blog tour · L S Fellows · Magic O'Clock · The Writer's Workout

Blogging at The Writer’s Workout!

They say to write what you know. So, here’s my first guest post at The Writer’s Workout.

I’m not big on the whole marketing spiel that we authors need to promote our stories, but I can recommend blog tours!

This is my experience with Magic O’Clock last year.

https://www.writersworkout.net/single-post/2019/11/30/All-About-Book-Tours

blog tour · book review · British · Christmas · fun · Giveaways · romantic comedy

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Perfect Fit (Love in the Dales #2)

The Perfect Fit

‘A wonderful book with a great story and a sparky, unusual voice. I loved it!’ KATIE FFORDE

Escape to the frost-sparkling Yorkshire Dales for some festive fun under the mistletoe! A saucy comedy-romance with more than a sprinkle of Christmas spice – this will lift your spirits and your excitement level!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for costume shop owner Becky Finn. Leaving London to move back home to the twinkly rural village of Egglethwaite, she plans to build a new life for herself with fiancé, Cole.

Keen to raise funds for the struggling village hall she loved as a child, Becky finds herself at the head of a colourful group aiming to revive the Egglethwaite Christmas pantomime. But when that festive feeling sets in, she discovers there’s more to panto than innuendo and slapped thighs.

Falling in love was not in the script! But as opening night grows closer, she starts to wonder if the panto will ever make it to the stage and, with handsome co-star Marcus on the scene, if she has chosen her right leading man…

The perfect stocking-filler gift!

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FTSPQGC/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FTSPQGC/

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-perfect-fit/id1440983553

Author Bio

Mary Jayne Baker grew up in rural West Yorkshire, right in the heart of Brontë country… and she’s still there. After graduating from Durham University with a degree in English Literature, she dallied with living in cities including London, Nottingham and Cambridge, but eventually came back with her own romantic hero in tow to her beloved Dales, where she first started telling stories about heroines with flaws and the men who love them. More information can be found about Mary Jayne on her website at http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryJayneWrites/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/maryjaynebaker

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maryjaynebaker/

Oh, yes it is!

Giveaway to Win signed copies of both books in the Love in the Dales series (Open to UK Only)

  • A Bicycle Made for Two and The Perfect Fit

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

 

My Review

4/5 stars

Why is a panto called a panto?

Because they arrrrrr!

(Readers of the story will get this, otherwise … read on. I’m not as crazy (or grammatically inept) as it might appear 😉 I’m channelling my inner six-year-old!)

From page one, the panto theme is alive and kicking, and when 6 year old Pip and her Aunty Becky attend the Christmas panto, Pip takes a particular liking to the joke:

Why are pirates called pirates? – Because they arrrrr!

So much does she love this, that she tells everyone, but not without changing it to suit her own purposes. (See now? 😉 as I said, my inner Pip!) The groan effect is huge, and Becky has a lot of explaining to do to the befuddled adults on the receiving end of Pip’s hilarity.

Having returned to her childhood home, Egglethwaite, after a stint in London, Becky Finn immerses herself into village life while waiting for her fiancé, Cole, to join her ‘up North’. As an artist, his life has been in London, but he so wants Becky to be happy that he is prepared to make the move. Unfortunately, it’s taking some time to get the job he wants, and so Becky is encouraged by her family and old friends to get involved in the community.

When it seems that the old hall – The Temperance Hall – is threatened by closure due to a lack of funding, Becky is determined to help raise money to keep it open. She has fond memories of the Hall, and especially of the pantomimes.

Why not rekindle the panto? she asks everyone at a local meeting. They don’t exactly rush to agree with her, but eventually she wins them over and plans are made to recruit others to help out behind the scenes and in the panto itself.

Of course, it doesn’t go swimmingly, but Becky gets stuck in, writing the script with Marcus and organising the costumes. It keeps her mind off missing Cole, and she’s enjoying being back with family and friends. She looks on longingly as her brother and his husband now have young Pip to raise, her best friend Lana and hubby, Stew, are also hoping to expand their family by adopting. Everyone seems to be moving on, and Becky cannot wait to be in their position.

Cole does eventually get the job and makes the move. Everything is falling into place for Becky. Or is it? The panto is taking over her life, and Cole is not at all interested. But, once it’s over, everything will be fine. Won’t it?

The characters, in true panto style, are larger than life yet still seem very realistic. They each get a chance to shine, telling their own stories. It feels like a proper community. Everyone looking out for each other, and at the same time coping with their own issues. There are plenty of laughs, lots of groans (bad panto jokes and innuendo galore) and even some tears.

This is the second book of the “A Love in the Dales’ Story” series but can be read as a standalone. Personally, I haven’t read the first book and didn’t feel there was anything missing or unexplained. It’s a fun read, totally reminiscent of the pantomimes of my own childhood. Behind the scenes, there’s drama, upsets, tantrums, and even costume envy. The author balances the enthusiasm and over-the-top quality of pantomime with believable relationships and interactions. It’s very British in its colloquialisms and pantomime traditions, all of which makes it a great fun read at this time of year.

I received a copy via Rachel’s Random Resources and have given this review voluntarily.

For more news and reviews, take a look at these blogs:

As always,

 

 

 

blog tour · book review · British · crime · historical · mystery

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Death Makes No Distinction

Death Makes No Distinction: A Dan Foster Mystery

Two women at opposite ends of the social scale, both brutally murdered.

Principal Officer Dan Foster of the Bow Street Runners is surprised when his old rival John Townsend requests his help to investigate the murder of Louise Parmeter, a beautiful writer who once shared the bed of the Prince of Wales. Her jewellery is missing, savagely torn from her body. Her memoirs, which threaten to expose the indiscretions of the great and the good, are also missing.

Frustrated by the chief magistrate’s demand that he drop the investigation into the death of the unknown beggar woman, found savagely raped and beaten and left to die in the outhouse of a Holborn tavern, Dan is determined to get to the bottom of both murders. But as his enquiries take him into both the richest and the foulest places in London, and Townsend’s real reason for requesting his help gradually becomes clear, Dan is forced to face a shocking new reality when the people he loves are targeted by a shadowy and merciless adversary.

The investigation has suddenly got personal.

Purchase Links

Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Lucienne-Boyce/9781781328835?ref=grid-view&qid=1566655590217&sr=1-3
Wordery https://wordery.com/death-makes-no-distinction-lucienne-boyce-9781781328835?cTrk=MTYwMDMwMzgwfDVkNjE0NDg5MmE2NDk6MTo1OjVkNjE0NDgzODI2YjM5LjMyOTk5NDA2OjBhZWYwZjQz
Foyles Bookshop https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/death-makes-no-distinction,lucienne-boyce-9781781328835
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Death-Makes-No-Distinction-Mystery/dp/1781328838

Author Bio

Lucienne Boyce writes historical fiction, non-fiction and biography. After gaining an MA in English Literature (with Distinction) with the Open University in 2007, specialising in eighteenth-century fiction, she published her first historical novel, To The Fair Land, in 2012, an eighteenth-century thriller set in Bristol and the South Seas.

Her second novel, Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery (2015) is the first of the Dan Foster Mysteries and follows the fortunes of a Bow Street Runner who is also an amateur pugilist. Bloodie Bones was joint winner of the Historical Novel Society Indie Award 2016, and was also a semi-finalist for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016. The second Dan Foster Mystery, The Butcher’s Block, was published in 2017 and was awarded an IndieBrag Medallion in 2018. The third in the series, Death Makes No Distinction, was published in 2019. In 2017 an e-book Dan Foster novella, The Fatal Coin, was trade published by SBooks.

In 2013, Lucienne published The Bristol Suffragettes, a history of the suffragette movement in Bristol and the west country. In 2017 she published a collection of short essays, The Road to Representation: Essays on the Women’s Suffrage Campaign.

Contributions to other publications include:-

‘Not So Militant Browne’ in Suffrage Stories: Tales from Knebworth, Stevenage, Hitchin and Letchworth (Stevenage Museum, 2019)

‘Victoria Lidiard’ in The Women Who Built Bristol, Jane Duffus (Tangent Books, 2018)

‘Tramgirls, Tommies and the Vote’ in Bristol and the First World War: The Great Reading Adventure 2014 (Bristol Cultural Development Partnership/Bristol Festival of Ideas, 2014)

Articles, interviews and reviews in various publications including Bristol Times, Clifton Life, The Local Historian, Historical Novels Review (Historical Novel Society), Nonesuch, Bristol 24/7, Bristol History Podcast, etc.

Lucienne has appeared on television and radio in connection with her fiction and non-fiction work. She regularly gives talks and leads walks about the women’s suffrage movement. She also gives talks and runs workshops on historical fiction for literary festivals, Women’s Institutes, local history societies, and other organisations. She has been a radio presenter on BCfm, and a course tutor.

In 2018 she was instrumental in devising and delivering Votes for Women 100, a programme of commemorative events by the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network in partnership with Bristol M Shed and others. She also campaigned and raised funds for a Blue Plaque for the Bristol and West of England Women’s Suffrage Society.

She is on the steering committee of the West of England and South Wales Women’s History Network, and is also a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Society of Authors, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

She is currently working on the fourth full-length Dan Foster Mystery, and a biography of suffrage campaigner Millicent Browne.

Lucienne was born in Wolverhampton and now lives in Bristol.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @LucienneWrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucienneWriter

Blog: https://francesca-scriblerus.blogspot.com/http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6437832.Lucienne_Boyce

My Review

4/5 stars

Dan Foster, a former fighter, is now a newly-appointed officer at Bow Street, and is thankful to finally have a case he can deal with on his own – the rape and murder of a young woman in a pub’s shed. Unfortunately, he has barely made any headway in the case when he is instructed to work alongside a former rival of his, John Townsend, on the murder of Louise Parmeter, a high society woman, former actress and lover of Prince George.

Right from the start there is friction between the two men, and Dan is bewildered at Townsend’s request to work with him. There has to be a catch, right?

Townsend is hasty in deciding who the murderer is, and doesn’t even listen to Dan’s suggestions. When Townsend is called away, Dan continues with the investigation his way and gets Townsend’s prime suspect released.

Uh oh! Someone was not going to be happy. If Townsend knew Dan was still investigating the first murder too – against his express instructions – there’d be hell to pay.

As Dan gets closer to finding out who Parmeter’s killer is, he has to deal with the snobbish elite who think they can avoid the law, as well as being dragged against his will into a fight to be held before Prince George. He hates being put in that position, although his wife is elated at the thought of royalty being involved.

The story also gives great insight into Dan’s home life, and his relationships with his wife and friends. When his family is drawn into yet another crime, Dan’s mind is elsewhere. Things have suddenly become very personal, and he has to put his family first. And, of course, he does, with everyone pulling together to help.

His mind may have been elsewhere for a while, but when back on the case, and much to Townsend’s dismay, Dan’s investigations lead him to believe the murderer of Louise Parmeter is someone within her circle of acquaintances. Proving his case, though, is never going to be easy, but his dogged determination to pursue the truth is constant.

The story reveals a grimy underbelly of crime in London’s back streets. Slavery, poverty and abuse contrast with the glamour and opulence of High Society. The details are so well-defined, it’s like being drawn into a film set and watching the scenes unfold as an uninvited observer.

This is a well-written story, beautifully told in glorious detail. A great murder-mystery, or rather, two for the price of one featuring both sides of the track. I’d be more than happy to read to more of Dan Foster’s cases as a Bow Street Runner.

I received a copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources. This review is based on my thoughts, and mine alone.

For other news and reviews, check out these amazing blogs:

As always,

blog tour · book birthday · historical · mystery

Book Birthday Blitz – Children of Fire

Children of Fire

Can Josiah solve the puzzle before more people die, or is he out of his depth?

In 1841, at the height of the industrial revolution in the North West of England, Josiah Ainscough returns from his travels and surprises everyone by joining the Stockport Police Force, rather than following his adopted father’s footsteps into the Methodist ministry.

While Josiah was abroad, five men died in an explosion at the Furness Vale Powder Mill. Was this an accident or did the Children of Fire, a local religious community, have a hand in it. As Josiah struggles to find his vocation, his investigation into the Children of Fire begins. But his enquiries are derailed by the horrific crucifixion of the community’s leader.

Now Josiah must race against time to solve the puzzle of the violence loose in the Furness Vale before more people die. This is complicated by his affections for Rachael, a leading member of the Children of Fire, and the vivacious Aideen Hayes, a visitor from Ireland.

Can Josiah put together the pieces of the puzzle, or is he out of his depth? Children of Fire won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Prize for 2017

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1912083469/

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1912083469/

Author Bio 

Paul CW Beatty is an unusual combination of a novelist and a research scientist. Having worked for many years in medical research in the UK NHS and Universities, a few years ago he took an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University emerging with a distinction.

His latest novel, Children of Fire, is a Victorian murder mystery set in 1841 at the height of the industrial revolution. It won the Writing Magazine’s Best Novel Award in November 2017 and is published by The Book Guild Ltd. 

Paul lives near Manchester in the northwest of England. Children of Fire is set against the hills of the Peak District as well as the canals and other industrial infrastructure of the Cottonopolis know as the City of Manchester.

Social Media Links – Twitter @cw_beatty

My Review

4/5 stars

An interesting and original story. As with many historical fiction novels, the story is heavy on details in regards to the setting and the procedures involved in making the explosives. Alongside that information runs a fascinating – if not a little gory – murder mystery, and it is Constable Josiah Ainscough’s job to find the killer of the leader of the Children of Fire. Eager to make a name for himself, Josiah is thoughtful. considerate and attentive in carrying out his duty.

The members of the Children of Fire community welcome him (initially undercover as a traveller), but when their leader, Elijah, is found brutally murdered, they are suspicious of him – and more so when he reveals his true identity as a police constable. Had it not been for Sister Rachael and the hinted-at romance between them, I doubt Josiah would have succeeded at Long Clough, and the openness they share brings another layer of intrigue to the story.

Not content with just the one “love interest”, Josiah is captivated by Aideen Hayes, whom he meets at a social gathering where he is sussing out some of the business owners in the area. His attempts to question them creates friction, but he gets the chance to visit the mines and forges which gives him new leads on the killer. Aideen is on to watch – a determined young woman on a mission. Josiah is on her radar, but is she on his? Should she be?

When it seems the investigation is getting nowhere, a twist in the tale rekindles his hopes and within no time he is on the hunt for the killer, needing to stop his escape and further disasters. The pace picks up considerably at this point, resulting in a compelling chase along the canal banks and a watery encounter at the locks.

The ending presents yet another twist, and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.
While the story is strong, the book could most definitely do with another pass with a proofreader or editor since there are numerous issues throughout that often made me re-read parts for clarity.

A great combination of history and mystery. Never was the Industrial Revolution so intriguing 😉

As always,

Audiobook · blog tour · book excerpt · book review · cosy · Giveaways

Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – Past & Present

Audiobook Series Tour: Marketville Mysteries by Judy Penz Sheluk

Author: Judy Penz Sheluk

Narrator: Kelli Lindsay

Series: Marketville Mysteries, Book 2

Publisher: Judy Penz Sheluk

Released: Apr. 8, 2019

Genre: Mystery

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present. It’s been 13 months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother 30 years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what’s next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone – least of all Callie – could have predicted.

Buy LinksBuy on iTunes

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Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and The Best Laid Plans, which she edited. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

Narrator Bio

Kelli Lindsay’s versatile style and years of experience with commercial, corporate and e-learning projects have created a dream career for her. She has lent her talents to TV, radio, video games, and various other fantastic projects, but she proudly admits that her true passion is narrating audiobooks. Her professional training has taught her how to put herself into the script or audiobook and deliver an incredible performance. With her professionalism and love for what she does, Kelli ensures that her clients and listeners get to hear exactly what they’re looking for!

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Another great mystery featuring Callie Barnstable, now running her own investigations business – Past & Present.
Picking up with Callie a year or so after she was left the family home in Marketville by her father on the condition she find out who killed her mother, Callie is selling up and moving to a new location to run her business with her friend, Chantal, a genealogist.
With Misty – the psychic from book one – also on board, the team set up a website to attract business, and indeed it is Misty’s tarot card reading together with a recommendation from another friend that gets them their first case: to find out more about Annaliese Pree who was murdered in 1956 and her husband Horst was imprisoned as her killer.
it seems straightforward enough, until connections to Callie’s own family – her mother’s estranged grandparents – adds an extra touch of spice, intrigue and mystery.
The story flows at a gentle pace, the research carried out by the team is well-explained, and outside of the investigation Callie’s personal life is boosted by developments in her relationship with former Snapdragon Drive neighbour, Royce.
The truth about Annaliese’s murderer provides a nice twist, although it seems quite obvious early on who the killer is. Despite that, it is interesting to see how Callie gets to that conclusion herself.
The ending provides scope for another case, one I’ll be sure to check out.
Having listened to both audiobooks in the Marketville Mystery series, I did prefer the narrator of the first book as I felt she better portrayed the different characters with a greater clarity. Overall I’d give this 4.5 stars, rounded up based on the quality of the story.

Giveaway

Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

Marketville Mysteries Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks
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blog tour · book blitz · romantic comedy · women's fiction

Book Blitz – Love, Look Away

LoveLookAway

Congratulations to Lisette Brodey, on her October release of Love, Look Away!

REVISED _Love, Look Away COVER

Love, Look Away

Publication Date: October 10, 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy/ Women’s Fiction

Twenty-nine-year-old Sage Gordon has had it with love. When she’s not busy running her metaphysical gift shop in the old-money town of Swansea, New York, she’s content with the company of her dog and two cats.

Years ago, the boy she thought she’d marry some day disappeared in the middle of the night and was never heard from again. Haunted by the loss of Jimmy, she remains wary about love, until she is set up with a gorgeous NYC marketing executive. Love moves quickly, and she finds herself engaged — but if only he had betrayed her before she sent out the save-the-date cards.

Sage reverts to her former mindset: love, look away. Forever. Despite her best efforts, though, two completely different yet wonderful men enter her life. Still haunted by the past, can she let romance back into her life?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Love, Look Away is set in the same fictional town (Swansea, NY) as my first romantic comedy, Molly Hacker Is Too Picky! This book is not, however, a sequel or a series. Love, Look Away is a stand-alone novel. Some readers will recognize several characters from Molly, including Molly herself, playing supporting roles.

And to readers who have never read Molly, but who may wish to do so, rest assured this novel does not give away the ending.

Add to Goodreads

Excerpt

Sage hurried back into the store, to see a gorgeous man with a huge head of tousled brown hair and a sexy two-day growth on his face. He was wearing a button-down blue-and-white checked cotton shirt, with three buttons undone and a pair of sunglasses hanging from the V neckline it created. His sleeves were rolled up to reveal three leather bracelets on his left wrist and a watch on the right. He wore khaki chino pants and ankle-high brown moccasins. And he had the biggest smile Sage had ever seen.

“G’day!” he said before she could greet him. He turned to see Godiva. “And g’day to you too.”

“You must be Freddie’s houseguest,” Godiva said. “From Australia.”

“Benton Bradley,” he said, taking care to make eye contact with both women before Rufus greeted him with enthusiasm. “G’day, fluffy mate. I reckon you and my Kelpie Matilda might enjoy a good pash.”

“Is that short for ‘passionate?’” Sage asked as she walked around the counter to greet him, her eyes bright and curious. “Hi, I’m Sage Gordon.”

As Rufus finally settled on his mat by the meditation cushion, Benton took both of her hands in his. “Indeed it is, Sage. You’re beautiful as.”

Unnerved, but not put off by the intimacy of the exchange, Sage delicately pulled away. “Benton, you said, right?”

“I did.” He winked. “You can call me Bent, but please, don’t call me crooked.”

Sage laughed, finding herself unable to avert her gaze.

He looked at Godiva. “You must be Freddie’s lady, Godiva Jones.”

“I am,” Godiva said as she walked over to shake his hand. “Or I will be,” she mumbled under her breath. “It’s lovely to meet you, Benton.” She winked at Sage. “I’m going into the office to finish those website updates we talked about.”

Sage’s eyes widened in surprise, then narrowed as if to playfully chastise Godiva. “Yeah, by all means, update my website. Seems like we’ve been talking about that incessantly … and nothing else.”

“Don’t I know it? Well, you know where to find me if the bells clang too much,” Godiva said. She walked behind the curtains with a satisfied smile.

Sage looked at Benton while his eyes scanned the store with great interest. “Quite a place you have here. I like it.” He looked at the sign above the counter. “What’s that all about?”

“Oh, the Private Property sign. It’s just there for decoration.”

“I don’t suppose you’d like to sell it. I’ve got a small farm, and that would be a welcome addition to my front gate.”

“It’s not for sale,” Sage said. “Besides, you can’t bring wood into Australia. They’d confiscate it at customs.”

“No wood for me then,” Benton said, laughing to himself.

Sage felt oddly tantalized by the stranger’s words.

“That sign looks a good deal older than you.”

“It is, I think. Or maybe it just ages faster. Besides, I use moisturizer twice a day. I don’t think the sign cares about self-preservation.”

“It could use a good oil rubdown,” Benton said, grinning. “I’d be happy to do that for you.”

Purchase Here!

About the Author

LisetteHeadshot.jpg

Lisette Brodey is a multi-genre author who writes strong, character-driven novels/stories, infused with humor, centered on the lives of flawed human beings in both tragic and funny situations. She writes mostly women’s fiction and literary fiction, but has written a YA paranormal trilogy, and a 1970s coming-of-age novel.

She was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. She spent ten years in New York City, and now resides in Los Angeles. In addition to writing, she occasionally works as a SAG background actor in movies and television. And she loves animals.

Lisette Brodey | Molly Hacker | Twitter | Facebook

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Audiobook · book review · excerpt · Giveaways · interviews · medical thriller

Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – The Target List

Audiobook Tour: The Target List by Dr. John Reizer

Author: Dr. John Reizer

Narrator: Allen Grunerud

Length: 1 hour 57 minutes

Publisher: Dr. John Reizer

Released: Sep. 12, 2019

Genre: Medical Thriller

WAND is a revolutionary new medical tool that cures diseased tissues in human beings without the use of drugs or surgery. Ten years in design and production, the technology has a 95% success rate in curing most forms of cancer in animals and human beings.

The brainchild of 48-year-old Harvard Medical School graduate, Clyde Daniel, WAND (Wave-Altering-Nanoparticle-Disrupter) is going to move the profession of medicine out of the dark ages and into something that closely resembles science fiction. That is, unless the pharmaceutical industry, which stands to lose billions of dollars in lost drug revenues, can intervene with its hired assassins and destroy the technology and its team of creators before it ever has a chance to see the light of day.

The Target List is a medical science fiction thriller, a real pause-resister that will have listeners hooked from the first chapter through the very end of the book.

Buy Links

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John Reizer is a practicing chiropractor and indie author residing in the Upstate of South Carolina. He has been writing articles and books since 2001. His earlier publications dealt primarily with the subject of chiropractic as he has written several books for chiropractic practitioners and laypeople.
Over the past several years, he has been writing nonfiction books that address various subjects rarely, if ever, discussed by the mainstream media outlets. Many of these topics can be accessed by visiting his blog, http://www.nofakenews.net.
More recently, John has been writing fiction that attempts to entertain and educate readers about extremely important issues affecting many people worldwide.
His latest novel, The Target List, was published in June, 2019. Additional information can be found at the author’s website, http://www.johnreizer.com.

WebsiteGoodreads

Narrator Bio
Allen Grunerud is a recently retired theatre and English educator, He brings a love of literature and a reverence for the spoken word to his work.
Bringing characters’ stories to life has been Allen’s primary goal; each new challenge becomes his new passion. Allen holds himself to rigorously high production standards in order to deliver a product worthy of an author’s vision.

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The story begins with a “doctor” casting a wand over a young girl and curing her of a terminal disease. But it is some time before Clyde Daniel and his associate Donna are ready to share their breakthrough with the world.

However, it seems the world – or rather Big Pharma – is neither ready nor willing to accept this new radio wave technology. Many among us would query their hesitancy. Why would anyone not welcome such technology? Isn’t the point of Big Pharma to find cures for those pernicious diseases? Of course it is. But, such ‘cures’ come at a price – the cost of research is reflected in the amount charged for any new wonder drug.

Now, if patients no longer need to take daily medication to ease their pain and suffering as a result of chronic illness and diseases, then the demand for such pills and potions becomes redundant.

Oops!

Could big pharmaceutical companies be holding out against cures for today’s killer diseases? Is it all about money after all?

The short chapters really keep the pace taut and tense in this thought-provoking story. The narration adds to the tension, the personality of the main characters comes through, as does excitement for the wand’s potential in regards to the future of healthcare.

I could happily have listened to more about the characters and the conspiracies they face in bringing the wand to market, but I have to admit that the brevity of the story delivers the desired shock factor. It certainly had me thinking about the role of Big Pharma and the drugs industry and made me ever more thankful for European healthcare systems on which I currently rely. That said, if only there really could be something available like the wand … how amazing would that be?

Highly recommended for fans of medical thrillers: sharp, pacy and thought-provoking.

Q&A with Author John Reizer
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • After writing The Target List, I believed the story was really special. I had a gut feeling this short novella would make a great audiobook. I am so happy I acted on my feelings because I believe the final product turned out wonderfully.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I do believe certain writing styles probably translate better into audiobooks than others. I think thrillers, for example, are a natural fit for audiobooks. It’s the type of audio content that can grab hold of listeners and never let them go.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • I think about half way through the writing of the book, I felt the story would make a good audiobook.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • After I became affiliated with ACX, the company that produced the audiobook, I held auditions for the project. As soon as I heard Allen Grunerud’s audition track, I knew he would become the narrator for The Target List.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • We had several conversations about the book’s production. But in all honesty, I let Allen do his thing. I believed he had a good feel for what I had written and genuinely liked the story and most importantly, believed in the characters and what they were trying to bring to fruition.
  • Was there any real life inspiration behind your writing?
    • There’s plenty of real life inspiration associated with the story. There’s a lot of truthful content embedded within the fictional construct of The target List plot. I think that’s one of the things that makes the story so special and so important for readers and listeners.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I believe it’s natural for all writers to have a form of writer’s block or burn-out from time to time. Personally, I try to write something each day whether I am involved with a specific project or not. This keeps me actively engaged with the creative part of my brain and limits the episodes of not being productive from a writing standpoint.
    • Most of the things I write about come from the experiences I’ve acquired throughout my 56 years of life. Like a lot of writers, I draw from those things that have affected me, and turn them into blog posts and sometimes fictional stories.
    • If I am really drawing a blank about something, I go for a long walk in my neighborhood. I find that this seems to work pretty well. Sometimes, pushing back from the keyboard for an hour or so allows my mind to reset, and when I return the writer’s block is no longer an issue.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am new to audiobooks, but I really like them. It’s nice to be able to listen to a story while driving in the car or relaxing at home on the couch. It’s a very relaxing way to enjoy a great book.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I think the chapter in the book that takes place at the gas station, with the rocket launcher plays very well in the audio version. Allen did a great job with the entire book, but that chapter is one of my favorites.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I went out to dinner with my wife and daughter.

Guest Post

Author John Reizer’s Reasons to listen to this book

My most recent novel, The Target List was written and recorded with the dual intention to entertain its listeners while teaching them about the many machinations currently taking place within organized medicine and through its handler, the pharmaceutical industry.
This book delves into a subject that most authors would probably steer away from. But one of the great things about being an indie author is that you have the creative freedom to do what you want.
The Target List is an important book, in my opinion, because it exposes listeners to certain truths embedded within a fictional construct that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to.
The idea for the book was borne out of my deep desire to educate healthcare consumers about these concepts and to do so through a fictional plot so that listeners would actually absorb the material and not be concerned that it was too far removed from the conventional paradigms that have been etched into our collective psyche.

Giveaway

Giveaway: 1-Month Audible Membership

The Target List Giveaway: 1-month Audible subscription
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Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – Skeletons in the Attic

Audiobook Series Tour: Marketville Mysteries by Judy Penz Sheluk

Author: Judy Penz Sheluk

Narrator: Claira Jordyn

Series: Marketville Mysteries, Book 1

Publisher: Judy Penz Sheluk

Released: Jul. 31, 2017

Genre: Mystery

What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there.

Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville – a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.

Callie’s not keen on dredging up a 30-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic? Find out.

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Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and The Best Laid Plans, which she edited. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

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Narrator Bio

Claira Jordyn is an on-camera and voice over actress based in New York City. She can most recently be heard on a variety of television and radio commercials encouraging you to ski in Colorado, shop at Old Navy and also to try a particularly popular makeup brand this holiday season. She can also be heard reading countless books including Opaque, The Endless Horizons Sagas and an upcoming retelling of children’s fairytales. She lives just north of New York with her husband and super mutt Junebug, loves telling stories for a living and is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do that every day.

 

Callie (Calamity) Barnstable has a problem. And it’s not merely an addiction to cocoa butter lip balm!
Her father has just passed away, naming her as his only beneficiary. That, in itself is not unexpected; she’s an only child and her mother left the scene years ago when Callie was only six.
Callie’s father never spoke much of her mother during her childhood or since, and Callie hadn’t given her mum’s disappearance much thought either.
So, when her father’s will stipulates she move back to her childhood home – to a house she didn’t realise her father still owned – Callie is more than surprised, to say the least. Yet, the surprise doesn’t end there. Her father wants her to find out who killed her mother! Until that point, Callie had never heard any mention of her mother being killed. So what exactly was her father thinking?
The story develops at pace as Callie moves into her new home and meets the neighbours and previous tenants (the house had been rented out by her father).
Each person that comes into Callie’s life from thereon, has something to say about her parents’ relationship – or they know someone who knew them.
Callie is drawn into a world of secrets and cover-ups, affairs and separations. Conflicting information makes her wonder who to trust, but amidst the sleuthing she finds new friends as well as some unwelcome relatives.
The sleuthing is quirky and interesting, relying on old microfiche records of newspaper articles, objects hidden under carpets, not to mention the very specific tarot cards. I found the story flowed well and with short chapters, I was already ready for “just one more”.

This was the first full-length audiobook I’ve listened to in a long time. The narrator did a great job at conveying Callie’s thoughts as she questioned those around her.
As for the story, I felt there were a few events that were left hanging – whether they’ll be resolved in a future story, who knows? I hope so, I’d like to hear more of Callie’s adventures in Marketville.

I received a free copy of the audiobook as part of the AudioBookWorm blog tour, and have reviewed this voluntarily.

Q&A with Author Judy Penz Sheluk
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I believes it completely depends on choosing the right narrator. I have a collection of three short mystery stories that comes in at about an hour. Kate Tyler narrates that and she does a great job, absolutely nails it. But as much as I enjoyed working with her—she’s a complete pro—and loved her narration of Live Free or Tri, she didn’t have the right voice for Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, the protagonist in my Marketville mystery series. Find the right narrator, and any book will be a good fit for audio. After all, just like traditional readers, audiobook listeners have a variety of interests.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not initially, no, in fact, when I first started writing I never thought any of my books would end up on audio. However, when we were recording (narrator Kelli Lindsay) A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin mystery series, Kelli pronounced Graham Gilroy as “Gram Gilroy.” I’m from Canada (Toronto area) and here Gram is short for Grandma…we say Gray-ham. I consulted with fellow members of Sisters in Crime and discovered this is very much a regional thing. Some parts of the U.S. say Gray-ham, and others, like California, say Gram. Because the book is set in Canada, Kelli switched to the Canadian pronunciation.
    • Fast forward to writing A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in my Marketville mystery series, and I have my protagonist, Callie, entering a foyer. Now, in Canada we say Foy-eh, but I know from watching house hunting shows set in the U.S. that Americans say Foy-ur. To avoid another Gram/Gray-ham situation, I switched it to “Callie entered the front hallway.”
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • All of my books are loosely inspired by real life events, emphasis on the loosely. The idea for Skeletons in the Attic came to me while I waited with my husband, Mike, in our lawyer’s office in Newmarket, Ontario. We were there to update our wills, and our lawyer’s goldendoodle kept us company while our lawyer was detained at court. The opening scenes of the book are culled directly from that experience: While Mike spent the time reading back issues of Bicycling Magazine, I started thinking… “What if I was here, not to update my will, but to inherit…what if there were strings attached…what if I inherited something I had no idea had existed…what if that something was a house in a small town called…Marketville.” I started scribbling notes down (I always keep a notebook and pen in my purse) and by the time our lawyer arrived I had finished chapter 1.
    • In the case of Past & Present, the inspiration came from a train case found at the back of my late mother’s clothes closet. I’d never seen the documents inside—her immigration papers from 1952, an old passport, her mother’s death certificate, among other things—made me want to delve into a past she’d pretty much kept to herself. Before long, that research became Callie’s research. The book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Anneliese Penz, and there is a character in the book named Anneliese Prei, who was murdered in 1956 in Toronto, after immigrating to Canada in 1952. Prei was my mother’s (my grandmother’s) maiden name, something I learned for the first time from the death certificate in that train case. A personal aside: Skeletons in the Attic was the last book my mother read.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Burn-out is what I felt working in a 9-5 corporate world, mostly in management positions. In 2003, I walked away from that life and started to work as a freelance journalist, which eventually led to Senior Editing positions for several different magazines. In 2012, I went to a writing conference as a reader and came away knowing I had to write a book; the result was The Hanged Man’s Noose (published July 2015 in print/ebook and in Nov. 2017 in audio). My writing journey hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve never looked back. There’s something magical about creating a world, living in it for weeks and months, and knowing when to write THE END. By the time I do that, I’ve already got an idea or two for another book.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • I’ve been told that this series would adapt well to film, so I love this question. In Skeletons in the Attic, Callie is 36, so perhaps Evangaline Lilly, who is also Canadian. Kate Hudson would make a great Chantelle Marchand, Callie’s best friend and, in Past & Present, her business partner. But wouldn’t it be fun if the role of Callie became a breakout for an actress hoping for the perfect part. Let’s put that thought out there in the universe: The Marketville Mystery Movie Series. I do like the sound of that!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • There’s an old saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover. You also can’t judge a person because they choose to listen to a book, for whatever reason, instead of reading it. Even when it comes to “real reading” people have different preferences: hardcover, large print, paperback, e-book…as an author, I’m delighted if someone enjoys what I’ve written, regardless of format.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I’ve written two series (Marketville and Glass Dolphin mysteries), and zero standalones, though I am working on a standalone. The pros of a series is you create a world and then keep adding to it, so it becomes familiar, not just to the author, but to the reader. The cons are exactly the same: it becomes familiar, meaning the author must allow the characters to grow and age. A standalone can be freeing…everything is shiny and new and you don’t have to worry if your character suddenly does something completey out of character (in the way you would with a series) because no one really “knows” that character yet. The con is that from a marketing perspective, there’s no one following the series, or waiting for the next book in the series. Because there is no expectation, it’s easy to put the project aside for another day.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food: cheese pizza, but any non-meat topping pizza will make me smile
    • Song: Bulletproof by Jim Cuddy
    • Book: Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery, which I first read as a young girl, and is one of the few books I’ve read more than once.
    • Television show: Gilmore Girls
    • Movie: The Sting (tied for second, Primal Fear and The First Wives Club)
    • Band: Blue Rodeo
    • Sports team: Toronto Maple Leafs though I’ve recently hopped on the Raptors bandwagon
    • City: Toronto
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • Callie loves pizza, though she orders it with hot peppers and extra sauce. I mention Blue Rodeo and Jim Cuddy in my Glass Dolphin series. And there’s a scene in A Hole in One, book 2 in my Glass Dolphin series, where Arabella recites lines from The Sting. That’s an old movie, but it holds up. If it was re-released, as is, it would still be a runaway hit. Great cast, great writing.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • I always answer this question with a quote from Agatha Christie: “There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”

Giveaway

Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

Marketville Mysteries Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks
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Book Blitz – Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets

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Have you heard about Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, by Sherrill Joseph yet? Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

NutmegStreet-EgyptianSecretes_cover2(1)

Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets (A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)

Expected Publication Date: February 1st, 2020

Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)

World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.

Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.

A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.

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Excerpt

Uncle Rocky did his best to join the kids on the floor but resorted to an old, overstuffed club chair instead. No sooner had the man gotten settled when Rani’s face changed.

“What’s that?” she said.

Flashing lights were beaming into the attic through the little window and dancing wildly around the room. The group quickly clustered around the opening.

Lanny grabbed the binoculars hanging nearby and trained them on the source. It took some time before the light show stopped interfering with his vision. “It’s Mask Face! On the Quince Street Footbridge!” he shouted, lowering the binoculars.

Lexi yanked them from her brother, taking his neck along with the strap, and aimed them out the window. “You’re right. Eww! It’s creepy,” she replied as goosebumps ran down her arms.

The figure had turned the flashlight onto its mask, creating the illusion of a disembodied head floating across the bridge.

Coming Soon!

Egyptian Secrets, in paperback and eBook, will be available for purchase on Amazon, February 1, 2020!

For your chance to win a digital copy of the book, book swag — a bookmark, a sticker, and a post card, And a $25 Amazon gift card, click the link below to enter!

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Note: Prizes mentioned above are available to the U.S. only. A digital copy of Egyptian Secrets will be given away for international entries!

The giveaway will run from November 4th to November 7th. Good luck!

About the Author

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Sherrill Joseph’s debut novel, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, had been inside her head for decades. The mystery genre took hold of her as a fifth grader when she discovered Nancy Drew and Phyllis A. Whitney mysteries. Years later, it still hasn’t let go.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s in education, Sherrill spent the next thirty-five years as a K-12 literacy teacher. When she retired from teaching in 2013, the Botanic Hill Detectives and their mysteries finally sprang to life.

Forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools, the author has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives mysteries with children of various abilities, cultures, and interests. She strongly believes that embracing diversity is the key to a better world.

Sherrill is a native San Diegan where she lives in a ninety-year-old house in a historic neighborhood with her bichon frisé-poodle mix, Jimmy Lambchop. In addition to her dog, the city of San Diego, reading and writing, the author loves her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She must also include dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, staircases, the color purple, and daisies. She is a member of SCBWI and the Authors’ Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

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Book Recommendation – Little Girl Missing

How can a little girl vanish into thin air?

Five-year-old Cassie Bailey’s mother tucked her into bed and kissed her goodnight. This morning she’s missing, her unicorn bedcovers are empty, and her parents are frantic.

DCI Rachel Hart knows that the first few hours after a child goes missing are the most crucial, and that the Baileys are living every parent’s worst nightmare. Rachel knows, because as a child her family lived through it too, when her sister was taken.

The days are ticking by with no sign of Cassie, and the cracks in the Baileys’ marriage are beginning to show. But are the holes in their stories because they’re out of their minds with panic – or because they’re lying?

Rachel’s convinced that Cassie knew the person who took her, but can she find the little girl before she’s lost forever?

A gripping and unputdownable thriller for fans of Close to Home, The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors.

My Review

There aren’t many books I read in one sitting, particularly not full length ones anyway. But this was one of those.

It probably wasn’t a good idea to pick my kindle up at 4.30 in the morning, not when I expected my eyelids to droop within thirty minutes. Still, I was awake and needed something to do. I’d just finished an audiobook a few days earlier, and watching TV wasn’t an option, so I scrolled through the books on my TBR and came to a stop at Little Girl Missing.

It’s no coincidence that my current WIP as a writer features child abduction, and I’m reading as many stories I can lay my hands that feature that topic. Call it research, but I am fascinated by how other authors tackle the subject matter. And so it began … I did actually get some sleep though, but picked up where I left off as soon as I could after walking the dogs, eating breakfast, and even cleaning up a little. Somehow I knew that once I resumed with this story, then little else would get done that Sunday.

So, the book …. you want to know what happened?

Well, maybe I’ll give you a few teasers, but you really should check it out yourself if the subject matter intrigues you half as much as it does me.

Naomi Bailey’s life has been in turmoil since she threw her husband out for cheating on her with an old school enemy. Naomi refuses to let him even see their five-year-old daughter, Cassie, and the strain of being newly single is taking its toll on her ability to function. On the insistence of her best friend, Kate, Naomi takes a herbal sleeping tablet and wakes the next morning later  than usual. In a rush to get to school, she calls for Cassie but there is no answer. Minutes later, when she can’t find Cassie anywhere in the house, her worst fears are realised: Cassie is missing.

Charlie Bailey, Naomi’s husband, is living with his mother, Hazel, and hasn’t seen his daughter in five weeks – although he does stop by the house each night at Cassie’s bedtime just until her bedroom light goes out.

Could he be responsible Cassie’s disappearance? DCI Rachel Hart who is leading the investigation rules nothing out.

Grandma Hazel leaves her home early the following morning to visit her sister. Could she have taken Cassie with her, angry at Naomi for cutting all ties with them?

And then there’s a mystery surrounding the woman with whom Charlie cheated on his wife. A long-time enemy of Naomi, Jessica still bears a grudge from when Charlie chose Naomi over her. Could she be involved in Cassie’s disappearance too? There’s no love lost between her and Naomi, but could she and Charlie be in it together?

DCI Rachel Hart has her hands full, there are twists and turns throughout and everyone is a suspect. The real culprit’s identity soon becomes obvious, but their motives are well hidden until the end.

With all the obstacles facing her, Rachel wonders whether she is the right person to lead the case. She quickly pushes the doubt to one side, convinced that her personal experience makes her the best person to find the missing child before it’s too late. That personal experience is told in bite-size snippets, adding intrigue and interest to Rachel’s own history.

This is a fast-paced thriller that will grab your attention and hold it right till the end. Trust is such a fragile thing; you might never see the truth because of it.

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As always,