The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie @welbeckpublish @theemmachristie

Chris Morrison is facing his worst nightmare. 

His wife is in a coma. 

His daughter is missing. 

And the only thing more unsettling than these two events . . . is what might connect them. 

Some secrets can change a family for ever.

Chris is a 60 year old father of two who receives a call to say that his wife Maria has been taken hospital and is now in a coma after a nasty fall. He immediately calls his son Mikey and his daughter Ruth for them to come to hospital and await news of their mother’s condition. But Ruth doesn’t answer her phone and Chris is drawn into an investigation where Ruth’s disappearance and Maria’s “accident” may be linked. And as he looks for answers, he finds out that his own family may hold more of them than he expected…

I read A LOT of books so it takes a quite a bit to surprise me but The Silent Daughter managed to do just that. In a world awash with psychological thrillers, this book was stood out as a beautifully written, compulsive and emotional family based thriller that felt fresh and unique. The exquisite characterisation of the Morrison family stood out amongst a narrative full of secrets where everyone was hiding behind lies and misunderstandings. This family felt real, with genuine feelings and worries plus some very difficult issues were handled delicately but insightful with a much greater depth of understanding than I had expected.

The Edinburgh setting was one I know well (I once lived in a flat on the Royal Mile) and it was vividly brought to life as the main backdrop to the tragic events that happened here. The idea behind the storyline itself was a compelling concept that made the book completely unputdownable! As Chris dug deeper into the life of his daughter Ruth, I had so many theories about what might have happened to her and how it tied up with Maria but let me tell you…I WAS NOWHERE NEAR THE TRUTH!! The red herrings that swirled their way through the twisty narrative did their job perfectly and served up a shocking denouement that made perfect sense and I was kicking myself that I hadn’t spotted it before I got there.

I can’t thank the person who recommended this book enough!! I just wish I could remember who it was! The Silent Daughter is a wonderful book and it’s all the more impressive in that it’s Emma Christie’s debut novel. I shall be watching her writing career with interest as I can’t wait to see what she delivers next.

Emma Christie is a former news reporter. The Silent Daughter is her debut.

Wanderers-A History of Women Walking by Kerri Andrews @kerriandrewsuk @reaktionbooks

This is a book about ten women who, over the past three hundred years, have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers.

In a series of intimate, incisive portraits, Wanderers traces their footsteps, from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter ‐ who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England ‐ to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed. For each, walking was integral, whether it was rambling for miles across the Highlands, like Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt, or pacing novels into being, as Virginia Woolf did around Bloomsbury.

Offering a beguiling, alternative view of the history of walking, Wanderers guides us through the different ways of seeing ‐ of being ‐ articulated by these ten pathfinding women.

When I met my future husband, most people predicted it would never last due to our very different interests. He was an active member of a mountain rescue team and spent most weekends walking around the beautiful Scottish Borders where he lived at time. I was happiest curled up by the fire with a book. But gradually I began to accompany him and when we married and moved to Pitlochry, we were surrounded by such beautiful walking country that it would have been criminal not to indulge ourselves and our very energetic retriever cross Samson by hitting the hillsides of Perthshire. Unfortunately, the arrival of children and a move to England dampened our enthusiasm but now, with both of us heading towards retirement, we have once again started to walk (Samson would have loved it but thankfully our Cavapoo can walk for miles-as long as there’s no water which she hates with a passion!!). We seem to do more planning this way-talking about our life together both past, present and future. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I understand why walking is so important to the mental and physical of women and when I heard about Wanderers I knew it was a book I needed to read.

Kerri Andrews has combined her love of English Literature with History and walking to deliver a beautifully written and fascinating book. The women she has chosen to feature within are all very different characters from differing backgrounds and eras but they all have in common a love of walking. They walked for very different reasons but each one was opened up to the reader by the way of letters, diaries or publications related to their hikes, strolls or wandering. There was a variety of settings described and many of them obviously had a personal connection for the author, who is herself a committed walker. The Lake District features heavily but my particular favourites were those set around Scotland and areas I know and love. Many of the women I had heard of but the section I enjoyed the most concerned a woman called Sarah Stoddart Hazlitt as the reasons for her walks around the city of Edinburgh and beyond had a surprising backstory that I found riveting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this slice of literary history. I have to admit to finding it a book I needed to dip into rather than read it in my usual one sitting because I wanted to indulge in each and every journey that these women partook as they were as individual as the women themselves. They walked for pleasure, for escape and for reflection but mostly they walked for themselves and I think we can all learn to do that just a little bit more ourselves.

A compelling idea that’s translated well into this gorgeous book!

Kerri Andrews is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Edge Hill University. She writes about literary history, particularly untold or forgotten histories, and has published widely on women’s writing. Her book, Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, will be published by Reaktion in September 2020. Tracing the footsteps of ten women walker-writers from eighteenth-century parson’s daughter Elizabeth Carter – who desired nothing more than to be taken for a vagabond in the wilds of southern England – to modern walker-writers such as Nan Shepherd and Cheryl Strayed, Wanderers offers a beguiling, alternative view of the history of walking.

Kerri is also one of the leaders of Women In The Hills, an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project aimed at exploring the factors enabling and inhibiting women’s access to upland landscapes. The project brings together people from all areas of walking, mountaineering, land access and management, to drive change in women’s access and experiences.

Kerri is the General Editor of Nan Shepherd’s letters, the first ever edition of Shepherd’s, which will be published in 2023 by Edinburgh University Press. She is also a keen hill-walker and a member of Mountaineering Scotland.

The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley #blogtour @BOTBSPublicity @MrsAmandaProwse

I’m thrilled to be opening the blog tour today alongside two other amazing bloggers for The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley. Many thanks to Sarah Hardy for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one…

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

Last year I went to the Wrexham Festival of Words and the highlight for me was listening to author Amanda Prowse talk about her life and how her writing journey began. I’ve long been a fan of her books and so I loved hearing the background story behind how she came to be a bestselling author. During that afternoon she mentioned that she was working on a book with her son and the emotions seemed to hit her as soon as she mentioned it and what lay behind their decision to collaborate on a book together. And I knew then that this book was one I had to read…

I’ve read other books about depression but never one as raw and powerful as The Boy Between. And I think the main reason for that is the fact that it’s written by a mother and son who have both delivered their own perspectives with a gut wrenching honesty. We get the background to their relationship from the day that Amanda gives birth to her much longed for baby boy Josiah-known as Josh. One of my favourite sayings is that you never know what goes on behind closed doors and I found it so sad that behind the happy and positive face Amanda showed in public she was going through such a difficult time in her private life. And I’m so glad that Josh told his story directly, with an openness that showed the strength of his relationship with his mother but also the special bond he shares with his stepfather Simeon. I was often in tears as the conversations between them showed the depths of concern from parents for their child and that awful feeling of despair and helplessness that grew from it. But there was nothing they could do to lift the hopelessness of the depression that had enveloped Josh and taken away his joy of living-apart from support him in any way that he would let them.

Having had depression myself several times in my life (usually brought on by traumatic events which isn’t always the case-especially with younger people) and having other members of my family also suffer from depression and PTSD, I thought this was an insightfully crafted book that delved beneath the surface of a hidden illness that everyone has an opinion on and, unfortunately, that opinion is not always a positive one. I’m sure people are well intentioned but telling a person with depression or anxiety to “snap out of it” and “what have you got to be depressed about?” show that we still have a HUGE amount of work to do in getting people to understand and recognise the underlying causes, signs and symptoms of depression. But these can vary so much from person to person and often there is no “trigger” in the same way that there’s no reason why some people get cancer and others don’t. Depression is also a killer and I just hope that by reading this book, a parent may spot something in there that sparks up a leading conversation with their child that might just save a life.

