88° North by J F Kirwan #giveaway #review #blogtour

88 north 2Synopsis

Would you kill your loved one to save the world?

 The world’s most-wanted terrorist is on the loose, and this time the threat is global. To stop him, Nadia infiltrates his organization, from the triads of Hong Kong, to the refugee-smugglers of Sudan, to the Mafia gangs running oil platforms in Sakhalin. But in the end, she must travel to the top of the world and confront her sworn enemy on the Arctic ice, where she will face a terrible choice.

My review

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I’d firstly like to thank Neverland blog tours and J F Kirwan for allowing me to take part in this tour.

I absolutely adore Nadia laksheva thrillers, Nadia is a strong, intelligent and sassy heroine and one I warmed to in 37 hours. There are three books in the Nadia Laksheva thriller series but they can all be read as stand-alone books. I have yet to read 66 metres the first book in the series, but it is on the top of TBR pile. I’m glad I’ve read the second and third first as I now feel as if I know Nadia and I’m going to enjoy learning about her background in the first book.

88° North doesn’t disappoint.

It’s fast-moving, takes no prisoners and is totally an edge of your seat read!  We left Nadia in 37 hours knowing she was on borrowed time due to the amount of radiation she had encountered on her last mission. This seems to give Nadia even more of a reckless edge and makes 88° North such a thrill of a read.

J.F.Kirwan has the ability to write a novel in such detail you feel as if you are actually there. With many twists and turns along the way that keep you engrossed and wanting more, it truly is a 5* read.

Buy 88° North here

All about j F Kirwan

88 north 3J. F. Kirwan is the author of the Nadia Laksheva thriller series for HarperCollins. Having worked in accident investigation and prevention in nuclear, offshore oil and gas and aviation sectors, he uses his experience of how accidents initially build slowly, then race towards a climax, to plot his novels. An instructor in both scuba diving and martial arts, he travels extensively all over the world, and loves to set his novels in exotic locations. He is also an insomniac who writes in the dead of night. His favourite authors include Lee Child, David Baldacci and Andy McNab.

Where to find J F Kirwan

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Giveaway

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we have 3 £10 Amazon gift cards to giveaway to 3 lucky winners. To enter Click here

 

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You, Me And Us By Liam Hurley #Q&A #Review

You Me and Us - cover

Synopsis

You, Me and Us

“F*** you for breaking my f***ing heart…”

This is the heart-breaking yet hilarious story of Jimmy Rowland and Erin Poppet.

Jimmy Rowland has the perfect life. He works in his favourite bar by day, and by night he lives his dream with his two best friends in his band.

Erin Poppet crashes into Jimmy’s life like a beautiful storm. He falls in love with her as quickly and as deeply as possible. The intensity of their relationship leaves Jimmy with a broken heart, a useless vacuum and a demon inside him.

Jimmy’s dream life quickly becomes a nightmare when he loses his dream job and destroys his musical career live on stage.

When he hits rock bottom, he decides he only has one choice, to rebuild his life from scratch. He has to get back the life he had before Erin.

This is her story. This is his story. This is their story.

Or as Jimmy would say…

“… this is the story of You, Me and Us.”

Buy You, me and us Here

You Me and Us

I’d like to thank Rachel of Rachel’s random reads and Liam Hurley for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

Today I would like to welcome Liam to my blog for a Q&A. Over to you Liam…

1. Where did the idea for you, me and us come from?

A: I was walking through Manchester and I saw a guy trying to bum a cigarette off someone, he looked very stressed. I wondered why he was stressed. I decided he was going to meet an ex-girlfriend. The rest of the story built from there…

2. Did you have a clear idea of how you wanted the book to start and finish?

A: I knew the book would start with Erin and Jimmy meeting and getting together, but the original ending was wildly different. I can’t say much without spoiling the story. A character just appeared whilst I was writing who radically changed the ending.

3. Do you have a favourite time of day to write?

A: I like to get up do house work, go to the gym and then I feel like my head is clear enough to write. So, around midday to 4/5pm.

4. What are your 3 favourite films and why?

The Lion King. It’s a classic story which resonates with everyone who watches it. A fun, heart-breaking yet uplifting story. As good as Disney has ever been.

Man on the Moon. Jim Carrey has never been better than he is in this film portraying Andy Kaufman. A brilliant look into the brief life of a genius.

Good Will Hunting. I am jealous of people who get to watch this film for the first time again. Iconic scene after iconic is played out on screen in this story of a Will, his demons and his brilliance. Robin Williams also jumps in with his only Oscar-winning performance.

5. If you could be a character from a book, who would it be and why?

A: Will Freeman from About a Boy. He just seems to have the easiest life imaginable. No job and a constant stream of money due to no hard-work of his own. Perhaps it’s clear from this answer how hard I’ve been working over the last six months!

6. What advice would you give to your 16-year old self?

A: I don’t think I’d give him much advice to be honest. Don’t get me wrong I was a bit of an idiot but aren’t we all at 16? Isn’t that the whole point of being 16? I’m still an idiot now almost a decade later. The one thing I probably would tell myself is to trust my instincts and go with them.

7. Describe yourself in 3 words…

A: Creative. Determined. Good with numbers.

8. If you had a chat show who would your first 3 guests be?

A: Sir Alex Ferguson, Ricky Gervais and Joe Rogan. All for entirely selfish reasons!

9. Have you got ideas for your second book?

A: I have the basic idea. This book is going to be ensemble-lead rather than one main character. And I have a few ideas for some of the cast of characters we will meet. The story will centre around a School Reunion.

10. Where would you like to be ten years from now?

A: Sat at my desk writing a book.

You Me and Us -Author Pic and paperback prize

All about Liam

My name is Liam; I am an author from Manchester, UK. I love three things in this world, writing, reading and the viral video of the Irish family trying to catch a bat. (My girlfriend, family, friends and cats may be unhappy with this).

My hobbies include listening to podcasts, watching grown men fight and trying every possible type of ground coffee in the world. Here are my Top Ten reasons to read my book or spend the night with me…

1. It won’t cost you much.

2. It will be over relatively quickly.

3. I will be very grateful.

4. You can tell other people about it if you enjoyed it.

5. If not, don’t bother.

6. It’s always fun to have something in your hands to flick through.

7. You can review it online.

8. It will leave a mark on you.

9. You won’t want to put it down.

10. It’ll make you laugh.

Where to find Liam

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

Giveaway

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To win a signed copy of You, Me and Us (Open to UK only) Click here

Ours Is The Winter by Laurie Ellingham #Blogtour #Giveaway #Review

Book Cover ours is the winter

Synopsis

Journeying across the Arctic, their pasts are about to catch up with them.

Erica, Molly and Noah are embarking on the challenge of a lifetime, driving Siberian huskies across the frozen wilderness of the Arctic. Cut off from the world and their loved ones and thrown together under gruelling conditions, it isn’t long before the cracks start to show.

Erica has it all. A loving husband, a successful career and the most adorable baby daughter. But Erica has been living a double life, and as she nears her fortieth birthday her lies threaten to come crashing down.

Molly was on her way to stardom. But when her brother died, so did her dreams of becoming an Olympic champion. Consumed by rage and grief, she has shut out everyone around her, but now she’s about to learn that comfort can come from the most unexpected places.

Noah has a darkness inside him and is hounded by nightmares from his past. Tortured, trapped and struggling to save his fractured relationship, he knows this journey is not going to help, but try telling his girlfriend that.

As their lives and lies become ever more entwined, it becomes clear that in the frozen wilds there is nowhere to hide.

My Review

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Firstly i’d like to thank Neverland blog tours and Laurie Ellingham for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

What an absolute gem this book is! For me, it had that wonderful x-factor. It had characters that I was eager to find out about, a storyline that made me stay up way too late as I ‘just needed to know what happened next! A twist which I didn’t see coming and all set in the magical background of the Arctic.

Ours is the winter is told from three people’s perspectives. A once in a lifetime trip brings the three people together, they are all fighting their inner demons and all have a reason they signed up for

Erica has something she’s been hiding from her husband, something she thought the trip to the Arctic would allow her to escape. She also hoped that as her half sister Molly was coming too, they may be able to rebuild their relationship. A relationship that had broken down since the sudden death of their brother Billy.

On the outside she seems to have a perfect life but as the story unfolds you find out this is far from the truth.

Molly doesn’t really know why she agreed to the trip. She does know that the anger and hurt that has been bubbling inside her since the death of her brother Billy could literally explode at any time.

Molly has emotionally shut herself away since the death of Billy, you can feel her pain and occasionally see the glimpse of the old Molly underneath.

Noah has experienced an horrendous trauma, there are snippets in flash backs. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you can slowly put pieces together and begin to see the whole picture and the extent as to what has happened.

You can feel Noah’s anguish and emotional pain throughout, his daily battle to keep going and try and shut out the memories that haunt him.

Ours is the winter takes you on a fast Huskey pulled sled trip across the Arctic. So beautifully descriptive you feel as if you too are experiencing the landscape first hand. This is a tale of three people facing their demons and overcoming them.

The end is perfect! A 5* recommendation from me!

 

Giveaway

Giveaway Prize ours is the winter

To win a signed paperback of Laurie’s previous book, “One Endless Summer” Click here

All about Laurie

ours is the winter

When I’m not running around after my two children, my husband, our Cockerpoo Rodney, or just plain running, I love nothing more than disappearing into the fictional world of my characters preferably with a large coffee and a Twix (or two) to hand.

When I am in the thick of a character crisis, I can often be seen walking around the village with my jumper on inside out and back to front, chatting (and occasionally laughing) away to myself.

I have a first class honours degree in psychology and a background in Public Relations, both of which help in everything I do.

Where to find Laurie

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

Ragbag Of Riches by James Chilton

A Ragbag of Riches Cover

Synopsis

This collection of quips and quotes creates a book for the bower, the bedside, the bath and for browsing; a book at arm’s length from the deck chair, for the tedium of travel but above all for pleasure.

It is a haphazard collection: the Ragbag covering the rougher, even vulgar (but nevertheless witty) entries of graffiti, newspaper headlines and bumper stickers, the Riches being the poetry, prayers and prose of fine minds that inspire by their beauty, sincerity and sublime use of words. At the lower end, I love the astringency and ability of the authors to poke fun with the sharpness of a red-hot needle. At the top end, silver words and profound wisdom sometimes lead me to tears.

So I invite you to wallow or skip lightly. I hope there is something in this salmagundi to make you smile or catch the affections of your heart; to mingle quiet music with amiable irreverence.

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My Review

Firstly I would like to thank Rachel’s random resources and James Chilton for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

I thoroughly enjoyed dipping in and out of this book. It is full of humor, wisdom and facts! This is the sort of book I would have loved to have been given for Christmas, once the turkey had been eaten and far too many mince pies consumed i would curl up on the sofa and flick through this til my heart’s content.

This will stay on my bedside cabinet for a very long time and will be read and re-read and definitely recommended to many.

 

 

Spotlight on James Chilton

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A Ragbag of Riches

An in depth post about myself is a daunting request.  I am not given to puffing about myself although seven hundred and fifty words could be considered a relatively light request compared to some autobiographies.  ‘Spike’ Milligan took seven volumes to write his.

I was born in Burma in 1941, my father being a soldier there.  I have no recollection of my time there although with family photographs, cine film and my eight visits to that lovely country (I have built a number of schools there in remote places), it seems familiar.  I have found all my parent’s old houses – four of them and all like a pastiche of Guildford suburbia.  They are much sought after now as they were well built, in good positions and easy to live in.  The last of these houses was by the lake in central Rangoon and from there, on 2nd March 1942, we fled before the Japanese entered the city. My mother, my sister and I together with our English nanny took the last flying boat from the Irrawaddy River while my father walked out north.  He appeared six months later in India looking rather thin.  A couple of years in India, then to England by ship (avoiding German U boats) and after that a few years living a peripatetic life between Dorset, Jersey (where my grandmother lived) and Italy (where my father was military attache).   My sister maintains that my love of travel (I have notched up about ninety countries) comes from travelling 8,000 miles before I was six. Aged eight I was packed off to prep school in Worcestershire and from there to Winchester.  I obtained a Choral Scholarship to Corpus Christi, Cambridge but did not take this up preferring a more active and adventurous life and joined 1st Royal Dragoons (now, Blues and Royals).  Posted to Aden in the Yemen,  I saw service against the rebels of the time and then went on to Malaya.  As an armoured car regiment, it was possible to drive to many places in the country and I also was stationed in Singapore – at that time part of Malaya (it became independent in 1965, a year after I left).   I was seconded to a semi military branch of the Malayan police force, chasing the last of the communists over the border to Thailand. Returning to England, I resigned my commission and ran an upmarket tour company in London before joining the American advertising company Foote, Cone and Belding (known in the trade as Foot sore and Bleeding!).  I had married, acquired a house, a dog, and a child before moving to a large and partially broken house near Great Missenden which had been a failed girls’ boarding school.  By now I was employed by my father-in-law’s commercial real estate company (where I stayed for thirty three years) and three more children and two labradors came along.  Twenty five years  later, we moved to a jewel of a house near Woodstock and ten years after that, to a semi derelict collection of farm buildings near Chipping Norton – now welded into a family farm house.

 

Along this chequered way, I restored a 1931 Grand Tourer, designed jewelry, acquired a diploma in Architectural History from Oxford, two diplomas in garden design from The English Garden School, joined the International Dendrology Society, completed a certificated course in decorative arts from V&A, sculpted, painted, travelled, wrote (The Last Blue Mountain, published by Clink), photographed (forty albums of tribal people) and now have published A Ragbag of Riches.

 

This compilation is haphazard, although I have attempted to divide the entries into a number of sections.  Its miscellaneous entries probably stem from an interest in almost everything but a deep knowledge in almost nothing.  My education, upbringing and a time well lived has encouraged an exploration along the alleyways of life.  While there is nothing original in the book – it is literary theft on a considerable scale, I hope that this does not imply that plagerism is a substitute for originality.  Fortunately, I inherited creative genes and as you will see from some of the things I have been up to in my life, these genes have been thoroughly employed.  For a better description of the book and my motives, I would refer you to the Introduction of the book.

 

 

 

Extract from A Ragbag Of Riches

It is difficult to provide extracts from this book as its essential character is one of a haphazard collection with almost every page containing a selection of entries.  However, there are seventeen different groupings and this is one of these.

 Travel writing pages 71/72

The section on Creativity includes some chunks of travel writing.  I am a traveller and extracts from travel writers could make a book in itself; for all I know, it probably has. To include these particular extracts would seem to indicate that Theroux, Lewis, Thesiger and a host of others have been ignored.  Not so, it is simply a question of space and this is not an anthology of travel writing.  Nevertheless,  I regard the extracts I have included as some of the greatest examples of lyrical description.  Jan Morris always seems to be able to conjure up scene as if you had stepped into it and Patrick Leigh Fermor’s descriptions of architectural detail are astonishing.

 

 

 

All about James

A grandfather of nine and a father of four, James Chilton lives with his wife and two labradors in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. He holds diplomas in Architectural History from Oxford University, in Design and in Plantsmanship from The English Gardening School and a certificate in the Decorative Arts from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perennially busy, James draws, sculpts, designs gardens and jewelry and is a member of Bart’s Choir. He also a member of the International Dendrology Society and has lectured at the Royal Geographical Society and in Oxford. His first book, The Last Blue Mountain, was published in 2015.

 

Beginnings by Helen J Christmas

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Synopsis

Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.

Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.

Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.

Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?

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All about Helen

helen-j-christmas Beginnings

Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.

Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.

Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.

Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?

Click here to buy Beginnings

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Where to find Helen

Website

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Pinterest

Instagram

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The Big Event by Anne John-Ligali #Thebigevent #Blogtour #Giveaway

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Synopsis

You are cordially invited to the party of the season where you’ll meet Constance and friends in action.

Constance Jeffries is excited when she gets the chance to meet up with virtual friends at a get-together in a London hotel. She’s been tweeting and messaging her lovely friends for years and feels they must be just as excited to finally meet her in person too. Or so she hopes.

The Big Event is first part in a short story series about the importance of ‘real’ friendships and how it’s the little things that matter the most.
A Gorgeous Venue, A Room Full of Friends, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

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My Review

Firstly I would like to thank Rachels random resources and Anne John-Ligali  for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

This short story is a breath of fresh air. In a world dominated by social media The Big Event highlights how friends you meet online may not be all that they seem.

Constance is an author, along the journey of writing her first book she has made plenty of online friends. The big event is about the night they all meet.

From famous Instagram stars to fellow selfie obsessed authors Constance is spending the evening with them all. She very quickly discovers the real people behind the fake personas.

The big event made me giggle and was the perfect short read for my lunch break!

The ending is so heart warming and left me with a warm glow. I’m looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Watch the trailer here

About Anne

Meet Anne

Anne John-Ligali is a writer and the founder of Books and Authors UK, a popular website featuring author interviews and book reviews.  She loves all things books: reading, writing, going to book events, and meeting other book lovers. She has written a series of short stories and is currently writing her first novel.

When Anne is not writing, she is likely to be at soft play with her kids, taking long evening walks in Hyde Park, making green smoothies, window shopping, or having a pampering session at her local beauty salon (whenever she gets the chance). She can also be found watching box sets (albeit with a bit of shame at still having to catch up on Scandal, Grey’s, and Downton).

Originally from Peterborough, Anne now lives in London. After moving to London, she studied graphic design at the University of Arts and has held a number IT administration jobs in the city. Anne continues writing and aspires to write more women’s fiction books, a non-fiction book and several children’s books.

Giveaway

Giveaway Prize - Verigo-Tea

Win Sparkly Afternoon Tea for Two at Vertigo 42 in central London and one e-copy of The Big Event.

To enter and for full terms and conditions, please follow the link for everything you need to know.

Click here

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Where to find Anne

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Blogsite

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Guest post from Lilac Mills author of And A Sixpence For Luck #Guestpost

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I’d like to welcome to my blog today Lilac Mills, the author of the gorgeous book And a sixpence for luck. Here Lilac talks about the difference between Love and romance, over to you Lilac…

 

There’s a whole lotta difference between love and romance, when it comes to novels.

The main (and maybe the only difference) is that readers have the expectation that a romance novel ends in a happy ever after, or at the very least, a happy for now.

Love doesn’t have this restriction, and in some ways I believe it makes for more powerful reading.

Take Wuthering Heights, for instance. I studied this little beauty in university, and loved every tortured word of it. If you remove the setting and the era, you are left with what is basically a tale of obsession, revenge, and thwarted love. It is wonderful and tragic and timeless. Yet there is not one romantic word between its pages. Love is not happy and uplifting and heart-warming – it’s wild and savage and cannibalistic, in that eats away at both Cathy and Healthcliffe until nothing of them is left, except a tragic haunting.

Then there’s Romeo and Juliet – possibly the most famous lovers in the world.  Again, love not romance, though the balcony scene was a touch on the romantic side (didn’t think old Shakey had it in him!). Considering Romeo died for his love, I don’t see why we call men who have a bit of a roaming eye, Romeo… Without the death of this pair, the whole play would have been just another ‘met and married’ story, with a bit of angst along the way to retain the reader’s interest.

Lancelot and Guinevere – hmmm. Famous lovers to be sure, but I’m not too keen on the adultery theme, however much they loved each other. And look at the havoc they caused!.

Yet all of the above are remembered for their love.

Me? I prefer a happy ever after. And I think many of us do. We are attracted to that fairy tale ending of undying (but not tragic love), and that is why stories like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White have endured (I’m talking about the Disney version here and not the darker – but more fun – original version).

We all love the idea of a soul mate – the person we are destined for and who will love us no matter what, and this is what drives the romance novel. Ignore the degree of heat; from sweet to scalding, the premise is the same. Love. Romantic love, and whether that be in the traditional form between a man or a woman, or between lovers of the same sex, it makes no difference. Readers all want to believe in Mr or Ms Right.

Love and happy life together, takes precedence over love in its rawer form, where life get in the way, and it makes no difference to your enjoyment if you have already found your soulmate.

As we sit on our sofas, or lying on a sunbed, or squashed on a rattily train, we are reading about what we want for ourselves. I believe romantic fiction, no matter the time, the location, or the premise, appeals to the hope within us all, and that is what makes the genre so popular. It is escapism at its best!

Head over to my blog post and read my review of the wonderful And a sixpence for luck

Click here to buy And a sixpence for luck

I’d like to thank Neverland blog tours and Lilac Mills for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.