#BlogTour: THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING by Cathy Kelly @cathykellybooks @orionbooks @PoppyStimpson

The Year That Changed EverythingPublication: 18th October 2018 – Orion

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

 

I have to admit that this is only my second novel by Cathy Kelly, but the more I read her books the more I am captivated by her clear and fluent writing, her brilliant plots, and her engaging characters. And the protagonists of this novel really kept me glued to the page. Three women from different backgrounds and with different lives. The only thing they have in common is their birthdays that turn into life-changing moments for all of them.

Callie is beautiful and rich. She is happily married, she has a teenage daughter, she has a big house and everything that money could buy. Her life should be perfect, but, on her fiftieth birthday, she finds out it isn’t. Sam and her husband Ted had been trying for years to have a child and, when they were finally giving up on the idea of starting a family, she found out she was pregnant. Now, on her fortieth birthday, Sam is ready to give birth, but she also has to face her fear of becoming a mother. Ginger is looking for real love and, on her thirtieth birthday, which she is spending at her best friend’s wedding, she thinks she has finally found the right man for her.

THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING sees three women dealing with ghosts from their past and problems in both their personal and work lives. Over a year, they see their lives completely changing and I loved reading how they grow and become stronger. The author created multi-layered and engaging characters that with her attention to details and her descriptions come to life and, page after page, seem more realistic and likable. I found myself involved in their stories, their troubles, and I cheered at their successes. It is a feel-good and fabulous novel about friendship, love, and family bond, and it is also a story about betrayal, body-image, post-natal depression, and addiction. THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING is enjoyable, moving, and captivating and I’d like to thank Poppy Stimpson and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

The Year That Changed Everything banner

#BlogTour: THE OTHER SISTER by Elle Croft @elle_croft @AlainnaGeorgiou @orionbooks

Out-today

The Other SisterPublication: 24th August 2018 (eBook), 18th October 2018 (paperback) – Orion

How far would you go…

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock.

…to uncover your family’s deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

 

Elle Croft really knows how to keep the readers on their toes. After her debut novel, The Guilty Wife, which I truly enjoyed, she is back with a new dark and twisty novel that kept me completely engrossed.

Family secrets are at the center of the novel. Ryan and Gina Mills are brother and sister. When they were young, their youngest sister, Cassie, died. Her death led to a fracture in the family, but now they are both adults, they recently reconnected, and they are both living in the family home. Ryan is single, he has a good job, and he leads an ordinary and regular life. On the other hand, Gina is completely in love with her boyfriend Julian and she works as a PA for a TV producer but dreams of becoming a journalist. She has her chance when, after a night out with a friend, she finds the body of a woman. Following this horrific discovery, Gina makes a series of decisions that lead her not only at the center of the investigation, but also of the media. Ryan, in the meantime, is dealing with his guilt over a past that he can’t forget.

The author is really good at creating complex and unreliable characters that make you question everything that is happening in the story: the novel is told from the point of views of the various protagonists (in addition to Gina and Ryan, their mother Sharon with flashbacks from 1996, and Adam Adebayo, the detective in charge of the murder investigation), but you can’t completely trust what they are saying or what they do. The author gives you only a glimpse of what is really going on and when the truth is finally revealed you are left with your mouth hanging open in surprise because you really didn’t see it coming. At least, that’s what happened to me.

The story is brilliantly plotted, full of suspense and surprises, and with a final shocking twist at the last page. THE OTHER SISTER will keep on the edge of your seat, page after page, and I’d like to thank Alainna Hadjigeorgiou and Orion for providing me with a copy of the book and inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

BTP

Elle Croft was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling around the world with her husband. She works as a freelance social media specialist and also blogs about travel, food and life in London.

#CoverReveal: THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME by Kendra Smith @KendraAuthor @aria_fiction

It is my absolute pleasure to take part in the cover reveal for the new novel by Kendra Smith. THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is the story of a woman who moves to Australia to save her marriage and it is out on 15th January 2019. Isn’t the cover simply gorgeous?

ARIA_SMITH_THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME_E

A new life down under? It’s not as perfect as you’d think.

Katie and Tom’s marriage is in trouble. As is their bank account. So, when Tom tells Katie that they need to talk, she knows it must be about one of two things, and neither are good. But when he blind-sides her saying that his boss is sending him to Australia – permanently – Katie realises it might just be what they need to save their marriage.

Trouble is, she doesn’t like the heat, can’t swim and hates spiders. Not to mention the bouts of homesickness – and Tom’s endless business trips. Katie is finding the hope of saving their marriage slowly slipping through her fingers.

When all is said and done which side of the globe will she decide to call home?

 

KENDRA SMITH has been a journalist, wife, mother, aerobics teacher, qualified diver and very bad cake baker. She started her career in Sydney selling advertising space but quickly made the leap to editorial – and went on to work on several women’s magazines in both Sydney and London. With dual Australian-British nationality, she currently lives in Surrey with her husband and three children.

Facebook: @KendraAuthor

Twitter: @KendraAuthor

Website: www.kendrasmith.co.uk

 

Buy links:

Amazon: viewbook.at/ChanceOfALifetime

 

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

#BlogTour: VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR by Duncan MacMaster #VKTRSBook @FuriousDShow @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles

video killed the radio star coverPublication: 26th July 2018 – Fahrenheit Press

Money in the bank and his dream girl on his arm – life was looking pretty sweet for Kirby Baxter. 

Of course it couldn’t last. Where would the fun be in that? This is a sequel after all.

After solving the murder of a movie starlet the previous year, Kirby is doing his best to live down his burgeoning reputation as part-time Interpol agent and amateur sleuth.

Then reality TV comes knocking next door.

Million Dollar Madhouse is a reality TV show where a bunch of washed up celebrities are thrown together in a dilapidated mansion while their attempts to renovate the building are broadcast 24/7 for the viewers delight.

Kirby’s quiet town is thrown into chaos by the arrival of camera crews, remote control video drones and a cast of characters including disgraced actress Victoria Gorham, political shock-jock Bert Wayne and reality TV royalty Kassandra Kassabian.

When one of the cast members turns up dead the local police turn to the only celebrity detective in town for help and draft an unwilling Kirby into their investigation.

The first body is only the beginning of another rip-roaring adventure for Kirby Baxter and with Gustav his loyal driver/valet/bodyguard/gardener/chef/ass-kicker at his side, our hero plunges into the fray with his usual stunning displays of deductive reasoning and sheer bloody luck.

 

A quiet town, a mansion in need of renovations, and celebrities past their times. Add a murder and a cast of colorful characters and you have an engaging and captivating read.

The protagonist of the novel is Kirby Baxter, a cartoonist who, after winning the lottery, travelled around Europe and became an amateur sleuth after solving murders that the police couldn’t figure out. Now a consultant for Interpol, he is trying to lead a normal and tranquil life with his girlfriend Molly. But when a reality show is being filmed in his town and one of the cast members is killed, Kirby has no choice but help the police in the investigation.

Kirby Baxter is clever and he has a sharp eye. He is a mixture between Sherlock Holmes, for his attention to details, and Miss Marple, because everywhere he goes he finds himself mixed-up in murders. This time he is involved in a world of reality shows, celebrities from the past who no one remembers, and blackmail. He is helped in the investigation by his girlfriend Molly, by Gustav, the ever-present bodyguard, driver, chef, and valet, and by Shelley, Molly’s cousin and a journalist desperate for a story for her website. Those three characters make the story more livelier and more eventful (even Gustav who never talks) and they kept me engrossed with their shenanigans and dialogues.