The Boy Between is a very personal and truthful account of depression that Josh and Amanda have put together with love and gratitude for their family and friends. Their mother and son bond shines through their narratives and I’m so pleased for them both that they are now coming through the other side. The suicide rate amongst young men is extraordinarily high and I hope that this book helps to raise awareness of that fact and get families talking about mental health issues.

This is a very special book that won’t be for everyone due to triggers but to see how depression can hit anyone at anytime-no matter who they are-is something we all need to see and understand. Highly recommended by me!

A keen environmentalist and animal lover, Josiah (Josh) Hartley lives in a remote farmhouse in the West Country with his two idle and arrogant French Bulldogs, Dottie and Beau. Happiest following the music scene in Bristol, at a festival or watching rugby with his mates, Josh enjoys the outdoor life and often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down.

After a stint at the University of Southampton, another at the University of Bristol and one planned suicide, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It is a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope – the proof being that Josh is still here and excited about what comes next. He’s ready to catch any opportunity that life throws his way; quite a thing for someone who only a few years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty five novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.  Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’ and ‘The Things I Know’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

The Housewarming by S.E. Lynes @bookouture @SELynesAuthor

It’s a great pleasure to be involved in the blog tour today for the latest book by one of my favourite authors. The Housewarming by S. E. Lynes is out now and published by Bookouture. A huge thanks must go to Noelle Holten for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

Everyone is going to the housewarming party.
All the same people who lived on the street the day Abi vanished…
Will her mother finally learn the truth?

Ava only left her daughter in the pushchair for five minutes. The buckle was fastened, and she was sure it was safe. But when she came downstairs, the door was open and Abi was gone – she walked down the road, past the Lovegoods’ house, and was never seen again.

A year later, the Lovegoods are planning their long-anticipated housewarming party. Ava doesn’t want to go. She can’t bear to look down that end of the road, to see the place where Abi vanished, and she doesn’t want to spend time with people who don’t share her grief. Her husband Matt persuades her: he’s worried about her. A night out might do her good.

But as her friends and neighbours chat, and the drink and gossip flows, Ava learns something new about the day she has re-lived a thousand times. A throwaway comment which could change everything.

Ava thought she knew every last detail of that day.

She’s about to find out she was wrong…

Brilliantly dark and moving suspense fiction for fans of Gillian Flynn, Claire McGowan and Lisa Jewell, The Housewarming will have your pulse racing and your heart in your mouth from start to finish.

The Housewarming is a brilliant psychological thriller that has left me absolutely gobsmacked! And I have no idea how I’m going to do it justice in a review so I just want to say “BUY THIS BOOK AND YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED!”

S.E. Lynes has a talent for building her books on the emotions of her well drawn characters but she has excelled herself here with a storyline that really didn’t go the way I was expecting it to! I thought I knew EXACTLY what had happened to Abi, the little girl who disappeared out of her front door and was never seen again, but I was so far from the truth that it’s embarrassing!

The Housewarming refers to a party given by the Lovegoods who live next door to Matt and Ava. It’s been over a year since Ava went upstairs, only to find her daughter gone when she came back down. The police have scaled down their search for the little girl but a chance comment at the party thrown by their new neighbours is about to light the fuse on an explosive revelation that will affect everything Ava believed to be true…

This is a beautifully written, expressive book that gave me goosebumps many times throughout its tense narrative. I actually felt quite intrusive at times, as though I were a fly on the wall, listening to private conversations that weren’t meant for my ears. The grief and guilt that emanated from Ava especially, but also other characters, often felt too painful and uncomfortable to acknowledge, leaving an underlying awkwardness where I often wanted to put this book down so that I felt that same ignorance. Never actually knowing what has happened to your child must be so much worse than the truth, as the brain seems programmed to imagine the most painful and horrific scenarios all of which must far outweigh the reality. And Matt and Ava have very different coping strategies for their grief which is tearing them apart as a couple-a very common problem as very few couples who have suffered the unexplained disappearance of a child stay together in the long term. It’s an understandable problem but with Matt and Ava their characters were so perfectly attuned that I felt so terribly sad at the loss of their closeness and that’s down to the brilliance of the writing here as they were brought alive so well by the insightful exploration of their relationship.

I loved The Housewarming. It was compelling reading from start to finish with a stunning and beautifully crafted ending that brought me to tears. And it’s probably up there with my favourite S.E. Lynes book Valentina so that shows you how highly I rate The Housewarming! So buy both! You can thank me later!

Former BBC Producer, S.E. Lynes is the Amazon best selling author of ‘intelligent and haunting’, ‘beautifully written’ psychological thrillers, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL, THE WOMEN, THE LIES WE HIDE, CAN YOU SEE HER? and her latest novel, THE HOUSEWARMING, available for pre-order NOW.

After completing her MA, Lynes taught creative writing at Richmond Adult Community College for over ten years. She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing.

She has also published three children’s books in Italy: IL LEOPARDO LAMPO, LA COCCODRILLA INGAMBA, and the bilingual LA SCIMMIA SPIRITOSA/THE FUNNY MONKEY, all available at Amazon.it

Author Social Media Links: 

Facebook: S E Lynes Author
Twitter: @SELynesAuthor
Instagram: @S E Lynes Author

The Girl She Wanted by K.L. Slater @bookouture

I’m excited to be part of the blog tour today for The Girl She Wanted by K.L. Slater. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy for organising this tour and my review copy of the book.

What if my sister is unstable and everyone can see it but me? What was she really doing standing over Florence’s cot in the middle of the night?

Alexa has always looked up to her older sister Carrie. Carrie lives in Alexa’s family home, and adores her one-year-old niece Florence. Alexa doesn’t know how they would cope without her. So when Carrie is suspended from her job as a senior nurse, accused of the most terrible crime, Alexa reels in disbelief. Alexa knows how caring Carrie is, and as she watches Florence gurgling and cooing whenever Carrie is around, she knows her little girl is in safe hands.

Alexa’s husband doesn’t trust Carrie. He wants her out of the house, unable to ignore what people are saying about her. But when he suggests that Carrie could be a danger to their daughter, Alexa shuts him out. Nobody will ever come between her and her sister.

Then Florence is hurt while in Carrie’s care and Alexa at last starts to wonder. Alexa has always wanted to protect Carrie from the past they have hidden. But does Alexa know what Carrie wants? And will the secret that has kept the sisters together now destroy her little girl?

I love K.L. Slaters books! She always has me hooked and intrigued with her twisty turny storylines but this one had me so frustrated as I really didn’t know what to believe! The sisterly bond can be very difficult at times but Alexa and Carrie seemed to have a close and honest relationship-Alexa looks up to her big sister as she has supported her through her anxieties about motherhood and she obviously adores her baby niece Florence (and the feeling is mutual with Florence having a relaxed and loving relationship with her auntie!). So when Carrie is accused of a heinous and unimaginable crime at the hospital where she works, Alexa is devastated and determined to prove her beloved sister innocent…

This is such a clever novel that works perfectly because of the characters within it. Alexa came across as a needy and slightly unstable mother who needed more support than I would have expected for some reason. Carrie is the organised and capable big sister but why has she split from her husband, what has she been doing at the hospital and what secret does she hold over her sisters head? All these questions and many MANY more were buzzing around my head as I became gripped by each departments investigation into what had happened to patients at Carries place of work.

I love it when a book drags me within its pages and I become completely addicted to it! The Girl She Wanted played with my emotions as I went back and forth in my beliefs about who was guilty of what and why! I pride myself on being able to sift through the clues, spotting red herrings and pushing them aside to uncover the truth but I honestly had no idea where this twisty narrative was heading and there were plenty of unexpected shocks along the way!

A gripping storyline with some very disturbed characters! I loved it!

For many years, Kim 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.

Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten

So excited today to be on the blog tour for the 3rd book in the DC Maggie Jamieson series by Noelle Holten. Huge thank you to Sarah Hardy at Book On The Brightside Publicity for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

A murdered woman…

When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer.  The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else.  Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.

A determined detective…

Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger.  Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls? 

Can Maggie find the depraved killer? Or will Kate become his next living doll?

There aren’t many series that I have on my “must read” list nowadays but this one featuring Maggie Jamieson is one that features very highly and is one of the best around at the moment. If you’ve never read any before then don’t worry, Dead Perfect can be easily read as a standalone book but I guarantee you’ll be hooked after reading it and want to go back and catch up on the relationships that have been built upon in the previous two books.

Maggie is called upon to investigate a case that is a little too close to home for her. The body of a young girl is found and she’s been dressed to resemble Maggies friend and colleague Dr Kate Maloney. She had been turned into a “living doll” before her death and Maggie is determined to catch the killer. Kate is still struggling with her stalker-could this be who is targeting young women who look like her? Don’t be fooled into thinking you will know the answer as this is Noelle Holtens most twisted and disturbing crime thriller so far!

This has to be my favourite book so far in the DC Maggie Jamieson series! I read it in one session as I physically couldn’t leave it alone! Noelle Holten has managed to “beat the blogger” 3 times now as I find it absolutely impossible to work out who the murderer is and why in her books! And I love that! She builds the perfect tension by slowly building her storyline and introducing a cast of carefully crafted characters for us to study before hitting us right between the eyes with the most powerful denouement as she brings all her threads to a shocking conclusion.

Dead Perfect is a brilliantly written book that has been well researched by an author who knows their subject matter better than most! If you love the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons then this is a must buy for you. Highly recommended by me!

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Dangerous to Know by Chloé Esposito

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for Dangerous to Know by Chloé Esposito. Many thanks to Sriya Varadharajan at Penguin Michael Joseph for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

Once, serial killer Alvie Knightly was living the dream.

Unlimited cash.
An Italian getaway.
A hot new boyfriend . . .

How the mighty fall.

One year – and one very unfortunate incident – later, Alvie is homeless, surviving on meal deals, and counting her dwindling pennies.

It’s time for one last hit, and if anyone can pull it off – in six-inch heels – it’s Alvie.

But if she’s to succeed in her mission to avenge her ex, win back her money and secure her future, she’ll have to face her most terrifying enemy yet . . .

Her past.

I seem to have been waiting for a very VERY long time for the last book in this trilogy! Having adored Mad and Bad because of their over the top, tongue in cheek dark humour I couldn’t wait to see how Alvie’s story concluded…

I do think it’s impossible to get the most of this book without having read Mad and Bad first. Alvie is back in the UK and revenge is uppermost in her mind with a plan in place for her enemies demise. The best dressed serial killer who has knife skills to rival the worlds best sushi chefs is broke and homeless but, as usual, she manages to land on her feet and get closer to her goal. Be aware that this book will NOT follow the expected route and there is plenty of sexual content along the way as our heroine (antagonist?) likes to get her own way so there are plenty of shocks in store here. I’ve come to know and love Alvie throughout the previous books and her foul mouthed, self centred character demands attention once again here. We look into her past more this time and her upbringing makes her behaviour make sense every more this time. She is a product of her upbringing and when Alvie and Beth’s mother appears you can see exactly who is to blame for the characteristics she has developed-the mirror image twins are a perfect example of how the nature/nurture experiment unknowingly carried out by Mavis can turn out!

Dangerous to Know hit the spot for me with its darkly comical moments and a cast of thoroughly brilliant but mostly unlikable characters. I’m sad the trilogy has come to an end but I think the ending was perfect for all that had come before.

I can’t wait to see what Chloé Esposito comes up with next!

Chloé Esposito is from Cheltenham and now lives in London. She has a BA and MA in English from Oxford University, where her dissertation focused on 19th-century feminist writers. She has been a senior management consultant, an English teacher at two of the UK’s top private schools and a fashion stylist at Condé Nast. She is a graduate of the Faber Academy and is now writing full-time.

Stranded by Stuart James @StuartJames73 @BOTBSPublicity

I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for Stranded by Stuart James today. Huge thanks to Sarah Hardy for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

A family trapped. A psychopath on the loose. Let the game begin…

What could be more innocent than going on holiday?

As a family drive along a quiet country lane on their way to the airport, they meet a stranger standing alone in the middle of the road.

Steering them along another path, he tells the driver, Ben, that a tree has fallen and there’s no way through.

But as they make their way along the diverted route, they come across a coach blocking the road.

Getting out of the car Ben goes to investigate and is horrified to find the passengers tied to their seats.

Then a discarded phone starts to ring…

If Ben calls the police, everyone on board will die.

Let the horrific game begin…

OMG! Stuart James certainly knows how to creep his readers out and he is fast becoming my go-to author for a psychological thriller/horror hybrid. Stranded, once again, takes a normal family going about their everyday business who then get dragged kicking and screaming into a nightmare scenario from which they will struggle to escape.

When Ben drives himself, his wife and daughter to the airport for a much needed family break to Barcelona the last thing he expects is to be caught up in a diversion. But this diversion seems a little suspicious as they have been sent off onto a small and narrow country Lane where they don’t see any other traffic…until they get to the coach. And once they see what’s onboard that coach they will wish they had just kept on driving past it.

Stuart James is brilliant at building up the tension and suspense to such a high level that you are very quickly completely and utterly on the edge of your seat! And he does it without too much detail, letting that untold side of the story create fear of the unknown which means you know you should be very, VERY afraid! I had no idea where the plot was heading and that was another reason I had goosebumps throughout. The ending was just perfectly played out as well and I think it’s where Stuart James really excels as he has developed his own style of shocking twists and turns.

If you like your psychological thrillers unsettling, disturbing and unpredictable then Stranded is the book for you. It made me question my own judgments about what I would have done in their position and that perturbed me just as much as the narrative did. One to give you the shivers! And an ideal read for Halloween this year!

I have always loved scary stories, especially ones that shocked me, left me terrified, looking under my bed or in the wardrobe before going to sleep.

There was just a fantastic buzz whenever I watched or read something that took my breathe away.

I remember going to my nan’s house in Ireland as a youngster with my mother and sister, on the West Coast, staying in a cottage, surrounded by miles of fields and my family sitting around the table in the kitchen at night telling ghost stories. Going out and exploring derelict farmhouses in the middle of nowhere. I remember clearly the field at the end of the road was supposed to be haunted by headless nuns.

My cousins often remind me of the great times we had, frightening each other and running for our lives whenever we’d see something that didn’t look right.

This is why I love nothing more than to tell a story.

I started writing three years ago, penning The House On Rectory Lane which has just won The International Book Award in horror fiction. I got the idea from something that has often seemed scary to me. I know that a terrifying story has to be something that you’re frightened of doing, something that makes the hairs stand on the back of your neck, something that fills you with dread, yet also with excitement.

To me, the thought of going to a house in the middle of nowhere, upping and leaving a busy town and moving to the country is something that scares lots of people and me: the seclusion, the quiet, the darkness. That’s what inspired me to write my first novel.

My second thriller is called Turn The Other Way, which was a world wide number 1 best seller and stayed at number 1 for 19 weeks in the US.

I have multiple stories running, past and present. A family who want answers from the surgeon responsible for their daughter’s death. A young woman looking for her parents after they go missing from a party. A couple driving home and hearing screams for help from the back of the van in front of them. A serial killer on the loose in North London, dragging victims off the street.

I’m so grateful when people not only read my thrillers but also take the time to get in touch and leave a review. To me, that is the greatest feeling, hearing from people that have enjoyed my work. I know then that I’m doing something right.

My third thriller, Apartment Six, was published in January of this year and was a number 1 hot new release on Amazon for 4 weeks.

Stranded goes on pre-order Monday October 12th on Amazon and is released October 19th.

