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Into The Water By Paula Hawkins

'Into The Water‘Into The Water’ is the second book by Paula Hawkins, bestselling author of ‘The Girl On The Train’

In the last days before her death, Nel called her sister. Jules didn’t pick up the phone, ignoring her plea for help. Now Nel is dead. They say she jumped. And Jules has been dragged back to the one place she hoped she had escaped for good, to care for the teenage girl her sister left behind. But Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool.

‘Into The Water’ is the second book by Paula Hawkins and if you’re expecting another voyeuristic tale about a woman on a train, then you’re in for a surprise, even though the book is about a female protagonist set against a bleak atmosphere with a bewitching plot line, that is where the similarities end.

In book, we meet Julia who returns home after receiving word that her sister, Nel was found dead in a notorious suicide spot. But Jules is convinced, that even though her sister was quite troubled and had a weird fascination with suicide and water, that she wouldn’t kill herself. But, it’s not only Jules who is thinking this, police officers and residents of the town are also wondering what happened at the infamous spot and is there indeed something in the water that making women take their lives.

The story is seen though many narratives, from Jules coming to terms with the death of her estranged sister and the police investigating the case but there is also the inclusion of residents of the town, who also question Nel’s death. There is also a sub story that prior to Nel’s death, a teenage girl called Katie took her life in a similar fashion, the mother’s perspective is included as she struggles to deal with Katie’s death and as the story progresses and delves deeper into past and present narratives that we discover that there was a lot more going on in the two women’s lives, a lot more than the reader is led to believe.

I loved ’The Girl On The Train’ and would even regard it as one of my favourite books, so when I received ‘Into The Water’ I approached it with an open mind and that it was not going to be a sequel to the bestseller and I was right.

The story starts cleverly right at the moment that Jules receives word that her sister is dead and from that point on, the story flows at a fast pace that immediately hooks the reader in. We don’t really meet Nel, we only see her through flashbacks with Jules and she seems quite an unlikeable character, she was popular in school whilst Jules was chubby and naive which Nel seemed to take advantage off. I didn’t really feel much sympathy for Nel, as Jules had painted her in quite a poor light, but as the story flows, we see a different side to her, that I did feel some empathy, as she was quite a troubled and misunderstood woman. Whereas Jules, is a bit of loner, having not really fully recovered from an incident from her childhood.

The many perspectives of the plot line makes for exciting and compelling reading, filled with desperate and helpless characters and set against the bleak background of a dark and troubled town, this moody thriller injected with magic made for unexpectedly gripping reading. Beautifully and descriptively written, with short chapters that made the book impossible to put down, ‘Into The Water’ is a haunting and disturbing tale that is completely different to Paula’s debut and a book I would highly recommend.

You can buy Into the Water from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Book Tour – Just For The Holidays By Sue Moorcroft

Just For The HolidaysToday on the book tour for Sue Moorcroft’s, ‘Just For The Holidays’, Sue tells us ten ways to make holidays more bearable.

Ten ways to make coming home from your holiday bearable.
No matter how fantastic your holiday, you’ll face the inevitable flatness of returning to reality. It may involve chores that have stacked up in your absence or return-to-work blues. (Or both.) They only sully the memory of your holiday and make you wonder whether it was worth the aggro. It was worth it because holidays allow you to decompress, try new things, have fun and gain a lot of weight. Here are a few ideas that might ease the pain.

1. Before you go away, make an online grocery order for an appropriate date/time upon your return. It saves you a) having to think about something as mundane as a shopping list when your head is still full of fun stuff b) having to trek around the supermarket.

2. Use a laundry service for that first huge wash when everyone tips out their suitcases. I was surprised how reasonable it can be – less than a modest meal out for, say, four people. Choose one that does the ironing too.

3. Consider doing a labour swap with a friend. While you’re away they cut your lawn/feed your cat/water your plants – and when they’re away you do theirs.

4. Book an extra day’s holiday so you don’t have to return to work the very day after you’ve travelled home. It gives you one last lie in and an opportunity to get over it if you’ve had a long/hassled trip.

5. Don’t get on the scales for at least a fortnight after you return. There’s no point making yourself feel bad about a few extra pounds. Returning to your usual routine will take care of some of them naturally. (Probably. Or possibly, anyway.)

6. This is a really boring one – get anything you can up to date before you go. Coming back to those five loads of washing you conveniently forgot or that bulging inbox you ignored is just not worth the stress. Particularly if you’re going to ignore points 1-4.

7. Show off your suntan and all your holiday pix to your friends.

8. Plan something good to coincide with your homecoming. I once returned to a completed extension to the house and enjoying that took all the pain out of my return.

9. Have a little coming-home pamper session, either self-adminstered or at the salon.

10. Book another holiday.

You can buy Just for the Holidays from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 18th May 2017.

Cover Reveal – The Bed And Breakfast On The Beach By Kat French

The Bed And Breakfast On The BeachKat French is back with a gorgeous new book called ‘The Bed And Breakfast On The Beach’ and after loving her previous book called ‘The Piano Man Project, I’m looking forward to it.

What the back cover says

Three women throw caution to the wind and move from England to run a B&B on a Greek island. They’ve all reached a point in their lives when the need a change – one divorced, on empty nester, one made redundant from the job she’s held since leaving school many moons ago. The move test their friendship to the limits, brings errant husbands running their own metamorphosis, but will they choose to stay in Greece when the holiday season winds down?

The perfect escapist read for fans of Lucy Diamond and Milly Johnson – transport yourself to a Greek island and forget about your troubles with this glorious summery romance.

You can pre-order The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd June 2017.

Book Tour – The Summer House By The Sea By Jenny Oliver

Jenny OliverToday on the book tour for Jenny Oliver’s new book, ‘The Summer House By The Sea’, Jenny talks about the relationships in the book.

One of the themes in the book I found the most interesting was Ava’s relationship with her brother. Have you any experience on how relationships change over time? How did you explore this in the book?

I have two older sisters and the way our relationships have changed over time has always been really interesting to me. I remember when I was very young my eldest sister comforting me when I was sobbing that Christmas Day was over (I know!!), I remember lounging in front of the TV with my middle sister eating packets of Maryland Cookies while glued to ‘Home and Away’, I remember holidays with all of us crammed in the back of the car for the five-hour drive to Cornwall – fighting and fidgeting and one of us being sick outside the Little Chef. We knew everything about each other. And then we got older and gradually each one of us left home – and I’m pleased to say I got over the trauma of Boxing Day – and suddenly we were catching up for a lunch or meeting for a drink and dinner, working out logistics with in-laws for Christmas and Easter and no longer simply stretching out on the sofa together to while away hours in front of daytime TV. And, as so often also happens with friendships over time, rather than know everything about each other we knew the bits that were shared in phone calls or catch-ups, we squeezed each other in among dots on our phone calendars, partners, children, work, Twitter scrolling. And of course, that’s just life.

The Summer House By The Sea

But when I had my baby I suddenly realised that I needed more than that. I needed a sofa that I could sit on, eyes glazed, and be fed chocolate biscuits and watch crap TV (hopefully while someone else cooed over my child) and I found that it was those very same relationships that I could call on again. The muscle memory was still there – this time the tears weren’t because Christmas Day was over but the simple fact I’d only had an hour and half sleep. And as a result of that time, I understood more clearly the ebb and flow of friendships and relationships – that it’s hard to hold onto that intense, know-everything closeness that you get from living together or growing up together. Relationships change as we change, but the best ones, when you need them, can be summoned back up in an instant. And this is the essence of what I wanted to explore with Ava and Rory in ‘The Summerhouse by the Sea’.

You can buy The Summer House by the Sea from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

I’ll Eat When I’m Dead By Barbara Bourland

I'll Eat When I'm Dead‘I’ll Eat When I’m Dead’ is Barbara Bourland’s debut novel.

Everyone thinks Hillary starved to death – but Cat knows her friend’s dieting wasn’t a capital P problem. If beauty kills, it’d take more than that. Hot-headed and fiercely feminist, Cat’s sure she can match the investigating skills of Detective Mark Hutton, solve the case, and achieve sartorial fulfillment.But going undercover, Cat’s in over her head, and soon becomes snared in a very stylish web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that will change her look – and outlook – forever.

This book has been described as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ meets ‘American Psycho’ and that would be a statement that I agree with. It is based in the busy and competitive environment of Rage book, a popular lifestyle and culture magazine where there is constant pressure to succeed.

When Hilary, a leading member of staff is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Cat, a staff member and friend of Hilary, is still unconvinced about her friends death. On this journey with the help of the handsome detective Matt Hutton, Cat discovers the dark world of journalism and fashion and how it’s not all just about flashing lights and glamour.

With sass and reeking of attitude, this book delivers a clever plot line with a investigative twists. As Cat and Matt delve further in Hilary’s death, they uncover a world hidden away from the public eye.

Filled with glamour and wit, this book highlights the pressure of this high paced job and sometimes it’s not as rewarding as public are lead to believe.

Barbara’s writing is fast paced delivered with a funny quips along the way that made for enjoyable reading. The wide range of characters are vibrant and engaging that made for gripping reading.

With an eye catching title and gripping plot line, ‘I’ll Eat When I’m Dead’ is an honest but humorous story about the pressure of journalism, that was fun to read from start to finish.

You can buy I’ll Eat When I’m Dead from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.