4.5*, blog tours, book review, debut author

#BlogTour #BookReview Dead Inside by Noelle Holton. @nholten40 @BOTBSPublicity @KillerReads #DeadInside

It is finally my stop on the blog tour for Dead Inside by Noelle Holten. Noelle is a well known book blogger at Crimebookjunkie and she also works for Bookouture as a publicity manager. So she is very well known within the book world and when she decided to turn her hand to writing her own book she got loads of support with everyone convinced that her book would be brilliant.

That must have put a lot of pressure on Noelle, but you wouldn’t know that when you read Dead Inside. I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for such a confident debut. I received a copy of Dead Inside by Noelle Holten, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I was very excited to read Dead Inside by Noelle Holten, a fellow book blogger who writes brilliant reviews and is very well known in the book world. But I was also a little bit worried, what would I do if I didn’t like the book? Or if it was poorly written?

Of course when it came to it I didn’t have to worry, Dead Inside is a confident debut novel that is very well written and a great read.

This book is the first in the DC Maggie Jamieson series, Maggie has just transferred to a different team, one that focuses on domestic violence. She’s looking forward to the break from murder but it isn’t long before she discovers that her new role won’t be as easy as she thinks when people start dying.

Lucy Sherwood is a probation officer, by day she works with abusers who treat women terribly and she manages to stand strong and not let them intimate her. But when she goes home in the evening, Lucy is a very different person as she is living with a man who is just as bad as those she works with.

Despite this being a Maggie Jamieson novel I felt that the book was more about Lucy and she was the one that I enjoyed reading about the most. Her job is interesting and I loved hearing about her work and how she justified her home life and staying with her abusive partner. But when men linked to Lucy start dying Maggie and her team must look at her and whether she is capable of murder.

This book really kept me guessing, I couldn’t work out who was killing these men and why. There were too many people who wanted them dead and so many people appeared guilty and potentially capable of doing it.

The writing is confident and the author’s experience of working in probation clearly shows. The domestic violence angle made me think and further understand the difficulties people have and why leaving is so hard.

I am looking forward to book two, but I really hope that Lucy will be returning too.

Blurb:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela

‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole

‘A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt

A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.

The killer is just getting started…

When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.

The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.

And he is Lucy’s husband.

Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

About The Author:

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Links:

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

Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18489795.Noelle_Holten

Blog: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

Instagram: @crimebookjunkie  




Dead Inside by Noelle Holten is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

5*, blog tours, book review, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon. @suzseddon @WallacePublish #AFoolsCircle

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour for A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon. I received a copy of A Fool’s Circle from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

My Review:

I found A Fool’s Circle to be an easy read that quickly grabbed my attention and made me want to keep reading.

Kate is suffering thanks to her husband Alan who treats her awfully, there are a number of scenes where this abuse is described which some readers may find difficult.

Kate is in a difficult situation as she doesn’t know how to leave Alan and protect her eight year old daughter Sophie. Until she finds out that she has had a rather large inheritance and suddenly a whole new world opens up to her.

It was pretty clear from the start that Kate put her trust in people who didn’t deserve it and who definitely didn’t have her interest at heart. It was frustrating at times that Kate couldn’t see what was so very obvious.

Some of A Fool’s Circle didn’t really seem realistic, it was a little too far fetched at times and the police really were slow, but I really enjoyed reading it and I wanted to know what was going to happen. It is also good that the book might make people think about domestic violence and the impact of that on all the family.

A Fool’s Circle is an easy read that only took me a few days to read (that’s fast for me!) and I’m sure that fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this book that keeps you guessing and wondering if everyone is who they say they are.

Blurb:

Kate Sanders has suffered many years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abusive husband Alan, and convinces herself that she is only holding the family together for the sake of her eight-year-old daughter. If it wasn’t for her best friend Jill Reynolds, she would have taken the suicide option a long time ago.

As she desperately seeks a way to escape, she is contacted by a solicitor. Kate’s old aunt has died and she has been left a small fortune.

For the first time, she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She dreams of a fresh start, a new home, a new life. What Kate doesn’t know is that Jill and Alan have their own secrets, and are both desperate to get their hands on her money.

Kate soon finds herself falling for the charms of Jonathon Jacobs in what she believes to be fate finally intervening and offering her a second chance, unaware that each move he makes has been directed, orchestrated and well-rehearsed as he begs her to leave her husband Alan.

But is it all too late, as she finds herself in the frame for murder.A

About The Author:


Suzanne Seddon was born in 1968 in Islington, London. After leaving school she had many interesting jobs, from swimming teacher to air hostess, and was able to travel the globe. Now a single mum to her teenage daughter Poppy-willow, Suzanne spends her days writing and has written several articles for magazines and newspapers.

Growing up, Suzanne witnessed mental and physical abuse within her own family which strongly influenced her when she wrote her first play, A Fool’s Circle, when she attended the famous Anna Scher Theatre. Suzanne, however, was not content to leave it there and decided to go ahead and transform her play into a novel.

Not one to shy away from exciting challenges, she also wrote, acted, directed, cast and produced a trailer for the book around her hometown in Islington with the support of local businesses, who recognised the drive and importance of Suzanne and her work.

Suzanne is a passionate writer and she is determined to be heard so that the issue of domestic abuse is raised amongst the public’s consciousness, empowering others to speak out. She wants those who suffer at the hands of another to have their voices heard, loud and clear.

Twitter @suzseddon

A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon is out now and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

4*, blog tours, book review, debut author, psychological thriller

#BlogTour #BookReview The Dream Wife by Louisa De Lange. @paperclipgirl @orionbooks #psychologicalthriller

BLOG-TOUR-POSTER (1)

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for The Dream Wife by Louisa De Lange, a very impressive debut novel. Although I must admit that I have been slightly stressed about writing my review!

My Review:

Ok, so it’s hard to know where to start with this review and there are two reasons for that. Firstly I do not want to give any spoilers away and I think that could be easy with this book, and secondly because I’m slightly confused about the book and the ending.

That probably doesn’t sound very good, but that’s not the case. So many psychological thrillers are hyped up about the clever twist and it becomes a little bit boring, how can every book have the most amazing twist of any book this year? But here we have a book that says that it has a clever twist and, amazingly, it really does.

The Dream Wife was, for me, a bit slow to get going and I did wonder where on earth it was going, especially when Annie started having these strange dreams. I had a look at other reviews and came to the conclusion that the book is a little bit like marmite, but the reviews sounded intriguing and so I carried on.

Annie’s husband David is a truly horrible person, there is absolutely nothing likeable about the man and some readers might find some of the scenes with him difficult to read. A total opposite are the scenes with Annie and her little boy Jonnie, he sounds so adorable and the love that Annie has for him shines through every page.

And then we have the ending. I got to the end and thought that I had got it and I knew what was going on, but then I thought about it a little bit and the questions started to come and in the end, I’m not really sure about any of it. I think that I have it right but it’s an ending that probably needs rereading, or a long discussion with a friend who has also read the book. It is so unexpected, very clever and makes for a very impressive debut. Although writing this I’m still a bit confused.

Thank you to Orion for a copy of The Dream Wife via Netgalley. I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

9781409180197

A debut novel from an exciting new voice in the thriller market. A compulsive read with a clever twist.

Annie is the dream wife. Supportive, respectful, mild-mannered. She’s given up her job to focus on running her home, meticulously cleaning and cooking the meals she knows her husband likes. She is everything her husband wants her to be.

Annie is a prisoner in her own home. Her finances, her routine and her contact with the outside world are all controlled by him. Only her love for her little boy keeps her going. At night she escapes into her dreams, which are starting to become more and more vivid.

But Annie is about to do a very bad thing.

About The Author:

Louisa-045Louisa de Lange is a freelance copywriter, mum of a little boy and a keen runner, blogger and photographer. She is currently training to take on her first ever Olympic triathlon. She studied Psychology at university and it turns out the combination of psychology and motherhood is a potent one. You can follow Louisa on Twitter: @paperclipgirl

 

 

 

The Dream Wife by Louisa De Lange is out today in paperback and is already available in ebook, it is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

blog tours, guest post

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

Signs in the Rearview Mirror

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

Guest Post:

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

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

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

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

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

Learn to love yourself and always be brave!

Blurb:

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

About The Author:

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

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

https://twitter.com/kellys_author

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

giveaway, Q&A

Blog Tour: Q&A & Giveaway for Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour.

Q&A with Jennifer Gilmour, author of Isolation Junction: Breaking Free from the Isolation of Emotional Abuse.

• When you first decided to get your ideas out of your head and onto paper?

I was on an awareness course about Domestic Abuse. Alongside me were about 8 other women who had been in abusive relationships. As the day progressed, I found that I simply couldn’t believe that some of what the other women were saying was exactly what I had gone through but just in a different format. Domestic Abuse tends to go in a cycle (see photo below) and whichever way it begins, the behaviour spirals again and again. At first it could be months between incidents but for me, as time went on there were many instances within one day. It is quite normal to try to prevent the cycle from starting again by changing your behaviour as much as possible. By the end of the course I had come to understand that we were all subjected to the same behaviour and that no one knew before that this could even happen to someone i.e. that a relationship can be so unhealthy and soul destroying. I realised that others simply needed to know more about this unacceptable behaviour; they needed to see the warning signs before the relationship goes further or the behaviour gets even more serious.  On the other hand I needed others to see the behaviour for what it is. If people are in a relationship and the behaviour within it is not acceptable and is not their fault, it can’t simply be changed by changing yourself.

img_4901

  • How long did that first manuscript take to perfect?

I spent 18 months writing and collating my own personal notes. Most of the time was spent on getting the two tenses correct within the 2 narratives. Then I kept rereading the script as it was important that it flowed and that the message was clear and wasn’t confused.

  • How did you get it in front of publishers?

I am yet to approach publishers as I am self published.  I decided to self publish because I wanted to start to get the message out there. I have had interest but it is finding the right publishers for the novel and more specifically to find a publisher where my work fits into their portfolio as it is fiction.  The novel does include sensitive material which could be emotional for some people.  I have, however, woven through the romance and some comedic moments in the book to try and make it a more entertaining read despite its serious message.

  • What was the first reaction of people?

Those who had no idea what emotional abuse looks like felt an understanding and many have remarked that they can now see the kind of behaviour that is not acceptable. Some took it a step further after reading the book by researching further to learn more about domestic abuse.  Lots of people simply asked how the abusers get away with the behaviour.  Writing and publishing this book is a huge success for me because it means I am educating people (who might not read a text book) about this insidious behaviour.

Survivors who have read my book have supported it wholeheartedly and can relate to the book. Some found it hard to read the book as it had echoes of their own experiences but expressed pleasure at having read it and gained emotional support from it. I have had a lot of conversations following on from this and it almost feels like the taboo has lifted in the sense that people have spoken about their experience with me and have gladly shared posts from my page. This was also hugely important to me because I feel I am speaking as an advocate on behalf of both survivors and victims.

  • What input did you have on the cover? Font? Etc. …

As a self published author I got to choose the cover. I actually had a vision and my designer really did a fantastic job in captured my vision of what I wanted.  A lot of people have said how eye catching the cover is and that it enticed them to learn more.

  • If you could do it all again, what would you change?

I wouldn’t give myself such tight deadlines although I felt I needed them at the time to focus myself. If I had had the time I would have got beta readers to read and give feedback so I could have done a bit more tweaking, but that’s just me as a perfectionist.

Enter to win! Winners will be chosen at random by the Rafflecopter generator on Monday 20th February. One prize of a signed paperback and one prize of an Ebook version of Isolation Junction.

 Winners will be contacted by email by Emma Mitchell and will have three days to respond, if you don’t respond by 8 p.m. on Wednesday 22nd then a new winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blurb:

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiralling life she so desperately wants to change?

About the author:

jennifer-gilmour

Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with three children. I am an entrepreneur, running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership of other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again. I hope that in reading my debut novel, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

 

Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

book review

Between You And Me by Lisa Hall

between you and me
Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

My 3* review:

‘Between You and Me is currently a ‘buzz’ book, lots of people talking about it and ‘that’ twist and how brilliant it is.

It’s disappointing when you start a new buzz book and find that it just doesn’t buzz for you. While I quite enjoyed reading it and wanted to know what would happen I never felt really invested in the book, or the characters. When you know there will be a twist in a book it’s easy to spend most of the time trying to work it out, but I didn’t feel that bothered in this case, which is probably a good thing as trying to spot the twist can be really distracting.

The theme of the book is domestic violence, something that I have a personal interest in. There are scenes of physical and verbal abuse. Having very recently read and loved Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris, it was difficult not to compare the two. Unfortunately Between You and Me comes off worse in my opinion. It felt less credible and the reasons given for Sal staying in the relationship were just not convincing enough, it just didn’t ring true.

Having said that I found it easy to read and I wanted to know what happened, and I would happily read another book by Lisa Hall.

There seems to be a lot of reviews around for this book that give the twist away, so please be careful what you read!!

I was given a copy of Between You and Me by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review.’

I really wish I knew why there are buzz books that I love and others that I hate. I know we all have different tastes but there are many reviewers who I pretty much always agree with, but there are still buzz books that don’t buzz for me that do for many others. I guess life would be pretty boring though if we all agreed!