Sunday 31 January 2021

Corpse Road by David Gatward BLOG TOUR @davidgatward #CorpseRoad @RandomTTours #DCIHarryGrimm #TenThingsAboutMe


To catch the hunter, become the prey.

When the body of a female backpacker is found on the Yorkshire moors, the killer seems obvious, the motive clear.

If only.

Because Grimm and his team are up against not just a murderer, but a predator, and when the key suspect disappears, it’s only a matter of time before another body is found.

To catch one of the most dangerous killers he has ever faced, and to have any chance of staying alive himself, Grimm will need to not only draw on his skills as a detective, but as a soldier, and to trust his team with his life as he goes to war once more.

But at least he won’t have to eat cheese and cake.

Hopefully . . .

Corpse Road by David Gatward was published in paperback on 15 December 2020 and is book three in the DCI Harry Grimm series set in the Yorkshire Dales.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour today, I am delighted to welcome the author to my blog. He's sharing his own Ten Things About Me ...

Ten Things about Author David Gatward

1. I "drowned" when I was six years old: dragged out of pool unconscious and resuscitated.

2. I've seen at least two ghosts

3. I make my own homemade bread

4. I have a late-night sandwich: peanut butter, mayo, raw onion, blue cheese, cheese and onion crisps.

5. I won the Leeds Children's Book Award, 2011

6. Used to work on a salmon farm

7. Trained to be a primary school teacher, specialising in outdoor education

8. Once got mistaken for being homeless

9. Favourite book as a kid, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, by Alan Garner

10. I had a tattoo done on the publication day of one of my YA novels

About the Author 

I was born in Bristol and grew up with my two younger brothers between the Cotswolds,
Wensleydale and Lincolnshire thanks to the transient life of having a Methodist minister for a dad. 
Aside from having a huge number of hobbies including: caving, camping, climbing, archery, shooting and music, I've always written avidly. 
I had my first book published aged 18, have worked in the publishing industry for over two decades in numerous roles, was a full-time children's/YA writer for around five years, have provided hundreds of creative writing courses in schools nationally, and have even appeared on a DVD boxset for Clive Barker's Hellraiser films to talk about his books.

Twitter @davidgatward

Friday 29 January 2021

The Burning Girls by CJ Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks @GabyYoung #TheBurningGirls #BookReview


500 years ago: eight martyrs were burnt to death
30 years ago: two teenagers vanished without trace
Two months ago: the vicar committed suicide

Welcome to Chapel Croft.

For Rev Jack Brooks and teenage daughter Flo it's supposed to be a fresh start. New job, new home. But, as Jack knows, the past isn't easily forgotten.

And in a close-knit community where the residents seem as proud as they are haunted by Chapel Croft's history, Jack must tread carefully. Ancient superstitions as well as a mistrust of outsiders will be hard to overcome.

Yet right away Jack has more frightening concerns.

Why is Flo plagued by visions of burning girls?
Who's sending them sinister, threatening messages?
And why did no one mention that the last vicar killed himself?

Chapel Croft's secrets lie deep and dark as the tomb. Jack wouldn't touch them if not for Flo - anything to protect Flo.

But the past is catching up with Chapel Croft - and with Jack. For old ghosts with scores to settle will never rest . . .

The Burning Girls by C J Tudor was published in hardback on 21 January 2021 by Penguin Michael Joseph. The paperback will be published in August this year. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review. 

I have read and enjoyed all of this author's previous books, but have to say that The Burning Girls is my absolute favourite so far. I was totally spooked by this story. The author is so clever in her writing, the story develops with such an insidious feel and before you know it, you are entrenched in a world of hauntings and crimes and dark, hidden secrets. 

Reverend Jack Jones and her teenage daughter Flo have recently moved to Chapel Croft. Jack will be the temporary parish vicar, after the recent suicide of the last one in post. Chapel Croft appears to be a quiet, traditional, sleepy village, a far cry from their last home in the centre of the city of Nottingham. It's clear that Jack is leaving Nottingham under a cloud, and it's even clearer that her new parishioners have done their homework. Certainly there a few of them that are aware of her past.

Chapel Croft has a long and quite violent history. The Sussex Martyrs originated from there; eight villagers who were burnt at the stake during Queen Mary's purge of Protestants in the 1500s. Two of these martyrs were young girls and every year twigs formed into the shape of 'The Burning Girls' are set alight in a ceremony to recognise the anniversary.

More recently, in 1990, two teenage girls from the village went missing. It was assumed that they'd run away, they were never found.

This is a hell of a ride! From day one, Jack and Flo are uneasy about their new surroundings. Flo sees visions of burning girls, Jack receives strange and threatening notes and the most horrific 'welcome parcel'. Jack is also aware that someone from her past could possibly catch up with her very soon.  Combine this with trying to get to know your colleagues and your neighbours and it leads to a very stressful time indeed.

There are a whole lot of secrets laying hidden in the shadows of Chapel Croft, and it's not long before these start to be unearthed, and what a horrifying and quite terrifying mix of stories are revealed. People are not what they seem, but many of them are incredibly good at creating a facade. Jack and Flo find this out to their cost, and at times, both of them face the most intense and dangerous situations.

This is a thrilling and fabulously entertaining mix of the supernatural and crime fiction and Tudor writes incredibly well. She throws in the most unexpected curve balls, throwing the reader off course and casting doubts about everyone.

Maybe think about reading this in daylight .... and keeping the bedroom light on when you sleep! 

C. J. Tudor's love of writing, especially the dark and macabre, started young. When her peers were
reading Judy Blume, she was devouring Stephen King and James Herbert.

Over the years she has had a variety of jobs, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, dog walker, voiceover artist, television presenter, copywriter and, now, author.

Her first novel, The Chalk Man, was a Sunday Times bestseller and has sold in over forty countries. Her second novel, The Taking of Annie Thorne, was also a Sunday Times bestseller as was her third novel The Other People.

She lives in Sussex with her family.

Twitter @CJTudor

Facebook @CJTudorOfficial

Hopscotch and The Case of the Missing Memories by Kara Mugleston BLOG TOUR @klmugle @RandomTTours #Hopscotch #TenThingsAboutMe


Hopscotch isn't your average detective. First, he's a rescue dog. Second, he only has three legs. When his new, twin owners, Drew and Camilla, help their friend find his missing bike— and memories— Hopscotch tags along. The answer to their mystery will help the local police solve another investigation. But the answer also makes them primetargets for a criminal who'll stop at nothing to escape. Hopscotch must catch the culprit, find the memories, and keep the twins safe. Otherwise, he risks being homeless . . . again.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to welcome the author to my blog today. She's sharing her own Ten Things About Me

Ten Things About Author Kara Mugleston

1) I am currently studying Taekwondo. I’m a green belt. (Blue, Red, then Black comes next!)

2) One of my fondest memories is when the electricity went out around Christmas time. My family and I played Scattergories by the fireplace.

3) I love languages. I have 9 languages on my Duolingo account. Latin, Czech, Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Swedish.

4) I absolutely love starting projects, but finishing them is a completely different story.
5) I have one cat and one dog, but if I could, I’d have at least three of each, plus goats, horses, and a miniature pig. 

6) My favorite genre to read is YA. Especially YA fantasy. Love, love, love it. 

7) I used to be a super picky eater, but then a friend of mine introduced me to Korean food, and now I’m hooked. 

8) I love every season except for winter. I hate being cold. Yet I live in a place with the “greatest snow on earth.” Heaven help me.

9) This last summer, I went skydiving, and it was the scariest thing ever. But I’m super proud of myself for doing it. 

10) I have a “30 Things to do Before I turn 30” list, and touching a dolphin and seeing a whale are on there, among other things like publishing a book and doing something that scares the crap out of me (see above).

About the Author

I am an author, a mother (of two precious girls), an animal lover, and a world traveller. I love all things German, every pet in the world, and fuzzy socks. 

My middle grade mystery, Hopscotch and the Case of the Missing Memories, debuts January 27, 2021

Twitter @klmugle

Thursday 28 January 2021

The Feminist Book Box #FeministBookBox @HachetteUK @hayleycamis @MauraWilding


Introducing a new book subscription service brought to you by the publishing teams behind some of the world’s favourite feminist writers.

The Feminist Book Box is a monthly subscription box with a selection of the best new writing and re-discovered gems. Handpicked by a panel of publishing experts and book lovers, it will include the widest range of voices from exceptional feminist storytellers.

Subscription to The Feminist Book Box includes: 

• A beautiful package of two paperback books per month handpicked by publishing experts 

• One piece of specially commissioned art 

• An exclusive invitation to a FBB members-only book club, a forum for lively discussion and a place to share stories with other readers, as well as hear direct from the authors. 

• Extra insights from the publishing teams behind the books 

• An all-inclusive price covering postage and packaging

Throughout history, the sharing of feminist stories has changed societies, politics and individuals. The Feminist Book Box wants to continue this tradition by sharing stories that will ignite ideas and start conversations. From household names to new literary talents, amazing memoirs to sensational fiction, The Feminist Book Box’s aim is to broaden readers horizons with powerful books. 

The inaugural box will land on 8th March 2021 and has been developed in conjunction with beloved international feminist publisher, Virago, to showcase the best writing under the theme ‘forgotten women from history’. The chosen two titles will be announced upon launching the box. The books in further boxes will contain fiction, non-fiction and poetry titles for the general reader the breadth Hachette UK’s publishing list. 

Hachette UK publishes some of the most important feminist writers of the last century, including Margaret Atwood, Octavia E. Butler, Roxane Gay, Sarah Waters and Maya Angelou. Our books dominate bestseller lists, are beloved by booksellers and are at the forefront of conversations around of feminism, identity, equality and gender.

A Feminist Book Box subscription starts at £60 for 3 months. For more information please visit:

follow us on Instagram @feministbookbox #FeministBookBox

Wednesday 27 January 2021

Gold Light Shining by Bebe Ashley BLOG TOUR @bebeashley95 #GoldLightShining @RandomTTours


In her debut collection of poetry, Bebe Ashley spins gold from the detritus of the internet. A landscape often depicted as a wasteland is illuminated in poems that explore celebrity, obsession, sexuality, coming of age, and that charismatic enigma, Harry Styles. Inspired by sources as diverse as Styles's track listings, Scandi webseries Skam, and One Direction newsletters, Ashley spins us across continents on a tour of the surreal highs and absurd lows of celebrity culture. These are poems of youth and yearning, yet they're suffused with the hard-won wisdom that the communities we build can be as meaningful as the families we're born into. Perceptive, witty, and exuberant, Gold Light Shining introduces an essential new voice; one that captures how pop culture's Technicolor joy disrupts our greyscale world.

Gold Light Shining by Bebe Ashley was published on 22 October 2020 by Banshee Press. As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Kiwi / Kiwi / Kiwi 

The boy with the Gucci guitar strings
is playing glam rock to a room of strangers. 

His photographer captures a group of girls in knock- off floral suits and pink sequin Chelsea boots. 

Hearts thumping heaving jumping, his final song shakes the sweat-slick stage on the concrete floor. 

The guitarist who used to work in the pizza shop looks to the bassist, the keys, the drummer 

to know if this is normal. It is not normal: people are having the time of their lives. 

Bebe Ashley lives in Belfast. 

She is an AHRC funded PhD candidate at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry. 
Her work can be found in Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, Poetry Ireland Review, Banshee, Modern Poetry in Translation, Poetry Jukebox and The Tangerine. 

When procrastinating from her PhD, she takes British Sign Language and Braille classes and writes pop culture articles for United by Pop, specialising in Harry Styles.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd @ElleryLloyd @MantleBooks #PeopleLikeHer #BookReview


People like Emmy Jackson. They always have. Especially online, where she is Instagram sensation Mamabare, famous for always telling the unvarnished truth about modern parenthood.

But Emmy isn’t as honest as she’d like the fans to believe. She may think she has her followers fooled, but someone out there knows the truth and plans to make her pay. Because people like her have no idea what pain careless words can cause. Because people like her need to learn what it feels like to lose everything.

A smart and thrilling debut that delves into the darkest aspects of influencer culture, Ellery Lloyd’s People Like Her is about what you risk losing when you don’t know who’s watching . . .

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd was published on 21 January 2021 in hardback by Mantle. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

A version of this review was originally published in the Daily Express on Friday 22 January 2021.

Emmy Jackson is ‘Mamabare’; she has over one million Instagram followers and she’s known for being brutally honest about motherhood.

Dan is Emmy’s husband. Dan wrote a best-selling novel, seven years ago and has been writing the follow up ever since. Dan, Emmy and their two children live off the proceeds of Emmy’s ‘little grids’. Their lives are purely ‘content’; managed and photographed and utterly and completely contrived.

It appears that everyone loves Emmy, but there’s another character in this story. An unknown woman who is desperate to bring Emmy down.

This is a fast-paced and insightful look into the world of the online influencer. It makes for uncomfortable reading at times, as the author examines just how far a parent will go to ensure that their followers stick with them. Emmy’s small children are all over the internet, everyone know everything about them.

Dan is becoming increasingly disillusioned with their life. Emmy’s agent Irene is a force to be reckoned with and seems to rule their household, stage managing every event as Emmy spends more and more time on her grid than she does on her family.

Things turn sinister when a fake Instagram pops up, featuring photos of their daughter. Dan becomes angrier and angrier, determined to track down whoever is doing this.

Meanwhile, the mystery follower is putting her plan into action and Emmy and her baby are duped into a terrifying position.

People Like Her is a modern and totally relevant look at how online influencers are often not what they appear, mixed with a hint of thriller. Great characters, although not in the least likeable, this is an original and compelling story of our time. 

Ellery Lloyd is the pseudonym for London-based husband-and-wife writing team Collette Lyons and  Paul Vlitos.

Collette is a journalist and editor, the former content director of Elle (UK) and editorial director at Soho House. She has written for The Guardian, The Telegraph, and the Sunday Times.

Paul is the author of two previous novels, Welcome to the Working Week and Every Day is Like Sunday. He is the program director for English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Surrey.

Twitter @ElleryLloyd

Author Page on Facebook

Monday 25 January 2021

Advent by Jane Fraser @jfraserauthor BLOG TOUR @honno @RandomTTours #Advent #BookExtract


Winter, 1904, and feisty twenty-one-year old Ellen has been summoned back from her new life in Hoboken, New Jersey, to the family farm on windswept Gower, in a last bid to prevent the impending death of her alcoholic father. 

On her return, she finds the family in disarray.  Ailing William is gambling away large swathes of Thomas land; frustrated Eleanor is mourning the husband she once knew; and Ellen’s younger twin brothers face difficult choices.

Ellen, tasked with putting her family’s lives in order, finds herself battling one impossible decision after another.  Resourceful, passionate, and forthright, can she remain in Gower, where being female still brings with it so many limitations?  Can she endure being so close to her lost love?  Will she choose home and duty, or excitement and opportunity across the Atlantic?

Advent by Jane Fraser was published by Honno Welsh Women's Press on 21 January 2021.

As part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today.

Extract from Advent by Jane Fraser

As the train approaches Gowerton North, Ellen reaches for the Gladstone bag she’s placed in the overhead luggage net at Liverpool. A gentleman rises from the bench seat opposite and offers to help. 
“I can manage, thanks,” she says, and then lets out a sigh almost as heavy as the baggage she’s carted unaided all the way across the Atlantic. And to think she thought she was travelling light. 
She slides open the glass door of the compartment and stands outside in the narrow corridor to look out as the station gets ever nearer, attempting to free the window of condensation with the arm of her coat. Even though it’s December, the green shocks: trees, hedges, fields, everything so clean looking and newly washed. She’s forgotten how many shades of green there are in Gower. And then remembers the rain. 

She’s increasingly impatient and taps her sturdy lace-up shoes on the floor. She’ll save time standing in the corridor, bag at her side, ready to alight. Doesn’t want to waste any more. Been long enough already. Doesn’t want to keep the boys waiting either. God knows how long they’ll have been at the station, what with the stops and starts she’s had to put up with all day, winding her way through the heart of Wales. 

She removes the glove from her left hand and stretches out her hand through the small gap in the sliding window that has been left open for ventilation. Feels the moving air. Tests the temperature. It’s not cold; more dank and dismal. Yet, despite the mild weather, she’s cold: exhaustion, probably. And the smoke that is seeping in is getting to the back of her throat. It’s made her filthy. She blows her nose into her handkerchief with gusto – loud and functional – then studies the black smut on the white cotton. Disgusting, yet at the same time, compelling. 

She lets herself be lulled by the rhythm of the train, the monotonous chug of the engine, the pattern of the wheels on the tracks. And then the shift from fast to slower and slow as the end of the line approaches. 
She knows she doesn’t look her best: her face is puffy with the gruelling journey, her complexion, sallow, even wan. She can feel the colour draining out of her. In this mess, she’s going to appear older than her twenty-one years. And her hair needs a wash. Even though it’s pinned in a tight bun and tucked under her black hat, she can feel her scalp itching. Not at all how she wants to look for a homecoming. She’d wanted to show them. Yes, that’s the word: show them. Show them how she’s changed in two years, show them the woman she’s become, the woman who manages alone in a city that everybody goes to, quite unlike this place that everybody comes from. 

Everything feels tight and she knows it’s not just down to the stays that are digging into her ribcage and abdomen. She’ll be glad to finally get home and get them off, kick off her shoes and stockings, change her drawers, shake her hair loose. She wonders whether it will still feel like home when she gets there or whether home is somewhere else these days. No doubt her gut will give her the answer. Or time. She also wonders if on a Thursday there’ll be any chance of a bath; any hot water in the copper. It’s going to be no holiday. But she had to come. 
She recognised in an instant her brother George’s fine hand on the envelope: the carefully formed letters, the even, forward slope, the fine loops and swirls. Not a blot of ink anywhere. Miss. Ellen Thomas. 167, River Avenue, Hoboken, NJ, America. And when she stood in the scullery where she was cooking lunch for Mrs. Randall, and took the knife and sliced through the edge of the envelope, the contents had ripped at her insides: 
He can’t last much longer. You know how he is – and there’s nothing we can do here to stop him. Perhaps you can talk some sense into him, sis... 

All that seems so long ago now, even though it is just short of a month since Mrs. Randall said that she simply must return to Wales for one last Christmas with her ailing father. She’d want her children to do the same for her if they had to. She’d kindly given her the money for the return trip, even if it was the stench of steerage that would have to be endured again. 

Your job will be here when you come back, Ellen. If indeed you do come back, she’d said. 

So now she’s chugging into the little wooden station in this little country from which she set off with just ten pounds in her purse, her Gladstone bag and a forwarding address courtesy of her sponsor, Edward Dix, who had left Llanrhidian earlier. Her baby brothers – twins George and Jack – had seen her off, waved her goodbye. They’d been just fifteen then. Double trouble. And now they’re coming to pick her up again. 

She feels the damp chill of coming winter about her, seeping into the peep of ankle between her long dark coat and laced shoes. Two years can feel like a long time, yet like no time at all. 

Jane Fraser lives, work and writes in the Gower peninsula.  
Her debut collection of short fiction The South Westerlies was published by Salt, in June, 2019. She has been widely published in anthologies and reviews including New Welsh Review, The Lonely Crowd, Fish Publishing, TSS and The London Magazine.  
In 2017 she was a finalist in the Manchester Fiction Prize and in 2018 was a prize winner in the Fish Memoir Prize.  
She was selected as one of Hay Writers at Work, a prestigious creative development award for emerging writers, in both 2018 and 2019.

Thursday 21 January 2021

The Godmothers by Monica McInerney @ed_pr #MonicaMcInerney @welbeckpublish BLOG TOUR #TheGodmothersBook


Eliza Miller grew up in Australia as the only daughter of a troubled young mother, but with the constant support of her two watchful godmothers, Olivia and Maxie. Despite her tricky childhood, she always felt loved and secure. Until, just before her eighteenth birthday, a tragic event changed her life.

Thirteen years on, Eliza is deliberately living as safely as possible, avoiding close relationships and devoting herself to her job. Out of the blue, an enticing invitation from her godmothers, now both based in the UK, prompts a leap into the unknown.

Within a fortnight, Eliza has swapped her predictable routine in Melbourne, for life in the middle of a complicated family in Edinburgh. There's no rush thing as an ordinary day any more. Yet, amidst the chaos, Eliza begins to blossom. She finds herself not only hopeful about the future, but ready to explore her past. Her godmothers have long been waiting for her to ask about her mother's mysterious life – and about the identity of the father she has never known. But even they are taken by surprise with all that Eliza discovers.

The Godmothers by Monica McInerney is published today, 21 January 2021 by Welbeck in hardback. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour 

I have read and enjoyed this author's previous novels and was really looking forward to discovering her writing again. I wasn't disappointed at all. The Godmothers is one of those stories that pulls the reader in from page one, packed with wonderfully created characters and with a plot that is compelling and intriguing. 

Jeannie, Maxie and Olivia have been best friends for many years. Jeannie was always the most inventive and experimental of the three; taking off around the world with just a post card every now and again to update on her latest adventures. When Jeannie became pregnant, she knew that she could do this alone. Who needs a man, when her baby will have the love of three amazing women?
Maxie and Olivia become doting godmothers to young Eliza, despite being on the other side of the world they visit regularly and take her away on a special holiday every year.

Jeannie and Eliza's life is dysfunctional with little structure. They move house many times and Jeannie often drinks too much, but Eliza is happy. Her mother is her heroine, she adores hearing her stories of her past and even though Jeannie will not tell her who her father is, she creates much excitement about who he could be.

Tragedy strikes when Eliza is just seventeen and all of a sudden, she is alone. Her wonderful mother is gone. Eliza goes to university and then carves out a career for herself, working long hours for a woman who is driven, but unappreciative of Eliza's role in her company. Maxi and Olivia are always there for support, along with her one good friend Rose.

Eliza is thirty years old when she is made redundant. Her work has been her life and it seems the natural thing to do to flee to her godmothers. She agrees to take a plane journey, the first one that she's taken for over twelve years, and goes to Edinburgh to stay with Olivia. During that long flight from Australia to Scotland, Eliza meets a young boy; Sullivan. At first he appears to be incredibly annoying, but this young boy will play a huge part in Eliza's life from that day on.

Eliza is determined to discover who her father was. She has waited for far too long. Jeannie always said that she would reveal all when Eliza was eighteen. That didn't happen and she's pinning her hopes on Olivia and Maxi now. 

The Godmothers is a warm, at times heartbreaking, but, on the whole, an uplifting story of Eliza's life. McInerney's ability to create the most wonderful of characters is startling and I defy anyone not to fall head over heels for young Sullivan. He is just divine and he's the secret star of the whole story. 

The author explores the intricacies of the unusual family and the strong ties of a life-time of friendship. There's a wry humour in there too, especially around Olivia's dragon of a mother-in-law who brings a splash of unexpected and often laugh out loud drama to the novel. 

Part coming-of-age, part family discovery and part love story, The Godmothers is one of those books that you just don't want to put down. The characters become a part of your own day, your own family and you will root for them all of the way through. Heartily recommended by me.

Monica McInerney is the Australian-born Dublin-based author of 12 bestselling books, published
internationally and in translation in 12 languages. Her most recent novel, The Trip of a Lifetime, went straight to number one in Australia and was a Top 10 bestseller in Ireland. In 2018, 2016 & 2014, Monica was voted in the Top 10 of Booktopia's annual poll naming Australia's Favourite Authors.

Author page on Facebook