One Year Later Blog Tour

About the Book

Some secrets won’t stay buried…

Since Amy’s daughter, Ruby-May, died in a terrible accident, her family have been beset by grief. One year later, the family decide to go on holiday to mend their wounds. An idyllic island in Italy seems the perfect place for them to heal and repair their relationships with one another.

But no sooner have they arrived than they discover nothing on this remote island is quite as it seems. And with the anniversary of the little girl’s death looming, it becomes clear that at least one person in the family is hiding a shocking secret. As things start to go rapidly wrong, Amy begins to question whether everyone will make it home…

My Review

This was a beautiful and haunting story. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a child, but this book does a wonderful job of explaining what the family is going through, and how they are coping with the tragedy.

One Year Later alternates between how the family are dealing with the death of a child, and unravelling the mystery of what really happened. Amy just wants her father to admit his part, but he doesn’t remember anything about that day. Sanjida Kay tells the struggle of reconciling the love for a family member with the belief that they are responsible for the death of your child.

This book captivated me the entire way through. I couldn’t put it down and I had to know what was going on. More details and inconsistencies about that day are revealed slowly throughout the book, and the truth about what happened becomes more unclear.

I thought Sanjida Kay did a wonderful job of portraying the raw emotion of the family throughout this book, and making the reader feel part of this. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Thanks to Anne from Random Things Tours and Corvus Books for my copy of this book, and the invitation for the blog tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

SANJIDA KAY is a writer and broadcaster. She lives in Somerset with her daughter and husband. She has written three previous psychological thrillers, Bone by Bone, The Stolen Child and My Mother’s Secret to critical acclaim.

A Chain Across the Dawn Blog Tour

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for A Chain Across the Dawn today. Thanks so Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

About the Book

It’s been three years since Esa left her backwater planet to join the ranks of the Justified. Together, she and fellow agent Jane Kamali have been traveling across the known universe, searching for children who share Esa’s supernatural gifts.

On a visit to a particularly remote planet, they learn that they’re not the only ones searching for gifted children. They find themselves on the tail of a mysterious being with impossible powers who will stop at nothing to get his hands on the very children that Esa and Jane are trying to save.

With their latest recruit in tow—a young Wulf boy named Sho—Esa and Jane must track their strange foe across the galaxy in search of answers. But the more they learn, the clearer it becomes—their enemy may be harder to defeat than they ever could have imagined.

My Review

I didn’t realise that this was the second book in a series when I started reading it, but this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book. This can be read as a standalone, however I am going to get the first in the series.

I really enjoyed this book. I love sci-fi and space operas, but I find they can often be quite hit and miss. A Chain Across the Dawn kept my interest wonderfully for the entire book.

I thought that this book excelled at things that sci-fi can really struggle with. It doesn’t get too bogged down in world building, and giving the entire history of different planets and races, but it does give enough detail that the reader understands what’s going on, and doesn’t feel like they’re missing out on part of the story.

I also thought the pacing of this book worked really well. I couldn’t put the book down as I had to know what was going on. The pacing kept the story moving really well, while still allowing time to discover more about the character’s back stories, and giving the reader time to process what was going on.

The characters in this book are really well written and easy to connect to. They’re all incredibly human, despite the fact that they’re aliens. The motivations of the characters, and the reasoning behind the ongoing wars, are easy to relate to, and similar to what we see around us today. I liked the idea of religion as something that doesn’t end, and instead expands as technology does and we start to explore different planets, and species. The use of religion as a justification for war is a common one, but despite this religion isn’t portrayed negatively in the book.

I absolutely adored Esa. She was a wonderful character, and one the reader could relate to easily. I also love seeing bad-ass females who are still in touch with other aspects of themselves. So often the strong female character is an excellent fighter, but don’t have any other personality. We saw that Esa was fighting for the right reasons, but was still affected by what she did.

I loved this book. I’ve already ordered the first in the series, and I’ll be looking out for more from this author.

Another huge thanks to Anne for inviting me onto this blog tour. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Drew Williams was born and raised in Birmingham,
Alabama, in the southern United States of
America. He is a bookseller at the Little Professor
Book Center in Homewood, Alabama. A Chain
Across the Dawn is his second book.

Clear My Name Blog Tour

About the Book

Innocent?

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.

Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.

Guilty?

Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.

But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realises that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide…

We’ve all done things we’re not proud of.

My Review

This blog tour was originally booked up before I had even seen the email, so I was thrilled when it had been extended. Thanks to damppebbles and for my copy of the book.

This was a really interesting twist on the usual crime/murder mystery novel. Carrie has already been convicted and sentenced for murder, and been in prison for the last three years. Has she been wrongly convicted, or is her daughter unable to accept that her mother is a murderer?

The majority of murder mysteries or crime dramas end with the murderer admitting their crimes once they have been confronted with the evidence, so we never really think about what happens if an innocent person if found guilty. We like to think that we live in a society where this wouldn’t happen,  but this probably happens more often than we’d like to admit.

It’s not clear from the start of this book whether Carrie is innocent or guilty. We follow Tess as she tries to determine whether Carrie is innocent, and if she is, who is the murderer?

There is a lot going on in this book, it keeps you guessing as you’re not sure who to believe, or what the truth is. If Carrie is innocent, who hated her enough to frame her for murder? 

I couldn’t put this book down. The characters draw you in, and I was desperate to find out what was really going on. Clear My Name manages to give you enough background information about the characters throughout the book to keep you invested in them, without going into so much detail that it takes away from the pacing of the story.

Tess is a flawed character, which is what makes her so relatable and likeable. I’d love to see her in future books.

About the Author

© Stephen Lea

Paula Daly is the critically acclaimed author of six novels. She has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books have been developed for the new ITV television series, Deep Water, starring Anna Friel. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PaulaDalyAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Paula-Daly-490968164379299

Blog Tour: Deserve to Die

About the Book

Dom and Stacey have the perfect life. Until they meet Tamara. Brilliant, beautiful, she hides a horrifying secret. One that may destroy them all.

Happily married with two beautiful children, Dom and Stacey have it all. He runs a successful design agency, she is finding fame as an author of children’s books.

Everything is perfect. Until they meet Tamara.

Because Tamara is a woman with a plan.  She executes it step by step – patient, systematic, methodical.

And as her plan unfolds, Dom and Stacey find their lives slipping out of control.  Taking them from heaven into the deepest, darkest hell.

My Review

This book had me gripped from the first chapter. The book started with a murder and I had to know what was going on. It immediately grabbed my attention and I read the entire book in one sitting.

Right from the beginning of this book it’s clear that Tamara has a plan and she’ll do anything to see it through to the end, she’s already killed one person to get where she needs to be. What isn’t clear is why she’s doing this, and who the target is. Does she want Dom for herself, or is she plotting against Stacey?

The character with a history of mental illness, being made to seem like they’re slowly going crazy is a plot point used in many books. Despite this Miranda Rijks keeps the story interesting and distinct from other books with this feature.

We see chapters from the point of view of both Stacey and Tamara. This gives the reader insight into both characters. It’s fascinating to see Stacey become less sure of herself as the book progresses and then gain this confidence back as she starts to realise there must be an external factor.

This book hooked me early on and I couldn’t stop reading as I was desparate to find out Tamara’s motives and how far she was willing to go. This is a gripping thriller that doesn’t let you go until the last page, and I highly recommend it.

Deserve to Die is the first book by Miranda Rijks I’ve read, but it certainly won’t be the last.

A huge thanks to Damppebbles and Inkubator for inviting me onto the blog tour, and for my copy of the book.

About the Author

Miranda Rijks is a writer of suspense novels.

Miranda has an eclectic background ranging from law to running a garden centre. She’s been writing all of her life and has a Masters in writing. A couple of years ago she decided to ditch the business plans and press releases and now she’s living the dream, writing suspense novels full time. She lives in Sussex, England with her Dutch husband, musician daughter and black Labrador.

Miranda loves connecting with her readers, so you can reach out to her at www.mirandarijks.com

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MirandaRijks

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

Website: www.mirandarijks.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mirandarijksauthor/

Blog Tour: Riverflow

About the Book

After a beloved family member is drowned in a devastating flood, Bede and Elin Sherwell want nothing more than to be left in peace to pursue their off-grid life. But when the very real prospect of fracking hits their village, they are drawn in to the frontline protests. During a spring of relentless rain, a series of mysterious threats and suspicious accidents put friendships on the line and the Sherwells’ marriage under unbearable tension. Is there a connection with their uncle’s death? As the river rises under torrential rain, pressure mounts, Bede’s sense of self begins to crumble and Elin is no longer sure who to believe or what to believe in.

My Review

A huge thanks to damppebbles and honno for inviting me to take part in this blog tour. This is a beautifully written book, and I don’t think I would have discovered it otherwise.

Riverflow focuses on the story of Bede and Elin, particularly how Bede is coping after his uncles death. Bede isn’t ready to move on, but soon there’s the threat of fracking to deal with, and the harrassment from their neighbour, all putting a strain on their relationship.

This is  an interesting story with a lot of different elements coming together. Layland explores some of the issues facing the world today in a way that clearly shows her passion. You can’t help but be moved by the couple’s plight and determination to cope as best they can. 

There is a slow build up of suspense and tension throughout the book. This isn’t too overt, but it lets you know that there’s something not quite right.  This isn’t the level of suspense found in a typical thriller, but there’s a sense of unease throughout the book as you know something isn’t quite right.

The story introduces a cast of characters, all experiencing their own problems that Layland forces you to care about. This is a very character driven story with incredibly real people that engages the reader in a way that makes the plot feel incidental. 

