Thursday, 12 December 2019

Paperback Publication Day ~ Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce


✼✼ I'm delighted to feature my review of Blood Orange on its Paperback Publication Day✼✼


Blood Orange
Headline
12 December 2019

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book


I read Blood Orange in February when I was part of the hardback publication blog tour and I absolutely loved the story. I am delighted to feature my review again on the book's paperback publication day. The cover is stunning - Jaffa and I love it !


Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….


What did I think about it..


Oh, what a tangled web we weave, and there is no more tangled a web than the one which weaves its way piece by jagged piece through Blood Orange. The story is dark and edgy, furiously explicit in terms of sexual content, and with some deeply disturbing psychological influences which are implicit right from the start, with a prologue, which, it must be said, chills to the bone.

The story opens as Alison, a talented barrister, is about to take the lead in her first murder defence, but in a world where stability and control matter, Alison isn’t the most steady of characters, she works hard, plays hard, drinks too much and doesn’t always realise when she is dangerously out of control. And yet, even though, you sense that she is teetering towards some inevitable disaster, there is always a compulsion to urge her on to greater transgressions, and in this respect Alison doesn’t let you down. I've never known anyone press so many self-destruct buttons!

There are several story strands, the cleverly constructed murder mystery, in which Alison is involved from a legal perspective, forms a small part of the story, however, it is in the toxic relationship Alison has with her husband Carl, and her work colleague, Patrick where the story really takes off in a whole different direction, and which, as the story progresses, leaves you reeling in disbelief.

Blood Orange is an absolutely gripping psychological thriller, utterly convincing both in terms of plot and malice, and is, without doubt, a stunning debut from an author who knows how to hold the reader in the palm of her hand, cranking up the tension to impossible heights, and never letting go of the action until the whole of the story is revealed in glorious detail.







Harriet Tyce grew up in Edinburgh and studied English at Oxford University beforedoing a law conversion course at City University. She practised as a criminal barrister in Londonfor nearly a decade. She is currently doing a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She lives in north London. Blood Orange is her debut novel.



Twitter @harriet_tyce #BloodOrange



Tuesday, 10 December 2019

iNostalgia Book Blitz ...











The team at iNostalgia have a deal on their non-fiction titles now when you purchase them through the iNostalgia store. Three titles for only £25 in their online store. Here is a little snippet of each book available.





The team at iNostalgia have a deal on their non-fiction titles now when you purchase them through the iNostalgia store. Three titles for only £25 in their online store. Here is a little snippet of each book available.

£14.99 

Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images. 



Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories. 



Around Manchester in the 1950s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 200 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 50s and share your memories with friends and loved ones. 





Around Manchester in the 1960s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 250 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the swinging 60s and share your memories with friends and loved ones. 



There are many unmissable images from the Swinging Sixties in Clive Hardy’s brilliant book Around Liverpool and Merseyside in the 1960s. 




Around Manchester in the 1970s is a new 160 page paperback book featuring a unique collection of more than 300 unmissable photographs and memories from the Manchester Evening News Archives. Relive the great times of the 1970s and share your memories with friends and loved ones. 





The 180+ images, many never published before, come from the fantastic archive of the Newcastle Chronicle and Journal, and the Daily Mirror. The majority capture the life and times of Newcastle during the decade, and there are others showing wider Tyneside. Along with the text, they give a taste of what it was like to live in the region during that unique period. 




Fifteen years on from its original publication, The Changing Face of Manchester, Second Edition brings you up-to-date photographs of today’s modern Manchester. Shot as close to the original images as possible by photographer Justin Garner, you are able to see how much Manchester has changed over the decades through these side-by-side images. 


Featuring fascinating stories by author Clive Hardy to accompany the stunning images, you can take home this little slice of Manchester history, and in years to come you will be able to look back and remember those days of old with fond memories. 


You can purchase all these wonderful books in the iNostalgia store. 


Twitter @Inostalgiauk

@LoveBookGroup




Sunday, 8 December 2019

Blog Tour ~ Silent Winter by Maggie James



Thrilled to be hosting one of today's stops on this exciting blog tour 


Orelia Publishing
5 December 2019

My thanks to the author and BOTBSPublicity for my ecopy of this book
and the invitation to be part of this blog tour

On an icy November night, Drew Blackmore is beaten unconscious, then abducted. He awakes to find himself in total darkness, naked and chained to the floor. Fed just enough to keep him alive, Drew is unable to identify his captor, or the reason for his incarceration. As reality fades, hallucinations take over. Can Drew escape his prison before madness claims him?

