The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E Harrow @AlixEHarrow @orbitbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TenThousandDoors

Title: The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Publisher: Orbit

Date Published: 12th September 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Description:

EVERY STORY OPENS A DOOR

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored and utterly out of place.

But her quiet existence is shattered when she stumbles across a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page reveals more impossible truths about the world, and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

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Review:

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is beautifully written historical novel, with an almost poetic feel to it.

January is a compelling character who finds it hard to fit in, which I think a lot of people can relate to. She has a bit of a wild, untameable, personality but on the other side of that she’s lonely and has a need to be accepted and loved.

I can really tell that the author has put so much research into this novel, it’s really underpinned with real historical events to give it that air of realism to the fantastical events through the novel.

What I would advise when reading is patience. It’s very much a slow burn, slow build novel that you have to immerse yourself in and not something you can rush through.

I’d recommend this to anyone who loves a nod to classical fiction and fairy tales.

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About The Author:

Alix E. Harrow is an ex-historian with lots of opinions and excessive library fines, currently livingclone tag: 4321375644802703302 in Kentucky with her husband and their semi-feral children. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. The Ten Thousand Doors of January is her debut novel. Find her on Twitter at @AlixEHarrow.

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#BlogTour #Review Unseen Evil by Liz Mistry @BOTBSPublicity @LizMistryAuthor

Title: Unseen Evil by Liz Mistry

Date Published: 2nd September 2019

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

New Release from best-selling author Liz Mistry is number 6 in her D.I. Gus McGuire series.

Social Media can be the death of you …

The Snapchat
A twisted killer comes to the attention of DI Gus McGuire and his team when a teenager receives a Snapchat image of his murdered friend.

The Killer
As the killer becomes bolder, using social media to publicise the murders, Gus fears there may be more than one murderer targeting young people.

The Stalker
Meanwhile, Gus comes under threat from a stalker who is not afraid to get up close and personal.

Can Gus protect his loved ones and catch the killer before another Snap is received?

BLOG TOUR (5) (3)

Review:

I really enjoy Liz Mistry’s Gus McGuire books so when Sarah at Books On The Bright Side Publicity offered me a spot on the blog tour I jumped at the chance.

Another tough case for Gus McGuire and his team, with a tech savvy killer who uses social media to broadcast the kills of their teenage victims and a stalker that is getting a little too personal for Gus’ liking.

Unseen Evil is gritty and hard hitting police procedural that really gets to grips with modern policing in an era where everything is broadcast on social media for anyone to see.

What makes Liz’s books so compelling is the fact the characters seem so real. The teenagers sound and act like real teenagers. All of her characters are realistically flawed. I do have to say I have a soft spot for Gus, even though he can be a bit selfish bugger sometimes.

I will say I sort of guessed who the mastermind behind the crimes was fairly early on but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the novel at all.

Unseen Evil is such a binge worthy novel that once I picked it up I just didn’t want to put it down! I’m eagerly awaiting the next in this series.

Author Bio:

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husbandLiz+Mistry_upscaled_image_x4 (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.

Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too. Now, having nearly completed a PhD in Creative Writing focussing on ‘the absence of the teen voice in adult crime fiction’ and ‘why expansive narratives matter’, Liz is chock full of ideas to continue writing.

In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.

Social Media links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizMistrybooks/ @LizMistrybooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LizMistryAuthor @LizMistryAuthor

Website : https://www.lizmistry.com/

#BlogTour #Review The Fourth Victim by John Mead @JohnMeadAuthor @rararesources

The Fourth VictimCover

Title: The Fourth Victim by John Mead

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder…

Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with fatal head injuries, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.

You Can Buy Your Copy Here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fourth-Victim-John-Mead/dp/1912575361/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-fourth-victim/john-mead/9781912575367

https://wordery.com/the-fourth-victim-john-mead-9781912575367

https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Fourth-Victim-by-John-Mead-author/9781912575367

Review:

I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this book birthday blitz and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The story opens with the murder of a young woman while out jogging. It becomes tied to another case where a woman was killed in the same way but what links the two victims? One was a drug addict, the other on the verge of going to university.

When a third woman’s body is found it’s up to DI Matthew Merry and DS Julie Lukulu to find the murderer before they claim their fourth victim.

The Fourth Victim is a solid police procedural with realistic characters and some really heartbreaking scenes.

There is also a theme of mental health running through the book, it also highlights the lack of funding/time that is spent on those suffering from mental illness in Britain. I could get on my soap box about this but I don’t think it’s quite the place in this review.

I have to be honest, while I found them both intriguing, I didn’t warm to the two main police officers, Merry and Lukula, all that much which was a bit of a shame. Also there were several different points of view in each chapter which were not as clearly defined as I would have liked.

The Fourth Victim is an intense police procedural with a great pace and plenty of intrigue.

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About The Author:

John was born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs.

He has travelled extensively, from America to Tibet, and he enjoys visiting the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that he is an avid ‘people watcher’ and loves to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub; he writes.

Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in his novels are based on real incidents and people he has come across. Although he has allowed himself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JohnMeadAuthor

Amazon author profile: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B07B8SQ2ZH

Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17891273.John_Mead

#BlogTour #Review Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones @WendyHJones #LoveBooksTours

Title: Motivation Matters by Wendy H Jones

Date Published: 21st May 2019

Genre: Non-Fiction

Description:

Has your motivation to write flown out of the window? Do feelings of self-doubt creep in and haunt your writing day? Looking for a way to beat the doubts into submission? Award-winning author and writing coach Wendy H. Jones shows you how, with 366 glorious exercises you can use to boost creativity and change the way you think and feel about your writing. Techniques that can easily be incorporated into your day, becoming part of your writing routine. It’s time to change the way you think and feel, in order to set your creativity free.

You Can Buy Your Copy Here:

https://amzn.to/2IsnOu2

motivation-matters

Review:

I want to thank Kelly over at Love Books Tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Motivation Matters is a fantastic book packed full of little tips and tricks to help break you out of that creative rut.

There’s 366 tidbits of advice, written in a fun friendly style that almost makes you think that you’ve got your own little personal coach, egging you on. You can dip in and out or work through them on consecutive days, it’s really up to you!

Like most writers, I struggle with procrastination and self doubt, Motivation Matters helped me step back a little, relax and not be so hard on myself.

Of course there’s going to be a bit of trial and error as you work your way through the book, not everything is bound to work for you but this book is really about helping you find out what does work.

I’d recommend Motivation Matters for anyone who needs that extra boost of inspiration to help you reach your goals.

About The Author:

Award Winning Author Wendy H. Jones lives in Scotland, and her police procedural series WendyHJones2018featuring Detective Inspector Shona McKenzie, is set in the beautiful city of Dundee, Scotland. Wendy has led a varied and adventurous life. Her love for adventure led to her joining the Royal Navy to undertake nurse training. After six years in the Navy, she joined the Army where she served as an Officer for a further 17 years. This took her all over the world including Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Much of her spare time is now spent travelling around the UK, and lands much further afield. As well as nursing Wendy also worked for many years in Academia. This led to publication in academic textbooks and journals. Killer’s Countdown is her first novel and the first book in the Shona McKenzie Mystery series. Killer’s Crew won the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2107. There are now six books in this series with Killer’s Crypt being released in August 2017. The Dagger’s Curse is the first book in The Fergus and Flora Mysteries for Young Adults. This book is currently shortlisted for the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award Book of the Year. She is also a highly successful marketer and she shares her methods in the book, Power Packed Book Marketing.

Twitter:

@WendyHJones

#Review Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay @HQStories

Title: Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Publication Date: 5th September 2019

Publisher: HQ

Genre: Thriller

Description:

‘You should read ELEVATOR PITCH by Linwood Barclay as soon as possible. It’s one hell of a suspense novel’ STEPHEN KING

This novel moves as fast as a falling elevator and hits with just as much force. Linwood Barclay is a stone cold pro and ELEVATOR PITCH is a shameless good time’ JOE HILL

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.

Right to the bottom of the shaft.

It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos.

Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered.

Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . .

Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

Review:

One elevator accident is a tragedy, two is something more sinister…

So it’s been a few years since I’ve picked up a Linwood Barclay novel and I can’t tell you how excited I was to get approval for this on NetGalley.

Elevator Pitch is a realistic and riveting thriller. I’ve never been a huge fan of lifts, I’ve been stuck in them once too often, and I think I dislike them even more now!

There are a number of interesting characters through out the story but Barbara Matheson is a stand out. She’s a journalist with a fearsome reputation and seems hell bent on taking down the mayor but she’s a woman with secrets and a contentious relationship with her daughter.

A little heads up too, for a thriller it is over four hundred and fifty pages, I think, so it is on the longer side but there are plenty of suspense and shocks to keep you hooked.

My issue was the fact there were quite a few different points of view and for the first half of the book it took a little bit of time to get them all straight in my head which slowed my reading down quite a bit.

Elevator Pitch is an intricately plotted thriller that will both terrify and enthral you.

About The Author:

Linwood Barclay is an international bestselling crime and thriller author with over twentylinwood barclay critically acclaimed novels to his name, including the phenomenal number one bestseller No Time For Goodbye. Every Linwood Barclay book is a masterclass in characterisation, plot and the killer twist, and with sales of over 7 million copies globally, his books have been sold in more than 39 countries around the world and he can count Stephen King, Shari Lapena and Peter James among his many fans.

Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, and Linwood wrote the screenplay for the film based on his bestselling novel Never Saw It Coming. He is currently working with eOne to turn the Promise Falls trilogy into a series. Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children. Visit Linwood Barclay at http://www.linwoodbarclay.com or find him on Twitter at @linwood barclay.

Quick #Reviews Three Cozy Mysteries

So today I have so quick reviews of some cozy mysteries I picked up for free on Kindle. They are still free at time of this post:

Title: Then There Were Nun (Nun of your business Book 1) by Dakota Cassidy

Description:

then there were nunMy name is Sister Trixie Lavender, and I’m an occasionally possessed excommunicated nun.

Okay, that’s a lot to swallow at once. But it’s true I was booted from the convent after doing something unspeakable. Something I had no control over. Something that lives inside me to this day, exploding out like that chestburster in Alien when I least suspect it.

But I have help. My amazing friend Coop—the demon who saved me from an ugly end—remains by my side, loyal and true. She was Hell’s best tattoo artist back in the day, and together with my designs, we’re opening Inkerbelle’s Tattoos and Piercings, right in the heart of Portland’s most darling district, Cobbler Cove.

Of course, our bid to fit in would be a little less rocky if I could help Coop assimilate with humans, keep a lid on our sassy talking owl, Livingston…oh, and if someone hadn’t killed our landlord on day one—in our shop.

This mystery-loving, bumbling ex-nun and her trusty demon sidekick are on the case! If I don’t bumble my way right into my own demise first…

This new cozy mystery series from USA Today bestselling cozy mystery author Dakota Cassidy is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat as Trixie and Coop hunt for a killer. Then There Were Nun is book 1 in the all new, Nun of Your Business series.

Review:

I saw this and thought, ‘ooh, I like the sound of that.’ An ex nun who happens to get possessed by an evil spirit now and again, her best friend is a demon and there’s also a cheeky possessed owl called Livingston.

Unfortunately it just fell a little short.

Don’t get me wrong the writing was good as was the overall mystery but there are a few issues I had that spoilt my enjoyment a little.

The thing I didn’t realise was these characters had already appeared in the author’s other series and the constant references to ‘Stevie’, which I assume is the main character in her other series, got a bit annoying.

It also sticks to the no violence rule of a cozy mystery, which all the violence happens sort of ‘off screen’. This kind of irritated me as there was a scene which the main character gets possessed, then we’re told about it afterwards by another character. Maybe this sort of subject matter is a bit too gritty for this sort of novel.

Also I know Livingston was meant to be Irish but he ended up sounding Scottish most of the time.

The main redeeming factor was Coop, she’s a great character, who’s trying to understand why humans do what they do, added some fun to the overall story.

I don’t think I’ll be carrying on with this series but I have picked up the first in the author’s other series Witch Slapped to see if I like that any better.

Title: Better Off Wed (Annabelle Archer Book 1) by Laura Durham

Description:

BetterOffWed1A guest with an axe to grind. A bridal party full of secrets. This wedding planner is about to turn detective…

Annabelle Archer is a few days away from completing the most elaborate wedding she’s ever planned. As she daydreams about the doors her perfect reception could unlock for her business, she stumbles over a dead body at the bottom of the stairs. The planner is horrified to recognize the body lying underfoot as the mother of the bride. When the police determine the victim was poisoned, Annabelle’s best friend and caterer becomes the prime suspect.

As she works to clear her best friend’s name, Annabelle discovers the bride’s mother had more enemies and secrets than she could ever fit on the guest list. To save her business and her friend, D.C.’s premiere wedding planner must find the killer. But will getting too close to the action make this wedding day her last?

Better Off Wed is the Agatha Award-winning first book in the Annabelle Archer Wedding Planner Mystery Series. If you like hilarious-yet-deadly whodunits, charming characters, and delightfully witty tales, you’ll love Laura Durham’s cozy mystery series.

Review:

This has been on my kindle since 2017 and I didn’t realise it, oops!

Annabelle is in the middle of one of the most high profile weddings she’s ever organised when she finds the mother of bride from hell dead at the bottom of a set of stairs. She of course starts to investigate putting herself in danger.

This was such a cute little cozy mystery! Fast paced and fun its perfect if you’re looking for something light hearted.

Two stand out characters for me were Richard, Annabelle’s camp caterer friend and Leatrice her nosey neighbour who loves a good mystery. They added a good dose of humour to the story, the back and forth between Annabelle and Richard really made me smile.

I did guess quite early on who the killer was but I read a lot of mysteries, it’s quite difficult to surprise me.

My only minor annoyance was Kate, Annabelle’s assistant who I felt was a little flat as a character, her main attributes being the fact she likes dating men and gets common sayings wrong.

I already have the second in this series which I’m looking forward to.

Title: Killer Cupcakes by Leighann Dobbs

Description:

Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She’s finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of herkiller cupcakes cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.

But her blissful life doesn’t last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbour detective Jack Perillo.

With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.

As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it’s a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.

Will Lexy get her man?

Review:

So I really enjoyed The Oyster Bay series by Leighann Dobbs so when I saw this for free on Kindle I thought I’d check it out.

This series features Lexy Baker, who has just opened her dream bakery. She thrown into a murder investigation after her ex boyfriend is poisoned by some cupcakes from her bakery. There’s a little bit of romance on the cards for her too, with her handsome policeman neighbour who happens to be investigating the case.

So this was actually the shortest one of the three novels I read, it took me only an hour to read. It is also a dual perspective novel, with POV’s from both Jack and Lexy, which made it stand out from the other cozies I’ve read recently.

I will say that it was quick and enjoyable but I felt it was a little rushed in places. I would have liked to get to know the characters a little better and see the romance blossoming a bit more between Jack and Lexy.

A good start to the series, I’m not sure if I’ll pick up the next one but I haven’t decided yet.

What about you do you enjoy cozy mysteries? Have you read any of these? Do you have any recommendations for cozies I should check out?

 

#Review I Know You by Erik Therme @ErikTherme @bookouture

Title: I Know You by Erik Therme

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 12th April 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller.

Description:

I can help you save your sister. But I need something from you …’

Sisters Bree and Alissa Walker share a special bond. Neglected by their parents, they have always looked out for one another. But one day, sixteen-year-old Alissa goes missing. When Bree discovers her green backpack with all her belongings, abandoned on the steps of their run-down trailer, she knows that something bad has happened …

Then she receives a chilling text message. Someone has Alissa. But Bree will have to give up something very precious in exchange.

Desperate to save Alissa, Bree looks at everyone close to their family. She’s sure that Alissa’s best friend is keeping something back about her little sister and a boy at school, and why has their estranged uncle, who they’ve not seen in years, been hanging around again?

It soon becomes clear that the person behind the message knows a lot about the dark truths within the Walker family and will go to any lengths to get revenge. And as the search for Alissa continues, Bree discovers something about her brother Tyler that she wishes she hadn’t, a dangerous secret, which is also the key to bringing her little sister back home …

A gripping and addictive thriller about family secrets and lies and the lengths people will go to protect them. Perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll and Louise Jensen.

Review:

Bree and her siblings, Tyler and Alissa have had a tough childhood living in a trailer park. Their mum worked two jobs, their dad often drank and took his temper out on those closest to him.

Bree has become hardened over the years but nothing is stronger than her love for her little sister. Then Alissa goes missing.

Someone wants revenge on her family but Bree has no idea who or why but it’s up to her to bring her sister home.

So this is the second book I’ve read by Erik Therme and I have to say his writing keeps getting better and better!

I Know you is a novel all about family and the fraught and difficult relationships that come along with it.

Bree felt so realistic, I just found myself rooting for her. As the oldest, she became the surrogate mum to her siblings which they didn’t always appreciate her for but she still did it anyway.

I can’t say too much more about the plot, like most psychological thrillers, I don’t want to give away any of the twists or turns, and believe me there are plenty in this book!

My only slight issue was the storyline felt a little similar to the other novel I read, Keep Her Close but of course that’s just my opinion.

I Know You is absorbing and emotional read that will have you hooked from that very first chapter.

About The Author:

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met DarthErik Therme (author photo) Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering for his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his seventeen-year-old. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa–one of only twenty places in the world UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature.

WEB: http://www.eriktherme.com
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/erik.therme
TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/ErikTherme