*Cover Reveal* Wrong Number by Carys Jones

So today as its Halloween I have a fab treat to share with you..
I’m super excited to reveal the cover for a new upcoming psychological thriller published by Aria Fiction which will is not out until January 2017.
aria_jones_wrong-number_e
Now for the blurb:
WRONG NUMBER
 
A missing husband. Mysterious calls. And the biggest lie of them all. 
 
Read with caution – you may never want to answer your phone again…
 
Will and Amanda Thorne are living the dream until, one day, their phone rings. Within 24 hours, Will is missing and Amanda’s world is shattered.
Who was on the phone? Where has Will gone?
 
Amanda is determined to find her husband and is drawn into a world of drug dealers, criminal masterminds and broken promises.
 
As the truth becomes clearer, she has to face the terrible possibility that she may never have known her husband at all…
 
Wrong Number is out 1st January 2017 and is available to preorder from Amazon here.
A little bit about the Author:
carys_adj2
 
Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader’s imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion Rollo.
When she’s not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science-fiction films or playing video games. She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.
To Carys, there is no greater feeling then when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.
Inrigued? I know I am!

With thanks to Aria Fiction for allowing me to reveal this fab cover.

Advertisements

*Blog Tour* The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn

Today I’m really excited to be hosting the next stop on Agnes Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal blog tour, published by Orenda Books and translated by Rosie Hedger.

bird tribunal blog tour poster.jpg

First the Blurb:

Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape…

TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.

THE BIRD TRIBUNAL A_W v4.jpg

Meet Allis Hagtorn, a chaotic 32 year old woman who decides to cut herself off from her past life to take a job as a housekeeper and gardener in a remote and isolated house, on a secluded fjord where she is essentially living in exile. Her employer, Sigurd Bagge is a 44-year old surly man who seems to control every moment of his day, and that of Allis’. But the more Allis spends in exile the more she seeks approval from Bagge – but is there something more sinister at work?

This is the first book in a while which has actually stumped me, leaving me lost for words (in a very good way).

How can I even begin to describe this novel? I adored the haunting and claustrophobic atmosphere the author creates where everything is shrouded in mystery with hidden, locked rooms, a foggy, harsh environment and a character simmering with danger. It really unsettled me as a reader which made this such a superb read, and what a shocking twist at the end – I had my heart in my mouth!

I loved the unreliable narration of Allis who is both chaotic and hypnotic as she slowly loses control and allows Bagge to dominant her. The strong narrative voice really stands out in the novel for me with Allis constantly having an internal struggle with herself which really gave me an insight into her troubled character. She is a character who observes her own faults which is very refreshing to see but the longer she spends under the spell of Bagge the more she obsesses over him.

Sigurd Bagge is a handsome but mysterious character who seems to flit through a range of emotions and mood swings making his actions unpredictable and dangerous for both Allis and the reader. There were actual times where I was unsure what was going on and kind of still am which I loved!

I felt the novel had a dream-like quality to it weaving in the fictional fairytales into the the ‘fictional reality’ and also the characters’ dreams which made it such a disturbing, powerful, haunting and mysterious story. But I cannot review this book without mentioning the brilliant descriptions littering throughout which really showcased the author’s talents and just how beautiful but treacherous the fjord is as well as the claustrophobic world Allis and Bagge is living in.

This is a story about obsessive power-dominated relationships and how you can never truly know a person. This is not only creepy but an atmopsheric story which was just magic. I can only describe it as truly mesmerising – I spent a whole day with this novel but what a day it was and will take a few days to recover from. I just cannot recommend this novel enough.

Go buy a copy and don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this epic blog tour!

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

About the author:

Agnes-Ravatn.ashx.jpeg

Agnes Ravatn (b. 1983) is a Norwegian author and columnist. She made her literary début with the novel Week 53 in 2007. Since then she has written three critically acclaimed and award-winning essay collections: Standing, Popular Reading and Operation Self-discipline, in which she recounts her experience with social media addiction, and how she overcame it. The Bird Tribunal won the cultural radio P2’s listener’s prize for this novel, a popular and important prize in Norway, in addition to The Youth’s Critic’s Prize. The Bird Tribunal was also made into a successful play, which premiered in Oslo in 2015.

 

 

*Blog Tour* The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

Today I’m delighted to be hosting the next stop on Louise Beech’s The Mountain in my Shoe blog tour, published by Orenda Books. I thought for today’s stop I would share a cheeky snippet of the novel which I hope you enjoy.

The Mountain in my Shoe cover.jpg

Blurb: A missing boy. A missing book. A missing husband. A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home. Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers. With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.

 

So now for The Mountain In My Shoe Extract

1

The Book: 10th December 2001

This book is a gift. That’s what it is. A gift because it will one day be your memory. It will soon contain your history. Your pictures. Your life. You. Isn’t it a lovely colour? Softest yellow. Neutral some might say, but I like to think of it as the colour of hope. And I’m hopeful, gosh I am. I hope this book is short because that’s the best kind.

But now – where to begin?

2

The book is missing. A black gap parts the row of paperbacks, like a breath between thoughts. Bernadette puts two fingers in the space, just to make sure. Only emptiness; no book, and no understanding how it can have vanished when it was there last time she looked.

The book is a secret…

 

DSCF5005 (1).jpg

About the Author:

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Reader’s Choice for 2015. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show. The Mountain In My Shoe was longlisted for the 2016 Not the Booker Prize.

Intrigued?

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Louise Beech follow her on Twitter @LouiseWriter

And don’t forget to check out all of the other fabulous stops on this Monster Blog Tour!

MIMS BLOG TOUR POSTER.jpg

 

 

Chiller Review: Never Alone by Elizabeth Haynes

NEVER ALONE cover v9-front

Blurb:  Sarah Carpenter lives in an isolated farmhouse in North Yorkshire and for the first time, after the death of her husband some years ago and her children, Louis and Kitty, leaving for university, she’s living alone. But she doesn’t consider herself lonely. She has two dogs, a wide network of friends and the support of her best friend, Sophie.

When an old acquaintance, Aiden Beck, needs somewhere to stay for a while, Sarah’s cottage seems ideal; and renewing her relationship with Aiden gives her a reason to smile again. It’s supposed to be temporary, but not everyone is comfortable with the arrangement: her children are wary of his motives, and Will Brewer, an old friend of her son’s, seems to have taken it upon himself to check up on Sarah at every opportunity. Even Sophie has grown remote and distant.

After Sophie disappears, it’s clear she hasn’t been entirely honest with anyone, including Will, who seems more concerned for Sarah’s safety than anyone else. As the weather closes in, events take a dramatic turn and Kitty too goes missing. Suddenly Sarah finds herself in terrible danger, unsure of who she can still trust.

But she isn’t facing this alone; she has Aiden, and Aiden offers the protection that Sarah needs. Doesn’t he?

Sarah Carpenter lives on her own in a big farmhouse where she is still dealing with the fall out after her husbands death. So when Aiden, an old friend messages her on Facebook for a place to stay she jumps at the chance because for her it is a life-line. But when her best friend Sophie becomes distant and Will Brewer, an old school friend of Sarah’s son, starts acting strangely, Sarah realises that she is never alone and underneath the remote wilds of Yorkshire evil lurks.

A chilling page-turning!

I absolutely adored this book. This story is full of bone-curdling creepy drama which I couldn’t stop reading. I felt the author came into her own by bringing the creepy and atmospheric setting to life for me in the novel. I loved the descriptions of the harsh and claustrophobic Yorkshire landscape which hindered the characters and added something sinister and somewhat special to the novel.

The novel is told from the point of view of Sarah, Aiden and also features a disturbing point of view in italics showing snippets of a character who is slowly unraveling – I won’t tell you who it is and whether they are already a POV character as that’s part of the fun of it! What I will say is that I did spend a lot of my time guessing who the ‘creepy’ POV character as I was forever changing my mind. It also really brought out the tension and unsettled me as a reader which is always good in my books.

This novel only has a very small cast of characters which really packs a punch. I enjoyed reading about Sarah who is an ordinary woman struggling to cope with the financial burden of a husband who has left her with a lot of debt but also loved Aiden who has a very secret and unusual job. I found myself gripped by both their stories and the relationship between the two characters kept me glued to the page.

The last half of the novel really ratcheted up the tension for me where the author continually revealed disturbing truth after truth while still managing to keep up the claustrophobic and haunting atmosphere – it had me gripped and gasping aloud over two days! I will now be checking out more of Elizabeth’s other novels.

This is a chilling, pulse-raising read full of tension, pace with a number of twists and surprises you won’t see coming. I would definitely recommend this to all crime fans who love a dark and disturbing read.

With thanks to Emma Dowson and Myriad Editions Publishers for my advanced review copy.

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Elizabeth Haynes follow her on Twitter @Elizjhaynes.

Blog Tour A Suitable Lie By Michael J Malone

Today, I’m so excited to be hosting the next stop on the A Suitable Lie, by Michael J Malone, blog tour.

A Suitable Lie Cover.jpg

Blurb:

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive. Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love. Then he meets Anna. Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match… And she loves his son, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.

Andy Boyd is a widow, still coming to terms with the loss of his wife, Patricia, and facing the prospect of raising a young son alone. When a chance encounter throws him together with the beautiful Anna she seems to be his perfect match and cannot believe he has a second chance at love again. But underneath all the charm, beauty and ‘accidents,’ Anna is not what she seems and soon Andy comes to realise just how dangerous Anna is…

Harrowing!! I cannot begin to describe how amazing this book is. I was captivated from the very start especially with the opening chilling words ‘..And that was the first time I thought of murder.’

The novel is told from the point of view of Andy Boyd, a normal guy trying to raise his son, but when Anna’s actions at home escalates Andy just doesn’t know what to do. Andy needs to protect his son but at what cost? The narrative in this novel has a fresh, innocence to it which really lulled me into a false sense of security, making me sympathise with Andy’s plight.

The author did a fantastic job of tackling a very difficult topic with domestic abuse without it becoming too graphic as some other novels have done previously. I loved how the author was still able to show the raw emotion of the characters and portray the harrowing ordeal Andy faces daily.

This novel just took me on a rollercoaster of emotions, I spent much of my time screaming at Andy to take some action but actually sometimes doing nothing is just as harrowing as doing something. I couldn’t stop thinking about this book after turning the last page – it was so damn good and one I will remember.

This is a novel full of twists, tension and gut-wrenching emotion. It is one I would recommend to all crime fans!!

With thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for my review copy.

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

About the author

bobmcd13.jpg

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland
and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

To find out more about Michael J Malone follow him on Twitter @michaelJmalone1

Don’t forget to stop by the many stops on this blog tour! It’s one not to be missed.

suitable lie blog tour poster.jpeg

Killer Review: A Death At Fountains Abbey by Antonia Hodgson

A Death at Fountains Abbey (Hardback)

Blurb:

Late spring, 1728 and Thomas Hawkins has left London for the wild beauty of Yorkshire – forced on a mission he can’t refuse. John Aislabie, one of the wealthiest men in England, has been threatened with murder. Blackmailed into investigating, Tom must hunt down those responsible, or lose the woman he loves forever.

Since Aislabie is widely regarded as the architect of the greatest financial swindle ever seen, there is no shortage of suspects.

Far from the ragged comforts of home, Tom and his ward Sam Fleet enter a world of elegant surfaces and hidden danger. The great estate is haunted by family secrets and simmering unease. Someone is determined to punish John Aislabie – and anyone who stands in the way. As the violence escalates and shocking truths are revealed, Tom is dragged, inexorably, towards the darkest night of his life.

This is the third instalment which features Thomas Hawkins struggling to come to terms with the shocking events from the previous book which had him staring death in the face.

In the wild Yorkshire countryside John Aislabie discovers a dead fawn with a note pinned to its carcass which promises to burn him and his family. When John asks the royal family for help, Tom is commanded by the Queen to aid John Aislabie and find the culprits before they strike, but Tom has his work cut out as John is the most hated man in England and there are no shortage of suspects. As events at John Aislabie’s house escalates Tom and his ward Sam Fleet discover that in the world of the wealthy danger lurks behind every corner.

I adored this novel! It had everything I could have hoped for pace, engaging characters, humour, sharp witty dialogue and hair-raising twists.

One of the main things which really stood out while reading this novel was the characters.

Thomas Hawkins is not your stereotypical hero. He is a rogue who gambles, drinks and generally likes to keep his nose out of trouble, although that never happens for him! He is a lovable rogue whose unique ability to sit on the fringes of society means he can infiltrate into all levels of society within Georgian England.

Thomas’ ward, Sam Fleet is a fourteen year old boy who has a knack for thieving and violence which gets him into trouble a lot but his love of drawing and puzzling things out still made him a character you wanted to look after so I ended up sympathising a lot with him.

I think my favourite character of all was Kitty, Tom’s wife for all intent and purposes, is someone who ‘loves a tavern brawl,’ which for me really sums up her character. I loved her relationship with Tom which shone through and became the backbone of this novel and made me fall in love with both characters. I couldn’t wait to see how their relationship would be tested, and tested it really is!

I thought it was a really interesting period of history to set a crime novel in, one full of political intrigue, drama and deadly villains. It is also a period I have never really been able to delve into before which I really enjoyed. I could tell straight away the author had done a substantial piece of research which she managed to weave into the story to reflect the period without it getting in the way of the main plot.

I thought this novel was multi-layered and compelling which took me on a thrilling adventure along with the characters. I even had trouble working out who the culprit was which really highlights Antonia’s sneaky writing (which I loved).

I haven’t read any of the other novels in this series but after reading A Death At Fountains Abbey I certainly will.

With thanks to Kerry Hood and Hodder & Stoughton for my advanced review copy.

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Waterstones click here.

To find out more about Antonia Hodgson follow her on Twitter @AntoniaHodgson.

Blog Tour For The Love Of Grace

Today I’m delighted to host the final stop on Andy Blackman’s For the Love of Grace blog tour and have Andy Blackman here to talk about his new novel and what inspires him.

Welcome Andy to the CKT blog.Andy Blackman Cover.png

To start off with, can you tell us a little bit about your new novel For the Love of Grace?

For the Love of Grace, is about Family, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her child even if it meant breaking the law. The story begins with Tom Sharapova, a top assassin who is a wanted man, coming back to England after many years of absence. But with the intelligence services close on his tail, Tom is out for vengeance. But before he can be reunited with his mother Grace, who brought him up in the East End of London, he must face the danger head-on if he is to survive.

What inspired you, as a writer, to set some of your novel in Odessa?

The reason I picked Odessa was when I was growing up, Russia was behind the iron curtain and was always a far away mysterious place – somewhere where people struggled on a daily basis to survive. It was a place where we never knew much about apart from the odd news reports, which always looked cold and the people never smiled, so thought it must have been a harsh terrible place to live, which fascinated me. I did not want Tom to sail off in the sunset so thought Tom should at least have a form of sentence placed upon him. Although he had escaped the terrible fate that awaited him, Odessa was still a punishment as Russia was a strange uninviting country. I have never been to either Russia or Odessa but I used my imagination to capture the harsh world Tom is living in.

Who would you say is the biggest influence on your writing?

The biggest influence on my writing I would say would be my family; I was always brought up to believe in family, and how important it is to always look out for them, and as the saying goes “you can pick your friends but not your family.” My three daughters, who I have tried to impart the importance of family, are my harshest critics. I have always said I would try and write a book, but as we all know life gets in the way and it becomes a thing that is placed on the ‘bucket list.’.I remember reading a really bad book, which was predictable and basically very boring, after I had struggled to finish, I thought to myself I bet I could do better than that. After speaking to my daughters about it they told me to stop talking about it and just get on with it, so this time I decided to go for it and finally committed pen to paper or as you say in this modern era fingers to the keyboard.

I have two authors who inspire me. I find Dan Brown’s books compelling, and well written – what I find brilliant about his books is they are always well researched and very factual, and mostly always controversial.  It is the same with Jeffery Archer, perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find his diversity between books, most refreshing as he does not stick to one theme, his books are a nice light read but always have a twist.

And finally ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck. This was the first book I read in school and the book kicked started my love of reading. I found the book so well written that even today I still remember the story. I think a good author or book should be one that years later you can still remember and recall, plus a good book should be one once you start reading you find it hard to put down.

Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process; do you plot the story out first or dive right in and see where it takes you? Or a mixture of the two?

It is funny I cannot just sit at a keyboard with a blank page and start typing and the plot and characters come in a flurry of inspiration. I prefer to think and mull over the characters and plot in my mind which could take days or even weeks to formulate a plot. I especially do this at night lying in bed just before I fall asleep when it is dark and peaceful!

Once I have the basic idea for a plot or a character I then go to the keyboard and randomly type the outline. I will research as I go and like to use my own life’s experiences as research. For example, in the book I had Tom drive from New York to Washington, which I have done myself, so although the book is a work of fiction I think you still need to get some facts correct for continuity. Sometimes a thought will pop into my head in the strangest places, while at work under a desk fixing a computer, or standing in line getting a cup of coffee, so once the spark of an idea or a good character has taken root I will think about it and see where it leads.

Are you working on anything at the moment? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it without giving too much away?

I am writing the next book called ‘The Second son’ and it is a continuation of the first book from Grenville’s perspective who features in the first novel. It does bring in Grenville’s childhood and how he becomes the Duke of Hampshire, his friendship with Tom, from the first book, and how he helps Tom in his quest.

And finally, what is the rest of 2016 looking like for you at the moment?

At present I am still in full time employment working in IT for a large company, so work is pretty busy and sometimes tiring. I must admit I do like my job but I am now 56 so perhaps deep down I needed a change and hopefully writing a book was going to give me that, so would love to write full time. I am, concentrating on the second book, ‘the second son’, which is going well. Also my middle daughter who was married last year is expecting her first child; this will be my third grandchild so I am very excited! I’m also very excited about my novel being published this year and hope my book is well received. It was easy when I was writing it as I was the only one reading it and of course, we all think what we create is good, the hardest part is when you put out your work for public scrutiny – it’s a game changer, and no longer just yours, and you have to put yourself up for criticism. I hope people enjoy the book, and want to read more of me in the future.

A big thanks to Andy for taking the time to answer my questions, much appreciated!

Now for the Blurb
Grace Backer had a life full of tragedy. But despite everything, she raised her son, Tom, with her secret intact.

Tom is a prodigal child, destined to escape the slums of the East End of London for a better life; circumstances will make him flee his loving mother and their home much sooner than expected.

Tom starts a new life in Odessa, Russia, and with the help of new-found friends starts a business. At last, he is finally accepted into a new and loving family, but one which holds its own dark secrets. A chance meeting with the son of a duke of the realm leads to close friendship and a new business partnership. When Tom decides to move his company to London and have his regal new friend run it, the firm thrives. However, not everything is as it seems, and Tom’s business soon conceals dangerous secrets of its own.

Years later, when Tom finally decides to return to London, he is a wanted man, one hunted by the intelligence agencies. If he is finally to be reunited with his beloved mother and his best friend, he must fight to put the past behind him. But keeping secrets is never easy.

About Andy Blackman
After serving in the British Army for over twenty-five years in the Parachute Regiment, Andy Blackman today lives in Bedworth, Warwickshire and works within in the IT sector. In his spare time he can be found visiting his three daughters and grandchildren.

To buy this book from Amazon click here.

To buy this book from Barnes and Nobles click here.

Andy Blackman_Banner.jpg