Help the Witch by Tom Cox | Blog Tour #Giveaway | (@cox_tom @unbounders) #HelptheWitch

 

Published by Unbound

Available in ebook and Hardback (18 October 2018)

200 pages



My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the tour for Help the Witch.  To end the tour, I have a super giveaway for you of a hardback copy, entry details are below.

 

|   About the Book  |

 

Inspired by our native landscapes, saturated by the shadows beneath trees and behind doors, listening to the run of water and half-heard voices, Tom Cox’s first collection of short stories is a series of evocative and unsettling trips into worlds previously visited by the likes of M. R. James and E. F. Benson. Railway tunnels, the lanes and hills of the Peak District, family homes, old stones, shreds fluttering on barbed wire, night drawing in, something that might be an animal shifting on the other side of a hedge: Tom has drawn on his life-long love of weird fiction, folklore and nature’s unregarded corners to write a collection of stories that will delight fans old and new, and leave them very uneasy about turning the reading lamp off.

 

 

At the time of writing this post, Help the Witch can be downloaded from Amazon UK for £1.00

 

|   About the Author  |

Tom Cox lives in Somerset. A one-time music journalist he is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling The Good, The Bad and The Furry and the William Hill Sports Book longlisted Bring Me The Head of Sergio Garcia. His most recent book, 21st-Century Yokel, was longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2018.

 

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK Goodreads

 

 

**** GIVEAWAY ****

 

*Terms and Conditions – On behalf of the publisher, I’m delighted to offer a copy of Help The Witch. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to entrants aged 18 or over in the UK. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winner’s information. This will passed to the publisher for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data I hold. My Reading Corner is not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

Good luck!

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Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer | Blog Tour Extract | (@KelRimmerWrites @headlinepg)

 

Published by Headline Review

Available in ebook and paperback (18 October 2018)

384 pages



My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part in the paperback publication of Before I Let You Go. For my turn today, I have an extract to share

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Your sister or her baby. Who do you choose?

A moving page-turner with a heart-pounding dilemma. Fans of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes will love Kelly Rimmer.

As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their beloved father, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leatherbound journal as the only place she can confide her deepest secrets and fears…

As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily engaged. Annie is an addict – a thief, a liar and unable to remain clean. When Annie’s newborn baby is in danger of being placed in foster care, Annie picks up the phone to beg her sister for help. Will Lexie agree to take in her young niece? And how will Annie survive, losing the only thing in her life worth living for?

 

EXTRACT

 

When my landline rings at 2:00 a.m. on a Thursday morning, I know who’s at the other end of the line before I pick it up. Only one person in my life would call at that hour; the same person who wouldn’t hesitate to ask for something after two years of silence, the same person who wouldn’t give a single thought to the fact that I need to be at work by 8:00 a.m.

As I bring the handset to my ear, I brace myself for the one thing that contact with my little sister has brought me in recent years.

Chaos.

“Annie?”

“Lexie,” Annie’s voice breaks on a sob, “you have to help me—I think I’m dying.”

I sit up and push my hair out of my face. My fiancé, Sam, had been asleep on the bed beside me, but he sits up, too. I glance at him and see sleepy confusion cross his face. As a physician, I periodically have late-night calls regarding patient emergencies, but never via the landline. I’ve moved houses twice since I last spoke to Annie, but I’ve always made sure the same number followed me, just in case she wanted or needed to reconnect.

Now, here she is—and just like I always feared, she’s calling me because she’s got an emergency on her hands.

“What’s going on?” I ask.

“My head hurts so much and nothing helps the pain. I’m seeing double and my feet are swollen and…”

They are troubling symptoms, but as Annie speaks I recognize the slur that indicates she is high. Frustration floods me, and I sigh impatiently.

You’re thirty now, Annie. Are you ever going to grow up?

“Go to the hospital,” I say. I feel Sam stiffen on the bed beside me at the hard edge of my tone. He’s never heard me speak like that, and I turn toward him again, an apology in my gaze. It hurts me to be cold with Annie, it even hurts to recognize how only seconds into this phone call I’m already boiling up inside with impatience and frustration toward her. This is my baby sister. This is the same kid I shared a room with for our entire childhood, the same sweet nine-year-old who used to beg me to play “mommies and daddies” with her after our dad died.

But I’ve been dealing with her addiction for years, and even after a two-year break from the drama, the weariness returns as soon as she does. If this was a one-off, I’d probably panic and rush to her aid—but it’s not. I have lost count of Annie’s desperate 2:00 a.m. phone calls. I couldn’t even tally the times she has gotten herself into a hopeless situation and called me to find her a solution.

“Lexie, I can’t,” Annie chokes now. I wait, expecting some long-winded story about not having health insurance or having a warrant out for her arrest or something simpler like not even having a car, or having woken up from a binge to find herself lost.

When the silence stretches, I know I need to end the call. I try to push the phone call to its inevitable conclusion as I prompt her, “Well?”

“Lexie, I’m pregnant. I can’t go to the hospital. I just can’t.”

I’ve been a GP for several years—I thought my poker face was pretty good, but I’m not prepared for this. I gasp and feel Sam’s gentle arm snake around my waist. He rests his chin on my shoulder, then presses a soft kiss against my cheek.

My first instinct is to assume Annie is lying. It wouldn’t be the first time, although she generally lies only for some financial or pharmaceutical payoff. The last vestiges of sleep clear from my brain and I quickly consider the situation. There is something different about this scenario. Annie isn’t asking me for money.

She is asking for help.

“If you’re pregnant then those symptoms are even more troubling. You need to get to a hospital.”

Annie speaks again, her voice stronger and clearer. She is determined to make me understand, and there’s no way I can ignore her plea.

“If I go to the hospital, I’ll fail the drug test. I just can’t.”

I slide my legs over the edge of the bed, straighten my posture and take a deep breath. I’m immediately resigned to what this call is going to mean. Annie is back—this peaceful period of my life is over.

“Tell me where you are.”

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Kelly Rimmer is the USA Today bestselling women’s fiction author of five novels, including Me Without You and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages.

 

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

 

 

 

The River Runs Red by Ally Rose | Blog Tour Extract (@AllyRoseAuthor @fahrenheitpress) #damppebblesblogtours #TheRiverRunsRed

 

The River Runs Red by Ally Rose (Hanne Drais #3)

Published by Fahrenheit Press

Available in ebook and paperback (24 July 2018)

332 pages



My thanks to Emma of damppebbles Blog Tours for the tour invitation and for providing the extract.  Unfortunately the post is a couple of days late due to illness.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Berlin is in the midst of its worst winter in decades.

Against the backdrop of freezing temperatures, blizzards and snowstorms, the city refuses to grind to a halt. Lurking within the shadows is a Stasi victim, out for revenge against the former East German informants known as ‘The Ears’. Their dark secrets are about to be exposed.

A mix of ice and water and a single gunshot, provides the ultimate payback.

With the Millennium approaching, Hanne Drais, the criminal psychologist working within the Berlin Mitte Police team led by the irascible Oskar Kruger and his laid-back sidekick, Stefan Glockner, are seeking the perpetrator of these violent crimes.

Who is the man they’ve nicknamed Snowflake?

Who is turning the river red?

 

EXTRACT

This extract is from Chapter 59

 

Before midnight, his alter ego, Anders Juhl, crept out of his home in Eberswalde, and checking the coast was clear, disappeared unnoticed, into the night. No one seemed to be following him. Having wrestled with his conscience whether a sixth murder was feasible and moreover, truly worth the risk, the arrival of the police in Eberswalde on their Spitzel-style surveillance operation, had unwittingly, forced his hand.

Believing he was safely tucked-up in bed, Kruger’s team would discover the following day that another murder had taken place in Berlin in the middle of the night, with a body found in similar circumstances by the River Spree. Before sunrise, Juhl would be back at home, safely tucked up in bed. No one would doubt his alibi; not with a police surveillance outside in the street and he was certain this final act of revenge would precipitate the end of the case; in exoneration.

Travelling to his destination in a dark-glassed car, he recalled how Ebner and Raskob, the youngest and fittest of his victims, had wasted vital energy pleading for their lives when they should’ve had a natural rush of adrenalin to fight him off before their mouths were covered with chloroform. Instead, Ebner and Raskob succumbed to their fate with feeble whimpers, blubbing like babies. At least, the older generation of Steiger, Groth and Taegner had put up a verbal fight, even if they couldn’t physically overcome him- their abductor. He believed his last victim would be a source of contention; nevertheless, the die was cast.

Das Lartzander Blau docked on the Oder-Havel Kanal, close to the Niederfinow Boat Lift in the state of Brandenburg. It was a significant and important landmark where the two rivers met between Sczecin on the Polish border and the Havel, a tributary of the Elbe. The steel structure inaugurated in 1934, was 60 metres high; a staircase lock- consisting of four chambers that took five minutes for the trough to move any cargo the elevation difference. 11,000 boats passed through the lock annually bringing in over 500,000 tourists to the area, and was the chosen venue to ring-in the Millennium on the Das Lartzander Blau.

Heinz secured a lucrative deal with the Brandenburg Shipping Authorities on the Havel to close the lock for 48 hours from midnight on the 30th of December, 1999. The Millennium party on Heinz’s boat would include music, dancing, fine dining and spectacular fireworks. Tickets prices were reasonable and sales had gone well- some local dignitaries would also be attending; the boat would be the party to attend and it was eagerly anticipated.

Das Lartzander Blau docked later than planned. A long row of people-carrier taxis were waiting on dry land and one by one, taxied the crew homewards. The last taxi- meant for Heinz, was sent way by the Lock keeper, who informed the taxi-driver that the captain would be sleeping overnight on the ship.

Unaware he was being watched, Heinz was the last to leave the ship, descending to a docking bay, illuminated with street lanterns, and now bereft of people, wondering where his taxi was. The night sky was clear and snow on the river path had frozen hard, with the temperature below zero. Suddenly, a parked vehicle flashed its headlights. The driver’s face was hidden from view behind the windscreen’s darkened glass, and Heinz beckoned the taxi over. The car did not move, and flashed again, Heinz cursed the driver sotto voce, stomping a short distance over to the vehicle.

The driver was not whom Heinz was expecting; it caught him by surprise. ‘You?’

‘Get in,’ ventured Juhl. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers.’

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Ally Rose writes –

“I’ve always been interested in writing crime stories and with the Cold War era, there is such a rich tapestry to draw from; especially the notorious and quelling Stasi reign in East Germany. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain, gives a contrast between the different worlds and any past crimes are held to account in a unified Germany.

Berlin is one of my favourite cities, and I’ve spent time living and discovering this diverse city and its surrounding areas. Seeing my characters in familiar places, they seem to come to life.

Hope you enjoy my Hanne Drais books.”

 

Twitter   |  Goodreads     

 

Purchase Links:
Fahrenheit Press online book store
Amazon UK
Amazon US

 

Our Little Lies by Sue Watson | Book Review | (@suewatsonwriter @bookouture) #OurLittleLies

 

Published by Bookouture

Available in ebook and paperback (11 October 2018)

318 pages



My thanks to Kim Nash of Bookouture for the invitation to take part in the blog blitz for Sue Watson’s first foray into the psychological thriller genre with Our Little Lies.  Illness prevented me from posting this on Saturday for the blitz.

 

|   About the Book   |

 

Marianne has a life others dream of. A beautiful townhouse on the best street in the neighbourhood. Three bright children who are her pride and joy.

Sometimes her past still hurts: losing her mother, growing up in foster care. But her husband Simon is always there. A successful surgeon, he’s the envy of every woman they’ve ever met. Flowers, gifts, trips to France – nothing is too good for his family.

Then Simon says another woman’s name. The way he lingers on it, Caroline, gives Marianne a shudder of suspicion, but she knows she can’t entertain this flash of paranoia.

In the old days, she’d have distracted herself at work, but Marianne left her glamorous career behind when she got married. She’d speak to a friend, but she’s too busy with her children and besides, Simon doesn’t approve of the few she has left.

It’s almost by accident that Marianne begins to learn more about Caroline. But once she starts, she can’t stop. Because what she finds makes her wonder whether the question she should be asking is not ‘should she be jealous’, but… ‘should she be scared’?

 

|   My Thoughts   |

 

Well what a change of genre for Sue Watson. From Lemon Cakes to the dark side!

To outsiders, Marianne and her successful, handsome surgeon husband Simon might seem to have the perfect life and marriage. Three lovely children, a beautiful house and a lifestyle to envy, however not everything is as it seems.

Marianne wants to be the perfect wife. She cleans and cooks and looks after the children so that her busy husband Simon isn’t bothered by the minutiae of domestic life. After all, he never stops telling her that he works long and hard to give her the house and the nice life and if he complains because there is a smear on the expensive German kitchen worktop or a crumb on the floor – well that’s his prerogative!

Marianne has had her share of past trauma and being of an anxious personality, she is still on medication which Simon encourages her to take. She trusts him implicitly – after all he is a doctor, he should know what is best for her.

The true nature of Marianne and Simon’s marriage is gradually laid bare in this domestic thriller with accusations, counter-accusations, allegations and denials. Just what is the truth – that is something the reader has to decide however the author doesn’t make it easy and is very good at sowing doubts in your mind.

Marianne’s medication causes memory issues and this, together with her fragile mental state, makes her the perfect unreliable narrator. As more of their married life was exposed I did feel some sympathy for Marianne – she came across as broken, and Simon as controlling in the extreme but I also found her exasperating at times; on occasions Marianne was her own worst enemy and I found myself cringing as she dug herself into a deeper hole giving Simon just the ammunition he needed.

Sue Watson kept up the tension and suspense all the way through very well, with the story becoming darker as it went on. Excellent characterisation together with the reference to stalking on social media and the use of hashtags in the narrative, made this a relevant and a realistic read.

I really enjoyed Our Little Lies, this was an impressive debut thriller and I would happily read more of this from Sue Watson.

 

 

|  About the Author   |

 

Sue Watson was a journalist then TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

She’s now written thirteen novels – many involving cake – and her books have been translated into Italian, German and Portuguese. Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where much of her day is spent procrastinating while eating cake (for research purposes), and watching ‘My 600lb Life,’ on the sofa.

Sue explored the darker side of life for her latest book ‘Our Little Lies,’ a dark, psychological thriller completely devoid of cake. She’s hoping this change in direction will be reflected on the weighing scales.

 

 

Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK    |   Goodreads

 

Chasing Ghosts by Madalyn Morgan | Blog Tour Guest Post and #Giveaway (@ActScribblerDJ @rararesources) #ChasingGhosts

 

Chasing Ghosts: Sequel to China Blue (The Dudley Sisters Saga Book 6)

Available in ebook and paperback (6 June 2018)

248 pages



My thanks to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the blog tour invitation and to Madalyn for providing the guest post.  There is a giveaway at the end of the post to win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts.

 

|   About the Book   |

In 1949 after receiving treatment for shell shock in Canada, Claire’s husband disappears.
Has Mitch left her for the woman he talks about in his sleep? Or is he on the run from accusations of wartime treachery?

Claire goes to France in search of the truth, aided by old friends from the Resistance.

 

GUEST POST

by Madalyn Morgan

 

Thank you for asking me to talk about a subject of my choice, My Reading Corner. I am often asked about research and plot. I do both because my novels are set in World War Two and have complex storylines. I love it when a character takes me off-plot, and I go with it. But I have a tendency to meander, which slows the action and the story down. A plot brings me back to the story. I like strong storylines that move quickly. Research is also necessary if you’re writing in a well-documented time in history.

If a debut author, which I was in 2012, is crazy enough to plan four novels about four sisters, with four different careers in a time that is unfamiliar, unless they have a photographic memory, can hold dates in their head and have the ability to recall situations verbatim, they need to plot.

The four sisters are together in the first novel, Foxden Acres, which is the oldest Dudley sister, Bess’s story. It is in Foxden Acres that their futures are decided. Each novel stands alone but is interwoven with the other novels in the saga. When the sisters are at Foxden – for Christmas, a birthday or a wedding – they must be at Foxden in their own stories. (The same for events in the war – the bombing of Coventry, Battle of Britain, D-Day, etc.)

So, to ensure someone wasn’t enjoying Christmas in one book and overseas at the time in another, I kept a day-diary. Every time something significant happened in Foxden Acres, I made a note of it, leaving four blank pages – one for each of the other books, and one for luck. I could not have kept control of who was doing what, when and where, without the diary.

To add to the work, I had to do huge amounts of research. Foxden Acres needed intensive research on every aspect of WW2, including events that affected Bess personally. I researched teaching in 1939, the evacuation of school children, the Land Army, farms, billets, and the Commonwealth Aerodromes near Foxden – Bitteswell and Bruntingthorpe. Also, the RAF, Wellington Bombers – and the Polish airmen who escaped Poland and came to England to fly with the RAF. Foxden is near Coventry, so I needed to research the bombing of the city in November 1940.

The second novel, Applause, is set in a London theatre where I had worked when I was an actress. I still had to research the Luftwaffe, the Blitz, the East End, ENSA, shows and songs of the time, fascists, Nazi sympathisers, GIs, and how many Jewish Londoners were treated. But, because I knew the West End, and had already researched the war, Applause took less time.

China Blue, the third book, set in England and France needed the most research. I was used to the process, but with this book, it was also necessary to research as the story developed. What I knew about the SOE (Special Operations Executive) you could have written on the back of a postage stamp. So, I researched the SOE and the training: Parachuting out of aeroplanes, surviving interrogation, living in occupied France, working with the French Resistance, sabotage – and roads and bridges that were held by the German army. I invented a town called, Gisoir, which was fun, but I needed to be familiar with several districts in Paris. Thank goodness for Google-walk. China Blue was the most difficult of the four books to research and write. It was also the most exciting.

Book four, The 9:45 To Bletchley, needed very little research. It begins on the night Coventry was bombed in 1940, which I’d already researched for Foxden Acres. I needed to know about some of the work done at Bletchley Park and spent a fascinating day there. However, because during the war the facility was top secret, if it didn’t affect Ena Dudley it wasn’t necessary. I researched engineering factories, MI5, poisons that knock you out but don’t kill you and read some great biographies about spies.

Writing Foxden Hotel, the sequel to Foxden Acres and Chasing Ghosts, the sequel to China Blue – both post-war, the research was easier. Although I still needed to research medical and police procedures in nineteen-fifties England and Canada.

Thank goodness for Google and history websites. When I wrote Foxden Acres in 2012, I spent a fortune on research books. For my current novel, it’s 80% web and 20% book.

 

 

|   About the Author   |

Madalyn Morgan has been an actress for more than thirty years working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television. She is a radio presenter and journalist, writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
Madalyn was brought up in Lutterworth, at the Fox Inn. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live, as there were so many different characters to study and accents to learn. At twenty-four Madalyn gave up a successful hairdressing salon and wig-hire business for a place at E15 Drama College, and a career as an actress.
In 2000, with fewer parts available for older actresses, Madalyn taught herself to touch type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau, and started writing. After living in London for thirty-six years, she has returned to her home town of Lutterworth, swapping two window boxes and a mortgage, for a garden and the freedom to write.
Happy to be an Indie Author, Madalyn has successfully published six novels. Foxden Acres, Applause, China Blue and The 9:45 To Bletchley are set before and during WW2 and tell the wartime stories of Bess, Margot, Claire, and Ena Dudley. Foxden Hotel and Chasing Ghosts are both post war. Chasing Ghosts is a sequel to China Blue.
Madalyn’s books are available on Amazon – in paperback and all formats of eBook.

 

Author Links:

Blog   |   Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon Author Page   |   Goodreads   |   Pinterest 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

****  GIVEAWAY  ****

 

Giveaway – Win signed copies of China Blue and Chasing Ghosts (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

My Reading Corner is not responsible for this giveaway. For any further details, please contact Rachel’s Random Resources.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway