Blog Tour~The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor~Ellen’s Review

Hey guys,

Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor and I’l be sharing her review with you all just a little further down.

About the author:

C. J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor lives with her partner and young daughter. Her love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author. 

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and sold in thirty-nine territories.

About the book:

One night, Annie went missing.

Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst.

And then, after 48 hours, she came back.

But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her.

Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what.

I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same.

She wasn’t my Annie.

I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor

Ellen’s Review:

I absolutely adored C. J. Tudor’s debut The Chalk Man and could not wait to read The Taking of Annie Thorne. I was not disappointed – this book was even better!!

The main character Joe Thorne returns to his home town of Arnhill in Nottinghamshire (an old colliery town). Now a teacher with some bad debts from gambling and nasty sorts after him, Joe is no-ones idea of a hero. Arnhill is a typical Northern mining village (and I was born and raised in one so can say this), a small community filled with small minded people. Although Joe lived there he is still seen as an outsider and people are suspicious of his agenda, the fact that he is renting a house where a murder/suicide took place recently does not help his image. The events of the house seem linked to Joe’s past; his younger sister went missing and came back 48 hours later…different. A mother had lived in the house Joe is renting with her young son and inexplicably murdered him then killed herself, above his bed she had written NOT MY SON.

As a teenager Joe was involved in a local gang who revelled in making the local misfits/different kids lives a misery. The episodes of bullying are not an easy read and there is a certain scene which really gave me the shivers! Their actions lead them to a life changing event which will have repercussions for everyone involved.

The Taking of Annie Thorne is definitely more of a horror than a thriller and I loved the supernatural element. Creepy kids, terrifying bugs and secrets that literally refuse to stay buried. C. J. Tudor has been compared to Stephen King and I would agree, I am definitely reminded of his earlier works. I reckon it’s about time we had a Queen of the horror genre and I’d happily hand C. J. Tudor the crown!

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Blog Tour~Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

So, today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski and I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down this post!

About the author:

Matt Wesolowski.jpeg

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
story 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 WH Smith Fresh Talent pick, and TV
rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published
in 2018 and became an international bestseller.

About the book:

Changeling.jpg

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished
in the dark Wentshire Forest Pass, when his father, Sorrel, stopped
the car to investigate a mysterious knocking sound. No trace of
the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden
was declared officially dead in 1995.
Elusive online journalist, Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts
have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance,
interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened
that fateful night. Journeying through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with
strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there, he talks to a company that tried and failed
to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know what happened to the little
boy…

Published by Orenda Books, click the link below to order your copy:

Changeling (Six Stories #3) by Matt Wesolowski

Ellen’s Review:

Matt Wesolowski is a genius. End of.

That’s how I suggested a blogger wrote their review of Changeling because it’s true and the simplest way of reviewing such a book full of complex ideas and feelings! Obviously that wouldn’t be fair to the author, his books deserve all the praise they get so I’ll try to sum up how much I loved it.

Changeling is book three in the Six Stories series and having loved the previous two (Six Stories and Hydra) I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Always with a sense of trepidation though as the author has a way of tapping into your deepest darkest fears and dialling the tension to the maximum. Had anyone knocked at my door at certain points in this book I would have filled my pants!

As a child one of my favourite books was a huge tome of folklore, myths & legends. A beautiful cloth bound book with an image of The Green Man on the front; I was obsessed (as only a child can be) with fairies, witches, wood sprites, nymphs and curses and convinced myself I was a changeling. Hey, I grew up into a (reasonably) well adjusted individual so all’s well considering! The story in Changeling revolves around the paranormal happenings in Wentshire Forest and the disappearance of Alfie Marsden. Alfie is travelling with his father Sorrel when he vanishes into thin air, he is never seen again and no body has ever been found. Scott King (presenter of the Six Stories podcast) receives a mysterious note regarding the case thirty years later and cannot resist investigating.

As with Six Stories and Hydra the tale is told as a podcast, this is such an ingenoius method of story telling and it works so well. We are drip fed information from various people that were involved in the case and slowly the picture becomes clearer, I challenge you to predict that ending though. My jaw is still sore from dropping on the floor!

