4*, book review, Children's books, historical fiction, non-fiction

#BookReview Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson. @Jenny_Writes #Wojtek @LoveBooksGroup #kidsbooks #war #bear #book

 

Wojtek book cover (1)
Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson.

My Review:

What a lovely little book this is. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed reading about Wojtek war hero bear. It seemed like such an implausible story yet Wojtek really did stand with Polish soldiers.

What shines through in this book is the great character that Wojtek was and how important he became to the soldiers that he was with and what a huge boost he gave them.

I was disappointed to learn at the end that not all of the characters were real, but given the time that has passed since the events in the book took place that isn’t really surprising that some of the story has been lost.

I’d never heard of Wojtek before, I had no idea that a bear had helped the Polish army in the second world war. It really is a heartwarming story. I liked the way that the story was told, sometimes we heard what Wojtek was thinking but most of the time told as if by an observer. It is simple in language and I think that it could be read by children aged 10 and over, but adults will enjoy the book too.

The illustrations also need a mention, for they match the writing in the simple way that they are presented but they fit very well with the story and I enjoyed seeing them a lot.

If you’re interested in reading about wars then this book will be sure to give you a different and unique story. If you don’t enjoy reading about the war then don’t let that put you off, it is the amazing story of Wojtek that is the story, and it is one that is well worth reading.

Thank you to the publisher Birlinn, for a copy of the book. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The Wojtek MonumentWhen a tiny orphaned bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II, little does anyone know that little Wojtek will become one of the bravest fighters of them all. As the soldiers train to take part in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, Wojtek grows up, providing headaches and laughter in equal measure as he learns to drink beer, chase horses and wrestle with his human friends. But at Monte Cassino, as the Allies try and dislodge German troops from their mountain-top eyrie, Wojtek, now a fully signed-up solider with his own rank and number, comes into his own, dodging the bullets to carry ammunition to his comrades as they inch their way to victory. After the war, the Polish solders move to Scotland. Wojtek comes too and soon becomes the centre of attention in a new country. But with hostilities ended, how long can he keep his freedom? Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story.

About the Author:

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Jenny Robertson has written numerous books for children and adults – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her children’s novels and Bible stories have been widely translated and also read on Yorkshire Television and STV.
 
 

Twitter:

 

To buy Wojtek war hero bear by Jenny Robertson click here:  https://goo.gl/c4nRTp

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Follow Me Home by DK Hood. @bookouture @DKHood #thriller

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My Review:

I really like this series, I love Sherrif Jenna Alton and her relationship with Deputy Kane. They’re great characters to read about and I love the chemistry between them.

Being set in a small town works really well too, but it does mean that a lot has to happen to keep the series interesting and the reader engaged. I can go with that though as I love the setting, the remoteness adds to the story and there are so many places for baddies to hide.

This is the third book in the series, I think that they could be read as a standalone but it would be better to start at the beginning as you’ll get so much more out of the story if you know what happened before.

Once again Hood takes the reader on a journey, the clock is ticking and Alton and her team need to find a killer before more people meet a gruesome end. I was hooked straight in and enjoyed trying to work out the whodunnit. I do think that this is the weakest of the series so far, but given how good the previous books have been I wouldn’t let that put you off. I’m now waiting eagerly for book four.

Thank you to Bookouture for a copy of Follow Me Home by DK Hood, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Follow-Me-Home-Kindle‘Don’t you agree Detective? That some people deserve to die? I’ve killed the first. I’ve killed the second. Now will you catch the others, or do I have to kill them too?’

The body of Amos Price lies in a pool of blood on the polished floor of an otherwise empty house. With no signs of a break in, and no clues left at the scene, Detective Jenna Alton is at a loss.

But as the team begins to unpick the life of the reclusive victim, they discover a disturbing link between Amos and the disappearance of several young girls in the county going back years.

Days later, another brutally murdered body is found, in a remote motel on the outskirts of town. Ely Dorsey was killed in a frenzied attack and Jenna fears not only that the murders are connected to the missing girls, but that the killer hasn’t finished yet.

As Jenna tries to work out who will be next, the killer suddenly starts sending her deputy, David Kane, messages. Is she being taunted? Or does the murderer want to be caught? And will Jenna discover who’s behind these killings before more people die?

An absolutely nail-biting thriller with plenty of twists, Follow Me Home is perfect for fans of Robert Dugoni, Karin Slaughter and Rachel Abbott.

 About The Author:

17096652I’ve always had a wicked sense of humour and was the kid who told the ghost stories around the campfire. I am lucky to have family all over the world and have spent many vacations in places from Paris France to Montana USA and Australia. I use the wonderful memories from these visits to enhance my stories.
My interest in the development of forensic science to solve crime goes back many years. I enjoy writing crime, mystery and thrillers. With many stories, waiting for me to write I’ll look forward to sharing many spine-tingling stories with you.

D.K. Hood is an active member of International Thriller Writers.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: www.dkhood.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DKHood_Author

Follow Me Home by DK Hood is out now and is available to buy using this link.

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

#BlogTour #BookReview #Kidsbook Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea. @beercottbooks @NatashaLea1

stripeyenid

My Review:

Stripey Enid is a funny little book, it feels more like a leaflet when you look at it but once you open it you will find a lovely little book.

The story is very simple, we are all different and that we are all ok just as we are. This is such an important message to teach our children and it is presented in a really clear and simple way which will work well for young readers.

My daughter aged seven read it and felt that it was too babyish for her, probably simply because of the size of the font used as she now wants smaller writing that’s more grown up. But it did get us talking about how we are different and how that makes us more interesting.

I’m not really sure what age Stripey Enid is aimed at as it would seem at first glance that it is aimed at four and under but there are parts, like where the child can list five of their good points, that seem aimed at older children. I think that in reality all young children will get something out of reading Stripey Enid, and it is a great way of starting conversations about how we are all different.

Thank you to the publisher, Beercott Books, for a copy of Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

stripeyenidcover‘Believe in yourself, for you are unique!’

In this ever-changing world our children are bombarded with ‘image’ driven ideals of what is accepted as normal, or what we should aspire to be.

The reality is we are all unique and should be proud of it.

Stripey Enid has no colour or creed, she is just a friend. Using simple verse and interactive tasks, she aims to help your child understand that it is good to be unique, and that being yourself is all you need to be.

About The Author:

natashaleaIt was over 10 years ago, during a marketing exercise to promote a new theatre company whilst studying Performing Arts, that the idea of Stripey Enid came to Natasha.

Even back then, Stripey was seen to be different, something to challenge the norm, ask questions of people.

The idea of writing a book was never the intention but a natural progression on from the poems Natasha used to create for friends and family for birthdays & special occasions.

At the time Natasha was also working with a local Brownie pack and it was this interaction that made her realise that she was an adult in these children’s lives that wasn’t a parent or a teacher but a friend, a unique friendship that benefitted both parties.

Stripey came into being by the pure belief that Natasha had about peer pressure & social demands creating barriers between people, stopping people from seeing others as they truly are.

Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea is out on 16th June 2018 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK or direct from the publisher.

4*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview The Old You by Louise Voss. @LouiseVoss1 @OrendaBooks #TheOldYou #backablogger

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My Review:

The Old You by Louise Voss is a great read. Right from the start I was hooked and wanted to know what was going to happen. At first everything seemed perfectly normal, but of course, things aren’t always as they appear and this is certainly true in this case.

Lynn is blissfully happy with her life, she loves her husband Ed and she has a new job that she really likes. But when Ed receives an upsetting diagnosis, things suddenly change.

With the help of chapters showing what happened in the past, we realise that things really aren’t as they seem and that Lynn is hiding a huge secret. Who do we believe? Is Ed as innocent as he seems?

This is a twisted read that will have the reader thinking one thing but really not sure whether that is what’s going on or not. I worked a lot of it out well before it was officially revealed but that didn’t matter, and although the whole thing is slightly implausible, it still makes for a great, twisty read.

Thank you to the publisher, Orenda Books, for a copy of The Old You by Louise Voss. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?

About The Author:

LOUISE VOSSOver her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven
novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a
combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and
contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Louise has an
MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant
and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in
South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-
writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.

The Old You by Louise Voss is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview The Fear by C.L. Taylor. @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #TheFear

The Fear - Blog Tour Banner - Part 3

My Review:

I immediately wanted to read The Fear by C.L. Taylor. Who could resist the cover for a start? But I was also attracted by the author.

I really enjoyed reading The Fear, the storyline sucked me right in and I desperately wanted to know what was going to happen and how Lou was going to stop Mike from ruining another teenagers life.

Although at times slightly unbelievable, the book was definitely a thrilling read. The author had captured how grooming takes place and I couldn’t help but think of my daughter at times when reading and how on earth I could protect her from something so determined and manipulative. The book also gives a good demonstration of how child abuse can impact the child’s life for many years to come.

Some other reviews talk about how things are mentioned in the book that didn’t exist in the year the book was set. Normally I have a radar for such things but I can honestly say that I don’t remember picking up on that at all, and the only explanation that I have for that is that I was so engrossed in the story that it passed me by.

The Fear is a clever book with plenty of twists and turns, while not always easy to read due to the subject matter it was still a great read and one that I’d highly recommend.

Thanks for Avon Books for a copy of The Fear by C.L. Taylor, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thefear

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Sometimes your first love won’t let you go…

 Lou Wandsworth is used to being headline news as, aged fourteen, she ran away to France with her 31-year-old teacher, Mike Hughes.

 Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is focussing his attention on 13-year-old Chloe Meadows.

 Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

 About the author:

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and have been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines.

 In 2014, The Bookseller named C.L. Taylor as one of the year’s Bestselling Adult Fiction Debut Authors for The AccidentThe Lie and The Missing were Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers in paperback, and both books hit the #1 spot on the Kindle bestseller list. She has sold 1 million books to date.

The Fear by C.L. Taylor is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #Review The Retreat by Mark Edwards. @mredwards #bookreview #bookblog

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I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for The Review by Mark Edwards.

My Review:

I agreed to read The Retreat without knowing much about it based solely on the fact that it was written by Mark Edwards. His book The Magpies was brilliant and since I read it I’ve been wanting to read more of his books.

The Retreat is set in a secluded cottage near a small village in Wales. The owner, Julia, suffered a huge tragedy and has turned her cottage into a writers retreat and author Lucas soon arrives, desperate to get some writing done after producing a best seller but struggling to come up with an idea for his next book. Three other authors are already staying and together they make up a mixed bunch that would never normally be together.

Soon strange things start happening and the visitors aren’t sure what’s going on and why. Lucas has picked up on the sad story behind Julia and is determined to investigate what happened in order to give Julia closure. This quickly gets him into trouble, taking the rest of the visitors with him. The question is who will survive?

I don’t like horror books, I used to but as I’ve grown older I have to admit that I no longer enjoy being scared. The Retreat isn’t really a horror book, but it is definitely spooky and I’m sure that some might find it scary so be warned.

I really liked the first-person account of Lucas’ journey and the story is predominately told by him. The story sucked me right in and kept me hooked and although I thought that the ending was a little bit neat and tidy I enjoyed reading The Retreat.

Thank you to Thomas and Mercer for a copy of The Retreat by Mark Edwards. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Edwards-TheRetreat-21954-CV-FTA missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

About The Author:

Mark Edwards_72dpiMark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people. He is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay. 

Mark grew up on the south coast of England and started writing in his twenties, teaming up with Louise Voss to co-write Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death, which topped the UK bestseller chart in 2011.

His solo thrillers, The Magpies and Because She Loves Me were also No.1 bestsellers in the UK. Like these previous novels his fourth solo book, Follow You Home, was inspired by a real-life experience, in this case a ‘trip from hell’ around Europe.

He lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat.

The Retreat by Mark Edwards is out on 10th May 2018 and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall. @RuthDugdall @LegendPress

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My Review:

It isn’t usual that I will read a series out of order, but that is most definitely what I have done with the Cate Austin books. The first one that I read was book four, Nowhere Girl, which I thought was a brilliant book. Keen to read more I then read Humber Boy B which is number three and was even better than Nowhere Girl. And now I have read book one, The Woman Before Me.

I actually don’t think that it has mattered reading them out of sync and I found it quite amusing reading this book and knowing how far Cate as a character develops over the series.

Although this book is the start of the Cate Austin series, Cate herself is very much a minor role in The Woman Before Me, although a very crucial one.

Rose is most definitely the main character and the majority of the book is told by her. She’s a complex character and I was never sure how reliable she was, as we follow her as she hopes for parole. The book goes back to the past when Rose met her partner and the birth of her little boy Joel.

We know that Joel died and we know that Rose is in prison for the murder of another little boy called Luke, and as the story evolves the truth about what really happened becomes clear. I have to admit that I worked it out quite early on but I still really enjoyed it and a few times I decided that I had got it wrong.

Dugdall is a great storyteller and I love her characters, she has a real way of making them feel real. I love how her characters deal with what life throws at them, there’s no dramatics in her writing and as a result the characters are more believable.

I’ve really enjoyed the Cate Austin series and think that they get better and better. I now need to read number two to complete the set!

Thank you to Legend Press for a copy of The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

‘An absolute tour de force that left me thinking for days.’ Alex Marwood

They came for me, just like I knew they would. Luke had been dead for just three days.

Rose Wilks’ life is shattered when her newborn baby Joel is admitted to intensive care. Emma Hatcher has all that Rose lacks. Beauty. A loving husband. A healthy son. Until tragedy strikes and Rose is the only suspect.

Now, having spent nearly five years behind bars, Rose is just weeks away from freedom. Her probation officer Cate must decide whether Rose is remorseful for Luke’s death, or whether she remains a threat to society. As Cate is drawn in, she begins to doubt her own judgement.

Where is the line between love and obsession, can justice be served and, if so… by what means?

New Edition includes exclusive material and author Q&A.

About The Author:

ruthdugdallRuth Dugdall was born in 1971. She holds a BA honours degree in English Literature (Warwick University) and an MA in Social Work (University of East Anglia). She qualified as a probation officer in 1996 and has worked in prison with offenders guilty of serious crimes, including stalking, rape and murder. This has informed her crime writing. Since she started writing, Ruth has won awards in several writing competitions, and has had short stories published in the Winchester Writers’ Conference and the Eva Wiggins Award anthologies.

 

The Woman Before Me by Ruth Dugdall is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.