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Come Away With Me Book Tour – Extract

Come Away With Me On the book tour for Maddie Please’s new book called ‘Come Away With Me’, enjoy an extract from the fun tale.

India nodded and we went to get rid of our bags. Heathrow was always busy at this time of year, everyone jetting off for last-minute sunshine, so we had to weave around a lot of luggage racks and pushchairs parked in awkward spots, not to mention massive suitcases wrapped in clingfilm. Then India spotted two very elegant representatives from the Voyage Premiere cruise line waiting behind a help desk and we dragged our cases gratefully over.

They were glamour personified with those slight French accents that always make people sound sexy and interesting, even if they are discussing the Guatemalan economy or washing-up liquid. In short, tight red suits and dinky little hats like saucers, all set off with silk scarves with nautical flags sprinkled all over them and tied in that careless, impossibly chic, way French women probably learn at primary school.

‘Welcome, Miss Fisher and Miss Fisher. Hmm, India and Alexandria; beautiful names. We are delighted to welcome you on the first stage of your exciting journey.’

I watched her fabulously manicured nails typing our details into her computer and waited, as I always did, for her to frown and say I couldn’t go because my passport photograph wasn’t attractive enough or something. However, all that happened was that she produced some glorious red stickers for our cases marked Voyage Premiere. And then she directed us to our private lounge where, as we had hoped, there was free champagne and comfortable chairs where India could nurse her hangover, flick through Vogue and text Jerry, and I could watch planes taking off and not crashing at all.

I don’t know about you, but I think this book sounds fabulous!

You can buy Come Away With Me from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th October 2018.

Pieces Of Her Book Tour

Pieces Of HerOn the book tour for Karin Slaughter’s chilling new book called ‘Pieces Of Her’, sit back and enjoy an extract from the tale.

PROLOGUE

For years, even while she’d loved him, part of her had hated him in that childish way that you hate something you can’t control. He was headstrong, and stupid, and handsome, which gave him cover for a hell of a lot of the mistakes he continually made—the same mistakes, over and over again, because why try new ones when the old ones worked so well in his favor?

He was charming, too. That was the problem. He would charm her. He would make her furious. Then he would charm her back again so that she did not know if he was the snake or she was the snake and he was the handler.

So he sailed along on his charm, and his fury, and he hurt people, and he found new things that interested him more, and the old things were left broken in his wake.

Then, quite suddenly, his charm had stopped working. A trolley car off the tracks. A train without a conductor. The mistakes could not be forgiven, and eventually, the second same mistake would not be overlooked, and the third same mistake had dire consequences that had ended with a life being taken, a death sentence being passed, then—almost—resulted in the loss of another life, her life.

How could she still love someone who had tried to destroy her?

When she had been with him—and she was decidedly with him during his long fall from grace—they had raged against the system: The group homes. The emergency departments. The loony bin. The mental hospital. The squalor. The staff who neglected their patients. The orderlies who ratcheted tight the straightjackets. The nurses who looked the other way. The doctors who doled out the pills. The urine on the floor. The faeces on the walls. The inmates, the fellow prisoners, taunting, wanting, beating, biting.

The spark of rage, not the injustice, was what had excited him the most. The novelty of a new cause. The chance to annihilate. The dangerous game. The threat of violence. The promise of fame. Their names in lights. Their righteous deeds on the tongues of schoolchildren who were taught the lessons of change.
A penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, a dollar bill . . .

What she had kept hidden, the one sin that she could never confess to, was that she had ignited that first spark.

She had always believed—vehemently, with great conviction— that the only way to change the world was to destroy it.

CHAPTER 1

“Andrea,” her mother said. Then, in concession to a request made roughly one thousand times before, “Andy.”

“Mom—”

“Let me speak, darling.” Laura paused.

“Please.”

Andy nodded, preparing for a long-awaited lecture. She was officially thirty-one years old today. Her life was stagnating.

She had to start making decisions rather than having life make decisions for her.

Laura said, “This is my fault.”

Andy felt her chapped lips peel apart in surprise. “What’s your fault?”

“Your being here. Trapped here.”

