book reviews · Bookish

What Nobody Knew by Amelia Hendrey

Hello! Today I am bringing you a review of What Nobody Knew by Amelia Hendrey as part of a BOTBS tour. It’s available now in both Paperback and Kindle formats. I received a copy of this for free as part of the tour.

What Nobody Knew is a true life case of a child who grew up with a horribly abusive father and a mother who stood by while it happened, whom was also subject to her husbands abuse. This child is the author, many years ago and she is sharing her story with the world. I don’t tend to read memoirs or auto-biographical accounts often, I usually stick with fiction, but I’m glad I opted in to reading this one, although how I wish it were fiction.

The account isn’t over-dramatised but it isn’t numb either. I felt strongly while reading this book. It’s presented with official documents from doctors, school, social services etc – it’s factual and embellished. The author isn’t trying to play on your emotions or make you feel bad for her, she’s just presenting her case, her reality and how she overcame it and bring awareness to what may happening behind close doors.

My heart aches for that small, confused child in What Nobody Knew. A beautifully written glimpse in to a real life case of surviving the struggle of abuse. Incredibly strong, I’m in awe of her strength and I feel like it took a lot to put this book out in to the world. I feel privileged to have been able to read it, and I’m grateful to Amelia for sharing her story.

About the Book

My story begins aged 3, when my mother abandoned me and left me with my brutal father to raise me. Nobody knew the secrets that went on inside that house, or the journey that I travelled on after leaving it, until now. This is the story of my survival.

What do you do when no one wants you?

How many people need to destroy a child until that child wants to destroy herself?

What if social services always got told a different story?

What would you do if you were in my position?

Survival is key.

About the Author

Amelia is a mum and a survivor. She wrote her book What Nobody Knew to help other people who have been through similar experiences and to educate people who are unaware of what goes on behind closed doors. She has no previous writing experience, she’s just one person who wants to change the world for the better. She also loves cats and reading In her spare time.

book reviews · Bookish

The Revenge Trail by A.A Abbott (Review)

Hi! Today I am on the blog tour for The Revenge Trail by A.A Abbott. This is the fourth installment to the series and it is available now in both Paperback and Kindle editions – it’s also available as part of Kindle Unlimited!

The Revenge Trail is the fourth and most recent installment in the Trail series. One thing I love is that the author offers this series in large print and dyslexia-friendly versions for those who don’t have e-readers.

The Revenge Trail brings together characters met previously in the series in another vodka-fuelled tale. Returning to the stage is our main lady! Kat White and vodka salesman/business partner, Marty Bridges. Kat is an excellent distiller of vodka and Marty wants to monetize that alongside his sales of Snow Mountain vodka which comes from a distillery now owned by Kat’s mum. However, disaster strikes when Marty gets a tainted delivery and a lot of the book for Marty is all about damage control for the the situation and his financial losses.

Kat wants to just make her Starshine vodka, leave her criminal past behind and focus on her dreams. Unfortunately for her, Shaun Halloran, who we met in the first book, decides to show his face. I won’t go in to the details in case you’ve not read previous installments (you should fix that!) and because I don’t want to spoil later content in the book.

I really enjoy how Kat has developed as a character, she’s far better person than she was when she was first introduced – she seems to have grown a lot and includes others in her equations now.

The chapters are short and not filled with fluff; I really enjoy that about this series and it makes it really easy to just consume a chapter when on the go or waiting for a bus or something, but without feeling like things are lacking or that things have been cut short. Just like the previous books in the series, this was well paced and enjoyable from start to finish.

While I feel you could read this book as a stand-alone, you’d get far more enjoyment out of it if you have read the other parts of the series as this really rounds out some characters stories and plot lines and brings them to an end, so while I recommend this book, I would definitely suggest you go read the other installments first! If you’re interested and didn’t see it before, you can read my review of the first book here.

About the Book

VODKA TO DIE FOR…

Kat’s craft vodka brand makes it big, but a crazed murderer’s on her trail.

Glamorous blonde Kat White makes the best vodka in the world. At last, her craft vodka from Birmingham is going places, while the mother who abandoned her faces financial ruin.

So does vodka salesman Marty Bridges. Kat doesn’t trust him, but she has to save his business or hers will go under too.

That’s not her biggest problem. Crazed murderer Shaun Halloran wants to kill her, even if it means breaking out of jail to take his revenge.

Kat dreams of love, riches and success in her life – but shouldn’t she just focus on staying alive?

With twists, tension, secrets and suspense – “The Revenge Trail” is a gripping crime thriller that will draw you into Kat’s exciting world.  

About the Author

English thriller writer AA Abbott’s real name is Helen Blenkinsop. She loves city life, having lived and worked in London, Birmingham and Bristol. Her crime thrillers, set in Birmingham and London, sizzle with suspense, twists and the evils of office politics.

Helen’s books are available in a dyslexia-friendly large print as well as standard paperback and Kindle editions.

Her Trail Series follows the fortunes of glamorous blonde Kat White, a party girl who finds her purpose making vodka, shrewd businessman Marty Bridges, and manipulative East End crime lord Shaun Halloran


book reviews · Bookish

Stitched by Cheryl Elaine (Review)

Today I am pleased to be bringing you a review as part of the Baker’s Blog Tour for Stitched by Cheryl Elaine, out now in both Paperback and Kindle editions and also available as part of Kindle Unlimited.

This book, holy moly. I had to really think about my review for this one. This book is brutal. I’m going to say that straight up. It has such horrendous things happen in it, yet it’s not police procedural type-of-book and I feel maybe that made it feel more raw and harder to swallow, you don’t know about a team that are fighting for the victims, not really. This book was excellent, the things that happen in it are absolutely awful. I don’t want my praise of the book to seem like I condone the occurrence of it’s content at all and I feel like it DOES need a content warning because it isn’t made clear just how much brutality is within its pages.

You can gather from the blurb that there is domestic violence and murder, what you don’t glean from that is that it also features a whole host of other horrific instances. My face when reading it was quite the contorted one, but I couldn’t put it down.

Emily lives with her husband, Andy. Andy is an alcoholic and a wife-beater, amongst other things. The book immediately opens on a scene of abuse. Emily can not escape his abuse – and neither can the reader. I thought that was a significant thing to do. It’s unpleasant but it feels realistic. It’s an unrelenting situation. There are certain things that are incredibly repetitive in the book, the language used by both Emily and Andy, however, this works in this case as it’s seems very realistic for a victim and her abuser. The feelings of being trapped, that she’ll die at his hands, how did she end up in that situation? And for Andy, that she belongs to him, she needs a “firm hand” and to be “kept in line” and that it’s just discipline.

Later on, it gets more out of control and we discover a whole host of even more messed up things which I didn’t think was possible and the reason for the title and a certain sort of language used in the blurb begins to become apparent. I don’t want to post spoilers, but I do want readers to be aware that this book contains substance abuse, kidnapping, serial rape, serial murder, incest, mutilation, domestic violence and yet only the smallest sliver of justice, but I suppose this is also fairly realistic too, bruises and other wounds take time to fade and those mental ones take a whole lot longer – the book itself has a similar effect. I feel like I need a good shower, to cuddle my cat and to do something positive. It’s going to linger with me for a while. The author really gets to you with this gruesome, brutally raw book and I am not bad about it. It’s a damn good read. It’s so well written, I can’t really think of other ways to convey just how great it was written. It feels wrong to say I loved it when it was so…yeah.

It’s engaging, it is riveting, I couldn’t put it down and I had to know what would happen and if Emily would get freedom, if Andy would be caught, if Emily’s new neighbor, Donovan would be her savior. I was not prepared for the plot twist later on in the book, I was incredibly surprised to read it and I didn’t see it coming though I could imagine there was something amiss, but what I really didn’t see coming was the ending. This book doesn’t really have a happy ending, and that final twist had me actually shout at the book. I swear, by the end, my face hurt from all the faces of disgust and shock I pulled throughout reading it.

It’s complicated, but I would recommend this book, but you also need to consider if you’re mentally equipped to handle so much brutality in one story. I’ve done my best to try and make you aware of it and now only you can decide whether you’ll pick it up or not and if you’ll go to that dark place with Emily. I’m glad I did. I feel in shock, but I also feel a host of appreciation for things in my life and so thankful that I have never been in such an awful abusive situation. It should be the norm, but there are many women AND men who suffer like this regularly. They’re missing in society because of people like Andy and that’s heart wrenching.

About The Book

A gruesome tale of control, fear and brutality.

Marriage is not the bed of roses story books describe. More like a bed of torturous thorns.

And, how Emily bled.

Escape seemed an illusion, a mirage of a rocky road between overgrown thickets of despair. Emily couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel; she wasn’t allowed to dream or think for herself and had no alternative other than submitting to his rage.

