families on Newbury Street. I definitely recognised some of the family dynamics and drama!

So grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate with lashings of marshmallows, tuck that cosy blanket around your shoulders and get reading, I can guarantee (that like The Grinch) your heart will grow three sizes that day.

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Blog Tour: The Sky Weaver (Iskari #3) by Kristen Ciccarelli

Hi lovelies,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Sky Weaver by Kristen Ciccarelli and I’ll be sharing my review with you all just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Kristen Ciccarelli

Kristen Ciccarelli hails from Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula where she grew up on her grandfather’s grape farm. She’s made her living as a baker, a bookseller, and a potter, but now writes books about bloodthirsty dragons, girls wielding really cool weapons, and the transformative power of stories.

About the book:

At the end of one world, there always lies another.

Safire, a soldier, knows her role in this world is to serve the King of Firgaard-helping to maintain the peace in her oft-troubled nation.

Eris, a deadly pirate, has no such conviction. Known as The Death Dancer for her ability to evade even the most determined of pursuers, she possesses a superhuman ability to move between worlds.

When one can roam from dimension to dimension, can one ever be home? Can love and loyalty truly exist?

Then Safire and Eris-sworn enemies-find themselves on a common mission: to find Asha, the last Namsara.

From the port city of Darmoor to the fabled faraway Sky Isles, their search and their stories become threaded ever more tightly together as they discover the uncertain fate they’re hurtling towards may just be a shared one. In this world, and the next.

Click the link below to get your copy:

The Sky Weaver by Kristen Ciccarelli

My review:

The Sky Weaver is the third book in the Iskari series, a sort of standalone, but it takes place in the same world as the previous books. It focuses more on Safire, who we have met previously, and introduces Eris as another main character.

Eris is also known as the Death Dancer, and she has the ability to jump between worlds. When she encounters Safire, it sends in motion a chain of events that nobody is expecting.

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and The Sky Weaver is no different. I love the world-building that the author has done so far, but it is even more beautiful in this book.

Safire is a great character, and when she meets Eris they become a formidable pair. There is so much going on, and even more going against them in The Sky Weaver. I found I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough because I was dying to see what was going to happen.

There is an almost Norse Mythology-esque theme running through The Sky Weaver. It’s woven beautifully through the narrative, and the prose, especially when the reader learns about the original Sky Weaver.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was captivated by the story, the characters and their world. It’s an engaging and magical story, with real humanity at its core, loved it.

Highly recommended for sure!

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Blog Tour: Violet by S.J.I. Holliday Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Violet by SJI Holliday, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

About the book:

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.
Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.
When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.
Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

Click the link below to order your copy:

Violet by S. J. I. Holliday

Ellen’s Review:

You really don’t want to meet anyone like Violet if you are ever on a backpacking trip far from home, in fact you probably wouldn’t want to meet her on home ground either! This book was a compelling read; life was totally put on hold while I accompanied Violet and her new BFF Carrie on the Trans Siberian Express. These girls know how to party but their friendship feels very claustrophobic and drug and alcohol induced paranoia does not help! I’m glad I’m past the age where this type of “adventure” is an option but thanks to the author for filling me with dread that my daughters will ever leave the country!

There weren’t many like-able characters at all in this book; each have their secrets and lies and could be dangerous to know. Even the “good” girl has darkness glimmering through the cracks in her public persona. The scariest part about Violet is just how plausible it is and that the most horrifying thing in the world can be human rather than anything paranormal.

I look forward to more chilling psychological thrillers from SJI Holliday!

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Blog Tour: The Stone Song by Tom Bale

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for The Stone Song by Tom Bale and I’ll be sharing my review with you all!

About the author:

Tom Bale

Tom Bale was born in Sussex in 1966. While pursuing his lifelong ambition to be a writer, he worked in a variety of jobs, but none was as exhausting – or as rewarding – as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children.

His first novel, Sins of the Father, was published in 2006 under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, Skin and Bones, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a publishing deal that enabled him to write full-time.

His latest three novels See How They RunAll Fall Down and Each Little Lie have been published by Bookouture. 

A keen cyclist and sea swimmer, he lives in Brighton with his family.

For more information, please click here or follow him on Twitter @t0mbale

About the narrator:

Raza Jaffrey

Raza Jaffrey (born 28 May 1973) is an English actor and singer, who starred as Dr. Neal Hudson on the CBS TV medical dramaCode Black. He is best known for playing Zafar Younis on the BBC One spy drama series Spooks. In 2014, he played Pakistani Lieutenant Colonel Aasar Khan in season 4 of the Showtime series Homeland.

About the book:

On a sweltering summer’s night, teenage siblings Jack and Lily witness a helicopter crash on the main road between Brighton and London. The next morning they wake to find their village has been sealed off from the entire world. A terrorist cell is holed up in Stenhurst – or at least that’s the official story, put out by sinister government agent Wynter and his vicious sidekick, Major Kellett. 

But later that day, Lily and Jack stumble on the truth: the authorities are hunting for a mysterious creature, labelled CatX, who escaped during the crash. Together with their friends, Erin and Oliver, Lily and Jack take it upon themselves to defy the lockdown and protect the creature, no matter what the risks. 

