Thursday, 20 April 2017

Blog Tour: Review for Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

Dead Woman Walking 
by Sharon Bolton 
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release: 20th April 2017
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all..."

As a surprise for her sister's 40th birthday, Jessica Lane takes Bella on a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful Northumberland National Park but what starts off as an idyllic trip soon turns into a living nightmare as they witness a man murdering a woman in the park below them.

When the killer catches sight of the hot air balloon his gun swiftly turns on them killing their pilot, as they crash from the sky most of the passengers are killed on impact. When the police arrive on the crime scene it becomes apparent that Jessica Lane is the sole survivor of the crash and she's gone on the run because although she saw the killer's face he's also seen hers and he'll stop at nothing to make sure that every witness to his crime is dead.

Wow, wow, wow! Dead Woman Walking is an immensely clever thrill ride of a read! The first fifty pages were perhaps the most intense opening to a book that I have ever read. What starts off as your typical cat and mouse chase between the killer and his victim quickly twists and turns adding layer upon layer of mystery that overtime creates a complex plot so that by the final page all of the little threads come together creating a bigger picture. I thought I knew where I was going with this book but I was completely wrong!

The story is told from multiple points of view and alternates between different timelines using short, snappy chapters so that you're slowly drip-fed small amounts of information at a time. This kept the pace moving at breakneck speed and it was so easy to think 'just one more chapter' which of course led me to read several more than I intended. I love a good twist in a book and this one had several that made me gasp out loud. It certainly gave me a good runaround!

The only thing that stopped Dead Woman Walking from getting the full 5 stars from me was that there were a few instances where I had to suspend belief and I couldn't always understand the actions that the characters made but this is only a small complaint as I still enjoyed the book immensely.

Dead Woman Walking is one of the best crime novels that I've read so far in 2017. With an intricate plot, fleshed out characters and twists galore it ticks all the boxes that make up an outstanding thriller. Don't miss it!

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Blog Tour: Review for The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found 
by Trisha Ashley 
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release: 9th March 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick-lit
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

"Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking – the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers – brings a comforting sense of home.

So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium.

Luckily she soon makes friends – including a Grecian god-like neighbour – who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice’s life to come . . . but can she find her happily ever after?"

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found follows the story of Alice Rose a woman who hasn’t had the kindest start to life. Abandoned on the Yorkshire moors as a baby she’s adopted by a wonderful father only for him to pass away. So when her fiancé is also killed in an accident at work distraught Alice decides to use the money left to her in his will to start over in the village where she was found. 

Calling upon her talent for baking, Alice opens up a little teashop to make ends meet by day and by night she escapes into the fairytale stories that she writes about. As Alice searches for her birth mother and digs deeper into her own history she finds that how she ended up on the moors above Haworth is very much a mystery. So far Alice’s life has been far from a fairytale but will unlocking the secrets of her past and following her dreams lead her to her very own happy ending?

I found The Little Teashop of Lost and Found to be such a page turner! I loved the Yorkshire setting, the proper Northern locals and Alice’s adventures in setting up her own teashop but what really kept me gripped was the mystery running throughout this book surrounding Alice’s past and the identity of her birth mother. Between each chapter we are given little snippets from her birth mother’s point of view and I loved trying to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

Alice is incredibly hard working and I enjoyed the fact that outside of her day job she’s also a writer. Seeing her juggle two jobs and pursue different hobbies made her feel a lot more real to me than your average Women’s Fiction heroine. There’s also a fantastic cast of secondary characters who I fell in love with from Tilda and Nell the rudest waitresses in Yorkshire, to the Giddings family who take Alice under their wing I loved being in the company of so many warm and interesting characters.

Overall The Little Teashop of Lost and Found is a heart-warming and charming adult fairytale about family, starting over, self-discovery and finding a place to call home.

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Spring Releases: The Highlights

Hello everyone! Today marks the first official day of Spring here in the UK and there are so many books coming out this season that I'm excited for. To celebrate the beginning of spring I wanted to share with you the creme de la creme of the spring releases on my wishlist and review pile. I hope it helps you decide what should be on your TBR for the coming months ahead. I'm so looking forward to sitting outside in the sunshine with a picnic lunch and these brilliant books!

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 
Publication Date: 18th May 2017 
Synopsis: "Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?"

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - I've been hearing wonderful things about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine since last year and when I read the synopsis I knew I had to read it because it sounds like such a Jess book. I've already been told by several people that I'll love it so I've been counting down the days until release when I can finally get my hands on a copy!

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins 
Publication Date: 2nd May 2017 
Synopsis: "A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath."

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - This is the book that I think is on everyone's wishlist this spring and that is the highly anticipated new thriller from Paula Hawkins author of The Girl on the Train. Early reader friends have already told me that Into The Water is utterly fantastic and totally lives up to its predecessor. I absolutely can't wait to see what Paula Hawkins has in store for us next!

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo 
Publication Date: 18th May 2017 
Synopsis: "Two people. One choice.

What if?

Every love story has a beginning…

11th September 2001. Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time.

Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love.

As Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.

 …what if this is how their story ends?"

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - I'm a sucker for a good love story and The Light We Lost looks set to be one of the big ones of this year with early comparisons to Me Before You and One Day. This book is right at the top of my review pile for May!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 
Publication Date: 6th April 2017 
Synopsis: "Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed."

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - If you haven't heard of THUG yet where have you been!? There has been so much early excitement for this book and it recently hit the number one spot on The New York Times’s Young Adult best-seller list. This is easily one of my most anticipated releases of the year and if it's not already on your TBR then it should be! The Hate U Give is set to be one of the most important books you'll read this year.

This Love by Dani Atkins 
Publication Date: 23rd March 2017 
Synopsis: "Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon - she's a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.

So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered - what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?"

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - Our Song by Dani Atkins was one of my favourite books of last year so I can't wait to read another by her. My blogger friends who have already read this have been raving to me about it,  so needless to say this is currently at the very top of my review pile for this month!

Sweetpea by C.J. Skuse 
Publication Date: 20th April 2017 
Synopsis: "The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret. Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhiannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

 A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge. 

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…"

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - I've been a long time fangirl of C.J. Skuse and will read anything she writes but I am particularly excited for Sweetpea C.J's first adult thriller. I love books about female killers and revenge so I can't wait to meet Rhiannon and get inside her head.

The Cows by Dawn O'Porter 
Publication Date: 6th April 2017 
Synopsis: "Fearlessly frank and funny, the debut adult novel from Dawn O’Porter needs to be talked about.

COW [n.]

 A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.

Women don’t have to fall into a stereotype.

Tara, Cam and Stella are strangers living their own lives as best they can – though when society’s screaming you should live life one way, it can be hard to like what you see in the mirror.

When an extraordinary event ties invisible bonds of friendship between them, one woman’s catastrophe becomes another’s inspiration, and a life lesson to all.

Sometimes it’s ok not to follow the herd.

The Cows is a powerful novel about three women – judging each other, but also themselves. In all the noise of modern life, they need to find their own voice."

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - I absolutely love feminist fiction, particularly books about female friendships. This is set to be one of the biggest books about women of the year and I can't wait to dive in!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor 
Publication Date: 28th March 2017 
Synopsis: "The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around - and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. 

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries - including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo's dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?"

Why I Can't Wait to Read it - I've been waiting for this book for such a long time! I fell in love with Laini Taylor's writing way back in 2011 when I received a proof of Daughter of Smoke and Bone to review from the publisher and since then I've been a huge fan of this author. This book sounds absolutely magical and I'm so excited that I only have eight more days to wait for this one!

 I hope you have a lovely springtime full of plenty of books and sunshine!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Blog Tour: Review for The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman by Mindy Mejia

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman 
by Mindy Mejia 
Publisher: Quercus
Release: 9th March 2017
Genre: Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Eighteen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. When she's found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.

Sheriff Del Goodman, a close friend of Hattie's dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers: it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives, Del's, Hattie's high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman tells the story of the Hattie behind the masks, and what happened in that final year of her life. . .

Wonderfully evocative of its Midwestern setting and with a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a book about manipulation of relationships and identity; about the line between innocence and culpability; about the hope love offers and the tragedies that occur when it spins out of control.

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman was an incredibly addictive read that completely surpassed my expectations! Despite being marketed for adults, I can see this book being popular with mature teen readers too because of Hattie’s strong YA voice. It’s a book shrouded in mystery and intrigue and every chapter ends in a way that leaves you wanting more. I found myself flying through this book desperate to know the real Hattie Hoffman and her secrets.

The book follows the life and death of Hattie Hoffman, a small town girl with big dreams of becoming an actress and making it big in New York City. Little do her friends and family know, Hattie is already getting in good practise as she plays the roles of star pupil, the Jock’s girlfriend and the wholesome girl next door whilst inside she hides a dark secret that could ruin the lives of several people.

When Hattie’s body is discovered local Sheriff and Hattie’s father’s best friend, Del Goodman, digs into Hattie’s life and learns that she was not the girl she appeared to be. As the final curtain closes on Hattie’s last act, Del must unearth the secrets of Hattie Hoffman and deal with the fallout of a small town shook by his findings.

The story switches between following the last few months of Hattie’s life to the present day when her body is first discovered. I really enjoyed the shifting timeline as we got to hear from Hattie herself meaning that we as the readers are the only people who really get to know the true Hattie Hoffman before her death. I loved getting inside Hattie’s head and witnessing her make the choices that you know will later on have huge consequences. In the present we get to hear from Del as he investigates Hattie’s murder and although I didn’t find his voice as compelling as Hattie’s, I loved watching him unearth the remains of the true Hattie Hoffman and bring them into the light for everyone to see.

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman is a fascinating read that looks at manipulation, blame and desire and leaves you with plenty to think about. If you like books with complex characters that have you questioning everything you think you know about right and wrong you won’t want to miss this book!

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Friday, 10 March 2017

See How They Lie Extract and Giveaway

Hello everyone! Today I have an extract of the highly anticipated new book from #ZoellaBookClub author Sue Wallman for you and if you like what you read then you're in luck as I have three copies of See How They Lie up for grabs over on Twitter!

For your chance to win 1/3 copies of See How They Lie head over to Twitter
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