Wednesday, 18 October 2017

BENEATH THE SKIN BY CAROLINE ENGLAND Blog Tour Extract


BENEATH THE SKIN

BY
CAROLINE ENGLAND

5 October 2017
Paperback Original, EB, Audio




Today is my stop on the Beneath the Skin blog tour and I'm thrilled to be sharing an extract from the book



Presenting a stunning debut psychological thriller about a life-changing lie.

Caroline England’s, Beneath The Skin is a tense and compelling read, exploring truth, friendships and betrayal.

Three women. Three secrets.
Antonia is beautiful and happily married. Her life is perfect. So why does she hurt herself when nobody’s watching?
Sophie is witty, smart and married to the best-looking man in town. She likes a drink, but who doesn’t?
Olivia is pretending to be a happy wife and mother. But her secret could tear her family apart.
Their lies start small, they always do. But if they don’t watch out, the consequences will be deadly.

No-one remembers your past. But you do.

‘Antonia, Antonia. My name is Antonia.’

It’s been her name for many years. But sometimes, like tonight, she forgets. Antonia has a secret. A secret so dark and so deep that she can barely admit it to herself. Instead, she treats herself to Friday night sessions of self-harm while her husband David is at the pub, and her best friend Sophie is drinking too much wine a few doors down.

Nobody close to her knows the truth about what the teenage Antonia saw all those years ago. No-one, that is, except her mother. But Candy is in a care home now, her mind too addled to remember the truth.

Antonia is safe. Isn’t she? The lies start small. They always do. But when the tightly woven story you’ve told yourself begins to unravel, the truth threatens to come to the surface. And then what’s going to happen?


EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

Sami pulls up the leg of his trousers at the knee, crouches down and spreads out the plans on the dusty concrete floor as he recalls an extremely pleasurable start to the day. Sophie was dead to the world when the alarm woke him at seven. But that’s nothing new. She jacked in her job at the estate agents months ago (‘too early, too boring!’) and he suspects she sleeps in all morning during the week when he isn’t there to cajole her into the land of the living. He’d done his press-ups, showered and finished the box of no-added-sugar muesli, and was just about to unlatch the walled garden door of his townhouse when Sophie called his name. He turned his head in surprise and there she was on their doorstep, naked save for fluffy slippers and the chunky glasses she wears first thing in the morning before her ‘battle’ with contact lenses.
‘You haven’t given me a kiss, darlink,’ she called in her best Marlene Dietrich accent. He laughed. Her face looked crumpled and sleepy, her hair like a crow’s nest, but her body was beautiful; rounded, plump and still tanned from their Antiguan summer.
‘I haven’t cleaned my teeth, so . . .’ Sophie mumbled as she knelt on the floor of the hallway, the front door still ajar. She slipped one hand in the fly of his suit trousers and unbuckled his belt with the other. ‘So I’ll give you a different kiss goodbye.’
‘That was a very nice treat,’ he said afterwards. He stood at the lounge door for a moment and eyed Sophie thoughtfully. She’d put on the dressing gown he tries regularly to throw out and was lying on the sofa, the Daily Mail propped on her knees. ‘Was there a particular reason why you were kind enough to . . .’
‘I just like to keep you on your toes,’ she replied, her face still hidden by the newspaper. ‘Besides, you’ve been—’
‘What?’ Sami asked, his heart sinking just a little as he thought of the time. He knew that any heavy conversation about babies would make him very late for work.
Sophie narrowed her eyes as she lowered the paper. ‘I don’t know,’ she said slowly, turning her head towards him. ‘You seem happy.’
‘I am happy. No, I’m absolutely delighted that we’re going through with the IVF again. I know how hard it is for you with all the drugs, the hospital visits and stuff, but you know I’ll be there. I’ll be with you every step of the way, I promise.’ He glanced at his Montblanc watch, which still gave him the rush of pleasure it had given him six months previously when he’d finally given in to temptation and bought it for himself. ‘And I think it’s going to work this time, I don’t know why, but I feel sure.’
Sophie turned back to the newspaper and the horoscopes. ‘OK, you can bugger off to work now. Your usefulness is at an end.’
Sami now brushes the dust off his trousers as he straightens back up. Time to focus on work. ‘Shall we start, Jack? Time is money and all that. Is the client coming or not?’
‘What have you got that I haven’t, Richards?’ the quantity surveyor replies as he removes a pen from behind his ear and jots down some figures on his clipboard. ‘On second thoughts, don’t answer that,’ he says with a dry laugh, ‘we’re not paid by the hour.’
Irony one: the morning nap has made Sophie tired. She yawns and looks at the calendar before opening the fridge. ‘Coffee with Christine’ is pencilled in for today, but it doesn’t ring any bells. Irony two: the handwriting is hers, so she can blame no one but herself. The forgetfulness can be worrying, but only if she lets it, and anyway, she never forgets anything important.
She bends to pull out the carton of milk from the fridge and then changes her mind. It would be a shame to forego a glass of Chablis when it’s so beautifully chilled, and besides, she bought a replacement bottle yesterday, just in case. She makes a mental note of the level of the wine before she pours. She’s sure that Sami has too. Perhaps he’s sketched a diagram and slipped it in his briefcase along with his work plans. She laughs as she closes the fridge. The big question for her is whether she’ll remember.

MEET THE AUTHOR


Born Yorkshire lass, Caroline studied Law at the University of Manchester and stayed over the border. Caroline was a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer and instigated her jottings when she deserted the law to bring up her three lovely daughters. 
In addition to the publication of her short story collection, Watching Horsepats Feed the Roses by ACHUKAbooks, Caroline has had short stories and poems published in a variety of literary publications and anthologies. 
She was shortlisted for the Impress Prize 2015, in the Pulp Idol 2016 finals and long listed for the UK Novel Writing Competition 2017.


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Tuesday, 17 October 2017

COVER REVEAL FOR CHRISTMAS SECRETS IN SNOWFLAKE COVE BY EMILY HARVALE

I'm thrilled to be sharing this cover reveal today for Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove!  I think it's gorgeous.




Christmas Secrets in Snowflake Cove
Christmas is a time for family and friends, miracles and magic, falling snow and roaring fires, fun, laughter and festive feasts. In Snowflake Cove, it’s also a time for secrets to be revealed…


Evie Starr is hoping for more than a sprinkling of magic this Christmas. The family-run Snowflake Inn is virtually empty and the Starr’s financial future isn’t looking bright. But Evie’s gran, Jessie has a secret that might help.

Enigmatic, Zachary Thorn is every woman’s dream. He’s also ex-SAS, so his secrets are classified. The Christmas Special of his feel-good, TV show is set in Michaelmas Bay – until a phone call means he’s spending Christmas in nearby Snowflake Cove.

Evie’s best friend, Juniper thinks boyfriend Darren has a secret. Evie knows he does. And Evie’s niece, Raven is hiding feelings for Juniper’s brother – who has a secret crush of his own.
But the biggest secret in Snowflake Cove is the identity of Raven’s dad.

With snow falling thick and fast and secrets being revealed one after another, will everyone be snuggling up by the fire on Christmas Eve, or are some secrets best kept hidden…?

Publication date is 1st November 2017
Pre-order now on Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B076G4DVZH

MEET THE AUTHOR

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.


Monday, 16 October 2017

BEST-LAID PLANTS BY MARTY WINGATE Blog Tour and Review (Cozy Mystery)

I am thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Best-Laid Plants with a review of this fabulous cozy mystery!




Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery by Marty Wingate


Best-Laid Plants: A Potting Shed Mystery Cozy Mystery 6th in Series Alibi (October 17, 2017) 
Print Length: 294 pages 
ASIN: B01MSAATUW
A trip to the English countryside turns into a brush with death for Pru Parke, the only gardener whose holiday wouldn’t be complete without a murder to solve.
Pru and her husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, are long overdue for a getaway. So when Pru is invited to redesign an Arts and Crafts garden in the picturesque Cotswolds, she and Christopher jump at the chance. Unfortunately, their B&B is more ramshackle than charming, and the once thriving garden, with its lovely Thyme Walk, has fallen into heartbreaking neglect. With the garden’s owner and designer, Batsford Bede, under the weather, Pru tackles the renovation alone. But just as she’s starting to make headway, she stumbles upon Batsford’s body in the garden—dead and pinned beneath one of his limestone statues.
With such a small police force in the area, Christopher is called upon to lead the investigation. Pru can’t imagine anyone murdering Batsford Bede, a gentle man who preferred to spend his time in quiet contemplation, surrounded by nature. But as her work on the garden turns up one ominous clue after another, Pru discovers that the scenery is more dangerous than she or Christopher could have anticipated.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:



Marty Wingate has done it again!  I have read all the books in the potting shed series of mysteries and she continually and consistently comes up with great plots, unique scenarios, quirky characters and all so brilliantly written!

If you haven't read any of this series I would suggest this is as good as any to start with.  It's easy to jump right in and get to know Texan Pru Parke and her gorgeous British Detective Inspector husband Christopher, both very likeable and easy going.

Pru is getting quite a name for herself in the gardening world and, once again, she is tasked with helping to restore a neglected country garden to its former glory, but before she can meet the owner he is found dead, underneath one of the gardens many statues.  

Though Christopher is in overall charge of the investigation, Pru, finding the body, just naturally gets involved in the pursuit of the killer.  There are several suspicious suspects, including an old girlfriend of Christopher's, lots of red herrings, lots of funny moments, an encounter with a bull called Custard, and plenty of pints drunk in the local pub!

A fun read, a clever plot, wonderful descriptions of the local British countryside, and lots of references to plants, all make this a very entertaining mystery.




MARTY

About the Author

Marty Wingate is a Seattle-based writer and speaker who shares her love of Britain in her two mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and Birds of a Feather follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. Marty writes garden articles for magazines including Country Gardens and theAmerican Gardener. She is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the Crime Writers Association. She leads garden tours to England, Scotland and Ireland, spending free moments deep in research for her books. Or in pubs.
 

Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/martywingateauthor 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/martywingate 
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/453259.Marty_Wingate 
Website: www.martywingate.com 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marthawingate/ 
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Marty-Wingate/e/B001JS1AIS 
Purchase Links Amazon B&N kobo Google Play

TOUR PARTICIPANTS 

October 16 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW 
October 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
October 18 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST 
October 19 – Reading Reality - REVIEW 
October 20 – Christ Reads and Writes – REVIEW 
October 21 - The Power of Words - REVIEW 
October 22 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
October 23 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW 
October 24 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT 
October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 26 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST 
October 27 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
October 28 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW 
October 29 – A Chick Who Reads - REVIEW   



  Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today! 









Sunday, 15 October 2017

CHRISTMAS ON THE LITTLE CORNISH ISLES (THE DRIFTWOOD INN) BY PHILLIPA ASHLEY Blog Tour & Extract




Today is my stop on the Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles Blog Tour and I have a fabulous extract from the book!




Christmas has arrived on the Cornish Isles of Scilly, bringing mistletoe, surprises and more than a sprinkle of romance . . . Fans of Poldark and Carole Matthews will love this brand-new festive read from the author of the bestselling Cornish CafĂ© series.

For Maisie Samson, this Christmas is going to be different. After years working in a busy Cornish pub, she’s moved back to quiet Gull Island where she grew up, to help her parents run the family inn.

But even though she can’t wait for the festive season to arrive, Maisie cannot shake the memories of what happened to her last Christmas – the day she lost everything. She keeps herself busy, setting up the tree and hanging mistletoe ready for her first proper family Christmas in years.

Until a new arrival to the island walks into her bar and changes everything. Australian backpacker Patrick is looking for a job for the low season. When Maisie takes him on, she doesn’t expect him to last the week, but to her surprise Patrick is the perfect fit. Charming and handsome, could Maisie allow herself to hope that she and Patrick could be more than just colleagues?

As Christmas approaches, Maisie finds herself dreading the spring, when Patrick is due to leave. With the help of a little Christmas magic, can Maisie get the happily ever after she always dreamed of?


Christmas on the Little Cornish Isles is the perfect book to snuggle up with this Christmas.


Extract Eighteen from Chapter Eleven, pp 73-74
‘I had a visit from Hugo the other day,’ Maisie said, knowing Jess would be intrigued.
‘How nice for you. Not a social call, was it?’
‘No, although you never know with Hugo. He tried to persuade me to sell the Driftwood again.’
‘Oh God. He never stops trying, does he? What did he offer this time?’
‘The opportunity’ – Maisie bracketed her fingers around the word while sticking out her tongue – ‘to be a tenant and manage the place.’’
‘No way! Don’t give in, Maisie.’
‘Don’t worry. Hell will freeze over first. I just wish so much of what he says didn’t make sense. We’re getting by – just – but Dad’s not well and Mum’s obviously not up to the long hours and stress that she used to take in her stride. Which is another reason why I came home, aside from the obvious one. With the summer staff leaving and with winter to face, I sometimes wonder why we all do it.’
Jess gave her a sympathetic smile. ‘I know. We’ve been through some tough times at the Flower Farm. Remember those years of frost when we were at school and then the wholesale flower market collapsed? That period almost finished Mum and Dad. They were so close to losing everything and having to leave St Piran’s. I don’t think Will and I realised how bad things were, but we do now we run the business . . . but who could ever leave here to work in a city? You tried it.’
Maisie smiled. ‘St Austell’s hardly a city, but I worked in London briefly after I’d finished college. It was great for a few months but I couldn’t go back now. Mind you, not everyone feels that way. Hugo says that the Fudge Pantry and Una and Phyllis have also agreed to sell to Petroc Holdings.’
Jess grabbed Maisie’s arm. She looked horrified. ‘You’re joking? Una and Phyllis? The Jenkins? I’m gobsmacked.’
‘Business hasn’t been too great after the summer we had last year and I guess Mr Jenkins wants to try life on the mainland since their kids moved to Truro. There won’t be many of us left to resist at this rate. Hugo already owns a couple of properties on Gull and I suppose he could buy the businesses piecemeal, but what he really wants is to make us all lose hope and buy the whole of Gull Island, complete, so he can turn it into a mini Petroc.’
‘He’s a megalomaniac,’ Jess said, curling her lip. ‘I’m so glad he’s not interested in St Saviour’s too.’
‘If it was over the water from Petroc, he might be. Gull is just too close to Petroc for comfort. I wouldn’t put it past him to try and build a bridge between the two islands if he can get his hands on most of the land.’
‘If there’s anything Will and I can do, shout up. Help you rally the islanders, dump a pile of manure in Hugo’s gardens . . . anything at all, you know we’re here.’
‘Thanks, hun,’ said Maisie, feeling the thrill of resistance flood her veins. ‘Nothing and no one – and definitely not Hugo Scorrier – will hound me out of the Driftwood or off Gull Island.’

Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour for Guest Posts, Reviews and Extracts



Thursday, 12 October 2017

MISTLETOE AND MURDER BY S.L. SMITH




Welcome to today's stop on the Mistletoe and Murder blog tour!


ASIN: B074BHD1TK
Sightline Press; 1 edition
Trade paper, 219 pages
July 26, 2017
Series: Pete Culnane Mystery, Book 4
Genre: Mystery





Auld Lang Syne with a Twist

As Collette Hammond orchestrates an elaborate New Year’s Eve wedding reception for her brother in St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, she never anticipates the evening might end in her own mysterious death. She collapses just before midnight. A fresh needle mark suggests narcotics. St. Paul police detectives Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney are called away from their holiday celebrations to investigate, launching a trip through a labyrinth of intrigue and deception.

“Like its title, Mistletoe and Murder is a story that combines elements which might, at first, seem at odds. But S.L. Smith delivers a tale that interweaves both the bright promise of this iconic season and the dark reality of what it can deliver, especially where police work is involved. Smith understands the territory and mines it to good effect. For those who know the Twin Cities, there’s extra delight in tracking the action across familiar terrain. Don’t wait until Christmas to open this one.”
William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author



Other Pete Culnane Mysteries:
  • Blinded by the Sight
  • Running Scared
  • Murder on a Stick



MEET THE AUTHOR


A lifelong resident of Minnesota, S.L. Smith was born in Saint Cloud and attended Saint Catherine University in Saint Paul. The tall iron fence surrounding the campus provided a sense of security for this small-town transplant. Over the next four years, she grew to love the Twin Cities, in part because of the Minnesota Twins and her love for baseball. After graduating, she rented an apartment a few miles from Metropolitan stadium and rarely missed a home game.

During her thirty-two years with the state department of public safety, she worked with law enforcement and fire officials at the state, county and municipal levels. Those interactions assisted her with writing mysteries, but were just the starting point. Without the help of a friend who spent thirty-five years as a cop, she might never have ventured into writing police procedurals. He contributed to her understanding of the perspectives of her two protagonists, Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney. Thankfully, this friend is still a resource. He proofreads each manuscript and performs a reality check on the law enforcement aspects.

Publishing family memoirs helped fine tune her research skills, and taught her to contact everyone involved. She used that tactic on the first Pete Culnane mystery, Blinded by the Sight, and included those who assisted in the acknowledgments. That paid rich rewards as she worked on books two, three, and four in the series. An investigator in the medical examiner’s office provided a foot-in-the-door with the head of homicide at the Saint Paul Police Department, and with a retired investigator (detective).

The Saint Paul Fire Marshall and an emergency medicine physician patiently and graciously answered her questions. Taking it a step further, I spent four days at the State Fair, while working on Murder on a Stick. While there, I spoke with law enforcement and fire officials. I questioned at least fifty food vendors, and an information booth volunteer. A ticket booth supervisor gave me the lowdown on their procedures. True to form, I was bent on getting the facts right. If I didn’t know the answer, I researched it.

Smith’s books are set in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The protagonists, Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney, are two Saint Paul detectives. (The Saint Paul Police Department calls them investigators.) They’re close friends, but as different as parchment and newsprint. Their banter provides humor in the novels.

All three include a social issue. In Blinded by the Sight, it’s homelessness. For book two, Running Scared, it’s the impacts of a failing marriage on the kids. Book three, Murder on a Stick, addresses a plight faced by many of the elderly. Smith is a member of Sisters in Crime (an organization that supports mystery writers). She divides her time between Minnesota and Florida, to care for her mother. http://slsmithbooks.com


Monday, 9 October 2017

CHRISTMAS AT THE GIN SHACK BY CATHERINE MILLER Blog Tour Spotlight


Welcome to my stop on the Christmas at the Gin Shack blog tour!










Welcome in the festive season with love, laughter and the perfect G&T in Christmas at the Gin Shack – the most uplifting holiday read of 2017!


Gingle bells, gingle bells, gingle all the way…
Olive Turner might have lived through eighty-four Christmases, but she’ll never get bored of her favourite time of year. And this one’s set to be extra-special. It’s the Gin Shack’s first Christmas – and there’s a gin-themed weekend and a cocktail competition on the cards!
But, beneath the dazzle of fairy lights and the delicious scent of mince-pies, Olive smells a rat. From trespassers in her beloved beach hut to a very unfunny joke played on her friends, it seems that someone is missing a dose of good cheer.
Olive knows she’s getting on a bit – but is she really imagining that someone in the little seaside town is out to steal Christmas? More importantly, can she create the perfect gin cocktail before Christmas Eve – in time to save the day?

Purchase on Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo

MEET THE AUTHOR


When Catherine Miller became a mum to twins, she decided her hands weren't full enough so wrote a novel with every spare moment she managed to find. By the time the twins were two, Catherine had a two-book deal with HQDigital UK. There is a possibility she has aged remarkably in that time. Her debut novel, Waiting For You, came out in March 2016. She is now the author of four books and hopes there will be many more now her twins have started school. Either that, or she’ll conduct more gin research on Olive’s behalf.
Social Media Links –

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