Books

Strange Ink by Gary Kemble

Its been a while since I last sat and wrote a book review, but then is that really a surprise when you think that you have to read a book in order to review it? I will put my hands up and admit that in the past few months I have only read a tiny handful of books; its not something that I am proud of, but with the reading slump, and just generally more going on in life I have not been in the mood to sit and marathon through a book. Thankfully, it is now starting to change, and this book was one that definitely helped to get back on track with reading.img_1016

Described as a horror novel, this turned out to be a perfect Halloween read for me, spooky without scaring the living daylights out of me, and full of suspense and page gripping twists and turns.

When washed-up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes one morning with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out. But soon more tattoos appear: grisly, violent images which come accompanied by horrific nightmares – so he begins to dig deeper. Harry’s search leads him to a sinister disappearance, torment from beyond the grave, and a web of corruption and violence tangled with his own past. One way or another, he has to right the wrongs. (From Goodreads)

Now I may be a wuss when it comes to horror films, I can only watch them during the day and with all the lights on, but when it comes to horror novels, I am generally quite a bit better. Strange Ink however had me running to turn the light on, and gripping my duvet that little bit closer to feel safe. It was and odd sense of fear of not knowing what was going to be coming around the next corner, especially in the flashback chapters.

This book does flick back in flashbacks in the form of dreams, which I have to admit I thought were my favourite chapters, but it was at times a bit hard to follow.

Connecting the two different storylines, with the past couple and the present couple was very cleverly done, showing how they were taking on the other personalities while still sticking to themselves.

Not going to lie I was a little disappointed that they just lost these connections once the mystery was resolved. I feel like the events that happened would of left more of a mark on them; but I cant explain this much more without this become spoilery.

I would definitely say that this is a great read for any horror or psychological thriller fans; I read it over Halloween and I would say it was the perfect read.

Have you read this book yet? What did you think? If not, you should go and get yourself a copy.

Books

OctoberReads& November TBR

Well I feel like I am becoming a broken record, as once again I have had a terrible reading month, only managing to read one singular book. I really thought that I was having a good month when it started as I was loving the book and making decent progress, but the monster slump snuck itself back in mid way through. Though just like I’ve been saying for months, I am determined to make November the month that I defeat the reading slump! It has to happen!!

Beginning with October, the one and only book that I read was Strange Ink by Gary Kemble. A horror thriller that was full of twists and turns, it was definitely a fast paced read. You can read an extract from the book here at my stop on the blog tour; plus my full review will be live in the next couple of weeks. This was a clear four star read and I highly recommend it, it was the perfect read for Halloween. img_1016

Onto November, its going to be a good one, I can just feel it- plus my partner is having a lads weekend so I’ll have a weekend of peace for reading! Although as in October, I do have studying to do, but I feel like I’m getting the balance right now.

So the first book I will read, and have actually almost finished, is Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan. A Chinese mythology inspired fantasy novel that is just such an easy and compelling read. Got to admit I only got it because it was in the October FairyLoot box, and previously I had not actually got any plans of buying this book otherwise. It just didn’t appeal to me, but when I saw it I just knew I had to pick it up. Without giving away too much, I am absolutely loving it.

Carrying from last month, I really want to pick up the Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti. I have loved everything that she has written, but I’m not sure if I have actually read this one. I feel like I have, but with my patchy memory of the last few years, has got me questioning. But either way this thriller will be a great speedy reread if I feel I need a fantasy break.

The final book I put on the TBR is Vox by Christina Dalcher, a sci-fi dystopian book centred around the idea that women can only say 100 words a day. I have been recommended it as I absolutely love The Handmaids Tale which I read several years ago. I bought this back in the summer, and its about time that I finally actually pick this one up.

I said that was the final book, but this month, I have actually brought back my Twitter Poll book; this is where I select three books from my shelf and let all you lovely people on Twitter choose which one I will pick up this month. The three books I put on the poll this month were, These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, and Everless by Sara Holland. It was a tight result between the final two, but it was Spinning Silver that won. I have meant to pick this up since I got sent the review copy several months ago, but with this slump I just have not been in the place to dive in. I will pick it up this month!

What are you planning to read this month?

Books

Halcyon Blog Tour- An Extract

So I may of had a bit of a two week break, but I am back, and have the exciting privilege of sharing an extract from a new release from Titan and Rio Youers, Halcyon. I am very excited to pick this one up, and I think that after reading this you will be too. So continue reading to get a sample of this spooky new release, and make sure to catch the rest of the stops on this tour.. thumbnail_Halcyonblogtourbanner
Continue reading “Halcyon Blog Tour- An Extract”

Books

Strange Ink Blog Tour – An extract

Hello and welcome to another fabulous blog tour. Hopefully you have been following the stops and are already getting intrigued by this creepy horror read; I am currently reading it and am completely engrossed so my review is sure to be soon to follow. Now here is a little extract to tickle your fancy, and don’t forget to check out the next blog tour stop tomorrow.  Continue reading “Strange Ink Blog Tour – An extract”

Books

SeptReads & October TBR

Its that time of the month again where I have to confess about just how much I have diverted from my TBR; or as has been happening a lot lately, just how little I have actually read. September was the Emojiathon and I had had every intention to take part, however life got a big carried away again so I only managed to finish two books. But, as I say a lot, October will be different. Though saying that, I really need to get working on my study again.

So lets start with September, I read two books, although the first one I had mostly read in August; that book was Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson. As I think I have said often enough lately, I absolutely adored this book, I truly can not wait for the next book in this series. You can see my full review here.The second and final book I read last month was In Her Bones by Kate Moretti. I was introduced to Kate Moretti by the lovely Titan Books and I have absolutely loved everything I have read from her. So much so that I have decided to do a reread of her second book Blackbird Season this month, which I am very excited for. You can see my full review here. img_1011.jpg

Now into my other TBR books for this month. My first and current read is Strange Ink by Gary Kemble. This is a horror mystery novel that currently I am absolutely adoring. Next week I will have an extract from the book up on my blog as part of the book blog tour that Titan is running. So from Monday keep your eyes open! My review will follow later in the month.thumbnail_StrangeInkBannerFor some reason I still have three other books on my TBR, why I think thats a good idea I do not know as I have not read five books in one month for a very long time. But ha ho, I will try my best.

Rounding up the thrillers on this list I will be reading Half Moon Bay by Alice LaPlante. I took part in the blog tour for this novel just a few weeks ago, and reading all the other posts in the tour has left me knowing that I have to pick it up sooner rather than later. So that is exactly what I am going to do, and October just seems like that perfect time for thrillers and horrors.img_1012.jpg

This next book I have been meaning to read for a long while now, and now that I have had the privilege of being sent the second books for review I really need to get around to it. That book is Pendragon by James Wilde, all I know is that its based around Arthurian legend, but I don’t know if its fantasy or just based on the legendry stories, but either way I am really excited to read this series.img_1014.jpg

The last and final book on my TBR for this month is Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. My copy is illustrated by Chris Riddell as well so I am super excited to get into this. It just feels like its a good October autumn read as I am led to believe that it has a bit of a spooky vibe.

So that’s the plan for this month, but we will have to wait and see how things go and just how much I manage to get through. I’m hopeful but realistic.

What are you reading this month?

Books

In her Bones by Kate Moretti

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the chillingly good thriller novel, In Her Bones by Kate Moretti. If you’ve been around here for a while then you will know how much I absolutely adore Kate Moretti’s thriller novels. They are always full of unexpected twists and turns, strong gutsy characters, and a back story you can get emotionally involved with; In Her Bones was no difference. You can see my review for her debut novel here.I hope you’ve been enjoying the In Her Bones blog tour, I have had the privileged opportunity to read this fabulous novel before its release today (so what are you waiting for, go and grab your copy now), and am going to share my initial thoughts and feelings with you now.

Earlier today I read the final 70 pages of this book and have to admit, I think I am still processing my full thoughts on it. Never at all did I expect the resolution that this book gave me. Normally I am alright at spotting last minute twists but I cant say that I ever saw this one coming. Here’s the description off of GoodReads for you..

Fifteen years ago, Lilith Wade was arrested for the brutal murder of six women. After a death row conviction and media frenzy, her thirty-year-old daughter Edie is a recovering alcoholic with a deadend city job, just trying to survive out of the spotlight.
Edie also has a disturbing secret: a growing obsession with the families of Lilith’s victims. She’s desperate to discover how they’ve managed—or failed—to move on, and whether they’ve fared better than her. She’s been careful to keep her distance, until the day one of them is found murdered and she quickly becomes the prime suspect. Edie remembers nothing of the night of the death, and must get to the truth before the police—or the real killer—find her.

The link between the modern day and flash backs to her childhood were told so beautifully and so well that not once was I confused as to the relevance, each and every scene had its clear purpose towards adding information to the case for you to puzzle about as you read.

I almost want to read the book in the novel in its eternity; throughout the novel it has excerpt from a true crime book all about the events of the first series of murders, these added information to help you try and predict what was going on. Now I will admit, I have a bad habit of when I’m reading thrillers, I spend nearly the whole time trying to piece it all together and work out what’s going on before we get there. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing but its how I enjoy reading thrillers. That’s exactly why I loved these excerpts as it gave me extra information to understand Edie’s past. I would really not complain If this became I full length book, of course fiction, but I found Lillith Wade’s story really fascinating.

Once again, I adored Edie’s character. Kate Moretti writes such strong, independent, and completely feisty female protagonists. I find them so aspiring in their own ways. With Edie, having overcome such struggles through her childhood, and then the shadow of mental heath struggles, she always kept her head. She always had a clear cut focus as to what she needed to do to regain her freedom, and she let nothing get in her way. This is a true representation to a woman who knows how to handle herself, but also knows when to ask for help. I wont go into it too much, but Edie and Tim- PERFECTION!

This was an easy 4 star read if not edging on 5 star. If I were you I truly would get your hands on In Her Bones, or to be fair any of Kate Moretti’s books. I can see a reread coming in the near future, so keep you eyes open. Hope you enjoy the rest of the blog tour for this absolutely amazing edge of your seat thriller.

Books

Why We’re Gobbling Up Thrillers- guest post by Alice LaPlante

Thrillers are king of the publishing world right now. Or should I say queen, since so many of them are written by, about, and for women?

In 2017, 18.7 million crime and thriller books were sold, up 19% since 2015. General and literary fiction titles, which for the last two decades dominated the market, slipped into second place with just 18.1 million copies.Women are propelling this wave, having bought 53% of crime and thriller books in the last 12 months, according to Nielsen BookScan.

I think there’s a reason for this.

I don’t have to tell you that the world is in disarray right now. No matter which side of the Atlantic you hail from—or where on the political spectrum you fall—powerful emotions are engaged. I think people are reading thrillers and crime novels for the same reason they’ve driven Bob Woodward’s Fear and Yuval Noah Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century to the top of international bestseller lists: they’re trying to make sense of the chaos around us.

But in a different way.

Nonfiction satisfies our need to try and get the facts—okay, who laughed?—straight.

Thrillers satisfy emotional requirements that are more primal.

Why thrillers and crime? Why not comedy? Romance novels? Why are today’s reader’s dying (ahem) to escape to such dark places?

Because, boy, are they dark. Characters, mostly women, are being threatened by horrific fates. Kidnapping. Rape. Dismemberment. Torture. Abuse. Why?

As a writer of gloomy thrillers myself (reviewers like to call my work “dark and quirky”), I can tell you from a writer’s point of view that it can be extremely cathartic to get these stories and images out on paper. Yes, I’m often asked by readers (and friends and family): how can you spend so much time in these horrific worlds? But it doesn’t feel that way to me.

I can’t speak for other writers, but for me, it’s all about giving physical shape to some of the nameless terrors I have. Don’t get me wrong. My fiction is fiction. It’s all

made up. But it comes from a deeply emotional part of me that I only have access to when I’m writing, and that part of me is apparently terrified.

I believe the same is true of a lot of readers. They want to escape the very real horrors that face us—terrorism, hatred, violence, intolerance, a dying planet…you name it. Yet some things are too difficult to look in the face. And so we escape into thrillers and crime because the fears there are containable—and, if not fixable, at least solvable.

Readers might not be able to face the truth of what’s happening in the real world any better after putting down one of these thrillers. But at least someone has captured a kind of kissing cousin to the fear in their hearts and manifested it on the page in a way that makes it safer. Because—in most cases—the protagonist prevails. That’s one of the tropes of this genre. She (it’s increasingly a she) gets to win. And face it, as women, we’re not doing a lot of winning these days.

The anger among us is growing. I would say that reading these thrillers helps make that okay. We get role models for righteous anger and—for us women—brave and unfeminine behavior that we need right now.

If I’m right about this, sales of thrillers and crime novels are only going to continue rising. After all, every epoch gets the art it needs to survive. As it turns out, my next novel is a black comedy. What does that mean? I don’t know. Ask my shrink. I’m only the writer.

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