Goodreads Monday (June 2017)

goodreads-monday

I saw this meme on Books, Vertigo and Tea and I thought this one seemed fun to join and feature on my blog from time to time as well! The original post of Goodreads Monday was posted by Lauren’s Page Turners. Thank you Lauren for this great idea. This really is a great way to help me take another look at all the books added to the wishlist so long ago and at the same time I can share some interesting titles.

There’s only one rule: Simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page turners and add your own links!

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Added on 29 March 2015 : NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

This novel has a 4.06 star rating on Goodreads and although I don’t read horror and I know it also has paranormal elements, there was still something that made me add it to my readlist 2 years ago. I’ve got it on my e-reader but I’m still waiting for the perfect moment to read it.

 

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NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

What do you think? Sound good or doesn’t make you tick? After re-reading the blurb, I’m still convinced, yes it’s a keeper!

Author spotlight: The Bluebell Informant by Nick Tingley #Guestpost

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The Bluebell Informant

What’s it about?

How do you catch a killer who is already dead?

One year ago, the Bluebell Killer killed his last victim. He was shot and killed, leaving behind a legacy of twenty corpses and a name that people will fear for years to come…

A year later, a man is shot in the back of the head and left in a field of bluebells.
Is it a mugging gone wrong? A copycat killer? Or is the Bluebell Killer still out there, waiting to pounce on his next victim?

For DS Evelyn Giles the solution is simple – it’s just another dirty politician caught committing an unforgiveable crime. But with the evidence stacking up against him, Giles’ suspect has one more surprise in store for her…
And his words will throw everything she knows into question…

‘It’s not over yet.’

The past is coming back to haunt DS Giles. She’s already sacrificed much for the lie. The only question is how much more will she suffer for the truth?

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About the author

Nick Tingley

Nick R B Tingley is the author of several short stories and novels.

Born in Dartford in 1987, Nick discovered a passion for writing from an early age although a strong interest in history and archaeology led him to study at the University of Exeter for four years.

Praised for his masterful story telling, Nick won the Inkitt Fated Paradox Prize in 2015 with his short story, Dressed to Deceive, and has been working diligently on his debut novel ever since.

Under the name of Nicholas Tingley, Nick produced a short collection of war poems entitled Grey Skies and Broken Branches, which he released on the anniversary of the start of the Great War.

Known for his dark and probing insights into the human condition, Nick’s work often deals with corruption and falsehoods, peeling back the veil to reveal how everyone, no matter how pure, can be susceptible to their darker side…

Connect with Nick Tingley

 

 Want to know some more?

Why it all started out as a prequel

The Bluebell Informant follows the story of Detective Sergeant Evelyn Giles who is launched into a nationwide conspiracy when a simple murder turns out to be part of a much deeper plot. With all the twists and turns, shocks and intricate plots, you might be forgiven for thinking this debut novel started out as a story in its own right.

But you’d be wrong.

In fact, The Bluebell Informant is the second DS Giles book I’ve written, but the first to be released in the series. What started out as a short novella that I wrote to gain a better understanding of my characters, very quickly grew into something much bigger, and ended becoming the launch pad for this exciting series.

So how did this come about?

Well, it all started with what will be my second Giles novel, The Court of Obsession. I’d written a book that I was very happy with – it had an intriguing murder and a gradually evolving plot – but it did suffer from one or two minor flaws.

In the first instance, I hated my main character – and I mean seriously hated. There is nothing more upsetting for an author than hating your own character, and this was one of those instances. It wasn’t that Giles was a particularly unlikeable character – she just wasn’t particularly real to me. Throughout The Court of Obsessions, I was making references to events that had happened to Giles before hand, but I didn’t really have a solid idea of how that back story had occurred.

In the second instance, there were aspects of Giles’ character that I couldn’t get my head around. Here I had a highly intelligent woman, a competent and highly decorated detective, who was completely distrusting of her colleagues and opted to go off on her own rather than rely on anyone else.

How did she get to this?

It wasn’t long before I decided that I needed those answers before I could carry on any further. So I began writing, The Bluebell Informant, on a nice warm day in May. I’d taken a walk along the river Eden and, as I marched through the fields and trees, an idea slowly formed in my head.

I was going to write a prequel novella – not for anyone else’s benefit – just so that I could better understand my character. I wasn’t even going to release it – it was going to be one of those mysterious works that I referred to every once in a while but never shared with anyone else…

There was only one problem. Well – two actually. My novella was actually quite good. I mean really good. The more I wrote for it, the more involved I got in the story. Pretty soon, my novella wasn’t a novella at all – it was a fully-fledged crime novel – a tantalising murder case complete with thoroughly likeable (and several completely unlikeable) characters who just seemed to leap off the page.

I began to realise that The Bluebell Informant wasn’t just a project to help me understand my character better. It was an essential first chapter for what was about to come. What started off as a prequel novella had developed into the most important part of what will become the DS Giles series…

… the beginning!

So, anybody agree with me, sounds interesting right? I see the beginning of an interesting series here! 

Book bliss nr. 8: four different ways I got new books in May!

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It’s been a long time since I did one of these but I’ve got plenty to share! Here’s what I received and will be reading soon:

Received from a publisher

The Last Piece of my Heart by Paige Toon (published 18 May 2017)

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The Night Stalker by Clare Donoghue (published 10 August 2017)

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Exquisite by Sarah Stovell (published 15 May 2017)

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Bought on a local book fair 

Klikspaan / Liar Liar by M.J. Arlidge

Waar is ze? / The Darkest Secret by Alex Marwood

Won in a giveaway organised by the author 

Everything but the Truth by Gillian McAllister (published 9 March 2017)

Everything but the truth

Received from a wonderful book blogger friend (thank you Nicki @ The Secret Library)!

One Italian Summer by Keris Stainton (published 4 May 2017)

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So have you read any of these? Let me know if you’ve liked one of them – or didn’t 🙂

WWW Wednesday (24-05-2017)

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

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Three W’s:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading:

This novel was already a bit hyped and I heard it was an amazing read.. so in case you’re wondering… yes it’s definitely living up to it so far. It’s about being raised in the middle of nowhere as the daughter of someone who kidnapped your mother when she was 13 and she got pregnant at 16. Even from the early age of 5 she learns to hunt and snare, like other kids learn how to kick a ball..  Intrigued yet?

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

The marsh kings daughter
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What I (recently) finished:

Another brilliant novel (nr. 4) in the Erika Foster Detective Series. This is one of my favorites! I’ll explain the reasons why later this week in my review.

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza

Last Breath

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What I’ll probably read soon:

I love the promise of this one. It’s got everything on the cover and in the blurb that I want to hear!

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Blood Sisters

Two women. Two versions of the truth.

Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that’s the story she’s sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do…

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !

Deceived by Heena Rathore P. #Guestpost

Deceived def

What’s it about?

How well do you know your loved ones?

A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.

After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, unwittingly to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?

Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.

About the author

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Heena Rathore Pardeshi is a novelist, novel critic, as well as a book reviewer. She is also the Editor In Chief at a publishing house and an acclaimed YouTube Podcaster. An award-winning writer, she has won several NaNoWriMos and JuNoWriMos since 2014.

A fan of crime-thrillers, apocalyptic fiction and slasher movies and series, she draws inspiration from the works of legendary writers such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz and Sidney Sheldon. She’s also a fan of Steven Spielberg and M. Night Shyamalan.

An introvert and freethinker, Heena prefers neatness to chaos – in her fictional themes as well as in her real life. She has a special place for German Shepherds and books in her heart.

Heena is twenty-six years old and lives in Pune, India with her beloved husband, Vishal – a successful entrepreneur, in a house full of books, music, and love. Heena passionately creates vivid fictional worlds; some to read and cherish, and some to live in.

Connect with Heena

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

Guestpost

How Reviewing Books Helped Me Write My Own Novel

In the words of Stephen King, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

I’ve been reading books all my life. I read fairytales as a child, a lot of romance novels in my teenage years and then gradually moved on to more mature genres like mystery, thrillers, dark fiction, science-fiction, etc.

In the summer of 2014 I decided to create a blog and start reviewing the books that I read, mostly because I kept forgetting certain things about the books I read ages ago. After a few months of reviewing, I was given the opportunity to read books and review them on my blog.

I was beyond myself when the first author who asked me to review their book approached me. I felt so happy and unreal that someone wanted my opinion about his or her book. That someone cared about what I have to say.

That was when I started reviewing books in the real sense. I felt very responsible and humbled while reading that particular book. I paid a lot of attention to each and every single sentence because this book was special. And then I wrote the review, making sure to include all the points I noted while reading the book.

So what was the difference when I read books before and when I read them now for reviewing?

I was extra attentive to not let any important stuff go past my eyes, to not miss any plot holes, or any mistakes, or a brilliant quote or a lovely paragraph that sang the wisdom of life.

So all in all, I paid a LOT of attention to the text in front of me, and so I’ve been doing, with each and every single book, I’ve read since 2014.

It’s been three years and I have read and reviewed more than 200 books, but nothing has really changed. I’m still as attentive today as I was on that first day (or for that first book). I still feel responsible and it is this feeling of responsibility that made me a decent reviewer.

Being attentive is what helped me pick up on and absorb those tiny technicalities, those subtle strokes of ingenuity that made the books so engrossing. As I discovered later, I had unknowingly picked up on those very things, which are taught in Creative Writing workshops.

