**Stacking The Shelves**

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Here’s my round up of stacking the Shelves hosted by http://tyngasreviews.com/ Stacking the Shelves highlight books which have been received In a week. Paper books, e-books, ARC’s received, books bought or borrowed, are all included.

ARC

The Humming Bird’s Cage by Tamara Dietrich

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Book Description

Joanna has spent ten years married to a monster.

Everyone thinks she has the perfect life, but behind closed doors she lives in constant fear of her husband.

Escape seems impossible – and then a stranger offers her a chance to flee.

On the run with her young daughter, Joanna finds herself in the mysterious town of Morro. With no memory of how she got there. And no idea of what the town truly is.

Joanna faces a rare and terrible choice – stay safe, or return to face the fight of her life, to save herself and her little girl.

A Secret To The Grave by Jane Blythe 

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Book Description 

A suicide.

A secret.

To the grave.

That was the promise that ten girls made many years ago, and now the time has come when they will be forced to make a choice. Keep the secret and lose their lives, or reveal it and risk the lives of others.

Detective Parker Bell has just returned to work after shooting dead a killer, when he and his partner land the case of a young woman abducted by a man who has left a list of clues pointing to nine other women he plans to kill.

Throughout the course of the investigation Parker meets Tessa Micah, a potential victim and the most interesting, striking, infuriating woman he has ever met, she awakens something inside of him that he thought was long dead.

When Tessa refuses to shed any light on why she is in the sights of a serial killer its up to Parker to find the madman before he can bring his plan to fruition, leaving ten dead women in his wake.

Something Old Something New by Darcie Boleyn

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Book Description

A heartwarming, giggle-inducing romance from Darcie Boleyn, just in time for the wedding season! Will you marry me…again?

When Annie Thomas agrees to give her ex away at his wedding to his boyfriend, she thinks she’ll be fine. With her three children at her side, she can handle anything. Then she finds out her gorgeous first ex-husband Evan Llewellyn is flying in from his glamorous life in New York to attend as well!

An unexpected pregnancy ended their relationship and as she stumbles through the ups and downs of life as a working single mum – helping everyone else find a happy ending along the way – Annie refuses to believe their old and incredibly hot spark can still exist.

It’s only when she and Evan are forced to face up to the past together that they’ll discover if they can have their own happily-ever-after too!

Forgive Me by Daniel Palmer

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Book Description

a heart-pounding thriller from one of the most innovative voices in contemporary suspense, a woman unravels the shocking truth about her parents, her past, and a life built upon an unthinkable lie.

At DeRose & Associates Private Investigators in Virginia, Angie DeRose strives to find and rescue endangered runaways–work that stands in stark contrast to her own safe, idyllic childhood. But in the wake of her mother’s sudden death, Angie makes a life-altering discovery. Hidden among the mementos in her parents’ attic is a photograph of a little girl, with a code and a hand-written message on the back: “May God forgive me.”

Angie has no idea what it means or how to explain other questionable items among her mother’s possessions. Her father claims to know nothing. Could Angie have a sister or other relative she was never told about? Bryce Taggart, the US Marshal working with her agency, agrees to help Angie learn the fate of the girl in the photograph. But the lies she and Bryce unearth will bring her past and present together with terrifying force. And everything she cherishes will be threatened by the repercussions of one long-ago choice–and an enemy who will kill to keep a secret hidden forever.

Last To Die by Arlene Hunt

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Book Description

He watches. He waits. He kills …

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

Caleb Switch, a sadistic serial killer has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge to him. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now…she is his ultimate prey.

As Caleb picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be Caleb’s final sacrifice …

The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza

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Book Description

the dead of a swelteringly hot summer’s night, Detective Erika Foster is called to a murder scene. The victim, a doctor, is found suffocated in bed. His wrists are bound and his eyes bulging through a clear plastic bag tied tight over his head.

A few days later, another victim is found dead, in exactly the same circumstances. As Erika and her team start digging deeper, they discover a calculated serial killer – stalking their victims before choosing the right moment to strike.

The victims are all single men, with very private lives. Why are their pasts shrouded in secrecy? And what links them to the killer?

