Thursday, 19 October 2017

The Watcher Blog tour - Monika Jephcott Thomas an extract


Blog Tour - The Watcher

Today I'm pleased to take part in the blog tour for the new book by Monika Jephcott Thomas entitled - The Watcher

The Blurb:

It’s 1949 when Netta’s father Max is released from a Siberian POW camp and returns to his home in occupied Germany. But he is not the man the little girl is expecting – the brave, handsome doctor her mother Erika told her stories of. 

Erika too struggles to reconcile this withdrawn, volatile figure with the husband she knew and loved before, and, as she strives to break through the wall Max has built around himself. Netta is both frightened and jealous of this interloper in the previously cosy household she shared with her mother and doting grandparents. 

Now, if family life isn't tough enough, it is about to get even tougher, when a murder sparks a police investigation, which begins to unearth dark secrets they all hoped had been forgotten.

Amazon UK

About the author:



Monika Jephcott Thomas grew up in Dortmund Mengede, north-west Germany. She moved to the UK in 1966, enjoying a thirty year career in education before retraining as a therapist.
Along with her partner Jeff she established the Academy of Play & Child Psychotherapy in order to support the twenty per cent of children who have emotional, behavioural, social and mental health problems by using play and the creative Arts.
A founder member of Play Therapy UK, Jephcott Thomas was elected President of Play Therapy International in 2002. In 2016 her first book Fifteen Words was published.

Website - http://monika-jephcott-thomas.com/ 



I have a brief excerpt to whet your appetite:


In this extract we see the messy adult world through the simple eyes of a child, as Netta’s mother Erika bumps into Rodrick, the man she had an affair with while her husband was a POW. Erika is attempting to push her bicycle up a steep hill with Netta sitting in the basket at the front.

‘Let me help you with that,’ he said.
‘We’re just fine, thanks. We don’t need your help.’ Netta thought her mama sounded almost rude and she turned to see who deserved such a response.
It was Rodrick, the man who built her mama’s examination table in the surgery. He was an enormous man with arms like the branches of an oak tree. She remembered thinking that, the first time she saw him when he hauled the heavy table through the front door and into the doctor’s room, which her Opa had made by putting up a new wall in the middle of their living room. Opa had tried to help bring in the table, but Rodrick didn’t need any help. He could do it all by himself. He was very strong. Netta quite admired this mountain of a man then, but at the same time she never liked the way her mother smiled at him, or the way she put her hand on those branches of his. However, after that first time, he only came to the house on two more occasions and on the last time he looked really unhappy as Netta peeked through the window to see her Oma turning him away at the front door. 
‘What are you doing here anyway,’ her mama was saying. ‘Following me?’
‘Don’t be like that. I live just down the road.’ He flicked his fingers towards the village. ‘Or have you forgotten that so soon.’ He cleared his throat. ‘I was coming out of the pharmacy there and could see you needed assistance, so I came to help. That’s all.’
Netta looked from the carpenter to her mama. They both had the same look on their faces. The look Netta herself had worn on the autumn afternoon her Opa had caught her standing on tip-toe trying to sink her teeth into one of the pears dangling tantalisingly from the tree in the middle of the garden. There was no way she could deny her crime. Her little teeth marks were there in the pear for all to see, so she got a huge telling off and had to stand under the pear tree for hours and hours in tears.
Netta watched Rodrick grasp the frame of the bike in his huge knobbly fingers. She watched her mama reluctantly let go of it.
‘And how are you, little princess?’ Netta was surprised to find the adult was talking to her as he began to push the bike up the hill, a lot faster than her mother had been.
‘I’m… I’m a bird,’ Netta said and turned herself back to face the front and enjoy the flight to the top of the hill.
‘A bird indeed!’ the carpenter chuckled.
Netta flapped her wings and the adults were silent for a while. Until Rodrick said:
‘And what about you, Erika? How are you these days?’
‘Everything is fine. My husband is back.’
‘Oh, I know that, but what I—’
‘How do you know that?’
‘Well, here we are. I think you’ll be all right from here. Nice and flat now. And I’m going that way. So, I’ll see you around, no doubt.’
‘I think you know as well as I do it would be better if you didn’t.’
‘Goodbye, little bird!’
‘Bye.’ Netta turned to see a rather jubilant Rodrick wave and plod off towards the village, and her mama’s eyes darting around the street as if the only place they were not allowed to rest was on the receding back of the big tree man.

If that's made you want to read more you can order the book now on Amazon UK

Please visit the authors website too.




Sunday, 15 October 2017

Her last Secret - Barbara Copperthwaite - Blog Tour and Review @BCopperthwait @bookouture


Her Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite:

Having read, loved and reviewed all of Barbara Copperthwaites previous books I was delighted to accept an invitation to take part in the blog blitz to launch her latest twisty psychological thriller - Her last Secret.

If you like convoluted, dark and twisty domestic Noir grip-lit you'll adore this new title.


My Review

Her last Secret begins at the end and then takes you back in the past to find out who and when and why the terrible event that grabs you and shakes you right at the start, happened.

Its set at Christmas so it's topical for this time of year, but this is no glitter and tinsel fairytale. Its the story of a dysfunctional family and their individual flaws and failings, and boy there are loads! Every member of the Thomas family has dark and deep secrets and every one of them is angry and desperate but are any of them desperate enough to commit the atrocity which is being investigated?

You bet they are! But which member or friend of this feckless clan has committed an atrocity which has left the horrifying jumble of bodies piled up in the family home? The police are called after a shot is heard to ring out on Christmas day.

Then we delve into the past ...

Glamorous wife Dominique and wealthy businessman husband Ben appear to live an enviable lifestyle, with their daughters teenage Ruby and little 8 year old Mouse. But it would seem that all is not as it at first appears and every family member and several folk on the periphery of the family harbour deep secrets, resentments and rage.

They reveal themselves to be a pretty unlikable bunch and as we are treated to their individual thoughts and mood swings, I grew really glad they are not related to me.

Where this authors great strength and skills lies, for me, is in her uncanny ability to worm her way deep inside a fractured psyche and make the reader FEEL a whole host of emotions. I wavered between frustration, anger and sorrow mostly with a smattering of distress, rage and indignation thrown in for good measure.

How these people maltreat each other in their own self centredness seems almost unbelieveable, but then it made me think - if you are stressed and traumatised it would be really difficult to step back and see the bigger picture, so although their thoughts and behaviour is often unforgivable it is believable.

Its a really unputdownable whodunnit thriller, with a really stomach churning ominous sense throughout. Despite being forewarned, so knowing exactly whats coming towards you, there is a shed load I just didn't anticipate. It's like waiting to be hit by a train only to find it's being driven by a fire breathing dragon and followed by a handful of armoured tanks!

About The Book:

Some secrets you can never tell.

Everyone thinks the Thomases are the perfect family: grand London house, gorgeous kids.

They don’t know wife Dominique is a paranoid wreck.

They don’t know husband Ben is trapped in a web of deceit.

They don’t know daughter Ruby lives in fear of the next abusive text.

But someone knows all their secrets.

Can the lies that bind them destroy them all? 

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



Saturday, 14 October 2017

#Blogtour and #excerpt of #BeneathTheSkin by Caroline England @CazEngland

Today I'm part of the #blogtour for the newly released debut novel by Caroline England entitled Beneath the skin.


Beneath the Skin is a stunning debut psychological Domestic Noir drama about a life-changing lie.

Caroline England’s, Beneath The Skin is a tense and compelling read, exploring truth, friendships and betrayal.



Description:

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’
It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets. Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth.

Antonia is safe. Isn’t she? The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?

Sounds fab doesn't it?

Well here's an exclusive extract to whet your appetite:

EXTRACT:

He stands and stares. Is Olivia laughing? He isn’t sure. He hardly recognises her.

‘How would you know?’ she repeats. ‘Tell me, Mike. You’re never here. And even when you are here you’re in some unreach­able place. You don’t notice me, you don’t notice the girls.’

‘That isn’t true.’ He sees his daughters in his mind, dancing to Rihanna. ‘Of course I notice you all. Come on, Olivia, this isn’t like—’

‘When was the last time you gave me a compliment?’ Olivia isn’t laughing, she’s crying, but the soft contours of her pale face are gone. ‘When was the last time you bought me a box of chocolates or some flowers? I had my hair cut last week and you didn’t even notice.’

He gazes at her hair. It’s blonde, elfin short; it suits her petite face and her frame. ‘I did notice. Of course I noticed. It looks lovely. But flowers, chocolates? Come on, Olivia, you don’t do chocolates.’

‘Fuck the chocolates, then. Fuck everything. You just continue to take it for granted that I’m going to be here, the little wife with a smiling face when you come home, your bloody dinner waiting on the table.’

He catches his breath. This is Olivia, calm, capable, witty Olivia; Olivia who takes everything in her stride. She’s never been and will never be ‘the little wife’. She’s clever, opinionated and strong. He stares again, aware that life has shifted, that the world has somehow moved without him noticing.

‘What do I do on a Tuesday, Mike? You never ask me how I am, where I’ve been, what I’ve done. I could be anywhere, with anyone. You’re just so used to me I’ve become invisible.’
‘That isn’t true. Really. You never said,’ he replies quietly.
‘I shouldn’t have to say anything. If you loved me, Mike, you’d see, you’d know.’

She stares at him for a moment, searching his face, her amber eyes wide and sad. ‘What’s the point?’ she mutters, then walks into the kitchen and closes the door.

A wisp of a thought enters Mike’s head, an impulse to turn around and walk out of the door he entered only minutes earlier. But it’s only a thought and only for a moment as his eyes catch the pink fur of Hannah’s favourite slippers. She’s under the stairs, hidden from view, her arms around her knees and her blonde head buried.

‘Is it my fault, Daddy?’

‘Of course it isn’t.’ Mike pulls her to him, his beautiful bag of bones, breathing in the cosy smell of shampoo and baked beans. ‘It’s Daddy’s fault. Don’t worry, I’ll make it all better, I promise,’ he says, hugging his warm living child tightly to his heart, wondering where on earth he should begin.

Intrigued? I know I am. But I'm fortunate enough to have my copy waiting to be read. I love a dark domestic Noir and this promises to be scary and tense.

Join me

  

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Can You Keep a Secret - Karen Perry - twisty and clever - my #review


Can you keep a Secret by Karen Perry
My Review:

Can you keep a secret? is the latest psychological twisty school re-union gone wrong, chiller by Karen Perry, which is  is the pen name of Dublin-based authors Paul Perry and Karen Gillece.

It's a conundrum of a thriller with lots of mystery about, unsurprisingly, secrets and lies.

A group of ex-school chums get back together 20 years after they previously congregated for a tragedy laden 18th birthday party at Thornbury Manor, the family pile of 2 of their peers, brother and sister Rachel and Patrick.

Lindsey is our main protagonist, she was at the original event and is about to be included in this one too.

The Manor house is now run down and rather ramshackle and Patrick can no longer find the upkeep, so he gets in touch with Lindsey then decides that he will hold a final bash before he sells off the hall. As the small group of friends who attended his 18th gather together for the first time in two decades, old scores to be settled and tensions mount, its almost inevitable that its going to prove to be a big and rather costly mistake.

Things start to go wrong from the outset and as the spooky old mansion shivers with a sense of haunting malevolence, human betrayals and secrets come to the surface and you the reader, just go along for the ride, knowing someone somehow is going to get hurt.

Truths will eventually emerge and until then you don't really know quite who did what and to whom, in the past, but you know for sure that this volatile crowd really shouldn't think about having a drink then going around the estate shooting guns, but that's what they decide to do!!

It's a very gripping, tension filled story with a sense of inevitability and few real shockers along the way.

Published by Penguin books it's out already in ebook if, like me, you just can't wait to get stuck in and the paperback will be released on November 30th and can be pre-ordered now

Monday, 9 October 2017

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain - Review


The Stolen marriage by Diane Chamberlain:

I've read many of the books by this author and am never disappointed. The stolen marriage is just the perfect romantic read to curl up with.

It take us back to the 1940s in Southern America, where we meet Tess DeMello an Italian American girl who has her life all mapped out, engaged to be married to the lover of her life boy next door Vincent, bound by their family ties, background and plans to work together in a medical practise as he is a fledgling doctor and she a trainee nurse.

But Vincent is called away to work in far away Chicago where he is needed to help treat victims of the outbreak of polio.

Tess's best friend Gina tries to take her mind off his absence and stop her moping and the 2 girls head off for the bright lights of Washington, where Gina's aunt owns a staid and well chaperoned boarding house, for a girly weekend together.

But Gina is a tad more flighty than Tess and the girls plans go badly awry and end up changing the course of Tess's life.

Events result in her breaking up with Vincent and heading off down South to a small town called Hickory, where she marries Henry, a virtual stranger, whose wealthy family see her as a usurper, are unwelcoming, set in their ways and harbour deep prejudices and she feels she will never fit in. 

Henry is a secretive, though not unkind man, who nevertheless expects her to conform and be a demure housewife and give up on her dream of being a nurse.

But as we watch Tess face tragedy after disaster we see her grow and as she unravels the secrets which surround her new husband and find her place in the world.

It's a lovely story, beautifully told, with a gentleness and much old-fashioned drama which seems outdated now but was so relevant to everyones lives back in this era. It tackles many issues, racial tension, stillbirth, bereavement, death, the polio outbreak, mediumship and prejudice. I found it a quick and easy yet thoroughly enjoyable read.

Blog Tour Once Upon a River Diane Setterfield

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield Today sees me taking part in the blog tour for a new book that I predict is going to be H...