Black is the Colour by Seamus Connolly @seamusconnolly_ @ZooloosBT @SpellBoundBks #thriller #crime #debut #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Bloggers to open the Tour today for a Debut Author and share my review. Black is the Colour by Seamus Connolly was a brilliant read and if you like twisted thrillers then have a look at this one!

My huge thanks to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for my spot on the Tour and for arranging my copy via the publisher Spellbound Books.

It has been almost three decades since the brutal murder of a young father took place on the streets of Glasgow.

Fleeing the country as a child Cal Lynch returns to Scotland a man, a lawyer, determined to exact vengeance on the gangster who killed his father and tore his family apart.

His desired retribution would be complex and challenging. He had dreamed, trained and prepared for the day of his return.

Falling in love was not part of the plan.

As Cal’s revenge on Eddie Quinn draws ever closer, what happens next will leave him broken and fighting for his very existence.

Black Is The Colour is a gritty gangland tartan noir thriller set against the turbulent backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON UK US

MY REVIEW


What an absolutely fabulous read this book was. If I didn’t need to go to work I would have easily read it in one sitting.

From the synopsis, I knew this was going to be a thriller, I didn’t realise just how twisted it would get though. Cal has returned to Scotland, he has a plan and one that he has thought about for many years. He has revenge on his mind and he knows who he has in his line of sight. As a solicitor, Cal is able to use his experience and also the law to get what he needs to get. Or, so he thinks. Things don’t go all his way and there will be a price to pay along the way.

This is s set in the criminal world in Glasgow. While Cal has been away and made himself a name and a career he has never forgotten his roots. This is something that the author brings into the story and it is great to see. Cal knows the streets, and the people and thinks he knows what he is getting himself into. Plans, well on paper they are always great and even if you think you have all the alternatives covered, well there is something that will go awry.

This is a tense thriller and mystery novel and considering it is only around 180 pages long, the author has certainly made for an addictive story. This is one that is dark, it has unexpected twists and not everything is black or white.

I really liked getting to know Cal and some of the other characters. It doe shave that feel that there could be more to come in way of a series. I do hope so as I think there is the potential for much more.

There are a good amount of characters and I think the balance is about right for them, they are there because they are needed. Again there are some who I do think would make for great recurring characters.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a well-paced story with plenty to keep you thinking and guessing. A couple of great curveballs to keep you on your toes and I look forward to reading more from this author. It is one for crime, thriller and mystery fans and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Seamus Connolly is a Scottish based author who has recently published his first novel – Black is the Colour. Brought up in the West of Scotland he combines gritty reality and great humour within his fiction writing.
Seamus is currently drafting a follow up to his debut novel which promises to keep readers enthralled with twists and turns to keep the pages turning.

Follow him on – Instagram Twitter

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Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook @LizziePook @RandomTTours @MantleBooks #historicalfiction #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter by Lizzie Pook. This is a wonderful historical fiction set in 1886 in Western Australia.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of this book from Mantle Books.

Fortune favours the brave . . .
It is 1886 and the Brightwell family has sailed from England to make their new home in
Western Australia. Ten-year-old Eliza knows little of what awaits them in Bannin Bay beyond
stories of shimmering pearls and shells the size of soup plates – the very things her father has
promised will make their fortune.


Ten years later, as the pearling ships return after months at sea, Eliza waits impatiently for
her father to return with them. When his lugger finally arrives, however, Charles Brightwell,
master pearler, is declared missing. Whispers from the townsfolk point to mutiny or murder,
but Eliza knows her father and, convinced there is more to the story, sets out to uncover
the truth. She soon learns that in a town teeming with corruption, prejudice and blackmail,
answers can cost more than pearls, and must decide just how much she is willing to pay, and
how far she is willing to go, to find them.


A gloriously rich and wonderfully assured debut, Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter is set
in a mesmerising yet unforgiving land, where both profit and peril lie deep beneath the
ocean surface rendered with astonishing clarity, it is a novel that marks Lizzie Pook
as a name to watch.

MY REVIEW

Eliza Brightwell starts a new life with her parents and siblings in Bannin Bay, N.W region of Australia. Her father is hoping to make his fortune from pearl diving. The voyage from the UK to Australia has been long and arduous. It is 1866.

This is a historical fiction that tells of Eliza and her arrival in Bannin Bay at the age of 10 and back and forth to her life in her 20s. The earlier years tell of sadness, filling in the details of how her father has successfully made a living as a Pearler. It also tells of the hardships of those in the Bay. A mix of cultures, classes and backgrounds. The author builds a wonderful image of this desolate, dusty and dry region, and it is easy to see how quickly one could fall into poverty.

Eliza is a little bit of an enigma, she isn’t interested in the frivolity and frippery as some women are. She is more interested in the natural world, in plants, animals and about what she sees around her. Life is very different from where she first began.

When the boats return from their latest trips her father’s boat is the last one in. It is without her father, her brother is dismissive as are the rest of the crew. She is bewildered, confused and concerned. Not one for being fobbed off she decides to discover what happened herself.

Well now, there is no doubt that this is a headstrong and determined character who knows her own mind. She will take advice but she is also willing to follow what she believes is right. When she senses that there is more to her father’s disappearance she just has to go with her gut.

In this era of history, slavery is common, a time of British Colonialism and of discovery. The pearling industry is something I don’t think I have read about before so this was a really interesting read. There was enough of the basics to make me more curious for further reading.

Eliza was a character I wasn’t sure about at the beginning, but the more I read the more I started to understand her. She would be seen as a feminist and therefore not really accepted into certain circles. In fact, she is her own circle and the author has done a brilliant job with her.

This is a story that ebbs and flows at its own pace. Sometimes it is faster like the storm in the ocean, other times it is slower more languorous and this slower pace gives a chance for the literary side to tease itself out. This at times has a really lovely literary fiction flow, as well as being a mystery and historical fiction in genres. It didn’t take me long to get into this story and I did find the book nagging for me to be picked back up when I had put it down. A fabulous debut from this author and one I would happily recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lizzie Pook is an award-winning journalist and travel writer contributing to The Sunday
Times, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Condé Nast Traveller and more. Her assignments have
taken her to some of the most remote parts of the planet, from the uninhabited east coast of
Greenland in search of roaming polar bears, to the foothills of the Himalayas to track
endangered snow leopards.


She was inspired to write Moonlight and the Pearler’s Daughter, her debut novel, after
spending time in north-western Australia researching the dangerous and
fascinating pearl-diving industry. She lives in London.
You can find Lizzie on Twitter and Instagram.

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Ouija by Zoe-Lee O’Farrell @QuestionPress #Horror #Debut #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Debut Author Zoe-Lee O’Farrell and her book Ouija. This is the second book in the Question Mark Horror series where different authors write a short story. I have to say Ouija was fabulous reading.

The only thing for certain is the deaths were no accident.

Rayner High School once a prestigious school stands in ruins after such a terrible event.

A year later, a group of friends return to the abandoned school and their nightmare begins.

Something wants to get out and won’t take NO for an answer…

Ouija is Book 2 in a new series brought to you by Question Mark Horror. For fans of Point Horror, Christopher Pike & Nicholas Pine.

You can read my Full review for Camp Death by Jim Ody HERE

MY REVIEW

When a group of teens decide to visit an old, abandoned school you just know there is going to be trouble. Of course, there are rumours about what happened to the school and in particular one day when the school becomes the thing of nightmares.

WOW! What a debut for this author. This is an absolutely cracking read that I adored. Following the teens, I gradually learnt more about them and also about what happened in the school the previous year. The title of the book obviously gives a big clue as to what brings that past to the present. Yep, an Ouija board!

