Clean – Juno Dawson 

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom. 

She’s wrong. Rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility. 

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady. 

As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all…..

About the Author 

Juno has authored the bestselling World Book Day title Spot the Difference, a non-fiction guide to life for young LGBT people, This Book is Gay, and several young adult novels. 

A regular writer for Attitude, Glamour and the Guardian, Juno has also contributed to news items concerning sexuality, identity, literature and education on BBC Woman’s Hour, Front Row, ITV News, Channel 5 News, This Morning and Newnight. 

You can catch up with Juno via Twitter @junodawson. 

During the book, you follow the story of Lexi, who is a seventeen year old struggling with drug abuse. Well, if you have a conversation with Lexi she would completely deny this. 

Lexi lives in a very privilaged world and has so you think no care in the world. However, things come to a head when she is found overdosed and nearly dead. Enough is enough her brother steps in and takes action and takes her to get help. Initially, as you all can guess, this does not go too well and she is unimpressed at her brother’s interference. 

Lexi meets many many different characters with different addictions, different backgrounds, different outcomes, but what they all have in common is they are all addicts and they are all young people with issues. 

What I found whilst reading this book that these young people were not only addicts, but I felt there incredible lonliness – almost as if the world has given up on them apart from the staff within the facility who are desperate to help them get through this difficult stage and hope to get them out of the otherside and back into the real world. 

I loved Lexi, I found her a real likable character. Clearly, no matter how much money you may have she was craving to have her family love her, spend quality time with her and just be there. This is the one quality missing out of her life and one that she could not buy.

I just loved this book so much and just love Juno what an inspirational lady. 

A must buy book and a must read, if you want to purchase this book, please click here. 

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Big Sister – Gunnar Staalesen 

I am a massive fan of Gunnar’s so was very pleased to have recieved this book to review. 

You follow the story of private investigator Varg Veum who is investigating the disappearance of his half-sister’s god-daughter, Emma. The book is full of twist and turns and Gunnar leads you into all sorts of murky criminal gangs.You constantly question whether Emma is dead or alive. 

I found Varg Veum a real likeable character, he was passionate about his role as a private investigator and wanted to ensure all the cases he had reached a conclusion of some sort. He also had no judgement towards his clients, he just wanted to get the job done. 

Big Sister is an addictive read and one that I did not want to put down as I just wanted to know what happened to Emma. It’s yet another book by Gunnar that I loved and will be waiting for his next novel to be released. 

About the Book 

PI Varg Veum receives a surprise visit from a woman who introduces herself as his half-sister, and she has a job for him. Her god-daughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse from Haugesund moved from her bedsit in Bergen two weeks ago. Since then no one has heard anything from her. She didn’t leave an address. She doesn’t answer her phone. And the police refuse to take her case seriously. 

Veum’s investigation uncovers a series of carefully covered-up crimes and pent-up hatreds, and the trail leads to a gang of extreme bikers and to a shadowy group, whose dark intent is hidden by the anonymity of the internet. And then things get personal…..

About the Author 

Gunnar was born in Bergen, Norway. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over give million copies. 

Gunnar’s book has been translated by Don Bartlett. 

If you would like to purchase this book or to find out more about Orenda books, please click here. 

This blog tour was arranged by Anne, if you require author/blog tour services please click here for further information.  

One Small Thing – Erin Watt 

One Small Thing is a beautifully written novel about grief, and a family attempting to move on with life. I do not believe there are enough books written covering this topic especially for young people. 

During the story you follow Beth and her family making attempts to get over the death of her sister. Beth and her parents certainly have different ways of trying to get on with life and they are polar opposite. Beth attempts to move on by going to parties and planning her future, whereas her parents just want to keep her home and safe and almost suffocating her, which seems to be pushing her away even more. 

You follow the struggles of both Beth and her parents and her friends with moving on with life, this includes Beths sisters boyfriend who from the get go, I really disliked and my gut feeling was not wrong (you will need to read the book to find out why). 

In addition, you follow Chase who played a part in Beth’s sisters death, this includes him trying to get his life back to some kind of normality which a massive secret hanging over his head. Chase ends up becoming entwined in Beth’s life and Beth almost becomes addicted to him and wants answers to questions that she has.  

The writers in this book really wanted to explore grief in a way to make young people understand the impact on people can both internally and externally effect people in very different ways and gives people consent to be able to move on, but never forgetting. 

I found how Erin Watts writes very clever, you could not tell that this book was written by two different authors at all, it just flowed beautifully and they both seemed to share the same passion of trying to get the story out their and covering a difficult topic of death. 

About the Book 

Their secret could tear everything apart……

Beth’s life hasn’t been the same since her sister died. Trapped at home by her over-bearing parents, Beth needs freedom. So when she sneaks out to a party and meets the boy everyone’s been talking about she’s shocked by their instant connection, and the part Chase played in her sister’s death. 

A forbidden romance is the last thing either of them planned for, but the more time they spend together, the deeper their feelings become. 

About the Author 

Erin Watt is the brainchild of two bestselling authors linked together through their love of great books and an addiction to writing. They share the creative imagination. Their greatest love, coming up with fun and sometimes crazy ideas. Their greatest fear?  Breaking up. 

Thank you for HQ Stories for sending me One Small Thing. 

Shores of Death – Peter Ritchie 

I am a massive fan of Peter’s and have read pretty much everything that he has written. Peter has a way of grabbing you into the book and not letting you go until the conclusion of the book, sometimes leaving you just about catching your breath. Just a warning sometimes you are left with more questions then answers. 

Grace Macallan is back, but don’t worry you do not have to read the previous novels written by Peter, you wont be lost. But, I would advise they are a must buy. I simply adored Grace (I know it sounds strange) she is fiesty, independent and just has a passion for solving crime. She is also battling in a “mans world” and almost feels like she has something to prove to her bosses and colleagues. 

This book has everything a crime novel needs, grit, betrayal, underworld crime, a fiesty main character. You can really tell Peter knows his stuff, I am not talking about researching into crime, you can really feel Peter being at the scene and documenting what is happening, living and breathing crime for his novel and for his readers. Peter has ticked all of the crime novel boxes and I cannot wait for his next novel to be released. 

About the Book 

Grace Macallan is at breaking point. All around her, events threaten to run out of control – and a new investigtion is testing her to the limit. 

An undercover officer is missing and a woman is washed up, traumatised and barely alive, on the shores of Berwickshire. She has witnessed horror on the dark waters of the North Sea, but survival turns her life from a bad dream into a nightmare. 

As she untangles the woman’s story, Grace is drawn into a cold-blooded criminal world. As its head is Pete Handyside, a notorious gangland boss who will fight hard and dirty to control is brutal empire and keep the money flowing. 

But a traitor in his midst is intent upon betrayal – a betrayal that triggers an uncontrollable wave of violence. As she hones in on crucial evidence, Grace knows that one wrong move could end in tragedy. 

About the Author 

Peter is a retired senior police officer. The real-world authenticity in his novels comes from vast experience gained working in CID, murder squads, serious and regional crime squads and Europol. He is a regular lecturer and commentator on the subject of transnational organised crime. 

In his spare time, Peter also enjoys writing poetry and short stories, painting and volunteering at St Columba’s Hospice and the Bethany Trust. 

Peter’s books are published by Black & White Publishers, if you would like to find out more about them or to purchase this book, please click here. 

The Distance – Zoe Folbigg 

Under the midnight sun of Artic Norway, Cecilie Wiig goes online and stumbles across Hector Herrera in a band fan forum. They start chatting and soon realise they might be more than kindred spirit. But there are two big problems: Hector lives 8,909km away in Mexico. And he’s about to get married. 

Can Cecilie, who’s anchored to two jobs she loves in the library and a cafe full of colourful characters in the town in which she grew up, overcome the hurdles of having fallen for someone she’s never met? Will Hector escape his turbulent past and the temptations of his hectic hedonistic life and make a leap of faith to change the path he’s on?

About the Author 

Zoe is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Sante, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year long round the world trip with “Train Man” – aman she had met on her daily commute. She has since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons. She is the bestselling author of The Note. 

You can catch up with Zoe via Twitter @zoefolbiggauthor. 

Blog Tour Information

If you would like to purchase this book, or to find out more about Aria fiction, please click here.

Zoe and the staff at Aria Fiction had kindly provided an extract for you to enjoy.  

“Eight

June 2013, Day One

Cecilie wasn’t looking to cause trouble for herself the day she met Hector Herrera. She was in the library at 8 a.m., as usual, before chief librarian Fredrik came in at 8.30. The two of them would always chat quietly, genially, and be ready to open for 9 a.m. Cecilie always loved to hang out in the library before anyone else got there. It’s such a peaceful time of day. Dark in the winter; light all summer, the huge glass façade of the modernist four-storey building looks out onto the small grid of the town, the harbour, its bridges, its mountains beyond, the world below. Sometimes in winter Cecilie can see the Northern Lights through the window that rises all the way to the top floor. A green whisper arcing overhead, reminding her how isolated she is from the world she reads about in the books on the shelves.

That day, Cecilie didn’t go to the basement first, to sort out the children’s activity table. She didn’t put out the pencils and paper ready for the school trip, or the soft-back books and tambourines in anticipation of the baby rhyme-time session. That light and bright June morning, Cecilie got herself a milky coffee and went up the open staircase to the rows of computers on the first floor. She turned the machines on with a satisfying switch switch switch of the clean white sockets behind each terminal.
She looked up to the top floor, to the quiet reading and writing areas among the rows of books, but decided not to go up and turn the lights on, she didn’t want to draw attention to her private world in the public glass space. Anyway, it was June, and there was sufficient light night and day to not warrant them.

At the second terminal in, on the first row of machines, Cecilie leaned over the desk without sitting, typed in the staff login, and waited for a sand timer flipping over and over on itself to align her to another time. Another latitude she had no idea she would soon long for.

Switch switch switch. She stalked the library, awakening, opening, connecting, before coming back to the second terminal. She sat down at a screen, facing out over the Arctic Circle below her.

Cecilie tied her locks into a thick trunk running down her back and took a sip of milky white coffee, holding her cup with her thumbs threaded through holes in the wrist of her jumper. Cecilie went on her usual journey across the world: NRK for her news fix before the bundle of papers arrived. Facebook to see what friends who had set sail from this port town were up to, as far afield as Oslo, Edinburgh, San Francisco and Quito. Then her habitual look on NME to see what was going on in her favourite music sphere. At home Cecilie unwinds by playing the harp to an empty house, but picks herself up again to British synth-pop and electronica.

Depeche Mode played Leipzig last night.

Cecilie took a sip and sought out gig reviews, finding herself in a chatroom for other 80s electronica Anglophiles in no time. She thought she might scour the reviews, the forums, the chat, to find out about future concert dates that hadn’t yet been announced. She logged in and gave herself a moniker: Arctic Fox. With delicate hands that had dry pads for fingertips, she typed.

Arctic Fox: Anyone know if DM are coming to Scandinavia?
I Feel You: More likely Scandinavia than Mexico @arcticfox! Been too long since they came here.
Cecilie’s eyes widened and she marvelled at the world she was connected to. Like-minded music fans thousands of kilometres away.”

The Woman in the Mirror – Rebecca James 

1947 Governess Alice Miller loves Winterbourne the moment she sees it. Towering over the Cornish cliffs, it’s dark corners and tall turrets promise that, if Alice can hide from her ghosts anywhere, its here. 

And who better to play hide and seek with than twins Constance and Edmund? Angelic and motherless, they are perfect little companions. 

2018 Adopted at birth, Rachel’s roots are a mystery, so when a letter brings news of the death of an unknown relative, Constance de Grey, Rachel travels to Cornwall, vowing to uncover her past. 

With each new arrival, something in Winterbourne stirs. Its hiding in the paintings. It’s sitting on the stairs. 

It’s waiting in a mirror, behind a locked door. 

About the Author

Rebecca was born in 1983. She worked in publishing for several years before leaving to write full-time, and is now the author of eight previous novels written under a pseudonym. Her favourite things are autumn walks, Argentinean red wine and curling up in the winter with a good old-fashioned ghost story. She lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters. 

Blog Tour Information 

During this novel, you follow the stories of two women. Firstly, you follow Alice Miller who becomes the Governess for two twins who reside in Winterbourne House. 

At Winterbourne House there are certainly a lot of ghosts and a lot of very sad stories which has continued through generations. Alice recognises the house is very sad with a lot of loss and many questions left unanswered. Alice wants to make changes, but unfortunately, at times emotions get the better of her and she is judged incorrectly which has an impact on her life and others in the future. 

In the present times, you follow Rachel’s story. Again, Rachel has many many unanswered questions which she is desperate to find out the answer for. Rachel’s life is again tarnished with sadness and she is seeking out happiness in her life. There are many ups and downs and twist and turns, but eventually, she may find out the answers happy or not. 

Oh my, I loved this story. Rebecca has a way of giving you a great big hug and settling you in for the story she has written ahead. I simply adored this book and did not want this to finish. I hung on ever word Rebecca wrote and just wanted more.  

I want to thank Isabel Smith (Acting Publicity Assistant) for introducing me to this book, she really knows her stuff and look forward to more recommendations from her. 

If you would like to purchase this book or to find out more about HQ Stories, please click here.

Into The Water – Paula Hawkins 

I could not resist this book.

Just days before her sister plunged to her death, Jules ignored her call. 

Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules must return to her sister’s house to care for her daughter, and to face the mystery of Nel’s death. 

But Jules is afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of this small town that is drowning in secrecy. 

And of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. 

About the Author

Paula worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. 

Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been a global phenomemon, selling almost 20 million copies worldwide. Published in over forty languages, it has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and was a No.1 box-office-hit film starring Emily Blunt. 

Into the Water is her second stand-alone thriller and is also a global No.1 bestseller. 

If you would like to purchase this book, please click here. 

Elmet – Fiona Mozley 

I have only heard nothing but good things about this book, and I love the minimalism of the cover, its just beautiful. 

Daniel is heading north. He is looking for someone. The simplicity of his early life with Daddy and Cathy has turned menacing and fearful. They lived apart in the house that Daddy built for them in the woods with his bare hands. They foraged and hunted. 

Cathy was more like their father: fierce and full of simmering anger. Daniel was more like their mother; gentle and kind. Sometimes their father disappeared, and would return with a rage in his eyes. But when he was at home, he was at peace. He told them that the little copse in Elmet was theirs alone. But that wasn’t true. Local men, greedy and watchful, began to circle like vultures. All the while, the terrible violence in Daddy grew. 

About the Author

Fiona grew up in York and went to King’s College, Cambridge, after which she lived in Buenos Aires and London. She is studying for a PhD in medieval history. Elmet is her first novel. 

If you would like to purchase this book, please click here. 

Oliver Twist and The Mystery of Throate Manor – David Stuart Davies 

A thrilling ‘Dickensian whodunit’ in which Oliver Twist, now a young man and a lawyer, assisted by his Clerk, Jack Dawkins (The Artful Dodger) tries to solve a series of brutal murders.

Oliver Twist is a young man in his late twenties and employed as a solicitor. He has taken his old associate Jack Dawkins aka The Artful Dodger, on as his Clerk in attempt to civilise him and keep him out of trouble. Together they become embrolled in a dark and dangerous murder mystery. 

Throate Manor is the ancestral home of the Throate Family in Surrey. The latest incumbent of the line, the aged Sir Ebenezer, trapped in a loveless marriage, to Lady Amelia, is being terrified by a night visitor, a sheeted apparition who appears in his bedroom, and warns him to remember his son. This does not refer to his legitimate offspring Jeremiah Throate, a reckless gambler and libertine, who is deeply in debt to Eugene Trench, a sinister figure in the Victorian underworld. The son to whom the apparition refers is an illegitimate child Sir Ebenezer fathered with a maidservant some twenty five years previously. 

Fear mixed with guilt prompts Sir Ebenezer to try and locate the son he has never known. He plans to alter his will to favour him. He contacts his solicitors, the firm of Gripewind and Biddle, for this purpose and they despatch Oliver Twist and Jack Dawkins to Throate Manor to attend to this business. Sir Ebenezer charges Oliver with the task of finding his lost son.

The task is a perilous one leading to violence and murder before shocking relevations threaten to destroy them all. 

About the Author 

David is an author, playwright and editor. His fiction includes six novels featuring his wartime detective Johnny Hawke, Victorian puzzle solver artist Luther Darke and seven Sherlock Holmes novels the latest being Sherlock Homes and the Ripper Legacy (2016). His non-fiction work- includes starring Sherlock Holmes, detailing the film career of the Baker Street sleuth. David is regarded as an authority on Sherlock Holmes. 

David is a committee member of the Crime Writers Association and edits their monthly publication Red Herrins.

David is General Editor of Wordsworth’s Mystery & Supernatural series and a post Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. 

If you would like to find out more about David or to purchase his books, please click here.

Or, you can follow David on Twitter @DStuartDavies.  

Blog Tour Information 

This blog tour was arranged by the amazing LoveBookGroups, if you would like to find out more information, please click here. 

I adored this book, it was an amazing take on the future of Oliver and The Artful Dodger that I never thought would have been written. I love Oliver and was a little sceptical at first about this book, but I should not have been. I believe what helps is you can feel David’s passion and utmost respect falling out of the pages towards the original novel. I have to confess that it has never sprung to mind what happened to Oliver when he was older but David has certainly sparked my imagination as to the “what ifs” . This book would not disappoint you if you are an Oliver Twist fan. 

David’s books are published by Urbane, if you would like to find out more information about them, please click here. 

Tilting – Nicole Harkin 

We only learned about our father’s girlfriend after he became deathy ill and lay in a coma 120 miles from our home. 

Overhearing the nurse tell Linda – since I was nine I had called my mum by her first name – about the girlfriend who came in almost every day to visit him when we weren’t there confirmed that the last moment of normal had passed us by without our realising it. Up to then our family had unhappily coexisted with Dad flying jumbo jets to Asia while we lived in Montana. We finally came together to see Dad through his illness, but he was once again absent from a major family event – unable to join us from his comatose state. This is the moment when our normal existence tilted. 

Dad recovered, but the marriage ailed, as did Linda with cancer. Our family began to move down an entirely different path with silver linings we wouldn’t see for many years. 

About the Author 

Nicole currently resides in Washington D C with her husband and two small children. She works as a writer and family photographer. As a Fulbright Scholar during law school. Nicole lived in Berlin, Germany where she studied German environmentalism. Her work can be found in Thought Collecion and you are here: The Journal of Creative Geography. She is currently workingn on mystery set in Berlin. 

Nicole writes a heart wrenching memoir into her childhood and her family. You will experience a range of emotions, for me it was mostly anger towards Nicole’s parents and their lack of awareness about how their behaviour may be having an impact on Nicole and her siblings. It really made me reflect on my behaviour and potential future behaviours and how this may impact on my own children and their future. 

Nicole’s dad was certainly a selfish individual and almost held his family hostage as he was the breadwinner of the family. He also did not seem to care about his other relationship he was having, his two lives he was leading and not really caring about the mess that he left behind. What really frustrated me, was how he was happy to accept care and love from his actual family but, it was not shown by him. 

With regards Linda, Nicole’s mother. Part of me felt sorry for her, but again, part of me was angry at her behaviours towards her children. It was almost like she was punishing them instead of her husband. Linda seemed to feel unloved and just abandoned. 

This book at times is an uncomfortable and frustrating read, but Nicole is an inspiring lady who has seemed to come out the otherside with her own loving family and an amazing career. Nicole seems to be a genuine person who does not want her past to effect her future. Its a must read for all. 

If you would like to purchase this book, please click here. 

This blog tour was arranged by the amazing Rachel, if you require any blog or author services please find out more information via her website, please click here.