Blog Tour: Maggie by Netta Newbound

I’m thrilled to be helping kick of the blog blitz for Maggie by Netta Newbound.

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

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Synopsis

PrintWhen sixteen-year-old Maggie Simms’ mum loses her battle with cancer, the only family she has left is her abusive stepfather, Kenny.

Horrified to discover he intends to continue his nightly abuse, Maggie is driven to put a stop to him once and for all.

However, she finds her troubles are only just beginning when several of her closest allies are killed.

Although nothing seems to be linking the deaths, Maggie believes she is jinxed.

Why are the people she cares about being targeted?

And who is really behind the murders?

Sometimes the truth is closer than you think.

Review

 

Having not read anything by the author previously I wasn’t sure what to expect from her latest novel, Maggie. Well I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Maggie is fast paced and highly intriguing and it will have you hooked from the beginning. There are twists and turns throughout the book and just when you think you have it figured out, something switches and you’re back to square one.

The characters are well written and you really do have to feel sorry for Maggie with everything she is going through. However, there were a couple of occasions when I forgot how old Maggie actually was due to her behaviour. At times she seemed a lot older than her sixteen years.

The pace of the story is perfect and the short chapters mean you can race along and get straight to the point which I loved and found to work extremely well with this story.

I would highly recommend this book and will be seeking out more by this author.

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

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About the Author

Netta pic (1)My name’s Netta Newbound. I write thrillers in many different styles — some grittier than others. The Cold Case Files have a lighter tone and are full of fun. I also write a series set in London, which features one of my favourite characters, Detective Adam Stanley. These books are a little grittier. My standalone books, The Watcher and An Impossible Dilemma, are not for the faint hearted, and it seems you either love them or hate them—I’d love to know what you think.

Originally from Manchester, England, I have travelled extensively and have lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. I now live in New Zealand with my husband. We have three grown up children and four grandchildren.

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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.

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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: A Justifiable Madness by A B Morgan

I am delighted to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for A Justifiable Madness by A B Morgan

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

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Synopsis

madness1Bebanus+applegothic.jpgA fast-moving psychological thriller you won’t be able to put down

Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity? 

Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?

When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.

Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life goes from bad to worse.

Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it sounds…

Review

I have to be honest, when I first began reading this I did wonder whether it would be my cup of tea. The entire concept seemed bizarre and I wasn’t sure if it would how well it would work. Well, I’m pleased to say that I loved it. I devoured this book in two sittings, all within 24 hours.

We initially meet Mark as he disembarks from the train, completely naked apart from a pair of worn leather sandals. He wanders around the station, blessing people he meets and muttering in an unknown language.

Understandably he is detained under the Mental Health Act and transferred to a local psychiatric hospital for further evaluation. Whilst there he attracts the attention of the other patients and one of the nurses who all notice that he’s a little different but can’t put their finger on why.

As the book progresses we find out more about Mark and why he was trying to get himself sectioned. As the pieces start to fall into place you begin to wonder if he will get out.

This story is completely different to anything I have read before and it made a refreshing change. The sensitive subject matter was dealt with perfectly whilst retaining an element of mystery to keep the reader hooked.

The characters were well thought out and although I liked the main characters of Mark and Maria, I must admit my favourite was Phil, one of the patients on the ward.

Whilst reading I found myself willing the characters on and hoping things would work out for them. However, there are no spoilers here so you will have to find out for yourself.

All in all A Justifiable Madness is a very enjoyable read with an insightful look at psychiatry in the 1990’s. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book by this author.

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

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About the Author

gegbhkdlhdejihjh.pngMarried to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison has worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line, where she eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes, and her career temporarily juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis, but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

With her health steadily improving thanks to the staff at Papworth Hospital, Alison hopes to return to nursing part-time, but is determined to keep writing fiction. Her debut novel A Justifiable Madness is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel, Divine Poison, also published by Bloodhound books is due for release in January 2018.

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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

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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.

Blog Tour: The Second Captive by Maggie James

I am delighted to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for The Second Captive by Maggie James.

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

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Synopsis

Second Captive final

Stockholm syndrome: the psychological tendency of a hostage to bond with his or her captor.

Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when Dominic Perdue abducts her. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent upon him for food, clothes, her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards him changes to compassion. Beth never allows herself to forget, however, that her captor has killed another woman. She has evidence to prove it, not to mention Dominic’s own admission of murder.

Then Beth escapes…

And discovers Dominic Perdue is not a man who lets go easily. Meanwhile, despite being reunited with her family, she spirals into self-destructive behaviour. Release from her prison isn’t enough, it seems. Can Beth also break free from the clutches of Stockholm syndrome?

A study of emotional dependency, The Second Captive examines how love can assume strange guises.

Review

I was totally drawn in by this book. The entire concept of Stockholm Syndrome had me intrigued from the beginning.

Beth Sutton is having problems at home and when an older man shows an interest in her she is smitten. Dominic Purdue is attractive with intriguing eyes of different colours. They begin dating and Beth has plans for the two of them but, unbeknown to her, so has Dominic and the aren’t the kind of plans she had hoped for.

Dominic’s childhood wasn’t the best of starts and he witnessed things nobody should ever see. This left him a little unbalanced with a screwed up idea of how relationships should be.

The Second Captive follows what seems to be a popular format for psychological thrillers at the minute as we switch between multiple POV’s. The first part of the story follows Beth Sutton and Dominic Purdue while the second part focuses on Beth and her mother, Ursula.

The multiple viewpoints really work well in this story and regardless of right and wrong I did find myself feeling a little sympathy towards Dominic and his behaviour as well as wanting to shout at Beth to stop being so silly.

I loved how the relationships between the main characters developed and how bonds were forged and broken as the story progressed.

As a Mum to a daughter of a similar age I did find myself wondering if I would deal with things the same way as Ursula should I ever find myself in that situation.

There was a twist in the story which I have to admit I saw coming very early on but it didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the book and I am glad there was closure of some kind for everyone.

The story was exceptionally well written and researched and I felt I could almost understood how Beth must have been feeling both while captive and after she had escaped.

This is the first of Maggie’s books I’ve read but I will definitely be checking out her others.

 

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

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About the Author

6142Per829L._UX250_Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background!

When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

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Blog Tour: Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby

WHISPER for JennyToday I’m taking part in the weekend blitz for Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby.

Synopsis

did-you-whisper-back(cover)Set in the nineteen-seventies, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court’s longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives.

Amanda’s new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool.

Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda’s imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point.

Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.

Review

The novel, set in the 1970s, introduces us to Amanda, a young woman desperate to reconnect with her long lost, twin sister, Jo.   As she attempts to piece together where she could be, she leaves her family home and tries to find her sister.   However, distorted childhood memories emerge as she becomes closer to finding Jo. Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book is a quick read, it’s fast paced and follows the premise of a short story. It’s straight to the point while still providing enough background to allow you to connect with the characters.

Although this book is set in the 1970’s I didn’t really get the feeling it was set in a different decade. There were no obvious suggestions that indicated we were following a story set 40+ years ago. If it hadn’t been for the fact it was referred to in the synopsis the story could have been set last week in my opinion. That said, it didn’t really affect the story other than the fact I expected some suggestion towards the ‘flower power’ era.

The portrayal of Amanda’s mental health is very well done and the author did a brilliant job with this aspect of her character. Especially exploring what can happen when you keep a secret hidden for so long.

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

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If you want to be in with a chance to win a paperback copy of Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room then don’t forget to enter the competition here.

UK entries only

About the Author

kate-rigbyKate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published as well as most of her unpublished work including:

Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified)

Seaview Terrace

Far Cry From The Turquoise Room

Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)

Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified)

She Looks Pale

Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories)

Savage To Savvy  (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved)

Thalidomide Kid

The Dead Club

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Book Review: I Let You Go

I Let You GoSynopsis

In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

“In the time he’d been a copper, political correctness had reached a point where anything remotely personal had to be skirted around. In a few years’ time people wouldn’t be able to talk at all.”

Review

First let me start by saying what an outstanding debut novel. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any lover of psychological thrillers. That said, and it maybe that I have read a few too many psychological thrillers recently, but I figured out some of the plot twists before they were revealed.

The book is made up of two parts. The first is a little slow and drawn out but this is definitely made up for by the fast pace of the second part. After 3 or 4 days of struggling through part 1 I was surprised to find myself unable to put the book down until I’d reached the end and finished it in around 4 hours.

I found the characters a little hit and miss. It’s difficult to talk in too much detail about them without spoiling the plot.

On the whole I liked the character of Jenna Gray; as the story progressed you began to understand her and the motives behind her actions. However, I did find it a little difficult to relate to her character.

On the other hand I did relate slightly to Mags, the wife of the detective in charge of the case. She had given up her career to become a SAHM and was in the process of looking for a career change. This is something I’m working through at the minute.

I’m not sure exactly how I feel about the characters of DI Ray Stevens and DC Kate Evans. I did feel their working relationship is a little cliched in parts. However Clare’s police background definitely shines through with the detail shown in the description of police procedures.


Details

TitleI Let You Go

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Page Count: 371

Publication Date: 9th September 2014

Format: Paperback

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Buy it: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk