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#Project365 2021 week 30

Day 206: poor Matt is self isolating but at least he has Kids Agaist Maturity to keep him amused!

 

Day 207: we’ve been making the most of the river this week. I wanted Anya and Zach to get outside without making Matthew feel bad about missing out

Day 208: swans and their cygnets led to a retelling of the Ugly Duckling on our walk

Day 209: Anya found StickMan!

Day 210: flood! We had to go home and change into our wellies when we discovered the path under water!

Day 211: the cows had moved field

Day 212: my treat this week has been this vegan hot chocolate. I can’t believe a week of summer holiday is already gone 🙁

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Little Girl Taken, by Wendy Dranfield

Little Girl Taken book cover

 

TRIGGER WARNING: this book deals with teen suicide and rape
Detective Madison Harper is on her way to her first day back as a cop afterher conviction and imprisonment for murder when she discovers a crashed car with a baby on the backseat. There is blood in the front seat but no sign of the baby’s mother. A frantic search ensues but more than one person disappeared that night…
Little Girl Taken is the third book by Wendy Dranfield to feature Madison Harper (I have previously reviewed the second book in the series, Cry For Help).
Madison is anxious about her return to policing but doesn’t have time to dwell on her emotions as she launches straight into a case. Her search for the baby’s mother discovers links with a past crime and a novelist. Madison’s personal and professional lives blur as her friend Nate Monroe is again targeted by his nemesis. Her boss wants her to arrest Nate but her loyalty is split so she helps him as much as she can. She also has to deal with working alongside the detective who arrested her.
Meanwhile, Madison is struggling to cope with her reunion with her son Owen after her years in prsion. Her bitterness towards the social worker is compounded when the woman is involved in trying to foster the baby from the crash. Madison is a curious mix of vulnerable and feisty that makes her a more relatable character.
The book begins with two girls committing suicide and it takes a while before the connection between this event and the main plot is established. There are some references to rape and descriptions of murder victims but these are not graphic. It is the emotional repercussions that are fully described and engage with the reader. The story arc for Nate concerning his murdered girlfriend does not conclude although he does find some resolution.
Little Girl Taken is a gripping, race against time thriller, with vulnerable yet determined lead characters.

Little Girl Taken blog tour banner

MEDIA PACK
Book: Little Girl Taken 
Author: Wendy Dranfield 
Pub Day: July 29th 2021
Buy Link:
https://geni.us/B093C9HN79cover
About the Book: 
Rain rattles through the trees as she leans into the car, careful not to touch anything. Two pretty blue eyes stare back through the dark, wide with relief, or maybe fear. A baby girl, wrapped up in a pink snowsuit, reaches out a tiny hand. Her mother is nowhere to be found…
An abandoned baby is the last thing Detective Madison Harper expects to find as she drives to her first day back at work since the case that ripped her life apart. But as she cradles the shivering child close, all her instincts tell her there’s something more sinister at play. Then she finds a lone sneaker down a muddy trail nearby, the laces spattered with blood…
In a town as small as Lost Creek, Colorado, the baby and the shoe are quickly identified as belonging to Kacie Larson, a waitress at the local diner who quietly stashed away her tips to make a better life for her daughter. A mother herself, Madison can’t believe that Kacie would just abandon her child, but she also can’t convince her new team. Not for the first time, Madison feels she must go it alone to get the job done.
But when a body is pulled from a nearby lake, and it’s not Kacie, the case takes an agonizing turn. Is this missing mother really who she says she is? Is there a chance she’s still alive? Madison barely has time to think before the sweet little girl she rescued is snatched on a crowded street. Gone, in the blink of an eye.
To break this case and earn her place back on the force, Madison must learn to trust her team, and herself againand fast. If she doesn’t find this twisted individual in time, a little girl could die…
A pulse-pounding, absolutely gripping and totally addictive page-turner that will have you racing through the pages and reeling at the twists. Perfect for fans of Melinda Leigh, Lisa Regan and Kendra Elliot, you’ll be sleeping with the lights on!

author Wendy Dranfield

Author Bio
Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.
Her first novel (The Girl Who Died) was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then she has written two crime series – one follows Officer Dean Matheson on his quest to make detective, and the other is her current series which follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.
As well as crime novels Wendy also has short stories published in various anthologies in the UK and the US, and she has been shortlisted and longlisted for various writing competitions.
Wendy’s social media:
Website: https://wendydranfield.co.uk/
Twitter: @WendyDranfield
Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author
Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield
Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

 


His Mother’s Bones, by Steve Parker

His Mother's Bones book cover

A brutal murder sees Ray Paterson back on the police force with his irreverent colleague John Clocks. But their superior officers do not trust them. Can they solve the case before any other murders take place and they are arrested?
His Mother’s Bones is the seventh book to feature Paterson and Clocks, and it is the second book that I have read (see link in list at end of post for my review).
Detectives Paterson and Clocks are reunited for another dark case. The murders are very grisly, featuring ancient forms of torture to maximise pain to the victims. It is extremely unpleasant and there are also several violent incidents which are graphically described.
Paterson and Clocks are an unlikely pairing which makes their relationship so much more enjoyable to witness. Paterson bends the rules with an air of wealthy confidence. Clocks breaks the rules and stamps on them! Their banter is superbly enjoyable, the language is almost more swear words than not!
Clocks definitely seems to be stuck in the 1970s with his attitudes to women. Some may find this offensive but I suspended my disbelief that he would have been allowed to get away with this behviour in the modern police force.
The pace is intense as the drama unfolds and this was a gripping read as Paterson and Clocks attempt to foil the avenging killer. The ending is action packed and enthralling with a high level of swearing and violence due to the nature of the scenario.
His Mother’s Bones is a brilliantly written book with wonderful lead characters and I loved it!
His Mother's Bones blog tour banner
HIS MOTHER’S BONES an absolutely gripping killer thriller full of twists
(Detective Ray Paterson Book 7)
By Steve Parker
Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.
YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT THIS DOWN, PAGE AFTER PAGE OF ACTION AND CLIFFHANGERS. . .
This could be the case that breaks Paterson and Clocks. The police detectives who NEVER play by the rules.
Christine Lord, a judge, is tethered to a court roof. And sentenced to death. By her son.
Detectives Paterson and Clocks are called to the scene of a murder. A man has been publicly displayed in a local park. His method of death is an ancient ritual known as a ‘Blood Eagle’.
The victim is someone with very close ties to the detectives.
And now another gruesome ritualistic killing . . . who is behind them and why the elaborate murder methods? Time is running out for Paterson and Clocks to stop their ultimate enemy.
A RACE-AGAINST-TIME THRILLER WHICH WILL HAVE YOU TOTALLY ADDICTED.
This is the seventh in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Martina Cole.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT STEVE PARKER’S BOOKS:
“A must read for all crime thriller fans.” Viv
“A fast-moving action-packed thriller which will keep you enthralled from page one.”
“Another gripping, fast-paced and twisted caper for the most unorthodox police duo in UK fiction.” Donna
“Loved the book, Clocks makes me laugh out loud.” Aileen
THE DETECTIVES
Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson
 is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.
Detective Inspector Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.

author Steve Parker

STEVE PARKER
Steve Parker was born and raised in south east London. At age twenty-one he joined the Metropolitan Police where he served for twenty years in numerous high profile squads before injury forced him out.
On leaving the police he took up an enforcement job with a local authority until being made redundant. Once the dust had settled, he decided he’d had enough of enforcement work and decided that early retirement looked good.
Thankfully, he was blessed with a complete lack of DIY skills so was legitimately able to get away with swanning around the house doing bugger all, all day long. Finding himself with plenty of spare time and a deep desire to never work for anyone again, he dug out an old screenplay he’d written when he was still a policeman and set himself a challenge to turn it into the book which eventually became his debut novel Their Last Words introducing Detectives Paterson & Clocks.
He currently lives in the windier part of East Sussex with his wife and the laziest Cockapoo you’ve ever seen.
At the moment, there are seven books in the series.
BOOKS BY STEVE PARKER
DETECTIVE RAY PATERSON BOOKS:
  • THEIR LAST WORDS
  • THE LOST CHILDREN
  • THE BURNING MEN
  • YOU CAN’T HIDE
  • THEIR DYING BREATH
  • THE CHILD BEHIND THE WALL
  • HIS MOTHER’S BONES
FOLLOW STEVE ON
AUTHOR WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
GOODREADS


My Squishy Little Dumplings toy review

*We received one item for the purpose of this review and I received the second for a separate campaign. Each sold separately, one supplied in store.

My Squishy Little Dumplings are a collection of four cute interactive characters, all with their own personalities. They also come with the adorable accessories to match! Meet Dip and Doe below! Dee and Dot also available 🙂

My Squishy Little Dumplings toy in boxMy Squishy Little Dumplings reverse of box

 

I love the unusual hexagonal shape of the packaging. I am not sure if the colour of the box indicates which of the characters you will get. The eyes close when the box/toy are tipped backwards so the character can have a nap.

My Squishy Little Dumplings open packaging

The packaging opens up to reveal information about the characters as well as the accessories included. There is a guide to the ‘speech’ and movements that the toy can display. Each character has its own unique reactions.

My Squishy Little Dumplings fit in the palm of your hand. Squeeze their cheeks to pop out their unique personalities! Can you resist the Squish?! Their bodies pop out so you can play and the two accessories fit onto the head.

 

There are many ways to play with My Squishy Little Dumplings. They have over 50 reactions; dress them up, tickle them, shake them, and toss them, they light up as you play and make the cutest sounds! Their hair lights up in different colours to show you what mood they are in 🙂

My Squishy Little Dumplings have a display stand that you can use to display your characters when not playing which is a useful feature.
My Squishy Little Dumplings with accessories
My Squishy Little Dumplings are available now for £14.99rrp each from Smyths Toys, The Entertainer, Amazon.co.uk, Very.co.uk and other retailers.

 

 


The Woman in the Water, by Kelly Heard

The Woman in the Water book cover
Felicity Wheeler returns to her hometown following the tragic death of her sister Holly. She finds herself the guardian of her sister’s children. Amidst her own grief and that of her nieces, Felicity is determined to prove that her sister’s death was not an accident. But she has her own past to battle as well…
The Woman in the Water is a gripping psychological thriller about the mystery surrounding a woman’s death and the secrets of the past.
Felicity has been on the run from her past for over a decade. She left her hometown in disgrace but now feels compelled to return to her family and hometown to care for her nieces and comfort her mother. She is confronted by the smalltown prejudice which drove her away in the first place but she is stronger emotionally now and fights back.
Felicity is sure that Holly’s death was no accident. Her guilt at their estrangement leads her to search for answers which then puts her in danger too. Along the way she reunites with old friends and addresses the past but also unsettles secret enemies who want to quiet her accusations.
The book is written in Felicity’s first person narrative of ‘before’ and ‘now’. This allows us to see and understand her responses to events in both the past and present. The ‘before’ part was not chronological and there was one conversation that I got confused about where it fitted in the order of events. The mystery behind Felicity’s past wasn’t a surprise but I felt it was little ambiguous.
There is a slightly spooky element to the book as the setting of the abandoned fairground in the swamp. The dark, dangerous and insidious nature of the water is very atmospheric and creates an oppressive vibe which replicates Felicity’s emotions in response to being home.
The Woman in the Water was an engaging psychological thriller with a big dose of spookiness as well. I have previously reviewed The Silent Girl, The Fortune Teller’s Promise and The Girl I Thought I Knew by Kelly Heard.

 

The Woman in the Water blog tour banner
MEDIA PACK
Book: The Woman in the Water 
Author: Kelly Heard
Pub Day: July 22nd 2021

 

Buy Links 
Amazon: https://geni.us/B093ZVNQFFcover
Apple: http://ow.ly/pCZO50EEcJw
Kobo: http://ow.ly/3m2Y50EEcGd
Google: http://ow.ly/dJfM50EF89J
About the Book: 
I know my sister didn’t die by accident. Does someone know our secret?
I swore I’d never go home to Brightwater. It would be safer for everyone if I stayed away.
But now my sister is dead, and I am driving down the familiar highway, watching the sunlight glimmer off the lake, with the memory of her green eyes like a knife in my heart.
I know Holly didn’t slip and drown out by the old boardwalk, surrounded by trees and dark water. She would never have gone there, if she had a choice.
Her little girls need me now. I couldn’t save Holly, but I must protect them.
Because if whoever killed Holly knows what we did all those years ago, out on the water, then I need to find them before they come after me.
But how can I, when there are still so many things I don’t know about what really happened that night?
An absolutely gripping, twisty psychological thriller about secrets between sisters that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainThe Woman in the Window and The Silent Patient.

author Kelly Heard

 

Author Bio
Kelly Heard is a novelist from Afton, Virginia. She published poetry in literary magazines before signing her debut novel, Before You Go, with Bookouture.
Kelly prefers writing to most other pastimes, but you’ll occasionally find her in the garden, hiking, or exploring antique shops.
For more updates, follow Kelly on Twitter: @kheardbooks
Website: www.kellyheardbooks.com
Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kellyheardbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KHeardBooks
Website: www.kellyheardbooks.com