Girl A- Dan Scottow

Someone thinks they know who she is… and what she did.
But she insists it’s a mistake.
All Beth has ever wanted is a quiet life for her and her family. And that is what she has, until one evening a note is pushed through the door, with two words scrawled in menacing black ink;
Found you.
As Beth’s neatly crafted life begins to unravel, an unseen menace torments her and those she loves. But who’s behind the threats?
Somebody is out to get Beth, but do they have the right woman?
Beth faces losing everything, and there is far more at stake than just her marriage

NOT to be confused with Girl A by Abigail Dean (same title, different book all together!)

I’ll put it out there now-I wasn’t sure if I liked Beth or not and often I had eye rolling moments of “what are you doing?!Just pull yourself together!!” But on the whole characters were really likeable and relatable with a few gruesome ones thrown in for extra suspense! And Cooper the dog! My heart melts for that little fella!

Girl A was very well written, full of suspense and nightmare scenarios that are enough to make any reader feel on edge and disturbed long after the final page has been turned. I want to read it again and honestly feel that Scottow is one to watch and this being his second novel means I’m about to read his previous title!

About the Author

Growing up in Hertfordshire then moving to London in his early twenties, Scottow managed 10 years in the Big City before packing up and moving to Scotland for a more peaceful life where he works as a graphic designer while dreaming of a day when he can write full time-which I’m sure won’t be long if he continues with this immense titles!

Pluto’s in Uranus~Patrick Haylock

KUSHTI RUDDY BOK!

Dave suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Fatalism, meaning every single day, without fail, he follows his online horoscope and finds prophesy in their meanings. And as it just so happens that one day he sees the signs that he believes will lead him down the path of success. Only he’s very, very wrong and it lands him in extremely deep water.

After losing a LOT of money, Dave has no choice but to scramble it all back and in very little time. Which sees Dave box up some of his items and head to the most disastrous church sale and make a very unlikely allegiance with a rag-tag group of eclectic people.

If you fancy a book with an almost Douglas Adams type narrative, laughs, madness and piranhas then Pluto’s in Uranus is for you!

Sometimes it felt a little slow-going but just around the corner there’s always a new character or a sticky situation with hilarious results to pull you back in.

About the Author

Patrick Haylock is a globally unrecognised writer who, if you discount a school sweet pea growing competition, has won no awards whatsoever!
He was born in Enfield at a very dark time in the world.
It was 1:45 am, to be precise, and it wasn’t too long before it dawned on him.
To make something of himself he was going to need two things – the ability to tell the difference between a green onion and a scallion, and a good education.

Patrick lives with his wife in a converted Old Essex Brewery, where he claims a 6% ABV air quality inspired him to craft this nutty tale.
Although a ‘new voice’, in the literary world, those ‘in the know’ will willingly testify that his gift for imaginative storytelling is engaging, and, amusingly unique!

Project Kaitlyn~Grayson Avery

Meet Kaitlyn Colby, a clumsy, inappropriate blurter with self-esteem issues, but also quite handy with an axe. She’s certainly no superhero, but she fights the battles of a single mum with sweet snarkasm. Between work and pining for and co-parenting with her ex, Kaitlyn has no time to find that special someone. And if she did, would he really want her anyway? Her friendship circle intervenes to force her out of the funk that she fell into following her unwanted divorce.

When Kaitlyn makes a decision to pursue her advertising career over love, she tumbles (like no tumble you’ve ever seen…or heard) into the life of hunky, bay breeze-drinking Hunter Dixon, an ad exec who is intrigued enough by Kaitlyn that he hires her firm to revive a struggling project, much like herself.

Can Kaitlyn become the woman she needs to be to land the man of her dreams? Maybe. Maybe not. But it’ll be fun finding out!

I was dubious selecting this to read for a blog tour-I’ve been on a crime/mystery/thriller book-binge for so long that reading something different seemed entirely impossible! And if I’m honest, at times I really didn’t want to carry on with Kaitlyn’s story-being a recent divorcee myself, I felt like this would be the book for me and would lift my spirits and prevent a downward slide in to a slump (but with Covid still reeling havoc on the world, there’s pretty much nothing can lift anyone’s spirits), however I feel like the idea was good and the characters could have been a little stronger (Taylor didn’t really have to be that hyper and horny in my opinion) and some of the situations Kaitlyn found herself in were just agonisingly unbearable BUT I appreciate her journey and do find her lack of self-confidence very familiar; a lot of women during their life become highly self doubtful and it’s quite comforting to know that you’re not alone in feeling like you’re not good enough.

This would be an ideal beach read for a chick-lit and rom-com fan, but it wasn’t for me. I am glad I stuck with it to the last page though, and I would be likely to pick up the next book in this series, but only if I was on holiday or sat in the garden during a hot summer.

There aren’t many of my friends who are in to this genre, but for the few who are, I have recommended the book for “summer shelf”.

About the Author

There isn’t a great deal of information to give on Grayson Avery, except that Avery is the author of The Sweet Water Circle Series, a romantic comedy series that focuses on childhood friends in their 30’s and 40’s as they help each other navigate the stormy waters of dating, marriage, divorce, and a whole lot of inappropriate, naughty, and odd situations.

The next instalment of the series is Jenn Reinvented, due to be released sometime this year, which focuses on Kaitlyn’s younger sister.

Behind Her Eyes~Sarah Pinborough

This had been on my TBR list for months but hadn’t gotten around to reading it, and it wasn’t until I heard that Netflix would be releasing the adaptation that I felt the rushing need to actually get on and read it. And what a read!

I loved the start of the book! I felt so bad for Louise, a working single mum who meets that gorgeous and perfect man-in-the-bar only to discover that not only is he her boss, but he’s married to. I cringed when Louise bumped in to his wife, Adele, and wanted to scream at her to walk away and don’t even go there! But obviously, she does; Louise finds herself drawn to Adele and entering in to a deep friendship at the same time that she Perseus her affair with David, the husband/man-in-the-bar.

It made for an interesting start to the book, but somewhere between the half-way and three-quarter-of-the-way mark, I found myself feeling really bored.

I desperately wanted to love this book and devour it, but I found that I was rolling my eyes at Louise’s sheer stupidity at the whole mess she had found herself in. I wanted to just shake her! And at the same time, when it became clear that Adele was manipulating the situation, I began to really dislike her character.

For all the annoyance and boredom I felt during the book, I did LOVE the ending! It wasn’t just a cliff hanger but it was a really double whammy! I sort of saw part of it coming but not all of it! And that I was really thrilled with!

I did sit down and watch the first episode of the Netflix adaptation and I wasn’t keen-in fact, watching the first episode had me bored like the middle of the book (don’t hate me!). Louise was portrayed as a total simpering moron, Adele seemed robot-like and David was trying too hard to smoulder and it really wasn’t working for him (in my opinion). Since watching the first episode, I have come across a lot of mixed reviews so I’m not particularly eager to sit down and watch the rest of the episodes (I really did want to love the book and find I couldn’t stop watching the series, but that just isn’t the case).

I’m happy to place Pinborough’s other titles on my TBR list of they’re recommended to me, but I’m not overly excited about them if I’m being honest. Her characters were written well and I did like how my opinions of David changed and the cliff hanger was amazing, but there was no “grip” holding me or pulling me in. I could be very wrong and her other titles might just be utterly amazing, but unless someone says to me “you just need to read this; it’s so much better than Behind Her Eyes” then it’s not likely.

Guest Post.

Creating the World of Flammark in the supernatural thriller: When Angels Fear by Polly Mordant.

Flammark is the village setting in my supernatural thriller When Angels Fear. Its central character runs there in a desperate attempt to escape from her abusive partner. It was supposed to be a pin-in-a-map exercise, somewhere random where he couldn’t find her until she’d sorted her head out. Without offering any spoilers to the story, I think it’s fair to say that her intentions in this respect are an epic fail. The events that unfold do so while she’s at her lowest ebb, unable to work out the forces that are really at play in the village and how they affect her decisions. At the time of writing, I didn’t know I was also world-building. Flammark soon became like another character. It has a past—a history—steeped in both Celtic and Christian mythology. We see this first in the church which stands opposite Emma’s cottage. A whole chapter is dedicated to its description. It has Romanesque architecture, with distinctive corbels(see picture)–and is based on quite a famous church St. David’s and St. Mary’s at Kilpeck in Herefordshire.I think it’s really important to develop a strong sense of place within a story. It anchors the reader more to what’s going on. It also serves to anchor the characters too. In Angels, they are so attached to the place, leaving it would be unthinkable-even though Flammark’s past turns out to be as much the villain as the main antagonist. Running away from the threat is unthinkable. Emma also visits Sandmarsh Cathedral, another Norman revivalist building but of much greater scale. Sandmarsh itself, however, is loosely based on idea of Glastonbury. It’s full of new-age shops and has a pagan society. The pre-Christian roots of the town are developed in my short story Hallow’s Way. It’s currently available for free on my website. Ostensibly a Ghost Walk, I’ve used it to build the reader’s familiarity with the setting so that returning to the world becomes easier with each book. I’ve written two such stories now and will be releasing a volume of Flammark Tales once the third novel is completed.

So much time has been spent over the creation of the setting, I’ve had to draw a map of all its burial sites, barrows and standing stones. Thankfully, nothing is wasted. The map will appear in the books at some stage and certainly on Flammark’s dedicated facebook page: Friends of Flammark. Of course it’s not only the setting that makes a thriller. The characters do too and one of the challenges has been to create people who feel real, and who sometimes bounce off each other. Quite a lot of work went into Will, the troubled priest. Because Gabby is not who she seems, hers was also a difficult character. What to reveal, what to hold back? I did enjoy writing the sweary and insensitive D.I. Westen. He proved a great foil against Emma. I originally wrote him to provide texture to the story since the nervy numbness of her first chapters was in danger of flattening the narrative. It has come as a complete surprise that the seems to have gathered quite a fan base. He’s heading the favourite character pole on the Flammark page, by a quarter mile!!Most of the characters are back in the second in series where, yet again, Flammark becomes blighted with an evil spirit and Emma and her friends are threatened once more. It’s called Animus. I’m 20,000 words in at the moment and the main antagonist hasn’t even arrived yet, so am expecting the book to be a tad longer than the first. In many respects, its darker than Angels, more brooding and less ‘chummy.’ The cover has also been agreed, though needs a bit of tweaking. I’m hoping to publish roundabout May/June. If you want to be kept in the loop for publishing dates for Animus and other stories, as well the occasional Flammarkian gossips, do sign up to my newsletter. I hope you will give When Angels Fear a go. If you like thrillers, police procedurals and church mysteries, then I think you’ll enjoy it. I’m hoping to write many more episodes and it’s good to be in on the start of things. I love talking to friends and followers so do please feel free to get in touch on any of my social media, or sign up to my Newsletter. It’s great to keep in touch.

Your Neighbours Wife~Tony Parsons

This is the first book of 2021 I’ve completed that wasn’t for the purpose of a review, and it feels a bit odd if I’m honest! Because there wasn’t a deadline to read to, I really took my time with Your Neighbours Wife-it was okay but it didn’t blow me away.

It seems like Tara has it all-perfect, stay at hone husband, beautiful and smart son, adorable dog and an upbringing in an upper class home with her own pony. Tara runs her own business and a trip for a conference abroad sees her partaking in a one night stand who doesn’t want to leave things in the hotel room.

Once I had gotten over Tara’s indiscretion, I saw how awful her partner for that night really was, and as a reader I really grasped her terror as the book went on. However, I did find it seemed to almost drag in places (this is where I would put the book down and indulge in some TV drama and a cup of tea and put off picking the hook back up for a few nights), but the twist at the end was so worth it! I honestly didn’t see that coming in any way! I don’t want to give too much away, but honestly the entire set-up leading up to that moment was just mind blowing! And that final chapter just made me feel a little bit sentimental for Tara and Christian.

This is the first title of Tony Parsons I have read and I’m not sure if I’ll be adding previous titles to my constantly growing TBR list, and I really can’t compare to anything else he’s written, although a fair few reviews by fans of his do point to this being an entirely different style, genre and pace to Parsons series of titles. But I will say that a few book-bloggers I follow have found some Lisa Jewel titles quite slow and stalling, so I would say this title would seem similar to some. The writing style was good and I liked the characters-it was hard to know if you were meant to like Tara or hate her most of the time, and I really despised James Cain (as the reader is meant to) and the Accidental Dater blogger (didn’t see that one coming but also wasn’t really that surprised by it).

I’ve found an interview that fans of Parsons other books, of anyone whose curious to know more about Your Neighbours Wife, might find interesting.

Author Biography

Born in 1955 in Essex, Tony Parsons went to work in Gordon’s Gin Distillery (I wonder if he’s a fan of gin after all these years?) until he went to work as a music/punk journalist for NME (New Music Express-a magazine publication that’s no more), and much like the character of Christian, he married a fellow NME journalist who he shares a son with and divorced before remarrying again. Parsons has written numerous books going back to the early 00’s and is most well known for his DC Max Wolfe series.

When Angels Fear~Polly J. Mordant

Fleeing from a violent and abusive relationship, Emma seeks refuge in Flammark, a pin-in-the-wall destination-or so she thinks. However, besides making a temporary home in the vicar’s cottage and finding herself employment with the village doctor, Emma also finds herself still feeling uneasy, and with a strange sleeping sickness taking over the town following a young girls disappearance after the death of her father, Emma soon learns all is not as it seems and she is at the epicentre of a supernatural shit-show of epic proportions. Can she and her new found friends and allies actually put a stop to the evil surrounding the village? Or will it devour them as it has done its previous victims for over a century?

I was so excited to read this book! I’ve not read many supernatural-themed titles over the last year like I had hoped, so got stuck straight in!

The first half of the book was actually a little slow on the pick-up for me-although I really enjoyed it, it was the second half of the book that really impressed me.

The characters are all very well written and the atmosphere is set perfectly throughout-even at the end, like Emma,I wasn’t sure if I had a small feeling of sadness over the death of Ben or not. Which I personally makes for a good book-I like to see some sort of humanity in these characters in order to question their moral compass (or lack of!).

I will say right away to anyone whose considering reading this title, to be cautious as there are many references to sexual assault, violence, control and self harm which some could potentially find quite triggering and does make for uncomfortable reading.

I’m really grateful for Polly J. Mordant for sending me a lovely note with a copy of her book and to Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me spot on this blog tour.

About the Author

Polly has spent years writing blogs and stories but is a newbie when it comes to penning novels. She was an English and Drama teacher with her own departments within inner city schools for many years before becoming a bookshop owner. Horror and supernatural are her favourite genres and is a big fan of Stephen King. Mordant loves her garden and husband (in that order) and has a gorgeous German Shepherd X Staffordshire Terrier named Mojo, and is a total Scrabble addict.

Beneath The Fear~Sheila Rawlings.

When I was approached to read this, the write up was really intriguing; young woman sees her husband murdered in a bank robbery gone wrong and goes to a holiday home in her families much loved chosen destination (Cornwall) in order to recover after a rocky time of it. Samantha, the leading lady, finds herself under the limelight of her overly eager neighbour, Tony, as well as the new handyman on the block, Nathan. Sam is also pushed in to considering moving on from her late husband by childhood friend Suzy. However, as Sam starts to piece together the missing parts of her trauma, she finds herself in the middle of an awful predicament and is left fighting for her life.

It sounded truly energetic and thrilling, however for me it was 356 pages lacklustre, flat and over-played drama. There was just too much of it sadly, and it just seemed to drag. The boom could easily have been 100 pages less and a lot more fast paced and edge-of-your-seat reading. Also some of the descriptions were just a little too much and there were some annoying inconsistencies that you wouldn’t notice them unless you really knew the scenario, for example, Securicor doing a bank drop would actually have the case chained to one person and many guards actually have bodycams and during the robbery the case is not chained and there are no body cams. A prime example of the descriptions being too much is also during the robbery; Sam notices the get away car is a black Audi A1 Sportback and the robbers were armed with Beretta handguns- please tell me in a moment of crisis how anyone would take note of these things? Another thing that irked me was this; we don’t need to know the characters are wearing Ray-Bans sunglasses and we don’t need to know the exact brand of aftershave a character loved to wear. It deflected a lot of attention from the set up of the atmosphere to these brand names and felt a bit like when you see brand-dropping in TV programmes (to me at least).

I found that when it came to describing the progression of the handyman and neighbour and their stance in Sam’s life, Rawlings began to write a bit like a love struck teenage girl writing her own story about how the two popular boys in school both fancy her. I feel like the set up would have been there still if it were written a lot more subtly.

The plot was good though! I liked the idea! However there was too much of a gap between important events. I feel that the look in to Nathan’s life with the chapter in the pub with Clive (his buddy and co-worker) could have been strategically placed a lot earlier, meaning more of an atmospheric build up. Suzy did not need to be so immaturely pushy when it came to Sam moving on (she was just widowed! Have some humanity!) Despite Suzy’s reasons for backing Tony, which were shown to us at the end, it made me feel very cross for Sam (there are just something’s you don’t push, even with your best mate).

I feel that this would make a good TV adaptation but a lot of it would be left out as it wouldn’t hold an audiences attention if it was unabridged.

I’ve not read Rawlings previous title “Truth & Revenge” and I’m not entirely sure it’ll be in my list anytime soon, but I would be curious to see for myself if her writing style and structure were different.

Sadly I can’t recommend Beneath The Fear. I would be interested in hearing other people’s opinions of this book though.

Deep Level~Richard E Rock

How can I start this review without giving too much away? It was incredible! For a rather short book (149 pages) there was a lot packed in to the pages and it didn’t disappoint! From the characters to the places, my brain was filled with an extraordinary experience!

The book starts with three female friends, Ffion, Rosalind and Syeeda, meeting in a cafe set in modern day, early morning London and having a good catch up and gossip before being met with their male friend, Richard. Each character has their own back story which we are introduced to along the way, and I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of the way Richard saw the family aspect of his life, but I suppose each to their own and you never really know how you’ll feel until these moments are presented to you. But Ffion was a girl after my own heart-Welsh, food loving and a devoted mother. Syeeda and her sense of humour just creased me (her CV was hilarious!) and Rosalind with her survival instincts was the sort of woman we all need in our corner to help us fight our wars!

This foursome, who seem like the most unlikeliest of companions in a way, take a trip to discover the secrets held within the lost underground stations beneath London. They want to unearth the long forgotten depths and share them with the rest of the world, but little do they know that only one will get out alive.

The gang come across abandoned train carts and platforms as well as a sealed-up tunnel deep underground, with them suspecting that they have stumbled upon an underground station for the Victorian era’s wealthy elite when in reality they have stumbled upon something far worse.

If you want a book that isn’t going to have you yelling out WTAF (or contacting the author wanting explanations-which I did!) then this book isn’t for you. There isn’t a brilliantly and deliriously happy ending and the cliff hanger is ludicrous BUT so very good! I have been left wanting more and my own imagination has gone in to over drive with analysing various parts of the plot and the mystery of the Deep Level. This book is a stroke of genius that I couldn’t put down. I need a sequel or prequel! And quick!

About The Author

One Night in Bear Town~Nick Jones

One Night in Bear Town is set in a small village that celebrates all things Bear, and one inhabitant in particular has such a huge love for bears, that she sadly faces school playground bullying .

Sandy Lane’s best friend is her beloved teddy bear, Berisford, and unluckily for Sandy, he is confiscated one day after a run-in from the class bully (he picks on her by saying bears are babyish and makes her the butt of his cruel sneers and jibes). That night Sandy faces bedtime alone without Berisford and cries herself to sleep.

And then, in the middle of the night, something truly magical happens; the village bear statue is alive and at her bedroom window! Along with his fellow bear friends (the school mascot being one, and Berisford being another), he invites Sandy to go with them out in to the night. On their journey together, Sandy explains about the class bully, and is reassured that never again will he pick on her.

It isn’t until the next morning when Sandy wakes up and goes to school, she learns that the bears paid her tormenter a visit in the night, and she is left alone to happily enjoy her beloved bears.

One Night in Bear Town is a sweet story of overcoming bullying, being yourself and staying true to what you believe in. It’s superbly written and beautifully illustrated by the talented Si Clark, with child appropriate language used throughout. It’s relatable and enjoyable for all ages. As a mother and an Early Years worker, this truly deserves a special place on every bookshelf and so much more.

About the Author

Nick Jones is an award-winning author originally from Bristol but now living in Congleton, Cheshire. He’s written several joke books for adults (Gagged and Bound-A Book of Puns, One-Liners and Dad Jokes is best-seller under Puns and Wordplay on Amazon UK, and two sequels soon followed) and now writes books for children, his fist being Sarah’s Shadow.

Sarah’s Shadow was first published in 2018 and won Best Children’s Picture Book in the 2018 Book Awards on international book review site Readers’ Favourite ( previously won by none other than Jim Carrey for his children’s novel). Jones also was Runner-Up in the Book Excellence Awards and received a Purple Dragonfly Book Award as one of the best picture ebooks for children aged 6+.

During the lockdown of 2020, Jones was inspired to start up a funding campaign after a local event called Bearmania pushed his imagination towards the creation of One Night in Bear Town, which was supported by local businesses in his town.

There’s a new project on the horizon to keep your eyes open for and lots of adorable Bear Town merchandise available on his website.

I’d like to thank Nick Jones and Rachel’s Reading Resources for the opportunity to review One Night in Bear Town