Blog Tour: Cradle to Grave by Rachel Amphlett Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Cradle to Grave by Rachel Amphlett, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, and dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC. 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.

The Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold have been sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series are published by Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

Her novels are available in eBook, print, large print and audiobook formats from libraries and worldwide retailers.

A keen traveller, Rachel holds both EU and Australian passports and can usually be found plotting her next trip two years in advance.

You can stay in touch with Rachel via her Reader’s Group, or drop her a line via the contact form.

About the book:

When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.

Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?

Click the link below to order your copy:

The Family by Louise Jensen

Ellen’s Review:

Cradle to Grave is book eight in the Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett and I can guarantee I will never tire of them! This series has become a comfort blanket of a read to me; I know as soon as I start I’ll be drawn in and lost in Kay Hunter’s world. This could be read as a standalone but I’ll always recommend people to start from book one (Scared to Death) and read the whole series.

The book opens with an innocent scene of a father taking his son on a fishing trip but soon descends into horror when a faceless body drifts towards them down the river! As Kay and her team locate the murder site the case takes a gut wrenching turn when children’s belongings are discovered and it becomes apparent that they are also investigating an abduction. This hits all the team hard whether they are parents or not and they are desperate to find the missing child who may still be in danger. Kay is especially touched by the case, she is still grieving over the loss of her own baby and is determined to reunite the family. Talking of family, it was lovely to see relationships between Kay and her mother finally defrosting and bridges being built.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but Kay’s partner Adam is one of my favourite secondary characters. Always there for her at the end of the day with a cold glass of wine, a lovely meal, comforting words and sometimes a cute home guest thanks to him being a vet! It’s great to see a glimpse of Kay at home and how strong her support network is. Adam is the perfect book boyfriend!

Another strong addition to the series – bring on book nine!

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Blog Tour: The Family by Louise Jensen Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Family by Louise Jensen, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down!

About the author:

Louise Jensen has sold over a million English language copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift, The Surrogate and The Date. Her novels have also been translated into twenty-five languages, as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise’s latest thriller, The Family, is published in autumn 2019 by Harper Collins.

The Sister was nominated for the Goodreads Debut of 2016 Award. The Date was nominated for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize 2018. The Surrogate has been nominated for the best Polish thriller of 2018. The Gift has been optioned for a TV film. 

Louise began writing novels after an accident left her with a disability, as a way to escape her chronic pain and the ensuing depression. She also writes flash fiction, and features and articles for both magazines and online publications. Louise specialises in writing about mindfulness, chronic pain and mental health.

Louise loves to mentor writers of both fiction and non-fiction, and also teaches workshops.

About the book:

ONCE YOU’RE IN, THEY’LL NEVER LET YOU LEAVE.

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly a home.
 
But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.
 
Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. Just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

Click the link below to order your copy:

The Family by Louise Jensen

Ellen’s Review:

I can’t believe that this is the first book that I have read by Louise Jensen! I do have all her others on my Kindle so I’ll definitely be reading them as I enjoyed The Family so much; it was a one sitting read for me, I couldn’t put it down.

Laura and her 17 year old daughter Tilly are struggling to cope after the sudden death of her husband. Crippled both financially and emotionally Laura is faced with losing her florist business and home. There has been a rift in her family due to a dispute so she feels she has nowhere to turn. When a local community offer her and Tilly somewhere to stay in return for working on their farm until she is back on her feet it seems like all her problems have been solved.

You know that saying about when something seems too good to be true it probably is….it doesn’t take long for Laura to become uncomfortable in this new environment however enigmatic their “leader” Alex is. After a suspicious death on the farm it becomes apparent that not everything is as it seems at Oak Leaf Organics, a lot of the members have something to hide and Tilly has become quite enamored with her new way of life (and Alex).  Laura discovers it’s far easier to join the community than leave it!

I really loved how the story was told from Laura and Tilly’s point of view and seeing how different the same conversation was perceived by each other. As the mum of a 16 year old daughter it really made me think about how my chats are interpreted! I was desperate for them to find some common ground rather than appear to be at each other’s throats as this made them even more vulnerable to outside influences.

The Family is a fascinating insight as to how easy it can be for people in vulnerable situations to be taken in and gas-lighted by a concept/promise of happiness. I will be recommending this one to everyone I meet!

Blog Tour: Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

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

About the author:

Isabel Ashdown

Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. The opening of her debut won the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, going on to be published as Glasshopper and being named as one of the best books of the year. Today, she writes full-time, walks daily, and volunteers in a local school for the charity Pets as Therapy. Isabel lives in Sussex with her carpenter husband, their two children and dogs Charlie and Leonard. Follow Isabel on Twitter @IsabelAshdown

About the book:

You trust your family. They love you. Don’t they?

When 17-year-old Eva Olsen awakes after a horrific accident that has left her bedbound, her parents are right by her side. Devoted, they watch over her night and day in the attic room of their family home in the forests of Norway.

But the accident has left Eva without her most recent memories, and not everything is as it seems. As secrets from the night of the accident begin to surface, Eva realises – she has to escape her parents’ house and discover the truth. But what if someone doesn’t want her to find it?

Click the link below to order your copy:

Lake Child by Isabel Ashdown

Ellen’s Review:

This is the first book by Isabel Ashdown that I have read and I was so intrigued by the blurb and that gorgeous cover! Seventeen year old Eva Olsen is recovering at home after being in a coma as the result of a car accident which nearly claimed her life. She is still very confused, suffered traumatic injuries and has no recollection of the events leading up to the crash. Her parents are at her beck and call; always there with words of comfort and support…so why is Eva locked in an attic room, why does she feel like she isn’t being told the whole truth and is there really someone out there that wants to silence her for good?

I found this story to be a slow burner but this is done for a good reason as the tension builds and the truth is revealed bit by bit. Eva is obviously not a reliable narrator due to her memory loss and it was easy to side with her parents until more details about the events come back to Eva. Even then she is confused and unable to trust anyone around her which was slightly frustrating at times. I was totally gripped and every twist was a total surprise to me. Lake Child is such an atmospheric read and I was drawn into the story and the surroundings of Norway. 

Highly recommend.

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Blog Tour: The Love Delusion by Nicola Mostyn Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Love Delusion by Nicola Mostyn and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Nicola Mostyn

Nicola was born and lives in Manchester. Shehas a Master’s degree in English Literature and has spent more time immersed inthe works of Philip Larkin than is strictly healthy. Her inspirations are StephenKing, Tina Fey and Joss Whedon and as such she’s a big fan of the funny – bothha ha and peculiar. Her debut, The Gods of Love, was shortlisted for TheWriters’ Guild Best first novel. The Love Delusion is the companion novel. Aswell as writing novels, she works as a creativity coach and has written anon-fiction book for aspiring writers, Seven Creative Gremlins. For moreabout Nicola visit www.nicolamostyn.com

Social Media Links –

Twitter- @nicolamostyn

Facebook  – https://www.facebook.com/nicolamostynauthor/

Insta:@NicolaMostyn

http://nicolamostyn.com

https://linktr.ee/nicolamostyn

About the book:

LOVE IS . . . A MYTH?

That’s the belief of Frida McKenzie,devoted member of The Love Delusion movement, determined to cure humans of ourridiculous obsession with love.

But there’s something she’s forgotten…

When Frida finds a mysterious picture ofherself with a man she barely knows, the certainties she has about her worldbegin to unravel.

What are the sinister roots of the cultthat seems to have gripped humanity? Why can’t she remember anything abouther life before – including the strange(ly attractive) man in that picture? Andjust when exactly did she take up fantasy role play?

As a battle approaches that’s been millennia in the making, it’s beginning to look like there’s only one question that really matters: if love conquers all, what happens when it’s gone?

Ellen’s Review:

As a child my bedtime stories were the Greek Myths and Legends (I had a very cool auntie) so imagine my delight upon reading The Gods of Love last year and now it’s sequel The Love Delusion! The ancient Gods and Goddesses live amongst us and I loved this modern update on what they would be doing now.

Frida (who is a descendant of Eros, God of Love) has had her memory wiped and is now a Love Delusionist, a member of a movement that encourages people to be single and turn them against love. She has no memory of her previous battle with Anteros (head honcho of the Delusionists), her love for Dan or the fact that Gods and monsters are real. A visit from old friend Psyche, although Frida has no recollection of this, unsettles her and things began to unravel. She has an inexplicable reaction to being around Dan and begins to doubt everything she thinks she knows especially when she finds a photograph of them together and a mysterious potion. Dan’s memory has also been wiped and his skills as an Oracle have faded.

