blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Feral Snow – Mark Lowes*

Alone and stranded in the Arctic wasteland, would you risk your life to save a stranger or try to get home?

Paul is a father-to-be; traumatised by his past, he’s terrified of becoming a father after his own beat him until he was unilaterally deaf. While working as a freelance cameraman in the Arctic, he’s caught in a blizzard, separated from his crew, and falls into a chasm. Alone, and waiting for death to come, personal demons plague his mind.

When a young native girl falls into the chasm with him, Paul must learn how to accept responsibility and what it takes to give your life for a child.

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Behind FERAL SNOW:

I began writing FERAL SNOW with the idea of writing a commercial thriller. Slowly, over time, it morphed into something more though. Paul’s layers began to unravel and his true colours came to the surface. His history of abuse became so much more important than I had first intended. I fell in love with all of the characters and I’ll admit I had a tear in my eye while writing the ending.

Mark Lowes is a former teacher, current early childhood educator, and future dad. He lives in Cardiff, Wales, UK, and is sometimes found lamenting over how awful his football team is. While he’s not working with deaf children and their families, he’s writing dark and twisty fiction.

His writing, so he’s told, is a mix between Chuck Palahniuk Josh Malerman and Ernest Hemingway (although Mark retains, all this praise is too much too high). He loves edge-of-your-seat fiction, novels that make you think deeper about the world but will also terrify you and live the world through the protagonist, experiencing every detail. He’s a fan of description, somewhat a lost art nowadays, and has a soft spot for a dark, unreliable narrator.

You can find him on Twitter @StrugglingMJ where he would be excited to hear your views.

Mark is the winner of Litopia’s Pop-Up Submissions and of a pitch contest at the Cardiff Book Festival.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting and slightly bewildering book. Paul ends up in a crevasse out in the Arctic wilderness, trapped in the snow. He’s joined by an indigenous girl, Nanny, who is escaping from a polar bear (in a slightly ironic twist her name is Nanouk, which means polar bear).

Together they attempt to struggle back to the surface and survive the freezing cold.

This is where I start to get a bit bewildered, is any of what Paul then goes through real? At different points he seems to be hallucinating and I can’t tell whether he and Nanny are able to escape or even if she’s real. Obviously this is very clever work on the part of the author but it really threw me. So I now have to read the alternate ending (handy QR code inside the book) and see if that helps or just confuses me more.


*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 Twins – J.S. Lark*

From the moment they are born, twins Susan and Sarah are inseparable. Through good and bad, the girls will always be together… forever.

Until they meet Jonny.

Older, charming and handsome, Jonny offers the girls the much-needed love and attention they crave. But he can only choose one and for the first time in their lives the girls find themselves split apart – the invisible thread that binds them severed.

Set-free from her twin, Sarah builds a new life for herself, marries, has a daughter. But Susan’s life spirals further and further out of control.

And now Susan is back. And she’s determined to reclaim everything she feels Sarah has taken from her.

Her home, her husband…her life?

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Jane is a coffee, chocolate and red wine lover, and a late-night writer of compelling, passionate, and emotionally charged fiction.
Jane’s books may contain love, hate, violence, death, passion, a little swearing, and an ending you are never going to forget.

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My thoughts:

This book left me a bit confused, which twin was it? Who killed who? What exactly was going on? But I think that’s intentional as even they didn’t seem all too sure who was Sarah and who was Susan.

From a childhood of neglect to crime and drugs, then finally to safety in Cumbria, or not. When one twin comes after the other and no one else seems to be able to tell them apart (even Sarah’s husband and daughter struggle) then how can they know the truth?

Twisted and pretty dark, this is a very jarring story – as the secrets come out, the twins’ lives get bleaker and bleaker, no wonder Sarah doesn’t want her sister back in her life, she’s managed to lock all the awful things she went through away in her mind.

But that ending, very much a “who? What? Wait a minute?” reaction and I’m still not quite sure about a few things…

*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: Murder at the Gorge – Frances Evesham*

A joke? A prank? Or something more sinister?

When the Exham-on-Sea residents are targeted by anonymous emails containing apparently harmless nursery rhymes, no one knows whether to laugh or shudder until an unexplained death touches the town.

Libby Forest, baker, chocolatier and Exham’s very own resident private investigator, alongside her partner Max Ramshore, set out to solve the puzzle before more people die. But when Max’s ex-wife arrives on the scene, ahead of Max and Libby’s long-awaited nuptials, things go from bad to worse.

With the town and their relationship under threat, Max and Libby need the help of the Exham History Society if they’re going to find the nursery rhyme killer in time.

Murder at the Gorge is the seventh in a series of Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries set at the small English seaside town full of quirky characters, sea air, and gossip.

If you love Agatha Christie-style mysteries, cosy crime, clever dogs and cake, then you’ll love these intriguing whodunnits.

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Frances Evesham is the author of the hugely successful Exham-on-Sea Murder Mysteries set in her home county of Somerset.

In her spare time, she collects poison recipes and other ways of dispatching her unfortunate victims.

She likes to cook with a glass of wine in one hand and a bunch
of chillies in the other, her head full of murder―fictional only.

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My thoughts:

This was a fun, clever read, with entertaining characters and some definite red herrings that it takes till right near the end to clear up.

I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series, and it’s not vital to do so, but it will give a lot more background as there were a couple of moments where I went “who is this?” “what are they talking about?” but it does get explained a bit later, so if you can cope with waiting for answers (I have zero patience!) then you’ll be fine.

The locations in the book, especially the Clifton Suspension Bridge, become like extra characters, they’re so vividly described, and it makes you wonder about the dark side of Somerset, although more drinking of cider is needed! Those West Country stereotypes need reinforcing (my family are from Devon & Cornwall on my dad’s side and I like cider and clotted cream and also all the cheese!)

Max and Libby were interesting figures and I wanted to know more about the History Society and Libby’s chocolate making business, as well as the canine and feline supporting cast, they need their own book! So I’m going to be reading the rest of the series over Christmas.

*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: Poleaxed – Peter Tyrer*

It is 1967. A mysterious disease appears in an English town. People fall down suddenly, poleaxed, and many die. Is it caused by a bacterium, a virus, a poison? Nobody knows, and top doctors squabble over its cause. But then two junior doctors and a young anthropology student, who has recovered from the disease, join together.

The three investigators continue their work to find out the cause of the disease, a virus whose worst effects are only shown in those who are very anxious. They think they have found the cause and the solution. But will they be in time?

This is a gripping dystopian tale, very much relevant to events unfolding today and written by Emeritus Professor of Community Psychiatry at Imperial College, London, Peter Tyrer whose long-standing interest in the connections between mental and physical health informed the novel.

My thoughts:

I seem to have read a lot of books recently about pandemics and diseases, real and imaginary, which considering this year’s stellar performance of These Are The End Times, seems to make some sense.

This book, written in 2018/19, is very interesting in that the infection is highly localised and the town takes the decision to close its borders and see if they can wait out the virus, while also continuing to look for both the origin and a treatment. This isn’t a new idea, famously a village in Derbyshire, Eyam, chose to completely cut itself off during an outbreak of plague in 1665, rather than risk spreading the Black Death beyond its borders.

What’s most interesting, and for me somewhat unnerving, is the idea that this virus, Poleaxe, affects people with underlying anxiety disorders far more seriously than anyone else. I have anxiety disorder and panic disorder, as well as depression, so were Poleaxe a real disease I’d be struck down very quickly and struggle to recover.

Luckily the protagonist of this novel, the very clever anthropology student Barbara, does recover and indeed identifies the origin of the virus and the link between anxiety and the more serious symptoms. This allows the health authorities to lift the quarantine and treat the afflicted.

Written by an expert psychiatrist lends a certain air of knowledge and expertise to the novel – if this was a real disease I know who I’d want working alongside the other doctors, someone who has a great understanding of the link between mental and physical health, a fact that has been thrown into sharp focus by the current pandemic and lockdown, but is often overlooked when treating medical conditions.

This book is both timely and also, thankfully, very much science fiction as opposed to fact, I hope.

*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

Cover Reveal: The Mystery of Montague House – Emma Davies

When Summer meets Wynter…

With enough rooms to fill a Cluedo board several times over, Montague House has often been the subject of rumour and gossip. Tales of strange goings on, an owner who disappeared one day and was never seen again, not to mention the treasure that rumour has it lies at its heart… But now the present owner has died and the house is to be sold. It looks as if the opportunity has come to finally settle the stories once and for all.

Clodagh Wynter doesn’t believe in ghostly goings on and tall tales of secrets. She has her feet very firmly on the ground and, tasked with the job of valuing and cataloguing the house and all its contents, she’s simply looking forward to working in such a glorious setting. And if she happens across a priceless painting, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Andie Summer is a Finder of Things and desperately needs this job; she’s down to her last few tins of baked beans. So looking for hidden treasure sounds right up her street, even if there was something very fishy about the mysterious Mr Mayfair who hired her. Because it’s just like she said to her faithful Basset Hound, Hamish; I saw something out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving, and you know what that means. It’s never good news when I see something out of the corner of my eye…

As the unlikely pair are thrown together, it soon becomes very clear however that they are not the only ones searching for the treasure. And they’re going to need all their ingenuity, resourcefulness, not to mention chocolate biscuits, if they’re ever going to untangle the web of secrets that surrounds Montague House. One that reaches even further than they ever thought possible…

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After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty-something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a fifty-something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband and three children in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life.

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blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Nothing Good Happens After Midnight – Jeffrey Deaver & a host of others

NothingGood

I am so excited about the launch of this anthology! Suspenseful short stories by some of the most well-known, best-selling authors in the industry! 

Read on for details and a chance to win a print copy of Nothing Good Happens After Midnight!

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight_Suspense Magazine Cover_Hi Res

Nothing Good Happens After Midnight

Publication Date: November 17th, 2020

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense/ Sci-Fi/ Fantasy/ Anthology

Publisher: Suspense Magazine

The sun sets. The moon takes its place, illuminating the most evil corners of the planet. What twisted fear dwells in that blackness? What legends attach to those of sound mind and make them go crazy in the bright light of day? Only Suspense Magazine knows…

Teaming up with New York Times bestselling author Jeffery Deaver, Suspense Magazine offers up a nail-biting anthology titled: “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight.” This thrilling collection consists of thirteen original short stories representing the genres of suspense/thriller, mystery, sci-fi/fantasy, and more.

Readers’ favorites come together to explore the mystery of midnight. The ‘best of the best’ presenting these memorable tales include: Joseph Badal, Linwood Barclay, Rhys Bowen, Heather Graham, Alan Jacobson, Paul Kemprecos, Shannon Kirk, Jon Land, John Lescroart, D. P. Lyle, Kevin O’Brien, and Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Take their hands…walk into their worlds…but be prepared to leave the light on when you’re through. After all, this incredible gathering of authors, who will delight fans of all genres, not only utilized their award-winning imaginations to answer that age-old question of why “Nothing Good Happens After Midnight”—they also made sure to pen stories that will leave you…speechless.

NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT is a treat—dark, chilling, and delicious. Grab it.” —Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award-Winning Author of The Dark Corners of the Night

“Something very good happens after midnight…just pick up this brilliant book and be transported—and very afraid!” —Peter James, UK #1 Bestselling Author of the Detective Superintendent Roy Grace Series

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Available on Amazon & Barnes & Noble

About the Author

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JEFFERY DEAVER is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. He has served two terms as president of Mystery Writers of America.

The author of forty-three novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards. His THE BODIES LEFT BEHIND was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller THE BROKEN WINDOW and a stand-alone, EDGE, were also nominated for that prize. THE GARDEN OF BEASTS won the Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers Association in England. He’s been nominated for eight Edgar Awards.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy.

His book A MAIDEN’S GRAVE was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel THE BONE COLLECTOR was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his THE DEVIL’S TEARDROP. NBC television is airing the popular prime time series, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector.

His latest novel is THE GOODBYE MAN, a Colter Shaw thriller.

Jeffery Deaver

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Author Bios

JOSEPH BADAL grew up in a family where storytelling had been passed down from generation to generation.

Prior to a long business career, Joe served for six years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army in critical, highly classified positions in the U.S. and overseas, including tours of duty in Greece and Vietnam, and earned numerous military decorations.

Joe is an Amazon #1 bestselling author, with 16 published suspense novels. He has been recognized as “One of The 50 Best Writers You Should Be Reading.” His books have received two Tony Hillerman Awards for Best Fiction Book of the Year, been top prize winners on multiple occasions in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards competition, received gold medals from the Military Writers Society of America, the Eric Hoffer Award, and Finalist honors in the International Book Awards.

He writes a regular column titled “Inspired by Actual Events” in Suspense Magazine.

To learn more, visit his website at http://www.JosephBadalBooks.com.

LINWOOD BARCLAY, a New York Times bestselling author and with nearly twenty novels to his credit, spent three decades in newspapers before turning full time to writing thrillers. His books have been translated into more than two dozen language, sold millions of copies, and he counts Stephen King among his fans. Many of his books have been optioned for film and TV, a series has been made in France, and he wrote the screenplay for the film based on his novel NEVER SAW IT COMING. Born in the US, his parents moved to Canada just as he was turning four, and he’s lived there ever since. He lives near Toronto with his wife, Neetha. They have two grown children.

 RHYS BOWEN is the New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of two historical mystery series, as well as three internationally bestselling standalone novels. Her books have won multiple awards and been translated into over twenty languages. A transplanted Brit, Rhys now divides her time between California and Arizona, where she escapes from those harsh California winters.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, HEATHER GRAHAM, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. She has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is also proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was also awarded the prestigious Thriller Master in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts the Vampire Ball and Dinner theater at the RT convention, raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society, and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

ALAN JACOBSON is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of fourteen thrillers, including the FBI profiler Karen Vail series and the OPSIG Team Black novels. His books have been translated internationally and several have been optioned by Hollywood. Jacobson’s debut novel, FALSE ACCUSATIONS, was adapted to film by acclaimed Czech screenwriter Jirí Hubac.

Jacobson has spent over twenty-five years working with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, the DEA, the US Marshals Service, SWAT, the NYPD, Scotland Yard, local law enforcement, and the US military. This research and the breadth of his contacts help bring depth and realism to his characters and stories.

For video interviews and a free personal safety eBook co-authored by Alan Jacobson and FBI Profiler Mark Safarik, please visit http://www.AlanJacobson.com. You can also connect with Jacobson on Facebook (Facebook.com/AlanJacobsonFans), Instagram (alan.jacobson), Twitter (@JacobsonAlan), and Goodreads (alan-jacobson).

PAUL KEMPRECOS is the author of eight novels in the Aristotle “Soc” Socarides private detective series, including COOL BLUE TOMB, winner of a Shamus award from the Private Eye Writers of America for Best Paperback, and SHARK BAIT, nominated for a Shamus in the same category. Grandmaster of Adventure writer Clive Cussler blurbed: “There can be no better mystery writer in America than Paul Kemprecos.” Paul became the first fiction co-author to work with Cussler when they created and wrote the New York Times bestselling NUMA Files series. After collaborating with Cussler on the first eight books in the NUMA Files, Paul wrote two adventure novels including THE MINOAN CIPHER, nominated for a Thriller award by the International Thriller Writers. Paul lives on Cape Cod with his wife Christi, a financial advisor.

To learn more about Paul Kemprecos, check out his website at http://www.paulkemprecos.com.

SHANNON KIRK is the international bestselling and award-winning author of METHOD 15/33, THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY OF VIVIENNE MARSHALL, IN THE VINES, GRETCHEN, VIEBURY GROVE, and short stories in four anthologies: THE NIGHT OF THE FLOOD, NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT, and BORDER NOIR. Shannon is also a contributor to the International Thriller Writers’ Murderers’ Row. Growing up in New Hampshire, Shannon and her brothers were encouraged by their parents to pursue the arts, which instilled in her a love for writing at a young age. A graduate of Suffolk Law School in Massachusetts, Shannon is a practicing litigation attorney and former adjunct law professor, specializing in electronic-evidence law. When she isn’t writing or practicing law, Shannon spends time with her husband, son, and two cats. To learn more about her, visit http://www.shannonkirkbooks.com.

JON LAND is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 50 books, including the award-winning, critically acclaimed Caitlin Strong series, the most recent of which is STRONG FROM THE HEART. He has also penned six novels in the MURDER, SHE WROTE series and has recently taken over Margaret Truman’s CAPITAL CRIMES series as well. He’s a 1979 graduate of Brown University, lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and can be reached at jonlandbooks.com or on Twitter @jondland.

JOHN LESCROART is the author of twenty-nine novels, nineteen of which have been New York Times bestsellers. Libraries Unlimited places him among “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors.” With sales of over twelve million copies, his books have been translated into twenty-two languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.

John’s first book, SUNBURN, won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award for Best Novel by a California author. DEAD IRISH, THE 13TH JUROR, and THE KEEPER were nominees for the Shamus, Anthony, and Silver Falchion Best Mystery Novel, respectively; additionally THE 13TH JUROR is included in the International Thriller Writers publication “100 Must-Read Thrillers of All Time.” HARD EVIDENCE made “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List.” THE SUSPECT was the American Author’s Association 2007 Book of the Year. THE MOTIVE was an Audie Finalist of the Audio Publishers Association. THE MERCY RULE, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, THE SUSPECT, THE FALL, and THE RULE OF LAW have been major market Book Club selections. John’s books have been Main Selections of one or more of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Book of the Month Club.

P. LYLE is the Amazon #1 Bestselling; Macavity and Benjamin Franklin Award-winning; and Edgar(2), Agatha, Anthony, Shamus, Scribe, and USA Today Best Book(2) Award-nominated author of 22 books, both non-fiction and fiction, including the Samantha Cody, Dub Walker, Jake Longly and Cain/Harper thriller series and the Royal Pains media tie-in novels. His essay on Jules Verne’s THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND appears in THRILLERS: 100 MUST READS, his short story “Even Steven” in ITW’s anthology THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER, and his short story “Bottom Line” in FOR THE SAKE OF THE GAME. He served as editor for and contributed the short story “Splash” to SCWA’s anthology IT’S ALL IN THE STORY.

He hosts the Crime Fiction Writer’s Blog and the Criminal Mischief: The Art and Science of Crime Fiction podcast series. He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.

Learn more at http://www.dplylemd.com.

Before his thrillers landed him on the New York Times bestseller list, KEVIN O’BRIEN was a railroad inspector. The author of 21 internationally-published thrillers, he won the Spotted Owl Award for Best Pacific Northwest Mystery, and is a core member of Seattle 7 Writers. Press & Guide said: “If Alfred Hitchcock were alive today and writing novels, his name would be Kevin O’Brien.” Kevin’s latest nail-biter is THE BAD SISTER.

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. A USA Today bestselling author of 12 thrillers, Ryan’s also an award-winner in her second profession—with five Agathas, three Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. Critics call her “a master of suspense.” Her highly-acclaimed TRUST ME was an Agatha nominee and chosen for numerous prestigious “Best of 2018” lists. Hank’s book THE MURDER LIST is an Agatha, Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark Award nominee.  Her newest standalone is THE FIRST TO LIE (Forge Books August 2020). The Publishers Weekly starred review calls it “Stellar.”

SUSPENSE MAGAZINE was founded in 2007 on the premise that every author in the genre needed a platform to have a voice. From that original concept, Suspense Publishing was born in 2010 to publish high quality books in the suspense/mystery/horror/thriller genre. Suspense Publishing’s goal is to be a leader in  producing the highest quality books in the genre.

Giveaway: Print copy of the book! Click the link below!

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Blog Tour Schedule

November 16th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

Cocktails & Fairy Tales (Review) https://www.facebook.com/CocktailsFairytales

Sadie’s Spotlight (Review) http://sadiesspotlight.com/

November 17th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Meli’s Book Reviews (Review) https://melisbokreviews.wordpress.com/

@the.b00kreadser (Review) https://www.instagram.com/the.b00kreader

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

November 18th

Horror Tree (Guest Post) https://www.horrortree.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

What Emma Did Next (Review) https://whatemmadidnext.com/

November 19th

Rambling Mads (Spotlight) http://ramblingmads.com

Bonnie Reads & Writes (Review) https://bonniereadsandwrites.wordpress.com

Book Review Crew (Review) https://bookreviewcrew.blogspot.com

Stine Writing (Review) https://christinebialczak.com/

November 20th

@BrendaJeanCombs (Spotlight) https://www.instagram.com/brendajeancombs/

@52weekswithbooks (Review) https://www.instagram.com/52weekswithbooks/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

@thecrookedhouse (Review) https://www.instagram.com/thecrookedhouse/

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

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Blog Tour: The Searcher – Tana French*

Cal Hooper thought a fixer-upper in a remote Irish village would be the perfect escape. After twenty-five years in the Chicago police force, and a bruising divorce, he just wants to build a new life in a pretty spot with a good pub where nothing much happens.

But then a local kid comes looking for his help. His brother has gone missing, and no one, least of all the police, seems to care. Cal wants nothing to do with any kind of investigation, but somehow he can’t make himself walk away.

Soon Cal will discover that even in the most idyllic small town, secrets lie hidden, people aren’t always what they seem, and trouble can come calling at his door.

My thoughts:

This was so good, but then it’s Tana French so of course it is. There’s a slight element of an old Western to it – True Grit maybe or another John Wayne film, in the way Cal, with his Southern US lilt and manners, goes about searching for Brendan. Making his enquiries despite not really knowing the lay of the land, calling people sir and ma’am, talking softly but with weight behind his words.

The relationship between Trey and Cal is really interesting too, like he’s slowly bringing a feral animal into his house, gently, laying out crumbs. Like he does with the rooks in his garden, tempting them ever closer.

I could almost see the Western Irish mountains and fields in the pages, the descriptions were so good, the landscape a stunning backdrop to this modern day cowboy alternating between trying to fix up his house and trying to solve the mystery of where Brendan went.

*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 Forgotten Gift – Kathleen McGurl*

What would you do to protect the ones you love?

1861. George’s life changes forever the day he meets Lucy. She’s beautiful and charming, and he sees a future with her that his position as the second son in a wealthy family has never offered him. But when Lucy dies in a suspected poisoning days after rejecting George, he finds himself swept up into a murder investigation. George loved Lucy; he would never have harmed her. So who did?

Now. On the surface Cassie is happy with her life: a secure job, good friends, and a loving family. When a mysterious gift in long-forgotten will leads her to a dark secret in her family’s history she’s desperate to learn more. But the secrets in Cassie’s family aren’t all hidden in the past, and her research will soon lead her to a revelation much closer to home – and which will turn everything she
knows on its head…

Discover a family’s darkest secrets today. Perfect for fans of The Girl in the Letter, The Beekeeper’s Promise and The Forgotten Village!

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Kathleen McGurl lives in Bournemouth with her husband. She has two sons who have both now left
home. She always wanted to write, and for many years was waiting until she had the time.

Eventually she came to the bitter realisation that no one would pay her for a year off work to write a book, so she sat down and started to write one anyway. Since then she has published several novels with HQ and self-published another. She has also sold dozens of short stories to women’s magazines, and written three How To books for writers.

After a long career in the IT industry she became a full time writer in 2019.

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My thoughts:

Families are complicated creatures and this story of adoption and finding your family struck a real chord with me. My Grandad is not biologically related to me, he married my Nan and adopted my mum and aunt after her first husband, my biological grandfather, died of cancer really young. He is however absolutely my Grandad and my hero, regardless of blood.

Cassie has to wrestle with similar issues, after finding out a few things about her father and indeed about his ancestor, George. Her own biological daughter, who she gave up for adoption, gets in touch as well. Cassie and George both learn that what makes a family is a bit more complicated than it first appears.

This was moving and insightful, well written and I enjoyed the way it moved between Cassie’s life and that of George, 200 hundred years ago.

*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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Cover Reveal: The Dream That Held Us – Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang

“The Dream That Held US took me on an exquisite exploration if a love that crosses boundaries of time and culture.”

Angela Barton author of Arlette’s Story, Magnolia House and You’ve Got My Number

“Deeply imbued with a certain wistfulness and haunting sense of loss brought out by the end of a glorious summer… Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang’s latest novel is a sensitive and skilful exploration of love, longing, and whether life sometimes relents to give us second chances.” Osama Siddique – author of Snuffing Out the Moon

“This book carries a universal message about love and finding your way in the world. I loved it.” Angela Barton author of Arlette’s Story, Magnolia House and You’ve Got My Number

Another stunning Anglo-Indian love story from the author of The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017.

October 1985, Ash Misra leaves a blood-stained Delhi for Oxford University. Haunted by a terrible secret, he just wants to forget. Music and fresh violence bring him to fellow student and amateur violinist, Isabella Angus, but duty and the burden of history keep them apart. A quarter of a century later against the background of the global financial crisis, Sir Peter Roberts, former Master of Woodstock College, receives a letter from Ash for Isabella. They are no longer young but they had made a tryst with destiny; old terrors and suppressed desires return.

Pre-order Links

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Publication Date – 21st January 2021

Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang is a British author whose work focuses on cultural and historical fault lines and has strong international themes. Rhiannon was born and grew up in Yorkshire and has studied, lived and worked in Europe and Asia. She read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Oxford University and speaks Mandarin and Cantonese. Rhiannon lives in a former farmhouse in rural England with her family.

Novels

The Woman Who Lost China, Open Books 2013

The Last Vicereine, Penguin Random House 2017

Short Story Anthology

Hong Kong Noir, Akashic Books 2019

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You Tube Rhiannon Reviews.

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Blog Tour: By The Book – A.J. McCarthy*

A clue is left at a murder scene: a page from a paperback novel. The title of the book is Murder by the Dozen, and local author, T.L. McGinnis, cannot provide any leads. Detectives Josh Riddell and Clint Weller of the Ottawa Police Service are worried about what lies ahead. It soon becomes evident their worst fears have been realized, and a serial killer is using the novel as a guide. It’s impossible to foresee and safeguard all the potential victims, and time is running out. But who is the killer’s real target?

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The figure glided to the bed on soft-soled feet. The face of the intended victim was at ease, lashes dark against her pale cheeks. The curve of her lips suggested a pleasant dream

Jennifer Danvers slept the sleep of the dead, the intruder thought. The pun provoked a smile; a hand stifled a chuckle.

Jennifer’s face was familiar, chosen with great care, and it inspired a sense of excitement; the adventure had begun at last. It had taken months of planning and hour upon hour of research.

A few hiccups were expected along the way, but the killer didn’t question the likelihood of accomplishing the goal.

Despite a sense of elation, the hands were steady as the person leaned over the bed and wrapped latex-covered fingers around Jennifer’s throat. Her lovely blue eyes opened, startled, and her hands grabbed her assailant’s wrists as she struggled to free herself, to no avail.

Training and preparation were on the killer’s side.

“You should be honored.” The words were spoken with a smile, even as the fingers increased their pressure, and terror-filled eyes pleaded for mercy. “You’re perfect. The most perfect I’ve found. We’ll go down together in history.”

It was over within minutes, too quick for the killer’s satisfaction, and the young woman’s body slumped, lifeless, on the bed. The act completed, the murderer took a few moments to relish the sight of her: the slack mouth, the bulbous eyes staring back, as if in wonder.

Exhilaration flowed through the killer’s veins. So powerful, so clever, so much in control. A laugh escaped, a brief staccato burst.

“No one will ever suspect me. They never do. I’m invisible.” The words were addressed to the body on the bed, as if expecting a response. “I may not come across as being special, but I can do whatever I want to, and I’ll prove it. You’ve been an enormous help. Thank you.”

The corpse received a bright grin as a reward. “Oh, I can’t forget. I have a few things to take care of, haven’t I?”

From a pocket, a pair of tweezers were removed. Unzipping a bag pinned to the front of the person’s white coveralls, a small, red plastic heart was extracted. Jennifer’s mouth was opened, and the heart was lodged against her tonsils. Thin lips curved into a smile of admiration before closing the victim’s mouth and blocking the heart from view. Next, the tweezers were used to pull a crisp piece of paper from the bag. The killer squatted, placed it beneath the bed, and pushed it under as far as possible, taking care not to bend or tear it.

“There. Once upon a time.”

A.J. McCarthy grew up with a love for reading, and that love became stronger with the years. Having built a career in finance, she decided to try her hand at writing. To her surprise, she discovered a new passion, and is enjoying the excitement and the challenges which accompanied that discovery.

She tries to blog when the inspiration strikes her, and she continues to write novels.

She lives with her husband north of Québec City, Canada, and is the mother of two wonderful daughters.

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Giveaway: Win a $20 Amazon Voucher (International)

My thoughts:

A murderer copying the killings in a work of fiction, a cop determined to stop them reaching the twelfth victim, an author who might be a target.

This was a really fun and clever read, with Tierney and Josh racing against time to find the murderer and stop him killing twelve people inspired by Tierney’s novel. And falling for each other along the way.

The supporting characters were also interesting, from Matt the retired cop to Cooper the dog, completing an interesting line up featuring a few potential suspects and Tierney’s OTT mother!

The perilous denouement at the quarry was full of tension and risk, but thankfully ended with the villain where he belonged and Josh and Tierney together. I think a sequel could be fun with them teaming up to solve a case not inspired by Tierney’s work but perhaps another writer’s.


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