Extract and Giveaway: Win a copy of Princess Maria by @LauraESanchez_

11:41


This Novel is Special. It is the story of 10 year-old Elena's quest to unite her family. A little girl. An Impossible journey. Living 5 years without her mother Elena bravely boards a bus - to see her mother once again. The only thing standing in her way is the 2000 mile bus trip across Mexico, robbers with machetes, trigger happy Federales. Her journey will shake her to her core, challenge her values as she fights for the family she loves

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Excerpt:

This scene occurs when Rey is taken from a bus at gun point

Each Federale armed with a tactical carbine - killing machine, allows the Federale to adapt to any enemy, blast a target at short, intermediate or long range; keeping gun flat and on target, match grade, 5.56 chambered stainless steel 14.7 barrel.
            Jose looks back at all his passengers and silently prays that this checkpoint will pass

without incident. The military pressure, the unevenness of their presence and demands gives Jose

an internal breakdown that he covers with an outward veil of calmness……


            “Well you will have to get off this bus. You cannot cross without a passport.  I don’t care if you are with the band.”
            He shoves Rey with his hand and slams Rey into the seat, “ GET OFF THIS BUS,” the automatic rifle dangling in front of his face.
            Rey looks down and tells him. “I am not getting off this bus.”
            “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” said the Federale leaning his face into Rey’s nose, shoving him with two hundred and ten pounds of concentrated mass and muscle.
            THUD.   Rey’s right leg hits the bus floor. His back hits the floor, bounces up and slams down a second time. Rey’s head hits the floor of the bus.  His eyes seal shut.
            Elena stands up and looks over to Rey.   Juana holds Elena back from running over to Rey. 
            “Sebastian, stay here,” says Felix, trying to keep his son out of danger.
            The cowboys, the old women, the salsa champions, the students from Guadalajara, the members of Sebastian’s band stand up to see Rey slumped over on the floor.
            Rey, reeling from the pain, opens his eyes and gets up, “ I AM NOT GETTING OFF THIS BUS.”
            The Federale, sensing everyone is looking at him, shoves the rifle so hard into Rey that he falls backward.
            THUD.  THUD. THUD.  Rey tumbles back and lands against the floor of the bus.
            “GET OFF THIS BUS.” The Federale tears up the birth certificate, “THIS COULD BE FAKE,” and throws it on the ground.
            The two pieces of his birth certificate slowly float onto the bus floor, landing near his feet.
            Rey gets up and repeats,  “I AM NOT GETTING OFF THIS BUS.”   He looks straight into the eyes of the Federale fighting the pain searing thru his back.
            The Federale puts his darkened googles over his face, takes the safety latch of the carbine, looks down the scope and points it directly at Rey’s head.
            Princess Maria, in full on jeopardy, risks her life, runs over to Rey and gets in between the rifle and Rey, pleading for his life, looking into the eyes of the darkened goggles.    
            Araceli, Maria Elena, Gloria, Rick, Valente, Miguel Angel, Raul, Arturo, Manuel, Francisco, Sebastian, Juana, Felix, the cowboys, the elderly women, the salsa champion, the students hold their breath – hoping that it isn’t true.
            The Federale is unmoved.  Right here, in front of everyone, the Federale is ready to shoot Rey and Princes Maria – dead.
            Elena gasps in a lightening rod of terror -- blood discharging from her face and draining into feet.    Her dog is going to be shot and Rey -- will die on impact.  
            In one second, one heartbeat, Elena bolts up and vaults over the seats and nine passengers.  With one daring sweep  -  she captures Princess Maria, snatches Rey’s hand and instantaneously moves past the Federale.
            Rey defiantly goes to the front of the bus with Elena and Princess Maria.
            All the passengers whisper in disbelief.  Shock.  Traumatized by the actions of the Federale.
            Elena comes off the bus with Rey.   Rey, irate, resentful, and enraged – and scared, says, “Now what?”
            The Federales on the truck point their weapons at Elena, Princess Maria and Rey.
“I will come for you.  Princess Maria and I,” says Elena, petrified.  “Where did you leave it last?”
            Indignant and heartbroken, “At the hospital.”
            “What hospital?”   
            Rey closes his eyes for a few seconds and forces his mind to replay the accident.  Rey slowly opens his eyes, fully depleted by the memory of the death of his parents. He weakly says, “Tarin Memorial. It was Christmas and we --- were going to see my grandmother --- all the family was going to be there.”

Giveaway:

To enter RT the tweet below and follow me AND the author.



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Extract and Giveaway: Win a copy of Swallowing Mercury @PLInst_London #PolishBooks

12:21



Wiola lives in a close-knit agricultural community. Wiola has a black cat called Blackie. Wiola's father was a deserter but now he is a taxidermist. Wiola's mother tells her that killing spiders brings on storms. Wiola must never enter the seamstress's 'secret' room. Wiola collects matchbox labels. Wiola is a good Catholic girl brought up with fables and nurtured on superstition. Wiola lives in a Poland that is both very recent and lost in time.

Extract


The Jesus Raffle

Disobeying my mother, i started sleeping with Blacky. Blacky smelled of hay and milk and had a snow white map of Africa around his neck. He would come to me in the night, lie on my duvet and start purring, kneading the covers like dough under his paws. Ever since I found him up in the attic, we lived in a strange state of symbiosis. Id carry him inside my jumper like a baby, steal cream for him from the dresser and, on Sundays, feed him chicken wings from my soup.

I spent the whole summer roaming the fields with Blacky. He showed me a different kind of geometry of the world, where boundaries are not marked by field margins overgrown with thistles and goosefoot, by cobbled roads, fences or tracks trodden by humans, but instead by light, sound and the elements. With Blacky, I learned to climb haystacks, apple and cherry trees, piles of breeze blocks; I learned to keep away from limestone pits hidden by blackberry bushes, from hornets nests, quagmires and snares set in the grain fields.
After Christmas, Blacky began to avoid me. Hed turn up at home only briefly and deposit a dead mouse on the doorstep, as if he wanted to make amends for his absence. On the first day of the winter break, he disappeared for good. I searched for him under tarpaulins and in the empty boxes where Uncle Lolek used to breed coypus and where Blacky loved sleeping all day, but he was nowhere to be found.
Uncle Lolek was my main suspect in the case of Blackys disappearance. A few months earlier, he had somehow managed to get hold of a sack of sugar which he hid in the coal shed, and thats exactly where Blacky set up his litter box. So, armed with my fathers air rifle, I ran to confront Uncle Lolek. I pointed the gun at him and ordered him to hand over Blacky immediately, since I couldnt allow my kitty to be turned into sausages and fur, like those nasty-smelling coypus. Uncle Lolek was speechless, and then he burst out laughing so hard he almost fell into the sauerkraut barrel. Grateful for being cheered up so much first thing in the morning, he offered me some sweets.

Blog Tour Giveaway: Win a copy of My Name is Leon by @KitdeWaal @PenguinUKBooks

15:00




A brother chosen. A brother left behind. And a family where you'd least expect to find one.

Leon is nine, and has a perfect baby brother called Jake. They have gone to live with Maureen, who has fuzzy red hair like a halo, and a belly like Father Christmas. But the adults are speaking in low voices, and wearing Pretend faces. They are threatening to give Jake to strangers. Since Jake is white and Leon is not.

As Leon struggles to cope with his anger, certain things can still make him smile - like Curly Wurlys, riding his bike fast downhill, burying his hands deep in the soil, hanging out with Tufty (who reminds him of his dad), and stealing enough coins so that one day he can rescue Jake and his mum.

Evoking a Britain of the early eighties, My Name is Leon is a heart-breaking story of love, identity and learning to overcome unbearable loss. Of the fierce bond between siblings. And how - just when we least expect it - we manage to find our way home.

Blog Tour: Read a Deleted Scene from Good as Gone by @unlandedgentry @HQStories

14:35



Eight years ago, thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night.

In the years since, her family have papered over the cracks of their grief – while hoping against hope that Julie is still arrive.

And then, one night, the doorbell rings.

Gripping, shocking, and deviously clever, Good as Gone is perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Ice Twins – and will keep readers guessing until the final page.

Deleted Scene (Spoiler Free)

A note from Amy:

Good as Gone alternates between the mother's point of view and the point of view of a mysterious young woman who goes by many different names over the course of the book. This deleted scene comes from one of the earliest of those chapters, "Gretchen."

Guest Post and Giveaway: Win #TheReunion by @roisinmeaney @HachetteIre

08:39


Buy on Amazon | Add to Goodreads

It's their twenty-year school reunion but the Plunkett sisters have their own reasons for not wanting to attend ...

Caroline, now a successful knitwear designer, spends her time flying between her business in England and her lover in Italy. As far as she's concerned, her school days, and what happened to her the year she left, should stay in the past.
Eleanor, meanwhile, is unrecognisable from the fun-loving girl she was in school. With a son who is barely speaking to her, and a husband keeping a secret from her, revisiting the past is the last thing on her mind.
But when an unexpected letter arrives for Caroline in the weeks before the reunion, memories are stirred.
Will the sisters find the courage to return to the town where they grew up and face what they've been running from all these years?


Guest Post: Back to School


Most of the time I love what I do. Sitting at my kitchen table, tapping away on the laptop – particularly when the weather is atrocious, and the stove is blazing – has got to be one of the best ways to earn a living.

But there are other days, when the rain dries up and the sun emerges. There are days when the Muse is busy in another writer’s house, and I mightn’t have had a face-to-face conversation with anyone for three days, and the deadline for finishing the manuscript is a comfortable distance away. These are the days when I’m delighted to open my inbox and find someone, anyone, looking for me.

I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the database of writers who feature in Poetry Ireland’s Writers in Schools Scheme. This means that I can be found by any teacher who’s searching for someone to come to the school to talk to the children about the joys of writing for a living, or to tell stories to the ones too young for a writer talk. I also get occasional calls from libraries, bookshops and book clubs inviting me to come and do a reading – and recently I was asked to interview a visiting writer at my local library. All great, all very welcome breaks from the laptop-tapping that usually constitutes my day’s work.

And while I enjoy any interaction with the outside world, and I welcome the opportunities afforded by the adult events to spread the word about my novels, I look forward in particular to the school visits. When I gave up primary school teaching in 2008 in favour of fulltime writing, the only things I really missed about that job were the company of my little charges and the wonderful buzz of a classroom. I don’t have children of my own, and my nephews and niece are all pretty much grown by this (yes, I am that old) so I went from daily interaction with small people to virtually none at all. Not good.

Consequently, within weeks of giving up the day job I offered my services as a storyteller in my local library – OK, I sort of forced them to let me in – and I began a monthly Saturday morning session there for 3 to 6 year olds, which is still the highlight of my calendar – and when a fellow writer told me a few months later about the Writers in Schools scheme, I immediately applied to go on the database, and was thrilled to be accepted.

As an ex-teacher I have a distinct advantage over writers who’ve never taught. Some confess to being terrified at the prospect of speaking to a class of twelve year olds: for me it’s a thing to be anticipated with glee. I love chatting with them for an hour or so, asking them about their favourite authors, telling them about my life as a writer, reading a bit from one of my children’s books and responding to their questions (one of which is guaranteed to be ‘Are you rich?’ ‘Do I look rich?’ is generally my response, which seems to give them their answer.)

Mind you, much as I enjoy their company, I also love returning them to their class teacher at the end of the allotted time, and leaving the school without a bundle of copies to correct, or a lesson plan to prepare, or having to patrol a yard filled with running, shrieking little people – those bits I didn’t miss in the least when I stopped teaching.

I’ve visited secondary schools too, although my children’s books are both aimed at ten to twelve year olds. I must admit I was more than a little apprehensive the first time I was asked to come and talk to teenagers. I’d had little dealings with them in the past, and didn’t know what to expect. I called to mind the clusters of slouching youths I might pass on my way into town, or the groups of startlingly well-made-up young girls who might sweep past me in minis and heels – at their age I’d hardly have known what to do with a tube of lipstick, let alone eye liner or mascara; and to this day I’m shaky on anything approaching a high heel. I wondered if I’d be challenged, or mocked – or worse, if they’d chew their hair as they chatted to one another and ignored me.

I needn’t have worried. Teenagers, I’ve discovered, are simply twelve year olds with a bit more mileage. Once I cottoned on to that, and pitched my talk accordingly, we didn’t have a problem. I’ve discovered that visitors to any classroom, regardless of age group, are at an immediate advantage: they’re the fresh face, welcomed by students and teacher alike, offering a bit of a change for the former and a bit of a break for the latter.

So I really have the best of both worlds. Days of writing – nothing better when inspiration and words are flowing – interspersed every now and again with an opportunity to give my literary brain a break and mix with the outside world. And on the first Saturday of every month I pack up my storytelling kit and head for the library down the road with a big fat smile on my face.

Giveaway:

Follow and RT to win a copy of The Reunion. Open Worldwide.


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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:
-----------------------------------------------------------------


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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#BookReview Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough #WTFthatending

13:45

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-------------------------------

behind her eyes book review



Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele


Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise's new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?


Review:

Why authors!? Why do you do this!! This book was so hard to review without spoiling. I really want to talk about what ruined this book for me but I don't want to spoil it.

I loved Behind Her Eyes right up until the last chapter. It brilliantly written. The characters really suck you into their world and hold you there! You'll have a perceived notion of a character and then BAM, that's all turned on it's head in a single sentence in the final part of a chapter. That takes real talent and it makes great reading. I love it when a book messes with your head in that way. 

I always say that I love to hate a character and David was one of those characters. He's painted as a controlling bully and I loved guessing what he might do next in his bid to keep tabs on Adele. 

Then there kind of came a point in the book where it all got very 'familiar'. I think I've just read too many plots with unreliable narrators and after a while they all start to meld together. I started to figure out what was going on. I won't say I guessed the ending exactly but I had a fairly good idea of what was happening (there were major hints at more than one point) so there was no WTF moment for me...well there was, but not in a good way. 

And that is what will divide people. I found the ending to be a little silly. I won't say it ruined the book as such but I was certainly annoyed. Again, it's really hard to talk about it without spoiling but I just didn't appreciate the sudden change in genre. I love when a book evokes emotion but I don't like feeling frustrated at the end of a book. Especially when I enjoyed reading every other part of it.

So would I still recommend Behind Her Eyes? Yes, absolutely. It's a highly addictive read that will draw you in from the first page. You won't want to put it down. Just be prepared for the ending and remember that a WTF feeling isn't always a positive one! I think this will a be Marmite book. You'll either love the ending or loathe it, but take the chance see what you think. 

Have you read Behind Her Eyes? Did you like the ending? Let me know in the comments.


Rating:

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

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#BookReview You're Next by @GreggHurwitz

10:15

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You’re-Next-Gregg-Hurwitz-book-review



I know you, don't I?' Five words - that's all it takes to plunge Mike Wingate and his family into mortal danger. Mike doesn't recognise the crippled stranger who approaches him at a party . . . but the stranger seems to know all about him.

What has Mike done? Do they have the wrong man? Overnight, the threats become attacks, and Mike, his wife, and their young daughter learn they aren't safe anywhere -especially not their own home.

He doesn't know who they are. He doesn't know what they want. But there's no time to figure it out - because his enemies have killed before, and he's next.

Review:


I enjoy a good mooch around the charity shops; particularly when it comes to buying books. 

I am a little nervous about buying a book by an author I have never read before and the charity shop affords me this luxury. 

You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz was one such book. 

Guest Post: The Girl Before by JP Delaney @QuercusBooks #TheBloggerBefore

12:28


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The Girl Before book by JP Delaney



Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.
Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the TrainThe Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

Guest Post:


One of the things I really worked at with my book The Girl Before is the book’s narrative structure – it’s told in alternating chapters by two narrators, occupants of the same unusual minimalist house, three years apart. Gradually the woman who lives there now – Jane – becomes aware that the woman before – Emma – died in the house. She also discovers that Emma, like her, started a relationship with the architect who built it, and begins to wonder what really happened to her.

So far, so simple. But while I was writing the book I became intrigued by the well-known idea that killers have a ‘pattern’ – they get psychological satisfaction from repeating their previous murder, down to the last tiny detail. I began to wonder if it was possible to write these two women’s stories as though it were one continuous narrative, so that a scene flows naturally from beginning to end even though bits of it are taking place in the past – almost as if Emma’s story is being retold, with Jane as the new protagonist and potential victim.


If that sounds complicated to explain, hopefully it isn’t on the page – I think of it as almost being like the opposite of the movie Sliding Doors. Where that was one woman with two possible stories, this is two women trapped inside one story, so the big narrative question for the reader becomes whether the second woman can escape the ending that was written for the first. Hopefully it’s a new way of telling an old tale – and now that it’s finally about to be published, I can’t wait to see what readers think of it. 


Thank you to JP for this great guest post. Be sure to head to Rea's Book Reviews for yesterday's post and  On My Bookshelf tomorrow for the next stop on the tour!


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#BookReview The Marriage Lie by @KimberlySBelle @HQstories

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Iris and Will's marriage is as close to perfect as it can be: a large house in a nice Atlanta neighborhood, rewarding careers and the excitement of trying for their first baby. But on the morning Will leaves for a business trip to Orlando, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board, and according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers on this plane. 

Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. But as time passes and there is still no sign of Will, she reluctantly accepts that he is gone. Still, Iris needs answers. Why did Will lie about where he was going? What is in Seattle? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to find out what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she receives will shock her to her very core.

Review:


Wow what a great read! I was in the mood for a page turner and this certainly didn't disappoint! The only thing I would say is that I think the blurb gives too much away!

Guest Post: Felling Big Trees by @rich_garon @bookbaby

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Felling Big Trees is the story of disgraced Congressman Fran Stewart as he turns to the American heartland to find redemption in the eyes of his daughter and the woman he loves. He has been adrift after losing his wife in a horrific car accident. Trying to free himself from a politically powerful mother-in-law who blames him for his daughter's death, Fran searches for a way to prepare a better future for himself and his teenage daughter, Becky. An innocent misstep one evening leads to political disaster for Fran. Fran travels through heartland towns where no one knows he's a former congressman. Stripped of the detachment that characterized his early years as a congressman, Fran is drawn to an everyman perspective that poses universal questions. What breeds inaction and apathy? How do we jumpstart a deeper connection to the injustices we see every day? What does it take to engender empathy in a meaningful and focused way? How far will we humble ourselves to help those with few resources? Fran has to stand up to prejudices and uncaring established ways. His story and how he relates to those he meets fits well with a time when compassion and tolerance are often overwhelmed by strident tones and lack of basic civility.


Guest Post: Hitting The First Key


There’s a lot to plan when writing. Even before one sits down at the computer, the mind is at work organizing, conceptualizing, projecting. I finally sat down and from scraps of paper and unorganized saved files, produced thirty pages of which I was very proud. I started to write my first manuscript. Maybe one hundred pages into the work, a friend whose writing skills I held in high esteem read what I had produced so far. I was devastated when he told me the first thirty pages absolutely had to go. I almost gave up right there.

Guest Post and Giveaway: Win The One by @johnmarrs1 @EburyPublishing

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One simple mouth swab is all it takes. 

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner - the one you're genetically made for. 

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. 

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking - and deadlier - than others...

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.


Guest Post:


When I first started planning to write The One, I knew that it was going to need a diverse ensemble of characters. The premise has a slight sci-fi edge to it – i.e that we all have a DNA Match out there who’s the person we are destined to fall in love with – so the rest of the story needed to have broad appeal to grab readers’ attention. Therefore it had to be very much character led.
The One follows five people, each of whom discover they have a Match somewhere out there, but they don’t have any idea who it is. That Match could be any sexuality, religion, race, location or age. And that gave me an awful lot of scope to play with.

#BookReview The Hanged Man's Noose by @JudyPenzSheluk @BarkingRain

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Buy on Amazon

Small-town secrets and subterfuge lead to murder in this fast-moving, deftly written tale of high-stakes real estate wrangling gone amok.

Journalist Emily Garland lands a plum assignment as the editor of a niche magazine based in Lount’s Landing, a small town named after a colorful 19th century Canadian traitor. As she interviews the local business owners for the magazine, Emily quickly learns that many people are unhappy with real estate mogul Garrett Stonehaven’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse into a mega-box store. At the top of that list is Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of an antiques shop, who will do just about anything to preserve the integrity of the town’s historic Main Street.

But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.

Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.


Review:


What I like about reading is the opportunity it gives to the reader to discover new writers, genres and styles. Not all are good, some are indifferent and others could read over and over again.I was given a copy of The Hanged Man’s Noose by Judy Penz Sheluk to review and I am so glad I decided to read it.

This book conjured up so many lovely warm images for me; considering it is a book involving murder you may wonder how that is possible! Let me explain.
I love those Christmas films set in America where there is lots of snow, bounteous Christmas decorations and everyone is warm and friendly. Everybody knows exactly what is going on and there is a general feeling of happiness. That is exactly what happened to me with this book; it enabled me to envisage Lount’s Landing and the people there and every time I picked this book up I escaped into a different reality; that portrayed in the book.

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