Friday, 24 November 2017

#BlogTour We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews (@QuiteFunnyGuy) @emmamitchellfpr @Marablaise

Blurb:

London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your-face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.

Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.

Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help? Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in the latest, crazy comedy-thriller from dog-loving British author Paul Mathews.

Author interview

1. Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?

Like Britt Pond, one of main characters, I hate dinner parties (indeed, parties in general). In fact, as far as I can remember, I’ve never attended a formal dinner party. However, the late Douglas Adams would certainly have tempted me if a dinner invitation from him popped through the letterbox.

2. What's the best advice you have ever received?

“You should write a novel!”

3. What's the worst advice you have ever received?


“Go on, just one more drink.”

4. Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?

Arthur Dent from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – he maintains his British sense of humour despite being the last human in existence and wearing nothing more than pyjamas and a dressing gown.

5. Where are you happiest?

Bars, restaurants, football grounds and pool halls.

About the author:

Paul Mathews is a quite funny British guy who's managed to escape his day job and is currently on the run as a comedy novelist. His sharp, satirical - often surreal - sense of humour draws on 20 years as a British Government press officer, during which time he encountered politicians, senior civil servants, HR managers, and lots of other people who really sucked at their jobs.

His popular 'We Have Lost' comedy-thriller series set in 2040s London, starring beleaguered presidential spokesman and wannabe secret agent Howie Pond, currently comprises four titles with more on the way. Paul has read all the books at least ten times and highly recommends them.

Make him happy by signing up for his 'Very Funny Newsletter' here: www.quitefunnyguy.com/newsletter. If you don't want to sign up for it, stay calm and do nothing.

Paul also owns a cat, Lulu, who works as his assistant. All fan mail to her, please.

Pre-Order link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Have-Lost-Chihuahuas-Paul-Mathews-ebook/dp/B0771JWYYJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1511015245&sr=8-1&keywords=we+have+lost+the+chihuahuas


Thursday, 23 November 2017

#BookReview Dödsdömd (Dead Woman Walking) by Sharon Bolton (@AuthorSJBolton) (SWE/ENG) @ModernistaRed @Marablaise

Dödsdömd by Sharon Bolton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SWEDISH REVIEW

Strax före gryningen, i bergen nära gränsen till Skottland, mördas en ung kvinna. Samtidigt kraschlandar en luftballong i området. Bara en person, Jessica Lane, överlever mirakulöst.

Jessica har sett mördarens ansikte. Men mördaren har också sett hennes. Och han kommer inte att ge upp förrän han har eliminerat det enda vittnet till brottet.

Ensam och rädd, och utan att kunna lita på någon, flyr Jessica till den plats där hon känner sig tryggast. Men det kan visa sig att just den platsen är den farligaste av alla…

Dödsdömd [Dead Woman Walking, 2017] är Sharon Boltons nya fristående thriller.


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Sharon Bolton är en av mina favoritförfattare och jag har ivrigt väntat på att denna bok skulle släppas på svenska så jag kunde få läsa den. Bolton har en otrolig förmåga att skriva thrillers som verkligen griper tag i en och fängslar en från början till slut. Dödsdömd är inget undantag.

Jag måste erkänna att inledningen, ballongfärden är en av de mest spektakulära jag har läst. Att komma på en sådan idé. Att handlingen i boken varvades mellan nutid samt tillbakablickar på Jessica och hennes systers barndom ökade mitt intresse och jag hade svårt att lägga boken ifrån mig. Jag verkligen älskar tillbakablickar som är lika fängslade som det som sker i nutids handlingen och speciellt gillar jag när man börjar förstå varför författaren har med tillbakablickar.

Genom boken gång så var det saker jag misstänkte och fick rätt i men Bolton visade samtidigt att hon är en mästare på att lura läsaren att tro att den har rätt för att sedan twista till handlingen rejält. Speciellt mot slutet då flera saker skedde som överraskade mig.

Dödsdömt är en superb thriller, fängslade rakt igenom och jag verkligen längtar efter nästa Sharon Bolton bok!

Tack till Modernista för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .


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Sharon Bolton is one of my favorite writers and I have eagerly been waiting for this book to be released in Swedish so I could read it. Bolton has an incredible ability to write thrillers that really grabs hold of your interests and captivate one from start to finish. Dead Woman Walking is no exception.

I have to admit that the introduction, with the hot-air balloon trip, is one of the most spectacular I have read. To come up with such an idea. That the story in the book was switching between the present and flashbacks to Jessica and her sister's childhood increased my interest and I found myself unable to put the book down. I really love flashbacks that are as captivating as the present story and I especially like when you begin to understand why the author has added flashbacks to the story. 

Through the book, these were the things I suspected and later found that I had guess right about, but Bolton showed at the same time that she is a champion to trick the reader to believe that one has figured everything out and then turn the table on you. Especially towards the end when several things happened that surprised me.

Dead Woman Walking is a superb thriller, utterly captivating straight through and I really long for the next Sharon Bolton book!

Thanks to Modernista for the review copy!

#CoverCrush The Spook Lights Affair by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini @Marablaise

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!


A missing debutante, murder, and spectral lights in the fog make for a thrilling gaslight-era mystery in this sequel to The Bughouse Affair

The Spook Lights Affair -- the latest in the Carpenter and Quincannon historical mystery series from MWA Grandmasters Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller.

In 1895 San Francisco, young debutantes don't commit suicide at festive parties, particularly not under the eye of Sabina Carpenter. But Virginia St. Ives evidently did, leaping from a foggy parapet in a shimmer of ghostly light. The seemingly impossible disappearance of her body creates an even more serious problem for the firm of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services.
Sabina hadn't wanted to take the assignment, but her partner John Quincannon insisted it would serve as entrée to the city's ultra-rich and powerful. That means money, and Quincannon loves the almighty dollar. Which is why he is hunting the bandit who robbed the Wells, Fargo office of $35,000.
Working their separate cases (while Sabina holds John off with one light hand), the detectives give readers a tour of The City the way it was. From the infamous Barbary Coast to the expensive Tenderloin gaming houses and brothels frequented by wealthy men, Quincannon follows a danger-laden trail to unmask the murderous perpetrators of the Wells, Fargo robbery. Meanwhile, Sabina works her wiles on friends and relatives of the vanished debutante until the pieces of her puzzle start falling into place. But it's an oddly disguised gent appearing out of nowhere who provides the final clue to both cases--the shrewd "crackbrain" who believes himself to be Sherlock Holmes.

Some thoughts about the cover:

When it comes to cover isn't it just the image that's important. The font and borders are also very important. Like with this cover. I have to admit that the title of the book and the surrounding border is the thing that first caught my eyes. It's just the kind of cover that appeals to me.

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages





Wednesday, 22 November 2017

#BookReview Mind Game by Iris Johansen #FFreview @FreshFiction @Marablaise

Mind Game by Iris Johansen
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Mind Game takes Jane MacGuire back to Scotland where she continues her search for the treasure she’s been chasing for years. But now she’s being plagued by dreams of a girl in danger. Who is this girl, and what is she trying to tell Jane? And will Jane figure it out before it’s too late—for her and the mysterious young woman? Things are further complicated when Seth Caleb comes back into Jane’s life. This time he’s the one in trouble, and Jane will find herself pulled unexpectedly into his world as she fights to save him.

With the adventure, intrigue, and explosive energy that Iris Johansen fans love, Mind Game is a high-octane thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.


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The Eve Ducan series is a new favorite of mine. MIND GAME is book 22 in the series and pulls focuses to Jane MacGuire and Seth Caleb. I love when Iris Johansen lets other characters take the front seat for a book, allowing Eve enough time to breathe.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

Monday, 20 November 2017

#BookReview Death Note by Caroline Mitchell @bookouture @Marablaise

Death Note by Caroline Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Twenty years ago you were forced to give your daughter up. Now she’s back. Or is she?

Women who’ve had to give up children for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.

East London Detective Ruby Preston and her team must hunt down a disturbed individual before someone else is taken. But when bodies start turning up, staged in perfect, domestic scenes, it carries the echo of a memory in Ruby's mind. The tinkling of a music box. A mother and child reunion...

