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Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Review: Keep Her Safe

Keep Her Safe Keep Her Safe by Richard Jay Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My gosh, this was a humdinger of a read. It’s very gripping and pulls you right in.

If you are a Mother would you do anything for your child? Would you do anything to keep your child or even have your child returned to you if you murder someone first.

What if, that then dominos and someone else was in the same situation and now you are the target of another Mother whose child has been taken and she has to kill you to get her child back?

This is a remarkable edge of your seat read that will take you on a rollercoaster of rides where you land with a huge bang only for it to take off again, at full throttle.

Excellent read from Bloodhound books.
Secound book I’ve read by this author and again, I was not disappointed.

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Thursday, 21 December 2017

Review: The Captain's Disgraced Lady

The Captain's Disgraced Lady The Captain's Disgraced Lady by Catherine Tinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aw I didn’t know this was book 2 in the series so I kind of feel I’ve missed out.

I’ll base my review on this book impartially to that comment though.

I’ve not read an historical book for some time, so, it was refreshing to read something different. And what a finer book to throw myself into.

The first few pages certainly drew me in, now that is what I love. I love it when an author starts off and makes a book busy. It just entices you to read more and more.
Which I did.

I read this flying through it not realising I was almost sadly at the end.

Secrets. Family secrets, it’s in here. Harry and Julian. Lovely couple. Harry has secrets. His secrets under the surface of his happy-go-lucky exterior lies hidden depths left over from the war.

Julian’s Mother has kept a huge secret from her that will affect her immensely.

First time I’ve read a book by this author, definitely won’t be my last.





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Saturday, 16 December 2017

Review: The Orphan Girl: A gritty saga of triumph over adversity

The Orphan Girl: A gritty saga of triumph over adversity The Orphan Girl: A gritty saga of triumph over adversity by Lindsey Hutchinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story broke my heart.
Lily Rae who was in service was abused by the owners son.
She left, there was no alternative for her. Not an easy plight.

What followed Lily after through her life was so hard to bear for any woman. The strength and determination won out but not always easy.

The difficult times, the sad times, the resilience of not only Lily but her best friend too when a tragic circumstance happened and she had to make an awful decision.

Meanwhile wherever Lily went Seb, who abused her, wasn’t far behind. He was obsessed.

There are so many different interwoven characters with superbly written lives weaving around Lily that I really found it hard to put this book down.

Stan......Stan the man. If you read this book, you will grow to love him as much as I did.

There’s a scene in this book where he goes outside and cries.
I was bawling my eyes out with him, I kid you not.

Wonderfully written, absorbing family drama that just pulls you in amongst it all.

Thank you to Zaria via Net Galley for my copy



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Review: Greco's Game

Greco's Game Greco's Game by James Houston Turner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not really into spy thrillers or KGB. So why am I mentioning this? Because I had preconceived ideas which told me, never to shy away from a book assuming you may not enjoy it, because I really enjoyed this. It’s what I would term a “light” spy. If there is such a thing.

You quickly get right into the mix of this story.

Talanov’s wife is brutally murdered right in front of his eyes.
But that bullet wasn’t meant for her, it was meant for him so Talanov believes. Could he be right?

I didn’t realise that the title Greco’s Game was really a chess game in the early 1600 which has great significance to this story. Except it’s not chess pieces they play with, it’s humans.

We follow Talanov’s journey and where it all leads as he’s trying to find out, who killed his wife.

This book needs more recognition, it’s superbly written.

I for one enjoyed it and that’s me who don’t read spy thrillers!

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Review: What She Left

What She Left What She Left by Rosie Fiore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If it wasn’t near Christmas time I’m sure I would have flown through this book.

I have really enjoyed my journey in this great read. To some readers it may seem slow to start, or they may get fed up of waiting to hear what happened to Helen.

Sam is married to his second wife Helen. He has two girls from his previous marriage. Unfortunately his first wife died.

Five years Sam and Helen have been together. She cooks, cleans, sorts etc to perfection.
Sam works full time.

To all and purposes this family unit seems to be settled and comfortable.

One day Helen ups and leaves.
She’s not murdered or kidnapped.

She walks out on her husband and daughters who she adores.
But why?

Sam reports her missing.

Helen is found alive and well but wants no contact.

I found Sam annoying at times and self centred when he should have helped his daughters cope.

The chapters alternate between Sam, Helen, his older daughter and Laura.

When I got the insight to how his daughter was feeling I wanted to shake Sam, he should have made more time to talk with them and listen.

Tim, Sams brother seemed to be his rock. It didn’t appear that way at times, but he was.

A father trying to hold down a job, see to his daughters, take them to school and clean house was way too much for Sam. He often found his head in a bottle.

When we got to over halfway through this book we learn more about Helen in a surprising way which puts an entirely new slant on Helen.

At the end of this read yes, I had a lump in my throat.

I was torn.

Unhappy for Sam and his girls but he was moving towards the light.
Helen, I was sad, but part of me was happy too.

The epilogue blew my mind.

What a fantastic book.

Thank you Atlantic books for surprising me in the post with this one.

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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW by Faith Hogan.

THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW by Faith Hogan.


About the book
A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.
Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn't be more different.
Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.
By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.
It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.
Bio Faith Hogan
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland.  She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.  She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Faith Hogan Contact:
Twitter (her favourite) https://twitter.com/GerHogan

Links to Buy:
AMAZON
https://www.amazon.co.uk/GIRL-I-USED-KNOW/dp/1786692864/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513116322&sr=1-1&keywords=the+girl+i+used+to+know




This is based around a four storey Georgian house in a lovely Dublin square.
The women I meet very soon become part of my “life” as the author makes them 3D almost immediately and you cannot help but feel connected to all of them.

Amanda and Richard King purchase this house but it has a sitting tenant named Tess. They think they can eventually get her to move on. But it’s not the case.

Amanda and Richard being owners occupy the top three storeys with they’re children. 

Amanda seems to have it all, if you were looking on, you would feel that way too. 

Tess who lives in the basement is a lonely lady, but in some ways she’s brought this upon herself, but I did fully understand how and why.
Tess trips over Amanda’s cat one day and ends up at the hospital. 
It’s her wake up call on her health.

Amanda is a 45 year old woman who appears down trodden by Richard her husband.
They have everything. Money, comfortable style and she’s in with a coffee morning with the elite husbands.

A wake up call comes to Amanda one day in the detail of a flavoured condom.

Both women separately start to take stock of their lives. 
Amanda and Tess roads cross at times but in opposite directions.

A cat has a hand in bringing these two women together where they find they have lots in common.

I love how the chapters went back in time so we could see and get a rounded picture on the past.
What was Tess life like when she was younger.
What was her home life like.
Did she have a family.
Why is she alone.
Did or can she ever find happiness.

The chapters had date headings so it was easy to follow.
They were short and crisp so I found myself flipping through this read faster than I thought.

Carlos.......hmmmmmm lush.

It’s a fab “curl up book” that takes the reader on several surprises.

This read was much more than I expected, it was full bodied and had hidden gems.


My thanks to Aria for my copy via Net Galley

East End Angels .ROSIE HENDRY

Meet The East End Angels, the newest members of Station Seventy-Five’s ambulance crew – when the war arrives, only true friendship will see them through

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East End Angels .ROSIE HENDRY

Published 14th December 2017
Paperback Original | £6.99



Strong-willed Winnie loves being part of the crew at Station Seventy-Five but her parents are less than happy. She has managed to avoid their pleas to join the WRENS so far but when a tragedy hits too close to home she finds herself wondering if she’s cut out for this life after all.
Former housemaid Bella was forced to leave the place she loved when she lost it all and it’s taken her a while to find somewhere else to call home. She’s finally starting to build a new life but when the air raids begin, it seems she may have to start over once again.
East-Ender Frankie’s sense of loyalty keeps her tied to home so it’s not easy for her to stay focused at work. With her head and heart pulling in different directions, will she find the strength to come through for her friends when they need her the most?
Brought together at LAAS Station Seventy-Five in London’s East End during 1940, these three very different women soon realise that they’ll need each other if they’re to get through the days ahead. But can the ties of friendship, love and family all remain unbroken?




Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband and two children. East End Angels is the first book in her uplifting and heart-warming saga series that follows the lives and loves of Winnie, Frankie and Bella, who all work for the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service (LAAS) during the Blitz. Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she loves researching further, searching out gems of real life events which inspire her writing. Keep up-to-date with Rosie by following her on Twitter (@hendry_rosie), becoming her friend on Facebook (rosie.hendry.94) or reading her blog (rosiehendry.blogspot.co.uk).





This is the first in a series. We meet the East End Angels who are members of Station Seventy Five Ambulance Crew..
We meet Winnie.
She comes across very strong willed, knows her own mind and where she is going with her life.

She loves being part of the ambulance crew, one of the Angels.

Winnie's parents are not happy that she is doing this job and would much prefer her to join the WRENS.

Bella, a former housemaid had to leave her job due to a [no spoilers] and is pretty down in the mouth about this.
She loved her housemaid job.

Based around the 1940's its a very thoughtful read that makes you think about life back then.

Frankie is the third female in this story, this crew member.
Shes an East End girl and her loyalties lie at home. Its very difficult for her to stay focused on her job.

Each one of these East End Angels come from different backgrounds, different emotions and hope for the future. But can they bond they're relationship.
Can each one help each other to cope.
Can their families cope together as the ultimate happens. 

There are some really tragic moments, and one day when the air raids start, what then?
Each women's background knit together to make a beautiful and satisfying read. 

It made me reflect on what people had to go through back then. Life is very precious, sometimes we take that for granted. 

My thanks to Little Brown book group UK for my copy

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Review: A Redwall Winter's Tale

A Redwall Winter's Tale A Redwall Winter's Tale by Brian Jacques
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a few years old now. 2013 maybe?

But I picked this up in a pound store. The cover caught my eye. I only flicked through it quickly because I recognised the cover.
Thought no more of it until I was unpacking my purchases then I sat to look at this more closely.
The illustrations in this edition are awesome.

They say “ a picture tells a thousand words” it’s definitely true in this instance.

I’m glad I picked it up for only £1

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Review: Knitting Scarves: The Easy Way (Scarf Knitting Patterns)

Knitting Scarves: The Easy Way (Scarf Knitting Patterns) Knitting Scarves: The Easy Way (Scarf Knitting Patterns) by Chloe Thompson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wouldn’t aim this as a beginner type pattern book although scarves are fairly easy to knit.
It would be complicated if you didn’t already know the basics.

But it’s pretty basic and gives you most of the help to get started.

Not the best book I’ve found for beginners though.

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Review: The Elegant Knitter: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Results

The Elegant Knitter: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Results The Elegant Knitter: Simple Techniques for Beautiful Results by Gina Macris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book.
Great patterns.

But there are only 2 I’d personally need.
The 2 dog patterns.

I could however adapt the learnt patterns to other projects.

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Review: Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off

Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off by Gina Macris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not a beginner knitter but if I was I find this hard to follow.
With You Tube having so many excellent knitting channels as a beginner you can do no wrong by using visual aides secondary to an actual person sat beside you teaching you.

I didn’t think this was a good guide at all

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Review: Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off

Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off Get Knitting!: From Casting On to Binding Off by Gina Macris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



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Review: A Woollyful Christmas

A Woollyful Christmas A Woollyful Christmas by Kerry Lucas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Knitting up characters is fun. But so much fun with patterns.

This lady knows how to make things easy and it’s that easy you can adapt the colours in each section to allow for the knitters tastes in colour and style.

This is the first book I’ve followed knitting characters. I found it so simple to follow and the results were fab

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Review: Knitted Baby Mitts

Knitted Baby Mitts Knitted Baby Mitts by Sian Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are 20 different mittens in this guide.
The patterns are easy laid out and extremely easy to follow.

They age range from 0-12months.
I find them lovely gifts to knit up for new moms and also for baby hospitals.

Highly recommended

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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Review: The End of Lies

The End of Lies The End of Lies by Andrew Barrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a brilliant thought out plot that keeps getting stronger as you read.
It really kept my attention.

It’s got a super start to it that immediately grabs you.

There’s something dodgy and dangerous that Beckys husband Chris wants to get involved in that would make tons of money but he’s half in half about the deal. Then Becky has thoughts on it. But Chris says it’s better if she doesn’t know things.

She arrives home one day only to find her husband Chris laying dead on the floor.who did this? Her grief is apparently clear.

But tables turn where Chris has unbeknown left her a terrible legacy and she’s only seven days to solve it.

She has to take his place.

It’s count down.
The timers on.
Tick

Anxiety
Tension
Cold sweats
Edge of seat
Biting your nails

And that’s only the reader!

Very cleverly done

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

The Other Mother




Book Description:


Three troubled women. One deadly secret.

Lissy and her daughter, Rosie, live a quiet life in Yorkshire, however when events at Rosie’s school come to light, their peaceful existence is shattered.

Meanwhile, middle-aged women Erica and Beverley appear to have perfect lives but behind closed doors things are not as they seem.

All three women are tied together by a dark past that goes back to their school days. A child was murdered and one of the women is to blame.

But is the person responsible for the child’s death the same person who was blamed for it all those years ago?

As secrets from their past begin to surface it becomes clear that someone has revenge in their sights...


We have three remarkable women in this story that sure stand out, and all for different reasons, good or bad.

Something happened years ago when Lissy was younger, much younger. She now has a daughter of her own, Rosie.

Lissy has moved around a bit and Rosie is now at at new school.
But Rosie keeps getting into trouble. 
Money going missing.
Bullying
Lissy can’t believe this of her daughter.

Then there is Erica. She seems to have the ideal life.

Beverley who seems to be getting on nicely with her life.

But the plot thickens. Something ties these three women together. Their past.
Murder.

I have to say that at the beginning I was working my brain in overdrive trying to keep up with the dates and times on each chapter. I managed it, and at 30% of my way through my brain clicked into place.

I found this to be a fab thriller, trying to work out what was what then the penny dropped and I was “aha”
You know when you get that light bulb moment and all the lights come on? That was me.

Great read. 

I would definitely recommend this if you love a good thriller/crime.

Thank you to Bloodhounds who provided me with a copy.

Author Bio:

Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.
After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.
J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.

Links:



Sunday, 3 December 2017

Review: The Shock: A disturbing thriller for fans of Jeffery Deaver

The Shock: A disturbing thriller for fans of Jeffery Deaver The Shock: A disturbing thriller for fans of Jeffery Deaver by Marc Raabe
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I hate this when this happens. I really wanted to love this book, I think its only the 2nd book this year that has a low rating from me, I don't like it, its not something I take pleasure in at all.

The story was fairly slow moving but I stuck through it, I read it until the end even though I had to read other books in between. Its taken me an entire month to get through.

The plot was a good plot, but it lost its directive in many places which frustrated the hell out of me and got me tearing my hair out to find some positives within this story.

I thank the publishers Bonnier Zaffre and the author who I will give another try in the future.

The book cover was fab.


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Beginnings - 1 Day Blitz

Beginnings





Beginnings
Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.
Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.
Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.
Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?
Purchase on Amazon - http://apn.to/prod/B0078L8858


Author Bio –
Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of Sussex with her husband. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series 'Same Face Different Place' in 2011. Her first book 'Beginnings,' set in 1970s London, combines romantic suspense with a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller. Writing is something she juggles around family and social life. Helen is self employed and enjoys running the web design company, she and her husband set up from home. They have no children but enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a fluffy white cat. Helen confesses to have got most of her ideas for writing, whilst walking Barney along the beach.
Social Media Links –

The Liverpool Girls by Pam Howes - Blog Blitz



UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ http://amzn.to/2w8yvNN 
US πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ http://amzn.to/2xxUVrY

Will tragedy tear them apart – once and for all?


It’s 1966 and in Liverpool two sisters are about to have their lives turned upside down…

Sisters Carol and Jackie haven’t had the easiest of childhoods, but as they grow up and begin their own lives both hope for happier times ahead. Stylish Carol works in Lewis’s department store, while Jackie dreams of drama school, and a career on the stage.

But the sisters are heartbroken when they discover they have been dating the same man, and an unexpected pregnancy causes a rift between them. Parents Dora and Joe must overcome their past hurts and help their daughters, despite the meddling of Joe’s second wife Ivy.

As the sisters’ troubles spiral and difficult decisions must be made, can the family pull together – or will Jackie and Carol’s sisterly bond be destroyed forever?

The Liverpool Girls is a heart-breaking and compelling story of family, loss and love. Perfect for fans of Annie Groves, Anne Baker and Kitty Neale.




It’s 1966 and Dora’s and joes girls have grown up.

It’s book 3 in the series. Joe and Dora’s lives moved on.

Carol has grown into a stylish modern young woman who works for the big department store Lewis’s.
She still lives with her father, who is now married to Ivy while Jackie lives with her mom. 

Carol wants a life on the stage and is focusing on getting into drama school.


Things in this book turn ugly for the sisters when Carol is dating Alex and Jackie is dating Sandy.

One day on a sisters meet up where Jackie wants to introduce her fella, Carol is shocked and astounded (to say the least) when “Alex” her man turns out to Sandy!

Yes both were unbeknown dating the same man. 
No wonder Carol found him distant and stand offish lately.

But Carol is pregnant and Joe soon finds out he needs to marry Carol to “make an honest woman” of her.

Remember this is in 1950s and 1960s so very ostracising for women back then. People frowned and looked down on unwed moms and their families.

Joe doesn’t love Carol.
They never live together.

The emotional upheaval, the heart wrenching decisions would tear anyone’s eyes up. So reach for your tissues.

It’s a heartbreakingly fab read.


My thanks to Bookoutour via Net Galley for my copy



About the author: 

Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is a retired Interior Designer who began writing seriously in the mid nineties. The idea for her first novel, set in the sixties, was inspired by her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. That first novel evolved into a series set in the fictional town of Pickford, based on her home town of Stockport. Three Steps to Heaven; 'Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That'll Be The Day, follow the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock'n'Roll band The Raiders. Pam is a big fan of sixties music and it's this love that compelled her to write the series. A stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin' Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. A new series of Fairground Romances, set in the sixties, begins with Cathy's Clown, to be followed by Ruby Tuesday early 2016. Pam is mum to three adult daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren, and roadie to one musician partner. She still lives in Cheshire and is currently involved in raising awareness of her home-town's musical heritage with campaigns to have Blue Plaques erected on the walls of local clubs, The Manor Lounge and The Sinking Ship, where the likes of The Walker Brother's, The Who and Jimi Hendrix played; now closed, but still firmly in the hearts of Stockport's recycled teenagers.  
Pam recently signed a contract with the award winning publisher Bookouture and the first novel in her new trilogy, The Lost Daughter of Liverpool, will be on sale in February 2017
All books are available in Kindle format, paperback, and Fast Movin' Train is also available as an audio book. 
And Twitter @PamHowes1