~Blog Tour Ellen’s Review~ Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, and I get to share her review with you all!

About the book:

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After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Published by Orenda Books, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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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. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Ellen’s Review:

 If you had told me before I started this book that I’d be rooting for the drug smuggling protagonist Sonia all the way through, I don’t think I would have believed you. They’re the root of all evil right? The heart of the problem? Yet in Snare, Lilja Sigurdardottir has achieved this. Sonia is such a rounded, likeable character and is doing what she does out of desperation and for the love of her son Tomas. That she has the drug smuggling down to such a fine art was fascinating to read; my heart was pounding every time that she went through customs yet her icy cool professionalism kept coming up trumps.
 
I also loved Bragi, the customs officer who observes Sonia’s frequent travels and begins to get suspicious of her actions. Another character trapped by his life and trying to make the best of things; close to retirement and with his beloved wife in a care home he is determined to solve this particular case. It’s very unusual for me to be rooting for both sides of the criminal fence to succeed in some way!!
 
If there was a person I wasn’t that enamoured of it would have to be Agla, Sonia’s love interest and her ex-husband’s colleague. She is being investigated for fraud following the Icelandic bank crash, on top of that she is struggling with her feelings for Sonia and even in denial about them. I found her to be selfish, spoilt and manipulative. Perhaps this will be resolved in the next book; will she overcome her personal demons?
 
All in all an enjoyable read and I was pleased to discover it is the first in a trilogy as I want to know what is next for everyone. This book would make a fantastic film/TV series and I love the cover. Go dip your toes in the icy waters of Nordic Noir – you won’t be disappointed!

 

Follow the blog tour:

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Me Life Story: Sofa So Good! by Scarlett Moffatt


About the book:

Fact: Did you know, over its lifespan, your sofa will witness roughly 293 arguments and 1,369 cuddles?
Hiya, my name’s Scarlett Moffatt and I love random facts. Almost as much as I love sitting on me sofa. You might know me best from my most famous and celebrated sit thus far on the I’m A Celebrity throne. You might also know me from all sorts of other seats, most especially my Gogglebox sofa. Well this book is my attempt at telling me life story through a whole series of them!
So I’d like you right now to stop what you’re doing and take a seat, whether it be in the comfort of your own home, on the top deck of the bus, on the tube (so you don’t have to make eye contact with anybody) or on the throne of the house (a.k.a. the toilet). I want you to get comfortable and get ready to laugh, cry and maybe even learn a bit, as I chat to you about some of the highs and lows of me life.
So grab a brew, settle down, and let’s start from the very beginning…

Published by Blink Publishing Oct 19th, click HERE to pre-order your copy! 

About the author:

SCARLETT MOFFATT is a beloved television personality and presenter from County Durham, best known for appearing in the Channel 4 series Gogglebox, and as the winner of 2016’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! She is now a presenter on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, as well as the brand-new face of Streetmate. Scarlett is also the Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of Scarlett Says, and has a top-selling fitness DVD, Scarlett’s Superslim Me Plan.
Follow her on Instagram: scarlett_moffatt and on Twitter: @ScarlettMoffatt

My thoughts:

I’ve always been a fan of Scarlett’s so I was delighted to be able to read Me Life Story pre-publication. It’s safe to say I’m an even bigger fan now! 😍 This book is hilarious, honest and just so fun to read. I read the whole thing over the course of a day because I genuinely couldn’t put it down. 

Scarlett has a thirst for knowledge, which I can totally appreciate because I’m the exact same way. 🙌🏼 Each chapter is begun with some facts, which I loved, because it gives an insight into the kind of random things that she’s interested in. Plus, she worships at the altar of Proffessor Stephen Hawking! Can’t get much more intelligent than that! 

As well as some genuine laugh out loud moments the book is interspersed with some of the harder times in Scarlett’s life so far. I can empathise with some of it as I’ve gone through it too, and her honesty is really refreshing. Plus her Northern-ness is almost like us Irish, a sense of humour can really help you through some dark times. 

I loved finding out more about Scarlett. I knew she was my kind of person before I began, but this book has made me wish she was one of my friends. She comes across as a really genuine, caring and all round lovely person. Her inability to believe some of the good luck and opportunities she’s had makes her seem really down to earth and just so damn nice! 😊

I honestly loved this book. It felt like a chat with your best mate, like the ones you’d have late at night talking about everything and anything! A real honest and genuinely funny book, it was definitely a brilliant read!

Highly recommended 🙌🏼

~Blog Blitz~ Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

It’s Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for Barbara Copperthwaite’s Her Last Secret today, and I get to share her review with you all!

About the book:

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Some secrets you can never tell.

Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family: grand London house, gorgeous kids.

They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.

They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.

They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.

But someone knows all their secrets.

Can the lies that bind them destroy them all?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Gone Girl, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

 

Published TODAY by Bookouture, you can get your copy by clicking the links below:

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2eOtJtF US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2jhcE0G

 

About the author:

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What people say about Barbara’s books:“Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,” Sunday Mirror “Enthralling, tense and moving,” Real People magazine “Totally gripping, and scarily believable,” Bella magazineBarbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. She is also the author of THE DARKEST LIES, and her latest book HER LAST SECRET is out on 13 October.Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs. 

 

Author links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCopperthwait

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/author_barbara_copperthwaite/

Website: http://www.barbaracopperthwaite.com

 

Ellen’s review:

 

Where do I start in my review for this book……? How about OMFG this is Barbara Copperthwaite’s best book yet!!?? I am a massive fan of Barbara’s books and there is always that fear that you are not going to enjoy your favourite authors latest work but have no fear; Her Last Secret just blew everything else out of the water. Seriously. This book had me on edge early doors and that creeping feeling of dread just kept growing and growing. I was so overwhelmed at one point that I almost did a Joey and put my kindle in the freezer; my poor nerves were shattered.

Her Last Secret has the perfect ingredients of a recipe for disaster; a rebellious hate fuelled teenager, a trophy wife teetering on the edge, a husband desperate to keep up appearances and a mistress determined to get her man by whatever means. The final touch is beautiful, quiet little Mouse (Amber), named as such because of her demeanour. Having two daughters of my own my heart was in my mouth waiting to discover what would be revealed. As the story flits between the discovery of a crime scene and the days leading up to it we are teased with clues and details that reveal not everything is as it seems.

No spoilers here just go buy it, read it, love it! This book gets ALL the stars from me!

Keep up with the blog blitz:Her Last Secret - Blog Tour.jpg

~Blog Tour~ Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister~ Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Gillian McAllister’s latest book, Anything You Do Say, and I’m delighted to be able to share her review with you all!

About the book:

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Joanna is an avoider. So far she has spent her adult life hiding bank statements and changing career aspirations weekly.

But then one night Joanna hears footsteps on the way home. Is she being followed? She is sure it’s him; the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. Hearing the steps speed up Joanna turns and pushes with all of her might, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps and lying motionless on the floor.

Now Joanna has to do the thing she hates most – make a decision. Fight or flight? Truth or lie? Right or wrong?

Published by Penguin on October 19th, you can pre-order your copy HERE!

About the author:

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Gillian McAllister graduated with an English degree in 2006 and is now a lawyer with a large law firm.

Her blog has been featured in various publications including Company magazine. You can find it at www.gillianmcallister.com

She lives in Birmingham with her boyfriend and cat.

Ellen’s review:

I absolutely loved this book; a mash up of Sliding Doors and The Night Of.

 

Joanna Oliva is heading home from a night out with her best friend when she believes she is being followed by a man who was bothering her earlier in the night. Convinced she is going to be attacked she pushes him away and he is left injured and unconscious. At this point the story splits into Conceal (where Joanna leaves the man and the lies begin) and Reveal (where she comes to his aid, calls an ambulance and must deal with the repercussions of her actions).

 

I was gripped from the beginning and could not put it down; it was fascinating to see the differences in Joanna’s relationships with friends and colleagues in each time slip. A book I would happily read again and I can’t wait for Gillian’s next!!

#allthestars for this one.

 

Keep up with the blog tour:

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Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews Part 2

Hi guys,

I’m back with the second batch of rapid reviews so I’ve got another 10 of the most recent books I’ve read on this list. If you missed my first post, you can check that out by clicking the following link:

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

As I said in the other post, I’m still reading but I’m just not blogging as much for the time being. All posts, blog tours and promised reviews will still be posted as normal from myself and Ellen though 🙂

This batch of reviews, now that I’m looking at my list, appears to be geared more towards the YA genre, which I’ve read a lot of recently and any I’m really liking the break from crime and psychological thrillers. To be honest though, I still find myself craving the darkness they bring, so there will be more of those again soon! Anyway, I digress as usual. Lets see what else I’ve been reading lately…

  • Chasing The Dead by Tim Weaver

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On my TBR since 2014 (yes, 3 YEARS ago!!!), I decided it was time for me to meet David Raker and I am so glad I picked this one to read. A really solid start to a series that is still going, it was a brilliant read. Clever, emotive and gripping, I would definitely recommend it. I will be buying all of the series after reading this one!

  • The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor

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Loved this one!! It is so creepy, it gets under your skin and will make your heart pound. I got lost in this book, I was gripped from the start and I genuinely could not put it down. It is so clever and twisty. Just when you think you have it all figured out, BOOM! You haven’t a clue!!! I love it when a book catches me out. Highly recommended!

  • Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

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I love a surprise when I pick up a book, and that is exactly what happened with Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. I picked it up expecting one thing, and I found something else entirely. I won’t spoil it by telling you. Anyone I know who has read this has really enjoyed it, and I feel the exact same. It is such a hidden gem of a book and I would highly recommend it!

  • The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

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Regular readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of Scandinavian crime thrillers so I was excited to pick this one up to read. While it was a good read, I wasn’t blown away by it. There’s no denying Camilla Grebe can tell a story, I just found my attention waning at times. Still, as an intro to Scandi crime, The Ice Beneath Her is definitely a good place to start as it will give you a feel for the genre!

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Is it possible to fall in love with a series? Because that’s what happened me with these books. I am emotionally invested, and I don’t want it to ever end. I am Team Rhysand forever and I am not sorry. I love love LOVE these books. The world-building is brilliant, the characters are even better and I just couldn’t put the book down once I started it. Safe to say I will be reading these again at some point. Highly recommended!

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Mass

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See above. No, seriously. I can’t review these properly. They make me feel the way I did when I first discovered Harry Potter. NO! I’m not comparing them, I’m merely saying I felt the same way. Giddy to read the books, eager to read more. I wanted to read them all immediately after finishing this one. Highly recommended by this unapologetic fangirl!

  • SIEGE and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

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Another series added to my favourites for sure. Not as good as Shadow and Bone but I still really enjoyed this one and I’m waiting on the third book from the library. I really like the idea of the Grisha world, and its pure escapism reading these books! I can’t wait to read the next one!

  • This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

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This one would have passed me by if not for Liz at Liz Loves Books mentioning it. I loved this one! It is packed full of action, has great characters and a really interesting story. There’s a lot of technological stuff, like coding and DNA modifications and so on, but it wasn’t hard to get into it. I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!

  • Dead is Good by Jo Perry

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What’s not to love about a dead dog? This is book 3 in the series, and I really enjoyed it. Quotes about death start every chapter, which I love, morbid as that sounds. Charlie and Rose are a great team. They may be dead, but that doesn’t stop them trying to figure out the living. Unusual and fun, these books are great reads. Highly recommended!

  • Written in Blood by Layton Green

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Written in Blood uses literary murders as its main thing, which makes it an interesting read. I did find it got a bit heavy and unnecessary with details in the middle, but it was still a good book. There is plenty there to keep the reader interested, but it can be hard to see the wood from the trees at times as the author throws in a few extra things.

 

And that’s it. Twenty books reviewed over two posts. I’m all caught up on my reviews now, and I’ll hopefully be back blogging properly at some stage this month.

Plenty of other good stuff on the blog in October to watch out for though as regards blog tour reviews by Ellen and myself:

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir

Rocco and the Nightingale by Adrian Magson

Dead Lands by LLoyd Otis

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

Kate x

Recent Reads ~ Rapid Reviews

Hi guys,

So due to various reasons, I’m taking a little break from blogging for a while. I’m still reading, and upholding any prior commitments so no need to worry on that front. Ellen’s reviews and blog tour posts will all be done as normal too 🙂

I’ve got a backlog of books read but not reviewed, so I’ve decided to combat that today with this post. Some of these were read as far back as June or July, I just haven’t gotten to review them properly on the blog.

Grab a coffee and see what I’ve been reading…

  • Without Trace by Simon Booker

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The first Morgan Vine book, this was definitely a solid start. I didn’t love it, but I was hooked enough to keep turning those pages!

  • Games People Play by Owen Mullen

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This is the first book in the Charlie Cameron PI series and it’s definitely a strong start. A little slow for me but I enjoyed it all the same. Charlie is an interesting character and I liked the story!

