Posted in Book Reviews

How Do You Plead?: Guilty by Laura Elliot @bookouture @Elliot_Laura #BlogTour

Today, it is Compelling Reads and my turn to announce our plea to the judge and jury!

cover.jpgTitle: Guilty
Author: Laura Elliot
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: June 22rd 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Source: NetGalley
Number of pages: 348
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.

On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. 

A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect. 

Six years later …

Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare. 

An utterly compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and Sarah A. Denzil’s Silent Child. Continue reading “How Do You Plead?: Guilty by Laura Elliot @bookouture @Elliot_Laura #BlogTour”

Posted in Book Reviews

Promenons nous dans les bois: Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen @OrendaBooks #BlogTour

Afraid to jump in a series at the 21st book? Don’t be, with a master such as Gunnar Staalesen, you won’t be confused or lost. You’re in very good hands! Forget the numbers and explore a world and a main character you’ll fall for!

I’m really pleased to be sharing the blog tour stop today with the fantastic Kate from Bibliophile Book Club !

wolves in the darkTitle: Wolves in the Dark
Author: Gunnar Staalesen
Translator: Don Bartlett
Publisher: Orenda Books
Date of publication: 2017
Format: Physical Review Copy
Source: Publisher
Number of pages: 276
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet. Chilling, shocking and exceptionally gripping, Wolves in the Dark reaffirms Gunnar Staalesen as one of the world’s foremost thriller writers.

Continue reading “Promenons nous dans les bois: Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen @OrendaBooks #BlogTour”

Posted in Blogging Life

Blog Therapy n°5: What’s in a Name? Meet Meggy Roussel! Different Name,same Favorite Redhead

Today I’m getting naked in front of you, friends, readers, strangers, passer-by…

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What’s in a name?

A name is an identity, your business card, what distinguishes you from others (Sorry to all the Emmas and Lohans who are five per class!). But a name can also be a coat, a mask, a glass wall between you and others.

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Unless it’s the police or the dentist (or the pub when you’re like me and look 12), you won’t be asked for a personal ID, so you can create, or recreate yourself and pick a brand new name. There are a hundred reasons, one being you’re being chased by a dragon eater and you are fleeing to protect your baby. One being your name is too heavy to carry, so you want to start anew. Internet allows you to do this. I took advantage of it and used a nickname I had received from someone special.

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A year a half ago, I was unable to say my name was Meggy.

Why?

Here I am again, revealing more about myself! Let’s go for some history and non-interesting ramblings.

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Growing up, I did not know who I was, neither did I know who I was supposed to be. Because I was convinced I was supposed to be the little girl, the young girl, the teenager, people wanted me to be. I was different depending on the person I was with. Each and everyone of those people had expectations from me, I don’t blame them. I just couldn’t figure out who I was, so I relied on their words. Shy, quiet, too skinny, excellent pupil. I let adults define me, but also my peers.

I was bullied from elementary school to high school, from the name calling, the pushing on the road when cars were near enough for me to feel them brush me, to the illegal videos of me taken without my knowledge and posted on a blog where everyone could comment and have fun. (Yes, the cops were involved.) I thought this was all that Meggy would ever be. The weak, poor, and unpopular girl no one wanted in their sports team.

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If you haven’t cried at all, you are not into the story, come back later! :p

Then Meggy found her way to university. She made a bad call by trying to create different bounds with people who had judged her years ago and were supposed to be family. It left her dropping out of Law School after only two months and she discovered the joy that is agoraphobia. It took a year and a half, but a miracle happened (and her mother!) and Meggy got better, not thanks to the doctors!

She discovered she was stronger than she thought, she started yoga and discovered her body had nothing to be ashamed of. She was the kind girl in the top 5 of the class chatting with everyone. Okay, so, she still had issues with her chin (major complex!) but she was happy. She was twenty, the world was hers, and she thought she had found herself.

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But life and its stupid sense of humor did it like in the movies; they took a chair and threw it into the glass of the giant bubble of happiness Meggy had created for herself. Emergency traveling back to France in bad shape, happiness gone again after two years and a half.

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This is when Meggy decided she couldn’t do it. She did not have what it took to face life and all the terrible things it had in store for her. This was 2014. She let depression, anxiety, and agoraphobia take control and let go of all the wonderful things she had proven herself she was able to do.

Come December 2015. A book. A blog. A new hobby? But she did not want to jinx it with her name, she did not want the skin of who she was to come and ruin what could be a fun thing. So she chose a name close to her heart. Donna. Fierce, resilient, witty, and not-taking-shit-from-anyone Donna. They say anonymity is okay online, right?

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Will is a bit extreme here but… Donna took the leap and started blogging. The grey days finally had a purpose, and she quickly fit into this world of books and passionate people. She was not rejected, she was appreciated for who she was, she had no past but was creating a present, and a path to a future.

I have said already, but this blog has saved me in many ways. Keeping me busy, keeping me talking to fantastic people despite being stuck at home, keeping me living vicariously through books. Now, this blog has also brought me a new career path!

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During my interview this week (for a publishing degree if you are new here!), I was asked if working under a pseudonym would be a problem for me if I intended to keep working with the people I knew. I said no. I believed it when I said it. But this innocent question has been nagging me since then.

I am Donna. I am the lover of all things creepy, the insomniac, the bra size according to my friend Dee, the sometimes fun girl you can talk to on Twitter, the Orenbabies addict, the not-always confident reviewer, the happy listener to Kat’s TV show recommendations.

But.

Last night it struck me.

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I have never hidden who I was on the Internet or pretended to be someone I am not, and I was accepted. Donna, Meggy, whatever the name, the person behind it has her place around here (I hope!)

The name Donna was vital when I thought I needed extra help to be myself, and you all proved me I did not have to. You showed me it was okay to be crazy and passionate and honest. This is me being honest. I have learned who I was, and discovered who I wanted to be. Donna is me, a part of me. But the entire package is called Meggy. And Meggy has made peace with her past, with herself, and is ready to face the world thanks to the support and love she gets every day. 

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It’s time to give Meggy her place back, now that the Donna part of her has proven that there are so much more to Meggy than her past, what people thought about her, and what she has been through. Donna is not stronger, she is a side of her that pushed Meggy to realize all she had been through had made her stronger.

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Now I sound totally crazy, I admit it, and if you’ve read until the end, you’re a friend!

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I’ll be changing my name on the blog and everywhere else on the Internet, my picture will let you know it’s me, and I hope Meggy won’t lose anything by coming out of the closet, for good this time. My therapist said it was time to create my identity. Well, nice to meet you, I’m Meggy Roussel.

PS: I still love and hold dear all mentions and signed books to Donna Roussel (can’t believe it happened!), because she’s a part of me and will forever be. But I need to be true to myself from now on, and stop being afraid of being Meggy.

PS2: I followed the wonderful idea of a great blogger to come out of the name closet! Thank you for showing me the way, Jen!

Posted in Book Reviews

Three Minus One: Two Sisters, Kerry Wilkinson @bookouture @kerrywk #blogtour

Today, I’m excited to share my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters with BCB & More!

two sistersTitle: Two Sisters
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: June 23rd 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Source: NetGalley
Number of pages: 350
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ and a half

They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff. 

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason. 

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

‘Z’ is all it read.

Z for Zac.

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, Sue Fortin and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.

Continue reading “Three Minus One: Two Sisters, Kerry Wilkinson @bookouture @kerrywk #blogtour”

Posted in Book Reviews

Yellow Lemon Tree: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee @MJonathanLee @HideawayFall

Hideaway Fall hit big with his launch of Broken Branches, with lovely packages a few of us were lucky to get! I am careful when I see such campaigns because I have seen publishers use this for books that would not -in my opinion- deserve such a fuss. But Hideaway Fall was so right to promote Broken Branches, and I am grateful to have received a copy! Now let’s get into the real deal!

broken branches
Title: Broken Branches
Author: M. Jonathan Lee
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
Date of publication: July 2017
Format: Physical Review Copy
Source: Publisher
Number of pages: 294
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

Continue reading “Yellow Lemon Tree: Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee @MJonathanLee @HideawayFall”

Posted in Guest Post

Exquisite by Sarah Stovell @OrendaBooks @Sarahlovescrime #BlogTour #SpecialContent #GuestPost

I was extremely lucky to read and be able to review Exquisite a few weeks ago. You can find my literary fangirling here: Lots of Ex- | Book Review of Exquisite by Sarah Stovell 

Today I am just as lucky as I have special content coming right from the author… I would like to thank Karen Sullivan for choosing the best stories, Anne Cater for squeezing me into the blog tour, and Sarah Stovell for her very personal guest post…

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Continue reading “Exquisite by Sarah Stovell @OrendaBooks @Sarahlovescrime #BlogTour #SpecialContent #GuestPost”

Posted in Book Reviews

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: Liar by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #blogtour

The day has come! It is time for me to spill the beans on Liar by K.L. Slater! Thank you to Bookouture (Hi Kim!) for offering me the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. This unbiased review is my thank to both publisher and author!

liar
Title: Liar
Author: K.L. Slater
Publisher: Bookouture
Date of publication: June 16th 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Source: NetGalley
Number of pages: 303
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children alone, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. Life isn’t easy, but Judi’s family means everything to her and together, they manage.

Then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t sure … there’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up.

Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

Continue reading “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire: Liar by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #blogtour”

Posted in Tags & Awards

Suntag: The Cookie Book Tag!

This blog is becoming too serious! We need some bookish fun today, so I decided to resurrect my favorite non-review posts: the Suntag! On top of it, it’s ABOUT FOOD! I’ve been nominated by the adorable and fab Beth @ Reading Every Night and the lovely and great Jessica @ The Awkward Book Blogger! Thank you so much, ladies!

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Continue reading “Suntag: The Cookie Book Tag!”

Posted in Book Reviews

Who’s your Daddy? The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh @bookouture #BlogTour

I am honored to be a stop on the blog tour for the fantastic book by Lesley Welsh. Thank you very much to Bookouture and the lovely Kim Nash for the chance to take part in this tour and share my thoughts. I would also like to thank and pay my respects to Lesley Welsh’s family.

the serial killer's daughterTitle: The Serial Killer’s Daughter
Author: Lesley Welsh
Date of publication: June 14th 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Number of pages: 335
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Charmer, liar, father… Killer.
Suzanne’s life changes forever the day she receives a visit from Rose Anderson, the woman who has been living with her estranged father, Don.

Don is dead, but Rose wants Suzanne to have his possessions – including a series of intimate diaries and a mysterious collection of photographs of women.

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her?

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his journals? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

Continue reading “Who’s your Daddy? The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh @bookouture #BlogTour”