If Fear Wins by Tony J. Forder @TonyJForder @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz

Its such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for If Fear Wins by Tony J. Forder. My thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invitation and Bloodhound Books for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.


Author : Tony J. Forder
Title : If Fear Wins
Series : DI Bliss #3
Pages : 360
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : May 29, 2018


When a torched body is found in a country lane, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate.

The detectives are drawn towards recent missing person reports and believe their victim will prove to be one of them. Bliss thinks he knows which, and fears the outcome if he is proven right.

Soon the body is identified, and Bliss and Chandler discover evidence suggesting this murder might be a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’s past needs his help, and soon he is juggling his personal life with the demanding case. To make matters more complicated, MI5 and the Counter-Terrorist Unit are called in to help solve the case. But are they on the right track?

Bliss and Chandler soon find themselves in a race against time, and this might just be their most challenging case yet…


When a torched body is found, DI Bliss and Chandler are called in to investigate. Consulting their list of recent missing persons, DI Bliss quickly thinks he knows who the victim is. The evidence points to a terrorism attack. Or is that what investigators are merely meant to believe?

Meanwhile, someone from Bliss’ past makes a rather surprising appearance. This friend’s husband recently apparently committed suicide by jumping off a bridge but Bliss’ friend is convinced her husband would never do such a thing. Throw in some MI5, MI6 and a Counter-Terrorist Unit and Bliss sure has his work cut out!

Here’s a wee warning. Don’t be eating anything when you start this book. I promise you, your appetite will be gone in a flash. This is one of the most disturbing murder scenes I’ve ever read about. It made for some seriously uncomfortable reading and it’s definitely one I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. The setting is quite obviously meant to point a certain way but DI Bliss is suspicious about some rather convenient factors. Can he convince his superiors though?

True to form, Tony J. Forder once again delivers an incredibly multi-layered crime fiction story with various threads you feel should somehow be connected but there’s no way in high heaven you’ll figure out how. Or that’s what happened to me anyway. I was left guessing until the end as the author took me on a gripping journey through the criminal world in Peterborough. DI Bliss remains as determined as ever and I love how sometimes all that’s needed is that copper’s instinct, that gut feeling that something isn’t quite as it seems no matter what the evidence says.

This is the third instalment in the DI Bliss series. I think you can safely get away with treating this as a stand-alone but for the full experience, start at the beginning. You’ll notice, I’m sure, that this series is only getting better. The author has a firm grip on things that make a good crime story compelling. From well-developed characters to an intelligently plotted storyline and intriguing investigations, there’s a great deal to keep you hooked here.

If Fear Wins is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first two books, Bad to the Bone and The Scent of Guilt, will be joined in the series on 29 May 2018 by If Fear Wins.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

One book that will definitely see a sequel is Scream Blue Murder. This was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller.

Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website



This Week in Books (May 30)


Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading


After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined.

The book I’m currently reading


When a young woman swaps coats with a prostitute then vanishes, it marks the start of a mystifying case for Leighton Jones.

After traffic officer Leighton is called to an altercation in a used car lot he is confronted by a prostitute rambling on about a girl who stole her coat. He thinks nothing off it. That is until the body of a Jane Doe shows up, matching the prostitute’s description.

What is the link between the fight in the car lot and the dead woman?

Leighton proceeds to gather evidence, which he attempts to pass onto the lead Homicide detective, Slater. However, Slater tells Leighton to back off, and that a suspect has been arrested.

Fearing there is more to the case than he first thought, Leighton is driven to keep digging and soon ends up on the trail of a serial killer.

But Leighton might be out of his depth this time.

What I’m (definitely) reading next


Varg Veum receives a surprise visit in his office. A woman introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a 19-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund, moved from her apartment in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously.

Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers on the hunt for a group of people whose dark deeds are hidden by the anonymity of the Internet. And then things get personal.


What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx


Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates @Anne_Coates1 @UrbaneBooks #LoveBooksGroupTours #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Songs of Innocence by Anne Coates! My thanks to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group Tours for the invitation to join.

I have an extract to share with you all but first, here is what Songs of Innocence is about.


Author : Anne Coates
Title : Songs of Innocence
Series : Hannah Weybridge #3
Pages : 320
Publisher : Urbane Publications
Publication date : May 24, 2018


A woman’s body is found in a lake. Is it a sad case of suicide or something more sinister? Hannah Weybridge, still reeling from her friend’s horrific murder and the attempts on her own life, doesn’t want to get involved, but reluctantly agrees to look into the matter for the family.

The past however still stalks her steps, and a hidden danger accompanies her every move.


Chapter Eleven

Rory was at his desk going through some page proofs. He’d had to clear a space among the piles of press releases, newspapers and half-empty coffee cups. He smiled as Hannah approached him.

“What?” she asked.
“You’ve got that look about you.”
“Which is?”
“Which is, ‘I’m just about to ask some questions and it might just lead us to a major story’.”
“Don’t hold your breath then.”

She felt relaxed with Rory who had always supported her and gave her enough leeway to find herself in whatever she was researching. “But I do want to run something past you.”

“Excuse me, Ms Contributing Editor, you don’t have to do that.” From someone else that comment may have sounded snide but Hannah knew Rory had been pleased at her new contract, and, she was sure, had had some influence in instigating it.

“Fancy lunch later?”

“Half an hour?” Hannah nodded and went back to her desk to make a cuttings request: anything on arranged marriages, disappearances of young Asian girls and unexplained or unusual suicides in the Asian community. Something about Amalia’s death and Linda’s absentee pupil niggled. Were they both part of a bigger picture?

They were early so managed to get a table in the corner of the Pen and Ink public house. Rory ordered a pint of best for himself, white wine for Hannah and some ham sandwiches. Their usual fare. While they were waiting for their order to arrive, Rory produced a photocopied cutting. It was dated two days previously from South Africa. Hannah’s vision blurred as the name Gerry Lacon jumped out at her.

Rory put his hand over hers. “He’s dead, Hannah. It’s been reported as natural causes but reading between the lines it looks like he was got at. That was always on the cards given his track record over there.” He smiled. “And it could be some people need to clear the decks before Mandela gets sworn in on Tuesday. Anyway, one less demon to haunt you.”

Hannah took a gulp of the wine. Dead. Gerry Lacon, the man who had held a gun to her baby’s head. The man who had ordered Caroline – and the others – killed. Poetic justice perhaps? For a moment she thought of Sarah, his wife. Had they divorced? She had no idea. No good dwelling on the past.

She realised that Rory was obviously waiting for her to say something. “Thanks. As you say one less demon…”

Their sandwiches arrived and between mouthfuls Rory filled her in about Judy Burton and her plea to George – no one called Georgina this to her face – to return to London. She obviously wasn’t enjoying her exile in Scotland.

“Oh, I thought she would have found her Celtic roots by now.” Hannah winked. “I thought she’d find Scotsmen in kilts irresistible.”
Rory looked about to choke.

“At least I don’t have to make that decision,” Hannah said.

“And what decisions do you have to make, then?”

Hannah stared across the bar. For a moment she thought she saw Paul standing there, looking across at her. She blinked and he was gone. In his place was a man who vaguely resembled him.

“You look as though you’ve seen a ghost.”
“Maybe I have.” Hannah finished her wine. “Another?” Rory asked and she nodded, glad for his departure for a few moments. Maybe it was the mention of Judy, which had conjured up Paul’s image.

“So – decisions,” he said returning with their drinks.

“A friend of mine who’s a teacher told me about how some young Asian girls are being taken out of school to look after members of their families. Some, it seems, are being forced into arranged marriages at a very young age.”

“Sounds right up your street. What’s the problem?” “Not sure I should involve myself and the newspaper.” “Why? These girls are British citizens. Don’t they deserve your support?”

Hannah was surprised at Rory’s reaction. “What do you know about this then?”
“More than you may think. A cousin of mine married into an Indian family. Don’t get me wrong, her in-laws are great but neither she nor I would say the same about some of the extended family.”

Hannah sipped her drink. “Well I’ve called the cuttings service, so I’ll see what comes up there.” Hannah circled her glass over a damp patch on the table. “There is something else.”

“Knowing you, Hannah, there always is.” He grinned at her.

“There was a drowning in my local park. A young Asian girl. The police wrote it off as suicide but the family was convinced otherwise. The aunt asked me to look into it and a second post mortem suggested that she may have been coerced into drowning herself.”

“Sounds a bit far-fetched. Why did the aunt contact you?”

“She’s a trustee of the charity Celia Rayman set up in Liz’s memory. Apparently she recommended me.”

Rory finished his beer. “Well she could have done worse. Why don’t you write that story first? Seems we have a scoop – such as it is. It obviously hasn’t been picked up anywhere.”

“No, the local press only reported the suicide. Also, a valuable and distinctive ring has gone missing – I have good images of that and it may jolt someone’s memory.”

“Good.” Rory finished his pint. “Any plans for the weekend?”

“Seeing friends and being an attentive mother. You?”

“Need you ask?” Hannah looked at him blankly. “West Ham are playing Southampton and I have tickets. But for now it’s back to the coal face.”

“Is this guy for real?” John, one of the younger news reporters was shaking his head.

Hannah looked up from the cuttings she was studying. “Who?”

“His name is Peter Marks. He is, apparently, a private investigator, who would like to discuss some possible news story ideas.”

“Oh yes.” Rory had walked back into the office. “And what might they be?”

“He says he has intelligence on how security services in South Africa infiltrated a high security prison in order to perpetrate a revenge killing.”

Rory looked across at Hannah whose face had drained of colour. “Well I don’t suppose that was too difficult to effect given the resources of the NIS.”

“This guy Peter Marks reckons he was part of the team.”

“Does he now?” Rory was leafing through a battered leather Filofax he’d retrieved from his desk drawer. “Thought so. He’s also a bit-part actor and singer… okay John, arrange a meeting with him and see what he’s got to offer.”

John looked bemused.

“We’ll pay him for exclusive rights to his info and it’ll go into the vault, but we won’t tell him that, of course.” Hannah could feel her face redden. Her own story had been spiked. Caroline’s story. And Gerry Lacon had been part of that. She had to shake herself to remember that they had not spiked her exposé about the trafficking of Somali girls. That one had been reported… Eventually.

But at what cost?


If this extract has you hooked, then you’re in luck because Songs of Innocence is available to buy and you can pick up a copy right now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads


Reading and writing has been Anne Coates’ passion for as long as she can remember. Instilled and inspired by her mother and by the Deputy Head at her secondary school who encouraged her hunger for reading by granting her free access to the books not yet in the school library, and she feels still grateful for this, in her eyes, amazing privilege.

After her degree in English and French, Anne moved to London to stay. During her career she worked for publishers, as a journalist, writer, editor, and translator. The birth of her daughter, Olivia inspired her to write non-fiction books, such as ‘Your Only Child’ (Bloomsbury, 1996), books about applying to and surviving university (NeedtoKnow, 2013), but also short stories, tales with a twist, and stories exploring relationships, published in two collections by Endeavour Press (2015).

The sometimes strange places Anne visited as a journalist often made her think “What if…” And so, investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge was born… The Hannah Weybridge series currently consists of three books, all published by Urbane Publications: ‘Dancers in the Wind’ (2016), ‘Death’s Silent Judgement’ (2017), and ‘Songs of Innocence’ (2018).

Anne Coates lives in London with three demanding cats and enjoys reading, going to the theatre and cinema, wining and dining.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website



What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano @DebbieViggiano @bookouture #blogblitz

It’s such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture!


Author : Debbie Viggiano
Title : What Holly’s Husband Did
Pages : 328
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : May 29, 2018


Holly Hart has been married for fifteen blissful years to hubby Alex. Well … if you don’t count last Christmas, when she accidentally found a load of flirty texts on Alex’s phone. But every marriage has its ups and downs and Alex had a perfectly reasonable explanation … so why can’t Holly forget what she saw?

With the help of best friends Jeanie and Caro, as well as their handsome neighbour Jack, Holly resolves to settle her mind once and for all with a bit of sneaky detective work. So what if her husband isn’t exactly Brad Pitt? He’s hers, and if someone else is trying to steal him she wants to know who…. But the truth is way more shocking than Holly ever anticipated. Can Holly, let alone her marriage, ever recover from what she discovers?


No, you are not visiting the wrong blog. Yes, I’m quite aware that this isn’t my normal sort of read at all. In all honesty, I tend to shy away from pretty much anything romantic or something that promises to make me laugh out loud. Which is like the evil stepsister of that twist you won’t see coming. More often than not, I do see it coming and don’t laugh out loud.

So why pick up something like this, I hear you asking? I don’t really know but let’s call it a broadening of the horizons, cleansing the palette, having a change of scenery, whatever. Truth be told, I actually really enjoyed this one. Go figure. You just never know.

Holly and her husband Alex have been married for fifteen years. Everything seemed to be going perfectly well until Holly finds flirty texts or “sexts” on her husband’s phone. Alex has a perfectly reasonable explanation but Holly isn’t convinced and she can’t forget what she saw. Of course Alex isn’t Mister Perfect but he’s Holly’s and if someone else has her eye on him, Holly is going to find out who it is.

Ever notice how when you think something is going on, everyone around you suddenly starts to act incredibly suspiciously? Holly is convinced her husband is having an affair but just when she starts to zero in on a viable suspect, someone else pops up who may be hiding a thing or two. All this does is fuel Holly’s belief something is amiss but is she on the right track though? One thing is for sure, flowers will most definitely not fix this one.

This has all the elements you’d expect from this genre. Unruly teenagers, a fabulous group of friends, a husband who isn’t exactly going to win any awards, a delightfully camp gay brother and of course, a dashing man to muddy the waters and a rather surprising conclusion. Despite the heartbreaking issue of infidelity, this still managed to be a fun, entertaining and enjoyable story. If chick-lit is your thing, then I have no doubt you’ll enjoy this one.

Perfect for those summer days by the pool with a yummy cocktail.

And in case you wondered, yes, I may have laughed out loud a few times. But you can’t prove it. 😉

What Holly’s Husband is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads


Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued puppy from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her children return home from uni bringing her much joy…apart from their gifts of dirty laundry.

Author link : Blog | FacebookTwitter



20 Books of Summer



I don’t often join challenges but this one caught my eye last year on Cleopatra Loves Books and I really like the thought of being able to catch up on my overflowing TBR in this way.

20 Books of Summer is a yearly challenge by Cathy at Cathy746 with an aim to read twenty books over the summer months starting on 1 June 2018 and running until 3 September 2018 and I’ve decided to join in.

Now, because I’m crazy and only decided this rather last minute, these 20 books will actually be read on top of the ones I’ve already committed myself to for blog tours. That’s the plan anyway. I hear you laughing. That’s okay. I’m laughing too. 😂

So, here are the 20 books on my list for now. I’ve spotted a few that seem rather long so I may need to switch those for something shorter. We’ll see.

In no particular order, here we go. With links to Goodreads for your convenience.

1. Rachel Rhys – Fatal Inheritance – [review]
2. Sarah Pinborough – Cross Her Heart – [review]
3. Cara Hunter – Close to Home – [review]
4. Riley Sager – Last Time I Lied – [review]

5. J.D. Barker – The Fifth to Die – [review]
6. Fredrick Backman – Us Against You – [review]
7. Sibel Hodge – Into the Darkness – [review]
8. Claire Douglas – Do Not Disturb – [review]

9. Shari Lapena – An Unwanted Guest – [review]
10. Louise Candlish – Our House – [review]
11. Steve Cavanagh – The Defence – [review]
12. Liz Nugent – Skin Deep – [review]

13. Amanda Jennings – The Cliff House – [review]
14. Michael Wood – The Hangman’s Hold – [review]
15. Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere – [review]
16. Andrew Wilson – A Different Kind of Evil – [review]

17. Karin Slaughter – Pieces of Her – [review]
18. Ruth Ware – The Death of Mrs Westaway – [review]
19. Elly Griffiths – The Zig Zag Girl – [review]
20. Linwood Barclay – A Noise Downstairs – [review]


That’s it. What do you think? Would you consider giving this challenge a go? What do you think of my choices? Will I make it or fail miserably? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do you think I am now? 😂

Wish me luck! xx


Kid to Killer by Paul Elliott @EdinburghAuthor @annecater #blogtour #guestpost #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Kid to Killer by Paul Elliott! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join!

