Blog Tour! Review of The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola ~ #TheStoryKeeper #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Headline, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola!





The Story Keeper


Anna Mazzola




Audrey Hart is on the Isle of Skye to collect the folk and fairy tales of the people and communities around her. It is 1857 and the Highland Clearances have left devastation and poverty, and a community riven by fear. The crofters are suspicious and hostile to a stranger, claiming they no longer know their fireside stories.

Then Audrey discovers the body of a young girl washed up on the beach and the crofters reveal that it is only a matter of weeks since another girl disappeared. They believe the girls are the victims of the restless dead: spirits who take the form of birds.

Initially, Audrey is sure the girls are being abducted, but as events accumulate she begins to wonder if something else is at work. Something which may be linked to the death of her own mother, many years before.









Audrey Hart arrives on the Isle of Skye one dark, mizzly day, a carpet bag and a thirst for stories her only possessions. With the memory of her beloved mother, whose passion for stories fed her own, and a past in London that is lonely and starved of warmth, she is desperate to pave a new path in life, a life she wants for her own. Audrey’s father refuses to hear of her love of folklore and fairy tales, demands she abandon it; her stepmother, Dorothea, admonishes her drive and tries to force her into the role of a debutant. But Audrey won’t be forced. Stories run in her blood. And she won’t be made to forget them.



Hired by the wealthy Miss Buchanan of Lanerly to collect and document the local folk and fairy tales, Audrey is curious about her new employer, whose reluctance to see or be seen by the locals prevents her leaving the mansion. Stories have pulsed through Skye’s history for decades. Audrey’s job is to capture them, before they fade out and the people who tell them fade from the shores. A simple enough task. Or so it seems at first. The crofters are uneasy, reluctant to share their stories with a sassanach, a stranger. There is another reason for their suspicion though. Wicked tales swathe the land, of girls being taken, spirits who transform into birds, of a darkness that curdles Skye’s history.



When a body washes up on the shore, Audrey learns of a spate of recent disappearances. Young girls gone missing. Did they pack up their possessions and leave their homes for new lives? Or were they taken? Snatched from the people they loved? Audrey must untangle the mystery but it will come at a risk. To her, to the crofters, to everything she thought and everything she knows.



Audrey is fleeing a lonely life in London, where the fading memories of her mother are not enough to sustain her. Her father won’t speak of her mother’s mysterious death, fielding Audrey’s questions with his coldness, felling every hope with his firm refusals. Audrey is tormented by her mother’s absence and all that she doesn’t know. The stories are her only solace and on Skye she hopes to find some answers about her death and the woman she was before.



A brooding unease and power undulates through the prose, striking a strong combination of intrigue and fascination in the reader. I adore folk and fairytales and devoured them as a youngster. They were an instant source of fascination for me. When I started reading The Story Keeper, I felt that old intrigue and fascination return. The author exquisitely draws the reader into Audrey’s world, atmosphere and mystery cradled in every word. Absolutely wonderful!



Mysterious. Atmospheric. Chilling.




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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Anna Mazzola



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(c) Lou Abercrombie



Anna is a writer who, due to some fault of her parents, is drawn to peculiar and dark historical subjects. Her novels have been described as literary crime fiction or historical crime. Anna’s influences include Sarah Waters, Daphne Du Maurier, Shirley Jackson and Margaret Atwood.

Her debut novel, The Unseeing, is based on the life of a real woman called Sarah Gale who was convicted of aiding a murder in London in 1837. Her second novel, The Story Keeper, follows a folklorist’s assistant as she searches out dark fairytales and stolen girls on the Isle of Skye in 1857.

She studied English at Pembroke College, Oxford, before becoming a human rights and criminal justice solicitor. She now tries to combine law with writing and child wrangling, to varying degrees of success.

Anna loves to hear from readers, so do say hello on social media or via her website.




Follow the bloggers on #TheStoryKeeper Blog Tour!


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Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Tinder Press for my review copy and blog tour invite!