As I have gotten older, I have become a bit of a weedy wuss when it comes to horror, and considering Ouija is aimed at a YA audience it still left me feeling a little uneasy as I was reading it. I mean, abandoned schools and an Ouija board are major no-nos in my book. Thank goodness this author is braver than me as she has worked some wonderful atmospherics into this story.

It definitely has a sinister feel to it and this deepens the further the story goes. Things start to weird as if they weren’t weird already, and they get more intriguing and dangerous. This author has woven a creepy, series and very addictive tale.

If you are a fan of horror, especially teen or YA horror then this is one you really want to pick up. I had a great time reading it and I would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

We Watch You by N.S. Ford @nsfordwriter #WeWatchYou #PublicationDay #psychological #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for We Watch You by N.S. Ford. It is always exciting when a fellow Book Blogger gets in touch to see if you would be interested in reading her book. I love reading her BLOG and so I was obviously going to be interested in reading her book.

FOUR FRIENDS. THREE ENEMIES. TWO TRAGEDIES. ONE TERRIBLE TRUTH.

A small English town is rocked by the disappearance of a local woman, Tina. As the search continues, someone is targeting her former best friends for revenge. Lauren, Jess, Claire. They all hide secrets. Who knows what they did? Who’s watching them? The truth is stranger and far more sinister than they can ever imagine.

A dark, twisty thriller which will grip you until the very last page. 

PURCHASE FROM – Amazon UK

MY REVIEW…

I do love a short synopsis, and the one for this book is so tantalising. This is definitely an intrigue laden psychological thriller that has many twists.

The story did take me a few chapters to get to grip on the characters and the story. The chapters do alternate between characters and it is not immediately obvious who these are until you discover more about them in the story.

The story has a small-town feel, where the main characters have grown up and stayed there. Given that is a small place it didn’t exactly have that community atmosphere to it, yet there is something about the place. The main characters have been friends from school, one of these girls has now gone missing. With her disappearance there seem to be other events that could tenuously be linked, but are they linked and if so how.

The author has done a wonderful job weaving a story of secrets, mysteries and also of misdirection. It is sometimes a small and insignificant comment or sentence that suddenly becomes quite important later in the story. Very much a smoke and mirrors type of thing.

I liked the pacing of this book, starting at a good pace and towards the final chapters, it definitely picks up speed but doesn’t feel rushed. As for the ending, well that was interesting, it was something that had passed my mind earlier in the story but still came as a bit of a surprise. Yes, this is vague, but I m not giving anything up here!

This is a very intriguing story, it is a story that mentions elements of depression and mental health, it has a strong psychological tenseness, it has several mysterious threads and it is a very addictive read. I was a bok I found hard to leave, and wish that I had started it when I had a couple of days off rather than fitting it around work!

This is one for those who like a story that is in some ways quite complex as I now sit back and think about it, but it didn’t feel like that as I was reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this twisty journey and I would happily recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal #NetGalley #20booksofsummer @HoZ_Books #contemporaryfiction

I am delighted to share my review today for Would I Lie To You? by Aliya Ali-Afzal. This is a book I requested to read from House of Zeus via NetGalley and I am so glad I did because it is fabulous.

I am including this as part of #20booksofsummer reading challenge, this is a change to my list! 🙂

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From fresh new voice Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You? is a page-turning, warm and funny debut about what happens when you have your dream life – and are about to lose it.

At the school gates, Faiza fits in. It took a few years, but now the snobbish mothers who mistook her for the nanny treat her as one of their own. She’s learned to crack their subtle codes, speak their language of handbags and haircuts and discreet silver watches. You’d never guess, at the glamorous kids’ parties and the leisurely coffee mornings, that Faiza’s childhood was spent following her parents round the Tooting Cash ‘n’ Carry.

