#OneMustDie by Mark Tilbury @MTilburyAuthor #BookReview

Title: One Must Die by Mark Tilbury

Date Published: 24th June 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

I have both your sons, Mr Levitt. One of them must die. You choose.

Widower Sean Levitt receives the ominous message in the post a few days after his teenage boys go missing on their way to army cadets. As time progresses, the abductor makes increasingly horrific demands of Sean by sending him DVDs, and telling him to post videos online of the shocking assignments he sets him.

One Must Die is the story of one man’s fight to keep his sons alive, and the terrible lengths he must go to in order to do so.

Can Sean do what the police have failed to do and find his sons?

Or will the abductor achieve his twisted aim of destroying his entire family?

Review:

I want to thank Mark Tilbury for inviting me on this blog tour and providing me with a copy of One Must Die in exchange for an honest review.

Mark ‘Twisted’ Tilbury certainly lives up to his nickname with One Must Die!

The story starts off with every parent’s worst nightmare, Sean’s sons go out but don’t come back. A DVD arrives asking Sean to do tasks to keep his sons alive. The tasks start out a minor, slowly getting more and more sinister. But why is he being targeted?

The story is told from several points of view, from Sean, to his son Peter, to the kidnapper. Getting inside the mind of the kidnapper was particularly entertaining, even if he was a deeply deranged individual.

Sean is a heating engineer and widower, who doesn’t seem to have a nasty bone in his body, which makes it even more shocking that he’s been targeted in such an irrational manner. His son Peter, was also a solid character who I really rooted for throughout. 

I will warn you that there are a few scenes which are fairly graphic/unsettling, meaning that it may not be for you if you like your crime fiction on the lighter side.

There were a few aspects of the story I found a little unbelievable, but of course that’s just my opinion.

One Must Die is a dark and disturbing read packed with tense moments that will keep you hooked throughout.

About The Author:

Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.

He’s always had a keen interest in writing and after being widowed and raising his two daughters, Mark finally took the plunge and began self-publishing. Mark’s writing has earned him the name #TwistedTilbury due to the dark and twisted nature of his books. He’s published 10 thrillers, and an 11th is due out 24th June 2021

When he’s not writing, Mark can be found playing guitar, reading and walking.

The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake @LakeAuthor @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

Title: The Country Village Summer Fete by Cathy Lake

Date Published: 10th June 2021

Publisher: Zaffre 

Genre: Rom Com/Women’s Fiction

Description:

Take a trip back into Little Bramble…

Emma Patrick’s life is spiralling out of control. On the cusp of her 50th birthday, she suddenly realises that she doesn’t have many meaningful relationships in her life. She’s single, successful, living alone and thinks she’s loving it, but being so focussed on work and always online means she’s lost any real connection to people.

When Emma gets a call to say her ageing father is becoming increasingly confused, she decides that she should go back home to the countryside to spend some time with him. But returning to Little Bramble, the village she grew up in, after all these years is filled with complications of its own and people she’d rather avoid.

As Emma starts to settle into her childhood home, she finds herself loving village life – much to her surprise. When the opportunity to get involved in the running of the summer fete comes her way, before she knows it she’s embracing jam making, cake baking and bunting. And with romance brewing, Emma begins to doubt the glamorous life in London that she worked so hard to build . . .

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and Zaffre for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Country Village Summer Fete follows the story of Emma Patrick, who returns to the village of Little Bramble to look after her elderly father when he gets ill. She left the village behind years ago for a successful career in London and coming back is full of bittersweet memories, especially when it comes to an old flame of hers.

This story was just a delightful read with plenty of sweet and heartwarming moments. I also enjoyed the fact it was a second chance for romance novel, focusing on older characters who are proud to be older, as they should be!

This is the second in the Little Bramble series but works perfectly well as a standalone. I only noticed when I went looking for more books by Cathy Lake and found the first book.

The characters are all so likable and sweet, I really enjoyed meeting them. I felt for Emma, she’s burnt out and a bit isolated when we first meet her, trying to keep up with her freelance editing work and running herself into the ground. On top of all that, she gets the dreaded news about her father who might have dementia then having to face up to her old heartbreak… I just wanted to give her a hug!

The Country Village Summer Fete is a combination of gentle humour and sweet romance that is the perfect summer read. I’m looking forward to more books from Cathy Lake!

About The Author:

Cathy Lake is a women’s fiction writer who lives with her family and three dogs in beautiful South Wales. She writes uplifting stories about strong women, family, friendship, love, community and overcoming obstacles.

Murder At Elm House (Kitty Underhay 6) by Helena Dixon @bookouture @NellDixon #BookReview #Booksontour

Title: Murder At Elm House (Kitty Underhay 6) by Helena Dixon

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 7th June 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Description: 

Kitty Underhay feels the touch… of death.

1934. Accidental amateur sleuth Kitty Underhay is being escorted by ex-army captain Matthew Bryant on an errand of mercy, as she takes a basket of grapes to her nemesis Mrs Craven, who is recuperating from a recent operation. But their arrival at Elm House Nursing Home coincides with the mysterious death of Lady Wellings, a long-term resident.

The woman was known to be ill, so when the police turn a disinterested ear to Mrs Craven’s suspicion that Lady Wellings was poisoned, Kitty decides to look into the case herself. And when another invalid, the gentle Mrs Pearson, collapses fatally in the breakfast room, it seems her suspicions are well-founded. For an institution promising health and rejuvenation, there seems to be a very low survival rate amongst the guests!

When the nurse Eloise Hibbert hints at sinister goings on among the staff, Kitty arranges to meet her away from the home to uncover how deep the treachery lies. However, before she can make the rendezvous, Eloise meets an unfortunate end falling from the top of the building. Was she pushed by the hand of fate, or a cold-blooded killer?

Meanwhile, Matt has been following an entirely different trail of evidence, and what he finds out chills him to the bone. When Kitty fails to return from her unsuccessful meeting, it is clear she has stumbled onto a plot far more devious than they could have imagined, and into a trap laid by an unscrupulous killer…

An utterly sensational and addictive Golden Age murder mystery. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss.

You can buy your copy here: https://geni.us/B08V1VY7TBsocial

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for my copy of Murder at Elm House in exchange for an honest review.

Murder at Elm House is the sixth book in the Kitty Underhay mystery series, it can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading at least the previous book Murder In The Bell Tower, as some of the storyline carries over.

Mrs Craven, a friend of Kitty’s grandmother, is recovering after a minor operation at Elm House. She calls in both Matthew and Kitty after she suspects that there’s something odd going on, resulting in the deaths of some of the patients. As they investigate, they become aware that there could be something bigger going on than just the death of patients.

If you don’t know this series, they’re set around the golden age of crime fiction in the 1930s and always give me classic crime vibes while remaining fresh and interesting to read.

I love sleuths Matthew and Kitty, they’re such a cute couple and compliment each other nicely. There was plenty of peril for both throughout the novel, with break-ins and attempts on their lives. Not to mention Kitty taking the leap to become a lady motorist, something that probably would have been frowned upon back in those days.

I usually have an inkling when it comes to cozy mysteries about the whodunnit quite early on but not with this novel, I can say I didn’t guess how it was going to end at all!

Murder at Elm House is a great addition to this series and I can’t wait to read more!

About The Author:

Nell Dixon was born and continues to live in the Black Country. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 with her book Marrying Max, and winner of Love Story of the Year 2010 with her book, Animal Instincts. She also writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime as Helena Dixon.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.nelldixon.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/nell.dixon

Twitter:      https://twitter.com/NellDixon

#BlogTour #BookReview Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan @DabblinginCrime @JoffeBooks

Title: Small Bones by Kerry Buchanan

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published: 3rd June 2021

Genre: Mystery

Description:

DON’T MISS THE MUST-READ CRIME THRILLER OF SUMMER 2021

AN ABSOLUTELY JAW-DROPPING CRIME THRILLER FEATURING DETECTIVES ASHA HARVEY & AARON BIRCH
 
If you can’t trust your father and you can’t trust the police, who can you trust?
 
Sue Hearn is planting a herb garden on the site of her grandfather’s old greenhouse. She’s spent the morning digging up all sorts of odds and ends already. But she doesn’t expect this grisly find.
 
Could it be the remains of her mother, Monica, who went missing thirty years ago?
 
Sue’s father, in hospital with dementia, insinuates that a police officer was involved in her mother’s disappearance. But can he be trusted?
 
So now Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch might be looking for a bent copper.
 
As they dig deeper into the past, Sue and Asha find secrets so dangerous it will put all their lives in danger.
 
Fans of BBC’s Line of Duty, Lynda La Plante, Tana French, Patricia Gibney, Brian McGilloway, Ann Cleeves, Caro Ramsay and Helen H. Durrant will devour this electrifying crime thriller by one of Northern Ireland’s newest talents.
 
MEET THE DETECTIVES
DETECTIVE ASHA HARVEY
Asha Harvey has always had a powerful sense of right and wrong. She has wanted to be a detective since she was a child, and while she can be a little too trusting, her open manner makes people want to confide in her. She is especially driven to succeed as a woman of colour in a largely white, male police force in Northern Ireland. Her family support her and are ridiculously proud of her, which adds to her internal pressure to succeed.
 
DETECTIVE AARON BIRCH
Boyish and gangly, Aaron Birch entered the police force as a detective through a graduate recruitment scheme. This makes him the butt of snide remarks by fellow officers, so he always feels he has something to prove. He also has a tendency to stretch the rules to suit himself, which can lead to him getting into trouble.
 
THE SETTING
A city of contrasts, Belfast is filled with beautiful old relics dating back to a golden age of shipbuilding and wealth, as well as the scars of more recent wounds. The city has an exciting sense of newness and potential, but it can’t quite shed those who lurk in the darker shadows born of its turbulent past.
 
WHAT EVERYONE IS SAYING ABOUT KERRY BUCHANAN:
 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Oh my this book . . . so fast paced, I enjoyed chapter after chapter. It will send your heart pounding, it’s full of massive twists . . . this book will shock you to the core right till the very end.” Booklover Bev
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Its not often a debut novel is as well written as this. I found myself utterly riveted from very early in the book, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was spending my time wishing I was . . . highly, highly, recommended.” Sean S.
 
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “If you love an intense, creepy, and suspenseful psychological thriller that you cannot put down once you’ve started it, this book will absolutely thrill you.” L. M. Darter
 
DETECTIVES HARVEY & BIRCH MYSTERIES
Book 1: KNIFE EDGE
Book 2: SMALL BONES

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe books for providing me with a copy of Small Bones in exchange for an honest review.

Acting DI Asha Harvey, along with her partner Aaron Birch, are back to solve another mystery. This time when Sue Hearn finds the skeleton in her garden. As they dig further into the mystery, they find that Sue’s mother Monica went missing thirty years ago and was never heard of again. Are the two cases linked or is there something more going on?

This series is part psychological thriller, part police procedural with a whole heap of twists and turns along the way.

I enjoyed that we got to see a bit more of Asha and Aaron in this book than we did in the first, getting to know them a bit better. Asha is a kind and caring copper, trying to prove herself, which bumps up nicely next to the loyal and sweet Aaron. 

Sue was an interesting character, too. Looking after her dad, who had dementia, full time would be enough for anyone to cope with, but finding a body on top of all that? It amazed me to see she didn’t fall to pieces (I would have) and became integral to the case.

I would say that I found this story a little slower to start than the first in the series but of course that’s just my opinion. 

Also, it leaves a few unanswered questions, paving the way for the next in the series which I’m looking forward to.

Small Bones is a well written and action packed mystery that was both entertaining and intriguing in equal measure. 

About The Author:

Kerry Buchanan has had numerous short stories published internationally, including some prize-winners, but her heart lies with novel-writing. Her crime series is set in Belfast and in the rolling County Down hills she sees from her window as she writes. She is often invited to perform her work at literary events or to be a member of panels at conventions, and she loves to help new writers by facilitating writing groups and classes in her local community.

Although Kerry is disabled, her hobbies include sailing and attempting to outwit the slugs in her vegetable patch. Generally, the slugs win.

FOLLOW KERRY ON

AUTHOR WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS
AMAZON

Going Greek by Sue Roberts @SueRobertsautho @bookouture #BookReview #BooksOnTour

Title: Going Greek by Sue Roberts

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 28th May 2021

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Description:

Sun, sea and a sizzling romance… the perfect holiday, right? Wrong.

After a work party gone disastrously wrong, Samantha suddenly finds herself jobless and jilted. So when her sister invites Sam to stay at her little whitewashed farmhouse on a Greek island, Sam leaps at the chance to escape. Before long, she’s trundling up the cobbled driveway, almost colliding with sexy neighbour Spyros.

It isn’t all sunshine and smiles though. For every afternoon spent lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand, there is a morning spent adjusting to life with boisterous six-year-old nieces. When Spyros invites Sam to explore the island with him she’s tempted, but with his carefree, live-for-the-moment attitude, he couldn’t be more different to Sam with her five-year plans and high-maintenance hair. One drink, as friends, couldn’t hurt though? Over glasses of fruity Greek wine and honey-sweet baklava, can he – and the other charming locals – help city girl Sam to appreciate the simple pleasures the Greek life has to offer?

Just as Sam is considering ditching her designer gear for good though, she runs in to an old flame from home, and suddenly her London life comes hurtling back. Can her smooth-talking ex convince Sam to return to the concrete jungle, or will the lessons she’s learned from her Greek escape persuade her to stay?

A fun, fabulous and completely laugh-out-loud summer read perfect for fans of Carole Matthews, Jenny Colgan and Sophie Kinsella.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3bFSHt2

Apple: https://apple.co/3bI9LhZ

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2ScJhOB

Google: https://bit.ly/37YjSNW

Review:

I want to thank Bookouture for providing me with a copy of Going Greek in exchange for an honest review.

Reading Going Greek honestly felt like a much needed summer holiday with a beautiful setting, delicious sounding food and I didn’t have to risk any sunburn!

Sam is a successful TV presenter until a scandal forces her to flee to her sister’s house in Rhodes. She thinks she’s just going to be there for a few weeks until everything blows over but the slower pace of life makes her think, is she really happy with her life?

The setting of Rhodes really made this novel, so well described I could almost picture it in my mind.

Sam was likable if a bit indecisive but there was an interesting cast of secondary characters, like hers sister Fiona and her twin girls, that made it a fun read.   

I have to be honest compared to the setting and characters, the romance kind fell a little flat and didn’t give me as many fuzzy feelings as I would have liked but of course that’s just my opinion.

Going Greek is a light hearted read, perfect for a few hours of escapism.

About The Author:

Sue Roberts lives in Lancashire with her long term partner Derek and has had a lifelong love of writing, encouraged by winning a school writing competition at the age of 11.

She always assumed that ‘one day’ she would write a book, always having a busy household and a job, the idea remained firmly on the back burner but never forgotten.

The inspiration for her first novel came to her on a holiday to a Greek village. Her daughters had left home and suddenly the time had come to write that book!

#WeGoOnForever by Sarah Govett @sarahgovett @MarotteBooks @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours #Extract

Today I have an exclusive extract of We Go On Forever by Sarah Govett as part of the blog tour organised by Anne Cater at Random Things Tours. First a little about the book:

Title: We Go On Forever by Sarah Govett

Publisher: Marotte Books

Date Published: 6th May 2021

Genre: YA Dystopian

Description:

A timely and heart-wrenching love story set in a dark dystopian world with echoes of Never Let Me Go and adult as well as teen appeal.

Arthur is dying. He must transition within the next four weeks or face permanent memory loss.

Alba is studying, preparing to impress the Mentors in an all-important interview. If she’s picked as the next Apprentice she will be reunited with her best friend and

cross the Wilderness for the first time.

They meet and everything comes together.

And everything falls apart.

‘I love reading Sarah Govett’ Dame Emma Thompson

‘This is a hugely original dystopian novel with a thrilling plot and memorable characters you really root for.

Thought-provoking and at times terrifying, this book had me gripped from the start.’ Sarah J Harris (author of Richard and Judy Book Club pick The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder)

‘One of the most intriguing and exciting dystopian thrillers I have read in a long time! This book grabs you from page one and holds on until the last word. A fascinating world filled with beautifully written characters.’ Ben Oliver, author of The Loop

‘Addictive and compelling – I absolutely love this book.‘ Louisa Reid, author of Wrecked and Gloves Off

Praise for Sarah’s previous dystopian trilogy – The Territory: Winner of the Gateshead Teen Book Award 2017 and the Trinity Schools Book Award 2018

‘The 1984 of our time’ Guardian Children’s Books ‘Thrilling and Thoughtful’ The Times

The Territory has been optioned for TV by New Pictures (producers of BBC’s The Missing and Netflix’s The Innocents and Catherine the Great). The pilot is currently being written by Freddy Syborn (Ms Marvel, Disney +).

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/We-Go-Forever-Sarah-Govett/dp/1916152686/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=we+go+on+forever&qid=1620295281&s=books&sr=1-1

Direct from publisher: (You can get it signed with free delivery! UK ONLY): https://marottebooks.bigcartel.com/product/we-go-on-forever

Extract:

ARTHUR

The sky is a rich Matisse-blue and I tilt up my chin to catch the midday sun. I’ve always found September sun to be the most precious – summer’s imminent departure adding an immeasurable sweetness. It’s a day for picnics. For lounging in short sleeves. Not for doctors’ surgeries. Not for results.

A voice calls my name, and I turn away from the open window, back to the reception. For a second I catch my reflection in the gilded mirror that hangs above the desk and I scrutinise my face as a stranger might. Symmetrical, unlined. I haven’t noticed it age in the last two years. The stranger would most likely guess it to be some years younger than the nineteen it is now.

Dr Peters’ secretary ushers me through to his office. I decline her offer of refreshments.

The MRI results are displayed on a screen in the centre of the room, awaiting my arrival. Twelve cross-sections through my brain. A four by three grid. There – second from the top in the middle – a white circle lurks in the right hemisphere. A UFO sighting in an otherwise foggy skyline. I shut the door behind me and Dr Peters plasters on the special sort of smile he reserves for patients holding Level One insurance policies. I sit and the smile widens even further in recognition of my status. 

As heir to the M.A.D.E. conglomerate, I get to see a lot of teeth.

Dr Peters embarks upon small talk, a tapestry of medical and societal aspects interwoven. How am I feeling? How is my father? Are the headaches worsening? Did I manage much sailing over the summer? Did I try this great new seafood place? He’ll give me the name of the owner – another patient of his; it’s hellish to get a table otherwise. And the balance problems?

‘How long?’ I ask, cutting him short. I need the facts. I’m meeting Tommy for tennis at two and I don’t want to be late for the second time running. I might not be at the top of my game but I can still manage to hit a ball.

‘Four to six weeks,’ Dr Peters replies, his smile taking on a frozen quality. I think of icebergs and the Norwegian Fjords.

A month. 

I sit and try to absorb the information. 

Dr Peters picks up a long, thin stick and starts pointing at the screen, punctuating each comment with a sharp staccato rap. The ingratiating smile is gone and he seems more natural, calmer; happier hiding behind a medical lexicon of obfuscation.

‘The results of the biopsy show the tumour to be malignant. The MRI cross-sections here RAP! and here RAP!, show it to be present in the cerebellum, hence the balance control issues. The size indicates a grade 3 tumour, meaning growth is rapid and recurrence after surgery a distinct probability. I would currently place you at 90 on the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale as you are only experiencing minor symptoms, but this is likely to deteriorate rapidly in the next four to six weeks. In my opinion, you should be looking to transition in the next fortnight to ensure no further damage to brain tissue and to prevent potential permanent memory loss and cognitive impairment.’

Two weeks. Damn. I’m supposed to be meeting Parachute to discuss final details on the 25th. I’d still be adjusting then.

There’s a sound of rapid tapping. An object being repeatedly struck at a frequency that makes my nerves tingle. Where’s it coming from? My eyes scan the floor and alight on my right foot. It’s knocking against the metal leg of the chair. I stare at it, detached. An observer.

‘Mr Easton, is everything all right?’ The smile is gone and Dr Peters is looking at me, brow furrowed in concern. He isn’t used to this sort of behaviour. Tommy says he only really takes on Level One patients now. Dealing with lower insurance levels, not to mention the DMWs (Dead Men Walking, as Tommy calls them), and their tiresome anxieties can really interfere with one’s golf.

I don’t answer him immediately. I’m locked inside my head.

‘Mr Easton…?’

His voice has a slight tremor. I’m such a fool. He’s on alert now. He’ll report back to Father for sure. 

‘It’s fine, thanks. I’m fine. I’ll contact the Transition Centre straight away.’

I stand and head towards the door. I’m getting a headache. One of the bad ones. I don’t know why this is affecting me so much. This body has only hosted me for two years, the previous one lasted seven and I felt nothing. Maybe it was a mistake to choose one that was too similar to my Original. Same age: seventeen at time of transition. Same build: broad but not overdeveloped; ‘a swimmer’s body’, the breakdown had said. Same colouring: tanned skin, light brown hair that regains its blonde in summer. Same eyes even – green with flecks of yellow. Too many sames. It’s harder when it fails. I’ll choose something different next time. Get less attached.

I think I’ll cancel Tommy after all. I’m not really in the mood for tennis.

ALBA

I’m sitting next to Curly, willing the Morning Meeting to end. Eventually the screen recedes and the Supervisor twists up the corners of her mouth in a poor imitation of a smile.

‘Now, some good news,’ she says, trying to sound light and enthusiastic. It doesn’t suit her. ‘Another one of you has been chosen as an Apprentice. Tomorrow they will travel to the Research City to help their Mentor with the crucial work of cleansing the Wilderness. Praise the Creator.’

‘Praise the Creator,’ we all mumble back, but no one’s putting any effort into it. We’re all too busy scanning the room, seven hundred heartbeats stopped in anticipation. 

Who is it? Who’s been chosen?

‘Will F3526 please approach the stage.’

It takes a second to register who she’s talking about. The Creator assigns us our numbers. To deviate from them is heresy even though nearly everyone apart from the Supervisor and the Guardians does it.

My heart stops as Curly shoots me a quick look of astonishment and then stands up and starts to edge forward through a sea of applause. Curly. Curly. ‘No, no, NO!’ I inwardly scream. I know I should be happy for her, rejoicing too, but all I can think is, Please don’t take my friend. Not yet. I’m going to miss her too much. I know I’m being selfish and I should ask the Creator for forgiveness, but still; it’s Curly. And she’s been my best friend, my only proper friend, since, well, since forever. 

I don’t know why it comes as such a surprise. I always knew she’d be one of the first of our year to be chosen. She’s off-the-scale clever, mastering Further Maths and Physics while the rest of us were still groping around with Newton and his apple. And she’s beautiful. Stunning, even. She has this flawless, dark-brown skin and black curls that just sort of tumble around her face. And when she moves, she kind of glides. All the boys just stare at her. The Guardians too. Ever since she turned fourteen.

The younger ones clap with barely contained excitement. Eligibility for selection starts at sixteen, so to be chosen at seventeen is an incredible honour and it gives them hope that it could be them soon. It’s different with the older ones. The ones in their late twenties. If they aren’t chosen by thirty they’ll be transferred to a different Home. Their applause is mechanical and jealousy palpably radiates off them. If you could see them on a different plane, their eyes would be leaping out at you, shining the brightest green. Me, I just taste bile rising at the back of my throat.  

Eventually Curly reaches the foot of the stage and then climbs the steps to stand at the Supervisor’s side. 

‘Congratulations F3526, you’ve been selected as the next Apprentice. You are to report to the office tomorrow morning at seven. I hope the rest of you take inspiration from her deportment, intelligence and dedication.’ 

The Supervisor doesn’t hug Curly, or even smile at her in any way. She just watches her face – no doubt for evidence of the required level of gratitude. 

‘Thank you. Praise the Creator,’ Curly replies, her voice measured and lyrical as she gives the obligatory response. But she isn’t OK. I know she isn’t. Even before she trips on the last step as she descends from the stage.

About The Author:

Sarah Govett graduated with a First in Law from Oxford University. After qualifying as a solicitor, she set up her own tutoring agency, which specialises in working with teenagers. She began writing after the birth of her first daughter. Sarah is an in-demand speaker at schools and has the support of a network of school librarians, independent bookshops and numerous Waterstones stores.

#TheCrazySeason by Jim Ody @Jim_Ody_Author @QuestionPress @zooloo2008 #ZooloosBookTours #BookReview #QuestionMarkPress

Title: The Crazy Season by Jim Ody

Date Published: 4th May 2021

Publisher: Question Mark Press

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Joel Baxter is infamous for solving weird and bizarre cases that others avoid. So, when he receives an email from a teenage boy Tim saying his town is cursed, he cannot turn it down.

“…I will more than likely be dead when you read this. There is nothing I can do about it. It’s the curse, and we’ve hit The Crazy Season.” Every 20 years, there are a handful of unexplained teenage deaths and it’s started again.

With the help of his straight-talking friend Melody, they set out to get to the bottom of the alleged curse. Everybody in Black Rock has secrets and nobody wants to speak.

The closer they get to truth the more Joel and Melody realise that their involvement is far from coincidental.

You can buy your copy here:

Amazon UK : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Amazon USA : https://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Season-Joel-Baxter-Book-ebook/dp/B08YXJG4RF

Review:

I want to thank Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a couple of Jim Ody’s books now, but I have to say I think The Crazy Season is my favourite so far!

I saw the author posting about this a few weeks ago saying it was like a cross between the X-Files and Jonathan Creek and I can safely say that’s about right, a mix of the paranormal/weird along with an intriguing mystery.

The Crazy Season is the kind of novel that drags you in, and you just sit back and enjoy the rollercoaster ride.

The story follows Joel, complete with sidekick Melody as they investigate a string of teen suicides, twenty years apart in a small coastal town. When they dig a little deeper they find more and more lies, secrets and a whole heap of teen angst.

I loved the characters. Joel with his slightly awkward demeanor but he has a kind heart, who’s still grieving for the loss of his daughter and his wife in a coma. Then we have Melody, fierce and unapologetic, she brings Joel out of his shell. The two of them together were just a joy to read.

There was also a fantastic secondary cast of quirky characters that really added depth and a little dark humour to the story.

I felt the tension waned a little in the middle and I found my attention wandering a little, but the story pulled me back in with a nail biting ending.

The Crazy Season is a fantastic paranormal mystery, with a great cast of characters, that keeps you guessing until the end.

About The Author:

Jim writes dark psychological/thrillers, Horror and YA books that have endings you won’t see coming, and favours stories packed with wit. He has written over a dozen novels and many more short-stories spanning many genres. 

Jim has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd.  When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife, three beautiful children and two indignant cats in Swindon, Wiltshire UK.

Follow him at:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JimOdyAuthor

Instagram: @jimodyauthor

Twitter: @Jim_Ody_Author

Amazon : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jim-Ody/e/B019A6AMSY/

Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes @Elenathrillers @HeraBooks @BOTBSPublicity #Extract #BookPromo

Hello lovelies and happy Sunday! Today I have an exclusive extract from Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes as part of the blog tour organised by Sarah at Books On The Bright Side Publicity. First a little about the book:

Title: Keep My Secrets by Elena Wilkes

Publisher: Hera Books 

Date Published: 28th April 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A life built on lies – now the truth could destroy her

Frankie Turner knows what it’s like to be unwanted; she was brought up in care. Now as a social worker to kids in the same system, she’s someone who understands … But Frankie is hiding an unthinkable secret: one that may have its roots in the murder of a young, beautiful woman fifteen years ago.

Yet the past is out there. Someone knows what Frankie is hiding – and now they’re back to shatter her perfectly constructed life, terrorising her with menacing letters and silent calls to the house she shares with husband Alex.

She may have reinvented herself, but Frankie’s past is back to haunt her – and now, there’s nowhere to run.

A gripping psychological thriller that will have you hooked. Fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly won’t be able to put this one down.

Extract:

Frankie walks quickly towards her car from the children’s care home. It’s still raining hard and the wind is getting up. The only sounds are the echo of her footsteps on the black tarmac; it’s so dark she can’t see her own feet moving. 

Over in the distance, the bulky outline of Caer Caradoc and the trail of the Long Mynd hills sit blackly against the darkening skyline of the Welsh border. Tucking her chin closer into her jacket, she blips the immobiliser. It flashes a reassuring orange into the ghost outline of the hedges as she drops her case into the back.

There are no streetlamps this far out of town. Slipping into the driver’s seat, she fumbles a little for the ignition as the engine turns over. The squeal of the wipers startles her and sets her heart racing. She finds her hands are shaking. 

I’m not scared, she tells herself. It’s just the adrenaline from all that earlier bravado

You’ve done good today, Frankie. She presses her lips together in determination. Concentrate on that

Taking a deep breath, she begins to pull away. The road is quiet as her car picks up speed. 

Come on, get a grip, Frankie. Thirty minutes and you’ll be home.

It’s Friday, well after going home time and the road is eerily dark. Her car headlights leap awkwardly, illuminating only a small stretch of the black tunnel ahead. 

Letting the air slowly out of her lungs, she tries to relax her shoulders from up around her ears and she glances warily into the rear-view mirror. No one would believe this was the same woman who’d been trying to talk a teenager from a roof just half an hour ago. She wavers a smile at the memory. She doesn’t think that getting up on a line of ridge tiles in the pouring rain is high priority on her regional manager’s job description, but that’s precisely what she did.

She closes her eyes briefly. See? Think about the good stuff and block everything else out. 

The radio fizzes and floats in and out of its station and her eyes sweep again and again into the shadows in the hedgerows. She concentrates hard on the shining road in front of her. But her eyes keep flitting back. 

This isn’t working. 

There’s something about being in the car at night: that feeling of not really being alone. She keeps thinking that there’s something else in here with her—

Her eyes flick up to the mirror. 

That back headrest is just a headrest. She’s fully aware of that. It’s not a man sitting with his head bowed. Don’t be ridiculous Frankie Turner, you’re thirty-three years old, not three.

But her three-year-old self knows that if she keeps watching she’ll glimpse a movement, a darkness that will slowly detach itself, and if she keeps listening she’ll detect the quiet draw and pull of someone breathing.

No. 

Stop it.

There’s no one there. You know there’s not. She chews her lip. You know this because you deliberately checked the back seat.

The rain is beginning to slant in fine shards through the beam of headlights, the skeins twisting down the windscreen, forcing the wipers to dash pointlessly back and forth. She grimaces, screwing up her eyes, trying to peer through the pouring streams.

Home soon, home soon, home soon…

What’s with all this front, Frankie? her head says.  Who are you trying to kid? Just look at you – Look at you in your fancy Range Rover, desperate to get back to your nice upmarket husband and your upmarket country cottage. You’re such a fraud, you know that? Drive as fast as you like Frankie-girl, the past is coming up right behind you.

She swallows and stares hard into the lashing water. All she has to do right now is stay in control and not get spooked. It’s not difficult; she’s been doing it long enough. All she needs to do is stay in control of the car… Of herself… Of her life.

About The Author:

Elena Wilkes grew up in Walsall in the West Midlands and then worked for eighteen years in H.M Prison Service. The people she met there provided the basis for all her novels.

Many of the prisoners there came across as very ordinary people who had committed the most appalling crimes but would, one day, walk straight back on the streets.

This begged the question: how much do we know about anyone, really? The people who live amongst us may seem no different from us at all, but when you scratch a little deeper, you realise they hold some very dark secrets.

Twitter: @Elenathrillers

Facebook: @elenawilkesthrillers

Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli @beckyalbertalli @WriteReadsTours #UltimateTour #KateInWaiting #thewritereads

Title: Kate In Waiting by Becky Albertalli

Date Published: 20th April 2021

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: YA Contemporary

Description:

From bestselling YA rom-com queen Becky Albertalli (author of Love, Simon) comes a new novel about daring to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight in love, life and theatre.

[PRINCIPAL CAST LIST]
Kate Garfield
Anderson Walker

Best friends, and contrary to popular belief, not co-dependent. Examples:

Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient.
Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment.
Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.

But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script.

Enter Stage Left: Matt Olsson

He is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.

Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship…

Review:

I want to thank The Write Reads Tours for inviting me on this blog tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve heard such good things about Becky Albertalli books but this is actually the first I’ve read but it certainly won’t be the last!

Kate in waiting was a combination of humour, teen angst and a good dollop of the awws!

Now I’m probably not the age range that this book is aimed at, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying every minute of it!

The story follows sixteen-year-old Kate and her best friend Anderson, who share everything, even crushes. It’s all fun until their summer crush Matt turns up at their school and they both fall for him hard. Their friendship comes into question all to the backdrop of their annual musical.

What I loved about this book was how real the characters felt, their conversations, their friendships and even the language they used. Anderson and Kate’s friendship was the kind that you want, that they know you so well it’s like they can read your mind.

Reading this made me feel so nostalgic, it reminded me so much of films and TV from my own teenage years (except with a hell of a lot more inclusivity!). I also loved the theatre theme, even though I probably only got about fifty percent of the references.

I would have liked to have seen a bit more of Kate and Anderson’s other friends, Brandie and Raina. I would definitely be up for reading a future book featuring those two!

Kate In Waiting is a charming read of love and friendship that honestly had me smiling throughout.

About The Author:

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Twitter: @beckyalbertalli

Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan @DabblinginCrime @JoffeBooks #BookReview #BlogTour

Title: Knife Edge by Kerry Buchanan

Publisher: Joffe Books

Date Published:15th April 2021

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Description:

A MESMERIZING BREAK-OUT CRIME THRILLER SET IN NORTHERN IRELAND FULL OF BREATH-TAKING TWISTS

Nic always hated clubbing.

She only went out that night because she’d promised a friend.

She wakes up, naked and bound in an abandoned cottage in the middle of nowhere. Dappled light comes in through a dirty window. Her body is covered in cuts. Across the room her friend groans in pain.

A shadow passes the window. He’s back.

He picks up a knife. He begins to cut her friend. In that moment of bloody frenzy, Nic wrenches free and runs.

She’s finally safe. But this is only just the beginning.

Detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch arrive at the scene hours later. There is no body, there is no sign of the killer. It’s as if it never happened.

YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW IT ENDS? THINK AGAIN.

Fans of Lynda La Plante, Tana French, Patricia Gibney, Brian McGilloway and Helen H. Durrant will devour this electrifying crime thriller by one of Northern Ireland’s newest talents.

Review:

I want to thank Jill Burkinshaw for inviting me on this tour and Joffe Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I love it when I pick up a book and am immediately pulled into the story, and Knife Edge certainly does that.

The story follows Nic, who escapes the clutches of a terrifying killer, but the nightmare for her is only just beginning as he can’t let go and is hell bent on torturing her.

Nic is a fantastic character. Even though she’s been through so much, she’s so strong and determined that I ended up admiring her a lot. Okay, there were moments where her determination made her actions more than a little foolish, but it just added to the entertainment of the novel.

Even though this is more of a psychological thriller, there is still a police presence in the form of detectives Asha Harvey and Aaron Birch. They’re both tenacious characters, who work together well with some much needed banter to break up the tense storyline.

I can’t deny I was a little taken aback by the ending, but I can’t wait to see what Kerry Buchanan comes up with next!

Knife edge is a tension packed thrill ride of a novel that had me flying through those pages.

About The Author:

Kerry Buchanan has had numerous short stories published internationally, including some prize-winners, but her heart lies with novel-writing. Her crime series is set in Belfast and in the rolling County Down hills she sees from her window as she writes. She is often invited to perform her work at literary events or to be a member of panels at conventions, and she loves to help new writers by facilitating writing groups and classes in her local community.

Although Kerry is disabled, her hobbies include sailing and attempting to outwit the slugs in her vegetable patch. Generally, the slugs win.

BOOKS BY KERRY BUCHANAN

COMING SOON!

FOLLOW KERRY ON

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