#BlogTour The Worst Couple in the World by Holly Tierney-Bedord

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Worst Couple in the World by Holly Tierney-Bedord. It’s a short read, a satirical look at the use of social media and the people who use it to promote themselves.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (Open to US Only)About the Author

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books ranging from serious women’s fiction to romantic comedies, domestic thrillers, humor, and cozy mysteries. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Follow @HollyTierney on Twitter, on Pintereston Linkedinon Facebook,  on Goodreadson Amazonon BookBub, Visit hollytierneybedord.com or hollyrecommends.wordpress.com

About the book

No longer content to just be Snappigram sensations, folk hop singers Zeke and Angelique are ready to move up from coffee house performances to the big stage. With songs like “Uh Huh, Future Baby Mama” and “Don’t Worry About the Bills, Little Missus” there’s pretty much no way they can fail.

But if their musical career takes off, will it leave their love behind?

This satirical novella about an over-the-top fame hungry duo is for fans of David Sedaris and Don DeLillo.Review

I know this is satire, but it really makes me fear for our society probably because this is a pretty accurate description of the fakery that goes on. Young people, the up and coming generations, are only interested in self-gratification and the adoration of the invisible online world. It’s all about likes, shares and followers.

It’s a shame that people like the fictitious Zeke and Angelique are role models for children. And it’s delusional to think that in a world where technology rules the waking hours of the young, that they won’t be influenced by shallow role models who pretend to live perfect lives.

The danger in this is that it is teaching the young to aspire to the impossible. There is no such thing as perfection 24/7, and it is okay to be less than perfect. It’s okay to just be you and not some version you think the world wants you to be.

It also teaches their followers to be willing to do anything to become insta-famous or popular. Lie, fake it, pretend. Use filters to create the perfect picture. Heck there are even social media influencers who create picture perfect cups of coffee ect with shaving cream for instance, because fake cups of foam and coloured liquid look better than the actual item they are promoting.

It’s a short read, a satirical look at the use of social media and the people who use it to promote themselves. Unfortunately, and that isn’t the fault of the author, I think this is closer to the truth than people would like to believe. A world a fakery and false expectations, which results in a lack of trust in anything we interact with.

Buy The Worst Couple in the World at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (Open to US Only)

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#BlogTour Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland

Today it’s the last stop on the BlogTour Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland. This is a riveting psychological thriller with an espionage vibe.

About the Author

Karen Cleveland spent eight years as a CIA analyst, focusing on counter-terrorism  and working briefly on rotation to the FBI. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two young sons.

Follow @KarenCleve on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit karen-cleveland.com

Buy Keep You Close

About the book

A strange sensation runs through me, a feeling that I don’t know this person in front of me, even though he matters more to me than anyone ever has, than anyone ever will.

You go into your son’s bedroom. It’s the usual mess. You tidy up some dirty plates, pick up some clothes, open the wardrobe to put them away.

And that’s when you find it. Something so shocking it doesn’t seem real. And you realize a horrifying truth…

Your own son might be dangerous…


Steph has a successful career and is a workaholic, much to the dismay of her son and her mother. The only thing marring her life is the dark secret she has kept hidden for nearly two decades. She is completely thrown for a loop when a colleague drops by wanting to speak to her son about his online contacts and possible worrying behaviour.

Her initial reaction is shock, anger and disbelief, but then she knows something her colleague is unaware of. Something that implies his accusations could be true.

Lots of nice little misdirections and red herrings going on. Readers are definitely kept on their feet. Cleveland uses body language to insinuate deeper, darker and more insidious secrets than what Steph can see on the surface.

If you leave the plot aside for a moment I think the relationship and interactions between Steph and Zachary are indicative of something more dangerous in our society. A certain unknown variable that is hard to put a finger on, when our children move away from us so much that we can lose them completely. When they fall into the trap of radicalisation, because they are vulnerable and at an age where everything can seem enticing.

It’s easy to see why Steph is torn between believing her son is innocent and fearing he may be a complete stranger capable of the worst crimes she can imagine.

This is a riveting psychological thriller with an espionage vibe. It’s an enthralling read about love, the bond between mother and child, trust and most of all it’s about instinct. Is instinct enough to deter a crime or risk an entire career. Is a gut instinct enough to go on when it comes to someone you love endangering others? If push came to shove would you choose blood or the safety of others?