Meanwhile Drew's wife, Holly, despairing of ever seeing him again, turns to his brother for comfort. As the worst winter in decades sweeps the UK, she learns of Drew's tragic past. Could his disappearance be connected with that of a prostitute years before?


What did I think about it..

This is the first book by this author that I have read and I have been impressed by the way the tension starts right from the very beginning with an opening chapter which certainly lands with a real punch. And to be honest that heightened level of tension doesn’t let up throughout the whole of this darkly atmospheric story. There’s a real insight into what happens when an absolute nightmare of an ordeal takes place and there's a definite sense of evil and malice which, as the story progresses, gets quite chilling in places.

Throughout the whole of the book there’s a strong sense of characterisation and I was intrigued by Holly who has to face up to some stark truths when she realises her husband Drew is missing. Her relationship with her husband's brother, is particularly well done and adds a whole different dimension to the story. However, whilst Holly's anguish and worry about Drew is palpable, it is the chapters which focus on what is happening to Drew which become absolutely compelling reading and which made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I’m being deliberately vague about what happens, as you get the gist of the story from the book’s description, and this really is one of those stories which is difficult to review without revealing too much, which would, of course, spoil the drama completely.

Silent Winter is a chillingly atmospheric thriller which grabs your attention from the very beginning and doesn't relax the tension until this deadly story of secrets and lies in revealed in chilling detail.






Maggie James is a British author who lives near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 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!




Twitter @mjamesfiction #SilentWinter

@BOTBSPublicity





Thursday, 5 December 2019

Blog Tour ~ A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon


✩✩ Happy Publication Day ✩✩

✩✩ Delighted to be hosting today's Blog Tour stop  ✩✩


Piatkuk
5 December 2019

My thanks to the author, publishers and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour


1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same...

Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family's hotel on the Cornish coast - where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.

Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.

But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn't left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she's going to lose everything all over again...

What did I think about it..

The story starts in Bristol in 1920 as Helen Fox faces a devastating tragedy which will have repercussions on her family for many years to come. Her return to Fox Bay and to the family hotel on the beautiful Cornish coast has poignant memories of the time she spent there with her glamorous husband however, times are now very different and Helen has to do all that she can to keep her family together in very difficult circumstances.

What then follows is a complex family saga which looks in detail at the problems of, not just running a busy and popular hotel, but also of the impact that the guests themselves have on the place, and one guest in particular, whose own complex set of secrets, adds a nice blend of light and shade to the story. There's a lovely warm feel to the narrative and the author does a great job of building a rapport with all the characters, and very soon the individual members of the Fox family become firmly fixed in your imagination. Expertly moving forward over a period of nine or so years we really get to know what's going on with this family, we share their problems, rejoice in their triumphs, and even sob a little over their personal disasters. I especially liked Helen, she's a strong and determined woman and I really wanted everything to work out for her, and her lovely family, whether it does, or not, is for you to discover for yourself 😊

A Cornish Inheritance is the first book in the Fox Bay series of Cornish novels and this story certainly gets the series off to a really good start. The author captures time and place perfectly well and brings Fox Bay Hotel alive in the imagination with a set of memorable characters who I am already looking forward to catching up with again in book #2 of the series, A Cornish Promise, which is also published by Piatkus, and is coming out soon.






Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn -- North Hill -- where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those. Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice. Terri's self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book. Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens.


Twitter @TerriNixon #ACornishInheritance

@PiatkusBooks

#RandomThingsTours












Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Blog Tour ~ Magpie by Sophie Draper



 I am pleased to be hosting today's stop on this blog tour

44557104
Avon
ecopy 28 November 2019
paperback publication 2020

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour


Claire lives with her family in a beautiful glass house overlooking the water. But she feels as if she’s married to a stranger – one who is leading a double life. As soon as she can get their son Joe away from him, she’s determined to leave Duncan.

But finding out the truth about Duncan’s secret life leads to consequences Claire never planned for. Now Joe is missing, and she’s struggling to piece together the events of the night that tore them all apart.

