Emma Mitchell is a fellow book blogger and fabulous editor that gives so much of her time to help authors. And now she has decided to combine that with helping an amazing charity, Help For Heroes. Some amazing authors have written short stories for the anthology, many have a Christmas theme but not all.
I received a copy of When Stars Will Shine but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
Anthologies are a great way of discovering new authors, and when buying the book also helps an amazing charity then that can only be a good thing.
Some of the stories in When Stars Will Shine are only a few pages long, and others are longer, a lot have a Christmas theme but this book can be read year round. Given the charity the book is raising money for, many of the stories have a war theme, but many do not. The stories fit into a variety of genres so it will suit every reader.
I have read books by many of the authors before and it was great to read their stories, but I also discovered authors who I haven’t read and now want to. I loved reading this book, not only to discover new authors but because you never knew what the next story was going to be about as they were all so different from each other.
Editor Emma Mitchell has done an amazing job putting this anthology together, I know she has worked incredibly hard on it and that has paid off with this fantastic collection of stories from some amazing authors. Buy this book, you will be helping an amazing charity and you’ll have a cracking book to read. Win-win in my book!
When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist. With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time. From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride! When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!
If a book is set in New Zealand then you can be pretty sure that I will want to read it so I jumped at the chance to be part of the blog tour for The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell. Thank you to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for asking me to be part of the tour. I received a copy of The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell but I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
When most people think of New Zealand they think of sheep, greenery and stunning views. They would be right, all those things exist in New Zealand but there is a far darker side to the country than most people know. Gang culture is big and that leads to crime and violence that you wouldn’t think would be part of life in a county that is often hailed as one of the best places to live.
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell is a gritty crime book, following Detective Matt Buchanan as he tries to solve some truly heinous crimes. The death toll in the book is high and many of them involve people that Buchanan is close to, it drives him to do everything to solve the crimes and ensure that those responsible are held to account, and that often leads him to act far outside the law.
I often wondered how much of the book was based on fact rather than fiction, it felt so very real at times. The author, Nathan Blackwell although that is not his real name, does a frankly remarkable job of portraying the mental impact of the job on the Detective. It is hard for me to put into words how real it all felt and how at times it was painful to read Matt Buchanan’s breakdown.
This book is not for the faint hearted or the easily offended. There are many, many swear words in the book including the ‘c’ word, it is strong and that might bother readers. I don’t mind swearing if it is appropriate, and most of the time it was but the one thing I would change about the book is the number of swear words including the ‘c’ word.
But if you can stomach that and the gruesome murders and the descent into madness then read this book, it is disturbing and thought provoking and may just make you look at policing a little bit differently. I was blown away by The Sound Of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell and it will stay with me for a long time to come. Hopefully, the author will write more books as I will be keen to read them!
Some murder cases you can’t forget. No matter how hard you try.
The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach – over a decade after she was murdered.
Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.
Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society – and back into his deepest obsession…
Sound of her Voice is an authentic, gritty, character-led police procedural by an elite former detective – for fans of Ian Rankin, Stuart Macbride, and Joseph Knox
About The Author:
Nathan Blackwell was raised on Auckland’s North Shore and attended Westlake Boys’ High School before commencing a ten-year career in the New Zealand Police. Seven of those years were spent as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he was exposed to human nature at its strongest and bravest, but also at its most depraved and horrific. He investigated a wide range of cases including drug manufacture, child abuse, corruption, serious violence, rape and murder. Because some of his work was conducted covertly, Nathan chooses to hide his true identity.
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Well, where do I start with this one? I am beyond excited to be part of this amazing tour for one of my absolute favourite authors and my favourite series, and it is even more exciting because until today I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone that the book even existed! I know many, many fans of Angela Marsons and her brilliant DI Kim Stone books, we’ve all waited for a new book in the series to be released, we’ve laughed and most of us have cried as we followed the journey of Stone and her team, we’ve read as the characters grew and learnt and gained confidence in themselves and, if you are anything like me, you’ve wondered what it was like at the very beginning.
Well, wonder no more. Angela Marsons has given us such a treat, she has gone back to the beginning when Stone and her team were first introduced to each other and, well, I’m sure you aren’t reading this now because you’re scrolling down to the buy link so you can get reading! And if you are still here, then here is my review of this blooming brilliant book, I received a copy of First Blood by Angela Marsons from Bookouture, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
If you are a fan of Angela Marsons then head over to the Bookouture Facebook page tonight, Thursday 14th November, at 7pm for a live video chat.
Holey Moley, Angela Marsons! This book just confirms what I have always thought, Marsons is an amazing author and I cannot understand why is she not a household name like James Patterson, Val McDermid, Patricia Cornwell and Karen Rose!
I have loved the DI Kim Stone series since I read Silent Scream back in 2015, the series has got better and better and I have loved every single book in the series. I love the character of Kim Stone, her vulnerability that is hidden behind her tough exterior and her heartbreaking childhood make her a complex and interesting character. Her team all contribute to the stories and I know that I am not alone in loving each of them and there is many people who hold grudges against Marsons for some of what she has put her characters through.
What I wasn’t expecting was for Marsons to go back to the beginning and tell us the story of when Kim Stone first met her faithful team, and how they began to pull together as a team despite them appearing to be so very different from each other. But what a blooming brilliant idea it was, I was so excited to read the book that I immediately stopped reading the book I was a third of the way through and started reading First Blood. I just couldn’t wait and I tore through the book and stayed up far later than I should have so that I could finish the book. But it was definitely one of those books where I wanted to get to the end to find out what would happen, but I also didn’t want the book to end because I was enjoying reading it so much.
I just loved reading about the teams first impressions of each other and how they found their strengths and weaknesses that meant that together they were a team that solved even the toughest crimes.
If you have read previous DI Kim Stone books then I doubt you are even reading this as you will have bought the book regardless of what the reviewers had to say, but if you haven’t read an Angela Marsons book before then buy this book, buy it and read it and enjoy the rollercoaster of the rest of the series, you will love every moment of it!
In the darkness of a cold December morning, Detective Kim Stone steps through the doors of Halesowen Police Station. She’s about to meet her team for the first time. The victim of her next case is about to meet his killer…
When the body of a young man is found beheaded and staked to the ground in a secluded area of the Clent Hills, Kim and her new squad rush to the crime scene.
Searching the victim’s home, Kim discovers a little girl’s bedroom and a hidden laptop. Why is his sister relieved to hear he’s dead – and where is the rest of his family?
As Kim begins to unearth the dark secrets at the heart of the case, D.C. Stacey Wood finds a disturbing resemblance to the recent murder of Lester Jackson. But that’s not all Stacey finds.
She’s convinced there is a link between the victims and a women’s shelter run by Marianne Forbes, Lester’s niece. A child of the care system herself, Kim knows all too well what it means to be vulnerable. Could Marianne be the key to cracking this case?
With the killer about to strike again, Kim is in deep water with a rookie squad. Inexperienced Stacey is showing signs of brilliance but struggling to hold her nerve and, while D.S. Bryant is reliable and calm, D.S. Dawson is a liability. With his home life in pieces, his volatile behaviour is already fracturing her fragile new team.
Can Kim bring Dawson in line and pull her crew together in time to catch the killer before another life is taken? This time, one of her own could be in terrible danger…
Discover where it all began for Kim and her team. An absolutely heart-stopping mystery thriller that will keep you glued to the pages, reading late into the night. Perfect for Kim Stone fans and new readers to the million-copy bestselling series.
A detective hiding dark secrets, Kim Stone will stop at nothing to protect the innocent.
About The Author:
Angela Marsons is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 3 million in 3 years.
She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.
She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.
After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.
She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 27 languages.
Many of her books, including Blood Lines, Dead Souls, Broken Bones, Fatal Promise and Dead Memories reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.
First Blood by Angela Marsons is out now on e-book, it will be released in hardback on 21st November 2019. Go to https://geni.us/B07ZDG34ZCblogger to get your copy now!
Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for a lovely little book called Home Alone Harry by Jerry Rhodes and Rachael Messiter and illustrated by Nicky Hill. Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to be part of the tour. I received a copy of the book but was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
This really is a fabulous little book!! The first thing that jumps out is the brilliant illustrations, they really bring the story to life and help to engage a young reader.
I love how this book teaches children how to be around a pet dog, especially if they are getting a new pet. I wish this book had been around when I got my dog and my children had such a tough time giving her space and time to sleep etc without being bothered. It isn’t easy for excited children to do that so anything that helps them to understand why that is so important is great in my eyes.
But whether you have a dog or not, I think that most children will delight in reading this book, it is targeted at three to six year olds and I think that is a fair age range, although younger children would no doubt enjoy it too even if they didn’t understand it as well as they might.
This is the first book featuring the Thunkies and I hope that it is the first of many, these really are books to look out for!
Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Mum, Dad, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos, and Dad cries out, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” The Thunkies respond to his call. They help the family learn how Harry, as a dog, thinks completely differently from them. There is a surprising game “Home Alone Harry” that the family play together, which helps resolve Harry’s behavioural problem.
Written for children aged 3 – 6 years, the book is bursting with vivid, colourful illustrations and uses a rich vocabulary. The aims of the book are threefold: to delight readers, to show through the story how the Thunkies cartoon characters help the family realise that dogs don’t think like humans, and to reveal the wisdom of respecting the dog’s world-view.
The educational substance of the book arises from the research and teaching of its two authors. They demonstrate that we can learn to understand how dogs really think even though as humans we all think differently. The registered names of the research are Amichien® Bonding and Thunkies®.
Jerry Rhodes Author Bio:
Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his world-wide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.
Rachael Messiter Author Bio:
Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs
Nicky Hill Illustrator Bio:
Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wottonunder-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.
If you like true crime then you will love this book, Manhunt by Colin Sutton is probably the best true crime book I have read. It sucked me right in and shocked me and upset me and made me feel almost every emotion out there. A very impressive book.
I had wanted to read Manhunt by Colin Sutton for a good while before I finally got round to reading it. Like many I watched the television programme with the same name, staring Martin Clunes as Sutton. It was an excellent dramatisation but as someone who is fairly familiar with the crimes of Levi Bellfield I knew that a fair amount of dramatic licence had been used so it was time to read the book and hear the story from the man who led the police team who finally bought Bellfield to justice.
I’ve seen Sutton on various television programmes and I’ve always felt that he speaks well and knows he stuff. I was worried that the book would be full of how wonderful he is and how he almost single handedly caught Bellfield. But thankfully Sutton comes across as a team player, who appreciated his team and how hard they worked to catch the killer.
It is a shame that the blurb focuses on Milly Dowler, because this book is about so much more than her, and the other cases deserve to be as well known and talked about as Dowler.
The story is fascinating, the way in which Sutton and his team gradually pieced it all together, worked out that the killings and attempted murders were the work on the same person, the many hours of CCTV they trawled through and then eventually, the way they arrested Bellfield and then gathered further evidence as people finally felt safe to be able to talk about the things they had seen him do.
That bit was shocking and fascinating. So many people know just how awful a person Levi Bellfield is but were too scared to come forward while he was a free man. It was also really interesting to read how resources were thrown at Sutton and his team when they realised what a dangerous man Bellfield was, they were determined that Bellfield would not be able hurt anyone else while they compiled the evidence against him.
I really enjoyed reading this book, sure it is horrible to think that this really happened and Bellfield was able to hurt so many people over the years and how he managed to manipulate almost everyone to get what he wanted, but it was so interesting and a story that kept me hooked and desperate to keep reading.
Sutton surprised me as an author who was able to describe what had happened clearly and with impressive recall. I was surprised to read the criticism that he gave other police forces, especially the one responsible for investigating the disappearance of Milly Dowler.
If you are interested in true crime then this is a great book to read, if you have watched Manhunt and want to know more, then read this book. If you want to learn more about how the police go about solving major crimes, then this book is for you. So many people will get something out of this book, I got loads and it is a story that will stay with me for a long time to come. Thank goodness Bellfield is in prison and will never be released to hurt and manipulate people again.
NOW A MAJOR TV DRAMA STARRING MARTIN CLUNES
What does it take to catch one of Britain’s most feared killers?
Levi Bellfield is one of the most notorious British serial killers of the last fifty years – his name alone evokes horror and revulsion, after his string of brutal murders in the early 2000s.
At 3:07pm on 21st March, 2002, Milly Dowler left her school in Surrey for the last time. Less than an hour later, she was to be abducted and murdered in the cruellest fashion, sparking a missing person investigation that would span months before her body was found.
In the two years that followed, two more young women – Marsha McDonnell and then Amélie Delagrange – were murdered in unspeakably brutal attacks.
Yet with three murdered women on their hands, and few leads open to them, investigating officers were running out of ideas and options, until SIO Colin Sutton was drafted into the investigation for the murder of Delagrange. Seeing a connection between the three women, and thriving under the pressure of a serial killer hunt, Sutton was finally able to bring their murderer to justice after the case had begun to seem hopeless.
Manhunt tells the story of how he led the charge to find a mystery killer, against the clock and against the odds – day by day and lead by lead. At once a gripping police procedural, and an insight into the life of an evil man, this is the story behind what it takes to track down a shockingly violent murderer before he strikes again.
About The Author:
Colin Sutton was a Senior Investigating Officer in the Metropolitan Police from January 2003 to January 2011, leading more than thirty successful murder investigations, notably the Levi Bellfield case and the successful re-investigation of the seventeen-year reign of terror of the ‘Nightstalker’ Delroy Grant.
Manhunt: How I Brought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield To Justice by Colin Sutton is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil. I’ve been a fan of the author for a while now and I know that I am not the only one who enjoys her writing because my review of Silent Child is one of my most read blog posts ever, and Only Daughter isn’t too far down the list either.
I received a copy of The Liar’s Sister by Sarah A Denzil from the publisher, Bookouture, via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
Wow, I don’t really know where to start with this review. The Liar’s Sister starts off being your everyday psychological thriller and then it goes along seemingly following a normal path and then BAM! You realise that you stopped breathing a couple of minutes ago and you can’t read fast enough to find out what actually happened ten years before.
I quite liked Heather as a character, although I never really felt as though I got to know who she really was, but by the end that all made a lot more sense. I wasn’t sure about her sister Rosie, she seemed to be so consumed by guilt that it was impossible to work out what exactly she felt guilty about, although again that all became clear.
With The Liar’s Sister, Sarah A Denzil has weaved a clever story, one that gradually builds up the tension as more and more is revealed but it is hard to know who to trust.
The setting of Buckthorpe village was perfect, it felt claustrophobic and remarkably unfriendly, but why were the villages so contained, were they also keeping secrets too?
I feel as though I need to process this book a lot more to work out exactly what happened and why and also how I feel about it. It is one of those books that I will think about for a couple of weeks after finishing, a sure sign of a great read that kept me wondering and guessing right until the very last page.
I’ve really enjoyed previous books by the author but I think that this one is probably her best one yet.
A SHOCKING DISAPPEARANCE. A VILLAGE FULL OF SECRETS.
Ten years ago, a boy named Samuel Murray went missing from the quiet village of Buckthorpe and was never seen again.
Rosie Sharpe cried over her missing friend for weeks after. But her little sister Heather knows that Rosie’s tears hide the truth. Because the night Samuel was last seen, Heather watched her older sister climbing back through the window of their childhood bedroom. Her jacket torn, her eyes wild and her body trembling with fear.
Heather never told anyone what she saw, but secrets can’t stay buried forever…
A decade later, Rosie and Heather return to the home they grew up in when their mother falls ill. But when their house is ransacked and they receive a threatening note, it becomes clear that someone in the close-knit village doesn’t want them there.
When Heather finally confronts her sister about what really happened on the dark, rainy night Samuel vanished, Rosie’s version of the truth is more shocking than she could ever have imagined. But can she trust her sister? And who broke into their house that night? As the lies of the past begin to unravel, they have the power to put the lives of both women in terrible danger…
This twist-filled, page-turning psychological thriller from the million-copy-bestselling author of Silent Child will keep you hooked until the final, jaw-dropping pages. Perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors and The Girl on the Train.
About The Author:
Sarah A. Denzil is a British suspense writer from Derbyshire. In her alternative life–AKA Sarah Dalton–she writes speculative fiction for teenagers, including The Blemished, Mary Hades and White Hart.
Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her partner, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather.
Saving April, Sarah’s debut suspense thriller, is a psychological look into the minds of the people around us who we rarely even consider – our neighbours. What do we really know about them, and what goes on when the doors are closed?
Today is my stop on the blog tour for In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone. Thank you to Anne Cater for having me on the tour and to Orenda Books for giving me a copy of the book. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed previous books by Michael J Malone, I was keen to read his latest book, In The Absence of Miracles. It was a book that I agreed to read without even reading the blurb, so I went in with no idea what to expect, apart from what I had assumed about the authors books from what I had read before.
This book is nothing like I was expecting. It was a story that was heartbreaking and difficult to read, and one which makes the reader face the assumptions we all make about the things we read and hear.
The main character in the book is John, a respected teacher who seems to be floating through life, a bit of a lost soul. When he discovers a brother that he knew nothing about John focuses on finding out what happened to him, and soon the search becomes an obsession.
It soon becomes clear that John is going to find out a lot more about his childhood than what happened to his missing brother. It’s a real journey and it is not an easy one to travel. How much can we trust what we remember from when we were young? Is it really possible to forget huge chunks of your life?
I was totally unprepared for where this book would take me, the story is full of heartbreak but also hope. It has left me thoughtful and sad, but also keen to read more from Michael J Malone.
A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one bestselling author Michael J. Malone
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.
With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.
For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.
Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.
About The Author:
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritanand Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.
You can read my review of House Of Spines by Michael J Malone here.
In The Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.