#Blogtour and #Bookreview: My Husband’s Lover #Thrillers #Wildswimming


A wife. A mistress. A week away with no escape…

As my girlfriends and I sip wine and share secrets in the flickering candlelight of our remote Scottish hideaway, we all agree we need this break. Every morning we will swim in icy cold lochs and hike to remote beaches and each night we will sip wine and share stories, cosy beside the log burner. It will be a break none of us will ever forget.

But behind my warm smile, there is ice in my heart. One of my friends is my husband’s lover, and it’s only a matter of time before I discover which one. She thinks she has me fooled, but she’s not the only one with secrets.

I don’t let my smile slip, but as I get closer to the truth, it becomes very clear that in these remote Scottish hills, far from help, someone is going to pay for their lies with their life…

A completely gripping and addictive page turner. Fans of The Guest List, K.L. Slater and Jackie Kabler will be utterly hooked on My Husband’s Lover.


This is a cleverly plotted thriller that will most assuredly keep you guessing until the end. The book grabs you at the beginning with a shocking twist; Sophie’s husband has been cheating, and she’s just found out that his mistress is one of the people on a “wild swimming” getaway she is currently attending. Sophie is determined to find out who this woman is, but there is so much more in store for her than that.

The plot twists in this novel never let up, and the reader is on a literal roller coaster throughout this exciting read. Because this is a plot-driven book, character development sometimes takes a back seat, but that does not take away from the story. The concept of a swimming getaway called “wild swimming,” which is basically swimming in a natural, remote location, rain or shine, sometimes with few amenities, is something I haven’t heard of before. It’s the perfect setting for a thriller.

If you love books with shocks you never expected, pick this one up. Fans of thrillers will love Jess Ryder’s latest. My rating is 3.7 stars, rounded up to 4.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer. After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime. Writing, that is. So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me. Her other big love is making pots.

Follow the Author on Twitter


Amazon | Amazon UK

#Blogtour and #Bookreview: The Family Home #thriller #mystery

There’s a dead man in my apartment. Only me and my ex have a key. But neither of us would have done this. We have too much to lose…

I wake on the sofa, my head throbbing. How did I get here? In the darkness, I make my way to my bedroom. I turn on the lights. And then I scream.

There’s a body in my bed. And I know this man: we went on two dates together. Who could have killed him? And how did he get in? Only two people have a key to the house: me and my ex-husband Matthew.

I trust Matthew. With what we’re hiding, I have to. And I can’t risk the police digging into our past, or learning about the night when we drank champagne on the cliff and ruined everything.

Someone knows our secret. We have to find out what they want. But am I wrong to believe Matthew, when I know how well he can lie? And how can I save myself, when the truth might destroy me?

An absolutely gripping thriller that will keep you reading late into the night, unable to put the book down for a second. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell.


Lillian and Matthew are the greatest divorced couple anyone knows. They are fantastic co-parents of their daughter Mabel, and have an unusual arrangement to keep Mabel happy. By mutual agreement, whoever has Mabel will stay in the family home, and the other parents will stay in an apartment that they share, switching out whenever it is their turn to see Mabel. But underneath this super-parent facade is a secret, and when a dead body shows up in Lillian’s bed, it begins to unravel.

This is a compelling thriller that will keep you guessing all the way through. The characters are engaging and the story will hook you from the start. There are plenty of red herrings, twists, and turns. It was very hard to put this down, so I read late into the night. The author showed a clever ability to start with a bright facade and slowly crumble it away to reveal the truth. The cast of supporting characters was real and raw. This mystery/thriller will keep you enthralled.

My rating is 4.6 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites with no partial star option.


Miranda Smith writes psychological and domestic suspense. She is drawn to stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Before completing her first novel, she worked as a newspaper staff writer and a secondary English teacher. She lives in East Tennessee with her husband and three young children.



Buy Links

Amazon | Amazon UK 

Audio Links:


Listen to a sample here

Blog tour and #bookreview: The Safe Game by Wes Verde #RRbooktours

Roy, Urbane, and Victoria are three individuals who possess different talents, and that makes them a very good team of con artists.  Despite that, they are living hand to mouth and working for small change, moving from place to place to avoid the law.  That is, until a possible big score presents itself.   Suddenly they are in even more trouble, running from both police and gangsters while trying to stay out of jail as well as alive.  Set in the 1920s, this is a well-crafted and clever gangland adventure.

I connected easily with this team of cons and found myself cheering them on even as they were taking advantage of people.  At one point they locked all of their pursuers and the law in a town jail, and that was just rip-roaring fun.  The varying viewpoints allow us to connect with all three cons and learn their thoughts and personalities.  Urbane is the one whose feelings are most deeply revealed to us and thus became my favorite.   With a bit of romance, a lot of action, and clever twists and turns, this is a 1920s adventure that you don’t want to miss.  The author’s note at the end mentions historical events which are woven into the novel. I must also mention the captivating cover of this book, which sets the scene and draws the reader in.

My rating is 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 on sites with no half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours.  My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Wes Verde is an engineer by trade, a busybody by habit, and a lifelong Jersey boy.

Writing has been a hobby in one form or another since 2006 when he started drawing 3-panel comics. When he is not putting words down, he is picking them up; the “to-read” pile only seems to grow larger.

A fan of nature, he spends as much time outside as possible.



#blogtour and #bookreview: Childhood Sweetheart #Bookouture


Bang. Bang. Bang. I jump as the knocks on the window crash above the roaring wind outside. Who could it be, at this late hour? I open the curtains and peer outside. ‘Hello?’ But the dark, the rain and the empty lane are all I see.

It’s been eleven years since I last saw Jonah, after his brother died that stormy summer night. And now, without warning, he’s back, living in his old house next door just like old times, on the remote Scottish island that is home. Where I used to imagine we’d stay, together, forever, sharing our lives and our secrets as we always had. But that was before.

Jonah’s not the sweet boy I once knew. His mood is changeable, his behaviour unstable, our brief conversations are forced and awkward. And then the knocks on my window begin. It can only be him, but why, and what does he want? I used to love him. Now I don’t even want to invite him in.

Because after all these years, I see our childhood secrets, the ones we swore never to reveal, in a newly terrifying light. Was his brother’s death truly an accident? Could Jonah’s secrets have been worth killing for? And how safe am I now, on this isolated island, with the man I used to love…?

A totally addictive and twisty psychological thriller with a jaw-dropping twist. Anyone who loves The Woman in the WindowThe Wife Between Us and The Housemaid won’t beable to put Childhood Sweetheart down!


Ailsa’s childhood love, Jonah, is back after 11 years, living next door and bringing with him memories of secrets that were long buried. But Ailsa has little time for anything new, as she’s trying to raise her autistic son, Kyle, of whom she is very protective. But Jonah has changed so much, and even the best-hidden secrets have a way of coming to light.

This thriller is somewhat slow-paced at first, but eventually picks up speed. I enjoyed the setting on a Scottish island, and there are plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings. Ailsa’s challenges as a parent of an autistic child are well described, and Kyle’s personality is very well done. I also feel that the reaction of some of the characters to Kyle is very realistic. There are varying points of view as well as flashbacks, and as a warning rape and child abuse are a part of the story.

Overall, this is an entertaining thriller that will keep you guessing.

I received a free copy of this book via Bookouture. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Wendy Clarke

Wendy Clarke was a teacher until the small primary school where she worked closed down. Now she is a writer of psychological suspense but is also well known for her short stories and serials which regularly appear in national women’s magazines.

Wendy has two children and three step-children and lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex. When not writing, she is usually indulging in her passion for dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Wendy Clarke here


Amazon | Amazon UK 

Book Review: Suspects by #DanielleSteel

Theodora Morgan is a fashion icon, but has been mostly in seclusion since her billionaire husband, Matthieu, and their son Axel were kidnapped and murdered a year before. She is slowly beginning to attend events at some of her pop-up stores, but maintains a behind-the-scenes profile. Mike Andrews is a CIA operative investigating Pierre De Vaumont, a social networker with Russian contacts. When Mike and Theo meet, they have a connection, but she has no idea of the danger she is in or the real reason Mike came into her life.

This is a riveting story that is all at once sad, thrilling, and hopeful. The romance between Theo and Mike is well done, and the CIA thriller aspect of this novel is compelling. The main characters instantly draw the reader in and the book is filled with intrigue.

I noticed something when reading this book that made me smile. All of the writing manuals, classes, and guides always say “Show, don’t tell. Don’t just tell the story. Show it in dialogue. ” Well, I would say 75% of this story is telling, not showing, but it doesn’t matter. It’s captivating, compelling, and moving. The characters are believable and I connected with them immediately. It completely works. And it made me realize that most or all of the books that I’ve read by Ms. Steel have been written this way. That old adage that “rules are made to be broken” stands true here. This style works for Danielle Steel, as many millions of her readers will attest. It is a good lesson for writers to remember. If you want to write in a way that may break a few rules, and it works for you, go for it. Fans of romantic thrillers and of Danielle Steel will greatly enjoy this one.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Danielle Steel has been hailed as one of the world’s most popular authors, with nearly a billion copies of her novels sold. Her recent many international bestsellers include Against All Odds, The Duchess and The Right Time. She is also the author of His Bright Light, the story of her son Nick Traina’s life and death; A Gift of Hope, a memoir of her work with the homeless; and the children’s books Pretty Minnie in Paris and Pretty Minnie in Hollywood. Danielle divides her time between Paris and her home in northern California.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple Books | Google | Kobo

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Girl From Jonestown #JimJones #Guyana

Book Description:

The woman looked at me, anguish brimming in her eyes. I picked up the note she’d left and read the scrawl: HELP!!! Then: Mom. Followed by a number.

A gripping and heartbreaking read, based on the true story of the Jonestown cult, one of the darkest chapters in American history.

When journalist Zoe Quint loses her husband and child in a tragic accident, she returns home to Guyana to heal. But when she hears cries and music floating through the trees, her curiosity compels her to learn more about the Americans who have set up camp in a run-down village nearby. Their leader, Jim Jones, dark eyed and charismatic, claims to be a peaceful man who has promised his followers paradise.

But everything changes when Zoe meets one of his followers, a young woman called Lucy, in a ramshackle grocery store. Lucy grabs Zoe’s arm, raw terror in her eyes, and passes her a note with a phone number, begging her to call her mother in America.

Zoe is determined to help Lucy, but locals warn her to stay away from the camp, and as sirens and gunshots echo through the jungle at nightfall, she knows they are right. But she can’t shake the frightened woman’s face from her mind, and when she discovers that there are young children kept in the camp, she has to act fast.

Zoe’s only route to the lost people is to get close to their leader, Jim Jones. But if she is accepted, will she be able to persuade the frightened followers to risk their lives and embark on a perilous escape under the cover of darkness? And when Jim Jones hears of her plans, could she pay the highest price of all?

A powerful novel inspired by the true story of Jonestown, about a woman’s brave attempt to save people who were promised paradise but found only lies. Fans of Where the Crawdads SingBefore We Were Yours and The Girls will be captivated by The Girl from Jonestown.


Zoe comes home to Guyana to finally try and heal after the loss of her husband and child, but her peace is interrupted by strange voices and chantings in the jungle. That is when she learns about the group of Americans living there. They are The People’s Temple, led by the charismatic Jim Jones, and seem to be there of their own accord. When Lucy, a terrified girl from this group, passes her a note, Zoe realizes everyone may not be present willingly. Determined to help, she decides to go inside “Jonestown” and try to help.

This powerful book takes a fresh look at Jonestown through the eyes of a Guyanese reporter, Zoe, and a Jonestown captive, Lucy. We look at the reality of Jonestown as not just a group of willing people who “drank Kool-aid,” but as prisoners, some of whom were killed before the mass suicide, and many who were poisoned against their will. We see desperate people trying to escape, and evil leaders determined to stop them. The jungle setting and its deadly beauty is brilliantly described by Sharon Maas, who is from Guyana and knows it inside and out. She does a masterful job of portraying the tactics of an evil and malicious cult and of putting faces on the victims and survivors through the character Lucy and others. The absolute crazy of Jim Jones flies off the page, but we learn that his was not the only malicious mind in the group, and we are shown more about those who helped him wield his iron fist. True crime meets Historical Thriller in this fictionalized story of the complete horror that was the People’s Temple.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Sharon Maas

Sharon Maas was born to politically active parents in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1951. She was educated in England, Guyana, and, later, Germany. After leaving school, she worked as a reporter with the Guyana Graphic in Georgetown and later wrote feature articles for the Sunday Chronicle as a staff journalist. Sharon has always had a great sense of adventure and curiosity about the world we live in, and Guyana could not hold her for long. In 1971 she set off on a year-long backpacking trip around South America, followed by an overland trek to South India, where she spent two years in an ashram. She lived in Germany for forty-three years and now lives in Ireland. She is the author of The Violin Maker’s Daughter, The Soldier’s Girl, Her Darkest Hour and many other novels.





Book Review: A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong

In A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong, Mallory Atkinson is a modern-day Canadian cop, a homicide detective, who is in Edinburg to visit her dying grandmother. She tries to stop a murder and ends up being attacked herself. She wakes up to find herself in the body of a woman, Catriona, who was attacked at the same time, 150 years before.

I’ll start this off by saying that time-travel fiction is my favorite genre, which means I’ve read a lot of it.  Consequently, I’m harder on this genre than any other in my reviews.  There are many types of time travel books. Some have a scientific, sci-fi bent.  Some are more historical.  Some are romances that only use time travel briefly.  I would classify this one as a historical mystery/thriller with a bit of time travel. 

Every time travel story has to have a means or method of time travel.  Some use a machine, some use an enchanted or scientific object, and some use a place.  This story uses a murder, which I find unique.

Each story also has to establish rules of time travel.  Because time travel doesn’t actually exist, the rules are wide open for every author to set.  For example, in Jodi Taylor’s Chronicles of St. Mary’s series, you cannot travel back to the same place where you’ve already been and you can’t change history without history slapping back.  In this one, I find little to no rules of time travel at all.  Time travel happens, and the only consequence seems to be that the main character, a cop, feels awkward as a maid in the Victorian era and sometimes uses language that is not appropriate for the time.  She doesn’t seem worried about paradoxes or anything similar.  She mentions she’s not concerned with a “butterfly effect.” She has little trouble–not enough trouble–as a Canadian blending into Victorian times in Edinburg. She’s not really concerned with changing history, other than catching a murderer.  As a fan of time travel fiction, I feel at this point that the time travel was used basically as “wow” factor to draw the reader into a book that is actually a historical thriller.

The murder mystery is very strong on its own, with intricate twists and turns. The employer/employee relationship between Mallory and Gray is well done, as we progress slowly from Gray learning that Mallory, who he knows as Catriona, can read and write, to Gray and his sister realizing there is much more going on. The book does move too slowly at times.

I feel the Victorian era is well researched.  The author’s note in the front outlines the liberties she took with history, as is her right in a fictional work. 

Overall, this is a compelling and intriguing historical mystery/thriller that will quickly draw the reader in.  The minimal use of time travel is off-putting for me, as is the fact that the book is written in present tense. 


Kelley Armstrong believes experience is the best teacher, though she’s been told this shouldn’t apply to writing her murder scenes. To craft her books, she has studied aikido, archery, and fencing. She sucks at all of them. She has also crawled through very shallow cave systems and climbed half a mountain before chickening out. She is however an expert coffee drinker and a true connoisseur of chocolate-chip cookies.


Amazon|Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books



Book Review: The Lives of Diamond Bessie

This is another review I did for the May edition of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. It’s true crime meets magical realism. A fascinating combination.

In 1860s New York, Annie Moore is sent to a convent for fallen women after getting pregnant out of wedlock. After the nuns take her baby, she tries to find the child but ends up going into prostitution just to survive. She becomes Bessie and is soon highly sought after by men. She earns her own money, is showered with jewels, and gets the opportunity to travel. However, she longs for a different life. When the man who she thought would return her to respectability betrays her, she begins to seek revenge. Based on a true story, this is a captivating book with a surprise.

The first half of this book stays very true to the real-life story, but then there is a supernatural element that begins midway through. It makes the novel even more interesting and unpredictable. As Annie, the main character is treated abominably by society and the church. As Bessie, she is used by men and madams but still finds a measure of success. After marriage, she eventually realizes that her husband has no intention of living a normal life with her. But by then it’s too late. We travel with Bessie to Chicago, New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Texas, and then into the world of the paranormal as Bessie seeks revenge. The magical realism aspect of this story really sets it apart. The plight of women in those times is evident, and the theme of revenge is explored. This is an intriguing combination of genres—true crime, women’s fiction, and the paranormal—all woven into a compelling historical novel. Highly recommended.


Jody Hadlock’s love of history goes all the way back to junior high, when she was a member of the Junior Historians of Texas, so it’s no surprise her first novel is historical. She studied journalism at Texas A&M University and worked as a broadcast journalist and then in nonprofit public relations before turning her focus to fiction. She also writes screenplays and won the 2020 Dallas International Film Festival’s screenplay contest.

Jody’s Social Media: Instagram|Bookbub|Facebook|Website



Self-Published Spotlight: Before by J. Kilburn #ComingofAgeStory #SmallTownFiction

*Not a book review

In the novel BEFORE, writer J. Kilburn brings readers a light-hearted and whimsical coming of age story that follows the adventures and misadventures of Just Regular Kids as they grow up in a pastoral and peaceful New England college town. Buckle your seatbelts – all may not be as it seems. Events in a far-away criminal underworld lurk in the background as these teenagers take their first steps into adulthood. Adventurous readers will discover that two Sweet Sixteens have a lot more in common with hardened criminals than you – or they – might realize…. Surprises are in store for everyone!

BEFORE both celebrates and indicts the sweet and sordid in small-town, everyday life. This Crime Fiction and Coming-of-Age mashup by J. Kilburn will leave you howling…while the questions and answers posed by this novel will have you re-examining the sunny streets and wildflower-filled lanes of your own neighborhood.

BEFORE by J. Kilburn is a READERS FAVORITE 5-star selection:
“Kilburn breathes life into [the characters] with some hilariously awkward scenes…. The dialogue… is probably among the top 1% in its sarcasm and authenticity.” – Jamie Michele for RF (Jan. 2022)

Edgy, relevant Teen Noir with characters who are loveable yet occasionally frightening – Kilburn’s novel BEFORE is wry and insightful New Adult fiction with dark roiling edges.



Book Review: Surviving The Wilderness by Maggie K. Black #Inspirational #Thriller #Romance

Jeff Connor is a former Master Corporal who has retreated from life, living with his daughter in a remote cabin in the wilds of Canada. Quinn Dukes is a wilderness guide who is taking a group of people on a survival trip. Former coworkers who did not get along, neither of them realize that danger and an evil person will cause their worlds to collide once again.

This is a captivating inspirational romantic thriller that will keep you guessing. The plot is full of twists and turns and includes kidnapping, hostage-taking, murder, and intrigue. The storyline is very clever and well put together. I thought I had it all figured out, but I didn’t. This really impresses me, because I can usually figure out who the “bad guy” is way before the end of the book.. There is a Christian message of faith and relying on God in both good times and bad. The topic of PTSD is also part of the story. Fans of romantic thrillers and wilderness adventures will enjoy this novel.

I received a free copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Maggie K. Black is an award-winning journalist, self-defense instructor and romantic suspense author. Her writing career has taken her around the globe, and into the lives of countless grass-roots heroes and heroines, who are changing lives  in their own communities. 

She’s  lived in the United States, the Middle East and the United Kingdom, before making her home in Canada.

She is thankful to her readers for allowing her to turn the adventures and people that have inspired her, into fresh stories that make her pulse race and her heart soar.