#BlogTour: A BLOODY STILETTO, COLD LASAGNA AND A BESTSELLER by Cheryl Denise Bannerman #AnnaRomanoMysteries @cbannerman01 @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

A Bloody Stiletto coverPublished – 28th March 2019

In this second installment of The Anna Romano Mystery Series, Anna gets herself into a mess that lands her in hot water with the prime suspect and her new Bo, Detective John Solace. Their new romance was going great, when all in the sudden, a simple trip to the grocery store turned into wrestling match between two scorned women.

Peeking her interest for a juicy story, Anna’s snooping to find out more about the seemingly ‘innocent’ love triangle, catapulted her into the middle of a murder investigation. The murder weapon of choice? A red stiletto…conspicuously pointing the police in the direction of a female assailant.

No one knows whether the adulterating husband killed his wife to avoid a costly divorce, or if his mistress killed her in a fit of jealous rage. While the detectives are convinced the husband is the ‘killer’, it seems Anna’s faith in his innocence may be in vain, as additional bodies, and mistresses, keep piling up.

Meanwhile, Anna’s publicist, Shirlene, tries to convince Anna to leave the detective work to the police, but, as usual, falls on deaf ears.

In the end, not even a pan of lasagna and a neighborly smile could save Anna!

Find out in A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna, and a Bestseller if Detective Solace will be able to handle Anna’s crazy antics, or if he will make her vow to stay OUT of the realm of ‘Murder and Mayhem’ once and for all.

 

A few months ago I was invited to take part in the blog tour for Cats, Cannolis, And A Curious Kidnapping, the first absorbing and original novel in the Anna Romano series and I fell in love with this character, so when I was invited to read the second novel of this series I accepted right away, curious to see in what hilarious and suspenseful situation Anna would get involved this time. I’d like to thank Emma for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and providing me with a copy of A BLOODY STILETTO, COLD LASAGNA AND A BESTSELLER.

Anna Romano is an author living in New Jersey with her seven cats. Following the events of the first book, she acquired a certain notoriety and also a boyfriend, for the joy of her friends and family who thought she would die single. John Solace is a detective and he really likes Anna, but he spends most of the time worried about the fact that his girlfriend seems to be have a gift of stumbling over dead bodies. After hearing two women fight over a man while grocery shopping, Anna decides to find out more about it, thinking that it would be a good story for a book, but instead she finds the body of one of the women stabbed with a stiletto. And the more her boyfriend John tries to keep her away from the case, the more Anna finds herself involved in it.

Once again, Anna Romano made me laugh with her adventures. The story is entertaining and suspenseful at the same time, captivating and refreshing, witty and romantic. I was happy to read about Anna and John’s love story and how their relationship develops. I also enjoyed reading about Anna’s tasty Italian dishes: her lasagna, biscuits, and muffins made my mouth water.

My only complaint about A BLOODY STILETTO, COLD LASAGNA AND A BESTSELLER is that it’s too short. I love reading Anna Romano’s adventures and I am already looking forward to book number 3!

GIVEWAY!!!

3 US RESIDENTS have the chance to win a paperback copy of A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna And A Bestseller: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/995da7e517/?

3 NON-US RESIDENTS have the chance to win a kindle copy of A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna And A Bestseller: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/995da7e518/?

Terms & Conditions: Both the US paperback giveaway and the Non-US Kindle ebook giveaway will run until midnight (GMT) on Sunday 31st March 2019. Three winners will be selected at random for each giveaway (US & Non-US).  The winners of the US giveaway will need to provide their name and postal address which will then be passed onto Cheryl Denise Bannerman for her to send the copies.  The winners of the Non-US giveaway will need to provide their Kindle email address (instructions on how to do this can be provided by damppebbles blog tours on request).  There is no cash alternative.  Names, addresses and email address will not be stored.  Good luck!

A Bloody Stiletto, Cold Lasagna, and a Bestseller Blog Tour

mayvenne 2Writing under pen name, Cheryl Denise Bannerman, Ms. Powell is an author of two self-published books, and an owner of a 22-year-old Training and Development company, specializing in eLearning, called Learn2Engage.

In her personal life and relationships, Ms. Powell has learned how to turn tragedies into triumphs through her strong will, faith, tenacity and most importantly, her quirky sense of humor. She now turns that keen knowledge of relationships and people, along with her various degrees and experience in Training and Development, into fun, engaging online courses for ‘Corporate America’, and, of course, in her works of fiction.

Within each of her works of fiction, a topic of social concern is addressed. From addictions to domestic violence, and suicide to molestation.

Her writings inspire people to live, laugh, love, learn and grow. She believes that when the world laughs at you, laugh harder. In Ms. Powell’s real and fictional world, she has learned how to create her own ‘happy ending’…one day at a time.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbannerman01

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BannermanBooksdotCom/

Website: http://www.bannermanbooks.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bannermanbooks18/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cheryl-Denise-Bannerman/e/B003YVCJ74/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1536333632&sr=8-1 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bloody-Stiletto-Cold-Lasagna-Bestseller/dp/1794386963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1552508610&sr=8-1&keywords=a+bloody+stiletto%2C+cold+lasagna

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Stiletto-Cold-Lasagna-Bestseller/dp/1794386963/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_2?keywords=a+bloody+stiletto%2C+cold+lasagna&qid=1552508665&s=gateway&sr=8-2-fkmrnull

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#BlogTour: SHE LIES IN WAIT by Gytha Lodge @thegyth @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90

She Lies In WaitPublication: 10th January 2019 (eBook); 21st March 2019 (hardback) – Michael Joseph

On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he
already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of SHE LIES IN WAIT, the dark and absorbing debut novel by Gytha Lodge and I’d like to thank Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this fascinating novel.

Everyone thought that Aurora Jackson was a smart and beautiful young girl with a bright future ahead of her. So why would someone kill her? That’s what DCI Sheens is trying to figure out when, thirty years after her disappearance, the body of Aurora is found in the same woods where she was last seen alive. In 1983, six teenagers, aged between 15 and 18 went camping together. They were the popular cool kids, everyone was either jealous or scared of them. They were a closed group and Aurora was clearly the outsider during this camping trip, but she was also Topaz’s sister so they tried to make her feel included. However, that night, alcohol, drugs, lust, and jealousy are high, memories are blurry, and the six friends claim to not know what really happened to Aurora.

Through the flashbacks we read what really happened the night Aurora disappeared, while in the present time DCI Johan Sheens and his team interrogate once again the group of friend who, thirty years later, are still close and present a unite front. The author created a cast of characters that are multi-layered and complex. The six friends are difficult to figure out, it’s not clear if and what they are hiding and, at some point, they are all suspects.. I found the character of DCI Jonah Sheens fascinating. He was part of the first investigation thirty years earlier, he had some connection to the six friends, and he is also hiding something. The members of his team are interesting and engaging, they are all different from each other, but work really well together. Aurora remains the real protagonist of the story. She feels realistic and innocent and, through her flashbacks, we see a young girl, between childhood and adulthood, trying to fit in with a group of people who are not really her friends.

With a slow pace, flashbacks, and twists, the author manages to keep the tension always high and, page after page, there is a sense of dread, a sense of something bad about to happen. Tana French meets The Secret History in this immersive, riveting, and suspenseful police procedural and, if this is the first book in a series, I am already looking forward to reading book number 2!

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Gytha Lodge is a writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge.
After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary
Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards, and developed a huge online
following for her young adult and children’s writing, with over six million reads
accrued on platform Wattpad. She Lies in Wait is her debut novel.

 

 

#BlogTour: A GIFT FOR DYING by M. J. Arlidge @mjarlidge @MichaelJBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

A Gift for DyingPublication: 7th March 2019 – Michael Joseph

With just one look, she knows how and when you will die . . . 

Nothing surprises Adam Brandt anymore. As a forensic psychologist, he’s seen and heard everything.

That is, until he meets Kassie.

Because she claims to have a terrible gift – with she looks into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.

Adam doesn’t believe her, obviously.

But then a serial killer starts wreaking havoc across the city, and only Kassie seems to know where he’ll strike next.

Against all his intuition, Adam starts to believe her. 

He just doesn’t realise how dangerous this trust might be . . .

 

Welcome on my stop on the blog tour for the gripping and engrossing new novel by M. J. Arldige for which I’d like to thank Tracy Fenton and Michael Joseph.

In Chicago there is a killer on the loose who the police can’t catch, a young girl with visions of people dying, and a forensic psychologist who is facing problems both in his personal and professional life. The author masterfully plotted a story in which the only connection between the victims of a cruel killer is Kassie Wojcek, a 15-year-old girl who claims she can predict how people will die by looking into their own eyes. Obviously, no one believes her, but Dr. Adam Brandt sees something in Kassie and he wants to help her figure out the truth.

The author gives the readers a 360° perspective: we read from the points of views of the killer, the victims, the police, Kassie, and Adam. We read about the victims’ lives and their fear when they are kidnapped and about the killer’s dark pleasure in torturing them. Kassie and Adam’s perspectives are a compelling and intense read as the author describes in details Kassie’s frustration and torment, her loneliness, abandoned even by her own mother, and her courage in finding the killer, even on her own or with Adam’s help who, in the meantime, is facing a difficult and painful situation at home. I really felt for both Kassie and Adam who find themselves in danger and in a race against time in trying to stop the killer before he gets to his next victim.

The ending was not at all what I expected: it’s dark, shocking, moving, and, although it’s not what I hoped for, it fits perfectly with the story. Claustrophobic and with a series of murders that some readers may find a bit too gruesome, A GIFT FOR DYING is a fast-paced, thrilling and haunting page-turner with the suspense always high, an absolute must-read!

MJ Arlidge Blog Tour

#BookReview: THE WINTER SISTER by Megan Collins @ImMeganCollins @AtriaBooks

The Winter SisterPublication: 5th February 2019 – Atria

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

 

If you are looking for a good domestic thriller, a compelling character study full of twists with a cold case to be solved and a very very complicated mother-daughter relationship, then THE WINTER SISTER is right novel for you. I read it in less than two days and I loved every page of it.

The death of Persephone didn’t only mean that Sylvie lost her older sister, but she also lost her mother who, unable to deal with her grief, started loving alcohol much more than her own daughter. Sixteen years later, Sylvie is still dealing with grief and guilt over her sister’s death and an almost inexistent relationship with her mother. An artist working as a tattooist, Sylvie still doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, but when her mother gets cancer she has no choice but to go back home and take care of her. Will the chance encounter with Ben, Persephone’s former boyfriend, and her mother finally getting sober finally help Sylvie figure out what really happened to her sister?

THE WINTER SISTER is not only the story of an unsolved murder, it’s especially the story of the bond between two sisters, the story of the complicated relationship between mother and daughter, the story of a family with secrets and jealousies. The characters are realistic and well-developed and the intricate family dynamics, the author’s beautiful writing, and the atmospheric setting kept me completely engrossed in the novel.

THE WINTER SISTER is a compulsive and engaging debut novel that completely took me by surprise and I am already looking forward to whatever the author writes next.

#BookReview: THE WYCH ELM by Tana French @PenguinUKBooks

the wych elmPublication: 21st February 2019 – Viking

‘For me it all goes back to that night, the dark corroded hinge between before and after, the slipped-in sheet of trick glass that tints everything on one side in its own murky colours and leaves everything on the other luminous and untouchable.’

One night changes everything for Toby. He’s always led a charmed life – until a brutal attack leaves him damaged and traumatised, unsure even of the person he used to be. He seeks refuge at his family’s ancestral home, the Ivy House, filled with memories of wild-strawberry summers and teenage parties with his cousins.

But not long after Toby’s arrival, a discovery is made: a skull, tucked neatly inside the old wych elm in the garden.

As detectives begin to close in, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself.

A spellbinding standalone from a literary writer who turns the crime genre inside out, The Wych Elm asks what we become, and what we’re capable of, if we no longer know who we are.

 

THE WYCH ELM was quite an intense read for me. There is not a lot of action and it’s more of a character study mixed with a murder. The protagonist of the novel is Toby. He is the typical young man who leads an easy and good life. Hanging out with the popular crowd, good at school, a fantastic job and women who love him. Everything changes one night when Toby is brutally assaulted in his own home by burglars.  He suffers from physical injuries, mood swings, and memory loss and he moves to the family home, Ivy House, to recover and to take care of his dying uncle, Hugo.

Between Sunday lunches with the family and helping Hugo with his genealogy job, Toby starts to recover and things seem to go back to normal, even though there is always some kind of tension lurking through the pages that kept my interest high. The suspense grows when a body is found inside the ancient wych elm by the garden. Who is it? And how long has it been there?

I do love unreliable characters in novels and Toby made me guess everything I read. Because of his head injury and memory loss, Toby doesn’t remember things from his past or he remembers them incorrectly. He asks for the help of his cousins Susanna and Leon, but you know right away that those are characters that you can’t trust. I never knew what was real and what was not so that I was on the edge of my seat until the end.

Although sometimes the pace is a bit too slow, the author knows how to keep the reader’s interest with a cast of multi-layered, irritating, and not very likable characters, a captivating and intricate plot, and a sinister and claustrophobic atmosphere that made me turn page after page.

THE WYCH ELM is my first attempt to Tana French’s novels, but I really liked her prose and her characterization, so it won’t be my last!

 

 

 

#BookReview: BEAUTIFUL BAD by Annie Ward @_Annie_Ward @QuercusBooks

Beautiful BadPublication: 5th March 2019 (eBook); 21st March 2019 (hardcover) – Quercus

Maddie and Ian’s romance began when he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo in Europe. Now sixteen years later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.

But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, the years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?

 

BEAUTIFUL BAD is a domestic thriller, twisty, brilliant, and beautifully-written. It’s the story of Maddie and Ian, how they met, fell in love, got married, and had a child, until one night the police is called to their house. The house is in the dark, there is blood, signs of struggle, and probably a child is involved, but what really happened in this seemingly perfect suburban house? To find out, the reader is taken back in time and space, in 2001, in East Europe where a young Maddie is an American writer, journalist, and teacher living in Bulgaria and often travelling to Macedonia to visit her friend Jo, a relief worker. It’s through Jo that Maddie meets Ian, an English bodyguard. From the beginning, their relationship is very complicated and we see them travel around the world until they finally settle in a small town in Kansas with their young son Charlie. However, their lives are far from perfect, Ian in often away for work and Maddie suffers from anxieties that lead her to seek for the help of a psychiatric.

Annie Ward is definitely an author to watch. She created very multi-layered characters and she is also very good at portraying them as real people with their flaws and their psychological and emotional problems. You can almost feel Maddie’s fears and inquietude and Ian’s paranoia that it often made for an heartbreaking read. Ian and Maddie are also dark and complex and, even though the story is told mostly from Maddie’s point of view, she remains a mystery until the very last page.

With an explosive beginning, a shocking ending, and many twists along the way, BEAUTIFUL BAD made me hold my breath many times. The novel is completely unpredictable and the different timelines and perspectives kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. BEAUTIFUL BAD is a gripping, haunting, carefully-plotted, and tragic story about friendship, about love, and about trauma that will move you, intrigue you, and captivate you all at the same time.

 

#BlogTour: THE GUILTY PARTY by Mel McGrath @mcgrathmj @HQstories @joe_thomas25 #AreYouGuilty

The Guilty PartyPublication: 7th March 2019 – HQ

You did nothing. That doesn’t mean you’re innocent.

On a night out, four friends witness a stranger in trouble. They decide to do nothing to help.

Later, a body washes up on the banks of the Thames – and the group realises that ignoring the woman has left blood on their hands.

But why did each of them refuse to step in? Why did none of them want to be noticed that night? Who is really responsible?

And is it possible that the victim was not really a stranger at all?

 

Happy publication day to Mel McGrath!!! THE GUILTY PARTY is her new gripping novel and it’s out today, so go out to a bookstore (or online) and grab a copy because this is a very suspenseful and dark novel that will keep you completely engrossed from the first to the very last page.

Meet the Group. Cassie, Anna, Bo, and Dex have been best friends for fifteen years, since their days at Oxford. They are friends, they are ex-lovers, they are family. They come before their husbands, children, boyfriends, and girlfriends. No matter what, they are there for each other. But how well do you really know your best friends?

During a late night out to celebrate Cassie’s birthday, the four of them witness something bad happening to a woman, but, each for their own reasons, they do nothing to stop it and they try to pretend that it never happened. One month later, during a month away to celebrate Bo’s birthday, the four friends have to face what really happened that night, the secrets that they are keeping from each other, and the true nature of their friendship.

You know that a story is really really good when you don’t like any of the characters and, yet, you can’t put it down. Cassie, Bo, Dex, and Anna are despicable characters. They are all selfish, self-centered, narcisistic, and they all have a dark side. Their friendship is toxic and not at all healthy, and, even though I wasn’t a fan of any of them, I was completely absorbed in their stories, curious to see how far they would go to protect themselves and how it would end up.

Different points of views and timelines and a claustrophic atmosphere keep the tension always high together with twists that I didn’t really see coming. This is my first novel by this author, but I really like her writing style, how she manages to always surprise the reader, and I am definitely going to read more of her books.

THE GUILTY PARTY is a twisty and compelling novel that will keep you on edge page after page and that makes you also question yourself as, at the end of the novel, the author asks you: “If you had been there what would you have done?”

I’d like to thank Joe Thomas and HQ for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this fantastic novel.

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Mel McGrath is an Essex girl, co-founder of Killer Women, and an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction. As MJ McGrath she writes the acclaimed Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries, which were twice longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and Times and Financial Times thrillers of the year. As Melanie McGrath she wrote the critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir Silvertown. As Mel McGrath she is the author of the bestselling psychological thriller Give Me The Child.

The Guilty Party is her latest novel.