Guest Post – The Homecoming Author, Rosie Howard On Combining Writing With Raising A Family (@rosieWritesHavenbury @emmafinnigan)

I’m thrilled to be welcoming Rosie Howard to the blog with an excellent guest blog on how she combines writing with raising her family. Rosie has a teenage daughter and a son with additional needs and has been an active campaigner for disability rights.  Rosie’s novel, The Homecoming, was published by Alison & Busby in February 2018 and is the first book in the Havenbury series.

 

the homecomingMaddy fled the idyllic market town of Havenbury Magna three years ago, the scene of a traumatic incident she revisits most clearly in her dreams. Even so, when she is called back to help at the Havenbury Arms when her godfather Patrick suffers a heart attack, she is unprepared for the welter of emotions her return provokes. Psychologist and ex-army officer Ben is sure he can help Maddy to resolve her fears, until he finds himself falling for her, and struggling with a recently uncovered family secret of which Maddy is blissfully unaware. Then Maddy’s mother, Helen, arrives and Patrick himself must confront a few uncomfortable truths about his history and the pub’s future.

 

 

Over to Rosie…

Rosie HowardFirst, thank you so much for kindly inviting me to contribute to your blog. It is – as always – an absolute pleasure to chat to people who love to read. Same! Also, who doesn’t love the opportunity to talk about themselves…? 

Writing novels is a fantastic excuse for not having a proper job. It is only with the launch of my new Havenbury series that I have started writing full time. It is exciting to see my books getting out there and to really feel  – when I sit down to write – that it is going to be read. That said, there is nothing “full time” about my work, because family comes first, or at least that’s what my family tells me. Often. If it isn’t my teenage daughter demanding extraordinary amounts of money for school trips (Florence? Really?) it is my son asking where his rugby socks are like I might actually know – his confidence is touching. Then there is my black Labrador Rosie (yep, my writing name) who inserts herself into the tiny space under my writing desk where she huffs, puffs and groans like a live sex show and makes it impossible for me to put my feet anywhere without treading on her. This is in the hope that if she is constantly front of mind I might decide to feed her or walk her. The cat is the most annoying family member though; she does this weird passive-aggressive thing where she clearly wants me to give her some food but would rather chew her own paws off than ask. Of course, I feed her, and then she makes sure I am watching as she sniffs it and turns up her nose in disgust before stalking off. Funny how it’s always gone the next time I look. I do have a husband too, by the way, I definitely remember seeing him, but I can’t quite remember where. It might have been the shed. He likes it out there. I can see the appeal.  

Gentle whingeing aside though, my life is intentionally as close to my Havenbury world as I can get it. We live in a beautiful area at the foot of the Sussex Downs, just a few miles from the sea. Our little house has four windows and a door in the middle, like a child’s drawing, and is next door to the village pub; our little community is close-knit, with its school, playing fields, village hall, church, a row of shops and active Parish Council…  living here we feel connected. There are no secrets or at least none that stay secret for long. Characters are larger than life, crises are huge (or seem that way) and there is a nosy/supportive community which is both a blessing and frequently infuriating. Our local market town is just like Havenbury Magna too. We moved from London to raise our children and out here –  in all the mud of wintertime –  it is impossible to forget the seasons like you can in the city.  

‘The Homecoming’ centres on my heroine, Maddy, who – like me in my own life – has been traumatised by a barely remembered event which leaves her badly injured. I realise – many years later, as the mother of a teenage daughter –  I also relate to Helen, Maddy’s mother, who wants more than anything, for her daughter to be happy and safe.  

We would crawl a mile over broken glass for our children, wouldn’t we? When my son got to three years old without speaking a word I realised, with a bruised heart, that life was going to be difficult for him. Thankfully, in my pre-child career, working in disability rights campaigning, I knew what parents have to do to help their children because I had seen it with my own eyes: They have to fight. 

Funny story… doing a bit of pro bono work for a charity helping children like my son, I got invited to a fancy-pants launch event in Westminster. I sidled up to the guest of honour Ed Balls (he was Secretary of State for Education at the time, I don’t bother taking his calls now, obviously) and told him about our own experiences. He kindly wrote me a supportive letter, copied to my local Education Authority. Predictably, just weeks later, I was firing off an email to the head of the Authority, pointing out they had failed to comply with their statutory duties in some detail or other and this is what happened: 

  • Within seconds I had an automated reply from this bloke, saying he was on holiday. 
  • Within minutes I had a real, human reply from said bloke saying he was on holiday but he had read my email and would deal with it as soon as he got back to the office. 
  • Within hours I had a third email from him saying, even though he was on holiday he had spoken to his office, they were totally on it and would be fixing our problem, carrying out an exacting enquiry into who messed up and taking them outside for summary execution as a major of urgency. 

Do you think someone might have mentioned I was BFF with Ed Balls? Laughing aside – and it was funny – my advice to parents with children who need extra help, (and whose child doesn’t?) would be this: 

  1. Know what you need. 
  1. Know who can give it to you. 
  1. Know their job better than they do. 
  1. Politely but firmly make your point. 
  1. Don’t take any crap. 

The happy ending is that my son is doing well in mainstream school with the support he needs. The unhappy ending is that nothing has got any easier for families in the same boat. We used our child benefit to pay for private therapy but not everyone can do that. The other story I could tell is the one about childcare in our village (previously poor) and what – as a community – we did about it (currently fabulous).  Maybe next time. Or just keep reading the Havenbury series, it is bound to pop up somewhere along the line. Art imitating life and all that… 

Right. I’m off to write the next chapter.  Or I might just put the washing in/walk the dog/empty the bins.  A writer’s life is not a glamorous one. 

Thank you for having me. xx  

———————- 

Thank you so much Rosie for a really interesting and insightful guest post! I can definitely relate to the drain on the finances that is the TEEN DAUGHTER! While I don’t have personal experience, I also recognise and appreciate the challenges parents whose children have additional needs face from my work in the sector. I have the utmost respect!

Please do look out for my review of The Homecoming coming very soon! 

 

#BlogTour – The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins – Guestpost and #Giveaway

I’m absolutely thrilled to be kicking of the blog tour today for Roz Watkins new crime debut, The Devil’s Dice! The first book in the DI Meg Dalton series, this is a gripping and atmospheric thriller you won’t want to miss! One of the most striking things I found about this book was the Peak District setting and I’m delighted to welcome Roz Watkins to Cosy Books today to tell us just why she chose it.

