#BlogTour Her Perfect Lies by Lana Newton

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Her Perfect Lies by Lana Newton.

About the Author

Lana Newton grew up in two opposite corners of the Soviet Union – the snow-white Siberian town of Tomsk and the golden-domed Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. At the age of sixteen, she moved to Australia with her mother. Lana and her family live on the Central Coast of NSW, where it never snows and is always summer-warm.

Lana studied IT at university and, as a student, wrote poetry in Russian that she hid from everyone. For over a decade after graduating, she worked as a computer programmer. When she returned to university to complete her history degree, her favourite lecturer encouraged her to write fiction. She hasn’t looked back, and never goes anywhere without her favourite pen because you never know when the inspiration might strike.

Lana’s short stories appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and she was the winner of the Historical Novel Society Autumn 2012 Short Fiction competition. Her novels are published by HQ Digital, an imprint of Harper Collins UK.

Lana also writes historical fiction under the pen name of Lana Kortchik.

Follow @lanakortchik on Twitter, on Goodreads,  on Facebook, Visit lanakortchik.com

About the book

Claire is beautiful. Claire is famous. Claire has a handsome husband and a house to die for. But Claire doesn’t know any of that. Claire isn’t even sure who she is…

When Claire Wright wakes in a hospital, she sees a stranger staring back at her in the mirror. With no memories from before the devastating car accident that left her and her father with life-changing injuries, she must navigate the life of a stranger along with all the mistakes her former self left behind.

As Claire discovers the person she used to be she must also unravel the mystery that surrounds the accident. But the more Claire uncovers, the more she will be forced to face up to the dark secrets from her life before…

Review

The life Claire led before the accident is gone or rather all her memories and emotions she may have attached to her previous life are gone. All that remains are the people she knew in her previous life and unfortunately she has to rely on them for information about herself and her old life.

What if one of those people were quite adept at twisting the truth to suit their own agenda? Then again it’s hard to determine just who is sincere in this roller-coaster of a thriller.

At first there is plenty of doubt about whether Claire is who she says she is. The amnesia seems to cause a complete personality transplant. She has gone from being self-obsessed, selfish and uppity to a pleasant, caring and down-to-earth woman. To be fair her affinity for a bit of drama is still alive and well though – very am-dram.

She is also incredibly anxious, frightened and insecure about what is fact or fiction. Is she being told lies or is her mind the liar – creating a fictional story to suit her own personal narrative? The reader is never quite sure whether it is Claire being slightly looney or something more nefarious is at work.

It’s a psychological thriller that makes everyone look like the guilty party, perhaps because everyone feels guilty about something they have done. Was it the husband, the girlfriend, the housekeeper, the father or was it indeed the amnesiac herself? Is it all just a clever ploy to cover up her own crimes?

Newton keeps it all up her sleeve until the last few chapters.

Buy Her Perfect Lies at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; 7 Nov. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#HalloweenTakeover The Lost Ones by Anita Frank

Welcome to the #HalloweenTakeover for The Lost Ones by Anita Frank. You don’t want to miss this brilliant ghost story!

About the Author

Anita Frank was born in Shropshire and studied English and American History at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Berkshire with her husband and three children and is now a full-time carer for her disabled son. This is her first novel.

Follow @Ajes74 on Twitter, on Goodreadson AmazonBuy The Lost Ones

About the book

England 1917

Reeling from the death of her fiance, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by gear and suspicion.

Before long strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.

Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…

Review

This is how you write a good ol’ ghost story.

Set in 1917 in England, during one of the most devastating periods the world has gone through – the era of the Lost Generation. Husbands, sons, brothers and fathers struck down, whilst protecting their country. In an era where PTSD, shellshock were not recognised as genuine health conditions and trauma considered a weak personality trait, it’s no surprise that grief is waved away as inconsiderate and inconsequential nonsense.

This is where the story starts with Stella. A brave young woman who has served her country and is drowning in grief since the loss of her childhood sweetheart. Grief that has driven her to attempt the last resort and in doing so has placed her firmly in the bracket of unstable.

To escape the prying eyes of her parents and the local head shrink she volunteers to keep her pregnant sister Madeleine company in Greyswick, the ancestral home of Madeleine’s husband. She brings a maid called Annie with her – a young woman who has her own secrets.

The two of them find a distraught Madeleine, who is convinced she is being taunted or haunted by someone, which her mother-in-law and her companion find ridiculous. Is the hysteria catching or is there really something wrong at Greyswick?

That’s as much information as I am willing to give, because readers should experience the read for themselves, both the creepy, the insidious and the moments that are guaranteed to make you angry at certain characters.

The story is set around the First World War, which plays a pivotal part in the characters lives and the storytelling, but for me it was also the only element of the book that was off-key in a way. Why, because it is written with the spellbinding magic of a slightly older era. The skirt-swishing Victorian era, the gothic atmosphere and sense of being taken back into time. I had to remind myself of the year it was actually set in.

It’s an absolutely captivating ghost story, it’s historical fiction, a plot written with a Christie crime vibe and executed with the same kind of precision. I very much hope this is the first of many stories by Frank – she is an excellent writer.

Buy The Lost Ones at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date  31 Oct. 2019. Hardback £12.99 – eBook £9.99 – Audio Download £12.99. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter

Review

To be completely frank I found it dark, depressing, I disliked it and it made me angry. Why? Because O’Porter is just spot on with the portrayal of her characters. Too real. She hits the nail on the head when it comes to the judgmental and toxic atmosphere women live in and with.

Believing they have to adhere to physical, emotional and psychological standards set by a patriarchal society, and what’s often worse when those standards are demanded of them by other women.

As the story evolved I found myself nodding and snarking at the words ‘so lucky’ throughout. It’s what society tells us we are supposed to be and supposed to feel. The implication being that we shouldn’t dare to want more than we have or dare to ask for the fulfillment of our needs, wishes, dreams and desires. No, we should be lucky with our lot, no matter how that may look and regardless of whether we are happy or not.

Ruby is caught in a vicious cycle of emotional neglect, which she is repeating with her young daughter Bonnie. She hates her body, has no self-esteem and spends her entire life pushing people away and battling anxiety.

Beth has to cope with a husband who seems to have lost interest in her since she gave birth to her baby. She is a working mother with a raging libido. Is it only a question of time until her marriage starts to implode?

Watch out for the mother-in-law in Beth’s part of the story. I would be burying the woman in the back garden – no doubt about it.

Then there is Lauren, the Insta-famous and Insta-perfect celebrity living her best life and well on her way to marrying a global celebrity. Interjected intermittently are her Instagram feeds and comments, which really set the tone for the level of perfection everyone expects and simultaneously are willing to fake to get followers, likes and fame.

O’Porter has her hand on the pulse of femininity, women, sexuality and also how conflicted women are at times. It’s not easy being pulled in so many different directions at the same time or being judged for every choice and decision.

It’s pithy and brutally frank women’s fiction. The author takes no prisoners, and kudos to her for the honest approach. It’s a gritty, moving and sincere piece of fiction. There is never a dull moment when you read a book by O’Porter. She wants her readers to laugh, to cry and to get angry. It’s pure empowerment, even if it doesn’t appear to be anything like that at the beginning.

Buy So Lucky at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins/HQ; pub date 31 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Hive.

Follow @hotpatooties on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreadson Instagram,Visit Dawnoporter.co.uk

Read my review of The Cows by Dawn O’Porter.

#BlogTour Traces of Her by Amanda Brittany

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Traces of Her by Amanda Brittany.

About the Author

Amanda Brittany lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with family, travelling, walking, reading & sunny days. She loves travelling, and visiting Abisko in Sweden inspired her to write ‘Her Last Lie’.

She began writing fiction nine years ago, and has since gained a BA in Literature, a Diploma in Creative Writing, and has had 200 stories and articles published in magazines globally.

When her younger sister became terminally ill, Amanda’s hope was to write a novel where her royalties went to Cancer Research. ‘Her Last Lie’ was that book and her debut novel, it reached the Kindle top 100 in the US and Australia and was a #1 Bestseller in the UK. All her eBook royalties for HER LAST LIE are being donated to Cancer Research UK, in memory of her sister who lost her battle with cancer in July 2017. It has so far raised almost £7,000.

Her third novel Traces of Her is due to be published on the 25th October 2019.

Follow @amandajbrittany @HQDigitalUK on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit amandabrittany.co.uk or writingallsorts.blogspot.co.uk follow amandabrittany2 on Facebook, Buy Traces of Her

About the book

An unsolved murder.

Rose isn’t surprised anymore when her free-spirited step-sister, Willow, decides to disappear off somewhere without notice. But something feels different this time. When Willow sends her a mysterious package containing photographs of suspects in a cold case she is obsessed with solving, Rose realises she needs to find her sister before things get out of hand.

A missing girl. – With no sign of Willow to be found, Rose takes up the search for answers about the deaths that shook a small Cornish village eighteen years before. But what is the connection between Willow and the two sisters marked by tragedy?

Time is running out. – Someone knows where Willow is and what happened all those years ago. And they will do anything to stop the truth from coming out.

Can Rose find Willow and the answers she needs, before it’s too late?

Review

Willow is hot on the trail of her mother’s murderer. A young woman who was taken from her child in the most vicious way. Now her child is a grown woman and determined to get justice for herself and her poor mother. She calls her stepsister Rose to ask for her help and then mysteriously disappears. That leaves Rose with the job of finding a killer and her sister.

The story is written in the past and the present and from the perspective of multiple characters. The deaths in the past and the disappearance in the present go hand in hand and culminate with a shocking conclusion.

I thought the structure was a little convoluted at times, especially during the first half of the book. I found it a wee bit hard to follow the various characters, despite each chapter stating clearly which character was featured. It took a while to get the gist and where everybody belonged in the plot, perhaps too long. A complex plot doesn’t have to outsmart the reader, it just has to keep them hooked.

Saying that, it is certainly a captivating mystery and thriller, however the execution could have been better.

Brittany is certainly someone to keep an eye on when it comes to crime and psychological thrillers. Having read her other two books I know she has an eye for some wicked twists and intriguing storylines.

Buy Traces of Her at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 25 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Tell the Truth by Amanda Brittany.

Read my review of Her Last Lie by Amanda Brittany.

#BlogTour The Witch of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox.

About the Author

Hester Fox lives near Salem, the location of the historical Salem witch trials. She is a keen painter and has a masters degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history.

Follow @HesterBFox on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, Visit hesterfox.comBuy The Widow of Pale Harbour

About the book

A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that hunt him after his wife’s death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

Review

Gabriel Stone is a man with many secrets. The kind of secrets that can destroy the life he is intent on carving out for himself in the community of Pale Harbour. Perhaps that is why he connects instantly with Sophronia Carver – a woman with secrets.

She has become the target of malicious rumours and a concentrated effort to malign her character and to scare her. Is she a witch? Did she have something to do with her husband’s demise? Is someone in her inner circle guilty of the worst betrayal?

Gabriel is surprised when rumours and reputation don’t line up with his personal experience and encounters with Sophronia. What is it about this woman that evokes such negative reactions and has set someone on a murderous course of action?

Fox uses the works and myth of Poe to insert a macabre and gothic vibe to the story. Each moment of fear or horror is woven through the fabric of his work. Although this isn’t a new angle per se, I liked the idea of a perpetrator who is influenced by the words of an author, but in a historical context, ergo not the modern era. Nowadays criminals are allegedly influenced by what they watch, read and play, which is a common theme to us. Taking that perspective on criminality, and perhaps even accountability, and creating the same kind of stepping stone was interesting.

It’s mystery, murder and crime, a psychological thriller in a historical setting. Fox balances romances, fear and mystery meticulously to create a gripping read.

Buy The Widow of Pale Harbour at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 17 Oct. 2019.Paperback £7.99 – Available in eBook and Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Last Request by Liz Mistry.

About the Author

Liz Mistry has signed a three book deal for a new series with HQ Digital, a Harper Collins imprint. The first in the series is Last Request, which will be released in October 2019. It features a feisty mixed-race DS called Nikki Parekh and is set in Bradford.

Follow @LizMistryAuthor on Twitter, on Goodreads, Visit lizmistrycrimewriter.wordpress.comBuy Last Request

About the book

When human remains are discovered under Bradford’s derelict Odeon car park, DS Nikita Parekh and her team are immediately called to the scene.

Distracted by keeping her young nephew out of trouble, Nikki is relieved to learn the investigation has been transferred to the Cold Case Unit, and she can finally focus on her family.

But when the identity of the victim is revealed, she’s soon drawn back into the case. The dead man is a direct link to her painful past.

As the body count begins to rise, Nikki must do everything she can to stop the killer in their tracks before anyone else gets hurt – even if it means digging up secrets she had long kept hidden…

Review

This is the first in a new crime series by Mistry. Her main character DS Nikita Parekh pulls no punches and is a determined fighter for her family, herself and for the victims she encounters. She is torn between family loyalty and problems, and her career. At times she is like a demented ping-pong ball bouncing back and forth from one thing to the other.

Kudos to Mistry for bringing an important point to the table about the lack of awareness the wealthy or any social class above the working class, especially those living in poverty, have when it comes to living a daily struggle. If you have never lived from payday to payday, struggled to feed yourself and loved ones or as in this case, had to face the miscreants of society on a daily basis – then you have no business judging those people or have the right to a sanctimonious opinion.

DS Nikita Parekh and her family have to deal with these kind of situations on a daily basis. It’s a dog eat dog world and she struggles to keep her loved ones out of the clutches of the type of criminals who think nothing of maiming and disfiguring kids and young people.

To make matters worse her the majority of her colleagues treat her with disdain, especially when she becomes the main suspect in a murder case.

It’s a fast-paced urban crime series with a strong female lead. Mistry doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable truths our society has to deal with. The way she melds fact, fiction and realism results in a gripping read.

Buy Last Request at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 16 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Family by Louise Jensen

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Family by Louise Jensen.

About the Author

Louise Jensen is a global No.1 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. Louise has sold over a million English language books and her novels have been sold for translation to twenty-fine territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers’ lists. Lousie was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award and the Guardian’s Not the Booker 2018. the Gift has been optioned for TV and film.

Follow @Fab_fiction on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit louisejensen.co.ukBuy The Family

About the book

Could one Mother’s mistake cost her daughter everything?

Laura is grieving after the sudden death of her husband. Struggling to cope emotionally and financially, Laura is grateful when a local community, Oak Leaf Organics, offer her and her 17-year-old daughter Tilly  home.

But as Laura and Tilly settle into life with their new ‘family’, sinister things begin to happen. When one of the community dies in suspicious circumstances Laura wants to leave but Tilly, enthralled by the charismatic leader, Alex, refuses to go.

Desperately searching for a way to save her daughter, Laura uncovers a horrifying secret but Alex and his family aren’t the only ones with something to hide. just as Laura has been digging into their past, they’ve been digging into hers and she discovers the terrifying reason they invited her and Tilly in, and why they’ll never let them leave…

Review

Louise is vulnerable and so is her young daughter Tilly, which makes them both the perfect targets. The fact they have been isolated and scorned by their community, because they are being blamed for the illness of a young girl, makes them even more of a target. Even their own family has distanced themselves from the two of them.

Having to cope with the death of husband and father on top of the blame being thrown around by everyone has brought the two of them close to breaking point. The last drip in the barrel is the financial ruin facing their family and the bullying Tilly has to endure on a daily basis.

Although this is a psychological thriller with slowly building tension and a very credible plot, it’s also a warning message in a way. There are plenty of people that find themselves in vulnerable positions during their lifetimes and there is always someone out there willing to take advantage of them. So-called development, spiritual communes that are often nothing more than a cult led by some egomaniac.

Jensen starts the story with an ordinary scenario of loss and grief, which she then turns into something far more sinister and deadly. Nothing is what it seems in any of the families in this story. The author places the word family under a microscope and lets readers examine what it means within the confines of these different structures. Does it mean blood, friends or just those who support us in both good and bad times?

It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller with plenty of secrets, lies and betrayals.

Buy The Family at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 3rd Oct. 2019. Paperback – £7.99 – Available in eBook and Audio. Buy at Amazon com.