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Archive for the tag “secrets”

Blog Tour – ‘Echo Hall’ by Virginia Moffatt ~ @aroomofmyown1 @unbounders @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘Echo Hall’ by Virginia Moffatt was published on the 28th November 2017 by Unbound and is available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook formats.

I would like to thank Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to participate.

I have an extract from ‘Echo Hall’ for all of you.

 

Book Blurb

Set against the backdrop of three wars – the 1991 Gulf War, World War 2 and World War 1 – the novel follows the fortunes of three women who become involved with the Flint family, the owners of Echo Hall.

Phoebe Flint visits Echo Hall in 2014, where she follows in her mother’s footsteps to uncover the stories of a house ‘full of unhappy women, and bitter, angry men’.

Ruth Flint arrives at Echo Hall in 1990 – newlywed, pregnant, and uncertain of her relationship with her husband, Adam. Ghostly encounters, a locked door, and a set of photographs pique her curiosity. But Adam and his grandfather refuse to let her investigate. And her marriage is further strained, when Adam, a reservist, is called up to fight in the Gulf War.

In 1942, Elsie Flint is already living at Echo Hall with her children, the guest of her unsympathetic in-laws, whilst her husband Jack is away with the RAF. Her only friend is Jack’s cousin Daniel, but Daniel is hiding secrets, which when revealed could destroy their friendship for good.

Rachel and Leah Walters meet Jacob Flint at a dinner party in 1911. Whilst Leah is drawn to Jacob, Rachel rejects him leading to conflict with her sister that will reverberate through the generations.

As Ruth discovers the secrets of Echo Hall, she is able to finally bring peace to the Flint family, and in doing so, discover what she really needs and wants.

Echo Hall is a novel about the past, but it is very much a novel of the now. Does history always have to repeat itself, or can we find another way?

 

Extract

2014

I should not remember this place, and yet every step towards the house unnerves me with its familiarity. The war memorial on the road from the village, the aromatic scent of the fir trees guarding the estate, the cawing of the rooks circling overhead, remind me that I have been here before. I was only a year old when I left. It should not be possible for me to remember this, and yet I do.

Perhaps it is because the stories our mothers tell us embed themselves so firmly in our DNA it is as if we lived the experience too. Or the location of our birth imprints itself upon our psyche, so that when we return it is as if we never left. Or perhaps it is just that Echo Hall has been on the edge of my memory for so long that being here feels like a homecoming.

Nonetheless, I hesitate before I pass through the large oak doorway, unsure whether I am prepared to become a tourist in my own life. Maybe it is enough to have reached its hard, grey walls, gazed up at the unforgiving windows, seen the skies louring overhead. And then I think how coincidental it is that I am visiting Sandstown on the weekend the National Trust has chosen to open the house. I realise the chance to visit my first home is too good an opportunity to miss; if I cross the threshold I might understand the past more fully.

So I enter, pay the fee and pick up a brochure describing the history of the Flints – a dry tale of dust and stone, slate and finance that misses the point entirely. Standing here, in the dark lobby, the grandfather clock in its rightful place, I am overwhelmed with a familiar sense of sadness. The ghosts may be long gone, but Mum was right – unhappiness seeps through the walls, even now.

I decide to begin at my beginning. I know exactly where to go: through the green baize door passing the old servants’ kitchens and turning right into the main kitchen. It has been reconstructed as it would have been 100 years ago, in my great-great-grandmother’s time, just before the war to end all wars. On the night Mum’s waters broke in here, there was an old gas cooker, an oak table and Formica cupboards on the walls. Now, the cooker has been replaced by a Victorian range; wooden shelves line the walls, piled with the cooking implements of the period; the table is laid as if the cook is about to prepare a meal, the walls adorned with recipes and household instructions relating to the Edwardian era. It is as if time has looped back on itself, returning the house to its starting point.

I wander back to the hall and enter the living room on the west side of the house – the site of my birth. An elderly couple are already there, examining the display of furniture separated from the rest of the room by a rope. The man is reading out a description of life for the lady of the house in a loud voice. The narrative grates; it bears no relation to reality – my great-great-grandmother was a dour woman, with no time for worldly distractions. It was her sister who enjoyed the finer things in life, although she lost them all in the end. The man finishes; his wife nods with interest, and they depart, leaving me alone.

I close my eyes, remembering Mum’s description of my delivery: how she crouched on all fours, gripping the sofa legs, grunting and screaming as I pushed my way from the silence of her womb into a dizzying new world. For a moment, I imagine I am there: the feelings are so strong my body shakes as if once more I am making that dark dangerous journey into life. I open my eyes, and steady myself on the wall. There is definitely something about this house; no wonder it had such a powerful effect on Mum.

My phone buzzes. It’s Dad:

How’s the revolution going , Comrade Phoebe?

He does love to tease. I’m about to text him an Emma Goldman quote when I remember it should be off. I shove it in my pocket. I will call him later for our weekly bout of political sparring, and tell him about this trip; but for now, I want to explore further. To my disappointment, most of the East Wing and the upstairs are still closed to the public. I glance at my watch. It is two o’clock; I have to be back at the conference by six. There is time for a walk, at least. I traipse back down the corridor by the kitchens, and out through the back garden. I climb the hill. I know instinctively where I will find the gap in the hedge, the gate through to the woods that will take me to Arthur’s Stone.

And, as I follow my mother’s footsteps, her stories lead me on.

 

About Virginia Moffatt

Virginia Moffatt was born in London, one of eight children, several of whom are writers. ‘The Wave’ is her second novel. Her previous publications are ‘Echo Hall’ (Unbound) and ‘Rapture and what comes after’ (Flash fiction collection published by Gumbo Press). She also writes non fiction. Virginia is married to Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars UK. They have two daughters at University and a son still living with them in Oxford.

 

Links

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aroomofmyown1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginiamoffattauthor/

Website: https://virginiamoffattwriter.wordpress.com/

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ggdZxJ

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39IOFOn

Blackwells: https://bit.ly/3ffdouO

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3gfNjgw

Hive.co.uk: https://bit.ly/3fiaV2C

 

 

Book Blitz – ‘One Fatal Night’ by Hélene Fermont ~ @helenefermont @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

I am just one of the book bloggers taking part in this book blitz today.  I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate.

‘One Fatal Night’ by Hélene Fermont was published last month in paperback and as an eBook by West Harbour Books and it sounds like a cracker of a read.   Right now you can get the eBook at the discounted price of £2.99 instead of £7.99.  That’s a 63% saving.  Isn’t that just fantastic?

Read on to find out what ‘One Fatal Night’ is about.  The purchase links are at the bottom of the page.

 

Book Blurb

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

 

About Hélene Fermont

Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

 

Links

You can purchase ‘One Fatal Night’ from Amazon UK:-

eBook – https://amzn.to/36XOxt3

Paperback – https://amzn.to/3dydhKS

 

Website – https://www.helenefermont.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/helenefermont

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/helenefermont/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15484308.Helene_Fermont

 

Blog Tour – ‘My Perfect Sister’ by Penny Batchelor ~ @RedDoorBooks @penny_author

It is an absolute pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘My Perfect Sister’ is Penny Batchelor’s debut novel and it is being published in paperback on the 18th June 2020 by RedDoor Press.  It is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Lizzie Lewis of RedDoor Press for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘My Perfect Sister’.  First though here is the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

How can you ever live up to the memory of someone you hardly remember?

Annie is five when her sister Gemma leaves for school one day and never returns. The family’s lives are changed forever with Gemma’s disappearance and Annie feels neglected and unloved. When she is just sixteen, she decides she can no longer live in the shadow of her perfect but absent sister and she leaves home, falling in and out of jobs and relationships, her resentment for Gemma always there, bubbling under the surface.

Many years later she reluctantly returns home to care for her mother, ill with cancer. Her anger only grows when she sees Gemma’s room still kept as a shrine while hers is now her mother’s sewing room, but as she cares for her mum she begins to soften and egged on by her best friend Priti she realises she has to uncover what happened to Gemma, for all their sakes.

Her research puts her in danger but with the help of a fabulous cast of characters and a satisfying twist in the tale, she finally discovers the truth but can she ever accept it?

 

My Review

I really did like the sound of ‘My Perfect Sister’ and was very much looking forward to reading it. I liked the author’s style of writing and the shortish chapters which had me turning the pages.

I found myself drawn to the story almost immediately. This was such an intriguing read and there were just so many questions going through my mind. I knew I would have to be patient though.

For Annie it must have been really difficult going back to look after her mother after years of hardly any contact. I cannot even begin to imagine all the emotions she must have felt. I would say it was definitely meant to be.

I think revisiting her past really opened Annie’s eyes and made her realise quite a few things. She was only five years old when her sister disappeared after all and she didn’t really have an easy childhood. But maybe things were not as she thought they were.

Throughout the story the reader is given an insight into what happened on the day Gemma disappeared. This I felt really spiced things up and added to the mystery.

I didn’t know what to expect with regards to Gemma’s disappearance and I found myself mentally making a list of who if anyone could have been involved. There were so many possibilities and at least two or three explanations as to what happened to Gemma.

There were some great characters in this story, some of whom were flawed. I really liked Aunty Lena, Annie and her best friend, Priti. They were my favourites.

‘My Perfect Sister’ looks at a number of topics including mental health. It is a thought-provoking read and has a lot of meaning. If you like family drama with a twist, then I highly recommend this book.

I will definitely be following this author’s work and I look forward to reading her next book.

 

‘The Perfect Sister’ can be pre-ordered/purchased from:-

RedDoor Press – https://reddoor-book-shop.myshopify.com/collections/new-releases/products/my-perfect-sister

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2U4KKVj

 

About Penny Batchelor

Penny Batchelor previously had careers as a Content Producer at the BBC and Web Editor at various educational institutions but due to ill health now works at home as a freelance journalist and award-winning knitting blogger. She is physically disabled and is keen to bring disability into mainstream literature. She lives with her husband in Warwickshire.

 

Links

Website – http://www.pennybatchelor.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/penny_author

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

Blog Tour – ‘Just My Luck’ by Adele Parks ~ @HQstories @adeleparks

Congratulations to Adele Parks whose new book, ‘Just My Luck’ was published in hardback, as an eBook and Audiobook on the 14th May 2020 by HQ.  This is her 20th novel.

It is a real pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour along with loads of other book bloggers.  I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate and for my proof copy.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought about this book.  First though here is the book blurb.

 

 

Book Blurb

What if winning means losing everything?

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping take on friendship, money and betrayal, and good luck gone bad…

 

My Review

Wow! Well, I never expected that. Never expected that at all.

I was really looking forward to reading ‘Just My Luck’. Having now read it I have to say that Adele Parks certainly knows how to weave a good tale. I loved the style in which the book was written and thought the author was very descriptive. This was such an addictive and exciting read and it was pretty hard to put down.

I absolutely loved the storyline. It was much more complex than I imagined it would be. There were shocks galore and, in the end, I didn’t really know who I could trust. Surely nothing else could happen I thought, but I was proved wrong again and again.

I didn’t like the majority of the characters apart from Lexi, her children, Toma and Gillian. Lexi came across as a really lovely person. She wanted to be able to help as many people as she could and was definitely in the right job. I could understand her frustration at not being able to do more for others.

Lexi was the most level-headed person as far as the lottery win went which is more than could be said for the rest of her family. She was sensible about what she wanted to spend the money on.

I have always thought that I would like to win the lottery. We all have dreams after all. I would hopefully put the money to good use after the initial excitement. After reading this book though I think I would have to be careful how I went about things. It is quite a scary situation to be in really.

‘Just My Luck’ is a story about greed, secrets, betrayal and lies. It will leave you shocked, and you will never think about winning the lottery in the same way again. It is definitely not all it is cracked up to be.

Go buy a copy of ‘Just My Luck’. It is superb and is an eye-opener of a read.

 

‘Just My Luck’ can be purchased from:-

HarperCollins – https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008410575/just-my-luck/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Luck-bestsellers-including-bestseller-ebook/dp/B081D4N6T3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1589608334&sr=8-1

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/just-my-luck/adele-parks/9780008410575

Hive – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Adele-Parks/Just-My-Luck/24893081

 

About Adele Parks

I was born in Teesside, NE England. Since graduating from Leicester University, where I studied English Language and Literature, I’ve worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel – Playing Away – was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London’s ‘Twenty Faces to Watch’, which was very nice of them!

I like to keep busy and am pretty flattered when I’m described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn’t like that?!) Three and a half million copies of my UK editions have been sold and I’m translated into 26 different languages. I’ve published nineteen novels in nineteen years, and I’m lucky that they’ve all hit the bestseller lists. I have written 16 contemporary novels and two historical ones, Spare Brides and If You Go Away, set during and after WW1. All my novels examines issues that are important to us all. I like to scrutinize our concepts of family, our theories on love, parenting and fidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. Whatever period I set my novels I’m known for examining the thorny issues of the lives people lead with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style.

I write numerous articles and short stories for national magazines and newspapers and often appear on radio and TV talking about my work and related matters. You know, basically a talking head. This works well for me as I’m very chatty and fairly opinionated. I think it’s true to say once I get going, it’s quite hard to shut me up.

I passionately believe that reading is a basic right. I’m a proud Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge, a scheme that encourages emerging adult readers who are becoming passionate about books. In 2008 I wrote a Quick Read, Happy Families as part of the celebrations of World Book Day, which went on to win Quick Read Learners’ Favourite Award, as voted for by the public.

I am a judge for the Costa Book Awards and The British Book Awards which is a great privilege and an amazing experience. During my career I’ve lived in Italy, Botswana and London. Now I live happily in Guildford, Surrey with my husband, teenage son and cat. I guess, that’s it, so far…

 

Links

Website – https://www.adeleparks.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/adeleparks

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/adele_parks/

 

Book Review – ‘The Last Night Out’ by Catherine O’Connell ~ @blackthornbks @OConnellauthor

Yesterday was a very special day indeed.  Black Thorn, a brand new imprint publishing exciting crime fiction officially launched.  I can tell you readers now you are in for some real treats.  So congratulations to Black Thorn and lets hope they have a long and fruitful number of years ahead of them.

I was given the opportunity to review one of their brand new titles, ‘The Last Night Out’ by Catherine O’Connell, which has been published in paperback and as an eBook.  It is also available in hardback and audiobook.

 

Book Blurb

Six friends. Three secrets. One murder.

Maggie is destined to marry the perfect man in two weeks. Desperate for a last wild night on the town before the big day, she gathers six friends for a night to remember.

Only things go wrong, horribly wrong.

Angie’s body is found in the park the following morning and the night to remember quickly becomes a nightmare they wish they could forget. Under police scrutiny, how far will Maggie and her friends go to keep their secrets – far enough to protect a killer?

‘Few pages are turned without revealing new, surprising twists . . . a clever, enjoyable read’ Times

‘O’Connell’s wry observations on the rich are hugely entertaining’ Chicago Sun Times

 

My Review

Wow! What a mind blowing story this was. I feel like I have just got out of a fast driving car. I absolutely loved this book and was totally hooked and when I wasn’t reading it I found myself longing to get back to it. I really liked the author’s style of writing and the way the story was clearly set out. The shorter chapters meant I could have a quick read when time was limited, although sticking to one chapter wasn’t always easy.

I found myself being taken on an exciting journey. There were so many twists and turns throughout the story. I had a few questions going through my mind and as I got further into the book more kept coming.

The story of what happened is told years later and narrated by the various characters as imagined by Maggie. There were some real shockers and it really was a case of how the other half live. But as we all know money doesn’t necessarily mean happiness. In fact, it can complicate life even more. I felt that Maggie was just getting herself into a bigger hole, one she would find it hard to get out of.

Out of all of Maggie’s friends I would say my favourite was Kelly. I was so very happy at how things worked out for her and would say she deserved it.

I loved the ending and the way the reader is left to make up their own mind about what really happened.

‘The Last Night Out’ looks at a number of issues including drugs and alcohol. It will literally get hold of you and not let you go until you have read the very last page. I recommend this book to all crime thriller lovers.

I look forward to much more from this author.

~~~~~

‘The Last Night Out’ can be purchased from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Night-Out-Catherine-OConnell-ebook/dp/B07K36G36J/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=the+last+night+out+by+catherine+o%27connell&qid=1556822892&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

 

About Catherine O’Connell

Catherine O’Connell divides her time between Chicago and Aspen, and sits on the board of Aspen Words, a literary centre whose aim is to support writers and reach out to readers. She is also a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Catherine has appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, the Cox network and numerous radio shows including WGN Radio’s Sunday Papers with Rick Kogan.

Foreign rights for The Last Night Out have already been sold in France, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

 

Links

Author

Website – https://thelastnightoutbook.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/OConnellAuthor

Publisher

Website – http://blackthornbooks.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/blackthornbks

 

‘The Girl Across the Street’ by Vikki Patis ~ @bookouture @PatisVikki

‘The Girl Across the Street’ was published as an eBook on the 8th March 2019 by Bookouture and is also available in paperback and audiobook.  I received my review copy of this book via NetGalley and would like to thank the publisher for approving my request.

I cannot wait to tell you exactly what I thought about this book.  First though here’s the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

You’re hiding a secret that only she can see.

Her name is Beth. She came into my life when I needed her the most. We lead very different lives, but she’s the only person who understands me.

She was the only other witness to the terrible accident on the street between our homes. The only person who saw the cracks in my perfect life before I had the chance to cover them up.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a friend. Someone to talk to, to listen to, to laugh and dream with.

Beth would never do anything to hurt me.

She only wants what’s best for me, for my marriage.

Doesn’t she?

An unputdownable psychological suspense thriller that will grip you until the very last page. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Couple Next Door.

 

My Review

Having read the description of this book and really liking the sound of it, I was thrilled when my request to read it was approved. The prologue was just so intriguing and I soon found myself totally absorbed. I loved the author’s style of writing and the way the story was set out.

The chapters were narrated by two of the main characters, Isla and Beth, which I thought worked really well. Beth didn’t have a very easy life at all. She slogged away trying to make ends meet whilst her lazy boyfriend didn’t work or even help out around the home. I did feel for her and thought it was a shame that she was trapped in this situation. Isla on the other hand seemed to have it all, but first appearances can be deceptive as I was about to find out.

The accident seemed to bring Isla and Beth together and an unlikely friendship developed. They got on so well and it was nice to see them happy. Isla hadn’t had a friend in a long time and it was good that she was going out a bit more. All appeared to be well. Or was it? By this point my intuition was telling me that something wasn’t quite right and I really couldn’t wait to see how the story developed.

Beth seemed to genuinely care about Isla and wanted to help her, but things were never going to be that easy were they. Oh no, not with Jake around. He acted like he owned Isla and he wasn’t going to let her go anywhere.

‘The Girl Across the Street’ is a dark and gripping psychological thriller which will keep you reading. I personally didn’t want it to end.

I cannot wait to read more by this author and I will definitely be buying myself a copy of ‘The Diary’.

~~~~~

‘The Girl Across the Street’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2Wn1JkK

Amazon US – https://amzn.to/2JDA3q3

About Vikki Patis

Vikki Patis is the author of psychological thrillers THE DIARY and THE GIRL ACROSS THE STREET, published by Bookouture. She is also the author of WELTANSCHAUUNG, a self-published short story collection, and her BSc dissertation, I INK, THEREFORE I AM, was published by Lambert Publishing in 2016.

When she isn’t writing or working as a Regulatory & Compliance Manager, she can usually be found drinking tea, baking cakes, or taking walks in the Hertfordshire countryside. She lives with her partner and two cats.

 

Links

Website – http://www.vikkipatis.com

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/PatisVikki

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15340101.Vikki_Patis

 

Blog Tour – ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ by Ross Greenwood

‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is Ross Greenwood’s third novel. It was published on the 1st October 2017 and is available both in paperback and as an eBook. I felt honoured when Ross Greenwood asked me if I would like to take part in his blog tour, especially as I haven’t read his previous books. My thanks go to Ross for providing me with an ARC of ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ and to Caroline Vincent for organising the tour. Read on to find out what I thought about this book.

After a childhood accident, Vincent loses his memory. This causes him to become sensitive and anxious around others. At school Vincent is bullied because of his differences and this is when his family come to his aid.

Soon after the devastating loss of his parents, Vincent meets a woman and a remarkable one at that. She teaches him to embrace life and bit by bit he begins to realise that the world is far more forgiving then he ever imagined. Maybe things aren’t so bad for him after all. Then Vincent starts getting flashbacks and he slowly begins to unravel his past.

Who was his mother? What kind of man was his brother, Frank? And why does death surround him?  As Vincent is about to discover, fate is cruel, the past is dark and things are not as they seem.

As mentioned above, this is the first book by Ross Greenwood that I have read and I’m so very glad that I did. ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is quality at its very best. Beautifully written, this story takes a hold of you and keeps you reading.

The story is narrated by Vincent (known as Vinnie to many) and starts off from when he was fourteen years old, seven years after his accident. As a teenager Vincent seeked solace in books, reading practically everything he could lay his hands on and travelling many worlds. We get to learn about his life over the next thirty-six years and what he went through. I felt really sorry for Vincent as he did appear to be the victim. At one point he seemed to be getting his life together and then everything changed just like that. He did achieve quite a lot in a way though.

The majority of the characters in this story were flawed. As Vincent was later to discover, his mum wasn’t who he thought she was. She had done some shocking things. Frank, his brother, had reason to behave the way he did. He came across as a bully but was he really?

‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is an outstanding and thought-provoking read and it will stay with you long after you finish the last page. I look forward to reading more books by Ross Greenwood.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Giveaway

I hope my review has left you dying to read this book.  If so, you’re in luck as there is a chance to win a signed copy of ‘Fifty Years of Fear’.  Just click on this link Raflecopter Giveaway.

The closing date is 12:00 pm. on the 10th October 2017 (the last day of the blog tour).  It is open to UK residents only.

 

Links

‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FIFTY-YEARS-FEAR-Ross-Greenwood-ebook/dp/B075FFQVK9/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Website – http://www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Silent Girls’ by Ann Troup

Blog Tour Banner

‘The Silent Girls’ was published by Carina on the 18th February 2016.  I really liked the sound of this book and was interested in taking part in the blog tour for it.  Today it is my turn and below is my review.

Returning to Number 17, Coronation Square in Winfield after a very long time, Edie is shocked to find that the place she remembers from her childhood reeks of mould and decay.  But she has a task to do, a big one at that.  Edie is there to clear out her recently deceased Aunt Dolly’s house.  It sounds simple enough but it isn’t.  Coronation Square, where five vicious murders took place many years ago has changed a lot and not for the best either.

At Number 17 there is misery, sin and dark secrets that can no longer stay hidden.  The truth has to come out at some stage.  Finding herself dragged into the horrific murders of the past, Edie must find out what happened all those years ago.  But as she uncovers the history of her family she had all but forgotten, she begins to wonder if perhaps it would have been best to leave things as they were.

I thought ‘The Silent Girls’ was a cracking read, absolutely fantastic.  The prologue had me totally intrigued and I couldn’t wait to get into the story.  There were some shocking revelations and secrets and it was just so hard to trust the majority of the characters.

I really liked Ann Troup’s style of writing.  There were so many twists and turns throughout this story and I found myself trying to piece everything together and work out what actually happened all those years ago.  I have to say I would never have guessed in a million years who was actually responsible for the murders.

One of the characters, Sophie is actually named after a book blogger I know.  In the story she was down on her luck, but Edie being the kind person she was took her in and looked out for her.  The real Sophie is lovely and I soon found myself warming to her as a fictional character as well.  I thought she was really gutsy and that she deserved a break.

‘The Silent Girls’ will have you sitting on the edge of your seat and it will leave you wanting more.  This isn’t a story you’ll forget in a hurry.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Ann Troup

Author Picture

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.

She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.

In a former incarnation she was psychiatric nurse, an experience which frequently informs her writing. She has also owned a cafe and an art/craft gallery. Now she only makes bacon sandwiches as a sideline, but does continue to dabble with clay, paint, paper, textiles, glue…you name it. Occasionally she may decide to give away some of these creations (you have been warned!).

 

Links

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B015QM8AP8/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28441057-the-silent-girls?ac=1&from_search=1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TroupAnn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anntroupauthor/

Website: https://anntroup.wordpress.com/

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘Redemption Song’ by Laura Wilkinson

Blog Tour Poster

‘Redemption Song’ was published on the 28th January by Accent Press.  Having read and enjoyed Laura Wilkinson’s previous two novels I was honoured to be invited to take part in this blog tour.

Just imagine this.  You’re getting on with your life, studying hard so that you can hopefully have a good career.  Things are going reasonably well and then just like that everything changes.  Unthinkable isn’t it?  Sadly though that’s exactly what happened to Saffron.

Saffron wants to become a doctor and is studying medicine.  But a tragic accident changes her life forever.  Unable to cope anymore and needing a break she leaves London and moves to Coed Mawr, a small coastal town in Wales to stay with her mother.  Saffron starts feeling trapped until she meets Joe, another outsider and they soon realise that they have a lot in common.  But there is something about Joe which Saffron just can’t figure out.  He has a complicated past which is in danger of catching up with him.  Will Saffron and Joe be able to help each other?

Every now and then I see a book cover I really like and in this case it was love at first sight for me.  It is just absolutely gorgeous.

I so enjoyed reading ‘Redemption Song’.  This story has been beautifully told, but then to be honest I wouldn’t have expected anything less from Laura Wilkinson who is a wonderful writer.  I thought this book was so different from her last two though.  It was nice learning a bit about bats throughout the story.  For anyone who wants to know more about them there is a link to a website about bats in the acknowledgements.

I loved meeting all the characters.  Rain, Saffron’s mum, who had also been through a very hard time moved from London to Coed Mawr to try and make a life for herself there.  A female minister, Rain never lost her faith in God despite what she had been through, though I’m sure it was tested.

I spent ages trying to work out what the mystery surrounding Joe was.  It was obvious that something was up.  Even Saffron’s mum couldn’t quite put a finger on it.  I thought Joe was such a nice man.  He brought out the best in Saffron, and feeling that she could confide in him, she was able to talk about the night of the accident and all that was going through her head.

‘Redemption Song’ is a wonderful story that you really won’t want to put down.  Laura Wilkinson’s books just keep getting better and better.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

‘Redemption Song’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Redemption-Song-Laura-Wilkinson/dp/1783758694/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1454910802&sr=1-1&keywords=redemption+song+laura+wilkinson

 

‘The Good Girl’ by Fiona Neill

The Good Girl

‘The Good Girl’ is Fiona Neill’s latest novel and it is out today, published by Michael Joseph.  I was very kindly sent a proof copy to review.

The Fields decide to leave busy London behind and relocate to Norfolk.  Ailsa has managed to get herself a new job as a headmistress in the local school and Harry who is a neuroscientist has taken time off to work on his book.  Teenagers Luke, Romy and nine-year-old Ben find life a bit boring at first and nothing much changes for them until two months later when the Fairports move next door.

When Romy and Jay meet properly for the first time they find that there is an instant attraction between them.  But Jay has a dark and shameful secret, one he thinks will put Romy off.  He eventually confides in her and to his surprise she promises to do what she can for him which is when the problems really start.  In her mission to help him Romy unravels some secrets from the past to do with her parents.

‘The Good Girl’ has been narrated by Ailsa and Romy giving the reader the views of both the mother and daughter as events unfold.  I thought this was a good idea and that it worked well.

This was a good story but I found it quite hard to get into it at first.  I felt that it was dragged out in places and that though interesting and informative there were just too many references to neuroscience and the brain.

There were a variety of characters in this story but out of all of them I really liked Ben.  For a nine-year-old he was very intuitive.  No-one could pull the wool over his eyes.  I felt bad for Romy even though what she did wasn’t particularly smart.  Always a hardworking student I don’t think she ever thought about what the consequences could be.

‘The Good Girl’ really does make you think.  Fiona Neill has covered a number of topics including one which is extremely controversial and shocking.

I give this book 3 out of 5.

‘Finding Mother’ by Anne Allen

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Last year I interviewed Anne Allen and asked her about ‘Finding Mother’, the second of her Guernsey novels.  You can read my interview with her here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/anne-allen/

Having previously reviewed Anne’s first novel I was very interested in reading ‘Finding Mother’ and recently got round to doing so.

Nicole was just three days old when Mary and Ian Le Clerq adopted her.  Now at 35 years old Nicole’s marriage is over and she feels the need to reassess her life and find out who she really is.  So she decides to search for her natural mother.  It doesn’t take Nicole very long to find her and she is soon on her way to Guernsey.

‘Finding Mother’ is a wonderful story which follows three generations of women.  It is a tale about family relationships, secrets, second chances, love and death.

I really enjoyed Anne Allen’s first novel ‘Dangerous Waters’ and I thought it was very good, but in my opinion I would say that this book is even better.  In fact it is excellent.  I liked Anne’s writing style throughout, the way she takes the reader to many different locations and her descriptions and I thought it clever how she included a couple of the characters from her first novel in this story too.  Absolutely superb!

I loved reading about Eve’s (the grandmother’s) past.  I found her tale to be very interesting and I couldn’t wait to learn more.  How she kept things to herself for so long I really do not know.

Through book reviewing I have discovered many new authors and read some fantastic books.  I can now say that Anne Allen has been added to my list of favourite authors.  I am looking forward to reading her latest novel ‘Guernsey Retreat’ and I really hope that Anne keeps writing.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

‘A Place for Us – Part One’ by Harriet Evans

A Place for Us - One

Today saw the publication by Headline Review of the first of four instalments of this book.  It is available in ebook with the next part due out on the 28th August 2014.  The complete novel will be published in January 2015.  I was kindly sent a copy to review.

The story starts off with an element of intrigue.  It is August 2012 and Martha Winter’s eightieth birthday is fast approaching.  She had made a huge decision, one which is set to change things for good.  It’s time to tell all.  But how will Martha go about doing this?

The first part of ‘A Place for Us’ gives the reader a good introduction to the Winter family with each chapter being narrated by an individual character.  I felt that this worked well as it told me a lot about their lives.  I also like the way the story has been set in different locations.

A complex family with secrets from the past, I reckon Part Two is when things will really start to hot up.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I give the first part of ‘A Place for Us’ 4 out of 5.

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Piano Player’s Son’

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I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour.  I chose to review ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ and you can read my thoughts about this novel below.

bookcover

‘The Piano Player’s Son’ was published by Cinnamon Press last year.  This is Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s second novel.

To Isabel family life is very important.  Her parents appear to have had a blissful marriage and she has tried very hard to create one for herself.  All pretence is shattered though when her husband leaves her.  On top of that her father dies, which leaves Isabel totally devastated.

Then, a few hours after her father’s death, Isabel’s mother confides in her revealing a secret kept hidden for more than thirty years.  Isabel is shocked by the revelation and feels that her sister, Grace and brothers, Rick and George should be told.  But her mother makes her promise to stay silent.

‘The Piano Player’s Son’ was a really good and worthwhile read.  It is a compelling and very sad story about families where each person is dealing with their own individual tragedies and issues.  I liked the writing style and the way this novel was set out.  I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next and I almost felt as if I was part of the characters’ lives.

Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn has portrayed her characters well.  My favourites were Isabel and Grace.  I wasn’t that keen on Rick but I understand how he must have been feeling about things.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Useful Links

Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn:-

Website: www.lindsaystanberryflynn.co.uk

Blog: http://lindsaystanberryflynn.co.uk/blog/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LindsayStanberryFlynn.Author

The Piano Player’s Son on Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/The-Piano-Players-Lindsay-Stanberry-Flynn/dp/1907090932/

 

Lindsay does not have a Twitter account but Silverwood Books are tweeting throughout this tour.

SilverWood Books: www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/silverwoodbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SilverWoodBooks

 

‘Secrets of the Tides’ by Hannah Richell

Lovereading.co.uk were looking for people to review this book, which is being published by Orion Books on 12th April 2012.  I was absolutely delighted when I was chosen.  ‘Secrets of the Tides’ is a fantastic debut novel.  It has been beautifully written and this is one of those books that you really do not want to put down.  It is a very gripping family saga.  The characters have been portrayed really well and they seem so real.  The various descriptions of places, flowers and plants are wonderfully described.

The Tide family are haunted by a tragedy which occurred eleven years ago.  They struggle to move forward, each battling with their own feelings of guilt together with some dark secrets which must be hidden away.  When Dora falls pregnant with her first child, she has doubts about becoming a mother as she still feels bad about what took place all those years back and is worried in case it should happen again.  In order to be able to move on she realises that she has to face her past no matter how painful, and so she decides to go back to the place she once considered to be home, Clifftops.

Going backwards and forwards, this story is told by three of the main characters; Dora, her sister and their mother.  It deals with several topics including adultery, betrayal and forgiveness.

I would most definitely recommend this book to others and I am really looking forward to seeing what Hannah Richell writes next.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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