A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “AJ Waines”

Blog Tour – ‘No Longer Safe’ by AJ Waines

NLSBlogTourPoster

‘No Longer Safe’ was published on the 4th February 2016.  Today it is my turn on this blog tour.  I have been given an extract but first here’s my review.

When Alice receives a totally unexpected invitation in the post from a friend who she hasn’t heard from in several years, she is keen to accept it.  Karen, who she was friendly with at University has invited her to come and stay with her in a remote cottage in Scotland.  Alice sees this as a chance to rekindle their lost friendship.  What she doesn’t expect though is two former students to also turn up, people she was never exactly friendly with.  This instantly changes everything.

As the snow keeps falling and the atmosphere in the cottage chills, Alice notices that Karen isn’t like how she used to be.  Then someone dies and she finds herself caught up in a tangled web with no way of escaping.  What happens next is for you to find out.

I really enjoyed reading ‘No Longer Safe’.  Well written, this was a very exciting story and one which was hard to put down especially later on.  I could feel the atmosphere and what it must have been like staying in the cottage with no way of getting away with all that snow.  I would have found it very claustrophobic I reckon.

To me it was obvious from the start that things weren’t what they seemed.  Things just didn’t add up.  Personally I think Alice jumped the gun a bit too quickly, but then I guess when you get an invitation out of the blue like that it is hard to resist.

I just knew there was something fishy about Karen and I didn’t trust her at all.  She wasn’t the nice person Alice thought she was.  I would never have guessed in a million years what she was planning though.  I wasn’t particularly keen on the other two people staying in the cottage.  I especially didn’t like Mark.

‘No Longer Safe’ will take you on a rollercoaster of a ride with a very unexpected and shocking end.  This is an ideal book for fans of psychological thrillers.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

~~~~~

It’s time now for an extract from the book.

 

No Longer Safe by AJ Waines
Chapter 1 (part only)

15 November
You were the last person I expected to hear from. After all this time. After all the cards and letters that had come back marked ‘return to sender’.

I drifted from the hall into the sitting room, carrying the envelope on both outstretched palms, like a piece of newly discovered treasure. One slice from Dad’s paper knife and it was open. At first I thought it was an invitation to a wedding, but there was no card; instead it was a letter wrapped around a glossy brochure of a castle nestling amongst snow-capped mountains.

It was your handwriting for certain. I looked straight down to the bottom of the second sheet to confirm it. Karen Morley. That’s when I had to sit down. My head was suddenly too big for my body and I couldn’t trust myself to read without feeling giddy. Was it really you? I checked the address – Brixton – in London-terms that meant you were practically on my doorstep. No distance at all.

I made my brain slow down so I could trail my eyes across the curves of your fountain pen. That was a novelty in itself – the personal touch – when nearly everything that landed on our doormat these days was typed. But that was very much your way of doing things, Karen – making people feel special, making that extra effort to show you cared. Would be wonderful to see you again…remembered your birthday…love to invite you…important time for me…

I read the first part again. It was an invitation, but not to a wedding. You were inviting me to a cottage in the Highlands – on holiday.

I slid from the arm of the sofa into the seat. Nearly six years without a word and now this. I tried to reach you after we finished Uni, of course I did. You were the one who stood out, the friend I thought I’d found for life. Once Uni was over, other associations tailed off and calls were replaced with Facebook updates with the odd round-robin email. But ours was different.

To be honest, I hadn’t expected you to fall away like you did, Karen. We’d established a real bond – or so I thought. Afterwards, you moved to Bristol while I moved back to London, but I was certain we’d visit each other; I’d travel one weekend, you’d travel the next. I had my heart set not only on keeping in touch, but staying best friends.

I did go to stay with you at the start – just once, remember? You replied to my emails for a while, sent a cheery card that first Christmas, but then, like the rest, you drifted away from me and I never heard from you again. Until now.

I held the letter under my nose, stupid I know, just to see if there was a trace of you left on the paper. Then I held it to my chest and allowed your presence to sink into me again. You were my inspiration, the person I wanted to be. I’d never felt that kind of admiration about anyone before. You brought everything alive and coaxed me out of my shell.

With no siblings and a small disjointed family, my only proper relationships were with my parents and I’d always found them impossible to talk to. It had never occurred to me to bare my deepest feelings to them. You were different. I knew straight away the first time I spoke to you. All my doubts and failings came tumbling out, because you made me feel so safe, without any sting of judgement. No one had ever offered that to me before. No one else ever seemed to notice when something was wrong. I’d spent most of my life going it alone, because I was awkward and shy and people didn’t know what to do with me.

I brought my hand to my mouth. It must be a mistake. You must have mixed me up with someone else and posted the invitation to the wrong person. That would explain it. This was too much to expect after almost six years of silence; it was too big a deal. An invitation to spend fourteen days together out of the blue, without any preamble? But then that was you, Karen – always surprising people, keeping us all on our toes.

 

About AJ Waines

Author Picture

AJ Waines has sold over 100,000 books worldwide and topped the UK and Australian Kindle Charts in 2015 with her number one bestseller, Girl on a Train. Following fifteen years as a psychotherapist, she is now a full-time novelist with publishing deals in France, Germany (Penguin Random House) and USA (audiobooks).

In 2015, she was featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times and was ranked in the Top 20 UK authors on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). She lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband. Visit her website and blog, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

‘No Longer Safe’ is available to buy on Amazon – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebooks-No-Longer-Safe-J-Waines-ebook/dp/B018UAAAW4

 

Blog Tour – ‘Dark Place to Hide’ by AJ Waines

Blog Tour Poster

AJ Waines contacted me recently with regards to taking part in a blog tour for her new novel, ‘Dark Place to Hide’, which was published on the 30th July 2015. Having earlier this year posted an extract from her previous book on my blog and liking the sound of her novels I was more than eager to take part. I was kindly sent a copy of ‘Dark Place to Hide’.  Read on for my review and look out for a competition at the end of this post.

Harper and Diane Penn live in Nettledon, Hampshire. Harper is an expert in criminology and is very good at solving puzzles. So when his wife who has recently had a miscarriage goes missing, he instinctively knows there is more to her disappearance than meets the eye. Harper having recently found out that he is infertile feels that he cannot possibly have made her pregnant. He contacts the police and tells them what has happened, but they treat her disappearance as a low priority case thinking it likely that she has gone away to be on her own and get over things or has run off with a secret lover.

Marion and her seven-year-old daughter also live in the same village. Clara reads a lot and likes her own company, often retreating into a fantasy world. An accident causes her to sink deeper into her own world and when she starts quoting sentences from fairy tales there is a lot of concern. One day Harper sees Marion and Clara in the village. Marion isn’t very well so he takes them back to their cottage. Soon after Clara goes missing too. Could there be a connection between both disappearances and is there more to what Clara has been saying than meets the eye?

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dark Place to Hide’, although I have to say it did take me a bit of time to get into the story. Once I got to the chapter where Diane went missing I was intrigued and couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to her. I couldn’t believe for one minute that she had left Harper. I really felt for Marion when Clara also disappeared and I could imagine what was going through her head.

I very much liked the layout of the book with the story being narrated by the characters. Most chapters were clearly marked with the date that events were taking place. I loved the suspense and mystery throughout this story and the fact that it was believable.

‘Dark Place to Hide’ is a psychological thriller that will get you thinking and wanting more. I now plan to read AJ Waines previous novels at some stage.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

 

About the author

Author Picture

AJ Waines was a Psychotherapist for fifteen years, during which time she worked with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, giving her a rare insight into abnormal psychology. She is now a full-time novelist with an Agent and has publishing deals in France and Germany (Random House). Both her debut novels, The Evil Beneath and Girl on a Train have been Number One in ‘Murder’ and ‘Psychological Thrillers’ in the UK Kindle Charts. Girl on a Train has also been a Number One Bestseller in the entire Kindle Chart in Australia. In 2015, she was ranked in the Top 100 UK authors on Amazon KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).

Her new psychological thriller, Dark Place to Hide, was released July 30th 2015, and is available HERE.

Alison lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband. Visit her website and blog, or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

‘Dark Place to Hide’ is available to buy on Amazon UK:-

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Place-Hide-J-Waines-ebook/dp/B010TRR1LO 

 

Competition

Like the sound of ‘Dark Place to Hide’ and really want to read it?  Well, one very lucky person has the chance to win a signed paperback copy of this book and to enter all you have to do to is leave a comment telling me why you want to read it.

 

Terms and Conditions 

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59  p.m. on the 17th August 2015.

The winner will be notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date and their details passed on to AJ Waines who will send out the prize.

 

 

Good luck! 🙂

Extract of ‘The Evil Beneath’ by A.J. Waines

TEBFINAL

AJ Waines has kindly provided me with an extract to her book ‘The Evil Beneath’.

 

About the book

The Evil Beneath went to No 1 in ‘Serial Killers’ in UK Kindle Charts and, in March 2015, to No 1 in the entire Australian Kindle Charts.

There’s a body in the water – and she’s wearing your clothes…

Impulsive and intrepid psychotherapist, Juliet Grey, can’t resist responding to an anonymous text message telling her to go to Hammersmith Bridge at dawn. But it isn’t simply the dead body in the water that disturbs her, it’s the way something uniquely personal to Juliet has been left on the corpse.

Another obscure message – another London bridge – and Juliet finds herself caught up with a serial killer, who leaves personal mementos instead of collecting trophies.

Teaming up with local detective, DCI Brad Madison, Juliet strives to find out why she has been targeted and how it’s connected to the accident that killed her brother, nineteen years ago.

Can Juliet use her knowledge of the human psyche to get inside the mind of the killer, before another body is found under a bridge? And how long before Juliet herself becomes the next target?

 

Extract 

Prologue

Sunday, September 20th 

She had been lying there, facedown in the water long before the tide had turned at 3.04 that morning. Her eyes were staring into the river, her blonde hair first fanning out, then drawing back under her head with the wash of the water, like a pulsating jellyfish. The belt of her raincoat was caught on the branches of an overhanging tree and she’d been hooked, destined to forever flap against the corner of the broken pier with outstretched arms. She wasn’t going anywhere now; she was simply bobbing up and down with the rhythm of the water – and she hadn’t blinked in a long while.

A male jogger came down the ramp from the main road and ran straight past her. Then a cyclist dipped under the bridge and pedalled at speed with his head down. He, too, passed the bundle tucked under the tree without noticing it. But by 7.15am, the creeping sunrise was opening up the scene for all to see.

Her arms were held away from her body forming the shape of a cross on the water and tiny pieces of weed and broken twigs were caught up in her hair, making her head look like the beginnings of a bird’s nest.

An old man with a poodle stopped to stare at the sodden shape in the water, then a woman who had been power-walking joined them, followed by a couple with their arms around each other.  Another cyclist, older and slower than the first, joined them. He was the boldest of the group so far. He was wearing black lycra shorts and without taking off his trainers, he began to wade into the river.

In the distance, standing on Hammersmith Bridge, someone was starting to feel pleased with themselves. From that position, you didn’t need the binoculars to see a group was starting to form at the water’s edge. Where was everybody coming from so early on a Sunday morning? It was like watching wasps gather around a spoonful of raspberry jam.

The cyclist went up to his thighs in the water, getting within a few feet of the body and then turned around shaking his head. He was shouting something to the woman who had been power-walking and she began reaching into her backpack.

The woman’s legs were sticking out from beneath the gabardine. They were covered in purple striped tights and she was still wearing both ankle boots. Everything looked intact.

No one would notice the binoculars now trained towards the towpath. She had to arrive at the scene any time now, to get a good view, before the body was bagged up and taken away by the river police.

Take your time, came a whisper from the bridge, we need a certain person to get here before the police tidy everything away.

Another woman, who seemed to have come from nowhere, doubled over and rested her hand against the tree. Someone put their arm around her. You couldn’t tell from this distance if she’d been sick.

Then she was there. The chosen one. On her own, walking tentatively towards the water. She’d got the message and she’d responded. All was well with the world. How long would it take her before she realised? Before the shit hit the fan. That was a good image; it had the ring of old Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Was it worth waiting around for that moment or not? She might not make the connection straight away. Some people’s brains didn’t work as fast as others.

There was a sound of a siren. An ambulance and a squad car pulled up and in a flash, she was lost in the tight little gathering. No point hanging around. The show was over, but the party was just beginning.

An eye for an eye; that’s how the saying went. Proper punishment where it was due. And this was going to be one hell of a payback.

Strains of idle humming came from the bridge. It was time to start dreaming of fried eggs and two pieces of toast – and perhaps even some beans on the side. Wasn’t that justified?

 

About the Author

AJWainesMMrev

AJ Waines writes Psychological Thrillers. She has an Agent and book deals in France and Germany. As a former Psychotherapist working with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, she has come face to face with the criminal mind. Her first two stand-alone novels, THE EVIL BENEATH and GIRL ON A TRAIN, feature strong intrepid women in modern, grizzly London settings.

 

Links

Novels

Website

Blog

SignUp to Newsletter

Twitter

Facebook

 

The Evil Beneath is in the Kindle sale right now at only 99p ($1.48). Grab it while you can. UK: Click here US: Click here.

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: