Blog tour

All posts tagged Blog tour

Blog Tour – You Have The Right To Remain Fat – A Manifesto by Virgie Tovar

Published August 18, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Growing up as a fat girl, Virgie Tovar believed that her body was something to be fixed. But after two decades of dieting and constant guilt, she was over it―and gave herself the freedom to trust her own body again. Ever since, she’s been helping others to do the same. Tovar is hungry for a world where bodies are valued equally, food is free from moral judgement, and you can jiggle through life with respect. In concise and candid language, she delves into unlearning fatphobia, dismantling sexist notions of fashion, and how to reject diet culture’s greatest lie: that fat people need to wait before beginning their best lives.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Nikki Griffiths for getting in touch and inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Melville House UK for providing me with a copy of this slim but incredibly powerful feminist manifesto in exchange for an honest review. I’m a huge supporter of women, no matter what their size or shape and pretty much jumped at the chance to become much more well versed in a topic that is always hanging around the periphery of my consciousness but I never give myself much of a chance to think about because, quite frankly, it can get a little bit upsetting and frustrating. Virgie Tovar takes our biggest fears about being female and of what is expected of us in a society increasingly obsessed with the way a person looks which apparently defines their entire worth to themselves and others. She completely smashes these often unrealistic expectations into raw, honest thoughts and advice that genuinely feels that it comes directly from her heart.

Virgie Tovar, author of You Have The Right To Remain Fat.

I described this book as being a “slim volume” but even that feels incredibly judgemental of me! I’d like to change my wording and call it perfectly formed instead. It explores topics that made me nod my head in agreement with Virgie’s insightful words (probably like one of those annoying nodding dogs you used to see, do those still exist?!) and other parts, I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t even thought about too deeply, particularly how a change of social class and race can also permeate into the general attitudes about size and how “unhealthy/wrong/embarrassing/distasteful” it is. The whole thing with diet culture and how it affects millions of women every day is truly staggering and I gained a whole new level of respect for the author as she shared her own experiences, being perfectly honest about how she used to succumb to the dieting demon, making herself ill in the process to be just a little bit thinner.

I don’t know how it has become so ingrained in the minds of society that thin = happy? Of course it’s not the case but somehow (and I’m as guilty of it as the next woman), we think we’re going to have a better life, perhaps be more attractive to the opposite/same sex, get more respect and have a better chance of achieving that promotion etc etc. I especially connected with Virgie’s thoughts about the diet industry at the moment – it’s dressed up as “getting healthier” or “taking care of yourself,” rather than losing weight, but we know exactly what they’re really referring to, don’t we?

As for my personal experience, I grew up as a super skinny young woman, with the occasional suggestion I had an eating disorder, I was so thin. (I didn’t). Then in my early twenties, I started to gain more weight and I would probably class myself as a curvy girl right now (UK size 14). How does this connect with the book? Well, I’m heartily embarrassed to say this but I used to pray that I would never gain weight, that I would always remain slim. I don’t know where I got the idea that it was a terrible thing to have a bit of meat on your bones, I think it was a mixture of what I saw in the media, how my friends looked and acted and how I saw larger people treated regarding their weight. Obviously I have struggled a bit with my new body image and have to admit to those gut-wrenching feelings of wanting to be just a little bit thinner. However, reading this book really did make me feel so much more empowered, both as a woman and about my weight. Whilst it might take a little bit of time to learn to love my shape the way Virgie does, she has taught me about self-love and respect which I sorely needed and opened my eyes to the hypocrisy and unfairness that women who are slightly larger suffer on a daily basis.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Virgie Tovar is an author, activist and one of America’s leading experts
and lecturers on fat discrimination and body image. She is the founder
of Babecamp, started the hashtag campaign #LoseHateNotWeight, and
edited the groundbreaking anthology Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on
Life, Love and Fashion. Virgie has been featured by the New York Times,
MTV, NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Huffington Post,
Cosmopolitan, and BUST. She lives in San Francisco.

Find Virgie on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6767364.Virgie_Tovar

or on Twitter @virgietovar

Thank you so much once again to Nikki Griffiths and Melville House UK for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. You Have The Right To Remain Fat was published on 16th August 2018 and is available as a paperback and a digital e-book. If you fancy more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to You Have The Right To Remain Fat on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40660123-you-have-the-right-to-remain-fat

Link to You Have The Right To Remain Fat on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Have-Right-Remain-Fat/dp/1911545167/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1534446795&sr=8-1&keywords=you+have+the+right+to+remain+fat

Advertisements

Blog Tour – Girls’ Night Out – Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Published July 24, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Sian, Annabelle and Lake Union Publishing for getting in contact and asking if I’d like to participate in the blog tour for this thrilling novel and for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. Well, where do I start? You know when a book comes along at exactly the right time in your life and for some reason or another, something either about the characters or content moves you? Step right up, Girls’ Night Out. I happen to have returned this year from a once in a lifetime holiday to Mexico which was a necessary process of healing for me after a traumatic eighteen months in my life. Our girls in the novel go on such a holiday themselves and it was wonderful to read about a country, and indeed specific places that I knew so well from my own experience, it only made the novel and the difficult situation experienced by our female leads all the more endearing and exciting.

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, authors of Girls’ Night Out.

I’ll just pop off a very basic synopsis here but to be perfectly honest, you really need to go into this novel without knowing very much at all. It’s the story of three friends: Natalie, Ashley and Lauren. Natalie and Ashley have a very successful business together but are at loggerheads at the moment after Revlon make them an offer to buy their company. Ashley and Lauren also have a very tense and fragile relationship which stems from a resentful argument that happened just after Lauren’s husbands death. Ashley has arranged the trip to Mexico to try and re-connect with both Natalie and Lauren and repair the cracks in their friendships. However, things don’t go exactly to plan and when Ashley mysteriously disappears without a trace, Natalie and Lauren must confront more things in their past than they were ever prepared to challenge.

The Gran Cenote, Tulum, Mexico. I’m lucky enough to have actually been here!

So, as I mentioned, I immediately leapt at the chance to read this book, particularly as I had just spent time in that exact area but even better besides, this book actually exceeded my expectations. It’s easy to read, obviously exciting and action-packed, has an air of mystery and intrigue that is undeniable and instantly captivating and I was simply a willing participant in the mysterious ride of what exactly happened to Ashley. The narrative jumps across time-lines and narrators from each female lead, to the days leading up to Ashley’s disappearance then fast forwards to the present time where the girls are desperately trying to piece together what went on and then finally, to that fateful night itself. Page by page, the tension continues to creep up notch by notch and by the end, it becomes a furiously page-turning journey where I just HAD to have all the answers to all my (many!) questions.

I wouldn’t necessarily say the authors throw multiple red herrings the readers way, it’s not a twisty kind of book in my opinion. It’s more about the mystery behind what happened, focusing heavily on the friendships between the girls, their marriages, their business relationships and a rogue factor that may or may not have had bearing on the precarious situation that Ashley finds herself in. For me, I just enjoyed this book for what it was – a fun and fascinating musing on the nature of relationships and how much of a devastating effect a sour element can create between previously intimate friends.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been best friends for over 25 years and survived high school and college together. They’ve co-authored four novels, including the bestseller THE GOOD WIDOW. Liz lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and five rescue dogs. Their next suspense novel, Girls’ Night Out, is out July 24th, 2018.

Connect with Liz and Lisa:

www.lizandlisa.com
Instagram: @lisaandliz
Twitter: @lizandlisa
FB: Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Thank you once again to Sian, Annabelle and Lake Union Publishing for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is published in paperback and eBook on 24th July by Lake Union Publishing. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to Girls’ Night Out on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37759098-girls-night-out?ac=1&from_search=true

Link to Girls’ Night Out on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girls-Night-Out-Liz-Fenton/dp/1503902560/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532272808&sr=8-1&keywords=girls+night+out+book

Blog Tour – Do No Harm by L V Hay

Published July 18, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Till death do us part…

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to the always fabulous Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of Do No Harm in exchange for an honest review. I’m adoring the new wave of psychological/domestic thrillers that are coming out at the moment and although sometimes I worry that they’re going to be too similar, so far I haven’t found any yet that aren’t both unique and thrilling reads. This is definitely the case with Do No Harm, it has so much to recommend it – a compelling, twisty plot, fascinating and very readable characters and of course, those unexpected moments (I call them “gasp out louds”) that cement the book in your memory and make it more likely you’ll remember the story months down the line.

L V Hay, author of Do No Harm.

This is the story of a marriage, as you might have guessed. Actually, hang on a second, this is the story of TWO marriages. We have our main female lead, Lily and her new husband Sebastian who have recently married and are attempting to achieve full wedded bliss but are being hampered slightly (understatement of the year!) by the spectre of Lily’s previous marriage with ex-husband, the very intense Maxwell. Lily and Maxwell both share a son and although they share custody fairly amicably, the boy becomes a perfect pawn for both finding out what is going on in the newlyweds’ household and manipulating that situation for some other, more venomous motives. Lily and Sebastian are desperate to enjoy their new life as man and wife and Sebastian, to forge a relationship with his stepson but it’s not long before the cracks start to show and the family are at breaking point. However, what they don’t realise is exactly how out of hand and dangerous their lives are about to get.

Do No Harm is a gripping tale where you really never know what’s coming next. I’ve read so many novels in this genre and I can’t help myself trying to predict what’s going to happen but with this novel? I failed miserably. I kept thinking I had figured it all out and feeling quite smug and clever then my bubble was well and truly burst when L V Hay pulled that metaphorical rug right out from under me and completely twisted everything round beyond all recognition. I thought it was going to be obvious. It’s not obvious. I thought it was going to be predictable. Nope, definitely not predictable. I love when an author surprises me and refuses to submit to a cliché and Do No Harm does this time and time again. I’ve also had the misfortune to be in an obsessive, negative and manipulative relationship and the author describes the uncomfortable, confusing nature of this perfectly. Expect the unexpected with this exciting novel and just enjoy being taken along for a ride where ANYTHING could happen.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

L. V. Hay is a novelist, script editor, blogger, and head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival. She is the author of Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays and the thriller The Other Twin.

Check out L V Hay’s website HERE

Thank you once again to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. Do No Harm was published on the 30th June 2018 and is available as a paperback and an e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to Do No Harm on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39215628-do-no-harm

Link to Do No Harm on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Do-No-Harm-L-Hay-ebook/dp/B079YWK3GK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531663434&sr=8-1&keywords=do+no+harm+lv+hay

Blog Tour – Love And Death In Shanghai by Elizabeth J. Hall

Published July 1, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

A young man’s search for love in Shanghai, set during a time of gang warfare, drug running, prostitution and Japanese invasions.

“This is a riveting account of a compelling and erotic story.” Jill Dawson, author of The Great Lover

Shanghai 1924. Sam Shuttleworth joins the Municipal Police to escape his working class roots in Lancashire. He is looking for good pay, adventure and beautiful women.

Shanghai is torn by gang warfare, political instability and violence. After erotic affairs, and seeking stability, he marries his glamorous Russian lover. The relationship is tumultuous, with infidelities on both sides.
In the 1930s, Japan invades China and moves into Shanghai with consequent pillage, rape and cruelty. Sam has to negotiate between warring sides, and wonders if he will ever find peace amidst the chaos of his relationships and the bloody events of his career.

What did I think?:

First of all, a huge thank you to Anne Cater for emailing me and inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for kindly sending me a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. I have to say the synopsis of this novel had me instantly intrigued to read it. I’m always a huge fan of a story set in another country, especially China which I have a particular soft spot for. Then if you throw in a historical setting, a character struggling with the instability of the country and the Japanese invasion of the 1930’s, it’s pretty much a sure thing that I’m going to want to read it! Generally, this novel was a sumptuous fictional imagining of characters and events that occurred within the author’s own family and this only served to make it a more authentic and fascinating read. It was beautifully descriptive and so detailed that I could almost imagine I walked the same streets as our lead character and those he comes into contact with.

Elizabeth J. Hall, author of Love And Death In Shanghai.

Lancashire born and bred Sam Shuttleworth escapes to Shanghai with a sense of adventure and to try and live and work in a culture so incredibly different from his own. He lands a job as a police officer in Shanghai and is tasked with keeping peace in the very fractured city between a number of different gangs, communist and nationalist uprisings, petty arguments that become violent, murderous acts due to the general instability and uncertainty of the country and the eventual Japanese invasion that changes everything irrevocably for the inhabitants of Shanghai. He has a number of affairs as a single young man then meets a few individual women that each alter his outlook on life forever, in very different ways. He finally begins to learn that work and having a good time outside of work means nothing if you don’t have the support of a loving family behind you.

Love And Death In Shanghai is a perfect title for this novel. It does exactly what it says on the tin. There are erotic, even more graphic moments which I wasn’t quite expecting, but luckily, they don’t overwhelm the reader and the narrative is much more focused on the dark side of Shanghai and how our male lead has to cope with the horrifying and shocking things that he has to see every day, things that most inhabitants take in their stride. Some of it did make for difficult reading but I’m so pleased the author had the courage to go there and show us the real, very brutal Shanghai in the 1920′-30’s. I was also fascinated to read about the stark contrast between these poorer, crime-led areas and the rich side of Shanghai where food, drink and entertainment was in abundant supply for those who could afford it, of course.

1930’s Shanghai, where part of our story is set.

I found the characterisation of this book extremely intriguing and I’m not sure if other readers would have the same or different opinions to mine. Let me explain what I mean – I didn’t find there were many likeable characters in this novel. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I love an unreliable character, a person with flaws, an intensely horrible one that you can have strong hateful feelings towards….all these things are great. However, I didn’t know how to feel about our male lead, Sam. At times I loved his bravery and nobility, in fact my favourite moments of his is when he was back in England for a visit seeing his family where I felt the real “Sam” came out. It was just all the affairs though. Fair enough when he was a single man of course, he has no responsibilities or attachments, but then he meets Lulu, discovers what responsibility really means and er…..doesn’t really change!

As I’m working this all out in my head as I’m writing, I’m considering the fact that perhaps Sam just hasn’t met the “one” in Lulu, they certainly seemed to have quite a volatile relationship and although I can’t really excuse his behaviour, there is an opportunity for them to have mutual contentment by the end. I don’t want to go too much into the ending for fear of spoilers, I felt it quite bitter-sweet but entirely accurate and I have to be honest, I definitely wasn’t expecting it. Elizabeth J. Hall writes a comprehensive and exquisite tale of a country in turmoil, I loved the attention to detail and appreciated the vast research that must have been completed to tell a compelling story.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

3-5-stars

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Elizabeth J.Hall works in politics in the UK. Love and Death in Shanghai, her debut novel was inspired by the life and death of her uncle who worked in the Shanghai Municipal Police in the 1920s and 30s. Elizabeth’s first memory is of her mother crying when she received a telegram reporting his assassination.

Elizabeth lives in East Sussex with her husband. After a degree in French, she trained as a teacher with a particular interest in social and health education. She worked in the USA, West Africa and London before becoming a consultant, developing programmes of health education abroad, including Central Asia and Russia.

Find Elizabeth on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17679768.Elizabeth_J_Hall

Elizabeth’s website is http://www.elizabethjhall.com/

Thank you once again to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. Love And Death In Shanghai was published on the 18th January 2018 and is available as a paperback and an e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to Love And Death In Shanghai on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38352086-love-and-death-in-shanghai

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Death-Shanghai-Elizabeth-Hall/dp/1999784278/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Blog Tour – I Never Lie by Jody Sabral

Published June 26, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit…?

Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?

This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh. 

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Canelo Publishers for the free digital copy of I Never Lie in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I received the invitation to review this novel from Ellie and read the synopsis, I immediately knew I had to accept. It felt a bit “Girl On The Train-esque” and I do adore an unreliable narrator so this novel was a must read in my eyes. Now I normally hate comparisons to famous books like Gone Girl and Girl On The Train but let me assure you, the publishers have not promoted it in any way as being similar to these blockbusters, it’s completely my own interpretation of an alcoholic female character as being somewhat familiar territory. Luckily, I was delighted to discover that the alcoholic lead is the only thing that I Never Lie has in common with Girl On The Train. This book stands completely on its own as a gripping story of a troubled woman trying to get back on her feet (and being hopelessly in thrall to her addiction) and it was a thrilling, highly enjoyable read.

Jody Sabral, author of I Never Lie.

As with most mysteries/crime fictions, to say too much more about the synopsis would be giving far too many spoilers about the novel and I’m certainly not one to ruin things for everyone! Our female protagonist is Alex South, journalist flying high in her career until one live drunken report which threatens to ruin everything for good. You see, Alex is an alcoholic who was already drinking excessively when living in Manchester with her boyfriend but after a devastating miscarriage and break-up, she moved to East London where she continues to deny she has a problem at all. When a body is found in a park close to her home, she seizes the opportunity to revive her career and begs for the opportunity to investigate and get involved. Then the bodies of further women are found who have been killed in the same manner and when Alex continues to be lead journalist on the story and begins to blackout from drinking binges, she begins to realises that there may be far more demons that she has to face other than the ones in the bottle.

London, England, February 27, 2015: The River Thames meanders through the cityscape of East London as seen from the Docklands Canary Wharf Tower.

Jody Sabral has had a lot of experience working as a journalist and this completely shines through in her writing. Not in that it’s matter-of-fact and quite clinical in the story-telling but in her knowledge of the industry and how processes work, particularly in the field of crime reporting. The narrative itself is intriguing and although it isn’t action-packed, I don’t think it needs to be to tell an exciting story. The whole novel is much more character focused which I really love in a good mystery and is much more about Alex’s internal struggles and colourful past rather than vivid descriptions of murder scenes. Alex is not particularly likeable and sometimes I did get frustrated and just wanted to shake her but she felt completely believable as a normal person with flaws and a seemingly unconquerable addiction.

One of my favourite parts of I Never Lie had to be the diary extracts from an unknown woman which are interspersed with Alex’s story. Who is she and what connection does she have to Alex and to the murders in East London? Jody Sabral is an expert at slow, gradual reveals, red herrings and unexpected twists and just when you think you have it all figured out – you find you’re completely wrong. I’m definitely excited to read something else by this author!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Jody Sabral is based between the South Coast and London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement. In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post, Al–Monitor and Brics Post.

Find Jody on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6648584.Jody_Sabral

on her website at: https://jodysabral.com/

on Twitter at: @jsabral

Thank you once again to Ellie Pilcher and Canelo Publishers for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. I Never Lie was published on the 11th June 2018 and is available as a e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to I Never Lie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046711-i-never-lie?ac=1&from_search=true

Link to I Never Lie on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Never-Lie-compelling-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B07CV8KK49/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529840996&sr=8-1&keywords=i+never+lie+jody+sabral

Blog Tour – A Dead American In Paris (Salazar Book 2) by Seth Lynch

Published June 12, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter. He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.

A Dead American in Paris places Salazar in the midst of an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder. It’s enough to make you want to chuck it all in and take a job cleaning out the sewers. But Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.

What did I think?:

First of all, thank you so much to Emma Welton, amazing blogger extraordinaire at damppebbles, all round good egg and now blog tour organiser who invited me to take part in this blog tour via email. Thank you also to Fahrenheit Press who provided me with a copy of A Dead American In Paris in exchange for an honest review. I have a great love for crime fiction although I sadly, I don’t read it half as much as I used to as I felt that what I was reading was getting a bit “samey.” I tend to reserve reading the genre for books my fellow bloggers have got me really excited about, something out of the box and a bit different where I’m not going to predict the outcome halfway through. That’s why I’m so pleased that I read this book. Although it’s the second in the series and I haven’t read the first, A Citizen Of Nowhere, I genuinely believe that it can be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone. A Dead American In Paris is different in that it reads like a classic book in the genre. This is not only because of the time period it is set in, the early thirties in Paris but the writing style feels vintage, almost as if the author had placed himself directly within the 1930’s and is writing about it as he sees it at that moment – if that makes any sense?

Seth Lynch, author of A Dead American In Paris, the second book in The Salazar Mysteries.

Our male lead for the narrative is private detective, Salazar who has become embroiled in a very interesting case that looks remarkably like a murder carried out in a fit of jealous rage. The victim is Arty Homebrook, a rather shady character who sleeps around with a number of married women and appears to live quite a meagre existence in a shady, dirty flat. One of the aggrieved husbands, Harry Fulton is the main suspect in this case and is currently in jail pending trial. However, Fulton’s father has recently employed Salazar to find out the truth about what happened that night and of course, the real story behind the murder, is much murkier and more convoluted than anyone directly or indirectly involved in the case could ever have suspected.

An image of 1930’s Paris, where our story is set.

A Dead American In Paris was such a pleasant surprise. As I read the synopsis, I instantly knew that I was interested but I still wasn’t prepared for the journey that Seth Lynch would take me on. Not only were the characters wonderfully drawn but they felt incredibly authentic and after a very short time of reading, I wanted to know everything and anything about them. We have a wonderful and intriguing male lead in Salazar who is sarcastic, determined, impulsive but also tormented by his experiences during the First World War and by other, more individual worries and mental issues which plague him from time to time. In my eyes, this made him both a delight to read (in the way of his snide comments and that you never knew what he was going to try next!) and that he was undeniably human, with all the anxieties we all suffer at certain points in our lives.

I completely fell in love with this story. The plot, the characters, the way it moved steadily and slowly, each reveal happening methodically and intelligently. However, my favourite part had to be how it ended. As I alluded to in the first paragraph of my review, I hate the predictable and it’s a relief to know that Seth Lynch isn’t just going to rest easy on his laurels with a cliche….that’s all I’m saying!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

 

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.

With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SethALynch

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seth-Lynch/e/B00E7SZ3FS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sethlynchauthor/

Buy Seth Lynch’s book direct from Fahrenheit Press:

A Citizen of Nowhere (Salazar Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_citizen_of_nowhere.html

A Dead American in Paris (Salazar Book 2): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_a_dead_american_in_paris.html

The Paris Ripper (Chief Inspector Belmont Book 1): http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_the_paris_ripper.html

 

Thank you once again to Emma Welton and Fahrenheit Press for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. A Dead American In Paris was published in August 2017 and will be available as a e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

 

Link to book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39788613-a-dead-american-in-paris?ac=1&from_search=true

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dead-American-Paris-Salazar-Book-ebook/dp/B07BSB9KBB/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528650141&sr=8-1&keywords=a+dead+american+in+paris

Blog Tour – The Log House by Baylea Hart

Published June 5, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

The forest is a deadly place.

Nobody knows this better than Penny. She has spent her whole life hiding in the darkness, shielding herself from the terrors that watch and wait within the trees.

When Penny is abandoned and left for dead in the forest, she is forced to navigate this terrifying labyrinth in order to return home to her son and take revenge on the woman who tried to kill her.

But the murderous creatures with the false smiles aren’t the only monsters to lurk in the forest, and some demons may be closer than she thinks.

What did I think?:

First of all, a huge thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Unbound Publishers for sending me a copy of this astonishing novel in exchange for an honest review. I haven’t read any horror stories for a little while now and as it’s one of my favourite genres, it was about time that I re-visited it once more! So when the email from Anne flew in and I read the synopsis, I couldn’t have be quicker in replying to her with an ardent: “Yes please!” Horror can be a bit hit and miss sometimes. For me, an author has to really get under my skin, build up that tension and drama and the terrifying moments have to be convincing and genuinely scare me. I mentioned in a review recently that events in a horror novel or film are often a lot more frightening if the creature/monster/villain is not completely seen, in other words – if it is only hinted at and left in shadow.

Has anyone seen the film Jeepers Creepers? As soon as I saw the monster in all its glory, I wasn’t scared anymore. (To be perfectly honest, I found it quite funny and not in the least scary but that says more about my sense of humour than the creature in the film, I think!!). Anyway, I digress – back to The Log House. What I’m trying to say is that Baylea Hart pulled off the scary moments in her novel wonderfully well. She doesn’t completely unearth the creature, there’s mention of the colour grey, and long, claw like hands but we don’t ever get the full detail about what it looks like. For me, this made it MORE frightening and definitely ensured my thorough enjoyment of the novel as a whole.

Jeepers Creepers – you don’t scare ME! The Log House? Umm…. you do!

So, the synopsis above already does a wonderful job of explaining what this novel explores and I don’t think I could do much better. Basically, we follow a young mother called Penelope who lives in a safe house with a number of other residents, including Mary whom she has had a bit of history with. Penny ends up in the forest on her own because of the bad blood between Mary and herself. She has a head and ankle injury and is quite far away from home but that’s the least of her problems. A safe house is necessary for the inhabitants of this world because of the creatures that stalk around, attracted by light and invoke instant death if you’re unlucky enough to come across one. Penny must fight to avoid these creatures as she treks through the forest to get back to her son and to avenge herself upon Mary. It’s not long though before she discovers that there may be worse things out in the woods then these monsters.

Baylea Hart, author of The Log House.

I had a sneaking suspicion that I might enjoy this book just from the dedication alone, where I felt a certain kinship with the author as soon as I read: “To my family, for giving me Stephen King books to read as a child. This is all your fault.” I thought to myself if the author of this novel has taken any inspiration from the Master Of Horror himself, (who just happens to be my all-time favourite author), I’m in for quite the ride and I was certainly correct in my initial assessment! This book is disturbing, graphic, horrifying and tense in equal measures and I was absolutely gripped by both the character of Penny and the electrifying plot. Penny is not a particularly likeable character and has made a couple of shady decisions in her past which has led to her fractured relationship with Mary but I couldn’t help but admire her gutsy, determined nature. She goes through absolute hell in those woods, not only in hiding/avoiding these awful monsters but struggling through the pain of a horrific injury combined with how she deals with several dangerous situations with some very different kinds of monsters along the way.

This is a richly imaginative tale of horror from a talented writer that made me catch my breath and provoked multiple shivers down my spine. I was particularly unnerved by the fact that Penny realises that when everything goes deathly silent, the creatures are near and she has no other option but to hide. No bird song, no leaves rustling – just utter silence.

“Watch for the silence, said the voice in her head. It’s the only warning you’ll get.”

Personally, I found this incredibly frightening and I could instantly see this being played very well in a film. As the narrative continues, we learn much more about Penny and her past, the creatures themselves and how one simple, distorted sound: “Haaaaa,” has the potential to chill your blood.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Baylea Hart is an IT Technician by day, horror writer by night and a reader everywhere in between. In 2013 she wrote, directed and edited the short film Behind the Door, which won a Top 50 spot in the Bloody Cuts “Who’s There?” competition and as of 2015 has over 410,000 views on YouTube. In October 2015 she won the Bristol Horror Writing Competition with her short story Jack in the Box, and her short story Eyes Open was published in the 12th issue of 9Tales Told in the Dark. Baylea’s debut novel The Log House was published by Unbound in 2018.

She can be found on Twitter @bayleahart and on her website http://www.bayleahart.com/

Thank you once again to Anne Cater and Unbound Publishers for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. The Log House was published in January 2018 and will be available as a paperback and e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!

Link to The Log House on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36502696-the-log-house

Amazon UK link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Log-House-Baylea-Hart/dp/1911586467/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528041732&sr=8-1&keywords=the+log+house