Matt Wesolowski has such a talent for presenting a story as horror/supernatural but then totally flipping the genre as you progress through the tale. It is evident from his writing that Matt works with children in care; all his books provide a social commentary on the current issues our children face on a daily basis. Bullying, peer pressure and parental separation feature in all three and what could be more horrific to any child (and indeed adult) than that…?

It should be no surprise that I’ve given Changeling five stars and I’m really interested to see what is next from Matt.

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Blog Tour~Red Snow by Will Dean~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s turn on the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying at the LSE and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.

About the book:

TWO BODIES

One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS

Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS

Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

Click the link below to order your copy:

https://amzn.to/2Hn4Bve

Ellen’s Review:

I read Dark Pines in December 2017 and as soon as I’d finished I was desperate to read more about Tuva Moodyson – I loved her character so much (along with the numerous shady people that also inhabited the small Swedish town of Gavrik)! I was delighted to get hold of the next in the series Red Snow. Some familiar characters are back (the Troll Sisters for example) and we are introduced to a few new intriguing ones as well. This could be read as a standalone but I would recommend that you read Dark Pines first to get a grasp on Tuva’s world.

I couldn’t wait to return to Gavrik although I’m pretty certain I would NOT survive the freezing conditions! After the Medusa Murders investigation and the death of her mother, Tuva has managed to escape the happenings of the previous months and bagged a journalist position in the bigger town of Malmo in the South. However…the suicide of Gustav Grimberg (head of the liquorice factory which is Gavrik’s main source of employment)  followed by a gruesome murder happen in quick succession and Tuva is determined to investigate the case before her departure. She is also asked by local ghost-writer David Holmqvist to help him write his book on the history of the Grimbergs. The Grimbergs have a little bit of a checkered past and Tuva is intrigued by the remaining members of the family who keep themselves to themselves and guard their secrets well. Anna-Britta (widow), daughter Karin and grandmother Cecilia slowly open up to Tuva which only leads to more questions and danger for the inhabitants of the factory, its staff and Tuva herself!

I was fascinated with the liquorice factory; I work in Pontefract the home of UK liquorice and Pomfrey cakes. The details of the factory were fabulous, Will is such a visual writer and I was right there with Tuva – the sounds of the workers tapping their liquorice coins, the smells from the canteen and feeling the growing fear over who The Ferryman’s next victim would be. Small town paranoia is hard at work in Red Snow and I had no idea who the perpetrator was.

Tuva is one of my favourite protagonists EVER – so sardonic but likeable, I’d love to have a night out with her but doubt I could keep up with her rum drinking but could take her out to our local liquorice festival. It was lovely to get to know her more and see a softer side to her nature, I really hope that love blossoms soon and she gets a bit of a break in the next book!

Five stars from me; Will Dean writes my favourite kind of Nordic Nwaaaaar and I cannot wait for Tuva 3. Go Team Tuva!

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Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell~Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Ellen has a review for you all today of Disaster Inc by Caimh McDonnell and I’ll be sharing it with you a little further down!

About the author:

Caimh McDonnell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, author and writer of televisual treats. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and now calls Manchester his home.

He is a man who wears many hats. As well as being an author, he is an award-winning writer for TV, a stand-up comedian and ‘the voice’ of London Irish rugby club. His debut novel, A Man with One of Those Faces, which was nominated for a CAP Award in 2017, is the first book of the Dublin Trilogy series. The sequel and prequel, The Day That Never Come and Angels in the Moonlight, were published in 2017. The books are fast-paced crime thrillers set in Caimh’s hometown of Dublin and they are laced with distinctly Irish acerbic wit.

Caimh’s TV writing credits include The Sarah Millican Television Programme,A League of Their OwnMock the Week and Have I Got News for You. He also works as a children’s TV writer and was BAFTA nominated for the animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created.

During his time on the British stand-up circuit, Caimh has firmly established himself as the white-haired Irishman whose name nobody can pronounce. He has brought the funny worldwide, doing stand-up tours of the Far East, the Middle East and Near East (Norwich).

Follow Caimh’s witterings on @Caimh

Facebook:  @CaimhMcD

About the book:

He’s a good man having a bad day with the worst hangover. 

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the diner’s other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and the odds aren’t great that she is going to live to see another breakfast. 

So just how much trouble is she in? 

Well, you know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions?   Some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to already be dead.

Disaster Inc is the first book in a new series featuring Bunny McGarry, beloved by those who enjoyed the critically-acclaimed Dublin Trilogy of books. It melds high-octane action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit. 

Click the link below to order your copy:

https://amzn.to/2SVnCGq

Ellen’s Review:

Now we all know I love Bunny McGarry and he’s back with a bang (and an EPIC hangover) in Disaster Inc! Bunny is in New York, no mean feat as according to official records he’s dead, and looking for the love of his life Simone Delamere. We catch up with Bunny in a diner where all he wants is breakfast and a cup of tea in the hope of recovering from aforesaid hangover, what he ends up with is being in the middle of a robbery gone wrong, the ensuing brawl and a damsel in distress!

Amy is the lady in need of help; a dominatrix just trying to fund her way to a law degree but thanks to the loose lips of a client dealing in some dodgy insider information she is being framed for a crime she didn’t commit. Bunny to the rescue! Of course it’s never going to be straight forward, this is Bunny McGarry we’re dealing with. Crazy comedic capers commence (try saying that after a few pints of Guinness and a few whisky chasers)and it wouldn’t be a Caimh McDonnell book without the bonkers characters and antics we’ve come to know and love.

Disaster Inc is book five featuring Bunny and can be read as a standalone but I highly recommend that you read the four books in The Dublin Trilogy first. I know..one’s a prequel sssshhhhh just roll with it. So go make yourself a lovely cup of tea and settle down with this cracking book! Qll the stars and LOLs for Disaster Inc and bring on book six!

Blog Blast~ The Storm Girl’s Secret by Ceri Lowe~ Ellen’s Review

Hi guys,

Ellen is taking part in the blog blast for The Storm Girl’s Secret by Ceri Lowe today, and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

When Ceri isn’t writing, she’s a self-employed project management consultant specialising in financial services. She lives with her partner in Bristol, England and has various obsessions including all things Spanish, travelling and, of course, writing.

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cerialowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cerilowepetrask

Website: http://www.cerialowe.com/

About the book:

An addictive and jaw-dropping dystopian story, perfect for fans of Bella Forrest, The Hunger Games and Divergent. Discover a world torn apart by storms under the grip of an evil organisation, and one girl who discovers a secret that will change everything…

The existence of 15-year-old Alice Davenport is Paradigm Industries’ biggest secret.

Decades ago, after fierce storms ravaged the earth, Alice was one of the first to help establish Paradigm Industries’ new world order: in which no one can leave the Barricades, and every trace of the past was destroyed. The whole Community believes she died an Industry hero.

But Alice refused to live under Paradigm’s cruel laws.

Alice was punished.

And Alice is alive.

Sentenced to permanent cryonic sleep in the Catacombs, Alice has been frozen for years… until now. With the Industry wanting her dead, Alice is on the run – helped by Carter Warren, Industry loyalist turned secret rebel. But as they make their escape, they uncover a shocking secret.

Paradigm Industries have devastating plans for the future, which threaten to tear the world apart. Those living outside the Barricades will be permanently destroyed. With Alice and Carter the only hope for humanity, can they find the strength to finally defeat the Industry?

The Storm Girl’s Secret is the thrilling conclusion to the Paradigm trilogy. Discover Alice’s heart-pounding story today.

Buy Link: http://geni.us/B07K8XCST7Publication

Ellen’s Review:

The Storm Girl’s Secret is the final instalment in the Paradigm Trilogy by Ceri A Lowe and I recommend that you read the first two books in the series. There is a lot of character/plot building that has happened so it’s vital that you’re up to speed with everything that has gone before.

At the end of book two (The Girl in the Storm) there was the jaw dropping reveal that Alice Davenport was alive and well having been frozen for the last eighty years. The story line I alluded to in my last review is now happening – Carter and Alice are in the same timeline! And what a story; this epic conclusion to the trilogy was definitely worth the wait.

The action is non-stop as the teenagers battle to overthrow Alice’s tyrannical step daughter Elizabet who is intent on destroying everything and everyone outside the barricades. There are shocks and revelations along the way and I was left reeling by the shocking events.

So if you’re looking for the perfect YA dystopian series look no further – The Paradigm Trilogy is exactly what you need!


Check out the other blogs taking part:

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!

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Blog Tour~ The Silent Dead by Graham Smith Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Silent Dead by Graham Smith and I’ll be sharing her review with you all a little further down!

About the author:

Graham Smith is the bestselling author of four explosive crime thrillers in the Jake Boulder series, Watching the Bodies, The Kindred Killers, Past Echoes and Die Cold. Watching the Bodies spent over two weeks at number one in the Amazon UK chart and Amazon CA charts. Graham is also the author of the popular DI Harry Evans series and has collections of short stories and novellas. His latest novel – The Silent Dead is published by Bookouture and set in Cumbria / the Lake District, featuring DC Beth Young.

He is the proud father of a young son. As a time served joiner he has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since 2000 he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland. 

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer for the well-respected review site Crimesquad.com since 2010.

When not working, his time is spent reading, writing and playing games with his son. He enjoys socialising and spending time with friends and family.

Author Social Media Links:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/grahamnsmithauthor/

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/GrahamSmith1972

WEBSITE: https://grahamsmithauthor.com/

GOODREADShttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5446655.Graham_Smith?from_search=true

About the book:

He’d found an angel for his collection. But one angel at a time was never enough…

Detective Beth Young has just joined the Cumbrian major crimes team when a body is found posed in a ritualistic manner – arms spread and graceful wings attached – at a crumbling castle in the hills of the Lake District. 

The entire police force are on red alert. But Beth begins to feel she’s the only one who can follow the disturbing clues left by the twisted killer. Because she doesn’t think like everyone else. To Beth, crimes are puzzles she can solve. Even if real life is a little harder.

As more bodies are discovered in derelict stately homes across the Lake District, she knows she’s in a race against time.

But the killer is looking for another victim to add to his collection… Will Beth be able to save her? Or will he get there first?

A tenacious young detective with scars both physical and emotional, Beth Young will stop at nothing in her fight for justice for the innocent. The Silent Dead is the first book in the series. Set in the Lake District, it is perfect for fans of Joy Ellis, LJ Ross, and Peter James. 

Ellen’s Review:

I must start this review with a little bit of author awe and praise – Graham Smith has created three fantastic protagonists over three separate series of books and I have come to the conclusion that he is either a true genius or a little bit mad! To be able to “listen” to these characters then tell their stories and do every single one of them justice must take some doing. Graham often says that he is nothing more than a stenographer for the voices in his head and I have the upmost respect for his ability to translate all this into some outstanding stories and the talent to draw his readers into every new novel.

In The Silent Dead we are introduced to his latest creation, DC Beth Young, a new recruit to the Cumbrian Major Investigation Team. Beth is the youngest (a fact she is not allowed to forget)and she is torn between proving she is good enough to be there and not stepping on the toes of the already established team. As this is the first in the series we are given some background information of them all and gain an understanding into how they all react to Beth initially. I love how Beth often just blurts out her theories in one word Staccato answers; her initial thoughts are shot out and then she fleshes them out for those around her. I can imagine this would be quite disconcerting until you got to know her!

The murders in The Silent Dead are some of the most gruesome I have ever read and I loved this (don’t judge me). Bodies are being found in abandoned stately homes and not just rolled into a ditch or hidden away…these bodies are displayed and wings have been attached to their back. The wings aren’t the extent of the horrors that these poor victims have endured but I’ll leave those juicy details for you to find out for yourselves!

The Silent Dead is a fantastic start to a new series and I look forward to reading many more.

Check out the tour: