Rewind, recap: weekly update w/e 09/07/17

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Got you all wondering now haven’t I? Well this picture sums up the height of excitement for my weekend. Yes… you guessed it. I bought a new toaster.

Well, a new toaster, kettle and microwave to be exact, but it’s not exactly rock n’ roll is it? Still. It needed to be done. So with domesticity (or as close as I get to it) out of the way, back to the weeks readage. I managed three books this week. I’ve not been really on it reading wise. Nothing to do with the books, they’ve been fab. More to do with me. I’m fluffing knackered and a little bit distracted. Partly work and partly my own fault.

Earlier this week I spotted a thread on one of the Facebook groups where a new author (I’m assuming) was asking for advice on what people didn’t like in novels so they could avoid putting readers off with their first crime novel. Good god! What followed was basically a list of ‘advice’ or ‘exclusions’ which would essentially have amounted to the poor person only being able to write a table of contents and perhaps a dedication page at best had they followed all the suggestions. It got me thinking about what a book that avoided all those tropes, stereotypes and factual faux pas’ would look like and that brought my sarcasm out. So i started writing (badly) a short story which I imaginatively entitled ‘Killer.’ It currently has two chapters which I thought were sarcastic and abit pants but people actually seem to like and so now I am under pressure to write the rest of my ‘thriller’ and to keep it entertaining.

This is not easy. I am not a writer (take a look at it if you don’t believe me) and I am not interesting or funny as a rule so I am going to have to work hard to produce some interesting scenarios for my new characters. I am completly pantsing this, making no notes, can’t be arsed with research and have no idea where it is going. I didn’t even really have a basic plot in my head when I started, I just wanted to take the piss. This will be a fun experiment to say the least. I have been told it is like a Dan Brown parody. I’ve never read Dan Brown, never even watched the movies, so I am going to have to assume this is a good thing ;). He’s appeared a few times in my book love feature but that isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when you consider that it is mostly as a guilty pleasure… My only question now is that if I continue and publish the whole story on my blog, does this make me a self published author? I realise that as my blog is freely available to all I am not exactly going to make millions from my tale, but it is the principal that counts surely? (I jest. I’m as much an author/writer as I am a nuclear physicist. Not at all in other words.)

Anyhoo. Back to the books. Absolutely no idea if anything happened this week. I can’t remember. I know I was invited to join some stunning blog tours over the coming months (tidy) and was contacted by Vintage to join their ‘crack team of reviewers’. At least I think I read that right and it wasn’t team of ‘cracked’ reviewers (in my case that would probably make much more sense…). I didn’t get any book post that I can recall but I did buy books (novel huh?) and I may have paid a brief visit to Netgalley. Absolutely necessary. It was for a blog tour so I had to. My excuse and I’m sticking to it…

ARCs I received this week include Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young and Little Bird by Sharon Dempsey both from Bloodhound Books. I also picked up Her Deadly Secret by Chris Curran from Net Galley. I’m on the blog tour for this one on 21st July when, coincidentally, I will also be attending Harrogate aka Theakstons Old Perculier Crime Writing Festival. Can’t wait.

I bought a couple of books this week too. And by a couple I mean lots but, in my defence, they were cheap. That and I wanted them and I don’t care 😀

Chris Carter Books: An Evil Mind, One by OneThe HunterThe Night StalkerThe ExecutionerI Am DeathThe Death SculptorThe Crucifix Killer. I may well have done a couple of pre-orders too. The Girl Who Came Back by Kerry Wilkinson and The Mistake by K.L. Slater, both published by Bookouture. And because it was a bargain I also picked up Blood Sisters by Jane Corry.

I may well have purchased most of the Chris Carter books on audible too but I will neither confirm nor deny that as fact. (It is…) Speaking of audible I also picked up the following. Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham, The One by John Marrs and Lies by T.M. Logan.

And from Asda I bought myself a cheeky little bargain – The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker, just £5 for the hardback. Bonus.

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So. Not too shabby. Don’t know when I’ll read them but the thought was there lol. In terms of reading I managed to complete these little beauties.

Books I Have Read

DTL.jpgDying To Live by Michael Stanley

When the body of a Bushman is discovered near the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, the death is written off as an accident. But all is not as it seems. An autopsy reveals that, although he’s clearly very old, his internal organs are puzzlingly young. What’s more, an old bullet is lodged in one of his muscles … but where is the entry wound? When the body is stolen from the morgue and a local witch doctor is reported missing, Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu gets involved. But did the witch doctor take the body to use as part of a ritual? Or was it the American anthropologist who’d befriended the old Bushman? 

As Kubu and his brilliant young colleague, Detective Samantha Khama, follow the twisting trail through a confusion of rhino-horn smugglers, foreign gangsters and drugs manufacturers, the wider and more dangerous the case seems to grow. A fresh, new slice of ‘Sunshine Noir’, Dying to Live is a classic tale of greed, corruption and ruthless thuggery, set in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, and featuring one of crime fiction’s most endearing and humane heroes.

My first time with Detective Kubu and his team but it won’t be my last. You haven’t long to wait for my thoughts as I’m up on the tour on 13th, but I am loving the Sunshine Noir as it’s being labelled and I’ll definitely be back for more. You can bag yourself a copy of the book here.

TSGThe Stolen Girls by Patricia Gibney

The young woman standing on Lottie’s step was a stranger. She was clutching the hand of a young boy. ‘Help me,’ she said to Lottie. ‘Please help me.’ 

One Monday morning, the body of a young pregnant woman is found. The same day, a mother and her son visit the house of Detective Lottie Parker, begging for help to find a lost friend. 

Could this be the same girl? 

When a second victim is discovered by the same man, with the murder bearing all the same hallmarks as the first, Lottie needs to work fast to discover how else the two were linked. Then two more girls go missing.

Detective Lottie Parker is a woman on the edge, haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her family together through difficult times. Can she fight her own demons and catch the killer before he claims another victim? 

The Stolen Girls is a gripping and page-turning thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni.

Continuing the story of Detective Lottie Parker and her team in Ragmullin, Ireland, this is a timely and occasionally grim tale which certainly takes no prisoners. I’m going to be sharing my thoughts with you this week but in the meantime you can order a copy of the book here.

HDSHer Deadly Secret by Chris Curran

A FAMILY BUILT ON LIES…

A dark and twisty psychological thriller, in which a young girl is abducted and her family is confronted with a horror from deep in their past. Perfect for fans of BA Paris and Sue Fortin.

A young girl has been taken. Abducted, never to be seen again.

Joe and Hannah, her traumatized parents, are consumed by grief. But all is not as it seems behind the curtains of their suburban home.

Loretta, the Family Liaison Officer, is sure Hannah is hiding something – a dark and twisted secret from deep in her past.

This terrible memory could be the key to the murder of another girl fifteen years ago. And as links between the two victims emerge, Joe and Hannah learn that in a family built on lies, the truth can destroy everything…

After reading and loving Chris Curran’s last book I was chuffed to bits to be invited to take part in the blog tour for her latest offering. I’m opening the tour on 21st July so not long to wait for my thoughts but you can order your own copy ready for release day here.

So. That is it. Not too many, not too few. Just enough I think. Busy week on the blog with a few tours and some reviews as well as the usual #booklove.

#Blogtour Review: Each Little Lie by Tom Bale

#BlogTour Review: Alice in Theatreland by Julia Roberts

#BookLove: Beth Webb

Review: Die Last by Tony Parsons

Killer: Or How Not To Write A Book (Seriously – just don’t do this…)

Killer: Chapter Two

#BlogTour Review & Give Away: The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen

#Booklove: Jennifer Gilmour

#BlogTour: Hunting Angels Diaries by Conrad Jones

Another full week of posts ahead with more blog tours, reviews and #booklove. Tour wise, I have just the two. First up The Stolen Girls on Wednesday and then Dying to Live on Thursday.

I also have some #booklove to share from Linda Hill of Linda’s Book Bag and author Catherine Kullman. Hope you can stop by.

On the plus side, this weekend my sister booked the remaining tickets for Bloody Scotland so we are all set for our weekend of bookish fun, and we’re booked in for Crime Fest 2018 next May too. Nothing like forward planning…

Well. I’m off. One, to do some work so I don’t get fired and, two, to work out what the heck happens next in Killer. Can’t let my fans down now can I?

Have a fab week all

JL

 

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