Blog tour & review: Winterscroft by Anita Waller.

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I was so excited when I heard that Bloodhound Books were publishing another book by Anita Waller. I had read and really enjoyed one of her previous books, 34 Days, and so I really wanted to read Winterscroft. As is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve previously read and enjoyed, I didn’t know anything about the book, only that it was by an author that I’ve previously enjoyed and published by a publisher that I trust to release good books.

My 4* review:

Having read and enjoyed the author’s previous book, 34 days, I was keen to read this one. I started it without knowing anything about the book, I hadn’t read the blurb, which is something that is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve read before. I quite like it that way, I have no expectations and can just enjoy the journey that the book will take me on.

I’m especially pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb for Winterscroft because if I had, I’m not sure that I would have read the book. I don’t believe in ghosts, or unsettled spirits coming back to seek revenge and so I expect that had I read the blurb I probably wouldn’t have read this book.

So I am pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb as I did enjoy this book. I did have to just go with the book and not think too much about how unbelievable it was. This was generally easy to do as it was such a good read, and I loved the characters. Lavender’s family were genuinely lovely, believable and interesting characters who I enjoyed reading about and spending time with.

The author writes well, weaving the story and sucking the reader into the lives of the characters within the book. I liked them, I wanted to read more about them and although I thought that it was all a little bit silly, I wanted to know what was going to happen. In fact, I was very frustrated when the book finished as I wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the family would move on from the events in the book. And, having finished the book, I have found myself thinking of them quite often and wondering how they’re doing. Definitely a sign of a good book and believable characters.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for my copy of Winterscroft by Anita Waller. All thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

When the beautiful Lavender is killed in a tragic car accident her family and fiancee Matt are left devastated. As the year’s pass and wounds begin to heal Matt, who has remained close to Lavenders family, meets Beth and falls in love again. When the happy couple announce their engagement it sparks a series of bizarre and disturbing events. Then when Matt and Beth make plans to wed at Lavenders family home, Winterscroft, the frightening truth becomes apparent. Lavender is back. And she is not happy. From the bestselling author of 34 Days comes a tale of love, death and revenge.

About the Author:

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Anita was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and has lived all her life there. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren ranging in age from 9 months to 21 years. Anita and Dave have been married almost 49 years!

She wrote Beautiful in 1985 and had it accepted for publication. They were the contract stage when the publishing house went into liquidation.

Like many another book it ended up in the loft until two years ago when she resurrected it, retyped all 100,000 words (it was orginally written on an Amstrad 8256 and all she had was a hard copy!) and sent it off to Bloodhound Books.

She is now retired from my life of being a Patchwork Tutor and HGV driver’s wife and concentrates on patchwork for the pleasure of it and writing. She started writing at around the age of 8 – she clearly remembers writing ‘novels’ at that age which were actually short stories split into chapters!

Anita’s genre is murder – but murder with a good reason behind it!

Winterscroft is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: The One by John Marrs.

 

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The One by John Marrs.

 

I was super excited to read The One by John Marrs, I had responded to a request on social media by John for someone to help him with some research for this book. I wanted to see what had ended up in the book but also to see my name in the acknowledgements. Very exciting. I had also heard loads of good things about The One from everyone who had read it. It was quickly bumped up my tbr pile, and boy I’m so glad that it was as I absolutely loved it.

My 5* review:

It isn’t often that I want to give a book more than 5 stars, but this book is one of them! I just loved reading this book, from the very start to finish it was enjoyable to read and interesting and thought provoking.

The story is told from the point of view of a decent number of characters, alternating with each chapter. At first, I found it difficult as I’m not very good at remembering character names when there are so many being introduced but I soon got into it and sucked into the story.

The premise is great, a quick and simple DNA test that will tell you, assuming that they have also been tested, The One, your soulmate and the person that sparks will fly when you meet. It sounds good, doesn’t it? But of course nothing is that simple.

Often when a book follows different people like this some of the stories are better than others, but in this case I found every character and storyline enjoyable, interesting and intriguing. Sure, I had my favourite, but they were all good and well told.

The author has done a great job weaving the story together and it really was a joy to read. I started off pretty sure that I would take the DNA test, but now I’m not so sure! And who knows, maybe one day such a test will exist. Actually, that is really quite a scary thought.

I received a copy of The One by John Marrs from Netgalley but was under no obligation to provide a review. All thoughts are my own.

The Blurb:

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

(Note: Previously published as A Thousand Small Explosions)

The One by John Marrs is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour: Q&A & Giveaway for Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour.

Q&A with Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction: Breaking Free from the Isolation of Emotional Abuse.

• When you first decided to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper?

I was on an awareness course about Domestic Abuse. Alongside me were about 8 other women who had been in abusive relationships. As the day progressed, I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of what the other women were saying was exactly what I had gone through but just in a different format. Domestic Abuse tends to go in a cycle (see photo below) and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. By the end of the course I had come to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone i.e. that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more serious.  On the other hand I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable and is not their fault, it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

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  • How long did that first manuscript take to perfect?

I spent 18 months writing and collating my own personal notes. Most of the time was spent on getting the two tenses correct within the 2 narratives. Then I kept rereading the script as it was important that it flowed and that the message was clear and wasn’t confused.

  • How did you get it in front of publishers?

I am yet to approach publishers as I am self published.  I decided to self publish because I wanted to start to get the message out there. I have had interest but it is finding the right publishers for the novel and more specifically to find a publisher where my work fits into their portfolio as it is fiction.  The novel does include sensitive material which could be emotional for some people.  I have, however, woven through the romance and some comedic moments in the book to try and make it a more entertaining read despite its serious message.

  • What was the first reaction of people?

Those who had no idea what emotional abuse looks like felt an understanding and many have remarked that they can now see the kind of behaviour that is not acceptable. Some took it a step further after reading the book by researching further to learn more about domestic abuse.  Lots of people simply asked how the abusers get away with the behaviour.  Writing and publishing this book is a huge success for me because it means I am educating people (who might not read a text book) about this insidious behaviour.

Survivors who have read my book have supported it wholeheartedly and can relate to the book. Some found it hard to read the book as it had echoes of their own experiences but expressed pleasure at having read it and gained emotional support from it. I have had a lot of conversations following on from this and it almost feels like the taboo has lifted in the sense that people have spoken about their experience with me and have gladly shared posts from my page. This was also hugely important to me because I feel I am speaking as an advocate on behalf of both survivors and victims.

  • What input did you have on the cover? Font? Etc. …

As a self published author I got to choose the cover. I actually had a vision and my designer really did a fantastic job in captured my vision of what I wanted.  A lot of people have said how eye catching the cover is and that it enticed them to learn more.

  • If you could do it all again, what would you change?

I wouldn’t give myself such tight deadlines although I felt I needed them at the time to focus myself. If I had had the time I would have got beta readers to read and give feedback so I could have done a bit more tweaking, but that’s just me as a perfectionist.

Enter to win! Winners will be chosen at random by the Rafflecopter generator on Monday 20th February. One prize of a signed paperback and one prize of an Ebook version of Isolation Junction.

 Winners will be contacted by email by Emma Mitchell and will have three days to respond, if you don’t respond by 8 p.m. on Wednesday 22nd then a new winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb:

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

About the author:

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Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with three children. I am an entrepreneur, running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership of other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing 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. I hope that in reading my debut novel, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

 

Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Review: Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

 

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Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

 

My 4* review:

I have to say that I was very intrigued by the blurb of this book. The idea that your six year old son goes missing, assumed drowned, but then returns from the dead ten years later only a few miles from home, his body telling a horrific story of what he had been through during the last ten years, but his voice appears to have gone, he does not utter a single word, he cannot tell you where he has been or who had taken him.

Emma is the mother of Aiden, the boy who went missing, during the last ten years she has been to hell and back. Her life fell apart but she managed to put herself back together with the help of Jake, her new husband and father to the baby that is growing in her belly. While Emma is overjoyed that Aiden has been found and is back home she is wracked with guilt and suspicion, as Aiden was found so close to home she suspects almost everyone she knows in the small village that she lives in, did they take Aiden?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Silent Child, it’s a great book and will no doubt keep you guessing right to the end. I did feel that the book lost its way a bit in the middle, there was a good chunk where the book pretty much went round in circles, but once it got going again the book did not disappoint.

