Tuesday, 31 January 2017

*Blog Tour* Mary's The Name by Ross Sayers - Review







About Mary's the Name

An eight-year-old girl and her granpa are on the run…

“When me and Granpa watched James Bond films, he told me not to be scared because people didn’t have guns like that in Scotland. That must’ve been why the robbers used hammers.”

Orphaned Mary lives with her granpa, but after he is mixed up in a robbery at the bookies where he works, they flee to the Isle of Skye. Gradually, Mary realises that her granpa is involved. And the robbers are coming after him–and their money.

Mary’s quirky outlook on life, loss, and her love of all things Elvis, will capture your heart. Full of witty Scots banter, Mary’s the Name will have you reaching for the hankies, first with laughter, then with tears.

Heart-warming and heart-breaking, this darkly comic debut is from a fresh voice set to become Scotland’s answer to Roddy Doyle.

‘Funny, smart, and full of heart’
HELEN SEDGWICK
Author of The Comet Seekers

‘Pacy and poignant, wee Mary leaves a big impression’
LIAM MURRAY BELL
Author of The Busker




My review of Mary's The Name


Well, firstly I am hugely honoured to be a part of the book tour for this truly amazing book. I loved this book. It is so very special in its depiction of examining the relationship between grandfather and granddaughter. I admit to having a tear in my eye during several events in this book.

Mary's The Name centres around an eight-year-old girl, Mary, who lives with her grandfather. Her parents died when she was only a toddler, and her grandfather took her in, bringing her up, so her grandpa is very much her dad. Mary is a little bit quirky, hugely intelligent beyond her years and fiercely independent. I did wonder at certain parts in the book if Mary was autistic, as she most certainly showed autistic traits, but whether this was intentional or not does not really matter, she is an interesting character who held my attention and whom I rooted for the entire way through the novel. I loved this little girl and everything she stood for. She is slowly growing up in the world and throughout the book we see this development in her social understanding of the world. The events that surround the robbery, shatter her idyllic illusion of the world, and we see the blinkers slowly being peeled back.

Then we have the grandpa, who I also loved. OK, he does get himself involved in a robbery, when he has a little girl to look after, but ultimately he is a good man. A hard working man, and I couldn't help but like him, even though I should have disliked him for his thoughtless actions. I suppose we all do things in life that we are not proud of, those mistakes that we look back on and think, what was I thinking? So, I could forgive him, as his love for Mary was so evident on the pages as I read his story. I had to forgive him, there was  no other option.

The relationship between the child and their grandparent, I suppose, has been documented countless times in historic literature. Off the top of my head I can think of Great Expectations, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Little Red Riding Hood and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. But when  it comes to modern day literature, then this topic is discussed and written about on a much smaller scale, and less so when the granddaughter is involved. Therefore this book is like a breath of fresh air. It is so original, funny, quirky and at times heartbreakingly sad, but overall the story stays with you, it has an impact upon you, and you cannot help but feel for both Mary and her grandpa and the situation that they find themselves in.

This book is so very special. I have never read a book quite like it. The relationship between grandchild and granddaughter is a special one, and the author has managed to write down and capture the essence of this relationship, in a roller coaster ride of a journey. I think that it was also so very special for me, as it reminded me of my own childhood with my grandfather, now sadly long dead, and the special memories that this book evoked.

Mary's The Name is a  stunning debut novel, and I can't wait to read what Ross Sayers writes next.

With thanks to Cranachan Publishing who provided the paperback for review purposes.

Mary's The Name is published by Cranachan Publishing and can be found on Amazon here.


About the Author





Ross Sayers is a writer of Scottish fiction, and his debut novel, 'Mary's the Name', is released January 30th 2017.

Ross graduated from the University of Stirling in 2014, with a BA (Hons) in English Studies (first class), and graduated again in 2015 with an M.Litt in Creative Writing (distinction).

His stories and poems have featured in magazines such as Quotidian and Octavius, and his short story, 'Dancin' is currently used on West College Scotland's Higher English course.

You can tweet him @Sayers33 or see more of his writing at rosssayers.co.uk.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Beltane by Alys West




About Beltane

Struggling artist, Zoe arrives in Glastonbury seeking inspiration. The small Somerset town is steeped in myth and legend and Zoe's sure it'll be the perfect place to work on a book about King Arthur. But behind the shops selling witchcraft supplies and crystals real magic is being practised.

When Zoe meets Finn her life changes forever. Not only is he a druid connected to the ancient energies of the earth but she dreamed about him long before they met. Finn's life is in terrible danger and Zoe's dreams start to reveal more of the plot against him.

After dreaming of a deadly battle at a stone circle on Dartmoor, Zoe starts to wonder if the dark magic around her is playing tricks of its own or if she really can see the future. Will she learn to trust Finn, and herself, in time to stand any hope of surviving the powerful magic that will be unleashed at Beltane? Or is it already too late?

