Settlement – Blog Tour #LoveBooksGroup

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Can love truly heal old wounds?  Can the past ever be put peacefully to rest? 

Falling in love is the easy bit. Happy ever after requires work, commitment and honesty.

When former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter met crofter and author Rachel Campbell at her home on the Scottish island of Skye, they fell in love. It was a second chance at happiness for them both.

But after Jack proposes marriage, it becomes clear they want different things.

Then, as Rachel prepares to return to the Middle East to work on a peacemaking project that’s close to her heart, and as Jack’s past catches up with him, it seems their relationship is doomed.

Can Rachel compromise on her need to maintain her hard-won independence?

Can Jack survive the life-threatening situation in which he finds himself?

Will they get the chance to put things right between them?

 

I love doing Kelly’s Tours with Love Books Group as no two books she ever wants me to review are the same. When I read that Anne Stormont was a fellow Scot I was intrigued as I always like supporting Scottish writers and think that promoting books from Independent publishers can be one of the best things about being a book blogger – as you get to read books that you might never have been exposed to before and hear what all your other blogging friends thought too. It’s like a virtual book group where you are waiting every day to see what other people enjoyed about your book…

I was really intrigued to read Settlement as even though I knew that it was a sequel, I was told it could be read as a stand-alone and I loved the fact that it had that ‘Scottish connection’  As soon as this book arrived,  I wanted to open it up and find out who Jack Baxter was and why he and Rachel were finding it so hard to maintain a life together after falling in love in such a gorgeous place.  I loved this initial premise and I found this book totally engrossing once I’d started: I really wanted to get to the heart of their relationship and discover what had brought them to this point.

I also enjoyed the way that Anne Stormont’s novel allows us to see the reality of love, rather than just the ‘happy ever after’ that we are so often presented with in fiction and I think that this is one of the things that I enjoyed most about this book.

The way that Anne builds in the uncertainties about what’s right for them and increases our understanding of what is going on in the heads of both of these characters is convincingly done and leads to you feeling like you can really imagine yourself sitting down and catching up with these characters. Rachel is an interesting and well-drawn character and I’m looking forward to hearing what my sister thought of her over a long coffee date as soon as possible.

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The scenes where these two are trying to deal with the ramifications of the past and the current pressures on their relationship have an incredibly realistic feel and the way they build up and threaten to overwhelm this pair mean that you really develop your sense of compassion for them as the novel progresses. I thoroughly enjoyed the idea of Rachel’s escape to the Middle East and felt that the balance between her future desires and Jack’s past was just right –  allowing the reader to keep being pulled forward to the next development to get a truer sense of what they both really need in life and what might happen as a result.

Settlement is a refreshing read as it dares to be more than just another romance and takes a genuine look at what we sometimes sacrifice in the pursuit of happiness in a way that never feels ‘worthy’ or sermonising. It allows us a glance into a relationship where peoples’ needs are complex and real and dares us to ask ourselves what we might have lost along the way in our own lives. Its dual setting in Skye and Israel is another aspect that I really enjoyed and it really made me feel like I was able to immerse myself in both settings – which are so different in atmosphere that this is a real testament to Anne’s writing.

I always enjoy a book much more if I’m not hyping myself up before I read it and Settlement was exactly that. It was definitely a grower and I found myself thinking about Jack and Rachel’s life choices and their repercussions whilst driving to work and marking my essays at school. I will definitely seek out more books by Anne Stormont and am keen to travel back in time and read the first novel, Displacement, as a prequel.  It’s a real testament to Anne Stormont’s writing that we really believe in their relationship and can empathise with their feelings of being torn between fulfilling your own dreams with loving another person with all the complications that brings.

You can buy yourself a copy of the book here

Writer On The Shelf

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Anne Stormont writes contemporary romantic fiction where the main characters are older but not necessarily wiser. She hopes the stories she tells will entertain, but she also hopes they will move, challenge and inspire her readers. She has written three novels so far – Change of Life was her first. This was followed by Displacement and its sequel Settlement.

Anne is a Scot, living in the land of her birth. She’s a retired teacher and when she’s not writing, she’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and gardener. She also loves spending time with friends and family – especially her two grandchildren.

She has recently moved from the Isle of Skye to the Scottish Borders. She has travelled the world and has visited every continent except Antarctica –where considering her penchant for penguins she really must go.

She says she is a subversive old bat but maintains a kind heart.

You can find out more about Anne on her author websites: Anne Stormont and Anne McAlpine. She has a fantastic Blog.

You’ll also find Anne on her Facebook Author pages: Anne Stormont and Anne McAlpine and can follow Anne on Twitter @writeanne.

 

 

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The Stranger Diaries Blog Tour

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A gripping contemporary Gothic thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries: Susan Hill meets Gone Girl and Disclaimer.

Clare Cassidy is no stranger to tales of murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer R.M. Holland, she teaches a short course on them every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an R.M. Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.

Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

 

When Olivia Mead messaged me to ask me about taking part in  The Stranger Diaries Blog Tour, I was literally up early every morning waiting for the postman until it arrived. Having seen the stunning cover and read the blurb – as a real-life literature teacher who loves her  Gothic Literature, my anticipation had really reached fever pitch.

Let me tell you straight away that The Stranger Diaries did not disappoint.

The cover itself hinted at dark events blossoming and promised to contain within a mysterious tale where everything is not quite as it seems and I’d have to say that Elly Griffiths, you have done it again in the invention of Clare Cassidy and her extreme case of art imitating life…

There are so many fantastic ‘dark’ reads on offer right now that writers have to think outside the box if they want their readers to be genuinely drawn into their novels. My column this month fave 12 tips for dark & deadly reads – and if I’d read this book before submitting it to the editor – it’d most definitely been one of my dozen Autumn reads in 2018! I like a Gothic tale to keep me on my toes, I am happy to report that Elly Griffiths manages this with skill and originality. I am also determined to ensure that there are no spoilers as this ending really is worth the wait.

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I absolutely love a book with multiple narrators and really enjoyed all three characters that we meet in this ale. I was obviously most drawn to Clare as a fellow teacher but DS Harbinder Kaur and Claire’s teenage daughter Georgia are both wonderfully drawn characters in their own right and these three voices blend to keep you turning the pages late into the night. I feel that inThe Stranger Diaries you’re not just getting one voice that hints at there being more to their unfolding narrative than meets the eye, but three wonderfully contrasting voices that play with your mind and weave in and out of your sense of direction until you really are left wondering what on earth is going on and who to trust when we hear two very different versions of the same set of events…

I loved the contrasting voices of everyday Claire with her private diary as the novel unfolded and appreciated the skill with which Elly Griffiths manages to create both credible dialogue and mystical and inexplicable events coming together –  in a finely tuned balance that really made her prose sing. Added to this, her slow-burning sense of rising tension really made this a page-turner as you race to see if your ‘narrative compass’ is as reliable as you thought it was.

I read this in a single day, being utterly loath to drag myself away from the claustrophobic and intriguing world that Elly draws you into. I love books that are even better than the one you’ve been anticipating and I have to say that this novel was a real treat. This book is the narrative equivalent of a ‘Magic Eye’ painting – you know that there’s more going on below the surface and try as you might to decipher exactly why it is, things keep shifting before your very eyes and the final picture eludes you right to the very end. And perhaps even afterwards…

Anyone who has ever committed their most secret thoughts to paper in a diary will find much to relate to in the secret writings throughout this stunning novel I was very impressed by how much insight we got into the secrets that were being kept by so many of the characters we meet and how much access we got to their ‘inner landscape’ through the diaries and the natural and wholly credible conversations that evolve as things begin to close in on the culprit – nail biting is not the word and my light was on really late as I was so determined to get the answers and find out if what I suspected was true. I can’t wait for someone else I know to read it and I’ll definitely be recommending that my book group read it as I can’t wait to hear everyone’s response to what I feel is one of my reads of the year!

 

I loved this novel and I’ll be recommending it to everyone who likes their novels unpredictable, dark and with a fabulous set of characters that you’ll absolutely believe in. After loving Elly’s Ruth Galloway books,  I was nervous in case this stand-alone gothic number would fall short of their high standards. I needn’t have worried – this is an amazing book.  Elly Griffiths is one of my favourite writers for a reason, and if you haven’t devoured her entire back catalogue – what are you waiting for?

 

Treat yourself to a copy of The Stranger Diaries here – and buy the hardback – it’s blooming stunning and looks marvellous in my #OnTheShelfie below

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Writer On The Shelf

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I’ll let Elly introduce herself in her own words. To find out more, head over to her gorgeous-looking website Elly Griffiths

My name’s Elly Griffiths, except it’s not really.
My real name is Domenica de Rosa and I’ve written four books under that name (see link above). I was born in London in 1963 and my family moved to Brighton when I was five. I loved Brighton and still do – the town, the surrounding countryside and, most of all, the sea. I went to local state schools and wrote my first book when I was a 11, a murder mystery set in Rottingdean, near the village where I still live. At secondary school I used to write episodes of Starsky and Hutch (early fan fiction) and very much enjoyed making my readers cry.

I did all the right things to become a writer: I read English at King’s College London and, after graduating, worked in a library, for a magazine and then as a publicity assistant at HarperCollins. I loved working in publishing and eventually became Editorial Director for children’s books at HarperCollins. All this completely put me off writing and it wasn’t until I was on maternity leave in 1998 that I wrote what would become my first published novel, The Italian Quarter.

Three other books followed, all about Italy, families and identity. By now we had two children and my husband Andy had just given up his city job to become an archaeologist. We were on holiday in Norfolk, walking across Titchwell Marsh, when Andy mentioned that prehistoric man had thought that marshland was sacred. Because it’s neither land nor sea, but something in-between, they saw it as a kind of bridge to the afterlife. Neither land nor sea, neither life nor death. As he said these words the entire plot of The Crossing Places appeared, full formed, in my head and, walking towards me out of the mist, I saw Dr Ruth Galloway. I didn’t think that this new book was significantly different from my ‘Italy’ books but, when she read it, my agent said, ‘This is crime. You need a crime name.’

And that’s how I became Elly Griffiths.

You should also follow her on Twitter to hear all about her books and  hopefully get news of where she’s appearing in person

9781786487391Death lies between the lines. The chilling new stand-alone thriller from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries

A dark story has been brought to terrifying life. Can the ending be rewritten in time?

‘Utterly bewitching … a pitch-perfect modern Gothic’ AJ FINN, author of THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW

‘Compelling, intelligent and increasingly mesmerising’ PETER JAMES

‘At once a homage to the Gothic thriller, and a re-imagining, it is goose-bump spooky, smart, and haunting, in every sense. I loved this book! And you will too’ LOUISE PENNY

 

The Lingering – Blog Tour

 

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Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

 

Could there actually BE a better time to be telling you that just have to go out and buy yourself a copy of The Lingering by SJI Holliday?

Halloween week couldn’t be more appropriate and if you like your reads to be mysterious and brooding, you have absolutely come to the right place.  I was so excited to receive a copy in the post from Anne Cater and I have been telling people about it ever since I closed its final page.

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What I love about Susi Holliday as a writer is the fact that you just could not choose between her plotting and her characterisation in any of her books. Usually, I find that when writers are this good at one of these things, the other definitely suffers – but just like her other books, The Lingering is definitely the exception to the rule…

Is anyone else like me and love to go online and look for their imagined settings of the book that they’re loving, to try and see its world come to life? I love doing it and I found myself scrolling through pages and pages of remote locations, trying to find my own version of Rosalind House and imagine Jack and Ali arriving there. This Welsh one in Denbigh definitely gave me the shivers  – And it’s all yours for 2.5 million…

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It was lovely to lose myself in such a dark and eerie read after two weeks of relentless work. It’s funny that I get drawn to cold misty books in the cooler weather and like to lose myself in books set in a warm olive grove when I’m holidaying abroad. This dark  and mysterious read was just perfect for me to curl up with and completely immerse myself in during this chilly Autumn weather, and I really loved the way that Susi Holliday draws the reader in and keeps them guessing about the secrecy and suspense surrounding Rosalind House and this made me turn the pages rapidly as I sought to uncover its mysteries for myself.

I loved the juxtaposition of the very realistic relationship that is portrayed between Jack and Ali, and the otherworldly events that they get tangled up in  The deftly portrayed relationship sits convincingly alongside some of the stranger elements of this fascinating story which means that we allow ourselves to suspend our disbelief and abandon ourselves to Susi’s skilful storytelling as she weaves a strange, compelling and mysterious take around this isolated and unique place.

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I absolutely love atmospheric reads and this will appeal to fans of both Rebecca and The Silent Companions who love being immersed in a closed world where creaking floorboards, crumbling turrets and unspoken questions tug at your subconscious as you’re reading. I got so lost in this story that I stayed up far too late to finish it as I could not go to sleep without trying to find out the answers to the many questions that emerged during the course of this mysterious and addictive read.

It’s been hard to review The Lingering without any spoilers but I am determined to as I feel that everyone should go on ‘blind’ to the secrets surrounding these characters when they start reading it. I absolutely loved Susi’s Banktoun Trilogy, but I definitely think she has outdone herself here and I can’t wait to see what some of my very favourite bloggers think of it as I follow the rest of the tour this month.

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This book is a fascinating and memorable read – I’d call it haunting –  if that wasn’t a pun too far! It is deliciously dark and will be guaranteed to Linger in your thoughts as you climb those stairs to bed in the darkness.  I’m really hoping that work quietens down so that I can attend this launch event on the 14th November in Edinburgh as I know that it’ll be fantastic and loads of my favourite booky people will be there too! I once won a copy of #TheDamselfly and Susi put a lucky dip lottery ticket in its pages – so really hoping to say thanks in person!

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Thanks again to the lovely Anne for giving me the chance to share the love for another fantastic read. If you haven’t managed to read it yet, you can buy yourself a copy here

 

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Writer On The Shelf

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S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up in East Lothian, Scotland. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize.

She has written three crime novels set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun, which are a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller. They are: “Black Wood”, “Willow Walk” and “The Damselfly” – all featuring the much loved character, Sergeant Davie Gray.

Her serial killer thriller “The Deaths of December” (written as Susi Holliday), featuring Detective Sergeant Eddie Carmine and Detective Constable Becky Greene was a festive hit in 2017.

Her spooky mystery “The Lingering” will be released in September 2018.

You can find out more at her website: http://www.sjiholliday.com and on Twitter @SJIHolliday.

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The Golden Orphans – Blog Tour

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Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island.

But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

 

‘Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…’ 

The Golden Orphans allowed me to escape into a dreamlike, poetic and mysterious world, far away from my busy reality of teaching in a hectic secondary school. I was mesmerised by the beauty of some of the descriptions of this mysterious and fascinating setting by Gary Raymond, and at times found it quite difficult to tear myself away and come back to reality.

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The atmosphere of secrecy and drama is perfectly maintained throughout this wonderful novel; the setting of Famagusta and its real-life enclosure and occupation was something that I wanted to read more about as soon as I’d finished reading The Golden Orphans Gary Raymond manages to make the setting as compelling and ‘present’ as her main characters. Even though I was reading it in Scotland in November, I felt Cyprus come to life as I walked in the footsteps of these characters and experienced their journey right alongside them.

Raymond is definitely a talented voice. He draws the reader into these characters’ world and makes them live for us as we read; lives which are are all the more powerful due to their connections with real-life events. I was happily engrossed in my Varosha research – and looking through Cypriot Air BandB rentals in a post-reading haze – for a whole afternoon after reading this engrossing book.

The Golden Orphans paints a picture of an artist whose life seems in a downward spiral. Neither his love life nor financial situation is going to plan and if feels like he can do nothing to put this to rights.   When news arrives of the death of his old colleague and mentor, Francis Benthem, our mysterious narrator heads to Cyprus for the funeral and these adventures begin.

The fact that we never discover the unknown narrator’s name adds a further note of intrigue and mystery to this novel and really drew me in – who is he and what is drawing him to Cyprus? I really felt captivated and I can definitely see why there have been parallels drawn with Ripley as the atmospheric blend of deft characterisation with a real sense of place definitely reminded me of some of Highsmith’s writing. So many questions flood our minds as we are drawn into this web –  Why was he summoned here and by who? Why was Francis Benthem in Cyprus? These questions and more are presented to us and then things grow even more complicated when he is invited into the home of a   Russian millionaire, who we later find out was a patron of the mysterious Francis Benthem too.

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Francis Benthem, we soon discover, was a painter for this wealthy Russian, Prostakov who employed him and had him close at hand in order to help him track down the dreamlike threads of a mysterious group, known as The Golden Orphans. This mysterious endeavour is about to be passed on from mentor to protegé as we dive beneath the surface of mysterious Famagusta and into the shadowy world of some of its more mysterious inhabitants.

I can see this being a novel that I’ll be begging other people to read. It would make a fabulous book group choice as I feel that it could promote really interesting discussions about preconceived the way that setting can draw you in,  the way we are all haunted by our dreams and the partition of Cyprus – which I really didn’t know much about. I was totally engrossed from start to finish and could not go to sleep until I found out how it ended. There ’s a dreamlike atmosphere that pervades this book and it really captured my imagination – Buy yourself a copy here and immerse yourself in this absorbing and unique world.

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Thank you to lovely Emma, aka @damppebbles for providing me with a copy in return for a fair review. It’s such a gorgeous looking book and even if I’m a bit biased, I think it looks fab in my #OnTheShelfie

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Writer On The Shelf

 

Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, poet, and editor. In 2012 he was one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review. His debut novel, For Those Who Come After, was published by Parthian in 2015. Raymond is a regular commentator on Welsh art and culture for BBC Wales, but his writing has taken him as afar afield as Japan and India. He has written on subjects as diverse as new wave horror cinema to the life and works of Arthur Koestler. He is also the presenter of Wales Arts Review’s OffScript podcast series.

 

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Love & Fame – Susie Boyt Blog Tour

Susie Boyt’s sixth novel is the story of the first year of a marriage.

Eve a nervous young actress from a powerful theatrical dynasty has found herself married to an international expert on anxiety called Jim. Could it work? Should it work?

Must the show always go on? This is a highly-strung comedy about love, fame, grief, showbusiness and the depths of the gutter press. Its witty and sincere tone – familiar to fans of Susie’s newspaper column – will delight and unnerve in equal measure.

 

I absolutely loved this book.  Susie Boyt is definitely a writer at the top of her game and I could not put this book down once I’d started it over my October break in gorgeous Barcelona. It was the perfect book to take on holiday with me as it certainly gave me a great deal of food for thought as I wandered through the afternoon streets. This really is a book with something for everyone. It’s a comedy with death and grief at its heart; a story of a marriage where nothing is what it seems at first and that tightrope walker on the front cover is a fitting metaphor for the path the reader will take as we balance high above these characters’ lives – peering down at them and the convoluted lives they have ended up in, however well-controlled they think they might be.

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It is only upon reading this, her sixth book, that I realised Susie Boyt’s illustrious past. A descendant of Freud who definitely lives up to her ancestor’s reputation in this novel as these characters’ inner lives are brought vividly to life as we immerse ourselves in their rapidly changing lives. Eve and Rebecca are definitely two dimensional characters and I feel like we get a real sense of their inner landscape as we plunge into their lives at very pertinent moments in this novel.

Grief is a great leveller, they say – but both of these characters in their own unique way refuse to be either defined or confined by their grief but instead their grief becomes a springboard for us finding out what is really important to them and the people they choose to surround themselves by.

 

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This book has some absolutely killer lines – and that’s one of the things that made it such a perfect holiday read. The fact that Rebecca – the struggling thespian – is described as ‘as highly strung as a violin factory’  really tickled me and the way that Beach, the bereavement counsellor is described as a ‘deathspert’  was also a sharp and incisive comment on the modern attitude to death and the cavalcade of comfort on offer nowadays. A rent-a-declutter is known as The Prim Reaper, for example and I think that you should definitely have a sharp sense of humour to enjoy this novel and its unorthodox attitude towards loss and grief.

If you like your novels witty with a side order of black humour then I definitely recommend that you treat yourself to a copy. Maybe not one for the easily offended or recently bereaved, but certainly a novel that caught my attention and held it during a week in the autumn sunshine.

I ended up re reading sections to myself for its observational exactitude and despite the fact that I did not take to either Eve or Rebecca as personalities, I found myself caught up in their vividly described worlds and intrigued to see how far we’d be taken along with them on their journeys into their inner world.

 

Buy yourself a copy here

Here it is, looking gorgeous in my #OnTheShelfie

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So much praise has been heaped upon this novel, by writers that I really respect too. Have a read and don’t just take their words at face value – make sure that you discover these characters for yourself!

I so loved this novel, its originality leaps off the page and it made me laugh out loud. Seldom has an exploration of raw, profound grief been so entertaining (Deborah Moggach)

This is delightful and as tender as an accidental bruise. Boyt’s witty, zingy, ping-pong dialogue dances with Astaire-like flair – underneath it lies the darker depths of grief that threaten to draw all her characters down into the murky waters of loss. I found myself praying that the cork floats of hope were still firmly attached (Tamsin Greig)

Susie Boyt has a unique perspective on modern life and close relationships, she is one of the funniest and most individual writers working today (Linda Grant)

Love & Fame is so rich and insightful, and the writing is beautiful. Reading it will help you survive your own personality. There’s a special sort of merriment in the book and such a feast of particularity (Andrew O’Hagan)

A book that manages to be both clever AND cheerful! Who knows if you’re allowed to fall in love with characters in books any more (or again) but Eve is the most loveable heroine who has walked across the stage of English fiction for a long while. Delivered with wit and brilliance leavened with a sense of tragedy just off stage (Alain De Botton)

[Boyt] is a ruthless skewerer of banalities and platitudes . . . Boyt tackles life’s knottier questions – is it better to fight, or to respect, one’s feelings? Can suffering be improving? – with feeling and verve (Stephanie Cross Daily Mail)

Blissfully immersive fiction . . . extremely funny, with a brilliant ear for zippy dialogue and an eagle eye for delusional egotistical fops (Jane Graham Big Issue)

Boyt’s affection for her characters warms every page . . . she writes with such precision and wisdom about the human heart under duress that the novel is hard to resist (Leaf Arbuthnot Sunday Times)

Insightful . . . a sharp, universal must-read (Emerald Street)

Boyt’s affection for her characters warms every page . . . she writes with such precision and wisdom about the human heart under duress that the novel is hard to resist (Sunday Times)

 

Writer On The Shelf

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Susie Boyt is the author of five other acclaimed novels and the much-loved memoir My Judy Garland Life which was shortlisted for the PEN Ackerley Prize, staged at the Nottingham Playhouse and serialised on BBC Radio 4.

She has written about art, life and fashion for the Financial Times for the past fourteen years and has recently edited The Turn of the Screw and Other Ghost Stories by Henry James. She is also a director at the Hampstead Theatre.
She lives in London with her family.

 

Follow Susie on Twitter 

 

Ronnie Turner Lies Between Us Blog Tour

 

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Will they ever learn the truth?

 

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences . . .

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John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing.

Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past.

Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

They all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long . . .

A gripping psychological thriller for fans of Clare Mackintosh, Shari Lapena and Lisa Jewell.

I am so excited to be posting today’s Blog Tour post as I’m genuinely on tour in gorgeous Catalonia this week and it’s a privilege to be hosting today’s spot live from Catalonia.

I was also delighted to review Ronnie’s book for my print column in 17 Degrees Magazine which is out TODAY, So I’m allowed to share my review twice in one day – which makes me very happy!

I absolutely loved this original and gripping read and I can confidently say that it deserves all the wonderful reviews that it’s been getting. I’m so happy for Ronnie who thoroughly deserves this success. #LiesBetweenUs is a wonderful read and my book group can’t wait to get stuck into it on my recommendation too!

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Here’s my review from my column. If you buy one book this month, make sure that it’s this one…

Lies Between Us is a fantastic debut novel from one of my favourite book reviewers, Ronnie Turner. Ronnie has fantastic taste in books and I always trust her judgement about the ‘must reads’ that she’s highlighted on her blog. I definitely think that her years of reviewing books has paid off as it’s allowed her to refine exactly what she thinks are the very best ingredients of a psychological thriller – and sprinkle them throughout Lies Between Us to fabulous and highly original effect.

Three people, leading very different lives, are about to be brought together – with devastating consequences: John has a perfect life, until the day his daughter goes missing. Maisie cares for her patients, but hides her own traumatic past. and Miller should be an innocent child, but is obsessed with something he can’t have.

This group of three individuals all have something in common, though none of them know it – and the truth won’t stay hidden for long. If you are a fan of books that really prey on your mind, with characters that you connect with and can’t stop thinking about, you will love this book.

All three of Ronnie’s characters spring to life off the page as their lives intersect in ways that you might not anticipate at first. This is a fresh and original take on the ‘Missing Child’ book that will have you up late, desperate to see how it ends. I totally recommend

You’ll love this book if you like to be totally gripped by a narrative and hear from several different narrators as they see events unfold from their very different perspectives. I can’t wait to see what Ronnie does next and I’m recommending this book to everyone this autumn. A proper page turner and no mistake, Well done Ronnie!

 

Writer On The Shelf

ronnie

Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature and dreamed of being a published author.

Ronnie now lives in Dorset with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she reviews books on her blog and enjoys long walks on the coast. She is currently working on her second novel. Ronnie’s debut novel, Lies Between Us, published by HQ Digital was released to thunderous acclaim in October 2018.

Twitter:@Ronnie_ _Turner
Facebook: RonnieTurnerAuthor
Instagram: @ronnieturner8702
Website: http://www.ronnieturner.wordpress.com

Perfect Liars – Blog Tour

 They have it all. And they’ll do anything to keep it that way.

For fans of The Girlfriend and Liane Moriarty as well as TV hits Doctor Foster and The Replacement.

Sixteen years ago, at an elite boarding school secluded in the English countryside, best friends Nancy, Georgia and Lila did something unspeakable.

Their secret forged an unbreakable bond between them, a bond of silence. But now, in their thirties, one of them wants to talk.

One word and everything could be ruined: their lives, their careers, their relationships. It’s up to Georgia to call a crisis dinner. – she knows there’s nothing that can’t be resolved by three courses in her immaculate kitchen.

But the evening does not go as planned.

Three women walk into the dinner, but only two will leave.

Murder isn’t so difficult the second time around…

Gripping and unputdownable, Perfect Liars tells the story of a group of friends bound by their dark pasts and their desperate need to keep their secrets hidden from the world around them. How far would you go to protect the life you’ve built?

Toxic friendship makes for an intoxicating read – and I absolutely loved this immersive and enjoyable journey into its bitter heart.  As soon as I opened the package and saw Perfect Liars It looked so enticing and made me want to throw all my marking down and dive right in. As a teacher in a boarding school myself, I was gripped by the thought of this storyline and let me tell you, Rebecca Reid did not disappoint…

If you read my blog, you’ll know that I love a novel that asks us to think about our own lives and put ourselves in the place of the characters that we are reading about in two differing timelines – both past and present. When this is well done, it’s my favourite kind of book – but it can be notoriously difficult to pull off effectively. Often, I’ve been left disappointed by an uneven narrative where I’d much prefer either the past or the present or I’d feel unconvinced by one of the storylines and be desperate to be back in the other.

Perfect Liars is fortunately not one of those books: the stories of Georgia, Nancy and Lila are totally engrossing and balanced beautifully throughout the novel: whether we are with them in the boarding house or seeing their secrets come home to roost in a present-day dinner party I found myself equally engaged with both narratives and enjoyed the way that they complemented and chimed with one another. The gorgeous cover with its intriguing tagline about them doing ‘anything’ to keep it that way ensured that this novel never lasted long on my TBR pile and I lost myself in it during my first weekend off durt this term from my very own boarding house and playing fields

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Eventually, the truth will out and there are many ways to apply this to the way that these lives start to unravel during the course of the novel. I felt like although none of the three of these characters were that likeable at first, I found myself totally engrossed, trying to work out which of them was lying about what and you’ll be pleased to know that this debut really kept me guessing…

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I think that part of its success is that it never really gives too much away about the past so you find yourself obsessing about what kind of tiny ‘tells’ might be hidden in the text that might give one of them away. The three of them have a kind of ‘unholy alliance’ that makes it difficult to get in between them and try and work out who you think is responsible – but you’ll have great fun doing so as the story rattles along at a cracking pace as you try to second-guess their long-woven tapestry of truth, lies and allegiances. I like the fact that we are constantly made to think about the ways that the decisions and promises we make as we are growing up – even the promises we make to ourselves – can often come back to haunt us in ways that we might not expect once we grow up and start to become the architects of our own lives as adults.

If you adored Big Little Lies and are fascinated by novels that throw you into adult friendships the way that we see the jealousies, divisions and grudges brought to life so beautifully in so many teenage movies then you will definitely find much to engage your inner mean girl here. The three girls from this story are from very different backgrounds and this makes their friendships and secrets all the more intriguing: Nancy comes from a wealthy background and has had to want for nothing whereas Lila and Georgia have rather less in the way of material wealth Lila’s life has been turned upside down by the arrival of her new stepmother and Georgia is only at the school in the first place as she has been the recipient of a scholarship. Their friendship is cemented through a certain event that binds them tightly together for the rest of their lives – regardless of whether this is something that they might desire in later life…

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You don’t have to have gone to boarding school yourself – or even work there – to fall in love with this engrossing psychological thriller. I thoroughly recommend Perfect Liars to anyone looking for a book that will make you reexamine your own life and think about the way that choices you’ve made, missed chances and enduring connections can make your life turn out differently than you might ever have imagined. I loved the way that I just couldn’t puzzle it out and that’s what made me recommend it to our book group as I know that lots of our members love a book like this – that keeps you guessing right up until the end.

I was gutted to be on duty and not be able to finish this gripping read in a oner – but if you get the opportunity – set aside a rainy Sunday, clear your diary and give yourself a real treat.

So many of my favourite bloggers are on this tour -so make sure you check out their reviews too

Image result for perfect liars rebecca reid

Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and for my copy of the book.

Perfect Liars is available now. Click here to order yourself a copy here – 

 PERFECT LIARS

Writer On The Shelf

rebecca-reid-2 1

Rebecca is a freelance journalist. She has a column for the Telegraph Women’s section, works for Metro Online and has written for Marie Claire, the Independent, the iPaperThe GuardianIndy100LOOK and the New Statesman among others.

Rebecca is a regular contributor to Sky News and ITV’s This Morning as well as appearing on Radio 4’s Woman’s HourLBCBBC News 24and the BBC World Service to discuss her work.

She graduated from the University of Bristol with a BA in English & Drama in 2013 and from Royal Holloway’s Creative Writing MA in 2015. She lives in Kentish Town with her husband.