Blog Tour: The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today on the blog, Ellen is reviewing The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Patricia MacDonald is the author of several psychological suspense novels set in small towns. MacDonald grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut and has a master’s degree from Boston College. Before writing her own novels she was a book editor and was once an editor for a soap opera magazine in New York. She is married to writer Art Bourgeau. They live in Cape May, New Jersey and have one daughter.

Her first novel, The Unforgiven, published in 1981, received an Edgar Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America. Secret Admirer (1995) won the literary prize at the 1997 Deauville Film Festival in France, where MacDonald is consistently a number one bestseller. She’s also been awarded the prize for literature at the International Forum of Cinema and Literature in Monaco.

About the book:

Fifteen years ago, Blair’s best friend Molly was murdered. Fifteen years ago, Adrian Jones went to prison for it. Fifteen years ago, the real killer got away with it.

And now, Blair’s terminally ill sister has made a devastating deathbed confession, which could prove that the wrong man has been imprisoned for years – and that Molly’s killer is still out there. Blair’s determined to find him, but the story behind Molly’s death is more twisted than she could imagine. If she isn’t careful, the killer will ensnare her and bury Blair with his secret.

The Girl in the Woods by Patricia MacDonald

Ellen’s Review:

Fifteen years ago Molly Sinclair was murdered after leaving her best friend Blair Butler’s house. Now Blair is forced to return to see her terminally ill sister one last time – only for Celeste to make a shocking deathbed confession. At the time of the investigation she denied being in the company of a young, black man (Adrian Jones) due to the attitude of her bigoted Uncle and an innocent man was sent to the jail. Blair promises her sister she will try to solve this injustice and begins her own investigations into the shocking events of the past. Things are not made easy for her along the way; as far as the police are concerned they have the right man and Celeste’s confession does not hold much power. They are loathe to admit any wrong doing was done by them in the first place. Blair also faces the fact that the murderer is still out there and does not want to be discovered.

It was interesting to see how Blair had to readjust to the small town mentality and fight to have the truth heard and her ability to now tell her Uncle Ellis a few home truths that were long overdue. In my opinion there were a few threads within the story that seemed to peter out with no explanation but if you’re looking for a quick read you’d do no wrong with this one.

Check out the blog tour:


Recent Reads~Rapid Reviews

Hey everyone,

I had great plans for getting in some blogging time recently, but as I’ve learned, it doesn’t always work out the way you planned it. I have a MASSIVE backlog of reviews to catch up on. At last count, it was 51… Yes, FIFTY ONE. Some of these are my own books, and of course, there are ARC reviews in here too. SO re-instating the RR posts is definitely necessary to get through them all.

I’ve just checked when I read these four books, and I am ashamed to say these are languishing in my drafts since January. That is 6 whole months ago. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!!

The Cow Book by John Connell

The Cow Book: A Story of Life on a Family Farm

I would never have seen this were it not for the Rick O’Shea Book Club on Facebook! I don’t tend to read books set in Ireland, but I liked the idea of this one. It’s the story of John’s life as he returns home to take care of his family farm. It details the usual daily grind, but John also discusses his mental health and I found that to be the most poignant take away from The Cow Book. It is a quiet exploration of his life, but it speaks volumes. Recommended for sure.

55 by James Delargy

55

I read the premise for 55 and thought it sounded like it would be a really great crime story. It follows the events after a man presents himself to a police station saying he’s escaped from a serial killer. A killer who has apparently had 54 victims prior to him. When another man appears and says the exact same thing, but that the first man is the killer, it becomes a game of cat and mouse to find the truth. 55 has a clever plot, and if you like twisty crime thrillers, the this is definitely one to add to your list!

One In A Million by Lindsey Kelk

One in a Million: The No.1 bestseller and the perfect romance for spring 2019

One in a Million is definitely a book geared towards current social media trends. It’s basically about making a complete unknown become Insta-famous in thirty days. I really enjoyed this one. It’s funny, romantic and very relevant.

The Invitation by Keris Stainton

The Invitation: The perfect laugh out loud romantic comedy

I was muchly in need of some light-hearted and fun reads earlier this year, and it’s safe to say Keris Stainton’s books where exactly what I needed. The characters in this book are great, relatable, warm, funny. It was a really easy story to read and connect with, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It Had To Be You by Keris Stainton

It Had To Be You: An absolutely laugh out loud romance novel

This one is more quirky than The Invitation. The main character, Bea, has a recurring dream about (literally) the man of her dreams. When she ends up meeting him in real life, they end up dating. Things don’t always go the way we planned though, and It Had To Be You shows how different things can be. I didn’t love this one as much as her others, but it was a good read!


That’s it for this group of reviews! But rest assured, seeing as how I have 50+ reviews to do, there will be more coming!

Until next time 🙂

LoveReading Book Buzz: Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Hey everyone,

So today is my last review as part of the Dark Artifices book buzz, and Ill be sharing my review for Queen of Air and Darkness just a little further down!

About the book:

What if damnation is the price of true love?

Innocent blood has been spilled on the steps of the Council Hall, the sacred stronghold of the Shadowhunters. In the wake of the tragic death of Livia Blackthorn, the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war. One fragment of the Blackthorn family flees to Los Angeles, seeking to discover the source of the disease that is destroying the race of warlocks. Meanwhile, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and undertake a perilous mission to Faerie to retrieve the Black Volume of the Dead. What they find in the Courts is a secret that may tear the Shadow World asunder and open a dark path into a future they could never have imagined. Caught in a race against time, Emma and Julian must save the world of Shadowhunters before the deadly power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they love.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

About the author:

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

Queen of Air and Darkness is the third book in the Dark Artifices series, and it’s the culmination of all of the action and information in the previous two books.

After the events in Lord of Shadows, the Blackthorns are struggling to come to terms with everything that has happened. Jules and Emma are also in massive turmoil due to the increasing issues surrounding their parabatai relationship.

I found Queen of Air and Darkness much more dense than the other two books. Physically, it is a longer book. But it also has a lot more details for the reader to take in, and a larger cast of characters to keep track of as well.

I really enjoyed this one though. It was a really fitting addition and it brought everything from the previous books together really well.

What I noticed most in this book is the overall theme of love. Love for your friends, love for your family. It just seems to be a continuous undercurrent in the series, but it’s evident most in Queen of Air and Darkness. I really liked that aspect.

Queen of Air and Darkness is a fitting end to the three books. It answered any questions I may have had left over from Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows too. It is dark in parts, but it also has hope between the pages.

Highly recommend this series!

Check out the other great blogs taking part:

June 2019 Book Haul

Hi guys!

Its book haul time! 

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

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

  1. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
  2. Dead Souls by Angela Marsons
  3. Broadcast by Liam Brown
  4. Wolves at the Door by Gunnar Staalesen
  5. The Record Keeper by Agnes Gomillion
  6. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  7. Finale by Stephanie Garber
  8. My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
  9. Crowfall by Ed McDonald
  10. The Perfect Assassin by K. A. Doore
  11. Voyages In The Underworld of Orpheus Black by Marcus Sedgwick
  12. The Bat by Jo Nesbo
  13. Harry Potter and the Hhalf Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
  14. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  15. Spook Street by Mick Herron
  16. Real Tigers by Mick Herron
  17. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
  18. We Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal
  19. Reverie Ryan La Sala
  20. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
  21. Into The Hourglass by Emily R. King
  22. Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes
  23. Beach Bodies by Ross Armstrong
  24. Endgame by Daniel Cole
  25. The Chain by Adrian McKinty
  26. Jade War by Fonda Lee
  27. An Illusion of Thieves by Cate Glass
  28. The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt
  29. Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger

So that’s all the books I bought or was lucky enough to receive over the course of the month! Have you read any of these? Would you?! Let me know in the comments!

Cover Reveal: Black 13 by Adam Hamdy

Morning lovelies!

Today, I am delighted to be able to reveal the cover Black 13 by Adam Hamdy! Adam is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, one of my favourite book series of the last few years!


About the author:

Picture

British author and screenwriter Adam Hamdy works with studios and production companies on both sides of the Atlantic. 

He is the author of the Pendulum trilogy, an epic series of conspiracy thriller novels.  James Patterson described Pendulum as ‘one of the best thrillers of the year’, and the novel was nominated for the Glass Bell Award for contemporary fiction, and chosen as book of the month by Goldsboro Books and WH Smith Travel.  Pendulum was also selected for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club.  

Prior to embarking on his writing career, Adam was a strategy consultant and advised global businesses in the medical systems, robotics, technology and financial services sectors, experience that has given him a useful insight into many industries.

Adam has a law degree from Oxford University and a philosophy degree from the University of London.  He is a seasoned rock climber,skier and CPSA marksman.

Adam is a co-founder of Capital Crime. He is also the membership coordinator for the ITW Debut Authors Program.

About the book:

An exiled agent. A growing threat. A clandestine war.
The world is changing beyond recognition.
Radical extremists are rising and seek to enforce their ideology globally.
Governments, the military and intelligence agencies are being outmanoeuvred at every step. Borders are breaking down. Those in power are puppets.
The old rules are obsolete. To fight this war a new doctrine is needed.
In a world where nothing is at it seems, where trust is gone, one man will make the difference.
Meet Ex-MI6 agent and man in exile, Scott Pearce.
It’s time to burn the espionage rule book.
Watch Pearce light the fire.


Before I show you all the cover, Adam kindly answered some questions for me!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m an author and screenwriter. Apart from three years living in Cairo between the ages of eight and eleven, I was born and raised in London. My wife and I moved to Shropshire a few years ago, where we now live with our three children. Having been a city boy most of my life, I’m a convert to the health benefits of living in the countryside and can often be found jogging along country lanes, or scaling cliffs in the Peak District and the Welsh mountains.


How did you end up becoming an author?

My parents struggled financially, so I wanted a career that was stable and lucrative and decided to study law at university. I found law quite dry and uninspiring, and after my degree became a management consultant. The sudden and unexpected death of my father caused me to re-evaluate my priorities and I decided to pursue my passion for writing. Amy and I left London, expecting it to take two years or so before I’d make any money from writing. It took ten.

I started off screenwriting because I was more comfortable with the form and was daunted by thought of writing a book, but in 2010, I decided to confront my fear and wrote a novel called Battalion. A big publisher was interested, but ultimately passed, so I self-published the book and it got nice reviews, which encouraged me to try again. The same thing happened with my second book, a dark paranormal thriller called Phase, and then I wrote Pendulum, which was the book that really changed things for me.

We went through some tough times during those ten ‘hardship’ years, but it’s been worth it, and not just for me. Amy’s also been writing and has fulfilled a lifetime ambition to become an author. She has a thriller, Remember Me, coming out with Orion in November.


How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

Like getting on a rollercoaster. I try to write action-packed books that will entertain readers and leave them a little breathless. I’m also fascinated by the issues raised by big social changes and weave them into my stories. Pendulum is all about the Internet and how it’s changed the way we interact. My new book, Black 13, is about the rise of the far-right and how espionage has changed beyond recognition.

Your forthcoming book, Black 13, rewrites the espionage thrillers as we know them. What made you decide to tear up the rule book with this one?

Black 13 is the first book in a new series that introduces readers to Scott Pearce and Leila Nahum. Pearce is a disgraced MI6 operative who’s on a quest to clear his tarnished reputation. Leila is a former M16 contractor, a fiercely independent Syrian refugee who’s haunted by the loss of her family. Black 13 sees them partner to take on a far-right conspiracy.

The book was inspired by my personal experiences during and after the 2016 EU referendum. I noticed a number of strange connections between disparate people and groups on social media and started mapping them. I took my research into the real world and went to a number of political meetings and protests on both sides of the divide, and talked to members and leaders of far-right and far-left groups, and people in law enforcement and intelligence.

One of my most surreal experiences was sitting in a Supermax prison next to a former member of a far-right group and hearing him say wistfully, ‘It’s all political now. Everything we were saying in the 80s and 90s, it’s all in the mainstream now. And there’s big money involved.’

That’s a pretty good summary of the landscape of Black 13.

One of the things I’m hoping to do with Black 13 and the Scott Pearce series is to showcase how intelligence has changed. Digital technology has given governments and private organisations the ability to manipulate populations. The Internet has democratised espionage work. We can all start and spread propaganda. Private citizens and corporations can and do employ intelligence organisations to carry out successful surveillance, intimidation and covert operations. Imagine what a well-resourced intelligence organisation can achieve in a world where they can reach billions of people directly.

Placing powerful digital tools in private hands and removing the filter of national media has put us all on the front line of contemporary espionage and I’m hoping the new Scott Pearce series will show the link between what happens on the street and what goes on in the corridors of power, and how covert operations affect us all in a very real and dangerous way.


Did you find it difficult to switch from the high-octane Pendulum trilogy universe to Black 13? 

Black 13 and the Scott Pearce series is every bit as high-octane as the Pendulum trilogy. Scott Pearce is a man who’s been trained for hostile environments and I really put him through his paces. And as for Leila…she’s inspired by three people I know. She’s been through things that would ruin many of us and struggles with a painful disability, and the events of Black 13 thoroughly test her, but she has a core of steel. I believe in pushing characters to their limits and letting the story unfold through action. It brings us back to the question about writing style. Black 13 is another rollercoaster, so readers will need to buckle up.


You’re also one of the co-founders of the newly created Capital Crime Festival, can you tell us what to expect?

David Headley and I founded Capital Crime last year and are hosting our first festival in London in September. We’ve brought together some of the world’s best crime and thriller authors in a huge celebration of the genre. It’s two-and-a-half days of marvellous events, screenings and parties and we’re trying to make it as inclusive and accessible as possible. We’ve got discount schemes for librarians and people on low incomes and are running initiatives to help people travelling alone connect with others. We want people to come to Capital Crime to spend time with their favourite authors and discover new ones, but most of all we want fans to have a wonderful and entertaining experience.


Are you guys ready to see the cover?

Take a look at this beauty….

I am BEYOND excited to read Black 13, and that cover is just perfect! If you want to pre-order your copy (published by Macmillan in 2020), just click the link below!

Black 13 by Adam Hamdy

LoveReading Book Buzz: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

Hey guys,

Welcome back to my second review for the LoveReading Dark Artifices book buzz. Today its the turn of Lord of Shadows, and I’ll be sharing my review a little further down!

About the book:

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices) by Cassandra Clare

About the author:

Cassandra Clare was born overseas and spent her early years traveling around the world with her family and several trunks of fantasy books. Cassandra worked for several years as an entertainment journalist for the Hollywood Reporter before turning her attention to fiction. She is the author of City of Bones, the first book in the Mortal Instruments trilogy and a New York Times bestseller. Cassandra lives with her fiance and their two cats in Massachusetts.

My thoughts:

Lord of Shadows is the second book in the Dark Artifices series, and it picks up after the events of Lady Midnight. For fear of spoilers if you’ve not read the first book, I’m not going to go into the plot of this one because I don’t want to give anything away.

There is plenty happening in Lord of Shadows. With the return of Mark Blackthorn, and Emma and Julian still trying to figure out how to live within the rules of the parabatai, this book shows the complicated relationships of the characters.

There is quite a political undertone in this one too. Not least in relation to how the Shadowhunters are being policed. I found that Lord of Shadows was a much darker book than Lady Midnight. There is a lot going on, but the threads from the previous book are woven really well into Lord of Shadows.

There is a lot more focus on the characters in this on, secondary characters especially come to the fore in Lord of Shadows. I have to say, Ty is definitely one of my favorites and I really enjoy reading about him and Kit.

Lord of Shadows definitely lives up to the first book in terms of action and intrigue. The plot moves fast and there are more than a couple of shocking moments peppered through the book.

Lord of Shadows is a great read. It captures the imagination of the reader and it creates a tapestry of imagery that really helps to paint a picture of the Shadowhunter universe.

Recommended for sure!

Don’t forget to come back next week for my final review of the series, Queen of Air and Darkness!

Check out the other blogs taking part in the book buzz this week:

Blog Tour: Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge ~ Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Picture

Chris McGeorge has an MA in Creative Writing (Crime / Thriller) from City University London where he wrote his first crime novel Dead Room for this thesis. He constantly told stories from a young age, whether they took the form of comics, short stories or scripts.

He is a lover of Golden Age crime, like Christie and Conan Doyle, leading his crime stories to be a mix of the old and the contemporary. He likes weird and wonderful plots, with plenty of intrigue and twists. 

His often coherent ramblings about everything pop culture can be found on his blog Festival of Blood and occasionally he produces the Sarcasmicast podcast with a group of friends.

About the book:

NOW..

My name is Matthew McConnell. You’ve probably heard my story.
I took five of my friends on a boat through the longest canal tunnel in England.

YOU…

It takes two hours and twenty-six minutes to travel through that tunnel.
Six of us entered that tunnel but I was the only one to come out.

DON’T…

It was pitch black in there – I don’t know what happened to them. But I’m the only suspect. 
And if I don’t find out how they disappeared, I’ll be sentenced to murder.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Now You See Me by Chris McGeorge

Ellen’s review:

This is the first book that I have read by Chris McGeorge but it won’t be the last! I absolutely loved this “locked room” thriller. In place of a locked room we have a long, creepy AF, claustrophobic tunnel; Standedge Tunnel in Marsden, West Yorkshire to be precise which is Britain’s longest, deepest, highest canal tunnel and one of the seven wonders of the waterways. Since reading Now You See Me I’ve added this attraction to my list of local places to visit – fingers crossed the rest of my family see it through to the other side!

The novel revolves around the case of The Standedge Six – six students entered the tunnel, two and a half hours later the boat reappeared on the other side with only one of the students on board, unconscious. The remaining student Matthew is immediately under suspicion, the police investigation concludes that he killed his friends, hid their bodies and returned later to move them but Matthew insists he is innocent. In desperation he reaches out to Robert Ferringham, a man who is grieving for his missing wife, Sam. Matthew contacts Robert for help with his case on the promise of revealing information about Sam.

Now You See Me is a book of many layers involving friends, secrets and lies. I was gripped the whole time that I was reading and didn’t predict any of the reveals. The small town mentality of the locals really adds to the tension; they are loathe to rake up the murky events and resent Robert’s appearance. The truth when it is revealed is jaw dropping, to say any more would spoil your enjoyment so just go read it!

Highly recommend!

Check out the tour: