Blog Tour: And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills

I am delighted to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills

There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.

 

Synopsis

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and spanking-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

And when her ancient great-grandmother plants a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud, Daisy’s run of bad luck is about to get a whole lot worse.

Review

 

 

Many thanks to Lilac, Jenny and Neverland Blog Tours for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

 

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Blog Tour: December Girl by Nicola Cassidy {Review}

Today is my stop on the blog tour for December Girl, the fantastic debut novel by Nicola Cassidy.

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Synopsis

decembergirl-final.pngMolly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life she has faced troubles.

As a young woman her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery.

Then in 1896 her baby son is taken from his pram. Molly searches the streets for Oliver. The police are called but her baby is gone.

Why does trouble seem to follow Molly?

And will she ever find out what happened to her child?

December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.

Review

The harrowing tone of the book is set in the opening scenes where we first meet Molly Thomas. Already coming to terms with her past she now has to deal with the fact her baby son, Oliver, has been taken from his pram.

Readers are then taken back to into Molly’s past where were are guided through the events that set her on the path to becoming the woman we first meet. A couple of times the story left me a little lost as I tried to keep up with the characters. However, by part 2 I was fully invested in Molly and found mixed up in a roller coaster of emotions as we followed her story.

December Girl is filled with such amazing details of the period and paints a vivid picture of life in Ireland during the 19th century. What I loved most about the book though, was the path it took. Just when I thought I knew where it would lead, there was a twist in the plot and we were off in a totally different direction.

This is a fantastic debut novel from Nicola Cassidy and one I would highly recommend. It’s easy to see the work she has put into the book as it is extremely well researched and brilliantly written. I can’t wait to see what come next from Nicola.

 

Many thanks to Nicola Cassidy, Sarah Hardy and Bombshell Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

Nicci CassidyNicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland. She started her writing  career early, entering short story competitions, penning protest letters to magazines and making up characters in her head. These scribblings saw her place in a number of competitions as a child and encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at Dublin City University.

While working in political PR and marketing, Nicola studied a series of advanced creative writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre and set up a lifestyle and literary blog at http://www.LadyNicci.com, which was nominated in the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016.

During her maternity leave for her first daughter, Nicola set about researching and writing a historical fiction novel, December Girl, inspired by true events and set in the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, famed for its stone age passage tombs, near to where she grew up.

Nicola signed with US based Trace Literary Agency in 2016. December Girl was picked up by Betsy Reavley at UK digital publisher Bombshell Books in June 2017 and was published 26 October 2017.

She is an avid reader, inspired by the likes of Anais Nin, Joan Didion and Jessie Burton and is currently working on her second novel, also inspired by true events. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.

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Blog Tour: Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour {Review}

It’s a pleasure to be part of the blog tour for Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour

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Synopsis

CW Cover

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from yourfriends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

Review

It’s not often I open my reviews with a trigger warning but in the case of Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour I feel I must. This isn’t the usual fiction books you see featured here, this book is made up of the real life stories from survivors of domestic abuse.

You may wonder why I’ve chosen to feature this book when the subject matter is so disturbing. Well I’ll tell you. I feel quite strongly about this subject and believe that it needs to be discussed so that anyone who is, or has, suffered domestic violence knows that they are not alone and that they can survive.  As you can imagine this isn’t an easy read but it was one that I determined to get to the end of.

Clipped Wings is collection of short stories told by survivors of domestic abuse and covers a range of perspectives. Each story is truly heartbreaking and as you are taken deeper into each person’s account, you can almost feel the pain and suffering that they have been subjected to. These people are some of the lucky ones (although it may not seem like that as you read their stories) as not all sufferers survive to tell the tale.

There are accounts from the male perspective too as they can also be victims of domestic abuse. Although to some this may seem amusing, I can assure you after reading their accounts that it is no laughing matter.

 

I can’t say that I enjoyed this book, but the bravery of the survivors in telling their tale compelled me to keep reading and I’m glad I did. I truly hope that this book helps to raise awareness of such a difficult subject.

Many thanks to Jennifer Gilmour and Emma Mitchell for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

Jennifer GilmourBorn in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel ‘Isolation Junction’. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

Since the publication of her debut novel Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that ’Clipped Wings’ give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

 

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Blog Tour: London Noir by Ann Girdharry {Review}

I am delighted to be part of the one day blog blitz for London Noir by Ann Girdharry.

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Synopsis

LondonNoir high defcoverMemory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all.

Is it really Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Or something more sinister?

Kal is about to find out…

After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps Sophie, a young girl in trouble.

The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by?

Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger.

But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel, and is someone after the girl, or is the girl after someone?

Review

Having not read the first of this series I did wonder, as I usually do, whether or not it could be read as a standalone book. Well, if anyone else is wondering the same, I can confirm that it can. The author elaborates sufficiently about past happenings that you don’t feel like you’ve missed out too much. However, if you’re like me you may well want to go back and read the first book just to see what you missed in a little more detail (I now have Good Girl Bad Girl ready to read on my kindle).

Anyway, back to the book, and more importantly the main protagonist, Kal Medi. I’ve read a few books recently with female protagonists but not quite as intriguing as Kal. I was hooked the minute I met her. She has an interesting past due to her father and an uncanny ability to read people’s body language to subsequently manipulate the situations she inevitably finds herself in.

London Noir is a fantastic read and will grab your attention immediately. From there it will draw you in with a fast-paced plot and well thought out characters. There are twists and turns throughout that will keep you on your toes, all of which make for an amazing ride.

I’m usually pretty good at picking out the killer in books but on this occasion, it wasn’t until the killer was almost revealed, that I clicked who it was. I must say that this killer is among some of the most sadistic killers I’ve encountered this year and the chapters narrated in the first person, through the eyes of the killer are spine tingling to say the least.

I love the use of psychology within the book and feels it adds another level to the story. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be adding this series to my ones to watch out for.

Many thanks to Ann and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads | Amazon US

About the Author

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Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.

A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.

She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.

Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, will be published October 2017.

She is also author of Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Short Reads.

 

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Blog Tour: The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup {Review}

I am delighted to be part of the weekend blitz for The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup.

Ann Troup

Synopsis

DI4S26qXgAI9oXTCan the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.

Review

This was my first Ann Troup novel, and it didn’t disappoint. It was dark and mysterious with unique plot.

The story-line was well paced for the post part and intricately woven together like a lace shawl. There were several dead ends before you finally reached the conclusion and I definitely didn’t see that coming.

The characters, although in abundance, were well developed. However at times it was a little hard to keep track of them and whether or not they were responsible or just another victim. As for the depiction of the old house, it was just the right level of creepy and set the scene perfectly.

I was completely hooked with this book and kept trying to work out how it would all end. Just to say I was completely wrong but nevertheless the ending was brilliant. I would highly recommend this book.

Many thanks to Ann, Jenny and Neverland Blog Tours for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

Ann TroupThe Forgotten Room is Ann’s third book, following on from The Lost Child and The Silent Girls.

She lives in Devon near the sea and spends her time either writing or dabbling with art.

 

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Blog Blitz: Her Dark Retreat by J A Baker

Welcome to one of today’s stops on the blog blitz for Her Dark Retreat by J A Baker.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour.

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Synopsis

21752117_10214226756167987_3932665672794896677_nThe coastguard’s residence Chamber Cottage, which sits high up on the North Yorkshire cliffs, overlooking The North Sea, holds many dark secrets.

Alec and Peggy are struggling to overcome their marital problems. Both damaged by issues from their childhoods, they are trying to get on with their lives. But this is hard for them to do when they both believe they are being watched. As a result, Peggy, who has terrible scars on her face, becomes more agoraphobic.

To make matters worse, Peggy discovers her estranged mother is stalking both she and Alec, claiming she has a dark secret that is putting Peggy in danger.

What caused the scars on Peggy’s face? Is Alec really the monster Peggy’s mother believes him to be? And what secrets does Chamber Cottage hold?

Review

The opening chapter of this book grabbed my attention immediately and kept me hooked until the very end. The details in the prologue definitely set the scene for this dark thriller.

Told from multiple perspectives you are never truly sure who is telling the truth and where the story will lead. The characters were extremely well written, if not particularly likeable, and I found myself following their actions closely trying to piece together the crumbs left by the writer.

I had an inkling of what had happened, although I was still totally shocked by the final scenes as the truth began to unravel.

The chilling setting was easy for me to imagine, especially as I’m from Yorkshire, and I found myself picturing the scene vividly in my mind. The bleakness of the cliffs comes through in the writing and leaves you with the feeling of isolation from the location.

Her Dark Retreat was a quick and enjoyable read with a different take on the usual psychological thrillers. The short chapters, which overlapped in places, made it easy to read and keep up with the cast of characters involved.

 

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for organising this blog blitz. Thanks also to the author for giving me the opportunity to read and review this superb book.

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

dmiimlbpigiilldgBorn in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J A Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular to psychological thrillers.

After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.

J A Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.

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Blog Tour: The Stories She Tells by L K Chapman

I am delighted to be able to share with your a guest post from L K Chapman, as part of the blog tour for her latest book, The Stories She Tells.

There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.

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Synopsis

51BhtPU+WPL.jpgWhen Michael decides to track down ex-girlfriend Rae who disappeared ten years ago while pregnant with his baby, he knows it could change his life forever. His search for her takes unexpected turns as he unearths multiple changes of identity and a childhood she tried to pretend never happened, but nothing could prepare him for what awaits when he finally finds her.

Appearing to be happily married with a brand-new baby daughter, Rae is cagey about what happened to Michael’s child and starts to say alarming things- that her husband is trying to force her to give up her new baby for adoption, that he’s attempting to undermine the bond between her and her child, and deliberately making her doubt her own sanity.

As Michael is drawn in deeper to her disturbing claims he begins to doubt the truth of what she is saying. But is she really making it all up, or is there a shocking and heartbreaking secret at the root of the stories she tells?

A day in the life of Tamsin Quinnell

..1Tamsin wakes up when her baby daughter Madeline starts to cry. Her husband Paul is still asleep and she reluctantly gets out of bed to make up a bottle for the baby, feeling tired and withdrawn. She wants to have an easy day with Madeline but doesn’t hold up much hope that that will be the case as she finds being a mum very challenging and draining. She always seems to be forgetting things and getting confused, so in the kitchen she concentrates very hard as she measures out scoops of baby formula into the bottle.

..2Madeline’s room is decorated in soft pinks. There is a pile of clean, folded sheets and baby clothes on top of the chest of drawers. Tamsin sits on a chair in the nursery with the baby on her lap and before long she hears Paul get up and go downstairs to make some coffee. She joins him in the kitchen and he gives her and the baby a slightly odd, sad look that sends a feeling of unease through her, but then he kisses both her and Madeline and everything seems normal again.

..3Once Paul has gone out to a business meeting and she has spent a fraught hour or so of trying to calm a fussing and crying Madeline, Tamsin has a long bath while the little girl is sleeping. Afterwards she sits down at her mirrored dressing table to carefully apply her makeup, then she spends a while choosing an outfit. She hears the front door open downstairs and her housekeeper calls out a greeting, but Tamsin doesn’t reply straight away, she’s concentrating on getting dressed and styling her hair. She finally says hello to her housekeeper Sally when she feels peckish and goes downstairs to find something to eat. She looks around for a while for some food she fancies and settles on a handful of blueberries, which she eats in a few big mouthfuls, while Sally chatters away cheerfully to her.

..4Later on, Tamsin goes out for a walk to the farm shop down the road, taking Madeline with her in her pushchair. She spends a long time walking around the shop looking at all the produce, but buys very little and makes her way slowly back to the house again. She feels listless, and is looking forward to Paul coming back home. She opens the fridge to find something to snack on and she sees that Sally has left a dish of pasta bake for them to heat up for their dinner later on. Briefly it feels surreal to her to have nice, home-cooked food in the house but she shakes the feeling away.

..5When Madeline goes for a nap again, Tamsin pours herself a glass of wine and goes down to her art studio in the garden, taking the baby monitor with her. There is a cosy sofa against the wall in the studio and she sprawls out across it taking sips of wine and looking out of the window, watching the sun across the fields behind the garden. Before long she falls asleep and wakes up when Paul finds her and tells her that Madeline is crying, and Tamsin realises that although she has the baby monitor with her, it hasn’t actually been on.

..6During the evening Tamsin drinks more wine with Paul and forgets for a while about her struggles caring for Madeline as the pair laugh and talk together. She snuggles close to Paul in bed and tells him that she loves him. He says that he loves her too but that he wishes things weren’t so hard for her, but she has already fallen asleep.

 

Many thanks to Louise and Emma for inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

LKChapman

Louise Katherine Chapman was born in Somerset, UK, in 1986. She studied psychology at the University of Southampton and has worked as a psychologist creating personality questionnaires for a consultancy company. She has also spent some time volunteering for mental health charity Mind.

Chapman loves to write because she loves learning about people and she loves stories. A major turning point in her life was the day she realised that no matter how strange, cruel or unfathomable the actions of other people can sometimes be, there is always a reason for it, some sequence of events to be unravelled. Since then she is always asking “why” and “what if” and she is fascinated by real life stories capturing the strength, peculiarities or extremes of human nature.

L K Chapman’s first novel, Networked, was a sci-fi thriller but now she’s turned her attention to writing psychological suspense. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and young family, and enjoys walks in the woods, video games, and spending time with family and friends.

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