#BlogTour: Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson @RagnarJo @Orendabooks

It is a bitter sweet moment today as I have great pleasure in joining the blog tour for Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson, but great sadness in knowing this is the last in the Ari Thór and Dark Iceland series of books. My thanks go to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of the and to the publisher, Orenda Books, for providing an advance copy for review.

WOThe Official Book Blurb

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop?

With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier. As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

Dark, chilling and complex, Whiteout is a haunting, atmospheric and stunningly plotted thriller from one of Iceland’s bestselling crime writers.

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#BlogBlitz: We’ll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale @jhaleauthor @Bookouture

It is my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog blitz for We’ll Always Have Christmas by Jenny Hale. I loved reading The Summer House earlier this year so was thrilled when Kim Nash from Bookouture invited me to take part here. And Christmas with cookies – what’s not to love right? I’ll share my thoughts with you in just a moment, as soon as we’ve taken a look at what this book is about.

WAHCmansion with The Official Book Blurb

An enchanting story about the magic of Christmas, the importance of family, and the joy of falling in love during the most romantic season of the year…

Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…

The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.

Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.

As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson – the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington

In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?

Unwrap the feeling of Christmas in this beautiful novel celebrating friendship, family and love that lasts a lifetime. We’ll Always Have Christmas is the perfect treat for fans of Karen Swan, Susan Mallery and Sue Moorcroft.

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#Blogtour: Writing Diverse Characters by Lucy V Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @EmmaMitchellFPR

I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Lucy V Hay’s new writing guide, Writing Diverse Characters for Fiction, TV or Film. Lucy is a real advocate of diversity in writing and this book aims to help writers, new and old, find their way in navigating their way around embracing diversity and creating authentic characters in their writing.

I’ve got a great guest post to share with you on Lucy’s publication day rituals, just as soon as we’ve taken a look at what the book is all about.

CoverWe’re living in a time of unprecedented diversity in produced media content, with more characters appearing who are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), disabled, or from other religions or classes. What’s more, these characters are increasingly appearing in genre pieces, accessible to the mainstream, instead of being hidden away in so-called ‘worthier’ pieces, as in the past.

How to Write Diverse Characters discusses issues of race, disability, sexuality and transgender people with specific reference to characterisation – not only in movies and TV, but also novel writing.

Taking in blockbuster movies such as Mad Max Fury Road, Russell T Davies’ ground-breaking TV series Cucumber and and the controversial novel Gone Girl, the book explores:

– How character role function really works

– What is the difference between stereotype and archetype?

– Why ‘trope’ does not mean what Twitter and Tumblr think it means

– How the burden of casting affects both box office and audience perception

– Why diversity is not about agendas, buzzwords or being ‘politically correct’

– What authenticity truly means and why research is so important

– Why variety is key in ensuring true diversity in characterisation

Writers have to catch up. Knowing not only what makes a ‘good’ diverse character doesn’t always cut it; they need to know what agents, publishers, producers, filmmakers and commissioners are looking for – and why. This book gives writers the tools to create three dimensional, authentic characters … who just happen to be diverse.

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Guest Review: Watching You Sleep by Angela Clarke @TheAngelaClarke @mgriffiths163

Today Mandie has a quick short read to share with us all – Watching You Sleep by Angela Clarke.

WY.pngBook Description

A deliciously dark short story compendium by Angela Clarke, author of The Sunday Times bestselling Social Media Murder Series. Have you ever loved someone enough to die for them? What about kill? Featuring psychologically compelling stories Watching You Sleep and Hewn Stones.

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#BlogTour: Witch Dust – Author Guest Post @marilyn_messik

Today I have the pleasure of opening up the blog tour for Witch Dust by Marilyn Messik alongside Jules at Little Miss No Sleep. My thanks to Kate at Thick as Thieves Publicity for inviting me to be a part of the tour. I have a fab guest post for you in just a moment after we’ve take a look at what the book is all about.

Witch Dust coverThe Official Book Blurb

“A red gash of a mouth rimmed with impossibly tiny, razor-sharp teeth yawned wide, then swift as a snake, she bent and struck . . . “

For Sandra, daughter of illusionists, Adam and Ophelia, life’s never been run of the mill. But when Adam’s wandering eye lights on yet another conquest, it proves a chorus girl too far, and Sandra’s caught in the reverberations of her parents acrimonious parting. Coerced into restoring her depressed Mother to the bosom of a family Sandra never knew existed, she’s sucked into a situation that even for her is unnerving.

 From being without a single relative, she suddenly acquires several she’d rather do without, and learns a few home truths she’d prefer not to know. Ophelia it appears, has not been entirely honest about any number of things. There’s no doubt in Sandra’s mind, the sooner she puts as much distance as possible between herself, her newly discovered nearest and dearest, their peculiar tendencies and their failing hotel business, the very much happier she’s going to be.

 Dire straits call for desperate measures and Sandra reluctantly rises to the occasion. A hanged housemaid, a fly-on-the-wall documentary, The Psychic Society and a quasi co-operative journalist all handled correctly should, she reckons, get the family business up and running, which will allow her to do the same – as fast as she can, and in the opposite direction. Things unfortunately move swiftly from bad to farce and then get a hell of a lot darker. One moment Sandra’s struggling to save the family’s income, the next, she’s battling to save their lives.

Turns out, some darknesses, once buried, are best left undisturbed.

Continue reading “#BlogTour: Witch Dust – Author Guest Post @marilyn_messik”