#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger imyril (@imyril) #TheresAlwaysRoomForOneMore #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to the blog today. It’s Monday which can mean only one thing – it’s time for another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post (and you thought I was going to say something about the weekend being over, right?!). Today I am delighted to welcome another fantastic book blogger to damppebbles to share the book love, imyril from There’s Always Room for One More…

But first, let me explain what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about. ‘Books’ is the simple answer 😆! Every year I invite bookish types to share the titles of three books they love with the rest of us.  Any author, any genre – it’s a bit of a free for all, apart from one thing.  The books must have been published in a certain year.  At the moment we’re revealing the top books published in 2018 but on 1st November #R3COMM3ND3D2019  will start when it will be all about this year’s releases.  If you would like to take part then please fill in the form at the bottom of this post!

Without further ado, here are the books imyril has chosen…

the poppy war.jpg

The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
A setting that’s not quite early twentieth century China is an unusual and absorbing fantasy setting. Complex characters you’ll love to hate and fear to love, going through the wringer. A harrowing debut with an eye for epic storytelling and historical flavour.

the bitter twins.jpg

The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy 2) by Jen Williams
I hesitate to dive into a trilogy with book two, but the Winnowing Flame gets my nod for epic fantasy with sci-fi underpinnings and a flair for all-out horror. Vampiric elves, a fire witch, noble barbarians, a middle-aged archaeologist and mythical beasts must fight off a terrifying insectile alien threat or see their world consumed. The characters leap off the page, the lines between good, evil and pragmatic are blurred and I’ve never yelled NO so loudly at the page in my life. This is fantasy writ very, very large – and I think book two is even better than book one. Bonus points for being so dark without ever feeling hopeless or bleak.

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Embers of War by Gareth L. Powell
A full-blooded space opera, peopled by a cast recovering from the trauma of a recent war. A sentient warship filled with regret. A lonely salvage crew who wish to make amends. A planet whose secrets are worth killing for. This is a well-constructed mystery with an almost Banksian setting. I came for the characters; I’ll be seeing out the series for the jaw dropping scope of what they find.

Ooooh, once again I am drawn to books outside of my comfort zone and these three look brilliant! Thanks imyril!

If imyril has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

The Poppy War by R.F. KuangThe Bitter Twins by Jen WilliamsEmbers of War by Gareth L. Powell |

About imyril:
I’ve been reading almost as long as I’ve been walking (but I try not to combine the two, because of the bruises). These days I’m a business consultant by day and a bookworm and blogger 24/7. I mostly read SF/F, but I’m happy to be tempted into other genres by a strong story and well-crafted characters. Or tea. And cake. I’m easily tempted.

imyril’s social media links:
There’s Always Room for One More…Twitter @imyril |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)



#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Paul Cheney (@halfmanhalfb00k) #HalfmanHalfbook #damppebbles

It’s Friiiiday! Welcome to damppebbles and to another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. I am delighted to welcome a favourite blogger of mine to the blog today, Paul Cheney who blogs over at Halfman, Halfbook.  I love Paul’s blog for several reasons.  The first is the name of it because, well, we all are, aren’t we? Half-book! And secondly, because Paul reads and reviews mainly non-fiction (I think his is the only non-fiction blog I follow…)

So what’s this #R3COMM3ND3D thing all about then? It’s a chance for bookish types to share the book love.  Three books they love and want to shout about.  Really, really love.  Any author, any publisher, any genre, but they must have all been published in the same year.  I’m currently sharing the posts from last year (2018) but on 1st November #R3COMM3ND3D2019 so if you would like to take part please fill in the form below.

Here are Paul’s three choices…

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21st-Century Yokel by Tom Cox
This is a wide ranging and occasionally random chat about his thoughts on the countryside, scarecrows and his very LOUD DAD. Very funny and honest.
[DP: *cough* I’m going to ignore the fact that this book was actually published in 2017 and not 2018…]

the last wilderness.jpg

The Last Wilderness: A Journey into Silence by Neil Ansell
The Last Wilderness feels like a spiritual journey and he connects deeply to the landscape each time he visits, but it is tinged with the remorse that he has of no longer being able to hear the birdsong as his hearing fails. It is a beautiful book to read, he has a knack of teasing out all that he sees around him into the most exquisite prose.

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The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
This is a heartwarming and inspiring story of a couple’s fight back against a life-changing legal decision that left them totally penniless. Winn writes with an honesty that is quite moving, she is open with her feelings and her thoughts about the people she meets on their walk and the events that led to them walking the South Coast path.

Great choices, Paul.  Thank you.  I LOVE the cover of The Last Wilderness. How gorgeous is that?!

If Paul has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books he recommends, please see the following links:

21st-Century Yokel by Tom CoxThe Last Wilderness by Neil AnsellThe Salt Path by Raynor Winn |

About Paul:
I have always loved all things about reading and books, and cannot walk past a bookshop or library without popping in; just to look, you understand.

I read all types and genres of books, but my real passion is for non-fiction, in particular travel, natural history, history and science. I also love science fiction and fantasy and try to read some contemporary fiction along the way too.

I have been writing for Nudge Books as their voice of Book Life for two years now.

Paul’s Social Media Links:
Halfman, HalfbookTwitter @halfmanhalfb00k |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd @PenguinUKBooks #TheInnocentWife #damppebbles

the innocent wife.jpg“You’re in love with a man on Death Row in Florida, convicted of a brutal murder twenty years ago.

You’re convinced he didn’t do it, and you’re determined to prove it. You’re part of a mass online campaign that picks holes in the case, uncovers evidence of police incompetence, and agitates for this miscarriage of justice to be overturned.

Now you’re married to him, and he’s a free man, his conviction thrown out. You have the rest of your lives to spend together.

You’re overjoyed. After all, he’s innocent.

Isn’t he?”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to my review of The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd.  This book had a real buzz about it when it was first published in December 2017 (yes it has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, yes I am a terrible book blogger who reads at a snail’s pace!).  I received a free eARC copy of The Innocent Wife which has in no way influenced my review.

I keep seeing mixed reviews for this book and I just don’t get it.  I know, I know, you don’t have to tell me – reading is subjective.  I totally get that.  I’ll say this though, if you’re anything like me you will love this book.  It has everything I want in a novel.  I loved the small town American feel of it, I loved how the author has used the nation’s love of true crime to give it a more authentic edge, I loved the plot and I loved the characters.  This is turning into an epic year of reading for me; nearly every book I pick up just blows me away!  And that includes The Innocent Wife.

Notorious convicted killer, Dennis Danson, comes to Sam’s attention when questions begin to be raised over the evidence and trial used to convict him and send him to death row.  An online group start petitioning for his release claiming the Red River Police got the wrong man.  Sam does what any normal (!) 30-something would do in this situation and starts corresponding with Dennis.  Before long a strong bond is formed between them and Dennis sends a visiting order.  Sam drops everything, packs her bags and flies off to Altoona Prison to meet Dennis in person, hoping he’s everything his letters lead her to believe he is.  After an awkward start, the couple relax into each others company and before long Sam has extended her visa to allow her to visit Dennis on a regular basis.  Then he’s released and everything changes.  Sam is married to a man she hardly knows.  And what’s more, what she was once certain of, she’s not anymore…

Character, character, character.  I flipping love a bunch of fascinating people!  I really felt for Sam.  I could feel her loneliness, her need to be loved and adored which emanated from the page.  I also found her a little frustrating at times because I wanted her to stop being so drippy and ‘woman-up’ a bit.  That didn’t stop me from wanting to read Sam’s story though.  She intrigued me.  I also loved the mysterious Dennis, although I doubt very much I was supposed to!  There was something quite dark and dangerous about him and that appealed. Other characters were great too such as the true crime documentary filmmaker, Carrie, who welcomes Sam to the US with open arms and then becomes her guardian angel.  She just knows Dennis is innocent and will do everything in her power to prove it.

Would I recommend this book?  I would, yes.  It’s a delicious slow burn of a read and I loved it!  I was absolutely fascinated to see where the story was going to go and I wasn’t at all disappointed.  Gripping, unnerving and it ticked so many boxes for me.  I would not hesitate to pick up another book by Amy Lloyd.  In fact, I can’t wait to read more from this author! Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Innocent Wife.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd was published in the UK by Arrow Publishing on 4th October 2018 in paperback, hardcover, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |


amy lloyd.jpgAmy Lloyd studied English and Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. In 2016 she won the Daily Mail Bestseller Competition for her debut novel The Innocent Wife which, when it was published, became a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. Amy lives in Cardiff with her partner, who is also a published novelist.

Author Links:TwitterFacebook |


#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Ivana (@TheNovelette) #TheWritersBlock #damppebbles

Happy Monday! I hope the week ahead is full of brilliant books (and if you’re heading to Harrogate later this week then I’ll see you there!).  There’s a good chance I’ll be adding to your terrifying TBR today as I’m delighted to bring you another fantastic #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post! Today I am thrilled to welcome Ivana of The Writer’s Block to damppebbles to share her three top picks from 2018.

But first, let me explain what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about. #R3COMM3ND3D is a chance for bookish types to share the book love. Three books from one year that they really must shout about.  At the moment we’re concentrating on books published last year but come 1st November we’ll be all about 2019.  If you would like to take part then please pop your books, the reasons why you love them and your social media details on the form below.

Without further ado, here are Ivana’s choices…


Hangman by Jack Heath
This book was just captivating, shocking, entertaining, perhaps THE best reading experience I have ever had!! (I gave it a 7-Star Review it was just that amazing!)

the date

The Date by Louise Jensen
Bookouture Books are just awesome! This book keeps you guessing until the very end! I always like that!


#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar
This book was dark humor, fashion culture, pop culture references, psychological thriller, and murder on steroids!! Which made it so, so good!! One of the best books I have ever read!

Great choices, Ivana – thank you! Hangman is going straight onto the wish list and it’s great to see The Date by Louise Jensen make another appearance.

If Ivana has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more information about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Hangman by Jack HeathThe Date by Louise Jensen#FashionVictim by Amina Akhtar |

About Ivana:
Book Blogger, Book Trailer Creator, Virtual Book Festival Organizer.

Ivana’s Social Media Links:
The Writer’s Block Twitter @TheNovelette |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BlogTour | #GuestReview: Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd (@williamjtodd) #GodlefesCuckoo #damppebbles @cobaltdinosaur

D6 - GODLEFES CUCKOO Cover - L“Danny Lancaster has been missing since the fishing boat exploded.

Police are closing their inquiry but Wanda Lovejoy continues her campaign to find the truth.

An evil man kept alive by machines nurses a corrosive hate. As drugs and disease pull his dying mind apart he throws his crime empire into a scorched earth quest to find one man.

If Danny Lancaster isn’t dead he soon will be!”

Happy weekend bookish friends and welcome to damppebbles.  Once again, I am handing the reins of the blog over to my guest reviewer (my husband, Ryan) who is going to share his thoughts on the sixth book in Bill Todd’s Danny Lancaster series, Godlefe’s Cuckoo, with you.

So without further ado, here’s Ryan’s review:

OK I admit I skipped a book.  Book 4 to Book 6 doesn’t sound the worst crime, does it? I mean what could go wrong, how much backstory, character development, death and destruction could I really have missed?

Well, before I tell you too much I must say I have written this review before the review for book 5 in the series has been published. But the strange answer appears to be zero.  In fact the book appears to directly follow on from Rock Hard, with Danny struggling to come to terms with his body and mind after the fishing boat explosion.

The book is intriguing from multiple angles. Firstly there is the struggle that Danny is going through. Where will it take him and will he still be the damaged but ultimately good character we have loved throughout the series?  Then there is the second element; the enemy.  Who knows when they will give up looking for him.

Donald Rumsfeld made headlines with his “known knowns and known unknowns” speech and this book turned my mind to that often.  For instance, if an enemy wants you dead and doesn’t know if you are dead or not, when do they stop?  In the case of Danny’s enemies in this book the answer is clear – “when there is proof”.  Reading this book as a standalone you may feel the enemies push too hard, and are prepared to go to extreme lengths.  But in the context of the series it feels a natural extension.

The same can be said for Danny’s allies. Will they support someone they don’t know is alive?  Will they?  Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out!

I enjoyed Godlefe’s Cuckoo. Once again it was a good read for relaxing into and letting the action and suspense play out.  The characters by book 6 are becoming well formed but there were good new additions, in his ‘rescuers’, further development of Wanda and of course the ever baffled police.

Well written, fast moving and characters you can like or loathe. This is the perfect read for those that don’t want gritty reality forced down their kindle each morning.  The title confused me at first but as you read the book you understand the historical relevance.  A great read from Bill Todd and I look forward to reading more.

Ryan chose to read and review a free copy of Godlefe’s Cuckoo. The above review is his own unbiased opinion.

Godlefe’s Cuckoo by Bill Todd was published in the UK by DLE Fiction on 15th March 2018 and is available in paperback and ebook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comGoodreads |

The Danny Lancaster Blog Tour


2017-12-20 15.50.35Bill is a journalist and travel writer who has visited more than 40 countries from the white wastes of Arctic Finland to the ancient deserts of Namibia. He loves a good wilderness. He received the Ed Lacy travel award in 2007.

Bill has written six crime thrillers featuring soldier-turned-investigator Danny Lancaster and was startled and delighted to be voted one of the 100 best crime authors in the WH Smith readers’ poll in 2015. He’s also written three short factual military histories. He lives to write although keyboard time has been cut lately with the arrival of grandson Theo.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Instagram |

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #Author Russell Day (@rfdaze) @fahrenheitpress #InkToAshes #damppebbles

Happy Friday! It’s nearly the weekend, phew.  Welcome to damppebbles and to another cracking #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. Today I am delighted to welcome author Russell Day to the blog.  I read and reviewed Russell’s debut novel, Needle Song, last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The fabulous folk at Fahrenheit Press have recently published the second book in Russell’s Doc Slidesmith series, Ink to Ashes, and I can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy.  I’ll tell you a little about it later.

But first, if you’re new to damppebbles or you’ve not heard of #R3COMM3ND3D before, then allow me to explain.  #R3COMM3ND3D is a chance for bookish types to share the book love.  Three amazing books all published in the same year.  We’re currently working our way through 2018s recommendations but make sure you look out for #R3COMM3ND3D2019 which will start in November.

Without further ado, here are Russell’s 2018 picks…

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Stoned Love by Ian Patrick
I don’t like my heroes squeaky clean and Ian Patrick’s protagonist is anything but. Batford’s a dirty cop and a man wearing his welcome thin on both sides of the law; I love characters like that. Another factor in choosing this book was the authenticity of its voice. Ian Patrick’s an ex-cop with almost three decades of service under his belt. It shows in his writing, you don’t so much read his novels as experience them. I defy anyone to put this book down once they’ve opened it.

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A Dead American in Paris (Salazar Mysteries #2) by Seth Lynch
This novel’s set in Paris, in 1931, which makes it an odd choice for me to recommend. I generally like to read stories set in contemporary times. The trick Seth Lynch pulls off so well is building the setting around the reader so thoroughly that Europe between the wars feels like home. Not a happy home exactly, but you can’t have it all. Something about the tone of this book puts me in mind of J G Ballard’s novel High Rise; everything is familiar and alien at the same time. This is one of the most evocative books I’ve read this year.


Chainsaw by John Bender
Some books are meant to be read totally at face value. Chainsaw is one of them. It’s pure pulp from start to finish, proud and unashamed. Blood soaked, gore splattered and mad as a box of frogs, it follows the misadventures of two redneck scumbags and a stolen chainsaw. What you see is exactly what you get. You will love it or hate it; John Bender doesn’t write for the middle ground.

I love your choices, Russell.  I’ve read the first of Ian Patrick’s Sam Batford books and loved it. I have Seth Lynch’s Salazar books on my TBR and Chainsaw is going straight onto the wishlist!

If Russell has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more information about the books he recommends, please see the following links:

Stoned Love by Ian PatrickA Dead American in Paris by Seth LynchChainsaw by John Bender |

About Ink to Ashes:
ink to ashes.jpgDoc Slidesmith & Yakky return in a brand new adventure. Dago, president of The Handsome London Boys Motorcycle Club and one of Doc’s oldest friends, has died in an apparent accident. Before he can be laid to rest though, his wife makes an unusual request, one which Yakky fulfils with characteristic stoicism. The funeral is a particularly tense affair and it becomes clear to Doc that there’s more going on than initially meets the eye. All is clearly not well within the ranks of The Handsome London Boys and when Doc starts asking questions about the circumstances of Dago’s accident and the disappearance of a young pledger, he and Yakky find themselves being dragged into the secretive and potentially dangerous world of the ‘one-percenters’. Doc & Yakky need to tread very carefully if they’re going to ensure the truth is revealed, justice is served – and they both get out of this alive.

Fahrenheit Pressamazon.co.ukamazon.com |

About Russell Day:
Scruffy, hairy-arsed biker. I occasionally take time out from getting tattooed, eating curry and falling off motorcycles, to write crime fiction. Author of NEEDLE SONG and INK TO ASHES (both published by Fahrenheit Press). Winner of the 2018 Crime Writer’s Association Margery Allingham Short Story Competition.

Russell’s Social Media Links:
Twitter @rfdaze |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Martin Gore (@LaughingGravy71) #TheBeardyBookBlogger #damppebbles

Hello bookish friends.  Welcome to the blog today and a very happy Monday!  Today I am delighted to share another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post with you and my guest today (always wanted to say that!) is the fabulous Martin Gore of The Beardy Book Blogger.  If you haven’t discovered Mart’s blog yet then I absolutely insist you do. I promise it will become a new favourite.

If you’ve never come across #R3COMM3ND3D2018 before then please let me explain.  #R3COMM3ND3D is a chance to share your love of three books published in a particular year.  At the moment, due to ill health at the end of last year, I am sharing recommendations from 2018.  However, #R3COMM3ND3D2019 will start on 1st November so if you already have three books in mind then pop your details, along with the books, on the form below.

Without further ado, here are Mart’s choices…

the darkness.jpg

The Darkness by Ragnar Jónasson
Ragnar is a writer already known for his superb ‘Dark Iceland’ series of books featuring his young police detective Ari Thor Arason, published by Orenda Books. This book is the start of a new series (from a new publisher, Penguin), collectively known as ‘Hidden Iceland’ and features a new protagonist, Hulda Hermannsdottir, a detective at the end of her career and still struggling to break through the glass ceiling that, it appears, is still firmly in place in the Icelandic police service. This is the first in a trilogy of books that are told in reverse chronological order (unlike the Dark Iceland series that were intentionally released out of sequence in the UK), and this book hits you like a brick wall coming at you at 70mph! Hulda is a great creation, with Ragnar only hinting at things and events from her past that will be revealed in the coming books and will undoubtedly be different to what we will be expecting. He is a great storyteller and The Darkness will definitely leave you wanting more. ‘Nuff said.

the seven deaths of evelyn hardcastle

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Astoundingly this is the *debut* novel from Stu, and, boy oh boy, what a debut it is. This book is a superb body hopping murder mystery wrapped up in a time-travelling Agatha Christie cardigan. This is one book that is probably best experienced blind. I don’t mean you should close your eyes when reading it…oh, you know what I meant! Some people may come out of it even blinder than when they went in, but I found it to be so skilfully plotted and executed that at no time did I feel that I had lost my way – unlike our protagonist, poor old, or young, Aiden. If you like your murder mysteries to be of the classic ‘whodunnit’ type, but with a very modern, sci-fi twist, then this is definitely the book for you. But even if you don’t, give this book a try and you – probably* – won’t regret it 😉 *totes won’t

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Death Of A Diva (Limited Edition Hardback) by Derek Farrell
Ok, ok, I admit, I am cheating just a smidge with this one *cough*. [DP: very loud, very irritated SIGH]. DoaD was originally published in 2015, BUT, Fahrenheit Press published a shiny new hardback edition last year so, in my eyes, this qualifies it 😉 [DP: The same very loud, very irritated SIGH]. The reason why I’m so desperate to include this book here is simples: YOU HAVE TO READ THIS SERIES! Sorry to shout, but I LOVE THESE BOOKS! Sorry-not-sorry, again. This is the 1st in a series and it is truly brilliant. It follows the exploits of our hero Danny Bird, and his attempts to quietly get on with his life running the Marquess of Queensbury pub in South London whilst those around him, fate, local gangsters, ex-boyfriends, the police and pretty much everyone else, tries to do its best to spoil it for him. The books are peppered with truly memorable, eclectic and wonderful characters and Derek’s writing is wonderfully funny, sharp and moving. His characters remain believable even if the situations they often find themselves in most certainly are not. Go on, give them a go!

Rules are rules, people! Anyway, I will remain calm and overlook this small infringement of the very clear, very easy to understand rules and commend you, Mart, on your excellent choices.

If Martin has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more information about the books he recommends, please see the following links:

| The Darkness by Ragnar JónassonThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonDeath of a Diva by Derek Farrell (Limited Edition Hardback) |

About Martin:
A beardy bloke just enjoying his books and wants everyone else to know it 😉

Martin’s Social Media Links:
The Beardy Book BloggerTwitter @LaughingGravy71 |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Paula Bardell-Hedley (@GaiaBird1) #BookJotter #damppebbles

Hello book fans! Welcome to the blog and to another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 to round off the working week.  Today I am delighted to welcome Paula Bardell-Hedley to damppebbles.  Paula blogs over at Book Jotter so head on over and check it out.

If you’re new to damppebbles and you’re wondering what #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is all about then let me explain.  #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is a chance for bookish types to share the book love.  Three titles you just have to shout about; any genre, any author, any publisher providing they were published in 2018.

So without further ado, here are Paula’s choices…

where the world ends.jpg

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean
A beautifully written YA novel with enormous crossover appeal!

walking wounded.jpg

Walking Wounded by Sheila Llewellyn
A brilliantly crafted, often harrowing, powerfully intense novel that deserves to be read.

the silence of the girls.jpg

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
A truly magnificent piece of writing!

Thanks for your choices, Paula. These are all new authors to me but those covers are all very striking!

If Paula has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more information about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughreanWalking Wounded by Sheila LlewellynThe Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker |

About Paula:
Blogger, theatre goer, nature lover and an avid reader of books.

Paula’s Social Media Links:
Book JotterTwitter @GaiaBird1Facebook Group |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about, then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#BookReview: The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #TheGoodDaughter #damppebbles

the good daughter.jpg“The Good Daughter will have you hooked from the first page to the last, and will stay with you long after you have finished reading!

One ran. One stayed. But who is…the good daughter?

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s childhoods were destroyed by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father – a notorious defence attorney – devastated. And it left the family consumed by secrets from that shocking night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer. But when violence comes to their home town again, the case triggers memories she’s desperately tried to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family won’t stay buried for ever…”

Welcome bookish friends to damppebbles and to my review of The Good Daughter by hugely popular author, Karin Slaughter.  The Good Daughter was published on 3rd May 2018 and has been lingering on my NetGalley shelf for far too long.  I received a free eARC of this book but that has in no way influenced my review.

Yes, yes, yes, I’m absolutely kicking myself that it’s taken me so long to read this book.  I used to read everything by Karin Slaughter like my life depended on it but I have to confess I haven’t picked up one of her books for a little while now.  I still remember parts of her book Blindsighted, the first book in the Grant County series, so vividly.  I think I was expecting something similar when I made a start on The Good Daughter but how wrong could I have been?! This felt like it was written by a completely different author to the Grant County or Will Trent novels.  I’ve always enjoyed Slaughter’s work.  The Good Daughter I absolutely loved.

Charlotte and Samantha Quinn are used to trouble.  Their father, Rusty, is the local defence lawyer and his reputation proceeds him.  But not in a good way.  Rusty is the reason some of the worst lowlifes in Pikeville, Georgia walk free.  So the family are often on the receiving end of angry, bitter abuse.  One day their lives turn upside down when two masked gunmen enter their home.  Rusty is at the office so the girl’s mother, Harriet, tries to calm the situation down and protect her daughters.  But the unthinkable happens and Harriet is killed in cold blood.  Her young daughters bearing witness to the tragedy.  The gunmen are forced to rethink their plans.  After all, there can be no witnesses – and now the girls must die too.  But Charlotte manages to escape.  Samantha, unfortunately, isn’t so lucky.  Now, 28 years later, Charlotte is a lawyer just like her father with problems of her own.  She unwittingly becomes involved in a terrifying school shooting which leaves the head teacher and a young girl dead.  The incident brings horrific memories of her own flooding back because the truth can’t be buried forever…

This book really is something quite special.  I was completely emotionally involved with it from start to finish and savoured every single word of The Good Daughter.  I didn’t want it to end and could have happily read another 500 pages or so.  There are so many brilliant moments within the story; young Charlotte’s palpable fear and indecision when the moment to escape comes – leaving her older sister to certain death, the wonderful twist fairly early on in the book that you just don’t see coming, the relationship between Charlotte and her father, when Lenore, Rusty’s secretary’s, story is revealed to the reader.  So many fantastic little touches that when added together make something truly magnificent.  It’s also very dark with a number of terrifying and upsetting scenes.

Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would.  It does include some very harrowing and disturbing scenes which involve a young Charlotte and her attackers.  I don’t want to give any spoilers away but it’s important you know that these scenes are distressing.  I fell in love with so many of the characters in The Good Daughter and I still, after having read this book a few months ago now, remember them vividly.  A book which will stay with me for a long time to come and will most likely feature in my top ten books of the year list.  Highly recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of The Good Daughter.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter was published in the UK by Harper Collins and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |


karin slaughter.jpgKarin Slaughter is one of the world’s most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 37 languages, with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her eighteen novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Town and the instant New York Times bestselling novels Pretty Girls and The Good Daughter. A native of Georgia, Karin currently lives in Atlanta. Her novels Cop TownThe Good Daughterand Pieces of Her are all in development for film and television.

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Author photo and bio © https://www.karinslaughter.com/

#BookReview | Halloween: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella @TitanBooks #Halloween


“The official novelization of the highly anticipated revamp of the classic horror film Halloween.

In 1978, Laurie Strode survived an encounter with Michael Myers, a masked figure who killed her friends and terrorized the town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night. Myers was later gunned down, apprehended and committed to Smith’s Grove State Hospital.

For forty years, memories of that nightmarish ordeal have haunted Laurie and now Myers is back once again on Halloween, having escaped a routine transfer, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. This time, Laurie is prepared with years of survival training to protect herself, her daughter Karen and her granddaughter Allyson, a teenager separated from her family and enjoying Halloween festivities.”

Woohooo! I love a horror novel. Particularly when I’m in a bit of a reading slump which I have been of late. The folk at Titan Books contacted me about reading a copy of Halloween: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella and I jumped at the chance. This is the movie novelisation of the most recent Halloween film released last year and it was a joy to read (a scary nail-biting, nerve-shredding joy!)! I received a free copy of this book but that has in no way influenced my review.

So I have a confession to make. This is bound to lose me a few followers but hey, honesty is the best policy….right? I have never seen any of the Halloween films. I’m going to take this a step further now and make matters even worse. I don’t actually watch horror films because I’m a wimp. I get my horror kicks from the brilliant horror novels I read. Shall I get my coat? 😂 What I do know however is that the Halloween franchise is incredibly popular and Michael Myers is as scary AF! I also have a bit of a thing for ‘final girls’ and Laurie Strode is the ultimate final girl. Am I right? And that’s what I loved about this book, the focus on Laurie and the long-term effects of that terrifying first meeting with Myers back in 1978.

Forty years have passed since that fateful first meeting and Laurie Strode is now a grandmother. Not your average, warm and squishy, ‘run-of-the-mill’ grandmother though. She has lived her life preparing for the day Myers will return. Her family think she’s crazy as the knife-wielding maniac who attacked her all those years ago is safely locked away in a high-security establishment. But Laurie knows it’s not over…

It was fascinating to read about Laurie’s life (or rather, the lack of it). How she has built her own high-security fortress, in particular how affected her daughter Karen was by her strange upbringing and how, as a result, Karen is determined to raise her own daughter, Allyson, differently. But Laurie knows not to let her guard down. It’s only a matter of time before Myers strikes again and this time she has a family to protect as well.

Halloween is full-on, incredibly tense and there is always something happening. I loved how the author was able to to make me feel on edge and nervous about what Myers was up to even when he didn’t feature in the scene. I had a constant sense of impending doom, just waiting for something bad (really BAD!) to happen and I loved it!

Would I recommend this book? I would! It’s gory and gruesome but that should come as no surprise. I have read other horror movie novelisations (without seeing the movie, obviously!) and this is one of my favourites. I was on edge throughout and was disappointed that the book had to end. Terrifying, intense and oh so good.

I chose to read and review a copy of Halloween: The Official Movie Novelization. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Halloween: The Official Movie Novelization by John Passarella was published in the UK by Titan Books on 23rd October 2018 and is available in paperback, ebook and audio formats (please note, some of the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |


john passarella.jpg

I am a married father of three, and reside in Logan Township, New Jersey. Currently, I write full-time (that is, when I’m not working on business, my website design and author promotion business, AuthorPromo.com). While I enjoy writing in the genres of dark fantasy, supernatural thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy and mystery, I have been concentrating on horror and supernatural stories in recent years.

The co-authored Wither was my first published novel. Columbia Pictures purchased the film rights to Wither in a preemptive, pre-publication bid. Wither won the Bram Stoker Award in 2000 for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. I followed Wither with the media tie-ins Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Ghoul Trouble (2000) and Angel: Avatar (2001).

Next came my stand-alone sequel to Wither, Wither’s Rain (2003). In 2004, I had two novels published, Angel: Monolith and Wither’s Legacy and two standalone novels, Kindred Spirit (2006) and Shimmer(2009), available from Amazon.com and the Passarella Author Store.

I’ve written three original Supernatural (CW) tie-in novels for Titan Books, Night Terror (2011), Rite of Passage (2012), and—my most recent novelSupernatural: Cold Fire (2016), which was preceded by a Grimm tie-in: Grimm: The Chopping Block (2014), based on the hit NBC TV series.

Author Links: | Website | Twitter |

Author Image and Bio Copyright © John Passarella