Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Blog Tour: Fifteen Words Blurb by Monika Jephcott Thomas

Fifteen Words Blurb

Two young doctors form a profound and loving bond in Nazi Germany; a bond that will stretch them to the very limits of human endurance. Catholic Max - whose religious and moral beliefs are in conflict, has been conscripted to join the war effort as a medic, despite his hatred of Hitler’s regime. His beloved Erika, a privileged young woman, is herself a product of the Hitler Youth. In spite of their stark differences, Max and Erika defy convention and marry.

But when Max is stationed at the fortress city of Breslau, their worst nightmares are realised; his hospital is bombed, he is captured by the Soviet Army and taken to a POW camp in Siberia. Max experiences untold horrors, his one comfort the letters he is allowed to send home: messages that can only contain Fifteen Words. Back in Germany, Erika is struggling to survive and protect their young daughter, finding comfort in the arms of a local carpenter. Worlds apart and with only sparse words for comfort, will they ever find their way back to one another, and will Germany ever find peace?

Fifteen Words is a vivid and intimate portrayal of human love and perseverance, one which illuminates the German experience of the war, which has often been overshadowed by history.

Purchase on Amazon UK

‘Book Spotlight’ on Fifteen Words 

It’s 1945 and Max Portner, a newly qualified and newly married doctor, has been assigned to Hitler’s fortress city of Breslau where he strives to be the best physician he can with the limited resources of a country on its knees. His field hospital is the basement of a ruined monastery and, in the convent nearby, the Nazis have vindictively housed prostitutes serving the troops, much to the nuns’ dismay. But among the working girls Max is surprised to find a confidante and a friend, the warm-hearted Jenny. However, the convent is soon bombed along with his hospital and Max is captured by the advancing Russians.

He and the surviving troops are herded into cattle trains and imprisoned in a Siberian labour camp within the eternal gloom of the Arctic Circle. Max and his two fellow doctors Edgar, a homosexual, jazz-loving church organist and Horst, Max’s ebullient childhood friend, do their best to continue to care for the sick with no resources in a place where the climate is a cruel as their captors. This cruelty is embodied in the Russian Sergeant Volkov, who is jealous of the favour he believes Max’s expertise buys him with the inmates and the officers, and consequently he engineers tortuous situations for the doctor.

But far from feeling favoured, Max’s faith takes a battering as he witnesses a catalogue of horrors, and is kept from returning to his young wife Erika for four years.

Erika, also a newly qualified doctor, is pregnant with Max’s first child. As Max is hauled across Siberia, she hurtles across a decimated Germany as she tries to get to the safety of Max’s home town with the help of her father-in-law Karl. Unlike Erika’s parents, Karl’s duty to his family far outweighs his physical limitations, which leads to some comic and some terrifying moments on the chaotic rail network of the broken country he leads Erika across.

Karl, like his son and Edgar and Horst, is not a supporter of the Nazi regime, but for Erika things are not so clear. As a child, longing to escape her parents’ home, she was willingly recruited into the Hitler Youth and stuffed with propaganda. Her scientific anti-religious reasoning chimes with her own medical studies, leaving her floundering when she falls in love with the devoutly Catholic Max at Freiburg University.

But the increasing horrors of war soon begin to shake Erika’s faith in the Fürher, just as Max’s experiences in Siberia are enticing him to reject his faith in God altogether.

Both the physical dangers of war and unlikely new companions threaten to keep the two lovers apart forever: Jenny and Max become closer, whilst in Germany a lonely Erika is tempted by a local carpenter Rodrick.

So the question is will Max make it back to Erika and the daughter he’s never met? And, if so, will they both be the same people they knew and loved before they were separated?

For me this is a book about faith in all its forms. It is also about PTSD in a time when PTSD was not remotely recognized; as well as a study in how an ordinary life can be so surprisingly hard to stomach after such an extreme existence as many people endured during the Second World War.

I think it is safe to say all writers want their novels to be a critical and commercial success, so writing a novel in English (since I came to live in the UK in 1966) about two young Germans struggling to survive the war in Nazi Germany may seem to be commercial suicide when there has been a tendency in recent years to decry any depiction of the German perspective of the war as revisionist in the pejorative sense.

But my novel doesn’t seek to suggest a moral equivalence between the Axis and the Allies, or to minimize Nazi crimes, or deny the Holocaust. On the contrary. I felt compelled to write this novel now in an age when Europe is once again seeing how war can displace and tear apart the lives of families from so many different countries at the same time, just as it did in World War Two.

German concentration camps are synonymous with the war, but some people will be surprised to find out that the Soviets ran equally barbaric camps for their millions of German prisoners. In my novel Fifteen Words I hope the reader will find the many other truths told there eye-opening.

But I think my aim with this novel was to write a human story first and foremost. A story about two people in love, struggling to reconcile their different opinions, being swayed by all the powerful forces vying for their faith, be that friends, parents, religion or political parties; the kind of things anyone around the word can relate to. And the more stories we read and tell which show how similar we are, beneath all the wonderful and incredible cultural differences we possess, surely the better the world will be.

About Monika Jephcott Thomas

 

Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist. Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts. A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002.



The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe

The Night Bell by Inger Ash Wolfe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The new novel in this acclaimed series is brilliantly paced, addictively suspenseful—the author's best yet. 

Hazel Micallef (played by Susan Sarandon in the recent film of the series' debut, The Calling) has become one of crime writing's most memorable detectives. The Night Bell moves between the past and the present in Port Dundas, Ontario, as two mysteries converge. A discovery of the bones of murdered children is made on land that was once a county foster home. Now it's being developed as a brand new subdivision whose first residents are already railing against broken promises and corruption. But when three of these residents are murdered after the discovery of the children's bones, frustration turns to terror.
While trying to stem the panic and solve two crimes at once, Hazel Micallef finds her memory stirred back to the fall of 1959, when the disappearance of a girl from town was blamed on her adopted brother. Although he is long dead, she begins to see the present case as a chance to clear her brother's name, something that drives Hazel beyond her own considerable limits and right into the sights of an angry killer.

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THE NIGHT BELL is book four in the Hazel Micallef Mystery series, but I didn't have any problems reading the book, despite not having read the previous three books. However, since I have seen the movie do I have some previous knowledge of the characters in the book. But, I don't think you have to read the previous books to enjoy this one.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

The Escape by CL Taylor Cover Reveal


PUBLISHES: 23RD March 2017

The Sunday Times bestseller and No.1 Kindle bestseller returns…

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.

The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

Spotlight: Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World

Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World

by P. F Citizen One

  Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by P. F Citizen One
Unexpected is a collection of true life short stories inspired by the author's travels around the world and the people he has met. The book features seven thought-provoking, humorous and engaging stories that end with the most unlikely twist.
In one of the stories, The Wedding Contract, the author tells the story of a man who was forced to sign a pre-nuptial agreement simply because his wife was wealthy and he was considered poor. As time went on, fortunes changed and the man became far wealthier than his wife. His wife and friends dreaded the worst from him because of his new financial position but what he did next was shocking.

Book Details

Genre: Anthology, Short Stories
Published by: BookBaby
Publication Date: October 7th 2016

Number of Pages: 23
ISBN: 1483577856 (ISBN13: 9781483577852)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads 

Excerpt:

Julie’s parents were concerned. Julie was a single child from a pretty wealthy family with many properties and stores. So, her parents, her family, and her friends convinced her to protect herself by writing a prenup agreement. Should they get divorced, Julie would keep all her family’s belongings. All her entourage pressured her so much that Julie finally arrived at the idea that it was necessary to sign a prenup.
Jean-Pierre didn’t accept it at first, but in the end, he had no choice: Was it worth losing the woman he considered to be his soulmate?
Jean-Pierre and Julie finally got married and had two gorgeous daughters. But Jean-Pierre was still a little bit sad. After all, if they insisted on a contract, it was because her family didn’t completely trust him.
Jean-Pierre had been writing for a few years, and he had written many books. He was also working as a French teacher to get some additional revenue. However, he decided to stop writing to become a full-time teacher and contribute more to the family expenses.
He threw himself into his work as a teacher. One day, as Julie was watching television, she saw that the press was looking for the anonymous author of three books. From their description of the writing, she immediately recognized her husband’s style. After he was identified as the author of these books, he was given royalties for the book sales.
Jean-Pierre soon became very rich and famous, so much so that Julie (and, indeed, the press) was now waiting for the day when Jean-Pierre would cheat on her. She expected that he would eventually divorce her to marry another girl—probably an actress or a model or simply a younger woman. He was now famous and powerful, far richer than his wife and her entire family.
Rumors of cheating grew more and more persistent. The rumors said that Jean-Pierre would ask for a divorce and that he was getting ready for another wedding.
During a press conference, Jean-Pierre was asked about the rumors. He answered that he would act like a man and not hide anything anymore. In front of everyone, he told his wife:
“Honey, since the very first time I met you, I loved you more than I loved any other woman. Then, we got married and had two wonderful girls. I love them so much Over the years, I always thought about…that prenuptial agreement I had to sign because I was poor. Today, I am very rich… I am sorry, honey, but I am announcing...

Author Bio:

P.F  Citizen  OneP.F. Citizen One is a writer. He works as a petroleum engineer, which requires a lot of traveling to different countries, and he uses the situations and varied people he has come across as an inspiration for his great love of writing. His interest in travel has meant that he has picked up some useful languages along the way, and he is now fluent in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and German, allowing him to go just about anywhere and still be understood. Most of the time. He lists his great fear as ''being stranded alone on a desert island'' and, as a result, he avoids traveling by boat whenever he can.
P.F. Citizen One’s new book, Unexpected, was published on October 7th and is a book of short stories, inspired by his travels throughout the world and the people he has met.
Catch Up With P.F. Citizen One on his Website & on Facebook!

Book Blast Participants:

Stop by these great hosts to learn more & enter to win!

Book Tour Coming Soon!

In February Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World will be featured in a virtual book tour. Visit the sites below for great features, reviews, and giveaways!

 

Don't Miss Out On Your Chance to WIN!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for P. F Citizen One. There will be 2 US winners of one (1) eBook copy of Unexpected: Short Stories from Around the World by P. F Citizen One. This is subject to change without notification. The giveaway begins on November 20th and runs through December 3rd, 2016.
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Monday, 28 November 2016

Blog Tour with a Spotlight: Who Killed The Mince Spy? by Matthew Redford

Tenacious carrot, detective inspector Willie Wortell is back to reveal the deviously delicious mind behind the crime of the festive season in this hugely entertaining, and utterly unconventional, short story.

When Mitchell the Mince Spy is horrifically murdered by being over baked in a fan oven, it falls to the Food Related Crime team to investigate this heinous act. Why was Mitchell killed? Who is the mysterious man with a long white beard and why does he carry a syringe? Why is it that the death of a mince spy smells so good?

Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, the best food sapiens police officer, once again leads his team into a series of crazy escapades. Supported by his able homo sapiens sergeant Dorothy Knox and his less able fruit officers Oranges and Lemons, they encounter Snow White and the seven dwarf cabbages as well as having a run in with the food sapiens secret service, MI GasMark5.

With a thigh slap here, and a thigh slap there, the team know Christmas is coming as the upper classes are acting strangely - why else would there be lords a leaping, ladies dancing and maids a milking?

And if that wasn't enough, the Government Minister for the Department of Fisheries, Agriculture and Rural Trade (DAFaRT) has only gone and given the turkeys a vote on whether they are for or against Christmas.

Let the madness begin!


This short story by Matthew Redford follows his deliciously irreverent debut Addicted To Death (Clink Street Publishing, 2015).

Purchase from Amazon UK

An author spotlight

Now I hope that this is not going to be taken the wrong way, but when I received the email saying that I needed to write an article which was an in-depth look at me, my heart sunk a little. And that I guess that is probably a good place to start. I’m happy in the background; happy to observe, not to hide, but to participate from a distance. I am not ‘Mr Centre-stage’ and I am quite pleased to let others be that person.

So, now that I have got that off my chest let me introduce myself. My name is Matthew Redford; I am 36 years old; I was born and raised in Bermondsey, South London, and grew up with my family on a council estate. I’ve been fortunate enough to have an extremely supportive family who have encouraged me to grow and become the person I am today. And they never turned their back on me when I sat them down and broke the news to them that I was training to become an accountant.

I don’t take life too seriously, after all, what’s the point really? That doesn’t mean I am not serious about things I care about, but why sweat the small stuff? I think its all about perspective. We all can lose perspective from time to time, but you just have to look on the front page on the BBC news website to get everything back realigned. I mean, look at what’s happening in Syria and places like that and then ask yourself whether the fact that your train is running ten minutes late is actually that important.

One thing which I think is important is that we accept we are full of contradictions. I know I am, so embrace your contradictions, don’t hide from them. For me, those contradictions add colour, depth and personality to who we all are. I’ve just said above that I don’t like to sweat the small stuff, so now let me contradict that by saying I absolutely hate it when playing a game of online chess I make a silly blunder and lose. I will chew over that for ages after the event. I am quite hard on myself in that respect. If someone was to lose their temper with me over something that went wrong, trust me, they couldn’t say anything which would be as painful as what I would inflict on myself chewing the situation over, and over, and over once more.

So that probably means I have a competitive side to me. I keep that under wraps, but sure enough it is there. I am not competitive in the sense that I want to drive faster than the next person, or to run quicker than the person next to me at the gym, no, this is an inner competitiveness with myself to be better than I was the time before.

I mentioned at the beginning that I like to keep myself in the background, to keep myself to myself. I think this is representative of my star sign, Scorpio. Hold back; stay hidden in your shell; come out if it is safe. But always, always, keep your tail up and sting ready, just in case. And this is really important. It takes an age to build trust. But it can be lost in a second.

Finally, I enjoy humour. Make me laugh and I’m yours. I hope this comes through in my writing. My books are surreal, after all who else would write about food sapiens (you know, walking, talking food items) and the leading police detective of his generation, Detective Inspector Willie Wortel, family man and carrot.

So, that’s me. I hope that I haven’t scared you off completely and that you would like to hear some more about the Food Related Crime team. My debut book Addicted to Death was published in 2015 and my second book, Who Killed the Mince Spy? is available in time for Christmas.

More information can also be found on www.matthewredford.com


About Matthew Redford 

Born in 1980, Matthew Redford grew up with his parents and elder brother on a council

estate in Bermondsey, south-east London. He now lives in Longfield, Kent, takes masochistic pleasure in watching his favourite football team snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is a keen chess player and is planning future food related crime novels. To counterbalance the quirkiness of his crime fiction Redford is an accountant. His unconventional debut crime thriller, Addicted to Death: A Food Related Crime

Investigation was published by Clink Street Publishing last summer.


Website - http://www.matthewredford.com/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/matthew_redford

Sunday, 27 November 2016

The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian (SWE/ENG)

The Mangle Street Murders by M.R.C. Kasasian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Året är 1882 och den unga, föräldralösa March Middleton har precis rest till London för att bosätta sig hos sin förmyndare Sidney Grice efter sin fars död. Sidney är landets mest berömde privatdetektiv och March har knappt hunnit anlända förrän han får ett nytt fall på halsen.

En ung kvinna har blivit brutalt mördad och allt pekar på att hennes make är den skyldige. Offrets mor är dock övertygad om motsatsen och March erbjuder sig att göra ett försök att rentvå honom.
Spåren tar dem på en resa från East Ends mörkaste gränder till de ståtliga viktorianska villorna i Bloomsbury. Varje ny ledtråd gör Sidney övertygad om klientens skuld, men snart blir det även uppenbart att fallet riskerar att krossa hans goda rykte som privatdetektiv …

Morden på Mangle Street utspelar sig i det viktorianska England. Boken vänder sig till läsare som gillar originella deckare med levande miljöbeskrivningar och en stor portion humor. Det här är den första boken i en serie om det omaka deckarparet Sidney Grice och March Middleton.


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Morden på Mangle Street är en småtrevlig historisk deckare som utan tvekan kommer att uppskattas av läsare av t.ex. Flavia de Luce series av Alan Bradley. Sidney Grice känns som en parodi eller en mycket mer humorist version av Sherlock Holmes, och att en viss person dök upp i slutet av boken var småroande och passande. Personligen hade jag lite svårt för Sidney Grice, men March Middleton, hans skyddsling och "assistent" samt kommissarie Pound gjorde boken helt klart gjorde boken läsvärd.

Själva berättelsen är OK, jag måste erkänna att jag inte föll lika mycket för boken som jag hade hoppas på. Troligtvis för att jag egentligen föredrar mer allvar än komedi när det gäller deckare samt att skämten, all tedrickandet osv var kul i början, men efter ett tag en aning påfrestande. Men ändå måste jag säga att boken var läsvärd trots mina problem med humorn och Sidney Grice. Den känns som en perfekt bok när man vill ha något mindre allvarligt och tungt. Helt enkelt en trevlig "Cozy Mystery" bok. Fallet med den mördade kvinnan var intressant, även om jag inte blev överraskad av hur det hela låg till när sanningen kom fram på slutet. 

Morden på Mangle Street uppfyllde inte alla mina förväntningar men den var trevlig att läsa och jag ser fram emot att läsa fortsättningen.

Jag vill tacka Lind & Co. för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

After her father dies, March Middleton has to move to London to live with her guardian, Sidney Grice, the country's most famous private detective.

It is 1882 and London is at its murkiest yet most vibrant, wealthiest yet most poverty-stricken. No sooner does March arrive than a case presents itself: a young woman has been brutally murdered, and her husband is the only suspect. The victim's mother is convinced of her son-in-law's innocence, and March is so touched by her pleas she offers to cover Sidney's fee herself.

The investigations lead the pair to the darkest alleys of the East End: every twist leads Sidney Grice to think his client is guilty; but March is convinced that he is innocent. Around them London reeks with the stench of poverty and gossip, the case threatens to boil over into civil unrest and Sidney Grice finds his reputation is not the only thing in mortal danger.

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The Mangle Street Murders is a nice cozy historical mystery that I think will appeal to readers of Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradley. Sidney Grice feels like a parody or a lot more humorous version of Sherlock Holmes, and that a certain person appeared at the end of the book was both fun and appropriate. I did have a hard time warming up for Sidney Grice, but March Middleton, his protege and "assistant" and Inspector Pound made the book worth reading.

The story is OK, I must admit that I did not enjoy the book as much as I had been hoping I would. Probably because I prefer more serious crime novels than cozy murder mysteries and the jokes, all the tea drinking, etc. was fun at first, but after a while a little too much. But still, I must say that the book was worth reading, despite my problems with the humor and Sidney Grice. It feels like a perfect book when you want something less serious and heavy. The case of the murdered woman was interesting, although I was not surprised by the ending when everything was released.

The Mangle Street Murders did not satisfy all of my expectations, but it was nice to read, and I look forward to reading more books in the series!

I want to thank Lind & Co. för the review copy!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan (SWE/ENG)

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Under en söndagsutflykt i Leigh Woods strax utanför Bristol låter Rachel Jenner sin åttaårige son springa i förväg. Ben är utom synhåll bara en kort stund. Sen är han borta och Rachel befinner sig mitt i varje förälders värsta mardröm.

I media slår försvinnandet ner som en bomb. Några ödesdigra handlingar får både pressen och allmänheten att vända sig mot Rachel. Och samtidigt visar det sig att Rachels syster bär på fruktansvärda hemligheter.

Kriminalkommissarie James Clemo och hans kollega Emma Zhang arbetar intensivt med det prestigefyllda fallet. Men när ledtrådar slutar i återvändsgränder och lögner kommer fram i ljuset blir läget allt mer desperat för alla inblandade.


Rachel är pressad till bristningsgränsen av sorgen och den förkrossande oron över sin son, av trycket från polisutredningen och den hårt dömande allmänheten. Vem kan hon egentligen lita på? Och vem kan lita på henne?


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Bränd himmel är en nagelbitande thriller som tar upp ett ämne som nog de flesta av oss finner hjärtskärande hemskt, försvinnandet av ett barn. Rachael låter sin lilla son Ben springa i förväg i skogen till gungorna men när hon kommer fram är han inte där. Under resten av boken så får vi följa hur polisen gör allt för att finna pojken, hur rachel och hennes ex-man försöker hålla hoppet uppe att Ben fortfarande lever. Pressen och allmänheten som först är sympatiska vänder sig mot Rachel och hon får utstå trakasserier av människor som anser att hon ligger bakom allting eller som tycker att hon är en dålig mamma som inte höll koll på Ben. Inte nog med det, mörka familjehemligheter kommer fram...

Boken är fängslande och hemsk att läsa. Försvunna barn är ett jobbigt ämne och ju fler dagar som går desto mindre är chansen att ben hittas vid liv. Boken tar också oväntade vändningarna längs handlingens gång. Det enda med boken jag fann lite störande var Clemos terapimöten som dyker upp under bokens gång där han pratar om utredningen (som då är avslutad) pga. av att han mår dåligt och har panikångest och han har påtvingats terapi för att kunna fortsätta i tjänst. Annars var boken mycket bra!

Tack till Pocketförlaget för recensionsexemplaret!


ENGLISH REVIEW

Rachel Jenner turned her back for a moment. Now her eight-year-old son Ben is missing.

But what really happened that fateful afternoon?

Caught between her personal tragedy and a public who have turned against her, there is nobody left who Rachel can trust. But can the nation trust Rachel?

The clock is ticking to find Ben alive.

WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON?

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Burnt Paper Sky is a nail-biting thriller that takes up a subject that probably most of us find heartbreakingly awful, the disappearance of a child. Rachael lets her little son Ben run ahead in the forest to the swings, but when she arrives, is he not there. We get follow during the rest of the book the police who are doing everything to find the boy, and how Rachel and her ex-husband are trying to keep the hope alive that Ben is still alive and well. The press and the public, which is first sympathetic turns on Rachel and she must endure the harassment of people who believe that she is behind everything, or thinks she is a bad mother who did not keep track of Ben. Not only that, dark family secrets will be revealed...

The book is fascinating and horrible to read. Missing children is a tough subject, and the more days that go by, the less the chance that the boy is found alive. The book also takes unexpected turns as the plot progresses. The only thing with the book I found a bit annoying was Clemo's therapy sessions that appear in the book where he talks about the investigation (which is then completed) due to that he feels bad and have panic attacks and he has been forced to attend the therapy to be able to continue to work. Other than that, the book was very good!

Thanks to Pocketförlaget for the review copy!

Death Notes by Sarah Rayne

Death Notes by Sarah Rayne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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."


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Did I take for granted that this would be a paranormal mystery because it's a book by Sarah Rayne? Yes, I did! However, it turned out to be quite a good book, despite the absence of paranormal activity. 

Death Notes is the first book in a new series that stars Phineas Fox a professional researcher who in this book is researching the 19th-century violinist Roman Volf who was hanged for participating in the murder of Tsar Alexander II in 1881. However, it seems that he may have been innocent and Phin's investigations take him to Galway where a reclusive Maxim Volf lives Could this Maxim Volf have any connection to Roman Volf? And what really happened two years ago when a car crashed and killed Beatrice Drury's husband and daughter? 

I did spend a lot of time reading this book waiting for something paranormal to happen, some ghostly appearance. But, I was mistaken in believing that. Despite that did I come to like the book very much thanks to the interesting and tragic story. There were some predictable moments in the book, but they never really bothered me since I was enjoying the story. 

There are several POV's in this book. This series may be about Phineas Fox, but other characters, young Jessica Cullen, Beatrice Drury who lost her family, the mysterious Maxim Volf and of course Mortimer Quince who is the reason for Phin to travel to Galway. They all share the limelight in this book. At first was it a bit puzzling to figure out what all the different storylines had in common, but as the story progressed did it all start to make sense, and there came a point when the different POV's started to blend together. It's quite a sad story, several of the characters in the book has been through hell, but I found myself loving the ending. It was such a hopeful ending, a perfect ending!

I look forward to reading the next book in the Phineas Fox series when it's released! 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Friday, 25 November 2016

Blog Tour: Stella's Christmas Wish by Kate Blackadder

Stella's Christmas Wish: A feel good read for Christmas by Kate Blackadder
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

One phone call can change everything...

Six days before Christmas, Stella could never have anticipated the impact on her life when the phone rings in her London office.


The phone call is from a friend of the family informing Stella that her grandmother has been hurt in a fall at her home in the Scottish borders and is in hospital. Torn between her responsibilities at work and the need to be with her grandmother she decides she must return to Scotland immediately.

However, on her return to where she grew up, it becomes apparent that her grandmother’s health is not her only concern. Relationships which have lain dormant for years are re-kindled and fresh opportunities present themselves – if she will only dare to take them...

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You know what, I may not be a big reader of romance novels, but I do love a feel-good book (and feel-good movies are the best). This book feels like you should be snowed in somewhere, preferably in the country, with a nice armchair, warm blanket, hot chocolate and a sleeping cat. And, just the book. I did have the blanket and the cat.

Anyway, it's not a thick book, but the book managed to tell is tale during its pages nice and well. Besides the story in the present do we also get flashbacks to when Stella's grandmother was a child, during the war and these flashbacks, are very important for the story and personally I found them to be a good addition. There is a little mystery included in the story, which surprised and delighted me. I do love dual storylines so it was quite nice to discover that. Also, another thing I was worried that there would be a triangle drama, but that part of the story was handled great!

Stella's Christmas Wish is about family and friends. It's a sweet story. I did think that Stella should have told Ross the truth about why she was leaving for London. But, looking back to her childhood is it perhaps not a surprise that she rather kept it to herself.

I enjoyed reading this book and if you are looking for a Christmas story then I recommend this one!


Wishlist November: Crime

This month I thought I would pick 5 titles that are the first in series that I want to read. To be honest, should I perhaps focus on the series that I already reading, but what the heck, these ones looks good! 
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The Ritual Bath (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus #1) by Faye Kellerman
Detective Peter Decker of the LAPD is stunned when he gets the report.Someone has shattered the sanctuary of a remote yeshiva community in the California hills with an unimaginable crime. One of the women was brutally raped as she returned from the mikvah, the bathhouse where the cleansing ritual is performed.

The crime was called in by Rina Lazarus, and Decker is relieved to discover that she is a calm and intelligent witness. She is also the only one in the sheltered community willing to speak of this unspeakable violation. As Rina tries to steer Decker through the maze of religious laws, the two grow closer. But before they get to the bottom of the horrendous crime, revelations come to light that are so shocking that they threaten to come between the hard-nosed cop and the deeply religious woman with whom he has become irrevocably linked.

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A Share in Death (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #1) by Deborah Crombie 

A week's holiday in a luxurious Yorkshire time-share is just what Scotland Yard's Superintendent Duncan Kincaid needs. But the discovery of a body floating in the whirlpool bath ends Kincaid's vacation before it's begun. One of his new acquaintances at Followdale House is dead; another is a killer. Despite a distinct lack of cooperation from the local constabulary, Kincaid's keen sense of duty won't allow him to ignore the heinous crime, impelling him to send for his enthusiastic young assistant, Sergeant Gemma James. But the stakes are raised dramatically when a second murder occurs, and Kincaid and James find themselves in a determined hunt for a fiendish felon who enjoys homicide a bit too much

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Ashes to Ashes (Kovac and Liska #1) by Tami Hoag

He performs his profane ceremony in a wooded Minneapolis park, anointing his victims, then setting the bodies ablaze. He has already claimed three lives, and he won’t stop there. Only this time there is a witness. But she isn’t talking.

Enter Kate Conlan, former FBI agent turned victim/witness advocate. Not even she can tell if the reluctant witness is a potential victim or something more troubling still. Her superiors are interested only because the latest victim may be the daughter of Peter Bondurant, an enigmatic billionaire. When Peter pulls strings, Special Agent John Quinn gets assigned to the case. But the FBI’s ace profiler of serial killers is the last person Kate wants to work with, not with their troubled history. Now she faces the most difficult role of her career—and her life. For she’s the only woman who has what it takes to stop the killer . . . and the one woman he wants next

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The Ranger (Quinn Colson #1) by Ace Atkins

Northeast Mississippi, hill country, rugged and notorious for outlaws since the Civil War, where killings are as commonplace as in the Old West. To Quinn Colson, it's home -- but not the home he left when he went to Afghanistan.

Now an Army Ranger, he returns to a place overrun by corruption, and finds his uncle, the county sheriff, dead -- a suicide, he's told, but others whisper murder. In the days that follow, it will be up to Colson to discover the truth, not only about his uncle, but about his family, his friends, his town, and not least about himself. And once the truth is discovered, there is no turning back.


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In Bitter Chill (Inspector Francis Sadler #1) by Sarah Ward

In 1978, a small town in Derbyshire, England is traumatised by the kidnapping of two young schoolgirls. One girl, Rachel, is later found unharmed but unable to remember anything except that her abductor was a woman.

Over thirty years later the mother of the still missing Sophie commits suicide. Superintendent Llewellyn, who was a young constable on the 1978 case, asks DI Francis Sadler and DC Connie Childs to look again at the kidnapping to see if modern police methods can discover something that the original team missed. However, Sadler is convinced that a more recent event triggered Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide.

Rachel, with the help of her formidable mother and grandmother, recovered from the kidnapping and has become a family genealogist. She remembers nothing of the abduction and is concerned that, after Yvonne Jenkins’s suicide, the national media will be pursuing her for a story once more. Days later, the discovery of one of her former teachers’ strangled body suggested a chain of events is being unleashed.

Rachel and the police must unpick the clues to discover what really happened all those years ago. But in doing so, they discover that the darkest secrets can be the ones closest to you.


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Colleen @ A Literary Vacation  - Coming Soon


Holly @ 2 Kids and Tired - Coming Soon

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Cover Crush: If the Creek Don't Rise by Leah Weiss

Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 

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I think this cover is very striking with the young girl sitting in what looks like a wrecked car. I love to read southern fiction and the cover together with the description of the book makes me keen to rad the book. I want to know more about the girl on the cover, why does she look so sad? And who is she?

Description:

A strikingly sincere portrait of a town and its buried secrets from an outstanding new voice in southern fiction

In a North Carolina mountain town filled with moonshine and rotten husbands, Sadie Blue is only the latest girl to face a dead-end future at the mercy of a dangerous drunk. She's been married to Roy Tupkin for fifteen days, and she knows now that she should have listened to the folks who said he was trouble. But when a stranger sweeps in and knocks the world off-kilter for everyone in town, Sadie begins to think there might be more to life than being Roy's wife.

As stark and magnificent as Appalachia itself, If the Creek Don't Rise is a bold and beautifully layered debut about a dusty, desperate town finding the inner strength it needs to outrun its demons. The folks of Baines Creek will take you deep into the mountains with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.


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Check out this week's cover crush over at 

Flashlight Commentary



The Maidens Court

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin (SWE/ENG)

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Sharon Guskin har skrivit en fängslande, tankeväckande roman som undersöker det vi ångrar i slutet av våra liv, det vi hoppas på i början och allt däremellan. Den berättar om det starka oupplösliga bandet mellan barn och förälder, mellan mor och son. 

Noah vill hem. Förståeligt för en fyraåring. Men som Noahs ensamstående mamma Janie vet, är ingenting med Noah lätt att förstå. Han har mardrömmar, han är livrädd för vatten, han kan saker om dinosaurier som ingen berättat och känner igen filmer han aldrig har sett. Ibland skjuter han bort henne och skriker att han vill till sin riktiga mamma. Det blir värre och värre och ingen verkar kunna hjälpa henne. Till slut vänder hon sig till Jerome Anderson, professor i psykologi som kastat bort en lysande karriär i sitt sökande efter vad som finns bortom det vi kan se. Med Noah tror han att han har hittat det. Men han kämpar mot en begynnande afasi som hotar att radera hans minne.

Tillsammans ger sig Noah, Janie och Jerome ut på en resa som för var och en av dem betyder allt. Det leder dem till en mamma vars son varit försvunnen i åtta år. Svaren de får kanske är svar de inte är redo för. Framförallt kan det betyda att Janie förlorar den hon älskar mest av allt – Noah. Hur långt kan hon gå av kärlek till sitt barn?


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Reinkarnation eller själavandring som det också kallas är en intressant tankegång som jag fängslas av. Jag visste direkt efter att ha läst handlingsbeskrivningen av denna bok att jag bara måste läsa den. Hur hanterar man ett barn som kräver att hans riktiga mamma ska komma, ett barn som vet saker som ingen har berättat för honom. Är han sjuk, eller har han levt ett tidigare liv? För Janie är detta en verkligen situation och först när hon kontaktar Jerome Anderson verkar hon äntligen för svar på vad som felas Noah. För Jerome är detta han sista chans att bevisa att reinkarnation är något som existerar. Han lider av afasi och vet att tiden rinner ut för honom.

En dag kommer jag tillbaka är verkligen tankeväckande. Jag fann berättelsen fängslande, speciellt tanken på att livet kanske fortsätter för oss genom återfödelse. Boken hade även fristående kapitel där fall av reinkarnation togs upp. Mycket intressant läsning. Ibland kan sådan här avbrott kännas störande i böcker, men i denna bok berikade det bara berättelsen.

Läkarna vet inte vad som är fel med Noah. Janie råkar då se en dokumentar om reinkarnation och tar kontakt med Jerome som är expert på området. Handlingen tog även en helt annan vändning än jag hade väntat mig när Janie och Jerome började undersöka Noahs drömmar närmare och försökte hitta personen han var innan han var Noah. Det enda som mellan varven kändes lite segt var Jeromes tankegångar, i och med hans afasi så har han många tankar om sitt liv, sitt förflutna och döden, och då och då skummade jag snabbt igenom hans tankespår för att komma vidare i handlingen.

Men i sin helhet så är boken ändå riktigt fängslande och minnesvärd och jag rekommenderar den varmt!

Tack till Forum bokförlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW


Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah's single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now - and life as she knows it stops.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought - I'm not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn't care - something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for that something else. And with Noah, he thinks he's found it.

Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for seven years - and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

Sharon Guskin has written a captivating, thought-provoking novel that explores what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between. In equal parts a mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time marks the debut of a major new talent.

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Reincarnation or transmigration of the soul as it is also called is an interesting thought that I'm quite captivated by. I knew immediately after reading the description of the book that I just had to read it. How do you handle a child who demands that his real mother must come, a child who knows things that no one has told him. Is he ill, or he has lived a previous life? For Janie, is this a real situation and only when she contacts Jerome Anderson does it seem that she finally will get the answer to what ails Noah. For Jerome, this is his last chance to prove that reincarnation is something that exists. He suffers from aphasia and knows that time is running out for him.

The Forgetting Time is a thought provoking book. I found the story fascinating, especially the idea that life might continue through rebirth. The book also had independent chapters where different cases of reincarnation were brought up. Very interesting reading. Sometimes can interruption like this feel annoying in books, but in this case did I find it enriched the book's story.

The doctors can't find what it's wrong with Noah, then Janie sees a documentary about reincarnation and contacts Jerome who is an expert. and they began to investigate Noah's dreams closer and tries to find the person he was before he was Noah. But, here the story did take a completely different turn than I had expected The only thing that now and then felt a bit felt less interesting to read was Jerome's reflections. Jerome's illness makes him very reflective and he has many thoughts about life, the past, and death, and now and then I found I was quickly skimming through his thoughts in order to get forward in the book.

Despite my now and then problems with Jerome's inner thoughts is this book quite compelling and memorable and I heartily recommend it!

Thanks to Forum bokförlag for the review copy!

The Dollmaker by Mary Burton

The Dollmaker by Mary Burton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.

Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…

She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?


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THE DOLLMAKER is the second book in The Forgotten Files series, but you can read this one without having read the previous book. I know because I haven't read THE SHARK. However, I do want to read it now after finishing THE DOLLMAKER. I do have some issues with this book, mainly it's very predictable, the whole case, the identity of the first woman, how the Dollmaker chooses them and the identity of the Dollmaker.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake.

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THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY is a book that I've been curious to read for a while now and I was quite happy when I got the chance to read it. I mean how can you not, if you are a bookworm, find the description of the book tantalizing? A Library that collects fiction from different realities. The book is intriguing right from the start as we get to know Irene who is on a mission to retrieve or rather steal a book. Finding rare books is what Irene and others that work for the Library do, they blend in and steal books and especially rare books that only exist in one reality or differ in another reality.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell

The Lost Child of Lychford by Paul Cornell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s December in the English village of Lychford – the first Christmas since an evil conglomerate tried to force open the borders between our world and… another.

Which means it’s Lizzie’s first Christmas as Reverend of St. Martin’s. Which means more stress, more expectation, more scrutiny by the congregation. Which means… well, business as usual, really.

Until the apparition of a small boy finds its way to Lizzie in the church. Is he a ghost? A vision? Something else? Whatever the truth, our trio of witches (they don’t approve of “coven”) are about to face their toughest battle, yet!

The Lost Child of Lychford is the sequel to Paul Cornell's Witches of Lychford.

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I'm impressed, and I definitely must find myself a copy of Witches of Lychford to read. I found the cover and blurb tempting and, despite having not read Witches of Lychford (how I have missed it is the question) did I find myself quickly engrossed in this book. It's a short story, but it manages to contain a lot of action, humor and some paranormal things like an unhappy little boy apparition. Personally, I just love the love portion part of the story. It gave the story a hilarious aspect.

This may be the first Paul Cornell book I have read, but it will certainly not be the last. I've been interested in reading his Shadow Police series, but now I seriously want to get the first book! The Lost Child of Lychford was a fantastic book, and I hope to read more books about Lizzie and the rest of the gals!

I want to thank Macmillan-Tor/Forge for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney Book Blast

For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney

For Duty and Honor

by Leo J. Maloney

November 22, 2016 Book Blast

Synopsis:

In this action-packed novella, Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a heart-pounding tale as fast, cold, and sleek as a 9mm bullet...

For Duty And Honor

The unthinkable has happened to operative Dan Morgan. Captured by the Russians. Imprisoned in the Gulag. Tortured by his cruelest, most sadistic enemy. But Morgan knows that every prisoner has a past—and every rival can be used. With the most unlikely of allies, Morgan hatches a plan. To save what’s important, he must risk everything. And that’s when the stakes go sky-high. Dan Morgan’s got to keep fighting. For duty. And honor. And even certain death...

Book Details:

Genre: Thriller, Political Thriller
Published by: Kensington Books/Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
Number of Pages: 96
ISBN: 1616509813 (ISBN13: 9781616509811)
Series: Dan Morgan #5.5

Purchase For Duty and Honor at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, & add it to your Goodreads List!

Read an excerpt:

The prisoner’s body was a brick of exhaustion and pain.
Steel cuffs chafed against his raw wrists and ankles, the rough uniform scraping the burns and cuts that lined his arms and legs and pocked his torso. Even under the blackness of his hood, the prisoner smelled stale sweat mingled with his own breath: iron from the blood, acetone from the starvation. He could barely hold himself up against the jolting ride. All that was keeping him upright were the two thick guards at his sides boxing him in. At the outset, hours ago at the landing strip, the guards were in high spirits, joking and jesting in Russian, which the prisoner could not follow. Whenever he couldn’t hold himself up anymore and leaned into one of them or into the front seat, they would box the prisoner’s head and laugh, forcing him to sit upright again.
But as they drew nearer to their destination, and the car’s heating lost ground against the cold, the guards grew quiet, like there was something grim about the place even to them.
The prisoner swung forward as the jeep came to an abrupt stop, tires on gravel. The doors opened and the spaces on his sides cleared as the men got out, leaving him exposed to the frigid Siberian air. Against this cold, the canvas uniform felt like nothing at all.
The guards unlocked the cuffs and yanked the prisoner out. Too tired to offer any resistance, he walked along, bare feet on the freezing stony ground. Someone pulled off his cowl. He was struck by a hurricane of light that made him so dizzy that he would have vomited, if there were anything in his stomach. It took a moment for the image to stop swimming and resolve itself into the barren landscape of rock and creeping brush lit by a sun low in the sky.
The Siberian tundra.
They prodded him forward. He trudged toward the Brutalist conglomeration of buildings surrounded by tall mesh fences and barbed wire. Prison camp. Gulag. The prisoner’s trembling knee collapsed and he fell on the stony ground. A guard gave him a kick with a heavy, polished leather boot and pulled him to his feet.
They reached the top and entered the vakhta, the guardhouse. He passed through the first gate and was searched, rough hands prodding and poking at him. They then opened the second, leading him through, outside, into the yard. His gaze kept down, he saw guards’ boots, and massive furry Caucasian shepherds, each taller than a full-grown man’s waist. He didn’t look up to see the bare concrete guard towers that overlooked the terrain for miles around or at the sharpshooters that occupied them.
He was pulled inside the nearest boxy building, walls painted with chipping murals of old Soviet propaganda, apple-cheeked youngsters over fields of grain and brave soldiers of the Red Army standing against the octopus of international capitalism. On the second floor, they knocked on a wooden door.
“Postupat’.”
The guards opened the door, revealing an office with a vintage aristocratic desk. They pushed him onto the bare hardwood.
A man stood up with a creak of his chair. The prisoner watched as he approached, seeing from his vantage point only the wingtip oxfords and the hem of his pinstriped gabardine pants, walking around his desk, footsteps echoing in the concrete office.
“Amerikanskiy?”
“Da,” a guard answered.
The man crouched, studying the prisoner’s face. “You are one of General Suvorov’s, are you not?” His voice was deep and filled with gravel and a heavy Russian accent.
The prisoner didn’t respond—not that he needed to.
“You are tough, if he did not break you.” He stood, brushing off unseen dust from his suit jacket. “And if he had broken you, you would be dead already. I am Nevsky, the warden. Welcome to my prison.”

Leo J. MaloneyAuthor Bio:

Leo J. Maloney is a proud supporter of Mission K9 Rescue, www.missionk9rescue.org, which is dedicated to the service of retiring and retired military dogs and contract dogs and other dogs who serve. Mission K9 rescues, reunites, re-homes, rehabilitates, and repairs these hero dogs. Leo donates a portion of the proceeds from his writing to this organization.

To find out more about Mission K9 Rescue, or to make your own donation, please visit www.missionk9rescue.org or go to www.k9gala.org

Catch Up with Mr. Maloney on his Author's Website, on Author's Twitter, and on Author's Facebook!

** (Photo Credit Carolle Photography)

 

Tour Participants:

Stop by the participants of this tour for more great features!

 

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Leo J. Maloney. There will be 1 winners of one (1) eBook copy of For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney. This giveaway is limited to US & Canadian residents only. The giveaway begins on November 19th and runs through November 26th, 2016.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Night and Day by Iris Johansen

Night and Day by Iris Johansen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes the explosive third book in the latest Eve Duncan trilogy.

Iris Johansen's third book in her latest explosive trilogy starring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan takes readers on a high-energy adventure with Eve fighting to overcome the odds. Protecting Cara Delaney from the enemies who want her dead leads Eve to be their target. It will take everything she has to rescue Cara, and doing so will put that which is dearest to her at risk. Night and Day is the pulse-pounding race to a conclusion that will have readers on the edge of their seats.


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SHADOW PLAY, the first book in the trilogy and book 19 in the series was the first book I read by Iris Johansen with Eve Duncan and I was instantly hooked and since then have I read several Eve Duncan books. However, I've been looking forward to reading NIGHT AND DAY, the last in the trilogy after I read HIDE AWAY, the book before this one that ended with a cliffhanger...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The French War Bride by Robin Wells

The French War Bride by Robin Wells
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

World War II Paris serves as the backdrop of a story of compassion, betrayal, and forgiveness from the national bestselling author of The Wedding Tree . . .

“I never knew what he saw in you.”

At her retirement home in Wedding Tree, Louisiana, ninety-one-year-old Amelie O’Connor is in the habit of leaving her door open for friends. One day she receives an unexpected visitor—Kat Morgan, the ex-fiancée of her late husband, Jack.

Kat and Jack were high school sweethearts who planned to marry when Jack returned from France after World War II. But in a cruel twist of fate, their plans were irrevocably derailed when a desperate French girl overheard an American GI’s confession in a Parisian church. . .

Now, Kat wants to know the truth behind a story that’s haunted her whole life. Finding out how Amelie stole Jack’s heart will—she thinks—finally bring her peace. As Amelie recalls the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, The French War Bride reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives. . .for better or for worse.


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I had no idea this was part of a series when I started to read this book, but as far as I know is the books not linked to each other than that they take place in the town of Wedding Tree. All I knew was that I wanted to read this book the first time I saw the cover and then read the description of the book. I have a deep love for books with parallel timelines and I found the description of the book fascinating with two women, old now, finally confronting the past...

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper

The Royal Nanny by Karen Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Based on a seldom-told true story, this novel is perfect for everyone who is fascinated by Britain’s royal family—a behind the scenes look into the nurseries of little princes and the foibles of big princes.

April, 1897: A young nanny arrives at Sandringham, ancestral estate of the Duke and Duchess of York. She is excited, exhausted—and about to meet royalty. . . .

So begins the unforgettable story of Charlotte Bill, who would care for a generation of royals as their parents never could. Neither Charlotte—LaLa, as her charges dub her—nor anyone else can predict that eldest sons David and Bertie will each one day be king. LaLa knows only that these children, and the four who swiftly follow, need her steadfast loyalty and unconditional affection.

But the greatest impact on Charlotte’s life is made by a mere bud on the family tree: a misunderstood soul who will one day be known as the Lost Prince. Young Prince John needs all of Lala’s love—the kind of love his parents won’t…or can’t…show him.

From Britain’s old wealth to the glittering excesses of Tsarist Russia; from country cottages to royal yachts, and from nursery to ballroom, Charlotte Bill witnesses history. The Royal Nanny is a seamless blend of fact and fiction—an intensely intimate, yet epic tale spanning decades, continents, and divides that only love can cross.


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I read The Royal Nanny after I started to watch Netflix tv-series The Crown. I also, years ago, watch The Lost Prince about Prince John and now I want to rewatch it after reading this book. This book was really fantastic and I'm glad that I took the time to read it. 

One thing that really struck me about this book was what a fantastic life Charlotte Bill had. Sure, not an easy life, with sacrifices and lot of sadness. But, she lived through a time of changes, world wars, kings, and queens, and she saw it all. 

Reading this book made me wonder how much was true and how much was added to the story. Charlotte's "love story" with Chad, a very platonic relationship I might add (since working for the royal family as nanny prohibited marriage) felt like the thing that was added to make the story a bit more tragic & romantic. At first, I did not really find myself enjoying that angle, but as the story progressed did I find myself more and more enjoying their story. Who knows, Charlotte was young once, and giving up the idea of a marriage life to take care of other people's children can't have been an easy decision.    

I think Karen Harper has written a superb book about a woman who gave up her life to take care of six children, two that would later one become Kings. One thing towards the end that really made me think was Charlotte's thought about David, when he was old and not King anymore, how he never managed to get over how his previous nanny had treated him, and after that, how he spent his whole life being attracted to the same dominated kind of women until he married one. Interesting...

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!

Cover Crush: A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain

Erin over at Flashlight Commentary is the one that came up with the cover crush idea and I loved it so much that I decided that every Thursday would I post a cover that I really love. 

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There was no question about what cover would be chosen this week as a Cover Crush. I love the first book in this series, A Murder of Time. And the sequels cover is pretty similar, but I don't mind. It is just as stunning! 💗


Description:

When Kendra Donovan’s plan to return to the 21st century fails, leaving her stranded in 1815, the Duke of Aldridge believes he knows the reason—she must save his nephew, who has been accused of brutally murdering his ex-mistress.

Former FBI agent Kendra Donovan’s attempts to return to the twenty-first century have failed, leaving her stuck at Aldridge Castle in 1815. And her problems have just begun: in London, the Duke of Aldridge’s nephew Alec—Kendra’s confidante and lover—has come under suspicion for murdering his former mistress, Lady Dover, who was found viciously stabbed with a stiletto, her face carved up in a bizarre and brutal way.

Lady Dover had plenty of secrets, and her past wasn’t quite what she’d made it out to be. Nor is it entirely in the past—which becomes frighteningly clear when a crime lord emerges from London’s seamy underbelly to threaten Alec. Joining forces with Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must navigate the treacherous nineteenth century while she picks through the strands of Lady Dover’s life.

As the noose tightens around Alec’s neck, Kendra will do anything to save him, including following every twist and turn through London’s glittering ballrooms, where deception is the norm—and any attempt to uncover the truth will get someone killed.


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Flashlight Commentary



The Maidens Court

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (SWE/ENG)

Karriär i ondska by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Ett paket med en kvinnas avhuggna ben levereras till Robin Ellacott. Hennes chef, privatdetektiven Cormoran Strike, inser att det finns fyra personer från hans förflutna som kan vara involverade – alla fullt kapabla till obeskrivlig brutalitet.

Cormoran Strike blir alltmer övertygad om att polisen i sin utredning fokuserar på fel person, och tar tillsammans med sin assistent Robin saken i egna händer. Jakten leder dem till de tre andra misstänkta männens mörka och skrämmande världar, men medan alltfler fasansfulla handlingar begås, håller tiden på att rinna ut.


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Många såg nog fram emot den nya Harry Potter boken som släpptes i år. Personligen så har jag längtar mer efter att läsa denna bok. Nog för att jag gillar Harry Potter, men jag tycker att Rowling har lyckats gå vidare i livet med att skriva andra typer av böcker. Och då jag är en fan av kriminalromaner så är det kanske inte så överraskande att jag är väldigt nöjd med att hon har valt att skriva böcker om en privatdetektiv.

Nu kan jag inte säga att de är perfekta, jag har haft lite problem med handlingen i båda böckerna innan denna, även om fallen i båda bok 2 och denna har varit bättre än fallet i den första boken. Dock lider denna bok av samma problem som de förgående böcker. Handlingen kan bli lite långrandig. Om jag nu inte älskade karaktärerna så mycket så hade böckerna helt klart varit jobbigare att läsa. Men i och med att både Cormoran och Robin är fantastiskt karaktärer och jag är intresserad av deras personliga liv och deras problem så kan jag stå ut med att ibland känns det som om det tar en evighet för fallet att röra sig framåt. Jag tycker om att fallet var personligt i denna bok, att förövaren var ute efter Cormoran och använde sig av Robin att komma åt honom. Vem är det som är ute efter honom och varför? 

Slutet är både perfekt och oerhört frustrerande. Jag kan inget annat än säga än att jag nu verkligen vill ha fortsättningen på boken. Nu!

Tack till Wahlströms och Widstrand förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible - and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them...

A fiendishly clever mystery with unexpected twists around every corner, Career of Evil is also a gripping story of a man and a woman at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives. You will not be able to put this book down.

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I bet many looked forward to the new Harry Potter book that was released this year. Personally, I craved this book more. Not that I like Harry Potter, but I think that Rowling has managed to move forward in life with writing other types of books. And then I'm a fan of crime novels, so it is perhaps not so surprising that I'm very pleased that she has chosen to write books about a private detective.

Now I have to say that the book is not perfect. I've had some problems with the plot of both books before this, even if the cases in book two and this book are better than the case in the first book. However, this book suffers from the same problems as the previous books. The plot can be a bit tedious. If I did not love the characters as much as I do would the books clearly have been harder to read. But, both Cormoran and Robin are fantastic characters and I'm interested in their personal live and problems so thanks to that can I take that the case seems to take forever sometimes to get anywhere. I like that that the case was personal in this book that the perpetrator was after Cormoran and used the Robin to get to him. Who is after him and why?

The ending is both perfect and extremely frustrating. I can't say anything else that I really want the continuation of the book. Now!

Thanks to Wahlströms och Widstrand förlag for the review copy!