31 March 2016

LAINI TAYLOR'S STRANGE THE DREAMER JACKET REVEAL

I am very excited to share Laini Taylor cover reveal with you


Prologue
On the second sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.
Her skin was blue, her blood was red.
She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm. One slick finial anchored her in place. Its point, protruding from her sternum, glittered like a brooch. She fluttered briefly as her ghost shook loose, and then her hands relaxed, shedding fistfuls of freshly picked torch ginger buds.
Later, they would say these had been hummingbird hearts and not blossoms at all.
They would say she hadn’t shed blood but wept it. That she was lewd, tonguing her teeth at them, upside down and dying, that she vomited a serpent that turned to smoke when it hit the ground. They would say a flock of moths had come, frantic, and tried to lift her away.
That was true. Only that.
They hadn’t a prayer, though. The moths were no bigger than the startled mouths of children, and even dozens together could only pluck at the strands of her darkening hair until their wings sagged, sodden with her blood. They were purled away with the blossoms as a grit-choked gust came blasting down the street. The earth heaved underfoot. The sky spun on its axis. A queer brilliance lanced through billowing smoke, and the people of Weep had to squint against it. Blowing grit and hot light and the stink of saltpeter. There had been an explosion. They might have died, all and easily, but only this girl had, shaken from some pocket of the sky.
Her feet were bare, her mouth stained damson. Her pockets were all full of plums. She was young and lovely and surprised and dead.
She was also blue.
Blue as opals, pale blue. Blue as cornflowers, or dragonfly wings, or a spring—not summer—sky.
Someone screamed. The scream drew others. The others screamed, too, not because a girl was dead, but because the girl was blue, and this meant something in the city of Weep. Even after the sky stopped reeling, and the earth settled, and the last fume spluttered from the blast site and dispersed, the screams went on, feeding themselves from voice to voice, a virus of the air.
The blue girl’s ghost gathered itself and perched, bereft, upon the spearpoint-tip of the projecting finial, just an inch above her own still chest. Gasping in shock, she tilted back her invisible head and gazed, mournfully, up.
The screams went on and on.
And across the city, atop a monolithic wedge of seamless, mirror-smooth metal, a statue stirred, as though awakened by the tumult, and slowly lifted its great horned head.


Dear Dad By Giselle Green

DEAR DADDEAR DAD by Giselle Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow what a lovely story, I can not believe I have never read any of Giselle Green's book before.  This story will leave your heart swelling.

Poor Adam Boxley lives with his nan who is neglected at home and bullied at school. Adam is desperate to reach out for his dad and writes a letter to Nate. Nate Harman is a reporter having problems of his own Suffering from shell-shock and unable to leave his house, he’s already lost his social life and his girlfriend. Now his career prospects are sinking fast. Nate isn't who Adam thinks he is but can he help?! Then there is teacher/tattoo artist Jenna Tierney who also really wants to help Adam. Having been hurt by another cheating boyfriend she sets her sights on a dream career abroad until she meets Nate. Can three people find true happiness?!

This is one heart wrenching page turner, you may have to get your tissues ready for this one. It certainly brought a tear to my eye. My heart went out to Adam willing him along with the fiery that built up inside me with the bullying he goes through. I just wanted to wrap him up and tell him everything was going to be ok.

The chapters alternate between Nate and Jenna unraveling their story. Keeping my attention and wanting to get to know them more which I absolutely loved. This story takes you through one incredible journey and through some difficult subject matters and sensitivity is shown throughout the author's excellent writing skills.

Seriously this is one hell of a story not to missed which I cannot recommend enough. I am thrilled that I have found a new author to read. Giving this 5 easy stars.

A massive thank you to Giselle Green for an advanced reader's Copy



View all my reviews

29 March 2016

Q&A Interview with Sheryl Browne

Having meet the lovely Sheryl Browne, I am very excited that Sheryl has dropped by my blog to take part in my Q&A Interview. So without further ado I would like to welcome Sheryl Browne.


Morning thank you for joining me this morning.
Thank you so much for inviting me, Shell! I do like to put myself about a bit!
Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
I’d love to! I live in leafy Worcestershire, UK, with my partner and my son. I’m also a foster mum to disabled dogs and an author, writing contemporary romance and psychological thriller. I’m a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and Romantic Novelists’ Association and a contributing editor to Loveahappyending Lifestyle magazine. To date, I have seven books published, two shorts in Birmingham City University anthologies – where I studied for my MA in Creative Writing, and a further short published in Let’s Hear it For the Boys – all proceeds to Movember, raising funds for Men’s Health Awareness. This is a cause very close to my heart as my partner had a cancer diagnosis last year. Thanks to early detection, he is doing really well, but this is one of the reasons we’re supporting Movember – as well as officially giving women out there the okay to nag their men!
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? And how did you go about it?
I think I first started writing about the time I took leave of my senses. Seriously, writing has always been my passion, but I started writing actual books as a catharsis, in truth. As a single parent and nursing my mum through early onset Alzheimer’s Disease in my twenties, I needed an outlet. I’m the arty sort by nature but painting not being an option due to time constraints, I started scribbling my thoughts down. It turned out to be a real antidote, because I found I was reflecting on the humour and love in what would otherwise have been a sad situation. My bestselling debut, however… Um, well, it didn’t sell. I think the agent who’d hailed it as such went off in search of Prozac. Not one to give up easily, though, I took inspiration from having got that far and just kept at it, making sure to use every snippet of advice offered by agents and constructive criticism positively. I always made sure to follow publisher guidelines when submitting. Most importantly, I read! In the words of Stephen King: “If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write”.  
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
As mentioned, I write in two genres, contemporary romance and psychological thriller (according to one reviewer, I make a good psychopath!). I hope not to confuse readers, but I suppose my writing always tends to turn around family dynamics, looking at the fragility of love, life and relationships, so perhaps the two genres are not so far apart in reality. Basically, I’m looking at human nature, the good, the bad and sometimes the ugly. The brilliant thing about writing romantic books and thrillers is that if I’m stuck on a plot point I can turn to another work in progress. Inevitably, the characters from my other book will soon start demanding attention if I do, so maybe one feeds off the other.
What is your writing process? And how long does it take?
Hmm? I suppose that depends on how inspired I am. Once I’m excited by an idea, I can get the first draft down in maybe three months. Getting that draft to what I consider to be a publishable standard, though, can take anything up to nine months. In my experience, your first draft is never ready for publication. I try to rest if for a while and then go back to it with fresh eyes. That’s when plot holes and typos jump out at me. Unfortunately, not all of them! I would advise people to get their work as polished as possible before submitting or self-publishing. I find a text to speech reader is really useful (you can enable this in later versions of MS Office. There’s an excellent ‘how to’ video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyP89pQWaBU ). Hearing your work read back really does help you spot superfluous narrative as well as clunky dialogue and typos.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
I think most authors draw on life, looking at inner and outer conflicts people might be dealing with. In The Rest of My Life published by Choc Lit, for instance, the inner conflicts and demons both Adam and Sienna were dealing with needed careful handling. Sienna’s mother struggled with bipolar disorder. Anyone who has experience of this knows that it is a much misunderstood condition. I do have experience of it, but still, careful research was called for, as with depression linked to post-traumatic stress disorder, which Adam acknowledges he has, but doubts that anyone can help him with. I find talking to other people coping with such issues is paramount, followed up by whatever research I feel is necessary.
Have you wrote about a personal experience in your novels?
Does thinking I was going to be murdered on my little narrowboat count? That was the inspiration behind my thriller, The Edge of Sanity. Long story short, my man went off back to the pub, saying he’d left his wallet behind. It was midnight, pitch black, and I noticed a strange figure lurking about on the bank. Yup, it was the man. Definitely a dodgy looking character! Narrowboats feature quite a lot in my books, so personal experience living abroad and handling one is helpful. Something that features strongly in both books is the bereavement process around the loss of a child and, yes, sadly, I do have experience here. Though it’s true that there are definite stages of grieving, everyone’s experience is as unique as the person they have lost. Everyone has a story to tell. I just hope to do it as sympathetically as I can.
What research do you do?
Loads! I think research for accuracy is always called for, even when you do have experience of a situation. In regard to my thriller, Death Sentence, I was fortunate enough to be able to pick the brains of a chief constable, who also suggested the title of the book, in regard to forensics and police procedure. Drugs feature a lot, too. No, I don’t have personal experience! Again, therefore, much research was required. I did actually speak to someone who has used drugs and information regarding weights and packaging was kindly supplied by my police contact.  
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
Martina Cole. I find Martina Cole’s books are pure inspiration. For me, the magic of Martina Cole’s books is her fabulously unique way of leading us seamlessly into the heads of her characters: real flesh and blood people we can identify with and get to know.
What's your favorite book?
Can I have two? Any book by Martina Cole. And any John Donoghue. I like to bring humour into my romantic fiction, but I couldn’t even hope to aspire to the natural wit and humour this author brings to his writing. My first book by John Donoghue was Police, Crime & 999 – The True Story of a Front Line Officer. At the time, I badly needed something uplifting after my partner’s cancer diagnosis and his undergoing various surgeries. You can probably guess then that this author had his work cut out. He succeeded! I laughed until I cried. The book is totally hilarious. His other books, Police, Lies & Alibis, Shakespeare My Butt and Police, Arrests & Suspects are similarly side splittingly hilarious. If I’m ever marooned on a desert island, John Donoghue is coming with me!

What's your favorite food?
Brain food
What's your favorite film?
Romance: Ghost. Thriller: Taken (love Liam Neeson).  
What's your favorite song?
Lana Del Rey – Video Games.

How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
You can find me on any of the links below. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to contact me. Thanks so much for featuring me, Shell. I really could not do this without fabulous readers and book bloggers, who have cheered me all the way.

Heartache, humour, love, loss & betrayal, Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy, poignant fiction. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and shortlisted for the Best Romantic e-book Love Stories Award 2015, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies
Sheryl’s new contemporary romance novel was recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer. THE REST OF MY LIFE comes to you from award winning Choc Lit and is available in WHSmith Travel in April (on Amazon print pre-order now).  
Sheryl’s latest thriller SINS OF THE FATHERS is coming soon!
Logo with WF strapline
Author Links

For interest, here’s the blurb to Sheryl’s current thriller, Death Sentence:
Death Sentence - He's killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams and Patrick Sullivan, drug dealer, pimp, murderer: two men on opposite sides of the law. A history that goes way back. A bully even in his youth, Sullivan had made it his mission in life to make the goody-two-shoes copper's life a misery. Now Matthew has made it his mission in life to make sure the pimping scum responsible for prostituting young girls, abusing them, and beating them to death, is locked up for life.
When Matthew's child becomes a casualty of the war between them, does Matthew want justice? Or does he want retribution? When Patrick's brother is shot down like a dog in a drug bust gone wrong, Patrick wants payback. He wants Matthew. Or the copper loses his pretty, pregnant wife. As far as Patrick is concerned, it's quid pro quo.
Death Sentence: an edge-of-your seat story of revenge.
And the video:
Thank you Sheryl for joining me that brain food looking yummy
Thank you I have really enjoyed it

21 March 2016

In The Shadows Blog Tour

I am delighted to be hosting the next stop in blog tour debut novel In The Shadows by Tara Lyons


Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is tasked with apprehending a brutal murderer stalking the streets of London - and leaving not a shred of DNA evidence. As the suspect list mounts, his frustration and pressure from his superiors intensify.


Grace Murphy, who is dealing with the recent loss of her beloved grandfather, falls deeper into despair when her friends’ bodies are discovered. Fearing she may be the killer’s next target, she begins to question if her horrifying nightmares are the key to unravelling the murderer’s identity.

How far would you go to uncover the truth? Would you venture into the shadows to unmask a killer?


My Thoughts

In The Shadows is Tara Lyons debut novel  and OMG what a debut novel it is. I absolutely loved it. Firstly I have to say what a cover this has read me written all over it. Having a copy sitting on my kindle it was just calling me to reach out and read it. And the story is just as good as the cover seriously I couldn't put this down. After starting it before I went to bed and having a late night, I ended up devouring it more or less has soon has I got up.

The story starts off with one hell of a ghastly prologue grabbing your attention right from the start. There is a killer In The Shadows can Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton and DS Lewis Clarke work out who it is with  dead bodies turning up and without a shred of  DNA evidence. Meanwhile Grace Murphy,  fears she may be the victims next target when her friends bodies are discovered. Also having recently losing her Grandad Grace struggles with the grief. Grace begins to question if her horrifying nightmares and decides to seek help. I loved the characters in this story and feel there is more to come from them in future books maybe?

I have to say that Tara out wit my Miss marple skills just when I thought I knew who the killer was, bang there was another shocker thrown in! Very clever I have to say. This book will have you guessing until the end I can tell you that.

This is one hell of a heart racing read with some terrifying scenes I was left totally gobsmacked to be honest.This is a must read for all crime/ psychological thriller fans. You are in for one hell of a treat. This will most definitely be in my top 2016 reads. Which I am giving this 5 big massive stars.

Thank you Tara Lyons for an advanced reader's copy



About the Author
At the age of 30, I decided to fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming a writer. Thanks to some amazing people in my life, I've had the chance to make that a reality. And so, my debut novel, In the Shadows, was born.

I am excited to be working with NY Times and USA Today best selling author, Mel Comley. Our novella, Web of Deceit is available now, and we are currently creating a new crime series together.

When I'm not writing you'll find me in a near-by Wacky Warehouse stuck in the ball-pit with my son. I have a love of chocolate peanuts and reading - and prefer to enjoy them both with a strong cuppa.

Sign up to my mailing list for exclusive news, sneak peak previews and giveaways:
http://eepurl.com/bN2KoH
Find out more about Tara Lyons
Twitter: @taralyonsauthor





18 March 2016

Q&A Interview with Barbara Copperthwaite

I am very excited that Barbara Copperthwaite Author of Flowers For The Dead which I highly recommend giving it a massive 5 stars, has dropped by my blog to take part in my Q&A interview. So without further ado I would like to welcome the lovely Barbara Copperthwaite




Hello and thank you so much for joining me this morning
Hello thank you for inviting me, I am delighted to be here


Can you tell us a little about yourself and background?
Hello! My name is Barbara Copperthwaite, and I’ve written two Amazon bestsellers, Invisible and Flowers For The Dead.
I am also a journalist for national newspapers and magazines, which means I get to hear people’s incredible true stories – it’s a real source of inspiration to me, and is why I always make people the heart of my crime novels.
In my spare time I dabble in a spot of nature photography. Wildlife and the environment are things I’m very passionate about – don’t ever try to call me when Springwatch is on! Taking photographs of wildlife is a great way of relaxing, and when I’m relaxed the best plot ideas for my novels pop into my head.
It’s also very rare that you’ll see me without my cockerpoo, Scamp.
When did you know that you wanted to become a writer? And how did you go about it?
There wasn’t really a ‘lightbulb moment’ for me. I’ve always read a lot – I was totally addicted to Enid Blyton books as a child, and went from there, really. I grew up in the countryside, and would often climb a tree and read a book up there.
After leaving school with A-levels I didn’t know what I wanted to do. All my friends went to university, but it didn’t really appeal to me. Then I saw an advert for a trainee reporter with my local newspaper. As soon as I started that role, I knew I’d found my place in the world. Writing became a real passion, but when people asked if I’d ever write a book I was very skeptical: I was a journalist, I dealt in facts, why would I want to write fiction?
But my brief stint working at a men’s high security prison kept coming back to me… The prisoners there were just like anyone else I might meet on the street. I’d chat to them, forget what they were in for, and then remember… It triggered a curiosity about ‘judging books by their covers’, about our ability to ever really know anyone, and over the years the idea behind my first novel, Invisible, grew.
By the time I started writing it, I was 38 and working as special projects editor for a magazine company. It was a tough, stressful job, with long hours, and Invisible started out as a creative outlet to unwind. It wasn’t long before it became much more, though. I was writing for half an hour on my train commute into work and then on the way home, plus snatching time at weekends.
The lack of time I could spend on it became an increasing frustration. So when the chance for taking voluntary redundancy came up, I begged for it. Just a handful of weeks before my 40th birthday, I had no job, had packed up my home, and was moving to Birmingham to be with my partner and become a novelist. Midlife crisis, anyone?!
Can you tell us what genre your books are and the audience you write for?
My books are psychological crime. Although I don’t have an audience in mind when I write, readers tend to be people who think outside the box a little, who are interested in hearing things from a slightly different perspective than the one generally told. Invisible is about a totally forgotten and overlooked – even hated – victim of crime.Flowers For The Dead tells the journey from innocent child to serial killer. Readers are always telling me that they have never read anything like either of my books.
I’m fascinated by the psychology behind characters, and what makes them tick, and I want to make them as realistic as possible. They tend to be emotionally tense and intense reads. Anyone who enjoys gritty, realistic crime with intense human emotions at its heart will love my tales.
What is your writing process? And how long does it take?
I spend a LOT of time staring into space, thinking. And walking while thinking (I even dictate ideas into a recording app on my phone as I walk, sometimes). I have a skeleton plan of the book in my head but how I will achieve it is fluid; all those plot twists and fun, exciting bits are not yet formed.
Key scenes get written first – they can be anywhere in the book, I don’t write from start to finish. It’s a slightly chaotic way of writing, but the plan is always there to keep me on track. I’ve nicknamed it the ‘dot-to-dot’ style of writing, as I join each key scene.
One thing that is set in stone though is the personality of the characters; it is a pet hate of mine when characters in other people’s books do something that simply isn’t true to them. To avoid that happening, I write mini-biographies of everyone, from their physical appearance to their key traits, from where they were born to the influences in their lives that have made them the ‘people’ they are today. Even the information that doesn’t make it into the book proper is a huge help to me.
Once I start writing, it’s about eight months to publication.
Are your characters based on anyone you know or are they just fictional?
My characters are all fictional, although I do sometimes throw in the odd trait that I’ve noticed in people I know or have seen while out and about. Laura’s stubbornness in Flowers For The Dead is based on mine! There is a section where her aunt is talking about what she was like as a child, and how she always had to have the last word to the point where she could be heard walking up the stairs talking to herself, still making points after the discussion had finished… Yep, that was me!
Have you written about a personal experience in your novels?

There is a car crash in Flowers For The Dead, and the first part of it is exactly what happened to me. I can’t say more because it might spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the book yet.
What research do you do?
As a journalist, research is something I really enjoy and is second nature to me. I love learning new things. For Flowers for the Dead, I looked into taxidermy and also the meaning of flowers, which was particularly fascinating. It’s a very genteel language that was great fun to subvert to more sinister use.
What genuinely shocked me during my research, though, was how easy and cheap it is to buy locksmiths equipment and surveillance items. I was also stunned to discover that it is possible to turn a mobile phone or any other device with voice recognition software or a microphone into a ‘bug’. So that includes televisions that you ‘speak’ to, many laptops and tablets, smartphones etc.
Back in 2006 the FBI were trying to gather evidence on a crime family but couldn’t get close enough to them to bug them the traditional way. So they used the family’s devices against them in order to gather recorded evidence, then successfully prosecute in court. These days anyone can do it by buying the right software on the internet. The programme will allow someone to eavesdrop on phone calls, get details on text messages, remotely control the phone using SMS, track the location of the phone with GPS and log the phone's activities. It will also allow them to use the phone as a listening device and hear what is happening in the surrounding area. Scary stuff!
Who would you like to co-write with and why?
There are some brilliant authors whom I really admire and would love to co-write with and learn from…but the problem is that I think I’d be so overawed that I would totally show myself up! It’s probably best if I stick to my own company for now.
What’s your favorite book?
Oh, no! I have so many favourites, and each fulfills something different for me. Books I re-read again and again include:
Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens; Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen; Far From The Madding Crowd, by Thomas Hardy; Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert; The Talented Mr Ripley, by Patricia Highsmith. The main characters in all of them are incredibly flawed. It’s obviously something I’m drawn to as both a reader and an author.
I’m also a huge fan of Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. In homage to Rebecca, I chose never to name my character in Invisible, which was a fantastic device for showing just how invisible she had become in her own life.
I’m also a big kid, so love reading childhood favourites again. Peter Pan, The Little White Horse, The Hobbit…
I also love discovering new authors such as: Clare Mackintosh (I Let You Go), Peter Swanson (The Kind Worth Killing), Ben McPherson (A Line of Blood), and Claire Kendal (The Book of You). Also, I simply have to mention Meadowland, by John Lewis-Stempel, which is a jewel of a book about the British countryside.
So, um, that’s a very long-winded way of saying I can’t answer that question!
What’s your favorite food?
Chocolate! I always give it up for Lent, and it’s so tough.
What’s your favorite film?
Depends massively on my mood, but the old Ealing Comedies are always guaranteed to make me laugh out loud. The Lavender Hill Mob is particularly endearing, and every time I watch it I find myself hoping, hoping, hoping that they’ll get away with it this time.
What’s your favorite song?
I listen to classical music when writing, and I adore The Lark Ascending, by Vaughan Williams. The only problem is that it makes me stop whatever I’m doing so that I can drink it in. At the other extreme, I love Elvis’s ‘I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’. The line ‘take my hand, take my whole life, too’ is beautiful, simple, symbolic.
How can readers find out more information about yourself and your books?
Oooh, so many ways! My website www.barbaracopperthwaite.com is a way of finding out more about me professionally, but is also where I share my book recommendations. I just have to tell the world when I’ve come across a great book!
For the latest on what is happening in my life and with my writing, head to my blog: www.barbaracopperthwaite.wordpress.com
There is general chat, fun, and the occasional competition over on my Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite My followers are absolutely brilliant, so do pop over and join in the conversation.
I can also be found on Twitter @BCopperthwait Sadly, my name is too long to be spelled correctly on it.
I look forward to seeing you all in one way or another.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join me, I am super excited to be hosting your Author Chat over on Crime Book Club on the 28th April
Thank you I have enjoyed it, also thanks so much for inviting me to do an author chat! I'm very excited, by April I will probably be hyper!!