5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #TheLionTamerWhoLost

The Lion Tamer Blog Tour Poster Final

I’m really excited to be part of the blog tour for The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. I love Louise’s writing and you can read my reviews for two of her other books, Maria In The Moon and The Mountain in my Shoe both of which are beautifully written.

My Review:

I love Louise Beech, she is a fantastic writer who has a real way with words, managing to throw the reader right into the story and making the characters feel like real people that we know.

I’d heard a lot about The Lion Tamer Who Lost before I read it, and I was very excited to read it. I didn’t know what it was about, that doesn’t matter when you know that the author is Louise Beech, because I firmly believe that whatever she writes will be worth reading.

Readers of my book blog will know that I love to read thrillers and so a book like this is a big change of pace for me, which is something that I can struggle with, thrillers tend to throw the reader right into the middle of the story, the pace is fast, the chapters short. But a book like The Lion Tamer Who Lost shows me how important patience is.

Because once I was into the story I could not stop thinking about it. I really loved the character Ben, and this grew as the story went on. His relationship with Andrew was wonderful, I loved how they related to each other and how happy they made each other. It was beautiful and even thinking about it now as I write this makes me smile.

But we know that something went wrong, because Ben is out in Africa on a lion reserve and is not in contact with Andrew. So what could have gone so wrong on such a strong relationship? When the reader finds out it comes as a shock and I’m sure that my heart broke a little bit for Ben and Andrew, just as it must have done for them.

I really don’t want to give anything more away but if you love books that are beautifully written, that feel so real and that work their way into your heart in such a way that you know that it will never quite be the same again then stop reading this and buy The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech. You really won’t regret it.

I received a copy of The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech from Orenda Books. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thumbnail_Lion Tamer front cover finalBe careful what you wish for…

Long ago, Andrew made a childhood wish, and kept it in a silver box. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago, Ben made a promise and he had a dream: to travel to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally makes it, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting in unexpected places, and the intense relationship that develops seems to be guided by fate. Or is it? What if the very thing that draws them together is tainted by past secrets that threaten everything?

About The Author:

thumbnail_Louise BeechLouise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton. @TrapezeBooks @sarahjnaughton #honeymoon #TheOtherCouple #book #backablogger

Blog-tour-poster

It’s my stop on the blog tour for The Other Couple by Sarah J. Naughton. Thank you to Tracy Fenton for asking me to be part of the blog tour. I’m delighted to share my review with you!

My Review:

Early on in this book I got a bit worried, I was concerned that it was all going to be a little bit obvious. There have been other books recently set on small, exclusive islands where the dream holiday doesn’t quite go to plan (if you like that sort of thing try The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis or 37 Hours by J.F. Kirwan), and I hoped that this wasn’t going to be similar.

Thankfully it isn’t. The main character, Asha, is very different to what you would expect. She’s a woman who came from an estate with little money who married Ollie, an incredibly rich business man with more than a few enemies. They head to Vietnam for their dream holiday, or at least it is what Ollie thinks is Asha’s dream holiday, but we know from the start that all doesn’t end well as the book starts with Asha in the hospital, unable to remember what happened and how she got there.

What I liked about The Other Couple was that it really highlighted how ostentatious luxury resorts are, but also how fake it all is. The staff who are trained to treat the guests as royalty but who get paid very little, who lose their bonuses because a guest decided that they didn’t like something that the staff did. Or the guests who pretend to be something that they aren’t, with many motives for doing so. All the guests played a part in the story and they were all hiding something. It was cleverly done. The only thing that grated on me was Asha’s obsession with sex!

While The Other Couple isn’t an especially well written book it is one that I really enjoyed reading. I got into the story and wanted to know what was going to happen. It was an easy read and didn’t take me long to finish and work out what actually happened on what was meant to be a dream honeymoon.

I received a copy of The Other Couple by Sarah J Naughton from Trapeze via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

51btwEzBYTLIt was meant to be the perfect honeymoon.

A five-star resort in paradise.

White sands, a private villa and world-class cuisine.

A chance for newlyweds Asha and Ollie Graveney to recover from a recent tragedy, and enjoy the holiday of their dreams.

Except someone has other plans…

And paradise has turned into a nightmare.

 

About The Author:

sarahnaughton
Sarah J Naughton. Taken from her website.

Sarah worked as an advertising copywriter for ten years before her first book was published in 2013.  A supernatural thriller for teens, The Hanged Man Rises (Simon and Schuster) was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards.  A second thriller for teens, The Blood List (Simon and Schuster) came out in 2014.  Her first adult thriller, Tattletale (Trapeze) is due out in March 2017.

Sarah lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Social Media:
Twitter: @sarahjnaughton
Facebook: sarahjnaughtonauthor
Instagram: @sarah.naughton

The Other Couple by Sarah J Naughton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, Children's books

#BlogTour #BookReview The Beedog by Addie Broussard @rararesources @TwoUmbrellasPls #KidsBook #insects #wasp #TheBeedog

beedog-banner-tour-stops-02

My Review:

I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what The Beedog was going to be like, I knew that it is a book aimed at 4-8 year olds and that it encourages science and nature learning, yet it appeared to be about a funny bee that lived on a beach.

I found the book slightly confusing at first, I thought that it must have been translated into English but as the author is from the United States I don’t know whether that is the case. But it did read a bit like that.

It’s set in Portugal and we follow Manny and Cora as they go to the beach to build a sandcastle, but while they are there they notice a curious insect. I know quite a lot about nature but I had never heard of the sand wasp, it was a totally new one for me and so I learnt something as well as my children which is great. I love that there’s information about the insect and links to a website with more information about them. Very clever to tell a story about an insect that I expect most people have never heard of.

It’s a bit unfortunate that the reading of this book came only a few days after my daughter was stung by a wasp and had an allergic reaction, so she was put off the story because of that! But if it hadn’t been for that I think that it would have gone down really well with my 7 year olds, although it is quite picture book like which might put off some of the older readers. Talking of pictures, I really loved the illustrations, they’re bright and clear and, most importantly, fun.

Overall, The Beedog is a fun book for younger children. We enjoyed looking at it but I think that it would be best for children up to the age of six. It is an educational book that will make the child excited about a strange insect and hopefully they will want to learn more about it. A clever idea.

I received a copy of The Beedog by Addie Broussard to review, I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

abroussard-beedog-cover-print-v2The Beedog: An Insect Discovery in Portugal

An award-winning picture book that will get little ones excited about science.

While building a unique sandcastle, Cora and Manny spot a rather curious insect.
Soon, the little scientists keep a watchful eye on the insect’s movements, while learning about the natural environment along the way.

A great book for STEM education and home-school projects or just curious little ones who love science. Book extras include fun, printable activities related to science learning and research.

About the Author:

twoumbrellas-addie-profile-02 Addie is an avid traveler, and once went on a solo journey to fifteen countries in one year. When she encounters something unique, she writes about it. Her first published picture book, The Beedog, is about a curious insect that she found in southern Portugal.

Addie began her writing journey when she was just nine years old, with a book called Doggienauts. That book has been updated and is set for publication in 2018. Addie is originally from the United States and is currently a full-time traveler. Home is where her suitcase is.

Illustrator Bio, Joyeeta Neogi

Joyeeta is a children’s book illustrator who has worked with international authors and publishers. Her engagement with worldwide clients and multicultural themes has allowed her to create captivating original animal and child characters. Her art captures the expressions, movements and vibrancy of life within simple compositions to bring the author’s story to life. In her free time, Joyeeta is busy with painting and music. She loves to paint in oil and acrylic, and has also developed a passion for watercolor.

Social Media Links –

https://www.pinterest.com.mx/twoumbrellas0254/pins/

https://www.instagram.com/twoumbrellasplease/

https://twitter.com/TwoUmbrellasPls   

https://www.facebook.com/TwoUmbrellasPlease

Book resources at https://twoumbrellasplease.com

You can buy The Beedog from Amazon US and Amazon UK

blog tours, guest post

#BlogTour #guestpost Signs in the Rearview Mirror by Kelly Smith. @kellys_author #toxicrelationships

Signs in the Rearview Mirror

Ok, I have to hold my hands up and admit that this post should have gone live yesterday but it didn’t. I am very sorry for that and have many excuses (and pretty good ones at that I think) but I won’t bore you with them now. This is the worst part of blogging, the times when my flawed humaness gets in the way. I’m especially annoyed as I really support this book and what it is about. So sorry to Rachel who organised the tour but especially to the author, Kelly Smith.

Guest Post:

Dating after a toxic relationship can be difficult. Dating after any relationship ends can be difficult, but it’s even harder after you have been abused. In my book Signs in the Rearview Mirror, I talk about my toxic abusive relationship with my ex Gabe, but I also write about my toxic mother and the relationship I had with myself that was extremely toxic. In order for me to be ready to even think about dating again, I had to heal. I had to learn why I was abusive to my ex husband and why I would allow myself to be in an abusive relationship.

After getting out of my toxic relationship, I got help. I began a recovery program and I began to see my therapist a few times a week at first. I had a lot of healing and self exploring to do. I have learned that it’s best to not date while in recovery, but of course I had to learn that the hard way, by doing it. While I was in recovery I felt being single meant you were unlovable. So I tried time after time to force myself to get into a relationship. It didn’t work. The only thing I got from it was bad first dates and good lessons. Now I will share some of my lessons with you.

Dating before you are ready can affect you and the person you are dating. If you have not had a t least one year to go through the motions of your “firsts” you will have a bad time dating. Trying to get through toxic damage while trying to build something with someone is my version of hell. It is near impossible to know if you are with someone because you want to be or because you don’t want to be alone. Take the time to heal before you date again. How do you know you’re ready to date???

  • Time. How much time has passed since you left your previous relationship? Less than one year may not cut it. You can’t speed up the recovery process. You owe it to yourself to find real happiness with someone and you won’t be able to do that if you rush into something too soon. Spend your year of firsts on your own. Your first birthday on your own Christmas, ect. Learn how to be alone and to get comfortable with it.
  • Healing. All time does is pass. That’s it. Time fixes nothing. It is what you do with that time that matters. Get into a recovery group. See a therapist. Once you realize you may be in a toxic relationship and you stay, you need to figure out why. Why would you stay with someone treating you poorly. That is what you need to figure out. You have to take responsibility for your choices to stay where someone is abusing you.
  • Happy on your own. When you can laugh, make plans, figure out solutions to your problems on your own, you are probably ready to date. When you are comfortable staying home alone, making your own decisions, and figuring out who you are, that is when you are probably ready to date. You have to get to a place in your life where if you meet someone and it ends your world won’t come crashing down. Once you are comfortable on your own and secure with yourself, you will be unstoppable.
  • Financially responsible. Once you get to a place where you can support yourself, you will no longer accept anything toxic in your life. Once you can pay your bills and support yourself, you will see how quickly you will not waste time with anyone who does not deserve you.

Those are just a few ways to know you may be ready to date again. You also have to listen to your gut. For me it took a few years to really be ready to date. Now that I am ready, I am having fun with it. Of course I am always on the hunt for red flags, but now that I have healed and I am recovering, I can spot them much easier.

Learn to love yourself and always be brave!

Blurb:

What kind of person ends up in a toxic relationship? And why does she stay? This searingly honest novel answers both those questions head-on. Coming out of a failing marriage, Kelly turns to Gabe out of fear of being alone. Her gradual slide into danger is at once terrifying and inevitable, and the steps she takes to get out of it will both inspire and offer hope.

About The Author:

Signs - fullsizeoutput_37aeBoston born and raised, Kelly now makes her home in Austin with her three sons and one amazing Giant Schnauzer Bullseye. Kelly has written for Huffington Post, blogs at Thoughts Becoming Words, and hosts a podcast, Lets Get Wicked Deep.

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/kellye95/

https://twitter.com/kellys_author

Signs in the Rearview Mirror by Kelly Smith is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4.5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Overkill by Vanda Symon. #overkill @OrendaBooks @vandasymon #NewZealandNoir

Overkill Blog Tour Poster

Ok, so when I was asked to be on the blog tour for Overkill I pretty much bit Anne Cater’s arm off because when I heard that Orenda Books had signed Vanda Symon I was desperate to read it. Why you wonder? Well, I used to live in New Zealand and I miss the place a lot, a big part of me would love to move back, but for now I make do with being slightly obsessed with all things New Zealandy so the chance to read one of NZ’s top crime authors was something that I wasn’t going to miss! But with such high hopes did the book disappoint?

My Review:

I was so excited to read Overkill by Vanda Symon’s one of New Zealand’s top crime authors, although slightly concerned that my insanely high hopes would mean that I would hate it.

Thankfully I didn’t need to worry about that as from the first to the last page I enjoyed reading Overkill. I loved the small town setting, where everyone knows everyone and how claustrophobic it can feel.

I was surprised to learn how long ago Overkill was written, but it has been updated and so it feels very current, you really wouldn’t know that it was written more than a year or so ago.

The main character, Sam, is a really normal person which made her easy to relate to. The crime that Sam is trying to solve is clever, I love how we know more than she does about it, apart from who had actually done it, but it made reading how she worked it all out enjoyable and somehow satisfying. I was definitely routing for Sam.

There is much to like about Overkill, the pacy read that keeps the reader hooked from the start, the varied characters, Sam’s great relationship with her flatmate and the desire to see justice for the poor woman killed in the most awful way at the start of the book.

I liked the ending too, we know that there is more to come from Sam but we also know that things will be changing. I, for one, am very excited to see what’s next.

Thank you to Orenda Books for a copy of Overkill by Vanda Symon, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Overkill Cover

Sam Shephard, a young sole-charge police constable in Mataura, is the main character in a new series of crime novels set in New Zealand. When a young mother in the town is brutally murdered (it seems to be a professional job), Sam is at the heart of the police hunt to find the killer. But then Sam’s past relationship with the dead woman’s husband is revealed. Sam is stood down from the case and is now a prime murder suspect. Frustrated, Sam loses her cool. She can’t stop herself making murder inquiries and gets into serious trouble with her police superiors. But then the young constable stumbles onto something. The murdered woman was working as a journalist and had uncovered a local scandal. She’d been killed to keep her quiet. When Sam enters this world she’s in real physical danger, until at last a conspiracy is uncovered and the killer revealed. Disillusioned, Sam prepares to leave town. What will she do next?

About the Author:

vandasymon
Vanda Symon, taken from her website.

Vanda’s first novel Overkill, was written while juggling the demands of a 6 month old baby and a two year old. She suspects the prologue to Overkill was written in a state of sleep deprivation induced paranoia brought about by middle of the night feeds and imagining every awful thing that could possibly happen to her family. None of them ever did. Reading that prologue still makes her cry.

A little time has elapsed and the six-month old and two-year old are now teenagers. As well as trying to raise two wonderful human beings, she has added three more Detective Sam Shephard novels to the series and written the stand alone psychological thriller The Faceless.

As well as being a crime writer, she hosts a monthly radio show on Dunedin’s Otago Access Radio called Write On, where she interviews local writers, and catches the odd international super-star if they’re in town.

And just to prove that she is a tiger for punishment, she has recently completed a PhD at the University of Otago looking at the communication of science through crime fiction – the perfect subject for a science loving crime writer. She has an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and enjoyed a career as a community pharmacist and palliative care pharmacist before concentrating on her writing career.

Vanda has been involved with the New Zealand Society of Authors for many years, having been chair of the Otago Southland Branch. She is currently the Otago Southland regional delegate on the NZSA Board. Vanda was also the Chair of Copyright Licensing New Zealand.

When she isn’t writing, Vanda can be found digging around in her garden in Dunedin, or on the business end of a fencing foil. She has fenced since high school and still competes in national and international competitions. As well as competing she coaches, and because she likes to get involved, boots and all, is the president of Fencing South and on the board of Fencing New Zealand.

Vanda is a founding member of the Dunedin Crime Writers Association, whose raison d’etre is for its members to drink beer or wine and talk crime writing at their favourite pub.

Overkill by Vanda Symon is out now in ebook and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US. It will be released in paperback on 6th September 2018.

4*, book review

#BookReview The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman. @rowancoleman @EburyPublishing #TheSummerOfImpossibleThings

thesummerofimpossiblethings
The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman.

 

My Review:

I have to admit that I read this book quite a while ago but never quite got round to writing the review. I think perhaps it was because everyone seemed to be raving about the book, and while I enjoyed reading it, I wouldn’t rave about it.

I don’t normally read books that could be classed as a romance, or about time travel (although I did love the time travellers wife)  so this book was definitely going to be a bit different, and it certainly was.

There was so much that I loved about this book, the characters were great, the two sisters relationship was great and I really liked Luna, the main character. While I found the whole time travel thing a bit hard to get my head around, and the dark world that Luna found herself in when she travelled back in time was uncomfortable reading at times. But the story was clever, unexpected and emotional.

This is the first Rowan Coleman book that I’ve read but it won’t be the last, she clearly has a great mind for storytelling.

Thank you to the publisher Ebury Press for a copy of The Summer Of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

About The Author:

rowancoleman
Rowan Coleman. Taken from her  website

Rowan Coleman lives with her husband, and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in the opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.

Rowan would like to live every day as if she were starring in a musical, although her daughter no longer allows her to sing in public. Despite being dyslexic, Rowan loves writing, and The Memory Book is her eleventh novel, which was chosen as a Richard and Judy bookclub selection in 2014. Others include The Accidental MotherLessons in Laughing Out Loud and the award-winning Dearest Rose, a novel which lead Rowan to become an active supporter of domestic abuse charity Refuge, donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella, Woman Walks Into a Bar, to the charity.

Rowan does not have time for ironing.

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview One Little Lie by Sam Carrington. @Sabah_K @AvonBooksUK @sam_carrington1 #OneLittleLie #book

One Little Lie Blog Tour

My Review:

One Little Lie is told to us by a number of characters, quite a few characters, with different chapters told by different characters. I like this method of storytelling but sometimes it makes the book a bit disjointed and confusing.

I’m not great with names and so sometimes I struggle when there are too many character names as I can’t remember who they all are and so it takes the first part of each chapter to remind me who is talking and what they’re doing.

One Little Lie has many narrators, I would say too many but each of them play an important part to the story and I couldn’t imagine any of them being left out. Some have more to say than others, but all are part of the puzzle.

I have to admit that I have never really given much thought to what the parents of a murderer must feel, I’ve fleetingly thought of it, especially when there have been mass school shootings in America, but it isn’t something that I tend to dwell on. But this book made me think about it.

I know when there are murders many people say that we should talk about the victim and not the murderer, and I definitely agree with that, but how would it feel to be the victims mother, your son murdered in a brutal and painful way, but all the focus is on the boy who did it and his parents? Your son seems to be forgotten but then that mother wants to make amends for what her son did and asks for forgiveness.

One Little Lie is a twisty read, what you think is happening might not be what is really happening, and are people who they seem? I think that the story is a clever one, there’s lots to like and the pace is fast with short chapters, but something was missing with it, somehow it all didn’t quite fit. I enjoyed reading, I wanted to finish it so that I could find out how it was all going to end and that is a sure sign of a decent read. But this book was so very nearly brilliant, and it’s a shame that it didn’t quite get there. But it so nearly did.

Thank you to Avon Books for a copy of One Little Lie by Sam Carrington. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

onelittlelie‘My name is Alice. And my son is a murderer.’

Deborah’s son was killed four years ago. Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.

Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.

Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…

They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?

A twisty and unnerving story about the price of motherhood and the unthinkable things we do to protect our children. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter and Laura Marshall.

‘Sam Carrington has done it again. One Little Lie is a twisty, gripping read that deserves to fly. I loved it.’ Cass Green, bestselling author of In a Cottage In a Wood

About The Author:

samcarringtonSam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband and three children. She worked for the NHS for 15 years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree she went to work for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. Her experiences within this field inspired her writing. She left the service to spend time with her family and to follow her dream of being a novelist. SAVING SOPHIE was her debut psychological thriller novel and became a #1 ebook bestseller, her second, BAD SISTER is out now. ONE LITTLE LIE follows in July 2018 (ebook) September (paperback).

One Little Lie by Sam Carrington is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.