My review of Beltane

Beltane is a wonderful supernatural love story that I just adored. I loved everything about this book. It was pure escapism. So I'll try and explain why I loved it so much.

Let's begin with the prologue, as this instantly grabbed my attention. I just thought, wow! What just happened? I couldn't wait to find out how the story would unfold. It really does set the tone for the entire book.

Beltane is set in Glastonbury, where Zoe, a young artist, has travelled in order to work on a commission for a book about King Arthur. She is extremely talented but lacks confidence, and believes that the rural countryside and ancient wonders of Glastonbury will help to inspire her artistic talents. The author beautifully creates this magical setting and I could both smell and hear everything. I too, like Zoe, was unsure about the healing retreat and in particular, its owner, Maeve. As a reader, we are told things about Maeve, that Zoe has to learn for herself, and I found myself shouting at her, warning her to be careful. But of course, she did not listen!

Zoe, for me, was an interesting and incredibly likeable character. I warmed to her instantly. By the end of the book she felt like a good friend, and I was sad to say goodbye to her. Not many characters have that impact upon me. I particularly enjoyed her conversations and growing relationship with the mysterious Finn McCloud, now here is a romantic hero that everyone will love, as I sure did. Tall, dark and handsome, but with a generosity of spirit and grounded sense of morality, he is indeed the perfect man.

The supernatural aspects of this book are divine and incredibly well written, in so much that you actually believe that they could happen. This is no mean feat. I particularly liked the aspect of Zoe dreaming about Finn and the scene where she meets him for the first time is a moment to savour. These two characters worked so well together, with their on page chemistry that was so palpable,

This book is a supernatural love story, so you do have to let your imagination run wild and let go of 'normal' stereotypes, remembering that you are reading about characters with special powers and abilities, but once you do, it such a joyous book to read. Completely uplifting and one which restored my faith in humanity. I will just reiterate though that it is not all focussed upon the growing relationship between Finn and Zoe, although this is at the very core of the book. It is primarily a love story, but we also have issues surrounding good versus evil, friendship and loyalty. This is very much a love story with depth... and a hugely enjoyable one it is too.

If you are looking for a romantic read that is a little bit different, with the supernatural thrown into the mix and wickedly entertaining characters who will stay with you long after you have finished the book, then Beltane is the book for you. You won't be disappointed.

With thanks to the author who provided a copy of the book for review purposes.

Beltane is available to buy from Amazon here


About the Author

Alys West writes contemporary fantasy and steampunk. She started writing when she couldn’t find enough books to read that had all of the elements that she loved; fantasy, romance and suspense, although her love of Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have had something to do with it too. Writing steampunk was a natural development from her obsession with tea. How could she not write in a genre where the characters shared her belief that 90% of the world’s wrongs can be solved with a nice cup of tea? It also gave her a great excuse to spend her time looking at Victorian fashions and call it research.

Alys is doing a MA in Creative Writing at York St John University and also teaches creative writing for Converge, an arts project for people with mental health issues.

When she's not writing you can find her at folk gigs, doing yoga and attempting to crochet. She occasionally blogs at www.alyswest.com, intermittently tweets at @alyswestyork and spends rather too much time on Facebook where you can find her at Alys West Writer. It makes her week if she hears from someone who’s enjoyed one of her books so please do get in touch. She would love to hear from you!

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin



About Sister Sister

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.

Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.

Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.

One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.

What people are saying about SISTER SISTER:
‘I would definitely recommend this if you love psychological thrillers’ – Stardust Book Reviews
‘Sister Sister has everything – conflict, family secrets and betrayal, all of which go to make it thoroughly deserving of the five stars I’ve given it’ – Brook Cottage Books
‘A truly absorbing psychological thriller’ – Joan Hill, Reviewing Recommended Reads


My Review of Sister Sister

This book is exceptionally well written, features characters with depth, and a plot line that truly intrigued me. This really is a page turner of a book that kept me guessing right up to the very end.

 I am going to find this book difficult to review without giving the plot away. So, all I will say, is that the book begins with Claire, who is in a hospital bed. We have no idea what has happened to her, nor the events that led up to her being in hospital, and this very much sets the tone and pace for the entire book. Needless to say, I was hooked.

So, we have a story revolving around two sisters, Claire and Alice,  who are reunited after twenty years apart. Alice was abducted by their dad to live in Australia and, after years of trying to find her, the search was abandoned. Claire even paid for private detectives, but no information was found. So, after twenty years, Alice contacts Claire and her mother, following the death of her father, and she eventually comes back to England. What we the get is a roller coaster of a psychological thriller, as Claire recounts the story of what happened to her.

