The House On The Edge Of The Cliff by Carol Drinkwater | @MichaelJBooks | #blogtour #extract #excerpt

It’s a real pleasure to welcome you all to my stop on the blog tour for The House On The Edge Of The Cliff by Carol Drinkwater today! My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join. I have an extract to share with you all today but first, here is what this novel is all about.

Author : Carol Drinkwater
Title : The House on the Edge of the Cliff
Pages : 448
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Grace first came to France a lifetime ago. Young and full of dreams of adventure, she met two very different men.

She fell under the spell of one. The other fell under hers.

Until one summer night shattered everything . . .

Now, Grace is living an idyllic life with her husband, sheltered from the world in a magnificent Provencal villa, perched atop a windswept cliff.

Every day she looks out over the sea – the only witness to that fateful night years ago.

Until a stranger arrives at the house. A stranger who knows everything, and won’t leave until he gets what he wants.

| EXTRACT |

Beyond gently billowing muslin curtains, the windows were open wide, exposing a waxing crescent moon hanging midway in the sky. It was a little after five in the morning, and I was awake. My head resting on Peter’s chest, I tuned in to his heartbeat. Its speed was alarming. In spite of his daily medication, it still beat disconcertingly fast. By com-parison, my ticker is an old plodder. I lifted myself to a sitting position. Peter was sleeping, sighing and moaning.

‘My darling, please get well.’

I have always been in the habit of rising early. When the house is silent, I slip out for a long walk and a swim, like a full-sail galleon scudding across a cloudless sky, leaving my cares behind me. But during these anxious days, these fretful days of waiting for Peter’s operation, once out of bed I dally, hang back before heading for the beach, watching over my husband until I feel secure about leaving him.

This early-May morning, my knees tight against his side of the bed frame, I gazed upon him. Peter, my beloved, swathed in a twisted, sweaty sheet. He was fight-ing for equilibrium. His heart had become his enemy, hammering furiously at him. It pained me to observe his suffering, his visible decline. I bent low to him, stroked his shoulders, reassuring him of my love, while taking care not to disturb him. I crouched, laid my cheek against the fleshy part of his upper arm, softly kissing it. I inhaled him, the night on him. The heat, the worry sweat. He claimed he was not apprehensive about what lay ahead, but I would have argued otherwise. I was witness to his unsettled dreams.

I am the spectator, tuning in to his restlessness.

Throughout his waking hours, I had begun to remark a new expression in Peter’s eyes. A fixed stare, glassy, as though his pupils had glazed over or been coated in a thin layer of varnish. This focus disguised his fear, blocked it out, blocked me out. Peter was pushing me away, which, according to his logic, was to protect me. He believed that he was sheltering me from his terror, or sheltering himself from my terror, my inability to confront the worst possible outcome: his death.

I dreaded losing my husband, his heart packing up without warning, ‘worn out by strain’, in the consultant’s ominous words. Snatched from me while he was sleeping or, when the appointed day arrived, while he was under sedation. A being submerged beneath the effects of medication who would never awaken.

I refused to compare it to the past, to the first time I had lost someone, a lover who never resurfaced, the years it had taken me to come to terms with it.

Had Peter made the connection, cast his mind back to 1968, ‘our first summer’ together at this house, our long, carefree days together on this beach? Until calamity had struck.

It had come as no surprise to me that Peter was diag-nosed with atrial or supraventricular tachycardia, SVT. He had lived his life at a supersonic pace, in the turbo lane. He had travelled ceaselessly, worked incessantly, handled and triumphed over high-profile legal cases, which had won him a coveted international reputation and the honour of a CBE. However, alongside the acknowledgements came high stress levels. His caring heart carried the burdens of those less fortunate, those whose liberties he fought for and won. In his juridical field, few reputations, if any, surpassed Peter Soames’s.

Long-haul flights were his norm, sometimes once or even twice a week. He was always out of bed by five thirty a.m. no matter when we had turned in the night before. Even after we had stayed up till two watching a movie, he had set his phone alarm for five. And then he’d switch it off and roll over for half an hour, indulging in his ‘lie-in’.

I longed for him to slow down. Some days I felt as though I’d never catch hold of him, never pull him by his shirt tails and draw him in slow motion back to me, begging, ‘Hey, what’s the rush? Bide time with me.’

I turned now from the bedside and pattered to the open window, leaning my elbows on the sill, mesmerized by the swallows dipping and circling above the pink-tinged beach. I loved this time of year, with the first stirrings of summer ahead. I loved this old cliff house built high into its scrubby hillside overlooking the Mediterranean. Heron Heights. Peter had inherited it, this rather splendidly eccentric sunlit villa, from his late aunt, an artist, Agnes Armstrong-Soames. Yes, the painter. The very same.

I loved the privacy, the isolation, the villa’s distance from the nearest town. Our lives here have become secluded, our world privileged. The environment has cocooned me, allowed me to feel safe, even from the past. My past. Our past. The tragedy that took place here too long ago to remember. Except that I do remember. I have never allowed myself to forget it, but I have forgiven myself. Forgiven myself for the foolish, brainless role I played in someone’s death.

Peter and I never talk about it, never allude to it. That long-ago midsummer night.

But what happened on that long-ago midsummer night? If you’re intrigued and you’d like to find out more, The House on the Edge of the Cliff is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Anglo-Irish actress Carol Drinkwater is perhaps still most familiar to audiences for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. A popular and acclaimed author and film-maker as well, Carol has published nineteen books for both the adult and young adult markets. She is currently at work on her twentieth title.

The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles | @MichaelJBooks @sriya_v | #blogtour #bookreview

It’s a real pleasure to host a stop on the blog tour for The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles today! My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the opportunity to join and for the lovely review copy!

Author : Daisy Styles
Title : The Wartime Midwives
Pages : 384
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : May 16, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

1939.

Mary Vale, a grand and imposing Mother and Baby Home, sits on the remote Fylde coast in Lancashire. Its doors are open to unmarried women who come to hide their condition and find sanctuary.

Women from all walks of life pass through Mary Vale, from beautiful waitress Emily, whose boyfriend has vanished without trace, to young Isla, cast out by her wealthy family after her first year at university goes horribly wrong.

Awaiting them is Nurse Ada and Sister Anne who work tirelessly to aid the mothers and safely deliver the babies. But the unforgiving Matron and Head of Governors, Captain Percival, have other, more sinister, ideas.

As war looms the women at Mary Vale must pull together for the sake of themselves and their babies and Ada and Anne must help protect their patients, no matter what the cost.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Author Daisy Styles was completely unfamiliar to me when the invitation to join this tour landed in my inbox. But with a historical fiction story about midwives in the early years of WWII, how could you possibly go wrong?

Mary Vale is a mother and baby home, a place of sanctuary for unmarried mothers-to-be who need to hide away their pregnancies. Women from all walks of life travel to the coast of Lancashire to have their babies in peace. So, we meet Emily, an unmarried waitress whose boyfriend has disappeared. There is also Shirley, a fifteen year old girl who needs protecting in more ways than one, and Isla whose parents kicked her out of her home the minute they discovered she was pregnant. Some of these women will return home with their babies, some will put their children up for adoption. And despite their differences, they may just find friends for life.

But not everything is as perfect as it seems at Mary Vale. Matron is not a very nice person and that’s putting it mildly. She and Sir Percival, Head of Governors, come up with quite the sinister scheme. The women at Mary Vale will need to pull together to keep their babies safe.

I must admit that I tend to like my historical fiction with a bit more depth and bite to it but there is something about these women that just pulled me in. It’s hard to imagine the days that unmarried pregnant women had to hide themselves away aren’t that far behind us and sad to see how parents valued their status above their own daughters, having no qualms but to throw them out of house and home because the shame and disgrace was too hard to handle. Even with a war looming, these women needed a safe space because as one of the characters is fond of saying : life goes on. Babies will not stop being born.

The Wartime Midwives is a heartwarming and moving story about love and friendship during the hardest of times. There are some wonderful moments between mums and their babies, but also some truly emotional ones. These characters will worm their way into your heart and you will root for them every step of the way. If you like your historical fiction a bit more on the lighter side or enjoy tv series like Call The Midwife, then this is definitely for you.

The Wartime Midwives is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Daisy Styles grew up in Lancashire surrounded by a family and community of strong women whose tales she loved to listen to. It was from these women, particularly her vibrant mother and Irish grandmother, that Daisy learned the art of storytelling. There was also the landscape of her childhood – wide, sweeping, empty moors and hills that ran as far as the eye could see – which was a perfect backdrop for a saga, a space big enough and wild enough to stage a drama, one about women’s lives during the Second World War.

Weekly Wrap-Up (May 26)

I know I keep complaining about the weather like some old woman but seriously, what is going on? It doesn’t feel like May at all! One day I’m outside in a short-sleeved t-shirt basking in the sunshine and the next I’m having to turn on the heating.

The reading slump, I’m sad to say, continues. When pulling weeds in the garden sounds more appealing than a book, I know I’m definitely in trouble. So, I watched The Hobbit trilogy. Yes, again. And the behind the scenes footage as well. I’m not even sorry!

Am I getting in trouble with my schedule? Why, yes but also no. There’s nothing quite as stressful as finishing a book the evening before your blog tour stop and writing your review the morning of, though, is there?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Utterly pathetic 😂. The Slaughter / Child collaboration doesn’t even count. It’s only about 85 pages. At least I’ve not missed a tour stop so far. Yet. I was hoping to add another one to that, which is for tomorrow’s blog tour but I’ve not finished it yet 😳

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I really enjoyed Alice Feeney’s previous book so I Know Who You Are was a no-brainer. And I’ve been hearing so many good things about The Dangerous Kind that I just had to buy it.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

One for a blog tour, one a proof copy. With thanks to Michael Joseph and One World Publications.

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nothing

Tuesday : Joined the blog tour for Worst Case Scenario by Helen Fitzgerald

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Breakers by Doug Johnstone

Friday : Forgot what I wanted to post here so didn’t post at all 🤣

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Anyone else missing the days where I posted every day like a mad woman? Just me? Okay then.

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Your Deepest Fear by David Jackson

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Wartime Midwives by Daisy Styles

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Nothing

Friday : 20 Books of Summer Challenge

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I have a few busier weeks coming up the next few months but not as particularly crazy as I’ve been known to do. Which is good thing because as you can see from Friday’s post, I will be joining in the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again this year and I will, like last year, be reading those 20 books on top of my other commitments. Nothing like living a bit dangerously, especially in the middle of a reading slump 😂

This afternoon, I shall be finishing the book I’m currently reading for tomorrow’s blog tour. And then I’ll probably not be picking up another book for a few days and try not to worry about that or my schedule. But first, it’s civic duty time and voting.

Question of the week : Another easy one for you this week. What is your favourite book so far this year? I’ll even allow you to split your choices up into genres, if need be.

For me, it would be “The Taking of Annie Thorne” and in the historical fiction genre “Finding Dorothy”. Your turn!

That’s it! Wishing you all a fabulous week and lots of happy reading! xx

The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister | @GillianMAuthor @MichaelJBooks @Livvii | #blogtour #bookreview

Delighted to join the blog tour for The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister today! My thanks to Olivia at Michael Joseph for the opportunity to join and for the fabulous review copy!

Author : Gillian McAllister
Title : The Evidence Against You
Pages : 422
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : April 18, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

It’s the day her father will be released from jail. Izzy English has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?

| MY THOUGHTS |

After having read and enjoyed Gillian McAllister’s previous books, I was incredibly excited to hold her latest book in my hands. Even though I admit, I initially had a wee struggle with the earlier chapters, I soon found myself completely immersed in the intrigue and suspense.

Almost two decades ago, Izzy’s father was convicted of the murder of his wife and sent to prison. Izzy has had no contact with him since. But now, Gabriel is released and he wants to talk to Izzy, give her his side of the story, defend himself, maybe even convince her he is innocent. But should Izzy give him the time of day?

While I found Izzy quite hard to like for some reason, I could completely understand her struggles. The way she longs for that feeling of belonging to a family, her willingness to listen to her father because at least she’d have one parent back in her life and the way she shies away from starting a family of her own because she fears there is evil inside of her. Despite my misgivings about her, I couldn’t help but root for her when she starts to dig deep into her parents’ lives.

Just like Izzy, I kept going back and forth on my opinion about Gabriel, unable to figure out whether he was truly guilty or if this whole thing had been a massive miscarriage of justice. But this story isn’t just about Gabriel’s guilt or innocence. It is also about the impact nineteen years in prison has on a person. Imagine being cut off from the world for such a long time and then be thrown back out there, expected to fend for yourself when everything has been done for you all these years. Where do you even start when the whole world has moved on without you?

As I’ve come to expect from Gillian McAllister, The Evidence Against You is a slow-burner but nevertheless immensely tense and compelling. As I mentioned, I struggled just a little bit with the slow pace in the beginning but it also has its advantages, as it gives you the time and opportunity to really get a feel for these characters. It’s almost impossible to determine who to trust or believe and that includes Izzy herself, because how reliable are her own memories after all this time? With plenty of twists and turns, unreliable characters, lies and betrayal, I was gripped until the rather devastating end. The kind of ending where you wish deep down things could have been different, yet one that is also extremely fitting and just makes sense.

The Evidence Against You is a gripping and thought-provoking story, guaranteed to have you flipping the pages faster as you go. Brilliantly and cleverly plotted, Gillian McAllister knows how to draw the reader in and keep them coming back for more. Her books are always worth the wait and I impatiently await what’s next.

The Evidence Against You is available to buy!

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

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Gillian McAllister has been writing for as long as she can remember. She graduated with an English degree before working as a lawyer. She lives in Birmingham where she now writes full-time. 

She is the Sunday Times bestselling author of Everything but the Truth, Anything You Do Say, No Further Questions and The Evidence Against You. 

Weekly Wrap-Up (May 12)

The May weather is not playing nice. Dark days, wet and miserable, hail and random thunderstorms … what is this fudgery? All I see when I look out of the window is a garden that is slowly starting to resemble a jungle but I can’t get out there to do anything about it.

Luckily, I have books! Which came in especially handy when I was suddenly confronted with an hour long power cut. I was determined to get ahead of schedule again because my Line of Duty box set is on its way so guess what I’ll be doing next week! Somehow, I have still managed to remain completely spoiler free. It’s an absolute miracle!

So yes, getting ahead of schedule. How did that work out for you, Eva? Well, not so good because for some reason, I ended up with a bunch of books in a row that went over 400 pages and I may also have squeezed in one of my own TBR because … why not?

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

I’ll take that. That’s not too shabby at all! Now if only I could get the reviews written 🙄

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I love the Six Tudor Queens series and had Anna of Kleve on preorder for what felt like forever. So obviously, when it finally arrived, I dropped everything to read it. The Doll Factory … I’ve been going back and forth on that one for ages but ultimately, it was sprayed edges envy that won out 😂

| ARC’s RECEIVED VIA NETGALLEY |

As you know, I don’t normally read on kindle anymore these days but I was sent a widget for this one by the publisher and by golly, I just couldn’t resist. It’s Tammy Cohen! I love her books! Why yes, I did already read it too.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

What a week! Sure, these are all for blog tours because I just can’t help myself but whatever. Look at The Whisper Man! One of my most anticipated books of this year and it’s finally arrived! I can’t wait to read this one. May need to turn my schedule upside down again. 🤔 (With thanks to Headline, Orion, No Exit and Michael Joseph)

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Joined the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen with a guest post.

Tuesday : Took the day off

Wednesday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for Night By Night by Jack Jordan and shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Reviewed With Our Blessing by Jo Spain

Friday : Took the day off

Saturday : Joined the blog tour for In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Review | Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Evidence Against You by Gillian McAllister

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | Tell Me Where You Are by Moira Forsyth

Friday : Review | Anna of Kleve by Alison Weir

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

See the blog tour on Thursday? Yep, still have to read that 😳🤣

In other news, I am having some technical difficulties lately which are extremely annoying. My mornings are usually spent on my laptop, where things works relatively normal. Not all of it, but I found a way around it so that’s okay. But for the rest of the day, I am on my iPad and for some reason WordPress does not play nicely. This means, I am constantly logged out and despite numerous attempts to log in, it just won’t let me. So I have to visit blogs via the WordPress Reader and like/share from there. However, being logged out means I can’t comment! In case you thought I was ignoring your wonderful posts, I’m really not.

Guess what I’m doing today! If you think it’s lounging on the sofa with a good book, accidentally having a nap … you’re wrong! Bloody stupid socialising crap for me again. There should be a law against this stuff. I’m so tired, I feel as if I haven’t slept for a week and I worry I’ll end up with my face in a bowl of soup. I can’t even get the tiniest bit excited about there being wine. Oh dear.

