I AM DUST by Louise Beech, published by Orenda Books @LouiseWriter @OrendaBooks #crime #thriller #blog #review

YAY! Orenda Books have done it again. Another scorcher from a brilliant author! I’ve not read anything by Louise Beech before and I’ve heard fabulous things about her books. This is one I had to read!

Book Description:

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer. Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after 20 years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room? Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games? Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her? Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything. And Chloe has been watching.

  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Orenda Books (February 16, 2020)
  • Publication Date: February 16, 2020

Review

The Dean Wilson Theatre is haunted by the lead actress Morgan Miller, star of the hit musical ‘Dust’ who was found dead in her dressing room twenty years ago. When Dust returns for a second run, the lead part and the play is expected to be cursed. Eerie sounds, whispers, and the burning question of who will play the part of Esme Black now?

I AM DUST is written around a unique premise; a ghost story blended with urban fantasy. With two interchanging narratives, Chloe as a teenager in 2005—a period of time shrouded in mystery—and latterly an usher at the Dean Wilson Theatre in 2019. The theatre is a wonderful character; haunting, moody, a crime scene that still carries the exhilarating vibe of the golden days. You can smell burning lamps, musty costumes and greasepaint, and you can hear the indeterminate sound of arpeggios and scales as the orchestra warms up in the pit. The hush before the curtain rises… Very fitting that the author is herself an actor and familiar with the workings of a theatre, which undoubtedly conveys a huge degree of competence to the story and to the dialogue. Any reader will be in for a treat!

In 2005, while performing in an amateur production of Macbeth, Chloe, Jess and Ryan dabble in witchcraft. Even though the girls aren’t as curious in the occult, their infatuations get the better of them and they are persuaded to take part. This book tunnels into a dangerous place and investigates things most of us would steer clear of—but not so for the intrepid three. Conjuring a dormant heroine might seem the right thing to do but the ensuing mayhem may prove otherwise. Memories of a game she didn’t want to play and the pain of a love triangle come back to haunt her, and the past and present intertwine. Especially reminiscent of MacBeth and of Hecate and her two ghastly sisters; an ethereal trio of shadows that lurk in the wings. You can picture the scene: the most infamous of all cauldrons which could so easily be exchanged for a Ouija board.

After the actors have gone, Chloe imagines costumes on a hanger might come to life like the dolls in The Nutcracker. With interference on the radio and cold breath on the back of her neck, what spirits are being catapulted into the present and what messages do they bring? Chloe, no longer the carefree girl of her youth, is a broken woman carrying the scars of her past—a past she barely remembers or conscientiously has tried to forget. But she is brave and committed and is desperately trying to overcome any damage incurred along the way. This is the core of the mystery. That, and a murder which begs to be resolved at any cost.

An hypnotic unputdownable story, Beech does a perfect job of introducing us to likeable characters with honest observations to make it engaging and realistic. Then cranks up the tension to create a gripping and emotionally charged ending. Gave me a huge book hangover. So, definitely a MULTI star read from me!

About the Author:

Louise Beech Author pic (2)Louise Beech remembers sitting in her father’s cross-legged lap while he tried to show her his guitar’s chords. He’s a musician. Her small fingers stumbled and gave up. She was three. His music sheets fascinated her – such strange language that translated into music. Her mother teaches languages, French and English, so her fluency with words fired Louise’s interest. She knew from being small that she wanted to write, to create, to make magic.

She loves all forms of writing. Her short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail about being a parent, garnering love/hate criticism. Her debut novel was a Guardian Readers’ pick for 2015.

She is inspired by life, history, survival and love, and always has a story in her head. Her debut novel, How to be Brave, came from truth – when Louise’s daughter got Type 1 Diabetes she helped her cope by sharing her grandad’s real life sea survival story. Her second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, will be released in September 2016 and was inspired by her time working with children in the care system.

When she was fifteen Louise bet her mother ten pounds she’d be published by the time she was thirty. She missed this self-set deadline by two months. Her mother is still waiting for the money.

Other Books by Louise Beech

UK-linksLouise Beech

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You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen @panmacmillan @netgalley @greerkh @sarahpekkanen @StMartinsPress #blog #review #thriller

Absolutely amaaaaaazing! I had this on my anticipated reads for this year and loved it.
So cleverly and powerfully written and gallops along at break-neck speed.  A fiendishly clever thriller with masterful twists that will keep you guessing.

Book Description:

You Are Not Alone: A Novel by [Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah]

US Link

The electrifying #1 New York Times bestselling authors of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and AN ANONYMOUS GIRL return with a brand new novel of psychological suspense.

Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.

Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.

Shay would die for them to like her.
She may have to.

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (March 3, 2020)
  • ISBN-10: 1250202035
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250202031

What people are saying:

One of Newsweek‘s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of SheReads Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of PopSugar’s Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of HelloGiggles’ Most Anticipated Books of 2020
One of Marie Claire’s Best Fiction by Women in 2020
One of Woman’s Day’s Best Fiction Books Coming Out in 2020

Review

You Are Not Alone: The Most Gripping Thriller of the Year from the Bestselling Authors of the Richard and Judy Smash Hit The Wife Between Us by [Hendricks, Greer, Pekkanen, Sarah]

UK Link

Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen are two of my favorite authors so I knew I was in for a treat. They’ve mastered the art of building suspense and dishing out inner secrets one grain at a time. It’s more-ish. You have to get back to it after a day at work and it rattles around in your mind while you’re driving home. A book that leaves it’s glorious residue long after you’ve finished it.

Hooked from the start You Are Not Alone follows the story of Shay who works a low-paid temporary job and lives with the love of her life. A devoted statistician, she’s extremely relatable — a young woman who feels isolated and vulnerable, perhaps someone whose helplessness comes into question. But when she witnesses a shocking accident, her focus on the victim could be seen as obsessive.

Shay meets the Moore sisters — Cassandra and Jane — two stylish and alluring women who appear to have everything, demonstrating the lifestyle Shay would love. There is definitely an unsettling mood right from the start which made me want to read on. The book digs deep into the multi-layers of each character and their secrets, an enigma if ever there was one!

Shay’s obsession to find out more about Amanda may come at a cost, and the Moore sisters seem to be all too controlling. I did wonder why she didn’t have an ‘Aha’ moment a little sooner, and regroup to weigh up her options. But what is obvious to the reader, is not obvious to Shay. She’s complex and insecure and desperate for friends, and let’s face it, she’s been abandoned, so why not? I think this more than adequately covers for any inconsistencies in character. For instance, why didn’t she get suspicious about her make-over? Then I reminded myself that her naivety was born out of loneliness and a hungry need to fit in.

There are quite a lot of characters and for me, this became a little confusing. I wondered if they scrambled the plot a little and whether they were entirely necessary. This book is about greed, paranoia and revenge, and while the roller-coaster journey was dark and tense, the ending is nicely wrapped up. A clever twist I didn’t see coming.

At no time did I get that jarring feeling that the book was written by two authors. The narrative is joined seamlessly and effortlessly to give an outstanding reading experience. A medium to fast burn for me, which is what kept me coming back.

Thank you to netgalley and Pan Macmillan for the privilege of reading this book.

About the Authors:

Greer HendricksGREER HENDRICKS is the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Wife Between Us. Prior to becoming a novelist, she spent over two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. She obtained her master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Allure, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

 

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally-bestselling author of THE WIFE BETWEEN US and the upcoming AN ANONYMOUS GIRL, cowritten with Greer Hendricks.

Sarah PekkanenTHE WIFE BETWEEN US – an instant New York Times bestseller – is a twisty psychological tale that has been optioned for film by Amblin Entertainment. Sarah and Greer are penning the screenplay for Amblin.

AN ANONMYOUS GIRL is currently in production as a television series by eOne,with Sarah and Greer serving as executive producers.

Sarah is also the author of eight solo novels.

Please find Sarah on Facebook, Instagram and twitter @sarahpekkanen

Other Books by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Greer Hendricks

Bollywood Wives by Alex Khan (@HeraBooks) @Bollywoodwives.WordPress.com #bookreview

One of the first authors to be published by Hera Books, I was thrilled to be given an advance reader copy from the publisher (Hera Books) via Netgalley. With just over one week to go before the release of Alex Khan’s addictive, gripping thriller, released 6th February, here are my thoughts on the book.

Description:

Full of glitz and glamour, this is the sexy Bollywood extravaganza you’ve been waiting for. I read it in a day.’ Ayisha Malik – author of Sofia Khan is not Obliged and This Green and Pleasant Land

Zara Das is Bollywood’s hottest property, her every move watched by the eyes of the press. Riding high from the success of a string of blockbusters, she has the world at her feet, but the scandal from her latest film threatens to dethrone her as Bollywood’s reigning queen.

So when superstar director Raj Dillon stages a lavish retelling of Pride and Prejudice, moving the shoot from Mumbai’s soundstages to London, Zara knows this is the role that could put her back on top. Coming with them are the Bollywood Wives – Jackie, Sasha, and Rani – bringing their own off-screen drama.

But behind the diamonds, designer clothes and seven-star hotels lies the truth of how Zara reached the top. And when a dead body is found in her hotel room, it seems that someone is determined to take Zara down – and will stop at nothing to expose her darkest secrets.

Zara has spent years running from her past. But now it’s caught up with her…

A sexy, gripping, scandalous novel set in the world of Bollywood – fans of Jackie Collins, Crazy Rich Asians and Lauren Weisberger won’t be able to put this one down.

bollywood

Buying links  US flag US: https://amzn.to/2RcloAF    British flag UK https://amzn.to/2MuYQun

What readers are saying:

Praise for Alex Khan writing as Alex Caan:

‘Left me positively breathless’ Angela Marsons, author of Silent Scream and Fatal Promise

‘A chillingly authentic, bang-on-trend thriller’ Lisa Hall, author of Between You and Me and The Party

Review

I was really excited to get a copy of this book. The enticing cover cleverly combines the luxury and sensitivity of its star. Alex Khan’s writing is exceptional. Each delicious character stands out on their own and in particular Zara Das who is so much bigger than the words on the page. She’s a fire cracker, beautiful and extraordinarily intuitive, although her path to stardom hasn’t been an easy one. As with some of the other stars, the sexist culture of the Bollywood industry is a tough pill to swallow. Exploited and passed around like a hot meal, she has emerged as a much sought after delicacy.

There’s nothing about this book I didn’t like. Hennaed hands, traditional ghagra choli outfits, you can ‘see’ the gold brocade and figure hugging clothes and you can ‘smell’ the perfume. Plenty of scandal to keep your motor running. It all makes the book so much more fascinating. With quotes such as ‘And trust me, darling, a Chanel handbag can’t buy you a brain. Or class’ – you get the distinct impression that Zara has not forgotten where she came from, even to the extent that her hard-hitting movies have become a way of getting back at those who have treated her badly. She’s definitely met her match with Dan!

I have a special love for the culture so this book had it all for me. Alex Khan has clearly done extensive research to make this book the bestseller it will be. Thank you to the author, Hera Books and Netgalley for allowing me to read this. Highly recommended!

About the author

A portrait of Alex Khan

Alex Khan has spent his life dreaming of writing and starring in Bollywood movies while travelling the world visiting some of the most glamorous and exciting locations. Moonlighting as a crime writer he finally got the courage to pen the novel he wanted to write all his life – Bollywood Wives taking you into the glamorous, sexy thrilling world of the world’s biggest movie stars and the secrets they hide.

You can find out more about Alex Khan here

 

 

 

 

New Book News! INTO THE SILENT SEA available for Pre-Order #BlogTour #NewRelease #Suspense #Psychological #Thriller

I’m super excited to see psychological thriller INTO THE SILENT SEA now available to pre-order from Amazon. The eBook price has been reduced to 99c/99p until October 24, 2018. It will then revert to the regular price of $3.99.

 

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99c/99p

Now on Amazon Pre-Order HERE

Publish date: October 24, 2017

Offer available until October 24, 2018.

Then eBook will be available for $3.99

Book Description:

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

When Clodagh Shepherd’s curiosity gives way to obsession, her thoughts turn to revenge.

In the wake of her husband’s affair and subsequent disappearance, Clo makes an impulsive decision to befriend the beautiful stranger who has stolen her life. Answering an ad for a home help, she moves into the home of her husband’s mistress and is immediately drawn into the chilling reality behind the idyllic façade of Hamptons Life. Central to her terrifying nightmare is a deadly secret–a secret someone will kill to keep.

In this dark and twisting thriller, Clo proves the adage ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ with shocking consequences.

An engaging, pacy read which keeps the reader guessing.’ Bookworm Reviews, 5 stars

What people are saying about INTO THE SILENT SEA

‘A stylish beach thriller. Taut and provocative with a flawed but very likable heroine.’ Avid Reader, 5 Stars

‘Holy cow! What a read! Sun, sea and suspense with a chilling cast of lovers and mistresses. What could be better! Get ready to curl up with this churning, dark mystery.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars

‘A twisted and suspenseful thriller that entangles an unlikely friendship with a murder… Subtly tips its hat to authors such as Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins.’ Debonair Debs Reviews, 5 stars.

‘A bracing, knotty ride, where murder won’t rinse clean and plots runs deeper than the ocean itself.’ Bookishly Bookish, 5 stars

#BookReviewWednesday – The 9th Hour

Joseph Mark Brewer

The book-a-week challenge continues with The 9th Hour (A Detective Temeke Crime Series Book 1) by Claire Stibbe.

9thHourAlbuquerque cops thought they had seen it all, but there was nothing like their serial killer aiming for teen girls. And the cops at the Northwest Area Command had seen nothing like Detective David Temeke. British, Ethiopian descent, Temeke immigrated to the U.S. to escape cold, wet England. Bald, muscular, handsome, skin darker than tar, Temeke is all business. Problems with colleagues at Homicide sent him to Northwest. It went unsaid that seven dead teen girls was also part of the reason why.

So begins Claire Stibbe’s The 9th Hour. It is a police procedural par excellence, a serial killer tale quite gruesome in detail but thoroughly compelling. If it wasn’t so well written, so captivatingly smart and imaginative, it could have been a bloody mess. It’s not. Stibbe’s sentences have a life of their own…

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Review Tour – The Doomsong Sword by J.G. Harlond @Lucero #BookReview

Hosting J.G. Harlond on this review tour has been one of the most thrilling rides of the year. Author of ‘Local Resistance’, ‘The Empress Emerald’ and ‘The Chosen Man’ trilogy (work-in-progress) Harlond writes page-turning historical crime fiction that weaves fictional characters into real events. She is particularly interested in aspects of power; international intrigue and domestic politics are significant elements in her adult fiction.

‘The Doomsong Sword’, a novel for younger (and not-so-younger) readers, is based on part of the old Norse Volsung Saga.

 

Doomsong

 

Buy Links    Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

Book Description

Formats: Paperback, Kindle Edition, eBook

Print Length: 364 pages

Publisher: LUCERO BOOKS

 

Facing up to destiny can be lonely, silent, and secret.

In the darkest years of Long Ago in the cold, cold North, there were two young men who were very much alike; and very different in all that mattered most. Davor was a spinner of stories; Sigurd was an earl. Both were destined to confront an evil dragon – but only one of them slew the beast.

The Doomsong Sword is coming-of-age, mythic fantasy based on the ancient Norse Volsung Saga, where the real tests of character aren’t always what they seem.

Book Review

The Doomsong Sword is a treasure. A classic everyone should read. Harlond has done a marvelous job inventing a mythical place full of thick-furred wolves, dwarves, the semimortals of Asgard and leather-winged dragons with tongues of flame. The main character is a young man called Davor who, although frequently tricked and trapped, goes from strength-to-strength in his quest. One adventure sees our friend traveling with the lightfoot troublemaker Loki, whose element is fire. Davor must beat a path to Andvari’s treasure horde to get much needed gold. With Master Odo who can read thoughts and greedy shapeshifters on the prowl, how can Davor possibly overcome so many obstacles with so many more adventures to come?

I gave this book five stars because of the ingenious word pictures that sum up warm fires and good friends. It’s true that one young life can make a huge impact on the world, not because he has power. But because he has the edge. Readers will appreciate the heroism of Davor and enjoy rich words and exciting adventures. It’s truly a compelling read.

(Bookworm 5* Review)

This hugely entertaining tale will appeal to those who enjoy the likes of The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. Based on Viking legends, Davor is a reluctant young adventurer who embarks on a journey which turns into a quest. Directed by the inscrutable traveller Master Odo, and accompanied by a Wolf, Davor encounters all manner of odd events and dangerous situations. The story is cleverly told and there is great depth to the characters, particularly Davor who, just like the sword in the title, is forged with considerable skill. An exciting adventure in the best tradition with a wonderful cast of princes, dragons, dwarves – and of course treasure!
This fabulous story will enchant older children and adults alike.

About the Author

Jane

Jane Harlond is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the British Society of Authors. Originally from the English West Country, she has travelled widely and is now settled in rural Andalucía, Spain.

Other publications

‘Dark Night, Black Horse’ is a true short story about a young boy who rescues his father’s favourite black stallion during the Spanish Civil War. This is now available in Spanish as ‘Noche Oscuro, Caballo Negro’.

Website: http://www.jgharlond.com

 

 

 

A Wonderful Start To 2017

It’s been a great 2017 so far. Book sales for The 9th Hour have soared thanks to a brand new cover and a FREE BookBub promotion which found well over 100,000 new readers. I want to thank those who downloaded this book and all those who were brave enough to read it!

There are certain visceral reactions when reading crime fiction, especially those in the hardboiled family. In fact, I can truly say many crime novels leave me spooked and filled with unease. Intensity by Dean Koontz is a standout within this group and regularly springs to mind. By the middle of the book I was checking the locks and by the time I finished it I couldn’t bring myself to get out from under the covers. It simply had to be consumed in a single sitting.

It’s not surprising to find Dean Koontz regularly in the #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER list under the category of Horror and Psychological Thrillers.

61niazvuszl__sy346_Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend’s family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Foreman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed “homicidal adventurer,” Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive—until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess’s next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl . . . as moment by moment, the terrifying threat of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

Even though this book was published in 2007 by Random House it has never lost pace and mirrors Stephen King’s books to a remarkable degree. What makes Dean Koontz the author of ‘uncommonly sleek work’ (Publishers Weekly) is allowing his stories to race fast enough to give his readers whiplash. There is high tension and compelling and spirited characters to feed on. It’s a rush!

Although I can never hope to write like Mr. Koontz, I can certainly work hard to research the craft of crime writing by attending workshops, conferences, and joining a group of like-minded souls who just want to entertain their readers.

The research for The 9th Hour was inspired by a violent case involving a fugitive who exploited young female victims by impersonating an authority figure. He decapitated at least 8 women keeping the severed heads as mementos. This man, whose name has been changed for this book and whose MO was based on folklore, suffered from antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) a condition which describes many serial killers. No matter how horrific the crime, we must never forget the victims.

The second and the third books in the Detective Temeke series have been doing extremely well garnering good reviews and positive comments. Needless to say,  I’m floored!

Here are a few of the most recent reviews for The 9th Hour.

5-stars

The surprise was near the end, I usually can pick the murderer but this time it took quite a while. A lot of thought in this book. Pat, January 15, 2017.

5-starsI enjoyed reading this book, it kept me continuing wanting to know what was happening. I will read more books about Detective Temeke, he fascinates me. Diane Boudreau, January 15, 2017

5-starsA very good read. Excellent characters. Will definitely read the next in the series. Can’t wait to see what else the author has available. John, January 16, 2017

Caution to readers: Since The 9th Hour is hardboiled Crime Mystery the rating would naturally be an ‘R’ due to the level of violence and the depraved nature of the killer.  Please be sure to check the genre & categories of all books on Amazon, the 15% look-inside-feature – usually the first four chapters which sets the voice and mood – and the blurb. This will help readers make the right choice when purchasing a book.

Remember, a good book is best read with a great cup of coffee!

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Thank you for buying my books!

Claire M.T. Stibbe

AMAZON: Worldwide

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Letters from Elsewhere: Marc

A great post from Miriam Drori’s blog introducing author Catriona King’s main character, Marc Craig.

Miriam Drori, Author

Letters from Elsewhere

I’m delighted to be joined today by Maximus Decimus Meridius, a.k.a. Marc, the lead character in Catriona King’s Craig Crime Series. He’s here to tell you who he is and what he does.

Hello.

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions…and if you’ve ever watched the movie Gladiator then you’ll know the rest. That’s not really my name, obviously; it’s Marc Craig. But I am Roman, on my mother’s side, and we are both fighting a war, in my case a war against crime.

The other half of my blood is Irish, from the north, but borders are irrelevant to me when I’m hunting for a murderer, and the only blood I’m interested in is the blood left at a crime scene, and the details of its DNA.

I’m a murder detective, a Superintendent now, a promotion I only accepted because…

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