I learned all the main writing techniques like plot progression, breaks, tension build up, chapter breaks and splits, character arcs, suspense building, etc, etc, etc. I learned all these things from reading the books attentively, from reading the books for reviewing.

Reviewing taught me how the opening of a book should be, how dipping the middle can be and how brilliant an ending could be. Reviewing taught me how to keep the tension flowing from one chapter to another, how to keep the reader engaged in those dreaded middle parts of the book and how to present false hope and engage red-herrings. Reviewing taught me how to make or break an ending by either revealing too much or saying too little.

Reviewing taught me how to write a book. Period.

That makes books better.

I’ve never officially learned writing, yet when I started writing my own book it was like I already knew whatever there was to know, to begin with. Then I learned the rest of the things as I went along. I was able to complete my book (a task in itself) because I knew the most important thing: what works and what doesn’t.

So if I have to give credit to just one thing or circumstance in my life that made me a writer, or rather a strong writer, then reviewing books will be it.

I’m feeling really excited after this guestpost because she is so right! I think it really helps if you start out as a blogger/book reviewer. That blurb also really got my attention and that cover with the little trail of blood dripping down her leg, my god, I totally love that cover! So I’ll be reviewing this one in June, I can’t wait to read it! So what do you think about all of this? Yay or nay?

Goodreads Monday (May 2017)

goodreads-monday

I saw this meme on Books, Vertigo and Tea and I thought this one seemed fun to join and feature on my blog from time to time as well! The original post of Goodreads Monday was posted by Lauren’s Page Turners. Thank you Lauren for this great idea. This really is a great way to help me take another look at all the books added to the wishlist so long ago and at the same time I can share some interesting titles.

There’s only one rule: Simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to link back to Lauren’s Page turners and add your own links!

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Added in May 2015 : The Memory Closet by Ninie Hammon

It’s got a 4.15 star rating on Goodreads and over all the categories most are 5* !

The Memory Closet

 

What really happened to Laughs in the Wind?

When Anne Mitchell was 11 years old, something happened to her that erased the whole first decade of her life. Twenty-five years later, she has come home to re-claim her past.

Oh, she gets it. She understands that something profoundly evil lurks in the swirling purple haze of her amnesia. Fear of facing that secret held her hostage. Like a schoolyard bully, it twisted her arm behind her back and forced her to accept that her life began in the dirt beside the ditch where the family station wagon burned like hell had opened up a crack in the world right there in the back seat.

For 25 years, she was enslaved by what she called the “Boogie Man”– images from her lost childhood that appeared in the shadows behind her reflection in mirrors and wine glasses, haunted her dreams and attacked her in screaming night terrors.

Then the monster shattered her career.

And Anne saw him in her dying mother’s eyes.

With her last breath, Susan Mitchell begged for her daughter’s forgiveness. She didn’t mean for it to happen, she gasped, but she’ll burn in hell for what she did all the same.

What did her mother do? Anne has to know.

So she has come home to a small Texas prairie town to live with her crazy grandmother in the rambling old house where she grew up to take her stand against the Boogie Man. But Anne isn’t really prepared for how expensive remembering might be. The cost of her memories could very well be her sanity.

Each new revelation loosens Anne’s grip on reality.

Surely her crazy grandmother didn’t do THAT to Anne’s beloved parakeet! Yes, the old woman DID! No … actually, she didn’t.

The horror that attacks her in the garage–it can’t possibly be real…can it?

And most important: what happened to the little girl with a face like a china doll whose name was Laughs in the Wind?

The Boogie Man knows.

He also knows Anne’s here. He knows it’s showtime. And he knows what she doesn’t–that Anne might very well have to pay for her past with her future, that the cost of remembering could be her life.

What do you think? Sound good or doesn’t make you tick? After re-reading the blurb, I’m still convinced, yes I’m still keeping it on my wishlist!

WWW Wednesday (03-05-2017)

WWW Wednesday is a book list hosted by Taking on a World of Words, and I’m happy to participate today.

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Three W’s:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m reading:

This Love by Dani Atkins

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What I (recently) finished:

Great debut, an unexpected surprise! Review to come by the end of the week.

Dead Letters by Caite Dolan-Leach

Dead Letters

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What I’ll probably read soon:

I broke my own Netgalley ban for this one. I totally love the sound of this. It’s being called The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars. I haven’t read/seen The Breakfast Club but I am a fan of Pretty Little Liars (although still stuck in Season 2 I think because they haven’t aired more here)!

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us is LyingOn Thursday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investi­gators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Thursday, he died. But on Friday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they just the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

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So that’s it, what are you reading this week? Share your link in the comments below so that I can come and take a look !