The Collector’s Daughter: A Novel of the Discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb by Gill Paul @GillPaulAuthor @RandomTTours #histfic #ancientegypt #mystery #bookreview

I am delighted to share m review today for The Collectors Daughter by Gill Paul. this is a fabulous book and is about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s Tomb. I loved reading this book and wish to thank Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for organising my copy of the book.

An unforgettable discovery
In 1922, Lady Evelyn Herbert’s dreams are realised when she is the first to set foot inside the
lost tomb of Tutankhamun for over 3,000 years.


A cursed life
But the months after the discovery are marred by tragedy, when Eve’s father dies suddenly
and her family is torn in two. Desperate to put the past behind her, Eve retreats into a
private life with her new husband.


A deadly choice
But she is harbouring a dark secret about what really happened in Egypt. And when a young
woman comes asking questions years later, the happiness Eve has finally found is
threatened once more…

MY REVIEW…

I absolutely adored this book, a mix of historical mystery, ancient Egyptology and some real-life people that the author has fictionalised the story around. Facts, fiction and history are three things that I do adore in a novel.

As the synopsis suggests this is the story of Lady Evelyn Herbert. Daughter of the Earl of Carnarvon whose friend is Howard Carter. Anyone who has even a little bit of interest in the tombs of the pharaohs will be aware that it was Carter who discovered Tutankamun’s tomb. The author used documented evidence and facts to get the basics of the story d has then created a fabulous fictionalised account around Lady Herbert, known as Eve.

The story is one that flits back ad forth in time from the 1970s to the 1920s. Eve recounts her time as a younger girl and her interest in ancient Egypt, a fascination that she shared with her father and obviously Carter. Eve is one of the first people to have entered the final resting place of Tutankhamun and throughout the story she reminisce3s about her experiences, her travels and her adventures fr a few years before settling down to marry. Some of the chapters are from the perspective of her husband, but the majority are from Eve.

Rumours at the time of the discovery were rife, tales about a curse and also of objects going missing. The author includes all of this in her story and what a story it was.

Eve has had a fabulous life, and the author has created a warm, loving and eager woman of the real-life Eve. A young woman who had one of the most amazing experiences when she was able to enter the tomb, but also of her life after. A socialite who loved parties gave generously to friends and an absolutely lovely sounding woman. As I discovered more I found myself warming to Eve and her husband more and more. They are a perfect combination and the author really does bring out their love and loyalty.

This story is not all happiness, it does contain mentions of loss and death of friends and family. Eve herself has her own issues is during the 1970’s timeline I found her trying to piece missing memories together, trying to remember things in the past and fill in the missing chunks. She has had a series of strokes over the years and this has left her forgetting times, places, faces and events. It is a heart-breaking part of the story to read. It is this that gives the story its mystery element as Eve tries to remember the whereabouts of some artefacts.

I really adored this book and there is some great research materials that you can follow up on at the back of the book, as well as photographs and more details about those involved. Also as part of the story, there are mentions of politics, fashion, events and society of the time. It all adds up to create a wonderfully woven story that was an absolute pleasure to read. This is one for those who like historical fiction and it is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in the twentieth century and
often writing about the lives of real women. Her novels have topped bestseller lists in
the US and Canada as well as the UK and have been translated into twenty-one
languages. The Secret Wife has sold over half a million copies and is a book-club
favourite worldwide.


She is also the author of several non-fiction books on historical subjects. She lives in London and
swims year-round in a wild pond. The Collector’s Daughter is her tenth novel.

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The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward @TomWardWrites @unbounders @RandomTTours #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Lion and The Unicorn by Tom Ward. This is a dystopian speculative fiction story that was very atmospheric.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this book from Unbound.

A literary dystopia – speculative fiction rooted in the tradition of P. D.
James’s Children of Men, Orwell’s 1984, Blade Runner and The Plague Dogs, for
fans of Rachel Heng’s Suicide Club, Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and
John Lanchester’s The Wal
l

London, 2054. After a devastating global pandemic and a bloody revolution,
Britain’s new government imposes peace by stringently dictating the nation’s
cultural intake. In the quest to create better citizens, everything from the
television we watch to the clothes we wear is strictly policed. As part of the unit
tasked with upholding these so-called ‘Bad Taste Laws’, H. and his partner,
Bagby, have their work cut out.


