Blog Tour: The Fighter by Michael Farris Smith

Today, I’m super excited to be hosting the next stop on the blog tour for The Fighter by Michael Farris Smith, published by No Exit Press.

Blurb:

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From the author of Desperation Road, longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2017

The acres and acres of fertile soil, the two-hundred year old antebellum house, all gone. And so is the woman who gave it to him. The foster mother who saved Jack Boucher from a childhood of abandonmnet now rests in a hospice. Her mind mind eroded by dementia, the family legacy she entrusted to Jack is now owned by banks and strangers. And Jack’s mind has begun to fail, too, as concussion after concussion forces him to carry around a notebook of names that separate friend from foe.

But in a single twisted night Jack is derailed. Losing the money that will clear his debt with the queen of Delta vice, and forcing Jack into the fighting pit one last time the stakes nothing less than life or death.

What I say:

Wow, what can I say to do this book justice?

This is the second book I have read from this author and my what an emotive and character-filled story.

Jack is a fighter, he always has been since he was abandoned as a baby through to his adult life. After many concussions in the ring, Jack is losing his memory and his foster mother, the only mother he has known, is in a care home after succumbing to dementia. Up to his eyeballs in debt and unable to pay them off he steps into the cage once again. Possibly for thee last time – but is this one fight too far?

I loved Jack’s character, a twisted, tormented soul trying to fight for his life who is slowly losing control and all he holds dear. He’s sometimes erratic thoughts which was told from both the past and present point of view made this an intriguing and tension-filled story, full of anguish and despair.

The author manages to inject the same depth of emotion and desperation in this novel as he did in Desperation Road. The pain and raw heartache of the characters infiltrates every part of this story, this made me feel not only sympathetic but also made me want to fight beside Jack – willing him on.

This is a compelling, rich story full of raw emotion and despair – I would highly recommend!

About the Author:

Michael Farris Smith

Michael Farris Smith is the award-winning author of several novels, including Desperation Road (Amazon Best Books, Barnes & Noble Discover pick, Indie Next selection), Rivers (for which he received the 2014 Mississippi Author Award for Fiction), and The Hands of Strangers. He has been awarded the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Transatlantic Review Award for Fiction, and the Alabama Arts Council Fellowship Award for Literature. His short fiction has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and his essays have appeared in the New York Times, Catfish Alley, Deep South magazine, and more. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and two daughters.

To find out more about Michael Farris Smith follow him on twitter @michael_f_smith.

The Fighter is not out yet and will be released on 29th March. It be preordered from Amazon here.

Big thanks to Anne Cater and No Exit Press for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

Don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour: Class Murder by Leigh Russell

Today, I’m super excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Class Murder by Leigh Russell, published by No Exit Press.

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Blurb:

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

Geraldine Steel is back for her tenth case. Reunited in York with her former sergeant, Ian Peterson, she discovers that her tendency to bend the rules has consequences. The tables have turned, and now he’s the boss.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the confusing case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

What I say:

This is the tenth novel in the Geraldine Steel series, I’m ashamed to admit I have never read any of Geraldine’s previous outings, but this was such a great introduction into the series!

Geraldine Steel has recently moved to York, after being disgraced and forced to relocate by the Met police after the events from the last novel. Geraldine is struggling with her recent demotion to DS while trying to fit into her new life, but undeterred Geraldine Steel throws herself into the investigation of a young woman’s murder.

It is mainly told from the point of view of Geraldine as she tries to unravel who the killer is while trying to stop the body count rising, but also follows the killer’s point of view as they plan who their next victim would be and plot their kills – which I weirdly enjoyed. I loved how warped the killer’s mind was and thought the author cleverly managed to drip feed this into the story.

I also loved Geraldine Steel – she is such an amazing character who just has so much gumption! Another thing which I loved was the opening of the story which kicked off with an absolute bang and didn’t let up.

Even though I haven’t read any of the other stories, I was still able to follow Geraldine’s backstory and the investigation itself is very self-contained, drawing both new and old readers into this story.

If you love a good action-packed crime novel, full of complex characters and unexpected twists this is one for you

About the Author:

Leigh Russell Author Picture

Leigh Russell is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel
series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer
Plan, Murder Ring, Deadly Alibi and Class Murder. The series has sold over a million
copies worldwide. Cut Short was shortlisted for the Crime Writers Association (CWA)
John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and Leigh has been longlisted for the CWA
Dagger in the Library Award. Her books have been #1 on Amazon Kindle and iTunes
with Stop Dead and Murder Ring selected as finalists for The People’s Book Prize.
Leigh is chair of the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award judging panel and is a Royal
Literary Fellow. Leigh studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in
English and American Literature. She is married with two daughters and a
granddaughter, and lives in London.

To find out more about Leigh Russell follow her on twitter @LeighRussell.

Class Murder is out now on Ebook or released on 29th March in paperback and can be preordered from Amazon here.

Big thanks to Anne Cater and No Exit Press for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

Don’t forget to check out all the other stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour: We Were the Salt of the Sea

Today, I’m excited to be the next stop on the blog tour for We Were The Salt of The Sea by Roxanne Bouchard, published by Orenda Books and translated by David Warriner.

Blurb:

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Truth lingers in murky waters…

As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation.

On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…

What I say:

Wow, this was just…poetic enveloped inside a good murder mystery!

This novel is told from the point of view of Catherine Day, a woman who is trying to find her birth mother, and detective sergeant Joaquin Morales in charge of the investigation – both outsiders looking into this remote and closed of community they have found themselves in. This gave me as the reader the opportunity to see with fresh eyes the beautiful, but sad setting of the Gaspe Peninsula – an area which is centred around the sea, where the life of the characters are regularly disrupted from tourists.

I loved getting to know the many characters within this novel, with their odd natures, quirks and captivating personalities I was dying to know more, especially the life of Marie Garant, Catherine’s birth mother and whose beauty and wild nature were renowned in the village but ended tragically.

I thought the writing itself was beautiful, poetic, lyrical and just haunting which just pulled me further into the story. Yet again Orenda Publishers have found another new pearl in the crime genre!

This novel was just hauntingly sad, beautiful and poetic with a good murder mystery t its heart. It is a story which slowly draws you into the mystery of Marie’s death and a claustrophobic fishing village whose secrets lurk beneath the water.

About the Author:

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Roxanne Bouchard is a multi-award winning author and playwright from Quebec, Canada, and We Were the Salt of the Sea is her first novel to be published in English. She is currently writing an essay on literary creativity, and plotting the next Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales investigation.

To find out more about Roxanne Bouchard follow her on twitter @KJHAuthor.

We Were the Salt of the Sea is out now on Ebook or released on 30th March in paperback and can be preordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Anne Cater and Karen Sullivan for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

Don’t forget to swim over to the other stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour Q&A: 29 Seconds by T.M. Logan

Today, I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for 29 Seconds by T.M Logan, published by Bonnier Zaffre Books. For the tour, I have a fun character interview with Sarah Haywood, the main protagonist from this novel who I must say keeps her cards close to her chest….

The Blurb:

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Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .

When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.

He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.

No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.

All it takes is a 29 second phone call.

BECAUSE EVERYONE HAS A NAME TO GIVE. DON’T THEY?

 

Interview:

Location: Queen Anne University, north London

Interviewer: Rachel Emms, (RE), Reporter.

Interviewee: Dr Sarah Haywood, (SH), junior lecturer.

RE: How did you get into your chosen field of research? It’s pretty niche.

SH: I’ve always loved books, so literature was a natural choice for me when I went to university. Then in my final year I did a module on the works of Christopher Marlowe, and just found him totally fascinating – born in the same year as Shakespeare, a playwright and poet during Elizabethan times, also a drinker and a duellist who was killed in a bar fight at the age of 29, in murky circumstances. Some said he was actually a spy and was assassinated on the orders of the Crown. Marlowe wrote a number of plays including Dr Faustus, about a man who makes a deal with the Devil, which is probably my favourite book.

RE: I decide to ask a hard hitting question first, before getting to the juicy bits. You work in a very male dominated sector, does this make you feel disadvantaged at all?

SH: To be honest I try not to think about it, I just want to get on with my job and do the best that I can. But it’s a fact that there are more male professors than female at my university, and the overall rates of pay for men are higher than for women, and progression through the hierarchy is generally faster for men. Things are changing, but it’s happening quite slowly. You just have to trust the system and believe that your turn will come.

RE: It must be a joy to work with the renowned Professor Lovelock. He is amazing at what he does. How do you feel about working with him? I look up from my notepad to watch her reaction.

SH: He’s… one of a kind. In terms of our area of research, on Marlowe’s works, he’s one of the most accomplished academics in the world. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Elizabethan literature, and of the period, and he knows everyone there is to know in academia. So working with him is really important for my career. Of course he’s quite famous as well, through his TV documentaries, books and appearances on chat shows and the like.

RE: Would you say you’re quite close? I’ve heard talk about Sarah in a not so professional sense…

SH: You mean, in a professional sense? I suppose so. He’s my line manager so we work together on a regular basis, he oversees my work and does my performance reviews, all of that kind of thing. We also collaborate sometimes on bids for new funding, and research projects. But we don’t have any contact outside of work.

RE: His parties are also legendary, have you been to one? I’ve only ever been thrown out of one.

SH: I’ve only been once. It was at his house – he holds them every year to raise money for his charitable foundation. Very plush, no expense spared, it’s quite an honour to be invited. Although the one time I did go along, there was an unexpected guest and things got a bit heated…

RE: Oh yes, I heard about that trouble maker. She’s my next job actually. Anyway, back to Sarah and the real reason I want to talk to her. I hear you recently rescued a young girl. Quite the heroine. Is this true? How did it happen?

SH: Yes, it is true although ‘rescued’ seems a bit strong. It was on my drive home from work, but all I did was try to help a girl who was in trouble – there was a man chasing her so I hit him with my car before he could get to her (I only gave him a bump, enough to slow him down). I don’t really feel like a heroine, I was only trying to help. I hope someone would do the same for my children if they were ever in that situation.

RE: I lean across the table and whisper. Finally, how did you feel when you received that offer of a phone call? Were you tempted?

SH: I’m sorry, I don’t know what you mean. What did you say your name was again? I should go. I have to get to my next lecture…

RE: I watch as Sarah Haywood gathers up her pile of books and papers, before rushing out of the room. Great, that blows my chance…

A massive thank you to T.M. Logan for answering my questions for Sarah, a woman who gives nothing away…

About the Author:

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TM Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. LIES is his first novel – published by Bonnier Zaffre in January 2017. His next thriller, 29 SECONDS, comes out in January 2018.

To find out more about T.M Logan, follow him on twitter @TMLoganAuthor.

29 Seconds is out in Ebook now and paperback on 8th March, and can be ordered from Amazon here. Or Waterstones here.

Don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops on this blog tour!

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Blog Tour: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Today, I’m super excited to be kicking off the blog tour for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, published by Wildfire, part of Headline Publishing.

First up the Blurb:

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Meet Juliette. She’s intelligent, driven, committed – and in love.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend.

And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain….

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What I say:

There is not one word I can choose to sum up this novel and do it justice.

Juliette is a girl out to win her ex-boyfriend, Nate. She wants to be the perfect girlfriend to him and knows he is the one for her. So deciding to give Nate his space, she watches him from a close distance as she slowly manipulates and transforms herself into the perfect person she thinks he would fall in love with. Because Juliette is a woman scored and will show him what exactly he is missing. Nate shouldn’t have let her go, surely?

The novel is told from the perspective of Juliette, as she goes to great lengths to win Nate back. As the novel progresses, she slowly  adapts her plans to win back the love of her life, while showing us snippets of her childhood giving the reader a glimpse into what makes her tick.

I loved Juliette, even though she came across a psychotic and even catatonic at times her seemingly erratic behaviour made for breath-taking reading. I kept thinking surely this is it, she would get caught – I even read with my hand over my mouth at one point. Weirdly I rooted for her throughout the story, even after all the things she did. I could really empathise with her character, especially when her true motives are revealed (which quite frankly spun the whole story on it’s head). But I will say no more….

One of the stand out things for me is the setting of this novel, which was quite unusual having quite a bit of the action set on an airline and just showed the skill of the author who gave us a flavour of each different country Juliette visited, drawing me deeper into the story.

I mean this book was just hypnotic and actually really disturbing. The lengths Juliette would go kind of freaked me out as it felt very realistic, especially as I was reading this at night so I probably only had myself to blame.

This novel is packed full of pace, tension, disturbing characters filled with passion and psychotic love. What’s not to love? This was a stand out psychological thriller and would urge you to read. I am very much looking forward to seeing what else Karen Hamilton publishes in the future.

About the author:

Karen Hamilton

Karen Hamilton spent her childhood in Angola, Zimbabwe, Belgium and Italy, and developed a love of travel through moving around so much. This led her to a career as a flight attendant, and it was in the air that she thought of the idea for her debut thirller THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND, which aims to explore not only obsession, but also the true faces behind those who go to work in uniform.

Karen is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy, and has now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband.

To find out more about Karen Hamilton, follow her on twitter @KJHAuthor.

The Perfect Girlfriend is out now on Ebook or released on 22nd March in hardcopy and can be preordered from Amazon here or from Waterstones here.

Big thanks to Anne Cater and Becky Hunter for allowing me to be a part of this tour.

Don’t forget to fly over to the other stops on this blog tour!

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