Blog Tour Book Review: Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency (Chapelwick Mysteries #1), by Kitty French

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 14th July 2016

Please note: Sincere this review was published this title has been updated and renamed The Skeletons of Scarborough House and it’s cover has had a makeover too!

My Review - Kitty French

Melody Bittersweet CoverMelody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency is an absolute scream from start to finish!

The Bittersweet’s of Chapelwick possess the all the qualifications necessary to cater for the deceased and their relatives, except they are not undertakers. When a Bittersweet says, “I see dead people,” they’re not joking, as this is just another family trait like someone having hazel eyes, blonde hair, or the ability to casually chat to visiting spirits.

But Melody has other ideas. Time is ticking on and her life desperately needs a change of direction. Not a great move while she’s still delirious from her man-drought after her ex dumped her in exchange for a TV career Derek Acorah would be envious of, and her major redeeming feature, apart from stunning selection of retorts, is a gift that freaks most people out. There’s only one thing for it: launch herself at the most random thought she’s had all day: set up a house clearance business – Welcome to The Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency.

She may regret taking the call offering their first case. At the scene of the haunting she bumps into her gloating charismatic ex (now sporting a dramatic cape and surgically attached entourage). Compared with her Captain America T Shirt and converse trainers, he’s doing a great impression of the phantom of the opera and she’s permanently ready for extreme dress-down Friday. Worse still, the sitting tenants are refusing to walk into the light or even entertain negotiations, preferring to keep the house hostage until their demands are met.

Let the Leo Dark and Melody Bittersweet face-off begin – and may the best ghostbuster vs the Scarborough brothers win. The trio of siblings harbour resentment toward each other for two reasons: 1) For providing the same tiresome company for decades and 2) There’s a delicate issue surrounding one of their deaths, causing accusations against the other two to fly around like the books from the shelves. Their antics are priceless, particularly after being reduced to watching the Disney channel to pass the time and unexpected phrases slip out from time to time! Prepare yourself for a stream of hilarious banter, as their swift exit doesn’t go as planned.

The Scarboroughs’ behaviour won’t faze feisty Melody – she wasn’t at the back the queue when challenging character traits where handed out, yet her technique is nothing like the bailiff method you would expect from her. Assisted by her Sicilian BFF when required, and a young man who turns every shade of beetroot at their uncensored topics of conversation, not forgetting a one eared pug by the name of Lestat, she tries to stay one step ahead of the opposition and sensitively solve a historical mystery. A little snooping here, the patience of a saint there, and plenty of mingling with the ungrateful dead will reveal that more than just their lives were lost.

While Leo Dark and his groupies threaten to disrupt her investigation, their nemesis is heading a campaign to discredit the psychics of Chapelwick. But even his peculiar brand of ‘charm’ has become strangely alluring (it’s just probably the man-drought).

This book is a blast. Should you ever find yourself in dire need of cheering up, this will do the trick – guaranteed! IT’S FUN, IT’S FRISKY and IT’S FABULOUS! I’m already little ‘cray cray’ for the next case. CAN. NOT. WAIT. !!!

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to Kim Nash for organising the tour for which I received a digital copy of this title from Bookouture via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. )

Book Summary - Kitty French

An absolutely hilarious, totally entertaining, spookily sexy read that you won’t be able to put down!

Life’s tricky for Melody Bittersweet. She’s single, she’s addicted to sugar and super heroes, her family are officially bonkers and … she sees dead people. Is it any wonder no-one’s swiping right on Tinder?

Waking up lonely on her twenty-seventh birthday, Melody finally snaps. She can’t carry on basing all of her life decisions on the advice of her magic 8 ball; things have got to change.

Fast forward two months, and she’s now the proud proprietor of her very own ghostbusting agency – kind of like in the movies but without the dodgy white jumpsuits. She’s also flirting with her ex Leo Dark, fraternising with her sexy enemy in alleyways, and she’s somehow ended up with a pug called Lestat.

Life just went from dull to dynamite and it’s showing no sign of slowing up anytime soon. Melody’s been hired to clear Scarborough House of its incumbent ghosts, there’s the small matter of a murder to solve, and then there are the two very handsome, totally inappropriate men hoping to distract her from the job…

Welcome to Chapelwick, home of the brand new and hilarious Girls Ghostbusting Agency series, where things really do go bump in the night.

This is the PERFECT choice for fans of Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella or Lindsey Kelk, with an extra helping of hauntings and hilarity!

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Author Profile - Kitty French

(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Photography courtesy of publisher.)

Kitty French PhotographUSA Today best selling author Kitty French writes sexy, escapist romance hot enough to burn your fingers…

The USA Today best selling Lucien Knight series has been a hit around the world, and Kitty is now writing and releasing the Regular Sex series of half hour erotic reads, a weekly issue to make sure your weekend starts with a bang!

SIGN UP FOR KITTY’S NEWSLETTER for all the gossip and release information by emailing on kittyfrenchwriter@me.com

Kitty is also the disreputable alter-ego of a romantic comedy writer Kat French. She writes full time, and lives in England with her husband and two little boys.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Book Review: The Sister, by Louise Jensen

Publisher: Bookouture   |   Publication date:  7th July 2016

The Sister Book Review

I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me …

The Sister by Louise Jenson - KIndle CoverIf you like to gorge on psychological twistiness with a helping of stewing suspense, then you will have no trouble devouring The Sister.

Meet Grace. One of four teenage friends Grace, being the latecomer to the group whose life is surrounded by a fog of mystery, is not accepted by everyone. Alas, the quartet will be fractured by the fallout from the tensions of youth and Grace targeted by some spiteful torment in the form of abusive mail. Despite the finger pointing in a certain direction, the origin is never pinpointed with 100% certainty, as the accused fiercely denies all knowledge leaving a curious doubt to edge its way in to the story.

But Charlie, an outspoken member of the group, stuck up for Grace even though she risked her own relationship with the others. Then Charlie was gone, leaving a huge void in Grace’s life. Soon, all kinds of dramas attempt to disrupt her autopilot routine, like the elusive note asking for her forgiveness, having her very own stalker, and her life generally going down the pan at every turn.

Past events in Grace’s life left her with ‘vulnerability syndrome’ and a thought process in desperate need of a makeover.  There are hints throughout the story as to why Grace lived with her grandparents instead of her mum and dad, and what secrets Charlie was holding back too. The truth surrounding an incident involving her father is not exposed immediately, nor those concerning Charlie. These are teased into the ‘now’ and ‘then’ to describe events as Grace experiences them first hand.

Grace focusses her efforts on tracking down Charlie’s father, something they were unable to achieve when her friend was alive. After making a start on the process, the last thing she expected was for a relative to come forward wanting to learn more about Charlie. Encouraged by this intriguing development, Grace invites Anna into the home she shares with her boyfriend and cat. Although her presence provides a welcome distraction from the new wave of an escalating hate campaign Grace has never felt so alone, and I saw her travelling through some dark places including fear, guilt, grief and the raw truth.

I’m not going to reveal who may have resurrected their sinister performance, or why they are going to so much trouble to taunt Grace, just that with the blame for pretty much everything being laid at her door I was constantly wondering if she actually was an innocent bystander, or could be accountable for the situations that arose throughout The Sister. If so, what exactly did she do to deserve the unrelenting target on her back?

With such creeping intensity, The Sister is one seriously haunting psychological thriller. You can’t help feeling unsettled throughout, as nothing is quite as it seems.

Rating: 4/5

(Huge thanks to Bookouture for providing a digital copy of this title via NetGalley for review.)

The Sister Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.

When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.

But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?

There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie …or was there?

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, I Let You Go, and The Girl With No Past.

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The Sister Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK. Photo courtesy of publisher)

Louise Jenson Photo

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat. The Sister is Louise’s debut novel.

Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.

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Book Review: The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Foster Book 2) by Robert Bryndza

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date: 2nd June 2016

The Night Stalker My Review

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza - Kindle CoverResilient DCI Erika Foster returns from her EPIC ordeal in The Girl in the Ice to tackle the elusive serial killer journalists have branded The Night Stalker. It’s the name they have conjured up to sensationalise the nature of this criminal’s grim method of dispatching people.

The Night Stalker is targeting people who meet certain criteria, in other words our Stalker has taken their actions very personally. As a result they have successfully discovered a callous way of disposing of their chosen victims under the cover of darkness, armed only with a plastic bag (and the encouragement of an anonymous chat room ‘friend’).

The brief, yet insightful, chats between Night Owl and Duke tell of the suffering both of them have endured during their lives, as they share a bond where they can unburden themselves but retain the protection of online anonymity.

Dealing with a killer who is convinced they have a perfectly legitimate reason to take another person’s life and who leaves no major clues to their identity, the case won’t be a walk in the park – but if it that was the case we wouldn’t be sitting on the edge of our seats, would we?! And so Erika once again battles with her superiors concerning her opposing ideas surrounding the her ideas of a suspect, the inner politics of the of the force and her personal methods, all of which grate on those higher in the ranks and regularly see her in the firing line, not ideal when a promotion dares to raise its tempting head.

Erika’s approach means she’ll find herself in hot water, allowing the emotion of the two year anniversary of her husband’s death to be explored further when she is officially taking a ‘holiday’. This unbearable time sees Erika receiving unwelcome contact from the killer. Let’s be honest that’s a tad freaky and our DCI knows she has to do something, even if her boss doesn’t always endorse her actions.

Whilst this was nothing short of gripping, I found the explosive grit of The Girl in the Ice was replaced by more intense character psychology in The Night Stalker. Everyone’s little nuances came alive in this investigation, as they were written with depth and controlled with the perfect timing. Moments when killer’s frustration peaked as their ‘acts of kindness’ produced a different result to the one they had imagined were gruelling, for both the killer and the poor person on the receiving end. If a writer can play with your mind to make you feel a warped kind-of sorry for a serial killer (AND their cheerleader in places) then they’re obviously doing their job right!

The Night Stalker offers such an intriguing invitation it would simply be rude not to read it. Yes, people expire in an unpleasant manner and there are aftershocks from multiple diverse issues. No, it’s not always a comfortable ride, but the combination of mountainous tension and a thoroughly ‘human’ element creates a terrific crime thriller in every conceivable way.

Rating: 5/5

P.S. There’s enough background info cleverly incorporated so that this can be read as a standalone, should you wish.

(My thanks to Bookouture for the digital copy of this title, via NetGalley.)

The Night Stalker Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

If the Night Stalker is watching, you’re already dead…

In the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

The global bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice is back with a heart-racing, electrifying thriller. If you love Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James, you’ll be hooked on Robert Bryndza.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

BUY THE BOOK

The Night Stalker Author Profile

Rob Bryndza Author

Originally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back.

His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books.

In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, and has signed a three-book deal with Bookouture to write a crime thriller series, featuring Detective Erika Foster:

THE DETECTIVE ERIKA FOSTER SERIES…

Robert Bryndza's Books

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Book Review: See How They Run, by Tom Bale

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   E Book Publication date: 6th May 2016

See How They Run My Review

See How They Run - Tom BaleThe frenetic lifestyle of a young couple with a new baby already leaves this young family on the cusp of reality, until one innocent evening sees Harry, Alice and Evie French being catapulted into the stuff of nightmares.

The baby is sleeping soundly for once. So is the exhausted wife. But there’s this nagging doubt that the tired animator’s mind can’t place. Before he can question whether he should haul is body out of bed and bother to investigate, he finds himself blinking at a nonchalant man in a mask, who is confidently filling the frame of his bedroom door.

Unsure if his sleep-deprived mind is playing tricks, it dawns on Harry that everyone he loves is in this room and he is powerless to protect them.

The intruder invites his colleagues into the room and announces he wants something other than the TV and the contents of his wife’s handbag, so where is it, what have they done with it, and why aren’t they co-operating given the severity of the situation? The family are rubbing their eyes thinking ‘what they hell are you on about?’ as they can’t remember what they had for breakfast.

After the couple receive horrific threats to their person, including their eight week old baby (who should get a part in the next Die Hard movie, no trouble), despite being unable to meet “the mask’s” demands, or tell them the whereabouts of a mysterious man called Renshaw, they are subjected to a sickening ordeal, and still their attackers are insistent. But it’s Catch 22 – the little trio of innocents haven’t got the foggiest idea.

Being gripped by fear they try not to say anything to antagonise the situation, which is keeping them alive – for now. They are instructed not to contact the police, to keep everything looking ‘normal’ and they will be visit them again.

As there’s no manual to tell you what to do when you find blokes without a soul terrorising your family in the middle of the night, the animator with deadlines coming out of his ears goes to work and keeps up appearances. What follows are a series of catastrophes of gigantic proportion. Back at home his wife isn’t fairing much better. Clandestine meetings, separation of their family unit, and a chase involving a mother armed only with a papoose creates a tension that could ordinarily rip anyone apart under similar circumstances.

Unwittingly, their naivety is their advantage – they walk into situations without fully appreciating the consequences, which results in them pretty much winging it when their backs are against the wall. There’s no over the top heroics, just a normal people bumbling from one disastrous encounter to the next, and it’s not even something they have the solution or the skills to resolve.

Often without a phone, the slightest clue, or even each other, See How They Run isn’t simply a game of cat and mouse, it’s a ravenous pride of lions encircling a trembling family of gazelles. It’s epically suspenseful and has an unpredictable, twisted complexity so you never know who to trust throughout.

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to Bookouture and Keshini Naidoo for providing an advanced digital copy of this book for review.)

See How They Run Book Summary

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong.
The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw.
And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much.

As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time for breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only a choice:

STAY ALIVE. OR DON’T.

Terrifying, unputdownable and full of twists and turns, this stunning thriller will have you on the edge of your seat right to the very last page.

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See How They Run Author Profile

Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full time. He lives in Brighton with his family. Visit his website at http://www.tombale.net, follow him on Facebook, or on Twitter: @t0mbale (zero instead of “o”).

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Book Review: The Silent Twin (Detective Jennifer Knight Crime Thriller Series Book 3), by Caroline Mitchell

Publisher: Bookouture   |   Publication date: 14th April 2016

The Silent Twin My Review

The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

A disquieting vibe surrounds The Silent Twin, as childhood tragedies and the paranormal collide to leave a haunting impression once more. Yes, Caroline Mitchell has mastered the art of simmering the ever-stewing pot of suspense. This author doesn’t just invite something sinister into her stories, she actively nurtures it.

It starts with a game of hide-and-seek. Who would have thought that something so innocent could cause so much misery? One twin is silent and withdrawn, while the other has vanished into thin air.

Finding Abigail results in a full blown police search and a escalating social media campaign, which attracts all manner of trolls placing the emphasis of the wrong kind of publicity for the family. Hope for the little girl is fading as precious time and effort is wasted.

Given the failed attempts of other officers and the unusual circumstances at Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight is called to contribute to the investigation. As one part of the team of Operation Moonlight, the hush, hush, paranormal department at Haven nick, her perception will prove more than useful after reports of unearthly phenomena. Her gut also tells her that cracking this case will be hell, as no one is above suspicion.

Emboldened by wearing her signature high heels, Knight feels the ominous pressure of the residence almost immediately. As she spends more time with the family she sees the drip, drip, drip of dread seeping from the family’s crumbling lives. The shadow of Blackwater Farm touches everyone, as previous occupants have discovered to their peril. It’s becoming a case of ‘abandon hope all ye who enter here’, as false trails and peculiarities take the enquiries off on unthinkable tangents.

Matters are compounded further when Knight’s boss starts breathing down her neck, while the twin’s father, a copper himself, refuses to co-operate fully during the investigation and seems content to watch his wife gliding around in vintage clothing and sporting a surreal ‘everything’s just dandy’ mantra. Not to mention the perfect housekeeper who would give Mary Berry a run for her money! And Olivia, finding solace in silence, her family building a protective barrier around her to keep the authorities at arm’s length. If there’s one trait Knight’s not lacking it’s persistence; gaining that little girl’s trust could be the only way to bring her sister home, dead or alive.

Be prepared for a creak, a disembodied voice, and subtle exchanges that are almost missed but not quite what they seem. And read excerpts from a hidden diary that hints at the intent to cause harm and relish in it. The writer’s identity is also concealed, but they’re forever watchful from the dark place they regularly retreat to.

The Silent Twin explores bonds that can never be broken, which have the power to relieve or haunt.  As the pendulum swings between what is unnervingly odd and dark secrets that cut deep, there’s only one thing that matters – finding Abigail.

Note: This is the third book in the DC Jennifer Knight series. While the regular cast have grown and formed stronger relationships over time this book could still be read as a stand alone. However, I believe you’d feel more impact if you appreciate how ‘Operation Moonlight’ was born by reading Don’t Turn Around (Book 1) and Time to Die (Book 2) beforehand.

Anyway, I loved it and it’s nothing less than a 5/5 from me!

(My thanks, as always, to Bookouture for providing a digital copy of this book for review, via NetGalley.)

The Silent Twin Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

I’m alone in the dark, please can you find me …

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late.

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found.

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life?

A darkly gripping, page-turning thriller that will enthrall fans of Rachel Abbott, Alex Marwood’s The Wicked Girls and Mark Edwards.

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DC Jennifer Knight Series

The Silent Twin Author Profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Caroline Writes Polaroid

Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. Her crime thriller series, featuring DC Jennifer Knight reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. These edge of your seat crime thrillers are infused by Caroline’s personal experiences in both the police and the paranormal. To find out more please subscribe at http://www.caroline-writes.com

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Book Review: The Girl in the Ice (Detective Erika Foster Book 1), by Robert Bryndza

Publisher:   Bookouture   |    Publication date:  12th February 2016

The Girl in the Ice My Review.jpg

The Girl in the Ice - Kindle CoverRiveting. Twisty. Superb. The Girl in the Ice is everything great crime fiction SHOULD be – an intense read that packs a punch.

The concept of the plot seems pretty straight forward, but the effect is dazzling. The inclusion of simple detail conjures such atmosphere. From the victim’s haunting expression preserved by the ice, to the everyday lives of a peculiar line-up of suspects and their eccentricities, both witnesses and investigators come alive until they’re up close and personal and you are completely engrossed.

Erika Foster is one such character, and her energy bursts from the page. She’s a DCI who was widowed following a police raid that ended in unimaginable tragedy. She might have lost her husband but certainly not her tenacity. Despite grief still touching a raw nerve, she has returned to work determined to catch the killer of a young woman who died much too soon. Erika will push herself beyond any reasonable person’s limit, which includes risking what little she has left by defying her tip-toeing superiors as she digs out the truth, however unsavoury it may be.

Often reckless, technically homeless, and currently friendless, Erika battles with a narky DCI who had established the lead on the case before she happened along. Sparks is uncooperative and offensive, and has set his sights on waltzing into this case’s limelight again. Next to sign up for the ‘Erika hate campaign’ is the influential, dysfunctional family at the centre of the investigation, who ironically frown upon her Slovakian origins and threaten to widen an inappropriate class divide and hamper the hunt for the killer.

Her unorthodox methods and abrasiveness don’t appear to grate on the rest of the diverse team quite as much, as her investigative passion is what earns her their respect. When similarities of other unsolved deaths raise their head the question is: could they be dealing with a potential serial killer? As the murders of prostitutes bear no resemblance to Ice Girl’s life, the motive for her death grows more perplexing. Yet Erika’s superiors seem more concerned with avoiding bad publicity for those higher up the ladder; if she pursues this new line of enquiry her job prospects will go from bleak to non-existent.

Irrespective of the difficulties she may face Erika maintains her integrity. She doesn’t want praise. She wants to solve a murder. With nothing but a gut instinct to drive her onwards, she ignores warnings to take stock of her senses and subsequently fails to spot imminent danger until it’s too late.

The perfectly unhinged culprit avoided detection by my personal reader radar. Just when I thought there wasn’t room  for yet more shocks there it was, another crack of the whip. The only thing missing from the spectacular finale was a fanfare – it played out like a scene from the big screen, and IT WAS BRILLIANT! 

MORE PLEASE, AND SOON!!!!

Rating: 5/5

(My thanks to the lovely folks at Bookouture for providing a digital copy for review, as always. As soon as I saw the cover I pre-ordered it – I had a feeling it would be a little cracker!)

The Girl in the Ice Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

A page-turning thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, discover Rob Bryndza’s new series today – at a special launch price.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

BUY THE BOOK

Rob Bryndza Author

Originally from the UK, Rob lives in Slovakia with his Slovak husband and their two crazy dogs. He originally trained as an actor, but was bitten by the writing bug in his mid-twenties and hasn’t looked back.

His debut novel, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard became an Amazon bestseller, and has grown to a best selling series of five books.

In addition to his recent number one romantic comedy Miss Wrong and Mr Right, Rob is excited to embrace the darker side of life, and has just signed a three-book deal with Bookouture to write a crime thriller series. The first book, The Girl In The Ice will be released in Spring 2016.

You can find out more about Rob at http://www.robertbryndza.com

THE DETECTIVE ERIKA FOSTER SERIES SO FAR…

Robert Bryndza's Books

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Book Review: The Girl You Lost, by Kathryn Croft

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date: 5th February 2016

The Girl You Lost - My ReviewThe Girl You Lost by Kathryn CroftThere’s no doubt about it, the traumatic storyline of The Girl You Lost is clearly written with the intent to intrigue you from the off – this author has certainly done a damned fine job of toying with the ordinary lives of her fictional characters!

Following the abduction of their six month old daughter, Helena, life for Simone and Matt Porter was scattered in the wind. Over time they reassemble their existence without their daughter. That was until eighteen years later, when a young woman approaches Simone with information to cruelly reignite a vague hope.

The reporter instinct in Simone is wagging a doubtful finger to tell her that this could well be a hoax. But if there is any glimmer of a possibility that Helena is alive, then any mother could be excused for temporarily losing her senses, fuelled by the prospect of a reunion. After considering her options Simone decides to discover more. Upon arriving home, she offers a brief explanation to Matt and it looks like the matter could be resolved quickly. Still, the couple don’t want to get drawn in too close just yet. This appears to be a wise decision as the young woman called Grace, who had been clutching what looked to be Helena’s toy earlier in the day, goes missing without a trace.

Her disappearance rekindles the distress from all those years ago. Grace cannot be reached by phone and is nowhere to be seen, which confirms that it probably was a hoax. Wasn’t it? But how did Grace come by a toy that could have belonged to Helena? Something deeper than Simone’s professional instinct niggles at her until she decides to get the answers she deserves – the alternative would otherwise drive her insane.

Simone wades through some pretty dangerous waters before she gets close to anything resembling the truth. During her search she stumbles into a secretive world of foul abusers who take advantage at any given opportunity. Be warned, the story does include some disturbing scenes, but it’s not included as a random tangent. As dark as these episodes are, they follow the overall script and lead to a desperately shocking conclusion.

No doubt Simone’s character has faced a rough deal, but she tackles the journey without taking the self-pitying route. She seems to have the support of her colleague, Abbot, who breaks a few rules (and laws) in their mission to find this lost girl – given the periodic creepy monologue offering an insight into the actions of an anonymous source, they’d better find her – and quick.

The plot is clearly defined, with plenty of secrets to keep the mystery alive. Clipped chapters move swiftly through a powerhouse of emotions to maintain the story’s nervous edge. Put simply, it’s wickedly engaging, and one I’d absolutely recommend.

Rating: 4/5

(MASSIVE thanks to Bookouture for providing a digital copy of this title for review via NetGalley).

The Girl You Lost - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Eighteen years ago your baby daughter was snatched. Today, she came back.

A sinister and darkly compelling psychological thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Girl With No Past.

Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her daughter and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?

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The Girl You Lost - Author Bio

(Bio courtesy of Amazon UK / Author photograph courtesy of publisher)

Kathryn Croft Profile

Kathryn Croft is the bestselling author of The Girl With No Past, which spent over four weeks at number one in the Amazon chart. Her first two novels, Behind Closed Doors and The Stranger Within, reached number one in the psychological thriller charts.

Her fourth novel, The Girl You Lost, will be published on 5th February 2016, and is now available for preorder on Amazon. After six years teaching secondary school English, Kathryn now writes full time and has a publishing deal with Bookouture.

Having always been an avid reader, Kathryn believes in the power of words to entertain, teach and transform lives. She is also a firm believer in following your dreams and says anything is possible if you work hard enough and never give up!

Kathryn lives in Guildford, Surrey with her husband, baby son and two cats.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

TWITTER   |   FACEBOOK   |   WEBSITE / BLOG 

Book Review: Kitty’s Countryside Dream, by Christie Barlow

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date:  25th February 2016

Take a moment. Go on. Just look at that cover, isn’t it wonderful? All that inviting gorgeousness on the outside is only the beginning. Just wait ’til you step inside…

Kittys Countryside Dream My ReviewKittys Countryside Dream by Christine Barlow

Kitty’s Countryside Dream is a soul-boosting necessity. I have a suspicion it’s been sprinkled with a little bit of magic, as on the darkest days it’ll warm your cockles and make everything seem right with the world. And I don’t say that lightly – this is not my usual genre of book, but my mood went from grumpy to carefree in nought to sixty (pages that is!).

Life’s not been too kind to Kitty Lewis. She lost her dad when she was young and her mum recently passed away after a long illness and Kitty nursed her until the end.

Ideally she could do with a break. She’s still grieving but needs to try and move on, look for a job, heck, discovering a social life would be a start, when out of the blue our gal in the title unexpectedly inherits a chicken farm. Yes, a chicken farm!

It’s a new start, alright. But she knows as much about chickens as she does about her grandmother – a well respected, but private lady, and a relative she never knew she had.

Kitty’s apprehension to practical poultry is tackled, courtesy of Tom ‘nice on the eye’ Drew, a neighbour and her grandmother’s farm manager. Their initial introductions are met with Kitty generally falling over and planting her rear in the mud, and Tom subsequently smirking while rescuing her.

As Kitty settles into country life with all its farm yard antics on offer, she is determined to discover more about her mystery benefactor. When routinely sorting out the office, the diary of a young woman called Violet comes to light and poses more questions than answers. Kitty might muck in and get her hands dirty, but she’s edging closer to a broken heart. With the help of her characterful friends and a little detective work they try to uncover the past, but it’s a history Kitty could never prepare for.

Expect humorous learning curves, romantic confusion, and the highs and lows of life when secrets that may have died with her parents begin to bubble to the surface. So, get those wellies on and head for a new roost in the country in this delicious feel-good tale with a gorgeous soft centre – this book shows that adapting to a new life is ever easy, but if you’re willing to embrace it then anything is possible.

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks, as always, to Team Bookouture for arranging a digital copy of this book for review.)

Say hello to Snowflake, one of my nephew’s favourite Silkie chooks (one of the breeds mentioned in the book). THEY’RE SO FLUFFYYYY!!!

Kittys Countryside Dream Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

New home. New Life. New beginning. Love affairs can blossom in the most unlikely places…

When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems …

A heart warming, moving and funny tale, perfect for fans of Trisha Ashley and Cathy Bramley.

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Kittys Countryside Dream Author Bio

(Bio Courtesy of Amazon UK / Author photograph courtesy of publisher)

Christie Barlow Profile

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in Staffordshire with her husband, four kids, horses, chickens and a mad cocker spaniel.

Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. She is a Mum who wrote a book to prove to her children whatever you want to do in life go for it. The book she wrote to prove a point is now an Amazon #1 bestseller in the UK and USA.

Christie loves to hear from her readers…

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR:

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Book Review: Lost Girls (Detective Kim Stone Book 3), by Angela Marsons

Publisher:  Bookouture   |   Publication date:  6th November 2015   |   Edition:  Kindle (Review Copy)

Lost Girl Review

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons Kindle Cover

Lost Girls is the third book in a series of consistently traumatic crime thrillers from Angela Marsons, and boy does she know exactly how to create tension. It starts with a ripple, then rises like high tide until engulfs you entirely. When DI Kim Stone was born, crime fiction just got grittier.

With a kidnapping plot escalating, Stone is confronting an invisible adversary and family secrets, that not even an experienced liaison officer can iron out.

One of the worst possible scenarios has occurred – two children are missing. Hideous enough by itself you’d think, that is until a solitary text is received indicating the severity of the situation. While everyone is scratching around for clues, Stone is making promises she may not be able to keep and her already low patience threshold is declining rapidly.

The anonymous texter sends shivers through the team with their carefully selected words. The only way to retrieve the girls is to barter for their lives – highest bidder, winner takes all. Well, their child anyway. The other will not return, leaving one family empty handed after suffering the same ordeal. The question on everyone’s lips is exactly how do you place monetary value on the life of your child? And why should someone else’s be worth any less?

Emotions run feverishly high. Guilt faces the parents at every turn – by not offering enough they risk losing the game, or too much and sealing the fate of another family’s flesh and blood. As a reader you feel every moment of anguish they suffer, while the texter stops at nothing to achieve their goal.

Given Kim Stone’s harsh approach in social situations, you’d think she wouldn’t be assigned to deal with the public in any capacity. But as she was invited to lead the investigation in this instance she’s been warned to keep her manners in check by her Super. Alas, her last ounce of patience is relentlessly poked with a stick when the intervention of so-called expert negotiators is called for and she is forced to bite her tongue. It’s not long before she forges ahead with her own unique approach to bring those responsible down – it’s not always pretty, but it’s very, very effective.

Drawing from her own tragic background, she has developed an aptitude for honing in on the Black Country’s most wanted. Like a dog with a bone, she won’t let go. Especially when there’s kids involved, or one of her team, then you definitely do not want her on your tail, as she’s willing to make the necessary sacrifices to protect them all.

Lost Girls offers yet another viciously cruel game and a supremely unnerving plot. You hear from the good guys, the bad guys and the victims themselves, until the layers of the crime scene paint a picture so vivid you will feel like you’re sitting right in the middle of it – which is perfect, as you won’t want to miss a thing.

ABSOLUTELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT,

H I G H L Y   R E C O M M E N D E D  ! ! !

~ Yes, that’s 5 out of 5 – AGAIN ~

It’s a good ‘un!

(A thousand thanks and more to Team Bookouture and Kim Nash for providing a digital copy of this book for review, and extra-special thanks to the talented Angela Marsons for writing it. Now, the last time I got my hands on a book in this series I offered my left kidney, but if I continue like this I will expire before I’ve read them all. Erm, would you consider an I.O.U. ? Please?)

Lost Girls Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

The latest utterly addictive thriller from the No.1 bestseller Angela Marsons.

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Lost Girls Author Links

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (My Name Is and The Middle Child) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com in an 8 book deal. The second book in the Kim Stone series, EVIL GAMES, was released on 29th May 2015.

TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE

BOOKS IN THE DI KIM STONE SERIES:


 

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Blog Tour Book Review: 24 Hours, by Claire Seeber

Publisher:  Bookouture  |  Publication date: 9th October 2015  |  Edition: Kindle (review copy, via Netgalley)

24 hours My Review

24 hours by claire seeberIt’s ironic to start a book called 24 hours and finish it within that exact time frame. It wasn’t intentional, yet that’s precisely what happened. With such an intriguing opening and emotional trauma throughout, I found it impossible not to tear through the pages of this twisty thriller.

After experiencing the aftermath of a separation from her unstable husband and famous artist, Sid, Laurie Smith was taking a much needed break with her best mate in Cornwall when all hell breaks loose.

We first meet a shocked Laurie standing in scene of carnage being herded like cattle to seek medical attention. She can’t find her best friend. No one has seen her. But worst of all people think that it’s Laurie who is dead, perished in a fire at their hotel.

Hearing her own demise on the news and considering the sourness of her previous turbulent relationship, she is determined to reach her daughter in London before her husband discovers that Laurie still has a pulse.

Her grief for her friend can wait, as can her own safety. Over the next 24 hours we see her making an emotional scramble to get home and protect her child, appealing to strangers for help, while trying to make sense as to why inexplicable events are happening along the way heightening her fear.

It’s easy to follow events as they unfold, as each chapter is entitled with the number of hour about to pass where we’ll see her stumbling from one crisis to another. Sandwiched between them is a revisit to her past, which offers an insight into how her world was demolished by hostility. As the layers begin to peel we get to the core of why she’s so anxious when we re-join her in the present tense (or the tense present) and the hours tick on.

This story will have you hanging on to the coat tails of a desperate mother, while confusion, mistrust and raw emotion brew to create a tense and suspenseful journey of survival where things are not as they first appear. It’s one of those plots where you feel a genuine contempt for the behaviour of a few of the characters, while a stranger’s intervention may take you quite by surprise.

And you’d be forgiven for thinking: exactly how hard can it be to make your way across the country to hold a loved one without bumping into trouble along the way? Sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Not on this watch.

Compelling reading, guaranteed.

Rating: 4/5

(Huge thanks to the Bookouture team for providing space on the blog tour and for the digital copy of this book via Netgalley for review. Much appreciated, as always.)

24 hours Book Summary

My best friend, Emily, is dead – killed last night in a hotel fire.
But it was meant to be me.
Now I have 24 hours to find my daughter.
Before he finds out I’m still alive.

24 Hours is a fast-paced, intelligent psychological thriller that will leave you breathless.

24 hours Author Links

TWITTER   FACEBOOK  |  WEBSITE/BLOG

 *** HERE’S WISHING A VERY HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY TO CLAIRE SEEBER! ***