Die Cold by Graham Smith | @GrahamSmith1972 @Bloodhoundbook | #DieCold #JakeBoulder #TeamBoulder #blogtour

Thrilled to bits to join the blog tour for Die Cold by Graham Smith today! My thanks to Emma Welton at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Graham Smith
Title : Die Cold
Series : Jake Boulder #4
Pages :
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 12, 2018

aboutthebook

Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

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Boulder is back! BOULDER IS BACK!!! I may be a wee excited.

Die Cold is the fourth instalment in the Jake Boulder series and really, if you’re not reading these, you need to go sit in a corner and think about your life’s choices!

First things first, do yourselves a favour and do not treat this as a stand-alone! Jake’s struggle is real and I feel it’s important that you know him as well as you possibly can to understand him and his actions better. Our reluctant hero has been through a lot and events from the previous book especially have made a massive impact on him.

So much so, that he’s left behind family, friends and his hometown. Jake is now working as a bartender at an exclusive ski resort in Vermont. It’s New Year’s Eve but before the champagne even has the opportunity to start flowing, terrorists hold up the lodge and take everyone hostage. Their female leader is a cold and vile woman who has no qualms whatsoever in getting her point across. But what is it these terrorists want? Stuck up on a mountain in the middle of a fierce snow blizzard, what are the odds that help is coming? Does anyone even realise the people at the resort need any help? Or will it be left to Jake to save the hostages and the day?

Die Cold should have come with a warning to hook up an oxygen tank before you start reading because hoo boy, I found myself thrown right into the action from the very first page and it just didn’t let up! I was holding my breath numerous times (not literally, obviously, or I probably wouldn’t be here right now), could almost feel the adrenaline pumping inside my veins and was quite frankly left utterly exhausted. This would make an incredible action movie!

Now, I must admit, I missed Alphonse. But a character called Daniel made up for so much of that and I’m kind of hoping (possibly against all hope) that he might somehow make an appearance in other Boulder books. I’d quite like that. Through Daniel’s eyes and a few other hostages, we constantly get a glimpse into what’s going on, which really added to the tension. I found myself desperately trying to figure out what the terrorists had in mind, while all the time hoping I’d never find myself in that position.

What an immensely thrilling journey this was. Action-packed from the word “go”, tense, totally addictive and a fantastic addition to this series, Die Cold may just leave you gasping for air. I absolutely can’t wait to see where Graham Smith takes Jake Boulder next. Although, I do hope it’s somewhere warmer.

Die Cold is published TODAY!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Graham Smith is a time served joiner who has built bridges, houses, dug drains and slated roofs to make ends meet. Since Christmas 2000, he has been manager of a busy hotel and wedding venue near Gretna Green, Scotland.

He is an internationally best-selling Kindle author and has six books featuring DI Harry Evans and the Cumbrian Major Crimes Team, and four novels, featuring Utah doorman, Jake Boulder.

An avid fan of crime fiction since being given one of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five books at the age of eight, he has also been a regular reviewer and interviewer for the well-respected website Crimesquad.com since 2009

Graham is the founder of Crime and Publishment, a weekend of crime-writing classes which includes the chance for attendees to pitch their novels to agents and publishers. Since the first weekend in 2013, ten attendees have gone on to sign publishing contracts.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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This Week in Books (November 7)

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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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Boulder is back.

Jake Boulder is working as a bartender, at an exclusive Vermont ski resort on New Year’s Eve, when armed terrorists hold up the lodge and take the guests hostage.

Trapped with the other hostages, Boulder watches in horror as the female terrorist leader disfigures a singer to make her point. He wants to fight back, but is unarmed and being held at gunpoint.

When Boulder finds a way to escape from the terrorists he searches for a way to raise the alarm. After he discovers the terrorists plan to leave no witnesses to their crime, he knows has a race against time to save as many innocent people as he can…

But will Boulder be the reluctant hero and save the day?

The book I’m currently reading

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A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.

Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?

Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.

But even Hawthorne isn’t prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody…

What I’m (probably) reading next

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Kim Lord is an avant garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women.

As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all of the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala.

Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls upon the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that too often fetishizes violence against women, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

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What are you reading this week? Let me know! I don’t want to run out of books! 😉

Happy reading! xx

One Perfect Witness by Pat Young @py321_young @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #guestpost #OnePerfectWitness

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the stops on the blog blitz for One Perfect Witness by Pat Young today. My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join.

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Author : Pat Young
Title : One Perfect Witness
Pages : 362
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : October 1, 2018

aboutthebook

On a remote Scottish hillside, three paths meet. On each path, a boy, one carrying a gun.

When their paths cross, a shot is fired and a boy dies.

That leaves two – one killer and one perfect witness.

This killer will stop at nothing to make sure the witness says nothing. Difficult for most people, even for someone who’s been guarding a secret of his own for five years.

What if the witness decides he’s been silent too long? Sometimes even the unspeakable must be spoken, if we can find the words.

Amazon US | Amazon UKGoodreads

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I never intended to be a writer. So you can imagine my surprise when I recently found myself nestling between JK Rowling and Dan Brown near the top of Amazon’s bestseller charts, when my debut novel, Till the Dust Settles, appeared in audiobook format. From day one the response to Till the Dust Settles has been quite overwhelming, both in Europe and the United States with many readers expressing the hope that there might be a sequel in the pipeline. 

My publisher, the wonderful Bloodhound Books, had already contracted me to write a second book, (another psychological thriller but with a very different subject matter). When Betsy Reavley of Bloodhound saw the appetite for a follow-up to Till the Dust Settles, she encouraged me to write it. In fact, I already had over fifty thousand words written and filed away. Not because I ever expected folk to love Till the Dust Settles and request a sequel, but because I knew that Lucie’s story was far from over. Readers knew that too. 

It wasn’t difficult to pick up where I left off and soon I know where you live was ready for my publisher’s approval. That was a tense few days. I have never written to a deadline before or under the pressure of expectation and I admit to being terrified at times. I found this book harder to write than the first, for those reasons. The story was never an issue. It told itself.

The inspiration for I know where you live came from a geographical location. Before I wrote a single word, I could ‘see’ the ending, visualising a setting that I knew existed but had never seen. I knew what would happen there, although the details would only come to me later, as I wrote. In fact, when it came time to write the climactic final scene, I ended up acting it out at the top of a staircase, with my husband and my tennis bag!

The setting of the dénouement allowed me to go back to my roots and I actually feature the cottage where my father lived as a child. The nearby village, Auchinleck, is where I grew up and went to school and is, some might say, an unlikely choice for an author. But the place has long been connected with the written word as James Boswell, the biographer of Samuel Johnston lived there. And after all, don’t they say you should write what you know? 

Writing about what I know helped me choose the other setting for I know where you live, Carcassonne, in the south of France. As well as being a place I love, Carcassonne is special for a slightly superstitious reason. In the autumn of 2015, when I was hoping (but not expecting) to find a publisher for Till the Dust Settles, I was in Carcassonne on holiday and found a tiny book, no bigger than a thumbnail, lying on the esplanade outside the mediaeval fortress. A book so small it could have come from a doll’s house. To this day I have no idea how I spotted it in that large open space that’s usually crowded with tourists. But I did and from that moment on, I was utterly convinced I would be published one day. 

Less than two years later my dream became reality and Till the Dust Settles was released by Bloodhound. It feels like a nice closing of the circle that the sequel should be set in Carcassonne. 

I use the town not only as a backdrop to the story but for the cover too. Choosing a book cover is much harder than you might think and it took a few days to get this one right. Bloodhound is an amazing company to work – they are so writer-centred. The cover design is a prime example. I didn’t know what I wanted for my new cover but I knew I’d recognise it when I saw it. I felt quite strongly that since I know where you live is a sequel to Till the Dust Settles it would be good to have a similar style of cover. Betsy Reavley herself designed my first cover and I think it’s fabulous, with that cloud of dust just hanging there. Second time around she was just as patient, determined to help me get it right, even though I rejected several designs. When I suggested Carcassonne as a background, Betsy used a photo I’d found and I absolutely love the result. Hope you do too. 

Most people of course don’t ever see the cover on an actual book and that, in itself, is a challenge. Whatever you choose needs to look strikingly good in colour on a computer screen as that’s where so many potential readers will shop for a book. I think Till the Dust Settles shows up well and I never tire of seeing it on screen. It thrills me every time. But a cover must also be clear and eye-catching in a tiny black and white thumbnail for those who select their next book on the small screen of an e-reader. Perhaps we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but a lot of readers still do.

Choosing the cover of my new book, One Perfect Witness was easy. It has no connection to the other two, being a completely different story. I was sent three designs and it was no contest. The boy on the hill (which was almost the title) captures the essence of the story. If, like me, you’re fascinated by what happens when someone disappears, you’ll enjoy this book of secrets, lies and deception. Sometimes, he who says nothing has most to tell. 

[It’s true I often don’t notice covers, especially for digital books. But on the other hand, many a book on my shelf has been bought based on the cover alone. This one for One Perfect Witness says quite a lot and I can see why you chose this one. Thanks for stopping by, Pat!)

abouttheauthor

Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.

Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.

Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.

Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.

Pat writes psychological thrillers. Her debut novel Till the Dust Settles, has been awarded the Scottish Association of Writers’ Constable Stag trophy. Following publication in July 2017 Pat was delighted to be chosen as an ‘emerging talent’ for Crime in the Spotlight and read from Till the Dust Settles to an audience at Bloody Scotland – another dream come true.

Published by Bloodhound Books, I Know Where You Live is the much-anticipated sequel to Pat’s gripping and unmissable debut thriller, Till the Dust Settles. It too is a psychological thriller with a skilfully told story that makes for an enjoyable stand alone read. It will hook you from the start.

One Perfect Witness, Pat’s third novel to be published, tells a completely new story. If, like Pat, you’re fascinated by what happens when someone disappears, you’ll enjoy this book of secrets, lies and deception.

Author links : Twitter

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The Third Breath by Malcolm Hollingdrake @MHollingdrake @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz

Such a pleasure to host a stop on the blog blitz for The Third Breath by Malcolm Hollingdrake today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join and for the review copy!

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Author : Malcolm Hollingdrake
Title : The Third Breath
Series : DCI Bennett #7
Pages : 275
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : August 28, 2018

aboutthebook

DCI Bennett is away on compassionate leave. After much soul-searching, he has decided to attend his father’s funeral.

DS Owen is left at the helm when the discovery of a body in a car in the multi-storey car park is reported. Initially, the Coroner rules out suspicious circumstances but when a second body is found with similar symptoms, Bennett is back in the fold. He suspects that the coincidences must be of some significance.

Soon Bennett’s team are hunting for a callous and devious killer who has covered his tracks effectively.

Will Bennett’s perseverance and attention to detail eventually crack this perplexing case?

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It’s quite hard to believe that The Third Breath is already the seventh instalment in the DCI Bennett series but author Malcolm Hollingdrake shows no signs of slowing down and has come up with yet another belter.

I’ve come to expect some rather brilliant and original ways for the killers in this series to murder their victims but this one has to be right up there with the most ingenious and chilling ones I’ve ever read. A dead body is discovered in a car in a multi-storey car park. Bennett and his team are left scratching their heads as there is no evidence whatsoever to find at the crime scene. At first, it looks like the victim may have died from natural causes. But then a second body is discovered and Cyril Bennett does not believe in coincidences.

This killer is playing quite the twisted game, seemingly without a specific motive, which makes them incredibly hard to track down. And what on earth is up with the potatoes? Yeah, that will make no sense to you whatsoever until you read this book. Suffice to say, the killer’s brain isn’t one you’d want to spend too much time with. And all the twists and turns combine into the most wonderfully complex investigation.

Meanwhile Cyril is also dealing with the aftermath of his father’s death and his feelings towards his stepmother, Wendy. Comic relief, as always, is provided by the inimitable Owen. Here’s a character I didn’t think I could possibly adore more than I did already but whenever his name pops up on the page, I just know he’s going to steal the show and make me chuckle.

This isn’t a particularly gruesome read so if you lean a bit more towards to the cosy mystery genre, I have no doubt you will enjoy this one. Just like its predecessors, The Third Breath is well plotted, brilliantly executed and another solid addition to an already extremely solid series. Bring on book eight, I say!

The Third Breath is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for anyone born in a library, that they might aspire to be an author but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.

Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.

Malcolm has written a number of successful short stories and has ten books now available. Completing ‘The Third Breath’ fulfils the seven book publishing contract with Bloodhound Books but there are exciting plans for the future, not only with DCI Bennett and his team but also with another series. More information will follow soon.

Born in Bradford and spending three years in Ripon, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all his novels.

This year, Malcolm self-published a beautiful and poignant short story titled ‘The Penultimate Man’ to commemorate the centenary of the conclusion of WW1. It has also been released as an audiobook.
Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It’s a hobby he has bestowed on DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his latest novel, ‘The Third Breath’.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

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The Edge of Sanity by Chris Thomas @cthomasauthor1 @Bloodhoundbook #blogtour #TheEdgeofSanity #guestpost

Good morning, fellow bookworms! I’m kicking off the week with a stop on the blog tour for The Edge of Sanity by Chris Thomas. My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the opportunity! Author Chris Thomas visits the blog today about what he’s learned since writing a book. But first, here is what The Edge of Sanity is all about.

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Author : Chris Thomas
Title : The Edge of Sanity
Pages : 361
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : August 20, 2018

aboutthebook

In a derelict squat, the Smart Man watches as the new narcotic developed by his shadowy organisation wreaks havoc on its unsuspecting victims. The drug is now ready for sale on their exclusive darknet market place.

Elsewhere, DCI Robert Smith, the retired head of the Cyber Crimes Unit, seeks out crime boss Curtis Slater at his remote farm. He offers to provide Slater with information in exchange for money. But what information is he offering?

Meanwhile, former detective Pete Harris had started a new life, away from the Cyber Crimes Unit, with his daughter and begins to rekindle his relationship with old colleague Grace Brooks.

With his life seemingly complete, Pete’s world comes crashing down as he is drawn into Slater’s game with fatal consequences. He must join forces with his old enemies in a race against time. But can Pete save his daughter and Grace from the clutches of Slater, the Smart Man, and the sinister ring master, the Professor?

[The Edge of Sanity is out today!]

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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What I have learned since writing a book

From the minute I first typed ‘Chapter 1’ into my new Word document, it became quickly apparent that the actual writing of my first book The Red Room, later to become Enter The Dark, was the easy part. There was so much more to not only finishing a book and putting it out for people to read, but also in somehow making sure that people knew about it and wanted to read it. Amazon Kindle has made it exceptionally easy for anyone to have ‘a book on Amazon’. You write a story in Word, use their cover design tool, upload it to your Amazon Author account, et voila, you have a book on Amazon.

Some purists would argue that this is a terrible thing. That only traditionally published authors, whose work has been checked, verified and thus endorsed by the sages of the publishing world, should be allowed to grace the screens of the paying public’s e-readers. I whole-heartedly disagree and would say that anything which encourages people to get out there and do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do is a good thing. The paying public are smart enough to make their own mind up and the cream (whether that be writing talent or simply a story that grabs people) will naturally rise to the top.

But one thing that should be stressed is that, whilst it will be fun, on the whole, it’s not easy. Here are the main lessons I’ve learned since starting out on writing books.

