BLOG TOUR 99 RED BALLOONS BY ELISABETH CARPENTER 

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

 

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

 

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

 

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

 

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.






Firstly thank you to Avon for having me on the blog tour .

This intrigued Me from the first email !

With the release of the new version of it later this year seeing the red balloon is very striking and chilling.

I received this in today’s post and I’ve finished it by early evening .

This is a book you find yourself whizzing through. 

All is not as it seems … who is telling the  truth ? 

Who and why would someone take a little girl.?

This is every parents worst nightmare I think .

I have lost my kids for 5 minuted in asda and that was horrible enough !

This is chilling and incredibly fast paced .

You can feel the anxiety and tension that would be on high levels in a situation like this .

And the twists …once they start they don’t stop !

Be prepared to realise not all is what it seems .

I wish the author every success with this book and can’t wait to read more from her .

Here is a extract of the book and do check out the other blogs taking part.

I’m so tired. I can hardly keep my eyes open – even after having a glass of Coca-Cola. We’re back in George’s car. Everyone else is sitting in their cars too, ready to drive off the ferry. I wanted to sit in the front seat again, but he said they’re strict with things like this in Belgium. I’ve never been to Belgium so I didn’t know that.

I don’t dare ask about Mummy and Daddy again. ‘I’ve told you, they’re waiting for you,’ he said. I think he might be lying. I have to stop thinking about them or else I’m going to start crying again. George doesn’t like histrionics. I know that now.

I look out of my window. There’s another girl, probably older than me. I wave at her, but she just stares at me. She says some¬thing, but I don’t know how to lip-read. It’s probably to her mum because she looks at me too. She doesn’t smile either. She frowns and moves her head closer to the window. She looks at George and points.

‘Do you know that lady, George?’

His hands are gripping the steering wheel tight, like he’s scared we’re going to fall into the sea. He turns round and looks where I’m looking. 

‘No.’ He hardly moves his lips. ‘For fuck’s sake, kid, what have you been doing?’

The woman is still looking at him; she looks at me again.

‘Smile and wave,’ says George, through his teeth.

He says it in a way that makes me think I really have to do as he says. Tears are coming to my eyes, but I smile my biggest smile – the one my gran always likes – and then I wave.

Slowly, the woman’s frown goes away and she smiles a small smile.

‘Thank fuck for that,’ says George.

I wish he’d stop saying naughty words.

The mummy looks at George. He rolls his eyes at her while smiling. She does the same. Adults can be copycats too.

A siren sounds; it makes me jump.

‘Right, kid,’ he says. ‘Doors are opening now. Make sure that seat belt is visible.’ He turns round again. ‘And don’t even think about looking at strangers again. There are some right nutters out there.’

It’s what my daddy says all the time. 



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BOOK REVIEW GOOD FRIDAY BY LYNDA LA PLANTE

BEFORE PRIME SUSPECT THERE WAS TENNISON.

Every legend has a beginning . . .

During 1974 and 1975 the IRA subjected London to a terrifying bombing campaign. In one day alone, they planted seven bombs at locations across central London. Some were defused – some were not.

Jane Tennison is now a fully-fledged detective. On the way to court one morning, Jane passes through Covent Garden Underground station and is caught up in a bomb blast that leaves several people dead, and many horribly injured. Jane is a key witness, but is adamant that she can’t identify the bomber. When a photograph appears in the newspapers, showing Jane assisting the injured at the scene, it puts her and her family at risk from IRA retaliation.

‘Good Friday’ is the eagerly awaited date of the annual formal CID dinner, due to take place at St Ermin’s Hotel. Hundreds of detectives and their wives will be there. It’s the perfect target. As Jane arrives for the evening, she realises that she recognises the parking attendant as the bomber from Covent Garden. Can she convince her senior officers in time, or will another bomb destroy London’s entire detective force?

 

 

 

 

Firstly a big thank you to the team at bonnier zaffre for my proof copy. 

I have not actually read any of her books and she has a lot . This is the beauty of being a book blogger is new doors to new authors open to you. 

Full of action and twists and turns . Really enjoyed it!

I felt like I could really connect with Jane , no airs and graces and works hard . She is a strong women with a determination to succeed in life .

Fast paced story and a great insight into the police world .

Would definitely read more from this author and recommend .

Published 24th August

BOOK REVIEW KILLER AFFAIR BY REBECCA CHANCE 

A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . .
Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault.
But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . .
Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she?
And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .

Firstly a big thank you to Frances for my copy to review . Apologies in my delay in getting to it, I think I was under the impression this was a sequel and I haven’t read the previous book. Plus it’s summer hols so days are blending into weeks .

But I finally picked it up yesterday and wow….. I was not expecting that. Steamy sexy  and full of scandal.

This is not for the easily offended readers out there as Rebecca does not hold back when it comes to writing a passionate scene .

I whizzed through it , loved every page .

The characters at the start are like chalk and cheese but that difference begins to decrease the more time they spend together .

As a reader my loyalties shifted from one lady to another and this really shows the ugly side of Greed and fame .

How far will someone go to get what someone else has?? At what cost?

This book has it all and will leave you wanting more …. of her books of course 😉 . Will certainly be reading more of her books.

Can’t recommend enough for a fun hot summer read .

BOOK REVIEW PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT BY PENNY PARKES

The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show. Dr Dishy Dan Carter’s obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend Julia to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are? 

I had the pleasure of reading a proof copy of the first book in the Larkford  series last year and met the lovely penny.

I loved every page and was so excited when knew there was going to be another book !

This is just a brilliant series full of humour and warmth .

The characters are great and we met even more in this book and as a dog lover I adored the new addition of coco who is one very clever pooch .

There is always a worry when you read a sequel that it wont be as good but there is no fear here .

Pennys writing is superb and you are instantly taken into Larkford.

There is never a dull moment especially with Holly and her lively twins and adjusting to a new relationship . We see different sides to all the people we met in out of practice proving you should never judge a book by its cover .

Life is hectic an bringing new challenges for everybody .

A lovely book and I cant wait to read more as there is going to be a book three.

 

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR EVERY LAST LIE BY MARY KUBICA

I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour .

I have got a cracking q&a for Marys readers to get an insight into her mind!

Enjoy and do check out the other blogs taking part.

Here is a link to my review of the book which I shared previously. 

https://charlenejess.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/book-review-every-last-lie-by-mary-kubica/




1.Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Generally from my imagination, but for my latest novel, EVERY LAST LIE, I got the idea from a newspaper article, with a headline that said something to the effect of how a little girl’s nightmares helped solved the mystery of her father’s death.  From that, a story was born!

 

2. What does a day of writing look like?

I’m up everyday at 5am and spend the next few hours writing while the rest of my family sleeps.  During the summer months when the kids are off of school and home with me, those early morning hours are about all the time I have to write.  But during the school year, once the kids are tucked safely away at school and my husband off to work, I’m back at the computer, writing for the bulk of the day.  When I’m not writing, I’m plotting, which is something I can do absolutely anywhere, at any time.  

 

3. If you wasn’t an author what would you be?

Before writing my first novel, THE GOOD GIRL, I was a high school history teacher, which was a job I absolutely loved.  I left teaching when I started my family, thinking that by now – my kids are currently 11 and 9 – I’d certainly go back to it.  I had no idea that a new career would bloom within those years.  If I wasn’t writing, I’d be teaching.  

 

4. What do you do you relax..switch off?

If you asked most people in my life, they’d tell you I never relax!  But I enjoy running, reading, and love to binge watch programs on TV, namely The Missing, which is what I’m watching now.  Such a gripping show!

 

5. Do  you know when you start a book how it will end?

I don’t!  I’m not much of a plotter, but prefer to dive in with only my starting point and take a more organic approach to the process.  I need to spend time creating my characters and getting to know them before I can figure out where the story will go.  This sometimes requires heavy revision on the back end, to make sure the story is coherent and spoilers aren’t being revealed sooner than  planned, but it’s a method that works for me and one I love.

 

6. Any info on your next book for us readers?

My next novel, 11 DAYS, tells the story of Jessie – a young woman who ventures off to create a life for herself after losing her mother to cancer, only to discover she may not be the person she believes she is – and Eden, a woman struggling with infertility, who would do absolutely anything to have a child.  Look for it in 2018!

BLOG TOUR PERFECT PREY BY HELEN FIELDS 

The second in the terrifying DI Callanach crime series. Fans of M.J. Arlidge will be hooked from the very first page.
In the midst of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker. The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
DI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach have no motive and no leads – until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s only when they realise the words are appearing before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim…and the more innocent the better.

Wow it was great to be back in the world of Helen and her dark and twisted mind.

I was ecstatic to be part of this blog tour after loving her debut book earlier in the year. 

Another incredible nail biting teeth clenching read …there’s not a single dull moment .

Gory dark chilling .

Fast paced and completely addictive I couldn’t put it down. 

I loved being back on the murky underworld of Edinburgh and in particular with these characters. 

It felt like we got a introduction with perfect remains and a longer meeting in perfect prey. 

We got to know them more and what makes them tick on a personal level .

 
I’m delighted there is going to be another book in this series and can’t wait to see what tricks Helen has in her bag .

I wish Helen every success with this book and will no doubt have more readers hooked !

As well as my review here is a exclusive extract to give you a sneak peek … and be sure to check the other blogs out taking part .
DC Christie Salter wished Callanach a quiet goodnight and went home to her new husband. She’d put off taking her sergeants exam for her wedding and honeymoon. When Callanach had advised against making the sacrifice, she’d laughed. Max Tripp went home to his twin brother with whom he was flat-sharing. The Chief went home to a wife who had tolerated him for no fewer than thirty years. Even miserable Sergeant Lively had someone waiting for him to get home so they could share a meal and stare at a mutually chosen television programme and forget the outside world.

Callanach retreated to an empty flat.
Scotland had been a new start for him, returning to the land of his long since dead father. But it had meant shedding the social circles and family comfort that had been at the centre of his world. He was trying, certainly. There was the gym, work, a good wine shop, places where people knew his name and greeted him with a smile. Beyond that, replacing old friends with new was time-consuming and soul-destroying.

He fired up the computer, waiting for his emails to appear and hoping desperately for contact from his mother. There was also the matter of checking that Astrid Borde had not been in touch. Since she’d falsely accused him of rape when they’d worked together at Interpol, then followed him to Scotland, he had worried every day that the nightmare might begin again. It hadn’t mattered that the rape allegation was entirely a figment of Astrid’s twisted imagination and a symptom of her obsession with him. The stigma of it had stuck. People he’d worked with for years avoided him. His closest friends grew guarded, then distant, finally disappearing altogether. Innocence, he had learned, was a technicality when sexual assault was involved. However many times he told himself to live in the moment, there was little escape from the impact of the past. Not when it still affected him as physically as it did.
Too restless to sleep and too tired to go out, Callanach checked out Lance Proudfoot’s online news blog again. He found a brief section outlining Proudfoot’s career history with publications in the US and Canada, as well as some of the larger British newspapers. His news coverage wasn’t bad. Less sensational than the tabloids, and less prone to navel-gazing than some of the broadsheets. There was an interesting editorial piece on the hacker thefts, with a side piece on the National Cyber Crime Unit, largely highlighting how far behind the offenders’ capabilities the police were, given the budget constraints and compared to the sort of money the gifted could earn in the private sector. DCI Joseph Edgar’s name popped up briefly and Callanach checked him out for something to do. Public school, followed by a law degree, chair of the debating society, with interests in cricket and rugby. Never married, steady career path. Callanach picked up his mobile to text Ava. He was halfway through it when there was a knock at his door. It was late, much later than he was used to being disturbed. Not that anyone ever knocked on his door.

‘Who is it?’ he called as he walked slowly through his lounge. There was no reply. Callanach peered through the spyhole.

BLOG TOUR THE ARRANGEMENTS BY SONYA LALLI

You can’t choose who you fall for…but it helps if there’s a list, right?
Raina, twenty-nine, is still unmarried much to the dismay of her family who 
think that by now she should have been married in a dream Indian wedding. 
The pressure to settle down reaches new heights when her grandmother, Nani, decides to play matchmaker in order to find her the perfect man. Eager not to disappoint her family, Raina goes along with the plan but when the love of her life returns – ex-boyfriend Dev – she’s forced to confront her true feelings and decide what she really wants. 

Firstly a big thanks to Lauren at orion for my copy to review. Also for having me on the blog tour to share am exclusive short story. 

I devoured this while out and about on buses .

I loved it.

It’s fresh funny and totally relatable as a single 30 something .

This gives the reader a real insight into a different culture and how they do things. And what happens when you want to break away from tradition. 

I loved the main character and her tales of dating .

But also this is about her finding who she is and what her worth is.

Really recommend for your summer read .

Published 10th August 

 The Arrangement, thirty-year-old, fun-living Serena is on the sidelines. She shares a mutual friend with the novel’s heroine Raina, and for a while dates one of Raina’s relatives. Even though Serena’s story doesn’t make it into my novel, I wanted to share a bit more about her own dating misadventures – and give you a few clues about what’s to come in The Arrangement! Read here and here to catch up on Serena’s story and read about her first date. 
“So who is lucky bachelor number two?” Serena stares at Shaylee sarcastically. “Who are we going for this time?”

“He’s not here yet.”

“No? But there’s so many good options.” She recoils around, and gestures towards a back booth full of young-looking guys. “What about that one? He probably got in here with a fake ID, but what does age have to do with anything?”

“Serena…”

“Or that one,” she says, discretely pointing at the man at the table next to them. “Sure, he’s with his wife but – ”

“I said I was sorry about Red Chinos, OK?” Shaylee throws her a pleading look. “But this guy is better. Promise.”

Serena shrinks back into the booth, and neither of them say much until a few minutes later, when Julien and another guy walk in. Shaylee gets up to meet them, kissing Julien on the cheek. They were both pediatricians, recently engaged, and annoyingly, really nice people. It was hard to be jealous of genuinely nice people. 

Shaylee and Julien seat themselves at the bar, while the other man treads carefully towards her, as if he’s as embarrassed as she is. He’s quite handsome –warm brown skin and kind eyes, black hair cropped short. An awkward wave later, and he’s sitting right across from her. 

“I have a feeling you are also here against your will,” he says, taking her aback. 

“I’m sorry, did Julien drag you here?”

He nods, but he’s smiling. “We just finished a shift, and I’ve been working for the last 36 hours. If I fall asleep, I promise you it’s me – not you.”

“Let me know if you want to use my purse as a pillow.” 

He laughs. “I’m Michael. I work with them at the hospital. ”

“I’m Serena. Shaylee’s friend.” She smiles, and then hesitates. “Your accent, it’s lovely. Where are you from?”

“South Africa. I began training here just over a year ago.” 

“Are you enjoying it?”

He’s smiling again, rubbing the varnish on the table with his hands. “Winters in Canada are very cold, Serena.”

She bursts out laughing. “You’ll get used to it.” 

“I’m not sure I’ll get used to being away from my family though.” He glances at something behind her, or perhaps, at nothing at all.

“My parents moved here from India when they were young,” she says after a moment. “Before FaceTime and Skype and email – back when they had to write letter because phone calls were too expensive. They missed their family a lot, too.” 

“And now?”

“Now they’re used to it, I guess.” Serena shrugs. “And they’re happy with the life they’ve made for us here.” 

“I do miss my family…” He’s playing with a coaster now, ripping the ends off in tiny pieces. 

“You miss someone else too, don’t you?” She leans forward on her elbows, not quite sure what she’s seeing in his eyes. “A girl back home?”

He looks up, rather startled. “Is it that obvious?”

“Someone get you a vomit bag because, Michael, you are love sick.”

Laughing, he shakes his head. “She just sort of snuck up on me.”

“Who’s she?”

“Olivia,” he says, without missing a beat. “A girl I went to medical school with. We were best friends – she had a boyfriend the whole time, of course – but she broke up with him right before I moved here.”

“And?”

“And we Skype… all the time.” He looks sad again. “Every day. Twice a day. Yet, here I am – and she’s back there.” 

“Tell her how you feel.”

“Serena, she knows how I feel.”

She shakes her head. “Tell her. So she hears it. So she really hears it.”

When it’s nearly 11 pm, Shaylee and Julien waltz over to break up the date, and remind Serena she has one left before midnight strikes. By then, she and Michael have exchanged phone numbers, added each other on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and have made plans to eat at Kensington Market the following weekend. 

“Is it a date?” Shaylee asks her, after Michael and Julien have left. 

“No,” Serena says. “But I’ve made a new friend.” 

BOOK REVIEW ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE BY GAIL HONEYMAN

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than…fine?

I have heard so much about this book from bloggers and authors alike . I was almost too scared to read in case it didn’t live up to the hype …. safe to say it lived up to it more and beyond .

This is a quirky story but woven with beauty as we meet Eleanor.  I finished this book an hour ago and I miss her already.  What a great character and I want to thank the author for her invention . I say thanks because myself like many others who will read this have been the type to not fit in. For whatever reason or maybe no reason and I genuinely believe many readers will connect and relate to Eleanor .

This is funny and sad in equal measures. 

It’s a love story but it’s one where the character learns to love herself . Also the reader will feel a surge of self respect for all their own quirks that make them unique .

We follow her on a journey of self discovery and letting go of the past in order to live in the present .

I can’t recommend this enough , a must read .

Life affirming and heart warming .