11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter @LibbyCPT @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour #excerpt #extract

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter. My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the invitation to join and for providing me with the extract I’ll be sharing with you today. But first, here is what this book is all about.

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Author : Elisabeth Carpenter
Title : 11 Missed Calls
Pages : 384
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : July 26, 2018

aboutthebook

Here are two things I know about my mother:

1. She had dark hair, like mine.

2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.

But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.

Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.

And then a body is found…

extract

I wait until Sophie has gone to bed before I mention Debbie. I didn’t want to confuse her by talking about another grandmother – who she thinks has passed away. How am I going to explain to her that Debbie is alive after all?

‘Don’t get your hopes up,’ says Jack − words I have heard many times − while he pours himself a glass of white wine.

‘I’m not,’ I say. ‘But the woman behind the counter said photos usually come out well, even after all that time.’

I grab my laptop and take it into the living room. I still don’t know what to say in my reply to Debbie. It is too important to just fire off a few words when I have a whole lifetime to write about. She won’t be expecting a message from me, but I doubt Monica or Dad have replied yet. They would have told me if they had, though I’m not sure of anything these days.

‘Just ask to meet,’ says Jack, reading my mind. ‘You don’t have to write an essay. If she is who she says she is, then you’ll find out soon enough.’

Perhaps it is as simple as that. There is a tiny part of me – self-preservation, again – that tells me not to give too much away in an email. She must earn the right to hear my news. The least she could do is meet me.

I click on the email forwarded by Dad. I already know her words off by heart, but I still read it. ‘The memories of shells and sweet things …’ No one else could know about that.

I type out the reply before I can think about it, and press send.

I look up and flinch. Jack is standing just centimetres away from me.

He laughs.

‘You were off in dreamland then.’ He hands me a piece of paper. ‘These are a few of the private investigators we use at work. The other partners hire them to find people for court summonses. One of them might be able to help if you don’t get a reply. Tell them to charge it to my account.’

‘What makes you think she won’t reply?’ I say. He shrugs. I look at the list. ‘So, are these PIs like Magnum?’

‘Er, no. Unfortunately not. They’re more likely to drive a Volvo estate than a Ferrari.’ He laughs at his own joke.

I settle back into the sofa. Some names to research; it makes me feel useful. I’ve never spoken to a private investigator before; they must lead such exciting lives.

‘They’ll probably jump at the chance of this job,’ says Jack. ‘They’re usually sitting in a car for eight hours at a time, pissing into a coke bottle.’

‘Oh.’

‘I’m just nipping down to the shop for more wine. Tough case at the moment.’

‘But it’s Friday night.’

‘If I can get this done, I can relax for the rest of the weekend.’

‘You can’t drive – you’ve already had a glass.’

He tuts. ‘I’m walking to the offy on the corner.’

It’s what I hoped he’d say.

As soon as I hear the front door shut, I race up the two flights of stairs to Jack’s office in the loft. Tough case, my arse. He’s a conveyancing solicitor, not a human rights lawyer.

There’s no door to open – the whole of the loft is his work space. Three walls are hidden by bookcases filled with leather-bound books I’m certain he’s never read, and sports trophies from his university days. There’s a sofa bed to the left and a large mahogany desk under the roof window. The blue screen of his laptop is reflected in the skylight. If I’m quick enough, the screensaver won’t have kicked in yet. He’s protective over his passwords.

I slide onto his chair. His Facebook account is open. I click on the messages tab, but there are none. Not even the link to our old house for sale that I sent him last week. I check the archive folder. Still nothing. I must have at least fifty messages archived in mine. He must have deleted every one. Who does that? Especially someone who professes to hardly ever use Facebook.

Francesca was the name of the woman who signed her name at the bottom of the letter. I go to his friends list, my hands shaking. Jack might only be minutes from walking through the door.

He only has fifty-nine friends. She’s not hard to find. I could have looked on his friends list from my account. Francesca King. Even her name sounds glamorous. She has long chestnut-coloured hair and her photo looks professionally taken. I click on her profile, and jot down everything I can see in her About section. Partner at Gerald & Co, Winckley Square, Preston. She works across town from Jack. I want to look through her posts and photos, but I don’t have time.

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If you too would like to find out if Jack is having an affair and what the private investigator will unearth, then 11 Missed Calls is now available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Elisabeth (Libby) Carpenter won a Northern Writers New Fiction Award (2016) and was longlisted for Yeovil Literary Prize (2015 & 2016) and MsLexia Women’s Novel award (2015).

Elisabeth lives in Preston, Lancashire with her family. She loves the north of England, setting most of her stories in the area – including the novel she is writing at the moment.

Author links : Twitter

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Death Rope by Leigh Russell @LeighRussell @noexitpress @KatherineSunde3 #blogtour #guestpost #DeathRope #GS11

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Death Rope by Leigh Russell. My thanks to Katherine at No Exit Press for the invitation to join. Author Leigh Russell stops by the blog today to talk about the appeal of evil. But first, here is what the eleventh instalment in the DI Geraldine Steel series is all about.

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Author : Leigh Russell
Title : Death Rope
Series : DI Geraldine Steel #11
Pages : 386
Publisher : No Exit Press
Publication date : July 26, 2018

aboutthebook

THEY SAY SUICIDE. SHE SAYS MURDER.

Mark Abbott is dead. His sister refuses to believe it was suicide, but only Detective Sergeant Geraldine Steel will listen.

When other members of Mark’s family disappear, Geraldine’s suspicions are confirmed.

Taking a risk, Geraldine finds herself confronted by an adversary deadlier than any she has faced before… Her boss Ian is close, but will he arrive in time to save her, or is this the end for Geraldine Steel?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | Goodreads

guestpost

The Appeal of Evil 

My detective, Geraldine Steel, is the protagonist in eleven of my books so far, with a cameo role in three more crime thrillers. Had I been more forward thinking, Geraldine might have arrived in the first book of her series as a fully formed character, with a back story in place and a future planned out. But it was the story of the killer which interested me in my debut novel, and that fascination has continued to drive my writing, as I explore what might motivate someone to kill.

A fictional killer’s behaviour has to be sufficiently complex to take time to unravel, but his motive has to be clear and follow some kind of logic, however demented. In a crime novel it is really not satisfactory to explain away the villain’s behaviour by simply writing him off as crazy. There has to be more to it than that, or the detective’s job would become quite random, and the reader would have no chance of solving the mystery.

Some of my books are ‘whodunnits’ in the traditional sense of the word. In other books my readers discover the identity of the killer early on, and in these books the suspense is built through dramatic irony as the reader watches my detective trying to solve the case.

But all of my books have one key element in common: Geraldine Steel. When I introduced my detective in my debut novel, I had no inkling of how popular she would become, or how many books she was going to feature in. Now it seems my original pipe dream of writing twenty books in the series might actually come true.

I’ve always found my villains at least as interesting to write about as my detectives. In some ways, writing about people operating outside the parameters of normal behaviour is quite liberating – although I’m not sure I would go quite as far as William Blake when he said, nearly two hundred and fifty years ago: “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil’s party without knowing it.” I like to think that good people can write about the evil aspects of human nature!

Each of my books works as a stand alone, so anyone can read Death Rope without having looked at the books in the series, but Geraldine remains a constant throughout, and I’m still enjoying exploring her story. And now, I’d better get back to work as I’ve left her in the middle of complex case…

abouttheauthor

Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop DeadFatal ActKiller Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi and Class Murder. The series has sold over a million copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA) John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize. Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a granddaughter, and lives in London.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald @DMacDonaldAuth @bookouture #blogblitz

Delighted to join the blog blitz for The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Dee MacDonald
Title : The Getaway Girls
Pages : 314
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 30, 2018

aboutthebook

Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. And when she meets glamorous Gill and downtrodden Maggie, at a rather dull flower arranging class, it seems that she’s not the only one dreaming of adventure. The three very different women all agree it’s about time they had a holiday to remember.

So they make a pact for this summer to be their best yet – and drive off into the sunset together…

As they meander their way along the beautiful beaches of France and onto the glorious delights of Italy in their luxury campervan, the new friends have plenty of fun and frolics in the sunshine. But the vacation isn’t quite what they expected…

Gill will do anything to have one last holiday romance, Connie has a surprise inheritance awaiting her in Italy, and Maggie has a secret that is going to catch up with them all…

In the end, all three women discover that the journey they thought would be their last really is just the beginning…

mythoughts

Three years after events from the previous book, The Runaway Wife, Connie is starting to feel a little restless. Time for another adventure then. So when she finds a box that seems to show her paternal grandmother originally came from Italy, Connie decides that’s where she will go.

Joining her on her road trip are two ladies she met in a flower arranging class, Maggie and Gill. These two couldn’t be more different if they tried. Gill is lonely and desperate for a new man after two failed marriages. Maggie would like nothing more but to feel free. Somehow these three ladies strike up the most amazing friendship on their journey to Italy in a motor home.

There will be lots of amazing experiences, new people to meet and even Cupid may make himself known at some point. The adventure isn’t all plain sailing though. Maggie is carrying a secret around with her that may catch up with them all. And what will Connie find out when they reach their destination? Whatever it is, this trip will change their lives forever.

This story made me incredibly nostalgic for all things Italy, which has always felt like home to me. It was huge fun to recognise so many places I’ve visited myself. But more than anything, it made me envious as I’d love to do something like this. Just jump in a motor home or a car and take off, not necessarily knowing where you’ll be spending the night or even if you’ll be coming back to the life you’ve left behind.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with these three amazing women. There’s something to admire and like about each and everyone of them. I can only hope that I’ll be as healthy, adventurous and fun as they are when I am that age. This is a truly inspirational, delightful and uplifting story with plenty of chuckles but also rather moving at times.

A heartwarming, entertaining and perfect summer read! I loved being a part of another one of Connie’s adventures and I do so hope there will be more to come. After all, it’s never too late for another adventure and you’re never too old to live life to the fullest!

The Getaway Girls is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | GoogleplayiBookstoreKobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

The Runaway Wife is Dee’s first (published) novel but in fact she wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.

Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep., and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.

She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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Weekly Wrap-Up (July 29)

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This week I’m mostly glad to find I wasn’t roasted alive. Good grief, I can’t even begin to describe how bloody hot it was. I love the heat and glorious sunshine but this? I felt like the universe was preparing me for when I go to hell 😂

My reading took a little bit of a beating. Sort of. Serious lack of sleep and the heat (not sure I mentioned the heat) made for incredibly uncooperative eyes.

Anyway, I’m supposed to be leaving the house in about an hour so better get to it.


Books I’ve read this week

Still 7. Suppose I can’t complain.

Books I’ve bought this week

Oh. This is bad. So very, very bad. 😳

You may want to grab a cup of tea for this bit. At one point, I realised I had bought 11 books. Quite frankly, that’s a ridiculous number. Silly me posted about it on twitter, where I was promptly attacked by the most evil voices (you know who you are!) encouraging me to round the number up to 20. I resisted the peer pressure 😜.

But still … At least it’s an even number. Right? Right? *crickets*

ARC’s received via Netgalley

You’d think I wouldn’t request any with the amount I’m buying, wouldn’t you? Ha! Two for blog tours. The others were just too good to pass up on.

Bookpost what landed on my doorstep this past week

The finished paperback of The Confession by Jo Spain courtesy of Quercus and a copy of A Necessary Murder by M.J. Tjia, which I won in a giveaway run by Legend Press.

On the blog this past week

Monday : Joined the blog tour for A Mother’s Grave by Lisa Regan and also the blog tour for I, Witness by Niki Mackay

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for The London Murder Mysteries by Alice Castle

Wednesday : Shared an extract for my stop on the blog tour for Kill For Me by Tom Wood and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for No One Will Hear by Joel Hames

Saturday : Super Saturday saw me joining the blog tour for The Secret by Kim Slater and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Gina Kirkham

Sunday : Shared an extract for my stop on the blog tour for Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow & Lee Francis and wrapped up my (really hot. Did I mention it was hot?) week.

Next week on Novel Deelights

Monday : Blog tour | Guest Post | Death Rope by Leigh Russell
Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald

Tuesday : Blog tour | Extract | 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter

Wednesday : Blog tour | Guest Post | The Cheesemaker’s House by Jane Cable

Thursday : Review | An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly

Saturday : Blog tour | Review | Telegrams and Teacakes by Amy Miller

Sunday : Blog tour | Review | Murder on the Marshes by Clare Chase

Well, that’ll keep me out of trouble 😂

And that’s it. I ran out of time. This only took me almost an hour to compile and I should really go make myself look halfway decent to do that pesky socialising thing today. Wine! Give me all the wine! 😳

Wishing you all the most amazing week and lots of happy reading! xx

 

Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow & Lee Francis @SimonScarrow @headlinepg @annecater #blogtour #excerpt #RandomThingsTours

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Playing With Death by Simon Scarrow and Lee Francis! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and for the extract I’ll be sharing with you, right after I tell you what the book is all about.

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Author : Simon Scarrow
Title : Playing With Death
Pages : 400
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : July 26, 2018

aboutthebook

A UNEXPLAINED DEATH

The discovery of a horribly mutilated corpse launches FBI Agent Rose Blake into a puzzling investigation. The victim was alone at home with no signs of forced entry. Who – or what – burnt him to death?

THE GAME BEGINS

Strips of rubber melted to the body emerge as evidence that the victim was wearing The Skin, an innovation that takes users deep into a virtual world.

ESCAPE OR DIE…

When a body with identical wounds is discovered, Rose realises that in the darkest corners of the Dark Web, a brutal killer is playing a deadly game. A game with no rules – and no mercy. To stop it, Rose must play too…

extract

1

Seven months later
September

Rose is in the kitchen, peeling the cellophane from the tray of snacks. The scars on her hand have virtually disappeared. It’s been a cold day and she is wearing a thin wool sweater over her black pants. She takes a sip from her wine glass as she considers the arrangement on the tray and then moves a few of the sushi wraps so that the layout is neatly symmetrical. Outside, in the dining room, she can hear the voices of her husband, sister and father. Jeff ’s voice is deep, but loud, as he holds forth with an amusing tale of the latest scandal breaking on the Hill. The others listen in silence and then there is laughter.

Rose smiles. She loves him and she loves the fact that Jeff is popular. It allows her to bask in the satisfaction that he chose her for his wife when she felt he could have done better for himself. She still feels it, which is why she is determined to give him no reason to regret what she sees as his mistake. And why wouldn’t other women want Jeff for themselves? He is tall and athletic with a full head of light brown hair, almost blond, with a ready smile and devastating charm. He is intelligent and has a job with prestige, even if the salary is not in the big league. Jeff is taking a sabbatical from San Francisco State University to serve as social media adviser to Democratic senator Chris Keller, who is fighting to keep his seat in the Senate in Washington. If Jeff is on the winning side then he may go all the way with Keller. She is pleased at the thought that the best is yet to come for her husband. All going well, he might one day work at the White House.

The future of her own career is a source of less optimism.

Thirty-nine years old – three years younger than Jeff – she knows that the time she took off work to have their son, Robbie, and raise him through infancy until school age meant that she lost vital years of experience and seniority that pushed her promotion prospects back. Then there was the Koenig case . . . But there’s really no contest when she weighs up her love of her job against her love for her son. Her family comes first.

‘Rose, you about done out there?’ Jeff calls. ‘You’ve got three in here ready to sign up to Anorexics Anonymous.’

There is more laughter and Rose joins in, picking up the tray and crossing the kitchen before pushing the door open with her shoulder. The room beyond is large, and the walls are panelled, like many of the early-twentieth-century properties in the neighbourhood. Their house on Oak Avenue is in a pleasant, leafy suburb with views over San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge on the skyline.

Places have been set either side of the table. Opposite Rose’s seat is Jeff, grinning at her as he winks through his neat frameless glasses. Sitting next to him is Rose’s sister Scarlet, and next to her is their father, Harry Carson.

Scarlet, thirty-three, is short, with dark dyed copper hair and a voluptuous figure. The younger, more reckless, sister has recently divorced and is enjoying her new-found single status, especially as her oleaginous weasel of an attorney gouged her former husband for every available cent. She still works as a real-estate agent though. She is good with people and is skilled at closing deals. She tops her wine glass for the third time that evening, grabs her smartphone and takes a picture of herself posing with the wine glass.

‘Gotta get that on the ’gram,’ she says, before cropping the picture and applying a filter so her skin looks smoother. She slides the smartphone onto the table. Rose is concerned about her obsession with social media and has, on more than one occasion, asked her to limit her screen time in the presence of family.

Their father, seventy-two, a retired master sergeant from the marine corps, has salt and pepper hair. He sits quietly and Rose wonders if he is thinking about her mother, who disappeared without trace many years ago. It’s an open wound in the family, but one too painful to discuss. Harry is listening politely to Jeff, whose politics he does not share but has learned to tolerate for his daughter’s sake. There’s something about Harry’s expression that concerns Rose. A listlessness. He’s starting to forget things and is confused from time to time, and she hopes that he is not starting the slide into senility.

‘At last!’ Jeff pretends to gasp. ‘You had me worried there, girl. Thought you were gorging on the dainties and leaving the rest of us to starve.’

Scarlet shakes her head. ‘Hope the main course isn’t delayed the same way. Man, I’m hungry.’

‘You always are,’ says Harry, slipping her a fatherly wink.

Rose sets the tray down in the middle of the table and takes her seat. Her guests don’t wait to be asked and begin to eat. Scarlet reaches for a second snack as she glances at Rose.

‘So, Ro’, how’s business? Catch any more bad guys lately?’

Rose shrugs. ‘You know how it is. Ninety per cent paperwork, ten per cent TV reality show where we get to chase guys down dark alleys with guns and flashlights.’

‘Really?’ Scarlet arches a plucked eyebrow. ‘How about Mulder and Scully? They solved The X-Files case yet?’

‘Old joke, Scar. Don’t go there.’
‘So tell me, seriously. What’s new at the Bureau?’
She’s referring to the failed case that nearly cost Rose her life, that burned her out, that some of her colleagues had even quit the Bureau over. Shane Koenig. The serial killer who had been preying on women and a handful of men across the West Coast, videoing their deaths. One of the vlogging news sites, ‘The Gab’, had named him the Backwoods Butcher, which got picked up by the TV networks, leading to a surge in audience figures.

Rose is reluctant to say anything. Koenig slipped through their fingers and there has been no sign of him since. The grisly human remains recovered from the cabin and the video files on his laptop prove beyond doubt that Koenig is the Backwoods Butcher. And now he’s out there, Rose reflects bitterly, waiting for the right time to resume his serial killer career.

The online and press fallout had been vitriolic – the FBI Twitter feed is still a target for internet trolls lamenting the Bureau’s failure, and hers. But luckily her superior, Special Agent Flora Baptiste, stepped in. After a fairly ineffective psychological debrief, Baptiste had eased Rose’s workload for the last few months. From time to time Rose still mentors undercover agents in training, and with additional therapy on the quiet, she has just about made it work. She glances at Jeff, imploring him not to say anything about it. He smiles before reaching for the wine bottle and topping up the glasses. Scarlet leans forward.

‘Oh, come on, Rose. What’s the latest?’

For the last six months Koenig seemed to have been wiped from the face of the earth. All manner of surveillance had been running, including facial recognition, licence plates, GPS tracking, IP searches, but the task force had drawn a blank, despite intense pressure from the media and relatives of the victims. They’d even asked one of the technology giants to hack a cellphone recovered from the cabin, but the corporation denied their request and increased their encryption instead. The FBI’s Cyber team had tried to crack it, but they were unsuccessful.

There had been a chance to take him down. But Rose had blown it. She had taken her shot at Koenig and missed. She briefly closes her eyes, trying to shut out the rest of the thorny memory.

Sometimes, the monster wins.

Harry shifts in his seat. ‘Scarlet, please, maybe your sister doesn’t want to talk about all this.’

‘Oh, come on, Dad. Rose is a pro. She can handle it.’

Rose rolls her eyes at Scarlet. ‘If you must know, we found out what he was doing with the body parts. They were trophies. He’d store them in secret locations, burying them and then auctioning them online to the highest bidder. When the money was paid he’d release the geotag coordinates.’

Scarlet’s eyes open wide. ‘That’s gross . . .’

‘We didn’t release the details, but the media still got to hear about it somehow and . . . Well, I’m sure you’ve seen the stories. How Koenig used to keep the mutilated genitalia and other body parts. In jars, with printouts of their profile pictures on the outside. We found and confiscated what was left, but most of the buyers were clever and masked their IPs. As for the rest of the remains of his victims, he ate them. That enough detail for you?’

Scarlet lowers her half-eaten finger of seaweed and rice. ‘Oh God . . .’
‘Nice, Rose. Thanks for the overshare,’ says Jeff.
‘She asked.’
Rose feels a ripple of anxiety, which she quells by picking up the wine bottle. A figure emerges from the den at the other end of the living room. The light sensor detects his presence and a lamp fades into life, bathing the boy in its warm glow.

Harry raises his glass. ‘Robbie! How’s my boy?’

The youth walks across the room and stands at the end of the table. He is fourteen, and tall for his age. He has Jeff’s good looks except for his acne and the glasses. But there’s something missing in his expression. He returns the smiles of the adults around the table and then nods to Harry. ‘I’m fine, Grandpa . . . How are you?’

‘Just swell. How’s school?’

Robbie looks to his mother. Rose feels a sudden surge of concern for her son and quickly steps in. ‘He’s doing well. Top of the class in math and science. We’re very proud of him.’

Rose turns to her husband. He surreptitiously sends a text, sliding his smartphone away, something he has been doing more and more frequently of late.

‘Surely that can wait?’ she asks with a tight smile. ‘You’re at home now. Your time belongs to the family.’

‘If only it was that simple. But you know how it is. We don’t work nine to five. The campaign runs 24/7, and we have to run with it.’

‘Huh . . .’ Rose glances at her watch. ‘Anyway, who are you texting at this hour?’
‘Oh . . . my assistant. Pandora’s printing some notes for tomorrow.’
‘She’s the one I met at the last fundraiser? Dark hair. Young.’
Jeff nods. ‘That’s her.’

His eyes meet hers with a hint of challenge and she decides not to pursue the matter right now.

Harry chuckles. ‘Boy, how things have changed. Time was when your home was your own and no one could bother you once you closed the front door. Now they can get you anytime, anywhere. You’ll all be screwed up in the head if the world carries on this way, I tell you.’

‘Hear, hear,’ Rose says, smiling.
Scarlet checks her smartphone.
‘Oooh, my pic’s got sixteen likes.’ She scrolls down.

‘He looks cute. See?’ She holds up the phone to reveal a cheesy shot of a slick-haired guy in a business suit, tanned and expensively dentured. She reads the profile. ‘Oh no, he likes jazz. Sorry, babe.’ She flicks the profile away.

‘Harsh,’ Jeff says. ‘I mean, Rose likes country music, but I still married her. No one’s perfect.’

‘Well with this I can find Mr Perfect.’

There’s a single electronic tone from Rose’s smartphone and she reaches into her jacket pocket and takes it out. She reads the message on the screen and stands up.

‘Excuse me for a moment.’
‘Trouble?’ Jeff frowns. ‘At this time of night?’
‘Criminals don’t work nine to five,’ Rose replies. ‘Or haven’t you heard about that?’
There’s laughter as Rose retreats to the kitchen and hits the quick-dial button. A deep female voice coughs before speaking.

‘Baptiste.’
‘I got the message,’ says Rose. ‘What’s up?’
‘Hey, sugar, there’s something I want you to take a look at. There’s been a fire in Palo Alto. Possible arson. One person dead. Happened a few hours back. Local PD are handling it. Or were, until we got the call.’

‘Who from? I mean, since when did the Bureau deal with this kind of thing? Arson? Suspected arson? What’s that got to do with us?’

‘Normally? Nothing. But this isn’t exactly normal.’ ‘What do you mean?’
‘You’ll see for yourself when you get there. I’m on the scene now and I’ll send you the address soon as I hang up. Get there as fast as you can.’

‘Now? Tonight?’
‘Yes, tonight,’ Baptiste replies testily.
‘But I’ve got my family here. At dinner. Can’t it wait until morning?’
‘No chance. This has come down from the top.’ Baptiste lowers her voice slightly. ‘Seems that someone at the Defense Department has requested our assistance.’

‘Defense?’ Rose feels a twinge of anxiety. ‘But this isn’t their jurisdiction, any more than it’s ours.’

‘Technically, no,’ Baptiste admits. ‘But someone at the Pentagon has asked for our help, so we’re to head up the case with our experience, our labs. Seems there’s a computer angle to it – that’s where Defense comes into it. In any case, Palo Alto PD hasn’t got the budget for this kind of investigation.’

Rose sighs. It is true local police forces are undermanned and struggling to deal with the rising tide of crime. Civil offences and minor crimes are all but overlooked, and many forces have ceased to even investigate them. The amount of technology-related crime has soared in recent years, everything from bitter ex-partners posting intimate pictures online to fraud on a massive scale, but departmental budgets including the Bureau’s have not increased to cope.

Baptiste continues. ‘What I have been told is that the vic has recently been accused of stealing defence contractor secrets, which is our jurisdiction. Defense want a tight lid on it. I don’t know any more than that. We’ve just been given the word and told to deal with it, like now. And now I’m telling you. So you better skip from soup to nuts in five and get in your car. They want our best agents on the case and you’re still my best agent.’

Rose sighs. She owes Baptiste.
‘All right.’
‘That’s my girl. You can get to the scene in forty-five minutes. Make it forty.’ Her faintly husky smoker’s voice softens: ‘Sorry to get you at home . . . but I really need you to take a look at this, while it’s hot, so to speak. This isn’t your usual murder scene.’

‘Murder? I thought you said it was arson?’

‘Feels like murder to me. It could be just a damn fire, but the DoD wants to be sure. At any rate, this one’s unusual, and then some. Christ . . . It’s a fucking mess. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before. Our forensics guys are already on the road.’ There’s a brief pause. ‘Hope you haven’t eaten anything tonight.’

The line goes dead. Rose bites back on her frustration and anger before she thumbs the off button and thrusts the smartphone back in her pocket. She takes a deep breath and leaves the kitchen. Maybe a new case is what she needs, so she can let Koenig go.