I’m not sure how I’d classify this book, there are subtle elements of a psychological thriller, but there’s something that moves it beyond this. Riverflow brings together a range of elements to create a beautiful story that stays with you. This is the first novel I’ve read by Alison Layland, but I’ll be sure to check out her backlist.

About the Author

Alison Layland is a writer and translator. Raised in Newark and Bradford, she now lives on the Wales/Shropshire border. She studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at Cambridge University and translates from German, French and Welsh into English. Her published translations include a number of bestselling novels.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlisonLayland

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

Website: http://www.alayland.uk/

#24in48 Reading List

This weekend is 24in48, or an excuse for me to spend the entire weekend reading. I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump for the last couple of weeks so this has come at a great time. If you’ve never done #24in48 before, the goal is to spend 24 hours reading over the 48 hour period. It’s not too late to sign up, and you can get more info here.

I did this for the first time back in January and loved it. This time around I have a huge list of books for blog tours, NetGalley releases, library books, books I own, and a couple of audiobooks in case I need to leave the house (they count towards the 24 hours).

Blog Tours

Deserve to Die: A psychological thriller with a heart-stopping ending by [Rijks, Miranda]
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Deserve to Die – This is the first book I’ve read by Miranda Rijks, but I saw a lot of great reviews for I Want You Gone a few months ago so I have a good feeling about this.

Clear My Name – I missed out on this when the first invites when I’m, so I was thrilled to get a spot when the blog tour was extended.

One Year Later – This arrived earlier today, so just in time for the weekend.

NetGalley

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The End of the Line – This was released at the start of the month and I feel really bad that I still haven’t read it. I’m determined that I’ll read it this weekend.

We Were Sisters – I’ve read a lot of thrillers, but I’m always looking for the next one. The plot of this sounds great and I’m looking forward to starting it.

Endgame – I love a good crime thriller, in any form, and this one sounds like it has everything I want.

Library Books

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The Uncommon Reader – This isn’t my usual read but it’s for the book club at work. It’s short and lighthearted so it will make a good read in between the more serious books.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with YA, but I read Legend a couple of months ago and loved it. So I have Prodigy and Champion to finish the trilogy.

Owned Books

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The Chain – I saw so much for this book before it was even released that I had to buy it. I’m so excited to finally read it and I’m hoping that it lives up to all of the hype.

The Whisper Man – This is another book that I’ve seen a lot of hype for. It sounds really eerie and I’m sure it will keep me on the edge of my seat.

Keep You Close – There have been some great reviews for this, and it’s the type of book that I usually love, so I’m hopeful that it’ll meet my expectations.

Audiobooks

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All These Worlds – I loved the first two books in the series, but I’m not quite ready for it to end so I’ve been putting off finishing the series, but it’s the perfect story to break up the weekend when I need a break.

The Fold – I got this because I liked the narrator, and realised afterwards that it’s the sequel to 14 so I’m looking forward to this.

This is a pretty ambitious reading list, and I probably won’t finish all of them, but this has made me excited for the weekend. Are you doing 24in48? Do you have a reading list for the weekend?

Review: 55 ★★★

About the Book

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There were 54 victims before this. Who is number 55?

Wilbrook in Western Australia is a sleepy, remote town that sits on the edge of miles and miles of unexplored wilderness. It is home to Police Sergeant Chandler Jenkins, who is proud to run the town’s small police station, a place used to dealing with domestic disputes and noise complaints.

All that changes on a scorching day when an injured man stumbles into Chandler’s station. He’s covered in dried blood. His name is Gabriel. He tells Chandler what he remembers.

He was drugged and driven to a cabin in the mountains and tied up in iron chains. The man who took him was called Heath. Heath told Gabriel he was going to be number 55. His 55th victim.

Heath is a serial killer.

As a manhunt is launched, a man who says he is Heath walks into the same station. He tells Chandler he was taken by a man named Gabriel. Gabriel told Heath he was going to be victim 55.

Gabriel is the serial killer.

Two suspects. Two identical stories. Which one is the truth?

My Review

When I first read the blurb for this book I was immediately intrigued. Sadly, I thought it didn’t quite live up to it’s full potential.

There is a lot going on in this book to keep you interested, but the characters aren’t likable, and this took away from my enjoyment. Chandler can’t stand up to his old rival, Mitchell who comes to town to help solve the case (and take over). Mitchell is a one-dimensional character with no redeeming qualities whose entire purpose is to be Chandler’s rival. 

From the blurb I expected the majority of the book to revolve around the mystery of who was telling the truth, but I thought this was solved too quickly. I wanted more of the book to focus on this, as it’s a really interesting idea that could have been expanded. This didn’t feel like the main plot of the book, more something they had to get past to solve the next part.

The book was enjoyable and there were some really good plot twists ,but it didn’t stand out for me. I think this got lost in the middle of some really good thrillers so that could have affected my opinion. I’d consider reading the next release from this author, but he hasn’t moved to my must buy list.