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Archive for the tag “paperback”

Blog Tour – ‘Shadows of Regret’ by Ross Greenwood ~ @CarolineBookBit @greenwoodross

‘Shadows of Regret’ is Ross Greenwood’s new book.  It was published as an eBook on the 20th January 2019 and is also available in paperback.

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Caroline Vincent of Bits about Books for inviting me to participate.  Thanks also to Ross Greenwood and Caroline for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption or take revenge?

 

From the #1 bestselling author of Fifty Years of Fear, SHADOWS OF REGRET is the unforgettable story of a woman’s struggle to rejoin society.

Katie committed a terrible crime. Sixteen years was the price she had to pay.

Once released from prison, she finds the world has changed. Her chances appear bleak, but Katie is a survivor.

Isolated and alone, she struggles to make sense of her new life. Starting again isn’t easy, especially after what she’s done.

Despite not feeling free or safe, Katie overcomes her fears and confronts the future. But history won’t remain forgotten.

Gradually, memories of the past are revealed. When Katie finally exposes the awful truth and sees there are others who share the blame, she must choose her path.

Will she seek redemption, or will she take revenge?

 

“If you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant’s journey but prefer your stories darker, this is perfect for you.”

There are writers, good writers and ones that have the power of words to captivate you in an instant. Ross Greenwood has this in spades.”

 

My Review

This is the third book I have read by Ross Greenwood. I really do like his style of writing and I found ‘Shadows of Regret’ to be extremely thought provoking. The chapters were mostly very short which was great because it meant I could sneak in a couple here and there.

The story starts with Katie who is being released from prison after sixteen years, having committed a terrible crime. I was intrigued as to what exactly she had done to have been given such a long sentence. Through her memories I learnt about her childhood and what led to her being imprisoned. I felt so very sad for her. At one point it seemed that her life was changing for the better. She at last had the same opportunities that other children had; a loving family, days out, and then just like that her happiness was snatched away from her. Tragic really.

Out of all the characters I liked Sally and Katie the best. I was really routing for Katie and wanted her to be able to start afresh and make some sort of life for herself. Easier said than done though as she was about to find out. Sadly she can’t forget the past and as memories of what happened to her surface, she realises that others were also at fault. She has to decide what to do and it’s not an easy decision to make.

Although what Katie and other women like her did was unacceptable in the eyes of the law, they were actually just as much victims as they were criminals. What some of them went through was horrific. You can surely only take so much before you snap.

‘Shadows of Regret’ will keep you reading on. It’s dark, gripping and a real eye opener. Ross Greenwood certainly knows how to tell a good story. I hope that there will be many more books from him.

 

About Ross Greenwood

Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. The year 2018 saw the publication of his next psychological thriller, Abel’s Revenge. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.
Please feel free to get in touch on www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

 

Author Links

Author Website: www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenwoodross

Amazon Author Page: Author.to/RossGreenwood

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/authors/ross-greenwood

GoodReads: bit.ly/RossGreenwood-GR

 

Books by Ross Greenwood

The Dark Lives Series:
#1 Fifty Years of Fear – Getbook.at/FiftyYearsofFear
#2 The Boy Inside – Getbook.at/TheBoyInside
#3 Lazy Blood – Getbook.at/LazyBlood

Abel’s Revenge – Getbook.at/AbelsRevenge
Shadows of Regret – Getbook.at/ShadowsofRegret

Interview with Rory Dunlop

author-picture

‘What We Didn’t Say’ is Rory Dunlop’s debut novel and it’s out today in paperback, published by Twenty7.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Rory.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘What We Didn’t Say’ please?

It’s a novel about a marriage, told by the husband and the wife.  They love each other but they separate because of a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications.  Then, two years, later they meet up.  They want to get back together but they’re each hiding secrets from the other.  It’s written in the form of a diary by the husband, with comments from the wife.

book-cover

Where did you get your ideas from for this book?

I’ve always loved unreliable narrator books, like Lolita or The Sea, the Sea.  I enjoy, as a reader, seeing things the narrator can’t.  I thought it would be fun to have two competing unreliable narrators telling the same story.  I’d never seen it done before.

 

Do you see yourself in any of the characters?

There’s a fair amount of me in Jack, the husband.  He’s a bit more insecure and anxious than me but it wouldn’t take too many changes before I found myself thinking like him.  There’s also rather a smug and insensitive barrister who appears briefly.  I don’t see myself in him.  It’s the opposite – he’s the person I try to avoid being at work.

 

Would you like to know any of them for real?

Yes! Absolutely!  I identify with Jack, I think Laura’s cool and I have a particular soft spot for Adam, who is very similar to one of my best friends.  I sent an early draft to a publisher who said ‘I love the concept but I can’t stand Jack and Laura.  I suspect Dunlop intended this but…’  I was horrified.  I hadn’t intended it all.  Jack and Laura were meant to be flawed but likeable – that was how I saw them.  I had to do an exhaustive re-draft after that.

 

Are you currently working on any other writing projects?

No.  I’m trying to earn a living!  Literary fiction is not all that well-paid and I have two children.  I would love to write another novel but I’ll just have to see how this one does.  I have a plot in mind – a courtroom drama.

 

Would you like to see ‘What We Didn’t Say’ made into a film?

Of course!  Then I could definitely justify taking the time off work to write another one.

 

Do you have a favourite place where you do your writing?

Not really.  Just not on a laptop, otherwise it does my back in after a while.  The key thing with writing, I think, is having the time, rather than the place.  You can’t, or at least I couldn’t, write a novel in the mornings or evenings before or after work.  You need weeks at a time with nothing else to think about.  I’m extremely lucky to be self-employed and able to find that time.

 

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

Two things: get help and, if you enjoy doing it, don’t give up.  The first is the most important.  I thought, when I started, that it all had to come from me, that creative writing was an inherent talent you either had or didn’t have and that tuition was cheating.  That’s all nonsense.  It’s a skill, like any other, and there are tricks and techniques.  Go on Arvon course.  Do an MA.  Find a creative writing tutor.  I learned more about writing prose in 15 minutes with Jim Crace than in a lifetime of reading novels.

 

What made you decide to write?

There are so many reasons that made me want to write: because I love reading, because I don’t express my feelings often enough, because I’m terrified of death etc.  The novels I love most are the ones which make you think about your own life – the ones where you can see, perfected into sentences, ideas or thoughts that have fleeted through your mind.  There’s so much all of us think about that we never express.  It’s a joy to try to tease those half-thoughts out into words.  If you don’t try, there’s a part of your personality that no one will ever know, that will disappear forever when you’re dead.

 

What else do you enjoy doing? 

I love playing most forms of sport: cricket, football, tennis, golf etc.  Now, with a demanding job and two kids, I don’t find time to play cricket or golf or tennis and I’m down to one game of 5 a side football a week.  The guy who organises it, on whom we all depend, is having a baby and we’re all terrified it will come to a halt without him.  If you’re reading this, and you fancy playing football in Acton on Tuesday nights, get in touch on twitter!

 

Has social media been useful for you?

It’s hard to tell.  You put something out on twitter and you just don’t know how many people read it or how many of them take the trouble to buy or read your book as a result.  The main impact of social media, to be honest, has been to make me feel jealous.  When I read newspapers I skip over the book reviews as all the 5 star reviews for other people are a downer.  Now, on twitter following lots of writers and book bloggers, I can’t avoid it.  Every time I look, there’s ten more novels that I’m told are brilliant and topping bestseller lists.  It feels like my novel will be lost in the deluge.

 

What type of books do you read?

I like novels that have beautiful prose.  If they can make me laugh, that’s even better.  For example, I’ve recently got into David Szalay and Joshua Ferris – they’re both incredible prose-writers and very funny.

 

‘What We Didn’t Say’ is available to buy on Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Didnt-Say-Rory-Dunlop/dp/178577042X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

