Blogtour: The Reckoning by Clar Ni Chonghaile

Hello everyone, welcome to my stop on this tour!

I have a story to tell you, Diane. It is my story and your story and the story of a century that remade the world. When we reach the end, you will be the ultimate arbiter of whether it was worth your time. You will also sit in judgement on me.
In a cottage in Normandy, Lina Rose is writing to the daughter she abandoned as a baby. Now a successful if enigmatic author, she is determined to trace her family’s history through the two world wars that shaped her life. But Lina can no longer bear to carry her secrets alone, and once the truth is out, can she ever be forgiven?
Chonghaile stuns in her second book for Legend Press weaving a complex narrative covering conflict, secrets, judgement and what it takes to sever family ties.

This was an unusual story, mostly because it is written as a series of letters. I found this really intriguing but had to make sure I concentrated with each letter to ensure I knew what time period we were in. I am always fascinated by different styles of writing so this didn’t put me off at all. I realise “casual” readers may not enjoy this as much, but I know the majority of my blog followers are avid readers (I mean, if you’re not it’s a bit strange that you’ve chosen to follow a BOOK blog, right?).

This was written with beautiful language which emanated throughout and really made me want to re-think how I write my letters. I did start to wonder about the reliability of the narrator though, as the letters imply that there is more than meets the eye. I wondered if the story was written by another perspective or even in 3rd person, would it have been a completely different narrative? I find this sort of thing intriguing and would be interested in some form of follow up but in a different perspective (weird analogy to use, but basically like when Twilight was changed to be written in Edward’s perspective in Midnight Sun…sorry…). Either way, I do often wonder about these things with book written in first person but this one in particular has piqued my “difference of opinion” interest.

I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys an unusual take on narrative, an interest for how language can be both poetic and emotive without the use of actual poetry, anyone who loves an unreliable narrator (believe me, loads of stories have this – my favourite novel of all time has this), and people who like to think about what they are reading rather than using a book as a means of switching off.

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Blogtour: Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Hello everyone, and welcome to yet another blogtour! This time, I am delighted to be reviewing Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia.

Ten years after a boy and his father went missing in the wilderness of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, the boy – who is no longer a boy – walks back out of the forest. He is violent and uncommunicative. The authorities take him to Congdon Mental Institution in Duluth, on the edge of mighty Lake Superior.

There, language therapist Maya Stark is given the task of making a connection with this boy/man who came back from the dead. But their celebrity patient tries to escape and refuses to answer any questions about his father or the last ten years of his life. In many ways he is old far beyond his years; in others, still a child.

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world – but at what cost to herself?

This is a very emotionally charged, intense ride from start to finish. This is definitely not a story you want to be reading passively. There is a great amount of detail throughout which made me feel like I was really there. It was a little slow paced, but in a way I felt this added to the atmosphere of the story; not every “thriller” novel needs to be fast paced. In fact, I feel that some of the emotion would have been lost had it been faster paced, and that would have also taken away from the narrative and general feel of the story-line.

I felt like the character development was great too. I really felt like I knew them all personally, despite only being characters in a book. It was also great to see the perspective of Maya who deals with her own issues throughout, as well as helping Lucas. I found the whole psychology element very interesting and would be intrigued to find more novels with a similar premise.

As I have always said in these reviews, no spoilers will be given here so I can’t reveal too much. However I found that I couldn’t wait to find out what happens next throughout and I really hope that other people enjoy this as much as I did! I will be reading more from Mindy in the near future, I’m sure!

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Blogtour: Dead End by Rachel Lynch

Hello everyone,

After the excitement of the weekend, I now bring you my stop on the #DeadEnd blogtour!

Title: Dead End
Author Name: Rachel Lynch
Previous Books: Dark Game and Deep Fear
Genre: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
Release Date: 8th October 2018
Publisher: Canelo

Book Blurb:
When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.
At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.
Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate…
Don’t miss this gripping crime thriller featuring an unforgettable detective. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza.

This is exactly the type of dark twisty novel I enjoy. This is the third in a series about DI Kelly Porter, but works very well as a standalone book too. There are a few references to other books in the series and I feel like if I had read the others I would have a slightly better understanding of the characters, as well as being able to enjoy the story more. Having said that, this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the story. I must also comment (sorry about this but it needs to be said) I LOVE that the main protagonist of the story is female. It’s so refreshing to find a story with a strong female character which isn’t part of a romance novel. I definitely enjoy this a lot, and this is possibly why I’m such a fan of Miss Marple too.

Sometimes I make comments about stories that I feel would make a good film/TV series. This is no exception. I can just imagine the rolling hills of the Lake District providing a beautiful backdrop which contradicts the action of the story. I do feel that Rachel could have made a little more use of the location in her descriptions, but having said that there is nothing I hate more than endless description to take away from the narrative!

This is a great mystery story which kept me guessing throughout. I have always said I don’t give spoilers so as I always say, I can’t reveal anything about the plot. But if you’re a fan of books that keep you guessing, and you’re not a “passive” reader, this is definitely worth a try!

Author Bio: Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years. A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.

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Blog of the Day: Thank you!

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to give every new follower and everyone who liked, commented and followed on Twitter the other day a HUGE thank you! Saturday was an amazing day for both myself and the blog (and Bookshop Day of course) and I just wanted to say you’re all awesome!

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I will be back on Thursday with YET ANOTHER BLOGTOUR so I really hope you stick around for that and like my content. I always try to be fair and avoid spoilers.

Blogtour: Pieces of Me by Natalie Hart

Hello everyone, welcome to my stop on this tour!

Emma did not go to war looking for love, but Adam is unlike any other.

Under the secret shadow of trauma, Emma decides to leave Iraq and joins Adam to settle in Colorado. But isolation and fear find her, once again, when Adam is re-deployed. Torn between a deep fear for Adam’s safety and a desire to be back there herself, Emma copes by throwing herself into a new role mentoring an Iraqi refugee family.

But when Adam comes home, he brings the conflict back with him. Emma had considered the possibility that her husband might not come home from war. She had not considered that he might return a stranger.

This is another example of a beautiful story which really made me think, and the lovely book cover also indicated this (“Don’t judge a book by its cover – but sometimes you can!)

This was quite a difficult book to read at times because the story is so heart-breaking and just shows what humans are capable of, both in terms of violence and love. You find yourself rooting for the main characters throughout and you really feel it when times are hard for them. It was very focused on the narrator and there wasn’t a lot of exploration of the emotions of the other characters but I feel like this added to the tragedy and made it more realistic. (You only truly know how you feel, it’s rare to know exactly how other people are feeling in any situation.)

You will need to make sure you have a lot of time spare over a few days if you plan to read this because if this is to your taste, you could find yourself being sucked in and unable to put this down or stop thinking about it. I know I was like this!

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Blogtour: Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent

Hello, welcome to my stop on the tour!

Ten Thousand Thunders by Brian Trent
• Paperback: 288 pages
• Publisher: FLAME TREE PRESS; New edition edition (6 Oct. 2018)
• Language: English
• ISBN-10: 1787580164
• ISBN-13: 978-1787580169

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousand-Thunders-Fiction-Without-Frontiers/dp/1787580164/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1536067944&sr=1-1&keywords=ten+thousand+thunders

BLURB: Having just been killed in a mysterious shuttle explosion, Gethin Bryce is back to uncover what happened. An unusually gifted investigator with the InterPlanetary Council, Gethin is tasked with seeking out the truth behind unexplained anomalies that lie outside IPC control.

His investigation takes him from the luxurious enclaves of Earth’s elite, to the battered Wastelands beyond civilization’s protective thrall. Linking up with an inquiry team from a planet-spanning corporate powerhouse, he also befriends a grim and reluctant outlander who has an important piece of the puzzle―evidence of a sadistic entity which threatens not just civilization, but all life…

This is a very well paced story, and I found it quite easy to keep track of what was happening, which can be a rare occurrence when it comes to sci-fi style books. What I usually find with these type of books is that they take ages to build the world and spend very little time describing the actions. However, the lack of build up of the world in this book does cause a slight issue in terms of there not being quite enough world build up. I felt the detail was a little lacking in this case. I hear that there is a sequel on its way, which I feel would be a good thing for this book and would add further details to some of the aspects of the world which still remain a mystery.

Having said all this, I must compliment the writing style. As previously mentioned, this is incredibly well paced and it’s difficult to get the pace right when you’re also building up a new world. I absolutely hate is when you get a novel written with pompous and superfluous writing (ironically…) and it was refreshing to see a book that described everything as it is (or at least, as much as you possibly can with a made up world). It was punchy and easy to read and I loved the opportunity to find a story that did this so well.

