Halfway by B.E. Jones | @bevjoneswriting @LittleBrownUK| #blogtour #bookreview #Halfway #damppebblesblogtours

It’s a real pleasure to be one of two bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Halfway by B.E. Jones today! My thanks to Emma Welton for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my review copy.

Author : B.E. Jones
Title : Halfway
Pages :
Publisher : Little Brown UK
Publication date : November 1, 2018

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass, deep in the inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, deep in snow, Lee, a student hitching home for Christmas, and Becca, a local nurse, end up knocking on the door as the blizzard takes hold. 

But are they the first to arrive? Why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father, upstairs in bed immobilised by a stroke, trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the nurse is missing she jumps at the chance to escape the boredom and heads out into the snow.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm but soon realise they might have been safer on the road, especially when Lee finds something interesting in the cellar – which is nowhere near as interesting as what’s under the old man’s bed. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas… and if everyone is lying, then who do you trust? 

Ever feel like a book description gives away way too much information? I’m honestly glad I didn’t read the blurb above before I started reading Halfway. I much prefer discovering things on my own and not quite knowing what the book was about allowed me that.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere in Wales, in the midst of a blizzard, the reader meets a multitude of characters. It’s rather obvious from the start that their paths will cross at some point but how or why remains a mystery for quite a while. There’s the hitchhiker, whose either running away from or towards something. There’s an old man, who has suffered a stroke, stuck in his bed just wanting to be heard. And there’s a police officer, desperate to make a name for herself. 

Out on an isolated farm, there’s been a vicious murder. The police officer is sidelined, not involved in the investigation at all. How is she supposed to move up the ranks if she can’t even get away from her desk? Who’s responsible for the murder up at the farm and why? What’s going on with the sick man in his room? As you can tell, there are a lot of questions that need answers and I thoroughly enjoyed trying to unravel the various threads.

Halfway is one intricately plotted puzzle. For the longest time, I couldn’t at all get a handle on things and didn’t have a clue what was going on. However, I found the chapters and the characters so immensely intriguing that I couldn’t stop reading. This story is very much on the slow side but does a brilliant job of setting the scene and delving into the minds of the various characters. Even if the pace puts you off at the start, stick with it. It pays off in the end when things come together rather cleverly.

Halfway is available to buy!

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

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today. 

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales. 

Halfway, her fifth crime novelfollows the release of Where She Went by Little Brown in 2017.

Bev’s previous releases, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books. 

Author links : Facebook | Twitter

This Week in Books (December 5)

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

A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive.

No one knows who they are – the woman can’t speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.

The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock. How could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.

And that no one is as innocent as they seem …

The book I’m currently reading

Two brothers meet at the remote fence line separating their cattle farms under the relenting sun of the remote outback. In an isolated part of Western Australia, they are each other’s nearest neighbour, their homes three hours’ drive apart.

They are at the stockman’s grave, a landmark so old that no one can remember who is buried there. But today, the scant shadow it casts was the last hope for their middle brother, Cameron, who lies dead at their feet. 

Something had been on Cam’s mind. Did he choose to walk to his death? Because if he didn’t, the isolation of the outback leaves few suspects…

What I’m (possibly) reading next

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

Have you read any of these? Would you like to? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

It Was Her by Mark Hill @markhillwriter @millieseaward @LittleBrownUK #blogtour #ItWasHer #MustRead

I’m thrilled to bits to be kicking off the month of June with the final stop on the blog tour for It Was Her by Mark Hill today!

My thanks to Millie Seaward at Little Brown UK for inviting me to join and for my review copy!

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Author : Mark Hill
Title : It Was Her
Series : DI Ray Drake #2
Pages : 448
Publisher : Sphere / Little Brown
Publication date : May 17, 2018

aboutthebook

Twenty years ago Tatia was adopted into a well-off home, where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.

Did she do it?

Tatia was cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Sarah. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while she is gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.

Did she kill them?

As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is once more threatening to destroy everything.

Will they catch her?

mythoughts

Well hello, Mark Hill, sir. Pull up a chair and sit yourself down at my table of go-to authors!

When I was invited to join this blog tour, I figured it was the perfect kick up the backside to finally read the previous instalment, His First Lie. Which I did a mere two weeks ago and it blew my mind. At that point, I said to myself “self, this is an author to keep your eye on” so my expectations of It Was Her were sky high and boy, did Mark Hill deliver or what?!

