#BlogTour of #TheChristieAffair by @NinadeGramont @midaspr @amberachoudhary OUT NOW

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.
I’m no Hercule Poirot.
I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

The Christie Affair is a stunning novel that reimagines the unexplained eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 that captivated the world.

As a child growing up in Surrey, I found out that Agatha Christie had abandoned her car at Newlands Corner, which was within 10 miles of where I lived, I was obsessed with what happened to her during those missing days and it fuelled my imagination looking for clues in her books. So when I saw The Christie Affair was being published I knew I had to read it. And I was absolutely enthralled by the storyline that Nina De Gramont has created.

Although it is a work of fiction by Nina de Gramont, it is exceptional! The settings are so well described and the way the plot and storylines evolve is truly immense. Not a fast read, but a slow-burning storyline involving great heartbreak, abuse, love and of course murder.

I adored the feel of the story, it takes you away to an age between the Wars, so wonderfully, the thorough research of Agatha’s disappearance is very obvious. As are the other aspects of the storyline ( I can’t say more as I really don’t want to give anything away!), the descriptive writing of the settings throughout England is just sublime.

I have to say that I didn’t guess the storyline until very near the end, which I loved, as it makes it a real mystery and it really is a lovely tribute to Agatha Christie.

If you like books based around historical occurrences, then this is for you, it’s just a marvellous book.

A terrific and enthralling read and one of my 5 star reads of 2022

About Nina De Gramont
Nina de Gramont (also known as Marina Gessner) lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband, the writer David Gessner. She teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is almost always in the company of her two dogs, Missy and Isabelle. She’s the author of the acclaimed Meet Me at the River, Every Little Thing in the World, Gossip of the Starlings, The Last September, as well as The Distance from Me to You, which has recently been optioned for a movie.

Nina’s Website Twitter

You can buy The Christie Affair HERE – OUT 20/02/2022

#Review of #SixStories by #MattWesolowski @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks


One body
Six stories
Which one is true?
1997.
Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame

As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth.

A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

This is my first read of a book by Matt Wesolowski, I’ve seen a lot of good reviews and talk on Twitter, so I was looking forward to Six Stories.

I was enthralled right from the get go with Six Stories, the unique way this is written really made for a refreshing read. It’s written in the style of a podcast, almost a true crime podcast, where Scott King, interviews the six people who may know what happened to a 15 year old lad called Tom Jeffries. he went missing from a youth camp in 1996 and was only found a year later, on Scarclaw Fell a monolithic ex mining mountain, full of I’d mine shafts and dangerous bogs.

There is an amazing crackling of suspense in each page and chapter and the more you get into the story the more unsettling it becomes. Matt’s attention to detail in describing the setting of Scarclaw Fell, is fabulous and really makes the storyline pop with intense atmosphere.

And I must congratulate Matt on his meticulous writing of the 15 year old in Six Stories, really well observed! I get the impression Matt is a real watcher of people in his spare time!

The plot is tense and absorbing and with each chapter and character, the reader gets more and more unsettled…..there’s almost a gothic style to Six Stories.

As usual I’m not giving any of the plot away, but I must say the ending was magnificent!

A fabulous 5 ⭐️ read!

Matt Wesolowski
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies, such as Midnight Movie Creature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio. A prequel, Hydra, was published in 2018 and became an international bestseller. Changeling, the third book in the series, was published in 2019 and was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. His fourth book, Beast, won the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Independent Voice Book of the Year award in 2020. Matt lives in Newcastle with his partner and young son, and is currently working on the sixth book in the Six Stories series. Chat to him on Twitter @ConcreteKraken.

You can buy all of Matt Wesolowski’s books HERE at Orenda Books

#GuestAuthor #ChrisMacDonald @cmacwritescrime #Q&A #Stonebridge #DIErikaPiper @RedDogTweets

J: As always huge thanks to you Chris for being my Blog Guest this week.

J: I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer? And where did the idea of The Stonebridge Mysteries come from?

C: Writing is always something that I thought I’d like to have a go at, though I always thought that writers were untouchable rockstars! I never thought normal people like me could be an author. The Stonebridge idea came from being homesick during Lockdown 1. My flights back to Northern Ireland were cancelled and I was missing my family, so decided to write something quite light-hearted set in my hometown (which I subsequently changed the name of!) I wanted it to be a different thing to the Erika Piper series, and I was loving the Cherringham series by Neil Richards and Matt Costello and wanted to write something in a similar vein.

J: Did you base the characters of Adam Whyte and Colin McLaughlin on anyone?

C: When I write them, I see myself very much as Adam and my best friend Colin as Colin! I’m shorter, he’s much more athletic and we both love an adventure. In one of the books, Adam has a man bun, which I’ve never had (and my wife would never allow it) so sometimes I live my dreams out through the characters!

J: Who would you like to see playing the parts of Adam and Colin, if The Stonebridge Mysteries were turned into a TV series? (I could SO see this happening!)

C: I’d love to see it on screen! I think because Colin is ginger, I could see Rupert Grint in that role. I think he could nail Colin’s laid-back nature. As for Adam, I think Tom Holland would be a good choice. He has that geeky but still cool attitude nailed down, though I think asking both of them to do TV would be a no-go!

J: As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

C: I loved the Hardy Boys as a kid; I remember reading the series when I was in primary school. It was the first series I remember loving. Then, I discovered Harry Potter and then crime took over. The first series I remember reading was Richard Montanari’s Byrne and Balzano. I remember a crime scene where someone was torn apart by a chainsaw, and it opened my eyes to how barbaric books could be!

J: What is your favourite book you read in 2021?

C: 2021 was a great year for books. I loved both books by Will Carver (The Beresford and Psychopaths Anonymous), The Stranger Times by C.K. McDonnell was fantastic, but the overall winner was Vine Street by Dominic Nolan –  it was so rich in detail, the characters were memorable and I was totally immersed by the end of page 1. I was also lucky enough to be sent books that are coming out in 2022 – particular favourites were Jack Jordan’s Do No Harm and Brian McGilloway’s The Empty Room. The new one from Neil Lancaster is an absolute belter, too. Away from crime, Steven Kedie has written a book about a long jumper’s rivalry across many years and competitions. It was absolutely brilliant.

J: Do you have a favourite Author? Or a favourite book of all time?

C: I have authors who I will drop everything for – Will Carver, Olivia Kiernan, Matt Wesolowski, Mick Herron – though I’m not sure I could pinpoint a favourite. Also, getting to know these people has been a true delight. My favourite book ever is a massive decision – one I’m not sure I’m up to. The first Harry Potter was such a formative book for me, and recently We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker has been the one that I recommend to anyone! Sorry for being so non-committal!

J: Your DI Erika Piper Series are more gritty and serious than Stonebridge, Will you be writing anymore?

C: I’ve just signed a new contract with Red Dog for 6 more Stonebridge Mysteries, so that’s going to be my main priority for a while. After finished Roses For The Dead, I was sure I was finished with Erika, but I have something brewing in my head. After Roses For The Dead, it felt like a logical place to leave it. She might return, but not for a while yet.

J: If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

C: Great question!! I don’t know if it can be considered a historical event or not (to me it absolutely is!), but I would’ve loved to be in the crowd at Nirvana’s appearance at the Reading Festival in 1992. Kurt Cobain is a hero of mine, and to see him come out on the wheelchair, before launching into Breed would’ve been a dream. When I first started learning guitar, I watched this gig so many times. They were the biggest band in the world and it was also their final gig in the UK. It would’ve been cool to say I’d been there. Sadly, I was only 4!

J: If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

C: I would invite Bob Mortimer, as I think he would provide an evening of wonderful entertainment. I loved Shooting Stars when I was a kid (highly inappropriate, probably!) and his fishing show is an absolute treat! I think Stephen King would be good, as I’m sure he has many stories, and some of his magic might rub off on me! I’m a massive Frank Turner fan, and he always comes across as a very cool guy. He might also get his acoustic out, which would be awesome! As a massive football fan (I’m a Liverpool fan), I’d invite Jurgen Klopp. I would love to hear all about the behind the scenes of winning the league and whatnot. Those four would make it an awesome night.

J: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

C: New Zealand, for two reasons. Firstly, I think it looks beautiful, and two, I’m a massive fan of the Flight of the Conchords. If I could be transported, that’d be fantastic, as the length of flight puts me off!

J: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

C: With regards to writing, it was something John Connelly said. It was ‘even if you are feeling tired, move the story on a little each day, even if it is only by one sentence.’ It’s a great piece of advice because I often think “Eughh, I can’t be bothered today”, but I always feel better for having sat down in front of the laptop.

J: Do you have a hidden talent?

C: Not really! I like doing lots of things – I like drawing but I’m not great at it, I love playing football but I’m bang average. I play the guitar and used to be pretty good, but my skills have depleted due to a lack of practice. Perhaps my crowning achievement is having a song I wrote (Fakes And Mistakes) for my university band (Oxygen Therapy) featured on Loaded’s website as the song of the month. For a 19-year-old, that was pretty cool

Loaded Magazine

J: Are you currently writing another book?

C: Yes, just as I finish this wonderful Q&A, I am about to go back and open the document entitled Mile High City. It is about a PI called Irving Ash, who has been hired to track down a missing porn star. It is set in Denver, Colorado, and is quite violent and sweary. I think it’ll be a standalone, so anything could happen! I’m hoping to have the second edit done in the next few days, but who knows if it’ll ever see the light of day. I’ve loved writing it!

J: Thank you Chris MacDonald for your fabulous answers and some exclusives! It’s been great to get to know you better!

About Chris MacDonald
Chris McDonald grew up in Northern Ireland before settling in Manchester via Lancaster and London.

He is the author of the DI Erika Piper series A Wash of Black, Whispers In The Dark and Roses for the Dead. He has also recently dabbled in writing cosy crimes, in the shape of The Stonebridge Mysteries, as a remedy for the darkness. 

He is a full-time teacher, husband, father to two beautiful girls and a regular voice on The Blood Brothers Podcast. He is a fan of 5-a-side football, heavy metal and dogs.

You can buy all of Chris MacDonalds Books at Red Dog Press HERE

Follow Chris MacDonald on Twitter Facebook Instagram

My #Review of the fabulous #theEchoMan by @SamHollandBooks @HarperCollins @crookedlanebks Published OUT NOW!

For fans of Harlen Coben and “Mindhunter,” Sam Holland’s chilling debut draws inspiration from infamous serial killer cases, culminating in the ultimate, heart-pounding copycat tale.

Detectives Cara Elliott and Noah Deakin are on the case of a series of seemingly unconnected murders, each different in method, but each shocking and brutal. As the body count increases, they can’t ignore the details that echo famous cases of the past—Manson, Kemper, Dahmer, and more. As Elliott and Deakin get closer to unmasking the killer, the murders are moving closer to home.

Meanwhile, Jessica Ambrose is on the run. She’s been implicated as the arsonist who killed her neglectful husband and injured her young daughter. With the help of disgraced and suspended detective Nate Griffin, Jess discovers a shocking link between her case and that of the ultimate copycat killer working on his horrifying masterpiece.

Firstly thank you so much to Harper Collins for the Proof of The Echo Man.

I knew I would love The Echo Man before I even started because the cover on the proof was so amazing! Before I started blogging I always chose books by their covers!

From the very beginning The Echo man hits you straight between the eyes, the prologue is so gory and nasty, I was instantly gripped! Once the storyline gets going at its fast pace, I was wracking my brains and notes (yes I made notes to see if I could guess who the perp was!) to see if I would be able to work out the identity of the murder…I did not and when I found out who it was I was really shocked!

I loved all the main protagonists in this book, The mentally broken and damaged Jess Ambrose and Nate Griffin, and the brilliant and caring DCI Cara Elliott, were all so well written and I absolutely related to all of them and actually I was a little in love with them! That is the talent and skill of a great author, I’m so glad I came across Sam Holland’s work as I think The Echo Man will be one of the years bookbangers, and I cannot wait to read her next book!

If you have an interest in true crime, you will love The Echo Man, the motivation and unique style of the murders (of which there are many!), had me really loving this book so much. It’s so obviously well researched and also you can tell Sam loves her true crime! It is a gory, bloody, dark, intense and very descriptive book, if you have a weak stomach, then you will be gagging at some parts, trust me, even I did at a few bits BUT that’s the magic of a fabulous book! To be able to get that visceral reality into the reader’s mind is a superb talent!

At 400+ pages long it’s a great read that doesn’t have any duff chapters and it keeps you gripped all the way through, and let me just tell you about the ending…..wait…no, you will have to read it, BUT OH MY GOD!!!!!

So another 5 stars read for 2022, and Sam holland will be a guest on my blog in the near future, so look out for that. She is going to be HUGE in the book world in 2022, plus this is her DEBUT novel!!

A bit about Sam Holland

Having always been fascinated with the dark and macabre, Sam Holland’s love of reading was forged in the library through Stephen King, Dean Koontz and James Herbert. A self-confessed serial killer nerd, Holland studied psychology at university then spent the next few years working in HR, before quitting for a full-time career in writing. The Echo Man is the result.

You can follow Sam on Twitter HERE Facebook HERE Instagram HERE

You can Pre-Order The Echo Man HERE

My #Review of #TheQuietPeople by @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks

THE QUIET PEOPLE BY PAUL CLEAVE

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time…

Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Electrifying, taut and immaculately plotted, The Quiet People is a chilling, tantalisingly twisted thriller that will keep you gripped and guessing to the last explosive page.

Firstly thank you so so much to Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of the Quiet People, is there ever a bad book from Orenda? NO!

So from the extremely shocking and gripping prologue, The Quiet People had me, there is no way you would be able to read this slowly, you need to devour it and with each page the plot just gets more and more shocking!

I really want to say lots about this book, but I also don’t want to give the plots away! But it is without a doubt one of the darkest, thrillers I’ve had the pleasure of reading!

The 2 main characters, Cameron and Lis Murdoch go through absolute hell in this storyline, the way Paul has written the events and how someone would probably cope (or not) and how one reaction leads to the butterfly effect, is just sublime! I was so anxiety ridden reading The Quiet People, I actually didn’t sleep much over the two days I was reading it as I could wait to see what transpired next! Gripping is an understatement! The setting for this book is Christchurch, New Zealand and I found the descriptions of the city were wonderful, gritty and added to the dark atmosphere.

Once you get halfway thru, the shocks and twists just keep building like a train rushing down a track, you KNOW that there’s going to be a crash, but not what it will be!! I will also say that I cried at the end of the book, this is because you will feel like you’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster just like Cameron Murdoch!

In summing up, this is a fabulously well written thriller, by a writer who knows how to look inside the darkest places of the human mind and to then be able to write this for us the readers to enjoy! Phenomenal book and I look forward to reading Paul Cleave’s next work!

Another 5 ⭐️ read ( although it’s so good it deserves more!)

Paul Cleave is Christchurch born and raised, and other than a couple of years when he was living in London and bouncing around Europe a little, he’s always lived there. He started writing at nineteen when a friend asked him the classic question of ‘if there’s anything in life you could do for a living, what would it be?’ The answer was simple. He wanted to be a writer. For the next five years he worked in the evenings on manuscripts that he has promised will never be taken out of the bottom drawer. Back then he wanted to write horror, and it was a few years in when he realised that crime – real life crime – is horror. As he says, people don’t come home from vampire movies and lock their doors to keep them out, but they will come home from a movie like Silence of the Lambs and lock their doors incase the neighbour is planning on eating them. When he made that connection, he turned to writing dark crime fiction, writing first The Killing Hour, and then The Cleaner, in his mid-twenties. Not long after that Paul sold his house and lived with his parents so he could write full time – a gamble that paid off a few years later when Random House signed him up. From that point on he’s written his dark tales set in his home city, introducing Joe Middleton – the Christchurch Carver, and Melissa, and Theodore Tate, and Schroder, and Jerry Gray, among others to the world.
These days he still lives in Christchurch, but generally spends two or three months travelling overseas for book festivals and meeting readers and publishers and talking on stage. He always travels with his frisbee, and throws it in as many countries as he can – often in iconic locations if possible. He’s thrown it on five continents, and in over forty countries – with the goal of throwing it in fifty before he’s 50. He’s also learning to play the guitar, he can hit a golf ball extremely far in the wrong direction, can do some basic card tricks, and he’s pretty handy with a power tool. He hates shopping and hates gardening, he can solve a Rubik’s cube in under two minutes, and plays tennis as well as any six year old can.

Visit Paul Cleave’s WEBSITE Twitter

You can buy The Quiet People HERE at Orenda Books

#GuestAuthor #SarahPearse @SarahVPearse writer of #TheSanatorium @Waterstones #bookofthemonth @TransworldBooks @PamelaDormanBks answers my questions #Q&A

Sarah Pearse

I’d like to start by asking, have you always wanted to be a writer?

I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. As a child, I loved both reading and writing and I always hero-worshipped my favourite authors. Recently, I found a piece of my old school work from when I was about five or so where I had written about my dream job – my answer? ‘Book writer’ – I don’t think I’d quite yet learnt the word ‘author’!

And where did the idea of The Sanatorium come from?

The idea of The Sanatorium came from a variety of experiences. When I moved to Switzerland from the UK in my early twenties, I was immediately drawn to the nearby mountains, which I found strikingly beautiful but also so raw and wild—particularly in the winter. When the snow starts falling and totally transforms the landscape, you get a real sense of the power of nature and its inherent dangers, and I began thinking that the mountains would be the perfect backdrop for a chilling thriller.

The idea of setting the novel in a converted sanatorium came about when I was on holiday in Crans Montana, an alpine town a few hours from Geneva, and read a fascinating article in a local magazine about the history of tuberculosis sanatoria in the town. The article described how when antibiotics became available in the mid-twentieth century, some sanatoria were converted into hotels. I started thinking about the darker side of this—how would it feel to stay in a hotel that had once been a hospital, a place where people lived and died? I was also drawn to the fact that sanatoriums were often based in remote locations to stop the spread of infection. I realized that this isolated setting could be a great way of putting my characters under pressure.

I explored the town and found a clinic that had once been a sanatorium which provided some great inspiration for the building in the book and its surroundings. The book Une Histoire Culturelle de Crans-Montana by Sylvie Doriot Galofaro provided some great detail on sanatoria and I also liaised with a local photo historian, as well as looking online. The more I researched, the more I became convinced that an old sanatorium would be the perfect creepy, gothic setting for a thriller. I’m fascinated by the idea that an old building holds such a history—not just one story, but many. I became excited by the idea of making the building itself a character within the novel, and that the malevolent energy of the sanatorium might still be lingering despite its conversion into a modern hotel.

I discovered that sanatoria were often designed according to the principles of “functionalism”—the design and decor optimized to stop the spread of infection and help tuberculosis patients recover (so the building itself became a kind of medical instrument). The design of these buildings became so influential that Modernist architects picked up elements of the minimalist design of sanatoria (large windows, balconies to maximize exposure to sunlight, clean, smooth surfaces without clutter, floors and walls clear), so there were fewer places for germs to hide. I began thinking about how this clinical design might be used in the conversion into a hotel and how it would be viewed by a guest (and reader!) especially if some eerie reminders of the building’s clinical past were incorporated.

My research into sanatoria also led me in another interesting direction when I discovered that there were sanatoria in Europe for people classed as “morally insane.” In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, women were often placed in medical care for spurious reasons by a male guardian, sometimes loosely diagnosed with “Nervenkranke” (those ill in their nerves). Sometimes this was trickery, a guise to take control of an inheritance, or to suppress independent thought and ideas. This gave me the idea to explore this theme within the novel and the present-day echoes where women are still being judged for their emotions and experiences.

How much research did you have to do for The Sanatorium, lots of visits to The Alps?

After reading the initial article in Crans Montana Life Magazine, I explored the town and discovered one of the sanatoriums that used to treat patients (still a clinic) which provided a lot of inspiration for the design and exterior of the building! I then found the recently published guide to Crans Montana (Une Histoire Culturelle de Crans-Montana (1896-2016) by Sylvie Doriot Galofaro which provided a lot of information and photographs.

I also liaised with a local photo historian who lives in Crans Montana. I then did a lot of research online, focusing not only on the history of the sanatoria but also their design. I also did some research into abandoned sanatoria using a lot of Urbex (Urban exploration) videos on Youtube. These really gave me the feel for the interior of the old sanatoria.

I have a retired UK police detective who helps me with police procedures, but he obviously isn’t versed in Swiss protocol, so while in Switzerland I visited the Valais Police, based in Sion. I was lucky enough to spend time with a senior sergeant there and meet the regional Commander to run through the story, its plot points and Swiss police procedure. We had some fascinating ‘what if’ discussions both in person and over email which helped greatly with the plotting.

Yes, it involved lots of visits to Crans Montana, in Valais in Switzerland – our ‘happy place’ as a family which made the research very pleasant to do!

I must ask how do you write a book so spooky and creepy? Did you have to learn that or is it a gift you have?

I personally love to read creepy books so writing one was a natural step for me. It helped that the setting for The Sanatorium is naturally very atmospheric, so it gave my imagination license to create those ‘spooky vibes.’  For me, writing in a ‘creepy’ way isn’t something I’ve learnt but I think it probably helps that I tend to see the scenes for my novels in my head as I write in a very cinematic way, which I think helps in creating the atmosphere – if I scare myself when I’m writing then I know it’s a good sign that the fear might translate onto the page!

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or was television your thing? Do you have a favourite childhood book or television programme?

I was an avid reader but I also loved watching TV. I think one of the most memorable shows I watched as a child was the TV adaptation of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – Aslan’s death scene still haunts me!

Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?   

One of my favourite books of all time is Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins. Moving, memorable and beautifully written – it has everything I love in a book!

When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?

Total silence – it’s the only way I can concentrate!

If you could invite four people to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and why?

I’d invite Agatha Christie – I’m a huge fan of her work and would love to chat about her writing process, Sir Lewis Hamilton, as I’m a massive motorsports fan and would enjoy listening to his stories, Blake Morrison, as I’d love to hear him read some of his poetry aloud and my great-grandmother – she was apparently a lovely woman so I’d like to meet her and fill her in on the past few years!

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’ve never visited Canada and would love to explore some of the wildest and most remote places they have on offer.

Are you currently writing another book, and when will it be released?

Yes, it’s called THE RETREAT and is out in July 2022. The book sees Elin return to her job as a detective in another dark and dramatic setting with a complex case that pushes her to the edge in both her personal and professional life.

Sarah Pearse lives by the sea in South Devon with her husband and two daughters. She studied English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and worked in Brand PR for a variety of household brands. After moving to Switzerland in her twenties, she spent every spare moment exploring the mountains in the Swiss Alpine town of Crans Montana, the dramatic setting that inspired her novel. Sarah has always been drawn to the dark and creepy – remote spaces and abandoned places – so when she read an article in a local Swiss magazine about the history of sanatoriums in the area, she knew she’d found the spark of the idea for her debut novel, The Sanatorium. Her short fiction has been published in a wide variety of magazines and has been shortlisted for several prizes.

You can find Sarah’s Website HERE Twitter Facebook Instagram

Order The Sanatorium HERE Pre-Order The Retreat HERE

My #Review of #AndYourEnemiesCloser #AudioBook by #RobParker @robparkerauthor @RedDogtweets @audibleuk @audible_com @warrenisbrown

In the North West criminal underworld, a deal goes tragically wrong, resulting in war between the two main organised crime factions in the region. Shockwaves rock the 30-mile gap between Liverpool and Manchester – with retired detective Brendan Foley right in the middle of it all.

For Brendan, six months after his resignation, life is all different. His marriage is a mess, he’s working as a nightclub bouncer, his brother is still missing and he just can’t stop searching for the crime family that destroyed his life. And at last, he’s found them – and he’s got them bang to rights.

Iona Madison, his one-time partner and now successor as a DI in Warrington Police, is tasked with a body pulled from the River Mersey – a teen-age boy that went missing the previous year, which might bring her own conduct into question. Not only that, Brendan is feeding her information whether she likes it or not – and his unsanctioned activities are causing her headaches.

And now, there’s a price on his head. A million pounds, dead or alive.

And Your Enemies Closer is a serpentine race against time as Brendan and Iona must stay one step ahead of criminals at every corner, while trying to bring justice – in whatever form it takes, and whatever loyalties it might burn.

It’s been probably a year since I read Far From The Tree, Rob Parker’s first book in the Thirty Miles Trilogy, so I have really been looking forward to Book 2 .

The opening chapter ( prologue ) reels you in with a gripping opening, and is quite shocking! Well those shocks reverberate thought And Your Enemies Closer, as a follow us book, this is fabulous, totally gripping!

The characters are well written, with Brendan Foley the now ex-cop estranged from his brother Ross, and desperately trying to get revenge for deeds that shocked me in Book 1, is such a great character. The battle he has in trying to justify staying within the Law, even though he is no longer a Detective, and breaking the Law for revenge against Culpepper, the crime Lord, is fantastically written. Both the Foley brothers are great characters.

My other favourite character in And Your Enemies Closer is DI Iona Madison, she is a totally kick arse, no nonsense Detective who loves boxing and is good at it, she’s a total ball breaker and I love her!

The descriptions of the settings for the storyline are well observed and it makes you feel like you are in the gritty underbelly of Liverpool. And the criminal gangs and their leaders are remarkable. The plot is fabulous and I was gripped, there are some twists that I didn’t see coming and had me gasping out loud! And I must mention the utterly unique way of committing murder, Mr Parker has really done his research for this and it’s absolutely grim and brilliant!

Just a quick mention of the Audible quality, as always with Audible it’s fantastically produced and Warren Brown is a great narrator for this book, really suits it.

So my rating…. Well you’ve guessed it 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rob Parker is a married father of three, who lives in a village near Warrington, UK. The author of the Ben Bracken thrillers and the standalone post-Brexit country-noir Crook’s Hollow, he enjoys a rural life on an old pig farm (now minus pigs), writing horrible things between school runs.

Rob writes full time, as well as organising and attending various author events across the UK – while boxing regularly for charity. Passionate about inspiring a love of the written word in young people, he spends a lot of time in schools across the North West, encouraging literacy, storytelling and creative-writing.

He is also a co-host of the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, and a regular voice on the Blood Brothers crime book podcast.

You can follow Rob Parker on Twitter Instagram Facebook

Rob has his own website HERE

You can buy And Your Enemies Closer HERE

#GuestAuthor #AllieReynolds @AuthorAllieR writer of #Shiver @headlinepg @PutnamBooks @HachetteAus answers my questions #Q&A

I’d Like to start by asking, Have you always wanted to be a writer? And, Where did the idea of Shiver come from?

I always loved books as a child and my first ever job was in a local second-hand bookstore: a Saturday job when I was fourteen that continued for many years. I think working there, surrounded by books, made me think I’d love to write one myself, one day! But the owner impressed on me how hard it was to get a book published, so I figured I’d need a day job and could write as a hobby.

In my twenties, I was a freestyle snowboarder, living and training in the snowy mountains. I began writing a different mountain-set thriller, and struggled with it for the next 20 years without managing to finish it! When I finally put it aside, the idea for Shiver came immediately. Several elements combined in my head: Agatha Christie’s incredible novel And Then There Were None; the dangers of the high-mountains; and a couple of news articles, one about hikers in the mountains who’d seen a hand protruding from the ice, and one about one of my favourite athletes who was renowned for playing mind games with his opponents.

How much research did you have to do for Shiver?

Very little! My snowboarding years were 20 years ago, and I haven’t seen real snow for over a decade, but my memories of that time were still so vivid. All I really did was watch YouTube videos with today’s top snowboarders, to see how the sport has progressed since I retired from it.

Allie Reynolds in 2005

Who would you like to see playing the parts of Mila, Curtis, Saskia & Brent, if Shiver is turned into a Movie?

I sold the TV option very early on, and I’m hoping it might be turned into a 6-8 part TV series! I can totally imagine Chris Hemsworth playing the role of Curtis Sparks! And I’d love to see two of my favourite British snowboarders, Katie Ormerod and Aimee Fuller playing Milla and Saskia! Not sure about Brent – any suggestions?

My suggestion for Brent – Michael B Jordan!

As a child growing up, were you an avid reader or watcher of television? Do you have a favourite childhood book?

I was an avid reader! For many years my sister and I were the only kids in our school who didn’t have a television at home. We felt hard done by at the time, but looking back I think it was brilliant because it increased my love of reading and I also had a very active outdoors childhood. I loved Enid Blyton, Anne of Green Gables, The Willard Price adventure stories, and then moved on to Agatha Christie and my mum’s collection of action thrillers.

What is your favourite book you’ve read in 2021 and why?

Beartown by Fredrick Backman. It’s not my usual genre (thrillers!) but I’d seen so many rave reviews and I also liked the sports aspect. I totally loved it. The writing is so beautiful and the author effortlessly evokes emotion.

If you could go back in time, to one historical event, to witness it, what would it be and why?

That’s such an intriguing question! Can I pass? Most historical events I can think of are sad or terrifying!

Do you have a favourite author or favourite book of all time?

Lee Child is my go-to author for pure escapism! I’ve read all his books. I love how he writes! It’s so readable, with moments of humour, and such great storytelling.

What’s something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?

Surfing! I only picked it up as a ‘safe’ sport, after quitting snowboarding in my late twenties. I didn’t realise it’s actually classed as an extreme sport, and I’ve since suffered some quite serious injuries from it but there’s something incredibly special and extremely addictive about being out in the ocean on a board.

You can pick 4 famous people, dead or alive, for a dinner party, who would you pick and why?

I’ll go with athletes that I massively admire: Kelly Slater (world champion surfer who also seems like an extremely intelligent person), Keala Kennelly (fearless female big wave surfer), Aimee Fuller (British snowboarder- turned TV presenter who is apparently game to try any sport going and seems like so much fun) and early freestyle snowboarding pioneer Terje Hakonsen. We’d discuss surfing and snowboarding all night long and also aspects of health and nutrition which is another of my big interests.

When you’re writing do like silence or do you listen to music?

I need total silence. Which isn’t always easy to find as I’m a single mum of two small and very energetic boys. I often wear earplugs to block out distractions!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Edit, edit, edit! And never give up. The first draft is always terrible but if you keep polishing it, you might hopefully find gold.

If your home was on fire and you only had time to grab 3 things, what would they be?

Photo albums of my kids. And an early ARC of Shiver!

Are you currently writing another book?

Yes, I’m just doing final edits on my next thriller THE BAY. It’s set on a remote Australian beach. Think: Point Break meets The Beach. It’s out in June 2022.

About Allie Reynolds

I was once a freestyle snowboarder in the UK top ten at the halfpipe. I spent five winters in the mountains of France, Switzerland, Austria and Canada.

I taught English for fifteen years. I’ve also been a London primary school teacher, bookshop assistant, barmaid, nanny and French teacher/translator. My short fiction has appeared in women’s magazines in the UK, Australia, Sweden and South Africa. I’ve been a full-time writer since 2018.

Born and raised in Lincoln, England, I moved to Gold Coast Australia in 2003. I have two young children and a cat who thinks he’s a dog.

Allie Reynolds Website Twitter Instagram Facebook

My #Review of #TheChristieAffair by @NinadeGramont @MantleBooks

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.
I’m no Hercule Poirot.
I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

The Christie Affair is a stunning novel which reimagines the unexplained eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 that captivated the world.

I was so excited when I received a proof copy of The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont from Mantle books, thank you so so much!

As a child growing up in Surrey, I found out that Agatha Christie had abandoned her car at Newlands Corner, which was within 10 miles of where I lived, I was obsessed with what happened to her during those missing days and it fuelled my imagination looking for clues in her books. So when I say The Christie Affair was being published I knew I had to read it.

Although it is a work of fiction by Nina de Gramont, it is exceptional! The settings are so well described and the way the plot and storylines evolve is truly immense. Not a fast read, but a slow-burning storyline involving great heartbreak, abuse, love and of course murder.

I adored the feel of the story, it takes you away to an age between the Wars, so wonderfully, the thorough research of Agatha’s disappearance is very obvious. As are the other aspects of the storyline ( I can’t say more as I really don’t want to give anything away!), the descriptive writing of the settings throughout England, are just sublime.

I have to say that I didn’t guess the storyline until very near the end, which I loved, as it makes it a real mystery and it really is a lovely tribute to Agatha Christie.

If you like books based around historical occurrences, then this is for you, its just a marvelous book.

A terrific and enthralling read and another 5 Stars read for 2021.

About Nina De Gramont

Nina de Gramont (also known as Marina Gessner) lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband, the writer David Gessner. She teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is almost always in the company of her two dogs, Missy and Isabelle. She’s the author of the acclaimed Meet Me at the River, Every Little Thing in the World, Gossip of the Starlings, The Last September, as well as The Distance from Me to You, which has recently been optioned for a movie.

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#Review of #NoLessTheDevil by #StuartMacbride @TransworldBooks @PenguinUKBooks UK Release 28th April 2022

‘We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.’

It’s been seventeen months since the Bloodsmith butchered his first victim and Operation Maypole is still no nearer catching him. The media is whipping up a storm, the top brass are demanding results, but the investigation is sinking fast.

Now isn’t the time to get distracted with other cases, but Detective Sergeant Lucy McVeigh doesn’t have much choice. When Benedict Strachan was just eleven, he hunted down and killed a homeless man. No one’s ever figured out why Benedict did it, but now, after sixteen years, he’s back on the streets again – battered, frightened, convinced a shadowy ‘They’ are out to get him, and begging Lucy for help.

It sounds like paranoia, but what if he’s right? What if he really is caught up in something bigger and darker than Lucy’s ever dealt with before? What if the Bloodsmith isn’t the only monster out there? And what’s going to happen when Lucy goes after them?

Firstly I must say a massive thank you to Transworld Books for kindly sending me an advanced copy of No Less The Devil.

Now I am a HUGE Stuart Macbride fan and with each new release, I’m usually super excited and cannot wait to read his books. For those who haven’t read any, start with the utterly magnificent Logan McRae Series, and you will not be disappointed!

I loved No Less The Devil from the very first chapter, Stuart MacBride is BACK and back to his utter best, writing in that gritty, Scottish Noir style, filled with local dialects and full of humour, sarcasm and frankly bloody dark places, that only He can take you to with such style.

I cannot give away any of the plots but our main protagonist is DS Lucy McVeigh a loveable, brilliant, bright and funny character even though she has some demons of her own (frankly this is an understatement!) and inner darkness so bleak it’s unending! Her trusty sidekick is DC “The Dunk” Fraser, half a step behind, wheezing and coughing his lungs up …but still smoking another fag! I love the way Stuart Macbride can write the dark Police humour with such ease, this is a rare talent and not all authors get it, Mr MacBride gets it in spades!

The story is a fast-paced, intricate, twisty, cannonball of events and takes us to some dark places. Stuart has an amazing talent for writing in the first person and making his characters come alive with each sentence you read, DS Lucy McVeigh is a fabulous character and I really hope we will be seeing her in future adventures around Oldcastle.

May I just add that Stuarts books are spotted with fabulous descriptions of dirty, dank Scottish Towns and the mundane, thus it makes for a gritty Noir of a book, I have to say that No Less The Devil is one of Stuart Macbride’s best novels in ages!

If you like edgey, Scottish Noir with bundles of twists and frankly astounding moments, then, No Less The Devil is for you!

Without a doubt No Less The Devil will be HUGE in 2022.

10 stars from me!!

A BIT ABOUT STUART

Stuart MacBride is the Sunday Times No.1 bestselling author of the Logan McRae and Ash Henderson novels. He’s also published standalones, novellas, and short stories, as well as a slightly twisted children’s picture book for slightly twisted children. Stuart lives in the northeast of Scotland with his wife Fiona, cats Gherkin, Onion and Beetroot, some hens, some horses, and an impressive collection of assorted weeds.

www.stuartmacbride.com Facebook

You can pre-order No Less The Devil HERE in all formats