Brief blogs for busy bees

Tag: blog tour

Blog tour: Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith

Blog tour: Breaking the Lore by Andy Redsmith

Hi there! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve had time to post (working in a chocolate shop at Easter is even busier than working retail at Christmas, so I’ve been struggling to recover) but I’m glad to be back and taking part in the […]

Blog tour: Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Blog tour: Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Fallen Angel blog tour. This is the first Chris Brookmyre novel I’ve ever read, but as soon as Caolinn invited me to take part I knew I had to say yes – she described Fallen Angel in […]

Blog tour: Trapped by Nick Louth

Blog tour: Trapped by Nick Louth

Hi there! Last week I took part in the blog blitz for Vivian Conroy’s A Testament to Murder and I told you that I had another exciting Canelo blog tour coming up, and today’s the day.

As always, I’m going to give you a bit more information about the book before I share my thoughts on it. Hold onto your seatbelts, because this is going to be a bumpy ride.

The cover of Nick Louth’s Trapped

Two desperate criminals. Something she never saw coming. A searing suspense thriller from bestselling author Nick Louth.

In Manchester, two hardened gang members on the run take Catherine Blake and her one-year-old son hostage at gunpoint. She is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Held in a Transit van, Catherine needs a plan fast. But it means diving into her captors’ risk-drenched world, and playing them at their own game.

Catherine has been through cancer, miscarriages and five draining years of IVF in order to have her son Ethan. He is the most precious thing in the world. She may be terrified out of her wits, but she’d do anything to protect him. Anything, no matter the cost…

Brace yourself.

A nerve-shredding suspense thriller you won’t believe until you have experienced it yourself, Trapped is perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, J.P. Delaney and Rachel Abbott.

Trapped is a standalone, following Nick Louth’s highly successful releases The Body in the Marsh, The Body on the Shore and Heartbreaker. If you’re interested in ordering a copy, you can get it on Amazon for only £1.99!

It’s difficult to write a review of a book like Trapped without giving away any spoilers, but I’m going to try my hardest.

The majority of Trapped is narrated by Catherine’s husband, Geoffrey. I was hooked by the writing style instantly because it’s very similar to The Innocent’s Story by Nicky Singer, which is one of my favourite books.

Geoffrey is fatally struck by the kidnappers’ vehicle as they take his wife and child, giving him the ability to move freely between the minds of each of the characters. This allows the audience to have a behind the scenes look at the thoughts and motivations of each of the kidnappers and Catherine herself, but also lets us look into the minds of the hardworking police officers and siege negotiators who strive for a peaceful end to the confrontation.

Nick Louth has obviously researched the subject extremely thoroughly, with the attention to detail completely absorbing you into the story and making you feel as though you’re watching the events play out on a live news broadcast.

However, a twist towards the end of the story dampened my satisfaction of the book. It felt like a neat and well-crafted thriller, but the second half of the story causes the events to unravel slightly, and no matter how much explanation is weaved through the book it still feels as though there are a few holes in the story. That’s the only reason I didn’t give Trapped five stars, deciding instead to give it four. I can’t go into my specific reasons for that without giving everything away, so I’d recommend you pick up a copy and find out for yourself what I mean!

About the author:

Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that give him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

The terrorism thriller Heartbreaker was published in June 2014 and received critical acclaim from Amazon readers, with a 4.6 out of 5 stars on over 100 reviews. Mirror, Mirror, subtitled ‘When evil and beauty collide’, was published in June 2016. The Body in the Marsh, a crime thriller, was published by Canelo in September 2017.

Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.

I hope you enjoyed my stop on the Trapped blog tour! If you’ve read any of Nick Louth’s other novels, please let me know which one you’d recommend I read next. I’m certainly intending to read more of his work after enjoying this one so much.

Alyce

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Blog tour: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Blog tour: The Lost Man by Jane Harper

Hello, and welcome to my stop on The Lost Man blog tour. I’ve taken part in the blog tours for both The Dry and Force of Nature, so I jumped at the chance to read and review another of Jane Harper’s novels. My excitement grew when I learnt that this […]

Blog tour: Where The Truth Lies by M.J. Lee

Blog tour: Where The Truth Lies by M.J. Lee

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Where The Truth Lies blog tour. I’ve teamed up with Canelo quite a few times this year, and I’m glad I was invited to participate in the blog tour for this book, because it’s a corker. It’s the first […]

Blogtober Day 10: Blog tour: Jackson Saves an Owl by Darren Garwood and Carl Osborne

Blogtober Day 10: Blog tour: Jackson Saves an Owl by Darren Garwood and Carl Osborne

Hi there! Welcome to my stop on the Jackson Saves an Owl blog tour. I’d like to say a big thank you to Faye Rogers, for allowing me to get involved in the blog tour for this charming picture book. Zophia loves owls, so as soon as I saw the title I knew that this was going to be a book which she would really enjoy, and I had a huge amount of fun reading it.

As always, I’m going to share a bit of information about Jackson Saves an Owl for the folks who haven’t heard of it before, then my thoughts on the book will be found further down the page.

Jackson Save an Owl by Darren Garwood

Jackson Superhero might not be a real name, but it is a story about a real boy, and as the name suggests, Jackson is far from ordinary. By day, a rare disease limits his ability to move freely, but at night he is far from grounded. When the sleeping hours come around, and weightlessness takes over, Jackson takes to the skies. He knows what it means to need the support of others, which is why when he hears a call for help, he is quickly there to lend a hand.

If you want to learn more about Jackson Saves an Owl, click on its cover to check it out on Goodreads. If you’re ready to order your copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll get a few pennies from your purchase that way.

So what did I think?

Jackson Saves an Owl by Darren Garwood and Carl Osborne

Jackson Saves an Owl is a charming story with quaint illustrations pulled straight from a child’s imagination. The drawings are simplistic yet captivating, with Jackson exploring his local area, flying past parks and fairgrounds (there’s even a cameo from a grizzly bear!).

You can understand the story perfectly by just focusing on the images, as they convey all of the events that are happening in a clear manner, making it a great story to read to young children. They won’t need to understand the words to understand the moral of the story.

That doesn’t mean that the words aren’t just as good, though! The rhymes are well-written, with tight pacing moving the story forward quickly. My only complaint is that it isn’t long enough, but that will be solved by picking up future releases in the Jackson Superhero series.

With the story of the real Jackson told on the final page, readers are aware of just how important this book is. I think it’s highly commendable that Jackson’s father has written this story, as it will help other children in a similar situation to Jackson to feel less alone. As a parent, I found this book very emotional: it’s true that children are able to do more in their dreams than they often can in reality, but it’s important to help them live their lives as fully as possible.

I was torn between 4 and 5 stars for Jackson Saves an Owl, but I really appreciated the importance of the message, which was combined with cute artwork and writing of a very high standard. I’ve read a lot of picture books which have had clunky rhyme schemes, but Jackson Saves an Owl flows smoothly and is extremely enjoyable – both for parents and for children.

 

About the author: 

Darren Garwood is the father of Jackson, a real boy living with a rare and terminal illness called Krabbe disease. Darren came up with the Jackson Superhero series because as Jackson can’t move during the day, Darren wanted to help him dream at night, when he was free to be anything he wanted to be. Jackson Saves an Owl is written in lively, fantastic rhyme, and is the first in the Jackson Superhero series.

If you’d like to learn more about the real Jackson, visit Darren Garwood’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Once again, a huge thanks to Faye Rogers for allowing me to get involved with the promotion of such an important story. Make sure to follow the rest of the blog tour, and send your love and support to Darren and Jackson.

Alyce

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Blogtober Day 4: Blog tour: Beardies’ World by Joyce Ives

Blogtober Day 4: Blog tour: Beardies’ World by Joyce Ives

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the Beardies’ World blog tour. First off I’d like to say a huge thank you to Faye, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, and to Joyce Ives, author of Beardies’ World, who has written a lovely guest […]

Blog tour: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

Blog tour: The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Incendiaries by R.O. Kwon. A debut novel widely agreed to be one of the most anticipated novels of 2018, it’s an honour to have been invited to participate – a huge thank you to Grace […]

Blog tour: The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler

Blog tour: The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler

I’m ridiculously excited to welcome you to my stop on The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game blog tour. I’ve never been a huge Top Gear fan but the enigma of The Stig has always fascinated me, and this novelisation seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn a bit more about his back story.

Before I share my review, here’s a little bit more about the book to get your mouth watering:

The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler

An enigmatic racing driver.

A bunch of kids.

One hell of a ride.

Sam Wheeler is the new boy in town. And it’s a pretty weird sort of place. No one seems bothered that a kid recently went missing. Everyone is glued to a mysterious computer game. And the town appears to be in thrall to a dastardly billionaire living in a mansion on the hill.

Things look up when Sam meets friends Buster Mustang, Ford Harrison and Minnie Cooper – but danger has a habit of showing up wherever they do. Soon all that stands between the gang and disaster is a silent man in a white suit. Otherwise known as… The Stig.

If you’re interested in learning more about The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game, check it out on Goodreads. If you decide to buy a copy, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link: I’ll earn a few pennies from your purchase. Thank you!

 

So, what did I think?

The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game review header

The first thing that hit me while reading this book is that it’s perfect for reading with your child. There are a lot of puns which are likely to go right over the heads of the target audience, but I found myself giggling like I was back in primary school at most of them. They’re silly, but very cleverly written: these aren’t the kind of jokes that make you roll your eyes, but ones which provoke genuine laughs. I’ll be honest, it even took me a few seconds to register some of them!

The pace of the book also makes it great for reading aloud. There are a lot of quick, witty exchanges between Sam Wheeler and the antagonist, Cabriola Cruiser, while the banter between Sam, Minnie and Ford is also very funny. Anyone reading this story will want to be a part of Sam’s crew (and I think it’s great that there’s a girl who’s as obsessed with cars as the lads, because Top Gear has always appealed to a wide audience).

The language is accessible, so children are likely to be able to tackle the book by themselves (even if they might need your help on some of the difficult pronunciations of car names). With illustrations scattered throughout the text is broken up into digestible chunks – I couldn’t read it in one sitting because I’ve been quite busy with work, but being able to pick up the book with a brief sketch showing me where I’d gotten to made it easy to slide straight back into the world.

It’s impossible to forget that this is a Top Gear book because the specific car references are constant, but they fit smoothly into the story and don’t feel shoehorned in unnecessarily. This means that it’ll appeal to Top Gear fans of any age – probably another reason that Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler made sure to pop in some jokes that will appeal to an older audience.

This is a very strong start to the series, and I’m looking forward to picking up The Stig Drives Again, which is actually released tomorrow. I’ve already pre-ordered a copy for my Kindle, and I’m planning on driving – sorry, diving! – straight into it as soon as it downloads. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with this book, only hoping that it would be a fun read to break up some of the more serious titles I’ve been picking up recently, but it’s so well-written that I’d happily recommend it to anyone.

 

About the authors: 

Jon Claydon wrote sell-out shows at Edinburgh while at university before plumping for a career in advertising and technology investment that has seen him because a fixture on the Sunday Times ‘Britain’s 500 Most Influential People’ list. One day, while attending to one of many sidelines – as a columnist for Top Gear magazine – Jon had a moment. Alone in a lift, he met The Stig, who non-verbally communicated that it was high time someone wrote a book for his many younger fans. Jon called Tim, they fired up their flux capacitor and returned, sliding-doors-style, to the career they’d always thought they should have had in the first place.

Tim Lawler wrote sell-out Edinburgh shows at university before spending many years in ventures such as building and filling a fringe theatre, performing stand-up poetry, living in various parts of the globe and working as an advertising brand planner.

I hope you enjoyed my stop on The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game blog tour. Huge thanks to Faye Rogers for inviting me to take part – I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of book two!

Alyce

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Blog tour: In Bloom by C.J. Skuse

Blog tour: In Bloom by C.J. Skuse

Hi there, and welcome to my stop on the In Bloom blog tour. This post contains spoilers for Sweetpea, so please look away if you haven’t read it yet! I only reviewed Sweetpea a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn’t resist taking part in this tour and getting to […]