Published by Transworld / Corgi

ebook: 29 June 2017   |  Paperback 14 December 2017

364 pages



 

 

|   About the Book  |

 

When a paragraph in an evening newspaper reveals a decades-old tragedy, most readers barely give it a glance. But for three strangers it’s impossible to ignore.

For one woman, it’s a reminder of the worst thing that ever happened to her.

For another, it reveals the dangerous possibility that her darkest secret is about to be discovered.

And for the third, a journalist, it’s the first clue in a hunt to uncover the truth.

The Child’s story will be told.

 

|   My Thoughts   | 

 

The Child is the second novel by Fiona Barton to feature journalist Kate Waters. This time a baby’s skeleton has been found on a building site in London. On seeing the headline in another newspaper, her interest is immediately piqued. Who, How and Why?

The story revolves around 3 women, Angela, Emma and Jude. I was keen to know what their connection was and how their past history might hold the key to the grim findings on that site. The discovery of the baby hits them hard but why?

This is an extremely clever story, with layers that are gradually revealed to reveal secrets and deception. It starts very slowly but builds to a twisty crescendo. Initially I did get a bit confused with the characters and often mixed up Emma and Angela – both women having similar character traits however that is my problem rather than the author’s because each chapter is clearly marked with a dateline and the name of the narrating character.  This book also has one of my favourite things – short chapters! I’m a big fan as they can make for such an addictive read and once I got into this, it really was a case of sitting in bed late at night thinking…. ‘I’ll just read one more’!

I much preferred the Kate Waters that appears in this story than in the debut, The Widow. In The Widow, she came across as someone who would do anything for a story and would manipulate people, regardless of the consequences. However in The Child, although she hasn’t lost that determined and ambitious edge, she comes across as less ruthless and more considerate to people’s feelings.

It is with Kate’s character that the author’s own journalist background shines through clearly. Kate is under pressure here to resolve the story and deliver an exclusive that will sell papers. The preference for more instant online news forces the bosses to take cost cutting measures and it is made clear that she may not be immune from the staffing cuts if she doesn’t deliver. When she is paired with Joe, a young man on work experience her heart sinks at having to babysit him but Joe turns out to be a real asset and they do work well together, often leaving the police trailing behind!

I really enjoyed The Child and although I had guessed the outcome before the reveal, this didn’t matter at all. The characters are so realistic and their stories are superbly woven together to form a complex thriller with shocks and surprises.  I wasn’t quite so taken with The Widow but I’m delighted to say that The Child was a much better book for me. I’m already looking forward to another!

My thanks to Anne Cater and Transworld for including me on the tour.

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Fiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.

Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.

While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .

 

 

Author Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook  |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

 

Published by Aria Fiction

ebook and paperback : 1 December 2017

472 pages



Welcome to my turn on the launch celebrations for The Girl I Used to Know.  Having read and very much enjoyed a previous book by Faith (Secrets We Keep which I reviewed here)  I’m very much looking forward to reading this latest one which is (im)patiently waiting on the Kindle.  Today I have a fabulous guest post by Faith which I hope you enjoy.  My thanks to Melanie of Aria for inviting me to take part in the tour.

 

The Second Lives Club!

by Faith Hogan

Very often, when people hear that I write books, one of the first questions they will ask is, what kind of books? A valid question and one would think, a very easy one to answer. Any writer will tell you that next to writing a synopsis, one of the hardest things to do is pick a pigeonhole that fits your own book.

When my agent first came to me with the offer from Aria – there was talk about women’s fiction, about photographic treatments and the writing being for a more grown up, thinking woman. Hence, I’ve ended up with a variety of lovely covers – but still didn’t grasp exactly where the books might fit. You see, I thought Womens’ Fiction was just books for women!

It is only as I’ve journeyed along, taking in the vistas and landscapes, of the genre that I’ve begun to see what she meant.

My books are grown up. I don’t write about twenty something girls – modern day Bridget Joneses or Carrie Bradshaws – mainly because I can’t. Their existence is very different to mine and I’m not about to take a flat in London, sleep with every unsuitable man I spill coffee over and blow my grocery money on heels that would likely give me bunions!

Instead, my books are about the kind of women I know and have known all of my life. They are a mixture of ordinary and extraordinary women who make their way quietly through traumas and triumphs and celebrate as much for others as they do for themselves. These women are like me and you – your friends and mine. These are women we would want to be friends with and women we want to put our arms around because we have, on some level, felt their pain – because their pain is our pain.

Many of these women are older – they are at the age when not so many decades ago, women were supposed to have disappeared from the starring roles in our culture. (Unless you happened to be the Queen, of course – HRH is always relevant!) It seems odd now, that women once pinned their hair up when they got to a certain age – now we have people like Jerry Hall who have better hair than many women half her age.

The real beauty of older women though, from a writer’s point of view is not their hair or the fact that we have learned to age in ways that keep us feeling vital and necessary and significant, rather than relegated at best or at worst burdensome. The real beauty of writing about a more mature heroine, is that she is much more interesting.

You see, you can’t get to fifty years of age, or even thirty-five, without some history. Backstory, no matter how expensive it was to gain along the way, is what makes us who we are. Those outrageous slings and arrows of fortune (sic) shape us; true we thought they might actually kills us, in the end, they only made us much more remarkable.

The other thing about the modern woman is that she is always learning and adapting – I think we are much better at this than men are. We are never too old to learn a new trick or to try some different way to make life more of what we want. We are open to learning, striving and achieving. In fact, if anything, once we are past the stage of nurturing our children, we are positively embracing of change for with it there are possibilities for a better life.

The books that I like to read are ones with characters who are fascinating, women who live outside the tick box of society’s expectations.

In THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW Tess is very much one of those women. She started out, so many years before, a girl filled with passion and when she lost her heart, she lost it wholly and maybe some of her self with it. She has lived her life on her own terms, even if she carved them from loss and bitterness – she arrives at an age where she decides to turn things round. Like very many women, I know, teetering on the verge of retirement, she is ready to grasp a new, if uncertain future, choosing to see in it instead the possibilities for ideal progression.

Amanda, on the other hand, is twenty years younger than Tess. She has lived a seemingly gilded life – from the outside, it looks as though she has it all. It turns out, she’s just a down trodden yes-woman who has gone along with her husband’s plans and quelled her own ambition so it’s hardly even a smouldering flicker anymore. It takes Amanda longer to find herself than it does for her to see through the man she thought she married. Amanda, is like that friend you have, you look at and wonder sometimes, what on earth happened to them – or rather what have they allowed life to do to them? She’s the one you want to shake some sense into – it is, a very, very good thing she has Tess Cuffe nearby – even if she doesn’t realise it for herself!

So now you know… those books, the ones with normal looking women on the cover? The ones that look like you and I? They are women’s fiction – in my case, with THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW, I’m joining a wagon called UpLit – uplifting stories about real people to brighten up your world. I’m not promising you a happy ending, just a story with optimism, every day heroism and assurance. And, I hope, when you pick up THE GIRL I USED TO KNOW, you’ll meet at least one or two people to root for, I know as I was writing it, I was rooting for them to the very last page.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

A beautiful, emotive and spell-binding story of two women who find friendship and second chances when they least expect it. Perfect for the fans of Patricia Scanlan.

Amanda King and Tess Cuffe are strangers who share the same Georgian house, but their lives couldn’t be more different.
Amanda seems to have it all, absolute perfection. She projects all the accoutrements of a lady who lunches. Sadly, the reality is a soulless home, an unfaithful husband and a very lonely heart.

By comparison, in the basement flat, unwanted tenant Tess has spent a lifetime hiding and shutting her heart to love.

It takes a bossy doctor, a handsome gardener, a pushy teenager and an abandoned cat to show these two women that sometimes letting go is the first step to moving forward and new friendships can come from the most unlikely situations.

 

|   About the Author  |

 

Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.

 

Author Links:   Website  |  Twitter   |   Facebook  |  Goodreads

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xDaPg4
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2z5f3hN
iBooks: http://apple.co/2ggvR1F

 

Published by Poolbeg Press

available in ebook and paperback (5 September 2017)

400 pages



I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Tide Between Us. This is a book that I would very much like to read however with no reading space at the moment, I have a guest post from Olive on why she writes historical fiction.

 

Why, Oh why Historical Fiction?

by Olive Collins

I’m often asked why I don’t write a contemporary novel, something involving the lives of the various characters I meet in my daily life. Wouldn’t it be easier to dip into the lives around me than painstakingly pour over history books, memoires, diaries, and academic papers. The answer is that there is little to discover, what happens around me is familiar and known. Most of my writing is done to satisfy my curiosity. Yes, it comes with a price. There are times when I feel studying for a degree in history would have been an easier way to spend my nights.

Researching historical fiction involves delving into an atmosphere, sometimes as unknown as if it was life on mars – even life on mars is speculative, historical fiction must be accurate. It must convey a sense of the time, the characters expectations of that era and the dialogue, the food, the politics, and facts – facts conveyed through a story without the novel boring the pants off the reader. And the period of history must interest the writer – otherwise we might as well write about life on mars.

My novel The Tide Between Us was a novel I tried not to write. It began with a chance encounter. Years ago, before the age of Google, I attended a St Patrick’s Day party in Israel. There was a mixture of wonderful characters, Scottish, English, Welsh, Irish, some of whom were familiar with Irish songs and history. During the party I noticed a black man who appeared to enjoy the celebrations as much as the most earnest Irish person. Afterwards he told me that he was Jamaican of Irish descent. I looked at his colour and thought of my white freckled nations. He told me how thousands of Irish had crossed the Atlantic for centuries for various reasons and thousands of Jamaican’s claimed Irish ancestry – I didn’t entirely believe him.

When Google became accessible I found myself researching his Jamaican-Irish story and found my old Jamaican friend (whose name I’d long forgotten) had been telling the truth. 25% of Jamaican’s claim Irish descent, there are enough Irish named towns and streets to realise the imprint the Irish left. I read several accounts of exiled Irish but one particular story that grasped my imagination was about 2,000 children. They were aged between 10 to 14 years and had been deported to Jamaica in 1650 to pick cotton and sadly, breed.

Knowing the research that was involved, the hours I’d spend locked in a room growing paler each day pouring over their history and understanding everything from the beginning – I tried to ignore the story. I knew nothing about the history or culture of the Caribbean yet I imagined their sea voyage. The image of a boy began to form in my mind, I called him Art O’Neill. I wanted to know what was waiting at the other side for Art and his fellow deportees, their lives afterwards, their children’s lives and the impact of slavery and emancipation. Did Art O’Neill take his home with him in his heart and dip into melancholy like so many other immigrants? The more I thought of the research, the harder I tried to forget Art, I wanted to wave him off at the pier and forget him forever more.

Finally when I sat down to write my novel, I only heard Art’s voice.

Following his story was fantastically rewarding and a reminder whey I write historical fiction. There were times I felt as if I was gliding over the slave villages and coral beaches of Jamaica with a birds-eye view of the 19th century. I was emotionally involved in all of Art’s little happiness’s and sadness’s. With each decade I celebrated his small and great achievements, I joined Art as he rose a glass of grog on the birth of his first child, I was proud when his grandchildren prospered, utterly jubilant on the night of emancipation. And like all characters, there was sadness at his eventual death.

To understand today, we need to go back, back to the beginning. That is why I write historical fiction.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

The Tide Between Us is historical fiction (1821 – 1991) based between Ireland and Jamaica

Part 1 (1821 – 1891) tells the story of Art O’Neill, who records his life in his final years. He begins with his boyhood in Ireland where he lived in the shadow of Lugdale Estate. After the local landlord was assassinated, Art was deported to the cane fields of Jamaica as an indentured servant on Mangrove Plantation. When he acclimatises to the strange exotic country and bizarre customs of the African slaves, he assumes his days of English tyranny are finished until the arrival of the new heirs to Mangrove Plantation. His new owner is Col Stratford-Rice from Lugdale Estate. Art must overcome his hatred to survive. He takes us through the decades of his life, the coarseness of Jamaica, fatherhood and slave emancipation which liberated his coloured children. His greatest battle was fought quietly as he struggled with his abhorrence at his Anglo-Jamaica oppressors, a mutual loathing that passed from father to son. Eventually Art is promised seven gold coins when he finishes his service. Art doubts the plantation owner will part with the coins.

Part 2 is based in Ireland (1921 – 1991) It opens with the discovery of a skeleton beneath a tree on the grounds of Lugdale Estate with a gold coin minted in 1870. Yseult, the owner of Ludgale Estate watches the events unfold and recaps on the rumours that abounded about her father’s beginnings in Jamaica, a county with 25% of the population claiming Irish descent. As the body gives up its secrets, Yseult realises she too can no longer hide.

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Olive Collins grew up in Thurles, Tipperary, and now lives in Kildare. For the last fifteen years, she has worked in advertising in print media and radio. She has always loved the diversity of books and people. She has travelled extensively and still enjoys exploring other cultures and countries. Her inspiration is the ordinary everyday people who feed her little snippets of their lives. It’s the unsaid and gaps in conversation that she finds most valuable.

 

Author Links:     Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |  Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

Published by Zaffre

ebook : 30 November 2017   |   Paperback 22 March 2018

368 pages



Welcome to my turn on the the blog tour for the ebook publication of Anything for Her. I had hoped to have included a review but illness and catching up with other blog tour commitments have put paid to this. This is one that I really do want to read though so watch this space!

In the meantime I have an excellent guest post to share with you.

 

Five crime writers well worth reading

by G J Minett

 

Just to be slightly different, I’m going to leave off the list the obvious suspects who feature regularly in such compilations. The chances are I’d merely be preaching to the converted anyway, so I’d prefer instead to pick out five crime writers who may not necessarily be the first to spring to mind but whose novels I’ve enjoyed immensely so far.

I should point out that I’m automatically disregarding anyone who writes for my publishers, Bonnier Zaffre, for fear of being accused of favouritism. I’d also be able to choose only five and would be slaughtered by those who didn’t make the cut! I would however urge you to have a look at the Bonnier Zaffre lists if you haven’t already done so. There is some fearsome talent being nurtured within that company.

These five I’ve chosen are listed in alphabetical order as ranking them would be such a subjective and invidious thing to do. Please regard them all as first equal.

So . . .

Ace Atkins

Quinn Colson is a former Army ranger who returns home to Tibbehah County, Mississippi and takes on the role of sheriff. The first two books in the series (next year’s offering, The Sinner, will be no. 8) were entertaining enough but with book 3, The Broken Places, with its extraordinary description of a tornado hitting the town and the effect it has on the population, Atkins moved up several levels and hasn’t slipped from it since.

Peter Dexter

 

I’m amazed and somewhat dismayed he hasn’t reached a wider audience. He has written seven novels so far, mainly set in urban America and featuring working class people trying to eke out a meaningful existence, frequently against overwhelming odds. Blessed with a wonderful ear for dialogue, he writes with compassion and anger.

William Landay

 

Only 3 novels to his name so far and significant gaps between them but so worth the wait. Mission Flats follows the attempts of a small-town police chief in Maine to investigate the murder of a Boston lawyer despite the opposition he encounters from the city authorities. Defending Jacob examines the dilemma facing a Massacusetts assistant DA who investigates a murder at a local school, only to find his own son as the principal suspect. The Strangler is set in 1963 and Landay does for Boston what James Ellroy did for LA, looking at a family of three brothers against a backdrop of real-life events. Real quality writing!

 

Gilly Macmillan

 

She gives the lie to any suggestion that a novel may be literary or crime but not both. Her debut novel was originally entitled Burnt Paper Sky which was as poetic and imaginative as the writing within its pages but it now goes under the title What She Knew. Three novels to date, all of them with compelling storylines, convincing characters and prose to die for. These novels really deserve to reach as wide an audience as possible.

 

Neely Tucker

 

Three novels so far to date, all featuring Washington DC newspaper reporter, Sully Carter. Apart from the intriguing plots, these novels have sharp dialogue littered with laugh-out-loud one-liners and a cast of characters that are just begging to be filmed. Only The Hunted Run also has the most frantic, breathtaking opening chapter I’ve read in a long time. Book 4 in the series feels long overdue!

 

|   About the Book   |

 

A devilish psychological thriller from the widely loved GJ Minett, for fans of The Girl Before and Lie with Me.

You’d do anything for the one that got away . . . wouldn’t you?

When Billy Orr returns home to spend time with his dying sister, he bumps into his ex-girlfriend Aimi, the love of his life. He might not have seen her in eleven years, but Billy’s never forgotten her. He’d do anything for her then, and he’d do anything for her now.

When Aimi tells him that she wants to escape her abusive husband, Billy agrees to help her fake her own death. But is she still the Aimi that Billy remembers from all those years ago?

Once Aimi disappears, Billy has to face the possibility that perhaps she had different reasons for disappearing – reasons that might be more dangerous than she’s led him to believe . . .

Sometimes trusting the one you love is the wrong thing to do.

 

|   About the Author  |

 

Graham Minett studied Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge before teaching for several years in Gloucestershire and West Sussex. In 2008 he completed a part-time MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester and subsequently won both the inaugural Segora short story competition in 2008 and the Chapter One competition in 2010. The latter consisted of the opening sections of what would eventually become The Hidden Legacy, which earned him the first of two separate two-book deals with Bonnier Zaffre.

The Hidden Legacy and Lie In Wait are both already published as eBooks and in paperback. His third novel, Anything For Her, will appear as an eBook in November 2017 and then in paperback in March 2018.

Now writing full-time, he is represented by Adam Gauntlett of the Peters, Fraser and Dunlop Agency and lives in West Sussex with his wife and children whilst nevertheless retaining close links with Cheltenham and the rest of his family.

 

Author Links:   Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

 

 

Published by VAD Publishing

ebook 7 December 2017

180 pages



My thanks to Rachel Gilbey for including me on the blog tour. For my turn today, I have a guest post from the author.

 

* * *

I’ve written three novels under my real name and I’m ultimately known as a crime fiction author. None of those three novels has been based on anything moderately linked to my life.

But Just One Time is different. It is a very different genre of writing (I’m calling it a steamy psychological thriller), but it’s also based on something that happened to me.

Picture this: I was sitting in a theatre in London, the lights were dim and I realised I had dropped my phone on the floor. There was nothing graceful I could do: I simply got on all fours and tried to find it. As it was pitch-black under the seats, I had no success. A woman’s voice asked if she could help and when I explained what I was doing she said, ‘What’s your number? I’ll call it.’

I told her my phone number without any hesitation. And there ends the connection between the novel and my life. The rest of Just One Time is completely made up, and thankfully so. But that moment got me thinking about what would happen in a novel if such a lady found her way into a man’s life and then wouldn’t get out of it, not until he slept with her, just one time. It’s funny to look back on: the seeds of the story were genuinely planted in me when I was on my hands and knees in the dark.

When I got home, I thought more about the story, occasionally glimpsing at my phone to see if a text message had come, to see if my imagination could become a reality. I never received a text and I don’t even remember what that lady looked like, but I created Nina from her ghostly silhouette and in doing so I hope I have created a character who will take readers on an exciting and unpredictable journey of an obsession.

Fifty Shades of Grey made erotica an unashamedly popular genre. I didn’t want to write erotica, but I saw the potential to make Just One Time somewhat erotic, or an erotic thriller. I thought of Fatal Attraction and then I thought of turning it up a notch. I wanted the sex scenes to be explosive, but I also wanted the seduction and the revenge elements of the story to keep it very much in thriller territory.

Because Just One Time is very different from the more traditional crime fiction I have written, I’ve chosen to release it under a different name. Using the name K.S. Hunter has given me a degree of freedom – and I’ve embraced that freedom with relish. I’ve written scenes I never believed could come out of my imagination – I don’t actually know where in my head some of them originated from – and I’ve found writing in such a different direction to be a liberating experience. I will always continue to write crime fiction, but I do hope that readers will embrace Just One Time and, in doing so, give K.S. Hunter the chance to return with more steamy thrillers in the future.

 

|   About the Book   |

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences
Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.
She is irresistible
Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.
What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.
She is insatiable
Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.
She is unstoppable
Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.
A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion.

Praise for K.S. Hunter
‘An author to watch out for – always interesting and unpredictable’ Sophie Hannah

 

|  About the Author  |

K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

Author Links:   Website    |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |  Goodreads