Friday, 15 February 2019

Book review: Slayer by Kiersten White

Being chosen is easy.
Making choices is hard...

“I hate Slayers. What they are. What they do.
And I hate none of them as much as I hate Buffy.”

I was excited to read a new novel - the first in a series! - set in the Buffyverse, and Slayer definitely didn’t disappoint.

What’s left of the Watchers’ Council - just a handful of people - occupy a castle in the Irish countryside. The remnants of old families - Zabuto, Post, Wyndam-Pryce and others - and the teenagers and children who will take up the mantle in the future - whatever future that may be.   

Protagonist Athena (known as Nina) and her twin sister Artemis are the daughters of the late Merrick Jamison-Smythe (Buffy’s first watcher, before Giles) and his wife Helen, a prominent Council member. Artemis - their mother’s favourite, it seems - is training as a Watcher, but Nina, who nobody ever seems to take very seriously, is repelled by violence and more inclined towards healing than killing - she’s the castle’s medic.

The last thing Nina ever expected was to be called as a Slayer...

The stage is set for a story of danger, death, love, loyalty, a mysterious prophecy and a Coldplay-loving demon named Doug. 

I’ve been rewatching Buffy with my daughter recently (we’re up to season 5) and it was hugely enjoyable to read this story in the same world, though much later. While the original characters appear only via dreams there are many references to spot (Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is, by the way, considered a disgrace to his heritage).

Excellent read and I can’t wait for the next!

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Book review: The Twelfth Juror by B.M. Gill

I read this, along with a few other novels by the same author (now, it seems, largely forgotten) a long time ago and recently came across it while clearing out (rather unsuccessfully) boxes of books in my loft. Unsuccessfully because, rather than throwing them out as intended, I keep going “ooh, forgot all about that one” and sticking them back on my bookshelves to reread. Anyway I knew I’d read The Twelfth Juror away back in ye olden times, but although I had a feeling I’d enjoyed it at the time, I couldn’t remember anything else about it. A quick reread seemed appropriate.

Published in 1984, it won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for that year (beating, incidentally, The Tree of Hands by the mighty Ruth Rendell). So, that seemed promising. And anything courtroomy appeals to me.

Former newsreader, now distinguished TV presenter, Edward Carne stands in the dock, accused of murdering his wife, Jocelyn. His fate will be decided by a jury of twelve supposedly unbiased men and women. But one of those people, at least, has a closer connection to Carne than he is willing to disclose...

The story is interesting and well written but some things made me glad the book is now out of print. The characterisation of Blossom - “the Chinese girl” as Quinn describes her - feels uncomfortable and more than a bit racist. (Apparently, she glides about in green silk exuding “oriental calm” and dispensing sexual favours.) And the references (no spoilers) to “sexual deviancy” are horribly jarring. I know it was 35 years ago but it was 1984, not 1954, for goodness sake.

I did guess - more or less - the truth, though I can’t congratulate myself too much on that as I have read it before and though I didn’t consciously remember it, it was no doubt lodged in my subconscious somewhere. That said, I suspect I may have guessed anyway.

As courtroom dramas go it isn’t the best I’ve ever read (there are few surprises in court and I would perhaps have liked more  of the interplay between the jurors) but it is an enjoyable read and, as I said, well written. The ending is quite powerful. However some things really don’t sit well with me (and I’m sure didn’t in 1984, either) so on that basis I can’t necessarily recommend it - but it’s definitely an interesting curiosity.

B. M. Gill - real name Barbara Trimble - wrote over 20 crime, thriller and romance novels under the various names of B. M. Gill, Margaret Blake and Barbara Gilmour. She died in 1995.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne: Review

In 1945 in the closing days of the war, a pregnant sixteen-year-old girl, Catherine Goggin, is cruelly denounced from the pulpit by her local priest and literally thrown out of her small Irish village. Fortunately Catherine is a force to be reckoned with and despite boarding the bus to Dublin with hardly any money and nowhere to go, getting the heck out of Goleen and away from its small minded inhabitants isn’t all bad. With little other choice to be had, her baby boy, Cyril, is adopted at birth by the wealthy Avery family, and it is he who tells the story.

From Dublin to Amsterdam to New York and back to Dublin, we follow Cyril Avery’s life at seven-year intervals as it unfolds, through childhood, his unrequited love for his friend Julian, adulthood and the near-impossibility of living as a gay man in Ireland, love, relationships, loss and change, all set against the sweeping social and political backdrop of postwar Ireland and the wider world.

It’s hilarious, tender, bawdy and heartbreaking, often all at the same time. Laugh out loud moments abound (the “one of them” conversation with a former colleague and then conversation with Laura’s parents in the hospital were particular highlights, but there are many more). Cyril’s childhood is handled with a light and humorous touch, which does not obscure the awfulness of being constantly reminded by his eccentric and remote adoptive parents that he’s not their real son and therefore doesn’t count; notwithstanding his own observation that his childhood was “reasonably happy”.  Tragedy is never far away though and right from the start John Boyne pulls no punches in depicting the discrimination, hatred and outright violence which Cyril and others all too often experience.

Throughout, his real mother Catherine - an amazing woman in so many ways - intersects occasionally with his life, their true relationship known to us the readers but not to them. I was hoping so hard for a moment when they would learn the truth, because Cyril needed Catherine in his life so badly (well, who wouldn’t?). 

Cyril, an everyman in some respects, does some undoubtedly awful things as he slowly flounders towards being able to live his life honestly, but retains his fundamental decency and goodness. 

I adored this epic story which had me in laughter and tears on numerous occasions. Read it! 

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Proud (edited by Juno Dawson): Book Review

I was so excited to read this book (just look at that cover!) and I’m happy to report that Proud more than lived up to expectations. It is an inspiring and hugely enjoyable collection of short stories, poetry and artwork which I believe will mean a great deal to many young (and not so young) people. 

Editor Juno Dawson’s pulls-no-punches introduction recalls the dark days of Section 28, which today’s young people will thankfully know, if at all, only as a historical disgrace. We’ve come a long way since then, which is not to say we don’t still have a long way to go.

From a lottery-winning teenage couple hiding out in a Travelodge (On the Run) to a queer football team (The Other Team) to a modern high school version of Pride and Prejudice (I Hate Darcy Pemberley), there’s a huge amount packed into this book. Relationships blossom and comings-out are accomplished, sometimes with a little help from penguins or phoenixes. (Phoenices?) There’s humour, sadness, gallons of compassion and creativity. I would hesitate to pick favourites, but I did find Tanya Byrne and Moira Fowley-Doyle’s stories to be very moving; I also loved Cynthia So’s delightful The Phoenix’s Fault which has the feel of a folk tale. The artwork which accompanies every piece also adds a fabulous extra dimension (I loved those by Frank Duffy, Kate Alizadeh and Leo Greenfield especially.)

There are lots of authors here I haven’t heard of - some are appearing in print for the very first time - but the standard is uniformly high. Brief information is provided at the end on all the authors and illustrators (from which I learned that Karen Lawler has a dog named Buffy).

Although I’m not in the YA age range (not by a long chalk), I found this book to be an absolute joy to read and I’m sure I will be returning to read it again.... now, how about a follow up including some more of the brilliant writers Juno mentions in her introduction??

Friday, 11 January 2019

The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith: Book review

Scandinavian crime, à la Alexander McCall Smith, is - as you might expect - an altogether much nicer, gentler affair than the Scandi noir of recent times. 

Ulf Varg - both his names mean “wolf” - possibly the kindest man in the Swedish police force, works in the eponymous Department of Sensitive Crimes, where anything a bit odd seems to end up. Ulf loves Nordic art and his dog, Martin, who he has taught to lip read . He’s also rather too fond of his colleague Anna, though that is unfortunately fraught with complication...

There are of course no gruesome murders to be investigated; the most violent thing that happens here is a market trader being stabbed in the back of the knee. There’s also the mysterious disappearance of a young woman’s imaginary boyfriend, and some mysterious, even wolfish, goings-on at a spa. Plenty for the thoughtful, reflective Ulf and his colleagues - Anna, the conscientious Carl, fishing-obsessed clerical assistant Erik and annoyingly loquacious Blomquist - to be getting on with. As is usual for this author, none of the mysteries or solutions are especially mind-blowing, but that’s not really the point. 

Fans of Alexander McCall Smith (I would count myself as one, although I haven’t read everything he’s written... there’s a lot of it) will delight in the gently meandering style and philosophical musings. The Department of Sensitive Crimes is the first in a series featuring Ulf Varg - I look forward to future instalments. 

Friday, 21 December 2018

Fear of Falling by Cath Staincliffe: Book Review

I requested Fear of Falling from NetGalley on the basis that it was by Cath Staincliffe, knowing nothing about the plot, so started reading with very little if any idea of what to expect. This made it perhaps even more hard hitting than it would have been anyway.

It starts with narrator Lydia, a teenager in the 1980s, meeting and being instantly fascinated by the reckless Bel - their friendship is a thread which runs through the whole book, following Lydia’s life from the ‘80s to the present day... work, relationships, marriage to the lovely Mac, fertility troubles and ultimately their adoption of Chloe, a neglected toddler born to a drug-using young mother. Chloe’s early life experiences have not been good, but she’s young enough, surely, for that damage to be repaired, given enough love and care. Isn’t she?

Lydia, a scientist, and her tattooist husband Mac are wonderful characters and clearly marvellous parents who are devoted to giving Chloe a happy life. There are no limits to their love. But sometimes, any amount of love might not be enough.

The adjective in my mind while reading was “unflinching”. The author pulls no punches in depicting the pain and difficulty of life with Chloe, a girl who fundamentally doesn’t believe she deserves to be loved. There are no easy answers or Hollywood endings to be found here. I couldn’t imagine how it was all going to end, and I could never have imagined how it actually did. 

Some powerful themes emerge, particularly the need for better support when things are impossibly hard, but also the importance and lasting impact of the earliest experiences (according to Erikson’s theory, a time when a child learns basic trust or mistrust: that her cries will be responded to and her needs met, that her world is a safe place.... or that it isn’t). While we see things only from Lydia’s viewpoint, the story is told with huge compassion for everyone involved. 

It could be viewed as a cautionary tale about the perils of adoption, but that is clearly far from the intention. In a postscript to the novel, Cath Staincliffe tells us that she was herself adopted as a baby, so clearly she has a personal insight and connection to the subject, although her story is (thankfully) very different from Chloe’s. And Cath is at pains to point out that most adoptions work well and very few adopters ever regret their decision.

A wonderful, heartbreaking book, highly recommended. 

Friday, 30 November 2018

The Ruin by Dervla McTiernan: Review

“In Irish, Rúin means something hidden, a mystery, or a secret, but the word also has a long history as a term of endearment.”

“Twenty years before, he’d walked away from the Blake case, and it had come back to haunt him.”

February 1993: Called out to a “minor domestic incident” at a remote, decrepit old house, the last thing young police officer Cormac Reilly expects to find is a woman dead of a heroin overdose, and two frightened children - five-year-old Jack and his protective fifteen-year-old sister, Maude. After taking the children to safety Cormac has nothing further to do with the case, but he’s never forgotten them.

Twenty years later in 2013, Cormac, now a Detective Sergeant, has returned to Galway - transferring from Dublin due to his girlfriend’s career (and isn’t that a nice change?) - where he’s not being made particularly welcome by some of his new colleagues. Not only that, there’s a distinct whiff of corruption in certain quarters.

Meanwhile, young doctor Aisling Conroy is reeling from the unexpected suicide of her boyfriend Jack... and the reappearance of the sister Jack hasn’t seen for twenty years. Maude is certain Jack didn’t kill himself, and she’s on a mission to prove it.

I had The Ruin on my “shelf” for ages before getting around to reading it, but I wish it hadn’t taken me so long because I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do love a good police procedural and Cormac is a great addition to the ranks of fictional detectives. The plot is gripping, surprising, at times distressing and ultimately very moving - but Dervla McTiernan never goes for the easy resolution. Something which I would’ve put money on happening at the end then didn’t, and I found that quite refreshing.

The Ruin is the first in a series (yay!) but doesn’t feel like it at times; with unexpanded-upon references to Cormac’s past cases and how he met his girlfriend Emma, I had to double check I wasn’t missing out on some continuity. Presumably, we will learn more in future instalments - the relationship with Emma is only briefly touched upon, but I feel sure there’s more to come. Cormac himself is a great and very likeable character, and there are also some excellent female characters - Aisling, Maude and Cormac’s fellow garda Carrie O’Halloran (I liked her a lot).

I’m now very much looking forward to The Scholar, out next year!

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts: Review

The Flower Girls is a dark, disturbing and really rather haunting story. 

Nearly twenty years ago, the brutal murder of two-year-old Kirstie Swann shocked the nation, not least because the apparent perpetrators, Laurel and Rosie Bowman, were just ten and six years old. Laurel, above the age of criminal responsibility, is tried and convicted of murder, and has remained in custody ever since; her sister, too young to stand trial, moves away with her parents and a new identity.  Still, the public haven’t forgotten the girls dubbed by the press “the Flower Girls” - like other young killers, their names and photographs have become a byword for evil. But nobody knows what really happened that day... because neither Laurel nor Rosie has ever told.

Many years later, Rosie - now known as Hazel, and having successfully rebuilt her life - is staying at a Devon hotel with her boyfriend when another young girl, five-year-old Georgie Greenstreet, goes missing.

It looks like the past is coming back to haunt her.

The story is told from a number of angles - we see Laurel and Rosie/Hazel both then and now, but we also see their story through the eyes of others.

Joanna, the aunt of murdered Kirstie, has diverted her grief into anger, devoting her life to ensuring that her conception of justice is done - for Joanna, that means Laurel’s never getting out of prison, not if she’s got anything to do with it.

Meanwhile, tenacious Detective Constable Lorna Hillier is determined to uncover the truth about what’s happened to Georgie before it’s too late.

Despite the unpleasant subject matter the story is compellingly and sensitively written, forcing the reader to examine notions of guilt, responsibility and retribution, particularly through the character of Joanna. The crying out for vengeance-at-all-costs  of a certain section of the general public is laid bare here during a radio phone-in involving Joanna when one caller remarks that Laurel “should’ve been hanged from the start”. “You’d have hanged a ten-year-old?” enquires the host, causing the caller to quickly backtrack... though only slightly.

There’s a strangely fairytale quality at times about The Flower Girls - but most definitely the darker kind. There’s nothing cosy or comforting here. And the ending is truly unexpected and horrifying. 

An excellent read but with some dark and difficult themes.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Book review: Pulp by Robin Talley

I loved Robin Talley’s previous books and as soon as I read the synopsis for this I knew it was so far up my street that I was desperate to read it. A novel dealing with the lesbian pulps of the 1950s? Yes please! The genre was a fascinating one and with Robin Talley I knew it would be in safe hands.

The books, with their lurid titles and covers, were marketed as titillation (many, though by no means all, were written by straight men and were pretty bad) but the better ones often meant a great deal to women who discovered them and saw, perhaps for the first time, that they were not alone in their feelings. Unfortunately the “morality” of the time precluded happy endings for the lesbian characters, who almost invariably ended up dying or turning straight - exceptions were few and far between. A lot of the books referred to are real (including, believe it or not, Satan Was a Lesbian).

Anyway, in the present day seventeen-year-old Abby, struggling after her breakup with girlfriend Linh and difficulties between her parents at home, discovers and is quickly captivated by the strange world of 1950s lesbian pulp novels, in particular one called Women of the Twilight Realm by the mysterious Marian Love, who apparently only published one novel and promptly disappeared. Abby becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Marian... 

Many years earlier in 1955, another young woman, Janet, is equally captivated by A Love So Strange, the novel she stumbled upon at a bus station bookstall, seeing in it a much-needed recognition of her own feelings for her friend Marie. But times are far more dangerous for Janet than for out-and-proud twenty-first-century Abby.

The hysterically repressive political climate of the McCarthyist 1950s is very well evoked and it was fascinating (and terrifying) to read about the measures taken against anyone who was suspected of, well, anything, particularly anything communist-y or gay-y. At one point a female character comes under suspicion because “her voice is too low” - that’s the level of absurdity people were dealing with. Although clearly far too young to remember any of it, Robin Talley has definitely done her research (Senator Hunt was a real person for instance).

There are lots of nods to real writers of that and other times - Bannon Press is clearly a reference to writer Ann, perhaps the best known of the lesbian pulp authors, and I felt Claire Singer’s name was a reference to the pseudonym under which Patricia Highsmith wrote The Price of Salt, Claire Morgan. (Also the Sheldon Lounge - Alice Sheldon?) I’m sure there were many I missed.

I thought I knew where the plot was going in terms of what happened to Janet, but as it turned out, I was barking up an entirely wrong tree and the outcome was a big surprise. Let’s just say I did one character a major disservice.

For me this book entirely lived up to its promise - I loved it.

Pulp can be preordered here.

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Blog tour review! Betsy and Lilibet by Sophie Duffy

The book...

London, 1926: two baby girls are born just hours and miles apart. One you know as the Queen of England, but what of the other girl—the daughter of an undertaker named in her honor? Betsy Sunshine grows up surrounded by death in war-torn London, watching her community grieve for their loved ones while dealing with her own teenage troubles . . . namely her promiscuous sister Margie. As Betsy grows older we see  how the country changes through her eyes, and along the way we discover the birth of a secret that threatens to tear her family apart. Sophie Duffy dazzles in her latest work of family/historical fiction. A tale which spans generations to explore the life and times of a family at the heart of their community, the story of a stoic young woman who shares a connection with her queenly counterpart in more ways than one.

The review...

I adored Sophie Duffy’s previous books, so was thrilled to have the opportunity to read Betsy and Lilibet, which sounded like and indeed proved to be an entrancing read.

It opens in 2016 with the words “I never thought I’d be old”. But there Betsy Sunshine is, nearly ninety years of age, living in a Bognor Regis care home and looking back at her life: born weighing three pounds and a bit, named after the equally brand new princess, surviving against the odds.

Betsy tells her own story and I really loved her voice. Other than her name and the day of her birth, undertaker’s daughter Betsy apparently has little in common with Princess-later-Queen Elizabeth yet their lives run in parallel and even occasionally intersect, throughwartime, feuding with a difficult younger sister, sweeping social change, Thatcherism, terrorism and complex family relationships (oh, how complex!).

Betsy’s account of her life story is interspersed with her present day narrative (I especially loved her observations about life in the care home), and quotes - I assume real ones - from her namesake and birthday-sharer Queen Elizabeth II. As family and friends gather round her, are some of Betsy’s chickens finally coming home to roost?

There are some glorious moments here - Sophie Duffy really excels at characterisation and dialogue. The conversation between Betsy and her great grandson Tom was particularly fabulous but there are many others equally memorable and quotable. I loved the ending too.

Hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, Betsy and Lilibet is a captivating story of love, death and everything else. Highly recommended.

Friday, 5 October 2018

Blog tour! The PawLife Guide: Dog Care at Home by Gina Harding

The book...

DOG CARE AT HOME gives you the information you need to have a happy and healthy dog no matter what your dog’s current stage in life, in just 10 minutes a day. Over 200 hours of research including interviews with veterinarians and fellow dog owners around the world.

Dog Care at Home is the all-in-one book to have at home. With six veterinarians that have contributed to this ultimate guide, rest assured you are in reliable hands.

Inside you will discover:

  • Choosing the right breed
  • The basic steps of raising a puppy 
  • What vaccinations are for and why your dog needs them
  • Travelling with your dog 
  • How to perform CPR on your dog 
  • Health and hygiene including dental care 
  • Choosing the right veterinarian 
  • When it’s time to say goodbye 
  • And much more!

PawLife’s Dog Care at Home is the answer for all your dog parenting needs in one comprehensive guide that ensures your dog lives a long, healthy and happy life.

The review...

For many years I didn’t particularly consider myself a dog person. Not that I disliked them or anything, but I’d just never had that much to do with them. Then this happened...

So now I’m a bit of a born-again dog mum with a great enthusiasm for all things canine-related, so when the chance came up to read and review a dog care guide, I grabbed it immediately.

Gina’s love for her dog Harley shines through and she is evidently very motivated to share her enthusiasm and knowledge with others - hence her “dog blog” and now, this book, which covers every stage from choosing a puppy (or adopting a rescue dog) to the ageing process and, ultimately, saying goodbye. While there are other books which go into more depth about, for instance, puppy training or dealing with behavioural issues, Gina does manage to cover an awful lot in an accessible way. Lots of gorgeous doggy pictures are a bonus too (though I could happily have lived without ever seeing the one of worms!!).

There is a slight Australian focus but after all dogs are dogs everywhere, so most things continue to apply wherever you are, and there should be helpful information here for every dog lover.

The author...

Gina is an enthusiastic dog lover, so much so that she founded her own dog blog business called PawLife, which has been awarded top 10 Australian Dog Blog. This wouldn’t be possible without her best friend Harley, who is a toy poodle mix. They are continually going on new adventures, testing out new squeaky toys.

Gina recently discovered her writing passion and wanted to create the ultimate guidebook that would support, educate and inspire pet parents and yet to be pet parents around the world. Gina and Harley are originally from Australia, where the weather is always beautiful. This is Gina’s first book and she looks forward to writing many more to help fellow pet-parents; with her fur-baby Harley by her side.

Social media links...

The giveaway...

Terms and conditions - UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified via Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Friday, 28 September 2018

Blog tour: The Victoria Lie by Sarah Marie Graye

The book...

When is a lie a lifeline? To Tori, lies are everything.

Zoe wants to end her life. But she can’t just leave a note. She needs to say goodbye to boyfriend James and best friend Alison.

Tori is waiting in the wings to fill the space Zoe will leave behind, wanting to claim both James and Alison for herself.

But with Zoe still alive and Alison’s childhood friend Ruby now on the scene vying to fill the gap, Tori realises she has her work cut out.

Just what lengths is Tori willing to go to in order to claim Alison and James for herself?

(Trigger warnings: Suicide, depression, IRA bombings, ADHD, Autism, manipulative characters.)

The review...

The Victoria Lie opens in disturbing fashion. A young woman, Zoe, boards a London tube train one day and spends hours travelling back and forth on the Victoria Line; only gradually over this opening section are her motivations - her carefully-laid plans - revealed. This scene stirred up powerful feelings for me, perhaps especially in Zoe’s apparent certainty, calculation and lack of doubt about her chosen path. Let’s just say this is a case where I think the “trigger warning” is entirely justified.

It’s a very unusual and original premise and I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it before. Is there any way back for Zoe?

Like Sarah Marie Graye’s first novel, however, the focus is also on the people around Zoe... literally, in this case, gathered around her hospital bed. In the previous book, The Second Cup, a character who has committed suicide is the catalyst but the story is mainly about the ones left behind and the effects on them. Here, Zoe is still alive, but although she is a central character there is equal focus on her friend Alison, boyfriend James (well, maybe not him so much) and other characters Ruby - Alison’s childhood friend - and Tori, Alison’s work colleague.

I did get confused sometimes about the interactions between these characters, and some of the subtleties about cups of coffee and who said what to who were, at times, lost on me. I had to keep reminding myself who was who and how they knew each other, though this did settle down as the story progressed. 

I do have to say that I did feel a bit uncomfortable with what seemed at one point like constant references to Ruby’s skin colour - it seemed like her “difference” was always being pointed out, both by herself and others, and this didn’t feel entirely natural to me. Again though this did settle down as the characters became more established/

It was nice to see characters from the previous book (Faye and Beth) popping up. And I liked the (fourth wall breaking?) bit at the end where someone, presumably the author, interviews the characters - an original way of rounding things off.

Sarah Marie Graye has clearly thought deeply about her characters, their feelings and motivations and the story is carefully and insightfully crafted with a keen eye for detail, both practical and emotional. It’s a challenging but often rewarding read about - among other things - friendship, lies, neurodiversity and mental health.

The author...

British writer Sarah Marie Graye is the author of The Butterfly Effect series, which looks at suicides and those left behind. The Second Cup, the first book in the series, was published in July 2017, and this Blog Tour is to celebrate the launch of the second book in the series, The Victoria Lie.

Social media links...

The giveaway...

Win 3 x signed copies of The Victoria Lie by Sarah Marie Graye (Open to UK only)

Terms and conditions - UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified via Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.