Blog Tour: Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds Ellen’s Review

Hi folks,

Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds today, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

AARON REYNOLDS is a humourist, professional speaker, and the man behind the @EffinBirds and @swear_trek Twitter accounts. When he’s not on Twitter, you can find him producing a series of podcasts and at ComicCons dressed as George Lucas. He has been a baseball writer, a fine art printer, and a mall Santa Claus photographer. Aaron was raised in Mississauga, Canada, a suburb where they cut down all the trees and named the streets after them. He currently splits his time between Toronto and Ottawa.

About the book:

Have you ever looked a bird dead in the eye and wondered what it was thinking?

With Effin Birds, the most eagerly anticipated new volume in the noble avocation of bird identification, you can venture into nature with confidence. This farcical field guide will help you identify over 200 birds, but more importantly, for the first time in history, it will also help you understand what these birds are thinking:

  • The vainglorious grebe is acutely aware of its own magnificence.
  • The hipster pelican thinks the world is a sh*tbarge.
  • The overbearing heron wishes you better luck next time, f*cknuts.
  • The counsellor swallow wants you to maybe try not being a d*ckhead.

Alongside beautiful, scientifically accurate illustrations and a whole lot of swearing is incisive commentary on modern life and the world we, as humans, must navigate. Or maybe it s just some pictures of effin birds, okay?

Click the link below to order your copy:

Effin’ Birds by Aaron Reynolds

Ellen’s Review:

I have loved Effin Birds material for quite a while having followed the Twitter account (@EffinBirds) so was delighted that there is now this field guide! As a child I loved illustrated nature guides and this is a delightfully funny (and very sweary) update perfect for the adult audience.

The drawings used are beautiful and the captions that accompany them hilarious, I could really identify with a lot of them and definitely spotted some work acquaintances!

This is a great book to dip into when you need a little chuckle and a cheer up. Obviously this type of humour isn’t for everyone but it really appealed to me and I’ve already eyed up the merchandise available to add to my Christmas list.

Effin fantastic!

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Blog Tour: Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir and I’ll be sharing her review with you all.

About the author:

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 the Reykjavik Noir series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Trap was published in 2018, and a Book of the Year in Guardian. The film rights for the series have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja lives in Reykjavík with her partner. Follow Lilja on Twitter @lilja1972 and on her website liljawriter.com

About the book:

The prison doors slam shut behind Agla, when her sentence ends, but her lover Sonja is not there to meet her.

As a group of foreign businessmen tries to draw Agla into an ingenious fraud that stretches from Iceland around the world, Agla and her former nemesis, María find the stakes being raised at a terrifying speed.
Ruthless drug baron Ingimar will stop at nothing to protect his empire, but he has no idea about the powder keg he is sitting on in his own home.
At the same time, a deadly threat to Sonya and her family brings her from London back to Iceland, where she needs to settle scores with longstanding adversaries if she wants to stay alive.

Click the link below to order your copy:

Cage by Lilja Sigurdardottir

Ellen’s Review:

Cage is the explosive finale to the Reykjavik Noir trilogy by Lilja Sigurdottir (Snare and Trap being the first two) and what a finale it is! I would definitely recommend reading the previous novels as there is a lot of information that is relevant and all the loose threads are finally tied up. Also, it’s a cracking trilogy!!

Cage is set six years after the events of Trap so as you can imagine a lot of things have changed in this time. Agla has served her sentence and is being released from prison but her former love Sonja is not there to meet her. I have to admit to warming more to Agla in this book as I’d previously found her to be very needy and manipulative; it was great to see this different side to her personality. She has had plenty of time to think while she was incarcerated and comes out more determined than ever to make a difference and do the right thing…in her own way of course!  After her release she is hired to look into what appears to be some dodgy dealings in in the aluminium sector. She brings in María for help, a former banking prosecutor and enemy, who is now an investigative journalist with The Squirrel (awesome name!).

Ingimar is another familiar character from the previous two books; still riding high on his success and wealth but his marriage is suffering and his son Anton is a hormonal ticking time bomb of emotions. All these storylines are brought together cleverly and there is a definite sense of an ending to the trilogy.

An intricate but fast paced and dramatic conclusion!

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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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