#Blogtour Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

It’s truly a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara. This is a feminist retelling you don’t want to miss.

About the Author

Luna McNamara holds a master’s degree from Harvard University in the study of women and gender in world religions. A lifelong lover of Greek myths, she has studied ancient Greek language and philosophy. She is currently a social worker living in Boston. Psyche and Eros is her debut novel. Follow @McnamaraLuna on Twitter, Visit lunamcnamarawriter.com

About the book

The greatest love story ever told…

Born into an era of heroes, a prophecy claims that Psyche – a Princess of Mycenae – will defeat a monster feared even by the gods themselves. Rebelling against society’s traditions, she spends her youth mastering blade and bow, preparing to fulfil her destiny.

But she is soon caught up in powers beyond her control, when the jealous Aphrodite sends the God of Desire, Eros, to deliver a fatal love-curse. The last thing Eros wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world, but when he is pricked by the very arrow intended for Psyche, he is doomed to love a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet.

Thrown together by fate, headstrong Psyche and world-weary Eros will face challenges greater than they could ever have imagined. And as the Trojan War begins and the whole of the heavens try to keep them apart, will they find their way back to each other…before it’s too late?

Psyche and Eros has every single mythological ingredient readers could hope for: a fierce, aspirational female protagonist (this is definitely Psyche’s story), a Herculean-like quest, all your favourite Gods and Goddesses wreaking havoc on mere mortals and set against the outbreak of the Trojan War.


Not going to lie – absolutely freaking loved it. It’s all the way up there when it comes to the fantastic retellings, reimagining and new interpretations of Greek mythology, although to be fair this is more than just that. The author has taken a chess board of a variety of mythologies and well-known personas, well maybe more of a smorgasbord, and moves them and makes slight changes to known narratives to create this riveting retelling. It’s a reawakening.

Psyche is born under the glow or shadow, depends on how you see it really, of a prophecy that speaks of her future defeat of a monster. Just a minor problem with being perceived and treated as a possible heroine, society doesn’t expect girls to save the day.

Eros is a wee bit bored, confused and even perplexed by humanity, especially the way mere mortals manage to take what he bestows upon on them and manipulate, destroy and abuse it. He is frustrated by his fall from status and having to bow to those once lesser and now in control. He has no choice when he is forced to deliver a curse, because Psyche has come to the attention of a green-eyed monster.

The two are destined to meet, collide and change their paths forever. Love under the constraints of a cruel curse or never the twain shall meet per the fine print of the same curse.

I can’t recommend this enough, especially if you’re embracing old material view through a different lens. Narratives, myths, gods, goddesses and mortals written through the eye of the needle called man. Let’s turn up the volume a little louder on the silenced and unwritten perspective.

Buy Psyche and Eros at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion Fiction; pub date 25 May 2023, available in hardback, ebook and audio £16.99. Buy at Amazon com

#BlogTour The Collective by Alison Gaylin

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Collective by Alison Gaylin.

About the Author

Alison Gaylin is the award-winning author of Hide Your Eyes and its sequel, You Kill Me; the standalones Trashed, Heartless, What Remains Of Me and If I Die Tonight; and the Brenna Spector series: And She Was, Into the Dark, and Stay with Me. A graduate of Northwestern University and of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, she lives with her husband and daughter in Woodstock, New York. Follow @alisongaylin on Twitter

About the book

Camille Gardner is a grieving and angry mother who, fives years after her daughter’s death, is obsessed with the man she believes to be responsible. Because Camille wants revenge.

Enter: the Collective. A group of women who enact revenge on those who have taken their children.

But as Camille gets more involved in the group she must decide whether these women are the heroes or the villains. And if she chooses wrong, will she ever get out alive?


Less is probably more when it comes to reviewing this, just so the way the plot unfolds remains free from spoilers. There are plenty of juicy bits to focus on though.

Camille is obsessed with the death of her daughter or more accurately her murder and the fact her murderer is allowed to enjoy life as if he were an innocent man. At the height of her destructive phase she encounters a group of women who know exactly how she feels, and more importantly they also believe the guilty should be punished.

For me the core of this story is about the grief and the way it manifests in a different way for each individual. Also how grief is experienced depending on the circumstances of the loss a person experiences. It’s such a nuanced, deeply felt, chaotic and often very destructive emotion.

I think it’s easy to feel empathy for Camille, regardless of the way she acts or reacts. Her frustration and anger are justified. The truth is there is no justice when a loved one is ripped from your life in a vicious way, especially when the perpetrator is allowed to walk away without any consequences.

I really enjoyed the way the author took this plot and ran with it and didn’t feel the need to deliver an ending tied up with a pretty bow. Instead the anger and need for vengeance that simmers throughout the book is presented on a silver platter. Nicely done. 

Buy The Collective at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion Fiction, pub date1st September 2022 – Mass market paperback (£8.99), eBook and audio also available. Buy at Amazon com. Via Orion Books.

#Review Notes On An Execution by Danya Kukafka

This is a fascinating read and Danya Kukafka is an excellent writer.

About the Author

Danya Kukafka is the bestselling author of the novels Notes On An Execution and Girl In Snow. She is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She works as a literary agent. Follow @danyakukafka on Twitter

About the book

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours. – He knows what he’s done, and now awaits the same fate he forced on those girls, years ago. Ansel doesn’t want to die; he wants to be celebrated, understood. – But this is not his story.

As the clock ticks down, three women uncover the history of a tragedy and the long shadow it casts. Lavender, Ansel’s mother, is a seventeen-year-old girl pushed to desperation. Hazel, twin sister to his wife, is forced to watch helplessly as the relationship threatens to devour them all. And Saffy, the detective hot on his trail, is devoted to bringing bad men to justice but struggling to see her own life clearly. – This is the story of the women left behind.


I first heard about this book on Twitter a few months ago and pre-ordered a copy based on what I was hearing, then I actually bought the Audiobook too. I found the premise intriguing, and I wasn’t disappointed at all – this is an excellent read.

It’s going to be really difficult to do this book the justice it deserves without giving too much away. The author weaves the complex layers of this psychological read, that veers into the literary sphere, with such expertise and detailed nuance – it is truly an indicator of a talented scribe and storyteller.

Narrated by the main character Ansel, the man on death row, and the women who have been a part of his life. The women who defined him, the women who called for his accountability, and the women who were his victims in one way or other. It’s a ticking clock, a timer, a revisiting of truths. His, their truths and the facts that meet both stories in the middle.

The boy, who like many others, is born into a world of violence and depravation, and subsequently abandoned or saved. It depends on the way you look at it. It’s easy to lay the blame for his future behaviour and crimes at the feet of an abusive parent and an absentee one. The truth is perhaps a little more complex, predictive behaviour and a genetic disposition in culmination with the worst start in life can result in a person who rightly ends up behind bars on death row.

The only aspect I wondered about was the connection between Lavender to Ansel at the end and whether it should have taken more of a centre stage, but then I thought about the intent, symbolism, emotional bond and power. More importantly, where all of those things should lie, because in her own way the author makes an argument for the both the hypocrisy and cruelty of the death sentence, whilst simultaneously proving why sometimes it is the only true solution. It may not be justice – there is no justice for certain crimes, but it is closure. 

Kudos to Kukafka for the ending, the homage and the lost possibilities – very well said. It also gives and leaves the power with those who are deserving of it. This is certainly one of my top reads of the year.

Buy Notes On An Execution at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: Phoenix  pub date 3 Feb. 2022. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Bookshop.org

BlogTour Never Forget by Michel Bussi

It was my stop on the BlogTour Never Forget by Michel Bussi yesterday (not sure what happened there) but I am posting today to make up for it. It’s translated by Shaun Whiteside.

About the Author

Michel Bussi is a professor of geopolitics and one of France’s bestselling authors of the past decade. His novels have been published in 35 different countries. He is also the author of After the Crash (Hachette, 2016), Black Water Lilies (Hachette, 2017), and Time Is a Killer (Europa Editions, 2018).

Follow on Amazon, on Goodreads, Buy Never Forget

About the book

Before – A man running along a remote clifftop path on an icy-cold February morning. A woman standing on the cliff’s edge. A red scarf on the ground between them.

After – The man is alone – paralysed by fear. The woman is on the beach below – dead.The red scarf is now perfectly – and impossibly – arranged around the woman’s broken neck.

A handful of seconds. Two lives colliding. – What happened?


This is the kind of read that has the reader playing armchair detective. Trying to solve the mystery before the author tells us the answer, and the main character for that matter, because he certainly has no clue whodunnit. Or does he?

It all begins with a jog along the cliff of a coastal town. Jamal stumbles upon a scarf which leads him to a young woman in distress. He believes she is a little too close to the edge for comfort and decides to help.

It’s a dark psychological thriller – a well-plotted story of murder and vengeance.

Bussi likes to play mind-games both with his characters and readers. It’s a never-ending game of doubt, suspicion, fear, paranoia and guilt. Is Jamal a murderer or just someone who is drawn into a deluded world conjured up by grief?

It reminded me of the more noirish pieces by Christie. The set-up, reveal and the premise, although it’s a lot darker than a prime Agatha.

Keeping everyone off balance is the key to the piece. You never quite know whether characters, places and scenarios are real or imagined. Ghosts or karma, nightmares or reality.

Bussi writes a cracking dark read that will keep you on your toes and looking over your shoulder. And kudos for the cynical dedication by the way.

Buy Never Forget at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson – Orion Books; pub date 9 July 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogBlitz The First Lie by A.J. Park

The First Lie by A.J. Park is out tomorrow – Publisher: Orion; pub date 25 Jun. 2020.

A husband and wife cover up a murder. But the lie eats away at the fabric of their relationship and things unravel till they can’t trust anyone – even each other.

About the Author

Follow @AJParkauthor on Twitter, on Amazon, Visit karlvad.comBuy The First Lie

About the book

A freak accident. An impossible choice. But what was the first lie?

When Paul Reeve comes home to find his wife in the bathroom, bloodied and shaking, his survival instinct kicks in.

Alice never meant to kill the intruder. She was at home, alone, and terrified. She doesn’t deserve to be blamed for it. Covering up the murder is their only option.

But the crime eats away at the couple and soon they can’t trust anyone – even one another…

But there is much more at stake than anyone realises – and many more people on their trail than they can possibly evade…

Available as a paperback, ebook and audio bookBuy The First Lie at Amazon UkBuy at Waterstones.

#BloggerBlast The Staycation by Michele Gorman

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogger Blast for The Staycation by Michele Gorman.

About the Author

Michele writes comedies packed with lots of heart, best friends and girl power. She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and now making London her home.

Michele also writes cosy comedies under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Follow @MicheleGormanUK on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads, @michelegormanuk  on Instagram,  www.facebook.com/MicheleGormanBooks on Facebook, Visit www.michelegorman.co.uk and michelegormanwriter.blogspot.comBuy The Staycation

About the book

Two families. One cancelled flight. And a last minute house swap…

Things get desperate for strangers Harriet and Sophie when they become stranded with their families in Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Each woman has her own reason for really really really needing the family holiday they’ve anticipated for months. But Iceland’s volcano has other plans for them. When their flights are cancelled, the families swap houses and discover that sometimes the best things in life happen close to home.

This ash cloud has a silver lining, even if no one can quite see it yet.


Two families on their way to overseas holiday destinations end up swapping homes for the duration of the holiday stay. It is an experience that changes both women, Harriet and Sophie, and has a lasting impact on the way they live their lives.

Right from the start the hairs stood up on the back of my neck at any mention of Dan and his ‘nice’ gestures and remarks towards his wife Sophie. Insidious control and demeaning her constantly. Treating her like a really stupid child, incapable of decisions and standing on her own two feet.

Somehow she has let him gaslight her into believing she doesn’t have a voice. An attitude her children are starting to echo.

Sophie finds a friend in Harriet – the super organised and efficient, but rather grumpy and unhappy mother of a mouthy teen, and wife of an annoying husband. Her own lack of satisfaction is probably what makes her focus on the way Sophie appears to live in a strange bubble not of her own making.

It’s women’s fiction – an amusing story of friendship with more serious undertones

What I liked about this book was the depth and the sisterhood. The connection the two women make, which is what true sisterhood looks like, is something so rare. True uplifting and supportive attitudes towards each other. The greatest critics of women are other women. It was lovely to read a premise that built upon the positive, as opposed to characters tearing down and judging each other.

I really feel as if Gorman is building up her body of work and evolving towards more serious women’s fiction. The depth in this story is woven in subtly, whilst maintaining the humour and fun we expect from Gorman.

Buy The Staycation at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Trapeze; pub date ebook 1 Jun. 2020 – Paperback pub date 23 July 2020. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Orionbooks.

#BlogTour All in Her Head by Nikki Smith

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour All in Her Head by Nikki Smith.About the Author

Nikki studied English Literature at University before pursuing a career in finance. She always had a passion for writing and in 2017 she applied for a Curtis Brown Creative writing course. Later that year she had a short story published and submitted the opening chapters of her novel to a competition where she won the opportunity to be mentored by the author Amanda Reynolds, and the rest was history.

