Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Jog On: How Running Saved My Life

Jog on-How Running Saved my Life- Bella Mackie- Running/divorce/athletics
It’s wonderful when you read a book and know that someone “ gets you” . Bella
began running after her short lived marriage broke down. A life long sufferer of
agoraphobia and anxiety issues made most things a challenge let alone going out
for an activity. I believe we all run for a reason and how and why we started can
be anything from a nightmare to a comedy. (This book has lots of light moments
in it to make you smile).  Mental health is one of the big reasons for many.
As Bella says “your body takes your mind along with it”. If you are not sure about
this- try counting in sevens down from a hundred whilst running- harder than you
might think- thinking you can do whilst you run- however your mind will literally
have a mind of its own and take you to calmer places. There are lots of stats to
tell us how good exercise is for us not just in body but in mind too. Bella takes
us though some of them and they make for very interesting reading. I empathise
. Having recently been diagnosed with complex-PTSD, running is my best and
go-to therapy. I can think of bad things when running but before I know it
I am thinking of a hundred good things as well. There is an excellent section
on definitions of types of mental health issues to put things in perspective.
For example OCD is not just liking your towels folded in a particular way
. For anyone who thinks they have a little more than “ a little of the blues”
and for any runner this is a very interesting read.
A brave book and a brilliant one 5**
For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Dear Daughter of a Narcissistic Mother- Danu Morrigan

OMG! Boy oh boy and every other exclamation I could ever think of. I wish I had seen this
thirty years ago. From the very outset it “got me” and understood my issues with my
mother. This was like pulling back a curtain revealing what my life has been like up to
this point. About 30 pages in I gave it the title of my new found bible, so inspiring are
the words between the pages in how to deal with these terrible people who blight
lives behind closed doors. If you haven’t experienced a narcissist (and it is a
diagnosable medical condition as well as “just” a trait) it’s hard to explain the dramatic
effects that they can have on people- people they are “supposed” to love and care for.
Shame, guilt, low self esteem, never being right, never being loved not even
appreciated, are just a few of the feelings heaped on their victims. Enough!
This book is about recovering and dealing with them and what a book it is.
Each chapter is a letter (which you can sign up for on the website to get one letter
per week) from the author dealing with an issue that a victim is likely to come
across. Eg Are you a bird trapped against a window- the idea of doing the same
thing will result in the same outcome when the window doesn’t and won’t change.
We keep going to them again and again hoping that this time they will be
receptive/loving/kind /caring and knowing deep down that nothing will change.
We  believed her constant message that she is perfect and we were the ones so
flawed it caused all the problems. Narcissists will not change, cannot change or
even see that there is anything to change. We keep knocking on the door
hoping against all hope that they will change and say something nice, maybe
appreciate us even a little, and then realise the door is a solid wall of rock that
will never, ever open. I can’t give this book either enough praise or enough
stars as it has opened my eyes to a situation and given me tools to be able to
deal with it rather than being the very upset frustrated, gaslighted person I
had become. Having read this, I was able to stand up to her for the
first time in 50 years. Danu- thank you just doesn’t cover it.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Death’s Dark Veil - Patricia Dixon- Cover reveal

Secrets, lies and evil lie in wait.

Ivy and Georgie have secrets and pasts riddled with shame and betrayal. On a cold February day, both women leave home hoping to rebuild their lives, not knowing their worlds will soon collide.

When fate eventually brings them to Tenley House, the home of a bitter, domineering matriarch who controls her fickle son and terrorises her adoptive granddaughter, the women find themselves in danger. Behind the facade of propriety, amidst secrets and lies, the truth will unfold when evil is awakened…

Hiding in plain sight and sworn to avenge the wrongs of the past, something stalks the corridors of Tenley. It listens and waits patiently, lurking in shadows, tormenting its prey and when the time is right, begins to strike down the occupants of Tenley, one by one...

Deceptively dark with a creeping sense of menace, this is the tale of two young women drawn together by circumstance and heartbreak.

Extract from Death’s Dark Veil

I wish I didn’t have to die here, in this decrepit place of death and sadness where every room is thick with dust and wicked secrets, but needs must. It serves a purpose, and once I have made my peace, I will be free. I long to go, even if it means joining my ghostly companions. They appeared soon after we arrived, an unwelcoming committee. At first I did think I was losing my mind or the drugs pumped into me were poisoning my brain. But I’ve got used to my spirit visitors and although I’d prefer they stayed away, I am sure they mean me no harm. They are just waiting, that’s all. And they are angry.
Of course I understand why, so I’ve tried to make amends, whispering apologies for my own weakness and perceived avarice, begging them to listen. Surely they can see my sorrow and just as they, there have been moments when I have known fear, so much fear. But it seems my penitence and suffering is not enough. They want more. To be precise, my impatient guests seek revenge but then again so do I.
 They haven’t arrived yet, tending to keep their distance during daylight hours so I attempt to stay awake. A few moments of respite from their constant haranguing is all I ask because when night falls and shadows fill the room, they gather in the corner over there, just by the armoire. One perches on the fauteuil chair, one paces the floor, one wrings her hands while the other who holds the baby, she just stands and stares.
Black crows, that’s what they are, emerging from the grey mist that seeps from the cracks in the warped floorboards, chilling the air. That’s how I know they are here. It reminds me of stepping into the cold store down in the cellar where if you tarry too long, the ice freezes your marrow. And although I have resolved to keep my eyes closed for as long as I can, I still feel their presence.
Their images are as real and defined as the last time I saw them in the flesh whereas now, they greet me from the periphery of another dimension, just out of reach. Dressed in the deepest black of mourning, it is the women who disconcert me most. I recognise them all from their stature and demeanour, just able to distinguish their features. Their respectful garb is macabre and causes me to shudder. It always did. Each woman is wrapped in death’s dark veil, watching me from behind a gossamer sheath yet I know them still, despite such theatrical concealment.
The one who wrings her hands stands obediently at the side of the chair where is seated The Crone. She has reverted to type. Even Holy Communion hasn’t softened her and she irritates me still with the tap tap tapping of her dratted cane, sardonically marking whatever time I have left. And then I see him, pacing the floor, the only one for whom I feel deep sorrow and longing. I did love him you know? We loved each other so much, in our own way. He hasn’t changed a bit, in manner or devilishly handsome looks. His eyes won’t meet that of the woman who confers with The Crone, and I know why. He cannot bear his deceit of her, agitated further by the threat of confrontation so he remains weak, even in death.
But it is she, the one holding the baby, who I cannot bear to look upon for she has been wronged the most, and so cruelly. She stands to the rear of the group, still an outsider, looking in, and this belated observance makes me want to weep. Yet amidst my sadness and regret for this woman, I am grateful too for the care she gives the baby who belongs not to her. From the first time the visions appeared, I watched her soothe the crying infant, rocking it to and fro and it occurred to me that she might be claiming her pound of flesh. In truth this supposition does not vex, if anything it makes me hopeful, absolved even. The soul liveth on. If it makes her happy or recompensed, then so be it.
The bedside clock chimes six and I know that the light of this spring day will soon fade and despite my insistence that the lamps are left on, my attempt to ward off the visitors is, I accept, feeble and futile. They will return again tonight more so because the end is near. I know this. The clearer they become the closer I am to death. I sense it. Perhaps they are draining my life source and if so they can take it, be my guests. But before I am allowed to depart I have to keep my whispered promise to them. I must make things right. They crave reparation in this mortal life before the judgment of the next so I shall set things in motion and then destiny can choose its own course. Even the smallest reprisal might be all that is needed to allow them rest, so we all can rest.

Author Bio
Patricia Dixon was born in Manchester where she still lives with her husband. They have two grown up children and one grandson.
Ignoring her high school reports and possibly sound advice from teachers, Patricia shunned the world of academia and instead, stubbornly pursued a career in fashion. Once the sparkle of London life wore off she returned north and embarked on a new adventure, that of motherhood.
Now, almost thirty years later she has acquiesced to the wise words of her elders and turned her hand to writing. Patricia has written a total of eight novels, the latest is due for release in March 2019.

