Rewind, recap: Weekly update w/e 10/06/18

From this …

bloody scotland logo vectorised-01-1

To this …

To this …

It is fair to say I have had a fairly diverse week.

Started off in Stirling for the Bloody Scotland launch followed by Alexander McCall Smith in conversation with Lin Anderson. The launch was great with festival organiser Bob McDevitt introducing the line up for the weekend. This includes authors Louise Penny, Ann Cleeves, Chris Brookmyre, Mark Billingham,  Peter James, Stuart Macbride, Quintin Jardine, Denzil Meyrick, Martyn Waites, Lin Anderson, Craig Robertson, Gordon Brown and new Abir Mukherjee. Amongst many others. For those looking to join the fun at the Curly Coo, it is already sold out (it took just five minutes) but there are alternatives on the Saturday night including the return of Two Crime Writers and a Microphone with a stellar line up to be put on the spot in a live podcast.


You can find the full line up at the Bloody Scotland website here. You can also find a copy of the press release for the event here.

Now after a mad two days in the office, trying to catch up with everything I had the final two days of the week out of the office at a Leadership Conference at Alton Towers. This is an event which the company runs annually but this is the first time it has been held away from our home town. A great couple of days with discussions on change management and employee engagement but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready for a break at the end of it all.

Thankfully I have that sorted. No work for a week for me. Cannot tell you how good it feels to turn off the work phone and ignore the emails (even though I will have to keep half an eye out as I’m trying to complete on a new property lease …). So far in the two days of peace I have seen a lot of wildlife, a castle and Holy Island. I consider myself a very lucky lady to have a little bit of me time, but I do still have to make time for writing and reading where I can.

It is a pretty cool weekend though as Chillingham Castle has torture equipment in the dungeon including the rack and an iron maiden. Happy days!!!

I have done some bookish things that don’t involve travel. For instance, I received book post while I was away. Three to be precise. Howard Linskey’s The Chosen OnesToxic  by Jacqui Rose and 11 Missed Calls by Elisabeth Carpenter. I also received ARCs of The Killing Habit by Mark Billingham, In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards, The Death Knock by Elodie Harper and Little Liar by Lisa Ballantyne plus a copy of Loner by Hildur Sif Thorarensen and The Note by Andrew Barrett

Ordering wise I have done my bit to contribute to the future profits of Amazon with a few pre-orders. First up is an Orenda Bookfest with Palm Beach, Finland by Antti Tuomainen, Trap by Lilja Sigurdardottir, Good Samaritans by Will Carver and The Lingering by SJI Holliday. I also purchased Where the Missing Go by Emma Rowley, Return to the Little Cottage On the Hill by Emma Davies, Darke by Matt Hilton, Dancing on the Grave by Zoe Sharp and Shores of Death by Peter Ritchie.

Reading wise, I thought I’d been a bit of a slacker, what with being on the road a lot, in meetings for days and generally trying to catch up on writing reviews. See what you think?

Books I have read.

DPDark Pines – Will Dean

An isolated Swedish town.

A deaf reporter terrified of nature.

A dense spruce forest overdue for harvest.

A pair of eyeless hunters found murdered in the woods.

It’s week one of the Swedish elk hunt and the sound of gunfire is everywhere. When Tuva Moodyson investigates the story that could make her career she stumbles on a web of secrets that knit Gavrik town together. Are the latest murders connected to the Medusa killings twenty years ago? Is someone following her? Why take the eyes? Tuva must face her demons and venture deep into the woods to stop the killer and write the story. And then get the hell out of Gavrik.

I listened to the audio book of Dark Pines on my way to and from the Bloody Scotland launch last week so technically this is probably only half a book. Still counts though. After hearing so many good reports you always worry whether a book can live up to the hype. It did. I loved it. Apart from the description of Bull tics. Yak… I’ll be sharing my thoughts very soon but why not order your own copy right here.

TDThe Date – Louise Jensen

One night can change everything. 

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes… Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her. 

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her…

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Sister, The Gift and The Surrogate, The Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep. 

You can always count on Louise Jensen to provide a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat and The Date was another fine example. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book as part of the tour but you can purchase a copy here.

tnThe Note – Andrew Barrett

I’m Eddie Collins, a CSI.

Ever had that feeling of being watched but when you turn around no one’s there?

I have.

It was raining, and I was working a murder scene around midnight when that prickle ran up my spine. If I’d listened to that feeling, if I’d thought back to my past, maybe I could have prevented the terror that was to come.

Back at the office, I found a death threat on my desk.

I had no idea who sent it or why they wanted to kill me.

But I was about to find out.

A short and sweet introduction to the world of CSI Eddie Collins. This was a great way to get to know the protagonist of Andrew Barrett’s series, a no nonsense kind of guy who finds himself in a whole heap of trouble. Only a novella, around 100 pages, but a cracking story to kick things off. About to be republished by Bloodhound, you can preorder a copy here.

wtmgWhere the Missing go – Emma Rowley


I volunteer at a missing persons helpline – young people who have run away from home call me and I pass on messages to their loved ones, no questions asked.

I don’t get many phone calls, and those I do are usually short and vague, or pranks.

But today a girl named Sophie called.

I’m supposed to contact her parents to let them know their child is safe.

The problem is, Sophie isn’t safe.


I have had a love hate relationships with psychological thrillers lately. Thankfully I loved Emma Rowley’s novel about a woman determined not to give up on her missing daughter. It is a slow start as the story builds but the action comes think and fast in the second half and really keeps you guessing, You’ll hear my full thoughts soon but for now, order your own copy here.

That was it. Two books, half an audio and one short story. Not the best reading tally I’ve ever had but this week, I’ll take it. Blog wise, the week was full with reviews split between me and Mandie. Highlights below.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Press Release: Bloody Scotland

Guest Post: Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Hangman by Daniel Cole

Guest review: The Man Who Died by Antti Tuomainen

Big Sister by Gunnar Staalesen

Guest Review: Belle Cat by Patricia Furstenberg

Cover Reveal: Rachel Amphlett – Kay Hunter 6!!!

The week ahead is pretty full too. Reviews or tours all week. That should keep you all out of mischief … Blog tours start tomorrow with The Cornish Village School: Breaking the Rules by Kitty Wilson; Follow Me Home by DK Hood; The Tall Man by Phoebe Locke and Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin.

That is it from me … for now. I’m off to relax, read, write and generally have fun because I am not at work. Hope you have a brilliant week. See you on the other side.


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