The central themes in this book are those of betrayal, family and trust. Ultimately for me I kept asking myself the question, can I trust Claire? Is she a reliable narrator? We just don't know. As the story is told in first person narrative, all we have to go on is her word, and this is what makes the story so exciting. I will  admit to the fact that I didn't really like her. I really did not trust what she had to tell me, but I was fascinated by her and her unique story, and I needed to read on to try and find out what had happened to her.

This is also an incredibly uncomfortable read, in the sense that we hear from Claire when she is troubled, and at her most vulnerable. It was hard to be so close to this character when I knew she was suffering. At certain points I did wonder if she was heading for a nervous breakdown.

I will just add that what I found so extraordinarily clever about this book was the way in which Claire's family dynamics changed throughout the developing story, with the changes being so subtle that you don't realise they are happening. I particularly enjoyed reading about the relationship between Claire and her artist husband, Luke, a character who I really liked. I almost forgot at times that I was reading a personal account from a woman who was a successful lawyer, mother and wife, her character throughout the course of the book changes so much, she is altered because of Alice, or is it because of her feelings towards Alice?

So who do we trust? Who is telling the troth? Claire or Alice? I really had no idea, not until the very end, that's how good this book is. If you want an entertaining read that is fast, thought provoking and delves into the heart of the family, then Sister Sister is the book for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Sister Sister is published by Harper Impulse and is available to buy from Amazon here.
With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an Advanced Raeder Copy.



About the Author

Published by Harper Collins' imprint Harper Impulse, Sue Fortin writes gripping dramas.

Sue is an Amazon best selling author, The Girl Who Lied, reaching #1 in the UK in 2016. Her novel, Closing In, became a best seller in 2014 reaching #1 in the Kobo Romantic Suspense chart. Her originally self-published debut novel, United States of Love, was awarded the INDIE Brag Medallion and later when published by HarperImpulse was short-listed for the Joan Hessayon Award (2014). Sue was also short-listed for the Festival of Romance, New Talent Award (2013). Sue blogs regularly with the on-line writing group The Romaniacs (www.theromaniacs.co.uk).

Lover of cake, Dragonflies and France. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue was born in Hertfordshire but had a nomadic childhood, moving often with her family, before eventually settling in West Sussex.

Sue is married with four children, all of whom patiently give her time to write but, when not behind the keyboard, she likes to spend her time with them, enjoying both the coast and the South Downs, between which they are nestled.

You can find out more about Sue at
Website www.suefortin.com
Twitter : suefortin1
Facebook : Sue Fortin Author

Monday, 23 January 2017

*BLOG TOUR* Wrong Number by Carys Jones - Review and Extract



A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all.

Read with caution - you may never want to answer your phone again...

Will and Amanda Thorne are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered.

Who was on the phone? Where has Will gone?

Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises.

As the truth becomes clearer, she has to face the terrible possibility that she may never have known her husband at all...




My review of Wrong Number

Wrong Number is the debut novel from Carys Jones, and is a fast paced psychological thriller that held my attention throughout the entire novel. The story begins when Amanda receives a phone call and what she believes is a wrong number. Although she finds the conversation strange, she puts it to the back of mind. The next day, she wakes early to find that her husband, Will, has already left for work without kissing her goodbye, something that he always does. She finds this strange, coupled with the fact that he has left no note, but it is only when she tries to contact him and there is no response. that she finally realises that he is missing. What happens next is a journey to find out what has happened to Will, and Amanda's life is put in danger.

When I first read the blurb for this book, I was instantly drawn to the idea that one phone call could quite literally change your entire life, that it could tip it upside down, and I wanted to see how the author would deal with this scenario. I have to say that the story that blossomed from this idea is an enjoyable and plausible one. While reading we question how well we know our husband, our wife? Do we ever truly know someone, and if something did happen to them... well, how far would we go to protect that person and make them safe?

I really did enjoy this novel and in particular the character of Amanda. While reading I wasn't sure if the author had meant for her to have Asperger's syndrome,  but her characteristics most definitely fall on the autistic spectrum. I liked this character, a lot. The way that she was fiercely independent and not intimidated by others, especially men. Will, for me, was very much an enigma, but of course that was how he should be. As a reader, we really don't get to know him or why he acts the way in which he does. The one character who truly stood out for me though, was Amanda's ex boyfriend, now a police detective, who joins her in her search for her missing husband. In a world where she doesn't know who she can trust, she knows that she can trust him, and I particularly liked their chemistry and dialogue.

Wrong Number, I found was hugely addictive and incredibly hard to put down. The only negative I have is that the ending seemed to be rushed and ended somewhat abruptly. This was soon made obvious by turning the last page, as there is going to be a second book, but I still would have preferred a slightly more rounded finish, perhaps with an epilogue. However, having said this, Wrong Number is an enjoyable read that will keep you gripped and entertained until the very end.

An exclusive extract from Wrong Number
Below is an exclusive extract from Wrong Number. Enjoy!

4
Every ten minutes, Amanda dialled Will’s number again, clinging to the hope that this time the call would connect. But it was never her husband who picked up. Amanda knew the clipped monotone response by heart as it echoed in her ear: ‘The number you dialled has been disconnected.’
     She’d heard the message so many times that she feared it had been forever ingrained on her soul. That years, even decades from now she’d hear the objective words as they became permanently housed in the darker recesses of her mind.
     ‘Come on,’ Amanda chewed down on her thumbnail as she paced across the landing. Her mobile phone was held to her ear in the midst of a pregnant pause during which she crossed everything, praying that Will would answer.
     Amanda had never been someone to entertain superstitions. She’d put shoes on the table, cross someone on the stairs and deliberately fail to acknowledge a solitary magpie. She didn’t believe in fate. But now, as the morning started to creep worryingly close towards the afternoon, Amanda was willing to do whatever it took to find out where her husband was. She’d cross her fingers, never walk beneath a ladder again and throw salt over her shoulder if she had to.
     Finally, the call was answered. But not by Will. It was the automated response again.
     Dammit,’ Amanda seethed and ended the call with a blunt press of a button. Her mind was racing as she headed downstairs.
     Was Will hurt?
     Was his phone just broken?
     Was he now at work?
     Amanda looked at her phone. She needed to call Mike. To check that Will hadn’t turned up late for his shift and thanks to a suddenly fault phone just couldn’t contact her.
     Every surface in the kitchen burned brightly beneath the glorious glow of sunlight which was beaming in through the windows. Amanda reached for the percolator and switched it on before stepping back from its loud gurgles and trembles. She pressed her phone against her ear.
     'Yeah?’ Mike gruffly answered as though he were annoyed at the distraction.
     'Mike, hi, it’s Mrs Thorn,’ Amanda tossed her hair out of her eyes and wandered over to the French doors at the far end of the kitchen, looking out at her little garden.
     ‘Oh, Mrs Thorn,’ Mike cleared his throat and softened his tone. ‘Everything okay?’
     'I, um,’ Amanda sighed, realizing that she was about to risk sounding like a slightly crazy person. ‘Did Will show up for work in the end?’ she blurted the question, moving hard and fast like she was ripping off a plaster and trying to minimize the damage caused.
     Mike paused and Amanda felt her stomach squeeze in on itself.
     ‘No, he didn’t.’
     Amanda closed her eyes and leaned against the French doors for support. The heat of the day burned against the glass.
     'Is everything all right, Mrs Thorn?’ Mike wondered kindly.
     Chewing her lip, Amanda wondered what to say.
     No, everything isn’t all right. My husband is missing, his phone isn’t working and I’ve no idea where he’s gone.
     ‘I’m fine,’ Amanda forced herself to smile as she straightened. ‘Will’s phone is just broken so I can’t check where he is.’
     ‘Okay, as long as you are all right.’
     Amanda had never met Mike. From what she’d heard about him through Will he sounded like a decent, fair man who’d take on any new hires at the warehouse so long as they were willing to work hard for him. He wasn’t the kind of guy to suffer fools gladly. Amanda knew that Will’s sudden absence at work was putting his job in jeopardy.
     ‘When he does surface, tell him to give me a call, will you?’ Mike requested.
     Yes,’ Amanda was nodding briskly. ‘I will.’
     The percolator ceased bubbling and rumbling just as Amanda ended her call with Mike. She poured herself a large cup of fresh coffee and then tried Will again. She got the same response.
Wrong Number is out now!


Google Play: http://bit.ly/2fVsbww

About the author

Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.

Follow Carys over on:
Twitter: @tiny_dancer85

Facebook: @CarysJonesWriter

Instagram: tiny_dancer_8

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Infixion by K. E. Coles




About Infixion
It's easy to escape your past, isn't it? Just move away to a big city. They'll never find you there. Or will they? Pearl and Spicer have one thing in common. Both have lost loved ones to violent religious sect, Mesmeris. While Pearl moves away to escape her past, Spicer decides to do the opposite. He infiltrates the cult, going deep undercover into their shadowy world of violence, coercion and sacrilegious ceremonies. When the cult relocates to London, Pearl discovers that leaving your past behind is not as easy as she thought.


My review of Infixion

Infixion is the second installment in the Mesmeris trilogy. I had the great pleasure of reading book one, Mesmersis, last year, you can read my review here. I was therefore very excited to read this book, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyded reading it.

We are once again introduced to Pearl and her family, and the members of the cult, Mesmeris. Pearl is reeling from the events that took place at the end of Mesmeris (I won't spoil what happens) and is desperately trying to get her life back on track. I love this young character. She is plucky, courageous and of course makes mistakes, but she intrigues me and I love the fact that she knows her own mind and wants to be independent. She is no walk over!

