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Thursday, 11 October 2018

#LiesBetweenUs @Ronnie__Turner @HQDigitalUK

About Lies Between Us 

Will they ever learn the truth?
Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

My review of Lies Between Us 

Lies Between Us is one dark and menacing book. From the very offset you know that something very bad has happened and this sense of unease sets the tone for the rest of the book. It is an uneasy read, and some scenes I did find disturbing, but at its heart is the exploration of family and belongng, and I found this incredibly interesting. This exploration of human nature. 

The book is told through the voices of three narrators. John, the father, the family man whose daughter mysteriously disappears. I bonded very quickly with John. Feeling his pain and anguish, and just like him, wondering who had taken his daughter and why. We also read Maisie's point of view, an ICU nurse. I loved this character and the exploration of her past. It was Miller, who we first meet as a young child, that both chilled and disturbed me. His obsessive and controlling behaviour unnerved me and I questioned what made this little boy behave in such a cruel and evil way. I wanted to try and understand him. But I felt I never did. 

This book is incredibly clever with sharp writing that packs a punch. It has that sense of foreboding running throughout the pages, wanting to unearth its truths. At the beginning I had no idea how all of these characters were linked, but as I quickly made my way through the novel, I raced through the pages, I began to slowly learn how the events were connected, completely taking me by surprise. 

The Lies Between Us is an unsettling, dark and menacing read that deals with some very disturbing topics. It is a page turner that jumps back and forwards in time, and as such, held my interest throughout. A psychological thriller that is chilling and packed full of suspense. 

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy. 

Lies Between Us is published by HQ Digital on 1st October.

About the author

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author. Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel.

Ronnie's debut novel, Lies Between Us, will be published by HQ Digital in October 2018.

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Monday, 8 October 2018

#EyesOfTheBlind @Alex_Tresillian @urbanebooks

About Eyes of the Blind

A young blind woman receives the world's first and miraculous binocular eye transplant, but questions surround the operation. Why was she selected? And why is a major charity so keen to put up the huge amount of collateral to make the operation happen? Enter Niall Burnet, unemployed and visually impaired journalist, who believes all is not as it appears and searches for answers. Using his network of contacts he begins to unearth a conspiracy in the higher echelons of the charity, a conspiracy determined to ensure the transplant is a 'heroic failure'. When an ex-girlfriend is blinded, his guide dog is knocked down in a hit and run, and a doctor commits suicide, Niall joins forces with the 'miracle patient' to find out the truth a truth that will threaten their very lives.

My review of Eyes of the Blind

This book grabbed my attention with its tagine of ' We Can't Always See the Truth'. This, plus the fact that the protagonist is visually impaired,  screamed at me that that this book would be a different type of read from the usual crime stroke who done it type that I tend to read. I like to read books that blur the boundaries of genre and this book did exactly that - it's a brilliant read.

The character or Niall Burnet fascinated me. He made me laugh, I liked him from the moment I met him. It was pointed out at the very beginning that Niall is visually impaired and, that is that. It's not the dominant factor in this book, although the story revolves around the blind and visually impaired community as it delves into the practices of the charity that are behind the world's first eye transplant. It's not Niall's inability to see the world that defines him, but the fact that he is a damn good journalist who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

This is a cracking read with deception, and corruption at its very heart, that  makes you question every character that you meet, and that if what you are being told is the absolute truth.  I raced through the pages in my haste to find out who was determined to stop Niall in his search for the truth.

The Eyes of the Blind is a gripping read. It'kept my attention throughout, features intriguing characters that you can't help but care about, and a protagonist that just gets under your skin. it's a thought provoking read that as well as being an entertaining read, also manages to smash the stereotype that blind and visually impaired people are somehow incapable of leading a 'normal' life.  I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

I purchased my own copy.

Eyes of the Blind is published by Urbane Publications and is available to read in paperback and kindle.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

#InAHouseOfLies @Beathhigh @orionbooks

About In A House of Lies

Everyone has something to hide
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still - both for his family and the police - is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now - after a decade without answers - it's time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead - and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.

My review of In A House Of Lies

I'll just start by saying that I am a huge Rebus fan and couldn't wait to dive on into this book and to be reunited with an old friend, because that's how he feels to me. In fact, it was lovely being back in Edinburgh, albeit in the darkest of circumstances, that of investigating the murder of a private investigator.

The opening of the novel instantly grabbed my attention. It's dark, disturbing and you wonder what exactly is going to be unearthed next. The body of the man found deep in the woods is investigated by Siobhan Clarke, who is also assisted by the now retired John Rebus. This murder is linked to past and buried secrets, that the police need to unravel to find the truth. It's one cracker of a crime story,  that kept me continually guessing.

At the heart of this novel is the relationship between Rebus and Clarke. I love the interaction between these two. The years of friendship shines through. Some of my favourite passages are when these two get together, for me it's that perfect on page chemistry. The respect and admiration, that special bond that they have shines from the page.

As a huge Rebus fan I loved this book, and even if you're a new reader, you'll still enjoy this book, as a stand alone crime novel. I just wonder how many more Rebus books are in the pipeline, now that he is in his advancing years. I hope there are many more books to come. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

With thanks to NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

In a  House of Lies is published by Orion on 4th October.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

#TheWinteThatMadeUs @katehaswords @AccentPress

About  The Winter That Made Us

When Tess finds herself unexpectedly alone and back in Ribblemill, the childhood village she thought she’d escaped, she’s sure she can survive a temporary stay. She’s spent a lifetime making the best of things, hasn’t she?

Determined to throw herself into village life, Tess starts a choir and gathers a team of volunteers to restore the walled garden at Ramblings, the local stately home. Everything could be perfect, if she weren’t sharing a cottage and a cat with a man whose manner is more prickly than the nettles she’s removing…

As winter approaches, Tess finds herself putting down her own roots as fast as she’s pulling them up in the garden. But the ghosts of the past hover close by, and Tess must face them if she’s to discover whether home is where her heart has been all along.

My review of The Winter That Made Us

Oh my heart! Kate Field has only gone and done it again with another beautiful heartfelt and poignant story set deep within the Lancashire countryside.  I LOVED everything about this book. It was a joyous and comforting read from beginning to end, and will be sure to warm up the coldest of nights. It's just so beautiful.

The Winter That Made Us is a touching story about two lost and damaged souls who are thrown together in a tiny village where everyone knows your business. Tess is back home from the big city after waving her husband off to work overseas. She tells her parents that he'll be gone for a year, hence why she has come back home. From the very moment I met Tess on the page I knew that there was so much more to this story, and  surrounding the relationship with her mother; what we see on the surface isn't always what's inside.

Tess rents a room in Cobweb Cottage, and while she accepts this offer from Cassie, it's owner, so too does Noah, after receiving the same offer from Barney,  Cassie's husband. So, these two characters set up a shared home under the roof of Cobweb Cottage and what follows is a truly magical, poignant and consuming story.

The real star of this book for me, was Noah. He won my heart from the very first moment I met him. Here is a man with a damaged soul who thinks he will never be whole again. I was deeply invested in his story. I wanted everything to work out for him. For him to be happy and to have a real place in the community. There is such beautiful writing surrounding this character, in the fact that he is a man of nature, of the outdoors, that he smells of the earth and fresh air.

This book does tackle serious issues, and a huge theme is that of mental health. It was obvious to me that the author had done much research surrounding walled gardens (I now must visit one) and the fact that gardening and having your hands in the  soil is not only beneficial for physical health, but is also good for the mind and soul.

This book really is a heart-warming read. It's a book about community, that there is a place for everyone and that at the end of the day we are all the same, in that we need to feel loved and be able to give love. This book broke, and then mended my heart. A gorgeous, uplifting and poignant read. All the stars. 

With thanks to the author who sent me a digital copy for review purposes.

The Winter That Made Us is published by Accent Press and is available to buy now

Monday, 24 September 2018

The Cold Cold Sea @LindaHuber19

About The Cold Cold Sea

They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose in her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and tapped 999.

When three-year-old Olivia disappears from the beach, a happy family holiday comes to an abrupt end. Maggie is plunged into the darkest nightmare imaginable – what happened to her little girl?

Further along the coast, another mother is having problems too. Jennifer's daughter Hailey is starting school, and it should be such a happy time, but the child has become moody and silent. Family life has never seemed so awkward, and Jennifer struggles to maintain control.

The tide ebbs and flows, and summer dies, but there is no comfort for Maggie, alone now at the cottage, or for Jennifer, still swamped by doubts.

My review of The Cold Cold Sea

The Cold Cold Sea is a story that unsettled me. It's a story about the bonds of family, about caring for a child and of the emotional and physical frailties following the disappearance of a child The subject matter is dark, with beautiful and stark writing that cannot help but touch the soul. It's a chilling read about human fragility. I loved this book.

The book has has three interweaving stories At first we meet Maggie and her husband Colin, who while on holiday in Cornwall suffer a family tragedy, when their three year old daughter goes missing, and is believed to have been lost at sea. We read Maggie's thoughts and feelings during this period,  of how she blames herself. We watch a family slowly unravelling under the emotional pressure.

The story also focusses upon Jennifer who is mother to five year old little girl. Her daughter is moody and it's obvious that there are deep rooted problems. Jennifer has to deal with this alone as her husband is away in America, at the bedside of his dying grandmother. The strain in their relationship is palpable on the page, as is the strain and difficulties between mother and daughter.

Although this book is beautifully written, the prose set against the wildness of the Cornish coast, it was a difficult book to read due to the subject matter. Any book that focusses upon a missing child is difficult to read, but the author manages to tackle this subject with sensitivity and great care, so that what you then get is an insightful and  engaging read, that you simply can't put down. Although I guessed pretty early on the 'how', I wanted to understand the 'why'. This is the central core of this psychological chiller.

The Cold Cold Sea is one dark and unsettling read.  This book sent chills down my spine and left me thinking about the characters long after the final words.

With thanks to the author for providing a copy for review purposes.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

#TurningLeftAroundTheWorld @dcmooreauthor

 About Turning Left Around the World

 For some people, retirement dreams consist of comfy slippers and gardening. Not so David and Helene whose dream was of adventure. They presented Audley Travel, specalities in creating tailor-made journeys to all corners of the globe, with the challenge of exploring the history, landscape, wildlife, people and food in fifteen countries over ten months. Fortunately, they were up to the task so David and Helene traded their slippers and gardening gloves for 53 flights, 30 trains, 8 boats, 3 cruise ships, 1 light aircraft, 1 hot air balloon, a motorbike and sidecar, countless speedboats, taxis, tuk-tuks, cyclos, bicycles. And a disobedient horse. Turning Left Around The World is an entertaining account of their adventure, often intriguing, frequently funny and occasionally tragic. Share their adventure, enjoy the surprises and meet some fascinating people with some unusual customs. There are over 100 colour images to enjoy as you travel with the intreped explorers.

My review of Turning Left Around the World

Turning Left Around the World allows you to go on an epic journey without leaving your armchair. It's part guidebook, part memoir and simply an immersing and interesting read.  If you love to travel, or read about those countries you've always dreamed of visiting, then you'll enjoy this book.

The book is divided into different sections, with each section devoted to a country that David and Helene visited. It's in an easy to read and enjoyable format, and what's more, a host of wonderful photographs accompany each chapter, so you get to see where they visited, helping to enhance what you read.

I love these type of travel guides that share the nitty gritty realities of travelling. Nothing is left unsaid and I really did feel as if I was on the journey with them. We get to read the conversations between them as they work out where to go and what to do. I loved this insight.  But for me, it was those little gems that they shared, that only someone who had visited a country and immersed themselves in the culture could possibly know,  these moments were truly special.

I read this book from beginning to end, so I followed their chronological journey, but you could also easily dip in and out of his book, focusing on your favourite places to visit. It's a book that can be used as an insightful travel guide, or as I did, to simply learn more about a country's culture and everyday life. It's a remarkable story about a couple who refused to wear those slippers after retirement. It's a lovely read.

With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour, and to the publisher for a paperback copy for review purposes.

 About the author

 David owned and managed a London marketing agency for 15 years, creating advertising campaigns to promote iconic international brands including Mars, Kellogg’s, Disney and Coca-Cola. Following the sale of his agency in 1999 he became one of the leading Consultant Marketing Directors in the UK, steering business in the launch or re-launch of their consumer brands including B&Q, Direct Line and RBS. David lives in Berkshire with his wife Helene. There is far more on the interactive website: 

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Monday, 17 September 2018

#ToymakersBlogTour @Robert_Dinsdale

About The Toymakers

An enchanting, magical novel set in a mysterious toyshop - perfect for fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber's Caraval by way of Jessie Burton's The Miniaturist

It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment.

The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles of their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own.

But Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own...

My review of The Toymakers 

The Toymakers is a book that is full of magic and love and possibility. It's a book that brings out the child in us all, as it so wonderfully blends the magical and everyday worlds together. I loved every page of this enchanting saga. it was a sheer delight to read.

The novel begins in 1917 when Cathy leaves her small seaside town to travel to London, after seeing an advert for Papa Jack's Emporium in the newspaper. This is the very beginning of Cathy's story, and of us learning about the magical inhabitants of the Emporium. It is here that we meet the brothers, Emil and Kaapar, the two sons of Papa Jack. Both young men are very different, and from the offset I could feel the sibling rivalry between them. The two brothers and their ongoing battle and difficulties were at the very heart of this story. 

The magic of the Emporium was so beautifully and vividly brought to life. The wendy house that I would have so loved to visit; the toy boxes and the absolutely sublime paper trees. It really is a jaw dropping and 'catch your breath' type of toyshop. Unlike any you have ever known. This book taps into the childish dreams that we all have and builds upon them to weave a magical adult fairytale that I simply could not put down. It's sublime. 

Throughout the book there are the continuing themes of belonging, and of sibling rivalry, set against the backdrop of two wars. The Emporium is very much a safe space, a place for lost souls, and for those who do not belong in the outside world. The book gives so much hope, in the fact that there is a place for everyone.

The Toymakers is a novel that is full of compassion. It's about love, family, magic and childhood. It's an absolutely beautiful book, it's timeless, and I adored every page. 

With thanks to the publisher and Chloe Rose for a hardback copy of the book for review purposes. 

The Toymakers is published in paperback on 20 September by Del Rey. It is available to buy now in paperback and hardback. 

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