Wednesday, 22 November 2017

The Man in the Wall by Emma Angstrom #Review #BlogTour @bloodhoundbook

I received an ARC from the publisher


I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Man in the Wall by Emma Angstrom. Today I will be sharing my review for this dark and thrilling story. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...




Alva is a sad and lonely child. With her father locked up in prison, she moves with her mother and two older sisters to an apartment building in town. She does not like her new home. Her room is small and her sisters continue to exclude Alva from their games. 

Soon a bizarre murder takes place in the building. A husband discovers his wife dead in the hall of their apartment, two week after she disappeared from their home.

Where had the body been hidden for two weeks? And how could the perpetrator get in and out of the apartment?

As more disturbing things start to take place, Alva is drawn into a sick and twisted game by a killer who is hiding in plain sight. But Alva is just a child and has no idea just how deadly her new friend might be…

The Man in the Wall is a thrilling and stylish Scandinavian thriller.

Buy Link






I think after reading the description I was a little wary about starting this book at night. However having two young children and not sleeping well at the best of times it really is the perfect time for me to read. So the question is did I have to sleep with the lights on? 


It's safe to say I felt like checking the doors and windows were locked especially as I live in a flat so I was instantly on alert. Then as I got into the story I ended up feeling even more on edge. The Man in the Wall is such an intriguing story and I loved how character driven it was. Focusing on some of the people who live in the apartment block and also the mysterious person on the periphery of their lives.

Alva is a wonderful character she gives off a vibe of being older than her years and has such a sad aura about her that definitely made her all the more engaging for me. Even though she is with her family she is missing her father and there is the added mystery as to where he is, the reader is as much in the dark as Alva.

There are some tense and creepy moments which definitely made me sit up and take notice. I loved the touch of paranormal it helped to add an extra depth to the story. The Man in the Wall moves at a good pace with a brilliant combination of tense moments but then also showing the people who live in the apartments going about their daily lives. It's a contrast that works well moving from showing the more normal lives to the stranger aspect of life in the apartments.



A compelling story that will pull you right in, The Man in the Wall is brilliantly dark and addictive!


Four stars from me!


With thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books for the invite to join the tour and my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.




Emma Ångström is an author and architect. She has a Master’s degree in architecture from the Royal Technical University in Stockholm and from Parsons in New York. Besides her writing she currently works as head of communications at an architectural firm in Stockholm, Sweden.

She was born in 1982 in Västerås, Sweden, and started her writing career as a journalist at the age of 17. Since then, she has also worked as a lighting designer, and written non-fiction books about lighting design and architecture.

Ångström made her debut in 2009 with the novel AND ALL IS DISTORTED (Och allt är förvridet). In 2016 THE MAN IN THE WALL was released, a remarkable and nerve-wracking thriller with a ”monster” it is hard not to feel certain sympathy with. Condensed writing shaping characters of real flesh and blood, a steady hand’s brushwork forming each piece of the portrait’s originality to a whole, stylistically assured. 

Links:

My website: www.emmaangstrom.se


A Saintly Grave Disturbed by Nikki Copleston #BlogBlitz #Review @nikkicopleston @BrookCottagebks




I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog blitz for A Saintly Grave Disturbed by Nikki Copleston and I will be sharing my review today. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...


Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 27 October 2017
Publisher: S Books
Series: A DI Jeff Lincoln short read


When archaeologists Beth Tarrant and Josh Good excavate a ruined chapel at Barbury Abbey they don’t expect to uncover a modern mystery too…
Finding the tomb of a medieval abbot would mean a lot to Beth – fifty years ago, her grandfather was forced to abandon his own search for the tomb, but nobody knows why. Can Beth finish what he started?
As one incident after another threatens to sabotage the dig, Detective Inspector Jeff Lincoln is called in, and when a bungled burglary at the museum turns into murder he finds a shocking link to a case he’s already investigating.
BUY LINKS






Even though A Saintly Grave Disturbed is a short story it didn't feel rushed which was lovely. I enjoy novellas but sometimes the story either ends abruptly or you don't get enough time to get a feel for the characters. 

The story moves quickly and managed to keep me on my toes I enjoyed seeing Detective Inspector Jeff Lincoln look into both crimes. Along with following the events at archaeology dig and seeing how everything begins to possibly connect. It's a tangled web of secrets that slowly but surely begins to unravel. It was great to try and figure things out even though I didn't necessarily get everything right. There were some great twists and turns that kept the momentum of the story going.

A great story showcasing DI Jeff Lincoln, making me interested in reading a full length story.

Four stars from me!



With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.




Nikki Copleston worked in London for many years before moving back to the West Country where she was brought up. In 2016, she published the award-winning The Shame of Innocence, featuring DI Jeff Lincoln, and is currently rewriting an earlier Jeff Lincoln crime novel, The Price of Silence.
Nikki is a member of Frome Writers’ Collective, which supports and promotes writers in the area round Frome. She’s also a founder member of Stellar Scribes, a group of novelists from Wells and Glastonbury who love to share their passion for a good yarn, mainly through talks and events in libraries.
Fascinated by history, she enjoys exploring with her camera, photographing landscapes and quirky architecture, old and new. She and her husband now live in Wells, Somerset, with their cat.
Website:

Publisher: http://sbooks.co.uk

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett #BlogTour @Helen_Bridgett @rararesources #Review


Thank you for joining me for my stop on the blog tour for The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett. I actually read this book back in May but I'm delighted to be re-sharing my review with you today for the tour. 

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



He took her to dinner: that was annoying

He slept with her: that was hurtful

He bought new underwear to impress her: quite frankly astounding

He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS: INFURIATING!

After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.

But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don't go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie's been looking for.

Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it's never too late for a second chance.

Purchase from Amazon




Helen Bridgett instantly drew me into the story with her delightfully witty writing. I loved the part about the candle, I would definitely feel the same way as Angie! I got an instant feel for Angie's character and it was a great introduction to this charming character. She is such a down to earth and lovely person who at the start is seemingly lost.

All of the characters were developed well and had their quirky ways which definitely made them more memorable. A special mention has to go to Patty there are no other words to describe her other than that she is just brilliant! Her one liners always lightened the mood and I really enjoyed Angie and Patty's friendship. I have to admit that at times Zoe slightly annoyed me with how she acted with her mum. I guess it is difficult being stuck in the middle of divorced parents but she could be a little blunt. I guess this made me like Angie's character even more. It isn't just Angie who transforms over the course of the year her friends and family also change too. I guess that was what was so interesting about following this group of people.

I love to travel although since having children I don't really get much of an opportunity anymore. I guess I look at motherhood as a whole different kind of adventure! So the travel aspect to the story really appealed to me especially as at school I had visions of working as a travel agent just like Angie. 

There are so many funny moments that had me smiling virtually all the way through the book. It was a joy to see Angie try new things in her quest to get her life back on track. The eighties vibe was a brilliant touch I'm sure most people agree that the eighties are a firm favourite for reminiscing! Music features in the storyline and the soundtrack is fab, well it is if you are a fan of 80s pop! The Granny-oakes plot is such a great part of this story and showcases Patty's personality brilliantly.

I'm sure this book will resonate with a lot of people especially if you have had a long term relationship break down. Angie's attitude was a breath of fresh air and even when faced with an uncertain future she picks herself up and carries on the best she can. This book is so easy to read and before I knew it I was half way through and I was having such a great time getting to know Angie and her friends. The short chapters are great and I think this helps to keep the story fresh and moving along at a good pace.

Packed full of friendship, family life & learning to move on - The Mercury Travel Club is the perfect pick me up from everyday life!

With thanks to Helen Bridgett & RedDoor Publishing for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Also my thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the invite to join the tour.



Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year's resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal - to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine - not usually at the same time.
Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series


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Why not follow along with the tour...



Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone @PhillFeathers #BlogTour #Review #Extract @BrookCottagebks #Giveaway


Today I'm taking part in the blog tour for Paradise Girl by Phill Featherstone. You can catch my review, read an extract and take part in a lovely giveaway. 

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...



Genre: Nominally YA/NA, general fiction
Release Date: 27 January 2017
Publisher: Matador
Kerryl Shaw has always kept a diary, but this one is different because she knows she is going to die.
A highly infectious and incurable virus spreads worldwide. Seventeen-year-old Kerryl lives with her family on a remote farm. They think they will be safe, but the danger advances. One day a stranger arrives, and it soon becomes apparent that he has brought the plague to their door.
Kerryl is sure it’s only a matter of time before she catches the infection and dies, and decides to record what she thinks will be her final days. She realises that her diary will never be read, so she imagines a reader and calls him Adam. Loneliness and isolation affect the balance of her mind. Little by little Adam comes alive to her, and she sets off across the moor to meet him.
Buy Links
TROUBADOR - http://bit.ly/2ATT0wq

WATERSTONES - http://bit.ly/2jw1uFR

Buy direct from the author and get it signed! 

I found the premise for the story so intriguing and I couldn't wait to start reading. So what did I think, well the first thing I will mention is that it was very easy to get into the story. The chapters are short and to the point which I loved and there was a bit of information given to peak my interest making me wonder what actually happened.

There is the odd newspaper clipping interspersed within the story that start to shed some light on The Infection and I found those really interesting. I found the diary style way of telling the story really engaging it made things all the more personal. I'm a fan of dystopian stories and this was no disappointment I could feel the isolation that Kerryl feels as The Infection spreads. I'm trying to be pretty vague as the story is worth reading for yourself and I would hate to spoil the plot.

Kerryl is a great character and I instantly warmed to her, she is matter of fact making her so likeable for me. Phill Featherstone has written her very well, I loved how she talked about her life before everything happened telling the reader her dreams for the future. 


I got completely caught up in Paradise Girl and it ended up being quite an emotional read for me. Also making me think about the choices I would make in the same situation. The story is pretty compelling and I kept saying to myself just a couple more pages which turned into finishing this book in one go. I just had to know how everything would turn out.


Engaging and compelling!
Five stars!


With thanks to Brook Cottage Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.


       Introductions are boring, but unless I take time to explain things it will be confusing for you. Me first. Not very polite, I know, but it’s probably the best place to start.

       My name is Kerryl – or that’s what my family and friends call me. My proper name is Cheryl. Cheryl Alison Shaw. They call me the Paradise Girl. Don’t get excited – it sounds sexy but it’s not. I’m seventeen years old and still a virgin. I’m not a nun, I’ve been out with loads of boys – Tim, Mark (two of them), Nathan, Jake, Tristram, Steve – but I wasn’t that keen on any of them and they didn’t last. The exception was Mark II. He was older than me, fearsomely good looking and he had a nice car. I thought he was really hot.

When I wasn’t with him I was thinking about him. But it seems he wasn’t as keen as me, and one day my best friend, Josie, told me that he was going out with Monica Woodbridge and saying I was a frigid cow. It seems everybody knew I’d been dumped and I was the last to find out.

The worst thing was the shock. I thought Monica Woodbridge was my friend. As well as that, all the girls in our group had been going out with the same boys for a long time, but I seemed to keep a boyfriend for only a few weeks. Was there something wrong with me? To be honest, I’m not a great beauty. I don’t mean I’m a train wreck or anything. I’m not bad looking, but I’m not like Charlene Brooker or Suzy Simmonds. They’re electric, both of them. Charlene could be a model, and Suzy’s always surrounded by a gang of drooling boys.

They’re gone now: Charlene, Suzy, Josie, Monica, all of them.

       Sorry for the break there. I had to stop to have a little weep. I’ll try not to do too much of that. I suppose I can console myself with one thing: with everyone else dead, I must be the most beautiful girl in the world!
  

Phill Featherstone was born and brought up in the north of England. He trained as a teacher and taught English in comprehensive schools. In the late 1990s he and his wife, Sally, founded a publishing company specialising in education books for the early years. In 2008 the business was acquired by Bloomsbury, after which they moved to Yorkshire. He now spends his time writing, travelling, on the arts and on conservation work. Phill has degrees from Cambridge and Leicester Universities, and is a member of the Society of Authors. Paradise Girl is his third novel, although the first to be published.
Twitter: @PhillFeathers
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GIVEAWAY
2 signed copies of the book 

(open internationally)

Jungle Rock by Caroline James @CarolineJames12 #FirstBirthdayCelebration #Review #Giveaway #Extract @rararesources


I'm delighted to be taking part in the 1st Birthday Celebration for Jungle Rock by Caroline James. I have a lovely extract to share with you along with a great giveaway to enter. 

In December last year I reviewed Jungle Rock so I'm also happy to be re-sharing my review today.

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...





While celebrity chef Zach, struggles in the Jungle, ex-partner Poppy gets busy in Orlando…

The grand finale of the Epcot Food Festival was the closing event of what had been a memorable week for Poppy and her chefs. Now, as they stood by their work stations in a vast banqueting hall, Poppy felt her nerves take hold.

  The event they had been building up to was about to begin.

  In a few moments time, the doors would open and five hundred guests would flood through. The VIP diners had paid a staggering amount of money to get golden tickets which entitled them to sample taster portions of the signature dishes of forty of Europe’s finest chefs. At the end of the evening, the winning chef would be announced. It was an accolade that every chef wanted to display on his restaurant wall.

  Poppy glanced at Chef and his team and saw that they were busy with the final touches. Renowned for his global cuisine, Chef would prepare a ragout of brill with autumn truffle and bacon foam served on lemon oil. They’d been working all day in the Disney kitchen in preparation for the evening and as Poppy mentally counted the plates, stacked high on Chef’s station, she hoped and prayed that he would be up to the task and fill the plates swiftly with the winning dish. Her role was to meet, greet and guide guests to her client. Armed with information about Chef, from his London restaurant to his cookery books and the many ranges of culinary paraphernalia that he endorsed, Poppy had her work cut out.

  Suddenly, the bright lights overhead were dimmed and thousands of fairy lights twinkled from swathes of dark fabric lining the ceilings and walls. A Disney executive stepped forward and spoke into a mic.
  “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome - the Cirque du Soleil!”

  Acrobats appeared, spinning magically into the room, and a host of circus performers glided through the air across silver wires lacing the enchanting scene. Poppy was entranced. The colours were dazzling as dancers whirled into position.

  “Chefs, are you ready?”

  A hearty chorus shouted back, “Yes!”

  The doors at the end of the hall slid open to reveal five hundred expectant diners who cheered as they witnessed the magnificent sight. Forty food stations awaited, with tantalising tastes, wine-laden tables and entertainment of the highest standard from the world’s leading troupe. The guests stampeded forward and Poppy held her breath.

  “Let battle begin!”





In the summer of  2016 I read Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean & Me by Caroline James in that story we briefly meet Zach and Poppy so I was looking forward to carrying on reading their story in Jungle Rock.

I loved the fun premise for this story and I really hoped that Poppy and Zach would get their happy ending. Even though Jungle Rock is a novella the story didn't feel rushed and everything came together brilliantly. I enjoyed the parts in the jungle with Zach’s fellow campmates. Although at times I thought it was kind of a shame it wasn't a full story so I could read more about them.

When Poppy went to the Epcot Food Festival I had to smile. The last time I was in Florida we went to the World Showcase at Epcot and ate at some of the stalls during the Food Festival. I really liked Poppy and felt for her as she struggled to move on from Zach.

 All of the characters are well written but Jo and Hattie are a delight and it was lovely to catch up with them in this book. Even though Jungle Rock has characters from previous books by Caroline James it can still be read as a standalone.

Jungle Rock is an enjoyable and heart warming story! 

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Caroline James for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Also with thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the invite to join in with the celebration.




Caroline James has owned and run businesses encompassing all aspects of the hospitality industry – a subject that features in her novels. She is based in the UK and spends her time writing, climbing mountains and running a consultancy business. Caroline has a great fondness for the Caribbean and escapes to the islands whenever she can. She is a public speaker, reviewer and food writer and loves cooking and baking, especially cake. Her next novel, The Best Boomerville Hotel is coming soon…

Twitter:  @CarolineJames12     
Facebook:  Caroline James Author    

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 Giveaway – Win a £20 Amazon Voucher


Sign up to Caroline James’ mailing list to be entered into a draw to win a £20 Amazon voucher.  Giveaway open internationally and closes 30th November 2017. Winner will be announced by Caroline via email.




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