Book Review: “Secrets and Lies” by Lynda Renham

New home, new village, old secrets… and a haunting spirit?

Flora and Adam McIntosh move to the country. It’s a setting they’re not used to, but they absolutely love it, or at least Adam does. Flora isn’t so keen. She’s torn. She can admire the home’s charming quaintness, but she can’t shake off the feeling of a presence in the home.

The proud villagers are welcoming, but they’re also suffocating. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone knows everyone’s business. Everyone’s doors are open, literally, even if you don’t want them to be.

I did enjoy this book. The premise was great. Wherever Flora was, she wasn’t safe. Nowhere was safe for her. This added a lot of mystery and fear of what was going to happen next. The mix of overfamiliar villagers, secrets, Flora’s inquisitiveness, and a haunting spirit made this story addictive.

There were however a few things about the narrative I didn’t enjoy. Reflection and thoughts. Flora has many of them during the story. They were mostly following the line of questioning of: Is it this? Is it that? Could this happen? Or could this? Maybe this person did this. Maybe that person did that. It was a little much. Let the reader think about these questions, not Flora. Or not Flora as regularly as she does throughout the book.

There was also a twist which I DID NOT see coming. But as I reflect (not as much as Flora) on it, I feel the author cheated a little bit here and there to make this twist impossible to guess, which kind of ruins the fun. A character can’t react a certain way to something and then later in the book it’s revealed that same character already knew about it. Unless I’m misunderstanding the scenes, I would say that’s cheat storytelling. I can’t say too much more without giving away this twist (it’s not the big twist). Hopefully those of you who have read it know what I mean.

Overall, a fair 3 star rating. 4 star for the premise itself, brought down by my little doubts. 

Secrets and Lies by Lynda Renham

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Deception: A Love of Lies Reviewed!

Sorry it’s been a while again folks, I’ve had quite a busy New Year so far with life and work – but I’m very happy to see Deception continuing to entertain people.

When people read Deception, one key element particularly stands out to them: Characterisation. It’s a theme in this book that is the key to Deception‘s appeal. With an intriguing main character (Billy Allen) and a beautiful, peaceful setting of Lavingsham, this unique story allows us to become part of Billy’s life. 

The paragraph below taken from my reader’s review sums up the book, and will ultimately tell you if my psychological thriller is a book for you. 

It is a compelling read, drawing you into Billy’s house. T. J. Blake knows how to keep you glued to the story, in dire need of finding out who/what Billy really is. Billy and Eve are quite complex, despite the mixed emotions I had about them. The story comprises authentic characters, interesting turns, and has a good flow.

Read the full review nowhttps://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com/2017/01/05/deception-a-love-of-lies-by-t-j-blake/

Deception Psychological Thriller T. J. Blake

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards – Endurance

Endurance was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what the readers thought of it. 
Star Rating: 3 stars

“A very enjoyable, fun read. Exciting, ever scary.” 

“The plot is exciting and I liked the London setting.” 

“Very exciting with lots of twists and turns.” – The Wishing Shelf Awards

Writing Style 6/10

Plot/Story/Contents 7/10

Of the 16 readers…

8 thought the cover was good or excellent.

7 would read another book by T. J. Blake

12 felt the plot was the best part of the book.

Endurance is available on Amazon now! 

  

My Holiday Readings: Karin Slaughter and Liz Jensen

Karin Slaughter – Cop Town & Blindsighted

Cop Town

Blurb: Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD… – Goodreads

I did like this story. It was a solid detective novel which was hard to put down at times, however it didn’t blow me away. I had a lot of suspicions as I read the book, a lot of which turned out to be the sneaky twist inserted by Karin Slaughter.
An average read. 3/5.

Blindsighted

Blurb: A small Georgia town erupts in panic when a young college professor is found brutally mutilated in the local diner. But it’s only when town pediatrician and coroner Sara Linton does the autopsy that the full extent of the killer’s twisted work becomes clear.

A typical Karin Slaughter novel in all the right ways. This was much better than Cop Town in my opinion, but I thought that it was slightly too graphic and violent. The murder at the beginning of the book is certainly not a murder for the faint hearted to read. It did affect me in such a way that it had me thinking and imagining the feelings and the pain of the murder itself; I often thought about the circumstances and imagined how it would feel.
It was a good book with a good set of twists and turns and an element of difference throughout the book. I thought that it was a little too graphic at the beginning, but still had me wanting to read more. 4/5

Liz Jensen – The Rapture

Blurb: It is a June unlike any other before, with temperatures soaring to asphyxiating heights. All across the world, freak weather patterns—and the life-shattering catastrophes they entail—have become the norm. The twenty-first century has entered a new phase.

I liked the characterisation in this, and I enjoyed following the story of Gabrielle and Bethany; I liked the relationship between them too. Although not always pleasant, you could tell that Gabrielle did care about Bethany.
I feel that to enjoy this book you have to be in the right mind set. You need to be open minded and accepting of Bethany.
Overall it had many questions form as you progressed through the book, and it certainly got you contemplating throughout the book.
A decent read, I would give it a 3.5/5

I would probably recommend Blindsighted and The Rapture to friends, and potentially Cop Town if you’re a fan of detective kind of novels.

If you’ve read them, do not hesitate to let me know what you thought of them.

My First Post – 4th Estate

I am now one of the managing editor contributors to the site 4th Estate.

Here’s my first contribution to the site:

http://fourthest8.com/2015/03/walking-dead-s5-ep12-review-thoughts/

Have a read and let me know what you think if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead!

10/10 review for Endurance: Apocalypse

I am happy to share with you a book review that I have just received for the second instalment of the Endurance Series, Endurance: Apocalypse!
http://www.thecultden.com/2015/02/book-review-endurance-apocalypse.html?spref=tw&m=1

Thanks to Gemma and the Cult Den for the fantastic review!

As noted both Endurance and Endurance: Apocalypse will be free to download from Amazon this Saturday. Endurance for 5 days and Endurance: Apocalypse for 2.

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Positive Reviews for Endurance: Apocalypse!

I am very happy with my two latest reviews for my third novel and second book of the Endurance Series Endurance: Apocalypse!
Below are the two reviews, I have omitted parts of the reviews (potential spoilers!) BUT if you want to check out the full reviews you can one is from amazon.co.uk and the other at:  http://therebelliouspoet.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/endurance-delivers-once-again.html?spref=tw

Endurance: Apocalypse - Out Now!

“As a fan of the first book, I can safely say that this sequel lived up to all expectations. It did everything that we have come to love and expect from an Endurance novel (and a T.J Blake novel for that matter). Particularly at the end, there are some really huge twists and turns, and reveals that provide genuine surprises to those of us who can normally predict an ending. For example, with no spoilers, but finding out the identity of some the ‘elites’ provide us with such glee and shock for those who did get invested with the character.”

Endurance: Apocalypse is action packed from start to finish, picking up exactly where the last novel ended.  I won’t kid you: this is a bloody book, but its not without purpose.  Miller’s war is devastating London and, as the body count continues to rise, the more power he gains.”

Fancy reading it?

You can read Book 1 of the Endurance Series Endurance right now for free by clicking Free-ebook

Enjoy!

Time to read ENDURANCE!

Yesterday was the first time that I have posted a teaser from ENDURANCE: APOCALYPSE (Endurance 2). I hope that you saw it and enjoyed it.

Now is the time to begin the Endurance Series if you have not yet, ENDURANCE: APOCALYPSE is coming really soon now!

So visit getBook.at/B00E8Q9QCU to get your hands on a copy of ENDURANCE.

Endurance Reviews:

“Really enjoyed this book! Didn’t see the ending coming at all, which makes a nice change from most things I read. Very good story line with lots of twists and turns. Great characters. Overall a great read, have recommended it to friends and family who have also enjoyed it. Can’t wait for more books from this author!”

“Endurance is T.J Blakes first published novel and if Endurance is anything to go by not his last. I picked this book up while it was free in a sale, although I can say now that I would have picked it up for a price in an instant. It is well written, doesn’t lack for imagination and has a really good story which is delivered perfectly.
If you are on the fence about this book, get off the fence, onto your kindle or the amazon website and buy this book.”

“This book is fantastic! I literally could not put it down until I had finished! The twists and turns kept me guessing which is great for this kind of book as so many these days are predictable! The state of tension created throughout the book was impressive, I don’t know if I have ever been on the edge of my seat whilst reading before! I am busy recommending this to everyone I know and am looking forward to future books!!”

“This was a crazy story full of nonstop action (like on every page) and unexpected moments that just left you thinking wow. There were several twists and turns and it moved fast, like an action movie.”

“Loved the beginning, but starts slowing down and gets a little complex and creepy. I enjoyed the story and will read more from this author.”

“Love the book, and will read more from this Author.”

Coming Soon!
Coming Soon!

My debut book review with The Review Group

I am part of the review team at The Review – a book reviewing blog that supports indie authors.

Follow the link to read my first book review of the book ‘A Strange Metamorphosis’

http://thereviewgroup.blogspot.com/2014/09/book-review-tom-blake-on-strange.html?m=1

Endurance gets Reviewed!

It is great hearing what your readers think of your books. You get your positive, mediocre and negative reviews. I treat all of them the same, I take on criticism and try to improve on them, but I also take the praise and make sure I pursue it to make it as good next time around. 

This review however is absolutely amazing. I am very honoured to receive such praise. So I thank you to The Cult Den and Gemma for writing this great review. 

Here’s the link to the great review: http://www.thecultden.com/2014/08/book-review-endurance.html

Available from Amazon and Waterstones
Available from Amazon and Waterstones
Coming Soon!
Coming Soon!