Wednesday, 28 September 2016

September Wishlist: Horror & Mystery books


September month's wishlist is a bit different than my previous month's wishlist. I usually put up books that I don't own, but this time, I did pick only books that I have. Since it's October and Halloween soon did the idea (Thank you Stephanie) of a list of horror & mystery books seem very appealing. So, here ladies and gentlemen is a list of books that I plan to read next month!

The Restorer (Graveyard Queen #1) by Amanda Stevens

My name is Amelia Gray. I’m a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. In order to protect myself from the parasitic nature of the dead, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father. But now a haunted police detective has entered my world and everything is changing, including the rules that have always kept me safe.

It started with the discovery of a young woman’s brutalized body in an old Charleston graveyard I’ve been hired to restore. The clues to the killer—and to his other victims— lie in the headstone symbolism that only I can interpret. Devlin needs my help, but his ghosts shadow his every move, feeding off his warmth, sustaining their presence with his energy. To warn him would be to invite them into my life. I’ve vowed to keep my distance, but the pull of his magnetism grows ever stronger even as the symbols lead me closer to the killer and to the gossamer veil that separates this world from the next.


The Gone Dead Train (Detective Billy Able #1) by Lisa Turner

Bestselling sensation Lisa Turner conjures a riveting Southern gothic mystery set in Memphis, with echoes of The Garden of Good and Evil and Lisa Gardener, in which detective Billy Able is thrown into a vortex of bizarre murders, Santeria voodoo, flawed heroes, a damning photograph, and a stunning betrayal by a civil rights icon.

After time away to recover from the aftermath of a horrible case that left his partner dead, Billy’s back in Memphis, drawn into an ever-widening murder mystery that focuses on flawed heroes: a disgraced major league baseball player, two legendary blues musicians on the lam, a straight-arrow lady cop tortured by a guilty conscience, and two iconic civil rights warriors with secrets so dark they’ll shock the nation.

Detective Billy Able is at a crossroads. His previous case left him questioning everything he believed about his abilities as a cop and as a friend. Even though he’s considering leaving police work behind, he’s unable to turn off the instincts he’s honed after a decade on the force.

But when he stops a crime from being committed, he finds himself embroiled in a much bigger scandal. A murder that has just taken place has connections to a series of much older crimes dating back to the civil rights movement. As he investigates, Billy uncovers so many layers of secrets he can barely keep the truth from the lies. And he knows the straight-laced cop assigned to the case is hiding something big. But is it connected to the case? This time he’s determined to make sure he finds out the truth before anything else can happen. But as the search for truth with the help of a Santeria Priest leads him deeper into the underbelly of Memphis, will Billy make it out alive?


Death Notes by Sarah Rayne

Introducing professional researcher Phineas Fox in the first of a brand-new series of chilling mysteries."

Phineas Fox has mixed feelings when he s asked to research the infamous 19th-century violinist Roman Volf for a TV documentary. Hanged for his part in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, Volf was a notorious criminal and womaniser, whose glittering talent was undermined by his scandalous private life. However, on uncovering evidence which suggests that Volf could not have been involved in the Tsar s murder, Phin s investigations lead him to the west coast of Ireland and a series of intriguing, interlocking mysteries reaching from 1881 to the present day. 

Was Roman Volf executed for something he didn't do? And what is his connection with the reclusive Maxim Volf now living in County Galway? Phin s enquiries will unearth a number of dark secrets which lurk below the surface of the quiet Irish village of Kilcarne.


The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

The bestselling author of Richard & Judy Book Club hit The Cold Season returns with a chilling mystery - w here superstition and myth bleed into real life with tragic consequences

Pretty Lizzie Higgs is gone, burned to dead on her own hearth - but was she really a changeling, as her husband insists? Albie Mirralls met his cousin only once, in 1851, within the grand glass arches of the Crystal Palace, but unable to countenance the rumours that surround her murder, he leaves his young wife in London and travels to Halfoak, a village steeped in superstition.

Albie begins to look into Lizzie's death, but in this place where the old tales hold sway and the 'Hidden People' supposedly roam, answers are slippery and further tragedy is just a step away . . .


The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

They call it Wanderer's Folly--a disease of delusions, of daydreams and nightmares. A plague threatening to wipe out the human race.

After two years of creeping decay, David Arlen woke up one morning thinking that the worst was over. By midnight, he's bleeding and terrified, his wife is dead, and he's on the run in a stolen car with his eight-year-old daughter, who may be the key to a cure.

Ellie is a special girl. Deep. Insightful. And she knows David is lying to her. Lying about her mother. Lying about what they're running from. And lying about what he sees when he takes his eyes off the road . . .

Check out my friends September Wishlist:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages

ColleenA @ Literary Vacation 

Heather @ The Maiden’s Court

Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired

Erin @ Flashlight Commentary

Blog Tour: For The Love of Grace by Andrew Blackman

Blurb

Grace Backer had a life full of tragedy. But despite everything, she raised her son, Tom, with her secret intact. Tom is a prodigal child, destined to escape the slums of the East End of London for a better life; circumstances will make him flee his loving mother and their home much sooner than expected. Tom starts a new life in Odessa, Russia, and with the help of new-found friends starts a business. At last, he is finally accepted into a new and loving family, but one which holds its own dark secrets.

A chance meeting with the son of a duke of the realm leads to close friendship and a new business partnership. When Tom decides to move his company to London and have his regal new friend run it, the firm thrives. However, not everything is as it seems, and Tom?s business soon conceals dangerous secrets of its own. Years later, when Tom finally decides to return to London, he is a wanted man, one hunted by the intelligence agencies. If he is finally to be reunited with his beloved mother and his best friend, he must fight to put the past behind him. But keeping secrets is never easy.

Purchase from Amazon UK - 

Purchase from Barnes & Noble - 
 
Author spotlight


My name is Andrew Shaun Blackman; I was born in Brighton on the 17th February 1960, into a working class family. I have one older brother who is four years older than me and one younger sister who is a year younger than me. I went to Whitehawk County Secondary school, and like any estate we all went there so your school friends also lived in the streets around you. The school was tough no doubt about that, it had at one time the reputation of the worst and hardest school in Sussex,

I never outshone in the school class room work only managing to cover the basic’s reading, writing and maths, but one thing I excelled in was sports, I represented the school in every sport. Now I had always been pretty clear what I wanted to do when I left school, I wanted to join the Army, so after the initial assessment I joined at sixteen the Parachute Regiment and my first Army Camp was Browning Barracks, Aldershot. I was like a duck to water in the Army. I joined in 1976 was before any health and safety regulations became part of the Army, it was tough I must admit, from the original number of recruits, not sure how many started but only eight of us were on the passing out parade, afterwards I was posted to the Second Battalion The Parachute Regiment, where I served most of my Army career, I served in Northern Ireland, the Falklands War, Belize, Cyprus, America, Canada and lots of other places some hard to find on a map. During my Army Career I met and married Janet, and we had three lovely daughters, who are my pride and joy, although Janet and I are now divorced and have been for too many years to remember, we still remain friendly and on good terms for the girls. I have always been close to my girls, who although are now all grown up and two of them married, we remain close and we speak, visit and text often and they are by far my greatest critics.

Since I left the Army in 2000, sixteen years ago I have worked in IT; I love my job just for the diversity of it. The other day two youngsters in my office were talking about something they had watched on TV the night before, and I heard the Falklands War mentioned, I was just about to say “I was there”, when one of them said “omg how boring that was well before I was born”, of course I felt really old and did not speak. I now live alone in Bedworth, my hobbies are reading and visiting my daughter time permitting, I have also been blessed with two grandsons from my eldest daughter, and my middle daughter is about to have her first baby. I have always been happy with life, not a lot gets me down, and I always look for new experiences, and I never forget “you are never too old to learn”.




Blog Tour: The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe

The Silence Between Breaths by Cath Staincliffe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Eight people, one deadly secret.

Passengers boarding the 10:35 train from Manchester, Piccadilly to London, Euston are bound for work, assignations, reunions, holidays or new starts, with no idea that their journey is about to be brutally curtailed.

Holly has just landed her dream job, which should make life a lot easier than it has been, and Jeff is heading for his first ever work interview after months of unemployment. They end up sitting next to each other. On board customer service assistant Naz dreams of better things as he collects rubbish from the passengers. And among the others travelling are Nick with his young family who are driving him crazy; pensioner Meg and her partner setting off on a walking holiday and facing an uncertain future; Caroline, run ragged by the competing demands of her stroppy teenage children and her demented mother; and Rhona, unhappy at work and desperate to get home to her small daughter. And in the middle of the carriage sits Saheel, carrying a deadly rucksack . . .

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I think one of the reasons for this book hitting me so hard when I read it is because of the current situation in the world with all the suicide bombers in the recent years. The thought that you are no longer safe that any time or anywhere a suicide bomber may be is a reality nowadays. And, this book really shows both sides to it. First, we have the ordinary citizens on the train with different reasons for being there, be it traveling for a job interview or a wedding, then among them is a man who for some reason has decided to become a martyr for a cause, and by taking as many lives with him as possible. And, at home, a little sister is checking her big brother's computer and finding something she never thought that she would find...

This book is heartbreaking and so chilling to read. The characters on the train are introduced in the beginning of the book one by one. And, by letting the reader getting to know them, making the characters come alive and then turning the world upside down has Cath Staincliffe written a powerful book that from the beginning until the end is so gripping that I could hardly put it down. For me were the chapters with Saheel's little sister a very powerful inclusion in this book. Her side of the story, her point-of-view is just as tragic as the ones on the train. Saheel's action has such a big impact not only on the people on the train but also his own family. They will never be the same again.

It's terrifying how one person's actions can affect so many lives, and this book shows just how in an instant, all your hopes and dreams can be destroyed, but it also shows how people can after facing a terrible situation gathered together and not let evil triumph.

I want to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The Last Dance by Kierney Scott Promo Blitz

The Last Dance by Kierney Scott Promo Blitz



Blurb: American born Prima Ballerina Georgina Fairly made a mistake that could destroy her. Saving her career means selling her soul to the Russian government. Now a spy who uses her body to lure men and secure their secrets, Georgina is tasked with seducing Roman Zakharov, the most dangerous Oligarch in Russia.

Roman Zakharov a man with a past as ugly as his disfigured face. An assassination attempt left him horribly burned, but the scars go deeper than the frightening exterior. Jaded and cruel, Roman lets Georgina into his world but only to punish her and teach the pretty dancer that no one crosses Roman Zakharov. He will show her what it means to be used. And he will teach her to beg.

Universal Buy Link: https://t.co/iMV8ajGQ12




About the author: American born Kierney Scott, lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with her kilt wearing husband and their daughter. When she is not writing, she is reading or drinking tea or spending far too much time on social media. She is fluent in Spanish, and by that she means she knows all the words to La Bamba. She loves hearing from readers. You can contact her on Facebook or Twitter.

Links:


Chills by Mary SanGiovanni

Chills by Mary SanGiovanni
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“True Detective” meets H.P. Lovecraft in this chilling novel of murder, mystery, and slow-mounting dread from acclaimed author Mary SanGiovanni . . .

It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won't be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst.

The gods they worship are unthinkable. The powers they summon are unstoppable. And the things they will do to the good people of Colby are utterly, horribly unspeakable…


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It was the hope of reading something really chilling was what drove me to read this book. And, at first, I thought that it would turn out to be pleasant reading. I liked the feeling of a doomed city that is taken over by snow monsters and a little group of people trying to save the town, and the world. However, somewhere along the way the story just lost the appeal for me. I think one of the main reason was that the characters were not very memorable. In the end, I think Morris was the only one that was interesting reading about, the rest just lacked anything substantial. I had high hope for Kathy making the book interesting with her dark background, but in the end, she turned out to be spending most of the time trying to find a spell to reverse the opening of the door to the other world. And, thus the one character in the book that really appealed to me when I started to read the book faded into the background. Yes, I did find Kathy and Teagan in the beginning an interesting "couple", But, then I lost interesting in them both when they started to get cozy in the middle of danger.  

Also, I think the story should have been built up a bit better, with a slower start, then there would have been more anticipations for larger and frightening things to happened. Now it was just killing from the beginning to the end, and because of that, there was no thrill in reading the book because you hardly got to know any characters, more than the cops. The rest was just people waiting to be killed. No point in getting attached because most people they were killed as soon as they were introduced. Sure, one or two survived, but they were in the story for a page or two never to be heard of again.

And, another problem was that it was not frightening to read, not even a bit chilling. Hell, I was mostly bored towards the end of the book and just wanted the book to end so that I could read something else.

So, the book started promising, then the story started to get more and more uninteresting and the ending was quite dull. Not, a book for me.

I want to thank Kensington Books for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!  

Monday, 26 September 2016

Blog Tour: Katharina Luther: Nun, Rebel, Wife by Anne Boileau

Katharina Luther: Nun, Rebel, Wife by Anne Boileau
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



On 31st October 1517, Martin Luther pinned ninety-five theses on the Castle Church door, Wittenberg, criticizing the Church of Rome; they were printed and published by Lucas Cranach and caused a storm. Nine young nuns, intoxicated by Luther's subversive writings, became restless and longed to leave their convent. On Good Friday 1523 a haulier smuggled them out hidden in empty herring barrels. Five of them settled in Wittenberg, the very eye of the storm, and one of them - Katharina von Bora - scandalised the world by marrying the revolutionary former monk. Following a near miscarriage, she is confined to her bed to await the birth of their first child; during this time, she sets down her own story. Against a backdrop of 16th Century Europe this vivid account of Katharina von Bora's early life brings to the spotlight this spirited and courageous woman. 


Review:


This is the third fictional account I have read about Katharina von Bora and, despite knowing her life quite well do I never get tired of reading about her life. I find it interesting to see how different authors will retell her life and I think that having Katharina write down her life as she is bedridden awaiting her first child was a wonderful idea. Yes, this means that the story will not retell her whole life, but you do get a wonderfully vivid account of her growing up, her life as a nun, and the time after she left the convent, and her new life with Martin.

I especially liked how Katharina von Bora life as a nun was described, and how the impact Luther's pamphlets had on her and the other nuns. For many women was becoming a nun nothing they have decided for themselves instead it was often their parents' decision and having to sacrifice the chance for a family of one's own was not an easy thing. Nevertheless, it was not an easy thing to leave the convent, to not be a nun anymore. Another thing I liked about the story was that the author did not portray Katharina and Martin as a couple in love. He did really propose to her fellow nun Ava first and he never claimed to be in love with her. However, I loved the scene when he told her that he is not in love with her, but he thinks that love will grow between them. That I think was such a perfect way of describing their life together. They grew to love each other.

I liked this book very much, I would have loved to read more about their lives together. However, it was quite logical to end the book with the birth of their first child. I also liked that his was really Katharina von Bora story, Martin Luther is as well a very interesting character, but I love reading books from women's perspective of a relationship, especially famous relationship.

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Purchase the book from Amazon UK

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About the author: Anne Boileau (also known as Polly Clarke) lives in Essex. She studied German in Munich and worked as interpreter and translator before turning to language-teaching in England. She also holds a degree in Conservation and Land Management from Anglia University and has written and given talks on various aspects of conservation. Now she shares, writes and enjoys poetry; her work has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines; she has also won some awards, including First Prize with Grey Hen Press, 2016. She translates modern German poetry into English with Camden Mews Translators and was Chair of Suffolk Poetry Society from 2011 to 2014.


Välkommen hem (Welcome Home) by Ninni Schulman (SWE/ENG)

Välkommen hem by Ninni Schulman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Välkommen hem, den femte delen i Ninni Schulmans populära serie om journalisten Magdalena Hansson och poliserna Petra Wilander och Christer Berglund, är en drabbande kriminalroman om revansch och försoning.

En sensommardag får Magdalena Hansson en inbjudan till en återträff med sin högstadieklass. Tanken är att de ska sova i klassföreståndarens sommarstuga, precis som de gjorde en helg i nian. De ska äta och umgås och gå på spökvandring i skogen. Precis som då.

Magdalena känner bara olust. De senaste veckorna har hon blivit utsatt för grovt näthat och hon skulle mycket hellre tillbringa helgen tillsammans med Petter, som äntligen är hemma från Norge där han numera jobbar. Men eftersom en av klasskamraterna idag är musiker och dokusåpakändis åker hon dit för att göra ett reportage till Värmlandsbladet.


På festen faller alla tillbaka i gamla mönster. Allting spårar ur och Magdalena blir kvar mitt i kaoset. Sent på kvällen hittas en av klasskamraterna brutalt mördad. Dagen efter hittas ännu en person i klassen död på Hotell Monica. Tillvägagångssätten verkar helt olika, men det måste väl ändå vara samma gärningsman? Vilket är i så fall motivet? Och finns det fler i klassen som är i fara?

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Välkommen hem är den femte delen i serien om journalisten Magdalena Hansson och poliserna Petra Wilander och Christer Berglund men det är den första boken jag har läst utav dem. Trots det så tyckte jag inte att det var några som helt problem med att komma in i handlingen och när händelser nämndes som hade hänt i tidigare böcker blev jag sugen på att läsa de tidigare böcker från början.

Jag tyckte speciellt mycket om att man både fick följa poliserna Petra Wilander och Christer Berglund samt journalisten Magdalena Hansson i arbetet samt få en inblick i deras privatliv. Oftas är det bara poliser man följer alternativt en journalist (och är en journalist med i en kriminalare så brukar den även vara en ren plåga för poliserna i vanliga fall) så det var kul att få läsa en bok där båda yrkesgrupperna hade central roll.

Jag tyckte att själva fallet, en högstadieklass har återträff som slutar med mord var spännande att läsa om, speciellt eftersom Magdalena är med på festen samt Christers syster Tina vilket involverade dem på ett personligt sätt i mordet. Vem är mördaren och varför? Det blir sedan klart för Petra Wilander och Christer Berglund att mördaren inte är klar när fler från återträffen mördas. 

Jag gillade boken skarpt, jag tyckte att boken var mycket välskriven och jag hade svårt att sluta läsa den och utan tvekan är detta en av de bästa svenska kriminalare jag har läst i år
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Tack till Forum bokförlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Welcome home is the fifth installment in Ninni Schulman's popular series about journalist Magdalena Hansson and policemen Petra Wilander and Christer Berglund, is a hard-hitting crime novel about revenge and reconciliation.

Magdalena Hansson receives an invitation to a reunion of her high school class on a late summer day. The idea is for them to sleep in their old teacher's summer home, just as they did one weekend in ninth grade. They will eat and hang out and go on the ghost walk in the woods. Just like back then. At the party, they all fall back into old patterns. Everything gets out of control and late in the evening one of Magdalena's classmates is found brutally murdered. Are more in the class in danger?


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Welcome Home is the fifth book in the series about journalist Magdalena Hansson och the policemen Petra Wilander and Christer Berglund. This is the first book I have read in this series, but despite that did I not find it was especially hard to get into the story and when events mentioned from the previous books did I mostly get keen to start to read this series from the beginning some day.

I especially liked that you got to follow both policemen and a journalist in work and in their private lives. Often it's either one or the other and when a journalist is in the story with policemen is the journalist often quite a nasty person. So, it was quite enjoyable to get a crime novel with both professional groups in a central role.

I found the case interesting with a class reunion that ended with murder. And, it was especially interesting since Magdalena was attending the reunion and Christer's sister Tina was also there, so both Magdalena and Christer gets involved in this case on a personal level. So, who is the murderer and why did he kill someone at the reunion? It soon dawns on Petra Wilander and Christer Berglund that this is just the start when more people from the reunion is murdered.

I liked this book very much, it's well-written and I had a hard time putting it down and this is, without a doubt, one of the best Swedish crime novels I have read this year.

Thanks to Forum bokförlag for the review copy!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cover Reveal: If ever I fall by S.D. Robertson


Publishing in eBook and Paperback: 9th February 2017

Is holding on harder than letting go?
Dan’s life has fallen apart at the seams. He’s lost his house, his job, and now he’s going to lose his family too. All he’s ever wanted is to keep them together, but is everything beyond repair?

Maria is drowning in grief. She spends her days writing letters that will never be answered. Nights are spent trying to hold terrible memories at bay, to escape the pain that threatens to engulf her.

Jack wakes up confused and alone. He doesn’t know who he is, how he got there, or why he finds himself on a deserted clifftop, but will piecing together the past leave him a broken man?

In the face of real tragedy, can these three people find a way to reconcile their past with a new future? And is love enough to carry them through?