4*, blog tours, book review, debut author

#BlogTour #BookReview Amazing Grace by Kim Nash. @KimTheBookworm @HeraBooks @rararesources


Wow, I love it when a book blogger I know gets a book deal! Kim Nash of the fabulous blog Kim The Bookworm and works as Publicity and Social Media Manager at one of my favourite publishers, Bookouture. So I was very excited to read Kim’s debut novel, it isn’t a genre that I normally read but I was more than happy to make an exception.

I received a copy of Amazing Grace by Kim Nash from the publisher, Hera Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own. Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to be part of the blog tour.

My Review:

Well, where do I start? I don’t read a lot of rom-com or romance or comedy or anything else that can be called light and fluffy. So perhaps I’m not the target audience for Amazing Grace by Kim but I was very excited to read it.

Grace is a character that I could relate to in many ways. She’s a single mother with a boy called Archie, her ex husband is a manipulating, cheating b*&%!*d. Grace’s self esteem is pretty low, all she wants is the best for her son but she constantly doubts herself.

She has a best friend who tries to help her get back on her feet after her divorce, getting her to pay attention to what she’s wearing and dragging her to the hairdresser. This friend also joins her up to a dating app and organises a few dates her her which are all rather disastrous. I’m not sure that I’d ever forgive my friend for setting me up with the men she found though, talk about disastrous! And also rather hilarious.

But then enters Vinnie, gardener extraordinaire who happens to be rather handsome and single. Grace is full of doubt, perhaps Vinnie is too good to be true, or maybe she should go back to the useless ex? But gradually Grace is able to let her defences down and trust herself to do the right thing.

I really loved Grace as a character, she’d been through a lot but she was still fighting and trying to make the best life she can for herself and her son. She was such a believable and likeable character and I loved reading about her as she slowly grew in confidence and reaped the rewards of her hard work.

Grace is also grieving the death of her mother, and her mother is a big part of the story as she regularly talks to Grace. This was the one bit that I wasn’t really sure about, but it worked well in the book and helped to give Grace the strength to keep going and do the best she can do.

Amazing Grace is an excellent debut novel, Kim Nash has created some wonderful characters who are believable and warm, people that you can imagine being your friends. The book was easy to read, it made me laugh and I probably spent a lot of the time reading it smiling, I’m sure that it will bring a tear or two to many as well.

I enjoyed my break from thrillers and crime books and I am looking forward to reading more from the author.

Blurb:


She’s taking her life back, one step at a time…

Grace thought she had it all. Living in the beautiful village of Little Ollington, along with head teacher husband Mark and gorgeous son, Archie, she devoted herself to being the perfect mum and the perfect wife, her little family giving her everything she ever wanted. 

Until that fateful day when she walked in on Mark kissing his secretary – and her perfect life fell apart.


Now she’s a single mum to Archie, trying to find her way in life and keep things together for his sake. Saturday nights consist of a Chinese takeaway eaten in front of the TV clad in greying pyjamas, and she can’t remember the last time she had a kiss from anyone aside from her dog, Becks… 

Grace’s life needs a shake up – fast. So when gorgeous gardener Vinnie turns up on her doorstep, his twinkling eyes suggesting that he might be interested in more than just her conifers, she might just have found the answer to her prayers. But as Grace falls deeper for Vinnie, ten-year-old Archie fears that his mum finding love means she’ll never reconcile with the dad he loves. 

So when ex-husband Mark begs her for another chance, telling her he’s changed from the man that broke her heart, Grace finds herself with an impossible dilemma. Should she take back Mark and reunite the family that Archie loves? Or risk it all for a new chance of happiness? 

A funny, feel good romance about finding your own path and changing your life for the better – readers of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Josie Silver will love this uplifting read.

About The Author:



Kim Nash lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture and is a book blogger at www.kimthebookworm.co.uk. 

Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association’s Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can’t quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA. 

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Amazing Grace is her debut novel with Hera Books and will be out on 10th April 2019

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:
Twitter: @KimTheBookworm
Facebook: KimTheBookWorm
Instagram: @Kim_the_bookworm

Purchase Links

Amazon

Kobo:

Apple

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl. @OrendaBooks @ko_dahl #NordicNoir


Today is it my stop on the blog tour for The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl and published by Orenda Books. Thank you to Anne Cater for asking me to be part of the tour. I was given a copy of the book but was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

It seems that there is a wave of books about the second world war, they are everywhere and hard to avoid. I considered myself quite knowledgeable about the second world war and the treatment of Jewish people during the war in Europe. But every book I have read recently has taught me something new, and I have often been shocked at the huge chunks of knowledge that I am missing.

The Courier was one of the books that did just that. I did not know that Norway was so caught up in the war, I had no idea that Jewish people in Norway were persecuted and sent to concentration camps in Poland.

The story revolves around Ester and her experiences, starting with her fleeing Norway for Sweden when the gestapo come for her family, Ester worked as a courier, helping to smuggle illegal newspapers out of Oslo.

It seems that Ester is well connected, knowing many people, some of whom are helpful and others that bring trouble to Ester, both is 1942 and again in 1967 when people are brought back together when someone they all thought was dead turned up very much alive.

The book alternates between the two timelines and I have to admit that I found that confusing for a good part of the book. There are also many names to remember, which for my brain is made even harder by them not being familiar names, although eventually I got the hang of it. There is a small part set in 2015 too.

The story is interesting, I liked the simplicity of the writing, and how everything ties together. Ester is a great character, she’s strong and resilient and she is definitely not someone to be best with. I like a feisty female character and Ester fits the bill perfectly.

The conclusion of the book was not what I expected, it was well done and fitted well with the story.

The Courier is a great example of Nordic Noir, if you haven’t read the genre then you really should, and this book is a great place to start.

Blurb:

In Oslo in 1942, Jewish courier Ester is betrayed, narrowly avoiding arrest by the Gestapo. In great haste, she escapes to Sweden whilst the rest of her family is deported to Auschwitz.

In Stockholm, Ester meets the resistance hero, Gerhard Falkum, who has left his little daughter and fled both the Germans and allegations that he murdered his wife, Åse, Ester ’s childhood best friend. A relationship develops between them, but ends abruptly when Falkum dies in a fire.

And yet, twenty-five years later, Falkum shows up in Oslo. He
wants to reconnect with his daughter Turid. But where has he
been, and what is the real reason for his return? Ester stumbles
across information that forces her to look closely at her past,
and to revisit her war-time training to stay alive…

Written with Dahl’s trademark characterisation and clever plotting, The Courier sees one of Norway’s most critically acclaimed authors at his best, as he takes on one of the most horrifying periods of modern history. With its sophisticated storytelling and elegant prose, this stunning and compelling wartime thriller is reminiscent of the writing of John Le Carré and William Boyd.

About The Author:


One of the fathers of the Nordic Noir genre, Kjell Ola Dahl was born in 1958 in Gjøvik. He made his debut in 1993, and has since published eleven novels, the most prominent of which is a series of police procedurals cum psychological thrillers featuring investigators Gunnarstranda and Frølich. In 2000 he won the Riverton Prize for The Last Fix and he won both the prestigious Brage and Riverton Prizes for The Courier in 2015. His work has been published in 14 countries, and he lives in Oslo.

The Courier by Kjell Ola Dahl is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review, mental health

#BlogTour #BookReview Broken By Betsy Reavley. @BetsyReavley @Bloodhoundbook #broken

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Broken by Betsy Reavley. I’ve read a few of Betsy’s books and I was very excited to read another!

My Review:

It isn’t often that a book comes with warnings as strong as the ones that accompany this book. I’m not one to shy away from violence and so I wasn’t bothered by the warning, more intrigued. I do have my limits though and I did check that this book did not involve the abuse of children, which it does not.

I’ve read a few of Betsy Reavley’s books and I have to say that none of them is fluffy reading and all are pretty gruesome, yet none of them came with a warning so just how bad was this going to be?? The publisher, Bloodhound Books, also published The Watcher by Netta Newbound which I think is one of the most gruesome books that I have read, yet that also didn’t come with a warning.

So I went into this book expecting it to be full of gore from start to finish, so I was surprised to find myself reading a totally different book from the one that I had expected.

Annabel is trying to put her life back together, mental health problems have plagued Anna and she desperately wants to move on. Living back home with her mother and brother Annabel feels smothered by her mother who is understandably worried that Annabel will relapse and get unwell again.

She decides to take a trip to the seaside, she lies to her mother and sets off for a weekend away. She hadn’t realised that the small town that she was heading to was not the safe place that she thought that it would be because a serial killer is lurking.

This is where the book takes a strange turn, Annabel meets Jude who lives in a commune that Anna finds herself drawn into and life gets better and better for Anna. Or does it?

Just when the reader has dropped their guard the book suddenly plunges the reader into what can only be described as hell and we discover just how sick the author’s mind is!

I don’t actually think that the book is that bad to warrant all the warnings and I have definitely read worse. But Betsy Reavley does have a way with words and I have no doubt that some people will struggle with it.

But I enjoyed the book, the author does have a unique writing style but I quickly got used to that and found myself absorbed into the story and trying to work out what was going to happen.

I don’t want to give any more away to the reader, but this book has stayed with me after I finished it. Even now writing this review I am finding myself thinking about Annabel and her story which is definitely the sign of a good book.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of Broken by Betsy Reavley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Annabel, a troubled young woman trying to put her life back together, decides to take a trip to the Suffolk coast to clear her head and get away from her mother. But when she arrives in the little seaside town, she discovers a series of grisly murders have taken place and police are searching for a twisted killer. 

After a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger, Jude, the course of her life changes and soon she finds peace in a world away from the misery she has known.

But when Jude comes under suspicion from the police, and her idyllic world is threatened, Annabel’s happy existence starts to become a nightmare.

Can Annabel escape her painful past or is her fate sealed? And why is she haunted by horrific visions when she seems on the verge of finding happiness? 

This astonishing novel will take you on a shattering journey through Annabel’s fight for survival and will ask if the greatest threat we pose is to ourselves.

Suitable for over 18’s only. It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing. 

(previously published under the title Beneath the Watery Moon)

About The Author:


Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Murder in the Dark, Frailty, Carrion, Broken and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy’s Social Media Links:

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetsyReavleyAuthor/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Betsy-Reavley/e/B00I970NY4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1544003078&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7730760.Betsy_Reavley?from_search=true

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Murder Unexpected by Anita Waller. @BloodhoundBooks @anitamayw

I’m delighted to be on the blog blitz for Murder Unexpected by the fabulous Anita Waller. I’m a big fan of the author and after enjoying Murder Undeniable, the first book in this series, I was keen to read book two!

My Review:

Kat and Mouse are back! I enjoyed Murder Undeniable, the first book in this series and so I was looking forward to reading book two, Murder Unexpected.

If you haven’t read book one then I suggest that you do, some series can be read out of order without missing out on much but I think that this one would be quite confusing if you hadn’t read book one. Luckily for you, both books are easy to read and enjoyable so you won’t regret it.

Murder Unexpected picks up a few months after the end of book one, life has calmed down since the dramas of book one and the private investigator business is up and thriving.

Of course, things aren’t calm for long and soon Kat and Mouse are looking into a case that seems quite simple but proves to be anything but. Have they got themselves in too deep?

I loved that we got to read more about the police officer that had helped Kat in book one, she seems like a good egg, and not as incompetent as book one made her look!

I love the main three characters in the book and Waller takes the reader right back into their lives as though they are friends that we are catching up with. I really do love Anita Waller’s writing, her books are easy to read, fun and full of twists to keep you guessing and desperate to read on. Bring on book three!

I received a copy of Murder Unexpected by Anita Waller from the publisher, Bloodhound Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Kat and Mouse are back.

Church Deacon Kat and her friend Beth, known as Mouse, have started a private investigation business in the sleepy village of Eyam.

Kat, whose estranged criminal husband, Leon, is on the run, has a lot on her plate running the new business whilst heavily pregnant.

When a widow asks the sleuths for help, Kat and Mouse find themselves searching for the birth mother of the widow’s husband. But when it becomes clear that the widow isn’t telling the whole truth, Kat and Mouse are drawn into a deadly chase where nothing is what it seems.

Meanwhile, Kat’s husband has come back to Eyam and has Kat in his sights.

Can Kat and Mouse solve the case and escape the dangerous Leon?

This time they might just be out of their depth…

About The Author:

Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.


She has written and taught creative writing for most of her life, and at the age of sixty nine sent a manuscript to Bloodhound Books which was immediately accepted.

In total she has written seven psychological thrillers and one supernatural novel, and uses the areas of South Yorkshire and Derbyshire as her preferred locations in her books. Sheffield features prominently.

And now Anita is working on her first series, the Kat and Mouse trilogy, set in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Eyam. The first in the series, Murder Undeniable, launched 10 December 2018, and the second in the series, Murder Unexpected, launches 11 February 2019.

The trilogy has now been promoted to a quartet following the success of the first book; she is currently working on book three, Murder Unearthed. Book four doesn’t have a title, a plot, a first sentence… but she remains convinced it will have!

She is now seventy-three years of age, happily writing most days and would dearly love to plan a novel, but has accepted that isn’t the way of her mind. Every novel starts with a sentence and she waits to see where that sentence will take her, and her characters.


In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Murder Unexpected by Anita Waller is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, book review, debut author, non-fiction

#BookReivew This is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay. @amateuradam #juniordoctor #NHS #saveournhs @picadorbooks #book

thisisgoingtohurt
This is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay.

Oh dear, I’m going through my blog and the books that I have read on Goodreads and it seems that with the craziness of this year I have missed some books out and they haven’t been reviewed. This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay is one of them, so here it is.

My Review:

I’d heard a fair bit about This is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay and I was keen to read it. I wanted to know why he had decided to leave the NHS, although I felt that I had a fair idea.

I used to be a midwife but I am no longer. The pressure put on NHS staff is crazy, especially when you consider how little they are paid. I am fully aware that since I left the NHS it has got a lot, lot worse.

This book was a great read, it made me laugh and it reminded me of why I left. And it was interesting that, in the end, we had both left the NHS for the same reason. Something happened that made us think ‘what are we doing and why are we doing this to ourselves?’ There was no good answer to that and so we did the sensible thing and left.

This book was full of funny stories but really it is a very sad book. I am so upset that the NHS has been destroyed and had so many cuts that the people working in the system are under unbearable pressure and I would love for the right people to read this book and take note and actually change what is happening!

Blurb:

The Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Humour Book of the Year
Winner of the Books Are My Bag Book of the Year
Winner of iBooks’ Book of the Year

Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurtprovides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

As seen on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club

About the Author:

adamkay1

Adam Kay is a writer and comedian
He writes extensively for TV and film. His first book “This is Going to Hurt” is out now.

 

 

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, book review, psychological thriller

The Date by Louise Jensen. #BookReview @Fab_fiction @bookouture #psychologicalthriller #amreading

thedate

So, I’m doing a spot of admin and catching up on all things blog when I realise that I have some books that I have read this year that I have not reviewed. Not good and not like me but this year has been a very difficult one where normality has changed. So, better late than never, here is my review for The Date by the lovely Louise Jensen.

My Review:

I do like a Louise Jensen book, they are easy to read and they always make me think. The Date is no different.

Ali is a normal person, struggling through the ups and downs of life, healing from a relationship and moving forward. But things take a terrible turn for the worst and Ali finds herself incredibly vulnerable and dependent on others, friends gather around and try to help but Ali finds herself more and more isolated. But is her life at risk?

There are twists and turns as Ali struggles to adjust to her new life, but who can she trust and will she work that out before it is too late?

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of The Date by Louise Jensen. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

One night can change everything.

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her.

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The SisterThe Gift and The SurrogateThe Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

The Date by Louise Jensen is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller. @anitamayw @BloodhoundBook

Murder Undeniable Blog Blitz banner

Woohoo! Another Anita Waller book is out, she really is spoiling us as it really isn’t that long since her last book was out.

My Review:

Regular readers of my book blog will know that I am a big fan of author Anita Waller, I love her books and her characters and how she manages to find reasons for her murders, they are never senseless, they always have a reason.

I wasn’t sure about Murder Undeniable, I knew that it was the first book in a series and if I’m honest I do prefer standalone books, well that’s until I’m into a series and then I love getting to revisit the characters, but I feel like agreeing to read book one of a series might be committing myself to read every book in the series to come.

As always Waller creates great characters that are interesting, different and believable. I really liked all the characters in Murder Undeniable, and the story hooked me in and kept me reading. I’ve been struggling to get into books recently and this book changed that, it is easy to read and easy to follow and that is what I needed.

My one gripe would be that it was all a bit predictable, although that didn’t impact on my enjoyment of the book, I do like to be kept guessing.

But once again Waller has written a great book and the questions that I’m sure that you are all wondering is whether I would read more of the series? Well, there isn’t any doubt in my mind that I will.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Murder-Undeniable-Kindle

Katerina Rowe, a Deacon at the church in the sleepy village of Eyam, has a fulfilled life. She is happily married to Leon and her work is rewarding.

But everything changes when she discovers the body of a man and a badly beaten woman, Beth, in the alleyway behind her husband’s pharmacy.

Drawn to the young woman she saved, Kat finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery.

When Beth’s house is set on fire, Kat offers the young woman sanctuary in her home and soon the pair begin investigating the murder, with some help from Beth’s feisty grandmother, Doris. But neither the police, nor Leon, nor the criminals want Kat and Beth looking into their affairs and the sleuths quickly find themselves out of their depth…

Can Kat and Beth solve the mystery and walk away unscathed?

About The Author:

anitawaller
Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children.

She began writing when she was around 8 years of age, writing ‘compositions’ at junior school that became books with chapters.

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

Anita is not a typist and it was painfully reworked over two years, submitted to Bloodhound Books who, within three days of reading it, offered her a contract. 31 August 2015 saw its release into the wide world.

Following the outstanding success of Beautiful, she began a sequel on 27 December 2015, finishing it on 19 March 2016. The new novel, Angel, was launched on 7 May 2016.

34 Days followed, with its launch in October 2016. This was a huge success, particularly in the United States. While this, her third book in the psychological thriller genre, was flying out in all directions, she began work on her fourth book.

Winterscroft was a change in genre. It is a supernatural tale, set in Castleton, Derbyshire, and its release date was February 2017.

While she was writing Winterscroft, it became very clear from reading reviews that a sequel to 34 days was needed, and she began work on that. Bloodhound Books launched Strategy, on 10 August 2017.

Her next book, launched February 2018 and entitled Captor, is a psychological thriller, set exclusively in Sheffield. It was an instant success, both in the UK and the US.

Then along came Game Players… once more set in Sheffield, the story involves a group of six children who have each other’s backs to a remarkable extent. The darker, criminal side of Sheffield is explored, with the book launching 18 May 2018.

Malignant arrived in the world on 10 October 2018, her eighth book in three years.

And now Anita is working on her first series, the Kat and Mouse trilogy, set in the beautiful Derbyshire village of Eyam. The first in the series, Murder Undeniable, launches 10 December 2018.

In her life away from the computer in the corner of her kitchen, she is a Sheffield Wednesday supporter with blue blood in her veins! The club was particularly helpful during the writing of 34 Days, as a couple of matches feature in the novel, along with Ross Wallace. Information was needed, and they provided it.

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Author’s links:

Email: anitamayw@yahoo.co.uk

Website: www.anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anitawaller2015/ @anitawaller2015

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Waller/e/B014RQFCRS/

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

Murder Undeniable by Anita Waller is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.