#TheLastStorm by @timlebbon

With global warming out of control, large swathes of North America have been struck by famine and drought and are now known as the Desert. A young woman sets out across this dry, hostile landscape, gradually building an arcane apparatus she believes will bring rain to the parched earth.

Jesse lives alone, far from civilization. Once, he too made rain, but he stopped when his abilities caused fatalities, bringing down not just rain but scorpions, strange snakes and spiders. When his daughter Ash inherited this tainted gift, Jesse did his best to stop her. His attempt went tragically wrong, and he believes himself responsible for her death.

But now his estranged wife Karina brings news that Ash is still alive. And she’s rainmaking again. Terrified of what she might bring down upon the desperate communities of the Desert, they set out to find her. But Jesse and Karina are not the only ones looking for Ash. As the storms she conjures become more violent and deadly, some follow her seeking hope. And one is hungry for revenge.

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The room was full of bad things.

JESSE

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(@TitanBooks, 5 July 2022, ebook, 352 pages, #ARC from the publisher via #NetGalley, #BlogTour 5 July)

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I really loved The Last Storm. I loved the premise of Ash and Jesse being able to connect their bodies to an apparatus that let them summon rain. The author does a brilliant job of bringing the dry, parched and dying world to life. It easy to imagine how a talent like Ash and Jesse’s would be coveted in such a world. I loved the way the story unfolds gradually revealing why Jesse fears his daughter’s ability as her storm rages and darkness tries to use her gift to come into our world. This is a mesmerising book.

#dustofhope by @judy_croome

Judy Croome’s latest collection of poetry returns to the ancient ways of the Nordic runes, to shine a light of hope and healing as we navigate through the wilderness of anxiety permeating these early years of the twenty-first century.

The simple verses console the reader with a calm acceptance that, even during a global pandemic, everyday life ebbs and flows with the natural rhythms of the timeless oceans.

Here are poems that invite us to stop, to breathe, and to see the world around us from a new perspective birthed within the centre of our souls.

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creativity is play.

but from where

does that creative spark arise?

INTRODUCTION

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(Aztar Press, 8 September 2021, ebook, 150 pages, copy from the poet, #BlogTour 27 January via @PoeticBookTours)

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This is a new poet for me. I liked the concept of the collection, poetry inspired by different runes. I’ve come across runes before, mostly in different mythologies so was intrigued by this concept. Each rune is drawn in two different ways so has two meanings which I thought was original. I enjoyed all of the poems which cover a broad range of topics such as love, loss and hope. This collection contains the first covid poems that haven’t made me cringe or roll my eyes. I was impressed by this collection.

Winter at Summer House by @MaryBethHinesXO

The poems in Mary Beth Hines’s first collection, Winter at a Summer House, strike a wonderful balance between narratives of everyday experience and a pristine, pure poetic imagination. Always rhythmically diverse, most of the time mellifluous, and often intense, Hines’s poetry vividly paints the life of a modern self-made woman, with her worries and obligations, her family, and her dreams. In response to the heroine’s world, this poetry, never static, vibrates with all sorts of emotions: love, friendship, youthful infatuations, amorousness, jealousy, altruism. As a result, the book gives its reader all the pleasures of a novel—and of lyric novelty.

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He breathes blue

water for air,

dark whorl

of muscle, hair

FIRST BORN

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(@BooksKelsay, 4 November 2021, ebook, 102 pages, copy from the publisher via @PoeticBookTours, #BlogTour 14 December)

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This is a new poet for me. I enjoy finding new poets so was looking forward to Winter at Summer House. I enjoyed the poems in this collection very much. They were beautifully written and vivid. Many of the poems are clearly personal but touch one universal subject and ideas like love, family life and memory. The images used in each poem are impressive at times. I particularly enjoyed First Born, Ritual, Swim Meet, Destroying Angels and A Distant Mirror.

#TheMoonWontBeDared by @AnneLParrish

The poems in the moon won’t be dared by award-winning author Anne Leigh Parrish ponder nature, love, ageing, and the impossible plight of women in a male-dominated society. Love and reverence for beauty blend with harsher truths of betrayal and brutality. Throughout, there is an overriding sense that life is full of magic, and that to wonder is a lovely gift.

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they dwell

each trunk a stead

wary of trespass

the gradual reach of another

jealously guarding a patch of earth

AMONG THE TREES

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(@UnsolicitedP, 14 October 2021, ebook, 80 pages, ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 13 October via @PoeticBookTours)

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This is a new poet for me. I really enjoyed The Moon Won’t Be Dared and would definitely read more of the poet’s work. The themes explored in this collection occur in poetry again and again because they speak to all out heart’s and include love, betrayal and loss. These poems stand out due to the beautiful language and imagery and the lovely illustrations throughout. These poems spoke to me. This is an impressive collection.  

#PrimaryObsessions by #CharlesDemers

The endearing and unflappable Dr. Annick Boudreau regularly confronts a myriad of mental health issues in her psychiatric practice at the West Coast Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Clinic. But even Annick is stunned when Sanjay, a young patient who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is arrested for the brutal murder of his roommate.

While Sanjay is tortured by repeated violent thoughts, he is horrified by them and Annick is convinced that he would never enact one of them in real life. But the police and prosecutor are convinced that they have caught the perpetrator and aren’t interested in looking very hard. Unable to talk to the authorities because of doctor-patient confidentiality, Annick feels compelled to investigate on her own, whatever the risks.

Primary Obsessions is the first book in a series of mysteries starring Dr. Annick Boudreau and involving themes of mental health. Author (and longtime CBT patient) Charles Demers deftly reveals a particular aspect of psychiatric practice in each book, illuminating shadowy subject matter with masterful sensitivity and sharp wit. Primary Obsessions is an engrossing page-turner and a refreshing reboot of the sleuth genre.

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‘Do you want me to keep going?’

1

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(@Legend_Times_, 15 September 2021, 227 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 7 October, #Legend100)

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AMAZON

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This is a new author for me. I read a lot of thrillers but Primary Obsessions sounded very different. I couldn’t wait to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. This book is a little different that what I’d describe as a typical thriller. The subject matter is really original. Annick is a brilliant character, I really loved her, feisty, determined to do the right thing by her patient no matter the cost. I loved the amateur sleuth feel of it all as she wanders into waters far darker than even she expected. I also liked the way the author handles OCB with sensitivity. This is well worth a read. I look forward to the next book in the series.  

#BlackReedBay by @Rod_WR

Don’t trust ANYONE…

When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…

For fans of Susie Steiner, Peter Swanson, M J Arlidge, James Lee Burke and Tana French

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Casey staggered across the beach towards the access tunnel, Maggie’s am draped over her shoulder.

PROLOGUE

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(@OrendaBooks, 28 May 2021, 305 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 23 September)

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I enjoyed the author’s novel, Blood Red City and was looking forward to reading Black Reed Bay. I love thrillers and this offer exactly what I enjoy the most; fast paced, excellent characters and lots of twists and turns. I liked the premise of the book, a distressing 911 call in the middle of the night and very little information about why the call was made or where the woman is now. The investigation is anything but straight forward with few clues and an indication that there may be corruption at the very top of law enforcement. I was engrossed in this book. At the end, the author confirms they were inspired by the unsolved Long Island Serial Killer, a case I’m familiar with from the book Lost Girls and the movie. I suspected this was I was reading.

#TheGhostlights by @GraMurphy

Can we ever truly escape our past?

The Ghostlights is the poignant story of a family of Irish women who are each looking for the real meaning of home. This is a novel about family, obligation, identity and small-town life, written with deftness and sensitivity by the author of Where the Edge Is.

When a stranger checks into a family B&B – in a small village in rural Ireland – no one takes too much notice… at least until his body is found in the lake four days later.

The identity of the unknown guest raises questions for polar opposite twin sisters Liv and Marianne and their mother Ethel, all of whom feel trapped by the choices they made earlier in life. They each find themselves forced to confront their past, their present and what they really want from their future.

The new novel from Gráinne Murphy, whose short fiction has been longlisted for 2021 Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award.

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It was too early for breakfast.

GOOD FRIDAY

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(@Legend_Times_, 1 September 2021, 233 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 12 September)

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I’ve enjoyed other books from the author and was looking forward to The Ghostlights. I expected the book to focus on the dead guest in the B&B but this is not the main focal point of the story. The death instead serves as the catalyst for Liv, Marianne and Ethel to reassess their lives and choices. I really enjoyed the way the stories gradually come together and the way the author brings the small village where they live and the foibles of such places to life. I got a real sense of place from this book and fell in love with the vivid characters. This is a sad, beautiful book.

#IamtheSea by #MattStanley

1870. Apprentice lighthouseman James Meakes joins two others at the remote offshore rock of Ripsaw Reef – replacement for a keeper whose death there remains unexplained.

Meakes’ suspicions grow as he accustoms himself to his new vertical world. He finds clues, obscure messages and signs that a fourth occupant may be sharing the space, slipping unseen between staircases.

With winter approaching, the keepers become isolated utterly from shore. Sea and wind rage against the tower. Danger is part of the life. Death is not uncommon. And yet as the storm builds, the elements pale against a threat more wild and terrifying than any of them could have imagined.

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The corpse has been tied to the balcony railing for five days, enshrouded in a bed-sheet cerement.

ONE

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(@Legend_Times_, 17 August 2021, 400 pages, ebook, #ARC from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 5 September)

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This is a new author for me. I have a fondness for books set in lighthouses. They hold a strange fascination for me. It’s been my dream since childhood to live in a lighthouse. I’ve read a few novels now and I Am the Sea sounded like something I’d really enjoy. I had a great time reading this book. I look forward to reading other books by the author. The book is narrated by Meakes and you really get inside his head as he tries to adjust to his new life and the strange experiences he has. The book gets pretty dark as some facts about Meakes are gradually revealed. I loved the setting of the book and the sense of atmosphere that runs across the pages. This is well written and engrossing.

#TheGreatSilence by @doug_johnstone

The discovery of a human foot in an Edinburgh park, the inexplicable circumstances of a dying woman, and the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband present the Skelf women with their most challenging – and deadly – cases yet…

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private-investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself … with potentially deadly results.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: The mysterious circumstances of a dying woman lead them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelf’s teenaged lodger has yet another devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

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She would never get used to picking up Einstein’s shit.

DOROTHY

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(@OrendaBooks, 19 June 2021, 300 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 16 August 2021)

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I really enjoyed the last Skelf book, The Big Chill and was looking forward to reading this. The Great Silence is a corker. I really need to read the first book and can’t wait for the next. I love the fact the book is set in Edinburgh, I always finds books set my country, Scotland a bit special like a proud mother. Like the last book, The Great Silence is full of twists and turns as the Skelf’s find themselves embroiled in a kidnapping, a strange mystery involving two dismembered but badly embalmed legs and strange messages from aliens. I loved the way the author manages to make this crazy nonsense seem perfectly logical and sensible. I couldn’t read The Great Silence fast enough. I loved it.

#ThePerfectLife by @NualaWrites

HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO BE SOMEONE ELSE?

Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

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‘What a view’ says the estate agent.

PROLOGUE

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(@PenguinUKBooks, 5 August 2021, 336 pages, paperback, copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed, #BlogTour 15 August 2021)

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This is a new author for me. I really enjoyed The Perfect Life and would definitely read more of her work. To be honest, I wasn’t enjoying the book at first as I really didn’t like Vanessa. Her behaviour seemed disturbing at times verging on unhinged. I understand the attraction of visiting fancy houses but the lengths she goes to by creating so many aliases disturbed me. It took a few chapters and some flashbacks of her life with her ex Connor for me to get on her side. This is a complex thriller and nothing is as it seems. The author does a brilliant job of creating such a complex plot and using unreliable narration and twists and turns. It’s not until the final pages you learn what really happened to the murdered man and what really happened the night with Connor that Vanessa can’t remember.

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