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Just My Luck Publication Day

Adele ParksI’m delighted to have an interview with one of my favourite authors, Adele Parks on the publication day of her new book called ‘Just My Luck’.

  1. Can you tell us a bit about your new book called ‘Just My Luck’
    It is the story about a group of friends who have been extremely close since they met at a baby group fifteen years ago. They do the lottery every week as a syndicate and over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

    But one week a tiff turns into a terrible rift – we don’t know what they are quarrelling about. Two of the three couples leave the syndicate but the very next week the numbers come up and Lexi and Jake have the winning ticket worth 18 million pounds! The others go to extreme lengths to try to get a share of the money. It is a novel that looks at what money can and can’t buy, should and certainly should not buy!

    Like ‘I Invited Her In’ and ‘Lies Lies Lies’ this is a dark novel that looks at loyalty, betrayal, friendship, and fidelity. It’s full of secrets and revelations. I hope readers are going to completely invest in the characters and plot.

  2. You’ve been an author for over 20 years, initially writing female fiction and then moving into suspense, why the change of genre?
    My female heroes were never sweetness and light looking for tall, dark and handsome, I have always written characters who are damaged or flawed and somewhat dark, even if my earlier writing was lighter (sometimes comedic). So, it wasn’t really a case of me turning from one thing to another, more of a development.

    'Just My Luck

    I think I have always just written what I wanted to read, what felt natural and relevant at the time. My personality, life-stage, age, ambition all influenced the tone. In my earlier books, the catalyst for action was often falling in or out of love and trying to understand that. Now, my character arcs often evolve through a more negative or challenging life experience (infertility, alcoholism, a toxic friendship, a death), experiences that generally speaking come later in life.

    I guess now I write less about choice and more about consequence (because that’s my mind shift), I think my work simply became darker because of that.

  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Jane Fallon, Tasmina Perry, Nicola Moriarty, Lisa Jewell and Claire Mackintosh – off the top of my head – but there are dozens of writers I admire and enjoy the company of. We would probably have to have lots of lovely food (and possibly the odd glass of champers) at this book club! Oh, it sounds fabulous, I think I’ll start one!

  4. If you had the option of one of your books being adapted for screen, which one would you choose and who would play the characters?
    ‘Just My Luck’ has been optioned for screen so that is incredibly exciting! There are so many incredibly talented actors out there. There is a whole list of people I would be honoured to see play the role. Imagine if Amy Adams was Lexi! She’d be wonderful!

  5. Finally, how are you coping with lockdown? Have you discovered any new skills or authors?
    Lockdown does not really affect my life Monday to Friday, daytime because I have worked from home for 20 years. However, like everyone, I miss going out in the evenings and at weekends, I miss my family. I haven’t seen my parents or sister since January. I miss my friends and colleagues, my gym, restaurants etc etc! And, as you can imagine, a lockdown launch is presenting challenges but it is also presenting opportunities to be creative. I think it’s important to look at the pluses. I’m enjoying the unexpected bonus of having my son home from uni, I love spending time with him. Although, at the same time, I am really sorry for him and all young people. I think lockdown is harder the younger you are. It’s a time of your life when you should be entitled to fly. I think the new skills I am developing is patience and biting my tongue.

    You can buy ‘Just My Luck’ from Amazon and will be availble to buy from good bookshops.

    Follow Adele’s publication day excitement on Twitter, or wish her happy publication day yourself!

The Dilemma By B.A. Paris

The DilemmaB.A. Paris is back with a new book called ‘The Dilemma’.

It’s Livia’s fortieth birthday and tonight she’s having a party, a party she’s been planning for a long time. The only person missing will be her daughter, Marnie. But Livia has a secret, a secret she’s been keeping from Adam, her husband, until the party is over. Because how can she tell him that although she loves Marnie, she’s glad their daughter won’t be there to celebrate with her? Adam is determined everything will be just right for Livia and the party is going to be perfect… until he learns something that will leave him facing an unbearable decision. One day that will change a family forever.

Queen of suspense, BA Paris is back with a new domestic drama that I consumed in one day! Filled with twists and turns, the only time I could put the book down was when I stopped for tea.

As per BA’s previous novels, the story starts at the moment that something huge has happened and then travels back to the point leading up to it.

I really enjoyed this story, the duel narratives and insights gave a clever twist to the story that really did grab my attention. Seen from the narrative of husband and wife Livia and Adam, Livia finds out something terrible about her daughter and doesn’t want to ruin or cancel her party whilst Adam also finds out something terrible and also doesn’t want to ruin the day that his wife has wished for. It makes for interesting reading as the couple try to enjoy a significant day in their lives, but both are harbouring secrets that make it unbearable for each other.

I thought Livia was an interesting character who put much thought and effort into her 40th birthday party to make up for the small wedding that she had when she was younger and how Adam supported her on this flamboyant affair. But on a day that is meant to be memorable for happy reasons, is a day that both partners find themselves battling with morals and when to do the right thing.

An unique and fast paced thriller that really got inside my head about secrets, morals and relationships, BA has produced a book that stays with the reader long after they read the last page. ‘The Dilemma’ is a clever and emotional story that was riddled with drama tension throughout and had me racing through the pages

You can buy ‘The Dilemma’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My Top 12 Books Of 2019

My Top 12 Books Of 2019

Every year, I spend some time looking over my reviews of the books from that were published during that year and find myself faced with the same quandary. What have been my favourite books? The books that I recommended, enjoyed and passed onto friends to share the experience.

2019 has been no different, it’s a cracking year for debuts, ‘The Silent Patient’, ‘The Flat Share’ and ‘The Truth and Triumphs of Grace Atherton’ were all fantastic books that have soared through the books charts

After ten years of writing, C.L. Taylor received numerous accolades for her book called ‘Sleep’ and who can forget that sunny day in July when I read both ‘Those People’ and ‘The Family Upstairs’.

This was initially a list of my top 5 books of 2019, then it became my top 10 before finally becoming a top 12 books of 2019.

So, if you’re looking for some ideas for the book lover in your life, then look no further!

1. ‘Lies Lie Lies’ by Adele Parks
2. ‘The Passengers’ by John Marrs
3. ‘The Truths and Triumphs of Grace Atherton’ by Anstey Harris
4. ‘The Family Upstairs’ by Lisa Jewell
5. ‘Blood Orange’ by Harriet Tyce
6. ‘Those People’ by Louise Candlish
7. ‘Half a World Away’ by Mike Gayle
8. ‘Tell Me Your Secret’ by Dorothy Koomson
9. ‘Sleep’ by C.L. Taylor
10. ‘Louis and Louise’ by Julie Cohen
11. ‘The Flat Share’ by Beth O’Leary
12. ‘The Silent Patient’ by Alex Michaelides

The Perfect Widow By AM Castle

The Perfect Widow‘The Perfect Widow’ is the latest book by AM Castle.

A loving husband, Patrick. Two adorable children. A comfortable home. So when PC Becca Holt arrives to break the news that Patrick has been killed in an accident, she thinks Louise’s perfect world is about to collapse around her. But Louise doesn’t react in the way Becca would expect her to on hearing of her husband’s death. And there are only three plates set out for dinner, as if Louise already knew Patrick wouldn’t be home that night… The more Becca digs, the more secrets she uncovers in the Bridges’ marriage – and the more she wonders just how far Louise would go to get what she wants…

This is first book that I’ve read by AM Castle and it’s a well plotted and cleverly written story that really keeps the reader on their toes.

The story is seen through the narrative of Louise Bridges, a woman who has received the tragic news that he husband has been killed in a car accident, as well as the police officer Becca, who delivered the news to Louise and seems to believe that there is more to Louise than meets the eye.

Written in the past and present tense, we meet Louise, a determined young woman who fell for her boss Patrick and finally managed to get the life that she always dreamed off, stability, money and a family having grown up in an abusive home. But one day, she discovers that the life that the life that she had worked hard for, is about to be taken away and will do all that she can to protect herself and her two children. Whilst Becca, is convinced that Louise knows about her husband’s death than she let’s on and finds herself going above her pay grade to find out. She’s an obsessive and also determined woman to find out all she can about Louise.

As a fan of psychological thrillers, this book is definitely up there. The characters are interesting and relatable with the charismatic husband, who women flock over and Louise, who I felt such a strong empathy for. She’s complex and quite awkward at times, wanting to be accepted and to fit in and this all stems back to her troubled childhood. I liked Becca, she’s a bit of an underdog to the story, she’s not respected by her peers, she’s determined to prove her gut instinct is right, even when more senior officials say that she is wrong.

With an excellent storyline and insight into the complexity of human nature, ‘The Perfect Widow’ is a well crafted and plotted story, with twists, suspense and unreliable characters that keeps the reader on their toes, I look forward to more books by AM Castle.

You can buy ‘The Perfect Widow’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 23rd January 2020.

Her Perfect Lies By Lana Newton

Her Perfect Lies‘Her Perfect Lies’ is the latest book by Lana Newton.

When Claire Wright wakes in hospital, she doesn’t recognise the person staring back at her in the mirror. She’s told that she has the perfect life: she’s beautiful, famous, with a husband and a house to die for. But Claire can’t remember anything from before the devastating car crash that’s left her injured. And now she’s surrounded by strangers, saying they’re her family and friends. As Claire discovers the person she used to be she must also unravel the mystery that surrounds the accident. But the more Claire uncovers, the more she will be forced to face up to the dark secrets from her life before.

This is perfect thriller to get absorbed in and with an unreliable narrator leaves the reader guessing right until the final page.

Seen from the perspective of Claire, who wakes up from a coma after an accident with no memory and having to rely on what friends and family tell her to be true. Led to believe that the life she has is perfect, Claire begins to question her life especially after her father also wakes up from a coma having been involved in the same accidents and also makes her doubt everything that she was led to believe.

As the story progresses, we see a different side to Claire, prior to her accident she was a successful ballet dancer, she wasn’t the nicest of people to her family and friends and as people remind her of her old life, it gives her time to reflect and try to piece together her life and the memories and dreams that haunt her. In an unhappy marriage, she struggles to make sense of what is real and what she is led to believe.

The story isn’t that long and could be absorbed in one sitting. Cleverly written with a character that you initially feel an empathy for due to her situation, you begin to change your opinion of her as people relieve what type of person she was before the accident, vain and unfaithful. She’s not quite the perfect girl that her father tells her.

As Claire tries to piece together her old and new life, she finds herself revealing secrets that were long hidden from her life and coincidentally puts her own life at risk.

Thrilling with drama, suspicious characters and twists throughout, ‘Her Perfect Lies’ is a fantastic psychological thriller that made for unpredictable reading.

You can buy ‘Her Perfect Lies’ from Amazon.