Mid Year Freak Out Tag

So I’ve been tagged by the lovely Emma-Louise over at Read Write Inspire in the Mid Year Freak Out tag. You can read Emma’s responses here.

1) Best books you’ve read so far in 2017

Trust Me

There have been so many this year, including most of the ones I’ve mentioned below but I would have to say that one of my favourite reads of 2017 that hasn’t been mentioned is Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe. This fantastic debut thriller had me hooked from the first page.

2) Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

IN YOUR NAME 2

This would have to be In Your Name by Rob Ashman. I read this book as part of a blog tour last month and really enjoyed it. My review of the final book of the trilogy is due on 13th August.

3) New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Lost Boy

Again there are quite a few books that fit this question but I would have to go for Lost Boy by Christina Henry. I read her Alice in Wonderland retellings last year and really enjoyed them so am hoping to get around to this Peter Pan retelling very soon.

4) Most anticipated release in the 2nd half of the year

The Good Daughter

For me this would have to be The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter. I haven’t read any of her books for a long time for a number of reasons but this new book is a standalone and I think it would be a perfect book to get me back into reading her books.

5) Biggest disappointment

The Roses of May

The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison is probably my biggest disappointment so far this year. After reading The Butterfly Garden I was really looking forward to the next book, however it wasn’t as good as I was hoping for.

6) Biggest surprise

Alice_ The Wanderland Chronicles

J M Sullivan’s debut novel, Alice: The Wanderland Chronicles. I’m not usually a big horror fan but I truly loved this book and am all but stalking the author for news of the sequel.

7) Fav new author

Without a doubt this has to be Conrad Jones. I have been part of two blog tours showcasing Conrad’s books and, although they are very dark and gruesome, there is something about his writing that I love. I am definitely adding some more books by Conrad to my upcoming reading pile.

8) Fav new crush

Oliver Tidy’s character David Booker from the Booker and Cash series is my current new crush. I have to be honest with you all here and say this has nothing to do with looks and everything to do with the fact he owns a coffee shop full of limited edition books.

9) Fav new characters

My new favourite character has to be Mechanic from Rob Ashman’s Mechanic Trilogy. Although a serial killer with a slightly sadistic streak there is just something about this character that has me liking them.

10) Book that made you cry

There are very few books that make me cry and so far this year I can’t think of a single one that has forced me to shed a tear.

11) Book that made you happy

Breathless

Since my preferred genre doesn’t really lend itself to ‘happy’ books I found this hard to answer initially. So much so that I had to take myself off to review my Goodreads challenge to see what I had actually read this year.

I soon spotted Breathless by Nicola Claire and knew this was the one. I love the the fact that the female protagonist in the book is forging a career in a male dominated environment during a time when women weren’t even allowed to vote. This is why the book makes me happy.

12) Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year

Wintersong

If we are going on cover alone, I think I would have to say Wintersong by S Jae-Jones. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the book itself I really do love the cover.

13) What books do you need to read before the end of the year

Far too many to list. Aside from the ever increasing NetGalley shelf and my upcoming blog tours here are a few books that will reach the top of my TBR pile: The Ressurector by Layton Green; Nemesis by Brendan Reichs and Two Nights by Kathy Reichs.

So there we have my mid year freak out. I’m not tagging anyone this time around, but if you want to have a go yourself, then please feel free. But don’t forget to let me know if you do, I’d love to read your answers.

Happy reading

Debbie x

Book Review: Fangirl

Synopsis

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google).

Review

Fangirl is a book by another new to me author. I’d read loads of reviews and the majority of people have raved about it. All I can say is I don’t think they were my kind of people.

I definitely had high expectations about this book and to be honest, at best it was OK. I’m not the within the target demographic of the book so this may go some way to explaining my disappointment.

There is no real plot to speak and the ending is somewhat abrupt. I would have preferred a little more if I’m honest. It felt as if I was reading about a small snapshot of Cath’s life without a beginning or an end.

I really didn’t like the references to Harry Potter or the fanfiction scattered through the book. If I’m honest I skimmed over the whole Simon/Baz fan fiction as I found I didn’t care in the slightest about it. Did it affect my reading pleasure? No, I don’t actually think it did, in fact I didn’t actually see the point of it.

So what kept me reading? Most definitely the relationships between the characters. I especially loved the growing relationship between Cath and Reagan. At times I actually found myself caring about the characters and truly wanted to know how things worked out between everyone.

I don’t regret reading Fangirl, but I may think twice before picking up any of Rainbow Rowell’s young adult books in future – they just aren’t for me.


Details

TitleFangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Young Adult

Page Count: 460

Blog Tour: Pay The Penance by Rob Ashman

 

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Today is my stop on the blog tour for Pay in Penance by Rob Ashman, the final instalment of the Mechanic Trilogy.

There are still a few more stops on the tour so don’t forget to check them out.

Synopsis

paythepenancebulletsfinalA stunning serial killer thriller from The Mechanic Trilogy

Murder. Corruption. Revenge. 

Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. And he doesn’t disappoint.

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back together. The police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance and she must divert the investigation if she is to survive.

The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which puts Moran right in the firing line.

Mechanic, as usual, has other plans and the consequences for Lucas and Harper are terrifying…

Review

I’m so excited, although a little sad, to be sharing with you my thoughts on Pay the Penance, the final instalment of the Mechanic Trilogy. I have read and reviewed the full trilogy, which you can read here – Those That Remain and In Your Name.

I must start by saying I’ve have absolutely loved this series. I will be sad to say goodbye to Lucas, Mechanic and the rest of the characters as Pay the Penance is the final instalment in the Mechanic series.

Rob Ashman has ended the trilogy on a total high. I’m not a huge fan of loose ends and Rob has ended the final book perfectly.

Following on directly from In Your Name, Pay The Penance find Lucas struggling to come to terms with the aftermath of recent events and his friend Harper is finding it hard to help him get through the dark times.

The bodies are still piling up courtesy of Mechanic and something needs to be done. After receiving some distressing information, Lucas and Harper embark on their own vigilante mission to bring Mechanic to justice.

Unfortunately, Detective Moran finds herself caught up in the cross fire with Lucas and Harper and soon finds that she may be better working with them rather than against them.

As with the previous books, I don’t want to go into too much detail as it will spoil the story but the exceptional writing from Rob Ashman that I have come love is still there in bucket loads as are the plot twists.

I love the new titbits of information we learn about the main characters as well as the introduction of some new characters, such as Mechanic’s father. I still have to say that Mechanic is my favourite character of the trilogy, with Lucas a very close second

The suspense keeps you hooked until the very last page and I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t be disappointed with the ending; I wasn’t.

Many thanks to Rob, Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Pay in Penance was published by Bloodhound Books on August 8th

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

About the Author

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Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob is delighted that all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy will be published with Bloodhound Books in 2017.

Those That Remain  –  22 June

In Your Name            –  13 July

Pay The Penance     –  8 August

Rob now writes full time and has recently completed his fourth novel titled Faceless.

LINKS:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Blog Tour: Double Jeopardy by M A Comley

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Double Jeopardy by M A Comley.

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There are still a few more stops on the tour if you want to check them out too.

Synopsis

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Successful entrepreneur, Ross Spalding, has everything to live for; a thriving business, a stunning new home, and a high society wedding to his beautiful fiancée to look forward to in the coming months. That is, until his life comes to an abrupt, gruesome end.

DI Hero Nelson and his team need to dig deep to find the reasons behind someone wanting Ross Spalding dead. As more people connected to Ross also die, some in suspicious circumstances, the suspect list grows beyond all expectations, until a major clue presents itself and spins the investigation off in a totally new direction.

However, Hero’s personal life is also dealt a major blow when his parents are faced with a life or death situation. He is forced to put his personal problems aside when the murderers are revealed and Hero is faced with a tight deadline in which to apprehend them.

Review

Although I have heard of the author previously, this is the first book that I have read. I was really looking forward to reading it after reading the blurb. I love reading books set in the North of England, since I’m from there myself, so the setting of Manchester was a hit with me.

This is the fourth book in the Hero series and however, it is possible to read the book as a standalone. Where possible though, and to get a full picture of the characters I would recommend reading the books in the series in order.

The books starts well, if a little gruesome, with the murder of Ross Spalding. DI Nelson and his DS, Julie are dispatched to investigate and the case progresses. There are a few spanners in the works and some dead ends before they finally find the killer.

I admit I’m in the minority in the fact that I didn’t connect with the characters in the book in the way I’d hoped and found myself questioning some of the actions taken by them. However I did like the insight into Hero’s personal life as it shows a more human side to him outside his work. The relationship between Hero and Julie seemed strained and I would like to have understood more as to why this was.

Overall, this book is very easy to read and, although this particular book wasn’t for me, I loved the authors style of writing and will definitely give more of her books a try in the future.

Many thanks to Mel, Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

About the Author

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I’m a New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, iBooks top 5 bestselling and #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. So far, I’ve sold over one and a quarter million copies sold world wide.

I am a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that’s when I turned my hobby into a career. In February 2016 I returned to the UK and now live in beautiful South Wales with the Brecon Beacons as an inspirational backdrop.

I share my home with my beautiful rescue Labrador, Dex, who is the most intelligent dog we’ve ever owned, but it also means he’s a little wilful at times too.

I started writing the Justice series in 2006 and released the first book in the series Cruel Justice in 2010, there are now 14 books and several novellas and short stories available in this bestselling series. To date I have written 30 novels and several novellas and short stories across series. I have also co-authored a few books with NY Times bestselling author Linda Prather and the talented Tara Lyons.

My latest release, Double Jeopardy has been published by my wonderful publishers Bloodhound Books, you can sign up to their website HERE where they often have free books available for readers.

I hope you enjoy my books.

LINKS:

Amazon author page

KOBO author page

iTunes author page

Barnes and Noble author page

Google Play author page

My website

Twitter

Facebook author page

Blog Tour: Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Pat Young’s debut novel Till The Dust Settles.

There are still  more stops on the tour so don’t forget to check them out.

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Synopsis

til the dust settles FINALThe lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.

Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent.  Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.

As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.

On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.

She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…

Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.

Review

Till the Dust Settles is Pat Young’s debut novel and what a brilliant first book it is. It follows the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York and adds a totally unique spin to it all.

Lucie is on her way to an interview when the attack takes place and she is caught up in a dust cloud in the middle of Manhattan. While attempting to survive the carnage in the streets, she trips and somehow finds herself with someone else’s handbag without initially realising. By the time she has realised her mistake it is too late to return it so she looks for an alternative way to get the bag back to its rightful owner.

The story is effortlessly combines identity theft, conspiracy, murder and domestic violence into a compelling story. The twists kept me wondering what was going to happen next and the ending, well I never in a million years expected that!

The development of the characters as the book progresses is well done and overall the book is very well written.

I really enjoyed this book and although everyone is aware of the events of 9/11 this book throws an interesting twist into the mix which makes for a fascinating read.

Many thanks to Pat, Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Till The Dust Settles was published on July 20th

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

About the Author

downloadPat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.

Book Review: Younger

Synopsis

YoungerWhen PR pro Anna Wallingham gets dumped by her last client, she finds herself running out of options in LA, where looks trump experience. Desperate to prove she is still relevant, the fiftysomething accepts a shady job offer from Pierre Barton, secretive billionaire owner of Barton Pharmaceuticals. Isolated in a facility outside London, she agrees to test a new top-secret product guaranteed to make her look thirty years younger. Anna is starting to look on the outside the way she feels on the inside: ageless. But she soon discovers that her predecessor died under mysterious circumstances, leading her to research just who stands to gain—and lose—with this miraculous product. When Pierre drops dead in front of her, she takes off on a dangerous journey across Europe hoping to stay alive long enough to uncover the truth.

