What Katie Did

Cross Her Heart Book Cover Cross Her Heart
Sarah Pinborough
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
HarperCollins UK
May 14, 2018
384

The explosive follow-up from Sarah Pinborough, author of the NUMBER ONE Sunday Times bestseller Behind Her Eyes.

‘Cross my heart and hope to die…’

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?

A secret no one could ever guess.

Someone is living a lie.

Is it Lisa?

Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.

Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

This book kept me hooked.

You think you know the story but you don’t – the twists and turns and slow reveal of the real truth behind, was very well done.

You have tears in your eyes when you find out Charlotte’s childhood story and then Daniel’s is revealed and oh how you hope that their parents are in prison. And never coming out.

But you never suspect what Katie did. Not until her history is revealed too and her mother’s action causing such a reaction.

An excellent, cleverly crafted story, well told with empathy and understanding of how childhood trauma can affect future behaviours.

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Some Shades are honourable?

Shade of Honor Book Cover Shade of Honor
(Standard of Honor Series Book 1
Taki Drake, TS Paul
Russian, Fairytale, Mythology
Kindle

Bereft of their elders in magic, hired out to strangers to feed their families. Survival was a constant battle for the Russian Witches. Despised by other witches for their rigid focus on contracts, they were without a moral compass, honorless. That was not good enough for some. For the young witch, Zhanna, life was not worth living without honor – or her magic. Could she find both in her homeland? Would her desire and drive be enough to locate her shade of honor?

This is a story set in the Federal Witch Multiverse. And is set in Russia after the elder witches had been killed.

It didn’t capture my imagination and thus I didn’t complete it.  It might appeal to a YA as the heroine is 17 and has a familiar – a very nice cat but…

 

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When your letter gets lost

The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Helen Cullen
Literary fiction, Contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 15, 2018
464

Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . . Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries- Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names - they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers. But when William discovers letters addressed simply to 'My Great Love', his work takes on new meaning. Written by a wistful woman to the soulmate she hasn't met yet, the missives capture William's heart in ways he didn't know possible, and soon he begins to wonder- Are these letters truly lost? Or might he be the intended recipient-could hebe her great love?

A slow burn story of the small (ish) lives we can allow ourselves to lead, where everything irritates and is no longer an amusing trait.

“was real romance just persevering when times were hard, hidden in the daily domestic rituals of a shared life.”

This element of the book was beautifully portrayed.

But.

Overall, I found the book to be slightly disappointing form the hype. I expected to love it and award it 5 stars, But I don’t and I haven’t.

A nice read but by the end I found the whole ‘Winter’ concept to be annoying especially after William ignored the big clue with the photographs. And I found the denouement unsatisfactory.

 

PS. 3 foot in size Grandfather clocks are known as Grandmother clocks! We have a beautiful one on our wall.

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If He Wakes: Zoe explains

If He Wakes Book Cover If He Wakes
Zoe Lea
Fiction, thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
April 30, 2018
300

You can always trust your best friend... can’t you? When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car. Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened. Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine... Can their friendship survive? 'A tense, pulse-quickening tale. If you read the first chapter, you can’t help but read the second. I flew through this perfect summer read of best friends in turmoil in one feverish session.' Paula Daly

ZOE LEA – IF HE WAKES

 1.Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I got the initial idea for If He Wakes, and that very early idea would just not leave me alone.  I wrote about it because I couldn’t not write about it, and I realise how corny that sounds!
The idea of complete betrayal appealed to me, and although If He Wakes is similar to a lot of other books out there in this genre, I think the way it handles female friendship is a little different. In so much as it’s the central characters friendship that’s the narrative spine of the book, not the horrific acts that surround it.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually think about a topic for quite a while before starting to write about it.  I like to keep a note book and write down the initial premise and then continue to add to it until I’m pretty sure the structure the book will take, by that time, I know if I’ve got a whole book or not.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I’m lucky in that I have several friends who work in the force and one in particular that is happy to answer all of my questions!

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Too many times to remember!  I’ve been writing in one from or another for years so getting rejections is part and parcel of it all.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

This is hard one because there are two schools of thought, I know people who have an amazing online presence and because of that, have been approached by agents and publishers.  However, if the book you write isn’t up to scratch, I don’t think it will make any difference how big your audience is.  It always comes down to the quality of work in the end.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I like to read a good escapist novel when I’m looking for a book to nurture me, something that will help me forget where I am and transport me to a different world.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Mystery and crime.  It can be any genre, so long as there’s an element of mystery or crime to the plot, I like to read something and try to solve it.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Stephen King has had the biggest influence on me and my writing.  His book, ‘On Writing,’ is a must read for anyone who is writing at the moment or thinking of becoming a writer.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.

Twitter: @zoe___lea

Instagram: ZoeLeaWriter

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The (Mis)Adventures of Queen Abby

Out of... Book Cover Out of...
The Goddess Chronicles
SE Babin
paranormal, mythology, romance
Kindle

A new day. A new boss. A new job that may not be all it's cracked up to be.

Hades has given Abby what appears to be an easy task. Wrangle his errant wife Persephone back to the Underworld. No problem, right?

When Abby finally finds her, things don't go well. Persephone isn't happy to see her, nor is she willing to even entertain the possibility of going back to the Underworld. She's found a mortal and is determined to get him down the aisle. Considering Persephone is already married to Hades, there's something not quite right upstairs with her.

As wedding bells grow closer for Persephone and her unsuspecting mortal groom, Abby begins to wonder what Hades sees in this wretch of a girl and why she's even bothering to try to bring her back home.

But as with most things involving Olympus, things are not always as they seem. Much to Abby's chagrin, it's not just Olympus getting involved this time. Join Abby and her friends for the wedding of the century, complete with bad bridesmaid dresses, paranormal drama, and cake testing. By the end of it, someone is either going to be married...or dead.

Book 1 in this series – new to me – didn’t quite convince me, but it was light and breezy and all about gods and Olympus and I wasn’t going to quibble. The interesting thing I’ve found with series is that either improve as the author gets to know her trade and her characters better, or disintegrate as the author had one brilliant idea bt didn’t know how to follow it up.

This was the former. The books got better. And ended up a 4.5….

Book 2 improved in style and tension and left you with a cliff-hanger and unresolved situation, so you needed to sort it in book 3. As I read book 3 I journeyed through jealousy, magic, prophecies and epic quarrels and unrequited love. Nothing too small happens in these books. They are always epic happenings with un expected results! No real plan but Abby bumbles through and comes out ahead – just.

I do suspect that the author has been watching the TV programme Lucifer as her description fit him to a tee – apart from the singing and piano playing. Although one should suspect the good voice from the actor as he comes from Wales – a total Black Welsh.

And then we have the mystery of the daemon and is there a Heaven and a Christian God and if so, what about all the other mythic deities and their heavens. Can of Worms.. and a serious case of Google to find out just who these creatures are.

Well done SE Babin. You totally hooked me and you have done lots of research too on myths.

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