I read a lot of books, it is easy for me to finish a book and move on to the next one, but this book has stayed with me. I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about Emma, but mainly about Aiden, somehow he got under my skin and a little bit of him has stayed there. He feels very real somehow.

Thank you to TBC for a copy of Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil.

Blurb:

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…

… until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken.

As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.

This dark and disturbing psychological novel will appeal to fans of The Widow and The Butterfly Garden.

 

Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour & Review: No Safe Home by Tara Lyons.

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My 4* review:

I have to admit that I haven’t read the first book in the DI Hamilton series, In The Shadows, but I don’t feel that this mattered. I quickly got into this book and its characters. I have read The Caller which Tara Lyons co-wrote with M.A. Comley which I really enjoyed (and am still waiting for the next in the series, nudge nudge), so I was keen to read more by the author.

As a single parent, I think that the premise of No Safe Home got under my skin, my home is my sanctuary and the thought of someone coming in and hurting myself and/or my children is frankly horrifying.

The story of No Safe Home focuses on Katy, a single mother whose home is no longer her safe place. Thankfully she fought off her attacker but now she needs to face her past and learn to trust others in order to save herself and her son.

I really liked the characters in this book, the investigation team trying to help Katy and solve the horrific murders were all interesting and the newcomer, Rocky, particularly so. I hope to read more about him in the future as I think that he’s a great character. DI Hamilton, as leader of the team he showed us why he is the leader, but that he also had his Achilles heel, something that makes him feel more human and interesting.

The author writes well, creating believable characters and an engaging storyline. I will for sure be reading In The Shadows and look forward to reading more from Tara Lyons. Definitely an author to look out for.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for a copy of No Safe Home by Tara Lyons.

Blurb:

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.

In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.

A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it? But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…

London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.

 

No Safe Home by Tara Lyons is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour & Review: The Watcher by Netta Newbound.

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My 5* review:

If you have read any of Netta Newbound’s books then you will know that she is a master at writing a gripping and tense read. This book certainly doesn’t let the side down! In fact, I think that she surpassed herself with The Watcher.

Hannah is a really likeable character, she loves her parents and is great at her job but when she gets an amazing opportunity she takes a chance and moves away from the small, quiet village that she grew up in and heads off to start a new job in Manchester. She settles in quickly and makes friends with her neighbours, she loves her new job and when she starts falling for her boss she can’t believe that he feels the same way about her. Life seems pretty much perfect.

Of course, things are never that simple. Unknown to her, Hannah has attracted the attention of someone else, someone who is determined that she will be his and he will stop at nothing to get her.

Soon, Hannah finds her life changing. One of her flatmates is murdered and Hannah is sure that someone has been moving her stuff, even in her own home. She doesn’t know what is going on but feels uneasy. I found this part of the book so tense, I could feel my body reacting to what I was reading and I am sure that there were many parts that I didn’t breath at all and I stayed up far too late reading The Watcher, desperate to know what was going to happen.

The author also has a way with words, she is able to describe things in an incredibly visual way, this can make her books quite gruesome which is something that doesn’t bother me, but I know some struggle with. Don’t let that put you off, you’d be missing out on a great read if you did, and I’m sure that you can skim over the bits that you want to.

I really like how we, the readers, know who the baddie is from the start. This helps build the tension as we read about Hannah interacting with him without knowing who he really is. It’s a bit like the movies where you want to shout ‘he’s behind you’ at the character who was totally oblivious to the danger!

I really enjoyed reading The Watcher, it is well written with great characters and the coldness of the baddie is chilling. I have little doubt that if you read this book you will be wanting to read the authors other books.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for my copy of The Watcher by Netta Newbound.

The Blurb:

Life couldn’t get much better for Hannah. She accepts her dream job in Manchester, and easily makes friends with her new neighbours.

When she becomes romantically involved with her boss, she can’t believe her luck. But things are about to take a grisly turn.

As her colleagues and neighbours are killed off one by one, Hannah’s idyllic life starts to fall apart. But when her mother becomes the next victim, the connection to Hannah is all too real.

Who is watching her every move?

Will the police discover the real killer in time?

Hannah is about to learn that appearances can be deceptive.

The Watcher is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.