blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Liberty Terrace – Madeleine D’Arcy

Set in a fictional area of Cork City from 2016-2020, Liberty Terrace captures the highs and lows of everyday life from both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting readers to consider what it
means to be human and to live within a wider community.
A former solicitor with experience as a Census Enumerator in 2016, Cork native Madeleine D’Arcy took inspiration from the Irish Census originally scheduled in April 2021 but now postponed until 2022 for Liberty Terrace. D’Arcy has created a rich tapestry of stories all set in and around the fictional street; the residents of Liberty Terrace come and go over the years – their lives ebbing and flowing
around each other in ways that are sometimes funny, sometimes dark and often both.
The cast of characters includes retired Garda Superintendent Deckie Google, a young homeless squatter, the mother of an autistic child working part-time as a Census Enumerator, the dysfunctional Callinan family, an ageing rock star, a trio of ladies who visit a faith healer, a philandering husband, as well as a surprising number of cats and dogs.

MADELEINE D’ARCY is an Irish fiction writer. A former solicitor, she lived in the UK for 13 years before returning to live in Cork City with her husband and her son in 1999. Madeleine’s first Doire Press short story collection ‘Waiting for the Bullet’ was awarded the 2015 Edge Hill Readers’ Prize’ from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. In 2010 she received a Hennessy X.O Literary
Award for First Fiction as well as the overall Hennessy X.O Literary Award for New Irish Writer. Her stories have been short-listed and commended in many competitions, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Short Story
Competition, Fish Short Story Prize, the Bridport Prize and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. Madeleine has been awarded bursaries by the Arts
Council of Ireland and by Cork City Council. Madeleine was a scholarship
student on the inaugural MA in Creative Writing 2013-2014 in University College Cork. Waiting for the Bullet is Madeleine’s first collection of short stories.

My thoughts: this was a clever and moving collection of stories about moments in the lives of the residents of Liberty Terrace, a fictional street in Cork. Each story focuses on one household and their lives. From a family of immigrants still finding their feet at the beginning of lockdown, to older residents trying to help their lonely friend. Each story reminds you of the kindness and community that can be found around you.

Well written and very enjoyable, I loved seeing into these characters lives, even if only briefly, the glimpses of families, both born and built, the generosity of others, the ways in which we all live quietly alongside each other but every now and then connect.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Èkleipsis: The Abyss – Tamal Wino

Ékleipsis: The Abyss is the second short story collection by the award-winning author.

Tales of depravation and insanity are woven together with unrelenting style and depth, scrutinizing human nature’s degeneration when compromised by tragic, vicious circumstances.

These complex, wretched individuals and the irremediable conditions they are desperate to claw out of—or into—invoke the unfathomable question: What devastation are we truly capable of when left with no way out but down . . . into the obscurity of the abyss?

” It is at times appalling, strange and outright frightening, but Wino’s way with character development is outstanding. The display of artistic creativity and character creation really sets “Èkleipsis: The Abyss” apart in the field of short story collections.”
― Reader Views

“The stories are well-packaged and generally have the feel of watching a syndicated crime drama. Fans of this form of entertainment will likely enjoy these well-crafted stories about everyday people whose lives are shattered by lunatics.”
― The US Review of Books

“Wino’s writing is vivid, unsettling and filled with brilliant hints that contribute to the exhilaration of its pacing. Ékleipsis: The Abyss is a clever and creative horror offering worth checking out.”

―Independent Book Review

” Tamel really captured that essence of society and the dark side of people. Readers will appreciate the dark undertones of this horror anthology. Ekleipsis: the Abyss will surprise you more that you can imagine.”

―Literary Titan

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Tamel Wino is a Canadian fiction writer from the resplendent British Columbia whose works focus largely on degeneration of sanity and morality. He studied Health Sciences and Psychology, which only furthered his interest in human nature.

With inspirations including Alice Munro, Joe Hill, Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and Edgar Allan Poe; Tamel’s expositions are strongly grounded in traditions of dark fiction. Yet, with his bold narrative voice and incisive plot construction, Wino is paving a new movement within the space.

When he’s not reading or scribbling away on his laptop, Tamel loves listening to jazz, rewatching good ol’ classic shows and traveling. EkleipsisFacebook | Instagram

Giveaway: Signed copies of Ékleipsis and Ékleipsis: The Abyss. a Rafflecopter giveaway

My thoughts: this collection of short stories explores the horror of humanity – ordinary horror, not monsters from beyond, but the ways in which human beings inflict terror and trauma on one another. From kidnapped wives and hitchhikers, lovers who kill and domestic psychopaths. Every terrible thing here is caused and created by a person not a creature of nightmare. Which makes them all the more sinister and insidious. Some of the victims are easier to empathise with than others, particularly the sadistic prison guards dished out some ice cold revenge. A clever and chilling collection examining the worst of human behaviour.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Blitz: Pretty Deadly – Kelsey Josund

PrettyDeadly copy

Happy book birthday to author Kelsey Josund! Today marks the release of her murderous Cinderella retelling, Pretty Deadly! Read on for details.

front

Pretty Deadly

Publication Date: October 26th, 2021 (TODAY 🎉)

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Fairytale Retelling (Not YA)

Cinna would quite literally kill for the throne.

She’s spent years forced to serve her wealthy cousins rather than attend society events alongside them, waiting for the chance to prove herself and exact revenge. When a ball is announced at the castle, promising to bring many powerful people to town, she seizes the opportunity to strike.

She bets her best friend, a small-time thief and con-man, that she can land a greater score the night of the ball than he can. They embark on parallel heists. But as their plots unfold, things begin to unravel: by the end of the night, the castle’s on lock down, a duchess is dead, a mansion has burnt to the ground, and Cinna hasn’t stolen anything. Or has she stolen something more valuable than gold and jewels?

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Excerpt

How interesting, Cinna thought. She had spent so many hours bent over a stove in the kitchen or crouched before the hearth, stoking flames carefully that refused to light. But she had prepared: this house was waiting tinder, ready to be consumed. 

She couldn’t hear the screams over the roar of the flames, but surely they were there. Strangely, she didn’t feel cheated to have not heard their voices. It was fine that they died in silence. 

It did not take long for the neighbors to begin streaming out of their own houses, and she did hear their screams. They swarmed around the flames, politely mute once they realized they could not do anything, full of awe before the enormity of the fire. Cinna blended into the crowd, nearly invisible in her costume. 

At last, just as she had always pledged she would, she watched the house fall in on itself.

Now Available on Amazon

About the Author

kelsey-josund-sq

I am a software engineer and author living and working in Silicon Valley, California. I studied computer science at Stanford University, but I’ve always loved stories in all their forms. I approach writing fiction the same way I approach writing code: I like to know where it’s going, but I want to figure out the details as I go along. Good software is a lot like a good story, full of neat and clever solutions to tricky problems, beautiful at a granular level but also from a distance.

Originally from Seattle, I love getting outdoors and living in places that allow me to escape to the mountains on the weekends, and I care deeply about the ecosystems that humans impact and that impact us. My writing explores these issues while also following classic coming-of-age arcs in science fiction and fantasy. I’m also very interested in stories and characters that complicate the traditional and familiar, leading me to fairytale retellings from unexpected angles.

Kelsey Josund | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Midnight in Everwood – M.A. Kuzniar

’It was a rainy day that the magic came, and once magic has entered your life, you stay in its glittering clutch forever’

Nottingham, 1906

Marietta Stelle longs to be a ballerina but as Christmas draws nearer, her dancing days are numbered. At the wishes of her family, she will be obligated to marry and take up her place in society in the New Year. But when a mysterious toymaker, Dr Drosselmeier, purchases a neighbouring townhouse, it heralds the arrival of magic and wonder in her life. Although Drosselmeier’s magic is darker than Marietta could have imagined…

When he constructs an elaborate theatrical set for her final ballet performance, Marietta discovers it carries a magic all of its own. As the clock chimes midnight, Marietta finds herself walking through a land of snow-topped fir trees leading to a frozen sugar palace silent with secrets and must find a way to return home.

In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here…

My thoughts: inspired by The Nutcracker, this is a magical fairy tale fantasy for adults. Perfect for a winter’s evening reading, we follow aspiring ballet dancer Marietta through a magic clock into another world, one fraught with dangers but also where she’ll find friendship and love.

Rejecting the strictures of early 20th century society, refusing marriage to the frightening Drosselmieir (named for Clara’s godfather in the ballet, and the book that inspired it) and his magical creations, Marietta wants to choose her own path and not the one of marriage and obedience her father expects of her. She’s an inspiring and brave character, fighting back against Everwood’s evil king, gaining freedom for herself and her friends, then exerting that strength of will to set out on her own road, not wanting or needing her family’s money.

Lyrical and beautifully written, this is a Gothic delight with its fairy tale land of sugar hiding the bitterness beneath.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Blog Tour: The Last Line – Robert Dugoni

His old life in the rearview, Del Castigliano has left Wisconsin to work homicide for the Seattle PD. Breaking him in is veteran detective Moss Gunderson, and he’s handing Del a big catch: the bodies of two unidentified men fished from Lake Union. It’s a major opportunity for the new detective, and Del runs with it, chasing every lead—to every dead end. Despite the help of another section rookie, Vic Fazzio, Del is going nowhere fast. Until one shotgun theory looks to be dead right: the victims are casualties of a drug smuggling operation. But critical information is missing—or purposely hidden. It’s forcing Del into a crisis of character and duty that not even the people he trusts can help him resolve.

The Last Line Excerpt


Del drove from the parking garage into a blustery and cold November morning—cold being relative. In Madison, anything above freezing was balmy for November, though Del was starting to understand what Seattleites meant when they said it wasn’t the temperature that chills you; it’s the dampness. He could feel the cold in his bones. A stiff wind rocked his metallic-blue Oldsmobile Cutlass.The wind had started blowing late the prior evening; branches of a tree scraping against Del’s bedroom window had kept him awake half the night.


He drove from Capitol Hill with the defroster on high and worked his way around the southern edge of Lake Union, noting marinas and water-based businesses. He pulled into a parking lot where Moss stood beside a black Buick LeSabre, sipping coffee and towering over a patrol officer. Moss was almost as big as Del, who stood six foot five and weighed 250 pounds.


Del pulled up the collar of his coat against the howling wind as he approached the two men. He recognized the green logo on Moss’s Starbucks coffee cup, the company name taken from Captain Ahab’s first mate on the Pequod, the whaling ship Moby Dick sent to the bottom of the ocean. The logo, a green siren, tempted sailors to jump overboard and drown. Neither was a good omen.


“Look what the cat dragged out. Did we wake you, Elmo?”


“Funny.” Del had heard iterations of Elmo since his teens, when the beloved puppet first appeared on Sesame Street. Moss introduced Del to Mike Nuccitelli, the patrol sergeant. “How’d you get here so quick?” Del asked Moss. He understood Moss lived in West Seattle, twenty minutes farther from the marina than Del’s apartment.


“I didn’t take time to do my hair.” Moss rubbed the bristles of a crew cut. “I’m like my name. You know. A rolling stone.”


Del knew. More than once, Moss had told him his parents bequeathed him the moniker because as a child he never remained still. Vic Fazzio had said it was more likely Moss gave himself the nickname. His Norwegian first name was Asbjorn.


“Halloway here?” Del asked.


“At this hour of the morning?” Moss scoffed. “Stayaway doesn’t come out this early on a cold morning unless he thinks the brass might show up and he can shine their badges with his nose.”


“What do we got?” Del asked.


“Two grown men. Looks like they drowned,” Nuccitelli said. “We’re waiting for the ME.”


“What more do we know about the victims; anything?” Del asked.


Nuccitelli raised the fur collar of his duty jacket against the wind. “Hispanic is my guess, though the bodies are pretty bloated and their skin the color of soot. I’m guessing roughly late twenties to early thirties, but again . . .”


“They didn’t have any ID?” Del asked.


“Not on them,” Nuccitelli said.


“That strike you as odd—they didn’t have ID?”


Nuccitelli smiled.“Not my job.That’s your job.”


“How far out is the ME?” Moss looked and sounded disinterested.


Nuccitelli checked his watch.“Should be here in ten.”


“We’ll take it from here.”

Giveaway – win a copy of the book

Robert Dugoni is the critically acclaimed New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Amazon Charts bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series, which has sold more than seven million books worldwide. He is also the author of the bestselling Charles Jenkins series; the bestselling David Sloane series; the stand-alone novels The 7th Canon, Damage Control, The World Played Chess, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Suspense Magazine’s 2018 Book of the Year, for which Dugoni won an AudioFile Earphones Award for narration; and the nonfiction exposé The Cyanide Canary, a Washington Post best book of the year. He is the recipient of the Nancy Pearl Book Award for fiction and a three-time winner of the Friends of Mystery Spotted Owl Award for best novel set in the Pacific Northwest. He is a two-time finalist for the Thriller Awards and the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, as well as a finalist for the Silver Falchion Award for mystery and the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. His books are sold in more than twenty-five countries and have been translated into more than two dozen languages. 

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Robert Dugoni Q&A

From books to movies to television, police procedurals are incredibly popular with audiences. What do you think is the appeal of these stories? 

I think the appeal is readers and viewers have good guys to root for and bad guys to root against. Readers also like a good mystery. They like to see if they can solve the crime, determine the bad guy and figure out what he did and how he did it, just like the detectives. It keeps them engaged in and part of the story.

Do you recall the first detective story you ever read or perhaps you have a favorite? What was it about this type of story that made you want to write in the genre? 

Years ago, I remember reading Michael Connelly’s The Poet. I don’t know if it was the first detective story I read, probably not, but it was visceral and stuck with me. I do recall reading All The President’s Men when I was in high school, and though Woodward and Bernstein were not detectives, per se, they very much functioned like detectives in that story—finding clues, trying to piece together those clues, and then solve the puzzle. In many ways, that’s what a good detective story is all about: solving a puzzle. I think that is one of the appeals to writers, as well as readers and viewers.

Del Castigliano, the police detective in your newest release The Last Line,  has worked in narcotics, arson, sexual assaults, robbery, and now homicide. He has definitely seen the worst that humans have to offer. What keeps him sane and on the job?

For most police officers I’ve spoken with, they do the job knowing that they are keeping people safe—maybe people they know or even love. It’s a tough job and burnout can be a problem. Most detectives have to be mentally tough and can be frequently rotated to help minimize burn out. It’s one of the reasons detectives and uniformed officers, I believe, are underappreciated. It’s a tough job.

Throughout The Last Line, readers get to see Del at his worst—he faces loss, failure, insecurity, loneliness…yet we also respect him. He is honest, hardworking, and clever. How do you see him? If you were to sit down to have a beer with him, what would you talk about?

In The Last Line, I see Del as a guy trying to find his way after life has thrown him a curveball. If we sat down for a beer, I’d ask him if, looking back, he has any regrets, or if time has helped him put life in perspective and he realizes that what he went through as a young man actually helped him to get to a better place in his life.

The Last Line ends in a way that will have readers wanting more. Do you have any future plans for Del and the larger cast?

Very much so. Del is a central character in the Tracy Crosswhite series, and in Tracy #9, What She Found, the story of Del’s first case from The Last Line comes back to Tracy, who is now working a cold case and trying to figure out what happened 24 years ago.

For fans of your bestselling Tracy Crosswhite series, will they feel at home with Del as the lead protagonist? For readers who haven’t discovered Tracy yet, will they be able to dip right in?

Absolutely. The Last Line is a standalone story that predates Tracy arriving at Seattle PD. I’ve had so many readers ask me for more of Del and Faz! Writing The Last Line was an opportunity to dig into how they got started and what shaped them. I have a thought now about Tracy #10 being a cold case that Del and Faz investigated 25 years earlier and telling the story from both time periods leading up to Tracy solving the crime in the present.

What do you have coming up next?

The third book in the Charles Jenkins espionage series, The Silent Sisters, will be published, February 22, 2022, followed by Tracy #9, What She Found, which will be out August 23, 2022. Beyond that, readers can look for a new standalone legal thriller introducing criminal defense attorney Keera Duggan. I’m excited about that novel and working hard to get it finished soon.

My thoughts: this was a nice little police procedural that introduces Del Castigliano and provides some reference to his case as mentioned above. It definitely made me want to read the Tracy Crosswhite series, and find out more. Especially that ending! Whether you’re a fan already or, like me, new to the author, it’s well worth a read and won’t take long at all.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Underneath the Christmas Tree – Heidi Swain

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

My thoughts: the first Christmas novel of 2021! Set in the fictional North Norfolk town of Wynmouth, home of several of the author’s previous novels, this is a delightful festive tale of Christmas trees and elves and beach huts! There’s a lovely husky, a hunky woodsman and a confused and somewhat in need of a fresh start heroine in Liza.

I really enjoyed this, a perfect accompaniment to a mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows. Funny, heartwarming, sweet and festive. Just a lovely hug of a book. I only wish I could dislodge Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath the Tree earworm now!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Cruel Castle – Bryony Pearce

Having survived the horrors of Savage Island, Grady is now stuck working for Gold, the psychopath who masterminded the gruesome competition. Sent on a “team-building exercise” in a remote castle, he starts to plot his escape. Ben and Lizzie are in hiding, presumed dead after escaping the island. If they’re ever to return to their families, they need to bring Gold down. So they secretly join Grady in the castle. But as the doors slam shut and the series of deadly challenges between them and freedom are revealed, it looks like history is going to repeat itself…

About Savage Island When reclusive millionaire Marcus Gold announces that he’s staging an “Iron Teen” competition on his private island in the Outer Hebrides, Ben, Lizzie, Will, Grady and Carmen sign up. They’d be mad not to when the prize is one million pounds … each. But when the competition commences, the group begin to regret their decision –this is no ordinary contest. Other teams are hunting their competitors and attacking them. As the pressure intensifies and their survival instincts kick in, the friends struggle to stick together. Who can they really trust?

Bryony was a winner of the 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition and is the author of ANGEL’S FURY and THE WEIGHT OF SOULS,winner of the Wirral Grammar School Award –Best Science Fiction. She has written PHOENIX RISING, PHOENIX BURNING and SAVAGE ISLAND for Stripes. Bryony lives with her husband and two children in a village in Gloucestershire. Visit bryonypearce.co.uk | Twitter

My thoughts: I hadn’t read Savage Island, but I am definitely going back and rectifying that ASAP, this was so good and I need to know all the details about what happened to Ben, Lizzie and Grady on the island. However, it’s not essential to know as there’s plenty of information given in Cruel Castle to give you the back story to their relationship and trauma.

A sort of Battle Royale/Hunger Games but British, and darkly funny, Cruel Castle pits a group of young psychopaths against each other in the ultimate escape room challenge – solve the puzzles and get out of the castle alive. Ben, Lizzie and Aaday aren’t psychopathic but are still dealing with their traumatic experiences. They want to live but not to the cost of anyone’s life, this makes them vulnerable but also very brave. They were definitely likeable, unlike the rest of the group – I don’t think I’d have been so willing to work with them.

Grady is playing his own long game and I couldn’t quite work out his motives, I think book three might have the answers…

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Perfect Daughter – Alex Stone

The perfect daughter…
Jess Harper has spent her whole life trying to make her mum, Abigail happy and proud. And everything Jess does, from the clothes she wears, the job she has, the men she dates, are all approved by Abigail first.
The perfect boyfriend…
So when Jess announces that she has a new man in her life – plumber Adam – Abigail is less than impressed. ‘A plumber? Really, Jessica….’ Adam encourages Jess to break free from her mum’s manipulation, can’t she see what’s happening?
The perfect mother….
But Abigail is only doing these things to keep Jess safe, to protect her from getting hurt again…isn’t she?
Or the perfect liar?
Jess, caught in the middle, doesn’t know who to believe or trust. And then Adam vanishes without trace.
Now Jess is the police’s prime suspect and they want to know if Jess really is as perfect as she seems….
A gripping new psychological thriller for fans of Sue Watson, Shalini Boland and S.E.Lynes.
Amazon

About the Author
Alex Stone, originally an accountant from the West Midlands, is now a psychological suspense writer based in Dorset. This beautiful and dramatic coastline is the inspiration and setting for her novels.
She was awarded the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2019 and her debut thriller The Perfect Daughter will be published by Boldwood in October 2021.

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My thoughts: Jess has a monster for a mother, controlling, manipulative and cruel. Isolated from friends, with no one else to turn to. She meets Adam, who she starts to realise is very similar to her mum.

Then Adam disappears and Jess starts to question things that have happened in her past, her dad leaving, her only friend turning against her, the way her relationships fell apart. Her mother always telling her things were her fault. But what if they weren’t?

A dark, twisted psychological thriller about manipulation, gaslighting and finally seeing the truth. Gripping and clever, this was a highly enjoyable read and I rooted for Jess to find her way out of the lies and finally live for herself.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Reacher Guy – Heather Martin

The Reacher Guy is a life of bestselling superstar Lee Child, a portrait of the artist as a young man, refracted through the life of his fictional avatar, Jack Reacher. It tells the story of how the boy from Birmingham reinvented himself to become the strongest brand in publishing, selling over one hundred million books in more than forty different languages across the globe.
Heather Martin interviews friends, teachers, colleagues and neighbours, including agents and editors. Based
primarily on her conversations with the author over a period of years, together with readings of his books and research in his literary archive, this authorised biography reveals the man behind the myth, tracing his origins back through the generations to Northern Ireland and County Durham, and following the trajectory of his extraordinary career via New York and Hollywood until the climactic moment when, in 2020, having written a continuous series of twenty-four books, he finally floats free of his fictional creation.
Lee Child comments: “I met Heather Martin some years ago, and we started talking about why people love telling and hearing stories. To get more depth and detail we started talking about why I do. Eventually I said, ‘If you want to really get to the bottom of it, you’re going to have to write my biography.’ So she did. It was a fun and illuminating process. I had forgotten a lot, and it was fascinating to be reminded. Now it all makes sense.”

Heather Martin was born in West Australia. She grew up in Aix-en-Provence, Paris, and Perth, where she would fall asleep to the sound of the Indian Ocean. She left Australia for England to become a classical guitarist but found herself singing with a Venezuelan folk group and learning to speak Spanish instead. She read Languages at Cambridge, where she also did a PhD in comparative literature, and has held teaching and research positions at Cambridge, Hull, King’s College London, and most recently, the Graduate Center, City University New York.
Heather is a long-time Reacher fan. While waiting to get her hands on the next in the series, she once read a Lee Child book in Spanish and wound up writing to the author about the fate of his character in translation. The Reacher Guy is her first biography.

My thoughts: I haven’t read many Reacher books, I think maybe 2 of them, but my dad and Grandad are fans and I’m always interested in how and why a writer started writing. A very slow start, honestly I would skip the first few chapters, that then got really interesting as Jim Grant became Lee Child and started writing his incredibly successful books. He seems very matter of fact about why he started writing and how he goes about creating each of them. I’m very interested to see how his younger brother handles taking over the mantle of Jack Reacher writer in chief.

There were some very funny moments, especially when talking about publishing and funny things that happen when a famous but not necessarily recognisable writer starts travelling around the world and meeting fans. I liked the story about when Lee was at an airport and said to someone reading a Reacher book “I’ve heard the rest are really good too”, if that person recognises themselves, they’re going to be very puzzled, I know I would be.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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Book Review: The Trials of Adeline Turner – Angela Terry

From Charming Falls Apart author Angela Terry comes a story about finding the courage to face your past, be true to your heart, and live your best life. Fans of Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin will enjoy cheering for Adeline Turner as she navigates the twists and turns of her newly complicated life in this fun, heartwarming novel.

Thirty-three-year-old corporate attorney Adeline Turner has built her adult life around stability. Her professional life is thriving, but her personal life . . . not so much. Deep down she wants more, but finds it’s easier to brush aside her dreams and hide behind her billable hours. That is, until a new client and a chance encounter with her high school crush have her taking leaps she never planned. Suddenly, unadventurous, nose-to-the-grindstone Adeline finds herself moving across the country from her predictable life in Chicago to San Francisco, falling into messy romantic situations, and trying to unravel an office-sabotage plot before it ruins her career.

Without the safety net of her old life in Chicago, Adeline must become her own advocate and learn that people aren’t always who they seem. Which makes her wonder if the key to having the future she desires lies in uncovering the truth of the past.

Angela Terry is an attorney who formerly practiced intellectual property law at large firms in Chicago and San Francisco. She is also a Chicago Marathon legacy runner and races to raise money for PAWS Chicago—the Midwest’s largest no-kill shelter. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and two cats and enjoys throwing novel-themed dinner parties for her women’s fiction book club. Her debut novel, Charming Falls Apart, is a 2021 Independent Press Awards Winner, 2021 IPBA Benjamin Franklin Awards Finalist, and 2020 Best Book Awards Finalist.

Connect with Terry at www.angelaterry.com, @AngelaTerryAuthor on Facebook and Instagram, and @AngelaTerryLit on Twitter.

Q & A with Angela Terry

Question: Who do you think is the ideal reader for The Trials of Adeline Turner?

Angela Terry: Generally, this book is for anyone who enjoys voice-driven, contemporary escapist women’s fiction. Specifically, this book is for someone who may be like Adeline, where they might have a successful career, but want more in their personal life. And, of course, this book is for anyone who still thinks about their first crush and wonders, “What if?” (although, sometimes the dream is better than the reality!). 

Question: You’re a big fan of “chick lit” what are your feelings about that name for the niche of fun and flirty women’s voices?
Angela Terry: The first “chick-lit” book I read was Bridget Jones’s Diary, and it introduced me (and a generation) to books about women who were going through similar issues as I was in my twenties and thirties. I was navigating and balancing my career, dating, family and friends, and asking the question of, “What do I want my life to look like?”. These books were usually told in a light, entertaining, first-person voice, and the characters felt real to me. So, while I know the term has fallen out of favor over the years, it still has a soft spot in my heart.

My books have been called rom-com, chick lit, and women’s fiction. I personally consider my books to be women’s fiction, since they focus more on the emotional growth of my heroine towards a more fulfilled self. But I also love a good happily-ever-after. So, if my novel is hanging out on the rom-com table, I’m happy with that because I just want readers to be able to discover my books. 

Question: What books and authors inspired you?

Angela Terry: The first chick-lit book I read was Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding, and from there I was hooked on these lighter tone, voice-driven, confessional type of stories. From there, I read Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, and I absolutely loved, and still love, Jane Green’s novels, which have evolved from early chick lit to women’s fiction. 

Emily Giffin’s books though finally gave me that push to start writing my own books. When returning home from a vacation, I had picked up Something Blue at the airport and devoured it in one sitting. I love how honest and complicated her characters are, and how effortless her writing style seems. When I turned the book over to read her biography, which read, “After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time…”, it struck me that hers was the first “attorney bio” I read where I thought, “I want to do that!” That was the moment I decided to commit to my writing. 

Question: What is your favorite place to read? 

Angela Terry: My favorite place to read would be my sofa with my cats. But where I get the most reading done would be at airports and on airplanes. I’m terrified of flying, and so I will save up books to read for my flight to have something to look forward to. Now I can’t wait to get to the airport and will be at my gate two hours early to catch up on my reading. 

Question: How has the pandemic affected your reading (and writing) habits? 

Angela Terry: In the beginning of the pandemic, I found it hard to concentrate on reading and writing. But thanks to my book club and being introduced to the Bookstagram community, I managed to get back my reading mojo. Though I will say, I found myself reaching for lighter, uplifting reads during this time. 

The pandemic also affected my writing. Normally, whenever I get stuck on a scene, I like to go for a walk or head to a coffee shop. Seeing people on the street and eavesdropping on conversations always gives me new inspiration. With shelter-in-place, I found myself watching television a lot more to study people’s expressions, as well as voice inflections and cadence for dialogue purposes. 


My thoughts: I was sent this book by a lovely PR and I’m really glad about that because I really liked Adeline, she’s super smart and good at her job, a good friend and has a great relationship with her dad. Her other relationships are a bit messy – she’s single at 33, estranged from her mum and just ran into her teenage crush at the airport.

She’s also about to get offered a great career boosting move, but is going to have to make new friends and be much nearer to her mother than she’s comfortable with. But perhaps there’s opportunity here to improve more than her career? And that’s where the story really starts, with Adeline swapping Chicago for San Francisco, and a whole new set of adventures.

I loved her best friend Bridget, she’s hilarious and very much a take no prisoners person – totally forthright and determined that Adeline finds love and happiness. Her dad was super sweet, and his romance with the neighbour was really cute. I like that she finally decided to try to reach out to her mum, I can’t imagine not having mine around, we’re really close.

Adeline’s path to true love is messy and she makes mistakes, trusts the wrong people and, well, that’s life. It was so honest and realistic, I could easily see Adeline as one of my friends, I think we’d get on. I really rooted for her and cheered her on.