‘Guys, I gotta run.’
‘Right now?’ Jeff asks, his soft voice hardening.
‘Sorry, honey. It happens. You’ll have to take over. The salmon is in the oven. Sauce in the microwave. Make sure Robbie gets to bed before ten thirty and no games after ten.’

He nods.

Rose hurriedly kisses her son, her sister and Harry. Jeff cranes his neck to kiss her on the lips but Rose deflects his kiss onto her left cheek. His texting to Pandora has been very regular lately. It’s hard to avoid being suspicious.

‘See you later, guys.’
‘Be careful,’ Jeff calls after her.

There’s a locked desk in the hall. Rose slips her key in,opens a shallow drawer and picks up her badge and the Glock 22 .40 cal in its holster. She pockets the badge and tucks the holster clip over her belt. Her palm presses against the cold metal grip of the gun so it hangs neatly over her right hip.

As soon as she steps outside she is no longer a mother and wife. She’s Bureau through and through. It’s a trick she has made herself learn. You can’t mix two different worlds at once, not without fucking them up. That’s one thing Rose holds on to. By the time she reverses her navy Changan out into the street, the dinner party is a distant memory. She feels a familiar quickening of her heartbeat as she drives towards the crime scene and the gravelly voice of Baptiste echoes inside her head.

It’s the uneasy tone that troubles Rose. Baptiste had served fifteen years before Rose joined her team. There was nothing that she had not seen in that time, and nothing unsettled her.

Well, almost nothing.

Rose remembers the aftermath at the cabin, when Koenig had escaped. She had noticed Baptiste sitting alone on a felled log, facing away, in a moment of private reflection. She seemed to be crying. Rose drew back, knowing she’d witnessed a rare, intimate moment for her boss, but Baptiste had looked up and seen her. She’d wiped her face and fixed it into a frown as she stood up. They’d never spoken about it then, or since.

As Rose drives towards Palo Alto, she wonders: what could possibly have unsettled Baptiste tonight?

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If you’d like to read more about Rose and The Backwoods Butcher, you can as Playing With Death is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is a Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author. After a childhood spent travelling the world, he pursued his great love of history as a teacher, before becoming a full-time writer. His Roman soldier heroes Cato and Macro made their debut in 2000 in UNDER THE EAGLE, and have subsequently appeared in many bestsellers in the Eagles of the Empire series, including CENTURION, INVICTUS and DAY OF THE CAESARS.

Simon Scarrow is also the author of a quartet of novels about the lives of the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, YOUNG BLOODS, THE GENERALS, FIRE AND SWORD and THE FIELDS OF DEATH; a novel about the 1565 Siege of Malta, SWORD & SCIMITAR; HEARTS OF STONE, set in Greece during the Second World War; and PLAYING WITH DEATH, a contemporary thriller written with Lee Francis. He also wrote the novels ARENA and INVADER with T. J. Andrews.

For exciting news, extracts and exclusive content from Simon visit www.simonscarrow.co.uk, follow him on Twitter @SimonScarrow or like his author page on Facebook/OfficialSimonScarrow

Lee Francis

Lee Francis worked for several years in the world of film, TV and advertising as a script reader and assistant director on major productions such as Harry Potter, The Woman In Black and Spooks. He has a BA First Class in Film Studies. He enjoys travelling, running, gaming and listening to cheesy techno. He has travelled the USA, New Zealand, China and Europe.

PLAYING WITH DEATH, written with his former lecturer Simon Scarrow is his first novel. It is published in the UK by Headline and foreign sales around the world have already begun.

For exciting news, extracts and exclusive content from Lee visit www.leefrancisauthor.com, follow him on Twitter @leefrancis or like his author page on Facebook/leefrancisauthor

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Gina Kirkham @GinaGeeJay @urbanebooks #blogtour #LoveBooksGroupTours

Truly delighted to join the blog tour for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by Gina Kirkham today! My thanks to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for the invitation to join and the publisher for my review copy.

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Author : Gina Kirkham
Title : Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Series : Mavis Upton #2
Pages : 320
Publisher : Urbane
Publication date : July 19, 2018

aboutthebook

Our hapless heroine Constable Mavis Upton is preparing to step down the aisle with her fiancé Joe, but has to deal with her temperamental teen daughter, as well as investigate a serial flasher on a push bike. Throw a diva drag queen into the mix and readers can expect the usual hilarious Mavis mishaps that made the first book such a hit. Revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving stories of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.

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All hail the return of the fabulous Mavis Upton!

I’ve been desperately waiting for Mavis to return since I flipped the final page of the previous book Handcuffs, Truncheons and A Polyester Thong, and was incredibly looking forward to seeing what she would get up to this time. With hen parties, weddings, donuts, drag queens and hippos, I wasn’t disappointed! You can’t make this stuff up, unless your name is Gina Kirkham obviously and she’s an absolute natural in setting a scene and making me laugh.

Hilarity ensues throughout the story. Yet, it’s not all a laugh-a-minute and there are some incredibly poignant moments that left me with a lump in my throat. One minute I’m laughing my arse off at the various shenanigans, the next I felt myself go all teary-eyed and in need of a tissue. Not only is Mavis dealing with her dad who is suffering from dementia, she’s also fiercely missing her mom. As was I, to be honest, with her wonderful malapropisms and I’m delighted Gina Kirkham managed to squeeze some in there anyway.

Tackling a tough topic like dementia, in what is essentially a comedy novel, is not an easy thing to do. Yet Gina Kirkham has finely tuned the balance between the sad reality and the lighthearted moments. Having personal experience with this cruel disease, I could really appreciate that because that is what it’s like. As a side note, I will never again be able to listen to Lucy in the sky with diamonds without giggling like a lunatic.

There is a truly delightful and colourful cast of characters to keep you entertained, from Mavis’ friends to her colleagues. The banter between the team is such a joy, whether they’re actively mocking someone or using humour as a coping mechanism to deal with some of the things they stumble on while on active duty. Special shout-out to Petey who caused me to snort tea all over my Kindle on more than one occasion.

I’ve loved every minute of catching up with Mavis. No matter how crappy my day is going, she always manages to make me smile. This series is the perfect escapism, wrapped in a slightly quirky but delightful bow. I do so hope there will be more from Mavis! [Did you know she has her own Twitter account?] Hugely entertaining and you should grab yourself a copy and meet her for yourself. We all need a little bit of Mavis in our lives!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Gina Kirkham was born on the Wirral in the not-so-swinging 50’s. Being the less
adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day.

Trundling a bicycle along a leafy path one wintry day, a lifelong passion to be a police officer gave her simultaneously an epiphany and fond memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton and moments of solving mysteries.

Thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police. On retirement she put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer.

And so Mavis Upton was born…

Author links : Instagram | Twitter | Website

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The Secret by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #blogtour #TheSecret

Delighted to join the blog tour for The Secret by K.L. Slater today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : K.L. Slater
Title : The Secret
Pages : 331
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : July 27, 2018

aboutthebook

Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

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I do so enjoy Kim Slater’s books. I’ve come to rely on her to always deliver a great twisty and tense psychological thriller that’ll keep me entertained for hours and The Secret did exactly that.

The prologue already sent a chill down my spine when Archie stumbles upon something he wasn’t supposed to see. Eighteen months later, eight year old Archie is still fiercely holding on to the secret but things are starting to take its toll.

For the most part, The Secret is a cleverly constructed and character-driven story centred around two sisters, Louise and Alice. Theirs is a complicated relationship that is seemingly fuelled by jealousy. It was hard not to choose a side and I admit I did so from quite early on. My sympathies were very much with Alice and despite the obvious baggage that Louise is carrying around with her, I disliked her immensely.

Throughout the story, we explore the tumultuous relationship between Louise and Alice in the present and the past. Bit by bit, Alice, who’s quite close to being a recluse, finds her feet again. But will the relationship between the sisters survive?

More than anything though, the character I’m sure you too will be rooting for until the very end is Archie. He’s quite obviously a troubled little boy, doesn’t seem to have any friends and the only place where he really comes to life and shows the kind of boy he is, is when he’s staying with his Auntie Alice. He just really captured my heart.

The Secret is quite a slow-burner. Although there are some twists, I felt the majority weren’t meant to dazzle and leave you wondering what the heck just happened. They feel immensely natural to the story and up to a point even rather realistic and believable. The characters sure are and I became incredibly immersed and invested in their lives. The big mystery about the secret Archie is keeping isn’t revealed until the end and what an utterly shocking ending it is too! Now that one I didn’t see coming at all!

So, intriguing characters, a mystery to solve, suspense and a jaw-dropping ending! What more could you possibly want?

The Secret is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink,’ ‘Liar,’ ‘The Mistake’ and ‘The Visitor.’ Her latest thriller, ‘The Secret’ will be published by Bookouture on 27th July 2018 and is now available for pre-order.

Kim’s titles are soon to be published in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer, has one grown-up daughter, Francesca, and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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No One Will Hear by Joel Hames @joel_hames @MainsailBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #blogtour #NoOneWillHear

Delighted to join the blog tour for No One Will Hear by Joel Hames today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join and to the author/publisher for my review copy!

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Author : Joel Hames
Title : No One Will Hear
Series : Sam Williams #2
Pages : 321
Publisher : Mainsail Books
Publication date : July 23, 2018

aboutthebook

Four murders
Four messages
One chance to catch a killer.

Renowned human rights lawyer Elizabeth Maurier lies dead, her body mutilated, her killer unknown. For DI Olivia Martins and her team, it’s a mystery. For the victim’s daughter Lizzy, a poet and academic with a shaky grasp on reality, it’s a tragedy. But for Sam Williams, the man she fired a decade ago and hasn’t spoken to since, it’s a whole new world of pain.

Elizabeth’s death has stirred a sleeping past back to life. Former clients are darkening Sam’s door, old enemies returning, ancient cases reopening. It doesn’t help that DI Martins is on his case, the press are dogging his every step, and his girlfriend’s behaviour is increasingly erratic.

But Elizabeth’s murder is just the start. As Sam reluctantly digs his way back into the past, more truths will crumble into lies.

More certainties will shade to doubt.

And more innocent people will die.

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Sam Williams is back and within the first few pages I was reminded of how much I like this character. Not a lot of time has passed since events from the previous book Dead North but if Sam thought he’d have some time to recover from all that has happened, he’s sorely mistaken.

It all begins with the murder of his former boss, renowned lawyer Elizabeth Maurier. To Sam’s surprise, he finds out he’s mentioned in Elizabeth’s will. But this is just the start of a whole can of worms about to be opened and to find out the truth, Sam will have to work with his nemesis, David Brooks-Powell.

On top of that, Sam’s girlfriend Claire is acting very, very strangely. As a journalist, she’s caught up in her own investigation centred around someone smuggling young girls into the country, who are subsequently sold and the victims of unspeakable crimes. But her story is going nowhere as her editor thwarts her at every turn and she’s becoming increasingly morose.

Sam is just such an incredibly likeable character. For a lawyer, he’s not at all what you’d expect him to be. Not the stuffy suit and tie kind of man but a tad on the quirky side. He’s determined, has great instincts and is quite perceptive. Although maybe not so much where his girlfriend is concerned. Taking on the job of helping out with Elizabeth’s memoirs is really just an excuse to give himself something to do. His lawyer career isn’t exactly blossoming and there are only so many hours in the day when he can pretend to be working on something important.

The past is coming back to haunt Sam. Someone seems to have been pulling strings for years and there are some seriously murky waters to wade through with old enemies resurfacing, skeletons in closets and a case that has haunted Sam for ages. Full of intrigue and suspense but also some chuckles, this story had me absolutely hooked. Honourable mention to Vicki Coleman. I do so hope we’ll see more from her in future.

No One Will Hear is a well-paced story full of twists and turns and with a multitude of secrets to uncover. Some I figured out myself, some I didn’t see coming at all. But it all ends in a race to an immensely unexpected finish that made me yell the words “Why would you do that?!” at my Kindle. In a perverse sort of way, I really quite like it when an author manages to pull the rug from under my feet like that.

This is a fantastic addition to the series and I’m so glad joining the blog tour for the previous instalment allowed me to be introduced to these books and to Sam Williams. I’m incredibly excited to see where Joel Hames takes this series next!

No One Will Hear is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.
After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).
Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com/, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthor or Twitter at @joel_hames. Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.

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The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen @wordsofhelen @MichaelJBooks #blogtour

It is such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen. My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for the wonderful review copy!

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Author : Helen Cullen
Title : The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Pages : 325
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : July 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . .

Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names – they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.

When William discovers letters addressed simply to ‘My Great Love’ his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives stir William in ways he didn’t know were possible. Soon he begins to wonder: Could William be her great love?

William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve his most important mystery yet: the human heart.

mythoughts

William Woolf works at the Dead Letters Depot in East London. A place where lost letters and packages are given a second chance to find their rightful owners. One day, William finds a letter simply addressed to “My Great Love”, written by a woman to a soulmate she’s not yet met. Living a life that didn’t quite pan out the way he thought it would and with a marriage that’s seemingly crumbling, William wonders if he might be the soulmate of the letter writer.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf oozes nostalgia. For the days when people took the time to write long and thoughtful letters and sent them all around the world, but also for those carefree times in our lives when it felt like you were on top of the world and everything would magically sort itself out until life and its everyday toils and troubles got in the way.

The letters and packages aren’t the only things that are lost. William is lost as well. It took me a while to warm to William. I felt he was a tad wishy-washy, indecisive and lacking a bit of backbone. Yet, his quest to find Winter is intriguing in that way that we all somehow think the grass is greener on the other side. What would life be like if we’d made other choices or decisions? It’s not just the letters at the Depot that are given a second chance. There is one for William as well but will it be with his wife or with Winter?

This is a very slow-paced novel and I struggle a little with reviewing it. It didn’t quite turn out the way I expected it to. I assumed the story would be about all those lost letters at the Depot with William playing the part of a very different kind of detective than the ones I usually read about. It’s not that I didn’t care about what happened to William but I sometimes felt the focus lay a bit too much on his marriage, whereas I would have quite gladly spent way more time at the Depot reading letters and handing them over to the person they were intended for. Doesn’t this sound like the most wonderful job? There are one or two moments where this happened and they were so delightful that they left me wanting more.

That aside though, this is a wonderfully moving and beautifully written debut novel by Helen Cullen about all sorts of lost communication, love, hope and second chances.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

‘The Lost Letters of William Woolf’ will be published in the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Germany, Italy, Greece and Israel.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.

Author links : Twitter

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This Week in Books (July 24)

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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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Louise is struggling to cope.  As a busy working mum, she often has to leave her eight-year-old son Archie at her sister Alice’s flat.

Alice and Louise used to be close.  But there’s a lot they don’t know about each other now – like the bottle of vodka Louise hides in her handbag, Alice’s handsome new friend and the odd behaviour of her next-door neighbour.

Archie is a curious little boy. He likes to play on his own at his auntie’s flat until one day when he sees something he shouldn’t. Now he has a secret of his own.  One he can’t tell his mum. One that could put him and his family in terrible danger.

The book I’m currently reading

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Our hapless heroine Constable Mavis Upton is preparing to step down the aisle with her fiancé Joe, but has to deal with her temperamental teen daughter, as well as investigate a serial flasher on a push bike. Throw a diva drag queen into the mix and readers can expect the usual hilarious Mavis mishaps that made the first book such a hit.

What I’m (probably) reading next

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Here are two things I know about my mother:

1. She had dark hair, like mine.

2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

Anna has always believed that her mother, Debbie, died 30 years ago on the night she disappeared.

But when her father gets a strange note, she realises that she’s never been told the full story of what happened that night on the cliff.

Confused and upset, Anna turns to her husband Jack – but when she finds a love letter from another woman in his wallet, she realises there’s no-one left to help her, least of all her family.

And then a body is found…

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Busy weekend ahead so I’m trying to squeeze in as many blog tour books as I can this week. What are you reading? Let me know! I’ve bought seven books so far this week and need a really nice round number so help a girl out here 😉.

Happy reading! xx