#BlogTour The Girl and The Goddess by Nikita Gill

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Girl and the Goddess by Nikita Gill. 

‘A mesmerising poetic tale following one girl’s wild journey of strength, beauty and self-discovery, told with lyrical wonder and spiritual revelation by one of the UK’s most popular poets.’

About the Author

Nikita Gill is a British-Indian writer and artist living in the south of England. With a huge online following, her words have captivated hearts and minds all over the world. Nikita is an ambassador for National Poetry Day and is a regular speaker at literary events. Her previous works include Fierce Fairytales and Great Goddesses. The Girl and The Goddess is her first novel.

Follow @nktgill on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon@nikita_gill  on Instagram,  meanwhilepoetry.tumblr.com/, facebook.com/nikitagillwrites/Buy The Girl and the Goddess

About the book

Meet Paro. A girl with a strong will, a full heart and much to learn. Born into a family reeling from the ruptures of Partition, follow her as she crosses the precarious lines between childhood, teenage discovery and realising her adult self all while navigating different cultures, religions and identities.

Returning to her core themes of feminism, healing and mythology in her most powerful and personal work yet, Nikita’s masterful poetry, along with her beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, taps into the rich well of Hindu mythology, conjuring up jasmine scented voices and ancestral smiles as Paro confronts fear, desire and the very darkest parts of herself in the search for meaning and empowerment.


It’s the story of Paro, a girl who struggles with living her truth and the fear of being rejected because of it. The difficulty of having to live life by the rules of one culture, whilst simultaneously adhering to another. Torn between two worlds, which automatically creates a sort of split identity.

It’s no wonder there is confusion, despair, pain, hurt and anger in the words. There is also fear of treading into the unknown, of guaranteed responses that will turn the world she knows into an unbalanced surface full of eggshells.

Gill’s work wanders from poetry and intermittent short flash fiction like moments, and is enhanced by beautiful illustrations. She uses mythology to connect to the humanity and reality of her life, and the world in general. Drawing comparisons between the religious deities and mythology she grew up with to find a loophole of comprehension and acceptance.

The question is whether it should be from those people she seeks it from so desperately or is it just a matter of accepting her own self. Her emotions, the attractions she feels, and the search for some semblance of inner peace.

It’s a fascinating combination of written and drawn art. Words often delivered in short bursts and then at times in moments of nostalgia they are longer, which is countered by the stories of mythology.

Buy The Girl and the Goddess and Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher Ebury Press: pub date 1st October 2020 | Hardback | £12.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy via HiveBuy via Bookshop.org

#BlogTour Inge’s War by Svenja O’Donnell


Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Inge’s War by Svenja O’Donnell.

A Story of Family, Secrets and Survival under Hitler 

Svenja, on a journey of her own, investigates the complex relationships Germans have with their past, even two generations later, posing the question: who do we allow to tell their story? Inge’s War listens to the voices that are often missing from our historical narrative – those of women caught up on the wrong side of history. It is a book about memory and heritage that interrogates the legacy passed down by those who survive, and the bonds between generations of women who have loved, endured and overcome. At the heart of this beautifully written memoir is a story of love and family, of a girl from a vanished land who lived through a time when Europe, and its humanity, collapsed.

About the Author

Svenja O’Donnell is an award-winning political correspondent and commentator whose work regularly features on TV and radio. Before covering Brexit for Bloomberg, she worked as a correspondent in Russia. Half-Irish and half-German, she was born and brought up in Paris, and lives in London. Inge’s War is her first book.

Follow @SvenjaODonnell on Twitteron Goodreadson AmazonBuy Inge’s War

About the book

Svenja’s beautiful, aloof German grandmother Inge never spoke about the past. All her family knew was that she had grown up in a city that no longer exists on any map: Königsberg in East Prussia, a footnote in history, a place that almost no one has heard of today. But when Svenja impulsively visits this windswept Baltic city, something unlocks in Inge and, finally, she begins to tell her story. A fascinating story of passionate first love, betrayal, terror, flight, starvation and violence.

It begins in the secret jazz bars of Hitler’s Berlin, as Inge falls in love for the first time, amidst a background of growing terror and uncertainty, and takes the reader through her family’s terrifying escape out of Germany, into Denmark as the Red Army approaches. Over hours of conversation Svenja teases out the threads of her grandmother’s life, retracing her steps all over Europe, and realising that there is suffering here on a scale that she had never dreamt of. Finally, she uncovers desperately tragic secret that her grandmother has been keeping for sixty years.


A German grandmother being cold and disapproving isn’t unusual. In fact the same can be said for the majority of people who have lived through the trauma of war. They become disconnected to their own emotions because it’s easier to cope that way, both in the moment and afterwards with the memories. The German people, especially of a certain age and era, tend to be considered abrupt, direct and arrogant. A lot of that is the harsh sound of the language and the burden of and presumption of guilt that comes with the national identity.

Svenja embarks on a journey of conversations with a woman she only knows as a distant grandmother and in doing so begins to understand the woman her grandmother once was and the woman she became due to her experiences.

It’s also not unusual for survivors of war environments and eras to not speak about their experiences to their loved ones and friends. Locking it all away in a box and throwing away the key tends to be a standard approach to horrendous trauma. There are plenty of younger generations that accidentally stumble upon secrets, especially given the amount of information we have access to now.

O’Donnell doesn’t focus on the guilty or the victims of the Holocaust and World War 2, but rather on the people who had to choose between silence or becoming part of the open opposition. One meant life and the other being shunned and possibly worse. Given what’s happening at the moment – silence is consent, which of course is the burden many carried. When you weigh the level of atrocities during this time it’s easy to minimise the hardships and trauma of the German people – those who looked the other way and saved themselves. They also have the right to make sure their families stay alive and safe – it’s a difficult topic.

One of my German friends, post-war mid 60s generation, was completely unaware that her family and the majority of those in the East, ex-Prussia and Poland became refugees and were sent West ect. Her parents had never spoken about being forcibly removed, sent packing or having to escape.

It’s incredibly difficult to find a past you weren’t expecting when you start researching your family. I think the author approached it in a factual, non-emotive and respectful manner. It does have more of journalistic tone rather than an emotionally charged one, but I think it does the subject matter justice.

Buy Inge’s War at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Ebury Press on 6th August 2020 in Hardback, £16.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Minders by John Marrs

It’s a pleasure to take part on the BlogTour The Minders by John Marrs.

About the Author

John Marrs is a former journalist from Northamptonshire, England, who spent 25 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He wrote for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine. He recently gave up his job to write novels full time.

Follow @johnmarrs1 on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit johnmarrsauthor.comBuy The Minders

About the book

In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into – so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders – the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country’s most classified information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. In return, they’re given the chance to leave their problems behind and a blank slate to start their lives anew.

But not everyone should be trusted, especially when they each have secrets of their own they’ll do anything to protect…


I can’t decide which of the theories thrown around in this read was the most intriguing. Clearly the author has thought a lot about how technology may be applied to humankind in the future and then delivered those scenarios in this fascinating read.

Whether it be the idea that we are all genetically compatible with one person, which is an interesting play on the idea of soulmates or the concepts the Collective come up with to keep information safe. It’s not entirely far-fetched to imagine technology like this being invented to outwit the cybercrime and cyberterrorism we are now confronted with.

Imagine becoming the container for all national information. Becoming the walking talking archive for each document and file. Inside your mind. It also means becoming a potential target for everyone intent on getting all of that information.

For me this was a read that verged from speculative into dystopian and yet was firmly grounded in the here and now. I loved the entire concept.

The set up for each individual could have done with being a little shorter and less all over the place, especially after the beginning of the story. Saying that, I can understand the need to give a rounded view on each person, because who they are and the choices they will make may be visible in those first moments with them, which in turn gives the reader plenty of clues.

I wonder if we will see Flick again in another story. Either way Marrs gives readers their pound of flesh and plenty of food for thought. I really enjoyed the way the author wanders into these futuristic ideas that are absolutely viable given the right conditions.

Buy The Minders at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Digital; pub date 23 July 2020. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour The Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour the Wrong Move by Jennifer Savin.

About the Author

Jennifer Savin is an award-winning journalist and currently Features Writer at Cosmopolitan. Jennifer has a particular passion for investigative journalism – something which has found her in all manner of situations, from going undercover to share a tiny bedroom with a stranger for 10 days while tackling the housing crisis, to going undercover to expose the ‘landloards’ offering vulnerable women free rent in exchange for sex.

Follow @JenniSavin on Twitter@savcity on Instagram, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Wrong Move

About the book

You Thought it was the perfect flat…

When Jessie moves into a flatshare at Maver Place, she’s finally found a decent place to live. And when she’s befriended by fellow tenants Lauren and Sofie, she’s got great flatmates to share it with. You think she’s safe. You think she can trust these people. You’re wrong. When you flatshare, how well do you really know the people that you’re living with?


I’m not sure immersing yourself into the world of flatmate banality and living restrictions is the right way to recover and rebuild your life after escaping an abusive relationship. Then again it’s hard to start from the bottom and work yourself up again. Jessie is willing to ignore any doubts or concerns she might have, because she is desperate to reboot her life.

Yes, the previous tenant seems to have left under a mysterious circumstances. Some of the flatmates are peculiar and the reign of terror her ex has started against her is enough to drive anyone insane.

It’s a psychological thriller that is built around a centre of chaos and paranoia. You know what they say though – it isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you.

At some points in the story you start to doubt the narrative Jessie is providing. Is she really as innocent as she appears to be, just incredibly naive or perhaps unlucky. There are certainly moments where she can be accused of being hypocritical. If she can break unspoken rules why can’t others?

Although the author doesn’t use an element of disbelief when it comes to the main character and the other characters, she does use it within the boundaries of the main characters psyche. The paranoia and distrust become the devil on the shoulder whispering doubts and untruths. What is truth and what is lie, which is ultimately what makes the read.

Buy The Wrong Move at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Press; pub date 23rd April 2020 |  Paperback Original | £7.99 | Also in Ebook. Buy at Amazon com.

The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

I’ll admit it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. In fact I thought it was going to be an homage to Hitchcock, because of the title. Instead I was surprised to find an intricate story, actually a Russian doll like story. It was a story based on a classic story, which in turn had a story inside it. Very much a Faberge egg of literary surprises, and most certainly an homage to the legacy of Emily Brontë.

What flows throughout the book is the love, adoration and admiration Coleman has for the Brontë sisters, in particular Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, and of course Ponden Hall. Historical facts are woven into the fictional story seamlessly to the point where the reader is absolutely on board with the possibility that it could be true. And I also admit to googling pics of Ponden Hall, the bed and the window, after reading this.

One of points the author builds into the plot is the question about whether antique and first edition books should be kept secluded from the public in private collections or should the public be allowed to enjoy the magical pleasure of such precious items. There is something mystical about seeing (touching is not allowed) and being around antique books.

This is a ghost story, a thriller, and it’s historical fiction. It is also very much a love story – love for Emily Brontë. There are parallels between the story Emily finds and the one she writes. The destructive power of obsessive love, which readers often read with a romantic pair of spectacles on instead of seeing things in the cold light of day. It’s certainly a captivating read.

Buy The Girl at the Window at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Press – Paperback pub date 8 Aug. 2019. Ebury Digital pub date 27 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow on @rowancoleman on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit rowancoleman.co.uk

#BlogTour Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Wildest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer. It’s an enchanting and wonderfully amusing memoir.

About the Author

LARA PRIOR-PALMER was born in London in 1994. Her aunt is Lucinda Green, a legendary rider and one of the UK’s best-ever equestrians. Lara studied conceptual history and Persian at Stanford University. In 2013, she competed in the 1000-kilometer Mongol Derby in Mongolia, sometimes described as the world’s toughest and longest horse race. Rough Magic is her first book.

Follow @LaraPriorPalmer on Twitter, on Amazon, Visit larapriorpalmer.me

Buy Rough Magic

About the book

The Mongol Derby is the world’s toughest horse race. A feat of endurance across the vast Mongolian plains once traversed by the people of Genghis Khan, competitors ride 25 horses across a distance of 1000km. Many riders don’t make it to the finish line.

In 2013 Lara Prior-Palmer – nineteen, underprepared but seeking the great unknown – decided to enter the race. Driven by her own restlessness, stubbornness, and a lifelong love of horses, she raced for seven days through extreme heat and terrifying storms, catching a few hours of sleep where she could at the homes of nomadic families. Battling bouts of illness and dehydration, exhaustion and bruising falls, she found she had nothing to lose, and tore through the field with her motley crew of

horses. In one of the Derby’s most unexpected results, she became the youngest-ever champion and the first woman to win the race.

Told with terrific suspense and style, in a voice full of poetry and soul, Rough Magic’s the extraordinary story of one young woman’s encounter with oblivion, and herself.


Here’s the thing, there are horse people, people who appreciate they exist and the non-horse people. Whilst the author says she belongs in the middle category methinks she is probably deluding herself and is a horse person. Just ask the chestnut at the end. Vroom Vroom.

The author decides on a whim to take part in an extremely difficult horse race. Not just on one animal, but whichever animal is there and feels right at that point in the race, which makes the read all the funnier. By the way, who goes all the way to Mongolia to participate in something so gruelling without a change of clothes or underwear?

It is well-written, clearly Prior-Palmer is unaware of how good she is at expressing herself through the medium of words. Perhaps she is unaware of how unintentionally funny she is too. Leaving aside the fact the race through Mongolia must have been extremely difficult both physically and psychologically, Lara takes it in her stride and there is not much sign of it in this contemplative memoir.

Of course the author had the power of youth, a zest for adventure and an unmistakable need for something other than the norm, the status quo or just everyday life. Her naiveté and completely unprepared state when she takes part in the wildest horse race in the world, is what makes this story so charming.

Let me be clear I am in the non-horse group, despite raising avid equestrians. I thought this might be a book about a girl and her horse, it is everything but that. It’s all about a young woman who craves the unknown, the thrill and the challenge.

It’s an enchanting and wonderfully amusing memoir. Kudos to the author for the last sentence by the way. It’s the perfect way to end a fantastic story and it describes the essence of this story really well.

Buy Rough Magic at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Ebury Press; pub date 6 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

I am thrilled to take part in the BlogTour for The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden to celebrate the paperback release of the second book in The Winternight Trilogy.

This is one of my favourite series and both the first book, The Bear and the Nightingale, and the second, The Girl in the Tower, are at the top of my list of favourite reads. Katherine Arden deserves to be at the top of award lists, because she is a very talented writer.

‘Inspired by Russian fairy-tales and folklore, this is the second book in a stunning literary trilogy. It is the perfect blend of historical fiction and magical realism.’

About the Author

Katherine Arden has studied Russian in Moscow, taught at a school in the French Alps, and worked on a farm in Hawaii. Born in Austin, Texas, she currently lives in Vermont. She is the author of the critically acclaimed The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower.

Follow @arden_katherine @EburyPublishing on Twitter #TheWintertrilogy Visit katherinearden.com

Buy The Girl in the Tower

About the book

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.


I adore this series. Arden is an incredible writer and possesses the ability to recreate the feeling of an old Russian master with the flair of a nouveau writer.

The author combines the magic and essence of Russian folktales with the creativity of high fantasy, and lets the reader experience the darkness of old tales told in front of fires, and the power of ancient myths.

At the end of the first part of the trilogy, The Bear and the Nightingale, we left Vasya grieving for her father and protected by Morozko. In this second part she decides she wants to travel the world, to discover things beyond her village. Thanks to the new local priest everyone thinks she is a witch, which means she is a pariah and in danger.

So begins her venture into a world of rules, fear and cruelty. One Morozko would rather she didn’t experience at all, even if she has been gifted with a magical stallion, who will protect her. He struggles with his emotions towards Vasja and the inevitability of their separation.

In both books the author has made a point of shedding a light on the inequality between men and women, and how it impacts those who are deemed to be less equal than others. Part of Vasja’s drive to be free is connected to the limitations she experiences as a woman. The title is very apt in that sense. There is no freedom, but plenty of restrictions, and any deviation from the rules can ruin a reputation.

Once again Arden balances the mystical with exceptional storytelling and leaves the reader with the feeling of reading a Russian classic. It feels timeless and ancient.

I am really looking forward to The Winter of the Witch, the third part of this trilogy. Katherine Arden has proven herself to be a writer and storyteller of great skill, and I wager that her Winternight trilogy will soon receive the recognition it truly deserves.

Buy The Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Buy The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1)

Pre-order The Winter of the Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) on Amazon com or Amazon UK

Read the review of The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1)

Final Girls by Riley Sager

final girlFascinating premise, especially from a purely psychological point of view. The mental state of the sole survivors of massacres. The way they are hounded by the media, and considered both miracles for surviving and mistrusted because they did. They also often suffer from survivors guilt and PTSD.

Quincy has no memory of the event that took her innocence and fills her with constant fear. She can remember before and being saved afterwards, but the murderous middle bit evades her completely. She has no memory of how she lost a house full of friends to a murderous lunatic.

Therein lies the problem. She can’t fill in any of the details, which makes the police suspicious. Perhaps not about her guilt, but about her hiding something. Then again you just don’t know.

The press knows her as one of the three Final Girls. Now one of them is dead and the second has turned up on Quincy’s doorstep. At first Quincy feels sympathetic towards Sam, but their new friendship starts to tear when Sam starts to show interest in the one person Quincy feels belongs to her. Coop is her saviour, her protector and just hers in general.

Sam starts to place Quincy in situations that make her act instinctively, unfortunately her instinct seems to indicate a predilection for violence. A survivor of violence, who has impulse control issues and the instinct to punish someone physically. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

Sager wants the reader to consider the psychological aspects of the trauma,but at the same time consider why only one out of many managed to emerge from such violent altercations. Casting a huge shadow of doubt over the lucky survivors.

Fear, guilt and anger make this psychological game of chess a gripping tale of suspense, which will make you question everyone and everything.

Buy Final Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @riley_sager  @EburyPublishing

Visit rileysagerbooks.com