Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Thirst blood of my blood RP Channing



~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her 'boyfriend'), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated...), and being labeled as having 'issues' in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

1. Continue her 'therapy' (where she's told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often...)


2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for "Crazies and Convicts" (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter...

~ Cory Rand ~

Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother's best friend...sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual - he has a weakness) he's left with two choices:

1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks...)


2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he'll get an education.

He chooses the latter...

It's at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he's always ignored.

Until now.


Young Adult Romance

Paranormal Romance

High School

Vampires, Demons, Witches

Dark Fantasy





The Puppy Eyes

My life was perfect.

I had the perfect shoes and the perfect friends and I lived in the perfect house. My nails were perfect and my hair was perfect (except on Sundays, it was always windy on Sundays) and I had the perfect clothes. My lips were a perfect red and my hair perfectly straight. My eyeshadow was perfect, my hips were...okay, and my waist...well...also okay. Nothing was wrong in my life.

But then there was Jack.

Jack was a problem.

He needed to go. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead! I had told him this endlessly. Somehow, Jack didn’t get it. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy. Sure. Being stuck between this life and the next. But just because I found him, does that mean I needed to keep him?

I think not!

Sadly, when Jack got that look in his eyes, that weary, almost teary (if his tear-ducts worked) look, I melted. I just couldn’t send him away. Not even Jack knew where he would go after he died.

Would he, like, die? As in — dead, nada, kaput, finito, gone, no more? Bye bye, sayonara, ciao, hasta la vista baby and all that?

I couldn’t have that on my conscience. No way.

I lay on my bed, wondering what to do about him. “Jaaaaaaack,” I hollered.


Still no answer.



His eyes rolled down to the ground. He was making those puppy eyes again.

“Jack, I told you not to do that. I told you not to play on my sympathies.”

His puppy eyes became worse.

His skin was gray and, well, dead.

“Oh, brother,” I said. “I have to do something about you. If mom finds out I have another ‘imaginary friend’ — at my age — well, I’d die of embarrassment. But, like, really die. Not like you.” I wondered about this. Would I die? Was Jack a freak accident, or did all people live on like him? Think of the cemeteries...

The idea excited me somewhat.

“What would you have me do, Miss Kira?”

“Knock off the Miss Kira crap. I told you it’s just Kira.”

“Yes, Miss Kira.”

The dead. There’s just no reasoning.

“Fine, Miss Kira it is then.” Rover barked like a lunatic in the garden. No one else might be able to see Jack, but I was sure my dog could.

“I have to do something about this,” I mumbled.


The Rat

Mike knocked on the door before I had time to leave the house. Mike was the guy I thought (at the time) was perfect.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, baby.”

Baby, urgh — I wasn’t his baby. I dated Mike because he was the quarterback, because girls are supposed to like the quarterback, because it’s just so darn perfect to be seen with the quarterback, like we’re brainwashed into thinking these things from the first romantic doll set mom buys us.

This was my previous life.


“Uh-huh. Gonna let me in?”

So you can try rub me up and then complain when I don’t let you? This, dear reader, was the big problem with Mike. The second we first kissed, his hand went way too far south for me to be comfortable — and I pulled back.

Mike suddenly wasn’t so perfect.

“Uhm, I was just on my way out,” I said.

“Kira? C’mon, open the door.” He sounded upset. “Is there someone in there with you?”

Boys. As if.

I didn’t know much about love (nothing, actually) but I knew this wasn’t it.

“Uhm, now’s not the time, Mike.”

“C’mon, Kira, what’s going on?” He banged harder.

When in doubt...lie. I opened the door a crack. “There’s a dead rat in the house, Mike. Been here for days. I gotta go get some detergent and stuff to handle the stench.”

Mike stepped back. He peered through the crack of the door.

“It’s really bad,” I said.

“I’ll drive you.”

“I’m afraid the smell” — I stuck my armpit to my nose — “has found its way all over me. I’ll drive myself.”

“O — okay. Fine.” And then he grinned like he wanted something. “Later? My place?”

Urgh. “Uhm, Not sure when though.”


I fought the urge to roll my eyes. According to girls at school, he was apparently so damn good looking — theoretically. But for me personally, he did nothing. Moved nothing. Twisted nothing. “Look, I gotta go, Mike. I gotta — ”

“Kira.” His eyes grew stern. “You’ve been avoiding me...”

Bingo! Well done contestant number one! And what have you won? A brain!

I tilted my head. “Mike, look, this...rat — I need to deal with it. We’ll talk later, okay? Bye.” I closed the door, not waiting for an answer, and peered out the peep hole. Mike hung around for a second, shoulders wide and eyes glaring straight at me through the door. Could he see me? Did he know I was looking at him?

He kicked something off the ground, and I had the distinct impression he mouthed the word Bitch before leaving. But I wasn’t sure...


The Mack

“Roll down the window, Jack.” Jack was recently dead, so he still had a smell about him. (Which only I could smell...)

I had purposely skipped breakfast. Maybe Jack would help me lose weight. I was (still am) a little wide, although it had never stopped guys flirting with me. I know how to dress.

But I could be skinnier.

Lucy Rogers was skinny. All bones and no boobs.

Charlene Carverton was a babe. Cheerleader. Big chest (which she pushed out generously with a push-up — if only guys knew). Toned thighs. Charlene only dated college boys (back then), which I still think is pretty gross for a girl her age.

“He’s not for you,” Jack said out the blue.


“This...Mike — he’s wrong for you, Miss Kira.” For all Jack’s faults (mainly, being dead), he has a good heart. Factually, probably it’s why I kept him around at first.

“You think I don’t know that?”

“Then why don’t you dump him?”

I braked at a stop sign. Looked left and right. “Because I’d look like an idiot. I flirted with him and showed interest, and one kiss later I can’t stand the sight of him.”

“So dump him.”

“It’s not that simple. Kids at school — they can be vicious. I have to let it fade slowly. If I drop the bomb on him, I’ll never hear the end of it through senior year.”

“And you care?”

Yes, I did. Forget Guantanamo, schools are rough. “You don’t understand, Jack. Maybe school was different in your day. But in mine, well, we walk through metal detectors.”

“Schools weren’t too different in my day.” I noted the sadness in his voice.

“You okay?”

“I’m dead.”

Right. “You miss...your life?”

Jack shrugged. “I like being with you, Miss Kira. And I don’t remember much of my life. I think I’m in limbo.”


“Yes, like I have some unfinished business. If only I could is...” He scratched his head.

“Any ideas?”

“Well, it can’t be love. If it were love, I’d be a vampire. That’s who teenage girls fall in love with these days.”

“A vampire? That’s just what I need — two undead beings stalking me.”

“I feel I have something to do around you, Miss Kira. I don’t know what, but something. Something important.”

I looked over at him. “Me?”

I was still looking at him when I missed the stop sign.

The Mack truck drove straight into us.

Buy Links

Amazon US Amazon UK

Kindle Unlimited

$20 Amazon Gift Voucher Giveaway

At the back of the book there is a giveaway link. Once the book hits fifty reviews on Amazon, one of those reviewers will win a $20 (US Dollars) Amazon Gift Voucher!

Author Bio

R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy.

Author Links





Monday, 25 January 2016

A night in with Marilyn Monroe by Lucy Holliday

A night in with Marilyn Monroe (Libby Lomax, #2)A night in with Marilyn Monroe by Lucy Holliday
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

‘I laughed my slippers off!’ Alexandra Brown
‘Fresh, witty and thoroughly enjoyable.’ The Sun

After dating the hottest man on the planet, Dillon O’Hara, Libby Lomax has come back down to earth with a bump. Now she’s throwing herself into a new relationship and is determined to be a better friend to best pal, Ollie, as he launches his new restaurant.

Despite good intentions, Libby is hugely distracted when a newly reformed Dillon arrives back on the scene, more irresistible than ever. And when another unwelcome guest turns up on her battered sofa in the form of Marilyn Monroe, Libby would willingly bite her own arm off for a return to normality.

OK, so here's the thing, you have to read this novel by taking a leap of faith; of course it's absolutely barmey that a sofa could conjure up ghosts of bygone stars but if you allow yourself to imagine that it might be possible then you can just lose yourself in this fabulously wacky novel and have some fun.

The second in this series, A Night in with Marilyn Monroe is just as entertaining and funny as its predecessor A Night in with Audrey Hepburn. So glad that Lucy Holliday has continued with the marvelous Bogdan who made me laugh out loud at his lack of understanding and his unique way of expressing himself - hilarious. Dillon and preparations for the wedding of her best friend and the opening of Olly's restaurant keep this flowing nicely and of course poor Libby finds herself in all sorts of scrapes as the story moves along. It wasn't long into the novel when I was laughing out loud at the antics.

I don't like to give 'spoilers' or tell too much of the story as I am sure it detracts from the clever writing of the author so I won't but I do hope that you will read this one and enjoy it as much as I did. Keep an open mind and you'll just get carried along with the fun. You don't need to really have read the first book it's equally good and entertaining as a stand alone although Lucy Holliday does re-cap anyway.

Libby Lomax predicaments in many ways reminds me of the disastrous relationships that Bridget Jones finds herself in as she struggles with the dating game; this novel has all that but more in that it is a chick lit but also a very very funny quirky read with characters that are equally as amusing as the central character. Just loved it and can't wait to read A Night in with Grace Kelly where I do hope that Libby finds her happy ending.

Well deserved 4 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 22 January 2016

The Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy by Holly Tierney-Bedord

The Snowflake Valley Advice FairyThe Snowflake Valley Advice Fairy by Holly Tierney-Bedord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author of Right Under Your Nose: A Christmas Story brings you another sweet, festive holiday novella.

At just twenty-five years old, Elinor has landed the job of her dreams: She’s going to be Merry the Advice Fairy for the Snowflake Valley Gazette. She’s ecstatic that she’s about to embark on a fun, cushy career while living in the cutest, quaintest town she’s ever known.

She’s barely settled into her desk at work when that famous Snowflake Valley shimmer starts to fizzle. The real Snowflake Valley bears little resemblance to the picture postcard tourist destination she and her family loved when she was a child. Her new co-workers are uninspiring, to say the least, and the problems that people are submitting to the Gazette are much weightier than what she was expecting.

Losing faith in herself, Elinor considers cutting her losses and moving on. However, the attention of hot young reporter Nile might be enough to get her past her chilly start in Snowflake Valley, and back to seeing its charm once again.

This is a novella length book.

This was a free ebook that I downloaded over Christmas and I am so glad that I did.

Elinor is twenty five and has just moved to Snowflake Valley, she used to love visiting as a child so when a job came up in a newspaper office in the Valley to become the advice fairy she thinks this would be the perfect job for her. As soon as she arrives Elinor thinks straight away this is not the right job for her. She even is regretting moving to the Valley. The problems she is having to answer seem impossible and her colleagues seem to hate her and constantly compare her to Trudy.

Although this is only 95 pages I really enjoyed it and it was well paced and a really easy quick read. My only negative about the book is that I wish it was a bit longer as when I was just getting into it, it felt like it was over.

Even though this is not free anymore I think this is worth it, I would recommend this to anyone who wants a short story and a little bit of romance.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


NEW YORK NIGHT: THE 7TH JACK NIGHTINGALE SUPERNATURAL THRILLER by Stephen Leather blog tour! I have been lucky enough to be able to share with you a Q and A from the author himself. 

Teenagers are being possessed and turning into sadistic murderers. Priests can’t help, nor can psychiatrists. So who is behind the demonic possessions? Jack Nightingale is called in to investigate, and finds his own soul is on the line. New York Night is the seventh novel in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series. Jack Nightingale has his own website at

Although this is part of the series, it can be read as a stand alone. Here is what people are already saying about the book. 

Praise for Stephen Leather's Jack Nightingale series:

'Another great thriller from Stephen Leather but this time with a devilish twist!' James Herbert

'Written with panache, and a fine ear for dialogue, Leather manages the collision between the real and the occult with exceptional skill' Daily Mail

‘A stunning masterclass in darkness from a ferocious talent who excels in putting the devil in the details’ Daily Record

Here is the Q and A: 
What inspired you to write the Jack Nightingale series?
I always loved the Black Magic books of Dennis Wheatley when I was a kid and I’m a huge fan of the Constantine character in the Hellblazer comics (graphic novels as they prefer to be called these days). And I just love supernatural films, especially haunted houses and things that go bump in the night. With the Nightingale series I wanted to explore the supernatural world but with a hero who is very much grounded in reality. The first three books – Nightfall, Midnight and Nightmare – really explain his backstory, how he became the man he is. The next two – Nightshade and Lastnight – explain why he had to leave the UK and the subsequent books will be set mainly in the United States, hence San Francisco Night and New York Night.

Do you have a specific writing style?
I try not to have a style. Like most journalists-turned-writers I try to tell my stories simply with uncluttered prose. If I find myself over-writing I tend to hit the delete key and start again. I try to write my books as if I was writing for a newspaper, where it’s the information that is being conveyed that’s important, not the style in which it’s written. I do like to write fast-paced books, with lots of dialogue and not too much descriptions. For me, the story is everything.

How did you come up with the title?
As Jack Nightingale is the hero, I decided it would be neat to have the word ‘Night’ in all the titles, though after Nightfall, Midnight, Nightmare, Nightshade and Lastnight I have to confess I was running out of options. I don’t think Nightdress was going to cut it as a title!  The rest of the titles will be the name of a city, plus Night. So I have already published San Francisco Night and New York Night, and later this year I hope to publish Miami Night.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The knee-jerk answer is that my books are to entertain and that I’m not trying to teach my readers anything, I just want to tell them a good story. But on reflection I do think most writers want their readers to put down a book having at least learned something. With my Spider Shepherd thrillers I do try to point out the way the world is changing, how it is becoming a more uncertain and dangerous place and how the authorities are trying to deal with that. With the Jack Nightingale books that mission to explain is less pronounced and really I am trying to tell a good story, though there is of course an underlying moral that good always triumphs over evil. The problem with that moral, of course, is that it isn’t true – evil often wins, which is sad.

What books have most influenced your life most?
The book I have read the most in my life is One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I love the way it’s such a small story but with such depth. It’s a book about character but through that character you understand an entire political system. I read Harry’s Game by Gerald Seymour several times before I wrote my IRA thriller The Chinaman. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre was an inspiring book but it is so good that after I read it I gave up thinking I could be writer for several years!

What is your favourite theme/genre to write about?
 I love writing present-day thrillers that feel as if they have been ripped from that day’s newspaper headlines. I have lots of contacts in the police, the army and the intelligence services and I love using the information they give me in my stories. Often I hear of things long before they reach the papers. In my book Soft Target I wrote about four Islamic suicide bombers going down the Tube system in London. Several months later it actually happened – it wasn’t that I was psychic, it was the people I was speaking to told me it was the thing they feared happening most.

Where did your love of writing come from?
I’ve always loved to write, to create a story from nothing. I like to tell stories to, and I often recite the whole plot of a forthcoming novel to my friends. Often by telling a story it becomes easier to put down on paper. But before I was driven to write, I read. I read so much as a kid and was at my local library several times a week. I loved to read and it was that I think that lead to me wanting to create my own stories.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?  
Actually New York Night was an easy book to write, partly because Nightingale is such a great character to work with and partly because I had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen. It took about two months, from start to finish, and at no point did I hit any real problems. The ending didn’t come to me until the last week or so and I think that was probably the hardest part, coming up with a satisfying ending.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I just love the Jack Nightingale character. When Hodder and Stoughton decided they didn’t want to continue to publish the series, there was no question that the books would stop. Jack just wouldn’t allow it. I love his sarcasm, his slight air of pessimism, and the fact that he just takes whatever life throws at him. He’s smart and thinks on his feet, yet because the supernatural world is so alien to him it’s constantly catching him off-balance. Having the books set in the United States is fun, because he’s always a fish out of water. It gives me the chance to explore different cities, too, which I enjoy enormously. This one was good fun because I know New York well, it’s one of my favourite cities. The next one will be set in Miami which is also a fun city.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Colour Yourself Calm: A Mindfulness Colouring Book by Tiddy Rowan

Colour Yourself Calm: A Mindfulness Colouring BookColour Yourself Calm: A Mindfulness Colouring Book by Tiddy Rowan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Relax, meditate and banish stress

Release unconscious knowledge and calm thought through painting and colouring

Features complete images to copy, or just create your own colourful mandalas

Mandalas were created as sacred objects upon which to meditate. Their symmetry is designed for the painter to reflect and empty the mind by becoming absorbed in colouring this object of beauty, the reader will embark on a practical exercise in mindfulness.

In Colour Yourself Calm, Tiddy Rowan (author of the Little Book of Mindfulness) has gathered inspirational quotes to accompany these original images and enhance the experience offering an easy way to relax the mind, body and spirit, while expanding the imagination and creating a sense of wellbeing.

I was given this as a Christmas present, I was so excited as this is a different colouring book and I am loving them at the moment.

This is a very different type of colouring book, for starters its hardback, which for a colouring book is quite unique.

Each page is a double page - one which has the image coloured in on. (I'm guessing this is to give you ideas?) Then on the opposite page it is black and white for you to colour. Personally I was disappointed in this. I would have preferred more pages to colour and I don't feel I need one coloured on the opposite to help me.

This is an O.K colouring book, however I would have not of bought it for me as it is not my preference. If you are a little un-confident with creativity then this maybe a good buy for you. If you are a regular colourer then I think you would want to find a different book.

Friday, 15 January 2016

Zippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray

Zippo the Super HippoZippo the Super Hippo by Kes Gray
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Zippo doesn't want to be an ordinary hippo. He wants to be super! Being good at swimming and splashing in mud aren't really superpowers, though. Perhaps he can fly like his friend Roxi. But who's ever heard of a flying hippopotamus? Especially one with such a big bottom . . .

From award-winning author Kes Gray and exciting new illustrating talent Nikki Dyson. This fantastically funny superhero will be flying into children's imaginations everywhere!

When this arrived for me to share with my children I couldn't wait, I knew this would appeal to them and I wasn't wrong.

This is a really cute story about a hippo, who really wishes he had a super power. His friend Roxi encourages Zippo the hippo to realise that he is special and he does have a super power, he just needs to find it.

The pair of friends go through different talents Zippo feels he has, all of which Roxi doesn't believe is a super power. Roxi suggests a new talent that Zippo may have that hasn't even thought about. Zippo practises his new talent but feels that perhaps it isn't right for him. Roxi gets Zippo to see what his talent really is.

The children I read this story to really enjoyed it, they liked to see what Zippo was going to try next. The illustrations are wonderful and the book is so colourful which helps to keep the children interested in it. All children were able to tell me if they liked or disliked the story, all of which say they liked it. They also said it is a story they would like to read again.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The American Nadia Dalbuono blog tour with extract

Today it is my stop on The American blog tour. I have been lucky enough to secure an extract for you to read. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour. 


The second Leone Scamarcio thriller.

As autumn sets in, the queues outside the soup kitchens of Rome are lengthening, and the people are taking to the piazzas, increasingly frustrated by the deepening economic crisis.

Detective Leone Scamarcio is called to an apparent suicide on the Ponte Sant'Angelo, a stone’s throw from Vatican City. A man is hanging from the bridge, his expensive suit suggesting yet another businessman fallen on hard times. But Scamarcio is immediately troubled by similarities with the 1982 murder of Roberto Calvi, dubbed ‘God’s Banker’ because of his work for the Vatican Bank.

Scamarcio’s instincts are soon proved correct when a cardinal with links to the bank is killed. And when US Intelligence warn Scamarcio to drop his investigation, he knows that the stakes are far higher than he first realised.

Ignoring their threats, Scamarcio pushes on, but his progress is being monitored by some of the world’s most powerful men, who will stop at nothing to make sure their dirty work stays under cover. In breathtaking developments that link 9/11, America’s dirty wars, Vatican corruption, the Mafia, and Italy’s violence against its own people, Scamarcio has to deal with responsibilities far above his pay grade.

Extract 1 from The American by Nadia Dalbuono

A man with light, greying hair was hanging from the lower railing, a fat noose of rope tied around his neck. He wore an expensive-looking grey suit and a white shirt, the top four buttons wide open. A blue silk tie was pushed off to one side, the front panel snaking across his shoulder. His feet were spinning above the water in grey silk socks. There was no sign of any shoes. The stranger’s eyes had rolled back in his head, as was customary with the victims of hanging, but it was his thick hair standing up in strange tufts that was disquieting, that gave the sense that this was a man who would normally be combed down and salesman prepped, who would never allow himself to be seen in public like this. What an invasion of privacy death is, thought Scamarcio, not for the first time.

Manetti called over to the police photographer, standing a few metres away: ‘You done here?’

The guy nodded. ‘Yeah, he’s all yours.’

Manetti motioned to two of his assistants. The more muscular of the two stepped onto the thin platform above the water and began slowly hoisting the body onto the ledge. It took a considerable effort, despite the CSI’s strength. Once he’d cut the rope free from the ironwork, Manetti and the other assistant leant over the balustrade, and the three men carefully manoeuvred the body up over the railing. When they’d got it clear, they laid the corpse out on the pavement.

Manetti began patting down the arms and legs. He stopped at the trouser pockets, and felt them again on both sides before reaching into a pocket with his gloved right hand and pulling out a fistful of something bulky. When Manetti opened his hand, Scamarcio saw that he was holding cracked and broken chunks of brick — masonry rubble.

‘What do you make of that?’ asked the chief CSI, who had sensed his colleague’s silent approach but had been too absorbed in his work to acknowledge it.

‘Reminds me of something.’

‘In the sixteenth century, this bridge was used to expose the bodies of the executed.’

‘No, that’s not it.’

With his left hand, Manetti pulled a plastic evidence-bag from his pocket and poured in the rubble from his right. He then extracted the debris from the man’s other pocket and repeated the process.

‘Probably another poor sod who couldn’t make it to the end of the month. There seems to be a suicide a day at the moment. You hear about that guy who set fire to himself in front of the tax office?’

Scamarcio ignored the question — he was sick of the constant talk of ‘the crisis’. Just because some parasite bankers had placed a bad bet on Italy, why should they all be castrating themselves to settle their casino tab? The German chancellor and her cronies had the country in a stranglehold, and people were starting to pay with their lives. At a dinner party the other day, someone had said that it was the new nazism for the twenty-first century. He had smiled at the time, but had gone home and quietly wondered about that.

‘You find any ID?’ he asked.

‘Nothing as yet. We’re getting the frogmen out, but there’s quite a current after the storm.’

‘He doesn’t look Italian to me.’

‘Hmm, now you say it ...’ Manetti gently patted the corpse again before lifting the collar of the man’s suit. ‘Saks, 5th Avenue.’

‘Yeah, that’s what I thought.’

‘Enlighten me then — what does it remind you of ?’

Scamarcio took a cigarette from his pocket and lit up, breathing out into the cool air and then sucking it back in. After a few seconds, he said: ‘God’s Banker.’

Manetti inclined his head slowly to one side, thinking it over. ‘God’s Banker,’ he repeated, trying it for size.

They both looked out across the river to their right, where the dome of St Peter’s Basilica rose up, resplendent in the early-morning sunlight.

‘Yeah, now you say it ...’ said the chief CSI eventually. ‘And I thought it would be a home-by-six day.’

Friday, 8 January 2016

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to BreatheTry Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You won't be able to put it down.
Just remember to breathe.

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she's cut herself off from everything but her one true love - drink. Until she's forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She's as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma...

When this landed on my door mat unsolicited I was really excited. I had never heard of Holly Seddon, but this sounded like something I would be keen to read.

This is a great debut novel and one that will have you whizzing through. I read this during the last couple of days of the Christmas holidays and I really didn't want to put it down. It captured my interest and had me searching to find the answer.

Alex is a freelance journalist, who has been having a rough time, her marriage broke down, lose of a baby and she is an alcoholic. Her life is in bits and she has been told if she doesn't stop with the drinking she will be dead within the year. The problem is she has lost everything and feels she hasn't got a lot to live for. That is until she stumbles across Amy, during the research for her news article.

Amy is the same age as Alex and lived in the same area as her, however when Amy was 15 and was attacked which has left Amy in a coma like state. Amy has been there years and throughout the book the reader gets to go on the journey with Amy into before and during the attack. Amy is responsive through brain activity and although cannot talk can communicate in other ways through her brain.

Amy had a boyfriend, Jacob. He now has a wife and a baby on the way but can't seem to let go of Amy and regularly comes to visit her. Amy, though had a secret and disappeared the day she was attacked. No one has ever been caught and convicted, Alex begins to dig for answers and her investigation takes her in lots of directions.

We read the story through many points of view, Alex, Amy and Jacob are main, however we occasionally get another characters perspective too. These characters are well developed and all have their own reasons for either wanting to help Alex or not.

I think this is a well written and I enjoyed all aspects of the story. I thought it was a complete surprise and I liked the fact I was left hanging so long before I found answers. The only thing I would say and the reason I gave this 4* and not 5 was that there were some unfinished things for me in this book. I felt it could have been wrapped up a little better, I wanted to know what happened to Amy after. I also would have liked to know a little more about Alex, especially with aspects about her health.

This I feel is going to be a massive book this year and one if you like psychological thrillers to get your hands on.

I would like to thank the publisher and RealReaders for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in BetweenHello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One night. A life-changing decision. And a list...

Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That's just how she is.

But tonight is Clare and Aidan's last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past - from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium - all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye.

But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?

I have read many of Jennifer E Smith's books and enjoyed every one of them, this however I didn't enjoy as much and won't be a firm favourite of mine.

This story takes place over twelve hours, on the last night before Clare and Aidan go to college. They have been together a while, child hood sweethearts but now they are going to be at other ends of the country and Clare feels they need to break up. This is when I begin to have issues with this book. Clare and Aidan are young and they are in love but Clare seems to cynical and depressing. She is obsessed with reasons they need to break up and can't go to college as one. Aidan seems to just want to enjoy this time with her and doesn't see why they can't stay together but Clare is just so negative. It got to points in the book where I was going to put it down as I was done listening to Clare being negative. Clare I didn't warm to at all, she was easy to dislike as a character for reasons I have already mentioned , she is also not a nice friend to Stella, who was meant to be her best friend. She also seems like the cannot make a decision further in the book. This just becomes annoying.

Aidan, however I did like, there were times I felt sorry for him and he just wanted to please everyone, he has a tough time of it with his family, Clare doesn't help to support at all but just makes it about her. (College application) He also genuinely loves Clare but that love doesn't seem to be returned as it should.

This story just seemed a little immature for me at times and I really didn't like Clare, this effected my overall enjoyment of this book. I would not recommend this to anyone over about the age of 25 as I think you will become as annoyed as me reading this book. It would be a good read if you are around the age of the characters and heading off to college/university and are in a similar situation as Clare. I do enjoy Jennifer E Smith as an author and I would still want to read others by her, this however I don't feel is her strongest and I was disappointed by it.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, 4 January 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

The WidowThe Widow by Fiona Barton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

We've all seen him: the man - the monster - staring from the front page of every newspaper, accused of a terrible crime.

But what about her: the woman who grips his arm on the courtroom stairs – the wife who stands by him?

Jean Taylor’s life was blissfully ordinary. Nice house, nice husband. Glen was all she’d ever wanted: her Prince Charming.

Until he became that man accused, that monster on the front page. Jean was married to a man everyone thought capable of unimaginable evil.

But now Glen is dead and she’s alone for the first time, free to tell her story on her own terms.

Jean Taylor is going to tell us what she knows.

Du Maurier's REBECCA meets WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and GONE GIRL in this intimate tale of a terrible crime.

When this book began being mentioned on Twitter and being compared to a lot of the other great thrillers this year, I was delighted when I was offered the chance to review this. Going away gave me the perfect opportunity to read and get stuck into this. I read the blurb, which seemed really interesting and got started straight away.

This book is told through the perspective of about 4 people - the fourth towards the end. The Widow Jean is an interesting character, my feelings for her continuously changed throughout the book. There were times I felt for her and others I thought she was just weird and now even after finishing the book I still don't now how I feel about her. She comes across as a sad woman who you pity, she seems to be so devoted to her husband that she is a pushover and will do anything for him.

This book centres around a child being snatched from her front garden, the mother not watching her and her father absent. With Glen, Jean's husband in the area delivering on that day and his van being spotted he is a prime suspect for it. Jean and Glen, who don't have children as Glen was unable to, doesn't stop Jean wishing for one.

Throughout the book there are many surprising and shocking factors which were not predictable, which happen. It is a clever book, which has left me still thinking about it days after. To begin with I found it a little slow, however it was clear after getting into it this was necessary to build the background to the story. Saying that it was slow, it didn't stop me devouring the story in two sittings, the pace picked up half way though and the next thing I knew was I had finished it. At one point I was wondering if we were going to get an ending as I couldn't see how it was going to end.

I don't want to say too much in risk of spoiling this book for you, this is one that you must make sure you get your hands on in the new year. I thought it was not your typical thriller, it was more crime based but didn't make it any less enjoyable. I also really loved the way the story was told. I think this is a new take on thrillers and if you enjoyed other big blockbuster books this year, you will want to read this one.

The only reason I have given this 4* instead of 5 is because for me it was a little slow to begin with and I initially found it tricky to get into, after the fist couple of chapters though I was hooked.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Reading challenges 2016

This year I have decided I would like to participate in a reading challenge or two. These are just for fun and I want to make sure my reading stays a pleasure and not becoming a chore. Thanks to some recommendations from people on Twitter I discovered this reading challenge. 

So here it is, this is the challenge I am going to be going for, along with the Goodreads challenge. Like last year I am setting my goal at 60 books. I want to make sure that I am enjoying my reading and I am not pressured to read. Last year I smashed my target to read 107 books. I am hoping that I have another successful reading year. 

Let me know if you are participating in any reading challenges for this year and what they are. Good luck and have a great reading year.

Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill

Waiting for CallbackWaiting for Callback by Perdita and Honor Cargill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Geek Girl meets Fame meets New Girl in this brilliantly funny new series!
When Elektra is discovered by an acting agent, she imagines Oscar glory can't be far away, but instead lurches from one cringe-worthy moment to the next! Just how many times can you be rejected for the part of 'Dead Girl Number Three' without losing hope? And who knew that actors were actually supposed to be multi-lingual, play seven instruments and be trained in a variety of circus skills?
Off-stage things aren't going well either - she's fallen out with her best friend, remains firmly in the friend-zone with her crush and her parents are driving her crazy. One way or another, Elektra's life is now spent waiting for the phone to ring - waiting for callback.
Can an average girl-next-door like Elektra really make it in the world of luvvies and starlets?

This was an unsolicited book, which arrived just in time for me to take it with me on holiday. What attracted me to it was the brightly coloured cover. Stunning! I began it on my journey to the airport and I finished it during my 8 hour flight.

I found that this was a quick and easy read, perfect for getting away from it all and had a 'Geek Girl' feel about it. I loved that it has been written by a mother and a daughter and I think that their strong relationship has come through in this novel as it is seamless, it flowed from both of the characters point of view and you would struggle to identify who wrote what.

The main character Electra, is a budding wannabe actor. She is an ordinary teen in the sense of boys, relationships and worries. She attends an acting class and auditions for various parts, she has acting friends, who she seeks advice from and of course there is a book boyfriend in this...

Waiting for Callback is a funny novel which will appeal to many. It is not deep or serious, which is refreshing as a lot of YA seem to focus on heavier subject matter. I thoroughly enjoyed this and would recommend it to others.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.