Check this #CoverReveal for The Things I Want To Say But Can’t By Carla Christian #CarlaChristian @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Fiction #ComingSoon

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t
By Carla Christian

The Things I Want To Say But Can't (1)

Today I am on the blog tour to show the cover and some content for the fictional book –The Things I Want To Say By Can’t by Carla Christian. It sounds fascinating. I will then, on the 2nd September, present my review. In the mean-time check out the cover, blurb and about the author. The cover looks so evocative with a face showing through the butterfly. There are also some emotive pictures of the author, taken in Stockholm and Copenhagen when she was there. She resides in the UK, as you can discover below…
I thank Carla Christian and Love Books Tours for inviting me and providing the content.

What I Want to Say Cover

 

Blurb

‘A lifetime of endings, a million goodbyes. None of them right. It’s funny what you remember when you’ve got nothing else to think about. All those things you should’ve said while you had the chance. You never learned, did you? You never, ever learned.’

Belle has a habit of losing things. Her friends. Her lovers. Her mind.

Everything ends eventually, or at least that’s what life has taught her. But what if everything she lost came back again? What if she got a chance to finally have her say? To face her past. To put things right.

Second chances aren’t easy when memories are all you have. So, when Belle invites the nightmares of her past back in, is she willing to deal with the consequences? Because maybe, just maybe, this time she’s getting what she deserves.

About the Author

Carla Christian lives in the Lake District in the North of England. A busy working mum of two teenagers, she has a passion for writing, art and travel, and these interests have been a part of her for as long as she can remember. 

Constantly inspired by both the good and the bad in the world around her, she spends much of her time creating in one way or another; be it painting canvases for the blank walls of her new home, sketching pictures to capture memories of the many travel adventures she’s been lucky enough to go on, baking fantastical cakes with her daughter, or writing endless beginnings to a million unfinished stories.

The Things I Want To Say But Can’t is her first novel.

Review of #MustRead – Before I Say I Do by Vicki Bradley @vbradleywriter @simonschusterUK #RandomThingsTours #CrimeFiction #Thriller #MustRead #Reviews

Before I Say I Do
By Vikki Bradley
Rated: 5 Stars *****

I am so delighted and happy to be on this blog tour for Before I Say I Do. I am so thrilled to be able to share this treat of a book with you. You’re in for a book that is addictive to read, a book that twists one way and then another, a book where the bride is far from your average woman about to be married and has dark, dark secrets. They are the darkest secrets and just who is the bride really and where is her groom? This is a psychological thriller that you will see time runaway from you as you read and you may well just have a need to discover the answers. It’s a great book for your tbr pile (to be read pile)  Read on to discover the blurb and my full review…

It is also with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to the publisher Simon Schuster for supplying me with a print/physical copy of the book.

About the Author

Before I Say I Do Vicki Bradley Author PicVicki Bradley is a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. She
has had a varied career, as a uniformed response driver in Brent and then as a detective Constable in Southwark CID. She has managed High Risk Sex Offenders and worked on the Serious Organised Crime Command. She is currently on a 5-year career break to focus on her writing. Vicki completed a Creative Writing MA at City University in 2016. Before I Say I Do won the Write Here, Right Now competition, came 3rd in the First Novel Prize and has been shortlisted for the Virago New Crime Writer 2017 and Peters Fraser and Dunlop Prize 2016. She enjoys travelling the world and climbing
mountains. Vicki lives in London with her husband.

Before I Say I Do Cover

Blurb

Winner of the inaugural Write here, Right Now Prize 2018, in partnership with the
Bradford Literature Festival.

Her dream wedding is about to become her worst nightmare Julia is nervous and it’s not just because she’s about to get married. There’s a lot that her soonto-be husband, Mark, doesn’t know – and she is determined to keep it that way.
As she walks down the aisle, spotting Mark is his tailored suit, she knows she is taking her first steps to happiness- her past can’t catch her now. He turns to face her…
But it isn’t Mark in the beautiful suit – it’s his best man. Because Mark is missing.
And Julia’s past is closer than she thinks.

Before I Say I Do Cover

Review

Firstly the by-line To Have, To Hold, To Hurt, sets this thriller up so well, as does the stunning cover. Like a bride with her groom, I am in the clutches of the book from the first page. The book joins readers up with Julie Talbot on her wedding day to Mark along with best friend and bridesmaid – Lucy Webb. From as early as the first chapter the intrigue heightens and you know there’s something in Julie’s past and there is one sentence, about wondering if the registrar knows something, that hooks you in even more. It is by far a normal wedding day, not with a missing groom, who Alana Loxton, recently demoted MIT officer to CID officer, is on the case to discover what happened, along with DC Dominik Kowalski. This is a fast-paced book that goes wonderfully between the bride and her feelings and  the investigation into Mark’s mysterious disappearance as CID search for clues as to what may have happened, until the two collide and her past catches up with her. The writing is excellent, from the emotions to the detailing of what is going on. Before you know it, you’ve reached page 100 and just keep reading as someone from the past turns up.
The book also goes a bit into forensics, which is good. It all gives a full picture to the investigation.

The tension ramps up as the story progresses, as does the murkiness of Julia’s past and who she used to be associated with. I won’t spoil it for you as to what her past actually entails as it is part of the crux of this story, which twists one way and then another. The bride – Julia Talbot, as readers will discover is not exactly your average bride as more dark, dark secrets come into the forefront as you will discover as you read it and also discover more about Johnathon Cane and where he fits into her past as it all get more and more sinister. The senetence structure to build the tension works so well. To put the book down is like when something is so hot, it sticks to your skin and hard to release. This book is hard to put down. The climax is quite something to behold and will leave you sighing with relief from the tension when you’re done.

This is such a great book, a must read book even, from this debut novelist, that will have you clutching onto it, tight, until it finishes, like an ordinary bride would with her groom.

Before I Say I Do BT Poster

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman @CharityNorman1 @AllenAndUnwin #TheSecretsofStrangers #RandomThingsTours #Thriller #CrimeFiction #BlogTour #Review #MustRead

The Secrets of Strangers
by Charity Norman
Rated: 5 stars *****

Tense, compelling, touching, The Secret of Strangers is an excellent read. I can well see why the author has made it to the Radio 2 Bookclub and with a previous book – The Richard and Judy Bookclub. It is with thanks to the publisher Allen & Unwin that I have the great opportunity for reviewing The Secrets of Strangers – a stand-alone novel. It’s a Must Read thriller set in a cafe and one, I am ecstatic to share with you as a tale of one gunman and three hostages unfolds. I loved this book so, so much!!! Read on for more info and my full review, that I’ve approached from a slightly different angle this time of writing it.

About the Author

The Secret of Strangers Charity Norman Author PicCharity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. THE SECRETS OF STRANGERS is her sixth novel.

 

Secrets of Strangers Cover

Blurb

A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers whose paths cross in a London café – their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.

But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Will the secrets they keep stop them from escaping with their lives?

Another tense, multi-dimensional drama from the writer of the Richard & Judy bestseller After the Fall.

Review

This book is absolutely terrific and so unputdownable. Sleep eluded me. I didn’t want to get to the end because I seriously didn’t want to have to leave this book and yet I really, really needed to see how it would all end. It was seriously that good and it’s a book I imagine I will read again someday. I was pulled into this book gripping book within the first few pages and time knew no bounds as it ticked on by as the pages turned ever so easily from one to the next, never stopping to look at a clock.

Told through 6 main characters – Abi, Eliza, Mutesi, Sam, Neil, Rosie as they more or less take on the chapters, this is a captivating book which is incredibly well-written and the more I read, the more I want to keep going through the intensity of what is ultimately an eloquently told story within the premise of a hostage situation in a cafe. This is a story of the time of being taken hostage and the very human story surrounding this and how people get to know each other a little more and about the secrets they have.

Meet the characters:

Neil is quickly established as being homeless, but used to work for a company making medical equipment. He used to be a teacher prior to being made homeless and has quite a story to tell.

Abi works as a barrister and has worked on many cases. She has also been struggling to conceive, even with IVF with Charlie. It’s emotive.

Mutesi cleans in the church – St. Judes and is a nurse in a carehome and you wonder what more there is to her, which is discovered in the book.

Eliza works for the MET in the serious crime unit and is also a hostage negotiator. She has a family – a teenage son and a husband – Richard who is self-employed. It was all love at first sight, whilst travelling on a train on the beautiful East Coast Railway. A line I have travelled often on, as has many people. She has quite a role to play as is involved in negotations.

Sam at 8 years old, helps around his parent’s farm and is keen to be a farmer and less keen on school, where he gets support for his dyslexia. I do love how his dad likes when the school is on summer holidays and comes across as having a terrific attitude to them. This is until tragedy strikes. Everything changed! Psychologically everything changed. There is a powerful theme within that, handled sensitively and so well as destruction ensues. More secrets come out and there’s some cause and effect that is presented in the story. There’s some sinister goings on with him being manipulated for years. It is interesting to see how and why he ends up where he is as an adult.

Rosie – despises her dad- until she really needs his help that is and is interesting how that unfolds

The rest of my thoughts on what is an exceptional book

There’s a lovely sounding cafe called Tuckbox, whose usual hustle and bustle is disturbed one day when a gun man walks in and the atmosphere rapidly changes and there’s a real sense of urgency in the writing as circumstances change.

 The tension that builds is just phenomenal, as is the clarity of writing and that with the music references that are scattered throughout works so well together.
What else that is is so great about reading this book, is it is so easy to follow because it flows so well from character to character. The book really is like looking into The Tuckshop Cafe and seeing exactly where each character is and what’s happening in each of their lives at every step of the hostage situation they find themselves in.

You feel the anguish of each person as the hostage situation builds and also at times, an almost claustrophobic atmosphere as they try and find hiding places to keep safe. Also as tension builds up, so do the characters as readers get a deeper insight into their lives.

There’s the sense of danger and delicacy of negotiating the hostage taker, that is written so naturally and well.

What else can be said, except, this is an exceptional book that I highly recommend as a Must Read.

Do follow the rest of the tour too.

The Secrets of Strangers BT Poster

 

#Review of What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott @stephaniewscott @wnbooks #WhatsLeftOfMeIsYours #RandomThingsTours #PsychologicalThriller #BlogTour #Debut #CrimeFiction #Fiction #Mustread

What’s Left of Me is Yours
By Stephanie Scott
Rated: 4 Stars ****

 

This is a blog tour I was particularly interested in joining because it is a fictional piece, absolutely based on fact, on a newspaper article seen in the Times in 2010. It’s a story with a humanity about it, but is also a wonderfully presented psychological as it builds up the picture of what happened to Rina. With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto her blog tour, and for the publisher for supplying a print/physical copy of this book, that I must say, has a beautiful, elegant cover that draws the eye in.
So today I present my review of the newly published book What’s Left of Me is Yours by Stephanie Scott. Please also find below, a short piece, that goes further into what inspired her to write this story. I’ve given it 4 stars, but it is so close to being 5 for me in my opinion.

Whats Left of Me is Yours BT Poster.png

 

stephanie scott is a Singaporean-British writer who was born and raised in South East Asia. She read English Literature at the Universities of York and Cambridge and holds an M.St in Creative Writing from Oxford University.
She was awarded a British Association of Japanese Studies Toshiba Studentship for her anthropological work on WHAT’S LEFT OF ME IS YOURS and has been made a member of the British Japanese Law Association as a result of her research.
She has won the A.M. Heath Prize, the Jerwood Arvon Prize for Prose Fiction, and runner up in the Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award for an early draft of the manuscript.

Blurb

A gripping debut set in the Japanese marriage break-up industry and inspired by a true crime, from award-winning debut novelist Stephanie Scott.
Within the Tokyo underworld there is an industry which exists to break up marriages. It is known today as wakaresaseya – agents who, for a fee, can be hired by one spouse to seduce the other and provide grounds for divorce on favourable terms.
When Satō hires Kaitarō, a wakaresaseya agent, to have an affair with his wife, Rina, he assumes it will be an easy case. But Satō has never truly understood Rina or her desires and Kaitarō’s job is to do exactly that–until he does it too well. While Rina remains ignorant of the circumstances that brought them together, she and Kaitarō fall in a desperate, singular love, setting in motion a series of violent acts that will forever haunt her daughter’s life.
As Rina’s daughter, Sumiko, fills in the gaps of her mother’s story and her own memory, Scott probes the thorny psychological and moral grounds of the actions we take in the name of love, asking where we draw the line between passion and possession.

“A Beautiful Debut” says Louise Doughty on the cover (author of the very successful Apple Tree Yard and other novels).

What's Left Of Me - Cover

Review

Firstly, let’s start with that cover, so beautiful, so full of curiosities and elegant. This book is eloquently written as it takes readers into the landscape of Japan and sensitively forms a story that inspired by reality, but is a work of fiction. 

This a psychological that asks just where is the line drawn between healthy love and unhealthy possession. It shows the blurring of those lines through a few points of views and how this can lead up to such tragic consequences. It’s also a story of an actual, shocking industry that exists to break up marriages. It’s quite a hidden underworld I had no knowledge of, until I read this. The book sometimes also reads like it could be real with police incident reports also included, throughout as the story unfolds. I feel they play an important part to the narrative.

Kaitaro wants Rina (Sarashima’s mother) to return to photography and even buys her an expensive camera and already, near the beginning you can see a little bit of tension. Then readers will meet Shamiko, entering a legal career at the bar in Tokyo.
This is essentially a book in search of truth. The truth of what happened to Ms Sarashima’s mother and her determination to seek it as she speaks to people who may have worked on the original case within the justice system in the courthouse.

Some of what occurs is especially chilling within this mysterious story, that looks like has been well researched as it shows off some, perhaps lesser known parts of Japanese culture.

The book is a rich tapestry as it shows through a few characters eyes what happened. Within that, it also shows Rina’s life first hand and how she met Kaitaro and the seeming, romance of it all and how she sadly met her demise. 

There is mostly a satisfying enough conclusion as facts are discovered and lives move onwards. It is definitely one I am pleased is at least as interesting and good as I had hoped. It was a book that had a premise that captured my attention as soon as I had heard about it and on the whole, it held my attention. All in all, this is a very good debut novel, that is worth investing time in.

 

The Inspiration

‘In 2010 I read an article in The Times on a murder case in Tokyo where a marriage break-up agent had strangled his lover when she discovered his true profession and threatened to leave him. The agent was arrested at the scene and swiftly confessed, but as he was speaking to police detectives he said “I loved her. I love her still.” And it was this, the humanity of the original story which drew me. The agent claimed that he had felt trapped by all the lies he had told his target over the course of their relationship, but that he had truly come to love her, that he could not live without her. I was just newly married at the time and I wondered if what he had said was true – could you truly love someone and kill them?’

Talk with William Shaw and Jo Spain@william1shaw @SpainJoanne @sophieglorita #bookevent #TheLockdown #MondayMotivaton #CrimeFiction

Today author William Shaw was joined by Dublin based author and scriptwriter Jo Spain. Normally I take notes and then write it up like a day later or so, but I thought I would write as I watched and get it published as soon after as I could, so advance apologies if it all looks a bit rushed or doesn’t quite read as well in parts.

Crime writer and scriptwriter. Did an original show for RTE. She is doing a few author’s books for screen.

A book and screen are two different things in the way they are worked it would seem, Completely different in fact as it’s all about showing and also everyone in the tv production saying what is required. 

So far things have come quickly to screen for Jo Spain.

Sophie and First Monday Crime – going for about 5 years. They do book recommendations and Q&As. They talk about accessible films too and watch a film together. This is something everyone can join in with. Here is the link for First Monday Crime

They talked about having to be creative to connect and how work is still going on with how to publicise books and with some bookshops closing. I will add here that there are a number of independent bookshops now trading online.

Ssix-wicked-reasons-jo-spain-9781529400274ix Wicked Reasons is a new book by Jo Spain – locked room set on the east coast of Ireland in a grand country house. The head of the household has been killed. They are all coming home for a family celebration as someone disappeared years ago, but returns. The reasons for the murder emerges. It sounds like if you like Agatha Christie, you will enjoy this. There’s a psychological/sociological element and a sense of realism about it with characters you can care about, even though there is a narcissistic father who leaves damage within the family in different ways. The characters sound like people who you’re really going to get to know and why they are how they are and how they are individually marked.

After the Fire
After the fireTom Reynolds is a Chief Super Intendant – this is part of a series, so this is where he eventually becomes promoted to. He has a difference that there is still investigation work. 

 

 

 

 

Sophie talks about an area in London – rainy and quiet. Sadly some boy racers but nature seems lovely with wild garlic.

How Dublin is feeling is maybe strained with homeschooling and little time to write but in general liking daily exercise maybe and not too fazed and having interviews and online drink parties.

Publishing has got good at changing shape and adapting with different circumstances, still conservative in some ways with a flexible industry. More online launches have been pushed by some in marketing with online streaming given the circumstances. They talked about there being scope for different ways of accessing events. I myself love and much prefer to go to an actual book event/festival, but in the circumstance of this, I think it is fine and opens it up to others, who may then try some festivals or other more local events if the huge events aren’t local to you.

With our Blessing by Jo Spain is one to begin with, but can be read as stand-alone too. Dirty Little Secrets is published in May.

Check out William Shaw on FB for other events, if you would like to, (his profile pic is of his book Deadlands). 

Review of Closer To You By Adam Croft – A Pychological Thriller you won’t want to put down until the very end. @adamcroft #PsychologicalThriller #NewBook #Review

Closer To You
By Adam Croft
Rated: 5 stars *****

 

It gives me great pleasure to present my review for Adam Croft’s latest book – Closer To You. Firstly, many congratulations to Adam Croft. This is his publication day. I thank Adam Croft and Joanne Croft for inviting me to review for them and for sending me an e-book proof copy.
Readers are in for a treat of a book that is unputdownable as this psychological thriller unfolds.

Adam Croft Closer To You

What if your loved one wanted you dead?

Grace wants to spend the rest of her life with Tom. She needs to. Because otherwise he’ll kill her.

He’s the perfect gentleman. He’s kind, attentive and caring. Her family love him. And he needs Grace dead. But why?

As the feeling grows that Tom is not as perfect as he seems, he begins to slowly and systematically destroy her life. Can she discover the truth and escape with her life?

Review

Closer To You is a chilling and eloquent thriller that you willl find wanting to be closer to you and indeed have in your grasp.
This is an enthralling, sinister psychological thriller about how someone can play mind games, whilst slowly entrapping the chosen victim.

The cover is perfect for this book. Almost poetic, with a sense of symmetry for what is to come within. The butterfly is used to great effect, almost poetic even, throughout the book.

Grace used to be like a butterfly. Life was going well, she was free and had spread her wings. She wanted love. She met Tom on a dating app. All seems innocent enough, after all, they both want their happy ever after. Tom, having been in a previous relationship, is ready for someone new.

This book, however is by Adam Croft and the front cover depicts a butterfly trapped in a jar. So, this isn’t going to be like a full on romance. It is indeed an all-encompassing, all-powerful psychological journey.
Tom is an intricate, complex character of all loveliness and I imagine him as being very attractive; but underneath all that, is something very different. He is like the jar and she, the butterfly, his butterfly. The butterfly is cleverly used in a few different ways, from the Grace’s position in the relationship, to it being a nickname.

This writing is slick, and yet there is a certain eloquence about it. Adam Croft has cleverly weaved the intelligence and tenderness of the butterfly with the chilling, unsettling part of Tom and the calculated abuse that goes on.

There is a mix of the light, everyday lives of the characters with the calculating, darkness of Tom. This never jars, it always flows well as the days move onwards, always hooking and reeling in, like Tom is reeling in his chosen woman/victim. Although of course you are safer just reading, as nothing will happen to you, except the sense of gladness that you’ve read such an excellent book.

There is a shift when Grace starts to realise what could be happening. There are also very good twists and turns as an ex of Tom’s makes contact via email. This encounter is timely placed and keeps the story moving on as more can be discovered about Tom. Then the story picks up even more intrigue as the search is on for Jess, where there are more unexpected twists and turns. Just when you think everything is over, the suspense and tension and events are ramped up again.

There is also an absolutely perfect ending to this psychological thriller.

Adam Croft’s books, I have come to realise, never disappoint. You’re always in for a really good page-turning read. Whether it is a thriller, psychological thriller or a police procedural, Adam seems to be able to cover it all with skill and aplomb.

About the Author

His 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has seen huge popularity worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached storewide number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada. The new edition of Her Last Tomorrow also reached storewide number 1 in Australia over Christmas 2016.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

In February 2017, Only The Truth became a worldwide bestseller, reaching storewide number 1 at both Amazon US and Amazon UK, making it the bestselling book in the world at that moment in time. The same day, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In January 2018, Adam’s bestselling book to date, Tell Me I’m Wrong became a worldwide bestseller and quickly went on to outsell Her Last Tomorrow.

Adam has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World ServiceThe GuardianThe Huffington PostThe Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his services to literature.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast Partners in Crime with fellow bestselling author Robert Daws.