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

Advertisements

The Eden Paradox by Barry Kirwan #Guestpost #Blogtour #Giveaway

Eden Paradox cover

Firstly I would like to thank Barry and Neverland Blog tours for allowing me to take part in this blog tour

Synopsis

 A murder… a new planet mankind desperately needs… a thousand-year old conspiracy… What really awaits us on Eden? In a world beset by political turmoil, environmental collapse, and a predatory new religion, a recently discovered planet, Eden, is our last hope. But two missions have failed to return. Blake Alexander and his crew lead the final attempt to bring back good news. Meanwhile back on Earth, Micah Sanderson evades assassins, and tries to work out who he can trust as he struggles in a race against time to unravel the Eden Paradox.

Today I would like to welcome Barry Kirwan onto my blog. I absolutely love with a capital L Barry’s Nadia Laksheva series of books, written under Barry’s pen name J F Kirwan.

Click here to buy The Eden Paradox

Click here to view on Goodreads

Today Barry hosting guest post about love and science fiction…

guest-post2

Why isn’t there more love in science fiction?

Guest blog by Barry Kirwan

 

It’s hard to think of a science fiction book or film where love is the central premise; it usually plays second fiddle at best. Readers of SciFi are looking for spaceships, aliens, new worlds, and cunning plots. Think of Star Wars, probably the best-known Scifi film – Luke initially is drawn to Princess Leia, but it doesn’t work out, and in fact she turns out to be his sister. In any case she is more interested (what girl wouldn’t be?) in Han Solo. But such threads are secondary to the vast sweep of The Empire, Darth Vader, the Force, Obe Wan Kenobe, light-sabre fights and the Death Star.

 

In books it’s similar. Scifi classics such as Asimov’s Foundation, Herbert’s Dune, or Clarke’s Rama series, don’t have love as a central premise – it’s not what we remember about these works, although Dan Simmons’ Hyperion has one of its pilgrims’ stories recounting a love story that is one of the most powerful I’ve ever read. Alistair Reynolds’ Revelation Space is also a rare, exceptional mixture of galaxy-spanning space opera and ‘love at any cost’. But generally, from Larry Niven’s Ringworld to Iain Banks’ culture novels, love is in the background. If readers want to read romance novels, these are available by the bucket-full in mainstream or romance fiction. Occasional cross-overs (the Time-travellers’ wife) may look like science fiction, but for most Scifi fans they belong more in the romance genre.

 

Of course, Scifi writers might just be geeks who don’t get much ‘luvvin’, and well, as the saying goes, you ‘write what you know’, the implication being that the converse also holds. Well, I’d have to disagree (what scifi writer wouldn’t?), and there are some notable ‘proofs’, such as Orson Scott Card who writes great Scifi (Ender’s Game, etc.), and also writes romance [thanks Orson, for shielding our collective reputation!]. Iain Banks is another eminent Scifi author who writes in other genres. I also remember, when producing my first Scifi book, having professional editors asking me to tone down the ‘love’ angle, as it didn’t fit the genre, and downright remove some of the more exotic sex scenes: simply not done, old chap!

 

Of course when it comes to aliens, they might not love at all. Geneticists would tell us that love is all about procreation, and in fact is a myth we’ve woven onto a biological need to further the species. This possible truth is easier seen when mapped onto fictional alien species, especially when the method of procreation can be rendered less human (e.g. insectoid species laying eggs). But good Scifi writers don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, and for example I always found a strong part of the film Alien to be that the alien in question was fiercely protective of her offspring, which makes sense for any species, and we don’t have to call it ‘love’.

 

What does annoy me, however, is ‘love colonialism’ [Star Trek is guilty of this over and over] wherein humans convince non-loving aliens that they are really missing out, and that love is some universal truth. It might be, but let’s not get carried away with ourselves; bacteria do pretty well in terms of survival without it, and they’ve been around a lot longer.

 

In my Eden series, aliens don’t normally exhibit strong love tendencies, though they ‘care’ in particular for their own, although in my third book I do have a very advanced species (called the Kalarash) who seem to have some depressingly familiar love issues: e.g. a couple of them have not been talking to each other for half a million years after a tiff. Beneath this seemingly flippant situation is a deeper hypothesis – that love might be a product of civilisation. Very advanced cultures might eschew love and go beyond it (as in Stargate’s idea of ‘ascension’), or else it might be the ultimate goal.

 

I have to confess that in my second book (Eden’s Trial), I have a couple of drones (artificial intelligences) fall in love (they experience ‘perfect electronic resonance’), though it is brief, and in keeping with Scifi tradition, it doesn’t end well… More seriously I’m exploring the effects of genetically-engineered advancement on the ability to love, in the Eden series, most strongly portrayed in between the characters Kat and Pierre, and the genetically modified children who grow up to become the Genners – advanced in every other way except one – they are emotionally retarded.

 

Which brings me to the last point, that (regrettably?) there is no scientific basis for love. Love may simply be an inferred (learned) experience that we map onto natural hormonal responses: we feel something (endorphins), and we learn to call it love. Certainly as any of us who experienced teenage love and then fell out of it, it feels like drug withdrawal, doesn’t it? Endorphins are a natural drug we have in our heads.

 

Of course, science, and science fiction have to accept the possibility of the alternative hypothesis – that love is real (phenomenologically speaking, this is ‘true’), but science is too dumb (yet) to be able to measure it. I hinted at this, and the importance of love for an alien species, in my short story ‘The Sylvian Gambit’, which is essentially a Scifi love story, wherein the protagonist says near the end: “Love: wrap an equation around that.”

 

The deeper question is not whether scifi writers include love between their covers, as many people will say ‘who cares?’ Yet science fiction is a projection of our future. What if there is no love in our future? Could we evolve and advance in other ways, yet lose the ability to love? That is what I have tried to answer in the Eden series. And to cut a long series short, the answer is that we will hang onto it, because at the end of the day, it not only defines us, but gives us a strong will to survive collectively, because we want to protect those we love.

 

All about Barry

J F Kirwan - Copy

Barry (J F) Kirwan is a split personality. He writes science fiction under the name Barry Kirwan, and thrillers under his pen name J F Kirwan. In his day job, he travels worldwide, working on aviation safety. He lives in Paris, where he first joined a fiction class – and became hooked! This led to an acclaimed four-book series called the Eden Paradox. But when a back injury stopped him scuba diving for two years, he wrote a thriller about a young Russian woman, Nadia, where a lot of the action occurred in dangerously deep waters.Two of these thrillers are now out and he’s working on the third, as well as a new science fiction novel called ‘When the children come.’

 Where to find Barry

Website

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

 

Giveaway-Time

To win a a £20 or $25 Amazon giftcard click here

 

 

 

 

CWA Anthology Of Short Stories MYSTERY TOUR #Blogtour #Giveaway

CWA HB AW.indd

Synopsis

Crime spreads across the globe in this new collection of short stories from the Crime Writer’s Association, as a conspiracy of prominent crime authors take you on a world mystery tour. Highlights of the trip include a treacherous cruise to French Polynesia, a horrifying trek in South Africa, a murderous train-ride across Ukraine and a vengeful killing in Mumbai. But back home in the UK, life isn’t so easy either. Dead bodies turn up on the backstreets of Glasgow, crime writers turn words into deeds at literary events, and Lady Luck seems to guide the fate of a Twickenham hood. Showcasing the range, breadth and vitality of the contemporary crime-fiction genre, these twenty-eight chilling and unputdownable stories will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

Contributions from:
Ann Cleeves, C.L. Taylor, Susi Holliday, Martin Edwards, Anna Mazzola, Carol Anne Davis, Cath Staincliffe, Chris Simms, Christine Poulson, Ed James, Gordon Brown, J.M. Hewitt, Judith Cutler, Julia Crouch, Kate Ellis, Kate Rhodes, Martine Bailey, Michael Stanley, Maxim Jakubowski, Paul Charles, Paul Gitsham, Peter Lovesey, Ragnar Jónasson, Sarah Rayne, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Vaseem Khan, William Ryan and William Burton McCormick

CWA_Blog_Tour_Poster

My review

I’d like to thank Anne Cater  and Orenda books for allowing me to take part in this blog tour.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to review Mystery Tour, with so many wonderful authors all in one book it was a plethora of literary heaven!

From psychological thriller to straight talking detectives there is something within the pages for every crime lover. I was amazed at how such short stories could still pull you into the pages and keep you on the edge of your seat!

I really enjoyed ending one story and beginning another with the lovely anticipation of not knowing the style of writing or direction the story would take.

Christine Poulson’s Accounting for murder was simply a collection of receipts, booking confirmations, invoices, adverts and notices. Amazing how these alone can tell a story. Return to the lake by Anna Mazzola chilled me to the bone, I was not expecting the ending! A Postcard From Iceland by Ragnar Jonasson is only two pages long, but those two pages are like being on a theme park ride, that drops you from a great height at a startling speed and you end up with your stomach doing somersaults!

This is a perfect read if you want to discover new crime writers or like to dip in and out of a book, you certainly won’t be disappointed!

Click here to buy Mystery Tour

Giveaway

To win a copy of Deaths of December by Susi Holliday, simply comment in the comment box below, I will pick at random a winner on Friday 9th November.

Good luck!

dod

Where to find the  authors

CWA

Ann Cleeves

C L Taylor

Susi Holliday

Anna Mazzola

Cath Staincliffe

Carol Anne Davis

Martin Edwards

Chris Simms

Christine Poulson

Ed James

Gordon Brown

J M Hewitt

Judith Cutler

Julia Crouch

Kate Ellis

Kate Rhodes

Martine Bailey

Michael Stanley

Maxim Jakubowski

Paul Charles

Paul Gitsham

Peter Lovesey

Ragnar Jonasson

Sarah Rayne

Shawn Reilly Simmons

Vaseem Khan

William Ryan

William Burton McCormick

 

 

 

The Law Of Attraction By Roxie Cooper #giveaway #BlogTour #Review

law of 1

Synopsis

Amanda Bentley has always dreamed of being a barrister…

But as a platinum blonde bombshell from the wrong side of town, with a perfect tan and sleek high heels, she doesn’t exactly look the part – or fit in with the brash public school boys and cold posh girls of Newcastle Crown Court’s robing room. Amanda’s never been one to back down from a challenge, and so when she wins a prestigious pupillage following law school, she’s determined to make the most of her chance – and make all her dreams come true.

Only three things stand in her way: Sid Ryder – the sexy, irresistible barrister who she absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, sleep with. At all. Marty Gregg – her smarmy law school nemesis, who she’s in direct competition with for the top job. And her big, dark secret that could jeopardise everything she’s worked so hard for.

Who said that following the laws of attraction was going to be easy…?

Perfects for fans of Legally Blonde, Lindsey Kelk and Joanna Bolouri

Law of 2

My review

I absolutely adored this beautifully written book. I was intrigued to enter the world of a barrister and all the pomp and ceremony that goes hand in hand with it.

The main character Amanda is a breath of fresh air. She is feisty, sassy and gorgeous. The fact that she is not a stereo typical barrister makes the story even more endearing. There is such a girl power element that made me want to punch the air a fair few times!

From the moment Amanda starts her pupillage at Athena Chambers you join her on a roller coast of a ride. The law of attraction is a real winning recipe of wit, intrigue & sheer determination, with a pinch of love and passion thrown in to spice things up. It has a complete feel good factor and for me ticked all the boxes of a top read.

There is a secret  that Amanda is hiding that could ruin her career before it has even begun, Roxie manages to entice you with this through out the book, you find out snippets here and there, it definitely intrigued me and led to many a late night as i just read ”one more chapter”

The characters have been so well created that they jump out of the pages and come alive. A delicious read that has left me wanting more! 5* review from me!

Thank you to Roxie, Neverland blog tours & HQ Digital for allowing me to review The law of attraction.

 

All about Roxie Cooper

Author Photo law of 3

Roxie was born and bred in Middlesbrough.  After studying Classics at University, she became a dancer in a nightclub for a few years, before going travelling and living in Australia.  When she returned, she swapped dancing on a bar, to practising at the Bar, and became a barrister for 7 years.

It was after being constantly told “Ooh! You don’t look like a barrister!” by absolutely everyone she met, that the idea for her debut novel was born.

Roxie lives in Yarm, a pretty little market town in the North-East.  She’s a bit (lot) obsessed with Prince and spends far too much time watching him on YouTube.  Her hobbies include watching musicals, making her hair as big (and blonde) as possible, and wishing she was Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Where to find Roxie

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

Links to buy The Law Of Attraction

Amazon

Giveaway

Win a copy of The law of attraction, a legally blonde DVD and a £10 MAC gift card (UK only) Click here to enter

 

 

The Collective by R.S Williams #blogtour #giveaway

R S collective 2

Synopsis

Matilda Gregson never knew a world outside hers existed, that is until Harvey comes along and shows her something beyond her imagination. All that is on Tilly’s mind is finishing her dissertation, getting her degree, and spending time with her friends before the end of the school year.

But everything changes when she meets Jenny, an agent of a secret society, and nothing prepared either of them for the adventure they are about to endure. Under the pressures of surviving, their friendship grows and they find friends in the most unlikely of places, and betrayal just around the corner.

Will they both be able to stop him before he tears Jenny’s society to the ground?

My review

Welcome to a magical story that transports you to bygone days. The collective is a fantastic story and has a great fantasy element.

The Collective takes you back to the 1700’s amongst pirates and privateers, hold on tight as you find yourself aboard The Solitaire amongst the most fierce and fearless pirates that sail the seas.

If like me you love Harry Potter, time travel and anything that pushes your imagination back to childhood, this is the book for you!

The collective is a secret society of agents who check that the history recorded in history books and other media match the version of events that the Regents, the experienced members of the society, know to be true. If there is a difference one of the collectors will travel back in time to rectify it.

In the collective,  there is a rogue collector on the loose, one who is entering time portals without permission and trying to change history.

 

The story alternates between Jenny, a novice collector and Tilly a uni student who’s life up to now has been very much normal! Both characters are gutsy, strong and have the real likeability factor. Jenny is on a mission to find out who the rogue collector is and Tilly gets swept up and taken along for the ride!

This is a story that draws you in from the first few pages and delivers you back to reality as you read the last word!

The ending is left open for the next installment which I for one can’t wait for!

 

 

 

 

All about the author

R s collective 3

Rhianne Williams, formally known as RS Williams, writes Fantasy, Adventure and Romance novels. As an avid reader Rhianne has always been in love with the written word and the emotions a good story can create.

Discovering she had a knack for creating stories as a teenager, she started work on her first story. However, at 16 the mundane adult world called her back to an admin job and Rhianne put writing on the back burner until she turned 20. Rediscovering her fascination with writing and creating Rhianne then threw herself back into her writing in 2014.

When she isn’t catching plot bunnies, typing up her creations or writing on her blog, you’ll find her in front of the television watching her favourite shows, spending time with her family and getting lost in others fictional worlds.

Where to find R.S Williams

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Instagram

R S collective 1

~

Click here to buy The Collective

Giveaway

To win a signed copy of The Collective click here  – UK ONLY

 

 

 

 

37 Hours By J F Kirwan

37 hours

Synopsis

After two long years spent in a secret British prison, Nadia Laksheva is suddenly granted her freedom. Yet there is a dangerous price to pay for her release: she must retrieve the Russian nuclear warhead stolen by her deadliest enemy, a powerful and ruthless terrorist known only as The Client.

But her mysterious nemesis is always one step ahead and the clock is ticking. In 37 hours, the warhead will explode, reducing the city of London to a pile of ash. Only this time, Nadia is prepared to pull the trigger at any cost…

The deadly trail will take her from crowded Moscow to the silent streets of Chernobyl, but will Nadia find what she is looking for before the clock hits zero?

J F kirwan 2

My review

This is the second book in the Nadia Laksheva spy thriller series. It can be read as a stand alone book, although I’m sure if like me and characters in a book really draw you in, you’ll soon be reading the first book to find out the history of the characters.

37 hours is a gutsy story of espionage and deceit.  Where no one can be trusted and just as you think you know the direction the story is taking you,  J F Kirwan manages to give you virtual whiplash as he changes direction without warning!

Nadia, the main character is ballsy,  courageous and has nerves of steel. She is a mixture of Lara Croft and a female James Bond. There is a softer side to her and the romance between her and jake that runs throughout the story,  makes her very human and 37 hours a real winning read.

Not for the faint hearted, there is plenty of blood and guts, J F Kirwan doesn’t take prisoners and often characters meet an early end when you least expect it.

This is a great read and one I challenge you to not read in one sitting!

Thank you to J F Kirwan and Neverland blog tours for allowing me to review 37 hours.

 

 

All about the author

J F Kirwan

 J.F. Kirwan is a writer for Harper Collins, under their HQ digital imprint. By day he works in aviation and nuclear safety, but at night, during bouts of insomnia, he writes thrillers with significant body counts. He’s an ex-diving instructor, so there is an underwater element in each of his two novels, 66 Metres and 37 Hours. Most readers find his writing has a cinematic feel, as if you are there with the characters. The original inspiration for the protagonist, Nadia, came from Stieg Larsson’s Girl with the dragon tattoo, though David Baldacci and Lee Child have had significant impact on the writing style, plotting and pace. He is currently writing the third book in the series.

Where to find J F Kirwan

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Buy 37 hours here…

Goodreads

Amazon

37 hours 3

 

Giveaway

You could win a £20 Amazon giftcard!!

Click here to enter