Happy Monday all. I am excited about all the new fiction coming up and today, I’m taking part in the cover reveal for The Quiet Ones by Theresa Talbot.
If only they could have spoken up…
When the supposed suicide of famous Scottish football coach Harry Nugent hits the headlines, the tabloids are filled with tributes to a charitable pillar of the community that gave so much back to sport and to those less fortunate.
But something isn’t right. Normally celebrities are queuing up to claim to have had a very special relationship with the deceased, but new editor, Oonagh O’Neil is getting the distinct impression that people are trying to distance themselves from Harry.
Oonagh’s investigation leads her to uncover a heartbreakingly haunting cover-up that chills her to the core… and place her in mortal danger from those willing to protect their sadistic and dark secrets at any cost…
Perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and Cara Hunter.
OK, so for the cover. Drumroll….
It’s time for another cover reveal. Today, it’s The First Lie by A.J. Park.
We’ve all had sleepless nights thinking about it. You’re home alone. Someone breaks in. In defending yourself, you end up killing the intruder.
Now you’re the one the police want.
That is the situation that criminal barrister Paul Reeve arrives home to find. His wife Alice stands in the bedroom, clutching a bloodied letter opener in her shaking hand.
“What have you done, Alice?”
“I didn’t have a choice…”
We would all believe the person we love most.
But would we all make the same choice Paul and Alice make next…?
OK, so now the cover. Ready? One… two… three…by
I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Daddy’s Girls, the latest novel from Sarah Flint.
D.C. Charlie Stafford is about to face her toughest case yet… Someone is watching, waiting and preying on those who are at their weakest Uncover another gripping case in Sarah Flint’s latest action packed novel.
With a Metropolitan Police career spanning 35 years Sarah has spent her adulthood surrounded by victims, criminals and police officers. She continues to work and lives in London with her partner and has three older daughters.
Now, time for the cover. You ready? Drumroll…..
Hi Elle, thank you for joining me today. Can you tell me a little about your book, Animals Eat Each Other and what inspired the story?
Hi Laura, thanks so much for having me. Animals Eat Each Other is a book about a girl who falls into a relationship with a couple, right after graduating high school. The couple, Matt and Frances, find themselves enamored with her, so much so that Frances even renames her: Lilith. Things become complicated when the three of them become dishonest with each other about their true feelings, and Lilith must explore these new boundaries in the wake of her own nihilism about herself and how she gives and receive love, raising questions about her own self-worth.
The biggest inspiration for the story was just how I felt at the age of nineteen. I felt lost, had been burned in love by a couple different people through high school up until that point, and became very jaded. I wanted to write the sort of book about not just love but also about bisexuality that I would have wanted to read as a young woman, without tokenizing the ‘sexual awakening’ aspect of the coming of age story we’re all so used to.
What’s your typical writing day like? Is there somewhere specific you like to write?
My typical writing day is haphazard and on the fly. I am the mother of a young and vivacious toddler so I tend to write whenever I can get it in. In the morning before she wakes up, it’s 15 minutes here or there, during naps if I can, at night when everyone is asleep. I’ll even bring my laptop with me in my car if we’re running errands. If she naps before we get to our destination, I’ll sit in parking lots and type up notes and write then, too. I also write into my notes app on my phone a lot, and even dictate thoughts to myself to transcribe later. I feel a bit like I’m collaging most of the time.
What’s your favourite word and why?
Very tough question. Probably the word “spell.” There’s a lot to it. I view the practice of writing as a form of magic— like manifesting, conjuring something from the ether. The very idea of “spelling” a word, like carving something down onto a piece of paper or an object (or the internet) is a form of making a spell, of manifesting. You can out people under a spell with your words, by transmitting the feeling of a thing through atmosphere and character and mood. It’s a pretty powerful thing to think about.
Which authors have inspired you?
So many! Elizabeth Ellen, author of Person/a; Juliet Escoria, whose book Juliet the Maniac was just released; Mary Gaitskill, who has a great number of short story collections. Tom Spanbauer and Chuck Palahniuk’s early work were very inspiring to me as a young aspiring writer, along with Octavia Butler, whose book “The Parable of the Sower” really changed my life.
What are you currently working on?
I just shoved aside a second novel manuscript for a bit so I could focus on some short stories. It’s been fun.
What songs would be in the playlist for this novel?
Oh, so many, but here is a shortened list:
“10 or a 2 Way” by Korn
“F*** the Pain Away” by Peaches
“Tourniquet” by Marilyn Manson
“I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” My Chemical Romance
“Screaming Infidelities” by Dashboard Confessional
“With Teeth” by NIN
“King of the Closet” by Blindside
“Blood Pig” by OTEP
“WOW” by Marilyn Manson
What is your writing process like from idea to final draft? How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book took three years to finish a first draft, and then another year to get it to a publishable, final draft. I had never written a novel before and I had zero planning put in it whatsoever. It just kind of started as a short story and I kept expanding and expanding until it was more of a novel. The current book I’ve been writing, I actually planned out a lot beforehand, and challenged myself to finish a first draft in twelve weeks, which I finished in eleven, then spent a couple of weeks revising. I’m currently letting it sit for a bit before I go back to do more revisions and see if there are other structural issues I need to take care of.by
Hello to Jennifer Macaire and the blog tour for her novel, Son of the Moon.
Alexander the Great journeys to India, where he and Ashley are welcomed with feasts and treachery.
With their son, Paul, being worshiped as the Son of the Moon, and Alexander’s looming death, Ashley considers the unthinkable: how to save them and whether she dares to cheat Fate?
Jennifer has shared an extract with us today. Enjoy.
***** beginning of extract*****
I climbed down the scaffolding and dashed across the floating bridge, grabbing for handholds as the river tossed it about. I had to run across a muddy, blood soaked battlefield. I leaped over bodies of men and horses, sliding and stumbling, my breath whistling in my tight throat. I knew I had to get to Alexander. He was so unrestrained. His joy and grief knew no bounds. This loss would devastate him.
I scrambled over the last twenty meters, calling Alexander’s name. He sat cradling his horse’s head in his lap, saying over and over, “Buci, Buci, Buci…”
He looked up as I arrived. “Ashley,” he said hoarsely. Then, “Your nose is bleeding.”
“Don’t worry about me.” I squatted down next to him. “You were wonderful,” I said. “Incredible. I watched the whole battle from the tower. Now I know why men will study this battle, sing songs about it, and write stories about it for thousands of years. It was amazing.”
“Do they really?” He smiled, but tears ran down his cheeks. “Was it so great?” His voice was raw and broken.
“More than great,” I assured him. I looked down at his hands, wrapped in Bucephalus’s mane. One of them was bleeding and swollen. “If you want, I’ll make you a bracelet with some of his hair.”
“I’d like that,” he said simply, and watched as I carefully plucked ten hairs from the horse’s long mane. “He was my horse,” he said softly.
“He was more than that!” I said. “Why, if everyone had a horse like Bucephalus, they would be the luckiest of men.”
“As was I.”by
Today I am taking part in the cover reveal for Martin Gore’s new novel, The Road to Cromer Pier.
Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after forty years. Those were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into one armed bandits.
The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on, and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a story of love, loyalty and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new beginning.
Ready…. Ta Dah! Such a lovely cover it is too.by
All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.
Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…
Anna is in a car accident which kills two of her colleagues and severely injures another.
In order to try and move on with her life, Anna splits with her boyfriend, Alex and ends up working at a hotel on the remote island of Rum in Scotland.
When tragedy strikes further, she and the guests discover they are cut off from the rest of the Island.
Messages for Anna begin to appear. Each one is more sinister than the last. She soon realises she has nowhere to hide.
I am a fan of C.L. Taylor’s novels. I tend to start reading and before I know it, I’ve reached the end and it’s 2am in the morning. I have not wanted to put it down. It was certainly the case with Sleep.
C.L. Taylor has such a unique way of drawing you into her novels. The beginning of this book is a prime example.
The tension is built at a great pace. I thought I had it sussed and then something else would soon happen to debunk my theories. I couldn’t see the end coming.
Anna is a damaged character. She has been through a lot. I felt sorry and protective of her as she tries to move on from her life.by
It is early 1940 and World War Two has already taken a hold on the country. Rose Neville works as a Lyon’s Teashop Nippy on the Kent coast alongside her childhood friends, the ambitious Lily and Katie, whose fiancé is about to be posted overseas in the navy. As war creates havoc in Europe, Rose relies on the close friendship of her friends and her family.
When Capt. Benjamin Hargreaves enters the teashop one day, Rose is immediately drawn to him. But as Lyon’s forbids courting between staff and customers, she tries to put the handsome officer out of her mind.
In increasingly dark and dangerous times, Rose fears there may not be time to waste. But is the dashing captain what he seems?
After becoming a fan of Ms. Everest’s writing with her ‘The Woolworth Girls’ series of novels, I was delighted to hear that this author had a new series coming out, centred around the famous Lyons teashops. Please say hello to the central cast of Rose and her mother Flora, their friends Lily and Katie, Mildred a mother cum father figure whom I can’t wait to find out more about. The icing on the cake is a delightful Polish immigrant named Anya.
Set around two teashops in Margate and Ramsgate, the novel begins prior to the Dunkirk evacuation of June 1940 with our protagonist’s literarily on England’s frontline and indeed, this is emphasised to full emotional effect by the writer a number of times. The descriptions of both during and post an air-raid are amongst the most vivid and real that this reader has seen and I must congratulate the author on this.
Seaview is the guesthouse that Flora runs and as well as the teashops, is the main location for the action. There is an eclectic mix of characters that are present here and together with the inclusion of an Army love interest for Rose, makes this an engaging, thrilling novel that should bring not only keep Ms. Everest’s long-standing readers happy, but should bring her a whole new tranche of devotees.by
Today it’s lovely to welcome Victoria Connelly and the blog tour for her latest novel, One Last Summer.
They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?
Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever.
First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?
Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes.
Harriet, Harrie to her friends, books the Priory, a getaway in Somerset for six weeks.
She hopes that she can reconnect with her two oldest friends, Audrey and Lisa. Harrie holds a secret though, one she is not sure she’s ready to share.
Audrey is busy running her own school and is not taking the time for herself. Even when she arrives for the six-week holiday she has promised Harrie, she still can’t stop working.
Lisa has Yoga but isn’t really fulfilled by her day job.
One Last Summer is one of those novels that I knew from the first page was going to make me cry. And it did.
I immediately got very emotionally involved with all the characters. All three of these women have things they are needing to work through – work/life balance, getting older, mortality and relationships.by
A big lovely welcome to Clare Rhoden and the blog tour for her novel, The Stars in the Night.
Harry Fletcher is a confident young man, sure that he will marry Nora, no matter what their families say. He will always protect Eddie, the boy his father saved from the gutters of Port Adelaide.
Only the War to End All Wars might get in the way of Harry’s plans…
From the beaches of Semaphore to the shores of Gallipoli, the mud of Flanders to the red dust of inland South Australia, this is a story of love, brotherhood, and resilience.
Clare has shared an extract today.
***** beginning of extract*****
The unrelenting summer was mute with loneliness, brutal with drought. Neighbours dropped by now and then,or nodded to Nora at church. There was nothing new to say. There was no news,or only delayed bad news. Not even bad news was special now. They all chewed the remnants of a shared disaster like a flash flood, with tales of more destruction coming in belatedly from outlying areas.
Like a flood, war’s effects were unpredictable and astonishing. Great gaps in the congregation showed where places had been saved, places no one would ever fill. No shadow of that lad’s life on the land; no body and no grave. Swept from sight and sense, and only words left in his place, the same words going around over and over again till even the words died somewhere else, robbed of the life they once had. Nora often found her mind wandering when she should have been listening. A month had passed since her father had sailed back to England, shaking off the financial disaster of his failed war investments. Nora began to fear that her future, too, held only longing and loss. Time perhaps to think about another life. But as each week melted into the next, she put off any decision.
At dusk on the last day of January, as the last bloody rays of sun flooded the long drive, she stepped onto the verandah. The eucalypts along the fence looked like petrified coral. Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Shepherds must like hot weather. She waited. The trees exhaled, freshening the air. The first creaking whisper of coolness teased the dust on the grass. The earth seemed to stretch and yawn. Insects jabbered at the coming night.
Nora leaned on the post, aware of the turning of time. Then she saw him coming down the drive, the strap of his swag crosswise on his chest. A self-willed, obstinate, lone merino ram, pride and despair of the flock, returning from the hill paddock in his own good time. Shepherdess’s delight. She nearly shouted his name. The next moment she realised that the waiting was over, that the future was here, and it frightened her. But it was her time.by
Hi Beth, thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell me about your book, The Flatshare and what inspired it?
Thank you so much for having me! The Flatshare is a story about two people who share a one-bed flat but don’t meet: one works nights, the other works regular hours. It was inspired by my own experiences of moving in with my boyfriend when he’d just started work as a junior doctor and was working lots of night shifts. We would go days on end without seeing one another – he’d get home from work just after I’d leave in the morning and vice versa, so we passed like ships in the night. It got me wondering what might happen if two strangers lived that way…
What’s your writing process like from idea to final draft?
For me, the basic concept is often what comes into my head first: in this case, two people sharing a bed but not meeting. The main characters come next, growing out of that: so here, I asked, why might two people be willing to do that? What sorts of people would they be?
I generally do a rough plan after that point, which features some key moments I want to happen in the novel, but then I rarely look at that plan again once I get writing. For me, first drafts tend to snowball – I write very quickly, almost with the sense that I’m trying to keep up with the story, and then when I hit the end of the book I go back and do a lot of work from that point onwards. The first draft gets the raw, emotional stuff down, the clay of the story – the second draft is all about shaping that into something.
Do you have any writing rituals and somewhere special you like to write?
Well, I wrote The Flatshare on my commute to and from work, so after a while that became my writing ritual – it took me ages to get used to writing full-time at a desk at home after that! I often listen to music while I write, and tend to create playlists for stories. These playlists are especially useful when I’m editing, because they get me back into the character’s heads even when I’m looking at the book more analytically.by
Better still, hello to British Summer Time.
This month, the book club title is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.
This is a book I have been meaning to read for a while. As usual, I have posted a question below to start the discussion. If you’ve read this, I’d love to know what you think. If you haven’t, there is plenty of time to read it. Come join me in the comments below.
Anyone can take part in this book club and you can be in your favourite chair with a cup of tea.
About The Tattooist of Auschwitz:
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart.
In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.by
There have been lots of great novels already released this year and plenty more on their way.
I am looking forward to reading many of these books. I wanted to do a book haul for titles that I have ready to read on my kindle.
The Furies by Katie Lowe sounds absolutely amazing.
In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead on school property. Her body is dressed in white and posed on a swing. The cause of death is unknown.
There are four girls that know what’s happened. They’ve managed to keep their secret. Until now.
I don’t know why but I am getting a little bit of a Virgin Suicides vibe from this novel and I can’t wait to read it.
This is due to be released on 2nd May 2019.
Half a World Away is the new book by Mike Gayle. I have adored this man’s novels for many years and always get a little excited when he released a book.
The general summary of this novel is Kerry Hayes is a single mum, a cleaner, and is Mariah Carey’s biggest fan.
Nick is a successful Barrister. He has a wife, a daughter and has a big house in Primrose Hill.
These two are strangers who have nothing in common and who may as well be living worlds apart.
It wasn’t always this way. They are both about to discover who they really are.
The Rules of Seeing by Joe Heap is another book I am looking forward to reading. The cover is beautiful.
The release of the paperback is on 18th April. The basic story surrounds Jillian (Nova to all but her mother,) who has lived thirty-two years in the dark.
She is now learning to see. The sky is blue, and green and grey. A whole spectrum of colours that are as changeable as her mood.
The one thing she can see is that Kate is going to change her life forever even though they have only just met.by
I can’t hold in the excitement I feel to be welcoming Fern Britton to Novel Kicks today and the blog tour for her new novel, The Newcomer which has been released today. Happy publication day, Fern.
She arrived in the village on the spring tide and hoped to be at the heart of it, knowing its secrets and weathering its storms.
It was to be a new beginning…
It’s springtime in the Cornish village of Pendruggan and as the community comes together to say a fond farewell to parish vicar, Simon, and his wife, Penny, a newcomer causes quite a stir…
Reverand Angela Whitehorn came to Cornwall to make a difference. With her husband, Robert, by her side, she sets about making changes – but it seems not everyone is happy for her to shake things up in the small parish, and soon Angela starts to receive anonymous poison pen letters.
Angela has always been one to fight back, and she has already brought a fresh wind into the village, supporting her female parishioners through good times and bad. But as the letters get increasingly more personal, Angela learns that the secrets are closer to home.
With faith and friends by your side, even the most unlikely of new beginnings is possible.
I have become a fan of Fern’s novels and so I was looking forward to reading The Newcomer.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Throughout this book, I was glued. I was sneaking a page or a chapter in whenever I could.
Angela was a believable and relatable character who is trying to make a difference. The supporting characters are also great.
Whilst reading, I felt like I was by the water in this lovely Cornwall village and that is always good for the soul. The plot had many twists and turns and never quite went in the direction I was expecting it to.by
Hello Susan. Thank you for joining me today. What inspired One Minute Later?
It was meeting twenty-one-year-old Jim Lynskey who is waiting for a new heart.
How has your approach to the writing process changed since your first novel?
I think it’s more or less the same. I explore ideas, let my gut instinct decide which is the right one to go with and then I devise the characters I think will be best to tell the story.
Is there a particular place you like to write? Do you need coffee to write? Music?
I always write in my study at home – I can’t seem to do it anywhere else – I tend to drink tea more than coffee, and I work in silence apart from the comforting snores of my little dogs. I also have a lovely view of the countryside through the French windows which can be very nourishing.
Which three characters from fiction would you invite to dinner and why?
I’d invite Thorfinn from King Hereafter because he could tell us the true story of Macbeth. Any hero from Georgette Heyer because they’re so dashing and romantic and probably Elizabeth Bennett because she’s so sharp and witty.by