Book review for Crooked Daylight by Helen Slavin

Book review for Crooked Daylight by Helen Slavin

My final book review of the year is Crooked Daylight by Helen Slavin and takes the number of books I have read for my reading challenge to 84 . When I set my target of 52 I was unsure if it would be reached but despite focusing on other things, such as writing, I did it. There were so many wonderful books released this year I had to keep reading and being a member of online book groups always increases the TBR list.

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Book review for Crooked Daylight by Helen Slavin

Crooked Daylight

Crooked Daylight by Helen Slavin

Title: Crooked Daylight

Author: Helen Slavin

Genre: Paranormal, suspense

Publisher: Agora Books

Release Date: 8th Oct 2017

Blurb

The Way sisters, Anna, Charlie and Emz, were raised in two worlds. Their mother’s realm of reason, measurement and logic, and the world inhabited by their spectacularly unconventional grandmother, Hettie.

While their mother worked, the sisters ran wild at Hettie’s Cob Cottage, discovering forbidden Pike Lake, unknowable Havoc Wood, and what their grandmother referred to only as ‘The Strengths’.

But time passed, the sisters grew up, work and relationships and their mother’s world won them over, and The Strengths lay forgotten…

That is until Hettie passes away suddenly, leaving behind Cob Cottage and a whole lot of questions.

Anna is busy trying very hard not to cry as she caters yet another wedding, Charlie is spending more time at the job she loves than with the boyfriend she’s not quite sure about and Emz is dreaming up new ways to avoid school and the drama that comes with it, but can they deal with strange guests, unexpected danger and some long-forgotten memories?

My Thoughts

I was recommended this series by Mai Taylor of Mai’s Musings. If she says I will like it I know I am in for a treat. Through her, I discovered the delightful The Toymaker and colourful Caravel.

From the start with the description of their grandmother’s funeral it was clear the Way sisters do not follow the rules. They are great characters with different problems to overcome while they adapt to life without their beloved Grandmother Hettie and I loved the close bond between them. It was a joy to read the emergence of their talents with imaginative descriptions of their magic.

The setting of Cob House and the lake which is central to the story is beautiful with an eerie dangerous edge. It was easy to visualise the woods and the blackness of the lake. I could feel the pull it had on the sisters and their guest Serin Lake; I wanted to swim in it and feel the coolness despite the dangers.

This story is about relationships between sisters, grief and the supernatural with a malevolent theme throughout. There are deliciously dark moments with the action and suspense led me further into the story and kept me up past bedtime.

Helen Slavin has created a world I need to revisit to discover where the loose threads lead and where side characters fit in with the bigger picture. I can’t wait to read more.

Would I recommend?

This book lured me in within pages and kept captivated throughout. The pace quickens in the second part making it impossible to put down and left me wanting more. Luckily, the second in the series is on my Kindle waiting to be one of the first books to read in 2019. If you love tales of the paranormal and suspense give this ago.

 

Thank you for following my blog this year and I hope you all have a good 2019 with plenty of good books.

Thank you

Thank you *

Happy reading!

Love

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Book Review for The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

I stumbled upon this book on Twitter. People were raving about the laughs it induced and with recommendations from my favourite authors I needed to give it ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was available on NetGalley and thrilled to receive it. Scroll down to read my unbiased, honest opinion.

Book Review: The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

The List that Changed My Life cover

The List that changed my life by Olivia Beirne

Title: The List That Changed My Life

Author: Olivia Beirne

Publisher: Headline

Genre: Romance

Release date: 22nd November 2018

Blurb

Sometimes all you need is a little push…

‘One of the most hilarious books I have read for a very long time. Olivia writes with great warmth and wit – a fantastically funny debut.’ Emma Cooper, author of The Songs of Us

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Katie Marsh and Marian Keyes, Olivia Beirne’s The List That Changed My Life takes its readers on an hilarious and heart-warming journey of a lifetime, showing us what it means to really be alive.

Georgia loves wine, reality TV and sitting on the sofa after work. She does not love heights, looking at her bank account, going on dates, or activities that involve a sports bra. And she will never, ever take a risk.

That is, until her braver, bolder, big sister finds out that she won’t be able to tick off the things she wanted to do before turning thirty, and turns to Georgia to help her finish her list.

With the birthday just months away, Georgia suddenly has a deadline to learn to grab life with both hands. Could she be brave enough to take the leap, for her sister?

And how might her own life change if she did?