Guest Post by Simon Michael + Competition

Book Cover

Simon Michael’s novel, ‘The Brief’ is out in paperback on the 28th September, published by Urbane Publications Limited.  I am very pleased to be hosting a guest post by Simon Michael on my blog.

~~~~~

I guess mothers are always proud of their sons. I’m tempted to say Jewish mothers especially so, but I suspect Asian, Italian and African mothers – indeed all mothers – are no different. So the publication of a mother’s son’s first novel was never likely to pass unnoticed. And while it’s easy to deflect the “So, when can I read it?” during the gestation period, it’s more difficult after it’s been accepted for publication; more difficult still once the proofs have arrived; pretty much impossible once proofed, mere weeks before publication. She wants a copy of the book – several copies in fact – one to read, one to show her friends at the bridge club, and one for “best” to lie artfully on her coffee table, my photograph ready to greet her guests. And there’s the difficulty. There are sex scenes. Sex scenes which, if I’ve written them properly, will make the reader’s blood pump slightly faster, their pupils dilate and their breathing catch slightly in their chests. It’s not just sex; it’s sexy.

Of course, I can tell her that the book isn’t autobiographical, and there is much truth in that. But all authors draw on personal experience even if they then twist, expand and embellish. The uncle who might have been the genesis of a character in the book becomes almost unrecognisable by the end. That’s when the writing process is at its best – when characters start breathing, speaking and acting for themselves. When that spark of life you have tried to breathe into them suddenly glows of its own accord and – what do you know? – the character starts acting in ways which you would never have expected. But still…they start life rooted in real experience. Just like those sex scenes. And while I may not have done precisely what the characters are doing, it’s close enough.

My mother’s no prude, and she isn’t shockable. In fact on the extremely rare occasions when she has one sherry too many, she is liable to tell quite a risque joke. [1] And when I was little, and I asked how babies were made, she gave me a precise and extremely detailed explanation, using proper biological terminology and diagrams, until my seven-year-old eyes glazed over and I became so bored that I didn’t ask again for another five years.

But still… I cannot escape from embarrassment as I picture my mother reading in detail what I may, or may not, have been doing with parts of my body she last saw in (or, more accurately, out of) swimming trunks several decades ago. I’m married with children, so we both know I figured out what to do with those parts long ago. But still… demonstrating the detail of my knowledge is something else. And it’s not just the technical aspects of the act… it’s the… peripheral stuff… less procreative, but more fun.

The situation takes me straight back to when I was 14 or 15 and my mother insisted on taking my younger brother and me to the cinema on the last day of half term. I knew all my mates would be there, in the back row, and I resisted going, but to no avail. She was on a mission, and she thought it would be fun. After the lights went up at the end and we filed out, and my mother’s eyes lighted on the canoodling couples in the back row, several boys’ hands indiscreetly inside the clothing of several of the girls. “Oh,” she commented, rather too loudly, as we were forced by the exiting crowds to pause at the end of the row. “Isn’t that disgusting? You wouldn’t do anything like that, would you?” My mates all grinned at me, and I knew I was in for it on the Monday. Of course I would have done something just like that, given the chance. I used to dream of getting that lucky, and if mum hadn’t insisted on taking me to the cinema, I’d have hoped to be in the back row with them.

But I’m no longer 14 or 15. I’m a man of the world, and there really is no need for me to be embarrassed… is there?

I know I can’t avoid it any further. She knows my contract allows me a certain number of copies and she’s placed her order. In any event, there’s always Amazon. So, no amount of equivocation or explication is going to help. She will read it, sex scenes and all… and I will do my best not to blush.

__________________________

[1]  And seeing as you asked, here it is: A young man takes a young lady on a first date to the cinema. After draping his arm nonchalantly around her shoulders for the first half of the film, and receiving no rebuff, he puts his hand on her knee. Then he gradually moved his hand up her thigh. The young lady lets him continue for a few inches, but then slaps away his hand. “Manners!” she hisses. “Tits first!”

‘The Brief’ can be pre-ordered now, but if you don’t want to wait the eBook can be downloaded from Urbane Publications website:-

http://urbanepublications.com/books/the-brief/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brief-Simon-Michael/dp/191069200X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1442151944&sr=8-1&keywords=the+brief+simon+Michael

 

About Simon Michael

Author

Simon Michael was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1978. In his many years of prosecuting and defending criminal cases he has dealt with a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy.

A storyteller all his life, Simon started writing short stories at school. His first novel (co-written) was published by Grafton in 1988 and was followed in 1989 by his first solo novel, The Cut Throat, the first of the Charles Holborne series, based on Simon’s own experiences at the criminal Bar. The Cut Throat was successful in the UK (WH Allen) and in the USA (St Martin’s Press) and the next in the series, The Long Lie, was published in 1992. Between the two, in 1991, Simon’s short story “Split” was shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan/Perrier Short Story Award. He was also commissioned to write two feature screenplays.

Simon then put writing aside to concentrate on his career at the Bar. After a further 25 years’ experience he now has sufficient plots based on real cases for another dozen legal thrillers.

The Brief, a reworking of The Cut Throat, now set in sleazy Soho of the 1960s, will be published in September 2015 and Simon has almost completed the next two books in the series.

Simon still practises law countrywide but now works only part-time. He lives with his wife and youngest child in Bedfordshire. He is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival.

 

~~~~~

Competition

Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications has kindly offered 5 paperback copies of ‘The Brief’ for a giveaway.  To enter all you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you want to win.

 

Terms and Conditions 

This competition is open worldwide.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 28th September 2015.

The winners will be randomly picked and notified of their win within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to Matthew Smith of Urbane Publications who will send out the prizes.

Please note that whilst I don’t mind that this competition has been added to a forum, I do expect entrants to be genuinely interested in the guest post above and the book and not just be after a freebie.

 

Good luck! 🙂 Read more…

Blog Tour – ‘Letters To My Husband’ by Stephanie Butland

ButlandBlogTour

Last year Stephanie Butland’s debut novel ‘Surrounded by Water’ was published in hardback by Transworld.  It is now out in paperback and has been renamed ‘Letters To My Husband’.

 

Book Blurb

Dear Mike, I can’t believe that it’s true. You wouldn’t do this to me. You promised.

Elizabeth knows that her husband is kind and good and that he loves her unconditionally. She knows she hasn’t been herself lately but that, even so, they are happy.

But Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down when Mike dies in a tragic drowning accident. Suddenly everything Elizabeth knows about her husband is thrown into doubt. Why would he sacrifice his own life, knowing he’d never see his wife again? And what exactly was he doing at the lake that night?

Elizabeth knows that writing to Mike won’t bring him back, but she needs to talk to him now more than ever . . .

How much can you ever know about the people you love?

 

As part of this blog tour I am posting an extract from the opening to the book; a letter from Elizabeth to her husband, Mike.

Extract

Mike,

This is stupid. It’s 4am and I’m sitting downstairs
in the dark, writing a letter to you by torchlight. I don’t
want to put the light on. I don’t know why not. I
don’t know anything. I don’t know what day it is.
I don’t know where you are but I know you’re somewhere.
You can’t just be nowhere. Not all of that you.
You can’t have just gone.

Blake was in tears and in uniform when he came
to the door, and all I could think of was that you were
hurt, that something had happened to you, that you’d
got in the way of some idiot drunk driver or waded into
an argument that had got nasty. I remember thinking,
sod’s law that you’ve got hurt walking the dog when it’s
your job that’s supposed to be dangerous. I was already
thinking about how we would all tease you, for getting
into trouble walking a West Highland terrier. I didn’t
want to look at Blake’s face. It wasn’t a face that looked
as though it was planning to do any teasing, so I didn’t
look. I couldn’t.

I took my coat from the hook and I started to put
it on over my PJs because I assumed he was going to
take me to the hospital to see you. And then I started to
think about it all more seriously. How sad it would be
if it was something that meant you couldn’t do your job
any more – if you were going to be in a wheelchair, if
you had lost your sight – and of how we would get
through it, whatever it was, because – well, because
what else would we do? It would be you and me, our
world inside the big world, a yolk in an egg. It would
work. We would make it. It wouldn’t have been the first
time things didn’t go according to plan. I was so ready
to be strong.

But my fingers struggled with the zip, and I
couldn’t see properly, and Blake still wasn’t saying anything,
even though I was asking, asking, what’s
happened to him, where is he, was it a car crash, did
someone hit him, why can’t he ever learn that off duty
means off duty. He was just crying, and then he put his
hands over my hands and took them away from my
coat, and he said my name, twice, once gently, and then
again firmly so I had to look into his face, and then I
knew.

Blake caught me as I fell. The next thing I knew,
I was on the sofa and he was trying to make me drink
bloody tea. I think I screamed. I might have thrown the
cup – there’s a mark on the wall, anyway – and I was
shaking, shaking, and he was sitting next to me and
talking, but I couldn’t hear a thing. Nothing. The
newspaper was on the floor, we’d been halfway through
the crossword when you took Pepper out. And suddenly
I got the one that we were really stuck on. 3 across, Geg 
(9,3). Scrambled egg. Of course. How often have we
said how, once you get it, it’s impossible to see how you
ever couldn’t? And I opened my mouth to tell you. And
you weren’t there. And just for a split second I saw the
world in which you’d never be there again. I think I
pulled out some of my hair.

I don’t know why I wasn’t worried when you were
gone so long. I suppose I assumed you’d found some old
lady to help across the road. Maybe I didn’t think about
it at all. Already I look back at that me, happy and
unaware, and barely recognize her. Another world. A
better world.

Andy came – I suppose Blake had called him –
and he took my hand, and he cried but I didn’t. I just
felt sick at the thought of how many hands would touch
mine in my life, but never yours again. I felt as though
I was underwater too, with you, although of course I
knew they’d got you out. Pepper jumped up on to my
lap, and he was still a bit damp – Blake said it was
him, standing barking on the bank, then swimming
round in circles, who drew attention to where you were
– and his wet fur felt like the only real thing in this
whole horrible world.

And I’ve been blundering around in the blackest
blackness ever since. It hasn’t even been two days and
already this terrible place feels as though it will be my
home for ever. I could never have imagined how dark,
flat, endless this place would be. Maybe that’s why I’ve
stopped putting the lights on: they’re pointless. They
don’t stop the dark.

Oh, God, Mike. I can’t bear it here, but at the
same time I can’t be anywhere else. I can’t believe that
it’s true. You wouldn’t do this to me. You wouldn’t. You
promised. You’re the person who’s supposed to protect
me, so you can’t be the cause of this.

And anyway, there is so much of you. You can’t be
nowhere. Where are you?

Come home.

E xxx

 

Competition

I am running a competition in which 3 very lucky people will win a copy of ‘Letters To My Husband’.  To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 27th April 2015.

The winners will be notified within 7 days of the closing date and their details will be passed on to the publisher who will send the prizes out.

 

Good luck! 🙂

Blog Tour – ‘The Snow Globe’ by Sheila Roberts

The Snow Globe

Sheila Roberts’ novels, ‘Nine Lives of Christmas’, ‘On Strike for Christmas’ and ‘The Snow Globe’ were published by Piatkus on 2nd December in paperback.  This month a number of bloggers have been reviewing her books as part of a blog tour.  I have chosen to review ‘The Snow Globe’.

Kiley Gray is having a hard time of things.  She goes on a weekend break with her friends Suzanne and Allison.  Whilst away, Kiley comes across an antique shop and decides to take a look inside.  She can’t afford much but surely there’s no harm in looking.  As she wanders around Kiley comes across a beautiful snow globe and finds herself instantly drawn to it.  It seems that the snow globe has been passed around for many years from generation to generation creating magic wherever it goes.  Kiley decides to buy it but doesn’t realise just how much her life is about to change.

All Kiley wants for Christmas is somebody to love.  She shakes the snow globe and what she sees leads her on a big adventure.  When she shares what has happened with her two friends they don’t believe her.  Both women are about to discover for themselves that at Christmas time sometimes the impossible can be possible and that miracles do happen.

I really enjoyed ‘The Snow Globe’.  It’s a lovely little magical story which left me feeling nice and relaxed.  I loved reading about the toy shop.  If there was one like that near me I would probably spend ages in it.  The brownies and cookies that Allison baked sounded wonderful.

Suzanne definitely needed to be shown where she was going wrong.  She was so intent on making money and having a perfect house that she was missing out on the simple things in life and not spending enough time with her family.

If you still aren’t feeling Christmassy read this book.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

‘The Summer Guest’ by Emma Hannigan

The Summer Guest

‘The Summer Guest’ is being published in paperback by Headline on the 31st July 2014.  This is Emma Hannigan’s seventh novel and until now I had never read any of her books.

The story is set in Caracove Bay, Dublin.  In the first chapter the reader is introduced to the main characters, Lexie and her husband Sam.  Married for fifteen years they have spent ages lovingly restoring their home, No. 3 Cashel Square.  Lexie and Sam decided from the start that they didn’t want children, but her mum seems to think that they should now have a baby.  What with her art gallery which has really grown plus her rather headstrong niece, Lexie is more than busy.

Lexie arrives home one day to an unexpected letter.  A lady called Kathleen Williams has written explaining that she was born in and lived at that very same house over sixty years ago.  She would love to be able to revisit her roots by seeing her old home once more.  Lexie who has a good feeling about Kathleen invites her around to visit.  The two women get on instantly and soon become friends.

I started reading ‘The Summer Guest’ last weekend and I absolutely loved it.  With its pretty cover, it didn’t take me long to get into the story at all.  I really liked Emma Hannigan’s writing style throughout and I didn’t want this story to finish.

My favourite character was Kathleen.  I thought she was smashing.  Kathleen was so brave to have travelled all the way from America to Dublin on her own, especially after losing her husband.  Her words ‘live for the moment and relish the time you have together’ struck a chord with me.  I also really liked Lexie and Sam.  Soon after they had met they both realised that they had found their soul-mate.  That’s something I can totally relate to.

‘The Summer Guest’ is a beautiful, tender and emotional story.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

 

Emma, long may you continue to write wonderful books.

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