#BlogTour! #Extract from Enemy at the Window by A.J.Waines (@ajwaines) @Bloodhoundbook

It is TWG’s turn to host A.J.Waines and ‘Enemy at the Window’ today, and for my stop on the tour I have an extract from the book. Before that however, is a little bit more about the novel, as well as the purchase link. Enjoy!

Someone knows what you did… and they’re watching you…

Daniel is living the dream with a devoted wife, perfect job and adorable toddler. Until out of the blue, his wife accuses him of having an affair and stabs him in a frenzied attack with a kitchen knife. As his wife is sectioned in a psychiatric ward, Daniel returns home from intensive care to find his precious world is inexorably falling apart:

Who is prowling around his house?

Why is someone sending threatening postcards?

And who is his son talking to in the dead of night?

As Daniel attempts to put his life back together, a merciless force just out of reach is unravelling it, bit by bit, until Daniel is plunged into his worst nightmare.

Buy now from Amazon

Extract.

When Sophie opened her eyes everything was wrong. Someone had tucked her into bed, but it wasn’t hers. She wasn’t in the right place. This wasn’t home.

The last thing she remembered was the sound of a police siren. Somebody further up the street must have had an accident or maybe it was coming from the television. She wasn’t sure. Before that, the childminder had let herself in and was holding her phone, looking horror-stricken. Then there had been a woman wearing green pulling at her arm. She looked like she’d just hopped out of a helicopter or been sky-diving.

What was Daniel doing lying there on the floor under the kitchen table like he’d fallen asleep? And who had spilt all the red paint?

She needed to get out of here; to start clearing it all up.

She struggled against the crisp white sheets. They were too tight. As if she was strapped down. Looking over to her right there was another bed, and then another next to that. Wait a minute – there are other people here. What’s going on?

The curtain on her left was pulled aside; the rings rattling along the pole like coins spilling from a fruit machine. A woman dressed in a blue uniform looked down on her.

‘How are you, Sophie?’

‘Where am I?’

The nurse smiled and held Sophie’s wrist as she focused on her watch. ‘Do I know you?’

Sophie read the name ‘Rose’ on her name tag, but it didn’t mean anything to her.

‘You’re in hospital – you’re safe.’

Rose leant over to plump up her pillows and Sophie flinched. ‘Don’t worry… no one is going to hurt you.’

‘This isn’t right. I’m not…’

‘Rest for now. There’s some juice on the table if you want it.’

Sophie narrowed her eyes. There was a persistent throbbing sound. Too loud. Trapped inside her head. Clanging and banging. She jerked from side to side to try to find the source. They’re trying to electrocute me. They’re trying to kill me. Her bones felt like they were on fire beneath her skin. She called out.

‘Help… help me!’

The same nurse returned to her side, looking inconvenienced.

‘What’s the matter?’ she said, her hands on her hips.

‘That noise? What are you doing to me?’

The nurse glanced at something above Sophie’s head and gave her the kind of smile reserved for someone who has already made too many claims on one’s patience.

‘It’s your heartbeat,’ she said. ‘It’s nothing to worry about.’

‘My heartbeat?’

‘Yes. You’re hearing the blood pumping inside your head, that’s all. It’s normal.’ The nurse turned, her soft soles squeaking on the linoleum.

It was starting to become clear. Daniel had told lies to make these people keep her here, so he could shack up with that slut he’s been seeing behind her back. She tried to rear up again, but her head hurt and things started to swim out of focus.

Her body shook uncontrollably and a burning sweat encased her, followed by a chill that made her teeth rattle. Oh God, I’m dying.

For a moment she wondered if she was in fact already dead and her body was making its journey towards an everlasting black hole. She tried to call out again, but nothing happened. No sound came out. She was locked inside the tomb of her own body. Then suddenly, as if a switch in her brain clicked off, she started to drift into a hazy calm.

Don’t panic… it’s only a dream… you’ll wake up in a minute.

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#BlogBlitz! #Review – Copycat by C.S.Barnes (@charleyblogs) @Bloodhoundbook

Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blog blitz invite for ‘Copycat’ by C.S.Barnes. Here is my review:

When the body of a young woman, Jenni Grantham, is found abandoned, DI Melanie Watton and her team are called to investigate. It soon becomes apparent that the murder, the method and the appearance of the victim, is something they have seen before.

With the help of Medical Examiner George Waller, DI Watton uncovers the case history of Michael Richards – a local murderer who killed five women before turning himself in.

Further investigations reveal that Jenni was recently reported missing by her parents. And when Jenni’s personal effects are explored, shocking discoveries are made about the victim’s fascination with the original killings.

However, when the ME makes a surprise discovery, DI Watton realises that Jenni was perhaps not the only local with a fixation on these infamous killings.

With a copycat killer on the loose, the team know it is only a matter of time before another body is discovered. But when a second victim is found, the team find themselves questioning everything they thought they knew…

What does TWG think?

I really wasn’t sure on this book at first. Pardon the pun, seeing as the book is called ‘Copycat’, but I found the storyline to be a little bit samey.

That said, I enjoyed the thrilling aspects of the book and felt that they helped to make up for my earlier reservations. I enjoyed the authors attention to detail though and the way she gave her characters depth, especially the medical examiner. I thought George Waller was such a brilliant addition to the storyline.

Even though i felt that the storyline lacked uniqueness, I still enjoyed the way in which C.S.Barnes brought her characters to life, making ‘Copycat’ a twisty little read.

Buy now.

#BlogBlitz! #GuestPost from author of #HesAtYourDoor, Alex Sinclair (@ASinclairAuthor) @BloodHoundBook

Here is a guest post from Alex Sinclair, author of ‘He’s At Your Door’, for the first day of the blog tour. Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the invite.

Karen Rainey lives a sheltered life on the edge of the city. For the last five years, she has rarely left the home unless it was unavoidable. She has her food and anything else she needs delivered to the front door. She works from home to avoid venturing outside.

But Karen isn’t agoraphobic. She’s terrified of her ex-boyfriend, Zach, who is serving a life sentence in prison for a string of bank robberies after Karen testified against him. With the constant threat that Zach might send someone to find and kill her, Karen keeps a low profile.

To aid her in paying the rent each month, Karen takes in the occasional housemate, opting for students from the local university. Her current housemate, Beth, is a young student who has no idea about Karen’s past.

But when a mysterious package is left of her doorstep, it sends Karen’s world into turmoil.

Has Zack found her?

Isolated and frightened, Karen befriends Beth but refuses to tell her everything about her past.

Trapped inside their home, Karen and Beth soon begin to lose their minds.

But is the threat really outside or is it closer to home?

Guest post.

The Five a.m. start

I’m not a morning person. When it’s dark outside before the sun rises, like most people, I’d rather be sound asleep. But when you are an author who still works a full-time job, you have little choice.

When my daughter was born a little over three years ago, she had a lot of trouble early on sleeping. We were lucky if she lasted two hours at a time despite having enough food in her belly to see her through to the next feed. Because of this, my wife and I took turns attempting to help her go back to sleep. To say it exhausted us was an understatement.

When you have your first child, nothing can prepare you for the overwhelming change your life will undertake to accommodate a tiny human’s every need. It’s amazing how such a small thing impacts not only your lifestyle but the way you see the world. Each person handles the transition differently. But for me, it was the moment I resolved to take my writing seriously and put in the hard yards.

I was up one morning around four with my daughter on my chest, trying my hardest to coax her back to sleep. I was reclined in the feeding chair with my laptop within reach. While my bundled-up daughter drifted off on me, I decided to do some writing to keep myself awake while she settled into a deep slumber. The light rattling of the keyboard seemed to help settle her. This became a nightly ritual until I realized something: I was getting more work completed than ever before.

Prior to this new and bizarre habit, I would write when I felt like it, typically at night. I’d be lucky to put down four hundred words over several hours, often distracted by the TV or my wife. It would take me six months to complete a first draft of anything. But when I wrote in the early hours of the morning, the words flowed. The absolute calm and quiet of the dark before the sun came up allowed me to move into a focused zone. Once my daughter slept through the night, I decided to get up every morning at five to spend two hours writing before work or before the day started with my family.

That was three years ago. In that time, I’ve written seven novels and three novellas while working full time and helping to raise our child. Life is busy. I had three novels published in 2018. I have another two being published in 2019 so far. It’s thanks to this seven-day-a-week writing habit. Unless something else needs to be prioritized or I’m sick, I don’t sleep in. The early starts have helped me achieve far more than I ever imagined possible and are charging me toward my goal of becoming a full-time author.

I’ll admit, it’s not an easy thing to do every day. I’ve had my difficulties. Some mornings, I can produce three thousand words in less than two hours. On others, I’m lucky if I break through to the one-thousand-word mark. But the most important factor is consistency. You must write every day if you want to improve your craft and be capable of producing anything worthy of publication. It’s no different from putting in the hours at a job. If you fail to show up consistently, you can’t expect to get ahead.

I wish I had understood the importance of treating writing like a career and not a hobby when I first started a novel back in 2011. I have my daughter to thank for showing me what was possible. I’m sure she just wanted a warm chest to snuggle into, but one day I’ll tell her how much she motivated her dad to take his writing to the next level.

Alex Sinclair

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Butcher’s Daughter by Jane.E.James (@jane_e_james) @BloodHoundBook

Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blog tour invite and ARC for ‘The Butcher’s Daughter’ by Jane E James. It’s a pleasure to be hosting the author today with a review.

Trust no one. Not even yourself.

When Natalie Powers returns home for the first time in thirteen years, she must convince everyone she has fully recovered from the mental illness, which has seen her institutionalised for most of her young life.

But instead of being welcomed back, Natalie enters a baffling world of deception. She must fight her way through the lies in order to discover the truth about her mother’s sudden disappearance sixteen years earlier. To do this, Natalie must also try to make sense of the hazy memories from the past that continue to haunt her.

In the village of Little Downey, everybody appears to harbour a mysterious secret, including her father, Frank, the village butcher, who refuses to discuss the circumstances surrounding Natalie’s mother’s disappearance, but who can Natalie trust if not her own father? Especially when it becomes clear her protector and confidante, Dr Moses, is not all he appears.

Meanwhile, a spate of unexplained clifftop suicides has seen the seaside resort go into decline. Are the villagers somehow involved or is something more sinister at work?

Determined to find out what happened to her mother, Natalie must make sure her own frailty and self-doubt does not catapult her back to the mental institution before she can uncover the truth…

What does TWG think?

If you’re finding the weather a little too hot and are needing to be cooled down, you definitely won’t go wrong with this chilling, chilling read.

The topic of mental health is incredibly rife throughout the book, yet its written with such realism and sensitivity that would make the bigots of the world feel very ashamed with themselves.

Jane.E.James transported me to a very dark and sinister place which had me hooked until the very end. I was very impressed by how much detail the author incorporated into each event within the book as it made the story come to life. Granted, at times when uncomfortable things happened, I didn’t really want to feel as though I was seeing the sinister moments with my very own eyes Haha.

All in all, ‘The Butcher’s Daughter’ is a very intense, chilling and brilliant book which highlights just how talented Jane.E.James is.

Buy now.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Murder Mile by Lesley McEvoy (@LesleyMcEvoy20) @BloodHoundBook

Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and ARC, I am excited to be reviewing ‘The Murder Mile’ by Lesley McEvoy today.

Forensic Psychologist, Jo McCready is assisting DCI Callum Ferguson on a murder inquiry, when one of her patients is found brutally murdered.

Jo was the last person to see Martha Scott alive. She was helping Martha unlock a repressed memory. But during the session, Jo unlocked more than she bargained for. An alter personality introduced himself as the reincarnation of Jack the Ripper – and thanked Jo for setting him free to kill again.

As Ferguson’s team race to find Martha’s killer, a series of copycat killings begin, replicating ‘The Autumn of Terror’ in 1888. But if Jack is just a figment of Martha’s damaged mind, who killed her?

As the body count rises, Jo must construct a profile to stop the murderer recreating the terror of the most infamous serial killer of all time.

But not everyone is on Jo’s side. The Police Intelligence Unit have their own profiler, Liz Taylor-Caine, who resents Jo’s involvement as a contributing expert in the case.

Suspicion about Jo’s involvement in the killings increases when someone close to the team becomes one of Jack’s victims.

And as the anniversary of the final and most gruesome of all the killings looms, Jo discovers that the killer has one murder on his mind that is far closer to home…

What does TWG think?

A debut you say?! I cannot believe that ‘The Murder Mile’ is Lesley McEvoy’s debut novel! I was beyond impressed by the storyline! The inclusion of ‘Jack the Ripper’ was an incredibly clever direction to go down, as was having a forensic psychologist as one of the main character! The more crime books I read, the more intrigued by the forensic side of things I become, and the author certainly fed my hunger with this book!

The pace of the book was on point, kept me on my toes without feeling as though the storyline had unnecessary pregnant paused. I felt as though there was a sharp chill in the air for the duration of the book, which meant that I flew through the pages because I was so eager to find out all of the nitty gritty details.

‘The Murder Mile’ is a brilliant, brilliant debut! All you readers who get to read it for the very first time are such lucky beggars – I loved it!

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Dark Is The Day by Tana Collins (@TanaCollins7) @BloodHoundBook

Given the weather outside, I would say that the title of the book I’m reviewing today is quite apt! Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and ARC of ‘Dark is the Day’ by Tana Collins – here is my review:

DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.

Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi. Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?

When a second then a third victim is discovered, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.

What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?

It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?

What does TWG think?

Right, this will make no sense to anyone else except the people who have already read the book and of course the author – MALCOLM IS A LEGEND!!! What a man! I was in absolute hysterics at the brilliantly placed one liner that came out of his mouth during a not so funny situation. I felt bad for laughing given what was going on at the time, but I just couldn’t help myself!

‘Dark Is The Day’ is such a brilliant, dark, Scottish crime novel which had me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I really enjoyed following DI Carruthers and his team as they try to find the culprit behind the latest killings. What do the students have in common? Why is someone targeting them?

As always, I had my guesses as to whom I thought was behind the murders. But I was wrong. To be honest, the person who it turned out to be, didn’t even feature on my radar!

Tana Collins is a descriptive author who nails the crime genre incredibly. For me, there is no negatives to this book – I genuinely loved every single minute of it.

A thrilling, chilling, atmospheric and witty novel which blew me away due to it’s hilarious one liners and gritty suspense.

Buy now.

#BlogBlitz! #Review – The Paramedic’s Daughter by Tara Lyons (@taralyonsauthor) @Bloodhoundbook

Next up on TWG this afternoon is a review of ‘The Paramedic’s Daughter’ by Tara Lyons. Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blog tour invite and ARC.

Would you lie to your family to protect yourself?

Paramedic Abi Quinn is hailed as a hero by the patients she saves with the London Ambulance Service, but a secret she’s kept since she was a teenager now threatens to shatter that perfect illusion.

When her daughter Rose goes missing while studying at Brighton University, and ghosts from her past return to haunt her, Abi’s caught in a race against time to untangle the web of lies she set in motion over twenty years ago.

Everyone has something to lose.

Everyone is trying to protect themselves.

Everyone is broken.

But what lengths will they go to in order to stop the truth from being exposed?

What does TWG think?

I am struggling to digest the fact that this is Tara Lyons’ first dip into the ‘psychological thriller’ pond! I was impressed by the slow burning grit which demanded my full attention.

Abi, just like many of us, has skeletons in her closet, however when they come back to haunt her and put her daughter in the firing line, Abi isn’t sure which way she needs to turn. Being a paramedic in her day job, Abi is used to high energy events, but when the event contains someone directly linked to her, she finds herself in a bit of a muddle.

I liked the fact that the main character had a job as a paramedic; its something which I haven’t seen much of in books and it definitely made a change from the usual jobs that appear in books. The whole situation with Abi’s daughter was hard hitting and made my blood turn cold. At times I even felt as though I reacted more to her disappearance than her own mother!

Tara Lyons royally mucked up my head, and ranked my level of paranoia up several thousand notches! Honestly, the author was hitting the surprises of the park – I still don’t think my heart has recovered from it all!

What a gritty, atmospheric, thrilling read which had me second guessing everything. More please!

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Jaded by Rob Ashman (@RobAshmanAuthor) @Bloodhoundbook

I am so excited to be reviewing Rob Ashman’s latest novel, Jaded, today as I close the blog blitz for BloodHoundBooks. Many thanks for inviting me to take part and the ARC.

A body washes up on a Blackpool beach, tortured and shot through the head.

A man is found in an alleyway with his throat ripped open.

A woman is murdered in a hospital bed.

What connects them?

DI Roz Kray’s private life is in turmoil as she struggles to unravel a baffling case and DCI Dan Bagley is hell-bent on making her working life a misery.

Billy Ellwood is a chameleon. What forced him to disappear eighteen years ago? And what was the promise?

When Kray makes a shattering discovery it rocks her world to the core. The stakes could not be higher. She’s left with no choice.

This time … it’s all or nothing.

What does TWG think?

You know, I WAS a massive fan of Blackpool. Now….the jury is out on that one ha!!

Rob Ashman never fails to produce novels which churn my stomach and enable me to finish reading the book at the same time. Usually if a storyline created nausea of the strong variety as Mr Ashman does, I would be running from the book like a little gingerbread man, yet this author has me in chains with his words. JADED was no different. In fact, I think it cemented the fact that Ashman can write belter reads.

‘Jaded’ is a case of now you see me, now you don’t. The storyline had that cat and mouse feel to it, as well as been covered in so many red herrings it was unreal. The detail in which Ashman describes, is mind blowing, sinister, and unbelievably twisted.

I am being vague on purpose due to spoilers, but I cannot recommend this author enough. I dread to think what goes through his mind at times, however if it helps him write novels as jaw dropping as Jaded, I cant help but think he must be doing something right!

Buy now!

#BlogBlitz! #Review – Searching For Sylvia by Joanna Stephen-Ward (@OperaLover12) @bloodhoundbook

Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blitz invite and ARC, here is my review of ‘Searching For Sylvia’ by Joanna Stephen-Ward.

Sylvia has been missing for thirty years. Will her daughters ever find her?

Tordorrach is 70,000 acres of drought stricken land in the Australian outback. Why do a group of wealthy people from London want to buy it?

Shamus, the owner of Tordorrach, lives in poverty. His homestead is derelict and he is heavily in debt. The new owners run Outback Experience holidays on Tordorrach. Shamus becomes one of the gardeners, and he and his wife Mary move to a comfortable cabin on the property. Why does he hate the new owners so much that he plans to murder one of them?

The idyllic life of the new owners is shattered when the body of a woman is found buried on Tordorrach. Forensics find a bullet in her body. Who was she? And who murdered her?

What does TWG think?

‘Searching For Sylvia’ had me hooked from start to finish. This really is a storyline which keeps you guessing, makes you wonder ‘what if’, and puts an unsettled feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Set in the Australian outback, Joanna Stephen-Ward piqued my interest with her highly descriptive story telling. Instead of just reading the book, I felt as though I was transported to the setting itself, watching the journeys of the characters pan out.

Family dynamics play a big part in this book, for reasons which I won’t detail due to spoilers. However, all i will say is that, i couldn’t even begin to imagine what the Sylvia’s daughters were going through.

I throughly enjoyed the mysterious and emotive edge to the storyline. It was such a gritty book to be able to sink my teeth into, without getting confused. An absolute pleasure, and highly suspense joy to read.

Buy now.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Cleansing by J.A.Baker (@thewriterjude) @BloodHoundBook

Next up is something a bit darker, a review of ‘The Cleansing’ by J.A.Baker. Many thanks to BloodHoundBooks for the blog tour invite and ARC.

When Ray moves to a new house in the village of Whitchurch, he leaves behind a relationship and a luxury apartment in search of a better life in the countryside.

However, he soon realises that sleepy Whitchurch also has its own fair share of problems. Last year, a woman’s body was discovered in the woods nearby. The killer was never caught.

Soon suspicious things start to happen. Threatening letters are sent, cars are vandalised and headstones are desecrated. But who is responsible for these acts and why?

As the tension in the village builds, Ray begins to feel the pressure. Someone is out to cause trouble and that someone might be closer to Ray than he ever imagined.

What does TWG think?

I’ve heard a lot about Whitchurch and have envisioned myself visiting there one day, however after reading ‘The Cleansing’, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little apprehensive. Hah!

The main question that will no doubt cross the threshold of your brain whilst reading this book, would be ‘whodunnit??’. I would genuinely surprised if that question didn’t cross your mind at least once, because it crossed my mind like a little convoy of ducks crossing the road.

Ray has reached a time in his life where he wants peace. But at what price? With a new house and a fresh start paving the way for a new life for Ray, he can’t wait to start enjoying life. Like I said; at what price?

So many sinister and unexplained things happen throughout the book, some minor and some not, and all fingers seem to be pointing at the newcomer. Things aren’t as simple as they seem in ‘The Cleansing’, and I thought that J.A.Baker is extraordinary at creating a nail biting tension which kept me guessing until the very end.

The pace isn’t all that fast and be prepared to be drip fed snippets of information throughout the book but, most importantly, be prepared to be hooked.

Dark, dangerous, and damn right devious; ‘The Cleansing’ is even twister than a bottle of domestos with a child lock on it!

Buy now from Amazon

About the author.

J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

She enjoys reading many genres of books but especially enjoys psychological thrillers. When she’s not busy writing, she can be found trying to keep on top of her high maintenance garden!

In December 2016 she was signed by Bloodhound Books who published Undercurrent.

Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017. Since then she has written four other novels – The Other Mother, Finding Eva, The Uninvited and The Cleansing which is her latest release.

J.A. Baker has four grown-up children and a grandchild and lives in a village near Darlington with her husband and madcap dog.

You find out more about J.A.Baker by visiting her website at

http://www.jabakerauthor.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/thewriterjude

www.twitter.com/thewriterjude