It is typical for the Gods to use mortals as their playthings, Frida and Dan are no exception and they are soon on the run from the Anterists trying to stop the extinction of love and the release of a big bad from the Underworld. I particularly loved the glimpse of the Underworld and some of the characters that appeared. Once again I was sucked in to this world of mythology and urban fantasy; I totally want to hang out with Psyche at Medusa’s bar!!

An absolute delight to read, you’d be foolish to resist!

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Blog Tour: Heart in the Right Home by Lisa Hill Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Heart in the Right Home by Lisa Hill and I’ll be sharing her review with you all 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:

Wedding bells are chiming in the village of Clunderton, but will it be happy-ever-afters all around? Rebecca Cavendish thinks not. All she’s feeling is shame and remorse since her affair with property mogul, Edward Hardwicke, whilst in another corner of the village, Louise Edwards is slowly coming to the conclusion she might not be in love with husband, Johnnie, anymore.

Meanwhile, Lottie Hardwicke is resisting the urge to do what she does best…interfere. When Edward’s son, James, turns up announcing Hardwickes’ intentions to develop land on the outskirts of the village into residential homes, and Edward makes a further shocking announcement, a divide begins to set hold amongst the villagers, perhaps more monumental than the country being torn apart by Brexit…

Will Lottie refrain? Or will she cave-in to that need to interfere, and ensure everyone ends up with their heart in the right home?

Heart in the Right Home by Lisa Hill

Ellen’s Review:

I loved Heart in The Right Place and looked forward to a return visit to the village of Clunderton where there is trouble brewing.. The characters I was already familiar with were present and a few new additions were there to give a more rounded view of the lives and loves of the residents.

Lottie Hardwicke is once again a star player as she navigates the troubles and gossip of Clunderton ; her colleague Rebecca Cavendish feels like a scarlet woman after her affair with Edward Hardwicke and his marriage breakdown, Louise Edwards is falling out of love with her husband Johnnie and James Hardwicke whirls in with the announcement that the Hardwickes are planning to develop land on the outskirts of the picturesque village. On top of all this Edward Hardwicke has shocking news which will test everyone’s allegiance.

It is impossible for Lottie not to do what she does best, which some would call interfering, but she views as just giving people a nudge in the right direction. She definitely has her work cut out for her in Heart in the Right Home and I did wonder whether she would be able to put a stop to the ill feeling amongst all involved!

A fantastic second book and I hope there will be more!

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Cover Reveal: Beast (Six Stories #4) by Matt Wesolowski

Hello loves,

Are you sitting comfortably? Because I have an absolute beaut of a cover to show you all today…

Regular readers of my blog, or basically any of my social media pages, will know of my love for a certain series. Well today, I get to share the cover for BEAST, the newest offering from my fave black heart buddy, Matt Wesolowski.

I’ve long been a champion of this series, and Orenda Books, so I am delighted that I get to post this awesome cover.

First though, in case you don’t already know, here’s some info about Matt and his books, along with links to my reviews if you want to see why this series is consistently in my Top Reads of the Year posts.

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- an US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more.

His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015.

His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

Changeling, book three in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and shortlisted for Capital Crime’s Amazon Publishing Reader Awards in two categories: Best Thriller and Best Independent Voice.

Wanna read my reviews for these awesome books???

Six Stories

Hydra

Changeling

How about some info on Beast???

Elusive online journalist Scott King examines the chilling case of a young vlogger found frozen to death in the legendary local ‘vampire tower’, in another explosive episode of Six Stories…

In the wake of the ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap that ravaged the UK in 2018, a grisly discovery was made in a ruin on the Northumbrian coast. Twenty-four-year-old Vlogger, Elizabeth Barton, had been barricaded inside what locals refer to as ‘The Vampire Tower’, where she was later found frozen to death.

Three young men, part of an alleged ‘cult’, were convicted of this terrible crime, which they described as a ‘prank gone wrong’. However, in the small town of Ergarth, questions have been raised about the nature of Elizabeth Barton’s death and whether the three convicted youths were even responsible.

Elusive online journalist Scott King speaks to six witnesses – people who knew both the victim and the three killers – to peer beneath the surface of the case. He uncovers whispers of a shocking online craze that held the young of Ergarth in its thrall and drove them to escalate a series of pranks in the name of internet fame. He hears of an abattoir on the edge of town, which held more than simple slaughter behind its walls, the tragic and chilling legend of the ‘Ergarth Vampire…

Both a compulsive, taut and terrifying thriller, and a bleak and distressing look at modern society’s desperation for attention, Beast will unveil a darkness from which you may never return…

Does this not just sound AMAZING?!

Do you want to see the cover???

Ready?

Set?

Here you go…

I don’t know about y’all, but I love love LOVE this cover!!!!!

BEAST (Feb 2020 from Orenda Books) is available to preorder now, and you can do just that by clickety-clicking the link below:

Beast (Six Stories #4) by Matt Wesolowski

I CAN’T WAIT TO READ THIS ONE!!!!

Blog Tour: Sleep by M K Boers

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Sleep by M K Boers and I’ll be sharing a guest post from the author.

About the author:

M K Boers spent her early childhood in Surrey, in the south of England, and her teens moving round the UK, but currently resides in the Netherlands. 
Under her pen name Miranda Kate, she has been featured in several Flash Fiction anthologies, and has published two collections, one of dark flash-fiction tales called Mostly Dark, and another of science-fiction stories called Slipping Through, the latter containing a short novella for which a sequel will be forthcoming this year. 

You can find out more at her website: https://purplequeennl.blogspot.com/
Facebook @MirandaKateAuthor and Twitter @PurpleQueenNL 

About the book:

A marriage made in heaven, a murder made in hell.

Why kill the man you love?

Lizzy was struggling, everyone knew that.

He shouldn’t have done those things.

He shouldn’t have pushed her so hard.

And now, her children, her marriage, her hope – gone.

It was all her fault, she knew that, but was there a chance of redemption?

Lizzy Dyson’s on trial for her life. She knows she must pay for what she did, even if it wasn’t planned, but will the jury believe her?

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR COPY!

Guest Post:

What inspired Sleep

I wrote the prologue for Sleep back in 1991, while at work. It was for an entry to win a copy of James Herbert’s book ‘Portent’. I sent it away but got no response, which wasn’t a surprise. It needed a lot of work, being the first piece I had ever written! 

From that, I had an idea for the full novel I wanted to write, but at that time I knew I didn’t have either the life experience or the writing experience to pull it off. I wanted to write about what would drive a woman to kill her husband, starting from when she met him and fell in love. I wanted the reader to watch the downfall of the marriage and have empathy for her and understand her motives, but I needed a few years to gestate on it – turns out it took 28! 

My influences came from various places. I’m a huge Stephen King fan. Really his writing has always shaped how I think as a writer: the depth of characters he portrays; the inner struggles of some of them; and how nothing is ever black and white. I was also influenced by my playwriting teacher at college, where I studied Theatre. He worked in a prison, helping inmates who were doing the last third of their life sentence with their writing. He talked to us a lot about what it was like to be in prison and the difficulties the inmates experienced, emotionally and mentally. This shaped how I wanted Lizzy to come across. 

As someone who has struggled with mental health, writing about the breakdown came naturally; it was easy to imagine what would have played a part. In some ways the emotions Lizzy experiences are reflective of my own over the years in various relationships – exaggerated of course, even though I did own a freezer knife! 

I hadn’t envisaged writing a court drama, and the initial draft was heavily influenced by American crime shows I’d watched, like The Good Wife and Boston Legal. I had the set up completely wrong and had to research the legal systems in the UK. I found out how Crown Court was conducted, and fortunately have a friend who is a barrister, and who was able to connect me with a criminal barrister who answered all my questions about the case and the plea.

Lizzy’s story is important to me, because I think as a society we tend to judge others quickly, and see things in simple terms. I believe things can get very complicated, especially emotionally and in the way people respond to what they have experienced. People suffer abuse and trauma in a multitude of ways, and what might be traumatic to one person isn’t to another. Our feelings and emotions are squashed to maintain a facade for the external world, and we suppress ourselves, as well as the things that upset us, often to breaking point. But Lizzy’s story shows that it is possible to recover, to take responsibility for your actions and emotions and still be a valuable, worthy human being. 

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