Now I know quite a few people mention they’re tired of the main protagonist being flawed, damaged and carrying a lot of baggage. To those of you who feel that way, let me tell you, DI Ray Drake’s story is that and so much more. Highly unique and original and brilliant! So my advice to you is not to treat It Was Her as a stand-alone. Start with the first book, immerse yourself into the characters’ background. And then, clear your calendar, grab a copy of this book and be prepared to be completely bowled over.

I am struggling really hard to put into words why this book is so fantastic. It just stands out from the crowd in the way that this isn’t your typical murder investigation. It goes way deeper than that with utterly amazing character depth and development. I expect my crime thrillers to be full of tension, gore and gruesomeness. I do not expect them to make me feel sad, to make me root for someone who may not necessarily deserve it or wish for a happy ending.

As the tagline says, nothing is what it seems. At various moments, I thought I had things figured out only to be proven wrong. There was no way I was ever going to predict the outcome and without giving anything away, it hurt. My heart broke, it left me reeling and I almost threw my book across the room due to the unfairness of it all. And yet, this is also one of the reasons why I love this story so much. Life isn’t fair and not everything is always wrapped up nicely with a bow.

I realise I’ve not mentioned anything about the plot. To be honest, everything you need to know is right there in the book description. Suffice to say this is one compelling and thrilling ride. I raced through the pages as if my life depended on it and could not put this book down. An utterly fabulous addition to the series and I’m bursting with excitement to see what Mark Hill comes up with next. Highly recommended!

It Was Her is available to buy!

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

abouttheauthor

I’ve been a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer. I worked for about five minutes in PR.

But I write now, which is just as well, because I love writing. It’s my dream job.

It’s nice to see you here, thanks for clicking.

If you enjoyed His First Lie or It Was Her, do get in touch. There are oh-so-many ways to do it!

Author links : Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Website

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Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry @JLPerryAuthor @millieseaward @LittleBrownUK #blogtour

It’s my pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry today! My thanks to Millie Seaward at Little Brown UK for the invitation and the beautiful review copy!

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Author : Jodi Perry
Title : Nineteen Letters
Pages : 381
Publisher : Sphere | Little Brown UK
Publication date : April 19, 2018

aboutthebook

What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

mythoughts

Lately I’ve been very much about broadening my horizons where my reading is
concerned. Of course, I love my crime fiction but sometimes it’s quite nice to try something different and cleanse the palette, so to speak. Hence why I gladly accepted the invitation to read Nineteen Letters.

Admittedly, there were a few moments at the beginning where I wondered what I’d gotten myself in to. I’m not really the romantic type, I’m married to an even less romantic guy. Surprise bouquet of pretty flowers, what’s that? And surely when you book a weekend away, that’s just an excuse to bring a suitcase of books?

So when I started this story and realised there was quite a lot of that “sappy stuff” going on that almost made me cringe, I thought I’d made a huge mistake. However, I actually soon found myself completely immersed into the lives of Baxter, Jemma and their families.

Retrograde amnesia sounds positively scary. Imagine waking up and not remembering the person next to you, your parents, the life you’ve led so far or even yourself. Do you like wine or ice cream, for instance? What’s your favourite colour, your favourite song? When was your first kiss? What do you do when the essence of “you” might be gone forever?

This is what happens to Jemma after she’s involved in a car accident. Luckily for her, she has Baxter and he is determined to make sure Jemma will one day remember their lives and the intense love they shared. He does this by writing her letters. Nineteen to be exact, a number that holds special meaning to them. Through those letters, he hopes to rekindle the magic he and Jemma had and we, the reader, get to know both of them as Braxton takes us all down memory lane.

“What we had is far too beautiful to be forgotten”

While I found some things a little predictable, I was rooting for the entire cast of characters all the way. Because not only does Baxter have the situation with Jemma to deal with. There is a lot going on in all of their lives. Jemma’s parents have split up but clearly still love each other. Baxter’s father is in a care home and what on earth is going on with Lucas and Rachel?

Nineteen Letters is a moving, sometimes heartbreaking and yet heartwarming story about love, loss, grief and second chances. I smiled. I chuckled, I even had a massive lump in my throat and the overwhelming urge to hug someone tightly. It brings home how short and fragile life is and how quickly things you take for granted can change. There’s a vital lesson here, to take life as it comes and make the best of every day. If you do have that romantic bone in your body, I’m sure you will enjoy meeting Baxter and Jemma.

Nineteen Letters is available for purchase!

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

abouttheauthor

Jodi Perry is a wife and mother, and was born in Sydney, Australia. She has lived there her whole life. Under the name J. L. Perry, her previous four novels have all been #1 bestsellers in ebook.

Jodi travels annually to the UK and US to promote her books at romance events and to meet her readers.

Author link : Twitter

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This Week in Books (May 2)

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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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This is a love story. Mike’s love story.

Mike Hayes fought his way out of a brutal childhood and into a quiet, if lonely life, before he met Verity Metcalf. V taught him about love, and in return, Mike has dedicated his life to making her happy. He’s found the perfect home, the perfect job, he’s sculpted himself into the physical ideal V has always wanted. He knows they’ll be blissfully happy together.

It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t been returning his emails or phone calls.
It doesn’t matter that she says she’s marrying Angus.

It’s all just part of the secret game they used to play. If Mike watches V closely, he’ll see the signs. If he keeps track of her every move he’ll know just when to come to her rescue.

The book I’m currently reading

27844605

What would you do if the love of your life had no memory of you?

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I’ll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.

Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma, she had no memory of me, of us, of the love we shared.

That’s when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we’d experienced together.

What we had was far too beautiful to be forgotten.

What I’m (definitely) reading next

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You can’t choose your family. Or can you?

Meet the Bensons. A pleasant enough couple. They keep themselves to themselves. They wash their car, mow their lawn and pass the time of day with their neighbours. And they have a beautiful little girl called Daisy.

There’s just one problem. Daisy doesn’t belong to the Bensons. They stole her.

And now they’ve decided that Daisy needs a little brother or sister.

D. S. Nathan Cody is about to face his darkest and most terrifying case yet.

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I’m way behind on my reading so I’m not around as much as I normally am. Hopefully regular service will resume soon.

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

The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans @EllaMatildaB @LittleBrownUK

** advanced copy received via publisher **

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Author : Claire Evans
Title : The Fourteenth Letter
Pages : 440
Publisher : Sphere
Publication date : September 21, 2017

aboutthebook

One balmy June evening in 1881, Phoebe Stanbury stands before the guests at her engagement party: this is her moment, when she will join the renowned Raycraft family and ascend to polite society.

As she takes her fiancé’s hand, a stranger holding a knife steps forward and ends the poor girl’s life. Amid the chaos, he turns to her aristocratic groom and mouths: ‘I promised I would save you.’

The following morning, just a few miles away, timid young legal clerk William Lamb meets a reclusive client. He finds the old man terrified and in desperate need of aid: William must keep safe a small casket of yellowing papers, and deliver an enigmatic message: The Finder knows.

mythoughts

The Fourteenth Letter combines two of my favourite things : historical fiction with a murder mystery. Although I admit that initially, it was the cover that drew me in. It’s just so pretty! I jumped at the opportunity to read this one and while I had quite high expectations, I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed at all.

Phoebe Stanbury is murdered at her engagement party but the investigation into her death isn’t the be all and end all of this story. The focus lies with a young clerk, William Lamb who’s an incredibly likeable character and I warmed to him immediately. William wants to move up in the world but when he meets a reclusive client, he inadvertently gets himself involved in events that will put his life in danger.

This is one incredible debut by Claire Evans. There’s an intricate and complex plot that I won’t get into any further to avoid spoiling it but suffice to say, it had me absolutely hooked. The author leads us through a delicious and immaculately woven web of secrets and even though the ultimate premise is quite dark and disturbing, she manages to lift the mood with surprisingly witty moments.

With vivid descriptions and a wonderful atmosphere, Claire Evans truly brings the various layers of London in the 1800’s to life, from Westminster to Whitechapel, from the rich to the poor, from the privileged to the dark underbelly of the criminal world. While there may have been a slight level of predictability, I found the conspiracies and twists plenty enough to keep me thoroughly entertained.

I really enjoyed this author’s writing, the brilliant characters and the intriguing plot and I look forward to reading more by Claire Evans in future.

Many thanks to Ella Bowman at Little Brown UK for my copy, which I chose to review honestly!

The Fourteenth Letter is available now!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads