Finding Jericho by Dave Jeffrey – review.

Description

Fifteen-year-old Jonathan Dupree knows what it’s like to live with madness. He has seen his uncle, “Raving Ron” Dupree, at his best, and his worst.

Even a new school isn’t an escape. The stigma of mental illness follows in the form of taunts and threats from a gang known as “The Misfits.” In a desperate attempt to fit in, Jonathan lashes out, tipping Ron over the edge into complete relapse.

Now Jonathan must find a way to reach his uncle and, when a failed initiation ceremony leaves him trapped in a derelict house, the way to redemption will come from a very unlikely source.

About the author

Jeffery is married with two children and lives in Worcestershire, UK.

Dave Jeffery is author of 15 novels, two collections, and numerous short stories. His Necropolis Rising series and yeti adventure Frostbite have both featured on the Amazon #1 bestseller list. His YA work features critically acclaimed Beatrice Beecham supernatural mystery series and Finding Jericho, a contemporary mental health novel that was featured on the BBC Health and the Independent Schools Entrance Examination Board’s recommended reading lists.

Jeffery is a member of the Society of Authors, British Fantasy Society (where he is a regular book reviewer), and the Horror Writers Association. He is also a registered mental health professional with a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Health Studies.

My thoughts

What a fantastic novel! From the mental health theme to the sensitivity in which it was written, this book is both heartwarming and eyeopening in equal measures.

I really enjoyed the characters, my favourites being Jon and Uncle Ronald. Jon’s character was so skilfully written that I slipped into his world almost immediately. The words on the page are more than just that, I saw a real person who I felt a lot for and I so wanted him to him to become his best self. I found this to a be a really moving piece of work and I’m so glad I read it.

I loved the references to ‘Of Mice and Men’. They were apt for the story and added a deeper layer to it all, as did Uncle Ron’s poems and prose. All in all, a fantastic read that gives insight into mental illness and how sufferers are, and have been, treated by society over time. Also, the parts discussing what society defines as mental illness across the ages, were also insightful.

To top it all off, the author is a qualified mental health professional and you could tell from the piece.

Beautifully written and I loved the coming of age element too. This is definitely on my recommend list, in fact I’d put it on my essential reading list!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Jericho-Dave-Jeffery-ebook/dp/B083TDNQKH/

By Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestseller, The Next Girl.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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The Search Party by Simon Lelic – review.

Description

16-year-old Sadie Saunders is missing.

Five friends set out into the woods to find her.

But they’re not just friends…

THEY’RE SUSPECTS.

You see, this was never a search party.

It’s a witch hunt.

And not everyone will make it home alive.

My thoughts

Wow! I have been totally gripped by this riveting read for the past few days. When everyone is as suspicious as hell, who do you trust? I bounced from suspecting one person to another and then I had the rug pulled from under my feet. Boy was I not expecting that! My lips are zipped. No spoilers here.

I was captivated by the chapters told from the search party’s perspective. I felt as though I was right there in their heads. At first, I worried that I wouldn’t follow each voice with ease but from the off, I knew exactly whose head I was in and most of all, I really felt that each of those kids were individuals. Each voice was unique.

The main investigator, Fleet, was equally likeable and flawed. I enjoyed how his character developed through the book and how the author delved deeper into his past, allowing me as the reader to really care for him.

I loved the tension as the journey unfolded. Those chapters in the woods gave me a right chill. I wouldn’t spend a minute after nightfall hanging around there. The setting was perfect, atmospheric and chilling. The story, riveting and compelling. The characters, intriguing and suspenseful. Fantastic read! Will I be going down to the woods today? Let me think about that. No way – hehe!

It was such an honour to receive an early copy of this book! Huge thanks, Simon. It will be available on the 20th of August and can be pre ordered now.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SNRDQFT/

By Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestseller, The Next Girl.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce – review.

Description

An electrifying debut thriller for fans of Anatomy of a Scandal, Apple Tree Yard, and Gone Girl.

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

A disturbing, toxic and compelling novel that explores the power of fear and desire, jealousy and betrayal, love and hate, BLOOD ORANGE introduces a stunning new voice in psychological suspense.

My thoughts

After being immediately immersed into Alison’s life, I couldn’t wait to pick this book up at any given opportunity. So much so, I read into the night to finish it.

Blood Orange is a dark read, one of the darkest I’ve read in a while and it explores abuse in relationships brilliantly. Main character, Alison, should be the one with all the power. She has it all, the lovely home, husband and child. Not only that, she has a high profile city career as a barrister, but something isn’t right. Her relationships aren’t right.

Harriet Tyce paints the filthy setting with expertise. The whole novel has an air of dirt and grime about it, from the ‘dog shit’ on the wall to the urine soaked train toilet. I feel the dirt from the city and that dirt is a theme continued in all aspects of Alison’s life. Her liaisons feel grubby and sordid. Her whole life does.

If you love your psychological thrillers to be deep and unsettling, this is your book. I thought it was fantastic but then again, I do love something that is more on the warped side and this delivered in full!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Orange-most-heart-pounding-thriller/dp/1472252748/

By Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestseller, The Next Girl.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

http://www.carlakovach.com

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58

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Giveaway happening on my page – now!

Head over to my page if you want to be in with a chance of winning this fab prize.

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

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Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald – review.

Description

Is this all there is? I hadn’t had so much as a sniff of a shag for over a year. I scraped the last dregs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream out of the bottom of the tub with my finger and licked it. It left a sticky smear on my phone’s screen when I typed into Google, “How to find love, sex and happiness.”

Charlotte has always been a good girl.

She sorts her paper from her plastic. She eats her greens (even Spirulina, whatever that is). Boozy brunches with her best friends on the third Sunday of every month are about as bad as she gets.

But being good is getting boring…

Charlotte’s not just stuck in a rut – she’s buried in it up to her chin. The only company she has in bed is the back catalogue of Netflix and falling in love feels like the stuff of fairy tales. So when she stumbles across a popular podcast, Sorry Not Sorry, which challenges women to embrace their inner bad girl, she jumps at the chance to shake things up.

Old Charlotte would never ask for a stranger’s number, go on a blind date or buy lacy lingerie… But New Charlotte is waving goodbye to her comfort zone (with a side order of margaritas). And it turns out that good things happen to bad girls, as Charlotte finally finds her Mr Right – or so she thinks… Is falling in love too tough a challenge even for Charlotte?

Fans of Sophie Kinsella, Mhairi McFarlane and Matt Dunn will love this fabulously feel-good novel that will make you laugh till you cry and leave you living life to the full, margarita in hand!

My thoughts

Okay, I’m normally a crime reader but it’s February, the month of love, so I decided I’d read something that looked romantic and funny. I’m well overdue a fit of the giggles. Life has been a tough recently and a pick-me-up was certainly on my cards, so I thought this would be the perfect book to give me what I needed. I can confirm that it gave me the giggle-fits in abundance.

I barely noticed the words on the page and before long I found myself addictively grabbing this book at every moment, dying to know how Charlotte’s love life was going to pan out. The ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ blog posts were genius – loved them!

If you like your romance to be less heartwarming and more, ‘yes please, I’ll have a burger on the side of my dollop of hot sauce,’ then this book is unmissable. I’m super pleased I chose this as my February read, but don’t let that stop you from checking it out anytime. A big fat PERFECT from me. My sides are still aching and I finished it a week ago. What more can I say?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorry-Not-perfect-romantic-comedy-ebook/dp/B07KKJVBLT/

By Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestseller, The Next Girl. 💕💕💕

https://www.facebook.com/CarlaKovachAuthor/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-Kovach/e/B00KM50P58?

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To Let – gruesome, stalker thriller – 99p/99c.

Bargain alert! 🥳🥳🥳

To those who may not know, I have also written several standalone novels which are currently only 99p/99c (but not for long). It’s also available through Amazon KDP.

Today, I thought I’d let you know about, To Let. If you love a stalker psych thriller, this may appeal. 😱😱😱

To Let by Carla Kovach

A new start was all Libby wanted. Would that new start be the beginning of the end? Her stalker has other plans.

After leaving her long term partner, Libby moves into a new apartment. To begin with everything seems fine, she is effectively avoiding all communications with her cheating ex Gary. Her new landlord Tim seems pleasant and she regularly pours her heart out to her sister Olly.

Soon the cracks begin to widen, her job pressures build to an unmanageable level, Gary is becoming increasingly persistent with his texts and calls and her allusive neighbour, Mr Bull, is regularly causing disturbances amongst the block. On top of everything, the father of missing woman Bettina who once lived in her flat arrives and seeks her help in finding his daughter.

Slowly, the stresses of her new life begin to perpetuate the darker aspects of her personality. Her depressive side slowly takes over and her delicate state of mind is carefully played by a dark mysterious personality. Can she come out of it with her life and sanity?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Let-Carla-Kovach-ebook/dp/B00JD1JAWG/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JD1JAWG/

https://www.amazon.com.au/Let-Carla-Kovach-ebook/dp/B00JD1JAWG/

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SEX, LIES AND SECRET DESIRES By Carla Kovach.

“Bloody hell.” She pulled her door keys out of her bag. It was the second time that month she’d forgotten her office key-fob. Trevor always told her to keep it on the same ring as her door keys but she never did get round to putting them on. Odd, she thought, as she approached the house. The curtains were still drawn and the milk was still left on the doorstep. Only several minutes ago, she had left him with the washing up to do and the cat to feed. He was dressed and washed and…

“Ooh, yes.” Trevor called out.

Heart pounding, Valerie opened the letterbox and listened. “Oh yes. Give it to me,” he shouted. There were three loud bangs and then a thud. She lurched back and ducked behind the wheelie bin. There was someone there, someone with her Trevor, in her house.

A tear rolled down her cheek. Had she bored him with their predictable routine and their healthy diet? Exercise on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Pulses at least twice a week. No dairy, sugar, bread or artificial sweetener. Television was for peasants. Had he not enjoyed their reading and analysing of War and Peace? Sex was the first Wednesday of every month, well she didn’t have time and these things take time, best to schedule them in she’d once read in a magazine.

It began to spit. Little cold drops fell onto her uncovered hair which began to dampen into a light frizz. Great, she now had to confront her cheating husband and his lover with a frizzy down do. Slowly she stood and stepped towards the door again. “Oh yes, I’ve really missed you and what you do for me and … that’s so good.”

She held the key in her hand. Shaking, she couldn’t insert it into the keyhole. It clanked as it fell to the floor.

“Every Tuesday, me and you.” That was his voice. Tuesday, the day he had a late starting shift. Every Tuesday when she’d gone to work he had that woman over while she slaved away in that office for them, for their house, for their lifestyle.

She grabbed the key from the ground and placed it in the keyhole. Gently turning it, she hoped he wouldn’t hear. Wishful thinking – she almost knocked their wedding photo off the console table as the television burst into life – morning TV, cookery.

“Oh yes, again, you want me to have you again?” She heard him say.

There was a loud bang on the wall. She flinched and ducked into the stairway. He was in the kitchen, they were in the kitchen. She began to sob. She and Trevor had never done it in the kitchen and now he was there, with some tart in their kitchen, doing it. Passionately; wildly and bloody well regularly. Shaking with anger, Valerie gritted her teeth. She flattened her hair down and dusted off her skirt. There was no way she would be seen looking scruffy in front of his floozy.

What would happen to the house, the cars, and their holiday home? She began to sob an angry cry. Nose filling, she had no choice but to wipe it on her hand. Great!

Take the first step, she told herself. It’s just one step after another. Slowly, she approached the kitchen, and the door was slightly ajar. She peeked through. Trevor screamed and banged the table. She stepped back. They were on her table, the same table that housed the micro sprouts and the aduki bean stew ingredients that she’d laid out, ready to make their tea with. Her heart was now trying to force its way up her windpipe.

“Get out of my house!” Valerie shouted, as she burst through the door. Trevor leaped up off the floor.

“Hello Dear.” His voice was a quiver. “I was just, well err… how long have you been there?”

“Long enough. You’ve deceived me. I never thought you could ever do this to me. You’ll be hearing from my solicitor later.” She recoiled with disgust at the aftermath sprawled out before her. The air was filled with stench, lies and Trevor – the man she no longer knew. There is no way she could ever be with a man who had deceived her so badly.

“Please, please forgive me. It won’t happen again. I was only going to have one Double Decker but then it turned into cheese and onion crisps and several Dime bars and well you can see the rest.”

Valerie stood there open mouthed. Things were much worse than she could’ve ever imagined. Trevor had given himself over to a sin far worse than the flesh of another woman. “Tell me Trevor, where have you been hiding all the wrappers on ‘these’ Tuesdays?” She crossed her arms.

“At work in my bin.” Trevor looked down. He’d been caught out. Living with a sugar-binging slob was not her idea of a healthy marriage. They both waited in awkward silence. She didn’t look at him. He didn’t look at her.

Defiantly, he stood tall and stared at her, shaking as he spoke. “It’s good. You should give it a go. I guess I must be missing something really vital in my life but it’s definitely not bloody aduki beans. There we go, I’ll say it openly, I hate aduki beans.” He peeled back the wrapper of a Cream Egg and held it up to her nose. “Go on, just this once, you know you want to.”

Valerie could smell the warm chocolate. After denying herself for so long she’d convinced herself she no longer liked it. He bit it and kissed her hard. His chocolate flavoured mouth covered hers. She slapped him and pushed him back.

“It was good, wasn’t it? Desire is a powerful thing. Have the rest,” he said as he came closer. She couldn’t hold back any longer. He was right and she was going all quivery at the knees. She licked the sugary filling from the egg, it was the most scrumptious thing she’d had in her mouth for a long time. She placed her finger in to the gunge and pulled out a thick glug and licked it off. “Told you,” he said as he joined her. She grabbed the rest and placed it in her mouth, groaning hard as it pleasured her taste buds. What had she denied herself all these years? She grabbed him hard and allowed her tongue to entwine his, so much pent up passion. He threw her amongst all the wrappers and open packets onto the kitchen table. They screamed and fumbled, laughed and well – the rest is censored.

The divorce never did happen but the passion did. Valerie now eats chocolate once a week with Trevor. The dining room table has now been christened and so has the garage, the summer house, and the lawn mower – don’t ask. Trevor is happy with his new diet.


The end.

If you enjoyed this quick read, check out my holiday novella, Meet Me at Marmaris Castle.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01KL6RQCW/

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