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I am quite near to the end of reading this book and I have already shared several great extracts.

However, I couldn’t finish the story without revealing just a few more of those lovely ‘teaser’ lines with you all!

This is a meme for all you page surfers out there!

TEASER LINES

KINDLE EDITION 76%

Judge Pielmeier ended the court day as soon as Vittorio rested her case. After the jury left the courtroom, Toolan’s face lit up in a broad smile.

“That was amazing,” he said to Gwen.

“It was,” she agreed. “I think Benjamin completely neutralized Hannah as a witness.”

“You want to know what a sap I am, Gwen?” He didn’t give her time to respond. “I still love her. Can you believe that? After all this time, after hearing that she doesn’t love me anymore, that she thinks I took advantage of her in some way, I am still in love with her.”

“I don’t think that makes you a sap, Jasper. It makes you a romantic.”

He laughed. “You always know the exact right thing to say, Gwen. I take it that’s because you’re a romantic too.”

Even though Gwen had had very limited client contact in her career, she knew that being a lawyer was like being a therapist. It was all about the client, all the time. You didn’t bring in your own life, even to make a point. So she smiled but didn’t otherwise respond to Toolan’s comment. She was saved from having to do so by Ethan’s approach to discuss the evening’s agenda.

If she had responded, however, Gwen would have told Toolan that she didn’t recognize him as a romantic because she was one herself. To the contrary, she was the least romantic person she knew. After all, she’d given up the love of her life because she was afraid it might hurt her career.

She had a flashback of Will’s smile.

What is he doing now? Does he ever think about me? All the time, like I think about him? Does he miss me? If he does, is it the way I miss him?

If you still need to know more, check out those opening lines here

Just to help you get all those lines into some context – here is the book’s premise…

A MATTER OF WILL – (The Premise)

Will Matthews came to Wall Street with hopes and dreams of hitting it big. But things have not been going as expected. He’s on the verge of being fired when he meets the devilishly mysterious and fabulously wealthy Sam Abaddon.

Winning Sam’s business answers Will’s prayers, catapulting the young stockbroker into the privileged world of money and luxury. Not only that, but Will also has met his dream girl, ambitious attorney Gwen Lipton.

All at once, it seems as if Will’s life couldn’t get any better. And it doesn’t.

When Will witnesses a shocking act of violence, his charmed new existence is revealed to be a waking nightmare as the truth about his benefactor—and his own complicity in criminal conduct—becomes devastatingly clear. As the noose draws tighter, Will faces an impossible choice: feast upon the poisonous fruit of his bloody business or defy his patron and face dire consequences.
Then again, maybe there’s a third option…

So you have taken a look, will you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Ambrosia at ‘The Purple Booker‘. Each week she shares her own teaser lines and invites other bloggers to do the same. So if you have a few moments, why not stop by and see what’s on offer this time!

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There was no official tour for this book, and I did explain at the time to the lovely Katie from Little Bird Publicity, who organized the promotion on behalf of publisher Lake Union Publishing and download facilitators NetGalley, that my review might be some time after the publishing date.

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone, is now almost at the top of my TBR pile, and it is about time for me to share those all important and often intriguing, opening lines with you. So …

For all you ‘First Page Browsers’

BOOK BEGINNINGS

CHAPTER ONE

The man jogged through the parking area of a mountain trailhead, his blond hair wild and disheveled, a dead leaf caught in the golden waves. The small body in his arms bounced with each step. A young child, two or three years old, limbs disturbingly limp. It was difficult to tell much more past the jittery movement of the camera and the shadows of pine trees cutting lines of darkness across the scene.

“He’s okay,” the man said to the cars he passed, then again and again as a couple of other people stepped into view. “he’s okay, he’s okay.”

Tears streamed down his face, but the boy’s face was hidden, turned away. Impossible to tell from the video whether he was awake or asleep or alive. His legs hung down in dirty sweatpants. His hands were lost in the sleeves of his stained gray hoodie.

A black dog barked excitedly, running forward and back, sniffing at the child’s shoes.

“I found him!” the man yelled. Then the video, shot on someone’s smartphone, froze and ended.

AUTHOR VICTORIA HELEN STONE

So you have taken a look, will you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, here is the book’s premise …

FALSE STEP – (premise)

Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.

For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.

In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.

But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.

You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers. There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

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If you are a regular visitor to Fiction Books, this is another of those posts for which you might be forgiven for thinking I have ‘lost the plot’ a little!

But No! – not just yet anyway!

This is indeed the second time this book and author have featured in a Blog Tour, organized by the lovely Vicky from Aria Fiction / Head Of Zeus. Originally, back in December 2018 Forget My Name was released as an ebook, however it has now also been published as a paperback edition, for all you lovers of the ‘real’ thing, which has triggered a second promotional tour.

Once again I have been allocated an extract from the book to share as my Blog Tour spot, however if you would like to refresh your memory about my previously featured extract, you can read it here.

If you do decide to back-track a little to previous posts, you’ll also be sure to notice the most immediate difference between the two editions – the amazing colour change! So, red or blue, which do you prefer?

This Blog Tour banner only features the blogs which are posting alongside Fiction Books. However the total tour is four times this size, in which case HUGE!, so why not check out some of the other great Guest Posts, reviews and extracts. There is sure to be something for everyone!

FORGET MY NAME

How do you know who to trust…
…when you don’t even know who you are?

You are outside your front door.
There are strangers in your house.
Then you realise. You can’t remember your name.

She arrived at the train station after a difficult week at work. Her bag had been stolen, and with it, her identity. Her whole life was in there – passport, wallet, house key. When she tried to report the theft, she couldn’t remember her own name. All she knew was her own address.

Now she’s outside Tony and Laura’s front door. She says she lives in their home. They say they have never met her before.

One of them is lying.

J. S. MONROE

J.S.Monroe is the pseudonym of the British author Jon Stock.

After reading English at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Jon worked as a freelance journalist in London, writing features for most of Britain’s national newspapers, as well as contributing to BBC Radio 4. He was also chosen for Carlton TV’s acclaimed screenwriters course.

In 1995 he lived in Kochi in Kerala, where he worked on the staff of India’s The Week magazine. Between 1998 and 2000, he was a foreign correspondent in Delhi, writing for the Daily Telegraph, South China Morning Post and the Singapore Straits Times. He also wrote the Last Word column in The Week magazine from 1995 to 2012.

On his return to Britain in 2000, Jon worked on various Saturday sections of the Telegraph before taking up a staff job as editor of its flagship Weekend section in 2005, which he oversaw for five years. He left Weekend and the Telegraph in 2010 to finish writing his Daniel Marchant trilogy and returned to the Telegraph in February 2013 to oversee their digital books channel. In May 2014 he was promoted to Executive Head of Weekend and Living, editing the paper’s Saturday and Sunday print supplements, as well as a range of digital lifestyle channels. He left the paper in October 2015 to resume his thriller-writing career.

As Jon Stock, he is the successful author of a number of spy novels and now as J.S. Monroe, he is busily writing standalone psychological thrillers.

Jon lives in Wiltshire with his wife and children.

Keep up with all the latest news on J.S.’s website

Follow J.S on Twitter

Connect with J.S on Facebook

BLOG TOUR EXTRACT

EXTRACT 2 – (BOOK LOCATION UNKNOWN)

I sit up in my seat, aware of people passing on the pavement outside the window. It’s disconcerting to hear myself being discussed in this medical way.

‘Would you like some water?’ Dr Patterson offers, sensing my discomfort.

I nod, watching as she fills a glass from a plastic bottle and passes it to me.

‘I’m just going to take your blood pressure,’ she says, getting up from her chair. ‘Have a listen to your heart, check your breathing.’

She continues to talk as she wraps a sleeve around my arm, fastening it with Velcro before starting to inflate it. I try to relax, concentrate on my breath, the lower part of my lungs.

‘Do you know today’s date?’ she asks. I shake my head. ‘The month? Year?’

‘I’m sorry,’ I say. This is all so hard.

‘Where we are?’

Another shake of the head. I hear Fleur’s voice in my ear. Right now all I want to do is curl up in bed and cry.

‘It’s OK,’ she says, undoing the Velcro. ‘I’d also like to perform a brief neurological examination.’

My hands tense as she picks up a stethoscope from her desk. After listening to my heart, she conducts a series of tests, assessing my balance, eye movements and visual field, shining a torch into my pupils and checking facial and neck muscles. It’s then that she reaches for her ophthalmoscope. An image of a white coat comes and goes.

‘I just need to examine your retina,’ she says, noticing me flinch. ‘And look for raised intracranial pressure,’ she continues, her cheek close to mine. ‘All seems fine.’

She sits down again, putting the instrument back on her desk. My eyes linger on it for a second before I look away.

‘Some people experience “anterograde amnesia”, which is when you can’t form new memories. They can recall the past, before the event that caused the amnesia, but nothing afterwards. Let’s see what you can remember tomorrow, after a good night’s sleep.’

‘How do you mean?’ I ask.

‘It’s possible you could forget everything that’s happened today.’

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I can’t believe that it was way back in 2011, when Geraldine Solon first contacted me about promotion and review opportunities for her debut novel Love Letters. After supporting her next couple of books, we kind of lost touch, until this week, when an email arrived from her, completely out of the blue.

Since we last spoke, Geraldine’s writing has gone from strength to strength, with more than ten published books to her credit, across a multi-genre network.

Indigo, is described by Geraldine as a fantasy romance, and whilst maybe not my genre of choice, it is quite short at something less than 150 pages, certainly sounds full of action, emotion and intrigue, and is definitely worth me ‘taking a punt on’ for my reading list! Besides which, I know I can always rely on Geraldine for a good read!

INDIGO

Grace and Michael are soulmates, and Heaven is the only world they’ve known.

While Grace and Michael play a game of tag, they discover an area prohibited by God. Piqued by their curiosity, Grace urges Michael to explore what’s out there, not realizing that the dark hole is a tunnel that leads to Earth.

Michael is hesitant to probe further, but a slip in the ravine causes him to tumble and land on Earth. Grace can’t afford to lose Michael, so she follows him to Earth, hoping to bring him back to heaven.

Unbeknownst to Grace, on Earth, Michael is a married man with a three-year-old daughter and has lost all his memories of heaven, including Grace.

Despite the circumstances, Grace must bring Michael back during the full moon; otherwise, she is stuck on Earth forever.

GERALDINE SOLON

From an early age Geraldine, who grew up in the Philippines, wrote poems, essays and short stories; although it would be several non writing related ventures later and a move to the San Francisco Bay area of the US, before she decided to turn her hobby into a career; deciding that writing stories provided her true solace and calmed her restless nature.

In 2011, Geraldine launched her debut novel, Love Letters which reached the overall Top 100 Amazon Bestseller List. The novel won various awards including the 2011 Beach Book Festival for the Romance category. An independent producer fell in love with Love Letters and optioned the book for film.

Being the relentless author that she is, Geraldine released ten more novels and a marketing guide-book for authors. Her books focus on deep core relationships and the human condition. She writes Romance, Women’s fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Fantasy and Psychological Thrillers.

Geraldine who loves art and film also writes screenplays; speaks at events and teaches workshops for aspiring writers. She has served as Treasurer, Event Planner and Vice President for the California Writers Club Fremont Chapter and was also the previous Managing Editor of fashion and lifestyle magazine, Gastronomique en Vogue.

When she’s not writing, Geraldine enjoys travelling, reading books, watching movies and island hopping. Her latest project is to promote literacy by building libraries in remote areas of third world countries called, A Library for Hope.

Keep up with all Geraldine’s latest news by visiting her website

Follow Geraldine on Twitter

Connect with Geraldine on Facebook


Mailbox Monday is a dedicated gathering place for readers to share links to the books that came into their house during the last week. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well, after all you never know where that next “must read” book will come from.

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If you are a regular visitor to Fiction Books, you might be forgiven for thinking I have ‘lost the plot’ a little!

But No! – not just yet anyway!

This is indeed the second time this book has featured in a Blog Tour, organized by the lovely Vicky from Aria FictionHead Of Zeus. Originally, back in September 2018 The Home was released as an ebook, however it has now also been released as a paperback edition, for all you lovers of the ‘real’ thing, which has triggered a second promotional tour.

This time I have been allocated an extract from the book to share as my Blog Tour spot, however if you would like to refresh your memory about the lovely Guest Post Karen was kind enough to contribute for the first round of the tour, then you can find it here.

THE HOME

Angela was just a baby when her mum left her for the last time, and a children’s home is no place to grow up.

The home’s manager Ray takes the girls off to his ‘den’ in the garden and the littlies come back crying, and Ray’s wife Kath has special wooden spoons which she saves for beating any of the children who dare to misbehave.

So, when wealthy couple James and Rosemary come to choose a child to adopt, Angela is desperate to escape.

But the scars of her childhood remain, and when Angela’s search for her birth mother Evelyn is successful, their reunion is no fairy tale.

Soon strange and sinister events start to unfold, and Evelyn fears she may not survive her daughter’s return…

KAREN OSMAN

As an award-winning author, entrepreneur, luxury travel journalist and editor, Karen has lived the expat life for almost twenty years across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Originally from the United Kingdom, she has built an impressive enterprise combining her two passions: luxury travel and the English language.

Securing a three-book deal with UK-based Head of Zeus publishing house, following her win at the ‘Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016’, with her crime-thriller novel, The Good Mother, was the icing on the cake.

Karen was also included in 2017’s edition of ‘Ahlan’s Hot 100 People’, an accolade recognising the pioneers and game-changers shaping the UAE’s social and cultural landscape.

She founded niche communications company, ‘Travel Ink’ in 2011, providing content writing and strategy, public relations, social media, training, and translation services to hotels, airlines, and tourism establishments. In her role as Managing Director, she oversaw a team of writers, editors, PR and social media consultants, to deliver quality content for exceptional results. As a testament to its success, ‘Travel Ink’ was shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards’ in two categories (Hospitality & Tourism and Communications), just one year after the company’s inception.

Karen has been recognised for her achievements in the areas of entrepreneurship, luxury travel, and the written word and has featured in various regional and international publications including: Hello!, Stylist, Forbes, The National, Ahlan!, and Gulf News, to name but a few.

She also holds a number of note-worthy positions including: Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group, writer and moderator for Arabian Travel Market, and Vice-President of the Kaizen chapter of Business Network International.

Karen lives in Dubai with her husband and two young sons.

Keep up with all the latest news at Karen’s website

Follow Karen on Twitter

Connect with Karen on Facebook

BLOG TOUR EXTRACT

PARTIAL EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER THREE

Wednesday 18 June 1969

Dear Diary,

When we got back from school today, a new girl had arrived. Fat Franny said her name was Nelly. She has red hair and a gap between her two front teeth. Fat Franny said I had to look after her and show her how we do the chores. Maureen said it wasn’t fair that I got help with my chores from the new girl. Maureen is always whining. I told her to shut her face and then Fat Franny told us all to belt up otherwise there would be trouble. We knew what that meant so we all shut up and did our chores.

A.

Wednesday 25 June 1969

Dear Diary,

While we cleaned the kitchen, Nelly told me that her last family let her play on a bicycle. I told her she was a liar – no one I know has a bicycle. She said I was just jealous and that they were the nicest foster family she had stayed with. Nelly said two families had fostered her before but they didn’t have any bicycles. I asked her why she was in the home – why didn’t she stay with the bicycle family? She told me that they were coming back to get her soon but she looked sad. To make her feel better, I told her that we didn’t have bicycles, but I would show her the den in the back garden. We had a lot of fun playing hide-and-seek. It’s much better than being indoors and Fat Franny and Nasty Nora are just happy to have us out from under their feet.

A.

Thursday 4 September 1969

Dear Diary,

The summer holidays are over. Nelly has stopped talking about her bicycle family. She has given up thinking they will come back and adopt her. Instead Nelly will come to school with me. We are in Mrs Thistlethwaite’s class but her nickname is Snapper because she has a ruler that she snaps on the desk to get everyone’s attention. Fat Franny took us to lost property at school to get the left-over school uniforms. Nelly is bigger than me and she found a shirt while we both got ties. Fat Franny grumbled that she would have to buy us skirts. Only one each mind, so we mustn’t get them dirty or get holes in them.

A.

Thursday 4 December 1969

Dear Diary,

It’s so cold in bed at night that we have pushed all the beds together in our dorm room and curl up to each other to keep warm. Even Fat Franny felt it because she brought us some more blankets. I sleep next to Nelly but I told Maureen to go and sleep somewhere else. She smells.

A.

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There is no official Blog Tour for this book, however the lovely Katie from Little Bird Publicity has taken this one under her wing for promotion, with the usual thanks to NetGalley for their amazing download service!

I am currently reading this book and enjoying it loads. My full review will follow very soon.

You can check out the opening lines of the book here

A MATTER OF WILL

Twenty-seven year-old Will is dreaming of hitting it big on Wall Street and trying to climb the Corporate ladder at cutthroat brokerage firm Maeve Grant. Short on his targets and perilously close to having to return to his small Midwest hometown with his tail between his legs and nothing to show for his thousands of hours at the office, Will is feeling particularly desperate when a chance encounter with wealthy businessman Samuel Abaddon and his enigmatic partner Evelyn Devereux presents an exciting new opportunity—one that seems almost too good to be true.

Winning Abaddon’s business turns Will’s life upside down and makes all his dreams come true—or so he thinks. Suddenly he is Maeve Grant’s brightest young star, bringing in more money than all his colleagues combined and living a life of luxury on his generous new client’s dime, the business rolling in so fast he can barely keep up with the paperwork as he signs his name against every seven-figure investment Abaddon sends his way. Things are even heating up in his personal life, as his relationship with ambitious fellow lawyer Gwen Lipton develops.

But every contract comes with consequences, and the dream quickly turns into a living nightmare when Will witnesses a horrifying crime that exposes the true nature of his mysterious patron.

With all revealed, Will must make a choice: Dive headfirst into hell, or face the consequences of a deal with the devil.

With its unraveling mystery and tightly-plotted suspense, A matter Of Will,
will have readers racing to learn Will’s fate and leave them questioning the moral compromises they themselves would make to have their wildest dreams come true. The novel has also been optioned for film treatment by Emily Siegel and Company X.

ADAM MITZNER

Adam Mitzner grew up in East Brunswick, New Jersey, which is about an hour outside of New York City. He graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. and M.A. in politics, and from there went directly on to law school at the University of Virginia.

After law school, he joined the litigation department of a large New York City law firm, and after a few more stops, is now  currently the head of the litigation department of Pavia & Harcourt LLP, which is located in midtown Manhattan.

Adam is the author of several acclaimed novels, including the #1 Kindle bestseller Dead Certain, A Conflict of Interest, A Case of Redemption, Losing Faith, and The Girl from Home.

Suspense Magazine named A Conflict of Interest one of the best books of 2012, and in 2014 the American Bar Association nominated A Case of Redemption for a Silver Gavel Award.

Adam and his family live in New York City.

Check out all the latest news at Adam’s website 

Follow Adam on Twitter

Connect with Adam on Facebook


IN CONVERSATION WITH AUTHOR ADAM MITZNER

Q: The protagonist of this novel, Will Matthews, gets himself into a situation way above his head, but you really pull the reader in and make them feel the temptation of money, lifestyle, and opportunity that is presented to Will by Samuel Abaddon. How did you create such a vivid character—one that readers can understand and empathize with, despite his questionable choices?

A: The challenge in this book—and truth be told, every book—is to have the characters make decisions that, although you might not make them, you nevertheless can understand. This was particularly tricky in A Matter of Will because everyone thinks that they’re not susceptible to falling for something that sounds too good to be true. But would we really be able to resist an opportunity that presented us with everything we’ve ever wanted because we suspected there must be a catch?

Q: All the characters in this novel have such evocative names: Samuel Abaddon, Evelyn Devereux, Gwendolyn Lipton. Even Will’s name has a deeper meaning (as evidenced by the title of this novel). How do you choose your characters’ names, and do you see that as a key part of your character development process?

A: Naming the characters is among the most fun and the hardest parts of writing for me. I like when the names mean something but don’t want to go so far as to be heavy-handed. One of the things I like best in A Matter of Will is that the characters actually talk about their names. Gwen tells the story about how her parents chose her name, Will remarks that his is a family name, and only Sam refers to Evelyn by her full name. I think it’s obvious from the first line that Sam is a character to be wary of, and in the Old Testament “Abaddon” is a place of utter destruction and death.

Q: You yourself are in the legal profession and Gwen, one of the central characters in A Matter of Will, is a lawyer at a top Manhattan firm whose legal knowledge becomes really important to the plot. Was Gwen a particularly fun character to write given your background in the law?

A: The lawyer-characters are always easier for me to write (even when they are women) because I understand their motivations. The masters of the universe, like Sam, and how Will wishes he were, are more difficult because they possess a set of skills and values that are different from mine. But of course, that actually makes them more fun to write than the lawyers.

Q: This story really keeps readers guessing, and there is a significant twist in the novel that is so cleverly plotted you just don’t see it coming. Without giving anything away, can you tell if you always know exactly where a story is going before you start writing your first draft, or do you explore and discover new narrative pathways throughout the writing process?

A: Before I write the first word, I’m focused on a question the protagonist must face. In A Matter of Will it was: How far would a decent, young, ambitious man go to fulfill his ambition? Then I construct a journey for that character that will answer that question. The twists that occur in A Matter of Will were not in my mind when I wrote the first sentence, but I knew from the very beginning that it was going to be a book about temptation, in all of its many forms. My wife is constantly telling me that it would be easier if I thought through the ending before I begin writing. I do not doubt that’s true, but unfortunately the story doesn’t appear to me that way. I write the way I read, thinking at every turn about what’s going to happen next. The only difference is that when I’m writing I have to come up with that on my own, rather than just turning the page to find out.

Q: All of your books feel like really refreshing takes on the mystery/thriller genre. Where do you draw inspiration from while writing, and what do you find most interesting and rewarding about writing within the mystery/thriller genre?

A: The “spark” that gives rise to the book is usually a moral question that I’m thinking about. For A Matter of Will, it was to examine how far an otherwise good person could be corrupted if offered the right temptation. My favorite part of the process is being with the characters, thinking about the world the way they do and wondering what they’re going to do next.

Q: You’ve said before that although you’ve always been interested in writing, you didn’t actually try to write until a few years ago. Do you have any advice for writers aspiring to get where you are today

A: To write. A lot. All the time. Not to worry about how good it is, but to tell the story you want to tell. Then to spend at least ten times as long editing as was spent writing.
Many, many (many!) years ago, I ran the New York City Marathon. Back then, people would tell me, “I’d love to do that, but I don’t think I could do all the training.” To me, running a marathon was the training, and you had to love the training—all that time when you’re alone—to be able to enjoy race day when people line the streets cheering. Writing is the same thing. You have to love the solitary aspects of thinking about every word and living with your characters for years in order to experience the thrill of sharing your book with readers.

Q: We have to ask—what are you working on next? Is there anything you can tease for readers who are looking forward to your next book?

A: My next book is a return to my Broden Legal series (the third in the series after Dead Certain and Never Goodbye). It is not a true sequel but a look at the family’s patriarch at different critical times in his life. The spark for that one is the question: How far would you go to seek retribution against a loved one who had wronged you?


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Following the awarding to her of a lucrative three book contract by publisher Head Of Zeus, author Karen Osman has clearly been writing furiously, as the books have followed fast upon the heels of each other. With the help of the fantastic people at NetGalley, I have been keeping up with all the action and have been privileged to have been involved every step of the way, with blog tour extracts, cover reveals and guest posts.

With The Good Mother and The Home, already under her belt, today’s cover reveal of The Perfect Lie, completes the contract, but I sincerely hope not her association with HoZ.

I am looking forward to August 19th 2019, which is the date reserved for my spot on the Blog Tour!

THE PERFECT LIE

Nothing has felt right since she told the lie…

Claire Carmichael leads a charmed life. She has two beautiful sons, Jamie and Joshua, and a handsome and successful husband who loves her. She has been taught well by her mother – the most important thing Claire has is her good reputation.

He said, she said…

Even when she was in school, Claire had it all. She was clever, likable, and after passing the initiation tests, she was welcomed into the society of popular girls – The Queen Bees. So when a scandal threatened to ruin Claire’s reputation, the Queen Bees closed rank to protect her, no matter who else got hurt.

Never forgotten, never forgiven…

Claire may have moved on from her school days, but for one person who she hurt irreparably, those memories are as fresh as blood. And all it takes to reap their revenge, is ONE PERFECT LIE.

KAREN OSMAN

As an award-winning author, entrepreneur, luxury travel journalist and editor, Karen has lived the expat life for almost twenty years across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Originally from the United Kingdom, she has built an impressive enterprise combining her two passions: luxury travel and the English language.

Securing a three-book deal with UK-based Head of Zeus publishing house, following her win at the ‘Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Montegrappa Novel Writing Award 2016’, with her crime-thriller novel, The Good Mother, was the icing on the cake.

She was also included in 2017’s edition of ‘Ahlan’s Hot 100 People’, an accolade recognising the pioneers and game-changers shaping the UAE’s social and cultural landscape.

Karen founded niche communications company, ‘Travel Ink’ in 2011, providing content writing and strategy, public relations, social media, training, and translation services to hotels, airlines, and tourism establishments. In her role as Managing Director, she oversees a team of writers, editors, PR and social media consultants, to deliver quality content for exceptional results. As a testament to its success, ‘Travel Ink’ was shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘SME Advisor Stars of Business Awards’ in two categories (Hospitality & Tourism and Communications), just one year after the company’s inception.

She has been recognised for her achievements in the areas of entrepreneurship, luxury travel, and the written word and has featured in various regional and international publications including: Hello!, Stylist, Forbes, The National, Ahlan!, and Gulf News, to name a few.

Karen also holds a number of note-worthy positions including: Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group, writer and moderator for Arabian Travel Market, and Vice-President of the Kaizen chapter of Business Network International.

She lives in Dubai with her husband and two young sons.

Keep up with all the latest news at Karen’s website

Connect with Karen on Facebook

Follow Karen on Twitter

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This is another of those very extensive Blog Tours, which the lovely Vicky at Aria Fiction seems to thrive on!

There will be so many great interviews, guest posts, extracts and reviews, that everyone should know just enough about the book to pique their interest when it’s all over!

Of course, there are always those extra reviews available on the NetGalley site, which we all leave in return for the fantastic download service.

I KNOW YOU’RE THERE

Is your house as safe as you think?

Natalie spent most of her childhood feeling afraid. So when she moved into her cosy little flat in St Ives and met her three friendly neighbours, she knew at once it was somewhere she’d feel safe.

Before long, Natalie’s neighbours have become the family she never had. Kind, motherly Morwenna, serious, reliable Nigel, and sweet, anxious Daniel. They collect each other’s mail, water each other’s plants, and share each others lives.

But as Natalie knows all too well, the people who are closest to you can also be the most dangerous.

And this house is not as safe as she thinks…

SARAH SIMPSON

Sarah has a business degree, majoring in marketing. She later went on to earn a first-class honours degree in Psychology and has worked in a neuro-psychology department at a Brain Rehabilitation Hospital.

When she first graduated, she formed a mental health consultancy and worked as a psychologist within the family court system of Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.

Sarah considers herself lucky to live in a small coastal town of beautiful Cornwall with her husband, children, and varied assortment of household pets.

Keep up with all the latest news at Sarah’s website

Follow Sarah on Twitter

Connect with Sarah Facebook

“Writing feels right, it is when I am at my happiest and even when I’m not writing – I’m always thinking, plotting, watching.”


WHY DO I WRITE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLERS?

This is something I am frequently asked.

‘I Know You’re There’  is my third psychological thriller, it’s a good question and to be honest, not one I ever really ask myself. I honestly haven’t ever considered writing in a different genre, other than an idea and a will I have for a children’s book, totally at the other end of the spectrum.

Why did I choose this particular genre? Possibly because my mind naturally thinks, feels and ticks in this way and this is also why I have never questioned it. Probably not something I should admit to, but my mind naturally errs on the dark, evocative, twisted side, when I am deep in my imagination. I am not, for the record, a narcissistic psychopath, or anything remotely dark in nature, but I do have an intrinsic, enquiring interest in the conditions and traits that provoke such tense states. The good old question, nature or nurture, what is it that can flip people to show an unflattering side of the personality coin?

I guess if I think about where my ideas come from, it is a combination of people watching, personal and professional experiences. I watch people (again not in a stalker type fashion) and I wonder what is happening behind the sometimes fragile surface, because the psychology of human behaviour is fragile and exposed, and are things really as the surface would have it seem? What conflicts could be happening behind the scenes, we are not privy to, causing and instigating ever rippling consequences?

I have always had a deep fascination with the mind and how it can become so iniquitous, and then what happens. I love to explore what ensues when people’s emotions are tested, strained, torn, when life throws its stuff at them, as it so often can. How come some people will cope and remain relatively unchanged, and others will struggle or hit out? Understanding it’s not always the events in life which determine emotional state, but more how people have learned or chosen to react and manage the events. There’s sometimes a human arrogance to assume we know how we would respond to given experiences, as really – we have no idea! Because context and perspective are everything, always.

It’s these ambiguities I love to write about.

What any of us takes from any story is always influenced and so determined by our own life experiences, state of mind, learned behaviours and individual biology. I can only hope to leave readers with a certain emotional feeling, in this respect I am unable to influence the effect of the story. For me, this is what makes writing and reading so incredibly special, understanding each and every individual will take something different from each page turn, each chapter.

So, I write within the psychological thriller genre, and I see it more that I write about life and behaviours. Rarely is life plain-sailing without evocative moments, without times of sadness, of fear and times of clinging to the edge of the seat. All I hope to do is push this notion, these emotional states, to the ambiguous limit and sometimes, twisting them that little bit further, squeezing out the questions …

What If?

What Then?


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Following the enthusiastic response to the cover reveal posts for this new series, the work really begins for everyone now, with the first in a series of Blog Tours, following publication of the opening book.

Thanks as always to Vicky from Aria Fiction for making room for me on this busy schedule and to NetGalley for their ever efficient download service.

THE MARK – (The Working Girls – Book #1)

A TRIP TO THE DARK SIDE.
When respected journalist, Maddy, goes to interview prostitutes in a rundown Manchester pub, she doesn’t reckon on attracting the attention of their ruthless pimp, Gilly. He quickly decides to use Maddy for his own gains; he just needs to work out how.

A TOXIC AFFAIR.
In the weeks that follow, Maddy is oblivious to Gilly’s growing obsession with her, particularly when she begins a romance with successful businessman, Aaron. Their passionate love affair starts to dominate her life, and she finds herself losing control and alienating the people around her.

A TARGET ON HER BACK.
As Maddy’s safe and successful life starts to crumble around her, she must quickly work out who has it in for her, before it’s too late…

HEATHER BURNSIDE

Heather grew up in Gorton, a working-class area of Manchester, moving to Longsight, where she spent her teenage years on one of the toughest estates in Manchester.

During the 1990s the estate became the headquarters for one of Manchester’s predominant gangs. It regularly featured in the local press due to shootings and drug-related problems. Heather draws heavily on this background as the setting for many of her novels.

After taking a career break to raise two children Heather enrolled on a creative writing course. During that time she had many articles published in well-known magazines and went on to run a writing services business before focusing on her novels.

Heather now works full-time on her novels from her home in Manchester which she shares with her two grown-up children.

Heather has a lovely website where you can keep up with all her news

You can follow Heather on Twitter

You can also check in with Heather on Facebook

AN AUTHOR INTRODUCTION

“I am very excited to announce my new series of books called, The Working Girls. As the title suggests, it centres around the world of prostitution.

The idea for the series started when I watched a police detective series many years ago. In one particular episode the female detective was interviewing prostitutes in a seedy pub where she seemed completely out of place in her smart suit and with her refined middle-class accent.

I remember thinking how gutsy she was to do that and that she might be leaving herself open to all sorts of danger. This gave me the idea for the first book but I replaced the police detective with my journalist, Maddy.”

BLOG TOUR EXTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

2004

The two women sitting side by side in the run-down Manchester pub couldn’t have been more different, so they made for unlikely friends. Maddy was an attractive middle class woman in her late thirties, outwardly confident and self-assured. Her background showed in her clothing, which screamed of quality. She was wearing a neat top, pristine leather jacket and expensive fitted jeans that flattered her trim yet shapely figure.

Her blonde hair was shoulder-length, lustrous and wavy, but today Maddy had it in a loose chignon. The style emphasised her perfectly formed face with high cheekbones, smooth complexion and large cat’s eyes. She wore a light dusting of premium-brand make-up, carefully applied to enhance her striking features.

Crystal, on the other hand, although only in her early twenties, already had a careworn complexion, which was over emphasised by cheap, garish make-up. Her messy bright red lipstick was paired with a darker shade of lip-liner, which extended beyond the natural outline of her lips and made her look clown-like.

Likewise, Crystal’s eye make-up was heavy and there were thick clumps on some of her eyelashes where the mascara had clogged. Her eyebrows had been plucked to death then pencilled back on in a shade of brown that looked out of place against her intense, dark eyes. Even her hair let her down; it was dyed in a lurid shade of red and was dry and coarse.

Although it was growing cold outside, Crystal wore a short skirt displaying her bare, skinny legs, which were covered in sores, and the backs of her feet were red and inflamed from wearing plastic, high-heeled shoes. Her top clung tightly, exposing the mounds of her huge breasts, which were at odds with her skinny frame. She had obviously had a boob job, under the guidance of her pimp rather than her plastic surgeon.

The Rose and Crown was tucked away in the back streets of Manchester where it had managed to avoid the redevelopment that had taken place in other parts of the city centre. Its dated, shabby décor and worn furniture were reminiscent of a previous era. Although close to the thriving main streets, the pub seemed a world away from the twenty-something revellers, hen and stag parties, and excitable young students who thronged nearby. This was the sort of place frequented only by those in the know and who were up to no good.

Inside The Rose and Crown customers chatted, joked and struck illicit deals while a grubby-looking dog lay sprawled lethargically beneath one of the battered tables. The sound of Girls Aloud played quietly through outdated speakers; it was the pub’s only nod to the early twenty-first century.

Maddy was sitting amongst a group of women who were dressed similarly to Crystal, their clothes selected for maximum exposure rather than as a defence against the chilly night air. Although Maddy’s clothing and make-up weren’t as bright as the other women’s, she stood out from the crowd, for Maddy had class as well as charisma, and a way of dealing with people that immediately put them at ease.

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ONLY EVER HER

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.

Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts?

Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

As the days pass, the list of suspects in her disappearance grows. Could it be the recently released man a young Annie misidentified as her mother’s killer? Could it be someone even closer to her?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

MARYBETH MAYHEW WHALEN

Marybeth Mayhew Whalen is the author of When We Were Worthy, The Things We Wish Were True and five previous novels. She regularly speaks to women’s groups around the US and is one of the co-founders of the popular women’s fiction site, She Reads, which has become rather a victim of its own success, overtaken the lives of its founders and has now decided to reinvent itself as a predominantly Instagram site.

Marybeth and her husband Curt have been married for 26 years and are the parents of six children. The family lives in North Carolina. Marybeth spends most of her time in the grocery store but occasionally escapes long enough to scribble some words.

She is always at work on her next novel and although her personal preferred social media platform these days is also Instagram.

You can also …

Keep up with all the latest news at Marybeth’s website

Follow Marybeth on Twitter

Check in with Marybeth on facebook

FIRST LINES

Though she has made it as far as parking outside the lawyer’s office, she finds herself unable to go in. She has her fingers around the door handle, ready to tug it open at any moment. The car is new, so the door won’t creak loudly when she opens it like her old car did. (Ah, the Jetta, may she rest in peace.) This SUV, a pristine, mature vehicle choice, will not give her any problems. Like her fiancé, Scott, who selected and bought her the Honda CR-V as an early wedding gift, this car is new and reliable and suitable for starting her new life in a few weeks as Mrs. Annie Hanson.

LINES FROM THE BOOK I ENJOYED

“But this is what she knows – tragedy brings out the best and worst in people. The state of suspended reality that comes with a time of tragedy can make people believe that nothing they do right now counts. There is a freedom that comes with that feeling, a pass to do anything you want, damn the consequences.”

“The trick to keeping a secret is you just have to do it every day, day after day.”

“One thing she knows about lies – once they start to stack up, they can topple over, crushing you under the weight of them.”

“The enemy of great writing is distraction.”

THE REVIEW

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared. Or was it?

Only Ever Her, is the first book I have read by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen. However from previous experiences of reading small town mysteries by various different authors, I half suspected that the formula for the book’s success, was going to be pretty predictable.

I wasn’t to be disappointed … This was definitely a very character driven story, with a slow burning plot, which never really came to the boil with any high impact drama!

Nonetheless, it was expertly crafted and beautifully written!

In any small town you will find one or two characters who stand out from the crowd, however the majority of the main cast of characters, were very ‘beige’, apathetic and lifeless individuals, not particularly likeable, who appeared to simply exist from day to day; creatures of habit, without any real sense of purpose or urgency, even in a time of crisis. It seemed that every single one of them had secrets to hide, relationships to disguise or guilt to assuage.

It seemed as though they were all simply drifting through life, sublimely unaware of their failings, or if they were, definitely not in a hurry to do anything about them. They certainly didn’t seem to worry too much about the consequences of their actions, or the impact they had on their fellow townsfolk.

The plot itself could have had real potential to be a little more dramatic than it was, however what had once held promise, fizzled out into something of a non-event if the dialogue and narrative were to be believed, albeit a very sad and tragic affair. The storyline instead, became dominated by events of the past, which did take a rather surprising turn towards the end of the book, especially when it transpired that Annie was already in possession of certain information just before her disappearance, leaving me to wonder exactly how much this had influenced the state of her mind and her logical decision making capabilities.

The burning question of the moment – “what happened to the bride-to-be?”, whilst it was answered per se; was I felt, dealt with very superficially and left me facing several random explanations of my own choosing, on which to base my conclusions, without any final closure by the author:

Was Annie jealous of her best friend’s relationship with her soon-to-be husband?

Was Annie ashamed of her own feelings for someone other than her husband to-be?

Had Annie discovered enough about childhood events which made her feel remorse and guilt for the way she had treated another person and the terrible consequences those actions had heaped upon their life?

Or was Annie Taft’s death simply nothing more than a tragic accident?

I left this small town with a sense of relief that I wasn’t being forced to live there and that I would never hopefully need to return, although I can be fairly certain that if I were to revisit in the future, nothing much will have changed.

By now you might well be asking yourself exactly why I rated this book quite so highly. Well, the storyline met most of my pre-reading expectations of a small town mystery and I certainly enjoyed Marybeth’s writing style and characterizations.

This book was a complimentary download, provided by Little Bird Publicity and facilitated by NetGalley. However, any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article relating to the book.

From preference, I do not agree with ‘rating’ a book, as the overall reading experience is so much a matter of personal taste, which will vary from reader to reader. However some review sites do require a rating value, so when posted to such a site, Only Ever Her  will attract a 4 out of 5 star rating.

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