Blog Tour! Review of The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse ~ #TheLongForgotten #BlogTour #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours, Uncategorized

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Long Forgotten by David Whitehouse!



The Long Forgotten Cover Image

The Long Forgotten


David Whitehouse



When the black box flight recorder of a plane that went missing 30 years ago is found at the bottom of the sea, a young man named Dove begins to remember a past that isn’t his. The memories belong to a rare flower hunter in 1980s New York, whose search led him around the world and ended in tragedy.
Restless and lonely in present-day London, Dove is quickly consumed by the memories, which might just hold the key to the mystery of his own identity and what happened to the passengers on that doomed flight, The Long Forgotten.
The Long Forgotten is a thrilling mystery about memory and identity from David Whitehouse, the award-winning author of Bed and Mobile Library.





review picture


My Review:




Dove Gale was an orphan, left on a doorstep in a moses basket, abandoned by his parents. As a young boy he was taken in by Maud and Len, an elderly couple who bestowed on him an unlimited source of love, kindness and care. They soothed his restless mind and tamed the anger and fear he felt at being abandoned once more. They loved him, taught him and welcomed him into their shared world. And in Len and Maud, he found a mother and a father. Now Dove is an emergency services control room operator, answering the calls from a multitude of panicked voices. But despite so many conversations and a room full of people, he is lonely. The days are black with feelings of grief and solitude. When he begins to recollect memories that are not and never have been his own, Dove is plunged into the past of a 1980s American flower-hunter by the name of Peter Manyweathers, who lived a mysterious and truly unforgettable life.

David Whitehouse depicts things as simple as a room, a face, or even a flower with such power and colour, it is impossible from the first word not to fall in love with his bewitching prose. I read this from cover to cover, enveloped in what has been a scintillating story, brimming with rich characters and intriguing places. From America to Sumatra to Chile, The Long Forgotten spans a lifetime and transports the reader under the wing of an endearing explorer to some of the most exotic locations. I felt as if I was by Peter Manyweathers’ side all throughout. He is such a fantastic character. Sweet, intelligent and very endearing.

After reading this, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the flowers mentioned in this book. If you look up a few, you can really see how beautifully David Whitehouse has described them. It’s almost hard to imagine that these wonders exist in some far off place when just outside sits the ordinary flowers we keep in our plant pots. I’ve popped a picture below of a flower called the corpse flower, which can grow up to eight feet, so you can see what I mean. It’s remarkable! And I really enjoyed reading snippets about them in this book. Just one more thing I loved about it!

The Long Forgotten is a bewitching novel about love, loneliness, identity and discovery. It’s will jolt you with a shock of profound fascination and leave you meditating about the significance of time and the power of memory. I loved this book and hope to be devouring David Whitehouse’s next book very soon! Wonderful!

Intriguing. Emotional. Superb.





corpse flower





To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About David Whitehouse


David Whitehouse Author Picture


I have written three novels. The first, BED, was published in 2011 by Canongate in the UK and Scribner in the US.  It won The Betty Trask Prize 2012. The movie rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Film 4.
The second, MOBILE LIBRARY, was published in January 2015 by Picador in the UK and Scribner in the US. It won the Jerwood Fiction Prize 2015 and the TV rights were optioned by Duck Soup and Channel 4.
The third, THE LONG FORGOTTEN, will be published by Picador in March 2018.
I currently have a number of TV projects in development.
I have written for lots of newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Esquire, The Times, The Observer Magazine, Sunday Times Style and many more. I’ve won awards for journalism from The Times, The Evening Standard, the PPA and the PTC. I am the Editor-at-Large of ShortList magazine.
Twitter: @d_whitehouse






Follow the lovely bloggers on #TheLongForgotten blog tour!


The Long Forgotten Blog Tour Poster





long forgottenlong forgotten 1

Huge thanks to Emma Finnigan, Anne Cater at #RandomThingsTours and Picador Books for my review copy and the blog tour invite!



Steve Marking with Bitter ~ Behind the Design Feature #BitterBook #BehindTheDesign #BookCoverDesign

Behind the Design

behind the design

Behind the Design



“The Behind the Design feature follows the very best of book cover designers and explores the inspiration behind their latest creations, the process behind the designs and the quest to find the perfect book covers. Book covers entice us over in a bookshop, they’re the spark of intrigue or fluttering of wonder that invite us to discover the world inside the words. To highlight some of these covers and their extraordinarily talented creators, I thought I’d launch a feature that will take a look at the process behind the design. I hope you enjoy it!”




Welcome to the second post in my brand new feature! I’m thrilled to have the lovely Steve Marking on the blog today, who will be talking about the cover for Bitter By Francesca Jakobi, published by W&N. Steve is a London-based graphic designer, who has spent ten years as Art Director for the Weidenfeld & Nicolson imprint at Orion Books. In this post, we’ll find out more about that striking red cover and its talented designer. I loved reading Steve’s piece about this design because this is one of the most stunning covers I’ve seen!






Designing the cover for Bitter


Steve Marking


Bitter by Fancesca Jakobi is a powerful debut novel set between Germany and London in the 1940s and ’60s. It tells the story of Gilda, a woman consumed by the mistakes of her past and desperate to reconnect with the son she abandoned as a young boy. Gilda is obsessive and manipulative – and for the cover, we wanted a strong, confident package to suggest a creeping atmosphere of dread that also reflected the period. I wanted to get across the idea of someone being watched and followed, while maintaining a literary feel. It had to be eye-catching and intriguing.

I came up with the first design quite quickly – a ’60s-style cover featuring simple eye illustrations and broken-up type to give it a slightly menacing feel. Although this design was quite striking, we did have some reservations about it being right for the market. It felt a little too much like a thriller, and we wanted a look that was warmer and more personal, a cover that hinted at Gilda’s complex emotions – her bitterness but also her vulnerability – that would connect more with a female, literary audience.

We decided it should be a photographic cover rather than illustrated, so I began searching for the right image – a woman, with a sense of danger or menace, either being watched or followed. After trying a few images that didn’t quite work, I found a perfect image of a woman looking through a window on Arcangel Images. I cropped the image, concealing much of the woman’s face, as I wanted her age to be ambiguous so that she could be seen as Gilda or her daughter-in-law, either the one watching or the one being watched.

I added the corrugated glass effect in Photoshop. It was a good way to add some mystery and a sense of danger, and it also helped to place the image in the period. The lettering is simple with a slight ’60s feel, and although placed behind the ‘glass’, it’s still bold and legible.

I’m very happy with the result. It feels classy, approachable and full of intrigue. It hints at the themes of the book without giving too much away. And more importantly, everyone seems to love her shade of lipstick.




These are some of Steve’s early designs (as mentioned above)








And here is the finished design (Love the lipstick!)






About Steve Marking:


steve marking


I am a London-based graphic designer and art director specializing in book design. I have worked in-house at Penguin Books and Orion Books, and previously as an art director in magazine publishing. I have been designing and art directing book covers since 2001, and have spent ten years as Art Director for the Weidenfeld & Nicolson imprint at Orion Books.

You can find more about Steve via his






Below are just a few of Steve’s remarkable cover designs!



This slideshow requires JavaScript.



To purchase a copy of Bitter, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About Bitter




It’s 1969, and while the summer of love lingers in London, Gilda is consumed by the mistakes of her past. She walked out on her beloved son Reuben when he was just a boy and fears he’ll never forgive her. Yet she hopes desperately they can mend their shattered relationship.

When Reuben marries a petite blonde gentile, Gilda takes it as the ultimate rejection. Her cold, distant son seems transformed by love – a love she’s craved his entire adult life. What does his new wife have that she doesn’t? It’s an obsession that will bring shocking truths about the past to light . . .

Bitter is a beautiful and devastating novel about the decisions that define our lives, the fragility of love and the bond between mother and son.


You can find my review of Bitter here!





About Francesca Jakobi:



Francesca studied psychology at the University of Sussex, followed by a stint teaching English in Turkey and the Czech Republic. On returning to her native London she got a job as a reporter on a local paper and has worked in journalism ever since. She’s currently a layout editor at the Financial Times.

Bitter is her first novel, inspired by her grandmother who was sued for divorce in the 1940s.

Find her on Twitter





That’s it! I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the process behind the design as much as I have! Huge thank you to Steve Marking for appearing on my blog with his wonderful piece!

Keep an eye out for more posts in this feature soon!



If you’re a book cover designer and you’d like to be involved in my new feature please drop me a line at! I’d love to hear from you!



behind the design

From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan ~ #LowAndQuiet #BookReview #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my revew of this fabulous book by Donal Ryan!


From A Low And Quiet Sea Cover


From a Low and Quiet Sea


Donal Ryan


‘Can you imagine how that would be? If a tree is starving, its neighbours will send it food. No one really knows how this can be, but it is. Nutrients will travel in the tunnel made of fungus from the roots of a healthy tree to its starving neighbour, even one of a different species. Trees live, like you and me , long lives, and they know things. They know the rule, the only one that’s real and must be kept. What’s the rule? You know. I’ve told you lots of times before. Be kind.’

From a Low and Quiet Sea is Donal Ryan’s most expansive book to date, partially set in Syria and partially in the familiar territory of rural Ireland.
Farouk’s country has been torn apart by war.
Lampy’s heart has been laid waste by Chloe.
John’s past torments him as he nears his end.
The refugee. The dreamer. The penitent. From war-torn Syria to small-town Ireland, three
men, scarred by all they have loved and lost, are searching for some version of home.
Each is drawn towards a powerful reckoning, one that will bring them together in the most
unexpected of ways.






review picture



From a Low and Quiet Sea is a story of three very different men. Farouk is fleeing a war-torn country with the haze of distruction and death in his wake, seeking salvation for his wife and daughter and nurturing the hope of a better future for them all somewhere new.

Lampy is recovering from a broken heart, his thoughts continuously returning to Chloe, the girl he loved with all his heart and who he was certain reciprocated his feelings. Struggling with the coldness of her sudden departure from their relationship, Lampy harbours a dream of becoming more than he is, of a life and home that is more than it is now.

John is clinging to the edges of life, troubled by his past and the things he has done. From the heat and sand of Syria to the small-town world of Ireland, runs three stories that converge in a way that is both heartbreaking and dazzling.


This book will resonate with the reader in a mutlitude of ways. Donal Ryan’s extraordanary story encapsulates the varying shades of greif, loss, hope and love with a profound depth. It will break you, then delicately rebuild you, it will shock you and dazzle you because here is an author who can perfectly portray what we all feel but can seldom put into words so beautifully. The poetic, poignant prose of Donal Ryan’s will wrap itself from your heart. It’s stunning!


This book is about three men and the way their lives come together. But it’s about so much more. It’s about heartbreak and hope, loss and love, sadness and survival. And it’s power is deeply affecting. I was awash with emotion reading this book. And I still can’t quite stop myself from thinking about it now, days later.


From a Low and Quiet Sea is such a beautiful, beautiful book! If you’ve yet to discover this amazing author, I urge you to run to the bookshop and find this book. It’s remarkable!


Moving. Poignant. Captivating.



To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK


Book Depository




About Donal Ryan



Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first three novels, The Spinning Heart, The Thing About December and All We Shall Know, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, and was recently voted ‘Irish Book of the Decade’. His fourth novel, From a Low and Quiet Sea, will be published in March 2018. A former civil servant, Donal lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.


Follow the lovely bloggers on the #LowAndQuiet blog tour!



From A Low & Quiet Sea Blog Tour Poster




Huge thanks to Sophie Christopher & Anne Cater for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Good Friday by Lynda La Plante ~ #BookReview #GoodFriday #LyndaLaPlante

Book Reviews

good friday

Good Friday


Lynda La Plante


Every legend has a beginning . . .

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force?




review picture

My Review:



Jane Tennison is embracing a new phase of life. She has moved into her very own flat a stone’s throw from Regent’s Park and her new role in the Dip Squad comes with the possibility of a promotion in a mere six months’ time. Buoyed by her independence and the challenges given by her new team, Jane is on her way to court when a bomb goes off at Covent Garden tube station, killing several people and wounding even more. She jumps into action, aiding the victims amid the downpour of blood and debris and the shrieks of so many frightened souls. As the tousle between life and death ensues around her, Jane’s mind is filled with thoughts of the bomber, a man whose face she fleetingly saw seconds before the blast.


As Jane, a key witness, is thrust into the eye of the media at a press conference, her safety is put even further at risk. With the possibility of more IRA attacks soon, the investigation to unmask those responsible proves to be a road littered with risks and danger. And at the centre of it is Jane, who is just starting out in her new role, tenacious and honest.


All the way through this book, Jane battles the prejudice and sexism from her colleagues in what is predominantly considered a ‘man’s job’. But Jane, despite being new to it, combats this with her intelligence, skill and passion for the job. She’s such a fabulous character! This book casts a new light on her as a character. A new side that really draws you in!


Lynda la Plante’s every word is soaked in suspense. I read Good Friday whilst I was snowed in, curled up on the sofa with my puppy and cup of tea. And I loved it! Fast-paced and thrilling, this is a book you’ll enjoy whether you’re new to Lynda la Plante’s books or you’re a long-time fan! It’s wonderful!

Pacy. Gripping. Brilliant.


To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository


About Lynda La Plante




Lynda La Plante was born in Liverpool. She trained for the stage at RADA and worked with the National Theatre and RDC before becoming a television actress. She then turned to writing – and made her breakthrough with the phenomenally successful TV series WIDOWS.

Her novels have all been international bestsellers. Her original script for the much-acclaimed PRIME SUSPECT won awards from BAFTA, Emmys, British Broadcasting and Royal Television Society as well as the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Writer’s Award.

Since 1993 Lynda has spearheaded La Plante Productions. In that time the company has produced a stunning slate of innovative dramas with proven success and enduring international appeal.

Based on Lynda’s best selling series of Anna Travis novels, Above Suspicion, Silent Scream, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream have all adapted into TV scripts and received impressive viewing figures.

Lynda has been made honorary fellow of the British Film Institute and was awarded the BAFTA Dennis Potter Writer’s Award 2000.

On 14th June 2008 Lynda was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List (Writer and Producer for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity).

On 3rd October 2009, Lynda was honoured at the Cologne Conference International Film and Television Festival with the prestigious TV Spielfilm Award for her television adaptation of her novel, Above Suspicion.

Books penned by Lynda La Plante include: The Legacy, The Talisman, Bella Mafia, Entwined, Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood, Cold Heart, Sleeping Cruelty, Royal Flush, Above Suspicion, The Red Dahlia, Clean Cut, Deadly Intent and Silent Scream, Blind Fury (this entered the UK Sunday Times Bestsellers List at number 1 having sold 9,500 copies in its first two weeks), Blood Line, Backlash, Wrongful Death, and Twisted, which have all been international best-sellers.

In Feb 2012 Lynda’s chilling tale of THE LITTLE ONE was published in conjunction with Quick Reads through Simon & Schuster UK.

Lynda’s latest book, Tennison, was published on 24th September 2015 and is the prequel the highly acclaimed Prime Suspect. The story charts Jane Tennison’s entry into the police force as a 22 year old Probationary Officer at Hackney Police Station in 1973.

Lynda La Plante is published in the UK by Simon & Schuster.
Lynda La Plante is published in the US by HarperCollins Publishers.

Please visit for further information. You can also follow Lynda on Facebook and Twitter.






Huge thanks to Annabelle Wright, ED PR and Bonner Zaffre for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Extract from The Love Factory by Elaine Proctor #TheLoveFactory #BlogTour #Extract




The Love Factory


Elaine Proctor



Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share a fabulous extract from The Love Factory by Elaine Proctor. But first here is a little more about the book and its lovely authors!



About the book:



Anna is a writer whose small but perfectly formed novels sell zip. When she falls on hard times and tries her hand at erotic fiction, she faces an uncomfortable truth. Though she’s a wife and mother of two, her stories fail to fly because she’s never experienced true sexual desire. Even her Sicilian grandmother – wearer of diamante sunglasses and knock-off Louis Vuitton – knows more than she does about true passion.

A romance-writing workshop doesn’t help, so Anna turns to her friends for inspiration. As secrets and desires are revealed, Anna discovers more about the people close to her than she ever knew. When Cordelia, a romance-writing classmate, suggests she borrows an alter ego to banish her inhibitions, a new world opens up to Anna and The Love Factory – a group of writers penning ever more successful sexy stories – is born.

And yet Anna knows that she can’t rely on borrowed passion and an alter ego forever. For her tales to truly sizzle, she needs to find a proper love of her own.



About the author:





Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She became involved in the anti-apartheid movement as a teenager and filmed several political documentaries up until 1986, when the political situation made it impossible for her to continue and she left to study at the National Film and Television School in Britain. She has made several films, including On The Wire (winner of the British Film Institute’s Sutherland Trophy) and Friends (selected by the Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Mention Speciale – Prix de Camera D’Or), has written a series for the BBC and published two novels, Rhumba and The Savage Hour. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen’s Park, London.



And now for the fabulous extract!

extract 1





Chapter One


Anna sat up in her bed warmth and waited for her natural impatience to tip her towards the waiting day.
She slid from under the bedcovers so quietly that the harghgggg-p-p-p-whooshnrrrr of her husband’s snoring continued without the slightest increase in pitch or rhythm. Then she ran lightly down the stairs with Liebe, her hunting dog, at her heels.
If she’d known what turmoil the day was to bring she might’ve slowed her pace, but unlike some in her family, Anna was not burdened with prescience.
She pulled open the kitchen door and sucked in a lungful of frosty air; she smelled the city in it and the liquid green of the underground stream at the bottom of her garden.
As she breathed in she whispered to herself, ‘I am,’ and, as if willing it would make it so, she said, ‘at peace.’
There was fox scat on the stonework; the big male must the love factory have passed by in the night. She heard the distant sound of the early train.
Liebe scratched at the gate at the far end of the garden, her pied orange and white body luminous in the dark day.
‘Coming,’ called Anna softly.
The dog and her owner both loved the unruly allotments that ran along the edge of the railway line behind the house, each small garden tended according to their owners’ fancy; some grew flowers, others, like Anna, vegetables. Most started off every spring with a burst of enthusiasm and then let their beds fade to nothing by late summer. Only a few managed to keep something alive through the cold.
Just about all the families on Carlyle Road had a strip of earth to tend here. Anna liked to think it brought them closer together but, in truth, it was the two tornados that had twice torn the roofs off their houses that had made them allies. If past storm patterns continued, they were about due for another.
The grind of a sash window opening disturbed the darkness of the house next door. Anna saw a young man, pale-skinned and lanky, flip over the sill and onto the frozen grass. Liebe stiffened into pointer bird-hunting-alert.
The intruder turned back to the window . . . for one more kiss . . . oh Lord . . . from her neighbour, Farhad.
Anna watched the kiss pass from sweet-goodbye to fuck-me lust. She could have been inside their mouths, for the sudden heat they put out. She watched as Farhad fumbled with his lover’s belt.
The encounter that followed, both their bodies half-in, half-out of the window, was over quickly. The lover pulled his trousers up, pecked Farhad on the nipple, and stumbled away over the grass. Farhad stood in the window bare-chested in the freezing dawn, watching him go.
And Anna stood to full attention in the perpetual spinach patch – impossible for Farhad to miss as he turned to close the window.
She longed to bend down and tend to her beds, to pretend that she’d not witnessed their coming together, but it was too late for that. She could see thought-ripples cross Farhad’s face; Ah shit, he seemed to say. Do you judge me? Will you tell my mother?
Anna waved at him, an awkward flick of the hand – as if to say Your secret is safe with me – although I can’t say it didn’t shake me up so early in the morning.
He waved back.
Anna could see that Farhad would have preferred not to have to take his pleasure in so clandestine a way, and she turned away.
Released from watchfulness, Liebe ploughed joyfully into a flock of half-frozen pigeons huddled on the grass. They took to the air in a cloud and swept away over the rooftops of London’s Kensal Rise.

Wasn’t that wonderful?!



You can purchase a copy of the book by following the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository






Huge thanks to Quercus Books for the extract and blog tour invite!


Blog Tour! Author Guest Post & Review of Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger ~ #TwinTruths #GuestPost #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Guest Posts

Twin Truths bc


Twin Truths


Shelan Rodger


What is the truth? And how do you recognise it when you hear it?

Jenny and Pippa are twins. Like many twins they often know what the other is thinking. They complete each other. When Pippa disappears, Jenny is left to face the world alone, as she tries to find out what happened to her ‘other half’. But the truth, for Jenny, can be a slippery thing.




On the blog today I’m thrilled to post my review of Twin Truths by Shelan Rodger and to share a wonderful guest post from the author herself about the inspiration behind this fabulous book! But first is my review.





review picture




In the heat of the Argentinean sun a young woman with a troubled past and uncertain future sits in front of a psychotherapist and tells him her story. Or a story she wants him to believe. Flashes of another life that are so much easier to speak of than her own. But, Jenny, despite her love of spinning a fictitious tale, is disarmed by this man and soon he is unlocking a part of her past that she has kept hidden away. Soon he unlocks her memories of Pippa, her twin. The one who supported her, loved her, the one who was by her side through everything. And the one whose path diverged so painstakingly from her own on that terrible day.



Jenny is adventurous, daring and outgoing. Pippa is shy, reticent and reserved. She finds solace in the pages of a book, cradles a deep-seated fascination with life that only a quiet observation can satisfy. Whereas Jenny must explore, experience and revel in the wonders of the world with wild abandon. The things that make them differ are as profound as the things that make them similar. And shared by them is a mutual love, its strength rivalling even the darkness of their past; a trauma no child should endure. Shelan Rodger has created a set of characters that feel almost as real as the person next to you and a book that conjures a wealth of emotion in her readers.


There are some parts in this book that are very difficult to read but, just as always, Shelan Rodger writes with startling care and aplomb. Her prose plucks the emotions of the reader and sweeps them into a story of abuse, betrayal and discovery that will mark your heart with its depth and honesty.


Twin Truths is a very difficult book to review. I’ve tried to be careful not to give anything away because everyone should have their own chance to discover what a monumental book it is. And I don’t want to spoil even a single word of it. I can’t recommend Twin Truths enough. It will overwhelm you, resonate with you and leave you feeling like you won’t ever be able to stop thinking about it!


Emotional. Twisty. Gripping.




To purchase a copy of this book you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository





And now for the wonderful guest post from Shelan Rodger:



What was your inspiration for the book?

The title of Twin Truths appeared in my head one day and haunted me. It played with two ideas: dual realities and truths about twins. I knew then that my main characters were twins and that I was going to write a book that explored the notion of truth. If you and I experience the exact same thing, our experience and memories of that thing will be utterly different, we will each walk away with entirely different realities. Which one is true? Both, of course – reality is elastic, an exercise in perspective, there is never only one reality.

What is it that creates our sense of who we are? What is personal identity? We live in an era which embraces the idea that our individual identity resides somewhere within us, as if it is something almost static, waiting to be discovered. Modern Western ethos encourages us to be ‘authentic’, ‘true to ourselves’, and, once we have discovered ‘who we really are,’ to use this as a barometer for the biggest decisions in our lives.

And yet, this ‘I’ we believe in is a tricky beast. It can mutate and have many different facets or phases in its lifetime. It can change according to whose company it’s in, it can be transformed by drink or drugs or medicine, or be thrown totally off course by an unexpected twist in life’s journey. Scientific research indicates that, given the ‘right’ circumstances, we are all capable of torture.
So, this tricky little beast is perhaps easier to live with if we tame it and name it. This ‘I’ may be the ultimate habit, comforting in the extreme, the story we unknowingly create to make it possible for us to negotiate the world and our relationships.
But what happens if something bad is thrown suddenly into the cage we have built for this tricky little beast? Trauma can break a habit or create a new one. And this is what led to the drama at the heart of Twin Truths, a story that exposes the elasticity of reality.

I had great fun discovering that elasticity while I was writing. I wanted to push the boundaries. I wanted to write a page-turner that also makes people think. I wanted to achieve an ending that was as much a twist for the narrator as for the reader.
The patchwork nature of my own life has undoubtedly fuelled the fascination with personal identity that inspired Twin Truths. I was born in Nigeria, grew up in an aboriginal community on the Tiwi Islands north of Australia, and moved to England for the first time at the age of eleven. After university, I spent nine years in Argentina, where Twin Truths is set, and I have continued to migrate between different landscapes and cultures since then, moving between the UK, Kenya, and Spain.

Whether we move between countries, or relationships, or just different phases in our lives, we all experience multiple realities. We all carry more than one story within our own personal history… and in the end, we all write our own book.


That was wonderful!!




About Shelan Rodger


Shelan Rodger Headshot 2


Shelan’s life is a patchwork of different cultures and landscapes; she was born in northern Nigeria, growing up among the Tiwi – an aboriginal community on an island north of Darwin, and moved to England at the age of eleven. She then travelled to Buenos Aires after graduating in Modern Languages from Oxford, and stayed for nine years. Then another chapter in England, followed by six years in Kenya on flower farms by Lake Naivasha and the lower slopes of Mount Kenya.

Now, Shelan lives in Andalucia, Spain. She has learnt in and outside many classrooms around the world, teaching in some of them too. Her professional career has revolved around international education, learning and development, with an emphasis during her time in Kenya on anti-discrimination.

Shelan’s first book, Twin Truths, was published by Cutting Edge Press in 2014, followed by Yellow Room, also in 2015.

As of 2017, The Dome Press acquired the rights to these two titles and Yellow Room was released in October 2017, with Twin Truths following in March 2018.







Follow the bloggers on the #TwinTruths blog tours!


Twin Truths Blog Tour Poster





Huge thanks to Shelan Rodger, The Dome Press and Emily Glenister for my review copy, the wonderful guest post and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of End Game by Matt Johnson ~ #EndGame #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I’m thrilled to share my review today of End Game by Matt Johnson!



End Game


Matt Johnson



Robert Finlay seems to have finally left his SAS past behind him and is settled into his new career as a detective. But when the girlfriend of his former SAS colleague and close friend Kevin Jones is murdered, it’s clear that Finlay’s troubles are far from over. Jones is arrested for the killing, but soon escapes from jail, and Finlay is held responsible for the breakout. Suspended from duty and sure he’s being framed too, our hero teams up with MI5 agent Toni Fellowes to find out who’s behind the conspiracy. Their quest soon reveals a plot that goes to the very heart of the UK’s security services. End Game, the final part in the critically acclaimed Robert Finlay trilogy, sees our hero in an intricately plotted and terrifyingly fast-paced race to uncover the truth and escape those who’d sooner have him dead than be exposed.




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My Review:


It’s with some sadness that I write this review because End Game is the conclusion to what has been a fantastic series. I love this series for introducing me to a memorable new character in Robert Finley and for providing me with hours of entertainment. End Game can be read as a standalone but if you’re only just discovering the works of Matt Johnson, I urge you to start at the beginning because then you’ll be treated to the full force of this unforgettable series!



End Game is as fast-paced as they come. Continuously I found myself reading for what felt like mere moments, only to look up and find that hours had passed me by.
Something I love about Matt’s books is how important the emotional core is. His books aren’t just about the action, the guns and the investigation, they’re about characters –  who feel as if they are about to leap from the page – about their lives, their families, their hopes and fears. And the dangers that threaten them. Robert has just welcomed a little girl into the world and you can really feel his love for his family ripple across the page. It’s astounding, the way Matt Johnson seamlessly blends these two elements!



Another factor I have to mention in this review is how real End Game feels to the reader. It’s author is an ex-soldier and Metropolitan Police Officer and all of his experience is harboured in these pages. It lends the book a real authenticity! It almost feel as if you are walking in Robert’s footsteps. Every danger is not only a risk to him but to you also, every worry and fear and piece of the puzzle affects you as well as him. it’s shocking and thrilling and so, so emotional.



End Game is the conclusion to what has been a wonderful series. I couldn’t have enjoyed these books more than I did. And I hope we’ll have another series from Matt Johnson very soon.



Thrilling. Absorbing. Emotional.




To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Matt Johnson:


Matt Johnson Author Picture


Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for twenty-five years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game and now End Game, the final book in the Robert Finlay series, once again draw on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.




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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour Review: Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol #KissMeKillMe #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of Kiss Me, Kill Me by J. S. Carol!



Kiss Me, Kill Me


J. S. Carol

When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.
It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.
And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.
But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.

Be careful who you trust . . .




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My Review:


A girl living in a small town aspires to be a New York Times bestselling author. Until then she works in a restaurant to make ends meet with her friend and roommate Lizzy. Life is good. It’s even better when handsome, charming Daniel walks into her life. He is everything she could possibly ask for in a partner. Caring, supportive, stable, loving. Zoe had a rough start but now life has delivered to her a future tied with bow. And despite Lizzy’s concerns, she throws herself into the relationship. Because Daniel is all that matters. He is “The One.”

A young woman sits in her kitchen, listening to the sound of her husband’s footfalls upstairs, awaiting his departure for work. It is their third anniversary and she celebrates with the meagre portion of food he restricts her to and thoughts of her punishment should she ignore orders. Married life is not what she expected it to be. From the moment of the honeymoon, it has entailed fear, anguish, hunger and punishment. It is three years since she met him in that restaurant and for three years she has suffered his abuse. But now Zoe is pregnant and she will do anything to keep her child safe from Daniel.

Something I loved about Kiss Me, Kill Me is how J. S. Carol familiarises you with the characters, settles you into the story, then pulls the rug out from under your feet. I was sure I had the ending figured out, then all off a sudden, everything shifts and I’m left wondering where the afternoon went. I really felt for Zoe in this book. She rushed into a relationship with this man, blindsided by his intelligence and charm, completely dubious to his manipulation and cunning tricks. And when she tries to run away, he tracks her down like a predictor on the hunt for its prey and forces her to return home with him. For three years she was stuck in a marriage and when the possibility of escape arrives, it is almost as frightening and dangerous as staying. Not only is this a gripping read, it is also a very emotional one!

J. S. Carol’s characterisation is fantastic, his writing wonderful. I really, really enjoyed Kiss Me, Kill Me. As soon as I read the first sentence, I was hooked. This is a fantastic new addition to the genre, a slice of perfection that will have psychological thriller fans in it grips for hours!

Thrilling. Shocking. Fabulous




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links blow

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About J. S. Carol


James Carol is the bestselling author of BROKEN DOLLS, the first in a series featuring former FBI profiler Jefferson Winter. The novel was released in the UK in January 2014 to rave reviews and reached number 1 on the Amazon fiction and thriller charts. In addition James is writing a series of eBooks set during Winter’s FBI days. PRESUMED GUILTY is the first of these. Under the pseudonym J.S. Carol, he has also written a number of standalones. KISS ME KILL ME is the latest.

James was born in Scotland and moved to England in the early-eighties. At various times he has worked as a guitarist, sound engineer, guitar tutor, journalist, and a horse riding instructor. When he’s not writing, James can usually be found in a pair of headphones writing and recording music. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two children.

For more information you can follow these links:






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Huge thanks to Imogen at Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton ~ #RandomThingsTours #LoveYouToDeath #ThePerfectGirlfriend

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m so excited to share my review of The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

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The Perfect Girlfriend


Karen Hamilton


A frightening depiction of unbridled obsession, where love and pure hatred grapple on a knife edge.
Juliette loves Nate. The fact that he’s broken up with her doesn’t change that.
She has a plan to win him back, starting with training as a flight attendant for the airline where he works as a pilot, so she can keep a closer eye on him. Twisting the self-help books she’s read, she takes the mantra ‘in charge of you own destiny’ to new extremes.
She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants – the perfect boyfriend, the perfect life, the perfect ending.


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My Review


Juliette is in love with Nate. Nate is in love with Juliette. They are a matched made in heaven. They are living their happily ever after, or so it would seem. When Nate breaks up with her, Juliette’s carefully perfected world collapses. She did everything for him, she was everything for him. The Perfect Girlfriend. She supported him, loved him, gave her life for him. Her world was sculpted around his. And now he has shrugged off her love and walked away from their relationship. Pulsing with a determination to right this wrong, she hatches plans to win him back. And becoming an air hostess to keep herself close to him, is just the first hurdle to jump. As Juliette’s obsession simmers into something frightening, her plan to reunite them both sinks into dangerous waters.


It’s apparent from very early on in the book that Juliette has a tragic past, and it affects her actions severely. I really felt for her at the beginning but as I read more, those feeling were stripped away by her shockingly cold calculation of others. Juliette is such a fascinating character. The worse she became, the more I liked her. Karen Hamilton has crafted a character that will challenge the emotions of a lot of readers. Love her, hate her, Juliette is someone who you will not be able to stop thinking about!


The way the author has portrayed the work of an air hostess and the cultures and locations in this books is simply stunning. Her description leapt off the page and I couldn’t read fast enough. Snatches of the different countries slotted beautifully into the book and I really felt as if I was by Juliette’s side as she visited these places.


At the tension ratchets up to a nerve-tingling high, The Perfect Girlfriend will send you sailing through the pages, desperate to discover the outcome. A fabulously gripping read that will steal into your mind with the utmost stealth and lodge itself in your thoughts for a long time to come.


Thrilling. Shocking. Fabulous!




 To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About Karen Hamilton


Karen Hamilton


Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thirller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform.
Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband.



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Huge thanks to Becky Hunter and Anne Cater for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!

Blog Tour! Review of We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard #SaltOfTheSea #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of We Were the Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard!



We were the Salt of the Sea


Roxanne Bouchard


As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspe Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves.




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My Review:


Catherine Day departs home for the shores of Gaspé to find her birth mother. She is met with a close-nit community, where her mother’s name rings on the lips of its villagers and where the sound of clamouring secrets burst from doors, sweep along the streets and slip into the sea. It is clear there is more to this little village than meets the eye. Drawn into a friendship with fisherman Cyrille, Catherine is determined to find her mother and by doing so find herself. When the body of a woman is found swaddled in a fisherman’s net, the news peals like bells through the streets. Her name is Marie Garant. And in this small village she is renowned for her beauty, her love of sailing and her wild nature.


Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales is assigned the investigation of this puzzling death. But in this beauty spot, the locals are weary of newcomers and the answers he seeks are not so easily found. Questioning his own life and the relationship with his wife, Joaquin is ferried deep into the mystery that swathes Gaspé and into the lives of its people.


As soon as I started reading this book, I fell hook, line and sinker in love with the characters. I love them for their quirks and eccentricities, their passion for the sea and their endearing personality traits, every one, down to the last chorus of “Christ in a challis!” They really got under my skin and I think that’s where they will stay. Roxanne Bouchard’s rich characterisation and beautiful writing captured my heart straight away! After just one page, I felt that little ping of excitement you get when you can feel in your bones you’ve stumbled on something magnificent. We Were the Salt of the Sea is lyrical, magical tale of profound proportions! I couldn’t have loved this beautiful book more than I did!


From the pen of this remarkable author comes a spellbinding book that will grasp at the hearts of its readers like the sea grasps at the sand along the shore. It will tempt away your heart and leave you breathless with its emotion, mystery and poetic beauty!


Rich. Lyrical. Phenomenal.





To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About Roxanne Bouchard



Roxanne Bouchard reads a lot, but she laughs even more. Her first novel, Whisky et Paraboles, garnered an array of prestigious awards in Quebec and caught the attention of British researcher, Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani, of the University of Westminster, who saw for herself how Roxanne weaves poetry and geography together to delve into her characters’ intimate worlds. Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspe Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec.




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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!