#TheLost (Jonah Colley 1) by Simon Beckett @BeckettSimon @OrionBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Title: The Lost (Jonah Colley 1) by Simon Beckett

Date Published: 25th November 2021

Publisher: Orion 

Genre: Thriller

Description:

A MISSING CHILD

Ten years ago, the disappearance of firearms police officer Jonah Colley’s young son almost destroyed him.

A GRUESOME DISCOVERY

A plea for help from an old friend leads Jonah to Slaughter Quay, and the discovery of four bodies. Brutally attacked and left for dead, he is the only survivor.

A SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

Under suspicion himself, he uncovers a network of secrets and lies about the people he thought he knew – forcing him to question what really happened all those years ago…

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for inviting me on this blog tour and Orion for my copy of The Lost.

So I’m going to admit this is the first Simon Beckett book I’ve read, but after finishing The Lost, it certainly won’t be my last!

Out of the blue, Jonah Colley gets a call from his old friend Gavin, who needs his help and wants to meet right away. When he gets to the warehouse, he’s attacked and left for dead. When several bodies turn up, he becomes the number one suspect. Unable to leave it alone, he digs into the case. Could Gavin have discovered what happened to Jonah’s son, Theo, who disappeared ten years earlier?  

The Lost is one of those books that pulls you into the action from the very beginning, hitting with all sorts of twists and turns along the way.

My heart really went out to Jonah. He’s still tortured by the loss of his four-year-old son Theo, followed by his marriage breaking down. It makes him a little reckless and driven by his emotions, but it makes you root for him even more.

I can’t say too much more in case of spoilers, but I didn’t see the ending coming at all and it was both satisfying and shocking.  

If you’re looking for a thrilling, tension packed novel I’d highly recommend you pick up The Lost!

About The Author:

After an MA in English, Simon Beckett spent several years as a property repairer before a stint teaching in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands. He has been a freelance journalist since 1992, writing for The Times, The Independent on Sunday Review, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and other major British publications. In 2002, as part of an article on the National Forensic Academy, he visited the Body Farm in Tennessee. This last commission was the inspiration behind the internationally bestselling The Chemistry of Death, which was shortlisted for the CWA’s Duncan Lawrie Dagger and has been translated into 21 languages. Simon Beckett is married and lives in Sheffield. The author of six novels, his second David Hunter thriller, Written in Bone, is published as a Bantam paperback in April 2008.

#TheQuietPeople by by Paul Cleave @PaulCleave @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview

Title: The Quiet People by by Paul Cleave

Publisher: Orenda Books

Date Published: 25th September 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide.

They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.

So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… Are they trying to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Multi-award winning bestseller Paul Cleave returns with an electrifying and chilling thriller about family, public outrage and what a person might be capable of under pressure, that will keep you guessing until the final page…

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater for inviting me on this tour and Orenda Books for providing me with a copy of The Quiet People in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first Paul Cleave novel and I can safely say this won’t be my last. I’m still trying to pick my jaw up from the floor after reading The Quiet People!

The story is told from two perspectives. The first is Cameron, a best-selling crime author, who, along with his wife, finds their son Zach missing. Zach is a bit of a problem child, but you see how much Cameron loves him and all the range of emotions that he goes through after he goes missing and he becomes more and more unpredictable.

The second perspective is DI Rebecca Kent, a solid and experienced copper tasked with finding out the truth, no matter the consequences. 

Goodness, you’re really thrown through a loop during this novel, both emotionally and with all the shocks and surprises the author chucks at you along the way. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment.

The story is also packed with tension. You’re not sure who to trust or whether it’s going to end badly for the characters or not.

I can’t say too much more in case I give away any spoilers, but I can safely say that The Quiet People is up there as one of my top reads of this year.

The Quiet People is a twisty read that will keep you on your toes throughout, not knowing what will happen next.

About The Author:

Paul is an award-winning author who divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where most of his novels are set, and Europe. 

He has won the New Zealand Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award in France, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry in the US and the Ned Kelly in Australia. 

His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s thrown his frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many.

Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulCleave, and his website: paulcleave.com

#BookReview The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell @emblabooks

Title: The Midnight Man by Caroline Mitchell

Publisher: Embla Books

Date Published: 13th October 2021

Genre: Police Procedural

Description:

From number one bestselling author Caroline Mitchell, comes the first chilling Slayton thriller for fans of C. J. Tudor and Stephen King.

If you open your door to the Midnight Man, hide with a candle wherever you can. Try not to scream as he draws near, because one of you won’t be leaving here…

On Halloween night in Slayton, five girls go to Blackhall Manor to play the Midnight Game. They write their names on a piece of paper and prick their fingers to soak it in blood. At exactly midnight they knock on the door twenty-two times – they have invited the Midnight Man in.

It was supposed to be a game, but only four girls come home.

Detective Sarah Noble has just returned to the force, and no one knows more about Blackhall Manor than her. It’s a case that will take Sarah back to everything she’s been running from, and shake her to the core.

Will she be ready to meet the Midnight Man?

Review:

I want to thank Embla books for providing me with a copy of The Midnight Man in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Caroline Mitchell’s Detective Amy Winters series, so when I read the synopsis for Midnight Man, I knew I had to read it.

The Midnight Man is a police procedural with a creepy edge to it. It was a perfect read for this time of year, especially as the nights are drawing in and it’s getting colder.

There are a couple of horror tropes throughout, like the abandoned and possibly haunted mansion and the urban legend of the midnight man. They both added another dimension to the story, and I especially loved the chilling rhyme that warned against invoking the midnight man.

Detective Sarah Noble was a flawed and believable character. After a hellish year, you can’t help but root for her to get her life back on track. Another interesting character was seven-year-old Elliot. I can’t tell you too much about him, but he was a bit of a scene stealer.

I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb I was expecting more of a horror novel than the police procedural that it turned out to be. It didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment, but I was hoping for a little more creepiness/spookiness. 

The Midnight Man is a decent start to this series and I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of these characters.

About The Author:

USA Today and Global #1 Bestselling Thriller Author.

Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time.

Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston trilogy is described as terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers.

Caroline also writes psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim, has been described as ‘brilliantly gripping and deliciously creepy’. Her new DI Amy Winter series is published by Thomas & Mercer.

Sign up to join her Reader’s club for access to news, updates and exclusive competitions and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/IxsTj

#TheGreatSilence by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

Title: The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone

Date Published: 19th August 2021

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Thriller

Description:

From the discovery of a human foot in a park, to the missing daughter of Jenny’s violent ex-husband… the stakes have never been higher for the Skelf family

Keeping on top of the family funeral directors’ and private investigation businesses is no easy task for the Skelf women, and when matriarch Dorothy discovers a human foot while walking the dog, a perplexing case presents itself.

Daughter Jenny and grand-daughter Hannah have their hands full too: the mysterious circumstances of a dying woman have led them into an unexpected family drama, Hannah’s new astrophysicist colleague claims he’s receiving messages from outer space, and the Skelfs’ teenaged lodger has a devastating experience.

Nothing is clear as the women are immersed ever deeper in their most challenging cases yet. But when the daughter of Jenny’s violent and fugitive ex-husband goes missing without trace and a wild animal is spotted roaming Edinburgh’s parks, real danger presents itself, and all three Skelfs are in peril.

Taut, dark, warmly funny and unafraid to ask big questions – of us all – The Great Silence is the much-anticipated third instalment in the addictive, unforgettable Skelfs series.

‘Compelling, compassionate … just brilliant. This series gets better with every book. I cannot get enough of the Skelfs’

Mark Billingham on The Big Chill

Review:

I want to thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this book tour and Orenda books for providing me with a copy of The Great Silence.in exchange for an honest review.

Ah, it’s lovely to be back with the Skelfs again, it’s a bit like visiting old friends. Dysfunctional old friends, mind you, but highly entertaining at the same time. 

This is the third book in the series and I would highly recommend reading the previous books to get a better understanding of the characters and they just happen to be fantastic too!

You know when you read a book and think, where does the author come up with these amazing ideas from? That’s exactly how I felt while reading The Great Silence. 

As usual, there are several investigations going at once during the novel. Dorothy discovers a dismembered foot while out walking her dog Einstein. Jenny is busy looking for her ex-husband, who escaped police custody. Hannah is investigating a case where her colleague thinks he’s getting messages from outer space. This is all while running their funeral directing business and dealing with their usual family dramas along the way.

Like the previous books, the storylines are expertly woven together, grabbing you from the outset and making you want to read to the very last page.

Of course, like the other books in the series, there’s some dark themes, i.e. abuse and suicide, but they’re handled with sensitivity by the author.

I heard this might be the last we see of the Skelfs, which I hope is not the case! If it is, then I will say it was a satisfying ending for the trilogy, but I’m crossing my fingers for more stories featuring Dorothy, Jenny and Hannah.

The Great Silence is a captivating and original read that I honestly couldn’t get enough of.

About The Author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of twelve previous novels, most recently The Big Chill (2020). Several of his books have been bestsellers and three, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), were shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 

He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade – including at a funeral parlour ahead of writing A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. 

Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three solo EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club. He lives in Edinburgh. 

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com

#HalfPastTomorrow by Chris McGeorge @crmcgeorge @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BookReview

Title: Half Past Tomorrow by Chris McGeorge

Date Published: 5th August 2021

Publisher: Orion Publishing

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Shirley Steadman, a 70 year old living in a small town in the North East of England, loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. She likes giving back to the community, and even more so, she likes getting out of the house. Haunted by the presence of her son, a reluctant Royal Navy officer who was lost at sea, and still in the shadow of her long dead abusive husband, she doesn’t like being alone much.

One day, at the radio station, she is playing around with the equipment and finds a frequency that was never there before. It is a pirate radio station, and as she listens as the presenter starts reading the news. But there is one problem – the news being reported is tomorrows. Shirley first thinks it is a mere misunderstanding – a wrong date. But she watches as everything reported comes true. At first, Shirley is in awe of the station, and happily tunes in to hear the news.

But then the presenter starts reporting murders – murders that happen just the way they were reported.

And Shirley is the only one who can stop them. 

Review:

I want to thank Tracy Fenton for inviting me on this tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve not read any books by this author before but when I saw it was about a radio station that reports about murders before they happen I was like, yes, I need to read that! 

The story centres around Shirley who, while volunteering at the local hospital radio station, comes across Mallet AM, a pirate radio station that reports tomorrow’s news. At first, the incidents that are reported were simple accidents, but it slowly becomes more sinister and reports a murder. Shirley can’t leave it alone and sets out to stop the murder from happening.

I love an older main character, especially in a mystery, and I thought Shirley was wonderfully done. She’s headstrong, determined, and won’t let even her frail health stop her from getting to the bottom of the mystery. She also carries pain and guilt around from her past, making her you root for her even more.

I also loved the hospital radio setting, as it gave me a bit of nostalgia for the days when I used to listen to the radio myself.  

There were some good shocks and surprises along the way, but for me, the story was a little slow burn. That’s not a bad thing, but I was just expecting some more chills and thrills.

Half Past Tomorrow is a solid thriller with memorable characters and an original and intriguing storyline.

About The Author:

Chris McGeorge studied MA Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) at City University London where he wrote his first novel as his thesis. His interests are broad – spanning film, books, theatre and video games. He is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate, a supergroup of writers from Northern England. He lives in County Durham with his partner and many, many animals.

The Beresford by Will Carver @OrendaBooks @will_carver #BookReview

Title: The Beresford by Will Carver

Date Published: 22nd May 2021

Publisher: Orenda Books

Genre: Thriller/Horror

Description:

Just outside the city – any city, every city – is a grand, spacious but affordable apartment building called The Beresford.

There’s a routine at The Beresford.

For Mrs May, every day’s the same: a cup of cold, black coffee in the morning, pruning roses, checking on her tenants, wine, prayer and an afternoon nap. She never leaves the building.

Abe Schwartz also lives at The Beresford. His housemate, Sythe, no longer does. Because Abe just killed him. 

In exactly sixty seconds, Blair Conroy will ring the doorbell to her new home and Abe will answer the door. They will become friends. Perhaps lovers. 

And, when the time comes for one of them to die, as is always the case at The Beresford, there will be sixty seconds to move the body before the next unknowing soul arrives at the door.

Because nothing changes at The Beresford, until the doorbell rings…

Eerie, dark, superbly twisted and majestically plotted, The Beresford is the stunning standalone thriller from one of crime fiction’s most exciting names.

Review:

I want to thank Orenda books and THE Book Club Reviewer Group for providing me with a copy of The Beresford in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read a couple of books by Will Carver now and I’ve always come to expect the unexpected while reading his novels and The Beresford is no different.

The Beresford is written in Will Carver’s signature style, dark, a little gruesome, underlined by a cynical tone and sharp wit. 

I love the fact that the characters seem so ordinary and lifelike, like you’d know someone who’s similar or you could imagine passing one of them in the street but each one is compelling in their own way.

The Beresford is almost like a character in itself even though it’s only a building. It’s owned and run by the elderly Mrs May. It’s an old and imposing building but the rent is cheap so there’s always a line of willing people to rent a flat there, even though the turnover rate of renters there is incredibly high.

While there is an air of mystery, (I mean why do the residents keep murdering each other???), I’d say this is more out-and-out horror than Will Carver’s usual horror/mystery novels. I’d still recommend it if you loved his previous books.

The Beresford is Gothic, creepy and more than a little unsettling yet still keeps you glued to those pages. 

About The Author:

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford is out in July 2021. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express, and hit number one on the ebook charts. 

Cry For Help (Detective Madison Harper 2) by Wendy Dranfield @bookouture @WendyDranfield #BookReview

Title: Cry For Help (Detective Madison Harper 2) by Wendy Dranfield

Publisher: Bookouture

Date Published: 22nd February 2021

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Shivering in the early morning chill, the caretaker flips the switch on the Ferris wheel and stumbles back in shock. The teenage girl’s body is slumped in a halo of pretty colored lights, long red hair spilling over her tear-stained cheeks, her eyes fixed forever on her dangling feet.

When teenager Nikki Jackson’s body is found at an amusement park, just hours after Fourth of July fireworks lit up the night sky, the Lost Creek police rule her death as suicide––a devastating final act from a girl who had lost all hope. But the absence of the knife used to make the wounds on her delicate wrists makes Detective Madison Harper think otherwise. And the partial fingerprint found on the girl’s face proves her right. Someone else was with Nikki in her final moments…

Back home in Colorado for the first time in seven years to investigate the murder of a woman with ties to the son she lost to the care system, the pressure is on for Madison to work both cases at once. Fearing the team has missed a vital clue, Madison searches the crime scene alone and finds the last thing she ever expected: a note proving the victims knew each other, and that the cases are linked. Is this a coincidence, proof a dangerous murderer is on the loose, or a trap set to lead Madison off the trail?

It’s only when Madison finally finds the knife used to harm Nikki, tucked in an almost impossible to find hiding place, that she knows she is closing in on a twisted killer. But the last person she expects to see dragged into the department in handcuffs is her own missing son…

An absolutely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you sleeping with the lights on. Addictive reading for anyone who loves Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.

Review:

I enjoyed the first in this series earlier this year and as I know the third is coming out soon; I thought I’d better catch up with this one.

Madison is heading home to clear her name and find her son, but things get complicated when the body of a teenage girl is found. She and Nate can’t leave it unsolved, but the case quickly gets personal for Madison.

Cry For Help is one of those books that grabs you from the very beginning, getting more and more taut with tension building to a satisfying and action packed ending.

This book had so many little shocks and surprises along the way, which I didn’t see coming and absolutely loved!

I really enjoyed getting the full story of Madison’s arrest and more bits and pieces from her past, something I felt was missing from the first book. Of course that meant Nate sort of took a back seat for most of the book but I think it worked out well and I wonder what Wendy Dranfield will do next with these characters.

I absolutely flew through the first half of this book but for some reason I found the second half a little more slow going, maybe it’s just I didn’t want it to end!

Cry For Help is a fast-paced and addictive read and I can’t wait to read more from this series!

About The Author:

Wendy is a former coroner’s assistant turned crime writer who lives in the UK with her husband and 3 cats.

Her first novel (The Girl Who Died) was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition. Since then she has written two crime series – one follows Officer Dean Matheson on his quest to make detective, and the other is her current series which follows Detective Madison Harper as she tries to reclaim her life after spending six years in prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

As well as crime novels Wendy also has short stories published in various anthologies in the UK and the US, and she has been shortlisted and longlisted for various writing competitions.

