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Lisa Jewell Reveals New Book – Then She Was Gone

Then She Was GoneI love this time of the year, because it’s usually about this time that Lisa Jewell reveals a new book and I’m excited to reveal her latest book ‘Then She Was Gone’.

What the back cover says

She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter. And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

‘Then She Was Gone’ sounds like another gripping story from one of my favourite authors.

You can pre-order Then She Was Gone from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 27th July 2017.

B.A Paris Writers Tip

B.A. ParisAuthor of ‘The Breakdown’, B.A. Paris shares her writing tips for aspiring authors.

Write what you enjoy writing, not what is in fashion. At the moment, it’s psychological thrillers. If psychological thrillers aren’t your genre, don’t try to write one.

An Unsuitable Marriage By Colette Dartford

An Unsuitable Marriage‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is the latest book by Colette Dartford.

Olivia had everything – a loving husband in Geoffrey, a thoughtful and intelligent son in Edward and a beautiful home in the Somerset countryside. But all that changed when Geoffrey’s business went under. Now penniless and homeless, Geoffrey is living with his recently widowed mother, whilst Olivia has been forced to work as a housemistress at her son’s elite boarding school. With their marriage under intolerable strain, Geoffrey makes a mistake – one that has devastating consequences for the guilty and innocent alike . . .’An Unsuitable Marriage’ is an unexpected tale of drama and suspense. A story about family, who at such an important time in their lives, should be coming together but instead are moving further and further apart.

In this book, we meet Olivia, a house mistress at the local boarding school. She’s unhappy, having to leave her comfortable life behind when her husband’s business went bankrupt and they had to give up their house and they moved into her mother-in-law’s house. Rowena, is an old-fashioned woman, set in her ways and is delighted to have her son back in her bosom, meanwhile she tends to leave Olivia to her own devices whilst quietly judging her. Geoffrey, is distraught that he let his family down, as he struggles to find work, he’s reminded of all the people he let down when his factory closed. At a time, when the pair of them should be supporting each other, they are drifting further away from each other and finding comfort in other peoples arms.

The story is a battle of morals, loyalty and despair as Olivia and Geoffrey try to carry on with their marriage but both are desperately unhappy. As the story progresses, the pair are faced with other problems, their son being bullied, the guilt of redundancy and affairs and the mysterious and sudden death of the Principals wife.

‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is an emotional tale that really tugs at the heartstrings. The characters and the situations are relatable and sympathetic so the book was easy to delve into and get absorbed in. The book is filled with many issues, bullying, redundancy as well as adultery that there rarely is a dull moment in this gentle story. Cleverly crafted with warmhearted twists and turns that made for enjoyable reading, ‘An Unsuitable Marriage’ is about finding strength and survival and is perfect for fans of Hilary Boyd and Jill Mansell.

You can buy An Unsuitable Marriage from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

The Good Daughter Book Tour – Extract

The Good DaughterToday on the book tour for Alexandra Burt’s thrilling new book, ‘The Good Daughter’, I’ve an extract from the gripping tale.

They appeared at Aella’s door by nightfall. There had been signs; first the dog had raised his head, then his ears had perked up, and he had let out a deep bark, shallow and low. Atlas was a crossbreed, half wolf, half dog, and she trusted him with her life.

Aella opened the door and stepped outside. Atlas followed her, stood motionless to her left, let out a bark. It was a mere warning on his part, giving her a sign: Watch me. I’ll tell you if there’s trouble.

A man with an unkempt beard and teeth too perfect to be his own stepped forward and Aella knew he had rapped on her door. There were more; she heard their mumbled voices in the dark from where they were standing, to the right where the road had led them to her trailer in the woods.

Aella’s eyes got used to the dark and she realized they were all men, with beards and grimy clothes, who had parked their cars by the road, car doors propped open. The men had gathered around, smoking, talking, and stretching their backs.

Atlas continued to keep his distance from them, remaining next to her, his nose darting out occasionally, only to retreat immediately. Bad news, yes, but dangerous, no. Atlas was a skillful judge of people and therefore Aella was not afraid.

“It’s a bit late for a visit,” she said and watched a couple of cats scurry off into the dark.

“We are just passing through and were wondering if it’d be okay to camp out back.”

Out back was a field with cedar stubs caught between shrubs and trees releasing pollen in explosive puffs of orange-red smoke whenever cold winds blew from the north. Like gnarly little fishhooks, the pollen invaded nostrils and sinuses. It wasn’t a place to camp out, but it was all the same to Aella. It wouldn’t be the first time they had passed through—not the same men, but their kind. “Who’s passing through?” Aella asked, shushing Atlas as he let out a low growl.

“It’s twelve of us. Just for one night.”

“I can count,” Aella said, even though the night was pitch-black and she barely made out the men’s silhouettes. “But who are you?”

The man paused for a second, then stroked his beard downward. In the light coming from the trailer Aella saw strong hands, uncut and clean, maybe a man working with gloves? His arms and face were sunburned and the knees of his jeans worn.

“We are travelers,” the man finally said.

“I see.” Tinkers, Aella thought. Irish travelers passing through, looking for employment. “I guess one night is okay with me.”

The man mumbled something Aella couldn’t make out, and another man from the group called out to him. They conversed in a language with soft vowels and words Aella hadn’t heard before.

“You are here why?” Atlas had settled down, yet he kept his distance.

“Roofing jobs, after the fall storms.”

“But why are you coming here? To my house? You can park anywhere and spend a few days. Who told you about me?”

“Well”—he scratched his beard again—“we’ve heard from travelers that they sometimes pass through here and that you allow them to camp on your property.”

He spoke the truth. Tinkers passed through all the time. Mainly bad seeds, the ones that trick the old folks, scam everybody out of some money, and before locals know they’ve been had, they’ve long since left town.

Aella didn’t care about their dealings but she didn’t want people in town to know they stayed on her land, didn’t want to be connected to them. Aurora had never got used to her, and people gossiped. Women like her didn’t want to be the talk of the town. Too many people came snooping, and then there were the teenage dares, and it would all get out of hand so easily.

The local men were reluctant, shook their heads at the sight of her; some spit in the dirt as they passed by. The women worried. How can you live out there, all by yourself? Aren’t you afraid? they’d ask, and Aella just grinned. I’m the baddest thing out here, she’d say, and they’d stare at her and then break out in a nervous giggle. Yet the people of Aurora flocked to her: meek boys who wanted the pretty girls, men who couldn’t keep beautiful women in their beds, lacking money and prowess. They asked for potions and salves and bottles containing strange things. Reconciling with a lover was what men were usually after—nothing a black cat bone and lodestones couldn’t fix—but the women looked to cure ailments. Ringing in the ears was a big one—no doctor can help with that; no ear drops or pills can cure the dead talking about you because you’ve done them wrong while they walked this earth. Some women wanted to keep their men, bind them so they’d never leave, not thinking about the future when they’d long for them to go, and then they’d return and the unbinding would cost thrice. Mothers came for their children: a cleft palate, a head tremor making other kids scatter in disgust, the inability to read or write, infants who stared straight past their mothers, struggling to make eye contact. Mothers were the most desperate of them all.

Aella held the man’s gaze and cocked her head, as if to say, What’s it worth to you? The man shoved a hand at her, causing Atlas to growl again. This time Aella didn’t correct him. The man took a step back, then extended out his arm again, his hand facing upward. In his palm was a substantial wad of dollar bills held together by a rubber band.

Aella reached for the money.

“Wait,” the man said. “There’s something else. One of us needs to stay here for a few weeks. We’ll get her on our way back.”

Her. Aella scanned the group of men, and a woman of petite stature emerged from the backseat of one of the cars and walked toward them, dragging her feet. Atlas approached her and sniffed the air. When the woman stepped next to the man and the moonlight illuminated her, Aella saw an expanding stomach that seemed overly large, almost freakish.

Her elfin frame had nowhere to put a baby but to push it outward, and then there was her age; she seemed young, too young to be pregnant, and her eyes were vacant as she protectively placed a hand over her stomach.

“She doesn’t feel well. We thought a bit of rest would do her good.”

You can buy The Good Daughter from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Sometimes I Lie By Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie‘Sometimes I Lie’ is Alice Feeney’s debut novel.

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore

3. Sometimes I lie

If you’re a fan of books that holds you attention and shocks you at every twist and turn, then ‘Sometimes I Lie’ is just the book for you.

This gripping tale is seen through the narrative of Amber Reynolds, as she lies in a coma, aware of everything that is going on around her whilst everyone is unaware. In the coma, she tries to piece together the last moments leading up to her accident. Her husband, Paul is distraught and is unable to believe that Amber crashed her car on purpose and is determined to find out the truth, whilst her sister, Claire is apologetic and comes in to whisper apologies to Amber whilst holding her hand.

The story is cleverly written in different tenses, giving the reader a great feel and insight into the characters and their situations and how they all came to this point in their lives.

For me, I found Amber an intensely unlikable character, but I also loved her. She was so unhappy in many aspects of her life, her marriage, her job and her bully boss. But, she didn’t take her bosses bullying behaviour lying down and retaliated in the sneakiest and smartest of ways, that was almost admirable. When, she meets Edward, an old boyfriend, she reflects on her college years, less stress, less cellulite, a happier time. Her life is far from perfect, but is it so bad that she would intentionally crash her car?

The plot weaves between past and present tenses, coming perfectly together at key points helping the reader to piece clues together. An extremely interesting inclusion to the book, is diary entries from a little child. A lonely girl unhappy with her fighting parents but when she becomes friends with Claire, she finds herself a surrogate family, the perfect family and mother that she always dreamt off and as the story progresses and the plot gets darker, we see an interesting and unexpected change in the child.

Right from the beginning this book hooked my attention, drawing me into a dark and twisted world with sordid actions and consequences. The characters are wonderfully troubling whilst the intelligent twists in the tales and well crafted writing made the story complex and atmospheric. Packed with drama and suspense, ‘Sometimes I Lie’ is a deliciously tangled and addictive story that made for gripping reading with a stunning ending that will take your breath away!

You can pre-order Sometimes I Lie from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd March 2017.