#BlogTour #Review : We Were The Salt Of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard @OrendaBooks @annecater

Many thanks to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for letting me part of this blog tour. 

We Were The Salt Of The Sea blog tour banner

Blurb:  As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. 

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky… Both a dark and consuming crime thriller and a lyrical, poetic ode to the sea, We Were the Salt of the Sea is a stunning, page-turning novel, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

We Were The Salt Of The Sea book cover

Review:  I’m going to be completely honest here and say that I struggled with this book the whole way through and, upon reflection, I feel like I was one of the tourists described in it, someone who comes, rushes around and leaves without ever slowing down and appreciating the area properly. 

It’s not because it’s a translation, I’ve read plenty of those and never had any issues, what I think was my problem was that I just couldn’t get into the style of writing. I’ve had a look at some of the other reviews from this tour so far and a few mention that it took time for them to get used to the writing and after that they fell in love with the book and I believe that is why I didn’t, I never got used to the writing style. It was something that simply didn’t work for me.

However, before you start to think I’m being negative here, I’m not. Even though I struggled with it I still became immersed in the story, the writing brings alive the characters and the sea, which is almost a character in itself and an integral part of the story. There’s a scene where Catherine, sits down with the lovely and intriguing Cyrille, and watches the sea while they talk and I could not only visualise the scene easily but I could hear the waves ebbing and flowing as they talked.  

I’m a very visual reader, as I read (in any format) I see the story as a movie in my head, I always have done. For books I don’t enjoy at all, the movie stutters and comes through in bits and pieces. For books I enjoy it flows like any film you watch at the cinema or on tv, seamlessly.  Although I didn’t get this book in the way others have, that film in my head flowed seamlessly, hence why I could see the waves, the boats coming in with their morning catch, the characters themselves, everything even down to the coffees and scrambled eggs.  That for me is the sign of a good story, one that is well told, has a good amount of description and characters that are rounded rather than flat.  

Despite the fact that this story didn’t quite work for me I can understand why others are giving it glowing reviews and calling it one of the best books of 2018.  It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste, no book ever is, but I would still urge people to give it a go.  You might be like me and not quite get it, but you might be like others who’ve read and loved it.  Quite a few people have fallen in love with this book and I can completely understand why that is, I’m just sad that I’m not one of them.

Author bio:   Ten years or so ago, Roxanne Bouchard decided it was time she found her sea legs. So she learned to sail, first on the St Lawrence River, before taking to the open waters off the Gaspé Peninsula. The local fishermen soon invited her aboard to reel in their lobster nets, and Roxanne saw for herself that the sunrise over Bonaventure never lies. We Were the Salt of the Sea is her fifth novel, and her first to be translated into English. She lives in Quebec. 


#Review : Red Rising by Pierce Brown @PierceBrown @HodderBooks #RedRising #Netgalley

I know, I know, everyone else on the planet read these books years ago and I’m incredibly late to the party but better late than never surely??  Many, many thanks to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for making this book available again because of the recent release of Iron Gold (Red Rising book 4).

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Blurb:  Darrow is a helldiver. Born to toil beneath the surface of Mars so that one day future generations might live above it.



Review:  So, I’ll be upfront here, I loved this book!  In fact I loved it so much that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else once I’d finished it so immediately bought and read book 2 (review coming soon) because it was the only thing I wanted to read.  I’ve also bought book 3 but am holding off on that because I don’t want to get into the position of reading book 4 and then having to wait months to find out what happens next.

As I’ve said in another review, fantasy is not a genre I read much of, sadly neither is sci-fi at the moment, but despite that this book grabbed me from the first page and wouldn’t let me go.  The characters are all richly detailed without extraneous detail used on those who are only in the story for a page or two.   I felt like I was with Darrow every step of his journey, felt every emotion he felt and wanted the same goals as he did because I could understand why they were so important to him.

The locations, while not obviously places we are familiar with, felt alive to me, the descriptions were so clear and well-written.  I read this story on my kindle and have since bought the paperback and therefore seen the map that is in it, something I didn’t have in my ebook.  The descriptions were so clear throughout the story that my imagined layout that I had in my mind was almost identical to the map in the book, that’s how good the writing is.

