Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

[Hosted by:The Broke and the Bookish]

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where one creates their top then list based on a topic provided by The Broke and the Bookish. 

Topic: Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read (because difficulty of book, subject matter, because it was cringeworthy– however you want to interpret)

I’m going to use a mix of good and bad books to make my list. 

1) Goodnight Dear by Darren Humphries.
This book was absolutely heartbreaking. It was really brave of the author to share his personal thoughts and feelings with the world, but it certainly made me cry!

2) It’s a Dog’s Life by M.A Comley.
I didn’t realise that this was what happened to greyhounds who weren’t able to race any more. Definitely a difficult read!

3) Day by Day by Shaun Jeffrey.
This was a difficult read due to the subject matter but superbly written. This story features Tina, a young girl who is desperate to grow up but is thrown into a world that no one should live in, not even adults.

4)Saying Goodbye to Warsaw by Michael Cargill.
The author really captured the desperation, fear and helplessness of people living in the Ghetto.

5) A Bell Sound Everlasting by JZN McCauley.
This book just wasn’t very well written. So much so that I didn’t actually finish reading it.

6)Elemental Cascade by David Staniforth.
This book was difficult to read because it was the final book in the trilogy. I had enjoyed the first two books so much that I was sad to leave this world created by the author. I didn’t want it to end! I ended up loving the book, though. A perfect ending, in my opinion!

7) Missing in Egypt by Rita Lee Chapman.
This book was seriously lacking in description and therefore failed to grab my attention. This made it difficult to read.

8) Shelter from Thunder by Michael Cargill.
This author must have a knack for making me cry! This was another story that was so realistic and so hard hitting that I found it difficult to read. The ending completely devastated me!

9) Evil in Disguise by M.A Comley.  
I’m currently reading this book, but I have to keep dipping in and out as the subject matter is quite difficult. This book tells the story of Jenny, who is in an abusive relationship.

10) Relationship Status by David Wailing. 
This story, or rather this whole series, was difficult to read because it is completely plausible. This story details a society so dependent on technology that they have online persona’s to do things like reply to emails and accept friend requests for them! We are definitely heading that way and it is completely terrifying.

So, that’s my list! What do you think? What are your Top Ten books that were hard to read? Let me know! 


Cover Reveal: ‘Fallen Down Under’ by S.M. Phillips

This is a cover reveal post for ‘Fallen Down Under’ by S.M. Phillips, book two in the Down Under series. Below is the cover, the synopsis and a bit about the author.


“Fuck.” I slam my fist into the desk before me and feel nothing but rage. I need to go after her. I need to explain. “But isn’t this what you wanted?” The voice inside my head whispers. “Isn’t this a nice easy way out?”

Everything Max has done has always been at a cost to others around him. He wasn’t about to make that mistake again. No longer will his selfish ways punish those close to him. Sometimes it’s better to have had and lost than to never have had at all.

Finally after what felt like forever, Jess was getting a glimpse of control over her life again and allowed her defences to come crashing down, only to have what it guarded to be crushed once again. Now, on the other side of the world away from her friends, she doesn’t know what to do.

Should she stay or should she go?cover-fallen-edited-201x300

Is it too late or have they both fallen too far into something that is completely out of their depths?

 About the Author:

Welcome to the crazy and hectic life that is me… A fun, loving mum of one special little boy, girlfriend (I’m sure it should be wife by now!!) and an overall crazy, happy go lucky girl from England.

I have always had a passion for reading and writing. Wherever I am, my book reader is never far behind along with a mug of coffee.

I found myself wanting to write from a young age, I have quite a few hidden stories on my computer somewhere, maybe I will have to dig them out and play around with them at some point.

I decided to make the very exciting but also very nerve wracking decision to release my debut ‘Escape down under’ at the end of 2013 when the ideas in my head got too strong and just wouldn’t leave me alone.

‘Wanted Down Under’ is available for pre-order now and is due to be released on 2nd November, 2014.

Pre-order on Amazon UK here or Amazon US here.

You can buy the first book in the series, ‘Escape Down Under’, here now.


