[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin @MichaelJBooks @GarethRubin

I’m excited to share an excerpt from Liberation Square with you as part of my blog tour stop! Hope you like it!

BOOK EXTRACT

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Gareth Rubin is an author and journalist who has written for most British national newspapers. He lives in London, and Liberation Square is his first novel.

Find him on: Publishers website, Goodreads and Twitter.

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[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas @FaberBooks @BevThomas20

A Good Enough Mother is Faber’s lead debut which comes out on 4th April. When I got the blog tour invite I jumped right in because after reading that synopsis I couldn’t resist! It ticks all the boxes when it comes to a book for me.

What’s it about? A Good Enough Mother follows Dr. Ruth Hartland who is a director in a well-known trauma unit. Ruth’s job consists of seeing different patients and helping them through their traumas and she’s quite a good therapist. Our main character Ruth has a few issues of her own – her son Tom disappeared without a word and that is something that haunts her daily [understandably so]. On one particular day Ruth is assigned a new case, a boy called Dan Griffin who resembles her son a lot. This is where the line between professional and personal intertwine. Ruth, who has years of experience in her practice knows what is to be done in these scenarios but something in her is stopping her from doing the right thing. She cannot get the likeness out of her head and so she begins treating him. Was that the right choice or the greatest mistake? Well, you have to read the book to find out..

Whenever I come across a book where our main character is a therapist or someone in the field of mental health I immediately add it to my TBR because I can’t resist those books. I love finding out about human psyche and what influences most of our behaviour. The author of this book, Bev Thomas, was a clinical psychologist who worked for the NHS and who’s now a consultant when it comes to mental health. I love how her knowledge as well as many years of practice influenced the book and she even mentioned Winnicotts theory of ‘Good Enough Parent/Mother’ which I wasn’t familiar with before. The characters in the book were well crafted and Ruth’s character had a lot of flaws which made her relatable. Now, when it comes to Ruth’s decisions I wanted to yell at her a few times but I have to take into account that she has went through hell with Tom’s disappearance and that’s something very very stressful and can cloud someone’s judgement. I did find issues with a few of her decisions that I couldn’t credit to her trauma and I seriously wanted to shout ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOOOING!!? NOO!’. The book is very readable and it has a nice pace so you can actually fly through it and experience a lot of emotions. Did I feel for Dan? No, I didn’t. I just didn’t like him as a character although I understood Ruth’s ‘pull’ towards him. This book doesn’t jump straight into the action so if you’re someone who wants a fast-paced read you won’t find it here [although the end is wild]. It’s a slow burner which I enjoyed and I especially loved finding out about Ruth’s job and what she did. Although I didn’t like Ruth’s decisions I enjoyed this book a lot and the last few pages were quite hopeful  which was a bonus for me.

A Good Enough Mother is an interesting look into a life of a therapist who while battlng her own demons tries her best to help her patients and a good study of what happens when personal and professional  lives mix.

I would like to thank the publisher Faber & Faber for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book from the publisher.

My rating:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Bev Thomas was a clinical psychologist in the NHS for many years. She currently works as an organisational consultant in mental health and other services.  She lives in London with her family.

Her upcoming novel A Good Enough Mother will be published by Faber & Faber in Spring 2019.

Find her on: Goodreads and Twitter

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge @MichaelJBooks

Today is my stop on the She Lies in Wait blog tour! I am delighted to share the first chapter with you! Let me know your thoughts on it below!

BOOK EXTRACT

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Gytha Lodge is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy. She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. When not writing, she heads up a copywriting team at a global translation firm, where she generally tries to keep all the video-game writing to herself. She studied English at Cambridge, where she became known quite quickly for her brand of twisty, dark yet entertaining drama. She later took the Creative Writing MA at UEA. She has signed with Penguin Random House worldwide for the first three books in her crime series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens

Find her on: Goodreads and Twitter

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] Before She Knew Him by Peter Swanson @FaberBooks @PeterSwanson3

Whenever I see a new Peter Swanson book coming out I immediately get excited. Swanson is that author you just love and whose writing pulls you in – he’s seriously one of my favourite thriller writers ever. When I saw that he had a new book coming out I got so excited! When I see a Swanson book I just get so excited because his books are something I love getting lost in.

Before She Knew Him follows Hen who moves in with her husband Lloyd to a new home. One night at a neighbourhood party Hen and Lloyd meet Matthew and Mira Dolamore, a couple with who they can most relate since they’re the only childless couple in the neighbourhood. Both couples agreed to meet up one night for dinner at the Dolamores so they can get to know each other better. While staying at dinner Hen gets a tour of the house from Mira and sees something that shocks her – a fencing trophy. She immediately gets chills because it can’t be! From this point on Hen starts suspecting that Matthew – a seemingly normal professor – is hiding a dark secret. Hen tells her concerns to her husband who dimisses this insane thought but she isn’t sure she’s being irrational in this situation. Hen begins getting interested in Dolamores more and more and this obsession will spark up an unusual bond with Matthew.

Before She Knew Him is out now in both US and UK! Swanson has a way of engaging the reader when it comes to his books. I have to say that of all the works I’ve read by him nothing can top The Kind Worth Killing which amazed me and made me fall in love with Swanson.

Before She Knew Him is such a fast-paced book and I loved spending every hour and every minute reading it. The characters in it have depth and even the side-characters are given a voice which I found to be excellent when it came to this story. I love how Swanson created Hen who even though has mental health problems still stays true to what she believes and doesn’t let it stop her from finding out the truth. The Dolamores as characters were amazing especially Matthew whose mind was so complex. When it comes to the plot I just loved it – especially the last twenty pages which had me gasping! Now, since I’m on the subject of the ending I kind of felt that it was rushed and would’ve loved that it was more thought-out because the whole idea was so amazing but cut abruptly. Something I love about Swanson is the Hitchcock-ian feel that he adds to his stories and this one had that as well – I mean that twist at the end! As I’ve mentioned, the characters are something I loved finding out more about and Swanson did that perfectly [getting into their psyche] but the ending felt a bit rushed for my taste. Although I had an issue with the ending of this book I still found it thoroughly enjoyable and something I would definitely recommend you pick up if you’re a fan of brilliant psychological thrillers!

I would like to thank the publisher Faber&Faber for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by the fact that I got this book for free from the publisher.

My rating:

Add ‘Before She Knew Him‘ to your TBR:  

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Peter Swanson is the author of four novels: The Girl With a Clock For a Heart, an LA Times Book Award finalist; The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger; Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, All the Beautiful Lies. His books have been translated into 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives in Somerville, Massachusetts with his wife and cat.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] The Chestnut Man by Søren Sveistrup @MichaelJBooks #TheChestnutMan

I was very excited when I opened Twitter and saw a message about joining the blog tour for The Chestnut Man. Having loved The Killing TV series I couldn’t wait to dive into this one and I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed!

The Chestnut Man follows Naia Thulin and Mark Hess in their quest to solve the mystery and murder of Laura Kjaer, whose murder appears to be routinely executed but upon looking at the details both Thulin and Hess begin to see that something isn’t right. We are also introduced to Rosa Hartung who is a Minister for Social Affairs and who carries a horrible loss behind her. Rosa’s loss is the murder of her daughter whose killer has been caught but his testimony doesn’t make sense. Laura Kjaer’s murder contains a piece of evidence which is linked with Rosa‘s horrible loss – this discovery sets both Thulin and Hess in search of the truth behind the Chestnut Man.

Reading the first few chapters I felt shivers because of how dark and gruesome they were! What an opening! From the beginning we are introduced to Naia Thulin, a detective in the Homicide’s Murder Squad who feels like this job isn’t thrilling her and challenging her anymore so she plans on moving to the Cyber Crime Unit. Mark Hess has been kicked out of Europol for causing many issues and has made his way to Homicide’s Murder Squad. We can see that Hess doesn’t want to be there at all and already has plans to move quickly. Hess and Thulin have been partnered together in solving the case of Laura Kjaer and although not standing each other they have to do their best in solving it. Sveistrup has an amazing ability at writing gruesome scenes because I felt unsettled whenever I stumbled upon them. Naia Thulin’s character has to be my favourite because of how interesting she is and how her psyche worked. In the beginning Mark Hess wasn’t someone I liked but throughout the book we saw his flaws and that gave him depth and a somewhat understanding of why he is who he is. There are many voices in this book and at times I did feel lost because it didn’t keep my attention. Compared to the first part of the book the last part kept me much more entertained and although I found it a bit weak at times I felt that the ending made up for that. Sveistrup is someone who can write and I got reminded why I love these sort of books.

The Chestnut Man is a fantastic debut I highly recommend you pick up if you like dark and interesting thrillers.

I would like to thank the publisher Penguin Random House UK (Michael Joseph) for inviting me on the blog tour and providing me with a review copy of this book in exchange for a review. All opinions written here are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Make sure to check out other book bloggers’ reviews on this tour!

Add ‘The Chestnut Man‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘The Chestnut Man‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Søren Sveistrup is an internationally acclaimed scriptwriter of the Danish television phenomenon The Killing which won various international awards and sold in more than a hundred countries. More recently, Sveistrup wrote the screenplay for Jo Nesbø’s The Snowman. Sveistrup obtained a Master in Literature and in History from the University of Copenhagen and studied at the Danish Film School. He has won countless prizes, including an Emmy for Nikolaj and Julie and a BAFTA for The Killing.

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[BLOG TOUR: BOOK REVIEW] Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson @aria_fiction

I was invited by the author to join the blog tour for Who I Am and after reading the synopsis of it I had to say yes because – twisted friendship, twisted characters YES.

“You never know do you, people’s backgrounds, how much it impacts on them? The choices they make because of it.”

Who I Am follows two characters Andi and Camilla who upon meeting at University become best friends and quickly share their secrets and pour their souls to each other. The story is set to two different timelines 2000’s and 2017. In 2017 we see Andi as an adult with children, living almost an idyllic life but not everything is what it seems. She is haunted by what happened one night at the beach which changed everything and soon she becomes stalked by someone who knows what happened and is blaming her for it. Who is out there to get her?

I have to compliment the design of this book because it’s so good. Well done, book designer! From the first two/three chapters you can already sense that this story won’t be the usual ‘friendship’ one because it contains dark elements that make you all tingly inside because you know it will be a fun ride. The author’s background as a psychologist shows throughout the book and I love how in-depth her characters were and how you could analyse their actions. I also learned what Korsakoff’s syndrome is which I haven’t heard of before. Towards the last 150 pages of the story Simpson introduces a few more characters which I found to be very interesting and loved reading their POV. This book is very dark and is unlike other toxic friendship stories as I’ve mentioned before. It contains some trigger warnings (e.g. alcohol abuse) which may not suit every reader. I especially enjoyed how unreliable Andi’s characters was because I began second guessing her intentions and her role in that awful night at the beach. What I found lacking in Who I Am is that sometimes I felt the story going somewhere and losing my interest – but that wasn’t a huge part because I did enjoy the story a lot. I found Eve’s character to offer more info on Andi [which I appreciated] but she didn’t feel very necessary to the story for me. From my experience with Who I Am I can say that Simpson knows how to write dark characters and twisted stories. I was captivated throughout the book and although I found some small parts to lose my interest I absolutely enjoyed spending my time with Who I Am.

If you enjoy reading dark and twisted stories with unreliable narrators then you’re in for a treat with Who I Am.

I would like to thank the author Sarah Simpson as well as the publisher Aria Fiction for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions written in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

My rating: 

Add ‘Who I Am‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Who I Am‘ here:

*I am in no way compensated by this site. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Sarah Simpson has a business degree and a first class honours degree in psychology with appropriate post-graduate qualifications. Her background, working privately within mental health for many years; within the collaborative family law arena and with additional experience within the family court system has gifted her an invaluable understanding of life and people. Thus, Her Greatest Mistake is a cocktail of professional and personal experiences stirred vigorously by the imagination.

She is relatively late to the writing scene, despite a love of books and writing from when she was very young, it wasn’t until 2016 that she sat down to put pen to paper. Her Greatest Mistake was then some twelve months in creation, followed by some vigorous re-writing. In June 2017, she signed with her current agent Broo Doherty and shortly after was offered a three book publishing contract with Aria, Head of Zeus…

Find her on: Website, Twitter and Goodreads.

[BLOG TOUR: BOOK EXTRACT] Who I Am by Sarah Simpson @sarahrsimpson @aria_fiction

Today is my stop on the WHO I AM blog tour. I am sharing an extract from the book and will soon post a review of the book.

BOOK EXTRACT

‘Yes, you could, it’s Christmas and I’d really like you to stay on. I’ll be leaving tomorrow.’

A worried expression shot across her face. ‘Oh? What leaving Uni? For good?’

I laughed, feeling flattered, she appeared genuinely upset. ‘No, course not. For Christmas I mean. I’ve the rest of next year to get through yet. How about you, what year are you in, you didn’t say?’

‘Yeah, the same. Well it should be anyway, but the way things are looking, what with the accommodation,’ she shrugged, ‘I might not be graduating at all.’

I curled my arm around her and squeezed. ‘Try not to worry. Thing’s always turn up, there’s always something to be worked out.’ It felt like a silly thing to say. Why do we say these things? ‘Come on choose your cocktail. I’m buying, I insist.’ It’s funny, I hardly know Camilla, but sitting here I feel a real affinity to her, there’s a sadness behind her eyes, something unsaid, but also there’s – life and excitement.

My head spins, my legs have other ideas, when I stand to make my way to the ladies, stumbling back, I collapse on to Camilla’s lap. ‘Woah, sorry,’ I giggle, ‘these cocktails are potent.’ With Camilla’s help I lever myself back up, the room wobbling around me, ‘I’d better come with you,’ she laughs.

Clara gathers herself to stand, ‘I’ll go, I’m used to her atrocious drink tolerance,’ she practically spits at Camilla.

‘It’s fine, Clara, stay put, I’m hardly blotto, just stood up too quickly.’ I tell her, as soon as the words leave my mouth, I realise I’ve offended her in some way. Camilla smiles at her warmly, then arm in arm we make our way across the room. Pushing our way through the heavy bathroom door into a woman, giggling at her affronted face as we pushed past her in the doorway.

‘It’s Christmas. Tis the season to be merry.’ Camilla calls after her. Her tongue finally loosening as she relaxes. Practically falling through the second door into the spacious bathroom, gilt mirrors and floral displays in abundance, a strong whiff of pot pourri. ‘Wow,’ I hear through the cubicle door, ‘these loos are better than anything I’ve ever lived in.’ I can’t help but laugh out loud. ‘Think I could stay here next year? D’you think they’d notice if I moved my stuff in?’ When I exit the cubicle, she’s padding around in wonderment before turning her attention to the complimentary toiletries. ‘Look at this stuff. It’s really expensive, wish I’d brought a bigger handbag now.’

I giggle at her expression through the elaborate gold-leaf mirror as I wash my hands. ‘You’re hilarious Camilla, you’ve not been here before tonight then?’

She bolts herself upright. ‘Of course I have, only pulling your leg.’ She throws her hands up. ‘I’m not kidding you, am I?’ She nods. ‘This is the first time, and it’s completely amazing. But, I’ll definitely be coming back, that’s for sure. As often as I can.’

She reminds me of an awestruck child, so refreshing and charming, makes me feel as though I’m missing out on something special, too much in my life taken for granted. ‘Are you serious then?’ I ask, reaching for the folded cotton hand towels. Camilla spins on her heals, all eyelashes. ‘About not having anywhere to stay next year, I mean. Surely, you won’t really need to defer, will you?’

Twinkling dark eyes cloud, ‘deadly,’ she says. ‘I can’t pull the funds together, so I can’t see that I’ll have a choice. I’m trying not to think about it but it’s a strong possibility.’

‘So what about your student loan?’

She regards the vanity size moisturiser in her hand, ‘ah well, that’s another story. Probably not for tonight, I don’t want to burden you with my crap, I mean bad stuff, it’s not fair.’

‘No, go on, please. I’d like to understand.’

‘Nothing to it really. I’ve used up all my allowance, so, can’t afford to support myself. Simple as that.’ She sighs heavily, shoulders noticeably slumping. ‘I’m all, as they say – spent up. Skint.’

‘How come? Sorry, do you mind me asking? You don’t have to tell me, if you think I’m being nosey.’

‘It’s fine, feels like I’ve known you for ages anyway,’ I smile at her, I totally understand what she means, it does. ‘Thing is, I had to pay for my dad, he’s sick, really sick, in a home he is.’

As she hangs her head, I could kick myself for making her feel so dejected on a night like this, I brush her hand, ‘I’m sorry, Cam, I’d no idea things are so bad, I shouldn’t have pushed you, feel awful now.’

