This Week in Books (February 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 |

The Stranger appears out of nowhere, perhaps in a bar, or a parking lot, or at the grocery store. His identity is unknown. His motives are unclear. His information is undeniable. Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world.

Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.

Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, Corinne, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than even Corinne’s deception, and realizes that if he doesn’t make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he’s stumbled into will not only ruin lives—it will end them. 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

When a mysterious note arrives for six months pregnant Dr Eliana Hughes, she begins to doubt every aspect of her life – from her mixed feelings about motherhood to her marriage to Martin, who has become distant in recent months.

As the person behind the note escalates their campaign to out Eli’s husband as a cheat, she finds herself unable to trust even her own instincts, and as pressure builds, she makes a mistake that jeopardises her entire future.

Elsewhere, someone is watching. Someone who desperately wants a baby to call their own and will go to any lengths to become a mother – and stay a mother…

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

One email is all it takes to turn Eve’s world upside down. It contains a picture of her true birth mother, Stella, and proves that Eve’s entire life with her adoptive parents has been a lie.

Now she must unravel the mystery of Stella’s dark past. But what Eve finds will force her to take enormous risks, which put her – and her new-born baby – in immediate danger…

To give you a clue as to how my reading week is going, I finished The Stranger late on Saturday night and started Apple Of My Eye on Monday. Looks like it’s another slow one for me. Oops.

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

This Week in Books (January 30)

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 |

Breaking: Nuclear weapon detonates over Washington

Breaking: London hit, thousands feared dead

Breaking: Munich and Scotland hit. World leaders call for calm

Historian Jon Keller is on a trip to Switzerland when the world ends. As the lights go out on civilization, he wishes he had a way of knowing whether his wife, Nadia and their two daughters are still alive. More than anything, Jon wishes he hadn’t ignored Nadia’s last message.

Twenty people remain in Jon’s hotel. Far from the nearest city and walled in by towering trees, they wait, they survive.

Then one day, the body of a young girl is found. It’s clear she has been murdered. Which means that someone in the hotel is a killer.

As paranoia descends, Jon decides to investigate. But how far is he willing to go in pursuit of justice? And what kind of justice can he hope for, when society as he knows it no longer exists?

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

2019: Julianne is preparing a family dinner when her son comes to her and says he’s found something on his iPad. Something so terrible, it will turn Julianne’s world into a nightmare and make her question everything about her marriage and what type of man her husband is or is pretending to be.

1990: Holly is a fresher student at Oxford University. Out of her depth and nervous about her surroundings, she falls into an uneasy friendship with a group of older students from the upper echelons of society and begins to develop feelings for one in particular. He’s confident, quiet, attractive and seems to like her too. But as the year progresses, her friends’ behaviour grows steadily more disconcerting and Holly begins to realise she might just be a disposable pawn in a very sinister game.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

Bryony Masters has been looking for her long-lost sister, Hannah, for years, but when their father has a stroke her search takes on new urgency. So when primetime game show, What Happens in France, puts a call-out for new contestants, Bryony spots the ultimate public platform to find her reality TV-obsessed sister, and finally reunite their family.

With the help of handsome teammate Lewis, it’s not long before she’s on a private jet heading for the stunning beauty of rural France. With a social media star dog, a high maintenance quiz host and a cast of truly unique characters, Bryony and Lewis have their work cut out for them to stay on the show and in the public eye.

Yet as the audience grows and the grand prize beckons they find that the search that brought them together may just fulfil more than one heart’s wish… 

From dystopian to rom-com. This will be interesting. 😂

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

In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter | @AvonBooksUK | #blogtour #extract

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for In Safe Hands by J.P. Carter. I have an extract to share with you all but first, here is what the book is about.

Author : J.P. Carter
Title : In Safe Hands
Series : DCI Anna Tate #1
Pages : 368
Publisher : Avon
Publication date : January 24, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

When nine children are snatched from a nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again. The community in the surrounding area in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying.

But DCI Anna Tate knows that nothing is impossible, and she also knows that time is quickly running out. It’s unclear if the kidnappers are desperate for money or set on revenge, but the ransom is going up by £1million daily. And they know that one little boy in particular is fighting for his life.

It’s one of the most disturbing cases DCI Anna Tate has ever worked on – not only because nine children are being held hostage, but because she’s pretty sure that someone close to them is lying…

| EXTRACT |

Anna was still staring at the photo half a minute later when her office door was thrust open and Detective Inspector Max Walker came rushing in. His face was pinched and tense and his bald head was shiny with perspiration.

He held up a sheet of paper and said, ‘We’ve got a live one, guv. Call just came in and it sounds pretty serious.’ 

Anna was at once alert. Even though he was still in his early thirties, Walker was one of the most experienced members of her team, and he was not prone to exaggeration.

‘There’s an ongoing incident at a nursery school in Peabody Street, Rotherhithe,’ he said. ‘Three men with guns entered the place and locked the all-female staff in a storeroom. There are four of them and one has been badly beaten.’

Anna jumped to her feet.

‘Who called it in?’

‘One of the women from inside the room. She used a phone the men didn’t know they had.’

‘Jesus. If it’s a nursery then there must be children.’ 

Walker nodded. ‘There are nine kids apparently, but the staff have no idea what’s happening to them because they were put into another room.’

Anna felt her chest contract as the adrenalin fizzed through her veins. 

‘Have shots been fired?’ she asked.

Walker shook his head. ‘Not so far.’

‘Thank God for that.’ She grabbed her jacket from the back of her chair. ‘We’d better get over there fast.’ 

Minutes later they were in an unmarked pool car that was among dozens of police vehicles from all over South London converging on the Peabody Nursery School in Rotherhithe. Walker was driving while Anna concentrated on the constant stream of updates over the radio.

Yikes! If this extract has left you wanting more, In Safe Hands is now available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

J. P. Carter is the pseudonym of a bestselling author who has also written sixteen books under the names Jaime and James Raven. 

Before becoming a full-time writer he spent a career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and television producer. He was, for a number of years, director of a major UK news division and co-owned a TV production company. He now splits his time between homes in Hampshire and Spain with his wife. (

The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders | @AvonBooksUK | #blogtour #extract #TheTakenGirls

Happy Friday and welcome to my final blog tour of the year! My thanks to Sabah at Avon UK for the invitation to join. Today, I’m sharing with you all an extract from The Taken Girls by G.D. Sanders. First, let’s see what this book is all about!

Author : G.D. Sanders
Title : The Taken Girls
Pages : 335
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : December 13, 2018

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

| EXTRACT |

A short woman of about the same age appeared at the man’s shoulder. Her clothes were crumpled and there were streaks of mascara beneath tired eyes, which looked questioningly at the two policewomen.

‘Mrs Naylor, Mr Naylor, I’m Detective Constable Eastham. You may remember I was here last night. This is Detective Sergeant Ogborne. Perhaps we could go somewhere to talk?’

Mr Naylor turned to his wife. ‘I’ll take the officers into the front. Perhaps you could bring the tea through.’

They had barely sat down before Mrs Naylor reappeared with a tray. The detectives both declined the proffered tea and biscuits. Lucy’s parents looked expectantly at Jenny. Ed coughed and spoke.

‘As Jenny said, I’m Detective Sergeant Ed Ogborne. I wasn’t here last night. Let me begin by offering our sympathy for what you must be feeling at this time. There’s nothing we can say to take away the pain and anxiety but we’ll be doing everything we can to find your daughter as quickly as possible and to bring her safely home.’

Mrs Naylor, who had been sitting rigidly in the corner of the sofa with her hands clenched in her lap, could contain herself no longer. Her shoulders sagged. ‘There’s no news then? You haven’t found her? You’ve no clues as to where she is? You don’t know who’s taken our Lucy?’

‘Mrs Naylor, I know it’s difficult but it is early days. We have teams of officers going house to house questioning everybody in the area in case they saw something that might help. We’re here to speak with you and then we’ll talk to the Shaxteds.’

Mr Naylor reached for his wife’s hand and turned towards Ed. ‘What more do you want? We spoke to your colleague last night. We’d rather you were out looking for Lucy.’

Oooh! What happened to Lucy? Will they find her before it’s too late? If you can’t wait to find out, why not grab yourself a copy of The Taken Girls right now!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

On leaving his academic post, Geoff Sanders switched from writing evidence-based research articles to imagination-based contemporary crime fiction. 

He grew up in Kent and studied at three London colleges to complete bachelor degrees in science and a PhD. He would wind down by playing drums in jazz and blues bands. After a few years in Italy, he embarked on a full-time academic career in London. His submission for a popular science book was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Prize. 

Now, writing as G.D. Sanders, he is the author of dark-hearted contemporary crime novels featuring a bright, but impetuous, female detective, DI Ed (Edina) Ogborne and her CID team in Canterbury Kent. His debut, The Taken Girls, is the first in a planned series featuring Ed Ogborne. The Chosen Ones, the second novel in this series, will be published on 27 June 2019. 

Geoff Sanders lives in southwest London. You can follow him on Twitter @GDSandersAuthor.

Cuckoo by Sophie Draper | @sophiedraper9 @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K | #blogtour #bookreview

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Cuckoo by Sophie Draper! My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

Author : Sophie Draper
Title : Cuckoo
Pages : 297
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : November 29, 2018

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

Caro returns to her childhood home after the death of her stepmother, Elizabeth. Their relationship had always been a fraught one and they hadn’t seen each other in years. Caro’s memories of her childhood are somewhat patchy in places but going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths things she may not wish to remember at all. Why do the villagers dislike her so much? Why did Elizabeth hate her? 

Strange things start to happen around the house. As an illustrator for children’s books, Caro has a vivid imagination so I was never quite sure if what she saw was actually there. Are these memories struggling to resurface or is it a bad case of paranoia? With an entire village against her and a sister on the other side of the world, is there anyone Caro can trust?

Cuckoo has an intensely unsettling atmosphere throughout. The story starts with someone in hospital but the reader doesn’t know who the patient is or how they got there. I quickly found myself intrigued, trying to unravel this mystery. Now, this is quite a slow-paced book and at times, for me personally, a bit too slow. That said though, the latter part of the book more than made up for that!

Of course, there are some twists and turns. Some I saw coming, others not at all. There are quite a few family secrets waiting to be unraveled and there’s a constant feeling of isolation that almost made me feel claustrophobic and it all leads to a rather unnerving conclusion. If slow-burning gothic mysteries are your thing, this slightly creepy read will be right up your street!

Cuckoo is available to buy!

Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

Sophie Draper is a Derbyshire based author. Cuckoo is her first book and won the Bath Novel Award 2017. She also won the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. A second book is due to be published later in 2019.

Author links :  Twitter

Perfect Silence by Helen Fields @Helen_Fields @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour #PerfectSilence

Good morning from a still glorious but slightly cloudy Tuscany! I’m thrilled to join the blog tour for Perfect Silence by Helen Fields today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the invitation to join and for the review copy.

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Author : Helen Fields
Title : Perfect Silence
Series : DI Luc Callanach #4
Pages : 432
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : August 23, 2018

aboutthebook

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

mythoughts

Three words : read this NOW! You can thank me later.

If you’re a crime fiction fan, then the DI Luc Callanach series is undoubtedly one you should be reading. I’ve loved and enjoyed this series from the start and anxiously await a new addition every time because I just know I’ll be in for a treat.

That said though, if you’re of the faint-hearted variety, this may not quite be for you as you’ll need a bit of a strong stomach for this one. But that shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve read any of the previous books.

The body of a young woman is found. Her death seems to have been a particularly gruesome one and the silhouette of a doll is carved into her skin. Detectives are having a hard time finding any clues or leads and then the doll made of skin is found near to where another young woman has gone missing. There’s no doubt there’s a serial killer roaming the streets. They’re playing a horrific game and are obviously on a mission. Can DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach find the culprit before another young woman goes missing?

Perfect Silence is dark, chilling and disturbing, as I’ve come to expect from this series. Some chapters are written from the victims’ point of view, which were heartbreaking to read and made me choke up. It felt all too easy to imagine what it would be like to find yourself stuck in such a horrendous situation.

As for the serial killer, Helen Fields kept me guessing until the end. I couldn’t at all figure out their identity, their motivations or how they were selecting their victims in the first place. The race to find this murderer is incredibly tense and the ultimate reveal and somehow rather fascinating reasoning behind it all, left me a little open-mouthed.

I feel it’s also worth mentioning that I’ve been Team Luc from the start but I must say, in this instalment it was Ava who stole the show for me. She’s always been a bit of a character I couldn’t quite put my finger on but this time around she completely won me over. I loved seeing a different side to her, sympathised with her, rooted for her and often got the wrong end of the stick, just like she did. But there is so much to admire about her.

This series has been blowing my mind since the very beginning and I feel it’s only been getting better with each book. Intensely gripping and massively engrossing, this is another belter from Helen Fields and I absolutely can’t wait for book five and more from Luc and Ava. You should all add this series to your TBR’s or shopping baskets right now, as it is indeed quite “perfect”.

Perfect Silence is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Helen Fields studied law at the University of East Anglia, then went on to the Inns of Court School of Law in London. After completing her pupillage, she joined chambers in Middle Temple where she practised criminal and family law for thirteen years. After her second child was born, Helen left the Bar.

Together with her husband David, she runs a film production company, acting as script writer and producer. Perfect Remains is set in Scotland, where Helen feels most at one with the world. Helen and her husband now live in Hampshire with their three children and two dogs.

Author links : Twitter

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This Week in Books (September 5)

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This week is getting completely away from me! I’m so ridiculously busy and my reading is taking a massive beating.

Last book I finished reading

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Liv died when she was just six years old. At least, that’s what the authorities think.

Her father knew he was the only one who could keep her safe in this world. So one evening he left the isolated house his little family called home, he pushed their boat out to sea and watched it ruin on the rocks. Then he walked the long way into town to report his only child missing.

But behind the boxes and the baskets crowding her Dad’s workshop, Liv was hiding. This way her Dad had said, she’d never have to go to school; this way, she’d never have to leave her parents.

This way, Liv would be safe.

[Such an absolutely amazing story! Dark and heartbreaking but beautifully written!]


The book I’m currently reading

38354205

When silence falls, who will hear their cries?

The body of a young girl is found dumped on the roadside on the outskirts of Edinburgh. When pathologists examine the remains, they make a gruesome discovery: the silhouette of a doll carved in the victim’s skin.

DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are struggling to find leads in the case, until a doll made of skin is found nestled beside an abandoned baby.

After another young woman is found butchered, Luc and Ava realise the babydoll killer is playing a horrifying game. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. Can they stop another victim from being silenced forever – or is it already too late?

[I started this on Monday and I’m still only halfway! Bloody universe messing with my reading time. Anyway, another fabulous addition to the series! Not for the faint-hearted!]


What I’m (possibly) reading next

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You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…

When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

[At the rate I’m going, “next” will probably not be until Sunday but still, I am SO looking forward to this one. I can’t wait to see what devilish tale Michael J. Malone has come up with this time!]

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I’m so sorry for not being very social this week. Did I mention I’m insanely busy? I’m still trying to share as many of your blog posts as I possibly can but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to leave comments or to interact with you guys on Twitter. I hope my “liking” your posts and tweets shows you how much I do appreciate everything! Normal service will resume when I’m back from holiday.

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

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

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

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

aboutthebook

Here are two things I know about my mother:

1. She had dark hair, like mine.

2. She wasn’t very happy at the end.

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

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

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

And then a body is found…

extract

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He laughs.

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

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

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

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

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

‘Oh.’

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

‘But it’s Friday night.’

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

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

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

It’s what I hoped he’d say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

abouttheauthor

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

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

Author links : Twitter

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

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

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

One moment can change your life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Memories of Us is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads

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

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

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan @ClaireAllan @AvonBooksUK @Sabah_K #blogtour

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan today! My thanks to Sabah Khan at Avon for the opportunity to join and for my fab review copy.

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Author : Claire Allan
Title : Her Name Was Rose
Pages : 336
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : June 28, 2018

aboutthebook

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

mythoughts

Here is one of life’s lessons. Things aren’t always what they seem. If you think life behind those glossy filtered Facebook pictures is all flowers and sunshine, think again. A smile can hide a multitude of things.

Emily witnesses a young mother being run over and killed instantly by a joyrider. Her name was Rose and she’s left a vacancy. Because Rose has everything Emily dreams off. A charming and handsome husband, a stunning home, a great job and a cute baby. Maybe Emily could take her place. But we all know the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side, don’t we?

Emily is damaged, carries quite a lot of baggage from a previous relationship and is slightly naive. Yet, despite often rolling my eyes at her actions and decisions, I found myself firmly on her side, hoping she’d find a way to move on and find happiness. We are also introduced to Rose via diary chapters, revealing the truth behind the Facebook updates. And then there’s Rose’s husband Cian, who is dealing with his grief, trying to find a way to move on and raise his baby son on his own.

Full of suspense and intrigue, this addictive page-turner had me hooked from start to finish. Her Name Was Rose is an intensely gripping psychological thriller, which I found remarkably hard to put down. I did worry about a certain level of predictability and figuring a few things out, but I felt that was always the author’s intention. Even if it wasn’t, it didn’t bother me because the story remained fabulously tense and had me on the edge of my seat. There were enough surprises and twists that completely threw me off and kept me glued to the pages, not at all able to figure out how things would end.

This is Claire Allan’s first foray into the psychological thriller genre and hoo boy, does this promise brilliant things from her in figure! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next but if this is anything to go by, I have no doubt it’ll be fantastic. One to watch for sure!

Her Name Was Rose is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

Claire Allan is an Irish author who has previously written women’s fiction. A former journalist, this is her first psychological thriller.

Author links : Twitter | Website

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