Published by Bookouture

ebook: 19 April 2017

320 pages

 

Three minutes. That’s all it takes for Meredith’s entire world to fall apart when she watches the videotape of her four-year-old self with Becca, the mother who abandoned her.

Meredith can’t believe what her eyes have seen. Yet what if her memory has locked away the painful reality of her childhood? Can there be any truth in the strange and dangerous story her mother forced her to tell on camera?

The search for answers leads Meredith to Darkwater Pool, the scene of the murder of a young woman, Cara, over 30 years ago. What could possibly be the link between her mother and the victim?

To find the truth Meredith must search through a past that is not her own. The problem is, she’s not the only one looking…

A dark, compulsive psychological thriller that will keep you up all night. Perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Louise Jensen.

 

The accidental discovery of a videotape forms the basis of this story and, as befitting the title, there are plenty of lies and so much deceit in this debut thriller by Jess Ryder.

Meredith Banks hasn’t seen her mother Rebecca for many years, having been bought up by her father. Her father makes it clear that he doesn’t want to discuss her mother but after watching the video which specifically refers to two people, Cara Travers being one of them, Meredith is both shocked and intrigued and wants to find out more, especially if it will give any clues as to what happened to her mother. She shows the video to her ex-partner Eliot, a policeman, who then finds himself involved in a cold case investigation reviewing a 30 year old murder. Against advice, Meredith herself starts digging for information however the old saying ‘be careful what you wish for’ could come back to haunt her as revelations slowly come to light as to what really happened over 30 years earlier.

The story is told by three voices – Meredith, Jay and Cara (in a mixture of first and third person), flipping between 1984 and the present time. Although the historic part of the novel is essential to the plot as it slowly reveals the lead up to Cara’s death, I did think that this had a slower pace and have to admit that I found the present day investigations more intriguing than Cara’s story. As a peripheral character, I didn’t find Cara that interesting and I found myself wanting to hurry back to Meredith’s narrative; I was more interested in finding out what had happened to Rebecca and how she fitted into the story.

This was an enjoyable thriller, which I read fairly quickly as it is one of those addictive books that you want to keep going back to.  There were twists that I didn’t anticipate leading to a fast paced and dramatic conclusion. I thought that I had guessed part of the ‘whodunit’ early on but I wasn’t completely right and the conclusion, when it came, made me realise that I should have been paying more attention – that’ll teach me! Jess Ryder writes very well with both the plot and the characters being strong enough to move the story along for me. With its underlying theme of obsession and hatred clearly coming through the pages, this is definitely one to be considered for your reading pile.  At the time of writing this post, Lie to Me can be downloaded from Amazon UK for just 99p

My thanks to Kim Nash for including me on the blog tour and to the publisher for the Netgalley ARC.

 

 

About the author:

Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer. After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime. Writing, that is. So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me. Her other big love is making pots.

Author website   |   Twitter   |   Amazon UK   |   Amazon.com   |   Goodreads

 

 

 

Self published

Available in ebook and paper format – 31 January 2017

240 pages

 

My thanks to Emma Mitchell for including me in the blog tour and for K L Loveley for providing the guest post.  At the end of the post, there is a Rafflecopter entry box with details of how to enter to win a goodie bag.  Sorry but the giveaway is open to UK entrants only.

 

Publication Day

by K L Loveley

 

So, your book has been published!

Woo hoo!!

What do you do the night before?

On the eve of the publication date of my debut novel ‘Alice’, I was working the late clinic in the GP Surgery where I am a Practice Nurse. It had been a very long day, so upon arriving home, I spent a cosy, relaxing evening with my husband. I also kept checking in with my Marketing Manager, who was hard at work promoting me across social media. During the evening, I received lots of well wishes from family and friends.

The morning?

As I was due back at work again, I woke at 7 a.m. and quietly contemplated the significant day, whilst drinking a cup of English breakfast tea and gazing out at the winter’s morning through my kitchen window.

My daughter rang me, and wished me well. I quickly checked my social media accounts and read some of the well wishes that I had received.

Who were you with?

In the morning, I was alone as my retired husband had yet to stir from his deep slumber. However, upon arriving at work, I was surrounded by lots of my enthusiastic and supportive work colleagues in the GP surgery, all of whom congratulated me.

Where did you go?

I was at work all day again, and had a quiet evening at home celebrating with my husband. We ate a delicious home cooked meal, and enjoyed a glass of champagne to raise our glasses to the launch of my new career. During the evening, many of my friends and family rang and congratulated me. It felt wonderful, to have the support of my family and friends.

My Marketing Manager organised an official ‘Book Launch Celebration’ for the 25th February.

What did you spend the day doing?

During the day, I was working as a Practice Nurse, so was hard at work looking after my patients. I was conducting consultations and running chronic disease management clinics.

Is publication day one the same as publication day two? And so on?

This was my debut novel, and thus my first experience of having a publication day. I look forward to experiencing it again in the future when I release my next novel.

Do you have any rituals?

I do not follow any specific rituals, I see myself as quite a spontaneous person and never have anything set in stone.

 

Follow the blog tour:

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Alice is near breaking point. Floods have left her beautiful dream home a damaged mess, her step children’s lack of respect is giving her migraines and, worst of all, her husband is giving her no support to lean on. Her life is slowly spiralling out of control.
When Alice’s daughter, Anne Marie, repeatedly falls victim to aggressive vandals, Alice finally can take no more. She decides to take control of the mess that has become her life, and finally frees herself from the chaos that has been bringing her down.
Freedom, however, isn’t as sweet as Alice first thought it might be. She finds herself yearning for something she can’t quite put her finger on. In her quest to find it, Alice finds herself turning to drink…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

K.L Loveley is a contemporary fiction author from Nottinghamshire, who writes gritty, realistic novels which tackle medical and social issues.
The author has enjoyed a successful 47-year nursing career with the NHS, during which she acquired vast skills. She has transferred her medical knowledge, and incorporated her excellent human observation skills into writing interesting stories about people affected by social and medical issues.
Her debut novel, ‘Alice’ tackles alcoholism head-on, and presents the reader with an empathetic account of a spiralling addiction and the resulting pattern of hopelessness that many fall into.

 

Author website    |   Twitter    |   Facebook   |   Goodreads    |   Amazon UK   |   Amazon US

 

 

GIVEAWAY (UK only)

Click on the link to enter the giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky person will win the following #GoodieBag!!
• Signed copy of Alice
• ‘Mindfulness for the frazzled’ by Ruby Wax
• Mindfulness coloring book
• Staedtler Colouring Pencils, (Johanna Basford Edition)
• Pukka Relax tea
• K.L Loveley mindfulness mug

 

Published by Corsair

Ebook & Hardback: 7 April 2016   | Paperback: 19 January 2017

 

Ethan is an exceptionally gifted young boy, obsessed with physics and astronomy.

His single mother Claire is fiercely protective of her brilliant, vulnerable son. But she can’t shield him forever from learning the truth about what happened to him when he was a baby; why Mark had to leave them all those years ago.

Now age twelve, Ethan is increasingly curious about his past, especially his father’s absence in his life. When he intercepts a letter to Claire from Mark, he opens a lifetime of feelings that, like gravity, will pull the three together again.

Relativity is a tender and triumphant story about unbreakable bonds, irreversible acts, and testing the limits of love and forgiveness.

 

Twelve year old Ethan lives with his mother Claire, in a Sydney suburb. His father, Mark, went away when Ethan was a baby and has never seen his son since. Claire has done a superb job bringing Ethan up single handedly – he is a thoughtful, bright and intelligent child with an enquiring mind and loves science and physics, especially astronomy. In fact he is so clever, he is bullied and taunted by other children at school who call him ‘Stephen Hawking’. His best friend Will has turned against him and joined with the bullies and Ethan spends his days lonely and friendless.

Claire is an ex-ballerina. She gave up a promising career to look after Ethan and loves him with every fibre of her body. He can be exhausting in his questions but she has encouraged and nurtured him all the way. Claire knows why Mark went away but she has kept secrets for so long they have now become part of her and she doesn’t know how to let them out.

Her husband Mark left when Ethan was 4 months old. We’re not sure why until later in the book when the whole story is recounted. Ethan misses having a dad – he writes Father’s Day cards but has no address to send them to. Until one day, he finds a letter sent by Mark to Claire and Pandora’s box is opened.

This is such a beautiful story that will tug at your heartstrings. At first I couldn’t understand why Claire would keep so much hidden from Ethan but its only when you know the full story that you understand. As a result of trauma suffered as a baby, Ethan has brain damage but not the conventional damage that we might think of. It is believed that his brain has re-wired itself – unlike most people he sees light and sound waves. It is only as Ethan gets older that the true extent of this damage is realised and it would seem that Ethan is a very special child indeed.

There is an awful lot of science in this book – and I must admit that a lot of the technical narrative I didn’t understand but it’s written from the view of a 12 year old and so doesn’t feel like a science text book. It didn’t really matter that I didn’t understand it, but the important thing was that Ethan did. When he finally does find a friend – someone who gets him – I was so happy for him.

There is a sadness to the story but there are also uplifting and humorous moments and the author does a really good job of keeping the balance. It’s a story of love between a parent and child and coming to terms with consequences of actions. The characters are so well defined – flaws and all and nobody is perfect; perhaps like me, you will even feel frustrated with them at times but the characters are what makes this book such a joy to read.

Relativity is the author’s debut novel and the beautiful writing drew me in from the beginning. It really is an emotional and thought provoking read and one which I am so glad didn’t pass me by.

 

My thanks to the publisher for the paperback copy to review.

 

About the author:

 

Antonia Hayes, who grew up in Sydney and spent her twenties in Paris, lives in San Francisco with her husband and son. Relativity is her first novel.

 

Author Website   |    Twitter    |    Amazon UK    |   Goodreads

beneath-the-ashes

 

Published by Legend Press

Ebook and Paperback : 1 November 2016

 

The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.

When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate.

Nancy Faraday wakes up on the kitchen floor. The house has been broken into and her boyfriend is missing. As the case unravels, DI Jackman realises that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has a secret.

Can he discover the truth behind the body in the fire, and track down the killer before Nancy becomes the next victim?

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, B A Paris and Sophie Hannah

 

Last year I reviewed another of Jane’s books (An Unfamiliar Murder – reviewed here) featuring a female detective, Helen Lavery. This time we meet a different detective, DI Will Jackman (whose first outing was in Before It’s Too Late and which I do have on my bookshelf waiting patiently!)

I was immediately hooked by the teasing prologue of a woman seemingly about to end her life in a graveyard. We then move on to the main story with a young woman waking up on a kitchen floor, covered in blood and her boyfriend missing. At around the same time, an unidentified body is discovered in a burning barn nearby. Is there a connection between the two events? Is the girlfriend involved or is it merely a case of wrong place, wrong time?  However, there is a whole lot more to this story than just a body in a barn and DI Jackman and his team have their work cut out in tying up the different strands. Every time they think they have found a solution, they are led off in a whole different direction.

I really enjoyed this police procedural with its twists and turns and have to admit to now adding Will Jackman to my list of book crushes. What I particularly like about Jane’s detectives is that they are just normal people – so many fictional detectives are curmudgeonly, angst ridden individuals with marital difficulties and alcohol problems. That’s not to say that Will doesn’t have personal issues to deal with (he has a particularly sad backstory which is alluded to in this story) but he comes across as a straightforward and dedicated detective that you can trust to be on the side of the victim. He is clearly a family man (when the job allows) and the relationship with his grown up daughter was nicely managed. The scenes with his daughter’s new boyfriend and the dog particularly made me smile (and I did wonder whether the inspiration came from the author’s own canine companion!)

There are a lot of threads and characters to follow with Beneath the Ashes but rather than being a confusing muddle, the author has cleverly pulled them together to make a first rate and suspenseful crime story with an exciting and dramatic conclusion. Set around Northamptonshire, there is an excellent sense of place and it is clear that the author has first-hand knowledge of the locations.

I haven’t yet read the first book in the series, Before It’s Too Late, and I didn’t feel disadvantaged at all. There is enough information given here to enable me to engage with the central characters and to understand the dynamics of the investigating team.

Jane Isaac is now firmly on my list of ‘must read’ crime authors and I shall definitely be reading the third book in the Jackman series ‘The Lies Within’ due to be published in May 2017.

 

 

About the author:

jane-isaacJane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire, UK. Her debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014’.

In 2015 Jane embarked on a new series, featuring DI Will Jackman and set in Stratford upon Avon, with Before It’s Too Late. The second in the series, Beneath The Ashes, will be published by Legend Press on 1st November 2016 with the 3rd, The Lies Within, to follow on 2nd May 2017.

Both DI Jackman and DCI Lavery will return again in the near future. Sign up to Jane’s newsletter on her website at www.janeisaac.co.uk for details of new releases, events and giveaways.

 

 Author Website  | Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Amazon UK  | Goodreads

 

 

Published by Bloodhound Books

ebook & paperback:  13 April 2017

With thanks to Sarah Hardy for including me on the tour, and together with the fabulous Noelle from Crime Book Junkie, I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Kill or Die on publication day. I had this on pre-order as I really like the look of it.   For my turn, I have a guest post from Ann.

The things kids say!

by Ann Evans

Thank you for hosting me on your blog. It’s very much appreciated.

Kill or Die is my first venture into the adult crime scene. It’s my 29th book and apart from four books, the rest have been for children aged 8-11 and young adults. As such I often get asked into schools to talk about books and writing, with the aim of inspiring youngsters to read more and write better stories themselves.

It’s enjoyable, but hard work and very challenging. You always get lots of questions thrown at you and you have to be quick off the mark with your answers. One question they tend to ask – much to the teacher’s horror, is: “How much money do you earn?”

Before the teacher can tell little Johnny not to be so rude, I’ll get them with a math’s question, pointing out that the author only gets a percentage – or a fraction of the book price, the publisher gets a share, the book shop gets a share, the delivery man gets a share etc etc. So, maybe the author only gets 50p… you should see their little faces drop! All ambition of being an author flies through the window. But then you get them to work out how much they get if they sell 10 books, then 100, and then 1,000 etc., so teacher is relieved, and the kids want to be authors again. Phew!

“How old are you?” Is another question they like to ask – again to the horror of the teacher. So I tell them that I first started writing when I was expecting my first baby. And that baby is now grown up – I raise my hand a foot above my head to indicate he’s now over 6 ft, and add – “with babies of his own!” Thirty pairs of eyes widen! Teacher is smiling again.

One story I love to tell them, and which teachers enjoy, as it reiterates everything they’re trying to drum into them, is how hard it was to get published in the first place. Whether I tell this (true) tale at an assembly for the whole school or to an individual class, I always get the same great response which has the kids whooping and cheering at the end.

Firstly, I’ll describe how hard it is to write a book, with all the re-writing, polishing, editing, checking of spelling, punctuation, grammar etc., after which you send it off, and wait – fingers crossed. I ask for a show of hands as to whether they think I got an acceptance letter back – most of them have their hands straight up. Surely that’s all there is to it. One or two nervously put their hands up to say they think it was rejected. I then tell them – back it came with a rejection letter saying, “Thanks but no thanks.”

Groans all around the hall. So I ask them should I give up? Seeing as I have a table full of books behind me, there’s usually a resounding “No!” So I repeat the process, building up my efforts to write a brilliant story, only to be rejected time and again. Getting them to come up with great words to say how I’d be feeling – devastated, miserable, heart-broken etc. But mid way, I’ll point put that whatever you do, you have to persevere and no one is great at anything to begin with. Anyway by the time we reach book number seven, the children are resigned to hearing that also was rejected. When I tell them that was accepted – the cheers raise the roof! A lesson in perseverance.

I can’t imagine I’ll be taking my new book, Kill or Die into school, but possibly a talk with a book club or a group. But do you think I’ll be able to get them all sitting up straight on the carpet, waiting eagerly and quietly for me to begin? Well possibly….

Thank you so much for letting me write this guest post for your blog. And I hope you and any younger readers in the family will enjoy my books.

 

About the book:

A vicious burglary goes horribly wrong when an elderly victim is killed and
one of the burglars is injured.

In the detached house next door, Julia is preparing to leave her husband. He has let her down for the last time and her bags are packed. Taking their eight-year-old daughter, Lucy, from her bed they set off in the fog.

But on this cold, dark night, fate steps in and these strangers collide.

When Vincent and Nash abduct the mother and daughter, and take them to a derelict house, the situation takes a grave turn.

Meanwhile, Julia’s husband, Ian, is distraught that his wife and daughter have left, and when the murder and burglary are discovered, suspicion falls on him.

For Ian, Julia and Lucy, life is about to become a nightmare.

Can Julia and Lucy escape from the twisted criminals?

What will Julia decide when the choice is – kill or die?

 

About the author:

I’ve always loved writing. What started as a hobby has now become a way of life. My children’s and YA books have been published by Scholastic Children’s Books, Usborne Publishing, Penguin Australia, Hometown World, Badger Learning and Astraea Press (Clean Reads). Plus there are a number of adults books published under my pen name of Ann Carroll – and more in the pipeline. The Beast published by Usborne won the raring2read category in the Coventry Literary Book Festival 2013. 2017 sees three new books being published, another YA reluctant reader book for Badger Learning entitled Keeper. An historical romance called A Place to Belong, and a crime thriller – working title Kill or Die with Bloodhound Books.
When I’m not writing I do school visits, run workshops and give talks.
My non-fiction career spans the last 30 years which includes 13 years at the Coventry Telegraph as a staff feature writer plus a great many freelance articles on a wide range of topics.

 

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

 

Kill or Die is available to download from Amazon for just 99p