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

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…

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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

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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!

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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

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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?

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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

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Giveaway

You could win a £20 Amazon giftcard!!

Click here to enter

Cocktails and Dreams by A L Michael #blogtour #giveaway

SCHEDULE C & D

Synopsis

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person…

Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the bigtime.

Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams?

See inside for a delicious cocktail recipe and book club questions!

Cocktails and dreams

 

 

 

 

My review

The story begins as Savvy’s long term ‘Z list’ celeb boyfriend dumps her. Instead of crumbling and giving up Savvy moves back to her Auntie Jen’s. Auntie Jen’s straight talking, pulls no punches and say it how it is approach is enough for Savvy to reinvent herself.

A childhood tainted by the departure of her rock star Mother, this is not a story of self-pity and abandonment, but a story of survival and girl power.

I immediately loved Savvy. Down to earth, quiet and a loner, she has the complete likeability factor. An ordinary girl by day, but once in the bustling burlesque bar, the Martini Club,  Savvy is brought to life and is transformed into a confident, ambitious and sociable young woman.

As opportunities arise and doors open Savvy creates a life within a whole new world. Within the secrets and mysteries of her new life, Savvy meets Milo the cool, approachable and very sexy bar tender who captures her eye. An instant spark, passion and romance are the perfect ingredients for a new relationship.

Cocktails and dreams is the first in the Martini Club series and the desire for more leaves you shaken and stirred with excitement and wanting more!

A big thank you to A . L Michael & Neverland blogtours for allowing me to review Cocktails and dreams.

Cocktails and Dreams Banner (1)

All about the author

A.L. Michael is hurtling towards the end of her twenties a little too quickly. She is the author of nine novels. Her most recent collection of books, The Martini Club Series, will start with Cocktails and Dreams, released 24th July 2017. She likes to write about sassy females who follow their dreams, and don’t take no for an answer.

She is a Creative Therapeutic Facilitator, currently researching the power of creative writing to be helpful in recovering from eating disorders, and believes in the power of writing to heal.

Where to find A L Michael

Website

Twitter

Buy Cocktails and dreams here

Amazon

Kobo

Giveaway

C & D Giveaway Prize

win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of Cocktails and dreams (UK only)

Click here to enter

 

 

Did You Whisper Back by Kate Rigby #blogtour #giveaway

WHISPER for Jenny

Synopsis

Set in the nineteen-seventies, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court’s longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives. Amanda’s new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool.

Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda’s imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point.

Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.

My review

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 Did you whisper back is written with so much insight about mental health and schizophrenia. It feels as if you are actually a fly on the wall as Amanda slowly deteriorates.

The story begins as Amanda is beginning on a never ending search for her twin sister Jo, who she believes was dumped in a rubbish bin as a baby. I at this point thought I had the story figured out, this would be a simple tale of Amanda’s journey. How wrong could I be!

It becomes very clear quite early on that Amanda’s family are very disjointed and have no understanding of Amanda and the person she is. In fact a huge part of Amanda’s problems are in fact her family. I wanted to shout at them, could they not see she needed help?!

The lies her Mother has told and the hidden secrets that surround Jo all contribute to Amanda’s chaotic world.

At times it does become an uncomfortable read, this is no criticism of the book, in fact it’s quite the opposite and shows just how well Kate has managed to capture the realism of schizophrenia.

There is a huge twist in this tale and the ending is definitely not predictable. I was hooked and longed for a happy ending for Amanda.

Would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a tale with a twist!

Thank you to Neverland blog tours  and Kate Rigby for allowing me to review Did you whisper back?
 

 

About the author

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Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.

However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published as well as most of her unpublished work including:

Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified)

Seaview Terrace

Far Cry From The Turquoise Room

Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)

Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified)

She Looks Pale

Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories)

Savage To Savvy  (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved)

Thalidomide Kid

The Dead Club

Where to find Kate Rigby online

Website

Blog

Did you whisper back book links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Kobo

itunes

Barnes and Noble

Giveaway

To win copies of Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room also by Kate Click here

A Little Of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson #review #Q&A #giveaway

Today i am so very lucky to not only be on the blog tour for this wonderful book but also to have a lovely Q&A session with the lovely Cristina herself……..

Chantelle Rose is a great character, did you base her on someone you know?

This is a good question, I didn’t base Chantelle on anyone I know, she just sort of took over in my mind. To be honest, at the moment, my characters just run a bit wild. I think this could be because in my real life I’m a bit over-organised, slightly too responsible with everything I do. So when I sit down at the keyboard, it’s like someone else takes over and pays no attention to order, routine or responsibility. So though I haven’t based Chantelle on anyone I know personally and though she may come across as a bit scatterbrained and reckless, if I’m honest, perhaps my subconscious self would like me to be a bit more reckless in real life too and grab life by the horns. As they say, the things people really regret in life are the risks they didn’t take.

What are your 5 all time favourite reads?

This is a tricky one. I think I’ll have to go with, and in no particular order.

  1. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S Lewis. (Novels like this one made me into a reader at a young age, and from the reader the writer is born).
  2. Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen (I write romance, say no more…)
  3. The White Queen. Philippa Gregory (This novel, as all Philippa Gregory’s historical novels actually makes learning about the Tudor and pre-Tudor period easy and fun. If I’d read them at school, I’m sure I’d have got an A in history).
  4. Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell. (With one of the most famous closing lines…)
  5. Bridget Jones’s Diary. Helen Fielding (My romcom hero).

Did you consider an alternative ending for A little of Chantelle Rose?

The current ending has always been my original ending. I do believe however if my publisher or editor had strongly suggested a change I would have done so. However I think we looking for something different and I have that with this ending. We all want the fairytale, but perhaps we have it without realising it, we have to be happy with who we as well as with whom we are with.

Which books are on your ‘to be read’ pile?

Believe it or not I haven’t read any of Sophie Kinsella’s novels and just recently someone on finishing A little of Chantelle Rose commented that they were reminded of Sophie’s writing style, so one of Sophie’s books is definitely on my must read pile, together with a few from fellow authors at Crooked Cat books.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Be patient. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. For dreams to come true, you need to work hard, be consistent and keep focused. Believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and never give up.

How long does it usually take you to write a novel? 

It took me 3 months to write A little of Chantelle Rose, but 13 years to actually. get it published, but that’s another story. Now with two young children, the day job and trying to keep sane it would take me around a year to finish another novel.

Will we be seeing more of Chantelle Rose?

I hope so. She still talks to me which is a good sign. Fingers crossed she’ll be back some time next year.

 

 

 

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Synopsis

A little of Chantelle Rose

At the age of twenty-four, Chantelle Rose has all a city girl can expect: a tiny bed-sit in South London, a lousy poorly-paid job, a tyrannical boss, and quite a few exes added to an ever-growing list.

Desperate for change, she becomes an extra in a seedy crime film. When that leads to the opportunity of a lifetime – a role to play with a million dollars to win and seemingly nothing to lose – she accepts without thinking twice. After all, what could possibly go wrong? In any event, she´ll earn enough to buy her dream home, set up her own business and never worry about money again.

And what about love? Two men have won her heart: Robbie – sultry, silent, mysterious; and Lionel – Hollywood heart-throb, charm, wealth, adventure.

But who can she trust? Who is bent on scaring her away, and why?

There seems to be more at stake than just her heart. Will a million dollars be worth it?

Chantelle Rose Book Cover

My review

A little of Chantelle Rose is a perfect holiday beach read. In fact, it’s like a sunbeam within a book,  it’s filled with that feel good factor. It is extremely funny, there were moments when I really laughed out loud, much to my partners surprise!

Chantelle becomes a Hollywood star quite by accident. She works in a small coffee shop. An ex sends her a job ad to appear as an extra in a movie, Chantelle is game for anything and applies. 9 Months later she has totally forgotten about her phone call with the nice lady, who she later finds out is a man! until said lady rings her and offers her a part as an extra in a gangsta movie. This small bit part turns into a bit more than she ever suspected. Chantelle is offered a million dollar film contract and so the story begins.

Chantelle Rose definitely has the touch of Miss Congeniality about her, from her transformation from frizzy haired funny girl to svelte, sleek and coiffured Hollywood starlet funny girl! There is a lovely Bermuda love triangle between Chantelle, Robbie, English hunk resembling a diet coke ad model & very famous Lionel, Hollywood superstar.

Chantelle is a sparkling delightful character who I warmed to really quickly. All the characters are very relatable and their personalities develop throughout the plot.

The story has twists and unexpected turns which keeps you turning the pages hungry for more! As well as the story line being great the cover of the book is totally gorgeous and eye catching.

The finale of the story is definitely left open for a sequel which I personally can’t wait for as there are quite a few unanswered questions which will make for a fab part 2!

Giveaway

Click here to win A little Chantelle Rose bookmarks and keyrings

 

About the author

Author Photo Cristina.jpg

Cristina Hodgson, mother of two, born in Wimbledon, London, currently lives in southern Spain. Cristina had a long career in sport, reaching national and international level and still actively participates in Triathlon races and enjoys outdoor activities. In her spare time she also enjoys reading and writing. She won a sports scholarship to Boston College. After a period in Boston, she returned to the UK and graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science.
A LITTLE OF CHANTELLE ROSE is her debut novel and will be released in May 2017. Amazingly, it has nothing to do with running!

WHERE TO FIND CRISTINA HODGSON ONLINE:

Website: Website

Twitter: @HodgsonCristina
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Blog: Blog

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My review for Simply Anna will be posted soon, why not download this fab short story for free, you definitiely will not be disappointed!

Free short story:  myBook.to/simplyanna