31 January 2017

High Force by L.J. Ross

High Force (DCI Ryan Mysteries, #5)High Force by L.J. Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Erm.....WOW!! This book is that fantastic I am actually lost for words, talk about blown away!!

This is the fifth book in the Ryan Mysteries series. And most of you know that I am a big fan so can you imagine my excitement when I got the chance to read this. Well I couldn't wait to get stuck in.

Did I mention that Angel finished on one hell of a cliffhanger?! Well High Force picks up right where Angel finished. With one electrifying start the hacker is back. After escaping prison and kidnapping one of DCI Ryan's best detectives. Ryan's worst nightmare has just become reality.

Just when I thought this series couldn't get any better, It does just that! High Force is shockingly brilliant and without a doubt the best one in the series. But then L.J Ross steps it up a notch and becomes more darker and twisted with some gruesome scenes. OMG I love it.

There is something about the authors style of writing that I find totally captivating. Set in the North East with stunning descriptions of the area making me feel like I am there. A Visit to High Force water fall is definitely on my bucket list.

This story is very fast paced and with out a doubt a page turner giving me a book hangover. I cannot recommend it enough, 5 massive well deserved stars from me.

Thank you to LJ Ross for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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No Safe Home by Tara Lyons

No Safe Home (D.I. Denis Hamilton #2)No Safe Home by Tara Lyons
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No Safe Home is the second book in the Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton series. After reading Tara Lyons amazing debut novel In The Shadows I have been eagerly waiting to read this book knowing my son name Brad was used has a character in it. And I wasn't disappointed Tara hasn't totally smashed it.One word for this book is unique! Honestly it's unputdownable. A story that will have you on tenterhooks from start to finish.....I freaking loved it. I have read some crime books in my time but I have never read one with this story line.

The story starts off with one with one tense, disturbing prologue that made me squirm! OMG what a start to a book. We then move on and are introduced to Kathy. Who has left everything behind and has worked hard to rebuild her life she knew. Currently working at a public house called the Tavern. But when her past catches up with her and her son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.

While Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.

I loved the fact that Kathy worked in a pub yeah I have read books where they drink at the pub but not work there i could totally relate to Kathy having worked at a pub myself. And what a character Brad was, he wasn't the nicest. And of course DI Denis Hamilton I am really starting to like him having got to know more about himself and her his background with this twisted story.

This book is one of those books that you won't be able to put down until you have devoured it. I couldn't put it down the whole wanting to know who the killer is.Tara Lyons certainly outwitted my Miss Marple skills where I found myself guessing until the end.

Although this is the second book in the series it can easily be read has a standalone. No Safe Home ticked all the boxes for me It is fast paced and gritty and definitely a must read I cannot recommend it enough giving it 5 massive gold stars.

Thank you to Tara Lyons and Bloodhound books for an advanced reader's copy in exchange for a honest review.

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28 January 2017


I am delighted it is my stop on blog tour for DEVOUR by L.A Larkin an exhilarating action thriller starring investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe. Inspired by real events in Antarctica, this high-octane story of conspiracy, murder and revenge  

The Book
Wolfe has honed her skills in war zones. So when her editor sends her to a remote research camp in Antarctica, she’s not impressed. But she soon learns that the scientific team’s discovery is a prize people will kill for….
With her life in constant peril from numerous enemies who are seldom what they first seem, Wolfe must unravel a complex web of lies to uncover an even more terrifying truth. Wolfe's journey will ultimately lead her to a man who would obliterate civilisation. She must make an impossible choice: save one life – or prevent the death of millions.
L. A. Larkin takes the reader on a gripping journey, from the poppy palaces of Afghanistan and Antarctica's wind-swept ice sheets to a top-secret military base in the Nevada desert, in this first instalment of a new thriller series.

My Thoughts

This is L.A Larkin third novel but Devour is the first book in the Olivia Wolfe thriller series. And to be honest this book is nothing like I was expecting at all with it being set in Antarctica. and the fact that it is inspired by true events is what sold his to me. What an action packed thriller it is. This book had me turning the pages until the very end.

We follow Investigator Journalist Olivia Wolfe on a journey to Antarctica after her editor sends her to a research camp there But she soon learns that the scientific team’s discovery is a prize people will kill for….Putting her own life in danger and hunted by numerous enemies who are seldom what the first seem, she must unravel a complex web of lies to uncover an even more terrifying truth.

Not only is it set in the Antarctic is t is also  set me England to. This is one fast paced thriller full of action, shootings and even some romance. I have to say that this book would make a pretty damn good film.

Olivia is one kick ass character who is very strong minded and determined. We find out plenty of her background in this story and really get to know her.

There is a lot going on in Devour and the author has clearly done her research with this very well written story. The is my first novel by L.A.Larkin but certainly won't be my last. I highly recommend this giving it 4 stars.

Research for Devour
To understand Antarctica’s savage and alien environment, L. A. Larkin went to the great white continent. She boarded an ex-Russian scientific research vessel and crossed the infamously rough Drake Passage. ‘I was told to stay in my bunk-bed and hang on for dear life as the vessel corkscrewed through ten-metre swells. When I tried to get to the bathroom, the ship tilted forty degrees and I was hurled on to the door.’ With a predominantly Russian crew, Larkin did her best to communicate using an English-Russian phrase book. ‘There was an engineer with a wry sense of humour who was seemingly impervious to the extreme cold.’ He inspired the character of Vitaly Yushkov.
In Cambridge, UK, she visited British Antarctic Survey to learn about Polar survival equipment, clothing, and hazards, such as white-outs. In Bristol, she interviewed Professor Martin Siegert, the leader of an Antarctic expedition to discover new life in subterranean Lake Ellsworth in 2012. With his help, Larkin has vividly recreated the remote camp and ice-drilling operation in Devour.
When Larkin decided to buck the action thriller trend of male lead characters, she realised that Olivia Wolfe would need to be capable of defending herself. So she enlisted the help of crown prosecutor and martial artists, Craig Emerson, who taught Larkin how women can use Jiu-Jitsu and everyday objects, such as metal water bottles and key chains, in self-defence. As Wolfe fires a pistol in Devour, Larkin wanted to know how to load and handle one. Not only has the author discovered she is a good shot, but when researching her next book in the series, set in South Africa, she learned to fire an R1 battle rifle.
About L. A. Larkin
L. A. Larkin is a British-Australian thriller author whose work has been likened to Michael Crichton and praised by Peter James. Her novel The Genesis Flaw was nominated for four crime fiction awards and Thirst has been described as, ‘The best Antarctic thriller since Ice Station’. An adventurer at heart, Larkin has spent time in the Antarctic, and with scientists at the British Antarctic Survey and the Australian Antarctic Division. She was born in England and studied literature at the University of London’s Royal Holloway College, graduating with honours. She lives in Sydney and London, and teaches mystery and thriller writing. www.lalarkin.com
Join in the conversation: @lalarkinauthor #DevourTheBook

27 January 2017


Today I am delighted that Nicky Black author of The Prodigal: A gritty thriller set amidst Newcastle's organised crime scene. (Valley Park Series Book 1) Has dropped my blog to take part in my Q&A interview…...so without further ado I would like to welcome the lovely Nicky Black

Good morning Nicky welcome to Chelle’s Book Reviews.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Nicky Black is a combination of two names: me, Nicky Doherty, and my pal, Julie Blackie. Julie was commissioned by ITV to write The Prodigal as a two-part drama back in 1999, but after several years of the script being passed from one producer to another it never made it to the screen. Julie and I met in the 90s when we both worked on estates in the west end of Newcastle. I didn’t know she was a writer until she showed me a movie script she’d written set in the 80s rave era (that’s the next book BTW). I absolutely loved that script – still do.

I’m a proud Northumbrian and whilst I’ve lost my accent, there’s still a little twang that most people recognise (though sometimes they think I’m from Liverpool…)

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
I used to write terrible poetry as a teenager (didn’t we all), but never thought about writing until I met Julie. She is the sort of person who will give anything a go, so when I said I might try entering a competition she said, ‘Nicky, man, just do it.’ I was runner up in the competition, and then won a place on a year-long programme for new writers at New Writing North back in 2000. During that time I wrote a monologue and two plays (one about the break-up of Wham! – gotta love the 80s), all of which were staged. So I guess that’s how it started, but when I moved away from Newcastle to London for work, I didn’t do any writing at all. I did do a little creative writing course in Hackney and the tutor really liked my prose. I decided then that dialogue wasn’t my strong point so no wonder I found writing stage plays so stressful.

When I mentioned to Julie back in 2011 that the Prodigal would make a great novel and could I have a go at it, she said I should just go for it, and so I did. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
The Prodigal and Tommy Collins (when it’s ready) are cross-genre: crime and urban fiction. They don’t fit neatly into the crime / mystery / thriller genres. I didn’t write The Prodigal as a crime novel per se, but since the protagonist is a detective it fell into that genre. It’s a love story really - star-crossed lovers on a Council Estate. I didn’t know anything about genres back then, but now that I do, I know that if I want to make a living out of writing, I’ll need to hone down to a specific genre. My audience is anyone who’ll read it, but probably not suitable for people who don’t like swearing.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
Right now it takes as long as it takes. I’m still learning how to write, how to structure, how to write dialogue, and if it takes a year or two years to make sure it’s as good as it can be, then so be it. As an indie author I can take my time and learn my craft. The Prodigal took four years, start to finish – I had a full time, demanding job, and it was something I did as a bit of a hobby - a day here, a day there. I took a three month sabbatical in 2015 to get it all sorted and published. After taking a redundancy package from work last year, I started Tommy Collins in August 2016 and I’m around 80% done. (Although, I tend to delete thousands of words and start again every week – that’s my learning curve).

I’d like to think that, once I’m done with Tommy Collins, I can produce a book a year, working a couple of days a week to pay the rent and writing the rest of the time.

My process is to write on days where I feel I’ve got the next scene straight in my head, and if I’ve no idea what to write next, I edit what I’ve done already. I get told off for doing that but I can’t help myself.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
I think for both Julie and I, the characters are based loosely on people we’ve met (or combinations of those people) and our experiences of working on estates like Valley Park. I wouldn’t dare say who those characters are in The Prodigal, as they’d probably bash my head in.

I’m not sure any character in a novel is ever purely fictional. We don’t live in a bubble and it’s people we meet, even in passing, that inspire stories. Feel free to debate that one.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
For me, not really, not yet. For Julie, yes I think so.

What research do you do?
I research a bit up front for a few days, then do a lot more as I go along. I like things to be factually correct as far as possible. Yesterday I researched the types of Pot Noodles available in 1989, Vesta curries and Rover biscuits. I’m still researching that whole rave era for Tommy Collins as I want to make sure it’s authentic and that I can describe it as it really was. I’ve never been to a rave as I hated the music back then, but I’m really quite getting into it now.  I can see what all the fuss was about: it was so much more than a dance scene - it was about freedom, unity, youth culture and, of course, ecstasy.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Anyone who can write sharp dialogue – I really struggle with it and I sometimes get so down about not being good at it. If Jimmy McGovern is free and wants to write a book, please let him know I’m available and that I make a mean cup of builder’s tea.

What's your favourite book?
The Woman Who Walked into Doors, Roddy Doyle.

What's your favourite food?
Why chips, of course. With gravy.

What's your favourite film?
Arrghh! So many – can I choose one per genre? No? Ok. Probably West Side Story.

What's your favorite song?
Now you’re being mean. I really don’t think I have one. If I was on death row and could choose one song to listen to? I’ll go for Belfast Child, Simple Minds (forgive me, Annie Lennox). Or the opening strings to Faure’s Requiem, or Wild is the Wind, David Bowie. Oh the list is endless…

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Loads of places:


Thank you so much for taking part in my Q&A interview
Thank you for having me on your blog Shell, hope to see you again soon.

(P.S. can I change my favourite song to Breathe by The Prodigy?, Or The Reflex, Duran Duran? Goddammit…)

25 January 2017

The Quiet Ones by Betsy Reavley

The Quiet OnesThe Quiet Ones by Betsy Reavley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading the Opticians Wife and loving it I couldn't wait to get stuck into this after hearing such good things about it. Betsy doesn't fail to disappoint either, this book is EPIC if I do say so myself. I absolutely loved it.

The story starts off with one gripping introduction.That was it for me I was well and truly hooked taking me into a place I have never been before.The author certainly knows how to pull you in from the start thats for sure.

Imagine if you didn’t know where you came from? Or who you are? This is the question Josie asks herself when a mysterious letter arrives. Then a brutal murder turns her world upside down.
To make sense of the present, Josie must go back to the start.But who can she trust when no one knows the truth? And who is the sinister stranger obsessed with her life?
The past is catching up with Josie and the consequences will be fatal …

Josie is one of those characters you feel sorry for she definitely wasn't in the right queue when they was giving out good luck.Things just go for bad to worse with her. But her bad luck is what makes this story. How awful do I sound?! But I always say the darker the better for me and this book isn't for the faint hearted. The Quiet Ones is so twisted and warped I thought I was going to have an aneurysm!!! It is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing from start to finish giving me and OMG moment where I shouted WHAT……( I seriously wasn't expecting that)

Oh did I mention this book should come with a warning label saying do not read while cooking the tea.....I was that transfix reading it that I burnt my tea LOL. Honestly from the moment I started It I couldn't put it down….talk about a page turner.

The Quiet Ones without a doubt is a must read for all you psychological thriller fans. And will take you on a roller coaster ride of your life. Seriously I haven't read anything like this in my life and cannot recommend it enough, giving it 5 massive stars.

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24 January 2017


Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: 7th January 2017
Series: Dark Minds #4
Publisher: Topsails Charter
Following an almighty row, Gillian stands up to her abusive boyfriend. The consequences are horrendous and far-reaching.
Terrified, she flees her home, seeking anonymity abroad while coming to terms with the outcome of her actions.
In Portugal, Gillian meets Harry, a yachtsman. Needing crew for his Atlantic Ocean-crossing she applies for the job. Half-way into the journey, after confessing to her crime, Harry offers her refuge on an uninhabited island in the Caribbean which he says he owns.
Confused and depressed, Gillian imagines this is the answer to her problems. She needs time to lie low and consider her options; confront the authorities or live in obscurity? Harry is offering the perfect hiding place…or is he?
When things start going horribly wrong, she asks herself if she is alone on the island. But maybe the biggest question of all is why she gets the gut feeling Harry wants to keep her there at all costs?What happens when she says … no.


Faith is a British author dividing her time between Hampshire, England & Cyprus. Since 2005 she turned her hobby of writing into a career. During childhood, she dreamed of writing novels which readers would love, & spent many hours writing short stories which she read to her sisters. Born in Manchester & educated in Singapore, Malaya & Hampshire, England. Amazon Top #14 author rank for mystery, #27 mystery, thriller & suspense, #55 literature & fiction #5 bestselling author on Nook Books. Faith's books have made the Kindle Top 100 Paid List numerous times.

1st Prize – Ecopies of all 4 books in the series
2nd Prize – an ecopy of the book

23 January 2017

Beginnings by Helen J. Christmas

Beginnings (Same Face Different Place, #1)Beginnings by Helen J. Christmas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

With action from the start I couldn't put it down.What can I say this story is brilliant everything from the story to how it is written I absolutely loved it.

Beginnings is the first book in the same face different place series. Set across the decade of the seventies and tells a story in six parts. About Eleanor Chapman daughter of Ollie Chapman. Ollie gets wrapped up in the world of East End London criminal underworld with a shooting. He puts Eleanor in the hands of Sammie Maxwell so he can stay low until things calm down. But unknown to her father she finds herself in trouble when she is taken to a whorehouse. Where she discovers Jake who is a witness to a IRA style terrorist car bomb. Eleanor and Jake find themselves on the run.It is only when they are in hiding together in a secluded house tucked away in a small East London suburb, that Jake and Eleanor realise they have feelings for each other and lapse into a passionate love affair.

The author takes us on one roller coaster of a journey where I found myself willing Eleanor and Jake along with their fight for survival on the run.

This story is so well crafted I actually felt like I was there in the Seventies. And the characters are portrayed brilliantly. I was taken through a whirlwind of emotions from tension and anger to sorrow, relief, and happiness. Helen Christmas is an author not to missed. Seriously I cannot tell you enough how well this is written. I cannot wait to read visions the next book in the series.

This is a must read for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberly Chambers and Jessie Keane which I highly recommend giving it all the stars!

Thank you to the author for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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21 January 2017

Love, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson

Love, Lies and Lemon CakeLove, Lies and Lemon Cake by Sue Watson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some times in life things kick you in the teeth and knock you side ways, but low Sue Watson's Love Lies and Lemon Cakes will soon put a smile on your face....it certainly did for me! What can I say but this story is simply amazing and freaking hilarious. I was laughing that much it hurt my stomach and I had tears rolling down my face

In this story we meet Faye Dobson who feels life is passing her. But Faye's dreams of being whisked off her feet and having sex under the stars are never going to happen with her husband the nearest she is going to get to Rome is a take away pizza. Until she meets hottie Australian surfer Dan He is blonde, tanned, ten years younger and bakes the most amazing lemon cake. Unlike her husband Dan actually listens to Faye, his smile makes her feel fizzy inside, and when he smiles... Oh. My. God.
But what would Dan see you someone like her? Even if he did have feelings for her, could she give everything up to be with him?

This book is about grabbing life horns and making the most of it while you have the chance. Like I always say you only live once. I can totally relate to Faye she is one awesome character who I could happily go to the pub with for a pint or two. And Dan.....WOW! I actually want some of him myself! LOL Sue can give him my phone number please!

I have to say that I meet Sue and she has got the most wicked sense of humor. Then it took me an hour later realise she is the author of this book, I just had to read it. And boy does her personality shine through. I cannot tell you how funny this book is. I love it that much I have brought all of Sue's books.

Has most of you know it takes a certain kind of chick lit to entertain me and this one ticked all the boxes.

If your looking for an easy light feel good read this is the book for you which I highly recommend giving it a massive 5 stars.

I would like to say a massive thank you to Sue Watson for putting a smile back on my face to.

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20 January 2017


I am delighted that Sharon Maas author of The Lost Daughter Of India has joined me on publication day to take part in my Q&A interview. So without further ado I would like to welcome the lovely Sharon Maas

Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’m from Guyana, South America and had a wonderful childhood there. Two qualities have defined me all my life:  on the one had I was excruciatingly shy, didn’t like talking to people, loved to escape company and just curl up with a good book. On the other hand I was curious, loved exploring unknown areas and even as a child I was fearless about going off on my own to discover new places and people. When I was 19 I left home to spend a year traipsing around South America, and soon after my return I ran off again to take the overland trail through Europe and Asia to India, where I lived for a year. So I’m not anti social: I do love people and am very trusting;  I’m just awkward in company, and not a good conversationalist. But I’ve always loved writing, and that’s me preferred means of expression and communication. So those two activities, writing and travelling, have led me through life.

When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? and how did you go about it?
When you love writing you don’t have much choice as to a career. English was my best subject at school and so it was natural for me later to find a job where I could use that skill. I started off as a
Junior reporter at a local newspaper in Guyana, and later, when I went off travelling, wrote freelance for them.
But my great love has always been fiction. However, I never thought I’d have the skills to write a full length novel, and never even attempted it when I was younger.  So no-one could have been more surprised than me when Of Marriageable Age demanded to be written. It found immediate success, and the rest is history. I was 49 when it was first published by HarperCollins.

Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for? Mostly I write historical family sagas, some of them quite epic. I like a strong hook, maybe a  twist near the end, building drama, strong characters who grow over time. I write for everyone, but women more than men are drawn to my books.

What is your writing process? and how long does it take?
Very often I start a book with a blank page, not having any idea who or what it’s going to be about, and only a vague notion that it’s going to be set in Guyana, or India, and a woman is going to be in the lead. I just start writing and see what happens. But not always.

Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
Sometimes I do have an idea; for instance, the Quint Chronicles was based on the life of my grandmother, and even though the story is fictional, there are set stages in her life which formed a kind of outline. But that outline was only in my head.
Sometimes people I have known have inspired characters. This happened in Of Marriageable Age. Sometimes everyone is completely fictional, such as in The Small Fortune of Dorothea Quint.

Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Yes – in that everything I’ve ever written is somehow a reflection of experiences I’ve gone through in my life, people I have known, and insights I’ve gained. However, this is just in a general sense. I’ve never really used specific aspects or events of my life as a plot. The stories themselves are made up.

What research do you do?
Whatever is needful for the book. If it’s historical, I need to go to libraries and archives and talk to people. Sometimes I contact experts and ask them questions. In the case of The Lost Daughter if India, I went to Mumbai and walked the streets of Kamathirpura and met and talked to a doctor who works there.

Who would you like to co-write with and why?
I would never, ever want to co-write a novel; fiction for me is intensely personal and it comes from my own experiences.
If I ever go on to non-fiction, it would be with someone who knows stuff that I don’t know

What's your favorite book?
The Mahabharata

What's your favorite food?
Everything Asian, as long as it’s vegetarian.

What's your favorite film?
I have three: Casablanca, Amadeus and Lagaan

What's your favorite song?
You Raise me Up

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
From my website, www.sharonmaas.com, or my Facbook Author page, https://www.facebook.com/sharonmaasauthor/?fref=ts. I also have a Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/456016.Sharon_Maas

Thank you so much for joining me today Sharon have a brilliant day and good luck with your new book.

The Lost Daughter of India by Sharon Maas

One woman. One impossible choice. Her daughter or her happiness …

When Caroline meets Kamal the attraction is instant. He’s enchanting, charismatic and she can’t wait to set up a new life with him in India. Both their families are against the union but Caroline is convinced they’ll come round, especially when she gives birth to a beautiful daughter, Asha. 

Asha is an adorable child but Caroline, homesick and beginning to hate the remote Indian village they live in, struggles with motherhood. Kamal is hardly ever there and she feels more and more isolated. In the grips of severe depression Caroline flees back to America, leaving Asha behind. 

Ten years later …

Caroline recovered from her illness, is consumed by thoughts of the daughter she abandoned. Desperate to find Asha, she reunites with Kamal, intent on tracking her down. Will they ever be able to find their lost daughter? If they have any chance, they must confront the painful truths of the past and a terrible secret that has been kept for many years, until now. 

A heart-breaking and beautifully written story of loss, secrets and the strength of a mother’s love against all odds. If you enjoyed Diane Chamberlain and Lucinda Riley then this book will find its way into your heart and stay there.

What everyone is saying about The Lost Daughter of India:

'Evocative and atmospheric ... Heartbreaking on so many levels - a rich tapestry of a novel and a worthy read on any shelf' The Book Trail

'I have read and loved all of Sharon Maas's books but this one! Wow! I think this is her most emotional and beautiful book yet! Such a powerful story, so brilliantly narrated, in such a way that you feel part of it all and are left bereft when it is finished. Five Stars!' Renita D'Silva

'This book has everything. Great characters, interesting perspective and strong settings. Put all these together with a fantastic writing style and this easily makes my top 10 books of 2016 listLexi Reads

'My heart was in my mouth reading this story but it is a terrific read nevertheless.' 27 Book Street