The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @HodderBooks #TheGoodSister #NewRelease #NetGalley

The Good Sister: The gripping domestic page-turner perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty by [Sally Hepworth]


‘There’s only been one time that Rose couldn’t stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.’

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be . . . dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot fall pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern’s mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets that she long thought were buried.


The Good Sister


Boom! Straight into my number one read of the year so far! Oh wow, I want to shout about this book, because it is terrific! The story follows twins that are nothing like each other, either in looks or character. Fern is tall and slender and works in the library, but she comes with problems, because she has trouble with sensory perception, unable to read people, and what they feel and has she has difficulty with noise. Rose, on the other hand, is short and dark and has been diagnosed with diabetes. She is organised and knows where her life is going. Rose always looks out for Fern.

From the first page where I met the twins, I was invested in their story, and there was no way that I was putting this book down for anything. I loved quirky Fern and how the people that worked with her accepted her for who she was. Every minute was a challenge, but her sister Rose had always been at her side, keeping her safe. Now Fern could pay her back, and she hatched a plan.

Oh boy, I thought this book couldn’t get better, but I was so wrong, this was a gem, a rough diamond that was truly priceless. New characters come into the story that just made my heart flip. While at the other end of the scale the story kept dropping back into the past. I cried ugly tears and loved every moment. Oops, there I go again while I am writing this!

I want to say soooooo much about the story, but I can’t, I just won’t. I laughed so much too, as the author caught every moment with perfection, and ensured that I cared about these people, and I did. It will be one of my come back to books, time and time again, no matter that I know the end and the future of these fabulous characters. I know that it will still knock me sideways time and time again. Highly, and completely, recommended. You won’t regret it!

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I truly loved!


An image posted by the author.

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of The Secrets of Midwives (2015), The Things We Keep (2016) The Mother’s Promise (2017), The Family Next Door (2018) and The Mother In Law (April 2019). Sally’s books have been labelled “enchanting” by The Herald Sun, “smart and engaging” by Publisher’s Weekly, and New York Times bestselling authors Liane Moriarty and Emily Giffin have praised Sally’s novels as “women’s fiction at its finest” and “totally absorbing”.

Sally’s novels are available worldwide in English and have been translated into 10+ languages.

Sally lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children.

Twitter: @SallyHepworth

The Good Sister: The gripping domestic page-turner perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty by [Sally Hepworth]

From Ashes to Song by Hilary Hauck @HilaryHauck @SunburyPress @FSBAssociates #NewRelease #NetGalley #BookReview #HistoricalFiction #FromAshesToSong

I wish to thank Michelle Fitzgerald of FSB Associates for inviting me to read and review this book.


It’s 1911 in Italy, and Pietro’s life on the family vineyard is idyllic. He has at last captured the melody of the grape harvest on his clarinet and can’t wait to share his composition with his grandfather, but before he can play, news arrives of a deadly disease sweeping the countryside. They have no choice but to burn the vineyard to stop its spread. The loss is too much for Pietro’s grandfather, and by morning, Pietro has lost two of the most precious things in his life—his grandfather and the vineyard. All he has left is his music, but a disastrous performance at his grandfather’s funeral suggests that music, too, now seems beyond his reach. 

Adrift with grief, Pietro seeks a new start in America. He goes to work in a Pennsylvania coal mine where his musician’s hands blister and his days are spent in the muffled silence of underground. 

When the beautiful voice and gentle heart of a friend’s wife stirs a new song in him, Pietro at last encounters a glimmer of hope. From a respectful distance and without drawing the attention of her husband, Pietro draws on Assunta for inspiration and soon his gift for music returns. But when grief strikes in Assunta’s life, Pietro is to blame. When Prohibition steals Pietro’s last pleasure, he has to do something before Assunta’s grief consumes them both.  

Inspired by true events, From Ashes to Song is a story of unconventional love, hope, and the extraordinary gifts brought to America by ordinary people in the great wave of immigration.


From Ashes to Song


What a beautifully written story this is. It begins in the breathtaking vineyards’ of Italy in 1911 when Pietro is a young man, still not knowing what direction his life is going to take him, when disaster strikes. The vines become contaminated and have to be destroyed just weeks before the harvest, and it is all too much for his grandfather to take, and he passes away. Pietro is only left with his music, and a promise to honour his grandfather’s wishes, to follow his music and a new start.

Pietro heads for America, meeting people who will become a massive part of his life and influence his ability to create beautiful music. The story is based on fact but wound around a fictional story where somethings have been changed. It is bursting with larger than life characters, who, on the whole, are good people that help each other out. The only way Pietro can make ends meet is to work down the coal mines in Pennsylvania. Different people he comes across, influence his music, but one woman makes him see every movement as music, but she is married.

It is such an emotional journey reading this book, the hardships and losses from sickness and terrible accidents at the mines. Every day is so incredibly hard for them all, but it always seems to band them together never pull them apart. It is the simple things in the book that made my heart skip and feel so humbled. The way the author describes Pietro’s music made me have goose lumps to the point that I could feel it through the people that listened to him.

It isn’t all sadness, as there is one particular story in the book had had me crying with laughter over some chickens. It is such a gem of a book. The story follows Pietro’s life and those close to him. A superbly crafted story from the heart.

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.



Hilary Hauck is the author of From Ashes to Song, her debut novel. A writer and translator, her work has appeared in the Mindful Writers Retreat Series anthologies, the Ekphrastic Review, Balloons Lit. Journal, and the Telepoem Booth. She moved to Italy from her native UK as a young adult, where she mastered the language, learned how to cook food she can no longer eat, and won a karate championship. After meeting her husband, Hilary came to the US and drew inspiration from Pennsylvania coal history, which soon became the setting for her debut novel. Hilary is Chair of the Festival of Books in the Alleghenies, past president of Pennwriters, and a graduate of RULE. She lives on a small patch of woods in rural Pennsylvania with her husband, one of their three adult children, a cat with a passion for laundry, and an oversized German Shepherd called Hobbes—of the Calvin variety. 

Twitter: @HilaryHauck

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Malice by Heather Walter @heatherrwalter5 @DelReyUK @DelReyBooks @NetGalley #Malice #BookReview #NewRelease


Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who cursed a line of princesses to die, and could only be broken by true love’s kiss. You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one actually cares about what happens to our princesses. I thought I didn’t care, either. Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to the throne. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating – and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again. Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I-

I am the villain.




What an all-consuming book this is, as I was soon under its ‘you must read me all in one sitting’ spell, so do beware as this curse will no doubt happen to you too. The story is devilishly dark from the get-go where the star of this show wound herself into my heart, so I cared about her. It is a story of fairy tales and magic, spells and potions, intrigue, mystery and most of all, bubbling vengeance.

The Graces make potions for the wealthy, to enhance their beauty, or give warts to a rival. They live in groups under the guidance of an older and wiser Grace. They all have a beauty to be envied, except one, the Dark Grace, what you see is what you get with her, imperfection through and through, but her magic is sort after.

I was transfixed on every page, every twist and, all the spells that could be made, for a price. The story moves between the lives of the Graces, the Royalty and the demise they were facing, and the Dark Grace. A spell had been placed on the royal family, where they would only have daughters and once they reached the age of 21 they would die. But the Graces had added something to the spell, if the Princess was kissed and found true love the spell would be broken. The only remaining Princess was rapidly approaching 21 and still, no Prince had broken the spell.

Things were about to get very interesting. The thing about truth is it gives the ones that have it a choice. The adrenaline rush was topped up on every page, leaving me with a ‘wanting that needs to be fed’. It is one of my favourite stories of this year so far.

I can’t wait for this story to continue with its cauldron of mixed fairy tales, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty and Maleficent, to name just a few and, I am sure there is more hiding in there still. To think this is the author’s first novel is just mind-blowing. One to watch out for in the future!

I wish to thank the publisher and Net Galley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Heather Walter

Heather Walter is a native southerner who hates the heat. A graduate of the University of Texas at austin, she is both a former English teacher and a current librarian. Perhaps it is because she is surrounded by stories that she began writing them. At any given moment, you can find her plotting. This is her first novel.

Twitter @heatherrwalter5

Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry @jessbarryauthor #BlogTour #Extract #DontTurnAround #NetGalley

Apologies first as this post should have been sent out on the 7th April.

Firstly I wish to thank Graeme Williams for inviting me on the Blog Tour for Don’t Turn Around by Jessica Barry. Each day you will see a little more about the book, including extracts, today I have chapter 2 from the book to share with you. Please follow the other amazing blogs on this tour and find out more.

Don't Turn Around by [Jessica Barry]



Cait’s job is to transport women to safety. Out of respect, she never asks any questions. Like most of the women, Rebecca is trying to escape something.

But what if Rebecca’s secrets put them both in danger? There’s a reason Cait chooses to keep on the road, helping strangers. She has a past of her own, and knows what it’s like to be followed.

And there is someone right behind them, watching their every move…

*Named one of the New York Times top 10 crime novels of 2020*


Don’t Turn Around



Cait rolled off the bed and stumbled into the bathroom. The bulb had blown, so she had to feel her way to the toilet in the dark, careful not to hit her head on the sloped wall. She could hear his soft snores over the sound of her piss hitting the bowl. Good. She hadn’t woken him up.

When she was finished, she stood up carefully and turned to look at herself in the mirror. Her eyes had adjusted to the light now, and she could see the dark hollows of her eyes and a glint of teeth in the reflection. She pressed her forehead to the glass. What the fuck are you doing here? she asked herself, but she didn’t have an answer. The snores continued.

It was Alyssa’s fault. She was the one who had insisted they go to Cedar Street for her birthday, even though the place was a hellhole filled with drunk college kids and tourists looking for an “authentic experience.” She had whined about it for weeks until Caitlyn finally threw in the towel, which was exactly what Alyssa knew she would do, if only to shut her up. Alyssa had squealed and thrown her arms around Cait’s neck when she agreed, and seeing her friend happy almost made up for the prospect of one of her precious nights off being spent dodging frat boys sloshing tequila over her sneakers.

What could she say? When it came to her friends, she was a sucker. That’s what her mother said when she’d come home from school having traded her brand- new silver pencil case for Melissa Brandino’s beat- up old red one after Melissa convinced her that silver matched her polished Mary Janes better than Cait’s beat- up Keds. “Oh, Caity,” her mother had said, shaking her head and sighing. “You’re too nice sometimes.”

In fairness, it had been a long time since someone had described her as too nice.

So they went to Cedar Street, and sure enough, within ten minutes someone had spilled tequila on her brand- new Nikes and she’d watched a girl projectile- vomit onto the door of the bathroom stall. “Remind me why we’re here again?” she’d said to Alyssa, but Alyssa was too busy showing off her Birthday Girl badge to a bunch of tech bros to notice. Cait slinked off to the bar and ordered herself a double Maker’s, neat, and tipped it down her throat in one burning gulp. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. That was when she spotted Jake striding across the courtyard, every pair of female eyes in a twenty- foot radius trailing after him. Hers, too.

She knew about him already. A guy who came into the bar was a music journalist for the Digg, and he’d been singing Jake’s praises over one too many Sierras the other night, saying he was the next big thing. She was curious, so when she finished her shift, she went home and looked him up on Spotify. Country music wasn’t exactly her jam, despite— or maybe because of— growing up deep in the heart of Texas, but even she could admit he had something special. His voice was a low growl over the delicate guitar riffs, deep and compelling and sexy as all hell.

She’d checked on Alyssa, who now had her tongue shoved firmly down the throat of one of the tech bros, before ducking out of the bar and following Jake a few blocks to the Pearl on Fourth Street. She wasn’t sure why she was doing it— she didn’t make a habit out of following strange men— but something about seeing him like that had made it feel a little like fate, as corny as that sounded to her.

She stayed in the back as he took the stage and went through his sound check. Given the level of drunkenness she’d witnessed at Cedar Street, she figured it was well past midnight, but when she checked the time on her phone, it was just a little past ten o’clock. She signaled the bartender for a beer and settled her back against

the bar as he strummed the opening chords.

The Pearl was relatively empty— it was a Monday night, after all— but the place started filling up quickly, drawn by the sound of his voice. She was drawn, too, and soon found herself in front of the stage, swaying her hips to the music and watching sweat roll down his face from the lights.

They locked eyes, and she saw a little smirk flash across his lips. Cocky. She liked that. She kept dancing, feeling his eyes roaming across her body, seeing the desire start to flare. She swerved her hips and ran her fingers through her hair. You’re mine, she thought, and the power thrilled her.

He finished the set and climbed down off the stage and the inevitable happened: the sweaty make- out session in the back and the fumbling cab ride to his apartment, which was still very much the place of a struggling musician and not one about to make the big time.

The sex started out routine enough— she was on top for a while, and then he flipped her over onto her back. It was good, though there was something about the way he focused on a spot just slightly above her head rather than looking her in the eye that made her think she could be anyone, really, and he wouldn’t care. She didn’t care, either, particularly— this was sex, not a betrothal— but she wouldn’t have minded him paying a little more attention to getting her off.

And then, just when she thought he was about to finish, he put his hands around her neck and tightened them so she almost— but not quite— lost consciousness. She struggled at first, clawing at his back, gripping his hands and trying to pry them away from her neck, but the struggle only seemed to excite him more, and the lack of oxygen to her brain made her weaker and weaker until she finally went limp. He let go long enough to shove his cock in her mouth and call her a fucking whore as he came, and then he kissed her on the cheek— not the mouth, not after she’d swallowed— and rolled over and went to sleep.

She took her clothes into the living room and, body huddled from the air- conditioning, pulled on her jeans and hooked her bra and slipped her shirt over her head, keeping her head very still as she did, so as not to strain her sore neck. There would be bruises in the morning, bruises she’d dot carefully with concealer to avoid answering the inevitable questions— jokes, more likely— from the guys at the bar.

He hadn’t asked if she was into that sort of thing. He’d clearly just assumed she would be or hadn’t cared if she wasn’t. So much for the sensitive- singer- songwriter bullshit. He was just another straight- up asshole in a long line of assholes who took what they wanted without bothering to ask. She was sick and tired of it. She remembered the music journalist back at the bar saying Jake was just about to land a big tour, that he’d be a national name in a couple of months. No wonder he thought he could get away with this kind of shit.

This time, she decided, it was going to cost him.

She ordered a Lyft from the curb outside his apartment. Nine minutes away: plenty of time. She pulled a notebook and a pen out of her bag and made a few notes. By the time the car arrived, she was halfway to writing the article that would change her life.

About the Author


I’m American and live in London with my husband and our two excessively fuzzy cats, Roger and BoJack. I spend much of my time reading, writing, running along the Thames and trying unsuccessfully to remove cat hair from the furniture.

Facebook: Jessica Barry

Twitter: @jessbarryauthor

Instagram: @jessicabarry9

Twist by Mark Fowler @MFowlerAuthor #NewRelease #NewSeries #BookReview #BlogReview

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The first book in a gripping new detective crime series.

The DMT detective agency is struggling when Beth Hilary, an attractive and wealthy widow, walks into the office. Her son Simon, a philosophy student, was found dead in his university lodgings, having apparently taken his own life. She wants answers that the police appear unable to provide.

Following a recommendation from a concerned friend, she asks William Twist, one of the partners at DMT, to look into the case. Twist has good reasons not to get involved, until Beth Hilary makes an offer that he is in no position to refuse.

But soon Twist is regretting his decision … and cursing the day Beth Hilary walked into his life.




The name of the book is the surname of one of the detectives who tackles the first case in this new series. William Twist is a partner in the DMT detective agency. He had been recommended by someone he knew to take on a new case and look into the suicide of a young man at university. The university is the one he went to himself.

What I found straight away was how different it was to a police investigation. The pace was slower, and there were more toing and froing between people he talked to. There are some strange characters in the story, as Simon, the young man that had died, resurrected with how different people saw him, and it was sad.

I liked how Twist had thought of his own past, at university, and how he had seen his lecturers when he had been there. He saw them in a different light now, many years later. I liked Twist. He is not someone that takes short cuts, although he does make a couple of very dodgy decisions. I feel that this is going to be a good series. It wasn’t the ending that I expected, a good solid story that kept me intrigued to what had really happened.

I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


An image posted by the author.

Mark Fowler writes detective fiction and psychological suspense.

His books include the popular Tyler and Mills crime series. RED IS THE COLOUR, set in 2002, was shortlisted for the 2018 Arnold Bennett Book Prize, and involves the discovery of a schoolboy missing since 1972. BLUE MURDER investigates a missing singer and his murdered guitarist. THE DEVIL WORE BLACK, the latest in the series, opens with the corpse of a crucified priest. All three books can be read as standalone crime mysteries.

Other books include SILVER, a dark psychological thriller about journalist and writer Nick Slater’s obsession with a strange, unpublished manuscript that a best-selling author was working on when she was murdered. SEXTET exposes the explosive rivalry between twin sisters, and the weird game they played as children, recently resurrected.

COFFIN MAKER finds Death being sent two strange apprentices as the devil arrives on Earth. THE MAN UPSTAIRS introduces hard boiled detective Frank Miller, who discovers he’s a fictional detective, his author plotting to kill him off and end the series


Amazon   Author Page

Facebook  Author Page


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Last Night by Mhairi MacFarlane @MhairiMcF @HarperCollinsUK #NewRelease #NetGalley #RomanticComedy #LastNight

Last Night: the most hilarious and heart-breaking romcom of 2021 from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [Mhairi McFarlane]


Two best friends.

One missed chance.

And a night that changes everything.

Eve, Justin, Susie and Ed have been friends since they were eighteen. Now in their 30s, the four are still as close as ever, Thursday pub quiz night is still sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed.

Maybe Eve should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed sometimes thinks about it too.

Then one night, in an instant, all their lives change forever. And, as Eve learns she didn’t know her friends as well as she thought, she also discovers she isn’t the only person keeping secrets…


Last Night


I have always envied that bond of small nitches of people that met at school and are still friends years later. (my sister-in-law has the same friendship with people we both went to school, even now in our sixties). Eve, Susie. Justin and Ed were such a group. Eve at 34 is still single, gothic and plays centre stage in this story. They had all been close. She had always had a crush on Ed, which had grown to love, while Susie was her rock until after a night out together, a terrible accident ends Susie’s life and changes Eve forever.

Oh my, this isn’t just a story about picking the pieces up and getting on with life. It is discovering another person behind the one that she thought she had known everything about. It is bubbling frustration that festers because there is no-one to shout at or say to them ‘what about me’?!! Eve thought she had known Susie to the core, but she hadn’t even scratched the surface.

I had fallen deep into the pages of this story and time just disappeared because as a reader, you soon feel a connection to Eve. The second half of the book was just what I needed. I loved how the story took a turn to not just find out about the Susie that she didn’t know about but of herself too. This is a warm and good feel story of finding ways to forgive and move forward.

A gem of a read. Loved it!

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Bestsellers, big books 2021, romcoms, romance, romantic fiction, romantic novels, comedy, sexy books

Mhairi McFarlane is the internationally bestselling author of six rom-com books. Born in Scotland in 1976, she now lives in Nottingham, with a man and a cat.

Don’t miss the brand-new book from the No.1 bestselling author, a heartbreaking story of love, friendship and secrets.

Twitter: @MhairiMcF

Last Night: the most hilarious and heart-breaking romcom of 2021 from the Sunday Times bestselling author by [Mhairi McFarlane]

The Perfect Nanny by Karen Clarke & Amanda Brittany @karenclarke123 @amandajbrittany @HQDigitalUK #NewRelease #NetGalley #ThePerfectNanny

The Perfect Nanny: An utterly gripping and suspenseful psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist! by [Karen Clarke, Amanda Brittany]


You trust her with your home, your husband, your baby… but she is about to destroy it all.

Sophy Pemberton is struggling to cope with the pressures of becoming a new mother. Her nine-month-old son never settles in her arms and the unrelenting tiredness from late night feeds is all consuming.

So, when Liv Granger from the mother and baby group offers her services as a nanny, Sophy is overcome with relief. Now she can finally get some sleep… She can stop failing at being a mother.

But Liv has a secret.

She is convinced that Sophy was accountable for her brother’s tragic death and she has been searching for her for years.

And now that Liv’s found her, she’s outraged Sophy seems oblivious to the pain she has caused her family.

Sophy’s perfect house, perfect husband and perfect baby are too much for Liv to bear… and she’s going to make her pay.

An utterly gripping and suspenseful novel that will have you turning the pages long into the night! Fans of The Mother-In-Law, Lies Lies Lies, and The Babysitter will love this heart-racing read.


The Perfect Nanny


Liv Granger had bided her time to take the perfect revenge on the woman that she held responsible for the death of her brother. She had hunted her down and sat in the wings until the right moment came along for her to worm her way into Sophy’s life.

Sophy had struggled with motherhood since her baby boy had been born nine months ago. She was always tired and forgetful. Sophy’s had been living the perfect life where she could tick the boxes for the perfect husband, perfect career and perfect house, but now she couldn’t cope. Liv already had her eye on her and made her move at the perfect time. She was the perfect nanny.

The story is told by Liv and Sophy, as events take on an even steeper downward spiral. I wondered if the two authors of this book had each taken on the role of these characters. The hate that Liv felt for Sophy grew darker on every page, while Sophy put her entire trust in Liz. These two women couldn’t have been more different.

There are some brilliant characters in the story, especially those with supporting roles, with all of them playing some part in the choices that both Liz and Sophy take. The first three-quarters of the story was tense, not knowing what Liz would do to get even. The last few chapters are just incredible and left my head spinning. What a superb ending …………………..

I wish to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


An image posted by the author.


KAREN CLARKE lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children, where she writes romantic comedy novels and psychological suspense.
When she’s not writing, she reads a lot, enjoys walking – which is good for plot-wrangling and ideas, watching Netflix, baking and eating cakes. And then more walking to work off the cakes.

Twitter: @karenclarke123

An image posted by the author.


AMANDA BRITTANY lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. She is the bestselling author of Her Last Lie and Tell the Truth, and her third psychological thriller, Traces of Her, was published in October 2019. Her debut, Her Last Lie, has raised almost £8,000 so far for Cancer Research UK from her ebook royalties, in memory of her sister.
When she’s not writing, Amanda loves reading, walking, travelling and going to the theatre.

Twitter: @amandajbrittany…

The Perfect Nanny: An utterly gripping and suspenseful psychological thriller with a breathtaking twist! by [Karen Clarke, Amanda Brittany]

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey @annafbailey @DoubledayUK @RandomHouseUK @Transworldpublishers #NetGalley #NewRelease

Tall Bones: An explosive firecracker of a literary crime novel by [Anna Bailey]


‘Anna Bailey’s debut is irresistible, a compelling and nuanced psychological thriller suffused with small town prejudice and dark family secrets.’ PAULA HAWKINS, author of The Girl on the Train

‘Tall Bones is as atmospheric as it gets – a stunning debut that delivers on every level.’ RENEE KNIGHT, author of Disclaimer

‘Chilling and compulsive. Tall Bones is a dazzling debut.’ KATE HAMER, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

When seventeen-year-old Emma leaves her best friend Abi at a party in the woods, she believes, like most girls her age, that their lives are just beginning. Many things will happen that night, but Emma will never see her friend again.

Abi’s disappearance cracks open the façade of the small town of Whistling Ridge, its intimate history of long-held grudges and resentment. Even within Abi’s family, there are questions to be asked – of Noah, the older brother whom Abi betrayed, of Jude, the shining younger sibling who hides his battle scars, of Dolly, her mother and Samuel, her father – both in thrall to the fire and brimstone preacher who holds the entire town in his grasp. Then there is Rat, the outsider, whose presence in the town both unsettles and excites those around him.

Anything could happen in Whistling Ridge, this tinder box of small-town rage, and all it will take is just one spark – the truth of what really happened that night out at the Tall Bones….


Tall Bones: An explosive firecracker of a literary crime novel


Anna Bailey is certainly an author to keep your eye on because Tall Bones is her debut novel and outstanding!

Whistling Ridge is a small American town that seems to have a foot planted in the past and where its people follow the word of the preacher more than that of the law. Abi, a teenager, was missing and her best friend had no intention of giving up finding out what had happened to her the night she watched her walk into the woods.

There is a lot of characters, but amongst them were the core performers that stayed individual for me in the story. All had the role that life had dealt them within their families. Abi’s home was not one to be envied, with a father that excused his unrelenting cruelty with quotes from the bible. All sanctioned and encouraged by the priest of the town.

I loved the cover of this book which summed this place up as anything but Godly. The story meanders from the present day and the hunt for Abi as the weeks begin to increase since she disappeared without a trace, and back to the events leading up to her disappearance. The toll is heavy on her family not knowing where she could be. It is a heart-breaking story of prejudice, abuse of leadership power and manipulation.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I would like to thank Net Galley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Anna Bailey was born in Bristol in 1995 and spent her childhood in Gloucestershire. She studied Creative Writing at Bath Spa university and wanted to become a journalist, but ended up moving to Colorad, o and becoming a Starbucks barista instead. In 2018 she returned to the UK, where she enrolled in the Curtis Brown Creative Novel-writing course and wrote her first novel, Tall Bones, inspired by her experience of living in small-town America.

Twitter: @annafbailey

Tall Bones: An explosive firecracker of a literary crime novel by [Anna Bailey]

Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone @C_L_Johnstone @HarperFiction @BoroughPress #EnterMirrorland #NetGalley #NewRelease

I wish to thank Rachel Quin of Harper Collins for inviting me to read and review this book, Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone.


‘Dark and devious…beautifully written and plotted with a watchmaker’s precision’ STEPHEN KING

‘Atmospheric, tightly plotted and utterly gripping’ SARAH PINBOROUGH

The most dangerous stories are the ones we tell ourselves…

No. 36 Westeryk Road, an imposing flat-stone house on the outskirts of Edinburgh. A house of curving shadows and crumbling grandeur. But it’s what lies under the house that is extraordinary – Mirrorland. A vivid make-believe world that twin sisters Cat and El created as children. A place of escape, but from what?

Now in her thirties, Cat receives the shocking news that her sister has disappeared. Forced to return to Edinburgh, Cat finds herself irresistibly drawn back into Mirrorland. Because El has a plan. She’s left behind a treasure hunt that will unearth long-buried secrets…

A sharply crafted mystery about the power of imagination and the price of freedom, perfect for fans of Erin Kelly and Tana French.



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Cat hasn’t seen her identical twin sister for twelve years since she moved to America, and now she may never get to see her ever again. El had gone out on her boat, and now both her and boat were missing. After days of rescue teams out looking for her, she was presumed dead.

Unforgivable things had happened between the sisters, and now it was too late to be mended. Then Cat begins to find clues for her to follow. Is it El or someone that knows what happened to her? What is clear is that everything is becoming very sinister.

This is a story that requires your full attention when you are reading it as the past begins to crack and the world that twins lived in as children begins to emerge. El’s husband, their childhood friend, is there to support Cat as the Mirrorland world and the characters that had been deep in her memories becomes all too real for her again.

It is a creepy read with fuzzy images that I didn’t know if they were real or not. I love to read or listen to a book where it is silent as it adds to the intensity of the scenes that the author brings to life. The story is far more dark and disturbing than I thought it was going to be. It took over every thought that I had to become all-consuming. A fabulous story, one of those that is not over until it finishes with you!

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Carole Johnstone

Scottish writer Carole Johnstone’s debut novel, Mirrorland, will be published in spring 2021 by Borough Press/HarperCollins in the UK and Commonwealth and by Scribner/Simon & Schuster in North America.

Her award-winning short fiction has been reprinted in many annual ‘Best Of’ anthologies in the UK and the US. She has been published by Titan Books, Tor Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and PS Publishing, and has written Sherlock Holmes stories for Constable & Robinson and Running Press.

Carole is represented by Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit UK and Allison Hunter at Janklow & Nesbit (US).

Twitter: @C_L_Johnstone

Backstories by Simon Van Der Velde @SimonVdVwriter #Backstories #NewRelease #BookReview

Backstories by [Simon Van Der Velde]


These are people you know, but not as you know them. Peel back the mask and see.


Dreamers, singers, heroes and killers, they can dazzle with their beauty or their talent or their unmitigated evil, yet inside themselves, they are as frail and desperate as the rest of us. But can you see them? Can you unravel the truth?
‘Oh, how I enjoyed these stories. A highly original and beautifully crafted collection that explodes into the reader’s consciousness like fireworks’ – Kate Horsley, award-winning author of The American Girl.

‘Tightly written, technically accomplished, light-footed, wryly ironic and genuinely affecting. Excellent stuff’ – Professor Graham Mort, Director of The Centre for Transcultural Writing and Research and winner of both the Bridport Prize and The Edge Hill Prize.

This book is dedicated to the victims of violent crime, the struggle against discrimination in all its forms and making the world a better place for our children. That is why 30% of all profits will be shared between Stop Hate UK, The North East Autism Society and Friends of the Earth.


Amazon: Backstories



Each new chapter is like a clean canvas that builds a picture of the famous and infamous for you to guess. It is a stroke of genius!

It isn’t a book that I could chill out with, as it seemed to light up my brain and make it work to recognise the people described in the fourteen chapters. The chapters are laced with clues, such as a couple of words from a song, that the artist has written or sung, an incident or in a couple of scenarios playing out the scenes. It makes for full concentration. I loved guessing the right people, as it gave me quite a buzz.

It brought back my memories of these people while I was growing up. Some made me smile, while others gave me goosebumps. One story was a heart-stopper for me when I worked out who the people were just before the reveal. It would have been too late for me.

I really have to mention that I am a sucker for book covers and what a stunning book cover this is, it is like nothing else I have seen. A perfect match for what is inside.

I hope that this author has a second book like this in the pipeline as there is nothing else like it. Brilliant research, choice of characters and dramatisation of the stories to capture who these people were. The era and tone of each story were unique. It is a top-class idea, executed perfectly!

I wish to thank the author for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Simon Van Der Velde

Simon Van der Velde has worked variously as a barman, labourer,
teacher, caterer and lawyer, as well as travelling throughout Europe and
South America collecting characters and insights for his award-winning
stories. Since completing a creative writing M.A. (with distinction)
in 2010, Simon’s work has won and been shortlisted for numerous
awards including; The Yeovil Literary Prize, (twice), The Wasafiri
New Writing Prize, The Luke Bitmead Bursary, The Frome Shortstory Prize, The Harry Bowling Prize, The Henshaw Press Short Story
Competition and The National Association of Writers’ Groups Open
Competition – establishing him as one of the UK’s foremost
short-story writers.
Simon now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, with his wife,
Nicola, their labradoodle, Barney and two tyrannical children.

ps. I am proud to be sharing 30% of all profits from Backstories with
Friends of the Earth, Stop Hate UK and The North-East Autism Society.
See for further details.

Twitter: @SimonVdVwriter·

Backstories by [Simon Van Der Velde]