Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins @vicwritescrime @bookouture #blogblitz

Thrilled to kick off a the blog blitz for Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins today, alongside the fabulous Sweet Little Book! My thanks to Noelle Holten at Bookouture for the invitation to join and for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Victoria Jenkins
Title : Nobody’s Child
Series : Detectives King & Lane #3
Pages : 297
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 19, 2018

aboutthebook

On a damp October day, a body is found in an abandoned hospital, too burnt to be identified, but Detective Alex King knows that every victim is someone’s daughter or son.

Pushing aside her own troubles, Alex puts everything into finding the killer, but when someone else is found dead, she begins to suspect that the body in the hospital was just the first of many.

Just as Alex uncovers a heart-breaking link between the victims, she finds her own safety under threat. Is this a figure from her past hell-bent on revenge, or could the murderer be even nearer than she thinks?

Alex is running out of time. Can she catch the killer before they take another life, or will they get to her first?

mythoughts

Cor! Talk about a gripping crime story! WOO! What a corker!

If there’s a class somewhere that teaches an author how to write a prologue that will hook a reader from the get-go and leave them wanting more, I’m pretty sure Victoria Jenkins graduated with the highest honours. Those first few pages already had me on the edge of my seat and I knew I should strap myself in for yet another thrilling ride with Detectives King and Lane.

What to say about the case the detectives are working on. Good grief! Any attack is of course incomprehensible but these are even more vile and reprehensible because while they seem random, the victims are all vulnerable in one way or another. A body is found badly burned after a fire in an abandoned hospital. Identification is impossible. Who was this person and why were they targeted? Meanwhile someone also seems to have their sights set on Alex King. Plenty going on then in this story!

This third instalment in the series also sees tensions rise between Alex and Chloe, putting their friendship to the test. I must admit that this time around, both these fierce ladies managed to get on my nerves somewhat. Alex with her need to try and hide things, knowing fully well she’s not very good at it and Chloe with her incessant questions that made me want to slap her and tell her to let it go already.

I quite quickly had a potential suspect in mind but the ultimate reveals, yes plural, left me utterly reeling! And also quite sad because a lot of lives are affected and it takes a cold person not to become invested in them. That ending nearly broke me and left me with a huge lump in my throat.

Once again, Victoria Jenkins manages to come up with an insanely compelling and addictive page-turner. I remember telling myself when I picked up the first book that I needed to get hooked on another series like a hole in the tooth but within those first pages, I knew I was on to a good thing and now, three books in, I know I made the right decision. This series keeps getting better and better and the author yet again delivers an amazingly well crafted plot with interesting and fabulous characters and a multi-layered, suspenseful investigation. Bring on book four! I can’t wait!

Nobody’s Child is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband and daughter in South Wales, where her series of crime novels featuring Detectives King and Lane is based. Her debut novel The Girls in the Water is an Amazon UK top 30 bestseller, and top 5 bestseller in the Amazon US chart.

The third book in the King and Lane series, Nobody’s Child, is out now!

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke @phoebe_locke @Wildfirebks @annecater #blogtour #RandomThingsTours

I’m so excited to host the blog tour for The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke today! My thanks to  Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!

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Author : Phoebe Locke
Title : The Tall Man
Pages : 362
Publisher : Wildfire Books / Headline
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.

He is the Tall Man. He can make you special…

mythoughts

Have you met the Tall Man? Be afraid. Be very afraid!

This is one of those reviews where I’m being deliberately vague. I’m not telling you anything about the plot for fear of giving something away. All you really need to know is right there in the book description.

The Tall Man is a slow-burner of a thriller that packs quite the punch. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things, wasn’t quite sure what to make of it and felt a little confused. Yet I was constantly intrigued enough to keep reading.

Phoebe Locke does an absolutely brilliant job of giving just the right amount of teasers while all the while slowly building up to some incredible reveals. During the latter part of the novel, I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough, desperate to know what had actually happened. When the pieces of the puzzle finally fell into place, it was just the most deliciously shocking moment.

None of these characters are particularly likeable for all sorts of reasons that become clear throughout the story. I especially had a hard time dealing with the relentlessness of the true crime crew and the depths they’ll go to in pursuit of those all-important viewer ratings. It’s harsh and cruel and goes to show how little they care about the person behind the story, forgetting this isn’t just someone’s story but someone’s life.

This is a dark, haunting and chilling story about urban legends and murder. It’s about redemption, revenge and motherhood and it comes with a delightfully high creepiness factor. Utterly addictive, brilliantly plotted and highly suspenseful, this debut thriller by Phoebe Locke should probably better not be read in the dark. Loved it!

The Tall Man is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

PHOEBE LOCKE is the pseudonym of full-time writer Nicci Cloke. She previously worked at the Faber Academy, and hosted London literary salon Speakeasy. Nicci has had two literary novels published by Fourth Estate and Cape, and also writes YA for Hot Key Books. She lives and writes in London. THE TALL MAN is Phoebe Locke’s debut thriller.

Author links : Twitter

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Weekly Wrap-Up (June 17)

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I’m pretty sure I blinked and the week was gone. No clue what happened.

Spent a fabulous Sunday afternoon with the OH’s family. There were tears (not me), there was drunken dancing (not me either), glasses were shattered and there was even some blood (also not me) and lots of tipsy singing (may have been involved in that 😳). Didn’t get home until 2am, up at 7am and realised I’m getting too old for this stuff 😂

I’ve once again been reading up a storm this week because … wait for it … here’s something you may not know about me … I watch football. Or at least the European and World Cups. So I’ve been reading around the matches these last few days and even during halftime because every minute and page counts.

Somehow I still managed to read 7 books. Sometimes I surprise myself.


Books I’ve read this week

Books I’ve bought this week

Behold the miracle of the reverse psychology technique as mastered by yours truly!

Oops. 😳


ARC’s received via Netgalley

All for blog tour purposes. All read as well. It’s all good.

On the blog this past week

Monday : Joined the blog tour for The Forgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins

Tuesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Mine by Susie Fox

Wednesday : Joined the blog blitz for A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt, shared an extract on the blog tour for A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch and posted my Week in Books

Thursday : Shared my review for The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride

Friday : Shared an extract from A Posy of Promises by Sharon Dempsey on the blog blitz

Saturday : Joined the blog blitz for Gracie’s Secret by Jill Childs

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Next week on Novel Deelights

Only 4 blog tours this week! I’ve even read them all already. You have no idea how accomplished I feel 😂.

Kicking off the week with my stop on the tour for The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke. I’ll also be joining the tours for Nobody’s Child by Victoria Jenkins, To Die in Vienna by Kevin Wignall and Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson. Plus, my reviews for Us Against You by Fredrick Backman and the second book from my 20 Books of Summer list, which is Skin Deep by Liz Nugent. (which autocorrect constantly changes to nugget 🙄)

In other news : Ha! There is none! I don’t have time for other news.

Right, I have some reviews to write and hopefully squeeze in some more reading before the next football match starts.

Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

Gracie’s Secret by Jill Childs @bookouture #blogblitz

It’s a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for Gracie’s Secret by Jill Childs today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Jill Childs
Title : Gracie’s Secret
Pages : 324
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 15, 2018

aboutthebook

Time stops for Jen when her beloved daughter, Gracie, is involved in a terrible car crash. Pronounced dead at the scene, it’s a miracle when paramedics manage to then resuscitate the little girl.

The relief Jen feels at Gracie’s recovery is matched only by her fury at the driver of the car – her ex-husband’s new girlfriend Ella. Jen has never trusted Ella, and now her worst fears have been confirmed.

But then Gracie begins to tell strange stories about what she heard in the car that day, and what she saw in those moments near death. It’s clear that there’s something shocking hidden in Ella’s past… but exposing it could tear all their lives apart.

mythoughts

Jen receives a phone call all mothers dread. Her three year old daughter Gracie has been in a traffic accident and is in a coma. Now, you can see from the book description that Gracie recovers but she’s a bit different as she seems to be able to remember things she shouldn’t. Everything points to Ella, the woman who stole Jen’s husband and the driver of the car Gracie was in.

I must say I wasn’t entirely prepared for how this story unfolded and I think a lot of your enjoyment will depend on whether or not you believe in that big, bright light at the end of the tunnel and angels. If you put that aside though, Gracie’s Secret is centred around a mystery and a mother’s love. There’s no hardship in sympathising with Jen when her daughter starts saying all kinds of weird things. As a single mother, she has nowhere to turn to. Her ex-husband is far too busy keeping his new girlfriend happy.

The story is mostly told through Jen but sometimes we get a few glimpses from Ella’s point of view. Obviously, Jen hates the woman who took her husband from her and is quick to jump onto anything that will prove her point. I must say I didn’t really take to Ella myself and while there is a moment where I felt I should have at least sympathised with her, by that point I was a bit tired of her playing the “victim card”. I’m putting that in between quotation marks because that may just be me and she may not come across like that to other readers.

What starts out rather emotionally quickly takes a more sinister turn. There are lies and secrets to uncover and Jen will discover not all is at it seems. Personally I found a few things to be a bit on the predictable side but ultimately, Gracie’s Secret is about the things a mother will do to keep her child safe.

This is a story about deceit, manipulation, betrayal and the unbreakable bond between mother and child. Sometimes moving, sometimes suspenseful and with quite the unexpected ending that, while somehow perfect, also made me rather sad.

Gracie’s Secret is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Jill has always loved writing – real and imaginary – and spent 30 years travelling the world as a journalist, living overseas and reporting wherever the news took her. She’s now made her home in London with her husband and twin girls who love stories as much as she does. Although she’s covered everything from earthquakes and floods, riots and wars, she’s found some of the most extraordinary stories right here at home – in the secrets and lies she imagines behind closed doors on ordinary streets, just like yours.

Author links : Twitter

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A Posy of Promises by Sharon Dempsey @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #extract

Welcome to the final day of the blog blitz for A Posy of Promises by Sharon Dempsey! I have an extract to share with you all today. My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join!

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Author : Sharon Dempsey
Title : A Posy of Promises
Pages : 196
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : June 13, 2018

aboutthebook

Ava Connors is comfortable with her life just as it is, still living in the tiny terrace house where she was brought up by her grandmother, Maggie, seeing her long-term boyfriend, Finlay, and working in a florists.

But Maggie’s health is declining and Finlay is fed up waiting for Ava to make a commitment.

Ava has never really known her mother, Scarlett, and when she inherits an old and dilapidated house it ignites an interest in the mother who had abandoned her as a child.

Why did Scarlett leave her to be brought up by her grandmother?
Soon Ava begins to ask this question and in turn sets off a series of events that will change her life forever.

extract

Chapter 1

Dating back to 1898, this handsome and individually designed house retains much of the original character, including decorative plasterwork to the ceilings, ornate mahogany staircase and sliding sash windows, and is set amidst mature gardens extending to circa half an acre.

The accommodation is of generous proportions and covers three floors, making it an excellent home for a growing family. On entrance, the wide hallway boasts the original wood block flooring, oak wood panelling, a cloakroom with high wall-mounted flush WC, pedestal wash hand basin, tiled floor, part-tiled walls and a built-in cupboard with ample space for storage.

The main drawing room offers an original marble fireplace with tiled hearth, inset and surround, picture rail, cornicing, and solid block wood floor. This room leads to a small bookcase-lined study with French patio doors to the side courtyard style garden.

The sitting room provides a view over the extensive rear gardens, with a window seating area, ceiling cornicing, fireplace with marble hearth, wood block flooring and door through to dining room.

Bedroom accommodation set out over two floors.

Master bedroom suite with period fireplace, separate dressing room and large en suite bathroom. Guest bedroom suite with separate sitting area and en suite shower room.

Two additional bedrooms on first floor and two further bedrooms are found on the second floor.

Outside there are exceptional gardens as well as a garage and ample parking. The property provides spacious family accommodation which retains many original characteristics and features, and is perfectly complemented by the generous and private site with delightful level gardens to the rear along with a sheltered patio area with southerly aspect.

Mount Pleasant Square is a mature leafy park off the popular Stranmillis Road and is recognised as one of the area’s most sought after residential locations. It is situated in a conservation area, and undoubtedly Belfast’s most desirable residential address. While this property enjoys considerable privacy and seclusion, the location could not be more convenient for access to Belfast City Centre, the vibrant Lisburn Road, main arterial routes, leading schools and academic institutions, parks and golf clubs.

Please note extensive modernisation required.

Ninety-seven Mount Pleasant Square. The address created a certain sense of contentment, as if to live there was to have reached a plateau of happiness and well-being.

Until that morning, when Ava received the estate agent particulars, she had it all sorted out in her head. She would sell up, pocket a mighty fortune and start her own business, or even go travelling, though she doubted she would go too far when she had her gran to consider. Realistically, Ava couldn’t go backpacking around the south of Ireland let alone New Zealand, knowing her gran was languishing in the Sisters of Mercy nursing home.

The point was, that for the first time in her life, Ava had possibilities, choices which only a significant sum of money could provide. She felt like a Jane Austen heroine, thinking of how money could turn one’s life around, except she didn’t have to hunt down a man of good standing to secure her financial future. Financial security had sought her out, and might as well have fallen straight out of the sky onto her lap for all she knew of how it had come about.

The paperwork had stated that she was now the sole beneficiary of the estate which comprised of number ninety-seven. She had no way of establishing the reason why she had been left the house. She certainly didn’t know of any rich relatives who would have left it to her and knew no reason why it should have remained a secret. It was unlikely her gran had known about the house, for surely, she would have told her that she had this inheritance to look forward to. Why had whoever owned the house chosen to neglect it and allow it to fall into such a poor sorry state? It was all a bit of a curiosity.

When she had received the initial letter requesting that she meet with Ms Boston of Hawkings Solicitors, Ava had assumed it was to do with her gran’s affairs and her move to the nursing home. She had even prepared for the meeting by digging out the deeds of her gran’s house along with social security numbers, her pension book and other such details.

The solicitor, a blonde elegant woman named Amanda, had expressed her delight at having tracked Ava down so easily. She had few details to go on, she explained. If Ava had moved, then the solicitor would have been stuck like a duck in a mudflat. She had extended her manicured hand to congratulate Ava on her good fortune, a diamond engagement ring winking in the sunlight as it cast prisms of light around the airless Ormeau Road office.

Ava sat there on the wine-coloured leather chair, dumbfounded, clutching the irrelevant paperwork, trying to process the information. A house? Left to her? Her initial reaction had been to assume that she had inherited the house from her mother. But firstly, as far as Ava knew, she hadn’t died, and secondly, she hadn’t visited Northern Ireland for many years, let alone owned a house here.

‘Yeah, I can see it’s a shock, but aren’t you the lucky one?’ Amanda had said, obviously happy to pocket the fee for tracking Ava down and finalising the details. It was clear to Ava that it wasn’t every day that Amanda got to play the fairy godmother role. She was probably more used to dealing with Disability Living Allowance fraud cases and chasing up legal aid paperwork on behalf of good-for-nothing joyriders and recreational summer time rioters, hell-bent on throwing petrol bombs at the emergency services, fire brigade and ambulances included.

‘This blue cardboard file has sat gathering dust for years. It must have been instructed well before my time,’ Amanda said. ‘Mr Hawking senior would have dealt with the original client way back in the seventies or eighties when the practice was in its heyday. We have a few leftover documents and cases to be tallied up from the days when Samuel Hawking ran the practice and this bequest file was one of them.’

Ava sat there, not really taking it all in, thinking that at some stage the solicitor would realise she had been mistaken and that she had the wrong Ava Connors. Ava could feel her skin prickle with the beginning of a heat rash – she always got over heated and itchy when she was nervous.

‘But why now? And who left it to me?’

‘All I can tell you is that the benefactor has requested that the house be signed over without disclosure of identity. Believe it or not, it isn’t all that uncommon. Sometimes people don’t wish for the whole world to know their business. You just got lucky.’

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I don’t know about you but I’d be totally okay with a house falling into my lap like that!

Will Ava ever find out who the mysterious benefactor is? Want to read more? Then you’re in luck as A Posy of Promises is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

A Posy of Promises is Sharon Dempsey’s first contemporary women’s fiction novel.

Sharon is a Belfast based writer of fiction and non-fiction books, with four health books published. He crime debut Little Bird was released July 2017 with Bloodhound Books.

She facilitates therapeutic creative writing classes for people affected by cancer and other health challenges, and runs a creative writing group for young people, called Young Scribblers, at the Crescent Arts Centre. She is a creative writing tutor at Queen’s University and Stranmillis College. Sharon studied Politics and English at Queen’s University, and undertook a newspaper journalism post grad at City University, London.  She has written for a variety of publications and newspapers, including the Irish Times.

Sharon is working on the follow up to Little Bird and a collection of dark short stories.

A Posy of Promises is the first in a trilogy.

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The Blood Road by Stuart MacBride @StuartMacBride @HarperFiction #mustread

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Author : Stuart MacBride
Title : The Blood Road
Series : Logan McRae #11
Pages : 496
Publisher : Harper Collins
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

Logan McRae’s personal history is hardly squeaky clean, but now that he works for Professional Standards it’s his job to police his fellow officers.

When Detective Inspector Bell turns up dead in the driver’s seat of a crashed car it’s a shock to everyone. Because Bell died two years ago, they buried him. Or they thought they did.

As an investigation is launched into Bell’s stabbing, Logan digs into his past. Where has he been all this time? Why did he disappear? And what’s so important he felt the need to come back from the dead?

But the deeper Logan digs, the more bones he uncovers—and there are people out there who’ll kill to keep those skeletons buried. If Logan can’t stop them, DI Bell won’t be the only one to die…

mythoughts

Stuart MacBride has been on my list of go-to authors for as long as I can remember. Every time there’s a new book of his on the horizon, my anticipations and expectations are sky high but I also always have faith that he’ll deliver. So of course I dropped whatever it was I was doing when I got the opportunity to read this one early and I didn’t regret it for a second.

The Blood Road is the eleventh instalment in the Logan McRae series and it’s every bit as brilliant and fresh as its predecessors. Logan McRae now works for Professional Standards but that doesn’t mean he’s not able to stick his nose into a good crime now and again. The Blood Road starts with a road accident and Logan McRae is rather confused at first as to why he’s called to the scene. Until he realises the dead body is DI Bell and that’s a huge shock because DI Bell died two years ago. They had a funeral and everything.

Lots of questions that need answering then. Why did DI Bell run and hide? Where has he been these last two years? Why did he come back? And who the heck did they bury in his place? Logan McRae sets out to investigate but danger lurks as there are people out there who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden.

What follows is an incredibly dark, disturbing and harrowing case that will chill you to the bones. My lips are sealed as you really need to get the full effect of this one but it’s one case I won’t forget in a hurry. It’s a truly frightening and, sadly, believable scenario. Yet, true to form, Stuart MacBride manages to lighten the mood with a healthy dose of humour. I found myself chuckling at the most inappropriate moments. It shouldn’t work but it actually does and really well too. Nobody does this as brilliantly as Stuart MacBride does and this is what makes him stand out from the crowd.

I worried when the magnificent team of Logan McRae and Roberta Steele was broken up but I shouldn’t have. The incomparable Roberta still makes unforgettable appearances but quite frankly, there are two new show-stealers in town by way of Rennie and most importantly, Tufty. These two have me constantly in stitches in their own unique inimitable ways and I dare say they are totally entitled to their own spin-off. I’d pay good money for that.

This has been one of my most favourite crime fiction series for years and it continues to blow my mind with every new addition. If you are not reading these, you are missing out! With a fantastic cast of characters, absolutely brilliant writing and a fabulous dollop of wit, this author should be on everyone’s bookshelves. I for one can’t wait for whatever Stuart MacBride comes up with next!

My thanks to the publisher for the review copy, which I received via Edelweiss.

The Blood Road is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | BookdepositoryKobo | WorderyGoodreads

This Week in Books (June 13)

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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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Time stops for Jen when her beloved daughter, Gracie, is involved in a terrible car crash. Pronounced dead at the scene, it’s a miracle when paramedics manage to then resuscitate the little girl.

The relief Jen feels at Gracie’s recovery is matched only by her fury at the driver of the car – her ex-husband’s new girlfriend Ella. Jen has never trusted Ella, and now her worst fears have been confirmed.

But then Gracie begins to tell strange stories about what she heard in the car that day, and what she saw in those moments near death. It’s clear that there’s something shocking hidden in Ella’s past… but exposing it could tear all their lives apart.


The book I’m currently reading

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1990: In the darkest woods, three girls devote themselves to a sinister figure.

2000: A young mother disappears, leaving behind her husband and baby daughter.

2018: A teenage girl is charged with murder, and her trial will shock the world.

Three chilling events, connected by the shadow he casts.


What I’m (probably) reading next

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On a damp October day, a body is found in an abandoned hospital, too burnt to be identified, but Detective Alex King knows that every victim is someone’s daughter or son.

Pushing aside her own troubles, Alex puts everything into finding the killer, but when someone else is found dead, she begins to suspect that the body in the hospital was just the first of many.

Just as Alex uncovers a heart-breaking link between the victims, she finds her own safety under threat. Is this a figure from her past hell-bent on revenge, or could the murderer be even nearer than she thinks?

Alex is running out of time. Can she catch the killer before they take another life, or will they get to her first?

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch @SethALynch @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #blogtour #extract

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Dead American in Paris by Seth Lynch. Today, I have an extract to share with you all from this second instalment in the Salazar Mysteries. My thanks to the publisher and to Emma Walton for the invitation to join and for providing the extract.

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Author : Seth Lynch
Title : A Dead American in Paris
Series : The Salazar Mysteries #2
Pages : 270
Publisher : Fahrenheit Press
Publication date : April 9, 2018

aboutthebook

Arty Homebrook lived and died in a world of sleaze which stretched from Chicago to Paris but never beyond the gutter. He’d been sleeping with Madame Fulton, which is why Harry Fulton promised to kill him. So far as the Paris Police are concerned it’s an open and shut case. Harry’s father has other ideas and hires Salazar to investigate.

A Dead American in Paris places Salazar in the midst of an unpleasant underworld of infidelity, blackmail, backstreet abortions and murder. It’s enough to make you want to chuck it all in and take a job cleaning out the sewers. But Salazar is far too inquisitive to walk away and far too stubborn to know what’s for the best. So he wakes up each hungover morning, blinks into the sunlight, and presses on until it’s his life on the line. Then he presses on some more, just for the hell of it.

extract

Although he was no longer there it was easy to picture him, slumped over the table with a knife buried deep in his back. The blood stains on the table, chair and floor remained and I’d seen enough dead men to fill in the gaps. I do try to remember that they’re all different, that each body represents a distinct life ended. A life with its own passions of love and hate. Its own stomach problems, bad breath and aching feet. But no matter their differences before the final heartbeat, all Death’s children are alike.

A musty unpleasantness permeated the atmosphere. This was tempered by the final traces of Chief Inspector Belmont’s cigarette smoke. Ah, if only I could have been outside where the smell of rotting pigswill commingled with the odour of emptied chamber pots and the eye-stinging fumes of the Bordeaux train.

Belmont ground his cigarette into the floorboards. He didn’t look in the least concerned about contaminating the crime scene. If I’d mentioned it to him he would have said, ‘my cigarette is no more contaminating than you are, M. Salazar.’ And I suspect that he wouldn’t have been averse to grinding me into the floorboards either, not because I was annoying him but because, according to him, I was wasting his time. Or he might have pointed out that this was no longer a crime scene but an apartment, with a sordid recent history, to let.

Belmont yawned and scratched his nose. Then he said: ‘he’d been sat there for at least twenty-four hours before we found him. Not all of those stains are blood but they are all bodily. Not squeamish, are you, M. Salazar?’

‘I stopped being squeamish when I found myself in an artillery crater with a sergeant of mine. He’d been hit by shrapnel. I held his guts in for three hours until he died. Then I spent two hours watching them slowly spill back out. By then it was dark and I was able to crawl the four-hundred metres back to our trench.’

‘Ex-soldier, good man.’ Belmont pulled a tobacco pouch from his jacket pocket and rolled himself another cigarette. He fumbled with a silver lighter, which clicked and sparked without producing a flame. I took pity on the poor chap and offered him a light, then I lighted one of my Gitanes. After all, it’s much nicer to smoke in company.

‘I know you’re not in the least enthused by my presence, Chief Inspector.’

‘On the contrary, M. Salazar, I couldn’t be happier. Without your investigation we wouldn’t be running the risk of a murderer going free. It makes a sport of it all, don’t you think?’

He chose that moment to blow a smoke ring at the ceiling and he looked so nonplussed that I couldn’t be sure he wasn’t being serious. However, no investigator, be him private or flic, relishes another’s nose in his case. So I decided our Inspector Belmont must be a born cynic.

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If you enjoyed this extract and you’d like to find out more, then you’re in luck as A Dead American in Paris is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Fahrenheit Press | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Born and brought up in the West of England, Seth has also lived in Carcassonne, Zurich and the Isle of Man.

With two daughters, his writing time is the period spent in cafés as the girls do gym, dance and drama lessons.

Author links : Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt @bookouture #blogblitz

Truly delighted to be one of the blogger who gets to kick off the blog blitz for A Mother’s Goodbye by Kate Hewitt today! My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : Kate Hewitt
Title : A Mother’s Goodbye
Pages : 348
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 13, 2018

aboutthebook

Heather is devastated. There’s no way she can keep her baby. She can barely pay the bills as it is. But when she meets Grace, a wealthy, single career woman, who wants a baby more than anything, Heather believes she has found the perfect adoptive mother.

As Grace and Heather’s lives become entwined, they are tested to breaking point, though neither can deny the other’s love for the child. But just when they think they are learning how to live with each other, they receive devastating news that turns their fragile world upside down.

Will either mother know what is the right thing to do for the child they both love?

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Stock up on tissues, chocolate and/or ice cream or whatever comfort food takes your fancy because believe me, you are going to need it!

When Heather discovers she’s pregnant, there are no tears of joy. With a husband off work and three other children to feed, life is hard enough as it is and the bills keep piling up. Heather decides to give her baby up for adoption and thinks single career woman Grace might just be perfect.

Grace is terribly lonely after the death of her father. Her job has always come first and now she realises she doesn’t really have anyone in her life. A baby seems the best option to fill that gap.

Another unlikely choice of book for me but this is the thing I like so much about blog tours. Stepping in to fill a gap and be surprised you’ve actually discovered something truly special. I had braced myself for a certain level of predictability but things didn’t at all turn out the way I expected them to.

A Mother’s Goodbye is quite a raw and incredibly emotional story. I didn’t always particularly agree with some of the decisions that were made or the attitudes of both Grace and Heather but you know, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and all that. We never really know how we’ll react to certain situations until we find ourselves right in the middle of them.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot. The book description clearly tells you there is devastating news that will turn lives upside down, even more so than they already were. I’m not someone who cries easily but I often found myself desperately trying to fight back the tears and thought this book might just break me into tiny pieces.

This is an incredibly moving, powerful and heartbreaking story about motherhood, love and loss that will pull at your heartstrings. It left me tearful and in need of a massive hug and a stiff drink. Beautifully written and extremely evocative, I have a feeling this one will stay with me for a long time to come.

A Mother’s Goodbye is published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Kate Hewitt is the author of many titles of women’s fiction and romance. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling an emotionally compelling story. An American ex-pat, she now lives in South Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her and her books at www.kate-hewitt.com.

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‘Mine’ by Susie Fox @writerdrfox @Deaco89 @PenguinUKbooks #blogtour

It’s such a pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for Mine by Susie Fox! My thanks to Sam Deacon at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Susie Fox
Title : Mine
Pages : 340
Publisher : Penguin
Publication date : June 14, 2018

aboutthebook

The baby in the cot is not your baby.

You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. But when you are shown the small infant, a terrible thought seizes you: this baby is not mine.

They say you’re delusional.

No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you’re confused. Dangerous.

But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. Or even deliberate ones.

Everyone is against you; do you trust your instincts? Or is your traumatic past clouding your judgement? You know only one thing.

You must find your baby.

mythoughts

Flipping heck! I was so not prepared for the rollercoaster ride of emotions ‘Mine’ took me on!

Sasha wakes up in hospital after an emergency c-section. When she is finally shown her baby, she’s convinced this tiny infant is not hers. Nobody believes her, not even her husband. With everyone against her, what can Sasha do? Let herself be convinced this child is hers? Pretend to love a child she feels isn’t hers? Or keep searching for the baby she believes truly belongs to her?

Sasha has had quite the traumatic past and so throughout the story you can’t help but wonder if she’s a reliable narrator. As a doctor, she knows mistakes happen in hospitals but could her judgment be clouded? I thought I had a wee inkling as to what was going on but the author managed to keep me second-guessing events at every turn. I may have had a smug grin on my face when it turned out my initial theory was correct but the actual reveal still left me reeling.

This is the stuff of nightmares. I’m not a mother but I had no problems whatsoever imagining how frightening it must be when you think the baby in the cot isn’t yours. How frustrating it must be to realise there’s no-one in your corner. How hard it is when you’ve read all the books, you think you know what it should be like and suddenly this wee bundle of joy arrives and you feel absolutely nothing.

‘Mine’ is super intense from start to finish as it tackles topics like IVF, miscarriages and mental health issues. This incredibly gripping plot had me completely absorbed and I couldn’t help but flip the pages faster to see what would happen next. But it’s also moving and heartbreaking at times and it’s entirely impossible not to become invested in Sasha’s well-being.

It’s quite hard to fathom that this is Susie Fox’s debut novel and this addictive psychological thriller promises nothing but good things from her in the future. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

‘Mine’ is available to buy in ebook format. The UK paperback will be out on June 14th!

Amazon US | Amazon UKKobo | Wordery | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Susi Fox studied Medicine at the University of Melbourne. She is the recipient of a 2014 Varuna Fellowship and was part of the 2015 QWC/Hachette Manuscript Development Program. She lives in Central Victoria, where she works as a GP. Mine is her first novel.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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