Friday, 30 September 2016

Blog Tour: The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne

Today I'm excited to be part of the Blog Tour for this menacing thriller, The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne. First of all, Abigail answers some questions on her main character, then you can read my review.

The Blurb: 
Manipulated by fear and love…could you cut the strings and take back control?
Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain?
Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems. Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them?
One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them
Welcome to my blog, Abigail. Can you tell us five favourite things about your protagonist, Billie?

Hello, thanks for having me today! I really enjoyed answering this and exploring my protagonist with you.

1. Hidden Strength

Although Billie thinks she is weak and afraid, she also has a hidden strength. She could quite easily have given up and headed down a dark path, but instead, she has a job and is trying her best to live. She has been betrayed in the worst possible way, but it hasn’t made her a bad person. Some people when they have been bullied, they become bullies themselves, but she still retains her morals and her spirit, even if it is buried away for safe keeping.

2. Her sensitivity

I love that Billie is so sensitive, she feels things so deeply, and it makes her a really enjoyable character to write. I didn’t have to hide who she is because really, she is an open book once you get to know her. She cares so much about the people that she chooses to love.

3. Her bravery

Billie is a very brave girl. She suffers at the hands of someone so evil, but she still fights and refuses to let him ruin her life. Yes she cuts herself off from the world, but she is still living, still not giving him the satisfaction of destroying her completely.

4. Her taste in pets

Billie is a cat lover just like me (I wonder how that happened). Bobby is her world and best friend in some respects. He fulfils the deep-seated need she has to love someone and take care of them.

4. Her intellect

Billie is vulnerable and fearful but by no means is she stupid. She has a massive knowledge base from all the time she has spent reading. She is a wonderful conversationalist when she gets to know you, especially if you mention books.

Thank you for a 

My Review

What a powerful debut, tackling some serious themes with sensitivity and care. Abigail has managed to get right into the core of her characters. Billie is damaged; through no fault of her own, and Adam, on the surface wants to help her - or does he have an ulterior motive?

The book deals with difficult themes of which no one likes to think about, but Abigail has bravely created a believable story which, although hard to read at times due to the emotions involved, draws you into the characters' minds.

The reactions of Billie's family is heartbreaking, but true to life, but Billie shows herself to have more strength and resilience than she could believe in being able to make a fresh start. Then she meets Adam, and slowly she finds herself falling in love with him.

Against his better judgement, Adam finds himself falling for Billie too, and he has to come to terms with the lies he has been told. 

Both have been manipulated by someone so sinister and twisted; again as in real life, we are shown how duplicitous and controlling one person can be.

Abigail has done a great job of telling a difficult story.  

About the author

Abbie was born in the Lake District and has moved all around the UK since then until she met her husband at University. She lives with him and their two crazy cats in the West Midlands. She is a Needs Assessor for students with disabilities and has her own book reviewing blog called Many Books, Many Lives. Even though she did English Literature at University it wasn't until she started reviewing books that she realised how much she loved to write. The Puppet Master is her first novel but it certainly won't be her last. 

You can follow her on @Abigail_Author or @MBequalsML.

Information about the Book 

Title: The Puppet Master 
Author: Abigail Osborne 
Genre: Adult Romance 
Publisher: Self-Published 
Format: Ebook and Paperback 
Published: 30th August 2016 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Blog Tour: Lost in Static by Christina Phillipou

Sometimes growing up is seeing someone else's side of the story.

Four stories. One truth. Whom do you believe?

Callum has a family secret. Yasmine wants to know it. Juliette thinks nobody knows hers. All Ruby wants is to reinvent herself.

They are brought together by circumstance, torn apart by misunderstanding. As new relationships are forged and confidences are broken, each person's version of events is coloured by their background, beliefs and prejudices. And so the ingredients are in place for a year shaped by lust, betrayal, and violence...

Lost in Static is the gripping debut from author Christina Philippou. Whom will you trust?
Thank you to the author and publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to participate on the Blog Tour.

University life. A chance, to make a fresh start, to make new friends - and new enemies. 

The story is told in first person point of view; with each of the major characters getting to put forward their version of events. It's cleverly done; once I realised that each scene was being described by each character in turn, so there was a little bit of a sense of travelling back in time to the beginning of each scene/incidence. It was interesting to see each person's perspective, making it easy to see how misunderstanding can happen so easily, and proving that we cannot know what is going on in someone else's mind. Never assume you know what someone is thinking!

It's interesting to see how different people react to others when placed in a rarefied situation like university. It was an uncomfortable read at times, with characters not reacting as I presumed, but this is in no way a criticism; it makes for a great read with it's twists and turns.

A great debut novel, and I look forward to reading more by Christina.

Lost in Static is available from, amongst others, Amazon UK, Amazon US, and direct from the publisher, Urbane Publications.

Author Bio

Christina Philippou’s writing career has been a varied one, from populating the short-story notebook that lived under her desk at school to penning reports on corruption and terrorist finance. When not reading or writing, she can be found engaging in sport or undertaking some form of nature appreciation. Christina has three passports to go with her three children, but is not a spy. Lost in Static is her first novel.

Christina is also the founder of the contemporary fiction author initiative, Britfic.

You can connect with Christina on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Book Review: Strictly My Husband by Tracy Bloom

Today I'm excited to be joining the Strictly My Husband Promo Party in association with Brook Cottage Books! And you know how I like to party.

So get your sequins on and shimmy and salsa your way through my review...

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.
The Blurb:
Laura loves it when Tom takes her for a late night tango around the kitchen after their friends have gone home and they’re avoiding the washing up. She can’t dance but who cares when no one is watching?
All that changes when Tom arrives on the doorstep with Carly, a professional dancer, and announces he’s offered her the spare room to rent while she performs in a show that Tom is directing.
An outraged Laura doesn’t feel like dancing with Tom anymore but Carly does. It only takes two to tango, and given Tom’s history who knows where it could end? Will Laura be the one left watching from the sidelines whilst Carly waltzes off with her husband’s heart?
Couples who dance together stay together – or do they?

My Review:

Strictly My Husband is a glitter ball of a read which doesn't miss a step, with loads of chuckles which keep you laughing. 

I found the main character rather annoying, although we all know the jealous type! To be fair, I think I'd be pretty pissed off if my husband invited someone to stay without consulting with me. But Laura's jealousy seems to take her over. After all, it takes two to Tango...

Carly is talented and beautiful, everything Laura feels she's not, but I didn't find much depth to the character; she was just a bit too sickly sweet. She did seem to fawn over Laura's husband Tom, but I think I expected a bit more to happen with this character.

There was also a couple in an unhappy marriage, with neither partner appearing to admit to their problems. Hannah is tired of Jerry's constant ogling and spending; he thinks she is a killjoy.  I found their issues were resolved in quite a sweet way, if a little too nice for real life

My favourite character is Amy, Tom's acerbic assistant. She has the courage to say what everyone else is thinking - she's great.

The story has a good pace to it, and is full of natural flowing dialogue. It's told from several of the characters POV, which gives some insight into their thoughts and feelings. This shows how differently people can perceive a situation to great effect - seeing Tom's version of events vs Laura's is often hilarious.

This book is pure light-hearted escapism.

You can buy Strictly My Husband here (other retailers are available...)

Tracy Bloom – The Low Down

Tracy Bloom was born quite a while ago, is average to short in height, buys clothes based on their ability to hide stuff rather than show stuff, has chemically enhanced hair and wishes she had kept her braces in longer as a teenager. But apart from that she is really happy to try and describe herself! 

Tracy has always liked to say it how it is in her writing, right from when she began her first novel NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY nearly ten years ago. Her insight and wit has led her to be a number one bestseller, published in over a dozen countries and twice winner of the Love Stories Awards for Best Author Published Romance.

Twitter: @TracyBBloom

Goodreads Author Page: