Sunday 28 August 2016

The Alibi by Jaime Raven ~ Cover Reveal

Secrets, lies and revenge brim to the top in this gritty thriller. Perfect for fans of  Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

A perfect crime needs a perfect alibi…

Crime reporter Beth Chambers is committed to uncovering the truth – and she’s not afraid of bending the rules to get there.

When troubled soap star Megan Fuller is found stabbed to death in her South London home, all eyes are on her notorious gangster husband, Danny Shapiro. There’s just one problem: Danny has a watertight alibi.

Determined to expose Danny as a cold-blooded killer, Beth obsessively pursues him. But in her hunt for the truth, her family are set to pay the ultimate price…

Publishing in ebook and paperback: 29th December

Sunday 21 August 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for Saving Sophie which is Sam's debut novel. I am thrilled be taking part in this wonderful Blog Tour and delighted to welcome author Sam to my blog with a guest post about how her job had an influence on her writing from her and a BIG thanks to Helena Sheffield from Harper Collins/Avon for allowing me this opportunity to take part with some other fab book bloggers too. 
You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below.

So without further ado, here it is............

When I settled on the topic and themes that would become Saving Sophie, I put aside (safely, in a notebook) the heaps of other ideas for novels that were floating around in my head. I think, as a writer, you look out for inspiration in all sorts of places: a snippet of overheard conversation, a news article tucked away at the bottom of a column, a Facebook post or Tweet – they can all become ideal starting points for building a plot for a novel.
So I have plenty of options of where to pick up a great idea.
But on top of these sources, I am also able to draw on my real-life experiences from when I worked with offenders in a male prison. Far more than merely gaining an insight into prison life, I got first-hand experience of the criminal mind. I found the job – facilitating offending behaviour programmes – to be the most fascinating, sometimes frustrating, often rewarding job I’d had. Working in both one-to-one and group environments with individuals whose offences varied from minor and drug-related crimes to rape and murder, was often challenging. Because I had access to the details of crimes, and heard men talk openly about them, it meant that my mind was often filled with some pretty horrific stuff.
What do you do with all of that?
Sometimes I’d come home and find it impossible to switch off. I even lost my love of reading crime and thriller novels for a while – disquieting thoughts would intrude while trying to read the passages and I’d find myself reading the same line over and over, finally giving up. Some crimes in particular were harder to get out of my mind than others.
Now I have left the service, though, those experiences have come in handy for my novel writing. I wouldn’t ever write about a real offender of course, but from a personal perspective I feel I can more easily draw on the emotions I felt when working with them and listening to them speak about their crime and their victims. In addition, I think I’m able to portray the darker characters and situations that I write about in a more informed way, hopefully giving a feeling of authenticity.

I have plenty more villainous activity and twisted minds in store for future books. In my next novel, I’ll be introducing forensic psychologist, Connie Summers, whose life is about to get very complicated when she’s linked to the murder of a prisoner…

Wednesday 17 August 2016

BLOG TOUR ~ The Family Man by Tim Lebbon

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Family  Man which is Tim's second novel. I am thrilled be taking part in this wonderful Blog Tour and delighted to welcome author Tim to my blog with a guest post about Desert Island Reads from him and a BIG thanks to Louis Patel from Harper Collins/Avon for allowing me this opportunity to take part with some other fab book bloggers too. 
You can find out who else is taking part in this fabulous Blog Tour below.

So without further ado, here it is............

Okay, I'll get the obvious ones out of the way.  If I was washed up on a desert island, it goes without saying that How To Survive Being Washed Up On A Desert Island would be top of my list of desert island reads.  That, and anything by Bear Grylls.  Although however desperate I became, I'm not sure I could gut a camel and squeeze its intestines in order to drink the fluids therein.  Yes, I've seen him doing that.  Yes, I know that if a desert island has camels, it'll have people and cities and plumbing and supermarkets, and things.  But I was just setting out my stall before we begin.

So, assuming the desert island is actually quite lovely, with plenty of food and water and shelter, and no creepy-crawlies that'll scuttle into my shelter at night and bite my legs––and who hasn't dreamt of a bit of time away on their own?––these are the books I'd take.

(note: I could write a whole book about books I'd like to take, but I'll keep it to three, on the assumption that a) I can read and re-read these again and again, and b) I'll get rescued pretty soon.)

The Stand, by Stephen King.  This might be one of my favourite books of all time.  I haven't re-read it in quite a few years, but I have it on my shelf, a pristine new edition of the author's preferred version (much longer than the original published version).  It's a truly epic tale of the apocalypse, and the ultimate stuggle of good against evil.  I've always liked destroying the world, and have done it quite a few times in my own fiction.  I think part of that fascination was seeded when I first read this novel in my early teens.  Humanity is all we know, and there's something awful and compelling about imagining it's end.  There's a lot to love about the novel, but for me its greatest power lies in the characterisation, with virtually every character undergoing their own personal struggle even while the larger world lines up its pieces for the biggest battle of all.  And the Walkin' Dude ... has anyone ever created a more charimatic and terrifying bad guy?

The Horror Hall of Fame, edited by Robert Silverberg and Martin H Greenberg.  This anthology collects some of finest horror short fiction (pre-1991), many of which I've read multiple times.  It also contains one of my favourite stories of all time, Harlan Ellison's The Whimper of Whipped Dogs (not an easy read, but knowing the background behind it ... utterly devastating).  Also one of my favourite novellas, The Willows by Algernon Blackwood, one of the finest pieces of writing delving into the power and mystery of the natural world.  Actually, if I read that novella whilst stranded on a desert island I'd pribably scare myself witless.  But I am a horror writer as well as a thriller writer, so ... sometimes, that's what it's all about.  With stories by Poe, Arther Machen (his classic The White People), Ray Bradbury, and many more, it's a classic collection.

The Second World War, by Anthony Beevor.  I haven't read this, but have always meant to.  I'm interested in the history of the Second World War, because both my father and grandfather were involved.  There have been many books written, but this one is famous for covering the entirety of the conflict in exhaustive detail.  Maybe it would make me eager to get home from the island and embrace my loved ones.  Maybe it would make me relieved to be isolated from humanity for a while.  Who knows?  But I think being along on a desert island, taking at least one book I haven't read makes a lot of sense.

Honourable mentions––right, I'm on the island and I have those three boosk above, when suddenly I find a chest washed up on the northern shore, sealed and waterproof, and inside there's a selection of books.  What would I like to be in there?  I can think of thousands, but here are a few more books I've read over the past few years that have had a profound effect on me, and which I think would while away a few lonely evenings while my signal fire burned and my suntan slowly got better and better...

We Have Always Lived in The Castle, by Shirley Jackson
Consider Phlebas, by Iain M Banks
A Life Without Limits, by Chrissie Wellington
Bad Men, by John Connolly
Probably Monsters, by Ray Cluley
Hair Side, Flesh Side, by Helen Marshall

I could go on.  But what's that?  On the horizon?  A ship's light?  I should signal, I should shout and scream...

...but I've still got a couple of books left.  I'm sure there'll be another ship along soon.

Wednesday 3 August 2016

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

One lives and one dies.  No Choice.

When a girl emerges barely alive from the woods. Her story is quite frightening and to be honest beyond belief but every awful word is unfortunately all true.

Days later, another desperate escapee is found  and now pattern is starting to emerge. Pairs of victims from couples to work colleagues are being abducted, imprisoned in a well secluded and derelict building where they are then faced with a terrible choice, either kill or be killed......

Detective Inspector Helen Grace leads the investigation with her team to hunt down this unseen monster but as the body count starts to rise she learns that the survivors may be the only ones who hold the key to the case.

I had been looking to read this for quite some time as nearly everyone I knew had read it and raved about it so a very kind fellow bookblogger sent me her copy and I couldn't wait to start it.  I didn't just like this, I LOVED it.  It was a fast, furious and a gripping  read from the start and I couldn't turn the pages quick enough which is exactly what you want in a thriller.  At times, I could feel my heart beating whilst reading this, it made my skin crawl but it definitely didn't disappoint. It was a spine-chilling, pulse pounding, heart thumping rollercoaster ride.  If you're a fan of the SAW movies or similar then this book is for you.  I'm really looking forward to reading the next installments in the series which I have lined up beside my locker.

This was M.J. Arlidge's debut novel and I can't recommend this book enough.  It is currently £3.99 on Kindle at the time of publication of this review so grab it while you can, you won't be disappointed so don't say I never told you so!!!

Amazon UK

Monday 1 August 2016

Distress Signals by Catherine Ryan Howard

Thanks to Corvus and Catherine Howard, I received an ARC of this in exchange for an honest review.......

Did she leave or was she taken?

Adam and Sarah have been together for over 10 years and are happy together.  Adam is a writer who's struggling to get the attention of anyone of a script he's writing but when he receives a call from someone who maybe interested in it, maybe his luck is about to change or is it??  Sarah is away in Barcelona on a conference with work and he can't wait until she returns to tell her his news but when Sarah fails to return from the trip but Sarah doesn't return.  He can't contact her either by phone or email, his life starts to fall apart.

A few days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads 'I'm sorry - S' sets off real alarm bells.  Adam goes to the police to report her missing but they don't seem to be too alarmed either as the line of questioning comes from the police, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. As he digs deeper he is flabbergasted when he discovers that in fact Sarah wasn't on a business trip but in fact was on a cruise ship called the Celebrate and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. It's a race against time and he vows to do whatever it takes to find her which means he must try to outsmart a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground...

WOW!!!  I didn't like Distress Signals, I absolutely LOVED it.  It was fantastic, a fast and furious read with all the tension included where at times I was afraid to move from my reading spot. I loved the way it was set between Cork and Barcelona. I can't believe that this is Catherine's debut novel, it was so well researched and cleverly written too with a hint of legal procedural thrown into the mix.  I'd HIGHLY recommend Distress Signals and can see this been on sun loungers and is definitely an ideal beach read but make sure you're not reading it whilst on a cruise.  I was never really into cruises before reading this but Catherine has definitely put me off cruises for life.  I'll be looking forward to reading more of Catherine's work and hopefully it won't be too long until it'll be upon us.

Distress Signals is only £0.98p on Kindle at the time of publication of this review (link below) so definitely grab it while you can, I can't recommend it enough, you won't be disappointed so don't say I never told you so!!!