When former reality TV star Caleb Jennings is found murdered, some suspect it
could be a simple vigilante slaying. But, as H. digs deeper into the killing,
Bagby’s association with old revolutionary figureheads is called into question.
With the help of Caleb’s estranged sister, the museum curator Kate Faron, H.
must navigate a Britain in which paranoia and suspicion of the unknown are
rife, all the while dealing with the mysterious tech behemoth Vangelis, new
revolutionary murmurings, and the legacy of Kate’s biologist parents.
Compelled by what he uncovers, H. begins to question his loyalty to the state at
a time when national stability couldn’t be more precarious.

MY REVIEW…

This is a story that is set in 2054, so not really that far in the future. A pandemic has struck and there has been a revolution. The author has built up a dystopian England where things are banned that are considered to be bad taste. A political thriller where citizens are dictated to, where certain clothes, music, film and alcohol are illegal.

This was a story I took my time over, there were various aspects of this story that did sort of remind of other novels or films. I think because of this the story came across being set in a darker, gloomy era. This does have quite a strong political aspect to it in regards to what is seen as being politically correct.

There are elements of Big Brother, global catastrophe, potential genocide, loss of habitat and wildlife. So not the most cheery of stories but my goodness it was very addictive. The story is set in this grim future with the main character of H. He and his partner work for the department that upholds the law regarding bad taste. As the synopsis mentions, Bagby does have connections to those involved in the past revolution, therefore eyes and fingers point his way when a body is discovered.

The story is one that reminded me of the old style PI stories of the 1930’s, for me H became someone in the style of Phillip Marlow or Sam Spade, it is just the atmospheric and style of the character that made me think this. It may seem quite odd that for me I got the dystopian vibe through some of the gadgets, but I still found myself thinking of the older style.

This is a mix of mystery, politics, thriller, dystopian and police procedural. Not too heavy on the future as such but enough to remind that it is indeed set in the near future. This is quite an accessible novel and one that may well dip into the sci-fi genre but please don’t be put off by it. I really enjoyed this, the pacing was great and it had quite an suspicious nature to it as I wasn’t sure who I could entirely trust. I liked H as a character and I really felt for him as he tried to put many different pieces of this everchanging puzzle together. As he found one piece the puzzle changed and he found himself on the back foot once again.

A riveting and very captivating story that I got on with so well. It is one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Tom Ward is an author and features writer, writing for publications including
Wired, Esquire and National Geographic.


He has won the GQ Norman Mailer Award, the PPA New Consumer Magazine
Journalist of the Year Award, and has been shortlisted for The People’s Book
Prize. He is also a graduate of the Faber Academy.

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Three Words for Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb @Hazelgaynor @msheatherwebb @Harper360UK @RandomTTours #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Three Words For Goodbye by Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb. This is a beautiful and gorgeous read and one I absolutely adored.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for arranging m advanced copy and for my spot on the Blog Tour.

Three cities. Two sisters. One chance to correct the past.


Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have reunited for the third time with another unforgettable historical novel following
their award-winning bestseller Meet Me in Monaco. In THREE WORDS FOR GOODBYE, estranged sisters Clara and
Madeleine Sommers take a journey across Europe inspired by Nellie Bly, one of the first investigative journalists, who set out to circumnavigate the globe in less than eighty days. This inspired co-written novel is already earning top praise from Kristin Harmel, who said: “I loved being swept away to 1930s Paris, Venice and Vienna” while Gill Paul compares the novel to “reclining in a comfortable beach chair with warm sun on your skin and a glass of champagne at your elbow.”


New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to
fulfil her last wish: to travel across Europe—together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye
to those she hasn’t seen since traveling to Europe forty years earlier; a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly.
Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it’s
also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her
ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s control in Italy.


Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and Venice, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfil Violet’s wish, until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. But as they reach Vienna to deliver the final letter, old grudges threaten their reconciliation again. As political tensions rise, and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey.


Perfect for fans of Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Quinn, Gaynor and Webb have written a meticulously
researched narrative filled with colourful scenes of Europe and a stunning sense of the period. This unstoppable
historical fiction author duo will have readers enthralled as the sisters explore the luxurious Queen Mary and ride the
long-haul rail to take in the sights of Paris and Venice.

Purchase from – Amazon UK Book DepositoryKobo Waterstones

MY REVIEW…

A couple of years ago I read and absolutely adored Meet Me in Monaco, when I saw Three Words For Goodbye I immediately wanted to read it.

This is the story of sisters Clara and Maddie, they were close growing up but they are drifting as adulthood takes them in slightly different directions and they discover their own interests. Their Grandmother, Violet decides that the girls need something they can do together. A trip to Europe to hand-deliver three letters will give the sisters a chance to get to know each other again and hopefully rekindle their bond.

This is such a poignant and heartfelt story. the letters are the last thing Violet wants to achieve, her health is failing but she wants the girls to have the adventure she and her sister had. The letters are important to Violet as they are to people who have a special place in her heart, the girls will also discover more about themselves and their family along the way.

The chapters are alternated between Clara and Maddie, and it doesn’t take long to see the different personalities that emerge as I got to know them. There is also the occasional chapter from Violet, and she just fills in small details and kept me up to date with her health.

Alternating the chapters between two different personalities was a great way of seeing things from different perspectives. Clara sees the world as an artist, while Maddie as a journalist. One has a dreamy sort of look, the other more as it is. Clara is more reserved while Maddie is the impulsive one. It is easy to see how their personalities have caused issues for the sisters, but there is still a closeness to them, while it may be subtle, it is there.

This story was an absolute pleasure to read, there was the occasional lump in the throat moment, but I adored following the women on their travels and experiencing the world just before the outbreak of WWII. Opinions and expectations are brought into the story and this adds a nice touch to it, especially with the differences of the girls.

Set in 1937 it is one for fans of historical fiction and if you have read any of either authors books then you know you are in for a treat. I adored it and I would definitely recommend it.

ABOUT THE AUHTORS…

HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of When We Were Young & Brave, A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 Romantic Novelists’ Association Historical Romantic Novel of the Year award. Her third novel, The Girl from The Savoy, was an Irish Times and Globe and Mail bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. In 2017, she published The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris (co-written with Heather Webb). Both novels hit bestseller lists, and Last Christmas in Paris won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award. Hazel’s novel, The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter, hit the Irish Times bestseller list for five consecutive weeks. Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages and is published in twenty-one countries worldwide. She lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

HEATHER WEBB is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of The Next Ship Home, Rodin’s Lover, Becoming Josephine, and The Phantom’s Apprentice, as well as two novels co-written with Hazel, Last Christmas in Paris , which won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award, and Meet Me in Monaco, a finalist in the 2020 RNA Awards as well as the 2019 Digital Book World Fiction awards. To date, Heather’s works have been translated
into fifteen languages worldwide. She is also passionate about helping writers find their voice as a professional freelance editor, speaker, and adjunct in the MFA in Writing program at Drexeul University. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty bunny.

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Watch For Me by Lartin Bodenham @martinbodenham @RandomthingsTours #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a wonderfully twisted psychological thriller. Watch For Me by Martin Bodenham is the first book I have read by this author.

My huge thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for my copy of the book and for a spot on the Blog Tour.

Tom Harper, a Vancouver Island realtor, has the client from hell, Ali Page, a beautiful and intelligent young lawyer returning from the mainland to take up a job with an island law firm. Trouble is there’s always something wrong with the properties Tom shows her, always a reason not to commit. Finally, after they find a condo she likes, he receives a text thanking him for his help. Ali signs off: I’m sad we won’t get to spend more time together. Often cold and withdrawn throughout their weeks of searching, Ali’s words seem strangely out of character.

The texts keep coming, increasingly incoherent and disturbing. What does Ali mean by: we have a special connection, and why on earth would she say: I’ll be here for you when you leave your wife? Happily married, Tom cannot understand why a woman not much older than his teenage daughter is suddenly obsessed with him. When he rejects Ali’s unsolicited advances, Tom soon discovers the sinister depths to which a delusional mind will sink to obtain what it wants. Isolated and seemingly abandoned by the police and legal system, this is the story of one man’s struggle to rescue his marriage, his family, and his sanity in the face of overwhelming psychological and physical torment.

My Review…

Wow-what a journey this book was. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and what an introduction it was. this is such a dark and twisted psychological thriller that it had me spitting feathers at times!

I do tend to get emotionally invested in books and I have been known to cry, but my goodness this one had me so angry. Oh! I should clarify these emotions are not for the story but for one of the characters. I’m still not explaining this well, am I? The author has created a character that is so evilly twisted and vindictive it makes one’s blood boil, well it did mine at any rate.

I understand that I am waffling at this point, it is because I am still trying to get my head around how I can write a review for this book that does it justice, but without giving too much away. The synopsis does a great job of introducing the reader to the main plot of this story. How the author deals with this plot and then twists it, and twists it some more and then twists it again makes for fabulously addictive reading.

I suppose some part of this story is a twist in itself, often stalkers are male, female stalkers tend to be those who have been “scorned”. This is partly down to how society perceives stalkers and the victims. It is where the author lays down such a good base for the story that follows. It also highlights the injustice for male victims and how they’re often not believed. the author has created such a believable plot and added so much to it, I found it hard to put down. If I didn’t have to go to work I would have easily read this in one sitting.

This is a very tense read and I do admit, that even though I had no reason to doubt Tom, there was a flicker. After all, even those closest to him had doubts! This is why I think this story worked so well. It was easy to follow and the pacing was just right.

This is a brilliantly woven story, it is strong on the psychological thriller side and also has a good crime and mystery edge to it. I adored this book right the way from start to finish, and that finish!!! It is a book I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Martin Bodenham is the author of the crime thrillers: Crime And Justice, The Geneva Connection, Once a Killer and Shakedown. Watch For Me is his latest novel, published 16 August 2021 by Down & Out Books, a US-based publisher of crime fiction, founded in 2011.


After a thirty-year career in private equity and corporate finance in London, Martin moved to the west coast of Canada, where he writes full-time. He held corporate finance partner positions at both KPMG and Ernst & Young as well as senior roles at several private equity firms before founding his own private equity company in 2001. Much of the tension in his thrillers is based on the greed and fear he witnessed first-hand while working in international finance.

Visit Martin at his – Website Twitter LinkedInPublisher Page

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The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone #TheSkelfs @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #crime #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone. This is the 3rd book in the series and features the Skelf Family.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy from the publisher Orenda Books.

The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet…

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

My Review…

From reading the two previous books in this series I knew I was going to be in for a roller coaster ride. I did not, however, expect it to be such an amazing ride!

This is the third book in The Sklef’s series, set in Edinburgh. The Skelf’s are a family of different generations of women and boys are an amazing group. Headed by Dorothy, the family-run not only funeral directors but also have a Private Investigation business.

Dorothy is an amazing matriarch and her daughter, Jenny and granddaughter Hannah are doing a great job. With the family dog finding a foot, an abusive ex on the run and a very strange message the women have their work cut out. As if having all these dynamic women under one roof is not enough, Dorothy also takes in waifs, those who have troubles that just need a safe place and a roof over their heads. Oh, did I mention the big cat that is on the loose around the city?

This is a breakneck speed of a read, one sitting because I couldn’t put it down. I do like the way the author alternates his chapters between the three Sklef women, it kept this reader up to speed with all that was going on, and boy was there a lot. Credit to the author for keeping all these sub-plots in check and not allowing me to get confused. As the women are very unique it is very easy to keep up with who is who and their individual roles don’t their own cases as well as when they all come together.

This story does have a tense atmosphere to it, there is the threat of the big cat lurking, the abusive ex who is making life more than hell for some and then of course there is the body part. The author has so skillfully woven all the dramatic and dynamic plots together brilliantly and it makes for a very intense and thrilling read.

This is a fabulous series and I do think it is just getting better and better. There is more tension and it does have a gloriously dark edge to it. This is a series that I would say you do need to read from the beginning as there are mentions of previous storylines.

This is definitely a tense, fast-paced, dark and gritty glimpse into the world of the Sklef women, they are a fabulous family and this latest book is an amazing read. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Doug Johnstone is a writer, musician and journalist based in Edinburgh. His fourth novel, Hit & Run, is published by Faber and Faber on March 15th 2012. His previous novel, Smokeheads, was published in March 2011, also by Faber. before that he published two novels with Penguin, Tombstoning (2006) and The Ossians (2008), which received praise from the likes of Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre. Doug is currently writer in residence at the University of Strathclyde. He’s had short stories appear in various publications, and since 1999 he has worked as a freelance arts journalist, primarily covering music and literature. He grew up in Arbroath and lives in Portobello, Edinburgh with his wife and two children. He loves drinking malt whisky and playing football, not necessarily at the same time.

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Crossfire by RD Nixon @TerriNixon @RandomTTours @HobeckBooks #crime #mystery #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Crossfire by R.D. Nixon. This is a wonderful crime thriller read that kept me entertained for a couple of days. This is the first book in The Clifford-Mackenzie series.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my paperback of this fab book from the publisher, Hobeck Books.

To what depths would you sink to protect your own?

Hogmanay 1987

A prank robbery has fatal consequences.

Five Years Later

Highlands town Abergarry is shaken by the seemingly gratuitous murder of a local man. The case is unsolved.

Present Day

Ten-year-old Jamie, while on holiday in Abergarry with his mum Charis, overhears a conversation. To him, it is all part of a game. But this is no game and the consequences are far more serious than Jamie ever imagined.

Old wounds are about to be reopened

Struggling PI team Maddy Clifford and Paul Mackenzie find themselves involved by a chance meeting. How deep into those wounds will they have to delve to unravel the mystery?

Purchase Link – Amazon

My Review…

This was such an interesting book full of much intrigue. Charis and her son Jamie are on holiday in Scotland, Jamie overhears a conversation and his curiosity gets the better of him. An old robbery, followed years later by a murder, now this random conversation overheard by a young boy! What is the connection and why are the Private Investigators Clifford and Mackenzie interested?

I will say that this story took me a while to get going with. There are a few characters to get to know and then there are the differing timelines. It was several chapters before I felt I got to grips with it. By then I was already more than intrigued and I wanted to know more, what the links were, what was hidden, why the crimes were committed and also what all the players were doing.

The author weaves quite a complex story, but as I mentioned, once I started to get an idea who was who then I was able to settle into the story much more and found a gripping mystery, crime and thriller. I found the pace picked up and so did the feeling of suspense.

The characters are a really interesting bunch, some you get a good feeling about, others definitely give off bad vibes and then there are those that you are not so sure about. This range of characters have their roles, there is a surprise or two in store and there is a feeling of something much bigger afoot as the story progresses.

Because the story flits across the timelines it adds a real air of mystery and towards the later stage of the book, there is a really tense atmosphere that you have been gradually been drawn towards. Part of the synopsis mentions what a person would do to protect their family, this is something that is really put to the test for a couple of the characters.

This is a story for those who like a more grittier mystery, it is a procedural in some respects but not police based as such. The Investigating team of Clifford and Mackenzie I really liked, and I am glad to see there is going to be more from them in future books.

A complex story to start with but then it soon became addictive and I needed to know how things would resolve. It is a crime, thriller, mystery and it is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Writing as R. D. Nixon. Terri Nixon was born in Plymouth, Devon, but during her childhood her family moved to the moorland village of North Hill in Cornwall. There, at the age of nine, Terri discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those. Terri’s first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, in 2013, and since then she has published a further ten novels, with a twelfth due out December 2020. Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She has returned to Plymouth, and works in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Business at Plymouth University… where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Twitter @TerriNixon

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This Fragile Earth by Susannah Wise @susannahwise @RandomTTours @Gollancz #dystopian #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for This Fragile Earth by Susannah Wise. I really enjoyed this dystopian book set in the near distant future.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my fabulous copy of this book.

Not long from now, in a recognizable yet changed London, Signy and Matthew lead a dull, difficult life. They’ve only really stayed together for the sake of their six year old son, Jed. But they’re surviving, just about. Until the day the technology that runs their world stops working. Unable to use their phones, pay for anything, even open the smart door to their flat, Matthew assumes that this is just a momentary glitch in the computers that now run the world.

But then the electricity and gas are cut off. Even the water stops running. And the pollination drones – vital to the world, ever since the bees all died – are behaving oddly. People are going missing. Soldiers are on the streets. London is no longer safe.

A shocking incident sends Signy and Jed on the run, desperate to flee London and escape to the small village where Signy grew up. Determined to protect her son, Signy will do almost anything to survive as the world falls apart around them. But she has no idea what is waiting for them outside the city…

My Review…

Beginning in London in the not too distant future machinery starts to fail. Everything is machine-based from water supplies and electricity to cars, computers, doctors and everything that makes everyday life easier.

Realising this may not be a glitch Signy with her son Jed decide to make the journey to her mother’s house. Pollution is something that is more advanced than today, special glasses to protect eyes, safe drinking water is just the very basics that have to be taken into consideration. Transport is down, no cars, trams, buses just an old heavy bike is all that is available to Signy as she makes her journey. Leaving London behind.

This is a very atmospheric book and one that involves futuristic science. The author has used the extinction of bees as being one of the important factors in her futuristic world, this is coupled with a computer system that controls everything from planting and growing of food, medical advice and treatment, pretty much everything.

As Signy and Jed make their journey, the author gradually fills in what has happened and what could potentially be happening as things change. It is a chance to pose questions, delve into living conditions, explore the science of this changing world.

As much as I really enjoyed this story and I did find it addictive, I did find that Jed did start to grate on my nerves. A child who is incredibly clever and one that doesn’t always have a sense of respect. While Signy does her best, I could feel her frustrations with the constant questions and felt the pressure building.

