A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “death”

Blog Tour – ‘The Home’ by Sarah Stovell ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @sarahlovescrime

‘The Home’ by Sarah Stovell was published in paperback on the 23rd January 2020 by Orenda Books and is also available as an eBook and Audiobook.  It is a real pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour today along with a fellow book blogger.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour and the publisher for my review copy.

You will find out what I thought about this book after the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

A dark and emotive thriller which shines a light on the troubling issue of children in care, The Home marks the return of Sarah Stovell, author of the 2017 international bestseller Exquisite.

When the body of pregnant, fifteen-year-old Hope Lacey is discovered in a churchyard on Christmas morning, the community is shocked, but unsurprised. For Hope lived in The Home, the residence of three young girls, whose violent and disturbing pasts have seen them cloistered away.

As a police investigation gets underway, the lives of Hope, Lara and Annie are examined, and the staff who work at the home are interviewed, leading to shocking and distressing revelations … and clear evidence that someone is seeking revenge.

A dark and devastating psychological thriller, The Home is also a heartbreaking and insightful portrayal of the underbelly of society, where children learn what they live … if they are allowed to live at all.

 

My Review

I really enjoyed reading ‘The Home’. I was hooked from the very start not wanting to put the book down for too long. I loved the short chapters and the way they drew me in. I was literally left with bated breath needing to know then and there what was going to happen next. Beautifully written, I found this story to be chilling, shocking and heart-breaking. I liked the author’s descriptions of the mountains, the tarn and the woodland. Very atmospheric but at the same time rather bleak sounding.

This story is split into five parts. It goes back and forth between the past and present right from when Hope is found dead to events leading up to her death. In between we learn about all three children’s childhoods and how they eventually ended up in the home. I really liked how the author keeps the reader waiting to find out exactly what happened to Hope.

Those poor young children. Each story was just as heartbreakingly tragic and didn’t make for very easy reading at all. No child should have to endure what Hope, Annie and Lara went through. Sadly, it’s a fact of life that these things happen. Sometimes it’s the parents and other times it’s various addictions like drugs and alcohol which as we all know can ruin lives.

Out of all the characters I really liked Helen, the manager of the children’s home. She came across as very caring. Apart from her and the children I didn’t really warm to any of the other characters.

‘The Home’ deals with a number of issues including relationships, mental health, alcohol, drugs, sex and death. If you like psychological thrillers, then I really recommend that you read this book.

I look forward to more from this author.

 

‘The Home’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Home-Sarah-Stovell/dp/1912374730/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1580152996&sr=8-1

 

About Sarah Stovell

Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, was called ‘the book of the summer’ by Sunday Times.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sarahlovescrime

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1030004.Sarah_Stovell

 

Blog Tour – ‘A Dark Matter’ by Doug Johnstone ~ @annecater @OrendaBooks @doug_johnstone

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘A Dark Matter’ by Doug Johnstone is the first book in the Skelfs series.  It is being published in paperback on the 23rd January 2020 by Orenda Books and is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  Thanks also to the publisher for my review copy of this book.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought about ‘A Dark Matter’.

 

 

Book Blurb

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series.

The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

 

My Review

It has been a long while since I have read anything published by Orenda Books but this year I will be changing that for sure.

I totally loved ‘A Dark Matter’ and I am so very happy that this is the start of a new series otherwise I would probably be in mourning by now. This is the first book by Doug Johnstone I have read, and I am seriously impressed. What an ingenious storyline. The writing flowed easily, and I was able to follow the story without any problem. I also liked the way the chapters were set out.

I found this to be an extremely dark and intriguing read. The further I got into the book the more addicted I became. There were shocks and surprises aplenty throughout. There just seemed to be so much going on and it was really interesting to see how things unfolded. The author kept me guessing which was a good thing.

This story is narrated by the main characters Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah; three generations of a family. I thought this worked really well. They all came across as very strong women. Despite the grief they were understandably going through they took hold of the reins and kept both businesses going between them.

I really liked the main characters. My other favourite was Indy who was such a lovely and caring person.

You would think that reading about a funeral-home business and death would be morbid, but it actually wasn’t. It anything it was fascinating and thought-provoking if not a bit grisly at times.

I will definitely be reading more of Doug Johnstone’s books and am already really looking forward to the second book in the series. I can’t wait to find out how the Skelf family are getting on.

I highly recommend you read ‘A Dark Matter’.

‘A Dark Matter’ is available to pre-order/buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Matter-Skelfs-Doug-Johnstone-ebook/dp/B07X9X2J4X/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1578597834&sr=8-1

 

About Doug Johnstone

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

 

Links

Website – https://dougjohnstone.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/doug_johnstone

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/758942.Doug_Johnstone

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Snow Killer’ by Ross Greenwood ~ @BoldwoodBooks @greenwoodross

Ross Greenwood is back with a brand new series and I for one am absolutely thrilled.  This author is sure going places and it is all very exciting.

‘The Snow Killer’, the first book in the DI Barton series, was published in paperback and as an eBook by Boldwood Books on the 12th November 2019.  For fans of audio it is available in both Audiobook and Audio CD formats.

I have an extract from ‘The Snow Killer’ for you all.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

‘Fear the north wind. Because no one will hear you scream…’

A family is gunned down in the snow but one of the children survives. Three years on, that child takes revenge and the Snow Killer is born. But then, nothing – no further crimes are committed, and the case goes cold.

Fifty years later, has the urge to kill been reawakened? As murder follows murder, the detective team tasked with solving the crimes struggle with the lack of leads. It’s a race against time and the weather – each time it snows another person dies.

As grizzled and exhausted DI Barton and his team scrabble around to put the pieces of the puzzle together, none of them stop long enough to realise the killer is hiding in plain sight. Meanwhile, the killings continue…

The first in a new series, Ross Greenwood has written a cracking, crackling crime story with a twist in its tale which will surprise even the most hardened thriller readers. Perfect for fans of Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride.

 

Extract

WINTER

50 YEARS AGO

Chapter 1

 

I must have been ten years old when I first tidied up his drug paraphernalia. I didn’t want my sister crawling over it. We called her Special – a take on Michelle – because she was an enigma. Special was a term of endearment for us, funny how nowadays it could be considered an insult. She never spoke a single word and seemed more of a peaceful spirit than a physical entity. Give her a crayon or pencil and a piece of paper, though, and her smile filled the room.

I monitored my father’s habit through his mood swings or by how much time he spent in bed. The foil and needles increased rapidly just before we escaped London a few years back. I cried because both my parents left evidence of their addiction.

In many ways, my mother was as simple as Special. Swayed by my dominant father, she did everything he said, even though she had more common sense. Joining him in his heroin habit was inevitable.

Until the night we left, we took holidays and ate out in restaurants. I didn’t know where the money came from because I had no idea what my father did.

The evening we fled London, we packed our suitcases at ten at night and caught the last train to Peterborough, arriving at two in the morning. I recall beaming at my parents, especially when we checked into a huge hotel on the first night. My mum’s brother, Ronnie, lived nearby. When we eventually found him, he helped us move into a cottage in rural Lincolnshire, which was cheap for obvious reasons. The single storey building had five rooms and no internal doors. You could hear everything from any room – even the toilet.

Six months after we settled in our new home, I lay in the damp bed with my sister’s warm breath on my neck and heard my father casually say he’d shot the wrong man. The fact my mother wasn’t surprised shocked me more.

Life carried on. My parents continued to avoid reality. We ate a lot of sandwiches. Lincolnshire is only two hours north of London but it felt like the edge of the world after the hustle and bustle of the capital city. I walked the three miles to school. Special stayed at home where she painted and coloured. My mum sold Special’s pictures. She drew people and animals in a childish way, but they captivated people as the eyes in the pictures haunted the viewer.

One freezing night, my sister and I cuddled in bed and listened to another argument raging in the lounge. We had our own beds but only ever slept apart in the hot summer months. At six years old, she didn’t take up much room.

‘You did what?’ my mother shouted.

‘I saw an opportunity,’ my father replied.

‘What were you thinking?’

‘We’re broke. We needed the money.’

‘What you’ve done is put our family in danger. They’ll find us.’

‘They won’t think I took it.’

I might have been only fifteen years old, but I had eyes and ears. My parents constantly talked about money and drugs. By then, that was all they were interested in. That said, I don’t recall being unhappy, despite their problems. Normal life just wasn’t for them.

My mother’s voice became a loud, worried whisper. ‘What if they come for the money? The children are here.’

‘They won’t hurt them,’ my father said.

A hand slammed on the kitchen table. ‘We need to leave.’

‘It’s three in the morning and snowing. No one will look now. Besides, where would we go?’

‘We’re rich! We can stay where we like.’

Crazily, they laughed. I suppose that’s why they loved each other. They were both the same kind of mad.

That was the sixties and a different time. Not everyone spent their lives within earshot of a busy road. In fact, few people owned their own car. If you’ve ever lived deep in the countryside, you’ll know how quiet the long nights are. So it makes sense that I could hear the approaching vehicle for miles before it arrived. The put-put-put we gradually heard in unison that night sounded too regular for it to be my uncle’s ancient van. And anyway, good news doesn’t arrive in the middle of the night.

 

‘The Snow Killer’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Snow-Killer-start-explosive-Barton-ebook/dp/B07XLFWZ7D/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1574020017&sr=8-1-spons

 

About Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood, an author from Peterborough, has written six crime thrillers. He uses his experience of travelling and working all over the world to create layered believable characters that will capture your imagination. In 2011, Ross decided to take on a new challenge and became a prison officer. He writes murderers, rapists and thieves brilliantly because he worked with them every day for four years.

 

Links

Author Website: www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/RossGreenwood

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/ross-greenwood

Goodreads: bit.ly/RossGreenwood-GR

 

Blog Tour – ‘Death at the Plague Museum’ by Lesley Kelly ~ @sandstonepress @lkauthor

I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for ‘Death at the Plague Museum’ by Lesley Kelly.  This book, the third in the A Health of Strangers Thriller series, was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 18th April 2019 by Sandstone Press.  I would like to thank Ceris Jones for inviting me participate in the blog tour and for my review copy.

I will tell you my thoughts on ‘Death at the Plague Museum’ in just a moment.  First though here’s what it is about.

 

Book Blurb

The pandemic is spreading.

On Friday, three civil servants leading Virus policy hold a secret meeting at the Museum of Plagues and Pandemics. By Monday, two are dead and one is missing.

It’s up to Mona and Bernard of the Health Enforcement Team to find the missing official before panic hits the streets.

 

My Review

I actually haven’t read the first two books in the A Health of Strangers Thriller series, so I didn’t know how I would get on with ‘Death at the Plague Museum’. It did sound interesting though and naturally being the bookworm that I am I really wanted to give it a go. I need not have worried as my enjoyment wasn’t spoilt at all and I soon found myself becoming heavily involved in the story. I really liked the author’s style of writing and the storyline itself. It is very different to anything I have ever read.

Taking place over five days, I found this story to be extremely gripping and fast-paced. The virus had already cost the lives of hundreds and thousands of people in Scotland and it continued to spread. Scary hey! On top of that two important civil servants were dead and one was missing. The Health Enforcement Team were given the task of finding the missing official as quickly as they could. With no time to waste they did everything they could, even at the risk of putting themselves in danger.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Health Enforcement Team, particularly Mona and Bernard. I liked how the author didn’t just focus on their professional lives but also their personal lives. It made for some very interesting reading. I wasn’t very keen on Maitland, but I think he could actually grow on me eventually. Time will tell though.

Social media plays such a big part in our lives these days and I liked the fact that the author included it in her story. Full marks to her for this.

I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity of being introduced to this series. ‘Death at the Plague Museum’ was a very enjoyable read and I am looking forward to much more from this author. For fans of this series you will be delighted to know that there is a fourth book coming out.

~~~~~

‘Death at the Plague Museum’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Plague-Museum-Health-Strangers-ebook/dp/B07KXB21S7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1556371743&sr=1-3-fkmrnull

 

About Lesley Kelly

Lesley Kelly has worked in the public and voluntary sectors for the past twenty years, dabbling in poetry and stand-up comedy along the way. She has won several writing competitions, including the Scotsman’s Short Story award in 2008. Her debut novel, A Fine House in Trinity, was long-listed for the William Mclvanney award in 2016. She can be followed on Twitter (@lkauthor) where she tweets about writing, Edinburgh and whatever else takes her fancy.

Guest Post by Angelena Boden ~ @matadorbooks

I am delighted to welcome the lovely Angelena Boden back to my blog.  Her latest book, ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ was published last September as an eBook by Matador and it has been getting quite a few good reviews.

Angelena has written a post about the fear of dying for my blog.  There is also the chance to win copies of the book.  First though, lets take a look at what ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

As in life, death is not without its agenda. This is something seventy-nine year old Edna Reid finds out when her partner, Ted, suddenly dies.

To cope with her loss, she sets up a Death Cafe to break down the taboo around death and to encourage other members of the community to discuss it openly. Over tea and cake, the participants hide their fears behind a veil of dark humour.

Religious fanaticism clashes with Victorian spiritualism as Edna’s meetings trigger lively conversations on the fragility of life, anxiety over dying, cost of funerals, and making sure long-lost greedy relatives don’t benefit from inheritances.

Soon, a series of events begin to unfold which threaten to undermine Edna’s livelihood and the Death Cafe meetings. These events just happen to coincide with the arrival of a mysterious stranger into the village.

Who is she and why is she so hostile to Edna?

~~~~~

‘Edna’s Death Cafe’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2Q046aN

 

Guest Post

THANATOPHOBIA – The Fear of Dying

Death isn’t something we like to talk about. If it pops up in conversation we suddenly find the floor covering very interesting. In researching for my new book, Edna’s Death Cafe I talked to many people about how they feel about death, particularly their own, and the response was the same – they didn’t want to think about it because it made them feel anxious. I can relate to that as I suffered for a long time with a similar affliction which verged on panic, usually in the early hours of the morning.

I would spring out of bed, grabbing my throat, unable to swallow or breathe. Breathing into a paper bag or my cupped hands helped to calm the nervous system enough to make a cup of tea and put things back into proportion.

Now in my sixties I’ve experienced many losses as you would expect.  When my father died a few years ago, I realised on a very conscious level that I would be next in line (according to the natural order of things). It’s a sobering thought.

I became obsessed with everything to do with the dying process, funerals, body disposal and the age old question of whether consciousness really continues. I read voraciously the stories of near death experiences, the works of doctors such as Pym Van Lommel and Raymond Moody. My mind was having great difficulty in accepting that death was the end – hence the anxiety. I no longer had control over my life at that point.

For two years it made living in the moment impossible.  Every waking thought was controlled by the ‘horror’ that one day I was going to be no more – such is the power of the ego. I thought I was going crazy but death anxiety is very, real and very common.

In trying to avoid my own premature death I took ridiculous precautions.  Germs were monsters and my hands became raw from scrubbing them clean. I feared leaving the house in case a bus happened to mount the pavement and squash me. Everything I did had to be risk assessed until I found myself sobbing in front of my doctor. Fortunately she was understanding and suggested something to calm me down as well as a grief counsellor who was trained in this field.

My condition was exacerbated by the fact I had post- traumatic stress syndrome which, despite therapy, was recurring especially when under stress. Death of a loved one is the number one stressor so my thought processes were understandable.

As well as these excellent therapies which help sort out the muddle between the rational and irrational I discovered my own path through the nightmare.

I trained as a funeral celebrant which put me in contact with the fundamentals of the dying process and of course with grieving relatives. I had to be the strong one and keep things together for the families. My work desensitised me to the fear of dying but strengthened my new belief that you can die well following a fulfilling life. Being at a burial site or in a crematorium for the final goodbye is a privilege but also provides a form of exposure therapy. It’s the fear of the unknown that gives the demons something to play with.

Writing about those things that make us anxious can be healing. My novel, inspired by the international death café movement provided succour and support. Through the main character Edna, an octogenarian who sets a good example of how to celebrate life we learn how we can talk about this last taboo. I think we need to name it properly: – death, dying and dead as opposed to the many euphemisms we use to lessen the impact of the reality.

We might not wear black or cover the clocks and mirrors as the Victorians did or have a religious belief – many funerals result in natural burials in woodlands – but we need to allow ourselves to mourn and not stiffen the upper lip or maintain a dry eye when someone kindly asks us how we are doing.

The only way to get through grief is through that painful, but necessary act of grieving, in our own time and at our own pace. We need to allow ourselves to feel the tidal wave of emotions knowing that we won’t drown. Grief doesn’t mean neglecting everything and everyone or shutting ourselves away in a darkened room. It means nurturing yourself with good food, fresh air, walks in nature and slowing down to appreciate that we’ve been lucky to be given this opportunity to experience life in all its glory.

The best things we can do for ourselves when faced with crippling anxiety over our eventual demise is to learn to relax. Yoga, gentle exercise, breathing exercises, meditation all help. When things get overwhelming, you can focus on counting backwards or reciting a bit of poetry – whatever will distract your mind from the mental pain.

So if you can relate to any of these feelings, don’t despair. You are normal and it will get easier.  ‘Sometimes a bit of humour can really help too. This is what Mark Twain had to say,   ‘I do not fear death: I had been dead for billions of years before I was born and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.’

 

Competition

Angelena is giving away 4 eBook copies of ‘Edna’s Death Cafe’.  2 lucky winners will receive their book via Amazon UK and 2 will receive an iBooks code.  To enter just leave a comment and let me know how you would prefer to receive your book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 31st March 2019.

Winners will be randomly chosen within 7 days of the closing date and their email addresses will be sent to Angelena Boden.

 

About Angelena Boden

Angelena Boden has spent thirty-five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District which is where her new book is set. Angelena has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Worcestershire, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes, fitting family and reading in between.

Angelena is writing stories for her new grandson about a little dachshund called Digger who is a very special sort of detective!

She is the author of two traditionally published novels and many articles and blogs.

Her most recent novel, Edna’s Death Cafe is published as an e-book by Matador. A new Edna Investigates will be available for Christmas 2019.

Angelena is keen to meet readers, old and new, and is available for book talks, events, and always chatting over a cuppa (within 60 miles of Worcester).

 

Links

Website – http://angelenaboden.com/

 

Blog Tour – ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn ~ @HMLynnauthor

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn, the first in the Peas and Carrots series, was self-published in paperback and as an eBook on the 18th October 2018.  I would like to thank Hannah for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for my review copy.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though, here’s what ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

“A coming of age story for the mid-life crisis generation.”

When George Sibley dies, his only son, Eric, has no idea that his inheritance will come with conditions. Now, if Eric is to ever get his hands on his father’s treasured Aston Martin, he must somehow juggle his hectic career and family life in the city, with regular visits to the small riverside town of Burlam. Life for Eric quickly becomes a chaotic kaleidoscope of grumpy pensioners, wellington boots and vintage auto-mobiles, fraught with heavy machinery mishaps, missed deadlines and drug raids, the result of which leave his marriage, job and sanity hanging in the balance.

Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin is a light-hearted and humorous tale of a man who reluctantly goes digging amongst the weeds in order to discover his roots.

 

My Review

I somehow knew from the very start that I was going to enjoy this book. I thought the title to be very apt and fun sounding and I really liked the cover too. Hannah Lynn writes beautifully and with such confidence.

After his father died, Eric discovered that what he had inherited came with certain conditions. In order to keep the Aston Martin he had to maintain his father’s allotment on a weekly basis. Poor Eric had no choice but to keep travelling from London to Burlam whilst juggling his important job and family all at the same time. Personally, that would be enough to make me want to hibernate in bed for a year! It did all seem really unfair, but there surely had to be a reason why Eric’s dad had set out these terms.

Norman, who owned the next plot along didn’t exactly make things very easy for Eric at first and things really didn’t look good, but in the end they sorted out their differences and became friends. I grew very fond of Norman. There was much more to him than I thought and I loved his rather wicked sense of humour. He really had Eric going at times.

I think the allotment was a good thing as Eric and his family not only forged some friendships, but they also quite enjoyed the experience of growing vegetables and learnt lots of things along the way. It also gave Eric a chance to discover his roots and find out why his dad did what he did.

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is a charming, bittersweet and humourous story. I am so happy that this is the start of a series and I am really looking forward to reading the next book.

 

Giveaway

There is a competition being run to coincide with this blog tour.  One lucky person has the chance to win an Amazon gift card.  To enter just click on the link – Rafflecopter Giveaway.

 

About Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn is an award-winning, genre-defying novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015, she has since gone on to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist – which won the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.

While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description.

She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimaging of a classic Greek myth.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.

For up-to-date news and access to exclusive promotions follow her on

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HannahLynnAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HMLynnauthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13830772.Hannah_M_Lynn

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hannah-lynn

 

Books

Amazon.co.uk – Amendments

Amazon.com – Amendments

Amazon.co.uk – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.com – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.co.uk – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

Amazon.com – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

 

Blog Tour – ‘Songs of Innocence’ by Anne Coates

‘Songs of Innocence’, the third book in the Hannah Weybridge series, was published on the 24th May 2018 in paperback and as an eBook by Urbane Publications.  I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Love Books Group for inviting me to participate.  I would also like to say thank you for my review copy.

I will tell you what I thought of this book in a minute, but first here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.

The third in the bestselling Hannah Weybridge thriller series, Songs of Innocence provides Hannah with her toughest and deadliest – assignment yet…

 

My Review

Having really enjoyed the first two books in the series, I was looking forward to reading ‘Songs of Innocence’. I soon found myself hooked. I loved the author’s descriptions of Peckham Rye Park and I felt as if I was there with all the lovely birds. The mandarin ducks are indeed beautiful. Another thing I really like is how the characters from the previous books keep appearing. It is like visiting old friends again and again.

When the body of a young woman who has apparently committed suicide is discovered in a lake in Peckham Rye Park, things just don’t add up. The last thing Hannah needs or wants is to get herself involved in another investigation, but it doesn’t look like she has very much choice. She soon makes some shocking discoveries. At one point I really thought that was it for Hannah and I feared for her life. It would be absolutely awful if something happened to her.

I was left extremely intrigued at the end wondering about Tom Jordan and Hannah and if they have a future together. I want to know what’s going to happen now!

Out of all three books, ‘Songs of Innocence’ is by far my favourite. Anne Coates has really excelled herself. It is obvious that she does her research. I would definitely recommend that you start at the beginning to get the full benefit of this series, especially as one of the main storylines from ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ continues in this one. I really hope there are going to be more books and that I don’t have to wait too long.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘Songs of Innocence’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Innocence-Hannah-Weybridge-Coates/dp/191133154X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1527335332&sr=2

 

About Anne Coates

Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Instilled and inspired by her mother and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library, and she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London to stay. During her career she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in two collections by Endeavour Press (2015).

The sometimes strange places Anne visited as a journalist often made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born… The Hannah Weybridge series currently consists of three books, all published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018).

Anne Coates lives in London with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining.

Where to find Anne Coates
Author Website: www.annecoatesauthor.com
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/AnneCoatesAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anne_Coates1
Parenting Website – Twitter: https://twitter.com/ParentingWT

 

Book Review – ‘The One’ by Maria Realf

‘The One’, Maria Realf’s debut novel, was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 22nd March 2018 by HarperImpulse.  I was contacted by Heidi of Bland PR about this book and would like to thank her for my copy to review.  You’ll find out what I thought about ‘The One’ in a minute, but first here’s what it’s about.

 

Book Blurb

You never forget the one.
You’ll never forget this book.

Lizzie Sparkes should be the happiest girl in the world she’s three months away from marrying The One in the wedding of her dreams! But then The One before the One walks back in to her life with a bombshell.

Alex’s unexpected return changes everything and now Lizzie faces an impossible dilemma. Because how can you leave the past behind you, when it’s standing right in front of you….asking you for one more chance?

Fall in love with this beautiful l love story. A must read for fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You and Cecelia Ahern’s PS I Love You.

 

My Review

I am so very glad that I agreed to read ‘The One’. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. The story has been beautifully told and is very realistic with a number of flawed characters.

Set in Surrey, this story switches between the present and the past giving readers a good insight into Lizzie and how she first met Alex. I thought this worked really well without any confusion. I also liked the way the chapters counted down to the wedding and I loved the build up to it.

I was just as intrigued as Lizzie as to why Alex was back in town and I found myself wondering if the wedding would actually go ahead.

I liked Lizzie and really felt for her. It’s stressful enough organising a wedding without your ex turning up and confusing matters. It seemed that even years later Alex still carried a torch for her. He was more encouraging of Lizzie’s dream than Josh was, something that I really loved about him.

‘The One’ looks at a number of different issues including relationships, illness, death, loss, break ups and marriage. It definitely is a story that will stay with you for a while.

The ending was just so sad but also really beautiful and because of this I am giving the book 5 out of 5. I am looking forward to reading more by this author. Perhaps there could be a sequel?

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‘The One’ is available to buy from:-

HarperCollins – https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008278960/the-one/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-moving-unforgettable-story-emotional-ebook/dp/B074Z2FGF4/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1523810804&sr=1-1

 

About Maria Realf

Since graduating with a degree in multi-media journalism, Maria Realf has wrked on a staff or freelance basis for many of the UK’s best-known magazines, including The Mail on Sunday’s YOU Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Cosmopolitan Bride, Fabulous, Marie Claire, Now and You & Your Wedding. In her spare time, Maria is also an all-round movie obsessive, theatre lover and karaoke enthusiast. Find out more at www.mariarealf.com.

 

Social Media Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MariaRealf

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mariarealf/

 

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