Skip to content

One Of Us Is Lying By Karen M. McManus

One Of Us Is Lying ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ is the latest book by Karen M. McManus.

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again. He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

This is Karen’s debut book and it’s an addictive read filled with secrecy, bitchiness and lies.

The story starts just as the five students all arrive for detention and then is seen through the four remaining narratives as they all become the suspects in the investigation when Simon, the fifth student suddenly dies in suspicious circumstances.

The four students all come from completely different sides of track and in a different situation, they may never have forged friendships. But, in the surreal situation that they are experiencing, they are all there for each other, trying to piece together the mystery of Simon’s death.

Simon, who tragically died was a bit of hated character, he was an antagonistic boy, who liked to spread humours and make people uncomfortable with the creation of his gossip app ‘About That’, which shared tales of speculation and lies. Bronwyn is a serious and studious girl who finds herself attracted to social outcast, Nate, a bad boy that trouble seems to follow. Whilst Addy is the prom queen of the high school, with the perfect boyfriend and star of baseball team. But her life is far from perfect with her boyfriend’s controlling ways and her mothers pressuring ways of wanting to settle down. Finally Cooper, is the boy that the girls want and the boys admire.

All four of the students, had something to hide, that they didn’t want other people to know, but Simon knew more than he let on and that’s why they are all suspects in the case. As the story progresses, their secrets are revealed and they all have motives to kill Simon.

This book is great, it’s similar to ‘The Breakfast Club’ which is one of my all time favourite films, which is also set in detention and has similar characters. But that’s were the similarities end, as with the normal everyday issues that young adults have to face, there is the added fear of being a suspect of murder.

Cleverly written, this dark story is seen through the narratives of the characters and this gives quite vivid insights into each of their minds and all the problems they face.

Riddled with twists and turns, this suspenseful story is engaging from the start. With relatable characters and situations, this fantastic murder mystery is a must read.

You can buy One Of Us Is Lying from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Phillipa Ashley

Phillipa AshleyPhillipa Ashley is the author of the best-selling Cornish Cafe series. Before she became a full-time writer, she studied English at Oxford and worked as a copywriter and journalist. As Pippa Croft, Phillipa also writes as the Oxford Blue series which is published by Penguin Books. She lives in a Staffordshire village with her husband and has a grown-up daughter. When she’s not writing, she loves falling off surf boards and following ‘Poldark’ around in a camper van.

  1. To readers of the blog who may not be familiar with you or your writing, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing
    I’ve been writing for 11 years and got started by writing online fanfic for a TV period drama called ‘North & South’, ‘Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles’ will be my 16th published novel!
  2. What is your new book about?
    It’s about Maisie, who quits her job managing a busy Cornish pub to run her parents’ inn on the Isles of Scilly. She’s looking forward to a proper family Christmas for the first time in years but can’t forget the previous Christmas – and the day she lost everything.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    My friends from the Romantic Novelists Association including Bella Osborne, Elizabeth Hanbury, Nell Dixon, Katie Fforde, Jo Thomas, Jill Mansell, Cressida McLaughlin, Alison Sherlock – so many fantastic authors. We’d have lots of wine as well as books.
  4. Who’s your favourite literary hero or heroine?
    Elizabeth Bennet. Ross Poldark.
  5. Was there ever a book that you read, that didn’t live up to the hype that surrounded it and left you disappointed?
    I have given up on a book that I was very disappointed in compared to the film. The only clue I’m giving is that Ewan McGregor was in it.
  6. What’s your favourite part of the writing process?
    Finishing!
  7. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. (‘A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens’) I also almost injured myself laughing so much at the opening chapter of ‘Notes from a Small Island’ by Bill Bryson.
  8. 'Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles

  9. What do you think makes a good book?
    An unputdownable read that doesn’t end with the unexpected death of a character you have invested in.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘Pride & Prejudice’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and something very long that I haven’t read yet!
  11. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Developing confidence in their own voice and creating memorable characters.
  12. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Earl Grey tea.
  13. And finally do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website
    I’m currently writing ‘Spring in the Little Cornish Isles: the Flower Farm’ and have already started the third book in the series, ‘Summer on the Little Cornish Isles: the Starfish Studio’.

Follow Phillipa Ashley Twitter Phillipa Ashley for updates or check out her website at Phillipa Ashley

The Consequence of Love Book Tour – Writing About Love

The Consequence of LoveOn the book tour for Sandra Howard’s new book,’The Consequence Of Love’, Sandra talks about writing about love.

What do you do when you cannot get somebody out of your mind? You’ve been emotionally involved, lived and breathed and given your all to one person; he was everything to you, the one you truly loved. You’d joked and laughed and thought as one, involved yourself in his work; shared and stood by him in a crisis he found himself in, an eruption of frightening circumstances, which had eventually caused him to have to leave the country. You’d waved him away, loving his bravery and vowing fierce, unswerving loyalty all the while before he could return. He’d left your life and disappeared.

You’d kept in touch, but then suddenly and incomprehensibly your line of communication had gone dead. There seemed no rhyme or reason for it, but you’d lost all contact. The man you loved had simply vanished into thin air and your life had lost all meaning. Then when the months had gone by, a year, and you’d had to accept the fact that he could be dead, in some dreadful hole, in love with with or married to someone else, you’d finally lost faith and turned to another in your despair.

But the emotional ties with the past are too strong. You’ve married, settled down, had one child and then another, you have a good life, a good rewarding job, but still you cannot forget. There’d been no closure, no explanation, no chance to grieve, and in very private moments you still yearn and dream. The ties are unbreakable, the man you truly love is still in your blood stream and your husband knows.

I came to write ‘The Consequence of Love’ because I wanted to know what, my character, Nattie, would do if after seven long years with no contact, her true love returned to his homeland and sought her out. He would be desperate to find her again and explain, I wanted to know what had happened to him in all that time, why he’d disappeared, and of course the outcome, what would be the consequence of his return.
I knew him well, he was the hero of the novel I’d written over seven years ago called ‘A Matter of Loyalty’ and a number of readers had got in touch to say how much they too wanted to know how things had worked out.

The one thing I’ve learned about writing fiction is how impossibly hard it is to let go. The characters take over, they lead you by the hand, do things you wouldn’t have expected and lead you down strange and wonderful paths. They become part of the family. Some of them continued through my first three books and now, with ‘The Consequence of Love’, seven years on, we’ve been reunited again.

You can buy The Consequence of Love from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Angel Book Tour – Extract

The Angel Sit back and enjoy an extract from Katerina Diamond’s latest gruesome tale called ‘The Angel’.

Gabriel Webb was a killer. He didn’t know it yet, but before the day was out he would know what it felt like to take someone’s life. He turned the music up in his bedroom to drown out the sound of his parents arguing about him. Apparently, he was ‘out of control’ and ‘needed to be taken in hand’. His mother had suggested sending him to live with an aunt in Cheltenham. His father had suggested forcing him to join the army, which ‘might show him how good he had it at home’. All this because Gabriel had shoulder-length hair and occasionally wore eyeliner.

He pulled on his red tartan punk trousers and leather New Rock boots, feeding the laces through the chrome shin panels on the front. Searching through his tops, he tried to decide which one to wear today, which one would be best for what they had planned. His phone beeped and he looked at the screen. An array of emojis all signifying excitement from his girlfriend Emma, listed in his phone as Proserpina, Roman Goddess and Queen of the underworld. He was in her phone as Pluto, the God of Death. Embracing darkness was part of the fun of being a goth. Tonight, they were going to see Apocalyptica, a nu-metal band, in a local club, a rare occurrence in Exeter now that the artisan hipster gin bars had all but taken over the city.

Gabriel pulled on his black wet-look cycling top; it hugged his lean muscular frame and he loved the way Emma looked at him when he was in it. He would catch her eyes resting on his chest as she swallowed hard, suppressing whatever desire his body aroused in her until they were alone. He grabbed the black buckled leather cincher out of his wardrobe and put it on, despite his parents’ voices echoing in his head. A man in a corset? Ridiculous. It wasn’t like it pulled his waist in or anything, it was just a fashion statement – not a nod to his sexuality. He couldn’t worry about what his parents thought though. His clothes were an expression of himself, for himself. It wasn’t about shocking anyone or even about rebelling. It was about feeling good in his skin, and this outfit made Gabriel feel good. He wrapped black electrical tape around his wrists and hands, then picked up the black eyeliner and drew a star on his left cheek. He was ready.

On entering the kitchen, his mother took a deep breath and turned her attention to the kitchen sink. Avoiding being a part of the conversation that was about to happen.

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

The Little Bakery On Rosemary Lane Tour – Extract

The Little Bakery On Rosemary LaneToday on the book tour for the second book in Ellen Berry’s Rosemary Lane series, called ‘The Little Bakery On Rosemary Lane’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the story, taken from chapter 9.

So, what’s your line of business?’ Tommy was asking now.

‘I’m a photographer,’ Sean explained.

‘Oh, right. Weddings, portraits, that kind of thing?’

‘Well, I’m more kind of—’

‘Would you do one of our Jessica? She’s a right little character – just turned eighteen months. Me and my girlfriend, we’d love a proper picture of her to have framed for the living room.’

‘Er, that’s not quite my—’

‘You know – looking cute, sitting on one of those sheepskin rugs?’

Roxanne chuckled to herself as she sensed Sean struggling to remain on his new best mate’s good side. ‘Uh, yeah, I know the kind of pictures you mean, but I’m actually more of a—’

‘She’s just adorable,’ Tommy added fondly. ‘D’you have a card or anything, so I can contact you?’

‘Uh, not on me, no . . .’

‘Aw. Well, I’ve got your number.’

‘I called you on my girlfriend’s phone,’ Sean said quickly.

‘Right. So, will you text me yours, so we can arrange to do the pictures?’

‘Yeah, ’course I will . . .’

No, of course he won’t, Roxanne mused as she sanded off the last of the burnt crust with a Brillo pad. He happens to be a top fashion photographer whose latest campaign for a high-street chain is currently gracing enormous billboards all over Britain. Sean O’Carroll does not photograph babies on fluffy rugs.

Drilling and hammering curtailed their conversation, and once Roxanne had finished cleaning the tray, she found Sean lurking in her living room. ‘Why are you hiding in here?’ she teased him.

‘I’m not hiding,’ he murmured defensively. ‘I’m just letting him get on with the job.’

‘Right. It’s just that, a few moments ago, it sounded as if you were about to arrange a holiday together.’

Sean’s eyebrows shot up. ‘Don’t be ridiculous!’

She laughed, just as Tommy called out to say he’d finished.

‘So that’s it secure,’ he remarked as she inspected his work. Sean had failed to reappear from the living room.

‘Brilliant, thanks so much – and, yes, I’d like to go ahead with the replacement door, please. Could you send me an estimate?’

‘Yeah, no problem.’ He seemed disappointed at having to deal with her now.

You can buy The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.