Manipulated Lives by H.A Leuschel #Blogtour #Review #Giveaway

Synopsis

Five stories – Five Lives

Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance?

Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot, because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim.

In this collection of short novellas, you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First you meet Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself, followed by a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Lastly, there is Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

MyReview

I’d like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources and H.A.Leuschel for including me in this blog tour.

Manipulated lives is a very unusual and engrossing read. I really enjoy short stories for a change and always finish them making a mental note I must read more.

Manipulated lives consists of five stories all with the main theme of a person who is being manipulated. Although there is a common theme that runs through all stories they are very individual.

Every story is beautifully written and in the short time you’re reading each one you become so involved in the characters and their situation.

Each story for me brought a sadness, but also a realisation of how manipulators can come in many shapes and sizes and cause so much destruction.

I loved the twists in the stories and sometimes an adde eerie feel, similar to the one you get when you’re watching a scary movie and waiting for that moment when someone jumps out.

5* review from me!

Click here to buy Manipulated Lives

All About Helene

Helene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.

Where to find Helene

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Website

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Manipulated Lives by H.A. Leuschel (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click here to enter

Class Murder by Leigh Russell #Blogtour #Review

Synopsis

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

Geraldine Steel is reunited with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

My Review

I’d like to thank Anne Cater, Leigh Russell and No exit press for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

Class murder is one of those great reads that has you totally engrossed from the first chapter.

This is the tenth DI Geraldine Steel novel and my first meeting with her. This can totally be read as a stand alone novel but, if you’re anything like me, I now want to read the other nine in the series.

There are so many layers to the characters in Class murder and as a newbie to Geraldine Steel I really enjoyed getting to know them all.

The storyline got me hook line and sinker, the whole time during reading I was trying to work out the killers motives and who it could be.

5* review from me, I recommend this series to all!

All about Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi and Class Murder. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London.

You, Me and Us by Liam Hurley #Review

Synopsis

“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.”

My Review

I was lucky enough to be part of the tour for the very brilliant you, me and us at the beginning of December. However I didn’t have time to write a review but I did host a great guest post from Liam.

From the synopsis about the book, I pre ordered it and it jumped to the top of my TBR pile!

So I treated myself over Christmas whilst I had a gap in blog tours and here follows my review!

I adored this book, it was so easy to read, I felt like I knew Jimmy by the end of the first chapter. He reminded me of so many men I have met over the years. Confident on the outside with an inner insecurity that’s masked by a top sense of humour.

Liam has managed to write a book that makes you feel like you are reading about a friends life.

You, me and us is the story of a mad, heady all consuming relationship, you know the type. The type that you think is going to last forever, the type that makes you lose your mind for a while, the type where you give someone the power to destroy you.

It was refreshing to read about this from the male perspective.

Erin, the main female character is someone you initially like but slowly grow to dislike. This for me was because I liked Jimmy so much and I wanted him to come out in top!

I can’t recommend this book enough, it’s funny, heartbreaking and real!

5* review from me, I can’t wait for Liam’s next book!

Click here to buy you, me and us

All about Liam

What up? 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

Website

Twitter

Mad girl by Bryony Gordon

I had never heard of Bryony Gordon and then I stumbled upon Mad girl in the latest Richard & Judy reads. The cover caught my eye and when I read the blurb it became the top of my 2017 ‘to be read’ list.

Growing up I suffered with awful anxieties and mental health issues which really shadowed my childhood, adolescent and early adulthood. At the time there wasn’t the support there is now, luckily I had a great family doctor who seemed to understand or partly understood what I was going through, and instead of making me feel daft he actually listened and tried to shed some light on the constant turmoil I was going through.

Reading ‘Mad girl’ was slightly like reading an autobiography of my life! I laughed out loud at some of Bryony’s stories, to the point that I took the book to the hairdressers with me and literally spat my coffee out at one point! This book made me sigh a big sigh of relief, finally there was a name for the turmoil I’d suffered all those years ago, OCD. I wasn’t alone! There are other Mad Girls & men out there! 

I, like Bryony, never see myself as cured, I handle my OCD now, it sits within a secure box in my mind, it’s been asleep now for years but occasionally it stirs, I hear it starting to wake but I’m clever now & manage to secure the box before it has a chance to open it.

I’d recommend this book to everyone, it makes you laugh, cry & sometimes spit out coffee!

Little sisters by Isabel Ashdown

I was lucky enough to read a three chapter sample of Little sister. All I can say is wow! I was hooked from the first page and gutted when it ended.

The story Centres around two sisters, Jess and Emily. It’s New Year’s Eve & Jess is baby sitting for Emily’s one year old daughter Daisy. 2am Emily returns with her husband James, Daisy is gone, Jess is unconscious on the floor covered in blood…………

My kindle copy has been ordered, Due outApril 27th

The kitchens of the great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal

My third review for love reading is an unusual book which i was sure i would dislike, that just happens sometimes doesn’t it! Some books just don’t sit right or feel right, the characters don’t jump out of the page at you. I was wrong however with this particular book, i gave it a chance & loved it 🙂

I started this book with trepidation, after the first chapter i was hooked!  The story follows Eva Thorvald as she enters her father’s world of culinary expertise.

This is not a straight forward story, there is sorrow as well as triumphs throughout. Each chapter depicts the lives of friends, family & mere acquaintances who all touch & impact on Eva’s life. Eva remains the central character as people come & go.

Her Mother, Cindy, leaves Eva & her father when Eva is only a few months old, Lars, Eva’s father, dies shortly after & Eva is bought up by her uncle & aunt who bring Eva up as their own, never telling her the truth about her parents. When Cindy re-enters the story in the final chapters, she meets her daughter as a grown woman who has become an enigma in the fashionable foodie world, will Cindy tell Eva who she is?

I dare you to read this story & not become entwined within the pages!

Click here to buy The Kitchens Of The Great Midwest

The Tea planters Wife by Dinah Jefferies

I discovered by accident a fantastic group on facebook for avid readers like myself. Through this i have enlightened my reading flame. Reading has always been my passion but with a hectic life sometimes gets put on a back burner. I get so cross with myself because reading takes me away to another place which lets face it we all sometimes need. Its good for the soul & my mental health!!

Through this wonderful little group i’ve become a reviewer for books that are about to be published, it’s given me the kick up the backside i needed to start reading again.

My first review was for a beautiful book called The tea Planters wife, written by Dinah Jefferies. I had never heard of Dinah before, this is her second novel, her first is called The Seperation (which is now winging its way to me)

I thought i would share my review with you…….

I was captivated with this book from the first few pages. It follows the life of Gwendolene Hooper who at the age of 19 marries Laurence the owner of a large tea plantation, she arrives in Ceylon as the story begins. 1920’s  Ceylon is beautifully described throughout. The story twists & turns & pulls you in, so much so i could not put the book down! There are lots of hidden secrets surrounding Lawrence & his family that slowly unfold.

Gwen becomes pregnant & from there on in the story becomes gripping. Gwen has a secret to hide from her husband & the rest of his family. The only person she confides in is Naveena the family’s house maid. You feel as though you are taking the journey with Gwen, her emotions & feelings are so well depicted. A sense of love & compassion exude from Lawrence throughout, he is a very likeable believable character, as is Gwen.

I would highly recommend this book.

Click here to buy The Tea Planters Wife