Wednesday, 23 January 2019

How To Hold A Grudge by Sophie Hannah @sophiehannahCB1 @HodderBooks #HowToHoldAGrudge

What if grudges are not just good for us but great?
How often have you held a grudge and felt guilty about it? 'Forgive and move on' is the received wisdom, and that's what many of us try to do.
Positive thinking is essential for a happy life, but how we get to that positive is even more crucial.
What if grudges can ward off danger, and help us live better lives?
What if they can act as stepping stones, pointing us in the right direction?
This ultimate guide will give you all the tools you need to analyse, process and embrace your grudges in order to be your best possible self.
** How to Hold a Grudge - The Podcast now available for download! Check out Grudge of the Week, and discover the latest Grudge Music **

How To Hold a Grudge by Sophie Hannah was published by Hodder & Stoughton on 1 November 2018.

I was intrigued when I heard about this book. I met Sophie Hannah at the Harrogate Crime Festival last July, in the bar one evening and she told me about it then. I thought about it for a long time afterwards and was determined that I would read it once it was published.

I hold grudges.  I do, and I always have. I'm not bitter, or toxic, although I'm often grumpy and bad tempered. However, I'm usually quite pleasant and cheerful. I like to meet new people and I think I open up pretty quickly. However, if someone does something that hurts me, I'll remember. I may forgive, in a fashion, but I'll always remember. I will always be wary of it happening again.

Thank goodness for this book. Sophie Hannah has reassured me that it's OK to hold a grudge. In fact, it's perfectly healthy, as long as you have some processes in place. As long as you don't let your grudges eat you up and make you into a bitter person who never smiles and never trusts anyone again.

Sophie Hannah doesn't claim to be a psychologist. She doesn't claim that any of her strategies and teachings in this book are 'written in stone, and will work for everyone'. What she does do is explain how grudge-holding works for her.  She has worked with two experienced therapists whilst writing the book; Helen Acton is a BACP and UKCP-registered existential psychotherapist in private practice and Anne Grey is a practitioner of Emotional Freedom Therapy, a fellow of The Healer Foundation and a council member of the BCMA. Their ideas and thoughts are a great addition to this book, and go a long way to affirming what the author says.

How To Hold A Grudge is written with wit and humour. The author admits to her own grudges and explains them with various carat ratings, enabling the reader to get to know the author a little.

The author talks about a Grudge Cabinet, and for me, this was the most influential part of the book; I do have a 'fuck it bucket' and now I have a 'grudge cabinet', they sit nicely alongside each other.
Who knew that there were so many types of grudges?  There are, and when you read through the definitions, they really do make sense. We can grade our grudges, we can sift out the bad and invalid grudges and we can manage our very own 'grudget'.  Finally we are advised how to become a responsible grudge holder.

At the end of the book, the author has provided lots of examples of other people's grudges. She collected these after calling out on Twitter, and some of them are cringeworthy and many of them are sad.

I read this book over a few weeks. Picking it up every now and again. It's an interesting read and lots of it makes sense. You don't have to take any notice; you may not agree that anyone should hold a grudge, but it's certainly fascinating to read how the author deals with the subject.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime fiction writer. Her crime novels have been translated into 34 languages and published in 51 countries. Her psychological thriller The Carrier won the Specsavers National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year in 2013. In 2014 and 2016, Sophie published The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket, the first new Hercule Poirot mysteries since Agatha Christie's death, both of which were national and international bestsellers.

Sophie’s novels The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives have been adapted for television as Case Sensitive, starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. Sophie is also a bestselling poet who has been shortlisted for the TS Eliot award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE and A-level throughout the UK.  Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, two children and dog.

Sophie's website is, and you can follow her on Twitter at @sophiehannahcb1

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Night Time Cool by Jamie Paradise @JamieParadise_ #RandomThingsTours @unbounders #MyLifeInBooks #NightTimeCool

Bent Met police detective DI Frederick Street rules as the Sheriff of Shoreditch who loves shaking down the street goons he arrests. 
Elvis Street is the son who cannot stand his father for being the balls-out crook he caught in bed with his girl. 
Elvis wants to take Frederick down and end him forever. Neither father or son realises how much the other understands what controls them. Neither father or son will ever back down. 
Night Time Cool is the story of why?

Night Time Cool by Jamie Paradise was published by Unbound on 24 July 2018. As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here today. He's talking about the books that are special to him in My Life In Books.

My Life In Books - Jamie Paradise

Hunger by Knut Hamsun - Nobel Prize for Literature winner published this in 1890 about a young Norwegian who is starving and thus delusional. Impossible to forget.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders – Booker winner that fictionalises a night of Abraham Lincoln’s life as he agonises over his dead son (a true event); the bardo being a Tibetan state between life and rebirth.

Quiet Days in Clichy by Henry Miller – the author who showed me that, yes, there is stuff to write, this tome based on the great man’s time in Paris in 1930s: autobiographical, lyrical, vibrant.

The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over The Hills by Charles Bukowski – the only poet worth reading who made walking to the fridge a Wagnerian happening: just take in the title of this volume, alone.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Catherine, Heathcliff and Emily B: what a trio. This is her sole published novel, at 29, a year before her death: WOW. Beautiful and vivid and sad.

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy – a searing “proper” western set in and around southern USA and Mexico in 1849-50 that features “the kid” and Judge Holden: once read, never forgotten.

White Jazz by James Ellroy – a synaptic, symphonic novel about corrupt Lieutenant Dave Klein in late 1950s LA who knows he’s destroying himself.

The Hours by Michael Cunningham – takes on Mrs Dalloway in Pulitzer Prize-winning style by linking 1920s Virginia Woolf with a Clarissa in 1940s LA and a Clarissa in 1990s New York: only literature can make time travel.

Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard - hilarious and sweetly plotted and teeming with Hawaiian shirted goons and chancers – as smart/slick as EL ever got.

Lindberg by A. Scott Berg – amazing biography of the 1st to fly non-stop from New York to Paris, a man who suffered the kidnapping of his son, and who insisted on sleeping outside all his life (another Pulitzer-winner).

Careless Love: The Unmaking Of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick – the second part of a two-book biography. You think you know The King’s story then you read this: funny and colourful and heart-breaking in all kinds of ways.

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler – my fave by the Don of cool-hand-luke gumshoe-writing. The title alone a poem.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky – all stories, whatever the plot, are about what’s right and wrong. This book features a bad boy – Raskolnikov – who makes the wrong choice while it just feels right. Brilliant.

Jamie Paradise - January 2019 

Jamie Paradise writes all his stuff in a darkened mansion filled with the cadavers of ancestors 

The Observer says of Night Time Cool: "Paradise conveys the sheer thrill of partying beautifully; he writes of a piece of music that: ‘It wailed, it reprised, it was a choral hymn a kaleidoscopic, sensate burst of everything right now...'"

Simon Mayo's Books of the Year podcast: "Like John Niven, Jake Arnott - I really enjoyed it - very much worth your time."

Mail on Sunday: "A punchy streetwise caper, packed with memorable characters."

Twitter: @JamieParadise_
Instagram: @JamieParadise_

Monday, 21 January 2019

**COVER REVEAL** The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan @headlinepg @Bookish_Becky #TheGiftOfFriends

I'm absolutely delighted to reveal the beautiful cover of The Gift of Friends by Emma Hannigan - published by Headline in ebook on 28 February and paperback on 30 May 2019 

This thirteenth and final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship

Kingfisher Road - a leafy, peaceful street in the town of Vayhill. 
But there are whispers behind closed doors. 
Who is moving into Number 10? 
Engaged to handsome, wealthy Justin Johnston, Danielle appears to her new neighbours to have the perfect, glossy life. 
But not everything is as it seems... 
In fact, each of the other four women who live close by has a secret, and each is nursing their own private heartache. 
But could a gift be waiting on their doorsteps? 
And, by opening their front doors, and their hearts, to each other, could the women of Kingfisher Road discover all the help they need? 

A heartwarming novel of love and friendship, The Gift of Friends is filled with Emma Hannigan's trademark warm characters and skilful storytelling.

This thirteenth and final novel from the beloved and inspiring Emma Hannigan is a life-affirming, uplifting story that celebrates the strength and joys of female friendship. 

Acclaim for Emma Hannigan's moving novel Letters to my Daughters: 

'Wise, warm and full of joy. Uplifting and magical' Cathy Kelly 

'Warm, intelligent and brilliant' Marian Keyes 

'A beautiful book by an exceptional author. Lose yourself in her wonderful writing' Sinéad Moriarty


Letters to My Daughters spent 4 weeks at No. 1 in the Original Fiction Bestseller chart in Ireland in spring 2018 and was in the top 5 for over 10 weeks. It has sold 25,000 copies in trade paperback in Ireland through Bookscan to date.

 Emma's novels The Perfect Gift and The Wedding Promise were No. 1 bestsellers in Ireland. Emma published her bestselling memoir Talk to the Headscarf in 2011, which was updated and extended in 2017 as All to Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope. and was a top ten bestseller in Ireland. 

The Secrets We Share won the Romantic Novelists Association's Epic Romantic Novel award. Emma won Woman of the Year in the literature category of the Irish Tatler Women of the Year awards and was shortlisted twice for an Irish Book award.

Emma Hannigan was the beloved and bestselling author of thirteen novels, including the No. 1 bestseller Letters to My Daughters. 
Her bestselling memoir, Talk to the Headscarf, was updated and revised as All To Live For: Fighting Cancer. Finding Hope. 
In 2007 Emma was diagnosed with breast cancer and her eleven-year battle with cancer began. 
As an ambassador for Breast Cancer Ireland Emma worked to dispel the fears around cancer and spread hope about new treatments. 
In February 2018 Emma shared that her team of dedicated doctors had exhausted all avenues in terms of her treatment. 

She launched a social media campaign #HelpEmmaHelpOthers to raise €100,000 for Breast Cancer Ireland. 

Two weeks later, shortly before her death, Emma's target had been reached. 

In the final months of her life, Emma completed her thirteenth novel, The Gift of Friends, sending her acknowledgements to her editor just days before she passed away.

The Puppet Show by MW Craven @MWCravenUK @LittleBrownUK @BethWright26 #ThePuppetShow

A serial killer is burning people alive in the Lake District's prehistoric stone circles. He leaves no clues and the police are helpless. When his name is found carved into the charred remains of the third victim, disgraced detective Washington Poe is brought back from suspension and into an investigation he wants no part of ..  Reluctantly partnered with the brilliant, but socially awkward, civilian analyst, Tilly Bradshaw, the mismatched pair uncover a trail that only he is meant to see. The elusive killer has a plan and for some reason Poe is part of it.As the body count rises, Poe discovers he has far more invested in the case than he could have possibly imagined. And in a shocking finale that will shatter everything he's ever believed about himself, Poe will learn that there are things far worse than being burned alive ...

The Puppet Show by MW Craven is published by Constable (Little Brown) on 24 January 2019, in paperback. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.

OK, I'm holding up my hands, and hanging my head a little, in shame. Where have I been? Where has MW Craven been? Why on earth have I only just discovered this author?  I'm well behind the times with this one, but am delighted to have now discovered him.  I read this book with my mouth gaping open at times, holding my breath at others and uttering swear words a plenty along the way.

Set in rural Cumbria, with the strange natural phenomenon that are stone circles at its heart, The Puppet Show is a fast-paced, intricately detailed story that grips from the shocking and jaw-dropping prologue.

Craven's lead characters; Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are an absolute perfect double-act. Poe is a once-disgraced police officer who is tentatively returning to work and Tilly is a civilian officer who is something of a genius with numbers, computer programmes and puzzles. There can't be two characters more like chalk and cheese, yet nerdish Tilly brings out the best in Poe and their relationship is a joy to watch developing throughout the book.

There are a lot of thriller novels around; there are those that really do thrill, there are those that try to thrill, and there are those that don't.  The Puppet Show is a THRILLER, in capital letters, in all its gory, macabre detail and the terrifying Immolation Man who is taking middle-aged men to the stone circles and burning them alive.

It's a long time since I've been quite this excited about a new series, but I am desperate to read the next one (Black Summer, published June 2019). The Puppet Show is intelligently written, with a dash of wit and humour, and a great deal of fine and detailed crime solving. I had no idea where this would go, and the shocking and totally unexpected reveal is a wonderful thing.

Bravo MW Craven, this is a spellbinding read. Dark, disturbing and so very clever. Highly recommended by me.

MW Craven was born in Carlisle, running away to join the army at the age of sixteen. He spent the next ten years travelling the world having fun, leaving in 1995 to complete a degree in social work with specialisms in criminology and substance misuse.
Thirty-one years after leaving Cumbria, he returned to take up a probation officer position.
Recently he took the plunge, accepted redundancy and became a full-time author.
He now has entirely different motivations for trying to get inside the minds of criminals.

MW Craven is married and lives in Cumbria with his wife Joanne.
When he isn't out with his springers spaniel or talking nonsense in the pub, he can usually be found at punk gigs and writing festivals up and down the country.

Find out more at
Twitter @MWCravenUK
Facebook Author Page

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn @r_welbourn #RandomThingsTours @unbounders #IdealAngels #MyLifeInBooks

Is it possible to keep secrets in the age of social media? When someone lives their entire life in the spotlight, what could they possibly hide from you? Ideal Angels explores just that. It s the story of one man, one woman, one week. They meet, fall in love, and never look back. Eloise s phone is never far away, furiously cataloguing their ups and downs. But there are always shadows, lurking just out of reach. The moments after the camera flashes, unseen, uncaptured. The threat of an inescapable doom. How much can one person change you? How much can one person be your downfall?

Ideal Angels by Robert Welbourn was published by Unbound on 16 August 2018.  As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here today.
He's talking about the books that are special to him in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Robert Welbourn

Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
My all time favourite book. Ellis’ ability to place humour into the most harrowing of situations is unmatched. It does to the 90s what American Psycho did to the 80s, and Victor Ward is a treasure of a character.

Less Than Zero – Bret Easton Ellis
A story of disaffected youth. What speaks to me most about this book is the disconnect the characters feel with their peers, their surroundings, the events that happen around them. A big inspiration for Ideal Angels.

Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney
What made me really want to write in the second person. This story happens at 100mph, and there’s no time to stop. It feels so raw, so personal, so wonderfully awful to watch someone fall apart.

Story of My Life – Jay McInerney
The introduction of Alison Poole, probably my favourite all time female literary character. She balances coolness with capability, and eats New York like no one else I’ve ever read about. A book that definitely couldn’t be written today – imagine trying to get “can’t rape the willing” into popular culture in 2019.

The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
What can I say about this that hasn’t already been said? Holden Caulfield is a terribly sad character wonderfully written – I just want to give him a hand and try and help. I’m such a phony.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Another all-time classic – Plath writes mental health struggles like no author I’ve ever read. Such a tragically short life, we can only dream what other incredible books she might have written had she not taken her own life. If I could write my own mental health struggles 1% as well as she wrote hers, I’d die happy.

Neon in Daylight – Hermione Hoby
A newer book, the debut novel by Hoby. She’s the next author in a long line of fabulous authors to write New York not as a city but as a character, as something that is as involved in the plot as any of the actual people in the story. Definitely the top book of 2018.

The Lottery – Shirley Jackson
Only a short story, but one everyone must read. What I’d give to have been alive when it was first published, to read it when nothing like it had ever been written before. Jackson is the master of horror.

11.22.63 – Stephen King
The greatest love story ever written. Say what you want about King and his ability to write horror, it’s people that he’s the real master of writing. I’ve never been so involved in a relationship as I am with Jake and Sadie every time I read this book. (Also, check out Sadie’s last name – seem familiar?)

Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
The master of funny books, Vonnegut was a treasure. As with Ellis, Vonnegut found humour in the most terrible of situations. He made the serious into the absurd, but in a way that was completely right and appropriate. I could have selected any of his novels, for they’re all brilliant.

Robert Welbourn - January 2019 

Robert Welbourn is Yorkshire born and bred - he's lived there almost all his life, and now written a book set there. He’s had a passion for books as long as he can remember, and has been writing his whole life. His favourite authors are Bret Easton Ellis and Stephen King, and he cites Ellis as his number one influence.

He studied English Literature at Salford University, and this confirmed that he wanted to spend his life working with books. He currently works in marketing, but is hoping to spend his life telling stories.

Twitter @r_welbourn