  1. Making people read your work is hard.

The obvious way is through friends and family on Facebook. And generally, once they have got over the novelty that someone they knew had written a novel, bought it and shared the odd post, after a while you can no longer rely on them as your main source of publicity. And that’s when it gets really difficult. As a self-published author you don’t have access to the same people: bloggers, publicists, etc as those signed to even a small indie label. Before The Red Room was signed, we were at the point of my wife (i) approaching anyone in the book aisle in Tesco (ii) talking to whoever we happened to be sat next to in a theatre (iii) anyone showing the slightest interest in anything to do with books, and handing them some promotional business cards that I had printed. Which brings me neatly onto…

  1. Blog Tours!

Until I started joining book groups on Facebook and Twitter I never knew that blog tours were even a thing. Once I knew of their existence I figured that I would just send my book to the blog sites, they would read it and advertise it for me. But no. These people are inundated with submissions, and quite rightly so, because they offer a brilliant way of reaching way more readers than on one’s own. And that was probably the single biggest difference I noticed once I signed with Bloodhound; that I could now join this world. This world where people who read way more than me, whose love of books has led them to review online for fun, the sort of people who I would love to not only read my book but rave about it. My tour for Enter the Dark lasted seven days, with two bloggers a day posting reviews. And I loved it. Some of the reviews simply blew me away. But even the not-so-positive ones were of huge value. If everyone loves your work, you have no reason to try to be better.

  1. Not everyone will like your book.

Fact. Being an author really isn’t a job/pastime for anyone who is overly sensitive about what other people think. Overall, my Amazon reviews for Enter the Dark were wholly positive. But there were some real stinkers in there as well –the dreaded ‘One-Star Club’. Even worse is the ‘Would have given it no stars if I could’. No point getting upset about them, just accept it and move on.

  1. You will doubt you own quality.

My wife always moaned that I never believed that what I wrote was any good. During the first draft of The Red Room, I sent it periodically to a very good friend who is a proper book fiend (reads a novel in one sitting in the evening etc). Even when they came back saying it was good, you still assume they are being polite. When people come up to you who say they’ve read it and really enjoyed it, it’s difficult not to do the same. This must be better than the deluded belief that you have just written a Nobel Prize winning piece of literature, but it is important to take the praise as much as the criticism.

  1. You have to just start.

Everyone has a book in them, apparently. And lots of people say they want to write a book. But the only way to do it is simply to start. I read some sort of profound quote about water not flowing until you turn the tap on and you won’t write anything unless you sit down and just do it. Which is true, but writing a novel isn’t like putting up a shelf, it’s a much bigger emotional and physical investment of energy. My personal prompt was taking an evening course called “Kickstart Your Creativity” which mainly taught me that I could string words together and was pleasantly surprised when the people hearing them didn’t choke on their own vomit at how dreadful it was. Put simply, it won’t write itself and you’ll soon work out whether it’s for you.

  1. Don’t stop submitting it to publishers and agents.

Why stop? Just because some have rejected it is not a reason to give up. We’ve all heard stories of huge authors / novels being rejected by countless agents or publishers before eventually being taken on. It doesn’t take long to make a submission, so keep at it. 

There’s almost certainly a whole bunch of others lessons that I have learned but don’t know I’ve learned, and a few lessons that I am still to learn. A bit like Donald Rumsfeld and his ‘known-knowns’ and ‘known-unknowns’. 

What I do know is that having a published book, regardless of how it was received is something that no-one can ever take away. I have an actual job, so do not need to rely on making an income from writing to make a living. But I have huge admiration for those that do as it is not easy. And if you do chose to write a book, whether as a hobby or as a full-time occupation, the only thing you can do is to just go for it.

abouttheauthor

Chris Thomas was born near London in 1978 before moving to Buckinghamshire a few months later. He attended the University of Bristol, graduating with a degree in psychology in 1999. It was here that he developed his interest in criminal psychology and serial killers.

After a brief stint working at an investment bank in London, he left the City to work for his wife’s family business, a position he still holds.

Chris is an avid film fan, especially horror, thrillers and dark comedy- something that he tries to blend in his writing. He self-published his debut novel The Red Room in February 2017 before joining the Bloodhound Books stable and re-releasing the book as Enter The Dark. The follow up, “The Edge of Sanity”, will be released by Bloodhound Books in August 2018.

In his spare time, Chris enjoys karate (holding a black belt) and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #PrettyUglyLies

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Pretty Ugly Lies by Pamela Crane! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join! Author Pamela Crane visits the blog today and in true self-quiz style wonders :  what kind of psycho are you?

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Author : Pamela Crane
Title : Pretty Ugly Lies
Pages : 250
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : July 18, 2018

aboutthebook

Jo’s idyllic life would make most people jealous. Until one day her daughter is abducted and the only way to find her is to unravel her dark past.

Ellie is a devoted wife… until she discovers the pain of betrayal. Now vengeance is all she can think about.

Party-girl Shayla knows how to hide her demons. But when she’s confronted with a life-shattering choice, it will cost her everything.

June knows suffering intimately, though the smile she wears keeps it hidden.

Soon the lives of these four women intersect and one of them is about to snap…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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Self-Quiz: What Kind of Psycho Are You?
By Pamela Crane, USA Today best-selling thriller author

I love self-quizzes, don’t you? They used to be in every women’s magazine, and now you can find them all over Facebook. Well, here’s a new quiz for you.

How often have you asked yourself this question: What kind of psycho am I? If it’s been more than once, you may have bigger problems than I can help with.

I’m not referring to a Norman Bates kind of psycho. I’m talking about what kinds of struggles would cause you to freak out, to snap, to go psycho-chick. Maybe it’s the nitpicking husband who is impossible to please. Maybe it’s the piles of dirty laundry and sink full of dishes that never gets clean. Maybe it’s an endless barrage of fighting and whining from the kids. Maybe it’s your boss demanding too much. Maybe it’s your neighbor’s dog barking night and day. Maybe it’s financial strain that leaves your bank account empty…along with your food cupboard. Maybe it’s your newborn keeping you up all night with colicky cries, refusing to eat.

We all have triggers that bring out the “psycho” in us. I certainly do. When my autistic son goes into one of his meltdowns and the kids scream for no reason whatsoever, I start to lose my cool. Add to that a work deadline that keeps me up until two in the morning and a dog that makes a grunting noise beside my bed all night long, keeping me awake up until the kids come running into my bedroom the next morning demanding breakfast, watch out—because I’m about to snap.

Now that I’ve told you mine, what are yours?

My latest domestic thriller, PRETTY UGLY LIES, introduces four women loosely based on friends in my own life. They each have struggles…and one of these ladies is going to snap big-time. (Hint: yup, one of them gets murdery, so read the book to find out who!) They’re all great gals, but equally flawed in their own ways. Let’s meet the cast of the story and see what brings the psycho out in these everyday women…

Meet Jo, a mom whose life is perfect, husband gorgeous and successful, kids bright and obedient. She’s a gal who spends her days baking cookies and cuddling her kids at night after reading bedtime stories…and she actually enjoys every second of it. But when disaster strikes and she loses her child at the park one day, everything that made her strong crumbles. She’s unable to cope, and all sense of who she is shatters like broken glass. She can’t seem to recover from her upside-down world, and in the end, she turns on her family, her friends, herself. When everything goes exactly as planned, Jo is Wonder Woman. But when things spiral out of her control, she loses hope and can’t pull it together. Is this you?

Next we have Ellie, who has always struggled with motherhood. While she’s smart and capable, she gave up a thriving career to dote on the needs of her family as a stay-at-home mom—and gets little thanks in return. Her kids sense her lack of self-respect and prey on that, and her husband has long ago lost interest in her. While she’s brilliant and talented, she has lost who she is over the years. If only her kids would listen to her and her husband let her pursue her passion, she’d be happy. But as it is, she’s drowning in her misery and can’t seem to catch her breath. Can you relate to Ellie?

Shayla is more common that you might expect, a woman whose struggle with bipolar disorder has been buried for years. She’s energetic, fun, carefree…maybe a little too carefree. She’s got a great home life, but she bores easily and needs a dose of adrenaline to keep her happy—especially when she’s off her meds. That’s when straying outside her marriage starts to appeal…until her affair partner turns out crazier than she is. Now’s she’s in a pickle and her family turns against her. It’s the perfect recipe for sending her fragile mental state into a breakdown. Have you ever felt like Shayla?

June is a lot like me. Four kids, a special needs child among them, and some days feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. She’s an empath and cares deeply for others, sometimes to her own disadvantage. But the daily needs become too much as she’s juggling work, a neglectful hubby (not based on my own amazingly awesome husband), a handful of kids, and too much background noise. A simple solution would be to ask for help, but she’s too prideful to lean on others, even when they offer. June’s doing too much and doesn’t see the toll it’s taking on her. If she keeps running in circles like this, she’s bound to lose her way…and her mind. Do you feel June’s pain?

Four different women, four different paths, four different triggers. Each has strengths, but each also has weaknesses. The thing is, it’s okay to not always wear the cape. We can’t always be superhuman. Sometimes we are simply just human. And with being a human comes moments where we lose our mind a little, lose ourselves even. But the key is to pick ourselves up at the end of each day and figure out our way through the hard parts of life, along the rocky terrain until we find clear prairies.

Social norms demand us to be smiley-faced emojis and comical memes. We’re supposed to be always agreeable, likeable, perfect. But that’s not reality, is it? I remember as a child when my mother would be yelling at us kids over something we’d done. We were always getting into something we shouldn’t, or fighting about stupid stuff—but I was never the instigator, I assure you (if my sister is reading this, I retract this statement). In the middle of Mom’s eardrum-bursting discipline, the phone would ring and she’d answer it with an ever-so-sweet “hello” so that the person on the other line had no idea she had nearly torn her vocal cords a moment earlier. In those moments Mom tucked an ugly reality in the corner while her public presence demonstrated nothing but a calm, happy mirage. (Mom, I totally get this now that I have kids!)

As PRETTY UGLY LIES uses a murder to reveal, life is full of lies, secrets, airing dirty laundry, betrayal, skeletons, pain, loss, frustration… Reality is enough to drive anyone mad. And that’s okay. You’re not alone, I’m not alone. “One day at a time,” Mom always told me. Sometimes one moment at a time is necessary.

So enjoy this self-quiz while you answer the question: What kind of psycho are you? Are you Jo, Ellie, Shayla, or June? And then give yourself a pat on the back for facing who you are without cringing. Hugs from one psycho to another!

[Reality is indeed enough to drive anyone crazy. Thank goodness for books! Thank you so much for stopping by, Pamela! Really enjoyed reading your post!]

abouttheauthor

Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him) and she writes on the edge. Writing murder mysteries is her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and she bases her characters on real people, so be warned! She is a USA Today best-selling author of several award-winning thrillers, which you can find on her website at www.pamelacrane.com.

Author links : Facebook

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Rip Current by Amanda James @akjames61 @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Rip Current by Amanda James! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation to join. Author Amanda James visits the blog to chat with DI Bryony Marshall, the main character in Rip Current. But first, here is what the book is all about.

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Author : Amanda James
Title : Rip Current
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : June 27, 2018

aboutthebook

DI Bryony Marshall has been on the tail of Kenny Ransom for two years. He’s involved in prostitution and trafficking, but there’s never been any real proof. To complicate matters further, Bryony’s best friend from childhood is his daughter Imogen.

Bryony worries about admitting the fact that she is trying to put Imogen’s dad away, but unexpectedly, Imogen turns on her father and helps the police. Kenny finds out and swears he’ll get his revenge.

Sick of being in the police force, Bryony visits her mother in Cornwall and considers starting a new life.

While in Cornwall, Bryony saves the life of a man caught up in a rip current in the sea.

But who is this stranger? And is Kenny really bent on revenge?

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

guestpost

Interview with Bryony Masters – The Calico Cat

I’m sitting on the high terrace of the Living Space bar at The Watergate Bay Hotel near Newquay.  The view is stunning from this advantaged position and I watch the Atlantic breakers crashing on the yellow beaches while the seabirds wheel above, calling to the wind.  From the restaurant, the smell of seafood, French fries and garlic mingle with the blackcurrant tones of my wine and my stomach is rumbling. Through the open doors hurrying through the bar, I spy Bryony. She’s the protagonist in my book Rip Current. Bryony’s slipping her light denim jacket off and as she comes outside, her dark-brown hair lifts on the breeze as she walks. As she sees me, her lively hazel eyes light up and her smile reflects mine as she hurries over to my table. She looks self-assured as ever, but happier than she once did. She’s come a long way, and that makes me happy.

‘Hi Bryony, how are you?’ I say giving her a quick hug.

‘I’m good, thanks. Really good.’ She smiles again and sits opposite. ‘I suppose you might even say I’m fantastic.’

‘You look it. Now, can I get you a glass of wine or shall we order lunch first?’

Bryony picks up the menu and scans it the delicious food on offer, and then back to me with a mischievous twinkle. ‘Hmm, I’m starving. Let’s order first.’

I laugh. Bryony always comes straight to the point, no prevaricating for her, similar to me in that way. A waitress comes over and we select the same lunch dish too. Locally caught crab salad, and fries. We order a plate of olives and fresh bread to share, then wait for the waitress to bring our drinks. She leans back in her seat, straightens her colourful summer dress and says, ‘How’s stuff with you then, Mandy?’

Bryony always uses Mandy rather than Amanda. ‘I’m great thanks. Life is treating me well. But I’ve really missed you of course. It’s been a while. And, would you mind answering a few questions, so the readers of Rip Current can get to know you a little more?’

‘I expect so. Hope they’re not too tricky.’

‘No, I promise. Okay, first question, how old are you?’

Bryony rolls her eyes and a smile tugs at the corner of her mouth. ‘You know the answer to that, you gave me life after all.’

The waitress sets down our drinks and the olive plate and I pop one into my mouth.

‘I did indeed,’ I say with difficulty as the olive’s intent on sliding down my throat. ‘But then I know all the answers. The readers don’t though.’

‘I’ve just turned thirty-two.’

‘And what do you do for a living?

‘I used to be a copper in Sheffield, but that wasn’t working out for me.’ Bryony grins and crunches an olive. ‘But now I’m a counsellor and crime support advisor. I go up and down the country but mainly work out of Truro. I live in Padstow nowadays, just along the coast a bit from here.’

‘How’s that going?’

‘The job? It can be hard and upsetting, but I feel I’m making such a difference in people’s lives. It’s so rewarding.  It’s really busy too. I don’t have a minute to myself.’ Bryony tears some crusty bread, dips it in olive oil and takes a big bite. ‘I like busy though.’

‘And your other half?’

‘He’s really good thanks. He’s doing guided tours around the area, and he loves it.’

‘A bit different from his previous work then?’ I laugh and dip my bread in the oil.

‘You could say that. It was hardly your nine-to-five, was it?’ Bryony frowns then gives a little laugh. ‘I can hardly believe how much he’s grown. Poor bloke just needed a chance to prove himself.’

I say, ‘Oh of course, yes.’ I won’t explain further as I don’t want to give too much away if you’re going to read the book. I take a sip of wine. ‘You sound happy, are you?’

Bryony swallows and gives me a huge smile. ‘I have never been happier. I’m quite certain of that. You know me, I analyse everything to within an inch of its life, and I have come up with Bryony Morgan is definitely happy. My other half is a big reason she is.’

‘Ah yes, the lovely err. We’d better not reveal his name, or it might give too much away to the readers. And happy…you couldn’t have said you were a year or so ago, eh?

A dark cloud slips behind her eyes. ‘No.’

I feel guilty for dragging up the past, but if readers are to know Bryony, we must visit it. ‘If you’re okay to, would you mind if we went back to your dad for a bit and how you and your mum had a falling out?’

A deep sigh. ‘I guess not. But that stuff’s all behind me now…so why dwell on it?’

I take a sip of wine and plunge straight in. ‘I won’t dwell – just a bit of background.  You always wanted to join the police because your dad was a copper, didn’t you? But then he got killed in the line of duty. You always adored him, is that right?’

Bryony wrests her hair from the wind and look out over the ocean. ‘Yes. I adored my dad and would have done anything for him. I think I only stayed in the police because I wanted to honour him by putting as many scumbags away as possible. The trouble was, there were too many that got away. Later on in the story my relationship with my mum which had always been wonderful takes a knock. She had done something in her past which hurt dad and me too.’ Bryony looks at me, sets her jaw. ‘In fact, you know what? I don’t want to talk about it any more, if that’s okay.’

‘Of course.’ I should have known better than to bring that up. The wounds must still be raw. I change the subject. ‘So how’s Imogen?’ Imogen is Bryony’s oldest friend and was very instrumental in helping to put away one of Sheffield’s most notorious criminals.

Bryony’s whole face lights up. ‘She’s great! And guess what? She’s moving down here with her husband and she’s also pregnant!’

‘That’s wonderful! I might catch up with her soon too. I do like her. Her husband’s the doctor she met when she was a receptionist, isn’t he?’

She gives me a withering look and yawns. ‘You know he is, you wrote the story. This interview is a bit daft really. Can we talk about you for a change? I never really got to know much about your life.’

‘Er, perhaps another time. Humour me, did you realise how important Imogen was going to be to you early in the story?’

‘Okay. Not at first, but later, yes. The fact that she was willing to lay herself on the line, even her life actually, to do the right thing and put the finger on that vile Kenny Ransom made me realise how special she was. Immi helped me understand the true meaning of friendship and love.’

‘Nathan became very special to you, didn’t he?’ I make space on the table for the waitress to put down our crab salads.

‘He certainly did. Once we were able to—’

I hold up my hand. ‘No, don’t mention more. In fact, I think we have enough now to give readers a flavour of who you are and what your story is about.’

Bryony shrugs her shoulders and sprinkles cracked-black pepper onto her food. ‘Make your mind up, Mandy. First you want the low-down, then you want me to stop.’

‘That’s because the story’s just waiting to be discovered. No point in giving the game away before the readers have even opened the first page is there?’ I smile and pour salad dressing.

‘Right,’ she says a little stiffly, loading her fork. ‘Shall I fill you in with what I’ve been up to recently or what?’

‘Best not, because that might give too much away too,’ I say hoping she’s not going to get in a strop. ‘Let’s eat this and then go inside for another drink. The readers won’t hear us there. I’d love to hear all your news.’

Bryony grins. ‘Now you’re talking.’

We tuck in and Bryony says she feels like we’re in a scene from the book because everything is so colourful and vibrant. I totally get what she means and feel I’m so lucky to have created someone like her. I say as much.

‘Luck has nothing to do with it. I knew you were the writer I needed to give me life and crept into your subconscious while you watched surfers on Fistral that day demanding to have my story written, remember?’ Bryony’s eyes dance with amusement. ‘You had to rush home and jot the bare bones down before I’d let you sleep again.’

I nod and smile. ‘I remember it well, Bryony.’

She raises her glass. ‘Good. I call the shots and don’t forget it.’

As if I ever could…

abouttheauthor

Amanda has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published, given that she left school with no real qualifications of note apart from an A* in how to be a nuisance in class. Nevertheless, she returned to education when her daughter was five and eventually became a history teacher. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when her first short story was published. Amanda has written many short stories and has six novels currently published.

Amanda grew up in Sheffield but now has realised her lifelong dream of living in Cornwall and her writing is inspired every day by the dramatic coastline near her home. She has sketched out many stories in her head while walking the cliff paths. Three of her mystery/suspense novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and the Behind the Lie. Rip Current is also set in Cornwall and will be published by Bloodhound Books in April 2018.

Amanda, known to many as Mandy, spends far more time than is good for her on social media and has turned procrastination to a fine art. She can also usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Author links : Blog | Facebook | 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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Carpenter Road by N.M. Brown @normthewriter @Bloodhoundbook #blogblitz

It’s a real pleasure to be hosting one of the stops on the blog blitz for Carpenter Road by N.M. Brown today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for the invitation and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.

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Author : N.M. Brown
Title : Carpenter Road
Pages : n/a
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : June 7, 2018

aboutthebook

When a young woman swaps coats with a prostitute then vanishes, it marks the start of a mystifying case for Leighton Jones.

After traffic officer Leighton is called to an altercation in a used car lot he is confronted by a prostitute rambling on about a girl who stole her coat. He thinks nothing off it. That is until the body of a Jane Doe shows up, matching the prostitute’s description.

What is the link between the fight in the car lot and the dead woman?

Leighton proceeds to gather evidence, which he attempts to pass onto the lead Homicide detective, Slater. However, Slater tells Leighton to back off, and that a suspect has been arrested.

Fearing there is more to the case than he first thought, Leighton is driven to keep digging and soon ends up on the trail of a serial killer.

But Leighton might be out of his depth this time..

mythoughts

If you read N.M. Brown’s previous book, The Girl on the Bus, then you will no doubt remember Leighton Jones. In this story, the reader is taken ten years back into the past so it really doesn’t matter if you’ve not read the previous book. Leighton is working in the Traffic department, a job which quite frankly sounds incredibly boring to me.

Leighton is called out to a used car lot where he is confronted by a prostitute who’s making a big deal about her coat being stolen by a girl outside a diner. Leighton doesn’t make much of it until a girl, who matches the description of the “thief” perfectly, is found dead. Is there a connection?

Technically, it’s not at all up to Leighton to figure this out but his colleagues in the murder division don’t seem to take many things seriously. The investigation moves at a snail’s place. These are “only” working girls after all.  The captain is far more interested in giving Leighton a hard time.

But Leighton just can’t help himself. This says so much about him. It’s not about taking the credit, getting his face in the papers for solving a big case. Leighton genuinely cares about people, wants to help them in any way he can, even if it means putting himself in danger. He is just such a wonderful and likeable character with a heart of gold.

Meanwhile he’s also dealing with an increasingly declining relationship with his seventeen year old daughter. Again, if you read the previous book, you’ll know more about this but to be able to have a look back and be witness to how things developed is really intriguing.

Carpenter Road is a gripping and compelling serial killer mystery. It has a well-executed plot with great characters to root for and sympathise with. At times, the story even pulled at my heartstrings when the author delved into the background of some of the working girls. There was a surprise or two for me, which is always a bonus and the investigation into the murder spree was captivating,

There was a bit of a wait between the previous book and this one but it was well worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about Leighton Jones and I hope there’s more to come from him and N.M. Brown.

Carpenter Road is out today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Norman has enjoyed writing for more than two decades. He has always believed a combination of decent fiction and good coffee provides the best way to unwind and slip out of ordinary life for a while.

Having grown up Central Scotland, he studied English at Stirling University, where he began penning poetry, drama scripts and short stories. However, his real commitment to writing resulted from spending a snowy winter attending a series of fireside writing workshops in Perth.

More recently, Norman’s love of crime fiction led him to create the weary detective Leighton Jones. Having based his debut novel – The Girl on the Bus -around this character, Norman felt so intrigued by him that he decided to give Jonesy at least two more outings. Carpenter Road is the second novel to feature this protagonist.

Aside from his family, and travelling, Norman’s other passion is cooking, which may explain why many culinary elements always seem to creep out of his kitchen and into his fiction.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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Faceless by Rob Ashman @RobAshmanAuthor @BloodhoundBook #blogblitz #Faceless

Thrilled to join the blog blitz for Faceless by Rob Ashman today! My thanks to Sarah Hardy for the invitation and Bloodhound Books for the review copy, which I received via Netgalley!

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Author : Rob Ashman
Title : Faceless
Pages : 296
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : May 31, 2018

aboutthebook

After surviving a vicious knife attack, which left her husband dead, DI Rosalind Kray returns to work and is handed a serial killer investigation.

This killer is different, he doesn’t just want to take the lives of his victims, he wants to obliterate their very existence. The murders appear random but the killer selects his quarry with meticulous care.

While fighting her superiors Kray must conquer her own demons, which are tearing her apart.

Kray has the ability to think like a killer and her skills lead to a series of horrifying revelations that turn the case on its head. She believes she is getting close, then her world comes crashing down with devastating consequences.

Will Kray find the murderer and escape with her own life in tact?

The truth is closer than she could have ever imagined.

mythoughts

Despite seeing Rob Ashman’s name floating around various blogs and hearing quite a lot of buzz about his Mechanic Trilogy (and actually owning those), this is my first introduction to his work and what an introduction it was! Bloody hell!

I started reading Faceless minutes after finishing dinner and pretty much regretted that instantly as the description of the murder scene burnt itself onto my eyelids and shot right up my nose. I may have uttered the word “eeww” and pulled faces. A lot. And I loved it because that’s just the type of grossness I like in my crime thrillers. No, it doesn’t say weirdo across my forehead, thank you.

DI Rosalind Kray returns to work after surviving an attack, which left her husband dead. This background story is revealed along the way and already kept me intrigued without even digging into the murder investigation. Unsurprisingly, Roz has quite a few demons to deal with but I took to her pretty quickly and I especially enjoyed her “inner voice” when dealing with the stupidity of those around her.

As for the killer, well, they are quite unlike any other killer I’ve had the “pleasure” of meeting. A meticulous planner with a master plan to rid the world of evil, they are somehow able to remain under the radar, invisible and unnoticeable. While the victims seem to be chosen at random, this serial killer knows perfectly well who is next and why. It took me a while to figure out who was responsible. Actually, it took me until Rob Ashman gave the game away. Up until that point, I was pointing my finger at pretty much everyone.

It’s quite obvious that Rob Ashman knows perfectly well how to spin a story and keep the reader gripped throughout. There was always a sense of time running out and even though I felt one instance was a tad on the predictable side, that didn’t matter to me as I was desperate to see how things would be wrapped up. And boy, what a zinger to end with! Faceless is a gritty, compelling and thrilling serial killer thriller that kept me utterly engrossed and I look forward to seeing what Rob Ashman comes up with next!

Faceless is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

Author links : Facebook | Twitter | Website

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