A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for A Dark Matter by Doug Johnstone. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my spot on the Blog Tour and my e-copy of this terrrific book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

After an unexpected death, three generations of women take over the family funeral-home and PI businesses in the first book of a brilliant, page-turning and darkly funny new series


The Skelfs are a well-known Edinburgh family, proprietors of a long-established funeral-home business, and private investigators. When patriarch Jim dies, it’s left to his wife Dorothy, daughter Jenny and granddaughter Hannah to take charge of both businesses, kicking off an unexpected series of events.

Dorothy discovers mysterious payments to another women, suggesting that Jim wasn’t the husband she thought he was. Hannah’s best friend Mel has vanished from university, and the simple adultery case that Jenny takes on leads to something stranger and far darker than any of them could have imagined.

As the women struggle to come to terms with their grief, and the demands of the business threaten to overwhelm them, secrets from the past emerge, which change everything… It’s a compelling and tense thriller and a darkly funny, warm portrait of a family in turmoil.

The really like the simplicity of this cover and as I again look at it after reading the book it is also so appropriate. The synopsis does a great job of setting the basics up for this story. This is the first in a new series by Doug Johnstone and I have to say I cannot wait to see what these feisty Sklef women get up to in further books.

This is a story that is about coming to terms with the death of a loved one who left one or two skeletons lurking behind him. Jim’s death leaves not only a big hole in the lives of his family, it also leaves a hole in the two businesses. One is a funeral directors the other is a private Investigation business.

Taking over two businesses throws up a few surprises, in fact surprise is something that each of the three Skelf women, in this story, have got to deal with. Some hit closer to home than others. In some respects this book is like reading interconnected stories, that have an individual feel at times but also are linked.

The individual stories gradually make themselves known and after a slower start I suddenly found myself finding my feet. There were a few characters to get my head around, but gradually I did and I was able to see the story rather than trying to remember who was who.

Dealing with grief at the same time as discovering secrets and trying to keep business running is a tall order. This is something the Skelf ‘s seem to take in their stride. These are strong women, who do have moments of doubt but continue on.

This is a really good read that has more than a few surprises tucked in the pages, very cleverly worked and quite a lot of facts scattered throughout that added some wonderful reading extras.

If you are a reader who likes crime and mystery reads then this will be right up your street, I am really looking forward to what happens next and what the author can weave into his next book. A Dark Matter gets a definitely recommended from me.

Doug Johnstone is the author of ten novels, most recently Breakers (2018), which has been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his books have been bestsellers and award winners, and his work has been praised by the likes of Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions – including a funeral home – and has been an arts journalist for twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also playermanager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh.

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Million Eyes by C.R. Berry @CRBerry1 @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my review for Million Eyes by C.R. Berry. This is a book that has its toes dipped in a few genres and so in a way it makes it a book that may intrigue many readers… it certainly intrigued Me!

Let me show you what it is all about…

How do you fight an enemy who has a million eyes?

What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen?

Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to Edward III in 1348.

Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them.

Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.

Purchase LinksElsewhen PressAmazon UKAmazon US

I have to say that I do like a good conspiracy every now and again in my reading, Million Eyes has more than one conspiracy, in fact it has several that have been wonderfully woven back and forth in this historical /time travel fiction book.

Now where to start, Million Eyes, well I could tell you what Million Eyes is but I won’t, you will have to read the story to discover the details. There are several other things I could tell you, but… yep you guessed it… I’m not going tell you about them either lol!

So what I will tell you is that Ferro, a history teacher, has stumbled across something that could, if released to the public, turn what we know about our history on its head. He is obsessed with what he has found and wants to know more. Jennifer Larson has been following his blog and is intrigued, together they start to piece little snippets and leads together until they discover that there are obscure accounts that have been documented over the years that indicate that people from the future have been interfering, they have left evidence!

This has been very well written and as I have discovered from trying to write my review about this book, keeping a timeline that makes sense and doesn’t get muddled and confusing is a very difficult thing to do, but the author has pulled it off brilliantly so that it flows wonderfully.

The author has used parts of history and then spun them into a great setting for the story line that see’s the reader transported across centuries as a witness to the what unfolds. Given the fact that this is a story that does flit back and forth it is very easy to follow and know where in history you are. This attention to setting and timeline details is great.

I was enjoying this book a lot and liked the mystery and conspiracy elements to this story, then towards the 60% stage of the book little bombshells started to be dropped. I suddenly knew what Million Eyes and other things in the story were. This is the stage where I felt the story quicken its pace, or was that me suddenly desperate to know more and so began to read faster?

There are a few characters in this story and they are easy to keep up with, the settings are good and the timelines are clear. The story line is full of twists and turns that you don’t really get the full effect of until a lot later in the book and then you get the eureka moment without realising one was due! I do hope that makes sense …

This is a book that I thoroughly enjoyed, it is a mix of genres so if you like history, fiction, mystery, time travel or conspiracy theories in your reading then I really do recommend giving this book a read. It is the first in a planned trilogy and has been left with hints of a cliff hanger, but also nicely wrapped up to a point.

C.R. Berry caught the writing bug at the tender age of four and has never recovered. His earliest stories were filled with witches, monsters, evil headteachers, Disney characters and the occasional Dalek. He realised pretty quickly that his favourite characters were usually the villains. He wonders if that’s what led him to become a criminal lawyer. It’s certainly why he’s taken to writing conspiracy thrillers, where the baddies are numerous and everywhere.

After a few years getting a more rounded view of human nature’s darker side, he quit lawyering and turned to writing full-time. He now works as a freelance copywriter and novelist and blogs about conspiracy theories, time travel and otherworldly weirdness.

He was shortlisted in the 2018 Grindstone Literary International Novel Competition and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Storgy, Dark Tales, Theme of Absence and Suspense Magazine. He was also shortlisted in the Aeon Award Contest, highly commended by Writers’ Forum, and won second prize in the inaugural To Hull and Back Humorous Short Story Competition.

He grew up in Farnborough, Hampshire, a town he says has as much character as a broccoli. He’s since moved to the “much more interesting and charming” Haslemere in Surrey.

Social Media Links – TwitterFacebookWordPressGregory Ferro’s Blog Million Eyes

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The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan @GerHogan @aria_fiction #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan. My huge thanks to the author and also Vicki at Aria Fiction for the invite to read the book and also a spot on the Blog Tour.

Let me show you what this book is all about…

Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…


Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.


Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.


Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.


Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.


Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.

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Well I have to say that the imagery that this author has created in this book is exceptional, I loved reading the sections about the mills, the countryside and life that Miranda experienced as a child.

Then add the present day settings as Miranda, the owner of Corrigan’s Mill, is starting to feel her years, her health is not as it once was. In the wings her three children try to workout what their mum is going to do with a lucrative business and also worry about her remaining years and their futures.

These timelines have been brilliantly woven to create such a wonderful stroll through the Irish countryside and community as I was transported into the Corrigan family through the years.

This is such a gentle read and it was an absolute pleasure to disappear between the pages and discover a life that has had it’s up’s and downs over the years. Miranda was a lovely character and I soon warmed to her in her childhood and admired her resilience in her adult years. She brought up three children who are very individual and very different characters.

Ada is the more serious one, Simon is always looking for the next big deal and Callie a big name in the fashion world. Each child has a good life and in theory they should be happy, but each one seems to have a crisis and this is what finally brings them home and together again. It is only Ada who has remained at home over the years.

This is a family that should be strong together but are actually fractured. They have had opportunity and chances and yet can’t seem to see what they have. As hard as it is for Miranda to try and keep them all happy, and even with her health, they seem as distant with each other as ever.

This is such a wonderful story that opens old wounds and confronts new ones that are still raw, resentment and anger are as rife as frustrations and honesty start to make themselves shown. It is an emotional book and I did have the odd watery eye moment, but this is not what I would call a heartrendingly sad book. There are heartbreaking moments, but the story is also heartwarming as realisations are finally acknowledged.

This was a terrific read and one that I sat and read in one sitting. It was a story that drew me in and had me totally captivated with the gentle pacing and also the compelling story line. This is really good read and one I would definitely recommend.

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

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Victory Day by Rachel Churcher @Rachel_Churcher @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for Victory Day by Rachel Churcher. This is the latest in the Battleground series and I have been loving it. It is a YA dystopian that is set in the near future. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my invite onto the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Bex Ellman and Ketty Smith meet in London. As the war heats up around them, Bex and Ketty must learn to trust each other. With her friends and family in danger, Bex needs Ketty to help rescue them. For Ketty, working with Bex is a matter of survival. When Victory is declared, both will be held accountable for their decisions.

The Battle Ground series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence.
Purchase Link

This is the latest in the Battleground series, a YA dystopian set in th near future. Bex and her group are in hiding in Scotland while family and friends are awaiting a trial. Ketty is feeling the pressure in London as the tension increases and her position is reliant on her boss.

Up to this latest instalment in the series, the focus has been on Bex and the resistance trying to evade capture, getting embroiled in skirmishes and trying to survive. The government is using Bex and the resistance in propaganda style news broadcasts and using video clips of family and friends to provoke a reaction. Ketty is the one responsible for the video and is not adverse to using her own strong arm tactics to gather information that could help in the capture of Bex and her group of friends.

Victory Day has a more political leaning to it, the machinations of government and politics has been very carefully woven into the story that has seen the Bex and Ketty pitted against each other from the very start of the series. As we know, when politics is involved things can get messy. People are used and lies are the norm, putting yourself in the best possible position becomes priority and is a matter of survival.

Victory Day see’s these long term adversaries being thrust right into the thick of things once again as moves are made that could change the future in this story. Things are being brought out in the open and truths are finally being uncovered, feelings are shared and the full extent of the past is brought to the front.The tension has really increased with this story, but in a different way to the previous ones.

If you have not yet read any of this series, then you really want to read it from the very beginning. It is full of intrigue and tension as corruption, lies, deceit and politics have all been brilliantly woven to create an amazing series. Victory Day is another fabulous read and had me hooked and it became a one sitting read. I would definitely recommend this book and the series.

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.
She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.
Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

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The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller @drbethmiller @bookouture @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller. My huge thanks to Sarah for the invite for this Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this heartwarming and fabulous family saga book.

Before I get to carried away here, let me show you what it is all about…

Sometimes it takes losing something to see where you truly belong.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop hoping to finally sell the legendary gold pen, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

But now Ursula has stopped writing and everything is a little bit worse.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. She has always been the person Kay relies on.

Worried, Kay gets out her shoebox of Ursula’s letters and as she reads, her unease starts to grow. And then at ten o’clock in the morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

This emotional and heart-warming novel is for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineA Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.

With a wonderful sounding synopsis, how could I not want to read this book…

Life is unpredictable and you never know what is round the corner. Plans made as a teenager with lists of things you would like to do before a certain age are not guaranteed. Years go by and before you know it you are older, children have left home and you find yourself looking back at your life. This is what happened to Kay Bright. Stuck in a rut and feeling unappreciated.

This is a story that has elements that will resonate with many people, how quickly time passes. Kay feels that she has spent most of her life supporting her husband, he owns and runs four stationary shops leaving Kay doing the main bulk of the parenting, household management and also spending time working in one of the shops. Because they are business owners holidays have been quick or cut short.

Feeling unhappy and wishing for more Kay decides she is leaving, she wants to travel and needs her own space to work out what she wants out of life. Walking out of her 29 year marriage causes more ripples than she had originally bargained for, there are tears, anger and frustrations.

Keeping in touch with her friends has been part of Kay’s life, one of her friends lives a long way away and it was through letters that they kept in touch. The letters are included in this story and fill in gaps and gives Kay the incentive to visit her friend who has mysteriously stopped writing.

I think what makes this books so special is the way you see various perspectives, not just from Kay but also from her daughter Stella. It shows the emotions that are part of a breakup and also as part of your parents breaking up. It is not all straight forward and there are some eye-opening moments and some quite emotional ones as well. I did have a few watery eye moments with this book.

I enjoyed the flow of this story and if I didn’t have to go to work I would have easily sat and read this book in one sitting. It is a story of life, growing up and getting older. A story of family, friendship, truths and forgiveness, it has the feel of a family saga and is a truly wonderful book that I would definitely recommend.

I have been told that I write like a tall blonde, so that’s how I’d like you to picture me.

I’ve published three novels, with one more about to be born, in January 2020. I’ve also published two non-fiction books. I work as a book coach and creative writing tutor.

Before writing books, I did a lot of different jobs. I worked in schools, shops, offices, hospitals, students’ unions, basements, from home, in my car, and up a tree. OK, not up a tree. I’ve been a sexual health trainer, a journalist, a psychology lecturer, a PhD student, a lousy alcohol counsellor, and an inept audio-typist. I sold pens, bread, and condoms. Not in the same shop. I taught parents how to tell if their teenagers are taking drugs (clue: they act like teenagers), and taught teenagers how to put on condoms (clue: there won’t really be a cucumber). I taught rabbis how to tell if their teenagers are druggedly putting condoms on cucumbers.

Throughout this, I always wrote, and always drank a lot of tea. I’m now pretty much unbeatable at drinking tea.  

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The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess @ShawnBinJax @BOTBSPublicity #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Tear Collector by Shawn Burgess. This is a fabulous book for those that like spine-tingling reads. My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPubicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this terrific book.

Now, lt me show you what it is all about…

The misdeeds of our ancestors are debts passed from generation to generation. They lurk, hidden in the shadows, waiting for the right time to be collected. For the residents of Harper Pass—their debt is due.

* * *

MISSING PERSON:
Have you seen Margo Combs?
Contact Detective Holt (918) 555-0155
You may choose to remain anonymous.

* * *

When a young autistic girl goes missing from a small Appalachian community, the residents of Harper Pass descend into chaos. Brooks Raker and his friends stumble across the police investigation, and as they dig deeper into the mysterious events, the boys realize the fate of their missing classmate pales in comparison with the evil lurking in the shadows of the quiet little town.

With four boys who believe something sinister is at work, and an ambitious reporter breathing down his neck, Detective Holt of the Harper Pass Police Department must confront his doubts and follow the evidence. A chain of disappearances and suspicious deaths, leads Holt to the doorstep of the mysterious and reclusive Professor Wadlow who may know exactly what has come to collect in Harper Pass.

Can the detective and the boys work together to unravel the dark secrets of Harper Pass before those secrets devour them all?

It has been a while since I picked up a horror story to read and The Tear Collector was such a great read. It has a wonderful supernatural air to it and it has been wonderfully mixed in with a crime thriller vibe. The book reminded me of a blend of Stephen King’s book, It and the film Stand by Me.

The story is of a community that is in the midst of some supernatural phenomenon that only a small group are becoming aware of. What this phenomenon actually is, is slowly revealed further in the book. A group of boys start to put things together and gradually start to work things out and they discover that they are not alone in realising something is wrong, but the adults seem to be unaware of events and come up with more rational ideas and theories.

It is when the boys start to experience strange dreams and discuss within their group that links are made, it adds a great coming of age feel to the story as friendships are brought closer and they stick by their motto of never leaving one of their group behind.

The community that the story is set in has the feel of a town holding on, by this I mean that people work hard and often have more than one job. But when a girl goes missing they pull together, on the flip side however, it is a community that is full of gossip and when suspicion.

The author has done such a fabulous job of creating a story that has a spine-tingling and ominous presence as I read it. There was a definite feeling of something malevolent looming and I really enjoyed the journey to get to the root cause of the mystery.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it was such an atmospheric and sinister feel to it, a well written story that had me hooked from those very first paragraphs right through till the end. A mystery with a good horror feel that I would definitely recommend.

Shawn Burgess has a BA in English from the University of Florida, and he focused on literature for his postgraduate studies at the University of North Florida. His travels have taken him to most parts of the country, where he often drew inspiration for his stories through meeting interesting people and experiencing unique places. Beware! If you find yourself behaving curiously within the crosshairs of his vision you might end up on one of his pages. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys travelling, attending concerts, reading, and playing golf. He typically makes year-round preparations for Halloween by building props and elaborate sets. Shawn claims Jacksonville, Florida as his home, but he has lived all over the southeastern United States. Many of his stories are set in those towns he once called home, or in fictional places inspired by them. He says, “I enjoy building upon the natural mysteries surrounding those areas I’ve personally experienced.” The Tear Collector is Shawn’s debut novel, but he’s currently working on a YA Fantasy novel, as well as The Tear Collector’s sequel. He is active on social media, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Facebook: shawnburgessauthor

Twitter: ShawnBinJax

Instagram: ShawnBinJax

Goodreads Author Page: Shawn Burgess

Website: http://www.shawnburgessauthor.com

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Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan @gerhogan @Bookouture #Bookreview

I am so delighted to share my thoughts on Why She Ran by Geraldine Hogan. My huge thanks to Sarah for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

‘Rachel. They must have made a mistake. A mother would know?’ She let her words pour into the emptiness of the kitchen. She began to shiver. ‘I can’t feel anything,’ she said softly and rocked back and forth, as if she was a huge child, seeking solace in the simple gesture.

When young, pretty nurse Rachel McDermott is found murdered in the harsh lights of the hospital kitchen where she works, her mother can’t accept the news, and the small Irish town of Corbally reels in disbelief. Rushing to the scene, Detective Iris Locke vows to find the sick killer, whatever it takes.

The last person to see Rachel alive was her close friend, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Marshall, a troubled teenager, estranged from her family. Eleanor was spotted fleeing the kitchen where Rachel’s body was found and becomes the main suspect. Iris has a search party combing the endless woods near the Comeragh mountains where they believe she is hiding. But Iris is consumed with worry for the vulnerable girl and can’t shake a prickly disquiet that Eleanor shouldn’t be a suspect.

Eleanor’s sister agrees but a day later, when she is found dead in the area Eleanor is hiding, things don’t look good for the runaway teen. Iris can’t see Eleanor, who still sleeps with her childhood teddy bear, as someone who would kill her little sister and her best friend, but all the evidence seems to point that way.

Sleep-deprived and desperate to find the truth, Iris takes a closer look into Rachel’s background and discovers that she was keeping strange, shadowy company the night before she died. Convinced that Eleanor is in terrible danger, Iris sets out to find her, in the icy-cold woods, alone. But what if somebody else makes their way through the darkness and reaches Iris and Eleanor first?

This gripping mystery thriller is perfect for fans of Carol Wyer, Robert Dugoni and LJ Ross.

The title of “Why She Ran” is so intriguing, the “She” is a young girl from influential and moneyed parents. Why she ran is gradually unveiled as the story unfolds.

She, is Eleanor who is currently staying in a treatment facility and is estranged from her parents. She has escaped and Detective Iris Locke is desperate to find her her, and for more than the reason of being a suspect in the murder of Rachel McDermott, one of the nurses at the treatment centre.

This is the second book in the Detective Iris Locke series, and even though it can be read as a stand-alone, as I did, I would advise reading the first book. I say this because there is a story from the first that carries into this second book. The author does a cracking job of filling in the basics of what you need to know, but I felt that I would have a better understanding of Locke’s character if I had read in order.

Locke has gone through a hell of a time and is still coming to terms with changes in her personal life. She is thrown in at the deep-end to a certain extent as she is asked to lead this investigation into Rachel’s death and also Eleanor’s disappearance. There is some in-house rivalry that simmers through the story and it adds a good snarky moments for Locke to deal with. It is something she doesn’t really need a the moment as she has enough on her plate because Eleanor’s father has a lot of influence and she has to tread carefully.

This is a good story that moves a long at a slightly slower pace, but this sort of mirrors the pace the investigation flows at. It is quite a complex case as there are so many unknowns, but it is at the same time easy to follow. As well as the main focus of the case, Locke’s background, as I have mentioned, is touched upon. Also her second in command has a few of his own problems. I like this inclusion of personal details into a story like this, it humanises the characters and also grounds them.

The story took some surprising routes and concludes in a quicker paced finale. The quick step-up in pace gives a sense of urgency and comes at just the right point of the investigation and adds another level of tension.

I really enjoyed this crime thriller and I will try my very best to read the first one as I really want to know more about Locke, she intrigues me as the author hints at a how Locke was in the previous book compared to how she is now, almost like a before and after comparison.

This is a really intriguing read that threw some surprising twists that I didn’t see coming. A police procedural that has a different feel as it it not just a murder investigation, but also the search for a girl who has disappeared. Why She Ran is a book I would definitively recommend.

Geraldine Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honors Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree in Training and Management from University College, Galway. She is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of four contemporary fiction novels under the pen name Faith Hogan.
HER SISTER’S BONES is her first crime novel, her second WHY SHE RAN is due out in December 2019.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!

You can find out more about Geraldine on – FacebookTwitterInstagram

Buy Links: Amazon– KoboGoogle PlayApple Books

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Gone by Leona Deakin @LeonaDeakin1 @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Bookreview

I am so delighted to be sharing my thoughts on this Gone by Leona Deakin, this was a fabulous psychological thriller that I thoroughly enjoyed. Many thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for organising my review copy.

Let me show you what Gone is all about…

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.
DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.

But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?

Well there are two words that really sum this book up “psychological thriller”! If you are a fan of crime fiction reads that have a strong psychological aspect, then you are going to get on really well with this book. I read it in one sitting and it had me hooked.

The tag lines for this story are intriguing to say the least and the story opens in quite a brutal and also unsettling way. The main character is Dr Augusta Bloom and her work within the field of psychology.

It did take me a few chapters to get into as I got used to the characters, there were a few to get my head around. Then as I started to get a grip with who was who, I was able to enjoy the story more. I say story, but actually there are two stories, they seem totally unconnected. One is of a young girl that Bloom is helping, the other is the main focus of the story and is that of the game of dare. The participants of the game had gone missing, but they had gone missing on their own choice. A missing person case with a big twist if you like.

The game is eerily creepy and held a good amount of intrigue and to a certain extent some excitement. The people invited to play the game just walk away from their lives with no explanation. It is Bloom and her colleague Jameson an ex secret service man, who start to fit the pieces of this puzzle together.

The author incorporates a good amount of psychological explanation into the story and for the most part it is part of the story, I did occasionally feel a little too much was given, but at the same time it was still important to be there, so for me it hit the right balance with the odd wobble.

As the story progressed the tension and intrigue definitely increased and I was desperate to discover where the story would lead. There were some unsettling revelations regarding social media games and also big brother knowing and seeing all, this just added to the thrill of the story.

For the most part, I had no idea about who could be the mastermind, then suddenly I had one of those epiphany moments. From that point on I started to doubt myself, and then I was along for the ride. Working out the who, didn’t spoil the story at all.Instead I got to discover all the why’s and this held some interesting and clever twists.

This was a really good read, I liked the inclusion of various psychological aspects and also the unusual crime fighting duo. I would like to think there will be another book featuring Boom and Jameson. If you like a twisted and psychological based crime thriller then you really want to have a look at this book. it is one I would definitely recommend.

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.

This is her debut thriller.

See what other Book Bloggers thought by checking out their stops on the Tour…

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

When Stars Will Shine: Helping Our Heroes, One Page At A Time #WhenStarsWillShine @emmamitchellfpr #Bookreview

I am so delighted and honoured to share my thoughts on When Stars Will Shine. This book is very special for many reasons, the main one however is that every penny from the sale goes to helping our troops. Every part of this book from the stories to the final edited product has been done on a voluntary basis. I thank you all for your hard work in creating a fabulous read.

Before I get carried away with how amazing this book is let me show you what it is all about…

When Stars Will Shine is a collection of short stories from your favourite authors who have come together to deliver you a Christmas read with a twist.

With true war tales that will break your heart, gritty Christmas crimes that will shake you to your core, and heart-warming tales of love lost and found, this anthology has something for everyone. And, with every penny made being sent to support our troops, you can rest assured that you’re helping our heroes, one page at a time.

From authors such as Louise Jensen, Graham Smith, Malcolm Hollingdrake, Lucy Cameron, Val Portelli, and Alex Kane, you are in for one heck of a ride!

When Stars Will Shine is the perfect Christmas gift for the bookworms in your life!
 

A Note from Emma Mitchell:

As the blurb tells us, When Stars Will Shine is a multi-genre collection of Christmas-themed short stories compiled to raise money for our armed forces and every penny made from the sales of both the digital and paperback copies will be donated to the charity.

Working closely with Kate Noble at Noble Owl Proofreading and Amanda Ni Odhrain from Let’s Get Booked, I’ve been able to pick the best of the submissions to bring you a thrilling book which is perfect for dipping into at lunchtime or snuggling up with on a cold winter’s night. I have been completely blown away by the support we’ve received from the writing and blogging community, especially the authors who submitted stories and Shell Baker from Baker’s Not So Secret Blog, who has organised the cover reveal and blog tour.

There isn’t a person in the country who hasn’t benefited from the sacrifices our troops, past and present, have made for us and they all deserve our thanks.

It has been an honour working on these stories, and I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have.

So when you hear people say ” There is something for everyone” this is where I go “Oh OK!” but I have to say… This collection of stories REALLY DOES “have something for everyone!”!

This is an amazing book, and I admit that I really enjoyed every single one of them, though there are some that really did stand-out for me.

I did expect to see some stories that would be about troops and war, as well as some with a Christmas theme, and yes there were several that did indeed cover these topics. But also there were some that didn’t. Each author has their own style and their own story to tell.

This book is fabulous for introducing several authors who I had not read as well as including some that I already know and who’s books I have enjoyed. This actually makes this book very special for the less obvious reason of discovering new authors.

I sat and read the first story in the book and by the end of it I was in tears. Rob Ashman shared a story called Frederick Snellgrove, Private 23208, a short story that really did pack a punch. I will admit here and now this is my favourite story of the whole collection, so much so that once I had finished and had wiped my tears away, I immediately read it again. Yes, even though I knew how it ended I still cried.

I made a brief note for every story and I will share them with you…

Four Seasons by Robert Scragg is a powerful and beautifully written story and had such an unexpected ending. Fabulous story.

The Close Encounter by Gordon Bickerstaff Oh Wow! This story was a mind twister and was excellent, what a cracking ending.

Believe by Mark Brownless Oh the lies parents tell their children about Father Christmas, this is a a dark twisted read and is fabulously devious and made me very glad I my fire was in!

What Can Possibly Go Wrong by Lucy Coleman I gradually warmed to the main character in this story and by the time I read the last sentence I had a smirk on my face. Poor chap!

Mountain Dew by Paul T Campbell an amazing read that blew me away, great twist.

The Art of War and Peace by John Carson was a little different from the other stories I had read to this point. This was a detective style story and was a dark twisted read. Fabulous!

A Gift for Christmas by Kris Egleton oh this was heartwarming story and an absolutely lovely short story.

Free Time by Stewart Giles Wow this was a hard hitting and emotional read. This gives such a different aspect of the phrase “free time”!

Died of Wounds by Malcolm Hollingdrake starting in 1915, this is a story that mixes fact with fiction. An emotional read to say the least and very poignant a slightly longer story than some, and it made an impact.

The Christmas Killer by Louise Jensen Oooh what a sneaky story this one was, a mini thriller that was fabulous.

The Village Hotel by Alex Kane another thriller of a different kind, it was very atmospheric and a great read.

A Present of Presence by HR Kemp fabulous descriptions and a story of family and loss, an emotional read that I loved.

The Invitation by Billy McLaughlin a wonderful heartwarming story that had a surprise tucked up it’s sleeve. Get the tissues for this one.

Brothers Forever by Paul Moore Wow! What to say about this one! Brilliantly written and a fabulous story.

Girl in a Red Shirt by Owen Mullen Very different to the other stories, but at the same time it did have some similarities. Very moving and poignant.

Pivotal Moments by Anna Osborne This is a wonderful story about life, living and family and a wonderful read.

Uncle Christmas by Val Portelli Oh I did enjoy this. There is a line that starts the third paragraph “Count your blessings,” it is a line that is very poignant for this story.

Time For A Barbecue by Carmen Radtke Oh I did feel for poor James, but I also did smirk as things became clear in the story.

Christmas Present by Lexi Rees A story of pressure, from family, work and your own expectations that was very moving.

Inside Out by KA Richardson a story that has an important message about PTSD, a great story that shows someone struggling and has a hidden strength not to fall further. Amazing read.

Penance by Jane Risdon Oh I didn’t expect that! Great story.

New Year’s Resolution by Robert Scragg A helping hand has consequences, this story was wonderful.

Family time by Graham Smith Oh what a wonderful finale. This was one that surprised me and left me as I started this collection… yep in tears!

This was a fabulous collection of stories. I was so surprised at the range of different styles. I have discovered new authors and some of the stories I would love to know more about. I was going to try and pick out just a few that I really liked, but in all honesty I liked them all.

When Stars Will Shine is a fabulous collection of short stories that I would Highly Recommend indeed.

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

The Vagabond King by Jodie Bond @jodierbond @annecater #RandomThingsTours #TheVagabondKing #fantasy #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Vagabond d King by Jodie Bond. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging my copy of this brilliant book.

I am so excited about this book and I am delighted that it is the first in a planned trilogy! 🙂

Let me show you what it is all about…

Threon, the Vagabond King, is torn from a life in the palace by raiders and forced to scrape a living on the streets of a foreign land. Meeting a witch from distant mountains, a rebel soldier and a woman cursed by a god, he seeks retribution through a quest to reclaim his home and throne. Together they rekindle old allegiances, face an immortal army and learn to trust one another. But when the gods begin to interfere with their plans, is it a curse or a blessing?

When soldiers raid the city and kill the King and Queen, their son Prince Threon finds an unlikely ally who rescues him. Threon then spends the next few years in exile, living as a beggar and a wanderer and being given the title of The Vagabond King. Unlikely allies are going to be important to Threon as he gradually makes his way back to his old home. The road is fraught with danger as it is not only people, but also gods who have a hand in what happens on the earth.

This is a fabulous fantasy read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked the way this story played out and the author did a cracking job of explaining the various different people and where they are on the power ladder.

Power is a very sought after commodity in this story. From the powerless slaves who are forced to work in the mines, to the power hungry gods who are trying to gain overall control of the world below.

With fantasy stories there are some things I like to see, the first is pronounceable names, I like a story line that is not too complex, I like corruption and power struggles and then I like a good under dog, a few battles, some uncertainty and a bit of magical influence, okay maybe a bit more than a few things! This book had all these things and and more, they are wonderfully wrapped and entwined into a fabulous story-line that was very addictive indeed.

The story-line follows some wonderful characters who are very memorable for various reasons. One of my favourite characters was Savanta who was pulled into the story in a very harsh way, also Azzania with her powers, that were a little different and well thought out by the author. Threon is however the main focus of the story, but these other characters definitely have a role to play as the intensity increases throughout the book to a climatic ending.

There are some wonderful descriptions and some vivid imagery within the story. This is great for me as a reader because it makes it so much easier to see the world the author has created. As well as the scenery, a lot of thought has gone into the structure of the societies and also of the religion, I liked having three gods, though the focus is on two.

The author brought this first in the trilogy to a very climatic ending with just the slightest hint of something to come in the next book. This was a really good book and when I began it I didn’t realise it was part of a planned trilogy until I had finished it.

A fabulous read with characters that are memorable and that I cared about, a pace and flow that felt right and gradually built as the story progressed, basically a cracking read that when I wasn’t reading, had me itching to pick it up again. The Vagabond King is one that I would definitely recommend.

Jodie Bond comes from a family of gin makers in the mountains of north Wales. She works in marketing and performs as a burlesque artist. She had an unconventional childhood, dividing her time between a quiet life on her mother’s farm and her father’s home which was infamous for holding some of the UK’s biggest raves in the 90s.

Follow Jodie on Twitter

See what other Book Bloggers think of this book by checking out their stops on the Blog Tour…

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