#BlogTour: THE SINGLE MUMS MOVE ON by Janet Hoggart @Janethauthor @aria_fiction @VickyJoss1

Welcome to stop on the blog tour for THE SINGLE MUMS MOVE ON. It was published by Aria Fiction on 18th July 2019 and it’s my pleasure to share an extract of this new entertaining novel by Janet Hoggart.

 

Can neighbours become more than good friends…

After her husband left her, Ali and her daughter Grace enjoyed living in what became known as ‘the Single Mums’ Mansion’. However, with her best friends Amanda and Jacqui moving on, it’s time for Ali and Grace to make their own way. Thankfully, a chance conversation leads to them moving into the infamous South London gated community known only as ‘The Mews’.

In ‘The Mews’ everyone lives in each other’s pockets and curtain twitching is an Olympic sport. The neighbours are an eclectic bunch – from Nick the alleged spy, Carl the gorgeous but clearly troubled Idris Elba lookalike, to Debbie who is about to face the hardest fight of her life, and TV agent Samantha who is not as in control as she likes to pretend.

Each day brings another drama, but along with the tears, real friendships grow. And her neighbours’ problems might unlock the key to something Ali has yearned for all along…

Based on a true story – you’ll never be able to look at your neighbours quite the same way again… 

Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, Mhairi McFarlane and Helen Fielding.

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‘Ali, what the fuck? He’s been treating you like a doormat and you’re just covering for him. Has he been sponging off you too?’

‘I’ve lent him money, yes, but he’s promised to pay it back. He’s trying to break into modelling.’

‘You have a child and rely on benefits to help you out. He shouldn’t be taking anything or expect anything!’ Amanda wore her crazy face; she’d abandoned her zen softly-softly approach.

‘Can I see the video?’

Amanda glanced at Ursula and she nodded at her.

‘Fine, if it gives you closure.’ She handed me her phone with the footage already open. It was very blurry but then, when the lens focused, I could make out Ifan half naked on a flowery Cath Kidston duvet with a bare-chested man dressed in tight black leather chaps looming over him. The chaps were unflattering, pushing his gut up into a muffin top. It certainly looked like Sandeep, and in any other situation it would have been hysterically funny, the thought of him trying to squeeze into unforgiving black leather. Mild-mannered Sandeep, who always asked if you wanted one of the chocolate bars on special offer. And to think I had missed seeing him when I’d moved out of Amanda’s! Mary must have been filming. Holy shit, there she was standing in front of a large canvas of the New York skyline. It looked exactly like one from Ikea, in fact the whole bedroom was kitted out with Ikea knick-knacks – some of them were in my home! She was in full leather bondage gear with a stick in her mouth, or was it a gag? I turned the volume up so I could hear. Who was filming then? Suddenly I heard a familiar voice: Niko, he was the cameraman. Sandeep started tantalisingly to peel down Ifan’s underpants and I couldn’t watch any more, my stomach swilled with what felt like battery acid, and I hastily thrust the phone at Amanda.

‘I’m so sorry,’ Amanda whispered. ‘I couldn’t not tell you.’

‘It was like some fucking shit porn film from the seventies.’

‘Was that Niko I could hear?’ Ursula asked tentatively. She and Niko had shagged once when they were very drunk. Not to be repeated: apparently his sexual transgression was golden showers…

‘Yes, the fucker. I always thought it was weird how much time they spent together. And Ifan was completely obsessed with anal sex.’

‘That doesn’t mean he’s gay,’ Ursula said reasonably. ‘Lots of straight men are obsessed with it. The forbidden fruit and all that.’

‘What are you going to do?’ Amanda asked me, as always she expected there to be an exit plan just when I wanted to curl up into a ball and pretend none of this was happening.

‘Throw him out. Oh God, why now? I fucking hate January, I hate being on my own, especially in winter.’ Before I knew it I was howling my eyes out, my nose stinging from the deluge, and Amanda and Ursula were hugging me.

‘You deserve so much better, you really do,’ Ursula soothed me. ‘You are too good for him.’

‘Yes,’ Amanda agreed. ‘I think he has massive self-loathing, which is why he’s so vain. I’ve seen him posing in the pub windows. He hasn’t got anything else apart from his looks. He’s never going to make it as a model now. He’s too old. Don’t they all have to have been spotted by the time they’re eighteen?’

‘Yes, but older models are trending now,’ Ursula replied while I continued to snot into my hands. Amanda shoved a torn-off piece of kitchen towel at me. ‘Look at David Gandy, he’s old.’

‘Hardly! He’s the same age as Chris. We’re old!’

‘Speak for yourself!’ Ursula cackled.

‘I’m old,’ I sobbed pathetically. ‘I’ll never find anyone now. I can’t face going back out there. It was so shit last time.’

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Janet HoggarthJanet Hoggarth has worked on a chicken farm, as a bookseller, children’s book editor and DJ with her best friend (under the name of Whitney and Britney). She has published several children’s books, the most recent ones written under the pseudonym of Jess Bright. Her first adult novel The Single Mums’ Mansion, a huge bestseller, was based on her experiences of living communally as a single parent.

Follow Janet:  

Twitter: @Janethauthor

Facebook: @JanetHoggarthAuthor

 

Pre-order links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2J3YhI1

iBooks: https://apple.co/2XYgIlB

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2J3YiM5

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2vtRDTC

 

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

 

 

#CoverReveal: THE CHRISTMAS CALENDAR GIRLS by Samantha Tonge @SamanthaTongeAuthor @VickyJoss1 @Aria_Fiction

I know we are just in the middle of summer and it’s still hot and sunny outside but I couldn’t resist taking part in the cover reveal of this fantastic Christmas novel. I mean, the cover is just fabulous, so shiny and Christmassy.

THE CHRISTMAS CALENDAR GIRLS is the new novel by Samantha Tonge and it’s published in eBook on 3th October 2019 by Aria.

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This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.

In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Clara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.

Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?

This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

 

About the author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

 Follow Samantha:   

Facebook: @SamTongeWriter

Twitter: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

Buy links:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2YAAmUI

Google Play: https://bit.ly/2YBNoBH

Kobo: https://bit.ly/2SUjoPS

iBooks: https://apple.co/2YwUjfd

Follow Aria

Website: www.ariafiction.com

Twitter: @aria_fiction

Facebook: @ariafiction

Instagram: @ariafiction

#BookReview: THE TURN OF THE KEY by Ruth Ware @RuthWareWriter @HarvillSecker

The Turn of the KeyPublication: 8th August 2019 – Harvill Secker

I know you don’t know me but you have to help me. I didn’t kill anyone.

When Rowan stumbles across the advert, it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is…

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THE TURN OF THE KEY, the new brilliant novel by one of my favourite authors is out next week and I had the pleasure to read it earlier thanks to Harvill Secker and NetGalley.

The first thing I say every time I read a new novel by Ruth Ware is: “This is her best one so far!” and it happened again after I finished reading THE TURN OF THE KEY. The premise is brilliant: a young woman is in prison, accused of killing the child she was looking after, but she claims to be innocent. Gripping, right? Then I started reading and there was another surprise: the story is told from Rowan, the protagonist, in form of a letter written to her lawyer, explaining the events that landed her in jail. Granted, it’s a very long long letter where sometimes I forgot that she was addressing the lawyer, but still, I loved it. And I loved the setting: Heatherbrae House, a remote and isolated mansion in Scotland. I found it a bit claustrophobic and unsettling. The mansion is old but the technology inside is absurd. Everything is controlled by an app and it creeped me out how the voice of the children’s mother would suddenly boom into the kitchen when you less expected. And let’s not forget about the strange and inexplicable noises around the house at night when Rowan was supposedly alone with just the children sleeping in their rooms. It literally gave me goose bumps.

The protagonist of the story is Rowan, a young woman I found difficult to figure out. She leaves her job in a nursery in London, a job she didn’t much like, to move into a remote house looking after four children. As I read her narrative, from the job interview to the wait for a response, from getting the job to her first day at Heatherbrae House, it was clear that Rowan was hiding something. Why did she want the job so much? Although she was something of a mystery and at times I didn’t like her very much, I found Rowan relatable (having worked as a nanny for four years I know that children can test the patience of a saint), brave, and very determined.

The mysterious noises around the house, the inexplicable deaths occurred in the past, and the ghost stories give the novel a supernatural touch that kept me on the edge of my seat. There is tension and a sense of dread that never leave the pages and the twists just kept coming and took me by surprise.

THE TURN OF THE KEY is definitely a must-read and I can’t wait to see whatever Ruth Ware is working next (which will be my new favourite 😉)!!!

#BlogTour: THE ESCAPE ROOM by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress

Escape Room coverPublication: 30th July 2019 – St. Martin’s Press

In Megan Goldin’s unforgettable debut, The Escape Room, four young Wall Street rising stars discover the price of ambition when an escape room challenge turns into a lethal game of revenge.

Welcome to the escape room. Your goal is simple. Get out alive.

In the lucrative world of finance, Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are at the top of their game. They’ve mastered the art of the deal and celebrate their success in style—but a life of extreme luxury always comes at a cost.

Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, the ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival.

Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder. As tempers fray, and the clues turn deadly, they must solve one final chilling puzzle: which one of them will kill in order to survive?

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This book is a page-turner. It’s gripping, tense, and it completely took me by surprise. I devoured it in one afternoon because I couldn’t stop reading until I found out how it ended.

It has a suspenseful premise: gunshots are heard inside an elevator in an abandoned building. What is going on? Let’s go back to a Friday night when Vincent, Sam, Jules, and Sylvie are preparing to enjoy the weekend when they are called for a mandatory escape room. Their jobs at risk, they have no choice but to get inside the elevator. After all, it should last just an hour. But this is not a normal escape room, as they soon find out, and what happens when people are scared and trapped? Their survival instincts kicks in and things get out of control. Add also resentment, paranoia and secrets that start to come to light and you start wonder if they will ever make it out of there alive.

This part of the story is high with tension and increased my fear of elevators. I was completely captivated as tempers rose and people got hurt. However, that’s not all that happens in the novel, because there is also Sarah Hall’s story that kept me glued to the page. Who is Sarah Hall? She is a young woman just out of graduation, she is driven and optimistic for the future, especially after she lands her dream job in a finance company in New York. Thrown in the man’s world of Wall Street were women can be counted on the fingers of one’s hand, Sarah faces long hours in the office and no social life. But how is she connected to the escape room?

I loved how the author presented the characters, how the twists took me by surprises, and the claustrophobic setting is simply perfect. I was so engrossed in the story that I didn’t realise I finished reading it until I read “acknowledgements from the author”. If you are looking for a fast-paced, entertaining, and compulsive read, then you are going to love THE ESCAPE ROOM.

A big thank you to Kelly and St. Martin’s Press for inviting me to join the blog tour and provinding me with a copy of the novel.

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Megan Goldin Hi ResMEGAN GOLDIN worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs. THE ESCAPE ROOM is her debut novel.

Buy-book link:

https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250219671

 

 

 

#BookReview: GIRLS LIKE US by Cristina Alger @cristinaalger @MulhollandUK

Girls Like UsPublication: 11th July 2019 – Mulholland Books

FBI Agent Nell Flynn is about to work the most personal case of her life.

When her father Martin dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns home to Long Island for the first time in a decade.

Martin, a homicide detective, left one piece of unfinished business. He was investigating the murders of two undocumented Latina girls. Now his partner wants Nell’s help to find the killer.

But Nell soon realises that Martin should be the prime suspect, and that his friends on the force are covering for him.

With no idea who she can trust, Nell also starts to question events that took place when she was a child – when her own mother was murdered. Could her father really be a killer?

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GIRLS LIKE US is one of these novels that I pick up because I find the blurb intriguing and then it engrosses me so much that I don’t put it down until I finish reading. It’s a domestic thriller, fast-paced and full of suspense, keeping you always on the alert.

Nell Flynn is an FBI agent who had it rough in the last months. First she was injured during an arrest and now she is back in her childhood home, where she hasn’t been for the last ten years, to attend to her father’s funeral. She is supposed to organize her father’s estate and then go back to Washington DC, but she finds herself involved in the murder of a young woman. This brutal homicide seems linked to another one her father was investigating before dying and it leads Nell to a ring of prostitution and human trafficking in the area. However, the more Nell investigates the more her father’s involvement becomes suspicious. Did he have anything to do with the girls’ murder? And did he really die in a motorcycle accident?

The novel really captivated me. There is the story of young prostitutes being killed which is dark and disturbing, but there is also the story of a woman and her complicated relationship with her father. Her flashbacks introduce us to an ex-marine, alcoholic, a bit abusive and, for the last ten years, Nell and her father have barely talked to each other. His possible involvement in the murders lead Nell to wonder about her mother’s murder opening up the novel to more twists and suspense.

Nell is quite an interesting character. She is likable, super-smart, a brilliant FBI agent, she acts rough, but she also shows her emotion and her pain. She is haunted by her past and by her complicated relationship with her father, but she keeps always her head on the job.

As the novel ends with a few unanswered questions, I really hope it’s going to be a series and that soon there is going to be another novel featuring Nell Flynn. If you are looking for a fresh and thrilling novel that keeps the tension always high, then GIRLS LIKE US is the right read for you.

A huge thank you to Mulholland Books and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

#BookReview: LOCK EVERY DOOR by Riley Sager @riley_sager @EburyPublishing

Lock Every DoorPublication: 25th July 2019 – Ebury Press

You’ve been offered a luxury apartment, rent free. The catch: you may not live long enough to enjoy it…

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents. 
These are the only rules for Jules Larson’s new job as apartment sitter for an elusive resident of the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile private buildings and home to the super rich and famous.

Recently heartbroken and practically homeless, Jules accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

Out of place among the extremely wealthy, Jules finds herself pulled toward other apartment sitter Ingrid. But Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her. Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story – but the next day, her new friend has vanished.

And then Jules discovers that Ingrid is not the first temporary resident to go missing…

Welcome to the Bartholomew…You may never leave.

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After he kept me completely captivated with Final Girls and Last Time I Lied, of course I had to read Riley Sager’s new novel, LOCK EVERY DOOR, and I did read it. In. One. Single. Day. Wow!!! This book hooked me from the first page thanks to the different timelines, the sinister characters, and the highly suspenseful story.

The heroine of this new novel is Jules Larson. Like the heroines of the author’s previous novels, Jules is trying to survive. She has a troubled past that she slowly unravels and a complicated present that she hopes to turn around. After being laid off, heartbroken, and made homeless on the same day, Jules responds to an online ad that she hopes it will be her fresh start. Her new job consists of apartment sitting in one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan. There are a few rules to follow, but the job is straightforward and Jules gets paid a lot of money to do it. Who wouldn’t accept such a job? Despite the concerns of her best friend Chloe, Jules moves into her new home, but it’s clear from the beginning that something weird is going on and the darker the story got the more I couldn’t put the book down.

Once again, the author created the perfect setting for a chilling thriller, a setting that becomes a character itself of the story. The apartments of the Bartholomew are one of the most sought-after and luxurious in Manhattan. With views of Central Parks, secret passages between the apartments, and characteristic gargoyles outside the windows, the Bartholomew is unaccessible to non-residents and there is a ten-year-long waiting list to buy one of the apartments. However, the Bartholomew is a gilded cage and the beautiful and luxurious building becomes a claustrophobic and creepy prison for Jules.

I liked the character of Jules, so realistic and relatable. She isn’t looking for much from her life, just stability, a job that allows her to pay the rent and, possibly, someone who loves her, but she hasn’t been very lucky so far. Tragedy and bad luck has followed her around. The job at the Bartholomew seems too good to be true, but Jules is desperate. She is also smart and she quickly figures out that something is not right among the residents of the Bartholomew.

LOCK EVERY DOOR is definitely my favourite novel by Riley Sager. A gothic, gripping, page-turning mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat from the first to the last page and makes me eager to read whatever the author is planning next!

 

 

#BlogTour: ABOUT THAT NIGHT by Elaine Bedell @ElaineABedell @joe_thomas25 @HQStories

About That NightPublication: 11th July 2019 – HQ

Sometimes it only takes one night to change everything…

Elizabeth Place might have been jilted on her wedding day one year ago, but at least she’s still got her brilliant job producing one of the biggest shows on TV!

But when larger-than-life TV host, Ricky Clough, dies live on air, her life is sent spinning out of control. And with foul play suspected, the spotlight is turned firmly on his colleagues – especially Hutch, the man desperate for Ricky’s job and whom Elizabeth is secretly dating.

As her world comes crashing down around her, Elizabeth realises that perhaps the only person she can really trust, is herself…

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for ABOUT THAT NIGHT, the thrilling debut novel by Elaine Bedell. A huge thank you to Joe Thomas and HQ for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.

When I first read the blurb of ABOUT THAT NIGHT, I found it intriguing. A television show, a suspicious death live on air, and some complicated love affairs. I thought I was going to enjoy it and I wasn’t wrong because I was completely glued to the pages. Thanks to the detailed descriptions of the author, we are taken right behind the scenes of a live TV show, exactly like the American ones I use to watch on YouTube. And I found it all very fascinating because, on TV, we don’t see all the preparation, the schedule, and the drama that goes behind the camera. The author portrays all of it on the page and her descriptions are so accurate and informative that I could almost imagine the protagonist, Elizabeth Place, talking into the microphone trying to direct the TV host and convince him to not go too off script.

In addition, there is a mystery. Ricky Clough is the star of Bonker, the TV show of which Elizabeth is a producer. However, his star is in decline and rumours of a new show with a new presenter spread. When Ricky suddenly dies on air and the police treats it as suspicious, things get even more complicated, especially for Elizabeth who doesn’t know who she can trust.

If this is not enough to convince you to read ABOUT THAT NIGHT, there are love affairs and secret rendezvous that will keep you engrossed (no one seemed to be faithful to their other half in this book).

I liked the author’s writing style, clear and precise. The characters are multi-layered and well-drawn, especially the protagonist. Elizabeth Place is a woman in her thirties, successful in her job (even if she has to deal with a crazy star), not so much on her personal life. Her revelation about her non-wedding, her father’s death, and her relationship with a married man make her more realistic and likable and I loved the ending she got.

ABOUT THAT NIGHT is a brilliant debut that will keep you entertained for hours!!!

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Elaine Bedell was a BAFTA award-winning TV producer before becoming Controller of Entertainment at the BBC and Director of Entertainment & Comedy at ITV. She has commissioned and produced some of the UK’s most popular entertainment shows, including The X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Take Me Out, Britain’s Got Talent, The One Show, Top Gear and Saturday Night Takeaway. She lives in Hackney and has two children. She is currently Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre. About That Night is her first novel.