Buy Keep You Close at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press;pub date 27 Jun. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby. It’s historical crime fiction, it’s a mystery and it’s also a story about whether we are driven by our genetic code and instincts or by what we experience in our lifetime.

About the Author

Originally from Sunderland, Carolyn Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before working for social housing and then as a teacher of English as a foreign language.

Her novel The Conviction of Cora Burns was begun in 2013 on a writing course at Faber Academy in London. The novel has achieved success in several competitions including as finalist in the 2017 Mslexia Novel Competition and as winner of the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award. Carolyn has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.

Follow @novelcarolyn @noexitpress on Twitter,

Buy The Conviction of Cora Burns

About the book

With the power and intrigue of Jessie Burton’s The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.

Birmingham 1885 – Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?


This is an intriguing read, but it will keep the grey cells busy as you track each thread. The author has built the plot in a way that asks the reader to backtrack and follow the main character through many doors, years and supposedly unimportant connections. Cora takes us on a trip to learn the truth about herself and her life.

Born to a prisoner and raised as an orphan in a workhouse, Cora has always been on the rough and more unlucky side of life. The only happy memories are the ones she made with her fellow workhouse friend Alice. Together they bonded over their loneliness, their tears and fears, and the instinct to cause trouble and harm.

When Cora is released she is determined to find Alice and reconnect, and perhaps fill in the blanks about something awful Alice did when they were younger. Instead her journey takes her on a trip that confronts her with her own past and how she became the Cora Burns we learn to like, but perhaps mistrust.

Aside from the tragedy of how the mentally ill, especially women, were treated during the 19th century this is also about how society treated women and children in general. At the very core of the premise however is the debate about nature vs nurture in regards to a propensity for violence, and the type that leads to violent crimes and homicides.

Scientists have been able to find a high correlation between certain genes and violent acts. The question is whether the genetic coding in combination with an exposure to neglect, abuse, trauma and maltreatment as a child, is a definitive recipe for a violent offender. In this story the question is whether the ‘evil’ or propensity to commit violent acts is passed down genetically.

The doctors and scientists used lunatic asylums as a place to try out a variety of inhumane methods to cure patients, so it’s not unusual for David Farley, the Assistant Medical Officer in Birmingham Asylum, to be using a relatively new method to help patients. He is using, or trying to use, hypnotism to prove his theory that there is a correlation between mental health and the economic status of a patient. In a way his research helps to connect the dots in this story.

It’s historical crime fiction, it’s a mystery and it’s also a story about whether we are driven by our genetic code and instincts or by what we experience in our lifetime. I think the truth is somewhere between the two.

Buy The Conviction of Cora Burns at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press; pub date 21 Mar. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick. It’s a psychological thriller, but hidden in the guise of a story about guilt, conscience and closure.

About the Author

With degrees in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon, USA, and Business Administration from INSEAD, France, Neel is the Head of Product and Information Security at a Belgian family-office technology company.

He mentors women entrepreneurs through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, is involved in raising a generation of digital and socially-aware leaders with the Steering for Greatness Foundation (Nigeria), supports improvement in the quality of life of domestic workers at Emprendedoras del Hogar (Peru), and is helping IIMPACT (India) break the cycle of illiteracy plaguing young girls from socially and economically impoverished communities.

He lives on three continents, spending his time between New York, Brussels, and New Delhi, has survived ten days (and nights!) at an airport, and a free fall five-hundred metres from the sky.

Concerned with the inverse correlation that seems to exist between society’s progress and the empathy with which it interacts with the universe around it, he firmly believes the solution to a rapidly fracturing world lies in peeling enough layers to discover the similarities, rather than judging on mere superficialities.

Buy Dark Blossom

About the book

Sam returns home from a business trip a day before his son’s thirteenth birthday and is looking forward to being with his family, when his world is cruelly shattered in one fell swoop. Initially he thinks he can cope with the loss, but finally seeks the help of Cynthia, an experienced therapist, to regain his equipoise. What he does not know is that Cynthia herself is trying to cope with a debilitating divorce and the sinister shadow of her ex-husband over her daughter…

What happens when doctor and patient find themselves in the same sinking boat? Moreover, when they are rowing in opposite directions–one clinging to the past, and the other unable to get rid of it! In the midst of it all is Lily, Cynthia’s daughter, who harbours a secret that has the power to explode the lives around her.

Taut with tension and intensity, Dark Blossom is a glimpse of what lies under the surface of apparently ‘normal’ people.


What Mullick wants is to create food for thought for the reader and is genuinely interested in what each one of us takes away from the story, because it will always be an individual experience based on our own frame of references.

What speaks to me might not be what speaks to someone else. In general that is something people should remember when it comes to reviews.

Let’s start with Cynthia, who is a therapist, although based on this book and her actions with her client Sam, she is one in name only. It’s a fictional story, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out her lack of ethics, professionalism and duty of care towards her client. If you are burdened or are in danger of projecting your own emotions onto a client or have a bias against their situation or person, then ethics dictate that you recuse yourself and refer the client to another therapist.

Her inability to do that is what makes her the focus for me. It determines the entire story and her interactions with every other character. In fact, although the book starts with the incredible grief of Sam, Cynthia makes everything about her, her guilt and inability to connect with her teenage daughter.

Guilt plays a huge factor for Cynthia, Sam and Lily. Cynthia feels guilty for not being able to save her daughter from her abusive husband. Sam feels guilty for not being able to change the death of his loved ones and he is also driven by the unanswered questions about their deaths. Lily feels guilty about keeping secrets. Of course it’s also what brings the three of them together in a bizarre and unhealthy way.

I think one of the obvious questions about Cynthia is why she thought a physical abuser would suddenly be in complete control of his emotions and not have found a different victim? Or did she subconsciously suspect and not want to admit the dark and hurtful truth? What is also clear is how everything is always brought back to how it relates to Cynthia. I found her quite a vain, selfish and inadequate character.

What is Dark Blossom? It’s a psychological thriller, but hidden in the guise of a story about guilt, conscience and closure. A layer of suspense flows through it, which is almost indiscernible from the loud, messy emotional turmoil that is being bandied about. It’s an interesting way to approach the genre. Not so much the what or who, but most definitely the when.

Buy Dark Blossom at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Rupa Publications; pub date 3 Jan. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Island Affair by Helena Halme

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Island Affair by Helena Halme. It’s a contemporary read, a tale of different types of love, but mainly it’s one of grief and trying to find a way to heal.

About the Author

A prize-winning author, Helena Halme writes contemporary fiction with a hint of both Nordic Noir and romance. She’s a former BBC journalist, bookseller and magazine editor. Originally from Finland where she gained an MSc in Marketing, she also holds an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and writes in English.

Helena acts as Nordic Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors and helps other writers publish and market their books.

Helena has published seven fiction titles, including The English Heart, a best-selling Nordic romance, which won an Awesome Indies badge on publication. The bittersweet 1980s love story between a Finnish student and a British Navy officer is now a series, including a prequel novella, The Young Heart, the sequels The Faithful Heart, The Good Heart and Helena’s latest title, The True Heart, book four in The Nordic Heart Series. Helena has also published a non-fiction title, Write Your Story: Turn Your Life into Fiction in 10 Easy Steps. Helena is addicted to Nordic Noir and dances to Abba songs when nobody’s watching.

Follow @helenahalme on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, Visit helenahalme.com

Buy The Island Affair

About the book

Can one summer mend a broken heart?

After the tragic loss of their 17-year-old son, journalist Alicia and surgeon Liam struggle to keep their marriage afloat. During their usual holiday to Åland, the Nordic islands where Alicia grew up, the rift between the couple deepens.

Enter tall, blonde Patrick, with the most piercing blue eyes Alicia has ever seen. When Patrick confides in Alicia about the near loss of his daughter and the breakdown of his marriage, Alicia is surprised to feel an affinity with the Swedish reporter. He’s the only person who understands Alicia.

But secrets held by people close to Alicia give her life another surprising turn and she finds there is a reason to live – and love – again.


This story hit a personal note for me, because our family has been through a really traumatic time in the last six months. We have had to learn to cope with the emotional upheaval caused by grief, especially because it manifests itself differently in each person. Anger, self-destructive behaviour, depression and denial are just a few coping mechanisms, there are plenty more.

