Life is frenetic nowadays. We know we should slow down occasionally and just breathe, but do we? Sometimes we need a wake up call. And so it was with me. I hadn’t realised whilst pushing myself on, blinking tiredly at my screen, why I was blinking so tiredly. Scarily, I had a sudden onset eye disease, which meant I couldn’t really see the screen. Emergency surgery fixed me, and it can be controlled, but … I am aware that if I’d left it … I’m sharing this because I’m also very aware of how many people kept right on supporting me even though I’d apparently fallen off the face of the earth. This is just to say a HUGE thank you. I’m back! Working hard, but pausing along the way. Those flowers keep calling.

So, enough with the troubles. We all have those, don’t we? The fabulous news is that my latest book is coming soon! DEADLY INTENT, Book 3 in the DI Matthew Adams thriller series, due to be published on September 5th, is currently on pre-order at just 99p! Sneaking a cheeky link in here: http://viewbook.at/Deadly-Intent

Can you indulge me while I show off the video? The voiceover is awesome! Gritty, gravelly and scary (I’d have been hard-pushed to do that myself), it totally makes it. Definitely worth a listen.

Massive thanks to Alan Bainbridge at voxjunction.co.uk for your excellent, professional service – and also again to all those people who read and reviewed Books 1 & 2 in the DI Matthew Adams series (those reviews are pretty awesome too). I really do mean it when I say I could not have done this without you.

Please do feel free to browse my books on my ‘Books’ page or to contact me anytime! I’d love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, keep safe all!

Lots of love,

Cut To The Bone (Riley and Harris, #1)Cut To The Bone by Alex Caan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a fan. Can you tell? Alex Caan I have to congratulate you on a book that had me glued to the pages. The plot, focussing on SNS (Social Networking Sites) and a world that’s a mystery to the uninitiated, that of the vlogger, is fresh and original. Simplicity itself in its conception, ‘One missing Girl – Ruby, our vlogger. Two million suspects – her viewers’, yet as perfectly complex as a thriller should be. The characterisation is excellent – there are many points of view, but I identified with every character and their various flaws and worried throughout about Zain Harris, our damaged DS and his hidden agenda. The police procedural and technical information is pitched perfectly (you don’t have to be a techie to understand it!), pushing the plot along at a rapid, have-to-read-more pace.

The narrative and dialogue is superb. More than once, I reread a sentence and was just mesmerised by the quality of the writing. In fact, I even read one or two sentences out loud, asking my partner, ‘Wow! How powerful is that?’ In short, I loved Cut to the Bone and cannot wait for the sequel. Thank you for a massively impressive, enthralling thriller. Fast paced and fabulously written. Highly recommended.

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The GiftThe Gift by Louise Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Gift is a sensitively written, enthralling thriller which looks at organ donation and cellular memory. Louise Jensen has obviously undertaken extensive research and as a result brings us a totally absorbing story which leaves us wondering about the possibility of inheriting memory through organ transplant. Told in first person from the point of view of the recipient of a new heart, we are given flashbacks into the donor’s past (also cleverly told in first person) through Jenna’s dreams and apparent memories, which don’t belong to her. Her world grown smaller as, through self-isolation while she recovers and deals with the aftermath of a traumatic operation and the medication she has to take to prevent her body rejecting her new heart, Jenna becomes obsessed with the donor, believing that Callie is somehow reaching out to her. The question is, why? Was Callie’s death an accident, as believed? The question for the author is whether Jenna is really experiencing these memories, or can they be explained away by understandable paranoia due to all she has been through and the cocktail of drugs and their side effects? I must say, the explanations given by her therapist are medically plausible. You go into the session convinced, as Jenna is from her experience and research, that cellular memory exists, that Callie ‘exists’ still, through Jenna, and you leave wondering, is it paranoia at play? Could it be survivor’s guilt that is driving Jenna’s obsession? There is a definite point in the plot where we come to realise that Jenna has to go forward, that her paranoia is founded in some way, but I won’t include a spoiler here. The Gift is a beautiful story (I love the Letter from Louise at the end where she is completely honest about her own views). It’s a book I read after a little hospital saga of my own and it truly was a gift, an original story that I was utterly immersed in. Highly recommended. Thanks, Louise.

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Watercolours in the Rain (The South Devon Duo Book 2)Watercolours in the Rain by Jo Lambert

Watercolours in the Rain follows on from Summer Moved On, a beautifully written story, looking at love, life, prejudice and preconception, which left me with such a strong sense of the characters, they stayed with me. Jo Lambert has excelled herself with this next book in the story of Talún, Jess and Lily, set in the village of Lynbrook in South Devon. I truly had an ‘ah’ moment when we saw Talún seated at a bar. Even I recognised him from behind. By then, knowing his upbringing, how difficult it was to imagine himself worthy of love, aware of the latest devastating trauma in his life, my heart immediately went out to him. He’s defensive, yet caring, naïve to a degree, and – vulnerable, particularly to someone as manipulative and scheming as Lily, whose desire to steal Talún away from Jess years ago was born of spite and jealousy.

I love that we had, in fact, moved on and that the main characters had matured, yet were still susceptible to their insecurities. This is a wonderful strength of Jo Lambert’s writing, she brings to life real people with distinct voices and strong narrative, not to mention the beautifully painted backdrop. Love, hope, deceit and disappointment are all part of the human condition and the author leads us through the emotions alongside the characters enchantingly. Ultimately, we want the journey to go full circle when fate brings them all back together, for Jess and Talún to find each other again after the bitterness and betrayal that ended their youthful relationship.

The question is, can they? At first glance, Lily also appears to have matured. Now a mother, she has responsibilities. She’s secured herself a steady job. Fundamentally, though, she hasn’t changed. Can anyone at the core? Knowing the deceit the woman is capable of and learning of the loss that Talún has suffered since losing Jess (trying not to give spoilers here, but imagine the worst loss a husband and father can suffer), you have an inkling of how far Lily will go to trap him and secure her future.

Watercolours in the Rain can be read as a standalone, the backstory is very cleverly drip fed throughout. I would highly recommend reading Summer Moved On, too, however. Like me, you really will want to ‘move on’ to the next book and follow the characters’ stories. A definite five star read for me. Oh, and those covers. A perfect package.

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