I would definitely be interested in reading more from this series. I’d have to be in the right mood, but I guess that’s the case with most book!

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: FLAME TREE PRESS is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launching in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brian Trent’s speculative fiction appears regularly in the world’s top speculative fiction markets including ANALOG, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, Apex (winning the Story of the Year Reader’s Poll), Escape Pod, Flash Fiction Online, COSMOS, Galaxy’s Edge, Nature, The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, Pseudopod, and numerous year’s best anthologies. His work has been featured in several volumes of Flame Tree Publishing’s popular Gothic Fantasy Series.

The author of the historical fantasy series Rahotep, Trent is also a Baen Fantasy Adventure Award finalist and Writers of the Futurewinner. His nonfiction works have also appeared in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, Humanist, and UTNE.

Combining a fascination for history with a unique vision of the future, Trent’s novel Ten Thousand Thunders is the beginning of an exciting new science fiction universe.

Trent lives in New England, where he works as a novelist, screenwriter, and poet. His website and blog are located at http://www.briantrent.com/
Twitter: @BrianTrenthttps://twitter.com/BrianTrent

AWARDS

Baen Fantasy Award Finalist
Writers of the Future Winner’
Apex Magazine Story of the Year Winner

Blogtour: Love at the Northern Lights by Darcie Boleyn

Hello everyone, welcome to my stop on the tour!

Title: Love at the Northern Lights

Author Name: Darcie Boleyn

Previous Books: Love at the Italian Lake, Christmas at Conwenna Cove, Forever at Conwenna Cove, Summer at Conwenna Cove and A Very Merry Christmas

Genre: Women’s Fiction, romcom

Release Date: 17th September 2018

Publisher: Canelo

Book Blurb: ‘Climbing out the window in her dress and tiara wasn’t exactly how Frankie imagined her wedding day…’
Runaway bride Frankie Ashford hops a plane to Norway with one goal in mind – find her estranged mother and make peace with the past. But when a slip on the ice in Oslo lands her directly in Jonas Thorsen’s viking-strong arms, her single-minded focus drifts away in the winter winds.
When it comes to romance Jonas knows that anything he and Frankie share has an expiration date – the British heiress has a life to return to in London that’s a world away from his own. But family is everything to Jonas and, as the one man who can help Frankie find the answers she’s seeking, he’ll do whatever it takes to help her reunite with her mother.
Now, as Christmas draws closer and the northern lights work their magic Frankie and Jonas will have to make a choice…play it safe or risk heartbreak to take a chance on love.

This is such a sweet story with a lovely cover to accompany it. Don’t let the “chick-lit” feel fool you though. There are so many sub-plots it almost feels like you’re reading a novelisation of a soap opera (although more realistic, amirite?). I do think the use of real locations (specifically the Northern Lights in Norway) did help with the imagining of the locations. I felt like I was there with them despite having never been. I have always wanted to go to that area of Europe and this story has just ignited my desire to visit one day. Definitely one day…

The characters were all very likeable and I did find it easy to relate to them (although I wasn’t sure if I liked Frankie to begin with, bearing in mind she jilts someone at the altar near the beginning, no spoiler this is in the blurb!) and her grandmother is a bit of a busybody and I hugely dislike that in anybody.

It did feel a little strange reading about Christmas and winter when the sun was blazing outside, but I guess that is part of the book blogger life; reading books in scenarios where you probably wouldn’t do normally at that time of year. No matter, I can imagine this is an even better read when you’re snuggled under blankets by the fire with a hot chocolate or mug of gingerbread flavoured liquids. I can just imagine it now…*stares dreamily into the distance*

Darcie

Author Bio: Darcie Boleyn has a huge heart and is a real softy. She never fails to cry at books and movies, whether the ending is happy or not. Darcie is in possession of an overactive imagination that often keeps her awake at night. Her childhood dream was to become a Jedi but she hasn’t yet found suitable transport to take her to a galaxy far, far away. She also has reservations about how she’d look in a gold bikini, as she rather enjoys red wine, cheese and loves anything with ginger or cherries in it – especially chocolate. Darcie fell in love in New York, got married in the snow, rescues uncoordinated greyhounds and can usually be found reading or typing away on her laptop.

Author Social Media Links
Twitter: ‎@DarcieBoleyn
Website: https://darcieboleyn.wordpress.com/

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