I guess that is why the grief element of this storyline drew me in like a moth to a flame. Halme captures the way the death of their young son destroys the relationship and marriage of Alicia and Liam. Neither of them are willing to accept how the other is dealing with the tragedy. Alicia is just surviving on a day-to-day basis and Liam has found comfort in the arms of another woman.

They come to a crossroads and decide to go their separate ways, which is where the tale really begins. Alicia finds common ground and a flirty romantic connection with Patrick. The helpful and willing listener helps her to come to terms with the loss of her son.

The Nordic atmosphere and stoic attitude of the townspeople gives the story a quirky charm. There is an underlying tension of a thriller that flows through this hotbed of emotional turmoil, which isn’t an easy feat considering the pain that hovers around the main characters.

It’s a contemporary read, a tale of different types of love, but mainly it’s one of grief and trying to find a way to heal. Both Alicia and Liam learn that when one door shuts and disappears other ones open up. Whether they choose to walk through the same door is an individual decision. Sometimes tragic events show the fissures in relationships in a brighter light. The tragedy will either tear them apart forever or make them base their relationship on something other than their living child. Perhaps to build upon the deep love they shared for him instead.

Buy The Island Affair at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Newhurst Press; pub date 21 Mar. 2019.

#BlogTour Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Remember Tomorrow by Amanda Saint. It’s post-apocalyptic fiction with a futuristic flair.

About the Author

Amanda Saint’s debut novel, As If I Were A River, reached #3 in the WHSmith Travel charts; was selected as a NetGalley Top 10 Book of the Month; and chosen as a Top 20 Book of 2016 by the Book Magnet Blog.

Her short stories have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, twice appearing on the Fish Flash Fiction longlist and the Ink Tears Short Story shortlist. She runs her own creative writing business, Retreat West, through which she runs writing courses and competitions; and an independent publishing house, retreat West Books. Amanda also works as a freelance journalist writing about climate change and environmental sustainability.

Follow @saintlywriter @RetreatWest on Twitter, on Facebook, Visit amandasaint.net

Buy Remember Tomorrow

About the book

England, 2073. The UK has been cut off from the rest of the world and ravaged by environmental disasters. Small pockets of survivors live in isolated communities with no electricity, communications or transportation, eating only what they can hunt and grow.

Evie is a herbalist, living in a future that’s more like the past, and she’s fighting for her life. The young people of this post-apocalyptic world have cobbled together a new religion, based on medieval superstitions, and they are convinced she’s a witch. Their leader? Evie’s own grandson.

Weaving between Evie’s current world and her activist past, her tumultuous relationships and the terrifying events that led to the demise of civilised life, Remember Tomorrow is a beautifully written, disturbing and deeply moving portrait of an all-too-possible dystopian world, with a chilling warning at its heart.


It doesn’t matter how far into the future we go, we can always rely on humans to never learn from history or their past. The human race excels at destroying themselves. For some reason they seem particularly talented at repeating the most heinous acts of the past centuries. The title of the book is therefore quite apt.

Instead of moving forward and evolving, a community in the future has reverted back to the days when the mere whiff of suspicion could mean the difference between living in peace and being burnt at the stake for witchcraft. Healing becomes spells, witchery and the devil’s work. This places Evie in the unfortunate position of being a target.

The fact that religion always seems to make an appearance in some way, shape or form is definitely part of the problem in this dystopian, post-apocalyptic and futuristic story. A once thriving community set in the year 2073 in England is facing increasingly harder struggles to survive. Food has become scarce, which makes people desperate.

Her own family uses religion to make Evie seem like a threat and the guise of her being a danger to the community is probably just hiding the fact it is a way to rid themselves of community members. Less people equals less mouths to share food with.

Humans tend to target the vulnerable, the different and the non-conformists to deflect from their own failings or hidden agendas. Evie and any other person refusing to become part the fanatical religious group have a big bullseye painted on their back.

It’s post-apocalyptic fiction with a futuristic flair. Given the rise of certain radical groups and the attacks upon specific religious groups and ethnicities at the moment, despite prior tragedies and atrocities in the last century, this isn’t a far-fetched premise at all.

Saint captivates the mass hysteria of religious zealots, which supersedes any common sense or prior knowledge that questions the beliefs of the fanatics. It’s a recipe for violence and disaster.

Buy Remember Tomorrow at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Retreat West Books; Ecopy pub date 21 Mar. 2019. Paperback pub date 17 March 2019.

Read my review of The Word for Freedom and Nothing is As it Was.

#BlogTour A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon

It’s my turn on the BlogTour A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon. It’s crime fiction with domestic abuse at the forefront of the plot.About the Author

Suzanne Seddon was born in 1968 in Islington, London. After leaving school she had many interesting jobs, from swimming teacher to air hostess, and was able to travel the globe. Now a single mum to her teenage daughter Poppy-willow, Suzanne spends her days writing and has written several articles for magazines and newspapers.

Growing up, Suzanne witnessed mental and physical abuse within her own family which strongly influenced her when she wrote her first play, A Fool’s Circle, when she attended the famous Anna Scher Theatre. Suzanne, however, was not content to leave it there and decided to go ahead and transform her play into a novel.

Not one to shy away from exciting challenges, she also wrote, acted, directed, cast and produced a trailer for the book around her hometown in Islington with the support of local businesses, who recognised the drive and importance of Suzanne and her work.

Suzanne is a passionate writer and she is determined to be heard so that the issue of domestic abuse is raised amongst the public’s consciousness, empowering others to speak out. She wants those who suffer at the hands of another to have their voices heard, loud and clear.

Follow @suzseddon on Twitter

Buy A Fool’s Circle

About the book

Kate Sanders has suffered many years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abusive husband Alan, and convinces herself that she is only holding the family together for the sake of her eight-year-old daughter. If it wasn’t for her best friend Jill Reynolds, she would have taken the suicide option a long time ago.

As she desperately seeks a way to escape, she is contacted by a solicitor. Kate’s old aunt has died and she has been left a small fortune. For the first time, she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She dreams of a fresh start, a new home, a new life. What Kate doesn’t know is that Jill and Alan have their own secrets, and are both desperate to get their hands on her money.

Kate soon finds herself falling for the charms of Jonathon Jacobs in what she believes to be fate finally intervening and offering her a second chance, unaware that each move he makes has been directed, orchestrated and well-rehearsed as he begs her to leave her husband Alan.

But is it all too late, as she finds herself in the frame for murder.


Kate is the victim of domestic abuse. The behaviour of her husband has spiralled from small things to a constant barrage of abuse on a daily basis. She has convinced herself that staying with her husband is better for their daughter, but the truth is she is just too frightened to leave him.

Things take a turn for the worse when an opportunity for freedom arises, however Kate hasn’t taken into account just how vindictive her husband can be and that she can’t trust the people around her. Sometimes there is a fine line between someone being a friend or an frenemy.

The author mentions her inspiration for this story in the acknowledgements. Being a witness to physical and mental abuse has made her more determined to be an advocate for domestic violence.

The experience of witnessing such abuse isn’t the same as being a victim of abuse, it does however leave a lasting impression on that person. The repercussions of being in such a toxic environment can last a lifetime and often needs therapeutic intervention. It can taint the way a person interacts with difficult situations and treats the people around them. Unfortunately the abused and those who have witnessed the abuse as children, a small number of them sometimes – not always, go on to be abusers themselves. There is however a strong correlation between children who have experienced abuse and go on to experience further abuse as adults.

The novel has been adapted from the play, also written by Seddon, which probably explains the awkward dialogue and repetitive use of names in said dialogue. It lacks smooth linguistic transfers or continuance and could do with a good edit.

It’s crime fiction with domestic abuse at the forefront of the plot. It’s all about how Kate tries to sever the destructive ties between herself and her husband, and protect her young daughter at the same time.

Buy A Fool’s Circle at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Wallace Publishing; pub date 17 Mar. 2019. Buy on Amazon com.

#BlogTour 21st Century Yokel by Tom Cox

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour 21st Century Yokel by Tom Cox. It’s comedy, it’s a memoir and it’s also about the way Cox experiences the world around him.

About the Author

Tom Cox lives in Devon. A one-time music journalist is the author of the Sunday Times bestsselling The Good, the Bad and the Furry and the William Hill Sports Book longlisted Bring Me The Head of Sergio Garcia. Help the Witch, a collection of folk ghost stories, will be published in October 2019.

Follow @cox_tom @unbound_digital on Twitter, on Instagram, on Facebook, Visit tom-cox.com

Buy 21st Century Yokel

About the book

21st-Century Yokel is not quite nature writing, not quite a family memoir,  not quite a book about walking,  not quite a collection of humorous essays, but a bit of all five.

