Saturday, 1 December 2018

Bloodhound's Christmas Cracker Blog Tour - The Liar's Promise - Mark Tilbury

There's no escaping that Christmas is on it's way! Being a bookworm I'm sure that like me, you've got several books on your list for Santa - but we all know that you can never have too many books and you might not want to wait until Christmas to get your hands on a fantastic book to read.

So, with that in mind, welcome to the first day of Bloodhound's Christmas Cracker Blog Tour. What's that I hear you ask? Well, the lovely people at Bloodhound Books are reducing the price of some of their fabulous authors books (and they've got quite a lot let me tell you!) from now until right up to the big day itself.

How it works is that each book that's featured will be half price or even free for a limited time following the  review appearing on the blogs shown on the banners at the end of this post. So if you're looking for some fantastic books to add to your ever growing TBR's then this is THE blog tour for you.

One of my personal favourite books published by Bloodhound Books is The Liar's Promise by Mark Tilbury and that's the review that I'll be re-posting for you all today. This review was originally posted here on The Hippo on 3rd December 2017.

Back in May I read my first book by Mark Tilbury, The Abattoir of Dreams, and it quite literally blew me away so when I was offered a spot on the blog tour for his latest book, The Liar's Promise, I couldn't say yes quick enough!

When Mel takes her four year old daughter Chloe to the local theatre, she is stunned when Chloe starts screaming, refusing to go any further than the foyer because she's afraid of the 'Tall Man' and she doesn't want to die. Nothing will calm her down so Mel takes her home, manages to calm her daughter down and settle her into bed, but this unsettling incident is just the beginning of a very eventful night!

Over the course of the next few days Chloe's behaviour changes dramatically, she draws pictures, talks about horrific events in the first person and makes frequent references to the 'Tall Man' who is coming to kill them.

Not knowing who to turn to she decides to talk to Charles Honeywell, the headmaster at the school where she works, unaware that he is very closely connected to the events that her daughter is talking about and by speaking to him about it she has potentially made the situation a whole lot worse.

I won't tell you any more about the plot but what I will say is that I'm pretty sure that you won't be able to put this book down, I know I couldn't!

After I read The Abattoir of Dreams I knew that Mark Tilbury was a talented author who was capable of freaking me out with his writing but I had no idea just how far he could get under my skin, and he did just that with The Liar's Promise. This book was so creepy I was convinced that I was going to have nightmares each night as I was reading it before turning off the light and snuggling down under my duvet. All sorts of disturbing images were flying around my head, the Tall Man, an innocent looking child's doll, an array of coloured freezers. . . . . nope I'm not going back there again as I've only just managed to get the images out of my head.

I absolutely loved this book, despite the fact that it freaked me out so much, which is a testament to the author's writing. It's a fast-paced book that will drag you kicking and screaming to places that you never want to go, it's gruesome, it's sick, it's twisted, it's dark, it's disturbing and I can't wait to see what comes next from this outstanding author!

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If you love the sound of The Liar's Promise, I can tell you that it's currently just 99p to download and it really is as good as it sounds! Maybe you've read some of Mark's other books (a few of which will be featuring in this fantastic blog tour) but haven't got your paws on this one yet. Well now is a perfect opportunity!

So keep your eye on all of these fabulous blogs right up until Christmas and you can get some amazing books to read over the holiday season.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Blog Tour - The Aro Street Girls - Lyndsay Campbell

I love losing myself in an historical fiction novel so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read The Aro Street Girls which follows the lives of the Reyling's a family living in a small town in New Zealand.

Kathy lives with her parents and siblings Belle, Margaret, George and Walter. When war breaks out Kathy's sweetheart, Freddie sets sail to the frontline while she can only stay at home and pray for his safe return. At a time when women were seen as the homemakers, keeping the house and looking after and bringing up the children, Kathy has other idea's about her future. She wants to be a school teacher, a career which would be elusive to her if she was to marry Freddie, but she also has an interest in politics, something which is very much frowned upon by her mother.

Life soon becomes a struggle for Kathy when significant changes take place in her family and the not knowing how Freddie is faring becomes a constant worry for her, but she has to keep going and doing what she thinks is for the best.

I loved all the characters in this book and my heart genuinely went out to them as I was reading their story. Knowing that stories like this actually took place and people were struggling to get by like the Reyling's really hit home as I was reading. Lying in my comfy warm bed or curled up in a comfy chair, I was more than a world away from the trials, tribulations and suffering that these courageous people experienced during the war. As it's the centenary year, and with Remembrance Sunday just a few weeks ago, these events have been at the forefront of people's minds and The Aro Street Girls is a wonderful insight into this era. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Lyndsay Campbell took me on an emotional roller coaster with this book and I'll be keeping a watchful eye out for more books from her.

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                                       Lyndsay Campbell - Author Bio

Writing has always been an integral part of my life. From factual articles for newspapers and news stories for a local radio station, interviewing offenders as a probation officer and writing their pre-sentence court reports for New Zealand’s District Courts, as well as amassing a small collection of poetry.
My historical fiction is inspired by the stories of my Scottish and Irish ancestors who crossed the seas in sailing ships in the mid 1800s to find a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. This, combined with years spent working in the field of counselling and social work after my family had grown, has given me an interest in the lives of our ancestors more than a century ago and in writing about what makes people act the way they do. I love to create believable characters who find themselves in challenging situations.
I am a natural gypsy and while I love to travel internationally, more recently my husband and I have enjoyed motor homing around New Zealand. Walking the beaches and bush tracks and meeting people who also enjoy the mobile life is lots of fun. The wonderful thing about writing is its portability. I am happy with my laptop on my knee in our mobile home, or at a proper desk. Living on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua where steaming mud and thermally heated pools are the norm is quite a blessing and I am sometimes to be found writing in one of Rotorua’s lovely cafes.
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You can find out more about Lyndsay and connect with her on Facebook (where you'll find a photo of the original Kathleen, the protagonist) and The Aro Street Girls is available to buy now.
 Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fantastic blogs:
With kind thanks to Jill at Books n All Book Promotions for my review copy and spot on the blog tour.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Blog Tour - Perfect Bones - A.J. Waines

I'm thrilled to be one of today's stops on the blog tour for Perfect Bones by A.J.Waines. It's the third book in the Samantha Willerby Mystery series and it's another great read from this hugely talented author.

A young woman is cycling along a London towpath when she is almost decapitated by a strategically placed wire and Aiden Blake witnessed the gruesome event from his narrowboat. Hoping to be able to gain useful leads from Aiden the police are disheartened to find that the young man has been rendered mute by the experience. Desperate to obtain vital information that they are sure Aiden can provide, they decide they need a psychologist and fast. 

Clinical psychologist Dr. Samantha Willerby has her suitcase packed and is more than ready for a well deserved holiday with her sister Miranda, when she's called in by the Met to try and get Aiden communicating. The question is can she get the information the police need within the tight timeframe when she knows that she needs much more time than they are prepared to give her and more importantly is Aiden a witness . . . or a suspect?

I love Samantha's character, she's a clever woman who is doing well in her career but, like all of us, she has flaws and self-doubt. As for her sister, Miranda, she's a character that I'd like to find out more about and hopefully this is something that the author will include in future books in this cracking series. A.J.Waines draws on her own experience in psychotherapy to give the reader an unusual insight into conditions that they may otherwise not be aware of and the ways and means that these conditions can be dealt with or treated.

Perfect Bones is a skillful mix of thriller, mystery and suspence and a worthy addition to any crime lovers bookshelf.

Check out the other stops on the blog tour on these fantastic blogs:

With kind thanks to Bloodhound Books for my review copy.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Fallible Justice - Laura Laakso

Fallible Justice is the first book in the paranormal crime series Wilde Investigations. I do occasionally dip into paranormal as a genre but I've never come across paranormal crime so I was intrigued when I heard about this book.

Old London is a place where mystical races and humans co-exist, a place where shaman, paladins and mages are everyday words and where Yannia Wilde lives.

Yannia has escaped the claustrophobic life as part of the Wild Folk conclave where she was brought up and has set herself up as a private investigator but work is slow. When she is asked to prove a man's innocence before he is due to be executed for murder, the deadline is tight so she enlists the help of her best and only friend Karrion, a bird shaman.

The investigation takes the pair deep into another world, full of magic, mystery and intrigue and they encounter a whole host of interesting characters along the way.

I loved the characters in this book, they were such a breath of fresh air from the ones I normally encounter. Yannia with her ability to borrow the senses of nearby animals and Karrion and his love/hate relationship with pigeons which brought a clever touch of humour to this wonderful book. I do have to admit to having soft spots for the enigmatic Wishearth and Lady Bergamon though.

The world that Laura Laakso has created in Fallible Justice is one that leapt off the page and sucked me into it all at the same time and I now know what Alice must have felt like when she found herself in Wonderland. Her writing and descriptive style is exceptional and I couldn't bear to put this book down.

The plot was fast paced and full of the red herrings and twists and turns that you would expect to find in a crime novel, except that Laura has put her own highly original spin on it which makes for compelling reading.

For a debut novel, this is absolutely stunning and I'm so pleased that there will be more books in this series and I can't wait to re-visit Old London and hang out with these fantastic characters again.

If you think that paranormal is not your bag I can only urge you to think again and give this extraordinary book a try - I think you might be more than pleasantly surprised!

Fallible Justice was published on November 8th by Louise Walters Books and if you buy your copy via the publisher not only will your book be signed but you'll also receive postcards and a 'flash-fiction' hand written by Laura. These flash fictions feature characters in 'off stage' moments from the novel. You can see all the details here.

With kind thanks to Louise at Louise Walters Books for my review copy.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Hippo Halloween with Jane Gilheaney Barry

It's that spooky time of year again so what better time to be chatting to an author who has written an eerie tale about witches and magic. *Insert evil laugh here* 😈

I'm delighted to welcome Jane Gilheaney Barry to The Hippo today to talk about her book Cailleach~Witch and to ask her some suitably scary questions!


Dara Cleary and her sisters are returning to their childhood home in the west of Ireland, where the aunts still live. Dara is seeking revenge for an incident that happened ten years earlier and was the reason for their leaving.

But when they arrive they find a far bigger story waiting for them. They are Bean Feasa, witches, bound to the Cailleach, a paranormal landscape witch. Now is the time of reckoning, and Dara and her sisters must face formidable odds to complete their family’s quest for freedom.

A beautifully lyrical and eerie tale, with touches of magic and an abiding sense of atmosphere and place.
Jane Gilheaney Barry drives her cast of memorable women at lightning pace through the landscape and climate of Ireland's wild west.

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I love a good spooky story and this one sounds perfect for reading on Halloween. If you like the sound of this as much as I do then you might be pleased to hear that you can download a copy - which will appear, as if by magic, on your reading device - for only 99p.

Now that you know about the book let's introduce you all to Jane, the lady behind the words.

Photo courtesy of Jane Gilheaney Barry

Jane Gilheaney Barry is author of CAILLEACH~WITCH, a modern gothic, mystery novel. And founder of creative lifestyle blog and brand That Curious Love of Green with over 25,000 followers.

With a passion for writing, creativity, freedom, and the creative path, Jane and That Curious Love of Green are becoming a go-to source for creativity inspiration. When she’s not writing, Jane is in demand as a workshop facilitator and retreat host.

Jane lives outside Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, in the north west of Ireland, with her family; husband Adrian, and children, stylist Shaylyn Gilheaney, Saoirse, ten, and Sadhbh, seven.

A keen photographer, nature lover, stylist, and artist, Jane’s professional background is PR, Arts Management, Art Therapy, and Project Design.
Follow Jane at That Curious Love of Green on Facebook: Sign up to her mailing list at and find her on instagram @janegilheaneybarry

For workshops and press email

So let's get down to some spooky chat.

Would you rather know the date of your death or the cause of your death?

The cause. I love a challenge. There might be something I could do about it if I knew, that would inspire me. The date would be a disaster. I'd be obsessed!

Which serial killer do you find most fascinating and why?

Does Dracula count? 

I think Dracula would count Jane but only if it’s this one

And not this one!

If you were trapped on an island would you rather resort to cannibalism or die of starvation?

Cannibalism all the way.

Would you rather see the ghost of a stranger or of someone that you love?

A stranger. Don't think I could cope with the other.

Would you ever stay the night in an abandoned house that was supposedly haunted?

Never. Houses are scary at night. All houses. 

If you met a vampire would you let it bite you for eternal life or would you shove a stake in its heart?

Depends on the vampire. If it's Matthew Goode then yes, he can bite me any day. 

I had to Google him but now I recognise him from A Discovery of Witches!

If you could only wear one Halloween costume for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

Has to be a witch. It's always been a witch.

You’re in a horror movie, are you the final girl, the first to die, the comic relief, the sceptic, the smart one or the killer?

The killer. 

You’re starting to scare me now Jane😱

If you’re home alone and you hear footsteps in your house what would you do?

That's a secret.

Whilst watching a scary movie are you the person who yells at the characters, the person with their hands over their eyes the whole time or the person that falls asleep?

Hands over my eyes, watching through my finger shield.

Name something you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark forest or an old abandoned building.

A man.

What’s your favourite scary book?

Bram Stoker's Dracula or Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

Would you ever got to a graveyard at night?

I would indeed. 

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I think I'm definitely going to be having nightmares tonight now but I'd like to thank Jane for stopping by today to freak me out . . . erm, I mean chat with me.

Don't forget to check out her book Cailleach~Witch and if you've already read it, I'd love to know what you thought about it so please leave me a comment.

Have a very Happy 'Hippo' Halloween and watch out for the ghosts and ghouls. Stay safe!