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Blog Tour – ‘The Darkness Within’ by Lisa Stone

‘The Darkness Within’ was published on the 13th July 2017 in paperback and as an eBook by Avon.  I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour.  I have an extract for all of you to read but first here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

From global bestseller Cathy Glass comes a gripping new crime novel under the name Lisa Stone.

You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?

 

Extract

Chapter 8 pp. 46-47

Continuously examined by doctors who discussed him as though he was theirs, so that he felt his body was no longer his own. Everyone seemed to have a claim on it and knew more about it than he did. And all the advice about his recovery, although necessary and well meant, had become suffocating, as was being constantly fussed over, not only by the nurses but by his parents and Eloise. Some blokes might have enjoyed all the attention but he didn’t; it had reduced him to a childlike dependency, humiliating and degrading. It would be a sharp learning curve before his parents and Eloise saw him as an inde­pendent bloke again, if he’d ever been one, which he was starting to doubt.

He’d had too much time to think in hospital; indeed there hadn’t been much else to do. He’d spent hours, days thinking about his life – the years before his illness. Gradually he’d come to see that he’d never carved out an identity, a will, a personality of his own. He’d always toed the line, done as he was told and what was expected of him. He’d worked hard at school, learnt to play the organ so he could help out in church, been polite to his father’s parishioners, and had tolerated the down-and-outs and misfits who’d arrived regularly at their door in the city looking for help and a handout. Even as a teenager he hadn’t rebelled. In fact he’d been a bit of a mummy’s boy. And away at university he could only remember one instance of drunk and loutish behaviour, before he’d joined the Christian Union and met Eloise.

Eloise was a nice girl; kind, well-mannered and polite. His parents had taken an immediate liking to her and were soon treating her like the daughter they’d never had.

Jacob was looking forward to seeing her again tonight and hopefully having sex – the first time since he couldn’t remember when – sometime before he’d become really ill. When he stayed the night at her house her parents gave them a double room, but when she stayed with him his mother showed her to the guest room. They then had to wait until his parents were asleep before he could creep along the landing and into Eloise’s room to make love to her. Although he apologized for his parents’ Victorian and prudish attitude, he had to admit that the secret risqué nature of their liaison added to his enjoyment.

Tonight, however, there was an additional hurdle to be overcome. The list of dos and don’ts included post-operative sex with the warning that his breastbone mustn’t be put under any pressure until it was fully healed, which ruled out the missionary position – the one they usually used. After some thought Jacob decided that the best way – perhaps the only way – would be for her to sit astride him as he lay on his bed. And as he pictured this, the conservative, rather prim Eloise bouncing up and down on his erect penis, it caused it to come to life. A very good sign, he thought, for one of the possible side effects of his medication was impotence, which would require more pills and be yet another blow to his manhood.

 

About Lisa Stone

“As a writer of suspense thrillers I often ask myself what if? What if this happened instead of that? Or why a particular person reacted as they did. So often fact is stranger than fiction; these books start with a fact which I develop.”

Lisa Stone lives in England, has 3 children, and 27 books published under the pseudonym Cathy Glass, many of which have become bestsellers.

 

Links

‘The Darkness Within’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkness-Within-Lisa-Stone/dp/0008236690/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501522609&sr=1-1&keywords=the+darkness+within

Twitter – @LisaStoneBooks

 

Interview with PJ Whiteley

I am delighted to have PJ Whiteley back on my blog.  His new book, ‘Marching on Together’ was published last month and I asked him all about it.

 

As you know I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Marching on Together’ when it was a work in progress.  For the benefit of my readers can you tell me a bit about it please?

