A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

Cover Reveal – ‘Heart Search: Betrayal’ by Carlie M A Cullen

Betrayal_front_cover

Carlie M A Cullen is launching the final book in the Heart Search trilogy on the 7th February 2015 and today is the day you all get to feast your eyes on the cover.

 

Blurb for Heart Search: Betrayal

One bite started it all . . .

Joshua, Remy, and the twins are settled in their new life. However, life doesn’t always run smoothly. An argument between Becky and her twin causes unforeseen circumstances, an admission by Samir almost costs him his life, and the traitor provides critical information to Liam. But who is it?

As Jakki’s visions begin to focus on the turncoat’s activities, a member of the coven disappears, and others find themselves endangered.

And when Liam’s coven attacks, who will endure?

Fate continues to toy with mortals and immortals alike, and as more hearts descend into darkness, can they overcome the dangers they face and survive?

 

About Carlie M A Cullen

Photo_of_Carlie

Carlie M A Cullen was born in London. She grew up in Hertfordshire where she first discovered her love of books and writing.

She has always written in some form or another, but started to write novels in 2011. Her first book was published by Myrddin Publishing in 2012. She writes in the Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genres for New Adult and Adult.

Carlie is also a principal editor for Eagle Eye Editors.

Carlie also holds the reins of a writing group called Writebulb. They have published four anthologies so far, two for adults and two for children, all of which raise money for a local hospice.

Carlie currently lives in Essex, UK with her daughter.

 

Links

Website: http://carliemacullen.com

Twitter: @carlie2011c

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CarlieMACullen

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=240655941&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B009MWVL5A

About.me: http://about.me/CarlieCullen

Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/CarlieCullen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6550466.Carlie_M_A_Cullen

BOOKS:

Heart Search, book one: Lost: http://smarturl.it/HeartSearch-Lost

Heart Search, book two: Found: http://smarturl.it/HeartSearch-Found

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Cover Reveal – ‘Tied Up With Love’ by Amelia Thorne

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‘Tied Up With Love’ is Amelia Thorne’s new book and it is out on the 14th February 2015.  This is the cover and as you can see it is absolutely gorgeous.

 

Book Blurb

‘We’re from KMW. Do exactly as you’re told and you won’t get hurt…’

Being grabbed off the street, blind folded, tied up and thrown into a van was not what Izzy expected to happen when she stepped out the door that morning. But when an accidental kidnapping at the hands of the sexy Ethan Chase and his ‘Kidnap My Wife’ sexual fantasy business leads to just that, Izzy seizes the chance to turn her misfortune into a brilliant new job opportunity…

Since then, life has been one big tangle of new client meetings, fake kidnapping pick-ups, and handling the temperamental, but drop dead gorgeous ‘bad boy’ Mr Chase. But, as liberating as being tied up in Ethan’s life is, Izzy knows the time is fast approaching when she must make some decisions and take charge of her future. The only question is: will Ethan allow himself to be a part of it?

 

Here is the buy link:-

http://amzn.to/1xJPpra

‘The Liar’s Chair’ by Rebecca Whitney

The Liar's Chair

‘The Liar’s Chair’ is Rebecca Whitney’s debut novel.  It was published on the 15th January 2015 by Mantle.  I was kindly sent a proof copy to review.

This story is set in and around Brighton.  Rachel and David appear to have a good solid marriage.  They’ve got everything; a successful business, a big house, nice cars.  What more could they possibly want?  However, things are not as they seem.  David likes to be in control of everything including his wife.

Unknown to David, Rachel has been having a fling with someone else and drinking heavily.  One Saturday morning on the way home and still under the influence of alcohol, Rachel hits a man with her car causing instant death.  She doesn’t know what to do and is terrified so she confesses to David about what she has done.  David destroys all evidence of the accident and insists that they carry on as normal.  But Rachel finds it impossible to do that and can’t switch off at all leading to her behaviour becoming increasingly self-destructive, which doesn’t please David at all.  Will Rachel be able to sort herself out?  That’s for you to find out.

I was looking forward to reading ‘The Liar’s Chair’ as I like a good psychological thriller, especially one where the author has really got into her characters minds.  I thought Rebecca Whitney did an excellent job of this with Rachel.

I found that I couldn’t warm to any of the characters.  None of them were particularly likeable.  I did feel a little bit sorry for Rachel even though what she did was wrong.  David was a nasty character and the way he treated Rachel was appalling.

There are three parts to this book.  I like the way the chapters have been set out, giving you a good insight into Rachel’s past which explains a few things.

‘The Liar’s Chair’ is a sombre, shocking and bold story.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

E-readers or Books?

e-readersWith so much technology out there giving you various ways in which to read books I was wondering which you prefer?

I have a kindle which is very useful and convenient as I can take it anywhere with me.  It also saves space as you can have loads of books on there.  However, I cannot imagine being without hardbacks or paperbacks.  A bookcase filled with books makes a home look rich.

books

I love the feel of books and being able to turn the pages rather than just press a button.  I like physically seeing how much progress I have made each day.   I collect bookmarks and like being able to use them regularly.

I could spend hours wandering around Waterstones and other bookshops admiring the large number of books in stock.

Even though I have a kindle I still get loads of books.  Most of the time I have at least two or three on the go at the same time, one of which has always got to be either a paperback or hardback.  The good thing with books is that at least the battery doesn’t run out.

Below is a poll about e-Readers and books.  Feel free to comment as well.

 

‘A Place Called Winter’ by Patrick Gale

A Place Called Winter

‘A Place Called Winter’ is being published on 24th March of this year by Tinder Press.  I was very kindly sent a proof copy to read and review.  Set in the 1900s this novel is loosely based on a story in Patrick Gale’s own family.

Harry Cane is the elder son of a well-off Edwardian family.  When Jack his younger brother is born, their mum sadly passes away.  Jack and Harry grow up together and are protective of each other.  Harry is so painfully shy that he stammers whereas Jack is confident and has an idea about what he wants to do in his life.

Years later Harry gets married and has a child, but little does he know what is around the corner.  His life is totally turned upside down when he has an illicit and dangerous affair.  The shock of being discovered and the risk of being arrested costs him everything and he is forced to abandon both his wife and child.  Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies and sets off on his travels to set up home on a plot of land near the town of Winter.  For Harry this is going to be a big challenge as he has never worked before.  The threats of war, an evil and sadistic man and madness seem to reveal in Harry an inner strength he never knew he had.

I loved ‘A Place Called Winter’ and I really liked the way this story was set out.  The first time you meet Harry he is in an asylum and then soon after is moved to a therapeutic community called Bethel.  That of course immediately intrigued me. I was desperate to know how he ended up there but found I had to wait for quite a while to find out.  That didn’t put me off though.  The storytelling was absolutely amazing and the descriptions throughout were wonderful.  I could really picture the scenes in my head.

It is clear that Patrick Gale has done a lot of research for this book.  He has put pen to paper and created an incredible novel complete with flawed characters.  This is an intense story of secrets, sexuality and finding love.  I think this could be one of the big books of this year.

Until last year I had never heard of Patrick Gale.  Having read ‘A Place Called Winter’, I am now determined to read more of his novels.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

‘Fix You’ by Carrie Elks

Fix You

‘Fix You’ was published by Corvus on 25th December of last year as an eBook.  A dazzling contemporary romance, I was very kindly given a copy of this novel in return for a review.

This story takes place over twelve years and is mostly set in London and New York.  It is 31st December 1999 and Hanna is helping her mum out at a New Year’s Eve party.  It is there that she meets the gorgeous Richard and the attraction between them is instant.

The clocks chime midnight signalling a brand new year and the beginning of a beautiful romance.  For Hanna it is also the start of a lovely relationship with Richard’s family, something which she comes to cherish over the following years.

Hanna and Richard seem perfect together, but life intervenes and Hanna ends up breaking Richard’s heart.  Forward to 2012 and Hanna finds herself standing in Richard’s Wall Street office.  She has something to tell him that will change his life forever.  Will they be able to sort out their issues and get back together?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Fix You’.  A beautiful, enchanting and poignant story there was so much more to it than I thought there would be.