My thoughts

I started to read this late Christmas Eve and was hooked. Luckily, I had a quiet Christmas and  could read between the pressie openings, munching of mince pies and dinner when everyone was distracted. This is a heart-warming, uplifting book which I needed to read and was the perfect antidote for the overindulgence of festive reading. Believe me, like mince pies with Baileys cream there comes a point when your mind says no more Christmas storylines.

Georgia is an every day 26 year old facing the daily battles with her job, rent and dating until she steps out of her comfort zone to complete her sister’s list. I could relate to her in every way so when faced with the challenges I cringed, laughed and cheered with her. Her observations and inner dialogue are accurate and funny. Though she sees Amy as the more confident, pretty and mature sister their closeness shines through. This is a story about the bond between sisters which gets stretched in difficult times.

I was intrigued to see how M.S would be conveyed but Olivia Beirne tackled Amy’s diagnosis sensitively and it was nice to see how illness affects not only the person with it but those around them. The only other book I have read with M.S central to the plot was The Breakdown Lane by Jacqueline Mitchard which traumatised me when I was facing similar neurological tests. The List That Changed My Life shows the devastation of the disease and how everyone has to adapt but it is full of fun, laughs and warmth so I came away from the book feeling positive and upbeat. It also inspired me to be more involved with charities who work tirelessly to support those in need.

Would I recommend?

Olivia Beirne has written a wonderful strong debut full of emotion and humour.  Now is the perfect time to read it as we hurtle to the end of this year and make our own lists for the upcoming one. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Thank you NetGalley and Headline for the opportunity to read this book.

Happy reading and wish you a brilliant New Year!

P.S What are you looking forward to reading next year? Let me know in the comments below.

Kindle Sale: Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour

The statistics for domestic abuse are startling with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men affected.  Christmas can be a difficult time of the year for many, heightened risk for domestic abuse victims and calls increasing to the police over the festive period. This is why Jennifer Gilmour is offering her Kindle book Clipped Wings FREE today, bringing awareness to domestic abuse through the 25 survivor stories.

Jennifer works tirelessly as an advocate for domestic abuse survivors and is the author of Isolation Junction. She popped over to this blog  earlier this year and can be found here

 

clipped wings

Title: Clipped Wings

Author: Jennifer Gilmour

Release Date: 30th Oct 2017

Blurb

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from your friends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

About the author:

Jennifer GilmourBorn in the north-east, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

 From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel Isolation Junction. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

Since the publication of her debut novel, Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

 Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that Clipped Wings give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

Check out her blog and other social media:

Website; www.jennifergilmour.com

 Facebook; www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

 Twitter; www.twitter.com/JenLGilmour

 Clipped Wings on Amazon UK; https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076KNZJZQ

Clipped Wings on Amazon USA; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076KNZJZQ

 Goodreads author profile; https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour

 Clipped Wings on Goodreads; https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36449221-clipped-wings

 Huffington post blogger profile; http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/author/jennifer-gilmour

Domestic abuse is common and you will know someone affected so please share the offer  and info. You may just make a big difference to someone’s live  as together survivors are stronger.

Love

Book Review: Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye

Christmas is not Christmas without reading or watching A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The Muppets version starring Michael Caine is traditionally watched on Christmas Eve by the whole family but other versions are watched too throughout the month. On 1st December, I take my illustrated version of the tale off my forever shelf for its annual read. This well-known story is perfect for Christmas with its cruel villain, lessons on love and redemption as well as its powerful festive imagery. So I jumped with glee when I was offered the chance to read the prequel Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol.

Miss Marley

Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol

Title: Miss Marley: A Christmas Ghost Story – a prequel to A Christmas Carol

Author: Vanessa Lafaye

Genre: Festive, general fiction

Publisher: HQ

Release date: 1st Nov 2018

Blurb

Before A Christmas Carol there was… Miss Marley

A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

In Miss Marley, Vanessa Lafaye weaves a spellbinding Dickensian tale of ghosts, goodwill and hope – a perfect prequel to A Christmas Carol.

My Thoughts

The beautiful red cover with gold lettering is attractive and oozes Christmas spirit. It was a joy to hold it in my hands adding to my excitement to reading it. I was concerned it would not live up to my expectations after all it is aspiring to be like to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol but I did not need to have worried this book is a wonderful delight. It captures the soul of the original, the language and grittiness of Dickensian life. Her words provoke powerful, colourful imagery as the original did; I was immersed in the stench of poverty at times and in heaven with the aroma of fresh loose leaf tea in their chests. I could hear the swish of the women’s long skirts and would be happy to gaze in the toy shop window for hours. The characters are vivid and I could not help connect with the strong, smart and caring Miss Clara Belle Marley as she tells the story of her life with her protective brother, Jacob and her meeting with Ebeneezer Scrooge.

It is emotional, and I never expected I would hate another fictional villain as much as Scrooge but I do now.

Talented Rebecca Mascull completed the manuscript after Vanessa Lafaye’s death and it is a seamless blend of writing. Unless I had read the postscript, I would never have known. It was written after a conversation about the setting up of A Christmas Carol Appreciation Society. If it ever exists, I like many would love to join -please.

This small novella is on my forever shelf and will become part of my Christmas tradition to read every Advent along with the A Christmas Carol. It gives a warm feeling in my heart with its timeless magic. The only way it could be improved is a glorious illustrated version to be enjoyed and sit with my illustrated A Christmas Carol.

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A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Thank you Harper Collins Publishers for my copy so I could give my honest, unbiased opinion. I will treasure it.

If you are only reading one Christmas book read this. If I could, I would become a book fairy and bundle it in a festive bow and leave in unexpected places to spread the Christmas cheer.

Do you have a book you turn to every year? Let me know in the comments below.

Merry Christmas! Happy reading

Love

Duvet Dwellers Books Name Change and Other News.

For those who have followed this blog for a while you may have noticed a change. With the arrival of Flamingo Paperie cards I have decided to evolve; same blog with the main focus being on my love of books but I will add a smattering of posts about life with dystonia and of course, my love of cards. It is now called From Under the Duvet – Books, Cards and a Wobbly Life. The web address will also change when I figure out how to transfer my domain without spending a fortune and will be fromundertheduvet.co.uk

Dystonia is the main reason I spend more time dwelling under the duvet reading than I should so without it this blog would never have started. Dystonia is a common neurological disorder yet it is hardly spoken about leading to under diagnosis, misdiagnosis and loneliness for those with the condition. Awareness is key to funding support and research so I want to do my bit to help. I was diagnosed with my rare form of dystonia – DRD dopa responsive dystonia – after I stumbled on a blog showing a video of a man with the same symptoms as me. Blogs can make a difference and if this helps one person, I will be happy.

Cards for Christmas

It is getting closer to Christmas so those wishing to buy any cards, gift wrap or accessories from Cards From Under the Duvet the last date for delivery before Christmas is 17th December. Delivery is free until 31st December and a donation from all sales will be made to The Dystonia Society.

Giveaway Winner

The winner of The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan is Lil_Mixie on Instragram.

Congratulations!

I hope you will continue to follow me on my new venture and make 2019 a good one.

Happy Reading!

Love

Book review: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe

I love this time of year. There is nothing quite like reading a festive book surrounded by Christmas decorations so I was excited to be invited to take part in this tour for Helen J Rolfe’s novel Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin. Grab a hot chocolate, tea or coffee and scroll down for my review.

Book Review: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe

Christmas miracles for amazon and websites etc

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Title: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Author: Helen J Rolfe

Genre: Romance

Blurb

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

My Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by Helen J, Rolfe but her others are now firmly on my TBR list. Reading this novel it was obvious it is part of a series but this does not detract from the enjoyment and it can be happily read as a standalone. As with all series, if you have read the others you would probably have an added element to it.

I was instantly transported into Holly’s life as she leaves the comfort of a secure well paid job to become freelance photographer. I loved her natural flair, determination to succeed the balance work and passion for something she loves, and morals. Her time is split between the bright lights and festivities of Manhattan and the calmer, idyllic town of Inglenook Falls and of course, the little log cabin. It has a festive setting for everyone and are all special in their own way.

The hunky man in the woods, Mitch, has a story I was eager to discover and had to keep reading to find out more. With his log cabin and a sprinkle of snow this book has a festive feel throughout that increases as it continues. My enjoyment rose when as the story developed and by the end, I was ready to celebrate the big day with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

Would I recommend?

This is a delightful feel good book – perfect to read in the twinkle of Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate when you need to escape from the hectic activity this season can bring.

Author Biography

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

Thanks again Rachel Random Resources for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

What are you reading over the Christmas period? Have you read this series? Let me know your thoughts below.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour and book review: A Hollow Sky by M.Sean Coleman

Book Review: A Hollow Sky by M.Sean Coleman

 

A_Hollow_Sky_eBookCover_NEW

Title: A Hollow Sky

Author: M.Sean Coleman

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Genre: Mystery and suspense

Release Date: 21st November 2018

Blurb

A SUSPENSEFUL, ATMOSPHERIC THRILLER.

Jane Hewitt had been miraculously healed—cured of a terminal cancer that had been eating away at her body for months. After one meeting with an incredible young woman, Jane rose from her wheelchair and walked out, believing that her lifetime of devoted faith had been rewarded.

The next day, Jane died in her husband’s arms, devastated that her God had deserted her. Her husband, Ian, blames her hastened death on the faith healer she visited. But that faith healer is a teenage girl called Megan, who has been in a coma for five years, and has no say over how her gift is used.

When Ian is arrested after being accused of breaking in to Megan’s house and trying to tamper with her life support, he turns to the only person he knows can help clear his name, and stop this family deceiving any other victims—Dr Alex Ripley, the so called Miracle Detective.

Fascinated by Megan’s case, and needing a distraction, Ripley finds herself on Holy Island, off the coast of North Wales, caught up in an investigation that will prove more sinister and dangerous than she could have imagined. Ian is not the first person to complain about Megan and her supporters, but he seems to be the only one left alive. For now.

A Hollow Sky is the second Alex Ripley Mystery

Purchase Link

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

US – https://www.amazon.com/Hollow-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-Book-ebook/dp/B07H9DTFM8

Direct from Red Dog Presshttps://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

My Thoughts

The first book in the series, The Cuckoo Wood was an ideal spooky story for Halloween and this book begins soon after on 1st December so reading it now was perfect timing. When it is grey and gloomy in the book, it matches the weather outside.

Dr Alex Ripley is still living with the aftermath of the previous case when another case arises and she is drawn to investigate. She travels to North Wales where a teenager is known to be performing miracles but all may not be as it seems. The premise of investigating miracles is a different take on a crime, suspense novel and the balance of Dr Alex Ripley cynicism is perfect — she wants the truth and does not readily accept a miracle has happened but she does not disregard the possibility either. She wants the truth and answers. The more I learn about her the more I love her strength, focus and stubbornness even when she is faced with danger or barriers. In this case, more of her backstory is revealed and the relationship with her husband, enticing me to read more of the series when published. I need to know what happens next.

M. Sean Coleman’s talent for creating an eerie atmosphere shines through again in the description of the bleak setting of the coastal village. I enjoy the quick pace of his books, there is no waffle. This immediately immersed me into the story making it easy read in one sitting because I kept reading just one more chapter. The menace he portrayed led me to be unsure who to trust  as the story unfolds; the possibility of danger lurks on every page and I would never have guessed the climax at the end.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a highly enjoyable, thrilling read for a cold winter’s night. This series is one to watch.

Author Biography

A Hollow Sky MSeanColeman_AuthorPhoto_HiRes

M.Sean Coleman

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links 

www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Giveaway

Giveaway Prize.jpg

I am pleased to share an opportunity to win paperback copies of The Cuckoo Wood and A Hollow Sky, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

Enter here

If you would like to find out more about M.Sean Coleman, why not visit the other blogs on his tour? The details are below.

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this tour and the opportunity to read an advanced copy of A Hollow Sky.

Happy reading and good luck.

 

*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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

A Hollow Sky Full Tour Banner

 

Book Review: The Cuckoo Woods by M. Sean Coleman

It’s November and the nights are drawing in, making it ideal to curl up and read. The Cuckoo Wood by M. Sean Coleman is the first book in the Alex Ripley series and thank you @rararesources and @mseancoleman for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and read this novel.

Book Review: The Cuckoo Wood by M. Sean Coleman

 

The Cuckoo Wood

The Cuckoo Wood by M.Sean Coleman

Title: The Cuckoo Wood

Author: M. Sean Coleman

Publisher: Red Dog

Genre: Mystery and suspense

Release Date: 24th July 2018

Blurb

A THRILLING, MELODICALLY CREEPY MYSTERY.

Samantha Jaynes took her life in the cold lake. Now Rosie Trimble has done the same. Both claimed they had seen an angel. And they’re not the only ones.

A spate of teenage suicides rattles the rural community of Kirkdale, in England’s Lake District. Before they died, each of the girls talked about seeing an angel. Is this collective hallucination, or is something more sinister leading these young girls to their deaths?

That’s a question for Dr Alex Ripley, the so-called Miracle Detective. Brought in to help the police, she finds a community rooted in fear and suspicion, bound by their strange faith, unwilling to help, unable to forgive.

Because the people of Kirkdale have buried their dark past once, and they’re not about to let Ripley dig it up again.

The Cuckoo Wood is the first Alex Ripley Mystery series

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cuckoo-Wood-Alex-Ripley-Mystery/dp/1916426212

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Cuckoo-Wood-Alex-Ripley-Mystery-ebook/dp/B07FWGJDHR

Direct from Red Dog Press – https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/shop

My thoughts

My first thought reading this was wishing I had read it over Halloween; it has a spooky, eerie feeling perfect to that time of year. It has everything you would associate with a classic ghost story – creepy woods, malevolent atmosphere, an isolated village closing ranks against an outsider and a mystery spanning decades.

The premise of someone investigating crimes linked to the paranormal grabbed my attention and it did not falter until the last page. This novel kept me guessing whether the suicides were caused by human activity or mystical. The village is full of personalities with secrets it was hard to know who to trust as they are strongly controlled by the small devout church. This suspicion and the unnerving world M. Sean Coleman has created made me turn the pages longer after bedtime.

The Miracle Detective , Dr Alex Ripley is a strong, realistic protagonist and I am pleased this is part of a series not a standalone,  I want to read more about her past and discover other cases.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I can’t wait to read more so am pleased I have another of the series on my TBR pile – watch this space. This is an author I am looking forward to follow.

Author Biography

The Cuckoo - MSeanColeman_AuthorPhoto_HiRes

Author: M. Sean Coleman

Born in the UK and raised in South Africa, M. Sean Coleman developed a love for reading and writing novels in his early teens, thanks to two incredibly passionate English teachers who infected him with their love of words and stories. Over the intervening years, he has written film and television drama, cross-platform series, an interactive children’s storybook and a graphic novel series.
He finally found his niche as a thriller writer when he was asked to write a novel as part of the cross-platform project, Netwars. His first book, The Code, was published six months later, with the sequel, Down Time, hot on its heels. There was no going back.
He is obsessed with crime, mystery and thriller stories, especially those with a fresh or surprising angle. He writes novels from his home in The Cotswolds, where he lives with his husband and their three red dogs.

Social Media Links –

www.facebook.com/mseancoleman.author

www.twitter.com/mseancoleman

Giveaway

I am pleased to share a giveaway to win paperback copy of The Cuckoo Wood, a cool tote bag with book quote from the publisher, a branded bookmark and some chocolates (Open INT)

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494156/?

Thanks again to @rararesources

Why not catch up with other reviews and chat about The Cuckoo Wood on blogs also in the tour.

Good luck and happy reading!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

It is nearly Halloween; my favourite time of year to read books with a spooky edge so I am pleased to share my review for And No Birds Will Sing as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.

Book Review: And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark

 

Final cover ANBSS

And No Birds Will Sing by E.A Clark Book Cover

 

Title: And No Birds Will Sing

Author: E.A Clark

Genre: Horror, Suspense, Paranormal

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Release date:  3rd September 2018

Blurb

Not all spirits rest in peace…

Following a personal tragedy, a recovering Grace Clements relocates with her husband and daughter to an old cottage in idyllic rural Oxfordshire. As the family integrate into the seemingly benign local community, they learn unsettling facts about the cottage’s dark past. Grace quickly becomes uncomfortably aware of a menacing presence within their new home.

Stumbling upon a neglected cemetery, Grace and her daughter discover the graves of the house’s previous inhabitants, including those of nine babies. Dismayed to find herself pregnant, Grace suspects she has awoken something truly evil in her new residence. She develops a creeping sense of unease as she unravels the disturbing truth about the history of the cottage and the fate of its occupants.

Who is the sinister boy watching Grace and her family? Are there malevolent forces at work? Or is the mentally fragile Grace heading for another breakdown?

A spellbinding paranormal thriller from the best-selling author of Lay Me To Rest. You may want to keep the lights on…

Purchase Links

UK https://amzn.to/2Mvmbey

US https://amzn.to/2noxGJO

https://www.crookedcatbooks.com/product/and-no-birds-shall-sing/

My Thoughts

Within the first few pages, I questioned my wisdom of reading this book at night before I went to sleep. I instantly felt the tension and unease radiating from the cottage in the woods. This well-written novel has all the classic elements of a good ghost story – a rundown house with a back story the villagers are wary to discuss, a family wanting a new start and chilling episodes of hauntings which send shivers down your spine. It is made better by being on the right side of realism. The events are believable. Caught by E.A. Clarke’s imagery, I found myself emerged in the story. Emotionally attached to Grace as she struggled to deal with her grief alongside the hauntings and Cassie with her guide dog Jet, my fear was heightened. I was  trapped between wanting to find out more and wanting to put the book down because I was scared for the characters in peril. I tentatively turned the pages until the end.