About the book

A haunting and compelling book that shines a light on the darkest corners of the human psyche and makes us question our limits.

Alison is more alone than she’s ever been. She is convinced that her ex-husband Jack is following her. She is certain she recognises the strange woman who keeps approaching her in the canteen.

She knows she has a good reason to be afraid. She just can’t remember why. Then the mention of one name turns her life upside down. Alison feels like she’s losing her mind . . . but it could just lead her to the truth.


Alison is something of a cowering mouse or so it appears. Hiding from her past life, specifically her husband Jack. She is frightened, especially when it turns out he knows where she is. The story of their marriage sets the tone for their actions, their reactions and eventually the truth as each person sees it.

It’s a domestic thriller with the pace and tension of a psychological thriller.

Smith creates this intriguing dual character storyline. One that suggests a certain narrative, which sets the readers on a specific path. As the story progresses the author gives us a revelation here and another there, which opens up an entirely different narrative.

It’s difficult to give this story its dues without giving a major detail away. Instead let’s just say the author does an excellent job of shining a light on an extremely dangerous and often misdiagnosed situation. It does however serve as an excellent setting for this tense read, which delivers the goods in the guise of a psychological thriller, but at the core it is an emotional and heartfelt story.

Smith is particularly good at evoking visceral reactions with intricate descriptions. She pokes and stirs to hook readers in. The misdirection sometimes creates a picture and image of a character and their background that is hard to shake once the story starts to reveal its secrets. It’s an engrossing read.

Buy All in Her Head at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion Fiction; pub date 2nd April 2020 in Demy Hardback, eBook and Audio £12.99.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


Now I get the hype. This really is an absolutely cracking read.

Alicia has remained silent since her conviction and transfer to a locked mental health facility for the brutal murder of her husband. She, or rather her condition, has become an enigma to the professionals treating her. The problem with that is the possibility of her becoming too interesting or a challenge, which then clouds judgement.

From the very beginning Theo shows a lack of ethical judgement. Admittedly he acknowledges this when he takes certain steps in his therapy plan for Alicia, but he crosses the line way before those transgressions.

Theo wants to help Alicia move forward in her treatment and healing. Her silence has become a challenge of sorts, both professionally and psychologically, which of course in itself is quite unprofessional from a therapeutic point of view.

It’s a superbly plotted and executed psychological thriller. The author presents the inadequacy of psychological science. It’s flawed, because of the human factor. There is no such thing as being a blank slate for a patient or client, only the attempt to be blank and not let our own frame of references colour therapeutic treatment.

What really makes it an incredible crime read is the way the author manages to spin the truth and the lies in a way that absolutely leaves the reader thinking they know where the story is headed. Not sure they will though, which ultimately is what makes this a great read.

Buy The Silent Patient at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion: Paperback pub date – 12 Dec. 2019. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Hive.co.uk.

Follow @AlexMichaelides on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Instagramon Amazon,

Bitter by Francesca Jakobi

I think many readers may dislike Gilda and be extremely concerned about her behaviour. Her stalking, the drinking, the impulsive choices, the way she neglects her son and her obsessive need to control her son’s life.

I felt sorry for her, regardless of all the crazy and the selfish actions. I even shed a tear or two for her towards the end. In a way Bitter is everything but, it just depends on your perspective on the situation.

This is life with all its ups and downs, disappointment and joy, betrayal and love. Gilda could be any one of us in any era. Living with the guilt of separation and divorce. Trying to function within the confines of a patchwork family. Sitting on secrets to ensure the truth doesn’t destroy the fragile relationships between child and parent.

It’s interesting and also tragic to note that not one person asks Gilda how she is feeling. How she felt being targeted as a Jew in Germany, about the guilt she carries because she got out and others couldn’t. The fact she is treated as if she doesn’t love her son, when in reality she just finds it difficult to show her real emotions, is a tragedy.

I loved this little gem of a book. It just really spoke to me, perhaps because it portrays so perfectly what it is like to be misconceived and eternally being on the short end of the stick. History is written by the victors or the ones in positions of power, which includes divorced couples who share children. Parental alienation and blaming one parent, as opposed to getting on for the good of the child or children.

It’s a really intriguing read and not what I was expecting. In fact I was surprised at how much I was drawn to and felt sympathy for Gilda. I highly recommend it.

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

Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Pub.date 4 Oct. 2018

Follow @fjajakobi  @wnbooks on Twitter

Visit francescajakobi.co.uk