#CoverReveal: THE SECRET by Jennifer Wells @jenwellswriter @aria_fiction

It is my absolute pleasure to take part in the cover reveal for a new beautiful novel by Jennifer Wells. Her new book is called THE SECRET and it’s out on December 4th, 2018.

9781786691095

A tightly woven story full of secrets and lies with a breathtaking finale.

London 1920 – Troubled young dancer, Lily, is invited to remote Elmridge House, home of the wealthy theatre benefactor Dr Cuthbertson to escape her troubled past. An isolated guest room and a surprise pregnancy leave her longing to return to the stage and her London life. She soon discovers that Elmridge House is not all that it seems – the house holds secrets which make it difficult for her to leave.

Missensham 1942 – Young nurse Ivy Watts is called out to a patient at Elmridge House, home of the aloof Mrs Cuthbertson and reclusive Dr Cuthbertson. Ivy is entranced by the opulence of the house and its glamorous past, but when she tells her mother about Mrs Cuthbertson, her mother becomes fearful and forbids her from returning to the house. What secrets does Elmridge House hold? And why does Lily’s mother live in fear of the mysterious Mrs Cuthbertson?

Perfect for the fans of Lesley Pearce and Susan Lewis.

Buy links: mybook.to/TheSecretWells

 

Jennifer Wells works in Market Research when not writing. She lives in Devon with her young family and cat. The Secret is her third novel in the series set in fictional Missenham in the Home Counties.

Follow Jennifer

Twitter: @jenwellswriter

Facebook: @JenniferWells

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#BookReview: THE STRANGER DIARIES by Elly Griffiths @ellygriffiths @QuercusBooks

The Stranger DiariesPublication: 1st November 2018 – Quercus

A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

 

If you are looking for the perfect book to give you the chills and make you check that all doors and windows are closed before getting into bed at night, then THE STRANGER DIARIES is the right book.

The story is told from three points of views, from three women I really liked. The first one is Clare Cassidy. She is an English teacher who, after her divorce, left London and moved to a small town in Sussex with her daughter. She took a job at the local comprehensive school, Talgarth High, that, in the early 1900s, was the home of R. M. Holland, a reclusive Victorian writer who is the subject of a biography Clare is writing. He wrote The Stranger, a Gothic short story that it’s at the centre of this novel. Clare’s life focuses on her daughter, her job, and the book she is writing, but it’s turned upside down when her colleague and close friend, Ella Elphick, is found murdered. That’s how she meets DS Harbinder Kaur, the second protagonist of the novel. Harbinder is in her middle-thirties, single, and she still lives with her parents. She is in charge of Ella’s case and she works relentlessly to find out the killer, especially as Clare becomes more and more involved in the case. Clare and Harbinder are completely different women, from different backgrounds and culture, and, even though at the beginning they don’t really like each other, a friendship begins between the two women as the case progresses. The third protagonist of the novel is Georgia, Clare’s fifteen-year-old daughter. Like all teenagers, she is moody, annoyed by her mother, and angry to the world, but she is also clever, intuitive, and a gifted writer.

I am a big fan of Elly Griffiths’s series featuring Dr Ruth Galloway so I was really looking forward to her stand-alone novel and I am happy to say that it went above my expectations because I was hooked from the first to the last page. Between the surprising twists and a cast of suspicious characters the suspense is always high and there are ghosts, magic, spirits, and séances that agree perfectly with the spooky and dark atmosphere that fills the pages. The plot is often interrupted by passages from Holland’s short story, The Stranger, which I found captivating, and snippets from Clare’s diaries that made the novel more gripping and sinister.

Unsurprisingly, Elly Griffiths wrote a compelling and captivating novel with a ghostly atmosphere and engaging characters and I’d like to thank Quercus for providing me with an early copy of the book.

#BlogTour: NO ONE CANCELS CHRISTMAS by Zara Stoneley @ZaraStoneley @rararesources @HarperImpulse

No One Cancels Christmas

41769750_2042596159190028_6009613159340441600_nPublication: 19th October 2018 (eBook) – HarperImpulse

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

 

I first discovered Zara Stoneley’s novels back in May when I read her hilarious and entertaining novel The Wedding Date. Since then, I have been waiting for her new novel so I’d like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the blog tour for Zara Stoneley’s new Christmas book.

The protagonist of the novel is Sarah, which we met briefly in The Wedding Date. Sarah works in her aunt’s travelling agency and she does her best to please all their clients, especially because she doesn’t want to let down her aunt, the woman who raised her. However, Will Armstrong doesn’t make things easy for her. He is the owner of The Shooting Star Mountain Resort, a beautiful and charming hotel in Canada of which Sarah has both good and bad memories. Sarah loves to recommend The Shooting Star Mountain Resort to her clients but they all come back from it full of complaints. So Sarah decides to spend this Christmas in Canada and find out why Will Armstrong is trying to destroy a place so dear to her.

I really enjoyed this novel. It is such a festive romantic comedy. The setting is atmospheric and evocative with snow, dog sleighs, Christmas trees and decorations. I loved the characters. Sarah is a fun, engaging, and likable protagonist and I enjoyed her chemistry with Will. I was happy to meet again the characters from The Wedding Date: Sam and her crazy family make a few appearances that create hilarious situations that, once again, made me laugh out loud (especially when Sam’s mother was on the scene). NO ONE CANCELS CHRISTMAS is a novel about family, friendship, and love and it is entertaining, refreshing, well-written and immersive and, even in October, it really gets you into the Christmas spirit.

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ZaraStoneley authorpicBorn in a small village in Staffordshire, I wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when I grew up. After many years, and many different jobs, my dream of writing a bestseller came true.

I write about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hope that my tales make you cry a little, laugh a lot, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

I now live in a Cheshire village with my family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Where you can find her-

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley

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

Purchase Link

Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/No-One-Cancels-Christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD

Amazon UShttps://www.amazon.com/no-one-cancels-christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD

#BlogTour: UNDER MY SKIN by Lisa Unger @lisaunger @HQstories @bookbellereads

Today, it is my absolute pleasure to talk to you about the new novel by Lisa Unger. UNDER MY SKIN is a gripping and captivating novel and I’d like to thank Lucy Richardson and HQ for providing me with a copy of the book. I’d also like to thank Lisa Unger for answering a few questions.

Under My SkinPublication: 2nd October 2018 (eBook), 18th October 2018 (paperback) – HQ

Her husband’s killer may be closer than she thinks…

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run. She’s trying to move on but what happened that morning is still haunting her. And now she’s sure she is being followed…

Sleep deprived and secretly self-medicating, Poppy is unable to separate her dreams from reality. She feels like she’s losing her mind. But what if she’s not? What if she’s actually remembering what really happened? What if her husband wasn’t who he said he was? And what if his killer is still watching her…

 

UNDER MY SKIN kept me completely hooked from the first to the last page. I couldn’t stop reading it and Lisa Unger made sure I couldn’t by ending each chapter with a revelation or a cliffhanger that made me say: “Just another chapter!”.

Poppy Lang is a professional photographer with her own successful agency of photographers. She lives in New York City, in a beautiful and modern flat in Chelsea. She goes on online dates with handsome men and, from the outside, her life seems perfect. But Poppy is grieving. A year earlier, her husband Jack was killed while he was jogging in the park. The police think it was a mugging gone wrong, but the killer was never found and Poppy is still looking for the truth, even though there is someone who doesn’t want her to find it.

I do love unreliable characters in thrillers and Poppy is the true definition of an unreliable character: she is on pills, she drinks alcohol, and she is sleep-deprived. She drifts between reality, dream, and repressed memories. Since the story is told in first person by Poppy, we, the readers, are inside Poppy’s head. We know what she thinks, what she feels, what she sees, and, like her, we don’t know what is real, what is the product of her sleep-deprived mind, and what are memories from a past that she can’t remember.

The uncertainty of what is really going on keeps the tension always high and kept me on the edge of my seat. Among the twists and the suspense, I found also some emotional moments. It was heartbreaking reading about Poppy’s grief, her pain over the loss of the man she loved and their future together, as she replays imaginary scenarios in which if she had gone jogging with him, if he had taken a different route, he may still be alive. I actually shed a few tears.

UNDER MY SKIN is very well-written and suspenseful, it’s full of twists and surprises. It is a superb, immersive, and compulsive read that kept me glued to the page and I can’t wait to read whatever Lisa Unger is writing next.

 

Below, read my Q&A with Lisa Unger:

How did you come up with the idea for UNDER MY SKIN? Did you do any specific research for the book?

The idea for a novel can come from anywhere. It might be a news story, a photograph, even, in one case, a piece of junk mail.  For UNDER MY SKIN, it was Carl Jung quote: “Between the dreams of day and night, there is not so great a difference.”

This thought kicked around in my head for a while and led to research into sleep, dreams, memory, addiction, and the slippery nature of our perception.  A great deal of research goes into all of my novels, and my study of certain subjects is ongoing. I have a continuing obsession with Carl Jung and his work. I have spent a number of years researching trauma, addiction and their impact on perception and behavior. These ideas run through much of my work.

If you have to pick one favourite character from all your books, who would it be and why?

I could never pick a favorite! They are all so different, so important to me. I have love and empathy for each of my characters, even the most deranged among them. There are a few characters that stay with me and show up again and again in novels. Retired private Detective Jones Cooper tends to show up in books where I didn’t expect him. Eloise Montgomery, the psychic, and her granddaughter Finley are often on my mind; I know their story is not yet finished. There is a novel in the works featuring all of those characters.

Have you ever been stuck while writing one of your books? How did you get over it?

Writing, as with all organic process, ebbs and flows. Some days you can’t stop the pages from coming; sometimes you spend a lot of time staring at the screen or the blank page. If I’m stuck in my narrative, I exercise. I go to the gym, blast some music, and move – or I walk my dog, or do some laundry. This, more often than not, will help me get to the next place in the narrative. Sometimes you have to walk away in order to give your subconscious the space to work things out.

What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

I live in Florida, so my life with my family is very centered on the beach and the water.  Boating, kayaking, and swimming are favorite activities. We are passionate lovers of story – of course. So reading, theater, and film are big features of our life. I love to cook. I have a yoga practice. We also travel quite extensively, and love exploring the world together.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I have been a literary omnivore since I was a kid – in love with books and film of all types and genres.  But I think if I had to pick one author that influenced me more than any other it’s Truman Capote.  His short stories are where I fell in love with language. IN COLD BLOOD, a searing true crime book – maybe the first of its kind — taught me that one could write about crime and the dark side of human nature with compassion and with beauty. That book gave me permission to be who I am as a writer.

I also tend to mention REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier when asked this question. That was my first thriller. And the idea of the ordinary young woman caught in a tangle of extraordinary circumstance has been a theme in my work since my early novels.

What projects are you working on now?

I am working on the revisions for my next novel.  But I never talk about a book until it’s totally complete.  So I’ll have to keep you suspense. After all, that’s my job!

 

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Lisa Unger

LISA UNGER is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of 15 novels, including the latest psychological thriller THE RED HUNTER.

Her books are published in 26 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.

 

 

#BlogTour: THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING by Cathy Kelly @cathykellybooks @orionbooks @PoppyStimpson

The Year That Changed EverythingPublication: 18th October 2018 – Orion

Three women, three birthdays, one year that will change everything…

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything…

 

I have to admit that this is only my second novel by Cathy Kelly, but the more I read her books the more I am captivated by her clear and fluent writing, her brilliant plots, and her engaging characters. And the protagonists of this novel really kept me glued to the page. Three women from different backgrounds and with different lives. The only thing they have in common is their birthdays that turn into life-changing moments for all of them.

Callie is beautiful and rich. She is happily married, she has a teenage daughter, she has a big house and everything that money could buy. Her life should be perfect, but, on her fiftieth birthday, she finds out it isn’t. Sam and her husband Ted had been trying for years to have a child and, when they were finally giving up on the idea of starting a family, she found out she was pregnant. Now, on her fortieth birthday, Sam is ready to give birth, but she also has to face her fear of becoming a mother. Ginger is looking for real love and, on her thirtieth birthday, which she is spending at her best friend’s wedding, she thinks she has finally found the right man for her.

THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING sees three women dealing with ghosts from their past and problems in both their personal and work lives. Over a year, they see their lives completely changing and I loved reading how they grow and become stronger. The author created multi-layered and engaging characters that with her attention to details and her descriptions come to life and, page after page, seem more realistic and likable. I found myself involved in their stories, their troubles, and I cheered at their successes. It is a feel-good and fabulous novel about friendship, love, and family bond, and it is also a story about betrayal, body-image, post-natal depression, and addiction. THE YEAR THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING is enjoyable, moving, and captivating and I’d like to thank Poppy Stimpson and Orion for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

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#BlogTour: THE OTHER SISTER by Elle Croft @elle_croft @AlainnaGeorgiou @orionbooks

Out-today

The Other SisterPublication: 24th August 2018 (eBook), 18th October 2018 (paperback) – Orion

How far would you go…

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock.

…to uncover your family’s deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

 

Elle Croft really knows how to keep the readers on their toes. After her debut novel, The Guilty Wife, which I truly enjoyed, she is back with a new dark and twisty novel that kept me completely engrossed.

Family secrets are at the center of the novel. Ryan and Gina Mills are brother and sister. When they were young, their youngest sister, Cassie, died. Her death led to a fracture in the family, but now they are both adults, they recently reconnected, and they are both living in the family home. Ryan is single, he has a good job, and he leads an ordinary and regular life. On the other hand, Gina is completely in love with her boyfriend Julian and she works as a PA for a TV producer but dreams of becoming a journalist. She has her chance when, after a night out with a friend, she finds the body of a woman. Following this horrific discovery, Gina makes a series of decisions that lead her not only at the center of the investigation, but also of the media. Ryan, in the meantime, is dealing with his guilt over a past that he can’t forget.

The author is really good at creating complex and unreliable characters that make you question everything that is happening in the story: the novel is told from the point of views of the various protagonists (in addition to Gina and Ryan, their mother Sharon with flashbacks from 1996, and Adam Adebayo, the detective in charge of the murder investigation), but you can’t completely trust what they are saying or what they do. The author gives you only a glimpse of what is really going on and when the truth is finally revealed you are left with your mouth hanging open in surprise because you really didn’t see it coming. At least, that’s what happened to me.

The story is brilliantly plotted, full of suspense and surprises, and with a final shocking twist at the last page. THE OTHER SISTER will keep on the edge of your seat, page after page, and I’d like to thank Alainna Hadjigeorgiou and Orion for providing me with a copy of the book and inviting me to take part in the blog tour.

BTP

Elle Croft was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling around the world with her husband. She works as a freelance social media specialist and also blogs about travel, food and life in London.

#CoverReveal: THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME by Kendra Smith @KendraAuthor @aria_fiction

It is my absolute pleasure to take part in the cover reveal for the new novel by Kendra Smith. THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME is the story of a woman who moves to Australia to save her marriage and it is out on 15th January 2019. Isn’t the cover simply gorgeous?

ARIA_SMITH_THE CHANCE OF A LIFETIME_E

A new life down under? It’s not as perfect as you’d think.

Katie and Tom’s marriage is in trouble. As is their bank account. So, when Tom tells Katie that they need to talk, she knows it must be about one of two things, and neither are good. But when he blind-sides her saying that his boss is sending him to Australia – permanently – Katie realises it might just be what they need to save their marriage.

Trouble is, she doesn’t like the heat, can’t swim and hates spiders. Not to mention the bouts of homesickness – and Tom’s endless business trips. Katie is finding the hope of saving their marriage slowly slipping through her fingers.

When all is said and done which side of the globe will she decide to call home?

 

KENDRA SMITH has been a journalist, wife, mother, aerobics teacher, qualified diver and very bad cake baker. She started her career in Sydney selling advertising space but quickly made the leap to editorial – and went on to work on several women’s magazines in both Sydney and London. With dual Australian-British nationality, she currently lives in Surrey with her husband and three children.

Facebook: @KendraAuthor

Twitter: @KendraAuthor

Website: www.kendrasmith.co.uk

 

Buy links:

Amazon: viewbook.at/ChanceOfALifetime

 

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