As a heat wave descends upon London, Erika will do everything to stop the Night Stalker before the body count rises, even if it means risking her job. But the victims might not be the only ones being watched… Erika’s own life could be on the line.

Blanket Of Blood by Eileen Wharton

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Book Description 

The gripping first novel in an explosive new crime series.

The body of a baby is found in the woods. But all is not as it seems…

A twisted serial killer is targeting young, pregnant girls.

Senior Investigating Officer, D.I. Gary Blood, must use all his powers of deduction to bring to justice the most sadistic murderer his force has ever seen. A killer unlike any he has hunted before. But Blood has problems of his own. Can he stop his private life interfering with the case?

To find the killer Blood needs to understand the motive. But this is a place full of secrets, where dark pasts lie buried.

Will Blood catch The Crochet Hook killer before it’s too late?

The truth is closer than you think.

Books I have bought

The Real Book Thief by Ingrid Black

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Book Description
In October 2015, crime writer Ingrid Black discovered that her first novel The Dead, the story of a former FBI agent tracking down a serial killer in Dublin, had been plagiarised and was being sold under a different name by another author on Kindle.

The thief’s name was Joanne Clancy, a former Kindle All Star, and the book that she called Tear Drop was No 1 in the Irish crime fiction charts at the time. Not only that, but she had a second book scheduled for release in a few weeks time, and that one turned out to be a carbon copy of Ingrid Black’s second book about the same character, The Dark Eye. The Real Book Thief tells the story of how Ingrid Black discovered what had happened and how she went about trying to find out more about the mysterious woman who had stolen her work.

Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

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Book Description

Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a ‘Black-Eyed Susan’ by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars – or so she thought.

Now, decades later the black-eyed susans planted outside Tessa’s bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison.

Haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter’s safety, can Tessa uncover the truth about the killer before it’s too late?

It would be great if you could leave a comment on the books you have received this week, or have you read any of the books on my post? please feel free to let me know 

**Guest Post** The Blood On My Hands by Shannon O’Leary

 

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Today I have a guest post for The Blood on My Hands an autobiography by Shannon O’Leary. It was published in Feburary 2016 and is available for sale on Amazon. This book is on my TBR pile but unfortunately I haven’t got to it yet, but I will certainly be reading it in the not to distant future. 

Book Description

Set in 1960s and ‘70s Australia, The Blood on My Hands is the dramatic tale of Shannon O’Leary’s childhood years, growing up with an abusive father, who was also a serial killer. No one, not even the authorities, would help O’Leary and her family. The responses of those whom O’Leary and her immediate family reached out to for help are almost as disturbing as the crimes of her violent father. Relatives were afraid to bring disgrace to the family’s good name, nuns condemned the child’s objections as disobedience and noncompliance, and laws at the time prevented the police from interfering unless someone was killed.

The Blood on My Hands is a heartbreaking—yet riveting—narrative of a childhood spent in pain and terror, betrayed by the people who are supposed to provide safety and understanding. The strength and courageous resilience it took for O’Leary to not just survive and escape from her father, but to flourish, thrive, and triumph over the unimaginable trauma she endured as a child is both powerful and moving.

Praise:

“The Blood on My Hands is a powerful, dark memoir… This is a story that is going to remain in my mind for a long time.” – 4 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“Once I picked this up I could not put it down, I needed to see how they got away from the monster who called himself their father, who called himself a husband.” – Sarah on Goodreads

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite the subject matter and hope it manages to help at least one child know that it gets better, life gets better.” – 5 Stars, Sarah Purdy

About the Author:

Shannon O’Leary is a prolific writer and performer. She is the author of several books of poetry and children’s stories, and she has won many awards for song-writing.

Shannon has acted and directed on the stage and on Australian national TV, and she runs her own production company.

She has numerous graduate and post-graduate degrees in education, music, and science. She is a teacher and academic, has five children with her deceased former husband, and lives with her longtime partner in Sydney, Australia.

Her memoir The Blood on My Hands was published in February 2016 and is available for sale on Amazon and Createspace.

Goodreads     Facebook     Twitter

Extract from Blood On My Hands

Prologue

I have felt the cold steel of a gun in my mouth and against my temple.
I have tasted warm blood on my lips and witnessed horrific scenes of mutilation, where nameless people took their last breaths. In my life, I have experienced poverty, met people who had plenty, and lived through fire, floods, and drought. I have befriended the intellectually challenged and physically impaired and have known the mentally ill and misfits who were geniuses. I also assumed anonymity with my mother and brothers without people realizing we had disappeared.

In my youth I was exposed to many facets of raw emotion.

I’ve seen a living heart, beating and pulsating for its last time; seen broken fingers tossed in the wind; and watched a severed head dance. Tormented by recurring memories, I have chosen to write this book and put these ghosts to rest.

I first contemplated suicide at the age of four.

I devised my death plan down to the very last detail but never had the courage to see it through to completion. Instead, my mother’s face would keep interceding, begging me to stay alive. Faced with the fact that I could not inflict my death upon her, I’d pray for miraculous intervention. During hysterical bouts of entreaty, I would beg Jesus to strike us dead at exactly the same moment so that neither of us would feel the pain of enforced separation or the prolonged agony of death.

As a child, I dreamed of better things to come and lived in spiritualistic hope that one day my world would change. I thought my trauma was normal and didn’t know what other families experienced. I thought fear, sad- ness, and horror were just the by-products of a barely tolerable childhood. My self-esteem was nonexistent, and after a while I sought approval through the creative arts. I loved to sing, and as my voice was strong, I sang to cover my feelings of inadequacy and desolation. To me, music represented true happiness, a make-believe world where I could cling to melodious sounds instead of the tortured screaming of my nightmares.

As an adult, I have felt exhilaration when audiences clapped and called my name. At the same time, I have felt myself torn in two, experiencing the immobilizing fear of personal exposure when not protected by the proscenium arch of a stage. When I present myself without camouflage or without a scripted character to protect me, my gut wrenches itself into a catatonic knot, an all-enveloping state of fear. If I feel I am being examined on a personal level, my arms and legs become frozen, and I feel my soul moving toward automatic pilot. I smile and behave in the correct manner, but I’m mentally blank and devoid of all feeling.

I know what it’s like to be branded, to be labeled, and to work within the confines of a title. As a child I was called brilliant, genius, a child prodigy, and a precocious little troublemaker. I was also called an actress, liar, and evil. My teachers admitted they didn’t understand me and often left me to myself. As an adult, I experienced national fame as a children’s TV personality. I have brought joy to thousands of children by teaching them the elements of performance.
It brings me great fulfillment to see children experiencing happiness. It puts my own life in perspective.

I cannot find the words to describe my childhood. Words such as “passionately naive,” “emotionally lacerated,” and “holistically experiential” all pale in significance, in the shadow of living itself. My childhood was so creatively textured that it carried into adulthood without allowing me to become consumed by the insanity playing havoc around me. I am sane and strong, and for that I am eternally grateful. I have felt and seen extreme emotion. I have smelled my own flesh burning. I know what it feels like to have baby snakes wriggle across my body, to smell decay, and to see an eyeball popped between someone’s fingers. Alone, I have spent what seemed like hours in a blackened hole, a makeshift grave with a steel curtain, waiting for death.

Through all this, I stayed courageous and strong.

I treasure the power of love and the absurdity of shock, and I deal with these emotions on a day-to-day basis.

This is the story of my childhood.

Paperback: 258 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (3 Feb. 2016)

Kindle

Paperback

 

**Guest Post** Code Name Papa by John Murray & Sharon Murray with Abby Jones

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Today I am hosting a guest post for Code Name Papa by John  and Sharon Murray with Abby Jones. I haven’t had time to review this book yet, but it’s certainly is one I will be reading looking to read sometime soon. You can read an excerpt from the book further down the page.

Code Name: Papa – My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain Sight is a literary memoir / political thriller that tells the true-life story of the head of US covert operations for a large international group, similar to the group B613 on ABC’s Scandal. This group, while not connected to the US government, operated with the full blessing of top people in our government. These are real stories, gritty and true—not the fantasy world of James Bond, Scandal, and others. The fact that the stories in Code Name Papa are true, make it an eye-opening, controversial, and scary read.

Book description 

Who’d have thought a bright, but fairly ordinary young man from middle class America who got just above average grades, dated the same girl throughout high school and went to church most Sundays, would grow up to eventually head a very secretive band of brave individuals–both men and women–who regularly put their lives on the line because they wanted to protect the rest of you. Yet that’s what we did, often sacrificing our personal lives (four marriages for me, all in the book) and our health (countless broken bones, major surgeries, even death) to do it.

Meanwhile you’re just going to have to call me “Papa” like everyone else around the globe has through most of those wildly unpredictable and dangerous years.

Praise for Code Name: Papa:

“I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what really happens to bad people who threaten the safety and well being of our world. It was a page turner that I could hardly put down.” – S. King

“I typically do not take the time to write reviews. However, this book was so incredibly riveting that I felt compelled to let other Amazon members know that it’s an honest-to-goodness page turner. I can’t wait to see what happens next…hopefully a sequel and movie!” – Max’s Mom

“The story is riveting, once you start reading you won’t want to put it down! Learning about these undercover missions involving the cooperation of several nations is mind boggling.” – L. Lynch

About the Authors:

John Murray:

A Vietnam vet, John Murray, later known as “Papa,” has spent the majority of his adult life working as an undercover agent for the U.S., Canadian and various European governments. During this time, he rose from agent to the head of US Operations.

 John was raised in the South by his grandfather who taught him at an early age how to survive by hunting and fishing, which all served him well for his future. He firmly believes that if he had not had the guidance of his grandfather and others who influenced his life that he never would have survived the ordeals that he did.

John, who enjoyed a very average American childhood, always wanted to be a ‘normal’ husband and father, but you’ll eventually understand why that was impossible. 

Papa and his crews bore the responsibility of taking care of much of the world’s evil – evil that could never have come to the public’s attention.

 Now retired, he and his wife are living in a small rural Western town. As ‘normal’ as he tries to live, he will always be haunted by the visions of what he saw and what he tried to prevent or rectify. ​

Sharon Murray:

Sharon is a retired business executive who has lived in many parts of the US and in Asia.  Happily married to John for over five years, she had no idea about his work until she experienced his nightmares about the past.

After discussions about how she might help John, he asked Sharon to help him write his memoirs just as something to leave behind, unpublished. After several years of working on them, Sharon convinced John it was a story worth telling to the world.  Working on this project has helped John start to face some of the things he experienced while trying to be a good guy in a world gone awry.

Abby Jones:

This is Jones’ fifth book.  She also writes for numerous magazines.  The original manuscript was handed off to Abby, a friend of Sharon, who has a reputation for her easy, conversational writing style.  
Abby worked with John and Sharon for approximately eighteen months to make sure John’s voice was never lost in the rewrites.  She notes that both John and Sharon were wonderful to collaborate with via phone, computer and text.  By the way, she has never met John!  Abby currently lives on the West Coast. She has traveled extensively and lived in many other parts of the US as well as in Europe.

Learn more at

Code name papa.com   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads     Amazon

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Chapter 2

After a nice little walk, talking all the way, we came to the study. The butler opened the doors for us, and then quietly closed them behind us.
Panicking a bit, I blurted out, “Jake, just who in the hell are you?” He calmly replied, “It’s not who I am; it’s who my father is.”

I took a deep breath and asked Jake for a drink; he asked what I wanted and I said a Jack and coke with one cube of ice. Bill wanted a beer. As Jake fixed the drinks, it dawned on me that in every room in the house, there was someone available to wait on us, but not in the study.

We made small talk while sipping our drinks. At precisely three p.m. by the clock on the wall (and not by my watch because I had a weary old Timex), the big doors opened and Jake’s father walked in. Smiling, he asked how our stay had been. Jake asked his father if he could fix him a brandy. He replied, “Yes, I’ll have a brandy, very small.”

I noticed all the bottles at the bar were top of the line brands. Other than the Jack Daniels, I’d never heard of them. But the brandy Jake’s father asked for was Christian Brothers that struck me as odd given how inexpensive it was compared to the rest.

Jake’s father began talking about the day he’d received word from me about my injuries, where I was, and how I needed help to get home from Japan. Other than this brief review, he spoke about nothing out of the ordinary.

Finally, he said, “Gentlemen, what I’m about to discuss with you must remain within these four walls. If you disagree or do not want to be any part of it, or have no desire, I demand our conversation be left here. Do you agree to that?” Of course, we agreed. I briefly glanced over at Jake, trying to pick up if there was something I could get from his expression, but there was nothing. He did the same thing as we did: He just looked directly at his father.

His father continued, “There is an organization, and my position in the organization is second in command, and this organization is what you might call ‘peacekeepers.’ We are not soldiers of fortune; we work within the confines of the United States government. You might say we’re legal on one hand and illegal on the other. You will never, if you choose to become a part of this, receive a paycheck from the U.S. government, but you will be paid and paid well through a dummy corporation. My son Jake will hopefully be able to be the front man for your group. If you choose to join us, there is a lot of training involved. It will consist of four months of physical and mental training— and I do mean training. You will see and do things you’ve never done or heard of before in your entire lives. is work will involve going after people who are a threat to national and international security. Your wives, your children, and your best friends will never be able to know what you do for a living.”

“Now Bill, you’ve already been set up because you now, through my help and in other ways unknown to you, have a logging company. Your company is a cover.”

Turning to me, he said, “Your cover is yet to be determined. It probably will involve many things. Possibly we’d set you up in real estate, because that’s an avenue that might free you up to move at a moment’s notice without arousing suspicion. (It turned out, however, Papa decided my cover should be that of a construction engineer, hired by a European firm.) Jake, you already have an avenue; you’re an attorney.” I don’t know why, but Jake’s father’s statement shocked me with this disclosure. Who knew?

Looking at us very intently, he asked, “Does anyone want to leave before I proceed further?”

 

Tea & Chemo by Jackie Buxton

 

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Book description

Diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in December 2013, Jackie decided to blog about her experience of living with cancer and its nine months of treatments. The result is a candid and often humorous insight into a time she nicknames, Not All Bad. Motivated by reader enthusiasm to publish a book based on her blog, Tea & Chemo: Fighting Cancer, Living Life is a patchwork of positivity and resource for those living with cancer, as well as their family and friends. Jackie lives in Yorkshire with her husband and teenage children and when not writing, can often be found cycling, running, dreaming or tripping up through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

I’m not usually a reader who picks up a biography I’m afraid, there are just so many other books out there that I’m desperate to read, but after having a couple of friends go through breast cancer and come out the other side, the subject of Tea & chemo appealed to me. This is a fairly short book at 208 pages, so I read it in one sitting.

I was expecting a book full of factual information, about the treatment, cancer and its side effects, instead the reader gets an insight into how someone with cancer feels through the diagnosis and treatment . As Jackie Buxton explains she wanted to write a book about an ordinary person living her life with cancer. I was expecting Tea & Chemo to be a difficult read due to its subject matter, but I have to say I found it to be an inspirational read Jackie Buxton writes in such a down to earth way, she is honest and writes with such humour you can’t help but smile. The book also offers a host of useful links, from getting a wig to having a make over.

Tea & Chemo also offers lots of practical advice from how to cope with night sweats (caused by the treatment) to what to say to someone with cancer. Throughout the book Jackie’s no nonsense approach is refreshing and makes for an easy read. Tea & Chemo is full of laughter, tears, honesty and hope, and offers inspirational words to everyone facing the life challenges that cancer inevitably brings. Jackie if you happen to read this I wish all the luck in the world for your future, and I’m sure your book will be an inspiration to both sufferers, friends and family alike.

4 ☕️☕️☕️☕️out of 5 from me
All proceeds for the sale of Tea & Chemo will go to three charities
The Haven
Breast Cancer Now
The Robert Ogden Macmillan centre, Harrogate

Publishers: Urbane Publications Limited out on the 23rd Nov. 2015