  • The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

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My first foray into Karin Slaughter’s work in about ten years and I absolutely LOVED The Good Daughter. I banged through the entire book (and its a whopper) in a day because I just couldn’t put it down. Clever, compulsive and full of action, I’d highly recommend it!

  • The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

TBOTB

I read The Girl With All The Gifts earlier this year and thought it was a good read. The Boy on the Bridge was much better for me. But, I think that’s because I read TGWATG first. Set in the same world, this one was stronger for me in terms of characters and plot and it made me smile when I read the last few pages. Recommended!

  • Kill Me Twice by Simon Booker

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Yep, we’re back with Morgan Vine in Kill Me Twice and this one has a lot more going on than Without Trace. An interesting plot and some dark characters made this a decent read and I flew through it.

  • My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent

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I am weeks out from reading MAD and I am still haunted by Turtle Alveston. I can’t find the words for how much I enjoyed this book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. It is raw, visceral, disturbing and challenging, but boy is it rewarding. I don’t read books like this usually, but I am so glad I got to read MAD. It will stay with me for a long time, and I will recommend it to everyone!

  • The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

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Another book I loved. Sped through this on a lazy Sunday as I couldn’t put it down. Really interesting plot, a great cast of characters and some unusual elements made this one super easy to enjoy. It would make a great movie, it has that cinematic feel to the descriptions and I can see how it would translate really well to screen. Highly recommended!

  • The Fear Within by J. S . Law

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The next in the series after The Dark Beneath (Tenacity), The Fear Within is another gripping naval-themed crime thriller. These books are just cracking reads. Dan Lewis is a great character, and James Law has a knack for writing excellent plots with plenty of action. One to add to your list for sure. Highly recommended!

  • Red Rising by Pierce Brown

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On m TBR for ages, I finally got around to reading this during the summer. It was a good read, I’ll get crucified for this, but I didn’t love it. There’s no denying the characterisation and world-building are excellent, and I did enjoy it, I just found myself a bit meh afterwards. That being said, I have the other two books in the series, and I will certainly be reading them, but I wouldn’t be bumping them to the top of the TBR.

  • Tall Oaks by Chris Whitaker

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I had Tall Oaks on my TBR for far too long so it was another book I picked to read this summer and I’m just sorry I left it so long. It is a taut and emotive story, with such a great cast of characters that I was sucked in immediately when I started reading it. I couldn’t put it down until the very end and its safe to say I was put through the emotional wringer by the end. Highly recommended!

 

Hopefully you will find a couple of books in this list that you’ll enjoy. The stand out read from these for me is My Absolute Darling, without a doubt.

This is the first ten of twenty books I’m doing this for, so keep an eye out for my second batch of rapid reviews as they’ll be up soon.

Have you read any of these? Do let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

Kate x

~Blog Tour~ Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Maria In The Moon by Louise Beech and she has written a BRILLIANT review for me to share with you guys!

About the book:

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Thirty-two-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges… and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide…

Published by Orenda Books and out NOW, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:

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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. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. 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 and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.

Ellen’s review:

I was thrilled to be asked to be part of this blog tour as I have loved all Louise’s previous books and once again she refuses to conform to any genre which is part of my attraction to her work. That you can never quite put your finger on how her book will make you feel is part of the thrill of reading them.

 

Maria in the Moon is heart breaking, funny and heart lifting with an undercurrent of inky darkness. Where else would you findall the emotions in one place? I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll concentrate on how the book made me feel. Catherine (previously Catherine-Maria as a child and also Katerina in her role as flood crisis volunteer) Hope is such a divisive character but I loved her. Yes she is rude, sarcastic and downright difficult at times but that made me laugh especially the interactions between her and her step mother.

 

She made me curious, why was she like this? Why couldn’t she remember her ninth year? To have experienced such losses with the death of her mother, beloved father and precious Nanny Eve must have shaped her. Some things happen in life that break you and you are then left to build a wall to defend yourself from being hurt again, emotionally or physically. Catherine is a wall; her bricks are made of compassion, understanding, forgiveness and that wicked streak that runs through her. As the truth of her forgotten year begins to break through her mental defences we worry that she will never recover and heal.

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that Louise Beech is a kind of Voldemort of good, a Voldamour perhaps. She puts a piece of her soul into all she writes and breaks my heart each time. Her books are the Horcrux in which she will attain immortality as an amazing wordsmith!*

*My absolute favourite description I’ve seen in a review, ever!!!- Kate

Make sure to check out the other fab blogs on the tour:

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