Wendy’s social media:

Website: https://wendydranfield.co.uk/

Twitter: @WendyDranfield

Facebook: Wendy Dranfield Author

Pinterest: Wendy Dranfield

Instagram: Wendy Dranfield Author

Dark Water Sacrifice by Zach Lamb @Zach_LambAuthor @darkstrokedark @rararesources #BookPromo

Hello lovelies! Today I have a book spotlight for Dark Water Sacrifice by Zach Lamb as part of the blog tour organised by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources.

Title: Dark Water Sacrifice by Zach Lamb

Date Published: 17th May 2021

Publisher: Darkstroke Books

Genre: Thriller

Description:

  1. A parent’s guilt. Desperate choices. The ultimate cost.

The dark water has always called to the Blackwell family.

Devastated by the loss of his daughter, Adam Blackwell flees his hometown of Scarsville, Georgia. 

Something lurks beneath the churning black waters, and its patience is running out.  

Two years later, his father is dead and has left him everything, including the lake where Adam’s daughter drowned. Now, Adam must return to the last place he ever wanted to go and settle the affairs of the man he blames for everything. 

The time has come for the next sacrifice, and it will stop at nothing.

Adam believes it will be a short trip to get the house ready for sale. But the closer he gets to the lake, the more memories return from the worst day of his life.

Living in the past is dangerous, but there is nowhere to hide when the past comes back for you.

Staying in the family home, Adam hears small footsteps in the dark. Soon after, he hears the voice of his daughter. She wants him to join her in the depths of the black lake.

When the waters rise, Adam must decide whether he will begin the slow process of healing and somehow find peace between the world of the living and the dead—or become the next Dark Water Sacrifice… 

You can buy your copy here:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Water-Sacrifice-Zach-Lamb-ebook/dp/B08Z8P3173 

US – https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Water-Sacrifice-Zach-Lamb-ebook/dp/B08Z8P3173 

About The Author:

Zach Lamb is a fictionist who creates thriller, horror and dark fiction stories. He is the author of The Suicide Killer and Dark Water Sacrifice. Zach has an MFA in creative writing from Southern New Hampshire University. He lives with his wife and kids in the non-fictional town of Ellerslie, Georgia, named after the fictional character Captain Ellerslie from the Waverley Novels.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Zach_LambAuthor

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Zach-Lamb-Author-102039438275213

Games We Played by Shawne Steiger @Ramelle1 @RRBookTours1 #RRBookTours #GamesWePlayed

Welcome to the tour for Games We Played, a gripping novel by Shawne Steiger! Read on for details and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Games We Played by Shawne Steiger

Date Published: October 17th, 2020

Genre:Literary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction/ Thriller

Description:

When actress Rachel Goldberg shares her personal views on a local radio show, she becomes a target for online harassment. Things go too far when someone paints a swastika on her front door, not only terrifying her but also dredging up some painful childhood memories. Rachel escapes to her hometown of Carlsbad. To avoid upsetting her parents, she tells them she’s there to visit her Orthodox Jewish grandmother, even though that’s the last thing she wants to do. But trouble may have followed her.Stephen Drescher is home from Iraq, but his dishonorable discharge contaminates his transition back to civilian life. His old skinhead friends, the ones who urged him to enlist so he could learn to make better bombs, have disappeared, and he can’t even afford to adopt a dog. Thinking to reconnect with his childhood friend, he googles Rachel’s name and is stunned to see the comments on her Facebook page. He summons the courage to contact her, Rachel and Stephen, who have vastly different feelings about the games they played and what might come of their reunion, must come to terms with their pasts before they can work toward their futures.

Note: Possible Triggers

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Excerpt

Stevie and his mother were evicted from their apartment after his mother’s big fight with the landlord at two in the morning. They left with only his mother’s purse and went to his grandpa’s house to sleep. Stevie had seen his grandpa just once before, and he barely remembered the visit. For the whole taxi ride, his mother kept saying, “Just until I get a job. We won’t stay long. Don’t worry, Stevie.”

He dozed, lulled by a spicy cigar smell and the erratic crackle of the radio from the front of the car. The driver let them out at a two-story stucco house that loomed like a yellow castle in the shadows of streetlight and moon. Stephen followed his mother through a wrought-iron gate that opened to a sidewalk made of pink stone

slabs. He lurked behind her when she knocked, looking around at the rock garden, a few lemon trees, and a big white wall that surrounded the front yard, blocking any view except for bits of road.

Nobody answered, so his mother dropped her purse and slammed the heel of her hand into the doorbell over and over. Then she turned away from the door, picked up her purse, grabbed Stephen’s arm, and dragged him toward the gate and the street, and the door finally opened. His grandpa stood on the threshold, silhouetted by a glow from the living room. Stephen would always remember that glimpse of his grandpa, the faded gray robe held closed at the chest, the gnarled toenails and bushy white hair, how big he was. He wasn’t fat, just big and as shaggy as the mountains he could see from Carlsbad, even though it took eight hours to reach them.

His grandpa stared at Stephen’s mother with bloodshot eyes. Then he looked down at Stephen and twisted his mouth into a closed-lipped grimace. Later, Stephen learned that his grandpa didn’t like to show his mouth when he wasn’t wearing his dentures, but at the time, the vampire smile frightened Stevie.

“Well, you might as well come in, then.” 

His grandpa’s voice was harsh and phlegmy. After he finished talking, he coughed until his face turned red, and he lit up a cigarette. Stevie’s mother propelled him through the front door and into the house, where they stayed much longer than she had promised.

Two weeks later, they were still there. Stevie’s mother stayed in her room nearly all the time, leaving Stevie to eat Hungry-Man frozen dinners and watch The Price is Right with his grandpa. When she did come downstairs, she pulled a kitchen chair into the living room and sat on that, far away from Stevie and Grandpa on the sofa.

When Stevie had his sixth birthday, his mother didn’t come down to sing “Happy Birthday,” buy him a cake at the grocery store, or tell him she was sorry she couldn’t afford a present but that she loved him. But his grandpa made sure he had a special day. 

He took Stevie up to the attic and showed him the guns gleaming on their racks inside a tall wooden case with a glass front. His grandpa opened a cardboard box next to the gun case and dug beneath a bunch of magazines until he produced a silver key. He inserted the key into the lock very precisely, as if opening that case was a more delicate task than shaving the whiskers around his throat.  Then he removed the guns one by one and showed them to Stevie.

He had six guns in six different shapes and sizes—three thick-handled guns with narrow noses that his grandpa said were Lugers, a smaller-nosed pistol called a Walther, a rifle called a Mauser, and one MG 34 machine gun. Stevie liked the rifle best because its long brown nose seemed sleek and dangerous.

His grandpa cradled it. “With this Mauser, I killed a Jew resistance fighter who thought he could get away.

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About the Author:

Shawne Steiger wrote her first story when she was seven. Over the years, she has been a pizza maker, dressage teacher, house cleaner, and therapist. The one constant in her life has been her writing, which is why, after years working as a trauma therapist, she applied to Vermont College of Fine Arts and completed an MFA in Fiction writing. After learning that she’s happiest when writing, Shawne published short stories and essays in several literary journals. Supporting her writing habit with her social work degree, Shawne frequently incorporates her understanding of how trauma affects people into her fiction. When not writing or working, she enjoys going to the theater, reading and travel. Luckily her love of travel stops her from fully realizing her aspirations to enter the realm of mad cat woman, since she’s yet to find the perfect suitcase that will fit both her cats and still be light enough to carry.

Shawne Steiger | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | BookBub

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#UltimateBlogTour #Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone @C_L_Johnstone @The_WriteReads @ScribnerBooks @WriteReadsTours #BookPromo

Hello lovelies! Today I have a Book Spotlight for the debut novel Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone as part of the Write Reads Ultimate blog tour.

Title: Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone

Date Published: 20th April 2021

Publisher: Scribner Books

Genre: Thriller

Description:

Twelve years ago my life began again.

But it was a lie.

With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is the story of twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, about as far away as she can get from her estranged twin sister El and No. 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where they grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to the grand old house, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. No. 36 Westeryk Road is still full of shadowy, hidden corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues all over the house: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

A sharply crafted mystery about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, and Daphne du Maurier.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BZXHFR2/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54304146

About The Author:

Carole Johnstone is an award-winning writer from Scotland, whose short stories have been published all over the world. Mirrorland, a psychological suspense with a gothic twist, is her debut novel.

Having grown up in Lanarkshire, she now lives in the beautiful Argyll & Bute, and is currently working on her second novel: a very unusual murder-mystery, set in the equally beautiful Outer Hebrides.

More information on the author can be found at carolejohnstone.com.

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