This is a book that I found interesting, there were some of the science things that I didn’t understand, but sort of got the gist of. There is a moralistic thread in this story as we look at how today’s environment is standing on a precipice. It is this that makes this sort of near-future story more believable. Advances in technology, reliance on machinery and gadgets all help to add an authentic feel.

This was a really good read, it is one for those who like atmospheric, slower-paced intriguing and thought-provoking reads. A dystopian novel set in the near future and one I would recommend reading.

About the Author…

Portrait. 2012, Credit Johan Persson/

SUSANNAH WISE is an actor and writer who grew up in London and the Midlands. The death of her
father in 2015 was the catalyst for THIS FRAGILE EARTH. His preoccupation with astronomy and the
beauty of the night sky formed the jumping-off point for the story. Susannah studied at the Faber
Academy, graduating in September 2018, during which time she wrote a second, more peculiar novel.
Both books have been longlisted for the Mslexia prize. She lives in London with her partner and son.

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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.

56614951

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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This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech @louisewriter @RandomTTours @OrendaBooks #jubilantjune #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review for This Is How We Are Human by Louise Beech. This is an author who doesn’t stick to genres, she explores many emotions. She makes it impossible for me to write a review that comes anywhere close to doing her writing justice!

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, Orenda Books.

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.

Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy, and she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.


Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.


When these three lives collide, and intertwine in unexpected ways, everything changes. For everyone.


Both heart-breaking and heart-warming, This Is How We Are Human is a powerful, moving and thoughtful drama about a mother’s love for her son, about getting it wrong when we think we know what’s best, about the lengths we go to care for family and to survive.

“Though This is How We Are Human is fiction, the premise was inspired by my friends, 20-year-old
Sean, who is autistic, and his mum Fiona. Fiona had spoken to me about how much Sean longed to
meet a girl and have sex. No one talks about this, she said – the difficulties navigating romance often
faced by those on the spectrum. It ’s an issue that I wanted to explore. Fiona and Sean encouraged me
and guided me through the book; Sean regularly consulted on dialogue, rightly insisting that his voice
was heard, was strong, and was accurate. I cannot thank my extraordinary friends enough for their
help and support.” Louise Beech

My Review…

So here is my attempt at a review…

Whenever I pick up a book by this author I know I am going to be in for something special. even though I have not yet read all of her books, I have read enough to know that when I do read one it is going to leave me with tears, This Is How We Are Human is no exception.

The story explores the love a mother and what she will do to give her son as ‘normal’ a life as she can. The story gives a voice to Sebastian who has autism. This voice is the louder one, and opened up my eyes a lot. The story is about what a daughter will do to look after her father.

So, three main characters and each one unique, each one doing what they can, each one doing their best. Sebastian is 20, he has perfectly normal sexual desires, but as he doesn’t have a girlfriend his mother believes she is doing the right thing by hiring an escort for him.

The escort, is doing all she can to keep on top of her studies, look after her father and pay the bills. The only way she can do this is by taking on additional work in the evenings. It is not way she planned for her life to pan out, but needs must.

The three lives are very much intertwined as the author gradually weaves her story. She not only does a fantastic job of bringing them to life, but she also made me care about all three. The character and story of Sebastian is based on the experiences of people the author knew. As I read I was aware that Sebastian’s voice sounded genuine, it had some sort of real and authentic sound to it. This was because of Sean, the person behind the story.

Once again, the author has woven something special. While we try our best not to make assumptions, we try not to be prejudiced, we will and do fail at some point. As much as we try our best to right by other, or to help, there will be a time when we have to stand back. We have to allow life and the natural course of things happen.

This is a story that doesn’t really fit into a genre as such. It is a human interest story, it is a coming of age story, it is challenging the reader to see beyond the labels of society. It also gives some insight into autism, how not only those who are diagnosed with it live, but also how family and other people perceive autism.

This is a special story that has made me once again has me struggling to convey how unique this author and her writing is. I didn’t find this uncomfortable reading at all, I found it emotional and heartfelt. Warm and genuine. The author took a story and created something that was about the people rather than the sex or the autism.

Such an amazing book to read. It s a book that once I began I did not want to put down. I adored this and I would highly recommend it.

About the Author…


The author of Maria in the Moon, The Lion Tamer Who Lost and I Am Dust returns with a beautifully written, powerful and thought-provoking novel that will warm your heart.


Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her 2019 novel Call Me Star Girl won Best magazine Book of the Year, and was followed by I Am Dust.

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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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