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What Lies Within By Annabelle Thorpe

What Lies Within‘What Lies Within’ is the latest book by Annabelle Thorpe.

Freya, Paul and Hamad. Three friends from two different worlds; a seemingly unshakeable bond, suddenly under threat.
A move that would change all their lives. The trio have stayed close since university despite Freya and Paul’s marriage and Hamad’s wealthy lifestyle – so different from their own. Then an incredible job offer from Hamad sees Paul and Freya move to Morocco. A city where nothing is as it seems Marrakech soon proves a perplexing place to live. Instead of reinvigorating their marriage, Freya finds the move is driving them apart. Revelations about their shared past force her to acknowledge that neither Paul nor Hamad is quite the man she thought. When a shocking crime is committed, Freya finds herself cast adrift in the dark corners of a bewildering city, unsure who to trust or to believe.

Set against the exotic location of Marrakech, this story is seen from the perspective of married couple Freya and Paul and their best friend Hamad, the couple have recently moved to the city, after receiving a mysterious invite from their best friend Hamad, which results in both getting new jobs in the bustling city. Freya is hoping that that the new city, will help their troubled marriage but it seems to driving the couple further apart.

As Freya throws herself into her new job, writing the memoirs for Hamad’s glamourous grandmother’s Edith, a woman who’s on the cusp of dementia but wants to share the memories and dramas of life before it’s too late. But as Freya delves into the Edith’s life, she begins to unravel secrets and lies that were buried deep long ago.

Meanwhile, Paul is working on a new project of redesigning three houses, but it seems that something sinister and supernatural at work preventing him, with a guilty conscience and a heavy workload, Paul is strugglng.

A complex and claustrophobic story about the dark side of expat life and the loniness of settling in, ‘What Lies Within’ is a cleverly written tale about love and deceit. Beautifully descriptive in parts, that made me want to jump on a plane this exotic tale was impossible to put down.

You can buy What Lies Within from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

I’ll Eat When I’m Dead By Barbara Bourland

I'll Eat When I'm Dead‘I’ll Eat When I’m Dead’ is Barbara Bourland’s debut novel.

Everyone thinks Hillary starved to death – but Cat knows her friend’s dieting wasn’t a capital P problem. If beauty kills, it’d take more than that. Hot-headed and fiercely feminist, Cat’s sure she can match the investigating skills of Detective Mark Hutton, solve the case, and achieve sartorial fulfillment.But going undercover, Cat’s in over her head, and soon becomes snared in a very stylish web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that will change her look – and outlook – forever.

This book has been described as ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ meets ‘American Psycho’ and that would be a statement that I agree with. It is based in the busy and competitive environment of Rage book, a popular lifestyle and culture magazine where there is constant pressure to succeed.

When Hilary, a leading member of staff is found dead in suspicious circumstances. Cat, a staff member and friend of Hilary, is still unconvinced about her friends death. On this journey with the help of the handsome detective Matt Hutton, Cat discovers the dark world of journalism and fashion and how it’s not all just about flashing lights and glamour.

With sass and reeking of attitude, this book delivers a clever plot line with a investigative twists. As Cat and Matt delve further in Hilary’s death, they uncover a world hidden away from the public eye.

Filled with glamour and wit, this book highlights the pressure of this high paced job and sometimes it’s not as rewarding as public are lead to believe.

Barbara’s writing is fast paced delivered with a funny quips along the way that made for enjoyable reading. The wide range of characters are vibrant and engaging that made for gripping reading.

With an eye catching title and gripping plot line, ‘I’ll Eat When I’m Dead’ is an honest but humorous story about the pressure of journalism, that was fun to read from start to finish.

You can buy I’ll Eat When I’m Dead from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Special Girls By Isabelle Grey

The Special Girls‘The Special Girls’ is the third book in the D.I. Grace Fisher series.

A doctor is found beaten to death in woods close to a summer camp for young women with eating disorders. The camp is run by the charismatic Professor Chesham. DI Grace Fisher is called in, but is quickly pulled from the investigation – to head up a cold case inquiry involving Chesham himself. Some years earlier, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her. As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to the special girls – and the danger they are still in. D.I. Grace Fisher is back with another thrilling and unique case to investigate where everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted.

In this gripping tale, Grace has been called in to investigate a murder case when a psychotherapist is found mysteriously dead in the woods whilst out on an expedition with his patients. Whilst investigating this case, Grace ends up delving into an unsolved case of sexual abuse from over twenty years ago where allegations where made but where not followed up.

The story follows from the perspective of DI Grace Fisher, her journalist friend Ivo and a man called Clive, who suspects that is teenage daughter was the victim of sexual assault. As Grace Fisher investigates the murder, she finds out that all the girls who were at expedition, are all sufferers of eating disorders and this adventure is way of helping them deal with it. The adventure is organised by Professor Ned’s Chesham’s, a highly respected academic who has helped many girls with eating disorders and is just about to receive a knighthood for all his hard work, but it seems that Ned isn’t quite the hero that he’s made out to be when allegations of sexual abuse are made against him.

I really enjoyed this story, Isabelle has written a cleverly weaved and gripping tale that really engages the audiences attention and the different perspectives make for insightful reading. There’s the police perspective as Grace looks into the current and old cases piecing together clues and information that were overlooked many years ago, there’s also the human interest angle as she tackles the sensitive nature of child abuse, whilst Ivo is Grace’s useful source of information, helping to uncover stories and find people that may not want to be found. Finally, there’s Clive, a heartbroken father, who’s at his wits end as he fears that his troubled daughter was the victim of sexual abuse and that’s why she is so angry. It’s quite heartbreaking to read Clive’s parts in the story, as he feels that he failed his daughter and was unable to protect her.

A dark and troubled tale that deals with many issues that makes for chilling reading, ‘The Special Girls’ is an uncomfortably realistic and compassionate story that was impossible to put down.

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

Quercus Books Reissue Thursdays In The Park By Hilary Boyd

'Thursdays In The ParkTo celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hilary Boyd’s, successful ebook ‘Thursdays In The Park’, Quercus are reissuing the book featuring reading group questions and the first chapter of Hilary’s beautiful new book, ‘The Lavender House’.

The story of ‘Thursdays In The Park’ is

Jeanie has been married for thirty years, but her husband George has become so cold and distant she may as well be alone. Surely, at just sixty, a loveless marriage can’t be the only thing left on the horizon? Then, one Thursday in autumn, Jeanie meets Ray in the park, and a chance meeting blossoms into a friendship.

They talk, laugh, share hopes and secrets and heartbreaks.

They offer each other a second chance at life and love.

But will they have the courage to take it?

Originally released in ebook in 2011, Thursdays in the Park became a #1 Kindle bestseller, at one point overtaking Fifty Shades of Grey. It sold over half a million copies in ebook as well as over 60,000 paperbacks. ‘Thursdays in the Park’ has been optioned by screenwriter, director and actor Charles Dance with shooting scheduled to begin early next year.

You can buy Thursdays in the Park from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.

Where I Get My Ideas From By Tamara McKinley

Photograph by Joanna CrittendenToday on the book tour for Tamara McKinley’s new novel, ‘Echoes From Afar’, Tamara tells us where she gets her ideas for her stories.

As an author of over 23 novels, I am often asked where I find my ideas. The answer is quite straightforward for I get them everywhere – a snatch of conversation, an image in a photograph, a newspaper headline, or a moment of inspiration in a beautiful place.

Not all my ideas turn into books, but they are mulled over and examined closely until most of them prove impractical and simply fade away. Yet there is always one which stands out. One which refuses to leave and demands to be told as if the tale is being channelled to me by some irresistible force – and that is how I came to write ‘Echoes From Afar’.

My French publisher invited me to attend a book-fair and stay in Paris for a couple of nights to help promote my latest book. Having always loved Paris my husband and I eagerly accepted.

The romance of Paris cannot be denied, and after a very pleasant evening at a reception for my readers and bloggers, my editor suggested a different route back to our hotel. The night was warm, the sky sprinkled with stars that glittered on the fast-flowing Seine, and we walked hand-in-hand along the embankment, drinking in the sights and sounds of our last evening in Paris. As we reached the Pont Neuf we paused to watch the lights twinkle on the Eiffel Tower, and to admire the way the old street-lamps illuminated the cobbled street.

Echoes From AfarI turned away from the river and looked across the narrow street to the line of tall, elegant buildings with their delicately-wrought iron balconies and French windows. As my gaze trawled slowly along them I felt as if I’d drifted into another life-time, for I thought I saw a shadow behind one of those windows – the shadow of a still figure that seemed to be watching us.

I was transfixed as we stared at one another and I realised that my silent watcher was a man who was sitting in a wheel-chair, and it was as if he was reaching out to me, telling me his story and beseeching me to pass it on.

It was one of those rare and magic moments of inspiration which are the life-blood of all authors, and I stood there in awe as his story unfolded seamlessly, and I learned who he was, why he was in a wheelchair, and most importantly, why he maintained his sad, but hopeful vigil over the Pont Neuf.

The moment passed and in the blink of an eye he was gone – the window empty of all but the shifting shadows cast by the moonlit trees. But I knew he’d been there once upon a time; knew his life-story of love and loss and heroism, and knew without a doubt that a book was born. That book is ‘Echoes From Afar’.

You can buy Echoes from Afar from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.