With the hard-won knowledge that younger isn’t always better, Anna is determined to escape and reclaim her life before it’s too late.

They look at the shoes, the watch, and the bag. Then they decide where to seat you.

Review

I’m not really sure where to go with this review as the book was in no way a thriller, which is what it was sold as.

It began with a lot of promise. Her boss arrives at her apartment and promptly dies. Anna changes her name and goes on the run across Europe.

The book goes on to explain how Anna got to where she is now. This is where I lost interest. We hear about her shopping trips (which became a little tiresome) and the ‘life coaches’ appointed to make her sound and act appropriate to her newly come by age (I didn’t care)

I was almost a third of the way through the book before I found anything remotely resembling a ‘thriller’ and even then it fell a little flat.

The characters, although plentiful, didn’t engage me in the way I had hoped and I found myself uninterested in whether or not they found the answers they were looking for.

Overall, the book was OK, but maybe just not my cup of tea.

Thanks for reading, until next time

Debbie x

Blog Tour: In Your Name by Rob Ashman

Today is my stop on the blog tour for In Your Name by Rob Ashman.

There are still a few more stops on the tour so don’t forget to check them out.

BLOG TOUR (2)

Synopsis

IN YOUR NAME 2

Police detective Lucas has become consumed with tracking down the deranged killer, known as Mechanic, and bringing the murderer to justice. Nothing else matters, not even his wife. His marriage is falling apart.

Mechanic has not killed for eight months and the trail has gone cold, then Lucas receives a terrifying letter. In a desperate bid to reignite the case, he tries to convince his boss to mount an operation in Baton Rouge where the letter was posted.

But was the letter really sent by Mechanic?

Not knowing where to turn, with his marriage in turmoil and his career on the rocks, Lucas begins to spiral out of control.

When Mechanic meets the head of a drug smuggling cartel the situation takes a grave turn.

Meanwhile, a bizarre set of murders are taking place in Vegas and Detective Rebecca Moran is put on the case. She will stop at nothing to make a name for herself.

Is there a link between the murders and Mechanic?

Can Lucas apprehend the killer this time or will Mechanic remain one step ahead?

Review

Last month I read and reviewed Rob’s first book in the Mechanic Trilogy, Those That Remain. You can read my review here. I’m so pleased to be able to be able to review the next book in the series, In Your Name.

In Your Name begins where Those That Remain ended (and began). Lucas has returned to work after his rehabilitation following the events of the first book, he is still obsessed with catching Mechanic and because of this obsession his marriage is failing. Add to the mix his partner, Bassano has moved away and cut all ties and you have a man on the verge of losing everything.

I can’t go into to much detail regarding the overall story as it will spoil both this book and Those That Remain. What I will say is that this book is as good as, if not better, that the first book and all the suspense I have come to expect from Rob Ashman was there and more.

There are twists and turns galore in this book and be ready to expect the unexpected as drug dealers, police and Mechanic all get drawn into one elaborate tale of survival, revenge and greed.

The book is fast paced and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. The characters are brilliant and I probably shouldn’t admit to actually liking the Mechanic, the crazed, psychopathic serial killer, but I kind of do.

Overall I would highly recommend this book. I’m so excited for the final book and luckily there isn’t long to wait, my review will be available next month.

Many thanks to Rob, Sarah and Bloodhound Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

In Your Name was published on July 13th

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

About the Author

download (2)

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob is delighted that all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy will be published with Bloodhound Books in 2017.

Those That Remain  –  22 June

In Your Name            –  13 July

Pay The Penance     –  8 August

Rob now writes full time and has recently completed his fourth novel titled Faceless.

LINKS:

Website

Facebook

Twitter