Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Louise's Review: Sealskin by Su Bristow

Reviewed by Louise Wykes

What happens when magic collides with reality?

Donald is a young fisherman, eking out a lonely living on the west coast of Scotland. One night he witnesses something miraculous ...and makes a terrible mistake. His action changes lives - not only his own, but those of his family and the entire tightly knit community in which they live. Can he ever atone for the wrong he has done, and can love grow when its foundation is violence?

Based on the legend of the selkies - seals who can transform into people - Sealskin is a magical story, evoking the harsh beauty of the landscape, the resilience of its people, both human and animal, and the triumph of hope over fear and prejudice.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Monday, 20 February 2017

Emma's Review: The Orphan's Tale by Pam Jenoff

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

In Nazi-occupied Holland, seventeen-year-old Noa snatches a baby from a train bound for the concentration camps, fleeing with him into the snowy wilderness surrounding the train tracks.

Passing through the woods is a German circus – a troupe of waifs and strays, led by the infamous Herr Neuroff. They agree to take in Noa and the baby, on one condition: to earn her keep, Noa must master the flying trapeze – under the tutorage of mysterious aerialist, Astrid.

Soaring high above the crowds, Noa and Astrid must learn to trust one another…or plummet. But with the threat of war closing in, loyalty can become the most dangerous trait of all.

Amazon links: Kindle or Paperback

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Debut Spotlight: Su Bristow

Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on author Su Bristow as part of the Sealskin blog tour, Louise will also be doing a review next week.

Su Bristow is a consultant medical herbalist by day. She’s the author of two books on herbal medicine: The Herbal Medicine Chestand The Herb Handbook; and two on relationship skills: The Courage to Loveand Falling in Love, Staying in Love, co-written with psychotherapist, Malcolm Stern. Her published fiction includes ‘TrollSteps’ (in the anthology, Barcelona to Bihar), and ‘Changes’ which came second in the 2010 CreativeWritingMatters flash fiction competition.

Her debut novel, Sealskin, is set in the Hebrides, and it’s a reworking of the Scottish legend of the selkies, or seals who can turn into people. It won the Exeter Novel Prize 2013.

If you had to give an elevator pitch for your debut novel Sealskin, what would it be?
What happens when magic and reality collide? 

Where did the inspiration come from to rework the story of the Scottish legend about selkies?
I’ve always loved this story. As a young woman I identified with the seal girl, losing her whole world and forced to marry a human. Later, I began to wonder about the fisherman, and how it was for him. Legends often have some grit in them, something that doesn’t quite add up, and there are pearls to be found if you look closely.  

The story is set in the Hebrides, had you visited the island before you wrote your story? If not, how did you go about researching life on this remote Scottish island?
Yes, I’d been there a few times, read books – fiction and non-fiction – about the area, and watched BBC Alba whenever I wanted to hear Gaelic spoken and see some Hebridean scenery!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Emma's Review: Revenge by Nigel May

Reviewed by Emma Crowley

If you keep dangerous secrets you’ll pay the ultimate price…

In the South of France, playground of the rich and famous, world renowned chef Dexter Franklin is organising a night to remember. As he opens the doors to his exclusive restaurant for the first time, he’s handpicked a list of guests, as hot and dazzling as the St Tropez sun itself:

Mew Stanton: Fashionable, beautiful and a notorious TV chef, Dexter’s ex-girlfriend has all the ingredients for success. As her books fly off the shelves, a secret from her past is about to surface with explosive consequences. 

Holly Lydon: Ex girlband star who has fallen on hard times. Forced to make ends meet she’s having to sleep her way to the top. Now she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Rosita Velázquez: Brazilian actress extraordinaire and girlfriend of Dexter’s brother, Leland. When she’s in town everybody needs to know about it, but this is one show-stopping entrance she’ll live to regret.

Three women have a past with Dexter and a grudge to bear against him. As fireworks ignite in the jet set capital of Europe, there’s murder on the menu. Who will be served their just desserts?

Amazon link: Kindle

International Book Giving Day Giveaway: Win a copy of If They Could See Me Now by Denise Welch

The Second giveaway for International 📕Book Giving Day📘 is for a copy of Denise Welch's debut fiction novel If They Could See Me Now which is another book I received for review.  Sadly I'm not always in a position to review every book I receive due to an already overflowing TBR pile so I have decided to offer this as a giveaway prize to someone who will hopefully be able to read it sooner than I could!

They all think her life is perfect

Harper is a beautiful woman, pampered by her attractive, wealthy husband, living in a gorgeous home. From the outside, everything looks wonderful.

But they don't see what happens behind closed doors

International Book Giving Day Giveaway: Win a copy of Echoes in Death by J.D. Robb (UK only)

Today as well as it being Valentine's Day 💖 it's also International 📕Book Giving Day📘 so what better way of sharing the book love than by giving away a book or two 😍

First up I'm giving away a copy of the latest in the J.D. Robb In Death series, Echoes in Death which was published last week, which I recently received out of the blue from the publisher but as I'm not really a fan of this series I have decided to run a giveaway for someone who enjoys this series.

New York at night. A young woman stumbles out on to a busy street - right in front of Lieutenant Eve Dallas and husband Roarke. Her name is Daphne Strazza, and she has been brutally assaulted. Confused and traumatised, she manages to tell them one thing. Her attacker wore a devil's mask.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Debut Spotlight: JoAnn Chaney

Today it's my pleasure to be shining the spotlight on debut author JoAnn Chaney and her novel as part of the What You Don't Know blog tour.

JoAnn Chaney is a graduate of UC Riverside's Palm Desert MFA program. She lives in Colorado with her family. 

What You Don't Know is her first novel.

Photo credit: ©Sandy Ujfalusy

So far on the blog tour we've had a profile of the main suspect over on Liz Loves Books and some fictitious newspaper articles about the case so here's my Breaking News article for today.


By Sammie Peterson

Detectives Paul Hoskins and Ralph Loren, who first arrested Jacky Seever on December 28, confirmed yesterday that they believe the police force have uncovered all the businessman’s victims, bringing the total to thirty-one.
This announcement marks the end of an exhaustive two-month investigation of the Denver property that Seever and his wife, Gloria, called home.
Initial reports indicated that Seever’s victims were contained within the crawl space of his property, which he had deliberately flooded to mask the smell of decomposition. But after extensive questioning by Detective Hoskins, the businessman confessed to the existence of further bodies.
“We had reason to believe that Seever was capable of a lot more than we had dug up so far,” Detective Hoskins told the Post at the time. “And what do you know, he finally let slip that we’d find another body buried under the concrete in his garage. Then we took him to the scene and he showed us another spot in his yard.”
As a result of these revelations, police have been working around the clock to dig up the property’s entire plot to ensure that no body was left undiscovered.
Today, this family neighborhood breathes a small sigh of relief after weeks of disturbance. But it will be some time before things return to normal.
Denver was rocked by the shock arrest of the respected businessman and philanthropist in December last year. Jacky Seever was well known in the community, both for his popular family diners, and for his charitable work.
Seever was particularly well regarded for his work with the children’s hospital, where he often visited dressed as a clown (pictured) to entertain young patients. But not everybody he came into contact with believed his intentions to be entirely benevolent.
The mother of one patient, who wishes to remain anonymous told me, “I always thought there was something off about him. All the kids loved it when they saw him coming down the ward, but you felt uneasy when he got up close. It makes me feel sick to think I ever let him near my child.”