A Lover of Books

Archive for the tag “Bookouture”

Cover Reveal – ‘Cold Blood’ by Robert Bryndza

I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Robert Bryndza’s new novel, ‘Cold Blood’, the fifth book in the Detective Erika Foster series.  It is being published as an eBook on the 20th September 2017 by Bookouture.  These days I could literally spend hours looking at covers and this one has certainly caught my eye.  Isn’t it stunning?

I have been hearing such great things about this series that I have finally given into temptation.  I am definitely going to have to read these books.  Anyway, here’s what ‘Cold Blood’ is all about.

 

Book Blurb

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago.

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack.

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery… there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.

 

About Robert Bryndza

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and the fourth book, Last Breath, has recently been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2 million copies, and have been translated into 27 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at http://www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

 

‘Cold Blood’ is available to pre-order from:-

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2uP064T

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2uOLceW

 

Cover Reveal – ‘The Surrogate’ by Louise Jensen

I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Louise Jensen’s new book, and boy does it sound good or what!  ‘The Surrogate’ is being published as an eBook on the 27th September 2017 by the wonderful Bookouture.  Here’s what it’s all about.

 

Book Blurb

‘You know that feeling? When you want something so badly, you almost feel you’d kill for it?’

Be careful what you wish for…

Kat and her husband Nick have tried everything to become parents, and are on the point of giving up. Then a chance encounter with Kat’s childhood friend Lisa gives Kat and Nick one last chance to achieve their dream.

But Kat and Lisa’s history hides dark secrets.

And there is more to Lisa than meets the eye.

As dangerous cracks start to appear in Kat’s perfect picture of happily-ever-after, she realises that she must face her fear of the past to save her family…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister and The Gift, this is an unputdownable psychological thriller which asks how far we will go to create our perfect family.

 

About Louise Jensen

Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.

Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a puppy and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.

 

Links

‘The Surrogate’ is available to pre-order from:-

Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2sY4hK1

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2uqwxmv

Website – www.louisejensen.co.uk

Twitter – https://twitter.com/fab_fiction

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fabricatingfiction/

 

Blog Tour – ‘Little Girl Lost’ by Carol Wyer

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‘Little Girl Lost’ was published by Bookouture on the 19th January. It is the first book in the DI Robyn Carter series. I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour for which I am reviewing the book. I received my copy from NetGalley.

Abigail appears to have the perfect life. She has it all; a doting husband and an adorable baby daughter. But is everything as it seems? Someone knows about her past and they won’t rest until the truth is told.

When baby Izzy is kidnapped from a car park, Detective Robyn Carter takes on the case. Her instincts tell her that there is a connection between Izzy’s abduction and two murders she is currently investigating. There is a serial killer at large and Robyn needs to find him or her before it’s too late.

Carol Wyer has written several humorous books and has now turned to crime. It seems she has found her dark side and I have to say I’m actually really impressed. I just loved Carol’s style of writing. There were so many twists and turns and some real shockers too. As I got more into the story I found myself getting totally hooked.

It took me a while to work out how all the characters were connected. Abigail was getting threatening messages and I spent ages trying to work out who was responsible for them and the murders. I ended up suspecting just about everyone at one point.

I really admired Robyn Carter. She had had a really tough time of things and needed to get back into a proper routine. I bet she never thought she would be taking on such a grisly case. Time was running out fast but Robyn was sure to be able to solve it. She had PC Mitz Patel and another officer helping her. I liked Mitz and thought he was rather sweet.

‘Little Girl Lost’ is a must read for fans of crime. I am really looking forward to DI Robyn Carter’s next case.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Carol Wyer

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As a child Carol Wyer was always moving, and relied on humour to fit in at new schools. A funny short story won her popularity, planting the seed of becoming a writer. Her career spans dry cleaning, running a language teaching company, and boxercise coaching. Now writing full-time, Carol has several books published by Safkhet and journalism in many magazines.

Carol won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015), and can sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.

 

Links

‘Little Girl Lost’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Little-Girl-Lost-gripping-Detective-ebook/dp/B01M9ETOCA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1485110931&sr=1-1&keywords=little+girl+lost

Carol Wyer’s Website – http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

 

Book Launch – ‘Dark Water’ by Robert Bryndza

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Congratulations to Robert Bryndza whose much talked about book, ‘Dark Water’ is out today, published by Bookouture.  I have an extract for all of you to read but first here’s the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Beneath the water the body sank rapidly. Above her on dry land, the nightmare was just beginning.

When Detective Erika Foster  receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.

From the million-copy bestselling author of The Girl in the Ice and The Night Stalker, comes the third heart-stopping book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

 

Extract

Dark Water

by

Robert Bryndza

Autumn 1990

It was a cold night in late autumn when they dumped the body in the disused quarry. They knew it was an isolated spot, and the water was very deep. What they didn’t know was that they were being watched.

They arrived under the cover of darkness, just after three o’clock in the morning – driving from the houses at the edge of the village, over the empty patch of gravel where the walkers parked their cars, and onto the vast common. With the headlights off, the car bumped and lurched across the rough ground, joining a footpath, which was soon shrouded on either side by dense woodland. The darkness was thick and clammy, and the only light came over the tops of the trees.

Nothing about the journey felt stealthy. The car engine seemed to roar; the suspension groaned as it lurched from side to side. They slowed to a stop as the trees parted and the water-filled quarry came into view.

What they didn’t know was that a reclusive old man lived by the quarry, squatting in an old abandoned cottage which had almost been reclaimed by the undergrowth. He was outside, staring up at the sky and marvelling at its beauty, when the car appeared over the ridge and came to a halt. Wary, he moved behind a bank of shrubbery and watched. Local kids, junkies, and couples looking for thrills often appeared at night, and he had managed to scare them away.

The moon briefly broke through the clouds as the two figures emerged from the car, and they took something large from the back and carried it towards the rowing boat by the water. The first climbed in, and as the second passed the long package into the boat there was something about the way it bent and flopped that made him realise with horror that it was a body.

The soft splashes of the oars carried across the water. He put a hand to his mouth. He knew he should turn away, but he couldn’t. The splashing oars ceased when the boat reached the middle. A sliver of moon appeared again through a gap in the clouds, illuminating the ripples spreading out from the boat.

He held his breath as he watched the two figures deep in conversation, their voices a low rhythmic murmur. Then there was silence. The boat lurched as they stood, and one of them nearly fell over the edge. When they were steady, they lifted the package and, with a splash and a rattle of chains, they dropped it into the water. The moon sailed out from behind its cloud, shining a bright light on the boat and the spot where the package had been dumped, the ripples spreading violently outwards.

He could now see the two people in the boat, and had a clear view of their faces.

The man exhaled. He’d been holding his breath. His hands shook. He didn’t want trouble; he’d spent his whole life trying to avoid trouble, but it always seemed to find him. A chill breeze stirred up some dry leaves at his feet, and he felt a sharp itching in his nostrils. Before he could stop it a sneeze erupted from his nose; it echoed across the water. In the boat, the heads snapped up, and began to twist and search the banks. And then they saw him. He turned to run, tripped on the root of a tree and fell to the ground, knocking the wind out of his chest.

Beneath the water in the disused quarry it was still, cold, and very dark. The body sank rapidly, pulled by the weights, down, down, down, finally coming to rest with a nudge in the soft freezing mud.

She would lie still and undisturbed for many years, almost at peace. But above her, on dry land, the nightmare was only just beginning.

 

‘Dark Water’ is available to buy from Amazon:-

UK: http://amzn.to/2baBO8N

US: http://amzn.to/2bkuwRk

 

Blog Blitz – ‘A Cornish Christmas’ by Lily Graham

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This is the cover of Lily Graham’s new book, ‘A Cornish Christmas’ which is out today, published by Bookouture.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  I have a little taster for all of you but first here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

Nestled in the Cornish village of Cloudsea, sits Sea Cottage – the perfect place for some Christmas magic …

At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea – a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever.  When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember.

This Christmas warm your heart and escape to the Cornish coast for an uplifting story of love, secrets and new beginnings that you will remember for many Christmases to come.

 

Extract

CHAPTER ONE

The Writing Desk

 

Even now it seemed to wait.

Part of me, a small irrational part, needed it to stay exactly where it was, atop the faded Persian rug, bowing beneath the visceral pulse of her letters and the remembered whisper from the scratch of her pen. The rosewood chair, with its slim turned-out legs, suspended forevermore in hopeful expectation of her return. Like me, I wondered if it couldn’t help but wish that somehow she still could.

I hadn’t had the strength to clear it, nor the will. Neither had Dad and so it remained standing sentry, as it had throughout the years with Mum at the wheel, the heart, the hub of the living room.

If I closed my eyes, I could still hear her hum along to Tchaikovsky – her pre-Christmas music – as she wrapped up presents with strings, ribbons and clear cellophane, into which she’d scatter stardust and moonbeams, or at least so it seemed to my young eyes. Each gift, a gift within a gift.

One of my earliest memories is of me sitting before the fire, rolling a length of thick red yarn for Fat Arnold, our squashed-face Persian, who languished by the warmth, his fur pearly white in the glow. His one eye open while his paw twitched, as if to say he’d play, if only he could find the will. In the soft light Mum sat and laughed, the firelight casting lowlights in her long blonde hair. I shut my eyes and took a deep breath, away from the memory of her smile.

Dad wanted me to have it: her old writing desk. I couldn’t bear to think of the living room without it, but he insisted. He’d looked at me, above his round horn-rimmed glasses, perpetual tufts of coarse grey hair poking out mad-hatter style on either side of his head, and said with his faraway philosopher’s smile, ‘Ivy, it would have made her happy, knowing that you had it. . .’ And I knew I’d lost.

Still it had taken me two weeks to get up the nerve. Two weeks and Stuart’s gentle yet insistent prodding. He’d offered to help, to at least clear it for me, and bring it through to our new home so that I wouldn’t have to face it. Wouldn’t have to reopen a scar that was trying its best to heal. He’d meant well. I knew that he would’ve treated her things reverently; he would’ve stacked all her letters, tied them up with string, his long fingers slowly rolling up the lengths of old ribbon and carefully putting them away into a someday box that I could open when I was ready. It was his way, his sweet, considerate Stuart way. But I knew I had to be the one who did it. Like a bittersweet rite of passage, some sad things only you can do yourself. So I gathered up my will, along with the box at my feet and began.

It was both harder and easier than I expected. Seeing her things as she left them should have made the lump in my throat unbearable, it should have been intolerable, but it wasn’t somehow.

I began with the drawer, emptying it of its collection of creamy, loose-leafed paper; fine ribbons; and assorted string, working my way to the heart of the Victorian desk, with its warren of pigeon holes, packed with old letters, patterned envelopes, stamps, watercolour brushes, and tubes of half-finished paint.

But it was the half-finished tasks that made the breath catch in my throat. A hand-painted Christmas card, with Santa’s sleigh and reindeer flying over the chimney tops, poor Rudolph eternally in wait for his little watercolour nose. Mum had always made her own, more magical and whimsical than any you could buy. My fingers shook as I held the card in my hand, my throat tight. Seeing this, it’s little wonder I became a children’s book illustrator. I put it on top of the pile, so that later I could paint in Santa’s missing guiding light.

It was only when I made to close the desk that I saw it: a paper triangle peeking out from the metal hinge. It was tightly wedged but, after some wiggling, I pried it loose, only – in a way – to wish I hadn’t.

It was a beautiful, vintage French postcard, like the ones we’d bought when we holidayed there, when I was fifteen and fell in love with everything en français. It had a faded sepia print of the Jardin des Tuileries on the cover, and in elegant Century print it read ‘[Century font writing] Carte Postale’ on the back.

It was blank. Except for two words, two wretchedly perfect little words that caused the tears that had threatened all morning to finally erupt.

Darling Ivy

It was addressed to me. I didn’t know which was worse: the unexpected blow of being called ‘Darling Ivy’ one last time, finding out she’d had this last unexpected gift waiting for me all along, or that she’d never finish it. I suppose it was a combination of all three.

Three velvet-tipped daggers that impaled my heart.

I placed it in the box together with the unfinished Christmas card and sobbed, as I hadn’t allowed myself to for years.

Five years ago, when she passed, I believed that I’d never stop. A friend had told me that ‘time heals all wounds’ and it had taken every ounce of strength not to give her a wound that time would never heal, even though I knew she’d meant well. Time, I knew, couldn’t heal this type of wound. Death is not something you get over. It’s the rip that exposes life in a before and after chasm and all you can do is try to exist as best you can in the after. Time could only really offer a moment when the urge to scream would become a little less.

Another friend of mine, who’d lost his leg and his father in the same day, explained it better. He’d said that it was a loss that every day you manage and some days are better than others. That seemed fair. He’d said that death for him was like the loss of the limb, as even on those good days you were living in the shadow of what you had lost. It wasn’t something you recovered from completely, no matter how many people, yourself included, pretended otherwise. Somehow that helped, and I’d gotten used to living with it, which I suppose was what he meant.

The desk wasn’t heavy. Such a substantial part of my childhood, it felt like it should weigh more than it did, but it didn’t and I managed it easily alone. I picked it up and crossed the living room, through the blue-carpeted passage, pausing only to shift it slightly as I exited the back door towards my car, a mint green Mini Cooper.

Setting the desk down on the cobbled path, I opened up my boot, releasing the back seats so they folded over before setting the desk on top, with a little bit of careful manoeuvring. It felt strange to see it there, smaller than I remembered. I shut the boot and went back inside for the chair and the box where I’d placed all her things; there was never any question of leaving it behind. On my way back, I locked up Dad’s house, a small smile unfurling as I noticed the little wreath he’d placed on the door, like a green shoot through the snow after the longest winter. It hadn’t been Christmas here for many years.

Back to my car, I squeezed the chair in next to the desk and placed the box on the passenger seat before I climbed in and started the engine. As the car warmed, I looked at my reflection in the side mirror and laughed, a sad groaning laugh.

My eyeliner had made tracks all down my face, leaving a thick trail into my ears, and black blobs on either side of my lobes so that I looked like I’d participated in some African ritual, or had survived the mosh pit at some death metal goth fest. With my long dark blonde curls, coral knitted cap and blue eyes, it made me look a little zombiefied.

I wiped my face and ears and grinned despite myself. ‘God, Mum, thanks for that!’ I put the car in gear and backed out of the winding drive, towards the coastal road.

Cornwall.

It was hard to believe I was back, after all these years.

London had been exciting, tiring, and trying. And grey, so very grey. Down here, it seemed, was where they keep the light; my senses felt as if they’d been turned up.

For a while, London had been good though, especially after Mum. For what it lacked in hued lustre, it made up for by being alive with people, ideas, and the hustling bustle. It was a different kind of pace. A constant rush. Yet, lately I’d craved the stillness and the quiet. So when The Fudge Files, a children’s fiction series that I co-wrote and illustrated with my best friend Catherine Talty, about a talking English bulldog from Cornwall who solves crimes, became a bestseller, we were finally able to escape to the country.

In his own way, Stuart had wanted the move more than I did; he was one of those strange creatures who’d actually grown up in London, and said that this meant it was high time that he tried something else.

In typical Stuart fashion, he had these rather grand ideas about becoming a self-sustaining farmer – something akin to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – and setting up a smallholding similar to Hugh’s River Cottage. The simple fact of it being Cornwall, not Dorset, was considered inconsequential. Which perhaps it was. I had to smile. Our River Cottage was called Sea Cottage (very original that), yet was every bit as exquisite as its namesake, with a rambling half acre of countryside, alongside rugged cliffs that overlooked the aquamarine waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the gorgeous village of Cloudsea with its mile-long meandering ribbon of whitewashed cottages with window frames and doors in every shade of blue imaginable, perched amid the wild, untamed landscape, seemingly amongst the clouds, tumbling down to the sea. It was the place I always dreamt about when someone asked me where I would choose to live if I could magically supplant myself with a snap of my fingers or be granted a single genie’s wish. Cloudsea. And now. . . now we lived here. It was still hard to believe.

So far our ‘livestock’ consisted of four laying hens, two grey cats named Pepper and Pots, and an English bulldog named Muppet – the living, slobbering and singular inspiration behind Detective Sergeant Fudge (Terrier Division) of The Fudge Files, as created by Catherine, Muppet’s official godmother.

Despite Stuart’s noble intentions, he was finding it difficult to come to terms with the idea of keeping animals as anything besides pets. Personally, I was a little grateful for that. We assuaged our consciences though by ensuring that we supported local organic farms, where we were sure that all the animals were humanely treated.

But what we lacked in livestock, Stuart made up for in vegetation. His potager was his pride and joy and even now, in the heart of winter, he kept a polytunnel greenhouse that kept us in fresh vegetables throughout the year. Or at least that was the plan; we’d only been here since late summer. I couldn’t imagine his excitement come spring.

For me Cornwall was both a fresh start and a homecoming. For the first time ever I had my own art studio up in the attic, with dove grey walls, white wooden floors, and a wall full of shelves brimming with all my art supplies; from fine watercolour paper to piles of brushes and paint in every texture and medium that my art-shop-loving heart could afford. The studio, dominated by the mammoth table, with its slim Queen Anne legs, alongside the twin windows, made it a haven, with its view of the rugged countryside and sea. One where I planned to finish writing and illustrating my first solo children’s book.

Now, with our new home and the news that we’d been waiting seven years to hear, it would all be a new start for us.

I was finally, finally pregnant.

Seven rounds of in vitro fertilisation, which had included 2,553 days, 152 pointless fights, five serious, two mortgages, countless stolen tears in the dead of the night in the downstairs bathroom in our old London flat, my fist wedged in my mouth to stem the sound, and infinite days spent wavering between hope and despair, wondering if we should just give up and stop trying. That day, thankfully, hadn’t come.

And now I was twelve weeks pregnant. I still couldn’t believe it. We hadn’t told Dad yet; I didn’t want to get his hopes up, or tempt fate; we’d played that black card before.

Our hopes. . . well, they’d already soared above the stars.

It was why I so desperately wished Mum were here now. It would have made all of this more bearable. She had a way of making sense of the insensible, of offering hope at the darkest times, when all I wanted to do was run away. I missed how we used to sit up late at night by the fire in the living room, a pot of tea on the floor, while Fat Arnold dozed at our feet and she soothed my troubled fears and worries – the most patient of listeners, the staunchest of friends. Now, with so many failed pregnancies, including two miscarriages, the memory of which was like shrapnel embedded in our hearts, so that our lives had been laced with an expectant tinge of despair, primed for the nightmare to unfold, never daring to hope for the alternative; we were encouraged to hope. It was different, everyone said so, and I needed to trust that this time it would finally happen, that we’d finally have a baby, like the doctors seemed to think we would. Stuart had been wonderful, as had Catherine, but I needed Mum really, and her unshakeable, unbreakable faith.

There are a few times in a woman’s life when she needs her mother. For me, my wedding was one and I was lucky to have her there, if luck was what it was, because it seemed to be sheer and utter determination on her part. It had been so important to her to be there, even though all her doctors had told us to say our goodbyes. I will never know what it cost her to hold on the way she did, but she did and she stayed a further two years after that. In the end, it was perhaps the cruellest part, because when she did go, I’d convinced myself that somehow she’d be able to stay.

But this, this was different. I needed her now, more than ever. As I drove, the unstoppable flow of tears pooling in the hollow of my throat, I wished that we could have banked those two years, those two precious years that she had fought so hard and hung on for, so that she could be here with me now when I needed her the most.

 

About Lily Graham

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Lily has been telling stories since she was a child, starting with her imaginary rabbit, Stephanus, and their adventures in the enchanted peach tree in her garden, which she envisioned as a magical portal to Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree. She’s never really got out of the habit of making things up, and still thinks of Stephanus rather fondly.

She lives with her husband and her English bulldog, Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

 

I really hope you enjoyed reading the extract.  If you did then you might want to buy yourselves a copy.  Here are the links for Amazon:-

UK: http://amzn.to/2atWI7G

US: http://amzn.to/2azduwO

 

Links

Facebook – www.facebook.com/LilyRoseGrahamAuthor

Twitter – www.twitter.com/Lilywritesbooks

Website – https://lilygraham.net/

 

 

Blog Blitz – ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ by Tilly Tennant

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Congratulations to Tilly Tennant whose book, ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ is out today.  With it’s lovely cover you are bound to start feeling that little bit Christmassy.  To celebrate, Bookouture thought it would be great if there was a blog blitz and I’m really happy to be a part of it.  I asked Tilly some questions.  I hope you enjoy my interview with her.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ please?

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery takes us back to the village of Honeybourne to catch up with the characters of The Little Village Bakery. It’s Christmas, so Honeybourne is sparkling with newly fallen snow and buzzing with anticipation for the festivities. But as usual, the holiday season is not plain sailing for everyone. This book centres around Dylan’s friend, Spencer, and a new arrival at the bakery, Darcie, who is Millie’s cousin. Everyone is keeping secrets and everyone seems to be having some battle or another – whether it is against forbidden love or warring parents, and peace and goodwill to all men seems a long way off!

 

When did you start working on this book?

I started it in February of this year, suffering from post-Christmas blues and wishing we could have it back!

 

Where did you get the idea for this novel from?

Really it was just a natural progression of where we had left the story at the end of The Little Village Bakery. People wanted to know what had happened to certain characters and I was only too happy to find out along with them!

 

What’s it like writing a Christmas book at a different time of the year?

Because this one was written only just after Christmas it didn’t seem too weird. But last year I was writing a Christmas book in July and that was very weird. It’s hard to get in the zone when it’s thirty degrees outside your window and everyone is eating ice-cream!

 

What do you hope readers get from your book?

If they get a few hours of a new world to escape to and a nice feeling at the end, I will be happy I’ve done my job well.

 

Do you have a village bakery near you?

One or two fantastic ones, although they’re more city bakeries as I don’t live in a village. They do make good cakes, though.

 

Have you ever wanted to start your own bakery business?

God no, I’d be hopeless! Much easier to write about a business than run one!

 

What’s your favourite cake?

Cake. Basically I love nearly all cake!

 

When will your next book be out?

Christmas at the Little Village Bakery is out today. I’m currently working on a new series set in Rome and the first one of that is due out in the spring of next year.

 

What’s your advice for anyone wanting to write their first novel?

Stop worrying about whether it will be good or bad and just write it! So many people tell me they would love to write a book but the fear of it being rubbish stops them.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love getting out and about with my teenage daughters. I do like baking but I’m not very good at it. I like going for walks and seeing new places. If I could afford to be on holiday every week I would!

 

Finally, what will you be doing this Christmas?

Collapsing after the mental year 2016 has been! In all seriousness, it will probably just be a quiet family Christmas, but sometimes they are the nicest ones, aren’t they? I’ll be enjoying the break and getting fired up for 2017.

 

About Tilly Tennant

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From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

 

Links

‘Christmas at the Little Village Bakery’ is available to buy from:-

UK: http://amzn.to/29glVkf

US: http://amzn.to/295yTw0

Tilly Tennant’s Website – www.tillytennant.com

 

Guest Post by Nigel May

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Nigel May’s gritty and glamorous new novel, Deadly Obsession, sees some explosive, sexy, murderous action taking placing at The Kitty Kat nightclub. To celebrate its launch, Nigel filled us in on the top 10 tunes that are guaranteed to see him hot-footing it to the nearest dance floor.

 

My Top 10 Dance Floor Fillers

  1. DEAD OR ALIVE
    You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
    An awesome tune that reminds me of being a teenager and listening to the Top 40 charts on the radio every week to see if your favourite song has reached No.1. When this did I was so pleased as I’d already bought about three different versions of it!
  2. BEE GEES
    Tragedy
    This seems kind of apt given what happens at The Kitty Kat nightclub in Deadly Obsession! Poor Amy, for her that night is a real tragedy! I love 70s disco and nobody did it better than the Bee Gees. Such a great tune, although trying to sing it gives me a sore throat as the pitch is so high. It’s how they wore those tight trousers!
  3. ABBA
    Dancing Queen
    The best band ever! Nobody tops Abba for poppy joy and Dancing Queen is a song that will live on forever. Laura and Amy in the book are the ultimate dancing queens, they love to throw a move or two.
  4. DAVID GUETTA AND KELLY ROWLAND
    When Love Takes Over
    Happy summer vibes. Makes you want to go to the nearest beach, throw off your flip flops and feel the sand between your toes while sipping on a huge fruit-covered cocktail.
  5. KIM WILDE
    You Came
    Another blast of 80s pop that I adore. Kim Wilde is such a great singer and she’s kind of been the soundtrack to my life. I have loved her ever since Kids In America back in the early 80s.
  6. DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES
    The Happening
    Great Motown songs will always see me on the dance floor and even though Diana Ross and The Supremes have sung many awesome toe-tapping songs this will always be my favourite as it’s so upbeat and jolly.
  7. MARK RONSON
    Uptown Funk
    A modern classic. A huge slab of bass beat and a corking set of vocals. Is there anyone on earth who doesn’t like dancing to this?
  8. WHAM!
    Club Tropicana
    Another sunshine-dipped sound of summer. Chilled out on holiday around a swimming pool with this on the radio and a good book in my hand…bliss!
  9. CHER
    Believe
    A brilliant dance tune with those wobbly electric vocals that always seem fun to sing along with when you’ve had a drink or two. Every karaoke night out should include a bit of Cher.
  10. SIA
    Chandelier
    Wonderful vocals, a fabulous video and a song that I have to turn up full blast on the CD player in my car to try and sing along. Luckily Sia’s brilliant voice drowns out the nightmare that is my own! I gave it a mention in Deadly Obsession as it is one of the best tunes from the last few years. I adore it.

 

DEADLY OBSESSION by Nigel May

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UK: http://amzn.to/1Np85tH

US: http://amzn.to/1Xb5Bnk

What would you do if you saw your husband killed right in front of you … identified his body … had him cremated … then six months later received a letter written by him two days ago?

Amy Barrowman grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. So when she falls in love with millionaire Riley Hart and he asks her to marry him she can’t believe her luck. She has found true love and her happy ever after.

Riley Hart is a Millionaire Man about Town. Men want to be him and women want to bed him. But to achieve Riley’s status, you have to tread on a lot of toes and make a lot of enemies.

When Riley is gunned down at the nightclub they own, Amy is determined to avenge his death. She receives a mysterious letter detailing a list of suspects including Riley’s sworn enemy, actor Grant Wilson. But with an obsessive passion brewing between her and Grant and a dangerous assassin trailing her every move it would seem Amy has opened a deadly and tempting Pandora’s Box. In settling the score for her husband has Amy put herself into terrible danger?

Website: www.nigelmay.net

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Nigel_May

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nigel.may

 

Interview with Caroline Mitchell

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I would like to congratulate Caroline Mitchell whose new book, ‘Don’t Turn Around’ is out today.  Caroline has kindly answered some questions for me.

 

How does it feel to have a new book out?

Hi Sonya, thanks for having me. It feels like a dream come true to see the story I carried in my head become something other people can read. I am truly grateful to the people who have helped me bring this to fruition.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘Don’t Turn Around’ please?

Don’t Turn Around is a haunting crime thriller, and very different to any other crime book on the market. DC Jennifer Knight works in the sleepy town of Haven with her partner Will. She complains that nothing ever happens, but all of that changes when she discovers a serial killer is on the loose, and they are copying the murders of a killer her mother helped convict when she was just a child. Is a copycat killer on the loose? Or is something far more sinister at play? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

 

Where did you get the idea for your book from?

I work as a full time police officer, and I enjoy bringing my readers into a busy police environment and showing them what it’s like to interview a suspect. I have also experienced real life paranormal activity in my home, and I wrote a book of my experiences called Paranormal Intruder. It made sense when I wrote my first novel that I would infuse my experiences in both the police and paranormal to create a chilling crime thriller. People have told me it’s a fast paced hide-under-the-duvet crime novel so I think it’s worked quite well. 🙂

 

Can you relate to any of your characters?

Unfortunately I’m not an obsessive cleaner like DC Jennifer Knight, but I can relate to her on so many other levels. Working in the police is tiring with very long hours but you never know what each day will bring. I also empathise with Jennifer as she struggles to understand what is going on around her, and does not know who to confide in. I felt like that when strange things started occurring in my home. One minute you’re a capable person, and the next you’re someone who is completely helpless from forces beyond your understanding.

 

Are there any other writing projects on the go?

I absolutely adore writing and I have another crime series in my head that I’m dying to get down on paper. But first I’m finishing off the DC Jennifer Knight series, and book two is set to be very suspenseful. I’ve actually been on edge writing it myself!

 

Did you always want to write?

I was a real daydreamer as a child and English and Art were my favourite subjects in school. However, I never considered actually writing a book until my husband nagged me to tell our true story. After that, I was bit by the writing bug and had to keep going.

 

Has social media been a big help to you?

Oh gosh yes! My first book was self published and did pretty well. Sometimes people email me for advice on getting their book noticed. My advice is to get online and start networking, because you could have the best story in the world, but you’re not going to sell it if nobody knows about it. I feel so fortunate to have met so many new friends through Facebook and Twitter. These are the people that make dreams come true. I cannot thank the wonderful book bloggers, readers and fellow authors enough for their support. (I’m getting all emotional now so I’ll stop here!)

 

Do you have a favourite place in which to write?

It depends on my mood. I’m very fortunate to live near the beach so sometimes I’ll drive down there and sit in the car with my laptop overlooking the sea. I have a nice study, which I recently redecorated. There’s a quote on my chalkboard wall that says ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done.’ I also have nice Buddha’s, candles, and incense. It’s a very inspirational room … when my kids aren’t knocking on the door demanding my time that is!

 

About Caroline Mitchell

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Caroline, a detective, lives with her husband, four children and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex.

Three years ago, Caroline encountered true paranormal activity from an unknown entity in their home. A writer at heart, Caroline documented her experiences and wrote a book in the hope of helping others. She discovered a passion for writing and based her fiction thrillers on the two subjects she is most passionate about: crime and the paranormal.

 

Follow Caroline on Twitter – @Caroline_writes

Caroline’s Website – http://www.caroline-writes.com

‘The Stolen Girl’ by Renita D’Silva

The Stolen Girl

‘The Stolen Girl’ was published by Bookouture on Friday 12th September 2014.  I was very kindly given a copy of this book to review.  This is Renita D’Silva’s third novel.

How far would YOU go to protect your child?

That is the thought provoking question asked in this story.

Diya is thirteen years old and for as long as she can remember it has always been just her and her mum, Vani. She doesn’t even know who her dad is.  Over the years they have moved many times, never settling down anywhere properly.  But things are about to change.  In the blink of an eye Diya’s fragile world is shattered when her mum is arrested, accused of abducting Diya as a baby.

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, never totally relaxed. She wants the best for her daughter and will do anything to protect her.  Life is going to be even harder for Vani now, but she will fight for Diya no matter what the outcome.

I had the feeling that I would enjoy reading this book. ‘The Stolen Girl’ has been split into five parts with each one being either in the past or present.  The story is narrated throughout by the three main characters Diya, Vani and Aarti.

All three characters had a tough time of it one way or the other, especially poor Vani.  I felt sorry for Aarti and what she went through in her childhood and although in a way it was understandable, I didn’t like the way she treated others.  It’s a pity she couldn’t move on.

I can tell that a lot of thought, work and care has gone into writing this novel. I really like the writing style and the way the story has been presented.  I found it easy to follow without getting confused.  Renita writes beautifully and describes things in such a colourful and wonderful way. The way she described the food made my mouth water.  I could almost see it being laid out on the table.

‘The Stolen Girl’ is a heart-breaking story about friendship, betrayal, possessiveness, love and motherhood.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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