Thursday 30 March 2023

Do No Harm - Jack Jordan

It's paperback publication day for Jack Jordan's unmissable thriller Do No Harm!  

To celebrate, I am resharing my review and if you haven't read Do No Harm yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.

My son has been taken. And I’ve been given a choice…
Kill a patient on the operating table. Or never see him again.

The man lies on the table in front of me.
As a surgeon, it’s my job to save him.
As a mother, I know I must kill him.
You might think that I’m a monster.
But there really is only one choice.
I must get away with murder.
Or I will never see my son again.

Could you kill another person to save your own child?

When heart surgeon Dr Anna Jones returns home to find her son kidnapped, she is forced to make an impossible choice. Kill a high-profile patient on the operating table, or never see her son again.

Told from the perspectives of Anna, her scrub nurse, Margot, who has her own secrets to protect and DI Rachel Conaty, Anna must first make the impossible decision…


What did I think?

This is THE book that everyone is talking about this year and rightly so as it's BRILLIANT!!  I've been a fan of Jack Jordan since I started my blog in 2015, the same year he wrote his stunning debut, Anything for Her and I have been itching to get my hands on a copy of Do No Harm.  It wasn't in my hands long though as I couldn't put it down.

The characters, the plot, and the writing are all exceptional.  This is the definition of a heart-pounding thriller as the writing is so vivid that I felt like I was in the operating theatre myself.  The different character perspectives add depth to the already gripping story as each character struggles with their own demons.

Any story with a moral dilemma begs the question: "What would you do?" and it's a question that I asked myself over and over again as I was reading.  I think it would be a quick and easy decision for anyone who is a mother but I found that I was able to look at it more objectively.  Anna's not exactly the nicest character so that adds another element into the equation. 

Do No Harm is unputdownable and unmissable - it is definitely the book that everyone should read this year.  I would be very surprised if it's not picked up for TV or film as it's such an edge-of-your-seat rollercoaster of a thriller that is so entertaining, gripping and fast-paced from start to finish.

Jack Jordan's star continues to rise and Do No Harm is easily his best novel yet (and I've absolutely LOVED all of his others).  I don't know how he will follow it, but I'm looking forward to seeing him try.  Very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour in May 2022 and I am reposting my review on the paperback publication day.  I chose to read this book (TWICE!) and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Jack Jordan is the global bestselling author of Anything for Her, My Girl, A Woman Scorned, Before Her Eyes, and Night by Night and an Amazon No.1 bestseller in the UK, Canada, and Australia. After selling at auction in the UK and numerous foreign territories, Do No Harm is set to be the thriller of the summer in 2022. The idea for Do No Harm came to Jack after undergoing a minor medical procedure where he had to be sedated and trust strangers with his welfare. After the anaesthesia wore off, Jack began scribbling his notes, wondering to himself just how iron-clad a surgeon’s oath is, and what it would take to break it…

Follow Jack on social media:
Instagram: @jackjordan_author

Wednesday 29 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Cornish Hideaway - Jennifer Bibby

A beautiful village. An artist who’s lost her spark. And a community who help her find it again.

All Freya has ever wanted to do is paint. So when she fails her Master’s Degree in Art, on the same day that her boyfriend decides he needs a ‘more serious’ partner, to Freya it feels like the end of the world.
Luckily, she has a saviour in the shape of best friend Lola, who invites her to the sleepy Cornish village of Polcarrow, to work in her café. With nothing keeping her in London, Freya jumps at the chance of a summer by the sea.
Freya needs time to focus on herself. But then dark and mysterious biker Angelo blows into town on a stormy afternoon, with his own artistic dreams and a secretive past, and Freya’s plans of a romance-free summer fly straight out of the window…

Heart-warming, heartfelt and romantic, The Cornish Hideaway is a novel of community, friendship and learning to love again, for fans of Jenny Colgan, Cathy Bramley and Heidi Swain.

What did I think?

Now and again you can judge a book by its cover and Jennifer Bibby's debut, The Cornish Hideaway, is as sweet and charming as the beautiful cover suggests.  I enjoyed my virtual visit to the sleepy town of Polcarrow; the only downside of a virtual visit is that I didn't get the chance to try any of Lola's mouthwatering culinary creations.

