*COVER REVEAL* VANISHING GIRLS by LISA REGAN

Lets start with a bit of background information on Lisa Regan before we reveal her new book Vanishing Girls.

Lisa Regan - Author Photo

Author Bio

Lisa Regan is an Amazon bestselling crime novelist.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University.  She is a member of Sisters In Crime, Mystery Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Find out more at her website: www.lisaregan.com

Connect with Lisa Regan here:
Website: www.lisaregan.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lisalregan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Lisa-Regan-189735444395923/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6443334.Lisa_Regan


Its with great pleasure that I have been given the opportunity to be part of the Cover Reveal for Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan.

Drum roll please ……… Vanishing Girls final 2

Wow what an amazing cover for Lisa’s new book, subtle but dramatic in appearance.

Synopsis

Vanishing Girls: A totally heart-stopping crime thriller (Detective Josie Quinn gripping crime fiction series – Book 1)

She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…  

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.

Vanishing Girls is a available for pre-order now, publication date 17th of January 2018.

Pre-Order Here 

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

 

 

 

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MAGGIE by NETTA NEWBOUND

BLOG BLITZ (7)

Today I have the auspicious task of reviewing Maggie by Netta Newbound as part of a three day Blog Blitz, courtesy of Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books.


Print

Book Description

When sixteen-year-old Maggie Simms’ mum loses her battle with cancer, the only family she has left is her abusive stepfather, Kenny.

Horrified to discover he intends to continue his nightly abuse, Maggie is driven to put a stop to him once and for all.

However, she finds her troubles are only just beginning when several of her closest allies are killed. Although nothing seems to be linking the deaths, Maggie believes she is jinxed.

Why are the people she cares about being targeted?

And who is really behind the murders?

Sometimes the truth is closer than you think.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

Maggie by Netta Newbound is a heart wrenching psychological thriller which tore at every ounce of my being. I felt a multitude of emotions whilst reading about Maggie, a sixteen year old who loses her mother to cancer only to be abused by her lecherous step-father, Kenny.

After all the turmoil of Maggie’s mothers death and the funeral, Kenny is killed at the hands of Maggie in self defence after a particularly vicious sexual assault, then the people who believe in Maggie start to die.

Is Maggie to blame?

Who will believe Maggie?

Does someone want to frame Maggie?

The characters created by Netta are steadfast and wholesome, especially in the case of Maggie, there were two sides shown to Maggie. When under duress it was apparent Maggie was withdrawn and uncommunicative with her peers, as her demeanour and circumstances changed she became more sensitive, forthright and independent drawing me closer to her. I felt a bond with Claudia a character who loved and protected Maggie, she reminded me a little of myself, a selfless character who would do anything to help another.

Don’t get me wrong not all the characters were worthy of my praise, there were a few dubious and repulsive personalities who I would gladly see an expiration date on, which is exactly what I think Netta portrayed in a methodical manner.

Netta has produced a book with edge, even though Maggie contains scenes which some readers may find wretched, Netta has communicated the topic with sensitivity and not sensationalised it, but stuck to the facts.

Questions are raise in rapid succession, deaths just as fast, holy moly my head was spinning, even with all the furore I was a bundle of nerves wondering what could possibly happen next.

Netta is a first-class writer, a master of psychological intensity which will have you hanging on by your fingertips with fear and trepidation.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books, Netta Newbound and Sarah Hardy for an advanced readers copy of Maggie in exchange for an honest and impartial opinion.


Netta pic

Author Bio

My name’s Netta Newbound. I write thrillers in many different styles — some grittier than others. The Cold Case Files have a lighter tone and are full of fun. I also write a series set in London, which features one of my favourite characters, Detective Adam Stanley. These books are a little grittier. My standalone books, The Watcher and An Impossible Dilemma, are not for the faint hearted, and it seems you either love them or hate them—I’d love to know what you think.

Originally from Manchester, England, I have travelled extensively and have lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. I now live in New Zealand with my husband. We have three grown up children and four grandchildren.

Author Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nettanewbound
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/newboundnetta
Website – http://www.nettanewbound.com/

 

 

 

 

 

HIS THIRD VICTIM by HELEN DURRANT

bLOG TOUR BANNER (1)

Well today is my turn on the Blog Tour for His Third Victim by Helen Durrant published by Joffe Books. Thank you to Jill who kindly invited me to part of the tour.


His Third Victim

Book Description

HIS THIRD VICTIM by Helen H. Durrant

A BRAND NEW STANDALONE DETECTIVE MYSTERY FROM #1 BEST-SELLING AUTHOR HELEN H. DURRANT

A man is shot dead and his body is dumped on the moors. His arm is stamped with the Chinese symbol for sorry.

There have been five unsolved murders with the same hallmark. The police can’t find any motive or connection between the victims.

Bella Richards was close to the murdered man. She lives with her five-year son and has begun a new life in the local area.  But although clearly grief-stricken, she is not telling the police everything she knows.

Detective Talbot Dyson wants his most trusted inspector on the case. But DI Matt Brindle is out of action. He was badly injured and his sergeant was killed in a criminal ambush.  He is drawn into the investigation and must decide whether he wants to go to back to his old life.
What is the real connection between the victims and who will be next?
This is a detective mystery full of twists and turns, with a stunning edge-of-your-seat ending.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

His Third Victim is a standalone police procedural concentrating on DI Matt Brindle who was semi-retired from the force after an incident which killed his sergeant and left him suffering a terrible injury. While reading His Third Victim it gave me the impression that another series could be in the offing centred around DI Matt Brindle, I sincerely hope so I have my fingers and toes crossed that this may come to fruition because it would be another smash hit.

Starting off with a formidable crime the death of a man known to Brindle and an abduction of a young child, it doesn’t take long for Brindle to return to work as the investigation has peaked his interest. Is there a connection between them and previously discovered victims, can Brindle bring it all together and prevent any more deaths, its a race against time.

The characters in His Third Victim are true to life giving the sense that you could easily interact with them, Brindle is flawed and struggling with his personal and work life, PTSD his gripped him ever since his traumatic injury leaving him uncertain and struggling to put the guilt behind him. Haines is the opposite of Brindle, shown in her confidence and how assertive she is, Brindle and Haines make a perfect match.

Helen has developed a plotline which I found plausible and quite intense at times, with plenty of characters in which I was convinced were capable of the killings only to be thrown another red herring, I certainly was agog when I found out who was responsible.

His Third Victim is fast paced with graceful fluidity of the writing enabling an easy and effortless read where I raced through the pages, adrenaline flowing salivating at the twists and turns until the very end.

I beg of Helen to carefully consider a Brindle and Haines series, it would be another great series of books which would be an absolute thrill to follow.

Thank you to Joffe Books, Helen Durrant and Jill Burkinshaw for the invitation to take part in the Blog Tour for His Third Victim. All opinions in my review are my own and written with impartiality and honesty.


helen durrant

Author Bio

OVER 500,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series

I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.
I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!
I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.

Links:

Twitter: @hhdurrant
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/helen.durrant.12
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calladine-Bayliss-Detective-Novels/614047648616619?ref=hl

HER DARK RETREAT by J.A.BAKER

BLOG BLITZ (5)

It is with great pleasure to be part of the Blog Blitz hosted by Sarah Hardy for the newest psychological thriller Her Dark Retreat by J.A.Baker published by Bloodhound Books.


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Book Description

The coastguard’s residence Chamber Cottage, which sits high up on the North Yorkshire cliffs overlooking The North Sea, holds many dark secrets.

Alec and Peggy are struggling to overcome their marital problems. Both damaged by problems from their childhoods, they are trying to get on with their lives. But this is hard for them to do when they both believe they are being watched. As a result, Peggy, who has terrible scars on her face, becomes more agoraphobic.

To make matters worse, Peggy discovers her estranged mother is stalking both she and Alec, claiming she has a dark secret that is putting Peggy in danger.

What caused the scars on Peggy’s face? Is Alex really the monster Peggy’s mother believes him to be? And what secrets does Chamber Cottage hold?

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

I have sat and pondered awhile, wondering what can I say, I could rabbit on about how unputdownable, stomach churning and how insatiable my appetite was to devour Her Dark Retreat, but that would be a lie, it was So So Much More.

Her Dark Retreat was like a bucket with holes, the faster you try to fill it the faster it runs out. The red herrings throughout the book remind of that bucket the quicker I filed one away another appeared, thanks for sending me on a wild goose chase, it was awesome.

I have read many opening chapters in my time, some good, some bad, but this one had me gasping for air, clawing my way through the pages, absorbing the essence of each and every character. Several of the characters are flawed with hidden pasts, unwilling to confront their demons and move on with their lives.

Peggy is alienated from her family due to her choice of husband which conspired a conflict in which her mother believed Alec is a philander and has murderous intentions. Alec is a man with a whole heap of turmoil embroiled in his personality all stemming from his childhood and abusive relationship with his father, but is it all as we are led to believe.

I absolutely loved the description of the Chamber Cottage and the surrounding area, it has the nitty-gritty feel of a creepy, dark and lonesome place over looking the unrelenting and cold North Sea. I could conjure up the mental image of the area in my mind and actually felt acutely aware of the coldness seeping into my very soul and my lifeblood flowing with shards of ice, OMG the shivers.

J.A.Baker has set aside what I would class as normal parameters in writing this plotline, nothing is straight forward or as it seems, an excellent narrative of each character in this psychological book which draws various conclusions and plenty of red herrings.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books, J.A.Baker and Sarah Hardy for the opportunity to read Her Dark Retreat in exchange for an honest review.


dmiimlbpigiilldg

Author Bio

Born in Middlesbrough too many years ago to mention, J. A. Baker developed a deep appreciation of literature and reading from a young age after being introduced to it by her parents. Weekly visits to the library were the norm and after being handed a collection of Edgar Allen Poe stories by her father, her love for the darker side of fiction slowly grew. She is an avid reader of all books but is drawn in particular, to psychological thrillers.
After many rejections (too many to mention!) her debut novel, Undercurrent, was published by Bloodhound Books in March 2017 and made it into the top 100 Amazon chart in both the UK and Canada. She is currently putting the finishing touches to her third novel and working on her fourth one.
J. A. Baker has four grown up children and lives in a village on the outskirts of Darlington with her husband Richard, and Theo, their barking mad dog.

Links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ thewriterjude/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ thewriterjude
My website – http://www.jabakerauthor.co.uk/
Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/J. A.-Baker/e/B06XSNWB4T/ref=sr_ ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1505332991& sr=8-1

THE SECRET MOTHER by SHALINI BOLAND

The-Secret-Mother-Kindle

Its with great pleasure to be invited to take part in the Blog Blast for The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland, with a sneaky preview of an extract for everyone to enjoy. Without further ado lets get this Blog Blast on the road.

Shalini Boland - Author Pic

Firstly lets see what Shalini Boland has in store for us with a short description of her upcoming psychological thriller The Secret Mother.

Synopsis

Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen calling her ‘mummy’. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.
Not anymore.
She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.
After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…
A chilling, unputdownable thriller with a dark twist that will take your breath away and make you wonder if you can ever trust anyone again. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister.

What readers are saying about Shalini Boland:

‘Read in one sitting from 9pm last night until 2:15 am. I literally could not put it down!!!! The story line and the twists and the way it’s written just draws you in completely and you have to know where it’s going I couldn’t read fast enough… absolutely addictive and brilliant and an end I didn’t see coming. This is one book you have to read and it gets 5 huge stars from me!!!!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘What can I say? Just wow. I’m usually never surprised by an ending, but this one blew me away. I am totally in shock and think I’ll have a hangover from this book for a while. A great read that keeps you on your toes until the very last word.’ Stacey Harrell, Goodreads

‘If anyone can have me reading until 2am and finishing a book in less than 48hrs in the school holidays it’s this author… massive five stars from me.’ Sarah Mackins, UK Crime Book Club, 5 stars

‘The ending of this book blew me out of the water, you won’t be able to put this down.’ For the Love of Books, 5 stars

‘The plot is gripping and once you’ve started reading, you have to keep on reading, you need to know how the story will end.’ Bits About Books, 5 Stars

‘… one of the most chilling reads of the year for me.’ Ajoobacats Blog, 5 Stars

‘This book should come with a warning… make sure you have enough time to read it in one-sitting because as soon as you’ll pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down!’ Bookishly Ever After, 5 stars

‘This is a brilliant psychological thriller. In fact, it’s one of the best I’ve read. It is full of suspense and has more twists and turns than a fairground ride.’ Jackie Roche, UK Crime Book Club, 5 Stars

‘I thought I knew the direction this story was going go. Then the jaw dropping moment happened!… unputdownable!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 Stars

‘Once again, Boland has managed to blow my mind with all the twists and turns… an outstanding explosive read!’ Mello and June, 5 Stars

‘Great book. I read it in less than 24 hours. I was unable to put it down. The story was fast paced and intriguing.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2xrkDu4

US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2vXeg3W


Okay I think you’ve all waited long enough, who’s up for a wee sneak peak of The Secret Mother. We have an extract courtesy of Shalini Boland and Bookouture, so no more delays here we have Chapter One for you to read.

THE SECRET MOTHER
By
Shalini Boland

Chapter One

The street lamps flicker, illuminating the grey pavement mottled with patches of dirty snow and slick black ice. Slushy puddles hug the kerb, cringing away from the hissing, splashing car tyres. It takes all my concentration to keep my balance. My hands would be warmer if I jammed them into my coat pockets, but I need them free to steady myself on walls, fences, tree trunks, lamp posts. I don’t want to fall. And yet would it really be so terrible if I slipped on the ice? Wet jeans, a bruised bum. Not the end of the world. There are worse things. Far worse things.
It’s Sunday: the last exhale of the week. That uncomfortable pause before Monday, when it all starts up again – this lonely pretence at life. Sunday has become a black dot on the horizon for me, growing larger each day. I’m relieved now it’s almost over and yet I’m already anticipating the next one. The day when I visit the cemetery and stand above their graves, staring at the grass and stone, talking to them both, wondering if they hear my inane chatter or if I’m simply talking into the empty wind. In burning sunlight, pouring rain, sub-zero temperatures or thick fog I stand there. Every week. I’ve never missed a Sunday yet.
Sleet spatters my face. Icy needles that make me blink and gasp. Finally, I turn off the high street into my narrow road, where it’s more sheltered and the wind less violent. A rainbow assortment of overflowing bins lines my route, waiting for collection tomorrow at some ungodly pre-dawn hour. I turn my face away from the windows where Christmas tree lights wink and blink, reminding me of happier Christmases. Before.
Almost home.
My little north London terraced house sits halfway along the road. Pushing open the rusted gate, I turn my face away from the neglected front garden with its discarded sweet wrappers and crisp packets blown in from the street, now wedged among long tussocks of grass and overgrown bushes. I thrust my frozen fingers into my bag until they finally close around a jagged set of keys. I’m glad to be home, to get out of the cold, and yet my body sags when I open the door and step into the dark silence of the hall, feeling the hollow of their absence.
At least it’s warm in here. I shrug off my coat, kick off my boots, dump my bag on the hall table and switch on the light, avoiding my sad reflection in the hall mirror. A glass of wine would be welcome about now. I glance at my watch – only 5.20. No. I’ll be good and make a hot chocolate instead.
Strangely, the door to the kitchen is closed. This strikes me as odd, as I always leave it open. Perhaps a gust of wind slammed it shut when I came in. I trudge to the end of the hall and stop. Through a gap in the bottom of the door I see that the light is on. Someone’s in there. I catch my breath, feel the world slow down for a moment before it speeds back up. Could I have a burglar in my house?
I cock my ear. A sound filters through. Humming. A child is humming a tune in my kitchen. But I don’t have a child. Not any more.
Slowly I pull down the handle and push the door, my body tensing. I hardly dare breathe.
Here before me sits a little boy with dark hair, wearing pale blue jeans and a green cable-knit jumper. A little boy aged about five or six, perched on a chair at my kitchen counter, humming a familiar tune. Head down, he is intent on his drawing, colouring pencils spread out around an A4 sheet of paper. A navy raincoat hangs neatly over the back of the chair.
He looks up as I enter the room, his chocolate-brown eyes wide. We stare at one another for a moment.
‘Are you my mummy?’ the little boy asks.
I bite my bottom lip, feel the ground shift. I grasp the counter top to steady myself. ‘Hello,’ I say, my heart suddenly swelling. ‘Hello. And who might you be?’
‘You know. I’m Harry,’ he replies. ‘Do you like my picture?’ He holds the sheet out in front of him, showing me his drawing of a little boy and a woman standing next to a train. ‘It’s not finished. I haven’t had time to colour it in properly,’ he explains.
‘It’s lovely, Harry. Is that you standing next to the train?’
‘Yes.’ He nods. ‘It’s you and me. I drew it for you because you’re my mummy.’
Am I hallucinating? Have I finally gone crazy? This beautiful little boy is calling me his mummy. And yet I don’t know him. I’ve never seen him before in my life. I close my eyes tight and then open them again. He’s still there, looking less confident now. His hopeful smile has faltered, slipping into a frown. His eyes are now a little too bright. I know that look – it’s the one that precedes tears.
‘Hey, Harry,’ I say with false jollity. ‘So you like trains, huh?’
His smile returns. ‘Steam trains are the best. Better than diesels.’ He scrunches up his face in disgust and blinks.
‘Did you come here on the train? To my house?’
‘No. We came on the bus. I wish we did come on the train, the bus was really slow. And it made me feel a bit sick.’ He lays the sheet of paper back on the counter.
‘And who did you come with?’ I ask.
‘The angel.’
I think I must have misheard him. ‘Who?’
‘The angel brought me here. She told me that you’re my mummy.’
‘The angel?’
He nods.
I glance around, suddenly aware that Harry might not be the only stranger in my house. ‘Is she here now?’ I ask in a whisper. ‘Is there someone else here with you?’
‘No, she’s gone. She told me to do some drawing and you’d be here soon.’
I relax my shoulders, relieved that there’s no one else in my home. But it still doesn’t help me solve the problem of who this little boy is. ‘How did you get into the house?’ I ask, nervously wondering if I might find a smashed window somewhere.
‘Through the front door, silly,’ he replies with a smile, rolling his eyes.
Through the front door? Did I leave it open somehow? I’m sure I would never have done that. What’s going on here? I should call someone. The authorities. The police. Somebody will be looking for this child. They will be frantic with worry. ‘Would you like a hot chocolate, Harry?’ I ask, keeping my voice as calm as possible. ‘I was going to make one for myself, so—’
‘Do you make it with milk?’ he interrupts. ‘Or with hot water? It’s definitely nicer with milk.’
I suppress a smile. ‘I agree, Harry. I always make it with milk.’
‘Okay. Yes, please,’ he replies. ‘Hot chocolate would be lovely.’
My heart squeezes at his politeness.
‘Shall I carry on colouring in my picture,’ he says, ‘or shall I help you? Because I’m really good at stirring in the chocolate.’
‘Well, that’s lucky,’ I reply, ‘because I’m terrible at stirring in the chocolate, so it’s a good thing you’re here to help me.’
He grins and slides off the stool.
What am I doing? I need to call the police right now. This child is missing from somewhere. But, oh God, just give me ten minutes with this sweet little boy who believes I’m his mother. Just a few moments of make-believe and then I’ll do the right thing. I reach out to touch his head and immediately snatch my hand back. What am I thinking? This boy has to go back to his real mother; she must be paralysed with worry.
He smiles up at me again and my chest constricts.
‘Okay,’ I say, taking a breath and blinking back any threat of tears. ‘We’ll do the chocolate in a minute. I’m just going to make a quick phone call in the hall, okay?’
‘Oh, okay.’
‘Carry on with your drawing for a little while. I won’t be long.’
He climbs back up onto the stool and selects a dark green pencil before resuming his colouring with a look of serious concentration. I turn away and pad out to the hall, where I retrieve my phone from my bag. But instead of dialling the police, I call another number. It rings twice.
‘Tess.’ The voice at the other end of the line is clipped, wary.
‘Hi, Scott. I need you to come over.’
‘What? Now?’
‘Yes. Please, it’s important.’
‘Tessa, I’m knackered, and it’s hideous out there. I’ve just sat down with a cup of tea. Can’t it wait till tomorrow?’
‘No.’ Standing by the hall table, I glimpse Harry through the doorway, the curls of his fringe flopping over one eye. Am I dreaming him?
‘What’s the matter?’ Scott says this the way he always says it. What he really means is, What’s the matter now? Because there’s always something the matter. I’m his damaged wife, who’s always having some new drama or make-believe crisis. Only this time he’ll see it’s something real, it’s something not of my making.
‘I can’t tell you over the phone, it’s too weird. You have to come over, see for yourself.’
His sigh comes long and hard down the phone. ‘Give me twenty minutes, okay?’
‘Okay. Thanks, Scott. Get here as soon as you can.’
My heart pounds, trying to make sense of what’s happening. That little boy in there says an angel brought him. He says I’m his mummy. But he’s not mine. So where on earth did he come from?
I take a breath and go back into the kitchen. The air is warm, welcoming, cosy. Nothing like the usual sterile atmosphere in here.
‘Can we make hot chocolate now?’ Harry looks up with shining eyes.
‘Of course. I’ll get the mugs and the chocolate. You open that drawer over there and pass me the smallest pan you can find.’
He eagerly does as I ask.
‘Harry,’ I say. ‘Where are your parents, your mummy and daddy?’
He stares at the pans in the drawer.
‘Harry?’ I prompt.
‘They’re not here,’ he replies. ‘Is this one small enough?’ He lifts out a stainless-steel milk pan and waves it in my direction.
‘Perfect.’ I nod and take it from him. ‘Can you tell me where you live?’
No reply.
‘Did you run away from home? Are you lost?’
‘No.’
‘But where’s your house or flat? The place you live? Is it here in Friern Barnet? In London? Close to my house?’
He scowls and looks down at the flagstone floor.
‘Do you have a last name?’ I ask as gently as I can.
He looks up at me, his chin jutting out. ‘No.’
I try again, crouching down so I’m on his level. ‘Harry, darling, what’s your mummy’s name?’
‘You’re my new mummy. I have to stay here now.’ His bottom lip quivers.
‘Okay, sweetie. Don’t worry. Let’s just make our drinks, shall we?’
He nods vigorously and sniffs.
I give his hand a squeeze and straighten up. I wish I hadn’t had to call Scott. And yet I need him to be here when I ring the police. I can’t deal with them on my own, not after what happened before. I’m dreading their arrival – the questions, the sideways glances, the implication that I might have done something wrong. I haven’t done anything wrong, though. Have I?
And Harry… he’ll be taken away. What if his parents have been abusive? What if he has to go into foster care? A thousand thoughts run through my mind, each worse than the one before. But it’s not my place to decide what happens to him. There’s nothing I can do about any of it, because he’s not mine.
I don’t have a child. Not any more.


Okay that’s us, time to wrap it up, hope everyone enjoyed the extract from The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland. Until the next time I will leave a reminder of the links of where to purchase.

THE SECRET MOTHER

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2xrkDu4

US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2vXeg3W

 

 

 

 

 

 

HER LAST SECRET by BARBARA COPPERTHWAITE

Her last secret

Book Description

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

Have you ever opened a book, read the first chapter, then thought What The Hell, I have…………..   I even slammed the kindle shut and sat there trying to gather myself, before I  rifled through my kindle trying to keep my eyes in their sockets and jaw off the floor while reading Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite.

An ordinary family who are outwardly perfect, Ben a successful business man his wife Dominque a stay at home mum with two beautiful children Ruby and Amber, the truth…..is in Her Last Secret. A bold interaction is created where the end is the beginning, Barbara has given us an inkling of the end in such a way that we have to delve into the days leading up to the horrific discover of a family massacre to understand all the secrets and lies.

Ben has a secret…….

Dominque knows a secret……

Ruby is haunted by a secret….

Mouse hides in secret……

I loved the build of all the characters, each ones personality seemed darker than the last. If I was to rate in order of who I liked to whom I disliked, Mouse would be the sweetheart of them all, a young innocent who hides in her own imaginary world, but the one I loathe with all my being is Ben, he pertains to be perfect in all possible ways with his smarmy boyish charm to gain the best in life at any cost. There are several other characters who add to the tempo of the plot, on occasion throwing a minuscule thread of doubt your way or raising your heart rate to the point of on occasion shouting at the book its you, only to be thrown down another path of twists created by another character.

I’m still astounded by the plotline several days after finishing, I was rattled that much that I’m still trying to comprehend how Barbara managed to hoodwink me into believing I knew the culprit…..but bloody hell I was wrong.

I’m not going to tell a soul about what happened in the book, all I will say is get on your phone, kindle or laptop, grab this book with both hands and click, click, click to buy.

Barbara has invited you into her world so pull up a seat, make yourself comfy, open Her Last Secret and read, read, read…….

Thank you to the publishers Bookouture, author Barbara Copperthwaite and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy, in which I am honoured to write an impartial review.


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Author Bio

Barbara is the Amazon and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, and THE DARKEST LIES. Her latest book is HER LAST SECRET.

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

Find out more about Barbara Copperthwaite:

Facebook

Twitter

Barbara Copperthwaite Webpage

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

 

 

 

CLOSER TO HOME by HELEYNE HAMMERSLEY

Blog Blitz (4)

Its my privilege to be part of the Blog Tour for Closer to Home by Heleyne Hammersley today, kindly invited by Sarah Hardy to participate, published by Bloodhound Books.


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Book Description

Family. Secrets. Murder.

Newly promoted DI Kate Fletcher has reluctantly returned to her home town after a twenty-year absence and a recent divorce.  The discovery of a child’s body near the estate where Kate grew up has her rushing back to Thorpe – a place of bad memories and closed mouths.

As her team investigate the murder, they keep hitting dead ends. The community is reluctant to reopen old wounds and retell old stories.  But Kate’s history refuses to stay buried.

Then another child disappears…

Can Kate solve the case and right the wrongs from her past?

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

Well today I’m reviewing Heleyne Hammersley’s new psychological thriller Closer to Home, a book which will undoubtedly make you sit up and take notice.

A child has gone missing and subsequently been found dead, DI Kate Fletcher returns to her home turf after twenty years of being away, trying to placate the bad memories and finds herself in the middle of an investigation that the community is reluctant to divulge information that may help. Past wounds that gap open prevent Kate from gaining a foothold in the investigation increasing the dead ends. Old adversaries berate Kate with what her father did in the past, exacerbating the problem, before long another child goes missing.

While reading about Kate and the past she held with the village of Thorpe, I wasn’t sure how it was going to unfold or if I was going to like Kate as a character for that matter, but after a few chapters of where we go back to Kates past I was rather surprised in how well I took to Kate. At times I actually felt sorry for Kate, she was enduring heartache from her divorce, her son had little contact with her and to top it all off she was having to face her past, even through all this Kate is a determined, career driven woman who didn’t like to walked over. Hollis Kate’s partner is strong but a little gung-ho in his approach to the investigation, he doesn’t tend to think things through particularly well, but singles out one suspect and is fixated on an arrest.

While reading Closer to home I inadvertently had to re-read a section I don’t know if it was because I just didn’t comprehend the basis of the suspects identities or if it was because I was overtired due to trying to push through to the end of the book. Either way I’m glad I did read that particular section again as I better understood the basis of what Heleyne was doing it helped to piece parts of the story together which I previously was unsure of how it was tying in.

I am happy to have read Closer to Home as I have never read any of Heleyne’s books previous to this one, now that I have, I will certainly catch up on her previous two books.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books, Heleyne Hammersley and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy of Closer to Home in exchange for an honest review. Thank you also too Sarah Hardy for the invitation to be part of the blog tour.


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Author Bio

Heleyne Hammersley was born in South Yorkshire but has lived in Cumbria for the last twenty years where she sometimes teaches English and often walks on the fells.

She has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called Give Them the Works when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. Since then she’s gone on to complete a number of creative writing courses with the Open University and she is a regular NaNoWriMo participant.

The idea for her first novel, Forgotten, came about while on an extended holiday in China and South-East Asia in 2001.

Heleyne’s second novel, Fracture, again features travel. Set against the backdrop of the Great Ocean Road this tense psychological thriller centres around a fatal road trip.

Author Links

Author Website: https://www.heleynehammersley.com/

Amazon author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heleyne-Hammersley/e/B01F0XWO14/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1505323818&sr=8-1

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/heleynehammersley66/

Twitter: @hhammersley66

 

 

 

MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL by FAITH MARTIN

BLOG TOUR BANNER - Murder on the Oxford Canal (1)

Its my pleasure to be taking part in the Blog tour for Murder on the Oxford Canal. Faith  has kindly answered some writer related questions which shows some insight into her thoughts of being an author, I hope you enjoy.


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MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is the first in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.
Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

THE LOCATION
The Oxford Canal meanders through the beautiful county of Oxfordshire, sometimes joining up with the rivers Cherwell and Thames, and flows past the world-famous university city of Oxford. Unlike many canals which are practically ruler-straight commercial waterways, built to help transport goods and heavy traffic before the advent of the railways, the Oxford Canal is a more winding and natural-looking body of water, and is a haven for wildlife and wildflowers. It has several romantically-named locks on its length (such as the Three Pigeons Lock, and Dashwood Lock) and boasts the ominously-sounding Somerton Deep Lock, which often terrifies first-time boating holiday-makers.

THE DETECTIVES

DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence, she is currently under investigation, on account of her recently deceased, and definitely corrupt husband (Ronnie Greene). But adversity has never stopped her from doing her job.

DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


Q & A with Faith Martin

Questions I’m often asked:

Where do you get your ideas from?

It would be nice if ideas came to me in my dreams, then all I’d have to do in the morning is jot them down and hey presto! Alas, this has never yet happened. So, whenever I approach any murder mystery, I start with the basic facts – ie, ‘A’ murders ‘B’ because of ‘C’. I then invent other motives for other characters, chose my murder method, and then add in clues. When you pick up a book as reader, you begin with chapter one and are then, step-by-step, taken further and deeper in the story until you come to the denouement at the end. In other words, you start on the outside of the spider’s web, and work your way to the centre. But as a writer, I start from the central core and work outwards!

What made you decide to write your first book?

I trained as a secretary, but when I was only 19, my parents had a very bad car accident that left them partially disabled. After a few years, it became clear that they needed some long-term help, so I left my secretarial job, and stayed at home as a carer. But I needed something else to do – and since I had always been a creative sort, and had always loved reading books, I decided to try and write one for myself. (As you do!) I started writing romance first, and as MAXINE BARRY was lucky enough to have my first book published by Orion. I then later decided to turn to crime! And now the lovely Jasper Joffe has been kind enough to fight DI Hillary Greene’s corner.

Who do you like to read when you’re not writing a book yourself?

I love reading authors from around the world, and read anything crime-related, except horror (too chicken!) There are some great Scandinavian authors around at the moment (especially in the noir genre), but also some marvellous African and Australian authors. But my very favourites are still golden age authors. At the moment, for instance, I’m reading a Rex Stout novel. But I’ve also ordered from my local library as many copies of the British Library Classic Crime series as I can find. Everyone knows the famous authors, of course, but that era produced some writers who are totally unknown now, but who deserve a renaissance.

What do you like most about being a writer?

There are so many things, it’s hard to put them in any order. I love getting letters from readers, thanking me for a book that they’ve just enjoyed reading, for instance. That always makes my day. And when the postman comes with my complimentary copies from my publisher. There’s something about getting my hands on my newly released novel for the first time that’s absolutely wonderful. And the satisfaction of typing in THE END after months of hard work! What a relief!

What do you most dislike about being a writer?

Not much, to be honest. But being your own boss can sometimes be difficult (you can’t blame the boss when things go wrong, for instance!) And when the sun’s shining, and the dog is looking at you hopefully, it can be hard to knuckle down and finish off that bit in chapter four, when all you really want to do is head out for a ramble in the countryside instead. Also, although it sounds like an old cliché, writing can be a very lonely occupation sometimes. Not just physically – being alone in a room, without work colleagues – but mentally too. When it’s just you and a blank, unhelpful screen, you can sometimes feel as if you’re living on Mars!


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Author Bio

Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and aficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.

Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.

Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.

As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.

 

THE BAD SISTER by ANNE PENKETH

Blog Tour BANNER - The Bad Sister jpg

Today is my spot on the Blog Tour for The Bad Sister by Anne Penketh, published by Joffe Books, kindly invited by Jill to take part.


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Book Description

THE BAD SISTER by Anne Penketh

MURDER, LIES, AND FAMILY . . .

DI Sam Clayton is called to a murder scene in Holt, not expecting to find his estranged sister at the scene. Her husband, Henry Lambton, has been murdered. Clayton is taken off the case and DS Julie Everett continues the investigation.

Clayton focuses on a vicious arson attack in Norwich. The fire killed a Polish family in their home. It seems to be part of a series of racist attacks connected to an extremist group.

The two crimes stretch the team and both come dangerously close to home. And can Clayton forgive his sister for what happened over twenty years ago?

In a thrilling conclusion, they race against time to prevent more attacks and get justice for their loved and not so loved ones.

THE BAD SISTER is the second in a new series of page-turning crime thrillers set in an atmospheric part of Norfolk. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Mel Sherratt, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.

THE TEAM
Detective Inspector Sam Clayton leads the investigation into the North Norfolk murders, joined the police straight from school as a beat bobby in Manchester before rising through the ranks of the CID. He was transferred to Norwich after being promoted to DI following a high-profile case investigated by Lancashire Constabulary.

Detective Sergeant Neil Pringle lives with his third wife in Norwich, where he was born. But taking care of his two sons with his wife Megan, and two other children with previous wives, has put his finances under strain. He never misses a chance to shine in hopes of securing promotion, and can’t help showing off his local knowledge to colleagues.

Detective Sergeant Julie Everett is an intuitive officer who was promoted to detective sergeant from her home town of Ipswich where she had a background in child protection. She is discreet about her personal life among colleagues, particularly about the tragedy which haunts her. She has to deal with a high-pressure job while raising her child who moved with her to Norwich.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

Well for a first read of Anne Penketh books I was suitably impressed, The Bad Sister is the second in the series surrounding DI Sam Clayton, the first being Murder On The Marsh. Although The Bad Sister is the second book it has enough back story to be read as a standalone, but it has encouraged me to go back and read the Murder On The Marsh.

The Bad sister runs with two investigations side by side, one is close to DI Clayton, his sisters husband has been brutally murdered, the other surrounds the Polish Community where a family has been killed in an arson attack. Clayton is removed from the investigation of his brother-in-law, so then concentrates all efforts on the Polish family, as the evidence builds, Clayton becomes a target, has he stumbled on vital evidence. Who wants him out of the picture? The exchange between both investigations running simultaneously is done extremely well by Anne, I sometimes find that when an author tries to achieve this it doesn’t blend well with the story and is eventually thrown off track but not in this case.

The Bad Sister propels along at a fairly fast pace, more and more questions that need answered the faster the pages are turned. The suspense and tension builds until it feels you cant take any more, adrenaline kicks in, all you can do is reach the end destination and breath.

Thank you to Joffe Books, Anne Penketh and Jill from Books_An_All for an advanced readers copy of The Bad Sister to read and review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Author Photo

Author Bio

I’m a Lancashire lass but for most of my career, I’ve been a foreign correspondent. I’ve reported from all over the world on some of the most cataclysmic events of our time, including the Egyptian revolution and the collapse of the Berlin wall.

These days I’m based in Paris and concentrating on fiction writing. The first in a series of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Sam Clayton,  Murder On The Marsh, is out now. My first novel, Food Fight, was published in 2015.

I’ve reported  from Paris mainly for The Independent and The Guardian, but I also contribute to France24 television and Monocle radio.  (I was The Independent’s Diplomatic Editor, while based in London). As a freelancer, I’ve written for The New Zealand Herald and The National (Abu Dhabi), as well as the LA Times, the New York Times, the Radio Times, the Oldie, Monocle magazine, Quartz, and Spark News.

Between 2009 and 2012, I headed the Washington office of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), a trans-Atlantic NGO focused on nuclear disarmament, during which time I was also a blogger and columnist for The Hill commenting on foreign affairs.

During my ten-year stint on The Independent I was one of the few journalists to report from Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, I was a staff foreign correspondent with the French news agency, AFP, which posted me to Moscow during the incredible Gorbachev years. I also reported for AFP from France, and New York where I covered the United Nations.

I started my journalistic career in Canada, arriving with two suitcases to seek my fortune in Montreal, from where I reported for British newspapers before getting a job on the Montreal Gazette.

Before that, I was a postgraduate student at University College London whose French department nurtured my lifelong love of French literature. As a result, my own books include a dash of French spice.

Author Links

Twitter: @annepenketh

Website: annepenketh.com

 

SISTER, PSYCHOPATH by MAGGIE JAMES

BLOG BLITZ (3)

Its my pleasure to help wrap up the Blog Blitz today for Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James, published by Bloodhounds Books.


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Book Description

When they were children, Megan adored her younger sister Chloe. Now she can’t bear to be in the same room as her.

Megan believes Chloe is a psychopath and her sister does appear to be a textbook case: cold, cruel and lacking in empathy.

Why does Chloe want to taunt Megan at every opportunity?  And why does she persist in manipulating their mentally ill mother, Tilly?

When Tilly, under Chloe’s malignant influence, becomes dangerously unstable, the consequences are ugly. Megan’s world falls apart. Her sister’s out of control and there’s little she can do about it. Until Chloe’s actions threaten the safety of Megan’s former lover. A man from whom she has kept an important secret…

A study of sibling rivalry and dysfunctional relationships, Sister, Psychopath tells the story of one woman’s struggle to survive the damage inflicted by her own flesh and blood.

Available to Buy

Amazon UK

Amazon US


My Review

Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James, I’ve read many psychological thrillers, some okay, some good and then there’s the ones you think what the heck happened there. Maggie James has written a story that your heart and mind will drum to a different beat.

Life isn’t plain sailing in Sister, Psychopath, Maggie writes a hard hitting story of a dysfunction family who are forever at odds with each other. Megan is shy, reliable and under the constant shadow of her sister Chloe, Chloe I can best describe as manipulative, deceiving and on the constant search for her next conquest, their mother Tilly lives a powerless existence under the strain of her mental heath history and her inability to see past Chloe’s disingenuous behaviour to her sister or herself.

The lives of 5 people are intertwined, producing an intricate weave of twists & turns, exploitation and a feeling of coldness which settles in a web of deception. I needed time to fathom out what was the connections between all the lives, oh then there was the puzzling factor why. I felt that it was inconceivable that one person can cause such harm and distress to another person, but its obvious that I was so wrong, anything is possible, but is it……

I loved the way Maggie linked the story together, it was even more of a challenge for me connecting the snippets of information dropped here and there, thinking to myself eureka I’ve cracked it, I know the end, how wrong was I. The conclusion was a Whammy, I’m still wondering how I missed it, but to me that’s the sign of a fantastic book, a five star read.

Sister, Psychopath by Maggie James a book that I absorbed fully, the words exploding across my mind with flashes of brilliance, my eyes never wanting to leave the page, leaving my mind, body and soul quaking to a new found beat.

Thank you to Bloodhound Books, Maggie James and Sarah Hardy for the opportunity to be part of the Blog Blitz today for Sister, Psychopath. I appreciate receiving the advanced readers copy to read and review in exchange for my honest opinion.


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Author Bio

Maggie James is a British author who lives in Bristol. She writes psychological suspense novels.
Before turning her hand to writing, Maggie worked mainly as an accountant, with a diversion into practising as a nutritional therapist. Diet and health remain high on her list of interests, along with travel. Accountancy does not, but then it never did. The urge to pack a bag and go off travelling is always lurking in the background! When not writing, going to the gym, practising yoga or travelling, Maggie can be found seeking new four-legged friends to pet; animals are a lifelong love!

Author Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MJamesFiction

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjamesfiction

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/828751.Maggie_James

Blog: http: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog

Website: http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/