Andy held out her arms, indicating the restaurant. “At the Rise-n-Dine?”

Her mother’s eyes traveled the distance from the top of Andy’s head to her hands, which fluttered nervously back to the table. Dirty brown hair thrown into a careless ponytail. Dark circles under her tired eyes. Nails bitten down to the quick.

The bones of her wrists like the promontory of a ship. Her skin, normally pale, had taken on the pallor of hot dog water.

The catalog of flaws didn’t even include her work outfit. The navy-blue uniform hung off Andy like a paper sack. The stitched silver badge on her breast pocket was stiff, the Belle Isle palm tree logo surrounded by the words police dispatch division.

Like a police officer, but not actually. Like an adult, but not really. Five nights a week, Andy sat in a dark, dank room with four other women answering 911 calls, running license plate and driver’s license checks, and assigning case numbers.

Then, around six in the morning, she slinked back to her mother’s house and spent the majority of what should’ve been her waking hours asleep.

Laura said, “I never should have let you come back here.”

Andy pressed together her lips. She stared down at the last bits of yellow eggs on her plate.

“My sweet girl.” Laura reached across the table for her hand, waited for her to look up. “I pulled you away from your life. I was scared, and I was selfish.” Tears rimmed her mother’s eyes. “I shouldn’t have needed you so much. I shouldn’t have asked for so much.”

Andy shook her head. She looked back down at her plate. “Darling.”

Andy kept shaking her head because the alternative was to speak, and if she spoke, she would have to tell the truth.
Her mother had not asked her to do anything.

Three years ago, Andy had been walking to her shitty Lower East Side fourth-floor walk-up, dreading the thought of another night in the one-bedroom hovel she shared with three other girls, none of whom she particularly liked, all of whom were younger, prettier and more accomplished, when Laura had called. “Breast cancer,” Laura had said, not whispering or hedging but coming straight out with it in her usual calm way. “Stage three. The surgeon will remove the tumor, then while I’m under,
he’ll biopsy the lymph nodes to evaluate—”

Laura had said more, detailing what was to come with a degree of detached, scientific specificity that was lost on Andy, whose language-processing skills had momentarily evaporated. She had heard the word “breast” more than “cancer,” and thought instantly of her mother’s generous bosom. Tucked beneath her modest one-piece swimsuit at the beach. Peeking over the neckline of her Regency dress for Andy’s Netherfield- themed sixteenth birthday party. Strapped under the padded cups and gouging underwires of her LadyComfort Bras as she sat on the couch in her office and worked with her speech therapy patients.

Laura Oliver was not a bombshell, but she had always been what men called very well put together. Or maybe it was women who called it that, probably back in the last century. Laura wasn’t the type for heavy make-up and pearls, but she never left the house without her short gray hair neatly styled, her linen pants crisply starched, her underwear clean and still elasticized.

Andy barely made it out of the apartment most days. She was constantly having to double back for something she had forgotten like her phone or her ID badge for work or, one time, her sneakers because she’d walked out of the building wearing her bedroom slippers.

Whenever people in New York asked Andy what her mother was like, she always thought of something Laura had said about her own mother: She always knew where all the tops were to her Tupperware.

Andy couldn’t be bothered to close a Ziploc bag.

On the phone, eight hundred miles away, Laura’s stuttered intake of breath was the only sign that this was difficult for her. “Andrea?”

Andy’s ears, buzzing with New York sounds, had zeroed back in on her mother’s voice.

Cancer.

Andy tried to grunt. She could not make the noise. This was shock. This was fear.

This was unfettered terror because the world had suddenly stopped spinning and everything—the failures, the disappointments, the horror of Andy’s New York existence for the last six years—receded like the drawback wave of a tsunami. Things that should’ve never been uncovered were suddenly out in the open.

Her mother had cancer. She could be dying.

She could die.

Laura had said, “So, there’s chemo, which will by all accounts be very difficult.”

She was used to filling Andy’s protracted silences, had learned long ago that confronting her on them was more likely to end up in a fight than a resumption of civil conversation. “Then I’ll take a pill every day, and that’s that. The five-year survival rate is over seventy percent, so there’s not a lot to worry about except for getting through it.” A pause for breath, or maybe in hopes that Andy was ready to speak. “It’s very treatable, darling. I don’t want you to worry. Just stay where you are. There’s nothing you can do.”

