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/

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.

Review: Degrees of Guilt ★★★★★

Trigger Warning: This book has mentions of self harm, and I will talk about this in my review.

About the Book

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Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.

My Review

This book was absolutely amazing. I’m a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU and this could definitely be the plot of an episode. I was completly hooked by the end of the first chapter. I read this on the train up to Aberdeen and it made the entire journey fly by (and coincidentally was the perfect length for the journey).

The story alternates between Maria, who’s only regret is that her husband didn’t die, and Lottie, a frustrated housewife who’s enjoying her role in something bigger.

To the outside world, Maria’s husband was the perfect gentleman, but Maria tells a darker tale of an abuse and manipulation.

Lottie is becoming frustrated with her role as wife and mother, and this jury duty seems like the perfect opportunity to add some excitement to her life. She slowly becomes enamoured with another jury member, but will she risk her marriage for him?

Throughout the book we get Maria’s story of her life with her husband, and how cruel he really was, and then the jury’s opinions on what they had heard. This tells the story of how hard it is for victims to convince the outside world when the abuser has spent years building up their reputation. Even without her husband in court, the jury want to believe his lies, because they’re a much nicer story than the truth.

Amongst all of this the reader gets a sense that there is something else going on we are not aware of. Is Maria telling the truth? Is this part of something bigger?

Part of this book deals with Maria’s self harm, and I thought this was handled incredibly well. As someone who has struggled with self-harm for years I thought the author managed to capture the thoughts and emotions around this world wonderfully. This is an extremely difficult topic to deal with and the author did so in a very respectful way.

Overall this book was an amazing read that I’ll recommend to anyone who’ll listen to me. I can’t wait for the next book.

Have you read Degrees of Guilt yet? What did you think?

Blog Tour: The Perfect Betrayal ★★★★★

A huge thanks to Emma for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. The Perfect Betrayal is out in paperback today, so you should definitely go out to buy a copy if you haven’t already.

About the Book

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope.

When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is understanding and kind, and promises she can help Tess through the hardest time of her life.

But when a string of unsettling events happens and questions arise over her husband’s death, Tess starts to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but she’s at her most vulnerable, and that’s a dangerous place to be.

My Review

This book was astounding. The Perfect Betrayal starts with Tess in hospital, and her son, Jamie, missing. The story then jumps back to 55 days earlier. Tess is struggling to cope after the death of her husband, Mark, in a plane crash. Jamie’s mood reflects her own and she doesn’t know how to help him. On top of everything else, her brother in law is demanding money that Mark borrowed before his death. When Tess isn’t sure what to do next Shelley arrives on her doorstep to help. While Tess isn’t sure at first she quickly comes to rely on Shelly, who is also a huge help with Jamie.

There are chapters of Tess in the hospital being interviewed throughout the book, and she starts to question Shelley’s motives as she begs the police to find her son.

As you read this book you get a true sense of the grief that Tess is experiencing. The author does a wonderful job of giving us a real insight into her emotions and grieving.

The suspense and unease is built up throughout the book, in a very clever way. We read the events as Tess first experienced them, and then these events are given a different light when Tess talks about them in her interviews with the police. The reader is left not knowing who to trust, as even the kindest are seen as untrustworthy and manipulative as Tess tries to piece together what happened.

The ending of this book blew me away. The moment I realised what was going on I was completely gobsmacked and raced through the rest of the book. Looking back I could see the clues woven throughout the book, but they’re subtle enough that it doesn’t take away from the suspense by giving away the reveal too early.

I feel like I can’t say too much about this book as I don’t want to give anything away and spoil the book, but it is a stunning read. This is definitely something I’ll be recommending to anyone who’ll listen to me. I’m also eagerly anticipating the next release from Lauren North.

About the Author

© Lindsay Wakelin Photography

Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lauren_C_North

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