As with the first book, this book is equally as dark and disturbing. It is a Young Adult book, but I feel that it caters for the older age range. There are somne deeply diusturbing practices thst take place, among the Mesmeris members, and the book is violent, although with purpose and to drive the plot forwards. As I said when I reviewed the first book in the series, this is a Young Adult book, but unlike one I have ever read before. It makes you question your morality, the actions and decisions that you make in life, as well as the overall purpose of your life.

What I really loved about this book was the introduction of Marcus/Spicer, who wants to seek revenge against Mesmeris. He is a completely new character and I think that as well as giving a breath of fresh air to the novel, he balanced the book, in that he bridged the gap between the two worlds. I also have to say that he was by far my most favourite character. I read the book, quickly turning pages as I needed to know what would happen to him and if he would survive the clutches of Mesmeris. I desperately wanted him to be happy and to live his life.

The theme running throughout this book is that of, can you ever truly escape from your past? Can you reinvent yourself? Pearl is trying to forge a new path and Marcus is headed in the opposite direction, as he immerses himself into their dark and murky world, so as to seek revenge.

This book is beautifully written, is descriptive, evocative, and fast paced. I found myself quickly turning the pages as I needed to know what would happen after each chapter cliffhangar. K.E. Coles really is a gifted storyteller and I cant wait to find out what happens in book 3 of the trilogy.

With thanks to the author who provided the eBook for review purposes.

Infixion is available to buy from Amazon here.


About the author

Karen Coles was born in Taplow, Berkshire. Before beginning her writing career she was an exhibiting artist and occasional art tutor.

Mesmeris, a darkly compelling tale about a malign religious sect, Infixion, it's sequel, and the third and final book in the trilogy, Wormwood, are all available from Amazon.

Karen now lives in beautiful West Wales, where she's busy writing her fourth novel.

She's on twitter @KEColeswriting


Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005946528361




Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Liar by Jennifer Wells



About The Liar

1935. A mother's journey to find out what really happened to her only daughter. Complex and intriguing, full of twists and turns. Perfect for the fans of Lesley Pearse and Dilly Court.

What would you do if you saw a girl in a crowd whose face had the same, identical birthmark as your only child?

A child who, nearly ten years ago, you were told died?

It's 1935 and housewife Emma glimpses a face in a crowd – a little girl with a very unique birthmark.

Transfixed by the sight of a stranger; Emma becomes convinced that the girl is her long-lost daughter taken from her at birth. There is only one problem: Emma's daughter is dead. So who is the stranger?
THE LIAR follows Emma's journey as she tries to find out what really happened to her daughter – a journey that unearths secrets from the past and ends in obsession...

'An intriguing mystery that keeps you guessing ... If you like compelling mysteries you will love this well written story' Rosie Clarke.

My review of The Liar

The Liar is set in the summer of 1935. We are first introduced to Emma, whose baby daughter sadly died 9 years ago, shortly after birth. Her baby, Violet, had a very distinctive birthmark on her face, that looked like red tears. From the very first page, I was hooked. I loved this book, I loved every aspect of it.

So, Emma is married to a respectable man, George, who is the village doctor. They live in a large house and she practically wants for nothing, nothing that is but her lost child. The loss of this child has caused a rift between E!ma and her husband, a rift that was probably there before the tragic death of their daughter, but it now appears that even though she lives in this wonderful house, with a wealthy and respectable man, she is in fact all alone in the world.  She is locked into a loveless marriage. George believes that Emma should simply forget about the bsaby, and carry on with her life, but Emma cannot do as he asks.

The book begins when  Emma spots a little girl, aged around nine years old, who has a red teared birthmark on her cheek. She is convinced that this girl is her dead daughter and so the story for seeking truth about what really happened begins. This girl is known as Ruby and lives a completely different lifestyle to that of Emma.  She is brought up in extreme poverty, with her mother, Maude, having to resort to washing and dying aprons to make ends meet. The household is cruel and cold, and my heart ached for little Ruby.

Emma and Ruby both tell thrir own unique story, with the two stories inevitably becoming one. I enjoyed reading about both of these characters. Emma, at times could be a little infuriating, and I found her to be a little bit spoilt in her ways, but I did like her and I wanted her to get to the bottom of who Ruby really was. As for Ruby, well, this child had guts, a sharp tongue and a way of making everyone like her. She also deserved so much better in life.

This book is beautifully written. It is sensitive in its choice of topic matters, those about the death of a child, poverty and abuse. Even though the book is set in the 20s and 30s, for some reason I felt that I was reading about a modern day setting, and modern day issues, and I mean this in a good way. The issues that were relevant back then are still relevant today, those of love, lost love, death, poverty and human cruelty.

The Liar is also very different to what I perceived it to be, from the blurb and cover. I thought it would be a light, historical thriller. But what I got was  a dark, psychological thriller of a read with an ending that was truly shocking... I really didn't see it coming. This really is a cracking debut novel, from beginning to end, and I can't wait to read the next novel by Jennifer Wells.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher, Aria, for an eBook review copy.

The book is available to purchase from Amazon here.


About the author

Jennifer Wells works in Market Research when not writing. She lives in Devon with her young family and cat. The Liar is her first novel, she is busily working on her next. . .


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici




About The Book of Mirrors


THE ONE BOOK YOU WON’T FORGET IN 2017

A gripping psychological thriller full of hidden fragments and dark reflections.

How would you piece together a murder?

Do you trust other people’s memories?

Do you trust your own?

Should you?


My review of The Book of Mirrors


Let me begin by saying that I loved this book. The Book of Mirrors is a murder mystery told in a completely unique way. As the name suggests, this is a book within a book, and we are never quite sure if what we are reading is fact or fiction.

The book is divided into three parts. Each part offers a unique viewpoint of the events that took place leading up to the murder. Part one is Richard Flynn. He is an author who submits a partial manuscript, the first three chapters, to a literary agent. The story  is about a real life crime that took place thirty years ago, while Richard was at University. It is during this part of the book that we are introduced to Laura Baines, Richard's new housemate, and later on girlfriend, who in turn introduces him to Professor Wieder. It is the Professor, who many months after their initial meeting, is found murdered. But who killed him? Was it Richard? Or Laura? Or someone else known to him? This first part of the book, that is roughly thirty percent of the novel, sets the tone beautifully and makes you want to carry on reading, as you simply need to know what happened. The problem is that the literary agent only has the first three chapters, he too, like the reader, needs to know what happened.

This then leads us onto part two of the book, where John Keller, a journalist, tries to find out what actually happened. In part three we are introduced to the policeman, Roy Freeman, who had worked on the original murder case. I can't say anything else without spoiling the plot. All I will say is that this book centres around memories, and asks the reader several questions. Can a person's memory every really be trusted? Isn't memory subjective, in that we can change our memories to suit our own specific needs? Memories are at the core of the book. Memories that are forgotten, memories that are real and those memories that are pure fabrication.

Throughout the book we are told different accounts of what happened, and I really didn't know who to believe, nor could I work out who had killed the Professor. What I really enjoyed about the book, was that although it is a psychological thriller, for me it took on a completely different pace, it took its time, it did not rush. The personal accounts, in all three parts of the book, are incredibly detailed and this made me feel as if I knew each and every one of these characters. This is something that is difficult to do with multiple first person point of views. The Book of Mirrors is a highly enjoyable read, and once I started to read it, I couldn't put it down. If you enjoy murder mysteries, with an added twist, then you will love this book!

The Book of Mirrors is published by Century on January 26th.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for am Advanced Reader Copy

The Book of Mirrors is available to preorder from Amazon here 


About the Author


Inspired by false memories from his childhood and written in the author’s second language, remarkably The Book of Mirrors nearly wasn’t published at all.

Having been rejected in the US, E. O. Chirovici took the novel to a small UK publisher who advised him to try just one more time to get it to a wider readership. He did, and The Book of Mirrors was immediately signed by a literary agent, sparking a UK auction and world-wide rights sales.

E. O. Chirovici now lives in Brussels with his wife. He has had a prestigious and varied career in the Romanian media and has also published novels and short stories in his native language. The Book of Mirrors is his first novel in English and is being published in January.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

*BLOG TOUR* Unknown by Phil Price - Q & A



About Unknown
 
Every year across the world thousands of people disappear.
Many return home safe and well. Some are never found.
A select few end up far from home, harvested by two feuding brothers who need their blood.
How on Earth can this happen?
It doesn't happen on Earth.
 
 
 
Q & A with Phil Price
 



What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?
 The Bible. Read to me by my cousin Michelle. I thought it was a bit far-fetched.

 
Who is your favourite literary character?
 At the moment, I’d say Jack Reacher. If you’ve read Lee Childs, you’ll know why.
 
 Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
 How to be a great husband. Next!
 
If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be?
 The Lord of the Rings. I think it would keep me company on those long nights. Would need a torch though.
 
 What are you currently reading?
 Thrown to the Blue, by KJ Chapman. Check her out. She’s a great writer.
 
Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?
 Captain Chaos, Ron Burgundy, and my Dad.
 
What's the best advice you have ever received?
 Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
 
What's the worst advice you have ever received?
 Don’t take a career change. Stay put and be comfortable.
 
Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?
 Michael Palin. He’s just the dogs …………
 
Where are you happiest?
 Laid on the sofa with my two son’s clambering on top of me.
 
Who would you like to star in the film of your life?
Someone really good looking. Harrison Ford. It would need to be Phil Price, the Later Years.
 
Describe your best ever holiday.

My honeymoon to Mauritius. It was just idyllic. Lazy days spent reading and relaxing, followed by fun nights. Plus it was all inclusive. Need I go on?
 
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? (easy, tiger!)
Hang around the lingerie department like Father Ted.
 
If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?
Sat in a bar in the Sierra Nevada, drinking cold beer, watching the world go by. You’re buying
 
Which book character do you wish you had written?
John Clarke by Tom Clancy. From Frogman to CIA agent. It doesn’t get much better than that.
 
Why did you write a book?

Because I had a whiff of a plot and decided I could do something about it. I wanted to share story with folk. I wanted my kids to one day say. “Wow. Dad is an author.
 
Why did you choose your particular genre?
I don’t have a genre as such. My first book is kinda horror/fantasy. I have a Sci-fi novel construction and other books planned that are not horror. However, I love scary stories. I the thought of monsters and magic. It appeals in our world of X-Factor and celebrity. Let’s take it back to a more primitive time, where vampires roam freely.
 
If you had to write in a different genre, which would you choose?
Err. See above. Lol. Love Sci-fi. I’m trying to write a novel as we speak. I guess I just love to daydream and write about far out stuff.
 
If you could be anyone for the day, who would you be?
Easy. Superman. I can fly and wear tights at the same time. Did I just say that out loud?


Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy of Unknown

 


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You can buy Unknown from Amazon UK and Amazon US

 
Catch up with all posts from the blog tour!
 

 
About Phil Price

 
Phil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places until his family settled in Rednal, Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with and older brother and sister he always flirted with reading as there were always books lying on shelves around the house. Then in 1997 he embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi gave him the opportunity to ignite his imagination fully. Since those far off days he has never been without a book to read.
He toyed with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories he caught a whiff of a story in his head. It grew and grew in 2010 until he had enough to begin. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However during those periods of writing inactivity the story continued to evolve until it just needed to be written down.
 The book is littered with places that had influenced Phil's life. From the Lickey Hills in Birmingham, to the Amatola Mountains in South Africa with other locations, in-between and far beyond.




Friday, 13 January 2017

Rattle by Fiona Cummins




About Rattle

A serial killer to chill your bones

A psychopath more frightening than Hannibal Lecter.

He has planned well. He leads two lives. In one he's just like anyone else. But in the other he is the caretaker of his family's macabre museum.

Now the time has come to add to his collection. He is ready to feed his obsession, and he is on the hunt.

Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle have something in common. They have what he needs.

What begins is a terrifying cat-and-mouse game between the sinister collector, Jakey's father and Etta Fitzroy, a troubled detective investigating a spate of abductions.

Set in London's Blackheath, Rattle by Fiona Cummins explores the seam of darkness that runs through us all; the struggle between light and shadow, redemption and revenge.

It is a glimpse into the mind of a sinister psychopath. And it's also a story about not giving up hope when it seems that all hope is already lost.

My Review of Rattle
 
Rattle by Fiona Cummins is a deliciously dark and compelling read that will stay with you for a very long time. This book gets under your skin and refuses to let go. I know it's  only January, but I already have this book pegged as one of my top reads of 2017. It's not an easy read, and I did find it hugely disturbing, but the idea that a psychopath could be living on your street, that this person could be someone that you see on a daily basis, well, it is truly shocking. It is this fact that I cannot shake off, and once you get to know the Bone Collector, you will never forget him.
 
This book is incredibly difficult to review, in terms of not giving the plot away. So I don't want to say any more than what is suggested on the book's blurb. This book is full of twists and turns that you just don't see coming, but for me, what I found most interesting, was the darkness that lurked in the pages, and which seeped into each and every character.
 
We have the parents, all of whom have their own problems and demons to face. But what they all have in common is a longing and drive to get their children back home safely. Nothing else matters. We then have the feisty detective, Etta Fitzroy, with her own demons to tackle. She is no stranger to this dark world, and what we see as we progress through the novel is a woman who will do anything to protect these two children. She is a complex character, who makes mistakes, but ultimately she is likeable and strives to do what all police officers do, get the bad guys.  Which then leads me on to the Bone Collector. Now, I have read many crime/thriller books, and I can honesty say that I have never come across a character such as this one. He is bone chillingly creepy. He leads two separate lives, one life as a psychopath, the other as a carer to his disabled wife, the passages between the two of them deeply touched me. It is obvious that he cares deeply for his wife. But then we have the psychopath, the man who likes to abduct children to show in a deeply disturbing macabre of a museum. It is just so very difficult to comprehend that this man is both a carer and a monster, but the hypothesis is so very real, and this is what is truly frightening.
 
As a mother, I also found this book incredibly difficult to read in places. Two children are abducted by the Bone Collector, and although not graphic in their depictions at all, what happens to them is still deeply harrowing. The two children, Jakey Frith and Clara Foyle are only infants and my heart broke for them, wishing for them to be found safely and unharmed.
 
I just want to convey how much I enjoyed this book. I have never read a book quite like it. It is poignant, original and deeply cruel, playing on your worst nightmares. The character of the Bone Collector will remain with me for a very long time.
 
Rattle is published by Macmillan on 26th January

You can find Rattle on Amazon here

With thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan who provided an Advance Reader Copy



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Miss Christie Regrets by Guy Fraser-Sampson


About Miss Christie Regrets

“a neatly lacquered puzzle-box filled with golden-age trickery, as warm and timeless as crumpets and honey; a murder to curl up by the fire with on a winter’s night” - Christopher Fowler, author of the bestselling Bryant and May mysteries

The second in the Hampstead Murders series opens with a sudden death at an iconic local venue, which some of the team believe may be connected with an unsolved murder featuring Cold War betrayals worthy of George Smiley. It soon emerges that none other than Agatha Christie herself may be the key witness who is able to provide the missing link.

As with its bestselling predecessor, Death in Profile, the book develops the lives and loves of the team at 'Hampstead Nick'. While the next phase of a complicated love triangle plays itself out, the protagonists, struggling to crack not one but two apparently insoluble murders, face issues of national security in working alongside Special Branch.

On one level a classic whodunit, this quirky and intelligent read harks back not only to the world of Agatha Christie, but also to the Cold War thrillers of John Le Carre, making it a worthy successor to Death in Profile which was dubbed 'a love letter to the detective novel'.

My Review of Miss Christie Regrets

This is the first novel I have read by Guy Fraser-Sampson, and what a treat it was. This is the second book in the Hampstead Murders series, so I now need to go back and read the first book!

So, this book begins with a couple visiting Burgh House, a museum that is located in Hampstead, London. From the very first page, I was transported back in time because of the description of these two characters and the way in which they spoke to one other. It is while Detective Sergeant Kate Willis and her boyfriend, psychologist Peter Collins, are visiting the museum, that a murder takes place. As Kate is already at the scene, even though she is off duty, she calls it in and the investigation begins.

A man is found murdered in his office, slumped at his desk, and so the museum is closed and everyone within the building is questioned by the police. From this very moment, I had no idea who had committed the murder, as there were several suspects throughout, and I was genuinely shocked to find out the killer's identity at the end of the book. What is so very clever about this novel, is that there is a second mystery to be solved, that which surrounds a corpse that is found in a nearby block of flats, that are being renovated. Although the two murders are apparently unrelated, Detective Superintendent  Simon Collinson, who has been called in to oversee this particular murder, is convinced that the two murders are linked. What ensues is a highly enjoyable murder mystery that is reads like a classic detective story from days gone by. The entire tone of this novel, from the way in which the police work is carried out, to the language that is used, harks back to the Golden Age of detective writing. Although set in the present day, it really does feel as though you are reading a classic piece of detection work, and I found this such a treat.The Agatha Christie element of the story stems from a link to the block of flats where the corpse is found. I don't want to spoil the plot, but this aspect is very interesting, and if you love Agatha Christie novels, then you will love this plot twist.

As well as investigating the two murders, past and present, we also have some very interesting relationships that are unravelled before us and a gentle love triangle that needs to be resolved. Kate Willis lives with her boyfriend, Peter Collins, but she is also in love with Detective Sergeant Bob Metcalf, whom she works with. This love triangle is a complicated one. Peter lives in a fantasy world that is inspired by the likes of Lord Peter Wimsey, and on many occasions he refers to Kate as Harriet. Although Kate loves this world, she cannot keep up with the pretence, even though she loves Peter  She needs to live and feel reality. This is where Bob comes in, the polar opposite of Peter. But can the two of them make a life together?  Can she truly let go of Peter? All of the characters in this book are intriguing, well written and fully rounded. I particularly liked Bob Metcalf and his no nonsense persona. But I also enjoyed reading the dialogue between Simon and Kate. Their relationship almost came across as that of father and daughter.

Miss Christie Regrets is an old fashioned detective story set in today's modern and high tech world. You will find no blood, guts, gore or profanity in this book, which I found quite refreshing. It is a completely different read, and if you fuly immerse yourelf in this nostalgic world, then you are in for a real treat.

With thanks to the author and Urbane Publications for a paperback Advanced Reader Copy.

Miss Christie Regrets is published by Urbane Publications on January 12th in both ebook and paperback.

The Amazon link can be found here.



About the Author

GUY FRASER-SAMPSON is an established writer, previously best known for his 'Mapp and Lucia' novels, which have been featured on BBC Radio 4 and optioned by BBC television. His debut work of detective fiction, Death in Profile, the first in the Hampstead Murders series has drawn high praise from fellow crime writers as well as from readers on both sides of the Atlantic.