Thursday, 26 February 2015

Introducing Charlotte - Charlotte Hains


When Charlotte bumps into her old friend Anthony she is at her lowest... 

Shocked by the revelation of her escape from a controlling and abusive relationship, Anthony enlists the help of Nats and Lloyd to help Charlotte find the confidence she once had. Charlotte is unaware, however, of the darker side of her friends’ lifestyle. And although Lloyd is deeply attracted to her, Charlotte is broken, hurt, and lacks control. 

As Lloyd sets to work coming up with unique ideas to bring Charlotte back to life, she is introduced to an intimate world of secret passions and desire. 


This book is for readers 18+ due to adult content

Charlotte Hains left the UK for France after deciding she needed a change, taking on the huge project of renovating a house. In the UK her life consisted of getting up, going to work, coming home, going to bed, and just surviving. She now enjoys French life within the community of the village in which she lives, and feels privileged to be part of it. She describes her French neighbours as fantastic, offering her help in every way they can, and says she might have given up long ago if they hadn’t been so understanding. 
With her house nearly finished she found herself with long nights and lots of thumb twiddling, reading anything she could get on her iPad. In honesty, she admits it was here that Fifty Shades of Grey caught her eye. Unbeknownst to her, her sister was reading it as well. Her sister thought that, because Charlotte has such a creative side, maybe she’d be able to write a book too. As a joke, Charlotte emailed her sister her stories, also written on her iPad. She researched blogs and BDSM sites on the internet, and so Introducing Charlotte came alive. Before she knew it, Charlotte had over 150,000 words which she’d sent by email in instalments to her sister, and there was more than enough for a book...or maybe even two! 


The prize is an ecopy of the book x 2 Rafflecopter codes 

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The One Saving Grace - Julie Houston

About the book...
Lowering her voice so that the three police officers couldn’t hear, Grace whispered, ‘Harriet, could you just moan a bit more like that? You know, pretend you’re in labour as opposed to being in lust, otherwise I’m going to end up with a damned great parking fine…’

So begins a year of madness for Harriet as she goes into labour in Harvey Nichols’ men’s knicker department at exactly the same moment she sets eyes on Alex Hamilton.

Grace, giving birth only two months after Harriet, has her own craziness to contend with and, as both women hurtle down totally unexpected and very different paths, they flounder in a maelstrom of passion and confusion, perilously clinging on as the chain of events threatens not only their comfortable, ordinary lives but also their very existence…

The One Saving Grace continues the story of Grace, Harriet and Amanda begun in Goodness, Grace and Me which reached #1 in Amazon’s Top 100 for Humour in 2014.

About the author...
Julie Houston is Yorkshire born and bred. She lives in Huddersfield where her novels are set and her only claims to fame are that she taught at ‘Bridget Jones’ author Helen Fielding’s old school, her neighbour is ‘Chocolat’ author Joanne Harris and her friend is about to marry Tracy Emin’s cousin! Oh, and she was rescued by Frank Bough when, many years ago, she was ‘working as a waitress in a cocktail bar’ at the Kensington Hilton in London.

After University, where she studied Education and English Literature, she taught for many years as a junior school teacher. As a newly qualified teacher, broke and paying off her first mortgage, she would spend every long summer holiday working on different Kibbutzim in Israel. After teaching for a few years she decided to go to New Zealand to work and taught in Auckland for a year before coming back to this country.

She now teaches part time, and still loves the buzz of teaching junior-aged children. She has been a magistrate for the last thirteen years, and, when not distracted by ebay, genealogy (so time consuming but so interesting - she recently discovered her husband is descended from the poet Shelley and the Duke of Milan!!) and crosswords, she spends much of her time writing.

Julie is married, has a nineteen-year-old son and sixteen-year-old daughter and a mad cockapoo called Lincoln. She runs and swims because she’s been told it’s good for her, but would really prefer a glass of wine, a sun lounger and a jolly good book.

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

I have to confess straight off, I am a 'cover tart' and I absolutely love the cover for this and Julie's last novel Goodness, Grace & Me - they make you want to pick them up to start with.

This book gets off to a hilarious start that had me laughing and cringing in equal measures - never again will I be able to visit Harvey Nicks without a detour to the mens 'smalls dept' for a giggle.  Harriet, the lead female in this novel and her best friend Grace are  both expecting, due within weeks of each other.  They are on a little shopping trip when Harriet goes into premature labour - she's not due for another two months!  What ensues is nothing short of 'Comedy Gold'.  The two women spark off each other with an ease that is only seen with long term friends - add to the mix a drop dead, gorgeous, hunk of a knight in shining armour and a couple of scrapes with the law, as the girls try to execute an escape back to Yorkshire from Manchester wanting the babies (she's expecting twins) to be born on home turf, was like a scene from 'Thelma and Louise'.  If I tell you I sat grinning like a slightly insane person, laughing out loud regularly and you've got the measure of this book from the off.

The story really begins to split into two once the babies for both women are born.  Harriet's twins make five children for her with Grace giving birth to her first.  Julie describes with ease, two very different reactions to pregnancy and birth, one had no real plans, was very laid back and the other had the pregnancy, birth and post labour organised down to the last detail.  Suffice to say life isn't easy for either of the women, Grace's plans go by the wayside and Harriet needs an extra 12 hours in every day just to stay on top of day to day life - they begin to drift apart without realising it, their friendship stretched beyond recognition in the end.

It's clear to the reader that Grace is suffering from Post Natal Depression, something that best friend Harriet doesn't even realise for a long time because she literally doesn't have a minute left in her day for anything other than grabbing a few minutes sleep.  Such a serious topic could so easily have dragged the mood down but Julie deals with it in a sensitive but realistic way, balancing it with snippets of humour usually caused by Harriet's chaotic household.

What I wasn't prepared for, was the other storyline.  Harriet and Nick live happily with their brood of five, they clearly adore each other but neither has any time - Nick is always travelling with work, trying to build his business as security for his family and poor Harriet is worked to the bone.  As one day ends, the next instantly begins - the clock ticking faster than she'd like, there are simply not enough hours in the day.  The scene has been set so when Harriet finds herself locking eyes with the hunk from Harvey Nicks, in her living room of all places, she goes into a melt-down. Such was Julie's description I could literally feel the attraction fizzing off the page.

Julie introduced a supporting cast of family, friends and relations that read like a page from Ancestry.Com - everyone was seemingly connected or related to each other in some way - so and so's brother's, sister's, mother's, uncle that married .... You get the picture?  I thought I'd never keep up but it all slotted together, surprisingly quickly I'm glad to say and there wasn't a single one that I thought was un-necessary to the plot.  Some I liked more than others, but that's real life isn't it?  

There are many twists and turns, things don't always happen as you'd expect and some things were definitely not as clear cut as I initially thought.  It's this and the pacing that kept me turning the pages - wanting to see if my guesses were right (they mainly weren't). Both women reached rock bottom before they could climb back up and re-build their lives - many relationships were shattered along the way some irretrievably and it was difficult at times to see how there could be any positive outcomes at all. I thought Julie bravely, but sensitively dealt with both the post natal depression and the infidelity in such a way that the reader is left in no uncertain terms as to the wider ripples caused by both.  I was left thinking and analysing long after the final page.  This wasn't your classic happy ever after chick lit, girl meets boy, falls in love, runs off into the sunset.  It was a million times better than that - because it was about real life and real life isn't all hearts and roses every day.  We get up in a morning and don't know what curve balls are coming our way.  One thing Julie demonstrated particularly well, is that the grass isn't always greener on the other side and time is a great healer.  We cannot force issues, people heal and build themselves back up at their pace and in their own time and only they know if they can move forward or need to take a different path.  But , true love runs deep and if you love someone you have to let them go - if it's meant to be, they'll come back.

This book is the authors second novel but can easily be read as a stand alone.  I loved it, even if I did get a bit confused at times ;D - there are some truly hilarious moments amongst the serious bits, Julie has brilliant comic timing and some of her terminology was hilarious.  I'd love to know who her characters were based on and how much of herself is in this book.

#IvyLane Sunflower Competition - Cathy Bramley

What's it all about...
Read to the end for the Sun Flower Growing 
competition instructions.
Cathy Bramley certainly knows how to reel in an audience.  Ivy Lane is set in and around an allotment and is told in four parts just like the seasons - spring, summer, autumn & winter   Each part gives you not quite enough or just the right amount depending on how you look at it.  I'm impatient so felt frustrated when each of the books ended - I was left just desperate for the next instalment and trying to second guess what would happen next.  

It has just been released as a complete book so if you haven't already read it I urge you to get your hands on a copy now!  Everything about it is just perfect - the characters, setting, pace, intrigue, humour and romance are served up in just the right quantities.  I loved every page and waxed lyrical about it at every opportunity.

Imagine my delight when I found out I had not just one but two mentions in the newly published paperback - I was blown away, such an honour. 

I was on my way out to buy a copy so I could see for myself when I received this bundle through the post.

The packet of sunflower seeds got me thinking - Tilly knew nothing about gardening when she took on the allotment down at Ivy Lane - do any of us truly know about growing Sunflowers?  Wouldn't it be fun to grow them together, to encourage and cheer each other on - to be a supportive, shoulder when things don't go quite how we planned them? ;D

The idea evolved and the #IvyLane #Sunflowercomp was born.  I've already got a few people signed up - if you're interested leave a message at the end of this blog post or DM me on twitter - there will be prizes and a panel of independent judges we all know and love.  I'll also be posting all of your updates and pics on here and sharing links to your blogs, twitter and other social media outlets.

The optimum time for planting sunflower seeds I'm told is mid April so it will be just after Easter when we begin but, I'll be posting all of the instructions here so please keep checking back, google+ this post and share on twitter and Facebook - the more the merrier. I'll also be emailing you all so I know you haven't missed anything.

Dawn :-) xx

About the book...
Tilly Parker needs a fresh start, fresh air and a fresh attitude if she is ever to leave the past behind and move on with her life. As she seeks out peace and quiet in a new town, taking on a plot at Ivy Lane allotments seems like the perfect solution.

But the friendly Ivy Lane community has other ideas and gradually draw Tilly in to their cosy, comforting world of planting seedlings, organizing bake sales and planning seasonal parties.

As the seasons pass, will Tilly learn to stop hiding amongst the sweet peas and let people back into her life – and her heart?


I will log all photo's, stats and links to blogs for everyone who enters the competition in a blogpost.  There will be three prizes.  One for the tallest, the biggest head, and a booby prize for the weirdest looking! 

There aren't many rules!

1. Plant as many seeds as you choose between now and the last day of the Easter holidays. Mon 30 March and Sunday 12th April.
For those of you who need to follow some instructions on how to actually plant your sunflower seeds please follow the link to the Wiki How to Website

2. Send me the date and a picture of you're pots once you've planted your seeds via
email or twitter - @crooksonbooks

3. Once a week between Thursday and Sunday send an updated photo / few words about size, colour, tips on watering, feeding etc so we can all compare growth.

4.  At the end of week three, choose just three of your seedlings to enter into the competition - send a photo with details of height. 

5. Finally, NO CHEATING!!  The rules are flexible enough to allow fun for all adults and children alike.

By July we should all be seeing some sunshine on our window sills or in our gardens but remember this could be slightly sooner or later depending upon our weather. When we see what sort of weather the spring/summer brings I will set a finish date.

Confirm your entry into the competition by leaving a blogpost comment below - thank you and may the best man, woman or child win!

Haven't got any sunflower seeds to plant? Don't worry enter the giveaway below.  I have ten packets to give to ten lucky winners, thanks to Transworld Books.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Silent Scream - Angela Marsons

About the book...

When a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the death marks the beginning of a spate of gruesome murders that shock the Black Country. 
But as human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim
fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. 
As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past – before it’s too late?

About the author...
Angela Marsons was born and raised in the Black Country and still lives there, along with her long-term partner, as well as a bouncy Labrador and a potty-mouthed African Grey parrot. Although she has been writing since her early teens, Silent Scream is her first novel. 

My thoughts...
The day has finally come when I can share my review of this amazing book with you all.  I was given an ecopy from Bookouture, Angela Marsons publishers in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to do.

There are rare times when you pick up a book, by an author you've never heard of and are blown away - this was one of those times.  When I heard Bookouture had signed a thriller writer I was beyond excited - my expectations were high and Bookouture and Angela Marsons surpassed each and every one of them.

The story begins ten years back in time with five people stood around a grave that had just been dug, the assumption from the text is that the grave is that of a child - they make a pact to keep the truth to themselves and then we are fast forwarded to the present day and before we are 1% into the book we're witness to a murder that had my heart pounding - it was like a scene from 'Sleeping With The Enemy'. With my heart pounding, I felt the same as I did when I watched the film - desperate to read on, but almost too scared to do so.

Enter D. I. Kim Stone - a woman with more facets than a diamond - first impressions are a brash, matter of fact, hard nosed Inspector hell bent on solving a crime - she really takes no prisoners, with suspects, colleagues or superiors. Yet, it is clear from the off that her team have her back - despite the gruelling regime she expects them to work under.  I get the impression they see her character clearer than she does herself.  Though, even from the beginning there are hints for the reader to a softer character hidden beneath the hard exterior she's built around herself.  She clearly has a history that has shaped her into the person she's become and as the novel progresses and her 'story' unfolds along with mounting crimes we, the reader, begin to understand a little of the reasoning behind her drive and determination.  

The book is set in the Black Country and the story revolves around a now closed children home, bones have been found in a shallow grave in what used to be the grounds.  So now there is a historic death to solve - are the bones that of a child if so is there a link to the death that occurred in the first chapter? I was totally gripped, the pace of Silent Scream was just at the heart pounding stage - a list of people to question was composed and just before, or just after they are questioned by D. I. Stone and her team they meet an unfortunate end!  How many murders will there be before the crimes are solved and are the modern day murders linked to the bones found and or the children home.

The hints and insinuations that the bones unearthed are children bones and found within the grounds of a children's home focuses the mind in only one direction, some kind of child abuse. A very disturbing and brave subject for an author to pursue in a first novel - there has been so much historic abuse brought to the fore in recent years. D. I. Stone does an incredible job, driving the narrative, pushing her team forward - her instructions are un-negotiable.  Yet, every now and again her true character, buried so deep it's impossible to see, comes to the fore and she displays a sensitive side - putting her own head on the block whilst protecting her team - fully prepared to take the wrap because her drive to solve the crime goes deeper than anyone could possibly imagine.

I like to second guess 'who dun-nit  as I'm reading a crime novel and all too often authors can be so embroiled in blood and gore they leave the plot and culprits out to dry for anyone to see, not so in this case.  I had no idea who, what or why until almost the end.  Even then getting it wrong.  At one point I thought I had it solved crying NOOOOO it can't be ........, I was gutted, only for the story to pitch again. There are so many twists and turns - chapters that are seemingly unrelated, characters that show themselves but are so 'holier than thou' they don't even touch the radar. It was a breathe of fresh air to read about complex characters not drowned in blood - so unnecessary to a story in my opinion - only resulting in detracting from the story and putting me off!

For an author to spin such a complex tale, that kept my heart beating at an increased rate but didn't scare me to death is, in my humble opinion, truly brilliant.  Angela gave just enough detail to satisfy the curiosity, leaving me wanting more - I can't tell you how excited I was to realise there will be a series based around D I Stone - something that I'd totally missed until way after I d finished the book. I look forward to digging deeper into her character.  She is a character at odds with herself - she has such a high profile job - happy to go out and shout her mouth off in the line of duty but preferring to blend into the background on a personal level, not wanting any accolades or acknowledgements for herself personally.

I really can't tell you how brilliant this book was, I turned the pages at a rate of knots desperate to read just one more chapter - willing myself to get to the end of the book and solve all the crimes.  Disappointed and sorry when I did.  Not because the book was disappointing, but because I felt bereft.  I didn't really know what to do with myself when I finished Silent Scream.  The outcome was traumatic, yet at the same time uplifting   I'll be shouting about this book and author for a long time to come and drumming my fingers repeatedly until book 2 is released.

I was fortunate enough to interview Angela Marsons and you can read my interview HERE.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

My So-Called Love life - A L Michael

About the book...
Meet Tigerlily James: romance cynic, North Londoner and die-hard margarita fan.

Tigerlily James has been a member of the Young and Bitter Club ever since she was dumped on Valentine's Day. By her fiancĂ©.

Surviving on a diet of cynicism and margarita-fuelled ‘Misery Dinners’ with her best friends, she’s become a romance free zone…and that’s the way she likes it. Until an invitation for The Ex’s wedding arrives. Suddenly in need of a plus one, Tig has little choice but to bin the takeaways, ditch the greying underwear collection…and start pretending to view the opposite sex as something other than target practise.

Then, she meets Ollie – ie. the perfect solution. No sex. No strings. Fake boyfriend. The only catch is that she has to pretend to be his girlfriend for three whole months.

Dating without the heartbreak: the best idea Tig’s ever had, right? Wrong!

About the author...
A. L. MICHAEL is a twenty something writer from North London. She has a BA in Literature with Creative Writing, an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship (both from UEA) and is studying for an MsC in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes. She is not at all dependent on her student discount card.

She is a creative writing workshop facilitator and English tutor, as well as recently being the Writer in Residence at Red Door Studios in Newham, directing a brand new literary festival called Words With Edge. She is currently running workshops in creative wellbeing, and business skills for artists. 

She enjoys expensive chocolate, cheap wine, and has an alarming penchant for animal puns. Occasionally, she sleeps.

Author links:-

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour for 'My So-Called Love Life' which I'm more than happy to give.

I liked the synopsis for this book, it wasn't just the thought of copious amounts of cocktails to get the setting right - honest, who doesn't love a margarita? 

Tigerlily - Tig to her friends is  a member of the Misery Dinners Club, she and her two closest friends Dana and Ame are on serious downers.  Gathering weekly to put the world to rights, wallow in self pity and stick pins in the virtual bodies of their ex's.  Sounds like a good idea at first, but as the three women's lives continue without their parters - cracks being to appear within the friendships.

The main focus of the book is on Tig, her boyfriend ceremoniously, dumped her on Valentines Day  five days before her wedding - they'd been together for twelve years, since they were 15 years old - you can imagine how low she was feeling when she opened an invitation to his wedding, mere months after he had ended their relationship!  She's not been able to pull herself together since and her whole life had been put on hold - instead she spends her days drinking tea in Enchanted (a tea shop/cafe) and evenings hitting the bottle to drown her sorrows.

Despite all this, there is a ray of sunshine in the form of Ollie, the new waiter at Enchanted who ends up being a shoulder to cry on - his personality jumps off the page, more than making up for Tig's wallowing and self pity.  He is just passing through, he will be around for a few months before continuing his travels and offers more than an ear to Tig - he really could be the answer to all her problems.  Tig needs a date for her ex's wedding and Ollie readily agrees but lays down a few conditions.

I literally devoured the pages of this book.  The characters were so well written, visualising each of them was easy.   At first Tig came across as flat and lifeless but, even at the beginning I could see the occasional spark - she was feisty and quick to react but clearly had a heart of gold that she'd managed to successfully bury in her bid to protect herself from more hurt.  It was a beautiful journey that I travelled with Tig, watching as her true self emerged and the feistiness gave way to a gentle character that grew in strength and determination as the story unfolded. As I'm sure everyone who reads this book will agree Ollie was just a dish, he oozed charm and sexiness without coming across as smarmy and fake - all credit to the author as this sort of character is one that I usually find difficult to buy into.  Somehow, they always come across as smug and self important, two qualities I can honestly say are not shared by Ollie. The temperament of Tig and Ollie couldn't be more different.  Ollie being the antidote to Tig's poison.  He is the catalyst in the changes in not only Tig, but her friends too.  He comes across as totally selfless, focused on making Tig feel good about herself, he was a total ray of sunshine, pushing Tig but stopping just short of bullying - all the while letting her make her own decisions,  knowing when to push and when to back off.  But the best characters in this book without doubt have to be Tigs, hippy, parents.  I literally choked laughing at some of the things they came out with - some truly, cringeworthy moments that only a parent can orchestrate - they were hilarious.

This truly is a story of trust, hope and determination, communication and honesty - sometimes focusing on someone else's problems and situations is the best medicine a person could have and as each one makes moves to start living their lives again you can literally feel the bounce, determination and energy leap off the page.  Each and every character in this book eventually learns to both give and take, realising that successful relationships of any kind cannot be built on just one thing at all.  The Misery Dinners served a purpose in the beginning as a support structure but it took just one person breaking out to make them all realise - life is for living, not wallowing in self pity.  It's better to be happy and alone than miserable in a relationship and ultimately no matter what we have to be responsible for our own destiny.  As for Ollie, outwardly he is Mr Happy, strong and supportive, is he exactly what it says on the tin?  He's travelling the world, never laying down roots - is he happy or is he escaping?  You'll have to read this book to find out for yourself, read all the history both past and present of each of the characters and travel with each of them as they learn to compromise and discover what is important and what is superficial in their lives.

I truly loved this fab story and highly recommend it to all chick lit readers who love a happy ending but want a story that is more than just gloss - My So Called Love Life will give you several hours of escapism and an ending that doesn't quite happen in the way you might initially think it would.  You'll laugh out loud, sigh with happiness, cringe a little and may even be close to shedding a tear.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Angela Marsons - Silent Scream

About the book...
When a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the death marks the beginning of a spate of gruesome murders that shock the Black Country. 

But as human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades. 

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past – before it’s too late? 

About the author...
Angela Marsons was born and raised in the Black Country and still lives there, along with her long-term partner, as well as a bouncy Labrador and a potty-mouthed African Grey parrot. Although she has been writing since her early teens, Silent Scream is her first novel. 

An Interview with Angela Marsons...

Welcome to Crooks on Books Angela.

Hi Dawn, thank you for inviting me.

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in the heart of the black country with my partner Julie, our Labrador named Kizzy and our African Grey parrot called Nelson.  I’ve spent most of my working life in the security industry and am currently a control room supervisor.

  • How and why did you get into writing?
From a very young age I loved to play with words.  I marveled at the power they had over me when I read a book.  When I was in my early teens I wrote a short piece on the relationship between the coastline and the sea.  My English teacher loved it and brought in some books that were above my reading level and which focused on the complexities of human relationships.  After reading those books I realized that I wanted to create such stories and take the reader on a journey.

  • If you wasn’t a writer what would your dream job be?
I think it would have to be some type of Counsellor.  I love to listen to people and unravel their stories.  I’m also very nosey and quite free with my advice.

  • Describe a typical day in the life of Angela Marsons the author.
On a writing day I love to rise early and sit at the dining table writing while it’s still dark outside.  As the day comes alive I join the rest of the world and succumb to Facebook and Twitter and emails.  Normality inevitably intrudes and prompts me to cook and clean but I like to be back at my writing table as the world goes back to sleep.

  • Do you read and write in the same genre?
Yes, I am an avid reader of Karin Slaughter, Val McDermid, Lynda La Plante.  The list goes on.

  • Tell us a little bit about about your current book Silent Scream.
Silent Scream is a crime novel set in the Black Country and centres on the brash, sometimes rude, Detective Inspector Kim Stone.  While investigating a series of current murders she must uncover some secrets from the past.

  • Silent Scream is  not just about solving murders, both current and historical, it’s about child abuse, serious ill health , trust and the evolution of DI Kim Stone a character with a history that shows she is clearly not comfortable in her own skin. Where did you get your inspiration for this story-line?
I’ve always wanted to write about a character that was less than perfect.  She is not always likeable but her integrity and passion for the underdog is always present.  The story was inspired by a bus journey I would take as a teenager.  The route passed by a local children’s home.  I always found myself curious about the residents and the air of mystery that surrounded the facility.

  • How much research into the locations and the psychology of the story lines was required to give realism to the novel?
Luckily I know the area very well as it is where I have always lived.  The psychology of the storylines came from the image that I wanted to portray.  I wanted to show Kim’s vulnerable side by giving her a bond with a girl who although is limited and challenged is a fighter.  I wanted to demonstrate her humour by giving her a colleague with whom she could banter.  I also wanted Kim to have an affinity with the victims so I chose girls to whose emotions she could easily relate.

  • For me the story was compulsive and I developed an obsession of sorts, staying up half the night to read it.  The story and characters stayed with me long after the end of the book.  How easy was it for you to detach yourself once the book was finished?
I didn’t want to finish writing the story but I had to let it end.  There was a period of mourning initially where I felt that I would never discover this story again.  So, I did the only thing I could think of.  I went ahead and got started on another.

  • If Silent Scream was to be made into a film would you want to be on the casting couch and if so who would you put into the key roles? 
Oh, I would love to be on the casting couch.  If I had my way Kate Beckinsale would be cast as Kim Stone.  I would choose Bradley Walsh to play Bryant.

  • Is there a message for your readers in your book and what do you hope they take from them?
The only message I’d like a reader to take from the book is the fact that no-one is invisible.  The victims from the children’s home had painful, tragic histories but they all had problems and feelings and deserved a voice. 

  • Describe the feeling when you held your first finished novel in your hands.
Pure unadulterated joy.  Seeing and holding my thoughts as a real life book was probably the proudest moment of my life. It is a moment you dream of but the reality is so much more.

  • Do all of your friends now expect free copies of your book and was having a novel published a bit like winning the lottery all your friends and acquaintances suddenly wanting to become your best friend?
No, luckily my friends and family all want to buy it which is good because I don’t think I can let any of my printed copies go.  It would be like giving away a family member.

  • What can we expect from you in the future?
The next story for Kim Stone is called Evil Games where Kim must enter into a game of cat and mouse with a female psychiatrist who uses her patients for experimental purposes.

Now for a little bit of fun, a glimpse at 
the real Angela Marson:-

What’s your favourite tipple? 
Sparkling wine
Do you prefer savoury or sweet things? 
Friends coming round  - cook or get a take-away? 
Do you prefer hot or cold climates? 
Do you prefer a beach holiday or city break? 
Beach holiday
Which would you prefer luxury cruise or fly long haul first class? 
Luxury cruise
Do you prefer to go to the cinema or theatre? 
Which do you prefer comedy or true stories when watching a film? 
True Stories
Do you have any pets? 
A dog and a parrot
Tell us something we don’t know about you? 
I drove a moped until I was forty years old.

Thanks for visiting my blog Angela :)

Thank you for inviting me.  It’s very nice here ☺

Come back on Friday 20th February, 
publication day for my review.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Tied Up With Love - Amelia Thorne

About the book...
‘We’re from KMW. Do exactly as you’re told and you won’t get hurt...'

Being grabbed off the street, blind folded, tied up and thrown into a van was not what Izzy expected to happen when she stepped out the door that morning. But when an accidental kidnapping at the hands of the sexy Ethan Chase and his 'Kidnap My Wife' sexual fantasy business leads to just that, Izzy seizes the chance to turn her misfortune into a brilliant new job opportunity…

Since then, life has been one big tangle of new client meetings, fake kidnapping pick-ups, and handling the temperamental, but drop dead gorgeous 'bad boy' Mr Chase. But, as liberating as being tied up in Ethan's life is, Izzy knows the time is fast approaching when she must make some decisions and take charge of her future. The only question is: will Ethan allow himself to be a part of it.

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book as part of a blog tour organised by the author in exchange for an honest review which I'm more than happy to give.

I read the synopsis, was very intrigued and totally hooked by the absolutely gorgeous cover, what I wasn't expecting was the confusion I felt when right at the beginning of the book Izzy the main female character was abducted off the street by masked men - surely with a cover like that it couldn't be a thriller - could it?!

Luckily, it turns out she was abducted by mistake and even then it was all play-acting as part of the main, male character Ethan Chase's business 'Kidnap my Wife' - a business that kidnaps women, with their consent as part of a couple's fantasy, role playing.

Amelia has done it again, created characters that are engaging from the very beginning right up to the end. Ethan and Izzy sparking off each other - both strong and wilful, both having a history that has made them who they are.  Ethan's initial arrogance thinking that the best way to tamper down any potential problems caused by the bodged kidnap is to throw money at Izzy as a way of compensation, ultimately hoping to keep her quiet.  What he doesn't bargain for is Izzy - she'd recently lost her job and needs a temporary one until she heads to Australia, deciding that 'KMY' needs some organisation and she's just the women to do it - no hush money would be enough, it's a job or nothing.

Tied Up With Love was an addictive read, one minute I was laughing out loud, the next I was sitting back and watching the fireworks.  The heat and sparks coming off both Ethan and Izzy was electric.  The attraction was mutual but both have a history and neither is looking for love.  'Kidnap my Wife' is a family run business, Ethan employing two brothers and a cousin - they caused much of the mayhem, each kidnap resembling a Laurel & Hardy sketch.  Izzy has so many skills and is such an asset, blending into the business like she'd always been there it was no wonder the boys felt threatened.

No matter how many times Izzy and Ethan tell each other they're not right for each other, they each have too much baggage you just know they're going to be drawn together again like magnets, the energy when they're in the same room is palpable. I kept wishing for a happy ending, time and time again thinking we were going to get one only for something to occur to change the field on the magnetic force - repelling each other again. 

There are so many twists and turns, people and events that conspire to keep them apart as a couple but with each their friendship growing stronger.  Time and time again they are there for each other supporting each other as friends, understanding each other but not able to give commitment to each other on a personal level.  Through confidences shared they each know that at the end of the day, they have to let each other fly - each not wanting to be the one to hold the other back - the love and emotion pouring from the pages made for difficult reading - it's hard to read when you feel choked and your eyes are blurred with tears.

The job was only ever temporary for Izzy, she had plans to travel Australia - does she go or does she stay?  You'll have to read the book and see for yourself.  But, be prepared on the one hand to laugh out loud, snigger and sit with a stupid grin on your face.  On the other to feel anger, rage and hurt and you'll more than probably cry too.  In the end, when all the other characters move out of line, Ethan and Izzy are left with a choice, follow their heads or their hearts. 

Hugest thanks to Amelia for a fantastic, book that I read in one sitting and have recommended to everyone who'll listen to me - I can't wait for the next!


If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn’t, then it was never meant to be.