Snowday by B.R. Maycock | @BRMaycock

This may very well be the first and only time you’ll see anything remotely festive on this here blog. (Just call me The Grinch) But when the absolutely wonderful Bernadette Maycock asked me if I  could feature her new novel Snowday, I just couldn’t say no. So today, I’m sharing an extract from this feel-good romantic comedy, which you can read right after I tell you a little bit about Snowday.

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Author : B.R. Maycock
Title : Snowday
Pages : 182
Publisher : n/a
Publication date : November 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Sometimes hot cocoa just isn’t enough to keep you warm in the snow…

Eloise is too busy juggling the chaos of three kids, an ever present ex-husband and a demanding boss to even remember the last time dating crossed her mind.

But as soft snow falls silently all around, romance twinkles with the flakes.

After being single for so long, Eloise suddenly has a lot of choices. Too many choices. Will anyone be worthy of melting the guard around her heart to let love in?

extract

The supermarket was full of late-night shoppers. Eloise watched as people snatched various items from the shelf and then replaced them haphazardly when they realised they weren’t what they were looking for. The stress was palpable, the mood both terse and frantic. With more snowfalls due, people wanted to be ready for Christmas. She guessed she should be panicking too but actually she was, perhaps stupidly, trying to get it out of her mind. 

The Disneyland Paris thing would kill her. They’d always gone to Christmas Eve mass then had a cosy night by the fire watching any family movies or game shows on telly. Christmas Day, Gary’s family dropped by after dinner to exchange presents with the kids. It was a well-rehearsed sequence of events by now and the thought of missing it made her want to cry. She loved the decorations, the lights splayed about the fireplace that held their personalised Christmas stockings for Santa Claus. How could she leave all that behind and go to a place supposedly filled with magic, as part of a couple who didn’t want to share their lives anymore? 

She tossed some bubbles into the trolley for the younger kids, praying that the day would be nice enough that they could play outside, then moved onto the confectionary aisle. People were stocking up on their Celebrations and Roses tins, which were on special. Eloise took three, along with a tin of biscuits. After a moment’s consideration, she got wrapping paper too. She bypassed the cards which, in years gone by had been Gary’s request, although she had been the one to fill them in, with the two of them laughing as he simply added “and Gary” at the end. 

She got some novelty socks and games for her brother, some gift sets for her sister and a “home is where the hearth is” ornament for her parents. Raised voices behind her made her turn. She tried not to stare. Watching people argue always made her neck flame. Herself and Gary had fought constantly and consistently. Later of course they would laugh calling it harmless bickering, but it wasn’t really. When there’d sat through the film The Break Up with Vince Vaughan and Jennifer Aniston they’d watched in silence, seeing themselves on screen, two people who couldn’t talk without arguing bitterly with one another. 

Although as Eloise watched the two people screaming into each other’s faces as their child wailed (why would you bring your child to a supermarket at this time of the night?), she gave herself some consolation that they’d never been that vocal. Oh and Gary would never call her a slag. And she’d never use the c word at him. Oops, their venom was now being aimed in her direction. Time to go! She looked at her watch. She had been there too long already and her phone was buzzing angrily. Crap! What was she doing starting her Christmas shopping? She had nothing solid for the next day yet.

She picked up. ‘Gary? Hi I’m sorry, I just got side-tracked.’

‘I need to go Eloise, and I don’t want to leave them in the house on their own.’ From the way he said it, he had every intention of doing it.

She froze. ‘Then don’t.’ 

‘I’d love to not but I honestly have to go.’ Why had she done this? Why hadn’t she just… She shook her head. As usual she hadn’t had an option. She could have gone late into work the following day, but things were ropey enough as it was. She wasn’t Mr Staunton’s favourite person seeing that apparently she’d given his wife hints of freedom.

‘Fifteen minutes.’ 

‘Cora is fourteen years old…’

‘Don’t even think about it. Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll get back to you.’ She snapped so loudly people looked over at her. The shouty couple walking by looked at her in interest.

‘Stupid, bloody, selfish,’ her monologue erupted as she raced off, firing sausages, fish fingers and every other frozen food that would suffice into the trolley. She didn’t have time to think out recipes and the guilt she got from her food choices were compounded by a woman walking by who looked into Eloise’s trolley at the litres of fizzy drinks (bought for half price for Christmas) and frozen goods. She couldn’t even fake smile at the lady, instead choosing to blush. On remembering she had no bread and milk, Eloise whirled around and ran full pelt, dodging irritated patrons who openly cursed her with a ‘what the?’ She apologised as she ran.

‘You’re going the wrong way,’ a young man who was stacking the shelves said merrily as she passed him. ‘There’s a system. It stops crashes happening.’ She ignored him, manoeuvring around his palette of Christmas stock and narrowly missing someone also running full pelt in the opposing direction. She afforded herself a quick glance to see if the shelf stacker had noticed. He gave a thumbs up and a smile.

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Dear Eloise, here’s a helpful hint : online shopping 😉

If this has left you wanting more, you can grab yourself a copy of Snowday right now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

When Bernadette Maycock isn’t dreaming up vibrant leads for romantic comedies, she’s ingesting books for her blog (https://brmaycock.wordpress.com/), in particular chick lit (her first love!) books, romantic comedies and thrillers. She can also be found playing footie or watching Marvel, DC or Star Wars movies and cartoons in Co. Westmeath, Ireland with her brilliantly out there husband, Keith, and their four epic little men. 

Her debut ‘It Started With A Snub’ and Christmas romantic comedy ‘Snowday’ are available now on Amazon, and Bernadette is currently working on a three part series about AbbeyGlen Village, whose luck is about to change … 

She has one goal and that’s simply to make readers smile and/ or laugh (a splutter rates highest;)).

Author links : Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

The Winters by Lisa Gabriele | #TheWinters #NetGalley

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Author : Lisa Gabriele
Title : The Winters
Pages : 336
Publisher : Harvill Secker / Random House UK
Publication date : November 15, 2018

aboutthebook

After a whirlwind romance, a young woman returns to the opulent, secluded mansion of her new fiancé Max Winter – a wealthy senator and recent widower – and to a life of luxury she’s never known.

But all is not as it appears at the Asherley estate. The house is steeped in the memory of Max’s beautiful first wife Rebekah, who haunts the young woman’s imagination and feeds her uncertainties, while his very alive teenage daughter Dani makes her life a living hell.

As the soon-to-be second Mrs. Winter grows more in love with Max, and more afraid of Dani, she is drawn deeper into the family’s dark secrets – the kind of secrets that could kill her, too.

mythoughts

Last night Rebekah tried to murder me again.

If that opening sentence doesn’t draw you in, little else will. Heavily inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, The Winters does an excellent job of being an exciting psychological suspense novel all on its own. So if you never read the classic, don’t fret!

The Cayman Islands. A slice of paradise on earth. But for our nameless main character, for her name is never revealed, it is anything but. Struggling to make ends meet, she seems doomed to live in poverty. Until she meets Max Winter, a wealthy senator, who sweeps her off her feet. After a whirlwind romance, Max takes his new fiancé home to Asherley, to his secluded mansion and to a life his fiancé has never known.

There is a dark cloud hanging over this secluded spot though. It comes in the shape of Max’s first wife, Rebekah. Memories of Rebekah are seeped into the mansion’s walls and haunt our nameless character, feeding her insecurities and imagination. And Max’s teenage daughter, Dani, isn’t exactly welcoming her new stepmother with open arms either.

The new Mrs Winter will soon discover Asherley holds a multitude of secrets. Who can she trust? Is her life in danger? Is she merely imagining things or are there far more sinister things ahead?

As a reimagining of a classic, this works really well. But like I said at the start, if you’ve never read the original, that isn’t a problem. Plenty of things have been changed, like the setting and the characters but The Winters is just as tense and atmospheric. I found the build-up a bit on the slow side, although it did give me a fantastic insight into the kind of person the new Mrs Winter is. Her background story makes it easy to sympathise with some of her decisions.

As to what exactly is going on at Asherley, I didn’t have a clue. The minute I thought I had it figured out, something would happen that made me doubt my theory. As the suspense grew and the threatening vibe increased, I found myself utterly engrossed. With plenty of twists and turns, this is a thoroughly enjoyable psychological thriller that completely drew me in.

The Winter is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh @bookouture | #blogblitz #extract #excerpt

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh. My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the opportunity to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Valerie Keogh
Title : Secrets Between Us
Pages : 329
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 14, 2018

aboutthebook

How safe are your secrets?

One letter a week for fifteen years. 780 identical white envelopes brimming with my sister’s darkest secrets. All the intimate details of a life as different to mine as could possibly be.

I read each letter slowly to make sure I understand it perfectly, one day very soon it will be a matter of life and death…

At the end of each letter, after signing her name, there is always one final sentence:

Don’t forget to burn this letter.

I’ll let you decide if I do…

extract

Chapter  2 – Extract

Ellie  Armstrong  was  beyond  tired.  She  waited  until  everyone had  left  the  boardroom  before  stretching,  feeling  muscles  creak and  a  piercing  pain  in  her  right  shoulder  that  told  of  too  many hours  hunched  over  her  computer.  The  meeting  had  gone  on  for an  hour  longer  than  she’d  expected.  God  Almighty,  if  she  had  to listen  to  Jeff  Harper  wittering  on  one  more  time,  she  might  just have  to  do  what  she’d  been  promising  her  husband  she’d  do  for the  last  two  years  and  quit.

Standing  slowly  and  looking  around  the  boardroom  table, she  knew  that  wasn’t  ever  going  to  happen,  no  matter  what Will  wanted.  She’d  told  him  before  they  got  married  that  she was  a  career  woman,  that  if  he  wanted  a  stay-at-home  wife he’d  better  say  so.  He  swore  then  that  he  liked  things  just  the way  they  were.

‘But  we  will  have  children,’  he  added;  not  a  question,  a statement.  He  was  willing  to  accept  some  compromise,  just  not with  this.

‘Eventually,’  Ellie  had  said.

‘When?’  Will  had  pushed  her,  wanting  to  know,  needing  a time  frame.

Ellie  felt  cornered  and  stayed  silent.

‘It’s  not  because  of  your  mother,  is  it?’  Will  had  asked.  ‘You’re not  afraid?’

Was  she?  She’d  be  lying  if  she  said  it  had  never  crossed  her mind.  Her  mother  had,  after  all,  died  during  childbirth.  But  it wasn’t  as  simple  as  that.  There  were  other  things  that  worried her,  things  she  tried  not  to  think  about.  She  looked  at  the  open, honest  face  of  this  man  she  loved,  and  knew  she  couldn’t  lie  to him.

Not  about  this…

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If this teaser has left you wanting more, then Secrets Between Us is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Valerie Keogh grew up reading Agatha Christie so when she started writing it seemed natural to write crime novels. She writes two different series, one based in Ireland featuring Garda Sergeant Mike West and a grittier one based in the UK featuring Nicola Connolly, a serial killer.

In March 2018, Valerie signed a two-book contract with the publisher, Bookouture. The first of these, Secrets Between Us, is out now.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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None So Blind by Alis Hawkins | @Alis_Hawkins @emily_glenister @DomePress | #bookreview #NoneSoBlind #recommended

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Author : Alis Hawkins
Title : None So Blind
Series : The Teifi Valley Coroner #1
Pages : 460
Publisher : Dome Press
Publication date : November 15, 2018

aboutthebook

West Wales, 1850.

When an old tree root is dug up, the remains of a young woman are found. Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has been dreading this discovery.

He knows exactly whose bones they are.

Working with his clerk, John Davies, Harry is determined to expose the guilty, but the investigation turns up more questions than answers.

The search for the truth will prove costly. Will Harry and John be the ones to pay the highest price?

mythoughts

There’s none so blind as those that will not see.

I seem to have found a (sub)genre to get increasingly excited about and that’s historical crime fiction. It has the crime element I love so much but its historical setting offers possibilities that the modern setting just doesn’t have. The author starts the book with a brief historic note on law and order in nineteenth century West Wales, concerning inquests and coroners and the like and I found it immensely interesting.

When an old tree root is dug up, the remains of a young woman are discovered. Harry Probert-Lloyd knows exactly whose bones they are. Together with his clerk, John Davies, he sets out to investigate what happened to this young woman and he’s determined to expose her killer.

Set in Wales, a few years after the Rebecca Riots, the influence of those involved still lingers to this day. People will do or say anything to avoid the wrath of the Rebeccaites. I knew nothing about this period and while some of it is explained throughout the story, it never turned into one of those boring history lessons we all hated. I got a really good feeling of what had happened in those days and I’m thankful to the author for keeping the longer explanation for the author’s notes. Because already at almost 460 pages, this isn’t exactly the kind of book you race through in one sitting and it’s a credit to the author for never making me feel like the story was too elaborate or dragged on too much, making me wonder if it couldn’t have been just that little bit shorter.

Harry Probert-Lloyd makes for one incredibly fascinating main character, one I must say is highly original. As the son of a magistrate but raised by a maid, the line between the privileged and the poor is slightly blurred to him. Forced to leave behind his career as a barrister in London, he returns home due to encroaching blindness. During his investigation into the past, he relies heavily on his clerk, John Davies. Here too, the divide between the gentry and its servants plays a huge part. These two characters were a joy to get to know and watching their relationship develop along the way felt incredibly natural.

A town and its residents in fear of repercussions results in quite the frustrating search for the truth for Harry and John. There are secrets and skeletons in closets that many don’t want to be revealed. I did have a good idea of what had happened and why but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment at all. The journey to discover the truth was twisty, gripping, full of brilliantly intriguing characters and I loved every minute of it. I can’t wait for more from Harry and John!

My thanks to Emily Glenister at Dome Press for my fabulous review copy!

None So Blind is out on Thursday!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Die Cold by Graham Smith | @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook | #DieCold #JakeBoulder #TeamBoulder #blogtour

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for Die Cold by Graham Smith today! My thanks to Emma Welton at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Die Cold
Series : Jake Boulder #4
Pages :
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

mythoughts

Boulder is back! BOULDER IS BACK!!! I may be a wee excited.

Die Cold is the fourth instalment in the Jake Boulder series and really, if you’re not reading these, you need to go sit in a corner and think about your life’s choices!

First things first, do yourselves a favour and do not treat this as a stand-alone! Jake’s struggle is real and I feel it’s important that you know him as well as you possibly can to understand him and his actions better. Our reluctant hero has been through a lot and events from the previous book especially have made a massive impact on him.

So much so, that he’s left behind family, friends and his hometown. Jake is now working as a bartender at an exclusive ski resort in Vermont. It’s New Year’s Eve but before the champagne even has the opportunity to start flowing, terrorists hold up the lodge and take everyone hostage. Their female leader is a cold and vile woman who has no qualms whatsoever in getting her point across. But what is it these terrorists want? Stuck up on a mountain in the middle of a fierce snow blizzard, what are the odds that help is coming? Does anyone even realise the people at the resort need any help? Or will it be left to Jake to save the hostages and the day?

Die Cold should have come with a warning to hook up an oxygen tank before you start reading because hoo boy, I found myself thrown right into the action from the very first page and it just didn’t let up! I was holding my breath numerous times (not literally, obviously, or I probably wouldn’t be here right now), could almost feel the adrenaline pumping inside my veins and was quite frankly left utterly exhausted. This would make an incredible action movie!

Now, I must admit, I missed Alphonse. But a character called Daniel made up for so much of that and I’m kind of hoping (possibly against all hope) that he might somehow make an appearance in other Boulder books. I’d quite like that. Through Daniel’s eyes and a few other hostages, we constantly get a glimpse into what’s going on, which really added to the tension. I found myself desperately trying to figure out what the terrorists had in mind, while all the time hoping I’d never find myself in that position.

What an immensely thrilling journey this was. Action-packed from the word “go”, tense, totally addictive and a fantastic addition to this series, Die Cold may just leave you gasping for air. I absolutely can’t wait to see where Graham Smith takes Jake Boulder next. Although, I do hope it’s somewhere warmer.

Die Cold is published TODAY!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Weekly Wrap-Up (November 11)

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Pretty uneventful week this week. So why not get right to it and see how my reading slump is going?

Books I read this week

Five books read this week. In the grand scheme of things, that’s awesome! But I haven’t actually read a single page since Thursday evening. The next book I have to read for a tour isn’t due for a while yet and the OH is working ridiculous hours (and all weekend) which means I am actually allowed to hold the remote control for a change 😂. I’m quite enjoying this break once again but getting back to the books seems to be getting harder and harder.


Books I bought this week

Sigh. None. I’m beginning to fear for my sanity.

….

🤔


ARC’s received via Netgalley

One. For a blog tour. I have quite a few pending but the Netgalley fairies aren’t being cooperative. 😂

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Bookpost what landed on my doorstep

Also one. And also for a blog tour. At the very beginning of the week because since then, our not-so-fabulous postal service has been on strike. 🙄

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On the blog this past week

Monday : I visited the lovely Emma at damppebbles with three of my recommendations for the year. You’ll be seeing these again nearer the end of the year when I compile my list of top books of 2018. Which is still growing. At this rate, it may need to be a top 50 🤣

Wednesday : I joined the blog tour for Her Last Move by John Marrs with a fab guest post and also posted My Week in Books

Thursday : I shared my review for the absolutely brilliant The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes


Next week on Novel Deelights

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Die Cold by Graham Smith

Tuesday : Review | None So Blind by Alis Hawkins

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Secrets Between Us by Valerie Keogh

Thursday : Review | The Winters by Lisa Gabriele

Friday : Possibly nothing

Saturday : Definitely nothing

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Considering the last few weeks, that’s actually quite a busy schedule 😂

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And that’s it. I don’t even have a question of the week. I know, I’m totally slacking off. The fact is that I did actually think of something I wanted to ask but I’m old and if I don’t write things down immediately, I forget them 😉

So all that remains for me to do is to wish you all a great week and I’ll see you next time for another wrap-up, which will most likely be even more (and by more, I mean “less) exciting than this one 😜

 

The Murder of Harriet Monckton by Elizabeth Haynes | @Elizjhaynes @MyriadEditions | #mustread #recommended

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Author : Elizabeth Haynes
Title : The Murder of Harriet Monckton
Pages : 485
Publisher : Myriad Editions
Publication date : September 27, 2018

aboutthebook

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story that shocked and fascinated the nation.

On 7th November 1843, Harriet Monckton, 23 years old and a woman of respectable parentage and religious habits, was found murdered in the privy behind the dissenting chapel she had regularly attended in Bromley, Kent. The community was appalled by her death, apparently as a result of swallowing a fatal dose of prussic acid, and even more so when the autopsy revealed that Harriet was six months pregnant.

Drawing on the coroner’s reports and witness testimonies, the novel unfolds from the viewpoints of each of the main characters, each of whom have a reason to want her dead. Harriet Monckton had at least three lovers and several people were suspected of her murder, including her close companion and fellow teacher, Miss Frances Williams. The scandal ripped through the community, the murderer was never found and for years the inhabitants of Bromley slept less soundly.

This rich, robust novel is full of suggestion and suspicion, with the innocent looking guilty and the guilty hiding behind their piety. It is also a novel that exposes the perilous position of unmarried women, the scandal of sex out of wedlock and the hypocrisy of upstanding, church-going folk.

mythoughts

Wow, wow, wow! What an incredible novel this is!

This is one of those books I saw pass by on Twitter one day and, despite knowing very little about it, promptly decided I’d buy myself a copy. It took exactly one page for me to absolutely fall in love with the Victorian era atmosphere and the wonderful writing.

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is based on a true story. In 1843, 23 year old Harriet Monckton was found murdered in a privy behind a chapel she had attended regularly. The autopsy revealed Harriet was six months pregnant and died due to ingesting prussic acid. Elizabeth Haynes compiled coroner’s reports and witness testimonies to tell Harriet’s story. The novel is told from various points of view by characters who all may have had reason to want Harriet gone from their lives. A former lover, a current lover, a wanna-be lover and a vile, despicable man hiding behind the cloak of piety.

This novel oozes atmosphere from the start, bringing not only the Victorian era to life but also delivering characters that are so realistic they almost jump from the page. It had me completely enthralled from start to finish and not only made me remember why I love historical fiction as much as I do but also re-awakened my sheer passion for reading. This is just plainly the kind of novel my inner bookworm dreams of and it delivered on every level.

My only tiny niggle is that I knew from the start that Harriet’s murder has never been solved. Like with any other murder mystery, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to figure things out on my own and decide on a suspect. It felt rather weird not to be quite able to do that since the killer was never caught. However, as luck would have it, I did actually end up with the same conclusion as the author came up with in her story so it’s not all bad. And none of it ruined my enjoyment of this wonderful novel. I have absolute no doubt this novel will end up in my list of favourite books of the year!

The Murder of Harriet Monckton is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

This Week in Books (November 7)

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Hosted by Lipsy Lost and Found, my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I’m reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words.

Last book I finished reading

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Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

The book I’m currently reading

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A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn’t prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody…

What I’m (probably) reading next

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Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! I don’t want to run out of books! 😉

Happy reading! xx

Her Last Move by John Marrs | @johnmarrs1 @AmazonPub @EmmaFinnigan | #HerLastMove #damppebblesblogtours #guestpost

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Her Last Move by John Marrs. My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join. John Marrs visits my blog today to talk about ten things you don’t know about himself and his books. But first, here is what Her Last Move is all about!

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Author : John Marrs
Title : Her Last Move
Pages : 352
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : November 8, 2018

aboutthebook

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

guestpost

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Me and My Books

  1. I’ve written six books since 2012 and am currently on draft one of my seventh. One character appears in each of my novels – my dog Oscar. In real life he’s a nine-year-old border terrier who has been with me since he was ten weeks old. In my stories, I’ve twice killed him off, changed his breed, his age and even his sex! 
  1. None of my books are sequels, but there is a little character hopping that happens. For example, the rock star son of Catherine in When You Disappeared appears as a music judge in Welcome To Wherever You Are. The house in When You Disappeared crops up in The Good Samaritan. The psychopath in my latest novel, Her Last Move, was in foster care with Laura, my sociopath from The Good Samaritan. Match Your DNA, the common theme in The One, will make an occurrence in my sixth novel, as yet untitled, which comes out early next year.
  1. My first five books were written on trains. I live in Northamptonshire but until ten months ago, I worked in London so I commuted each day. With round trips and lunch breaks, I had a good four hours a day to write. I’d slip on my headphones, find a moody playlist of music and ignore the world to create my own. Book six is the first one I’ve written completely at home.
  1. The original ending of The Good Samaritan was completely different to the version that appeared in the book. In the first few drafts, it was Laura’s friend Mary who was blackmailing her. My editor wasn’t convinced that was the right way to finish the book, so after much sulking from me, eventually I agreed with her and the ending that’s in the book is so much better.
  1. The first person who reads each of my books is my partner, confusingly, also called John. I also sound out the plots of my stories with him when we take the dog for long walks around the park. For book seven, we plotted the entire thing out while hiking in America’s Yosemite national park. The next reader is my mum, then fellow author Louise Beech before it goes to my editor.
  1. I don’t read half as much as I would like to. I just don’t have the time. I download a lot of audiobooks now which I listen to when I’m at the gym or taking Oscar for a walk. I’ll listen to my own books too when they first arrive. It’s always interesting to hear an actor or actress interpret your words. Some of them I’ve loved, others, well… I’m not so convinced by!
  1. My first novel, The Wronged Sons, was turned down by eighty different publishers and agents in the UK. It became a self-published word of mouth hit before it was taken on by publisher Thomas & Mercer, rewritten, republished and renamed When You Disappeared. In just over a year, it has now sold 250,000 copies. To all you unpublished writers out there – NEVER. GIVE. UP.
  1. My second novel, Welcome To Wherever You Are, is set in a backpacking hostel in Los Angeles and is loosely based on the characters I met there when I was a 21-year-old travelling around America for a year. This summer, I went back to LA and visited it for the first time in 26 years. It was quite a special moment.
  1. The One contains five main characters and their stories when they discover they each have a soul mate somewhere out there in the world. However, there was originally a sixth character. I’d written about 20,000 words of her story when I decided the book was going to be too long so I had to cull someone. She was axed as her story became too violent and I felt with one psychopath in the book, there wasn’t any more room for bloodshed.
  1.  My latest book, Her Last Move, is my first foray into police procedural. I wanted to write a police thriller just to see if I could manage it. I don’t see the point in writing the same kind of book over and over again even if they are hits. I needed to set myself a challenge and push myself and boy, did this push me. Hats off to every writer out there who works in this genre on a regular basis. Thankfully I had some expert assistants to help with the accuracy. And judging by early reviews on Goodreads and NetGalley, people seem to be liking it so far. Phew!

[I hope to get around to reading Her Last Move myself some time soon! Thank you so much for stopping by, John!]

abouttheauthor

John Marrs is the author of The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are.

A freelance journalist based in London, England, he has spent the past twenty years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.

He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine and Company.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Eva Merckx (@noveldeelights) #NovelDeelights

I’m sharing some of my 2018 recommendations over on damppebbles today!

damppebbles.com

Good morning bookish friends. I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today and to Monday’s #R3COMM3ND3D2018. Today’s guest is one of my very favourite people in the book world, the fabulous Eva Merckx of Novel Deelights. (Although she does push me to my limits by frequently trying to break the rules of #R3COMM3ND3D, and then changes her three choices on an almost daily basis (I exaggerate!). I’m sure she won’t mind me telling you this as she seems rather proud of herself, lol! Oh, and let’s not forget the squirrels…but that’s a story for another day!)

I digress. If you haven’t seen any of my #R3COMM3ND3D2018 posts before (where have you been for the last few days…?!) then let me explain. #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is where I invite book bloggers, authors and publishing folk to recommend three must read books. The only stipulation being that the books must have…

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