I’m 47, married and have two beautiful children. Currently, I’m a full-time plumber but would love nothing more than to make a living from my writing. I hope I write stories and people continue to enjoy them for years to come. That would be completely amazing and a dream come true.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass @TitanBooks @SeraphinaNova

I’m delighted to be closing down the blog tour today for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass. Many thanks to Sarah Mather at Titan Books for the blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

Faith Finley has it all: the flourishing career, the perfect husband, until the night everything goes horribly wrong. Her husband Liam is missing and suspicion falls on Faith. And then the notes begin to arrive: “Lock your windows”, “Invest in a steel door”.

As the threats escalate, the mystery behind Liam’s disappearance intensifies. And Faith’s very life will depend on finding answers…

Someone’s Listening is a gripping and compulsive thriller with a unique feel and it absolutely blew my socks off! For a debut author, Seraphina Nova Glass certainly managed to keep me on the edge of my seat as she introduced a cast of strangely likeable characters even though I was suspicious of each and every one of them! I love a book that keeps me guessing and the constant twists and turns of the plot meant that I had no idea who was behind the horrific persecution of Faith until it was finally revealed.

Faith Finley is a therapist who has enjoyed success with a radio show and bestselling book that run alongside her practice. After an evening out with her husband Liam, they have a car accident but when Faith comes round in hospital, she is told she was the only one in the car. What has happened to Liam and why is Faith being tormented in her own home by an unknown persecutor? The answer lies in the most unexpected of places and-OMG-we certainly go through some very shocking moments to get there!

Someone’s Listening is a fabulous read-compelling and completely unputdownable! I was intrigued by every perfectly portrayed character who came into contact with Faith and really did struggle to come up with a reason as to how Liam disappeared and why Faith couldn’t remember exactly what happened the night of the crash. She wasn’t always a particularly likeable character and she did have some very dubious methods of investigation but her backstory did a great job of explaining why plus her interactions with friends and family also built upon that. The last few pages were full of fast paced thrills as an earth shattering twist came into play that lead to a beautifully crafted and satisfying ending.

If you want an engrossing psychological thriller full of intricate twists and turns then definitely give Someone’s Listening a go. I thoroughly enjoyed every single page of it!

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel. She tweets at @SeraphinaNova

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke @RandomTTours @CJessCooke

I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour today for The Nesting by C.J. Cooke. Many thanks to Anne Cater for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.


It was like something out of a fairytale… 

The grieving widower.

The motherless daughters.

A beautiful house in the woods.

Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale

But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory.

Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks.

With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.

But protect them from what?

I’ve loved C.J. Cooke’s previous novels and this one was highly anticipated by me, especially when I saw that stunning cover! And what lies beneath those beautiful but chilling illustrations is equally gorgeous-an atmospheric and hauntingly stylish gothic chiller.

When Lexi applies for the job as nanny to two recently bereaved children and their widower father, she is desperate. Homeless and without any form of income she really needs this job and the opportunity to live in Norway (the setting for her unwritten novel) is too good to pass up. But once there, the secrets that Lexi herself is hiding seem to pale in comparison to the ones that lie beneath the surface of this family and their home. And Lexi may be about to uncover more than she expects…

The Nesting is a powerfully affecting and atmospheric novel that has an intense sense of place within the Norwegian countryside. The use of the natural characteristics of the environment added to the menacing undercurrent that trickled slowly throughout the narrative increasing the tension without the reader even being aware of how or why. But that unsettling feeling continued until the final few pages and the ending itself was just so beautifully written that I was gutted that my entire reading experience was finally over.

The Nesting lived up to all my expectations and more. Complex characters, creepy setting and intriguing mystery all combined to make one of my favourite books of the year. I absolutely adored it!

C J Cooke (Carolyn Jess-Cooke) lives in Glasgow with her husband and four children. C J Cooke’s works have been published in 23 languages and have won many awards. She holds a PhD in Literature from the Queen’s University of Belfast and is currently Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow, where she researches creative writing interventions for mental health. Two of her books are currently optioned for film. Visit http://www.cjcookeauthor.com.