Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This is an incredibly accomplished debut novel – it made me think of the brilliant Isabel Allende in style and the plot is mythic and magical and marvellous. It’s no surprise this is a bestseller.

Isabella lives with her father, a master cartographer on an island governed by strict rules – an entire section of which is out of bounds.  When her father is arrested and her best friend goes missing, Isabella gathers her courage and the maps that decorate her home and sets out with the rescue mission. 

I don’t want to give away any of the island’s secrets so just go read this for yourself. 

Book Tour: Trust Me – Gemma Metcalfe 

Book Tour: Trust Me – Gemma Metcalfe 

Today I’m hosting a stop on the blog tour for thriller Trust Me by Gemma Metcalfe. Read on for more. 

One phone call. Two lives. Their darkest secrets.
Lana needs to sell a holiday, fast. Stuck in Tenerife, in a dead end job, she never expected a response quite like Liam’s.

Thousands of miles away a phone rings. Liam never intended to pick up, he’s too busy choosing the quickest way to die. But at least someone should know the truth before he goes, even if that someone is a stranger.

As time runs out both are drawn to the other, expressing thoughts they never thought they would share.

When you’re about to die will your secrets even matter?
Find the book on Amazon and Goodreads

Gemma Metcalfe is a Manchester born author who now lives in sunny Tenerife with her husband Danny and two crazy rescue dogs Dora and Diego. By day, Gemma can be found working as a Primary school teacher, but as the sun sets, she ditches the glitter and glue and becomes a writer of psychological thrillers. An established drama queen, she admits to having a rather warped imagination, and loves writing original plots with shocking twists. The plot for her debut novel ´Trust Me,´ is loosely based on her experiences as a call centre operative, where  she was never quite sure who would answer the phone…

Find Gemma on Twitter

Read on for an extract from the book and an exciting giveaway. 

Lana, 3.47 pm

‘Are you still there, Liam?’ I ask, realising he has been worryingly quiet while I have been telling my story. I begin to feel ridiculous, sat here complaining about such trivial things when his life has been shattered into a million pieces. But of course my story is still in its early stages. The things that came after were anything but trivial.

‘I’m here, Lana.’ His voice travels down the line flatly, like he has already given up.

I sigh, my eyes lifting up into my head as I contemplate how to proceed. I want to get to the bottom of what has happened to him, why he feels there is nothing left for him, but I am doubting my capabilities more and more. I’m not a counsellor. I don’t know how to unlock people’s demons.

‘Is it because the baby died?’ I ask through pursed lips, my face so tightly squished up I can barely see. I hold my breath, wondering if I have got to the bottom of why he wants to die.

He laughs. A laugh so cutting it sends chills down my spine.

‘That was years ago, Lana. It was heartbreaking, and a turning point for me and Jess. Our relationship never really recovered. I always blamed her deep down, but what was I to do? I was married to her and I was desperate to keep her son in my life. He is the single most important thing to me.’

I hear Liam’s voice fracture down the line. I have an urge to go to him, to pull him close to me and make it all all right. But I can’t. I can’t do that because I can’t even enter the UK.

‘So what then? If not the baby, what went so drastically wrong?’

To celebrate the release of Trust Me, here’s a little giveaway for you. 

UK only. One winner will receive a Boots voucher, a copy of Trust Me and some surprise Boots treats. 

Enter Here and don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour. 


 

Book Review: The Cruelty – Scott Bergstrom

Book Review: The Cruelty – Scott Bergstrom

I do love getting unexpected blogger mail like this rather fab book. The first in a new series of YA adventure, with a strong female protagonist and great supporting cast. 
Gwendolyn Bloom is a diplomat brat – she’s lived in a dozen countries and speaks several languages, some better than others. But now she and her dad are living in New York where she’s struggling to fit in at school and hanging out with the elderly couple downstairs. 

One day she comes home to find her dad has disappeared while at a meeting in Paris. After sniffing out a conspiracy, Gwendolyn realises she is the only person who can rescue her dad. 

The writing is sharp, the plot grips and zooms along at a pace which I really enjoyed. I love a good thriller and this is an excellent one. I cannot wait for book two. 

  

Book Preview: Grrrls on the side – Carrie Pack

Book Preview: Grrrls on the side – Carrie Pack

I missed out on Riot Grrl in the 90s, this book is set in 1994, I was 8, loved Beauty & the Beast and had a Flower Fairy themed birthday party. 
I only read started listening to some of the music later on, and it’s a movement that I would have loved to belong to like Tabitha, the protagonist of Carrie Pack’s new book. 

Being a teenage girl is hard, and Tabitha is doing a lot of learning, about who she is and where she fits in. There’s also crushes, first love and plenty of moshing. 

And as someone who struggled with her weight and self confidence as a teenager, I found Tabitha’s journey to body acceptance (she’s fat) just as important and positive as the rest of the themes in the book. 

Grrrls to the Side is a great coming of age story full of self acceptance, punk, zines, hair dye and feminism. Definitely one for any former Riot Grrls and their little sisters. 

The book is out on the 8th of June, so pre-order yours now. 

Book Review: Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams 

Book Review: Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams 

This recently released debut novel from UK author Emily Williams is a love story following Flora, who becomes pregnant during her last year at uni. She is trapped in a complicated situation – keen to reconnect with an old love but currently involved with her lecturer. She confides her feelings and fears in a series of letters to her unborn baby. 

Emily got in touch with me recently and asked if I thought her book was something I thought I’d like. Well, I have a soft spot for epistolary novels and for new writers.  
I really liked the writing style and the plot whizzes along as Flora writes her diary to her Little Bump. This is a sweet story and a great read for the Bank Holiday weekend or your long summer hols. 

If you want to grab a copy, here’s some links. 

U.K. Amazon – http://amzn.eu/716SJ6U

U.S. Amazon – http://a.co/bNe9eEu

And if you’d like to know more about Emily and see what she’s up to next, she’s on Twitter or you can find her blogging too. 

At the library 

At the library 

I have always been a member of at least one library or another – at one point 4 (local library near my parents, British Library, uni library and the library I currently use). 

Libraries are wonderful places, offering community services and access to the internet all for free. All you need is a library card. 

Recently my local libraries have gone all high tech – and reduced librarians to computerised check out and card entry doors. I’m not sure I’m a fan. 

Today I returned 2 books (historical crime fiction) and took out 4. Two graphic novels, the reading group book (decided to join it for a bit) and another historical crime novel. 

I also checked out the Cityread London program – but the book in question was checked out! 

Libraries are for everyone – whatever age, race, identity, language you speak, the library is for you too. 

Book Preview: I Know My Name – C.J Cooke

Book Preview: I Know My Name – C.J Cooke

Eloise wakes up on a Greek island surrounded by strangers and with no memory of who she is and how she got there. 
Meanwhile in London Lachlan is frantically trying to find his wife, who’s disappeared without a trace. 

As both frantically spiral into their fears, secrets are revealed and things thought left in the past resurface. 

What starts out like a fairly typical thriller soon becomes something else. The exploration of mental illness and people’s choices is thought provoking without feeling exploitative and the characters, while definitely privileged, are flawed and relatable. 

Due for publication on 15th June 2017, I really enjoyed this book. I like a good psychological thriller and this is definitely a good one.