The Retreat by Mark Edwards {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I bring you a review of The Retreat by Mark Edwards.

I’ve been a fan of Mark’s for quite some time after reading one of his other novels, The Magpies. After that I went on a binge and read loads of his work.

I picked up The Retreat not that long ago as I had it pre-ordered but I’ve only just got around to reading it and wow, it was amazing.

I absolutely loved it. The book initially gives the impression that it is heading down a certain road but the twists and turns never fully reveal what is going on until the end.

Mark has such an amazing writing style, you find yourself drawn into the world he creates as the imagery is so realistic and written so well.

Mark creates characters that you feel you understand, like you know them. They all have a depth and soul.

I would give this book a 5 star rating and recommend it to anyone who loves mystery or thriller books.

I’ve picked up A Murder of Magpie’s which is the sequel to The Magpies and I can’t wait to read it.

You can pick up a copy of The Magpies here and find out more about Mark and his other books here

Thanks for reading

Emma-Louise x

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An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson {Review}

Good Morning,

Today I have a review of the 2nd novel by Kiltie Jackson.

I loved Kiltie’s first novel A Rock n Roll Lovestyle, so when I got the opportunity to read this I wasn’t going to say no.

Blurb…

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree
to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail however…

Review…

Well I have to say Kiltie definitely has a way with words. After I read her first book I was hooked on her style. Kiltie writes in a way that is so easy to follow the book is over before you realise it’s even begun.

The characters have such depth you feel like they are real people who you know really well. Kiltie knows how to write a great villian because in both novels I’ve felt such utter dislike for them and not an ounce of sympathy.

This plot for this story is really good and has a great addition of being rather humourous. I love the twist of adding Death as a character and it really makes this novel stand out.

It was really good to see characters we grew to love in Kiltie’s first book have roles in this one as well. It is done in such a way that you really don’t need to read the first and allows this to be strong as a stand-alone novel.

Unfortunately for you An Artisan Lovestyle isn’t released until 28th June but it is well worth ordering, currently the kindle price is less than £2 which I assure you is a massive bargain.

You can pre-order from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise xx

*Disclaimer – This ARC was given to me free of charge. This however, does not bias my review or opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan {Review}

Hey Everyone,

Today I have a review for you for the book Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this which was fantastic as I had heard such good things about him with his debut novel Our Little Secret.

Blurb…

Close your eyes…and count to ten.

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.
When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

Review…

Let me start by saying this book was brilliant. It takes a lot for me to really enjoy a good thriller as I find most of them fairly predictable but this kept me on the edge all the way through. There were a fair few twists which I didn’t see coming a mile off. I guessed who the perpetrator was as it was unveiled in the book, Darren did a great job there.

The plot concept was great. It felt like we were joining Daniel on this wild ride and uncovering things as he was which added to the atmosphere.

Darren’s writing style flows so well and he isn’t afraid to write graphically or against what is generally expected which is what gave this novel that extra bit of edge.

I would gladly give this 5 stars and recommend it to any lover of a good crime/thriller. I will definitely be reading his other title now.

You can purchase Close Your Eyes here for UK customers and here for US customers.

If you fancy checking out Darren’s debut novel Our Little Secret you can find it here.

To find out more about Darren you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

*Disclaimer – I received this book free however, all opinions are my own and are expressed without bias.

Rock-A-Bye Baby by L.R.W Lee {Release Day}

Hey Everyone!

Today I bring the the exciting new fantasy release of Rock-A-Bye Baby by L.R.W Lee.

Rock-A-Bye Baby is the prequel book to Lullaby by the same author.

Here is the blurb for Rock-A-Bye Baby.

Winds Blowing. Boughs Breaking. A Cradle Falling. Can the Sand Maiden Prevent Disaster?

Alissandra, an immortal Sand Maiden, and daughter of the most powerful king in Dream Realm, has always been close to her father despite being one of twenty-two children. She’s put him on a pedestal and sought to make him proud of her as she weaves the dreams of her many mortal charges helping them make sense of thoughts that need refinement, problems that need solutions, worries that beg for action, and things they should or shouldn’t have said.

But with her latest charge, she starts to sense that her father isn’t all she dreams he is. It’s hard to accept that the parent you love isn’t perfect, but how do you do it when he’s a god? How far do you let him push before you say no? And how far do you go to push back?

I’ve read it and have to say it is amazing. It is the perfect lead up to Lullaby. Which I would also highly recommend. Both of these books are incredibly well written and the storyline is on that will suck you right in and make you invested in the characters. It’s impossible not to love Allisandra.

Rock-A-Bye Baby is available in Paper and Kindle format and can be purchased here for UK customers and here for U.S customers.

If you want to try before you buy you can download the first 3 chapters here.

To find out more about the author you can visit her website here.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Emma-Louise x

June TBR List

Hey everyone. Can you believe we are heading into June? I know I can’t, it’s going far too quickly.

I thought I would share with you my June read list.

First we have;

Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan.

Blurb…

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

The Retreat By Mark Edwards

Blurb…

A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Blurb…

A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.

The stunning sequel to the Sunday Times bestselling Caraval

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more – and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets . . . including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about – maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . the games have only just begun.

That’s it for this month. Feel free to pop a comment below recommending any books for July or sharing your tbr list.

Emma-Louise x

Grand Opening #abusetalk Forum

#AbuseTalk Forum is NOW OPEN!!!

Up to date information on the day on virtual opening event: https://www.facebook.com/events/227612351343912/

Hi, I am Jennifer Gilmour and I am an advocate for women in abusive relationships, I am an author and a mum of three. I have personally experienced domestic abuse and wanted to bring awareness to what happens behind closed doors.

A bit about my journey:

My debut novel, ‘Isolation Junction’ was published in 2016 which follows the story of Rose who is trying to flee her abusive partner. The book is based on true events of my own and has been fictionalised.

Since this publication I have continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through my blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed.

My second publication was released in October 2017; I put together stories told to me by survivors of domestic abuse. In this way, I hope to give a voice to their experiences and to raise awareness of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse. Thankfully the law has changed to incorporate this kind of insidious behaviour but still far too many people are trapped, isolated and afraid or unaware of how to escape. I hope that this anthology will give them the courage to take that first step and will raise awareness for those who can help them.

I opened #AbuseTalk in October in 2017 and haven’t looked back, its opened many doors, its connected many people, its supported lots of individuals and it has created an community.

I was a finalist for Inspirational Mum Award in the BizMums Awards 2017.

I started writing for Coercive Control Chat Magazine (CCChat Magazine) in October 2017, I have my own column for #AbuseTalk and an Online Book Club with a difference.

In May 2018 I won Most Informative Blog 2018 in the Blogger Bash Awards, something I am most thrilled about.

Why have I opened a forum?

I have always felt a forum was needed but couldn’t find its place and so I decided a Twitter Chat was the direction to go. After a few months of hosting #AbuseTalk I realised that tweeting was great but it wasn’t for those who don’t want to publicly discuss domestic abuse. It is also restrictive with the character limitations. Thats when I realised that a forum can work alongside the Twitter Chat and offering a register only forum.

I am also delighted to have the forum sponsored by a solicitor which will be announced in the grand opening, our solicitor has agreed to answer questions within the forum on their own thread ‘Ask a solicitor’. This is priceless, to have the opportunity to ask a solicitor when perhaps someone may not have had the ability to do so.

How do I access the new forum?

You can head there right now… www.jennifergilmour.com/community

PLEASE NOTE: You will only see the news and updates forum until you are registered, once you are registered you will see the main Abuse Talk Forum appear with all the topics and discussions.

Who is the forum for?

Anyone! Anyone with an interest or passion surrounding domestic abuse.

It can also be for those in the sector like charities, organisations, advocates, bloggers, businesses and more.

Or it can be individuals that want to help, offer guidance, who have gone through abuse or are going through it now.

How much does it cost to be a member?

Its FREE! All you have to do is register at: https://jennifergilmour.com/AbuseTalkForum/?wpforo=signup

There will be a VIP Membership area but that is opening later on, updates will be given and this will be just £10 a year with a bag full of offers, discounts and more. This is you really need that extra security and community.

Sign up for notification of this service here: http://eepurl.com/dor93f

I would like to sponsor the forum, how do I do this?

The forum is open for sponsorship to cover the maintenance and time it takes to moderate the posts.

Anyone can be a silent sponsor for £1 or £3, scroll to the bottom of this page: https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

For businesses/charities/organisations/advocates etc please contact me for availability – contact@jennifergilmour.com

Sponsors will receive a unique badge to place on their website and social media to show that they support the forum.

Tell me more about #AbuseTalk…

#AbuseTalk is a Twitter Chat that runs every Wednesday evening 8-9pm GMT. It is open to anyone who wants to discuss domestic abuse.

Each week we have a theme which is there to help the conversation flow through the one hour. You can at any point ask your own questions, reply to others and join in.

Not in the UK? Thats not a problem either, we have people joining in around the world and have adapted the cover photo to display the times in the timezones most used.

Find out more here:

https://jennifergilmour.com/abuse-talk-twitter/

Need to know more?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are interested in becoming a sponsor at contact@jennifergilmour.com

Thank you for your time and if the forum isn’t for you – it may be for one of your friends. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Video on how to register and see how the visibility of the forum is altered with the registration- https://youtu.be/YtImyAHffDE

Jennifer Gilmour

Blog Tour: The Development by Jackie Kabler {Excerpt}

Hello, today I have an excerpt for you for the novel The Development by Jackie Kabler.

Blurb…

After a stressful week, TV reporter Cora Baxter is ready for a quiet weekend. But what she hadn’t counted on was witnessing the shocking death of a young woman on her way home. She discovers seventeen-year-old Leanne had been protesting against a new housing development, angering the powerful establishment. Leanne’s death is ruled a suicide, but when puzzling information comes to light, Cora decides to investigate further.

She doesn’t know what an unscrupulous businessman, a suspended police officer and hate-mail sending neighbours have to do with the case – but she knows there is a news story there.

With her eccentric camera crew on hand to help, can Cora tie the strands of Leanne’s case together – or will other forces interfere?

The Development is the third in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series.

Excerpt

At the start of the book, TV reporter Cora Baxter had a run-in with a particularly unpleasant police officer who was subsequently suspended from duty. And now DCI Gordon Gregory seems to have a strange interest in the death of a young woman, even attending her funeral…but why?

It was raining softly as Leanne Brimley’s coffin was lowered slowly into the grave, the light, steady kind of rain which appears innocuous at first but then seems to make you far, far wetter and colder than the pounding, driving kind ever does, seeping into your pores and chilling your very bones. A leaden sky glowered at the few dozen mourners who’d gathered at South Bristol Cemetery, the scattering of school friends – released from lessons early for the occasion on this Thursday afternoon – neighbours and relatives standing now with lowered heads as the vicar said his final prayers in a low monotone. Detective Constable James Jordan and Detective Chief Inspector Gordon Gregory stood at a respectful distance, watching as the committal service came to a close and the dead girl’s mother and brother, so like her with their red hair and pale skin, were led away, the mother sobbing quietly, the boy’s face tight and white despite the thick covering of freckles. As the graveyard emptied, Gregory turned to Jordan.

‘Thanks for coming, mate. I needed to see that. Things are shit at the moment – that little bitch being put in the ground has been the one bright spot in the past couple of weeks. Sorry if that sounds nasty, but it’s true.’

Jordan flinched a little, but nodded. ‘No problem, boss. I’m not on shift today anyway, so it was something to do. Fancy a pint, on the way home?’

Gregory smiled. ‘Definitely. I want to talk to you anyway. Something I need to tell you. Just give me a minute. I’ll meet you by the gate.’

He stood still for a moment as Jordan headed off across the muddy grass, then walked slowly to the graveside, where a cemetery worker was laying the last of the floral tributes on the mound of soil that now covered Leanne Brimley’s coffin. The man touched his forehead deferentially and moved away as Gregory approached, and the DCI gave him a nod, then stood in silence for a full minute, staring at the freshly piled earth. What a relief, he thought. What a bloody great relief. And when he finally turned away and went to join James Jordan, he was smiling.

You can get your copy from Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

Blog Tour: A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe

Today I am sharing with you my review for A Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe which is hosted by Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours

Blurb…

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

Review…

After reading Gemma’s first novel Trust Me I was really excited to get a copy of A Mother’s Sacrifice.

Gemma has an amazing way of writing that keeps you guessing, you may have a prediction but that can change multiple times as you read and that’s what draws me to her work.

I found myself drawn to the main character. I not only felt sorry for her but could see things unravelling. I don’t want to give any of the story away but I thought it was very well written.

However, I have to admit the ending did disappoint me. While I understand why it took the path it did I would have liked answers to questions wrapping up first. I felt like for such a build up of every thing it fell a bit flat even if it wasn’t a typical generic ending.

Saying this though I highly recommend it. The problem is more with me and my need to have somethings tightly wrapped in a bow rather than the book itself and as far as it goes this is a very worthy read.

I would give it 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase your copy here.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x

It’s A Family Thing: Jay-Jay And The Carnival by Sue Wickstead

Hey Everyone. Today Alexis and I have a review of another one of Sue Wickstead children’s books. This on is called Jay-Jay And The Carnival.

Alexis and I have been lucky enough to receive all the Jay-Jay books from Sue. Alexis really enjoys reading them and seeing the adventures that Jay-Jay goes on.

Jay-Jay and the Carnival was not any different, she really enjoyed it, particularly commenting on the fact that Jay-Jay had undergone a make over and was ‘bright orange’.

The story as always was entertaining and didn’t drag which held Alexis’s attention, something extremely difficult for any 3 year old to do.

We would highly recommend the Jay-Jay books for children. They are bright, colourful and fun. Great enjoyment. You can purchase a copy here on Amazon UK.

Thanks for reading.

Emma-Louise x