Thursday 28 February 2019

BLOG TOUR ~ Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the final day of the Blog Tour for Apple of My Eye by Claire Allan where I've a review from her latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books to take part along with some other fab book bloggers. You can find out who else has taken part in this fabulous Blog Tour at the end of the review so without further ado, here it is:

Just how far is a mother willing to go?

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant senior staff nurse Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

Well, what can I say? I didn't like this, I absolutely LOVED this book. It was fantastic, I gripped from the first few pages and I couldn't read the book fast enough to find out how it all panned out.  Eli is pregnant with her first child but also suffering from hyperemesis, feeling sick all the time and not able to keep much down and as if that's not bad enough she starts to receive notes to her job suggesting that her husband Martin, is cheating on her and that he shouldn't be trusted. Eli is a hospice nurse which is leaving her drained and tired and due to this she makes a mistake which could threaten her career and future.

It is told from three characters perspectives which was brilliant where each chapter alternated between them.  At times, you could feel the tension jumping out at you on every turning page.  It has many themes running through the book including loss, grief and the biggest one been controlling behaviour.

Claire Allan is well known for writing women's fiction for a  long time but with no disrespect to her novels, she has definitely found her calling as a Crime/Thriller writer.  This book theme reminded me of The Hand That Rocks The Cradle with a bit of Single White Female thrown into the mix with the tension that was created on every page.

Apple Of My Eye is Claire's second thriller novel which is available in all good bookshops, libraries, on audio and on Kindle where it is currently £2.99 so grab it while you can as you definitely won't be disappointed.


Wednesday 20 February 2019

BLOG TOUR ~ The Four of Us by Áine Toner

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Four of Us by Áine Toner where I have a guest  piece on how Áine writes. I was thrilled to be asked by Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers who organised this tour in conjunction with Manatee Books 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 this review so without further ado, here it is:

How I Write

‘So you’ve said the end of May?’ my friend asked when I was telling her about the deadline for The Four of Us. It was the beginning of February.
‘I did,’ I said, utterly pleased with myself. May was ages away.
‘And you’ve written ten thousand words?’ she asked.
‘Yep.’ Again, I felt smug. That was also loads of words.
‘So you’ve three months to write about eighty thousand words?’ she said.
Reality set in. ‘Ah, yeah, sure that’s grand.’

I don’t want to repeat what my friend said but it wasn’t ‘That’ll be no bother to you because you are a seriously organised magazine editor and it’ll be wee buns.’
I am a seriously organised magazine editor but had I bitten off more than I could chew? The fact is: my writing schedule isn’t a truly efficient way of doing things. I wouldn’t recommend it but it works for me. 

I had the idea of The Four of Us in my head, and everything – and I do mean everything – hinged on one word that I’d written in my very fancy ‘I’m writing a book’ notebook. Good stationery is hugely important if you write mainly in longhand like I do. I feel comforted when I can see my handwriting/scrawl over lined pages. This one word was how I would develop the second half of the novel and it gave me reassurance whenever I had a slight panic about reaching the self-imposed deadline.

I figured if I wrote ten thousand words a week I’d have time to edit before sending in the first draft. Which sounded ok, but I also have a full-time job on a weekly magazine. In thirteen weeks, we’d have sent thirteen magazines to print as well as two events so the only way I could devote adequate time to both was not sleep or be smart about it.

Honestly, I think it was a mixture of both. I started writing during my lunchbreak in the office. We don’t often leave the office so, when possible, I wrote for 40-45 minutes hell for leather. I’d always leave a chapter hanging or a piece of conversation mid-sentence so I’d have something to go back to. Then, in the evening, I would finish up my lunchtime work and see how far I’d get. Some nights I’d write for an hour, some I would only manage 20 minutes. There was no point in beating myself up about it, it was my fault I was in this situation!

For the first draft, it was very much about getting it down on paper. The bonus of writing most of it via longhand was, when it came to collating the various bits of book, I could edit as I went along. I knew what I wanted to change for the most part so it was slightly more reassuring to feel the pressure ease off as I transcribed.

By the beginning of May I had a little over 90,000 words, 80 per cent of which was written in about eight weeks. It doesn’t work for everyone but I loved it, it made it exciting and real in a sense. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the panic style of writing but it did make me very much in the zone. Yes, I did change some plot lines during the edit but the story was there. Though I probably wouldn’t give myself such a tight deadline next time…

Friday 1 February 2019

BLOG TOUR ~In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter

Hi Everyone,

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter where I've an extract from his latest novel. I was thrilled to be asked by Sabah Khan from Avon Books 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 review so without further ado, here it is:

They got to Peabody Street just minutes after the armed response team. Two squad cars had also just arrived and were being used to cordon off the road at both ends.
A uniformed officer waved them down and gestured for Walker to park against the kerb behind one of the ARVs.
Anna climbed out and flashed her warrant card, then hurried over to where the armed officers had gathered on the pavement in front of the nursery school. It was sandwiched between a three-storey block of flats and a church community centre. The small, red-brick building was set back behind a five-foot-high wall, and the front door stood half open. There were two cars parked on the forecourt, but no sign of life.
The armed officers – members of Scotland Yard’s specialist firearms command – were waiting behind the wall for the signal to go in. All six were kitted out in black helmets, visors and Kevlar body armour. They carried assault rifles and Glock 17 pistols.
Anna approached the team leader and was pleased to discover that they knew each other. Jason Fuller was a tall, middle-aged guy with craggy features and a strong jawline. Their paths had crossed more than a few times over the years.
‘I heard you were on your way,’ he said. ‘And I’m guessing you know about as much as I do.’
Anna nodded. ‘Four female staff members locked in a storeroom by three men who turned up armed with guns. It happened about forty minutes ago. And there were nine children here at the time who were apparently put into another room.’