This isn’t a non-violent book but I felt the violence there was fitted with the story.  It’s also not a book with a complete ending as it is the first in the series, however, the ending does tie things up to an extent so there is a feeling of an ending of sorts which I liked and don’t always get with books that are part of a series.

If you’re one of the few people on the planet who have not yet read this book then I would urge you to give it a go.  It might not be your usual genre but why not step outside of it and try something different.  Life can be boring if we never try new things, at least occasionally.

For anyone who wants a fast paced, well-written read that will keep them glued to the book for hours then I highly recommend this one.  The only regret I have in reading this book is that I didn’t do it sooner.


#Review : Dark in Death by J.D. Robb @PiatkusBooks #DarkInDeath #Netgalley

Today I have a review of the latest installment in the In Death series by J.D. Robb.  Many thanks to Piatkus Books and Netgalley for letting me have a copy of this book to review.

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Blurb:   There’s always a reason for murder. But when a young actress is killed in a swift and violent attack at a cinema screening, that reason is hard to fathom – even for Lieutenant Eve Dallas and her team.

As fiction is transformed into bloody reality, Eve will need all her skill and experience to solve this unique case. Luckily for her, husband Roarke happens to be a fan of DeLano’s work. And he’s more than happy to work side by side with his brilliant wife – no matter how dark things become…

Buy links: Amazon UKAmazon US



My Rating:  4/5

Review:  I’ll admit I am an Eve Dallas fan so when I realised there was another book in the series coming out I requested it as soon as I could.

I genuinely enjoyed this book, it was as the other In Death books have been, an easy and engrossing read for me.  There are a few elements missing from this book that are in the others, Summerset for one, although I think him not being present allowed Eve to be more free than normal because she didn’t have to worry about what he thought or his reactions.  This book also had a core cast of characters so many of those who are not police, Dr Mira or Roarke were not there.  While this gave the story a slightly different feel I also think it’s realistic to not have all the extra characters of friends and family involved every time considering that Eve and Peabody seem to take no more than a week to find the murderer each time.  Having said that it would be nice to see a bit of other characters lives occasionally, something that has featured in some previous books but was missing from this one.

As the killer is recreating scenes from a book series we learn about authors, publishing and get a bit of a sneak peak into the killers next murder scene courtesy of the books they are copying.  The pace races along as it always does, with Dallas and Peabody following up clues, talking to witnesses and getting understandably frustrated when things don’t go as planned.  There are quite a few humorous moments, maybe not what you’d expect in a crime novel but they help lighten the story as otherwise it risks being a little too dark.

If you’ve read any of the previous In Death novels then I think you’ll enjoy this one, if not it’s not a bad place to start.  As I’ve said I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to reading the next one when it comes out.

#Review: Beneath the Surface by Jo Spain. @QuercusBooks @SpainJoanne

Today I bring you a review of a book from my overflowing to-read pile.  This book has been waiting patiently on my bookshelf for over a year now but I’ve finally been able to read it.  This is the second in the Inspector Tom Reynolds series and I’ve already read and reviewed the first one, you can find my review for that book here.  So read on and find out what I thought of book 2 in this series.

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Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Late at night, two powerful men meet in a secret location to discuss a long nurtured plan about to come to fruition. One is desperate to know there is nothing standing in their way – the other assures him everything is taken care of. Hours later, a high-ranking government official called Ryan Finnegan is brutally slain in the most secure building in Ireland – Leinster House, the seat of parliament. Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called in to uncover the truth behind the murder.

At first, all the evidence hints at a politically motivated crime, until a surprise discovery takes the investigation in a dramatically different direction. Suddenly the motive for murder has got a lot more personal. . . but who benefits the most from Ryan’s death?


Beneath the Surface: The critically acclaimed mystery from the bestselling author (An Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery Book 2) by [Spain, Jo]


My Rating: 3.5/5

Review:   Having really enjoyed the first Tom Reynolds book I was keen to read this one and when I did finally start it I was not disappointed.  If you’ve not read the first book I would recommend starting with that one as the character relationships change and develop from that book through this one.  This story opens with a dramatic scene, one that grips and intrigues.  Not long after that the police become involved, which you would expect this being a police procedural, and we delve into the comings and goings at Leinster house, the home of the Irish parliament.

While it was almost comforting to be reunited with the characters from book one I felt that this story wasn’t quite at the level of the previous one.  The plot was good and while the parliamentary ongoings were clearly well-researched there was just a little bit too much of them.  I felt the story was a bit long and while I appreciate that genuine police work takes time, repetition and hard slog it felt that there was a bit too much of it in this book for me.  I’m not a massive fan of politics at the best of times so whether this was the reason for my feelings towards the book is hard to tell but I do feel it could have been a bit more concise.

Having said what I have I still enjoyed the overall story, there were enough twists, turns and dead ends to keep me guessing and, as I’ve said, I did enjoy catching up with the characters from the first book.  The characters really came alive and the descriptions were clear and vivid.  I’ve never been to Ireland but in the scenes in which the police are out in the countryside I felt like I knew the area simply because it was described so well.  I’m a fan of police procedurals and that combined with the fact that I enjoyed the first book so much mean that while this book wasn’t quite my cup of tea, because of the reasons already mentioned,  I’m definitely not going to let that stop me reading the next one and looking forward to the 4th which is out later this year.
















#Review : Year One by Nora Roberts @PiatkusBooks @ClaraHDiaz @LittleBrownUK

Many thanks to Clara Diaz and Little Brown UK for letting me have a copy of this book for review.

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With one drop of blood, the old world is gone for ever. And in its place, something extraordinary begins…

They call it The Doom – a deadly pandemic that starts on a cold New Year’s Eve in the Scottish countryside. There’s something mysterious about the virus and the way it spreads. As billions fall sick and die, some survivors find themselves invested with strange, unexpected abilities.

Lana, a New York chef, has the power to move things and people with her will. Fred can summon light in the darkness. Jonah, a paramedic, sees snatches of the future in those he touches. Katie gives birth to twins, and suspects that she has brought fresh magic into the world, along with new life.

But The Doom affects people differently. Along with the light, a dark and terrifying magic will also rise. As the remaining authorities round up the immune and the ‘Uncannies’ for testing, Lana, Katie and others flee New York in search of a safe haven. The old world is over, and Year One has begun.



Rating: 4/5

Review:  I love Nora Roberts (writing as J. D. Robb) In Death series and have enjoyed one of her books written under her own name so when an email appeared about this book I was intrigued. It’s not my usual type of read but I did want to expand my reading so doing that with an author whose writing I was already familiar with seemed like a good place to start.

This is a book about light and dark, hope and loss, death and life. The first chunk of the book is unsurprisingly dark as the Doom, the name given to the illness, takes hold of the planet.  This book shows how a cataclysmic event and breakdown of civilisation can have such different effects on different people. I’m not known for reading fantasy, though that is something I want to read more of, and I enjoyed the underlying current of fantasy in the story.

This is not a story that is going to appeal to everyone.  Some fans of the author are not going to like it and some fans of fantasy and/or apocalyptic novels are not going to like it either, it does seem to be a bit of a marmite book.  Having said that I genuinely did enjoy it and I think, for an author trying a new genre, this is an excellent start.  It’s not going to be a surprise for anyone that such a well-established author managed to create well-rounded and realistic characters and for me, the story came alive in the words and the way it was written.   It is a very vividly told story and some scenes are quite gory and unsettling and that is something that some readers may not like.

Despite this being a book I would never normally read I’m glad I decided to take a chance on it.  I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to the next in the series which is out in December 2018.


About the author:

Romance novelist Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 190 novels and there are 300 million copies of her books in print. Under the pen name J. D. Robb, she is author of the New York Times bestselling futuristic suspense series, which features Lieutenant Eve Dallas and Roarke.




#Extract : Divine Invention by Linden Forster @LindenForster

Today on the blog I have an extract for you from an unusual sounding book. I haven’t had a chance to read this book but it’s on my to-read list and if it hadn’t been already it would have been added after I read the extract.  The point of an extract is to give you a flavour of the book and if this one is anything to go by this book is one of those rare ones that will actually make me laugh so read on and see if you agree with me.

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Most stories begin with either an unforeseen turn of events or a problem.

Krank has a problem. For centuries, the people of the island have lived on the animals and plants to be found there. It was bliss and so the population grew. It was not until very recently anyone noticed that the quantity of plants and animals had not. The delicate balance of the ecosystem has tipped and food is dwindling.

The King assigned the island’s two resident self-proclaimed geniuses, the Creators, to find a solution. The fruits of their labour ripen into the invention of the world’s first aquatic transportation device and promises to provide passage from the island to search further afield for food and resources.

So, there it is. Problem solved. End of story. Barring any unforeseen turn of events…

Link:  Amazon UK 

Divine Intervention: The Heros Arc


He trudged up and down the hills in the early sun in a mild trance. The land was a forgiving place and he knew which way to go, so he just let his legs get on with it. Occasionally he had to negotiate a stream or rough piece of terrain, but other than that the morning’s hike was relatively straight forward.

Crops began to flood the landscape, at first Aereon mistook them as a natural change in the landscape. Until someone started shouting at him for walking through one.

Most people might have ducked down or possibly made a run for it. Aereon got on his tiptoes and waved exuberantly, shouting, ‘Hello!’

‘Stay put.’


‘Don’t you dare move.’


‘I’ve got you now.’

‘Oh, great, listen, I was wondering how–’

‘Let’s see how you like this,’ the agitated agriculturalist swung a heavy pitchfork and made quite an impression on Aereon’s head.
Aereon’s eyes rolled around in his skull. Somewhere near him, two men were talking. He knew he recognised the words that were being said, but he was having trouble making any sense out of them. Somone slapped him on the cheek.

‘Wakey, wakey.’

Slowly, Aereon blinked himself back to reality. He was sitting, slumped against a wall with his arms tied behind him. He looked down, his feet were bound too. Kneeling in front of him was the farmer.

‘You thought you could just come in here and steal from me, did ya?’

‘Is this Hudikvar?’ asked Aereon.

‘Goodness, how hard did you hit him?’ asked the other man.

‘Not hard, not hard,’ said the farmer, waving a hand dismissively. ‘He’s putting it on. Tryna get himself some sympathy. Well it won’t work, ya hear?’

The farmer moved and the sun blazed into Aereon eyes. He winced at the white pain in his temples. If these head injuries come back to haunt me in later life, I really will be very cross.

‘Are you listening to me?’ barked the farmer again. ‘You can’t go stealing from people. Not on my watch. You ask me, you thieves are the worst of them. I mean murdering, there’s honour in that. But stealing from another man, that’s just foul! What do you think he’s worth? Four fingers at least, I say.’

‘Just exactly how much did he take?’

‘Search him, what’s in that bag of his?’

The other man, who Aereon noticed wore a sturdy leather uniform under a metal breastplate and carried a sword on his belt, started to rifle through his bag. After a quick rummage, he put it back down.

‘Nothing but bread and water. Nothing that suggests he was stealing from your crop,’ said the guard.

‘Well then, he must have dumped it before I got to him. Either that or he never got a chance to. Fingers; off with them. Come on, come on.’

‘Sorry, sir, but innocent until proven guilty has always been my motto.’

Aereon smiled.

‘You see!’ squealed the farmer. ‘He’s laughing at us, he knows he’s getting away with worse than murder.’

‘Sorry, sir. Nothing I can do. If there is no evidence, my hands are tied. Speaking of which, let me get those off you.’

The farmer made various protesting sounds as the guard untied Aereon.

‘Thank you. Now, could one of you point me in the direction of Rjkovorg?’

The guard gave the farmer an incredulous look. ‘I thought you said you didn’t hit him that hard?’

‘Well, a bit. Hard-ish, I suppose.’

‘You see,’ began Aereon, ‘I met this lovely young woman, named Asta–’

‘Asta! He’s in cahoots with the Night Bandit. Get him! Hands! Fingers! Chop-chop!’

Aereon looked at the farmer with some concern, the man seemed completely hysterical. ‘Yes, well, as I was saying, I met Asta and she–’

‘Excuse me sir, could I just ask you to pop your arms behind your back for me?’

‘Don’t bother with that! You’ll only have to untie him again to chop them off.’

‘I can’t do that,’ replied the guard. ‘This is way above my level. No, I’ll have to take him to Rjkovorg.’

‘Rjkovorg?’ said Aereon. ‘You’ll take me to Rjkovorg? Well tie away man, tie away,’ Aereon turned his back and presented his hands. ‘That’s it. Right, shall we go? Which way is it?’

‘Um. My horse and cart is just round the side of the farmhouse,’ said the officer, pointing vaguely.

‘Excellent. Right, come on, let’s get a move on.’

Aereon marched smartly round the building. The farmer stared with his mouth open as Aereon passed out of sight.

Author Bio:

Linden Forster began writing at the age of seventeen. Divine Invention is his debut novel and it has taken seven years from the idea conjuring at the back of an English class to reaching the page.

#BlogTour #Excerpt : The Study of Silence by Malia Zaidi. @MaliaZaidi @NeverlandBT

Today I’m taking part in the blog blitz for The Study of Silence. I love the sound of this book but unfortunately was not going to be able to review it in time for this weekend so I have an excerpt for you instead. 


Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh’s, a women’s college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning, when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. 

Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn’s own detriment?

Buy links:

Amazon UK:


Amazon US: 


Barnes & Noble:



The rain is strengthening, and water sloshes about, blurring my vision of the road ahead. Squinting, I slow my speed, eager to remain on the track and out of a ditch. At my back, I hear the faint purr of another engine even over the tinny sound of the rain. Looking into my rearview mirror, I notice the dark outline of a larger car only a small distance from me. The driver must have just turned onto the road. I focus my attention on what is ahead, feeling the skin between my brows constrict with concentration. Suddenly, there is an almighty screech and from the corner of my eye, I glimpse the hind legs of a rushing doe disappear into the brush. I slow down and glance back, the dark motor’s front wheels are embedded in the ditch running parallel to the path. The driver must have swerved to avoid the animal and run himself off the road! 

Carefully, I pull to the side, turning off the engine.  Shifting in my seat, I peer through the rain spattered back window. The other vehicle, a large Austin by the looks of it, has ceased any movement. Sighing, I fumble for my umbrella and climb out, trying to avoid larger puddles while making my way to the immobilized car. A man pushes open the driver’s door and gets out. 

“Are you hurt?” I call out, a little wary being alone on a country road with a stranger. It will be dark in an hour this time of year. 

“We’re all right. Blasted deer! Probably having a good laugh behind those bushes.” 

Though rain is drizzling onto his face, I can see the man is older than me by just a few years. His copper hair is darkening under the weight of the water, and I step closer to offer the protection of my substantial umbrella. 

“Oh, no. It’s all right, thank you.” He shakes off my help. “It’s not far to the next village. We will wait until the rain stops and set off. That Bentley of yours won’t be able to pull us out of the ditch.” Again, he shakes his head, frowning in bemusement at his dilemma. 

“Us?” I ask, peering into the dark interior of the car. 

“Yes, my son. I told him to stay inside.” He leans down to the open door. “It’s all right, mate, but we will have to—” 

“Nonsense,” I interrupt. “Come along, I will drive you to the next village. There we can find someone to pull you out of the ditch.” Relieved to find a child present, I feel more confident making this offer. He cannot be too villainous with his son sitting beside him, can he? 

“We couldn’t ask for that.” 

“You did not ask. I offered. Now come along before it gets dark.” 

Despite my insistence, the man eyes me for another moment with indecision, then leans down and opens the car door to call to his son. 

“Thom, climb out, would you, son. We’ve had the great fortune of being offered a lift.” He turns his head to give me a smile. A moment later, a boy with his father’s coppery hair climbs out on the other side. He looks up at me with curious brown eyes, and his enthusiasm grows considerably when he takes in the Bentley a stretch down the road. 

“What a spiffy motor!” he exclaims, eyes widening at the gleaming contraption. 

I laugh. “Come along, if you want to see the inside, young man.” The boy follows my instruction without a question, or, for that matter, a backward glance at his father. The man himself catches up to us quickly, his long legs taking wider strides than ours. 

“I’m terribly sorry for the inconvenience,” he apologizes again. 

“Not at all,” I say. 

“I have not even introduced myself. My name is Stanton, Lucas Stanton. And this is Thomas.” 

“Evelyn Carlise at your service, gentlemen.”

Author Bio:

Malia Zaidi is a writer and painter, who grew up in Germany and lives in the US. An avid reader and traveler, she decided to combine these passions, and turn her long-time ambition of writing into a reality. The Study of Silence is the third book in The Lady Evelyn Mysteries. 

Author links:


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14197546.Malia_Zaidi



Website: https://www.maliazaidi.com/