Sunday 25 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Importance of Being Aisling - Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen

Meet Aisling.

She's a country girl learning to love the city sophistication of unlimited Pinot Greej and brunch, though smashed avocado still mystifies her. She can plan anything, from Secret Santa for her ungrateful colleagues to a hen party for not one but two brides.

But even Aisling is thrown off course when her job and relationship suddenly go up in smoke.

Life in the city was supposed to be glamorous and grown-up, but all at once she's heading home to live with her mother. (Not without a detour to Vegas first - she's unemployed and single, not dead.)

But between making new friends and rivals, and finding her eye caught by a very handsome but very unavailable new man, going home is full of surprises. Could small town life actually hold the answers Aisling is missing?

What did I think?

I am delighted to see that Aisling (pronounced ASH-ling) is back in this fabulous sequel to Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling.  Some things could only happen to Aisling so prepare to gasp and giggle as this latest instalment of her life plays out.

I really felt that Aisling grew up in this book.  She has to cope with life after Daddy, in addition to being made redundant and breaking up with her long time boyfriend, John.  Only Aisling could do it in such style as she goes on an absolutely hilarious girly trip to Las Vegas before figuring out what she wants to do with her life.  Moving back in with Mammy and endless cups of tea gives her the chance to take stock of her life.  As she emerges from her chrysalis like a beautiful butterfly, she spreads her wings and takes on the world...with a little help from her friends.

This book is written with such spirit by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen that it virtually speaks to you.  I could hear Aisling's voice as clear as a bell and feel like I know her as well as I know my friends.  In fact, I care so much about her that I feel as if she is one of my friends.  This colourful character of Aisling is destined to appear on our TV screens and it would be an absolute travesty if it is not picked up by a producer.  Think Sex and the City goes to Ireland and it's comedy gold.

Both hilarious and heart-warming, your life will feel so much brighter after another instalment of Aisling in The Importance of Being Aisling.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Follow the tour:

Saturday 24 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: Her Last Move - John Marrs

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the blog tour for John Marrs' latest book, Her Last Move.  This is one of those books that is sure to be so popular that we bloggers were rapidly hitting reply and typing 'count me in' the minute the invitation hit our inboxes, then punching the air when a date came through in the reply.  Even if I hadn't made the blog tour list, I would have been queuing up to read Her Last Move and when you read my review below, I'm sure you will agree that it is well worth reading.

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

What did I think?

I was drawn straight into this book by the wonderfully inventive murder that plays out over the first few pages.  I couldn't read fast enough to find out what the victim had done to warrant the attention of this ruthless killer.  It quickly becomes clear that there is nothing random about the choice of victims and the police are in a race against time to catch the murderer before all the names are crossed off the hit list.

I loved the dynamic of the two main characters: Becca and Joe.  I was just feeling the sexual tension sizzling when John Marrs very cleverly pulled the rug out from under my feet, leaving my mouth agape.  Both of them have very sad and intriguing personal stories to contend with which interfere with their jobs to varying degrees and at opposite end of the work/life spectrum: Joe can't stop looking for his missing sister even when it gets in the way of his job but Becca always seems to allow her job to take priority over her daughter.  

Becca's life reminded me of the saying that nobody ever lies on their deathbed and says that they wish they'd spent more time at work.  Getting the work/life balance right is a difficult one and it was really interesting to see the effect that Becca's actions had on her daughter and her mum.  I felt as if Joe is the opposite in that he would give up his job in a heartbeat if it meant that he could find his missing sister, Linzi.  Of course, there are always two sides to every story and Joe is going to have to give his job up at some point in the near future so it perhaps makes his obsession easier to understand.

The way the whole story plays out is just superb; I found it really difficult to put down and couldn't wait until I had time to pick back up where I left off.  I loved the idea of the super-recognisers in the police force and had no idea of their existence.  It sounds like something out of X-Men but it is very real indeed and they sound like an amazing secret weapon for the police to have.  Well, perhaps not so secret now thanks to John Marrs!

Filled with shocks and surprises, Her Last Move is a multi-dimensional story that thrills from start to finish and all the way in between.  A highly recommended read and an easy 5 stars.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Purchase Links:

About the author:

John Marrs is the author of #1 bestsellers The One (soon to be made into a film with Urban Myth Films), The Good Samaritan (shortlisted for the Dead Good Reader Awards 2018), When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.

Her Last Move is dedicated to John’s late father, Charlie, who was a police officer for 25 years.

Follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1 Facebook: @johnmarrsauthor Instagram:  website:

Social Media:
Amazon Author Page:

Follow the tour:

Thursday 22 November 2018

BLOG BLITZ: From the Dark - K.A. Richardson

Antonia Baillie is a true Romani gypsy – she has the gift of foresight and uses this to help people.

When the ghosts of the past come calling, can she put her own fears aside and work with the police to help find who is torturing and killing young men?

Detective Sergeant Mark McKay has never had a need to solve a case using a psychic. He doesn’t believe in it – pure and simple.

But when Antonia tells him the name of a young man and gives him details specific to the case, he can’t help but change his view when a body matching what she says, is found in the vaults deep under the city.

Mark and Antonia race against a spree of monstrous crimes, long-standing grudges and the perils of the darkness in the vaults under Edinburgh to try and find a sadistic killer before time runs out.

Can they stop him before he strikes again?

Will they discover who is responsible?

And can they do it without becoming victims themselves?

What did I think?

K.A. Richardson has taken a mini-break from her native North East and has set her latest novel in Edinburgh.  Although I have been, I don't know Edinburgh well whereas I know the North East as it is my home.  What I found amazing is that I felt as if I knew Edinburgh as well as the North East, as K.A. Richardson has painted the dark grisly streets of Edinburgh in an equally vivid light.

I loved the psychic element in From the Dark; Antonia is such a colourful character having been shunned by the Romani community and rekindling her schoolgirl crush on Mark McKay.  There's a killer in the vaults beneath Edinburgh's ancient streets and Antonia seems to be able to tap into the psychic energy, giving her details that she couldn't possibly know.  When she goes to the police, she is worried that they won't believe her but she sees a familiar face there in old schoolfriend, Mark McKay.  Mark is surprised that he believes Antonia's visions so quickly, but they are so accurate that he has little choice.  Working together, they race against the clock to catch the killer before he turns his sights on one of them.

Wow!  What a thriller!  I felt as if I had partaken in a tour of the Edinburgh vaults myself due to the seriously impressive scene setting that K.A. Richardson does with her wonderfully expressive words.  It is pretty dark and grisly in parts; there were some scenes of torture that made me recoil in horror and my stomach is lurching just thinking about it.  I'm not squeamish at all but it really is written so vividly that I could almost see, hear and feel everything that was happening.

Dark by name and dark by nature, From the Dark is a spooky, spine-tingling thriller with a supernatural edge that had me riveted from start to finish.  If you haven't discovered K.A. Richardson yet, pick up From the Dark today and you'll be more ways than one!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

KA Richardson is a crime writer based in North East England. She has worked for the police for around 8 years, both as a CSI (crime scene investigator) and also in alternate roles involving dealing with people in heightened states of emotion. She spends a lot of time in coffee shops, both writing and people watching. She began focussing on writing as a career in 2011 when she competed her MA Creative Writing, and focuses primarily on the crime/police procedural genre. 

K.A. Richardson’s Social Media Links:
Twitter: @kerryann77

Follow the blitz:

Monday 19 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: Too Far - Jason Starr

One night. One date. What have you got to lose?

Jack Harper isn’t a bad man, but he’s stuck in a loveless marriage with a mediocre job just trying to keep sober. The only good thing in his life is his son. When an old college friend introduces him to a new extramarital dating website, he tentatively reaches out to find a distraction from his misery. But when he goes to meet up with his steamy online date, he quickly realises it was a dire choice.

Soon, Jack finds himself desperately trying to prove his innocence for crimes he did not commit, and the life he once had – unhappy as it was – is nothing but a dream. Now, he’s living his worst nightmare. . .

Gripping and packed with shocking twists and turns, this intense psychological thriller plays with a basic anxiety we all harbour: What if one reckless decision could ruin your life forever?

What did I think?

I wasn't sure that I was going to like Too Far from the opening pages, as the world of real estate is not something that interests me, but I'm so pleased that it didn't put me off as there's an absolutely gripping story to discover within the pages of this thrilling book.  I absolutely raced through it and, although I had some suspicions, I loved the way the story played out.  The writing is so visual that I wouldn't be surprised to see this story on our tv screens at some point.

I actually really liked the character of Jack; I felt as if he was just going through the motions of life.  Doing a job in real estate that he hates and with a marriage that is barely holding together, I don't know how he managed to stay sober.  When he meets up with an old friend whose life seems illicit and exciting, Jack doesn't see the harm in logging on to an website for married people to hook up.  He doesn't plan to register but when he gets a message from a woman who seems to be made for him, he can't resist.  The moment he inputs his credit card details, wheels are set in motion that could see him lose everything he ever held dear and there's nothing as dangerous as a man who has nothing left to lose.

I'm sure many of us have dabbled in online dating (for singles though, not married people), there really is nothing as exciting as making that connection with someone who feels just right for you.  Then you hear the horror stories of catfishing, where people pretend to be somebody they're not, and you wonder if the person you are connecting with really is too good to be true.  It's a real minefield, as Jack found out in this book, and I really loved the way the author showed the two sides of the online dating coin.

Too Far is a very current thriller in this day and age of online dating; it's a gripping, fast-paced page-turner that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Jason Starr is the international bestselling author of many crime novels and thrillers and his books have been published in over a dozen languages. Many of his books are in development for film and TV. Starr's bestselling crime novels include Cold Caller, Nothing Personal, Fake ID, Hard Feelings, Tough Luck and Twisted City, followed by Lights Out, The Follower, Panic Attack, Savage Lane and his latest novel, Too Far. He is one of only a handful of authors who have won the Anthony Award for mystery fiction multiple times. He was born in Brooklyn and lives in Manhattan.


Follow the tour:

Monday 12 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick - Hattie Holden-Edmonds

I am delighted to be taking part in the Red Door Books blog tour for The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick by Hattie Holden Edmonds by releasing my review for the tour.

Oskar is the ultimate teenage loner. He's been living on the streets since he was a kid, he hates being touched and his eyes are always itchy from chronic conjunctivitis. To perk himself up, he paints the misery of mankind. After all, there's so much of that about...

One day during a not-so-routine eye test, Oskar's bleak perspective is blown apart when he tries on a pair of very unusual lenses. The world he glimpses is filled with love, light and wonder and he is furious. But those lenses have opened his inner eye and much against his darker nature, Oskar's perception and behaviour begin to change in ways that he could never, ever have imagined.

What did I think?

This was one of those books that I just had to read as soon as I heard the quirky title.  As much as it is fun and quirky, it is also very dark in places which made me experience a wealth of emotions for Oskar.

Brought up by a single mother, Oskar had a difficult childhood and, being very determined to find his father, this inevitably led to him running away from home.  I really felt for Oskar as he scoured the streets looking for a man he'd never met to fill the hole in his heart.  Oskar is so quirky that he must be on the autistic spectrum and the way that he interacts with people would support this.  He doesn't recognise other people's feelings and uses their misery for his art.  A misery that he causes and manipulates, which made me very uncomfortable at times and I felt my feelings for Oskar change very quickly from empathy to intense dislike.

Although part of the story is Oskar having his eyes opened to beauty that's all around us if you choose to look for it, I just couldn't get past the dislike for Oskar that had grown within me.  I guess I could see that he had changed for the better but it was too late for the people that he had trampled on in his past.  I loved the idea of special lenses that made you see all the love and light in the world but I would also like an eraser to unsee all the darkness that was burned into my retinas.  It isn't a criticism of the book at all; to evoke such intense feelings in a reader means that that book has substance and quality, I just think that readers should be prepared for the dark side of Oskar that came as a bit of a shock to me.

The Spectacular Vision of Oskar Dunkelblick is both quirky and enlightening but also intensely dark and disturbing.  Let Oskar open your eyes to the many colours of the human psyche.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Follow the tour:

Saturday 10 November 2018

BLOG TOUR: The Real McCoy - Claire Cock-Starkey

I absolutely adore Claire Cock-Starkey's books so I am thrilled to take part in the blog tour for her latest book: The Real McCoy.  I have a fascinating extract to share with you as I close the tour and you can also read my review of this brilliant book.

The extract I have for you is 'guillotine' and I'm sure you will find the story as riveting as I did, especially as not everyone is delighted to have their name attached to something for eternity.

The English language is rich with eponyms - words that are named after an individual - some better known than others. 

This book features 150 of the most interesting and enlightening specimens, delving into the origins of the words and describing the fascinating people after whom they were named. Eponyms are derived from numerous sources. Some are named in honour of a style icon, inventor or explorer, such as pompadour, Kalashnikov and Cadillac. Others have their roots in Greek or Roman mythology, such as panic and tantalise. A number of eponyms, however, are far from celebratory and were created to indicate a rather less positive association - into this category can be filed boycott, Molotov cocktail and sadist. 

Encompassing eponyms from medicine, botany, invention, science, fashion, food and literature, this book uncovers the intriguing tales of discovery, mythology, innovation and infamy behind the eponyms we use every day. 

The perfect addition to any wordsmith's bookshelf.

What did I think?

Oh my word, The Real McCoy is such a fascinating book.  If you haven't come across Claire Cock-Starkey's riveting little books then you really are missing out on a treat.  I recommend every single one of them; see my reviews of The Book Lovers' Miscellany and A Library Miscellany.

Have you ever wondered about the origin of some of the everyday words in our English language?  Claire Cock-Starkey has gathered together some of the most amazing stories behind some well-known words in this collection of 150 eponyms.  An eponym is a person after whom something is named and some obviously have a person's name in their title, such as Earl Grey tea, Bunsen burner and Alzheimer's disease but my eyes opened in surprise and delight as I read about the less obvious eponyms; such everyday words as cereal, hygiene and biro.

This is a book to read from cover to cover then to revisit by dipping in and out of in order to regale your family and friends with your favourite linguistic stories.  There are some familiar stories like wellington, cardigan and sandwich but, even though I already knew their origin, they are told in such a perfectly concise way as to jog your memory and help to digest the facts.  It's a book that you won't be able to help yourself sharing with others as I found myself reading some of the stories out loud to my family.  That really is the mark of a good book when you feel the need to share it with others.

I absolutely adored The Real McCoy; it's fascinating, informative and the perfect gift for that awkward to buy for book lover in your life.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

Follow the tour: