Friday, 30 November 2018

I don’t want to talk about it

I Don't Want To Talk About ItI Don't Want To Talk About It by Jane Lovering
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t know what to say about this, it completely threw me. It took me by surprise.

I’m ashamed to admit this book I got from Net Galley and hadn’t written it down on my TBR list. I confess I was very new and naive with Net Galley and thought I’d “remember” the books I got. But temptation with requesting other books pushed this one down and I’d forgotten it.

I haste to say, I’m not like that now!

There’s this “twin” thing going on. There’s family rifts, loves and losses.

The ending was what threw me.

Loved it.

(Giving nothing away)

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A Different Beautiful: Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never ExpectedA Different Beautiful: Discovering and Celebrating Beauty in Places You Never Expected by Courtney Westlake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very very touching and emotional account from this author on the birth of her child who was born with a very rare skin disease that most die from.

She wasn’t expected to live.

Heartbreaking to thrills of joy.

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the wrong hand

This was a book I wanted to read some time ago.
I hadn’t read any reviews until I finished reading this.

I can’t bring myself to give it more than 3 🌟 due to the fact it’s too close to a real event that happened in the UK, although the area is changed to Australia.

It’s an horrendous story, but then, so was the real life event.

Great writing but released in bad taste.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Beautiful Bad

Beautiful BadBeautiful Bad by Annie Ward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not sure if I’m in the minority with my thoughts on this. I’m noticing average to fantastic.

I put it somewhere in between for several personal reasons.

I struggled at times with the back and forth in time. It took me a while to get it all in my head, especially from the beginnings 911 frantic call the opens the book. It slowed down its pace and although I’m aware the information had to be narrated I sometimes got to a place in my mind where I wandered. That’s not saying it was useless information, not at all. I just wish it was just too many pages of facts at one time.

Thinking about Ian and Maddie and how they became attracted to each other at the beginning was written really well.

The chapter headings were brilliant as the lead up to THE DAY OF THE KILLING chapters came to the forefront.
That gripped me.

This author can really spin a tale when she’s writing the action scenes.

This is a book written in reverse and written well. It worked.

So to sum up.....
I think the books pages could have been shorter and skimmed down and still have impact on a reader.

The narration although needed was just too many pages of information that I tended to wander off in my head.

The actual psychological story was good, the ending brilliant.

Publishers, please please stop comparing books to others. Let it stand in its own right.

I’ve given this 4 stars as the ending redeemed itself.

This is my review and you may have different thoughts, nonetheless I think it’s a book well worth reading. Just don’t expect fast pace all the way through.

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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

A family affair

A Family AffairA Family Affair by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Although this is a story that’s been told many times it’s written with such feeling and depth, such compassion and great realistic characters that I didn’t mind at all reading it.

Having never read anything by this author before it was nice to find an author that I thought I could keep an eye on for the future as she writes with passion.

Enjoyed the read

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Run by Mandasue Heller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I snuggled down to read this on the evening whilst the male members of my household (hubby and son) watched football and daughter was watching catchup TV.

I own several of this authors books but this is the only one I’ve read so far, simply because it’s a review copy.

Leanne is not ready to get involved with another relationship, she’s just split from her ex recently.
But there’s this handsome specimen over there.....
It turns out they were at school together. She didn’t recognise him due to his change of appearance, god, he never used to look like that!


He’s has a secret crush on Leanne before who knows when.

This is based around Manchester, UK. It’s gritty and raw.

The first half of the book you’d be forgiven in thinking it’s a romance. It gradually changes tempo.

I really liked this read. I’d give it 3.7 as it’s calmer mildly less gritty as it’s been predicted to be.
Nevertheless, I did like it

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Something to tell you

Something To Tell YouSomething To Tell You by Lucy Diamond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s very true to say that no ones life is perfect. No ones family is perfect.

Frankies mother passed away, later she finds a letter addressed to her from her mother.
Inside she learns who her father is. She decides to go to meet him.

Of course there’s no instand mend here and we learn more as the author reveals it.

It’s a pleasant enough read. Gathered momentum as time went on.

I’d call this an easy ok read. Enjoyable

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Monday, 26 November 2018


SadieSadie by Courtney Summers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the books I purchased in hardback. I’d heard so much about it I had to fit this in to my TBR pile.

Sadies sister was murdered at the age of just thirteen. The only person in the whole wide world she loved.

She goes on the hunt for the murderer, the one she believes who killed her sister.

It’s told in alternating chapters between Sadie and Podcast which makes for very interesting reading.

There are trigger warnings in here.

Parental abandonment.
Sexual abuse and much much more.
It’s not for the faint hearted.

What stood out to me was the victimisation. Just because someone is loud, at the forefront and can shout and ball doesn’t mean they can’t be victims of rape and crime committed upon them.
Just because someone is poor and in need doesn’t make them immune to rape, to crime, to “pillars of the community “ who are hidden rapists and abusers any less a victim.

Sadies love for her sister when she came home from the hospital and the actions of love she preformed was truly tear jerking. To have a sibling that loves and adores you so much.

This author has captured a truly remarkable tales that could be true. Might even be true. If not for the fictional characters it could easily be happening, yes right now in 2018.

If anyone reads this and have undergone anything remotely the same in this book and you need to talk to someone, please look up an organisation NOW.

An outstanding remarkable read with heart.

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Sunday, 25 November 2018

Look at me

Look at MeLook at Me by Sarah Duguid
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is very much a character driven novel. Interesting characters with interesting lives.

We know there’s no such thing as “the” perfect family, we fool ourselves if we believe that.

This well written book proves that a story in a good authors hand no matter if there isn’t that much happening can still be quite relaxing and enjoyable.

I’d like to read more from this author and see what other things she comes up with.

A nice read, ok book, quite enjoyable. I’d put it in a contemporary family like genre.

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The easy way out

The Easy Way OutThe Easy Way Out by Stephen McCauley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I struggled.
I thought the book was written well enough and I managed to get through it. I didn’t find it interesting enough to stay with it.
I kept picking up another book I’m reading in preference to this.

It might be for you, but it wasn’t for me I’m afraid. I just couldn’t connect.

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Within the Silence by Nicola Avery

Within the Silence by Nicola Avery

Jon Stone is a revered psychiatrist, doting husband, loving father. But he has many secrets.

Maddy Stone, Jon's daughter, has her own secrets. But she can't tell anyone.

Zara, Maddy's stepsister and best friend, faces a race against time. Can she unearth the family's dark secrets before a tragic history repeats itself?

Two girls: one living and lost, the other scarred and silent, must join forces to prevent the unspeakable..

For me this was an all embracing thoroughly good read.

There was one bit, that if I’d have known about it before hand I would have gaffawed and said “pass”. I’m so glad as I’d have missed out on a really fabulous book!

Jon The Father, the husband of Lisa is one of the prominent men in this story. Maddie one of the prominent women. 

It’s a story line that wrapped me up in its web. Web of lies, web of secrets, web of mistrust, web of family skeletons.
It’s compulsive, it’s intriguing and thoroughly compounding, I read it in virtually one sitting. I started it early evening with just about 70% left to read which I read the next morning as I needed to know the ending and how (if) it worked out.

It was so realistic to me that I envisioned what had taken place (not revealing what I mean as spoiler alert would be needed) 

Who would have know I’d have enjoyed this as much as I did.

Has this author written more books? I’m off to seek it out. 

If you love a good mystery, a thriller, a plot that only gets thicker and thicker, look no further.

There are references to some disturbing material in here that some might find as triggers.
It gets dark.

It also takes on some kind of “ghostly” presence but in a good way.

With an artist and writer for a father and ballet dancer for mother, Nicola was destined to go back to her creative roots. Having spent a decade in Australia, she returned to her birthplace, Surrey, to raise her family. Fascinated with the concept that she'd lived before, she studied and qualified as hypnotherapist and past-life therapist. Whispered Memories, her debut novel, is filled with insights from her experiences in hypnotherapy and was written for all those, who ask the question: 'Why me?'. Calling herself a prolific scribbler, Nicola is currently working on her second novel, Step In.

