Weekly Wrap Up March 13th 2016

I’m starting this post, and even though I know I’ve read books this week, I’m almost certain they’re all for blog tours or to be reviewed on publication day! 😂

How and ever, I shall continue!

First up, I read the absolutely heart-pounding See How They Run by Tom Bale! I’ve not written up my review yet, but it will be a cracker as this book was just superb! I don’t even have a cover pic for it yet, it’s that new! 😉 All I will say is keep your eyes peeled for this book, as it’s absolutely brilliant! An easy 5⭐️ from me on Goodreads!

Following on from See How They Run, I picked up the beautifully written

In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

 

I’m taking part in the blog tour for this book, so I’m afraid I’ll have to keep you all waiting for a few weeks before I review! April 13th to be precise! Sufficed to say, In Her Wake is a stunningly emotive book and another 5 ⭐️ book on Goodreads 😊. Huge thanks as always to Karen at Orenda Books for my copy.

Last, but by no means least, I read a book from Urbane Publications:

Hold Still by Tim Adler

 

Hold Still is published on March 17th so I’ll be posting my review on publication day!

 
Had I been smart, I’d have another book on here that I’d read this week but time hasn’t been on my side this weekend as regards reading! 😂 I’ve got less than 20% left to read of

In The Shadows by Tara Lyons

 

I’m on the blog tour for this on March 23rd too so keep an eye out for my review! 😊

My son and I are also reading
Demon Dentist by David Walliams


It’s been so long since I’ve read a children’s book (as in less pictures and more words) so this has been fun to read with Tom! We’re nearly finished it and we’ve two more of Walliams’s books on the TBR! 😉
That’s pretty much all I have to report as regards books this week!😉

My March haul is also coming along nicely 🙈📚🙈📚

What have you all been reading?! 😊📖

Dead Is Better by Jo Perry

 

Massive thank you to Chris McVeigh at Fahrenheit Press for my ARC of Dead Is Better. If you missed it, I had a brilliant exclusive Q&A with the author, Jo Perry, on my blog yesterday which you can read HERE.


About the book (via Goodreads):


Charles Stone has just woken up dead. Well he’s pretty sure he’s dead, what with the bullet holes in his chest and all. He also appears to be totally alone in the after-life except for the equally dead dog who seems to be his new companion.

Unable to interact with the world of the living other than watching and listening, he and the dead dog (whom he names Rose) have nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it.

When Charles and Rose try to unravel the circumstances of Charles’s death, they uncover a criminal who is raking in millions of dollars by cruelly exploiting, and sometimes killing, his victims.

But what difference can a ghost make?

And what does the damn dog have to do with any of this?

 

 

My thoughts:


I really enjoyed Dead Is Better. It is yet another unique choice from Fahrenheit Press! I read this book in one sitting, it was that engaging for me.

Short chapters make it super easy to read, and there is a quote about death at the beginning of each one which, personally, I thought was a great addition to the book!

Dead Is Better opens with Charles Stone’s demise, and the reader is instantly made to start asking questions. How? Why? And what the hell is with the dog?!

I have to say, once the story got going, I couldn’t stop reading! I was dying (pardon the pun 😂) to find out what happened to Charles, and why the dog (subsequently named Rose) was with him specifically.

I found some of the supporting characters to be awful human beings; they were greedy, self centred and uncaring! That’s testament to the the author and her ability to evoke these emotions in the reader. I like it when books make me hate characters as it’s doing its job!

I’m not going to lie, my eyes may have welled up (just a little mind!) towards the end of the book. I won’t spoil it though. Maybe it caught me off guard! 😉

Dead Is Better is a wonderful book. It is so well written that you just don’t want to stop reading for fear you’ll miss anything!

It will make you question your own mortality and what your feelings about death are, while at the same time reaffirming that life is not always bad. The quotes used at the beginning of each chapter, all of which refer to death or dying, really add to the experience while you’re reading.

I gave Dead Is Better an easy 5⭐️ on Goodreads. It weird, unique, funny and sad all at the same time. An emotional read, but a bloody great story! I can’t wait to read the follow up, Dead Is Best!

You can purchase a copy of Dead Is Better HERE

Happy Reading 😊📖


The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndza

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My thanks as always to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of The Girl In The Ice.

About the book (via Goodreads):

Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

 
My thoughts:

 

I try not to use profanities in my reviews (which is tough because I swear a lot 😂) but every so often some books come along and make you think what the fu…. (see what I did there 😉) is going on?!?!

The Girl In The Ice is one such book! Robert Bryndza seems like such a lovely man so I’m wondering where he found the inspiration for such heinous crimes and such an awful murderer!!!

I loved this book!!! From start to glorious finish, I was hooked! Housework got left, sleep was vastly reduced, I just couldn’t put it down!!!

The prologue to this book should come with a warning….

“Abandon all hope those who enter, not a hope of you putting this book down!!!” 😂

As soon as Detective Erika Foster was introduced, I knew I was going to enjoy her character. A strong ass female lead, takes no shit, relentless in her quest for the truth and all round legend of a woman! Foster had a tough year, and you can tell as her demeanour is sometimes bordering on defeatist but she will not lie down and take it. In fact, she comes back fighting, throwing barbs at her boss and having banter with her colleagues, and getting the job done!!!!

The plot in The Girl In The Ice is so tightly woven that I defy you to pick out the murderer early. I had suspicions but I was way off the mark, more than once if I’m honest!

The author has done a spectacular job with this book. The characters are all so well written, some in particular are just hideous excuses for human beings and made my skin crawl. I love how the tension ramps up with almost every chapter too. You’re on edge reading as you know something is going to happen, but until you turn the page (swipe the kindle 😂) you have no idea!

The Girl In The Ice is most definitely a member of the one more chapter club for me. I didn’t want to stop reading, and God help anyone who interrupted me or made me put it down.

(On one such occasion, with 10% left to go, I had to stop reading!!!! I actually had to go and do real life stuff for the afternoon!!!  I was so cross 😁 and I didn’t get to finish the book until that night!!!)

The climax to the book was brilliant though! Absolutely nail biting until the very end!

The Girl In The Ice was a stellar read with everything I look for in a thriller right there between the pages! I gave it an easy 5⭐️ rating on Goodreads!

The Girl In The Ice is out today and you can purchase a copy HERE


Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris


Wow! Just wow! Every so often a book comes along that people rave about, and Behind Closed Doors is one of those books! I had seen an early buzz about it so I hopped on Netgalley, and thankfully I was approved!


About the book:

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.


My thoughts: 
How do I even begin?! This book. THIS BOOK!!!!!!! 

B. A. Paris has written a spectacular book. Behind Closed Doors is a lesson in domestic noir/thrillers.

Going between the present and the past with Grace Angel, Paris paints two very different pictures with chilling repercussions.

I had a feeling when I started reading that I wouldn’t want to stop, and I was right. I flew through this book, reading at every available moment!

I don’t want to spoil any of the plot, so as per usual, I won’t go into details! Sufficed to say, this book rattled me in so many ways. I felt pity, sadness, anger and so many other emotions during the course of this book.

I loved the way Paris created her characters. Initially, you are almost envious of Jack and Grace. Their lives seem perfect. Beautiful house, he’s a handsome, successful alpha male, affluent lifestyle and so on. However, when the veil of domestic bliss is pulled back, the envy turns to disgust.

Behind Closed Doors grabs you by the hands and throws you on an emotional roller coaster. So full of twists and turns that you can just about hold on, and just when you think it’s all over you’re propelled forward to a compelling conclusion.

I gave Behind Closed Doors 5⭐️ on Goodreads.

Amazing. Just effortlessly brilliant. 😊📖
****Update****

Since reading and posting my early thoughts, so many people have also read this book or pre-ordered it and I’m delighted it’s getting such a great reception as its thoroughly deserved!!

Behind Closed Doors is released today and you can purchase a copy HERE

The 3rd Woman by Jonathan Freedland

First off, my thanks to Hayley at Harper Collins for my review copy!

 

About the book (via Goodreads)

The United States have yielded to the People’s Republic of China – Beijing has written off trillions of dollars of US debt in return for a permanent military presence on US soil. America is now a former global superpower, dependent on and junior to China. And the evidence – cultural and political – is everywhere.

Madison Webb is a work-obsessed journalist who will do anything to get to the heart of a story; to expose lies and corruption. When her sister is brutally murdered, the police seem too eager to write it up as an isolated incident. Madison starts digging and uncovers a series of similar rape-murder cases.

As her investigation beings to attract the media spotlight, Madison draws the attention of some powerful people. And when she reveals the link between the victims, Madison will find out that the Chinese military makes for a terrifying enemy…


My thoughts:

The 3rd Woman is an intriguing book. Were introduced to Madison Webb, avid reporter but has her own issues going on.

When her sister gets murdered, Madison begins a crusade to find her sisters killer. Stopping at nothing, she incurs the wrath of people with more power than she ever expected.

During the course of her investigation, Madison finds a tenuous link between her sisters murder, and the murders of two other women, whose deaths essentially passed under the radar.

The 3rd Woman is a tense read, filled with political agendas and media politics. It touches on drugs, conspiracies and hacking throughout the course of the story which sends the reader off on tangents to try and figure out what’s going on.

I found the book to be a good read, not my usual genre (I tend to avoid anything with politics as it’s just a subject I can’t ever get to grips with!!!) but it still delivered a decent plot with an ending that I wasn’t expecting if I’m honest.

I gave The 3rd Woman 3⭐️ on Goodreads.

It’s released in paperback today and you can buy your copy HERE


**Exclusive Author Interview- Jo Perry**

Today, I’m super excited to say that Jo Perry, author of Dead Is Better is joining me on the blog for a little Q&A session! 

Last month, I had the absolute pleasure of reading Dead Is Better thanks to Chris McVeigh at Fahrenheit Press. I’ll be posting my full review tomorrow so make sure to check back and have a read of my thoughts. 

  


(Author pic from http://www.authorjoperry.com)


So, without further ado…


Hi Jo,

Welcome to Bibliophile Book Club and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions 🙂

First off, could you tell us a little about yourself? 

I have a Ph.D. in English, taught writing and literature, wrote and produced television shows, have written articles and reviews, etc. I’m the mother of two grown children—one in chaplaincy school and the other in medical school. I live in Los Angeles with my husband, novelist Thomas Perry, and a quartet of rescue cats and dogs. 

How did you begin writing?

I always wrote. Poetry mostly. My father was a comedy writer, so seeing him working at his typewriter was a normal part of life. I wrote academic stuff, too (my dissertation was on the representation of feeling in the novels of Samuel Richardson—yikes!), then t.v. scripts, then freelance stuff. I came to fiction late. 


Your novel, Dead Is Better has been published before and now you’re with Fahrenheit Press, how did that come about? 

My relationship with Fahrenheit Press was a completely weird, accidental, wonderful fluke. I discovered Fahrenheit Press on Twitter—loved the chinless skull––and checked out the website. More skulls! A smart, smartass, no bullshit modus operandi at work. Terrific books. A book club. Such energy. 

So I sent off my sequel, DEAD IS BEST, with a very brief introductory note to Chris McVeigh, Fahrenheit Commander in Chief. 

And to my delighted surprise–Fahrenheit was unlike other publishers. Those guys rarely answer queries in a timely manner (i.e. during your lifetime), and if they do agree to look at something, they demand all sorts of painful and time-devouring reformatting, word counting, font-changing, and then––if they do respond––it’s after a year or so and you‘ve forgotten all about them.

So imagine my shock when I heard from Chris rather promptly, and my amazement when I learned that he’d actually read my manuscript and was familiar with Dead Is Better.

So here we are. Fahrenheit Press is a miracle.

* (I should note here that Chris is blazing a trail through the publishing world lately, so much fun to watch on Twitter!)*


You have a follow up to Dead Is Better coming up, can you tell us about Dead Is Best? (I’ve read the start and I’m excited for it!) 

Dead Is Best has Charles and the #deaddog Rose returning to the world of the living once again. 

This time Charles is not searching for his own murderer as he was in Dead Is Better, but trying help his charm-free and spoiled step-daughter get out of trouble. Along the way, Charles must confront his failed marriage, his failure as a stepfather, and he must revisit the place he hates most on earth, the place he calls “Beverly Fucking Hills.” 

Charles and Rose follow his stepdaughter into the American Southwest, where she becomes the victim of a vicious and lethal operation that preys on troubled teens. When things get truly terrible, the human ghost—with the help of his ghost dog and a few others ––must find a way to save her life.  


Do you have any rituals or quirks when you wrote?! Favourite mug? Place to sit? Night or day? 

I try to write every day. Having two dogs shapes my schedule. So after coffee and the morning walk, it’s time to write. More coffee is necessary. The mug doesn’t matter. There is usually a cat on the desk and a dog at my feet. Day is for writing; night is for reading. And martinis.


I know your husband, Thomas, is a Novelist also. Would you/have you thought about collaborating together on a book?

Yes, my husband is Thomas Perry. I love and admire his work. He’s known for his Butcher’s Boy series, his Jane Whitefield series and a number of terrific stand-alone thrillers and mysteries. While we collaborated successfully as television writers, I don’t think we could ever collaborate on a novel. We are very different writers. For one thing, my characters are dead and his are alive. 


Did you find it difficult to get Dead Is Better noticed/published? It’s such an unusual theme, were people reluctant to publish it?

Yes. It’s a weird book––genre-bent or genre-mixed—whichever characterization you prefer––with unusual protagonists, a lot of darkness, humor and swearing. I suppose I didn’t realize how unusual the book was until I was told by one publisher that I had to get rid of the dog, that it wasn’t permissible to have a dead dog as a protagonist.  

Another told me that I couldn’t write a book “that way.” That Dead Is Better wasn’t like other mysteries or crime novels and I’d better make it like them. Or else. 

So many publishers have decided that it’s their job to zealously police the boundaries that separate mystery categories, i.e. noir, cozy, hard-boiled, pet detective, etc. 

Dead Is Better doesn’t fit neatly into any of those slots. 

Which is why I’m beyond lucky to have found a publisher who loves dead dogs as much as I do, who isn’t a member of the Genre Police, and who is interested in the reader’s experience more than anything else. 


The plot for DIB is so well thought out, I know you said they happened to you, but how did Charles and Rose make you write the book?! 

The truth is that I didn’t plan the book; Charles and Rose really and truly just happened to me. I suppose they were lurking in my subconscious for some time. I’d been thinking seriously and deeply about death, about cruelty, and how ineffective we are to stop it. Also, a few years before, a dog found me and changed my life in all sorts of small and powerful ways—the rhythm of my days, the way I looked at things, the way I felt. 

One of my favourite things about the book (morbidity alert!!!) is the quotes relating to death at the start of the chapters. What made you decide to open the chapters with these quotes?

I like them. Also, they give the reader a break from the voice of the first-person narrator, Charles, and provide other voices. They let the reader come up for air every once in awhile. I also hope that funny and not always funny meditations on death bring Charles and the reader closer together. 


If you wanted to tell future readers of your books anything about the book and the message it conveys, what would you tell them?

Hmmm. I guess the message is that we don’t know a fucking thing. About ourselves. About others. About anything. We think we do, but we don’t. 


What are your own reading habits? I always assume writers are voracious readers so I’m always interested to know what books people read! 

I always read my husband’s books, of course. They are part of my life and my mental landscape. For a long time I read mostly nonfiction, but I’m back to reading fiction, too. I confess to being a polyamorous reader; I read a number of books at once and have piles of them around. Recently I’ve really enjoyed Cat Warren’s What The Dog Knows, about the training of cadaver dogs; At Day’s Close: Night In Times Past by A Roger Ekirch—about night—it’s fascinating; I loved Grant Sutherland’s brooding and clever West of the City; and I’m really into Timothy Hallinan’s for the Dead, Lisa Brackman’s Dragon Day and James Craig’s A Slow Death—all brilliant and terrific and completely different.


Where can people find out more about you? Facebook/Twitter/Website? 

I have a website: www.authorjoperry.com

Facebook: Jo Perry Author

I’m on Twitter: @JoPerryAuthor


Lastly, what question do you never get asked but with you did? And what would your answer be?

Funny you should ask this. I’m moderating a panel at Left Coast Crime (a crime writers’ convention) at the end of the month, and have been working on questions for the authors. One is, “What are you most afraid of? What fear do you force your protagonist to face?” The idea being—Are the author and his character fearful of the same things?

My answer: 

Death has its drawbacks, but the prospect of living forever scares the shit out of me.

But cruelty scares me, too. Where does it come from? Like love, it’s a mystery.

For my hero Charles, the greatest fear is failure—and that’s how he finds himself when the book opens, he’s a ghost who has pretty much fucked up his life. 

For my canine heroine, # deaddog Rose, the fear is cruelty. She’s already faced this fear. Death has set her free. 


***********


Massive thanks to Jo for taking the time to answer my questions! 😊 If that doesn’t make you want to read Dead Is Better then I’ll leave you with Chris McVeigh’s thoughts on #DeadDog:

“So here’s the thing, everyone at Fahrenheit Press is in LOVE with the #DeadDog book. It’s smart, funny, sweary and just a lil’bit twisted. If all that doesn’t SCREAM Fahrenheit Press I don’t know what does. To be frank, if you don’t like this one we’re pretty sure your NOT our kinda people and we’re pretty sure we don’t want you in our gang. In fact if you buy this book and don’t enjoy it you can get a full 100% refund – the simple truth is, if you don’t like #DeadDog we don’t want your damn money.” 


Check back here tomorrow for my review… 😊📖

Hello February…

Hi everyone,

Here we all are in February already! It doesn’t feel that long ago since i was writing my New Year post! 😱

Anyway, I’m still trying to plan my monthly reads in advance (my TBR shelves are still packed with over 400 books!!!) , but with so many great books popping up it makes it difficult to stick with it!

After having a stellar reading month in January, 31 books in 31 days, I’d like to try and take it a small bit easier this month.

This month I’ve chosen 13 physical books I WANT TO READ (13 is my favourite number! 😊) along with 13 various ARC’s and books on my Kindle.
Lessening my total by 5 sounds like very little though, and I may be hard pushed to get all the books read, but I’m damn well going to try! 😝

 

Physical books to be read:
 

The Silkworm by Robery Galbraith

I’ve been dying to read this and have it since it was released, I’m not waiting any more! 😂

The Missing by Chris Mooney

Having read a short story by him this week, I’m bumping up this one! 

In A Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

On my TBR for a few weeks, on my wish list since release! 

The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

I’ve been trying to get to this for ages too!

The Insect Farm by Stuart Prebble

To be read and reviewed thanks to the publisher!

I’ll Be Watching You by Beverly Barton

On my list since release too! 

Burnt Paper Sky by Gilly Macmillan

Can’t wait to read this one!!! 

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve heard great things about this book so bumping it up! 

Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo

A firm favourite for me, and I read Blood On Snow last year! 

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle

Mixed reviews but I’m looking forward to it! 

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

Another one I’m looking forward to reading!

Bone by Bony by Sanjida Kay

Thanks to Corvus for this ARC

Victim Without a Face by Stefan Anhem

Proof copy that I won and I’m dying to read it!

 

Kindle books to be read:

  

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

Netgalley TBR 

Secrets of the Last Nazi by Iain King

Bookouture and Netgalley TBR 

The Turning Tide by Brooke Magnanti

Netgalley TBR 

Death in Profile by Guy Fraser-Sampson

Netgalley and Urbane Publications TBR 

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris

Netgalley TBR 

Beneath The Surface by Heidi Perks

Author request ARC 

Last Prophecy of Rome by Iain King

Bookouture and Netgalley TBR 

Hold Still by Tim Adler

Author request ARC

The Devil’s Wire by Deborah Rogers

Author request 

Jihadi: A Love Story by Yusuf Toropov

I’m on the blog tour this month for Jihadi and I can’t wait to read it! 

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse

Netgalley TBR 

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Netgalley TBR 

Only The Innocent by Rachel Abbott

Reading in prep for author post on the blog


So, there you have it! My books that I want to read this month! And it being a leap year, I have an extra day! 😉

What are you reading this month? 😊📖