The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop by Tracy Corbett @AvonBooksUK @tracyacorbett

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Book Description:

The summer romance novel everyone is talking about!

Evie is busy running the Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop and praying for an uplift in sales as soon as possible. She might be in the market of selling romance, but for Evie a new man is the last thing she needs!

That is until plumber Scott Castillo turns up to fix her boiler. She’s definitely not interested. But then, why does she keep ogling his rather attractive forearms? She’s been fooled before – she isn’t about to fall head-over-heels for some smooth-talker, right?

When he isn’t trying to balance paying the bills with caring for his sick mother, Scott has stepped in to help parent his 18-year-old nephew, Ben. Between that and working full time Scott doesn’t have time for romance. Until he meets Evie…

Love doesn’t always bloom the way you expect but for the customers of the Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop it might just be the perfect time for romance…

This is the perfect read for fans of Lucy Diamond and Rachael Lucas.

My Thoughts:

Oh wow what an emotional roller coaster of a read this was!

The story centres around three main characters, Evie, her best friend Laura and Scott. I loved how all three all have their own business, which career wise shows that people can really do anything if they set their minds to it. I like how in a way they are all strong and independent.

Scott’s life was one that really makes for emotional reading and made me love his character even more. To take care of his sick mother as well as be a mentor for his nephew, he really has the weight of the world on his shoulders which doesn’t leave a lot of time for himself. I so wanted him to find happiness and have something for solely him.

Evie, I really loved as well. The parts to do with her and her dog Marlon had me laughing as well as make my heart melt.

The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop was an absolutely delightful read that totally enveloped me. Admittedly some parts had me in tears as I was so wrapped up in the characters lives that everything affected me like it did them. By the end they were a mix of joy and sadness at having read such a wonderful book but having to leave the characters behind. I hope the author decides to revisit them one day as that is one journey I would love to tag along for. A heartwarming novel that will captivate your heart.

The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

Lost Innocence by M.A. Comley @Melcom1

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Book Description:

A chance encounter…

Leads to devastating consequences.

The statistics for missing children are staggering and emotionally hard to deal with even for the hardest of detectives. 

DI Sally Parker and her cold case team need to have their wits about them when two very different cases land on her desk. 

Can she solve the mystery of where the bodies are buried? 

Past experience tells her that cold cases have a tendency to unearth surprising secrets. 

The emotions of the families involved are raw during the course of the investigations but nothing can prepare them for the surprising outcome each case delivers.

Can Sally solve the cases before a distraught family member of one of the victims is laid to rest?

My Thoughts:

Cold cases are something that has always fascinated me so I am really loving this series with Sally and her team working their hardest to solve them.

The opening of the book really impacts the reader and I knew I had to carry on to see if justice gets served. Solving a murder case at the best of times can be hard work for the police but even harder when it’s over thirty years later with the risk of potential witnesses being dead.

As ever I also love the balance of the protagonists personal life. The authors main characters always seem to find a special place within my heart and it’s like catching up with good friends. It’s great to see a detective happy for a change and I have to admit to getting a tad emotional at one particular part and had to fight away the tears.

Any case to do with a missing child is going to make for an emotional read, especially the parts to do with their family. The author deals with it skilfully making it feel very realistic. It certainly makes the story go up a notch in terms of pace as they get closer to discovering the truth.

Lost Innocence is a hard hitting and emotional read that had me totally hooked. The authors books really are addictive and I literally can not get enough of them. Another unputdownable read that I read in one sitting.

My thanks to the author for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Lost Innocence is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

The Girl On Camera by Morgan Dun-Campbell

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Book Description:

Reality TV is about to get real…

“Are you ready to win the heart of the nation? Compete with seven other contestants for the cash prize? Change your life forever?”

Twenty-six-year old Rory Stevens is thrilled to be selected as one of eight contestants for new reality show: The Retreat.

However, on the second day of filming – during a televised broadcast from the show’s host – all power shuts off with no explanation: leaving the contestants, quite literally, in the dark. 

Completely stranded, it is now up to Rory and her seven companions to figure out what is happening.

Until one of them disappears…

My Thoughts:

The cover and the blurb really intrigued me for this book. Admittedly I’m not a big fan of reality shows on television but having liked the sound of the blurb I had to give it a go. I was unsure whether it might really be more horror than thriller as in a way it does sound like a classic horror story but having read it, it is definitely more of the mystery/suspense genre.

Rory is pretty much just drifting through life whilst playing it safe. She never takes any risk until she gets an email for a new reality show. What I liked about Rory is that she is really normal. She isn’t someone you would ever expect to be on a show like that. She doesn’t crave fame and is doing it more to prove a point to herself.

The rest of the characters in the house are definitely more the type of people you would expect to be on a reality show. All there to boost their egos. The only ones I really liked other than Rory was Jess and Adam. Adam definitely has an air of mystery to him and like Rory, I wanted to discover more.

The Girl On The Camera was an easy read that intrigued me enough to keep on turning the pages. I wouldn’t say there was any real surprises in store as for me there was only really ever one outcome of which turned out to be right. This is more a character driven story rather than a thriller but still overall an enjoyable reading experience.

The Girl On Camera is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

 

The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne @bookouture @SherylBrowne

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Book Description:

You trust her with your family. Would you trust her with your life?

Mark and Melissa Cain are thrilled to have found Jade, a babysitter who is brilliant with their young children. Having seen her own house burn to the ground, Jade needs them as much as they need her. Moving Jade into the family home can only be a good thing, can’t it?

As Mark works long hours as a police officer and Melissa struggles with running a business, the family become ever more reliant on their babysitter, who is only too happy to help. And as Melissa begins to slip into depression, it’s Jade who is left picking up the pieces.

But Mark soon notices things aren’t quite as they seem. Things at home feel wrong, and as Mark begins to investigate their seemingly perfect sitter, what he discovers shocks him to his core. He’s met Jade before. And now he suspects he might know what she wants …

Mark is in a race against time to protect his family. But what will he find as he goes back to his family home?

If you loved reading The Girl on the Train, Behind Closed Doors and The Sister, you’ll love the suspense of The Babysitter. This unputdownable read will have you turning the pages until way after dark.

My Thoughts:

Having read and enjoyed the authors newest book, The Affair, and loving it, I thought I would I try one of her other books. It didn’t disappoint.

This was such a tense read which builds up throughout. I had to stop myself from jumping up and down and screaming at Mark and Melissa in the hope that they would see what was going on before their eyes. Jade, well don’t get me started on her, would have liked to have had half an hour on my own with her to give a good piece of my mind that’s for sure!

Mark, you can’t help forming a little bit of a crush on. He is just perfect in every way. His love for his wife is unfaltering which I liked as to many films and books make the men quite weak when it comes to the opposite sex and it makes for a refreshing change.

The Babysitter is a novel that will have you going through an array of emotions. My anger levels alone were nearly through the roof at one point as Jade is a character who well and truly gets under your skin. This really is a nail biting, edge of your seat read where you will be desperate to see what the outcome will be. Will definitely get the adrenaline pumping!

The Babysitter is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link).

Suspended Retribution by Rob Ashman @Bloodhoundbook @RobAshmanAuthor

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Book Description:

Alex Jarrod is a war veteran. When a flesh-eating parasite destroys his face, he returns from Afghanistan with a head full of nightmares. His world crumbles around him until he realises there is work to be done. Another war to fight.

DI Rosalind Kray has her hopes pinned on becoming the new DCI after tracking down another serial killer, but those in charge have other ideas.

After a small-time crook is killed in a hit and run and a serial burglar is brutally murdered, Kray suspects a vigilante is at work. But her bosses disregard her theory – until they discover a third victim.

Once again Kray finds herself on the trail of a serial killer but this one is different. This one lives in his own private war zone.

With her bosses on her heels Kray has her work cut out and the body count is rising. 

But he’s not going to stop until the mission is complete … and Kray’s not going to stop until she finds him.

My Thoughts:

I can’t believe we are already onto the third book in the DI Rosalind Kray series. What a series it has been so far as well. I have to say that without a doubt it is one of my favourites as the author consistently delivers and has never let me down. Whilst it reads easily as a stand alone, some readers may benefit from reading at least the first book for a bit of background on Kray.

The book feels slightly different to it’s predecessors even though it is the same layout of the story flicking between the killer and Kray and her fellow officers working on the case. I think it’s because we also get taken to Afghanistan and seeing the horrors that the character had to endure. It gave it an almost sombre feel to it but not in a bad way.

As I have come to expect with this authors books, Suspended Retribution is another story where you need to buckle up and hold on tight. The pace doesn’t relent making it very hard to put the book down and carry on with any day to day chores that need doing. I so enjoyed seeing Kray’s personal life getting better for her as she feels very much like a good friend by now. Her work life, not so much and I loved the bit of humour the author throws in with her job hunting.

Suspended Retribution is another fast paced read that I struggled to put down. Gripping from the off and has thrills and chills a plenty. There’s not much more I can say about these books that I haven’t already said. They are brilliant and for die hard crime fans they are an absolute must read!

My thanks to Bloodhound Books for an advanced readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

Suspended Retribution is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link.

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Author Bio:

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob published the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books in 2017 and will be releasing three new books during 2018. These are titled: Faceless, This Little Piggy and Suspended Retribution.

LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rob-Ashman-Author-1428800800468097/

Website: http://robashman.com/

Twitter: @RobAshmanAuthor

 

The After Wife by Cass Hunter @TrapezeBooks @C_HunterAuthor

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Book Description:

When Rachel and Aidan fell in love, they thought it was forever.

She was a brilliant, high-flying scientist. He was her loving and supportive husband.

Now she’s gone, and Aidan must carry on and raise their daughter alone.

But Rachel has left behind her life’s work, a gift of love to see them through the dark days after her death.

A gift called iRachel.

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My Thoughts:

I can’t actually liken this book to any other due to the story line. It did remind me very much of the film Bicentennial Man starring the late Robin Williams. Not only was I sobbing my heart out by the end of that film, I also sobbed my heart out at the end of this book too. Not that this is an overly sad book as it isn’t. Yes it does deal with death as well as other life issues but it just moved me and touched my heart in a way I had not foreseen.

None of us can ever imagine what to expect when the time comes to lose a loved one. Especially when they are taken away so suddenly. This is what Aiden and his daughter Chloe find themselves having to deal with and my heart went out to them both. There is no doubting the love that Rachel and Aiden had for each other. Even though they both threw themselves into work, they were still like love struck teenagers years later. It certainly melted my heart seeing Aiden struggling through each day.

Chloe I just loved. She is a strong and determined young lady who was so grown up in many ways, yet very much a child in others. I just wanted to give her a big hug for what she was going through.

Without a doubt iRachel is the star of this book. I don’t want to say to much as I think it is best left for the reader to discover but in a world full of technology this gives a glimpse of what may be possible in the future. I have no clue whether it would be a good or bad thing but it’s certainly a wonderful idea.

The story itself flicks between the characters so you really get the rawness of their emotions and feelings and what they are going through. It makes it such a personal yet wonderful reading experience and one that will stay with me for a long time to come.

The After Wife is a beautiful, emotive and gentle read that I well and truly lost myself into. This is a family whose lives will capture your heart never letting it go. One of my favourite reads this year by far.

My thanks to Trapeze Books and NetGalley for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

The After Wife is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link.

Bloody Scotland #MeetTheAuthors #BlogTour @radiomukhers @BloodyScotland

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In less than two weeks, I will be attending my very first Bloody Scotland event. I have heard so many great things about the event so was super excited when I managed to organise being able to go. So if you are going please do say hello.

For my stop I am delighted to share with you a Q&A with author Abir Mukherjee.

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Author Bio:

Abir Mukherjee grew up in the West of Scotland. At the age of fifteen, his best friend made him read Gorky Park and he’s been a fan of crime fiction ever since. The child of immigrants from India, A Rising Man, his debut novel, was inspired by a desire to learn more about this crucial period in Anglo-Indian history that seems to have been almost forgotten. It won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition and became the first in a series starring Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-not’ Banerjee. Abir lives in London with his wife and two sons.

Hi Abir and many thanks for joining me on my blog today. Was writing a novel something you have always aspired to do?

 

Hi Sarah. It’s a pleasure to be on your blog. I’d always wanted to write a novel but for many years I just didn’t have the determination or the confidence to see it through. Several times I’d start a novel and five thousand words in, I’d either find myself caught up in work or family matters or make the mistake of reading what I’d written and fear that it was no good. Then at the age of thirty nine, I saw an interview with Lee Child where he said he’d started writing at forty and I decided I had to give it a real go and I began writing the first ten thousand words of what would become my debut novel, A Rising Man. I might have given up again had it not been for spotting a crime fiction writing competition in a national newspaper which was looking for new writers. I submitted the first few chapters and a few months later was lucky enough to win. The rest is history.

 

How supportive were your friends and family of your decision to become a writer?

 

On the whole my friends and family have been overwhelmingly supportive. My parents were slightly concerned that I might be taking a leap in the dark but they were generally okay with it. My wife has been my true strength. In many ways it’s been toughest on her. We have a young family and she’s had to take up the slack while I’ve been working on the novels at nights and weekends in the library when I should be spending more time with her and the kids.

 

Is there any authors in particular that have inspired you and if so why?

 

There are a number of authors whose works I look out for and will buy as soon as they hit the shelves. Top of this list has to be Ian Rankin – I’m a huge Rebus fan, but I love the stand-alone novels too.

 

In terms of inspiration, I’ve always been fascinated by the predicament of a good man upholding a corrupt or evil system. To that end, I adore the works of Philip Kerr, Martin Cruz Smith and Robert Harris, all three of whom write novels shot through with wit and an intelligence. I also love the hard-boiled gumshoes of American crime fiction, and like so many others, I’m a great fan of Raymond Chandler.

 

Then there are the authors who’ve helped me develop from a budding novice to a fully fledged author. I could reel off a long list here, but I need to make special mention of Val McDermid, who’s been a real source of inspiration to me and, I’m proud to say has become a good friend.

 

Finally, and in a special category, there’s William McIlvanney, whose Scottish detective, Laidlaw, is a fantastic creation. I think McIlvanney was a true genius.

 

 

 

Obviously you will be attending Bloody Scotland this year, how important do you think it is for authors as well as readers to attend events like these?

 

One of the things you’ll notice from the Bloody Scotland programme is the sheer range of authors attending, from some of the biggest names in the industry to new and exciting debuts. This tells you just how important such events are to us. It’s a chance, not only to bring your work to the attention of new readers, but to connect with fans and other writers who’ve become friends over the years. Writing can be a solitary business but the wider crime fiction community, both writers and readers, form a sort of extended family, and I always find it energising to be around so many like-minded people.

 

Can you tell us a bit more about what a normal writing day for you is like?

 

To be honest, it’s not easy finding the time. I still work full time and have a wife and two young children, which means writing has to take a back seat to work pressures and family time. Luckily, my wife is very understanding and helps me to make the time. Generally I end up writing at weekends or late at night, snatching an hour or two here and there, and weekends in the library, though I tend to be thinking of plots and stories almost all of the time.

 

What would your dream office/writing space be like?

 

Wow, that’s a brilliant question. I suppose it would be a quiet place in a warm climate. Maybe a room lined with books but opening out onto a view of a tropical beach. There’s a risk, though, that I’d spend most of my time staring out of the window rather than writing.

 

What made you decide to write in the crime genre?

 

I read widely, but crime fiction has always been a bit special to me. It’s the genre that I tend to enjoy most, I think possibly because it can be so diverse, ranging from cosy crime through to the gritty, hard-boiled stuff. Within that spectrum lies the crime novel as social commentary, a sub-genre which Scottish writers such as William McIlvanney, Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and Denise Mina among others have been at the forefront of. So when it came to writing my novels dealing with the social and political consequences of the Raj, both on the Indians and the British, the crime novel seemed the natural choice.

 

For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of reading your books, can you tell us a bit more about Sam Wyndham, the protagonist from your series?

 

Life’s not exactly done Sam many favours. He’s an ex-Scotland Yard detective and veteran of the First World War who has been scarred by his experiences and finds himself in Calcutta looking for a fresh start.

 

Like anyone else, Sam’s a product of his experiences. He’s always been an outsider, but what he saw during the Great War – the carnage, the futility and the ineptitude of those in authority – has left him cynical. He likes to think he sees the world for what it is, rather than blindly swallowing other people’s preconceptions and prejudices, and in this sense, he is a man of the modern age, and a man with a conscience. But I don’t think he’s as ‘modern’ as he likes to think he is. In truth, his unwillingness to accept what he’s told is as much down to his general stubbornness and distrust of authority as it is to any sense of open-mindedness, and despite his protestations to the contrary, I think there are certain racial taboos he’s not willing to break.

 

He has a rather dark, gallows sense of humour which colours his outlook on life, and I think that’s a reaction to what he’s been through. He’s come to see the world as a rather cruel, arbitrary place where any search for meaning or justice is absurd and ultimately futile. If he has a philosophy, it would be similar to Kierkegaard, not that Sam would ever have read any of the man’s work.

 

Finally, I think Sam’s come to India to find something. He doesn’t know what it is, and I don’t know if he’ll ever find it, but it’ll be an interesting to see where it goes and I’m looking forward to the journey.

 

Where do you get inspiration from for the crimes you feature in your novels? 

 

My inspiration normally comes from the research that I do. Sometimes the whole idea for the plot comes out of the research. I knew I wanted to set my second novel, A Necessary Evil, in one of the Indian princely states, so I began reading as much as I could about them. As part of my research, I came across the story of the Begums of Bhopal, Muslim queens who ruled the kingdom of Bhopal for most of the period between 1819 and 1926, despite staunch opposition from powerful neighbours and male claimants. The British East India Company also opposed female rule in Bhopal until the Begums quoted Queen Victoria as their model and inspiration.

 

As I researched the period, I found that these women, and others like them in other kingdoms, seem to have been very influential and somewhat forgotten by history. Often, while the maharajahs became debauched, it was the maharanis and princesses who became the true keepers of the traditions of the kingdoms. I found this fascinating and wanted to make it a part of my story.

 

Finally, what are you currently working on at the moment and what else can readers look forward to from you in the future?

 

I am currently writing the fourth book in the Sam Wyndham series. This one is partly set in Eastern India in 1922 but is slightly different from the others in that part of it is set outside India, covering some of Sam’s early life as a policeman in London in 1905. The reason for this is that one of the major issues of discussion currently in the UK, as in Germany, is immigration. Indeed it can be argued that the main factor behind the vote for Brexit was a concern over uncontrolled immigration. However, the truth is that Britain has a very good history of welcoming immigrants and, just as importantly, of offering them the opportunity to progress in life and to integrate into wider British society. It struck me that the debates that we are currently having over Muslim immigration to the UK are almost identical to the debate that raged at the beginning of the twentieth century over Jewish immigration from East Europe. Those immigrants settled in the same streets in East London and carried out the same jobs as Bangladeshi immigrants do today, and the same newspapers raised many of the same concerns – that these people didn’t speak the language and worshipped a different god – and yet, within fifty years, the Jewish community became completely integrated into British society whilst maintaining their own cultural identity. The same is happening with the Hindu and Sikh communities in the UK. It may take longer with the muslim communities, but this is more a matter of their working class origins than any other factor. I would be happy to bet that in fifty years, they will be as integrated as the Jewish community is today. I wanted to set part of the book in the Jewish East End of London to show readers that, if our history is anything to go by, we should be optimistic about the future of race relations.

You can find out more about the author and his books over on Amazon.

BloodyScotland-blog-tour

https://bloodyscotland.com/2018-brochure/

Bloody Scotland established itself as the leading Scottish International Crime Writing Festival in 2012 with acclaimed writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray at the helm, then joined by Craig Robertson and Gordon Brown. Based in Stirling, Bloody Scotland has brought hundreds of crime writers new and established to the stage with always enthusiastic attendees who make the festival every bit as much as the writers do.

Priding ourselves as the literary festival where you can let down your hair and enjoy a drink at the bar with your favourite crime writer, we strive to put on entertaining as well as informative events during a weekend in September, covering a range of criminal subjects from fictional forensics, psychological thrillers, tartan noir, cosy crime and many more. With an international focus at the heart of Bloody Scotland, we are always looking to bring in crime writing talent from outside of Scotland whom you may not have heard about. You might, however, knows us for our annual Scotland vs England football cup which always draws a crowd and inevitably ends in tears for someone…

The Bloody Scotland Team 2018: Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson, Jenny Brown, Muriel Binnie, Catriona Reynolds, Bob McDevitt, Laura Jones, Abir Mukherjee, Fiona Brownlee & Tim Donald