Anyway, I should probably try to write a review of two (five) before I have to get ready. So, that’s it for another week. Hope you all have a great one and lots of happy reading! xx

The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen | @wordsofhelen @MichaelJBooks @sriya__v | #blogtour #guestpost

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen. My thanks to Sriya at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join! Author Helen Cullen visits my blog today to talk about the importance of music in her novel but first, here is what The Lost Letters of William Woolf is all about.

Author : Helen Cullen
Title : The Lost Letters of William Woolf
Pages : 416
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : May 2, 2019 (paperback)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Inside East London’s Dead Letters Depot, William Woolf unites lost mail with its intended recipient. White mice, a miniature grandfather clock and a full suit of armour are among the more unusual items lost then found thanks to William’s detective work.

But when he discovers a series of letters addressed only to ‘My Great Love’, everything changes. Written by Winter to a soulmate she hasn’t yet met, her heartfelt words stir William in ways he has long forgotten. Could they be destined for him? But what about his troubled marriage?

William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve the mystery of his own heart.

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

| GUEST POST |

The importance of music in The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

One of the great joys of writing my debut novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf, was undoubtedly creating the soundtrack to accompany the story. This curation of songs allowed me to indulge in the perfect intersection of my two great loves; music and literature. 

It was a moment of great revelation for me as I was developing each character when I realised who each of their favourite artists were; knowing what music they chose to listen to at pivotal moments in the narrative. Understanding, for example, that William Woolf was listening to The Smiths as he strolled through Dublin city made the whole scene crackle with life for me; I could place myself in the very heart of him. Understanding that Clare’s musical heroine was Kate Bush gave me insight into the longings she nursed in private; the artistic instincts that she was working hard to oppress. Discovering that Winter’s favourite band was The Cure reinforced in me her melancholic disposition, and how art could articulate sadness for her in a way that was restorative, uplifting and ultimately joyful. Situating the novel in the late 80s allowed me to revel in the music that I loved from that time.

Every day, before I began to write, I would choose a song to listen to that encapsulated for me the energy or the feeling of the scene I wanted to work on. Sinking into the music, the physical world around me would slip away, and I was able to cross the bridge from the reality of life to the imaginary world of the novel. It’s a practice I have continued now while writing my second novel.

The William Woolf playlist is an eclectic one; I would love to think that as readers follow the story, they might pause and look up the songs that are mentioned and play them as they read, to experience the music as the characters do, to activate their aural senses as their imaginations conjure the world before them. If they do, I hope they enjoy the musical rollercoaster and that it deepens their connection with the narrative. The playlist follows and you can listen to it on Spotify here. I hope you enjoy it! 

The Lost Letters of William Woolf Playlist

1. Chet Baker – Old Devil Moon 

2. David Bowie – Wild is The Wind 

3. Nina Simone – My baby just cares for me 

4. The Cure – Pictures of You 

5. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love 

6. Beethoven – Moonlight Piano Sonata

7. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon 

8. Sonny & Cher – I got you babe 

9. Madonna – Like A Prayer 

10. The Platters – The Great Pretender

11. Leonard Cohen – Suzanne 

12. George Michael – Careless Whisper

13. Michael Dees – What are you doing for the rest of your life?

14. The Undertones – Teenage Kicks

15. The Bangles – Eternal Flame

16. The Smiths – There is a Light and It Never Goes Out 

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Ireland’s national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel writing programme under the mentorship of Michèle Roberts. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University.

Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel.

Weekly Wrap-Up (May 5)

May? How is it May? What happened to all the other months between January and May? Where did they go?

Speaking of where things went, what happened to Spring? Feels more like Autumn. Quite chilly, lots of rain, even some hail … I so not approve. Meanwhile the weeds are taking over my garden because I can’t get out there. I mean, I can. I’d just get wet. Which I don’t approve of either 😉

This week’s excuse for not reading as much as normal is : I have no idea what happened. I’ve had one of those weeks where one book took me three days to read. And I was actually enjoying it!

So let’s take a look at the books that can be taken off the TBR pile this week.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

There may not be many but boy, they’re good! Now I should probably also stop squeezing in books I don’t have commitments for because the big gap I managed to create in my schedule is getting smaller. 😳

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

Once in a while, the OH will drive to this big shopping centre we have, which is the only place relatively near us that has a bookshop which sells English books. He’ll take pictures, send them to me and I’ll just say “that and that and that”. This was the result. Do I have a clue what these books are about? Nope. There’s even one, Impossible Saints, that I’ve never heard of. I just liked the cover 🤣

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Courtesy of Hodder, Michael Joseph, Avon and Headline. Her Last Promise was such lovely surprise book post. How pretty is that? I didn’t want to unwrap it!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Nothing

Tuesday : Again with the nothing

Wednesday : Shared My Week in Books

Thursday : Joined the blog tour for The Innocent Ones by Neil White

Friday : Hosted a stop on the blog tour for No Way Out by Cara Hunter

Saturday : Took another day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Another quiet one. Can I keep it up? 🤔

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Blog tour | Guest Post | The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

Tuesday : Nothing planned

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | Night By Night by Jack Jordan

Thursday : Review | With Our Blessing by Jo Spain

Friday : Nothing planned

Saturday : Blog tour | Review | In Two Minds by Alis Hawkins

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Proof that the gap in my schedule got smaller. See that book on Saturday? Yep, still need to read that one. But I have read quite a few that are due in the weeks after so technically, I’m still ahead. 😂

Reminder that I won’t be around much on Twitter tomorrow in order to avoid spoilers for Game of Thrones and Line of Duty.

Off to spend the afternoon with friends. I dare you to ask how much I’m looking forward to that. 🙄

And that’s it. Hope everyone has a great week! Until next time. Happy reading! xx

This Week in Books (May 1)

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 |

When London journalist, Mark Roberts, is found battered to death, the police quickly arrest petty thief, Nick Connor. Criminal defence lawyer, Dan Grant, along with investigator Jayne Brett, are called to represent him – but with bloody footprints and a stolen wallet linking him to the scene, this is one case they’re unlikely to win. 

Until help comes from an unlikely source…when the murder victim’s mother says that Connor is innocent, begging Dan and Jayne to find the real perpetrator. 

Unravelling the complex case means finding the connection between Mark’s death and a series of child murders in Yorkshire over twenty years ago. Father of two, Rodney Walker, has spent years in prison after being convicted of killing of 6-year-old William and 7-year-old Ruby back in 1997. 

| THE BOOK I’M CURRENTLY READING |

Spring, 1543. King Henry VIII is wooing Catherine Parr, whom he wants for his sixth wife. Archbishop Cranmer and the embattled Protestant faction at court are watching keenly, for Lady Catherine is known to have reformist sympathies.

Matthew Shardlake, meanwhile, is working on the case of a teenage boy who has been placed in the Bedlam insane asylum, and fears that the boy’s terrifying religious mania could lead to him being burned as a heretic.

When an old friend is horrifically murdered, Shardlake promises his widow that he will bring the killer to justice. His search leads him to Cranmer and Catherine Parr – and to the dark prophecies of the Book of Revelation.

As London’s Bishop Bonner prepares a purge of Protestants, Shardlake, together with Jack Barak and his physician friend, Guy Malton, investigates a series of horrific murders which soon bring talk of witchcraft and demonic possession – for what else would the Tudor mind make of a serial killer … ?

| WHAT I’M (PROBABLY) READING NEXT |

It’s the day her father will be released from jail. Izzy English has every reason to feel conflicted – he’s the man who gave her a childhood filled with happy memories. But he has also just served seventeen years for the murder of her mother.

Now, Izzy’s father sends her a letter. He wants to talk, to defend himself against each piece of evidence from his trial. But should she give him the benefit of the doubt? Or is her father guilty as charged, and luring her into a trap?

What do you think? Anything here you’ve read and enjoyed? Anything you want to read? What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx

Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin | @GarethRubin @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 | #blogtour #bookreview

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin! My thanks to Jenny Platt at Michael Joseph for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy!

Author : Gareth Rubin
Title : Liberation Square
Pages : 340
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : April 18, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

After the disastrous failure of D-Day, Britain is occupied by Nazi Germany, and only rescued by Russian soldiers arriving from the east and Americans from the west. The two superpowers divide the nation between them, a wall running through London like a scar.

On the Soviet side of the wall, Jane Cawson calls into her husband’s medical practice, hoping to surprise him. But instead she detects the perfume worn by his former wife, Lorelei, star of propaganda films for the new Marxist regime.

Jane rushes to confront them, but soon finds herself caught up in the glamorous actress’s death.

Her husband Nick is arrested for murder. Desperate to clear his name, Jane must risk the attention of the brutal secret police as she follows a trail of corruption right to the highest levels of the state.

And she might find she never really knew her husband at all.

| MY THOUGHTS |

Well, here is a frightening scenario.

The year is 1952. The setting is London. But not the London we all know. D-Day was an enormous failure and the war was lost. The United Kingdom has been divided in two with a wall running through London. Jane and her husband Nick live in the Republic, under Russian control. Jane suspects her husband of having an affair with his first wife, Lorelei. When Jane decides to confront them, she finds Lorelei dead in the bathtub and soon, husband Nick is arrested by the National Secret Service. But all is not what it seems.

Jane is just your average woman who suddenly finds herself in the middle of extraordinary circumstances. Not only is goodness knows what happening to her husband while he’s being held but she also suddenly finds herself responsible for his daughter from his previous marriage. Desperate to find evidence that will help free her husband, she soon ends up in situations she is wholly unprepared for.

Life is not a bed of roses on this side of the wall. Corruption is rife and the things that have been promised do not come to fruition. Danger lurks around every corner. People are arrested and disappear. You can’t even trust your neighbours, who seem to be watching your every move, ready to inform the authorities. Some try to escape, making desperate attempts to reach the other side of the wall. Most fail.

The cover of this book is black and white with some red highlights standing out and that’s exactly how I saw things in my head while reading. At its heart, Liberation Square is a murder mystery and I felt it had a bit of a noir vibe to it. As Jane digs deeper, trying to figure out who was responsible for Lorelei’s death, she uncovers a multitude of secrets and is left to wonder if she knows her husband at all. With so much deceit going on everywhere, I ended up being suspicious of just about everyone and had a hard time imagining living my life like that. Scary.

With a fascinating and original premise, Liberation Square turned into quite the surprising read for me. I say that because dystopian stories don’t always hit the right spot with me but this one most definitely did. Having the added bonus of a murder mystery and a bit of a spy thriller touch to it, made this an enjoyable, atmospheric and gripping story. One that had me guessing until the end and in awe of the utterly believable alternative scenario.

Liberation Square is available to buy!

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Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Waterstones | Wordery

| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |

Gareth Rubin is a British journalist and author. His journalism covers social affairs, travel, architecture, arts and health. His novel Liberation Square is a mystery thriller set in Soviet-occupied London.

In 2013 he directed a documentary, Images of Bedlam, about the connection between art and mental illness and how art can help people express that which they cannot put into words. It was filmed at the Bethlem Royal Hospital (‘Bedlam’) and interviews artists with a history of psychiatric illness.

He previously worked as an actor on stage and television.

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing | @MichaelJBooks

Author : Samantha Downing
Title : My Lovely Wife
Pages : 377
Publisher : Michael Joseph
Publication date : March 26, 2019 (ebook)

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you.

But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.

Because you thought you knew the worst about her. The truth is you know nothing at all.

| MY THOUGHTS |

It is not easy to stand out from the crowd in the domestic thriller genre but Samantha Downing manages it with flying colours. My Lovely Wife is incredibly refreshing and also insanely hard to review without giving anything away so this will be relatively short.

Simon and his wife Millicent seem to be living the average suburban life. They both have jobs, two children and while money may be a little tight sometimes, they seem perfectly happy. But as we all know by now, things are never truly what they seem. And then the body of a young woman is found in an abandoned hotel. For one teeny-tiny nanosecond, I thought I knew exactly what was going on but I was proven wrong quickly and not at all prepared for the devious plot that was coming my way.

There’s quite a lot going on in this story. Not only is there a serial killer on the loose but there’s also the impact this has on children, the relentless media and, through it all, is the the most dysfunctional marriage ever. All these things combined make this an addictive read that I just couldn’t put down. I realised early on there was no way I’d figure out where this was heading or how it would end.

Dark, disturbing and hugely compelling The Lovely Wife took me completely by surprise. There are plenty of twists to keep you hooked until the final page. This is one of those books you definitely should not start reading if you’re short of time. What a fantastic debut by Samantha Downing and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

My Lovely Wife is available in ebook format now!

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