**Blog Tour** The Escape by C.L. Taylor #Review #AuthorInterview @callytaylor @HelenaSheffield

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Today I’m thrilled to be the next stop on The Escape by C.L. Taylor blog tour, and my god I absolutely loved this psychological thriller, I’ve always enjoyed this authors books, but without doubt this is definitely her best book yet. The Escape was published by Avon in March so you don’t even have to wait to get yourselves a copy of this gripping book.

You can read my review further down this post, but first I have an exclusive Q & A with C.L. Taylor which I’m so excited to share with you all.

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Hi Cally I’m so excited to have you on my blog so welcome to The Book Review Café Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Thank you for having me! My name is Cally Taylor and I live in Bristol with my partner and son. I started my writing career writing romantic comedies as Cally Taylor then, when I was on maternity leave with my son I had an idea for a psychological thriller. That book was The Accident and I have now written four psychological thrillers for Avon HarperCollins and I’m contracted to write three more. My second psychological thriller The Lie has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane. In addition to The Escape which was published in March I also have a young adult thriller The Treatment which will be published by HarperCollins HQ in September.

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book The Escape can you provide us with an introduction?
The Escape is about a woman called Jo Blackmore who lives in Bristol with her partner Max and their two year old daughter Elise. Jo suffers from agoraphobia and her life is filled with anxiety and fear. One day, when she’s about to get into her car, a stranger asks her for a lift. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband and she got a glove belonging to Elise. Feeling threatened Jo turns to her husband for support but Max is dismissive. He’s seen Jo overreact to situations before. Jo tries to forget about what happened but the stranger has other ideas. She thinks that Max has something that belongs to her and she won’t stop hounding the Blackmore’s until she gets it back…

Where did the idea for The Escape come from?
I got the idea for The Escape from a local news story. I follow Avon and Somerset Constabulary on Facebook and noticed an update asking for help finding a woman who’d gone on the run with her young son instead of turning up at court to hand over residency of him. As members of the public commented that they’d look out for her the woman’s family told them not to. They said she wasn’t a danger to her son, she was actually protecting him by running away. That made me wonder how I’d feel if I had to go on the run to keep my child safe.

What made you decide to have all the titles of your book begin with “The”?

I didn’t! My title for my first psychological thriller was An End to Silence but my publisher felt that The Accident would be more impactful. The book sold so well that, when it came time to name my second book, my publisher suggested we stick with ‘The…’ title and that book became The Lie. Now all of my books have ‘The…’ titles!

How did you research material for The Escape?

The Escape is my most heavily researched book to date. It took me three months of research before I wrote a word. I talked to a GP, a social worker, a family lawyer, an IT specialist, a journalist and an expert in Irish policing. I also travelled across to Ireland to research locations for the second part of the book and went to dinner with two Irish blogger who answered my questions about life in Ireland now and in the 1980s.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

I have to have warm feet when I’m writing so I keep a pair of skiing socks close by. I also have a soundtrack to each novel I write. I can’t write to lyrics so will pick an instrumental or film soundtrack album that matches the mood of the novel then I’ll play it on a loop each time I sit down to write. I sometimes have a scented candle burning too (different for each book).

My favourite character in The Escape has to be Jo, Who was your favourite character to write about?

I loved Jo but she was exhausting to write because she’s so anxious all the time and you have to channel the emotions that your character is feeling. I really enjoyed writing Max as I wrote him in the third person and that’s the first time I’ve used that point of view in one of my novels.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

The emails from authors telling me that one of my novels made them fall in love with reading again, or even that one of my books has ignited a love of reading. When people tell me that they’ve never finished a book before or they normally struggle to read but they sped through one of my books it’s the biggest compliment I could ever be given. Reading those emails always makes me feel very emotional.

On the other side, what would you say is the most challenging part of writing?

Sitting down to write when you’re not in the mood or when you know you’ve got a difficult scene to tackle. At times like those I wish I could magic the words out of my head and onto the screen.

Who is/are your favourite author/authors? What is it that draws you, as a reader, to certain books?
My favourite author as a child was Enid Blyton. Her Magic Faraway Tree series so was so magical it fired my imagination. As an adult I’m a big fan of George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Maggie O’Farrell, Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards and Tammy Cohen. I’m not sure what it is that draws me to certain books – it’s normally a writer’s style or voice that draws me in first, then it’s their storytelling ability (they have to write a page turner) and then there’s the subject matter. I’ve always been drawn to dystopian novels which explains George Orwell and Margaret Atwood and I enjoyed the Hunger Games series too.

Are you able to tell me anything about your next book?

My next book is actually my debut YA thriller THE TREATMENT. I recently completed the edits and it’s due to be published by HarperCollins HQ in September 2017. It’s about a young woman called Drew who tries to rescue her younger brother from being brainwashed at a remote residential reform school in Northumberland. In April I’m due to start my fifth psychological thriller for Avon but, as I haven’t written a word, I can’t tell you about that yet!

And lastly can you describe yourself in five words?
Tall, tired, creative, determined, introvert.

My Thanks to Cally Taylor for taking time out of her hectic schedule to answer my questions.

img_1639C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of four gripping psychological thrillers: THE ACCIDENT, THE LIE, THE MISSING and THE ESCAPE. Her books have sold in excess of a million copies, been translated into over 20 languages and have been shortlisted for three Dead Good Books awards. THE LIE has been optioned for TV by The Forge who produced National Treasure featuring Robbie Coltrane.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014.

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Links:

http://www.callytaylor.co.uk
http://writing-about-writing.blogspot.com
http://www.facebook.com/CallyTaylorAuthor

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Book description

“Look after your daughter’s things. And your daughter…”

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn’t. The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger.

img_1258It’s not very often it happens but The Escape by C L Taylor left me with a serious book hangover, I picked up this book thinking I would just read the first couple of chapters, BIG MISTAKE as three hours later I reached the final page in this addictive psychological thriller. There are a huge number of books in this genre so for me the difference between a good psychological thriller and an outstanding one is the authors ability to mess with my head, a plot that contains suspense and “edge of your seat moments” and C L Taylor manages this and so much more with this addictive novel.

The author presents the reader with an unreliable narrator in the shape of Jo Blackmore, a young mother whose behaviour becomes increasingly erratic, she’s neurotic, has panic attacks and she’s paranoid. Unreliable narrators are one of my favourite types of characters and so I was immediately drawn to her tale, unpredictable she also appears to be losing her grip on reality so you are never quite sure what to believe. When she is threatened by a young woman Jo’s life begins to unravel in the most spectacular fashion. You cannot help questioning is what Jo going through real?, is she really in danger? Or is she misinterpreting events? I found I became totally immersed in Jo’s tale, her sense of fear is palatable from the first chapter and this grows as the plot progresses. It’s a disturbing yet believable study of family, lies, and deception and the overwhelming need to “Escape” from the harsh realities of life.

The chapters told in the voice of an unknown narrator add a sense of malice and danger to the tale, and it was these chapters that completely threw me. In fact when I finished reading The Escape I went back and re-read them, a very clever and deceiving ploy by the author I have to say. Wickedly told and fast paced this is definitely one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year. C L Taylor delivers the most deliciously devious plot that will throw the reader at every twisted turn, even the most hardened psychological thrillers readers will struggle to put this one down. In my opinion C L Taylor’s writing goes from strength to strength, each of her books is worthy of high praise but The Escape is definitely my favourite so far and I’m already excited to see if her next book can beat this truly gripping read.

Print Length: 433 pages

Publisher: Avon (23 Mar. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

If you want to read further reviews on this gripping book, you may want to check out some of my fellow bloggers posts…..
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Top Five Friday with The Book Review Café #Thrillers

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Today on Top Five Friday I’ve choosen my five top thriller reads, again this was a difficult one but after some thought these are still some of my favourite books in this genre.

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The Theseus Paradox by David Videcette

What I found fascinating about The Theseus Pardox is, that although it isn’t my usual type of book,I found it to be a compelling read. David Videcette is a uniquely gifted story-teller, who draw’s the reader in by writing a chillingly and credible tale based on real circumstances, it’s so well written it’s difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

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The Killing Game by J. S. Carol

The Killing Game is a highly addictive read, in fact I felt I needed therapy after finishing it, as this book left me with a hell of a book hangover! I couldn’t bear to put it down. In my humble opinion The Killing Games has the hallmarks of a Hollywood blockbuster, with a highly original plot, action a plenty, and bucketfuls of suspense this is the perfect action thriller novel.

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All Fall Down by Tom Bale

Tom Bale should write a masterclass on how to bring suspense to a novel, All Fall Down is packed to the brim with it, as the story unfolds you soon realise the family are being watched, and the author very cleverly adds chapters told by an anonymous narrator which literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, these chapters were full of malice and intrigue, so much so I found myself holding my breath as I wondered what lay in store for the family.

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My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Elwood

When I first saw the title of this book I conjured up so many different scenarios but oh my god I couldn’t have been more wrong! New author on the block Nuala Ellwood has certainly written a disturbing and spine chilling tale that I found impossible to put down once I started reading.

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See How They Run by Tom Bale

Tom Bale has written an absolutely fantastic book, I felt like I was on a roller coaster with no let up in pace (cliched I know, but in this case very true), I truly loved every heart stopping page of See How They Run, With a well defined plot that was taut and original in content it’s a compulsive read, and one I could not put down until I reached the nail biting conclusion .

You can read all my reviews for these fabulous books here…

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2015/12/28/author-interview-the-theseus-paradox-by-david-videcette/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/10/17/blog-tour-the-killing-game-by-j-s-carol-jamescarolbooks-review-bookouture/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/09/04/blog-tour-all-fall-down-by-tom-bale-interview-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/11/04/blog-tour-my-sisters-bones-by-nuala-elwood-review-nualawrites/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2016/05/05/see-how-they-run-by-tom-bale/

**My Book Of The Month** January 2017

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Well we’ve reached the end of January 2017 which can only mean one thing, it’s time to choose my Book Of The Month for January 2017.

The Book Of The Month is chosen by myself at the beginning of every month, for the previous month. It goes to the author/book that I found outstanding for that month, and I may have given a higher rating than a 5 star review. I’m also hoping if a do this monthly come December it will make it easier to do a best reads of 2017 post or that’s my plan.

I have read some outstanding books in January, but here is where I fell at the first hurdle as I really couldn’t choose between two books this month, I’m not know for being decisive at the best of times! The two books I have chosen are polar opposites, but both books stood our for me because I still thought about them long after I finished them. Although very different in every way possible, they both had one thing in common they kept me glued to my kindle!

These fantastic books had all the elements I look for when reading books, well developed characters, a strong plot and bucketfuls of suspense, so without further ado the books I have given the Gold Star Award are……….

The Mountain In My Shoe by Louise Beech

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You can read my review here:
https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/13/the-mountain-in-my-shoe-by-louise-beech-orendabooks-louisewriter-bookreview/

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

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You can read my review here: https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/29/blog-tour-behind-her-eyes-by-sarah-pinborough-authorinterview-review-sarahpinborough-wtfthatending/

As I mentioned earlier two very different books but they are two that I would highly recommend to everyone and anyone.

what do you think of my books of the month? Did I choose well? What books would you choose? Please feel free to leave a comment

**Weekly Wrap Up**

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Oh dear oh dear! It’s been a shocking week for reading this week, I just managed to read one whole book, I’ve been so tired I’ve struggled to concentrate on anything 😢😢. Mind you it was a fab read and one I would highly recommend I won’t be sharing my review quite yet as I’m saving it for the blog tour early next month.

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Books I Bought this week

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The complete Fathers Of Lies series by S E England 

This series had been on my radar for ages but when I spotted fellow book blogger Sarah Hardy all the books in the series were on special offer for £3.00 how could I resist?

 

BOOK 1 – FATHER OF LIES

Ruby is the most violently disturbed patient ever admitted to Drummersgate Asylum, high on the bleak moors of northern England. With no improvement after two years, Dr. Jack McGowan finally decides to take a risk and hypnotises her. With terrifying consequences.
A horrific dark force is now unleashed on the entire medical team, as each in turn attempts to unlock Ruby’s shocking and sinister past. Who is this girl? And how did she manage to survive such unimaginable evil? Set in a desolate ex-mining village, where secrets are tightly kept and intruders hounded out, their questions soon lead to a haunted mill, the heart of darkness…and The Father of Lies.’

BOOK 2 – TANNERS DELL

Following the hypnosis of violently disturbed psychiatric patient, Ruby Dean, an unholy dark force was unleashed on the medical staff who tried to help her. Now only one of the original team remains – Ward Sister, Becky.
Despite her fiancé, D.I. Ross, being unconscious and many of her colleagues either dead or critically ill, Becky is determined to rescue Ruby’s twelve year old daughter from a similar fate to her mother. But no one asking questions in the desolate mining village Ruby descends from ever comes to a good end. And as the diabolical history of the area is gradually revealed, it seems the evil invoked is now both real and contagious.’

BOOK 3 – MAGDA

‘The dark and twisted community of Woodsend harbours a terrible secret – one tracing back to the age of the Elizabethan witch hunts, when many innocent women were persecuted and hanged.
But there is a far deeper vein of horror running through this village; an evil that once invoked has no intention of relinquishing its grip on the modern world. Rather it watches and waits with a focused intelligence, leaving Ward Sister, Becky, and Police Officer, Toby, constantly checking over their shoulders and jumping at shadows.
Just who invited in this malevolent presence? And is the demonic woman who possessed Magda back in the sixteenth century, the same one now gazing at Becky whenever she looks in the mirror?
You may need to sleep with the lights on after reading this…Are you ready to meet Magda in this final instalment to the trilogy? Are you sure?’

I also pre-ordered these two little beauty’s, I love both of these series so can’t wait to read them .

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

The Caller by Chris Carter 

ARC’s I received this week

I made the fatal mistake of browsing NetGalley OMG there are so many books that I soooo need to read! But I was pleased that I showed some constraint and only requested THREE books unfortunately or fortunately which ever way you choose to look at it, I got accepted for all of them 🙈 I think it’s safe to say my self imposed NetGalley ban has well and truly been broken.

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Book description

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life. Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems. When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

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Book description

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:

1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow.

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Book description

When she was good, she was very, very good. When she was bad, she was deadly.

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list……A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…

So that’s eight books added to my TBR pile and one read, so if I want to get to my poor neglected TBR shelf, as all my old school reports always stated “I need to try harder” read faster or ban NetGalley? Watch this space.

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/20/blog-tour-guestpost-by-cj-carver-author-of-tell-me-a-lie-c_j_carver/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/19/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-lucy-v-hay-lucyvhayauthor/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/17/the-one-by-john-marrs-bookreview-johnmarrs1-eburypublishing/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/16/guest-post-by-j-m-richardson-author-of-the-barataria-key-jmrichardson1/

Next week on the book review café

Little Girl Lost by Carol Wyer blog tour

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough blog tour, I’m so excited for this one as I have an exclusive interview with the author herself and we’re talking about #WTFthat ending! But obviously no spoilers involved

#TopFiveThursday

Blink by K L Slater Review

TattleTale by Sarah J Naughton review

 

**Blog Tour** Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett @AndrewBarrettUK #AuthorInterview

 

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Today I’m on the Blog tour for Ledston Luck by Andrew Barrett, the book was published yesterday so you don’t  even have to wait to get a copy. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it as my TBR pile is huge, but it’s had a very positive response from fellow bloggers. I do have an interview with Andrew Barrett and I have also included a book description and buying links further down the page if your interested.

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Tell me something about yourself ?

I’m 49 going on 35 with the mental age of a teenager. I have the world’s worst memory, Tom, and have to make notes of everything. I was delighted to hear of a colleague’s pregnancy at work only yesterday, but embarrassed to learn I’d been delighted for them two weeks ago when they’d first told me. The good thing about having such a poor memory is that you can marvel again at a good book that you’ve already read.

What is your inspiration to write?

Not too sure how to answer this one. But I’ll give it a go. I believe that if you spend your life as nothing but a consumer, it is a life wasted. I believe that creativity – irrespective of form (painting, writing, sculpting, making music, cooking, restoring, whatever…) – is central to human existence and fulfilment. Yes, I realise how deep that sounds, but I could not bear to go through life as a pure consumer (I feel guilty just watching a film!). I like to think that I’m creating something when I write, something that will outlast me, and something that I hope sincerely will bring a little bit of pleasure to someone else. Since I can’t sculpt, cook, or paint (quite like drawing though)), I choose to write. And now I’m afraid I cannot stop! Eek.

What drives you to continue writing?

This will sound like a cliché. But I write because I feel empty, almost useless, if I don’t.
But there are many other reasons why I write – even though I’m not exactly commercially successful; but that has never been a reason for me to write (proven by the fact that I’d written six books before Amazon was even born). I write because I enjoy that total immersion in a story, the utter belief that good will always win over bad, even if good is slightly soiled by the end of the tale. There’s no feeling like it when you’re so far into this other world that your fingers cannot keep up with the thoughts coming out of your mind. It’s always a bit of a shock to realise you’re making all this up, and you have to get ready for work.
I also write because I adore the way people interact with each other (study them), and so the way the characters do too. I write because I enjoy the feeling it gives me to know someone else is reading my humble stories, and hopefully, enjoying them a bit.

Funniest thing that has ever happened to you at a job?

Under 18s answer. I was to attend a burglary scene at 6 Poplar Street. I was startled to find the door ajar and no answer to my calls of ‘Hello’. I pushed the door open and peered inside, expecting to find the elderly occupant horizontal due to heart failure. But no, the hallway was empty, as were all the downstairs rooms. My concern grew to the extent where I decided it best to go upstairs and check; I listened for noises of distress as I ascended the stairs, but there were none. The first floor rooms too were empty. I looked at the attic stairs, knowing my chances of coming across a corpse were much greater now. I crept up the stairs, heart pummelling, palms sweaty on the bannister rail. I peered into the first room. Nothing. And then, in the second room, there it was. Nothing again.
So I went back downstairs, checking the rooms hastily as I went, until I went back outside, rubbing my chin, staring at the front door. The front door that said number 8. Oops

Over 18s answer. We began using digital cameras about 12 years ago. Prior to this, we used medium format film cameras – the Mamiya RB67. That’s the big clunky camera you see professionals use at weddings, the ones where you look down into the viewfinder, and twiddle a knob to get the bellows moving in and out. It’s true. So, I was photographing a hacking-and-slashing session at the local mortuary and needed height to get this particular shot. The little step ladders just weren’t high enough. So, idiot that I am, ignored the ‘don’t be stupids’ and climbed onto the stainless steel table above the body. You can guess what happened next. Yes, I slipped, and landed smack right into the cadaver. It took a long time for the title of SOCO Necrophilia to go away – not helped by the fact that I’ve stumbled into/onto another half dozen bodies since then. But at least I apologise to them.

At a murder scene, I was using the same camera to quarter the kitchen (taking a shot of each corner of the room from its opposite corner to capture all the room’s details). The knife that the murderer had used came from the cutlery drawer which was fully open, and the scene was deadly silent with CID pondering the murder in the lounge, standing over the body, and speaking in whispers to each other. Of course, I managed to catch the damned drawer and wrench it out, scattering knives, forks, spoons – anything man-made that makes a helluva racket in fact, right across the bloody trail on the kitchen floor. I may have cringed slightly. To say I went a shade of red might be an understatement.

When will we be seeing another book from you?

Well, first of all, are you sure you’ve seen them all already? Ahaha, sorry, that’s a bit unfair. Before crime, I wrote horror (very badly), so there are three books you’ve never seen – and never will see!
But anyway, I’m putting the finishing touches to an Eddie Collins novella and currently in the planning stages for a new novel. My days of writing books in six months are a long way behind me. That was just exhausting.

I am never sure how many people actually read reviews. What is your view?

I  always read a selection of reviews. I think the more expensive an item is the more reviews I read (beds, sofas, cars…). But for books, yes I do read a selection, and I think many other people do too. You want to know that the story is something you’re likely to enjoy, and you want to know what others before you thought about the writer’s ability. After that, if I’m still not sure, I have a peek at the Look Inside feature.
As I say, I think a lot of people do this and that’s why reviews are so very important to writers. I urge readers to leave reviews, even if it’s just a sentence or two. They really don’t need to be an in-depth essay. I had a review for The Lift (a short story) that was almost as long as the book! I wasn’t complaining though, because it was a five star review, but I also wasn’t complaining because it was a detailed analysis of the story, the characters, and their interaction. That review delighted me.

If I’m attracted to an author’s work, I often like to find out a little more about them than the Author Page on Amazon gives away. And interviews area good way of getting to know them. A lot depends on the questions asked of course, and the general tone of the interview: stifled questions get stifled answers. Quirky questions allow an author to open up a little, to have some fun – and that’s what people want to see; they want to see the guy who made them cringe or laugh or cry, the guy who played with their emotions on such a personal level the way only a close family member could. I’m all for interviews.

 

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Book description

They say you can always trust a copper. They’re lying. They lied thirty years ago and they’re still lying today. A booby-trapped body in a long-abandoned chapel. A scene examination that goes horribly wrong. CSI Eddie Collins and DI Benson are injured and one of the team killed. Eddie is heartbroken and guilt-ridden. And angry.

If you like fast-paced crime thrillers with a forensic slant, raw emotions, and with characters that reach out of the book and grab you by the throat, you’ll love Andrew Barrett’s Eddie Collins series. To experience Eddie’s battle to uncover the lies they told, buy Ledston Luck today.

Paperback: 452 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (14 Dec. 2016)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Andrew Barrett has been writing best-selling thrillers since the mid 1990s, all set in northern England. He’s also written several short stories, and co-written a number of television scripts.

Andrew’s novels focus on the world of Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs). He offers a unique insight into this dark landscape, making good use of his expertise as a Senior CSI to envelop the reader in exciting yet realistic stories.

Included in each story are elements of dark humour and severe emotional highs and lows. So be prepared.

Find out more about him at www.andrew-barrett.co.uk where you can sign up for his newsletter and get free books.

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Links:

Website       Facebook      Goodreads   Twitter: @AndrewBarrettUK
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**Christmas With Bookouture** Angela Marsons @bookouture @WriteAngie

 

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Eeeeeek! Four days to the “big”day, if you are frantically trying to get everything done, a word of advice, take a deep breath, pour yourself a stiff drink (make it a large one!) and put your feet up for five minutes, whilst you read all about the super talented and awesome Angela Marsons Christmas. If your stressing about cooking Christmas dinner I think everyone should take a leaf out of Angela’s book (excuse the pun) and sod the Christmas dinner and focus on the “big day”

What is your favourite Christmas memory? 

I think it would be when my partner and I first shared a home. We were late twenties and had spent many Christmases with our parents but having that first festive season in our own home was magical. Each year my favourite time is Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation of the day itself and I always check Norad to monitor Santa’s progress.

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Where will you be spending Christmas?

Christmas Day will be spent at home with my partner Julie, our Golden Retriever puppy and a parrot that will continually shout ‘Merry Christmas’. We spend time with family on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

Yes, that I am not allowed to cook a proper Christmas Dinner because we prefer to enjoy the day. Every year we have Turkey sandwiches, pickled onions, garlic dip and pringles for our Christmas lunch.

What was your best ever Christmas present?

My best ever Christmas present was a huge box filled with bags of my favourite crisps. I am a huge crisp addict and there were over a hundred packets in there. It made me laugh all day and kept me happy for about three months.

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What was your worst ever Christmas present?

A ‘grow your own grub’ kit. I’m still not sure how it was supposed to work but as I hate insects it wasn’t a great present for me.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

Oh, it would have to be a Latte Machiato. I don’t drink but I absolutely love my Tassimo coffee.

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

Another box of crisps! I’m a simple kind of girl.

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

I would like to thank readers and bloggers for all their support in 2016. The love of words and sharing never ceases to amaze me and as I come to the end of this year it is something for which I am truly thankful.

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Angela Marsons is the author of Amazon #1 Bestseller SILENT SCREAM.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their bouncy Labrador and a swearing parrot.

Angela is the author of the Kim Stone Crime series. She discovered a love of writing at Primary School when a short piece on the rocks and the sea gained her the only merit point she ever got.

Angela wrote the stories that burned inside and then stored them safely in a desk drawer.

After much urging from her partner she began to enter short story competitions in Writer’s News resulting in a win and three short listed entries.

She used the Amazon KDP program to publish two of her earlier works before concentrating on her true passion – Crime.

Angela is now signed to write a total of 16 Kim Stone books for http://bookouture.com and has secured a print deal with Bonnier Zaffre Publishing.

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Website     Facebook     Twitter: @writeangie     Goodreads

Angela Marsons books published by Bookouture 

You can find all the links to the above book’s here……..Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Author Page

If you would like to read more about Angela Marsons you can read an interview she done earlier this year with the book review café here……Author Interview With Angela Marsons

My thanks to Angela Marsons for answering my Christmassy questions and for allowing me to use some photographs from her personal collection.

 

 

**Christmas With Bookouture** Tom Bale @Bookouture @t0mbale

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Another day closer to Christmas, Eeek it’s coming around so quickly and I have a pile of Christmas presents that need wrapping, but at least I’ve finished buying presents, so no last minute rushing around for me, sorry I’m digressing here! Today I’m thrilled to have the awesome Tom Bale pop by the book review café to talk about all things Christmassy, so pull up a pew, grab a mince pie and escape for a few minutes whilst you learn more about a “Tom Bale Christmas”

What is your favourite Christmas memory?

Despite always being really excited about Christmas, my children love their sleep, and when they were young they never once woke us at an unearthly hour on Christmas morning. Usually it was the opposite – my wife and I would be lying in bed, impatiently waiting for them to wake up. One year I couldn’t wait any longer, so I put my head round the door of my daughter’s bedroom and said good morning. As she stirred, oblivious to the sack of presents at the foot of her bed, I added, “Do you remember what day it is?” and she replied: “Tuesday.” As you can imagine, we’ve teased her about it ever since.

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                                        Family man Tom Bale

Where will you be spending Christmas?

At home this year. Quite often we’re visiting family, so it’ll be nice to spend the whole day in one place. Of course my wife might take a different view on that, as she has the responsibility for cooking Christmas dinner.

Do you have any Christmas traditions?

A takeaway curry for dinner on Christmas Eve, and a bit of pre-breakfast chocolate on Christmas morning!

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                                 Tom Bale’s very large stash of Christmas chocolate

What was your best ever Christmas present?

Probably a very realistic shoulder holster and toy gun that I got at a time when I was crazy about Starsky & Hutch (and it was around this time that my gran knitted me a “Starsky” cardigan!)

What was your worst ever Christmas present?

I can’t really think of any. Probably as a kid I was given socks and handkerchiefs that wouldn’t have seemed very exciting, but from an early age people realised that books or chocolate were the perfect gifts for me, so I was always delighted with either of those – and they still form the majority of my presents today.

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                     Tom’s Christmas presents, should keep him reading for a while 

Favourite Christmas tipple?

I tend to stick to my usual beer, though if we’re out visiting and I’m driving I drink quite a lot of ginger beer at Christmas.

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What are you hoping for this Christmas?

I’m ashamed to admit that I have a tendency to buy some of my presents myself – this year I already know that Santa will be bringing me Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, as well as Nomad by Alan Partridge, among other books.

Have you got a Christmas message you would like to share with readers and bloggers?

Firstly, to say a huge thank you for the magnificent support that I’ve had this year! I’d also like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas, and let’s all hope that 2017 is a bit less crazy and distressing than this year has been.

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Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children.

Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full-time. The thriller SEE HOW THEY RUN was published by Bookouture in May 2016, followed by All Fall Down in September 2016.

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Website       Facebook      Goodreads     Twitter: @t0mbale

Tom Bale books published by Bookouture

Amazon UK 🇬🇧 See How They Run     Amazon US 🇺🇸See How They Run

Amazon UK 🇬🇧 All Fall Down       Amazon US 🇺🇸 All Fall Down 

My thanks to Tom Bale for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my Christmassy questions and for providing me with photos from his own personal collection.