Tuesday, 30 May 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler


Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler where I welcome Liz to my blog with a guest post on how her writing has been influenced. I was thrilled to be asked by Emily Burns from Bonnier Zaffre Publishing to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the guest post so without further ado, here it is:


How growing up in a large family influenced my writing

How could it not? With so many conversations to have and adventures to share there was never an idle moment to spare. I grew up in a very noisy household, which my mother ran with military precision. As young children we were up, dressed, fed, watered and out to play as early as ten o’clock with expectations of staying out to play, from out under her feet, till teatime so that she could put the house back to order. There were two meal times in our household: breakfast and dinner. Lunch was what the other kids went home to have, while we stayed out in the street or in a park with our paper bags of Black Jacks, Fruit Salads, Liquorice Catherine Wheels and a bottle of Cream Soda to share.

Sharing in such a large family was as natural as breathing; a necessary requirement in most cases. I topped and tailed throughout my childhood, sharing a double bed with either two or three of my sisters, and we were often scolded, well past the lights out, for giggling too loud or being caught having a midnight feast under the blankets with a torch. I thought nothing of sharing a toothbrush with my sisters and quite often waited in line to use it. I think the first time I ever owned my own toothbrush was when I went on a school trip and remember feeling excited and little bit important that there were things in my suitcase that were bought solely for my use.

I was 18 by the time I had my very own bed; it was the day I left home to become a nurse and not only did I have my own bed, but my own bedroom. The room held a wardrobe, a single bed, desk and sink; it measured no more than six foot by ten and I could not believe that all this space would belong to me.

As a child there were few books in our home apart from the bible and the Britannica Encyclopaedia collection. Twenty red hardback books, where all information was obtained for doing homework. All other books were borrowed from the library and as a child my favourites were always The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. As a teenage I discovered Mills & Boons, much to my mother’s dismay as she was always trying to get me to read the classics, and I possibly missed a great many lessons in school while reading these books in class, hidden on my lap behind the desk. I went to a convent and I remember the total embarrassment I felt when one of the nuns discovered what I was reading. You would think I had been reading porn, from the dressing down she gave me.

I look back on my childhood with extremely fond memories, feeling in no way deprived. For though we lacked in material things, we were enriched by the abilities of two incredible parents.  My mother, by far, was the most intelligent and could converse on most any subject; history and English literature were her passions and weekly she would return from the library with her bag of books. Our father was a story teller, though I believe he never read a single book in his entire life, and never tired of making up stories or simply telling us tales of the hardships of his childhood. They were great teachers and every one of us could run a house, cook, clean, shop, mind the younger ones, probably by the age of eleven.

I grew up feeling different to my friends, possibly because my parents were nearer their grandparent’s ages, and as a child I used to fret that by the time I got to be an adult they would be dead. Fortunately they were both made of stern stuff and lived enough years to see us all properly grown up.

It was exciting growing up with so many brothers and sisters as some were already grownup with children of their own, while some of us were still in infant primary school and their children were closer to our ages so we were aunts and uncles to the kids we played with. There are now twelve of us, six of each and I am number 9. If all fourteen children were still alive I’d be number 11. I grew up in a noisy household where everyone shouted to be heard over each other, and as adults we are just the same, only noisier as we all tell our different stories eager to be counted and eager to be heard.


BLURB:

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.
The man who stands over her isn't a doctor.
The offer he makes her is utterly unspeakable.
But when Alex re-awakens, she's unharmed - and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.
And then she meets the next victim.

So compulsive you can't stop reading.
So chilling you won't stop talking about it.
A pitch-black and devastatingly original psychological thriller.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Stolen Child by Sanjida Kay


Thanks to Corvus Books, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review....

Seven years ago you stole my child.  Now I want her back......

Zoe and Ollie Morley are a married couple who tried for years to have a baby and couldn't, so they turned to adoption and their dreams came true when they were approved to a adopt a little girl from birth whom they named Evie.

Fast forward seven years, they have moved to Yorkshire from London and they have grown with a wonderful surprise in the form of baby Ben.  When Evie starts receiving letters and gifts from a sender claiming to be her birth father.  He has been looking for his daughter and now he will stop at nothing to take her back. Zoe is a working Mum and it's not easy for her as her husband never seems to be there when she needs him, is there more to Ollie than he is letting on??

Well, I absolutely LOVED this, it was fantastic and was gripped right fom the first page. I could feel the tension on every page that I turned. The storyline is very true to life and explores a lot of what can and has happened to children and this storyline could be a little upsetting for some reading this so it is far from roses and puppies and it will definitely stick long in my mind due to the subject matter.  I was suspicious of every character in the book, I didn't know who to trust or if I could for that matter.  I could feel my heart pounding at times towards the end of the book.  I thought that I'd had it worked out but I was wrong and it kept me guessing right until the end which I love as nothing worse than knowing the twist long before it's revealed. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

This is Sanjida's second book, her first been Bone By Bone which I haven't read yet but will definitely be doing so soon as I thoroughly enjoyed The Stolen Child.  The Stolen Child is available in all good bookstores and is currently on Kindle for £3.79 at the time of publication of this review.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please ~ COVER REVEAL



Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .

It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (albeit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.

So when in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.

Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from friends, a crumbling cottage in Devon and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.

The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.


EBook Coming on 17 July

BLOG TOUR ~ Obsession by Amanda Robson


Hi Everyone,


Today I host the final day of the Blog Tour for Obsession which has been fantastic and I'd like to welcome Amanda to my blog today where Amanda has very kindly taken the time to give me an extract from her debut novel, Obsession as part of the Blog Tour but be warned it's a little racy so reader discretion is advised . I was thrilled to be asked by the lovely Helena Sheffield from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers too.  You can find out who else took part in this fabulous Blog Tour below. So without further ado, here is the extract:


I arrive first. I always arrive first. The receptionist at the Travelodge recognises me as soon as I enter, a red baseball cap covering my short golden hair – for I use the same disguise every week.

I perform my usual ritual, once I’ve checked into the room. The ritual I have honed over the last few weeks, ever since my first night with Craig. Closing the curtains. Lighting a joss stick. Stripping to my stockings and black lace body. I am wet and throbbing just thinking about him; he is the best lover I have ever had. Sex with Craig has improved sex with Rob. Craig has taught me new tricks and Rob enjoys them, not knowing who to thank.

Sitting on the bed, legs apart, right hand inside my silken panties, I play with myself idly, just as a warm up, feeling the erect springy bud of my clitoris like a taut piece of guitar wire.

He’s here. I am pressed against him as soon as he’s inside the room, the door closed safely behind him. His lips find mine, his tongue penetrates my mouth. I remove his jacket. My hands tremble as I unbutton his shirt. We are on the bed now, ripping one another’s clothes off, my large breasts wide and firm, topped by their perfect jutting nipples. The large breasts that I am so proud of. I sit next to him on the bed, laughing with happiness. Moments like this are the best moments of my life. I know how to sit, legs to one side, indenting my waist to show my perfect breasts to advantage. He nuzzles towards them, but I move away. Not today. There are other plans today.

I pull away from him to admire him. He has pale skin and dark hair; he is beautiful. Lucky Jenni. But at least I can have a piece of him. Rob wants a piece of Jenni. I want a piece of Craig.



Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach by Kat French ~ COVER REVEAL


Three women throw caution to the wind and move from England to run a B&B on a Greek island. They’ve all reached a point in their lives when the need a change – one divorced, on empty nester, one made redundant from the job she’s held since leaving school many moons ago. The move test their friendship to the limits, brings errant husbands running their own metamorphosis, but will they choose to stay in Greece when the holiday season winds down?

The perfect escapist read for fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson – transport yourself to a Greek island and forget about your troubles with this glorious summery romance.

A gorgeous summer read to escape with this summer!

About The Author:
Kat French lives with her husband, two little boys and two crazy cats. She loves all things romance – reading it, watching it and writing it. She also writes steamy erotic romance as her bestselling alter-ego Kitty French.

Coming July 2017 (EBook 22 June & Paperback 13 July)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Her Last Breath by Tracy Buchanan ~ COVER REVEAL


When fifteen-year-old Poppy O’Farrell goes missing a media frenzy ensues. None of this has anything to do with lifestyle blogger Estelle Forster – so why would someone send her a picture of the missing girl and a note, claiming to know Estelle’s secrets? To find out, Estelle must return to her coastal hometown and the shameful past she thought was long behind her. A dangerous game is being played, and the answers lie in the impenetrable community Estelle once called her own. Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, C.L. Taylor and Clare Mackintosh, this addictive, twisting, emotionally powerful book will have you hooked until the very last page.


Praise for Tracy Buchanan:

‘A pacy read about the strong bonds between three sisters.’ Daily Mail

‘An ambitious and deeply poignant story that will take you into another world.’ Heat

A former travel editor, Tracy Buchanan lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and daughter.


Coming June 2017 (EBook 12 June, Paperback 29 June)

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Little Bones by Sam Blake


Meet twenty-four-year-old Garda Cathy Connolly, she might be a fearless kick-boxing champion but when she discovers a baby's bones concealed in the hem of a wedding dress during what seems to be a routine break-in, the case becomes personal.

The bones are another mysterious twist when artist Zoe Grant's mother disappears. Then her grandmother, head of the Grant Valentine department store empire and owner of the dress's original owner is found dead, and a trail of secrets is uncovered that threatens to shake a dynasty.

In the meantime, a fugitive killer has already left two dead in execution style killings across the Atlantic - and now he's in Dublin with old scores to settle. Will the team track him down before he kills again?

As she searches for answers, Cathy is drawn deep into a complex web of secrets and lies spun by three generations of women but as she struggles with her own secrets, Cathy doesn't know how dangerous and personal this case will become.

Well, I had this on my TBR pile since last year after been at the launch for Little Bones and with everything it just stalled in pile but to be honest I didn't like it, I LOVED it. I'm just sorry that I never picked it up before now. From the first page I was hooked and couldn't read it fast enough, even when I thought I'd worked out the whole case before Cathy even did, I ended up been completely wrong.  And THAT ending, I really didn't see it coming so I now have to rush out and pick up the next installment, In Deep Water ASAP to see what happens - such a rollercoaster!!  As I was reading it, it reminded me on the Irish drama Red Rock that is currently showing on TV3 and BBC2 and Garda Cathy Connolly was a kickass character just like Garda Sharon Cleere in Red Rock. There's is definitely a new heroine on the block in the form of Garda Cathy Connolly & I've got a new girl crush too.  Highly Recommended.

Little Bones is available in all good bookstores and is currently £4.07 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

BLOG TOUR ~ My Husband's Wives by Faith Hogan


Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for My Husband's Wives by Faith Hogan & I'm delighted to welcome Faith to my Blog today where I have an extract from her debut novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Faith Hogan herself to take part along with some other fab book bloggers which you can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of my review, so without further ado here is the extract:

Prologue
2016


‘Mum, there’s a funny old lady at the door who says she’s married to Dad?’ Delilah wore an expression that sat somewhere between amused and unsettled. Grace supposed anything was better than bored and indifferent. It seemed that had been the permanent expression since she turned fifteen a few months earlier.
‘She’s at the wrong house,’ Grace said absently. They were going for a picnic. The sun was shining and Grace hoped a day at the seaside might recapture some of the closeness she’d shared with her daughter before it was just the two of them here.
‘No, she’s sure. She says her name is Evie…’ Her usually ambivalent voice held a note of perplexity. ‘Evie Considine Starr – but Mum, I think, she’s a generation out.’ She stuck a finger to the side of her head and wound it around. It was her shorthand language for mental health issues. Grace tried to discourage it, but still never mentioned the antidepressants deep in her own handbag.
‘Oh. Evie?’ The name registered deep in her brain; still, it sounded strange on her daughter’s lips. ‘Evie is here?’ Grace’s hand shot up to smooth her hair back, an involuntary movement, hated herself for it. Why did she care what Evie Considine thought of her? ‘At the front door, now?’
‘Well, yes.’ Delilah stumbled over her words, for once thrown by her mother’s reaction. ‘You know her? She’s actually…’ The words petered out, same as Paul’s – Evie Considine it seemed was still an unfinished chapter in Paul’s life.
Grace stood straight, imagined herself being pulled by an invisible central rope, lengthening her out, just as the nuns had taught her. She threw her shoulders back with more confidence than she really felt, and made her way to the front door.
‘Hello Evie.’ She stuck out a hand. ‘It’s nice to meet you at last…’ It was a lie, but only a white one.


1
Grace Kennedy

Paul Starr was tall – well, anyone was tall to Grace – he might have been gangly, but his thick dark flop of hair and chestnut eyes distracted her from noticing. His smile was easy, his voice low so it made her lean closer; she was charmed instantly. He was the most successful surgeon in Ireland. He was confident, sophisticated and, rumour had it, married. Grace knew who he was. Everyone in Ireland knew who he was. It was said that he was responsible for keeping a former U.S. President alive, as well as half the royal family over sixty.
‘You don’t want to believe everything you read,’ he said, and she realized that she’d never felt so equal to anyone who towered over her so much. She was used to being the short one; five foot just, before she put on her heels. She fingered the amulet that hung always at her neck. It was her father’s; a token to enhance the artist within. Its green gemstone brought out the emerald of her eyes and it made her feel safe, as though her father was still near.
‘Who said I’d be reading about you?’ She couldn’t help fidgeting with her long dark hair any more than he could stop his eyes drinking in every moment of her.
‘This is impressive.’ He waved a hand about the exhibition. It was her second in a year. She felt she’d rushed it, but maybe some things were meant to be. They stood for a few minutes, making small talk. He wasn’t a collector – she could spot them a mile off – not of art anyway. She was about to move away, but he reached out, touched her lightly on the arm. The silver stacking bracelets that she wore jangled, the only sound between them that mattered in the crowded room. The effect was electrifying. ‘I’m just looking at this one…’ He walked towards a watercolour she’d painted two winters earlier, a stark white lighthouse against the rocks and grey waves of the western coastline. ‘It’s breathtaking.’ He caught her eye as he murmured the words. The look sent ripples of what she supposed was desire through her; she’d never felt anything like it before in her life. ‘I’m making changes,’ he said, moving closer to her so his voice was little over a whisper. ‘Making changes and it might suit; do you think anyone has their eye on it, yet?’
‘I wouldn’t know,’ she smiled at him, flirting in some strange subconscious way, couldn’t stop herself, even though she’d spotted his wedding ring immediately. ‘You’d need to talk to Patrick.’ Her eyes skimmed the room for Patrick Marshall. Usually she could find him easily – he was never far away. His languid easy pose tended to dominate whatever space he was in, and she spotted him now surrounded by a coterie of enchanted hangers-on, regaling them with one of the funny stories he always had to hand. He was all she had here; Patrick knew this without ever having to mention it. ‘Oh, he looks busy. Anyway, you can always leave your name with the gallery.’
‘Perhaps I could commission a piece for my rooms,’ he smiled, catching her by surprise, ‘…at the clinic.’ His voice was light, she guessed they were a similar age, but she had a feeling he knew much more of life than she. He reached into his pocket; he wore an elegant off-the-peg navy jacket that moved fluidly. ‘Take my card. Maybe you could drop by, if you’re passing. We could…’ his eyes held an unmistakeable promise, ‘…have coffee.’
Grace wasn’t sure how she managed to walk away from him, but she made it to the other side of the room, her legs like jelly, her stomach a wasp’s nest of restless commotion. She silently cursed herself. The last thing she needed was to fall for a married man. She’d stay well clear of him, or so she told herself. She sipped sparkling wine gently – there were still speeches to be made, people to talk to, sales to close. Even if there weren’t, she’d had enough of being attached to people. She’d spent a lifetime taking care of her sisters and her mother. Her father had taken the easy way out – a double barrel, kept for foxes, in the end. She’d been the one who found him in his studio. He’d probably wanted it to be her. ‘You’re the strong one, Grace.’ He’d said it so many times.
In the end, it was all she could remember of him. She’d spent almost ten years being the one who had to hold it together. All the time, her mother descended further into a bleak haze, clouded by prescription drugs for a series of spurious health problems, one of which would surely stick, someday. Grace got out at twenty-three. It took almost two years to make the break completely, for them to understand that they were on their own. She did what she could. It was either get away or die slowly, as her mother seemed intent on doing.
Painting saved her. It made no demands, beyond those she was prepared to sacrifice and it gave her solace when she had nowhere else to turn. It kept her world together, and now it was her life.
This was her biggest exhibition yet and she’d been nervous when Patrick suggested it. It made good sense, he said last time round, the paintings were picking up a minimum of ten thousand a canvas; of course it made sense. Once she had said yes, Patrick came up with the venue. She had a feeling he’d had it up his sleeve for a while, what she couldn’t understand was why he’d decided to let her have it rather than some of the bigger names he represented. The Dublin City Library and Archive had only reopened months earlier after a total revamp. She had to concede as she had stood beneath its imposing fa├žade – it was overwhelming. The exhibition room seemed vast when she’d come here first. A daunting space filled with echoes of great Dubliners lingering within the repointed stone and polished timbers. How would she fill it? Could she really be good enough to sit with collections like Yeats and Stoker and Swift? Somehow, the building made her nervy and calm all at once. A strange mix of expectation and complete confidence ran through her and propelled her from the moment she set foot in the great hall. She’d pulled out some of the work that she’d started years ago. It added poignancy to the exhibition, she thought. True, it was darker than her more recent work, but it held the loneliness of her past, something that seemed to draw people. The first exhibition had been an unexpected success; it was the reason Patrick suggested a second.
‘What do you expect when all you do is work?’ Patrick had said when they’d met a few months earlier. ‘Note to yourself, Grace Kennedy: get a life.’ He flapped his arms about in that theatrical way he had, so she only half took him seriously and never took his advice, unless it was professional. This was as close as Grace got to friendship. ‘What about family?’ Patrick asked her one bleary night after they’d been drinking wine in her little studio; she, feeling creatively stuck, he, depressed because he’d lost the love of his life. To be fair, every man he dated seemed to be the love of his life for the first six weeks, and then…
‘What do you expect,’ she fired back at him, ‘when all you do is work?’



ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Faith Hogan was born in Ireland.  She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.  She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, children and a very fat cat called Norris.

She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It will be published by Head of Zeus on 4th of May 2017 in Ireland and is available in all good book shops. She is currently working on her next novel.  

Faith Hogan Contact:
Follow Faith on Twitter at @gerhogan or like her on Facebook.comFaithhoganauthor/ or, if you’re really interested, you can catch up with her on www.faithhogan.com


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Perfect Remains by Helen Fields


Thanks to Helena Sheffield & Avon Books, I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review......

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing.  In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness.

Detective Inspector Luc Callanach was a Detective in France but why he left to come to Edinburgh we don't really know but he has barely set foot in his new office when Elaine’s missing persons case is escalated to a murder investigation. Having left behind a promising career at Interpol, he’s eager to prove himself to his new team. But in Edinburgh, he discovers, is a long way from Lyon, and Elaine’s killer has covered his tracks with meticulous care.

It’s not long before another successful woman is abducted from her doorstep, and Callanach finds himself in a race against the clock. Or so he believes but the real fate of the women will prove more twisted than he could have ever imagined.

WOW, WOW, WOW!!! What a novel Perfect Remians was, it was absolutely fantastic. The sociopath/kidnapper character was absolutely brilliant, very well written and cleverly constructed. They were everything you'd expect with a sociopath - cold, calculating, manipulating and has no regard for anyone's feelings or who they hurt on their path of destruction and I LOVED them, yes, weird I know.  At times, I could feel I was right there with the victims.  I will admit that I found parts of the story hard to read and in places it made my skin crawl but it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a spine-chilling , pulse pounding, heart thumping rollercoaster ride. I know that his book will stick in my memory longer than most because of the subject matter that was involved. I am really looking forward to Helen's next book, Perfect Prey already which will be released on July 27th, a couple of days before my birthday and I'm very excited to see whats next in store for DI Luc Callanach and the team. I'd definitely recommend it for fans of Angela Marson, Mark Billingham and M. J. Aldridge will be gripped by this chilling journey into the mind of a troubled killer.

Perfect Remains is available in all good bookstores and on Kindle where it is currently FREE, yes I said FREE at the time of publication of this review but for a limited time only.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Trust Me by Angela Clarke ~ COVER REVEAL


What do you do if you witness a murder…but no-one believes you?

When Kate sees a horrific murder streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who her killer is.

Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but tensions in the police force are running high and time is ticking. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?

Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

PUBLISHES IN EBOOK & PAPERBACK: 15th June 2017