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The Exclusives By Rebecca Thornton

The Exclusives‘The Exclusives’ is Rebecca Thornton’s debut novel.

1996. Freya Seymour and Josephine Grey are invincible – beautiful and brilliant, the two best friends are on the cusp of Oxbridge, and the success they always dreamed they’d share. 2014. Freya gets in touch, looking for a conversation Josephine has run away from for eighteen long and tortured years. Beginning with one ill-fated night, The Exclusives charts the agonising spiral of friendship gone wrong, the heartache and betrayal of letting down those closest to you and the poisonous possibilities of what we wouldn’t do when everything we prize is placed under threat. And in the end, as she realises she cannot run for ever, Josephine must answer one question: is it Freya she cannot face, or is it her own darkest secret?

I read this book one day, when I fancied a change, I liked the bleakness of the cover as well as the synopsis, a story about two best friends at a boarding school whose indestructible friendship falls apart one night and how the years progress after this seemingly perfect friendship becomes hostile.

The story is seen primarily through the narrative of Josephine Grey, a popular and successful student with Grade A results, she is shoo in for Oxford and her best friend Freya Seymour, a kind friend who looks out for Josephine and treats Josephine more like family than a friend. The two friends go out one night to celebrate Josephine being appointed Head Girl, but it ends in disaster with vague memories and the girls covered in blood. Terrified Freya tries to talk to Josephine to find out what happened but Josephine refuses to talk and begins to the ignore the situation and this begins the downward spiral of their friendship. As the years pass, Josephine becomes a loner of the school, focusing on her studies and her editorial position at the school newspaper, whilst Freya befriends Josephine’s arch enemy, Verity all with the intentions of jeopardising each others lives. Almost twenty years later Freya gets in touch with Josephine wanting to talk. Josephine is now a successful archaeologist travelling the world and the last thing she wants to hear is from her old best friend, so she refuses to meet and this begins the agonising despair of remembering those years of sadness and loneliness.

The story flashes between the past the present and gives a vivid description of life in a boarding school, the loneliness, the bullying, the pressure to succeed and above all the bitchiness of girls and how they pick up on vulnerabilities. Josephine’s life is far from perfect but she puts on a brave face, her mother is severely depressed and is often in hospital and her father is busy with work. Only Freya knows the truth about Josephine’s family and uses this to her advantage.

Whilst reading this book, I felt a lot of sympathy for Josephine, both in the past and present as she dealt with her own emotions and life, but I found her to be an incredibly dislikable character, who only seemed interested in her own succession and didn’t really consider the feelings of others particularly her best friend and I also felt that her own selfishness was the demise of the best relationship she had.

The story concentrates on the friendship and how it ended and also how Josephine has progressed in life, with relationships and her own mental health and we see how a woman is battling hard not to turn into her mother, which seems to be her major fear. My only real complaint about the book, was that I felt there wasn’t enough detail about the night that ruined Josephine’s and Freya’s friendship, I felt after the consequences of that night, there should have been a bigger reveal, apart from that I enjoyed this story

This book gripped my attention with the grim environment, the troubled characters and the complexities of life, it was cleverly written with many twists and turns and gave an interesting insight into how life at boarding school isn’t always like an Enid Blyton novel.

You can buy The Exclusives from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Resistance Is Futile By Jenny T. Colgan

Resistance Is Futile‘Resistance Is Futile’ is the latest science fiction book by Jenny Colgan.

Connie’s smart. She’s funny. But when it comes to love, she’s only human. As a brilliant mathematician with bright red hair – Connie’s used to being considered a little unusual. But when she’s recruited for a top-secret code-breaking project, nothing can prepare her for working with someone quite as peculiar as Luke.

I’ve been a fan of Jenny Colgan’s for a number of years, I’ve enjoyed her tales of romance and humour set inside bakerys, cafes and a mobile bookshop, they have always left me with a smile on my face when I reached the final page.

I was curious about her latest science fiction book,’Resistance Is Futile’ and even though I am not a fan of the genre, I decided to read it for a change of scenery.

The story is mostly seen through the eyes of Connie, a young bright genius who was been recruited for an exciting new programme. This programme could be phenomenal, the only thing is that her and her colleagues can’t tell anyone about it. With the aid of her outspoken and opinionated team, they embark on breaking the top secret code but when the Professor of the university that they are working at is found dead, the university becomes subject to an investigation and one of Connie’s team members, quiet and strange Luke disappears making him the number one culprit.

Connie then finds herself on an incredible journey as she tries to find Luke as well as possibly save mankind, as she discovers there is so much more to the world and makes some realisations about herself along the well.

The story is written in fast pace, in Jenny’s style there is plenty of humour and lighthearted moments in the story as well as plenty scientific parts, that I could just about understand. The characters are interesting so they made the story enjoyable with courageous Connie and her wild hair and gentle, inquisitive Luke, who she looks out for, I found myself enjoying the book immensely.

A delicious concoction of love and science fiction, ‘Resistance Is Futile’ is a suspenseful and poignant story that was a nice introduction to a new genre for me.

You can buy Resistance Is Futile from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Sue Moorcroft Reveals New Book – The Christmas Promise

The Christmas PromiseIt might only be July, but it’s the perfect time to do a cover reveal, especially Sue Moorcroft’s new book called ‘The Christmas Promise’.

The story of ‘The Christmas Promise’ is –

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava Blissham. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones…

When Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special to him she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet.

Ava needs this job – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and she’s desperate for distraction because no one dreads Christmas like Ava does.

But soon Ava finds herself reluctantly needing something from Sam. He’s quick to help, but she’s in for a nasty shock… Will she be able to keep her promise? And if she does, might this be the Christmas her dreams come true?

The perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

You can pre-order The Christmas Promise: Your perfect festive treat from Amazon and will be available to buy from 6th October 2016.

Watching Edie By Camilla Way

Watching Edie‘Watching Edie’ is Camilla Way’s debut novel.

Edie is the friend that Heather has always craved. But one night, it goes terrifyingly wrong. And what started as an innocent friendship ends in two lives being destroyed. Sixteen years later, Edie is still rebuilding her life. But Heather isn’t ready to let her forget so easily. It’s no coincidence that she shows up when Edie needs her most.

Edie or Heather?
Heather or Edie?

Someone has to pay for what happened, but who will it be?

‘Watching Edie’ is one of the most highly anticipated thrillers of 2016, so much so that the kind people at Harper Collins sent out a stress kit to help readers deal with the terror of gripping tale, including a candle, face mask and a packet of Horlicks, everything to keep the reader relaxed whilst reading the story.

The story is about old best friends Edie and Heather, who suddenly meet up years after they left secondary school. Heather is a loner at school, coming from a strict religious background she is subject of bullying and she is delighted when popular newcomer Edie befriends her and introduces her to her new group of friends, but things turn nasty when Edie falls in with a bad crowd and she leaves her new best friend behind,

I loved this story and in particular, how cleverly it was written, as the story is written in two tenses and each of the tenses is seen through the narrative of both women. The past tense is seen through the eyes of Heather, a quiet, strange girl, who becomes infatuated with Edie and their new friendship. With her strict parents, she is not used to have a friend and isn’t sure what way to deal with it and looks after Edie to the point of worshipping. Heather’s story is about their time at secondary school, when Edie first entered her life and the situations they got into during this time. Meanwhile Edie’s perspective is seen during the present tense, when she has moved on with her life, living as a single mum in London, she is struggling to cope with being a new mother and is shocked when Heather suddenly turns up on her door offering a helping hand.

The story flows at a short and snappy pace with each chapter altering between a past and present tense and gives the reader, a full insight into how the once innocent and fun friendship transformed in something a lot more darker and sinister.

The characters are great, particularly Heather, a complex and eager young girl, who longs to fit in but struggles socially with those around her. With her naive way of thinking, this often leads to bullying and her being victimised in someway which does make for sad reading as she battles with emotions and new people. Edie, is seen as the victim of the story, as we read about a woman who is running from her past, constantly looking after her shoulder, struggling with her new role as a mother, she reflects on her past, particularly when Heather returns and old feelings and memories arise.

I read this story in a day, I couldn’t put it down, with its complex characters and addictive storyline, this psychological thriller explores the darker side of friendship and betrayal, an emotional rollercoaster with a truly tremendously twist, ‘Watching Edie’ is a powerful debut novel that pulls the reader in. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

You can pre-order Watching Edie: The most unsettling psychological thriller you’ll read this year from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 28th July 2016.

Silent Scream Book Tour – I Knew I Was A Writer Because By Angela Marsons

Angela MasonOn the book tour for Angela Marson’s brand new thriller, ‘Silent Scream’ Angela, tells us how she knew she was a writer.

One of my earliest school memories is of a ‘Sentence Maker’. It was an A4 sized folder which opened to reveal plastic word tabs and slots in which to place them. I would wait at the doorway ready for this weekly lesson where the other items on offer were musical instruments. Forget your drums, guitar, symbols, triangle and tambourine. I wanted the sentence maker. I remember one occasion whereby they were being cleaned and re-covered. I was given a recorder instead. Oh, how I sulked.

My favourite gifts to receive for birthdays and Christmas were notebooks and pencils.I accepted the disbelief of my siblings at my excitement and my offers to do ‘present swapsies’ for what they termed ‘empty pages’. But they weren’t empty to me.They were exciting, they were beckoning. They were filled with possibilities. They were waiting to be filled with the thoughts in my head and those thoughts were plentiful.

My early teens were spent making up situations and exploring how I felt about them. I specifically remember pretending that my Dad had left us. I poured out my heart and committed every emotion to one of my exercise books. I wrote through my tears and the pain of my loss. He’d only popped over the pub for a pint but it was real to me. On another occasion I told my younger brother he was adopted as there were only eleven months between our birthdays. I convinced him it took 12 months to have a baby and so as he came last it couldn’t possibly be me. My study of his reaction was cut short when he went crying to our Mum who very quickly put him right.
Silent Scream

For many years I worked a variety of administrative jobs which often meant enormous amounts of copy typing letters, memos, reports for other people. Often I would receive the comment ‘but that’s not what I wrote’ and I would patiently explain that their version was boring. So what if the correspondence was no longer factually correct? It was far more entertaining and interesting to read.

Throughout my school life and working life I have been inquisitive. Every one of my school reports stated ‘Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds everyone else’s.’ It was a fair assessment as I would constantly listen to the conversations of others. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know what people were thinking and how that affected the way they acted. It caused me detention more than once but I always felt it was worth it.

How you view people and situations.

You can buy Silent Scream (D.I. Kim Stone) from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.