**Weekly Wrap Up**

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I’ve only managed to read one book this week, I haven’t lost my reading mojo thankfully. I’ve had a week off and been far to busy to read. I might have only read one book, but it was a gripping one and very different to my normal reads, part history and part thriller.

I will be taking a regular social media free break one day every week as it certainly helps me to concentrate on my reading, and  I’m so easily distracted once I start trawling through Facebook and Twitter 🙈

 The One Man by Andrew Gross

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Books I bought this week

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Book description

They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID. This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind.

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts.

But McGuire might have met her match…What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands? Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?

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Book description

Tom Cheever is an IT specialist, a recovering alcoholic, and a single dad. Molly, his ten-year-old daughter is his whole life. But one ordinary morning, Tom discovers that Molly’s not in her room.
Gone. Vanished.

Police are called, a search party goes out, and Tom, already struggling with staying sober, finds himself coming undone. As hours become days without any sign of Molly, everyone she knows is called into question, including Tom himself.

As he tries to desperately piece together what could’ve happened, Tom realizes that nothing is quite as it seems. Will Molly be found in time? Or will Tom have to face the rest of his life not knowing what happened to his little girl?

ARC’s I received this week

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Book description

Roy Grace, creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet in Need You Dead.

Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her.

When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

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Book description

Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show. Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial twenty-seven-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house’s previous owners – including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.

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Book description

Robin and Sarah weren’t the closest of twins. They weren’t even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn’t…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she’s just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can’t be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn’t the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship…

I also got sent two “Top Secret” Arc’s…….my lips are sealed for now 🤐

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/17/the-abattoir-of-dreams-by-mark-tilbury-bookreview-bloodhoundbook-mtilburyauthor/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/18/dead-woman-walking-by-sharon-bolton-bookreview-authorsjbolton/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/19/dead-souls-by-angela-marsons-bookreview-bookouture-writeangie/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/20/cover-reveal-the-art-of-fear-by-pamela-crane-giveaway-nholten/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/21/blog-tour-sleep-tight-by-caroline-mitchell-review-bookouture-caroline_writes/

Next week on the book review café

After The Affair by Jonathan Kaye **Blog tour**

The Quiet Man by James Carol #Review

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens #Review

Love Me Not by M J Arlidge #Review

**Blog Tour** Sleep Tight by Caroline Mitchell #Review @Bookouture @Caroline_Writes

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Today I’m literally jumping up and down with excitement because it’s my turn on the blog tour for Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell and I can finally share my review for this brilliant and gripping crime thriller.

Sleep Tight was published yesterday by one of my favourite publishers Bookouture so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy just head over to Amazon and “click”. If you love a gripping crime series then you really don’t want to miss one. So without further ado here’s my review

Book description

Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.
A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.
Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.

Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.
Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?

img_12581-2-3 and breathe…… OMG Caroline Mitchell’s writing never fails to amaze me. Sleep Tight is the second book in this not to be missed series featuring Detective Ruby Preston. It’s going to sound cliched but it really is the authors best book yet, I kid you not! It’s twisted, menacing and damn right creepy, with an antagonist who makes most fictional serial killers look like choir boys in comparison. When the serial killer is someone who admires Jack the Ripper’s work, and poses his victims as fairytale princesses you just know you are in for a hell of a ride and the author does not disappoint, no sirree she takes the reader on a dark and twisted ride and I loved every minute of it.

Detective Ruby Preston is back and I must admit I’m becoming very fond of her, she’s feisty, funny, and she’s complex, there’s the law abiding Detective who seeks out justice and then there’s Ruby whose involvement with crime lord Nathan forces her to take unnecessary risks and ignore procedures to protect him. Ruby’s relationship with Nathan doesn’t bode well for future books in the series as I’m sure she’s going to find her career in jeopardy, as her work and private life appear to be heading for a spectacular collision.

Sleep Tight feels darker than the first book in the series Love You To Death I think this is due the nature of the crimes, a serial killer whose victims faces are transformed into perverse fairytale heroines, it  doesn’t make for a happy read, but it certainly makes for a spine chilling one. Caroline Mitchell manages to turn the fairytale stories I remember reading into something gruesome and terrifying.

The reasoning behind the killings are multi-layered and complex and just as I thought I had it all worked out Caroline Mitchell threw in some very devious twists. The author takes a bold step in my opinion and reveals the Killers identity fairly early on in the book now I’m not sure about you but that can sometimes spoil a read for me, but did it hell! in fact knowing who the killer was added layer upon layer of tension and suspense.

Sleep Tight is a compelling read and one that begs to be read in one sitting, at times I find my heart pounding as the body count mounted, Caroline Mitchell builds on the suspense until the very last chapter. As Sleep Tight reached it’s dramatic and heart stopping conclusion I found myself completely wrapped up in the story, so much so I find myself holding my breath in anticipation of what was still to come. 

As I’ve said before I’m a huge fan of this authors descriptive style of writing, especially around the crime scenes you feel your right there alongside Ruby, conjuring up images that stayed with me as I read. Sleep Tight has all the ingredients I love in a crime thriller and more thrilling plot, fabulous characters and a serial killer who chills you to the bone. A word of warning once you’ve read Sleep Tight those old familiar fairytales will never seem the same again. It’s going to sound cliched but I can wholeheartedly recommend this book for someone looking for an original crime story but with all the hallmarks of a truly thrilling tale. Personally I can’t wait for the next book in this highly gripping series, so Caroline Mitchell if you happen to read this, is there any chance you could write any faster? 

Print Length: 345 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (20 April 2017)

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Sleep Tight the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is award is given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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About Caroline Mitchell

A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive newsletter only competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

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Links:

www.caroline-writes.com

https://www.facebook.com/CMitchellAuthor/

https://twitter.com/Caroline_writes

You can get your copy of Sleep Tight here……… Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

There are some awesome book bloggers on the Sleep Tight blog tour so I’ve included the blog tour poster so you can keep track…..

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I’m back with a **Weekly Wrap Up**

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Well I’m back after nearly a two week break from social media and blogging (apart from the blog tour posts I already agreed to) and I must say its done me the world of good, no frantically trying to share and retweet posts, spending hours trawling through social media in fact it just reinforced to me how much time I spend on my iPad when I could be reading.

I worked Monday-Friday throughout the experiment and still managed to read, wait for it………..8 books and I’m half way through the 9th.……..yes the book review café has found her reading mojo and what a treasure trove of books I’ve read. Some of theses books are for blog tours in May, so I really achieved a lot in my two weeks off…… blog tour reviews, books that have been sat on my bookshelf that I’ve really wanted to read, and new to me authors. So I definitely feel a social media break every now and then works for me.

Books I read

Books I’ve bought

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Certain criminal cases have a life of their own. Despite the passage of years they continue their hold on the public imagination, either because of the personalities involved, the depravity of the crime, doubts over whether justice was done, or the tantalizing fact that no one was ever caught…

Now John Douglas, the foremost investigative analyst and criminal profiler of our time, turns his attention to eight of the greatest mysteries in the history of crime, including those of Jack the Ripper, The Boston Strangler and JonBenet Ramsey. Taking a fresh look at the established facts, Douglas and Olshaker dismantle the conventional wisdom regarding these most notorious of crimes and rebuild them – with astonishing results.

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1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge. Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.

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TWO GIRLS GO TO A PARTY, ONLY ONE RETURNS ALIVE
Toni, the surviving teenager, is found delirious, wandering the muddy fields. She has been drugged and it’s uncertain whether she’ll survive. She says she saw her friend Emily being dragged away from the party. But no one knows who Emily is or even if she’s still alive. . .
Meanwhile the drowned body of another girl has been found on an isolated beach.
And how does this all relate to the shocking disappearance of a little girl nearly a decade ago, a crime which was never solved? The girl’s mother is putting immense pressure on the police to re-open the high-profile case.

EACH ONE OF THEM IS SOMEONE’S DAUGHTER AND THE POLICE MUST GIVE THEIR FAMILIES JUSTICE AND CLOSURE

DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evansof the Fenland police are stretched to the limit as they try to bring the perpetrators of these shocking crimes to justice.
There is evidence of an illegal drinking club run by a shadowy group of men, who are grooming teenagers. And the team come across a sinister former hospital called Windrush which seems to house many dark secrets.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking ending.

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The past is never far away.

Michael Tate has not had an easy life. With his father in prison, and his mother dead, Michael was sent to Woodside Children’s Home.

Now an adult, Michael wakes up in hospital from a coma suffering from amnesia and paralysis. Confused and terrified, he is charged with the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend, Becky. He also learns he attempted to end his own life.

Detective Inspector John Carver is determined that Michael is sent to prison.

With no way of defending himself, Michael is left in his hospital bed awaiting transfer to remand.

But then strange things begin to happen and his childhood comes back to haunt him.

Can Michael ever escape the past?

Will he ever discover the truth about Becky’s murder?

And why is DI Carver so eager to make him suffer?

I couldn’t resist adding Remember Me by Lynda Renham to my TBR pile after reading Jo’s fabulous review for this book over at https://mychestnutreadingtree.wordpress.com

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A new neighbour becomes a new friend. She looks up to you. She admires you, but is it you she wants? You begin to wonder if she wants your husband, or even your child. But then you realise, she wants your life.

When Sharni and Tom move into 24 The Pines, it seems like Clare and Chris have the perfect neighbours. Sharni is always there to help, especially with childcare for Clare’s two-year-old, Ben. But Clare can’t shake off the feelings of anxiety that assail her whenever Sharni is near. Is Clare just being overprotective, or are her feelings justified? As Sharni‘s influence touches everyone around her, Clare finds herself fighting for her sanity as well her family.

ARC’s I’ve received

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/14/blog-tour-the-escape-by-c-l-taylor-review-authorinterview-callytaylor-helenasheffield/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/04/16/blog-tour-last-breath-by-robert-bryndza-bookreview-bookouture-robertbryndza/

Next week on the book review café

Cover reveal and a fabulous Giveaway The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane

**Blog tour** Sleep Tight by the awesome Caroline Mitchell

The Abattoir Of Dreams by Mark Tilbury #Review

Dead Souls by Angela Marsons #Review

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton #Review

**Blog Tour** Last Breath by Robert Bryndza #BookReview @Bookouture @RobertBryndza

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Today I’m super excited and it’s not just because I’ve got a  mountain of Easter Eggs to eat my way through, but it’s also the day I’m able to share my review for the fabulous and gripping Last Breath by Robert Bryndza. Last Breath was published by Bookouture on the 12th of April so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy of the 4th book in the series, and if you haven’t already read the previous books in the series I would highly recommend each and everyone of them.

Book description

He’s your perfect date. You’re his next victim.

When the tortured body of a young woman is found in a dumpster, her eyes swollen shut and her clothes soaked with blood, Detective Erika Foster is one of the first at the crime scene. The trouble is, this time, it’s not her case.

While she fights to secure her place on the investigation team, Erika can’t help but get involved and quickly finds a link to the unsolved murder of a woman four months earlier. Dumped in a similar location, both women have identical wounds – a fatal incision to their femoral artery.

Stalking his victims online, the killer is preying on young pretty women using a fake identity. How will Erika catch a murderer who doesn’t seem to exist?

Then another girl is abducted while waiting for a date. Erika and her team must get to her before she becomes another dead victim, and, come face to face with a terrifyingly sadistic individual. Establishing his trust with the victims by forming online relationships questions her own ability to solve the case her abrasive side makes way for a much more vulnerable Erika

img_1258As anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of Robert Bryndza and have been known to be a tad over enthusiastic with my reviews so I will keep it fairly short plot 5 ⭐characters 5⭐, did I like it? 💯% yes! Job done!

But just in case you really want to know what I thought of Last Breath feel free to read on…………

Oh my giddy aunt Robert Bryndza never fails to surprise me, just when I convinced myself the Detective Erika Foster series couldn’t possibly get any better, he delivers another belter of a book. Last Breath is the 4th book in the Detective Erika Foster series and although it can be read as a standalone I would recommend you read this series in order just because there such a cracking good read. I’m going to say it again but this is definitely the best book in the series (until the next book anyway). Each time this author writes a book he raises the bar and I’m not sure how he’s going to top this one but I have no doubt he will.

The author doesn’t hold back and Last Breath opens with a spine chilling prologue that pretty much sets the pace for this gripping read. When the body of a tortured young woman is found in a dumpster it’s up to Erika and her team to find the killer before he finds new victims, but first she will have to fight to secure her place on the investigation team. It’s great to see Erika back she’s a character whom I’ve come to love, in many ways she’s your typical fictional detective, she’s feisty, isn’t afraid to kick ass, but over the series the author has developed her vulnerable side and in Last Breath we see a side of her personality I really wasn’t expecting.

As I suspected the author has created one sick and sadistic individual, this is a serial killer who will chill you to the bone, as to their motive for committing such heinous crimes they really are a twisted soul. A serial killer stalking their victims on social media, makes for a very credible plot. After all how often do you look at social media sites and wonder why people share so much of their personal life on line for everyone to see, it’s frightening to see how much you can learn about a person without them even being aware of unwelcome visitors trawling their posts. In fact I became so paranoid after reading Last Breath I checked all my own personal settings on social media!

Robert Bryndza doesn’t waste words he takes the reader to the heart of the story, as I said before his writing is so descriptive it brings Last Breath to life, especially the crime scenes, they are so vivid you feel like your there amid the horrific scenes, so much so my stomach was churning at times. The authors style of writing leaves you with a constant sense of unease and foreboding which you just can’t shake off no matter how hard you try.

Last Breath is a truly dark, disturbing and most definitely a gripping read, one that will make your heart pound and the paranoia kick in, but my god it’s definitely worth the ride. What I particularly like about this series is how original each book has been from the last and how each story offers something unique, which is why Robert Bryndza continues to be one of my very favourite authors on the planet.

I’m sure it won’t come as much of a shock but I will be giving Last Breath the very prestigious Gold Star Award Rating, this is the authors third book to get this award. It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a good read, fantastic plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Print Length: 281 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (12 April 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

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About the author

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice. The Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller is the first book in the Detective Erika Foster series.

The Night Stalker, and Dark Water are the second and third books in the series, and you can now buy the fourth, Last Breath which was published on April 12th 2017.

Robert’s books have sold over 1.7 million copies, and have been translated into 26 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

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You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

If you want to follow the rest of the blog tour……

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**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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**Blog Tour** It’s Killing Jerry by Sharn Hutton #Extract & #Giveaway @SharnHutton1 #itskillingjerry

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Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the next stop on the It’s Killing Jerry by Sharn Hutton blog tour. Not only do I have an very intriguing extract from the book, but Sharn is also offering you the chance to win a fabulous giveaway, I’m just sorry I can’t enteryou can find details further down this post.

It’s Killing Jerry is a comedy thriller and it’s already getting some fabulous reviews over on Amazon. So if you think this is a book you may enjoy you,  may just want to read an extract……..

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PROLOGUE
THE IMAGE OF A CRISP-UNIFORMED police officer filled the TV screen. Bathed in sunshine, his features were rounded and friendly, but said more hopeful puppy than hardnosed detective. He ducked his head, cleared his throat and gazed down the lens.
“My name is Detective Dinwiddy,” he began, speaking slowly and carefully, “and I am investigating the disappearance and suspected murder of one Jeremy Brian Adler, a British man.”
Three pairs of eyes widened on the sofa and snapped to the screen.
“Do you have any suspects, Detective?” barked a voice out of shot.
“Well, I am still conducting my investigation.” He nodded deliberately to someone beside the camera, then back to the lens. “But there are certainly some individuals I would like to interview.” Dinwiddy held up a photo and the camera zoomed in.
The line of people on the sofa recognised it as Jerry’s passport photo, but only two jaws descended in a gape. The newscast had arrived out of the blue and with such authority: a nugget of truth beamed over the airwaves and into their living room, a living room that hadn’t seen much honesty for a while.
In the short lived hush that followed, Isabell’s heart beat so hard she wondered if the people to either side could hear the pounding in her chest. Jerry being dead changed everything. It meant she didn’t have to pretend.

ONE
FOUR MONTHS EARLIER
Jeremy dear, can you come over on Sunday to connect my new computer to the dangle – Daddy doesn’t understand it. Thank you. This is your mother.
Jerry lounged against the kitchen counter, new green jogging bottoms pinching up a roll of flab at his midriff. He surveyed the text and tapped reply.

No need to tell me who you are Mum. To the dangle eh? Are you into something kinky? No wonder Dad’s a bit flummoxed
He tapped send and smirked. Jerry’s mother was not a woman to be trifled with and wilful misinterpretation of her words was guaranteed to get her hackles up. Jerry knew she’d be forced to restrain herself as she was looking for a favour. Almost immediately it beeped in reply.

Don’t be so puerile Jeremy. You know perfectly well what I mean. What time shall I expect you? Mummy.

Of course, Jerry’s attendance was never really in question, so he angled for lunch in his reply. Decent food had been in short supply since Rachel had returned from the hospital with their first child in tow a couple of months ago. One of Mum’s Sunday roasts would go down a treat.

Jerry slid the phone into his back pocket, put his hands on his hips and pursed his lips. “Jeh-remy!” he called out in impersonation, “Don’t mock my dangle! Daddy doesn’t understand it!” He minced over to the table, right arm held tightly cocked to his chest, fingers bent over, “Jeh-remy, really!”

He let his eyes trail across the spread of unopened brown envelopes on the table and settled instead on the paper, flicking it open from the back. The Blues were dicing with relegation.
“Nearly ready?” Rachel appeared in the kitchen doorway, crumpled t-shirt hanging limp over faded grey jeans.
“Hmm?” Jerry turned in another page, looking for news on the Gunners.
“The bottles, Jerry. Is the steriliser running?”
“Steriliser?” He looked over his shoulder at her, tapping at his bottom lip with a stiff forefinger. “Was I meant to…?”
“Yes, you were meant to. Of course you were meant to. When I say: It’s time for a feed, could you put the bottles on? What else could that possibly mean?”
“Oh. Um. I thought maybe put the bottles on the counter, ready, you know?”
“No.”
“Well, ready to the put the milk in.”
Rachel looked up and down the kitchen work surface with exaggerated sweeps of her head. “So where are they then, these bottles that you’ve put on the counter, ready?”
“Um.” Jerry turned, perched on the table’s edge and pushed back a floppy mouse-brown curl from his eyes. “Hey, well, I had to get changed, of course, ready for the gym. Leaner, meaner, fitter husband and all that and then there was the, er, message. Very important one actually. One’s expertise is required.” He wobbled his head in feigned pride, but Rachel didn’t want to hear it. She raised her palm to stop his flow and let out a warbling laugh that rattled a little too high. “Don’t tell me any more. You haven’t done it. Why am I surprised? Why should I be surprised? I’m not surprised. You never fucking do anything.” She started sorting through the waiting crockery at the sink, dismantling bottles and tossing them into the bowl. “I’ll do it, shall I? Yeah, why not?”

She cranked the hot tap on full and shoved through the clutter to reach for the detergent. A displaced dirty coffee cup slid from the counter to the floor, where it chinked off its handle and rolled to rest in a puddle of grey milky liquid. Rachel closed her eyes for a beat then plunged on with the bottle washing, banging each soapy piece down on the drainer as she went. “I’m amazed you can even get yourself to the gym.” She turned to look him up and down. “Although of course, you haven’t yet, have you?” She gave the bottles a hasty wipe over with a muslin cloth and wedged them into the steriliser. “Don’t wear yourself out, don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Jerry snorted out a laugh, but a quick glance revealed Rachel not to be smiling. She stared down at her feet and scraped a stray lock of chestnut hair behind her ear. “Look, Jerry, do you think you could cover the night feed tonight?” Her tone was short and tired. Jerry rubbed at his neck. “Um, well I’d like to help, but she doesn’t seem to like it when I do it.”
“You’ll get the hang of it.”
Jerry sucked his lips against his teeth. “There’ll be all that crying and you’ll end up awake anyway. I think she needs her mother, Rach.”
“She cries anyway.”
Jerry blew out his lips in a fleshy rattle, “Yeah, but I have to go to work in the morning. I’ll be dead on my feet.”
“Unlike me.” Their eyes locked for a moment and Jerry was the first to turn away, suddenly interested in the newspaper again. He heard Rachel trudge from the room and up the stairs. The steriliser hissed.
“Jeh-remy! Look at Daddy’s dongle!” He cocked his hand back to his chest and gave a little head wobble. “Ah, mm, yes,” he sighed and looked over his shoulder to where his wife no longer stood. He really ought to be a bit more helpful. Wouldn’t hurt him to make up just one bottle.

With that in mind he drifted over to the steriliser, which gurgled and clicked, still busy with its business. He could get a bottle ready, wiggle his way back into Rachel’s good books. The trouble with all this domestic stuff was that it was all just so dull. It was an endless cycle of thankless tasks where there was never any progress, only the maintenance of equilibrium. Life at the office felt much the same. Every day he worked on PR programs to sell the sizzle of his client’s newest sausage, only for it to be replaced a few months down the line with something tastier. He was a cog in a churning machine and it was all just so dull, dull, dull.

Jerry pulled his phone from his pocket and pressed it to his ear. “Remi here.” He spoke in a hushed tone, pretending to answer a non-existent call. “A mission? I’m listening, Aqua. Yes, I can put together a hydro bomb. I’m on it.” He squinted out into the hallway, checking for spies and, seeing none, made his way to the furthest wall cabinet, next to the kitchen window. Snapping open the door, he scanned its contents: marmalade; Super Noodles; SMA. “Ah, there you are, the secret formula.”
Jerry carefully manoeuvred the tin of milk powder with both hands from cupboard shelf to countertop. He pulled at the neckline of his sweatshirt and spoke into the collar. “I am ‘go’ for formula. Commencing opening sequence.” Jerry cracked his knuckles, spread his feet apart and flexed at the knee. Very slowly he clicked up the rim of the lid and ran his thumb around the circumference to free it. Once it was loose, he cautiously lifted the lid and placed it beside the tin on the counter.
“Clear, clear, lid clear,” he informed the fantasy Spy Master.

A quick scan of the instructions on the side of the tin revealed the necessity for boiled water and accurate measurement using the doll-size plastic scoop Jerry had discovered inside. He lay his palm against the kettle and snatched it away again to tuck into his armpit, belatedly remembering the cup of tea he’d just drunk. He bit at his lip and eyed the steaming steriliser suspiciously. He wasn’t taking any chances with that.
“Aqua, radiation levels are increasing, switching to thermo tongs.”
The cooking tongs hanging behind the hob would do nicely.
“Agent Remi on point,” Jerry breathed, pinching off the steriliser lid and tossing it into the sink. A great cloud of steam mushroomed into his face and up to the ceiling.

He found the tongs were remarkably agile, considering their culinary heritage, and picked out a bottle with ease. Jerry filled it with water from the kettle and scooped in the requisite amount of powder. The top and teat proved somewhat more difficult to capture with the tongs and spent a brief time of the floor. Jerry checked the hallway for spies once more. “Five second rule,” he mumbled, scooping them up and giving them a blow, before screwing them into place. Returning to the tongs, he clamped the bottle and transported it to the kitchen table, where he stood it in central isolation.
“Aqua, mission complete, Remi out,” Jerry informed his collar, “Don’t know what all the fuss is about.”

He surveyed the kitchen counter and decided that the clutter should wait for Rachel. After all, she’d need to make up the rest of the bottles and she was bound to spill a bit too, wasn’t she? No sense cleaning up twice.
Jerry snatched up his gym bag and bounded out into the hall. “I’m off, Rach, see you later. Milk’s done.”

“Oh, oh thanks, Jerry,” Rachel called, from out of sight. She actually sounded really pleased: a rare response to Jerry’s activities. Amazing what a little imagination could achieve. It was rather a shame that a few minutes later, whilst Jerry bounced happily along the High Street toward the gym, Rachel would discover his parting gift to be much less pleasing. Returning to the kitchen, mewing baby clutched to her chest, she would find the lidless, steam-free steriliser, open formula tin and scattered powder. “Lovely,” she’d say with a sigh, “Just lovely.”

About the author

Sharn Hutton scuttled along in the rat race with everyone else, until the advent of babies provided an excellent excuse not to go back to the office. Before too long she realised, however, that ‘giving up work’ wasn’t really that at all. In fact, career motherhood had just as many challenges and disappointments as the corporate world, the hours were longer and the pay was rubbish! The best laid plans and all that…

Time marched on and as the children spent more hours at nursery and then school, she started to write during stolen moments. The seed of a story took hold and eventually grew into her first novel.

Now working from home in Hertfordshire, she wouldn’t trade her tiny writing room at the back of the house for the fanciest of corner offices. Apart from anything else, where would the dog’s bed go?

‘It’s Killing Jerry’ is her debut novel and she’s expecting many more to come. (Books that is, not babies. Definitely not babies.)

Links:   Website     Facebook     Instagram     Twitter     Goodreads

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Book Description

Fantasist, push-over and all-round crap father: Jeremy Adler’s an inspiration. For scandal, treachery and blackmail.

Fleeced by his ex-wife, oppressed by a narcissist boss and ridden over rough-shod by a two month old infant, Jerry might have thought he’d been keeping the peace but, the tide of resentment is turning against him.
Fighting for his job, control of the bank statement and, ultimately, his life, Jerry’s got problems and they’re about to get a whole lot worse.
Breakdowns and break-ups, manipulation and thievery, green-eyed phoneys and unscrupulous deals. Pretending to be someone else just won’t cut it this time and featuring on the late evening news as: missing, presumed murdered, is only the beginning.

With adult themes, ‘It’s Killing Jerry’ is the head-hopping tale of Jerry’s desperately funny demise.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧             Amazon US 🇺🇸

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Please note but this giveaway is open to UK residents only. The prize will be posted directly by the author. The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of winning by myself, and I will send your postal details directly to the author. To win this awesome prize (see photo below) you just need to click here to enter…….

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d4059/?

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**Blog Tour** Deadly Game by Matt Johnson #Guestpost @Matt_Johnson_UK @OrendaBooks

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Today it’s my stop on The Deadly Game by Matt Johnson blog tour, and to celebrate the occasion I have a fabulous guest post from the author himself.

Wicked Game the first book in the series was a NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER on Amazon UK and AU, Kobo, Audible and LoveReading, with 380 five-star reviews! An authentic, gripping and moving thriller from an ex-soldier and Met Police officer.

Deadly Game is published by the fabulous Orenda Books and you can get a copy right now as it was published on the 20th February 2017. 

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Ten things you didn’t know about me.

1. I play the guitar. As a teenager I played in a band that gigged in local pubs. We mainly did David Bowie covers as our lead singer looked and sounded like Bowie. Deciding that we needed a second singer, we auditioned. The only applicant didn’t play an instrument and, at the time, didn’t sing too well. We turned him down. His name – Simon Le Bon.

2. I keep bees, having become fascinated watching a bee keeper at work and deciding five years ago to have a try myself. I enjoy the hobby, even if monitoring my sugar levels means limiting my consumption of the resulting honey.

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3. I scuba dive, having done the PADI courses up to advanced level some years ago. I’ve now over 100 dives under my belt including in the Red Sea and Malta, as well us home waters off Cornwall and the south coast. One of my favourite dives was Lundy Island where we swam with the seals. A wonderful experience.

4. I walk every day – in the Welsh hills with my dogs. I used to have four but sadly, two passed away during the last year. I find walking to be very relaxing as well as good exercise. Now that I’m writing, it’s also the time when I mull over and come up with ideas, so I always carry a digital recorder to help remember thoughts.

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5. My mother and father were great friends with Leslie Thomas, the author of Virgin Soldiers and The Tropic of Ruislip. I used to walk to infant school with Leslie’s daughter, Lois. Again, rather sadly, with both my father and Leslie now no longer with us, I won’t get the opportunity to celebrate my being published with them.

6. I once played rugby for London Wasps. I say once, as it wasn’t a great experience. I was at school when our PE teacher – who was Wasps fly half – took a few of us young lads to help as Wasps were short. We donned the black and gold kit and turned out, only to be smashed to bits when put up against men who were much stronger and more experienced than we were. It really was a case of men against boys. The next time we were asked, not a single one of us said yes.

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7. With my former wife, I used to run an animal rescue specialising in cats and dogs. We started it after I left the police and, over the years, we found new homes for many thousands of abandoned and stray animals. Spiritually, it was very rewarding work but extremely demanding.

8. As a soldier and police officer, I trained in the use of many vehicles. I completed a number of driving courses for both cars and motorcycles and, even now, my love of them continues. For pleasure, I drive an old Jaguar XKR and a ’99 Harley Davidson Fatboy. Although trained and qualified to drive fast, I have a family reputation as a bit of a slug. I tend not to rush, following the adage that nothing is so urgent as to justify an accident. I’ve seen what happens to people when they crash at speed and that tends to have a sobering effect on your own driving.

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9. I’m patron to two charities, The Armed Forces Bikers and Shoeboxes for our Heroes. Being a patron to them is an incredible honour and I’m more than happy to do what I can to help both of these fundraising charities.

10. And probably of least interest is the fact that I collect hats. And I’m not talking just a few. It started during my Army service and continues now. I even wear some of them. I include in my collection a Foreign Legion Kepi, a WWII Tommy helmet, an Australian Akubra and a Russian Submariner officer foxfur hat. Many of the hats used to be displayed on a wall until a house move confined them to boxes where many of them remain.

img_1639Matt Johnson served as a soldier and Metropolitan Police officer for 25 years. Blown off his feet at the London Baltic Exchange bombing in 1993, and one of the first police officers on the scene of the 1982 Regent’s Park bombing, Matt was also at the Libyan People’s Bureau shooting in 1984 where he escorted his mortally wounded friend and colleague, Yvonne Fletcher, to hospital. Hidden wounds took their toll. In 1999, Matt was discharged from the police with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While undergoing treatment, he was encouraged by his counsellor to write about his career and his experience of murders, shootings and terrorism. One evening, Matt sat at his computer and started to weave these notes into a work of fiction that he described as having a tremendously cathartic effect on his own condition. His bestselling thriller, Wicked Game, which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, was the result. Deadly Game once again draws on Matt’s experiences and drips with the same raw authenticity of its predecessor.

Links:        Website     Blog      Facebook        Twitter: @Matthew_Johnson_UK

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Book Description

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered, Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all … Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate. Deadly Game is a stunning, terrifying and eye-opening thriller from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧      Amazon US 🇺🇸

Follow the rest of the blog tour…..



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