Detective Inspector Meg Dalton has recently returned to her Peak District roots, when a man’s body is found near The Devil’s Dice – a vast network of caves and well-known local suicide spot. The man’s initials and a figure of the Grim Reaper are carved into the cave wall behind his corpse, but bizarrely, the carvings have existed for over one hundred years.

The locals talk about a mysterious family curse that started in the times of the witch trials, and Meg finds it increasingly hard to know who to trust. Even her own mother may be implicated.

For Meg, the case is a chance to prove herself in a police force dominated by men, one of whom knows a lot more about her past than she’d like, and is convinced she’s not fit for the role. In a race against time, Meg finds her own life at risk as she fights to stop the murderer from killing again.

Published March 8th 2018 by HQStories

Roz Watkins is the author of the DI Meg Dalton crime series, which is set in the Peak District where Roz lives with her partner and a menagerie of demanding animals.

Her first book, The Devil’s Dice, was shortlisted for the CWA Debut Dagger Award, and has been optioned for TV.

Roz studied engineering at Cambridge University before training in patent law. She was a partner in a firm of patent attorneys in Derby, but this has absolutely nothing to do with there being a dead one in her first novel.

In her spare time, Roz likes to walk in the Peak District, scouting out murder locations.

Why I chose to set ‘The Devil’s Dice’ in the Peak District  

The original reason was my dog and his foul habits. I live on the edge of the Peak District, which my dog approves of because of the excellent walking. We were out one day when he disappeared. This is always a bad sign as it means he’s:

a) Found a group of picnickers and decided to invite himself along;

b) Found a stinking foetid pit in which to take a bath;

c) Found a decomposing rabbit, sheep, or on one horrible occasion cow, to devour.

So it was with some trepidation that I watched him emerge from the undergrowth looking very pleased with himself, with something dangling from his mouth, swinging pendulously with every bounding step. I caught my breath and took a step back, because (to my brain at least) it looked just like a human spine.  

As he got closer, I realised it was a hare, but it got me wondering what it might be like to come upon a human corpse when on a dog walk. And that’s what happens in ‘The Devil’s Dice’. A man dies in a cave and is found by a Labrador.  

Here’s Starsky, very proud of himself!  

I soon realised that The Peak District is a perfect location for crime novels. It has underground passageways, cliffs, quarries, and pools where evil mermaids are supposed to lurk. It also has some lovely towns, and I used Wirksworth as the inspiration for my fictional town, Eldercliffe. Wirksworth has an incredible area called The Puzzle Gardens where a jumble of tiny cottages and random gardens perch on a hillside so steep it feels like you can step out of one cottage onto the roof of another.  

There are also miles of tunnels running underground in the area of the Peak District where I live. Being trapped underground with water rising around me is one of my worst nightmares, so it seemed natural to inflict this on my poor, long-suffering character in my fist book. I invented a network of tunnels called The Labyrinth, but it was based on real cave systems like the ones at The Heights of Abraham and Castleton.  

I gave my main character a fear of heights so I could torture her some more by making the victim live in a house perched on the edge of a quarry. This was based on the quarry at Wirksworth, where the houses almost teeter on its edge.  

This Peak District is also rich with folk tales and legends. I tend to make up my own stories to fit with the themes of the books, and in the first book, suspected witches were historically taken into the Labyrinth to be hanged. But my ideas are often inspired by real local folk tales which are usually quite gruesome.  

Friends think it’s strange (and a little worrying) that the beauty of the Peak District gets me thinking about murder, but my excuse is that it all started with the dog.  

Win!!!

Thanks to the very generous people at HQ Stories I Have THREE hardback copies of The Devil’s Dice to giveaway. Simply pop over to follow my twitter account @Vicki_cosybooks and Re-tweet my pinned post. U.K. Only I’m afraid. Ends Midnight 22nd March 2018 .

#Blogtour Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill #Guestpost @HQStories

Warm welcome this morning to Melissa Hill who joins me for a stop on the Keep You Safe blog tour with a guest post!

Keep You Safe is Melissa’s latest novel, tackling issues of parenting, vaccination and social responsibility. I’m reading this now and as a parent myself, find it terrifying, Heart wrenching and gripping!  Melissa’s guest post profiles the two main characters, Kate and Madeleine – giving us a little insight into what makes them tick. Enjoy!

keep you safeFor readers who love issue-driven fiction, Melissa Hill has written a breakout novel exploring the “to vaccinate or not” debate and the tragic consequences of one mother’s decision on another.

Single mom Kate O’Donnell is living her worst nightmare. Her young daughter, Clara, who has a medical condition that doesn’t allow her to be vaccinated, becomes critically ill when one of her classmates, Lauren-whose family chose not to vaccinate-contracts and spreads the virus. While Lauren has no trouble recovering from the disease, Clara’s condition worsens. With time spent by her daughter’s bedside, Kate loses her job and slides deeper into medical debt. But when another school parent points the blame at Lauren’s mother, Lucy, and the media begins an attack, we see two very different views on parenting and how badly things can spin out of control when all either of these two women wanted was to keep their daughters safe. 

 

 Keep You Safe – Character Profiles

Single mum Kate O’Hara, widowed two years before the story begins, lives in the small Irish town of Knockroe with her five-year-old daughter Rosie.  

They are both quite new to the community, the family having moved there not long before Kate’s husband Greg, passed away unexpectedly. 

Kate is a nursing professional who works locally, and she and Rosie enjoy a wonderfully close relationship and in Greg’s absence, have gradually developed well-rehearsed household and family routines.  

As the story begins, Rosie has just started school, the worst of Kate’s grief is subsiding and she’s begun to come out of her shell a little, making friends with some of the other mums at Rosie’s school, Applewood primary. 

Having weathered a tough few years she’s on the verge of getting her life back and looking forward to moving on. Rosie herself is flourishing, she loves school, has a wide range of interests and is an outgoing and friendly little girl.  

Money is short and while Kate occasionally feels lonely and isolated from other family, for the most part, life in Knockroe is good. 

But there is one ongoing worry that Kate can never ignore; Rosie has a medical condition that means she cannot be vaccinated. For this reason, Kate needs to keep a very close eye on any infectious childhood diseases going round the school or the locality, because it’s entirely up to her to keep her daughter safe. 

 Another resident – this one Knockroe born and bred – is mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, who lives with her husband Tom and their two children, Jake and Clara. They are an affluent family with a big house in the town, and lots of family support close by.  

Madeleine is popular amongst the locals, though her increased media appearances and occasionally controversial stance on motherhood ensures she has some detractors, namely some of the other Applewood Primary school mums. 

Like Kate, Madeleine wants the absolute best for her children. Which is why she’s working tooth and nail to build her mummy blogging empire and regain some of the independence – financial and personal – she lost since having the kids and being a stay at home mum. A former high-flying marketing consultant, she really struggled with self-identity and found the early days of childrearing a challenge.  

A self-proclaimed ‘unmumsy mum’, Madeleine also found it difficult to identify with fellow new mums, and as such felt isolated from the local mother/toddler community.  

Instead, she turned to internet and found a tribe of like-minded people there, and a series of humorous posts and articles about the harsh realities of motherhood soon led to ‘Mad Mum’, her popular blog with a burgeoning number of followers – and subsequently some advertising deals. 

Ultimately, Madeleine is unapologetic about her belief that mums need to give themselves a break and aim to balance their own needs against parental obligations. 

But she’s also made some choices that Kate didn’t have the luxury of choosing.  

While Kate is unable to vaccinate her daughter, Madeleine and her husband Tom decided against vaccinating their children because they are wary of potential side effects. 

Kate and Madeleine’s worlds collide when Rosie and Clara both become ill with measles, and KEEP YOU SAFE is the story of two mothers, two different choices and two very different outcomes. 

Melissa Hill, 2017. 

 About The Author 

melissa hillMelissa Hill lives in County Wicklow with her husband and daughter.

A USA Today and international No 1 bestseller, she is the author of 15 novels. A TV adaptation of A GIFT TO REMEMBER will be released as Hallmark Christmas movie in 2017 and SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S is currently in development with a major Hollywood studio.

Melissa’s books have been translated into 25 different languages including Bulgarian, German, Czech, Finnish, Latvian, Serbian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Brazilian, Thai and Chinese and have hit bestseller lists in multiple countries. The Italian edition of SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S, ‘Un Regalo da Tiffany’ spent eight weeks at No 1 in Italy, selling over 600,000 copies, making it one of the bestselling 2011 Italian books overall.

Her writing combines all the warmth and humour of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page.

Melissa also co-writes forensic thrillers with her husband Kevin under the pen-name Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information visit http://www.facebook.com/caseyhillbooks.

Website I Facebook I Twitter

 

keep you safe bt

#Blogtour #Guestpost When The Future Comes Too Soon by Selina Siak Chin Yoke @midasPR

Today I’m welcoming author Selina Siak Chin Yoke to Cosy Books to tell us about the inspiration behind her new novel, When The Future Comes Too Soon. Over to you Selina…

When the Future Comes Too Soon: my inspiration, why and how I needed to tell the story 

SelinaI began writing out of desperation and a cherished dream. In 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Chemo took place over four months, during which I had a medical routine. When chemo ended I thought I would be better, but I felt worse. The ground beneath me seemed to have collapsed. I found no equilibrium – until I started writing. It was a miracle: the act of putting words into sentences transformed me. I remembered a dream I’d had of writing a novel loosely based on my great grandmother’s life. With every page I wrote, my strength returned. Writing saved my life.

Mei Foong’s story is an important one to tell in my new novel. Most people know what happened in WWII in Europe, but what happened in Asia is often overlooked. If the story has been told at all, it has often been from a colonial perspective – involving the resistance, for instance, the so-called tiny band of Force 136, which actually had little impact on the vast majority of Malayans. For most Malayans, the stresses of war were immense. I wanted to show what it was like for a local family and to tell the story from the perspective of a woman who is like many women of the time – strong without knowing it.

In writing historical fiction, historical accuracy is vital to me. I cross-check facts and use a mix of sources: archives, libraries, the Internet, anecdotes from interviews and subject experts. I also reflect the world as it was in my stories. In my debut novel, The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds, there are many children because families were large in those days. An early reader wrote in her review that I should have “kept to 5 children”. From a literary viewpoint that would have been easier! But it would have been unrealistic. I also made a decision not to dilute Asian names to make it easier for Western readers. We have to get used to Western names, and I don’t see why we should have to make our names simpler in literature.

When the Futures Comes too Soon by Selina Siak Chin Yoke is out now (Amazon Crossing) 

when the future comes too soon

In Japanese-occupied Malaya, lives are shattered and a woman discovers her inner strength in a world ravaged by war.

Following the death of their matriarch, the lives of Chye Hoon’s family turned upside down. Now that the British have fled and the Japanese have conquered, their once-benign world changes overnight.

Amid the turmoil, Chye Hoon’s daughter-in-law, Mei Foong, must fend for her family as her husband, Weng Yu, becomes increasingly embittered. Challenged in ways she never could have imagined and forced into hiding, Mei Foong finds a deep reservoir of resilience she did not know she had and soon draws the attentions of another man.

Is Mei Foong’s resolve enough to save herself, her marriage, and her family? Only when peace returns to Malaya will she learn the full price she must pay for survival.

 About The Author

Of Malaysian-Chinese heritage, Selina Siak Chin Yoke (石清玉) grew up listening to family stories and ancient legends. She always knew that one day, she would write. After an eclectic life as a physicist, banker and trader in London, the heavens intervened. In 2009 Chin Yoke was diagnosed with cancer. While recovering, she decided not to delay her dream of writing any longer. Her first novel, The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (The Malayan Series, #1), was published on November 1, 2016 and made an immediate emotional connection with readers. It debuted as an Amazon best-seller in historical fiction, was named by Goodreads as one of the 6 best books of November 2016 and has been compared to the work of Pearl S. Buck and Amy Tan.

Her second novel, When the Future Comes Too Soon (The Malayan Series, #2), was published on July 18, 2017. Readers can expect the same brand of immersive historical fiction, but each book in the series can be read independently. Be prepared for surprises! When not creating new characters for the Malayan Series, Chin Yoke writes a blog at http://siakchinyoke.com/blog.

 

#BlogTour #GuestPost – Books That Influenced Let Her Go by Dawn Barker @Canelo_co #LetHerGo

I’m delighted to welcome author Dawn Barker to Cosy Books to tell us about the books that influenced her novel, Let Her Go.

dawn barkerDawn Barker is a psychiatrist and author. She grew up in Scotland, then in 2001 she moved to Australia, completed her psychiatric training and began writing. Her first novel, Fractured, was selected for the 2010 Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre manuscript development programme, was one of Australia’s bestselling debut fiction titles for 2013, and was shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards. Her second novel is Let Her Go. Dawn lives in Perth with her husband and three young children.

 

Books that influenced Let Her Go 

 When I’m writing, I deliberately avoid reading books that are similar in theme to my manuscript and so I didn’t read books specifically to research the issues in let Her Go. I worried that if I did, I’d become anxious about my own writing, at least thinking, ‘oh no, someone’s already done that’, and most likely thinking, ‘they’ve written it so much better than I ever could’!  

 However, there were a couple of books that influenced me in a way, books I’d read before writing Let Her Go, books that kept popping into my mind as I wrote.  

 The first was Margaret Atwood’s amazing The Handmaid’s Tale. I’ve read this book several times, and as I started to write Let Her Go, I saw that the world she imagined in a speculative fiction novel – where an underclass of women are used for reproductive purposes – is not that far removed from the one we live in now. I love how she uses speculative fiction to make us think about contemporary issues. Once I understood how much I was thinking about this book, I found some amazing images of her characters and book covers and placed them on my desk as I was writing as inspiration.  

 Another book that was an inspiration was David Vann’s brilliant Caribou Island. David Vann is one of my favourite writers: I love how he’s not afraid of dark themes. While Caribou Island is set in Alaska, a long way from Western Australia (where Let her Go is set) Vann is an expert at using landscape – Caribou Island – to increase the intensity between characters. I loved the idea of an island being an escape from life, but also how it can quickly turn into a prison. This gave me the idea to set some of Let Her Go on Rottnest, a small island just off Perth, which is now a holiday destination but has a dark history. 

 Finally, Robert Drewe’s The Drowner, a fictionalized account of the life of CY O Connor, whose story appears in the background of Let Her Go, was very useful. CY O Connor was a brilliant Irish engineer who built Fremantle harbor, and then was in charge of developing a pipeline to take water from Perth to the Goldfields of Western Australia, an engineering feat initially thought to be impossible. His story was both brilliant and tragic, and as I looked for settings for Let Her Go, CY O Connor kept appearing (literally, with statues of him in many places I looked!) and the drama of his life influenced the drama in Let Her Go. 

 It wasn’t only books that influenced me when writing Let Her Go; it had a soundtrack in my mind too. That was Florence and The Machine’s soaring album, Ceremonials. I often listened to it as I edited Let Her Go in my local library, as it seemed to match the mood perfectly. 

 It’s now been a couple of year since Let Her Go was first published in Australia, and only recently I have a read a couple of books that deal with similar themes: M.L. Stedman’s The Light Between The Oceans, and more recently, Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty. I am glad that they weren’t around when I wrote Let Her Go as they are both excellent books and would have caused me a lot of anxiety! 

 

Could you share your child with someone else?let her go book

Zoe wanted a baby more than anything. But her dreams will come at a price…
After years of struggling to conceive, Zoe and her husband face the prospect of never having a family. When Zoe’s stepsister, Nadia, offers to be a surrogate it presents the perfect solution. A healthy girl, Louise, is born.

But no one imagined just how hard it would be to know someone else was also mother to your child. As the pressure on Zoe and Nadia mounts, they make choices that there is no going back from.

Years later, Louise is in desperate need of her family’s help. Can they put their painful history aside to save the child they love so much?

Don’t miss this explosive and moving drama. Perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse, Kelly
Rimmer and Kerry Fisher

Published May 2017 by Canelo

Let her Go is currently available in ebook at the special price of just 99p for 30 days from the 21st August 2017  

Let Her Go

 

Blog Tour – Guest Post and Review: The Farm Girls Dream by Eileen Ramsay ( @BonnierZaffe )

I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on Eileen Ramsay’s The Farm Girl’s Dream blog tour today with a guest post and review. First up, over to Eileen…  

Eileen The Writer
Everyone in my family read – books, magazines, newspapers, the backs of cornflake boxes, and if there was nothing to read our parents told stories.
Our mother was Irish and when we were young she told us tales of all the naughty things she and her friends used to do when they were children. When we were older she told us stories about Ireland in what she called the “troubles.’’
Father was born in Scotland but his father was English and so my sister, my brother and I have always felt very British. Dad had been a professional soldier and so had served in many countries and when we were young he had just returned from WW11. On cold evenings he would light a fire in the living room and he would tell us stories of “old unhappy far-off things and battles long ago” He loved Burma and the Burmese people and fascinated us with his descriptions of jungle flowers, beautiful temples, and gentle generous people. Every night I told my sister a story.  She, being three years older, was supposed to tell me one in return but somehow she always fell asleep. 
I grew up and became a school teacher and wrote stories for my classes. And then one weekend when I was staying with friends I wrote a story about my friend’s father’s dog. I called it Duffer and the Writer. My husband read it before I could print it out for my friend.
‘You should have that published,’ said my husband. 
I had never thought of publication – that was for real writers – but I began to write seriously. I was reading the books of Elizabeth Goudge and Georgette Heyer and so I decided to start writing a Regency romance. At the same time I was doing a Master’s degree and a professor allowed me to submit the manuscript as part of my course. Not long after graduation I attended a writers’ conference at UC San Diego where I met an editor who surprised me by reading the manuscript and sending me a note. ‘I think this will go.’ That same year, we decided to return with our sons to Scotland where I met an editor who gave me the names of the agents his company used. I applied to one of them who asked for the manuscript and – imagine my delight when she sold it to an American company. They did not ask for a second book and so the lovely agent said, ‘Write about what you know,’ and so I did. I wrote The Broken Gate which is about love and family life and human strength and kindness.
And Duffer and the Writer, no I have never published it but it did win the ‘Children’s story’ category in a competition held by The Scottish Association of Writers.  

My Review 

From the fields of Angus to the shores of Mexico, a family struggles to find their way home. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Rita Bradshaw and Kitty Neale.
To young Victoria Cameron, Angus, Scotland is the most beautiful place on earth and she wishes nothing more than to stay on her little farm for ever. But the death of her beloved grandfather leaves her and her mother without a farm and struggling to make ends meet.
Never one to give up, Victoria soon finds work in a Dundee mill, while her mother supports them by taking in lodgers. Neither ever expected one of those lodgers would be John Cameron, the father that walked out on them so many years ago.
Victoria is torn about how to receive this stranger, and torn about the other man in her life – a young boy she thinks she could love if only he comes back from the war.  
Published June 15th 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre (UK)
I was brought up in the eighties with my Mum’s historical romance/family saga paperbacks piled up on our bookshelves, and it was one of these that became my very first adult read at around age twelve. Over a couple of years I devoured many more, and although my tastes have changed since then, I still have a soft spot for a good old saga for a bit of comfort reading. 
Eileen Ramsay is a new to me author, although she has a massive 18 books already to her name. The Farm Girl’s Dream is set in the perfect time period for this type of book – the years spanning the prelude to the first world war and before the second. I think why this period in history does work so well is that, with ordinary women at the heart of this book, this period in history offers a time of great social change, growth and opportunity for females, allowing deep character developement. It becomes difficult not to become attached and immersed in their life. 
The Farm Girl’s Dream captures this feeling of change for its main character, Victoria, beautifully. Through adversity and hardship, we see her become independent, grasp opportunities and fight to make a life for herself beyond expectation. The supporting cast of characters are equally as intriguing and I loved the nostalgic sense of community typical of this time. 
Eileen’s writing is engaging and flowing, meaning this is a very easy book to become lost in and read over a few hours. In places I felt it was a little jumpy and things seemed to move on quite quickly, however when you’re spanning three decades, then I suppose this is somewhat inevitable. I did enjoy her descriptions of places and smells, from the squalor of the Jute mill to the exoticness of India as the world is opened up to Victoria. 
The Farm Girl’s Dream is a sweeping saga – there’s tragedy, struggle, family, rags to riches, a villain and romance. But it’s the sense of hope and accomplishment which make these books so appealing and this one definitely hits the spot. I really enjoyed getting lost in this book for a few hours, and ended with a huge smile on my face and feeling of contentment. Lovely, feel good comfort reading well worth a read – and a new author for me, whose books I’d happily pick up again  
A Pinch Of Salt, also by Eileen Ramsay, is re-released in paperback later this summer. 

(I read a copy courtesy of the publisher)

  

Blog Tour Guest Post: Sardinian Sunday: How We Can All Be A Bit More Sardinian For The Week Ahead by Sara Alexander

Today I am delighted to be the final stop on the Under A Sardinian Sky blog tour and welcoming author Sara Alexander with a fantasticly delicious guest post…. Over to Sara

Sardinian Sunday: How can we be a bit more Sardinian for the week ahead?  

The Sardinian way of life is epitomized by a lack of urgency. For anything. Other than perhaps, convincing another that your mamma’s pasta sauce recipe is the definitive version. To illustrate let me recall our wedding celebration. The invitations stated that the ceremony would begin at 4.30pm. My family didn’t turn up till almost 6. Our British guests were stood in the mid afternoon sun from 3.30pm, with hats, of course.

The same goes for their food. Once you have mastered the art of allowing a dish to infuse and rest
before devouring you will have glimpsed a slice of Sardinian sagacity. Unless it’s pasta of course, which should be eaten immediately. Resist the temptation to cook the perfect amount. You are no Sardinian host if you don’t have several extra portions to go around. The simplest, and my personal favourite is gnochetti. Do not confuse with the Roman potato gnocchi. Gnochetti are like little pellets, indented along the edges. These little beauties take me right to my grandma’s kitchen every time.
Tip a couple of fists full of dried gnochetti per person or, if you can find them, malloreddus (similar but a bit longer), into plenty of salted simmering water. Whilst they’re cooking heat a smushed clove of garlic gently until it begins to soften in two tablespoons of olive oil. Add a bottle of passata, season well, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Stir in plenty of seasoning, a little sugar or nub of dark chocolate and, when it’s cooked through, tip in several fresh basil leaves, immediately turning off the heat. Allow to infuse. Resist the temptation to hurry. When the little gnochetti are cooked, drain and stir them into the sauce pan, coating every little nub with the sweet tomato. Be generous with some more grated pecorino.

I love aperitif time of day. Summon the spirit of Sardinia by pouring yourself a crisp glass of vermentino. Fill a platter with pecorino Sardo, a delicious hard cheese from sheep’s milk, cracked green marinated olives, thin slices of prosciutto and salami – as close to farm fresh as you can find and preferably one you can slice yourself for authenticity. Add sliced fresh crudités, radishes, carrots, chicory and you’re set for a lazy catch up with friends and family – both at the very heart of Sardinian life. Devote an entire afternoon to eating, arguing, and sipping espressos after your feast together. Take turns to tell stories, children too. They are very much to be seen and heard, and, expected to listen carefully to others. They are never fed earlier and sent away from the grown ups table. There is no such divide around a Sardinian table. I love witnessing this democracy trickle through an afternoon of feasting. If you can see a sliver of turquoise sea in your periphery and are lucky to capture a ray or two as well, you’re pretty much on the island already!

Under a Sardinian Sky by actress and author Sara Alexander is out 20th April (HQ, £7.99)   

Sometimes a family’s deepest silences hide the most important secrets.
Carmela disappeared from her Italian hometown long ago and is mentioned only in fragments and whispers. Mina has resisted prying, respectful of her family’s Sardinian reserve. But now, with her mother battling cancer, it’s time to learn the truth.

In 1952, Simius is a busy Sardinian town surrounded by fertile farms and orchards. Carmela Chirigoni, a farmer’s daughter and talented seamstress, is engaged to Franco, son of the area’s wealthiest family. Everyone agrees it’s a good match. But Carmela’s growing doubts about Franco’s possessiveness are magnified when she meets Captain Joe Kavanagh.

Joe, an American officer stationed at a local army base, is charismatic, intelligent, and married. Hired as his interpreter, Carmela resolves to ignore her feelings, knowing that any future together must bring upheaval and heartache to both families.

As Mina follows the threads of Carmela’s life to uncover her fate, she will discover a past still deeply alive in the present, revealing a story of hope, sacrifice, and extraordinary love. 

My Thoughts: 

Sara’s guest post today gives an indication of what the experience of reading Under A Sardinian Sky is like. This isn’t a gulp down, page turning race of a read. Rather a lovely, leisurely meander which will transport you to another place. It requires you to slow right down, take a deep breath and relax into it. It took me a little while to settle into at first, after reading some edgy, fast paced thrillers, but once I had and allowed myself a good couple of hours of uninterrupted, unhurried reading I became immersed. Sara’s writing is incredibly descriptive and evocative, the beauty of Sardinia and the delicious descriptions of foods will make you yearn to be there. With a rich cast of vivacious and vivid characters and an illicit romance, Under A Sardinian Sky is incredibly evocative and atmospheric. This book is ideal for holidays or lazy Sunday afternoon reading. If you enjoy being transported to another place and evocative, descriptive prose then I think you’ll like this.

About The Author 

Sara Alexander has worked extensively in the theatre, film and television industries, including roles
in much loved productions such as Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Doctor Who, and Franco Zeffirelli’s Sparrow.

Growing up in North West London, Sara attended Hampstead Comprehensive School, before going on to graduate the University of Bristol with a BA honours in Theatre, Film & Television, and Drama Studio London with a postgraduate diploma in acting.

She now returns to her Sardinian routes through the pages of her debut novel Under a Sardinian Sky.

Blog Tour- Extract and Review: Close To Me by Amanda Reynolds

Today I am thrilled to host a stop on Amanda Reynolds blog tour to celebrate her debut novel, Close To Me.
Close To Me is a gripping debut psychological drama that will appeal to fans of Liane Moriarty’s bestselling The Husband’s Secret, Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go, and Linda Green’s While My Eyes Were Closed.

She can’t remember the last year. Her husband wants to keep it that way.

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia-she’s lost a whole year of memories. A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?

She can’t remember what she did-or what happened the night she fell. But she’s beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.  
Published by Headline – eBook 31st March / Paperback 27th July 2017

First of all, here’s an extract to give you a taste of this fantastic book!

The barn feels bigger, the silence echoing around us, between us, from us. I leave Rob to bring in the emptied boxes and suitcases and go upstairs to change, pausing outside Fin’s room. The tidiness within is unsettling. ‘He hasn’t died,’ Sash had said when I’d rung her from the car. ‘He’s just gone to university.’ 

I pull the duvet from its cover, strip the sheet from the mattress and the pillowcases from the pillows, and although I’d intended to throw the washing straight in the laundry basket, I sit down on the empty bed, gathering the musty bedding around me to inhale Fin’s scent. 

‘He hasn’t died, Jo,’ Rob says, finding me there. He’s carrying a suitcase, now lightened of its load, just a few hours ago filled with the shirts and jeans I’d ironed. 

‘That was Sash’s line,’ I say, sitting up. ‘You two are so alike.’  

Rob lays a hand on my shoulder, the fingers reaching my collar bone, gently pressing in. I stand and hold him for a moment, his long arms wrapping around me, his head resting on top of mine. ‘Come on,’ he says. ‘We’re both tired.’ 

We make love, the day edging away as we comfort one another. Afterwards, Rob rolls away from me and I know he will fall asleep immediately so I nudge his back. He turns over to face me, but I can see little of his expression; the bedroom almost entirely devoid of light, just the green glow of the numbers on his alarm clock telling me it’s almost midnight. ‘What is it?’ he asks.  

‘Do you remember how we used to play that silly word game, before the kids were born?’ 

‘What game?’ he replies, his words slurred with impending sleep. 

‘If you had a super power what would it be?’ I say through the darkness. ‘Or if you were
going to kill me how would you do it?’ 

‘And you’ve thought about this already?’ he asks, the moonlight seeping around the corners of the blind to pick out his creased eyes, a faint smile. 

I tell him my super power would be time travel and he says he has no idea what his would be, although he’s clearly enjoying the game.  

‘And you’ve decided how you’re going to kill me?’ he asks, his interest piqued. 

‘I’d stab you.’ I laugh, reaching out to him, laying my hand on his bare chest. ‘With a kitchen knife.’ 

‘Yes, that’s good.’ He laughs too and squeezes my stabbing hand. ‘Hopefully death would be instantaneous, and we already have a knife block, so no preparation required.’ 

‘How would you kill me?’ I ask, leaning up on one elbow to wait for his response. 

He hesitates, then says, ‘I guess I’d strangle you with my bare hands.’ Then he grabs me and pulls me to him, both of us laughing.

Review  

Warning! Make sure you have a clear few hours when you begin this book. I don’t know about other readers but I do this thing, between all the other stuff I need to do, where I’ll say “I’ll read 50 pages then I’ll hoover the bedroom” or “30 pages then I’ll make dinner”. I wouldn’t get anything else done otherwise if I didn’t set these limits.

So, when starting Close To Me a few days ago, while having a break from attempting to tame my overgrown garden, I gave myself 50 pages. Well, when I checked to see how I was doing I was stunned to find I’d just devoured almost 100! Seriously, this book’s pages turn themselves. Amanda Reynolds’ writing just flows in a gripping and compelling stream, making for a very, very readable story.

The book is told in alternating chapters of the days following Jo’s accident and the year leading up to it. It works so well, as the reader discovers what led to the breakdown of her family at the same time as Jo. You get to know Jo almost as she gets to know herself and I found I really connected to her and could relate to some of what she is experiencing in the early days before her fall. Jo is going through a time of change, her youngest child has just left home for university and she needs to redefine herself and purpose – something familiar to me as both my children begin to move on. But unlike myself, Jo is surrounded by manipulating people, taken advantage of by her husband, her kids and then others who sense her vulnerability. I loved the subtle development of her character right through the book, and by the end felt satisfied that this now strong and purposeful woman was going to be ok.

The subtle tension created in this book holds right through, with clever twists revealed at just the right moments, keeping me intrigued. Jo’s memory loss ensures that the reader is kept guessing about what really lead to the night of the accident along with Jo herself, with clues and suggestions coming in flashbacks. But with sketchy memories and some confusion, how much can we believe of Jo herself? Is her husband Rob trying to protect her or manipulate her? I couldn’t stop reading and had to know what was going on, frantically turning pages to fit in just a little bit more and ended up finishing it within a day.

Close To Me is not a heart pumping, edge of your seat thriller. The tension and twists are far more subtle than that. This is a dark story of a marriage and family gone stale, emotional abuse, manipulation and mistrust from those nearest. It’s the story of a woman loosing herself even before she looses her memory and a journey of rediscovery and redefining as she finds the strength to gain control of her life . It is compulsive, one-more-chapter reading and I highly recommend it.

(I read an advance proof copy courtesy of the Amazon Vine Program)



About The Author

Amanda Reynolds teaches Creative Writing in Cheltenham, where she lives with her family.

Her past jobs have included selling clothes online and writing murder mystery games.

Close To Me is her debut novel.

Follow Amanda on Twitter: @amandareynoldsj


Blog Tour: An Interview With Hélene Fermont – Author Of We Never Said Goodbye

Today I’m welcoming Hélene Fermont as part of the blog tour for her second novel, We Never Said Goodbye

Hélene, welcome to Cosy Books. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I was born in Sweden where I lived until I was in my teens.  

I’m a qualified teacher specialising in children with learning difficulties and a therapist mainly dealing with rehabilitation of children suffering with disabilities, mental and physical. I work in a team to support the entire family – my priority is to support people whose lives are turned upside down, who require assistance on a daily basis. 

My native city is Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö, where I live and write for part of the year although I’ve lived and worked in London for over 20 years. 
Ever since I was very young, my parents instilled in me how important it is to read and learn about other parts of the world, cultures and way of life. I was introduced to literature and received books every birthday from the age of five onwards. Whenever I get the time to indulge and engage with other people’s novels, I love to read and escape into another world filled with exciting characters and intriguing plots! 

A family friend entered my name into a national tv contest for young performers without my knowledge and I won. After that I was signed up with a record producer in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm. I very much enjoyed that period of my life and performed all over Scandinavia and in Italy. Eventually, I decided I wanted to become a teacher and enrolled at university. I’ve fond memories of my brief musical career yet never regretted leaving it behind. 

Gosh, it’s quite difficult to summarise my interests and life up to date! Everyone who knows me, know how fond I am of animals, music, the arts and outdoor living. Currently, I have a gorgeous rescue cat. Teddy is my constant companion when I write, in Malmö and London. I love spending time with him, family and friends and also enjoy time on my own between writing novels and working. 

We Never Said Goodbye is your latest novel, could you tell us what it’s about in your own words? 

We Never Said Goodbye is about how people are shaped by their background, and how their actions reflect on themselves and those who cross their path. When the leading protagonist is abandoned by her husband on their 20th anniversary, hidden agendas and revelations are brought into the open and nothing is what it seemed. 

My novels deal with what makes people act in a certain way and the ability in everyone to transform and improve both their own and others’ lives. I believe everyone can change for the better and that whatever happened in the past can be overcome if people are willing to embrace a new way of life and deal with past experiences. 

My novel deals with relatable themes, such as love and friendship, bigotry, sexual orientation, abuse and losing one kind of life in exchange for another and the power everyone has to learn from experience. The characters and themes are identifiable and thought provoking. 

Predominantly, the novel introduces readers to characters whose lives are transformed for the better despite their past experiences and their journey to get the life they deserve. 

The book explores marriage and relationship breakdowns, a theme popular in domestic noir and psychological thrillers. Why do you think this is?  

Nowadays, everyone is expected to participate with everything on and off line. People long for a close relationship, communication face to face and seek role models to identify with. The Internet is great in many ways, yet lacks the personal touch and is all consuming. Watching and reading about identifiable characters and situations are so important in a society that expects everyone to subscribe to current trends and detach from reality on some level.

Louise is conflicted between her life in London and yearning to return to Malmö. Does this come from your personal experience? 

Partly. Sweden is my native country. It’s where I spent my childhood and formative years. It’s the place I grew up in and where part of my family live. It’s where my late parents are buried and where I’m able to enjoy city life and the numerous parks and beaches, the best of everything. I love the scenery and nature which inspire me to write.  

I guess it’s a different, slower pace of life that helps to recharge ‘ my batteries ‘ during part of the year.  

Equally, London’s also where I’ve got my roots. I was born into an Anglo-Swedish family so enjoy both countries in different ways. The pace is faster in London but I like that as it gives me the best of both worlds! 

Scandinavian literature is very popular with UK readers. Why do you think this is and what sets it apart?  

I believe it’s to do with the realistic, somewhat morally complex characterisations and narrative. Scandinavian people normally thrive on realistic descriptions and characters that we can relate with somehow. We’re not as politically correct as British people and love nothing better than to have a good in depth conversation over coffee and Fika breaks! (Fika coffee breaks and friendly get togethers are an integral part of Swedish life). 

Most writers are readers. Is this the case with yourself? Which authors and novels would you recommend as must reads?  

Absolutely. Books are a big part of my life since I was very young and my parents gave them to me for birthdays. 

I always have a collection of books in my office and on my bedside table so I have the next read ready when I’ve completed a novel. It’s when I get the time to engage with them without interruption. 

Gosh, I’ve so many favourite authors and books! 
Below are just a few you may wish to read. 

One of my consistent favourites is the wonderful Swedish poet and author Karin Boye. I’ve got her complete works and in particular love her poems Yes, Of Course It Hurts and The Best which I’ve highlighted in my debut novel Because of You and We Never Said Goodbye as they are heartfelt and relatable.  In my view, David McDuff’s translations into English are the best and almost as good as the Swedish original writing. 

Hjalmar Söderberg: The Serious Game. 
The novel is set around 1900 and centres around two young people who fall in love, their subsequent relationship and disillusions. It’s a classic and timeless story as the characters and events are just as relatable now as back then. 

Linda Ohlsson: Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs. 
The main characters are two women. One is young, the other is nearing the end of their life. Yet both experience the same things and have a surprising amount in common.  

As a non-writer I’m always fascinated by the writing process. Can you tell us about where you write and what aids the writing process? 

When I’m in Malmö, I write in our flat overlooking the Öresund Bridge and Denmark. It inspires me to write my novels, characterisations and plots as I feel close to the beautiful scenery, parks and beaches outside.  I start to write in the early morning hours, every day except Sundays which I spend with family and friends. I work 10 hours with regular breaks and my cat Teddy sits next to me most of the time, except when he reminds me it’s time to feed and play with him and I always cycle or go for a walk in the beautiful surroundings outside our home to clear my brain and come up with new ideas and angles. 

In London, I write in my office as my home environment is quite busy with people coming and going most of the time! I’m equally inspired in London, but life is more hectic and I’ve many professional commitments so tend to work late nights and holidays when I’m there. What mainly aids the writing process is the encouragement I get from family and friends in both cities. 

And finally, what are you working on next?  

I’ve just completed my third novel His Guilty Secret which will be edited in the summer. I like to put aside my novels for a short period of time to enable me to read them with fresh eyes. 
Just like my debut and second novels, it centres around strong characters with their respective secrets and flaws and an exciting plot and narrative that fluctuates between Malmö, London and Paris. 

Thank you for taking the time to engage with We Never Said Goodbye! 
I hope you will enjoy reading my novel. 
With much love; Hélene. 

We Never Said Goodbye by Helene Fermont is out on 6th April (Fridhem, £9.99)  

Is it ever too late to start again?

When Louise is dumped by Mike on their twentieth wedding anniversary, she faces the daunting task of picking up the pieces of her life. She can either choose to persevere in her adopted hometown of London, bolstered by dear friends and the fashion business she loves, or return to her native Sweden alone. Can she find happiness with an old flame in a city she avoided for two decades? Or will her ex’s violent, criminal past haunt her forever?

 As Mike becomes increasingly unhinged, the choices Louise makes could prove fatal. Will she ever be able to say goodbye to the past and start afresh?

 Full of suspense and drama, We Never Said Goodbye explores the secrets and scandals we hide from loved ones, the enduring scars of abuse and the exhilarating feeling of falling in love again after heartbreak. With a dark and tangled ‘Scandi’ mood, this novel is ideal for fans of drama, romance and Scandi-inspired suspense novels. 
Hélene Fermont is an Anglo-Swedish author of contemporary women’s fiction with a psychological twist. We Never Said Goodbye is Hélene’s second novel, following on from her 2016 debut novel Because Of You.

 Hélene’s works feature a Scandinavian-British narrative and in-depth psychological characterisations inspired by her experience as a psychologist working with victims of abuse. Hélene lives both in Middlesex, UK and Malmö, Sweden.

 @helenefermont / helenefermont /  www.helenefermont.com


Blog Tour: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney – Guest Post and Review

Today I’m thrilled to be hosting the latest stop on the Sometimes I Lie blog tour and welcoming Alice Feeney with a guest post discussing the inspiration behind her love of writing, followed by a review – which I warn you now is GUSHY because I LOVED this book! But for now, over to Alice….
 ***************

I’ve been trying to write books for a very long time. When I was a little girl, I used to sit in the small room at the back of my parents’ shop, while they worked I would read as well as make up my own stories. I used to write them on folded up pieces of A4 photocopy paper, and I think my Dad still has one I made when I was six or seven. It was a bit like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I can still remember how proud I was of it now – I thought it was brilliant! 
Things got a bit more serious when I turned thirty. I had a great job working for the BBC, but deep down I knew that all I really wanted to do was write that book, like I’d imagined myself doing as a little girl. It feels like I’ve been scribbling in my spare time ever since. I’ve tried and failed a few times. I have my fair share of rejection letters, but each time, I just picked myself up and tried again – it’s just what you have to do.  
 
It took me six months to write the first draft of Sometimes I Lie. This time last year, I was still busy writing it. I wrote this novel while working full time as a producer on the BBC’s One O’clock News, so some parts were written in my garden shed at home, but others were written on the train to work or in my lunch breaks. It was like an obsession and it took over everything. If you told me back then that it would be a real book less than a year later, I wouldn’t have believed you!   
The last few months, being approached by agents and publishers, has been the most wonderful whirlwind! An amazing agent called Jonny Geller took a chance on me and my novel, and has since sold it around the world. I’m now able to write full time, which has always been my dream and I feel incredibly lucky – it is quite simply the best job in the world! 

                                     *************** 
Review
My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’m in a coma

2. My husband doesn’t love me any more

3. Sometimes I lie

Unnerving, twisted and utterly compelling, you won’t be able to put this new thriller down. Set to be the most talked about book in 2017, it’s perfect for fans of Behind Closed Doors, The Girl on the Train and The Widow. 

Published by HQ 23rd March 2017 (UK)
O.M.G – pretty much sums up my reaction to this book, from the first page to last. I wasn’t just gripped – I was transfixed, unable to take my eyes from the words as twist after twist was revealed and chapter after chapter sped by.   

Sometimes I Lie is mind blowingly clever and complex. In short, because I don’t want to give away too much detail of the plot, it tells the story of Amber Reynolds, a woman who has found herself in hospital in a coma. What’s really fascinating first of all, is that it’s told from Amber’s perspective as she lies there, presumed to be unaware of what’s going on around her by her family, but able to hear everything. Alice Feeney completely convinced me here, everything from the descriptions of sounds and smells in the hospital, to feelings of panic, fear, confusion and frustration experienced by Amber. This alone makes the book stand out for it’s originality and intrigue. 

The chapters alternate between her time in a coma and the days leading up to the event that causes her to be there. There’s also another story woven in between the chapters, causing the reader to wonder how exactly it all ties together. The plotting is intricate and brilliant, as pieces of the puzzle are put together, then reshuffled and put back together again. Honestly, the twists and turns that are pulled out during this book come like bolts of lightening one after the other, making Sometimes I Lie an exhilarating, heart pumping, thrill of a read.  Alice Feeney plays mind games with the reader, leading you down one path, then dropping a bombshell to make you shout out loud. Every time I thought I knew exactly what was going on, bam! – that certainty is shattered. Right through to the very last page. 

It took me two sittings to read this book, and it was only because I had to take a break (mother duties) that I did. I could not stop reading. I had to know what happened. It is completely compelling, original and twisty and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Sometimes I Lie is my book of 2017 so far, and it’s going to take a lot to beat it. Alice Feeney is without doubt an author to watch out for…I think we’ll be hearing a lot more from her in the future! 

(I read an advance Ebook edition courtesy of the publisher)