#blogtour The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture

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My review:

Ok, so first off I need to tell you that I really, really enjoyed reading The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland. It wasn’t that it was the best written book or the most amazing storyline but there was something about it that grabbed me and kept me hooked.

I think what made it so good was wondering whether Tessa was actually a reliable witness, was there really a child in her kitchen or was she delusional? And if there was a child then had she really taken it from where he belonged? It is perfectly set up to make the reader unsure of what the truth might actually be as Tessa’s story does sound rather implausible, why would a strange boy be in her kitchen and saying that she was his Mummy? Very clever. Something fishy had to be going on, and sure enough, it was.

The book takes us on a journey with Tessa as she sets out to prove her innocence. Her ex fights her at every turn, seemingly convinced that Tessa is unstable and needs help. But Tessa’s boss believes her and sees something in her that other’s done and he helps her find the truth. I actually really enjoyed reading about Tessa’s relationship with her boss and it was great that she had someone supporting her along the way.

I’ve not given anything away that isn’t in the blurb and so I won’t say anymore as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I really did enjoy this book and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys books that keep you wondering and guessing and not sure of who to believe. Once again the publishers Bookouture have produced a psychological thriller that is a cracking read.

Blurb:

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‘Are you my mummy?’ 

Tessa Markham comes home to find a little boy in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the child is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the boy. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Girl on the Train and The Sister.

About the Author:

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Shalini Boland lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Shalini’s debut psychological thriller THE GIRL FROM THE SEA reached No 1 in the US Audible charts and No 7 in the UK Kindle charts. Her second thriller THE BEST FRIEND reached no 2 in the US Audible charts and No 10 in the Amazon UK Kindle charts. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories and was a Kindle All Star title for several months in a row. Shalini’s recent release THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE reached No 9 in the Kindle UK charts.

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

Shalini is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

http://www.facebook.com/ShaliniBolandAuthor
http://www.shaliniboland.co.uk
https://twitter.com/ShaliniBoland

The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

Blog Tour & Review: A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart.

 

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A Boy Made of Blogs by Keith Stuart.

 

Today is my stop on the blog tour for a very special book. A Boy Made of Blocks has been out for some time in eBook but the publishers are doing a tour to mark the release in paperback.

My 5* review:

It isn’t often that I give a book 5 stars when I nearly gave up reading it. When the book starts it seems like it is going to be very similar to another book, Shtum, a book that was ok but in my opinion (which seems different to many others), not great. I was not keen to read a book that was so alike. I kept going though and I’m so pleased that I did, sure it was a bit slow to get going but once I got into it I loved it.

A Boy Made of Blocks tells the story of Alex, his wife has asked him to leave, she needs some space and time to work out what she wants from the relationship. Sleeping on the floor in a friend’s spare room Alex finds that maybe it was him that needed the time apart to get himself together.

Alex has spent his life running, running from the haunting memories of his brother’s death as a child and the guilt that he carries as a result. His relationship with Jody was fast forwarded when she got pregnant and Alex found himself with a mortgage and a baby who as he grew became more and more difficult until finally the diagnosis of autism was given.

So when Alex found himself lying on the floor and thinking about his life he was forced to face the reality of how he had thrown himself into a job that he hated but was rather good at, in order to keep himself from dealing with his son, Sam, and the consequences of his diagnosis.

The author clearly has personal experience of autism, and I loved how he wrote about it in this book, it was very matter of fact and honest. If I’d known how much the book talks about the computer game Minecraft then I might have been further put off reading it, but I didn’t know for that I’m grateful. I still only know what the book told me about it but the game became a character in itself in the book, it was very well written.

I’m sure that you won’t be surprised to read that Alex changed as the book went on, that his relationship with Sam changed, it was so beautiful to read about Alex’s journey of self-discovery and love for his son. In fact, as Alex found his love for his son so did I as the reader.

I could gush a bit more but I won’t. A Boy Made of Blocks is a well written debut that takes the reader on a journey with the characters. It really is something special.

I received a copy of A Boy Made of Blocks from the publishers but I was under no obligation to review it.

A Boy Made of Blocks is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

Blurb:

In the tradition of Nick Hornby and David Nicholls comes a warm and tender novel in which a father and his autistic son connect over the game of Minecraft.

Alex loves his family, and yet he struggles to connect with his eight-year-old autistic son, Sam. The strain has pushed his marriage to the breaking point. So Alex moves in with his merrily irresponsible best friend on the world’s most uncomfortable blow-up bed.

As Alex navigates single life, long-buried family secrets, and part-time fatherhood, his son begins playing Minecraft. Sam’s imagination blossoms and the game opens up a whole new world for father and son to share. Together, they discover that sometimes life must fall apart before you can build a better one.

Inspired by the author’s own relationship with his autistic son, A Boy Made of Blocks is a tear-jerking, funny, and, most, of all true-to-life novel about the power of difference and one very special little boy.