Sunday, 30 June 2019

Skint Estate

This memoir is available from 11th July 2019 

Some people may think that living in Britain has a safety net for ones that find themselves at a disadvantage to others.

People who are able bodied or well enough to work. Those that work but get top ups from Universal credit.

If you fall out of work, there’s benefits in the UK. It’ll be alright.
Not the case. 

What if you were 16. Moved around the system with no stability or a place to call home?

Then finding yourself pregnant 
Checking into a women’s refuge.
Stealing for needs to survive. 

Lots of hard hitting facts in this down to earth fact speaking messages.

A child disowned by its parents lead to a lot of psychological damage. 
As this writer puts it “they lose their minds on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas, all the days supposed to be spent with family”

It’s a real eye opener to how Britain is failing citizens of its own country.

It’s not all doom and gloom, oh no. This girls a fighter.
Her child is loved. 
And although this woman is kicked both physically, literally and metaphorically she stands tall.

Living below the poverty line in Britain is a catch 22 position. 
No one wants to give you a better job, you don’t fit in.
Most are given jobs on the minimum wage which offers no add on top ups, rent goes up, utility bills increase and the public spendature is cut.

This woman has a sense of humour and I laughed out loud.
But couldn’t get past the thought of, we laugh, we shield ourselves from the emotional pain.
We laugh, sometimes as a defence mechanism.

It’s a truly remarkable down to earth FACTUAL event.

It could one day be anyone’s story.
It could one day be yours.

I really hope not.

This is surviving. 
We shouldn’t just need to be on the brink of something to just survive. We should be enjoying life.

Cash reminds herself of the important things; love for her daughter; community and friendship; and through this, Britain (government) need to change to protect those vulnerable in society and give them a “leg up”.

The majority of us are working class. But that takes effort or luck to get there.

The poverty line is real in Britain. 
Cash can prove it! 

I was sent this unsolicited book from Ebury Publishing today.
I only intended to skim it and maybe read it later but I was hooked. 

I’ve got nothing done, been sat reading this. 
Cash really knows how to “tell it like it is” it was like sitting next to her and her telling me her life (so far) story. 

Below is the proof copy 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Review: During the Dance

During the Dance During the Dance by Mark Lawrence
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh I just finished reading this.
Another avid reader on here had just finished it so because it was a free download at the moment on Amazon and she recommended it, plus I’m a sucker for sad I popped.

Yes! You definitely need tissues.
Oh boy, how can such a short book have such an impact.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Review: Until the Day I Die

Until the Day I Die Until the Day I Die by Emily Carpenter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is definitely a slow burner.

I have read this authors books and was aware she took a slight deviation writing this one. I chose to read it as I love her writing style.

I kept picking it up and putting it down several times as well as listening to a different book on audio.

I decided to give this book my undivided attention. So by the time I got to the 50% mark it got better. However I can’t say if I loved this book? I think I liked it, that will be my preferable word. I certainly didn’t hate it that’s for sure.

The heartbreak in the book was so well written as was the relationship between mother and daughter.

I’m not sure if I’d class it under psychological thriller though as it’s more of a mystery/whodunnit to me. I’m thinking maybe I went in hoping for more classed on her previous books.

I’m glad I got to read it though or I’d be forever wondering.

It’s not put me off following her for more books .
I anticipate what she writes next.

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Review: When I Was Yours

When I Was Yours When I Was Yours by Lizzie Page
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By no means is this a light read.
It’s based around war time and gave me greater insight than I ever thought about.

When my grandparents were alive I heard lots about the war, the rationing and the “war effort”.
I heard about the children who were safely sent to live with others in the country. However that didn’t always have an happy ending.

This book gave me yet another angle on things.

A moving, emotional read. Not all doom and gloom, but very realistic.

My thanks to Bookoutour

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Review: The July Girls

The July Girls The July Girls by Phoebe Locke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is so aptly titled.

Every July around the same day, same time a girl disappears.
All that the perpetrator leaves is a piece of jewellery belonging to that girl.
Hence, he’s known as “Magpie”.

The two young girls are Addison and Jessica. Jessica being the eldest of the two.

Because of family circumstances Jessica becomes “mom” to her little sister and little Addison looks up to her elder sister.

But one night, on the night of Addisons 10th birthday she witnesses something terrible.
Someone goes missing, her dads covered in blood and things in the book go off with a bang.

Without giving anything away, you are in for a treat.
Some latter part seemed a bit overstretched here and there but I forgave that because the author has done a beautiful job in keeping my attention.

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Review: Recursion

Recursion Recursion by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the book I chose to read “out of my comfort zone”. I wanted to do this at least twice per year and this one seemed more of a mild introduction.

This is about suicide, a suicide epidemic that is sweeping out and causing people to end their life.

It involves memory and memory loss too.

A detective whose trying to find out why......

That’s my honest take on it, I read this in one day. I can honestly say as a genre out of my usual choices this could sway me to another side!

Loved it

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My husbands wife by Amanda Prowse

When I read one of Amanda Prowse books I know I’m in deep.
This one was no exception.
She writes about realistic things with such depth that it’s as powerful as a punch to the stomach (emotionally).

I’m one of those women.
Married, my child are grown, my husband and my kids mean the world to me. They are my life, the ones that keep me going and I’m there for them. That makes me happy, just like Rosie in this book.

But there our similarities end thank goodness because one day her husband Phil comes home and tells her he’s leaving her for another woman.

She’s utterly devastated, she had no clue.

In all of this she tries to keep her girls protected emotionally from all what’s going on. Very difficult to do when you’re a broken woman.

She suffers isolation from friends and other things bring her to her knees.

It’s not all suffering though, in between are some really laugh out loud moments just like life. No matter what you are going through there’s always something to smile about somewhere or unexpectedly.

And although you may shed tears, you will end up closing this book with a smile on your face.

Good on Rosie! It’s the rough times that make us emotionally stronger.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Oh my
Oh my
Oh my

When I ordered this book it was because of the blurb. Then I started to read people’s reviews (in part as I didn’t want to spoil my read)
What I didn’t expect was me opening my package, flicking through it at the kitchen table one morning as I’m eating my toast and then realising I’m on page 90!

HBOT - hyperbaric oxygenation Is a new method of helping or curing certain ailments. It’s a chamber you go in and certain actions need to be followed. The dives were an hour long. People had faith in this procedure.

But something goes very badly wrong.

There ensues a court case. 
It’s not written like a court case layout, we get alternating points of view. 

What was so outstanding was the way this played out and how I got to know each character so well. This is about family, loyalty and so many lies.

It really does keep you guessing.

Something was extremely wrong in Miracle Creek and getting to the conclusion of it all was difficult.
Was it just one person to blame or several? My mind was tossing around all kinds of thoughts. 

A truly satisfying read. It’s not one to flip through casually, this is a book that will give you more the more you savour it and I’d highly recommend it. I’m so glad I took the plunge and read it. I loved the originality of this and can’t believe it’s a debut. It’s so dam good. She’s going to have to work hard to surpass this one.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

After the fire by Will Hill

This was a book I’d lost on my Net Galley collection. So I thought I would take the opportunity to read this between books I planned this month.

I don’t know how I came to overlook ok this book because it’s intense.
It refers in sequence to “before” the fire and “after” the fire and when Moonbeam was fenced in. 

This is all about a cult. Moonbeam was programmed to act accordingly.

I had to remind myself she was only 17 years old. What she’s been through no one should have to experience.

My best bit was when she was in counselling and how in bits and pieces and although broken up in the revelation of it all it was compulsive reading no matter how horrendous.

A very complex, well written story with lots of background.

Stalker by Lisa Stone

Cathy Glass made a huge following when she wrote about her different experiences in being a Foster parent. Each child with a different story.
I was one of her avid (and still am) followers.

When she jumped over to my next genre that I love to read I just had to seek it out. The first book was absolutely great.

This book I’ve just listened to on audio is amazingly creepy, suspect and very palpable with each chapter you get to.

I must say, the narrator chosen has done a splendid job. It was easy to sync between book and audio.

The thoughts of who we trust in our home from painters, decorators, plumbers to electricians who has not allowed a tradesperson in their home?

The thought of having a security system installed for your own safety and peace of mind should be straightforward right?

This creepy book made me want to go check all my cctv cameras! Stick tape over my laptop camera and work out how I could surf online incognito!
What a fabulous plot this was.

Nothing was as it seemed, no one were who they were and you were kept alert right until the very end.

I can’t wait to start her next book.

This woman has pure natural talent which she must have been hiding under a bushel. I love both her genres.

If you love psychological thrillers, creepy, and keeps your attention, then this book could be for you.

Dan j Riby

Darn it! I went out yesterday, I didn’t think I’d be “that long” and would be home again soon. 
So I didn’t have my current hardback with me or the device on my phone enabled to sync to my audio book.
I did have my kindle app on my phone.
I found this short story so began to read it.

As soon as I started to enjoy it, it was over. No wrap up, no cliffhanger, just......zapped out without anywhere to go. 

Did I miss something?

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Call me Evie

Twisted, Good Crazy, Wickedly Outstanding is the first words that spring to mind.

Then I’d love a twisted thriller? I recommend this one! 

I saw my book buddy Ludwig reading this, read his review and bumped this up my TBR list. He was absolutely correct in what his reviews says.

The timeline changes from past to present. It’s not confusing at all, what it is though is like a revelation you are being fed morsel by morsel. Drip, drip, drip, that spins your thoughts and brain whirling at speed. 

My jaw dropped to the floor as I got toward the end. I kid you not, I literally gasped and raised my head in amazement. Not once, not for one mini second did I think of that. then it threw in something else, another honesty. 

I’m not hyping this book, I’m telling you what effect it had on me personally as a reader.

One of my top 10 this year in thrillers for sure

An outstanding debut novel, first in a series by Noelle Holten.

An outstanding debut novel, first in a series by Noelle Holten.

Book Description:

‘Kept me hooked … excellent pace and a very satisfying ending’ Angela Marsons
‘An excellent read’ Martina Cole
'A brilliant debut – gritty, dark and chilling. Noelle Holten knows her stuff’ Mel Sherratt
A dark and gripping debut crime novel – the first in a stunning new series – from a huge new talent.
The killer is just getting started…
When three wife beaters are themselves found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.
The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered.
And he is Lucy’s husband.
Now the police are running out of time, but can Maggie really believe her friend Lucy is a cold-blooded killer?

I’ve been anticipating this book for so long.If you are a book blogger you will understand why I said that.
This is a debut novel, first in a series and boy oh boy what an example of a high standard of work here. It would easily shoot up in the ranks of Best Selling Authors who are already established. 
The storyline is fierce, prompt, has pitch, power and pace, just the way I like it to keep my reader juices salivating to read more.
Lucy who is a probation officer for domestic violence is also experiencing this herself in her home life. We see how this affects her and her job.
Maggie and her team are investigating several men going missing then things turn to more towards Lucy because the 4th man to go missing is Lucy’s husband.
It’s an intense fast paced read that will keep you turning pages.
There are a lot of characters that are introduced in quite a short time, but I was able to follow.
The only thing I had to get my head around were the familiar names in the book. Too many whom I knew on the net that for me knocked off one star.
Using one or two familiar people would be OK it’s been done plenty of times before, I’ve even been in a book once or twice, I just felt it was overloaded with familiar “known” people around the net.
That said.....Once I got used to seeing them “in character” within the book itself it didn’t tend to matter so much.
An excellent read. And I can’t wait to see more from her in book 2
*these opinions are mine and may not reflect others*

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social MediaNoelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and a regular reviewer on the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. Noelle worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of cases including those involving serious domestic abuse. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle's hobbies include reading, author-stalking and sharing the booklove via her blog. 
Dead Inside is her debut novel with Killer Reads/Harper Collins UK and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.


Twitter: (@nholten40)
Instagram: @crimebookjunkie  

Sarah Hardy
Book On The Bright Side Publicity & Promo
Twitter: @BOTBSPublicity