Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Sins of the Father - Sheryl Browne

Sins of the Father
by Sheryl Browne

About the book...
Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman?

Sins of the Father.
One of two all-consuming thrillers that will eat you and spit you back out.

Sins of the Father
What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget – and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.
But the past is the past – or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.
When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well? 

Matthew hit the answer call button on his phone. He’d guessed it was Steve calling, he being the only one he’d texted his number to, but whoever it was, it really didn’t matter any more. He could hear one of the heavies throwing up in the bathroom, feel his own stomach constricting, sense the walls closing in on him.
‘Matt?’ Steve asked, when he didn’t immediately speak.
Matthew ran a hand over his neck, tried to regulate his breathing. ‘Yes,’ he managed, eventually.
‘You need to come in, mate.’ Steve sounded worried.
Attempting to force back the irritating cough tickling its way up his windpipe, Matthew swallowed hard. It was always the same, the smell, he thought obliquely. More pungent depending on the amount of decay, but the same: decomposition, body fluids.
‘Matt, are you there?’
‘Yep,’ Matthew answered shortly, wondering how long it would take for this to hit him fully, before he felt something other than utter hopelessness.
‘They’ve taken blood swabs, Matt,’ Steve went on hesitantly, ‘from the hotel room. They have a match. You have to come in. If you don’t, you’re as good as guilty.’
It wouldn’t have taken them long. They would have checked her medical records, Matthew surmised, made the match in minutes. He nodded, concentrated on his breathing. Still didn’t feel anything very much.
‘It’s Natalie’s,’ Steve’s voice was tight, as if he was struggling to keep the emotion in check. ‘She’s been reported missing.’ He paused, clearly searching for a way to say what Matthew knew was coming next. ‘It’s a murder investigation, Matt. Official. You need to—’
‘I know,’ Matthew said quietly, cutting him short.
‘Know what, Matt?’ Steve asked, his tone now careful.
‘She’s here,’ Matthew answered, feeling disconnected, as if he was viewing this whole sordid mess from some faraway place. Christ, how he wished he was.
‘What? Matthew, what the hell are you talking—?’
‘I’m with her now. The deceased. Natalie.’ Matthew faltered, his gaze straying involuntarily to her eyes. Green eyes, he reminded himself, now grey, opaque and empty. Life fucking extinct. Pulling himself from where he’d been crouching over her, he clamped his own eyes tight shut, fury hitting at last, violently, like a sledgehammer to his chest. Breathe, he commanded himself, fumbling for his inhaler.
Steve didn’t speak for a second, stunned, obviously, then, ‘Where?’ he asked warily.
‘Her bedsit. Squad cars are on their way,’ Matthew informed him, still outwardly calm. Inwardly though … Gulping back the sour taste in his mouth, he took in the lifeless, broken body of the girl. Face down, her head twisted to one side, she was unrecognisable, her eyes swollen, her nose and lips split. Right arm, fractured. One shoe missing, replaced with a single red stiletto. Clothes … in brutal disarray. Matthew looked away. It was Sullivan. All over again. MO identical. Matthew felt sick, sick to his soul.
‘Okay, I need you to stay calm.’ His tone quiet but authoritative, Steve switched to police mode.
Instinctively, Matthew guessed. Detaching from the situation in order to deal with it. He didn’t blame him. It was part and parcel of being a copper, a prerequisite of the job. ‘I am,’ he assured him, turning to walk to the window. ‘Perfectly.’
‘Right. Are you there alone?’ Steve didn’t sound convinced. ‘Apart from—’
‘Natalie,’ Matthew supplied the girl’s name, one that would be printed indelibly on his brain, along with these last images of her, all the other images he could never hope to escape. ‘No,’ he said, glancing back towards Jason. Seated on Natalie’s bed, his head buried in his hands, the man was quietly sobbing. He did have feelings then. Matthew was surprised. The guy wasn’t in Sullivan’s league, a bigshot pimping bastard, completely devoid of any emotion remotely human. Jason had hurt her, humiliated her, intimidated her, pumped her full of the drugs she couldn’t function without, pimped her out to any sad bastard who wanted to use her, but he obviously had some kind of conscience in there somewhere.
‘Okay, Matthew, so you know the drill, yes?’ Steve asked him. ‘Stay put. Don’t touch anything.’
Matthew did know the drill. He knew it by heart. He’d be charged. Read his rights. Fingerprinted. Poked, prodded, DNA samples taken. He’d be interviewed, questions asked he couldn’t hope to answer. Analysed. Psych evaluations made. Questioned again. His clothes would be taken. Not the tie, though. His gaze drifted back to Natalie.
‘It’s probably not a good idea to move around too much.’ Now glancing through the rain slashed window to the grey pavement below, Matthew could hear Steve still talking, but he wasn’t really taking it in. ‘You could cross contaminate—’
‘Asphyxiation,’ Matthew said evenly. ‘Ligature to the neck.’ He paused, knowing that the last nail in his coffin had been driven well and truly home. ‘My tie.’
He heard Steve’s shocked intake of breath. ‘Right. Okay,’ he replied shakily. ‘Stay where you are. Don’t touch anything, hey, mate. Please?’
‘It’s tied in a bow. Sullivan, but with frills.’ Matthew laughed, a hollow, humourless laugh.
‘Matt, pack it in.’ Steve sounded scared, but not half as terrified as Matthew felt.
‘Judging by lividity, or lack of, I’d say the body’s been moved,’ he went on, relaying what information he could, trying to stay sane, which was the biggest joke of all because, if he’d had any part to play in this, he was clearly completely insane. ‘From the body temperature and degree of rigor mortis, I’d guess the post mortem interval is about nine, maybe ten hours.’
Steve didn’t speak for a second, then, ‘You need to stay in control, Matt,’ he warned him. ‘Matt? Are you listening?’
‘I have to go now, Steve,’ Matthew said thickly. ‘Look after Becky for me? Will you do that?’
‘Go where?’ Steve asked apprehensively.
‘Not sure.’
‘You need to stay put, Matthew. You can’t—’
‘Steve, I didn’t do this!’ Matthew shouted over him.
‘I know you didn’t! But you have to come in, Matt! You have to trust—’
‘Trust?’ Matthew shook his head incredulously. ‘Trust who, Steve? Davies, who had me down as a psychiatric case? Put me on gardening leave while that bastard kidnapped my wife?’
‘Yes!’ Steve tried. ‘What the bloody hell else are you going to—’
‘The system?’
‘It’s not going to end here, Steve. You know it’s not!’ Matthew’s attention was caught by distant flashing blue lights. Watching the squad cars, first one, then two cut the traffic lights at the corner, Matthew swallowed hard and headed for the door. ‘I have to go. Promise me, will you? Look after Becky?’
‘Of course I bloody well will, but where are you—’

Matthew ended the call as the squad cars squealed to a stop below.

Trailer Link:
DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0MqZ5TpBwGk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

About the author...
Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links:

After She's Gone - Sheryl Browne

After She's Gone
by Sheryl Browne

About the book...
Are you ready to take a journey into the mind of a madman?

After She’s Gone. One of two all-consuming thrillers that will eat you and spit you back out.

After She’s Gone
He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do? 
There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable. 
When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.
But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.
‘Not very gentlemanly, keeping ladies hanging around, Adams, is it?’ Patrick watched with interest, as the copper turned a pale shade of white. Reeling on his feet, he was, poor sod. He actually looked as if he might pass out. Didn’t take him long to recover himself, though. Patrick watched on as Adams pulled himself up, bracing his shoulders in that bloody annoying Bruce Willis nothing-gets-to-me way he had. It obviously did though. He might be trying to keep a grip, but the little tic going in his cheek was a dead giveaway. Patrick had noticed it when Adams had paid him a visit in the nick. Seen it many times, when the pathetic little runt had tried to stand up to him as a kid. Most recently, before the bastard had kicked him to the floor like a dog, for which the copper was about to get payback. Oh, yes, his fuse was lit all right. The man was a ticking time bomb, far too reactive to be on the force, in Patrick’s humble opinion.
Patrick barely had time to free himself of the girl before the copper exploded.
‘You fucking animal!’ he seethed, lunging towards him.
But Patrick was ready. ‘Down!’ He levelled the shotgun, ready to blast Adams to kingdom come if he didn’t back off.
Clearly realising he might be at a disadvantage, Adams stopped, his expression pure thunder, his chest heaving. Oh, dear. Was that a little wheeze Patrick could hear in there? Quietly amused, he noted how Adams was struggling to control his breathing, another giveaway as to the copper’s high state of anxiety. Patrick probably knew the signs better than Adams did.
‘I said, down, Adams.’ Lowering the gun, Patrick indicated the floor, which is where he wanted Adams. No one, but no one, constantly refers to Patrick Sullivan as an animal and gets away with it.
‘Unless you want your wife and Snow White to see your blood splattered all over the walls, that is?’
Adams didn’t budge. Taking slow breaths, he stayed exactly where he was, his fist clenched at his side and in his eyes … pure murder. Patrick felt the tiniest flicker of apprehension run through him.
‘We can play the waiting game if you like, Adams.’ He made sure to hold his gaze. ‘But I’m not sure your good lady will be very keen on the idea. Are you?’
Patrick’s gaze flicked in the direction of the man’s wife.
‘Do it,’ he ordered. ‘Face front and get down on your knees, copper, if you value her life.’
‘You bastard.’ Adams took another laboured breath and ran his hands over his face. Then, glancing heavenward, finally, he did as instructed.
Got him, Patrick thought, hugely satisfied that the copper seemed to be getting the message. Patrick had the upper hand now. This time, it would be Adams defenceless on the floor, while he broke his fucking jaw. Quid pro quo, as far as Patrick was concerned.

Trailer Links:
DI Matthew Adams series: https://youtu.be/0MqZ5TpBwGk
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0MqZ5TpBwGk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

After She’s Gone:  https://youtu.be/ujK0mFpYYrM

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ujK0mFpYYrM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> 

About the author...
Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links:

Bad Little Girl - Frances Vick

by Frances Vick

About the book...
I’m not safe – you have to help me…’

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. 

Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled? 

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

An utterly unputdownable and darkly compelling read that will have fans of The Girl on the TrainThe Sister, and Gone Girl absolutely hooked.

Buy Links: 
UK 🇬🇧http://amzn.to/2gElGCH / US 🇺🇸http://amzn.to/2fsr3zE



She had never experienced real darkness, until now.

There was no way to mark the time, and the cold seeped into her bones. Her fingers were numb.

Sometimes she heard things. Once, singing, faint, slow. A sudden, shrill laugh, a door slamming. Her thoughts leaned into one another, whispering; how long would she be here? Did they mean to kill her? There must be something here, something sharp, or rough at least. Something to cut through the plastic around her wrists. She crawled around, searching, in futile circles, but it was so dark, her hands were so cold, her fingers useless. She gave up and curled, crying, on the freezing floor.

Chapter 1

Lorna Bell was such a happy little girl with a wide smile. That was the first thing anyone noticed about her if they noticed her at all. She charged around the playground on her stick-thin limbs, and, like all the other children, swarmed into the sudden eddies and drifted out into the hasty tides that lapped into the classrooms when the bell rang. Her classmates hadn’t yet noticed there was anything different about her, nothing unusual; she was just a normal, sweet little girl – friendly, open, confident.

It’s strange how things can change so quickly, and how, once they change, they so rarely go back to the way they were before.

It was Friday Golden Time, the one period in the week when Claire felt able to leave her class in the hands of her enthusiastic but hapless teaching assistant; they couldn’t get into too much of a muddle playing with Lego, and Claire needed a bit of a break, a bit of fresh air. She positioned herself just outside the door, so she could keep an eye on the head teacher’s office. Lorna would be coming out of there soon, and Claire hoped it wouldn’t coincide with hometime – surely the girl had been humiliated enough for one day. To endure the stares and breathless tattle-tale of the playground, to walk, shamefaced and tearful, past sorrowful parents, it was too much, too hard. And she’d started school so well! It had seemed that she would be able to come out from under the shadow of her notorious family. That she would be accepted.

The leaves were just beginning to fall from the plane trees in the housing estate next door. Soon the caretaker would be pushing them into heaped, rotting piles in the corners of the school yard, but now they were crisp, beautiful, and they drifted into swathes of colour, delighting the children. Just last week Claire’s class had made a collage from them – it had pride of place next to the white board. Autumn was her favourite time of year. New possibilities and fresh starts; the soft, contented hum of the children in her class, the odd squeal of delight and excitement. These things calmed her, reassured her that nothing was for ever, and everything could be overcome. And then she heard the office door open, a yelp and a clatter, saw Lorna being dragged across the playground by her mother. Lorna’s cheeks were mottled with cold and tears and her feet in those thin-soled shoes stuttered on the cracked tarmac. She dropped her book bag, and tried to go back for it, but her mother, all Puffa jacket and rage, kept pulling her by the wrist.

‘. . . doing? Fucking hell Lorna?’
‘. . . didn’t know . . .’

‘Course you fucking knew! Knew they weren’t yours, course you did!’ And Claire watched as Lorna made a sudden brave effort to wrench her arm free, and shrieked when the grip was not only maintained, but tightened. Claire’s heart shuddered.

‘I just wanted to share,’ the little girl was saying, ‘I just wanted to share them out.’
‘It’s good to share!’ She raised a hopeful face to her mother. ‘Isn’t it?’

And then the woman’s red, raw hand connected with Lorna’s sallow, curved cheek. Claire heard the sharp slap, saw the palm print appear in a blaze on the child’s face.

Buy Links: 
UK 🇬🇧http://amzn.to/2gElGCH / US 🇺🇸http://amzn.to/2fsr3zE

About the author...
The only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the patients. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a guinea pig for medical trials. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching English in Japanese Junior High Schools, and being a life model in Italy, before coming back to London and working with homeless teenagers and refugees.

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Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Revenge - Nigel May

by Nigel May

Buy Links:
About the book...
If you keep dangerous secrets you’ll pay the ultimate price…

In the South of France, playground of the rich and famous, world renowned chef Dexter Franklin is organising a night to remember. As he opens the doors to his exclusive restaurant for the first time, he’s handpicked a list of guests, as hot and dazzling as the St Tropez sun itself:

Mew Stanton: Fashionable, beautiful and a notorious TV chef, Dexter’s ex-girlfriend has all the ingredients for success. As her books fly off the shelves, a secret from her past is about to surface with explosive consequences. 

Holly Lydon: Ex girlband star who has fallen on hard times. Forced to make ends meet she’s having to sleep her way to the top. Now she’s making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Rosita Velázquez: Brazilian actress extraordinaire and girlfriend of Dexter’s brother, Leland. When she’s in town everybody needs to know about it, but this is one show-stopping entrance she’ll live to regret.

Three women have a past with Dexter and a grudge to bear against him. As fireworks ignite in the jet set capital of Europe, there’s murder on the menu. Who will be served their just desserts?

The sun is setting in the South of France. Pour yourself a glass of champagne and sit back for a read of revenge, regrets and shocking revelations that will have you hooked to the very last page.

Revenge by Nigel May - Prologue
Iguazu Falls, Brazil

Ripping her supersize false lashes away from the tender flesh just above her eyes, showgirl Cher Le Visage looked into the mirror in her makeshift dressing room, softly lit by an array of light bulbs. Not having used her favourite designer lash remover – she’d plumped for the best brand she could afford these days – she watched as her skin started to turn an angry shade of red. Cher felt her eyes sting and smart, a film of moisture blurring her vision as she experienced the force of her own fury now that her titillating moment on stage was over. She’d regret it in the morning, but right now Cher wanted to remove every trace of her performance outfit and not think about what her life had come to – even if that meant red raw eyelids. The skin would bruise, no doubt, but she’d become more than adept at covering up those telltale signs with clever shading and blending lately. Needs must when the devil strikes.

Throwing the lashes into the mesh bin, Cher cast her attention to the poster on the back of the door. It spelt out the name of the event she was appearing at: The Iguazu Falls Charity Blast. An event to raise awareness and as much moolah as possible for the ongoing conservation of the area and wildlife at Iguazu Falls, the magnificent collection of waterfalls cascading across the border between Brazil and Argentina. Cher hated charity gigs – no matter how beautiful the location – as they never paid well, but she was fully aware that she had only managed to blag her name onto the bill because one of the organisers was a lifelong fan of hers. She should think so, seeing as she’d once blown him rather expertly, backstage at a gig he’d organised back in New York. When was that? Oh yes, back when she almost had a career and almost had her name written in lights. These days her name was no more than half an inch tall on the lower reaches of a raggedy poster.

           She read the other names listed, all above hers. Crazy Sour, the world’s favourite girl band, were headlining. Oh, the shame of that. A woman skilled in the art of showgirl tease having to play underling to that frothy trio of pop tarts. That wasn’t what Cher had gone to school for. Put in all the hours for. Not that the girls in Crazy Sour were as wholesome as the world seemed to think. Any fool could see that.

Cher bent down to loosen the straps on her dual platform cage boots and kicked them off as she walked over to the poster to study the other names: Madhen, the ultimate good-time party band; Jemma Louisiana, the country and western star; Ellie Sweetrose, the hot soul sensation every trendy young thing and their dog were currently making out to if the newsstands were to be believed. Names, names, names – blah, blah, blah. All hosted by LA reality star Nova Chevalier, Latina actress Rosita Velázquez and some third-rate comedian who’d managed to scrape in to finish in the top five on America’s Got Talent.

There must have been about a dozen acts on the bill and yet her name seemed to be the smallest.

She’d come such a long way in her time, even if her career highs hadn’t been as astronomically sky-high as she’d once hoped, but surely there had to be life in the not-so-old corsets, suspenders and basques yet? She was a burlesque queen. A performer skilled with feathers, frills and flirtation. A temptress of tease. She would not be a washed-up glamour puss at the age of twenty-eight. She would make sure of that. She had options. There were always options.

No, tonight may not have been lucrative when it came to being paid for her services on stage, but maybe it would be in other ways. There was enough potential from those she’d seen tonight. Even if the professional world had decided to place her at the bottom of the bill, she was more than aware that her shapely legs and ample breasts could still attract a lover when required. And not just the one. Not that any of her lovers seemed to be providing her with love in its most romantic form right now. Passion, excitement, sex, variety, kink and on occasion brutality seemed to be washing over her in abundance, but when it came to hearts and flowers and Cupid’s heart-seeking arrow, her love life was emptier than her bank account. Others found their soulmates, why couldn’t she? At least one that she truly wanted. Why was the grass always greener?

Cher sat herself back down in front of the mirror and tugged gently at the specialist burlesque pasties covering her nipples. After years of dancing in the spotlight, a place where thankfully the drama of her act could momentarily camouflage the heartache of her unsatisfactory love life, Cher was adept at removing the small, sequinned, decorative saucers that every showgirl wore without too much discomfort. She stared at herself in the mirror and contemplated her own misery.

People would say that she deserved to be unhappy. Years of bitching and playing the diva were bound to rub a few people up the wrong way, and when word spread that a star was difficult to work with, and maybe not as popular as she once was, then the writing was very much written on the wall – in sparkalicious, glittery letters you could see from another galaxy. Cher Le Visage was seeing her own star descend quicker than the waters of the nearby Iguazu Falls. And she knew that she only had herself to blame.

Cher had enjoyed spending a few days in Brazil, but it was obvious from the position of her dressing room – furthest from the stage, at the back of the huge marquee erected to house the ‘talent’ – that neither the celebrity crowd nor the event organisers saw her as a big draw. Crazy Sour’s dressing room was no doubt all champagne, white lilies, scented candles and overhead fans to combat the stifling Brazilian heat. What did Cher receive? A six-pack of water and a desk fan that lacked the power to blow out the most pathetic of naked flames. But at least the money, meagre though it was, would be enough to keep the wolf from the door for another few weeks. And if it wasn’t, she’d be on eBay, Twitter and Facebook selling her outfits to the highest bidder in double-quick time.

No, screw the lush Brazilian forest and the furry little coati critters that she’d been gushing to the press about over the last few days, charity needed to begin at home, and Cher was determined that tonight would be a turning point to move things in a beneficial direction for her. Things would be so much better from now on. She would make sure of that. She’d look after number one – at whatever cost and no matter who it hurt.

Lovers, haters, past, present… She’d seen them all tonight. Well, fuck them all.

Cher was interrupted from her thoughts by a gentle tapping at the door of her room. She’d been expecting a visit. She picked up her gossamer robe and slipped it around her, all that she could cope with given the intense heat backstage. Underneath the flimsy material she was naked apart from her underwear.

She answered the door. The person standing there let their eyes scan down Cher’s body. Even with the robe on, there was little left to the imagination.
‘What are you staring at?’ snapped Cher. ‘It’s not like you haven’t seen it all before. You’d better come in. We have to talk.’

 ‘No expense spared, I see,’ mocked the visitor, stepping in and looking round.
‘Funny you should mention money, that’s what I need to talk to you about,’ said Cher. ‘You owe me, or else…’
It was about an hour later that a whisper of news started to scuttle its way around the backstage area of The Iguazu Falls Charity Blast. Some people were shocked, a few cried, some stated their surprise that it hadn’t happened before, many asked ‘Who?’ and one person just smiled, knowing that their work for the evening was done.

         Cher Le Visage had been found on the floor of her dressing room wearing nothing but her underwear and the gossamer robe, strangled by a feather boa. Her eyes bulged from their sockets, a look of panic written across them for all to see. Her body was a map of bruises. The showgirl had teased for the very last time.

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About the author...
Nigel May is a true all-rounder in the media world, working as a TV presenter, author, journalist and craft personality. He has written two glam-fiction books, Trinity and Addicted, as well as featuring in Sunlounger – a chart-topping anthology of short stories.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Things I Should Have Told You - Carmel Harrington

The Things I Should Have Told You 
by Carmel Harrington

About the book...
Every family has a story…But for the Guinness family a happy ending looks out of reach. Olly and Mae's marriage is crumbling, their teenage daughter Evie is on a mission to self-destruct and their beloved Pops is dying of cancer. Their once strong family unit is slowly falling apart.

But Pops has one final gift to offer his beloved family – a ray of hope to cling to. As his life's journey draws to a close, he sends his family on an adventure across Europe in a camper van, guided by his letters, his wisdom and his love.

Because Pops knows that all his family need is time to be together, to find their love for each other and to find their way back home…

‘Carmel Harrington…will make you see life in a different way’ Woman’s Way

Buy Links:
My thoughts...
I was given a copy of this book by Jaime Frost at harper Collins in exchange for an honest review, something which I'm more than happy to do.  Carmel Harrington is an author that makes you live inside her books, from the very first page you'll be hooked.

Olly, Mae, Evie and Jamie are a family that are on the brink of totally falling apart.  Nobody is communicating properly with each other all all bar Jamie are so entrenched in their own problems that they shut each other out.  Olly was made redundant and became a house husband, Mae feels redundant as both a wife and mother and daughter Evie has a near death experience which pulls the family up short.  Pops, Ollie's dad lives with them and is terminally ill, watching his family disintegrate before his eyes is just too much for him to bear.  On the day of his funeral they open a letter for him that will change their lives forever. He knows what a lovely, tight knot family they once were and wants to give them the chance to find themselves and each other again - he sends them on an eight week adventure across Europe in 'Nomad' the camper van. To say it's a shock and they're not all happy at the thought of spending eight weeks in a confined space would be an understatement.

This book is magical, it made me cry so many times I lost count, it made me smile continuously and laugh out loud at some of the scenario's they found themselves in.  Carmel has created characters that will pull at your heart strings and she takes us on a journey of discovery both of places and experiences and about the Guinness family too. It is a book that won't fail to make you look at your own life too.

Life is too short, it should be filled with happy memories and talking openly and honestly all the time would alleviate many problems.  Inevitably life takes it's toll on relationships and family but love, laughter and communication is key.  We all take our friends and family and the things they do for us for granted but Carmel Harrington, through The Things I Should Have Told You, highlights the importance of taking the time to say little things that let people know how much you care and appreciate them and the things they do for us and most importantly filling your life with experiences, removing the mental barriers that stop us.

I have a caravan and my husband has often suggested taking it to Europe and I've always got a reason not to.  I so want to go now.  Reading this book and living the Guinness family life was so uplifting. The places that the Guinness family visit and the experiences they have on the way are described in such a way I feel I was there. I've sat on a campsite and people watched, sniggering at the 'newbies, setting up and trying to encourage a sullen, teenager into trying new food - been there, it wasn't a success.  I thought it was just us!  

I highly recommend this book, it is my favourite read of Carmel Harrington's and is a book that you can't fail to fall in love with - from the characters to the journey across Europe - I'm off now to get the maps out and make some plans.

About the author....
Irish Times Bestseller, Carmel Harrington is an award winning author from Co. Wexford, where she lives with her husband and two children, Amelia (6) and Nate (4).

The Things I Should Have Told You (HarperCollins), was published in September 2016. Her page-turning novels are to be published worldwide, translated into eight different languages. 

Carmel is the Chairperson of Wexford Literary Festival, of which she co-founded. She is a regular on Irish TV, as one of the panelists on TV3’s Midday show. She is also a guest panelist and book reviewer for South East Radio’s Morning Mix and writes feature articles for many newspapers and magazines. A popular keynote speaker she has given talks in Ireland, UK & USA.

A stay at home mum, Carmel juggled babies and books to become a success story in the digital publishing world with the digital first imprint Harper Impulse. Every Time A Bell Rings, The Life You Left and Kindle Book of The Year & Romantic eBook of the Year - Beyond Grace’s Rainbow were all eBook bestsellers. 

But her dream to be published traditionally has now come true, with her move to HarperFiction. The Things I Should Have Told You is her first trade paperback and is on sale in bookshops nationwide. It follows in audio format December 2016 and mass paperback in UK & Ireland January 2017. Foreign translations have been sold to Hungary, Finland, Norway and Sweden so far. 

Carmel has been dubbed the Queen of Emotional Writing and has been compared to one of her heroes, Maeve Binchy. She writes with warmth and compassion about characters so believable that they could be sitting beside you.

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