Blog Tour: We Were The Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard

Hi everyone,

Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for We Were The Salt of the Sea by Roxanne Bouchard, and I’ll be sharing an extract with you all. First though, here is all of the bookish information you will need!

About the author:

Roxanne Bouchard reads a lot, but she laughs even more. Her first novel, Whisky et Paraboles, garnered an array of prestigious awards in Quebec and caught the attention of British researcher, Jasmina Bolfek-Radovani, of the University of Westminster, who saw for herself how Roxanne weaves poetry and geography together to delve into her characters’ intimate worlds. This desire for intimacy permeates all of Roxanne’s novels, as well as her play, J’t’aime encore, and her published essays, which have focused on the human aspects and impacts of the military. In 2013, the publication of her private correspondence with Corporal Patrick Kègle, entitled En terrain miné, started quite the conversation.

This thought-provoking discussion about the need for weapons was a stepping-stone for Roxanne to undertake unprecedented research at Quebec’s largest military base. Meeting and speaking with dozens of women and men who served in Afghanistan in 2009 inspired her to write a collection of hard-hitting short stories, Cinq balles dans la tête, slated for publication in autumn 2017.

We Were the Salt of the Sea is Roxanne Bouchard’s fifth novel, and the first to be translated into English. As much a love story and a nostalgic tale as it is a crime novel, it was shortlisted for a number of crime fiction and maritime literature awards in Quebec and France. It haunts people’s memories, ties seafarers’ hearts in knots and seeps its way into every nook and cranny, but most importantly, the sea in this book is a calling for us all to set our sails to the wind. Roxanne Bouchard is currently writing an essay on literary creativity and plotting Detective Sergeant Joaquin Moralès’s next investigation.

About the book:


As Montrealer Catherine Day sets foot in a remote fishing village and starts asking around about her birth mother, the body of a woman dredges up in a fisherman’s nets. Not just any woman, though: Marie Garant, an elusive, nomadic sailor and unbridled beauty who once tied many a man’s heart in knots. Detective Sergeant Joaquin Morales, newly drafted to the area from the suburbs of Montreal, barely has time to unpack his suitcase before he’s thrown into the deep end of the investigation. On Quebec’s outlying Gaspé Peninsula, the truth can be slippery, especially down on the fishermen’s wharves. Interviews drift into idle chit-chat, evidence floats off with the tide and the truth lingers in murky waters. It’s enough to make DS Morales reach straight for a large whisky…

Published by Orenda Books, click HERE to order your copy!


Dredgers and trawlers
‘Well, let me tell you, mam’zelle, that hotel and bar over by Caplan
beach – burned to the ground, it did!’
He opened the dishwasher too early, allowing a scalding cloud
of steam to escape. He slammed it shut again and turned to me.
Leaning over the counter, he tried to catch a glimpse of the letter
from Key West I had reopened to remind myself what it said, but I
pulled it away.
‘And let me tell you, quite the fire it was and all! The whole village
came out for a ganders in the middle of the night. Folks even came
up from Saint-Siméon and Bonaventure to see! I made the most of
it and opened up the bistro. It didn’t let up for two days! The flames
were licking all up the walls, and bed springs were popping all over
the place. Had the firemen running around in circles, it did! You
should’ve seen the ashes all over the beach! And let me tell you, it all
went up in smoke! The hotel, the bar, even the slot machines! You’re
not too disappointed, I hope?’
I smiled. If I’d driven for ten hours to feed the slots at the Caplan
beach hotel, then yes, I probably would have been disappointed.
‘Over there, see? It was just the other side of the church – a bit
further west. But now there’s nothing left of it. Must’ve been about
two months ago, I’d say. Everyone knows what happened. I can’t
believe you didn’t hear about it – it made the front page in the Bay
Echo. They even did a special feature about it, with colour pages and
everything! They say it was probably arson, and the insurance won’t
pay up. Cases like this, they’re always looking to point the finger. But
let me tell you, it’s funny they told you to go sleep there, you know…’
I checked the date. The letter had been mailed from Key West
We Were the Salt of the Sea.indd 10 23/01/2018 17:20
we were the salt of the sea 11
two months ago. I put it back in my bag. I had nothing to hide, but
nothing to say either. He cleared away my leftover pizza, tossed it
into the bin and took a step to the side, not entirely satisfied.
‘Let me tell you just one thing, the best place to stay is at Guylaine’s,
right here, just across the way. You’ll be a lot more comfortable
there than up at the hotel that burned down!’
Keeping his distance this time, he opened the dishwasher again,
which was still rumbling away. He picked up a red-chequered tea
towel and started flapping the steam away like a matador struggling
to tame a mad bull. Then, brimming with local pride, with the tip of
his chin he pointed out a big house to the east of the bistro, nestled
against the cliffside, looking out to sea in quiet contemplation. A
charming auberge that promised a warm welcome.
‘It’s the finest one around! Quiet too. Guylaine doesn’t have kids
or a husband. And further down, over there, that’s the fishermen’s
wharf and the Café du Havre is right alongside. If it’s fishermen you
want to meet, you should go there for breakfast mid-morning, when
they come back in. Guylaine will be out for her walk right now, but
she’s sure to stop by later. She always comes in to say hello.’
He visibly softened. Without thinking, he picked up a scalding
glass, juggled with it then flung it onto the counter like a curse. He
gazed out towards the auberge again, then turned to me with a sigh.
‘How about a coffee while you’re waiting?’
I’ve never really liked those bed and breakfasts where you’re
expected to make chit-chat, tell people who you are, where you’re
from, where you’re going and how long you’re staying, and listen to
the owners spouting on about their country-home renovations. But
it sounded like I might as well forget about finding another hotel
around here, and I’d never been one for camping, so Guylaine’s was
beginning to look like my only option.
He cleared my plate and empty glass away and placed a mug on the
counter in front of me before charging back for more, index finger
pointed questioningly at my bag. ‘If you’re looking for someone
around here, I can probably help.’
We Were the Salt of the Sea.indd 11 23/01/2018 17:20
12 roxanne bouchard
I hesitated. Swivelled my chair around to face the other end of the
bistro. As I recall, the sea was the only thing on my mind right then.
The thick smell of it. The breakwater darkening into shadow, ready
to slip beneath the heavy blanket of night. With no lights out here,
how much could you see along this coast?
‘Let me tell you just one thing, though, I know plenty of folk
around here.’
I still didn’t have the words to talk about her. She had always been
unpronounceable; but now, all of a sudden, I had to casually drop
this woman’s name into conversation. Should I roll it seven times on
the tip of my tongue, swish it around my mouth like a vintage wine
or crush it with my molars to soften it?
‘Spit it out, then. Who are you looking for?’
I figured I’d have to get used to the name, for a while anyway. Put
on a brave face and add it to my vocabulary at least, if not my family
tree. So for the first time, contemplating the sea, I said it. I took a
deep breath in and let it all out.
‘Marie Garant. Do you know her?’
He recoiled. All the sparkle in his face fizzled out, as if I’d blown
out a candle. Suddenly on his guard, he looked at me suspiciously.
‘She a friend of yours?’
‘No. I don’t actually know her.’
He picked up the glass again and started rubbing the heck out
of it.
‘Phew! You had me worried there. Because let me tell you, that
Marie Garant, she’s no woman to get close to. Especially not you, if
you’re a tourist that is. I wouldn’t go around shouting about her if
you want to make any friends around here.’
‘Excuse me?’
‘But you’re not from around here, so you weren’t to know, of
‘No, I wasn’t.’
‘Is she the reason you’re here?’
‘Er … No.’ It was barely a lie. ‘I’m on holiday.’
We Were the Salt of the Sea.indd 12 23/01/2018 17:20
we were the salt of the sea 13
‘Ah! So you are a tourist! Well then, welcome! I’m Renaud. Renaud
Boissonneau, dean of students at the high school and businessman
with business aplenty!’
‘Er, pleased to meet you.’
‘Let me tell you, we’ll take good care of you. How did you like the
pizza? Most of the tourists haven’t arrived yet – this place is usually
full of them. That’s right, it’s always packed here. People think it’s
nice and rustic. Did you see the decor? This place has history, let me
tell you. Because you might not have noticed, but we’re in the old
rectory. That’s why the church is right next door! The patio wraps all
the way around, so anyone who wants to avert their eyes from the
steeple while they’re drinking their beer can go and look at the sea
or the fisherman’s wharf instead. Oh, and the curate lives upstairs.
Which means, let me tell you, that when you’ve had a couple of
drinks and you’re ready to confess your sins, you can just go right
on up!’
Having successfully tamed the dishwasher, he was now noisily
unloading some mercifully unbreakable plates.
‘I do pretty much everything around here, I do. How about that
decor? … See. I was the one who did it all. Let me tell you, I brought
up everything I could find in the basement. See how original it is?
There’s wagon wheels up on the ceiling with oil lamps hanging from
them, clogs, little wooden birdhouses, tools, saws, cables and rope,
and I hung some old oilskins in the corner. Do you need a rain
jacket? I suppose it’s been a nice day today. But it has rained a lot the
last little while, don’t you think?’
‘I hadn’t noticed.’
‘Ah, a city girl!’
As if the distance gave him permission to confide in me, he leaned
in to whisper something. ‘And let me tell you, I do all the decor, wait
tables and wash the dishes, but you’ll never guess what – soon I’m
going to be cook’s helper as well! At fifty-three! Never too old to be
young again, mam’zelle!’
He straightened up and slammed the dishwasher shut again.
We Were the Salt of the Sea.indd 13 23/01/2018 17:20
14 roxanne bouchard
‘Everything you see over there, it’s all from our place. That globe,
them old cameras, the marine charts, the grandfather clock, the twohanded
saw, the horseshoes. Do we say horseshoes or horse’s shoes?
Let me tell you, I reckon you can say either. Oh, and them bottles,
the clay pots, them mismatched mugs, even the recipe books! So
tell me, which way did you come? Through the valley or round the
‘Er, through the valley.’
‘Good on you, not going out of your way for nothing!’
He rubbed the counter like he was trying to make his rag all dizzy.
‘Out of my way for nothing?’
‘The point! Percé, the Northern Gannets, Bonaventure Island …
talk about going out of your way for nothing, mam’zelle! Think you
want to go there?’
‘I don’t know. I haven’t made any plans yet.’
‘Because we just got some tourist brochures in today! I haven’t
read through them yet, but … Ah! If it isn’t the fair Guylaine herself!’
All at once, he flung the rag away into the sink as if he had dirt
on his hands.
Guylaine Leblanc, to look at her, must have been at least sixtyfive.
With salt-and-pepper hair pulled up into a loose bun, she had
about her that air of goodness that grandmothers in American family
movies exude. She laughed tenderly with a twinkle in her eye for
Renaud, who was clearly putty in her hands.
‘Have you met our new tourist, Guylaine? What was your name
‘Catherine what?’
‘Day. Catherine Day.’
‘Catherine Day wants to stay at yours; you have a room for her,
don’t you?’
Renaud kissed Guylaine on both cheeks and then she walked me
over to her sewing shop, Le Point de Couture, on the south side of
Highway 132, where she sold clothes and did alterations. The auberge
We Were the Salt of the Sea.indd 14 23/01/2018 17:20
we were the salt of the sea 15
was at the rear of the shop, well away from any road noise. The
vast ground floor was decorated in the same fashion as Renaud’s
bistro with a surprisingly comforting hodgepodge of antiques and
easy chairs, and there was a deep veranda overlooking the shore.
Guylaine had three rooms for tourists upstairs; she must have slept
somewhere at the top of the staircase that led to the attic. She gave
me a room facing the sea – her favourite, she said – all decked out
in white and blue, with driftwood trim and a hand-stitched quilt on
the bed. It was a very nice room.

Make sure to keep up with the blog tour:

We Were The Salt of the Sea BT Banner .jpg


Blog Tour Review: Killed by Thomas Enger

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be able to finally share my review for Killed by Thomas Enger with you all. I read this late last year and loved it. Read on to see why…

About the book:

Crime reporter Henning Juul thought his life was over when his young son was murdered. But that was only the beginning…

Determined to find his son’s killer, Henning doggedly follows an increasingly dangerous trail, where dark hands from the past emerge to threaten everything. His ex-wife Nora is pregnant with another man’s child, his sister Trine is implicated in the fire that killed his son and, with everyone he thought he could trust seemingly hiding something, Henning has nothing to lose … except his own life.

Packed with tension and unexpected twists, Killed is the long-awaited finale of one of the darkest, most chilling and emotive series you may ever read. Someone will be killed. But who?

Killed by Thomas Enger

About the author:

Thomas Enger Picture (1).jpg

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2009, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called THE EVIL LEGACY, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

My thoughts:

Firstly, stunning cover and a bit of a foreshadowing one too.

Killed is the last (sob 😥) book in the Henning Juul series by Thomas Enger and it has wrapped it up so perfectly. One of the finest Scandinavian crime series out there at the moment, Killed had me from the outset.

I don’t want to say too much, because if you’re planning on reading it, I would highly recommend you read the previous books in order. Killed essentially tied up any and all loose ends that have been running through the books, so this really gives a very satisfying feel to the overall reading experience.

I read Killed in a handful of sittings over a Sunday as I knew I would have the time to get stuck into it. I genuinely couldn’t stop reading it once I started. That prologue!!!! 😱 I was never going to put the book down once I read that. And to be honest, I kept reading at any spare moment because I had to get answers!

Killed picks up with Henning still desperately trying to find his sons killer and it seems that every way he turns, there is an obstacle put in his way. I found myself getting frustrated on his behalf, because he gets so close and then something stops him in his tracks. It really added to the tension of the book because I felt like I was feeling his frustration!

Past misdeeds and epic misdirection made Killed a thoroughly gripping book. The characters were unreliable, the action was full on, and Henning is at the heart of it all. I feel a little sorry to be saying goodbye to this series because Henning is such a great character. Driven to find answers to the catastrophe that ended his family life so horrifically, he is dogged in his quest to find out the truth and thanks to Thomas Enger’s skill as a writer, the reader really feels like they are on this journey with Henning!

Killed is the perfect end to the series. It answers a host of questions from the previous books in the series, but it also gives the reader a feeling of satisfaction when everything comes together.

Utterly gripping, with a real human aspect, Henning’s last hurrah is perfection. Bravo, Mr. Enger.

Highly recommended!

Keep up with the blog tour:

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Hydra by Matt Wesolowski @ConcreteKraken @OrendaBooks

Hi everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to finally (I read this in early December! 🙂 ) be able to share my review for Hydra by Matt Wesolowski with you all as part of the blog tour!

About the author:

IMG_1026-2 copy

Matt Wesolowski is from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor for young people in care. Matt started his writing career in horror, and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous UK- and US-based anthologies such as Midnight Movie Creature Feature, Selfies from the End of the World, Cold Iron and many more. His novella, The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller, Six Stories, was an Amazon bestseller in the USA, Canada, the UK and Australia, and a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, and film rights were sold to a major Hollywood studio..

About the book:


Before Scarfell Claw, there was Hydra… One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north-west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’. Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’ podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess…

Click the link below to order your copy:

Hydra (Six Stories) by Matt Wesolowski

My thoughts:

I had been waiting patiently for Hydra for what seems like an eternity. It was probably only months, but it felt like forever. Having read Six Stories at the end of 2016 (See! That sounds like AGES ago considering its now 2018!!!), its safe to say I was eager to see where Matt Wesolowski was going to take us after the thrill-ride of Six Stories.

I knew Hydra was going to be dark, but I didn’t realise how unsettling and creepy it would actually be until I settled in to read it. Black-eyed children (not a spoiler, its in the blurb!) haunted me for days after I finished. Children are honestly one of the scariest tools to use in writing for me. And these ones were up there with the worst. I shuddered more times than I could count while reading.

Some background. Arla Macleod massacred her family in 2014. She is being held in a medium security mental health facility, and will speak to nobody except Scott King. As a consequence of this, King finds himself becoming entangled in a very complex and disturbing investigation. As well as Arla, five more people are interviewed for the podcast series, and each interview seems to put a different spin on what King thinks he knew about the massacre.

I don’t want to go into the plot to be honest. I honestly think Matt Wesolowski is one of the finest young writers out there at the moment though. Capturing the horror of the events in Arla’s past, combined with the exquisitely tense interviews, Hydra is just an absolutely brilliant book. It is compelling, genuinely chilling, tense and so utterly relevant to the world as we know it today. It addresses mental health issues, online trolling and the complexities and subtleties of the human condition so perfectly.

I loved it, really loved it. It completely freaked me out. There was so much to keep up with, and just when I thought I had it Matt threw in something else, and those creepy children. I am not able for the power of suggestion!!!

Matt Wesolowski is such a genuine talent and his creativity knows no bounds with Hydra. It is truly a captivating book. Scary at times, but so immensely readable. I can’t heap enough praise on his ability to create menacing narratives that push their way beneath your skin.

Highly, highly recommended.

Previous posts:

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

*Blog Tour* Q&A and Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski

Follow the blog tour:

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~Blog Tour Ellen’s Review~ Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir

Hi all,

Today is Ellen’s stop on the blog tour for Snare by Lilja Sigurdardóttir, and I get to share her review with you all!

About the book:


After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonia is struggling to provide for herself and keep custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated when Sonia embarks on a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a dark, fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Published by Orenda Books, click HERE to get your copy!

About the author:


Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. The film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.

Ellen’s Review:

 If you had told me before I started this book that I’d be rooting for the drug smuggling protagonist Sonia all the way through, I don’t think I would have believed you. They’re the root of all evil right? The heart of the problem? Yet in Snare, Lilja Sigurdardottir has achieved this. Sonia is such a rounded, likeable character and is doing what she does out of desperation and for the love of her son Tomas. That she has the drug smuggling down to such a fine art was fascinating to read; my heart was pounding every time that she went through customs yet her icy cool professionalism kept coming up trumps.
I also loved Bragi, the customs officer who observes Sonia’s frequent travels and begins to get suspicious of her actions. Another character trapped by his life and trying to make the best of things; close to retirement and with his beloved wife in a care home he is determined to solve this particular case. It’s very unusual for me to be rooting for both sides of the criminal fence to succeed in some way!!
If there was a person I wasn’t that enamoured of it would have to be Agla, Sonia’s love interest and her ex-husband’s colleague. She is being investigated for fraud following the Icelandic bank crash, on top of that she is struggling with her feelings for Sonia and even in denial about them. I found her to be selfish, spoilt and manipulative. Perhaps this will be resolved in the next book; will she overcome her personal demons?
All in all an enjoyable read and I was pleased to discover it is the first in a trilogy as I want to know what is next for everyone. This book would make a fantastic film/TV series and I love the cover. Go dip your toes in the icy waters of Nordic Noir – you won’t be disappointed!


Follow the blog tour:

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~COVER REVEAL~ Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

OMG YOU GUYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYS!!!!! Have I got an awesome cover reveal for you today 🙂

With thanks of course, to the publishing powerhouse that is Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books for trusting me with this beaut!

giphy (1).gif


Not only have I got a cover reveal for you all, but I have a GIVEWAY too! Matt has got ONE ticket for his event at BLOODY SCOTLAND to give to one lucky person. More details on that at the end of the post!!!! 

*Ideally though, this prize would suit somebody who is planning on attending the festival.*


If you follow me on Twitter, chances are you’ve seen me rave about Matt Wesolowski’s Six Stories (read that review HERE) more than once. So you can imagine my sheer joy to hear that a) my fave goth black heart buddy has a new book coming out, and b) I get the pleasure of sharing the cover with you all!!! 🙂

Who wants to know a little about Matt?! 

Here he is, modelling this seasons Moody Lucifer look…*

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*I’m sorry. I’m actually not sorry, because I LOVE this photo an I am just super GIDDY to be sharing this awesome Orenda stuff!

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Matt started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in Ethereal Tales magazine, Midnight Movie Creature Feature anthology, 22 More Quick Shivers anthology and many more. His debut novella The Black Land, a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 and a new novella set in the forests of Sweden will be available shortly. Matt was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. His debut thriller Six Stories was an Amazon best seller in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

And here’s some need-to-know info about Hydra….

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west
of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother,
father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked
attack known as the ‘Macleod Massacre’. Now incarcerated at a
medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one
but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose ‘Six Stories’
podcasts have become an internet sensation.
King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case,
interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether
Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal
team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust
into a world of deadly forbidden ‘games’, online trolls, and the
mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far
beyond the delusions of a murderess…
Dark, chilling and gripping, Hydra is both a classic murder mystery
and an up-to-the-minute, startling thriller, that shines light in places
you may never, ever want to see again.

Doesn’t that sound AMAZING? I genuinely cannot wait for Hydra. It sounds like such a creepy book, so I’ll be reading it with the lights on for sure!

Do you want to see the cover?! Have I made you wait long enough yet?!

giphy (2).gif











How about now?? 🙂









OKAAAAAAAAY….. I guess its only fair to share the #booklove… Take a look at this absolutely chilling cover for Hydra….








You guys see what I’m seeing right?! That eye?! CREEP FACTOR!!!! But I love it. It’s not even my book and yet I can’t stop looking at it!

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to know when its out and how can you buy a copy right!? Well you’re in luck!

Published by Orenda Books on January 15th 2018, you can click the link below to pre-order your copy!

Hydra by Matt Wesolowski

Matt, you absolute legend. I wish you every success and more with Hydra.










~Blog Tour Q&A~ The Other Twin by L V Hay

Hey everyone,

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the final stops (along with Tony over at Mumbling About…) on the mammoth blog tour for The Other Twin by L V Hay and I get to share a Q&A I did with Lucy recently, First though, the all-important bookish information!

About the book:


When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well- heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth …

Published by Orenda Books, The Other Twin is available NOW, and you can get your copy by clicking HERE.

About the author:

Lucy Hay author photo

Lucy is an author and script editor, living in Devon with her husband, three children and six cats. Lucy is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015) both starring Danny Dyer. See Lucy’s IMDB page HERE and other movies and short films she’s been involved in, HERE.

In addition to script reading and writing her own novels, Lucy also blogs about the writing process, screenwriting, genre, careers and movitivation and much more at her blog Bang2write, one of the most-hit writing sites in the UK. Sign up for updates from B2W and receive a free, 28 page ebook (PDF) on how NOT to write female characters, HERE or click the pic on the left.

For more scriptchat, leads and links, join Lucy’s online writing group, Bang2writers. See you there!


Can you tell us a little about yourself?


Hi! My name is Lucy V Hay (sometimes LV Hay!) and I’m an author, script editor and blogger who helps writers. I’m owner of the writing tips and networking blog, which was shortlisted for the UK Blog Awards this year, as well as named Feedspot’s number 1 screenwriting blog in the UK (tenth in the world).


As a script editor, I’ve been privileged to work on a number of fab and award-winning British projects, both feature and short film. I’ve written books about screenwriting, plus I’m also a novelist – my crime debut is out now with Orenda Books and is called The Other Twin.


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


I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl. I wrote my first ‘book’ in the middle of my Maths homework book when I was about eight. It was called DUSTCART GEORGE and it was about a girl who ran away from home and had her own dustcart sweeping up the streets in London. I did my own illustrations too! Needless to say, my Maths teacher was not very happy though she did say she enjoyed the story, so job done.


Where do you get your inspiration from?


Everywhere, both in real life and online. There’s always new perspectives and ideas and thought patterns … This is why I love social media so much. There’s always someone sharing their POV, or a snippet from their lives, or a character from history … Whilst it’s true social media can be an extended whingefest and full of people’s pictures of their dinner, I make sure I follow the ‘right’ people … By ‘right’ I mean anyone who might challenge my little bubble and make me think of something differently, rather than abject trolls!


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


I would call it ‘dark and lyrical’. Dark, because I am obsessed with the reasons people do and say terrible things to each other; no one wakes up in the morning and says, “Today I will be as evil/careless/selfish etc as possible”. I’m also interested in notions of redemption and whether it’ possible to be ‘good’ after being ‘bad’ – and whether society will let you!


Lyrical, because I am also obsessed with the craft of writing, right down to what words are chosen. I want my work to be literary, but also accessible. I want to bring forth visual tales like my hero, Doris Lessing who was so skilled at ‘word pictures’. That’s the dream.


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


Absolutely. Blog tours, tweets, author spotlights, Instagram features, Facebook Q&As, guest posts … they all work in getting a book out there to the readers. The important thing to remember is they are cumulative. In marketing, it’s said the average consumer is exposed to a product like a book four times before they buy it. Also, referrals are so important – people buy your book if they see people they like/follow endorsing it, whether that’s another author or a book blogger (preferably both). This notion you tweet a few times and get an Amazon bestseller simply doesn’t add up!  


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


Writing. I’m so lucky to be able to do what I love as my actual job.


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


Writing. I hate it so much! (haha). As you might guess, I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on here.


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


I would love to have had a number of bestselling books and hopefully, a movie or TV adaptation of at least one of them. I’ve also always wanted to write a dystopian series for teenagers. But really, more of what I’m doing now: writing, workshops, blogging, etc!


What’s next for you?


Book 2 for Orenda. No title yet and still working on the rewrites. Also, my latest writing book this September, WRITING DIVERSE CHARACTERS FOR FICTION, TV AND FILM, which will be published by Oldcastle Books as part of its Creative Essentials range. This will be my third in the series, but my first where I include novel writing too rather than just screenwriting.  


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


I adore reading; I try to read at least one book a week. I think it’s really important writers read – I would even wager real money that the best writers (in a craft sense) are the most well-read (whatever that means). I also think the best writers are the most open-minded and challenge themselves the most in terms of what they read. It can be tough to read outside of your comfort zone, but very rewarding. For this reason, I try to set myself pledges on what to read.


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


Argh, I have so many favourites … and so many fave 5s! I suppose the book that changed my life was probably Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.


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


So many. But I wish I had written GONE GIRL, if only to get a naked Ben Affleck in the shower.


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


Spending time with the kids. Reading. Baking. Going for drive, watching movies, hanging out. Nothing earth shattering but it’ the little things I think.


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


I like to take pictures, especially of nature and my 5 cats.


What’s your favourite holiday destination?


I love Harlyn Bay, in Padstow. The beach is gorgeous and I love standing out on the headland there and watching the tide come in.


Favourite food?


Depends on the day! But overall, probably chocolate. All of it. Give it to me!


Favourite drink?


Booze! At the moment, gin. Though it goes through phases … Ale is a favourite, being a Devon gal.


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


Well I was a teacher for a bit. I’ve also worked in other places like telemarketing, supermarkets,  cafes, waitressing, even marketing via sandwich boards and in a giant bear costume! Writing wins hands down over all of these.

Many thanks to Lucy V Hay, Anne Cater and Orenda Books for having me on the blog tour for The Other Twin!

Catch up on the blog tour with all of these wonderful blogs:

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~Blog Tour Review~ Dying to Live by Michael Stanley

Hi everyone,

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Dying to Live, the latest in the Detective Kubu series, by Michael Stanley. I’ll be sharing my review with you all further down, but first, here’s all of the important bookish information that you need to know!

About the book:

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The sixth mystery in the beloved and critically acclaimed Detective Kubu series. Kubu and his colleague Samantha Khama track a killer through the wilds of Botswana on their most dangerous case yet.

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles… but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the author(s):


Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers award


My thoughts:

Having read and loved the previous books in the series, Deadly Harvest and A Death In The Family , I was thrilled to hear that Dying To Live was on its way!

In Dying to Live, Detective Kubu gets involved in the investigation into the death of a Bushman whose body was found near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. During the course of his investigation, Kubu begins to learn that all is most definitely not what it seems.

Parallel to this, a prominent witch doctor is reported missing. This in turn leads to Kubu wondering if both incidents are related. There seems to be more questions than answers to be found. Kubu and his team find themselves in the midst of something much darker than they could have anticipated.

Kubu is by far one of my favourite characters to read about. I smile when I start these books because he is just such an affable and genuine character. I love how he’s also very family-oriented. This is really cemented in Dying to Live when he and his wife, Joy, have to deal with some issues at home.

I don’t want to say anymore because this book is full of mystery and I’d be afraid to give anything away. Its always better to let the reader enjoy the story and untangle the writer’s web of deceit!

Gripping, mysterious and full of excellent characters, Dying to Live is another perfect example of Sunshine Noir.

Highly recommended!

Follow the blog tour:

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