#NaNoWriMo Here we go again! #amwriting

NaNo-2017-Participant-Facebook-Cover

So, some of you might remember that last year I participated (and completed) in NaNoWriMo. NaNo is a crazy event where authors, or would be authors, from around the world attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November.

If you think that sounds easy then trust me, it isn’t. Although based on last years experience it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I was delighted to complete it and be able to call myself a winner. Unfortunately, I have struggled to complete that book. I still want it finished but I don’t know when that will be.

So I’ve thought on and off about whether to do NaNo again this year and in the end, I decided that I would. Why not? I had the whole ‘if I only do 10K then that’s 10K more than I have now’ thing going through my head. I only signed up last week and figured that I would be relaxed about it this year.

So today is day one. The target is to write 1,666 words a day to get to 50,000 over the month. Last year I worked hard to get ahead so that I could take days off through the month, especially weekends when my kids are about, and I’d like to do the same this year. Especially as it is their birthday near the end of the month.

This year I have a very, very vague idea for my book. There is a competition being run by the charity Gingerbread and Trapeze Publishers, they want a book written by someone with experience of single parenting, either being a single parent or having grown up with one, to write a fiction book with a single parenting theme. As a single parent, I like the idea of the competition, of having fiction books with my diverse families represented. So, here I am. Writing a book with a single parenting theme.

I cannot tell you what genre my book will be, my complete lack of planning (no characters even had a name this morning) mean that I don’t know. The characters will take me where they take me. It’s kind of exciting to see where it will go, but I have to say that I’m going to give it my best! It seems that I am a teeny bit competitive.

Oh, and today’s word count? 3664 words!! I’m pretty happy with that!

 

#blogtour #bookreview Beneath The Skin by Caroline England. @CazEngland @AvonBooksUK

Blog tour banner BTS

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Beneath The Skin by Caroline England, a debut author who has given herself a lot to live up to with her next book!

My Review:

Reading a debut novel is always like going into the unknown, unsure whether the author’s writing style will be one that you enjoy for a start. But Beneath The Skin appealed to me, the blurb, the cover and the publisher, so in I went.

Beneath The Skin focuses on the relationships of four couples who are all linked together. At first, I wasn’t so sure as I struggled with keeping up with all the different characters that were introduced to us, especially as some of them had a present and past to keep up with. But what that did was make me focus on what I was reading, and that was only a good thing. This is not a book to skim read as everything is linked together and nothing is told to us for no reason, and as the story progresses you will be pleased that you took notice.

I have to admit that I didn’t like many of the characters in Beneath The Skin, but that isn’t a bad thing. Some were mildly unlikeable and others were downright detestable. The worst was probably Sophie, a self-obsessed alcoholic who is keeping secrets from her husband Sami, who also happens to be keeping secrets from her. Her supposedly best friend is Antonia, who Sophie uses and abuses, but they have known each other since childhood and their relationship is complicated, they are both keeping secrets for the other. Antonia is married to David, we know something isn’t right with Antonia thanks to her weekly self-harm session while David is at the pub with his friends. But David is hiding something too, he is worried about something being found out by others, but what is it that he has done?

David’s best friend is Charlie, a likeable fellow who is married to the truly awful Helen. Their son, Rupert, is almost a stranger to them both, he attends the same boarding school that Charlie and David went to in their youth. Little do they know that events are going to change all of their lives forever, but will it be for the better?

Which leaves Mike and Olivia, seemly the most functional of the bunch, or so it seems…

I really loved reading about all of them and the tales of deceit, cheating and coming together. Caroline England weaves a wonderful tale that, once you get into it, is enthralling. The fact that she is a debut author makes it all the more impressive, and I am very excited to see what England does next.

This is a deep and twisted book that I’m sure I will be thinking of for a long time to come. One thing that I will say though, is that it made me very grateful to be single!!

Blurb:

image001

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

 

Three women. Three secrets.

Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?

Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?

Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.

Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.

About the Author:

image003

Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline became a partner in a Solicitors practise and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary magazines and anthologies. Her debut novel, Beneath the Skin, will be published by Avon HarperCollins on 5 October 2017.

 

Beneath The Skin by Caroline England is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

#blogtour #Q&A #giveaway The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin. @cassandrajaneu @Legend_Press

winters child Blog Tour Banner jpeg.jpg

Blurb:

thewinterschild

Five years ago, Susannah Harper’s son Joel went missing without a trace. Bereft of her son and then of her husband, Susannah tries to accept that she may never know for certain what has happened to her lost loved ones. But then, on the last night of Hull Fair, a fortune-teller makes an eerie prediction—on Christmas Eve, Joel will finally come back to her. As her carefully-constructed life begins to unravel, Susannah is drawn into a world of psychics and charlatans, half-truths and hauntings, friendships and betrayals, forcing her to confront the buried truths of her family’s past where nothing and no one are quite as they seem.

I’m delighted that Cassandra Parkin has stopped by If only I could read faster to answer some questions about herself and her writing, and of course her new book, The Winter’s Child. I don’t know about you but some of Cassandra’s answers gave me a good chuckle! And I’m going to be searching bookshops for a copy of her secret book!

(I apologise for the dodgy formatting of the Q&A, WordPress appears to have gremlins at work today)

Q&A:

Giveaway:

This is one of those books that I want to read based on the cover alone! But add the blurb to that and I know that I need to read it. And that’s before you take into account the amazing reviews that I’ve been seeing. If you’re the same then you are in luck as I have a giveaway for The Winter’s Child by Cassandra Parkin! You can enter using the link below but please be aware that it is UK postage only. 

To enter please click here.

Or, if Rafflecopter is playing up as it so often does then click here http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6404b2ab4/?

About the Author:

Cassandra Parkin grew up in Hull, and now lives in East Yorkshire. Her short story collection, New World Fairy Tales (Salt Publishing, 2011) won the Scott Prize for
Short Stories. Cassandra’s writing has been published in numerous magazines and
anthologies.
Follow Cassandra on Twitter
The Winter’s Child is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

#blogtour The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen @OrendaBooks #themanwhodied

man who died blog poster 2017

 

My Review:

I have to admit that I’m not sure why I wanted to read The Man Who Died. I mean firstly, my most hated food in the whole world are mushrooms. Yet here I was agreeing to read a book about a man who spends a lot of his time thinking about, talking about and eating mushrooms. What drew me to this book was that it is published by Orenda Books, a brilliant publisher with a real knack for finding great books, many of which are written by authors from countries such as Sweden, Iceland or, as in this case, Finland.

The Man Who Died has an intriguing start when Jaakko, our main character, is told by his doctor that he is dying. Someone has been poisoning him over a period of time and the doctor doesn’t know how long he will live for, but it won’t be for long. So Jaakko sets about finding out who is trying to kill him, he wants to solve his own murder.

Despite being in the process of dying, Jaakko showed great determination as well as an awful lot of luck, perhaps a little bit too much luck, but hey, he is dying so he deserves it!  The Man Who Died was really a great read, fantastically translated by David Hackston, it reads incredibly well. It really is something different and something special.

Thank you to the publisher Orenda Books for a copy of The Man Who Died, I was under no obligation to review and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

The Man Who Died new front (1)

A successful entrepreneur in the mushroom industry, Jaakko Kaunismaa is a man in his prime. At just 37 years of age, he is shocked when his doctor tells him that he’s dying. What is more, the cause is discovered to be prolonged exposure to toxins; in other words, someone has slowly but surely been poisoning him. Determined to find out who wants him dead, Jaakko embarks on a suspenseful rollercoaster journey full of unusual characters, bizarre situations and unexpected twists. With a nod to Fargo and the best elements of the Scandinavian noir tradition, The Man Who Died is a
pageturning thriller brimming with the blackest comedy surrounding life and death, and love and betrayal, marking a stunning new departure for the King of Helsinki Noir.

About the Author:

Antti Tuomainen

Finnish Antti Tuomainen (b. 1971) was an award-winning copywriter when he made his literary debut in 2007 as a suspense author. The critically acclaimed My Brother’s Keeper was published two years later. In 2011 Tuomainen’s third novel, The Healer, was awarded the Clue Award for ‘Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011’ and was shortlisted for the Glass Key Award. The Finnish press labelled The Healerthe story of a writer desperately searching for his missing wife in a postapocalyptic Helsinki ‘unputdownable’. Two years later in 2013 they crowned Tuomainen ‘The King of Helsinki Noir’ when Dark as My Heart was published. The Mine, published in 2016, was an international bestseller. All of his books have been optioned for TV/film. With his piercing and evocative style, Tuomainen is one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and The Man Who Died sees him at his literary best.

The Man Who Died is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.

 

 

#blogtour Maggie by @nettanewbound @Bloodhoundbook

BLOG BLITZ (7)

As a huge Netta Newbound fan, I’m delighted to be one of the bloggers kicking off the tour for her latest book, Maggie.

My Review:

I have to admit that as a huge fan of Netta Newbound I have high expectations of her books. I agreed to read and review Maggie based solely on the author’s name without reading the blurb. It was bumped up my pile of books to read and, looking forward to a great read, I started Maggie.

So it was my own fault that I was taken by surprise by the abusive step-father at the start of the book, a subject that I will normally avoid. Thankfully the book soon moved on and I got sucked into the life of Maggie, a feisty teen who finds herself an orphan with many people suspicious and against her, she relies on the few people that stand by her. Determined to move away and get a fresh start Maggie finds herself drawn back home when one of her allies is seriously injured in what appears to have been an accident.

Soon enough more of her friends are being murdered and Maggie is sure that the killings are random. But who can she trust? And why is someone killing everyone that she loves?

I did enjoy Maggie, it was a twisty read that kept me guessing, but not guessing enough as I did work out the ‘who done it’ quite early on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I did like the storyline but I definitely feel that this is not one of the author’s best books. Perhaps this is unfair of me, as if it had been written by another author who I didn’t have such high expectations of I may well have been less critical.

But don’t let that put you off, Maggie is still a great read and an enjoyable one and Maggie, the character, is great and although I hope that her life got a lot easier after the events in this book, I would be happy to revisit in another book.

Thank you to the author, Netta Newbound, and the publisher, Bloodhound Books, for my copy of Maggie. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Print

When sixteen-year-old Maggie Simms’ mum loses her battle with cancer, the only family she has left is her abusive stepfather, Kenny.
Horrified to discover he intends to continue his nightly abuse, Maggie is driven to put a stop to him once and for all.
However, she finds her troubles are only just beginning when several of her closest allies are killed.
Although nothing seems to be linking the deaths, Maggie believes she is jinxed.
Why are the people she cares about being targeted?
And who is really behind the murders?
Sometimes the truth is closer than you think.

About the Author:

Netta pic

My name’s Netta Newbound. I write thrillers in many different styles — some grittier than others. The Cold Case Files have a lighter tone and are full of fun. I also write a series set in London, which features one of my favourite characters, Detective Adam Stanley. These books are a little grittier. My standalone books, The Watcher and An Impossible Dilemma, are not for the faint hearted, and it seems you either love them or hate them—I’d love to know what you think.
 
Originally from Manchester, England, I have travelled extensively and have lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. I now live in New Zealand with my husband. We have three grown up children and four grandchildren.
Maggie by Netta Newbound is today and is available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

#blogtour Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite @BCoperthwait @bookouture

Her Last Secret - Blog Tour

My Review:

Having read and enjoyed the author’s previous books I was looking forward to reading Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite. In fact, I enjoyed her books so much that I agreed to read and review this one without even reading the blurb. I went in totally blind.

The book starts early on Christmas Day, we know that the police have been called to a house after a neighbour heard gunshots and the officer in charge is trying to decide when to go into the house, fearing that a gunman (or woman) might shoot someone in the process.

We then go back in time to a few weeks before Christmas and meet the people who live in the house, Ben and Dominique with their children, teenager Ruby and Mouse, the youngest of the family. As the book goes on we learn that all is not well within the Thomas family, but the question remains, who fired the gun and why?

There are regular chapters that are back in the present day, to the police officer outside their house on Christmas Day. I am not always a fan of chapters that go back and forth in time but it worked incredibly well in Her Last Secret, building the tension and keeping the reader guessing.

I was often sure that I had worked it all out, but of course, I hadn’t. This is not a short book, at 408 pages it is quite lengthy but when reading it on my Kindle I had no idea that it was that long and it certainly never dragged. I only ever wished that it would hurry up because I was desperate to find out what had happened on that Christmas morning.

I thought that Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite combines all of the ingredients needed to make a brilliant psychological thriller. I thoroughly recommend it.

I received a copy of Her Last Secret from the publisher, Bookouture. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.

Blurb:

Her-Last-Secret-Kindle

There are some secrets you can never tell.

The last thing to go through Dominique Thomas’s head was the image of her teenage daughter’s face and her heart lifted. Then the shot rang out.

They were the perfect family. Successful businessman Ben Thomas and his wife Dominique live an enviable life, along with their beautiful children; teenager Ruby and quirky younger daughter, Mouse.

But on Christmas Day the police are called to their London home, only to discover a horrific scene; the entire family lying lifeless, victims of an unknown assailant.

But when Ruby’s diary is discovered, revealing her rage at the world around her, police are forced to look closer to home for the key to this tragedy.

Each family member harboured their own dark truths – but has keeping their secrets pushed Ruby to the edge of sanity? Or are there darker forces at work?

This dark, gripping psychological thriller will have you holding your breath until the very last page. Fans of Behind Closed Doors, Sometimes I Lie, and The Girl on the Train will be captivated.

About The Author:

barbaracopperthwaite

What people say about Barbara’s books:
“Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,” Sunday Mirror
“Enthralling, tense and moving,” Real People magazine
“Totally gripping, and scarily believable,” Bella magazine

Barbara is the author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE and FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD. Both have been Amazon best sellers. She is also the author of THE DARKEST LIES, and her latest book HER LAST SECRET is out on 13 October.

Much of her success is thanks to her twenty-odd years’ experience as a national newspaper and magazine journalist. She’s interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. Thanks to people sharing their stories with her, she knows a lot about the emotional impact of violence and wrong-doing. That’s why her novels are dark, realistic and tackle not just the crime but its repercussions.

When not writing feverishly, she is often found hiding behind a camera, taking wildlife photographs.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BCopperthwait

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

Website: www.barbaracopperthwaite.com

Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite is out now and available from  Amazon UK and Amazon US.

#blogtour Race To The Kill by Helen Cadbury. @AllisonandBusby #RacetotheKill

Race to the Kill tour poster

My Review:

Race to the Kill is the first book by Helen Cadbury that I have read. I wish that I had read her previous books, and I very much hope to rectify that, but Race to the Kill can easily be read as a standalone.

I didn’t know the author personally, but I knew Helen Cadbury in the online book world, I didn’t know her well but I knew her to be kind and funny. The news of her death sent shockwaves through the community, not only had a lovely lady died but also a fabulous author.

I really enjoyed Race to the Kill, it was well written and I loved the character Sean Denton who the book is centred around. The book kept me guessing and I really enjoyed the journey that it took me on. I did also feel incredibly sad reading Race to the Kill. I was enjoying it so much and really felt that Sean Denton would have made a brilliant crime series that would have given readers many great reads, if only the author had lived longer.

If you like your police crime thrillers then you’re bound to enjoy Race To The Kill. I wish that I could be looking forward to the next book in the series.

Blurb:

It is the middle of a long night shift for PC Sean Denton and his partner PC Gavin Wentworth when they are approached by a dishevelled-looking woman desperate that they follow her. She leads them to the old Chasebridge High School where they find the dead body of a Syrian refugee. The investigation which points to the neighbouring greyhound stadium finds Denton caught up in a world of immigration, drugs and sexual abuse, and one in which his private life becomes increasingly entwined.

About The Author:

Helen Cadbury was a York based writer whose debut novel, To Catch a Rabbit, was joint winner of the Northern Crime Award. 
 
Helen was born in the Midlands and brought up in Birmingham and Oldham, Lancashire. 
 
Helen died in June 2017.

 

Race To The Kill by Helen Cadbury is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.