‘Fix You’ isn’t purely just a love story.  It is also about broken marriages, friendship, illness and death including the events of that tragic day, 9/11.  Carrie Elks has done a great job of writing this book.  My only complaint is that I felt the story jumped through the years a bit too quickly.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Blog Tour – ‘Hellbound’ by David McCaffrey

Hellbound_Poster

I was invited by Crime Book Club to take part in this blog tour.  Below is an extract from ‘Hellbound’ which David McCaffrey has given me.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

 

‘All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible’                                  

T.E. Lawrence

 

Chapter Fourteen

17:32

He felt empty. Emptiness he had never before experienced. And it filled him with another feeling he had never known. Dread.

Obadiah had no idea where they were going, only that Eva had said this morning that they needed to get away. He needed to get away. She believed wholeheartedly that his seemingly flashpoint aggression and descriptions of murder were simply the end result of a man trying to come to terms with a terminal illness. And though Obadiah had allowed her to believe that, he knew his eruption of anger was due to the conflict going on within him, a conflict with the prize his very soul.

He glanced over at Eva in the driver’s seat before pulling down the sun visor and flipping open the mirror. He saw himself; his emerald eyes seemingly alight with crimson flames as though the battle within him were reflected there. The monster that was Obadiah Stark – or had been Obadiah Stark – felt lessened somehow, as though every breath he took expelled one more part of who he had been.

Before he found himself here, the shadowy corners of his heart had been sated with his desires and projections of strength and power. Now, in a place where he was powerless, with those wants and desires taken from him, he no longer knew how to fill those empty spaces. Even if what he thought he felt for Eva and Ellie was something abstractedly related to caring or even love, he had no concept of how to use those emotions for anything other than manipulation and suffering.

“Where do you want to go, Obi?” Eva flicked on the windscreen washer, scraping away the dead insects that had accumulated on the screen.

“I don’t know,” he replied distantly. “Where could we go?”

“Well, we could check into a hotel for a few days while we work out what we’re going to do,” she replied, trying to be cheerful. “Or there’s my parents cottage on Beginish. I mean, you know there’s not much to do for Ell’s, but she loves the grey seals and the Artic Terns, so she would be okay for a few days. I don’t mind sweetie, it’s up to you. Whatever you want, we’ll do. I just want to understand what’s happening.”

Obadiah remained expressionless. “You and me both.”

Staring out the window, he tried to focus on the images rushing past, their inherent images blurring into one, coalesced backdrop that seemed almost painted onto the window. Ellie sang a Disney tune in the back of the car that Obadiah recognised as ‘A Whole New World’ from Aladdin.

It most certainly is, he thought, turning to look at her.

She stared back at him, beaming a huge smile that threatened to split her face open. Obadiah tried to remain stoic, expressionless. Over the years he had perfected the art of a crocodile smile, able to produce a perfect image of kindness and compassion that ultimately served his goal of manipulation. Yet here, in the back of a car in this ethereal no man’s land, he found himself unable to stop the genuine response that was forming on his face. And he felt discomfort at the fact it didn’t feel unnatural. He knew he shouldn’t be having these reactions to such basic stimuli, but Ellie’s genuine look of love and adoration was a force more powerful than Obadiah had ever experienced. His smile quickly faded as he caught himself unconsciously enjoying a human moment, Obadiah quickly turned around and back towards the window.

“Obi, I think maybe we should speak to someone else,” Eva announced with a sigh. “The things you said, maybe they mean you’re getting worse. It’s something I don’t even want to think about, but we have to face that possibility.”

Obadiah nodded, but remained silent. That’s a fucking understatement.                    

“Obi,” Eva asked gently. “Please talk to me.”

“You want to talk?” He asked quietly without facing her. “Okay, we’ll talk. Did I ever tell you that when I was young I was always bored. Nothing really held any interest for me; girls, skipping school, smoking, none of it. The only thing I found could control my boredom were the holidays we used to take. We used to camp in the Black Valley near Lough Leane. I would spend a lot of my time climbing along the Hag’s Glen and then up Devil’s Ladder to the col between Carrauntoohil and Cnoc na Péiste. The lake there was home to hundreds of bullfrogs. I used to spend hours stabbing them with a pair of scissors or catching them in nets and lying them on their backs, stabbing their little bulging stomachs and turning them over to see their jelly eyes mist over as they died. Then I used to see how far I could throw them into the lake.”

“What? Obi, you’re not making any sense.” Her voice trembling slightly, Eva briefly glanced back at Ellie as though seeing her would make her feel secure and safe.

“Just listen,” Obadiah said, turning to face her. “Later on, I learnt that fireworks strapped to their backs made the most amazing sight, blood and lights all combined, flowerlike shapes in the sky. And do you know how that made me feel?”

Eva had pulled over onto the hard shoulder, her face one of incredulous shock at what she was hearing.

“Nothing,” Obadiah continued flatly. “I felt nothing. I realised I couldn’t feel anything, from that day onwards. And I never thought anything of it. Everything I ever did, I did without any consideration of the consequences, because, as far as I was concerned, there were none. But I was paying a concealed price for my actions. That was the tradeoff. I see that now. Everything I ever did required me to be emotionally bankrupt. I could never have achieved the things I did otherwise. But, now I wonder was the price to high? Was it a price I didn’t even know I was paying?”

Eva had shrunk as far towards her door as she could go, trying to place as much distance between her and husband as possible without leaving the car. She glanced furtively at Ellie, playing on her tiny laptop, the little girl unaware of what was being discussed before her.

“Oh my God, Obi.” Glistening tracks snaked down Eva’s face, her tears coming in slow intervals. “I’m trying to understand, but you’re scaring me. These things you’re saying…they’re terrible. I mean, you’re talking like you’re a monster.”

Obadiah dropped his head as he spoke. “I am.”

Eva reached out and touched his face gently. “No, you’re not. You’re sick, but we can get through this. You just need to let me in. Please, Obi, let me in.”

Reaching up, Obadiah placed his hand over hers and held it on his cheek for a moment before gliding it back towards her lap.

“You got in. You make me feel stronger than I have ever felt before, and yet I’m weak around you. And I should hate you for it, but I don’t.” Obadiah shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “You want to know the closest I’ve ever come to being afraid? Being here, with you and Ellie. And you know why….because you don’t see me. Everyone I’ve ever met, they all gave me a look, like they could see the real Me, the Me waiting to come out. The bad Me. The one not here with you.”

Tears in her eyes, Eva looked at Ellie, as though trying to get some comfort from seeing her daughter. “Obi, this is insane.”

“Just listen. Feeling that fear makes me relieved, relieved that someone can see something else in me besides evil. It makes me believe it could be real. It makes me believe that even someone like me can feel things. A little bit…a tiny piece of empathy. I always believed empathy was the greatest weakness mankind could possess, a vestigial limb, making people vulnerable. But I see now it isn’t a weakness, it’s your greatest strength.  Where it makes you strong, my lack of it left a hole in my psyche that I know now I can’t fill. Where I should have had the most evolved of all human functions, I ended up with emptiness.”

Eva looked as though her world were collapsing around her, but Obadiah held his gaze, as though trying to burn Eva’s face into his memory before turning to look at Ellie. He saw she had fallen asleep, her head resting against the side of the window. He wanted to remember this moment and their faces, feeling sudden apprehension for reasons he couldn’t explain. He realised that right here was his opportunity to experience something that he had never thought possible, a chance to exist outside the dark life he had fashioned so carefully for himself over so many years. But he knew now that it would be something he could never accept as anything other than a distraction. Obadiah had made his peace with who he was a long time ago. How could he ever expect anyone else to do the same?

“Compassion, Eva,” he said softly, as he looked at Ellie before turning back. “That’s what I should have, where instead there was…is…nothing.”

Smiling softly at her, he opened the car door and stepped out. The evening air was bracing, a cold breeze washing over him like a sign of approval at what he was doing.

Obi, where are you going?”   She gasped, moving hurriedly into the passenger seat.

“I have to leave,” he replied. “I know you don’t understand, despite what I just told you, but I do. It’s for your own safety, yours and Ellie’s. You need to leave me.”

“Why?”

“Because, if I stay…I’ll hurt you.”

About David McCaffrey

David_Suit

I am thirty-nine, live in Redcar in the North East of England and currently work as an Acting Lead Nurse in Infection Prevention and Control at a local acute hospital where I have worked for thirteen years. I have a Jakey, a baby Liam and a Kelly!!

I have always dreamt of writing a story and when the opportunity arrived I decided to put my money where my mouth was! Hellbound retains only one aspect of the story I originally had in mind, but through that and with some guidance from one of my favourite authors, I was able to craft my story into something more, something different. A serial killer story where lines of morality are drawn around the killer himself. Crafting the world of Joe O’Connell and Obadiah Stark was an exciting journey for me and I hope the reader finds it just as enjoyable.

 

Visit http://kdforsman.com tomorrow for the next stage of this blog tour.

Interview with Damien Comerford + Competition

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Damien Comerford is a journalist who has recently published a very interesting non-fiction book.  I had the pleasure of interviewing him.

 

I am intrigued by your book, ‘Cover Up’.  Can you tell me a little bit about it please?

Cover Up, is a non fiction book that re-investigates five of the world’s biggest crimes including the death of Princess Diana in the Alma Tunnel, and the death of Pope John Paul I after only 33 days in office. The starting point for my re-investigations, were the transcripts and reports of the official inquiries conducted into each case. I wanted to see, whether the conclusions reached in each of the five cases, were supported by the evidence. But in the course of my work, I discovered a great deal of previously unreported new evidence.

 

Were you shocked by some of the things you found out?

I think shocked would be an understatement. The one thing in common with all of the five cases featured in the book was a pathetically inadequate investigation that simply did not support the official findings. The book is called Cover Up and that is what they were. For example, in the case of Princess Diana, there was not one shred of credible evidence to support the claim that Chauffeur Henri Paul was drunk when he crashed the Mercedes carrying the Princess and Dodi Al Fayed in the Alma Tunnel. Two post mortem examinations were conducted on Paul’s body to try and establish his culpability. Both post mortem examinations were complete failures. Readers of my book will go on an investigative journey as I take them through all of the clues and all of the evidence.

 

How long did it take you to write ‘Cover Up’?

I have been working on the book for the best part of two years. Most of that time was devoted to researching the cases. The writing part took about four months.

 

Is this a book people will find hard to put down?

That is a really difficult question for my to answer. I think everyone who produces a book, hopes that will be the case. I guess that is a question best answered by the reader but one reviewer has described my book in the way your question suggests.

 

Are there any more books to come?

My word there is. I have a number of books in the pipeline. My next book is the investigation of disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 and the shooting down of MH17 over the Ukraine.

 

Describe a day in your life.

Unfortunately, at this point in time I am unable to make a living solely from my writing. I have a television production company that does web based video so that keeps me busy. I also have my blog http://damiencomerford.com

 

Did you always want to be a journalist?

To be honest the career I initially wanted to pursue was as a barrister at law. I planned to transfer from my Arts degree but soon after I started University, I discovered the campus radio station and I began doing interviews and news reports and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy scuba diving and attending concerts and live theatre.

 

Biographical Information

Photo_of_Damien

Damien Comerford’s career in journalism and television production spans more than twenty-five years. Beginning as a reporter in the 1980s, he has been involved in a wide range of media projects and received numerous industry awards for excellence journalism, media and television production, and current affairs programming.

He was the executive producer of a primetime long-format current affairs television show in New Zealand, during which the team tracked down and confronted the French Secret Service agent who put in place the bomb that killed Greenpeace photographer Fernando Pereira.

In 2009, Comerford decided to turn his decades of experience with covering major news events into a book. The five stories profiled in Cover Up possessed a sense of injustice so strong, he couldn’t refrain from delving deeper, hoping to reopen the investigations and find out the truth.

 

Competition

Damien Comerford has very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Cover Up’ and one very lucky people has the chance to win it.  To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 18th January 2015.

The winner will be notified within 7 days.

 

Good luck! 🙂

Happy New Year!

2015

I would like to wish all my followers a very Happy New Year.  I hope you all have the best time ever and that you get to read loads of great books.

This year I plan to make my blog bigger and better with tons of reviews, interviews and lots more.  I already have the feeling that 2015 is going to be a fantastic year for books.  I am looking forward to discovering more fabulous authors and adding them to my ever growing list of favourites.

Happy reading everyone! 🙂

Love from Sonya xx

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