#blogtour Maggie by @nettanewbound @Bloodhoundbook

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As a huge Netta Newbound fan, I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour for her latest book, Maggie.

My Review:

I have to admit that as a huge fan of Netta Newbound I have high expectations of her books. I agreed to read and review Maggie based solely on the author’s name without reading the blurb. It was bumped up my pile of books to read and, looking forward to a great read, I started Maggie.

So it was my own fault that I was taken by surprise by the abusive step-father at the start of the book, a subject that I will normally avoid. Thankfully the book soon moved on and I got sucked into the life of Maggie, a feisty teen who finds herself an orphan with many people suspicious and against her, she relies on the few people that stand by her. Determined to move away and get a fresh start Maggie finds herself drawn back home when one of her allies is seriously injured in what appears to have been an accident.

Soon enough more of her friends are being murdered and Maggie is sure that the killings are random. But who can she trust? And why is someone killing everyone that she loves?

I did enjoy Maggie, it was a twisty read that kept me guessing, but not guessing enough as I did work out the ‘who done it’ quite early on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I did like the storyline but I definitely feel that this is not one of the author’s best books. Perhaps this is unfair of me, as if it had been written by another author who I didn’t have such high expectations of I may well have been less critical.

But don’t let that put you off, Maggie is still a great read and an enjoyable one and Maggie, the character, is great and although I hope that her life got a lot easier after the events in this book, I would be happy to revisit in another book.

Thank you to the author, Netta Newbound, and the publisher, Bloodhound Books, for my copy of Maggie. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Print

When sixteen-year-old Maggie Simms’ mum loses her battle with cancer, the only family she has left is her abusive stepfather, Kenny.
Horrified to discover he intends to continue his nightly abuse, Maggie is driven to put a stop to him once and for all.
However, she finds her troubles are only just beginning when several of her closest allies are killed.
Although nothing seems to be linking the deaths, Maggie believes she is jinxed.
Why are the people she cares about being targeted?
And who is really behind the murders?
Sometimes the truth is closer than you think.

About the Author:

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My name’s Netta Newbound. I write thrillers in many different styles — some grittier than others. The Cold Case Files have a lighter tone and are full of fun. I also write a series set in London, which features one of my favourite characters, Detective Adam Stanley. These books are a little grittier. My standalone books, The Watcher and An Impossible Dilemma, are not for the faint hearted, and it seems you either love them or hate them—I’d love to know what you think.
 
Originally from Manchester, England, I have travelled extensively and have lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. I now live in New Zealand with my husband. We have three grown up children and four grandchildren.
Maggie by Netta Newbound is today and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

#blogtour Strategy by Anita Waller @anitamayw @bloodhoundbook

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My Review:

This is the third Anita Waller book that I have read and I will definitely be reading more. When I heard that the author had written a sequel to 34 Days, I knew that I had to read it. I had really enjoyed 34 Days and was intrigued to know what had happened after.

I have to admit that when I started to read Strategy I did wonder whether 34 Days had really warranted a sequel, was there really enough left to tell about the Carbrook family? Well, I should have trusted the author and the publishers Bloodhound Books, who have a solid reputation for producing excellent books.

I do recommend that you don’t read Strategy until you have read 34 Days as although the book provides plenty of reminders about what had happened in the first book I think that you would miss out, not only on a great read but also truly understanding the story.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Strategy, it really did complete the story from 34 Days and, like the original, it provided plenty of twists and turns. It isn’t a long book but it is long enough to suck the reader back into the lives of the Carbrook family, reminding us what the family have been through and truly caring about what happens to them next and once again Waller hasn’t given them an easy ride.

Blurb:

 

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Strategy by Anita Waller

 

How much can one family take?  
Jenny Carbrook murdered three people to make it look as though there was a serial killer at work in Lincoln, when the only person she wanted to kill was Ray Carbrook, her father-in-law, who had raped her the week before her marriage to Mark, Ray’s son.  
Jenny wrote letters detailing her crimes in order to protect everyone she loved, but was forced to go into hiding before retrieving the evidence against her.  Not only did she leave the letters behind but also her young daughter, Grace.  
Now Jenny has a plan, a strategy, to get the letters back. But it’s not only the letters that Jenny has in her sights…

 

About the author:

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Anita Waller was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire in 1946. She married Dave in 1967 and they have three adult children, Matthew, Siân and Kirsty along with seven grandchildren ranging in age from Brad at 23 down to baby Isaac at 2 ½ years.

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

In 1995 she sent Beautiful to a publisher and as they reached the contract stage the publisher went into liquidation. It was all to do with Eric Cantona and leaping over the barrier – don’t ask!
As a result, the book was consigned to the attic in dejected disgust but in 2013 it was dragged out again for an enforced complete re-type. The original was written on an Amstrad 8256 and the only thing that remained was one hard copy.

