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.

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Mother’s Sacrifice by Gemma Metcalfe #Blogtour #Review

Synopsis

God ensured she crossed my path. And that is why I chose her.

The day Louisa and James bring their newborn son home from the hospital marks a new beginning for all of them. To hold their child in their arms, makes all the stress and trauma of fertility treatment worth it. Little Cory is theirs and theirs alone. Or so they think…

After her mother’s suicide when she was a child, Louisa’s life took an even darker turn. But meeting James changed everything. She can trust him to protect her, and to never leave her. Even if deep down, she worries that she has never told him the full truth about her past, or the truth about their baby.

But someone knows all her secrets – and that person is watching and waiting, with a twisted game that will try to take everything Louisa holds dear.

My Review

Oh my goodness, by the end of the first chapter my adrenalin was pumping and I felt sick, and then it continued throughout the whole book!

This is a psychological thriller at its best.

From the very start you are on a constant search to find out who it is that’s stalking g Louisa and trying to take her baby, Cody. I even started to doubt her and think maybe this was post natal psychosis.

Gemma has created an absolute corker in A Mother’s Sacrifice. Louisa is a very deep character and slowly throughout the book you discover her past, bit by bit the seemingly happy family that you meet in the first chapter disintegrates before your eyes.

This is an absolute fab read with many nail biting moments and an ending you really don’t expect!

Click here to buy A Mother’s Sacrifice

Win A Mother’s Sacrifice choccies and lipgloss set

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All about Gemma

Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…

Where to find Gemma

Twitter

Goodreads

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

Wolves In The Dark By Gunnar Staalesen #blogtour

wolves blog tour poster (1)

Synopsis

PI Varg Veum fights for his reputation, his freedom and his life, when child pornography is found on his computer and he is arrested and jailed. Worse still, his memory is a blank…

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts.

When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material… and who is seeking the ultimate revenge.

When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.

wolves in the dark cover

My review

This was my first time of reading a Gunnar Staalesen novel. This is the eighth book in the PI varg Veum series and it can totally be read as a stand alone book, although saying this, in completing it I’m now really interested to find out more about Varg and will be downloading the other seven in the series. I must admit I am quite getting into Nordic noir novels and really starting to enjoy them.

I was slightly apprehensive about the subject of this novel, child pornography is obviously not a subject that sits comfortably as a bedtime read, it’s a very prickly, uncomfortable subject to read about. However, Gunnar manages to only go into enough detail for you to understand the plot without it being too harrowing to read.

The whole story is full of twists and turns that have you wondering, how on earth Varg Veum could have got himself into such a situation. It is obvious that the beginning of this book finds Varg in a very dark place after the death of his girlfriend Karin. This, in particular, made me want to find out more about the circumstances that surrounded her death and the path that leads Varg to where this story begins.

The story is fast moving and full of blood rushing, adrenalin pumping scenario’s, it’s finished off with a fantastic twist that has you thinking back over the story to see if there were any clues you had missed, I for one definitely did not foresee the ending. This is an absolute 5* review from me.

About the Author

Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over four million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. When Prince Charles visited Bergen, Staalesen was appointed his official tour guide. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen, and a host of Varg Veum memorabilia for sale. We Shall Inherit the Wind and Where Roses Never Die were both international bestsellers. Don Bartlett is the foremost translator of Norwegian, responsible for the multaward- winning, bestselling books by Jo Nesbo, Karl Ove Knausgaard and Per Pettersen. It is rare to have a translator who is as well-known and highly regarded as the author.

Wolves in the dark is due to be published by Orenda books on 15th June 2017

I’d like to thank Orenda Books & Anne Cater for allowing me to review Wolves in the dark.

Click here to buy Wolves in the dark

 

Museum Of You by Carys Bray

museum of you

Synopsis

Clover Quinn was a surprise. She used to imagine she was the good kind, now she’s not sure. She’d like to ask Dad about it, but growing up in the saddest chapter of someone else’s story is difficult. She tries not to skate on the thin ice of his memories.

Darren has done his best. He’s studied his daughter like a seismologist on the lookout for waves and surrounded her with everything she might want – everything he can think of, at least – to be happy.

What Clover wants is answers. This summer, she thinks she can find them in the second bedroom, which is full of her mother’s belongings. Volume isn’t important, what she is looking for is essence; the undiluted bits: a collection of things that will tell the full story of her mother, her father and who she is going to be.

But what you find depends on what you’re searching for.

My Review

The museum of you is a lovely novel and the characters within its pages are warm, believable and real. Clover is likeable and really sweet with very much her own mind. Darren is hard working, the love for is daughter is very apparent.

The story is told in a way that you can relate to Clover and her need to find out about her mother, who died shortly after Clover is born. and Darren’s reluctance and need to protect Clover from the details.

Clover wants to know about her Mother which leads her to investigate the spare bedroom where Darren has kept all of Becky’s things. Clover decides to turn this room into a museum of memorabilia surrounding Becky’s life. A surprise for her Dad and a way for her to get to know her Mother in the process.

The truth surrounding the circumstances of Becky’s death slowly emerges. The ending is perfect and finishes on a high!

Click here to buy A museum of you

All about the author

Carys Bray

Carys Bray’s debut collection Sweet Home won the Scott prize and selected stories were broadcast on BBC Radio Four Extra. Her first novel A Song for Issy Bradley was serialised on BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime and was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, the Association of Mormon Letters Awards, the Waverton Good Read Award, the 15 Bytes Book Awards and the Desmond Elliott Prize. It won the Utah Book Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and was selected for the 2015 Richard and Judy Summer Book Club. Her second novel The Museum of You was published in June 2016.

Carys has a BA in Literature from The Open University and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from Edge Hill University. She is working on a third novel.

Head over to Cary’s website

Follow Carys on Twitter

The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George

little-breton-bistro

Synopsis

Marianne Messman longs to escape her loveless marriage to an uncaring husband – an artillery sergeant major named Lothar. On a day trip to Paris, Marianne decides to leap off the Pont Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved from drowning by a homeless man. While recovering in hospital, Marianne comes across a painting of the tiny port town of Kerdruc in Brittany and decides to try her luck on the coast.

In Kerdruc, Marianne meets a host of colourful characters who all gravitate around the restaurant of Ar Mor (The Sea). It is this cast of true Bretons who become Marianne’s new family, and among whom she will find love once again. But with her husband looking to pull her back to her old life, Marianne is left with a choice: to step back into the known, or to take a huge jump into an exciting and unpredictable future.

My Review

The little Paris bookshop also by Nina George is on my TRB pile, well after reading The little Breton Bistro it has been rapidly moved to the top!

The book surrounds the life of Marianne and her escape to a new life. The book begins as Marianne decides she can no longer live her loveless life, controlled and down trodden by her husband she feels her only option is to take her own life. With a beginning like this i feared the story would be a rather sad one. I was very wrong, yes there are sad moments in this book but there are also uplifting and beautiful moments too.

As different characters are introduced you gradually untangle the web of lives within the story. You learn the background of each new character as there story goes alongside Marianne’s.

I was rooting for Marianne all the way through, urging her to grab the new life she had found.

A truly beautiful story with descriptions of France so real if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine you were there.

Thank you to Netgalley , Little, brown book group & Abacus books for allowing me to review this book.Click here to buy