Someone Close to Home Blog Tour

 

 

Someone Close to Home

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GoodReads:
Talented pianist Megan Youngblood has it all – fame, fortune and Gideon.

But Gideon isn’t good enough for Megan’s ambitious, manipulative mother, whose meddling has devastating repercussions for Megan and for those close to her.

Now, trapped inside her own body, she is unable to communicate her needs or fears as she faces institutional neglect in an inadequate care home.

And she faces Annie. Sadistic Annie who has reason to hate her. Damaged Annie who shouldn’t work with vulnerable people.

Just how far will Annie go?

‘Someone Close To Home’ is a story of love, malice and deadly menace.

Book Information:
Paperback:
252 pages
Publisher: Ashford Carbonel Publishing (9 Dec. 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0995696608
ISBN-13: 978-0995696600
Amazon UK Link

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: Rape, sexual, emotional/mental, and physical abuse. Violence/murder, and elder/medical abuse.

This book, this was nothing like I expected! I thought it was going to be more of a thriller, but that’s not to say it’s not, it’s just, so much more than that.

The past and present collide as Megan Youngblood after suffering a stroke is put into a rather low funded care home by her two children. This does give her time to think about her past though, the journey that led her to this moment, especially as she’s left unable to communicate. She is under the mercies of the caregivers, some who are sweet and caring, some who treat it sim[ly as a job, and others. Others who use their position to abuse her and others in the home.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be anything new for Megan, her life has been rife with pain. She’s been under the care of those who would do her harm before, only this time she cannot even protest it if she wanted to.

Each chapter gives us the present and the past, and I was caught up in both timelines and it was almost weird to come upon them joining to just have the present but I’m so happy it was done this way, you see just how much Megan has been through. But I also feel as if she’d been through too much. It was a very hard and heavy read, as much as I loved it, it was not something I expected to make me so emotional; in the best and worst of ways haha, you can’t help but cry for Megan and her life, but I do think the ending made it all worthwhile, but, telling would be spoilers.

The main issue I had with this, and that’s not that it was a hard read, that’s just a warning that you will be probably too invested in Megan’s life, but that it felt disjointed between the ‘scarier’ thriller part and the rest of it.

I expected Annie to be featured more prominently given her role in the book, instead that huge plot of the story doesn’t come in till 70+ % through, so that was a bit of a shock to the system and by that time it made it feel like two different stories, but, the culmination of it all brings it all back on track.

Great, difficult read. Thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for a chance to read and review this as part of my honest opinion. Four cups from me!

 

About the Author

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Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and all she can remember about it is that:
  • it was written in pencil in a book with weights and measures on the back
  • the two heroes were Prince Rupert and his brother (whose name was changed to Sam to facilitate the rhyming process.)      
  • as writer, producer and director she ‘bagged’ the part of female lead. 
When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines and since then has fulfilled her ambition to write a novel.
Someone Close to Home has won two ‘Chill with a Book’ awards – The Reader’s Award and the Book of the Month Award.
Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.  
As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her first book – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.
What else can she say?  Nothing, really. Writing this personal promotion has been very, very hard and she needs to go away now and lie down in a darkened room, preferably with a big bar of chocolate…  
She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

 

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The God Game Blog Tour

 

 

The God Game

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GoodReads:
You are invited!
COme inside and play with G.O.D.
Bring your friends!
It;’s fun!
But remember the rules. Win and ALL YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE.™ Lose, you die!
With those words, Charlie and his friends enter the G.O.D. Game, a video game run by underground hackers and controlled by a mysterious AI that believes it’s God. Through their phone-screens and high-tech glasses, the teens’ realities blur with a virtual world of creeping vines, smoldering torches, runes, glyphs, gods, and mythical creatures. When they accomplish a mission, the game rewards them with expensive tech, revenge on high-school tormentors, and cash flowing from ATMs. Slaying a hydra and drawing a bloody pentagram as payment to a Greek god seem harmless at first. Fun even.
But then the threatening messages start. Worship me. Obey me. Complete a mission, however cruel, or the game reveals their secrets and crushes their dreams. Tasks that seemed harmless at first take on deadly consequences. Mysterious packages show up at their homes. Shadowy figures start following them, appearing around corners, attacking them in parking garages. Who else is playing this game, and how far will they go to win?
And what of the game’s first promise: win, win big, lose, you die? Dying in a virtual world doesn’t really mean death in real life—does it?
As Charlie and his friends try to find a way out of the game, they realize they’ve been manipulated into a bigger web they can’t escape: an AI that learned its cruelty from watching us.
God is always watching, and He says when the game is done.

 

My Review

Content/Trigger Warnings: Physical abuse, cancer, racial slurs, homophobia, bullying, depression/mental health issues, suicidal thoughts/attempt(s), violence/murder, death of an animal.

Want to play a game?

Want that phrase to terrify you for the rest of your life? Then read this book!

I only half-joke. To give you all an idea of what this book did to me, I got a DM asking if I wanted to join in with a book review group and have fun with their games, I internally screeched and immediately deleted the message lol.

This book is fast paced and despite its length [449 pages in my edition] I barely felt like it lasted that long. I was quickly turning each page to find out what was going to happen next.

Be forewarned, these characters are not easily likeable after like the first few chapters, I liked them, but I’m a Slytherin, so, I liked them probably more than I should have the whole way through. I mean at least three of them to have continually redeemable qualities, you can see them struggling with this game, which, is a dark and terrifying contender to deal with.

An AI thinks its god, or, god has infiltrated an AI, either way, the Vindicators find themselves pulled into this game only known to those on the Dark Web. It starts off fun enough, A bit like a super dark version of Pokemon Go, think Black Mirror meets Pokemon Go in fact lol.

This Game will make you or break you, and it wants to break you. You can earn ‘Goldz’ in the game or, if it isn’t feeling gracious, you gain ‘Blaxx.’ The problem is though, there are no rules, and so any choice you make could result in a reward or a punishment, there’s no pause, and worst of all, there’s no way out.

Charlie, one of the Vindicators is at first determined to find a way out because every game has to have an exit or a way to win, but anytime the group thinks they’ve done the last thing that will set their lives right, God comes up with something new.

Not to mention, there were a group of high schoolers that had an eerily similar experience with a dark twisted period, did they play the Game too in the 90s?

This book is not about character development in that they grow necessarily, some do, some don’t, but they each hit a low and dark point, they each make scarier choices and are backed into corners and they react like real people, trying to survive, wanting more than they have, wanting to one-up the bullies in life, but, it’s never as simple as that.

God knows all, God sees all, and it rewards you for each time you do its bidding. So who in the group will want to win, to please God, and who will want out?

Stephen King meets Ready Player One, you get a dark gritty and terrifying tale about what happens when not only an AI is God but also what happens when people are given too much power.

Tobey does a great job of chilling you to your core and using theology and philosophy to do so too, I love that he had these elements in it and they weren’t so heavy that I couldn’t keep up. [Philosophy and I do not always get along]

The ending was amazing, the book was overall chilling, creepy, and oddly hopeful for me considering the end choices of the Vindicators.

But just because you’re done with the Game, doesn’t mean it’s done with you.

Four cups from me, thank you so much to Gollancz for sending me a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

 

About the Author

Danny Tobey

Danny Tobey is the author of THE GOD GAME, arriving January 7, 2020 from St. Martin’s press. He is a fifth-generation Texan and a graduate of Harvard College, Yale Law School, and UT Southwestern medical school. Harvard gave Danny the Edward Eager prize “for the best creative writing.” He wrote and edited the Harvard Lampoon and was anthologized in The Best of the Harvard Lampoon: 140 Years of American Humor. Danny’s first novel, the sci-fi fantasy thriller The Faculty Club, came out from Simon & Schuster. Danny is a noted expert on Artificial Intelligence. In 2019, the Library of Congress gave Danny the Burton Award for his work on AI and the law.

 

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GOD GAME BLOG TOUR

Starve Acre eARC Review

 

 

Starve Acre

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GoodReads:
The worst thing possible has happened. Richard and Juliette Willoughby’s son, Ewan, has died suddenly at the age of five. Starve Acre, their house by the moors, was to be full of life, but is now a haunted place.

Juliette, convinced Ewan still lives there in some form, seeks the help of the Beacons, a seemingly benevolent group of occultists. Richard, to try and keep the boy out of his mind, has turned his attention to the field opposite the house, where he patiently digs the barren dirt in search of a legendary oak tree.

Starve Acre is a devastating new novel by the author of the prize-winning bestseller The Loney. It is a novel about the way in which grief splits the world in two and how, in searching for hope, we can so easily unearth horror.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK | Amazon US

**The links to the book used in this post are Affiliated links, should you click on my links and use them to purchase this book, it will gain me some monies, and will cost you nothing, but gotta disclose this first.**

 

My Review

What can I say? This book was creepy, dark, and mysterious. I loved it, and it did have an aspect of horror that though chilling was also okay for cowards like me to read, haha.

There was a really raw feel to the grief in this story, both husband and wife affected in different ways. Not to mention this whole while there’s darkness encroaching, what you think is just grief eventually twists. It’s amazing and I cannot express how delightfully creepy I found this book. It’s more of a novella really in terms of length but there was no denying the fact that this is one fully fleshed out story of grief, creepy hares, and the folklore of a village still alive in the mystery under the field.

It also felt a bit reminiscent of Cujo, in the way the child is experiencing things, the flashbacks in ‘Starve Acre’ help to draw on this horrifying dread.

This book was amazing. The prose was completely haunting and this story left you chilled to the bone from start to finish. It was brilliant how Hurley made you as the reader always sense this looming/impending doom. You weren’t sure what would happen, you weren’t sure what exactly happened before the start of this but you watch this creepy tale slowly unravel the past and come together with the future to give you something horrific and breathtaking.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 4.5/5 Cups of Hot chocolate from me, sorry for the short review but basically: IT’S DARK, SCARY, AND AMAZING, GO READ IT.

My Great Reads of 2019

 

So these are books I read, in general, this year, they may have come out this year, they may have come out before, but, I wanted to just give you all a bit of a highlights reel of books I didn’t get to include on the other lists whether because they didn’t fit the genre or because I just loved too many of a certain genre lol, either way, here are some of my favorites.

 

YA Fantasy/Scifi

The Fever King

Shadow of the Fox

Soul of the Sword

Heart of Mist

Reign of Mist

The Phantom Forest

Spin the Dawn

We Hunt the Flame

A Spark of White Fire

Tiger Queen

Realm of Knights

The Deathless Girls

Gravemaidens

Tears of Frost

Girls of Paper and Fire

The Last Namsara

The Sky Weaver

This Mortal Coil

Fawkes

Blood Heir

The Weight of a Soul

Sorcery of Thorns

Reverie

Contemporary

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

Postscript

YA Contemporary

Becoming Beatriz

Coral

The Naseby Horses

 

Mystery/Thriller/Crime

Dead Man’s Blues

The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone

The Devil Upstairs

A Death in Harlem

Starve Acre

Fantasy/Scifi

Anna Undreaming

The Bird King

The Little Snake

The Heart of Stone

The Veiled Threat

Lost Solace

Angel Mage

The Black Hawks

Practical Magic

The Priory of the Orange Tree

Graphic Novels

Horizontal Collaboration

Bloodlust & Bonnets

 

Other

The Art of Taxidermy

Women’s Weird

Foxfire, Wolfskin

Pursuit: The Balvenie Stories Collection

The Company of Eight [MG Fantasy]

Sense and Sensibility

Historical Fiction

The Pursuit of William Abbey

The Crown Agent

The Penelopiad

 

And here are the ones I will be screaming about again and again because that’s how good they are:

Crown of Feathers

[^There’s going to be a readalong of this starting very soon!^]

The Return of King Lillian

A House of Rage and Sorrow

Kingdom of Souls

Girls of Storm and Shadow

House of Salt and Sorrows

Ghoster – Blog Tour

 

 

Ghoster

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GoodReads:
Jason Arnopp – author of acclaimed cult hit The Last Days of Jack Sparks – returns with a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . .

Kate Collins has been ghosted.

She was supposed to be moving in with her new boyfriend Scott, but all she finds after relocating to Brighton is an empty apartment. Scott has vanished. His possessions have all disappeared.

Except for his mobile phone.

Kate knows she shouldn’t hack into Scott’s phone. She shouldn’t look at his Tinder, his calls, his social media. But she can’t quite help herself.

That’s when the trouble starts. Strange, whispering phone calls from numbers she doesn’t recognise. Scratch marks on the walls that she can’t explain. And the growing feeling that she’s being watched.

Kate refuses to leave the apartment – she’s not going anywhere until she’s discovered what happened to Scott. But the deeper she dives into Scott’s digital history the more Kate realises just how little she really knows about the man she loves.

 

My Review

Hands down this was the creepiest read of the year for me. Which is impressive because there were a couple of other creepy worthy reads but this one takes the gold.

Ghoster at first seems uncomplicated and completely un-spooky, just a woman who was ghosted by her boyfriend, er, suppose ex-boyfriend now, and is welcomed to the new home by finding this out.

The flat has been cleaned out, there’s no evidence of Kate’s boyfriend Scott ever living here. She does notice weird gouges on the door, but the only evidence to suggest Scott lived there is his phone she finds on the balcony.

So why would he leave behind his phone?

Kate wants answers, in a digital age where we tend to accept being Ghosted, Kate doesn’t. She made a large move, her things are arrived and so did she but to no one and an empty flat. So Kate’s decided she needs answers, simply for closure of course, and the only way to get them is by getting into Scott’s phone.

Any moral dilemma about the decision is overridden by the urge to have answers and with some trial and error, Kate gets into his phone.

So does she find her answers?

Wrong, she finds more questions.

There’s questionable pictures, creepy videos, and a locked diary app that could have the answers to all Kate’s questions. But is she digging herself in too deep?

Kate has a dark past with smartphones, this is a dangerous path to tread but one that’s necessary if she wants her answers.

But instead of answers, she’s left with more and more questions. And the question of what happened to Scott is becoming increasingly more dangerous.

Seriously, this book was so creepy towards the end, and that ending, holy cow that ending. I won’t spoil it for you but let’s just say it was completely worthy of such a creepy read.

I was tempted to sleep with the light on and maybe put some distance between my phone and I after reading this book.

Kate’s struggle with her own problems is really highlighted in this, and the dark path she goes down is incredibly realistic in terms of someone dealing with her sort of phone problem. She has the amazing support of her best friend but not even that can help the more embedded in the search she becomes. There’s this tension building in the book that does a great job of slowly making you more and more uncomfortable about the routes and paths Kate takes, and this complete sense of dread for her as the ending starts to loom in.

The creativity and chilling atmosphere of this book made me jump to rate it 5 cups of coffee, and if you all need me, just contact me by smoke signal from now on.

Thank you to Orbit Books and Compulsive Readers Tour for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

[I’m going to turn on all the lights and sit about sixty feet from my phone now.]

 

About the Author

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Hello!  I’m a British author and scriptwriter, with a background in journalism.

​I’m the writer of the terrifying Orbit Books novel Ghoster, out October 2019. Before that, I wrote The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, the Lionsgate feature film Stormhouse, various Doctor Who things, a Friday The 13th novel and script-edited the 2012 Peter Mullan film The Man Inside. 

2018 saw me co-author the book Inside Black Mirror with Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones.

Check out my collection of 30 interviews I did as a rock journalist, gathered in From The Front Lines Of Rock.

Author Links

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Instagram

 

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Safe House – Blog Tour

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!

I’m doing my rewind post tomorrow because frankly I can’t be bothered and I got a fun tour post today, which as a thriller, fits nicely on Halloween. [Today is also its publication day, so yay for that!]

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Blurb:
Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story… 
The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret. 
Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything. 
And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did. 
Book Information
Publisher: Harvill Secker [Vintage Imprint]
Publication Date: 31, October, 2019
Format: Hardback & eBook

Purchase Link

The ebook will be 99p throughout November!

My Review

Hey all, first off thank you so much to Vintage [and NetGalley] for giving me a copy of the eARC in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the tour.

When they reached out and asked if I wanted to read and review this for a tour, how could I say no? Creepy awesome thriller for a Halloween timed tour? I was all in.

And I have no regrets!

This is as creepy and awesome as the blurb made it sound. You switch around between the cop Naz at the prologue, Charlie in the present, the creepy vigilante justice seeker [super creepy], and Charlie before she was Charlie.

You really do connect with her, I have to say it was a nice change of pace. I tend to be detached from protagonists in Thrillers, especially if they’re not the broody detective that you secretly want to cheer for and cuddle in a blanket.

I still wanted to wrap Charlie in a blanket lol. As you read the book there are certain things that have already been in motion before we were privy to the story or that happened int he past and you read about it and you’re just like ‘nooo don’t do that!’ and I liked the element of going between the past and present but not overlapping almost at all. It’s hard to not overlap too much but Jakeman pulls it off effortlessly.

This book also has the ability to make you pick it up and read it in a sitting, haha I picked it up thinking I would only read a few chapters, bam, I was done and sitting there in slight awe after finishing it.

There were some style elements that happen in all thrillers and personally I LIKE when things can be slightly formulaic so that’s what made it a solid thriller for me.

I can honestly say I’ll pick up another book by Jakeman again…and again after reading ‘Safe House.’

If you’re looking for a thriller with just the right amount of twists and turns and creepiness, I present to you this book. 3.5 Huge cups of coffee from me! Now to read her debut thriller, ‘Sticks and Stones.’

 

About the Author

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.

 

The Silence of Severance – Blog Tour

 

 

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GoodReads:
Your wedding day should be the most unforgettable day of your life.

And this is one wedding that will never be forgotten.

When a police officer’s wedding day ends in brutality and chaos, DCI Michael Yorke is pulled away from his own wedding into the bloodiest chain of events Wiltshire has ever seen. As a heatwave tightens its grip on Salisbury, Yorke and his team face a race against time to find the most sinister and intelligent adversary they have ever faced. Christian Severance.

But as the team chase Severance into the shadows of a dark past, Yorke’s own history starts to drag itself into the present.

Can they stop Christian Severance before he achieves the unthinkable? And will Yorke survive the revelations that claw at him from the darkness?


The DCI Yorke Series:
#1 One Last Prayer for the Rays : bit.ly/OneLastPrayerfortheRays
#2 The Repenting Serpent: bit.ly/RepentingSerpent
#3 The Silence of Severance: bit.ly/SilenceofSeverance

My Review

Hey all, first off, this is the THIRD book in this series, I have reviewed the second one, here, and you don’t NEED to read the other two, but I would strongly recommend at least reading book two before diving into this one.

This book is put into the relatively near future, dealing with the emotional consequences from the terrifying actions and crimes from The Repenting Serpent as well as reflection of things and people from the first book.

Yorke’s finally hitched to Patricia, but before their honeymoon can start, darkness and terror interrupt Yorke’s plans once again.

This time the crimes involve people losing and cutting off tongues, murder, kidnapping, and the threat of his past and the unresolved trauma coming back to haunt him as well as others on Yorke’s team.

More heartache and loss and dark gritty crime. This book spoke to me on a spiritual level. My black little heart enjoyed it just as much, if not more than The Repenting Serpent and unlike the last book, this one finished on a more unresolved note. No tidy bows or complete resolution as the intensity remains until the last page and you’re left there waiting to know what will happen in book 4, what’s instore for Yorke and his team and how much more can they take?

Markin doesn’t cease to impress me with his way to keep you completely on edge for a whole book, it’s like a dark crime thriller gift he’s been bequeathed, or, I don’t know maybe he made a deal with the devil, half jk, but seriously, you’re just left reading this book in one sitting because you want to figure out how everything connects; Markin does not disappoint.

Also, the villains are not purely evil, they’re twisty and complex and some you feel bad for while others you feel the urge to throttle them yourself, or at least cuff them if you have better morals than me. The point though is that you get invested in these characters and stories which doesn’t always happen with thrillers.

I totally recommend this if you enjoy thrillers or if you’ve read and enjoyed any other books in this series.

Thanks to Caroline and Markin for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the blog tour.

 

About the Author

Wes Markin Author Image

Wes Markin is a hyperactive English teacher, who loves writing crime fiction with a twist of the macabre. 
Having finished the third instalment in the DCI Yorke series, ‘The Silence of Severance’, Wes is now working on the fourth instalment of DCI Yorke’s wild ride. He is also the author of ‘Defined,’ a prequel to his DCI Yorke novels, which takes the reader back to his blood-soaked university days.
Born in 1978, Wes grew up in Manchester, UK. After graduating from Leeds University, he spent fifteen years as a teacher of English, and has taught in Thailand, Malaysia and China. Now as a teacher, writer, husband and father, he is currently living in Harrogate, UK.

Author Links

Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads | Amazon

 

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