On My TBR list [Winter Edition]

Now we’re well and truly into December, here are some of my most-anticipated titles to be read this winter, over the next few months…


The Crow Girl – Erik Axl Sund [published 6 April 2017]The Crow Girl

[Synopsis]

The most terrifying thriller you’ll read this year

It starts with just one body – the hands bound, the skin covered in marks.

Detective Superintendent Jeanette Kihlberg is determined to find out who is responsible, despite opposition from her superiors. When two more bodies are found, it becomes clear that she is hunting a serial killer.

With her career on the line, she turns to psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Together, they uncover a chain of shocking events that began decades ago – but will it lead them to the murderer before someone else dies?

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White Bodies - Jane RobinsWhite Bodies – Jane Robins [published 28 December 2017]

[Synopsis]

Felix and Tilda seem like the perfect couple: young and in love, a financier and a beautiful up-and-coming starlet. But behind their flawless façade, not everything is as it seems.

Callie, Tilda’s unassuming twin, has watched her sister visibly shrink under Felix’s domineering love. She has looked on silently as Tilda stopped working, nearly stopped eating, and turned into a neat freak, with mugs wrapped in Saran Wrap and suspicious syringes hidden in the bathroom trash. She knows about Felix’s uncontrollable rages, and has seen the bruises on the white skin of her sister’s arms.

Worried about the psychological hold that Felix seems to have over Tilda, Callie joins an internet support group for victims of abuse and their friends. However, things spiral out of control and she starts to doubt her own judgment when one of her new acquaintances is killed by an abusive man. And then suddenly Felix dies—or was he murdered?

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It Started with a Tweet - Anna BellIt Started With A Tweet Anna Bell [published 7 December 2017; I’m on the blog tour with a review on 21 December!]

[Synopsis]

Can Daisy Hobson log off for love…?

Could you survive a digital detox? This hilarious new romantic comedy from the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. A marketing manager by day, she tweets her friends, instagrams every meal and arranges (frankly, appalling) dates on Tinder. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall . . .

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy’s problems – a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria, that she just happens to need help doing up. Soon, too, Daisy finds herself with two welcome distractions: sexy French exchange-help Alexis, and Jack, the brusque and rugged man-next-door, who keeps accidentally rescuing her.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone?

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Close To Home - Cara HunterClose to Home – Cara Hunter [published 28 December 2017]

[Synopsis]

Someone took Daisy Mason. Someone YOU KNOW.

Last night, 8-year-old Daisy Mason disappeared from her parents’ summer party. No one in the quiet suburban street saw anything – or at least that’s what they’re saying. DI Adam Fawley is trying to keep an open mind. But he knows that nine times out of ten, it’s someone the victim knew. That means someone is lying. And that Daisy’s time is running out…

Introducing DI Fawley and his team of Oxford detectives, CLOSE TO HOME is a pulse-pounding race against time and a penetrating examination of what happens to a community when a shocking crime is committed by one of its own.

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The Child Finder – Rene Denfeld [published 11 January 2018]The Child Finder - Rene Denfeld

[Synopsis]

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

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Anatomy of a Scandal - Sarah VaughanAnatomy of a Scandal – Sarah Vaughan [published 11 January 2018]

[Synopsis]

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

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The Chalk Man - C J TudorThe Chalk Man –  C. J. Tudor [published 11 January 2018]

[Synopsis]

None of us ever agreed on the exact beginning.

Was it when we started drawing the chalk figures, or when they started to appear on their own?

Was it the terrible accident?

Or when they found the first body?

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The Confession - Jo SpainThe Confession – Jo Spain [published 11 January 2018; I’m on the blog tour on 19 January with a review!]

[Synopsis]

Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear.

Just an hour later the attacker, JP Carney, has handed himself in to the police. He confesses to beating Harry to death, but JP claims that the assault was not premeditated and that he didn’t know the identity of his victim. With a man as notorious as Harry McNamara, the detectives cannot help wondering, was this really a random act of violence or is it linked to one of Harry’s many sins: corruption, greed, betrayal?

This gripping psychological thriller will have you questioning, who – of Harry, Julie and JP – is really the guilty one? And is Carney’s surrender driven by a guilty conscience or is his confession a calculated move in a deadly game?

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Hydra - Matt WesolowskiHydra – Matt Wesolowski [published 11 January 2018; I’m on the blog tour with a review on the 19 January!]

[Synopsis]

One cold November night in 2014, in a small town in the north west of England, 26-year-old Arla Macleod bludgeoned her mother, father and younger sister to death with a hammer, in an unprovoked attack known as the “Macleod Massacre.” Now incarcerated at a medium-security mental-health institution, Arla will speak to no one but Scott King, an investigative journalist, whose Six Stories podcasts have become an internet sensation. King finds himself immersed in an increasingly complex case, interviewing five witnesses and Arla herself, as he questions whether Arla’s responsibility for the massacre was a diminished as her legal team made out. As he unpicks the stories, he finds himself thrust into a world of deadly forbidden “games,” online trolls, and the mysterious Black-eyed Children, whose presence extends far beyond the delusions of a murderess.

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That’s a selection of upcoming books I’m excited to read. have you read any of these, or do you have them to read?

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

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My Life in Books Tag!

I saw this brilliant tag on Sarah Withers blog and loved it, so thought I’d do my own version!

Here goes:

A book for each letter of your name

L – (The) Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo: I really enjoyed this one  – I mean, anything billed as “Me Before You meets One Day” is going to appeal to me! Review to follow soon.

A – All I Ever Wanted by Lucy Dillon: this was a great read which surprised me as I expected it to be light and fluffy – and it was, but it was so much more than your average chick-lit. Read my full review here.

U – Us by David Nicholls: well, it had to be, didn’t it?! I will always love this book; I loved everything about it. Emotional, so well-written and funny at times too. Read my full review here.

R – Relativity by Antonia Hayes: I was part of the blog tour for this book, and I’m so glad I was. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a lovely, beautifully written novel. Read my full review here.

A – Atonement by Ian McEwan: an older pick, in that I read it a long time ago so I don’t think I ever reviewed it on my blog – it was before Snazzy Book’s time I think. Perhaps I need to rectify that when I have time… anyway, a great novel and the film wasn’t too bad – mainly due to James McAvoy! Nowhere near as good as the book though, of course!

 

Age – count along your bookshelf (27)

img_7390

Commonwealth – Ann Patchett: read my review here.

A book that represents a destination you would love to travel to?

Gosh, there are too many really! I’ve picked a few…

Blue Light Yokohama – Nicolas Obregon (Toyko – Japan) – my review

Little Lies – Liane Moriarty (Australia)

The Tea Planter’s Wife – Dinah Jefferies

 

Favourite colour?

I don’t particularly have a favourite colour but I have reviewed a lot of books with this colour on the cover, so I’m going for: BLUE!

So here’s a selection:

 

Most difficult to read:

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

Probably The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; it’s such an emotional read and so, so great! I read it before I started blogging so there’s no review on my blog but I’ve linked to the Goodreads page.

 

Which book in your TBR will you get the most satisfaction from reading?

ANY of the books that my mum / friends/ other people have leant me ages ago that I never get around to reading because I keep requesting books on Netgalley, or accepting books for review when I shouldn’t!

A few examples include:

The Girl In The Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz

Any Human Heart – William Boyd

A Game For All The Family – Sophie Hannah

 

Please let me know / tag me if you do this tag as I’d love to see your answers too! This was a really fun post to write 🙂

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_STUFF_GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Recent ebook purchases!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely bank holiday, whatever you’ve been doing!

This post is all about books – ebooks, specifically – which I’ve bought over the last few months, and which I’m really excited about reading. Now I don’t know when exactly I’ll get around to reading them, as I still have a towering Netgalley and physical book pile, but I’ll figure it out somehow! 😉


Here’s my recent additions:

Faithful – Alice Hoffman

Behind Closed Doors – B.A. Paris

Everything You Told Me – Lucy Dawson

The Cows – Dawn O’Porter

The Radleys – Matt Haig

My Sister’s Secret – Tracy Buchanan

The Splendour Falls – Susanna Kearsley

Shopaholic to the Rescue – Sophie Kinsella

Black Water – Louise Doughty

Making It Up As I Go Along – Marian Keyes

Now You See Me – by Sharon Bolton

The Pact – Jodi Picoult

Raven Black – Ann Cleeves

The Trouble With Goats And Sheep – Joanna Cannon

 

DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_STUFF_GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH!

Goodreads Monday (but somehow ended up on a Sunday!): The Loving Husband

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners, and add your own links!

Today I’ve picked:

The Loving Husband by Christobel Kent

The Loving Husband - Christobel Kent

 

Title: The Loving Husband
Author: Christobel Kent
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Sphere

[SYNOPSIS]

Fran Hall and her husband Nathan have moved with their two children to a farmhouse on the edge of the Fens – a chance to get away from London and have a fresh start. But when Fran wakes one night to find Nathan gone, she makes a devastating discovery. As questions about her husband and her relationships start to mount, Fran’s life begins to spiral out of control. What is she hiding from the police about her marriage, and does she really know the man she shared her bed with?

This is on my Netgalley and Goodreads TBR list and I want to get around to reading it very soon. It might be the next book I read, actually!

It looks intriguing, though I’ve seen mixed reviews, so we shall see…

Have you read this, or have you got it on your TBR list? Let me know what you think! 

Don’t forget… follow me on: instagram @snazzy_stuff_goodreads Laura / and twitter @lauranazmdeh

To Read – March 2017

Here are some books I’m really excited to have on my TBR list for the next few months! I tried to get ahead on my Netgalley/ review books and I did but then I ruined it by requesting loads more / accepting lots more book review requests, but they all look amazing so it’s a good thing really!

Here’s what I’ll be reading this month!

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman – Mindy Mejia

[Synopsis]

Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she’s found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.

Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie’s dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers; it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives: Del’s, Hattie’s high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman tells the story of the real Hattie, and what happened that final year of school when she dreamed of leaving her small town behind . . .

Wonderfully evocative of its Midwestern setting and with a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a book about manipulation of relationships and identity, about the line between innocence and culpability, about the hope love offers and the tragedies that occur when it spins out of control.

 

First Comes Love – Emily Giffin

[Synopsis]

What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?

Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.

Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.

Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know…

 

Everything But The Truth – Gillian McAllister

[Synopsis]

Just how much can you trust the person you love?

Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister’s stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman’s compulsive need to uncover the truth

It all started with the email.

Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.

But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

Black Widow – Chris Brookmyre

[Synopsis]

Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing.

Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for.

Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance.

But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…

Let the Dead Speak – Jane Casey

[Synopsis]

When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body.

London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighborhood’s favorite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic facade?

As a body fails to materialize, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance.

Dead Embers – Matt Brolly

[Synopsis]

An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Trust no one.

The Missing Ones – Patricia Gibney

[Synopsis]

The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.

 

Fire Damage – Kate Medina

[Synopsis]

When psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn starts counselling Sami, the four-year-old son of an injured Major, she begins to suspect that his trauma runs deeper than his family have led her to believe. Why does he refer to himself as “the girl”? And who is the “Shadowman” who instils such terror in her patient?

Meanwhile, Flynn’s former patient, Captain Ben Callan, is investigating the controversial death of an officer in Afghanistan. Shot only days before he was due to arrive home, there is only one suspect – a fellow soldier who is refusing to talk.

Flynn and Callan’s cases converge when a dead body is found washed up on a Sussex beach, revealing a connection between Sami and the dead soldier. And it soon becomes clear that what seemed to have its origins in Afghanistan began with a secret much closer to home.

 

What have you got planned to read this month? Are any of these books on your list?

 

WWW Wednesday [25 January 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

Well, as usual I’ve left it ages since the last WWW Wednesday – far more than a week’s worth, I should point out – it’s been about a month! So there’ll be plenty here!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading?

The Book of Mirrors – E.O. Chirovici
Relativity – Antonia Hayes
The One – John Marrs (and I currently have a giveaway where you can win a paperback copy too!)

What are you currently reading?

Actually reading FOUR books this week – I usually only let myself read one at a time, but I’ve started a few paperbacks then happened to only have my kindle with me, and vice versa…

Blue Light Yokohama – Nicolas Obregon (review to follow soon)
The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion (review to follow soon)
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson (on hold until I get other books read)
The Breakdown – B A Paris

What will you read next?

The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown – can’t wait to read this!


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

WWW Wednesday [18 January 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

Well, as usual I’ve left it ages since the last WWW Wednesday – far more than a week’s worth, I should point out – it’s been about a month! So there’ll be plenty here!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading?

The Perfect Blend – Tess Masters
Sheet Pan Suppers – Molly Gilbert
The Watcher – Ross Armstrong
Little Deaths – Emma Flint
Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land
Bridget Jones’s Baby – Helen Fielding
The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty
A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart (I’d read this before but republished my review as part of the blog tour, as it’s just come out in paperback!)
The Girl Before – JP Delaney (review to follow soon)
Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough (review to follow soon)

What are you currently reading?

The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

What will you read next?

I think I’ll read:

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
The Breakdown – B A Paris

…but I don’t often end up reading what I think I will!


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

My January Review List

Happy New Year (and Happy Birthday to me – couldn’t resist!)

In 2017 I’m looking forward to reading a whole array of brilliant-sounding books (and I hope they live up to expectations)!

As much as I’d love to just pick a book from my bookshelf (or Kindle) at random because I fancy it at that time, I have a whole load of books that, for whatever reason (usually review deadlines etc), I prioritise each month. I do try to keep track of them all, and I’ve been really bad in the past at accepting too many book reviews or getting click-happy on Netgalley and ending up massively behind on posting my reviews because, though I love reading, sometimes life – including my job and actually seeing other people! – gets in the way.

So, here are my ‘to read’ books for January. Some I’ve already read so the reviews will be live on my blog in January (if you want to see what I thought now though, then check out my Goodreads here) but some are still to be read, so we’ll see if I manage them all!

Little Deaths – Emma Flint

The Beautiful Dead – Belinda Bauer

Watch Her Disappear – Eva Dolan

Kill the Father – Dazieri, Sandrone

The One – Marrs, John

The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty

Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough

Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land

The Book of Mirrors – E.O. Chirovici

The Girl Before – J P Delaney

What are you planning on reading / reviewing in the month of January?

 

WWW Wednesday [21 September 2016]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments – and I’d love to see your answers too!

It’s been a little while since I’ve last posted a WWW post… that’s an understatement actually – I haven’t posted one since 13 July! I looked back at the last one and couldn’t believe it! So I’ll pick a selection of books I’ve finished reading instead of listing every single one!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

 

What have you finished reading?

The Night Stalker – Robert Bryndza

Dear AmyHelen Callaghan

The Fire Child – S.K. Tremayne

Black Water Lillies – Michel Bussi

A Modern Way to Cook – Anna Jones

Courage Resurrected – R Scott Mackay

The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware

The Last One – Alexandra Oliva

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Local Girl Missing – Claire Douglas

Taste of Persia – Naomi Duguid

What are you currently reading?

The Empathy Problem - Gavin Extence

The Empathy Problem – Gavin Extence
Spoiler: I’m HUGELY enjoying this so far, so I’m almost certain it will be a good review unless the second half really lets me down – here’s hoping it doesn’t!

 

What will you read next?

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
I received a physical copy of this, which is always lovely (as much as I appreciate and enjoy ebooks, to me there’s nothing like holding an actual book in my hands). I’m really looking forward to starting this.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
This is a Netgalley approval which I’m so excited about! I’m slowly but surely getting through my Netgalley list (except I keep seeing amazing new books and requesting more so it never really goes down! I’m determined to get it down to just a few though)


What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

On Track For Murder by Stephen Childs

Stephen Childs [author spotlight]

BlogivalI am so pleased to today have author Stephen Childs on the blog, sharing the inspiration behind his new novel, On Track For Murder. It’s set in the 19th century and follows 18 year old Abigail as she tries to track down her father’s killer. With lots of mystery and adventure, it sounds like a great read!

It’s all part of Clink Street’s Blogival, which runs from 1- 30 June; find out more here.


On Track For Murder

Author Stephen ChildsOn Track for Murder is my debut murder mystery novel. Set in 1889 in Western Australia, the main character is eighteen year old Abigail Sergeant, freshly arrived from England with her younger brother in tow, dreaming of a better life.

My plan to author a full length fiction work was born of my own sea change. My wife and I had made the decision to leave behind our corporate executive life and head for warmer climes in search of much needed quality time for ourselves and our family. Perth, in Western Australia, became our new home. And I was instantly inspired.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It’s like a seed, the promise of magnificent blooms secured within. Yet without motivation and action, inspiration remains dormant; the seed stays dry in its packet. My love of storytelling had remained dormant since I was a child. Now, with time available to spend with my family, that love was to be revived.

How did it happen? We had taken a trip to a local railway museum. As we wandered around my son began regaling me with tales of exploding boilers and runaway trains. His mind was awash with fabulous stories. It took me back to my own childhood, when I would bombard my parents with equally bizarre fabrications. On that trip I spent considerable time – more than my son felt reasonable – staring at old black and white photographs: early train crews forging routes to remote outback towns, defying the harshness of the environment in their resolve to expand the colony. My interest had been piqued.

With time now my friend I set about searching the West Australian records. I was entranced. Most people know of the establishment of Sydney as a British penal colony. Yet few know of the growth of Perth and Albany as essentially commercial enterprises designed to secure the region for the British Empire. I couldn’t ignore this fascination. I was moved to action.

On Track For Murder by Stephen ChildsOddly, it was a diversion from Australian history that brought about the idea for a young female lead character. I was perusing old transport records when I stumbled upon a compelling historical account. Unrelated to Australian history it was the story of Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz, inventor of the Patent Motorwagen, the first successful automobile. Bertha had been inspired by their invention and had embarked, without her husband’s knowledge, on a mammoth 65 mile journey across Germany, taking two of her children with her. During the journey she managed to effect necessary repairs to the vehicle and arrived unscathed at her destination, hailed as a heroine. This story inspired the creation of Abigail Sergeant: a woman for whom the impending journey appears impossible, yet driven by her self-belief she manages to overcome and succeed.
I was inspired and motivated. I had my location, time period and main character. Now what to do with them?

I have always been fascinated by the way we humans communicate. As part of my work in the business world I am called upon to create and edit documents that form the basis for decision making. These need to be formed with minimal ambiguity to avoid any possible misinterpretation.

It was essentially rebellion against this premise that drove my decision to pursue the mystery genre. I love the idea of presenting readers with evidence that can be interpreted many different ways, then tempting them with side issues and red herrings. I find this freedom to explore ambiguity and misdirection incredibly refreshing. A complete turn around from my conclusive work in the business world.

Thus I had my character inspired by Bertha Benz, my time period and location inspired by the amazing Western Australian landscape, and a genre inspired by a desire to break free from the confines of business writing.

I was inspired and I had the time to sit at my computer and write. Abigail Sergeant was created and On Track for Murder saw the light of day.

I love writing. I love seeing the story unfold as I type. So I continue to write. Abigail’s next adventure is well underway. I’ve also commenced work on an audiobook version, which will be perfect for those rush hour traffic jams.

I hope you enjoy reading On Track for Murder and the subsequent tales to follow.”


On Track For Murder is out to buy now from Amazon. View it on Goodreads here: On Track For Murder