Then just as Ruby thinks they've made a breakthrough, she receives a sinister email, and the case takes a terrifying personal twist.

Can Ruby catch the killer before they strike again? Or will her troubled past catch up with her first?

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Death Note by Caroline Mitchell is the first book in the Ruby Preston series. And, I liked it, it's a good first book. I especially liked Ruby Preston and her quite difficult home situations with her affair with a colleague and her on and off affair with an old flame on the wrong side of the law.

Now, I have to admit that the crime in this book, the abduction of the women that had given up children for adoption years ago did not thrill me that much. Sure, I found the book interesting enough and I was never bored. However, there is just something that stopped me from truly enjoying the story. Sometimes it's hard to truly explain why a book doesn't work 100% and this is one of them. It could be that we got to follow the perpetrators POV and I prefer to be kept in the dark instead of getting the killers POV. That works now and then for me, but in this case, well I was not totally enjoying the killers POV chapters. I much preferred following Ruby's investigations not to mention her problems on the home front. She has some secrets that she tries to hide, but it seems that someone knows about them...

Nevertheless, I don't want to be a total downer. I really liked the Ruby and her team. Sometimes the characters around the main characters can be a bit bland and hard to pick apart, but I enjoyed getting to know them and I'm looking forward to the next book much thanks to that. Ruby has as I wrote before a very interesting home situation and that is one of the aspects that I truly enjoyed about this book. That and the surprising ending. I have to admit that I did not see that ending coming.

Great first book in a new series and I'm looking forward to reading book 2!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

#BookReview Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman @DelReyBooks @Marablaise

Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Robert McCammon, James Renner, Kaaron Warren, Brian Hodge, Bill Schweigart, and Mick Garris reveal sinister secrets and unsavory pasts in a haunting anthology of short stories collected by acclaimed horror editors Brian James Freeman and Richard Chizmar.

LIZARDMAN by Robert McCammon
The lizardman thinks he knows about all the mysterious dangers of the Florida swamps, but there are things lurking in the bayou that are older and deadlier than his wildest dreams.

A MONSTER COMES TO ASHDOWN FOREST (IN WHICH CHRISTOPHER ROBIN SAYS GOODBYE) by James Renner
Although every child dreams of visiting Hundred Acre Wood, only one has ever actually frolicked in that fabled forest—and survived.

FURTHEREST by Kaaron Warren
She’s been going to the beach since she was a child, daring the other kids to go out past the dunes where those boys died all those years ago. Now she realizes that the farther out you go, the harder it is to come back.

WEST OF MATAMOROS, NORTH OF HELL by Brian Hodge
After the success of their latest album, Sebastián, Sofia, and Enrique head to Mexico for a shoot under the statue of Santa Muerte. But they have fans south of the border who’d kill to know where they get their inspiration.

THE EXPEDITION by Bill Schweigart
On a quest to bring glory to the Führer, Lieutenant Dietrich Drexler leads his team into the ruins of the Carpathian Mountains. But the wolf that’s stalking them is no ordinary predator.

SNOW SHADOWS by Mick Garris
A schoolteacher’s impulsive tryst with a colleague becomes a haunting lesson in tragedy and terror when he’s targeted for revenge by an unlikely, unhinged rival.


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This collection of short stories had more misses than hits for me. Frankly, there was just one story that I truly enjoyed and that was A Monsters Comes to Ashdown Forest. There is just something so chilling when it comes to a horror tales about beloved figures from children's books. This tale was haunting and really good and I wished the rest had been as good.  - 4 stars to this tale!

Then we have Lizardman and The Expeditions. They were OK, not as good as A Monsters Comes to Ashdown Forest, but they didn't bore me and had an interesting story to tell. What they lacked, however, were any chilling feeling. - 3 stars to these tales.

Finally, at the bottom, we have Furtherest, West of Matamoros, North of Hell and Snow Shadows. These three stories really didn't work for me. When a short story feels too long then you know you have a problem. Furtherest was just odd and not in a good way. I was bored reading that one. West of Matamoros, North of Hell could have been interesting, with the Santa Muerte theme. But, it was just a long short story that I couldn't wait to get through. And then we have Snow Shadows. I just don't see the point of adding this story to this collection? Now the other two at least felt like they belonged in this collection (even though I didn't enjoy them). But, this story? Sure, it seems like there is some kind of ghost thing going one, but it was lacking anything remotely chilling or thrilling. - 1 star to these stories. 

There we have it. Not the best collections I've read, although I need to check up James Renner's work.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Friday, 17 November 2017

#BookReview The Innkeeper's Sister by Linda Goodnight (@LindaGoodnight) @HarlequinBooks @MaraBlaise

The Innkeeper's Sister by Linda Goodnight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations…

Grayson Blake always has a purpose-and never a moment to lose. He's come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery…and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.

Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can't erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she's lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth…and hope.

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To be honest I'm more of a horror fan than a romance fan. However, I do have one weakness. I love reading books set in the American South and I don't even mind romance that much if I get a good mystery and that was what appealed to me with this book. 

A skeleton found that dates back to the Civil War. I was curious and I wanted to know more. Now, this is the third book in a series, I haven't read the previous two books, but that doesn't hinder one from enjoying this book. If you are anything like me will you probably be eager to get the two books after finishing this one.

Now, the story isn't filled with that many surprises. It was easy to figure out most of what would happen next. However, it's an enjoyable book. Sure, I had moments when I thought the drama between Grayson and Valery dragged out a bit. I mean I wanted to know more about the skeleton from the Civil War not the skeletons from Valery's past. Or rather, it was not hard to figure out what she was hiding and I just wanted her to tell Grayson. But, then again she's a southern belle, and her mama has sworn her never to talk about her problems. Because, you never talk about your problems, you drink instead.

There is also parallel storyline from just after the Civil War about the family that used to live at Peach Orchard Inn before it was an inn and just a farm and I quite enjoyed the back and forth between the present story and the one in the past. Now I just want to know what happened to Valery's nephew that went missing years before. Hopefully, a book in this series will deal with that. 

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview The Designer by Marius Gabriel (@Scribbler4Bread) @AmazonPub @Marablaise

The Designer by Marius Gabriel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1944, newly married Copper Reilly arrives in Paris soon after the liberation. While the city celebrates its freedom, she’s stuck in the prison of an unhappy marriage. When her husband commits one betrayal too many, Copper demands a separation.

Alone in Paris, she finds an unlikely new friend: an obscure, middle-aged designer from the back rooms of a decaying fashion house whose timid nature and reluctance for fame clash with the bold brilliance of his designs. His name is Christian Dior.

Realising his genius, Copper urges Dior to strike out on his own, helping to pull him away from his insecurities and towards stardom. With just a camera and a typewriter, she takes her own advice and ventures into the wild and colourful world of fashion journalism.

Soon Copper finds herself torn between two very different suitors, questioning who she is and what she truly wants. As the city rebuilds and opulence returns, can Copper make a new, love-filled life for herself?


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It was the mentioning of Christian Dior that made me curious to read the book. Well, not only that, but I was intrigued by the fact that the main character, Copper, strikes up a friendship with the well-known fashion designer. A man I know next to nothing about.

The book took me by surprise, at first I thought this would be the usual woman finds herself and has to choose between two men. But, yeah Copper does leave her husband after he has one affair too many, but after that, her life takes a pretty drastic turn as she tries to fulfill her dream as a journalist. Her friendship with Dior is a strong point in her life and I loved how to book introduced all the bohemian artist, painters writers, etc. that are living in Paris at the time. A lot of name dropping (in a good way) and I love how Copper embraces the bohemian world. And, there is love waiting around the corner, two very different people enter her life and both stir feeling inside her. But, who will win her heart? Or rather, will she sacrifice her new-won freedom she gained after her divorce? I was engrossed in the story and I really enjoyed reading about Copper's life in Paris.

The Designer is a fabulous book. I loved reading about Paris after the liberation, how the city slowly tries to return to normal after the occupations. But, there is unrest in the city and collaborators are frowned and often roughly treated.And, the war is yet over. This part of the book, everything going on that concerns the war added a deeper layer to the story. The Germans may have left the city, but the memory of their occupations is a deep wound.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!