Blog Tour: What Goes Around

About the Book

Alice has been playing the perfect Southern wife for over twenty-five years. So when Bob dumps her for some blonde bimbo twenty years her junior, Alice figures she’s entitled to every dollar she can bleed from him. And, once she’s got the money, she’s entitled to use it on a much-needed vacation to Nanm Paradi, a Caribbean resort that sells itself as her “soul’s paradise”.

She’s never experienced anything as luxurious as Nanm Paradi. The staff know her every desire and cater to her every need before she even knows she needs it. She figures this is how the really rich live and she’s ready to take advantage of all of it–the fabulous drinks, the beautiful views, and the handsome men. And when she discovers that voodoo magic is also on offer… well, Bob hurt her bad. She can take some time away from paradise to exact a little pain. Alice would have been happy to leave things at that. 

But when she gets hit where it hurts–her bank account–Alice’s game changes. It’s no longer about post-divorce romance. Now it’s about revenge.

What Goes Around is a little bit thriller, a little bit witchy, a little bit romance, and a whole lot of sass.

My Review

This was a short book and a quick read. Alice is hurting after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. She flies to paradise for a holiday and is sent to someone who can help her get the revenge she craves on her husband. At first she doesn’t believe the woman, but as things become more serious, she discovers how far she is willing to go.

This was a fun read. Alice is an immediately sympathetic character, and the reader can engage with her. The story quickly draws you in and keeps you invested as Alice goes deeper into her quest for revenge. As Alice’s actions become darker you lose sympathy for her while becoming more enthralled in the story.

It took me a bit to get in this book as I initially found the language jarring, but I soon stopped noticing this as the story drew me in. The descriptions of the resort were wonderful and made me very jealous.

I loved the darkness of the book and the characters. Everything was slightly twisted, and this kept me interested as I had to know what would happen next. I’d have liked the book so be slighly longer to explore the characters a bit more, but it was a great short read. This would be perfect for reading at the beach, or next to a pool

About the Author

With degrees in Finance and Economics, Rachel found wonderful success in the business world, which took her I.T. and financial process consulting international. However, with her mind focused on business, and with the lack of training and mentoring in her personal life, marriage success eluded her.

After foraging on a path of self-awareness and exploration with a determination to avoid repeating patterns again, she found the key to relationship bliss. Now, combining her passion for writing and storytelling with her skills, knowledge, and drive that led to her business acclaim, Rachel shares her off beat take on the world, and her findings where life, love, divorce, and children are concerned.

Rachel is determined to be a publicist’s nightmare by writing in multiple genres including children’s fiction, flash fiction, romance, and suspense/thriller.

After multiple divorces, she is now happily married and lives in the Kansas City Metropolitan area enjoying the household noise of her soon-to-be empty nest.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/disfunctionaldi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rachelellyn2/

Website: https://www.rachelellyn.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelellyn/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/DisfunctionalDiva

Review: A Killing Fire

Here is my late review for the blog tour of A Killing Fire. Huge apologies to the author, publisher, and Anne Cater for this being so late.

About the Book

The first time Raven Burns saw her father kill, the victim was her mother. Afterwards, Floyd “FIRE” Burns set the house on fire, making Raven watch as the flames slithered across the yard like some unknowable language. Then he took her on a multi-state killing spree. She could’ve told or killed him in his sleep. But there were his constant whispers, his wet lips close to her ear saying that little girls who told were sent to hell, and their mothers were called down from heaven to take care of them.

By the time he is executed, Raven has become a cop with the sole purpose of putting men like him away. But she can’t escape Floyd’s terrorizing voice in her head, somehow guiding her steps while reminding her of the horrors he had forced her to witness. And she can’t escape the questions that continue to haunt her: Did witnessing make her complicit? Had the same evil that lived in her father taken residence in her soul?

The town of Byrd’s Landing, Louisiana appears to have made up its mind. The community accepts that Raven had nothing to do with Floyd’s crimes. But when Raven shoots a teenager who points what turns out to be an unloaded weapon at her, stories about Floyd resurface. The whispers begin. No voice is louder than wealthy socialite Hazel Westcott. When Westcott turns up dead in the backyard of her Big Bayou Lake estate, the doubting voices reach a deafening crescendo, and the ghosts of her past rise up to greet her. To catch Westcott’s killer, Raven must come to terms once and for all with who she is. And who she is not.

My Review

The Killing Fire revolves around the story of Raven. When she is called to the scene of a murder she sees something that reminds her of her father. Is it a coincidence, or is Raven’s past coming back to haunt her.

The book focuses on the murder investigation, with flashes of Raven’s past with her father. Through this we see how Raven was shaped by her father’s influence, something she still hasn’t managed to escape.

There’s only been one victim so far, but Raven is convinced this is the work of a serial killer, and that this is only the beginning.  Is she right, or is her desperation to solve the murder clouding her judgement?

The past and present are cleverly woven throughout this book. Alternating timelines are something I often struggle with, I generally prefer a book told in chronological order, but it worked well in this. It gave the reader clues about Raven’s past, letting them know more about her character while building up suspense.

Throughout the book it is unclear whether Raven is correct in her beliefs that the killings are related to her father. Raven is an unreliable narrator, so the reader doesn’t know whether to believe her theory, or if her past is colouring her abilities. This adds to the tension as the reader tries to work out what is really going on.

Raven was a very interesting character, but I don’t think I’d trust her to lead an investigation. I enjoyed the book and I’d like to see more of Raven in the future.

Personal Update and Apologies

Hi All. I want to apologise for the unexpected hiatus. I had a family emergency which took me away from everything for a few days, and then I went straight back into an absolute clusterfuck at work. Between family and work I haven’t had a chance to think about anything else.

My family situation is back to it’s usual level, and work is still an absolute nightmare. However I feel like I need to start making time for reading, and this blog, for my own mental health more than anything else. I’ve only read three books so far this month, and having the blog will give me the push I need to make this more of a priority. I know that reading is one of the first things I stop doing when my mental health takes a dip, which turns it into even more of a downward spiral. Also, if I ever snap and murder someone it will be over this project at work, and I know exactly who it will be, and what they will have said to trigger my rage, so blogging is the better option for everyone.

I want to apologise to the blog tours I missed over the last couple of weeks. I had a lot going on, but it’s still very unprofessional of me. My first priority is to get those reviews up today and tomorrow at the latest.

After that I’ll be working on getting things ready for the next few blog tours, and I did still manage to get to all of the shows I wanted at the Edinburgh Book Festival so I’ll be writing up things from there. Hopefully I’ll be back to a normal, consistent schedule in the next couple of weeks.

Thank you all for sticking with me. I’ll be getting things out pretty soon.

In happier news a few of my family members foster, and there is a new foster baby, so next weekend I’ll get lots of baby cuddles. It also gives me a great excuse to do lots of knitting, which is a great way of dealing with stress.

Finally here are some pictures of my baby boy helping me see what books I have at my parent’s house. And one of him being particularly snuggly one day when we had a nap.

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/