Thick with owls and badgers, oak trees and wood piles, scarecrows and ghosts, and Tom Cox’s loud and excitable dad, this book is full of the folklore of several  counties – the ancient kind and the everyday variety – as well as wild places, mystical spots and curious objects. Emerging from this focus on the detail are themes that are broader and bigger and more important than ever.

Tom’s writing treads a new path, one that has a lot in common with a rambling country walk; it’s bewitched by fresh air and big skies, intrepid in minor ways, haunted by weather and old stories and the spooky edges of the outdoors, restless and prone to a few detours,but it always reaches its destination in the end.Review

What is a Yokel? An uneducated and unsophisticated person from the countryside. A country bumpkin, a peasant or an oaf. It’s probably an oxymoron given the fact said yokel is from the 21st century. Is there such a thing given our level of technology, industrial development and advances in general?

You know, well some of you may know what I mean, when you are sat taking in your surroundings and the beauty of nature, design, architecture. Perhaps while you are sat breathing in the peace and tranquility of wildlife, plants, the sunset, the sea or anything that catches your attention.

Think of all the thoughts that go through your mind. The dialogue in your head, then again you could be one of those people who say things out load into the universe. Now imagine those thoughts in writing combined with stories from your life or those of your family members, then top it off with opinion pieces, then you nearly have the 21st Century Yokel.

To complete it you need to add humour, a large side order of irony and the keen perception and understanding of self, then you have what this story or book is.

It doesn’t fit in one category, it fits in many, which is probably what will draw readers to it. It’s a smorgasbord of thoughts, experiences, imprints and emotions. It probably sounds like a lot to try and collect under one roof, however the charm of this unique and quirky piece of wok is not to be underestimated.

Cox has a way of describing his surroundings, in particular nature, in a way that transports the reader to the vivid imagery, scents and sounds he is experiencing as we are reading. Then he will jump into a memory or a story about himself or a family member, and approach it in a humorous and entertaining way. He would have made an excellent medieval minstrel methinks.

‘Wonders if he wanders with friends and family and keeps them entertained along the way?’

It’s comedy, it’s a memoir and it’s also about the way Cox experiences the world around him. It’s a word-smith duelling with thoughts, images and experiences, in an attempt to convey them to world around him. I believe he does so quite successfully.

Buy 21st Century Yokel at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher:Unbound; pub date 16 Nov. 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North

Today it’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Perfect Betrayal by Lauren North. It’s a psychological thriller, and in equal measures a story about grief and mental health.

About the Author

Lauren North writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.

Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

Follow @Lauren_C _North @TransworldBooks on Twitter, or Lauren on Facebook,

Buy The Perfect Betrayal

About the book

‘I thought she was our friend. I thought she was trying to help us.’

After the sudden death of her husband, Tess is drowning in grief. All she has left is her son, Jamie, and she’ll do anything to protect him – but she’s struggling to cope. When grief counsellor Shelley knocks on their door, everything changes. Shelley is beautiful, confident and takes control when Tess can’t bear to face the outside world. She is the perfect friend to Tess and Jamie, but when Jamie’s behaviour starts to change, and Tess starts to forget things, she begins to suspect that Shelley might not be the answer to their problems after all.

When questions arise over her husband’s death and strange things start to happen, Tess begins to suspect that Shelley may have an ulterior motive. Tess knows she must do everything she can to keep Jamie safe – but who can she trust?


I’m going to try and be careful not to give away anything that might reveal the plot in its entirety, because the emotional crescendo at the end and psychological aspect of the story is what makes it such a captivating read.

When Tess loses her husband unexpectedly her grief envelopes her whole world. She becomes fiercely protective of her young son Jamie, almost to the point of being paranoid and self-destructive. A grief counsellor called Shelley tries to help Tess deal with her loss, but ends up making her doubt herself and her surroundings even more.

The paranoia Tess experiences is magnified tenfold by her brother-in-law Ian. He is pushing Tess to deal with the financial aftermath of the death, pushing entirely in his favour of course. His greed and the fact there seem to be discrepancies and unanswered questions about the death of her spouse make Tess even more sensitive to the odd things that start happening around her.

