#giveaway The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

I’m delighted to be a stop on the #blogtour for this fantastic book on this dismal Saturday morning!  To cheer everyone up a bit, I have a #giveaway!  There’s a bit of info about the book below.  If you fancy winning a finished copy, then all you need to do is follow me on Twitter and retweet my #giveaway tweet.  There will be a bonus entry if you follow my blog too 🙂  Competition closes at 8pm on Monday 10th June.

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Synopsis

The French Girl captivated readers with a twisting tale of psychological suspense. Now author Lexie Elliott heads to the foothills of the Scottish Highlands, where a woman’s tangled family history comes back to haunt her…

An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighborhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.

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About the Author

Lexie Elliott has been writing for as long as she can remember, but she began to focus on it more seriously after she lost her banking job in 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis. After some success in short story competitions, she began planning a novel. With two kids and a (new) job, it took some time for that novel to move from her head to the page, but the result was The French Girl, which will be published by Berkley in February 2018 – available to pre-order on Amazon now!

When she’s not writing, Lexie can be found running, swimming or cycling whilst thinking about writing. In 2007 she swam the English Channel solo. She won’t be doing that again. In 2015 she ran 100km, raising money for Alzheimer Scotland. She won’t be doing that again either. But the odd triathlon or marathon isn’t out of the question.

www.lexieelliott.com
http://www.facebook.com/lexieelliottwrites

Twitter @elliott_lexie

The Missing Years is out now and you can buy it here

Please do check out the other stops on the #blogtour (see below)

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The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor

I am thrilled to be a stop on the #blogtour for The Dangerous Kind today!  I raced through this disturbing thriller in record time and it truly left me reeling.  This is going to be one of my top books of 2019!

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Synopsis

Perfect for fans of Anatomy of A Scandal, He Said/She Said, and Belinda Bauer, The Dangerous Kind is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us. One in 100 of us is a ‘potentially dangerous person’ – someone likely to commit a violent crime. We all know them: these charmers, liars and manipulators. The ones who send prickles up the back of our neck. These people hide in plain sight, they can be teachers, doctors, holding positions of trust, of power. Jessamine Gooch makes a living tracking the 1 in 100.

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Each week she broadcasts a radio show that examines brutal offences, asking if more could have been done to identify and prevent their perpetrators. But when she agrees to investigate a missing person case involving a young mother, she is drawn into a web of danger that will ultimately lead to the upper echelons of power, and threaten the safety of her own family. What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?

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My Thoughts

WOW.  This intriguing story is completely different to anything I’ve ever read before.  It’s subject matter is harrowing, yet utterly compelling.  There is a sinister edge running through the entire book, which is both spine chilling and exhilarating.

O’Connor cleverly weaves an intricate web with her characters and hooks the reader in from the very first page.  Jessamine is a fiery individual full of sass and she knows her stuff.  Exactly the type of female protagonist I like and root for.  With every single character I had that unsettling, nagging feeling that something was not quite right with them, yet was unable to put my finger on what.  I even found myself questioning whether Jessamine herself was as shifty as the rest.

A well plotted and carefully constructed narrative; I genuinely had no idea where the story was going to go and every time I thought I’d guessed, I was totally wrong.  It races unforgivingly through short sharp chapters to a crescendo at the end and I tore through the pages unable to sleep.

This book had me totally on edge and I LOVED IT.  Refreshingly original and totally relevant, this book is a serious contender for my book of the year and it’s only June!

The Dangerous Kind is out in hardback now and you can buy it here

If you enjoyed my review, please do check out my other posts and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).  My thanks go to Tracy Fenton and Zaffre books for the invitation to the tour and my stunning hardcover in return for my honest review.

@mrscookesbooks

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The Good Mayor by Andrew Nicoll

I was thrilled to be a stop on the #blogtour for the re-release of The Good Mayor – this book is an international bestseller and has been published in 23 countries so I knew I was in for a cracking good read!

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Synopsis

Every morning, Mayor Tibo Krovic stops off at the local café on his way to work. He drinks his Viennese coffee with extra figs, leaves a bag of sweets for the owner, and then continues on to his office. There he awaits the arrival of his secretary: the beautiful, married, but lonely, Agathe Stopak.

In the respectable town of Dot, there is nothing the good Mayor Tibo can do about his love for Mrs Stopak. Until one day Agathe accidentally drops her lunch into the fountain and a family tragedy is revealed. In that moment, everything changes.

The Good Mayor is a magical story of fate and chance, of loss and love.

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My Thoughts

I have to say I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this book and found myself utterly charmed and delighted upon finishing it.  It is essentially a romance novel, but (for me) one which elevates itself above others in this genre by encompassing an in-depth exploration of love and its associated pain.

There is an underlying yet deep sadness throughout the book; where Agathe finds herself unloved, but through no fault of her own.  I truly felt for her.  I also found myself really rooting for poor Tibo from the get go and particularly enjoyed and embraced the element of magic in the story.

This novel was complex, yet delicate and broached the fragility of love and its effect on human nature.  A poignant and emotionally involving tale, which left me wondering how large a part fate plays in the real world.

This book really does give you that “warm fuzzy feeling” but not in an annoying, sickly way.  A literary romance perhaps?  Distinguishing itself from the rest by the sheer breadth of emotions dealt with and also the lovely language used to describe them.

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I thoroughly enjoyed The Good Mayor; if you enjoyed my review please do check out my other posts and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).  My thanks go to Black and White Publishing for the beautiful blogger pack containing my copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

The Good Mayor has been re-released in paperback to mark ten years since it won the Saltire First Book Award and you can buy it here

@mrscookesbooks

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Death by Dark Waters – Jo Allen

I am delighted to be a stop on the #blogtour for Death by Dark Waters, the first in what is to be a series of detective novels by Jo Allen.

Synopsis

The charred remains of a child are discovered – a child no one seems to have missed…

It’s high summer, and the lakes are in the midst of an unrelenting heatwave. Uncontrollable fell fires are breaking out across the moors faster than they can be extinguished. When firefighters uncover the body of a dead child at the heart of the latest blaze, Detective Chief Inspector Jude Satterthwaite’s arson investigation turns to one of murder.

Jude was born and bred in the Lake District. He knows everyone… and everyone knows him. Except his intriguing new Detective Sergeant, Ashleigh O’Halloran, who is running from a dangerous past and has secrets of her own to hide…

Temperatures – and tension – in the village are rising, and with the body count rising Jude and his team race against the clock to catch the killer before it’s too late…

The first in the gripping, Lake District-set, DCI Jude Satterthwaite series.

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My Thoughts

Death by Dark Waters is a clever, police procedural novel which was both detailed and thoughtful.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Lake District in England, Allen’s descriptions of this idyllic part of the country are both stunning and dark; atmospheric and moody.  The Lakes are like a second home to me and Allen’s vibrant prose made me truly feel as if I was back there.

It took a while to get into this book, as there was much setting of the scene to be done (quite understandable given this is the first in a crime fiction series) but once hooked it was hard to tear myself away.

Jude is a troubled detective, difficult to warm to and to some extent unlikeable.  One would think this is a criticism of the book but not so for me.  His flawed character made the book interesting and full of suspense. Coupled with the disturbing and sinister subject matter, this is an excellent, emotionally involving ‘whodunnit’ with a great twist at the end.

This was an entertaining read and I look forward to seeing where Allen takes us with the next in the series.  Death By Dark Waters is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

My thanks go to Vicky Joss, Aria Fiction and Netgalley for providing me with an EArc in return for my honest review.

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If you enjoyed my review please do check out my other posts and also the other stops on the #blogtour (see below).

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Have You Seen Her by Lisa Hall

When I found out about the #blogtour for Lisa Hall’s new book I jumped at the chance to be a stop!  I have practically inhaled Lisa’s other books and I knew her latest offering was going to be no exception.

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Synopsis

BONFIRE NIGHT.

A GIRL GOES MISSING.

Anna, the nanny only took her eyes off five-year-old Laurel for a second.  She thought Laurel was following her mum through the crowds in the local park.  But in a heartbeat, Laurel is gone.

Laurel’s parents are frantic.  As is Anna.  But as the hours pass without Laurel being found, suspicion grows.

As the ‘Missing” posters appear around the village, it’s clear someone knows what happened to Laurel that night.  And they’re not telling.

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My Thoughts

Written from the nanny’s point of view, this book is quick, slick and thick with tension.  It hooks you in from the first page and Hall’s trademark ability to create unbearable and stifling suspense makes for yet another unputdownable psychological thriller.

In a carefully plotted and well thought out storyline, it becomes painfully obvious that in Laurel’s home, things are definitely not what they seem.  Who can really be trusted?  Surgeon and much revered pillar of the community, Dominic?  Actress and doting mother, Fran?  What about the nanny, Anna? Or is she keeping her own dark secrets?

I read the entire book with my heart in my mouth, it was sinister and addictive, almost forgetting to breathe at some points, I could not put it down.

Such was the relentless pace and inertia of this book that when I raced to the final page a few choice expletives escaped my mouth as I gasped at the ending!

Bravo Lisa, please take a bow – this was just brilliant; an absolute belter of a book and I’m already looking forward to tucking into your next!  If you’re looking for the perfect edge-of-your-seat thriller, then look no further and buy this book! Five stars (and more) from me!

My thanks go to Joe Thomas and HQ Stories for the invitation to the #blogtour and for providing me with a proof copy of the novel in exchange for my honest review.

If you enjoyed my review, please do check out my other posts and also the other stops on the tour (see poster below).

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@mrscookesbooks

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My Mother’s Daughter by Ann O’Loughlin

Today I am delighted to be a stop on the #blogtour for the wonderful My Mother’s Daughter by Ann O’Loughlin. A beautiful story of two women which will truly warm the cockles of your soul; portraying courage, loss and the importance of love.

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Synopsis

County Wicklow, Ireland. Margo has just lost her husband Conor and is grieving his passing, unsure how she and her daughter Elsa will survive without him. Then she receives a letter that turns everything she thought she knew on its head. Not only has she lost her husband, but now Margo fears she could lose her daughter as well.

Ohio, United States. Cassie has just split from her husband acrimoniously. Upset and alone she does not know how to move forward. Then her ex-husband demands a paternity test for their daughter Tilly and sorrow turns to anger as Cassie faces the frightening possibility of losing her daughter.

A powerful, moving story of family, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times, My Mother’s Daughter takes the issues closest to our hearts and makes us ask ourselves the most difficult questions – what would we do in Margo and Cassie’s place?

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My Thoughts

Where to begin with this big warm hug of a book?  O’Loughlin is a new author (to me) and so I was excited to receive an invitation to be a stop on the #blogtour.  I was not disappointed; I was totally captivated from the first page and devoured the majority of the book in under 3 days.

As a mother of two girls myself I was interested to see how O’Loughlin tackled the subject of the strength of a mother’s love for her daughter; the challenges involved and the boundaries that were pushed and broken.  The hard hitting issues taken on by O’Loughlin (divorce, illness, death and grief to name but a few) were dealt with sympathetically and with love, forming a truly heartwarming story.

Strong women feature throughout, tenderly pulling each other together with the bonds and ties of female friendship which are the bones of this novel, they provide solidarity and support wherever and whenever necessary; these characters are what make the story stand out and speak for itself.

The warmth of O’Loughlin’s writing courses through the story and her descriptions flow and ripple beautifully throughout.  This book was such a pleasure to read and I shall definitely be searching out her previous titles!

My thanks go to Alex Layt and Orion Publishing for providing me with a proof copy of the book for my honest opinion, and also to Tracy Fenton for organising the #blogtour with Alex,

My Mother’s Daughter is out now in paperback and you can buy it here

If you enjoyed my review, please do check out my other posts and also the other stops on the blogtour:

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Until next time!

@mrscookesbooks

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Monty and the Ocean Rescue – A Plastic Disaster – M.T. Sanders

Some of you may be aware of my co-ownership of two book-loving Littles so I was thrilled to be asked to participate in a blogtour for Monty and the Ocean Rescue! Sharing my love of reading with my children is incredibly important to me and they were delighted to to be introduced to a whole new set of characters at storytime…

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Synopsis

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Monty, Cookie and the spangles are back at the beach. When Cookie sees a splash in the water her newfydoof instinct to rescue takes over and she immediately heads out to help.

What follows is an adventure that could turn out to be their biggest, and most difficult so far.

Our Thoughts

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Where to begin with this delightful tale? Firstly, my children love dogs; the bigger, the hairier, the slobberier – the better, and Monty is no exception.  Secondly, Cookie’s first rescuee was none other than a mermaid!  This resulted in many happy squeals and shrieks from them both.

There are two particularly wonderful things about this book that kept my children totally engaged: the fantastic rollicking rhyme that courses the way through and the beautiful illustrations of Monty, Cookie and the gang.  Both of these made for an inspiring storytime experience.

The educational message about what we are doing to our oceans is cleverly placed and despite being the “moral of the tale” is still subtle enough to lead to an open ended discussion about the “plastic disaster”.  This story is a lovely and gentle introduction to a serious issue and led naturally to a conversation about the environment and our effects on it.

The pictures and rhyme put the underlying message across sympathetically and interestingly and the whole family enjoyed this superb story.  A definite 5 paws (out of five) from all of us.

About the Author

MT Sanders is a writer, blogger and author of the childrens book Monty and the Ocean Rescue.

An accidental career began after he took early retirement and began writing stories on social media about his five dogs. Life according to Monty Dogge soon attracted a huge following and led to invites to blog live from Crufts and other high-profile events.

In 2017 and 2018 Vuelio placed it in the top ten UK pet blogs and the still growing readership encouraged MT to write a book. I’m not a Pandacow was the debut children’s book released in 2017 and this has been quickly followed by four more to date.

MT and Monty spend the major part of their time touring schools across the country bringing the tales to life as children get to meet the star of the books.

The latest book is a real passion project for the author who is a huge supporter of conservation projects and a champion for animal welfare. It goes without saying that MT was delighted to receive a handwritten message of good luck from none other than Sir David Attenborough who features in the book.

Social media links

Life according to Monty Dogge and the Books of Monty Dogge on Facebook

@montydogge on Twitter

@monty_dogge on Instagram

 

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My thanks go to the author and Whispering Stories for the invitation to participate in the blogtour and also for our gorgeous signed and “pawtographed” copy of the book!

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To buy Monty and the Ocean Rescue, click here – this book has been such a joy to read that I know we will be ordering Monty’s back catalogue in order to spend more time with him and his adorable friends.

@mrscookesbooks

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