‘It’s fine really. It’s his own fault really, Dad, I mean. Korsakoff’s syndrome they call it?’ Her voice rises as if she’s uncertain. ‘Dementia to me. That’s how I get my head round it.’

‘Korsakoff’s? Isn’t it associated with too much alcohol?’ God, I wish I hadn’t guzzled all those cocktails, in particular that I hadn’t practically forced them on Camilla too.

‘Yeah, he’s a pisshead basically,’ she cups her mouth with a delicate hand. ‘Excuse my language,’ she says, ‘but, he always has been – a drunk. You’ve heard of it then, can’t say I ever had before. Could hardly even pronounce it, never mind understand it. The doctor tried to say, it isn’t always caused by the booze, but we both understood, in Dad’s case, it was. I’m gob-smacked you’ve even heard of it.’

‘Only because we had a talk on the long term effects of alcohol last year. Think they were trying to dry some of the students out. Warn them off with a list of potential deadly outcomes. Wasting their time, obviously. I don’t really understand the full ins and outs of it, other than it’s a really cruel illness, as dementia always is. I’m so sorry, that’s really tough on you too.’

‘Hmm. Like I said, it’s his own fault. But anyhow that’s where my money went. All of it. But what was I to do?’

‘What about your mum?’ Words I wished I could rein back in on noticing her physically congeal.

‘Dead.’ She says.

I gasp out loud before I can stop myself, then grab her hand and squeeze, words failing me.

‘Same way, before you ask.’ She gives a reciprocal squeeze then releases my hand, to place the moisturiser back in the basket next to her. ‘Not the Korsakoffs stuff, but still a… drunk, amongst other stuff. Again, all her own doing.’

Despite now feeling completely sober, I feel my legs quiver. ‘Look, I appreciate you hardly know me, so please tell me if I’m offending you. But the three of us,’ I nod towards the bathroom door, ‘me, Clara and Jo, we share a house in Stockbridge, Daddy rents it for us, then we share the rent. My bedroom is huge, plenty big enough for two and I’ve a spare bed already in there, you could always share with me, until you sort yourself out at least.’

‘But…’

‘No, you don’t need to say anything, not just yet. Have a think about it. I’m off back home tomorrow, won’t be back until January, so you’ve some time to mull it over. Please don’t feel obliged or anything though, it’s only a thought.’ I pick up our bags and hand her hers as we walk towards the exit door. ‘You have my mobile number so let me know, any time.’ The raucous laughter hits us as we push at the door, joyfulness and drunken exchanges circling the domed ceiling. I pull her back before we reach our table. ‘Please tell me – I haven’t offended you, been a little too forward. I didn’t mean to be. I only want to help if I can.’

Newly perfectly painted lips turn upwards. ‘No, of course you haven’t,’ she reassures me, ‘but obviously, I’ll need to think it over. It’s very sweet of you but I like to pay my way usually and it’s all a bit embarrassing. I’ve always been a believer, nothing is free in life, everything comes with a price list. Something Dad did teach me.’

‘Accept good friendships, Cam, they shouldn’t come at a cost. I know we’ve only just met but like you said, feels more like we’ve known each other for ages. If I can help you, you’ll let me know, won’t you?’

‘Thanks Andi, I’ll think about it, promise.’ She rubs my arm.

Maybe, I’ve lifted some of the weight sitting incongruently on a petite frame. Life can be so unfair sometimes, so cruel and as Grandma always told me, there but for the grace of God go I.

Thanks for stopping by and reading this extract. Make sure to check out my review which will be posted soon.

Add ‘Who I Am‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Who I Am‘ here:

*I am in no way compensated by this site. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Sarah Simpson has a business degree and a first class honours degree in psychology with appropriate post-graduate qualifications. Her background, working privately within mental health for many years; within the collaborative family law arena and with additional experience within the family court system has gifted her an invaluable understanding of life and people. Thus, Her Greatest Mistake is a cocktail of professional and personal experiences stirred vigorously by the imagination.

She is relatively late to the writing scene, despite a love of books and writing from when she was very young, it wasn’t until 2016 that she sat down to put pen to paper. Her Greatest Mistake was then some twelve months in creation, followed by some vigorous re-writing. In June 2017, she signed with her current agent Broo Doherty and shortly after was offered a three book publishing contract with Aria, Head of Zeus…

Find her on: Website, Twitter and Goodreads.

[BLOG TOUR: Q&A] Deliver Me by Karen Cole #DeliverMe @QuercusBooks @QuercusUSA

Today is my stop at the blog tour for Deliver Me by Karen Cole and I am very pleased to share a Q&A with the author with you.

ABOUT DELIVER ME

A gripping psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll’s I Am Watching You and C.L. Taylor’s The Fear.

THE NIGHT SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER WILL BE THE ONE SHE CAN’T FORGET

When Abby’s doctor tells her she’s two months pregnant she doesn’t believe him. She can’t be – she hasn’t had sex for over a year. But to her astonishment and dismay, multiple tests confirm it’s true.

Desperately searching for an explanation, Abby recalls New Year’s Day – the terrible hangover, the hole in her memory where the night before should have been and the inexplicable sense of unease – and realises that this baby must have been conceived at her best friend Danny’s NYE party.

Horrified that someone would have taken advantage of her intoxicated state, Abby enlists the help of Danny to find out which of the party guests assaulted her. But, when she starts to receive anonymous messages, it seems that while she has been looking into the father of her baby, someone has been watching her…

Published in ebook by Quercus on 1st November, £1.99

Q&A WITH KAREN COLE

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to answer a few questions for Breathing Through Pages.

Breathing Through Pages: Your novel Deliver Me has such an interesting premise – tell me, what inspired you to write Deliver Me?

Karen Cole: The original premise came to me in embryo form, years ago, when I was pregnant with my first son and I thought, what if…? But I didn’t develop it until much later.

BTP: Has your degree in psychology inspired any part of your novel?

KC: Not directly, no. But I’m fascinated by motivation and memory and I think some of that knowledge and interest has probably seeped in to the book.

BTP: What is your writing process like?

KC: I don’t really have a process. I tend to write early in the morning. I don’t overplan as ideas seem to come to me as I’m writing.

BTP: How long did it take you to write this novel?

KC: Hard to say. The actual writing probably took about a year but as I mentioned the idea had been evolving for some time before that.

BTP: Do you have any strange writing habits?

KC: I don’t think so!

BTP: By reading the synopsis of Deliver Me the reader can see that assault plays a big part in it – Was there a particular scene which you found hard to write (spoiler-free if possible)?

KC: I think writers always have to draw on unpleasant memories and emotions for distressing scenes but there was no one scene that was particularly hard to write.

BTP: Which character in your book do you most relate to?

KC: It has to be Abigail though I don’t think I’m at all like her and I tried to keep my own personality out of the book as much as possible.

BTP: Are you an introverted or an extroverted person?

KC: I’m quite introverted. I think writers have to be happy in their own company as it comes with the territory.

BTP: What authors have influenced you and made you fall in love with reading and eventually writing a novel?

KC: Too many! I’ve read and enjoyed so many psychological thrillers over the years. Some authors that stand out are Gillian Flynn, Nicci French and Rosamund Lupton. But my first love and the deepest is of course the queen of Crime fiction, Agatha Christie.

BTP: If you could only read one book for the rest of your life what book would it be?

KC: Actually, it would probably be a big, thick non- fiction book like Bill Bryson’s ‘A short History of Nearly Everything’ or ‘Sapiens’ by Yuval Noah Harari. Books that make you see the world in a new light and imagine that you understand it a little more.

BTP: I love finding new books so I want to ask you what are your favourite books?

KC: This is an impossible question to answer. I love so many books. Classics would include any Jane Austen, Crime and Punishment andWatership Down. Recently I’ve enjoyed and would recommend ‘Good me bad Me’ by Ali Land,‘Longbourne’ by Jo baker and‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman.

BTP: What are you currently reading?

KC: A book of short stories by Joyce Carol Oates called ‘The Female of the Species.’

BTP: Are you currently working on a new book?

KC: Yes, I’m currently working on a psychological thriller set in Cyprus, where I live.

BTP: Thank you.

KC: That was fun. Thank you!

Add ‘Deliver Me‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘Deliver Me‘ here:

**I am in no way compensated by this site, I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Karen Cole grew up in the Cotswolds and got a degree in psychology at Newcastle University. She spent several years teaching English around the world before settling in Cyprus with her husband and two sons, where she works at a British army base as a primary school teacher. She recently completed the Curtis Brown writing course where she found her love of writing psychological thrillers.

Deliver Me is her debut novel.

[BLOG TOUR: GUEST POST] The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond #TheGoldenOrphans @GaryRaymond_ @parthianbooks

Today is my stop at the blog tour for The Golden Orphans by Gary Raymond and I’m excited to share a guest post with you! Thank you very much to Emma (@damppebbles) for inviting me to join the blog tour as well as a huge thank you to the author for taking the time to write a guest post for Breathing Through Pages.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Within the dark heart of an abandoned city, on an island once torn by betrayal and war, lies a terrible secret…

Francis Benthem is a successful artist; he’s created a new life on an island in the sun. He works all night, painting the dreams of his mysterious Russian benefactor, Illy Prostakov. He writes letters to old friends and students back in cold, far away London. But now Francis Benthem is found dead. The funeral is planned and his old friend from art school arrives to finish what Benthem had started. The painting of dreams on a faraway island. But you can also paint nightmares and Illy has secrets of his own that are not ready for the light. Of promises made and broken, betrayal and murder…

The Golden Orphans offers a new twist on the literary thriller.

Published by Parthian Books on 30th June 2018

GUEST POST

Gary Raymond explores how he turned his own experiences in Cyprus into a fast-paced literary thriller.

My latest novel, The Golden Orphans (Parthian Books), is a fast-paced literary thriller, about a seen-better-days artist who finds himself getting mixed up in the very strange world of a Russian gangster when he goes to attend the funeral of his former mentor on the island of Cyprus. It’s a dark, peculiar story, in which I consciously evoke some of my favourite writers, like Patricia Highsmith, Dorothy Hughes, and particularly Graham Greene. To some extent it’s a genre novel, but then again it shares a lot in common with my earlier work. But whatever it is, The Golden Orphans, is my best piece of fiction, and certainly marks a bit of a watershed moment for me. Let me tell you why I think that is.

For some writers, it’s easier to write about things outside of your own story than it is to draw on autobiography. For some of us, there is such a thing as being too close to home. My new novel, The Golden Orphans, was me finding a way to explore my own experiences. I lived in Cyprus, where the novel is set, for a short while in the mid-00s, and for a decade or so I had never considered using that time as the basis for a book. It sounds counter-intuitive; by I was interested in writing about things beyond my experience. But there came a time, pushed by my publishers, where my Cypriot adventures began to move into a place in my mind where aspects would had a role to play in my fiction. When my publisher said, “Write about those people you met in Cyprus,” I was neck deep in the works and craft of Graham Greene, who was teaching me a thing or two about constructing fiction out of real life. Greene frequently used real people to populate his stories of intrigue, and the more I began to understand how – and why – he did it, the more I felt I had something to work with.

Looking back it sounds extremely naïve of me. Here I was with a stable of characters – gangsters, misfits, miscreants, tragic figures – at my disposal, and I had never really thought of using them. I see the writing of The Golden Orphans now as a major step in me becoming the writer I was destined to become. I found, when looking back at these characters, that I could construct a narrative that explored the themes that interest me in fiction, and yet have a thrilling page-turner at the same time. Writing The Golden Orphans was… shock horror… enormous fun to do, and I’m told that translates to the reading experience.

Almost every character in The Golden Orphans is based on a real person who I met during my time there. I have just given them a fictional story in which to roam about in. I have pushed many of them to the brink, given them different backgrounds, extreme motivations, but at the same time I have tried to retain that sense of oddness and mystery that I felt was integral to my time in Cyprus. Cyprus is, you see, a uniquely curious place; a place that attracts a certain kind of outcast – and I have no doubt I was one myself back then, in my mid-twenties at the time, looking for a role in life – struggling to become a writer without ever really believing I would become one. I was there working for a friend, who was himself a crook avoiding the attentions of some “business associates” back in England. It was through this friend that I was introduced to the underground of Cypriot society. And that Cypriot experience is one not easily described in a form such as this, but one that can be captured in fiction. Graham Greene of course mastered this kind of looking around corners in his novels – he did it with Cold War Europe, with Africa, Asia, Haiti and other places. After finishing the first draft of The Golden Orphans and sending it off to my publisher with mixed feelings about what I had produced, I found an essay on Greene by Christopher Hitchens (sitting the whole time on my bookshelf for 10 years or more, and never previously noticed), in which he begins by reminiscing a time when he was sat in a sweaty taverna in Nicosia, Cyprus’ capital, in 1974, just after the Turkish invasion, and looking around and wondering how on earth Graham Greene had never written a novel set there. So, in a very small way, I felt like I have maybe followed Greene’s hand, and put something out there that he may have approved of.

Again, thank you very much to Gary for taking the time to write a guest post for Breathing Through Pages.

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Gary Raymond

Gary Raymond is a novelist, critic, editor and broadcaster. He is one of the founding editors of Wales Arts Review, and has been editor since 2014. He is the author of two novels, The Golden Orphans (Parthian, 2018) and For Those Who Come After (Parthian, 2015). He is a widely published critic and cultural commentator, and is the presenter of BBC Radio Wales’ The Review Show.

Find him on: Twitter and Goodreads.

[BLOG TOUR: REVIEW] The Syndicate by Guy Bolton @gpbolton #TheSyndicate @PtBlankBks

Today is my stop at the blog tour for The Syndicate by Guy Bolton.

Before ever getting the chance to read The Syndicate I’ve seen it mostly on Twitter and found the cover to be intriguing as well as the 1940’s noir feel to it something I knew I’d enjoy – and I did enjoy reading it.

The Syndicate by Guy Bolton begins with a bang – a mobster called Bugsy Siegel comes home and has drinks with two friends but after a while something shocking happens, he gets shot in his home with two witnesses who know nothing about why he was killed and who would’ve killed him. Enter Jonathan Craine a now retired fixer who dealt with many scandals and deals featuring Hollywood movie stars. Craine now lives on a farm with his son and has distanced himself from his previous life but the murder of Siegel brings trouble his way. Craine and his son get visited by a few people who want Craine to investigate the murder but as Craine politely refuses his son becomes imprisoned by them. In order to save his son he has to cooperate with them and find out who killed Bugsy Siegel. As Craine begins the search for Siegel’s killer he enters a dangerous world where everyone could be a suspect and in order to find out who killed the infamous mobster and save his son he will have to do what he does best with limited time and limited access to news reports, crime documents etc. Will Craine be able to save his son and find Siegel’s murderer?

I found The Syndicate to be such a fantastic, fast-paced and thrilling book because right from the start you get action and it intrigues you and makes you want to read on and find out who killed Siegel and will Craine be able to find it out. Bolton writes superbly and I loved that he featured Old Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Judy Garland and more in the background of the book. You won’t find a dull moment in the book because the mystery keeps you pulled in. I loved how flawed Craine was and how we saw his vulnerabilites but more than that I loved that Bolton featured a woman as part of the story, Tilda Conroy as well as another woman of colour. Bolton mentions issues which were big at that time like colourism where only white people were allowed into bars and restaurants and sexism. I appreciated this and it gave points to Bolton in my mind. Whenever I read this book I read huge chunks of it which only happens when a book manages to keep you entertained. I liked the ending of the book and I when I finished the book I was left with a melancholic feeling because I had such a great time reading it.

If you’re someone who enjoys reading about mysterious deaths, who likes noir and getting lost in thrilling books, The Syndicate is the one for you.

I would like to thank the publisher Point Blank Books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and weren’t influenced by anything.

The Syndicate was released by Oneworld Publications (Point Blank Books) on 4th October 2018. Hardback £16.99

My rating: 

Add ‘The Syndicate‘ to your TBR:  

*Purchase ‘The Syndicate‘ here:

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Guy Bolton is an author and screenwriter based in London. After graduating with a 1st in Film & Literature from Warwick University, he worked in music video, publishing and film before joining the BBC. After ten years working in television drama, Guy now writes full time.

ITV Studios, Tiger Aspect and Hat Trick are among the production companies who have optioned Guy’s work. He has also written feature film scripts for Bedlam Productions and Signature Pictures. He currently has a feature film in development with the BFI.

Guy’s first novel The Pictures, a detective thriller set in 1930s Hollywood, was shortlisted for a CWA Dagger award. It was listed as one of the top 10 crime books of 2017 by the Telegraph, The Times and the Mail on Sunday.

Guy’s second novel, The Syndicate, will be released in October 2018.

Find him on: Website, Goodreads and Twitter.