Blog Tour! Review of The After Wife by Cass Hunter ~ #BookReview #BlogTour #TheAfterWife

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Quercus

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of The After Wife by Cass Hunter!




the after wife



The After Wife


Cass Hunter



When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.

She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.

Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.

But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.

A gift called iRachel.









My Review:



When Aiden’s beloved wife, Rachel, passes away, he is faced with an abyss too large to comprehend. In an instant he has lost the only woman he has ever loved. Their plans, hopes and aspirations have all vanished. The future, has shifted. Aiden is in turmoil, struggling to reunite the blur of grief-ridden days to the life he had a week ago. One with Rachel firmly in the middle. But he must be strong because fifteen-year-old daughter Chloe will need his love, his support and his strength to battle through her own grief. When Rachel’s old partner at Telos Robotics asks him to visit the lab urgently to receive a message Rachel left behind, Aiden is at first reluctant but eventually returns to the lab to clear out her things. What he finds – what Rachel has left him – will alter his family’s future.





Rachel was a renowned scientist. Admired and applauded over by everyone. Her goal was to create an empathetic robot. An AI that could be a helper, a companion or a friend. Not something but someone to stave off loneliness in homes where loneliness is beginning to take hold. Keeping her work a secret from not only her bosses but Aiden also, she developed a robot to look and behave like her, memories of her own built into the robot. In the case of her death, she recorded a message for Aiden, a message that only IRachel can deliver. She asks him to take her robot doppelgänger home so it can learn, watch human behaviour and interact with him and Chloe. It is her last wish so how can Aiden refuse?




When Chloe discovers her mother’s creation, she is shocked, angry and afraid. Even more so when IRachel moves into their home. She locks herself away and refuses to interact with it. Every part of her life is changing; her friends grow distant, her hopes shift and her memories are redefined in the new knowledge of her mother. But as she adjusts to a new routine, the loneliness she feels inches away and IRahcel grows into something more than the sum of her parts. Something that might guide her through the pain of losing her mother.




I really enjoyed The After Wife by Cass Hunter. Seeing the characters evolve was wonderful – I really fell in love with them, even IRachel. For me, she wasn’t so much the legacy of Rachel’s career but a gift to her family, a parting goodbye designed to help them bear their loss and prepare them for the future. A beautiful, touching tale! Fabulous!




Original. Unique. Emotive.






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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Cass Hunter



cass hunter

Cass Hunter was born in South Africa and moved to the UK in 2000. She lives in North London with her husband and two sons. She is an avid lifelong learner, and works at a London university. Cass Hunter is the pen name of Rosie Fiore, whose novels include After Isabella, What She Left, Babies in Waiting and Wonder Women.


Find her on Twitter!





Follow the bloggers on #TheAfterWife blog tour!



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after wife


Huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Alainna at Orion for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Review of Sky’s the Limit by Janie Millman ~ #BookReview #SkysTheLimit #BlogTour

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

I’m absolutely thrilled to be kicking off the Sky’s the Limit blog tour today with my review and a fabulous guest post from author Janie Millman!



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Sky’s the Limit


Janie Millman



Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more
that it is her oldest friend, Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and
can’t ever trust either of them again.
To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to
meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.
In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky, these lead to France, to a
beautiful Chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.
With a rich cast of characters, beautiful locations and an ending that will make you smile, this is the perfect
summer read.





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My Review




Sky is heartbroken when she discovers her husband has fallen in love with her best friend Nick. Sky’s life, which was a picture of perfection, is now struck through the middle. Nick has been her closest friend since school and sharing their lives, their thoughts, their hopes was second nature. They were soul mates. But now all their memories have been laid to waste by betrayal and the heartbreak she battles with. With her world cut to ribbons, Sky takes a trip to Marrakesh, a place she has dreamed of visiting for years. But escaping their betrayal proves much trickier when Nick comes along to make sure she is OK.



Gail overhears her sister Dawn mocking her life choices and feels inspired to take the bull by the horns and track down her five-year-old son’s father. The man she has never really stopped loving. A misunderstanding separated them but now Gail is determined to give Tariq the chance of knowing his son and Sonny the chance of knowing his father. Tariq could have a wife, children, he could be a man far removed from the one she fell in love with. Gail knows she must try but joining up two halves, the past and the present, and healing the break that has sat between them for so many years could be harder than she thinks.



Philippe and Beatrice are, despite their divorce, the best of friends. She is a wise, warm proprietress of the Raid Fantine in Marrakesh. He is a caring, humorous winemaker from France. After suffering a terrible skiing injury, Philippe agrees to stay at Raid Fantine while he recovers. But the concerns that dog his life follow him to the beautiful vista. As new guests pour in, Sky, Sonny, Gail and Nick, Philippe and Beatrice’s lives begin to shift. Under a canopy of laughter and discovery, friendships begins to form.



Janie Millman’s rich descriptions of not only Marrakesh and East France but also the cuisine, the culture and the characters instantly envelope the reader in a tide of feel-good warmth. I found myself laughing constantly at the wit in this book. Sky’s the Limit is a joyous celebration of friendship, love and life.



Witty. Evocative. Fabulous.






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

Amazon UK

Book Depository







Guest Post from Janie Millman




Sky’s The Limit is set partly in Marrakech and partly in South West France, where I have lived for the last nine years.

I love writing about different locations and trying to communicate the sense of a place to my readers. I want to transport them there, I want them to feel the atmosphere, to hear the sounds, imagine the colours and capture the smell.
The location is as important to me as a character.

I first went to Marrakech as a fourteen-year-old. I was staying with a French family who lived in Casablanca. They were very wealthy; the son was charming, very handsome and the same age as my older brother; the daughter was less charming and just over a year older than me. She was sophisticated and surly and deeply resented having to entertain me. The exchange was not a huge success, in fact she ignored me for the main part but her parents were wonderful and had organised a road trip round Morocco. We stayed in some amazing places but it was Marrakech that made the most impact.

I will never forget standing in the main square – Jeema El Fnaa – watching open-mouthed at the acrobats, the jugglers, the snake charmers, the water carriers and the storytellers. As Sky says in my book: “It felt like I was in the middle of a giant theatre.”

From the bright sunshine, we entered the mysterious gloom of the souks. It was exotic and enchanting and a million miles away from the small Buckinghamshire village I lived in. I could have spent hours in there.

I remember the fascination of the wood carver and I still have the camel he made for me. Again, like Sky, I wanted to buy every brightly-coloured kaftan and I craved every decorated leather slipper on the stall. The intense turquoise and gold pottery were a far cry from my mother’s dun Denby dinner set and I knew then that this was absolutely the sort of thing I would buy when my time came to furnish a house.

I guess this trip awoke my sense of adventure, gave me the desire to travel and see as much of the world as possible. I made a vow to come back and about thirty years later I did, accompanied by my husband.

We stayed in the Riad I describe in my book. We met a host of incredible characters and the idea for Sky’s The Limit was born.


That was fabulous! Thank you so much, Janie!



About Janie Millman



Janie Millman Headshot



Janie Millman is an actress, writer and co-owner of Chez Castillon.
She met Mickey, her husband, playing romantic leads in a summer season of comedies at The Little
Theatre, Sheringham, on the Norfolk coast. Both actors for more than twenty years, their roles have
ranged from Ninja Turtles, to acting in Olivier Award-winning stage productions and working on-screen
with Hollywood stars.
Although still acting, Janie is now concentrating on writing. Her debut novel, Life’s A Drag, was published
first in July 2015 by Accent Press and went on to receive highly acclaimed reviews.
It was then rebranded by The Dome Press and republished in February 2017.
Janie’s next book with The Dome Press, Sky’s the Limit, will be published in August 2018.

Social Media:
Twitter: @ChezCastillon





Follow the bloggers on the #SkysTheLimit blog tour!



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Huge thanks to Janie, Emily and the Dome Press for the fabulous guest post, my review copy and blog tour invite!

Book Review: He Will Find You By Diane Jeffrey ~ #HeWillFindYou #BookReview

Book Reviews

he will find you



He Will Find You


Diane Jeffrey



No matter where you hide…

Kaitlyn Best is stuck in a rut. So when she discovers she’s pregnant after a one-night-stand with Alex, her school crush, she throws caution to the wind and accepts his offer to make a new life together in the depths of the Lake District, far from her home… and her demons.

He will find you.

But Alex is not what he seems. And when Kaitlyn’s world begins to crumble before her eyes, she realises she barely knows the man she has agreed to spend the rest of her life with.

Since Alex won’t tell her his secrets, Kaitlyn vows to find them out for herself. But when she uncovers the truth, she realises she has made a terrible mistake…







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My Review


When Kaitlyn Best sends a friend request to old school crush Alex Riley, she doesn’t expect him to accept it, let alone the conversations with him that follow. Alex is kind, funny and charming, exactly the person she remembers. Gradually their new friendship grows into something more. When Kaitlyn discovers she is pregnant, she agrees to move in with Alex at The Old Vicarage in Grasmeer, a home that has been in his family for years. It will be a fresh start. A new life for the happy family. A way of banishing all her bad memories and beginning again. Alex will be the best father their baby could possibly have. He will be supportive and caring, there every step of the way.




When he proposes, Kaitlyn immediately says yes, visualising the happy life stretching out before her. Their wedding goes without a hitch. Surrounded by their friends and family, life seems perfect. But it is too good to be true. Realisation is about to cut that mirage in two. And the world Kaitlyn has built will crumble.




Things begin to go down hill on her wedding day. At first Kaitlyn thinks it’s just emotions running high but slowly she begins to dawn on her that it is so much worse than that. I think Kaitlyn rushed into the relationship because she wanted to be happy. She suffered a terrible loss as a young girl and this coupled with a recent break up with ex-boyfriend Kevin, who she never quite clicked with, left her wanting a fresh start with someone new. I really felt for Kaitlyn as Alex began to change. The mask slipped, her life splintered. And she had to face all of this, caring for her baby. It’s very emotional to read.




Diane Jeffrey explores some very strong themes, one of which being domestic abuse, which has a huge emotional impact on the reader. She delves into the psychology of her characters and depicts them with searing prose. He Will Find You is a fast-paced, chilling psychological thriller that will steal your breath away.



Dark. Twisty. Thrilling.









To purchase a copy of the book, which publishes on the 4th August, you can follow the links below:

Amazon UK

Book Depository






About Diane Jeffrey


diane jeffreys


Diane Jeffrey grew up in North Devon, in the United Kingdom. She now lives in Lyon, France with her husband and their three children, Labrador, cat and kitten.
THOSE WHO LIE, her debut psychological thriller, was a Kindle bestseller in the USA, Canada and Australia and in the top 100 Kindle books in the UK.
HE WILL FIND YOU, set in the Lake District and Somerset and published in August 2018, is her second novel.
Diane is an English teacher. When she’s not working or writing, she likes swimming, running and reading. She loves chocolate, beer and holidays.
Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Readers can follow Diane on Twitter @dianefjeffrey
or on








Huge thanks to Diane Jeffrey and HQ Digital for my review copy!

Book Review: Strangers On A Bridge by Louise Mangos ~ #BookReview #StrangersOnABridge

Book Reviews

strangers on a bridge


Strangers On A Bridge


Louise Mangos




She should never have saved him.

When Alice Reed goes on her regular morning jog in the peaceful Swiss Alps, she doesn’t expect to save a man from suicide. But she does. And it is her first mistake.

Adamant they have an instant connection, Manfred’s charming exterior grows darker and his obsession with Alice grows stronger.

In a country far from home, where the police don’t believe her, the locals don’t trust her and even her husband questions the truth about Manfred, Alice has nowhere to turn.

To what lengths will Alice go to protect herself and her family?






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My Review




Alice Reed begins her early morning routine with a jog in the Swiss Alps. It’s her way of casting aside her concerns if only for a little while and letting her thoughts roam. The morning begins like any other but when Alice stumbles across a lone figure standing on the edge of the Tobel Bridge, she is struck with fear. Her instincts kick in and she immediately tries to help, only just managing to persuade him from his suicide attempt and avoid disaster.




But Alice’s single act of kindness curtails into a moment of regret that will bombard her for months to come. The man she saved forms a chilling obsession, believing he and Alice are meant to be together. As his clutch on her life clenches ever tighter, Alice’s own grasp on happiness begins to falter, the bond between her family begins to fray. And if Alice can’t find a way to stop him, she might not be able to piece it back together.




In the beginning, I think Alice feels somehow responsible for Manfred. What she thought was simple gratitude on his part for saving his life swiftly turns into something far more menacing. Manfred integrates himself into every aspect of her life. He follows her every move, walks her sons home, threatens to get her husband fired. He is intent in his endeavour to make Alice realise they should be together. His obsession grows darker with each day – he gave me a huge case of the chills.





As someone who has never visited Switzerland, I loved the setting and how this book gave me a glimpse at somewhere completely new. The setting is a big part of the book and author Louise Mangos offers her readers an authentic lens to view the scenery and culture through. Louise has kindly let me borrow some of her stunning pictures to add to this post. Below are a few of the beautiful views in Strangers On A Bridge!





Strangers On A Bridge is a tense, twisty book that will keep its readers gripped as soon as they start reading. The characters will march into your thoughts and prove to be completely unforgettable! I loved it!



Thrilling. Twisty. Chilling.







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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Louise Mangos



louise mangos


Louise Mangos grew up in rural Hertfordshire in the UK but has spent more than half her life in the Swiss Alps. Her debut psychological thriller “Strangers on a Bridge” was a finalist in the Exeter Novel Prize and long listed for the Bath Novel Award. Her novels are all set in Switzerland where she lives with her Kiwi husband and two sons. She also writes short stories and flash fiction which have won prizes and been published in various anthologies. She is currently studying for her MA in crime writing at UEA.

You can find Louise on Twitter, Facebook and on her website!







Huge  thanks to Louise Mangos, Hannah Smith and HQ Digital for my review copy!

Blog Tour! Review of The Lost Letters of William Woolf ~ #BookReview #LostLetters #BlogTour

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Lost Letters of Willam Woolf by Helen Cullen!


lost letters




The Lost Letters of William Woolf




Helen Cullen






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My Review




William Woolf is a letter detective at the lost letters depot in East London. Everyday he delves into sacks of post and solves, decodes and de-riddles the stories behind missing parcels and missives in a bid to return them to their true owners. He has the ability to mend raggedy hearts, restore lost hope and change unsuspecting lives. To the boy who wants to run away and join the circus to escape his cruel father, William gives the possibility of a new life. For the woman who aches to see her lover, he gives the opportunity that was missed so long ago, the date and location to meet again, this time a missing letter no longer keeping them part. For the weary souls who write to the unknown for help, he gives silent hope that their struggles are being heard and even in some small way recognised.




Hundreds of lost letters and voices brush across his desk and weave through his thoughts. He translates the illegible handwriting, tracks down recipients and sends letters back to the ones who miss them. With every letter comes the chance of salving broken hearts and reuniting people but a solution to his own predicament seems to be nonexistent. His relationship with wife Clare is crumbling. Like so many of the postage stamps on the letters that pass through his fingertips, the bond they shared is peeling away and despite all attempts at remedying it, they will not stick.




The couple who danced and joked and blasted out karaoke songs together have given way to cool disconnection. Clare feels she has lost herself in the depths of supporting William for so long. The creativity and artistry she was once so proud of has disintegrated. She misses who she used to be, misses the old William but isn’t sure if she can salvage their marriage. William is lonely. Afraid that one wrong move will destroy their life together and the memories they made along with it. When a letter, addressed to ‘My Great Love’ appears in his sack of post, he senses instantly it is different from the rest. In the author’s words he begins to recognise pieces of himself and wonders if perhaps he could be that great love. As more letters arrive, it seems as if fate itself is designing it. But for William everything is at stake.




The Lost Letters of William Woolf was recommended to me a little while ago so when I was invited to join the blog tour I jumped at the chance. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this book. It’s a poignant, charming, compelling, gorgeously written book that is a meditation on love, discovery and possibility. It is also testament to the power of the written word and letter writing. Helen Cullen’s characters and poetic prose is simply stunning. I loved it!



Poignant. Compelling. Charming.





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

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Helen Cullen



helen cullen


Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ will be published this year, 2018 in UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy and Israel.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.
Twitter: @wordsofhelen




Follow the bloggers on the #LostLetters blog tour!



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lost letters pic


Huge thanks to Katie, Gaby and Michael Joseph for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Review of An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena ~ #AnUnwantedGuest #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I’m delighted to share my review today of An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena!


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An Unwanted Guest


Shari Lapena


We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.






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My Review




David Paley is a defence attorney taking a much-needed break from work at remote, luxurious Mitchell’s Inn in the Catskill Mountains. Exhausted by his own torments, he is caught by surprise when a mutual attraction blossoms between himself and another guest. But any chance of a long-term relationship is threatened by a terrible past which was splashed across the news, a past he is still trying to outrun. For David, his stay at Mitchell’s Inn could end with a new romance or even more outrage should the guests discover who he is.


Lauren and Ian are a loving couple wanting a relaxing week away. On the drive over they find a car that has skidded off the road, inside two women huddling against the cold. Observant and curious, Lauren instantly detects something festering between the two friends. But what she cannot tell.


Dana and Matthew are enjoying a period of down time before their wedding. He is a member of one of the wealthiest families in New England. She is one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen. They are young, in love, engaged. And nothing can get in their way. Except, perhaps, for their own secrets which could stifle any hope of a life together.


Candace White is a ghost-writer intent on having a fresh start, forging a new path. After escaping a family who pile everything on her shoulders, Mitchell’s Inn is exactly the retreat she needs to finish writing her novel.



Beverly and Henry’s marriage is falling apart. She thinks some time away from home will reignite their relationship, away from the kids’ demands and the speed of life shifting them out of one another’s orbits, this is the chance they need. He thinks it is the right time to finally confess he wants a separation, a new life apart. The love has gone. If it had ever really been there in the first place.



Gwen and Riley are old friends on shaky ground. Riley is a war correspondent traumatised by what she has seen and experienced. Gwen is determined to ease her back into life and ease her turmoil. But some scars run too deep to be healed.




When a body is found at the bottom of the staircase at Mitchell’s Inn, chaos ensues. It soon becomes clear that it was no accident, no simple stumble down the stairs. She was pushed, murdered. A killer is among them. Theories fly, fears abound. As the weather prevents them getting out, they are trapped within the Inn with no electricity and peril stalking their every step. The guests’ nerves are shot through, a frisson of dread marking every hour they are stranded. Nowhere is safe. The world is locked out and they are locked in. As the panic levels rise, the body count rises with it.





An Unwanted Guest is tense, thrilling and claustrophobic new novel from Shari Lapena. All the characters in this book keep secrets. As the story progresses, slowly they are coaxed out and it is extremely gripping. Woven through is a tension that will have you biting your nails to the quick. The emotion Shari Lapena pulses into these pages is palpable. I was hooked from start to finish!




Tense. Thrilling. Clever.






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

Amazon UK

Book Depository





About Shari Lapena


shari lapena

Shari worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction. Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller. Her second thriller, A Stranger in the House, has been a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller.


Follow Shari on Twitter and on her website!



Follow the bloggers on #AnUnwantedGuest blog tour!









unwanted guest



Huge thanks to Anne Cater, Thomas Hill and Doubleday for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allen ~ #HerNameWasRose #BlogTour #BookReview

Avon Books, Blog Tours, Book Reviews

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to finish off the tour with my review of Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allen!






Her Name Was Rose


Claire Allen


Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.





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My Review




Rose Grahame had everything. Perfect husband, perfect son, perfect house, perfect life. She loved her job and her friends adored her. Kind and beautiful, Rose drew everyone to her. She could be the shoulder to cry on for her colleagues, the soothing mother for her little boy and the comforting friend for her patients. Her life is the sort of life so many women dream of. But behind the glistening mirage is a crippling reality. Because nothing is ever as it seems.




Emily D’Arcy’s grasp on perfection shattered long ago. Now her life is a mess. Friends are none existent, family are distant and ashamed of her and her job is crashing to the floor. When Emily lets Rose pass her on the way out of an elevator, she has no idea that one small action will have devastating consequences. A car crashes into her, killing her instantly and narrowly avoiding the little boy in the pram. Emily watches Rose die, haunted by the thought that it should have been her. When she is let go at work, she desperately looks for a new job elsewhere. What comes up is the vacancy at a dentists, the position Rose once filled. But what would be so wrong with taking the job? Rose was obviously happy. Why shouldn’t Emily be? She deserves happiness, safety, security, hope. All of it. A fresh start, a new life.




For Emily the hit-and-run brings back a flood of memories from her past. Memories she has tried hard to bury, that scorch a trail of heartache through her life. She’s a very lonely character, I think this is what spurred her on in making some of her choices. The first few pages I struggled to warm to her but as the book progressed I actually really felt for her. And I wanted her to have something good come her way, a happy ending. I don’t want to go into too much detail about the antagonist except to say he is utterly horrendous. Manipulative, abusive and cruel, not to mention arrogant. It’s enough to make you cringe. Fantastic characterisation.




Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allen is a clever, twisty, gripping thriller. Touching on themes such as abuse, manipulation, loneliness and love, this is a fabulous book to get stuck into. I’m looking forward to seeing what Claire Allen comes up with next!



Dark. Twisty. Clever.


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

Amazon UK

Book Depository

About Claire Allen


claire allen



Claire Allan is an Irish Times bestselling author from Derry, Northern Ireland.
A former journalist with the Derry Journal she made the jump to writing full time in 2016.

She wrote her first novel in 2006, and Rainy Days and Tuesdays was subsequently published in 2007 and reached number 2 in the Irish BestSellers chart.

Claire’s books cover everything from break ups to break downs, family relationships to a little bit of social history – and she prides herself on writing with both humour and warmth.
She is a supporter of both Aware (Defeat Depression) and the Alzheimer’s Society.

She is married, a mum to two kids (one of each kind), and she tolerates her two neurotic cats for the sake of her family. She considers Michael Buble to be her one true love – although she rarely talks about the time she met him, and he kissed her and she kissed him back.


Follow Claire on Twitter!




Follow the bloggers on the #HerNameWasRose blog tour!






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Huge thanks to Sabah Kahn and Avon Books for my review copy/blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Review The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise ~ #BookReview #EmperorOfShoes #RandomThingsTours #NoExitPress

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, No Exit Press, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share my review of The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise!



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The Emperor of Shoes


Spencer Wise



Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow labourers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?

Deftly plotted and vibrantly drawn, The Emperor of Shoes is a timely meditation on idealism, ambition, father-son rivalry and cultural revolution, set against a vivid backdrop of social and technological change.






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My Review


Alex Cohen is faced with a huge legacy to uphold when his father passes over the mantle to the family shoe-factory Tiger Step, in China. For decades his father has lived and breathed work, brokering deals and keeping the factory running smoothly, where even an eight minute pause is time wasted and must be rectified. Twenty-six year old Alex is daunted by the future awaiting him, intimidated by the rules and laws he will have to abide by as head of the factory. He is also excited at the possibility of designing new brands and instilling the business with his own passion and vision.




But when Alex begins to explore the floors of the factory, he discovers a different side to the place he thought he knew. Workers are being exploited and used. Laws broken and all evidence swept away and hidden. Faced with a choice, keep the factory going and ignore the terrible chain of events or speak out, Alex must decided which avenue to take.




I really felt for Alex in this book. He’s a kind soul, compassionate and a little bit naive. When he is given the reins to the factory, the weight on his shoulders is immense. Even more so when he discovers things happening without his knowledge. Ivy, a stitcher in the samples room and foot model, grows increasingly close to Alex. It’s clear to see that these two have a strong bond. But Ivy keeps secrets that have the strength to divide them and even ignite a revolution.



Spencer Wise’s writing is just stunning. I read this book within a day, utterly captivated by his evocative descriptions, poignant voice and refreshing insight. Touching on some heavy themes, this book is definitely a thought-provoking read. The author spins fantastic characters and seamlessly draws you into a web of compelling storytelling. The Emperor of Shoes is a gorgeously written book about ambition, change and discovery.



Intriguing. Thought-provoking. Brilliant.





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

Amazon UK

Book Depository




About Spencer Wise



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Born in Boston, Spencer Wise is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Texas at Austin and worked in the editorial departments at Sports Illustrated and Time Out New York. His work has appeared in Narrative magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Florida Review, and New Ohio Review. He is the winner of the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. Wise teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.

Follow Spencer on Twitter!





Follow the bloggers on the #EmperorOfShoes blog tour!



FINAL Emperor of Shoes B T Poster (1)




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Huge thanks to Anne Cater, Katherine Sunderland and No Exit Press for my review copy and blog tour invite!

Blog Tour! Review of Do No Harm by L V Hay ~ #DoNoHarm #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Orenda Books, RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m delighted to share my review of Do No Harm by L V Hay!



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Do No Harm


L V Hay



Till death do us part…

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.





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My Review




After a traumatic relationship with cruel, possessive Maxwell Stevens, Lily has finally found someone she feels safe with. Sebastian is kind, patient, loving, everything Maxwell wasn’t. The future is bright. She, Sebastian and little boy Denny will be a happy family. She will be able to move on and leave the past behind.


But it isn’t so easily done.


Her wedding day has been planned to perfection. A short ceremony, a few family and friends and Maxwell as far from them as possible. But their plan falls flat when he turns up moments before they say “I do.” Determined not to let him spoil their day, they carry on and in no time at all jet off for their honeymoon in Mauritius. When they return, things start to go wrong. Bombarded by Maxwell’s horrifying attempts at breaching their walls, Lily and Sebastian’s chances at happiness begin to dwindle as fear and panic set in.



I almost wanted Lily and Sebastian to stay on their honeymoon, and put off going back because you can just sense disaster will strike when they do. Maxwell is a character you instantly dislike. When he and Lily were a couple, he played countless games, plucking her emotions like strings and abandoning her most days to care for Denny by herself. Not to mention the countless affairs. He is arrogant, possessive and very cruel. He is also dedicated to undoing everything Lily and Sebastian have built. Even his own son won’t prevent his ploys to put a rift between them. He is limitless. I couldn’t help but hope he would get his comeuppance all the way through.



Do No Harm looks at themes of loss, parenthood, control and mind games. But it also explores the line where love and obsession begin to blur. This is such a cracking story. I thought I had it sussed, then L V Hay threw that shocking conclusion at me and I realised how far off the mark I’d been.



L V Hay invites her readers to discover another dark, thrilling and utterly astounding psychological thriller. Tension and turmoil abound in Do No Harm, which will turn everything you thought and believed on its head when you least expect it. This book is a striking new novel from this author. I adored her debut The Other Twin. It was one of my favourite books of 2017! I can’t wait to see what L V Hay comes up with next!!



Dark. Compelling. Astonishing.





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

Amazon UK

Book Depository



About L V Hay



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Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin(2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. Her critically acclaimed debut thriller The Other Twin was published in 2017.


Follow Lucy on Twitter!



Follow the bloggers on the #DoNoHarm blog tour!








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Huge thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my review copy and blog tour invite!!