#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – Marthas Cottage by Fiona Cooke – @ZooloosBT @cookehogan @SpellBoundBks #MarthasCottage #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for Martha’s Cottage by Fiona Cooke, admittedly a day late, sorry! thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 262

Synopsis: Sarah and Ben Stephens had it all. Attractive thirty-somethings, upwardly mobile; good careers in the city, a sizeable house in the suburbs.

To all concerned it was the perfect picture of marital bliss.

Or was it?

Years of infertility treatment have taken its toll on their marriage. Barely speaking, they’re strangers who share the same bed.
Then the fallout from a surprise birthday party and a lifechanging discovery send Sarah fleeing to the West of Ireland. And there, at Martha’s Cottage, a tiny stone house by the wild Atlantic Ocean, she licks her wounds and must decide on the course of her future.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: Sarah and Ben are not getting on, they’re going through the motions of married life but in truth both of them are miserable, for the same reason but it’s affected them both in totally different ways, one becomes angry snappy and with drawn and another finds comfort elsewhere.. The story was told from 2 perspectives so we got both sides of the story which I feel added an element to it that I appreciated. It meant that we got a more in depth story and a complete ending.

In parts of this story I gelt myself feeling sorry for and wanting to support the person I probably shouldn’t which to me is a sign of a good author who knows just how to book her readers.

The story was immersive and the writing was beautiful once I got chance to properly sit down and read I just couldn’t put it down.

Infertility and infidelity are 2 very difficult subjects to write about because they affect everyone differently, but Fiona handled it with respect whilst also making sure it felt real too.

Love, loss and everything in between this book had it all. It’s definitely one I would recommend.

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#BOOKTOUR #EXTRACT – Exiles by Daniel Blythe – @ZooloosBT @danblythewriter @SpellBoundBks #Exiles #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the tour for Exiles by Daniel Blythe, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for providing me with an extract of the book.

Before we get into the extract, let me tell you a bit about the book and the author 😍

Synopsis: In a distant galaxy, Bethany Kane has cheated death.
Now, she has to fight for life.

In an escape pod launched from a great starship, 15-year-old ChapterSister Bethany Aurelia Kane, believer in the Great Power, makes landfall on a windswept world known as The Edge – a planet light years from civilisation.

Battered and shaken, Beth soon finds she is not alone. The Edge is a penal colony where, under the leadership of Zachary Tal, fifty juvenile criminals and reprobates have pulled together a kind of society. They are living and working together in Town, a converted scientific base in the shadow of their crashed spaceship. They have crops, fresh water and electrical power – and are assisted by a contingent of mechanised Drones.

Storms, power failure, illness and death are just a few of the challenges the teenage exiles battle. As Beth accustoms herself to her new life on The Edge, she has to overcome her fears, learn new skills and earn the respect of leader Zach, the arrogant Colm, the resentful Mia and the others. But when a terrible, violent event shatters the colony’s existence, it seems nothing will ever be the same. Who among them is a killer? And just how isolated are they really?…

As the clock ticks towards a final revelation, Beth needs all her new skills and resourcefulness to stop The Edge from plunging into anarchy. And she has her own secret too – one which will prove decisive in the battle for survival…

About the Author:

Daniel Blythe was born in Maidstone and attended Maidstone Grammar School and St John’s College, Oxford, then Christ Church University, Canterbury. As well as being a writer he has worked as a tour guide, a languages tutor, a translator, a Lifelong Learning development worker and a tutor of Creative Writing.

He is the author of several novels for children and adults, as well as a writer of non-fiction on subjects as diverse as popular music, politics, collecting gadgets and games, parenting and the history of robotics. He has written several of the official Doctor Who books licensed by the BBC, including Autonomy. Daniel’s first book with a teenage narrator was The Cut, which was followed by further novels Losing Faith and This is the Day. In 2012 his first supernatural fantasy novel for young readers, Shadow Runners, was published. Emerald Greene and the Witch Stones (for age 9-12) was published in 2015 and a sequel Emerald Greene: Instruments of Darkness in 2017. He has written shorter ‘reluctant reader’ books called New Dawn, I Spy (nominated for the Leicester Reading Rampage Award 2018), Fascination, Kill Order, Hope and Truth and Kiss the Sky.

Daniel has worked as a visiting author in over 400 schools, and has taught on the MA in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He now mentors, advises and edits writers of all ages through Cornerstones UK and the Faber Academy and is a regular judge on the Novel Slam for the ‘Off The Shelf’ festival. Daniel lives in the Peak District, with his wife and their two student children.

Now for the exciting part!

Extract:

A sharp sound breaks into her thoughts. 

​She makes a grab for her pistol on the bedside table – then, she realises it’s the buzzer on her pod’s outer door. Someone trying to get her attention. She pushes open the bedroom door, kicks through the clutter on the floor of the living-area, rubbing her tired, aching eyes. She presses the intercom button.

​‘Who is it?’

​There is no reply from the small black grille beside the door.

​She stabs at the button again. ‘Hello? Someone there?’

​Again, no reply. She feels her fingertips tingling, telling her something’s wrong. 

​The indicator light is not on – for some reason, the intercom isn’t working, at least from her side. ‘Something else to get fixed.’ 

She slides back the bolt which opens the door, allowing a chink of light in from the curved corridor outside, and puts her eye to the space to see who her caller is.

​She smiles in relief. 

‘Oh. Right … It’s, um, not a good time, all right?’ She is about to seal the door shut, and then she relents. ‘Oh, what the hell. Come in.’ She slides the bolt to release the door all the way. ‘Don’t mind the mess.’

​She is aware of how silly that sounds. She bends down to throw a handful of clothes away in her cupboard, and the outer door slides to behind her as her visitor enters the room.

​She hears the soft click as the door seals itself, and she straightens up.

​‘Right,’ she says to the newcomer, her voice flat and emotionless. ‘What can I do for you?’

​There is another click. 

​Something flashes in the dimness.

​Her expression freezes. Her jaw drops and her face drains of blood, unable to believe what she sees facing her. 

​She does not even have time to scream.

If this is something you think you might be interested in it can be bought here!

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#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – The Turkey Shed Gang by Ruth Young. – @ZooloosBT #RuthYoung @BlossomSpring3 #TheTurkeyShedGang #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for The Turkey Shed Gang by Ruth Young, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take par to and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 145

Synopsis: Joe had a bad day at school. Everything went wrong…

FIRSTLY, he had to read to the class and that was his worst nightmare, reading in front of everyone. THEN, he scored an own goal in football. LATER, after eating three chocolate eclairs at Gran’s house, she tells him about a raid in the bank this morning. The robbers had guns and monster masks! To Joe it sounded exciting, if only he could have been there too!

But his opinion soon changes when he realises the danger his Gran is now faced with. She shows him a bag full of money that she picked up by mistake, thinking it was her shopping after the raid. Joe decides the only thing to do to keep her safe is for them to go on the run. They must go before the police come to arrest her or worse still, the robbers find out she has their money. To add to his problems, Gran wants to take Mr Percival with them, a talking parrot she inherited from a neighbour.

A school boy, his gran and a parrot on the run, what could possibly go wrong?

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: this book was a lot of fun, a young boy on the run with his gran and a noisy inherited parrot.

Lots of laugh out loud moments, most of them provided by Mr Percival.. that’s the thing about a talking parrot, no one knows what they will come out with or when you can almost guarantee it will be at the wrong time.

There was a very serious undertone to this story, Joes dyslexia, Granny Sal’s memory, she seems to be forgetting things and losing her train of thought a lot. This was all done in a nice simple way that wouldn’t feel overwhelming or scary to the younger audience that this book is aimed towards.

I loved Joe so much, I just wanted to hug him. He was just trying to do his best for his gran even though he knew that what they we were doing wasn’t necessarily the right thing.

Being a girl from Yorkshire I really appreciated the fact that the cup of tea was the answer to everything for Granny Sal… a woman after my own heart.

The short chapters in this book would make it a book that would be easy for an independent reader to enjoy on their own.

And it’s one that I would definitely recommend.

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#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – I Won’t Let You Go by Cole Baxter – @ZooloosBT #ColeBaxter @inkubatorbooks #IWontLetYouGo #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for I won’t Let You Go by Cole Baxter, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos Book Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages:259

Synopsis: She’s trapped in a nightmare. But she can’t wake up.

Emily is devastated when she receives an anonymous note proving her long-term boyfriend has been cheating on her.

Determined to confront him, she tracks him to a seedy bar far off the highway and they have a massive row. As she storms out the door, she rejects a stranger named Daniel who tries to pick her up.

When she returns to her car, it won’t start. Even worse, her phone has no signal, and no way is she going back into the bar to ask her boyfriend for help.

Emily has no choice but to walk. As she trudges down the desolate highway, Daniel drives by and offers her a ride. She’s scared by his sudden reappearance and refuses him again.

But Daniel won’t take no for an answer. As Emily walks on, he keeps coming back and each time he is more threatening, more menacing. As this terrifying game of cat and mouse steadily escalates, Emily begins to wonder if she’ll ever get off this lonely road alive.

But who is Daniel really? And what does he know about Emily?

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: This book took me on a journey, Emily comes back from work to a note under the front door telling her her boyfriend is cheating on her – obviously she then goes into detective mode and finds him in a pub in a remote town a few miles away.

After confronting him and it all kicking off, she gets approached by someone else offering to buy her a drink.

What follows is a story that will truly have you on the edge of your seat with your heart in your throat.

There were times when reading this that I felt physically sick, urging Emily to either stay where she was or move quicker.

The first 80% of this story was so fast paced, the last 20% it slowed right down. I do think that it was needed though after all the twists and turns beforehand I needed to give myself a chance to calm down 🤣

I’ve never read a book by Cole before but this will definitely not be the last book of his that I read.

Highly recommend him to fans of a psychological thriller.

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#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski – @ZooloosBT @Borstinski #TheMensch #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for The Mensch by Leopold Borstinski, thank you to Zoé from Zooloos book tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 244

Synopsis: How can a crooked man ever go straight?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen settles down in Florida surrounded by his wife and family. But his past life in the criminal underworld stalks his every move and when a bullet whizzes past his ear, he must decide whether to run or fight.

In his desire to go straight, Alex inserts himself in the East Coast porn film industry, only to find that the tentacles of the mob are clasped tight around his life. With the Feds using new laws to hunt down mob bosses, and rats in his own organization all too ready to testify against him, Alex must clean house before the authorities throw him in jail or the mob kills him to stop him ratting them out.

The seventh book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which reveals the dying embers of Jewish organized crime in America. Leopold Borstinski’s crime fiction shines a light on the death of the old-style mob in an explosive finale.

My Review: no rating yet because being completely honest I haven’t actually finished the book yet, I’m hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow morning but I didn’t want to miss my stop.

The Mensch is book 7 in the Alex Cohen series and I have loved all of them.

In this one Alex has decided to tie up his loose ends and go straight, he’s getting too old for it all and feels it’s time to pass it on to his children. At least that’s what he’s saying. But as we all know actions speak louder than words.

And in true Alex fashion things are never that easy… he finds himself involved in something he never expected and someone ends up dead because of it..

I am thoroughly enjoying the book and can’t wait to see where the story goes, will Alex finally be able to enjoy a normal life with his wife?

I promise to come back and update my review once I have finished the book!

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#BLOGTOUR # EXTRACT – Lily’s Secret Inheritance by Kristin Harper – @KHarperAuthor @bookouture #LilysSecretInheritance #BooksOnTour

Today I’m on the tour for Lily’s Secret Inheritance by Kristin Harper, thank you to Sarah at Bookouture for organising it and inviting me to take part. And thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Firstly let me just apologise to the author that this is just an extract. Unfortunately after the loss of my dad I haven’t really been reading that much. But I promise I’ll get around to it as soon as I can.

Pages: 316

Synopsis: Turning off the winding coastal road and seeing the old farmhouse surrounded by cranberry vines ahead, Lily’s breath catches in her throat. It’s just how she remembers it. But pushing open the wooden front door for the first time in decades, it’s clear everything has changed…

When her estranged aunt Dahlia dies, single mother Lily Lindgren is surprised to inherit the family home and cranberry farm. Returning to Dune Island for the first time since Dahlia admitted to a terrible betrayal that shattered Lily’s trust in her family, she’s ready to sell up and finally create a stable future for her little boy. But her high-school crush and farm manager Jake Benson is determined to stop Lily’s plan…

After helping Dahlia turn part of the house into a local produce store, Jake shared her dream of making the cranberry farm a community hub for the island. His stories about Dahlia, and how much she had missed Lily all these years, make Lily question if she was wrong to never forgive her aunt. And when Jake joins her long walks over the sand dunes, there’s an undeniable spark… could a move to Dune Island be the key to her and her son’s happiness?

But then, clearing out Dahlia’s bedroom, Lily finds an old picture of Dahlia that stops her in her tracks. Just when she was making peace with Dahlia’s memory and learning to trust again, Lily’s heart is shattered to find she was keeping another secret. Can Lily trust Jake to tell her the painful truth—or will she run from Dune Island again for good?

An utterly beautiful beach read about family secrets, finding yourself, and learning the true meaning of home. Perfect for fans of Carolyn Brown, Barbara O’Neal and Mary Alice Monroe.

About The Author: Ever since she was a young girl, there were few things Kristin liked more than creative writing and spending time on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. Eventually (after a succession of jobs that bored her to tears), she found a way to combine those two passions by becoming a women’s fiction author whose stories occur in oceanside settings. While Kristin doesn’t live on the Cape year-round, she escapes to the beach whenever she can.

If you like the sound of this book it can be bought here!

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#BOOKTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – Island of Dreams by Harry Duffin – @ZooloosBT @Duffin26 #IslandOfDreams #ZooloosBookTours

Today I’m on the tour for Island of Dreams by Harry Duffin, thank you to Zoé at Zooloos book tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Synopsis:In May 1939, when Professor Carl Mueller, his wife, Esther, and their three children flee Nazi Germany, and find refuge on the paradise island of Cuba, they are all full of hopes and dreams for a safe and happy future.

But those dreams are shattered when Carl and Esther are confronted by a ghost from their past, and old betrayals return to haunt them.

The turbulent years of political corruption leading to Batista’s dictatorship, forces the older children to take very different paths to pursue their own dangerous dreams.

And – among the chaos and the conflict that finally leads to Castro’s revolution and victory in 1959, an unlikely love begins to grow – a love that threatens the whole family.

Having escaped a war-torn Europe, their Island of Dreams is to tear them apart forever.

About the Author: I am an award-winning British screenwriter, who was on the first writing team of the BBC’s EASTENDERS, and won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best TV serial for CORONATION STREET. I was Head of Development at Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment Group, producing seven major television series, including ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ starring Richard ‘John Boy’ Thomas, and ‘Twist in the Tale’, featuring William Shatner. I was co-creator of the UK Channel Five teen-cult drama series ‘THE TRIBE’, which ran for five series.

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#BOOKTOUR #REVIEW – The Forgotten Promise by Paula Greenlees – @ZooloosBT @PGreenlees @PenguinUkBooks #TheForgottenPromise #ZooloosBookTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for The Forgotten Promise by Paula Greenlees, for the eagle eyed of you you’ll notice that in posting 2 days late due to my own recent loss the death of the queen hit me harder than I ever imagined so I apologise for the delay! But thank you to Zoé at Zooloos book tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 502

Synopsis: Malaya, 1920: Two girls make a promise in the shadows of the jungle. A promise that life won’t let them easily keep.

Malaya, 1941: Ella is running her late father’s tin mine in the Kledang hills, while Noor works as her cook.
When the war that felt so far away suddenly arrives on their doorstep, Ella is torn apart from her family. Her daughter Grace is left in Noor’s care as Japanese soldiers seize the mine.

Ella is forced to make an impossible choice that takes her to England, thousands of miles from home. She is desperate to be reunited with her loved ones. But will the life she returns to be anything like the life she left behind?

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: I was expecting an emotional book, but this one hit me harder than I thought it would.

We’re following Ella, she has an amazing husband, 2 beautiful children and life seems pretty perfect, that is until her daughter become poorly, she’s sent away to a hospital away from home to protect the rest of the house..

It’s around that time that the devastation of WW2 hits Malaya and Ella is forced to flee her home with her baby boy, safe in the knowledge that her husband will get their daughter and meet them in Singapore. As you might guess things don’t quite go as we expect Ella ends up in England with Toby and has no news about the other half of her family for years.

This book was beautiful and heartbreaking. I wanted things to work out for Ella in the way she wanted them to.. but then on the other hand I was rooting for Noor too all whilst knowing that things couldn’t work out for both of them without the other one ending up hurt in some way.

The descriptions in this book were so vivid they it left me able to picture the things that were being described, a brilliant skill from an author but not always appreciated by the reader. Some of the things in this story will stay with me and haunt me for a while.

Historical fiction isn’t a genre I reach for often, but I’m glad I gave this one a chance & would urge all of you to do the same 🙂

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#BLOGTOUR #SPOTLIGHT – The Real Prime Suspect by Jackie Malton with Hèlène Mulholland – #TheRealPrimeSuspect @Thursley @Inmulholland @Octopus_Books #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours #prdgreads

Today I’m on the Tour for The Real Prime Suspect by Jackie Malton with Hélène Mulholland, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part.

Pages: 320

Synopsis: Jackie Malton was a no-nonsense girl from Leicestershire who joined the police force in the 1970s when women were kept apart from the men. Feisty and determined, Jackie worked in CID and the famous flying squad before rising to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police. In The Real Prime Suspect, Malton describes the struggles she faced as a gay woman in the Metropolitan Police, where sexism and homophobia were rife.

Jackie dealt with rapists, wife beaters, murderers, blackmailers and armed robbers but it was tackling the corruption in her own station that proved the most challenging. Ostracised and harassed by fellow officers furious that she reported the illegality of some colleagues, Malton used alcohol to curb her anxiety.

A chance meeting with writer Lynda La Plante five years later changed the course of her life. Together they worked on shaping Jane Tennison, one of TV’s most famous police characters, in the ground-breaking series Prime Suspect. Not long after, Malton recovered from alcoholism and now works as an AA volunteer in prison and as a TV consultant.

Jackie has spent her life working in crime. Now she’s ready to share her story.

About The Authors:

Jackie Malton was a police officer for twenty- eight years. During her career she worked in the drugs squad, CID, the flying squad (famously known as The Sweeney), fraud squad and as a hostage negotiator. She rose to become one of only three female detective chief inspectors in the Metropolitan Police.
Jackie has acted as an adviser on some of
the most successful British crime dramas, including Prime Suspect, The Bill, Cracker, Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Trial and Retribution and Murder Investigation Team. In 2019 she presented the documentary series, The Real Prime Suspect in which she revisited some of the most notorious murder cases. Most recently, she was interviewed for BBC 2’s documentary Bent Coppers: Crossing the Line of Duty; she appeared in Steve McQueen’s BAFTA-award-winning documentary Uprising about the New Cross Fire; and made a guest appearance on the new BBC Sounds podcast, Lady Killers with Lucy Worsley.
Jackie regularly gives talks on policing and currently volunteers in a male prison supporting offenders recovering from addiction.
Twitter: @thursley.


Hélène Mulholland has been a journalist for over twenty years and previously worked at
the Guardian as a political reporter. Hélène now works on a freelance basis. The Real Prime Suspect is her first book.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy the book can be bought here!

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#BLOGTOUR #REVIEW – A Gypsy In Auschwitz by Otto Rosenberg – @RandomTTours @Octopus_Books #AGypsyInAuschwitz #OttoRosenberg #prdgreads

Today I’m on the tour for A Gypsy In Auschwitz by Otto Rosenberg, thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for organising it and inviting me to take part and thank you to the author and the publisher for my copy.

Pages: 240

Synopsis: Otto Rosenberg is 9 and living in Berlin, poor but happy, when his family are first detained. All around them, Sinti and Roma families are being torn from their homes by Nazis , leaving behind schools, jobs, friends, and businesses to live in forced encampments outside the city. One by one, families are broken up, adults and children disappear or are ‘sent East’.

Otto arrives in Auschwitz aged 15 and is later transferred to Buechenwald and Bergen-Belsen. He works, scrounges food whenever he can, witnesses and suffers horrific violence and is driven close to death by illness more than once. Unbelievably, he also joins an armed revolt of prisoners who, facing the SS and certain death, refuse to back down. Somehow, through luck, sheer human will to live, or both, he survives.

The stories of Sinti and Roma suffering in Nazi Germany are all too often lost or untold. In this haunting account, Otto shares his story with a remarkable simplicity. Deeply moving, A Gypsy in Auschwitz is the incredible story of how a young Sinti boy miraculously survived the unimaginable darkness of the Holocaust.

My Rating: 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

My Thoughts: anything to do with The Holocaust absolutely fascinates me so when I was offered a spot on this tour I couldn’t say no.

This was a one sitting read for me, I just couldn’t put it down. Ottos story just took me over completely, the writing was so descriptive that I actually felt like I was in the middle of it, I could actually picture it as I was reading.

So many emotions and feelings packed into a book under 250 pages, some parts made me smile whilst other parts broke my heart and made me cry.

There were pictures interspersed within the book which added a more personal touch to the whole experience.

And can we just talk about the cover, it’s beautiful, pulls you in instantly and is just perfectly fitting for the book.

This isn’t an easy read, as you can imagine there are some horrific parts, but if you have any interest in the holocaust or Auschwitz then I can highly recommend this book to you.

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