Blog Tour and Book Review: Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella

The blurb of this book sounded different to many I have read recently and I loved the unique cover so when I was offered a place on this blog tour by Rachel Random Resources I had to accept.

Book Review: Dyed Souls by Gary Santorella

Dyed Souls Cover

Dyed Souls Book Cover

Title: Dyed Souls

Author: Gary Santorella

Publisher: Matador

Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, General fiction

Release Date: 6th February 2018

Blurb

Described by John Lloyd of The Bookbag as “Catcher in the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Dyed Souls is a gritty coming-of-age literary novel, set in a residential treatment center in 1980’s California.
Charlie Lyle loves science, natural history, and the world of the mind, and it is his refuge and salvation as he copes with his drug-addicted mother and a world of circumstances well-beyond his grasp. More a work of philosophy than psychology, “For the teen it has a galling coming-of-age, redemption quest. For the adult it has that, as well as a literary look at a singular fictional life.”

Purchase Links

Troubadour – https://www.troubador.co.uk/bookshop/contemporary/dyed-souls/

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dyed-Souls-Gary-Santorella/dp/1788038096

UShttps://www.amazon.com/Dyed-Souls-Gary-Santorella/dp/1788038096

 

My Thoughts

From the moment my stomach lurched with Charlie’s and I felt every swerve of the car as he is driven to the residential treatment centre I knew this author had written one of those books that stays with you for a lifetime. I was not wrong. I loved this hard-hitting, gritty sometimes disturbing novel. All the kids have troubled backgrounds, and it does not shy away from the consequences of these. For those who look for trigger warnings this may not be the book for you but the depth of all the characters and use of language is wonderful and gives an eye opening insight into their lives. It was refreshing to read a male perspective of a screwed up childhood and Charlie’s voice leapt off the page giving the emotional connection a book needs. He is intelligent, and he uses his love of Darwin to make sense of his chaotic world as he discovers love for the first time and who he is. Usually I would say “grab a box of tissues”  but this novel is too intense for that, I was gripped to the end and I could not help feeling I was a different person after closing the book. It is hard to believe this is a debut fiction novel and look forward to discovering what Gary Santorella writes next.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. It is one of those books for my forever shelf that just looking at the cover will transport me back to Hawthorne. It is a powerful book that I can see as being seen as a classic in the future and I feel privileged to have it on my shelf.

Author Biography

Gary Santorella

Gary Santorella, Owner, Interactive Consulting is a Lean implementation, organizational development, conflict resolution, and team-building specialist. He has a BA in Behavioural Psychology from Providence College, Providence, RI (1980), a Master’s Degree in Occupational Social Welfare from UC Berkeley (1990), and is a licensed cognitive-behavioural therapist in the State of California. His book: Lean Culture for the Construction Industry: Building Responsible & Committed Project Teams 2nd Edition was published by Productivity Press (a division of Taylor & Francis) in 2017. His first novel, Dyed Souls, was published by Matador Publishing in 2018.

Social Media Links 

https://www.facebook.com/Dyed-Souls-577806782579433/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://twitter.com/dyedsouls

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38451700-dyed-souls

Dyed Souls has won two awards:

Silver in the 2018 Global eBook Awards – Young Adult Fiction Category

Chill With a Book Readers Award.

Thank you Rachel Gibley and Matador and Gary Santorella for the copy of this novel to read to give an honest, unbiased review.

Love

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Pelican by M. Naidoo

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Unique beautiful birds

Books grab my attention for many reasons, sometimes it is a classic case of judging its potential by the cover, other times it is the blurb but this time I was attracted by the title. The prehistoric looking pelican has fascinated me ever since I read about its antics in Roald Dahl’s The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me as a child and a visit to Paphos in Cyprus where a friendly one would walk along the harbour cemented my love for them. The blurb and the mystery of the bird intrigued me further so I am grateful to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and opportunity to read a complimentary copy so I could give my honest review.

Book Review: The Pelican by M.Naidoo

The Pelican cover

The Pelican by M.Naidoo Book Cover

Title: The Pelican

Author: M. Naidoo

Publisher: Kaedin Press

Release Date: 29 July 2017

Blurb

“Because life is about living…”

Julia has never been one to surrender without a fight, but when she receives a devastating diagnosis, she has a decision to make.
Even after thirty years, she can still see her mother slowly fading away with every dose of chemo, every round of radiation, and every lost shred of hope. No, she won’t do it… not to her family… and not to herself!
Without warning, she packs up her belongings and disappears, leaving behind a life that, by all accounts, had been as perfect as they come, and a distraught family full of questions.
Finding peace in a beach house in Northern California turns out to have its complications though. While only a handful of other residents share the tiny beach community, each one has brought their own baggage and developed their own way of dealing with it. All Julia wants is to be left alone, but that simply does not seem to be an option, especially when there’s a persistent bird that declares her to be his new best friend.
Haunted by the shadows of the past, Julia is struggling to cope with the present. Will she have the strength to do this alone and eventually follow through with her plan? Will her family, divided by mixed reactions to being abandoned, come together to try and track her down? And what is the deal with that pelican of hers?
Only time will tell – and time is the one thing Julia does not have…

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.com/Pelican-M-Naidoo-ebook/dp/B074DTBMZQ/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pelican-M-Naidoo-ebook/dp/B074DTBMZQ/

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-pelican-4

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-pelican-m-naidoo/1129330070?ean=2940161877258

For duration of tour – The Pelican will be £1.99 on Amazon UK (and US)

My Thoughts

The Pelican is a beautifully written novel which pulled at the emotions as you would expect from the subject matter. Tissues are required but it is not a maudlin story but one of love, taking control of your own death but how life always brings you the unexpected. Julia had always planned to live by the sea so when she was told she has cancer this was where she retreated to. The descriptions of the stunning scenery made it is easy for me to imagine being on the coast, watching the sunset with the meditative sound of the waves lapping on the shore and a lone pelican waddling towards me. He was a wonderful, captivating character and helped immerse me in the story. As I got to know Julia and her past I could understand her reasoning for dying alone but found it difficult at times when other perspectives were told. It made me consider what I would do in the same position.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a memorable thought-provoking story which would be ideal for book club discussions and the pelican has a special place in my heart.

I loved M.Naidoo’s writing style, pace and ability to bring the setting alive so I am grateful to have another author to follow and explore.

Author Biography

The Pelican Author highres

M. Naidoo

Born and raised in Germany, M.Naidoo lives in Northern California with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. One of them, Dusty, a spunky terrier mix, found its way into her debut novel.
When she is not in front of her computer, pounding out story lines and characters, she enjoys reading, movies, spending time with her family, and long walks on the beach – her proverbial ‘happy place’. M’s love for the beach and ocean shine through in the vivid descriptions of the coast in The Pelican.

“Juggling my life as a writer and a full-time ‘real’ job has its challenges. I don’t get to spend half as much time as I’d like doing what I love, and there are never enough hours in the day. Still, I feel extremely lucky to be following my passion, and I am enjoying every minute of it. Getting here has been one heck of a ride!”

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMNaidoo/

https://www.instagram.com/authormnaidoo/

https://twitter.com/authormnaidoo

Thanks again to Rachel Random Resources and M. Naidoo for the tour invitation and sharing this lovely book.

Have you read The Pelican? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love

Blog Tour and Book Review: It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl

As soon as I read the blurb for this book the song It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to by the Nolan Sisters looped in my mind and it compelled me to add it to my TBR list. I was thrilled to be invited to this tour by Rachel’s Random Resources and receive a copy to read.

Book Review: It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl

It's My Birthday book cover

It’s My Birthday by Hannah Pearl Book Cover

Title: It’s My Birthday

Author: Hannah Pearl

Genre: Fiction, romance

Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Release date: 19th March 2019

Blurb:

It’s My Birthday

… I’ll cry if I want to.
Oh boy, another birthday …
Karen could be excused for crying on her birthday, especially as it’s the first one since her husband got on a plane to the States and never came back. Then there’s the fact that her workmates were practically bribed to attend her birthday meal. But when a restaurant double booking leads to her sharing a table with single dad Elliot and his daughter, things start looking up.

As Karen gets to know Elliot she experiences feelings she thought she’d never have again. But is it enough? Or will the thing that destroyed Karen’s previous relationship also ruin things with Elliot?

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Its-My-Birthday-heartwarming-romance-ebook/dp/B07N5LXS93

US – https://www.amazon.com/Its-My-Birthday-heartwarming-romance-ebook/dp/B07N5LXS93

My Thoughts

As someone who has had their 40th birthday I loved the idea of the novel beginning on Karen’s birthday at her party which she is reluctantly attending. In the first few pages Hannah Pearl painted a birthday scene I instantly related to, and I was immersed in this honest, heartwarming novel until the end. It was just what I needed on a weekend of duvet dwelling with back pain. Karen was easy to connect to, and it was refreshing to read grounded characters discovering they may have a second chance of love by accident rather than actively searching for a date. Karen has the security of a job and house and despite being heartbroken from her failed marriage she is not a damsel in distress. Any relationship she wants is to complement her life rather than making her whole. Besides Karen, I loved Sophie who unlike many teenagers in fiction shows no angst about the possibility of her father, Elliot going out with another woman. It was lovely to see the friendship between Karen and her develop. The emotive topics of infertility and IVF are dealt with sensitively and pulled at my emotions as Karen struggles with the idea she may never be a mother. 

Would I recommend?

This is an ideal weekend or holiday read. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Author Biography

hannah pearl

Hannah Pearl

Hannah Pearl was born in East London. She is married with two children and now lives in Cambridge.

She has previously worked as a Criminology researcher, as a Development Worker with various charities and even pulled a few pints in her time.

In 2015 she was struck down by Labrynthitis, which left her feeling dizzy and virtually housebound. She has since been diagnosed with ME. Reading has allowed Hannah to escape from the reality of feeling ill. She read upwards of three hundred books during the first year of her illness. When her burgeoning eReader addiction grew to be too expensive, she decided to have a go at writing. In 2017 she won Simon and Schuster’s Books and the City #heatseeker short story competition, in partnership with Heat magazine, for her short story The Last Good Day.

Hannah is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association.

Blogdizzygirlwrites.wordpress.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HannahPearl_1

Thanks again Rachel Random Resources for allowing me to read an ARC so I could give an honest review.

Hope you have a happy weekend and reading.

Love

It's My Birthday banner

Other blogs to visit on this tour

Book Review and Tour: The Pieces of Me and You by Rachel Burton

Last year I was lucky enough to read Rachel Burton’s previous novel, The Things We Need to Say, which I loved. The review can be found here. When I saw the news she was releasing a new book I was eager to read it and was excited to be invited to this blog tour.

Book Review: The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton

The Pieces of You and Me

Book Cover for The Pieces of You and Me

Title: The Pieces Of You and Me
Author: Rachel Burton
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 21st February 2019

Purchase Link: mybook.to/PiecesYouMe

Blurb

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

My Thoughts

I loved this book and related to it on many levels. As someone who spends too much time under the duvet, I instantly connected to Jess who has ME.  Jess has adapted to life with chronic illness, living at home and has carved out a successful career as a writer despite the tendrils of her condition affecting all aspects of her life. There were times it made me cry and say “I know that feeling”. The frustration of watching peers being busy their lives with no need for naps, medication or pacing, the emotions of having to let go of your old life to make way for a new one and the fear the illness will steal more from you in the future. It describes Jess’s dilemma balancing her heart’s desire with the knowledge how much ME affects relationships and it discusses whether being with your soulmate is enough to face a future of uncertainty together. Rupert has his own demons he faces, and it was refreshing to see the other side of the story.

The depth of emotion between the two characters touched me when Jess’ diary told the story of their lives, from best friends to lovers and the circumstance which ripped them apart. It is a tale of deep love, trust and the importance of revealing your true self. The other topics covered include grief, mental health, but they are dealt with sensitively and does not wallow. It left me with feelings of hope and uplifting.

I am grateful to Rachel Burton for writing an honest heart felt depiction of life with a chronic illness, showing its fears hopes and uncertainty but how with the power of love and determination someone can make a new but different life. As an aspiring writer having a character achieve success while pacing her writing time around fatigue gives me hope.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a love story but it is also so much more.  I would like a physical copy on my forever shelf to read again when I need encouragement but also to share so others can understand the realities of life when it is turned upside down because of illness.

Author Biography

The Pieces of You and MeIMG_20181116_124903 (1)

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….
Social Media Links 

Twitter: twitter.com/bookish_yogi
Instagram: Instagram.com/Bookish_yogi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachelburton6/pins/

Thank you to Rachel Random Resources and HQ Digital for my advanced copy so I could review.

Happy reading!

Love

 

Book review and cover for The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl

March has arrived with the daffodils, some gorgeous days interspersed with storms. With the rain and wind outside, I have been enjoying snuggling in the warm reading. I am pleased to share my review for The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl. When I am out I love seeing old doors, the quirkier or unusual the better and always wonder about the secrets that lie behind them. The image on this cover with the protagonist standing in the entrance of green weather beaten door caught my imagination making me want to follow her so I was thrilled to be offered a place on this tour with Rachel Random Resources.

Book Review: The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl

cover from fb

Title: The Forgotten Secret

Author: Kathleen McGurl

Genre: Women’s Fiction, historical

Publisher: HQ Digital

Release date: 1st March 2019

Purchase Links

UK  – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Secret-heartbreaking-gripping-historical-ebook/dp/B07H2PMPR3

US  – https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Secret-heartbreaking-gripping-historical-ebook/dp/B07H2PMPR3  

Blurb

A country at war

It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.

And a long-buried secret

A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.

For fans of Kate Morton and Gill Paul comes an unforgettable novel about two women fighting for independence.

My Thoughts

I do not know much about Irish history, the formation of Northern Ireland and its complex relationship with Britain except from the odd bits I have picked up from the news and books. In the present day political climate it has never been more important to learn and I’m grateful for the insight this book gave me into the War of Independence and beyond. I appreciated the summary of events at the beginning which helped in the understanding Ellen’s story.

The Forgotten Secret has a dual timeline. One story is set in 1996 with Clare finding her feet as she claims her independence from her overbearing husband after she inherits a tumbling down cottage in Ireland. The other follows Ellen as she gets a job as a maid in 1919.  Clashes between the Irish volunteers and the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) turn her life turned upside down. Loyalties between family and friends are stretched to the limits. Reading about the past events and people’s lives in Ireland was shocking and left me reeling.  It started many conversations which is always a good by-product of a well researched novel.

Both characters intrigued me; they were both stronger than they thought they could be and working towards independence but it was Ellen and the increased tension building in her life which drove the novel forward. From the beginning, I needed to know what happened to her and her childhood sweetheart. Kathleen McGurl captured the fear of the time with her words. It was only as Clare’s story unfolded and the farmhouse revealed the keys to the mystery in her family I formed a solid connection to her. By the end, I was hooked on both timelines.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is an emotional, thought-provoking read with strong women finding their own way. The blend of history, love and mystery makes it a good book for reading under the duvet or in the garden enjoying the sun. I have never read any of the author’s book before so I am delighted to add some more books to my TBR.

Author Biography

 

Kathleen McGurl author of The Forgotten Secret

Kathleen McGurl

Kathleen McGurl lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –

Website:  https://kathleenmcgurl.com/

Twitter: @KathMcGurl  https://twitter.com/KathMcGurl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KathleenMcGurl/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kathleenmcgurl/

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and Kathleen McGurl and HQ Digital for giving me to read an advanced copy so I could give an unbiased, honest review.

Have you read any books based in Ireland about the Troubles? Let me know in the comments below as I would love to know more about this subject.

Happy reading!

Love

Katie signature pink

 

P.S If you would like to know more about the book and author, why not pop over to the other blogs on the tour. Info given below.

The Forgotten Secret Full Tour Banner

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Welcome to a birthday post for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. Thank you @raresources for inviting me to this celebratory blog tour and the free book to read so I could review. Scroll down for my thoughts on this romance novel and the giveaway.

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Book Review for The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke.

TheSecretToFallingInLove_V2 copy

The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke

Title: The Secret to Falling in Love

Author: Victoria Cooke

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 9th February 2017

Blurb

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

Purchase Link – getBook.at/TheSecrettoFallinginLove

My Thoughts

I have a confession I am addicted to my phone. It is my constant companion and I find it difficult not to scroll through the social media apps. The premise of this novel struck a cord and I was intrigued how the story would evolve.

Melissa was instantly likeable as she struggles to find the man of her dreams when everyone around her is settling down and I could relate to her. She doesn’t plan for her sabbatical from technology so with no preparation it instantly shows how reliant we are on it for our social interaction even on the simplest level. The world opened up to her as she saw the activity around her, new relationships formed and she began to live. This thought-provoking novel is humorous and uplifting. It made me remember the time before I had access to the internet. I would be unable to last month without my phone but it made me consider whether I need to use it as much as I do.

Would I recommend?

Yes it is an enjoyable, entertaining read which makes you leave the phone alone and appreciate the world around you. This was her debut; I am pleased there is a back catalogue of her books to catch up on.

 Author Biography

Victoria Cooke Image

Victoria Cooke

 

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

 

 

 

 

Social Media Links 

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor

https://twitter.com/victoriacooke10

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter

Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

I am pleased to share a chance to win your own advanced copy of The Secret to Falling in Love and chocolate. Good luck!

Click here to enter

I hope you have a good weekend with time to read. What is your current book? Feel free to share below.

Happy reading!

Love

 

 

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Stalker by Lars Keplar

Those who were following me last year may remember how I loved Lars Keplar’s The Sandman so I was eager to read the next in the series Stalker. When I was offered the chance to be involved in this blog tour I knew I had to squeal “yes please”. Thanks @AAknopf for a free advanced copy of the book to review.

Book Review for Stalker by Lars Keplar

Stalker by Lars Kepler

Stalker by Lars Keplar

Title: Stalker

Author: Lars Keplar

Publisher: Alfred A Knopf

Genre: Crime, psychological thriller

Release Date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a
terrifying new thriller:

Detective Joona Linna–recently returned from compassionate
leave–reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable
sadistic killer.The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she’s being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman’s body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there’s nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna’s worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things. Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he’s beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars–and a serial killer still on the loose. . .

My Thoughts

Lars Keplar have a unique style which I love and their books are always dark common in the Scandinavian noir genre. This is no exception. The murders are graphic and tap into the fear of being watched while living your life or getting dressed. I was always paranoid about the curtains being open at night but now I am even more cautious.

It follows on from The Sandman and though this book could be read as a standalone the complex lives and relationships between the characters may mean you may miss some of the depth of the story and the motivation of their actions.  Joona Linna is assumed dead allowing another detective Margot Silverman to take on his role to investigate. I liked her as a protagonist and think she could have carried the story alone. Heavily pregnant she is determined to solve the case before maternity leave so reluctantly accepts help when Joona reappears along with Erik Bark from the book The Hypnotist.

I was drawn in with the intensity of the first murder and the urgency to catch the killer before he strikes again. The fast pace at the beginning made me eager to know who the murderer was and why but there was a lull in the middle and I began to lose interest. If I was not reviewing I may have put it to one side but I am glad I didn’t as the pace quickened towards a satisfying conclusion. With the unexpected twists and turns as it delves into the world of drugs and human psyche, Stalker is a good read but it lacked the connection for the characters I have felt with the previous books.

Would I recommend?

Yes despite my misgivings Lars Keplar are strong talented authors and Stalker is still a high quality, enjoyable Nordic thriller.

About Lars Kepler:

Lars Kepler_photo credit_Ewa-Marie Rundquist

LARS KEPLER is the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their number one internationally bestselling Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler and have each published several acclaimed novels. They live in Stockholm, Sweden. Translated by Neil Smith.

 

 

 

 

Social media

Author Website: http://larskepler.com/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larskepler/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larskepler/

Have a good weekend and happy reading!

Love

Kepler_Stalker_TourGraphic

Blog Tour & Book Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @RaRaResources

It is a miserable grey day outside and I am reluctant to move from under my duvet. I am pleased to share my review of Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman which brightened up these recent wintery days. Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for my free book and inviting me to this tour.

Book Review for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

Lakes yellow

Title: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Romance, General fiction

Release date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

My Thoughts

As soon as I met the main character of this book, Brie surrounded by snotty tissues while she dealt with her heartbreak I knew I was in for a treat. I love this book for three reasons.

1.The characters – Brie is an open-hearted, old-fashioned romantic and is usually a strong woman who is a defender of romance novels against those who look down at them. She comes across as balanced and despite her confidence plummeting at the beginning, current doubts and loneliness, she has a certainty about herself which makes this a refreshing read. Handsome Arran is aloof, and comes with a back story that drew me in, making me care for him. Along with Brie’s editor and best friend the characters leapt from the page making it easy to see the story like a good rom-com in my imagination.

2.The scenery – oh my! Lucy Coleman paints a picture with her words and I was there in the sunshine enjoying Lake Garda with Brie and strolling through the streets of the Italian towns. The landscapes are stunning making them the perfect location for some literary escapism.

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Lake Garda, Italy

3.The writing tips – as an aspiring writer the tips and insights Brie offers her students at the writing retreat and the reader are invaluable. They are cleverly blended into the story but cover topics such as characterisation, writer’s block, doubts and joy of romance novels. It is a romance writing companion in disguise. I only wish I could be at the retreat in reality to soak up the tranquillity and expertise while learning how to write 3000 words before breakfast.

Would I recommend?

Summer on the Italian Lakes is uplifting and entertaining making it a perfect summer read or a pick me up on a grey, miserable day. With the characters, landscape, sun and chemistry I was reluctant to come out of the book into reality. It will be a story I will return to again and again.

Author Biography

LBH

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

Giveaway – Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)*

Writing Retreat Prize

Chocolate Dipping Set

Enter here

If you want to know more about the book and author why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour, details below.

Thank you again to Rachel at raresourses for inviting me to this tour and NetGalley for the chance to read it for free.

Happy reading and good luck.

Love

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Other bloggers on this tour.

 

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Forgotten children by Isabella Muir

Last year I read about the disturbing child migration scheme in The Vanished Child  where children in children homes were sent to Australia and Canada. When I read the blurb of The Forgotten Children I knew I had to read it so I was excited to be invited on this blog tour by Rachel Random Resources and given a copy to read. Scroll down for my review and a giveaway for a signed copy.

Book Review: The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

 

the forgotten children paperback front

The Forgotten Children by Isabella Muir

Title: The Forgotten Children

Author: Isabella Muir

Genre: General fiction, historical

Release Date: 29th November 2018

Blurb

A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest periods

Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt that threatens to consume her.  For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born.  But now, in the summer of 1987, she decides to begin the search for her son. 

Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness.  But it is when she decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons. 

Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.

Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her own sad experiences.  Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.

The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.

At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is painful.  Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and governments, who should have known better.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Forgotten-Children-chilling-inspired-events-ebook/dp/B07GZYHLKV

My Thoughts

Children’s author, Emily brims with anger and despair as she struggles to come to terms with a recent miscarriage which stirs her memories of her first child who she was forced to give away. I connected to her even when she made decisions I could not understand including the one which leads her to Anglesey. This a place I long to visit and Isabella Muir’s descriptions of the landscape and area increased my desire to visit. The environment and people Emily meets leads her to make the decision to search for her son. Walter, a character I loved, acts as a welcome calming influence for Emily anger and balances out the book. Reading about the heartbreaking act of migrating children to Australia and Canada is still shocking despite reading about it in a few books now and is unbelievable it is in our recent history and not something from a century ago. The focus on the families searching for their children rather than the experience of the adopted child works well because you discover the horrors with the main character. It is a well researched and emotional. The complex feelings of estranged families, high expectations and grief is tackled sympathetically and pulled at my heart-strings. A box of tissues was required.

