Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski | @borstinski @damppebbles | #guestpost #damppebblestours

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinksi. My thanks to Emma Welton at damppebbles tours for the invitation to join. Today, author Leopold Borstinksi visits my blog to talk about which book he wishes he’d written and why. But first, here is what his own book is all about!

Author : Leopold Borstinski
Title : Mama’s Gone
Series : The Lagotti Family Series #4
Pages : 301
Publisher : Sobriety Press
Publication date : March 18, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When the children grow up, the parents must die.

California gang leader Mary Lou has built a criminal empire while her adult children are desperate for their mother’s attention and love. 

As her mental faculties wane, Alice and Frank Jr must acknowledge their mother is not the woman she once was and that they need to step up and take the helm, despite the stark differences between them. 

But their sibling rivalry blinds both of them to their weaknesses which threatens the family when the Russian mob moves into the state. How can they fend off those attacks while fighting to decide who will lead the family now their dear Mama’s gone? 

Amazon US | Amazon UK

| GUEST POST |

For reasons I am not able to express, I was asked recently what book I wish had written and the honest answer is Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre because it is a work of total genius that changed the way I viewed the world. It is an existentialist work, but four years after I first read it I found out that Sartre had written the slender novel under the influence of mescaline. This explains a lot. But if you ask me which fiction book I most admire then hands down it is The Cold Six Thousand by James Ellroy. Why? Let me tell you…

This was the first Ellroy book I read and his particular prose style amazed me as much as it challenged me. The way that internal monologues sleep through every paragraph and the non-standard approach to language made it a very difficult first hundred pages, but the rewards were immense.

I was introduced to a cast of characters as vast and disparate as you could get. Given the reach of the story – covering the assassination of JFK and pushing toward the next Kennedy death – and the breadth of mob, politician and underworld criminal worlds depicted, it is nothing short of fabulous. At the time, I was a Joe Public book reader, but now I am a writer as well, I have a greater understanding of the complex hurdles Ellroy needed to surmount in order to deliver the book as published.

First of all, of course and I hope this doesn’t count as a spoiler, but we all know that JFK gets killed, so the central premise – will they or won’t they top the president – is null and void as something to generate tension. Anyone who has read The Day of The Jackal knows how hard it is to suspend your disbelief long enough to read a tale about famous historical events.

But I was gripped right up to the end. And there were sequels as well that kept me riveted too. One of the central conceits of the book is to meld real-life people with fictional folk. You wonder the extent to which Ellroy researched the Kennedy clan and those around them. I wanted it all to be true, real, genuine, but I know in my heart of hearts that this is not a documentary or even a dramatisation of actual events. This is fiction and the people with real names are as made up as the other characters.

And yet I still love the book. What’s the best bit about it? It’s size? From memory, my copy weighed in at about 800 pages – it was purchased at a time when an eBook was a typo and not the norm – it was about as thick as the Lord of the Rings, but it was a pure crime novel. Not a furry critter in sight.

Since then, I have devoured almost everything of Ellroy I can lay my hands on, but the Six Thousand remains my favourite. Perhaps because it was my first, but definitely because it is a juicy steak of a book. Oh and I lied: I do wish I’d written it, but I wanted to make myself seem clever in the opening paragraph.

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

Weekly Wrap-Up (March 17)

What a miserable week it’s been. Storms raging all over the place bringing lots of high winds, hail and rain. At one point it looked like my garden pond may have flooded but that potential crisis was luckily avoided. I wasn’t quite looking forward to searching for fish in the grass. As it is, we had one casualty. Not a fish but my pretty bird bath, which toppled over and broke in two pieces. RIP bird bath. You will be missed.

Reading-wise, things are going pretty well. I probably could have squeezed in one more book if I hadn’t spent a few hours rearranging my bookshelves. Under duress, I might add. 😜. Now I can’t find anything. It’s all very fine to sort books alphabetically by author but when the only thing you remember is a title, …. 🙄😂

Anyway, let’s see which books went from the TBR shelf (downstairs) to the “read” shelf (upstairs) this week.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Sadly, The Dollmaker was another DNF at 72%. Netgalley has been letting me down lately. It’s probably not a bad thing I won’t be using it anymore soon due to my struggles with reading on a kindle. 😂

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Oops. But! 🤣 Lizzie Borden was a preorder that arrived this week. And I already owned the Jo Spain books on Kindle so they don’t count, right? 😳

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

Nothing! I thought it would be hard to stay away from there but so far, it’s actually been a breeze.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Also, nothing. But I am expecting at least one goodie next week so it’s all good!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Joined the blog tour for The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell

Tuesday : Nothing

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Only Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Shared my review for The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan

Friday : Nada

Saturday : Zip

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Quiet week. Felt pretty good. We all know it won’t last though, right? 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : I don’t have anything planned

Tuesday : Blog tour | Guest Post | Mama’s Gone by Leopold Borstinski

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | A Body in the Lakes by Graham Smith

Thursday : Blog tour | Toys in the Dust by N.M. Brown. (I don’t know what I’m posting since I haven’t received it yet 🤣)

Friday : I don’t have anything written down

Saturday : Definitely taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Another relatively quiet one. I could get used to this.

That’s it for another week. I have the whole day to myself and a pile of reviews to tackle. If I can stop procrastinating for long enough, I may even be able to finish my current book. Which, in case you wondered, is The Night Olivia Fell and it’s so good!

Wishing you all a fabulous week. Until next time! Happy reading! xx

The Girl Next Door by Phoebe Morgan | @Phoebe_A_Morgan @HQstories

Author : Phoebe Morgan
Title : The Girl Next Door
Pages : 384
Publisher : HQ
Publication date : February 21, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Perfect mother. Perfect wife. Jane Goodwin has spent years building her picture-perfect life in the quiet town of Ashdon.

So when the girl next door, sixteen-year-old Clare Edwards, is found murdered, Jane knows she must first protect her family.

Every marriage has a few white lies and hers is no exception. Jane’s worked hard to cover up her dark secret from all those years ago – and she’ll do anything to keep it hidden…

| MY THOUGHTS |

I thoroughly enjoyed Phoebe Morgan’s debut novel The Doll House when I read it last year but this one? Hoo boy! It’s on a completely different level and I absolutely loved it! From the very first pages, I could already tell I was in for a treat.

Have I mentioned yet how much I love small town settings? Life in the quiet town of Ashdon seems picture perfect. Nothing much ever happens here until the day sixteen year old Clare Edwards is found murdered. But even though we get a few flashbacks about Clare’s last day on the planet, this story isn’t really about her. It’s more about her neighbour, Jane. From the beginning, I sensed there was something off about her. Jane is very much about appearances and didn’t come across as particularly likeable. Yet it is also rather obvious that the mask she wears hides lies and secrets, making her instantly fascinating and intriguing.

At the heart of The Girl Next Door is quite a dark and disturbing topic. You just never know what goes on behind closed doors and this story is no different. So deliciously twisted and incredibly cleverly done, I found myself utterly engrossed. The pace was spot on and the storyline was so immensely compelling that I kept flipping the pages faster and faster.

Plenty of secrets and lies are to be discovered in Ashdon and of course, there is the death of Clare that needs solving. I thought I had this figured out, then kept changing my mind and ended up getting it entirely wrong. This is one of those books that lends itself perfectly to be read in one long reading session. It’s incredibly addictive and the few moments where I had to put the book down for pesky things like dinner, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Ultimately, this left me rather sad and angry at the injustice of it all but I loved every single word on every single page and I can’t wait to read more by Phoebe Morgan! I highly recommend The Girl Next Door and Phoebe Morgan is without a doubt one to watch!

The Girl Next Door is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

This Week in Books (March 13)

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 |

Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her only child’s body is found lifeless in an overgrown, abandoned quarry. 

Desperate to find out what happened, Kat questions those closest to her as she tries to piece together the last days of Grace’s life. But as a darker side to her little girl begins to unravel, Kat wonders if she ever really knew Grace. 

As Kat is drawn into a twisted game of lies, is she also in terrible danger? And will she be able to unlock her daughter’s final shocking secret? 

Even if the truth is unthinkable… 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

‘You shouldn’t be here. It’s too late… 

These, heard over the phone, were the last recorded words of successful celebrity-divorce lawyer Richard Pryce, found bludgeoned to death in his bachelor pad with a bottle of wine – a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth £3,000, to be precise.

Odd, considering he didn’t drink. Why this bottle? And why those words? And why was a three-digit number painted on the wall by the killer? And, most importantly, which of the man’s many, many enemies did the deed?

Baffled, the police are forced to bring in Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne and his sidekick, the author Anthony, who’s really getting rather good at this murder investigation business.

But as Hawthorne takes on the case with characteristic relish, it becomes clear that he, too, has secrets to hide. As our reluctant narrator becomes ever more embroiled in the case, he realises that these secrets must be exposed – even at the risk of death…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever

I have no idea what this post is going to look like because WordPress is incredibly uncooperative lately and the preview doesn’t work. 🙄

Anyway! What are you reading this week? Anything I should keep my eye on? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Only Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil | @sarahdenzil @bookouture

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Only Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil! My thanks to the publisher for the review copy!

Author : Sarah A. Denzil
Title : Only Daughter
Pages : 341
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 13, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Kat experiences every mother’s worst nightmare when her only child’s body is found lifeless in an overgrown, abandoned quarry. 

Desperate to find out what happened, Kat questions those closest to her as she tries to piece together the last days of Grace’s life. But as a darker side to her little girl begins to unravel, Kat wonders if she ever really knew Grace. 

As Kat is drawn into a twisted game of lies, is she also in terrible danger? And will she be able to unlock her daughter’s final shocking secret? 

Even if the truth is unthinkable… 

| MY THOUGHTS |

When the body of Kat’s teenage daughter, Grace, is found in an abandoned quarry, police are quick to rule her death a suicide. After all, the quarry is a known suicide spot. But Kat refuses to believe her daughter would take her own life and is desperate to find out the truth about what happened to her. As she begins to piece together the last few days of her daughter’s life, Kat starts to realise she never really knew her daughter at all.

Only Daughter is an immensely gripping read. The kind you get stuck into and find yourself looking up from the pages hours later to find it’s gone dark outside and your cup of tea went cold ages ago. Despite Kat being one of those characters I couldn’t quite put my finger on, her search for the truth behind her daughter’s death was immensely engrossing. No matter how you feel about Kat, it isn’t hard to imagine that as a mother you never want to admit that you failed your child somehow, that it’s near impossible to accept that your child chose to leave this life behind and you’d do just about anything to find answers.

But Kat isn’t your typical mother. There’s a dark secret lurking in her past, one that is alluded to quite often but not revealed until later on. Kat doesn’t come from a particularly nice background and her journey to where she ended up now isn’t a conventional one. More than that though, she was once diagnosed as a sociopath and who even knows what they are capable of.

As to what really happened in the quarry, I had one aspect of it figured out but I couldn’t see the whole picture and there are plenty of twists and turns to go through before the reader gets to the reveal. Just like Kat, I ended up questioning everything and everyone. Especially when more and more things about her daughter are uncovered and you begin to wonder what kind of girl Grace actually was.

Only Daughter is a twisted tale of lies, deceit and revenge. A story that has a rather emotional beginning but soon turns into a tense and compelling psychological thriller. It is an utterly addictive page-turner so make you sure you have plenty of time to read when you tackle this one because you will not want to put it down!

Only Daughter is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Sarah A. Denzil is a suspense writer from Derbyshire, England. She is also known as young adult author Sarah Dalton.

Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her partner, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather. 

She is the author of international bestselling psychological thriller SILENT CHILD, which topped the bestseller lists on Amazon in the US, UK and Australia.

The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell | @Caroline_writes @midaspr @AmazonPub| #TheSecretChild #ThomasAndMercer

I’m kicking off the week with a stop on the blog tour for The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell. My thanks to Agnes at Midas PR for the invitation to join and to Caroline Mitchell for the review copy!

Author : Caroline Mitchell
Title : The Secret Child
Series : DI Amy Winter #2
Pages : 336
Publisher : Thomas & Mercer
Publication date : March 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Four-year-old Ellen is snatched by a stranger in the dead of night. Her devastated mother, Nicole, receives four identical phials and a threatening note in a familiar scrawl that chills her to the bone. But she always knew this would happen. She’s been expecting it for years…

According to the note, one of the phials is poisoned. Nicole is given a deadly challenge: if she drinks one, the sadistic kidnapper will notify the police of Ellen’s location. The sender claims to be Luka Volkov but Luka is supposed to be dead, killed long ago in a fire that haunts all those involved.

DI Amy Winter is still reeling from the discovery that she is the daughter of a serial killer, and her childhood trauma only makes her more determined to bring Ellen home. When another child is taken, Amy finds herself in a race against time. To rescue the children, must she seek help from the one person she wants to forget…?

| MY THOUGHTS |

When four year old Ellen is kidnapped from her bedroom, it becomes clear quite early on her parents aren’t telling the police everything. This kidnapper is on a mission and Ellen was targeted for a reason. But what dark secrets are hiding in the past? Amy and her team find themselves in a race against time to find Ellen before it’s too late.

The Secret Child is the second instalment in the DI Amy Winter series and I felt it was even stronger than its predecessor. The storyline is pretty intense, helped by the fact I could never quite figure out what the kidnapper’s endgame was going to be. There are quite a few parallels throughout, between the kidnapper’s past and Amy’s. Hoping to find some common ground with the kidnapper, can Amy keep her past a secret though?

I must admit that Amy got on my nerves quite a bit this time around. It’s not surprising she has issues, obviously, and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect herself from getting hurt but some of the moments where she was lashing out angered me. I felt like grabbing her and shaking her and telling her to get a grip, focus on what’s what or who’s who. I quite enjoy it when a character can get to me like that though.

Speaking of characters that do that, the character calling himself Luka is one of those as well. Obviously I can’t give anything away but his background is so incredibly devastating, it’s hard not to feel for him. Even if the things he’s doing now are wrong, you understand why he’s doing them. It all begins in the eighties but those events have a lifelong impact on all those who were involved.

With a topic like childhood trauma and its effects, The Secret Child quickly becomes a tense, fascinating and gripping read. This isn’t just your average awesome crime thriller as there’s a remarkable depth and psychology to it that adds that little bit extra. It had me hooked from start to finish and I can’t wait to see where Caroline Mitchell takes this series next.

The Secret Child is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.

She now writes full time.

Weekly Wrap-Up (March 10)

Once upon a time there was a week in March and then it was gone. There were a lot of dark days, lots of rain and high winds. Twas also not a productive one, yet full of books and some delightful procrastinating courtesy of Netflix. I binge-watched Harlan Coben’s Safe, which is brilliant, and also took the advice of a fellow blogger (thank you, Jacob) and finally started watching The Crown.

Reading-wise, my week was all over the place. A few misses, a few “meh” and a few corkers. Let’s see what I read this week.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

This is not as impressive as it looks. Two of those (Until The Day I Die and Closer Than You Think) were DNF’s and will not be reviewed on the blog. I blame me and not the books. I’m in a mood and I need books that start with a bang and grab me by the collar and not let go. When I find I start thinking of other things I could be doing, it’s time to move on to another book.

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Technically, none. I did pre-order the three below but pre-orders don’t count, right? 🤔

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

None! I’ve only visited there to drop off some reviews and that’s it. I’m increasingly struggling with reading on Kindle lately so my Netgalley days might just be over.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Excited doesn’t even begin to cover it! Huge thanks to Bonnier Zaffre, Michale Joseph, Avon UK and Headline!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Reviewed The Shape of Lies by Rachel Abbott

Tuesday : Posted my review for Looker by Laura Sims

Wednesday : This Week in Books which I didn’t stick to 😭

Thursday : Shared my review of Now You See Her by Heidi Perks for paperback publication day celebrations.

Friday : Shared an extract on my stop on the blog tour for The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

Saturday : Joined the blog tour for Punch by Kate North with a guest post.

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Secret Child by Caroline Mitchell

Tuesday : I don’t know yet

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Only Daughter by Sarah A. Denzil

Thursday : Maybe nothing

Friday : Not a clue

Saturday : Might take today off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Look at that empty schedule! I’m part proud of myself for cutting down and part completely panicking because I’m worried I forgot to write something down 😂

Question of the week : Prompted by my two DNF’s this week, how do you feel about not finishing a book? When do you decide to just admit defeat and move on to something else? Do you have a specific cut-off point, like 100 pages or 20%? On a scale of one to ten, how bad do you feel about not finishing a book? Is there a difference between not finishing a book you’ve bought, received via Netgalley or a publisher? What are the odds you’ll pick this book you’ve not finished up again in future and give it another go?

That’s it for another week. Hopefully next week the sun will be out and the glorious blue skies will return to lift our moods. Wishing you all a fabulous week! Happy reading! xx

Punch by Kate North | @katetnorth @BultiauwBooks | #blogtour #Punch #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Punch by Kate North! My thanks to Karen Bultiauw for the invitation to join! Author Kate North visits my blog today to talk about short stories but first, here is what Punch is all about.

Author : Kate North
Title : Punch
Pages : 114
Publisher : Cinnamon Press
Publication date : March 4, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Punch is a collection of stories exploring the uncanny, the uncomfortable and the surreal in the everyday, at home and abroad.

Whether its a man with a growth on his hand, a couple trying for a baby, a woman finishing a book, a pope with penis envy, or a bullied girl, characters throughout the collection assess their surroundings and are often forced to reassess themselves. 

Punch offers the reader a humorous and disturbing take on life in the twenty-first century.

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon UK | Wordery

| GUEST POST |

Hi, I’m Kate North and I’m absolutely thrilled that Eva has handed over the blog spot to me today for the blog tour of my short story collection Punch

I love writing short stories.  I think they are the perfect vehicle for diving into action just before the crux of things.  They also allow you to get out when you have given the reader just enough so they can imagine what might happen next for themselves.  I like short stories that stay with me, stories that unsettle or calm me in some way.  I enjoy working out how and why later.  Writers like Anna Kavan and Ali Smith are really excellent at doing this.  When I was younger I enjoyed the TV shows Tales of the Unexpected and The Twilight Zone for the same reasons.  

The stories in Punch are set in a number of places throughout the UK and across various  European countries.  They are told from a range of perspectives, young through to old, male and female.  What they all have in common is the fact that they explore the weird and how it exists in and amongst the everyday.  I am fascinated by the strange and the un-nerving, how the uncanny can emerge in the most average of settings.  Those moments when you do a double take and say to yourself, ‘did I really just see that?’, the times when you are thinking ‘am I the only person in the room who thinks this is odd?’.  In these instances you can find yourself questioning your own sanity and even facts you know to be true.  These are scenarios that I explore in my stories. I write about how characters respond, whether on a first date or having just moved into a new home.

My stories have characters who are surprised and encounter the unexpected in some way or other.  How they react to a given situation depends upon personality and background, but also on the environment in which they find themselves.  The title story of the collection follows a girl being relentlessly bullied at school, but it isn’t until she finds herself outside of the school that she feels able to respond to her tormentors.  

I also write poetry and I think that may be another reason I am drawn to the short story.  The poem and the short story have a lot in common.  The intense and the lyrical are at home in a short narrative.   You don’t necessarily want or need the expanse of a novel to think about why a character makes a specific decision or how they may react in a particular place.  I think that commuters may like these stories, they are the ideal size for a train or bus trip.  They are short, sharp tales that pack a punch, they are written to make you think.  I’m really looking forward to people reading them.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kate! I’m always quite impressed at how much information an author can pack into a short story.

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Kate North’s first novel, Eva Shell, was published by Cinnamon Press in 2008 and her poetry collection, Bistro, in 2012. She writes and edits for a number of journals and publications.

She has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from Cardiff University and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She lives and teaches in Cardiff.

Visit her website:  www.katenorth.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @katetnorth.

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay | @Tatianaderosnay @WorldEdBooks | #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Rainwatcher by Tatiana de Rosnay. My thanks to Julia Forster at World Editions for the invitation to join. I have an extract to share with you all today but first, let’s find out a bit more about the novel.

Author : Tatiana de Rosnay
Title : The Rain Watcher
Pages : 288
Publisher : World Editions
Publication date : March 5, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

It is raining non-stop over Paris. The Malegarde family – split between France, London, and the US – is reunited for the first time in years.

When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster.

As the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise.

In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates her wealth of skills both as an incredible storyteller and also as a connoisseur of the human soul.

| EXTRACT |

Opening to The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay

“It’s been like this for the past two weeks,” says the listless taxi driver. The rain pours down, a silver curtain, hissing, obstructing all daylight. It is only ten o’clock in the morning, but to Linden, it feels like dusk glimmering with wetness. The taxi driver says he wants to move away for good, flee Paris, find the sun, go back to balmy Martinique, where he is from. As the car leaves Charles de Gaulle Airport and edges along the jammed highway and ring road that circles the city, Linden cannot help agreeing with him. The sodden suburbs are dismal, clustered contours of cubic volumes bedecked with garish neon billboards flickering in the drizzle. He asks the driver to turn on the radio, and the man comments upon his perfect French, “for an American.” Linden grins. This happens every time he returns to Paris. He replies he’s Franco-American, born in France, French father, American mother, he speaks both languages fluently, with no accent at all. How about that, eh? The driver chortles, fumbles with the radio, well, monsieur certainly looks like an American, doesn’t he, tall, athletic, jeans, sneakers, not like those Parisians with their fancy ties and suits.

The news is all about the Seine. Linden listens while squeaky windshield wipers thrust away rivulets in a never-ending battle. The river has been rising for five days now, since January 15, lapping around the Zouave’s ankles. The huge stone statue of a colonial soldier situated just below the pont de l’Alma is, Linden knows, the popular indicator of the river’s level. In 1910, during the major overflows that inundated the city, the water had crept all the way up to the Zouave’s shoulders. The driver exhales, there’s nothing to be done to prevent a river from flooding, no use fighting nature. Men need to stop tampering with nature; all this is her way of lashing back. As the car inches along sluggish circulation, unrelenting rain pounding on the car roof, Linden is reminded of the email the hotel sent him on Tuesday.

Dear Mr. Malegarde,

We are looking forward to your arrival and stay with us as from Friday, January 19th, at noon, until Sunday, January 21, in the evening (with a late checkout, as requested). However, the traffic situation in Paris might be problematic due to the level of the river Seine. Fortunately, the Chatterton Hotel, situated in the fourteenth arrondissement, is not located in an area liable to inundations, and therefore will not be concerned by the inconvenience. For the moment, the prefecture informs us there is nothing to worry about, but our policy is to update our guests. Please let us know if you need any assistance. Kind regards.

Linden read it at the airport on his way from LA to New York, where he was booked to photograph a British actress for Vanity Fair. He forwarded the message to his sister, Tilia, in London, and to his mother, Lauren, in the Drôme valley, who were to join him in Paris that Friday. Linden had not included Paul in the email because his father only appreciated letters and postcards, not emails. His sister’s answer, which he received when he landed hours later at JFK, made him chuckle.

Floodings?! What?! Again? Don’t you remember there was already a scary flood in Paris last November? And what about the one in June 2016? It took us years to organize this bloody weekend, and now this?! She signed off with a series of scowling emoticons.

Later, his mother replied to both of them: Will come by boat if we have to, dragging your father away from his trees! To at last be together! No way will we cancel this family gathering! See you on Friday, my loves!

The Malegarde family was meeting in Paris to celebrate Paul’s seventieth birthday, as well as Lauren and Paul’s fortieth wedding anniversary.

Linden had not given the hotel’s warning another thought. When he left New York for Paris on Thursday evening, he felt weary. It had been two full days, and before that, weeks of hard work around the globe. He would have preferred to fly back home to San Francisco, to Elizabeth Street, to Sacha and the cats. He had not seen much of Sacha, nor the cats, in the past month. Rachel Yellan, his dynamic agent, had landed him one job after the other, a dizzying swirl from city to city that left him depleted and longing for a break. The narrow blue house in Noe Valley and its cherished inhabitants would have to wait until this special family event was over.

“Just the four of us,” his mother had said, all those months ago, when she had booked hotel and restaurant. Was he looking forward to this? he wondered as the plane took off. They had not often been together, just the four of them, since his teenage years at Sévral, where he grew up, and more so, since he had left Vénozan, his father’s familial domain, in 1997, at nearly sixteen. He saw his parents once or twice a year, and his sister whenever he went to London, which was frequently. Why did “just the four of us” sound both so cozy and ominous? 

On the flight to Paris, Linden read Le Figaro and realized with a jab of apprehension that the situation described by the hotel was, in fact, disquieting. The Seine had already flooded in late November, as Tilia pointed out, after a wet summer and autumn, and previously, in June 2016. Parisians had kept a wary eye on the Zouave, and the little waves lapping up his shins. Fortunately, the flow had stopped increasing. Le Figaro explained that thanks to modern technology, one could predict the river’s engorgement three days ahead, which left ample time for evacuating. But the actual problem was the torrential rain, which had not lessened. The river was on the rise again, and threateningly fast…

If this extract and Tatiana de Rosnay’s beautiful writing has left you wanting more, then why not buy yourself a copy of The Rain Watcher!

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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Tatiana de Rosnay, of English, French, and Russian descent, was born in 1961, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, and raised in Boston and Paris.

After studying literature in England at the University of East Anglia, Tatiana worked in Paris as a reporter for Vanity FairPsychologies Magazine, and ELLE.

She has published twelve novels in French and three in English including New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, which sold over eleven million copies worldwide, and was made into a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas in 2010.

Her books have been published in 42 countries and in 2011 she was listed by Le Figaro as the fifth most-read French author worldwide.

Now You See Her by Heidi Perks | @HeidiPerksBooks @arrowpublishing @Rachel90Kennedy | #NowYouSeeHer

Happy paperback publication day to Heidi Perks!

Author : Heidi Perks
Title : Now You See Her
Pages : 416
Publisher : Arrow Publishing
Publication date : March 7, 2019 (UK paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

NOW YOU SEE HER

She’s playing at the school fete with your children. You pull out your phone, scroll through Facebook, and look up again.

NOW YOU DON’T

Charlotte is looking after her best friend’s daughter the day she disappears. She thought the little girl was playing with her own children. She swears she only took her eyes off them for a second.

Now, Charlotte must do the unthinkable, tell her best friend Harriet that her only child is missing. The child she was meant to be watching.

Devastated, Harriet can no longer bear to see Charlotte. No one could expect her to trust her friend again.

Only now she needs to. Because two weeks later Harriet and Charlotte are both being questioned separately by the police. And secrets are about to surface.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Holy bejeebus! How did I not read this book sooner?!

Charlotte takes her children and her friend Harriet’s daughter, Alice, to the school fete. But then Alice disappears. Despite intense search parties, there is no trace of her. How do you tell your friend you’ve lost her child? Their friendship unsurprisingly hits rock bottom. Harriet can never trust Charlotte again but now, two weeks after Alice’s disappearance, she has to. Because she and Charlotte are being questioned by the police …

And then! OMG! I can’t tell you! But holy WOW! If at any point you think “Ha! I totally know where this is going!” … no! NO! You so don’t! Or at least, I didn’t. I was completely blindsided and left reeling. Bloody love it when an author manages to do that to me! In the blink of an eye, Heidi Perks takes the topic of a missing child (let’s face it, it’s not like it hasn’t been done before) and turns it completely on its head, blowing me away with the force of a gale.

Poor Charlotte! The author did a brilliant job of getting across the position she finds herself in. Alice disappeared on her watch after all. With fingers pointing to her everywhere, people leaving nasty comments on newspaper articles and her friends distancing themselves from her … I’d never leave my house again, to be honest. It’s all quite realistic and believable and I really felt for her. I’m sure any mother can relate. It only takes a split second of averting your eyes for a child to suddenly not be where you saw them last.

A missing child, secrets galore, twists that left my head spinning and so much more I can’t talk about without giving anything away (but it involves an incredibly despicable character) … It all resulted in me not just devouring this book, but absolutely inhaling it! Gripping, compelling, utterly addictive and I just knew it would cause a book hangover.

Now You See Her is brilliantly plotted. It isn’t packed full of action as its focus is very much on the intriguing characters but it had me absolutely engrossed from start to finish. Loved it and I highly recommend it if you enjoy your psychological thrillers.

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy at Arrow Publishing for my review copy!

Now You See Her is out in paperback today!

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