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#Blogival 2017. Guest Post from Author of ‘Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents’, Lee Cockburn.

#Blogival 2017. Guest Post from Author of ‘Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents’, Lee Cockburn.

Welcome to my spot on the celebration month of Blogival. If you haven’t heard of Blogival, it is a celebration of all the Clink Street Authors. I participated last year too, and it is a wonderful way to celebrate all the brilliant Authors from this publishing group. Thank you very much to Rachel Gilbey for organising this and getting me involved. Last year during Blogival, I found an Author that I really liked – Lee Cockburn. Ms Cockburn writes very dark thriller stories, and I love them! 

The first book I read by Lee Cockburn was Devils Demise. I have to say it was the darkest most disturbing book I have read in a while. Then I read her next book, Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents. This one was equally dark and equally brilliant. I have wondered what makes an Author choose to write about such dark and unsettling topics, so I was very happy when Ms Cockburn explained it to me. Today I bring you a guest post from this talented Author, whereby she explains to us, why she writes about disturbing topics!

devil

 

You can read my review for Lee Cockburn’s first book ‘Devils Demise’ 

HERE!

 

Lee’s latest book Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents was published by Clink Street Publishing on February 21st 2017. There are some bloggers who are writing reviews of her book especially for Blogival, so be sure to check them out too.

 

Calendar

 

You can read my review for Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents 

HERE!

Description:

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant. 

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving paedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

porcelainPublished February 21st 2017 by Clink Street Publishing

 

I am happy to welcome Ms Cockburn to ChocolatePages where she explains to us why she writes about disturbing topics. It is a question I have wondered about, so thank you and I hand you over to the talented Author of Devils Demise and Porcelain Flesh of Innocents, Lee Cockburn.

Why I write about disturbing topics?

This is actually very hard to answer, as I find myself recoiling a little when I read my own work, just at the level of violence and the graphic detail involved.  I suppose I wasn’t prepared to leave it to the imagination of some people, because that might not stretch far enough to reach, what is the harsh reality of the crimes portrayed in my first two novels.

I actually regret the first chapter of my first novel Devil’s Demise being quite so brutal, taking the advice of a female colleague that it wasn’t brutal enough and that I hadn’t explained what was going on in full detail.  So me being me, I had to prove a point and I think I took it too far, as it makes me uncomfortable reading it, and I wrote it!  However, I always knew she was going to live and the book is about her strength and will to live and her fight against the perpetrator.

The sequel Porcelain Flesh of Innocents is equally harrowing, another uncomfortable read, but again highlighting the crimes that go on on a daily basis against the most vulnerable amongst us, the victim’s silent in their torment, trusting, fearing the threatening lies they are told, to ensure their silence.  However again this is another story of the victims taking back control of their lives, and the consequences of the crimes committed against them and the lasting damage they have to live with.

Book three, the title a secret I’m afraid, I promise to try and bring some happiness to the main characters, although the first chapter is another hard hitting and terrifying start to the book, with graphic scenes and more tragedy to endure (apologies).

I may write brutal and graphic books, but I think I am genuinely a kind, humorous, fun loving decent person and don’t know where the dark side I write about comes from, I presume fear of the topics I have chosen. 

I set out to write an exciting, gripping and slightly scary book, with tension and suspense throughout, and love scenes that don’t end after one line, as this is something that annoys me when I am reading, as a little titillation goes a long way to the enjoyment of a book for me (although I might take this a little too far sometimes too!).

To some people my books will shock, to others they seem to love them, the more graphic and violent the better, and I am well aware that you will never please everyone, although I do try.  The erotic scenes are probably an indulgence on my part, some people say it detracts from the story line, and they may be right, but I think a little personal interaction and passion is an exciting little interlude from the suspense and horror of the actual plot.

One critique given, suggested that officers would never think of lust and desire when they are on a case, I disagree, because if they are on cases all the time, then there would never have time to think about things like that?  The officer’s work is high pressure, full on and you practically live in each other’s pockets day in and day out, and of course there would be attractions and liaisons between colleagues, the nature of the job would lead them to steal away precious moments together, as all they ever seem do is work!.

I digress, I hope this has explained a little why I write what I write, and you will either like it or not, happy reading, and make sure you lock the door.

line

 

Thank you very much Lee for explaining that to us. I am very happy that there is a third book on the way, and I am intrigued as to the title and plot this time. I guess we will have to patiently wait and see. 

Here are the links for Lee’s books and for Lee herself. Take a look at these and remember to check out all the rest of the posts for this summer’s Blogival.

 

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/lee_leecockburn

 

 
 

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Guest Post by Dylan Callens, Author of ‘Interpretation’ and #Giveaway

Guest Post by Dylan Callens, Author of ‘Interpretation’ and #Giveaway

This week marks the release date for Dylan Callens’ new book ‘Interpretation’. I did a spotlight on his book, which you can read HERE!

Today, I am welcoming Dylan back on ChocolatePages with a lovely guest post, where he tells us about the inkblots he has included in his book…….

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway at the end of this post, where you can win a paperback copy of this new brilliant book.

Inkblots, Page Formatting, and my Kids

When I sat down to start formatting the interior file for my new novel, Interpretation, I wanted to do something neat at the beginning of each chapter.  I perused through images of nicely formatted book interiors on Google as a first step. 

I like chapters that have fancy first letters and interesting fonts but these are pretty common and it didn’t really fit the theme of my book.  After the first few chapters, things get a little… harsh for my protagonist, Carl Winston.  I continued searching and found a few examples with pictures at the top of the chapter, which I really liked.  I thought about how I could adapt that to my novel and finally, it dawned on me:  I could use inkblots, since the book is based on a number of psychological experiments.  There is even a moment where Carl does an inkblot test. 

A quick sigh of relief escaped my lips because I am no artist.  I figured that I would be able to lift inkblots online and dump them at the top of each chapter.  But then I started to think about copyright laws.  Plus, each online image was a different size, some with ugly backgrounds, and most with a low resolution.  Plus I needed thirty-one of these things. 

I soon decided to abandon my search and just make the inkblots myself.  Well, sort of. 

What I did was dupe my children into making them for me.  I told them, “It’s a fun art project,” not leading on to the fact that I had secretly created a sweat shop to produce antiquated psychological pseudo-art.  We took out the cheap acrylic paint, some recycled paper, and randomly threw globs of paint across the page.  A quick paper-fold and a smash of the fist – voila!  Insta-art.

It’s quite amazing how effective inkblots are at inspiring the imagination.  As each one was created, their excitement grew.  “That one looks like a crab!”  “That one looks like fish!”  “That’s a heart!” 

Every time that they saw something interesting in an inkblot, it drove them to make a new one, in hopes of discovering new images.  Which is exactly what I want a reader to do when they come to a new chapter. 

There was a down side, though.  Once they knew that this was for my book, both my ten and eight year old agreed that they wanted a royalty deal for their art.  And they drove a hard bargain.  According to the contract that I was forced to sign, they now get 90% of my royalties. 

Ultimately, the joke’s on them, though.  They agreed to royalties on net income, not on gross revenue – and I dump most of my money back into books.  Let that be a lesson learned for them!

For me, interior design is typically a tedious job but having my kids help with it really brightened up the process.  I love the way that each chapter title looks.  More importantly, whenever I look at the book, I’ll be reminded of them and the fun that we had creating the images.  I’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that when someone looks at those inkblots and tries to decipher what the image is, I’ll know that my kids inspired the reader’s imagination.   

So, no matter how hard it was to format those pictures properly, and no matter how much effort went into the rest of the book, my favorite part of this novel are the thirty-one inkblots scattered throughout Interpretation.

Interpretation was released on August 1st 2017 by Cosmic Teapot Publishing. If you would like to win a paperback copy of this book, enter the rafflecopter competition at the end of this post.

interpretation

Book Description:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. 

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. 

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Links:

Twitter/@TheNitzsch

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Author Interview & Book Trailer, ‘Links’ by Lisa Becker.

Author Interview & Book Trailer, ‘Links’ by Lisa Becker.

Today, I am very happy to introduce Author Lisa Becker onto Chocolatepages. Lisa’s newest book Links was released yesterday (August 1st 2017). Congratulations Lisa, I am sure that Links will be very popular! There is a book trailer for Links, which is brilliant, and to me always makes the books seem more exciting. So, without further ado, I bring you Links by Lisa Becker.

LinksCoverArt.jpg

August 1st 2017 by Desert Breeze Publishing

Links Book Blurb

In high school, Charlotte Windham was a typical student going through an awkward phase — glasses and all. She harbored a crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob everyone can’t help but fall for during that unfortunate ugly duckling phase of one’s teen years. Flash forward fifteen years later, and Charlotte and Garrett have a second chance encounter at a Los Angeles restaurant. However, this time around, Charlotte has leveled the playing field. She’s a bestselling novelist and no longer “Glasses,” the humiliating nickname Garrett called her in high school. In short, she’s a catch now and, thanks to corrective eye surgery, it’s not just her eyes that see better…so does her heart! Garrett hasn’t fared poorly either, transforming from teen heartbreaker to adult lothario. A now successful professional golfer, he’s recently suffered a major setback in the form of a possible career-ending injury. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

About Lisa Becker

Lisa Becker headshot.jpg

Lisa Becker is a romance writer whose previous novels include Click: An Online Love StoryDouble Click and Right Click. The books, about a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles, have been called, “a fast read that will keep you entertained,” “a fun, quick read for fans of Sex and the City,” and “hard to put down.” The first in the series was optioned for a major motion picture.

Lisa’s writings about online dating have been featured in Cupid’s Pulse, GalTime.com, Single Edition, The Perfect Soulmate, Chick Lit Central and numerous other book blogs and websites.

As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a rush.” Lisa is now happily married to a man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone!

Book Trailer

You can find Lisa here:

 www.lisabecker.com

Facebook

Twitter/@lisawbecker

Instagram: lisawbecker

Goodreads

Youtube

Select Buy Links

Amazon.

Kobo. 

 

I was happy to be able to ask Lisa a few things about her newest book, and about whether or not she had a secret high school crush!! Lisa shares her answers with us here. 

Tell us about your newest release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte Windham reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett Stephens, 15 years after high school. 

 

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life in over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman.

Can you tell us more about the main character(s)?

Charlotte Windham was a typical ugly duckling in high school — glasses and all. Highly intelligent and immensely talented, she’s become a breakout success with her best-selling novel, The Crossing Guard.  In school, she harbored an unrequited crush on Garrett Stephens, the teen heartthrob and star athlete who’s gone on to become a professional golfer suffering a possible career-ending injury. The book explores what happens when these two former classmates have a chance encounter in a Los Angeles restaurant, 15 years after high school. With the upper hand, can Charlotte forgive Garrett for his past ways, and for his more recent Don Juan lifestyle? Will she even want to? And, can Garrett change his ways for a second chance with Charlotte, who may just be the perfect fit for him?

Imagine Links would be turned into a movie, who would you cast for the main characters?

I would love to see someone with the emotional range and depth of Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Charlotte. I think she could make her come across as vulnerable, successful, intelligent and passionate. For Garrett, we would need someone who is classically handsome and oozes charm. Matt Bomer, who pulled that off perfectly on White Collar comes to mind.  If he’s not available, let’s just say, I would love to be at the casting call for that role. 

 

You have also published other books, can you tell us more about them?

I’m most known for the Click trilogy comprised of Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click and Right ClickThe series follows a young woman’s search for love online in Los Angeles with the entire series unfolding in emails between our heroine, her friends and her hilarious dates. Fraught with BCC’s, FWD’s and inadvertent Reply to All’s, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to “click” with the right man.

What do you have in the works?

I’ve just wrapped up a contemporary romance called Starfish, which examines the unlikely relationship between a regular girl and a touring guitarist in a band. When it comes to romance, you just can’t pass up the idea of falling in love with a rock star.

How can readers connect with you?

I love hearing from readers, especially when I’ve brought some humor, heart or happiness into their worlds with my writing. You can find me here:

Website: www.lisabecker.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ClickAnOnlineLoveStory

Twitter: @lisawbecker

Instagram: lisawbecker

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/1486731.Lisa_Becker

YouTube: https://youtu.be/BSwM4S3l9Pc

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 2, 2017 in Book Spotlights.

 

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Happy Publication Day! Guest Post & Giveaway by Author of ‘Interpretation’ – Dylan Callens.

Happy Publication Day! Guest Post & Giveaway by Author of ‘Interpretation’ – Dylan Callens.

A Very Happy Publication Day to Dylan Callans.

Today ‘Interpretation’ is released and to celebrate, I have a spotlight and a giveaway for the new book. ‘Interpretation’ by Dylan Callens is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

interpretation

August 1st 2017 by Cosmic Teapot Publishing

Interpretation Blurb:

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. 

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. 

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.

Dylan Callens Bio:

dylan callens

Dylan Callens lands cleanly. That would be the headline of a newspaper built with an anagram generator. And although Dylan is a Welsh name meaning god or hero of the sea, he is not particularly fond of large bodies of water. His last name, Callens, might be Gaelic. If it is, his last name means rock. Rocks sink in the sea. Interestingly, he is neither Welsh nor Gaelic, but rather, French and German. The inherent contradictions and internal conflict in his life are obvious.

If you like the sound of this so far, keep reading. Dylan has given us a short excerpt, and generously offered a paperback copy for international giveaway! So, if you like the sound of the excerpt and the blurb, scroll down to rafflecopter, and wish yourself luck that you will be the lucky winner of ‘Interpretation’. 

GOOD LUCK

Excerpt:

Carl closed his eyes and tried to laugh at himself.  Barely a squeak left his mouth.  What was he thinking, trying to enter this godforsaken wasteland by himself with no supplies?  Still on his back, he dreamed about opening a bottle of Ocean Surge.  Wet bubbles danced against his tongue, bathing his taste buds with refreshing fruit-infusion – small bursts of happiness made his lips sing an ode to joy. 

But forget that fantasy; sulfur-ridden tap water would be just as good.  Carl knew the taste would not equate, but its effect would 

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

giveaway-badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links:

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books, Giveaways

 

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Books I Want to Read this Summer (2017)

Books I Want to Read this Summer (2017)

All times of the year are ‘reading times’, but summer brings me a little extra time as the summer holidays are here to indulge in an escape between the pages. 

place to be

 

So today, I’m going to share what books I hope to read over this summer. Some will be for blog tours, some are review requests, with a very exciting arc thrown in. ;-), and I also have included a book which has been on my shelf patiently waiting since Christmas! So, lets see how we go! These are in no particular order, but feel free to recommend which to read first.


Trust me by Angela Clarke. 

I have read the previous two social media murder books in the series, and I absolutely loved them. I am so looking forward to seeing what Freddie and Naz get up to this time.

trust me

What do you do if you witness a murder…but no-one believes you?
When Kate sees a horrific murder streamed live on her laptop, she calls the police in a state of shock. But when they arrive, the video has disappeared – and she can’t prove anything. Desperate to be believed, Kate tries to find out who the girl in the video could be – and who her killer is.
Freddie and Nas are working on a missing persons case, but tensions in the police force are running high and time is ticking. When Kate contacts them, they are the only ones to listen and they start to wonder – are the two cases connected?
Dark, gripping, and flawlessly paced, Trust Me is the brilliant third novel in the hugely popular social media murderer series.

 


Next is a review copy that I have been given. The blurb sounds good, so I’m hoping it will be a nice summer read, maybe a little funny too..?  Thank you to Author J G Dow for my copy of ‘Jane of Manchester’

Jane of Manchester, by J G Dow.

jane of man

Jane’s life on the face of it isn’t really too bad…she has great friends like party girl Natasha who’s always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better…

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside!

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet…


 

Next is for a blog tour hosted by Jenny of NeverLand Blog Tours. I love foodie books and the main character in this book has a youtube cookery channel. So, even better food and vlogs! Thank you to Jenny and Author Sylvia Ashby for my copy of ‘The Sinking Chef.’

Pot of Love, The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby 

 

the sinking chef

Published April 17th 2017 by Vangtorp Volumes

Ashley has a YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much. When James calls with an offer to take her to lunch – the same James that got her fired from her dream job three years ago – she accepts. Against her better judgement, of course.
Now Ashley has all kinds of secrets and things are only going to get worse.

The Sinking Chef (Pot Love 2) is a light, enjoyable and easy to read romantic comedy. With Sylvia Ashby’s gift of humour there is plenty to laugh and smile about, but the book does have its serious moments.

 


Now, back to a little bit of thrilling killing! I do enjoy a good crime mystery where I can try and work out who the killer is. So, I am happy that I can read and review Cathy Cole’s new book. Thank you to Ms Cole for my copy of ‘Where there’s Smoke’.

Where there’s Smoke by Cathy Cole.

 

where theres smoke

Published March 10th 2017 by Fireborn Publishing

Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly, because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes.

 


 

And now for that exciting arc I told you about. One of my favourite Authors has written another book which is to be published in November. I feel lucky and privileged that Meredith Schorr gifted me a copy of her book before publication. I have a feeling this will be funny and brilliant. Thank you Ms Schorr for my copy of ‘The Boyfriend Swap’

boyf swap

Publication: November 7th 2017 by Henery Press

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

 


And last but certainly not least, the book that has been patiently waiting on my shelf for 6 months sounds like the perfect gritty serial killer read that has me staying up later then I should. Thank you Sharon Atkinson for my Christmas present book. I have been looking forward to reading it since you gave it to me. 

Strangers by Paul Finch.

starngers

 

A stranger is just a killer you haven’t met yet…

The SUNDAY TIMES bestseller returns with the next big thing to hit the shelves. If you haven’t discovered Paul Finch yet, this book will have you hooked.

Unknown, alone, and fearing for your life: as PC Lucy Clayburn is about to find out, going undercover is the most dangerous work there is.

But, on the trail of a prolific female serial killer, there’s no other option and these murders are as brutal as they come. Lucy must step into the line of fire a stranger in a criminal underworld that butchers anyone who crosses the line.

And, unknown to Lucy, she’s already treading it.


So, that is my ‘to be read’ list for the next few weeks. I hope they will all be good. Has anyone read any of them? any recommendations of which one to start with? Or thoughts on any of them?

Whats on your summer reading list this year, let me know in the comments. 

 

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8 Comments

Posted by on July 29, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Love, Life and Dreams, a cocktail of 5 short stories by Rebekah Louise.

Book Review: Love, Life and Dreams, a cocktail of 5 short stories by Rebekah Louise.

Short stories are the perfect little accompaniment to coffee breaks, sitting by the pool side or waiting room time fillers. I enjoy a good short story every now and then to read between the full length novels. You get a quick beginning, middle and end. And if the Author is good, you feel satisfied that you got a good tale.

Rebekah Louise is that good Author that tells a good tale. I enjoy reading short stories, so when Rebekah asked me to read hers I was very happy to do so. Here is her latest book ‘Life, Love and Dreams, A Cocktail of 5 Short Stories’

Fun

 

 

Description:

As Alice tries to support her sister, Emma, following her heart breaking marriage, little did they know what the ‘Doctors Orders’ would lead to.

A successful businessman and loving father’s life is turned upside down when ‘Julie’ visits the office.

Share in Louis and Emma’s love and imagination in ‘Live the Dream’.

‘Note to Self’ introduces us to James, a top radio DJ, who is forced to reflect on his life’s values.
 
Life for Ania, a cleaner in a five-star hotel, is arduous and her future looks bleak, that’s until she meets a guest in ‘Suite 200’, who challenges her perspective.

 

lovelife dreams

Published May 24th 2017

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy reading short stories interspersed between my full length novels. I enjoy reading a story that you can finish and feel satisfied with, all within ten to twenty minutes or so. Rebekah’s stories were fulfilling, satisfying and a lovely little bit of company for my coffee breaks. The 5 stories each had their own characters and situations, and each had a great plot to it. The title of the short stories, ‘Life, Love and Dreams’ is very appropriate for each of the stories. 

My favourite of the five stories was ‘Suit 200’, where the main character Ania is working in a hotel and having a hard time of it. For a short story, we get a particularly clear picture of what the characters are like. I think to be able to do this in far less words than a full novel, you would need to be a talented writer. Ania is given a good bit of advice in her tale.

“Enjoy the freedom that you have, things will fall into place, they always do”.

I didn’t read these stories all in one go, as I wanted to enjoy them each separately when I had ten minutes to indulge in some ‘me time’. For me, they were perfect for an afternoon coffee break. A little escapism in the middle of the day. 

Rebekah Louise is a talented Author with a pen that flows freely to write great characters with intriguing plots. I will very happily read more of this Author’s work, whether it be more short stories or full length novels. 

 

Links:

www.rebekahlouiseauthor.co.uk

Twitter/RebekahBe4

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk       only .99p

Amazon.com         only $1.28

Free on kindle unlimited! (prices correct at time of post publishing).

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Thank you very much to Author Annabelle Costa for asking me to read and review her book ‘Crazy in Love’. I am mightily glad that she did reach out to me, because this book is wonderful. I have a feeling that it will be in my top ten of 2017, as I really enjoyed it. 

AMAZING

 

Description:

They call her Crazy Anna. Anna Flint won’t shake your hand. She collects tin cans. She cleans her cubicle at work with Lysol several times a day. But Anna doesn’t care that they call her crazy. She’s absolutely satisfied with her life of perfect organisation, cleanliness, and most of all, solitude. Matt Harper likes Anna Flint. He likes that she’s the smartest person he knows and he likes her big blue eyes. He doesn’t even mind her can collection. In fact, he pretty much likes everything about Anna. As his body and his world are falling apart, she still manages to make him happy. Matt is the only person Anna has ever wanted to be close to. But how can she go on a date with him if the thought of dinner at a restaurant fills her with terror? How can she ever kiss the man she loves if she can’t even touch him? 

Maybe it’s time to stop being Crazy Anna. If only she could.

 

crazy in love

Published March 31st 2017 by Rose Bud Press

My Thoughts:

When I started this book, I was unsure if it was going to be sad and a little serious on the mental health issues. I was very wrong. Crazy in Love is one of the sweetest and quirkiest novels I have read in a while. 

Our main character Anna has OCD. She doesn’t necessarily know this at first but she knows she hates germs of any kind, and sees contamination everywhere. Anna is very good at her job, despite her colleagues giving her a hard time for her collection of cans in her work space. ‘Crazy Anna’ as she is known!

The Book focuses one chapter on Anna and the next on Matt. The two are colleagues, kind of friends  (So Anna hopes). But Matt has issues too and ones he doesn’t want the world to know about.

The way the chapters are written is perfect. We see each occasion that happens from both points of view and it makes the reader ( well me at least) really feel endeared to both Matt and Anna.

Anna“…its better I eat alone. The way I do every day. It’s safer this way”

Matt“Everyone else in the whole goddamn world ………They have no idea how lucky they are.”

OK, so no giveaways or spoilers but both Matt and Anna have their issues which consume them. If you are to look into this book philosophically, then you will see everyone has issues but being happy within yourself is most important. We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives so be nice and considerate. Or you could look at this book just for the story that it is, two troubled souls finding each other and trying their best to work it out.

There are really comical bits in this book too. A book that can make you smile, feel compassion and stay up that bit later than you intended is a wining book. That’s what Crazy in Love is. Even the acknowledgement page made me smile. The author has a unique way of writing that as she does her characters.  

The issues of mental health were dealt with sensitively and in my opinion very well. I don’t have OCD and I don’t know anyone who does so I can’t speak as in any way knowledgeable. But it did give me an understanding of how tiring and deep rooted the condition is. The author wrote with compassion and understanding while making Anna a truly delightful character that the reader will root for. 

I read this book in 2 days which is mega fast for me. Once I started Anna’s story she had me engrossed.

If I had 2 words to describe this book, they would be quirky and brilliant. I loved ‘Crazy in Love’, and as my first read from Annabelle Costa, I am ready for more of her work. Ms Costa is a talented writer and I am so glad I found her books. 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

annabellecosta.blogspot.co.uk

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Books

 

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Looking for #BookBloggers please!

Looking for #BookBloggers please!

As a bookblogger myself, I am frequently contacted by Authors, publishers and PR people. Every mail I get from book related people is a compliment to me and my little blog. When I started reviewing books here, I never expected it to last as long, be as enjoyable or to be so successful (success is subjective, to me my blog is successful for what I wanted). 

home-badge

Some of the people who write to me have read my review policy HERE! and know what kind of books I like to review and some just send blanket mails which are not specific to me or any other blogger or book lover! Regardless, I read all the mails and read the blurbs of the books I am being asked about. I then reply to the sender (not always the blanket senders!!) telling them whether I can or cannot read and review their book. Each time I write a mail declining, I feel a little bad that I am saying thanks but no thanks. It has to be done though, some of the books are just not to my taste and sometimes I just don’t have the time to take anymore books on. 

so many book

I have thought many times, especially when the mails are particularly nice, that it would be good if I could point the sender in the direction of bookblogger who would love to review that particular kind of book. 

So, I decided that I should do that! In order to do that, I will need a list of people who will want to be contacted for book reviews, and although I know a lot of bookbloggers, obviously I can’t just hand out details as I please.

So, if you would like to be on my list of bookbloggers that would like to be contacted for book reviews, please leave your details in my comments section, or if you would like them to be more private then you can email me or private message on twitter. (amandalerryn@yahoo.com    /   @chocolate_pages). 

To be clear:

I will send your details to Authors who contact me if I am not interested in their book, they may or may not then contact you asking if you would like to review their book.

Therefore, I will need:

  1. Your name (first only if you like).

  2. Your blog url.

  3. Your preferred genre.

  4. Your email address.

books-are-my-friends-christopher-paolini

The bookblogging community is a lovely community to be part of. We all love books and reading, so why not share the love even more. I hope that I get a lot of people who want to be on this list, and if you decide that you want to be, then I hope that you find some amazing books from it.

Happy reading 

 
23 Comments

Posted by on July 9, 2017 in Books, events, Uncategorized

 

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Book Review: Incognito by Khaled Talib

Book Review: Incognito by Khaled Talib

Thank you to Author Khaled Talib for my copy of this book. I was quite taken by the cover, with that ‘Anonymous’ mask, and also the quote on the front cover telling us that the book is filled with “intrigue, action and conspiracy”.

Description:

Specialist Ayden Tanner is dispatched by a covert division of the global hacker group, Anonymous, to find the pope who is missing.

A frantic search begins in Italy and beyond its borders amid speculation that the Holy See may know more than they are telling.

incognito khaled

Published May 15th 2017 by World Castle Publishing

My Thoughts:

The Author begins his book with an acknowledgements section, and this gave me a taster of what was to come as he mentions what we now know as ‘fake news’, and how we should question “what has been deemed to be the truth”.   Incognito is a very fast paced thriller, which begins with the Pope going missing, presumed kidnapped. An ex SAS solidier and 2 other agents are given the task of finding what has happened and returning the Pope safely. 

There is plenty of mention of religion, Muslims and Catholics and it all seemed very relevant to everything that has been going on in the world recently. For me, it seemed like the words were chosen very carefully, there is political correctness. I wonder if the agents would have been so ‘correct’ if this story was not fiction. 

The story is very fast paced and I would not be surprised, if this book reaches a wide audience that it would be suggested to be made into a film, it gives a real idea of a James Bond type theme and the Author actually mentions Bond in his words. There are a few parts of this book which made me smile, amongst the thrills and kills!

“Just because you’ve got a James Bond accent, doesn’t mean you’re more intelligent than me”

I think the lives of the agents were portrayed well. (I guess based on my knowledge of those Hollywood movies!). Moving fast and almost unseen, with a variety of passports and identities. They are loners who are given jobs and risk their lives doing them. However, when they have their ‘down time’….

“Yeah, I’ll stay here…..they’ve got Netflix”    😉    (like I said some bits of this made me smile at the normality, whereas other parts were full of action and suspicion.

My favourite parts of this book are the beginning where the Author adds in some thoughts which I found close to my heart:

“it is always advisable not to make permanent decisions based on temporary emotion”

I also liked the end where the action comes to a final conclusion. To be honest I found the middle part a little to fast paced in a James Bond kind of way for me. I am not a fan of these types of films, and the book gave me that impression a little to much. However, this is just my opinion and I’m sure that kind of book would appeal to many readers.

The book was well written, and the characters developed. I can actually quite imagine the main character Ayden to be waiting for his next mission to be given to him.  

 

Links:

Twitter/KhaledTalib

www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 24, 2017 in Books

 

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Happy Publication Day! The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics, by Laura Briggs.

Happy Publication Day! The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics, by Laura Briggs.

Well, Laura Briggs has done it again! Today is publication day for ‘The Bronte Book Club for Hopeless Romantics’, and what a book it is. I have read it already, lucky me! I was generously given a copy to read before publication day, so watch out for my review of it coming very soon. Today, I am doing a spotlight on the brilliant book just to let you all know, its PUBLISHED TODAY!

best book gif

Description:

Quaint Lewis Cove is home to the charming three-story Victorian manor known as the Alice Wilshire Lending Library and its plucky librarian Peg Turner:  the current hostess of the weekly Bronte Book Club, better known as the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ of all ages. Nurse Annette has been too busy working for love; mechanic Tim has missed the boat somewhere in his past; art student Sophie comes off as too unique, while tech geek C.J. has fallen—hopelessly—for the too-cool-to-care Llourdes.

With her vacation plans indefinitely on hold for the summer, Peg has decided to transform the ‘Hopeless Romantics’ into hopeful ones. But while she’s trying to help her fellow readers find romance, she’s avoiding her matchmaker friend Caroline’s latest blind date—only to see her best friend Cam, the ruggedly-cute-but-sometimes-curmudgeonly coffee shop owner fixed up instead. And that’s something Peg isn’t sure she likes.

Questions about love and last chances on her mind, and way too many books piled on her desk, will Peg succeed in finding romantic hope for anyone, including herself?

Bronte Book Club Cover Image (1)

Isn’t the cover just beautiful?! The book is as the cover and title suggests, based around books and romance. Its a lovely quick read that is perfect for summer afternoons.  

 

Author Bio:

Laura Briggs is the author of several women’s fiction and chick lit novels, with themes that range from wedding planning to modern Jane Austen. Even though she tends to write stories with a romance theme, as a reader she has a soft spot for mysteries, including those by Agatha Christie and Mary Roberts Rinehart. She also enjoys books by Jane Austen, Anne Tyler, Amy Tan, and too many others to name. In her free time, she likes to experiment with new recipes and tries to landscape her yard (a never-ending project).

Short Extract:

I watched the group file out the library’s front door, Annette adjusting her sweater around her shoulders as Sophy chatted to her about a television version of the book, Tim opening the door for both of them. Llourdes was on the phone with a friend, and C.J. was shuffling off in the dark towards the little place I knew he lived and worked from.  They all went their separate ways once they were beneath Gull Avenue’s streetlamps, most of them having no other plans except to go home to dark and quiet houses.

 Instead of following their example and climbing the stairs to my dark and quiet apartment, I locked the door behind me and walked down the street and across the sidewalk that divided Main Street. The neon lights of Hill o’ Beans window sign glowed brightly, animating a coffee bean tumbling above a sack full of them and the shop name. 

I pushed open the door. The rich smell of coffee and cacao beans warmed the air and tempted the taste buds all at once. Florence + the Machine’s “Third Eye” was playing over the shop’s stereo system, proving that Cam’s barista Mallory was working tonight. Behind the gleaming pastry case stocked with strawberry tarts, mango coconut lime bars, and lemon custard drops, Cam himself was wiping down the counter.

 “One half-fat mocha latte, please,” I said.

 “You sure you trust me to make one?” he asked. “No cutting back on the milk? No substituting inferior beans?”

“You should knock it off now. Mallory will think we’re really having a fight. And if I didn’t come in here, who would defend the music choices that serenade your customers?” 

“I’ve told him before, people love modern and upbeat,” said Mallory, appearing from the shop’s kitchen, her long dark ponytail swinging against her shoulders. “Just today, I had someone ask me to replay the Jack Johnson CD.” 

“Whatever. All I’m saying is, music clutters the atmosphere,” said Cam. “Unless it’s good rock and roll, in which case it fits in everywhere.” 

“Try making that case to the symphony crowd,” I said, accepting my coffee cup from him. “Besides, the friends I was hanging out with tonight would’ve liked this song.” Sophy and Annette would, probably. 

“Who were you hanging out with?” he asked.

 “You know. It’s Friday night. The book club.” I sat down at a table.

 “Oh, those guys.” He wiped an extra-sticky spot on the counter’s surface. “Any new members? Closer to your age, for instance?”

 “Same old crowd,” I answered, shaking my head. “I’m not that much younger than Annette and Tim. Or older than the rest.” Then again, maybe I wasn’t young enough for the college crowd anymore, I reflected. Wasn’t I too young for the forty-something scene, though?

 “I was just asking,” said Cam. “I wasn’t implying anything by it.”

 “I thought maybe you were thinking about joining us,” I said. “Checking out a copy of Jane Eyre or maybe Wuthering Heights.” I took a sip of coffee.

 “You know that’s not exactly my thing,” said Cam. “I’m more of a hands-on project person.”

“We could use some new blood,” I said. “It’s been the same five people forever. Well, six.” I included Llourdes, although she was only coming to the book club to fulfill a community college credit. “Nobody ever invites any friends, or — or anybody else to join.” No one had a ‘significant other’ to add to the mix on Friday nights — and nobody’s coworkers or friends seemed interested in discussing the glorious collective works of the Brontes.

 “If you’re planning to build a bookshelf next meeting, I’ll join you. Otherwise, I’ll be right here, steaming milk and listening to Mallory’s weird CD collection.”

 

five pink starsSo, if you are hooked already, then get downloading and read some more about these Hopeless Romantics. Grab your copy today. 

Amazon.com        AND     Amazon.co.uk

My review will be up next week, but just to give you the heads up….. I loved it! 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on June 21, 2017 in Book Spotlights., Books

 

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