Erma Bridges’ life is far from perfect, but entirely ordinary. So when she is shot twice in a targetted attack by a colleague, her quiet existence is shattered in an instant.
With her would-be murderer dead, no one can give Erma the answers she needs to move on from her trauma. Why her? Why now?
So begins Erma’s quest for the truth – and a dangerous, spiralling journey into the heart of darkness.
With all the inventiveness of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and the raw brutality of Mulholland Drive, THE SPIRAL is a unique crime thriller with killer twists – and 2020’s most jaw-dropping ending.
I want to thank the lovely people at Zaffre for providing me with an arc copy of The Spiral in exchange for an honest review.
Hmm, I’m going to need a minute to sort out my feelings over this book…
Okay let’s start with what I enjoyed…
It’s billed as the most original thriller of the year, which I totally agree with. We had Erma’s point of view mixed in with the mysterious Sero, a barbarian in a fantasy world. I can safely say I’ve never read a novel which has mixed fantasy with a psychological thriller before.
Erma was a flawed and realistic character, if not that likeable. You know the type, they’re their own worst enemy. Then we have Sero who has no memory and is searching for answers and slaughtering whoever they feel like along the way. There were times when I was more intrigued with Sero’s POV over Erma’s.
It started out as a really addictive story, I wanted to find out more, the mystery really spurred me on to read more. Then it was that pesky third part. There was something unsatisfying about it and it became a little disjointed to me.
Would I read something else by this author? Definitely. I really enjoyed the characters that the author created, I just wish there had been a better ending to the book.
About The Author:
Iain Ryan grew up in the outer suburbs of Brisbane, Australia. He predominantly writes in the hardboiled/noir genre and his work has been previously published by Akashic Books (New York), Crime Factory (Melbourne) and Broken River Books (Portland). His most recent novel ‘The Student’ is available now via Echo Publishing/Bonnier.
Title: Christmas Cookie Cozies: A Holiday Cozy Mystery Anthology
Date Published: 10th November 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
2020 is going to be the coziest holiday season yet with cozy mysteries from Ava Mallory, Summer Prescott, Jenna St. James, Laina Turner, Gretchen Allen, Laina Turner, Joanna Campbell Slan, S. C. Merritt, Minnie Crockwell, Mona Marple, Rachael Stapleton and Loraine Hudson – along with their favorite holiday cookie recipe!
Gretchen Allen – Lost Claus Charlotte Moss is one tough cookie, but her new job as Mrs. Claus isn’t what she expected. When Santa goes missing and a body is found, the most wonderful time of the year looks bleak. Joanna Campbell Slan – How the Cookie Crumbles Cara Mia Delgatto never met her maternal grandmother. But Nonie Josephina reaches out from the grave with a message for Cara: I left behind a treasure! Can Cara Mia find it before Santa comes to town? S.C. Merritt – Caramelized Casualty With the annual holiday unveiling of a giant gingerbread village quickly approaching, Kate Kennedy’s stress level is sky high. When one of the event’s diva celebrity chefs turns up dead, Kate decides she has no choice but to team up with the town’s newest detective if she’s going to pull off the big event. Can she expose the killer in time to save the event? Minnie Crockwell – Death By Cookie Widow Sallie Chilcoat decides to get into the holiday spirit by baking up a batch of cookies for her lakeside condominium neighbors only to have one of them turn up dead – with the remains of her cookies! Did Sallie kill her neighbor with her vegan cookies? Ava Mallory – Christmas Cookie Catastrophe When Consuelo “Cookie” Alvarez inherits a bakery from her aunt Birdie, she doesn’t expect to take her late aunt’s place in the Christmas Cookie Bake-Off. Now she has two weeks to perfect the super-secret recipe, but there are major obstacles in her way: she can’t bake, the recipe is missing, and her competitors are a who’s who of shady characters. Summer Prescott – Hang Out The Stalkings Someone is stealing Nancy’s cookies…will they steal her holiday spirit too? Jenna St. James – Christmas Cookie Caper When Ivy O’Brien learns her mother has been injured at the annual Couples Christmas Cookie Contest, she runs to the rescue. Looks like she needs to fill in for her mother and hunky policeman Anthony Romano has to help bake the cookie and question the suspects. Between dough-making disasters, nips of peppermint Schnapps, and rolling pin thefts, the pair slowly whittle down their suspect list. Mona Marple – The Santa Run Is Murderous Fun Emily Monk’s run out of excuses not to take part in the annual Santa run, but the festivities are threatened when the long-running Santa Run champ is found dead the day before the race. With a killer to be caught, and a Christmas dinner to be bought, Emily needs to think fast if she’s going to solve this case before Santa comes. Rachael Stapleton – Christmas, Corpses & the Gingerdead Flip-Flop When house flippers Jack Young and Juniper Palmer purchase a colorful Queen Anne home, Juniper assumes the exterior gingerbread trim will be the most outlandish thing to see. That is until a prominent wine merchant dressed as Santa is murdered, and Jack’s mother is caught on the naughty list. Loraine Hudson – Holly, Jolly Misdeeds First, it’s a thieving Santa. Next, it’s a prowler that threatens Jenny’s peace. It all seems to revolve around a box of cookies. Why? And what’s next? Laina Turner – Cookies and Crime What is supposed to be a joy-filled awards ceremony for the Romero Boy Scouts turns out to be anything but when Jean Sartor, Scout co-leader, drops dead on stage. Trixie lands herself on the suspect list since she baked Christmas cookies for the ceremony. She knows she didn’t poison Jean, but who did?
I want to thank Emma Welton at Damppebbles blog tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I love a cozy mystery, but I don’t really read many Christmas themed stories, so I was intrigued to see how it would work out. I have heard of a couple of the authors in this collection, like Summer Prescott and Laina Turner, and I’m glad I got to read a few new to me authors and I’ll be adding their books to my TBR!
Christmas Cookie Cozies is a fun packed collection of holiday stories, each one combining the holiday spirit, a mystery and a cookie in some way, each author bringing their own twist on the theme which was really enjoyable.
Of course I had a few standouts:
Hang Out The Stalkings
Not your typical murder mystery, but a mystery all the same when dog groomer Amber investigates after a dog she was grooming goes missing. This one had the most heartwarming ending, it melted my heart a little.
Christmas Cookie caper
Ivy is roped into an investigation after her mum is injured during a cookie making contest. This was a compact mystery that really kept me guessing.
Kate Kennedy is preparing for a gingerbread charity event when one of the chefs turns up dead. Another one that kept me guessing and the mode of death for the victim was an unusual one too!
There’s also a nice little extra for any bakers out there as each story is followed by a cookie recipe.
Christmas Cookie Cozies is a sweet fun read, perfect for those who like the holiday season but also enjoy a bit of mystery.
Rachel Watson has it all worked out. By 30, she’s ticked off most of the goals on her Life List. She’s a home owner, a partner at her law firm, she has a gorgeous boyfriend, lots of hobbies and loads of good friends. The only thing that’s missing is a ring on her finger.
According to her Life List, Rachel should be getting hitched around now, so when her boyfriend, Paul, plans a romantic date, Rachel’s pretty confident he’s going to propose. Except Paul has other ideas. He’s jetting off to India to find himself.
Distraught, Rachel doesn’t know what to do. Not one to easily admit defeat, she embarks on a mission to win him back.
Flying solo to India is definitely not part of Rachel’s plans, but could her trip teach her unexpected lessons about love, life and herself? Could she realise that perhaps her Life List wasn’t exactly what she wanted, after all?
So I know the second in this series, Flying Duo, is coming out next year and I signed up for the blog tour, then I remembered I had a copy of the first, so I thought I had better start there.
Rachel thinks her boyfriend Paul is going to propose, which would put her on track for her life list, but she gets a rude shock when he ups and dumps her, jetting off to India. With some gentle persuasion from her friend Priya, she goes after Paul and tries to win him back. What she doesn’t expect is that the trip will change her life by meeting the handsome Seb along the way.
Flying solo is a romance all about taking chances and finding yourself in the most unexpected places.
Rachel is ambitious, organised and focused which in the beginning of the novel made her a little unlikeable but as she starts to relax and we find out why she is the way she is, I really warmed up to her.
My only issue was with Seb, I felt he was a bit bland compared to Rachel. Maybe it was just because he seemed so chilled out or maybe he needed a little more development but as I said earlier, there’s a second novel coming out soon so I’m looking forward to getting to know his character better.
Flying Solo is a light-hearted romance and the perfect for a bit of escapism.
About The Author:
Zoe May writes romantic comedies published by Harper Collins and is also an indie author. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She spent her twenties living London, where she worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!
Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh-out-loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny.’
Zoe is also the author of How (Not) To Date A Prince (May, 2018), When Polly Met Olly (January, 2019) and As Luck Would Have It (July, 2019).
In July 2020, Zoe will be publishing her first self-published romantic comedy, Flying Solo.
As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.
Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram, where her handle is @zoe_writes. Or check out her blogs and latest news on her website, www.zoemayauthor.co.uk.
Hi lovelies and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for It’s Raining Men by Rich Amooi, as well as my review there’s a little bonus giveaway to win an Amazon gift card and it’s open internationally (see bottom of the post). First a little about the book:
Title: It’s Raining Men by Rich Amooi
Date Published: 21st October 2020
Genre: Romantic Comedy
On a dare, Faith Daniels tosses a coin into the infamous “Fountain of Love” and wishes for the perfect man, laughing it off as the dumbest thing she’s ever done. Like magic, her quiet life turns upside-down when men begin to appear out of nowhere. There’s a doctor, a lawyer, a firefighter, and a swimwear model, for starters. All of them are kind, generous, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. All of them are interested in Faith. But who is Mr. Right?
A feel-good romance novel about love, friendship, and living life to the fullest!
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and Rich Amooi for providing me with a copy of It’s Raining Men in exchange for an honest review.
I’m a huge fan of Rich Amooi’s rom coms so when I hear he has a new one coming out, I know I have to read it.
It’s Raining Men is a sweet romance all about hope and taking chances.
Faith has shut herself off from love after the love of her life died five years ago. With a lot of persuading from her friends Tracy and Kim, she throws a coin into what they nicknamed the ‘love fountain’. Convinced nothing is going to happen, Faith gets a shock when men start asking her out. With a little more persuading, she goes on dates in a bid to find Mr Right.
What I love about Rich Amooi’s books is the array of supporting quirky characters like Bumper, Noah’s accident prone dog or serial dater Gertrude who only ever goes on a date with a man once.
And of course I loved the happy ending, which I’m a massive sucker for!
I felt there was a more serious tone to this novel than the previous ones I’ve read by Mr Amooi, maybe as it dealt with the death of a loved one and the grief that comes with it.
I’d recommend if you’re looking for a bit of an escape from this weird world then you can’t go wrong with It’s Raining Men.
About The Author:
Rich Amooi is the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of 15 romantic comedies, including It’s Not PMS, It’s You, Dying to Meet You, There’s Something About a Cowboy, and Madam Love, Actually.
A former radio personality and wedding DJ, Rich now writes romantic comedies full-time in San Diego, California, and is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.
Title: Diabolica Britannica: A Dark Isles Horror Compendium
Date Published: 13th July 2020
Genre: Horror Anthology
Diabolica Britannica is a collection of 14 dark tales from the dark isles. It features contributions from the following authors: Adam L G Nevill, Tim Lebbon, Keith Anthony Baird, John F Leonard, Morgan K Tanner, Arthur M Harper, Christopher Henderson, Beverley Lee, Sarah E England, Catherine McCarthy, Stephanie Ellis, Janine Pipe, Sarah J Budd and Alyson Faye.
I want to thank Yvonne at Insidious book tours for inviting me on this tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I love short stories and I don’t read them often enough, particularly horror, and I saw that Diabolica Britannica was all for a good cause, with all profits going to fund the NHS’ efforts COVID-19 research, so I thought why not.
What I loved was the variety of British horror that was in Diabolica Britannica, from monsters to folklore inspired tales to psychological horror and so much more. Another thing I loved was I now have a whole host of new authors I want to read.
Each story may have only been short but they were creepy, chilling and utterly captivating! Of course there were a few stand outs for me:
Tourist Traps by Christopher Henderson, is a story about a boy who is obsessed with ghost hunting, so much so he takes a ghost tour of London and gets more than he’s bargained for.
The Secret of Westport Fell by Beverley Lee, was an atmospheric historical story about a young woman sent to look after her ailing aunt and ends up taking in a young girl she finds wandering in the cold.
Scripted in Shadows by Morgan K Tanner, is a blood soaked story about a mysterious and murderous book.
The Coven by Sarah E England is about a woman who returns to the town she was born in to find out why her family was forced to flee the country.
I could go on but I’d think I’d be boring you with this review soon!
Diabolica Britannica is packed to the brim with talented authors and a must if you love horror.
About The Authors:
Catherine McCarthy is a spinner of dark tales, often set in the wilder regions of her native Wales, U.K.
She has published two novels and a collection of short stories, and is currently querying a dark fantasy novel,The Wolf and the Favour, which is entwined with ethereal elements and Celtic lore.
Several of her stories have been published in anthologies such as Graveyard Smash, Dead Alive, and Diabolica Britannica, and earlier this year she won the Aberystwyth University Imagining Utopias prize for creative writing.
She lives in a two-hundred-year-old farmhouse with her illustrator husband and its ghosts, and when she is not writing she may be found hiking the rugged coast-path or squirrelling among ancient churchyards for story inspiration.
Keith Anthony Baird is the author of The Jesus Man: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Horror (Novel), Nexilexicon (Novel), And a Dark Horse Dreamt of Nightmares (Book of Shorts) and This Will Break Every Bone In Your Heart (Novelette). His works can be found on Amazon and Audible. He is currently working on a dystopian novel titled SIN:THETICA.
Diabolica Britannica is his brainchild and was developed in response to 2020’s global pandemic. A collective of British talent seemed the obvious vehicle to bring further horror to the masses, but ensuring some relief in the process by donating all profits to help fight COVID-19.
When not at his desk writing, you might find him up a mountain, snorkelling on a coral reef with his partner Ann, or having fun with his grandson. Failing that, it’s a good bet he’ll be on Twitter.
Janine Pipe is a Horror lover and writer who was first introduced to the genre as a child reading ‘Salem’s Lot – and she hasn’t looked back since. She is inspired by Stephen King and cites Glenn Rolfe, Hunter Shea and Jonathan Janz as her favourite current writers. She likes to shock with her writing, there is usually a lot of gore and plenty of swearing … She is very thankful to her biggest cheerleaders, her husband and daughter and her mentor, Graeme Reynolds. She chews the fat with fellow authors on her blog – Janine’s Ghost Stories and reviews for Scream Magazine and Nightworms.
You can find her work at Tales to Terrify, Ghost Stories the Podcast and The Horror Tree. Several of her short stories have been published, including an all female anthology with Kandisha Press.She is currently writing a splatterpunk novella about a teenage vampire hunter. .
Christopher Henderson was born in Streatham, south London (UK), a few months after the first human beings landed on the Moon. At the same time, only a few miles away on the other side of that city, other human beings were preparing to hunt and stake a supposedly genuine vampire in its lair in Highgate Cemetery. It was the beginning of 1970, the overture to a very weird decade.
Throughout Christopher’s childhood, popular culture was steeped in the eerie, the macabre, and the uncanny. The supernatural, it seemed, was only ever a half-heard whisper away – and it never stopped talking to him.
Half a century later, Christopher continues to haunt south London. In a parallel life, he was for many years involved with the scientific and open-mindedly sceptical study of paranormal and fortean phenomena, and he is the author under a different name of several non-fiction books specializing largely in folklore and ghost stories. In this incarnation, however, he writes horror fiction, and especially supernatural horror fiction, as he attempts to escape the deeper horrors that plague the real world.
He is the author of Artemis One-Zero-Five (a horror/SF novel set in the near future, partly in London and partly on a remote asteroid) and The Horror at Lavender Edge (a supernatural horror novel set in 1970s London). Currently, he is working on a sequel to The Horror at Lavender Edge.
Stephanie Ellis writes dark speculative prose and poetry and has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Her latest work includes the novella, Bottled, published by Silver Shamrock, who will also be publishing her novel, The Five Turns of the Wheel in October. She has recently been published in Flame Tree Press’ A Dying Planet anthology with “Milking Time” and is included in Silver Shamrock’s upcoming Midnight in the Pentagram anthology with “Family Reunion”. Her poetry can be sampled in the Horror Writer Association’s Poetry Showcase Volume 6 and in the upcoming Volume 7. She has collected a number of her published, and some unpublished, short stories in The Reckoning, her dark verse in Dark is my Playground, and flash in The Dark Bites, all available on amazon. She is co-editor of Trembling With Fear, HorrorTree.com’s online magazine. She is an affiliate member of the HWA and can be found at https://stephanieellis.org and on twitter at @el_stevie.
Alyson lives in West Yorkshire, UK with her husband, teen son and four rescue animals. Her fiction has been published widely in print anthologies – DeadCades, Women in Horror Annual 2, Trembling with Fear 1 &2, Coffin Bell Journal 1, Stories from Stone, Ellipsis, Rejected ed. Erin Crocker)and in many ezines, but most often on the Horror Tree site, in Siren’s Call and The Casketof Fictional Delights.
In May 2019 Night of the Rider, was published by Demain in their Short Sharp Shocks! E book series and later that year Demain published her 1940’s crime novella – Maggie Of My Heart.
Currently she has stories appearing in the Strange Girls anthology (ed. Azzurra Nox), two charity anthologies, Burning Love from Things in the Well, and Amongst Friends (Gypsum Sound Tales); another Gypsum anthology, Colp: Black and Grey and by Emerald Bay Books, Horror for Hire: First Shift.
Her work has been read on BBC Radio, local radio, on several podcasts (e.g. Ladies of Horror), posted on YouTube and placed in competitions.
She performs at open mics, teaches, edits for an indie publisher and hangs out with her dog on the moors – in all weathers.
A full list of her publications can be found via her author page on amazon:-
John F Leonard
John messes around with words for a living. He was born in England and grew up in the industrial Midlands. That was where he learned to love scrawny cats, the sound of scrapyard dogs and the rattle and clank of passing trains.
His official education mostly involved English, Art and History. Everything else came later. The employment record is somewhat difficult to summarise. Chequered is probably a good word for it. Shop worker and office boy, sculptor and odd-job man, fraud investigator and thief. It’s all the same, when you boil it down. Pay your way and try to have a good day.
He enjoys apocalyptic stuff, horror, comedy and football (not necessarily together). A family man, John now lives a few miles from the old Victorian house in which he was born. Scribbling scary stories seems to keep him vaguely sane (accurate at time of writing). Current projects include more tales from the Dead Boxes Archive, another everyday cosmic horror novel from the Scaeth Mythos, and new books set in the post-apocalyptic world of Collapse.
Beverley Lee is the bestselling author of the Gabriel Davenport vampire suspense series (The Making of Gabriel Davenport, A Shining in the Shadows and The Purity of Crimson) and the gothic horror, The Ruin of Delicate Things. In thrall to the written word from an early age, especially the darker side of fiction, she believes that the very best story is the one you have to tell. Supporting fellow authors is also her passion and she is actively involved in social media and writers’ groups.
You can visit her online at www.beverleylee.com (where you’ll find a free dark and twisted short story download) or on Instagram (@theconstantvoice) and Twitter (@constantvoice).
Morgan K Tanner
Morgan K Tanner is a writer, drummer, and golfist currently residing in the English countryside. The idyllic surroundings make it an ideal place to write, drum, and hide the bodies. The busy sound of the typewriter is perfect to drown out the hum of the antiquated torture equipment.
When not writing or inflicting pain and suffering on his numerous victims, he indulges himself in all things horror and metal.
He is the author of An Army of Skin, The Mind’s Plague and Other Bites of Brutality, The Unbeliever & The Intruder; a Short Sharp Shocks! Book, and The Snuggle Zombies; his attempt at a horror book for kids.
You can praise or indeed abuse him by visiting www.morganktanner.com or find him on Twitter @morgantanner666 and Instagram @morganktanner
S.J.Budd is a dark fiction author from Cornwall. Her work has appeared in The NoSleep Podcast, Aphotic Realm, Sanitarium Magazine, Siren’s Call Publications, Deadman’s Tome and many others.
When not writing she is mostly reading, tending to her huge collection of cactus plants and going for long walks in the country-side..She spends far too much time on twitter @sjbuddj. You can find out more about her stories at www.sjbudd.co.uk
Title: Grubane (Lost Tales of Solace 2) by Karl Drinkwater
Date Published: 13th June 2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/ Novella
Major Grubane is commander of the Aurikaa, the most feared cruiser in the UFS arsenal.
His crew is handpicked and fiercely loyal. Together, they have never failed a mission, and their reputation precedes them.
But this time he’s been sent to a key planet that is caught up in political tensions at the centre of the freedom debate. What he thought was a simple diplomatic mission turns out to be the hardest choice of his career. His orders: eliminate one million inhabitants of the planet, and ensure their compliance.
Grubane has also rediscovered an ancient game called chess, and plays it against the ship AI as a form of mental training. But maybe it could be more than that as he finds himself asking questions. Can orders be reinterpreted? How many moves ahead is it possible for one man to plan? And how many players are involved in this game?
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author for providing me with a copy of Grubane in exchange for an honest review.
This is actually the second novella in the Lost Tales of Solace series but each story is written as a standalone so you don’t need to have read the other book in the series to read this one. Each of the novellas also tie into the author’s Lost Solace series there’s plenty to read for sci-fi lovers out there.
I read and enjoyed the first book in the series Helene, a couple of months ago so I was eager to see what Karl Drinkwater had in store for me this time.
Grubane is a major in the UFS (they basically run most of the colonies in space and pretty much want to take over everything). He’s been sent on a mission that quickly turns ugly and we see the fearsome major in action.
What I love about these books is the unique perspective the author uses to tell the story, this time it was mostly from the AI Aurikaa 12’s POV. As the story goes on, you can see it becoming more self aware, trying to interpret the world around it, particularly Grubane himself.
For me, this book lacked a little of the humour of the first book Helene but that was a minor thing overall.
Grubane is a slick sci-fi story and a perfect way to escape reality for a while.
About The Author:
Karl Drinkwater is originally from Manchester but lived in Wales for twenty years, and now calls Scotland his home. He’s a full-time author, edits fiction for other writers, and was a professional librarian for over twenty-five years. He has degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science.
He writes in multiple genres: his aim is always just to tell a good story. Among his books you’ll find elements of literary and contemporary fiction, gritty urban, horror, suspense, paranormal, thriller, sci-fi, romance, social commentary, and more. The end result is interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.
When he isn’t writing he loves exercise, guitars, computer and board games, the natural environment, animals, social justice, cake, and zombies. Not necessarily in that order.
Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York. She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world – the Big Apple.
She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers. And when real live dead bodies start turning up – as well as fake not-really-dead bodies – Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour.
Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?
I want to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the author providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Bella and her husband Will are invited on a murder mystery cruise and end up stuck in the middle of the Atlantic with her ex husband and her writing nemesis. To make matters worse the fake murder mysteries become real and Bella ends up the prime suspect.
So this is the second in the Bella Tyson series it can easily be read as a standalone, something I can attest to having not read the first. There’s no spoilers for the first book either and having enjoyed this one so much I will be getting myself a copy and reading that too!
Murder Ahoy is a cozy mystery with a little more edginess to it that your standard cozy with a small smattering of swearing and some saucy language which on more the one occasion had me giggling out loud.
There was a fantastic array of interesting characters from Bella’s self centred cheat of an ex-husband Joel to her new more mild mannered beau Will. And there of course there’s Bella herself, who is wonderfully sarcastic and self deprecating, even though she could be a little snarky at times.
I have to be honest I had the killer pegged quite early on but the motive wasn’t clear until the end.
Murder Ahoy! is a light hearted and fun filled mystery that I enjoyed from beginning until end.
About The Author:
Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters. Her debut novel and first in the Bella Tyson series, ‘Dead in Venice’, was published by Audible as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.
In the distance Leah heard sirens. She ignored them. Right now, her daughter needed her and Emily was just out of reach, curled up under the bed, her eyes closed, desperately shaking. Leah did the only thing any mother would do. She crawled through the blood to get to her daughter.
Dr Leah Wright returned to her childhood home in rural Pennsylvania with her husband to find peace and quiet, start afresh and raise her six-year-old daughter Emily. But when she gets home one dark winter night, clutching roses in her hand, she finds her daughter huddled under her bed and her husband’s blood all over the floor…
When Detective Luka Jericho is called to investigate, he’s shocked to learn that the killer left a witness behind – the victim’s young daughter. The scene is a painful reminder of his fiancé’s unsolved death, and he is desperate to find out what Emily saw that night. He knows that the killer could still be out there, waiting to strike again.
But growing up, Leah learned the hard way that the only person she could rely on was herself. And it’s not until she and Emily are attacked again that she realizes just how close the killer is. Can she trust Luka to keep her daughter safe?
Fans of Karin Slaughter, Kendra Elliot and Tess Gerritsen will devour this fast-paced and chilling new crime series from New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons. You won’t be able to put this book down.
I want to thank Noelle Holten for inviting me on this blog tour and Bookouture for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dr Leah Wright returns home one evening after a tough shift at the hospital to find her husband dead and her daughter Emily huddled under her bed. All evidence points to Leah but can she prove her innocence and keep her daughter safe?
The Next Widow is a real whirlwind of a novel! Fast paced, fraught and full of tension. There were also a few heartbreaking moments too, especially as Leah struggles to connect with her traumatised daughter in the aftermath of her husband’s death.
There was a nice back and forth in the POVs and we get to know the characters of Leah and Luka really well. They both have their own sets of personal problems, even before Leah’s husband is murdered, but both are tough and determined to push through their emotional scars.
I have to be honest I pegged the killer fairly early on, although the entire motive wasn’t clear until the end.
The Next Widow is a gripping and fast paced read, I’d recommend to any thriller lovers out there. I’m looking forward to seeing where this new series is headed.
About The Author:
As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times and USA Today Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.
CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday).
When Ella wakes up in hospital following a hit and run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon.
But Ella has never been married…
Absolutely love twisty and unputdownable psychological thrillers like Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and Gone Girl? Then you will be totally hooked by this jaw-dropping novel about the dangerous secrets behind a perfect marriage.
Work, home, sleep. That has been Ella’s routine for ten years until she’s cycling home one day from work and is hit by a van. She wakes up in hospital dazed and confused with a broken arm and leg. A friendly nurse reassures her that her husband Jacob will be back soon.
Ella is sure that she had never been married. Who is this man and what does he want from her?
So this is the first psychological thriller I’ve read by Samantha Hayes and I can safely say it won’t be my last! I love her writing style, it so intense in all the right places I couldn’t sleep until I finished it.
I have to be honest I’ve been struggling to write this review because this is one of these books I don’t want to say too much, just because I don’t want to give away any spoilers or ruin the book for you but I’ll try my best!
The book is told from the perspectives of Ella and Liam, interspersed with chapters from ten years previously when Ella was a student at Durham university. Ella has managed to isolate herself, rebuffing invites from her work colleagues, even the sweet Liam. We know very early on something traumatic has happened to her. Something she’d been keeping a secret for ten years but what could be so bad that a promising young student with the world at her feet would hide herself away?
I enjoyed the fact that the characters were so realistic, I really cared what happened to them even if I did feel like screaming at them ‘what are you doing?’ occasionally.
I have to be honest I read quite a lot of psychological thrillers and the ending didn’t totally shock or surprise me but the author certainly did keep me on my toes! There were also certain aspects of the story line that I didn’t find all that believable but that of course is just my opinion.
The Liars Wife is a taut thriller with plenty of intrigue, nail biting scenes and a heart pounding ending.
About The Author:
Samantha Hayes grew up in Warwickshire, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time living in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime-writer.
Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on ‘real life fiction’. She focuses on current issues and sets out to make her readers ask, ‘What if this happened to me or my family?’