When her husband Tom loses his job in finance, he stays calm. Something will come along, and in the meantime, they can live off their savings. But Faiza starts to unravel. Raising the perfect family comes at a cost – and the money Tom put aside has gone. When Tom’s redundancy package ends, Faiza will have to tell him she’s spent it all.

Unless she doesn’t…

It only takes a second to lie to Tom. Now Faiza has six weeks to find £75,000 before her lie spirals out of control. If anyone can do it, Faiza can: she’s had to fight for what she has, and she’ll fight to keep it. But as the clock ticks down, and Faiza desperately tries to put things right, she has to ask herself: how much more should she sacrifice to protect her family?

My Review…

This is a debut and one that I immediately fell for as I began reading. The pages flew by as I read this over the course of one day. The author made it so easy to submerge me into the life of Faiza’s life.

Faiza is a character who is so desperate to fit in, no matter the cost. This isn’t really a problem until her husband Tom loses his job. Their savings have been decimated as Faiza gets sucked into keeping up with the elite mums at school. Wanting to be one of the clique. Not wanting to be on the outside, to be part of a group and to feel as good as those around her.

Initially, I couldn’t understand why Faiza would want to be part of this group of upper-class mothers until I got further into the story. I started to understand her upbringing and the reasons behind her spending. Faiza is a Pakistani Muslim, she is in a multicultural marriage and has three children. She, as many other parents stay at home, runs the house, looks after the children and her husband works long hours to provide for them. They do have a lavish lifestyle and not wanting others to notice the lack of money Faiza does what she can to keep the charade of “being fine” going as long as she can.

The author has brought many things to this story, money worries that lead to marriage problems, arguments, stress and keeping their heads above water. Having a change of roles for the parents was such a good route to go down, but then this route turned dark and highlighted other issues. Being a woman working in a high powered city job has a whole set of other problems.

This is a brilliant story, one that had me engrossed from start o finish. It has such good pacing to it and it reflects the spiral and panic as Faiza tries to keep juggling various problems. Cultural differences become a problem and Faiza is not the only one to notice this, rather than confront it head-on, the author uses Faiza to approach this in a different way. There are several eye-opening moments in the book and not just the more obvious ones either.

This is a great read and I am really looking forward to reading more by this author. This is one for readers who like contemporary fiction, family life and relationships. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Falling by T.J Newman @T_J_Newman @simonschusterUK @RandomTTours #debutauthor #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Falling by T.J Newman. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging for my copy of this book from the publisher Simon and Schuster.

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You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

My Review…

When I saw the synopsis for this book I knew it was one that I wanted to read. I was so right about this book as I got a brilliant and adrenalin-fuelled psychological read from start to finish.

The first line of this book did it for me, what an opening line that was. That was the prologue, by the way.

the story is of Capt. Bill Hoffman, pilot of Coastal Airways flight from Los Angeles to New York. Not a scheduled flight for Bill, but an extra and one that his wife isn’t happy about him taking on. He should have been home, maybe if he was then the nightmare that ensues would not have happened.

When the plane is hijacked, it is Bill who is the only one on board that is aware of it. His wife and two children are not able to help as they have been kidnapped. His instructions are simple. Crash the plane or your family will die.

Once I started this book really couldn’t put it down. After the dramatic opening, the chapters that followed drew me further in. The author built an image of a family man who is loyal to his employers, who has a sense of duty and who has a sense of right and wrong. When his family are taken he has a choice, what his decision will be I will leave you to read and discover.

It is not only Bill but also Jo, Kellie and Big Daddy who have a part to play. They are flight attendants, Jo does have the larger role of the three. There is also a couple of key on the ground characters as well.
This gives a good around view of the event as it unfolds and gives differing perspectives as events unfold. Obviously, there is Bill in the cockpit, Jo and the crew with the passengers, the family, the kidnapper and also the FBI. While it may seem as there are many characters, they are introduced in such a way as they become memorable quickly.

The author, who by the way was a Flight Attendant brings her experience in the air to this book. There are little things that cropped up as I read that I didn’t realise. To be honest, I have never flown so it’s not like I am an expert, but there were times where I came across something that I was never aware of.

There are plenty of surprises along the way and several twists that I didn’t see coming. I did briefly give a passing thought about one person but then brushed that off! I do like how the author has used this scenario to try and exert pressure on the pilot. I mean, he is in the air but he can still control what happens to his family. But, what about the passengers on his flight, they are also his responsibility! Talk about a vicious circle!

I thoroughly enjoyed this adrenalin-packed roller coaster of a ride, or should I say flight! I am quite glad I like keeping my feet firmly on the ground after reading this book! It’s a fabulous debut that had me hooked and I think would be ideal for readers who enjoy a fast-ish-paced, psychological thriller. I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

T. J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

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Threadneedle by Cari Thomas @Cari_Threads #Threadneedle @RandomTTours @HarperVoyagerUK #urbanfantasy #NetGalley #debutauthor #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for Threadneedle by Cari Thomas. I adored this book so much and I would like to thank Anne at Random Things Tours and Harper Voyager UK for my spot on the tour and for my e-copy of this gorgeous book.

Anna’s aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.
Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.


Until she meets Effie and Attis.


They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed. A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.


But as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along.
Is her magic a gift…or a curse?


Told through spells created with knots and threads, this is a story that is both innovative and
based in traditional witchcraft.

My Review…

Wow-what an amazing book this was. I had such high hopes for this book as I was really in the mood for a witchy fantasy type story and this is what I got and so much more.

Anna has been warned about the dangers of magic and its use. Rather than risking the danger, it would be better if Anna had her magic bound, in other words, has it blocked so she cannot use it. Anna sort of goes along with this until she discovers that she is not alone in this magical world. That others have powers and that they do use them. They are not all of the same opinions as Anna’s guardian and Aunt. I have to say, thank goodness they don’t share her opinion.

Mysterious deaths are reported in the paper, with a range of far-fetched sounding rumours. I mean there are no switches, it is a myth, right? Well, as far as the author, Anna and her friends are concerned there are witches, they are not myths, they are just good at hiding themselves.

I adored everything about this book apart from one thing… it ended and I have to wait for more! This was such an easy book to get caught up in, the story of Anna and her Aunt is at times brutal. The author really does have a great way of expressing the term “tough love”, there is more to this than first meets the eye though. Safety, fear and danger have a large part to play.

I do like how the author brings a group of misfits together and how she uses them to good effect to deal with being a teen and the problems that come with it. In some respect, this is a story about a group of teens who are dealing with life, school and the whole rebel thing but this group has a little more up their sleeves than your average teen.

I also like how the way the author gave various traits and characteristics to the group but then challenges their characters. I am not revealing how this occurs, while it isn’t exactly a major part of the story it does show the progress that the group makes as a whole.

This is a coming of age story, it is about learning lessons in life and that actions have consequences. Yes, it is a young adult read that I do think that age group of readers would love, but also the older readers. I did at times feel a hint of A Discovery of Witches, as Anna learns more about the magic and (I love that series of books btw).

This is a wonderful fantasy book that mixes magic with a world of today. It is simply a brilliant book and as I read it over a couple of days I was hooked, addicted and didn’t want it to end. It really didn’t feel like a book over 500 pages long. It is one I would definitely recommend and I am eager to see more in this exciting new series. 

About the Author…

Cari Thomas has always loved magic, inspired by her upbringing among the woods and myths of Wales’
Wye Valley. She studied English and Creative Writing at Warwick University and Magazine Journalism at
The Cardiff School of Journalism. Her first job was at teen Sugar magazine where she ran the book club and
quickly realized she wanted to be the one writing the books instead. She went on to work at a creative
agency, spending her spare time researching magic and accumulating an unusual collection of occult books.
She wrote her debut novel Threadneedle while living in London, wandering the city and weaving it with
all the magic she wished it contained. She now lives in Bristol with her husband and son, who bears the
appropriately Celtic name of Taliesin.

A Note from the Author…

I remember the old family stories about my Great Aunt Mary. A fiercely independent, enigmatic woman who was said to be a witch. Perhaps it was these early stories seeping into my subconscious, perhaps it was devouring The Worst Witch, or growing up in rural Wales surrounded by myth and fairy tales, or maybe it was just me, but from a young age I developed a fascination for all things witches and magic.
But let’s not forget that the witch’s hut always sits outside of the village for a reason. In my research, I became just as obsessed with magic’s opposite forces – repression, fear, suspicion and prejudice. After all, if my Great Aunt Mary had been alive a few centuries earlier she may well have been burnt at the stake.
Witch hunts became an area of fascination for me and the more I read the more outraged I became – how powerful, outspoken women and men, or people of the pagan faith, or simply outsiders, have time and time again been suppressed, silenced and extinguished from society. How the power structure of the day meant that it was near impossible for them to have a voice and to defend themselves.
Why was it such people terrified those in power? Why were we not taught more about this dark period
of history? Why did the themes feel like they still resonated so strongly today?
I explore these tensions in Threadneedle- the freedoms of magic set against a fear of witches and feminine
power; schoolgirls forced to take on the injustices of the world one spell at a time.
The sheer joy of writing the book came in bringing these tensions into the modern world and particularly
into the London setting we think we know. Ultimately, this is where the heart of the story lies: in feminine power and sisterhood, bringing together
an unlikely set of outsiders, who together must navigate their way through the light and dark of being
a young woman in today’s world. A world that is more complex than ever and yet still plagued by many
of the same issues that my Great Aunt Mary would have faced, and all the witches who came before her.

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Last Seen by Joy Kluver @Bookouture #NetGalley #debut #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Last Seen by Joy Kluver. I read this one at the end of March this year and it is a debut and so start the Detective Bernadette Noel series.

My thanks to Bookouture for my e-copy that I read via NetGalley.

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I can see her, shouting with laughter as she swings as high as she can, her beautiful blonde curls flying out behind her. I can feel her tiny hot hand in mine, and my heart aches. My little girl. If only I’d listened to my gut. Then maybe she’d be safe here with me…

When five-year-old Molly Reynolds is snatched from the park in the small village of Otterfield, Detective Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Noel throws herself into the search, sick with worry for the quiet, sensitive little girl and her distraught mother.

Wasting no time, Bernie finds a small green cardigan under a bush in the park. It still has the smiley face sticker Molly won that week at school. It’s the first in a chain of clues – and Bernie can’t shake the feeling that it was left deliberately, as a message.

But Bernie encounters a wall of silence. Otterfield is a close-knit community, yet no one in the village seems to care that Molly is missing at all. Why?

And then Bernie makes a chilling discovery: twenty-five years ago, another little girl went missing from the area. Her name was Sophie, and all they ever found of her was her teddy bear, hidden under a bush. Now Bernie knows she’s in a race against time to save Molly’s life.

Bernie’s team work round the clock to find a connection between the two girls, and just when they think they’re making progress a devastating tragedy strikes at the heart of the case. Molly’s family have been hiding a secret, and now their little girl is in greater danger than ever.

Can Bernie outwit the most warped criminal she has ever faced and bring Molly home safe, or will another innocent life be lost?

A completely addictive crime thriller with mind-blowing twists that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.

My Review…

I have to say that I am delighted to see that this is the first book in a planned series because I thought this book was brilliant.

The author has woven a story that had me hooked from the first few pages, if I hadn’t had to go to work it would have easily been a one-sitting read. When a child goes missing from a park you would expect locals to go out of their way to help. Why then does it take longer for them to gradually rouse themselves?

This along with some other clues is the start of a mystery thriller that introduces Detective Bernadette (Bernie) Noel and her team racing to make the links to find the girl. Time is of the essence in a missing person case and trying to drag information and help is a real waste of time but is also an integral part of this storyline.

I do like a story that has a sense of distrust and that hints at past events. This story has those and not just for the local community. The author weaves various threads of her tale and I really enjoyed it as they were gradually drawn together.

This debut, this is a fabulous read and one that had me eagerly turning the pages as I not only wanted to know more about the crime but also about the investigating team. They are a definite mix of characters and each has specialities. Although as I have alluded to, there is something about some of them that hints at things being amiss.

I adored this story and it is a series I am looking forward to and discovering more about some key characters. A story that takes a dark turn, has several surprises and kept me on my toes. One for crime, thriller and mystery readers and one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Lost in Christmas Wonderland by Annabelle John-Ligali @AnneJohnLigali #PublicationDay #Giveaway (UK only) #festivefiction #debutauthor #youngwriters #youngreaders

I am delighted to share a promotional post today for a young author. Lost in Christmas Wonderland is the work of Annabelle John-Ligali. When Anne got in touch to ask if I would be interested in helping out with her daughters book I obviously jumped at the chance.

I also want to wish Annabelle a Happy Publication Day xxx

Annabelle is the daughter of Author Anne John-Ligali and I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a couple of Anne’s books.

Having read the synopsis, I have to say this sounds a wonderful read. So let me show you the details of Annabelle’s book…

Synopsis…

When ten-year-old Bella Matthews and her mum, Isabel, visit Granny Sylta in the snowy village of Lakersfield for Christmas, it turns out there is more in store than just Christmas cake and a ton of presents. 

 When she arrives, she meets her cousin Rita and a boy called Tommy for the first time, and catches up with her friend Iris again too. Together they discover an exciting attraction is in town: A giant Christmas Wonderland Theme Park. They are dazzled by hundreds of decorated Christmas trees, a Musical Nativity, a Santa Parade, an Upside Down House, and many more attractions. 

But Bella ends up having an unexpected adventure of her own as she dances with pot-bellied Santas, discovers a palace made entirely out of glass, wanders into an intriguing puzzle room, and treks for miles to find shelter on a snowy night.

Can Bella find her way back to Granny Sylta’s house in time for Christmas dinner?

Lost in Christmas Wonderland is a story about courage, kindness, friendship, the importance of family, and the magic of Christmas.

Purchase from Amazon UK or Amazon US

About the Author…

Annabelle is nine years old and lives in London. The inspiration for her book came after she visited Winter Wonderland in London’s Hyde Park in November 2019 with her mum, dad, little brother Andre, and Granny Sylta.

It was here she first saw an Upside Down House and had heaps of fun filming and visiting all of the rooms. Annabelle was so fascinated that she decided to vlog about it on her Youtube channel. Click here to watch the video.

Shortly after her visit, she thought how fun it would be to write a story about a girl who visits a Christmas theme park with some friends and goes on a little adventure.

Outside of school, Annabelle enjoys playing with her brother, vlogging about books she’s read, and places she’s visited. She also likes making up dance routines to songs that are trending on Tiktok. When she wants to have a giggle, she plays Guess Who with her mum.

Her favourite authors are Alesha Dixon, Trish Cooke, David Walliams, and Ben Miller. She also likes reading magazines like First News For Kids and Cocoa Girl. This is Annabelle’s first book, and she hopes you like it.

LINKS

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Instagram @annabellepresents

Youtube: Annabelle Presents

Website: www.annabellejohnligali.com


GIVEAWAY…

LOST IN CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND PUBLICATION DAY GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate the release of Lost in Christmas Wonderland, Annabelle is giving away a marshmallow cake. In her book, the family makes a huge fuss over granny’s Christmas marshmallow cake that she makes every year. In one chapter, granny Sylta asks Rita to buy a bag of marshmallows at the Christmas Wonderland theme park, and throughout the book there’s always a mention of this delightful cake. Annabelle has decided to give one person the chance to win a marshmallow cake to enjoy!

There’s also a second prize, you can win a box of candy canes.

Here’s what you need to do to enter.


1) Follow Annabelle on her Instagram page at @annabellepresents

2) Find this picture of the marshmallow cake and leave a comment. Tell her what your favourite theme park ride is, or used to be, or just anything you enjoy about visiting a theme park, and that’s it.

The giveaway closes on the 8th of December at midnight. Winners announced at random on Annabelle’s Instagram page @annabellepresents

This competition is open to UK residents only.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Before I Die by Jackie Morrissey #BeforeIDie #JackieMorrissey #InkubatorBooks @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Before I Die by Jackle Morrissey. THis was such a compelling read and I would like to thatnk Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about..

She’ll care for you. Until you’re dead.

Maureen might be getting on in years but she’s fiercely independent and smart as a whip.

But when she falls and injures her ankle, her daughter Alva is convinced Maureen can no longer take care of herself and is determined to get her some help – which comes in the shape of local caregiver, Dolores.

Maureen tries to say no, she’s fine on her own, but it’s not so easy to get rid of Dolores. She seems to be everywhere, poking her nose into every corner of Maureen’s life, implying to Alva that her mother is getting senile and will soon need constant care.

Maureen feels as if she’s under siege 24/7. And she knows in her heart that there’s something not right about Dolores…  But no one will listen.

Then one of Dolores’s other charges dies in mysterious circumstances and Maureen realises she may be fighting for a lot more than her independence.

Because once Dolores has you in her care, death may seem like a sweet release.

The stunning psychological thriller, perfect for fans of K. L. Slater, Teresa Driscoll, and Andrew Hart.

Buy your copy from – Amazon UKUS

The synopsis does a fabulous job of setting the scene for this book and it indicates that not all is as it should be. Maureen is a character I immediately liked, the is all there with no loose marbles. She is independent but does seem to be avoiding Delores who seems bossy, a bit of a bully and, according to most people, never stops talking.

Now I found that the main premise for the story was one that intrigued me, it has a relevance to events in the news as elderly and vulnerable people are taken advantage of. I found the way the author tackled the subject of getting older and therefore becoming forgetful to be very relevant and it played to the stereotype of the older members of society no coping and in need of more support.

Delores was a well drawn out character, she is sneaky and devious and knows how to push the right buttons. Unfortunately she doesn’t take into account Maureen’s tenacity, and that is fortunate for Maureen. WHile Maureen knows what is going on, her daughter doesn’t and she believes what the wonderful carer Delores tells her. Setting seeds of doubt and then following them up as they develop.

The story takes some surprising turns, and I soon discovered how well the author had this story plotted out. Events from earlier in the book suddenly become obvious later on as things start to draw to their conclusion. There are sneaky and deceitful characters, as well as those that mean well. But when certain things connect then watch out!

I really enjoyed this story, the characters were well developed and they played their parts wonderfully. The sad thing about this book is that even though it is fiction, this manipulation and praying on the vulnerable does happen in real life. I think this is why this book worked so well for me. Before I Die was a slower thriller, but full of suspense and I would definitely recommend it.

Jackie Morrissey lives in County Dublin and worked for many years in adult education. Her job took her into colleges and prisons all around Ireland, and introduced her to a range of interesting people. She loved the buzz of teaching, but came to hate the tyranny of correcting assignments. She has written throughout her adult life and has had many short stories published, one of which won the Molly Keane Short Story award. She has also been a regular contributor of short pieces for the Irish radio program Sunday Miscellany. About four years ago, she took the decision to write full time.  The psychological thriller Before I Die is her first published novel.

BEFORE I DIE is Jackie’s debut novel and her first published with Inkubator Books.

Jackie has no Social Media Links to follow.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx