Book reviews

Reflected Destinies by Florence Keeling- *PROMO*****HALF PRICE*



Reflected Destinies

Laura is happy and content, she has a new boyfriend and loves her job teaching primary school pupils in London.  But when she inherits a rundown house from a stranger on her 30th birthday, memories of her prom night come flooding back, memories of a scary encounter and an antique mirror in the very same house.
Laura visits the house with all its secrets and as she unravels the clues she reveals the biggest secret of all: her own destiny.  But how can you change the future if it’s already written in the past?




Wow….this sounds so intriguing….and……it’s a bargain! What’s not to love….


To celebrate Mother’s Day, Reflected Destinies will be half price from 29th March to 1st April.

Purchase Link –



About Florence Keeling

Florence Keeling adopted for her pen-name her Great Grandmother’s name, chosen because of the shared birthday of April Fool’s Day.  She is married with two teenage chidren.  Born and raised in Coventry, England she now lives just outside in Nuneaton.  Reflected Destinies is her first novel.

Florence Keeling also writes for children under the name of Lily Mae Walters.

Here are her social media links…


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Book reviews

The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn @DarcieBoleyn #HouseAtGreenacres #BlogTour @Canelo_co #Review

Great review 💕

I’m thrilled to be sharing my review today as part of the blog tour for The House at Greenacres by Darcie Boleyn. With thanks to Ellie at Canelo for the invite to join the tour and for my copy via Netgalley. First of all though let’s take a look at the description for the book…

When Holly Dryden fled Penhallow Sands
nearly a year ago she was determined to put the past – and Rich Turner – behind
her. But now an unexpected loss and financial trouble has led her back to the
family vineyard and it’s time to tell Rich the truth – he’s a father.

Surrounded by the memories of what they once
shared Holly’s anger fades in the glow of Rich’s undeniable love for their son
and the way he selflessly steps in to help the vineyard out of trouble. As
Holly watches Rich flourish in his…

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Book reviews

The Scarecrow and The Princess by Maggie Archer – Book Review


Prince Harvey had a great life.
He was very handsome (some would say, too handsome for his own good). He was heavily doted on by his parents, and the ladies were crazy about him.
Still, he had a good heart.
He spent his days swimming, fishing, practising his target shooting, and getting up to general high jinks with his cousin and best friend, Ralphie. He also enjoyed tearing about the kingdom on Black Terror (ironically, a rather timid horse).
Until, one day, he got on the heretofore good witch Bettina’s nerves so much that she turned him into a scarecrow and banished him to an unknown apple orchard.
(Well, it was unknown to Harvey. Obviously the owners of the orchard knew about it).

What a pickle!

Meanwhile, the princess of a neighbouring kingdom had her own set of problems. She was getting into the questionable habit of discussing those problems, and everything else dear to her heart, with the new resident scarecrow.

What does fate have in store for these two?



The Scarecrow and the Princess by Maggie Archer is an enchanting tale. Prince Harvey is arrogant and thoughtless, he has the entitled life as the son of King and Queen of Avaria.

Harvey is handsome, but a little conceited but the ladies love him…especially Blandina….she pesters him all the time, until he finally tells her No, but he is cruel and she runs home sobbing…to her mother…..a powerful witch!! Oops..

She puts a curse on him, turning Harvey into a scarecrow…..destined to stay this way unless someone falls in love with him and wishes him alive…..but it has to be under a full moon……

Princess Sasha often visits an orchard and notices the new scarecrow…..she chats away to him……and in the long hours he is alone…Harvey has time to think…about the person he was and how this has brought him here, a scarecrow in an orchard.

This is a charming and well written book, easy to read and full of humour and a little magic…

I can recommend this highly is ideal for any middle-grade lovers of fairy tales..absolutely charming.

I received my copy of The Scarecrow and the Princess from Maggie Archer and this is my honest and unbiased review.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Thriller

The Snowman of Zanzibar by Gordon Wallis – Book Review



The Snowman Of Zanzibar
Ex Rhodesian soldier Jason Green was frustrated and mildly depressed.

The winter in London had been long and bitterly cold. The steady work as a freelance insurance fraud investigator was mundane and repetitive. This tedious monotony suddenly changes early on a frigid February morning when he is summoned to the offices of a wealthy investment banker in the City.

The brief , to ascertain the source of the unanticipated wealth of the man’s high flying young son. The time frame , urgent. The payout , enormous. Inspired and rejuvenated , Green takes the job immediately.

The roller coaster ride that follows takes Jason Green from the grimy streets of London to the beaches of Cape Town and ultimately to the dark tropical jungles of the spice island of Zanzibar.

Intrigue , chaos , murder , betrayal and revenge follow swiftly as a series of unfortunate events unfold. Events far beyond Green’s control. Events that result in unspeakable violence and horror. The action comes hard and fast in this page turner and culminates in an ending that will leave the reader breathless.



The Snowman of Zanzibar by Gordon Wallis is easy to read….by this I don’t mean simple, but his writing style is a joy to read…..not fast paced, but slowly building the compelling atmosphere and mystery in this clever thriller.

An ex- Rhodesian soldier who now works as an insurance fraud investigator. Jason is hired by a London investment banker to look into his son’s seemingly inexplicable spending, just where did he get his money ?..and so the story starts , first London, then to Cape Town and to Zanzibar…

Jason seems quite a lonely person his unexpected friendship with his target, Richard makes for an interesting situation….

Wallis has written a wonderfully detailed and well crafted story to take your time over and enjoy, hard to put down, full of emotion and yet an action filled detective and mystery thriller with a marvellously explosive end…..

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Author Bio


Gordon Wallis is a 50 year old author based in Zimbabwe , Southern Africa. Born of British parents he has lived there all his life. A keen reader of thriller novels , particularly those set in Africa , he has travelled extensively in Africa , Europe , The Middle East and Asia. He runs a number of businesses in Zimbabwe and is single.

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Book reviews

Paper Dolls by Emma Pullar – Book Review



When a bizarre set of murders take place in London, three flatmates become embroiled in the terrifying mystery.

Mike, Beatrice and Kerri all share a flat and a passion to move their careers forward.  When Mike, a frustrated mime in Trafalgar Square, lays eyes on performance artist Princess, his world begins to unravel. Meanwhile, Kerri is struggling to hold onto her job as a journalist, when she stumbles across a body, which turns out to be the third victim of the Paper Doll Killer. Beatrice, who was once a bestselling author, looks to the series of murders for inspiration but finds a lot more than she bargained for.

As the three flatmates discover they each have links to the killer they start to turn on one another. Who might be next? Why does the killer paint the victim’s cheeks and lips with blood? What purpose do the paper dolls serve?

As the deranged Paper Doll Killer continues to stalk the streets of London there’s only one question that needs to be answered … is anyone safe?



Kerri, Beatrice and Mike flat share in the home of the delightful Mrs Williams.

Mike is a Pierrot mime during the day in Trafalgar Square and in the evening he is Micha…drag queen, And drunk…..he see a beautiful princess, a children’s entertainer, he has dreams of working with her… finally be a success, a belle…

Beatrice, is a novelist…..she used to write paranormal stories, but her agent wants her to write a crime novel….struggling with anxiety and depression, she agrees against her better judgement..

Kerri, who has epilepsy, is a journalist working on small community stories, but then she stumbles across a dead body (after chasing a small dachshund)….she takes pictures and then calls the police but sees an opportunity to get an exclusive first hand story….her chance at the big time! 

When Kerri brings her work home, Beatrice uses this as ‘inspiration ‘ for her new novel without her knowledge…

Emma Pullar tells the story from each of Kerri, Beatrice and Mike’s perspectives plus that of the killer ‘princess’…..who is targeting child abusers, killing them, taking trophies and leaving behind a paper doll. What links these three to princess….are they safe? Who will be next?

As the tale progresses, you will have moments when you think you know who the murderer is….but you will just have to keep guessing right to the very end in this very clever, totally compelling, dark and original thriller…..unputdownable …..

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. 


Amazon UK

Amazon USA



Emma Pullar is an award-winning and bestselling writer of dark fiction and children’s books. Her picture book, Curly from Shirley, was a national bestseller and named best opening lines by NZ Post. Her second picture book, Kitty Stuck, was illustrated by her talented daughter who was just twelve-years-old at the time.

Four of Emma’s short stories have been published. Her dystopian duology, Skeletal and Avian, are popular with fans of the genre and Emma’s crime debut is out March 2019. She also writes articles for Bang2write and dabbles in screenwriting.

Find her on Twitter @EmmaStoryteller or Instagram @emmapullar_storyteller or http://www.emmapullar,com.

Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Fatal Harmony by Kate Rhodes – Book Review




Adrian Stone believes he is a genius. A narcissist, with a psychotic desire to pursue his ambition to become the world’s most revered pianist, Stone joined London’s Royal College of Music as a child prodigy, believing his path to fame was secure. But when his parents decided to send him back to school, he slaughtered them and his older sister in their Richmond home, landing himself in Rampton’s high security unit.

Nine years later Stone escapes with two goals in mind: to kill those who denied his destiny and pursue his musical ambitions.

As bodies start to appear around London Dr Alice Quentin is brought in from the Met’s Forensic Psychology Unit. But when she realises her name is on Stone’s list of potential victims, the case becomes personal.

Working alongside her boyfriend, DI Don Burns, London’s most successful murder investigator, Alice must stop Stone to save her own life.

Alice realises that there is logic to the music left at each murder scene, and thinks she’s cracked the case, but little does she know what Stone has in store for his grand finale…



Alice Quentin is a forensic psychologist working for the Met Police in London. Her report on Adrian Stone, had helped ensure he wasn’t released from Rampton Secure Hospital…. Then he escapes !

Adrian is a gifted pianist, he studied at the Royal College of Music when very young, but the declined his application to continue his studies as they felt he was too young…..he then went home and murdered his family…..except for one sister, Melissa.

A Psychopathic narcissist, he manipulated others and orchestrated his escape..killing two prison guards and injuring a third in the process….now on the run, anyone linked to him is in danger….as the bodies start to appear….the hunt is on.

Adrian is leaving music related clues, and Alice seems to understand how his mind is working and follows his trail … she in danger ? Will she find the kidnapped Asako ? Will Lily survive?..will her relationship with Burns survive?….so many questions which are all answered in a stunning and surprising, tension filled end. Marvellous writing by Kate Rhodes in this tension filled thriller with great characters and a human touch…brilliant.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.


Amazon UK

Amazon US


About The Author

Kate was born in London and tried many jobs before starting to write. She spent time as a cocktail waitress, a theatre usherette, and more recently as an English teacher before writing two prize-winning collections of poetry. Her crime novels have been translated into ten different languages, and have received high acclaim from the press. The Guardian described her books as ‘beautifully written and expertly plotted, a masterclass in crime fiction.’ Her Hell Bay series set in the Isles of Scilly has been optioned for TV.

Kate’s new crime novel, featuring forensic psychologist Alice Quentin, Fatal Harmony, will be published by Bloodhound Books in March 2019.

Book reviews, Romance, Womens fiction

The Truth about Love and Dogs by Lilly Bartlett – Book Review


Four little words, uttered by her husband…

‘Oh my god,’ he gasped into her shoulder. ‘Shannon!’

There’s just one problem: her name isn’t Shannon.

Rewind six months and Scarlett and Rufus aren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore so much as the honey-should-we-bother phase. Desperate to get their sparkle back, Scarlett has plotted, planned and waxed more than any woman should have to, but none of it is working. Which makes it very hard to start the family they want.

At least her business is going strong, even if her marriage isn’t. She and her best friend spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur. Scarlett/ is the fairy dogmother, training hopeless pets like compulsive eater Barkley, impulsive Romeo Murphy and bossy Biscuit. Meanwhile, her best friend walks the dogs and pines for the man who doesn’t know she exists. Thank goodness the women have each other.

If only Scarlett could work out how to get her marriage back on track. But Rufus isn’t sharing his feelings with her. He is, though, sharing with her best friend. Her best friend, Shannon.



Scarlett is a dog behaviourist, training dogs and their owners with her friend, Shannon and their business called Ruff Love.

Scarlett’s struggles with her own home life are mixed with the often hilarious antics of dogs and owners….the wilful Biscuit, the ‘passionate’ Murphy, Barkley, and Fred and Ginger….

Scarlett is trying to keep her marriage from sinking under the weight of trying to get pregnant….

I loved the humour in this which is mixed with the emotional struggles faced by Scarlett and Rufus and Scarlett’s friend Shannon whose infatuation with ‘Mr Darcy’ gives some additional light relief.

Due to Lilly Bartlett’s engaging writing I found myself caring for Scarlett and really hoped for a happy outcome….I wasn’t disappointed. If you are in the mood for a funny, romantic and heart-warming story, then this is for you…

Thank you to Michele Gorman for a copy of the ebook and this is my honest and unbiased review.


Author Bio:

Michele Gorman writes books packed with heart and humour, best friends and girl power. Call them beach books, summer reads, romantic comedy or chick lit… readers and reviewers call them “feel good”, “thought-provoking” and “laugh out loud”. She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London with her husband. She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films.

Michele also writes cosy chick lit under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, romance, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.


Amazon US link:

Amazon UK link:

Book reviews

A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagne and a Bestseller by Cheryl Denise Bannerman – Book Review And #GIVEAWAY




In this second installment of The Anna Romano Mystery Series, Anna gets herself into a mess that lands her in hot water with the prime suspect and her new Bo, Detective John Solace. Their new romance was going great, when all in the sudden, a simple trip to the grocery store turned into wrestling match between two scorned women.

Peaking her interest for a juicy story, Anna’s snooping to find out more about the seemingly ‘innocent’ love triangle, catapulted her into the middle of a murder investigation. The murder weapon of choice? A red stiletto…conspicuously pointing the police in the direction of a female assailant.

No one knows whether the adulterating husband killed his wife to avoid a costly divorce, or if his mistress killed her in a fit of jealous rage. While the detectives are convinced the husband is the ‘killer’, it seems Anna’s faith in his innocence may be in vain, as additional bodies, and mistresses, keep piling up.

Meanwhile, Anna’s publicist, Shirlene, tries to convince Anna to leave the detective work to the police, but, as usual, falls on deaf ears.

In the end, not even a pan of lasagna and a neighborly smile could save Anna!

Find out in A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna, and a Bestseller if Detective Solace will be able to handle Anna’s crazy antics, or if he will make her vow to stay OUT of the realm of ‘Murder and Mayhem’ once and for all.

Publishing Information:

Published in paperback and ebook on 28th February 2019




A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagne and a Bestseller is such a fun read, pulp fiction at its best.

Anna Romano is a writer, who plays detective and gets herself into trouble more than once. She’s stubborn as well,  much to the despair of her boyfriend, the handsome Detective John Solace.

While shopping in a local supermarket, Anna witnesses two women fighting….intrigued she starts looking into it, despite the handsome detective John asking her to keep out of it……Does she ? Of course not, she dives in head first…she then attends a fancy ball intending to speak to the wronged woman, but instead finds her dead body in the bathroom….

Anna still can’t let the case go and goes searching for the other woman, only to find her dead too……

Where will it end…? Anna with a knife at her throat ?…….will the killer be brought to justice?……..

The story itself is told from different perspectives, Anna’s, Johns and sometimes the suspect…in this crime caper filled with humour, likeable characters, many cats and cold lasagne.. an easy, fun read.

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

Buy a copy here

Amazon UK


About Cheryl Denise Bannerman:


Writing under pen name, Cheryl Denise Bannerman, Ms. Powell is an author of two self-published books, and an owner of a 22-year-old Training and Development company, specializing in eLearning, called Learn2Engage.

In her personal life and relationships, Ms. Powell has learned how to turn tragedies into triumphs through her strong will, faith, tenacity and most importantly, her quirky sense of humor. She now turns that keen knowledge of relationships and people, along with her various degrees and experience in Training and Development, into fun, engaging online courses for ‘Corporate America’, and, of course, in her works of fiction.

Within each of her works of fiction, a topic of social concern is addressed. From addictions to domestic violence, and suicide to molestation.

Her writings inspire people to live, laugh, love, learn and grow. She believes that when the world laughs at you, laugh harder. In Ms. Powell’s real and fictional world, she has learned how to create her own ‘happy ending’…one day at a time.

Social Media:





Amazon Author Page:



US Paperback URL:

ROTW Kindle copy URL:

Terms & Conditions: Both the US paperback giveaway and the Non-US Kindle ebook giveaway will run until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 31st March 2019. Three winners will be selected at random for each giveaway (US & Non-US).  The winners of the US giveaway will need to provide their name and postal address which will then be passed onto Cheryl Denise Bannerman for her to send the copies.  The winners of the Non-US giveaway will need to provide their Kindle email address (instructions on how to do this can be provided by damppebbles blog tours on request).  There is no cash alternative.  Names, addresses and email address will not be stored.  Good luck!

Book reviews, Thriller

Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick – Book Review



Sam returns home from a business trip a day before his son’s thirteenth birthday and is looking forward to being with his family, when his world is cruelly shattered in one fell swoop. 

Initially he thinks he can cope with the loss, but finally seeks the help of Cynthia, an experienced therapist, to regain his equipoise. What he does not know is that Cynthia herself is trying to cope with a debilitating divorce and the sinister shadow of her ex-husband over her daughter…

What happens when doctor and patient find themselves in the same sinking boat? Moreover, when they are rowing in opposite directions–one clinging to the past, and the other unable to get rid of it! In the midst of it all is Lily, Cynthia’s daughter, who harbours a secret that has the power to explode the lives around her.

Taut with tension and intensity, Dark Blossom is a glimpse of what lies under the surface of apparently ‘normal’ people.




Dark Blossom is about an horrific tragedy…..Sam’s life was torn apart after the death of his wife and beloved son William in car accident.

He had been away on a business trip and returns to the police telling him of their death…. broken, he finally seeks help from a therapist.

Cynthia, the therapist, has her own issues, after a divorce from a ‘difficult’ husband and worries about her relationship with her daughter Lily.

While this is a relatively short novel, it packs an incredible amount of emotion and tension in its pages…..will Sam, Cynthia and Lily find hope and light together…..or are there still secrets to be unveiled? 

Stunning, haunting writing by Neel Mullick packed with emotion right up to the gasp inducing ending…..brilliant.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This my honest and unbiased review.


Amazon UK

Amazon USA




With degrees in Software Engineering from Carnegie Mellon, USA, and Business Administration from INSEAD, France, Neel is the Head of Product and Information Security at a Belgian family-office technology company.

He mentors women entrepreneurs through the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, is involved in raising a generation of digital and socially-aware leaders with the Steering for Greatness Foundation (Nigeria), supports improvement in the quality of life of domestic workers at Emprendedoras del Hogar (Peru), and is helping IIMPACT (India) break the cycle of illiteracy plaguing young girls from socially and economically impoverished communities.

He lives on three continents, spending his time between New York, Brussels, and New Delhi, has survived ten days (and nights!) at an airport, and a free fall five-hundred metres from the sky.

Concerned with the inverse correlation that seems to exist between society’s progress and the empathy with which it interacts with the universe around it, he firmly believes the solution to a rapidly fracturing world lies in peeling enough layers to discover the similarities, rather than judging on mere superficialities.



Twitter : @neelmullick

Author Page on Facebook

Instagram: @neelmullick

Author Page on Goodreads


Paperback: 224 pages

• Publisher: Rupa Publications (3 Jan. 2019)

• Language: English

• ISBN-10: 935333294X

• ISBN-13: 978-9353332945



Book reviews, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Deliver us From Evil by Conrad Jones – Book Review



Detective Braddick is summoned to a horrendous crime scene, where it appears a double murder has taken place. The victims’ bodies are missing and the police have no clue as to their identities or who killed them.

As the investigation snowballs, the potential body count rises and the Major Investigation Team have little to go on until DNA evidence is examined.

There appears to be no motive for the dreadful murders until an ancient script is found daubed on the walls of a nearby property. As the clues are unravelled, Braddick and his team realise they are dealing with something they have never experienced before. Because this time they’re tracking evil itself…



This is number 4 in the Braddick series of books by Conrad Jones, but is easily read as a stand-alone.

Detective Superintendent Braddick and his Detective Sergeant,  Laurel Stewart are called to a block of flats after an anonymous call about a woman entering a flat but not coming out again. When a PC had arrived the smell meant something untoward had possibly happened, so the detectives were called… the horror begins…..

They find part of a body……in a pan on the stove…..!

“‘No problem,’ Braddick said. The smell of cooked human was strong. “

The flats involved are owned by Victoria Theresa May……with a tenant listed as Fabienne… of the most disturbing characters I’ve come across for a long while…and her acolytes. The bodies begin to mount up… this a serial killer at work  or something even more unspeakable?

In the story there is the trafficking of young women, satanism, corruption, murder, cannibalism and depravity in this fast paced, tension filled thriller.  There are plenty of twists and surprises to keep you on tenterhooks from start to finish, some tragedy too in this wonderfully dark, so very very dark, read with great believable and likeable (well most of them..) characters… absolute credit to Conrad Jones writing, with mentions of current affairs….Brexit.!….that gives this a sense of realism too. I wouldn’t read this at nighttime, just the thought gives me goosebumps….but I’ll still be looking out for the next in the series that’s for sure….

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review. 






Conrad Jones is a 50-year-old Author, originally from a sleepy green-belt called Tarbock Green, which is situated on the outskirts of Liverpool. He spent a number of years living in Holyhead, Anglesey, which he classes as his home. He worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working his way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.

On March 20th 1993 he was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day he was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. He began to read anything crime related that he could get his hands on and links this experience with the desire to write books on the subject.

He signed a three book deal with London based publishers, Thames River Press. The Alec Ramsey series is now 7 books long with an average of 4.8 stars from over 2000 reviews. Conrad has also written The Soft Target series, which has received critical acclaim.

Book reviews, Thriller

The Plastic Seed by Maisie Porter – Book Review



Two schemes uncoil—and, very quickly, begin to unravel—on the same day in the Australian town of West Glassport…

Jean Hima isn’t happy with the way her life has been going. First, her husband leaves her. Then, she loses her job as a midwife at the local hospital, over the easily-fixed misplacement of a baby or two…

Now, Jean is sure a snooty real estate agent is blocking her efforts to find a rental in a nice part of town.

Given possession of a batch of incriminating photographs, who wouldn’t begin thinking about a little life-restorative blackmail?

Written in three acts and covering a quarter of a century, The Plastic Seed is an environmental thriller that explores the hypocrisy of some aspects of the philosophy of wellness. This novella is part satire of the human potential movement, and sincere testimony to the ability of humans to face facts when given no choice.




The Plastic Seed is a novella by Maisie Porter. It is set out in three parts, the beginning, 5 and 20 years later.

The story is told from the perspectives of each character, Jean, an alcoholic midwife…..who mixed up a couple of babies….but that could happen to anyone couldn’t it?

Amy, her daughter, who begins by sneaking out at night to meet a boyfriend,  but, eventually ends up in jail for drug dealing….

Carlana, a woman who seems confused most of the time, becomes a health and well-being seminar and lifestyles advocate, who used to neglect herself and her dog….

And, Evan …..a rather strange, controlling man, who is Carlana’s husband and recycling fanatic.

Jean cannot accept the troubles in her life are her own doing and that Carlana is responsible….it’s all her fault and she wants revenge. Carlana, however,  wants a new life and is plotting a way to leave her husband…..

Jean’s exploits are a little bizarre, such as climbing in the boot of Carlana’s car….she does seem a little frazzled!

Will Jean carry out her blackmail threat? will this end in violence ?…….or will they all come to their senses?

There is also a very clever, almost social documentary feel to this in how we are destroying the planet, and that everyone wants to be a social media guru…..the how to live, eat and be happy with less materialism accounts became so popular, the government ban them as consumer sales dropped. So unless you are a licensed health and well-being practitioner it’s illegal to offer advice! So these licences are very sought after.

I really enjoyed this satirical view of the continuous promotion of well-being….what we should think, eat and do….plus the inability of some to accept the facts that are staring them in the face and take responsibility for their own actions. Fun, whacky, part thriller,  part sci-fi and at times just odd, but never dull…..

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links


Author Bio


Maisie Porter works as a professional photographer in Australia, with wide experience covering weddings, though she has neither abducted nor been abducted by any competitors. No Reception is Maisie’s first novel.

Social Media Links –


Book reviews, Thriller

Stolen Sister by Linda Huber – Book Review



What happens when a baby goes missing?

Twenty-two years ago, Erin and Vicky’s parents were killed in an explosion.

Now grown up, Erin and Vicky – who have been separated – are unaware they are siblings. But when Vicky is called to her great-aunt’s deathbed, she learns that she isn’t alone after all.

But where is Erin? Vicky’s search begins…

Elsewhere, Christine has problems of her own. In the first week of her new job, she makes a disturbing discovery, and is struggling to come to terms with impending motherhood.

Vicky is almost ready to give up her search when an old foster mother calls with shocking news.

What links Vicky and Christine?

Will Vicky ever find her sister?

And can Christine’s baby escape the past that befell her mother?



The book starts 22 years ago…Paula and Joe have gone away for a weekend to a reunion, with Sylvia…….they’ve taken tiny baby Erin, but left their other two children, Vicky and Jamie with the elderly Auntie Maisie…..Jamie has some special needs, but she can cope for a couple days…can’t she?

Then a horrific tragedy occurs…….But baby Erin survives….thanks to Sylvie….she takes her home and bonds with her…she doesn’t want to let anyone else have her. She does speak to Maisie and as Maisie is now struggling with poor Vicky and Jamie, she is grateful Sylvie is caring for Erin….but it’s a temporary measure….?

We then jump 22 years to the present day and Vicky is grown up, Jamie is being cared for in a special facility and Maisie is unwell…..on her death bed she tells Vicky about her sister, the sister she never knew about and is determined to find her.

Erin, now called Christine…..has just found out she is pregnant….her Mum seems over the moon…..but she then disappears…….where has Sylvie gone ?

This is a family drama, with an emotional depth I’ve not come across for a while….there’s tragedy and death, childhood bereavement, the difficulty caring for a child with some special needs and feeling helpless, there’s love and mental health issues too. A moving, emotive and sometimes tense read…..remarkable writing and I can recommend this without reservation.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review. 

Buy a copy here…….

Amazon UK

Amazon USA


About the Author


Linda grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Not to mention several years spent as a full-time mum to two boys, a rescue dog, and a large collection of goldfish and guinea pigs.

Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty feel-good short stories published in women’s magazines. Several years later, she discovered the love of her writing life – psychological suspense fiction. Her first novel was published in 2013, and was followed by eight others. Under her feel-good pen name Melinda Huber, she has also published a charity collection of romantic short stories and a series of feel-good novellas.

After spending large chunks of the current decade moving house, Linda has now settled in a beautiful flat on the banks of Lake Constance in north-east Switzerland, and is working on another suspense novel.




Amazon Author Page:


FB Author Page:


Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller, Thriller

Sea of Lies by Rachel McLean – Book Review




He abducted her. He fell in love with her. He helped her escape. Can she trust him?

Sarah Evans has returned home after being abducted and held in a dilapidated farmhouse by a group of men.

With her is Martin, who turned against the other men to help her escape. He says he’s not like them, and claims to be in love with her.

Can Sarah trust Martin? Does she share his feelings? Or should she listen to her father, himself deceitful and abusive, and turn her back on the relationship?

Sea of Lies is a chilling psychological thriller about secrets, trust, and a family falling apart.

A standalone sequel to Thicker Than Water



“Dawn pulled Sarah into the house and closed the door behind them. She was like a startled animal, breathing in sharp bursts and looking around her with small, quick movements.”

Sea of Lies is the sequel to Rachel McLean’s Thicker than Water. It is easily read as a stand-alone, but for a bit more background to the characters it is worth reading book one….

Sea of Lies continues where Thicker Than Water left off and is the continuing tale of the refugee village community when the kidnapped women return after their ordeal.

They also bring back, Martin….one of those responsible for the kidnapping and this causes a lot of bad feelings within the small community.

We follow the relationship between Martin and the village residents…the police also appear after a murder (or murders ?)….as if they haven’t enough to deal with! 

It has some great characters, Sarah and Ruth, the vet turned doctor, it also has domestic violence and fear. It’s a story of relationships, trust and betrayals in this gripping psychological thriller.

I really enjoyed how we get to know more about the village and its inhabitants, but it’s a miserable existence at times with such a shortage of just about everything…

I really want to know more about how the flooding started and why…but I understand there will be a prequel and I’ll be looking out for that for sure….brilliantly creative and atmospheric writing by Rachel McLean and if you like dystopian fiction, you’ll enjoy this….especially those of us in the U.K.

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest, unbiased review.


Author Bio


My name’s Rachel McLean and I write thrillers that make you think.

What does that mean?

In short, I want my stories to make your pulse race and your brain tick.

Do you often get through a thriller at breakneck pace but are left with little sense of what the book was really about? Do you sometimes read literary fiction but just wish something would damn well happen?

My books aim to fill that gap.

If you’d like to know more about my books and receive extra bonus content, please join my book club at I’ll send you a weekly email with news about my writing research and progress, stories and bonus content for each book. And I’ll let you know when my books are on offer.

Social Media Links –




Purchase Links

UK –

US –

Book reviews

Heart of Glass by Ivy Ngeow – Book Review




Chicago 1980. Li-an Donohue’s luck changes the instant she meets a mysterious Italian businessman, he offers her a job in Macau on the spot. From a drab Chicago winter to swimming pools, Semillon Blanc and lobster. It seems perfect. But easy livin’ is harder than she thought. She’s homesick. And beginning to think it might not be all it seems.




“At 23, I was too old to be naive and too young to be retired to a grey-haired playground “

Initially set in Chicago, 1980 and Li-an is a hustler, she drugs men so her friend, Dallas can empty their pockets….

But then one night she meets Paolo, who, after hearing her play the piano, offers her a job in Macau..after a few too many drinks, she agrees. Li-an is whisked off and lives in own villa on Paolo’s estate but she’s bored, lonely and homesick…she ends up meeting Ben, a musician and they plot a robbery…..what could go wrong?

Well….pretty much everything and more escapades rush past in a heady mix of 80’s music, pop culture and many drugs and dubious people…

Ivy Ngeow herself is a musician and there are many music references which are fun to pick out. ( I’ve seen her piano playing video’s on Twitter ).

Heart of Glass by Ivy Ngeow is a wonder of language…it’s fast, staccato sentences from Li-an’s perspective, her internal thoughts feel real….how our thoughts jump, our emotions, those thoughts we keep to ourselves…..this is such a unique piece of writing and I can’t get it out of my head … of my favourites for 2019 and is going to be a must read !

Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here

Amazon UK

Amazon USA




Ivy Ngeow was born and raised in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A graduate of the Middlesex University Writing MA programme, Ivy won the 2005 Middlesex University Literary Prize out of almost 1500 entrants worldwide. She has written non-fiction for Marie Claire, The Star, The New Straits Times, South London Society of Architects’ Newsletter and Wimbledon magazine. Her fiction has appeared in Silverfish New Writing anthologies twice, The New Writer and on the BBC World Service. Most recently, her story was published by Fixi Novo in an anthology.

Ivy won first prize in the Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition 1994, first prize in the Barnes and Noble Career Essay Writing competition 1998 and was shortlisted for the David T K Wong Fellowship 1998 and the Ian St James Award 1999.

Ivy has been a highly-accomplished multi-instrumental musician since childhood and won fifth prize (out of 850 entrants) in the 2006 1-MIC (Music Industry Charts) UK Award for her original song – Celebrity, when she formed her own band, Satsuma (2005-07). Her songs are funky, modern and eclectic, with strong urban grooves and lyrics. Satsuma has played headlining gigs at top London venues such as: The Marquee Club, The Troubadour Club, The Water Rats, The Betsey Trotwood, Plan B and Clockwork.

Website :

Twitter: @ivyngeow

Author page on Facebook


Paperback: 240 pages

• Publisher: Unbound Digital (30 Jun. 2018)

• Language: English

• ISBN-10: 1911586645

• ISBN-13: 978-1911586647



Book reviews

Escape to The Little French Cafe by Karen Clarke – Book Review




Publication Day:  March 18th 2019

On the beautiful French coast lies the Café Belle Vie, a peaceful haven offering a warm welcome and delicious pains au chocolat – and where Natalie’s quiet life is about to be turned upside down…

When thirty-one-year-old Natalie Bright’s boyfriend dumps her and immediately gets engaged to his ex-girlfriend, she escapes her heartbreak and moves to the charming village of Chamillon on the Île de Ré.

She’s determined to build a new life there: writing about farmer’s markets for a local magazine, exploring the local vineyards on her bike, and taking advantage of the sunshine. And in the Café Belle Vie she finds a bustling community – including new best friend Charlie – and a near-constant supply of cakes.

All in all, things are looking pretty good.

So when a blast from the past – her teenage crush Jay Merino – suddenly turns up in Chamillon, Natalie’s thrown. She’s sworn off men ever since she moved to France, but she and Jay have a connection that stretches back years.

But could taking a chance on an old flame complete her new life – or ruin everything she’s worked so hard for?

A gorgeous rom com full of sunshine, croissants and sparkling romance! Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson, Zara Stoneley and Debbie Macomber.




Firstly, isn’t that an adorable cover ?

Escape to the Little French Café by Karen Clarke is a absolutely charming, cosy and fun read.

Natalie Bright is a writer, she has run away from a broken relationship by moving to a picturesque village in France and is staying with her father… She writes a column for a magazine for expats, but spends a lot of her time at the local Cafe Belle Vie. Her best friend Charlie runs the cafe with his mum. I did wonder if romance would blossom for this pair…..!

Natalie’s Dad’s dating escapades are hilarious, his new image was a laugh out loud moment…..that brown quiff….!!!

Natalie really wants to work for Magnifique, the successful French magazine but can’t even get an interview…..but then she finds out the famous actor, Jay Merino is filming nearby, she tells them she knows him (she did kiss him once many ears ago when they lived on the same estate) and says she can get an exclusive interview…..

Luckily for Natalie, Jay does remember her and that kiss and agrees to the interview…..there is certainly chemistry here….

The budding romance falters when someone leaks Jay’s personal information to the media….will they recover?

The characters are endearing and Natalie’s mishaps are so relatable…. This is an lovely, easy read with beautifully descriptive writing and its light, fun and ultimately heartwarming. Although I do now crave coffee and a pain au chocolat…..! 

Thank you to Bookouture for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook  in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here…..

Amazon UK

Amazon USA



Author Bio:


Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon.

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.


Author Social Media Links









Apple Books:



Book reviews, Psychlogical thriller

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor – Book Review


You know who they are. But you don’t know what they’ve done. .

We all recognise them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . . 

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us. 




Firstly, This marvellous book covers the incredibly disturbing and horrific crimes of child sexual exploitation and prostitution and as such can be heartbreaking to read……but Deborah O’Connor’s writing is so compelling you have to keep reading right to it’s heart thumping end…..

So, the story is told in chapters by Jessamine, Rowena and Jitesh……these seem to be totally random and not linked in any way…….but oh my….just wait..!

Rowena is 13, (and in the care system) and her ‘boyfriend’ Sunny says he owes a gang money and she needs to attend ‘parties’ with older men, some she recognises as famous….to help him repay his debt. She soon realises this is a lie, but it’s too late…

Jitesh, is a young, troubled guy……a bit of a tech wizard but very shy with people. He is troubled when Meera gets involved with his old friend Kishor…..

He also works with Jessamine……..for her new podcast.

Jessamine, works for BBC radio, in a show about criminal behaviour and is it possible to identify potential violent crimes and their perpetrators. Due to a her recent outburst at the BBC, she is suspended and decides to do an independent podcast….when she is approached by a young woman, who asks her to look into the disappearance of her friend Cassie…..she is intrigued and starts her investigation…….

This leads to danger for her and her daughter…….is someone close to home responsible ?

As the stories progress, they link and all the pieces suddenly come together in such a way that made me gasp… feels so real, with the relatively recent revelations (alleged allegations)of child abuse by TV personalities and people in positions of power, heartbreaking too….poor Billy!…I can’t say much more for fear of spoiling the story……yes it’s a tough subject, but Deborah O’Connor has handled it with her creative, and emotion packed writing….brilliant! .

I would like to thank the Pigeonhole and the Deborah O’Connor for the opportunity to read this book for free and this is my honest and unbiased review.




Book reviews

No Looking Back by Alex Kane – Book Review




He’ll find you… unless you find him first.

Kat Denton is a woman running away from her past. For the past sixteen years, her life has been a living hell as Jimmy, the man she fell in love with as a teenager, becomes ever more cruel and abusive. Following the fire that killed her parents, leaving her an orphan when she was just a teenager, Kat is utterly alone and can’t see a way out.

Until the day she finds out that she’s pregnant. Vowing to protect her child from Jimmy’s violence, Kat decides to fight for survival – for her and her unborn baby.

Fleeing the traveller camp that has been her lifelong home isn’t easy. But along with her sister in law, Kat escapes with just the clothes on her back and the one photograph she has of her parents.

Kat, along with her baby girl Lucia, starts to build a better life. But when she looks into what really happened in her parents’ death Kat uncovers dark secrets – including a revelation that will lead Kat back to the place she had been so desperate to run away from. Is she strong enough to uncover the truth and save everything that she loves most, or will Jimmy Denton have his revenge?

Previously published as Chasing the Traveller

A fast-paced, totally unputdownable crime thriller that fans of Mel Sherratt, Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers will absolutely love.



Kat has suffered domestic violence for many years at the hands of her husband, Jimmy….even kept locked in the belly box as punishment for an unknown slight.

Kat is part of the travelling community but as her parents died when she was younger, all she had left was Jimmy and his family…she did love him……once.

As soon as the wedding was over he changed and the physical abuse began…

Finding herself pregnant, Kat realises she just can’t bring a baby into the world with Jimmy, so she gets help to leave the community, a huge risk to her self and Helen her sister in law.

After running away and setting up a new home she never feels completely safe… she decides to find out more about her parents by trying to find anyone who knew them, all she has is an address on an old photo….this ends up putting her in danger again……

This is a domestic thriller, the clever writing by Alex Kane really builds the tension and the characters are so well written I really really dislike Jimmy! And I learned a lot about the travelling community. It also deals with the emotive subject of domestic abuse and the impact this has. Not an easy read but a masterpiece of emotion.

Thank you to Sarah Hardy at Book on the Bright Side for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review. 


Author Bio:


Alex Kane is a psychological thriller writer who lives in Glasgow. She is a huge fan of the genre, with her favourite authors in the genre being Lisa Hall, BA Paris and Sarah Stovell. If she is not writing, she can be found drinking tea or gin, taking cat selfies and obsessing over Tom Hardy.


Instagram @alexkanewriter

Book reviews, Thriller

Psychotopia by R N Morris – Book Review and #giveaway




A game for the times we live – and die – in. 

Enter Psychotopia, a dark new dystopian novel from the author of the acclaimed Silas Quinn mysteries.

PSYCHOTOPIA, LEVEL ONE. Create your own boutique psychopath, then deceive, manipulate and be ruthless, spreading mayhem and destruction to reach the next levels.

It’s the computer game for our times. After all, the amount of crazy in the world is increasing. Senseless violence on the streets is becoming the norm. 

Can Dr Arbus’s ground-breaking device identify and neutralize psychopaths before it’s too late? In this increasingly dysfunctional world, surely Callum standing by Aimee after her devastating encounter with Charlie is proof that real love and goodness can still win in a world that’s increasingly rotten . . . Or can it?



Psychotopia will mess with your mind….

Alpha Games are creating a VR game, where you create your own Psychopath with varying degrees of disorders….you choose!..

Serial killers get more points for more kills, the longer a psychopath remains undetected the better for the gamer……

But, the real world is struggling with a rise in violence, this is becoming the norm……adults and children alike are the perpetrators and victims.

Everyone’s lives are linked to their MindPhone, MindNet and MindMessages….(sound familiar?)

The cops are struggling, the hospitals are grim, to say the least……society is breaking down and the psychopath’s are starting to outnumber the non-psychopaths…..a new disorder is identified…the PGD….Psychopath Generated Disorder.

The story is told from several angles, the cop, Inspector Parfitt…an unlikeable jerk…..Aimee, who had been used and cast off by Charlie…..her friend Callum comes to her rescue….and Charlie\Oliver a creepy, nasty, psychopath. It’s chapters are separated by memos from Alpha Games about their game development…(the spiders ….urgh).

It plays on our fears of violent video games and the worrying suspicions that those who run our countries are potential psychopaths.

Then Dr Argus arrives, with his machine to identify Psychopaths in seconds, his plan is to test all children, sterilise them and end the cycle……but is that all?

This is a horrifying, disturbing and yet absolutely fascinating tale that makes you wonder….is this possible? Is it happening now?????…..Just watch the News, the everyday violence,  it makes Psychotopia a very scary read. Brilliant, thought provoking and terrifying writing by R N Morris.

P or NP ?………now there’s a question…….

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest and unbiased review.

Purchase Link


Author Bio



R. N. Morris is the author of ten novels. The latest is PSYCHOTOPIA, published 31 October, 2018.

A Gentle Axe, was published by Faber and Faber in 2007. Set in St Petersburg in the nineteenth century, it features Porfiry Petrovich, the investigating magistrate from Dostoevsky’s great novel, Crime and Punishment. The book was published in many countries, including Russia. He followed that up with A Vengeful Longing, which was shortlisted for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger Award (as the CWA Gold Dagger was briefly known). A Razor Wrapped in Silk came next, followed by The Cleansing Flames, which was nominated for the Ellis Peters Historical Novel Dagger.

The Silas Quinn series of novels, set in London in 1914, began with Summon Up The Blood, followed by The Mannequin HouseThe Dark Palace and The Red Hand of Fury. The next novel in the series, The White Feather Killer, will be published in April 2019.

Taking Comfort is a standalone contemporary novel, written as Roger Morris.

He also wrote the libretto to the opera When The Flame Dies, composed by Ed Hughes.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @rnmorris

Facebook page:


Facebook page:


Giveaway – Win 1 x Signed Hardback Copy of Pyschotopia (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.



Book reviews, Crime thriller, Thriller

Checking The Traps by Joan Livingston – Book Review



Checking the Traps

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorised her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.

Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.

The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarised his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.

As a journalist, Isabel did regular meet-ups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.



Isabel is still recovering from her ‘accident’, her arms in a sling due to a broken collarbone…..will that stop her…..No is the answer!

Her business partner, is her 93 year old mother, sharp and with a heavy foot in her new red car.

Isabel takes on a new case involving the death of Cary, his brother, Gary Beaumont is the client. He doesn’t believe Cary would have jumped off that cliff !

The case involves a famous poet, a local drug dealer, and of course the well informed ‘Old Farts’.

There’s a bit of humour, tension, and some romance for Isabel and Jack in this clever whodunnit. The characters are realistic and believable, I really liked Isabel’s humour and that she’s no youngster but a mature, feisty and independent woman…… and her mum, Maria, is a sweetheart….a very shrewd lady.

Isabel does get herself into some scrapes again…..and amidst claims of murder, plagiarism, drugs and alcohol problems, she finds the solution in a tension and tears filled ending. Marvellously engaging writing by Joan Livingston….I will be looking for more in the series now!

Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon USA


Author Bio


Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.

An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.

After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.

Social Media Links –



Twitter: @joanlivingston 






Book reviews, Crime thriller

Toys In The Dust by N.M. Brown – Book Review




She has escaped a killer, but for how long?

Two seven-year-old girls, Tina and Suzy, are playing in a dusty creek when a stranger appears and strikes up a conversation. He is sad that he doesn’t have a doll to play with like the girls do, so Suzy hurries home to fetch one. When she returns, Suzy discovers both Tina and the stranger have vanished. 

A short while later, traffic officer Leighton Jones, who is fighting his own demons, is driving home from the scene of a near-fatal accident. When Leighton sees a young girl race out in front of his car and vanish into the countryside, he reports the sighting. Unfortunately, his superiors, who are increasingly concerned about Leighton’s mental health, doubt the child exists. 

But after Tina’s mother confirms her daughter’s disappearance, Leighton risks his job by pursuing his own investigation of the case.

Meanwhile, in the Californian countryside, a child killer is relentlessly searching for the one who got away. 

Leighton has his work cut out. But can he prove his sanity and find Tina before the stranger does?

Toys in the Dust is a gripping and fast-paced serial killer thriller, which will appeal to fans of authors like Damien Boyd, Keith Houghton, Mark Edwards and Angela Marsons. It is loosely connected to N.M. Brown’s previous thrillers, also featuring Leighton Jones, The Girl on the Bus and Carpenter Road, and can be read as part of a series or as an unmissable stand-alone. 



Well what a read ! I don’t think I have sped though a book like this in ages….cliche I know, but I really couldn’t put it down.

So, Leighton Jones is a traffic cop, struggling to come to terms with his wife’s suicide 16 months previously. He’s seeing the force therapist, but his senior officers and some colleagues believe he is ‘psychologically damaged’ and dismiss his belief that he saw the missing girl, Tina, as he was driving home.

Certain he is right he begins to investigate the case himself…..and gets threatened with disciplinary action….but he can’t let go…..he has a daughter, Annie, the same age and this case is affecting him.

In the meantime, little Tina, such a brave little girl, has escaped her abductor, but is lost in the wilderness…she manages to evade him but sees him searching for her….setting traps ! The fear for this little lost girl is palpable……gut wrenching, sweaty palm moments…all due to N.M. Brown’s  tense, atmospheric ( and did I say tense? ) writing. Completely unputdownable…..from the start until the heart stopping end…..

Thank you to Bloodhound Books for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook and this is my honest, unbiased review. 


Amazon UK

Amazon US




Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always considered a combination of decent fiction and good coffee as providing the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.

Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.

More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jones at least two more outings.

Aside from his family, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his stories.