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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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!

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

[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

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

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.


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

#CoverReveal time! #FatalMasquerade by @VivWrites @hqdigital

Excited to bring a cover reveal to you today, for Fatal Masquerade by Vivian Conroy!

Title: Fatal Masquerade
Author: Vivian Conroy
Publisher: HQ Digital
Series: A Lady Alkmene Cosy Mystery, Book 4

Fatal Masquerade cover reveal banner

[Synopsis]

Lady Alkmene and Jake Dubois are back in a gripping new adventure facing dangerous opponents at a masked ball in the countryside.

Masked danger…
Lady Alkmene Callender has always loved grand parties, but when she receives an invitation to a masked ball thrown by Franklin Hargrove – oil magnate, aviation enthusiast and father of her best friend, Denise – she’s never seen such luxury. The estate is lit up with Chinese lanterns in the gardens, boats operated by footmen float across the pond and the guest list features the distinguished, rich and powerful!

But below the glamour, evil is lurking. When a dead body is discovered, it forces Lady Alkmene to throw off her mask and attempt to find the true killer before Denise’s family are accused. If only her partner, Jake Dubois, weren’t hiding something from her…

This case might just be more dangerous than either of them could have imagined…

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Fatal Masquerade is out in ebook format on 4 October - Pre-order on Amazon here

View Fatal Masquerade / the rest of the series on Goodreads

Find out more about Vivian Conroy here
 

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Spotlight on: A Mind To Kill by @nicholl06 + GIVEAWAY!

A Mind To Kill - John Nicholl

Today I’m thrilled to have author John Nicholl on the blog to introduce us to his new novel, A Mind To Kill, and how John’s own experiences and career has inspired this gripping tale. We also have a signed paperback copy of the first in the series, White Is The Coldest Colour, to give away AND four ebook copies of A Mind To Kill!

 

[Biography: About John]

I’ve worked as a police officer and as a social worker and operational manager for the child guidance service, two social services departments and the NSPCC. I’ve also lectured on child protection at several colleges and universities. I live in beautiful south west Wales with my family, and began writing after leaving my job heading up child protection services for Carmarthenshire.

I’ve written three Amazon internationally bestselling darkly psychological suspense thrillers before A Mind To Kill, each of which are available on Amazon, Audible and iTunes. The books have reached # 1 in multiple Amazon categories in six countries.

 

John Nicholl[Inspiration for A Mind To Kill]

Like all my books, A Mind to Kill, draws on my professional experiences. Far too often during my career I was left incredulous as to the harm sexual predators chose to inflict on their vulnerable victims. My new novel reflects that abhorrent reality.

The book is intended primarily as a gritty and entertaining crime thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. I hope, however, that it also brings some much needed attention to the risk posed by deviant criminals who target and groom potential victims on the internet.

A Mind To Kill is essentially a dark tale of female revenge. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted.

 

[Synopsis]

They kill innocence. She wants revenge.

When Rebecca’s childhood abuser escapes justice it sets her on a path to revenge. Revenge on any man who preys on the innocent.

A gripping page-turner of a psychological thriller packed with suspense.

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The novel is available for preorder now, with a 5 August release date. Pre-order on Amazon here.

Visit John’s website and Facebook page, and take a look at A Mind To Kill on Goodreads.

[Giveaway Time!]

We have a signed paperback edition of White Is The Coldest Colour to give away AND an ebook copy of A Mind To Kill to one lucky reader. Plus four winners will each win an ebook copy of A Mind To Kill!

Enter the giveaway here.

(Giveaway ends midnight on Tuesday 15 August. Paperback copy entry is UK only but international entrants are welcome for the ebook copies!)

 

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

Author Spotlight: Pat Abercromby

JustOneLife_Banner

Title: Just One Life
Author: Pat Abercromby
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing]

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Today I’m so pleased to welcome author Pat Abercromby to Snazzy Books. She’ll be sharing a bit about herself, as well as her inspiration for Just One Life, as part of my stop on the blog tour!

Pat AbercrombyOver to Pat:

“I have always been intensely interested in other people’s life’s and stories. Not wanting to live vicariously through them, but possibly been influenced and inspired by some people I have had the privilege of knowing.

I have always loved animals but was not clever enough to train as a vet (mathematics and me did not get on) so instead, I went into veterinary laboratory research and from this early career pathway starting at the Veterinary Hospital in Glasgow, I worked for a further six years in medical research in London and Germany. After finally deciding that medical research was not for me, I started my own recruiting company for medical representatives until my two daughters were born sixteen months apart and I found it impossible to keep on working as my job took me away from home for days at a time. My husband was a flight engineer flying long haul trips and I had no other family available or willing to help me out with the babies. I could have afforded a nanny then, but to be honest, I could not bear to leave them for so long.

For the next twenty years, my career went on the back burner as we travelled round the world with my husband who took on long contracts with several international airlines. We lived in Singapore, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Seattle, USA. However, I was always working on some project or another, never making much money, but enjoying the experiences. I dabbled in telecommunication sales, skincare products, MLM style, that was awful and and definitely not for me! In Jeddah I hosted a radio talk show and wrote articles for the Arab press which gave me the opportunity to interview some fascinating people. We returned to the UK from America when my daughters were ready to attend university.

I retrained as a massage therapist at the age of fifty. Something I had always been interested it but was unable to train as we were abroad for so long. By the age of fifty three I had trained in several holistic massage disciplines, including Seated Acupressure massage and wanted to train other therapists. I gained a post graduate degree in education (PGCE,) and set up a training school with my business partner Davina. In the year 2000 we published our own training book Seated Acupressure Massage (still available on Amazon 17 years later.) For ten years we offered our City and Guilds accredited training course throughout the UK and Ireland. Alongside that, I ran a First Aid training company for the corporate and private sector.

Then my life took an unexpected twist. I met a retired pilot on a domestic flight coming back from a training course in Scotland. He had an idea about a start-up long haul low cost airline using combo 747 aircraft which would carry freight and passengers. I introduced him to my newly retired husband who knew the airline industry inside out. This kicked off a three year project with an experienced team of aviators and me heavily involved as well. At the eleventh hour, the night before the launch, our main investor was arrested by the FBI for money laundering and the whole venture collapsed with devastating consequences for all concerned. A few months later, we were almost bankrupt and then my husband had a massive stroke.

For the next eight years, I was a full-time carer for him, unable to continue working apart from running the First Aid training company, matching trainers with client companies which I could do from home. We sold our comfortable family home and moved into a small two bedroomed house, but two years ago, he developed vascular dementia and had to go into a residential dementia care nursing home. I visit him every week and he seems quite settled. Having six days of the week now available, has allowed me to claim back some of my life and my first novel, Just One Life is one result of that. I also have a few private clients who come for remedial massage treatments and I have started up another business with Davina my training school partner from before and we offer chair massage sessions in the corporate sector through our company Wellbeing Direct. I also find time to garden, walk the dog and look after my grandchildren regularly. I love classical music and go to concerts as often as I can.

I have a non-fiction technical book and another novel in the pipeline so I won’t be retiring any time soon. I have taken up pilates and yoga recently to keep the stiff knees under control!

Just One Life is dedicated to all unsung carers, young and old, male or female and to friendship.”

View Just One Life on Goodreads, or buy online on Amazon.co.uk.


Just One Life: 
Synopsis

Just One Life_CoverWhen you realise you have just one life left to live, how do you make peace with the mistakes of your past?

Fran should be looking back on her life with pride. She’s risen to the top of the job ladder, having left behind a council housing estate in post-war Glasgow, to forge a colourful, fulfilling career and enjoy all the trappings of success.

But instead, Fran is consumed by regret. A shocking revelation has cast her life, and her thirty-year marriage, asunder. She finds herself the full-time carer for her husband, a man she now accepts, she has never loved. The sacrifices she has made, the personal freedoms she has lost, have left Fran crushed. Her free-spirited friend Iona is her one salvation. Their friendship has survived the storms of conflict and loss since childhood, their deep affection for one another the only constant remaining in Fran’s life, a life she no longer recognises as her own.

Her husband’s new brush with death will give Fran the chance to reflect on what she has left, the choices she has made and the two men she has loved and lost.

Can Fran find a way through the ruins of her marriage and find inner peace, to make the most of what remains of her life’s journey?


A Bit About Pat

Living in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, Pat Abercromby has enjoyed a varied career – from recruitment consultant to journalist in Saudi Arabia and massage therapist – eventually setting up a training school for Seated Acupressure Massage. Today she continues to work within the field of corporate wellness with her business partner Davina Thomson with their joint company Wellbeing Direct. She also co-wrote and published Seated Acupressure Massage with Davina Thomson in 2000. In her spare time, Pat enjoys being an active member of her local creative writing group, classical music and the outdoors.

View Just One Life on Goodreads, or buy online on Amazon.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

[Guest Post] Familial DNA in ‘The Death of Anyone’ & real life!

The Death Of AnyoneI’m a BIG fan of crime novels, and I particularly love learning more about the techniques they use. I always wonder which techniques are really used in the police force, and in real life. So I’m really excited to welcome author DJ Swykert to the blog, to tell us about Familial DNA searches, a case when it was used in real life to catch a serial killer, and  his great new novel, The Death of Anyone

Title: The Death Of Anyone
Author: DJ Swykert
Publisher: Melange Books

Over to DJ…

“The underlying theme in The Death of Anyone, Melange Books, poses the Machiavellian question: Does the end justify the means? Bonnie Benham, the lead detective in my story, has her own answer. But the legality of this question was answered in a real life courtroom in the California trial of a serial killer dubbed by the media: The Grim Sleeper.