Memes! Come and join in!

Hello, lovely people 🙂

As I’m sure you know, I started back at university today (my final year! Eek!). Unfortunately, this means that I will have less time to read/review/post. In order to help this and keep my blog interesting, thanks to the advice of the lovely Lauren from Bookmark Lit, I have decided to join in with some weekly memes! If you feel that this doesn’t work, please let me know! Also, please share your thoughts on the topic of memes 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, a meme is an post idea that is passed from person to person, generally linking back to the original source.

I will be joining in with two memes each week. The first will be done on a Tuesday and is called Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. They give the topic and I have to create my Top Ten list about that theme. The second will be done on a Thursday and is called Thursday Quotables, hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. This meme asks bloggers to post a quote from something they are currently reading. This can be a line or a passage.

I will still be doing author interviews on a Saturday (providing people want to be interviewed, of course!) and I will be trying my best to get a review up each week. Sometimes this just won’t be possible due to my work load (it’s amazing how much time a dissertation takes up!), so I hope you don’t mind being a bit patient with me! 🙂

Feel free to join in with the memes! For info on more book related memes that you can join in with, please visit this helpful directory posted by Bookshelf Fantasies!



Author Interview: Marc Nash

IMG_1704Hey, Marc! Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.
Before we start, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name’s Marc Nash, I live and work in London. I used to work in a record store for almost twenty years, but then I finally grew up and got a proper job in a human rights charity. I’m married and have twin boys.

Working in a record store sounds awesome!
So, what inspired you to start writing?
Well I started writing plays for the theatre when I was at university because I was desperate to do something creative amongst all that dry learning and also because there was a free theatre space for students to learn the craft as we went along without having the expense of any mistakes. I kept writing plays until my twin boys arrived in the world and I couldn’t spend nights out networking at theatres any more. So I started to write novels instead, in between bouts of feeding them at night. I’ve been writing for thirty years now between theatre and novels.

That’s interesting!
When you’re writing a new story, where do you start? Main text, Title, Start?
I always start with the central image or the theme of the piece and then I know it’s fully viable when I get the voice of the main character. Voice tells you such a lot, about their education, their values, how they see the world etc, all this is revealed in how they think and speak, how they use words.

Do you have any regrets or things you wish that you’d done differently?
I’m sure I’ve made a lot of mistakes in how to promote the books and myself as an author, but I don’t regret the decision to self-pub at all. It’s been fun, even with the mistakes.

What has been your favourite thing to write so far?
I wrote a flash fiction story and then collaborated with a video maker to make it come alive in video. The sense of achievement on that was the best feeling ever, seeing it up on a big screen in front of an audience. It also added layers to the original story by bringing out the collapse of the words into other words as letters changed. You can view it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6pFwk_NJaY

I love that! It’s really clever!
What advice would you give to other authors?
You will get loads of advice and some of it contradicts what you’ve already been told; how do you know which to follow? My advice is to stick to your own artistic vision, what made you want to be a writer in the first place. Stick with that and you can’t get bogged down in advice that seems confusing.

Can I ask, if you don’t mind, what are you currently working on?
Lots of things really. I’m looking to make another one of my flash stories into a video. I have a novella on the go and an exciting project which can only be read online as the reader will choose their own path through the ‘book’. And I have a graphic novel all ready to go if I can find an illustrator who wants to work on it.

I love books that let me choose a path! They’re really hard to find, though. I’ll definitely be looking out for yours! Thanks for telling us about it!
Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to your readers, or just in general?
Just if you like something a bit different in your reading, something that plays with language to show its limitations and something that looks to tell different type of stories that do a little more than tell a tale, then please check out my work.

Brilliant! Thanks, Marc!

To learn more about the awesome Marc Nash, please visit the following links:
His Amazon author profile
His Goodreads author profile
His website


Getting to know: Marc Nash

IMG_1704Hey, Marc!
So, we’ve done the serious interview. Now it’s time to get to know the real you!

What were you like in school?
There were 3 different periods of me at school. In the beginning I wouldn’t wear my glasses so couldn’t see stuff written on the blackboard and was really failing. A mixture of finally wearing my glasses and being challenged by a Chemistry teacher after a poor test score meant I tried a bit harder next test, saw that I could actually do it so the next phase was me working really hard and swatting to make up for falling behind. Then in 6th Form and more so at university, I felt confident enough in my academic abilities to go off and pursue my own studies and started writing plays for the theatre and coming up with my ideas on novels. Somewhere along that line I stopped following rules and prescriptions and went my own way.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Creative, fearless, iconoclastic

That’s such a brilliant word!
Okay, so, there’s a zombie apocalypse and you can only use the item to your left to survive. What is it and how long would you live?
A pocket calculator. Not very long but at least I could work it out to several decimal places…

Maybe you could get lucky and find a zombie that likes Maths… no, you’re right. I hope you can run fast!
If you had to sing a song on a talent show, what would it be and why?
Something punky to show my disdain for the whole TV talent show thing that has wrecked the UK music scene. I have sung “Babylon’s Burning” by The Ruts at a works punk karaoke Xmas party, so could quite happily go with that again.

(Link: )

Interesting choice!
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
The power to disarm with humour, or the power to find the flaw in the villain’s argument & moral perspective. Definitely a talky super-hero that’s me

If you could pick two celebrities to be your parents, who would you pick and why?
Cameron Diaz and Stewart Lee, though I could never see them getting together. Stewart Lee is a very clever and funny comedian who deconstructs his humour even as he’s saying it and yet it’s still funny. And as for Cameron, do you need me to explain? I’d have fabulous genes…

That’s an interesting choice! Not sure I’ve ever heard anyone say they want Cameron Diaz to be their MUM!
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
I’d like to be in a band and playing to thousands of people just to see what it was like I think. A boyhood dream I never got to fulfil. As to which band there are so many.

You’re having a dinner party for your three favourite people. Who are they? Why are they invited and what have you cooked?
Pad Thai noodle with chicken is the dish, or if any of them are vegetarian, I would make my veggie chili served with tortilla chips, guacamole & sour cream. My 3 favourite people, not sure if we’re allowed dead people but if so I would definitely have my late Grandmother as she was the cleverest and funniest person I know, could cut the ground from under anyone’s feet whether they deserved it or not. The other two, would have to be my twin boys, now 16 years old. They are endlessly entertaining and funny and I love their company.

Brilliant! Thanks, Marc!

To view Marc’s serious interview, as well as links to find out more about him, please click here.


Review: ‘Pie Girls’ by Lauren Clark

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 338 pages (approx.)

I have awarded this story 4 stars.

Summary: Pie Girls tells the story of Searcy Roberts, spoiled rich girl who married her high-school sweetheart and left her small home town for the lights and excitement of the big city. However, when her husband quits his job and asks her for a divorce, she has no where else to go except home. When her mother falls ill, she’s thrust into managing the family business – only to discover that the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. Searcy quickly hatches a plan to save her mother’s creation, but is it enough?

Review: I really enjoyed reading this. The characters were well written and engaging, and the story was interesting. I enjoyed the baking parts of the story as I bake myself, and thought that the recipes included at the back of the book were a nice touch. I enjoyed watching Searcy grow out of the spoilt rich girl that she had grown into while married and into the beautiful, helpful young woman that is a valued member of the community. I also liked Luke.

While it could be said that there is nothing outstanding about this book, it is a wonderful light-hearted story that is perfect for reading on a cold, wet afternoon. The story is uplifting and the characters, particularly Searcy, are well developed. A perfect read if you want to cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate and forget about things for a while!

★★★★ – a wonderful light-hearted story with well written and engaging characters. Highly recommended. 

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)
Amazon UK (Paperback)
Amazon US (Paperback)


Win a SIGNED FIRST EDITION of ‘Triangle’ by Jonathan Cotty !

Here’s a chance to win a signed first edition of ‘Triangle’ by Jonathan Cotty, through the website Goodreads.

‘Triangle’ is the first book in the thriller series featuring DS Raymond Jackson. Here is the synopsis:

With elections looming, the British government rolls out Operation Virtus, a massive investigation tasked with tackling the issue of illegal immigration into the UK. As punishment for previous insubordination, DS Raymond Jackson is assigned the apparently mundane task of collating information on behalf of this cross-divisional operation. In addition, he is ordered to simultaneously handhold a greenhorn throughout the process in the form of new recruit, DC Jason Stephenson.

But when DI Rosie Blake mysteriously disappears and a new, potent grade of heroin starts hitting the streets, Tarnside police force suddenly find their resources stretched to the limit. As increasing numbers of users become victims of an accidental overdose, it becomes clear that it is a race against time to prevent more people dying.

Then an horrific murder is committed.

In short order, the local force receive an outrageous ransom demand – one million pounds for the safe return of their officer.

A local, small-time street dealer and a young, homeless girl with a speech impediment hold vital clues ultimately separating life from death. Manning a skeleton team and with limited experience, DS Jackson is caught in a race against time to decipher the connections.

In the end, he will have to take a leap of faith…

Details of how to enter through Goodreads are below.

Jonathan Cotty - Author

To celebrate the launch of Triangle : the first DS Jackson thriller I am giving away one free, signed edition.

Entry is free and open worldwide. I will even post it to you! This free giveaway is being sponsored by the Goodreads site and you can enter below:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Triangle by Jonathan Cotty


by Jonathan Cotty

Giveaway ends October 27, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The very best of luck to all entrants!

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Review: ‘Hostile Justice’ by M.A. Comley

Genre: Crime
Length: 231 pages (approx)

I have awarded this book 5 stars.

Summary: Lorne Simpkins and Katy Foster are back in book 8 of the Justice series, staring Lorne Simpkins. Only this time, Katy is DI instead of Lorne. Understandably, this causes some friction between the two strong female characters. This doesn’t stop them solving crimes, though! Two in fact! One a murder, one involving a close friend of Lorne’s daughter, Charlie.

When the body of a young woman is found in an abandoned warehouse by four young boys, Lorne and Katy are called to investigate. They are left completely baffled when her husband claims she was on holiday at the time of the murder and that they have no known enemies. Will Lorne and Katy crack the case?

Review: I really enjoyed reading this and found it impossible to put down. Comley just gets better and better with each book. I really enjoyed the role reversal between Lorne and Katy in this instalment and how they both have to learn and adapt, while still trying to remain close friends.

I also felt really sorry for Charlie. She just can’t catch a break, can she?! Poor girl. This time, she is invited to an eighteenth birthday party. Not just any party though, her best friend Wendy’s. Charlie tries her best to handle the situation, but things quickly spiral out of control with life changing events. Yet again, I felt that each character and each event was well written and this party situation in particular was thought provoking.

★★★★★ – gripping and well written. Impossible to put down! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Where to buy:
Amazon UK (Kindle)
Amazon US (Kindle)


Tour&Review: ‘Under a Blood Moon’ by Carrigan Richards

This tour is organised by Electively Paige and features the ‘Elemental Enchanters’ series by author Carrigan Richards.

                             ❄ ❄ ❄ About the author ❄ ❄ ❄
Carrigan was born in Cullman, Alabama, but grew up in Birmingham, and moved to Atlanta at 18. She earned her BA in English at Kennesaw State University. For as long as she can remember, she was always making up stories and characters inside her head, sometimes using her dolls to act out the scenes.

When she’s not writing (which is rare), she’s spending time with her fiance, family, and friends, listening to music, playing with her sometimes psychotic puppy, or cheering on her Atlanta Braves.

 For more information please visit her blog, her Goodreads author page or her Amazon author page.

‘Under a Blood Moon’ (Book 1)

Falling in love isn’t the only problem for Ava

When seventeen-year-old Ava discovers that she can breathe underwater, she’s disappointed. She wanted to be normal and dreads the day of her initiation into one of the most powerful covens of Elemental Enchanters. She has fallen in love with a human, which is forbidden, but she has such a strong connection with Peter, the only other person who knows what it’s like to grow up motherless. Continue reading