Alone in an isolated cottage, hiding from Duncan, Claire tries to unravel the lies they’ve told each other, and themselves. Something happened to her family … But can she face the truth?


What did I think about it..

Claire and her husband Duncan seem to have the perfect life but under the cracks there is much wrong with their marriage. Claire is compelled to move away from the family home in order to pick up the pieces of her life, however, this transition does not go smoothly and there are other dramatic complications, particularly surrounding Claire's son, Joe, which greatly affect how Claire reacts to some catastrophic changes.

Initially, I found the narrative to be a little bit slow and as it moves both forwards and backwards in time it becomes important to keep a firm grip on the plot just so you can keep track of where this complicated family drama is heading. Using both Claire and Duncan's individual stories in separate chapters allows their different stories to be heard, and I must admit to finding one rather more compelling than the other.

The author seems to be developing her niche in this particular genre and I enjoyed reading her debut novel, Cuckoo, earlier in the year.  Magpie is something of a slow burner in comparison but it stands on its own merits as an interesting look at the minutiae of family life. I especially enjoyed how the author interpreted some local mystical qualities, which pattern the landscape, and her imaginative description of places and situations certainly helps to create an atmospheric edginess.

Magpie is an interesting family drama which gets stronger as it goes along. I look forward to seeing what this talented writer does next.




Sophie Draper is a Derbyshire based author. Cuckoo is her first book and won the Bath Novel Award 2017. She also won the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. A second book is due to be published later in 2019.


Twitter @sophiedraper9 #Magpie

@AvonBooksUK






Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Blog Tour ~ Black Summer by M W Craven



I'm thrilled to host today's stop on this Blog Tour


Constable

Washington Poe #2

My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour

Jared Keaton, chef to the stars. Charming. Charismatic. Psychopath . . . He's currently serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of his daughter, Elizabeth. Her body was never found and Keaton was convicted largely on the testimony of Detective Sergeant Washington Poe.

So when a young woman staggers into a remote police station with irrefutable evidence that she is Elizabeth Keaton, Poe finds himself on the wrong end of an investigation, one that could cost him much more than his career.

Helped by the only person he trusts, the brilliant but socially awkward Tilly Bradshaw, Poe races to answer the only question that matters: how can someone be both dead and alive at the same time?

And then Elizabeth goes missing again - and all paths of investigation lead back to Poe..


What did I think about it...


I’ve just finished Black Summer and needed to spend just a little time to consider this novel to try and gather my thoughts into some semblance of order. It’s beyond hope that my review will do justice to the sheer brilliance of this second novel in the Washington Poe series and to explain the sheer complexity of this intricate plot will only give the game away and that would be an absolute disaster.

Poe is such a great character, he’s belligerent, obstructive, supremely flawed as only great fictional detectives are allowed to be, and yet, when he teams up with Tilly Bradshaw, literary magic happens, right there on the page. And then, of course there’s Tilly herself, kooky, quirky and filled with a zealous fervour to protect Poe, and let’s face, Poe definitely need protecting, usually from himself, but more often from someone who seems hellbent on bringing him down, and in Black Summer there really is someone who is determined to destroy Poe, good style!

I never thought it would be a joy to read about the most heinous of crimes, but the author makes it an absolute delight to turn the page, crossing the high Cumbrian fells with Poe, and his energetic springer spaniel, Edgar, is so realistic that you smell the turf, feel the pull of the wind and find yourself turning your battered Barbour against the slant of the rain.

Black Summer is a very, very clever crime thriller by an author who knows how to pull the reader into a complex criminal investigation. It has all the trademark twists and turns which we have come to expect with a few real surprises thrown in for good measure. I started the story on one of those dank and cold afternoons which are so typical in the north of England, where it's going dark by 2:30 pm, and didn't look up except to make restorative cups of tea until I had finished the story in one sitting.

I'm already looking forward to book #3 😊




M. W. Craven was born in Carlisle but grew up in Newcastle, running away to join the army at the tender age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse. Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position in Whitehaven, eventually working his way up to chief officer grade. Sixteen years later he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author. He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals . . .

M. W. Craven is married and lives in Carlisle with his wife, Joanne. When he isn’t out with his springer spaniel, or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country..


Twitter @MWCravenUK #BlackSummer #TeamTilly

@TheCrimeVault





Monday, 2 December 2019

Blog Tour ~ Anne Boleyn : 500 Years of Lies by Hayley Nolan



I'm delighted to host today's stop on this blog tour

44558742
Little A
1 December 2019

My thanks to the publisher and Midas PR for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour

Beheaded by her husband. Silenced by history. Now Anne Boleyn has a voice at last.

Anne Boleyn has been sold to us as a dark figure, a scheming seductress who bewitched Henry VIII into divorcing his queen and his church in an unprecedented display of passion. Quite the tragic love story, right? Wrong.

This electrifying expose of Anne Boleyn’s life and relationship with Henry VIII is based for the first time on the full, uncensored evidence, revealing the shocking suppression of a powerful woman in history’s true story.

In removing Anne from the line up of the ‘Six Wives Gimmick’, Hayley Nolan shuts down modern accusations of sexual blackmail at the hands of an ‘ambitious temptress,’ and instead provides proof that Anne Boleyn was a politician, activist and humanitarian working in government on schemes to relieve the poverty epidemic; campaigning for the amnesty of refugees in Europe, and fighting for the freedom of religious expression. Yet Anne’s work has repeatedly been censored and ‘male-washed’ over the years, and more so recent decades. But if ever there was a time for this sexist misinterpretation to be called out and ‘herstory’ to be heard – that time is now.

This bold new analysis is the culmination of over three years of intensive research by Britain’s exciting new historian, fusing historical evidence with a gripping psychological analysis that diagnoses Henry VIII with the mental illness of sociopathy. A prognosis that will change the way we view Henry and Anne’s ‘love story’ forever.

So, leave all notions of outdated and romanticised folklore at the door and forget what you think you know about one of the Tudors’ most notorious queens. She may have been silenced for centuries, but this urgent book ensures Anne Boleyn’s voice is being heard now. #TheTruthWillOut


What did I think about it...


So much has been written about this most enigmatic of Tudor Queens that it is quite difficult to know what is fact and what is fabrication, after all, history was written by those who had, perhaps, more to gain from her downfall, rather than her successes.

In this comprehensive look at Anne Boleyn’s life, the author seeks to restore the balance by giving a detailed look at some of the supposed fabrications which surround Anne’s life, and seeks to offer her own views on the facts and falsifications which seem to surround Anne’s short, but eventful, life.

Everyone knows that Anne’s tragic life didn’t end well and her tempestuous relationship with Henry VIII has been the subject of hundreds of fictional novels and a staggering amount of non fiction books which each offer a myriad reasons as to why Anne and Henry’s relationship could have ended so tragically. In Anne Boleyn : 500 Years of Lies, the author offers an explanation  into Henry's volatile nature and the suggestion that he was a sociopath, with a borderline personality disorder, is a plausible, if, perhaps, controversial one. However, wherever his mercurial moods took him, it is always without doubt that he was a very dangerous person to be around.

The author offers a comprehensive look at Anne's life, from her early start at the court of Margaret of Austria, to her return to England in 1521, her ill fated courtship with Henry Percy and her ongoing feud with Cardinal Wolsey, and yet, the book is about so much more than Anne's romantic dalliances, it offers an insight into her moralistic views and her enthusiasm for religious reform. I have to be honest and say that I didn't really discover anything in this interpretation that I hadn't read before, but I think of you are new to Tudor history and wish to learn more about Anne Boleyn in  a book which has a distinctly modern feel in the way it is written, then this makes an interesting start.

The order of Anne's life has been expertly explored by so many eminent historians who are all keen to offer their own academic interpretation of Anne's rise to short lived glory and whether she was martyr or sinner remains to be seen, but what can be gleaned from all of these historical biographies is that the enigma of Anne Boleyn's short and tragic life remains, even after 500 years, a fascinating conundrum.

Historian and Anne Boleyn expert, Hayley Nolan is the presenter and researcher of the hit digital vlog series The History Review and its spin off iTunes podcast. A graduate of London’s prestigious Royal Court Young Writer’s Programme, Hayley further trained in screenwriting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). She has worked with Historic Royal Palaces, Anne Boleyn’s childhood homes of Hever Castle and the Chateau Royal de Blois, France, as well as the National Archives of the UK government. She lives in London.

Instagram @The HayleyNolan

Twitter @TheHayleyNolan