Freya is such a lovely character and she is dealt such a bad hand at the start of the novel when she fails her degree and gets dumped.  So, Freya heads off to Cornwall to lick her wounds and to help her friend Lola in her café.  The last things on Freya's mind are art and romance but Lola's tarot cards tell a different story...and then a mysterious, handsome stranger turns up at the door.

The book has quite a gentle pace, like waves lapping the Cornish shore, but the characters' storylines keep the reader interested as we see them develop and unfurl like flowers facing the sun.  There's maybe more than one budding romance on the cards too.

The Cornish Hideaway is a lovely debut novel and it would be a perfect holiday read while you warm your toes by the pool and enjoy a virtual visit to Cornwall.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Monday 27 March 2023

A Tricky Kind of Magic - Nigel Baines

Cooper is brilliant at magic tricks. Card tricks, clever illusions - he can do them all. His dad, also known as the Great Eduardo, taught him the tricks of the magical trade before he passed away. But the one thing Cooper can't do is see his dad again.

So when a talking rabbit appears from his dad's top hat, and reveals there is a place where Cooper might find him, he jumps at the chance. Magic is about believing the impossible, after all. And Cooper desperately wants to believe that he can see his dad once more.

But what - and who - is waiting for them in the land where magic goes wrong?

Filled with filled with humour and emotion, this is an action-packed graphic novel about finding magic when you need it the most.

What did I think?

I don’t read graphic novels (for children or adults) but something about A Tricky Kind of Magic drew me to it like a moth to a flame and I loved it.

Oh Cooper, I just wanted to reach into the book and give him a hug. Cooper and his little brother Fin are dealing with their grief after the sudden loss of their dad. Cooper feels guilty for laughing when he should be feeling sad and he can’t understand why his Mum seems to be all business as usual. Cooper is sad, angry and confused but an old friend, in the form of a beloved toy rabbit, is about to make him smile.

The illustrations are fantastic and they’re almost as powerful as the words. Nigel Baines is truly talented to have both written and illustrated this outstanding story. It’s the perfect read for anyone dealing with grief, not just children, and a reminder that magic is there if you look for it. People may die but love doesn’t.

I read A Tricky Kind of Magic with a lump in my throat and a song in my heart. It’s a book I will definitely read again and I’m in my forties! Highly recommended.

Saturday 25 March 2023

The King's Spy (The Rebellion Series Book 1) - Mark Turnbull


14th June 1645.

The Battle of Naseby is set to decide the outcome of the civil war in England.

The armies of King Charles I face those of Parliament and its untested New Model Army. Yet amidst the carnage, an intensely personal battle takes place between two men.

Captain Maxwell Walker is a royalist cavalry officer, widower and father. Loyal and brave, but haunted by his grief, Maxwell thirsts for revenge. His life has never been the same since his encounter with the parliamentarian Gervase Harper, a man whose ruthless streak sees him prosecute the war with vigour. Harper cuts down anyone who gets in his way. Maxwell’s wife was no exception.

The outcome of Naseby causes Maxwell to be tasked with a royal rescue mission. The King’s most personal possession must be retrieved. His cypher would allow Parliament to decode captured royal correspondence and that would deal a major blow in the propaganda war.

The soldier must play the spy.

His actions, however, earn him the enmity of both sides. The hunter becomes the hunted.

Facing a murder charge, as well as a great siege, Maxwell makes a discovery that might just save himself and the King’s remaining cavalry.

However, all of this rests upon his next encounter with Gervase Harper.

What did I think?

I love historical fiction and I have been choosing to read more books set during the English Civil War so I was eager to read The King's Spy and I was not disappointed.  It's a period of history I used to know very little about, but my knowledge is gradually increasing thanks to wonderful authors such as Mark Turnbull bringing the period to life.

The King's Spy is a 125 page novella but there is so much going on that it reads like a full length novel.  There's not just war on the battlefield, there's a personal battle for the main character as he comes back into contact with the man who killed his family.

The writing is so vivid that it drew me into the story and I experienced all of the sights and sounds of the Civil War.  I loved the revenge story that adds depth to the characters and made me want to read more.  I often feel unfulfilled by novellas but Mark Turnbull has got the balance right between writing a satisfying conclusion and leaving the reader thirsty for more.

Filled with adventure and danger, The King's Spy is an incredibly entertaining and impressive novella.  It's a wonderful start to an exciting new historical fiction series and one I'd definitely recommend.

Many thanks to the author for sending me a digital ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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Wednesday 22 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: Gin Palace - Tracy Whitwell

Ever since Tanz discovered she could speak with the dead, life has become a whole lot more interesting. But after putting herself in grave danger helping to solve a grisly murder, she’s now determined to ignore the voices and put all that nasty business behind her.

So when she’s offered another acting gig in her hometown of Newcastle, it feels like a perfect opportunity to spend some time with family and have a laugh with old friends.

But the dead won’t stay quiet for long. Soon Tanz is being drawn back into their world, and this time, the danger is much closer to home . . .

What did I think?

This book is absolutely fantastic!  I loved every second of it and I'm missing Tanz already so I will be reading it again as soon as I can.  Gin Palace is the second book in The Accidental Medium series and whilst it can be read as a standalone, it continues on beautifully from book one so it's best to read the books in order.

Gateshead actress Tanz is delighted to get a new acting job, not only will it solve her money worries but it means she can spend more time at home in her native north-east as filming is taking place in Newcastle.  Tanz has only recently found out that she's psychic so when she goes on a ghost walk around the city she gets more than she bargained for when she encounters some restless spirits.

I loved the Newcastle setting and the true stories, both historical and spiritual, that were sprinkled through the story.  I've heard a few ghost stories about the Newcastle keep so it was nice to be reminded of them and I've always found the Black Gate to be quite spooky, although I've never had any stones thrown at me when I've visited.

Gin Palace is spooky, funny and an absolute delight to read.  Tracy Whitwell perfectly encapsulates the north-east spirit (no pun intended) in this fabulous book.  Very highly recommended and without doubt a five star read.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Tracy Whitwell was born, brought up and educated in the north-east of England. She wrote plays and short stories from an early age, then in the nineties moved to London where she became a busy actress on stage and screen.

After having her son, she wound down the acting to concentrate on writing full time. Many projects followed until she finally found the courage to write her first novel - The Accidental Medium, a work of fiction based on a whole heap of crazy truth and now a trilogy, with more to come.

Today, Tracy lives in north London with her son, surrounded by a never-ending supply or Aperol Spritzes and a coven of friends as spooky as she is.

Tracy is nothing like her lead character Tanz. (This is a lie.)

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Monday 20 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: God of Fire - Helen Steadman


He’s a rejected immortal. But can this magical blacksmith fight against fate and overcome the darkness of his past?

Hephaestus fears he’ll never be accepted. Cast down from Olympus and raised by a powerful sea witch, he sets out on a quest to discover his unknown father’s true identity. But he struggles to be taken seriously by the other gods who only want him for his ingenious inventions.

Convinced that solving his paternity will help him earn the love he seeks, the god of fire traps his mother and refuses to free her until she reveals a name. But when he uncovers a terrifying truth, he finds himself with more enemies than allies amongst the wrathful Olympians.

Can Hephaestus unlock buried secrets and prove himself worthy?

God of Fire is an imaginative standalone historical fantasy. If you like forgotten legends, fantastic beasts, and dark tales punctuated with humour, then you’ll adore Helen Steadman’s fascinating expedition into mythology.

Buy God of Fire to unravel the mysteries of ancient Greece today!

Recommended for fans of Mythos, Song of Achilles, Circe and Pandora’s Jar.

What did I think?

By Ouranos, God of Fire is an absolute masterpiece of reimagined fiction!  I feel like I've had the most entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable lesson in Greek mythology as Helen Steadman brings the gods to life in her exquisite new novel.  

The amount of mythology packed into this 335 page novel is amazing and I learnt so much whilst reading God of Fire, having known very little about Greek mythology beforehand.  The way that the characteristics and individual personalities of the gods are depicted is fantastic and it made each god, gorgon, nymph or mortal completely unforgettable.

There are a lot of characters in the novel and I found that jotting down their names helped me to remember who was who, especially as some of their names get shortened as the story progresses.  I also used my list of characters to research each god myself, but found that the most important parts of their stories were already covered in God of Fire anyway.

Hephaestus (or Heph as he is fondly referred to) craves the love of his mother Hera, who threw him from Olympus as a baby as she found him to be too ugly.  Awww, doesn't your heart just go out to him from the start?  Even his wife Aphrodite doesn't love him which is such a shame as Heph has such a big heart.  

God of Fire is an extraordinary novel and I loved every single perfectly written word.  Hephaestus' story is fascinating and Helen Steadman's research is impeccable; to take so many Greek myths and weave them into a captivating and entertaining story that holds the reader's interest throughout is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Absolutely brilliant, completely unmissable and very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Dr Helen Steadman is a historical novelist. Her first novel, Widdershins and its sequel, Sunwise were inspired by the seventeenth-century Newcastle witch trials. Her third novel, The Running Wolf was inspired by the Shotley Bridge swordmakers, who defected from Solingen, Germany in 1687. Helen’s fourth novel is God of Fire, a Greek myth retelling about Hephaestus, possibly the least well-known of the Olympians. Helen is now working on her fifth novel.

Despite the Newcastle witch trials being one of the largest mass executions of witches on a single day in England, they are not widely known about. Helen is particularly interested in revealing hidden histories and she is a thorough researcher who goes to great lengths in pursuit of historical accuracy. To get under the skin of the cunning women in Widdershins and Sunwise, Helen trained in herbalism and learned how to identify, grow and harvest plants and then made herbal medicines from bark, seeds, flowers and berries.

The Running Wolf is the story of a group of master swordmakers who defected from Solingen, Germany and moved to Shotley Bridge, England in 1687. As well as carrying out in-depth archive research and visiting forges in Solingen to bring her story to life, Helen also undertook blacksmith training, which culminated in making her own sword. During her archive research, Helen uncovered a lot of new material and she published her findings in the Northern History journal.

Social media links:

Twitter handle: @hsteadman1650

Instagram handle: @helensteadmanauthor

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Friday 17 March 2023

The Accidental Medium - Tracy Whitwell

The Accidental Medium is the first book in a hilarious series from Tracy Whitwell featuring Tanz, the accidental medium who, with the help of the dead, is about to become an unwilling crime-solver.

Tanz is a wine-loving, straight-talking, once-successful TV actress from Gateshead, whose career has shrivelled like an antique walnut. She is still grieving for her friend Frank, who died in a car crash three years ago, and she has to find a normal job in London to fund her cocktail habit. When she starts work in a ‘new age’ shop, Tanz suddenly discovers that the voices she’s hearing in her head are real, not the first signs of madness, and that she can give people ‘messages’ from beyond the grave. Alarmed, she confronts her little mam and discovers she is from a long line of psychic mediums.

Despite an exciting new avenue of life opening up to Tanz, darkness isn’t far away and all too soon there’s murder in the air . . .

What did I think?

I was drawn to this book when I discovered that the author originated from my native north-east, and ok the large glass of red wine on the cover helped to pique my interest.  The Accidental Medium completely exceeded my expectations as it has a bit of everything in it - murder, crime, paranormal, friendships, family life and Geordies.

I knew I was going to love this book from the very first page when main character Tanz is on the phone to her best friend Milo and Milo says 'Gateshead needs you!'  Eeeeh, wor Gateshead's mentioned in a book!  Tanz is from Gateshead but she's an aspiring actress living in London...oh and she's also psychic but she doesn't know it yet.

Acting jobs, or lack thereof, don't pay the rent so Tanz gets a job in a new age shop and her life changes, whether it's for the better remains to be seen.  With the help of her new friend Sheila, Tanz finally realises that she's not going mad...she really can hear voices in her head.

I absolutely loved this book; it's funny, entertaining and something so completely different to what I'm used to reading.  Of course I loved it even more because of the Gateshead link but I would have still loved it if Tanz hadn't been a Geordie.  It's just so refreshing to read 'mam' in a book instead of 'mum' and I loved how Tanz heads for the comfort of home when things get too much for her.

I don't know how many times I laughed out loud (but it was a lot) and I loved Tracy Whitwell's humour.  I was delighted to see a reference to Chorlton and the Wheelies, one of my favourite TV shows as a child, and I snorted with laughter when Milo called Tanz Fenella...if you know, you know!

Entertaining, hilarious and spellbinding (witchy pun intended), The Accidental Medium is an absolutely cracking book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend and I can't wait to read more of the series, so it's straight on to book 2 (Gin Palace) for me.

My rating:

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Tuesday 14 March 2023

Someone Is Watching You - Tess James-Mackey

 How far would you go for a dare?

Nia would do anything to win the approval of her boyfriend Scott and his friends, especially mean girl Olivia. Olivia dares Nia to explore an abandoned prison. Facing dark tunnels, distant noises and creepy mementoes left behind by incarcerated criminals will surely all be worth it to finally become part of the group. But it isn't long before Nia and her little sister, Kayla, find themselves trapped inside.

And then Kayla vanishes.

Suddenly, this feels like more than a game gone wrong. There is a horrifying secret hidden within the prison's walls - and now someone is hellbent on making sure Nia and her little sister become its last inmates...

An utterly compelling take on toxic friendship from a remarkable UK debut author.

What did I think?

Crikey, this book is chilling, scary and completely addictive.  I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this turned into a movie or mini series.

Nia is trying to fit in with the cool kids but she always feels like she has to prove herself.  I was virtually screaming ‘Run away, Nia!  Run away now!’ but oh, they are clever.  Just one look from Scott and Nia goes weak at the knees, she will do anything to be the girlfriend that he wants…and he knows it.

When Nia and her family go to a soft play area inside an abandoned prison (amazingly based on the author’s own true life experience), the gang sees the opportunity to send Nia off on a dare: to get lost inside the prison.  My eyes were so wide, I might have been reading in the dark myself as I just couldn’t put the book down when Nia began exploring the creepy prison.

There’s a lot of thought-provoking material in the story for teens and young adults: the girl who is so invisible that she does actually vanish, the power of the opposite sex and how it can be manipulated and the pressure to be accepted by the popular crowd in school.  It might be YA but this forty-odd-year-old thoroughly enjoyed it!

Heartpounding, creepy and disturbing, Someone is Watching You makes the Mean Girls look like Disney princesses.  It’s an outstanding debut and a real page turner with a protagonist that you want to hug but also shake some sense into.  I really do hope to see this on my screen in the future - grab this one before anyone else, Netflix!

Saturday 11 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Mother - T.M. Logan

Framed for murder. Now she's free . . .

A woman attends a funeral, standing in the shadows and watching in agony as her sons grieve. But she is unable to comfort them - or reveal her secret.

A decade earlier, Heather gets her children ready for bed and awaits the return of her husband Liam, little realising that this is the last night they will spend together as a family. Because tomorrow she will be accused of Liam's murder.

Ten years ago Heather lost everything. Now she will stop at nothing to clear her name - and to get her children back . . .

What did I think?

You're always guaranteed a good read with a T.M. Logan book and The Mother is no exception - I simply couldn't put it down!  Clear your diary for a few hours when you pick this one up as it will be stuck to your hands until you've devoured every single word.

Talk about hooked from the start: reading about Heather attending her own funeral ensured that I put on my virtual running shoes and raced through this book.  In a double whammy of mystery and intrigue, I just had to know why and how Heather faked her own death and whether or not she had murdered her husband.

I really liked Heather, even though I wasn't sure whether or not she was a murderer.  Although I don't have children, I felt her pain at being separated from her two boys.  Even when she was released on licence she was prevented from being in contact with them and I could have cried for her.  It gives her motivation to fight for her freedom though and she claims she didn't kill her husband so she needs to find out who did in order to clear her name.

With plenty of shocks and surprises in store for the reader, The Mother is fast-paced, gripping and very addictive.  T.M. Logan isn't referred to as the master of the up-all-night thriller for no reason - once you pick this book up, you won't be able to put it down.  If The Mother isn't picked up for TV, I will eat my hat.  Very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Thursday 9 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: Together, Again - Milly Johnson

Sisters Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their beautiful family home, Fox House, following the death of their mother, the tricky Eleanor Vamplew. Born seven years apart, the women are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes about beautiful relationships even though her own marriage to the handsome and charming Warren is complicated.

Marsha, the neglected middle child, has put all of her energy into her work, hoping money will plug the gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian. Until now.

So when the sisters discover that their mother has left everything to Annis in her will, it undermines everything they thought they knew. Can saying their final goodbyes to Eleanor bring them together again?

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars and finding in each other support, forgiveness, courage and love.

What did I think?

Together, Again is Milly Johnson's 20th novel and what a treat she has in store for her readers.  There's something so very comforting about reading a Milly Johnson novel, even though they tackle emotional and often difficult situations.  So make a cuppa, put your feet up and lose yourself in this heartwarming book.

The three Vamplew sisters have never really been close and they haven't been all together since their youngest sister left home at the tender age of 16.  When their mother dies, the sisters find themselves back in their childhood home and whilst they may have arrived as strangers, they might very well leave as friends.

I loved all three sisters, both their individual characters and the story behind them.  All of their backstories contain secrets and there's nothing better in a novel than buried secrets waiting to burst out of the page.  There's lots to discover in the Vamplew family history and I couldn't read fast enough to experience all the shocks and surprises that this fabulous book had in store for me.

Poignant, heartwarming and as fabulous as the author herself, Together, Again is a delightfully emotional novel that has dark secrets at its heart but is perfectly balanced by the warmth of sisterly love.  Highly recommended.

Many congratulations to Milly Johnson on such a marvellous achievement - here's to the next 20!

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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Wednesday 8 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Space Between Us - Doug Johnstone

Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes...

…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered.

When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call 'Sandy' and goes on the run.

But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…

What did I think?

I already know that Doug Johnstone is a talented author but his new novel, The Space Between Us, is absolutely outstanding.  I am completely speechless and I'm afraid that any review I write will not do it justice but I'll give it a go.

Three very different people are brought together when they all inexplicably recover from a severe stroke.  The universe isn't yet done with Lennox, Ava and Heather so when they hear reports of a cephalopod on a local beach, they feel compelled to rescue it.  Lennox names the mysterious creature Sandy and the bond between them is beautiful to behold.

The vivid imagery created by Doug Johnstone's words is stunning, it did actually take my breath away on several occasions.  The bursts of colour that exploded in my mind, simply by reading words on a page, felt so intense and magical that I will never forget it.  I absolutely loved Sandy; their innocence and intelligence reminded me a little of E.T. and their attempts to understand our crazy world were entertaining and amusing.

My thoughts have been well and truly provoked after reading this exceptional novel; it really makes you consider your place in the universe and realise how very insignificant we are.  I wouldn't normally read something that sounds so much like science fiction but I'm very glad that I did.  A highly recommended read and a well-deserved 5 stars.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of fourteen previous novels, most recently Black Hearts (2022). The Big Chill (2020) was longlisted for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year and three of his books, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), have been shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade, and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with six albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of writers. He’s also co-founder of the Scotland Writers Football Club, and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone

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Monday 6 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: One Moment - Becky Hunter

One moment in time can change everything...

The day Scarlett dies should have been one of the most important of her life. It doesn't feel fair that she'll never have the chance to fulfil her dreams. And now, she's still ... here - wherever here is - watching the ripple effect of her death on the lives of those she loved the most.

Evie cannot contemplate her life without Scarlett, and she certainly cannot forgive Nate, the man she blames for her best friend's death. But Nate keeps popping up when she least expects him to, catapulting Evie's life in directions she'd never let herself imagine possible. Ways, perhaps, even those closest to her had long since given up on.

If you could go back, knowing everything that happens after, everything that happens because of that one moment in time, would you change the course of history or would you do it all again?

What did I think?

Oh my goodness, this beautiful book is like Humpty Dumpty: it completely broke me but also put me back together again.  I'm going to say sorry now to all the other debut authors of 2023 as Becky Hunter has set an incredibly high bar; One Moment is THE debut of 2023 and I absolutely adored it.

Scarlett and Evie have been best friends forever so Evie is devastated when Scarlett goes to work one day and never returns.  The accident that took Scarlett from Evie brings Nate into her life, but Evie can't forgive him for being the reason her friend is no longer here.  Unbeknown to Evie, Scarlett is still here...watching life going on without her and reliving moments from her past.

Everything about this book is perfect: the writing is flawless, the plot is sublime and the characters are so well-developed they virtually pop out of the page.  The range of emotions this book evokes is astonishing: I laughed, cried and everything in between.

I loved this book so much I could read it again and again; Becky Hunter is definitely one to watch and I'm already considering myself to be a fan so I can't wait to read whatever she writes next.  One Moment is an unmissable, emotional and beautiful debut that's an easy 5 stars. 

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Becky Hunter lived and worked in London for several years before moving to Mozambique to volunteer with horses and try her hand at writing. A few years, a few destinations, and a few jobs later she had the idea that would become One Moment. Alongside writing, she now works as a freelance editor and publicist, splitting her time between Bristol and London, and constantly trying to plan the next adventure.

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