#Blogtour One Moment by Becky Hunter

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour One Moment by Becky Hunter.

About the Author

Becky Hunter lived and worked in London for several years before moving to Mozambique to volunteer with horses and try her hand at writing. A few years, a few destinations, and a few jobs later she had the idea that would become One Moment. Alongside writing, she now works as a freelance editor and publicist, splitting her time between Bristol and London, and constantly trying to plan the next adventure. Follow @Bookish_Becky on Twitter

About the book

One moment in time can change everything… The day Scarlett dies should have been one of the most important of her life. It doesn’t feel fair that she’ll never have the chance to fulfil her dreams. And now, she’s still … here – wherever here is – watching the ripple effect of her death on the lives of those she loved the most.

Evie cannot contemplate her life without Scarlett, and she certainly cannot forgive Nate, the man she blames for her best friend’s death. But Nate keeps popping up when she least expects him to, catapulting 

Evie’s life in directions she’d never let herself imagine possible. Ways, perhaps, even those closest to her had long since given up on. If you could go back, knowing everything that happens after, everything that happens because of that one moment in time, would you change the course of history or would you do it all again?


I was pleasantly surprised by this book – it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. A serious note on death, sisterhood and friendship. The realisation that our lives can change in the blink of an eye. One choice, one path taken – just one moment in time. In this case Evie makes a choice that leads to her death, and peculiarly she or her soul is left to see the aftermath of her tragic end.

See the reaction of people to her death, which is a bit of an eye-opener at times. In a way she is narrating her own death throughout the book. An unexpected event that opens up Evie, and her way of perceiving the world around her,  and gives her a new perspective. On the life she no longer gets to life, to finish with her goals achieved and her dreams fulfilled.                                                                           

It’s emotional and simultaneously beautiful – it captures the relationship between the two of them perfectly. Evie and Scarlett, best friends and roommates, but even best friends fight. Evie wonders whether she wants to be able to change the status quo if it changes things for the worse for her friend.           

It’s a wonderful read about embracing what we are unable to control, and realising that sometimes some things are meant to be and should be left to evolve or not. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future. She has a knack for spinning the kind of yarn readers really want to experience.

Buy One Moment at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher  : ‎Corvus pub date 2 Mar. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Silence Project by Carole Hailey

It’s a pleasure to take part on the Blogtour The Silence Project by Carole Hailey.

About the Author

Carole Hailey completed the six-month Guardian/UEA novel writing course taught by Bernardine Evaristo, who imbued Carole with such a love for writing fiction that she abandoned her career in law to undertake an MA in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, followed by a PhD in Creative Writing at Swansea University.

Carole was a London Library Emerging Writer 2020/21. The Silence Project is her first published novel and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award 2020 and highly commended by the judges. She lives in Wales with her husband and two rescue dogs. Follow @CaroleAHailey on Twitter

About the book

On Emilia Morris’s thirteenth birthday, her mother Rachel moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word. Inspired by her vow of silence, other women join her and together they build the Community. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers around the world burn themselves to death.

In the aftermath of what comes to be known as the Event, the Community’s global influence quickly grows. As a result, the whole world has an opinion about Rachel – whether they see her as a callous monster or a heroic martyr – but Emilia has never voiced hers publicly. Until now.

When she publishes her own account of her mother’s life in a memoir called The Silence Project, Emilia also decides to reveal just how sinister the Community has become. In the process, she steps out of Rachel’s shadow once and for all, so that her own voice may finally be heard.


Somewhere along the blurred lines of this story the reader will probably wonder whether the mother-daughter relationship or Rachel and the Community are at the core. The truth is it is always both, because Rachel is a multi-faceted character. She is both mother and voice of the people.

I have to admit I found the silence between Rachel and Emilia, and the impact it has on Emilia, very poignant. Long before the Event the mother discards the child in the name of her protest. Nothing is more important than what her silence is meant to achieve. In fact what a fascinating movement of protest – the loudest silence that is heard around the world.

Whilst reading this I experienced the same thing I did with Daisy Jones – the lines between fiction and reality became blurred, perhaps because the premise and enfolding scenarios are far too easy to imagine as fact. Also possibly because we are already living a semblance of a certain structure that resembles some of the Community goals the author alludes to. 

Power corrupts. Ideology consumes common sense. When one group decides the fate of others – in the name of the greater good, there will always be calculated casualties. Who decides the worth of life or weighs it up against the greater goal? The Community, right? The group forged on the sacrifice and strength of people like Rachel.

It’s an incredibly clever and nuanced premise with many layers to unpack and dissect. I can imagine each core aspect will speak to in its own way to readers, whether it’s the mother and daughter relationship, the Community or the silence itself. This is the kind of book that sows the seeds for existential conversations. It’s an excellent read.

Buy The Silence Project at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Corvus pub date 9 Feb. 2023. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Burning Sea by Theodore Brun

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour A Burning Sea by Theodore Brun. It’s the third book in The Wanderer Chronicles series.’A brilliantly conceived Viking epic set in eighth-century Sweden and medieval Constantinople.’

About the Author

Theodore Brun studied Dark Age archaeology at Cambridge. In 2010, he quit his job as an arbitration lawyer in Hong Kong and cycled 10,000 miles across Asia and Europe to his home in Norfolk. A Burning Sea is his third novel.

Follow on @theodorebrun on Twitteron Amazonon Goodreads, Visit theodorebrun.comBuy A Burning Sea

About the book

Doomed to wander. Destined for glory. Erlan Aurvandil has turned his back on the past and his native Northern lands, taking a perilous journey to the greatest city in the world, Byzantium. But as his voyage ends, Erlan is brutally betrayed, captured and enslaved by a powerful Byzantine general.

Meanwhile, Lilla Sviggarsdottír, Queen of Svealand, has lost her husband and with him, her kingdom. Leaving her lands and people behind, Lilla journeys east on a new quest: to find Erlan and raise an army mighty enough to defeat her usurper.

But when she reaches the great city of Byzantium, she discovers a place in turmoil. A dark tide is rising against the Emperor from within his own court. As the shadows darken and whispers of war begin to strengthen, Erlan’s fate becomes intertwined with that of the city. Are they both doomed to fall, or can freedom be won in the blood of battle?


I really wish I could start off this review by slating the bad guys, there are plenty of those, but more specifically the snitches who absolutely deserve stitches. The last few chapters are enough to make anyone want to grab a sword, spear and get involved in the conflict.

As I have mentioned before I love the fact Erlan isn’t your typical flawless, brawny, incredibly handsome main character. Instead he is the cripple with a tragic past, someone treated like the underdog and yet underestimated because of this misconception. What the reader knows without a doubt is that although his heart belongs firmly to Lilla, he realises her duty comes before emotions.

Lilla finds herself at the mercy of yet another man, because her gender makes her subject to rules of men she is unable to establish and demand her rights, so she sets out to find the one man she can rely on one hundred percent. Following in his footsteps becomes a treacherous journey.

This is the third book in Brun’s epic Viking story, The Wanderer Chronicles, which takes us back to eighth century Scandinavia and the characters end up in Byzantium. That in itself is makes the story one full of descriptive surroundings and historical tidbits that are often lost in the narrative of history as it is retold.

I feel as if Brun is taking it up a notch with every book, really taking the time to hone his craft and eradicate anything that could possibly be seen as a flaw. He is a natural storyteller, who spins multiple characters and storylines in a historical setting with both fictional and factual aspects to the story with such precision and ease. Definitely an author I would highly recommend and always return to.

On a side-note I want to just mention Aska – the character without whom the reader wouldn’t always see Erlan for the person he really is, and for being the core driver of so many scenes. Oh, and I hope Brun is busy writing a new book – just saying.

Buy The Burning Sea (The Wanderer Chronicles #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Corvus; pub date 3 Sept. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of A Sacred Storm by Theodore Brun.

#BlogTour The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda.

About the Author

Megan Miranda is the author of All The Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger, and The Last House Guest, which was the August 2019 Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children.

Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitteron Instagram, or @AuthorMeganMiranda on Facebookon Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit meganmiranda.comBuy The Girl from Widow Hills

About the book

Everyone knows the story of the girl from Widow Hills.

When Arden Maynor was six years old, she was swept away in terrifying storm and went missing for days. Against all odds, she was found alive, clinging to a storm drain. A living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book, and fame followed. But so did fans, creeps and stalkers. It was all too much, and as soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and left Widow Hills behind.

Now, a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden is known as Olivia. With the twentieth anniversary of her rescue looming, media interest in the girl who survived is increasing. Where is she now? The stress brings back the night terrors of Olivia’s youth. Often, she finds herself out of bed in the middle of the night, sometimes outside her home, even streets away. Then one evening she jolts awake in her yard, with the corpse of a man at her feet. The girl from Widow Hills is about to become the centre of the story, once again.


It’s hard being an urban legend, perhaps harder when the people around you have taken advantage of the turmoil and fear you went through as a child to profit from it. When you become so famous that heads turn when you walk in the room, people whisper when you walk by and some hungry journalist regurgitates your experience for the world to see on a fairly regular basis.

No wonder Arden is done with being the kid who disappeared and was miraculously found unharmed after a few days. Now she is Olivia, and Olivia doesn’t have the same physical baggage as Arden, but unfortunately she does have the same psychological baggage.

Her shiny new undisturbed life takes a turn for the worst when she starts sleepwalking again, which is what got her into the predicament as a child. Then her sleepwalking self finds a dead man – in her yard and the evidence implies that she had something to do with his demise – she turns to a friend for help.

Miranda has this talent of combining reality with fiction when it comes to fears and scary scenarios. Why is the story so frightening at times? Perhaps because of the echoes of reality it brings with it. It’s a clever ploy, because anything rooted completely in fiction will always leave the reader with a safe place to retreat to. If it is rooted in reality then the reader will often react with base responses.

The author plays the long game when it comes to this plot and lays plenty of crumbs that lead onto false yellow brick roads – only to blindside the reader with the truth at the end. Tension, doubt and fear bring this read to a fulfilling conclusion.

Buy The Girl from Widow Hills at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Hardback · £12.99 · 2 July 2020 · Ebook also available. Publisher: Corvus. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Saracen’s Mark by S.W. Perry

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Saracen’s Mark by S.W.Perry.

About the Author

S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. His debut novel, The Angel’s Mark, was listed for the CWA Historical Dagger and was a Walter Scott Prize Academy Recommended Read 2019. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.

Follow @swperry_history @CorvusBooks on Twitter #TheSaracensMark, on Goodreadson Amazon, swperry.co.ukBuy The Saracen’s Mark

About the book

The third instalment of The Jackdaw Mysteries. A tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London and dazzling Marrakesh.

Betrayal has many guises…

London, 1593: Five years on from the Armada and England is taking its first faltering steps towards a future as a global power. Nicholas Shelby – reluctant spy and maverick physician – and his companion Bianca Merton are settling into a life on Bankside. But in London there is always a plot afoot…

Robert Cecil, the Queen’s spymaster, once again recruits Nicholas to embark on a dangerous undercover mission that will take him to the back alleys of Marrakech in search of a missing informer. However, while Nicholas hunts for the truth across the seas, plague returns once more to London – ravaging the streets and threatening those dearest to him.

Can Bianca and Nicholas’ budding relationship weather the threats of pestilence and conspiracy? And will Nicholas survive the dangers of his mission in a hostile city to return safely home?


This is the third book in the Jackdaw Mysteries series, all of which can be read as standalone novels, however I highly recommend reading The Angel’s Mark and The Serpent’s Mark because they are both cracking reads. If you enjoy Sansom’s Shardlake and historical crime fiction then Perry is an excellent choice.

Once again Nicholas Shelby is at the beck and call of Robert Cecil, the notorious spymaster of Elizabeth I. He is driven from his bed in the middle of the night by soldiers, which has his landlady and neighbours doubting his loyalty to the Crown. Robert Cecil does enjoy keeping his minions on their toes.

Cecil wants Shelby to travel to Morocco to learn about the healing and advances in the medical field from fellow physicians. The Muslim physicians hold the secrets of Eastern healing, which combined with Western science could open up a world of different healing. Sounds convincing, right? Yeh, we all know Cecil better than that. In reality he wants Shelby to help find a master spy who disappeared in Marrakech.

It’s a spectacular historical crime read, which I have come to expect from this author.

This time Shelby and Bianca Merton get equal opportunity to shine at detecting, which gives them both greater depth as characters. Perry uses historical facts to drive the crime fiction forward. As a reader you become so immersed in the time period and surroundings that it is easy to forget where you are, which of course is the sign of a great writer. Pulls you in and refuses to let you go.

Although Perry is already receiving plenty of accolades for his work I am certain he is just getting started.

Buy The Saracen’s Mark on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.  Publisher: Corvus; pub date 2 April 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my reviews of The Serpent’s Mark and The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry.

#BlogTour The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Lost Lights of St Kilda by Elisabeth Gifford.About the Author

Elisabeth Gifford grew up in a vicarage in the industrial Midlands. She studied French literature and world religions at Leeds University. Her bestselling novel, Secrets of the Sea House, was shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association’s Debut Crown for Best First Historical Novel in 2014. She is married with three children, and lives in Kingston upon Thames.

Follow @elisabeth04liz on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit elisabethgifford.comBuy The Lost Lights of St Kilda

About the book

A sweeping novel set on the Scottish island of St Kilda, following the last community to live there before it was evacuated in 1930.

When Fred Lawson takes a summer job on St Kilda in 1927, little does he realise that he has joined the last community to ever live on that desolate, isolated island. Only three years later, St Kilda will be evacuated, the islanders near-dead from starvation. But for Fred, that summer is the bedrock of his whole life…

Chrissie Gillies is just nineteen when the researchers come to St Kilda. Hired as their cook, she can’t believe they would ever notice her, sophisticated and educated as they are. But she soon develops a cautious friendship with Fred, a friendship that cannot be allowed to develop into anything more…


The story begins with a prisoner of war called Fred dissociating himself with the torture he is subjected to and the possibility that he will die overseas, by imagining that he is back on the isle where he fell in love and the woman he left behind.

Chrissie is one of the natives of St Kilda, who had to be evacuated to the mainland. She has had to restart her life and adapt to her new circumstances. Her friendship with young Fred is becoming a distant memory, despite that her heart still hopes that she will see him again one day.

What the different storylines and characters have in common is their relationship with St Kilda. A place that leaves its mark on those who experience it. The tragedy of war and the equally tragic fate of an isolated community being thrust into mainstream society is told against the backdrop of the haunting beauty of the place they all yearn for.

I think it’s difficult to pinpoint which element of the book is the most poignant, perhaps because they are all equally so, and to be fair Gifford does them all justice. The history of St Kilda, the beauty of the place itself and the relationship those who have visited or lived there have with St Kilda. Then the tragedy of years and lives lost to the conflict of war.

I can remember a few years ago reading a book about infant mortality and lockjaw on a remote Scottish isle, and the old unhygienic rituals at birth that led to the extremely high death rate – definitely worth reading up on, so kudos to the author for adding that historical tidbit to the story.

It’s a story of kinship, love and loyalty – it’s historical and literary fiction.