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

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

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

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

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

 So where next? Her current work in progress is going by the working title A Legal Issue, and once again is a psychological thriller.

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

Her genre is murder – necessary murder.

Links:

Amazon page:   https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=anita+waller

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

Website:  http://anitamayw.wixsite.com/anitawaller

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/anitamayw

 Beautiful:

www.amazon.co.uk/Beautiful-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B014RCH5WM/

 Angel:

www.amazon.co.uk/Angel-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01DR4USZC/

 34 Days:

www.amazon.co.uk/34-Days-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B01IP6YE0M/

 Winterscroft:

www.amazon.co.uk/Winterscroft-Anita-Waller-ebook/dp/B06XMY3JD3/

 Strategy:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1912175487/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_uk-21&linkCode=as2&camp=1634&creative=6738

#review The Second Captive by Maggie James @mjamesfiction @BloodhoundBooks #blogtour

BLOG TOUR (5)

My Review:

The blurb to The Second Captive really appealed to me. The concept of the captive starting to see their kidnapper and keeper not as the enemy but as someone that they care about (Stockholm Syndrome) is fascinating to me.

I found The Second Captive got me into the story really quickly, I wanted to keep reading, no, I had to keep reading, especially once Beth was kidnapped. I had to know how she was going to escape and how was Beth going to cope once she did.

I really liked how the story was told, the first half is told by Beth and her kidnapper Dominic. This meant that we got to understand what was behind his decision to kidnap Beth and keep her in his basement for so long. While I certainly didn’t like Dominic, I did appreciate reading his thoughts and processes. Once Beth manages to escape, and this is no spoiler, we know from the first chapter that she does, the story is told by Beth and her mother, Ursula, with a small amount from Dominic too. This worked really well. I liked that we didn’t hear from Beth’s family while she was missing, it meant that the whole focus of the book was on what was happening inside the cottage that Beth and Dominic lived and that we were never quite sure what efforts had been put in place to find Beth by her family.

Having had every aspect of her life controlled by Dominic it was never going to be easy for Beth once she broke free. Fearing disappointment from her mother Beth tried to keep her ordeal secret, but of course, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. This was the only part that I thought The Second Captive strayed into the ‘not quite believable’ side, and that was a shame but it didn’t spoil the book in any way.

Overall, I think that The Second Captive by Maggie James is an excellent psychological thriller that will appeal to many readers. I’ll definitely be reading more from Maggie James.

Blurb:

 

Second Captive final

The Second Captive by Maggie James.

 

Beth Sutton is eighteen years old when she is abducted. Held prisoner in a basement, she’s dependent on her captor for food, clothes and her very existence. As the months pass, her hatred towards her imprisoner changes to compassion.

 But Beth cannot forget that her abductor is also a killer. And she has evidence to prove it…

 Then Beth escapes

 Can Beth escape from the prison that she has found herself in?

 And is there a relationship between love and fear?

 

About the author:

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Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.

 Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com

Blog tour & review: Winterscroft by Anita Waller.

winterscroft

I was so excited when I heard that Bloodhound Books were publishing another book by Anita Waller. I had read and really enjoyed one of her previous books, 34 Days, and so I really wanted to read Winterscroft. As is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve previously read and enjoyed, I didn’t know anything about the book, only that it was by an author that I’ve previously enjoyed and published by a publisher that I trust to release good books.

My 4* review:

Having read and enjoyed the author’s previous book, 34 days, I was keen to read this one. I started it without knowing anything about the book, I hadn’t read the blurb, which is something that is often the case when I read books by authors that I’ve read before. I quite like it that way, I have no expectations and can just enjoy the journey that the book will take me on.

I’m especially pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb for Winterscroft because if I had, I’m not sure that I would have read the book. I don’t believe in ghosts, or unsettled spirits coming back to seek revenge and so I expect that had I read the blurb I probably wouldn’t have read this book.

So I am pleased that I hadn’t read the blurb as I did enjoy this book. I did have to just go with the book and not think too much about how unbelievable it was. This was generally easy to do as it was such a good read, and I loved the characters. Lavender’s family were genuinely lovely, believable and interesting characters who I enjoyed reading about and spending time with.

The author writes well, weaving the story and sucking the reader into the lives of the characters within the book. I liked them, I wanted to read more about them and although I thought that it was all a little bit silly, I wanted to know what was going to happen. In fact, I was very frustrated when the book finished as I wanted to know what was going to happen next and how the family would move on from the events in the book. And, having finished the book, I have found myself thinking of them quite often and wondering how they’re doing. Definitely a sign of a good book and believable characters.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for my copy of Winterscroft by Anita Waller. All thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

When the beautiful Lavender is killed in a tragic car accident her family and fiancee Matt are left devastated. As the year’s pass and wounds begin to heal Matt, who has remained close to Lavenders family, meets Beth and falls in love again. When the happy couple announce their engagement it sparks a series of bizarre and disturbing events. Then when Matt and Beth make plans to wed at Lavenders family home, Winterscroft, the frightening truth becomes apparent. Lavender is back. And she is not happy. From the bestselling author of 34 Days comes a tale of love, death and revenge.

About the Author:

anitawaller

Anita was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and has lived all her life there. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren ranging in age from 9 months to 21 years. Anita and Dave have been married almost 49 years!

She wrote Beautiful in 1985 and had it accepted for publication. They were the contract stage when the publishing house went into liquidation.

Like many another book it ended up in the loft until two years ago when she resurrected it, retyped all 100,000 words (it was orginally written on an Amstrad 8256 and all she had was a hard copy!) and sent it off to Bloodhound Books.

She is now retired from my life of being a Patchwork Tutor and HGV driver’s wife and concentrates on patchwork for the pleasure of it and writing. She started writing at around the age of 8 – she clearly remembers writing ‘novels’ at that age which were actually short stories split into chapters!

Anita’s genre is murder – but murder with a good reason behind it!

Winterscroft is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour & Review: No Safe Home by Tara Lyons.

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My 4* review:

I have to admit that I haven’t read the first book in the DI Hamilton series, In The Shadows, but I don’t feel that this mattered. I quickly got into this book and its characters. I have read The Caller which Tara Lyons co-wrote with M.A. Comley which I really enjoyed (and am still waiting for the next in the series, nudge nudge), so I was keen to read more by the author.

As a single parent, I think that the premise of No Safe Home got under my skin, my home is my sanctuary and the thought of someone coming in and hurting myself and/or my children is frankly horrifying.

The story of No Safe Home focuses on Katy, a single mother whose home is no longer her safe place. Thankfully she fought off her attacker but now she needs to face her past and learn to trust others in order to save herself and her son.

I really liked the characters in this book, the investigation team trying to help Katy and solve the horrific murders were all interesting and the newcomer, Rocky, particularly so. I hope to read more about him in the future as I think that he’s a great character. DI Hamilton, as leader of the team he showed us why he is the leader, but that he also had his Achilles heel, something that makes him feel more human and interesting.

The author writes well, creating believable characters and an engaging storyline. I will for sure be reading In The Shadows and look forward to reading more from Tara Lyons. Definitely an author to look out for.

Thank you to Bloodhound books for a copy of No Safe Home by Tara Lyons.

Blurb:

Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.

In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.

A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it? But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…

London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows.

 

No Safe Home by Tara Lyons is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blog Tour: Games People Play by Owen Mullen.

gamespeopleplay

Today is the final stop on the blog tour for Games People Play by Owen Mullen. I have content from the book and my extract carries on from where Emma The Little Bookworm left off.

Extract:

‘The water was freezing. What the hell had Jen been thinking? This was Scotland, for Christ’s sake. He swam to where he’d last seen her and went under. Mark was a good swimmer but it was dark. His frantic fingers searched until the pressure in his chest forced him to the surface. He took in as much air as he could and went back. Something bumped against him. He grabbed hold and dragged it up. Two boys ran into the water to help: the footballers.

They hauled her body the last few yards and Mark fell to his knees. Jennifer wasn’t breathing. People appeared on the beach, silent witnesses to the nightmare the day had become. Where had they been when he needed them? He shouted, half in anger half in desperation. ‘Somebody call an ambulance!’ The crowd kept a respectful distance, they believed what he believed, that he’d lost her. Jennifer’s face was white. Mark covered her mouth with his and breathed into her. His hands pressed against her chest demanding she come back to him. One of the boys took over with no better luck. Mark tried again, refusing to let her go. He pumped her heart, whimpering like a child, sobbing for himself as well as his wife. Jennifer’s eyes fluttered; she retched and vomited water. Mark turned her on her side and rubbed her back, whispering reassurance, blinded by tears, aware his prayers had been answered. A siren sounded in the distance; it was going to be alright. She was safe. They would be together again. The three of them. He raised his head and saw ambulance-men racing towards him across the sand. Mark jumped to his feet. They must have drifted… except the boat was there. His voice rose from a cry to a scream. ‘Lily. Lily!’ He spoke to the group who had offered nothing. ‘I left a baby here, somebody must’ve seen her.’ They stared, no idea what he was talking about. A new terror seized him. He ran a few steps up and down the beach, lost and afraid. The bag lay where Jennifer dropped it. But no push-chair. No sign his daughter had ever been there. Lily was gone.’

Sounds good doesn’t it?!! Games People Play by Owen Mullen is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blurb:

A powerful new crime thriller:

Thirteen-month-old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland while her parents are just yards away.

Three days later the distraught father turns up at private investigator Charlie Cameron’s office. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why.

Against his better judgment Charlie gets involved In the case and when more bodies are discovered the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer whose work has gone undetected for decades.

Is baby Lily the latest victim of a madman?

For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him.

 

Blog Tour & Review: Dark Minds by Bloodhound books.

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Publishers, Bloodhound books, have done something very special. They have brought together a group of crime authors and each of them has written a short story that together makes up the new book, Dark Minds. The proceeds of the book go to two amazing charities, Hospice UK and Sophie’s Appeal making the book even more special.

You can watch a promo video of the book to get you in the mood, but there are so many authors contributing to Dark Minds that everyone is bound to find something that they enjoy. Perfect Christmas present I think, so much so that my brother will be getting a copy.

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I was sent one story to read but I really wanted to support the book and was keen to read many of the stories by some of my favourite crime authors so I also bought an ebook of it. I’m still reading the book but loving it, I’ve never read short stories before, it’s something that I’ve never really been interested in but I think that Dark Minds has changed my mind. I’m enjoying the fast pace and the stories are short meaning that I can read one or two in a sitting which works well for me. At 400 pages the book is a big one, but broken down into smaller stories it is easy to read. As I haven’t finished the whole book yet I’m just going to talk about the stories that I have read.

15542133_1185300924868380_8347541699500614332_nAuthor B.A.Morton kicks the book off with the story Ten Green Bottles, telling the story of Zoe who wakes up in hospital, covered in blood that isn’t all her own she slowly pieces together the pieces of what happened and faces the full consequences of her actions. Is it her fault that people died?

londoncrawling-darkminds Next Emma Pullar gives us something completely different. Jody leaves work to find London deserted, a thick fog covers everything and she has no mobile reception. As she walks the empty streets she can’t help feeling spooked but is there a good reason for that? Of course there is! This book was really creepy and definitely got under my skin!

theshoe-darkmindsThe fabulous Louise Jensen‘s The Shoes Maketh The Man gives us some twists and turns as Bill, an old man living in a nasty area fearful of being attacked in his own home like many other pensioners in the area. When he hears his upstairs neighbour Bill’s reaction is not what you think it will be, that’s for sure! She has another book out this week, The Gift, and this short story has made me determined to read it soon.

15621584_1313581865350367_6086013827764944870_n-1Then comes Never Tell a Lie by Tara Lyons who co-authored The Caller which I really enjoyed. I loved her story about a man working in a coffee shop and looking for the woman for him. He has some unusual ideas about what that might mean though!! Yikes.

15590180_1313623128679574_8747783979732814351_nRichard Burke gives us his story, A Christmas Killing about a man who gets an intriguing delivery and has some very strange things in his fridge. The story leaves you guessing and trying to get your head around just what it is that is in his fridge.

15622219_1314657988576088_4639021279306110985_nAuthor Betsy Reavley who has published two brilliant book this year, The Optician’s Wife and Frailty, doesn’t disappoint with the unsettling By The Water, about a woman who finds herself in a river covered in blood, did a doctor’s attempt to cure her from her mental health problems actually cause more damage?

15578915_1315061125202441_1666168732298414783_nNext up is Tony Cox with his story, A Cup of Coffee and a Slice of Life. A man in a cafe overhears two old ladies talking about old times, it all seems innocent until the woman start to talk about events that are anything but innocent. This story gave me the shivers.

15349549_1315098708532016_7459202053480914597_nS.E. Lynes gives us Slow Roast Pork, a woman’s husband goes missing and she deals with it by cooking. Guests get given plenty to eat, including the police who particularly enjoy her roast pork. But is all as it seems?! This one got under my skin, and the end was not what I was expecting!

dark-minds-strangers-eyesFinally, I read Paul Gitsham‘s story, A Stranger’s Eyes. In this story, we follow a man who wakes up in a hotel room, beaten and bloodied he can’t remember anything, not even who he is. In his room, he finds a stash of money and soon enough a knock at the door tells him that whatever he has done, the police want to talk to him about it. Panicked he runs, but what is it he did and will he get caught by the police?

 

So far I have enjoyed all of the stories and I hope that many of you are tempted enough to buy a copy for yourself or for someone as a present. It always feels even better buying something when the proceeds go to two amazing charities. I will be publishing my full review when I have finished the complete book.

Dark Minds is out now and available from Amazon UKAmazon USWaterstones and all good book stores.