How To Survive Without Grown-Ups By Larry Hayes

We received How To Survive Without Grown-Ups by Larry Hayes to review. This comedy sci-fi adventure book is aimed at children 8+ and is full of fantastic illustrations by Katie Abey.

How to survive without grown-ups
Front cover of How to Survive without Grown-ups By Larry Hayes

How To Survive Without Grown-Ups

Mum and Dad have left – gone to Mars, and they’re never coming back…

But this isn’t one of Dad’s weird jokes; it’s REAL. It’s up to ten-year-old Eliza and her genius little brother, Johnnie to find out what’s going on and launch a rescue.

Can they handle vampire squids, a suspicious villain, a secret island full of traps, and a trip into space? And – more importantly – will they ever get their parents back?

Larry Hayes

Larry Hayes has a day job running an investment fund, a part-time one as financial director of a homeless charity and on Fridays he home schools his two kids letting them decide what to study. How To Survive Without Grown-Ups is his debut novel.

Katie Abey

Katie Abey is an illustrator who lives in a teeny hobbit-like house in Derbyshire with a cat, a hedgehog, a small human, and a rainbow-haired husband. Her work often features sarcastic-looking animals, and she likes using a lot of colour: she is allergic to Magnolia.

Eva’s Thoughts

How to survive without parents is a witty, family-friendly book, where readers go into the world of fiction in the year 2053! I loved all of the many characters in the book! My absolute favourite is  Myrt, The lemon family’s Cocker spaniel, whose nemesis is all things orange! 

Jonnie and Eliza Lemon’s parents are going to Mars forever! Luckily, the confident and brainy siblings come up with a plan to get to their parents and make them not want to go to Mars. So they pack their stuff, and set off across the ocean, and run into many obstacles and advantages along the way.

They run into robot animals and many more things along their travel path. They soon meet the mischievous Noah, who tricks them into staying and he pretends to help save their parents. He actually doesn’t help and instead sends high technology robots to go into their brains so he can hack them too.! Luckily, they avoid this and finds out Noah’s true ways…. 

After this, he locks them in a treehouse and sends the robots to go after them! I won’t spoil the ending for you but this is such an enjoyable read with lots of action and interesting characters.

Hindra’s Heroine By Kelly-Marie Pollock

I received Hindra’s Heroine by Kelly-Marie Pollock to review, the third book in the Chronicles of Nova Morgan Collection. I have been completely absorbed in the Chronicles of Nova Morgan, with its unique and hilarious characters and fantastic storyline, and am a little sad this is the final book in the collection.



*Contains adult content including sex, drug use, profanity, and violence*

Hindra's Heroine by Kelly-Marie Pollock Book Cover

Hindra’s Heroine

Holed up in an off-world island in the middle of the Irish Sea, Nova and her allies are nursing their wounds after the battle at Mount Divinity left Nova mortal once again. They’ve all but given up hope on ever finding a way off the island when Ruth, the wayward witch, wakes up screaming, visits assaulting her already fragile mind. With the entity Ultio now puppeteering her limbs, Ruth’s magics lead them back to London, back to where Nova’s story first began. Odyssey.

Join Nova, Ruth, Chaplin, and Noah as they group together with a whole host of new and familiar characters to infiltrate Hindra and take back what’s theirs.

Together, they must face the darkness lingering within and battle their way back to the light, but for one of their number that battle may well be futile.

For she is the slaughter, the world her lamb.

Book cover - Hindra's Heroine by Kelly-Marie Pollock
Kelly-Marie Pollock Author Photo

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly is a married mum of 4 plus 3 adult step-children. She has an intense love of the Victorian era, Vampires, and is waiting for a Zombie uprising. Kelly’s passion is writing. She is also a mental health advocate and BiPolar warrior. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys long nature walks with her husband and their children. Kelly can not get through the day without her morning cup of tea. She uses excessive amounts of sarcasm and profanity in most sentences and she’s not even sorry. (Why would you be!? haha!)

My Thoughts

I had been eagerly waiting for the final part of the trilogy to land in my inbox having thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in the storyline. Once again I was not disappointed! Nova’s strong character and resilience shine through as Ruth takes them back to Odyssey in an attempt to save their friends and take back what’s rightly theirs. Once again I truly didn’t expect the ending at all and was left feeling a little emotional. Kelly-Marie Pollock writes powerful storylines with fabulous characters with their unique personalities. I’m sad to see the story but can’t wait to see what’s next!

Devil’s Fjord By David Hewson

I received Devil’s Fjord by David Hewson so review thanks to Random Things Blog Tours. Devil’s Fjord is a standalone psychological thriller where two local boys go missing, exposing the darkness at the heart of the Faroe Islands.

Devil’s Fjord

A remote island. An isolated community. A terrible secret.

If the new District Sheriff, Tristan Haraldsen, thought moving to a remote village on the island of Vagar would be the chance for a peaceful life with his wife Elsebeth, his first few weeks in office swiftly correct him of that notion.

Provoked into taking part in the village’s whale hunt against his will, Haraldsen blunders badly, and in the ensuing chaos, two local boys go missing. Blaming himself, Haraldsen dives into the investigation and soon learns that the boys are not the first to have gone missing on Vagar.

As Tristan and Elsebeth become increasingly ensnared by the island’s past, they realise its wild beauty hides an altogether uglier and sinister truth.

David Hewson

David Hewson is a former journalist with The Times, the Sunday Times, and The Independent. He is the author of more than twenty-five novels including his Rome-based Nic Costa series, which has been published in fifteen languages. He has also written three acclaimed adaptations of the Danish TV series The Killing.

@david_hewson | davidhewson.com

Fans of Nordic noir will love this standalone thriller, perfect for readers of Tom Rob Smith’s The Farm, Elly Griffiths’ Dr. Ruth Galloway Mysteries, Ragnar Jonasson’s Whiteout, and Michael Ridpath’s Amnesia

⦁ As well as his critically acclaimed Nic Costa series, Hewson has also written three adaptations of the Danish TV series The Killing, which have sold over 54,000 copies

Astral Travel By Elizabeth Baines

I received Astral Travel by Elizabeth Baines to review as part of Random Things Blog Tours. Astral Travel unravels the mysteries of Jo’s family history as she tries to write a book about her late father.

Astral Travel

After Patrick Jackson’s death his estranged daughter Jo begins to try to unravel the mysteries that always surrounded him. Why did he never talk about his past in Ireland? Why was he always so moody and bad-tempered in the home while a talkative charmer in the outside world? Why, at one time, did he forbid Jo to do family history research? And why did he seem to have it in for her especially, affecting her life into adulthood?

Why, too, do Jo’s memories of her own childhood differ so starkly from her mother’s?

The more Jo questions and digs, the more the mysteries deepen. Until at last she uncovers a chain of secrets forged in the religious and sexual prejudices of the past, but with the power to affect the lives of Patrick’s family in the present day.

Elizabeth Baines

Elizabeth is the author of two previous novels published by Salt, The Birth Machine and Too Many Magpies, as well as two short-story collections, Balancing on the Edge of the World and Used to Be. She’s also been a prizewinning playwright for Radio 4, writing both comedy and serious drama, and has produced and acted in her own plays for fringe theatre. She has been a schoolteacher and has taught Writing in universities, but now writes full time. She lives with her husband in Manchester where she brought up her two now grown sons.

My Thoughts

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Astral Travel but I wanted something other than a murder mystery to read and was intrigued when reading the blurb.

Jo has so many vivid memories of her childhood and yet some seem to differ so wildly from her mother’s and sisters. She decides writing about her late father will help her understand what happened much clearly. She has to dig quite deep to eventually start getting nearer the truth and slowly, bit by bit the story unravels.

Between religious and sexual prejudice, Jo learns the truth is wilder than she first thought but publishing a book may not be a wise idea for the sake of the family.

Overall I really enjoyed the way Astral Travel is written and reading a different kind of mystery book. Family histories are always interesting but discovering some of the darker secrets can be a real eye opener, not to mention a stark reminder that prejudice can impact people’s lives in such an intense way.

The Adventures of Bella Cutie and Buttons

Izzy received The Adventures of Bella Cutie and Buttons to read and review a few weeks ago. She has read it a few times alone, with Eva and with me as she absolutely loves the book!

The Adventures of Bella Cutie and Buttons’ is a funny and truly endearing story about the friendship between a little girl and a fox cub. Bella is a happy child who is curious about the world. Meeting the talkative fox cub Buttons opens her eyes to the beautiful natural world and amazing wildlife on her doorstep. The two friends get up to many funny escapades and the occasional bit of trouble, all portrayed in a charming and light-hearted way. This feel-good book is sure to bring a smile to both children`s and parents` faces.

Desi Cloete

Desi Cloete lives in the picturesque Surrey Hills with her husband and six-year-old daughter. A keen reader from a young age, she discovered a passion for writing and illustrating short stories. Desi hopes her book will inspire children to value nature and develop an interest in wildlife conservation.

Izzy’s Thoughts

Izzy said the book makes her feel like humans come closer to nature with Bella Cutie meeting and making friends with Buttons. She really enjoyed them having fun exploring the beautiful nature around them. It made her feel really happy reading about their adventures and would love to read more!

My Thoughts

This beautifully written story is a great bedtime story with its feel good vibes as Bella Cutie and Buttons become great friends and have so much fun together. Izzy sat smiling and giggling the whole way through.

The Foreign Girls By Sergio Olguín

I received The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguín, a brilliant crime/thriller/mystery read. This is the second book I have had the chance to review by Sergio Olguín and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is also the second in the series following on from the success of The Fragility of Bodies. The Financial Times chose The Fragility of Bodies as one of the best three best thrillers of 2019.

The Foreign Girls By Sergio Olguín book cove

Foreign Girls

Veronica Rosenthal has retreated to a cousin’s remote cottage in the province of Tucuman, to recuperate from the traumatic events in The Fragility of Bodies. 

She befriends two female tourists -an Italian and a Norwegian — invites them to stay and starts a sexual relationship with one of them. 

After a party they attend together, Veronica travels on alone but days later discovers that the women have been murdered. 

Suspicion falls on a local Umbanda priest, but Veronica starts to uncover a web of corruption, abuse and femicide in which government, wealthy landowners and a high-ranking official from the Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’ are all implicated. 

Veronica’s investigation, with its unforeseen political dimensions, has alarmed new enemies who will try to stop her at all cost.

Sergio Olguín

Sergio Olguín

Sergio Olguín was born in Buenos Aires in 1967 and was a journalist before turning to fiction. Olguín has won
a number of awards, among others the Premio Tusquets 2009 for his novel Oscura monótona sangre (“Dark
Monotonous Blood“) . His books have been translated into German, French and Italian.

Translator Miranda France

The translator Miranda France is the author of two acclaimed volumes of travel writing: Don Quixote’
Delusions and Bad Times in Buenos Aires. She has also written the novels Hill Farm and The Day Before the
Fire and translated much Latin American fiction, including Claudia Piñeiro’s novels for Bitter Lemon Press.

My Thoughts

Yet again, Sergio Olguín has written another capturing read featuring Veronica Rosenthal. Following on from events in The Fragility of Bodies, Veronica needs a break and heads off on a ‘care-free’ holiday. Or so she thought. With her inquisitive nature, Veronica is determined to get to the bottom of the murder of the foreign girls. This triggers some unexpected enemies and once again Veronica does everything in her power to uncover the truth.

I really enjoyed The Foreign Girls, Sergio Olguín has a fantastic way of setting the scene so you can really see and feel what’s going on in your head as you read. Alongside this, he brings awareness and shines light on dangerous real life situations, this time the femicide of women in Latin America. The rape and murder of women are used as tools of intimidation between warring families of gangs involved in drug trafficking and corruption. Veronica’s character is brilliant, very little seems to put her off from getting to the bottom of things, even dangerous men who aren’t used to taking no for an answer. I would definitely recommend if you enjoy crime thrillers with a strong main character.

The foreign girls blog tour poster

The Searching Dead By Ramsey Campbell

I received The Searching Dead by Ramsey Campbell to read and review thanks to Random Things Tours. The Searching Dead is a horror suspense book that will have you hooked. This the first book The Three Births of Daoloth Trilogy and one of several written by Ramsey Campbell.

The Searching Dead Book Cove by Ramsey Campbell. Green book cover with an image of an eye in the bottom right corner

The Searching Dead

1952. On a school trip to France teenager Dominic Sheldrake begins to suspect his teacher Christian Noble has reasons to be there as secret as they’re strange. 

Meanwhile a widowed neighbour joins a church that puts you in touch with your dead relatives, who prove much harder to get rid of. 

As Dominic and his friends Roberta and Jim investigate, they can’t suspect how much larger and more terrible the link between these mysteries will become. A monstrous discovery beneath a church only hints at terrors that are poised to engulf the world as the trilogy brings us to the present day…

My Thoughts

The Searching Dead is a fantastic read if you love horror stories such as those written by Stephen King. Dominic begins investigating what his teacher is up to after a rather strange incident on a school trip to France. Along with his friends, they slowly begin to uncover what Mr. Noble is up to. It’s nothing quite like any of them could have ever imagined! The first of the trilogy certainly has me hooked and looking forward to finding out what happens next. I’m also curious if the three friends find out together or if Dominic goes it alone.

Ramsey Campbell author photo - The author is pictured in a long sleeved black top with his hands crossed stood in front of bookshelves.


Ramsey Campbell

Ramsey Campbell was born in Liverpool in 1946 and still lives on Merseyside. He is an English horror fiction writer, editor, and critic; writing for well over fifty years. He is the author of over 30 novels and hundreds of short stories. Many of Campbell’s books are widely considered classics in the field. Several of his books are winners of multiple literary awards and three of his novels have been filmed. The Oxford Companion to English Literature described him as “Britain’s most respected living horror writer”. He has been given more awards than any other writer in the field, including :

  • The Grand Master Award of the World Horror Convention
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Horror Guild
  • The World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award

In 2015 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University for outstanding services to literature. Among his novels are:

  • The Face That Must Die
  • Incarnate
  • Midnight Sun
  • The Count of Eleven
  • Silent Children
  • The Darkest Part of the Woods
  • The Overnight
  • Secret Story
  • The Cain
  • Ghosts Know
  • The Kind Folk
  • Think Yourself Lucky
  • Thirteen Days By Sunset Beach

His novels The Nameless, Pact of the Fathers and The Influence have been filmed in Spain. He is the President of the Society of Fantastic Films.

Flame Tree Press

Flame Tree Press is the new fiction imprint of Flame Tree Publishing. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices.

The Searching Dead Blog Tour

Crane Fly By Kelly-Marie Pollock

Crane Fly by Kelly-Marie Pollock is a Nova Morgan Novella. Throughout the trilogy we see through the eyes of Nova Morgan. With this fantastic Novella – Crane Fly, you see things through the eyes of Bucky. You can read my reviews of Kelly-Marie’s other books and poetry here.

Crane Fly By Kelly-Marie Pollock front cover

Crane Fly

A Nova Morgan Novella 

Synopsis

All Bucky O’Dare has ever wanted is an easy life. But after meeting fiery red-headed vampire, Nova Morgan, he realises his life will never be the same again.

The world of the Inflicted Kin is full of darkness, something Bucky is becoming increasingly more aware of, especially after the charred corpse of local Brothel Madam – Lady Jaine turns up complete with a shiny dagger lodged in her chest.

Bucky realises there’s a new player in town, one who may just make Soul seem saintly.

With Nova and Ruth off world, it’s down to him to unravel the mystery and figure out who is killing off the local working girls and why.

But Bucky is treading a dangerous path, one that may just see him end up as another stiff on the morgue table.

For the wrath of the wicked is nothing compared to the wrath of a vengeful brother.

Content Warning; Contains Profanity, violence, Prostitution, Drug References and Torture.

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

My Thoughts

I was honestly so excited for Crane Fly and really couldn’t wait to read from Bucky’s point of view. Honestly, I thought it would answer a few questions for me… I was totally wrong, instead, I’m left with even more questions and left wondering just what happens to Bucky!?

It’s safe to say the The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy and Crane Fly take you to a unique world where you feel utterly absorbed. Each book is written as if the characters were in the room with you. It’s amazing how strongly the characters personalities shine through.

Kelly-Marie Pollock has once again smashed it! Creating a story line that has you gripped until the very end and leaves you wanting more. When I realised I had reached the end i was devastated, I need to know what happens next! It took a full evening of crochet therapy to get over having to wait until the next book now.

Author Bio

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is  a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger. You can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk

Death Bringer is the second novel  in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Death Bringer By Kelly-Marie Pollock Book Tour

After sharing the Death Bringer front cover with you all in my last post, today I’m joining in with the book tour too. Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan, following on from Cherry Nova.

Content warning – contains adult themes such as; Sex  Drug use, Profanity and Violence.

Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock

Death Bringer

Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra. 

In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective Maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out. 

From streetworker to rebellion leader, is her path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game. 

Content warning – contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence. 

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

My Thoughts

As with Cherry Nova, I was instantly drawn into the story, unable to stop until I was done (a welcome escape during lockdown!).

Nova Morgan has very little time to enter the realm of Hindra to free Detective Maximus Steelers and she knows she will face all kinds of trouble along the way. Having raised an army with the help of a banished witch and a drug addicted warlock, they set off to find the gates of Hindra.

Whilst they find the gates of Hindra, they come across countless challenges along the way and once through the gates. This leaves Nova constantly questioning herself and wondering why she was labelled Lady of Death and if she an really free Detective Maximus Steele.

Nova faces such an array of challenges along the way, testing her mentally and physically. Entering an entirely different, magical realm is one thing, attempting to take over an entire council is another! I can’t recommend Death Bringer more, I haven’t come across a story line like this in years and I am completely hooked! It’s safe to say I will be keeping my eyes peeled for the third book in the trilogy too.

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams.

Kelly-Marie is a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk


Death Bringer is the second novel in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pollock – Cover Reveal

Death Bringer is the second book in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy. I’m really excited to take part in this cover reveal having read Cherry Nova, the first book in the trilogy! Kelly-Marie has also written a fantastic collection of poems called Forever Blue.

Death Bringer By Kelly-Marie Pollock Cover reveal

Death Bringer

Nova may have won the fight for her freedom, but she’s far from won the war. Journey beside her, Ruth and Chaplin as they leave the gritty streets of Victorian London behind and immerse themselves in the magical living realm of Hindra. 

In a world where dying isn’t forever and living isn’t easy, they’re about to unearth all manner of secrets and lies. Their mission seems clear, infiltrate the Council Chambers and free the captive, Detective maximus Steele, bringing down The Righteous Ones as they go, but time is moving fast and as Nova comes to realise, time is running out. 

From streetworker to rebellion leader, is her path one of greatness, or has it simply been paved by someone or something, far greater than her? Like pieces on a chess board, is Nova just a pawn in someone else’s game. 

Content warning – contains adult themes including; Sex, Drug use, Profanity and Violence. 

Front and back cover of Death Bringer by Kelly-Marie Pocllock

Genre: Fantasy, Vampire Fiction, Gothic/Noir

Word/page count: 336

Publication Date:  20th May 2020

Kelly-Marie Pollock - Author of the Nova Morgan Trilogy and Forever Blue, a collection of poems.

Kelly-Marie Pollock

Kelly-Marie lives in Dorset with her Husband Mitchell, four young children and menagerie of pets. She’d dreamt of being an Author from a very young age and her late Auntie Julie pushed her to follow her dreams. Kelly-Marie is  a stay at home Mother, full time carer and active Parenting and Mental Health Blogger, you can find her blog over at www.amixedupmummy.blogspot.co.uk

Death Bringer is the second novel  in ‘The Chronicles of Nova Morgan’ trilogy and follows the successful publication of her debut book Cherry Nova. She has also released a book of poetry entitled Forever Blue.

Praise For Cherry Nova

“An amazing book couldn’t put it down. Well written and kept me in suspense can’t wait for the next one. Well recommended.”


“Cherry Nova is an exceedingly strong debut novel which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s full of action, twists and turns which all combine to make it a real page turner and I certainly can’t wait to see what happens to Nova next, especially as Pollock has left things poised so perfectly with a teasing cliff- hanger! Parts of the book are quite dark, but for me the there is an overriding message of hope that runs beneath the surface which kept me rooting for Nova throughout. Cherry Nova is more than just your run of the mill Vampire tale, its roots run much deeper and I’m sure its story would resonate with readers on so many different levels. Highly recommended by me and I hope Kelly hurries up with book two as I’m desperate to read it!”


“I immersed myself in a world that I never knew existed. I was riveted from the moment I opened this books pages to read it. I found this book very hard to put down! If you like vampires, an adult theme and fantasy, this is the book for you! Looking forward to the next book!”


“If Stuart Macbride and Simon Kernick joined together to write a fantasy novel….you would get Cherry Nova. Kelly writes with her foot firmly pressed down on the pedal whilst still giving you characters that are all unique and loveable. Despite the fast pace of this book it still gives you a bit of time to breath after each tragedy. The world that Kelly has created here is commendable. I don’t remember enjoying a book of this nature as much as I have since Stan Nicholls Orcs series. I look forward to the second addition.”


Cherry Nova, Book 1 in The Chronicles of Nova Morgan trilogy is rated 5* on both Amazon and Goodreads, available to purchase via Amazon and The Book Depository, free to read for Kindle Unlimited users.

Purchase Links

Cherry Nova Amazon UK

Cherry Nova Amazon US

Cherry Nova Book Depository

Forever Blue Amazon UK

Death Bringer PRE ORDER