Books/book review/crime fiction
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Who is to be believed? That’s what the trial is for….

No Further Questions Book Cover No Further Questions
Gillian McAllister
psychological, mystery, thriller, literary fiction
Michael Joseph
October 4, 2018
400

The police say she's guilty.

She insists she's innocent.

She's your sister.

You loved her.

You trusted her.

But they say she killed your child.

 

Who do you believe?

This is a heart-rending tale of a small baby dying and the subsequent trial when the post-mortem shows that she could have been murdered.

Two sisters are divided here as one was baby-sitting for the other, and it was in her care that the baby died, and thus she is on trial.

Would you believe that your sister deliberately killed your baby?

This book tells the struggle of the mother as she sits through the trial and the evidence mounts against her sister.

The trial felt very real to me.

The questioning of the witnesses and the way small things were built up into an overwhelming case of guilty.

A book where you need to keep on reading to find out what the verdict was and does she admit what really happened? Or do we never find out?

I thought it well written, with the complex science of the pathology explained simply enough for the reader to understand and the conclusions that thus could be drawn.

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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction
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Trial for a twin

Guilt Book Cover Guilt
Amanda Robson
Fiction, suspense, psychological
Avon Books
April 19, 2018
416

'Thrilling, unputdownable, a fabulous rollercoaster of a read' B A PARIS, bestselling author of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS The number 1 bestseller is back! Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal. There is no bond greater than blood . . . When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars? Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters' lives apart - but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to? As the sisters' relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb's past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who? Claustrophobic and compelling, Amanda Robson is back in a knock-out thriller perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Paula Hawkins.

I found this book tricky to make sense of initially as it is written by several characters, each having their own chapter, and thus following the story-line was hard. But I persevered, and was very glad indeed!

Gradually, the characters involved in the story become clearer, and you begin to suspect that all is not well with Sebastien. What is he hiding? And who is/was Jude? And just what happened to him/her?

From the beginning, Sebastien comes over as someone just too full of his own importance, and you learn through his chapters, something of what is going on in his mind, and it is darker than you originally thought it could be.

For my mind, however, there is one major fault with the story. I knew the solution and I also thought the ending – final chapter – rather sickly. I wonder if there was a choice of endings and someone said: “This will appeal to a female audience”.  For me, it didn’t ring of truth.

So not a 5 star book, but a jolly good 4.

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Books/book review/Fantasy/fiction
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Not that clumsy surely?

The Clumsy Clairvoyant Book Cover The Clumsy Clairvoyant
(The Deadicated Matchmaker Book 3)
S E Babin
contemporary fiction, romance, humour, fantasy
Kindle

Grace Banner can’t date.

Well, she can, but it isn’t any fun because she can see the future and occasionally hear the thoughts of others. Plus...she’s an enormous clutz. As in she can barely even lift a glass without disaster striking. In desperation, Grace turns to the mysterious woman at The Deadication Dating Agency who promises to find her a match.

Lucas Marsh isn’t interested in dating, but when his brother purchases him a membership to a dating agency, he humors him. Just once. But when he meets Grace he can’t help but be interested. Until he finds out about her powers. And her complete inability to walk without running into something. Lucas is a man with secrets and dating a clairvoyant is out of the question. He ditches her on their very first date, leaving Grace alone and rejected.

But one thing Lucas doesn’t know is that the mysterious force behind the town’s agency isn’t ready to admit defeat. Her spotless track record isn’t going down just because of a few little secrets...

I really like

SE Babin’s writing style, especially her snappy speech for her heroines when they meet douche bag males!

But for our heroine it is not always good to know when bad things happen. Even worse for you to black out and not remember what you said.

Especially as it seems you are prophesying that some bad things are going to happen to this magic own that Portia established. This fun town where all sorts of fantastic species meet and fall in love to a design that only Portia knows, and which is why she has established the dating agency that this series is based around.

Babin is currently one of my favourite authors.  And I am reading lots of her series.

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Books/book review/Random and interesting items
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You’d swear too….

Why Mummy Swears Book Cover Why Mummy Swears
The struggles of an exasperated Mum
Gill Sims
Biography & Autobiography, humour, literature
HarperCollins
June 18, 2018
352

Why Mummy Swears is the much anticipated new novel from Gill Sims, author of the hilarious Why Mummy Drinks and online sensation Peter and Jane. It's every parents' nightmare - the start of the school holidays - and instead of sitting in the sun, reading a book over a cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio, Mummy has two bored moppets to attend to. After frantically booking sports camps, child minder slots, not to mention time off work, Mummy is exhausted. But this is only the beginning... After being dragged to join the school's PTA in the new term by an annoyingly kind-spirited neighbour, Mummy is stuck with organising the Christmas Fayre and pleasing all the overly disapproving parents. In combination with getting to know her father's surprise new glamorous (and much younger) wife, and being forced to spend more time with her narcissistic mother, life isn't cutting her much of a break. What more could possibly happen?

I giggled, giggled, and giggled some more. So many episodes rang true – if exaggerated – and I could guess that they were based on actual events, not just for her, but for us as well.

I too tried to feed my first child organic, home cooked mush – and he rejected it in favour of jars. I even tried to hide my own food in the jars but he spotted the difference.. my lovingly cooked food – many hours spent following recipes – didn’t fool him one bit. Jars from factories were preferred.

And the cost of school holidays racked up a significant amount with pony camps, adventuring in Wales, and so on for us too.

I am left wondering what could have been in her app ‘Why Mummy Drinks’ that made her so much money – I suspect a lot of people would really like one to exist! (reality check – it doesn’t exist, I know, I looked for it!)

 

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Books/blogtour/book review/fiction/Romance/authors
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When being apart is not as good as being together

Better Together Book Cover Better Together
One Fond Embrace
Crista McHugh
Crista McHugh
(1 July 2018)

Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.

Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.

As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?

 

I’d love to go to Maui.

And I have heard about the cowboys but didn’t realise the following:

British Captain George Vancouver brought the first long-horned cattle to Hawai‘i in 1793 as a gift to King Kamehameha I. The grateful king placed a kapu (Hawaiian code of conduct)—carrying a death penalty—on their slaughter so they could multiply on Hawai‘i Island. Soon, there were enormous herds terrorizing everything in their path.

To contain the wild-eyed beasts, Hawaiian royalty summoned the seasoned cowboys of Old Mexico to the islands in 1832. The dashing vaqueros quickly taught Hawaiians how to tame the unruly bullocks. It’s thought the Hawaiian word paniolo originates from the Spanish word, español. These early island cattlemen are credited with supplying beef to the hordes of prospectors during California’s Gold Rush.

All this comes from the tourist board information. and makes the island even  more attractive.

But setting aside the location of the novel, the actual storyline followed the usual romance tropes. In that boy meets girl. They have a whirlwind romance. They break up for some reason. They meet again and…

But this is OK if the writing is good enough and the actual characterization makes you want to continue reading. Which it did in this case.

I found this a sweet novel with good ideas and nice writing style. Not the most difficult of reads, but good for light reading on planes and beaches.

 

 

 

Author

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage:

www.cristamchugh.com.

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3035791.Crista_McHugh

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