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Blog Tour Extract: Sometimes I Lie by @alicewriterland @HarperCollinsUK @Line_reader

17:03



My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.

Read an Extract:

Now Boxing Day,
 
December 2016 

I’ve always delighted in the free fall between sleep and wakefulness. Those precious few semi-conscious seconds before you open your eyes, when you catch yourself believing that your dreams might just be your reality. A moment of intense pleasure or pain, before your senses reboot and inform you who and where and what you are. For now, for just a second longer, I’m enjoying the self-medicated delusion that permits me to imagine that I could be anyone, I could be anywhere, I could be loved. 
I sense the light behind my eyelids and my attention is drawn to the platinum band on my finger. It feels heavier than it used to, as though it is weighing me down. A sheet is pulled over my body, it smells unfamiliar and I consider the possibility that I’m in a hotel. Any memory of what I dreamt evaporates. I try to hold on, try to be someone and stay somewhere I am not, but I can’t. I am only ever me and I am here, where I already know I do not wish to be. My limbs ache and I’m so very tired, I don’t want to open my eyes, until I remember that I can’t. Panic spreads through me like a blast of icy cold air. I can’t recall where this is or how I got here, but I know who I am. My name is Amber Reynolds. I am thirty-five years old. I’m married to Paul. I repeat these three things in my head, holding on to them tightly, as though they might save me, but I’m mindful that some part of the story is lost, the last few pages ripped out. When the memories are as complete as I can manage, I bury them until they are quiet enough inside my head to allow me to think, to feel, to try to make sense of it all. One memory refuses to comply, fighting its way to the surface, but I don’t want to believe it. 
The sound of a machine breaks into my consciousness, stealing my last few fragments of hope and leaving me with nothing except the unwanted knowledge that I am in a hospital. The sterilised stench of the place makes me want to gag. I hate hospitals. They are the home of death and regrets that missed their slots, not somewhere I would ever choose to visit, let alone stay. 
There were people here before, strangers, I remember that now. They used a word I chose not to hear. I recall lots of fuss, raised voices and fear, not just my own. I struggle to unearth more, but my mind fails me. Something very bad has happened, but I cannot remember what or when. 
Why isn’t he here? 
It can be dangerous to ask a question when you already know the answer. 
He does not love me. 
I bookmark that thought.
 I hear a door open. Footsteps, then the silence returns but it’s spoiled, no longer pure. I can smell stale cigarette smoke, the sound of pen scratching paper to my right. Someone coughs to my left and I realise there are two of them. Strangers in the dark. I feel colder than before and so terribly small. I have never known a terror like the one that takes hold of me now. I wish someone would say something.
 ‘Who is she?’ asks a woman’s voice. 
‘No idea. Poor love, what a mess,’ replies another woman.
 I wish they’d said nothing at all. I start to scream. My name is Amber Reynolds! I’m a radio presenter! Why don’t you know who I am? I shout the same sentences over and over, but they ignore me, because on the outside I am silent. On the outside, I am nobody and I have no name. 
I want to see the me they have seen. I want to sit up, reach out and touch them. I want to feel something again. Anything. Anyone. I want to ask a thousand questions. I think I want to know the answers. They used the word from before too, the one I don’t want to hear. The women leave, closing the door behind them, but the word stays behind, so that we are alone together and I am no longer able to ignore it. I can’t open my eyes. I can’t move. I can’t speak. The word bubbles to the surface, popping on impact and I know it to be true. 
Coma.



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#BookReview You and Me, Always by @JillMansell

10:32

You and Me Always by Jill Mansell

Buy on Amazon

Lily's always been surrounded by love.

Ever since her mother died, she's been cared for by friends who are as close as any family.

Coral, her mum's best friend; Patsy, her old babysitter - and even Dan, Patsy's incorrigible younger brother - have always been there for her.

But when she chance comes to meet the man who was the love of her mother's life, Lily knows she has to take it. Getting to know him could change everything, and not just for Lily...


Review:

Jill Mansell is one of my favourite authors. I have all her books and she never fails in delivering an extremely good book.

You and me, always was everything I have come to expect and enjoy; a beautiful, romantic and emotionally touching read.

The central characters are Lily, Coral, Patsy and Dan; brought together by the death of Lily’s mum and Coral’s best friend when Lily was a young girl. Coral and her then husband take Lily in and raise her.

There are various stories running throughout and so not to spoil the book for those who have not read it I will just share a couple of my favourite’s parts.

Lily has been in love with Dan for as long as she can remember, but has never acted on her feelings for him because she does not want to be another ‘one’ of his women. Instead they have become best friends and someone she knows will always be there for her.

Dan, unbeknownst to Lily is in love with her. Dan has never acted on his feelings (you will learn why in the book) and his way of managing this is to meet and date other women.

I am a sucker for a romantic book, I can’t help myself! So this storyline had me hooked from the start. Will Lily confess her feelings for Dan, or will the introduction of Hollywood star Eddie Tessler bring a stop to that? Will Dan give in to his feelings for Lily or step back and allow Eddie to have the life with her that he dreams of?

This story is relatable as are the characters; either as the single girl hoping for love but struggling with the dating world, or the widow ready to start dating. Whoever you are, whatever your story, there will be something or someone for all of you in this story.

Fans of Jill Mansell know that when they pick up one of her books they are going to be spirited away to another world. At times you are taken to places of sadness, joy, love and friendship yet her style and storytelling always leaves you feeling utterly absorbed and happy that you have had access into these characters lives.

Rating:

★★★★★

This review was written by my co-blogger Hannah. Follow her on Twitter. 

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Blog Tour Giveaway: Win The Method by @ShannonCKirk @LittleBrownUK

15:24

The Method book Shannon Kirk

Kidnapped? Helpless? Looks can be deceiving...


'Deft ... refreshing ... Shannon Kirk is a writer to watch' Stylist
'Completely original' Lisa Gardner
'A monster twist' Glamour

You're sixteen, you're pregnant and you've been kidnapped.

If you're anyone else you give in, but if you're a manipulative prodigy you fight back in the only way you can. You use what you've been given against your captors.

You have only one chance to save your life and that of your unborn child. You're calculating, methodical, and as your kidnappers are about to discover, they made a big mistake in abducting you.

What happens when the victim is just as dangerous as the captors?

The Method
is a dark, gripping and unique thriller that introduces a kickass new heroine - think Lisbeth Salander meets Pierre Lemaitre's Alex. Perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson and Karin Slaughter.

'A riveting debut novel ... welcome to a thrilling new voice in crime fiction' Boston Globe


'A dark, literate page turner, utterly compelling. I read it in one sitting' Leonard Rosen, author of All Cry Chaos

'This exciting tale builds to a surprising climax' Publishers Weekly

About Shannon Kirk:


Shannon Kirk is a practicing attorney and law professor in Massachusetts, where she lives with her
husband, a physicist and ultra-marathoner, and son, a cat-loving, basketball-playing eleven-year-old. Shannon is a three-time finalist in the William Faulkner Wisdom Writing Competition: 2012 Novel-in-Progress, The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall (literary fiction, finalist); 2013 Novella, 15/33 (thriller, finalist); and 2014 Novel-in-Progress, The Impossibility of Interplanetary Love (literary fiction, short-list finalist). Prior to moving to Massachusetts, Shannon was a trial attorney in Chicago for ten years. Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, Shannon spent her very early years moving around the country: Texas, Indiana, Massachusetts, Upstate New York, and finally settled to grow up mostly in Raymond, New Hampshire. Her home was an eccentric and loud, although loving, household with ten million pets of dubious origin. Both her parents encouraged pursuits in the arts, often dragging her and her three brothers to flea markets and antique shows, while giving lessons on the genius of Bob Dylan and Santana. Shannon's three brothers are artists: one, a rap/blues musician, another a sculptor, and another a physical therapist with a woodshop. Shannon attended Trinity High School and moved on to West Virginia Wesleyan and St. John's for college. She graduated from Suffolk Law School in 1998, where she is currently an adjunct law professor. When not writing or practicing law, Shannon enjoys creating sea-glass sculptures, painting, and hanging with her family and two cats, Marvin Garcia Marquez and Stewie Poe, named after her writing influences.


Shannon writes in several genres: literary fiction, suspense/thriller, and young adult.


Giveaway:

The prize is one copy of The Method.
Open to the UK and Ireland only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Blog Tour: #Win a copy of The Witch Finder's Sister by @bethunderdown @VikingBooksUK

13:52

Advert:
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The Witch Finder's Sister by Beth Underdown



Escape into the biggest historical debut of 2017: the true story of the 1640s Essex witch trials, for fans of The Miniaturist, Sarah Waters and The Essex Serpent.

'VIVID AND TERRIFYING' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
'If you loved The Essex Serpent...then you may have met your new favourite' Apple Books

'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...'

1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.

To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Guest Post: researching the witch hunts


As soon as I encountered the 1640s witch hunts, I knew I wanted to write about them. I first came across Matthew Hopkins’s name quite randomly as part of a brief footnote in a book on seventeenth-century midwifery. I’d never heard of him or the trials he instigated, and I quickly began to research it further.

I started off by reading generally about the English Civil War, and the unrest and poverty it caused that enabled the witch hunts to really take hold. Travelling on horseback through Essex and Suffolk, Matthew Hopkins used manipulation and torture to extract confessions of making pacts with the devil. By autumn 1647 at least 250 people—mostly women—had been questioned and tried. More than a hundred were hanged. Using Malcolm Gaskill’s engaging and thorough work on Hopkins, I’ve tried to keep the names, the life stories and the ‘confessions’ of the witchfinder’s victims accurate in my book.

It was also important for me to know plenty about the broader context of the witch hunts. I wanted to understand my narrator properly – Matthew’s sister, Alice. I read a lot about seventeenth century food and cooking, clothing, religion and charitable giving, to try to understand what a woman’s life would have been like in Alice’s time. I also used anthologies of diary entries, love letters and confessions from the 1600s to help me get a sense of how people would have spoken and written about themselves and each other.

I spent time in Essex and Suffolk, where the witch hunts happened, comparing old maps with new ones to try and find old routes, and visiting churches and castles to get a sense of the different places the witch hunt went. I was also able to find the field where Matthew Hopkins is probably buried, which is incredibly creepy! Visiting the places that feature in the book was the most important way for me to capture the feeling of the witch hunts.

Giveaway:

Open to the UK and Ireland only.


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