BLOG TOUR: Dead Woman Walking – Sharon Bolton

BLOG TOUR: Dead Woman Walking – Sharon Bolton

Dead Woman Walking is the latest book from best selling author Sharon Bolton and boy was I not disappointed. Dead Woman Walking is an astonishing dark and thrilling read, with plenty of twists and a fantastic plot to make this a truly compelling read.

We follow sisters Isabel and Jessica, two strong and interesting woman. We discover early on that Isabel is a nun. Isabel and Jessica have a history and issues through which they must work through, The story was not told from the perspective of one character; all main characters had their voice and their perspective of the events as they unfolded. This allowed for me to view the situation from many different angles and view points; making the book more intriguing, and more enjoyable to read. I felt like I developed a real in depth understanding and picture of the main characters and their role within the plot.

Dead Woman Walking is a cleverly and well written novel which travels effortlessly between the past and present. Twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. The characters are developed and built throughout the book in a descriptive and intricate way which I really enjoyed and really added to the depth of the plot and the circumstances. All the stories and character view points come together and everything ties up nicely leaving me feeling satisfied.

The short and suspense filled chapters made this an extraordinary and compelling page turner. Sharon Bolton has an easy to read writing style which made this an enjoyable and easy read. Dead Woman Walking is a mind blowing complex crime thriller, with an exceptional plot and incredibly detailed characters. This is a book not to be missed, I was on the edge of my seat, second guessing but never really knowing where the plot was going thanks to the twists and suspense, Bolton has weaved effortlessly throughout.

An enjoyable and compelling, dark and twisty novel which left me feeling at times slightly spooked.

Dead Woman Walking Book Cover Dead Woman Walking
Sharon Bolton
Transworld Digital
20/04/2017
368

'Bolton is a gripping storyteller with fine, haunted characters' Peter James

Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.

She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.

Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .

BLOG TOUR: Spring at Blueberry Bay – Holly Martin

BLOG TOUR: Spring at Blueberry Bay – Holly Martin

Spring at Blueberry Bay takes us to Hope Island where we meet Bella. Bella is having a tough time since losing her job a few months earlier following a huge scandal with her bosses and is only just making ends meet. Too proud to ask for help, Bella keeps her financial difficulties hidden from her family as she feels they have done so much for her after taking her in as a child. Then Bella meets Isaac, a homeless man who is camped outside her door, but all is not as it seems and Bella’s life will never be the same again.

Spring at Blueberry Bay is a book which had me hooked from page one. I was instantly drawn in to Bella’s world and her life, eager to discover more and get to the bottom of the issues which had led to Bella guarding her heart so fiercely and avoiding love. Bella was a character which I could’t help but fall in love with immediately; she is a character whose love and kindness oozes from the page and left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. My heart broke with hers as I discovered more about her past and the deep rooted sense of abandonment which she carries in her heart. Bella is the sort of girl you would wish to be your best friend.

Then we meet Isaac. At first I wasn’t sure about him, with his deception and need to test people. But as I came to learn more about him and see the feelings and relationship he developed with Bella, I couldn’t help but like him. By the end I literally wanted to marry him myself.

Holly has a way of portraying characters which makes them so realistic, all of her characters are exceptionally well described and realistic. I love how I have an insight into each of them and the way they are all connected and how their relationships work and develop.

Spring at Blueberry Bay is Holly Martin at her best. I always love Holly’s books, but somehow she seems to get better and better with each new novel. Her writing ability is exceptional and literally have me spell bound, it is truly magical. The depth of descriptions of both the settings and the characters allows me to vividly image the scene as though I am living it myself, something which I find amazing.

But Holly you are not helping with my sleep. Once I made the mistake of picking up this book I literally could not put it down and found myself reading into the early hours. The words just flow with ease and grace from the page, painting this amazing world and life before my eyes of which I just can not get enough. My only criticism is that it had to end. I need more!!!!!!

 

Spring at Blueberry Bay Book Cover Spring at Blueberry Bay
Holly Martin
Bookouture
07/04/2017
338

Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner…

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?

Blog Tour: BLINK by KL Slater

Blog Tour: BLINK by KL Slater

BLINK by KL Slater – 

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainBehind Closed Doors and The Sister.

Blink is one of those rare books that has you gripped from page one. We meet Toni, devastated after the loss of her husband, she moves across the country with her 5 year old daughter Evie to start again. One day Toni is late getting to school to pick up her daughter, she arrives to find her daughter has vanished in to thin air. Toni remains adamant her daughter is still alive.

I loved Blink, I was immediately captivated by Toni’s story and was desperate to keep reading. Slater’s writing style is very clever and really managed to draw me in to the story. Slater manages to flit effortlessly between the past and the present, weaving an intricate tale that builds tension throughout with some exciting plot twists and red herrings to keep you guessing the whole way through. I loved discovering more about Toni’s past and how everything tied together to come to the point in her life she has reached. While she isn’t the easiest of characters to like at first, I admired Toni’s strength and her determination to carry on and raise her daughter the best she can and her unwavering belief in her daughter still being alive.

Blink was an exciting and compelling read. I never suspected where the plot would take me and I was eager to read on to learn more and uncover the secrets surrounding the disappearance of Evie. Slater manages to tackle some difficult topics and I was intrigued and fascinated with the way she tackled Toni and the parents role and position in society when their child goes missing and the blame often attributed to them.

This is a different but clever crime thriller and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. I could say so much more about this book but I don’t want to spoil this incredible story for anyone. Blink is a book to be read and enjoyed, a story to be immersed in and to live.

What readers are saying about Blink:

‘I was excited to start reading this one and once I started I couldn’t stop. I devoured it. Chomped away chapter by chapter until I have hoofed the whole damned lot and you know what? It left me hungry for more …An absolutely stonking 5 stars from me. Jen Med’s Book Reviews

‘This is a novel that those who liked The Girl on The Train and Behind Closed Doors won’t want to miss’ My Little Book Corner

‘I finished this book in nearly one day. I was completely unable to put this book down. Everything about this book sucks you in and doesn’t let go.’ Bombshell Reads

Blink was just BRILLIANT’ It’s All About Books

‘A thrilling roller coaster of a read that will have you gripping on for dear life to see how it will all end’ By the Letter Book Reviews

‘The book had me from the very first sentence and kept hold of me until I finished it…. There are twists galore but on one occasion my jaw actually dropped open as I realised that all was not as it seemed. Fantastic writing, excellent characterisation that has left me salivating for book number three! Five stars.’ Angela Marsons

‘Five stars! This book had me hook line and sinker … this author’s mind is very very clever …’ Sue and her Books

‘WOW,What a corker of a book, gripping story, believable untrustworthy characters and not just one but two totally jaw dropping unexpected twists.’ Nicki’s Life of Crime

‘What a read …The ending took me completely by surprise! In most books, I end up guessing the ending, but this book was spectacular. The book had me gripped from word ‘go’. I couldn’t stop reading …a brilliant brilliant book’Any Excuse to Read

‘a fantastic psychological thriller and I was kept hooked throughout. Lots of twists and turns, an excellent pace and so much suspense and surprise, I didn’t quite know where the book was going at times …couldn’t be anything other than five stars!’ Donna’s Book Blog

‘With bucketfuls of suspense and intrigue Blink is guaranteed to keep the most hardened psychological thriller love on the edge of their seats. Five Stars. ‘ The Book Review Cafe

‘Pure genius!! Blink is everything a psychological thriller should be! K L Slater is in a class of her own …Just when you think you have it figured out, you are knocked out of the park! One of the most mind-bending twists ever, just simply stunning!’ What Rachel Read Next

‘The twist towards the end took me completely by surprise. I actually had to put the book down for a moment and stop before I could carry on. It really took my breath away. K. L. Slater pulled this off brilliantly!’ Hooked from Page One

‘K.L. Slater has done it again with her latest book, Blink. From a creepy beginning to the twisty end, this book keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. Hang on for the ride’ Shelf Knowledge

 

About KL Slater

For many years, psychological thriller author KL Slater sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’

Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.

www.KLSlaterAuthor.com

www.facebook.com/KimLSlaterAuthor

BLINK Book Cover BLINK
KL Slater
Bookouture
15/02/2017
326

What if the person you love most in the world was in terrible danger … because of you?

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.

A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainBehind Closed Doors and The Sister.

Feature Post: Writing about families: how to strike a balance between your personal life and fictionby S.D. Robertson

Feature Post: Writing about families: how to strike a balance between your personal life and fictionby S.D. Robertson

Writing about families: how to strike a balance between your personal life and fictionby S.D. Robertson

I seem to find myself writing about families a lot.

My first novel, Time to Say Goodbye, was all about the close bond between a single father and his young daughter.

Now my new book, If Ever I Fall, looks at how a marriage has been devastated by a horrific incident from the past. (Sorry, I can’t tell you much more than that without giving too much away.)

The point is that families and the various relationships that exist within them are at the heart of my fiction. Why? I suppose it’s because they offer a rich seam of possibilities for an author to mine, including the potential for lots of conflict, which is what drives narratives forward.

I can’t say that I specifically set out to write about families. It just happened that way. I’m a big believer that as a writer you don’t always get to consciously choose your topics. Often they seem to choose you, although in fact they’ve probably been simmering away in your subconscious, waiting for the right moment to appear.

One tricky thing when it comes writing about families is gauging how much to tap into your personal life for ideas.

How do you strike the balance between real experiences and fiction?

Mostly, I go with my gut. If something feels a little too close to home, I either change it there and then or I ask for someone else’s opinion – most often my wife. If I’m still in doubt after that, I change it. Your nearest and dearest won’t thank you for recreating their private moments letter for letter in a story.

It’s also worth pointing out that real life is rarely as exciting as fiction. However, readers need to be able to associate with your characters and what they go through; using genuine experiences really helps with that.

So I’m not suggesting for an instant that an author shouldn’t use their personal experiences. They absolutely should, but more for inspiration than reproduction.

A good example is Time to Say Goodbye. It was inspired by my own close relationship with my daughter after I gave up my day job and became a stay-at-home dad.

However, that’s not the story I told. Instead, I imagined a terrible scenario in which my protagonist got killed in a road accident and became a spirit unable to tear himself away from his child’s side. I made him a single father, unlike me, to ramp the stakes up even higher. And then, with my fictional world in place, I was able to weave in bits and pieces of real experiences to add colour.

It’s a similar story with If Ever I Fall. I placed my two central characters in an impossible situation unlike anything, thankfully, that my wife and I have ever been through. And then I tapped into situations we have experienced and used these, in combination with my imagination, to craft something that I hope feels genuine.

To conclude then, I’d say the key is to try to use your personal experiences rather than to copy them. You could remember how one thing made you feel, for example, and then channel that into something else – something fictional. All you should really lift directly from real life, in my view, are the little details you pepper throughout your story to help make your imagined world jump off the page and come to life in the reader’s mind.

*Former journalist S.D. Robertson quit his job as a local newspaper editor to pursue a lifelong ambition of becoming an author and to spend more time with his wife and daughter. If Ever I Fall (Avon HarperCollins, £7.99) is his second novel. A heart-rending story of family tragedy, it is published on 9 February 2017.

 

 

Blog Tour: A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart

Blog Tour: A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart

MEET THIRTY SOMETHING DAD, ALEX… He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

MEET EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SAM… To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.

When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other… When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful and heart warming novel that really opened my eyes to the struggles of having and looking after a child with autism. I’ve had little experience with children and adults with autism and I felt that this book touched sensitively on the problems and difficulties faced.

Keith Stuart has written a truly magnificent novel that left me mesmerised and meant I could not put it down. I loved watching the relationship between Alex and Sam evolve and grow. I loved discovering and learning more about both Alex and Sam and their relationships with other characters in the book and how all of this combined to the discovery and understanding of autism that finally bonded and reunited a father and son. I was taken on a roller coaster ride of discovery and understanding, life can be difficult but sometimes the hard times can be what help us to discover the good we are missing.

While there were moments I disliked Alex and wanted to do nothing more than shake him and shout at him, the moments of realisation had me in tears and wanting to hug Alex. As for Sam, this little boy has got to be one of my favourite characters ever. Sam is such a beautiful character well developed and full of life and character, who felt very real. I was delighted to discover more about him and join him on his journey, I loved watching him evolve and come out of his shell. 

The use of Minecraft was superb and I felt really added to the journey and discovery, and was a pivotal part of the novel. The attention to detail was fantastic and I certainly felt as though I learnt something throughout this novel, not just about autism, but Minecraft too. I shall now be prepared for when my children are older.

A Boy Made of Blocks is a raw and genuine read. Humour is used sensitively and appropriately, making this a warm and lighthearted read which touches on the uniqueness of a child with autism, whilst not being bogged down on the negatives but highlighting the beautiful, insightful and empathetic traits of someone with autism. This is a beautiful and honest book and I can not recommend it highly enough. This book offers a glimpse into the beautiful mind of a child with autism and is something that will stay with me for a long time to come.

 

About the author:

In 2012 one of KEITH STUART‘s two sons was diagnosed on the autism spectrum. The ramifications felt huge. But then Keith and both boys started playing videogames together – especially Minecraft. Keith had always played games and, since 1995, has been writing about them, first for specialist magazines like Edge and PC Gamer then, for the last ten years, as games editor for the Guardian. The powerful creative sharing as a family and the blossoming of communication that followed informed his debut novel.

A Boy Made of Blocks Book Cover A Boy Made of Blocks
Keith Stuart
Sphere
05/10/2017
416

A beautiful, funny and surprising story of family and love, perfect for fans of The Rosie Project, David Nicholls’ Us and Nick Hornby’s About a Boy.

MEET THIRTY SOMETHING DAD, ALEX… He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

MEET EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SAM… To him the world is a puzzle he can't solve on his own.

When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other… When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful, funny and heartwarming story of family and love inspired by the author’s own experiences with his autistic son.

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