Amazon Author Page


Email - dixon.patricia@icloud.com.

Facebook Links

Author Page

Profile Page

Thursday, 21 February 2019


Time will Tell- Eva Jordan-Family life/ Mystery
Hunter Black is begin reported as dead and one family are glad to hear the news as he
attacked their daughter Cassie. Lizzie, Cassie’s mother lost her father a year ago and still
misses him terribly. The family are questioned by the police and no one is quite sure
where anyone else was on the day that he died. We learn a more about Salocin
Lemalf (father and grandfather to the family) named after Nicolas Flamel who was
attributed to be able to turn scrap into gold and knew the secret of immortality.
I loved Salocin in the previous books( 183 times a Year and All The Colours
In Between) and it was lovely to learn more about him. When he met his wife
and when Lizzie was small, what life was like for them and what he got up to.
One of his famous phrases was “It’s not a life, it’s an adventure”. How right he
was. Each person in the book (and the previous ones) is a real character which
shines through the pages. This is a who-dunnit, but it’s more a tale of family
and relationships both past and present and how these affect our daily lives.
The ties that bind us are not always blood and there is that deep down
feeling of togetherness amongst the characters. This is the third book in the
series and whilst it would stand alone it makes more sense having read
at least the one before (All The Colours In Between).

Of love and life, of laughter and tragedy and how the past can affect the

future. A truly wonderful read, a real gem of a book.

For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

My Last Lie

My Last Lie - Ella Drummond- psychological

l was very heavily pregnant when she had an accident and lost her baby. Her husband
Theo although very supportive chose this time to have a short lived affair. Pilar ended
up in therapy. We know she had a secret at the time but don’t know what it is.
A year or so later Theo surprises her by taking her to a new house, their new
start. She knew they were going to move but not where. She had always wanted
a house by the coast and although this one is a short distance it is her perfect
house and even has a studio for her to do her art work. On arrival odd things
begin to happen to Pilar, silent phone calls, pictures altered around, things she can’t
quite account for. As she is now pregnant again she puts it down to baby brain but
knows that something is amiss- just not quite what. Her new friend Natalie is very
taken by Theo and when she finds her at his office she wonders if things are
beginning all over again. I loved this. I took to Pilar her situation of being in recovery
from a breakdown whilst knowing something eerie was going on. Theo I didn’t quite
trust somehow , rightly or wrongly. I guessed who the perpetrator was but this is
no way marred the book as there were so many unanswered questions. (that got
answered by the end - hence the 5*- if they weren’t I would have deducted at
least one star) The excellent standard of writing bringing them both vividly to life.
Pilar’s mother and her toxic voice and how Pilar does her very best to acquiesce
when she visits. A compelling read that I didn’t want to put down (real life hindrance).
A very enjoyable read 5*
For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.

New beginnings. Old secrets.

Theo and Pilar. The perfect couple.

Successful, beautiful and very much in love

Until a year ago - and the tragedy that nearly tore them apart.

When their baby died, a part of them died with him. 

Now they’re trying to rebuild themselves, moving to a stunning house in rural Cornwall. 

But someone knows all their secrets – and will stop at nothing to disturb their fragile peace. 

Theo and Pilar are about to learn that you can try to hide – but you can never outrun your past

A unputdownable, gripping psychological thriller that will hook you until the final shocking twist. Fans of The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Wife Between Us will be captivated.  

New beginnings. Old secrets.

Author Bio:

Ella Drummond recently signed a two-book deal with Hera Books. Her first psychological thriller, My Last Lie will be published in February 2019 and is available for pre-order now.