Gifford gives her readers heightened emotions, but without gratuitous details. Instead those emotions are delivered via breathtaking descriptive language and seen through the eyes of each character.

Buy The Lost Lights of St Kilda at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 5 Mar. 2020. Buy books by Gifford at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Serpent’s Mark by S. W. Perry

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Serpent’s Mark by S.W. Perry. It’s historical crime fiction with a riveting set of characters and a persuasive plot.About the Author

S. W. Perry was a journalist and broadcaster before retraining as an airline pilot. He lives in Worcestershire with his wife.

Follow @swperry_history @CorvusBooks on Twitter #TheSerpentsMark, on Goodreads, on Amazon,

Buy The Serpent’s Mark

About the book

A smart and gripping tale of conspiracy, murder and espionage in Elizabethan London, ideal for fans of CJ Sansom, Rory Clements and SG MacLean.

Treason sleeps for no man…

London, 1591. Nicholas Shelby, physician and reluctant spy, returns to his old haunts on London’s lawless Bankside. But, when the queen’s spymaster Robert Cecil asks him to investigate the dubious practices of a mysterious doctor from Switzerland, Nicholas is soon embroiled in a conspiracy that threatens not just the life of an innocent young patient, but the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth herself.

With fellow healer and mistress of the Jackdaw tavern, Bianca Merton, again at his side, Nicholas is drawn into a dangerous world of zealots, charlatans and fanatics. As their own lives become increasingly at risk, they find themselves confronting the greatest treason of all: the spectre of a bloody war between the faiths…


This is the second book in the Jackdaw Mystery series and it absolutely can be read as a standalone novel. The author gives enough back-info on the previous book to get an understanding of the characters, but without taking over the plot in this one.

Nicholas Shelby finds himself in a rut and without any occupation, after struggling to cope with the death of his wife and child. Once again spymaster Robert Cecil decides to put Shelby to good use by sending him to find out whether the young grandson of his wife’s relative is in danger.

Samuel has the falling sickness (epilepsy) and is being treated by a physician called Arcampora. Shelby knows better than anyone that there is no cure for the illness, so how exactly is Arcampora treating him and why is Samuel’s new stepmother keeping him so isolated from the world?

Simultaneously Bianca is dealing with her cousin Bruno, who appears to be up to no good. He has the kind of secrets that end up with someone’s head being mounted on a stake. The two of them, both Bianca and Nicholas, end up being drawn into the midst of the kind of plot they would rather not be involved in. It’s a case of wanting to help others ends up with them being at the forefront of spy-games and dangerous controversial secrets.

Side-note: The whole trepanning practice might have made me wince here and there, and as if the story wasn’t enough to conjure up horrific images of heads and holes, and holes in heads, well the Author’s note absolutely sealed the deal where that is concerned.

I can say without a doubt that I would pick up a S.W. Perry and eagerly await a new Jackdaw Mystery featuring Nicholas Shelby, just a much as I would a book by Sansom, and I love a Shardlake. Perry absolutely deserves the same kind of recognition for his compelling Jackdaw series.

It’s historical crime fiction with a riveting set of characters and persuasive plot. I look forward to seeing where Perry takes this series next.

Buy The Serpent’s Mark ( The Jackdaw Mysteries #2) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 6th June 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of The Angel’s Mark by S.W. Perry

#BlogTour The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott. It’s a psychological thriller mixed with magical realism.About the Author

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

Buy The Missing Years

About the book

She thought she would never go back…

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago. Her father.

Leaving London behind to settle her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, accompanied by the half-sister she’s never taken the time to get to know.

With the past threatening to swallow her whole, she can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her. And when Ailsa confronts the first nighttime intruder, she sees that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything…


Ailsa returns to the home of her childhood. The one her mother ran from when Ailsa’s father disappeared with a bunch of diamonds. Now her mother is dead and Ailsa owns half a house she is unable to sell.

She returns to the Scottish Highlands with her half-sister Carrie, which sounds like an opportunity to bond. The two of them have a fractious and fragile relationship, which leads to mistrust, disagreements and misunderstandings. The hope is that the two of them will reconnect and instead of searching for the old bond, perhaps they can build a new relationship. On top of that Ailsa feels as if she has fallen into some kind of bizarre mystery that is the story of her life.

The Manse deserves character status in its own right. It lives, it moves, it breathes and it haunts. Ailsa isn’t sure at first, and to be fair it’s hard to differentiate between outside influences, human hand and something more sinister and inexplicable, but eventually she realises there is something more to the building she lived in as a child.

Between each chapter is a page, which sometimes reads as if Ailsa’s father has written or spoken it himself. He is in this country or that continent. He is married, single or gay. He is so many things except with Ailsa. After a while it becomes clear that these are the scenarios she has imagined during the time he has been gone. Reasons to explain why he isn’t with her. Why she isn’t and was never important enough for him to come home again.

I loved this element of the book. Partly because it isn’t clear where the info stems from and because it interjects so abruptly in the midst of the reality of her life. It’s a little bit like her dreams, her subconscious and then her conscious self competing against each other simultaneously.

The same goes for the magical realism aspect of the read. It gives the story a haunting gothic vibe, a house as fortune-teller and the bodyguard, whilst emanating the pain of the past throughout its rooms and halls.

It’s gripping, it pulls the reader in slowly with a captivating plot. It’s a psychological thriller mixed with magical realism.

Buy The Missing Years at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 6 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Forgotten Sister by Caroline Bond

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Forgotten Sister by Caroline Bond. It’s a contemporary read, an emotive and hard-hitting one.

About the Author

Caroline Bond was born in Scarborough and studied English at Oxford University before working as a market researcher for 25 years. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, and lives in Leeds with her husband and three children. Her first novel, The Second Child, was published in 2018.

Follow @Bond2Caroline @CorvusBooks on Twitter, on Amazon,

Buy The Forgotten Sister

About the book

Cassie and Erin are sisters. They are close – in age, looks and personality – but there is one crucial difference: Cassie is adopted.

At seventeen, Cassie sets out to find her birth mother. She is hungry for the truth, but she discovers her adoption was far more complicated than even she could have imagined. In uncovering her birth identity Cassie learns that her adoptive parents have kept a terrible secret from her her whole life, a secret that now threatens to destroy everything she has ever held dear.

The Forgotten Sister is a heart-rending, profoundly moving novel about protecting the ones you love from the secrets that will hurt them most.


This is the story of a young girl called Cassie and her attempt to find out more about her past and her biological family. It’s also a way of shining the spotlight on the inadequacies of an overburdened system and the children who get lost in the system.

In general a lot of people like to think that an adopted child or person should be eternally grateful, especially when they have been raised in a loving environment by their adopted parents. That there shouldn’t be any questions about their lives before the adoption, because it looks as if they are betraying the new family. When the natural instinct to know who you are and where you come from arises, it can cause a lot of conflict.

It probably explains why Grace and Tom think their 17-year-old is just going through a difficult hormone induced period of difficulty. Her choice of men is dubious, she defies the rules and in general is quite combative. It doesn’t even dawn on them that the problem could lie elsewhere.

The truth is Cassie wants to know more about her life and family before life with Tom and Grace. She has been experiencing flashbacks that suggest there were moments of comfort, love and caring in between the more frightening ones. What does that mean? She really has so many questions.

For me the real crux of the issue is when Tom and Grace make a choice that determines the lives of not just their family, but also that of an isolated, abused and neglected child. How many people do that without a second thought, because dealing with a difficult child, well it is easier to just turn around and forget they ever existed, right?

Bond brings a couple of things to the table in this story; the complexity of adoption, the bond of sisterhood, despite a lack of blood bond or because there is one. The author also mixes, albeit it quite subtly the issue of race, skin colour, racism and colour bias into the story.

It’s a complex mixture of emotions and the reader is invited into the great entanglement that exists in this small family. I can imagine opinions may be swayed on a few things, but that’s not a bad thing. It’s a contemporary read, an emotive and hard-hitting one. An eye-opener of a story.

Buy The Forgotten Sister at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 2 May 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Bridal Party by J.G. Murray

Today it’s my pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Bridal Party by J. G. Murray. It’s a psychological thriller with an unwilling cast of not so innocent characters. Don’t miss the fantastic Q&A with the author!

About the Author

J G Murray grew up in Cornwall and, after a spell selling chocolates in Brussels, qualified as an English teacher. Murray now lives, teaches and writes in London.

Follow @JulianGylMurray @CorvusBooks on Twitter,

About the book

Sometimes friendship can be murder…

It’s the weekend of Clarisse’s bridal party, a trip the girls have all been looking forward to. Then, on the day of their flight, Tamsyn, the maid of honour, suddenly backs out. Upset and confused, they try to make the most of the stunning, isolated seaside house they find themselves in.

But, there is a surprise in store – Tamsyn has organised a murder mystery, a sinister game in which they must discover a killer in their midst. As tensions quickly boil over, it becomes clear to them all that there are some secrets that won’t stay buried…


Before we get down to business (i.e. talking about your book) I would like to ask a set of questions I call ‘Breaking the Ice.’

The last book you read? (Inquisitive bookworms would like to know) The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany. I’m interested in looking back and seeing how genres develop over time, and this is a milestone in the development of fantasy, bridging the gap between Victorian fairy tales and Tolkienesque epics.

The last movie you watched, which you felt left a mark (in your heart, soul, wallet…you name it)? I recently rewatched Beast, and absolutely love it. It was a big influence on The Bridal Party, so it’s close to my heart!

Writers or books who have inspired you to put pen to paper? An impossible question! I’ll go for Robin Jarvis: as a child I was completely entranced by the way he could write fantastic and labyrinthine stories, and wed them to a particular locale. Daphne Du Maurier was also huge for me, largely for the same reason. Once I saw that stories could happen in places I knew, the idea of becoming a writer seemed much more achievable.

Which famous person (dead, alive, barely kicking) would you most like to meet? I would love to have met Ursula K LeGuin. She’s an absolute hero of mine- a brilliant champion of writing, of genres and of diversity.

A famous declutterer a la Marie Kondo has decided to help you organise your home – you have to get rid of all but three of your books (the ones you have written yourself are exempt) which three would you pick and why? I’ll pick a book for three different stages in my life: My falling-in-love-with-reading phase: The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, My pretentious-teenager phase: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, My thriller phase: The City and the City by China Mieville

All of the above questions are actually a pretty elaborate pysch evaluation disguised as random questions. Have no fear here come the real ones. Let’s talk about The Bridal Party.

I have to admit The Bridal Party wasn’t what I was expecting. It went in a completely different direction, an excellent creepy one I might add.

Tell us all a little bit about your inspiration for The Bridal Party and what made you take the story in such a tense and scary direction? I have a group of friends who like to rent out houses in remote locations for a weekends and play Murder Mysteries. We write them ourselves now, which adds to the fun.

While I was playing one of these Mysteries, when I was trying to suss out the murderer, I wondered: “how awkward would this be if one of us had actually committed murder!”

And so it went from there. This very quickly led to the idea that someone could organise a Murder Mystery to reveal the secrets of a group of friends. As for making it scary–the idea of anyone conducting such an elaborate plan meant that they had to be a pretty nasty and sinister character! So the plot had to become quite twisted as a result.

I particularly enjoyed the way you combined folklore and the surroundings to create a setting of fear and paranoia. Was this based on something specific? I love folklore; I research it in my spare time. Anytime I write a story, I look up local superstitions and history as I find that it helps me grasp the feel of the landscape. I thought that these elements could make the story more potent, with some bizarre and spooky imagery that you don’t get to see in psychological thrillers too often!

I had to make up a history for the house, but all the folklore of Jersey comes from research. I tried to sneak in as much as I could!

You explore the boundaries of friendship and forgiveness in your story. Do you think a solid friendship can survive when a partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse is deemed unsuitable by the friendship group? Or should romantic relationships be out of bounds for friends? It’s a tricky question. One of the things that we don’t often talk about is the fact that good friendship groups evolve and shift to accommodate changes in people’s lives. Things might seem the same, but we’re constantly re-evaluating the dynamics of any given group and adjusting accordingly- often without even realising that we’ve done it.

The unsuitable romantic partner is definitely one of those obstacles. It can absolutely threaten the dynamics of a friendship group, especially if the partner is jealous, overbearing and possessive. I think that friendships can survive in such circumstances- but only if people act in a decent and conscientious way. People have to be willing to make the shifts and adjustments, while also ensuring that the bond between the friends is preserved.

I’ve found that the person who is romantically involved will sense the tension, and separates her love and social lives as much as possible. But again, it comes back down to the partner, and what they will allow…

Nada is a character who will probably divide opinions, because the overall perception and description is of a young woman with difficulty standing up for herself. How important was it to you to create a group and show the lack of equality that often exists in friendship groups, especially in women only groups? There’s always a complicated power dynamic at play within friendships. And that’s definitely something I wanted to explore within my story; how toxic and abusive friendships could get.

As for Nada, I felt like the story needed someone who had significant esteem issues; someone who was so invested in her friendships that she’d put up with anything. Anyone with a clearer head would have gotten out of her situation immediately!

I know what you mean about how she will divide opinions, though. I got frustrated with her at times for being so deferential. But, to be honest, that’s not a million miles from my own character: I hate conflict, and am far too eager to please. So I empathised with her throughout.

I am really curious whether you knew where the story was going to end up or did the twist come to you as the story evolved? I knew it! I didn’t know all the details, of course– but I would have panicked if I wasn’t writing towards something definite and planned.

What’s next for J.G. Murray? Are you working on your next book already? Yes! It’s another thriller, also set in one location. I love the Agatha Christie-esque puzzles and the taut, bare-bones narrative that arise out of keeping people in one location.

I won’t be going on any Bridal Parties if you are the one planning them. Just Saying. Thank you for answering my questions, even the odd ones. Oh and kudos to you for the unexpected ending of The Bridal Party! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m going on my own stag do in a few weeks, and I’ve got no idea what is going to happen– I’m slightly concerned that my best man might take inspiration from the novel…


If you’re expecting a fun filled weekend trip of merry women, cheeky drinks and plenty of laughter, well you’ve come to the wrong place. This bridal party brings everything but the expected fun, games and banter with it. Instead this hen party finds itself in the middle of a game of revenge. A spiteful, scary game of cat and mouse in an isolated area cut off from the phones, transport, the internet and any help at all.

The bride’s best friend is a no show, and yet she is the one who planned the whole murder mystery evening. The bride is annoyed, has a short temper and is doing her best interpretation of a bridezilla. She is concerned that her dreams won’t come true, especially after her last fiancé just up and left in the middle of the night. Not that any of her friends were exactly upset to see the back of him.

I think the character of Nada may divide opinions. She has settled into the stereotype of being the doormat, the less privileged and less educated one in the group. The person the others tend to make fun of, sneer at and take for granted. Makes you wonder why she is there at all.

The author takes inspiration from folklore, history and infuses the story with a creepy Bates motel and gothic vibe. Balloons and cocktails mixed with court jesters and masked maniacs. What’s not to enjoy?

Kudos to Murray for the perfect ending to this twisted piece of fiction. No prisoners are taken and there is no room for any mercy. It’s a psychological thriller with an unwilling cast of not so innocent characters.

Buy The Bridal Party at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Corvus; pub date 7 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.