blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Troy Story – Carla Luna

The friendship that launched a thousand adventures is about to embark on the greatest one of all…
Ever since Stuart Carlson and Dusty Danforth met as kids on a dig in Egypt, they’ve been best friends, supporting each other through heartaches, triumphs, and countless archaeological expeditions. So
when Stuart gets hired to help run the American excavations at Troy, he asks Dusty to join him as the site illustrator.
For Dusty, the Troy project isn’t just another adventure. It’s the chance to tell Stuart how she really feels. After years of pining for him, she’s ready for more than friendship.
But soon after they arrive at the site in Turkey, they’re caught up in a feud with a group of German archaeologists. While both teams are eager to make a major find, Stuart’s boss is so determined to beat his rivals that he’s willing to break a few rules. Or laws.
As Stuart and Dusty work together to keep the dig on track, they give in to the passion that’s been simmering under the surface. But will their romance survive when their boss’s scheme puts the entire project in jeopardy?

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Carla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Vancouver Island, she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her feisty Siberian cat.

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My thoughts: my friend’s mum is a doctor of archaeology and wherever I went to their house as a kid, she’d be cleaning up trays of potsherds, little broken pieces of ancient pottery. I love history but archaeology didn’t appeal a huge amount as some of it seemed really boring – mostly the cleaning of bits of pots!

In this book however, an archaeological dig in modern Turkey, at the site of Troy, is full of incidents, arguments, a bully for a boss, thefts of artifacts and love.

It’s also great fun to read, and highly entertaining as Dusty and Stuart finally admit they’re in love amid the goings on at the dig site and at the German site across town. Most academics are obsessive about their subject (I’m an academic, I know this all too well) and these archaeologists are no different. What they don’t tend to do is what ghe ghastly Dr Hughes does – steal from another dig, threaten his employees, sexually harass his grad students and any other women, bully his way through life and basically be a turd of a human being.

Thankfully Dusty has a strong backbone and the support of her academic parents, the rest of the dig team and the person funding the trip, Mort, when she faces off against the unpleasant man.

I really enjoyed this book, the history stuff, the romance, the scumbag getting his comeuppance, the whole thing really. And I think you will too. Plus it’s made me want a holiday in Turkey even more than I already did!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: An Unsuitable Heiress – Jane Dunn

‘Do you realise, Corinna, just how hard it is for a young woman of irregular birth, without family, fortune or friends in the world? Marriage is the only way to get any chance of a life.’
Following the death of her mother, Corinna Ormesby has lived a quiet life in the countryside with her cantankerous Cousin Agnes. Her father’s identity has been a tantalising mystery, but now at nineteen Corinna knows that finding him may be her only way to avoid marriage to the odious Mr Beech.
Deciding to head to London, Corinna dons a male disguise. Travelling alone as a young woman risks scandal and danger, but when, masquerading as a youth, she is befriended by three dashing blades,
handsome and capable Alick Wolfe, dandy Ferdinand Shilton and the incorrigible Lord Purfoy, Corinna now has access to the male-only world of Regency England. And when she meets Alick’s turbulent brother Darius, a betrayal of trust leads to deadly combat which only one of the brothers
may survive.
From gambling in gentleman’s clubs to meeting the courtesans of Covent Garden, Corinna’s country naivety soon falls away. But when she finds her father at last, learns the truth about her parentage
and discovers her fortunes transformed, she must quickly decide how to reveal her true identity, while hoping that one young man in particular can see her for the beauty and Lady she really is.

Jane Dunn is an historian and biographer and the author of seven acclaimed biographies, including Daphne du Maurier and her Sisters and the Sunday Times and NYT bestseller, Elizabeth & Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens. She comes to Boldwood with her first fiction outing – a trilogy of novels set in the Regency period, the first of which was published in January 2023. She lives in Berkshire with her husband, the linguist Nicholas Ostler.

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My thoughts: I loved this, Corinna (or Cory) is a wonderful protagonist and the friends she makes in London (and Will from back home) are a fun and charming bunch. The author has great fun with the Georgian slang these young bucks speak, and the various slightly outrageous things they get up to.

Cory is incredibly brave, and very lucky as things could have gone very wrong when she runs away dressed as a boy.

If you like Bridgerton or Georgette Heyer or any of the more recent Regency books (there’s so many around) then you need to get stuck into Jane Dunn’s books, there’s two out so far, and they’re both great. I loved this one and didn’t want it to end. With a fabulous cast of characters and real heart, it’s very much worth a read.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Review: Slaughterhouse Farm – T. Orr Munro

A family secret worth killing for…

In the dead of night, 72-year-old Miriam Narracott is found wandering on Exmoor, holding a knife and covered in blood. Inside the family farmhouse lies the body of her adult son, Gabe.

CSI Ally Dymond is on compassionate leave, but when approached by the new DI, recently arrived from London and eager to have Ally’s keen eye and local knowledge on the case, she finds herself being drawn back in.

With their only suspect Miriam unwilling – or unable – to talk, the team must dig into the family’s history to uncover a motive. Instead they find evidence that Gabe was involved with a criminal network, suggesting a completely different chain of events. But if Miriam isn’t the killer – then who is?

The gripping second novel in the CSI Ally Dymond series.

T. Orr Munro was born in Hampshire to an English mother and a Greek-Armenian father who later moved to Devon. After university she trained as a CSI, then became a secondary school teacher. She changed career at 33 to become a police and crime journalist. She has since returned with her family to live in North Devon, the setting for Breakneck Point. Her time as a CSI provided much of the inspiration for the novel, shining a light on what happens behind the crime scene tape.

My thoughts: I know bits of North Devon fairly well, my Grandma came from there and some of my family live there now but this series takes you into the bits you won’t see on the travel shows. And I like it for that. Dark Devon like Nordic Noir in a way.

The farm of the title gets its name from one of the uses its outhouse was put to. Farming is pretty and blood is part of raising animals for food. But the blood this time is from the murdered body of the man running it, Gabe Narracott. Far from the angelic inspiration behind his given name, he’s a man with dark secrets and criminal friends.

His mother, refusing to speak, looks like the culprit. But Ally digs into the evidence and the local knowledge she’s been asked to provide. Something else is going on at the Narracott farm.

Ally also has worries of her own, her relationship with her daughter Megan is struggling, Ally is struggling too, with her own demons and fears. Her refuge at Penny’s holiday site isn’t as safe as it once was. She’s worried about Jay, Megan’s friend, who needs help and she’s sort of started a relationship with Kit Narracott, Gabe’s brother. Which could get awkward.

Interwoven with the case is Miriam’s story, something Ally looks into, and it’s sad, dark and tragic. But it gives some of the answers the team investigating at the farm need to explain everything that’s happened. Dark Devon indeed.

This series gets better and better, Breakneck Point was great but this is more assured, more complex storytelling, with multiple narratives and more detailed character work, creating depth and realism even at the most outlandish, shocking moments. Cracking stuff. The book is out now to buy from all good bookshops.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review but all opinions remain my own.

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BBNYA Blog Tour: The Goddess of Nothing At All – Cat Rector

BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner.  If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.

Perhaps you know the myths. 

Furious, benevolent Gods.

A tree that binds nine realms.

A hammer stronger than any weapon.

And someday, the end of everything.

But few have heard of me. 

Looking back, it’s easy to know what choices I might have made differently. At least it feels that way. I might have given up on my title. Told my father he was useless, king of Gods or no, and left Asgard. Made a life somewhere else. 

Maybe I would never have let Loki cross my path. Never have fallen in love. 

But there’s no going back. 

We were happy once. 

And the price for that happiness was the end of everything.


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Cat Rector grew up in a small Nova Scotian town and could often be found simultaneously reading a book and fighting off muskrats while walking home from school. She devours stories in all their forms, loves messy, morally grey characters, and writes about the horrors that we inflict on each other. After spending nearly a decade living abroad, she returned to Canada with her spouse to resume her war against the muskrats. When she’s not writing, you can find her playing video games, spending time with loved ones, or staring at her To Be Read pile like it’s going to read itself. 

Epilogues for Lost Gods is the sequel to her debut novel, The Goddess of Nothing At All.

Find her on Twitter, Tiktok, and Instagram at Cat_Rector 

Or visit her website, 

My thoughts: I do enjoy a mythic retelling, and this, from the point of view of the Norse goddess Sigyn, wife of Loki, goddess of Fidelity, is really good. Daughter of Odin, but not one of his favoured children, she falls in love with the Trickster god and has two sons with him.

Their life together is not easy, Loki still has to work for Odin, and the All Father is not a kind master. Sigyn has no idea what fate has in store for her family, but a lifetime of cruelty and mocking is wearing and her love for her fellow Aesir is limited.

It is Ragnarok that brings Sigyn and Loki together the most, their punishment and the redemption the end of the world offers her.

Lots of research has clearly gone into the writing of this book and the little details, like the use of Icelandic words for the Jotun language, add flavour and depth to the story. It takes a while to get going, drawing you in slowly to the love that blossoms between the two main characters. Much of their life together is quiet, raising their children. But as Loki defies the gods, and draws events to their violent end, things shift and Sigyn has to choose her stand. A clever, well written and enjoyable retelling of this old story with a fresh modern perspective and voice.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Dog-Sitter Detective – Antony Johnson

Meet Gwinny, an unlikely bloodhound, and her four-legged friends determined to dig up the truth. Bestselling author Antony Johnston launches a brand-new contemporary cosy crime series, ‘The Dog Sitter Detective’, following former actress Guinevere ‘Gwinny’ Tuffel who stumbles upon murder cases and embarks on a burgeoning romance, often accompanied by her canine companions. Each book follows a different breed of dog influenced by the author’s lifelong love for dogs and support of rescue charities.

Retired actress Guinevere ‘Gwinny’ Tuffel is finding life hard after inheriting her late father’s run-down house and discovering she’s broke. So she is delighted to be at Hayburn Stead in Hertfordshire for her best friend Tina’s upmarket wedding to a handsome Italian business magnate. But when the big day ends with a dead body and not a happily-ever-after, Gwinny is left with a situation as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

When her friend is accused of murder, Gwinny takes it upon herself to sniff out the true culprit. With a collection of larger-than-life suspects and two pedigree Salukis in tow, she is set to have a ruff time of it.

Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer. The Charlize Theron movie Atomic Blonde is based on his graphic novel; his critically acclaimed Brigitte Sharp thrillers are in development for TV; and Dead Space, his first videogame, redefined its genre. He recently returned to survival horror to write Resident Evil Village, the Game of the Year-winning eighth instalment in the blockbuster franchise.

His productivity guide The Organised Writer has helped authors all over the world take control of their workload, and he interviews fellow writers on his podcast Writing and Breathing.

Antony’s work includes The Exphoria CodeThe Dog Sitter DetectiveThe Patrios NetworkDaredevilShang-ChiShadow of Mordor, the Alex Rider graphic novels, and more. He wrote and directed the film Crossover Point, made entirely in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic.

Antony is a former vice chair of the Crime Writers’ Association, a member of the International Thriller Writers group, a Shore Scripts screenwriting judge, and sits on the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain’s videogames committee. He lives and works in England.

My thoughts: I hope this is the start of a series with Gwinny, new pal ex-DCI Birch, and various canines investigating crimes. I think it would be tremendously enjoyable and fun. Gwinny is an out of work actress, I believe it’s called “resting”, invited to an old friend’s fifth wedding. Where there’s a terrible murder.

Gwinny gets saddled with two Salukis (fancy breed of dog) and starts to investigate the crime – her friend is the police’s chief suspect. The police seem a little fixated on Tina, but Gwinny knows her pal couldn’t have done it. And she’s determined to prove it.

With the help of a retired police detective she meets walking his dog, she sets out to interview the witnesses, accuse a few suspects and gather clues, before, in the grand tradition of crime fiction, gathering them all in the library to reveal whodunnit. Marvellous.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and Gwinny is a fantastic protagonist. Even as she’s trying to restart her acting career and do up the mouldering family home she’s inherited, she’s not going to let the police ignore her, and she’s going to find the killer. Fabulous stuff from a very accomplished author.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Woman in Carriage 3 – Alison James

An ordinary journey. A shocking secret. And the perfect murder…

Breathlessly, I rush into carriage 3 just as the train doors slam behind me. It’s the same train I get home every night – the 18.53 – and I always sit in the same seat, with the same people. Each journey is fairly uneventful. Except this one…

A passenger drops dead and shockwaves ripple through the train. The lights go out and we’re left waiting in darkness, trapped until further notice. Is it an accident, or something more sinister?

The unwritten rule is you don’t talk to your fellow commuters, but the group of people huddled around me all seem like nice, normal people. I just hope they don’t notice my dishevelled hair or smell the alcohol on my breath. Because my life is far from perfect and there are things I’ve done I’m not proud of.

But as we all get to know each other, I wonder if I can really trust them? Or are they all hiding dangerous secrets…

Was someone in carriage 3 involved in the passenger’s death? And if so, how far will they go to stop the rest of us finding the truth?

An absolutely addictive psychological thriller that will keep you up late into the night. If you love Behind Closed Doors, Gone Girl and The Perfect Couple, you’ll be gripped.


Alison James was born in the Cotswolds but spent most of her formative years abroad. She studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist and author, returning to university after her two children to take a law degree. After a three-year stint as a criminal paralegal, she worked as a commercial copywriter and then a TV storyliner, before coming full circle to write fiction again.

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My thoughts: this is why you should never make eye contact, let alone talk to strangers on a train. Just don’t do it. Otherwise there’s murders, disappearances and international art theft in your future. They should hand a copy of this to every new commuter, and not just because it’s a bloody good read.

I was totally hooked by the 18.57 Crew, as they name themselves. Gregarious barrister and secret vaper on the train Julian, scatterbrained Hattie who could do with a few more sober nights, charming Casper, mysterious Lewis, mousy Bridget and stressed out Carmen.

At first it seems like a locked room murder on a train might be in store, but as the story unfolds and Hattie and Casper get closer, Julian starts to look into something and a much bigger, more elaborate scheme has got this unlikely group in its sights.

So much fun, as the crazy plan takes off involving an incredibly expensive artwork, a suitable “Patsy”, two brazen thieves and the involvement of the police as the group travel back and forth to work, Hattie tries to get her life together and people turn out not to be who they seem. Loved it.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Where The Lightning Goes – Jackary Salem

After a powerful wizard tears Elle’s soul apart and steals her memories, she’s locked in a house to rot. Her only remaining memory is of falling from the sky, though even that raises more questions than it answers. Upon her escape, she falls into a world that’s equal parts vicious and beautiful. Magic is everywhere, everyone is out for themselves, and every truth is accompanied by a lie. Her lack of memories grows maddening and painful. She’s positive that the key to recovering her memories is in the sky-castle from her dreams, but getting there will require magic she doesn’t have. Traversing an enchanted painting, stealing a sword from a dragon’s den, and outwitting a demon are only the beginning. And this time, she’s got more than freedom and memories on the line.

Without magic, there is no survival.

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Jackary Salem is a fantasy author from Kingsport, Tennessee. She majored in neuroscience at Berea College with equal emphasis in biology and psychology. Her passions are writing, editing, and her cat, Chihiro. She’s currently working as a full-time author and developmental editor. To connect with Jack, you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, email her at , or sign up for her newsletter at

My thoughts: This was an interesting read, I liked Elle, her determination to get answers and find her memories, learn magic and find out where “home” was. Her bickering accomplices – wizard Adair and his heart turned person Leslie, who teach her magic and try to encourage her, were also fun. A lot happens very quickly and you have to keep up as Elle escapes various obstacles and prisons, aiming to reach the castle in the sky, while being pursued by a demon who serves the castle’s master.

A fun adventure fantasy story for younger teen readers who liked Percy Jackson or similar books.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Review: The Fall – Gilly Macmillan

Be careful what you wish for…
Nicole and Tom’s lives are changed overnight by a ten-million-pound lottery win. Before they know it they’ve moved into a state-of-the-art Glass Barn conversion in the stunning grounds of Lancaut Manor in Gloucestershire.

But their dream quickly turns into a nightmare when Tom is found dead in the swimming pool, with a nasty wound on the back of his head.

Someone close to home must be responsible. But other than the young couple who live in the Manor, and their housekeeper in the Coach House next door, there’s no one around for miles.

Who among them is capable of murder?

 Gilly Macmillan is the New York Times bestselling and Edgar-nominated author of What She Knew, The Perfect Girl Odd Child OutThe Nanny, To Tell You The Truth and The Long Weekend. She grew up in Swindon and studied at Bristol University and The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. She has worked at The Burlington Magazine and the Hayward Gallery and has been a lecturer in photography. She now writes full-time and lives in Bristol.

 @GillyMacmillan #TheFall @CenturyBooksUK

My thoughts: this was a really clever, gripping take on the everyone is a suspect, isolated manor house mystery of the Golden Age. While it could have been a stranger, it’s very unlikely. So it has to have been one of the four people living in the isolated spot. And the neighbours are super weird – something very strange is going on in their house. The police need to dig deeper but don’t seem too bothered.

However Nicole is determined to find her husband’s killer and gets drawn into the Manor’s strange threesome while trying to find the truth.

There were lots of gasp out loud moments and twists and turns as Nicole learns about the three entwined lives next door and tries to work out who did it and why Tom died.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for a review but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Second to Sin – Murray Bailey

“It only takes a second to sin,” Father Thomas said. He believes in saving souls, but Charles Balcombe is beyond saving. His control over his killer instinct appears to be weakening. BlackJack has killed again and more questions are being asked of Detective Inspector Munro. He is under increasing pressure to solve the murders, especially when he picks up more cases from Kowloon rather than solving his own.
As Balcombe battles with his demon, he investigates the death of a young woman. Was it an accident or did she kill herself? At first Balcombe thinks it’s straightforward but as he digs, other cases reveal an evil in Hong Kong. One that could consume them all.

Set in 1954, this is book 2 of the series. It can be read as a stand-alone but the author recommends book 1 (Once a Killer) first.
Perfect for fans of Chris Carter, David Baldacci and Tom Wood.

My thoughts: Balcombe is asked to look into a supposed suicide by a friend, the young woman was a Catholic and the scene felt odd. She wasn’t depressed and the last thing she’d done was take confession.

While he’s digging into her life and finding other suspicious deaths of young women, Inspector Murdo has his hands full. He’s looking into a cold case where a little girl went missing, and trying to keep another detective from getting too close to the BlackJack killings – he doesn’t need anyone to connect too many of the dots.

Balcombe is starting to lose control of BlackJack, the most recent killings have been extra brutal and he messed up slightly, leaving a clue that Munro’s colleague picks up on. Could it all get too hot for the unlikely pair?

There was less Albert in this book, which was a shame, but the cases Munro and Balcombe worked on were interesting and shocking, especially Balcombe’s – you won’t guess the ending at all. This series gets better with each book and is currently free on Kindle Unlimited.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: Death at the Three Sisters – Jo Allen

Death at the Three Sisters
Three feuding sisters. A faded spa. And a woman, dead in the water…
As they head towards retirement, Suzanne, Hazel and Tessa Walsh are locked in bitter disagreement about the future of the lakeside beauty spa they jointly own. Should they keep The Three Sisters
going as their parents wished, or should they sell to a neighbouring hotelier who seems determined to acquire the failing business, even at a preposterously high cost?
When their employee, Sophie Hayes, is found drowned close to the spa one cold January morning it rapidly becomes clear that it’s no accident: Sophie has been murdered. But who could possibly want
to kill her — or was she mistaken for someone else? As DCI Jude Satterthwaite seeks the answers he and his team dig ever deeper into the complicated and embittered relationships between the sisters and their neighbours.
As the investigation proceeds Jude becomes convinced that Sophie’s murder may only be the beginning. It’s not long before a shocking and tragic turn of events proves him correct and he and his
team find themselves in a race to prevent a further, final tragedy overtaking the Three Sisters. Can he uncover what deadly secrets the sisters are prepared to die — or kill — for, or will he be too late?

Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University, with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in geography and Earth science. She’s been
writing for pleasure and publication for as long as she can remember. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young, in genres of
short stories, romance and romantic suspense. She wrote online articles on travel and on her favourite academic subject, Earth science. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read — crime.
Jo lives in the English Lakes, where the DCI Satterthwaite series is set. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she’s a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

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My thoughts: I really enjoy this series and in this installment Jude’s colleague Ashleigh comes to the fore a bit more as Jude is trying to remember he’s a DCI and shouldn’t be the one interviewing suspects – as his frosty boss keeps reminding him. I liked getting to see more of the team doing the heavy lifting of the investigation, especially the women.

This book and the case is all about family. Siblings especially, and controlling parents. The three sisters who run the eponymous spa, overlooking one of the Lakes, have a very complicated, messy relationship. Their parents built the business and left it and the family home divided equally between their three daughters.

And now, they’ve had enough. Or at least two of them have. Eldest, Susanna, wants everything to stay the same, she’s very like their late mother and controlling with it. But Hazel and Tessa want to see more of life, and are pushing back.

When their only employee, Sophie, is found in the lake, attention turns to the messy Walsh family. And an unexpected blast from the past complicates things. Do the answers lie in the sisters’ difficult dynamic? Jude and Ashleigh certainly think so.

Another excellent read from Jo Allen, I was kept guessing, and there were plenty of twists to have you gasping out loud. Good stuff.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own