The stakes are raised still further when a team of American agents arrive with their own unique technologies. Nobody who sees the CatX must be allowed to survive, and yet it soon becomes clear that there is a much bigger secret here…one that threatens the entire world. 

With four teenagers pitted against deadly opposition, this is a story of supernatural menace that will appeal to fans of Stephen King and Stranger Things

Click the link below to get your audiobook:

The Stone Song by Tom Bale

My review:

I’m a huge fan of Tom Bale’s thrillers, so I was delighted to see he had a new book coming out! Thanks to Midas PR for allowing me to take part in the tour for the audiobook of The Stone Song.

I really enjoyed The Stone Song. It’s got a lot going on, but it’s quite easy to follow. Lily and Jack essentially see something they shouldn’t one summer night, and what follows a game of cat and mouse between these kids and the authorities who have decided to seal off their sleepy village from the rest of the world.

The characters in this book are well-drawn, and I found myself rooting for Lily and Jack the whole way through. Especially when they discover the truth about the cover up, and the existence of CatX. I love how they took it upon themselves, along with their friends, to try and protect CatX from the agents who show up.

I don’t want to go into too much detail for fear of spoilers, but The Stone Song is a really engaging book. I liked the small village setting, the characters are great, and the villains are almost cinematic in their badness.

The Stone Song is a departure from the norm for Mr. Bale, but it doesn’t disappoint. Intriguing premise, empathetic and interesting characters and a great adventure.

Recommended for sure!

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Blog Tour: Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

Hi lovelies,

Today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan. I’ll be sharing my review for this beauty a little further down!

About the author:

Natasha Ngan

Natasha Ngan is a writer and yoga teacher. She grew up between Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from, and the UK. This multicultural upbringing continues to influence her writing, and she is passionate about bringing diverse stories to teens. Natasha studied Geography at the University of Cambridge before working as a social media consultant and fashion blogger.

She recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand, wineglass in the other. In reality, she spends most of her time getting lost on the metro and confusing locals with her French.

She is represented by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary. Her YA novels THE ELITES and THE MEMORY KEEPERS are out now from Hot Key Books, and GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE was published in November 2018 by Little Brown, with GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW RELEASING THIS NOVEMBER.

Follow Natasha at: http://natashangan.com or on Twitter: @girlinthelens

About the book:

The Girls of Paper and Fire did the impossible.
They escaped.
But out in the unforgiving wild, hunted like prey, Lei and Wren learn that the most terrifying prisons have no walls.

‘Beautiful and heart-breaking and meaningful . . . Ngan’s writing is stunning’ Young Adult Reads

Lei, the naive country girl who became a royal courtesan, is now known as the Moonchosen, the commoner who managed to do what no one else could. But slaying the cruel Demon King wasn’t the end of the plan – it’s just the beginning. Now Lei and her warrior love Wren must travel the kingdom to gain support from the far-flung rebel clans. The journey is made even more treacherous thanks to a heavy bounty on Lei’s head, as well as insidious doubts that threaten to tear Lei and Wren apart from within.

Meanwhile, an evil plot to eliminate the rebel uprising is taking shape, fueled by dark magic and vengeance. Will Lei succeed in her quest to overthrow the monarchy and protect her love for Wren, or will she fall victim to the sinister magic that seeks to destroy her?

Click the link below to order your copy:

Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan

My review:

I loved the first book in this series, so I was delighted to be able to read Girls of Storm and Shadow for the blog tour.

Girls of Storm and Shadow is unrelenting in its plot. It deals perfectly with the aftermath of the events in Girls of Paper and Fire, without shying away from the horrific things Lei and Wren have seen and experienced.

The action in this book seems more heart-wrenching than Girls of Paper and Fire if that makes sense? Probably because you, as a reader, become so invested in these characters and have followed their stories so much that you’re willing them on to better things.

Girls of Storm and Shadow is richly imagined and beautifully written. Captivating, raw, dark and intricate, it is such a compelling series. My only issue is that the author has finished this one with the dreaded cliffhanger. And now I have to wait for ages to find out what happens next!

Brutal, engaging, visceral yet tender, Girls of Storm and Shadow is a must read.

Highly recommended!

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Blog Tour: Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a litte further down.

About the author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

About the book:

Nothing Important Happened Today by [Carver, Will]

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

Click the link below to get your copy:

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Ellen’s Review:

After reading Good Samaritans I announced that Will Carver was a dark genius, on finishing Nothing Important Happened Today this thought was increased tenfold along with WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK HAVE I JUST READ AND HOW DO I REVIEW IT!!??

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge all carrying matching backpacks with specific matching ropes inside. They’ve never met but they run and leap to their deaths. Every one of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: nothing important happened today. That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty two train passengers witness this mass suicide and two of them will be the next to kill themselves. By the morning the People of Choice has become a movement and social media is awash with theories and wannabe’s. The police are under immense pressure to find a link between the cult members and to locate a leader that does not seem to exist. How on Earth do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?!

Now let’s get one thing clear – this is a dark, dark book, with the blackest of black centres. The story is told using different perspectives; the victims/nobodies (reduced to numbers so meaningless are they), the detective and an unknown person giving us the rundown on how to run a successful cult. The descriptions of the suicides are quite intense and not for the delicate but the genius when it all comes together…perfection!

Personally I loved it!!

Highly recommend!

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