Andy was a narcissist. Emily could not, and would not, disregard his superiority. Her naivety often clouded her judgment; she was damaged both mentally and physically. Would putting her trust in another lead her to a happy ending?

About The Author

Cheryl Elaine is a British Author, and resides in Yorkshire.  Throughout her life she has been an avid reader and wrote many short stories, which lead her on a path to the world of publishing. She released her debut novel – No Ordinary Girl, followed by her latest release – Stitched.

I hope you enjoy my dark and disturbing crime books, and if you fancy reading something lighter, why not check out my fantasy novel – Dragged to the Depths.

You can find out more about me, at the following places

https://www.cherylelaine.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/cherylelaineauthor

https://www.instagram.com/cherylelaine15/

Bookish · Uncategorized

Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon (Spotlight)

Today I am on a blog tour for Dig Two Graves by Keith Nixon, out now in both Kindle and audiobook editions. Dig Two Graves is the first part of a four part series of Keith’s Solomon Gray character and you can find the other books here.


About The Book

Was it suicide … or murder? Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray is driven to discover the truth. Whatever the personal cost.

When teenager Nick Buckingham tumbles from the fifth floor of an apartment block, Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray answers the call with a sick feeling in his stomach. The victim was just a kid, sixteen years old. And the exact age the detective’s son was, the son Gray has not seen since he went missing at a funfair ten years ago. Each case involving children haunts Gray with the reminder that his son may still be out there – or worse, dead. The seemingly open and shut case of suicide twists into a darker discovery. Buckingham and Gray have never met, so why is Gray’s number on the dead teenager’s mobile phone?

Gray begins to unravel a murky world of abuse, lies, and corruption. And when the body of Reverend David Hill is found shot to death in the vestry of Gray’s old church, Gray wonders how far the depravity stretches and who might be next. Nothing seems connected, and yet there is one common thread: Detective Sergeant Solomon Gray, himself. As the bodies pile up, Gray must face his own demons and his son’s abduction. 

Crippled by loss Gray takes the first step on the long road of redemption. But is the killer closer to home than he realised?

Set in the once grand town of Margate in the south of England, the now broken and depressed seaside resort becomes its own character in this dark police suspense thriller, perfect for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride, and Peter James.

Dig Two Graves is the first in the Solomon Gray series. Pick it up now to discover whether Gray finds his son in this thrilling new crime series. 

Author Bio:  

Keith Nixon is a British born writer of crime and historical fiction novels. Originally, he trained as a chemist, but Keith is now in a senior sales role for a high-tech business. Keith currently lives with his family in the North West of England.

 Readers can connect with Keith on various social media platforms:

 Web: http://www.keithnixon.co.uk

Twitter: @knntom
Facebook: Keithnixonauthor
Blog: www.keithnixon.co.uk/blog


book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan ( Review)

Today, I am on the blog tour for Picking up the Pieces by Jo Worgan, bringing you a book review. The book comes out on the 8th of November in both Kindle and Paperback editions, and will be available on Kindle Unlimited. Below, you can find the tour poster if you want to find out more and visit the other fantastic stops on this tour!

picking-up-pieces

Where do I start with this book that tugged at my heart? Oh, that rhymed! Picking up the Pieces is an unforgettable read about Kate, her autistic son Sam and the new guy next door, Matt. Kate moved to Muddletown, years ago, to escape her abusive ex-boyfriend, Matt just moved in next door, to escape his now-ex wife, to be greeted with a young boy on a sun lounger in his new garden. This boy is Sam and he has autism.

Now, the author herself actually has a child with Autism and is well qualified to talk on the topic; in fact, she has the full support of the National Autistic Society. I thought this was fantastic. I’m not a parent, and so my knowledge of Autism is limited, but I felt when I was reading Sam’s character, that it was an accurate portrayal of a child with Autism (of course, experiences can vary and not all children are the same, autistic or not), based on my limited knowledge – this was before I knew about the authors experience – I tend to try to wait until I’ve started a book before I read about the author and such, because not everyone who reads a book looks the author up and I feel like it can provide an insight to a book that fellow readers may not end up with, and I didn’t want to taint my experience with extra knowledge – if that makes sense.

Sam is a lovely little boy and I found him charming and sweet. He had some meltdowns, sure, but he felt very real. I thought Kate was strong as heck, but I felt so bad for her and her struggle to seek help – she thought she would worry people and be a burden and that made me so sad. Even out of the abusive situation, that damage remained. Matt is the knight in shining armor, destined to bring that family a happy ending, but not without his own baggage and emotional burden. I found the characters very well written and very human. I was rooting for the main protagonists throughout!

Matt was kind and patient when encountering Sam. When they first met, I held my breath for Matt’s reaction. Then I laughed because I feel like that’s how I would have reacted too. It may have happened off the page, so to speak, but I don’t recall Kate strictly telling Matt that Sam had autism. It seemed more that he basically figured it out based on the signs in the home and his own general knowledge. His compassion was lovely to read and warmed my heart, but then Kate’s ex, Jake made an appearance which brought a big dark cloud ready to rain on my fuzzy feels parade.

I was worried for Kate and worried for Sam. I couldn’t put the book down. I had to find out how this would pan out for them, then Jake even got Matt involved. Determined to swan in and control Kate’s life entirely – or so it appears, under the guise of wanting to know his son.

I was aghast at how things went down later on in the book. I was shocked even though I thought I shouldn’t really be surprised, but I also realised that this, too, was probably pretty realistic and it really tugged at my heart and made me feel so sad for Sam and other autistic children in the world and their families who have had to endure that situation or similar, and they’re undoubtedly out there. It’s “just a book” but it really rang true in a lot of aspects and that really got me. It wasn’t pleasant but it was real and while we can stop reading a book, we can’t close our eyes and prevent things from happening in real life.

It’s food for thought and a reminder that there’s so much we don’t see or know and that we should always try to be compassionate, patient and understanding with others. This book is an excellent, un-put-downable read about a woman, her little boy and the new guy next door that will tug at your heart and make you feel things.

PICKING_UP_THE_PIECES_COVER_CHOSEN.indd

A compelling and emotive story about a mother’s unbreakable love for her autistic son.

Kate has a six-year-old autistic son, Sam. Having started a new life to escape her controlling and abusive boyfriend Jake, Kate believes the past is behind her and that she and Sam are safe.

But after spotting Jake through a misted-up cafe window, she knows that her previous life has found her.

Kate confides in her new neighbour Matt, a man running from his own secrets. He seems to offer a genuine chance at happiness for Kate and her son, but Jake is determined to get them back at all costs….

Picking Up The Pieces is an original, moving and gripping page-turner about a woman’s search for happiness as she fights to protect her autistic son’s future.

 

UYe53oN7_400x400 Jo Worgan is a freelance copywriter, columnist and book blogger. She has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. Writing is what she truly loves, and Picking up the Pieces is her second novel following her first, An Unextraordinary Life.

Today Jo lives in Lancashire with her husband of 19 years and their two young
sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, cinema, the Lake District and lots of playgrounds.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Hard Return by Rosie Claverton (Review)

Hard Return BT Poster

Hey guys, today I’m bringing you a review as part of the blog tour for Hard Return by Rose Claverton which is available now in both Kindle and Paperback formats and is also available as part of Kindle Unlimited.

BLURB: 12 men locked in a compound.
12 men watching their every move.
1 man murdered.

When Jason’s friend Lewis is trapped in a secret prison compound with a murderer, Jason must go back behind bars – but Amy won’t let him go in alone. Hiding their intentions from both the convicts and their watchers, they work together to find justice for the murdered man while keeping their cover. As the danger mounts, Jason, Amy, and Lewis find there might be no escape for any of them – except in death.

Hard Return Cover Image

Hard Return is the fifth installment in Rosie Claverton’s Amy Lane Mysteries. I admittedly hadn’t heard of the author or this series prior to the invitation to the tour, but I now realise what a shame that was and look forward to Rosie’s future works. So you can gather, this was my first venture in to the series and while it worked totally fine on its own, I do wish I had read the previous installments to know more about the characters and what brought them up to the events of this book as you get caught up and swept along with no idea how they got to this point,  but it also makes you want to know WHY and HOW they got to this point. In my opinion, that isn’t a bad thing. *Glances at her ever growing TBR pile*

The characters I found to be excellent. I ended up feeling invested in them, fascinated and they carried me through the story – one I found myself unable to put down. I didn’t expect to enjoy the book as much as I did. It was fairly fast but well paced throughout and I honestly feel like the blurb doesn’t do the book justice – however to say much more would be spoilers and nobody likes spoilers. Or maybe they do. I’m sure someone out there does, but the majority of us don’t. It’s honestly hard to write this review without spoilers.

Hard Return is a wild ride from start to finish. While the characters live in a world that is nothing like my own, I found myself really connecting with them – not just Amy, our fantastic female protaganist; who is actually human and demonstrates anxiety (in an actual realistic manner to boot) in the situations she’s put in, rather than appearing cold and superhuman, but also the secondary character, Jason, who I gather was previously locked up for something he didn’t do and also their watcher and former friend (another thing that makes me want to read previous installments – I’m wondering what the heck happened there!) Owain. I felt really immersed in their journey and the author really kept me on my toes. When I thought something – something fairly obvious and cliche was about to happen, she went the other way and I found myself surprised by the turns things took.

The book ends with some questions. I can’t specify details without spoilers, but there is certainly a “what next” which has me looking forward to the next installment in the series and seriously needing to go and read the previous installments. I love when a book does that. When a book works as a standalone, but it’s so good and really grabs you that you find yourself needing to consume more tales of the characters and go back to previous installments while you await the next. That, to me, is a sign of an excellent book. I’d highly recommend picking this one up. You can buy it here via Amazon.

rosie Claverton

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rosie Claverton is a novelist, screenwriter, and junior psychiatrist.She grew up in Devon, daughter to a Sri Lankan father and a Norfolk mother, surrounded by folk mythology and surly sheep. She moved to Cardiff to study Medicine and adopted Wales as her home. She then moved to London to specialise in psychiatry.

Her first short film Dragon Chasers aired on BBC Wales in Autumn 2012. She co-wrote the ground-breaking series of short films The Underwater Realm. Her Cardiff-based crime series The Amy Lane Mysteries is published by Crime Scene Books.

Between writing and medicine, she blogs about psychiatry and psychology for writers in her Freudian Script series, advocating for accurate and sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in fiction.

Recently returned to Cardiff, she lives with her journalist husband and their nearly new daughter.

Bookish · Uncategorized

Not All Heroines Wear Capes (Guest Post)

calculated contagion

Today, I’m on the Blog Tour for Calculated Contagion by K.T Lee. I’m pleased to have a guest post from the author to share with you.

ktlee_calculatecontagion_web
While all of the books in The Calculated Series feature strong heroines, writing Calculated Contagion was a great opportunity to showcase an often-overlooked type of strength through the character of Dani Christensen. Dani is a vaccine scientist who is accomplished in her field but doesn’t necessarily have the type of background that would prepare her for a life of fighting crime. Instead of the traditional thriller hero/heroine who packs their own weapon and has a set of self-defense skills we would all envy, Dani Christensen’s strength is internal. It is subtler but just as critical to her team’s success.

Calculated Contagion opens with Dani presenting her vaccine research to a broad, international audience. However, it quickly turns into a nightmare when she is kidnapped and taken to a remote encampment for reasons she doesn’t understand. Dani is a scientist who works with technical facts all the time – she knows the odds of making it back home are slim. Still, instead of accepting her circumstances, she finds a way to remove herself from the larger group to increase her survival odds. Getting away from her captors opens a window for a CIA officer who has been monitoring the suspicious group to get her to safety. The tentative trust they build during their escape evolves into formidable teamwork when they join the rest of his team and their FBI allies.

Even as Dani battles the mental trauma of her experience, she finds a way to keep helping the CIA, particularly when she realizes her kidnappers have followed her back to her lab. Because Dani is the daughter of the company CEO, the assumptions others have made about her talent have built in her a quiet but solid resilience. Dani isn’t as boisterous or outgoing as Dr. Ree Ryland, an engineering professor and friend of the FBI who joins the investigation. She isn’t as enthusiastic about fighting crime as the spunky, high-energy Alexis. However, Dani’s thoughtful introspection and determination bring their investigation to a critical inflection point – one that will make her kidnappers realize that underestimating their intended victim’s inner strength will be the mistake that ultimately leads to their downfall.

ktlee_calculatecontagion_6x9_finalfiles.jpg


About Calculated Contagion (The Calculated Series: Book 2)
:
Dani Christensen is a vaccine researcher who has spent her career proving she is more than just the daughter of the company’s CEO. However, as her accomplishments in contagious disease research grow, the wrong people begin to notice. When Dani is isolated from her colleagues at a well-regarded conference in Europe, she is kidnapped and taken to an isolated camp in the Carpathian Mountains.

CIA officers Cam Mitchell and Tyler Scott are sent to observe a suspicious group of armed men in rural Romania. When Cam sees Dani being brought into the camp against her will, he and his partner rescue her and bring her safely back to the United States. The CIA initially believes Dani was kidnapped for ransom, but they soon realize her kidnapper has followed her back to her lab. Now, the CIA must work with their allies in the FBI to catch Dani’s kidnapper before he releases a potentially deadly contagion for his own political gain.
Calculated Contagion is Book 2 in The Calculated Series. All books in The Calculated Series may be enjoyed as standalone novels or as a series.

About K.T. Lee
K.T. Lee is a writer, mom and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. When K.T. began to write the kind of books she wanted to read, she mixed clever women and the sciences with elements from thrillers (and a dash of romance) to create The Calculated Series.

Social Links:
Twitter: @ktleewrites
Instagram: @ktleeauthor
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ktleewrites
Website: https://ktleeauthor.com/

Calculated Contagion is out now in both Kindle and Paperback formats.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid – Review

perfectliars2

Today, I’m on bringing you a review as part of the tour for Perfect Liars by Rebecca Reid, out now in Paperback, on Kindle and as an Audio Book.

They have it all. And they’ll do anything to keep it that way.

For fans of The Girlfriend and Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies as well as TV hits Doctor Foster and The Replacement.

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk in to the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

Gripping and unputdownable, Perfect Liars tells the story of a group of friends bound by their dark pasts and their desperate need to keep their secrets hidden from the world around them. How far would you go to protect the life you’ve built?

Perfect Liars PB 1

If you liked the show Pretty Little Liars or Doctor Foster, you’ll like this book; unless you need to like the characters, then.. perhaps not… The story has three main characters who attended boarding school together. Out of the three, two of them are wealthy, one is on a scholarship but all three of them are well written, awful people. Teenagers are often pretty terrible people, but grow in to decent people. How about these three? As it turns out, no, they don’t. Instantly, I took a dislike to all of the main characters.

The story is relatively easy to guess and the blurb gives away a lot, but it also gives the impression that maybe one of the characters isn’t so bad after all, that maybe she’s likeable? Nope. Not in my view at least; however, I don’t need to like the characters to enjoy a book. There’s no “good-guy” in this story really – they’re all pretty awful people, even as adults.. The only character that doesn’t suck as a person is the only one who isn’t married to this heinous human beings. I loved to hate these characters. They were well written and very “human”. They were quite believable and I find with stories like these, it’s not always the case.

The book opens up with the end, and switches between present day and the girls’ time in boarding school and their individual perspective. The book focuses heavily on their guilt and how it effects them, even in their current lives. The book flows brilliantly, it’s well paced and well written, making up a little for its predictability. Despite knowing the way the story would go, I couldn’t put it down. The characters and the story itself I found all to be very believable which I found made it stand out compared to other books in the genre.

rebecca-reid-2 1
Rebecca is a freelance journalist. She is a columnist for the Telegraph Women’s section, works for Metro Online and has written for Marie Claire, the Guardian, the Saturday Telegraph, the Independent, Stylist, Glamour, the iPaper, the Guardian, Indy100, LOOK and the New Statesmen amongst others. Rebecca is a regular contributor to Sky News and ITV’s This Morning as well as appearing on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, LBC, BBC News 24 and the BBC World Service to discuss her work.

She graduated from Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing MA in 2015 and Perfect Liars is her debut novel.

Rebecca lives in North London with her husband.

Bookish · Life · Uncategorized

A day in the life of a Writer/Dad

As part of the Blog Tour for Morte Point, I’m pleased to be able to share a guest post with you from Robert Parker; the author himself. Yay! *everyone applauds*

rob-parker-3
This is the lovely Rob; if context wasn’t enough of an indicator.

My Usual Day As A Writer-Dad

5.45 AM
Oh my god, really? You really want to wake up now? The little foot in my back, the snuffle and the grunt tells me that’s a yes. Our baby son, who is ten months old and has somehow found his way into our bed overnight, wants up and at ‘em. As is our routine (I do the earlies, Mrs Parker does the nights), I’m up and down the stairs – not before tripping over our two older daughters, who are 3 and 7, and have also dragged their duvets onto our bedroom floors. Words will have to be had later, but for now? COFFEE.

9 AM
We’ve taken it in shifts to get ready for the last couple of hours, while the youngsters play, bicker, eat, drink, mess etc. Now it’s time for mummy to take over, and for daddy to get to work. If it was term time, we’d be on the school run. I nip upstairs, and start the usual checks on social media (what do I need to tweet about today?) and emails (who haven’t I got back to?).
10 AM
As I’ve got another charity fight coming up, it’s time to train at the local boxing gym, which is fashioned in a big room halfway up an old cardboard box factory in Warrington. Ten rounds of getting my backside handed to me (I’ve got a bit of weight to shift before the fight, so the hard work is all ahead of me), and I’m on my way home.

11.30 AM
NEED MORE COFFEE. Time to eat, refuel, whichever. Check those email responses. All good, no worries. Lunch.

12.00 PM
Let’s get writing. I aim for 2000 words a day, so let’s turn off social media and go for that first 500 words.

12.30 PM
It’s going well – so well that I’m on approximately 650! Let’s keep going till it dries up.

12.31 PM
It dried up at 654. Let’s refresh, grab a coffee. Start again.

16.00 PM
That was tough. It’s been a slog this afternoon, so much so that a decent 400 words had to be axed completely and redone. But we are getting there. An hour to go.

16.30 PM
My eyes literally won’t stay open. I keep reading the same sentence over and over and ov….zzzzzzz.

16.47 PM
I’m awake – and there’s only 13 minutes to go?! DAMMIT! Head down, go and mercifully the flow is back. I’m going to get there.

17.00 PM
The kids are shouting ‘daddy!’ up the stairs, and I know it’s time to stop. I’m 350 words short or so, but those’ll have to wait. Now it’s playtime, Peppa Pig, something on Youtube called Diana’s Playtime about some kids who have every toy ever made. Fairy tales, sing songs, stories – and I LOVE it.

18.00 PM
Tea time. In term time, I’m informed who was the naughtiest at preschool/school that day, but tonight it’s what marvelous weirdos they saw while out shopping. Baby redecorates the kitchen with food.

18.30 PM
Daddy baths the little ones, while Mummy cleans up baby’s artistic efforts in the kitchen. I face the usual questions about the young lad’s anatomy (still a novelty apparently), before rustling them into towels and their bedrooms.

19.00 PM
Time for a story and bed. The girls like a story each (read together) and then comprehension questions in some bizarre bedtime test. Easy ones for the three year old, MENSA standard for the seven year old.

19.20 PM
After failed negotiations with the three year old, Daddy is under house arrest on her bedroom floor with his laptop. She bombards me with questions like ‘what are you working on?’ and ‘did you write the Bible?’.

21.00 PM
All sound asleep. I head down to the office to work, and keep slugging away until I get there. My agent Linda asked me to check in earlier, and she’s still in the office over in New York, so I give her a buzz on WhatsApp. We are both from the north of England, so we end up exchanging a few ‘ecky thumps’ and ‘ee by gums’ before hanging up. Tonight, the flow is good, so I’ll keep at it, armed with a pint of coffee (we don’t play games round our way).

23.45 PM
The words were flushing out of me tonight, so I had to make use of it because there’ll be days when it’s a lexical Sahara up there – happy to make it to 2,450 for the day. I head to bed.

23.47 PM
I forgot to sterilize the baby’s bottles. Back downstairs I go, but I forget to unset the alarm. As soon as I enter the kitchen, off it goes and up wakes the whole house. For crying out loud…


morte-pointMorte Point is a wonderful spot for a holiday. Only that’s not why Ben Bracken is here.

He’s here because in this sleepy part of England, events are now unfolding that could cause death and mayhem, and not just for the unfortunates in the plane that has just crashed into the sea off the North Devon coast.

Sent to locate the source of the problem, ex-soldier and patriot Ben finds himself both hunter and hunted. But who is after him, and why do they want to capture him so desperately?

Morte Point is the sequel to Rob Parker’s “A Wanted Man“. It’s fast paced and gripping and I hope you’ll give it a go and love it. You can check out the other stops on the tour if you’d like to find out more about the book! You can find Rob via Twitter – @robparkerauthor. Special thanks to Endeavour Media for inviting me to participate in the tour!

ECDED7F8-8782-40F0-B36A-6EF85952959F

Bookish · Uncategorized

Busted – Michele I. Khoury: Excerpt (#LoveBooksGroupTours)

Impacted by the recession, twenty-four-year-old artist Gina McKenna is down to her last few dollars and days away from living in her car when a successful businessman buys a painting and commissions another. As their relationship evolves, she’s seduced by his charm and mesmerized by his luxurious lifestyle until she discovers he’s a drug kingpin. As her world turns upside down, she struggles to survive vicious brutality. 

Miguel Lopez is a cocaine supplier with a weightlifter’s physique and ‘the rules do not apply to me’ attitude. Maniacal and ruthless, he has no qualms about killing anyone who interferes with his distribution network, including Gina. 

Dedicated to eradicating illegal drugs, DEA Special Agent Bobby Garcia spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars working undercover to buy his way up a dealer chain to identify the moneyman. When his fourteen-year-old daughter overdoses on cocaine, he traces the blow to Lopez. As Bobby’s mission becomes personal, he makes emotional decisions, which negatively impact civilians and his job. Unable to let go, he risks his career to orchestrate the biggest drug sting in Southern California. What happens isn’t what he expected. 

When a deputy district attorney meets Gina at a party, he is smitten. As his attraction grows, so does Gina’s involvement with the DEA’s case, of which he is the designated prosecutor. Mindful of his professional ethics, he tries to stifle his feelings. 

Sex and violence permeate the twists and turns of this cautionary tale about choosing one’s friends well.

5A7F3EF5-A63A-4730-8A75-74F28C94A1A1

Today, I am excited to be able to share an excerpt with you from Michele Khoury’s debut novel: Busted. I hope you will love it! You can find Michele on Twitter @MicheleKhoury.

 

Chapter 1 Gina: Movie-Star Smile

September 2018

The next afternoon, Gina lugged her easels and canvases to the greenbelt in Heisler Park, determined to sell her paintings during the Thursday Evening Laguna Beach Art Walk. All day, she’d pinned her hopes on a prosperous local or a tourist buying an ocean scene. Taking a deep breath, she repeated her mantra for the hundredth time: “I will be successful.” She just wished she didn’t feel so darn vulnerable.

When she reached the bluffs overlooking the Southern California coastline, the May Gray had burned off, and the late afternoon sun cast an orange glow on the glassy water below. As she inhaled the salty air, she imagined the French Impressionists leaving their stuffy studios to paint outside and establishing the plein air style she embraced. Just thinking about her craft lifted her spirits.

“I’ll be successful,” she told herself again. But what if I’m not?

Where else could she live? She’d tried renting a bedroom or sharing an apartment, but no one wanted her messy oils stinking up their environment. When she’d found the converted garage with the broom closet-sized bathroom, a mile from the ocean in Corona del Mar, she’d been ecstatic. If she had to relinquish her studio apartment, then what would she do? Was couch surfing her future? She would in a pinch, but hated to impose. What was the alternative? The street? No, no way. Then where? Her car? In a million years, she never expected to live in her old tiny Toyota. Her stomach churned like the ocean’s waves.

She propped up the tripods on the grass along the snaking sidewalk. While arranging the canvases, she scanned the area. There were families with frolicking children and couples picnicking, but no artists. Perfect. No competition.

A middle-aged policeman strode up.

“Hello, Officer.”

“Are you selling these?”

His accusatory tone caused her to hesitate. “Yes.”

“There’s an ordinance against transacting business in the park.”

She gasped. “I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She and other artists had sold there many times.

“Laguna Beach doesn’t want street vendors competing with the galleries. There’s a $250 fine.”

Oh, no. How in the world would she pay it?

Loud voices captured their attention. Thirty yards away, a Hispanic man with a weightlifter’s physique and a tiger-face tattoo on his back shoved a taller, leaner guy wearing a white suit. The well-dressed man held balled fists by his sides and shouted. Red-faced, they looked as if they’d brawl at any moment.  

As the cop sprinted toward the quarrel, he called over his shoulder, “Let this be a warning.”

Relieved at not being fined, she found herself captivated by the unusual brawl in the upscale city.

The officer intervened. Within a few seconds, the well-dressed guy’s demeanor changed and his body relaxed. He must have made a witty comment because the cop chuckled, shook his head, and walked away. A minute later, the thug stormed off. The white-suited man headed in her direction.

Detesting violence, she shivered at the negative energy and returned to stacking her canvases.

A buff bronzed man power walked past. In one hand, he held the leashes of two white standard poodles, a Golden Retriever, a black Lab and a German Shepherd. Unlike her, he was in control.

Yeah, like she could control the sinking economy. So if she couldn’t sell in the park, where else could she solicit business? She needed professional exposure, like an exhibit. She decided to pursue the local galleries and envisioned having a marketing piece professionally printed. Realizing she couldn’t afford it, she’d create it on her computer and produce it on her printer instead.

Selling had never been this difficult. She was fourteen when she’d made her first sale, and her art teachers had called her a prodigy. During college, as well as the last couple years, income from her art had supported her. She prayed the dry spell ended soon.

Want to keep reading? Grab your copy of Busted, over on Amazon! Available in both Paperback and Kindle editions