Today I’m sharing Ellen’s review of Snowflake by Heide Goody and Iain Grant, but before I do that, here’s all you need to know!
About the book:
Lori Belkin has been dumped. By her parents.
They moved out while she was away on holiday, and now, at the tender age of twenty-five, she’s been cruelly forced to stand on her own two feet.
While she’s getting to grips with basic adulting, Lori magically brings to life the super-sexy man she created from celebrity photos as a teenager.
Lori learns very quickly that having your ideal man is not as satisfying as it ought to be and that being an adult is far harder than it looks.
Snowflake is a story about prehistoric pets, delinquent donkeys and becoming the person you want to be, not the person everyone else expects you to be.
Heide inflicts unsuitable content upon the world by whatever devious means she can find.
She is, with Iain Grant, co-author of the Clovenhoof series, the Satan-in-suburbia comic novel and several other books set in the same world.
Heide lives in North Warwickshire, England with her husband and children.
Iain Grant is an author of short stories and novels, ranging from contemporary literature to fantasy and horror. His short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.
He is perhaps best known for the Clovenhoof comic novels co-written with Heide Goody.
Iain’s solo work includes children’s books, thrillers and a steampunk omnibus, “The Gears of Madness”.
You can contact Heide and Iain on firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori Belkin is a 25 year old Snowflake – you know the type; a little bit flakey, a wee needy and a hella dependant on her parents. She’s never really had a job and spends her time drawing cartoons for her blog. Upon her return from a holiday in Crete (paid for using a business loan) she discovers her parents have sold the family home without leaving a forwarding address! This manoeuvre is supposed to give Lori a wake up call but it takes a lot more than being abondoned to get through to this Snowflake. Not only does she have to find a job to prove she is capable and worldly wise she has to contend with being in possession of a magical necklace that can bring inanimate objects to life. Such objects include her imagined teen crush (sausage obsessed Ashbert), some trilobites (super cute) and miniature versions of world leaders (super insane).
Hilarity ensues as is the norm with Heide and Iain’s books and I sniggered the whole way through. I loved Lori, she actually gave me a glimpse of what my teenage daughter may become so I’ll keep this book for future reference! Lori’s best friend Cookie also adds some giggles into the mix. Part hippy and part lunatic, she is the perfect chaotic companion.
Snowflake is a book about embracing who you are and not conforming to the norm, isn’t every snowflake unique after all? So go ahead, be yourself and follow your dreams, you never know what might happen!
Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Needle Song by Russell Day and I’m sharing some info on the author and the book as part of a spotlight for the tour!
About the author:
Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.
Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.
Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.
The brains behind Fahrenheit Press have worked in the publishing industry for over 25 years and we figured it was time we created the publishing company we always dreamed of. We shoot from the lip and we call it like we see it – if that rubs people up the wrong way we can live with that.
Fahrenheit Press are a brand new publishing house founded by international publishing veteran Chris McVeigh.
“We’re intent on doing things differently and we’re building a publishing company that’s heavy on curation and deadly serious about marketing.”
After many years helping the world’s biggest publishers build authors and create best-selling titles we’ve decided the time is right to step out from behind the curtain, set up our own publishing house and do things the way we think they should be done. We definitely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but that’s just the way we like it. If we’re not ruffling some feathers, we reckon we’re doing something wrong.
“It’s fair to say I’ve never looked much like a traditional publisher. I’m not suited, I’m not booted, and the nearest I’ve come to tweed is the Jean Paul Gaultier kilt I wore for a few years back in the nineties.”
For sure our punk ethos runs through everything we do but don’t mistake our tone for unprofessionalism – over the years we’ve helped shift literally millions of books for some of the biggest publishers in the world.
We’ve only just started out on this journey and we really appreciate all the support you’ve given us so far – it’s been a real blast – we have no idea where this will take us but we promise you the ride will never be boring.
About the book:
Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.
Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it.
Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.
No one except Doc.
Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.
I got such a positive response to my last personal post, With A Heavy Heart, that I figured I should post a little update to let you all know how things are going.
First though, I just want to say thank you to everyone who commented, messaged me, emailed etc initially. Honestly, your words of kindness were such a comfort to me after that post, and I was overwhelmed by all of the well wishes.
Since I last posted, I’ve been feeling better. I haven’t had a panic attack as severe as the one that prompted me to take a break, but I’ve still had some shaky days. And I know that over time they will lessen, I just need to find what works for me.
I’ve tried to avoid crime/thriller/mystery books because I found that those are the kinds of books that bring on the surge of adrenaline that leads to palpitations and subsequent panic attacks. However, this has left me in a bit of a bind because any of the other books I’ve been reading haven’t captivated me in the same way. I’ve started and given up on about ten books recently. BUT I know my reading mojo is having a bit of a break too, because my attention span just isn’t there at the moment.
So yeah, having a bit of a tough time because where reading is usually my comfort I’m finding it a little frustrating that I can’t stick with a book. Especially because I need my kindle to help me sleep. The anxiety is worse at nighttime, and reading usually keeps my mind off of it.
I went to see someone recently about some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and while I can see the benefits, it didn’t help me much. In fact, it had the opposite effect. The person wasn’t interested in why I was having these panic attacks, just how to deal with them effectively. Which is all well and good. But I can’t help thinking, I want to know why I’m feeling like this.
So, I’m going for counseling soon, and I’m really hopeful that talk therapy will help. Because I’ve noticed I actually feel better when I talk about what’s going on in my head, and my poor (WONDERFUL) husband has been the best help with that at home, but I really want to see a professional to get to the bottom of it.
God this is turning into a long post. Honesty is the best policy though, and I’m not ashamed of this so why not discuss it. Mental health is a tricky thing, and I’ll do anything I can to get mine back in tip top condition because it’s affecting all aspects of my life!
I’ve also tried to add in some exercise, as in more than my usual stroll down the road at a snails pace 😂 I’m trying to start running, because I want my heart pounding for a positive reason, not a negative one. And I find that the exertion (i.e my being totally unfit!) helps to tell my body “hey, it’s ok, you’re fine, you just did some exercise and you don’t need to freak out just because your heart is beating so fast!”.
One of the things I hate about all of this, is that my stomach goes into knots, and I genuinely feel like there is someone sitting in my chest. I can’t take a full deep breath because of it, and I have this ball of worry and tightness in my chest more often than not. I go off food (I’ve lost more weight in the past few weeks than I have in the past 6 months!), I get tired really easily because I don’t sleep well and I’m just not myself.
It’s crap. There are no two ways about it. I know there are people out there who are suffering with this as well, and there are people going through so much worse than this so I’m loathe to complain as it seems trivial in comparison sometimes.
That’s basically how things are with me since the last time I posted! I’ll get back to reviewing etc eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, but for now I’m enjoying the time away and the lack of pressure.
Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the cover reveal for Amer Anwar’s Brothers In Blood, and you’ll get to see it just a little bit further down. First though, here is all you need to know!
About the author:
Amer Anwar grew up in West London. After leaving college he had a variety of jobs, including; warehouse assistant, comic book lettering artist, a driver for emergency doctors and chalet rep in the French Alps. He eventually landed a job as a creative artworker/graphic designer and spent the next decade and a half producing artwork, mainly for the home entertainment industry. He has an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London and is a winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. Western Fringes is his first novel. For everything else, he has an alibi. It wasn’t him. He was never there.
About the book:
Winner of the CWA Debut Dagger
A Sikh girl on the run.
A Muslim ex-con who has to find her.
A whole heap of trouble.
Southall, West London. After being released from prison, Zaq Khan is lucky to land a dead-end job at a builders’ yard. All he wants to do is keep his head down and put the past behind him.
But when Zaq is forced to search for his boss’s runaway daughter, he quickly finds himself caught up in a deadly web of deception, murder and revenge.
With time running out and pressure mounting, can Zaq find the missing girl before it’s too late? And if he does, can he keep her – and himself – alive long enough to deal with the people who want them both dead?
“An engaging hero, a cunning plot, and a fascinating journey into Southall’s underworld. We’ll be hearing a lot more from Amer Anwar.”
“A fine debut novel. With his engaging characters and skilful plotting, Anwar brings a fresh and exciting new voice to the genre.”
– Ann Cleeves
Published by: Dialogue Books
Release date: 6th September 2018
Extent: 448 pages
Also available as ebook and audiobook.
You can pre-order your copy by clicking the link below:
Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Gone To Ground by Rachel Amphlett and I’ll be sharing her review with you guys a little further down!
About the author:
Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza, Ken Follett, and Stuart MacBride.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
Her novels are available in eBook, paperback and audiobook formats from worldwide retailers including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Play.
A keen traveller, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance!
One of the highlights of my reading year is a new Kay Hunter book being published and having been a fan from the start I couldn’t wait to get started on Gone to Ground (Kay Hunter 6). The story opens in an innocuous manner with a leisurely cycle ride amongst a group of friends. The tone soon changes when one of the group find an abondoned boot….with a foot still in it! Thus begins a new case for Kay Hunter and her team. I have loved seeing this team grow closer as the series has progressed and once again they prove to be a well oiled machine of investigative work. Each knows their role and gets on with it and Kay is confortable to let them do so.
I have learnt that Rachel Amphlett is a master of misdirection and I did not predict where the story was going or who the culprit was! I get so engrossed in the story and it’s always a genuine suprise to me, the sign of an excellent writer in my opinion.
Of course it is not a Kay Hunter novel without her loving husband, Adam, and his unusual house guests – being a vet has resulted in some hilarious events in the Hunter household which are a welcome relief from the gory details of the murders. Another five star read and I look forward to book seven!
Today Ellen has a triple whammy of reviews for The Sentinel Trilogy by Joshua Winning, and I’ll be sharing those further down. First though, here’s all you need to know!
About the author:
Joshua Winning is an author and film journalist who writes for Total Film, SFX, Gay Times and Radio Times. He has been on set with Kermit the Frog, devoured breakfast with zombies on The Walking Dead, and sat on the Iron Throne while visiting the Game Of Thrones set in Dublin. Jeff Goldblum once told him he looks a bit like Paul Bettany.
In 2014, Sentinel – the first book in Joshua’s Sentinel Trilogy – was published by Peridot Press. The second book, Ruins, followed in 2015. Joshua’s short story Dead Air appeared in Speak My Language: An Anthology Of Gay Fiction and Joshua’s new novel, Killing Rumer, will be published in 2018 by Unbound. He also co-wrote ’80s teen horror Camp Carnage.
Joshua grew up watching Labyrinth and The Neverending Story on repeat, and was raised on a steady diet of Whedon, Cameron and Lucas. His literary heroes include Robin Jarvis, Stephen King and Daphne du Maurier. As a journalist, he has interviewed some of the most exciting names in the film industry, including Jodie Foster, Ryan Reynolds, Charlize Theron and Christopher Lee. He dreams of getting Sigourney Weaver to yell “Goddammit!” at him one day.
About the books:
They are the world’s best-kept secret – an underground society whose eternal cause is to protect the world against the dark creatures and evil forces that inhabit the night.
Now Sentinels are being targeted, murdered and turned as the fury of an ancient evil is unleashed once more.
And when 15-year-old Nicholas Hallow’s parents are killed in a suspicious train crash, the teenager is drawn into a desperate struggle against malevolent powers.
Sentinel is the first book in the Sentinel Trilogy – a world of unconventional heroes, monsters, murder and magic.
Second instalment of the critically-acclaimed Sentinel Trilogy. In his desperate search for answers about the Sentinels, an ancient society of guardians that his parents once belonged to, fifteen-year-old Nicholas Hallow is tipped into a fresh nightmare of terrifying monsters – and even more sinister humans. As Nicholas is challenged to become a Sentinel, he must track down a mysterious girl with the help of a grumpy cat. Meanwhile, an uprising of evil threatens to destroy the Sentinels and send the world spiralling into chaos.
‘All who stand against us shall perish’
The critically acclaimed Sentinel Trilogy comes to a thrilling conclusion in this final instalment of the dark fantasy series.
The world is falling apart around Nicholas Hallow. Amid rumours that the Dark Prophets have returned, a deathly gloom pollutes England, unleashing a savage hoard of nightmare creatures. Fighting the tide of evil, Nicholas returns home to Cambridge, where an old ally helps him seek out the mysterious Skurkwife, who could help Nicholas stop Malika and the Prophets for good.
Meanwhile, Sam Wilkins unites the Sentinels against the forces of darkness, but with Jessica’s sanity slipping, and Isabel suspicious of her shadowy past, it’s a battle that could cost the Sentinels everything.
I have always been a fan of YA and fantasy books so The Sentinel Trilogy really appealed to me. The trilogy comproses of Sentinel, Ruins and Splinter and I am covering all of them in this review. So buckle up buttercup you’re in for one hell of a ride!
In Sentinel we are introduced to 15 year old Nicholas Hallow, the book opens with the death of his parents in a train crash but this was no tragic accident. Nicholas discovers that his parent were Sentinels; an underground society whose job is to protect the world from evil forces. They are guards, detectives and killers. On top of dealing with his grief Nicholas must come to terms with the fact that he is also a Sentinel and on his 16th birthday he would have been initiated into the society. Luckily he has help in navigating his new role and other Sentinels step forward to become his guide including Sam and his godmother Jessica. There are different types of Sentinels and it is revealed that Nicholas is a Sensitive, he can sense when evil is near and has visions.This book is a slow burner, we are learning at the same pace as Nicholas so there feels like a lot of new information is being thrown at you but this is appreciated as the new reality is built. We are introduced to a plethora of malevolent and magical creatures including demons, a talking cat and the star of the horror show – Malika. A flame haired demon hell bent on destruction and power. She is total #demongoals and if I had to choose my favourite big bad she would be it!
Ruins is the second book in the trilogy. Nicholas has come to terms with who he is and what he must do. A war is coming and the Sentinels must gather their forces. Nicholas discovers that he has been prophesied as being a chosen one but also that he is part of a duo. The Trinity (the ancient good guys) foretold that this duo would save the world from The Dark Prophets. The twist is that no one knows who the other chosen one is and there is a race against time to discover them before the bad guys. Of course Malika is hard at work attempting to raise these prophets with the help of a truly terrifying demon called Tortor. Everyone is in danger and Joshua Winning is not averse to putting your favourite characters in mortal peril. Not everyone will survive!
Splinter is the final book and brings everything to an apocalyptic conclusion. Nicholas has his own Scooby gang comprising of Rae (fire starter), Dawn (fountain of knowledge) and Merlyn (a worldy wise Sentinel).They have all grown in the short time they have known each other and it was great to see their friendship bloom. The trilogy is definitely a coming of age story; friends overcoming adversity, discovering themselves and finding love along the way. There are genuinely terrifying moments in these books and it would make a fantastic graphic novel/TV series. I was so invested in all the characters and was genuinely gutted that their story is complete. I loved the climax to Splinter, no spoilers but WOW I was not expecting that! So buy the whole trilogy and lose yourself in this world of Murklings, Harvesters, Hunters and all the demons you can imagine!
Today is Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!
About the author:
Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, and HER LAST SECRET. Her latest book is THE PERFECT FRIEND.
More importantly, she loves cakes, wildlife photography and, last but definitely not least, her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy (who force her to throw tennis balls for them for hours).
Having spent over twenty years as a national newspaper and magazine journalist, Barbara has interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.
When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.
My name is Alex, and my world has been shattered.
My husband has left me.
My children won’t speak to me. My friend Carrie is the only person I have.
She’s the only one I can trust to keep all my secrets.
She’d never do anything to let me down. Would she?
This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.
Now it’s no secret that Barbara Copperthwaite is one of my favourite authors and I am always waiting eagerly for her newest release. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long before I could read The Perfect Friend; I have to admit that I read this book a few weeks ago but have been sitting on my review as I was simply lost for words! Once again I was blown away by the twists and turns and struggled to formulate my thoughts.
The Perfect Friend is a story about love, lies, friendship and how far we will go to believe our version of the truth. Alex (a recovering anorexic) who is estranged from her husband and children meets Carrie who has terminal cancer in a local support group. For reasons unknown to us Alex feels she needs to make amends with Carrie and is prepared to do anything to make her happy. This motherly love is obviously misplaced, a relationship that Alex’s therapist is not comfortable with her having. There are events in her past that Alex needs to come to term with but instead she shifts her focus to pleasing Carrie which does no favours for her delicate mental health. This book deals with a number of difficult issues including anorexia, cancer and domestic abuse. All of which are dealt with empathetically.
It is difficult to say much more without spoiling the enjoyment for others, but if you love an unreliable narrator and a book with more twists than a really twisty thing go buy The Perfect Friend. Once again the author has written a book that kept me guessing until the last page and even then left me gobsmacked! Another five stars from me!