The story takes place in 1987 so sent me down memory lane with telephone boxes and not being able to do a quick internet search for information. It is amazing how much has changed in the last three decades.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is emotional read which reveals the haunting actions of the British government of that time and highlights the turmoil the regime caused for all involved.

Author Biography

the forgotten isabella muir

Isabella Muir

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series.  These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

https://twitter.com/SussexMysteries

https://isabellamuir.com/

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance to win a signed copy of The Forgotten Children ( UK only -sorry).

Click here to enter

 

Why not visit other blogs on this tour to find out more on this book and author.

Thank you Rachel giving me the chance to read this book.

Happy Reading!

Love

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Blog tour and review: Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe

Ghosts always attract my attention when I am looking for a book to read so I am happy to share my review for Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe as part of a blog tour by Rachel’s Random Resources. Thank you for inviting me.

Book Review: Whisper to Me by Sherrie Lowe

whisper to me ebook complete

Whisper to Me by Sheerie Lowe

Title: Whisper to Me

Author: Sherrie Lowe

Genre: Fiction

Release date: 29th September 2018

Blurb:

A new wife and a vengeful ghost. Not a good mix.

Letitia – Tish – Stanyer makes husband Theo promise never to remarry if she dies and he complies just to pacify her. She isn’t going to die.

She does – and he does remarry. Tish isn’t happy. Her spirit cannot rest with another woman in her domain, sampling the delights of her husband. Theo belongs to her – Sheena will have to go.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whisper-Me-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07HVYHD4Y/

https://www.amazon.com/Whisper-Me-Sherrie-Lowe-ebook/dp/B07HVYHD4Y/

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/901558

My Thoughts

Ever since I can remember I have joked with my family what I would do if I came back as a ghost. This book brings that idea to life when Tish dies unexpectedly after making her husband promise he would never remarry. After many years and his daughter, Saskia on the edge of flying the next Theo decides it is time he can have a relationship without knowing how much the promise meant to his wife.  I enjoyed the premise and the character of Tish and Sheena will stay with me a long time,

This is a family drama with a ghostly twist and works well. The closeness of Theo and his daughter shines through until tensions rise not only between the new and old wife but step-mum and daughter. Even without the raging spirit, it is a good study of how relationships change with a new presence in the house but with the supernatural element things are taken to a new level. The two wives are complete opposites and when Tish stepped up her hauntings, I was torn between which one to rally for perfect Tish or over the top, brash Sheena who I could not help feeling sorry for. That said the descriptions of the house once she moved in and her dog’s habit made me cringe; the imagery will always stay embedded in my mind. The dynamics between the characters drew me in and kept me in the story wondering how far will the Tish’s anger would go. I could not help wonder whether Tish was as vindictive when alive to people she disliked or whether it was driven purely by jealously.

Would I recommend?

Yes it is an enjoyable hauntingly, cosy read which makes you question what would you do if a ghost in a similar circumstance.

Author Bio

 

whisper to me - profile

Sherrie Lowe

I am a divorced mum of two adult sons and Nana to three grandchildren, soon to be four. I’ve always had a notion to write but didn’t get round to it seriously until I became ill with M.E in 1995 when I was 40 and was too ill to continue my job as a learning support assistant in a mainstream high school. I was devastated to have to resign from my job but writing saved my sanity. My first attempt was a memoir, Shadow Across the Sun which covered the loss of my mum to breast cancer two days before my 13th birthday. When the rejections began to flow in from traditional publishers and agencies I joined a creative writing class and learned to write fiction. Whisper to Me is my 10th novel. I have a strong belief in the afterlife due to events following my mum’s death so most of my stories have some form of supernatural aspect to them.

 

Social Media Links 

Website http://www.sherrielowe.co.uk/

Blog https://sherrielowe.wordpress.com/

Twitter https://twitter.com/SherrieLowe2

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sherrielowe40/

Giveaway

I am pleased to share with you the chance to win one of five Kindle copies of Whisper to Me. This is open internationally.

click here to enter

 

Happy reading and good luck!

Love

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

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