Would I recommend?

Yes. This eerie book is perfect for a Halloween read.

Author Bio

Crooked Cat Photo

E.A Clark Author

Elizabeth Clark was born and raised in the Midlands, where she continues to live with her husband and son, plus an assortment of pets. Much of her formative existence was spent with her head in a book, and from an early age, she grew to relish the sheer escapism afforded by both reading and writing fiction. Putting things on hold for a time to raise her three children, she has resumed her fervent scribbling.

She has a love of antiquity and a penchant for visiting old graveyards, often speculating on the demise of those entombed beneath. Whilst she has written short stories and poetry for many years, a lifelong fascination with all things paranormal culminated in her first novel for adults, ‘Lay Me to Rest’, published in September 2017 by HQ Digital.

‘And No Birds Shall Sing’, to be published by Crooked Cat in October 2018, is her second foray into the realms of the supernatural.

Social Media Links 

Twitter handle –  @EAClarkAuthor ;

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.clark.779857

Goodreads – E.A. Clark – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17100457.E_A_Clark

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/e-a-clark

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to review this book. Why not visit the blogs below for further reviews and info on the book and author.

Happy reading!

 

And No Birds Shall Sing Full Tour Banner

Blog Tour and Book Review: Finding Rose by Julie Ryan

Book Review for Finding Rose by Julie Ryan

v1

Title: Finding Rose

Author: Julie Ryan

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical

Release Date: 22nd October 2018

Purchase Links:

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Rose-Julie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B07GZZPYQX

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/Finding-Rose-Julie-Ryan-ebook/dp/B07GZZPYQX

Blurb

When three sisters, Ginny, Sally and Molly are brought together at their father’s hospital bed, they are forced to confront not only the prospect of a future without him but also the secrets of the past that have kept them apart.

Their father, Eddie Matthews, drugged up on morphine, seems to be rambling but could he in fact be reliving previous lives as a Tudor monk and as a soldier on the Front in WW1. Struggling to speak he reveals that he has a secret and urges his daughters to ‘Find Rose’. Can the sisters put aside their differences to fulfil his last wish?

My Thoughts

The possibility of the novel involving past lives caught my eye. It is a topic I am intrigued by so I was eager to read it when I was given the opportunity to join in a blog tour. I was not disappointed. From the beginning I was drawn into the all the three stories – the present with the sisters coping with their father’s declining health and their complex relationships, the lives of those in 16th century and the horrors of World War One – making me read chapter after chapter. I cared for all the characters in the different timelines and was eager to know the answers to the mysteries the novel revealed as the sister’s dug into their father’s past. Unlike some books with a historical fiction slant it is not a heavy read bogged down with detail but it keeps the magic of the genre. There were moments I will always remember and facts from the past I never knew. It is a beautiful, heartfelt tale of love, acceptance and reflection.

The subjects touched by the book would make it a perfect book for discussions in book clubs.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you enjoy historical fiction blended with the present or want to try something different.
I am looking forward to reading more by this talented author.

Author Bio

Julie was born and brought up in a mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. She graduated with a BA (hons) in French Language and Literature from Hull University. Since then she has lived and worked as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in France, Greece, Poland and Thailand. She now lives in rural Gloucestershire with her husband, son and a rescue cat. She is so passionate about books that her collection is now threatening to outgrow her house, much to her husband’s annoyance, as she can’t bear to get rid of any! They have been attempting to renovate their home for the last ten years.

She is the author of the Greek Island Mystery series, Jenna’s Journey, Sophia’s Secret and Pandora’s Prophecy, each of which can be read as a standalone. Her latest book, Finding Rose, is a new departure for her as it is set against the backdrop of WW1 and has a strong link to the Tudor Court.

Social Media Links

I am pleased to share the chance to win a £10 Amazon Voucher in a giveaway (UK Only)*

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494150/?

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this wonderful book.

Good luck and happy reading!

*Terms and Conditions –UK 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 I reserve 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 I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.