Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

Book Preview: Daughters of India – Jill McGivering

I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Written by a journalist specialising in Asia, this historic novel tells of Isabel and Asha, two women caught in India’s struggle for independence. 

Isabel is the daughter of British parents, her father a high ranking Raj official. Her life is pampered and privileged,  far removed from that of Asha – whose father swept the streets until he was falsely accused of theft and fired. 

As adults their lives cross paths again, Isabel is a bored housewife trapped in a loveless marriage and Asha a teacher fighting for independence. 

Told from the perspective of the women themselves McGivering presents the fading opulence and extreme poverty of both sides of the independence battle. As the Second World War looms will these women end up on the right side of history? 

I found this utterly enthralling – I’m a massive history geek so that intrigued me right off. India’s struggle to shake off the  British Empire isn’t exactly taught in schools. I also really appreciated the two protagonists being female – women’s voices are so often from the narrative of history. 

It’s also really well written, the story flows and the characters felt real. There’s a lot packed into this book and I will be mulling over it for a while. 

Daughters of India is published in hardback on the 22nd July so if it sounds like something you’d enjoy (and I hope it does) then place an order at your bookseller of choice now. 

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

Book Preview: The Midnight Queen – Sylvia Hunter

I was kindly sent this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Midnight Queen is the first in a new trilogy set in an alternate history Britain. 

Its the 1800s, Henry the Twelth is on the throne, magick is everywhere, you can study it at Merlin College, Oxford (if you’re a man of means and family), people speak their own languages and worship an entire pantheon of gods. 

Grey Marshall is studying at Merlin College when he stumbles into a conspiracy that threatens not only his own life but the stability of the realm. In trying to unravel it he meets Sophie, who just might be the key to everything. 

There’s a lot packed into this book, the plot is definitely something you can get your teeth into. Intrigue, murder, magic, love, a hidden princess and a tragic secret or two.

I really enjoyed this, the writing is pacey, the characters strong, and the plot kept me rapt. 

If you liked Sarah J. Maas’ ACOTAR series or Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha books then this is for you. 

I cannot wait to see what happens with Grey and Sophie in the next book, Lady of Magick. 

The Midnight Queen will be published on the 20th July 2017 so now’s the perfect time to place your order. 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Book Review: Look What I Have Done – Sarah Schmidt 

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks, 

When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one

I can’t remember when I first heard of Lizzie Borden but I was a rather macabre child so probably quite early on. She seems to be having a bit of a moment right now – with this book and two tv shows about her (Netflix currently has one with Christina Ricci as Borden). 

Schmidt researched this book rather thoroughly – including staying in the Borden house. Luckily her writing style means it doesn’t feel like an academic tome. 

In fact it reads like a rather modern thriller – with multiple narrators and flashbacks. The setting is the rather claustrophobic house the Borden family lived in – Mr Andrew Borden, his two adult daughters, Lizzie and Emma, second wife Abby and housemaid Bridget. The doors and windows are always kept locked even in the heat. 

It’s a small cast of characters and Lizzie dominates the household with her childish behaviour and temper tantrums. Sister Emma desperately wants to escape and Lizzie refuses to let go. 

The book is incredibly well written and really draws you in to the tense environment. Opening in the immediate aftermath of the murders, Schmidt spins a tight web of resentment and bitterness. 

I read this in two sittings, breaking for an appointment because it’s so gripping. Even knowing the rough outcome didn’t matter. 

If you like thrillers, historical, biographical books, this is one for you. In fact, even if those genres aren’t your thing, read it anyway. 

Book review: He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly 

Book review: He Said/She Said – Erin Kelly 

I do like a good psychological thriller and this is a cracker. 
Erin Kelly has written a heck of a book, and the twists keep on coming. 

Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of Laura, with some chapters by her partner Kit. Both are witnesses to a crime that brings them into contact with Beth, who might be dangerous or is she? 

Eyewitness testimony is a rather complex subject (I live with an expert on it) but it’s the fallout of the case Laura and Kit testify at that drives the drama in the narrative. Eventually Laura is living her life in ongoing terror and spiralling anxiety, something I can relate to  (though thankfully not in the same circumstances). 

I did not expect the clever twist at the end, which flips the plot on its head – no spoilers here. 

I highly recommend you pick up a copy and read it asap. 

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.