Friday, 22 September 2017

Broadcast by Liam Brown @liamBrownWriter #BlogTour #Review @Legend_Press

Thank you for joining me today, I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Broadcast by Liam Brown and sharing my review. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me - within a few months you'll be the most talked about person on the planet.

When David Callow is offered the lead role in a revolutionary new online show, he snatches at the opportunity.

Rapidly becoming a viral sensation, David is propelled to stratospheric levels of celebrity. However, he soon realises the downside of sharing every secret with the world.

A prisoner to both his fame and his own thoughts, David seeks to have the chip removed, only to discover the chilling secret lurking at the heart of MindCast, and the terrifying ambition the show's creator has for him.

Buy Link

With all reality shows that are available to watch it's surely at the back of most minds as to how far will the next one go to get those all important ratings. So it's safe to say I was definitely intrigued by the premise for Broadcast. In this day and age there is an urge to share our lives with the public. With plenty of means available like vlogs and as I said before why not even enter a reality TV show. Broadcast instantly drew me in as we are introduced to the abilities of Mindcast such a simple but genius idea. As with any fame you are surely going to get to experience the darker side eventually. It's a scary thought that people would be able to experience your every emotion and thoughts. I think I was instantly on alert almost wanting to shout a warning out to David. So with this in mind I was very eager to see where this story would go. It was interesting to see David experience this new way of becoming a viral success. He isn't the most likeable character but this just enhances the story as his character develops and becomes a more rounded character as things progress.

The story pulled me along at a fast pace and I pretty much read Broadcast in one go. It was easy to immerse myself in the story and I couldn't wait to see how everything would turn out. Even though there is the Sci-Fi element it is an all too worrying thought that maybe one day this would be possible and who knows what the next big thing will be.

Intriguing, fast paced and tense!

With thanks to Imogen at Legend Press for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Author of REAL MONSTERS (2015), WILD LIFE (2016) and BROADCAST (2017)
Liam Brown is a writer, filmmaker and former-life model. His debut novel Real Monsters was published in 2015 and long-listed for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children.
Author Links

Secrets of the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell #blogTour #Extract @arevellwalton @arrowpublishing

Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for Secrets of the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell. I'm delighted to be sharing an extract today but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Sunderland, 1941

As the world war continues the shipyard girls face hardships at home, but work and friendship give them strength to carry on.

Gloria is smitten with her newly arrived bundle of joy, but baby Hope’s first weeks are bittersweet. Hope's father is missing at sea, and with their future as a family so uncertain, Gloria must lean on her girls for support.

Meanwhile, head welder Rosie has turned her back on love to keep her double life secret. But her persistent beau is determined to find out the truth and if he does, it could ruin her.

And there is finally a glimmer of hope for Polly and her family when Bel and Joe fall in love. But it isn’t long before a scandalous revelation threatens to pull them all apart.

Buy Li nk



We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we  give.
Winston Churchill


The North Atlantic Ocean
Monday 4 August 1941

Jack Crawford desperately tried to stay  afloat.
But as yet another angry wave of freezing cold sea-  water washed over him, his flailing body was forced back down into the darkened, soundless underworld of the North Atlantic.
Jack fought back and seconds later he managed to battle his way to the surface, but the numbness presently creep- ing up his limbs told him his time was running out. As he gasped for breath, he inhaled salt water and started splut- tering. Choking. With his last ounce of energy he strained his head up to the skies, frantically trying to take in the fresh, pure night air. But his thick tweed trousers felt like lead weights dragging him back down, and, despite hav- ing freed himself of his jacket shortly after being thrown – or rather blasted – into the ocean, even his cotton shirt now felt like it was tailored with  metal.
It might have been Hitler’s Luftwaffe that had caused Jack to be floundering around in a debris-strewn expanse of sea, with planks of wood from the ship’s deck bobbing next to him, and a smattering of lifeless bodies lolling aim- lessly face down on the surface of the water. It might have been their bombs that had successfully sunk the steamship which had been taking him back home to the woman he

loved,  but,  as  Jack  felt  Nature  close   in   –   claiming  him – drawing his body down into the quietness of its watery womb, his eyes  closed.
Jack had lived and worked within a stone’s throw  of the sea his entire life and he loved it with a passion – yet, after a lifetime of adoration, it had turned on him, and like a spurned lover baying for blood, it was trying its utmost to kill  him.
And it was succeeding – slowly but  surely.
As Jack opened his eyes to take one last look at life, he saw a bright, round, yellow light. It was the middle of the night – he was in the middle of nowhere – and, until this moment, the only illumination had come from the starry sky and the waning moon  above.
Jack felt Nature close in – claiming him – drawing his body down into the quietness of its watery womb, his eyes closed.
Jack knew he was  dying.
He felt his body closing down, but as it did so his whole being was flooded with the most comforting warmth, and all around him he could smell a sweetness; like jasmine on a sultry summer’s eve. As his grip on life loosened, the  door of his mind’s eye opened and he was gifted with a wonderful vision – a beautiful, newly born baby girl. Her eyes were still cloyed with sleep, but as Jack stared in awe at this ethereal apparition, the baby’s eyes opened and looked back into his own with unguarded  love.
A ripple of surprise – then recognition – hit Jack, and he smiled, for the wide, grey-blue eyes gazing back at him were a replica of his own.
And it was then he  knew.
He knew who the child  was.
And at that moment Jack’s world went black. And quiet.
And he knew Nature had  won.
Death had come for  him.

Chapter One

The Ford Estate, Sunderland
Three weeks later Wednesday 27 August 1941
‘Happy Birthday to you . . . Happy Birthday to you . . .   ’
Dorothy bent over the crib in the middle of Gloria’s neat front room and sang softly to the baby girl who was snug- gled up on her side, her little thumb just touching her tiny bud-shaped mouth. Hope was sound asleep, her breathing only broken by the occasional  snuffle.
Gloria was putting a tray laden with two cups of tea and a plate of shortbread fingers down on the oblong wooden coffee table. As she sat down on the sofa she pushed her thick, slightly curly, brown hair back behind her ears, and pulled her favourite cardigan around herself. She’d given up trying to convince herself it had shrunk; the fact of the matter was it wasn’t only her waist that  had  expanded with this pregnancy, but just about every other part of her body.
‘Honestly, Dorothy, she’s only two weeks old. It can hardly be classed as a birthday!’ Gloria said, looking at the sugar-speckled shortbread before guiltily taking a piece and dunking it in her  tea.
Dorothy straightened up and put her hands on the  belted waist of her denim overalls that had been pulled in tight to accentuate her tiny waist and womanly hips. She

frowned at Gloria. Her friend. Her workmate. The mother of her goddaughter. She would never have guessed a year ago, when they’d all started working at Thompson’s ship- yard as trainee welders, that it would be Gloria with whom she would form the closest  bond.
‘I swear, Glor, if I said something was black you’d argue it was white.’ She left the side of the crib and went to her holdall and pulled out a small present, which had been neatly wrapped in pink tissue paper and adorned with a white bow on the front. She had purchased the little pres- ent from Risdon’s, which had the reputation for being the best baby shop in town.
Dorothy handed the gift to  Gloria.
‘You open it on Hope’s behalf,’ she   demanded.
Gloria pursed her lips, a  little  embarrassed,  as  she  took the present. ‘You  should  be  saving  your  money,’  she reprimanded her friend. This was so like Dorothy, as frivolous with her money as she was about life. But, she also had a heart of gold. And, more than anything, she was one of the most loyal people Gloria had ever met. Take away all the bluster and showiness and you were actually left with a surprisingly solid and steadfast young woman, someone who would stand by your side, whatever the circumstances.
‘I told you . . . ’ Dorothy sighed dramatically, untying  her headscarf and allowing her raven-coloured hair to tumble untamed around her face and over her shoulders     ‘ . . . when Hope was born, I was going to be the best god- mother ever. That means spoiling her rotten – even if she’s not awake to appreciate it.’ As she spoke, she looked over  at Hope to make sure she had not woken  up.
‘Anyway . . . ’ she continued, ‘I didn’t haul myself all the way over here – from the other side of the town – after an entire  day  spent  welding  the  hull  of  a  great  big  bloody  ship

together – to be told how to spend my hard-earned money!’ Dorothy pulled a comical ‘so there’ pout, sat down, picked up her cup, and took a big slurp of  tea.
Gloria watched Dorothy nestle up in what had been Vinnie’s chair, and smiled to herself. The tatty brown arm- chair had always been her husband’s – or rather, her soon-to-be ex-husband’s. They must have had the wretched thing for almost twenty years: it was probably as old – and definitely as worn out – as their marriage. And during all that time, no one but His Majesty King Vinnie had been able to park their bum in it. Gloria could honestly not remember a single occasion when anyone else had used it. And now, even after she’d finally found the strength to chuck Vinnie out of the marital home at the end of last   year – Gloria could still not bring herself to sit in it. It was almost as if by doing so she would feel him near – and that was the last thing on earth she  wanted.
Gloria’s mind spun back four months, to when Vinnie had called round at the house after work and lost it with her; he’d smashed her so hard in the face it was a fluke her nose had not been broken. She had not seen hide nor hair of him since then and she had the sneaking suspicion that someone had put the frighteners on him. She’d heard through the grapevine that not long after he’d tried to rear- range her face, he had been given a right battering himself. He’d claimed he’d been mugged, but Gloria knew no one with half a brain would bother trying to rob Vinnie – espe- cially after he’d been to the pub. Even if he’d had any money on him in the first place, it would be safely tucked away in the landlord’s coffers by the time it was last orders. Seeing Dorothy sitting there now, drinking her tea, all cosied up and still in her dirty overalls, Gloria was glad she had kept the chair. She would love to see the look on Vinnie’s face if he were to see her workmate – and a woman,

at that – now commandeering his throne. His chair that no one had ever been allowed to use – not even their two grown-up boys. Seeing others sitting on it without a care in the world, especially someone like Dorothy, who, she knew, Vinnie would hate with a passion, gave her a sliver of revenge.
Gloria held her daughter’s birthday present for a moment before carefully tearing the tissue paper to reveal the cutest, smallest brown teddy bear she had ever   seen.
‘Ah, Dorothy, it’s lovely. Thank you. She’s going to love it. Why don’t you give it to her yourself when she wakes up,’ Gloria said, helping herself to another finger of short- bread and taking a big  bite.
Dorothy looked at her friend and laughed, ‘Eee, I see your sugar craving’s not left you  then?’
Gloria popped the rest of the biscuit into her mouth and brushed the crumbs off her skirt. ‘I know. I’ve already used up all my sweet rations. Anyway, I vaguely recall you tell- ing me when I was in labour that you were going to buy  me “the biggest cake ever” once I’d given  birth!’
Dorothy let out a theatrical sigh at the mention of Hope’s birth, when Gloria had gone into labour in the shipyard in the middle of an air raid. It had been one of the most ter- rifying but also most wonderful days in  their  lives.  They’d all run around like headless chickens, with the air raid sirens screaming out their warning for everyone to take cover, and bombs dropping just half a mile away in Fulwell. They hadn’t even had time to get to the yard’s shelter  as  baby  Hope  had  been  determined  to  make  her entrance into the world in the middle of all the pandemonium.
‘God, I think I’ll remember every second of that day for as long as I live!’ Dorothy said, helping herself to a biscuit and casting another look over at  Hope.

‘Same here,’ Gloria agreed, her mind immediately trip- ping back to Hope’s traumatic birth; it still made her feel incredibly emotional thinking of how Dorothy and all the other women welders had risked life and limb to get her to the relative safety of the painters’ shed that had ended up becoming a makeshift delivery  suite.
‘Anyway, come on, tell me the latest gossip from the yard,’ Gloria demanded, pushing away the tears  which had started to prick the backs of her eyes. She was annoyed at herself for being so overly sensitive but it was hard when she remembered Dorothy’s face after she had delivered her goddaughter, and the look of both relief and elation on the rest of the women’s faces.
‘How’s our “little bird” getting along?’ Gloria asked. ‘She still happy working in the drawing  office?’
Hannah had been taken on as a trainee draughtsman   just a few weeks before Hope was born. It had been her saving grace as she really was like a little bird, petite and fragile, and in no way cut out to do any kind of physical work, never mind something as gruelling and back- breaking as welding. They’d all been amazed she’d stuck it out for as long as she had, as she’d struggled from the moment she had first switched on her welding machine, but, much to their amazement, she had continued to slog it out for nearly a year.
Thankfully, Rosie had spotted some drawings that Hannah had done of one of the ships that was waiting to   be launched in the dry dock and had taken it across to Basil, the head draughtsman. He had jumped at the chance of taking Hannah on, as not only were her sketches, in his words, ‘technically brilliant’, but, like just about every- where nowadays, his department was desperately short of workers.
Dorothy’s   eyes   lit   up.   ‘Oh   yes,   more   than     happy.

Apparently Rosie says she’s taken to it like a “duck to water”. She’s even got some colour in her cheeks, quite something for Hannah. I’ve never known anyone with  such translucent skin . . . But, anyway, I digress –’ Dorothy sucked in air for added effect ‘– our little bird has not only got a few roses in her cheeks – but, more importantly, she’s got quite a sparkle in those big brown eyes of   hers.’
Gloria almost choked on her tea. ‘No . . . Hannah? . . . Really? I can’t believe she’d have her head turned by anyone.’
‘Well,’ Dorothy said, grabbing a biscuit from the plate,  ‘it would appear so, or at least Ange and I think  so.’
Gloria chortled, ‘Oh, honestly, you two are terrible. Not everyone’s man-mad you know? I’m surprised either of you ever get any work done the way you’re constantly on the lookout for new talent. Hannah’s not like you two. The poor girl’s probably got a “sparkle in her eye”, as you put  it, because she’s simply cock-a-hoop she’s not having to weld any more.’
Dorothy sat back in her chair. ‘Well, there’s something up. Every time I see this Olly he’s practically glued to Hannah. He’s obviously got the glad eye for   her.’
‘Mm.’ Gloria took a sip of tea and got up to check on baby Hope. ‘Well,  if that is the case, and you and Ange    are right, then you’d better make sure she’s all right. She’s far too young for any kind of shenanigans . . . And I don’t want you and  Angie  encouraging  her.  The  next  thing  we know, she’ll have had her heart broken, or worse still, have gotten herself in the family  way.’
Dorothy spluttered with outraged laughter. ‘God, you’re a right one to talk! . . . Anyway, Glor, “that  girl”  is  the same age as Ange and me. Hannah’s not far off nineteen. She’s a young woman not a  child!’
‘That  may  well  be,’  Gloria  pursued  her  point,      ‘but

she’s different to you two. She’s had a different upbringing. And she’s so naïve. And on top of all of that, she hasn’t got anyone around her – apart from her aunty Rina, who, by the sounds of it, is a lovely woman, but she’s getting on a bit and she’s not very – how can I put it –   worldly-wise?’
All the women knew Hannah had had a sheltered upbringing in her native Prague; that her middle-class Jewish upbringing in Czechoslovakia couldn’t have been more different to being raised in an industrial, working- class town like Sunderland. The only reason she was over here, instead of sat at a desk studying Latin, or learning to play the piano, was that Hitler had decided Hannah’s homeland was to be a part of his Third  Reich.
‘Hannah’s got us,’ Dorothy reassured her friend. ‘Anyway, don’t worry, I’ll keep an eye on her – and this lovelorn work colleague of hers.’ Dorothy stood up and noisily put down her teacup, causing Hope to stir. Dorothy smiled; she had succeeded in waking the  baby.
‘Hurrah! She’s woken up . . . wants to see her fairy god- mother,’ Dorothy said as she strode over and picked Hope up out of the cot, cradling her in her arms and   cooing.
Gloria shook her head at Dorothy as she pushed herself out of the sofa. Last week when Dorothy had popped in to see Hope, she’d used similar tactics to wake the   baby.
‘Well now, seeing as we’re all up and awake I’ll make  you some sarnies,’ Gloria said. ‘You must be starving. I know I’d be after a day’s work at the yard. Bring Hope into the kitchen and you can keep telling me all the   news.’
Gloria plodded into her little kitchen, which, as always, was spic and span. Since she had got shot of Vinnie, she had enjoyed keeping her newly built council house pris- tine and well ordered. There wasn’t room in her life for  any more chaos.
‘So, Glor, have you made up your mind when you’re

going to get this little one christened?’ Dorothy asked, fol- lowing behind her with Hope cradled in her   arms.
Gloria sighed. Dorothy had asked her the same question last time she came round. She wasn’t quite sure whether it was because Dorothy genuinely thought her daughter should be baptised, or because it would be a good excuse for a bit of a social – and one where she would be the centre of attention.
‘Not yet,’ Gloria said, slapping two slices of white bread down on the wooden chopping board. ‘So, how’s everyone else doing?’
‘Well . . . ’ Dorothy paused, looking down at Hope and pulling a funny face. The baby’s little clenched hands reached up and tried to grab at some imaginary object in front of her godmother’s face. ‘ . . . Polly’s just got a letter from lover boy, so she’s all  happy.’
‘Oh, that’s good,’ Gloria said, genuinely pleased. Polly’s fiancé, Tommy Watts, who she’d met and fallen  in  love with when he was working as a dock diver at the yard, was now removing limpet mines from the bottom of Allied ships. Being on the list of reserved occupations, Tommy could have stayed at home, but he’d been determined ‘to do his bit’. Gloria couldn’t work out if he was a brave man, or a mad one. Probably both. But regardless, Polly adored the lad, and every time she got a letter from him she’d read it out to them all.
‘He still based in Gibraltar?’ Gloria  asked.
Dorothy nodded. ‘Polly says she can’t see him being moved anywhere else. They can’t risk losing the Rock. If they do they’ll lose control of all shipping in and out of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. Then we really will be done for.’
Any talk of the Atlantic or the war being waged on the sea made Gloria anxious. Thoughts of her own two boys, who were also in the Royal Navy, pushed themselves to  the fore, as well as her increasingly desperate worries  about Jack. It had now been three weeks since his ship had gone down and still there’d been no word as to whether or not he had been one of the lucky few to survive.


Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech @LouiseWriter #BlogTour #Review @OrendaBooks

It's my pleasure to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech. Today I'm delighted to be sharing my review but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book..

Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped calling me it. I try now to remember why, but I just can't.'

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can't remember everything. She can't remember her ninth year. She can't remember when her insomnia started. And she can't remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria. With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a devastating memory emerges ... and changes everything. Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory and truth, and the defences we build to protect ourselves, when we can no longer hide...

Buy Link

I had heard so many good things about Maria in the Moon so I was eager to start reading and find out for myself. It's going to be hard to put into words how emotional and heartfelt this story is without constantly repeating myself but I will try. I have to admit to being a pretty emotional person, I do after all cry at happy events aswell as sad. However I think most readers will find an emotional attachment to this story that will leave them thinking about the story long after finishing. Well this is true in my case anyway.

Catherine is such an intriguing character and to begin with I didn't quite know what to make of her. She has a down to earth and straight talking personality but also a vulnerability that was such a contrast too. Within the story there is humour which Catherine uses to deflect that made me smile. The way her character has been written is something I can only describe as refreshingly honest she has flaws but this is what made her character so engaging for me. After all don't we all have sides to our personality that may not be to everyone's taste.

Maria in the Moon is a wonderfully descriptive story that well and truly puts the reader into Catherine's life. I was willing her memories back but also dreading the inevitable fallout from the recovery of them. This is the first book that I have read by Louise Beech but it certainly won't be the last. Louise Beech has the ability to write in such a way that the reader feels a part of the story and fully engaged in the characters lives. Catherine especially feels real and flawed and these are often the characters we can relate the most to. The whole pacing of the story is steady and consistent all the way through.

I found myself reading some scenes with tears in my eyes and there is a heartbreaking rawness to Catherine that I couldn't help but become emotionally attached to her. There are some pretty heart wrenching scenes that were tough to read at times. However there is also the hope for survival and to have the chance to start again.  

With thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Louise has always been haunted by the sea, even before she knew the full story of her grandfather, the man who in part inspired novel How to be Brave. She lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – where from her bedroom window she can almost see the waters of the River Humber, an estuary that inspired book, The Mountain in my Shoe.

She remembers sitting as a child in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music.
Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic. She’s inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head.
She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism, and a one year column called Wholly Matrimony about modern marriage.
Her debut novel, How to be Brave, was released in 2015 and got to No 4 in the Amazon UK Kindle chart, and was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015. This novel came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story.
Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, was released in 2016 and was inspired by her time with children in care. It explores what family truly means, and how far we will go for those we love. It longlisted for the Guardian Not The Booker Prize.
Maria in the Moon will be released in 2017.
Author Links

A Justifiable Madness by A.B. Morgan #Review @AliMorgan2304 #BlogBlitz @bloodhoundbook

Can you really tell the difference between madness and sanity?

Mark Randall goes to great lengths to get himself admitted to an acute psychiatric ward and, despite being mute, convinces professionals that he is psychotic. But who is he and why is he so keen to spend time in a psychiatric hospital?

When Mark is admitted, silent and naked, the staff are suspicious about his motives.

Dealing with this, as well as the patients on the ward, Mark’s troubles really begin once he is Sectioned under the Mental Health Act. When decisions about his future are handed to Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Giles Sharman, Mark’s life is about to go from bad to worse.

Drugged, abused and in danger, Mark looks for a way out of this nightmare. But he’s about to learn, proving that you are sane might not be easy as it seems...

Buy Link

The description for A Justifiable Madness well and truly captured my attention, I had so many questions going into the story. With obviously the main one being - Why would anyone try to get themselves admitted into a psychiatric hospital? I have to admit to being completely curious as to where the story was going to go. To be honest it felt quite refreshing to not really have any clues as to the storyline to begin with. It meant that I could just completely wrap myself in the story from meeting Mark and his antics then being arrested and admitted to the hospital. 

I enjoyed reading the story from the different perspectives, with Monica you can see she is trying to do her job and also how she can't quite figure Mark out. The conversations between Monica and Emma are lively and they added a lightness to their environment and working life. Then you have Mark and I loved his inner dialogue as he begins his time on the ward mute so you get to hear his true thoughts. He is a determined character that I couldn't help but like.

Then we are introduced to Dr Sharman and that is when events really unravel I would hate to ruin the story so no spoilers from me. I found the story subtle as in that there was tension but it was more underlying and not full on. I actually liked this pace it fit in really well with the storyline even though it isn't a highly tension filled story the pacing was brilliant and in no time at all I had reached the end. I enjoyed the clever plot and it definitely made me think about the whole subject of psychiatry from diagnosis through to the treatment. A Justifiable Madness is part thriller, drama and suspense all rolled into one making a fantastic combination.

An intriguing and different story!

With thanks to Bloodhound Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.

Alison has worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line, where she eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes, and her career temporarily juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis, but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.

With her health steadily improving thanks to the staff at Papworth Hospital, Alison hopes to return to nursing part-time, but is determined to keep writing fiction. Her debut novel AJustifiable Madness is inspired by her life and career as a psychiatric nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Her second novel, Divine Poison, also published by Bloodhound books is due for release in January 2018.


   Facebook - @ABMorganwriter
Website -
Twitter - @AliMorgan2304 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill @melissahillbks #BlogTour #Review @HQStories

Thank you for joining me on the blog tour for Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill and I'm delighted to be sharing my review. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

A mother always knows best. Doesn’t she?
What if your choice for your child could harm someone else’s?
Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe.
For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn't prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision.
But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?
A stunning and addictive new book club read from beloved bestselling Irish author Melissa Hill that explores every mother’s worst fear

Buy Link

As a parent we all want what is best for our child and we all do things that maybe another parent may decide not to do. A lot of the time parenting is finding your way through many obstacles and worries to get through the other side with a healthy and happy child. Once I read the blurb I was very intrigued as to how things would play out. Now the topic of vaccinations is a highly emotive subject along with many other parenting issues. You only need to go onto a baby/parenting forum to see posts with strong convictions for either side on multiple matters. As shown brilliantly with the little snippets from blog posts etc included within the story. I went into this book just expecting a similar battle of wills between the parents and I guess to be honest it was an altogether different experience. Yes there is the the inevitable reaction of wanting to blame someone and let's face it when you fell helpless blaming someone sometimes appears to be the best course of action. I admit my children have been vaccinated, I felt it was the right thing to do I looked into the subject and made my choice. This is exactly the point it basically comes down to making a choice, as a parent we are bombarded with information and both Kate and Madeleine make the decision they are most comfortable with. 

I liked that both sides were given and as the reader you got to experience the feelings of both parents and to see the fallout from the choices that are made. The subject is bound to have an emotional pull to the reader and I know I definitely felt this way. Even though I went into this story thinking that everything was going to be black and white that really isn't the case at all. Melissa Hill has created some fascinating characters who I have to admit I may not have always agreed with their actions but they are still engaging. In real life situations people are not perfect they may make mistakes and this made the story all the more believable.

It's definitely an emotive and thought provoking story making me sit up and listen mainly due to the questions that were bound to be raised. There are lots of different themes within the book such as family, guilt and love all wrapped up in a drama that held my attention throughout. By the end I was invested in both Madeleine and Kate's story and also their connection through everything they experience. 

Heartbreaking moments that had me getting very teary eyed which goes to show the brilliantly written story gave me such a connection to the characters. I had to read Keep You Safe in one sitting the plight of both families keeping me on tenterhooks.

With thanks to Anna at HQ for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

A USA Today and No. 1 Irish times and Italian best-seller, Melissa Hill’s books are translated into 25 different languages. One of her titles has been optioned for a movie by a major Hollywood studio, and another is currently in development for TV with a top US production company. Visit her website at or contact her on Twitter @melissahillbks, or melissahillbooks on Facebook and Instagram.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys @MsTamarCohen @TransworldBooks

It's my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys. Today I will be sharing my review but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

England, September 1939

Lily Shepherd boards a cruise liner for a new life in Australia and is plunged into a world of cocktails, jazz and glamorous friends. But as the sun beats down, poisonous secrets begin to surface. Suddenly Lily finds herself trapped with nowhere to go ...

Australia, six-weeks later

The world is at war, the cruise liner docks, and a beautiful young woman is escorted onto dry land in handcuffs.

What has she done?

Buy Link

Amazon UK

I have to say that as soon as I read the description for Dangerous Crossing I couldn't wait to start reading. With this being an historical mystery it really is the perfect book for me as I have taken such a liking to this genre. With me looking forward to picking this book up I was slightly worried that I would have put too high an expectation on it. However I decided to keep an open mind and just sit back, relax and take notice of every detail contained within this story. This is expertly done by the author as shown by the wonderfully descriptive first chapter. I felt as if I was instantly transported to Sydney along with a huge amount of curiosity over what actually occurred on the voyage from England to Australia. This curiosity was kept throughout as I got to know the characters better along with their differing personalities. There is a slight sense of claustrophobia within the story, now I don't mean in a horror or thriller movie sense but the subtle underlying tension of being isolated at sea. Even with all the passengers it can be easy to feel alone amongst all the crowds. As the reader we know that something bad will happen so there is that slight thread of tension as everyone goes about their daily life on board.

The descriptive writing continues throughout and really paints quite a vivid picture of that era from the clothes right through to the people who are setting off for a chance at a better life or just for the adventure. There is also the threat of war hanging over the passengers that also adds an extra depth. I loved the beautiful descriptions of all the ports and the excursions that the characters go on. They lessen the sense of isolation on board at least for a while anyway.

The characters in this book are intricately written and at times I was almost left feeling paranoid over if they had any hidden agendas. It felt as if there were secrets around every corner. I kept asking myself could I take anyone at face value, this alone helped to ramp up the tension. Lily is very intriguing and I loved the hints to her past as it raised questions that I couldn't wait to discover. With Lily there is a slight innocence to her personality so I guess it is natural for her to be drawn to the more outgoing passengers. All of the characters come together to create a more rounded and appealing story. From the more likeable ones to the enigmatic and flawed characters.

There is a mystery contained within the story but it is also a drama about people and the secrets that they may keep. Every time I had to put Dangerous Crossing down my mind automatically kept thinking of the story and where it would go next. That to me is a sign of a truly engaging and immersive story the one you just can't seem to let go. Along with a steady pace all the way through that managed to draw me into both the characters and the story. This isn't a tension filled story throughout but I don't think that it needed to be it had a wonderful concentration on the characters that kept me intrigued.

With thanks to Anne Cater and Transworld Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

I was born in Ibadan, Nigeria where my anthropologist father happened to be doing fieldwork at the time. Sabbatical years in far-flung places were a feature of my childhood and I attended school in both Sierra Leone and California. Otherwise, I mostly grew up in the suburbs of London where my adolescence was spent either in the local library or waiting for the last tube home.

After taking an American Studies degree at Manchester University I taught English in Madrid. While working as a secretary back in London, I started writing features and hand-delivering them to the magazine publishing house around the corner. The day the first one got accepted, I packed in my job and declared myself a freelance journalist, which is basically what I remained for the next twenty years, writing features for national magazines and newspapers, such as Marie Claire, The Times and The Telegraph, and then moving on to non fiction books. My dream was always to write fiction but it wasn’t until I was forty-seven that I finally conquered the self doubt and my first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge was published.
These days I live in North London with my partner and three (nearly) grown children and one very badly behaved dog. Together with my family I spent four happy years living in Spain from 2004 to 2008 and I live in fear of people finding this out and asking me something in Spanish at which I remain shamefully inept.
My first novel, The Mistress’s Revenge, was followed by three more contemporary fiction titles under the name Tamar Cohen – The War of the WivesSomeone Else’s Wedding and The Broken.
In November 2014, my first crime novel, Dying For Christmas was published under the name Tammy Cohen, followed by First One Missing a year later, and When She Was Bad in April 2016. My latest, They All Fall Down is published in July 2017.
Writing as Rachel RhysDangerous Crossing, my first foray into historical mystery was published in March 2017.
I am a member of the Killer Women collective of London-based female UK crime writers.

Author Links

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Degrees of Darkness by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder #BlogBlitz #Review @Bloodhoundbook

Thank you for joining me today I will be sharing my review of Degrees of Darkness by Tony J Forder as part of the fab blog blitz.

First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

Pre-teen girls are being abducted from their homes and their families murdered. When Frank Rogers, once a DI with the Met and now running his own debt collection agency, is told that his own daughter is missing, his son murdered, he naturally wants to become involved with the case.

Soon Frank’s face is all over the news. In an unexpected turn of events, the killer contacts the police and says he is willing to talk, but only to Frank.

When the body of the first abducted girl is discovered, Frank realises it is a race against time to save his daughter.

In order to solve the case, Frank must work out how the killer is picking his victims.

But how do you catch a murderer who is hiding in plain sight? And can Frank solve the mystery, when he has so much to lose?
 Buy Link

The opening to this story definitely sets a terrifying scene and I have to admit to double checking the locks before I went to sleep. It's a horrific situation that becomes a living nightmare for Frank and Laura. There are plenty of edge of your seat moments that made me gasp in shock but also made me want to keep on reading without stopping. Although I have to admit there were some occasions where I wanted to read through my fingers.

Frank's character is very intriguing, he has a determination that made me sit up and take notice of his character. You could feel his pain but also the fight to make sure his daughter survives and to catch the murderer. He is a flawed character but some of the best ones are.

With suspense and tension at high levels throughout I couldn't wait to find out how it would all end. There are uncomfortable moments so if you are a bit squeamish you may want to prepare yourselves. It all adds to the terrifyingly shocking crimes and it makes for a compelling read. When the story is shown from Laura's perspective you can really get a sense of the situation she is in and also her strong survival instinct. From Tony J Forder's descriptions it really puts the reader right in that environment with Laura's character as if you are experiencing it with her. As all of the scenes play out within the story I felt this nervous energy as I waited for the inevitable snap of tension. I was willing Frank to find her before time ran out!

Tense with some shocking moments!

With thanks to Bloodhound Books for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

On 1st February 2017, Tony signed to Bloodhound Books, who published his edgy crime thriller Bad to the Bone in spring. It is the first in a series.

Later this year, Tony's second novel for Bloodhound Books, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, will be published.

Tony has been writing stories since childhood, but it was only when he won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books, that he realised he might actually be half decent at this writing business.

The story, Gino's Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in DarkVoices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler's Tale.

During a book singing for Dark Voices 2, Tony was seated next to author Brian Lumley. At one point, Tony revealed to Brian that he felt out of place alongside all the proper writers. Brian then told Tony something he has never forgotten: "The moment you sat down and pulled a story out of your imagination and put it to paper, you became a proper writer."

Subsequently, Tony began to focus on novel writing. He admits that his initial attempts were exploratory and somewhat derivative, although there was some interest from an agent – who oddly enough turned out to be Brian Lumley's wife, Dorothy.

Tony wrote Degrees of Darkness, which he was happy with. He wasn't so happy with a follow-up, so that never saw the light of day.

As a part-time writer with a full-time job, plus some ill-health, life got in the way and, although Tony continued writing, it took a back seat to making a living.

This year, however, Tony has been inspired by new ideas, and has been working hard on two new books, both of which should be completed in 2017.

Author Links: