Blog Tour: The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper

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The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper

Publisher: Headline Review
Published: 20th September 2018 (Paperback)
ISBN13: 978-147225253
ISBN10: 1472252535

Source: I’d actually purchased this book and approved from NetGalley before the fantastic opportunity of this blog tour came around!

Goodreads | Amazon UK

Description

If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.


About The Author

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Twitter @ItsEmmaCooper

Facebook Author Page

Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.


My Thoughts

This book. Oh my goodness, this book. Heartbreaking, funny, witty, loving, devastating. They are the words I describe this book with.

Have you read Me Before You? Yep? You thought that no ending of a book could have you in tears like that again, even after you knew what was going to happen to Will? Right. Imagine that feeling. Now treble that feeling, but add in a dash of unexpectedness. Now imagine the tears. Still with me?? That is how I feel about the ending of this book. No book can ever make me feel the way this book has felt, from the moment I read the first page, to the moment that I stopped reading. Tears were held back, desperately trying not to cry in public. I may have failed a teeny bit…

Let me start at the beginning. This book had me gripped within moments. The writing kept me hooked all the way to the end.

I liked Melody, actually I loved Melody as a character. She’s just a regular (well, regularish) mum, trying her hardest with two teenage kids and the little problem of singing in awkward situations. She was funny, witty. A caring, loving Mum. Her condition made the book feel more fun, but at the same time you feel Rose and Flynn’s embarrassment over it. One section where Melody’s condition did make me laugh. Out loud, again in public. Sex Bomb will never seem the same again!!

Rose and Flynn. Both typical teenagers, but at the same time they’re not. Flynn has his anger issues, and of course his physical differences. He’s tough, angry, quick with his fists. But with his sister and his mum, he is tender and caring. I liked Rose. I could relate to her problems of self harm. I could relate to how it made her feel. She had the biggest development I feel. From this shy girl, to a confident young woman who can stand up to people.

I want to touch on Dev/Tom but I don’t know where to start. I liked him that little bit more for stepping up when he needed to. I liked that he stepped into the role that Flynn and Rose needed. I liked to see their family complete.

The way the book was written was great, you get to have views from Melody, Flynn and Rose separately and eventually we got Tom’s view as well. I loved that we got a look inside their own stories and how everything was to them. It was a nice touch. It made the book feel a little more personal, and you’re able to connect with the characters better.

Then we get back to where I begun. The ending. Throughout the book you are filled with hope, with promise for Melody and her family. Then, it just disappears. I can’t pinpoint that moment but it was devastating. I really wanted to get to the end of the book, but then I wanted to live in Melody’s world for a lot longer.

The epilogue makes things better slightly, but it didn’t feel right. I loved the little updates from Dev, Flynn and Rose and Melody. I’m glad that things were working out for them, and that things had got better. I don’t think it felt right because it didn’t have the fun feeling any more. Either way, I loved it.

Even with the ending, I loved this story. The characters will stick with me for a very long time. This book will also probably reach my top 10 of the year.

A massive 5 stars from me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn 2018 TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.


This Week’s Topic Is: Books On My Fall Autumn 2018 TBR

1: Godblind by Anna Stephens32072924.jpg

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.
Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbours deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.
Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?

2: Through His Eyes by Emma Dibdin40000281.jpg

Jessica Harris has just received a career-making assignment. She’s going to interview Clark Conrad – A-list Hollywood heart-throb and Jessica’s secret teenage crush. Clark’s going through a messy divorce, and wants to rebrand himself in the public eye.
But halfway through her interview, Clark’s teenage daughter is found floating facedown in his infinity pool. And then his young girlfriend accuses him of abuse.
As Clark’s world darkens, Jessica is drawn to help him. This is the man she’s always dreamed of being close to. And now he needs her. He can’t be the monster they say he is… can he?

3: You, Me, Everything by Catherine Isaac31453216.jpg

Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend—and William’s father—Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Lush gardens, a gorgeous pool, delectable French food, and a seemingly never-ending wine list—what’s not to like? Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam fall in love with his own son.
But Adam has other ideas, and another girlfriend—and he doesn’t seem inclined to change the habits of a lifetime just because Jess and William have appeared on the scene. Jess isn’t surprised, but William—who has quickly come to idolize his father—wants nothing more than to spend time with him. But Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down—because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody—especially William—must discover.

4: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides40891998.jpg

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

5: A Spark of Light by Jodi PicoultA-Spark-of-Light-uk-hdbck

The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.
After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.
But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

6: The After Wife by Cass Hunter37926368.jpg

When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.
She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.
Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.
But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.
A gift called iRachel.

7: Smoke In The Sun by Renne Ahdieh

For weeks, seventeen-year-old Mariko pretended to be a boy to infiltrate the notorious Black Clan and bring her would-be murderer to justice. She didn’t expect to find a place for herself among the group of fighters—a life of usefulness—and she 36010223.jpgcertainly didn’t expect to fall in love. Now she heads to the imperial castle to resume a life she never wanted to save the boy she loves.
Ōkami has been captured, and his execution is a certainty. Mariko will do what she must to ensure his survival—even marry the sovereign’s brother, saying goodbye to a life with Ōkami forever.
As Mariko settles into her days at court—making both friends and enemies—and attempting Ōkami’s rescue at night, the secrets of the royal court begin to unravel as competing agendas collide. One arrow sets into motion a series of deadly events even the most powerful magic cannot contain. Mariko and Ōkami risk everything to right past wrongs and restore the honor of a kingdom thrown into chaos by a sudden war, hoping against hope that when the dust settles, they will find a way to be together.

8: One Day In December by Josie Silver37770796

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist. After all, life isn’t a scene from the movies, is it? But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Laurie thinks she’ll never see the boy from the bus again. But at their Christmas party a year later, her best friend Sarah introduces her to the new love of her life. Who is, of course, the boy from the bus.
Determined to let him go, Laurie gets on with her life.
But what if fate has other plans?

9: Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness51E604r6dfL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

Set in contemporary Paris and London, and the American colonies during the upheaval and unrest that exploded into the Revolutionary War, a sweeping story that braids together the past and present.
On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life, free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply-held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.
Fast forward to contemporary London, where Marcus has fallen for Phoebe Taylor, a young employee at Sotheby’s. She decides to become a vampire, too, and though the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable in the modern world than they were in the 18th century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both – for ever.

10: City of Lies by Sam Hawke39849390.jpg

I was seven years old the first time my uncle poisoned me . . .
Only a handful of people in Silasta know Jovan’s real purpose in life. To most, he is just another son of the ruling class. The quiet, forgettable friend of the Chancellor’s charming, irresponsible heir. In reality, Jovan has been trained for most of his life to detect, concoct and withstand poisons in order to protect the ruling family.
His sister Kalina is too frail to share in their secret family duty. While other women of the city hold positions of power and responsibility, her path is full of secrets and lies – some hidden even from her own brother.
Until now, peace has reigned in Silasta for hundreds of years. But when the Chancellor succumbs to an unknown poison and an army storms the gates, the so-called Bright City is completely unprepared. It falls to Jovan and Kalina to protect the heir and save their homeland – but first they must make their way through a new world of unexpected treachery, a world where the ancient spirits are rising . . . and angry.

 

Categories TTT

Blog Tour Guest Post: Because Mummy Said So by Shari Low

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Because Mummy Said so by Shari Low

Publisher: Aria
Published: September 2018
ISBN13: 9781786696724

Goodreads | Amazon UK | Kobo

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Description

The era of the yummy mummy has finally gone.

To celebrate this, Shari Low has taken a baby wipe to the glossy veneer of the school of perfect parenting and written Because I Said So to show us the truth about motherhood in all of its sleep-deprived, frazzled glory.

This is a book that every experienced, new or soon-to-be parent will relate to – well, hallelujah and praise be those who worship at the temple of Febreze. For over a decade, Shari wrote a hugely popular weekly newspaper column documenting the ups, downs and bio-hazardous laundry baskets of family life.

Because Mummy Said So is a collection of her favourite stories of parenting, featuring superheroes in pull up pants, embarrassing mistakes, disastrous summer holidays, childhood milestones, tear-jerking nativity plays, eight bouts of chickenpox and many, many discussions that were finished with the ultimate parental sticky situation get-out clause..


About the Author

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Shari Low has published eighteen books under her own name and pseudonyms Millie Conway and Ronni Cooper. She is also one half of the writing duo, Shari King. She lives near Glasgow with her husband, two teenagers and a labradoodle.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Guest Post

Remember that old stereotype of the Yummy Mummy? The size ten, swingy pony-tailed, glossy mum who had perfectly behaved children, a personal trainer on speed-dial, drank non-fat skinny cappuccinos with her friends every lunch time and never crossed her door sporting a T-shirt with unidentified food stains left by one of her children?
Well, that wasn’t me.
While those yummy mummies were getting their highlights topped up in the salon every week, I was sporting inch-long roots, a knackered demeanor, chasing a wee guy dressed as a superhero round the house, and I’m fairly sure the reason I couldn’t find my make up bag for at least a year and a half was because it was in the one place I’d never find it – the bottom of the ironing pile.
But I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved every minute of imperfect parenting – so much so that for fifteen years I shared my disasters, mortifying moments and carefree inadequacies with the world in a weekly newspaper column about the chaos of family life.
Spanning the years from pregnancy to the day my eldest left home at 16 (no, I’m not crying, have something in my eye), Because Mummy Said So is a collection of my favourite motherhood memories, failures and episodes of mayhem. The nursery days. The school nativity plays. The holiday debacles. The Christmas calamities. And those teen years of sulks and dramas. Usually mine.
It’s parenthood as it really is, in all its fallible, unpredictable, hilarious glory – designed to make other mums laugh and to reinforce the message that no-one is perfect and we’re all just doing the best we can.
Expectant mums will see what’s ahead of them. New mums will see that no one ever really has it sussed. Experienced mums will recognise all those times they’ve been there, done that and got the spaghetti-stained T-shirt. And empty nesters? Well, hopefully this will take them back to their own favourite moments and make them smile.
Oh, and the Yummy Mummy? I’m sure she’ll love it too. She can read it while she’s getting her roots done.



Cover Reveal: The Stepsister by Jenny O’Brien

Today I’m bringing you a cover reveal for Jenny O’Brien’s new book, The Stepsister. It’s definitely an intriguing sounding book, and I’m excited to be on the blog tour in November. Don’t forget to read all the way to end of the post, there’s an exclusive look at the beginning of the book!!


Book Description

Publication Date: 29th October 2018

When a stranger leaves step-sisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.

But there’s no mistake when Ness goes missing.

Desperate for the truth, Victoria heads to Holland to find out what happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?

But there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead.

Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late?

Amazon UK Pre-Order Here


About The Author

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Jenny O’Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey. She’s an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a RoNA judge. She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She’s also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings – two of which you’ll always find in her books.

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You’ll be pleased to note she won’t be entering Bake-Off.

Readers can find out more about Jenny from her blog: https://jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com

Facebook | Twitter


And For The Cover……

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Exclusive Extract:

Prologue

I died yesterday, or so I’ve been told.

Yesterday is the day my life changed but how or why is still a mystery. There are things I know and there are things that they’ve told me but I can’t seem to trust any of it.

I know I’m a woman but I don’t know my age. I know how to hold a cup in the same way I know it’s rude to stick the end of a knife in my mouth. So, somewhere along the way, someone cared enough to drill manners into me. Those are the things I know, the things I can trust but as for the rest…

They tell me I’m in Holland but can I believe them? I don’t remember if I’m Dutch but I also don’t remember if I’m not. I can’t speak Dutch. I’ve been trying all morning but can one lose a language overnight? I seem to have lost everything else. Who knows? Maybe I took the wrong train or something and just rolled up in the wrong city. That would make sense except that it’s not just my sense of place that’s missing. It’s my sense of everything. I have no name, no age and no identity. Yesterday I died and today I’m still here.

They’ve left me alone now while they try to puzzle out what to do and in the meantime I’m going to try to remember stuff. I don’t know how long they’ll leave me alone but I need to take this

opportunity to come up with some answers to all the questions they’ve been throwing at me like who the hell I am.

Slipping out of bed I recoil as bare feet meets cold tiles, but that’s not going to stop me. Pulling the back of the hospital gown closed in an effort to retain some degree of dignity, I shuffle over to the bathroom and then the mirror only to stare into the face of a stranger.

It doesn’t matter what I look like or that I’m suffering from the worst case of bed-head known to man. It doesn’t matter that my eyes are green or that my hair is that shade of nondescript mouse that keeps colourists in business. The only thing that matters is my reflection, which holds no clues as to my identity. I’m a stranger to them. I’m a stranger to me.

My body holds a clue though – just one.

I push up my sleeve again to stare at the tattoo on my arm. The tattoo puzzles me. It’s not me, or part of me or who I think I am and yet it’s there, a large indelible letter V.

I have no idea what it stands for. Oh, I’m not stupid or anything or, at least I don’t think I am. I can’t quote which exams I’ve passed or if indeed I’ve ever attended school but I do know V stands for victory. But what does it mean to me? Am I victorious? Am I making a statement about something? It must be important because it’s the only tattoo I have. It’s also the only clue.

I’m tired now. My eyelids collapse over my eyes even as I struggle to shift them upwards as I remember the cocktail the nurse told me to swallow like a good girl. I want everything to go away. I want to hide under the blankets and forget. I’ve already forgotten…

Apologies!!

Hi, just a quick simple post to apologise.

I copied and pasted a tag I wanted to do on the WordPress app on my phone and then tried saving it for a later date. Oops, shouldn’t have done that!! It automatically posted, and probably went out to everyone’s email inbox. Sorry!!!

I’m even more sorry if it was your post!! I’m not stealing it, or trying to pass it off as my own. It was your post that made me want to do the tag in the first place. I can’t remember where I found it, but again, I’m so very sorry for my technical faults!!!

I deleted the post straight away but I know it has definitely gone out into the world thanks to me speaking to someone who follows the blog…

Thanks,

Zoe

Mini Reviews #12

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Squeeze Play by Aven Ellis

Ugh. I love a romance story as much as the next person but this book was just… Nope. By the time it really began to annoy me, I was already nearly finished so I finished. I skimmed a lot of the last 25%. I did not like Hayley in the slightest, she needs to learn new words other than Ooh. My kindle very nearly got thrown after reading it for the third time. On a page. The story was just very repetitive, they had the same conversations over and over again, they said the same feelings again and again. I found the whole thing boring to be honest, and I only kept because I couldn’t decide what else to read…. Second book I’ve not enjoyed by this author, which means I’m likely to avoid anything else.


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The Peer and The Puppet by B.B Reid

I surprisingly liked this story. I wasn’t sure on the whole romance side of it, or the sex side of it, but it all worked really well. Ever is as hot as hell, even if he is a bit of a dick with his blackmailing and domineering and just plain old demanding. But damn. I liked Four as well. She’s feisty, bad ass, and knows how to say no (even if she does cave eventually). I liked the way the chapters were set out, and the writing style was entertaining. One thing I’m still unsure on is their relationship… They’re practically Step-siblings and it’s sort of weird in a way… But, I can easily look past that for this story. Happily read anything else by the author.


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Overdrive by Juanita Kees

This story wasn’t actually what I was really expecting, which sort of disappointed me. It was sort of an insta-love situation but with grown ups and it’s threw me slightly. One moment things were going slowly, and the next they were all over each other and it didn’t really explain how they got there… A very rushed story, with not much backstory or anything. Characters were fairly flat, which meant that I didn’t really connect with any of them. Again, a disappointment when the story had so much potential.


40229765Bad Night Stand by Elisa Faber

While I liked Jordan and Abigail, the story wasn’t all that. I loved the fact that everything went backwards, but their back stories were just the same as all the other books out there. There were funny moments, a couple of touching moments, and a lot of unneeded moments. I’m a bit disappointed by this book to be honest. The description sounded a lot better than it actually was, there is massive amounts of potential but it hasn’t reached the greatness it could be. The ending of the book felt rushed, like the author just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t get the feelings that were supposed to be there, everything just felt flat and poor.


30187094.jpg Turn it Up by Kim Karr

For me, this wasn’t as good as the first book in this series. I didn’t feel the connection with Jasper or Charlotte like I did with the first one.  This book didn’t have the excitement, or the tension of the first either. The whole thing sort of felt rushed, unplanned, and just tying up the loose ends of the first one whilst answering some leftover questions we have I had from the first book. It also felt like the whole book was just about them having sex, which isn’t an issue except I wanted more from it than that. I was a little disappointed because I really liked the first one. Hasn’t made me want to avoid the author though if all her books are like the first, Set The Pace.



 

First Lines Friday #6

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

I’ve not done a First Lines Friday for a while so I though it was about time I brought it back, instead of doing my Wednesday Words posts. First Lines Friday is a very popular weekly feature for bloggers and I did enjoy taking part!!


The First Lines

Skin scraped stone. Gravel lodged in raw flesh. Still Zoe crawled.

Death was a ghoul in the dark, creeping up behind her one rasping foot after another. Soon it’s freezing fingers would land on her shoulder. Then she would stop, but not until there was no blood left inside her. She was grateful for the pitch black of autumn night. It meant she could not see the grotesque mess of her own body. What little strength remained in her upper arms deserted her. On her elbows, she dragged her body forward, hope still pulsing through her veins where plasma once flowed.


The Book…

36589626 Perfect Silence (D.I. Callanach #4) by Helen Fields Goodreads

When silence falls, who will hear their screams?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin. And when a macabre ragdoll is found nestled beside an abandoned baby, DI Luc Callanch learns the killer’s horrifying game plan – cutting out dolls from the flesh of his victims.

When a series of drug-users are brutally branded with the letter Z slashed into their foreheads, Luc and his partner Ava must risk both their jobs and their lives to unearth the truth. Is this the merciless work of the same assailant?

As the killer’s twisted games persist, Luc knows it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?


This first line doesn’t let on to half of how gruesome and gripping this book is. It’s an intense read but definitely worth it.

Would you pick this book up based on the first line??

Author Interview: @CarrieElks

I’m really excited to be bringing you this today. I got the chance to send Carrie Elks some questions to feature here before her upcoming publication of By Virtue Fall.

Other books written by her are Summer’s Lease, A Winter’s Tale, Absent In The Spring, Fix You and the Love in London series.


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About Carrie Elks

Carrie Elks writes contemporary romance with a sizzling edge. Her first book, Fix You, has been translated into eight languages and made a surprise appearance on Big Brother in Brazil. Luckily for her, it wasn’t voted out. Carrie lives with her husband, two lovely children and a larger-than-life black pug called Plato. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found baking, drinking an occasional (!) glass of wine, or chatting on social media.

Twitter: @CarrieElks | Facebook: @CarrieElksAuthor


Questions

1: Can you tell any readers who haven’t read any of your books what they can expect from them?

I’m a romance author and I write stories about strong women and the men who fall in love with them. My characters don’t always start out strong – they’re often recovering from setbacks in life – but as the story continues their characters develop and they gain strength when they most need it. My books nearly always contain interesting family dynamics along with gorgeous locations and the kinds of careers that interest me. My aim is to keep the reader entertained to the last page, and leave them with an emotionally satisfying ending.

2: How did you break into the publishing world? What were some of the challenges you faced?

It’s a strange story, really. I started out writing fanfiction and posting my stories for free online. Through that I made connections with readers and fellow writers. After about a year of writing fanfic I was contacted by a new agent called Meire Dias, who asked if I’d consider her representing me for a publishing contract. Although I’d never met Meire, and she lived in another country (Brazil at the time) I decided to go for it – nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Since then she has sold 5 books to UK publishers, and has also sold my books to 8 different countries. It’s not the usual route to publication but it worked for me!

3: I follow you on social media and you mention your family a lot. What sort of inspiration do you get from them? Have you ever based a character on a family member?

I don’t think I’ve based any characters on family members, but I definitely use my experience to write about family dynamics. I especially love writing books that have children in them – having a baby really throws everything to the wind and makes life interesting, and it can make a book interesting too. Children can also provide some great comic relief. Some of my favourite scenes in By Virtue Fall have Poppy (Juliet’s daughter) and Charlie (Ryan’s son) in them. They’re best friends but they argue a lot. I always smile when I write about them.

4: Where did you get the idea for The Shakespeare Sisters Series?

The series title came to me first. I just really liked the sound of it. From there I started to think about four sisters and the stories that would revolve around them. Because there were four of them I decided to base each book around a different season. I also liked the idea of having Shakespeare-based titles – so each book is either named after a play or a sonnet he wrote. Some were easier than others. I couldn’t find a great title about Autumn so had to go with Fall instead!

5: Which of the sisters has been your favourite to write?

They’ve all been really interesting in their own way, but I think Juliet (in By Virtue Fall) has been the most interesting for me. I think it’s maybe because she’s juggling bringing up a child, starting a new business and handling her divorce – the kind of challenges so many of us modern women have. She has to make tough decisions like whether she can help out in her daughter’s classroom or if her business will suffer too much. These are the kind of dilemmas we all have every day. I loved watching her story unfold on the screen before me, and enjoyed writing about her burgeoning relationship with Ryan Sutherland, the single dad who moves in next door.

6: All the men in your books seem to have high pressured jobs, what can we expect in By Virtue Fall?

Ryan’s a little different than the other heroes, in that he’s taking a career break to help his six year old son settle in to school. Ryan’s a travel photographer and has visited many countries throughout the world, but he’s never settled in one place before. He’s definitely an alpha male, and a hands-on kind of guy. He builds treehouses and sails boats and can stand up for himself whenever it’s needed. Even better, he can dance a mean tango too!

7: If the series were being made into a movie, whom would you pick to play the lead roles?

I haven’t really thought about this before. But off the top of my head here are a few suggestions:

SUMMER’S LEASE

Cesca – Emma Stone
Sam – Sam Claflin

A WINTER’S TALE

Kitty – Margot Robbie
Adam – Sam Worthington (there are a lot of Sams in these movies!)

ABSENT IN THE SPRING

Lucy – Kate Winslet
Lachlan – Henry Cavill

BY VIRTUE FALL

Juliet – Amy Adams
Ryan – A young Robert Redford!

8: What types of books do you enjoy in your downtime? Can you recommend any?

I’ve been reading a lot of women’s fiction recently. I really enjoyed The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman, Together by Julie Cohen and Rachel Burton’s The Many Colours of Us. They’re all very beautiful stories of recovery and hope which really touched my heart.

9: Can you give any details on anything you’re working on at the moment?

I’m writing a brand new series which I hope to release in 2019. It’s set in a small town in California and the first three books are about three best friends. I love the combination of the beach and ocean air with the small town vibe. I’m really excited about this one!

10: Is there any advice you would give someone looking into writing as a career?

Keep writing. It’s as easy and as hard as that. You can’t sell a book without having written it. Make sure you have characters you care about and a plot that excites you, along with settings that you can picture those characters in. You’re going to spend a lot of time with this book so make sure you enjoy it.


 

Book Review: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

33876440.jpg This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

Publisher: Penguin
Published: 2nd November 2017
ISBN13: 9780141379272

Goodreads | Amazon UK

Description

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?


My Review

When I started this, I struggled to understand what was happening, what things meant but then I got a couple of chapters in and it all clicked. We’re promised action, fast paced moments, and potentially a whole lot of blood.

This book has massive amount of potential. It’s definitely got a sci-fi feel to it which I normally don’t go for, but I found myself enjoying it immensely. I was a victim of the One More Chapter problem, and I also found myself avoiding housework so I could read.

The idea of the Hydra virus, and how people on the surface keep immune is unique. It is also equally disgusting. Exploding people? Yeah, that’s all featured here. The idea of people having tech and apps inside of them is also different for me, and I could see the appeal of reading more books like this.

I liked Catarina. She was this strong, independent girl. She was bad ass and knew what she wanted. Unfortunately, she also became a bit stereotypical of having to rely on a man to keep her functioning in a sense. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Cole. But Cat leant on him a bit too much towards the end of the book. She should have carried on being the independent bad ass woman. When Cole was first introduced, I thought we were going to have very dominant romantic feel to the rest of the story, but thankfully it feel to back of the storyline until about 80% through. And that, for me, was when Catarina become less independent.

This book is very descriptive, and well thought out. The little details about the coding, the pigeons at the beginning of the book, and even the bunkers were all described perfectly. I was gripped within a couple of chapters and I was on tenterhooks for the majority of  the book. There were a few twists and turns throughout, and I will be honest when I say I didn’t see them coming.

I did enjoy this book, it was completely different for me and it made a good change. I liked the characters, I liked the storyline, and e whole general idea of the story. I’ve given it 4 stars though, if Catarina had been as strong at the end of the book as she was the beginning then it could have been different.


Other Books in this Series:

39669257.jpg This Cruel Design available 1st November

Goodreads

Where can you hide when you’re running from yourself?

Catarina thought they’d stopped the Hydra virus. She was wrong.

After laying everything on the line to decrypt the vaccine, Cat realises that Lachlan’s daemon code is in the panel of every person on the planet’s surface. With it, he can reprogram humanity.

She, Cole and Leoben set out to stop him, but they’re on a timer. Cartaxus – the shadowy corporation that’s both helped and hindered them – has a deadly end game in play. The virus is evolving, the vaccine is dying, and if Cat can’t find Lachlan in three days, they’ll use lethal code to wipe out every person on the planet.

Their path takes them to Entropia, an underground city deep in the desert and home to the most extreme gene hackers, run by the queen of coding, Regina.

Struggling with the revelations about her past, and plagued by strange visions, what Cat finds in Entropia is more than just a trail to Lachlan. Because in the vaulted chambers of Regina’s kingdom, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts, and discovers that the biggest threat of all may be buried in her own mind.