The author captures the intensity of the grief process and how it manifests differently in each of us. In some people it manifests in feelings of anger, guilt, fear, perhaps even relief depending on the circumstances of the loss. Grief isn’t necessarily rational and can cause an altered state of mind.

I think the most difficult thing is that the people outside of that intense inner ring of grief often lack compassion, empathy and understanding about the way a grieving person may react. They expect the grieving person to deal with it, get over it and just move on to the next chapter of their lives. It isn’t that simple. Grief is a pit of embers that alights when triggered. Those embers may be less likely to precede a fire with time, but make no mistake they are always hidden somewhere deep inside.

It’s a psychological thriller, and in equal measures a story about grief and mental health. How the emotional turmoil caused by despair, death and losing the people you love the most can drive a person to the brink.

North brings the story full circle at the end, and in a way brings the most realistic element of this tale into the last few pages. Tess makes a decision for her own well-being, perhaps not what everyone thinks is best, but in that moment in time it’s the right thing for her or is it?

Buy The Perfect Betrayal at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Transworld Digital (14 Mar. 2019). Ebook pub date 14 March 2019Paperback pub date 27 June 2019

#BlogTour Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Welcome to the Heady Heights by David F. Ross. It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period.

About the Author

David F. Ross was born in Glasgow in 1964 and has lived in Kilmarnock for over thirty years. He is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture at Glasgow School of Art, an architect by day, and a hilarious social media commentator, author and enabler by night. His most prized possession is a signed Joe Strummer LP.

Since the publication of his debut novel The Last Days of Disco, he’s become something of a media celebrity in Scotland, with a signed copy of his book going for £500 at auction, and the German edition has not left the bestseller list since it was published.

Follow @dfr10 @OrendaBooks on Twitter, Visit davidfross.co.uk

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights

About the book

It’s the year punk rock was born, Concorde entered commercial service and a tiny Romanian gymnast changed the sport forever…

Archie Blunt is a man with big ideas. He just needs a break for them to be realised. In a bizarre brush with the light entertainment business, Archie unwittingly saves the life of the UK’s top showbiz star, Hank ‘Heady’ Hendricks, and immediately seizes the opportunity to aim for the big time. With dreams of becoming a musical impresario, he creates a new singing group called The High Five with five unruly working-class kids from Glasgow’s East End. The plan? Make it to the final of Heady’s Saturday night talent show, where fame and fortune awaits…

But there’s a complication. Archie’s made a fairly major misstep in his pursuit of fame and fortune, and now a trail of irate Glaswegian bookies, corrupt politicians and a determined Scottish WPC are all on his tail…


The caustic humour of the Scots, in particular of the Glaswegian brand of the people way up north, is a wee bit like a slightly burnt piece of toast with a slathering of marmite and no butter on it. You’ll either hate it or you’ll enjoy it in a way only a marmite lover can. The humorous element is therefore debatable depending on how you like it or comprehend the written accent and in-jokes.

I didn’t feel it had much of a funny pull to it, and it wasn’t really of great importance to the story as far as I was concerned. If I had to describe this story to someone I would do it from an entirely different angle.

Behind the wall of snark and feisty dialogue is an exploration of debauchery, fame, infamy, influence and power. Ross portrays this side of humanity against the stark contrast of the working man’s life and the dire statistics of mental health, and those in regards to the life expectancy of men in certain areas.

This is especially evident in Archie’s life as he struggles to deal with the deterioration of his father’s memory and mental health, whilst fearing loss of employment and simultaneously trying to make money by becoming famous. This is how he becomes involved in the shallow, disgusting world of Heady Heights.

As the criminal actions are rolled out in the background of the story, slowly piece by piece like a jigsaw puzzle. The reader is also introduced to WPC Barbara Sherman, the character who leads us to the more salacious habits of the corrupt so-called elite. She has to deal with the misogynistic nature of the police force and harassment being brushed off like a speck of dust on a shoulder.

It’s a sardonic, brusque contemporary piece of fiction, which is steeped in the harsh reality of the time period. It’s crime fiction hidden in a noirish, brash story of corruption and deviancy.

Buy Welcome to the Heady Heights at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books; pub date 1 Feb. 2019), Paperback release 21 March 2019, Ecopy pub date 1 Feb 2019.