Author Paul Elliott joins me to talk about ten things we don’t know about him. But first, here’s what Kid to Killer is all about.

Kid To Killer Cover

Author : Paul Elliot
Title : Kid to Killer
Series : Paul McGraw #1
Pages : 236
Publisher : Independently published
Publication date : May 20, 2017


A fifteen year old boy sees it as his duty to rid Edinburgh of the scum that prey on the innocent people of the city. He finds that to punish the guilty he must first face fear,loss and betrayal.

He will soon discover things aren’t always as they seem, and there are other people who have uses for a young killer as well as bigger forces at play.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Ten things you didn’t know about me.

1, Before writing Kid to Killer I had actually never read a book since reading Mr Men books as a child.

2, Kid to Killer started off as a supernatural thriller about a young boy (Paul) and his imaginary friend (John) but after twelve and a half thousand words when he reached high school age the book took on a life of its own and dramatically changed direction.

3, I’m a huge superhero fan, a lot of my inspiration came from watching Marvel movies.

4, I suffer from anxiety and at its worst point I never left my house for nearly two years.

5, My day job involves helping a young man with autism and learning difficulties lead as normal a life as possible.

6, Along with writing I have a massive passion for cars, currently I own eight cars which I drive as much as I can.

7, I have now written three Paul McGraw books and as much as I enjoyed them I have now moved onto a much lighter book about a happy-go-lucky author.

8, My daughter who is an avid reader did the editing and provided lots of support as I wrote Kid to Killer.

9, I literally woke up one morning and decided I was going to write a book and twenty-one days later Kid to Killer was released, a task I would never undergo again as most days I spent upwards of fourteen hours of constant writing.

10, I love animals and have always had two cats.


Paul Elliott, born in Edinburgh in 1974 is the creator and writer of the book Paul McGraw: Kid To Killer which is available now on the kindle store

Having grown up in some of the roughest areas of Edinburgh and leaving Wester Hailes Education Centre after year one with no qualifications, he joined the army as a junior officer at 15 years old but very quickly realised it wasn’t for him.
Paul then moved onto being a nightclub bouncer, debt collector, personal security provider and car dealer before trying his hand at writing a novel.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter



Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Sarah Breen & Emer McLysaght @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 #blogtour #OMGWACA

It’s such a pleasure to join the blog tour for Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen today! My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and my review copy!


Author : Emer McLysaght & Sarah Breen
Title : Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling
Pages : 368
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : May 3, 2018


Everyone knows an Aisling.

Loves going Out Out, but secretly scared of liquid eyeliner.
Happy to drink the bar dry, but will bring her own coaster if necessary.
Would rather die than miss a cooked hotel breakfast, but can calculate the Points in a Snickers at fifty paces.

Aisling’s the girl with a heart of gold, but a boyfriend who still hasn’t made a peep about their Big Day even after seven years.

But then a disastrous romantic getaway shows Aisling that it’s time to stop waiting around and leave John behind for the bright lights of Dublin. After she’s wailed her way through Adele’s Greatest Hits, that is.

Between glamorous new flatmates, a scandal at work and finding herself in a weird love square, Aisling is ready to take on the big city. So long as she has her umbrella with her.


Aisling is at that age where all around her people are getting married. Surely she’s next. After all, she and her boyfriend John have been together for seven years. When a romantic getaway turns into a disaster, Aisling decides it’s time to move on. Leaving John behind, she moves from her tiny village to the bright lights of Dublin.

I must say this didn’t at all turn out the way I expected it to. Yes, there are some funny and chuckle-worthy moments, but there were also some really rather moving and sad emotional bits. Myself not being Irish, I think there may have been a few references that went completely over my head but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment at all. If anything, it’s rather refreshing and the story wouldn’t at all be the same without some Irish mixed in.

Aisling is the type of girl that captures your heart right from the start and I thought she was a true delight. It was quite easy imagining myself sitting down somewhere with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake and have Aisling tell me all about her family, flatmates, colleagues and friends. This story is full of witty observations and descriptions, from the excitement of an Aldi store to being stuck in the loo when other women are obviously talking about you.

So maybe a few things were slightly over the top, some a tad stereotypical and some a bit predictable, but it really didn’t matter. This is just one of those stories where you go with the flow, don’t overthink things and let the wonderfulness that is Aisling fill your heart with joy. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting her, her family and her friends and I’m quietly hoping that maybe there may be a sequel some day. I have no doubt Aisling has many more stories to tell!

A fun, light, heartwarming and entertaining novel, perfect for those summer days!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads


Emer McLysaght is the former editor of The Daily Edge and has worked extensively in journalism and radio.

Sarah Breen is a journalist whose work has appeared in Stellar, Image, U, the Irish Independent and The Gloss.

Emer and Sarah conceived the character of Aisling in their sitting room in 2008, when they began to observe the many traits, characteristics and quirks of a very particular type of Irish girl; one they identified around them and one they identified with.

Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling was an instant sensation in their native Ireland and the Number One bestselling adult fiction title of 2017.

Author links : Emer on Twitter | Sarah on Twitter



Weekly Wrap-Up (May 27)


Three words that wrap up the week perfectly : hot, thunderstorms, books. Apart from the thunderstorms, sheer bliss. I do so love summer! Although I could do without the hay fever.

BBQ with the in-laws today. There will be wine. Yay! Sadly, no reading. Boo! Still, I didn’t do too badly at all this week.

Books I’ve read this week

You see? Dropped everything when a wee Scottish birdie let me know that the new Stuart MacBride was on Edelweiss. Bit of a headache figuring out how to request it but it was all worth it in the end.

Read the first Mark Hill as I’m on the blog tour for the second one next week. And also managed to squeeze in The Retreat because the FOMO was seriously kicking my bum.

Books I’ve bought this week

Slowly but surely catching up on the Roy Grace series.

ARC’s received via Netgalley / Edelweiss

This is fine. Three is fine. Especially since I read all of them already. 😄

Bookpost that landed on my doorstep this past week

Courtesy of the marvellous Orenda Books for an upcoming blog tour.


On the blog this past 

One day I’m going to look back on all of this and wonder how I survived 😂

Monday : Joined the blog tour for The Man Who Lived Twice by David Taylor

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog blitz for Three Secrets by Clare Boyd

Wednesday : Joined the blog tour for Wrong Way Home by Isabelle Grey

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog blitz for The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer and also joined the blog tour for That Summer in Puglia by Valeria Vescina

Friday : Joined the blog tour for The Cathy Connolly Trilogy by Sam Blake and author Simon Hall visited the blog as part of the blog tour for The TV Detective

Saturday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Next week on Novel 

Well, let’s see. Could there possibly be a blog tour in there somewhere? 🤔

Of course! Kicking off the week with the blog tour for Oh My God, What A Complete Aisling. Also to come : Tony J. Forder’s If Fear Wins, Faceless by Rob Ashman and It Was Her by Mark Hill. And a few other things. Okay, seven in total. But who’s counting 😜


Question of the week : Netgalley vs Edelweiss. Which do you prefer? Do you use both, one or none? Personally, I feel Netgalley is way more user friendly and I’m not sure Edelweiss is worth the hassle. 😄

That’s it for another week. I can’t believe June is right around the corner. Three months until Tuscany. Yes, I’ve started my countdown. I can’t bloody wait!

Have a great week, everyone, and lots of happy reading! xx

Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald @LindaMac1 @matadorbooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Meeting Lydia by Linda MacDonald! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!


Author : Linda MacDonald
Title : Meeting Lydia
Pages : 321
Publisher : Matador
Publication date : March 22, 2018


When Marianne comes home from work one day to find her husband talking to a glamorous woman in the kitchen, insecurities resurface from a time when she was bullied at school. Jealousy rears its head and her marriage begins to fall apart. Desperate for a solution, she finds herself trying to track down her first schoolgirl crush: Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.


Meeting Lydia is a thought-provoking and sometimes moving account about relationships and growing old(er). At an age where you’re supposed to have it all figured out, insecurities crop up. Never mind a grey hair or two, what’s with all these wrinkles and saggy bits? Not helped by the fact that you feel time is running out. Is your life all you thought it would be? What happened to your ambitions and dreams? What if you’d done this or said that when you were younger? Would your life have been different?

Marianne’s concerns and feelings are undoubtedly familiar to quite a few of us. She was bullied quite severely as a young child, an experience that still affects her to this day. So when she returns home one day and finds her husband, Johnny, in the kitchen talking to a glamorous colleague, all her old insecurities resurface. Is she not beautiful or sexy enough anymore? Jealousy rears its ugly head and while Marianne is also forced to deal with the dreaded menopause, her marriage begins to fall apart.

In her time of need, Marianne turns to an old classmate. A boy she used to have a crush on, one who didn’t bully her. It is in talking to him and facing her past that she and her husband may still have a future together. I must say that this correspondence didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to and while it is explained why Marianne decides to turn to this person, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around that. The more interesting conversations are the ones Marianne has in her head, where she talks about things she doesn’t communicate in person.

Meeting Lydia covers a variety of interesting topics. From relationships both in “real life” and online, to menopause, to bullying and its effects. It explores human behaviour, not just through Marianne’s life but also through the psychology lessons she teaches her students. You’d think Marianne would follow her own advice but as they say “those who can’t do, teach”, I suppose.

Relationships take work and communication is key. Nobody is a mind-reader and that’s probably for the best. But in this case, I’d say Marianne’s struggles put a strain on her marriage that could possibly have been avoided if she’d known how to talk about and tackle her feelings. Will she be able to find some self-confidence and stand up for herself? Can her marriage be saved? And who is this Lydia? You’ll have to find out for yourself when you read this honest, realistic and relatable story about how the past and unresolved issues can affect your future, no matter how old you are.

Meeting Lydia is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads


Linda MacDonald was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria. She was educated at the local grammar school and later at Goldsmiths’, University of London where she studied for a BA in psychology and then a PGCE in biology and science. She taught in a secondary school in Croydon for eleven years before taking some time out to write and paint. In 1990 she returned to teaching at a sixth form college in south-east London where she taught psychology. For over twenty-five years she was also a visiting tutor in the psychology department at Goldsmiths’. She has now given up teaching to focus fully on writing.

Author link : Twitter



The TV Detective by Simon Hall @SimonHallNews @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #blogblitz #guestpost #TheTVDetective

Welcome to the final day of the blog tour for The TV Detective by Simon Hall. My thanks to Emma Welton at damppebbles for the invitation to join.

Sadly, because there’s still no fix for the “not enough hours in the day” problem I’m suffering from, I didn’t have time to read this one. However, author Simon Hall visits the blog to talk about what lead him to start writing a book. But first, here is what The TV Detective is all about.


Author : Simon Hall
Title : The TV Detective
Pages : 314
Publisher : Fahrenheit Press
Publication date : March 22, 2018 (first published in 2010)


Dan Groves is a television reporter newly assigned to the crime beat and not at all happy about it.

Dan knows next nothing about police work or how to report on it, so when he persuades Detective Chief Inspector Adam Breen to allow him to shadow a high-profile murder inquiry it seems like the perfect solution. Sadly for Dan it soon becomes clear some members of the police force have no intention of playing nice with the new boy.

With his first case Dan is dropped in at the deep-end. A man is killed in a lay-by with a blast through the heart from a shotgun. The victim is notorious local businessman Edward Bray, a man with so many enemies there are almost too many suspects for the police to eliminate.

As tensions rise Dan comes close to being thrown off the case until the detectives realise that far from being a liability, Dan might actually be the key to tempting the murderer into a trap.

Buy direct from the  Fahrenheit Press shopGoodreads


Life has a way of playing strange tricks on you. The kind that seem awful, but turn out to be wonderful. And one of those led to my career as a writer.

I was already a kind of writer. Kind of meaning I was a journalist, a BBC TV News Correspondent, specialising in the environment.

It was a great job. Wandering across cliff tops, wading through crystal moorland rivers, searching out rare species of bird, all in the name of work.

But I say kind of writing because my reports were only a couple of minutes long. Maybe 150 words. Not a lot of room for creativity, for setting scenes, casting characters, telling deep and intriguing stories.

Still, I was happy enough. Until the day of the summons to my editor’s office.

The old Crime Correspondent had retired. Cost cutting meant he hadn’t been replaced. We were missing good stories. The viewers were noticing.

Would you like to take up the crime beat? he asked.

No thanks, I replied. I’m very happy with the environment.

You don’t understand, the grizzled old hack said, leaning forwards so he slipped into the shadows, the smell of cigarettes tainting the area around me, a yellowed finger tapping on a stack of P45 notice of termination of employment forms.

Would you like to take up the crime beat?

I slipped into a dark well that night. I was very happy covering the environment. I knew all the stories, the key players. About crime I knew precisely nothing. Except that it sounded nasty, something to be avoided, not wallowed in.

The first couple of stories were a straightforward disaster. All the other crime reporters knew their stuff and picked up on angles I missed. I visited my editor’s office again, and it was even less fun that the last time.

So I came up with a solution. To shadow the police on a murder inquiry. To get a fast track, insider’s experience of detective work.

Luckily for me, the cops saw the potential of having a hack to indoctrinate and manipulate. They went for it.

And it was absolutely, five star, trumpet fanfare fascinating.

The way detectives go about their work, the tricks they pull, the games they play, I had no idea. And I was even useful myself. With a story I put out, and what it lead one of the suspects to do.

I can’t go into any more details on this one. It’s a kind of told you too much already, now I’ll have to kill you thing. 

But I was so intrigued by this dark and devious, seedy and shady new world that I didn’t just want to write news about it. I began to write a book.

And that’s where The TV Detective was born.

A television reporter who doesn’t just cover crimes but gets so involved in the cases that he helps the police to solve them. Often using the power of the media to do so.

Just don’t ask me how much of my books are autobiographical.

[So, Simon, how much of your books is …. Just kidding. Thank you so much for stopping by!]


Simon Hall is an author and journalist. He has been a broadcaster for twenty five years, mostly as a BBC Television and Radio News Correspondent, covering some of the biggest stories Britain has seen.

His books – the tvdetective series – are about a television reporter who covers crimes and gets so involved in the cases he helps the police to solve them. Seven have been published.

Simon has also contributed articles and short stories to a range of newspapers and magazines, written plays, and even a pantomime. Alongside his novels and stories, Simon is a tutor in media skills and creative writing, teaching at popular Writers’ Summer Schools such as Swanwick and Winchester, on cruise ships and overseas.

Simon has also become sought after as a speaker, appearing at a variety of prestigious literary festivals. His talks combine an insight into his writing work, along with some extraordinary anecdotes from the life of a television reporter, including the now notorious story of What to do when you really need a dead otter.

Now 49 years old, he began a broadcasting career as a DJ on the radio and in nightclubs, then moved into radio and TV news. He worked in Europe, London, Ireland, and the south west of England, before settling in Cambridge.

Simon is married to Jess, Director of Libraries at the University of Cambridge, and has an adopted daughter, Niamh. She’s an army officer, which makes her father both very proud and very nervous.

Simon lectures on careers in the media at Cambridge University, and in schools and colleges. Amongst his proudest achievements, he includes the number of young people he has helped into jobs in broadcasting, and aspiring writers into publication.

As for his likes, Simon lists beer – he judges at real ale festivals – cycling the countryside, solving cryptic crosswords, composing curious Tweets and studying pop lyrics.

Author links : Twitter | Website