The Man on the Roof by Michael Stephenson [spotlight]

manonroofgabriolaToday I’m pleased to feature an exciting new release from author Michael Stephenson: The Man on the Roof. Read on for more information and an extract from the book!

Title: The Man on the Roof
Author: Michael Stephenson

[Synopsis]

Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.

“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.

Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.

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[Extract: The Man on the Roof]

The shortest interview of them all, Jordan and Chante had no recorded run-in with Zach ever. Their house wasn’t egged, preliminary research showed they had no criminal history, no drug use, no errands he ran for them and no child he might have touched. Their spotless record was made even more bizarre by how they acted.

“Nice house,” Lambert said. Theirs was the third biggest on the entire street, eclipsed only by the Haggertys’ and the Walters’.

Before giving an answer, their heads swiveled like mechanized swing gates—slow and deliberate—toward each other. Who would answer? And why did Jordan seem not to fully open his eyes, his lids stuck forever in Droopy-the-dog mode.

Their heads clicking back to the detectives as they sat in the dining room, Jordan started to take the lead when Chante interrupted.

“Thank y—”

“Thank—oh! Sorry,” Chante said, feeling the cut of his eyes on her.

“Thank you,” Jordan finished.

“What do you do for work, Mr. Fletcher?” Lambert asked. All her focus on the couple, she gave no mind to Fitz’s gaze at Chante.

“Handyman.”

“You can afford this type of house on that money? Must do pretty well for yourself.”

“Very good handyman.”

“And what do you do for a living, Mrs. Fletcher?”

A smirking Jordan answered for her, “That’s easy: she lives off me.”

Chante cut her eyes at Jordan, then looked away to give no reaction.

“Anyway, did you know Zach Landon?” Cady asked.

“No,” Chante answered for the both of them.

“Did you ever interact with him?”

“No,” came from Jordan.

“How well do you know your neighbors’ children, how often do you interact with them?” Cady asked.

“Oh, I don’t touch their kids,” Jordan said before quickly correcting, “The subject, I mean. I don’t touch on the subject of their kids.”

“But you do touch them?” Cady asked.

Jordan chuckled alone. He caught a glimpse of Chante, then cleared his throat and returned to the seriousness of the subject and answered, “Of course not.”

“Where were you the night of the murder?”

“Home. Sleep,” Jordan said.

“And you, Mrs. Fle—”

“I said we were sleep,” Jordan said.

“Hm? So did you find anything out of the ordinary that night?”

“How could we, if we were sleep?” Jordan asked.

“Even better question, if both of you were too deep in sleep to know what was going on at night, how do either of you know if the other was actually asleep?”

Circle logic. A proverbial cat in a box. How did anyone ever know what went on as they slept? Jordan smirked. I wonder if I could take her if I needed to.

Lambert smirked back. Don’t even try it.

“Do you know of any reason why Zach Landon would want to blackmail you?”

“No, not that I can really think of. But we did make a… tape once,” Chante said.

Braidey finally spoke, the skin between his brows bunching as he got serious, “Tape? What kinda tape?”

“Of the personal, sorted variety,” Chante said. Jordan didn’t bother correcting her. She needn’t correcting.

A young, married couple taping themselves? Kinky but not revolutionary. Jordan wet his lips as he kept his eyes on Lambert.

“Well, we’ll be in touch,” Lambert said.

[About the Author]

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael cultivated his love for storytelling on a steady diet of film and TV, embracing the art across all genres and mediums. He believes that to tell a story is the greatest gift that humanity has ever received and hopes to connect through words both written and filmed. A thoughtful suburbanite, he enjoys writing in every genre and platform. Covering a wide range of subjects, ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, and ideals, his writing runs the gamut from silly and lighthearted to thought-provoking and sensual to horrifying and captivating. Offering everything from sci-fi to romance, he wishes to supply the reader with an indelible experience.

Privately, he seeks to accomplish great things with his writing in both popular culture and more niche genres. He hopes to soon write for film again, as he had briefly before, and aspires to write the screenplay for the film adaptation of Captain Planet as he loves the environment.

Pre-order The Man on the Roof on Amazon, and follow Michael Stephenson on Twitter: @filmbooksbball


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3 mini #bookreviews by my mum!  #TheMermaidAndMrsHancock, #ThreeThingsAboutElse & #Educated

Here’s a few mini guest reviews by my mum! She’s not a book blogger herself but works in library & information services for the Royal National Institute for the Blind, getting to work with books everyday (and therefore gets to enjoy the wonders of Netgalley too!)


The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Title: The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
Author: Imogen Hermes Gowar
Publisher: Random House UK

[Synopsis]

This voyage is special. It will change everything…

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This chance meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, a journey on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost…

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

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[Review]

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a wonderful tale that delighted me throughout. Set in Georgian England in 1785, the stories of Mr Hancock – a respectable merchant – and Angelica – a courtesan – are drawn irresistibly together by the random purchase of a mermaid and chances are it will be a road to disaster.

The period is brilliantly portrayed and I loved the brothel house scenes which made me laugh. There is hope, despair, fortitude and magic so delicately and enjoyably woven together that I didn’t want it to end.

An amazing debut, this is a writer to look out for.

Buy on Amazon here.


Three Things About Elsie

Title: Three Things About Elsie
Author: Joanna Cannon
Publisher: The Borough Press

[Synopsis]

There are three things you should know about Elsie.
The first thing is that she’s my best friend.
The second is that she always knows what to say to make me feel better.
And the third thing… might take a little bit more explaining.

84-year-old Florence has fallen in her flat at Cherry Tree Home for the Elderly. As she waits to be rescued, Florence wonders if a terrible secret from her past is about to come to light; and, if the charming new resident is who he claims to be, why does he look exactly like a man who died sixty years ago?

From the author of THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP, this book will teach you many things, but here are three of them:
1) The fine threads of humanity will connect us all forever.
2) There is so very much more to anyone than the worst thing they have ever done.
3) Even the smallest life can leave the loudest echo.

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[Review]

This is a beautifully written, carefully constructed, delicately balanced gem of a story.

Florence, 84 and in a care home, has a best friend Elsie who is with her in the home and she takes us back through her life as she lies on the floor of her room after falling, waiting for help. Almost instantly I loved Florence, wanted to travel with her and enjoy her spark and her observations of life.

There are some lovely passages that describe memories and the passing of time in prose loaded with meaning but never too drawn. In particular Florence – and Elsie – refer to a long second which is when the clock hesitates, just for a moment, long enough to give the extra time needed to make the right decision.

The book is crammed with memorable characters both good and bad and there is a mystery that teeters throughout the story. I laughed out loud at parts, and I cried a bit too.



Educated

Title: Educated
Author: Tara Westover
Publisher: Cornerstone

[Synopsis]

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.

She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.

As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled too far. If there was still a way home.

EDUCATED is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes with the severing of the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has, from her singular experience, crafted a universal coming-of-age story, one that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers – the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.

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[Review]

Such a brave, honest, intelligent account of a childhood that was anything but conventional.

Despite physical and mental abuse, being made to work in conditions that no-one, least of all a young child, should and a lack of any formal education, Tara not only survived but educated herself and ultimately became a PhD. But she mourned the loss of her family along the way and even though her eyes were opened to the lies that she had been fed all her life, she still missed them and loved them despite everything. One of her brothers was clearly mentally ill, as was her father, and she suffered incredible abuse from him that her parents refused to acknowledge.

Was sexual abuse also involved and Tara cannot yet voice this? It was his treatment of her and her sister that finally caused the split with her family and a breakdown in Tara. But she began to heal and flourish, finding support within the extended family unit.

Brutal, chilling but ultimately a tale of the human spirit overcoming terrible obstacles to shine, it grows in strength as she does and in the end we are dazzled.


– Reviews by Heather Nazmdeh

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February wash up (aka wrap up!)

I can’t believe it’s already March!!

February was a great reading month for me, I read some great books and also some I didn’t enjoy so much… variety is the spice of life 🙂

Here’s all the books I read last month- click the title links to check out my reviews for them (some reviews still to come) and let me know if you’ve read any of these too!

Home – Amanda Berriman

The Dark Angel – Elly Griffiths

Fragile Lives – Stephen Westaby

Still Me – JoJo Moyes

The Last Mrs Parrish [audiobook review] – Liv Constantine

Everything Is Lies – Helen Callaghan

The Sunday Lunch Club – Juliet Ashton

The Year That Changed Everything – Cathy Kelly

Only Child – Rhiannon Navin

The Dark Lake – Sarah Bailey [review coming as part of blog tour on 5 March]

Bring Me Back B.A. Paris [review to follow soon]

Exhibit Alexandra – Natasha Bell [review to follow]

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

How was your reading month? Any new favourites to report?

A Year At Meadowbrook Manor [blog tour extract]

Today you can enjoy an extract from the new novel by Faith Bleasdale, called A Year At Meadowbook Manor, as part of the blog tour!

Title: A Year At Meadowbrook Manor
Author: Faith Bleasdale
Publisher: Avon Books – HarperCollins UK

[Synopsis]

The Singer siblings are back at Meadowbrook Manor and their father has one last request…

Harriet Singer hasn’t been home in ten years, her days focused on work and very little play since moving to New York… But when her father dies Harriet jumps on a plane to England right away, planning to be heading back to NYC in the morning.

But her father has other ideas…

To gain their inheritance all four Singer siblings must live together at Meadowbrook Manor for one year, caring for the house and working at the Animal Sanctuary set up within the grounds.

Having drifted apart over the years, the relationship between the siblings is at best fractured. But could trading in her high heels for wellington’s be just what Harriet needs to get her life back on track? Especially with her teenage crush back home too…

Spend a year at Meadowbrook Manor, the only heart-warming novel you need to read this year!

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[Extract – Chapter 6, 59 – 60]

Harriet opened her computer. She knew the drill; it would be easier to email Zach, who never took his eyes off his mailbox, and get him to call her urgently. She needed reassurance from him that this was a terrible idea and that there was no way she would be able to stay at Meadowbrook for even a month let alone a year.

Zachary Matthews, the man she had walked into the interview room ten years ago with a desperate need to impress. He was tall, with curly brown hair, dark eyes, and a presence so commanding she was drawn to him like a magnet. She was so focused on the job, nothing would stand in her way of the much-wanted move to New York. Her and Zach worked closely together and at some point they ended up in bed together. It hadn’t happened overnight, it had taken almost five years before anything happened. A work trip to Washington, too much wine with dinner, and then up to his hotel room. He didn’t sugarcoat anything, romance it certainly wasn’t, but that was what Harriet wanted, needed, understood. No strings, nothing to detract from her job, no emotions. Harriet didn’t even know if she had emotions anymore. They were the same person; driven by making money, excited by the deal, obsessed by work, by succeeding.

She didn’t focus too much on the fact that she was sleeping with a married man. And every time her moral compass seemed to right itself and she decided to end things, Zach would smile at her and they’d end up in bed. Was she the only one? She doubted it. But there was something powerful about him. And something safe. Harriet certainly didn’t worry about him falling in love with her and she didn’t need to worry about falling in love with him. She had let that happen once and it didn’t end well.

But now her father had died. Which made her question what the hell she was doing.

She took a deep breath as she opened up her email and, scanning through the spam, she noticed an email from work. It was from the director of HR, with Zach copied in. As her thumping heart slowed to a dull thud, she felt bile rising in her stomach as she read it.

A Year at Meadowbrook Manor is available to buy now.


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The Jinx @ernestlancast [cover reveal] @FierySeasPub

Today I am excited to show you the cover for The Jinx, the new novel by Ernest Lancaster!

Title: The Jinx
Author: Ernest Lancaster
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing

[Synopsis]

Disaster strikes and innocents die as police sniper Rick Munro is plagued by a first-call jinx. As his career takes off, he must overcome his rookie mistakes, and keep his team members safe.

When Munro returns to TACT as a newly promoted lieutenant, the jinx torments him still. He must contend with team members’ rival agendas around every turn. Munro finds himself in a battle he can’t escape as corruption and death unfold around him.

Who can he trust? Will Munro break the streak or will it destroy everything he believes in?

And here’s the cover…

The Jinx

The cover fits perfectly with the genre of this suspense novel – it’s released 24 July 2018 so keep an eye out for it!

Find out more…

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ernest.lancaster.98
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ErnestLancast

Ernest’s website: http://www.ernestlancaster.com/www.ErnestLancaster.com/Welcome.html

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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?

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First Thoughts [Spotlight on #GirlBoss Workbook]

Girlboss Workbook cover

Title: The Girlboss WorkbookThe Girlboss Workbook
Author: Sophia Amoruso
Publisher: Portfolio Penguin

[Synopsis]

Hot on the heels of the new Netflix show based on #GIRLBOSScomes Sophia Amoruso’s workbook of tips, doodles, and fill-in-the-blanks that will help you become your best Girlboss yet.

A graphic and whimsical easy-to-carry life bible filled with to-do lists, timelines, exercises, illustrations and plenty of scribble room, The Girlboss Workbook is fit for both the dreamer and the doer. It invites you–hell, implores you–to get in there and mess it up a little. Write in the blank spaces and in between them.

#GIRLBOSS started as Sophia’s story, but The Girlboss Workbook is your story. It includes the best advice from #GIRLBOSS, of course, and will remind readers of the story of the girl who got her start fumbling and failing hard, but now it is time to take her story and use it to help you write your own.

Use The Girlboss Workbook to design your own freak flag to your heart’s content. Ask yourself (or your mom) what makes you special and then draw in your own special snowflake. Revisit #GIRLBOSS‘s sage career wisdom and then use it to draft your own dream cover letter and answer your own practice interview questions. Fill in the blanks with your turn-ons and turn-offs, your most badass accomplishments, your mistakes. Write your own lemonade recipe with your own personal lemons. Use this workbook as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball.

No need to handle this book with care and no need to live a typical, cookie-cutter life. Sophia’s has been anything but.

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[Thoughts…]

This lovely book caught my eye when it came through the letterbox because not only does it have a very eye-catching design (I love the illustrations and doodles on the pages within) but it’s all about building your own confidence and providing inspiration so you can be your own #girlboss!

I love the interview advice and the lists/ sections which encourage the reader to get to know themselves better with prompts such as what turns you on and off,  your most memorable mistakes, etc; it’s got a great purpose.

As the synopsis says, “Use this workbook as a diary, a mood board, a stress ball” – it works for all three and would make a great gift for any great females in your life 🙂

I haven’t read #GirlBoss but I definitely want to give it a go now as this has sparked my interest in Sophia.

Available now on Amazon.

Many thanks to Portfolio Penguin for providing a copy of this book!

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[Spotlight] The Burgas Affair by @ellisshuman

The Burgas Affair by Ellis Shuman 800x1250

Title: The Burgas Affair
Author: Ellis Shuman

[Synopsis]

She’s an Israeli data analyst. He’s a headstrong Bulgarian detective. Together they must track down those responsible for a horrific bombing.

In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria, Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence agencies launch a joint investigation. Detective Boyko Stanchev on the police task force teams up with Ayala Navon, a young Israeli intelligence analyst on her first overseas assignment.

The two must establish whether the terrorists were assisted by a Bulgarian crime organization in laying the groundwork for the attack.

It should be a routine investigation, but shadows of the past keep interfering.

Boyko’s interactions with a crime boss pursuing a vendetta against him threaten to throw him off track. Ayala’s pursuit of the terrorists and their accomplices brings up painful memories of a family tragedy.

Boyko and Ayala form a shaky alliance, one that evolves into growing cooperation and affection as they desperately race against time to uncover who was behind the Burgas bombing.

The Burgas Affair is a fictional account of the aftermath of a very real terrorist attack. On July 18, 2012, a deadly explosive rocked a tourist bus at Burgas Airport, killing five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorists responsible for this murderous attack have never been brought to justice.

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[My feelings about the attack at Burgas Airport in July 2012]

“My wife and I lived in Sofia for two years (2009–2010) when my job was relocated to Bulgaria. I had never previously visited Bulgaria and quite honestly, it was not on my bucket list of travel destinations. Alongside working full-time, we utilized our weekends to explore the country. We were fascinated by Bulgaria’s history and culture, and fell in love with its nature and picturesque villages.

The terrorist bombing at Burgas Airport in July 2012 took me by surprise because I never expected that such an attack could occur on Bulgarian soil. Having grown up in Israel, I was unfortunately quite familiar with the horror of suicide bombings and explosions on buses. Israelis are very security-conscious, but Bulgaria, I believed, was supposed to be safe territory. And also, I had been to Burgas Airport so I could clearly picture where the bombing took place.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the attack. The more the events raced through my head, the more my creative mind kept coming up with plot lines and characters, a process that led to my writing The Burgas Affair.

In the novel, many of the details of the bombing as well as the names of the suspects are based on information released to the media. However, the joint Bulgarian-Israeli investigation, the leads investigated, the suspected collaboration between Hezbollah and a Bulgarian crime organization, and the characters are all figments of my imagination.

The Burgas bombing was a very real, deadly terrorist attack. Six people were murdered—five Israelis and one Bulgarian—and many others were injured. I hope that my fictitious description of the victims is not considered disrespectful by their families. With that in mind, I dedicate The Burgas Affair to them.”

– Ellis Shuman


[About the Author]

ellis_shuman

Ellis Shuman was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and immigrated to Israel as a teenager. He completed high school in Jerusalem and served for three years in the Israeli army. Along with his wife, Jodie, he was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel. After working for several years in the hotel industry, he today writes and edits online marketing content. In the years 2009 – 2010, his job was relocated to Sofia, Bulgaria. His writing has appeared in The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Israel Insider, and on a wide range of Internet websites. His collection of short stories, The Virtual Kibbutz, was originally published in 2003. His novel Valley of Thracians was published in 2013. Ellis lives with his wife, children, and grandchildren on Moshav Neve Ilan, outside Jerusalem.

Ellis writes about Bulgaria, Israel, books, travel, and the craft of writing on his blog:

Ellis Shuman Writes: http://ellisshuman.blogspot.com
Ellis Shuman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellisshumanauthor
Ellis Shuman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellisshuman
Ellis Shuman on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1529444.Ellis_Shuman

The Burgas Affair will be released on October 30th 2017 – buy on Amazon here.


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The Angel [blog tour]

The Angel - Katerina Diamond

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for The Angel by Katerina Diamond! It looks like a fantastic read so enjoy the following extract and make sure to add it to your Goodreads ‘TBR list’ – I know I have!

Title: The Angel
Author: Katerina Diamond
Publisher: Avon Books

[Synopsis]

THE TRUTH WON’T STAY LOCKED UP FOREVER.

When a burned body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case than meets the eye. But while she struggles to convince those around her of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation is stopped in its tracks. Is the body in the box even who they thought it was? The duo realise Gabriel might have been locked up for a crime he didn’t commit. But with enemies watching Gabriel’s every move, they may be too late.

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Extract Ten from Chapter Three, pp 33-34

‘Why did you start the fire?’ Imogen asked.

‘It was cold. The rain was pelting down; I didn’t know it was going to rain so I wasn’t wearing a coat.’ He paused, obviously trying to think of how to word his answers. ‘One of the girls was cold. It was a metal bin and the fire didn’t even last very long.’

‘Go on.’

‘That was it. We left and went to the club to see the band.’

Adrian looked briefly at Imogen, who looked every bit as sombre as he felt.

‘Unfortunately, arson is a pretty big deal, Gabriel,’ Adrian said.

‘Arson? No, it wasn’t that. I wouldn’t do that.’

‘That’s for the judge to decide.’

‘Judge? What do you mean? Are you charging me with arson? It was an accident.’

Imogen sighed audibly, exhaling and then holding her breath again.

‘There’s something else, I’m afraid,’ she said.

‘If you call my parents they can pay for the damage.’

‘I’m afraid it’s more complicated than that.’ Adrian paused and looked at Imogen. ‘There was a body found in the signal box,’ he said.

The force of Adrian’s words knocked the colour out of Gabriel’s face. ‘What?’

‘There was someone in the room below when the building caught fire. There’s every likelihood it was a homeless man, but we don’t know for sure at this point until there’s been a thorough examination of both the site and the body.’

‘No . . . it was just us,’ he said faintly, his chest heaving.

‘Are you all right?’ Imogen asked. Gabriel was shaking; he looked as though he was going to throw up.

The Angel is out now in paperback, EBook and audio formats – buy on Amazon here


Katerina Diamond

About the Author

Katerina Diamond lives on the east Kent Coast with her son and daughter.

Born in Weston-super-Mare, she has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter.

Her first novel reached number six in the Sunday Times Bestseller chart.


Check out the other stops on the blog tour below:

Angel Blog tour

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The Cedar Cage [spotlight] @robscape

Today I’m spotlighting the new novel by Robert Greenfield, The Cedar Cage. It’s set in Norfolk, the county I currently live in, and I love finding out more about novels set in this area – and this sounds like a great read!

Read on to find out more about the book and some information from Robert as he tells us about the setting for his new noir-fiction novel…

The Cedar Cage - Robert Greenfield

Title: The Cedar Cage
Author: Robert Greenfield
Publisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie

[Synopsis]

The boathouse had been built by an Edwardian aristocrat – from a single cedar of Lebanon – as a retreat, maybe even a cage, for his glamorous American bride. But in 2008, just weeks after moving into this dream home, Bertie starts to feel uneasy about living inside someone else’s fantasy.

Obsession takes hold when he becomes convinced that a carpenter, commissioned to fulfil Lord James Newton-Grey’s vision, was murdered in the boathouse. His investigations immerse him in a sinister web of family secrets, as tangled and treacherous as the Norfolk marshlands that lie beyond his windows.

Bertie’s own dark past plays tag with the present, driving him to the edge of madness, when he is forced to confront a chilling truth about himself – delivered by an unexpected visitor on Christmas Day.

Readers of The Cedar Cage – like its characters – must make up their own minds: is Bertie’s strange, unquenchable imagination running riot … or has something genuinely supernatural been at work?”

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[Over to Robert…]

61cmqrkojxl-_ux250_“Originally, The Cedar Cage was supposed to be a sequel to my autobiography Samphire Coast (a bestseller for my publisher, Pegasus), but as my narrative developed, it became clear to me that the setting for the boathouse, which was our new Riverside home (formerly a boathouse) could be transposed to an altogether even-more isolated location, than its village setting. And thus inspired by not only the dense pinewoods at Holkham, but also the woods at Stiffkey, where I walked my dog Barnaby (Boo) most mornings – the idea propagated into a much-darker and deliciously Gothic multi-layered fictional tale, as tangled and treacherous as the Norfolk marshlands beyond…

 

Watch the book trailer for The Cedar Cage on Youtube here

a href=”https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cedar-Cage-Robert-Greenfield/dp/1910903051/” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Amazon! FInd out more about Robert Greenfield by visiting his website, www.robertgreenfield.co.uk.


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