Madison Ward

Book Review – Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan

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Title: Close Your Eyes

Author: Darren O’Sullivan

Publisher: HQ Digital

Publication Date: 5th May 2018

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Format: Kindle

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Blurb

Close your eyes…and count to ten.

He doesn’t know his name. He doesn’t know his secret.

When Daniel woke up from a coma he had no recollection of the life he lived before. Now, fourteen years later, he’s being forced to remember.

A phone call in the middle of the night demands he return what he stole – but Daniel has no idea what it could be, or who the person on the other end is. He has been given one warning, if he doesn’t find out his family will be murdered.

Rachael needs to protect her son. Trapped with no way out she will do anything to ensure they survive. But sometimes mothers can’t save their children and her only hope is Daniel’s memory.

 

Sometimes, we come across a book where you’re gripped immediately! You rush around your home, getting everything you need to do, done, as quickly as possible, just so you can sit down with a cuppa and emerge yourself into its world. Then, it compels you to keep reading until you reach the end. Yeah… this is that book!

From the moment I started reading the prologue, I said to myself, “Uh Oh! I know I’m not sleeping tonight!’

Darren’s ability to emerge his readers into his fictional world is compelling, captivating their attention, feeding the intricate clues, which are interwoven through the plot. As you read about Daniel’s past, the threads of mystery unravel slowly as he members his past that his parents tried to bury.

When yo think you know where it’s going, suddenly you’re faced with the plot twist we all love about a thriller! And yes, it’s a great one!

The plot is gripping, following the emotional story of a fathers love for his child and the journey he goes through to get him back.

When Close Your Eyes arrives on your Kindle, don’t start it until you know you have a clear day ahead, because you’re going to need it!

 

Congratulations Darren O’Sullivan! You did it again!

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Close Your Eyes by Darren O’Sullivan is available to pre-order in paperback, Kindle and audio from Amazon

 

If you would like to read Darren O’Sullivan’s debut novel Our Little Secret is also available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook via Amazon.

You can follow Darren on Twitter here!

 

 

 

 

 

** Disclaimer **

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on any links, you will be supporting my blog. It is at no cost to you!  Thank you!

Friday Fictioneers – Final Resting Place

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PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

 

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts the flash fiction challenge called

Friday Fictioneers!

Take the challenge to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words using the weekly picture prompt.

 

A single rose, lies amongst rotting debris, under the icicle encrusted tree.

Detective Ingram crouches by the yellow marker. poking the leaves with the end of his pen, held by a gloved hand. He leans away and wrinkles his nose.

Moving them aside, a ringed finger protrudes from the soil, where the cadaver spaniel alerted them to the corpse.

Ingram glances toward Officer Scott, as he announces,  “We’ve got a letter over here. What does this mean, sir?”

“There is a second victim that hasn’t been found yet. Somewhere there’s another body We are now looking for a serial killer!”

 

Genre – Crime (100 words)

Book Review – A Rock ’N’ Roll Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson

Title: A Rock ’N’ Roll Lovestyle

Author: Kiltie Jackson

Publisher: WickedKilt Publishing

Publication Date: 23rd September 2017

Genre: Contempory Romance / Chick Lit

Format: Kindle

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

A Rock'n'Roll Lovestyle ebook hi-quality

Blurb

So who exactly is Sukie McClaren?

A Christmas-loving Cat lover? A Sound of Music Fanatic? A Fiercely Independent Woman?

She is all of the above. And when she is sent to Salzburg for a business trip a few weeks before Christmas, she thinks all her dreams have come true. As she packs her suitcase, the only things on her mind are Christmas markets, lots of snow and finally seeing the Doh-Ray-Me steps. Becoming the new best friend of the world’s hottest rock-star doesn’t even get a look in.

Pete Wallace is a reclusive, reluctant, rock-star and the world’s Number One, best-selling, male solo artist. It’s been three years since his last tour and he’s now preparing to go back on the road again. A week in Salzburg, schmoozing with the music press, is one of his worst nightmares.

He can’t wait for it to be over.

When Pete and Sukie meet, it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Lonely for too long, he begins to remember how it feels to be happy and, for the first time in six years, Christmas feels special again.

Eduardo di Santo however, whose kid sister suffered life-changing injuries at a Pete Wallace concert, is all set on getting revenge. When Pete’s new tour is announced, he begins to make his plans. Plans that will culminate in Pete’s demise.

Will Pete and Sukie’s new friendship die before it has a chance to flourish?

 

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It was a pleasure to be asked to participate in the blog tour for Kiltie Jacksons debut novel.

I first met Kiltie via my Facebook group, The Fiction Cafe Book Club. The timing for my slot was perfect, being the day after Kiltie had her Author Live Chat within the group.

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of A Rock ’N’ Roll Lovestyle for review from Kiltie. With her debut being a contemporary romance, I was unsure if I could do her book justice, with it not being a genre I would not normally choose. Having now read it,  I am delighted she asked me. Otherwise,  I wouldn’t have had the pleasure to read her well planned novel, with the perfectly executed portrayal, of the characters Susie and Pete.

The story follows Sukie McClaren, a thirty-six year old, independent business woman. Having grown up listening to her best friends undying love of her rock star crush, she embarks on a business trip to Saltzburg that sees her haphazardly becoming, his best friend. Sight seeing the local tourist attractions from her favourite film, The Sound of Music, Susie extends her trip to take in the sights and shop in the local Christmas markets. The story continues, to show their unique friendship and Pete gradually falling in love with Suzie, but, the question is, does she feel the same?

The thing that struck me from the beginning, was how Kiltie manages to pull you in to the world of Sukie, making you feel so much warmth toward her. The characters are so well described, that you feel pulled into the story with them.  With their very different personalities, Sukie, with her strong mind and feisty personality, and Pete, who is a misunderstood star with a wrongly assumed reputation, who just wants to be taken seriously for the talented musician that he is. They are not the likely of matches.

The theme of the book certainly made for a very seasonal story. I would strongly advise everyone to read this fabulous debut novel. Kiltie’s love for The Sound of Music and Salzburg certainly shines through in A Rock ’N’ Roll Lovestyle. A wonderful tale, full of friendship, love and a touch of disaster that makes me hope for a sequel. Just so I can transport myself, back into the scenes of their lives and learn more of the characters stories.

 

About the Author, Kiltie Jacksonhead-shot-piccie

Kiltie grew up in Scotland, Glasgow to be precise. A very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life. When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then, after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are finding their way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.

She currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one husband. The cats kindly allow her and her husband to share their house on the condition they keeps paying the mortgage!

Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers!

She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles. She really dislikes going to the gym!

Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job and write her stories for a living.

Kiltie first began writing ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ over ten years ago. The project was shelved on Chapter Seventeen as she felt the story wasn’t flowing as she would like it to.

In her own words “The images in my head would not come out of my fingers!” Fast forward to November 2016 when, having finished reading Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow, she read more about the author and was inspired with how Christie herself came to be a best-selling author.

In that thunderbolt moment, Kiltie knew – with a deep certainty- that she needed to reacquaint herself with ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’ and begin writing again. She did this in January 2017 and found the words flowed faster than she could type them. Finally, the time was right for her to write her novel.

Her determination to finish what she had started all those years ago was absolute and the first draft was completed on Sunday 16th April 2017.

Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing. She has begun typing up her second book, ‘Of All the Unlikely Places’, and book three (not yet titled) has been worked out and is waiting in the wings for its turn in the spotlight.

She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.

She now lives her life around the following three quotes:
“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”
“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”
“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”

You can buy Kiltie Jackson’s novel via Amazon

Website www.kiltiejackson.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kiltiejackson

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KiltieJackson

Book Review – The One by John Marrs

Title: The One

Author: John Marrs

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: 4th May 2017

Genre: Thriller, Romance, Science Fiction, Suspense

Format: Paperback

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Blurb

How far would you go to find The One? One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match.

But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

 

The One by John Marrs was an amazingly fast paced book. Full of action, intrigue and thrill, I was hooked from the start and couldn’t wait to pick it up again.
This was the first of John Marrs novels that I have read. If The One is anything to go by I will be reading all his other books too. It sucked me right in immediately with short chapters which created good pace. Each chapter following the five main characters viewpoint, written in third person, created a fast paced storyline that progressed in alternating chapters.
I found each individual story was unique. The plot, created within each story, made me want to find out more! At times I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next!
This is definitely a good spin of online dating! It takes it to the extreme that there is one person out there for everyone, matched by your DNA.

With this very unique idea, John has created a book that is unlike others I’ve read.

Well done John Marrs! You have a new fan!

The One by John Marrs is available to pre-order from Amazon

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When You Disappeared, The Good Samaritan and Welcome to Wherever You Are are also available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook via Amazon.

 

If you would like to find out more about John his website can be found here… John Marrs

 

 

 

 

 

** Disclaimer **

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on any links, you will be supporting my blog. It is at no cost to you!  Thank you!

Friday Fictioneers – The Lake

 

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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts the flash fiction challenge called

Friday Fictioneers!

Take the challenge to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words using the weekly picture prompt.


 

At sunset, the red sky reflects, as ripples form across the water. The movement, as people jump in, disturbs its stillness.

The reflection from the boat, casts shadows and creates a gloom over the pretty lake. I’ve been coming here since a little girl with Jen. I reminisce about the fun afternoons as we walked Penny the spaniel, around the seven mile perimeter of the lake, swimming by the bridge and catching tadpoles.

Today, a darkness overshadows the joy. Turning away, I walk toward the car as I glance at the white, police tent, covering the body of my friend.

 

Genre – Thriller/Crime (100 words)

Friday Fictioneers – A Moonlight Kiss

fridays-moon-ted-strutzPHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts the flash fiction challenge called

Friday Fictioneers!

Take the challenge to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words using the weekly picture prompt.


 

Standing on deck the moonlight casts shimmering lights across the water, as the yacht sways in time to waves.

We’ve finally met.

Feeling his arms encircling me, I feel his body warmth emanating from his chest, wrapping around me, cocooned in a new safe place. I feel his lips on my neck as he leaves kisses on my skin.

Turning to face him, I tilt my head closing my eyes to photograph this moment into my scrapbook of memories. The first. The most special.

“One day at a time.” smiling I wrap my arms and hold on to new possibilities.

 

Genre – Romance (100 words)

Flash Fiction – Shadows

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PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter


 

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple hosts the flash fiction challenge called

Friday Fictioneers!

Take the challenge to write a piece of flash fiction in 100 words using the weekly picture prompt.


 

“Dad! Where are you?” I call through the house.

Simultaneously feeling chilled, by a draught even though the window is shut.

I’m motionless, caught in stride. Not believing the image I see.

A shadow of an old man.

My chest tight, my breath visible in the summer heat.

Tightness wrapping around my body and squeezing the air out my lungs.

But no one is there.

Just a darkness.

“There you are! Look, Claire! Found at the building site! I bet they hold some history!” Dad stands in front of me looking at his feet.

Walking in a dead man’s shoes!

 

Genre – Horror (100 words)

Book Review – The Surrogate by Louise Jensen

 

Title: The Surrogate

Author: Louise Jensen

Publisher: Bookouture

Release Date: 27th September 2017

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Format: ARC via NetGallery

Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

 

I’ve read both of Louise Jensen’s previous novels, The Sister and The Gift. I love Louise’s writing style and her newest novel the Surrogate didn’t disappoint. Written in first person narrative with third person flashbacks to other characters perspectives.

Opening with a crime scene and two dead bodies the book throws you straight into a first chapter you want to squeeze more information from! The story throws characters into the storyline, any of these could be the victims.

The main character, Kat is a 30-year-old woman, married and desperate for a child she has been unable to conceive. When Kat bumps into an old friend from the life she ran from, hope returns to her and the possibility of becoming a mother. Lisa could be her only chance.

The story unfolds with a pregnancy through a surrogate, many twists unfold as the past is revisited with alternate chapters from the past to present via Kat’s past and her husband Nick, creating more twists and possible plot lines that will flip and make you think again.

Kat’s trust is broken as incidents cause Lisa’s reappearance in her life becomes questioned, that maybe it wasn’t a coincidence.  Secrets unfold which cross over to the present confusing what you think know as it throws you off course!

As I sat thinking I knew who the two bodies were at the beginning… guessing and thinking I knew, another twist happens. This book is full of twists, lies, deceits and clues. A storyline so well thought out and executed that you won’t want to put it down. Suspense builds throughout the first half of the book where it flips and all the twists get turned on their head.  You won’t be able to guess, so don’t try.

The ending? That was very impressive and equally disturbing!!

Well done Louise you have amazed me once again!

The Surrogate by Louise Jensen is available to pre-order from Amazon

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The Sister and The Gift are also available in Kindle, paperback and audiobook via Amazon.

 

If you would like to find out more about Louise or read her flash fiction on her blog her website can be found here… http://www.louisejensen.co.uk

Thank you to NetGallery and publishers Bookouture for approving my request of The Surrogate.

 

 

 

** Disclaimer **

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on any links, you will be supporting my blog. It is at no cost to you!  Thank you!

 

 

Flash Fiction – Stranded

 

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Waves crash against the rocks as the ocean smashes against the new safe world he now calls home. The sea is vicious as he waits for his saviour to rescue him. The demons talking in his head.

His chest tightens as the atmosphere smothers his breath and takes the air out his lungs. He remembers the death that brought him here to this island. A murder and blood.

7 Days Ago…

The top deck was quiet that night. No one was there. In the dark, he walked under the stars thinking of his wife asleep in her cabin. This stranger was watching him. He saw him, out his peripheral vision lurking in the shadows, watching silently. Suspicion and wonder cross his mind. He walks past and glances the stranger’s way. Grant recognises him from the evening charity event. A passing look between him and his wife. He encircled her into an embrace to warn him off her. Showing him she is his, taken.

He watches him as he steps forward.  “Do you have a light?” the stranger keeps his head down and averts his eyes. The air thick with suspicion as he decides if he walks by, ignoring the request.

“Sure.” Keeping his distance, he reaches into his pocket, he sees the flash of moonlight hit the blade. “Hey! Whoa! What is this?!” Grant backs up, away from this man.

“I know it was you! You hurt her!” Lines crease his forehead with anger and menace as he breathes putrid sweet breath! His arm across Grant’s throat, making it hard for him to breathe.

“What? No! I don’t, I love her …” Grants breathing laboured as he struggles for breath. He struggles to shift his weight off as he pushes him away. Shifting his weight against this stranger who is threatening his life.

“I know!!” he yells in his face as spit sprays his face. Showing the fear in his eyes as confusion flashes through his mind.  Stepping into his personal space, backed against the wall once again.

“Stay away! If you don’t you will regret marrying her!” His hands up surrendering his life, Grant waits as the stranger walks away but unbeknown to him, follows him to his cabin. He returns with haste to warn Sarah.  The shock, fear and anger evade him. He sees the blood pooling across the floor, her arm trailing through the dark congealed blood, leaving drag marks across the tiled floor. He hurries outside and vomits over the balcony into the ocean below. The stranger, he flashes a knife, they struggle, and he jumps overboard to safety.

Now…

Resting head in hands, sobbing, remembering his beautiful Sarah. It has been seven days since he left her laying on the floor. He misses her. The peacefulness here on the island is torture to him. He remembers her the last time he saw her. Just as he imagined she would look. Dead and lifeless.

He thinks back to happier times. When they were in each others embrace by moonlight under the skies of the Northern Lights. A magical night where his life changed for the better. Now sitting here he decides it’s time to live not survive.

Searching the island for resources he spells out the words across the sand. Feeling accomplished.  He waits for the yacht to return.

On the horizon, he sees the white fleck in the distance. It comes to shore as Sarah, stood on deck, a beautiful vision, sun hat held tightly by her hand as the wind blows her blonde hair across her flawless face. She jumps into the water, up to her thighs as she desperately wades through the ocean to reach her man. The love of his life.

“How about we get married and go on honeymoon? Relax on the beach and leave your old life behind?”

“Perfect! Without Grant, my life will be perfect.” she smiles at Joe and kisses him as he holds her in his arms. Safe. Content. Happy.

In the sand, Sarah glances over at the branches that spell out the words, Marry Me!

“My answer is Yes! I will marry you!” Sarah smiles as she feels the weight of their plan wash away any guilt she had. Perfectly worked out so they could be together. Sarah safe in his arms.

The perfect plan.

 

 

 

Daily Prompt – Dear Diary…

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Dear Diary …

Monday

So, I’m writing this right now as I can’t wait until I go to bed!  I just got home from school! It was amazing! He was so lovely and said he would walk me home! EEk! I can’t believe he likes me! I’m in the year below him too. He is my new love! I think I really like him!

Tuesday

I got to school this morning and Josh came straight over. He didn’t even bring his friends over to me to say hi but I don’t care! I told him I was going to the park after school tomorrow and asked if he wanted to come! He said yes!

Wednesday

We went to the park today. Josh met me at the playground gates. I thought he wasn’t going to come but when I saw all his mates leave I realised he must have had detention. He is always in trouble. I don’t care though. I don’t like his mates much though. They are always sniggering! Sometimes I feel like it’s at me but I really like him! So I ignore them. Maybe they are jealous! We went to the park and just sat and talked! He plays football. He is so cute! Afterwards, he walked me home because it started to get dark. We didn’t kiss yet. I wonder when we will?

Thursday

I told Josh I would meet him at the school gates today but he didn’t turn up! I was so vexed! He said he would come but I saw him leave with his stupid mates! I hate them! They all laughed when they left. Josh didn’t though. He smiled at me and shrugged. I guess he just feels like he can’t show me he likes me because he’s too embarrassed in front of them.

Friday

OMG!! I cant believe what happened today! Eek! I went to the park with Josh and we kissed! It was a full-on snog too! Tongues and everything! He’s a really good kisser! I hope he likes me because I don’t kiss just anyone! Well, he’s the only one I’ve ever kissed that I’ve liked. I do like him! He is gorgeous! I can’t wait until tomorrow! I want to kiss him all the time! I’m going to the park to meet him again tomorrow. I’m so excited I won’t be able to sleep.

Saturday

I’m so upset! He didn’t come!

Sunday

I have to go shopping with Mum! I hate shopping and I bet I will miss Josh! I was going to go to the park in case he turns up and got the day wrong! Now I can’t!

Monday

Josh said he was really sorry that he didn’t come. I forgave him! We went to the shops and got ice creams. Afterwards, we went to the park. We were the only ones there. I let Josh feel my boobs too. He undid my school shirt. I was so embarrassed because he got my boob right out! I was really turned on though so didn’t want to stop him. He just did it. But I guess I didn’t stop him and I could have if I wanted him to.

Tuesday

I got to school today and Josh ignored me! I’m so upset. Maybe my boobs were not big enough. I don’t know. I thought he really liked me. I wouldn’t have let him do that if I knew. I’m not going to talk to him tomorrow! I’m starting to wonder why I even liked him in the first place!

Wednesday

I went over to Josh today and asked him why he ignored me yesterday and he just laughed at me with his mates. They were all laughing and sniggering and whispering! I feel so stupid! He was obviously using me! I hate him!

Thursday

I hate him!!!! When I got to school EVERYONE was pointing and laughing at me!  I saw they were laughing at their phones. Mia said she had seen the photo of me and called me a whore! What have I done?

Friday

How am I ever going to go back to school again? Everyone has seen it! Josh’s mates took a picture of me. I’m so embarrassed. I’m never going back to school! I can’t face them all laughing at me!

Saturday

I saw the picture on Snapchat! I HATE HIM!!!!!!!!!

Friday

I’m never going back!

I know what I have to do!

I have to do it!

750 words.

… … … … … …

 

Bullying can happen to anyone.

Name calling, hurting, Cyber-bullying and by text.

These days, children are exposed to bullying threats daily. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These are the worst! A photo taken in an instant will be shared within minutes of it being captured and will spread just as rapidly

It’s almost time for schools to go back as the September term starts. In every school children have to endure bullies and evil children that take advantage of them at any opportunity.

If you do one thing when preparing your child for the new term, teach them this. BE KIND, ALWAYS! 

As their parents, let’s put a STOP to bullying by teaching them how significant these three little words are.

 

 

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