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A Perfect Cornish Summer Book Tour – Extract

A Perfect Cornish SummerToday on the book tour for Phillipa Ashley’s latest book called ‘A Perfect Cornish Summer’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the summery tale.

‘I just hope Porthmellow will be good enough for him. If not, it’s tough,’ said Sam. A raindrop ran down her nose. Time was racing by and she had to finish the posters and get to work in Stargazey Pie. ‘There’s no rest for the wicked, eh?’

Chloe nodded. ‘Then I must have been very wicked indeed.’ She tugged her hood forward as the rain came down harder. ‘I must admit the festival is a much greater demand that I expected. No one has any idea of how much work is involved. I’ve run events but none as big as this. Even though we’re all volunteers, it’s still serious stuff.’

‘I don’t think I’ve really thanked you for joining the committee, by the way,’ Sam said. ‘I don’t know what we’d do without you and the other volunteers.’

‘Oh, I wanted to get involved. I can’t bear to sit around doing nothing and it’s been a great way to meet new people.’ Chloe’s eyes lit up at the praise.

Sam agreed. The festival had helped Sam make new friends too and cement relationships with people of all ages and backgrounds. Chloe had said she’d chosen Porthmellow because of the happy holidays she, her daughter, Hannah, and her ex had spent in the area, and the fact that Porthmellow was still was a real community where people lived and worked year-round, not simply full of holiday homes or deserted in the off-season. Even so, Sam thought it must have been hard for Chloe to move so far from home, especially as Hannah was in her first year at uni in Bristol. Chloe clearly adored her daughter, but Sam had yet to meet her. Sam thought, not for the first time, that Chloe must have been quite a young mother to have a daughter at uni. She didn’t look a day over thirty-five.

‘Thanks, Chloe. Will Hannah be coming to the festival?’

Chloe hesitated. ‘I don’t know. I doubt it. She’ll have exams, I expect, and she said something about wanting to go travelling afterwards. I’d be way too busy to see much of her anyway.’

‘I guess so,’ said Sam, detecting an edge of disappointment in Chloe’s voice. Perhaps she shouldn’t have asked. Hannah had shown no signs of making an appearance in Porthmellow since Chloe had arrived eight months ago, so perhaps it was a source of family tension. Sam certainly knew all about that.

You can buy ‘A Perfect Cornish Summer’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Girl Before You By Nicola Rayner

The Girl Before You‘The Girl Before You’ is Nicola Rayner’s debut novel.

Alice has always been haunted by the women from her husband’s past. As an MP and now a TV personality, George Bell’s reputation as a ladies’ man precedes him. But when Alice falls pregnant, her unease becomes an obsession. And there’s one ex in particular she can’t get out of her head: a beautiful student George dated in his first year, who went missing before they finished university. Ruth. When Alice sees a woman who looks just like Ruth, she can’t shake the feeling that there’s more to her disappearance than George has been telling her. But does she really want to know what her husband has been getting up to behind her back all these years?

This is Nicola’s debut and it really is an interesting read. The story flows in the past and present tense leading up to the disappearance of Ruth Walker, an adventurous young woman who disappears when one night and everyone assumes she is dead after her shoes and bag were left on the beach.

The story is seen from the narrative of Kat, Ruth’s friend, her sister Naomi and Alice, who’s convinced she saw has seen Ruth on her train.

She’s convinced that she saw one day and begins to investigate Ruth’s disappearance as well as her husband’s behaviour when he was at the same university as them. Her George is quite an unlikable character, he’s cocky, arrogant and has quite the disregard for women. Kat is best friends with Ruth, even though she’s in love with the man who’s besotted with Ruth. The scenes with Kat are the past tense leading up to Ruth’s disappearance and give an insight into Ruth’s personality and the mystery surrounding her.

As the three women tell their story, there’s a sense of paranoia and suspense throughout the story, as the women question whether Ruth died on that fateful. But as their obsession develops, we see them delve into something much darker and sinister than they ever imagined.

A cleverly written thriller that really pulls the reader in, ‘The Girl Before You’ is filled with interesting and complex characters that are all quite unreliable at times that they all become suspects in the story, that leaves the reader on the edge of their seats throughout.

You can pre-order ‘The Girl Before You By Nicola Rayner’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 22nd August 2019.

Degrees Of Guilt By HS Fields

Degrees Of Guilt‘Degrees of Guilt’ is HS Fields debut novel.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder. She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead. Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate. She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out. You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent. You will be wrong.

I’ve really come to enjoy Helen Fields writing over the years, with her DI Callanach series, so when a new book was released called ‘Degrees Of Guilt’ by Orion Publishing, I was curious to see what this court room drama had to offer. I started reading it on Saturday morning and didn’t put down until it was finished, as it was a bloody brilliant book.

The story is seen from two perspectives. It starts with Maria Bloxham phoning the police to tell them that she has killed her husband. Her husband, Dr Edward Bloxhom is a highly regarded consultant on environmental issues with a huge following, but he survived her attack with life changing injuries and Maria has been charged with attempted murder. The perspective is from Lottie, a young married mother who has been called for jury service on this complex case. She’s looking for more in her life than to be recognised as a mother and wife and finds herself relating to Maria in some ways. But as the story develops and Maria’s life is revealed, the jury finds themselves conflicted with their emotions and morals and unable to agree on their verdicts. It’s within this jury that Lottie meets Cameron, a passionate and outspoken man who brings out a new side in Lottie and has left her questioning the life that she’s currently leading.

Maria was a character that I felt a huge amount of empathy and sympathy towards. A deeply unhappy woman who thought she had found her Prince Charming over twenty years ago and instead was subject to years of emotional and psychological abuse with no one to confide in and reach out to. When she finally thought she was free from his grasp, she felt relief but instead was then subject to intense interrogation questioning her sanity in a crowded court where people are judging her.

There are so many reasons that I enjoyed this book, the story is cleverly weaved with two very different women, one the defendant and the other in the jury but both ultimately looking are for the same things in life. I loved Maria, she’s a strong woman, a voice for the people out there who have been subject to abuse and finally decided this was her time and she didn’t really matter what her future held as long as it didn’t feature Edward.

An addictive story of revenge and justice, ‘Degrees Of Guilt’, is a deeply dark and thrilling story that grips the reader from the very first sentence.

You can buy ‘Degrees Of Guilt’ from Amazon as an ebook and will be available from good bookshops from 5th September 2019.

Giveaway – The Picture Of Innocence

The Picture Of InnocenceI’m giving away a copy of TJ Stimson’s new book called ‘The Picture Of Innocence’ to one lucky reader.

What the back cover says –

You love your family. You’d never let anything happen to them… would you?

With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too.

But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself…

The characters in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer the following question in the comment box below.

How many children does Maddie have?

Winner will be revealed on Monday 20th May. Good luck!

Check out my review of ‘The Picture of Innocence’ to see my thoughts on the book.

Tick Tock Book Tour – Extract

Tick TockOn the book tour for Mel Sherratt’s exciting new book called ‘Tick Tock’, enjoy an extract from the thrilling tale.

Grace, Nick and Perry presented their warrant cards to another uniformed officer with a clipboard and, once he’d noted them down, began the sombre walk to the body. The school was at the end of a road that led to a single access lane.

With hedges on both sides, and knowing what she was about to look at, Grace couldn’t help feeling claustrophobic. It was eerily quiet too, once they’d left behind the noise of the school. Grace shivered, even though the April day was mild.

After a steep incline, the entrance to the field loomed at them. There was another police car parked, its tailgate open. Inside were the items they were required to put on before going to the crime scene, to avoid contamination and help them catch only their killer’s DNA and vital evidence – forensic white suits and shoe covers, latex gloves and masks to cover their mouths.
They each dressed in the appropriate gear and turned off the lane, through a gap in the hedge. Grace looked in front of her; there were a few bushes scattered across the grassy landscape and a large hedge around the perimeter. To her left, she had a clear view across some of the city, seeing rows of houses and gardens, and a large football playing field with a changing hut.

If this death was suspicious, Grace mused, it would be the second murder investigation in Stoke-on-Trent since she’d arrived. Back in September, she had helped to catch a serial killer. The timing couldn’t have been more poignant, but then again, the killer was someone she had known, so it was no coincidence that their rampage coincided with her return to her birth town.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

You can buy ‘Tick Tock’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.