Thanks Sonya. Marching on Together is about belonging, family and memory, with a hint of romance. A short description would be: ‘Last Orders meets Fever Pitch’. It follows six Leeds United supporters, two of them brothers, on a sojourn to Bruges and the Flanders battlefields in August 2014, for the centenary of the start of the First World War. Yvonne, a central character, has cause to reflect on how a sporting controversy from 1975 continues to haunt her. She was caught up in some post-match violence after a major final, then a transport strike; the combination knocked her young life off course, for reasons that become clearer as you read the book. At the age of 56 in 2014, she has the opportunity to reflect, but also, finally, to move on.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

I love to combine depth and humour, and to have characters reflect on the most profound matters in quite mundane settings. Other writers can do war, murder and tragedy; I’m more fascinated by how a seemingly small turn of events can alter our life course, and even how we view the world, a bit like in the movie Sliding Doors. Sport and a sense of identity and belonging are also fascinating themes for me.

 

Are you a sports fan?

Yes, and I like to explore the comedy and tension that can lie when one person is devoted to a sport and their significant other is not! In Marching on Together I invert the stereotype because Yvonne is the obsessive football watcher and her husband becomes disenchanted, and feels left out. In Bruges, she has a bit of an argument with a German football fan, but then discovers he loves the band Genesis, and they bond over that. Plus, she fancies him.

 

What do you hope readers will get from ‘Marching on Together’?

I’ve had some very positive feedback, and strong start to sales; I think people engage with the characters. There’s drama in the fine line that can separate good and bad fortune in life – whether it’s on the football field or in your love life.

 

What would you do if one of your characters knocked on your door?

They wouldn’t dare: I know too much about them 😉

 

Can we look forward to more books from you?

Yes. I will write books for as long as I’m breathing. The third novel is called The Rooms We Never Enter, and it’s a spin-off from Marching on Together; it’s a romance, and there’s only a little sport this time!

 

Can you describe Urbane Publications in twenty words?

Urbane Publications is an innovative, independent publisher that dares to publish original voices and empowers authors. It deserves success.

 

How has social media helped you?

Facebook and Twitter are essential for an author, when you don’t have a huge publicity budget. You can build a readership, and engage with existing readers.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

From my first magazine editor Roy (can’t remember his surname), in 1988: ‘Tell such a strong story, in such an elegant style, that the reader doesn’t notice it’s written; they’re just caught up in the narrative.’

 

If you had a second chance at life would you still write books?

Yes, and I would start at a younger age.

 

Who are your favourite authors?

I love a lot of the greats: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens. I’d like to give special mention to two very underrated post-war British authors: David Lodge and David Nobbs, whom I’ve sought to emulate in combining humour and depth. Javier Marias is an astounding author, so is Donna Tartt and Louis de Bernieres.

 

If you were only allowed one book on your bookcase what would it be?

La Peste, by Albert Camus, still the finest novel I’ve ever read: poetic, beautiful, bleak in its description of the harshness of fate, yet heart-warming in its portrayal of human friendship, funny and astonishingly profound, philosophically and politically.

 

 

Links

‘Marching on Together’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/marching-on-together/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marching-Together-P-J-Whiteley/dp/1911129333/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1489606690&sr=1-1

‘Close of Play’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/close-of-play/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Close-Play-Philip-Whiteley-ebook/dp/B01080YEAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458070338&sr=1-1&keywords=close+of+play

Website – http://www.whiteleywords.com/

Blog – http://felipewh.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @Felipewh

Blog Tour – ‘In Her Wake’ by Amanda Jennings

Blog Tour Poster

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this blog tour.  ‘In Her Wake’ has already been on one hell of a journey this year and it’s only April.  It’s been published as an eBook, limited edition hardback of which I am the proud owner of a copy and now it’s out in paperback as well.  How amazing is that!

Imagine living your life and then one day discovering that it was all a lie and that you are not who you think you are.  Unthinkable isn’t it?  That’s exactly what happened to Bella.  When a tragic family event turns her whole world upside down, Bella makes the decision to find out the truth.  After a bit of digging around she embarks on a trip to Cornwall where past betrayals and 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

You know when you open a book, read the first page and you know straightaway that it’s for you?  Well, I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed ‘In Her Wake’.  It’s a truly wonderful and beautifully written story which I absolutely loved.  Full of twists and turns and shocking revelations it kept me reading and dying to know what was going to happen next.

There were some interesting characters in this story.  I really wasn’t too keen on Bella’s husband David though.  He was a control freak and that together with the suffocating childhood she had did nothing to really help Bella, though at the time I guess she wouldn’t have seen it that way.  I think she was very brave to go it alone and discover the truth for herself.  It helped her grow as a person.  What Henry and Elaine did was totally wrong and not acceptable at all but as you’ll find out later there was a reason why they did what they did.

I enjoyed reading about Cornwall where the story is mostly set.  It sounds beautiful and is a place I would really like to visit one day.

I have already read a number of great books this year but ‘In Her Wake’ is definitely on my list of favourites.  This is one brilliant psychological thriller which I won’t forget in a hurry.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

About Amanda Jennings

Author Photo

Amanda Jennings made her literary début with the internationally bestselling novel Sworn Secret. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was optioned by a film and television production company shortly after release. She is fascinated by the ways people react to trauma and deal with its long-lasting effects, and also the complex relationships within a family unit. She used to work at the BBC, but now writes full-time and looks after her three daughters and a menagerie of animals. She writes a popular blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club. She enjoys running writing workshops, is a judge for the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition, and is involved with the Womentoring Project, which offers free mentoring by professional literary women to talented up-and-coming female writers who might otherwise not have access to such an opportunity. She is a regular speaker at festivals and book events, combining her childhood love of the stage with her love of writing. She likes to be active, preferably beside the sea or at the top of a snow-covered mountain, and when she isn’t writing she can usually be found walking her dog and enjoying the peace and solitude of the great outdoors.

 

‘In Her Wake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Wake-Amanda-Jennings-ebook/dp/B016721USK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460204931&sr=1-1&keywords=in+her+wake

 

 

‘Silver Rain’ by Jan Ruth

Silver Rain

Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic.  She very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Silver Rain’ to review a while back.

After failing to save his marriage, Alastair Black decides to return to his childhood home at Chathill Farm for a while.  His brother George isn’t very welcoming though and would rather that he isn’t there.

Kate has recently lost her husband and is finding that she is increasingly being put upon by her daughter, sister and mother.  At over fifty years of age she is already beginning to feel that her life is over, until she meets Alastair that is.  He is everything she isn’t but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye and it is up to Kate to find out what that is.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Silver Rain’.  Told by the two main characters, Al and Kate, I found myself feeling as if I knew them both.  I loved the setting of this story.  Chathill Farm sounded lovely.

It was obvious from the start that Al and Kate were attracted to one another, but things weren’t that straightforward.  In fact it was all very complicated.  For a start off Al had lots of skeletons in the cupboard, one of which was a bit of a shocker.  Al had a great sense of humour, but he was a very sad and lonely man.  I felt sorry for him and wished that he and Kate would get together.

I thought Fran was just so lovely.  She doted on the animals she took in at Chathill Farm.  If money wasn’t an object I reckon Fran would have possibly opened an animal sanctuary.

I’m so glad that I read ‘Silver Rain’.  I think it’s great that Jan Ruth has written a novel where the characters are that little bit older and I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

‘Silver Rain’ is available to buy on Amazon:-

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silver-Rain-Jan-Ruth-ebook/dp/B00GS87VW8/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453405859&sr=1-6&keywords=jan+ruth

To find out more about Jan Ruth and her books visit her website – http://janruth.com/

 

‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan

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Today is the first day of this blog tour in which we are celebrating Darcie Chan’s second novel, ‘The Mill River Redemption’ which is being published tomorrow by Sphere.

 

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I was asked if I would like to review ‘The Mill River Redemption’.  I had never heard of Darcie Chan until then but the book sounded both interesting and intriguing so I decided to give it a go especially as it is recommended for fans of Maeve Binchy whose books I absolutely love.

Josie DiSanti had no idea about what was about to happen and she certainly didn’t expect to lose her husband.  With no way to support herself and her two young children, Josie has little choice but to go and live in the small town of Mill River with her Aunt Ivy.  Rose and Emily, Josie’s daughters, are totally inseparable and look out for each other whilst they are growing up.  But then something tragic and unforgiveable happens which tears the two sisters apart and they go their own separate ways.

Many years later, Rose and Emily are contacted with news that their mother has died and they find themselves back in Mill River for the reading of her will.  Josie tried her best to get her daughters talking again but was unsuccessful in her attempts.  Still determined she has left them a task in which she hopes they will work together and reconcile their differences.  In order to comply with her wishes Rose and Emily must move to Mill River and live in neighbouring houses.  The two sisters reluctantly get on with the task at hand.  But will they succeed in completing it and will it bring them together?

I really liked the cover.  The colours go well together and it is such a lovely peaceful image.  I wouldn’t of minded living in one of those houses.  Set in 2013, this novel goes back and forth from 1983 onwards so that the reader gets to learn the whole story.  The chapters which are based in the past are clearly marked.

Out of the two sisters, Emily was my favourite.  I found it hard to warm to Rose even though she had issues and needed help desperately.  I absolutely loved Aunt Ivy and reading about her bookstore.  I could have spent hours in there!  I wasn’t sure what I thought about the twist towards the end of the story.  It was a bit of a shocker and rather drastic.

This story is about family, love, forgiveness and facing up to your problems.

Having enjoyed ‘The Mill River Redemption’, I do hope to get round to reading ‘The Mill River Recluse’ at some point soon as it is about one of the earlier character’s mentioned in this story.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

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Darcie Chan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Her second novel, The Mill River Redemption, is also set in the fictional town of Mill River. Darcie has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. She writes fiction full-time and lives just north of New York City with her husband and son.

Follow her on twitter @DarcieChan

 

‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan (Sphere) is available as an eBook from tomorrow.

‘A Place for Us – Part One’ by Harriet Evans

A Place for Us - One

Today saw the publication by Headline Review of the first of four instalments of this book.  It is available in ebook with the next part due out on the 28th August 2014.  The complete novel will be published in January 2015.  I was kindly sent a copy to review.

The story starts off with an element of intrigue.  It is August 2012 and Martha Winter’s eightieth birthday is fast approaching.  She had made a huge decision, one which is set to change things for good.  It’s time to tell all.  But how will Martha go about doing this?

The first part of ‘A Place for Us’ gives the reader a good introduction to the Winter family with each chapter being narrated by an individual character.  I felt that this worked well as it told me a lot about their lives.  I also like the way the story has been set in different locations.

A complex family with secrets from the past, I reckon Part Two is when things will really start to hot up.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I give the first part of ‘A Place for Us’ 4 out of 5.

 

‘The Lemon Grove’ by Helen Walsh

The Lemon Grove

I was sent a proof copy of ‘The Lemon Grove’ to review by Georgina Moore from Headline Publishing Group.  This is Helen Walsh’s brand new novel and it is being published by Tinder Press tomorrow.  The title of this book is one thing which drew me to it.  It sounds really lovely.

Jenn and her husband Greg are on holiday in Deia, a village in the west coast of Mallorca.  It’s where they go every year for their break.  But this summer things are about to change.  Jenn’s stepdaughter Emma and her boyfriend Nathan are going to be joining them both in a week’s time and it feels as if they will be sharing their holiday with a stranger.

The first time Jenn sets eyes on Nathan is when he comes into the kitchen.  He seems to stir something unexpected in her right from the start and she finds herself becoming attracted to him.  As Jenn is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan’s youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession starts to blur.  A highly-charged liaison takes place which puts both lives and relationships at risk.

One of the first things to impress me about this novel was the wonderful descriptions of Mallorca.  I almost felt as if I was there especially when it came to reading about the beach and the market.  Helen Walsh certainly has an eye for detail.

I enjoyed ‘The Lemon Grove’ right from the start.  This story is amongst other things about forbidden passion.  Shocking and deliciously erotic it kept me reading on.  The only thing I didn’t like was a particularly crude sexual reference.  I felt that it could have been replaced with another word.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

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