A car horn had blared. Andy had looked up. She was standing statue-like in the middle of a crosswalk. She struggled to move. The phone was hot against her ear.

It was past midnight. Sweat rolled down her back and leached from her armpits like melted butter. She could hear the canned laughter of a sitcom, bottles clinking, and an anonymous piercing scream for help, the likes of which she had learned to tune out her first month living in the city.

Too much silence on her end of the phone.

Finally, her mother had prompted, “Andrea?”

Andy had opened her mouth without considering what words should come out.

“Darling?” her mother had said, still patient, still generously nice in the way that her mother was to everyone she met.

“I can hear the street noises, otherwise I’d think we’d lost the connection.” She paused again. “Andrea, I really need you to acknowledge what I’m telling you. It’s important.”

Her mouth was still hanging open. The sewer smell that was endemic to her neighborhood had stuck to the back of her nasal passages like a piece of overcooked spaghetti slapped onto a kitchen cabinet.

Another car horn blared. Another woman screamed for help. Another ball of sweat rolled down Andy’s back and pooled in the waistband of her underwear. The elastic was torn where her thumb went when she pulled them down.

Andy still could not recall how she’d managed to force herself out of her stupor, but she remembered the words she had finally said to her mother: “I’m coming home.”

You can buy Pieces of Her from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My favourite Psychological Thriller Book-To-Film Adaptations By Sam Carrington

Sam Carrington By James HuntleyOn the book tour for Sam Carrington’s new book called ‘One Little Lie, Sam talks about her favourite book to film adaptations.

I chose to write in the psychological thriller/crime genre because I am fascinated by the human mind and love nothing more than exploring the darker side of our nature. So, it probably goes without saying that I also love watching psychological films! I have hundreds of DVDs and can watch my favourite films again and again. (Weirdly, I have only ever re-read one book so far in my life – and that was To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – but don’t tell anyone).

I do still consider myself to be a ‘book person’, though, and if a book has been made into a film, I have generally much preferred the book. It’s still my dream that one of my novels will be adapted for the screen someday – I can only imagine how amazing it must be to witness your characters truly coming to life. With each book I’ve written, I’ve had a ‘dream cast’ in my head who would, in my opinion, be the best at playing each of my characters.

But, despite usually favouring the book, I have enjoyed some film adaptations immensely. Here, in order of preference, are my top five:

Shutter Island – is a best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane published by HarperCollins in April 2003. It became an American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Dicaprio in 2010. I loved the twists and turns in this movie and that ending was a real ‘wow’ moment!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – is the first book in the trilogy known as the Millennium series written by the late Stieg Larsson and published in Sweden in 2005. It became a Swedish thriller in 2009 and was also a Hollywood film adaptation in 2011. I watched both versions and much preferred the Swedish one. Lisbeth Salander was one of the most original characters I’d read about and I wondered how well she’d be played. I think her brilliant, yet damaged character, transferred well to the screen and Noomi Rapace did a stellar job and even looked just as I’d imagined Lisbeth to look.

Gone Girl – is a psychological thriller by Gillian Flynn. It was published by Crown Publishing group in June 2012. The film was released in 2014 directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. I enjoyed the book, although it did take me a while to get into it – but I actually liked the film more! (Now, THAT doesn’t happen very often). I thought Amy’s character was well portrayed by Pike, she captured her disturbing nature perfectly. Of course, having read the book first, I knew the twist – but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of the film and there was a scene that even I found shocking! The ending has been discussed a lot by readers of the novel – and was somewhat controversial. But I like that.

The Girl on the Train – is a psychological thriller novel by Paula Hawkins, published by Doubleday in the UK in 2015. The film was released in 2016 with Emily Blunt taking the lead role of Rachel, and although the location changed from England to the USA (which I think was a shame) I was pleasantly surprised with the how the film managed to stick quite closely to the book.

Along Came a Spider – the first novel in James Patterson’s series about forensic psychologist Alex Cross was first published in 1993. It was adapted into a film in 2001, starring Morgan Freeman as Cross. The film received very mixed reviews, mainly due to the fact it failed to include some of the key plot points from the book. However, as film adaptations go I thought it was a good one and it kept me interested from the outset. And anyway, can Morgan Freeman ever do a bad film?

You can buy One Little Lie from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 6th September 2018.

The Forgotten Guide To Happiness By Sophie Jenkins

The Forgotten Guide To Happiness‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’ is Sophie Jenkins debut novel

Twenty-eight-year-old Lana Green has never been good at making friends. She’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. Or at least, that’s what she tells herself. Nancy Ellis Hall was once a celebrated writer. Now eighty, she lives alone in her North London house, and thinks she’s doing just fine. But dementia is loosening Nancy’s grip on the world. When Lana and Nancy become unconventional house mates, their lives will change in ways they never expected. But can an unusual friendship rescue two women who don’t realise they need to be saved?

‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’ is a beautifully poignant and witty story that really grabbed my attention throughout. The story is seen through the narrative of Lana, a successful author who is struggling with her follow up second novel. Having suffered a recent heartbreak, she’s finding it difficult to write an upbeat story of love and positivity much to the dismay of her agent and bank balance. Finding herself not only broke but broken, she starts a new career as a romantic lecturer as well as becoming a carer for Nancy Ellis Hall, a literary icon on the cusp of dementia. Her step-son has stepped in as a reluctant hero to help Lana research her book as well as prove that heroes do exist.

This is a lovely story, Lana is a funny and regularly had been laughing at her anecdotes and crazy situations, as she relaxed into her new job as a lecturer and teaching others around her about love, even though she has given up on the concept after being left heartbroken. Nancy is a boisterous character that really lit up the pages of the story, outspoken, creative and deliciously kind hearted, it was hard not to fall in love with the old dear as she spoke frankly of love and her own experiences. She becomes across as quite a hardhearted character, but she’s actually quiet vulnerable and hides behind this facade. Scenes between her and Lana are wonderfully funny and occasionally tender moments. Whilst Jack, the budding hero of the story is quite a charismatic gentleman who is out to prove to Lana, that there are still some heroes in the world.

Wonderfully lighthearted but deliciously fun, ‘The Forgotten Guide To Happiness’, is an entertaining story of friendship and new beginnings.

You can buy The Forgotten Guide to Happiness from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 9th August 2018.

The New Girl Book Tour – Extract

The New GirlSit back and enjoy an thriliing extract from Ingrid Alexandra’s chilling new book called ‘The New Girl’.

The wine is cool and crisp as it passes my lips and, after a couple more sips, the familiar warmth curls in my stomach like a cat settling in for the night. Humming a catchy tune I heard on the radio, I flip through the mail.

An estate agent advertisement, the electricity bill and a letter, the one with the brown stain on it, addressed to someone named Sophia Gates. It’s the second time this person’s mail has arrived here; Sophia Gates must have been the previous tenant. I toss the letter into the recycling, take a long pull of wine and then pause, rubbing a finger along my lips.

I knew someone named Sophia once. Or Sophie, maybe. I think for a moment but my mind’s cloudy, and I can’t remember anyone specific. It’s probably no one important, yet I have that feeling I get at times, like I’m supposed to remember something but there’s a brick wall in my mind and my thoughts stop there. A blank space, as I’ve come to call it.

My wine’s nearly gone and no one’s home yet, so I top up my glass with a bottle from the laundry. I go to my room, sit at my desk and flip open my laptop. I check my email, trawl through my newsfeed. Without planning to, I google the name Sophia Gates. Images, Facebook pages and LinkedIn accounts pop up, but I don’t recognise anyone. I’m being stupid, paranoid as usual. It must just be a coincidence.

‘Any mail?’ Cat’s voice calls from the kitchen, startling me. I hadn’t heard the door.

‘On the coffee table!’ I tell her, gulping a mouthful before hiding the glass under the desk.

Just a short taster, that really leaves you wanting more.

You can buy The New Girl from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 4th October 2018.