Saturday, 29 September 2018

Malice by Jennifer Jaynes

MaliceMalice by Jennifer Jaynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I seem to be on a roll of good luck with books lately, but then....this is the author Jennifer Jaynes I’m talking about whose previous books left me in awe of her plots.

This time it’s based around a drug company and the ethics plus the unethical ways that medicine can been exploited, no, patients. In fact this takes on pre school children.

It’s a drug that Daniel Winters a pediatrician is well aware of the reported side effects, serious side effects.
But is Daniel right? After all didn’t he have some sort of mental illness years ago? And we certainly see him struggling with voices in his head within the pages of his story.

The chapters break up for Danny, for Mia his wife and Rebecca.

Danny doesn’t trust his wife either, so that packs another punch to this twisty read.

I’ve given 5* to this because this author continues to grip me in each book she writes. I started this last night and read on and off today between “real life” until I finished this tonight.

I seem to have raced through the pages taking it all in. So many thoughts buzzing through my head. Loved it. And I’m so happy to have got my hands on a copy.

So if you like thrillers, medical thrillers, interwoven plots, fast paced and flowing well reads, I’d recommend you take a closer look at this.

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Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Coordinates of Loss by Amanda Prowse

The Coordinates of Loss by Amanda Prowse

When you loose your child or baby in death the pain is beyond acceptable. It stays with you like an open wound no matter how you get on with live.

But loosing Oscar in the way this happened was heartbreaking for me to read.
Funerals are closure, acceptance.....even if your emotions and heart doesn’t want to accept it, you know in the recess of your mind, they won’t be there any more. Only in our memories.

I felt for these parents, I ached to hold them, to give them comfort.
The horrendous event they’ve both gone through.

When they separated for a while I was annoyed. I fully understood and I 100% understand wanting to get your own space and grieve.
This could have easily happened to us.

But it takes all your willpower and the love of your husband and the love for each other to actually stay together.

When there is blame, no matter if unfounded and irrational it’s rational to the person going through it. It’s very easy to blame.

The love that these two had for each other although apart was so heart splitting for me to read, I had tears pouring down my face. I couldn’t see the writing.

I took a break to make a cuppa but I just had to carry on reading.

This is the beautiful craftsmanship of Amanda Prowse. When she puts pen to paper you just know that you can’t leave that book there. It eventually has to be read. It will keep calling you despite the fear of another good cry or a whooping jump in the air because all has worked out fine.
The beauty of this authors reads is that I never know if the ending is going to be Happy ever after, or, not what you were expecting but the ending is just as satisfying even if it did leave you in a blubbering mess.

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a tale of a blissful life, a happy marriage, a beloved son…and a tragedy that destroys it all.

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.

In the dark and desperate days that follow, Rachel struggles to navigate her grief. And while her husband, James, wants them to face the tragedy together, Rachel feels that the life they once shared is over. Convinced that their happy marriage is now a sham, and unable to remain in the place where she lost her son, she goes home to Bristol alone.

Only when she starts receiving letters from Cee-Cee, her housekeeper in Bermuda, does light begin to return to Rachel’s soul. She and James both want to learn to live again—but is it too late for them to find a way through together?

he Coordinates of Loss by Amanda Prowse is out now, published by Lake Union and available to purchase here:

Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write. Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.




The Girl In His Eyes by Jennie Ensor

The Girl In His EyesThe Girl In His Eyes by Jennie Ensor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has been an “unputdownable” book for me.

It’s very intense, I was full of anxiety reading this from daughters side (Laura) her Mother and the abuser, her Father.

It’s unusual to gain insight to the thoughts of the abuser, but, this author did this and although it’s stomach churningly gross at such illogical and totally off limits subject, she did it well.
It’s not an easy book to digest but an insightful one. Abuse in any form is not acceptable and never forgivable and in just a mini second I felt sorry for the abuser!

Hang on!
Hey up a minute.
His reasons, his excuses his past doesn’t and shouldn’t relay who he is today or excuse the rights and wrongs.

Laura had to live with this abuse and we struggle along with her and her choices in life.

Her friends reactions, her brothers and her mothers.

But then, will her dad do “it” again.

What happens if he does.

I would have given this 5 stars but for the convenience of the ending. I got to where I guessed what would happen. Too convenient for me.

However this was a fabulous ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT read.

Would I recommend it? Yes. But be aware there’s abuse in this.

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Saturday, 22 September 2018

The Birthday by Carol Wyer

The Birthday (Detective Natalie Ward, #1)The Birthday by Carol Wyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A new series begins by the author Carol Wyer featuring Detective Natalie Ward. (I like the Ward bit! My surname)

A fiesty woman who has a past of not being fast enough in another series to save a child from a tragedy. This time it stays with her, drives her and could definitely interfere with her progress in this case if it weren’t for Michael. Her colleague, friend and one night of drunken mishap.

Being a DI is hard work, it’s time consuming and head consuming. When children are involved it’s difficult not to allow emotions to flare. And of course there’s no 9-5 job hours in this kind of work.

Late hours, a case that fills your every fibre, high priority and televised newsworthy interest that will fuel all parent is bound to take its toll on her own family life. Which it does.

A birthday party.
A child missing.

That’s the start of this very intense suspense. A reader will ride on the back of Natalie as she tries to find out who is responsible and what happened. You will feed off of her angst, her emotions and her dedication. But you may get frustrated over her not giving as much time to her home life, her husband, her children. Like I did. Although I understood it.

The author took me by surprise, the more I followed the procedure the more I felt like an investigator myself.

I’m really looking forward to book 2 now. Not only for another plot but to see what happens in Natalie’s private home life.

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Friday, 21 September 2018

The Rumour by Lesley Kara

The RumourThe Rumour by Lesley Kara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am much earlier reading this book than intended before it’s release date.
But I’ve been anxious to read it. I love debut novels and discovering new authors I can follow.

I can honestly say I’ll be following Lesley Kara for her next book as this book was so good.
I became very invested with each character and without giving much away, I was so intensely motivated with questions of my own.

For example, how would I feel if I was the rumour?
I have and still am part of a rumour that was being spread. It’s not nice. In my case I can stick it out, the truth comes out in the end.

But what if you exacerbated that rumour adding more coal to the fire?

Sometimes a person just can’t help talking and guessing and passing on information that isn’t correct......yes, a rumour.
Those rumours have consequences, domino effects on loved ones.

The intensity of the storyline in this debut book (yes debut) had me hook line and sinker.
If I wasn’t reading it I was telling my hubby about it.
He said it would make a good drama or movie.
I think he’s right.

When I like a book, I like a book, when I love a book, I can’t stop talking about it.

May the Rumour continue (in the nicest possible way) when you get your hands on this.

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In harms way by Owen Mullen

In Harm's WayIn Harm's Way by Owen Mullen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very promising book I thought when reading the synopsis, lots of questions that were poised to be answered.

I wouldn’t class it as a psychological thriller though as it didn’t have that “feel” to it for me.

The writing is good and it took me on a journey that was quite intense as to the answers to all the questions that flowed from the blurb, so I was satisfied to find out the answers.

I wasn’t sat on the edge of my seat biting me nails but it did hold my interest to carry on and finish it.

I think I read such a lot of thrillers and even though I mix my genres at times I love it when a book blows me away. Sadly this one just didn’t quite make it. But it was good, it was a read that flowed well. It wasn’t one I’d steer clear of, but, just didn’t land me quite where I wanted to be.

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Tuesday, 18 September 2018

All That Was Lost by Alison May blog tour

All That Was Lost blog tour

In 1967 Patience Bickersleigh is a teenager who discovers a talent for telling people what they want to hear. Fifty years later she is Patrice Leigh, a nationally celebrated medium. But cracks are forming in the carefully constructed barriers that keep her real history at bay. 
Leo is the journalist hired to write Patrice's biography. Struggling to reconcile the demands of his family, his grief for his lost son, and his need to understand his own background, Leo becomes more and more frustrated at Patrice's refusal to open up. 
Because behind closed doors, Patrice is hiding more than one secret. And it seems that now, her past is finally catching up with her.

I got pulled into this story right at the beginning. 

There are three main characters. 
Patrice who is a medium, a well known long standing celebrated medium.

She holds “shows” where an audience of people come to. Ones wanting to talk to their deceased loved ones for all kinds of reasons. To say goodbye because they’re life was taken so quickly, to ask if they are OK, to settle differences and even someone in the audience who wanted to know if her Pekingese dog of 16 years together was OK. For each to say “I love and miss you”

Not everyone will be satisfied as not all spirits will come and enter.

Then there is Leo. He’s been commissioned to write her biography.

And Louise whose lost her son.

It’s an emotional complex story. Grief, loss and love.

Within lies lots of lies. Who from? From everyone.

Self misguided smoke screens surround them all, and Patrice life is one big whooper of a lie.

It’s not a happy book, it’s doesnt give to romance, it’s nothing like this authors other book, it’s so different it’s completely compelling. 
It’s a moving emotional tragic book with cracks.

You will as a reader find out why Patrice has lied all her life. Why Leo started out telling “little” lies that came embroiled into huge ones.
And why would Louise lie?

Can they fool you?

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse is published on 6th September in hardback by Michael Joseph priced £20.00. This year is Lesley’s 25th anniversary year in publishing.

The 10-million-copy, number 1 bestselling author is back with another beautifully-written, compelling and page-turning epic.

Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.
Hilda, Katy's mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?
Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it's too late?
'Heart-warming and evocative, a real delight to read' Sun
'A narrative that gallops along, this is quintessential Pearse that will delight her army of readers' Daily Mail
'Glorious, heartwarming' Woman & Home
'Evocative, compelling, told from the heart' Sunday Express

'Deservedly one of the world's favourite story tellers . . . You simply have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next.' MyWeekly
'Gripping.' Hello
'Evocative, multi-faceted and sometimes disturbing, a story that grips from first page to last.' Lancashire Post

Congratulations to Lesley Pearse.
Her 25th year in publishing.

I remember reading her very first book. She had a sign in at one of the libraries near me.
Since then I have followed and been an avid reader of her releases.

Her style is just the same but in this book there is mystery, abduction, abuse (but not in detail)

Katy lives with her parents. Her best friend and her decide LONDON and getting a job there might be a good move. Her friends mum is supportive but Katy’s isn’t. In fact Katy’s mum annoys her big time. Her mums moods are getting beyond acceptable so why does her father put up with it?

The house across the street is questionable to Katy. What happens there with women coming and going?

When her father is arrested for a fire that takes place in the house across the road killing people Katy knows her dad isn’t capable of such an act.

So she decides to fight his corner, after all the Police think they’ve caught their man.

Then Katy goes missing.

What follows this is intense, edge of your seat moments and later on discoveries that I’d not guess in a zillion years.

The body of this story is deep, you can really get your teeth into it.

I think that these last two gritty stories she’s produced are ace.

My thanks to the publishers for sending me a proof copy. One I will treasure for years to come.

Lesley Pearse is one of the UK's best-loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 2 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines that keep the reader hooked from beginning to end, Pearse introduces you to characters that it is impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre. Whether crime as in 'Till We Meet Again', historical adventure like 'Never Look Back', or the passionately emotive 'Trust Me', based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post war period, she engages the reader completely.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lesley's life has been as packed with drama as her books. She was three when her mother died under tragic circumstances. Her father was away at sea and it was only when a neighbour saw Lesley and her brother playing outside without coats on that suspicion was aroused - their mother had been dead for some time. With her father in the Royal Marines, Lesley and her older brother spent three years in grim orphanages before her father remarried - a veritable dragon of an ex army nurse - and Lesley and her older brother were brought home again, to be joined by two other children who were later adopted by her father and stepmother, and a continuing stream of foster children. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley's early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books: what happens to those who are emotionally damaged as children. It was an extraordinary childhood and in all her books, Lesley has skilfully married the pain and unhappiness of her early experiences with a unique gift for storytelling.


Sunday, 16 September 2018

Love Notes For Freddie by Eva Rice

Love Notes For FreddieLove Notes For Freddie by Eva Rice
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Now and again we could all do with a romance.

I chose to freshen my usual pallet genres by reading this.

A well written book full of love, emotions, turmoils and very poignant in ripping open your feelings.

Beautiful read

Thank you Quercus Books via Net Galley

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A Daughter's Disgrace by Kitty Neale

A Daughter's DisgraceA Daughter's Disgrace by Kitty Neale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Not an usual story.
A type of read that's been written about before.

BUT told in only a way that the superb Kitty Neale knows how, her talent and expertise of writing this kind of heartbreaking saga with the hoping ending of a sunshine sky that turns a horrid past into a bright future.

Fantastic read.

Thank you HarperCollins UK, Avon via Net Galley for my copy

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Friday, 14 September 2018

Now she’s gone book 2 by Alison James

Now She's Gone (Detective Rachel Prince Book 2)Now She's Gone by Alison James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read book one in this series and enjoyed it. Book 2 was so intense.

It seems the more we get to know Rachel the DI the more I learn about her secret past which is just as thrilling as this crime story she’s investigating.

Two years ago there was a similar murder of a young girl like this and the more the crime is followed the more it looks like it’s leading to a serial killer.

I love how the author not only leads us in the plot itself but the personal secrets surrounding Rachel.

It definitely kept me on my toes today.

Thanks to Bookoutour and Net galley

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The key to deaths door

The Key to Death's DoorThe Key to Death's Door by Mark Tilbury
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading a Mark Tilbury book you never know quite what to expect.

Expect the unexpected I’d say!

I’ve read a previous book by this author which I thoroughly enjoyed even though it veered towards a genre I never read, but he writes in such a great dialogue that you get immersed in it.

That was like this one.

I had read Wimmera which starts off with boys being boys and getting into mischief, going off and and covering for each other.
But that’s where the similarities end.
At first I was thinking this might go in the YA genre too, I still think it should be.

At first I wasn’t sure about this book, it was great dialogue between the boys.
They’re retorts, their annoyance with other and the different anxieties that were portrayed by each young boy.

By the time I got to the halfway mark I found myself quite invested in the story.

If I’d have know or realised the track it went I probably wouldn’t have read it as anything remotely ghostly or supernatural or life after death gives me palpitations.

But it’s written in such a way you don’t focus on those elements.

I ended up enjoying this a lot.
That’s the great penmanship of this author.

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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Beside myself by Ann Morgan

Beside MyselfBeside Myself by Ann Morgan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I had heard about this book when it first was published.
It got good hype.
Then some very confusing reviews.

I thought I’d wait until it all died down then forgot about it.
Until I realised I should have read this book already.

So I dived in.

By now most will know the concept of what this book is about.

I think it covers some sort of mental awareness to but I struggled with it.
The book goes back and forth in time.
That’s OK I’ve read many books like that but this one isn’t with ease for a reader.

Ann Morgan is a good writer however this one was a brain ache for me.
It needs full undivided attention.

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What was mine

What Was MineWhat Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my. What have I just done to myself. This was so emotional.

It’s a child that’s been kidnapped, I’ve read plots over and over until I need to take a break at times BUT THIS ONE, you kinda forget about the kidnapping.

It’s been 20 years.

The chapters are owned by several of the main characters and you just simply get inside they’re heads, their hearts their emotions.

I was bounced from pillar to post.

The biological mom
The mom who wants a baby so bad
The child grown

The finding out.

Of course I knew she committed a crime. An unforgettable unforgivable crime on a mother and family plus the child themselves.

The thing is, I could also feel for the woman who brought her up.

This story is not black and white and the ending will floor you.

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What she never told me

What She Never Told MeWhat She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved it, loved it.
The writing sits so comfortably with me, flows so nicely and the people are real......aren’t they? Well they were to me.

Another mother and daughter relationship. Third one this month and all so very different.

Lies or half truths
Or nothing said or explained at all.

This daughter is left in such a quandary I really felt for her lack of knowledge that she seeks to complete her.

Quercus books are one of my favourite and this read I requested from net galley

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My name is Lucy Barton

My Name Is Lucy BartonMy Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been wanting to get to read this book for a long time. Then publication day came and it slipped down my kindle. Truth.

I wish I had seen the pages I wouldn’t have been so concerned in reading it.
192 pages of sincerity.

This is about a Mother and daughter.

It’s a very quiet read, there’s lot “not” said in this book that I want to be the mediator and give them turns, keep the conversation on track, help them relieve the pressure of they’re relationship.

Nothing really happens.
It ambles along with an undercurrent.
Those ripples really don’t make it into waves with a big SPLASH yet there is something about this story that holds you.
It holds you tight.

No wonder it won a prize or two!

Thank you Random house for my copy from Net galley

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The things we keep by Sally Hepworth

The Things We KeepThe Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an amazing, poignant emotional read, but at the same time emotionally hopeful

I love hoe the author tried to express how it felt from the person who has Alzheimer’s as it can only make you think you know, or imagine what it’s like.

I’ve seen my own mother going through dementia although not exactly the same as Alzheimer’s it’s similar. It’s a horrible disease and for those caring.

We see this in this novel. The research has been tremendous and I love this book.

It’s defin insightful and gives a lot of love out pouring.

Although I’ve given this 3 and half stars it does mean I liked it and enjoyed it.

It did remind me of a couple of other books on this subject matter I’d read.

My thanks to St Martins Press via Net galley for my copy.

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Sunday, 9 September 2018

Only in Whispers by Jacqueline Grima

Only in Whispers

A forgotten past 
An uncertain future 
A family hiding from the truth 
When their mother is hospitalised with depression, Annie and her brother Matthew are fostered by their beloved Aunt Helen. Their family eventually reunited, the siblings begin a new life in Derbyshire with their mother and new stepfather. 
Now in her thirties and separated from her husband, Annie is struggling to escape the past and move forward with her son. Haunted by memories of her childhood, she begins to realise that there may have been more to her time in foster care than her mother claims. Why did social services take her and Matthew away? Who can she trust to tell her what really happened? 
As Annie finds out more, things take a sinister turn…has the life she’s lived so far been a lie? 

I loved this contemporary suspense. 
A nice easy read from the psychological thrillers I’ve been reading lately but still with a decent pace.

Annie has a controlling husband, a difficult relationship with her Mother.

There’s a turn of events where her mother gets admitted into hospital. Due to her severe clinical depression.

Her brother who she’s enstranged from now have to come to terms with settling they’re differences.

Annie and her brother are fostered out to Aunt Helen. 

Jumping ahead now to where Annie is in her 30s with a child of her own, she can’t help but get flashbacks to her childhood days. Especially while with their Aunt Helen.

She has a feeling something isn’t right.

There are missing pieces she needs to find to get settled and move forward.

This is a well thought out story and plot. 

A really good read.

I’ve been writing for a long time but, after having my eldest son at the age of 23, quickly followed by two more boys, life kind of got in the way and the writing was put on hold. When my children were younger, I worked as a teaching assistant for many years but, when I was made redundant, I decided to take the opportunity to go back to writing as well as study towards a BA in Literature with The Open University.
My first serious attempt at a novel was called Coming Second and focussed on a young man with mental health problems trying to fit into a small village. Although the novel was ultimately rejected by every agent and publisher I sent it to, I was delighted when it was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award in 2014, a great opportunity for unpublished writers. Although, I didn’t win, it was then that I began to feel as if I was becoming part of a strong community of writers and started to believe that being a ‘proper’ writer wasn’t just a mere pipe dream. The other writers who were shortlisted that year were extremely supportive and many of us have stayed in touch.
It wasn’t long after the Luke Bitmead shortlisting that I began my MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Getting onto this course was a real turning point for me as it helped me to connect further with the writing world as well as improving my own writing no end. I also met some truly great writing friends whose support has been invaluable. It was on the MA that I began to write Only in Whispers, working with feedback from my peers and tutors. The novel had many titles and was rewritten many times before it found its true self!
Once I had a draft I was happy with, I sent the first few chapters and a synopsis out to about half-a-dozen agents and independent publishers. I quickly received three requests for the full manuscript before, to my delight and sheer terror, Lisa Hall from Manatee Books offered me a contract. That was when the real work started! After another few rewrites and another title change, I can now finally feel excited that Only in Whispers has found its home at Manatee.

Jacqueline Grima has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her creative work has appeared in a variety of publications and, in 2014, she was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award. Only in Whispers is her first novel. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @GrimaJgrima and read her blog at