blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Judas Tree – Amanda Jennings

At a bleak boys’ boarding school in Cornwall in the eighties when bullying is rife, Will and his best friend, Luke, are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of a painful childhood come flooding back to haunt them both.

Will’s wife, Harmony, is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, and wishes Will would open up about what happened. But as Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband’s past, Luke, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt and desire . . .

My thoughts: childhood trauma is never completely left in the past in this thriller. Luke inviegles his way into old friend Will’s adult life, and slowly forces his way between Will and Harmony. The problems in their marriage mean there’s a weakness, they’re not as rock solid as they like to think. And Luke is happy to manipulate that. He’s had years to plan his revenge.

None of the characters are hugely likeable and they all do pretty mean things to each other but Luke is so damaged and takes everything to an extreme in his desire to avenge his child self. He’s twisted things in his mind for so long, his childhood was awful, his parents absent but it doesn’t excuse the monster he becomes. Therapy would probably have been more help. Creepy and sinister, perhaps looking up old friends on Facebook needs to stop. Just in case.

*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 Coming Darkness – Greg Mosse

Paris, 2037. Alexandre Lamarque of the French external security service is hunting for eco-terrorists. Experience has taught him there is no one he can trust – not his secretive lover Mariam, not even his old mentor, Professor Fayard, the man at the centre of the web. He is ready to give up. But he can’t.

In search of the truth, Alex must follow the trail through an ominous spiral of events, from a string of brutal child murders to a chaotic coup in North Africa. He rapidly finds himself in a heart-thumping race against chaos and destruction. He could be the world’s only hope of preventing THE COMING DARKNESS . . .

My thoughts: this was a really interesting, thought provoking geopolitical thriller set in the near future. Some countries have pursued isolationist policies, but others, in this case, France among them, are more connected than ever, sharing resources, energy (mostly renewable) and battling enemies that mean to bring them down from the inside.

Cyrenia is a breakaway new country, formerly part of Libya. They are very close to France politically and it is a French intelligence agent who puts the pieces together. Connecting the opening of a new satellite base in the desert near the border with the isolationist Egypt, to a conspiracy involving murdered children and corpses tattooed with a sequence of letters in several locations across France.

Alex is a brilliant agent, but in hunting the people behind this conspiracy he is hampered by someone interfering with his comms, by not seeing all the details and by his mother being ill. People close to him are both involved and at risk, and time is running out.

Absolutely gripping and intelligent, this sends a shiver down the spine at the thought of what a terrorist group with this kind of reach could do – they could completely destroy what we know and bring in the coming darkness. Hopefully a real Alex could stop them in time!

*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 Blitz: The Panacea Project – Catherine Devore Johnson

ThePanaceaProject copy

Looking to read a new and exciting medical thriller? How about The Panacea Project by Catherine Devore Johnson?

Read on for details and pre-order a copy today!

Panacea Project Cover (300 ppi)

The Panacea Project

Expected Publication Date: February 28th, 2023

Genre: Medical Thriller

A timely exploration of bodily autonomy set in a classic medical thriller

Calla Hammond has always been a loner―a product of the foster system and avoided by others because of a skin condition. When doctors discover her immune system holds the key to curing cancer, she struggles to advance lifesaving research in a world that sees her only as a means to an end. Yet along the way, Calla gains the one thing she has always longed for: a chosen family.

When a group of unscrupulous people join forces to sell Calla’s blood to the highest bidder, she digs deep to find the strength to retake control of her life, her body, and her story.

The Panacea Project is a layered examination of self-sacrifice, implicit bias, and the juxtaposition of bodily autonomy with high-stakes capitalism―for those who love fiercely strong characters and deep themes infused with heartwarming moments of love and humor.

Pre-Order Today!

About the Author

Uhwkh99O_400x400

Catherine Devore Johnson is a former attorney turned writer. Her work has won or placed in competitions held by the Houston Writer’s Guild and the Writer’s League of Texas, and she has published an essay in The Houston Chronicle about caring for her mother after two strokes. She works as a writer and editor at a children’s hospital and lives in Houston with her husband and two children. The Panacea Project is her first novel.

Deborah Brosseau Communications

Book Blitz Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Carnelian Tree – Anne Pettigrew

A uniquely amusing and page-turning mystery novel set in January 2003, the eve of the Iraq War. 

On sabbatical at Oxford University, Scottish teacher Judith Fraser is horrified to find a professor dead, a student missing and eccentric housemates who are not as they claim. 

Whom can she trust? Is she being followed? And what is the relevance of ancient text fragments appearing from Iraq? 

Aided by personable DCI Steadman and spirited Rhodes Scholar, Abbie Goldman, Judith unravels mysteries of locked doors, missing computers, cat’s collars and Reuter’s reports. Traumatized to the hilt by the kidnapping of her medical student daughter Sophie, Judith reappraises what’s important in life, learns not to trust first impressions, and finds power, sex and politics have changed little in three millennia.

Throw in the CIA, Saddam Hussein’s ancient king obsession, a glimpse of an Oxford underbelly and a hint of romance, to find a cross-genre novel for lovers of Helen Fielding, Lucy Foley, Agatha Christie and Dan Brown.  Buy a copy

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Anne Pettigrew was a family doctor for 31 years and also has a degree in Medical Anthropology from Oxford. She wrote extensively in the national medical and lay press until retirement when she turned to penning novels about women doctors, discrimination, and crime. She was a Bloody Scotland Crime Fiction Festival 2019 Spotlight Author – ‘one to watch.’ Member of several writers’ groups and multiple short story competition winner, she lives in Ayrshire and enjoys good books, good wine, and good company.

Past novels: Apart from containing crime, Not The Life Imagined and Not The Deaths Imagined follow Dr Beth Slater’s career and challenges from the 1960s to the ‘80s. This latest stand-alone novel, The Carnelian Tree, charts the tribulations of Scots teacher Judith Fraser on sabbatical in Oxford at the time of the Iraq War.

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My thoughts: I remember 2003, I was a teenager and the news was full of the threat of war in the Middle East and Bush and Blair’s fear-mongering.

This is set then, and a Stop the War protest even takes place in the later part of the book. It’s very interesting as some of the characters, like Jared, are caught up in things much bigger than them and related to what was happening in Iraq.

Judith is taking a sabbatical and doing an MA in Education – I’ve done an MA and they’re hard work so I appreciate that she has to keep rushing to finish her assignments, despite the murder and then the kidnapping of her daughter. I’m glad mine was less dramatic.

All of the terrible events are linked to some ancient clay tablets, smuggled out of Iraq, and an obsession with ancient kings like Gilgamesh and Nebuchadnezzar. The murdered professor was an expert in ancient history and was writing a new translation of Gilgamesh based on the clay tablets.

The book has lots of twists and turns, some characters turn out to be better than you expect and some very dodgy. I liked DCI Steadman, he was a nice and kind man as well as being an excellent copper. His fledgling romance with Judith was lovely.

I liked Judith and her friends too, Abbie gets really into investigating their suspicious housemate Guy and then starts branching out. If they decide teaching isn’t for them, she and Judith could easily open a PI agency!

Funny, clever and with plenty of strange occurrences, kidnappings, strange postal deliveries and spies, conspiracies and broken hearts to keep us all going. Really great 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.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Forget Me Not – Miranda Rijks

Five years ago, Helen lost her husband. Now she may lose her life.

Five years ago, Helen’s husband Paul went missing while skiing in the Swiss Alps. His body was never found, but he is presumed dead because no-one could have survived a night on that freezing mountainside.

It took Helen a long time to get over her loss, but now she has pulled her life back together – she is an acclaimed interior designer in a loving relationship with a new man.

Even better, Helen has just been offered her dream project, renovating a luxurious chalet in an idyllic location. There’s only one catch – it’s right next to the resort where Paul went missing.

She decides to take the job anyway, convincing herself that a visit to the scene of her great tragedy will actually be good for her, that it will give her a chance to lay old demons to rest.

But soon after she arrives, she makes an utterly shocking discovery and finds herself caught up in a nightmarish web of treachery and deceit where nothing is as it seems.

Only one thing is certain – the mountains want to claim another body… Buy Links

Miranda Rijks is a writer of psychological thrillers and suspense novels. She has an eclectic background ranging from law to running a garden centre. She’s been writing all of her life and has a Masters in writing. A couple of years ago she decided to ditch the business plans and press releases and now she’s living the dream, writing suspense novels full time. She lives in Sussex, England with her Dutch husband, musician daughter and black Labrador.

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My thoughts: this was cleverly done, at first it seems like Helen’s tale of terror was going to be about the creepy cabin she’s staying in or maybe hostile locals who don’t like the chalet renovation. But no, it’s much more personal.

Her presumed dead husband, who vanished just after a young girl was killed on the Swiss Alps, leaving a trail of questions in his wake – did he knock that child down in the snow? Is he dead? What’s going on?

Bringing her daughter Emily over to stay with her introduces more jeopardy, Emily has a secret friend, buying her toys. Helen is understandably freaked out. But the neighbours keep reassuring her that everyone in the area is so friendly.

Not being one for skiing, too cold, and I’m way too clumsy, I’ve never got the appeal, but some people love it. However the Alps are beautiful and I can see how it can seem idyllic. Until it isn’t. There’s a creepy sense of menace in the mountains, which Helen certainly picks up on.

It’s also a bit sad, so many people dealing with loss, and not always in a healthy way. Helen is desperate for the seven years to be up and Paul declared legally dead so she can move on with her life. Her new neighbours are also grieving but in a different way. Past and present collide, and damage will be done but can amends be made?

Click the image for more of the blog tour

*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 Prisoner – B.A. Paris

THEN

Amelie has always been a survivor, from losing her parents as a child in Paris to making it on her own in London. As she builds a career for herself in the magazine industry, she meets, and agrees to marry, Ned Hawthorne.

NOW

Amelie wakes up in a pitch-black room, not knowing where she is. Why has she been taken? Who are her mysterious captors? And why does she soon feel safer here, imprisoned, than she had begun to feel with her husband Ned?

In true B.A. Paris style, The Prisoner is a gripping survival story, a twisted tale of love and at its dark heart a thriller to keep you up all night.

My thoughts: this was really good, a #MeToo thriller from the point of view of a woman caught in the middle of a terrible scandal. When Amelie agrees to marry Ned, she has no idea what he’s done and that he’s using her too. It’s only after they’re married that she learns what a monster he is, being kidnapped is actually almost a relief.

While held in the dark she replays everything over, she’s only twenty and naive, vulnerable because she has no family, only her best friends and something might have happened to them.

She’s determined to find out who is behind their kidnapping and escape their clutches, but Ned can stay right there, she’s safer away from him.

Gripping, clever and packed full of unexpected twists, this was a can’t put it down, stay up all night 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.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Silent Dead – Marnie Riches

She was lying as if asleep on the wooden kitchen floor, beneath the fridge covered with a child’s colourful crayon drawings. But her frozen expression showed she would never wake again…

When Detective Jackie Cooke is called out to the scene, she’s expecting a routine check. The bottle of pills on the kitchen table, next to the note with the single word SORRY written in a shaky hand, make it seem obvious what’s happened. But Jackie is shocked when she recognises her old schoolfriend Claire – and she is convinced Claire would never take her own life.

Determined to dig deeper, Jackie soon discovers evidence that proves her right: a roll of notes has been thrust down the victim’s throat. And when she finds another woman killed in the same way, she realises someone may be targeting lonely single mothers. As Jackie talks to Claire’s distraught children, one of them too young to understand his mummy is never coming home, she vows to find answers.

Both victims were in touch with someone calling himself Nice Guy – could he be the killer? Pursuing every clue, Jackie is sure she’s found a match in dead-eyed Tyler, part of a dark world of men intent on silencing women for daring to reject them. But just as she makes the arrest, another single mother is found dead – a woman who never dated at all.

Forced to re-evaluate every lead she has, with her boss pressuring her to make a case against the obvious suspect, Jackie knows she is running out of time before another innocent woman is murdered. And, as a single mother herself, she cannot help but wonder if she is in the killer’s sights. Can she uncover his true motivation and put an end to his deadly game… or will he find her first?

A completely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you reading long into the night. Perfect for fans of Kendra Elliott, Rachel McLean and Val McDermid.

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Audio Links: UK US

Listen to a sample here

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.

Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Dubbed the Martina Cole of the North, she has also authored a series about Manchester’s notorious gangland as well as two books in a mini-series featuring quirky northern PI Bev Saunders.

Detective Jackson Cooke is Marnie’s latest heroine to root for, as she hunts down one of the most brutal killers the north west has ever seen at devastating personal cost.

When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime thrillers, Marnie also regularly appears on BBC Radio Manchester, commenting on social media trends and discussing the world of crime fiction. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Salford University’s Doctoral School and a tutor for the Faber Novel Writing Course.

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My thoughts: Jackson and Dave are a great duo, racing round Manchester bickering, eating a lot of junk food, Jackie worrying about her kids, Dave grateful his wife Hannah’s holding down the fort. That they’re also excellent detectives isn’t in doubt. Jackie knows that this case isn’t a suicide, or misadventure. This is murder.

Diving into the online world of incels – men who feel women owe them sex and that they’re overlooked for more attractive, successful men, and unfortunately sometimes turn to violence as a result. Jackie and Dave are sure their killer is posing on dating sites and apps too, using a photo from an overseas modelling agency, catfishing women.

Finding several other deaths and carefully weeding out the links between the victims, looking at the men around them, throwing up potential suspects. There’s a lot of deeply unpleasant men out there, but only one is their killer. And when a second one of Jackie’s old friends is put at risk of being the next victim, she dives into action. Against orders. Her charming Inspector boss (who seems to hate her) isn’t happy at all. But when Cooke and Tang go after their man, they’re all in.

This series just keeps getting better. The characters feel more bedded in now, you know them better and feel for Jackie, she’s supposed to be on maternity leave but they’re short staffed. Her ex is a pathetic time waster who needs to get a job and put a bit more effort in with the kids, her mother’s acting like a teenager – out every night, and she really needs a good night’s sleep. If only the killers of Manchester would comply.

*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 Sleepover – Keri Beevis

When you’re a kid, you imagine monsters to have horns and fangs. That they hide under the bed or in the wardrobe. And you believe they can only come after you when it’s dark.
You don’t expect them to look like everyday people or that they may be someone you already know…
The summer in question started out with hot, fun-filled days and new friendships.
We had just turned thirteen and had our whole lives ahead of us.
But that was before her…
Before we became known as the Hixton Six and our lives become defined by one night.
It’s hard to believe twenty years have passed since she was locked away.
But now she’s free and strange things have started to happen.
When I close my eyes, the creeping anxiety and fear is overwhelming and all too real.
Because the monster is back, and I know she has a score to settle with us.
Purchase


Keri Beevis is the internationally bestselling author of Dying To Tell, Deep Dark Secrets, Trust No One, Every Little Breath and The People Next Door. Dying To Tell reached no. 1 in the Amazon chart
in Australia and was a top 25 hit in the UK. Keri wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published, after winning a contract in a competition run by a small press. She lives in Norfolk, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel).

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My thoughts: at first I wasn’t sure what the creepy Mrs W (more sinister, like De Maurier’s Rebecca, by her absence), had done to a group of young teenagers.

Eventually the story comes out and boy, she is awful, and her son Bill has some serious issues too. Poor Hannah and Rosie and Jill. Not so much Lauren and Tash who didn’t seem to suffer. But Hannah is still tormented by nightmares, Rosie’s never been ok since and Jill lost her brother.

I was a bit suspicious of Liam, but he wasn’t as monstrous as whoever it is writing the italicised sections – Mrs W, Bill or someone else? They were not messing around. No spoilers.

I was hooked after the slow start, by wondering who was targeting everyone after so long. And why? Mrs W did her time, surely sleeping dogs and all that. But no, someone has decided to settle old scores.

Also there are dogs, mostly Liam’s slobbery Tank, but also Hannah’s dog walking clients and two cute cats as well. And we all know pets in books make them better. Tank’s a hero too. Read it to find out why.

*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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Cover Reveal: The Panacea Project – Catherine Devore-Johnson

Cover Reveal Banner

Welcome to the big reveal of the cover for upcoming medical thriller, The Panacea Project by Catherine Devore-Johnson! Read on for more details!

Panacea Project Cover (300 ppi)

The Panacea Project

Expected Publication Date: February 28th, 2023

Genre: Medical Thriller

A timely exploration of bodily autonomy set in a classic medical thriller

Calla Hammond has always been a loner―a product of the foster system and avoided by others because of a skin condition. When doctors discover her immune system holds the key to curing cancer, she struggles to advance lifesaving research in a world that sees her only as a means to an end. Yet along the way, Calla gains the one thing she has always longed for: a chosen family.

When a group of unscrupulous people join forces to sell Calla’s blood to the highest bidder, she digs deep to find the strength to retake control of her life, her body, and her story.

The Panacea Project is a layered examination of self-sacrifice, implicit bias, and the juxtaposition of bodily autonomy with high-stakes capitalism―for those who love fiercely strong characters and deep themes infused with heartwarming moments of love and humor.

Pre-Order Today!

About the Author

Uhwkh99O_400x400

Catherine Devore Johnson is a former attorney turned writer. Her work has won or placed in competitions held by the Houston Writer’s Guild and the Writer’s League of Texas, and she has published an essay in The Houston Chronicle about caring for her mother after two strokes. She works as a writer and editor at a children’s hospital and lives in Houston with her husband and two children. The Panacea Project is her first novel.

Deborah Brosseau Communications

Cover Reveal Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The App – Stuart James

The App…

Once you’re in, they’ll never let you leave.

Whatever happens, don’t download The App.

* It will come in the form of a link. Maybe in your DM’s on a social media account, the junk folder of your emails or a WhatsApp message from a friend.

* You’ll be enticed by the chance of winning one hundred thousand pounds on offer every Friday, wired straight into the winner’s bank account.

* It’s not a joke.

* This part is genuine.

* Someone can and will win the money.

* But at what cost?

Marty Benson gets the link sent to him by a friend. So what is the harm in looking?
He clicks it, downloads the app and enters a few basic details.
A message prompts him to wait while he’s loaded onto the system.
An hour later, another message.

• Do not delete the app.

• Do not tell anyone outside of your family about the app.

• Send the link to one person who is close to you.

* Do not throw your phone away.

* Always narrate while streaming.

• If you break any of the rules, we’ll kill a member of your family. Then we’ll kill you.

Marty is sent a picture of his wife, who is shopping with her mother in Oxford Street.

As Marty struggles to breathe, he clicks the links and watches the most recent streams, realising what happens within the
app.

Every Friday morning, a person is randomly picked from social media.

They now have a bounty on their head—a death warrant. But they don’t know it.

Their profile appears on the app’s main page; all their details are displayed.

Every app member must play the game at least once a month or face the consequences.

Kill the person randomly selected from social media.

Win one hundred thousand pounds.

As Marty watches the terror unfold and everyone streaming the hunt within the app, he realises he has to do something.

But how do you stop a murder, when everyone could be the killer? Buy Links

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns. My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

I’m 49, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

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My thoughts: this was super creepy. An app that essentially forces you into a terrible situation – murder a stranger or have a loved one murdered in front of you. All for the enjoyment of a sadistic millionaire and his equally disturbed minions. Oh, and if you do kill someone, streamed live, you get a chunk of money. But you probably lose your humanity. What a lovely choice.

Marty won’t play along, even when his beloved daughter becomes a target. He’s a genuinely good person and tries to stop the madness by warning potential victims and saving his family from the machinations of a madman.

His family are strong, and even his aggravating mother-in-law (there are more things in life than tv) comes along as the family attempt to stop the madness.

Heartstopping and tense, I cheered for Marty and co as they outran and then out thought the sinister figure behind the app and put a stop to it. Or did they?

Click the image for more of the tour

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