She lives with her husband on the island of Jersey and you can follow her on Twitter @drummondella1 and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllaDrummondWrites/

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

THE FOUR OF US by Aine Toner -contemporary fiction/family life
Four women four lives. Two have been friends almost as long as they can remember and
the other two were gathered along the way. They know almost every nuance of each others
lives. So they think. Lucy has a partner and not of the gender the others think and she
is scared to tell them despite everything. to this end when they meet she suggests that
they take a friendship break for 6 months and then meet again and take it from there.
To her surprise two of the others are happy to go along with this. Lucy is normally the
quiet one so the others are a little surprised but perhaps give in more easily because
of this. Christine is happily married to Mark who is very keen to start a family.
Christine isn’t so sure and is sneakily taking her pill without him knowing.

I took to this book easily. I think we have all been in situations not only like this,
wanting to take a break from a pest of a friend but also in some of the other
scenarios described in the book. We can love the friendships of others without
wanting or needing them to take up every hour of every day. A friend in need
is a friend in deed, or the other version- a friend in need is a flipping nuisance!
A book about friendships, complications, life and its ups and downs.
A very girly read.
For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.

The Four of Us – blurb

Four Friends. Four Secrets.

When Lucy tells her friends they need break a from each other, Pippa, Colette and Christine are stunned - after all, Lucy is the quiet one, isn’t she?

As the four girls try to adjust to life without each other, none of them could have foreseen the consequences of mousy Lucy’s announcement that day in a swanky Belfast hotel…and as secrets start to come to light, the girls are all asking the same question: How well do you really know your friends?


Award winning editor Áine Toner has been at the helm of Ireland’s Woman’s Way magazine since 2008 and is also editorial director of Irish Tatler Man magazine. A Belfast native who lives in Dublin, her previous jobs included working for BBC Northern Ireland and a host of daily and local newspapers and magazines. 

She grew up in a house where books were very important and it was no surprise her academic life and career led to be constantly surrounded by words. She loves how the right phrasing can make a story come alive on a page. 

Áine has significant TV and radio experience, regularly contributing as a panellist on topics such as health, fashion, beauty, books and the soaps. She can be found on Twitter at @aineltoner where she uploads musings on television, stationery, books and cake.

Outside of journalism, she has been published in short story anthologies. Let’s Talk About Six is her first novel. 

Monday, 18 February 2019

Broken - Betsy Reavley -Crime/psychological

Oh wow! I almost read this in one sitting- I couldn’t put it down.Annabel has been
in a psychiatric home after suffering a breakdown. She has manic depression. Being
released to the care of her family home, she decides after a while to take herself off
for a few days, telling her family that she is staying with a friend. Whilst there she
meets Jude who seems to understand her as she off loads to him and he promises
to show her what freedom is and his own story. The town she is staying in has
recently had two young women murdered. Something Annabel knew but hadn’t
associated with her choice of location for her break. We get occasional glimpses
of a woman taken prisoner. Firstly trapped in the boot of a car and then in a cellar
with her hands and feet bound. This is Annabel's recurring nightmare, where she
can’t get away from her faceless tormentor and she awakes dripping in sweat to
find she is somewhere she knows, safe and secure.Oh boy! Betsy has written
some wonderful books, however this one takes it to a new level. Not an easy
read in parts and I won’t give too much away other than to say never
underestimate the power of the imagination. A stunning read, a clever plot.
One I most certainly will not forget in a hurry.
For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1
Amazon Top 1000 reviewer

Annabel, a troubled young woman trying to put her life back together, decides to take a trip to the Suffolk coast to clear her head and get away from her mother. But when she arrives in the little seaside town, she discovers a series of grisly murders have taken place and police are searching for a twisted killer. 

After a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger, Jude, the course of her life changes and soon she finds peace in a world away from the misery she has known.

But when Jude comes under suspicion from the police, and her idyllic world is threatened, Annabel’s happy existence starts to become a nightmare.

Can Annabel escape her painful past or is her fate sealed? And why is she haunted by horrific visions when she seems on the verge of finding happiness? 

This astonishing novel will take you on a shattering journey through Annabel’s fight for survival and will ask if the greatest threat we pose is to ourselves.

Suitable for over 18’s only. It contains graphic scenes some readers may find disturbing. 

(previously published under the title Beneath the Watery Moon)

About Betsy Reavley:
Author of The Quiet Ones, The Optician’s Wife, Murder at the Book Club, Murder in the Dark, Frailty, Carrion, Broken and the poetry collection The Worm in the Bottle. Betsy was born in Hammersmith, London.

As a child she moved around frequently with her family, spending time in London, Provence, Tuscany, Gloucestershire and Cambridgeshire.

She showed a flair for literature and writing from a young age and had a particular interest in poetry, of which she was a prolific consumer and producer.

In her early twenties she moved to Oxford where she would eventually meet her husband. During her time in Oxford her interests turned from poetry to novels and she began to develop her own unique style of psychological thriller.

Betsy says “I believe people are at their most fascinating when they are faced by the dark side of life. This is what I like to write about.”

Betsy Reavley currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, 2 children, dog and quail.

Betsy’s Social Media Links:
Twitter https://twitter.com/BetsyReavley @BetsyReavley

Saturday, 16 February 2019


Love me Tinder- Nicola May Romcom 99p on kindle ***

Laugh and smile (and cringe) at the antics of internet dating. Callie has split from her

 cheating husband after being together 12 years. Her social life is in the doldrums and

so she decides to join Tinder, the dating app. For anyone who has dated on the internet

 you will recognise some of the characters.for anyone who hasn’t had this experience -

 prepare to smile and grimace! The one who doesn’t look like his picture, Ok he did

 but twenty years ago. The one who is only there for one reason and the one who only

 talks about himself. The list goes on. Callie soon finds out the do’s and don’ts and

 how to read the characters behind the photographs. I loved this and had to smile and

 felt for Callie and also at Lady P- the African Grey parrot with a mind of her own

 and language to match! Love and life, divorce and trust. The ups and downs of life

 we all go through. A really really enjoyable read.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Five Bloody Hearts- Joy Ellis- Crime

Matt is a very likeable character and this book is no different. You take to him from
the start (it will stand alone but helps if you have read the previous one in the series
- I had but two years ago). He is shortly hoping to retire and waiting until his
replacement finishes her latest case. Meanwhile he has a call from the fiancee of a
serial killer, one who she says has now repented. Matt is sceptical to say the least.
The news is that he believes that there will be a series of copycat murders,
something he only told to one of his inmates who has now confided in the potential
killer. IS this all a clever ruse and the man behind bars trying to gain something?
There is also a gangland turf war between the Lithuanians and Latvians and two
bodies have been found with the same tattoo. No-one dare speak out, in fear for
their own safety. Ooooh!!! Joy has done it again. Within a few pages you are
drawn in, and time flies as you turn more and more wanting to know what
happened next. A brilliant read, an entertaining read.
One I didn’t want to end.
For more reviews please see my blog http://nickibookblog.blogspot.co.uk/
or follow me on Twitter @nickijmurphy1

Amazon Top 1000 reviewer.

Five Bloody Hearts (DI Matt Ballard #2) by Joy Ellis
From multiple #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a mystery that will have you 
glued from first page to last, with a truly shocking conclusion. A killer mystery to
 make your heart race this Valentine's.


Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt 
she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiancé, the infamous serial killer
 Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s
 horrific methods.

Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard.
 Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed
 man who wants to help the police.

But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be?

And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian
 migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a 
Tree of Life tattoo. The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is
 this gang war or something even more sinister?


The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders.
 And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a
 heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, 
Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

The Setting
England's rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding 
tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. 
The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a
 good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, 
high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile 
soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do,
 perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens 
become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that
 you do not want to be at night.




 JOY ELLIS – Author Bio

1 million books sold and rising!
"I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!
And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!" 

The Note

The Note- Andrew Barrett- 5* A short story written in the first person by CSI Eddie Collins. Eddie is the sort of bloke who calls a s...