~Blog Tour Review~ Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson

Hi everyone,

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson and I get to share my review with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

Kerry

They told us he had been missing for nearly two days, that he probably drowned. They told us a lie.

Megan was ten years old when her older brother, Zac, went missing among the cliffs, caves and beaches that surround the small seaside town of Whitecliff.

A decade later and a car crash has claimed the lives of her parents.

Megan and her younger sister Chloe return to Whitecliff one summer for the first time since their brother’s disappearance. Megan says it’s to get her parents’ affairs in order. There are boxes to pack, junk to clear, a rundown cottage to sell. But that’s not the real reason.

Megan has come to confront her family’s past after receiving a postcard on the day of her parents’ funeral. It had a photograph of Whitecliff on the front and a single letter on the back.

‘Z’ is all it read.

Z for Zac.

A totally gripping psychological thriller that will have fans of Louise Jensen, The Girl on the Train and The Silent Child absolutely hooked.

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About the author:

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Kerry Wilkinson is from the English county of Somerset but has spent far too long living in the north. It’s there that he’s picked up possibly made-up regional words like ‘barm’ and ‘ginnel’. He pretends to know what they mean.

He’s also been busy since turning thirty: his Jessica Daniel crime series has sold more than a million copies in the UK; he has written a fantasy-adventure trilogy for young adults; a second crime series featuring private investigator Andrew Hunter and the standalone thriller, Down Among The Dead Men.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read anything by Kerry Wilkinson (apart from a short story or two) so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Two Sisters. I certainly wasn’t expecting to have it read so quickly, but his writing is so pacy and addictive. Two Sisters follows Megan and Chloe in the aftermath of their parents death in a car crash. Ten years ago their brother went missing and his body was never recovered, so they have experienced a double tragedy in their lives.
When they return to Whitecliff, where their brother disappeared, they are there to tidy up their parents affairs. However, trouble follows them almost immediately and the story goes in a direction I didn’t anticipate. I found myself engaged in the story and I just had to keep reading to see what was going to happen.
Two Sisters is billed as a psychological thriller, but to be honest, there is a more YA-themed story going on there too. I think because the two main characters are relatively young that it felt more juvenile in terms of reactions and so on. I don’t mean that in a negative way either, it just didn’t have the adult-y feel to it!
I thoroughly enjoyed Two Sisters. It was an engrossing and twisty read.
Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen

Hey everyone,

Today I’m one of two stops (Check out Meggy’s review HERE on Chocolate’n’Waffles!) on the blog tour for Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen and I get to share my review with you all. First though, here’s the all-important bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

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Reeling from the death of his great love, Karin, Varg Veum’s life has descended into a self-destructive spiral of alcohol, lust, grief and blackouts. When traces of child pornography are found on his computer, he’s accused of being part of a paedophile ring and thrown into a prison cell. There, he struggles to sift through his past to work out who is responsible for planting the material … and who is seeking the ultimate revenge. When a chance to escape presents itself, Varg finds himself on the run in his hometown of Bergen. With the clock ticking and the police on his tail, Varg takes on his hardest – and most personal – case yet.

To get your copy, click here!

About the author:

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Gunnar Staalesen was born in Bergen, Norway in 1947. He made his debut at the age of 22 with Seasons of Innocence and in 1977 he published the first book in the Varg Veum series. He is the author of over 20 titles, which have been published in 24 countries and sold over five million copies. Twelve film adaptations of his Varg Veum crime novels have appeared since 2007, starring the popular Norwegian actor Trond Epsen Seim, and a further seies is being filmed now. Staalesen, who has won three Golden Pistols (including the Prize of Honour), lives in Bergen with his wife. There is a life-sized statue of Varg Veum in the centre of Bergen.

My thoughts:

Varg Veum is back in another installment in the series and Wolves in the Dark deals with some very dark subject matter this time.

Veum is suspected of being part of a paedophile ring after incriminating traces of child pornography are found on his computer. Thrown into a prison cell, Veum tries to think of anyone from his past who would harbor enough of a grudge to frame him for this truly heinous crime.

While in prison, Veum gets a chance to escape, and he takes it! What follows is his quest for the truth, to find the perpetrators, and to clear his name. Life on the run is hard for him, and dangerous to those closest to him. Veum must work fast to try and get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding his arrest.

Wwolves in the Dark delves deep into the dark and seedy world of pornography and paedophilia. It addresses the deceit that keeps it going and the lengths to which people will go to keep it hidden.

A really complex story, with many different threads, Wolves in the Dark is a gripping crime thriller. If you enjoy Scandinavian crime fiction, especially Nnordic Noir, then this is definitely one to add to your list. Staalesen is undoubtedly one of the best authors in this genre!

Highly recommended!

 

Previous reviews:

Where Roses Never Die by Gunnar Staalesen

Follow the blog tour:

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The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid 

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About the book:

A Diabolic is ruthless. A Diabolic is powerful. A Diabolic has a single task: Kill in order to protect the person you’ve been created for. 
Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid teenager created to protect a galactic senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The two have grown up side by side, but are in no way sisters. Nemesis is expected to give her life for Sidonia, and she would do so gladly. She would also take as many lives as necessary to keep Sidonia safe.
When the power-mad Emperor learns Sidonia’s father is participating in a rebellion, he summons Sidonia to the Galactic court. She is to serve as a hostage. Now, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Nemesis travels to the court disguised as Sidonia – a killing machine masquerading in a world of corrupt politicians and two-faced senators’ children. It’s a nest of vipers with threats on every side, but Nemesis must keep her true abilities a secret or risk everything.
As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns there is something more to her than just deadly force. She finds a humanity inside her that is true and pure – more so than that of most humans she encounters. Amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity just might be the thing that saves her life – and the empire.

Get your copy here!

My thoughts:

The Diabolic has been on my TBR for months as I got it in an Illumicrate subscription box in 2016. I managed to slot it onto the June TBR because I’ve been dying to read it, and life is too short to not read the books you want to read!

The Diabolic is a Young Adult sci-fi novel that focuses on Nemesis (a Diabolic) and her master, Sidonia Von Impyrean. A diabolic is a creature made to guard an important person. They are made to look human, but they have super-human strength and abilities that enable them to function as a diabolic.

Sidonia’s father has been shamed by the Emperor for denouncing their opposition to advantages in technologies that would help them to keep their world longer. Due to this, Sidonia has been summoned to The Chrysanthemum as a hostage. Sidonia’s family decide to send Nemesis in her place, masquerading as Sidonia, to ensure that no harm befalls their daughter.

What follows is an engaging story of rebellion, war and the lengths to which one will go to protect those they love and serve. The Diabolic was a thoroughly enjoyable read, the first in a trilogy, and I can’t wait to read the next one.

Full of twists and turns, and packing a huge amount of secrets, it definitely kept me guessing until the very end!

Highly recommended!

~Blog Tour~The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher, and she’ll be sharing her review with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

The Betrayed cover.jpg

Colleen Byrne is wife to one of the biggest faces on the streets of Soho, Jimmy Byrne. He promised her the life of luxury, but behind the diamonds and fur coats is a dangerous world of violence and lies. With her two children, Nancy and Daniel, Colleen is in too deep, bound to Jimmy forever.

TWENTY YEARS LATER
Nancy has grown into her father’s daughter, strong, calculated – and ruthless, while Colleen blots out the pain of her marriage any way she can. When Jimmy is found brutally murdered, Nancy is hell bent on finding the culprit. She’s going to make them pay for what they did.

Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone who betrayed them all. To catch a killer, mother and daughter must find the secrets tearing their family apart…

A totally gripping and gritty thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Kimberly Chambers, Martina Cole and Jessie Keane.

UK 🇬🇧 http://amzn.to/2nmLJOg
US 🇺🇸 http://amzn.to/2mSi9UL

About the author:

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Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole.

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time.

She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken, The Promise and her latest release, The Betrayed is due for publication on the 21st June 2017.

For all news and updates:

www.caseykelleher.co.uk

www.facebook.com/officialcaseykelleher

http://caseykelleher.wordpress.com

Twitter: @caseykelleher

Ellen’s Review:

This gritty thriller starts with a punch and then the tension is carried on through until the last page. I am not usually a fan of this genre but the writing style caught me up into the lives of Colleen and Jimmy alongside their mothers Edel and Joanie. Although Jimmy is the top dog of crime in his local area I would say that Joanie held a lot of the power and was pulling the strings behind the scenes. This was made apparent after the events of Colleen and Jimmy’s marriage; Joanie’s behaviour is abhorrent, she is such a cow-bag and that is putting it politely!! It is obvious that no one would ever be good enough for her golden boy Jimmy and she is willing to go to any lengths to exert her power over her weaker willed daughter in law who has entered into this relationship without a clue about its dark heart.

 

I felt really sorry for Colleen as she slowly had her spirit stripped away by the Byrne family. It was awful to witness her heartbreak and mental breakdown and the thought that even her own flesh and blood thought nothing of her really got to me. Colleen seemed the polar opposite of Jimmy and I kept hoping that she would rediscover some of her old fire and fight back against the old battle-axe mother in law! Her own mother Edel was a delight to read even if her radar for a suitable suitor for her precious daughter was slightly off.

 

The Betrayed features a web of lies and deceit and at its centre sits the Byrne family weaving their own brand of truth and justice in the East End of London.  This is the first book of Casey Kelleher’s that I have read but I look forward to more, especially to find out what happens where this story ended. Four stars.

 

Follow the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour ~ The Fourth Monkey by JD Barker

Hi everyone,

Thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker today with a BRILLIANT Q&A. I read The Fourth Monkey a few months back and really enjoyed it! If you want to check out my review, click the link below:

The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker 🙈🙉🙊🐵

About the book:

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Brilliant. Complicated. Psychopath.

That’s the Four Monkey Killer or ‘4MK’. A murderer with a twisted vision and absolutely no mercy.

Detective Sam Porter has hunted him for five long years, the recipient of box after box of grisly trinkets carved from the bodies of 4MK’s victims.

But now Porter has learnt the killer’s twisted history and is racing to do the seemingly impossible – find 4MK’s latest victim before it’s too late…

Pre-order your copy here: The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker

About the author:

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Barker was born January 7, 1971 in Lombard, Illinois and spent the first fourteen years of his life in Crystal Lake, Illinois. A staunch introvert, he was rarely seen without a book in hand, devouring both the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew series by the age of six before moving on to classics such as the works of Dickens and Twain. The discovery of Shelley, Stoker and Poe fueled a fire and it wasn’t long before he was writing tales of his own which he shared with friends and family. These early stories centered around witches and ghosts thought to inhabit the woods surrounding their home.

At fourteen, Barker’s family relocated to Englewood, Florida, a climate better suited to his father’s profession as a contractor. He attended Lemon Bay High School and graduated in 1989. Knowing he wanted to pursue a career in the arts but unsure of a direction, he enrolled at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale where he later obtained a degree in business. While in college, one of his writing assignment found its way into the hands of Paul Gallotta of Circus Magazine. Gallotta reached out to Barker and asked him to join the staff of 25th Parallel Magazine where he worked alongside the man who would later become Marilyn Manson. Assignments dropped him into the center of pop culture and by 1991 Barker branched out, interviewing celebrities for the likes of Seventeen, TeenBeat, and other national and local publications. In 1992, Barker syndicated a small newspaper column called Revealed which centered around the investigation of haunted places and supernatural occurrences. While he often cites these early endeavors as a crash course in tightening prose, his heart remained with fiction. He began work as a book doctor and ghostwriter shortly thereafter, helping others fine tune their writing for publication. Barker has said this experience proved invaluable, teaching him what works and what doesn’t in today’s popular fiction. He would continue in this profession until 2012 when he wrote a novel of his own, titled Forsaken.

Stephen King read portions of Forsaken prior to publication and granted Barker permission to utilize the character of Leland Gaunt of King’s Needful Things in the novel. Indie-published in late 2014, the book went on to hit several major milestones – #2 on Audible (Harper Lee with Go Set a Watchman held #1), #44 on Amazon U.S., #2 on Amazon Canada, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to Barker and asked him to co-author a prequel to Dracula utilizing Bram’s original notes and journals, much of which has never been made public.

Barker’s indie success drew the attention of traditional agents and publishers and in early 2016 his debut thriller, The Fourth Monkey, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt set to publish in the U.S. and HarperCollins in the UK. The book has also sold for both film and television.

Barker splits his time between Englewood, FL, and Pittsburgh, PA, with his wife, Dayna.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

International best selling author Jeffery Deaver called me, “A talented writer with a delightfully devious mind!”

 

I’m a lucky guy. After writing my debut novel in 2014 (FORSAKEN), Stephen King read portions of it prior to publication and was kind enough to allow me to use one of his characters in the story (Leland Gaunt of Needful Things). I’m not aware of him ever doing this for someone else, it was a great honor. Although indie-published, the novel went on to hit some major milestones – #2 on Audible (I got stuck behind Harper Lee who wasn’t about to give up the #1 slot), #44 on Amazon US, #2 on Amazon CA, and #22 on Amazon UK. Forsaken was also nominated for a Bram Stoker Award (Best Debut Novel) and won a handful of others including a New Apple Medalist Honors Award. After reading Forsaken, Bram Stoker’s family reached out to me and asked if I’d be interested in co-authoring a prequel to Dracula based on Bram’s original notes! Of course, I said yes. The book is going out to publishers in June 2017.

 

My debut thriller, THE FOURTH MONKEY, sold in a series of pre-empts and auctions worldwide and will be published by HMH here in the states 6/2017, HarperCollins in the UK, and a series of others throughout the world. It’s about a serial killer in Chicago but with a major twist – the killer dies in the first chapter, hours after kidnapping his latest victim, and the police have to race the clock to try and find her based on the handful of evidence the killer left behind. He also taunts the police and readers from the grave with a diary weaved within the tale detailing just how he became a killer in the first place. It’s a fast, suspense-filled thriller geared toward mass market which has earned comparisons to Dexter, Se7en, and Silence of the Lambs. THE FOURTH MONKEY was recently optioned for film and television.

 

I spent the bulk of my adult life working as a ghost-writer and book doctor, helping others get published. That experience allowed me to learn what works and what doesn’t before venturing out on my own. Forsaken was my first novel published under my own name, The Fourth Monkey will be my second, and the Dracula prequel will follow. As a writer, I’m walking the line between suspense and thrillers with all efforts geared toward the largest possible audience.

 

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

 

I get asked this question a lot and I honestly can’t think of a time when I didn’t write. Growing up, we watched very little television. Our family spent time telling stories. If our parents weren’t telling us a story, my sister and I would make something up and tell each other. Once we learned to read, discovered books, writing those stories came swiftly after. The first were in crayon and heavily illustrated. It was obvious from the start I would never be an artist but I could spin a tale.

 

In school, teachers pushed me to write and while I complied, I never considered it a career option. English was the class I aced with little study, an hour I could goof off and have fun. I never considered these assignments work, they were my favorites among math, science, and all else.

 

In college I worked for RCA records and BMG distribution. My title was Promotions Director but in reality all I did was shuttle mega-star recording artists from one destination to another. It was my job to ensure they got from their hotel to the radio stations, to their concerts, and ultimately back on the next plane or bus. After a month or so I realized I spent much of my day surrounded by these people, why not talk to them and spin it into an interview I could later sell? After all, I had student loan debt to consider. I quickly did just that, writing for such publications as Teen Beat, Seventeen Magazine, Young People, and others. Non-fiction paid the bills while fiction became my oasis. I began work on a novel and several short stories. Over time, this evolved into a career as a ghostwriter and book-doctor – I spent the next twenty years helping others fine-tune their work and get published. In 2014, I decided to make a run at it under my own name and published FORSAKEN.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

 

Inspiration is everywhere; you only need to look for it. I spend a lot of time wondering “what if”. You can take any scenario, add a “what if” and find a potential story idea. For example, what if your sitting in a diner and you order a glass of milk. The waitress brings it to you, watches you nervously as she sets it on the table. What if you look up and find other people in the diner also watching you, some turn away, others don’t. What if you then look outside and see people across the street, a group gathering, also watching you. What if you then look up at a TV in the corner of the room and see yourself sitting there on the screen, your glass of milk in front of you. What if there is a timer slowly counting down…

 

The next time you’re in a crowd, pick a person at random and make up a back story for them. Where are they from? What are their hobbies? Could they be hiding from someone? If yes, who? Maybe that person walks in and they see each other.

 

There are stories everywhere, you only have to look. I’ve got notepads filled with ideas.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

 

I’m most compared to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. You’ll find I jump around a bit between thriller, horror, and suspense.

 

You’re not going to find deep meaning within the pages of my books. I’m not out to teach anyone a life-lesson. I try to create a distraction, a world readers can slip into for a few minutes out of their day. Once I’ve got your attention though, I’m not one to let it go. You’ll find I grab your hand and hold tight from the first page to the last. I hope to introduce you to people you’d like to meet and take you to places you’ve never been. Books are a trade off between writer and reader. A reader is willing to dedicate a small portion of their life to reading a novel, they drop their hard-earned money on that book. As the architect of that product, I feel it’s my responsibility to make sure that time and money is well spent. When you turn that last page, I hope to leave you with a smile, a desire for more. Maybe the need to tell a friend or two about it.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

 

Absolutely! There’s a huge shift going on from traditional media to blogs and websites. As an author who came up as an indie, I personally saw the power of social media. I feel a special kinship with bloggers and the people who take the time to post reviews on sites such as GoodReads. That’s one of the reasons why I try to host giveaways and promote contests; it gives me a chance to stay close to my readers. We’re all in this together; a best seller doesn’t make itself. Without social media, the readers, and the bloggers who support my work, I would have never hit some of the milestones I have in the past and I can’t wait to see what we all come up with next.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

 

Now that I’m writing full time, it’s got to be my office. My daily commute is about twenty feet, longer if I detour downstairs for a cup of coffee. My wife is never far away and now that we have a baby on the way, I’m grateful for the fact that I’ll be around to experience much of it. My father worked about eighty hours a week and I lost him about a decade ago. I feel I barely knew the man. Knowing I’ll be there for my family is priceless.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

 

Ha, probably that same commute. Now that I rarely leave the house, I lose track of the day of the week a lot. I also find myself exercising more to make up for all that time my butt is firmly planted in my seat. Luckily, we have a Siberian Husky who is very insistent on taking me for a run every day.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

 

Hopefully, doing exactly what I did today. I started the day with 3,000 words on my latest novel, now I get to answer questions from people like you. Later today, I’ve got a conference call with a film studio.

 

I’ve been blessed. My second novel, THE FOURTH MONKEY will release in about a month. It was optioned for both film and television. Around that same time, my third novel, a prequel to DRACULA I co-authored with Dacre Stoker goes out to publishers. There is even a graphic novel coming soon based on my first novel, FORSAKEN. Life is good.

 

What’s next for you?

 

Nearly three years has lapsed between my first novel and the release of THE FOURTH MONKEY in June. I think you’ll find this is not the norm for me. I write, a lot. I’ve written three other books during that span. I see this period as a calm before the storm. Moving forward, you’ll probably see at least one or two books from me per year.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

I do read a lot and I read just about everything. I’m a sucker for a good story, regardless of genre. I recently finished THE WEIGHT OF BLOOD by Laura Mchugh and I’m currently re-reading GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Charles Dickens. At any given time, I usually have 2-3 books in play between physical copies, my Kindle, and audiobooks.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

I’m a huge King fan and my all time favourite is one of his lesser known books, JOYLAND. The writing seems completely effortless and there is something about the story itself that resonates with me. I’ve also read and re-read all of Thomas Harris’s books more times than I can count.

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

 

Oh, that’s tough, there are many. Most recently, I would say Justin Cronin’s latest series. THE PASSAGE (and the books that follow) are the perfect mix of horror, thriller, and literary fiction.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

I think I’m always writing, even when I’m away from my Mac. I run or walk at least five miles each day but even then, I pass the time working out story ideas, figuring out what comes next in my latest project. There’s no on/off switch, if I ignore them, my characters tend to shout.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

 

I love movies. I’m at the theater once or twice per week. I think I’ve been through damn near everything on Netflix too. With a baby on the way, much of our time has gone into planning, decorating, and pre-baby shopping too.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

 

I grew up in a small town off the west coast of Florida, we spend a lot of time vacationing there. Aside from that, my wife and I love to travel and have been all over the world. I’d love to revisit Italy and we hope to head to the UK next year.

 

Favourite food?

 

Pierogies. Not the healthiest food though so I only eat them on my birthday.

http://www.food.com/recipe/pierogie-peer-oh-gee-potato-pierogies-perogies-48587

 

 

Favourite drink?

 

Chocolate milk. I thought this urge would pass as I got older but nope, nothing like a tall glass of chocolate milk.

 

Huge thanks to J. D. Barker for taking the time to answer my questions! 🙂


 

Make sure to follow the blog tour:


 

Q&A with Louise Hutcheson

Hi guys,

Today I’m delighted to bring you another author Q&A, this time with Louise Hutcheson. Louise is the author of The Paper Cell, which is published by Contraband.

About the book:

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From the publisher of Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project, the first in a new series of distinctive, standalone crime stories, each with a literary bent. In 1950s London, a literary agent finds fame when he secretly steals a young woman’s brilliant novel manuscript and publishes it under his own name, Lewis Carson. Two days after their meeting, the woman is found strangled on Peckham Rye Common: did Lewis purloin the manuscript as an act of callous opportunism, or as the spoils of a calculated murder?

The Paper Cell by Louise Hutcheson

About the author:

Louise Hutcheson has a PhD in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow. She works in broadcast and digital media and is a freelance editor who has edited a number of crime novels and other fiction. Louise also created and runs a highly respected review site for new fiction.


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a Glasgow-based crime fiction editor who’s hopped the fence to start writing my own novels. For years, championing other people’s books was my bread and butter: I’ve worked in libraries, as a literary researcher, in publishing and in media, so it’s exhilarating to experience things from the author’s side for the first time.

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

I didn’t gain the confidence to actually pursue my writing more seriously until my late twenties, and in lots of ways, I’m glad. I don’t think I was ready before that.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The inspiration for my debut novel came from my own life: I was working at a publishing house, where one of my duties was to assess manuscript submissions. Upon coming across one I really rated, I joked to a colleague that I might steal it. Instead, I wrote my own novel about a publishing assistant who (you got it) steals a young woman’s literary manuscript.

Aside from that, I read a lot. I have no compunction in telling you that I draw inspiration from the writers I’m reading, particularly the likes of Muriel Spark and Patricia Highsmith.

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

Waspish, feminist, literary crime with a retro feel.

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Absolutely. Social media allows readers and writers to engage on a personal level that marketing campaigns just can’t match. Most of the books I buy, I buy based on the blogs and conversations I see on Twitter, not because I saw an ad on the subway.

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

As I’m just about to publish my debut novel, I haven’t yet experienced all the hoopla that comes with being an author. For now, I’ll say the writing process itself. I love world-building and getting to know a character, drinking tea and writing into the small hours. I’m just a bit in love with the act of storytelling.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

Anxiety. I worry constantly that readers won’t find anything of value in the book, and that would be thoroughly heartbreaking for me.

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

It took me four years to write my first book, so…factoring in contract negotiation, editing and general procrastination, here’s hoping I’ll have book 2 under my belt!

What’s next for you?

The Paper Cell is launched on 23 June and I’ll be devoting all my time and passion to that. I’m not quite ready to think about writing the next book, but I’m sure the mania will take hold of me soon enough.

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

 

God, yes. I read on the subway, on my lunch breaks, in bed, in cafes and pubs – basically whenever/wherever I can. I read a lot of crime and some fantasy, and I have favourite authors who I return to often, such as Ian McEwan, Robert Louis Stevenson, Muriel Spark and Kate Atkinson.

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

 

My all-time favourite book is A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé. It’s a French novel, a beautiful love letter to books and how essential they are to our lives.

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you’d written?

The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau by Graeme Macrae Burnet is a criminally underrated novel, and I desperately wish I had written it. It’s all wine and coffee and a very French detective, and it’s utterly compelling. Graeme went on to be shortlisted for the Booker for his second novel, but I’ll always be jealous of Adèle Bedeau.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

 

I have a day job in tech, which I love, and I’ve been spending a lot of time recently learning how to code. I’m not very good, but it’s challenging and fun.

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book related?

I love to cook. My favourite way to spend a Sunday is to devote the entire afternoon to cooking something special. Preferably with a nice bottle of red to accompany the whole endeavour!

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Islay, for its beautiful surroundings, delicious seafood and peaty whisky.

Favourite food?

I’m anyone’s for a bowl of pasta.

Favourite drink?

Either a dram of Lagavulin or a glass of red.

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

 

I’m going to cheat here and end on a quote from my favourite novel. As mentioned above, this is from A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé, and it’s a more eloquent answer than I could ever provide:

“Novels don’t contain only exceptional situations, life or death choices, or major ordeals; there are also everyday difficulties, temptations, ordinary disappointments; and, in response, every human attitude, every type of behavior, from the finest to the most wretched. There are books where, as you read, you wonder: What would I have done? It’s a question you have to ask yourself. Listen carefully: it is a way to learn to live. There are grown-ups who would say no, that literature is not life, that novels teach you nothing. They are wrong. Literature performs, instructs, it prepares you for life.”


Huge thanks to Louise for answering my questions 🙂

~Blog Tour~ Liar by K. L. Slater Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Liar by K. L. Slater, published by Bookouture and available now. Ellen is sharing her review with you all, but first, here’s all the bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

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How far would you go to protect your family?

Single dad Ben is doing his best to raise his children, with the help of his devoted mother Judi. And then Ben meets Amber. Everyone thinks this is a perfect match for Ben but Judi isn’t so sure…

There’s just something about Amber that doesn’t add up. Ben can’t see why his mother dislikes his new girlfriend. And Amber doesn’t want Judi anywhere near her new family. Amber just wants Ben and the children.

The further Judi delves into Amber’s personal life, the closer she gets to shocking secrets that could change everything. And Judi must make a decision that could lead to the most disastrous consequences.

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

About the author:

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Kim is the bestselling author of psychological crime thrillers ‘Safe With Me,’ ‘Blink’ and ‘Liar.’

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected a stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents and a book deal which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

She also writes award-winning YA fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books, writing as Kim Slater.

Author website: http://www.KLSlaterAuthor.com
Twitter: @KimLSlater
Facebook: KL Slater Author

Ellen’s review:

Where to begin with this book as the end is the beginning is the end, and yes I’ve gone all Smashing Pumpkins on you! Anyway, enough of my random song choices and on with the review. Liar really does hook you in from page one as we have a murderer and a victim but no names and are then slowly introduced to the main players Amber and Judi. I was pretty sure I’d got each character sussed early days; one was obviously out for revenge for some reason and the other was a fiercely protective (some would say overbearing) mother and grandmother. How wrong I was. While Amber was bitter, twisted, manipulative and out to emotionally ruin those around her, Judi had her own vindictive and paranoid streak and was difficult to warm to.
The relationship with a mother-in-law can be an interesting one and Judi is the perfect example of a nightmare edition. Her son Ben and his dead wife Louise are obviously put on a pedestal and she absolutely dotes on her grandchildren Noah and Josh. None of them can do any wrong in her eyes so when Amber comes along and “takes over” it obviously goes down like a lead balloon. The fact that Judi is experiencing the whole gamut of side effects of the menopause adds a whole new level to the hell she is experiencing. To those around her it appears as if she is being irrationally anxious and short-tempered. I have to admit I didn’t particularly like either Amber or Judi as a person; I was only sure of what I wanted the outcome at the end to be.
 
I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down, it’s one of those where you NEED to know what’s going to happen and what all the secrets are – and there are a lot of secrets as well as lies! What happened to Ben’s brother? Where does Judi’s husband disappear to on his overnight trips? Can we believe anything that Amber says? This story is full of surprises and I was taken aback on several occasions when I thought I had guessed where particular plot lines were heading.
A cracking five stars from me.

Follow the blog tour:

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