Book Review: Whistle in the Dark by Emma Healey ~ #BookReview #WhistleInTheDark

Book Reviews

whistle in the dark

Whistle in the Dark


Emma Healey



How do you rescue someone who has already been found?

Jen’s fifteen-year-old daughter goes missing for four agonizing days. When Lana is found, unharmed, in the middle of the desolate countryside, everyone thinks the worst is over. But Lana refuses to tell anyone what happened, and the police think the case is closed. The once-happy, loving family returns to London, where things start to fall apart. Lana begins acting strangely: refusing to go to school, and sleeping with the light on.
With her daughter increasingly becoming a stranger, Jen is sure the answer lies in those four missing days. But will Lana ever reveal what happened?






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My Review:





Fifteen-year-old Lana goes missing for four days. The news spreads like wildfire and the police are called in to investigate. Her mother and father, Jen and Hugh, go out of their minds with worry, desperately searching for their daughter in the smallest details around them. But clues are sparse and with the days stretching into one another, their shrinking world dons a cloak of darkness and desperation notches up to all new heights. When a farmer finds Lana, bloodied and frozen, on his property, she tells them she lost her way. And when they ask how she received her injuries, she tells them she can’t remember. Despite the relief Jen feels, cracks have shuttled through her heart. Why, when she looks at her daughter, is she afraid? Why, if she is relived, does she feel dread stirring in her mind? As Jen and the police try to tempt answers from Lana, Lana refuses to let them in. What really happened to her over those four days? And why is she so different from the girl she was before?



Jen and Lana’s relationship had been on rocky ground long before what happened in the Peak District and the ensuing chaos. But now their bond has been stripped back to slamming doors and arguments. A poor imitation of what it was. And despite Jen’s somewhat clunky attempts to bridge their lives back together, Lana remains distant, reticent, different. Jen is under a lot of stress, not only with Lana but with her eldest daughter, Meg, who is heavily pregnant. Usually a tough cookie, reluctant to ask others for help, she now seeks Jen’s advice and comforting arm for the daunting journey she’s on.



Jen’s household is suspended in a chaotic state. Lana is a different person now, susceptible to sudden bouts of rage and phases of near silence where Jen’s tumbling emotions are a constant white noise in her head. Lana looks different, behaves differently, even her voice has changed. As Jen tries to gauge her feelings and determine what really happened and why it has washed away her old daughter for a new one to settle in her place, the tension climbs and climbs, which subconsciously made me read just that little bit faster.



Whistle in the Dark is a mystery with so much emotion poured into the pages. I loved author Emma Healey’s debut Elizabeth is Missing. It had all the ingredients to cook up a beautiful recipe. The writing is sublime, story compelling and characters unforgettable. Whistle in the Dark is just as brilliant! An emotional, intriguing and mysterious novel that will resonate with a lot of readers. I’m so looking forward to reading her third book. I don’t have a doubt in my mind it will be another absolute cracker!



Compelling. Intriguing. Fabulous.




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

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Emma Healey



emma healey



Emma Healey wrote her first short story when she was four, told her teachers she was going to be a writer when she was eight, but had learnt better by twelve and had decided on being a litigator (inspired entirely by the film Clueless). It took another ten years before she came back to writing. She grew up in London where she went to art college and completed her first degree in bookbinding. She then worked for two libraries, two bookshops, two art galleries and two universities, and was busily pursuing a career in the art world before writing overtook everything. She moved to Norwich in 2010 to study for the MA in Creative Writing at UEA and never moved back again. Elizabeth is Missing is her first novel.


You can find Emma on Twitter here!








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Huge thanks to Jennifer Acton for my review copy!!


Blog Tour! Review of Meet Me At the Museum by Anne Youngson ~ #BlogTour #BookReview #MeetMeAtTheMuseum

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of Meet Me At the Museum by Anne Youngson!





Meet Me At the Museum


Anne Youngson



Sometimes it takes a stranger to really know who you are

When Tina Hopgood writes a letter of regret to a man she has never met, she doesn’t expect a reply.

When Anders Larsen, a lonely museum curator, answers it, nor does he.

They’re both searching for something, they just don’t know it yet.

Anders has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. Tina is trapped in a marriage she doesn’t remember choosing.

Slowly their correspondence blossoms as they bare their souls to each other with stories of joy, anguish and discovery. But then Tina’s letters suddenly cease, and Anders is thrown into despair.

Can their unexpected friendship survive?





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My review




Tina Hopgood writes a letter to an elderly professor in the hopes of receiving a response and some form of clarity to smooth away her woes. Tina is a sixty-year-old wife, mother and grandmother who suddenly realises that her life has flown by, dictated not by her hand but by those around her. Now, ‘forever’ has shrunk and she is no longer a young girl pottering about with friend Bella, the bright future awaiting them. But her greatest regret could become her greatest gift. When she receives a response not from the professor but the curator of the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark, a spark of something small yet profound ferments between them. Gradually their letters lose their formality and their words soften to words spoken as friends. And perhaps, even more.



Anders Larsen, the curator, is a lonely widower with two grown-up children, and any reminder of his wife is a silent torment. And in Tina, he finds a friend, a companion, a comfort that sews the distance between them and heals their wounded hearts. For Anders, happiness is just a wisp of a thing in his past that he can’t reach to reclaim. That is until Tina writes a letter to Professor Glob, an archaeologist responsible for discovering The Tollund Man, and he responds with a letter of his own. What follows over the course of a year, is a discovery, a friendship, and a love unlike any other.



Tina and Anders lay their heartache and loneliness across the page as easily as their love and joy. Memories are shared, hopes and fears exchanged. Descriptions of their pasts and loved-ones allow one another a glimpse into their lives. Meet Me At the Museum is told through the letters written by Tina and Anders, their worlds unfolding. Before reading this book, I had not come across The Tollund Man. I looked him up straight away, completely fascinated. Anne Youngson has written a gloriously emotive and evocative novel about the facets that can only be gleamed through two lonely people finding one another.



Meet Me At the Museum is a powerful debut novel which explores the opposing shades of loneliness and love. Anna Youngson’s portrait of these two strangers is utterly exquisite. I was swept up in their letters, their loving descriptions and their shared discovery – not perhaps of something like The Tollund Man but something in some ways far more beautiful.


Lyrical. Exquisite. Emotive.











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

Amazon UK

Book Depository






About Anne Youngson



Anne Youngson 1



Anne had a long and successful career in the motor industry after finishing a degree in English from Birmingham. She most recently worked for Land Rover, as Chief Engineer, Defender replacement and, finally, MD of the Special Vehicle Operations. Having taken early retirement, she worked as an Enterprise Advisor to schools, before joining a small consultancy team, working on major skills development programmes for a range of clients.

After leaving the motor industry, she began to take writing more seriously. She did an Undergraduate diploma at the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and an MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes, achieving a distinction in both. She co-wrote two books on the Motor Industry with ex-colleagues: WHEN ROVER MET HONDA, a collection of case studies on collaborative working with the Japanese, and BRITISH LEYLAND MOTOR CORPORATION 1968-2005, published in 2015.

Anne is married, with two adult children and one grandchild to date – two more on the way. Her husband ran a plant nursery until recently, and she has a 2-acre garden open to the public through the National Garden Scheme. She has supported many charities in governance roles, including Chair of the Writers in Prison Network, which provided residencies in prisons for professional writers, until it lost its Arts Council funding.

She is now studying for a PhD at Oxford Brookes. The creative part of the qualification will be stories which explore how to begin. Her debut novel MEET ME AT THE MUSEUM will be published by Transworld on 17th May 2018.




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Huge thanks to Hannah Bright, Alison Barrow and Anne Cater for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Review & Guest Post! Juliet & Romeo by David Hewson! #BookReview #GuestPost #JulietAndRomeo

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Guest Posts, The Dome Press

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to be able to share my review of Juliet and Romeo as well as a fabulous guest post from author David Hewson!



juliet and romeo 3




Juliet and Romeo


David Hewson



About The Book:


Two young people meet: Romeo, desperate for love before being sent away to study, and Juliet facing a forced marriage to a nobleman she doesn’t know. Fate and circumstance bring them together in a desperate attempt to thwart their parents with a secret marriage. But in a single fateful week, their intricate scheming falls terribly apart.




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My Review:



Juliet Capulet is sixteen-years-old. She is adored by her parents and servants and admired by everyone else in Verona. Including Count Paris, a nobleman intent on having her as his wife. A man Juliet’s father urges her to accept. But Juliet is made of sterner stuff and the wealth and stature that would come with their betrothal does not tempt her into a life of loneliness with a man who is nothing more than a stranger. She is adamant she will not marry him despite her parents reproach. When her father holds a ball for her and Count Paris to meet again, Juliet escapes to the gardens of the palazzo, away from attempts to steal away her choice and make her a prisoner, shackled in a loveless marriage.




Romeo Montague is eighteen-years-old and madly infatuated with a young girl called Rosaline. But she does not reciprocate. And soon he will be sent to Bologna to study law. In the meantime, he fills his days with books and poetry, dreading the day when he will have to leave Verona and begin anew. On a warm evening, buoyed by happiness and the joviality of his friends, he disguises himself and sneaks into the home of his neighbours, the Capulets who are holding a ball. There he sees a young woman slip out into the garden and follows her. Juliet and Romeo. Capulet and Montague. Two warring families are swiftly altered by their meeting.




This retelling sits the character of Juliet firmly at the helm. She drives the story with her fierce determination, courage and independence. Whereas, Romeo is a little more quiet and unsure, Juliet is confidant and very intelligent. I really felt for her because she lives in a world dominated by men and she’s in turmoil, fighting against the future building brick by brick around her. She is appalled by the prospect of marrying Count Paris because she will just be a new piece of property. A bird in a cage. She is determined to keep her grasp on her freedom and independence because it is her life and hers alone.




David Hewson captures 1499 Verona on the page in a startlingly visceral, beautifully described portrait, bringing to life the location, the food, the sounds, the people, their dialogue, everything. I loved Juliet and Romeo. David Hewson has taken an age-old tale of love and retold it with a bold, unique flourish. Superb!




Thrilling. Fast-pace. Glorious.






Guest Post from David Hewson



What writers can learn from actors.

Confession time: I used to think actors had it easy. I mean… what do they do except learn lines and say them? I was an idiot. When you work alongside them you realise how a big part of their job is making the very hard look very easy. And for a writer it’s well worth watching how they go about their work too because dramatic skills are key to story-telling and story-telling, more than ‘writing’, is what mainstream fiction is all about.
Richard Armitage is probably best known for Thorin in The Hobbit, the scary Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal and for British viewers Spooks. But he’s also a formidable stage actor and one of the best narrators of audiobooks on the planet.
I was lucky enough to have him perform the audio rewrite of Hamlet I produced with my co-author A.J. Hartley a few years back. Richard’s work on that was stunning and deservedly won us a nomination for an Audie, an audiobook Oscar.
So it was a great relief to hear he was coming on board to do the same for the version of Romeo and Juliet which I was writing, on my own this time. Fast forward several months later and I’m in a studio in London’s Soho watching him get down to work, speechless behind the glass sitting next to the director.
Richard doesn’t read material, he performs it. For hours on end he was bent over the mike, reading the script from the iPad, moving from voice to voice, quiet and determined for Juliet, raucous Brummie for her Nurse, old and broken for Capulet her father. It was astonishing to watch, and even more astonishing to see Richard break after a couple of hours, take a sandwich then get back to work. I felt exhausted just watching him.
There, and later in New York where recording ended, we chatted about the project and Shakespeare in general – remember he’s worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company along the way.
One of the first things he asked me was, ‘When’s the book coming out?’ And to be honest I didn’t have an answer. I wrote the audio original as a kind of one-man play, specifically with Richard in mind for his range of voices. It was a script, not a book. It wouldn’t work without considerable changes, not least the reversion to my original title for the work, Juliet and Romeo.
Like me, Richard saw Juliet as the principal figure in this story. After all she’s the one in most jeopardy, facing a forced marriage she regards as a death sentence. While Romeo’s a nice enough lad, but not that bright and merely facing the prospect of being jilted.
Something else I was able to learn from Richard too was the importance of theatrical against literary dialogue. No dialogue is ‘real’, in the sense that it matches everyday speech with its interruptions, umms and ahhs, and non sequiturs. But in books dialogue tends to be more formalised. Questions that are asked are usually answered. As an author you tend not to leave things hanging in the air.
At that time in New York Richard was in a fantastic play, Love, Love, Love, by the British writer Mike Bartlett (of Doctor Foster fame on TV). The dialogue here is very precise in its imprecision, full of unanswered questions, overlapping sentences, silences and broken phrases. It’s not ‘real’ but it feels that way. So I learned a fair bit from that, and some of the other comments Richard kindly made, then set about turning the script I wrote for him into a novel.
How different is it from the audio original? In general form not much at all. Some scenes have been added, others changed, and parts adapted into novel format to make them easier to understand. Good audio depends upon simplicity, linear structure and clarity of point of view and dialogue. But you could say the same about mainstream fiction too so it wasn’t hard to go in that direction. A warning though: you can’t follow the stories word for word as you normally can with audio versions of a book. It is too different for that.
Richard’s an incredibly generous chap and was good enough to provide a foreword for the book too. His many fans around the world are always asking me: will you work with him again? I hope so, but then everyone who’s ever worked with him seems to feel the same way. He is the busiest actor I know. If he’s not on a film or TV set somewhere you’ll usually find him in front of the mike in a studio recording an audiobook or drama.
But I hope we cross professional paths again. I learned from a master listening to him turn my words into something else altogether. And a writer’s always learning.





That was fabulous!! Thank you so much David! Below is a behind the scenes video of actor Richard Armitage talking about Juliet & Romeo!







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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About David Hewson



David Hewson Headshot


David Hewson is the author of more than 20 published novels including the Pieter Vos
series set in Amsterdam and the Nic Costa books set in Rome.
His acclaimed book adaptations of The Killing television series were published around the
world. His audio adaptations of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Hamlet with A.J. Hartley,
narrated by Alan Cumming and Richard Armitage respectively, were both shortlisted for
Audie Awards.
A former journalist with the Sunday Times, Independent and The Times he lives in Kent.
His first book with The Dome Press, Juliet and Romeo, will be published in May 2018.

Social Media:
Twitter: @David_Hewson




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Huge thanks to Emily Glenister, David Hewson and The Dome Press for my review copy, blog tour invite and the wonderful guest post!

Blog Tour! The Man on the Middle Floor by Elizabeth S Moore ~ #BookReview #BlogTour #TheManOnTheMiddleFloor #TMOTMF

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of The Man on the Middle Floor!





The Man on the Middle Floor


Elizabeth S Moore



About the Book



Despite living in the same three-flat house in the suburbs of London, the residents are strangers to one another. The bottom floor is home to Tam, a recent ex-cop who spends his days drowning his sorrows in whisky. On the middle floor is Nick, a young man with Asperger’s who likes to stick to his schedules and routines. The top floor belongs to Karen, a doctor and researcher who has spent her life trying to understand the rising rates of autism. They have lived their lives separately, until now, when an unsolved murder and the man on the middle floor connect them all together. Told from three points of view, The Man on the Middle Floor is about disconnection in all its forms; sexual, physical, parental and emotional. It questions whether society is meeting the needs of the fast growing autistic section of society, or exacerbating it.





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My Review


Karen is a doctor and researcher who studies the rising rates in autism and lives by herself in the top floor of a house of flats. Her life revolves around her work and despite her ex-husband’s frustration and her children’s care, she is determined to keep working towards a breakthrough. And when she does, she will have the respect she deserves. Her work is her priority, it consumes all hours of her life. If she isn’t sat in front of her laptop typing, she’s thinking about it, even at her daughter’s birthday outing. Karen was a difficult character to like. She’s very selfish and cold. Her ex-husband is at his wits end and her children are almost like strangers to her. It was quite disheartening seeing how her behaviour affected them.



Tam lives on the top floor, nursing his woes and drowning in alcohol and misery. After losing his job as a police officer, the meaning to life has slipped away from him. He started out as a young man who genuinely wanted to help and protect people. And for years, he worked hard, fuelled by passion and kindness. Now he keeps to his flat, depressed and lonely. Tam was my favourite character. I really enjoyed his chapters because I connected with him the most.



Nick is a young man with Asperger’s syndrome who lives on the middle floor. He plans out his days with a strict thoroughness and makes lists for every day of the week that somewhat ease his struggles. He lives independently but has regular visits from his mother and grandpa, who persuade him to do things out of his comfort zone. Nick’s chapters addressed some quite emotional issues that made for some surprising reading.



The Man on the Middle Floor is quite an unusual book, at times intriguing and touching, others incredibly shocking. I haven’t read anything like this before so it was fantastic to have something very unique and different to get stuck into. It will definitely stir up opinions and leave readers talking.



Surprising. Original. Thought-provoking





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

Amazon UK





About Elizabeth S Moore



elizabeth moore.jpg



Elizabeth S. Moore has worked as a journalist since she won the Decanter Young Wine Writer of the Year at seventeen. She has written columns and articles on restaurants, politics, South Africa and all things foodie. She comes from a family that has given her a lot of writing material and is currently finishing her second book, having written the first after completing the Faber Write a Novel course and being approached by fourteen agents after reading an excerpt of her novel to industry professionals. Elizabeth lives in London with her South African husband and has three daughters and a son as well as two lazy Labradors.


You can find Elizabeth on Twitter here!





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middle floor 1


Huge thanks to Red Door Publishing for my review copy and blog tour invite!!

Book Review: Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough ~ #CrossHerHeart #BookReview #WTFThatEnding #WTFThatWholeBook

Book Reviews

cross her heart



Cross Her Heart


Sarah Pinborough





Is it Lisa?
Haunted by a tragic past, all Lisa wants is a quiet life with her daughter, Ava. And when she meets a new man, things seem to be falling into place. But Lisa is hiding a secret so momentous it could shatter her entire world…

Is it Ava?
When sixteen-year-old Ava saves a young boy’s life, she becomes a local hero. But never in a million years could she have anticipated the fallout of her actions…

Is it Marilyn?
Marilyn has the perfect life. Her husband, her job, her house―she seems to have it all. But she could never admit to her best friend Lisa the lies she tells herself to get through the day…

One moment will change these three women’s lives forever. And the secrets they’ve been keeping could destroy them all.






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My Review




Lisa is a supportive friend. A hard worker. A woman with a burgeoning romance on the cards. She is also a loving mother to sixteen-year-old Ava and even the fear and guilt that blanket her days can’t parallel what she feels for her daughter. She has worked everyday since the moment she was born to protect her. And nothing and no one will harm her. Except, perhaps the past. Because Lisa’s secret is still very much a part of her. And it could shatter Ava’s life and fragment her future within seconds.




Marilyn is intelligent, determined and efficient. A strong sort of person to take charge of any situation and rein it into line. She is the perfect friend. Supportive, reliable and kind. The ten-year bond she shares with Lisa is built on strong foundations. They have been there to ease one another’s turmoil and pull each other through the tough days at work. But even after so many years, Marilyn hasn’t given Lisa a proper glimpse into her true life. A chink in the rosy world she paints for observers. There is so much more to see than what she gives the world. And who knows what would happen if it did.




Ava is sixteen-years-old with a big life ahead of her. One she is determined to live to the full. But it isn’t easy with her mother as over-protective as she is. They have always been close but now she is growing up and she wants some space and privacy. Freedom to hang out with her friends and have fun. Some corners of her life she wants to keep in the dark. Just for her. None more so than the secret she keeps tucked close to her chest. One that weaves a strand of joy through her days at school. But not all secrets are good ones. And soon, the three women, their three secrets will unravel.




With themes such as jealousy, revenge and abuse, this book is a very, very emotional read. And although these elements are a huge part of it, the courage, love, friendship and survival hit a core with me the most. I thought I had the plot sussed at the beginning but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Sarah Pinborough’s red herrings are the best! She deceptively takes the reader into the story and throws twist after twist until your heart is hammering away and your mind is fishtailing into over drive.




Murder, betrayal, lies and manipulation and Sarah Pinborough invites you into a story which will have you gripping your seat in rapt attention. Each page strips back another layer in this wickedly clever and gloriously dark novel. I was a huge fan of Sarah Pinborough’s first book for adults, Behind Her Eyes, which divided opinions everywhere and prompted a surge of readers to take to social media with the hashtag #WTFThatEnding. Cross Her Heart is just as good if not better in a way. I think this should have the hashtag #WTFThatWholeBook! It is absolutely brilliant!




Startlingly dark. Wickedly clever. Absolutely incredible.





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

Amazon UK

Book Depository






About Sarah Pinborough



sarah pinborough



Sunday Times No.1 bestseller SARAH PINBOROUGH is the critically acclaimed and award-winning, adult and YA author. Her previous novel, Behind Her Eyes, has sold in 25 territories, been shortlisted for the Crime and Thriller Book of the Year at the British Book Awards and was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller in hardback and paperback. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.

You can follow her on Twitter @sarahpinborough


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Huge thanks to Jaime Frost & HarperCollins for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Review of Wartime at Woolworths by Elaine Everest ~ #WartimeAtWoolworths #TheWoolworthsGirls #BookReview #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, EDPR

wartime at woolworths cover

Wartime at Woolworths


Elaine Everest



About the Book:


The Woolworths girls have come a long way together . . .

Fun loving Maisie, is devoted to her young family and her work at Woolworths. But her happy life with her RAF officer husband, their baby daughter leads her to think of the family she left behind . . . With the war now into its fourth year, what will she find when she sets about searching for them?

Sarah and her husband, Alan, are blissfully happy and long for a sibling for their daughter. But dark days lay ahead for this close family.

Freda heads home to Birmingham, to go in search of her family, back to the life she fled – far from the safety of Woolworths and her new friends.

With families’ separated by war, will the Woolworths girls be able to pull together?







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My Review



Maisie has had her fair share of heartache over the years. Now life is on the up. She is a devoted wife to husband David and loving mother to a beautiful little girl. And at Woolworths, she is a part of a team – a family – who are a joy to work with. When a new member of the woolies staff mentions an old friend is unwell, Maisie is shocked to realise that it is her estranged mother. Bidden by a sudden urgency to make amends and smooth the discord that has shrouded their relationship for years, Maisie departs Erith with friend Freda to find her mother and tie the two halves of her family together. But the war has left Canning Town a changed place. There is destruction every which way she looks. In a sudden turn of events, Maisie finds much more than she thought she would.



Ruby is a warm, sweet-hearted soul whose door is open anytime to friends and family. There, an endless supply of love, help and kindness is always on offer. Ruby gives advice and support with a wisdom she imparts readily. She is always on hand to guide her family whatever the problem. And in a time when war has filched so much from so many, her generosity is in stark contrast to the darkness you only have to walk out the door to see. When neighbour and friend Vera finds her well-ordered life beginning to fray, Ruby takes it upon herself to put it to rights. But to help, she’ll first have to persuade Vera to open up and share the secret that has changed things so drastically.



When Freda, a despatch rider for the fire service and junior supervisor at Woolworths, receives a message relating her mother’s terrible accident, she rushes back home and back into her old life. But when she arrives, she discovers things have changed in her absence. Her mother lays in hospital, recovering from a vicious attack and with no one to help her and debt piling up in her name, the responsibility falls to Freda to stay and help her mother recuperate. But what about her other family back home? What about the war efforts? What about her work at Woolworths? Freda must decide what to do. Stay or leave.



Wartime at Woolworths is the fourth book in the Woolworth series by Elaine Everest. And Sarah, Maisie, Freda and the gang return to face some of the most heartbreaking and testing challenges so far. Wartime at Woolworths is a heartwarming tale of love, loss, family and friends.



Emotional. Heartwarming. Sweet.




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

Amazon UK

Book Depository



Wartime at Woolworths blog tour general banner




About Elaine Everest


elaine everest


Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy loomed.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can be seen sitting in the naughty corner.


You can find Elaine on Twitter here!



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Huge thanks to Bethan James, EDPR and Pan for my review copy and blog tour invite!!

Blog Tour! Extract from Mr Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson ~ #MrPeacocksPossessions #Extract #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

mr peacocks possesions

Mr Peacock’s Possessions


Lydia Syson




Welcome to  my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share a fabulous extract from Mr. Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson! I’m so excited to read this book – the extract has definitely whet my appetite for more! But first here is a little bit more about the book and its lovely author!




mr peacocks possesions


About the Book:

Oceania 1879. A family of settlers from New Zealand are the sole inhabitants of a remote volcanic island.

For two years they have struggled with the harsh reality of trying to make this unforgiving place a paradise they can call their own. At last, a ship appears. The six Pacific Islanders on board have travelled eight hundred miles across the ocean in search of work and new horizons. Hopes are high for all, until a vulnerable boy vanishes. In their search for the lost child, settlers and newcomers together uncover far more than they were looking for. The island’s secrets force them all to question their deepest convictions.

An intimate, intense and beautifully realised novel of possession, power and the liberating loss of innocence, this will delight fans of MISTER PIP and THE POISONWOOD BIBLE.




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

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Lydia Syson:



lydia syson


Lydia Syson lives in south London with her partner and four children. After an early career as a BBC World Service Radio producer, she turned from the spoken to the written word, and developed an enduring obsession with history, including her family history. Read more about Lydia and her books at or on Twitter: @lydiasyson



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Mr. Peacock’s Possessions by Lydia Syson


Lizzie sticks a knife into the breast of the nearest mutton-bird: a vicious hiss as a stream of hot oil hits the smouldering log below. It flares up, too high, and she jumps back, shielding her face. It’s time to turn the rack, to keep things even, and ward of her mother’s chiding. Where’s Ada got to, or Billy, come to that? Out of sight and out of hearing. The smokery is built a little distance from the dwelling huts and outhouse, to save them from its powerful odours, and the vegetable gardens, where Ada and Ma were weeding earlier, lie on the other side again, on the flats above the beach. Strong as she is, Lizzie can’t shift the weight of sixty spitted chicks on her own, and they will catch if she doesn’t. She will have to move the fire instead. So she leans into the heat to spread and shift the embers with the stripped green stick she’s using as a poker.
Then Billy’s cry puts everything out of mind.
‘A sail! A sail! Have you seen?’
She turns instantly, looking out to sea, seeing nothing yet. Billy appears but doesn’t stop – and she knows just where he’s going. Abandoning fire and birds without a second thought, Lizzie scrambles down the tree-filed gully after him and up the other side to the higher bluff beyond, the look-out cliff. She moves quickly in her loose tunic, but not as fast as her younger brother, and not as fast as she’d like. At the top fist, Billy squints at the ocean, and windmills his arms at her.
‘Look!’ he shouts. ‘Right over there.’
‘Where?’ A sail is too easy to imagine, never more than when the sky and sea are bright. The sun catches the flat side of a wave at the wrong angle. A crest of foam. A whale’s fluke. From far away anything can look like a billow of canvas if you want it hard enough. ‘If you’re wrong . . . ’
‘I’m not. Look harder. Look over there.’
Lizzie’s brother lines her up behind his back as soon as she reaches him. He’ll be catching her up in height before she knows it. His warm brown hair, darkened with fresh sweat, is already at her nostrils. But though his chest is broadening too, a little, she can match him for strength still, and let him know this when she needs to. Which isn’t now. Billy pulls Lizzie’s arms down around his own shoulders so that her eyes can follow his, and together they trace the line of his arm and pointing finger.
‘You must be able to see her now.’
She can.
At last.



Wasn’t that wonderful?!




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Huge thanks to Cara at Midas PR and Bonnier Zaffre for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Book Review: Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley ~ #BookReview #DeadBlind

Book Reviews

dead blind


Dead Blind


Rebecca Bradley




About the Book


How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?

Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.

As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.

But it’s a killer he will never remember.

The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.

Can he escape with his career and his life intact?






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My Review:



Dead Blind opens with DI Ray Patrick and his colleague Elaine pelting along the rain-lashed roads of Stoke Newington, on the tail of a vicious killer responsible for taking the lives of multiple young women. He slipped through their fingers before but now they will capture and arrest him. Ray and Elaine are determined to end it today. But unbeknownst to them, it will end in disaster. It will end in a collision that will have far-reaching consequences for both of them.



Now six months and a tricky recovery later, Ray is back at work. His bones have healed. His life mended. Everything is just as it should be. But that is only to the eyes of the casual observer. The collision that day robbed him of something even more important than six months work. He now suffers with a condition called prosopagnosia , in layman’s terms, face blindness, which renders him unable to recognise anyone. His children, his partner, his team all wear the faces of strangers. The only way he can determine who they are is by using identifiers: a scar, an accent, a perfume, a tone of voice. When Ray is thrown in at the deep end of a particularly gruesome case of organ trafficking, he must keep his condition quiet and deceive his friends and team to put a stop to it because if not he might be forced to medically retire. But after Ray comes face to face with the leader of the organisation, how will he ever be able to recognise him again? How can he risk his work and his life? But then how can he not? And more importantly how can he protect his family from the threat that looms over them?


Before reading Dead Blind, I had no idea a condition such as prosopagnosia even existed. So it was a surprise when I came across it for the first time in the blurb for this book. What a fantastic hook!! Rebecca Bradley has incorporated it into her story beautifully and seamlessly blends both the action with the emotion. DI Ray Patrick’s struggle to find the killer and leader of the organisation was one fraught with many challenges as you can imagine, each one bringing the reader further and further into this compelling, gripping story and inching Ray further and further into their hearts.


I was SO excited when Rebecca Bradley invited me to read and review her up and coming  novel. Even more so when I read its gripping blurb. I’d just like to shout a massive thank you to her for allowing me to read!! Dead Blind is a fantastic new standalone! Perfect for her loyal fans and for readers itching to discover something new and unique!


Fast-paced. Compelling. Electrifying.





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

Amazon UK


About Rebecca Bradley


rebecca bradley


Rebecca Bradley is a retired police detective. She lives in the UK with her family and her two cockapoo’s Alfie and Lola, who keep her company while she writes. Rebecca needs to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if she could, she would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis, in her writing of course.

She writes the DI Hannah Robbins police procedural series and has also released a standalone novel, Dead Blind, about a cop who acquires prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness.

Sign up to her readers’ club for a FREE novella, the prequel to Hannah Robbins series. Find it on the blog at You’ll also be provided exclusive content and giveaways.

You can find Rebecca on Twitter here!






Book Review: All Rivers Run Free by Natasha Carthew ~ #BookReview #AllRiversRunFree

Book Reviews, Quercus

all rivers


All Rivers Run Free


Natasha Carthew



A woman on the edge of the sea finds a girl on the edge of life.

Brittle but not yet broken, Ia Pendilly ekes out a fierce life in a caravan on the coast of Cornwall. In years of living with Bran – her embattled, battering cousin and common law husband – she’s never yet had her own baby. So when she discovers the waif washed up on the shore, Ia takes the risk and rescues her. And the girl, in turn, will rescue something in Ia – bringing back a memory she’s lost, giving her the strength to escape, and leading her on a journey downriver.

It will take her into the fringes of a society she’s shunned, collapsed around its own isolation. It will take her through a valley ravaged by floods, into a world not too far from reckoning. It will take her in search of her sister, and the dark remembrance of their parting. It will take her, break her, remake her, in the shapes of freedom.





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My Review



Ia Pendilly lives a solitary existence in a caravan on the North coast of Cornwall, bracketed by the wild sea and rugged land, and by a bully of a husband and utter hopelessness. Ia’s one solace are the memories of her childhood with sister Evie, of times spent pottering and playing in the caves at home, free and happy. Now, Ia is consumed with loneliness, those sunny days backalong keeping her afloat. When a she finds a wisp of a child washed up on the shore, her prayers are answered. As Ia nurses the girl back to health, the girl in her own way restores something in Ia, a strength and courage that has lain tucked away for years. Soon a bond unlike any other grows between Ia and the girl. They are no longer two strangers. They are mother and child. When Bran discovers the girl, Ia packs up her small world in a sack and flees, finally escaping the torment of his cruel words and crueller fists. As she and the girl start off on their journey, they are met with dangers that threaten to part them. Following the river home comes with its risks but surely they are risks worth taking.



Ia’s tale is at times disturbing and others incredibly touching. Her cousin and common-law husband Bran is a bully, his wrath wrapping around her and suffocating every pocket of happiness. She awaits the days he goes out to fish with bated breath. Then she can have the caravan and cove to herself, to pick among the flotsam and jetsam and be free to imagine what motherhood might be like. She has suffered the heartache of several miscarriages and she carries the loss each and every second. Lonely and afraid, Ia’s life takes a sudden shift when she finds the girl washed up in the cove and she feels a hope that has eluded her for so many years. The bond these two share was really touching. I loved following their journey.




I can’t write this review without really quickly mentioning the setting. As I’m from Cornwall it was so lovely to read Natasha Carthew’s exquisite descriptions of its wild and rugged beauty. She has encapsulated it magnificently in her prose and for a few hours I really did feel as if I was in Cornwall, hearing the waves and seagulls. I especially loved seeing The Mermaid of Zennor briefly mentioned. It’s a fascinating legend – I’ve popped a link here! Carthew’s narrative is sharp and distinctive.




All Rivers Run Free is a raw, exquisitely told tale of loneliness, forgiveness, love, hope and finding your way home. Breathtaking!


Raw. Compelling. Breathtaking.




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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Natasha Carthew:


natasha carthew


Natasha Carthew has been published previously as a poet and young adult writer and her books have been nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for several national awards including the Branford Boase. She lives in Cornwall with her girlfriend of twenty years and spends most of her time writing outdoors in all weathers. Her identity as a country writer has led her to become a survival expert, a trained walking-guide and to teach Wild Writing workshops.

You can find Natasha on Twitter here!







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Huge thanks to Ana McLaughlin for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Review of The Old You by Louise Voss ~ #TheOldYou #BookReview #BlogTour #RandomThingsTours #OrendaBooks

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Orenda Books, RandomThingsTours


Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Old You By Louise Voss!



the old you



The Old You


Louise Voss



Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…

Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?







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My Review:


Lynn and Ed Naismith have been happily married for ten years. They are lovers as well as old friends. He knows she likes the scent of lavender to ease her into sleep and she knows he likes to top up his tan any chance he can get. Kind, caring, supportive, they are the perfect couple. Or so it would seem. When Ed is diagnosed with early-onset dementia, their carefully built world topples. Crippled with heartache, Lynn watches her husband steadily change before her eyes. Words are lost and memories forgotten. Their relationship shifts under her very fingertips and the people they were vanish. Strange events and old memories collide in Lynn’s rapidly fraying world. And before long the lines begin to blur. Is it Ed’s mind that is failing or is it Lynn’s? Or perhaps even both?



A few times throughout this book, I thought I had it sussed. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. Louise Voss keeps a constant stream of twists and turns coursing through the pages. Every aspect of this book is honed to perfection. The characters are engaging and surprising, their buried secrets and lies dipping into the present and causing a ruckus in their own lives as well as the ones around them. The plot is a finely woven, intricately told tale of deceit, manipulation, lies and buried secrets.



I read this book in a day. I absolutely tore through the pages. I was with Lynn all the way through. Every secret she unearthed, I felt I unearthed with her. Every lie that shocked her, shocked me. And with every piece of the puzzle that slotted into place, I felt as if I was with her on her new path.


Tension and suspense abound in this complex, riveting slice of domestic noir. It’s original, intriguing and so, so very clever. I loved it and although I was racing to the end, I really didn’t want it to end because I was enjoying it so much!

Compelling. Dark. Mysterious.




To purchase a copy of this book, you can follow the links below
Amazon UK
Book Depository




About Louise Voss






Louise Voss has been writing for the past eighteen years, with many twists and turns in her career. She started her publishing life with four novels for Transworld/Black Swan, the first of which, To Be Someone, was published in 2001 with its own CD soundtrack. This was followed by three more contemporary women’s fiction novels, Are You My Mother? Lifesaver, and Games People Play, until she switched to publishing thrillers with Mark Edwards.

She and Mark were the first British indie authors to reach No.1 on the Amazon charts with Catch Your Death, where they stayed for the month of June 2011, with their novel Killing Cupid also at No. 2. This led to a four-book deal with Harper Collins; then two books in the DI Lennon series, From the Cradle and The Blissfully Dead (Thomas & Mercer).

Her first solo thriller was The Venus Trap in 2015 and her second, a twisty tale of domestic noir, is out in May 2018: The Old You, published by @OrendaBooks.

Louise lives in southwest London and can be reached at @LouiseVoss1 on Twitter or on Facebook:





Follow the bloggers on #TheOldYou blog tour!


FINAL Old You blog poster 2018 copy






Huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books and Anne at Random Things Tours for my review copy and blog tour invite!