Blog Tour~ Attend by West Camel~ Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

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

About the author:

Born and bred in south London – and not the Somerset village with which he shares a name – West Camel worked as an editor in higher education and business before turning his attention to the arts and publishing. He has worked as a book and arts journalist, and was editor at Dalkey Archive Press, where he edited the Best European Fiction 2015 anthology, before moving to new press Orenda Books just after its launch. He currently combines his work as editor at Orenda Books with writing and editing a wide range of material for various arts organisations, including ghostwriting a New-Adult novel and editing The Riveter magazine for the European Literature Network. He has also written several short scripts, which have been produced in London’s fringe theatres,
A highly anticipated debut, blending the magical realism of Angela Carter and the gritty authenticity of Eastenders
and was longlisted for the Old Vic’s 12 playwrights project. Attend is his first novel.

About the book:

When Sam falls in love with Deptford thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.
Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, a history of hidden Deptford and ultimately the solution to their crises.
With echoes of Armistead Maupin, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters and set against the unmistakable backdrop of Deptford and South London.

Ellen’s Review:

How to review a book like Attend by West Camel?? On first thoughts it seems pretty impossible and I have spent a long time after finishing it wondering about the words I could use that would do this extraordinary piece of writing the justice it deserves. Attend is like nothing I have read before and it is difficult to pin a genre on.

The main characters are Sam, Anne and Deborah – three very different people that are linked together by a familiar thread of loneliness. Sam is a young man looking for love and finding it in all the wrong places, Anne is a former addict struggling after returning to her home town with it’s bad memories and unforgiving family members, and Deborah…? Deborah is the magic thread that links them all together and helps Sam and Anne to see beyond their problems and resolve them. It appears that Deborah has been on her own for a very (very) long time and is surprised that the others can even see her! She is a calming influence in their turbulent times and they soon come to look to her for comfort and a listening ear. As much as Deborah is there to absorb she also imparts her fascinating life story; at times we are left wondering if they are the ramblings of an old lady who has lived on her own for too long but it soon becomes obvious there is far more to Deborah than meets the eye.

A truly magical read that will weave its way into your heart and soul!

Check out the tour:

The Moor by Sam Haysom~Ellen’s Review

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About the book:

It begins with a ghost story around a campfire. Teenagers out on a walking trip, trying to act brave in front of each other.

But as the walk gets underway and the boys begin to fall out, odd things start to happen.

Noises in the night. A severed rabbit’s foot outside someone’s tent.

Soon, the boys begin to disappear.

As panic sets in and a storm approaches, the remaining boys must band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could help them predict.

Our on May 8th, you can pre-order your copy by clicking the link below:

The Moor by Sam Haysom

About the author:

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Sam Haysom is a writer and journalist covering culture and entertainment for Mashable. He wrote the bulk of his debut novel, The Moor, during National Novel Writing Month in 2015. You can read all about his experience on Mashable’s website. He’s also written a number of short stories, one of which won first prize in a monthly competition run by the dark fiction website Spinetinglers.

A graduate of Cardiff University, he grew up on the edge of the New Forest and now lives in London.

You can follow him on Twitter @samhaysom

Ellen’s Review:

I was feeling particularly stabby recently and put a shout out for a good horror novel; within a few minutes of my request I had The Moor by Sam Haysom sat on my kindle ready to go!

The novel is told over two timelines; one in 2002 following a group of 13-year-old boys set out on a walking tour across the moors of South West England and the other in 2015 where we are back with one of the boys as he journeys back to the moor to face the evil he uncovered 13 years earlier.

In 2002 the weekend starts with the teenagers and their teacher exchanging ghost stories around a campfire, who didn’t scare themselves silly as a teenager swapping scary stories!? Strange things start to happen from that point….there are noises in the night…a severed rabbit’s foot turns up outside someone’s tent. Soon, the boys begin to disappear without a trace. The remaining boys have to band together to face a darkness not even the local ghost stories could have helped them predict.

There is an American Werewolf in London/IT/Blair Witch vibe to The Moor. A coming of age tale with horrifying undertones; I think personally this would really appeal to the YA market and would happily let my 15 year old daughter read.

I definitely enjoyed The Moor and look forward to what is next from Sam Haysom.

Blog Tour: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for Alice Blanchard’s A Breath After Drowning and I’ll be sharing my review with you all further down the post!

About the author:

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Alice Blanchard won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of short stories, “The Stuntman’s Daughter.” Her first novel, “Darkness Peering,” was a New York Times’ Notable Book and a Barnes & Noble Best Mystery. Her thriller, “The Breathtaker,” was an official selection of the NBC Today Book Club. Alice has received a PEN Award, a New Letters Literary Award, and a Centrum Artists-in-Residence Fellowship. Her books have been published in 16 countries. Her new psychological thriller, “A Breath After Drowning,” will be published by Titan Books in April 2018.

About the book:

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Sixteen years ago, Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was behind bars. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free.
Unearthing disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, Kate becomes sure that she has discovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…

Out now, you can get your copy by clicking HERE!

My thoughts:

A Breath After Drowning is one of those books that gets its hooks into you quite early on, but you don’t realize it until you try to put it down. I found myself thinking about the story and the characters when I wasn’t reading it, which is always a sign of a good book for me.

Character-driven for the first while, the author does a great job of getting the reader invested in Kate’s life and her work. We learn her routine, her issues arising from her sister’s death and how she deals with her job as a psychologist on a daily basis. This all builds a foundation for how dark the book gets.

This is a really gripping book, I loved how the author wove past and present events, and how it all played out between the pages. I won’t lie, I had some suspicions along the way, but this in no way detracted from my enjoyment of the book. Guessing something isn’t the same as seeing how creatively the author will bring you towards the ultimate denouement, and Alice Blanchard does this beautifully.

Engaging, clever and more than a little dark in places, A Breath After Drowning is a most excellent psychological thriller.

Highly recommended!

Check out the tour:

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Every Dead Thing by John Connolly


About the book:

Tormented and racked with guilt over the brutal slaying of his wife and daughter, Charlie Parker, ex-cop with the NYPD, agrees to track down a missing girl. It is a search that will lead him into an abyss of evil. At the same time, he is warned by an old black woman in Louisiana that ‘The Travelling Man’ is about to strike again. Multiple strands converge with a horrific confrontation in which hunter and hunted are intimately connected by guilt.

Buy the book:

Every Dead Thing by John Connolly

My thoughts:

I’ve had Every Dead Thing on my (personal) TBR for possibly well over a year. Obviously it’s been on my radar as so many people have been raving about it so I picked it up recently to see what the fuss was about!

When we meet Charlie Parker, he is a broken man. Devastated from the horrific killing of his wife and daughter, he is destroyed by grief. Not thinking straight, he agrees to look into a missing girl. What follows is a chilling game of cat and mouse with a killer called The Travelling Man.

John Connolly is an excellent writer, there is no disputing that fact. His prose is so brilliantly descriptive and his characterisation is spot on. Charlie Parker is a wonderful character. Battling his own demons and dealing with everything that’s thrown at him, the reader is constantly gripped by his journey.

Elements of the supernatural, coupled with an investigation riddled with corruption and conspiracies, Every Dead Thing is a really solid start to the series. While it didn’t grab me completely, I am definitely looking forward to reading more from John Connolly.

Recommended for sure!