Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Blog Tour - He Started It by Samantha Downing

Not Spon/Paid
Only links marked with * are affiliates. 


Today I have another blog tour spot, this time for Samantha Downing's latest thriller, He Started It. 

Beth, Portia & Eddie Morgan haven't all been together in years. And for very good reasons - we'll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fultill his final wish and - more importantly - secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It's even harder when you're all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory - a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won't stop following your car - and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there's a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

I don't know if anyone else is currently watching White Lines on Netflix, but the style of this reminded me of it a lot - a slick, twisted, dark crime/thriller/mystery/adventure that revealed itself slowly. It was one of those books that I wanted to keep reading, one that you think about when you're not reading it. 

The characters aren't likeable - but they don't pretend to be. Right from the start, Beth tells you herself that she's no heroine. In fact, this novel doesn't pretend to be anything it isn't - it's just a straightforward, no-nonsense good time. Beth is a great narrator - she's twisted, you can't really trust a word she says, and her utter contempt for her family is hilarious at times in its accuracy (listen, I love my family, but this quarantine is already testing us, never mind the thought of a road trip with them). 

You can order He Started It via the link below. You can also ask your local bookseller, and don't forget your local library (they're due to reopen in Ireland on June 8th, all going well). 

You can find an excerpt of both the book and audiobook here, and you can check out the other stops on the blog tour by visiting the sites mentioned in the below graphic. 

Thank you to the publisher for having me on the blog tour and for the advance copy of the book.

If you'd like to keep up with Samantha Downing, you can check out her website here

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Blog Tour: This is How I Lied by Heather Gudenkauf

Not Sponsored/Paid
Amazon UK Link is an Affiliate


Today I'm hosting a stop on the blog tour for Heather Gudenkauf's latest novel, This is How I Lied.

Tough as nails and seven months pregnant, Detective Maggie Kennedy-O'Keefe of Grotto PD, is dreading going on desk duty before having the baby her and her husband so badly want. But when new evidence is found in the 25-year-old cold case of her best friend's murder that requires the work of a desk jockey, Maggie jumps at the opportunity to be the one who finally puts Eve Knox's case to rest.

Maggie has her work cut out for her. Everyone close to Eve is a suspect. There's Nola, Eve's little sister who's always been a little.... off; Nick, Eve's ex-boyfriend with a vicious temper; a Schwinn riding drifter who blew in and out of Grotto; even Maggie's husband Sean, who may have known more about Eve's last day than he's letting on. As Maggie continues to investigate, the case comes closer and closer to home, forcing her to confront her own demons before she can find justice for Eve.

1995: Teenager Eve Knox enters some dangerous caves near her home one evening and doesn't make it out alive.

2020: Maggie Kennedy O'Keefe, Eve's former friend, is now a Detective. Eve's case has been reopened and Maggie is assigned to investigate before she moves to desk duty in the final months of her pregnancy. With a wide circle of suspects and some new evidence, can Maggie help solve the mystery of who killed her friend all those years ago?

This was twisty, dark, fast-paced and even though I am deeply suspcious of every character in a crime novel, that worked to my advantage here. Nola, Eve's sister, was a fantastic character. She was so unpredictable, and I loved all the different aspects to her personality. I also loved the structure of the chapters, I enjoyed how the story unfolded by going back. 

I enjoyed this book a lot, I flew through it, and I'll be reading more from this author. 

Many thanks to the publisher for having me on the blog tour and for the advance copy of the book via Netgalley. 

If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, check out the links below, and don't forget your local bookshop and library!

You can keep up to date with Heather Gudenkauf at her website here

Many thanks to the publisher for granting me access to a copy via Netgalley as part of the blog tour.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Blog Tour: The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti

Not sponsored/paid
Amazon UK link is an affiliate


Let me preface this by saying, I love Summer Camps. I've never been to one, I would never ever go to one, but I adore stories set at camps or involving any kind of on-campus or end-of-Summer project/performance. Freaky Friday, Dirty Dancing, that spin-off Sweet Valley High book series where Liz & Jessica became camp counsellors, right up to AHS 1984 - I could go on and on. 

I've long thought that there should be more adult stories set at camps, so this one screamed "READ ME" when I got the press release & realised that this one centered around a former Hollywood Actress who is forced to do her Community Service at a Theater summer camp of sorts. 

Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood's hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she's pushing forty, exiled from the film world back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career - and where her first love, Nick, is the artistic director.

It's not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself thriving: bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships, and even reigniting her spark with Nick despite their complicated history. 

Until Charlie's old rival, Hollywood's current "It Girl" is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she's been working towards. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on one heck of a show to fight for the second chance she deserves in her career and in love.

So, we know I'm a fan of ye olde summer project. Do you know what else I'm a fan of? Broadway musicals and Hollywood celebrity gossip. Combine the lot and you have a winner - Charlie was an instant like for me, I really enjoyed her as a character and I felt that I knew the type of person she was and the expectations others placed on her because of her upbringing. A former wild child, the daughter of a very well respected Shakespearean actress, just trying to find herself again - I liked her a lot.

The setting is based on the real life Williamstown Theatre Festival, which happens annually in Massachussetts. This years' will go ahead in a different way - it's due to air via Audible from the end of June, according to this article in Playbill, marking the first ever time that this has happened.

Back to the book - the story itself is really good, very readable and all of the characters slot in nicely in their own way. I liked the story of the younger female character, Sierra, equally. She's a kid who really wants to shine but keeps finding herself in the background. Ditto Ethan, who lives and breathes theatre and really wants the opportunity to show his idol what he can do. No character is there just to fill a spot, they all have a purpose and they all add something to the story.

I enjoyed this a lot, it's hard to come by easy-to-read holiday/beach/quarantine reads that have unique settings and strong female characters, but this has both in spades. I flew through it, I'll miss these characters. 

"It were a grief so brief to part with thee. Farewell."

You can keep up to date with Aimee Agresti at her website here, or @AimeeAgresti on socials.

You can request The Summer Set from any good bookshop or find it at the links below. 

Don't forget your library!

Thank you to the publishers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.