#BlogTour ~ Dead in the Water by Simon Bower @SimonBowerBooks @Damppebbles

Welcome to the final stop on the blog tour for Dead in the Water by Simon Bower.

Dead in the Water was published on 9th May 2018.

dead in the water

Was it murder, suicide or an accident? Who will be next to die? 

Six international friends all appear to be successful, albeit to different levels. A human rights’ lawyer, an IT geek, a businessman, a waitress, a phone guy and a physiotherapist. None of them are known to the police. 

One of them must know what happened that fateful night on the catamaran. 

Agent Georges Fournier is assigned the case in the French resort town near Antibes. He’s short on time, with a growing health problem and a District Attorney who just wants the case closed as accidental. But he’s not letting go. 

Chrissie is a single mother and respected flight attendant in New York. When she finds out who her father is, she’s ecstatic and wants to meet him. 

But within a week she’d wish she’d never known. 

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A big thank you to Emma Welton for inviting me onto the blog tour. I purchased the book so my review is my own and unbiased in any way.

Dead in the Water is an incredibly fast paced story that I was gripped with from the first page. Although there are a lot of characters to begin with, you do begin to slowly pick up on a sense of what they are like and what we can expect of them from the first few chapters. Simon Bowers has written some incredibly difficult characters to like – always the sign of a good writing style when an author can make you feel different emotions towards the people they are writing about!

We follow the story from completely different chapters which are told from the main characters and their points of view, all completely different so you are never really too sure who to believe or trust! To make it even more interesting, the timeline starts from the day the dead body is found in the water and then it is switched up to the preceding weeks before the discovery. I think this was written perfectly. Just enough to confuse you but although enough to keep you guessing in trying to work out what caused everything to go so wrong.

The pace of this story is perfect and doesn’t really let up which you don’t really want as you try to pick up little clues along the way. I wasn’t very successful and kept having to change my second guessing of how I thought things were heading towards.

Fast paced and very enjoyable – it’s definitely a book I could see having a sequel…!

If you’ve missed any of the stops on the blog tour, have a look at the other bloggers who were involved….

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About the Author


British and Canadian writer Simon Bower has spent his adult life global living. In 2018, his debut fiction work Dead in the Water was published in paperback and eBook by Middle Farm Press. 

He picked up many of the stimuli for Dead in the Water from his periods living in North America, France, and Holland. An unfulfilled love of sailing inspired the fateful catamaran scenes on the Côte d’Azur, although in real life that was set on Australia’s East Coast, and no-one died. Time in the Philippines helped develop the Boracay chapters while the Oxford and London venues are his bread and butter from growing up in the UK. 

Simon’s a keen home chef and adores a slow cooked red curry – hot from the outset with a surprising kick in the tail. He despises being served up literary ready meals – warmed up quickly and predictably bland throughout. 

Simon currently lives in France, near the Swiss border, where his young family, the mountains, acrylic paint and sharpened skis keep him in regular mischief. His influences and favourite authors include: Iain Banks, William Boyd, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Grisham, Terry Hayes, Peter James, Dean Koontz, Peter May and Stieg Larsson.

Simon loves hearing from readers, through Amazon and Goodreads reviews, and @simonbowerbooks on Facebook and Twitter.


#Review ~ The Fifth to Die by J.D Barker @jdbarker @HQstories @HQDigital

Welcome to my review of The Fifth to Die by J.D Barker.

The Fifth to Die was published in eBook on 10th July 2018 (and in paperback on 27 December 2018), by HQ and is the highly anticipated follow up to The Fourth Monkey.

The Fifth to Die: A gripping, page-turner of a crime thriller (A Detective Porter novel) by [Barker, J.D.]

In the midst of one of the worst winters Chicago has seen in years, the body of missing teenager Ella Reynolds is discovered under the surface of a frozen lake.

She’s been missing for three weeks… the lake froze over three months ago.

Detective Sam Porter and his team are brought in to investigate but it’s not long before another girl goes missing. The press believes the serial killer, Anson Bishop, has struck again but Porter knows differently. The deaths are too different, there’s a new killer on the loose.

Porter however is distracted. He’s still haunted by Bishop and his victims, even after the FBI have removed him from the case. His only leads: a picture of a female prisoner and a note from Bishop: ‘Help me find my mother. I think it’s time she and I talked.’

As more girls go missing and Porter’s team race to stop the body count rising, Porter disappears to track down Bishop’s mother and discover that the only place scarier than the mind of a serial killer is the mind of the mother from which he came.

Perfect for fans of Helen Fields, Val McDermid and Jo Nesbo this gripping and twisted thriller will have you wondering, how do you stop a killer when he’s been trained from birth?

* * * * * * * *

Wow! I’m still shaken to the core after trying to process this book………especially the ending. I feel like I’ve had my socks blown off and I’m stumbling around in a stupor…!

J D Barker has definitely succeeded in producing a sequel to rival the first in the series featuring the notorious 4MK Killer.  We are thrown straight into a police investigation and follow on from the events of The Fourth Monkey which are still haunting all involved, none more so than Detective Sam Porter. When a teenage girl disappears and is then discovered buried under ice, Porter feels like it is definitely a step away from the Fourth Monkey case…..or is it? As the weather gets worse, it mirrors the atmosphere of the book.

This is definitely not a story you should read if you haven’t already delved into the murky (but always interesting!) world of 4MK, so I would get acquainted with The Fourth Monkey right away as we really delve into the mind of the main man!

This was such an enjoyable book to read that I completely missed the clues that were scattered along the way (and I am sure there are many!). I was completely blindsided when I had finished. I had to take a deep breath and try to calm my already shattered nerves. I won’t really go into the storyline as this is something that needs to be read, discovered and savoured by the reader without hints on what to expect! I will however say that this was clever, dark and completely twisted and will not leave you with a moments peace as you desperately try to finish this book.

What an ending though…..I felt shattered. Where do we go from here? Fans are definitely left hanging and waiting for the next instalment….(I can’t wait – I hope the author is writing fast!)

About the Author

J.D. Barker

J.D. Barker is the internationally best-selling author of FORSAKEN, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and winner of the New Apple Medalist Award. His work has been compared to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. His latest novel, THE FOURTH MONKEY, released in June 2017.

His third novel, THE FIFTH TO DIE, releases June 2018. He has been asked by the Stoker family to coauthor the forthcoming prequel to DRACULA due out in fall 2018.

His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television.

Barker currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, and their two dogs, both of whom sit outside his office door daily, eagerly awaiting his next novel.


#BlogTour ~ The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson @millyjohnson @ simonschusteruk @ed_pr

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the very wonderful new book by Milly Johnson, The Mother of all Christmases.

The Mother of all Christmases was published on 15th November 2018 by Simon and Schuster.

Mother of All Christmases cover

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time.  But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them … 

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child.  But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable. 

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself.  But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

* * * * * * * *

Thank you to Annabelle at Ed PR, the publisher and Netgalley for issuing me with my review copy and for inviting me onto the blog tour.

Oh Milly Johnson……..you have done it again! I was originally going to try and save this book until Christmas but…….well it’s Milly Johnson and you just can’t keep her book unread on the shelf can you?!

I have read all of Milly’s books over the years and as I’m also a Yorkshire lass, I get a certain amount of comfort from her books and characters. It was an absolute joy to read her new offering  and I found myself becoming so attached to the characters, that I was bereft when I had finished. (If you have read any of Milly’s other books, you will be pleased to read about some of her other characters and places that pop up in the storyline).

We follow three completely different characters, the now married and pregnant Eve and Jacques Glace from A Winter Flame (another firm favourite), Annie and her husband Joe who had all but given up hope of ever becoming parents and Palma who is carrying a surrogate baby for a couple who are not able to have children. As in most books, nothing is smooth sailing and Milly Johnson has provided us with the perfect storyline to keep the reader absolutely captivated with the characters that you are slowly becoming incredibly fond of.

The characters do eventually all attend the Christmas Pudding Club which is exactly that! Set up by a doctor, the Christmas Pudding Club is somewhere for the mothers to meet and receive help, advice on what to expect (the things that some of the other expectant mothers who already have children come out with are absolutely hilarious!) and a lot of humour. These chapters were incredibly funny and more often than not, I would be laughing to myself on the bus!

Each character has their own story that could easily be a book of their own. Palma’s story is particularly heartbreaking as we follow her on a journey of emotions that follow on from her childhood and had me in tears at times. Although this was slightly harder to read, it added to the story and showed us another side of the author who handled and wrote this with sensitivity.

Another highly recommended book from one of my favourite authors!

To follow the rest of the blog tour…

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About the Author

Milly Johnson author photo Credit Charlotte Murphy

Milly Johnson was born, raised and still lives in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. As well as being an author of 13 published novels, 2 short story books and 2 novellas, she is also a copywriter for the greetings card industry, a joke-writer, a columnist, after dinner speaker, poet, BBC newspaper reviewer, and a sometimes BBC radio presenter.

She won the RoNA for Best Romantic Comedy Novel of 2014 and 2016 and the Yorkshire Society award for Arts and Culture 2015.

She writes about love, life, friendships and that little bit of the magic that sometimes crops up in real life. She likes owls, cats, meringues, handbags and literary gifts – but hates marzipan. She is very short.

Milly’s website is http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk. She is on Twitter @millyjohnson and has a Facebook page (just google Book Page of Milly Johnson).

She also has a monthly newsletter http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/newsletter with exclusive, news, offers and competitions.