I, Witness by Niki Mackay @NikiMackayBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n @orion_crime #blogtour #IWitness

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for I, Witness by Niki Mackay! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Niki Mackay
Title : I, Witness
Series : Madison Attalee #1
Pages : 352
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

They say I’m a murderer.

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.

I plead guilty.

Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up. She is being released.

But the truth is, I didn’t do it.

There’s only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attalee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.

But there’s someone out there who doesn’t want Kate digging up the past. Someone who is willing to keep the truth buried at any cost.

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Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was sent to prison for the murder of her best friend, Naomi. Despite pleading guilty, Kate says she’s innocent. She returns to her home town, the scene of the crime, and enlists the help of private investigator, Madison Attalee, to find out what really happened that night.

Boy, oh boy, I do so enjoy stories involving dysfunctional families and this one really takes the cake. With family secrets galore and skeletons in various closets, I quickly found myself caught up in a web of deceit and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for a number of characters and all the things they went through.

I took to Madison Attalee right away. Recently divorced and having lost custody of her daughter, everything is pretty much a struggle. But despite the immense load of baggage she’s carrying around on her shoulders, she’s quite a no-nonsense character with a potty mouth, who made me chuckle quite a bit with her self-depricating and dry sense of humour.

The theme of motherhood and bad parenting is woven throughout the story. I sometimes found myself getting increasingly frustrated with some of the characters’ behaviour concerning their children. Ah, the longstanding nature versus nurture debate. That’ll never get old.

I don’t believe in evil people as such. I don’t think it’s born, which means it must be created.

There were quite a few perspectives in this story and part of me feels maybe things would have benefited a bit more from having a few less. That is not to say it wasn’t executed well or broke the flow in any way. It’s more of a personal preference. Nevertheless, all these chapters give an incredible insight into how pretty much everyone is affected by the choices that were made in the past.

I, Witness is incredibly suspenseful and intriguing. The chilling prologue pulled me in right away. It took me a while to figure out how to fit the pieces of the puzzle together but it all led to the most satisfying conclusion. I thoroughly enjoyed this first instalment in the Madison Attalee series and I can’t wait to see what kind of case will land in her lap next.

I, Witness is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

I am a writer and a bookworm. I studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School. It turned out I wasn’t very good at acting but quite liked writing scripts. I went on to take a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama. I later won a full scholarship for an MA in Journalism.

I love words in many varied forms, and read widely, but my first love is crime-fiction. I am interested in people and what makes them tick: class, prejudice, and feminism. My debut novel ‘I, Witness’ is out on the 19th April 2018 with Orion. It is the first in a series featuring private Investigator Madison Attallee and is set in Kingston-upon-Thames.

Author links : Goodreads | Twitter

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A Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan @Lisalregan @bookouture #blogtour

Thrilled to join the blog tour for A Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan today! My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Lisa Regan
Title : A Mother’s Grave
Series : Detective Josie Quinn #3
Pages : 346
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 19, 2018

aboutthebook

When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenage foster-child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare try to track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear that someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

As she battles the demons from her past, can Josie stop this killer before another precious life is taken?

mythoughts

Bloody hell! This third instalment in the Josie Quinn series is just …. WOW! I don’t even know where to begin.

When human bones are discovered behind the local trailer park, little does Josie know her past is about to catch up with her. Dental records confirm the remains belong to a young girl who was murdered thirty years ago. Her name was Belinda Rose. But wait a minute, Josie’s mother was Belinda Rose, wasn’t she? Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but it looks like she now has no choice but to track her down.

If you’ve been following this series from the start, then you already know little bits and pieces about Josie’s relationship with her mother but this time, we’re digging a helluva lot deeper. What follows is an intensely heartbreaking background story with the most sick, twisted and insanely disturbing mother ever!

To say this book is incredibly gripping would be an understatement. I raced through this as if my own life depended on it. I never quite knew what would happen next and this intricately woven plot kept me guessing until the end. With superb pace throughout, twists and turns, an unpredictable and dangerous psycho, nail-biting tension and flashback chapters that will pull at your heartstrings, A Mother’s Grave has everything I could possibly want in a fantastic detective story.

This is without a doubt the best one in the series yet. It has left me rather speechless and a tad discombobulated. If you like your crime fiction series with a fabulous female detective, you have to read this series! I can’t wait for the next one and so look forward to seeing where Lisa Regan takes Josie and her team next!

A Mother’s Grave is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Author links : Twitter

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Weekly Wrap-Up (July 22)

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I’m thinking of booking a trip to Iceland, just to be able to cool off for a few days. So hot. Stepping outside feels like running face first into a brick wall. So what do I do when it’s too hot to move? I read, obviously, with a fan aimed right at me.

Although the past few days, I’ve also sat sobbing quietly in a corner envying my blogger buddies who are out having a fantastic time at Harrogate. Definitely one for the bucket list. John Grisham was there! JOHN GRISHAM! I can’t even … *blows nose*

Anyway, I managed to get through another 8 books this week. Woohoo!

Books I’ve read this week


Books I’ve bought this week

Erm. These and I also pre-ordered the new Sarah Hilary, which doesn’t have a cover yet and isn’t published until May. That doesn’t count, right? 🤔


ARC’s received via Netgalley

One for a blog tour, the other one caught my eye as I was scrolling and the description was even better.


Bookpost what landed on my doorstep this past week

I’ve been having some issues with my phone, which is what I use to take bookish pictures with so I don’t have any. Yet. But I received the finished paperback of The Confession by Jo Spain from the lovely people at Quercus and a copy of A Little Bird Told Me by Marianne Holmes from the wonderful people at Agora. Hopefully I’ll be able to show these soon either in my wrap-up or on Instagram.


On the blog this past week

Monday : Joined the blog blitz for The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale

Wednesday : Joined the blog blitz for Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane and shared my Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise

Friday : Joined the blog tour for Do No Harm by Lucy V. Hay

Saturday : Shared my review for The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up


Next week on Novel Deelights

What can I say? 😳

Monday : Blog tour | Review | A Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan
Monday : Blog tour | Review | I, Witness by Niki Mackay

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Death in Dulwich by Alice Castle

Wednesday : Blog tour | Extract | Kill For Me by Tom Wood

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Lost Letters of William Woolf

Friday : Blog tour | Review | No One Will Hear by Joel Hames

Saturday : Blog tour | Review | The Secret by K.L. Slater
Saturday : Blog tour | Review | Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Gina Kirkham

Sunday : Blog tour | Extract | Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow

Nothing to worry about. I have everything under control. *hyperventilates*

On top of all of that, I’d very much like to point out that I am currently reading book 11 for my 20 Books of Summer Challenge. I can still make it. Sometimes I surprise even myself. 😂

Right, that’s it for another week. I’m off to write up some reviews and then my current read and I are going outside for a nice baking session. I’d like to find out if I can really fry an egg on my stomach. 🤔

Have a fantastic week and lots of happy reading! xx

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings #20BooksofSummer

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Author : Amanda Jennings
Title : The Cliff House
Pages : 384
Publisher : HQ
Publication date : May 17, 2018

aboutthebook

Cornwall, summer of 1986.

The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.

If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.

If only her life was as perfect as theirs.

If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.

If only she lived at The Cliff House…

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Set in 1980’s Cornwall and told from various perspectives, The Cliff House could quite possibly be one of the most unsettling novels I’ve ever read.

Sixteen year old Tamsyn is utterly obsessed with The Cliff House and the Davenport family. Tamsyn doesn’t have it easy. Her family is struggling but the Davenports seem to be living the dream with their stunning house, flashy cars and oozing glamour. Tamsyn has yet to learn that all the money in the world doesn’t buy you happiness. Striking up an unlikely friendship with Edie Davenport will give Tamsyn a glimpse into life at the Cliff House.

This exquisitely written character-study makes one heck of a psychological thriller. None of the characters are particularly likeable, yet it’s perfectly easy to understand where they’re coming from and why they act the way they do. The looming presence of the Cliff House itself gives this story a bit of a gothic feel and the house is almost a character on its own.

The Cliff House is a dark and disturbing tale of obsession. Rich in atmosphere and full of wonderful descriptions, this slow-burner had me completely captivated. There is a constant almost threatening sort of vibe, an impending feeling of doom. You know something is coming but you have no idea what it will be. I thought there might be clues in the present day chapters but I couldn’t at all figure out which of the girls was talking.

With a brilliant plot, this story about family, loss, grief and obsession slowly builds up to one of the most jaw-dropping endings I’ve ever read. A deliciously haunting tale by Amanda Jennings and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

The Cliff House is available to buy!

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

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Book 8 from my 20 Books of Summer list

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Do No Harm by Lucy V. Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours #DoNoHarm

Today, I’m delighted to join the blog tour for Do No Harm by Lucy V. Hay! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the review copy and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join!

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Author : Lucy V. Hay
Title : Do No Harm
Pages : 300
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : June 30, 2018 (ebook) | July 20, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with teacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily.

After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong. Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives.

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Ah, newly wedded bliss. Joys of joys and all that. Or not, as Sebastian and Lily will find out soon enough.

Lily’s first marriage to successful oncologist, Maxwell, was a bit of a nightmare. But now Lily has found love again with Sebastian, who is the polar opposite of her first husband. After a whirlwind romance, we meet Sebastian and Lily on their wedding day but little do they know, there is trouble ahead.

Just because Lily is now marrying someone else, that doesn’t mean Maxwell’s obsessive and controlling behaviour has come to an end. He’s decided he wants his family back and he’ll do whatever it takes to make that happen.

The chapters alternate between Sebastian and Lily, giving the reader glimpses into what could possibly be going on while the characters remain clueless. While I was sometimes a little frustrated at their decisions and behaviour, it somehow all felt quite realistic and believable. It was fascinating to see how quickly trust, one of the foundations of a relationship, is blown to smithereens.

Now, I did figure out the “who”, but it didn’t ruin the reading experience for me one bit because I couldn’t at all predict their end game and there were still plenty of other twists to entertain me. Lucy Hay knows how to keep a reader hooked with intriguing characters and a scenario that will make you flip the pages faster as the tension builds up. And she most definitely knows how to set a scene, which always allows me to see things play out right in front of my eyes as if I was watching it on a screen.

Do No Harm is a devilish tale of manipulation and possessiveness with a disturbed and twisted individual calling the shots. Once again, Lucy Hay delivers a captivating, suspenseful and addictive page-turner that is sure to mess with your head!

Do No Harm is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin(2015), both starring Danny Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for the London Screenwriters’ Festival and has written two non-fiction books, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays, plus its follow-up Drama Screenplays. Her critically acclaimed debut thriller The Other Twin was published in 2017.

Author links : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise @SpencerWise10 @annecater @noexitpress #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Emperor of Shoes by Spencer Wise today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Spencer Wise
Title : The Emperor of Shoes
Pages : 312
Publisher : No Exit Press
Publication date : July 26, 2018

aboutthebook

Alex Cohen, a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Bostonian, is living in southern China, where his father runs their family-owned shoe factory. Alex reluctantly assumes the helm of the company, but as he explores the plant’s vast floors and assembly lines, he comes to a grim realization: employees are exploited, regulatory systems are corrupt and Alex’s own father is engaging in bribes to protect the bottom line. When Alex meets a seamstress named Ivy, his sympathies begin to shift. She is an embedded organizer of a pro-democratic Chinese party, secretly sowing dissonance among her fellow labourers. Will Alex remain loyal to his father and his heritage? Or will the sparks of revolution ignite?

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How often do we buy something that says Made in China? When we do, do we stop and wonder about the conditions of the people who made this pair of jeans, this phone in our hand or the shoes on our feet?

At twenty-six years of age, Alex Cohen hasn’t really been questioning these things either, despite the fact his father owns a shoe factory in China. It isn’t until Alex meets Ivy, a seamstress at the factory, that his sympathies begin to shift.

This novel is mainly centred around the relationship between Alex and his father. Alex is fiercely loyal and while he feels changes need to be made somehow, he’s wary of going against everything his father stands for. All he really wants is to make him happy and proud. But Fedor Cohen isn’t a particularly likeable character most of the time. He doesn’t care one iota for his workers, the conditions they work and live in and would like nothing more than to see his son follow in his footsteps. Yet, despite their relationship being quite complicated, it’s also rather wonderful. There’s mutual respect and also a lovely dose of humour.

And then there’s Alex’s relationship with Ivy. Ivy was present at the historical and unforgettable student protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989 and despite the devastating consequences, her desire for a democratic and better China hasn’t waned. Is she using Alex to push through changes, though?

I must admit I struggled with this novel a little bit at the start and wondered if literary fiction was perhaps a step too far for me. But at some point, things just clicked and I became quite engrossed. This is an incredibly thought-provoking novel that gives immense insight into the social issues that plague China and its population. The injustice and the corruption is really laid bare. But it’s not all doom and gloom as there are some quite funny moments too. Chinese proverbs do not translate well to English, for one, and there’s also an older factory worker who apparently learned the little knowledge of English she has through movies.

With wonderfully vivid descriptions of China and an eye-opening topic, this beautifully written and realistic novel about change in every shape or form is a powerful debut by Spencer Wise and I’m glad, that despite the initial struggle, I persevered.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKoboGoodreads

abouttheauthor

Spencer Wise is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Texas at Austin. He recently won the 2017 Gulf Coast Prize in nonfiction. His work has appeared in Narrative magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Florida Review, and New Ohio Review. Wise teaches at Florida State University and lives in Tallahassee.

Author links : Twitter

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This Week in Books (July 18)

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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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After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with teacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily.

After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong. Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives.

The book I’m currently reading

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We can’t choose the strangers we meet.

As the guests arrive at beautiful, remote Mitchell’s Inn, they’re all looking forward to a relaxing weekend deep in the forest, miles from anywhere. They watch their fellow guests with interest, from a polite distance.

Usually we can avoid the people who make us nervous, make us afraid.

With a violent storm raging, the group finds itself completely cut off from the outside world. Nobody can get in – or out. And then the first body is found . . . and the horrifying truth comes to light. There’s a killer among them – and nowhere to run.

Until we find ourselves in a situation we can’t escape. Trapped.

What I’m (probably) reading next

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When two young boys discover human bones buried beneath a tree in a trailer park, Detective Josie Quinn races to join her team at the scene. She used to play in those woods as a child, happier outside and away from her abusive mother, Belinda Rose.

Josie’s past crashes into her present when a rare dental condition confirms the bones belong to a teenage foster-child who was murdered thirty years ago. A girl named Belinda Rose…

Josie hasn’t seen her mother in years but, with an undeniable connection between her mother and the dead girl, does she dare try to track her down?

Just as Josie gets closer to uncovering a secret that will shatter her world forever, another body is uncovered. It’s suddenly clear that someone very close to Josie will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried forever.

As she battles the demons from her past, can Josie stop this killer before another precious life is taken?

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Anything here taking your fancy? What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Happy reading! xx

Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #PrettyUglyLies

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join! Author Pamela Crane visits the blog today and in true self-quiz style wonders :  what kind of psycho are you?

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Author : Pamela Crane
Title : Pretty Ugly Lies
Pages : 250
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : July 18, 2018

aboutthebook

Jo’s idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.

Ellie is a devoted wife… until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.

Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she’s confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.

June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.

Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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Self-Quiz: What Kind of Psycho Are You?
By Pamela Crane, USA Today best-selling thriller author

I love self-quizzes, don’t you? They used to be in every women’s magazine, and now you can find them all over Facebook. Well, here’s a new quiz for you.

How often have you asked yourself this question: What kind of psycho am I? If it’s been more than once, you may have bigger problems than I can help with.

I’m not referring to a Norman Bates kind of psycho. I’m talking about what kinds of struggles would cause you to freak out, to snap, to go psycho-chick. Maybe it’s the nitpicking husband who is impossible to please. Maybe it’s the piles of dirty laundry and sink full of dishes that never gets clean. Maybe it’s an endless barrage of fighting and whining from the kids. Maybe it’s your boss demanding too much. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s dog barking night and day. Maybe it’s financial strain that leaves your bank account empty…along with your food cupboard. Maybe it’s your newborn keeping you up all night with colicky cries, refusing to eat.

We all have triggers that bring out the “psycho” in us. I certainly do. When my autistic son goes into one of his meltdowns and the kids scream for no reason whatsoever, I start to lose my cool. Add to that a work deadline that keeps me up until two in the morning and a dog that makes a grunting noise beside my bed all night long, keeping me awake up until the kids come running into my bedroom the next morning demanding breakfast, watch out—because I’m about to snap.

Now that I’ve told you mine, what are yours?

My latest domestic thriller, PRETTY UGLY LIES, introduces four women loosely based on friends in my own life. They each have struggles…and one of these ladies is going to snap big-time. (Hint: yup, one of them gets murdery, so read the book to find out who!) They’re all great gals, but equally flawed in their own ways. Let’s meet the cast of the story and see what brings the psycho out in these everyday women…

Meet Jo, a mom whose life is perfect, husband gorgeous and successful, kids bright and obedient. She’s a gal who spends her days baking cookies and cuddling her kids at night after reading bedtime stories…and she actually enjoys every second of it. But when disaster strikes and she loses her child at the park one day, everything that made her strong crumbles. She’s unable to cope, and all sense of who she is shatters like broken glass. She can’t seem to recover from her upside-down world, and in the end, she turns on her family, her friends, herself. When everything goes exactly as planned, Jo is Wonder Woman. But when things spiral out of her control, she loses hope and can’t pull it together. Is this you?

Next we have Ellie, who has always struggled with motherhood. While she’s smart and capable, she gave up a thriving career to dote on the needs of her family as a stay-at-home mom—and gets little thanks in return. Her kids sense her lack of self-respect and prey on that, and her husband has long ago lost interest in her. While she’s brilliant and talented, she has lost who she is over the years. If only her kids would listen to her and her husband let her pursue her passion, she’d be happy. But as it is, she’s drowning in her misery and can’t seem to catch her breath. Can you relate to Ellie?

Shayla is more common that you might expect, a woman whose struggle with bipolar disorder has been buried for years. She’s energetic, fun, carefree…maybe a little too carefree. She’s got a great home life, but she bores easily and needs a dose of adrenaline to keep her happy—especially when she’s off her meds. That’s when straying outside her marriage starts to appeal…until her affair partner turns out crazier than she is. Now’s she’s in a pickle and her family turns against her. It’s the perfect recipe for sending her fragile mental state into a breakdown. Have you ever felt like Shayla?

June is a lot like me. Four kids, a special needs child among them, and some days feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. She’s an empath and cares deeply for others, sometimes to her own disadvantage. But the daily needs become too much as she’s juggling work, a neglectful hubby (not based on my own amazingly awesome husband), a handful of kids, and too much background noise. A simple solution would be to ask for help, but she’s too prideful to lean on others, even when they offer. June’s doing too much and doesn’t see the toll it’s taking on her. If she keeps running in circles like this, she’s bound to lose her way…and her mind. Do you feel June’s pain?

Four different women, four different paths, four different triggers. Each has strengths, but each also has weaknesses. The thing is, it’s okay to not always wear the cape. We can’t always be superhuman. Sometimes we are simply just human. And with being a human comes moments where we lose our mind a little, lose ourselves even. But the key is to pick ourselves up at the end of each day and figure out our way through the hard parts of life, along the rocky terrain until we find clear prairies.

Social norms demand us to be smiley-faced emojis and comical memes. We’re supposed to be always agreeable, likeable, perfect. But that’s not reality, is it? I remember as a child when my mother would be yelling at us kids over something we’d done. We were always getting into something we shouldn’t, or fighting about stupid stuff—but I was never the instigator, I assure you (if my sister is reading this, I retract this statement). In the middle of Mom’s eardrum-bursting discipline, the phone would ring and she’d answer it with an ever-so-sweet “hello” so that the person on the other line had no idea she had nearly torn her vocal cords a moment earlier. In those moments Mom tucked an ugly reality in the corner while her public presence demonstrated nothing but a calm, happy mirage. (Mom, I totally get this now that I have kids!)

As PRETTY UGLY LIES uses a murder to reveal, life is full of lies, secrets, airing dirty laundry, betrayal, skeletons, pain, loss, frustration… Reality is enough to drive anyone mad. And that’s okay. You’re not alone, I’m not alone. “One day at a time,” Mom always told me. Sometimes one moment at a time is necessary.

So enjoy this self-quiz while you answer the question: What kind of psycho are you? Are you Jo, Ellie, Shayla, or June? And then give yourself a pat on the back for facing who you are without cringing. Hugs from one psycho to another!

[Reality is indeed enough to drive anyone crazy. Thank goodness for books! Thank you so much for stopping by, Pamela! Really enjoyed reading your post!]

abouttheauthor

Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him) and she writes on the edge. Writing murder mysteries is her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and she bases her characters on real people, so be warned! She is a USA Today best-selling author of several award-winning thrillers, which you can find on her website at www.pamelacrane.com.

Author links : Facebook

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The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale @v_carnevale @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour

Delighted to join the blog tour for The Memories of Us by Vanessa Carnevale today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon UK for the invitation to join and the beautiful review copy!

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Author : Vanessa Carnevale
Title : The Memories of Us
Pages : 336
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : July 12, 2018

One moment can change your life.

When Gracie Ashcroft wakes after a crash with severe amnesia, she must choose whether to live a life through other people’s memories or to start a new life all her own.

Discovering her late mother left her an old flower farm, Gracie leaves her fiancé, best friend and the home full of forgotten memories behind, hoping to learn who she is now.

Torn between wishing she could remember and afraid of losing what she now has, Gracie starts to wonder: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?

If the past determines our present, what happens when we lose our memories of who we are? When you can’t remember what you like or love, from breakfast to the man you’re supposed to be marrying?

If memories are the delicate threads that knit our souls together and make us who we are, who can we be without them?

After being involved in a car accident, Gracie wakes up suffering from amnesia. She can’t remember her own name, her best friend or her fiancé. Gracie is adamant nobody should tell her anything about what her life was like. She wants to find things out on her own because suddenly her job as an interior designer, for instance, doesn’t sound so appealing. So with a clean slate, so to speak, will the choices Grace now makes bring her back to the life she used to have or will things turn out completely differently?

Gracie returns to the flower farm her mother used to own. A place that should feel familiar to her but does nothing of the sort. Yet, it’s through the language of flowers, the stunning power of Mother Nature, that Gracie finds out a bit more about herself and may even find love again. I must say, I really enjoyed spending time at Summerhill. The beautiful descriptions almost made it sound magical. I’d move there in a heartbeat!

The Memories of Us isn’t quite my typical sort of novel. But I was swayed by the beautiful cover and the intriguing description. I soon found myself completely immersed in Gracie’s circumstances and I think the author handled the issue of Retrograde Amnesia quite wonderfully. It was easy to sympathise with Gracie, to imagine what her life was now like, how frustrating it must be when you realise you can’t even remember how to tie your shoelaces. Of course, there’s a dash of romance. While this usually makes me cringe, I actually quite enjoyed this part of the story as well and found myself rooting for a happy ending.

A wonderfully warm and beautiful story about love, heartbreak and hope that even almost left me with a lump in my throat. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Memories of Us is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

Vanessa Carnevale is a freelance writer based in Australia, who has contributed to The Green Parent, The Huffington Post, Muse, and Italy magazine, among others. Her debut novel, The Florentine Bridge, was published in 2017 by HQ in Australia. She was a finalist in the Best New Author category for the AusRom Today Readers Choice Awards 2017.

Vanessa is also the host of Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreats held in Tuscany and Australia.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture #blogblitz #TheSilentSister

Good morning and welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Silent Sister. Happy publication day to Shalini Boland!

My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Shalini Boland
Title : The Silent Sister
Pages : 304
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 16, 2018

When Lizzy Beresford discovers a threatening letter addressed to her, the words on the old, tattered paper chill her to the bone. But who sent it? Living in pretty cottage in a quiet country village, Lizzy’s never made any enemies in her life…

Except her sister.

Lizzy hasn’t spoken to Emma in years. Not since the argument which tore their relationship apart. Would her sister really want to cause her harm after all this time?

As Lizzy receives more disturbing messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her – her boyfriend, her best friend, her neighbours.

Because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And after a series of malicious incidents, it’s clear they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed her life.

Lizzy knows she must confront her sister. But can she trust her? And will she realise the shocking truth, before it’s too late?

Probably an odd way to start a review by mentioning the ending but I hereby declare Shalini Boland the “Queen of Epilogues” because every single time, she manages to put a spin on everything you’ve read on the pages preceding it! Makes me want to read the whole thing again to see how I missed the clues, if there are any.

Anywho, to the beginning.

Few things sound as scary to me as having a stalker. Someone who knows your every move, sometimes even seemingly before you do. Someone who taunts you and terrifies you, who makes you suspicious of everyone you meet. This is what happens to Lizzy when she starts receiving odd notes at home and at work. The police are no help at all and so it falls to Lizzy herself to figure out who wishes her harm. Could it be her sister, Emma? Her boyfriend, Joe? Her neighbours? Her boss/landlord? The cat?!

This is one of those stories where you are suspicious of just about everyone. Like me, you may find yourself zeroing in on a potential suspect, then double-guessing yourself, backtracking and getting utterly confused. Not helped by the fact that either someone is acting like a total creep or is too good to be true.

I found this one started out a bit slow but the tension did build up in the second part and true to form there are a few twists and turns I didn’t quite see coming. Even though, I thought I knew who the stalker was, I couldn’t at all figure out their connection to Lizzy, nor why they had it in for her as much as they did.

Shalini Boland is one of those authors who constantly delivers and I have no doubt fans of her previous books will enjoy this twisty tale of secrets, betrayal and revenge as well.

The Silent Sister will be published on July 16th and is available for pre-order!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

Shalini Boland is a USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers ‘THE GIRL FROM THE SEA’ (No 1, US Audible charts), ‘THE BEST FRIEND’ (No 2, US Audible charts), ‘THE MILLIONAIRE’S WIFE’ (No 9, UK Kindle charts), ‘THE SECRET MOTHER’ (No 2, US Kindle charts), THE CHILD NEXT DOOR (No 11, UK Kindle charts).

Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

She is also the author of two bestselling Young Adult series as well as an atmospheric WWII novel with a time-travel twist.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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