Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book review: Don't Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell

*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

DC Jennifer Knight faces with the most intriguing thing in her police career while interviewing a suspect. The voice of the man sitting in front of her changes, his accent changes, the way he talks to her changes.Is he acting or is there a personality disorder? Or maybe is there something else? That prisoner she interviews mentions her mother. He mentions things that there is no way of knowing about. Something isn't right here.

This prisoner kills himself later in the prison cell. Another prisoner dies in a fire right after he is released from custody. They both seem to have personality disorder. But, what's bothering Jennifer, is THE VOICE. Each one of them was speaking with two different voices, one common for both of them.

What people don't know about Jennifer is that she hears voices. Real ones, when she comes home in an empty house. She is not crazy! Voices are real. Like the one coming from the bodies of the two people she interviewed in prison.

Jennifer herself has a very poor social and family life. She has a sister and two adorable niece and nephew that she loves to the bits. But her sister doesn't remember the death of their mother or their abusive father. All she wants is a normal life. Jennifer had to grow up very early in order to protect her sibling from the hell they were living in.

Jennifer will have to prove her love one more time.

Mrs. Mitchell wrote a story that made my hair stand on end. I was expecting a red-blooded thriller but I got a mystery that could make cold-blooded serial killers look like cute kittens. I am not really into paranormal stuff, but this story kept me awake until I finished reading the very last page. What I loved was the absence of predictability, the real ending versus my expectations. I love when the story goes into unexpected way. Mrs. Mitchell writes in a unique way, keeping your nerves on the edge with so many turn-overs until finishing the last page.

Even if I am not fan of paranormal stuff, not anymore, I enjoyed the gripping mystery. I liked Jennifer as a main character with all of her skeletons locked in the closet. She is an excellent detective and I hope I'll see her in another criminal case in book two. There's gonna be book two, right?

My opinion: 4 / 5.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Book review: Ever After by Anya Wilde

„And they all lived happily ever after!“

Every little girl is a princess. Every little girl dreams of Prince Charming. Every single day she expects her „ever after'.

Anya Wylde this time steps up from her usual middle-age regency romcoms and dives into a different world. This time she writes a real-life-fairytale and shows up a different kind of princess, a real woman. A princess is waiting for her Prince Charming, he comes along with all the bells and whistles and woos her, she falls in love and marries him. But, „happily ever after“ never comes. Prince Charming turns into a frog. His real face shows up, the fairytale turns up into a nightmare. The princess becomes a servant, a slave, a cook, a cleaner, a victim of abuse and violence.

But every woman is a princess. Every victim can arise from his/her hell and start living again. She can be princess again. Every woman can find her inner strength and write her own fairytale, her own „happily ever after“.

I've read Anya Wylde's previous regency romances and must say this is quite different from her usual work. This time she writes in a humorous way about a real life Princess, real life Prince Charming, real life castle. Her humorous, or should I say, satiric way, of describing the real life will make you think about the great expectations from love, dreams and hopes of young girls and facing the reality of mature women. But every woman should wear her own princess' tiara and never give up from her „ever after“.

My opinion: 3 / 5.

You cah buy the book here:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet Angela Marsons!

Angela Marsons is the brand new name in the Thriller section. She recently published her first book "SILENT SCREAM", under the wing of Bookouture, and it is currently N.1 Best Seller in Police Procedurals on Amazon.co.uk. You can read the review for SILENT SCREAM here
Today, I have the pleasure to welcome Angela on the blog.

  1. Silent Scream is your first novel and it is amazing! What triggered you to start writing? And why thrillers? Do you have a special addiction for mystery and crime?
Thank you so much. I started writing very young but like most writers my ramblings were placed in a dark drawer. When I was in my early teens my English teacher told me she thought I had a gift. The very notion stunned me. Girls in my street didn’t have gifts, we learned to type and got a nice office job. Which I did. But I carried on writing anyway. I started writing relationship based novels but my reading passion is crime and psychological books. I had been scared of trying because I didn’t think I could do it but I just had to give it a try.
  1. Writing about murders and police procedures takes a lot of effort and knowledge. Where did you learn about police procedures?
Reading, reading and a bit more reading. I love research because I love to learn. The only problem is not putting everything I’ve learned into the books!
  1. The main character, Kim, is so intriguing as a character. She is so tough, but also very soft from inside. But she also has a wild side. Is she little bit you?
I think there are elements of me in there but I do know how to say please and thank you. I worked as a Security Manager for a number of years and when you’re working with a diverse group of people you have to develop certain skills. I did ride a moped for 18 years but I decided to give Kim a ‘real’ bike.
  1. If Silent Scream goes on screen, who do you want to see in the main role as Kim?
My dream actress for Kim would be Kate Beckinsale. Also, just to mention, I would choose Bradley Walsh for Bryant.

  1. Lucy's disease brings a very emotional touch to the whole story. Did you do a lot of research about her condition?
Yes I spent a great deal of time researching Muscular Dystrophy as I wanted to treat the subject with respect and sensitivity. I find it frustrating when people with challenges are dismissed and so purposely had Kim do that so she would learn from it. Also, I wanted to highlight Lucy’s spirit, that she is a fighter not a victim.
  1. Silent Scream is the book that everyone is talking about lately. Is there going to be a sequel or book two in the series?
Oh yes. Evil Games is being released at the end of May and follows Kim as she plays cat and mouse with a female Sociopath.
  1. Murder scenes are very vividly described in your book. Where do you find the inspiration?
I just close my eyes and try to imagine what I would like to read in this situation. I like to add a personal touch if I can. I like the reader to know just a little something about the victim before they die. To actually write them I ask myself what is now a common question “What would Kim do?”
  1. What are the best (and the worst) comments about your book?
I’ve had so many wonderful comments and messages but there is one that will stay with me for a long time. I received a message from a man in his sixties who grew up in the care system. It was a beautiful heartfelt message stating that he’d been inspired by the character I’d created and the way she’d been portrayed. There were goosebumps and tears, I can tell you. The worst, for me, is a review on Amazon because the person can’t exit the screen.
  1. Who is your favourite author? Do you compare yourself with your idol?
My favourite author is Karin Slaughter. No, I don’t compare myself with my idol but I do aspire to grip readers the way her books grip me. But ultimately I just want to write books that people enjoy.
10. Beside writing, recently, what do you do for living? Do you have a daily job? Is there one Angie who goes to work every day and another Angie who writes when coming home?
Yes, I currently have a day job, or in my case it’s a night job. I work 12 hour night shifts as a control room supervisor so I can normally be found checking Twitter and Facebook in my 2am lunch break.
11. What do you do when not writing? Tell us something about Angie herself.
You know I’m going to say reading! Other than that I love nothing more than to gather up my long-suffering partner and just drive. We love to discover new landscapes and breath-taking scenery which isn’t as plentiful in the Black Country as I would like. It’s like hitting the refresh button on my inner keyboard.
12. What can we expect from you next?
Oh, definitely lots more Kim Stone. If people want to read about her then I’ll keep offering her my pencil as a voice. And, my goodness, does she have a lot to say.

Thank you so much for inviting me to answer these questions. I’ve really enjoyed doing it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ninja Book Swap

Yesterday morning, my cat was meowing at the front door , demanding his breakfast. As I opened the front door, I saw a package left on the floor. Pleasantly surprised, I opened the package and found the most beautifully wrapped presents from a fellow blogger from USA. I absolutely adore the books, the bracelet, and the clips are so cute! The chocolate was so delicious!

Thank you so much, Sarah (@SarahSaysRead) !
You should check out her awesome blog www.sarahsaysread.com .
Thank you Ninja Book Swap Team for organizing book swap all around the world!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Book Review : No Place to Die by Clare Donoghue

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Last year, I won on a giveaway the debut book of Clare Donoghue, Never Look Back. And I was hooked. Now, when the second books is published, I couldn't wait until I put my hands on it. This time, the author has written even more gripping and dark story that made my worse nightmares come true.

What are you afraid of? Is it the dark? Or the tight space? Or the lack of air?

What if you wake up in a tight space under the ground with air enough for couple of hours?

Can you scream? Who can hear you?

Can you panic? Who will notice?

Can you escape? The lack of air makes you drowsy and sleepy.

Can you be saved? No one knows.

Creepy enough, exactly this happens to Maggie, college student. One day she goes on a date, and next thing she remembers is that is in a tight space, it is hard to move, no light, no fresh air. What the hell happened?

D.S. Jane Bennett receives a phone call from a family friend telling her that her husband is missing. Mark is a former policeman, now retired, and his wife has found blood stains in the kitchen. Jane finds out that Mark hasn't recovered after his last case when a young woman went missing. When another body shows up, buried alive in an underground shallow case and left to die with no air, Jane and her partner Mike find similarities between this creepy murder and the last case of missing Mark. Are there any connections? Is Mark another victim of the same killer? Who kills so cruelly?

Clare Donoghue writes so gripping stories that will make your hair stand on end. It happened to me. First, she did it with Never Look Back, now with No Place To Die. Her writing gets better and better with every next book. This one is far more better than the previous one. She tells the story also from Maggie's point of view, she made me feel the fear to be trapped inside the case and not being able to escape. To balance the creepiness of the story, she shows the softer side of the detectives. Jane has an autistic son, and Mike has an autistic brother. The author also shows the everyday problems that families with autistis members are coping with. Back to the mystery part, the end literally blew me away. I never expected that. So many turn-overs, so many gripping edges, and BAM! Totally blown away!

Must-read for 2015!

My opinion: 5 / 5.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon.com and buy on Amazon.co.uk.

Book Review : Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

*Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to read this debut crime novel and I must say that I was so impressed. I never expected a whirlpool of events that would turn my mind up-side down as a reader. This book did exactly that. Angela Marsons writes even better than many of the mystery crime writers I've read. So, let me tell you something about the book.

Teresa lives her last years in fear. She has divided her life to years B.C. (before Crestwood) and years after Crestwood. She did something bad and she knows that she'll be punished one day. And that day has come.

D.I. Kim Stone finds the body of Teresa drowned in the bath tub. The body shows obvious marks of pushing down. Someone drowned Teresa in her own bath tub.

When another employee in Crestwood is found dead, Kim suspects that something more is going on. Two people that worked in a children's foster home are found dead within couple of days. Why? Why would someone want to kill them? Is it some kind of revenge? For what? What have they done?

Near what used to be children's home, police finds another body, buried long time ago. Body of a child. Kim starts to gather the pieces of the puzzle.

D.I.Kim Stone is well described as a main character. She is tough, but also has a wild and also a soft side. She lives alone with no family, but has a passion for motorbikes, which is unusual for a woman. Life was hard for her, and she built a wall around her feelings, but those same feelings sometimes find their way to rise on the surface.

Ms. Marsons built a real puzzle when it comes to murders and killers. She created a story that goes back ten years in past when it all started, then goes back in present day where the consequences are. The story has turn-overs on every corner and makes you wonder till the very last page. Adding Lucy as a character really made the story more sensible and very emotional, not just filled with cold blooded murders. Who is Lucy? Well, you must read the book. Because it is a must-read.

My opinion : 5 / 5.

You can buy the book on  Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: Forever His Darling by Sarah Randall

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Another Christmas story in March. I think that there is nothing wrong with feel-good stories no matter what the time of year it is. Because this is exactly that, a feel-good story that will restore your faith in love and happily ever after.

Matt Darling is everything that a woman can ever want. But his attitude is one of a kind. After his last relationship that caused him a lot of pain, he turned himself into an ice. No feelings, no more Mr. Nice Guy. The last thing he wants is house full of strangers on Christmas Eve. But his family is lack of money, and hosting the model for the photo shooting is just something that has to be done in order to earn some money. His little sister has a very unique way to help the family. Hosting the very famous Anastacia Harper is her idea. But the snow has fallen and that model has nowhere to go. And the ice around his heart slowly starts to melt.

Anastacia Harper has an amazing modeling career and thinks she has everything. But meeting the Darling family she slowly realizes what she is missing in her life: a family, people who love you and stand by your side no matter what. For the very first time she finds out what is it like to have a sister, to have a mother that loves you. And finally, she finds someone who can love her just the way she is, forever and ever.

So, celebrating the International Women's Day, here is an amazing romantic  story that will make every woman feel good. If you believe in happily ever after, then, trust me, this is a story that you don't wanna miss. Two amazing characters and a love story full of ups and down. Perfect gift for every woman.

My opinion: 4.5 / 5.

Book review: How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake (Home for the Holidays #2) by Gina Henning

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I know that Christmas was almost three months ago, but this little book is on my TBR list for a while and I've finally found time for reviewing it. I absolutely believe that there is always time for a festive story and delicious cakes. In this light read, we follow the story of Lauren and her hot and cold boyfriend Jack. Lauren is such a nice person, so thoughtful, so smart but also naive in the same time. Her family is one of a kind, but we all have some unique members in our families, haven't we? But as much as I like Lauren, I don't like Jack. There is nothing wrong with him, as it turns out, but the way he is described, well, not my type of male character. His attitude is hot and cold and hot, you never know what to expect.

There is a lot of humor here, a lot of laughter, and a delicious Christmas cake. But every moment I was expecting something to happen, a twist, a turn-over. I was left disappointed. The story is easy-breezy, cute and romantic, little bit festive. But the characters aren't developed as much as they should be, or as much as I am used to. Maybe it is just my opinion, but this plot needs more ups and downs.  I liked Lauren as a main character and I really loved the way she cared for Jack's feelings and memories.  And I liked aunt Minnie. Her attitude is so one of a kind. There were moments when she reminded me of Hank and Frank from the Muppets.

I didn't find the recipe for the Christmas cake, but How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake is easy-breezy romantic festive read that is cute enough for spending your time on your sofa while it is raining outside.

My opinion: 3/5.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book Review: Snow Woman (Maria Kallio #4) by Leena Lehtolainen

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I 've never read anything of Finnish literature, and I decided to give it a try. Classical detective story is a perfect read for a mystery lover like me. I've found out that this is part four of the series, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. The main character, Maria Kallio, detective in Espoo Police, is trying to solve a murder of a woman who runs a shelter for abused women. There, Maria finds herself among women who ran from their abusive husbands and families. Many of the women come from a small Finnish population who consider everything as God's will and abortion as grief even if the life of the mother is in danger. There are couple of very emotional stories of the women who escaped the emotional and physical abuse of the ones who suppose to love them most. In the very same time, Maria finds out that she is pregnant, so there is also her doubt about having children or not. A criminal who was imprisoned by Maria, has escaped and plans his revenge. 

There is very little in the story about the actual murder. It is more about the women, about pregnancy and abortion, about emotional abuse. Not too many twists, just classic solving the crime via interviews and interrogations. I've found too much usage of names, maybe it is just my opinion because I'm not familiar with Finnish names, but too much information overloaded me and from time to time it was hard for me to follow the case. The ending didn't blow me away, just came naturally. 

Overall, Maria Kallio is an interesting main character, a woman detective, and I am looking for the other parts of the series to read. Pregnancy and abortion are not my type of read, but solving a crime definitely is.

My opinion: 3 / 5.

Book Review: The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2) by Graeme Simsion

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

Don Tillman is back. The guy who finds it very difficult to make friends, who has schedule and plan for everything, now is married, moved across the globe and is going to be a father. Yes, you've heard me right. Don Tillman is going to be a dad. But he wouldn't be himself, if he hasn't start a plan. A project. A baby under development. 

The previous book is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to anyone who reads. When I saw the second book, I just couldn't wait to start reading. I absolutely adore the main character. Don Tillman is so unique, one of a kind, you just can not not to love him. Receiving the great news, he starts to prepare for the role "father of the year". He isn't the greatest role model for a father but he does his best. In the most unique way. His way. 

Rosie as a character this time is really annoying, according to me. I really liked her in the previous book, but this time she was getting on my nerves so many times. Her attitude was really annoying, you can't blame the hormones for everything. 

Gene, Don's best and only friend is here too. The man is getting old, the wife left him, the children don't speak to him, he is not the ladies'man anymore. But his friend Don is here to help him and offer a place for stay even if it means constant fights with Rosie. But friendship is friendship.

Overall, I enjoyed Don's new life, new country, new family life. There are few new characters who just add more fun to the whole story. But the main character, Don, is just one of a kind. I don't mind to read at least ten books with him as a main character. This sequel is fun and entertaining and I would recommend it to anyone. 

My opinion: 4 / 5.