The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea | @CarolineleaLea @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #TheGlassWoman

Absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea today! My thanks to Jenny Platt for the invitation to join and the stunning review copy!

Author : Caroline Lea
Title : The Glass Woman
Pages : 384
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : February 7, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

1686, Iceland.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Oh, be still my beating historical-fiction-loving heart. This novel right here is exactly why I enjoy this genre so much! It reminded me a bit of Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, which you should also most definitely read if you haven’t done so already.

The Glass Woman tells the story of Rósa in 1686 Iceland. Struggling with poverty and a poorly mother, Rósa finds herself rather unexpectedly betrothed to Jón. He is the wealthy chief of another settlement and marrying him will make sure Rósa’s mother and the other villagers will be taken care of. But when Rósa joins her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur, there is no sign of a fairytale romance. Jón isn’t exactly the most loving husband and Rósa starts to wonder about his first wife. What happened to her anyway? There is a darkness hanging over this settlement and Rósa’s new home. Is she in danger?

With its short days and long nights, darkness is all around in this novel. When the snow begins to fall and you’re acutely aware of how remote this settlement actually is, you are left with an immensely chilling sense of isolation. The Glass Woman oozes atmosphere from start to finish. This story about forbidden love, fear and pretending to be someone you’re not is utterly immersive and brilliantly written. Full of superstition and suspicion, it’s perfectly paced and extremely compelling.

While there is the mystery of what happened to Jón’s first wife to solve, it was the characters who drew me in. Few of them came across as particularly likeable but this only added to the feeling of discomfort and general creepiness that runs through this novel. Just like Rósa, I wondered why the villagers were so wary of her and it was a struggle for me to figure out who to trust, if anyone. The fate of these characters was impossible to predict and while I felt the conclusion was satisfying, it almost left me a little saddened.

Haunting, beautifully atmospheric and full of complex characters, Caroline Lea’s novel captured my heart. If you enjoy historical fiction, I’m convinced it will do the same to you. I will without a doubt be keeping a firm eye on her in future.

The Glass Woman is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Caroline Lea was born and raised in Jersey. She gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from Warwick University and has had poetry published in The Phoenix Anthology and An Aston Anthology, which she also co-edited. 

Author link : Twitter

This Week in Books (February 6)

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 |

1686, Iceland.

Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.

But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.

The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?

Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming. She fears she will be its next victim.

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

In a remote hunting lodge, deep in the Scottish wilderness, old friends gather for New Year.

The beautiful one
The golden couple
The volatile one
The new parents
The quiet one
The city boy
The outsider

The victim.

Not an accident – a murder among friends.

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

An idyllic village in the Alps.
A legacy of sin.
An evil lurking in the woods.

In a quiet village surrounded by the imposing Italian Alps, a series of violent assaults take place.

Police inspector Teresa Battaglia is called in when the first body is found. Soon more victims are discovered – all horrifically mutilated – and when a new-born baby is kidnapped, Teresa’s investigation becomes a race against the clock.

But Teresa is also fighting a battle against her own body, weighed down by age and diabetes, and her mind, once invincible and now slowly gnawing away at her memory..

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

Trap by Lilja Sigurðardóttir (trs Quentin Bates) @lilja1972 @graskeggur @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #Trap #extract #excerpt

It’s a pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Trap by Lilja Sigurðardóttir today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join. I’ll be sharing an extract with you today but first, here is what Trap is all about.

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Author : Lilja Sigurðardóttir (translated by Quentin Bates)
Title : Trap
Pages : 250
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : October 18, 2018 (UK Paperback)

aboutthebook

Happily settled in Florida, Sonja believes she’s finally escaped the trap set by unscrupulous drug lords. But when her son Tomas is taken, she’s back to square one … and Iceland.

Her lover, Agla, is awaiting sentencing for financial misconduct after the banking crash, and Sonja refuses to see her. And that’s not all … Agla owes money to some extremely powerful men, and they’ll stop at nothing to get it back.

With her former nemesis, customs officer Bragi, on her side, Sonja puts her own plan into motion, to bring down the drug barons and her scheming ex-husband, and get Tomas back safely. But things aren’t as straightforward as they seem, and Sonja finds herself caught in the centre of a trap that will put all of their lives at risk…

extract

April 2011

1

Sonja was wrenched, shivering, from a deep sleep. She sat up in bed and looked at the thermometer on the air-conditioning unit; it was thirty degrees in the trailer. She had closed her eyes for an afternoon nap and fallen fast asleep while Tómas had gone to play with Duncan – a boy of a similar age who was staying in the next trailer. While she’d been snoozing, the sun had raised the temperature in their little space to thirty degrees, at which point the air-con had rumbled into action, blasting out ice-cold air.

Her dreams had been of pack ice drifting up to the shore alongside the trailer park, and however ridiculous the idea of sea ice off the coast of Florida might be, the dream had been so vivid that it took Sonja a few moments to shake off the image of grinding icebergs approaching the beach. While she knew the dream had been a fantasy and that the chill of the ice had in fact been the air-conditioning, it still left her uneasy. A dream of sea ice wasn’t something that could bode well.

Sonja got off the bed, and as soon as she stepped on the floor, she stubbed a big toe on the loose board. This trailer was really starting to get on her nerves. But it didn’t matter, because it was really time to move on. They had been here for three weeks, and that was already a dangerously long time. Tomorrow she would discreetly pack everything up and in the evening, without saying goodbye to any of the neighbours, and under cover of darkness, they would drive away in the old rattletrap she had paid for in cash. She had coughed up a month’s rent in advance, so the trailer’s owner wouldn’t lose out.

This time, she and Tómas would travel northwards to Georgia and find a place there to rent for a week or two; and then they’d move on again – to some other location, where they would stay, but then depart before they’d put down any roots. They would leave before they could be noticed, before Adam could track them down. Adam who was Tómas’s father; Adam who was her former husband; Adam the drug dealer. Adam the slave driver.

One day, once they had travelled far enough and hidden their tracks well enough for Sonja finally to feel secure, they would settle down. It would be in a quiet spot, maybe in the US, or maybe somewhere else. In fact, it didn’t particularly matter where the place was, as long as it was somewhere they could disappear into the crowd, where she wouldn’t constantly have to glance over her shoulder.

Sonja peered into the microwave – something that had become a habit. Inside, giving her a sense of security by being where it should be, was the sandwich box full of cash. It was a white box with a blue lid, and was stuffed with the dollars and euros she had scraped together during the year that she had been caught in Adam’s trap. This bundle of cash was her lifeline, in this new existence where she dared trust nobody. She had got herself a prepaid Walmart MoneyCard and had loaded it with enough to keep them afloat for a few months, but she had not dared apply for a normal credit card; she didn’t want to risk Agla, with her access to the banking system, using it to track her movements.

Her heart lurched at the thought of Agla. The memory of the scent of her hair and the warmth of her skin under the bedclothes brought a lump to Sonja’s throat that refused to be swallowed. The more time that passed since their parting, the harder she had to work to stop herself from calling her. Iceland was behind her, and that was the way it was. This was her and Tómas’s new life, and she was fully aware that to begin with it would be a lonely one. But loneliness wasn’t her biggest problem; a much weightier concern was their safety –Tómas’s in particular. If she allowed herself the luxury of contacting Agla, there was every chance that Adam would sniff out their communication and use it to track her down.

Sonja opened the trailer door and sat down on the step. The air outside was hotter than inside the trailer and the afternoon sun cast long shadows from the trees across the bare earth at the centre of the cluster of trailers. Sonja took a deep breath of the outdoor air and tried to throw off the discomfort the dream had left her with.The old, toothless guy opposite stood over his barbecue, which sent up plumes of smoke as the fire took; Duncan’s mother sat in a camp chair outside the trailer next door, listening to the radio. There was a peace to the place, but it would soon come to an end, broken by the noise of traffic and horns on the freeway as people began the commute home from work.

Duncan came out of his trailer at a run, along with the basketball that he dribbled everywhere. He half crouched over the ball, and Sonja smiled to herself. She and Tómas had seen that his weird dribbling technique didn’t affect his accuracy when he shot for the basket. His skill at basketball was unbelievable, and after a few days playing together, his interest had infected Tómas as well.

Tómas…

‘Duncan! Where’s Tómas?’ she called, and the boy twisted in the air, dropped the ball through the basket fixed to the trunk of a palm tree and, when his feet were back on the ground, shrugged.

‘Where is Tómas?’ she repeated.

‘I don’t know,’ Duncan said, still dribbling the ball. ‘He went down to the beach just now, but then some guys came looking for him.’ ‘Guys? What guys?’ In one bound Sonja was at Duncan’s side.

He finally let the ball drop from his hands. ‘Just guys,’ Duncan said. ‘Just some guys.’

‘Tell me, Duncan. Where did they go?’

Duncan pointed towards the woods that lay between the trailer park and the beach.

‘What’s up?’ Duncan’s mother called from her camp chair, but Sonja didn’t give herself time to reply.

She sprinted towards the beach, her mind racing. The vision of ice on the shore, the groaning of the floes as the waves grounded them on the beach and the chill that the white layer brought with it clouded her thoughts as if the dream were becoming a reality. She cursed herself for not having bought the gun she had seen in the flea market at the weekend.

It’s never good for an Icelander to dream of sea ice, she thought. That means a hard spring to come, and ice brings bears.

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Eek! If this little teaser has left you wanting more, then Trap is available to buy in ebook format! The UK paperback will be published on October 18th!

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

abouttheauthor

Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Author links : Twitter

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Trap First BT Poster