Blog Tour: The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Amazon best selling author of ‘intelligent and haunting’ psychological thrillers VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL and THE WOMEN. 

S E Lynes is a writer, tutor and mentor. Formerly a BBC producer, she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland, Italy, and now lives in Greater London with her husband, three kids and her dog, Lola. 

Her critically acclaimed debut, VALENTINA, was published by Blackbird Digital Books in July 2016. Her second novel, MOTHER was published by Bookouture in 2017, followed in 2018 by THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL. In August 2018, VALENTINA was published in a new edition by Bookouture and THE WOMEN was released in 2019. Her new novel, the dark and gripping family drama, THE LIES WE HIDE, is published Dec 4th 2019.

Susie Lynes has also published two children’s books in Italy: Il Leopardo Lampo and La Coccodrilla Ingamba, both available at Amazon.it

Find her on:
Facebook S E Lynes Author
Twitter @SELynesAuthor

About the book:

The truth can set you free, or make you a prisoner…

Thirty years ago, Nicola Watson lived with her parents and older brother in a respectable suburb. At ten years old, she didn’t yet understand why her stomach tightened when she heard her father’s heavy tread as he returned home late at night, or why it made her brother Graham’s stammer get worse, or why one night her mother Carol woke them both, wide-eyed and whispering, and took them out of their home and into the unknown.

Now a successful lawyer in the city, with a life poles apart from her dark beginnings, Nicola has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she stands in her mother’s house, remembering the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.

All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

A gripping, emotional story of family secrets, and the strength of a mother’s love in the darkest times. The next powerful read for fans of The Silent Wife, Kerry Lonsdale and Emily Bleeker.

The Lies We Hide by S. E. Lynes

Ellen’s Review:

I have previously said that a new SE Lynes book was a major event in the Devonport household; would the same be true for The Lies We Hide which is a departure from the author’s usual genre? Heck yes of course it was!! This may not be a psychological thriller but it contains the heart and soul of Lynes’ beautiful writing which shines through regardless of the genre. Essence de Lynes if you will, it permeates every page!

Nicola Watson has returned home for her mother’s funeral. But as she returns to her mother’s house and remembers the woman who sacrificed everything for her children, Nicola has to confront the guilt that she feels for leaving her family behind. And the belief that she played a part in the events that led to her brother going to prison for murder.

As a child she was oblivious to why her mother Carol woke them in the middle of the night and the reasons behind them fleeing. All Carol wanted was to protect her children, but escaping her husband was only the beginning of the story. And when Nicola learns the truth of what her mother did, it will change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

The Lies We Hide is a family drama/saga; I was gripped from the beginning and desperate to find out all the truths that were hidden. This is a very emotional read and highlights the impact domestic abuse has on the whole family (and beyond) and the lengths people will go to to ensure the safety of their children.

One of the standout characters for me was Richard, the clergyman that Graham (Nicola’s brother) speaks to during his time in prison. I loved the face that their chats helped both of them overcome their personal issues with the past. I’d happily read a novel just about Richard!

In summary, while The Lies We Hide is not a thriller as such it contains plenty of shocks and twists. I urge you not to dismiss this just because it’s a shift of genre for the author, embrace the change!

Five stars from me!

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Blog Tour: One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down.

About the author:

Hayley Webster is a writer and teacher who grew up in Newbury, Berkshire. Her first novel, Jar Baby, was published by Dexter Haven in 2012 and, as Hayley Scott, three books in her Teacup House series for emerging readers were published by Usborne in 2018. She has written for GraziaThe Observer Magazine, and did a sold-out event at Edinburgh festival in 2018, and she’s a mentor on the 2019 National Writers Centre Escalator scheme. She lives in Norfolk with her daughter.

About the book:

Nine lives. One street. And a secret behind every door.

Christmas is ruined on Newbury Street, Norwich.

Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes. There are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the inhabitants of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide.

But Christmas is a time for miracles… and if they open themselves up to hope and look out for each other, they might discover the biggest miracle of all.

Click the link below to order your copy:

One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster

Ellen’s Review:

Well! Wrap me up in Christmas paper, put a HUGE bow on and cover me in glitter for I have just read the perfect festive book! One Christmas Night by Hayley Webster has already been heralded as the feel good Christmas book of 2019 and I am 100% behind that statement. Full of nostalgia, love, friendship, community spirit and a little sprinkling of crime – you couldn’t ask for anything more.

Christmas has been ruined for those that live on Newbury Street, Norwich. Presents have been going missing from resident’s homes and there are rumours going around that it’s one of their own who’s been stealing from the neighbours. Festive spirit is being replaced with suspicion and the people of Newbury Street don’t know who to trust even within their own families. The police presence isn’t helping matters, especially when they all have something to hide. But we all know Christmas is traditionally a time for miracles and with just a little hope and help from each other they might just find a solution.

I really loved One Christmas Night and it’s actually one of those rare books that I would read again and again, even with its elements of sadness and suspicion it feels like a warm blanket of festive comfort and a reminder of what is actually important at that time of year. The writing is exquisite and I was transported into the homes of the families on Newbury Street. I definitely recognised some of the family dynamics and drama!

So grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate with lashings of marshmallows, tuck that cosy blanket around your shoulders and get reading, I can guarantee (that like The Grinch) your heart will grow three sizes that day.

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Blog Tour: Violet by S.J.I. Holliday Ellen’s Review

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Violet by SJI Holliday, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

About the book:

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone.
Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.
When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place.
Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

Click the link below to order your copy:

Violet by S. J. I. Holliday

Ellen’s Review:

You really don’t want to meet anyone like Violet if you are ever on a backpacking trip far from home, in fact you probably wouldn’t want to meet her on home ground either! This book was a compelling read; life was totally put on hold while I accompanied Violet and her new BFF Carrie on the Trans Siberian Express. These girls know how to party but their friendship feels very claustrophobic and drug and alcohol induced paranoia does not help! I’m glad I’m past the age where this type of “adventure” is an option but thanks to the author for filling me with dread that my daughters will ever leave the country!

There weren’t many like-able characters at all in this book; each have their secrets and lies and could be dangerous to know. Even the “good” girl has darkness glimmering through the cracks in her public persona. The scariest part about Violet is just how plausible it is and that the most horrifying thing in the world can be human rather than anything paranormal.

I look forward to more chilling psychological thrillers from SJI Holliday!

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Blog Tour: Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver Ellen’s Review

Hey everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a litte further down.

About the author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

About the book:

Nothing Important Happened Today by [Carver, Will]

Nine suicides
One Cult
No leader

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But at the same time, they run, and leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: A mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on that train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People Of Choice are appearing around the globe; it becomes a movement. A social media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers. The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader that does not seem to exist.

How do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?

Click the link below to get your copy:

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Ellen’s Review:

After reading Good Samaritans I announced that Will Carver was a dark genius, on finishing Nothing Important Happened Today this thought was increased tenfold along with WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK HAVE I JUST READ AND HOW DO I REVIEW IT!!??

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge all carrying matching backpacks with specific matching ropes inside. They’ve never met but they run and leap to their deaths. Every one of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: nothing important happened today. That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of the People Of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty two train passengers witness this mass suicide and two of them will be the next to kill themselves. By the morning the People of Choice has become a movement and social media is awash with theories and wannabe’s. The police are under immense pressure to find a link between the cult members and to locate a leader that does not seem to exist. How on Earth do you stop a cult when nobody knows they are a member?!

Now let’s get one thing clear – this is a dark, dark book, with the blackest of black centres. The story is told using different perspectives; the victims/nobodies (reduced to numbers so meaningless are they), the detective and an unknown person giving us the rundown on how to run a successful cult. The descriptions of the suicides are quite intense and not for the delicate but the genius when it all comes together…perfection!

Personally I loved it!!

Highly recommend!

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Blog Tour: Safe House by Jo Jakeman Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

The first of two blog tours for Ellen today, and its her review for Safe House by Jo Jakeman up first!

About the author:

Jo Jakeman

Jo was the winner of the prestigious Friday Night Live competition at York Festival of Writing. Her debut Psychological Thriller was published in the UK as Sticks and Stones by Harvill Secker (Penguin Random House) and as The Exes’ Revenge in the USA and Canada. It was shortlisted for the Best Revenge thriller of the year at the Dead Good Reader Awards. Her second thriller SAFE HOUSE is due October 31, 2019 in the UK and Spring 2020 in America and Canada.

About the book:

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. This sacrifice cost her everything.

And now she has a chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really paid the price for what she did.

Click the link below to get your copy of Safe House, which will be 99p for November:

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Ellen’s Review:

This is the first book that I have read by Jo Jakeman and I will definitely be buying her debut Sticks and Stones after enjoying Safe House so much. The main character Charlie Miller moves into a small Cornish village Penderrion; it is obvious from the beginning that she has something to hide and is not prepared for the warm (and somewhat overbearing) welcome she receives from her neighbours. Charlie is very guarded and must be careful not to trip over the lies she has created around this new life she has created. Whatever she is running from must be bad as she has moved into a crumbling cottage which is barely suitable to live in.

The reasons behind the secrecy are soon revealed. Charlie has recently been released from prison after serving a sentence for providing a false alibi for her partner Lee. She was previously known as Steffi Finn and Lee was obviously a very controlling partner, so much so that she is gas-lighted into believing everything she is told. She changes her behaviour, drinking habits and is gradually cut off from her friends. Obviously as a reader my hackles were up; how could Steffi let this man control her so much!? Sadly this is something which does happen and Safe House gives an insight into how easily it can be to fall prey to such a partner.

It was also really interesting how Steffi was practically trialled and judged by the press before she was even sentenced. To be vilified in such a way must be heart breaking but at the end of the day she didn’t commit the murders and was the one to go to the police with further information which led to Lee’s conviction. You don’t blame her for wanting a fresh start but she soon realises that she may never have the anonymity she so desires as someone is out for revenge! How long can Charlie stay safe in this village when there are so many loose tongues and suspicious minds about…

Highly recommend!

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Blog Tour: Ghoster by Jason Arnopp Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for Ghoster by Jason Arnopp, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all!

About the author:

Jason Arnopp

Jason Arnopp is the author of the new Orbit Books novel Ghoster, which Barnes & Noble’s SFF blog has said, “just might qualify as the first true horror novel of the 21st Century.” The Three author Sarah Lotz calls it, “a fiendishly smart exploration of obsession and social media addiction”, while Cross Her Heat author Sarah Pinborough reckons it’s, “twisty, creepy and utterly absorbing.”

Arnopp’s previous novel was The Last Days Of Jack Sparks (2016), which has been described as “a magnificent millennial nightmare” (Alan Moore), “scarier than watching The Exorcist in an abandoned asylum” (Sarah Lotz) and “The Omen for the social media age” (Christopher Brookmyre). Director Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, The Da Vinci Code) optioned the film rights shortly after the book’s 2016 release.

Arnopp co-wrote the official behind-the-scenes book Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

Check out his four shorter-form fiction titles:
— Beast In The Basement, a suspenseful, mind-blowing thriller novella
— A Sincere Warning About The Entity In Your Home, a chilling and groundbreaking short story set in YOUR home
— Auto Rewind, a dark, emotionally charged thriller novelette
— American Hoarder, a supernatural creep-fest available only when you join the author’s free mailing list at JasonArnopp.com

Arnopp previously wrote and executive-produced the Lionsgate feature film Stormhouse and script-edited the Peter Mullan feature The Man Inside. He has also written for the worlds of Doctor Who (BBC), The Sarah Jane Adventures (BBC) and Friday The 13th (New Line Cinema).

In his past life as a rock journalist, he interviewed the likes of Bon Jovi, Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and Guns N’ Roses. He was once surrounded by angry guards holding semi-automatic weapons at The Vatican. His Slipknot biography, Slipknot: Inside The Sickness, Behind The Masks, was released in 2001 and is now available as a Kindle Edition. Arnopp has also written a guide to journalistic interviewing, entitled How To Interview Doctor Who, Ozzy Osbourne And Everyone Else, which is also out on Kindle.

Arnopp’s latest non-fiction book is From The Front Lines Of Rock. Available in the Kindle Store now, it gathers 30 of his favourite nterviews he wrote as a rock journalist, with the likes of Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Korn, Kiss, Faith No More, Garbage, Nine Inch Nails and Green Day.

When you sign up for Arnopp’s free newsletter at JasonArnopp.com, you can also download his short story American Hoarder for free. You might also want to check out his YouTube channel by searching for his name there. What a wonderful world.

About the book:

Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty flat. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his texts, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.

That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the door that she can’t explain.

And the growing feeling that she’s being watched . . .

Click the link below to grab your copy:

Ghoster by Jason Arnopp

Ellen’s Review:

The Last Days of Jack Sparks was one of my top reads of 2017 and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ghoster! From the blurb alone it was obvious this was going to be a spooky read – perfect for October and dark nights when all you have for company is a good book and your mobile phone for the constant scrolling/refreshing/rotating around the same four apps. Yes! My evenings really are THAT exciting…

Ghoster is a thoroughly modern horror story; a smartphone being the centre of the intrigue and chills. Our main protagonist Kate Collins is a paramedic from Leeds who has a serious addiction to her phone and social media. Did you know that you can actually become addicted to your phone!? Apps like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram use the very same brain circuitry used by slot machines and cocaine to keep us using their products as much as possible…every text, like, swipe or notification gives your brain a little buzz of dopamine. Scary huh! This addiction caused a serious accident in Kate’s past so she now carries the most basic of phones (also known as a dumb phone) to resist the pull of the buzz. She actually meets her soulmate Scott Palmer on a digital detox weekend, how sweet when the stars align eh? And surely it’s just a coincidence that this is the guy she swiped right on a few months ago? Oh and look at that he’s a vegetarian too. I am obviously a MASSIVE cynic (and thank God dating apps weren’t a thing in my youth) because Kate falls for Scott and they are soon a serious item with her agreeing to move from her home in Leeds to his gorgeous flat in Brighton. The day before the move though Scott stops all contact, no response to Kate’s texts which leaves her understandably confused. Her place is all packed up and ready to go with new tenants lined up, she has transferred her job to Brighton what can she do!? Is Scott injured, his phone dead/lost or has he seriously ghosted her (when a person cuts off all contact with their friends or the person they’re dating, without warning or notice beforehand)?

Things get even more confusing when Kate arrives in Brighton, Scott’s flat is totally bare and a weird face has been drawn onto the patio glass. The only thing left behind is his smart phone, which appears to have been dropped in the middle of this moonlight flit. Do you think Kate can resist this glowing mine of information; if only she could access all his apps she might get an idea of what has happened but in fact all she ends up with is more questions, creepy phone calls and the feeling that she is being watched!

I absolutely loved this book, having read Jason’s previous books I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and enjoyed every creepy AF twist and reveal that he threw at me. Arnopp has cemented himself as one of my all time favourite authors and I look forward to whatever comes next. In summary (I know I’ve waffled on) if you’re looking for a thrilling, funny, head f**k of a book go buy Ghoster!!! Maybe avoid looking for it on your smartphone though…..

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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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