Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Debut, Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

Gone by Leona Deakin

Today is my final blog tour for 2019 and so close to Christmas I am certainly ending on an absolute cracker as I play host to Gone by Leona Deakin.

Synopsis

Four strangers are missing.

Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME
DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic, and psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom is persuaded to investigate. As she delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.
And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the puppeteer. But is she playing into their hands?

An addictive debut thriller with an ingenious hook that turns the missing person plot on its head

– what if the missing people are the dangerous ones?

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My thoughts

This was a very, very enjoyable read.  I have to say I am mightily impressed that this is a debut and rather excited that it kicks of the start of a series.

Right from the very first page this novel had a grip on me and I honestly found it hard to put down.  Daily life became frustrating as I was constantly on the lookout for my next opportunity to read, even waking up extra early to read.  The structure and plotting is superb and the twists and turns of the story executed with a expert hand.

The story begins with a crime scene.  A victim lies on the floor, life slowly ebbing away.  With him are two school girls.  At this stage we’re unsure what happened but the event leaves us with a feeling of unease. Something isn’t quite right and one of the young girls is sent to see Dr Bloom.  Alongside this runs what appears to be the main plotline of the disappearance of a young mother. Lana disappears without a trace on her birthday.  The only clue that remains is an unsigned birthday card simply stating ‘YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.  DARE TO PLAY’.  As Dr Augustus Bloom and her partner Marcus Jameson begin to investigate it becomes clear that there are more disappearances and that the danger doesn’t lie with the missing people but is closer to home.

Exciting, fast-paced and with an very engaging detective team this is definitely a series to watch.  I can’t wait to read more. There are also reading group questions at the back and a sneak peek at book 2.  Thankfully the second novel is not too far away, with Lost due to be published in 2020. 🙂

Gone was published by Black Swan (Transworld Books) in paperback on October 3rd. Also available in EBook.

Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

About the author

Unknown-1Leona Deakin

Leona draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. She is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds.  Gone is her debut thriller.

You can follow Leona on Twitter at @LeonaDeakin1

You can follow Transworld Books on Twitter at @TransworldBooks

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Family Drama, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories

A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon

Today I’m delighted to host the blog tour for A Cornish Inheritance by Terri Nixon as part of the Random Things Tours.

Synopsis

Welcome to Fox Bay Hotel, where family fortunes rise and fall.

1920, Bristol. Helen Fox is happily married to the love of her life: charming, former playboy Harry. With their three children, glamorous lifestyle and extravagant parties, they have the perfect life. But after a tragic motorcycle accident, nothing will ever be the same…

Helen is forced to leave their home and move to the Fox family’s hotel on the Cornish coast – where she discovers her perfect life has been based on a lie.
Now Helen must find a way to build a new life for herself and her children with the help of a vivacious new friend, Leah Marshall.
But when the future of the hotel is threatened, Helen discovers that she hasn’t left her past behind after all, and unless she takes drastic action, she’s going to lose everything all over again…

A Cornish Inheritance Cover

My thoughts

Helen is blissfully married as one half of the ‘heavenly twins’, but things are often not as they seem and she soon discovers that her husband has not been entirely honest with her.  Still it’s nothing that they can’t work through… they have each other and their three young children after all.  Then tragedy hits and suddenly Helen and the children are alone and forced to return to the Fox family’s hotel.  At least they aren’t destitute.  Surely the money from their half of the hotel still means they have the hope of a new home, a fresh start.  Yet more secrets begin to emerge and soon Helen must make some very difficult decisions as her trust is shaken along with the hope of any security she thought the Hotel might bring.

This is a good, traditional family saga with twists and turns and secrets being unearthed left, right and centre.  There is much drama and poor Helen is faced with quite a time of it.  Filled with rich, interesting characters ( as well as some dark, shady ones along the way) you can’t help but be drawn back to the 1920’s, a time where blessing s where counted and the loss of a loved one was felt even more harshly after surviving the war.  Family secrets, deceit and wrong doing mixed with the hope of redemption make this an intriguing read.  A delightful read that I imagine fans of Terri Nixon and the genre will adore.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and the lovely people at Piatkus books for my review copy.

About the author

Terri Nixon Author PicTerri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn — North Hill — where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.
As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice. Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.
You can follow Terri on Twitter at @TerriNixon
Website : http://www.terrinixon.com/

Cornish Inheritance BT Poster

 

Friendship Tales, Guest Post, Personal and Social Issues, Relationship Stories, Romance, Teen

Truly, Wildy, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan – reviewed by Eva

I’m thrilled to say that fabulous book loving Eva is back with us on Tales Before Bedtime with another super review. This time she’s chatting about Truly, Wildy, Deeply by Jenny McLachlan.  This is a delightfully charming teen read with characters you can’t help but fall in love with and one that I hope Eva would enjoy.  Let’s find out what she thought…

Eva’s thoughts

This book is an incredible twisted tale. Two people come together and do the opposite of what they what they were planning to do.

Annie is starting college and has Cerebral Palsy. She could not wait for a fresh start and not to feel different from the rest. She wanted nothing to do with falling in love and to focus only on friendships and her school work.

Then there was Fab. He is tall, wild and energetic. He left his home in Poland and is willing to stand out. He wanted to have some adventures, and he thought the greatest adventure was love, unlike Annie.

Then the two people were partnered up in class.

What will happen to these people?

The characters were exciting to read about because of their different personalities. This book was a fun book to read and I only found it a little bit tricky to follow. That is why I thought this book is for 13-15 yrs as it has a mature themes that some younger readers may not understand.
I loved this book because of the humour and adventures that Fab and Annie have together. I can’t wait to see what the author has next in store for Fab and Annie.

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Synopsis

Annie is starting college. She can’t wait. No more school, no more uniform, and no one telling her what to do. It’s the start of a new adventure and Annie’s not going to let anyone or anything get in the way of that. Freedom matters to Annie. She has cerebral palsy and she’s had to fight hard to get the world to see her for who she truly is. Then she meets Fab. He’s six foot two, Polish and a passionate believer in…well, just about everything, but most of all Annie and good old fashioned romance. The moment Fab sees Annie, he’s wildly drawn to her and declares she must be his girl. Annie’s horrified. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s anything, especially if it means losing her independence. But then Annie finds herself falling for Fab. As things go deeply wrong, Annie realises that love can make you do wild, crazy things, and so she sets out to win his heart with a romantic gesture of truly epic proportions!

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sunkissed and Star Struck. Jenny McLachlan writes the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and characters you’ll love, her books go straight to your heart.

Discover more about author Jenny McLachlan by visiting her website here.

You can follow Jenny on Twitter: @JennyMcLachlan1

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Thank you so much Eva for your super review Eva.  It’s been an absolute pleasure as always.  Until the next time…

 

 

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Time to talk, YA, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction

Becoming A Hero The Hard Way – a guest post by author Natalie Hibberd

“Becoming A Hero The Hard Way”
A Love Letter To How To Train Your Dragon

‘There were dragons when I was a boy.’

When I first heard these words, read by David Tennant in the audiobook version of Cressida Cowell’s How To Train Your Dragon, I had no idea how important the series would become to me. I was 18 years old and in the middle of a severe depressive episode; not the typical audience for a
comedy/adventure series which was (ostensibly) written for children. My illness had become so debilitating that I was unable to cope with reading a physical book without becoming overwhelmed.  Writing also seemed an intolerable struggle and, desperately trying to rekindle the passions that
depression had stolen from me, I started listening to the aforementioned audiobook with little hope of success. Five minutes into the saga of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and his fang-free dragon Toothless – I was laughing out loud for the first time in nearly two years.

Of course, no book can magically cure a mental illness and while I would never claim that How To Train Your Dragon did so for me, the stories were the first small pinpricks of light on a then-dark horizon. While the early books in the series were enjoyable escapism (vitally important when things
look bleak), as the books progressed, and Hiccup’s struggles became more internalised and difficult, another element struck a chord with me. As Hiccup himself frequently explains ‘this is a story of becoming a hero the hard way.’ I may not be a hero but I did have a battle on my hands to learn to manage my overwhelming symptoms and regain the confidence that would eventually lead to the publication of Inside Out. In Hiccup (and his excellently named best friends Fishlegs and Camicazi) I found heroes who fought for what was right, against odds the size of a dragon mountain. To me, my depression was a Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus and Hiccup and friends were the presence I needed to run that particular dragon through.

Inside Out is a very different book from How To Train Your Dragon but there are themes that overlap. The struggle of the young to heal a world that is broken, the consequences of fighting for your beliefs and somehow maintaining a sense of humour over some incredibly dark places. Though
the first draft of Inside Out was completed before I started reading the How To Train Your Dragon series, there is a very real possibility that it would never have been published had these books not been there for me when I needed them. I will be forever grateful to Cressida Cowell and the world she created for helping me through such a dark and difficult time. In the words of the Burk national anthem, featured in the books. ‘I didn’t mean to come here and I didn’t mean to stay – but I’ve lost my heart to these rainy bogs and I will never go away.’

About Natalie

0-2Natalie Hibberd was born in Portsmouth and has wanted to be an author since she was two years old. She is publishing her debut novel Inside Out, independently with Matador, aged 21. Natalie was born with cerebral palsy. When she isn’t writing and reading, she enjoys singing, amateur dramatics and listening to podcasts. Natalie lives in Petersfield, Hampshire, with her parents and her assistance dog, Chloe.

Follow Natalie on Twitter @NatalieHibberd

Inside Out is available in paperback and e-book on 30 November.

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Synopsis

In a divisive world of mistrust and murder, there’s only one thing that matters growing up: you’re either in THE INSIDE OR THE OUTSIDE.

While the Insiders appear pampered and privilegedm, the Outsiders know only harsh realities.  Believing themselves to be needlessly deprived of everything the Insiders have, the younger generation channel their rage into a terrorist group called The Freedom Fighters, a group intent on overthrowing the Inside at any cost.  Now the Insiders must watch as the world they love collapses around them while the government resort to increasingly desperate tactics to try and contain the Outside threat.  When the latest initative catapults one of the young into the heart of the war, everything is pushed to breaking point.

LOYALTIES WILL BE TESTED

LIVES WILL BE RISKED

THEIR WORLDS WILL CHANGE FOREVER

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Author, Natalie Hibberd

Hi there, Shelley here.  I just wanted to say a big thank you to Hannah Cooper for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to Natalie for writing such a thought-provoking and inspiring post.  It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on Tales and I am so excited to read Inside Out!

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Thriller

Collapse by Freddie P. Peters

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for the first novel in the Henry Crown Paying The Price series, Collapse.

Synopsis

Henry Crowne: Paying the Price – Book One

COLLAPSE (Surviving is a skill – Killing another)

He is a secret IRA operative.

He is one of the most successful City banker in London

…then the 2008 Financial Crisis happens.

Nancy Wu, former eminent Queen’s Counsel, now prominent patron of the arts, receives the most unexpected call for help. Henry Crowne is accused of murder in a case that seems decided from the very beginning. His Irish background, financial terrorist connections and investment banking success inexorably tilt the scales against him. Nancy’s own lingering darker past calls for her to mount Henry’s defence but her client is the biggest obstacle. Will she manage to unpick the devious manipulations of a most twisted mind?

Collapse is a financial and espionage thriller, the first book in the Henry Crowne: Paying the Price trilogy. If you like The Big Short, The Fear Index and A Week in December you will enjoy the twists and turns of Freddie P Peters’ latest fast-paced thriller. Discover it now…

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My thoughts

This is a very different type of thriller than I would normally read. It was incredibly engaging and there is much to enjoy within this first in a brand new trilogy. The high staked financial world is something I know very little about but Freddie made me feel the high adrenaline atmosphere that goes with it, especially when combined with terrorism, espionage and murder. Did I like this world? Let’s just say I am glad I could visit within the pages of this novel but it was rather exciting and a thrill to journey there briefly. Fast paced throughout, this is a super read and I”m pleased to say the next two novels in the series are now available to.

Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Freddie Peters for my review copy.

About the author

Discover more about Freddie P Peters by visiting her website at: WWW.FREDDIEPPETERS.COM

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Debut, Suspense, Thriller

Blind Witness by Vicki Goldie

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Blind Witness by Vicki Goldie, the first novel in The Charters’ Mysteries Series.

Synopsis

In 1922 a blind WWI veteran and former intelligence officer attends a weekend with his aristocratic wife and her family at a country house in the New Forest, Hampshire. Fourteen people sit down to dinner on the Friday night; by the end of the weekend there are tow murders, an attempted murder and a suicide.

This is book one in a series of humorous murder mysteries and introduces young sleuths The Hon Melissa Charters and her war veteran husband Major Alasdair Charters.

The pair collaborate using Melissa’s powers of observation and Alasdair’s old skills gained in the Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the events unfolding over the weekend. A murder mystery, with a spy plot told from many different points of view in the tradition of Simon Brett, M.C. Beaton and Kerry Greenwood.

My thoughts

Major Alasdair Charters returned from the First World War without his sight. What happened the night he sustained his injury is unknown but there is something about it that still doesn’t sit well with him. Relieved to be alive and yet feeling much less of a man, he has struggled to come to terms with being looked after by his young, long suffering wife, Melissa Charters. He wonders why she is still with him and fears it may be more duty and pity than love. Melissa, however, adores her husband and wants nothing more than to remain by his side. If only she could lift his war battered spirit. After much patience on her part, he finally relents and agrees to escape the safety of their London flat and accepts a weekend visit to her family house in the country. A house that has also seen it’s own loss during the war. Melissa’s family have been summoned by her uncle, Brigadier Ferguson and his wife, Lady Honor. At first it seems like an innocent reunion but before the first night is over a murder has been committed and everyone in the house is a suspect. Could there be evil lurking within the family or could the small number of other guests, strangely invited considering it is a family gathering, have something to do with it? Desperate to discover the killer and prevent further crimes Alasdair shakes off his sense of uselessness and with Melissa by his side the two delve deeper into family and war time secrets – secrets that someone will resort to anything to keep quiet. Alasdair may be blind but his mind (and hearing) is still sharp as a tack and with Melissa as his eyes the pair may just get to the bottom of the mystery.

I am a big fan of crime novels and in particular the style of Agatha Christie, the original Queen of the murder mystery. She was of course a master creator of character and could find evil in the most mundane of situations, creating a thrilling read along the way. Her novel always entertain and thrill/  Blind Witness provided me with a welcome return to this gentle, yet intriguing style of crime novel and an interesting debut. I found the central characters interesting and I feel there is still a great deal to be seen from them. This is an engaging read and I feel that it shows a promising start to the series. I hope that we discover more about Major Charters and his wife. They make a good team and I look forward to revisiting them again in the second novel of the series.

Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Vicki Goldie for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I wish you all the very best with the series.

About the author

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Vicki Goldie

Vicki worked as a Chartered Librarian for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and then for the past 19 years in public libraries in Bournemouth and Poole. There she enjoyed arranging and attending writing courses and author events, including such luminaries as Fay Weldon and Peter James. With the Reading Agency and other librarians round the country she reviewed and selected books for The Radio Two Book Club. All the time writing away in her spare time.

Born in California but brought up in England she was introduced to the Golden Age of crime authors at an early age by her mother. She is married to a blind physiotherapist, and it is from his mother, born in a large country house in Devon (now a hotel), educated by governess and with a cut glass voice like the Queen, that she absorbed real life stories about the twenties and thirties.

She has always had a fascination with the Art Deco period and the Golden Age of crime writing. She has been filling her house with Art Deco inspired artefacts and clothing for 40 years. 

Blind Witness is her debut novel and is the beginning of the Charters Mysteries Series featuring Major Alasdair Charters and The Honourable Melissa Charters.

 

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Crime, Thriller

Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the outstanding Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver.

Synopsis

A shocking, mesmerisingly original, pitch-black thriller, which, following the critically acclaimed Good Samaritans, confirms Will Carver as one of the most imaginative, innovative and exciting authors in crime fiction.

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge.

They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths.

Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today.

That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on a train witness the event.

Two of them will be next.

By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers.

The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader who does not seem to exist …

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My thoughts

So, take a crime thriller,  someone is murdered and then a determined and quietly brilliant detective will investigate, leaving  no stone unturned as they work towards bringing the killer in, hopefully avoiding further deaths in the process.  Now turn that idea completely on it’s head and you might come somewhere close to Will Carver’s latest offering, Nothing Important Happened Today.

This novel is unlike anything I’ve ever read.  It was certainly gripping but oh did I find it an uncomfortable (yet wonderful) read.  The power of suggestion is alway slightly unnerving and yet, in reality, we are surrounded by it every day – every time we turn on the TV, open a newspaper or simply, innocently scrolling through the tiny screens that have become almost a part of our very being. It’s tricky to talk in too much detail without giving the plot away but in a nut shell Will has created a modern psycopath who uses the mind as a tool for their killing.

This is very much a crime story for the world we live in today.   There is no evil lurking in the shadows here, theyr don’t even have to lay a hand on their victims. The killer is subtle in their method uses the victim’s weakness against them as he drives them to their undoing.  They don’t want to die, of course they don’t, that’s what makes it so thrilling for our killer but somehow they just can’t seem to step away from the edge.

There is bucket loads of suspense following the victims as they go about their everyday lives and yet on one particular day, just one tiny thing changes and suddenly they are in mortal danger, from themselves – all quite brilliantly orchestrated by this unknown leader (and they didn’t even realise they were in a cult).

It is actually a rather brilliant novel.  The style is unique and Will has the ability to hit the nail on the head with modern society and what makes us tick (or not) as human beings. It’s almost a bit of a wakeup call.  He uses social media within the story to show how an idea can spread and how our perception can be manipulated.  It’s rather unnerving to say the least, yet there are even further ways to reach the inner workings of our minds, as our killer shows us.  This is a superb example of an author watching the world around him, looking deep and showing us how it could be, how it is.  His ending is, I think rather superb and incredibly satisfying.  Read this impressive piece of fiction and look at your world around you…perhaps turn off your phone for a bit and take back your mind.  You never know it might just save your life.

Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the wonderful team at Orenda Books for my review copy.  As always, they and their authors make me look at the world around me in a slightly different way.

About the author

1Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.  He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts.

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