5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. @rhiannonnavin @MantleBooks #bookblogger #greatread #5star

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Only Child by Rhiannon Navin.

My Review:

Sometimes a book comes along that climbs right inside of you and lodges itself right into your heart. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you know that the book is really something very special.

That is what happened to me when reading Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. It isn’t an easy book to read, I think that even the most hardened reader will struggle to stop the storyline from affecting them.

This book grabbed me from the start when Zach was hiding in the cupboard at school listening to the pop pop pop of a gun going off. Little does he know that his life is about to change forever. I loved Zach as a character, aged only six that could have been very different, but he is believable and just wonderful in so many ways.

As his family falls apart Zach struggles to understand what has happened and how he can get his family working together again, as they once did. I really liked Zach’s Dad, while his mother fell apart he struggled to keep things as normal as possible for Zach and although he hadn’t been the best Dad before he works hard to make things better. I think that he was underused as a character and I loved reading the scenes between Zach and his Dad.

Readers of my blog will know that I love reading crime and thriller books, but once I finished Only Child I really struggled to read anything with a gun in it. Very unlike me but that is the impact that this book had on me. It didn’t last (thankfully), but this book did have a strong and long lasting impact on me. It really was a wonderful read but not an easy one. For a debut novel it is nothing short of outstanding, I can’t wait to read more from the author and I am pretty sure that Only Child will be on my top reads of 2018 though.

Thank you to the publisher Mantle, for a copy of Only Child by Rhiannon Navin. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Readers of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty will also like this tenderhearted debut about healing and family, narrated by an unforgettable six-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.

Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

About The Author:

Rhiannon+Navin,+AuthorRhiannon Navin grew up in Bremen, Germany, in a family of book-crazy women. Her career in advertising brought her to New York City, where she worked for several large agencies before becoming a full-time mother and writer. She now lives outside of New York City with her husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. Only Child is her first novel.

 

You can follow the author on TwitterFacebookGoodreads and on her website.

 

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #Bookreview Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh. @SSCav @orionbooks #Thirteen #book #backablogger #greatread

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My Review:

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started to read Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh, I used to read a lot of American crime books but now I rarely do and wondered whether this book would change that.

I loved the concept of having a trial influenced by someone on the jury, let alone that someone being the person who committed the crime that trial is for. But when I started the book I didn’t know that that was what the book was about, as I had heard about it from other bloggers and how much they had loved it so I read it on that alone. It didn’t take me long to work out and I have to say that I loved it, such a different concept to the standard court drama and one that hooked me and kept me right there, devouring the pages as I discovered just how far he was willing to go to get the result that he wanted.

What he hadn’t banked on was defence lawyer, Eddie Flynn, being brought in at the last moment and his different approach causes problems for our naughty juror. Eddie was a great character, totally believable and definitely a lawyer that I’d like to have on my side if I were ever to face a trial. He also provided some lighter relief from the darkness that surrounded the juror.

I really enjoyed reading Thirteen, it has a very clever premise and is well written and I was sad when it ended. I will definitely be reading more from Steve Cavanagh, and I will definitely be reading more American crime fiction again.

Thank you to the publisher, Orion Books, and Tracey Fenton, for a copy of Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

thirteen

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

 

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

About The Author:

stevecavanaghSteve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast before leaving for Dublin at the age of eighteen to study Law. He currently practices civil rights law and has been involved in several high profile cases; in 2010 he represented a factory worker who suffered racial abuse in the workplace and won the largest award of damages for race discrimination in Northern Ireland legal history. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). He is married with two young children.

Find out more at www.stevecavanaghbooks.com or follow Steve on Twitter @SSCav.

Th1rt3en by Steve Cavanagh is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

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

#BlogTour #BookReview Sarah’s Shadow by @nickjonesauthor and Go To Sleep by Marion Adams @Marion_author @kidsbooks @rararesources

Full Media Full Banner

How exciting, not one but two great children’s books!!

 

Front cover - new size
Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones.

 

My Review:

 

Like most parents, I like a kids book with a message, a book that will teach them something without them even realising. Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones is just such a book.

Sarah is unhappy because she is being teased at school, so she makes a wish on a shooting star to remove the thing about herself that is getting teased…her shadow. She goes to sleep excited about the next day, but when it comes the reality of life without her shadow isn’t what Sarah expected.

Of course, it all ends well but in the process, Sarah has learnt an important message about being happy with herself as she is.

I really liked this book, it’s well written and I love the illustrations by Si Clark. I’m sure that this book will go down really well with children under the age of six, although I think that children over that age would really enjoy the book, the picture book format would be a turn off for them. Or it certainly would be for my children! Perhaps the author could write a slightly longer version for older children, I would definitely get that for my seven year olds!

This would be a great book for all children, especially those who are perhaps unhappy with something about themselves, or someone who could do with being kinder to others.

Thank you to the publisher, Full Media Ltd, for a copy of Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

 

Blurb:

If you could change something about yourself, would you do it? When Sarah Simpkins is teased about her shadow in the school playground, she finds herself wishing she didn’t have one. That night she has the chance to make the wish come true. But will losing her shadow really make her happy?

About the Author:

nickjonesamazonNick Jones is an author based in Cheshire, UK, but originally from Bristol. He has written a series of joke books and an illustrated children’s book. His first joke book, Gagged and Bound, was written during the summer of 2014 and was published by Full Media Ltd later in the year to critical acclaim, garnering positive reviews from numerous book review websites such as Reader’s Favorite and The Bookbag. A follow-up, Gagged and Bound 2, was released a year later and received a similarly positive response, and in 2017 Nick returned with the third instalment. Nick returned with a very different book, Sarah’s Shadow, in December 2017. He has several new books in the pipeline including two picture books and a children’s joke book.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nickjonesauthor

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickjones.author

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nickjonezy/

Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones is out now and available to buy from the following links.

https://full-media.co.uk/product/sarahs-shadow-nick-jones

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarahs-Shadow-Nick-Jones/dp/0993079490  

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Sarahs-Shadow-Nick-Jones/dp/0993079490 

Go to Sleep - From Amazon

My Review:

As a parent of seven year old twins, I’m still not sure what children have against sleep. I love to sleep and I wish that they did too! One day I will enjoy waking them up very early in the morning but for now, the trick to getting your reluctant child to sleep remains a mystery.

Go To Sleep by Marion Adams tells the story of Tansy the sheep, a typical lamb or finds it hard to fall asleep. With the rest of her flock sleeping Tansy takes the advice of a passing owl that counting sheep will help her to fall asleep. But all doesn’t go to plan and Tansy gets very worried and ends up waking the flock. I’m sure that all parents will identify with the end of Go To Sleep!!

Overall this is a lovely book. The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills are great and it is a sweet little story that will be enjoyed by under fives.

Thank you to the publisher, Full Media Ltd, for a copy of Go To Sleep by Marion Adams. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong … The award-winning bedtime story with a humorous twist that children will love!

Author Bio:

MA author pic 2Marion Adams has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day (and eat dark chocolate). Over the years, she’s written all kinds of things for both adults and children, some serious and some less so, with published work including magazine stories, articles, poems, plays and non-fiction books.

Marion lives in Devon, UK, and when she’s not reading or writing (or eating dark chocolate), she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep! is set.

Social Media Links:  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Marion_author

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

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marionadams_author/?hl=en

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marion-adams-7ab52a71/

Go To Sleep by Marion Adams is out now and available from the links below:

http://full-media.co.uk/product/go-to-sleep-marion-adams/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Go-Sleep-Marion-Adams/dp/0993079474

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Go-Sleep-Marion-Adams/product-reviews/0993079474/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_show_all_btm?ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews

 

5*, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour #BookReview Dying Truth by Angela Marsons. @WriteAngie @Bookouture #DyingTruth #KimStone #brilliantread

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I am so very, very, excited about Dying Truth by Angela Marsons. If you’ve read my little blog before then you will probably know that Angela Marsons and her DI Kim Stone books are my most favourite series. I will warn you though, if you are reading reviews for Dying Truth then please be careful and make sure that it is a review that gives away no spoilers. I never give spoilers in my reviews so you’re safe here, but do be careful as you absolutely and most definitely do not want to ruin the surprise! Please don’t post any spoilers in comments on here too please, although I’d love to hear what you thought please don’t ruin it for others.

My Review:

Woah!!! I adore the DI Kim Stone books, I’ve read and loved each of them and eagerly wait for a new one to be released.

The fact that this is book eight of the Kim Stone series and is not only going strong but getting better and better is impressive and shows that this series is something special. It is hard for an author to keep a character going for so long and keep the readers engaged and wanting more. Angela Marsons has sold millions of books and if you read one or two of them then you will see why.