Lonnie David Franklin, the Grim Sleeper, was caught because his son’s DNA was the closest match to DNA collected at the crime scenes in the database. Investigating Franklin’s son led them to investigate Lonnie Franklin. But there was no direct DNA evidence that linked Lonnie to the crime scene until they obtained a sample from him after his arrest. Lonnie Franklin is the first person in the U.S. to ever stand trial for murder based on this type of evidence, and its admissibility issues were thoroughly tested by defense attorneys.

Only two states at this time, California and Colorado, have a written policy concerning the use of Familial DNA in an investigation. The admission of Familial DNA, with its potential Fourth Amendment violations, has never been tested in court. The California trial of Lonnie David Franklin will become a landmark case for the future use of Familial DNA Searches by law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Lonnie David Franklin, AKA, The Grim Sleeper, was arrested on July 7, 2010. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged him with ten counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and special circumstance allegations of multiple murders in the cases. A grand jury indictment was issued on March 23, 2011. The Grim Sleeper has been resting comfortably in jail since his arrest awaiting trial; the large quantity of evidence in this case, some dating back thirty years, has caused a lengthy pretrial discovery. The trial was originally scheduled to begin the summer of 2014, but was put on hold. It was rescheduled for June 30, 2015, but that didn’t happen. On Monday August 17, 2015, at a pretrial hearing, the trial was rescheduled for October 14, 2015. Finally, in the late spring of 2016, The Grim Sleeper was convicted in May of 2016 and received the death penalty. The death sentence was later upheld by the court in August of 2016. A long appeals process, which might ultimately end up with the Supreme Court, is expected.

I first heard of the technique while working as a 911 operator in 2006. It came up in a conversation with our CSI investigator in our department. I thought at the time it would make an interesting premise for a book. I began writing the mystery some three years later after leaving the department. I had just finished editing a first draft of The Death of Anyone in the summer 2010 when news of The Grim Sleeper’s capture in Los Angeles was released. I read with interest all the information pouring out of L.A. regarding the investigation and the problems confronting prosecutors. All of which are explored in The Death of Anyone.

In my fictional story Detroit Detective Bonnie Benham has been transferred from working undercover in narcotics to homicide and is working the case of a killer of adolescent girls. She is a straight forward investigator who describes herself as a blonde with a badge and a gun. CSI collects DNA evidence from the scene of the latest victim, which had not been detected on the other victims. But no suspect turns up in the FBI database. Due to the notoriety of the crimes a task force is put together with Bonnie as the lead detective, and she implores the D.A. to use an as yet unapproved type of a DNA Search in an effort to identify the killer. “

The Death of Anyone is available on the Melange Books website and also on Amazon in Kindle and print, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo.

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ABOUT DJ:

meDJ Swykert is a former 911 operator writing and living in the Cincinnati area. His work has appeared in The Tampa Review, Detroit News, Coe Review, Monarch Review, the Newer York, Lunch Ticket, Gravel, Zodiac Review, Barbaric Yawp and Bull. His books include Children of the Enemy, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, Alpha Wolves, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude, Sweat Street, Justice in the Street, Nude Swimming and The Death of Anyone.

Find out more:

Website: www.magicmasterminds.com/djswykert
Twitter: @djswykert
Facebook: David J. Swykert

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

Spotlight: Spell Caster

Spell Caster cover

Title: Spell Caster
Author: Leah Hamrick
Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Today on the blog I have a spotlight post for Spell Caster, a collection of three short stories by author Leah Hamrick!


Three paranormal short stories. One sweet, one dark, one fun. Which one will be your favorite?

Love Caster: There is nothing greater than pure, sweet love, and that’s something Anna Bowden knows all about. While trying to get the courage to kiss her boyfriend Killian, she has to deal with her overbearing dad, who will stop at nothing to tear them apart.

In the Darkness: After Anna Bowden witnesses someone—or something—lurking in her backyard, it starts a chain of frightening events that leads to a gruesome discovery.

First Holiday: Featuring the characters from Frost On My Pillow—be prepared for a sweet, fun, wild ride. While Ethan gives Lyla—who has never celebrated Christmas before— the task of finding out the true meaning of the holiday, he surreptitiously tries to tell her how he really feels, but before that can occur, a lot of decorating and snowball fights have to happen!

The book is available to buy now on Amazon here!


About the author

Leah Hamrick lives in Michigan with her partner in crime husband Jon, daughter Khloey, and plethora or reptiles. She’s the author of many short stories and a novel (more she has yet graced the world with, meaning they’re not published… Yet!) She enjoys heavy metal music when she isn’t writing, she loves hiking, going to the beach, and reading anything that’s paranormal romance, which is the genre she writes in, (mostly!) You can check out her stuff on Amazon… Just type her name and walah, a bunch of new stories you can fall in love with!