Midas Public Relations

Saturday, 24 November 2018

The silent patient

The Silent PatientThe Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Although I’ve read and experienced these type of twists before in other books I have to say that this authors premise was excellent.

I loved that it was based in an Asylum. Around disturbed mental health patients.

Alicia is an artist, a painter.
Gabriel her husband.

When Alicia is found by her husbands body all clues point towards her as the killer. But Alicia is silent.
She neither speaks, or defends herself.
Did the shock or terror make her loose her speech, has she frozen? Or doesn’t she want to speak?
What lays behind the mystery of Alicia?

The Grove where she remains in care has not been able to break through. Can Theo the new Carer break through and get her to talk?

There are twists within twists in this subject matter that I did tie in and guess, but I couldn’t think why until it was revealed then a light bulb went on in my head OF COURSE!

Reading this carefully, slowly and devouring it without haste to pass onto my next book I found that I chewed over the workings of the authors mind in this.

I wondered why the person who was caring for Alicia was acting like a detective! Of course it all makes sense in the end. As with books like this so carefully woven must be carefully read and never rushed. You need to sit, chew and enjoy the tasty bits.

For those that read psychological thrillers it will appeal to you. It may not be new in its stinging tail of twists but it’s cleverly done and for that I appreciate my enjoyment of it.

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The house that jack built

The House That Jack BuiltThe House That Jack Built by Catherine Barry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 2016 when I was new to Net Galley I requested this book. I forgot all about it until this week when I decided to devote some time to “catch up”.

I looked at this, then read the blurb, then questioned myself as to why would I ask for this? I’m not really a chick lit kinda reader.

Oh boy was I mistaken.

This is so good.
You have dysfunctional family, alcoholic problems, it’s definitely a family drama.

I’ve never read anything by this author her writing flows so well.

This was a gold find for me.

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Found. One secret baby

Found: One Secret BabyFound: One Secret Baby by Nancy Holland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a quick enjoyable read.
It’s a book a requested from Net Galley and it went down my kindle and I’d meant to read but didn’t get to.
So I’ve been catching up on my “slipped so far down my kindle” oops page!

It’s not a story that will blow your mind, or make you gush with longing. It’s an OK read that’s passable over a nice coffee and a piece of cake.

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The hope family calender

The Hope Family CalendarThe Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tom is so wrapped up in his own grief on the loss of his wife that he’s emotionally abandoned his two daughters leaving it to Linda his Mother-in-law.

He throws himself into work and other things.
Although this author is known for the odd giggle and laughter in his writing this is much more serious although once or twice there are a couple of things that will cause you to smile.

Enough is enough, he needs to take care of his girls.

So Linda heads off. Leaving him to manage.

It’s a wonderful read, grief, yes, responsibly, yes, family, yes.
All making for a fab read.

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Heart and home by Lyn Andrews

Heart and HomeHeart and Home by Lyn Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love these kind of reads where I can just get a nice hot chocolate drink put my feet up on a cold evening kick back and dive into one of Lyn Andrews books. It’s like coming home.
No effort, just read and enjoy the story.

This one is of no exception.

Based around the 1930s Cathie watches her father (da) set of in his boat everyday working the seas of Liverpool trying to earn a living. Her mum struggling to put food on the table.
Is this going to be Cathie future or is there more to life she can achieve.

Cathie life does look like its on the turn as she meets an unexpected turn in her life, but, at what cost.

Loved it!

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Mummy’s favourite

Mummy's Favourite (DC Charlotte Stafford, #1)Mummy's Favourite by Sarah Flint
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh wow this is a fast paced storyline that will make you breathless panting along with the procedure to find out who is the serial killer.

Excellently written for readers who love a good plot, a result that is so hidden it will keep you guessing until the end.

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Her turn to cry

Her Turn to CryHer Turn to Cry by Chris Curran
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really loved the concept of this story. It kept me guessing and the plot thickens bit by bit.
Characters were believable and rounded

I’d say....standard enjoyment
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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

The code girls

The Code GirlsThe Code Girls by Daisy Styles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh I used to read lots of these type of books, I devoured them. I then sent to other genres, I need to come back to these heartwarming sagas.

There was always something about wartime, pre war and post war stories where life was so different. Not because of the war and difficulties but people in general.

The girls in this book were varied in personalities, needs wants and aspirations but they had one thing in common. They loved and respected each other. They pulled tog.

Life “below stairs” reminded me so much of the British program Upstairs and downstairs.
Even close to Dowton Abbey.

Great story, fine writing.

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Missing presumed

Missing, Presumed (DS Manon, #1)Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ve picked up and started, then restarted this book many times in a year.
I was totally not going to be defeated. Determined to finish it.

I found it highly confusing at the beginning as the POV characters were more than 3. My brains slowing down and I got foggy from having to think too hard.
Brain ache. A bit like toothache.

Anyway on my last attempt I did it. I reached the end.

The beginning was difficult to take in.
The middle bit was my favourite.
The ending a bit of a classic. No surprises there then.

I do however think this author writes well and is trying to pen a good story so I’m not put off to try another book from her.

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Want it all book 3

Worth It All (The McKinney Brothers, #3)Worth It All by Claudia Connor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I really liked this.

I’m doing catch up on some books I’ve needed to read and review. I requested this in 2016/17 and didn’t realise it was book 3 in a series.

Although I got a little lost because of needing to have read the previous books I still liked it.

I love the easy reading of this authors words.

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The killing files by Nikki Owen

The Killing Files (The Project #2)The Killing Files by Nikki Owen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The secound book in a series always makes me nervous.
Because when book one is so perfect, so enjoyable so all embracing I don’t want to feel cheated on book two.

I wasn’t though.
It was “cooked” to perfection. I was in a heady dizzy space in time with this one which made me mentally turn around in full cir.

I absolutely loved it.

You must read these books in order.
Book three is already out I believe.

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One hot summer

One Hot SummerOne Hot Summer by Kat French
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I meant to have written this review up in the summer and just bypassed it by mistake.

I enjoyed the freshness of this genre as a change from my usual deep thrillers, but, the spark between the two main characters seemed to have got lost along the way.

Yet I fully get why it was slow with them connecting as they were both out of previous relationships and both still hankering after their ex. That didn’t help!

It made a nice change from my usual reads.

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Rona Halsall - LOVE YOU GONE

LOVE YOU GONE by Rona Halsall 

Author:     Rona Halsall

Book:                   Love You Gone   

Publication Day:  November 15th 2018

Buy Links


‘Hello? Police? My husband and our children… they’re gone.’

When Mel arrives at the holiday cottage in the Lake District, she expects to find the heating on and her husband Luke and the two children waiting for her. Maybe a bottle of wine open…

Instead, there is just a note on the side, saying they’ve gone out for a walk.

But they aren’t back several hours later, and Mel knows something is wrong. Really wrong. When a search doesn’t find them, she has to confess to the police that her marriage isn’t all that it seems.

Even if that risks her own secrets being revealed…

An absolutely incredible, page-turning psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming, 

for fans of Gone GirlBehind Closed Doors and Ruth Ware.

This is a book I’ll remember for a long time yet. Why? Because it was so exciting! I loved it.
This author surely knows what a reader wants when it comes to psychological thrillers, drama, family, twists that the reader bends around and finds there’s a sting in its tail where the plot really does thicken.

Imagine arriving in The Lake District where you were joining your husband and two children. Only to find the place empty.
That’s it there.....I’m saying nothing more.

At the beginning Mel was telling the story, the Police were called of course along with Rescue as she thought her family may have gone on a short hike. Not unusual, it’s something they enjoyed . Father and children. 

The plot thickens like black treacle wherever you step in this story you are stuck to the pages.
I’m kidding you not. I just loved how this book was laid out.

Going back over the lead up was superb, I enjoyed being lead. 

I do believe this author has another book, so I’m definitely buying it. I love how she writes, how she kept me guessing and boy oh boy, that ending.

Author Bio:
Rona's debut psychological thriller, Keep You Safe came out on 17th August and her second novel, Love You Gone is out now. 

Rona lives on the Isle of Man with her husband, two dogs and three guinea pigs. She has been a bookworm since she was a child and now she's actually creating stories of her own, which still feels like a dream come true. 

She is an outdoorsy person and loves stomping up a mountain, walking the coastal paths and exploring the wonderful beaches on the Island while she's plotting how to kill off her next victim. She also makes sure she deletes her Google history on a regular basis, because... well, you can't be too careful when you spend your life researching new and ingenious ways for people to die.

She has three children and two step-children who are now grown up and leading varied and interesting lives, which provides plenty of ideas for new stories!

Social Media Links:
To find out more about Rona's novels, go to or follow @RonaHalsallAuth on Twitter.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

The Truth Waits Blog Tour


'This novel bears all the hallmarks of a great thriller. It not only deals with huge issues like greed, guilt, evil and revenge, but with Anna’s deeply personal search for justice, reconciliation, forgiveness and trust. Her journey takes her to the very limits of herself but, at its heart, The Truth Waits is also a story about love in its best forms and I defy anyone not to get swept up in it' Claire Dyer
Anna has everything worked out – a successful company, all the comforts she needs and no ties. But when she stumbles across the body of a young girl on a deserted beach in Lithuania, everything changes.
Anna is compelled to uncover the story behind the tragedy, despite concern from her partner, Will. Everything points towards sex trafficking, but as she searches, her own deepest secrets start to surface.
When Will disappears without a trace, Anna is pulled further into the murky world of organised crime. Time is running out for them all, and there’s a killer out there who will stop at nothing.
Beard enthralls the reader in this fast-paced psychological crime thriller. Anna serves as the perfect power-house protagonist, her daring escapades leaving the reader questioning: how far should one go to solve a murder?
'I very much enjoyed reading The Truth Waits. It is taut and tense and builds to an electrifying conclusion' Kirsten Hesketh
‘Articulate and gripping - an impressive achievement’ Shelley Weiner
'I enjoyed Susanna’s emotive and thought-provoking novel - I thought it was an engrossing mystery and loved the Lithuanian setting. She dealt with some dark themes and created great three-dimensional characters, especially Anna, who was complex and engaging. I wanted to go along with her in her journey for finding the truth' Sam Carrington

"I discovered that the slope of writing to order is a slippery one, and that the descent is in fact pleasurable." Elena Ferrante. 

Writing fiction is forever new and joyful - it's fun, and difficult, and frustrating, and wonderful. 

As a writer and a reader, I like dark, contemplative stories with a twist. I'm fascinated by the psychology of relationships and the impact of insignificant events on people's lives. And the unfolding drama....


Susanna’s twitter is @SusannaBeard25

I read lots of thrillers. And I remember reading this authors very first debut book and loving it.

I get so nervous when that happens if the debut is so dam good I don’t want to read the next publication they release or they could burst my bubble.

Or, they could blow me away again.

This story starts off well, a body found on a beach.
It’s apparent straight away that I’m going to be wondering all the way through who this dead persons body is.

To be fair, that’s the thing that kept me reading onwards to find out.

I felt the story lost its thread here and there and the author chasing to find the end and knit them altogether. Which she did beautifully.

There were some down time moments where I found I was less eager to pick up my kindle and other times when I resented putting it down as I was so engrossed.

I just wish it kept its momentum throughout.

I did enjoy it, it wasn’t a chore. But as I’ve said at the beginning, I read a lot of thrillers. I stated that sentence as it didn’t really stand out from the crowd.

Now this is my point of view. It may not be yours, you may thoroughly enjoy it. And I’m happy, because not all readers get the same vibes. Which make for good book discussion.