Bridge to Burn by Rachel Amphlett | @rachelamphlett

Author : Rachel Amphlett
Title : Bridge to Burn
Series : Kay Hunter #7
Pages : 358
Publisher : Saxon Publishing
Publication date : January 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When a mummified body is found in a renovated building, the gruesome discovery leads Detective Kay Hunter and her team into a complex murder investigation.

The subsequent police inquiry exposes corruption, lies and organised crime within the tight-knit community – and Kay’s determination to seek justice for the young murder victim could ruin the reputations of men who will do anything to protect their business interests.

But as Kay closes in on the killer, tragedy strikes closer to home in an event that will send a shockwave through her personal life and make her question everything she values.

Can Kay keep her private and professional life under control while she tries to unravel one of the strangest murder cases of her career?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Whenever a Kay Hunter book lands on my Kindle, I get quite excited because I just know I’ll be in for a treat. Bridge to Burn is no different. By now, getting to hang out with Kay Hunter almost feels like meeting up with a friend for coffee and cake, asking them how their week went. Almost, because Kay’s job obviously leads to topics that aren’t exactly fun conversations to be had over something as delicious as cake.

Case in point, this time around Kay and her team find themselves in the middle of a complex investigation when a mummified body is found in the ceiling of an office building. As you do. Who is this person? How did they get there? Was it an accident, a dare gone wrong or were they killed? So many questions!

And just like that we’re off on a journey through corruption, lies and a criminal or two. This intricate plot didn’t at all go where I thought it would go and it kept me guessing until the end. Sure, I had a long list of suspects but I couldn’t spot a motive anywhere which led to much frustration and endless mutterings. Every time it felt like the team was making progress, something would happen that put them right back at square one. As events unfold, you feel as if you’re right there with them, trying to figure it all out.

With each new Kay Hunter instalment, my expectations are high and Rachel Amphlett manages to deliver every single time. This series is rock solid, has been from the very beginning. Kay and her team make for fantastic characters and I love how Rachel Amphlett continues to combine Kay’s job and her personal life effortlessly. Because isn’t that how things are? Sometimes you take the job home with you, sometimes you take home to work with you. It makes it all so much more realistic and believable.

If you haven’t yet gotten to know Kay, please do so. This is truly a fantastic series which keeps going from strength to strength and I can’t wait to hang out with Kay again soon!

With thanks to Rachel Amphlett for the review copy!

Bridge to Burn is available to buy!

Rachel Amphlett’s Store | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Weekly Wrap-Up (January 19)

What a week it’s been. I’ve been completely out of sorts and rather grumpy. Actually, let’s just call a spade a spade. Bitchy. I’ve been extremely bitchy! Everything and everyone got on my wick like you wouldn’t believe. Massive thanks to my sounding boards (the shallow tribe, pea in a pod, kindred spirit and my book pimp aka the rather annoying one 😉) for letting me rant and rave and just quite generally being the best friends a girl could possibly have.

On top of that, last week I made the mistake of mentioning Winter. That pesky cold season that seemed a tad elusive at that point, which my big mouth obviously summoned like magic. Ugh! Cue hail, snow and freezing temperatures at a time when I’m actually starting to count down to Spring. Not cool Mother Nature!

Reading-wise, I actually thought I’d been incredibly productive once again. But no. By the time Friday arrived, I realised I had only finished one book. I even checked Goodreads to make sure. I have no idea what happened but at this rate, I’ll be behind schedule again instead of ahead and that just won’t do. Seriously, because February is utterly mental! 🙄

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Well. That could have been a whole lot worse, I suppose. And at least, all three were brilliant. But still. Must do better. Reminds me of my school report cards. Ah, nostalgia. 😏

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oh, dear. Although … I personally didn’t buy any. But my book pimp (the rather annoying one) took me virtually shopping and we hit various charity shops and my goodness, it was sheer heaven! Drop me off in one of those shops and you won’t see me for hours! We got some very nice goodies, let me tell you.

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

One request that was actually approved for a change (Closer Than You Think). I was on a negative run there for weeks and considering a Netgalley boycott out of protest *. The other two I was invited to read.

(* : No, I clearly did not think that one through because obviously it would hurt me a hell of a lot more than it would hurt them)

| BOOKPOST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP |

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward, with thanks to Quercus, for a blog tour. Yes, that’s my hand. Don’t get too excited. I’m looking at you, Zoë 😂

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Shared an extract for my stop on the blog tour for The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Wednesday : Joined the blog tour for Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean

Friday : Joined the blog tour for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb

Saturday : Took a day off.

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Review | Bridge to Burn by Rachel Amphlett

Tuesday : Review | Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

Wednesday : This Weeks in Books

Thursday : Review | Gone By Midnight by Candice Fox

Friday : Blog tour | Review | The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott

Saturday : Blog tour | Review | A Promise to the Dead by Victoria Jenkins

Sunday : Blog tour | Extract | In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter
Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I say I’ll be posting reviews but well, let’s just say my review pile hasn’t exactly gone down so if they don’t get written, there will obviously be no posts. 😂

Question of the week : Prompted by a conversation earlier this week, I’m wondering about star ratings and rounding up or down. I only use star ratings on Goodreads, Netgalley and Amazon because I don’t have a choice. I’d rather not use them at all. I’d like to think my reviews give you a fairly good idea on what I thought of a book, so I don’t use them on my blog.

Up until now, I’ve been rounding up. But the rather annoying one made a very valid point a few days ago. It’s rare but it happens 😉.

Let’s say you give a book 4.5 stars. I have been rounding that up to 5 but others would turn it into a 4. The reasoning is, if you really loved the book that much, you’d give it 5 stars and not 4.5. So there was something that held you back from finding it “perfect”. Thus, round down to 4. That makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? Yet, I can’t seem to do it. I’ve always rounded up. I’m pretty sure it’s what I was taught in school, although that was such a long time ago that my memories could be slightly blurry. So, what do you do? Up, down, don’t care? These are serious questions, people!

Right. Enough babble. Must read! If I’m even more quiet than usual around various parts of the internet this week, don’t worry. I’ll either be reading, trying to catch up. Or I’ll be trying not to shoot my mouth off and hurt people’s feelings. 😂

Hope you all have a fabulous week! See you next time! Happy reading! xx

Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb | @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #DeepDirtyTruth #TeamLori

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for my review copy and to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Steph Broadribb
Title : Deep Dirty Truth
Series : Lori Anderson #3
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 24, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

A price on her head. A secret worth dying for. Just 48 hours to expose the truth…

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them.

If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…

| MY THOUGHTS |

Clammy hands, pulse racing, energy tank empty. Am I ill? No! These are the symptoms of the aftermath of reading Deep Dirty Truth because Lori Anderson is back with a BANG!

In this third instalment, Lori is forced to make a deal with the devil. I mean, the mob. This would be the Old Man, who’s been after Lori since her husband Tommy died. If it wasn’t clear from this little tidbit, you should really read the previous books if you haven’t done so already. Anyway, the FBI have the mob’s “numbers man”, Carlton North, in custody. If Lori can find him and bring him back to the mob’s compound, the price on her head and the heads of JT and Dakota will be removed.

Cue a bunch of backstabbing, lies and deceit. I mean, if you can’t trust the mob, who can you trust? Oh … wait. Never mind. From quite early on, you’re left with this sinking feeling of “this is not going to go well”. And guess what? It doesn’t! But what a bloody awesome and thrilling ride it is! The mob, gators, high-speed boat chases, kayaks, shoot-outs … what more could you possibly want?!

Deep Dirty Truth is action-packed from the word go! There were times I felt like asking for a time-out so I could have a moment to catch my breath. Yet, with a heartbeat going faster and faster and hands gripping the book ever tighter, I couldn’t stop reading. It left me utterly exhausted but oh so incredibly satisfied.

Lori remains one of the most awesome female main characters in the book world right now. She’s fierce, determined, resourceful and quick to think on her feet. She is always able to pull herself back up after being knocked down, ready to kick some serious ass and always ready to do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Speaking of her family, I love how the relationship between JT and Dakota is developing. Such a pleasure to behold and it often put a huge smile on my face.

This series has been a total blast from the very first book and Deep Dirty Truth is without a doubt THE BEST ONE YET! Oh yes! I said it! Fast-paced, with characters to get invested in and root for and edge-of-your-seat action galore, this is sheer entertainment of the highest level! Stock up on snacks and maybe an oxygen tank and enjoy the rollercoaster ride! Your legs may feel like jelly at the end of it, but it’ll be worth it!

Deep Dirty Truth is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be published on January 24th!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Steph Broadribb was born in Birmingham and grew up in Buckinghamshire. Most of her working life has been spent between the UK and USA.

As her alter ego – Crime Thriller Girl – she indulges her love of all things crime fiction by blogging at crimethrillergirl.com, where she interviews authors and reviews the latest releases. She is also a member of the crime-themed girl band The Splice Girls.

Steph is an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and she trained as a bounty hunter in California, which inspired her Lori Anderson thrillers. She lives in Buckinghamshire surrounded by horses, cows and chickens.

Her debut thriller, Deep Down Dead, was shortlisted for the Dead Good
Reader Awards in two categories, and hit number one on the UK and AU kindle charts. My Little Eye, her first novel under her pseudonym Stephanie Marland was published by Trapeze Books in April 2018.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Red Snow by Will Dean | @willrdean @PtBlankBks @OneworldNews @annecater | #blogtour #RedSnow #TeamTuva #Tuva2

Thrilled to join the blog tour for Red Snow by Will Dean today! My thanks to the publisher for my fabulous review copy and to Anne Cater for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Will Dean
Title : Red Snow
Series : Tuva Moodyson #2
Pages : 400
Publisher : Point Blank / OneWorld Publications
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

TWO BODIES
One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?

TWO COINS
Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man’s eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.

TWO WEEKS
Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

| MY THOUGHTS |

Ever since I finished Dark Pines last year, I’ve impatiently been awaiting this follow-up and another opportunity to hang out with the absolutely fabulous Tuva Moodyson. Let me tell you, it was most definitely worth the wait!

Nothing much seems to have happened in Gavrik since we visited it last time but that’s all about to change when Tuva Moodyson witnesses a suicide. The head of the Grimberg family jumps off the roof of their factory to his death. The Grimberg family has had its fair share of hardship throughout the years. But what would prompt a seemingly successful man to take his own life?

Then another man is found murdered. Two liquorice coins cover his eyes. Is this a message? If so, what does it mean and who is it for? With the Grimberg factory providing for most of Gavrik’s residents, could someone possibly have it in for them? And if so, why? With a new job lined up in the south, Tuva has little time to investigate the deaths and dig for some answers. Matters aren’t helped by the fact that the Grimberg family values its privacy dearly, making it look like they all have something to hide.

Nothing is quite what it seems in Red Snow. With intriguing and complex characters and a deliciously intricate plot, this novel had me staying up way too late in a desperate attempt to finish it. But I just had to know what was going on. I didn’t count on Will Dean’s devious mind though, which meant that the final pages came at me like a knockout punch to the gut that left me winded but also caused so much adrenaline to course right through me, I felt like I could have gone out and run a marathon!

Tuva is such a brilliant character. Determined, sassy, bit stubborn maybe but a female protagonist to be fiercely proud of and root for. She even managed to make me a little emotional when trying to deal with the death of her mother. There were moments where I wanted to wrap her up in a big, warm hug and tell her I completely understood and it would all be okay.

Red Snow is tense, full of suspense, gloomy and chilling. The claustrophobic atmosphere of small town living is even more intensified due to the wintery conditions and yet, I may just end up missing this community with its weird and wonderful residents. Still, in Tuva Moodyson Will Dean has created the most delightful character and I will gladly follow her wherever she goes. I can’t wait for more but in the meantime, you can be sure Red Snow will end up on my list of favourite books of the year. Bring on Tuva 3!

Red Snow is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. He is the author of Dark Pines.

Author links : Twitter

This Week in Books (January 16)

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 |

Single-mother bounty hunter Lori Anderson has finally got her family back together, but her new-found happiness is shattered when she’s snatched by the Miami Mob – and they want her dead. Rather than a bullet, they offer her a job: find the Mob’s ‘numbers man’ – Carlton North – who’s in protective custody after being forced to turn federal witness against them. If Lori succeeds, they’ll wipe the slate clean and the price on her head – and those of her family – will be removed. If she fails, they die.

With North due in court in forty-eight hours, Lori sets off across Florida, racing against the clock to find him and save her family. Only in this race the prize is more deadly – and the secret she shares with JT more dangerous – than she ever could have imagined. In this race only the winner gets out alive…

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

They left four children safe upstairs.
They came back to three.

On the fifth floor of the White Caps Hotel, four young boys are left alone while their parents dine downstairs.

But when one of the parents checks on the children at midnight, they discover one of them is missing.

The boys swear they stayed in their room. CCTV confirms that none of them left the building. No trace of the child is found.

Now the hunt is on to find him, before it’s too late – and before the search for a boy becomes a search for a body…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Emily Jacobs, a nurse, is in hospital for a minor operation. When she wakes in the night, woozy with anaesthetic, she sees the doctor frantically trying to resuscitate the woman in the bed next to her. In the morning, she is told that she must have had a nightmare. The bed has been empty all along . . .

When Emily returns to work she discovers a bracelet that she believes belonged to the missing woman. Soon, she becomes convinced that her colleagues at the hospital are hiding a terrible secret. 

What if she’s wrong? What if her own troubled past has affected her more than she knows?

But what if she’s right? 

What else could they be capable of?

Looks like I’m in for some great treats again this week! What about you? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter | @LibbyCPT @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n | #blogtour #OnlyAMother #NetGalley

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Only A Mother by Elisabeth Carpenter today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!

Author : Elisabeth Carpenter
Title : Only A Mother
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orion
Publication date : December 27, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

ONLY A MOTHER . . .

Erica Wright hasn’t needed to scrub ‘MURDERER’ off her house in over a year. Life is almost quiet again. Then her son, Craig, is released from prison, and she knows the quiet is going to be broken.

COULD BELIEVE HIM

Erica has always believed Craig was innocent – despite the lies she told for him years ago – but when he arrives home, she notices the changes in him. She doesn’t recognise her son anymore. 

COULD BURY THE TRUTH

So, when another girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. But how can a mother turn her back on her son? And, if she won’t, then how far will she go to protect him?

COULD FORGIVE WHAT HE HAS DONE

| MY THOUGHTS |

Almost twenty years ago, Erica’s son, Craig, was convicted of the murder of a young girl. Erica has always believed in her son’s innocence but she was the only one. Friends and neighbours have stopped talking to her. She has often come home to graffiti on her front door or poop through the letterbox. Her life has basically come to a stand-still. Afraid to leave the house in daylight but determined not to leave her home, she’s pretty much a pariah in the community. Just when life finally seems to quieten down a little, Craig is released from prison.

His homecoming isn’t exactly all roses and sunshine, though. Craig is now 38 years old. A man, no longer a teenager. A man hardened by life in prison, on top of that. Erica barely recognises him, is possibly even slightly afraid of him. And when another young girl goes missing, she starts to question everything. Was she wrong about her son?

The question surrounding Craig’s guilt or innocence continues throughout the story and my loyalties kept shifting. Craig isn’t exactly a likeable character and does little to redeem himself. And even though it was hard not to sympathise with Erica, I couldn’t quite warm to her either. Faced with difficult decisions, how far will a mother go to protect her child? This is very much a “what would you do” scenario. It’s quite easy to judge Erica and her actions but I couldn’t at all decide what I would do if I were faced with a situation like this.

I did figure out what happened but the author did such a great job of keeping the story tense and suspenseful that that didn’t bother me at all. Apart from Erica and Craig, we also meet Luke. He’s a reporter for the local paper who is trying to figure out if Craig was responsible for another murder all those years ago. But with a family to take care of, is he putting them all in danger?

This character-driven psychological thriller is immensely thought-provoking. It’s not about the murders exactly, but more about how prison life affects those who are left behind. The impact a child’s conviction has on a mother isn’t a topic that’s often talked about. If you’re looking for a thrill a minute, this probably isn’t it. But if you enjoy reading about realistic and believable characters in tense and dramatic situations, then this will undoubtedly hook you from start to finish.

Only A Mother is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

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

Changeling by Matt Wesolowski | @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks @annecater | #blogtour #Changeling #RandomThingsTours #recommended

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for Changeling by Matt Wesolowski today! My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the review copy and to Anne Cater for the invitation to join the tour!

Author : Matt Wesolowski
Title : Changeling
Series : Six Stories #3
Pages : 194
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : January 15, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On Christmas Eve in 1988, seven-year-old Alfie Marsden vanished in the Wentshire Forest Pass, when a burst tyre forced his father, Sorrel, to stop the car. Leaving the car to summon the emergency services, Sorrel returned to find his son gone. No trace of the child, nor his remains, have ever been found. Alfie Marsden was declared officially dead in 1995.

Elusive online journalist Scott King, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation, investigates the disappearance, interviewing six witnesses, including Sorrel, his son and his ex-partner, to try to find out what really happened that fateful night. He takes a journey through the trees of the Wentshire Forest – a place synonymous with strange sightings, and tales of hidden folk who dwell there. He talks to a company that tried and failed to build a development in the forest, and a psychic who claims to know where Alfie is…

| MY THOUGHTS |

If you go out in the woods today …

Bloody hell! Like, seriously! WHAT?! I said it last time and I’ll say it again, Matt Wesolowski’s books are just impossible to review! My vocabulary doesn’t stretch far enough to find the words to describe the sheer level of awesomeness this author comes up with time and time again.

If you’re not familiar with the Six Stories series (OMG WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!), it’s centred around a true crime podcast in which Scott King investigates cold cases. This time around, the focus is on seven year old Alfie Marsden who disappeared thirty years ago and was never found. Alfie was officially declared dead in 1995 but questions remain. Now, via six stories from six different sources, will the answers surrounding Alfie’s disappearance finally be found and will we learn what happened to this little boy all those years ago?

This is one of those stories that worms its way under your skin, one that will just not let you go. Dark, disturbing and chilling, Changeling had my heartbeat racing throughout and I was gripping the pages so tightly that my knuckles turned white! This tremendously addictive page-turner is insanely thought-provoking and also absolutely terrifying, though possibly not in the way you might expect. Monsters are real. Also, I’m never stepping foot into a forest ever again!

With a fantastic plot that kept me on tenterhooks and even managed to leave me with a lump in my throat, Changeling is without a doubt fiction from the top shelf and worthy of all the stars and praise I can possibly shower it with. Matt Wesolowski deftly guides the reader through a realistic and, sadly, believable scenario and if that wasn’t marvellous enough, ends up sucker punching you in the final pages, leaving your head utterly spinning. You, sir, are a genius!

Changeling was one of my most anticipated releases this year. Thank goodness it was published this month or I may have just spontaneously combusted. Matt Wesolowski has most definitely done it again and Changeling is the best one in the series yet. Considering the brilliance of its two predecessors, that’s really saying something. I would undoubtedly like some more, please! In the meantime, you can be sure you’ll be seeing this book again when I compile my list of top books of the year in December.

Changeling is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for children in care and leads creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. 

Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015. His subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2016 with follow-up ‘Hydra’ published in the winter of 2017.

‘Six Stories’ has been optioned by a major Hollywood studio.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard | @cathryanhoward @CorvusBooks @theotherkirsty @annecater | #blogtour #extract

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard. My thanks to Anne Cater for the opportunity to join. I’m sharing an extract with you today but first, here is what the novel is about!

Author : Catherine Ryan Howard
Title : The Liar’s Girl
Pages : 304
Publisher : Corvus
Publication date : January 3, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

 Her first love confessed to five murders. 

The truth was so much worse.

Will Hurley, Dublin’s notorious Canal Killer, is in prison, ten years into a life sentence.

His ex-girlfriend, Alison, has built a new life abroad, putting her shattered past behind her.

Then the copycat killings start. Will holds the key to unlocking these crimes, but he’ll only talk to Alison. Can the killer be stopped before there’s another senseless murder? And after all these years, can Alison face the past – and the man – she’s worked so hard to forget?

| EXTRACT |

It’s 4.17 a.m. on Saturday when Jen comes to on a battered couch in a house somewhere in Rathmines, one of those red-brick terraces that’s been divided into flats, let out to students and left to rot.

He watches as her face betrays her confusion, but she’s quick to cover it up. How much does she remember? Perhaps the gang leaving the club on Harcourt Street, one behind the other. Pushing their way through the sweaty, drunken crowds, hands gripping the backs of dresses and tugging on the tails of shirts. Maybe she remembers her friend Michelle clutching some guy’s arm at the end of it, calling out to her. Saying they were moving on to some guy’s party, that they could walk there.

‘Whose party?’ he’d heard her ask.
‘Jack’s!’ came the shouted answer.
It was unclear whether or not Jen knew Jack, but she followed them anyway.

Now, she’s sitting – slumped – on a sofa in a dark room filled with faces she probably doesn’t recognise. The thin straps of her shimmery black dress stand out against her pale, freckled skin and the make-up around her eyes is smudged and messy. Her lids look heavy.

Her head lolls slightly to one side.

Someone swears loudly and flicks a switch, filling the room with harsh, burning light.

Jen squints, then lifts her head until her eyes reach a single bare, dusty bulb that hangs from the ceiling. Back down to the floor in front of her. A guy is crawling around on all fours, searching for something. She frowns at him.

This place is disgusting. The carpet is old and stained. There are broken bits of crisps, hairs and cigarette ash nestled deep in its pile. It hasn’t been laid. Instead, the floor is covered with large, loose sections of carpet, ragged and frayed at the edges, with patches of dusty bare floor showing in between. The couch faces a fireplace that’s been blocked off with chipboard, while an area of green paint on the otherwise magnolia chimney breast marks where a mantelpiece once stood. Mismatched chairs – white patio, folding camping accessory, ripped beanbag – are arranged in front of it. Three guys sit in them, passing around a joint.

Another, smaller couch is to Jen’s left. That’s where he sits.

The air is thick with smoke and the only window has no curtains or blinds. The bare glass is dripping with tributaries of condensation.

He can’t wait to leave.

Jen is growing uncomfortable. Her brow is furrowed. He watches as she clasps her hands between her thighs and hunches her shoulders. She shifts her weight on the couch. Her gaze fixes on each of the three smokers in turn, studying their faces. Does she know any of them? She turns her head to take in the rest of the room—

And stops.
She’s seen them.

To the right of the fireplace, too big to fit fully into the depression between the chimney breast and the room’s side wall, stands an American-style fridge/freezer, gone yellow-white and stuck haphazardly with a collection of garish magnets.

Jen blinks at it.

A fridge in a living room can’t be that unusual to her. As any student looking for an affordable place to rent in Dublin quickly discovers, fridges free-standing in the middle of living rooms adjacent to tiny kitchens are, apparently, all the rage. But if Jen can find a clearing in the fog in her head, she’ll realise there’s something very familiar about this one.

She’s distracted by the boy sitting next to her. Looks to be her age, nineteen or twenty. He nudges her, asks if she’d like another drink. She doesn’t respond. A moment later he nudges her again and this time she turns towards him.

The boy nods towards the can of beer she’s holding in her right hand, mouths, Another one?

Jen seems surprised to find the beer can there. Tilting it lazily, she says something that sounds like, ‘I haven’t finished this one yet.’

The boy gets up. He’s wearing scuffed suede shoes with frayed laces, jeans, and a blue and white striped shirt, unbuttoned, with a T-shirt underneath. Only a thin slice of the T-shirt is visible, but it seems the design on it is a famous movie poster. Black, yellow, red. After he leaves, Jen relaxes into the space he’s vacated, sinking down until she can rest the back of her head against a cushion. She closes her eyes—

Opens them up again, suddenly. Pushes palms down flat on the couch, scrambling into an upright position. Stares at the fridge.

This is it.

Her mouth falls open slightly and then the can in her hand drops to the floor, falls over and rolls underneath the couch. Its contents spill out, spread out, making a glug-glug-glug sound as they do. She makes no move to pick it up. She doesn’t seem to realise it’s fallen. Unsteadily, Jen gets to her feet, pausing for a second to catch her balance on towering heels. She takes a step, two, three forward, until she’s within touching distance of the fridge door. There, she stops and shakes her head, as if she can’t believe what she’s seeing.

And who could blame her? Those are her magnets.

The ones her airline pilot mother has been bringing home for her since she was a little girl. A pink Eiffel Tower. A relief of the Grand Canyon. The Sydney Opera House. The Colosseum in Rome. A Hollywood Boulevard star with her name on it.

The magnets that should be clinging to the microwave back in her apartment in Halls, in the kitchen she shares with Michelle. That were there when she left it earlier this evening.

Jen mumbles something incoherent and then she’s moving, stumbling back from the fridge, turning towards the door, hurrying out of the room, leaving behind her coat and bag, which had been underneath her on the couch all this time.

No one pays any attention to her odd departure. The party-goers are all too drunk or too stoned or both, and it is too dark, too late, too early. If anyone notices, they don’t care enough to be interested. He wonders how guilty they’ll feel about this when, in the days to come, they are forced to admit to the Gardaí what little they know.

He counts to ten as slowly as he can stand to before he rises from his seat, collects Jen’s coat and bag and follows her out of the house.

She’ll be headed home. A thirty-minute walk because she’ll never flag down a taxi around here. On deserted, dark streets because this is the quietest hour, that strange one after most of the pub and club patrons have fallen asleep in their beds but before the city’s early- risers have woken up in theirs. And her journey will take her alongside the Grand Canal, where the black water can look level with the street and where there isn’t always a barrier to prevent you from falling in and where the street lights can be few and far between.

He can’t let her go by herself. And he won’t, because he’s a gentleman. A gentleman who doesn’t let young girls walk home alone from parties when they’ve been drinking enough to forget their coat, bag and – he lifts the flap on the little velvet envelope, checks inside – keys, college ID and phone too.

And he wants to make sure Jen knows that. Mr Nice Guy, he calls himself.
He hopes she will too.

Surely this extract intrigues you more than enough to go and grab yourself a copy of this one right now! I read it last year, it’s a goodie. Honestly!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

 CATHERINE RYAN HOWARD was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1982. Prior to writing full-time, Catherine worked as a campsite courier in France and a front desk agent in Walt Disney World, Florida, and most recently was a social media marketer for a major publisher. She is currently studying for a BA in English at Trinity College Dublin. Her debut novel Distress Signals was published by Corvus in 2016 and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasy (New Blood) Dagger.

Author links : Twitter

Weekly Wrap-Up (January 12)

Oh, January. Why are you so dreary, miserable and long?! Although, has anyone seen Winter? It feels as if we’re stuck in a never-ending Autumn and as much as I hate the cold that Winter brings, I kind of miss it.

Anyway, I thought I had been hugely productive this past week but looking back as I write this wrap-up, it turns out I wasn’t. But at least I’m still reading! Let’s just not talk about the pile of reviews that keeps stacking up.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I know, I know, six isn’t bad at all but I honestly thought I’d read more than that. At least I finished my first ever audiobook! Go me! 🤣

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Book buying mojo still working like a charm! I may also have somewhere in the region of 14 pre-orders but who’s counting?

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

One for a blog tour, one I was invited to read and one because it was a “read now”. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nada

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour For The Missing by Lina Bengtsdotter

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for The Man With No Face by Peter May and shared my Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for Tell Me A Secret by Jane Fallon and re-shared my review for Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan for paperback publication day.

Friday : Author Sibel Hodge visited my blog on the blog tour for The Disappeared to talk about her writing day.

Saturday : I had a day off.

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Extract | The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | Changeling by Matt Wesolowski

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Only A Mother by Elizabeth Carpenter

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Red Snow by Will Dean

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Deep Dirty Truth by Steph Broadribb

Saturday : Day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Hm. The talk I had with myself regarding blog tours was obviously hugely successful 🙄

Right, I get to spend a wonderful (note the sarcasm) afternoon with the mother-in-law. Somehow that still sounds more pleasant than writing reviews though. 🤔

Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend! Have a fabulous week and I wish you lots of happy reading! Until next time! xx

The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge | @sibelhodge @Bloodhoundbook | #blogtour #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for The Disappeared by Sibel Hodge! My thanks to Emma at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity join. Author Sibel Hodge joins me today to talk about her writing day but first, here is what The Disappeared is all about!

Author : Sibel Hodge
Title : The Disappeared
Pages : 318
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : January 10, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

On a routine flight from Africa to England, Dr Mason Palmer is tragically killed when the light aircraft he’s travelling on crashes and disappears in dense bush land.

The Widow…

Ten months later, Nicole Palmer is still trying to block out the grief of her husband’s sudden death. Until one morning she receives a photo of Mason through the post, along with a cryptic message. A message only he could’ve written.

The Secret…

But when Nicole tries to find out if Mason is really alive and what actually happened to him in Africa, everyone she turns to for answers ends up dead.

Determined to find the truth, Nicole uncovers a conspiracy that spans the globe, and discovers there are powerful people who are prepared to kill to keep her silent.

Who’s lying? Who’s watching Nicole? And can she expose their murky secrets before they catch up with her?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Wordery | Goodreads

| GUEST POST |

My writing day…

I’m a morning person so I’m most productive first thing. My day starts at about 5 or 6 a.m., and after a cuppa while I’m checking out emails and social media I do a 30 minute yoga and meditation set. A banana and iced soya latte later and I’m good to go! 

When I’m working on my first draft I always aim to write 3000-5000 words per day. I’m a pantster, not a plotter, so I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write until the words tumble out of my head, and it’s not until I finish my first draft, when I really know I’ve got something solid, that I can properly relax. My first draft can end up anything between 45,000-70,000 words, and I tend to write shorter and add more later, rather than longer and cutting anything. Then for the editing process, which means going through it and through it, tweaking, filling plot holes, adding character’s personality, more dialogue, bits of research, etc.

Even when I’m not writing, you can often find me staring into space, thinking about the book—an idea, what I need to do next, working out a problem, imagining a character. And I can’t escape the book in my sleep because I dream about it too. There have been so many times I’ve woken up with my characters having conversations with each other, and I keep a notebook by my bed in case inspiration strikes as I’m falling asleep or during a dream. I’m living it full time, completely immersed in it. I always think being an author is like being an actor, except an author is playing all of the characters at once, getting inside all their heads and going through what they’re going through, and they’re in every scene, which can be exhausting mentally and emotionally at times. 

I write mostly at a standing desk, which I love. It’s actually a really rustic piece of wood shaped from a tree trunk. Or sometimes I’ll be sprawled on the sofa with my laptop on my knees, and often accompanied by up to seven cats that all want to get in on the action and type gobbledygook on my keyboard just for a laugh. 

It’s got to be dead quiet when I’m working. No music for me. No one talking. I need silence and calm to concentrate. Although the calmness doesn’t extend to my work space. I’ve got notes everywhere when I’m writing a novel. Snippets of ideas and dialogue, bits of research, things I need to add in. Sometimes I can have hundreds of pieces of paper scribbled with stuff. 

At my house, we (read : I) call that organised chaos 😉. Thank you, Sibel, for stopping by and sharing your writing day with us!

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Sibel Hodge is the author of the No 1 Bestsellers Look Behind YouUntouchable, and Duplicity. Her books have sold over one million copies and are international bestsellers in the UK, USA, Australia, France, Canada and Germany. She writes in an eclectic mix of genres, and is a passionate human and animal rights advocate.

Her work has been nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Harry Bowling Prize, the Yeovil Literary Prize, the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition, The Romance Reviews’ prize for Best Novel with Romantic Elements and Indie Book Bargains’ Best Indie Book of 2012 in two categories. She was the winner of Best Children’s Book in the 2013 eFestival of Words; nominated for the 2015 BigAl’s Books and Pals Young Adult Readers’ Choice Award; winner of the Crime, Thrillers & Mystery Book from a Series Award in the SpaSpa Book Awards 2013; winner of the Readers’ Favorite Young Adult (Coming of Age) Honorable award in 2015; a New Adult finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s International Digital Awards 2015, and 2017 International Thriller Writers Award finalist for Best E-book Original Novel. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the top forty books about human rights by Accredited Online Colleges.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website