Anyway, back to Dying Truth. Once again Kim’s instincts are correct, something is going on at a very exclusive boarding school where a student supposedly jumped to her death. Kim and her team of reliable detectives who all play an important part in working together to solve the crimes.

Fans of the series will be excited to hear that Dr Alex Thorne makes a guest appearance in Dying Truth, this is the third book in the series that she has appeared in and once again she makes a big impression.

The one thing that I will remember Dying Truth for is the completely unexpected curve ball thrown at the reader, something that you will not see coming and something that will shock you. I will say no more but I think that there may need to be some support groups set up for readers to help them cope with this book.

It is a fabulous book and I have so much respect for Angela Marsons. She’s one hell of a writer and this really is an amazing series. If you haven’t read any of the Kim Stone books before then you really really should, but do start at the beginning with Silent Scream, although I’m sure that you could read Dying Truth as a standalone you really would be missing out if you don’t start at the beginning. And if you have read the previous seven then bump Dying Truth to the top of your reading pile and enjoy!

Thank you to Bookouture for my copy of Dying Truth by Angela Marsons. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

dyingtruthHow far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead. 

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim. 

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.

 
 

About the author: 

 
Angie - updated author photo - no credit neededAngela Marsons is the author of the International Bestselling DI Kim Stone series and her books have sold more than 2 million in 2 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.

Her last three books – Blood Lines, Dead Souls and Broken Bones – reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 8)
5*, book review, debut author

#BookReview Home by Amanda Berriman. @DoubledayUK @MandyBerriman @jounwin @TransworldBooks @bookreview

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Home by Amanda Berriman.

My Review:

When I read the blurb for Home I knew that I wanted to read it, I then started to hear from others who had read it and they all seemed to love it so I was even more determined to read it. And I’m so pleased that I did.

From literally the very first page I was hooked. The book is narrated by Jesika, a four year old who lives with her Mummy and little brother Toby after her Father moved to Poland, never to be heard from again. Jesika’s Mum is struggling with life, she doesn’t have enough money and they live in a flat that’s got many things wrong with it, including mold. As a result Toby and their Mum both have a bad cough that won’t go away. Life is about to get very difficult for Jesika.

A book narrated by such a young child could easily be awful but thankfully that is not the case here, not even close. It is written in a simple language but I really liked that. From the very start Jesika worked her way into my heart, she was such a wonderful little girl who felt so very real. Her innocence was wonderful and I loved seeing her world through her eyes, but this isn’t always an easy book to read.

Home gives a brilliant example of how grooming happens, the subtleties and ways in which an adult will convince a child to keep secrets for them. While it is not easy to read I thought that Amanda Berriman handled it sensitively and realistically, something that is impressive for any author, let along a debut author. But some will find this very difficult to read so be warned.

But despite this darkness, there is much light in the book. The love that Jesika has for her Mother is wonderful, but also for her little brother Toby. Jesika really is a special little girl who unknowingly brings out the best in people.

Home had me going to bed early so that I could read and check in on Jesika because I’d be worried about her and how she was doing, that is how real that she felt to me. When I finished the book at 2am I felt as though my heart had been shattered by little Jesika and what she went through, but filled with hope that her life was going to get better. The most upsetting thing? That I won’t get to check in on Jesika again and see how she is doing. Home really is a special book and for a debut author it is nothing short of brilliant.

Blurb:

Jesika is four and a half.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.

About the Author:

Berriman-Mandy-Author-Pic-640x707Mandy was born in a British military hospital in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She studied music at Sheffield University, where she met her husband, and they climbed some more hills in the Peak District before setting off to travel around the world. After learning to teach in Glasgow, she taught in a primary school in the Cambridgeshire fens (not very hilly), where she rediscovered the joy of making up stories and started writing again. She’s now a specialist music teacher at a primary school in Oldham and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two lego masterbuilders and dog.

Home by Amanda Berriman is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog blast, blog tours, book review

#BlogTour Locked In by GB Williams @GailBWilliams @Bloodhoundbook

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My review:

Ok, so this is book two in a series and I haven’t read book one. I hate doing that and it is normally something that I avoid but for some reason I read the blurb for this book and I just wanted to read it. And I’m very pleased that I did.

What followed was an unexpected thrilling read that hooked me right from the start and kept me right there until the very last page. It was a book that I stayed up late to read, it’s a book that I thought about when I couldn’t read it and it’s a book that I made sure that I had more time in the day to read. I had to know what happened.

Ariadne was a great character, although not always that likeable she was engaging and incredibly feisty, she has to use everything that she’s got when she finds herself caught up in a bank robbery. She finds herself getting the attention of the robbers when one of them recognises her from his time inside. That is not good for Ariadne.

I don’t feel for a moment that I missed out because I hadn’t read book one, but I have now got the first book, Locked Up, on my kindle ready for me to read when I get the chance and I will most definitely be reading book three when it is released later in the year.

This is a twisty and turny thrilling ride with some great characters and an original take on what could have been quite a run of the mill storyline. I really enjoyed reading this book and will most definitely recommend it to my friends.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for a copy of Locked In by GB Williams. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

GB Williams - Locked In_cover_high resAriadne Teddington is having a bad day. Then she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun.
Stuck in a bank robbery turned hostage situation, Ariadne keeps her head down and her mouth shut; because if there is one thing criminals hate more than the police it’s prison guards.
Trapped with a child, a policeman, and a robber on the edge, Ariadne desperately searches for a way out for them.
Can they all escape unharmed?
And when everyone is locked in, will anyone get out alive?

About the Author:

Colour Portrait 10After being made redundant in 2012, GB started taking her life-long passion for writing more seriously and looking to sell her work. Specialising in complex, fast-paced crime novels. Her debut novel, Locked Up, was released in September 2017, Locked In follows in February 2018, and Locked Down in September 2018.

GB was shortlisted for the 2014 CWA Margery Allingham Short Story Competition with the story Last Shakes, now available in Last Cut Casebook. She is also a
feature writer and occasional comic book reviewer. Crime novels are her stock in trade, but she has had success with short stories in various genres
including steampunk, horror, erotica and general fiction.

With bills to pay, she’s back working as a systems architect by day, a freelance fiction editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend. GB really needs to
learn to sleep.

Originally from Kent, GB moved to South Wales as a supposed first step on a year around the world.  Then she met a guy.  Kept the guy, kissed the travel goodbye. Knowing that the best way to travel is by book anyway, she has always read, always written. GB now has two grown-up children, the world’s most imperious cat, a house full of books and a hard drive full of manuscripts (though some will never be allowed out of a locked basement).

Author Links:

Twitter:       @GailBWilliams

Facebook:  @ GBWilliamsCrimeWriter

Blog:           thewriteroute.wordpress.com

Website:     www.gailbwilliams.co.uk

Locked Up by GB Williams is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, parenting

#BlogTour We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt @lukeallnutt @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #WeOwnTheSky

Blog tour FINALv3

My Review:

Now and then a book comes along that finds a place right deep inside you, perhaps the characters touch you or the storyline, possibly having something in common with your real life, gets inside you. We Own The Sky is one of those books.

It is beautifully written and I just loved how simple it is, there is no dramatics and it is just the story of a man whose life falls apart and how he slowly starts to put it back together again. This book ought to come with a warning because it is sad and most of those that I know who have been lucky enough to read this wonderful book prior to publication have talked about how they cried, it is not a book to read in public if you’re that way inclined. I appear to be somewhat heartless.

A book like this is never going to be an easy read and some people will find the subject matter offputting for various reasons, but it really is beautiful and the author has done an incredibly impressive job of telling us about Rob and his inner thoughts and feelings. I’ll miss him and while I, of course, know that Rob isn’t real, I hope that his life gets better.

Thank you so much to Tracy Fenton of THE Book Club on Facebook and Orion for a copy of We Own The Sky. I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

35956629A story about love, loss and finding hope-against all odds.

Rob Coates can’t believe his luck. There is Anna, his incredible wife, and most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. Rob feels like he’s won the lottery of life. Or rather-he did. Until the day it all changes when Anna becomes convinced there is something wrong with Jack.

Now Rob sleepwalks through his days, unable to bridge the gulf that separates him from his wife, his son and the business of living. But he’s determined to come to terms with what’s happened-and find a way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered loss or experienced great love. Luke Allnutt shows that the journey from hope to despair and back is never as simple as we think, and that even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

About The Author:

Luke_ALLNUTT-385x615I’m a writer and journalist based in Prague.

My debut novel, We Own The Sky, will be published by Orion (U.K.) and Harlequin/HarperCollins (U.S.) in 2018.

The publication rights have been sold in 30 countries around the world.

I’m also the author of Unspoken, a Kindle Single about the death of my father.

Originally from the U.K., I’ve  lived and worked in Prague since 1998.

We Own The Sky by Luke Allnutt is released on 8th February 2018 and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.