The Fear by C.L. Taylor.

The Fear
 Read over three days:
‘Grabs you by the metaphorical throat right from the start and doesn’t let up until the end.’ Heat
Lou Smith is used to being headline news as, aged seventeen, she ran away with her 37-year-old teacher, Mike, during a short-lived affair.Now 32, Lou’s life is in tatters – and she resolves to return home to confront Mike for the damage he has caused. But she soon finds that Mike is unchanged, and is now grooming a young 15-year-old girl called Chloe.

Determined to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself, Lou decides to take matters into her own hands. But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as she tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that Lou could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

My thoughts:
A book that leaves you raw, stunned and wondering why people can be so naive, Told from various characters viewpoints, it is a twisted complicated plot that has you turning the pages furiously, wondering what is going to happen next; And when you find out it leaves you opened mouthed in astonishment!
The three main characters are all female.
Wendy a fifty plus woman:
Lou a woman of some thirty years:
And Chloe a young teenage girl.
All they have in common is Mike.
If you want to know anymore about the plot you will need to read the book.
I want to concentrate on Cally’s writing. Top notch and drawing you in.
As the characters appear and disappear Carry adds another layer to the novel and their own existence. Her characters are all well rounded and you invest in them totally.
A final word about the plot and I paraphase William Shakespear ” What a tangled web we weave when we first practice to deceive.
Well done Cally
 

C.L. Taylor

C.L. Taylor
 

C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of five gripping, stand-alone psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING, THE ESCAPE and THE FEAR. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into over 20 languages. THE ESCAPE won the Dead Good Books ‘Hidden Depths’ award for the Most Unreliable Narrator and THE LIE has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

She started writing short stories in 2005 and was published widely in literary and women’s magazines. She also won several short story competitions. In 2009 and 2011 her romantic comedy novels (as Cally Taylor) were published by Orion and translated into fourteen languages. HEAVEN CAN WAIT was a bestseller in Hungary and China and HOME FOR CHRISTMAS was made into a feature film by JumpStart Productions. Whilst on maternity leave with her son Cally had an idea for a psychological thriller and turned to crime. She has also written a Young Adult thriller, THE TREATMENT, which was published by HarperCollins HQ.

C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.

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The Picture by Roger Bray . Blog Tour.Thanks to Rachel of Rachels’s RandomResources for the invite.

The Picture: When Greed Turns Deadly by [Bray, Roger]

The Picture

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

My thoughts:

A picture that’s all it is. A moment of sanity in an insane world. Frozen in time it shows a relief worker comforting a distraught mother who has lost everything in a Japanese earthquake. The picture is taken by a photographer covering the quake.

Neither Ben nor the young woman notice the photo being taken. One has lost everything and the other is busy doing what he does best, bringing comfort.

The picture goes viral, through social media and news outlets. But who owns the rights.

Ben hasn’t come forward to say it’s him. But someone has. What would you do in his position.

This book is a well written and thought provoking tale. The writing and story are of such a high standard that it draws the reader in and wont let them go. Book clubs will enjoy this book. It has plenty of scope for discussions.

This book takes you on a journey and what a journey. It shows the good and bad in the human beast. I would recommend this read to everyone.

As the blurb says: When greed turns deadly.

My first read by Roger but hopefully not my last.

The author:

Roger Bray

Roger Bray

Author Bio – I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Books by Roger:


The Picture: When Greed Turns Deadly

Buy on Amazon:

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The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad

From prize-winning, bestselling author Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave’s adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
In Whitehead s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
My thoughts:
 A brilliant read. Well written, dragging  the reader along and investing in the characters.
All the characters are well written and take their place in the narrative, where there’s not a wasted word.
This was hard subject to write about. Slavery. We all have our own thoughts and prejudices which can colour  and misinform our reading.
This must be even harder for an author to write and put aside his own bias. This Colson does admirably.
This is the story of an Underground Railroad which slaves use to escape their enslavement.
This is also the story of Cora who uses this to escape to the North and freedom. But all is not as straight forward as it seems.
She not only has to fear the rich plantation owner, who regards her as property, but the poor white who thinks they are superior to her because of their white skin.
A well written and well rounded book. Full of light and shade, wrong and right.
I would urge all to read this book and have no hesitation in giving it 5 stars.
The author:  Colson Whitehead.

Colson Whitehead

 

 

Colson Whitehead.

Born in New York City, New York, The United States

Website

 

Twitter
colsonwhitehead

 

Genre

 


I’m the author of the novels Zone One; Sag Harbor; The Intuitionist, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. I’ve also written a book of essays about my home town, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. A recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, I live in New York City.

My latest book, The Underground Railroad, is an Oprah’s Book Club pick.

The One
 Read over 5 days.

The One

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

My Thoughts:
This was a great read.
Everyone wishes for the perfect match. But if we got it would we be sure or satisfied?
Told from various viewpoints this is the story of a dating site that matches people together, not with  their likes and hobbies etc. But by their DNA,
This will create the perfect match and in the long run lead to the perfect world. Or will it?
Be careful what you wish for because nothing is what it seems. And certainly not perfect.
What starts if as boy meets girl etc. and all will be fine. Nope!
This story told from various viewpoints and short crisp chapters draws you in and makes your jaws drop with OMG moments.
This book will draw you in and make you want to keep reading.
I urge you to read this book. You will enjoy in and I will give it five well deserved stars.
This is my own review and opinions are my own.
Buy a copy: Amazon UK.The Author:

John Marrs

John Marrs

 

Born

in Northamptonshire, The United Kingdom

Website

 

Twitter

 


John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are.

A freelance journalist based in London, England, he has spent the past twenty years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company

A Fractured Winter

A Fractured Winter

A missing girl.
Threatening notes.
Sinister strangers.

Olivia’s idyllic family life in a Swiss mountain village is falling apart.  She thought she’d managed to escape the past, but it’s coming back to haunt her.

Has somebody discovered her secret – why she had to leave Scotland more than ten years ago?

And what is her connection to Marie, a lonely schoolgirl in a Yorkshire seaside town, and Lucy, a student at a Scottish university?

A twisty family mystery with a dark edge, where nothing is as it seems.

GET A COPY

My Thoughts:

I received this book from the author herself. Having previously read her Sewing the Shadows Together I was looking forward to reading this book.
I was not disappointed. Alison’s writing was superb as usual and the story pulls the reader along and has you saying to yourself, just one more chapter.
This is a story that involves one protagonist bur different time frames, which all involve and intrigue the reader.
Her sense of description is superb, you can imagine yourself in the Swiss Alps and equally at home in the UK.
A story that involves secrets from the past, cults and missing children. A brilliant book , a worthy 5 stars from me. Well worth the reading
But don’t listen to me. Just buy a copy and dive in! You wont be disappointed !

Alison Baillie
 
ALISON BAILLIE was brought up in Ilkley,
Although she was born in Yorkshire, she has always felt Scottish. Her parents were both Scottish and she studied English at the University of St Andrews and afterwards taught English at several High Schools in the Edinburgh area. She has also taught English as a Foreign Language in Finland and Switzerland.
She loves reading crime fiction, especially Scottish and Scandinavian, going to crime writing festivals, travelling, walking in the mountains and being with my friends and family.

“Sewing the Shadows Together” is her first novel. Her second novel, “A Fractured Winter” will be published in late spring of 2018

 

 

Finding Gobi: The true story of a little dog and an incredible journey
 Read: Over one day.

Finding Gobi: The true story of a little dog and an incredible journey

A man, a dog, and the lengths to which love will go to sacrifice for its companion.
Finding Gobi is the miraculous tale of Dion Leonard, a seasoned ultramarathon runner who crosses paths with a stray dog while competing in a 155-mile race through the Gobi Desert in China. The lovable pup, who would later earn the name Gobi, proved that what she lacked in size, she more than made up for in heart, as she went step for step with Dion over the Tian Shan Mountains, across massive sand dunes, through yurt villages and the black sands of the Gobi Desert, keeping pace with him for nearly 80 miles.
As Dion witnessed the incredible determination and heart of this small animal, he found his own heart undergoing a change as well. Whereas in the past these races were all about winning and being the best, his goal now was to make sure his and Gobi’s friendship continued well after the finish line. He found himself letting Gobi sleep in his tent at night, giving her food and water out of his own limited supply, and carrying her across numerous rivers, even when he knew it would mean putting him behind in the race or, worse, prevent him from finishing at all.
Although Dion did not cross the finish line first, he felt he had won something even greater – a new outlook on life and a new friend that he planned on bringing home as soon as arrangements were made. However, before he could take her home, Gobi went missing in the sprawling Chinese city where she was being kept. Dion, with the help of strangers and a viral outpouring of assistance on the Internet, set out to track her down and reunite forever with the amazing animal that changed his life and proved to him and the world that miracles are possible.
My thoughts:
This was a delightful read. A book I was so happy to been given this by friend, so thanks to all. my friend, Dion Leonard and most of all Gobi.
You don’t have to be a runner, an animal lover to enjoy this book.
You have to just believe in the wonder of chance, of love and the fact we all have a soul.
Dion an Aussie now living in Edinburgh set off to China to run an ultra marathon across the Gobi dessert.
On the night before the second stage of this race he spots a small scruffy dog on the edges of the camp. He wonders where it has come from and then dismisses it.
But the next day she is standing on the start line and continues to run with him.
It is a story of a love won, lost and won again.
It is such a good feel book , it will make you happy and lift you up when you are feeling down.
A brilliant 5 star read that I recommend and urge you to read

The Author:

Dion Leonard


Dion Leonard is a 41 year old Australian who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife Lucja. Dion has not only completed but competed in some of the world’s toughest ultra marathons across the planet’s most inhospitable landscapes. This includes running across the brutal Moroccan Sahara desert twice in the 250km Marathon Des Sables and also twice across South Africa’s Kalahari Desert, also 250km. Dion’s latest 250km race across the Gobi Desert in China turned out to be a completely different race where he fell in love with a stray dog (later named Gobi) that followed him during the week and who would change both of their lives forever.

 

 

 

 

The Babysitter
 Read: off and on 2 weeks.

The Babysitter

bySheryl Browne(Goodreads Author)
You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?

GET A COPY

  • Amazon UK

 

My Thoughts:

Review of The Babysitter
Rating
4 Stars
Format Kindle edition
Status
Read
Review OMG this was a brilliant read! Grabs the reader by the hand and drags them through chapters of what’s is going on, why can’t you see that! It’s right in front of you!
A story told from the viewpoints of the main characters Max, Melanie, Jade and less so Dylan.
The prologue is especially powerful and sets the premise of the book.
When a neighbour’s cottage burns down and Max and Mel take her in for what is meant to be a few days to she gets herself on her feet and repairs can start on her own property.
When Jade strikes an immediate rapport with their two children,it seems they have a built in babysitter,
A match made in heaven and nothing could go wrong, or could it!
Be careful what you wish for, it may not turn as you wish.
As i said earlier, told from various viewpoints of the main characters.
The superb quality of the writing lets you inhabit their psyches and explore their strengths and weaknesses. Full of why cant you see that? It is obvious, right in front of your face moments.
A superb read and thanks to Sheryl,Bookoture and Netgalley for the ARC. A worthy 4 stars and I urge you to read it.
 


5456781

Hi, I’m Sheryl Browne. I live in Worcestershire with my partner and a variety of disabled dogs. According to readers of my thrillers, I also apparently make an excellent psychopath. 😉 Writing powerful psychological thriller and contemporary fiction, my latest thriller THE BABYSITTER is published by fabulous BOOKOUTURE. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and previously writing for award winning Choc Lit, I have several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where, after half a lifetime, I finally completed my MA in Creative Writing.