Come And Find Me by Sarah Hilary – Review.


About the Book

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
Come and Find Me is the fifth book in the series that features Marnie and Jake and I can honestly say that it was my favourite one so far. It is slightly different to the earlier books. There has always been focus on both Marnie and Noah’s private lives, and whilst that continues, there is also a lot of focus on those who are connected to the prison.
All of the novel is fascinating, and some of it disturbing. Women who become obsessed with convicted killers baffle and worry me. I was also unsettled because I couldn’t figure out who was responsible. With the amount of crime fiction I read I sometimes ‘solve’ the crime as I read but in this novel I failed on most of it.
The end was devastating on so many counts. Not just for the regular characters but also those who were duped into believing they were vital.
This is one of my favourite detective series and as it stands the only one out of all of them I am up to date with. I can’t even begin to imagine what Marnie and Jake have to deal with next.

You can purchase the book here

A Glimmer of Hope by Steve McHugh – Blog Tour Review.

A Glimmer of Hope Cover Image

About the Book

Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.

But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.

To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received.
Every now and again I love a bit of escapism in a novel and A Glimmer of Hope ticked all the boxes.
Humans are in the minority in this novel. Instead it consists of a variety of monsters from a world that we have all heard about in our childhood. One of the few humans in the novel describes it as dungeons and dragons and I can’t think of a more apt description.
There are many characters, the kindle’s search facility did come in handy at first. Some are good, many not so good. All are willing to use violence, cause mayhem and face possible death for their cause. These characters are more likely to survive injury than humans but there are still ways to kill them. There are quite a few of them I am looking forward to knowing more about.
This book is the first in a series but there is no real cliff hanger ending like in other fantasy books I have read. I am looking forward to the next book though because I enjoyed this book a lot.

A Glimmer Of Hope Blog Tour Poster

Iron Will by James Maxwell – Extract – Blog Tour.

Iron Will Cover LowRes

About the Author

James Maxwell is a number one bestselling author of eight epic fantasy novels. The Enchantress (May 2012), his debut novel and the opening to his bestselling Evermen Saga was originally self-published before its bestselling success secured him a publishing deal with 47DegreesNorth. James has followed this with hugely successful Shifting Tides series, starting in May 2016 with Golden Age, followed by Silver Road (Nov 2016), Copper Chain (Aug 2017) and now the epic conclusion, Iron Willi which is out this week.

James grew up in the scenic Bay of Islands, New Zealand, before moving to Australia at the age of eight. As a child, James would devour fantasy and science-fiction classics, his love for books translating to a passion for writing, which he began at the age of eleven. He moved to the UK in 2005 with his wife, fellow author Alicia M. Kaye and they have lived in Thailand, Mexico, Malta and Austria to pursue their writing, experiences which have strongly inspired James’ writing. James also has a strong interest in history, and undertakes extensive historical research into ancient civilisations to inform his novels.

About the series

War has come to Xanthos. Across the sea, the insane King Palemon’s lust for gold has driven him to build an army of dragons that will soon destroy everything in their path. Neighbouring royalty, Prince Dion and Princess Chloe, refuse to be helpless pawns in a clash of nations, and strive to bring their kingdoms together to fight this impending threat. When they find themselves hopelessly outmanned and outgunned, their only hope is to go in search of the secretive and powerful race of shapeshifters called the Eldren who have long since disappeared into the mysterious Wilds.

All the while, an ancient, terrible power rises from the ashes to once again claim all-consuming power and domination over Xanthos. The world faces a war to end all wars, and enemies once fighting over gold must now become allies to face this rising evil, less everything they hold dear be destroyed and their whole world be plunged into darkness.

As a world-spanning conflict begins, a king is betrayed, a prophecy is fulfilled, and our royal heroes learns secrets about their pasts that will change their own and the future of Xanthos.



Dion brought his horse to a sudden halt. From his position on a high mountain trail, he had a clear view of the village of Brook Farm in the valley below. He watched as dozens and dozens of red-scaled dragons descended toward the houses. He could almost hear the screams of the folk fleeing in all directions. The dragons tucked in their wings to plummet with speed. Jaws bit down on unarmed peasants. Soldiers astride the dragons thrust spears or hacked down with axes and swords. This village, almost identical to so many others in Xanthos, had no stronghold for people to flee to, no soldiers to fight back. It wasn’t war, it was butchery.

‘Dion?’ Cob’s concerned voice broke through his reverie.

Dion blinked and the dragons were gone. He realized he was clutching the reins tightly. The village was as it had been before: a small settlement of thatched houses with smoke snaking up from chimneys. Nearby, fields of wheat made a patchwork of the lowlands, while goats and sheep milled on the green hills. The people who lived in the houses and worked the fields led simple lives, centered on the family and the flow of the seasons. They were the lifeblood of Dion’s kingdom. Their efforts fed the urban population in the city. If war came . . . when war came . . . he didn’t know how he would protect them.

James Maxwell is the bestselling author of The Evermen Saga and The Shifting Tides series, and has previously ranked in the top 5 bestselling authors on Amazon worldwide. The final book in The Shifting Tides series, Iron Will, is out now in paperback with 47North, Amazon Publishing. Find out more about James and his books here.



The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

Things aren’t always as they seem…

A small town can be a refuge, but while its secrets are held, it’s hard to know who to trust and what to believe.

The Teacher’s Secret is a tender and compelling story of scandal, rumour and dislocation, and the search for grace and dignity in the midst of dishonour and humiliation..

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.
The Teacher’s Secret is set in a close-knit community in Australia. Terry has been teaching at the local school for years. Some of the children he teaches are the children of parents he taught when they were children. Some of them need more help than others. Pupils and colleagues adore him but when Laurie arrives to stand in as school head she doesn’t like his ways. She sees his closeness and time he spends with the children in his own time as a threat to their safety and against the rules. And Laurie is adamant that all rules need to be adhered to by everybody. She soon makes it impossible for him to carry on working at the school.
The novel focuses on Terry but also other members of the community. We meet Nina, the teacher who replaces Terry and one of the few who doesn’t really know him. We also meet parents and grandparents of pupils, close friends and a family who want refuge.
At first, when the novel focused on Terry I found if quite difficult to read. I did have sympathy for him, he did a lot of good things for the kids, especially the ones who needed extra care. But I don’t think he helped himself at all with his refusal to accept the rules that were in place. I warmed to him more after he was forced to leave his job, when you could see how much the children needed him. And how much he needed them.
My favourite character was Nina, how she had to accept the way her life had changed and how she had to make the children accept her as their new teacher. She was the only one who had any liking or sympathy for Laurie, a feeling I didn’t share. I thought she was a cold person who would manipulate a situation so she could put her rules in place. I liked Grace and her family, I felt her fears over not being granted refuge and how hard it was to fit into a new way of life. And how it was made easier for them by a misunderstanding.
I liked reading about this little community of people and Suzanne Leal is an author who I would happily read again.

techers secret PB Blog Tour Banner jpeg

White Midnight by Daniel Culver – Guest Post.


Today it is my pleasure to welcome to my blog Daniel Culver to talk about his writing process. This is a book that I am really looking forward to reading.

About the Book

Elizabeth Nowicki, a British woman and self-confessed stoic, settles down in the seemingly idyllic American town of Midnight, with her new husband and his two children. Six months on, life as a step mom is harder than she thought, and the shine of the American Dream has already worn off.

Bored and lonely, Elizabeth is drawn into a nightmare when someone in a duck mask murders two local cops…and the investigation reaches her new neighbourhood. When this is followed by strange happenings across the street, leading to another death, Elizabeth starts to conduct her own investigation….but can she find the killer before the killer finds her?


My Writing Process

I figure people like these origin stories, nosey nods to one’s writing practice, so this is mine. Here goes.
I used to be a ‘pantser’. Actually, I was full ‘commando’. I started with an abstract idea and just ran with it, a bit like making Lego with no instructions. Lego without instructions usually looks like something you left in your pantsters; at least mine did. Something with no firm structure usually falls apart very easily, too. Unless you’re a genius. I’m not a genius, so I need stabilisers.
Now, I am an ardent planner. A Micro Manager, as Zadie Smith suggests. This works for me because my ideas are both abstract and erratic. I don’t write in sequence, so I can slot whatever I make up into a timeline. Actually, I would say I am re-planner. I usually begin with an idea and I need to let it ferment in my head for a long time. I will probably begin with one or two scenes to properly set the tone, and while I’m writing those, I will use a Beat Sheet (see Saves The Cat Beat Sheets, they’re great) to construct the plot, which I will then break across three separate documents – my three act structure.
This allows two things: to easily navigate my manuscript(s); while also allowing me to easily re-structure things as I go, according to my Beat Sheet.
I usually end up shuffling things quite a bit and while I’m going that, I will then write each character’s story, depending on how many POVs there are in the plot. Once I have the plot structured across the three acts, I will then dissect and insert the individual story arcs. I’m sure there is software out there that does this type of thing for you, but my system doesn’t cost anything and I’m set in my ways. This is my own organised chaos.

So, in short, while in the early writing stages I usually have: A beat sheet, which contains the plot points. A work in progress file, for ideas and snippets that are not yet finished or fully realised. My actual manuscript at this point is dived into the three acts, which I will lay my beat sheet to. Finally, I have the separate story arcs for the main character(s), which will be inserted into my three acts once I am happy with the plot. So, no less than six separate documents in all.
Basically, I see it as a play. I construct the necessary beats across the three acts. I then set the scene or furnish the set. My WIP is like a rehearsal, riffing on ideas until they are ready to be added to the script. Finally, once the characters/actors are ready to go in, I slot them in to place.
I’m not fun at parties!

You can purchase the book here

Daniel and James