**Cover Reveal** The Art Of Fear by Pamela Crane & #Giveaway @nholten

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Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers sharing the cover reveal for The Art Of Fear by Pamela crane, and don’t you just love the cover? it sent shivers down my spine when I first saw it.  Not only does The Art Of Fear have a great cover, but the book description sounds very intriguing too.

To celebrate the cover reveal the very generous Pamela Crane is offering a £5.00 (in value) Amazon Voucher, plus a pre-release eBook copy of the book, I also have two winner Up prizes of a pre-release eBook copy of the book up for grabs. Details on how to enter further down the page.  

Book description

A dead father, a sex-trafficked daughter, and a cunning killer hiding deadly talents in apparent suicide.
From award-winning author Pamela Crane comes a terrifying tale of small-town secrets and murder.

Ari Wilburn’s life ended long ago—the day she let her little sister die in a tragic accident. Crippled with self-blame and resented by her parents, Ari stumbles through life…and into an unlikely clue that casts doubt on whether the death was accidental.

A psychological wreck, Ari joins a suicide support group where she meets Tina, a sex-enslaved escapee who suspects foul play in her father’s death. In a pursuit of justice, Tina drags Ari into playing a dangerous game with the killer.

Faced with a murderous wake-up call, and desperate to salve her conscience, Ari’s investigation fuels the killer’s desire to see her dead.

Will Ari find closure and stop a killer, or make those she loves suffer?

img_1259Pamela Crane is a professional juggler. Not the type of juggler who can toss flaming torches in the air, but a juggler of four kids, a writing addiction, a horse rescuer, and a book editor by trade. She lives on the edge (ask her Arabian horse about that—he’ll tell you all about their wild adventures while trying to train him!) and she writes on the edge. Her characters and plots are her escape from the real world of dirty diapers and cleaning horse stalls, and the masochist in her thrives off of hurting her characters to create an entertaining tale.

She is the author of several best-selling and award-winning thrillers. To pick up a copy of a FREE book and other prizes, or to find out more about her chaotic existence, visit her website at www.pamelacrane.com.

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LINKS
www.pamelacrane.com
www.pamelacrane.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/Pamela-Crane/e/B00FOS91AI
www.facebook.com/pamela.crane.52

Praise for Foreword Book of the Year nominee The Admirer’s Secret:

” Mea culpa, Ms. Crane… If you like a suspenseful thriller that completely shocks you with its plot twists, this is the one for you.”
“Engaging plot, relatable characters, credible motive, unique twist ending-it’s got all of the components I’m looking for in a captivating thriller.”

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First Prize: £5.00 or equivalent Amazon Gift Voucher plus a pre-release eBook copy of The Art Of Fear 

second prize: A pre-release eBook copy of The Art Of Fear 

Third Prize: A pre-release eBook copy of The Art Of Fear 

The competition is open internationally, and winners will be contacted within 24 hours of the competition ending. The author will be notified of the winners so Pamela can contact you directly. 

Competition closes at Midnight the 21st April 2017

you can enter the Giveaway here ………http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/86b4d40510/?

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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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Bully Boy Blue by John Nicholl #BookReview @nicholl06

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Book description

Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?

img_1258BULLY BOY BLUE is a dark psychological suspense novella by John Nicholl, and when I say dark it’s really, really dark! It may only be a short story but the author certainly packs a powerful and disturbing tale into these pages. It’s dark, intense and hard hitting, in fact some readers may prefer to give Bully Boy Blue a miss as it deals with domestic abuse, and the author doesn’t hold back on the details.

The plot centres around Kathy whose life is dominated by her abusive husband Michael a pillar of society, unfortunately for Kathy whose going to believe her story? Can she escape the evil clutches of a monster? I’m certainly not going to give anything away here. Oh my Michael really is a nasty piece of work, as you learn more about his abusive behaviour towards Kathy I found my stomach turning, and all my sympathies lay with her. All I could hope for in this sorry tale was Michael would get what he deserved.

John Nicholl never fails to amaze me as his villains are always so well portrayed, so much so you can’t help but detest them for the terrible things they do and Michael is no exception. The author takes the worse parts of human behaviour and creates characters that you wouldn’t wish to meet in your worse nightmares. Bully Boy Blue makes for a grim, brutal and very disconcerting read, but it’s well plotted with a very satisfying conclusion.

Print Length: 60 pages

Publication Date: April 1, 2017

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys #GuestReview @JoannaLouisePar

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Today I’m thrilled to welcome Joanna Park who is going to help me out with some guest reviews. We found each over on Twitter, Jo posts her reviews to Goodreads so I asked Jo if she fancied writing some guest reviews and she very kindly agreed. Passionate about books, an avid reader and a lovely lady to boot, Jo will fit in perfectly on my blog. Please give a warm welcome to Jo and here’s her first ever guest review. 

Book description

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

IMG_1712Welcome aboard The Orontes for a fun filled glamorous crossing to Australia! Or so it first seems to Lily Shepherd who is taking advantage of the assisted passage scheme to start a new life in Australia. Life on board is a huge adventure for Lily as her eyes are opened to new things and she meets lots of interesting people, including the colourful Campbell’s, mysterious Edward and opinionated George. However as the journey continues boredom and tension start to bubble to the surface, Lily realises the journey isn’t as idyllic as she first thought. Soon Lily discovers that its hard to really know people you’ve just met, especially when they don’t have to tell you everything about themselves.
A Dangerous Crossing is one of those books that is perfect to immerse yourself in. I simultaneously wanted to read more to find out what happens and to slow down so it never ended!
The descriptions of life on board are really vivid and makes you feel that you are experiencing all the glitz and glamour alongside Lilly and watching all the action unfold. This is especially true of the wonderful descriptions of the ports they visit along the way and that I now have a yearning to visit. I felt I was there experiencing all the hustle and bustle and seeing the fantastic sights.

There is always underlying tension to the story which makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens. As the reader slowly gets to know the characters, it becomes apparent that they all have secrets to hide and are running away from something. As the outside heat increases and boredom sets in these tensions slowly bubble to the surface and start affecting the relationships on board.

The characters are all vastly different from each other which makes for a very compelling read. It was fascinating to read about their interactions with each other especially as ordinarily they wouldn’t have socialised with each other. Some of Lilly’s interactions, especially with the Campbell’s and George had me holding my breath as I wondered what was going to happen.
There is a little bit of murder mystery in it but in my opinion this is a secondary storyline, albeit one that is the reason for an amazing ending which took me completely by surprise. It’s not a traditional whodunnit and the fact that there is a murder isn’t a surprise as we know that from the start. It’s the story about getting to the murder and the reasons behind it which helps make this such a good book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who lines historical fiction that takes you to another time or place.

Thank you to Allison Barrow and Transworld publishing for the proof copy and for The Book Review cafe for inviting me to do a guest post!

Amazon UK 🇬🇧
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Hi I’m Joanna Park. I’m a stay at home mum to two children from Malvern in Worcestershire. Any spare time I have, normally when the kids are asleep, is spent reading! I will read anything, apart from horror but my favorite is historical fiction or thrillers. I got into reviewing by accident after seeing a comment about Netgalley on Facebook but am really enjoying it and have met some great people!

Links: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/26160119-joanna-park

Twitter: @JoannaLouisePar

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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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The Promise by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

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Book description

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life.

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.

img_1258My oh my I’m really not sure where to begin with this review, Casey Kelleher writes what I call grit lit. The Promise by Casey Kelleher certainly falls into this category, I wasn’t expecting a “heartes and flowers” kind of read, and I wasn’t wrong, in fact due to the subject matter it sometimes made for a very uncomfortable read, but my god I have to say it was also a gripping one. Josie Parker is a repeat drug offender, a heroin addict and a prostitute, she’s bringing up her two daughters in the most damaging way. Georgie and Marnie know violence first hand, they know what it’s like to be hungry, and scared, they have to endure the very darkest side of life. Then you have Javine a seventeen year old who meets the wrong man. At first Javine is taken in by a man who treats her like a princess but she soon finds her dreams turn to dust, when she realises she is in the clutches of a powerful and violent pimp. As the two stories collide in the most dramatic way The Promise makes for a riveting read.

The story is a slow starter but in the authors defence she concentrates on developing her characters and my god she does it brilliantly, you can’t help being drawn into the characters life’s, love them or hate them they all have a part to play. I found my opinions of various characters changing as the plot developed, I don’t want to spoil the plot but suffice to say some of the characters I started out disliking managed to redeem themselves by the end of the book. As for Georgie and Marnie they are the stars of the book despite their awful life’s they remain resilient and feisty, determined to protect each other from bad things, at times my heart broke for the two girls, yes they are characters, but Casey Kelleher writes about very real subjects and it makes me  very sad to think that this issome children’s  reality.

As the plot reaches midway it picks up the pace I found myself desperate to read more I so wanted Georgie and Marnie to find their “happy ever after”. Casey Kelleher paints a vivid and believable picture of the seedier side of life, this is an author who isn’t afraid to tackle the most difficult subjects head on, she paints an ugly and brutal picture which at times made for a harrowing read. Trust me this really isn’t a book for the faint hearted due to the subject matter, abuse, violence, prostitution all find there way into this book. The Promise could have been a very depressing read, but fortunately the author offers the reader hope amid the horror. In my opinion this is the authors best book yet, despite the difficult subject matter it’s one that’s hard to put down, thanks to Casey Kelleher’s ability to create such believable characters you will find yourself captivated by the two little girls willing them on through troubled times. Would I recommend this book? I certainly would especially if you enjoy a gritty realistic read.

Print Length: 363 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Feb. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸

**Blog Tour**The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt #Extract & Giveaway

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Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the next leg of The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt blog tour. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to read it yet as my TBR pile is in danger of suffocating me! But I do have an intriguing extract from the book. Billed as a gripping, suspenseful, page-turning thriller The Good Daughter is published by Avon and it’s available now. I also have a giveaway for a paperback copy of The Good Daughter, so don’t forget to enter, link to the competition can be found at the bottom of this post   

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“Have you heard what happened?” I repeat, my voice louder than I want it to be.
“You had some sort of an accident. They wouldn’t tell me anything else,” she says.
“I found a body in the woods. A woman. She’s alive but in a coma.” I shudder at the mental image of my Jane covered in forest debris.
My mother shifts in place as if she is trying to find a way to perfectly position herself, like she is expecting a blow. “You should’ve stayed home and taken care of those crickets. You never listen to me.”
I stand next to her, pass the dish soap, and watch her swirl her hands around in the water.
“I was running but my leg hurt and I went into the woods and—”
“Where did you find her?”
“Let me tell you the story from the beginning.” My mind is still attempting to make sense of everything and recalling the moment. Allowing me to relive what happened might help me do just that, might help me separate truth from imagination. But as always, my mother won’t have any of it.
“What woman and where?” She scoops up dirty silverware and immerses the pile into the sudsy water.
“Will you just be patient,” I say and then lower my voice. “If you’ll allow me to tell the story without—”
She stomps her foot on the linoleum, and it strikes me how silly the gesture is. I watch the sudsy water turn into a pink lather. It takes me a few seconds to realize what has happened.
“Mom,” I say gently, “you cut yourself.” I grab her by the forearms and allow the water to rinse off the blood. There’s a large gash in the tip of her middle finger; a line of blood continuously forms.
“I don’t understand,” she says, and I realize she’s begun to sob.
I hug her but she remains stiff, her arms rigid beside her body. She has never been one for physical affection, almost as if hugs suffocate her. I rub her shoulders like she’s a little kid in need of comfort after waking from a bad dream. There, there. You’ll be okay.
I speak in short sentences; maybe brevity is what she needs. “I found a woman. She’s okay. I’m fine. Everything’s okay,” I say as I wrap a clean kitchen towel around her fingers.
“The police came to my house.” She pulls away from me, dropping the bloody towel on the floor. “I don’t like police in my house. You know that.”
“I’m not sure you understand. A woman almost died. I found her while I was running and they took her to the hospital. If I hadn’t-“
“You’ve been here long enough,” she says and starts banging random dishes in the sink, mascara running down her cheeks. “You came for a visit and you’re still here.”
“Mom.” She doesn’t mean to be cruel—she’s just in a mood, I tell myself. She needs me. I don’t know what’s going on with her but I can’t even think straight and all I want is to go to bed and sleep. “Please don’t get upset.”
“Can’t you just … lay low?”
The tinge of affection I just felt for her passes. I recall the time I didn’t lay low, years ago, right after I started school in Aurora. It was the end of summer, the question of enrollment no longer up in the air. I wondered how she had managed to enroll me in school, how she had all of a sudden produced the paperwork. “But remember,” she said, “stay away from the neighbors. I don’t want anyone in my house.” The girl—I no longer remember her name but I do recall she had freckles and her two front teeth overlapped—had chestnut trees in her backyard. One day, I suggested we climb the tree. When I reached for the spiky sheath that surrounded the nut, it cut into the palm of my hand and I jerked. I fell off the tree and I couldn’t move my arm. I went home without telling anyone my arm hurt. The next day a teacher sent me to the school nurse. They called my mother—I still wasn’t caving, still telling no one what had happened, still pretending my swollen arm was nothing but some sort of virus that had gotten ahold of me overnight—and an hour later my secretive behavior prompted them to question my mother regarding my injury. When I finally came clean, her eyes were cold and unmoving.
Laying low is still important to her. “What did you want me to do?” I ask with a sneer. “She’d be dead if it wasn’t for me.”
Even though she hardly looks at me, I can tell her eyes are icy. Her head cocks sideways as if she is considering an appropriate response. Her responses are usually quick, without the slightest delay in their delivery, yet this one is deliberate.
“I don’t need any trouble with the police,” she says.
“That’s what this is about? The police? What did you want me to do? Just leave her in the woods because my mother doesn’t want to be bothered? You can’t be serious.”
“I’m very serious, Dahlia. Very serious.”
“I have to go to bed. I’m exhausted. Can we talk later?”
“I’ve said all I had to say.”
I lie in bed, staring at the ceiling. I don’t want to think anymore—just for a few hours, I want to not think. I envy Jane in her coma. I wonder if she’s left her body behind. Has she returned to the woods, reliving what’s happened to her? And did she hear me when I spoke to her? Can one slip out of one’s body and back into the past, removed from time and space?
My mind has been playing tricks on me lately—all those childhood memories that have resurfaced, at the most inopportune moments, memories I didn’t know existed. I haven’t even begun to ask my mother the questions that demand answers.
Aurora; a phenomenon. A collision of air molecules, trapped particles.
I’m exhausted, yet sleep won’t come. I didn’t think coming back to Aurora was going to be so unsettling. There is no other explanation. It must be this town.

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Alexandra Burt was born in a baroque town in the East Hesse Highlands of Germany. Mere days after her college graduation, she boarded a plane to the U.S and worked as a freelance translator. Determined to acknowledge the voice in the back of her head prompting her to break into literary translations, she eventually decided to tell her own stories. After three years of writing classes her short fiction appeared in online magazines and literary reviews.

She currently lives in Central Texas with her husband, her daughter, and two Labradors. She is an outspoken animal welfare supporter, and a proud vegan. One day she wants to live in a farmhouse and offer rescue dogs a comfy couch to live out their lives.She is a member of Sisters In Crime, a nationwide network of women crime writers.

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Links:      Website       Twitter

Book description

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

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