The novel is very well-written, captivating, and enjoyable. It’s a story full of mystery, but also hilarious moments that will make you laugh out loud. Since it’s the second book in a series I am definetely going to get the first one and I am already looking forward to the next story and I’d like to thank Emma Welton, Damppebbles Blog Tours, and Farhenheit Press for providing me with a copy of the book and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

Video Killed banner

Author Picture- Duncan MacMasterDuncan MacMaster is a writer, pop-culture blogger, and film school survivor from the untamed wilds of Eastern Canada.
When he’s not concocting plots for Kirby Baxter to unravel he’s posting rants and rages about the business behind pop-culture on his blog.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FuriousDShow

Purchase Links:

Fahrenheit Press: https://bit.ly/2Onw4PH

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2zFZW1i

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2QnbWKX

dpbt 2

 

 

#BookReview: JESS CASTLE AND THE EYEBALLS OF DEATH by M. B. Vincent @jesscastlemyst @simonschusterUK @jessbarratt88 @TeamBATC

Jess Castle and the Eyeballs of DeathPublication: 18th October 2018 – Simon & Schuster UK

Welcome to Castle Kidbury – a pretty town in a green West Country valley. It’s home to all sorts of people, with all the stresses and joys of modern life, but with a town square and a proper butcher’s. It also has, for our purposes, a rash of gory murders 
 
Jess Castle is running away. Again. This time she’s running back home, like she swore she never would.
 
Castle Kidbury, like all small towns, hums with gossip but now it’s plagued with murder of the most gruesome kind. Jess instinctively believes that the hippyish cult camped out on the edge of town are not responsible for the spate of crucifixions that blights the pretty landscape. Her father, a respected judge, despairs of Jess as she infiltrates the cult and manages, not for the first time, to get herself arrested.
 
Rupert Lawson, a schooldays crush who’s now a barrister, bails her out. Jess ropes in a reluctant Rupert as she gatecrashes the murder investigation of DS Eden. A by-the-book copper, Eden has to admit that intuitive, eccentric Jess has the nose of a detective.
 
As the gory murders pile up, there’s nothing to connect the victims. And yet, the clues are there if you look hard enough.

 

In this novel there are murders, suspects, sacrificial rituals, and yet I found myself laughing page after page. It all starts the morning the protagonist, Jessica “Jess” Castle, goes back home to Castle Kidbury after suddenly leaving her academic job at Cambridge. She receives a cold welcoming by her father, the Judge, but their unhappy reunion is overshadowed by the discovery of the body of a local man. As the investigation begins, pagan symbols and rituals comes to light. To escape her strained and complicated relationship with her father and because of her knowledge and degrees in ancient history and mythology, Jess offers her help to the lead investigator, DS Eden, who, unwillingly, accepts it.

While the body count increases and everyone becomes a suspect, Jess has to face her relationship with her father, a possible love interest, and she has to decide what to do with her life.

jess_castle_and_the_eyeballs_of_death_2.jpg

JESS CASTLE AND THE EYEBALLS OF DEATH is such a fun and enjoyable read. I loved the small town atmosphere. Thanks to the author’s attention to details I could almost imagine it. Castle Kidbury is one of those idyllic towns where everyone knows everyone and their secrets and where nothing exciting ever happens, at least until someone goes on a murder spree. The town is inhabited by a cast of very colorful characters, from Richard and Dough, the quirky owners of the charity shop where Jess volunteers, to Bogna, her father’s housekeeper, from Patricia, the self-important mayor, to Mary, Jess’s outspoken and lively best friend. And I truly enjoyed the witty exchanges between Jess and DS Eden, often interrupted by the absurd interjections of DC Knott. There was so much humour that I almost forgot that they were investigating gruesome murders.

The story is so well-written and the characters so well-crafted that everyone seems a suspect and until the end I couldn’t figure out who the killer was. Everything is revealed with a surprising and twisty ending worth of an Agatha Christie novel. Engaging, sharp, and refreshing, JESS CASTLE AND THE EYEBALLS OF DEATH is a mystery novel that will keep you glued to the pages and I’d like to thank Jess Barratt and Simon & Schuster UK for providing me with an early copy of this charming and brilliant book.

 

 

#BookReview: NINE PERFECT STRANGERS by Liane Moriarty @MichaelJBooks @GabyYoung

Nine Perfect StrangersPublication: 4th October 2018 – Michael Joseph

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.

Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.

For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .

 

I have been waiting for a long time for a new novel by Liane Moriarty so I was really excited when I received a book proof of her new novel, NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, for which I’d like to thank Gaby Young at Michael Joseph. This is different from the author’s previous novels, it was nothing at all what I expected, but in a good way, because I loved it and I read the entire novel (more than 400 pages) in less than two days. The plot is full of suspense and there is always a creepy feeling that kept me on the edge the entire time I was reading.

At the center of the story there are nine people, a cast of completely different and complex characters that have one thing in common: they have booked a ten-day stay at the health resort Tranquillum House to improve their health and their minds. There is the married couple hoping to save their marriage, the middle-age woman who wants to forget her problems both in her love and professional life, the mother-of-four divorcée who wants to lose weight, the health junkie lawyer, the grieving family, and the man trying to get his life back on track. These nine people entrust their lives to Masha, the owner of Tranquillum House who, together with her assistants Yao and Delilah, has created a program to improve their physical and mental health. But, between days of complete silence, healthy smoothies, and fasting, these nine strangers start to feel that something is not completely right at Tranquillum House.

The author created well-developed and relatable characters, each with their secrets, fears, and hopes. They are introduced slowly, one by one, so that the pages don’t feel overcrowded and confusing. Each character tells their side of the story so that the readers get the full picture. Even though the readers know exactly what is going on, there are still surprises and a few twists that will keep them on the edge of their seats.

NINE PERFECT STRANGER is a novel about loss, grief, love, addiction, and guilt, but I wouldn’t know how to categorize it. There is suspense, but there is also humor and witticism that will make you laugh and heartbreaking moments that will make you cry. What I can say is that it’s engaging, gripping, well-plotted, and immersive, and it proves, once again, that Liane Moriarty is a brilliant author who knows exactly what she is doing.

 

#BookReview: IN A HOUSE OF LIES by Ian Rankin @Beathhigh @orionbooks @Leanne_Oliver1

In A House of Lies

Publication: 4th October 2018 – Orion

IN A HOUSE OF LIES

Everyone has something to hide
A missing private investigator is found, locked in a car hidden deep in the woods. Worse still – both for his family and the police – is that his body was in an area that had already been searched.

Everyone has secrets
Detective Inspector Siobhan Clarke is part of a new inquiry, combing through the mistakes of the original case. There were always suspicions over how the investigation was handled and now – after a decade without answers – it’s time for the truth.

Nobody is innocent
Every officer involved must be questioned, and it seems everyone on the case has something to hide, and everything to lose. But there is one man who knows where the trail may lead – and that it could be the end of him: John Rebus.

 

I’d like to start by thanking Orion and Leanne Oliver for providing me with an early copy of the book and I really like Ian Rankin’s books, especially the character of John Rebus. After twenty-two books he is still going strong. His sharp mind, his witticism, and the twisty plot kept me glued to the pages.

When private detective Stuart Bloom disappeared in 2006, the detectives in charge of the investigation were too lazy and too busy trying to protect the son of another detective, gangsters, and drug dealers to find out the truth. Now that the body has finally turned up, DI Shiobhan Clarke not only has to resolve a murder but she has to figure out if someone can be blamed for the mistakes of the first investigation, including her mentor John Rebus. Also, a couple of corrupted detectives are trying to smear her reputation and, in the last few days, she has been receiving strange silent calls.

John Rebus is a complex and flawed character that I couldn’t help but like. Now he is a retired detective but that doesn’t mean he is going to stay out of the investigation. Somehow, he always manages to sneak his way in. Even though he has trouble climbing up stairs, mentally he is still sharp and smart and his instinct is still that good. I enjoyed reading about his close relationship with his protegé Shiobhan Clarke, who is another character I really liked. Even though an internal investigation has cleared her of any wrongdoing, she still has to deal with the suspicious of colleagues who thinks she is corrupted.

Once again, Ian Rankin wrote a thriller that not only keeps you on edge, but also gives you a real feel of the police. Leaving aside corrupted detectives and power games, it was fascinating reading about how they work, the close relationship between partners, and the bond between the members of a team. Despite knowing that her mentor made mistakes, Shiobhan Clarkes is torn between her loyalty to John Rebus and finding out the truth about the murder of Stuart Bloom.

Gangsters, film producers, and drug dealers fill the pages while the beautiful and atmospheric setting of Edinburgh frames an unpredictable, gripping, and addictive story that kept me guessing until the end.