Thursday, 21 March 2019

The Truth About Love and Dogs by Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK #Covers #UKvUS

Four little words, uttered by her husband…
‘Oh my god,’ he gasped into her shoulder. ‘Shannon!’
There’s just one problem: her name isn’t Shannon.

Rewind six months and Scarlett and Rufus aren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore so much as the honey-should-we-bother phase. Desperate to get their sparkle back, Scarlett has plotted, planned and waxed more than any woman should have to, but none of it is working. Which makes it very hard to start the family they want. 

At least her business is going strong, even if her marriage isn’t. She and her best friend spend their days tangled up in dog leads and covered in fur. Scarlett/ is the fairy dogmother, training hopeless pets like compulsive eater Barkley, impulsive Romeo Murphy and bossy Biscuit. Meanwhile, her best friend walks the dogs and pines for the man who doesn’t know she exists. Thank goodness the women have each other. 

If only Scarlett could work out how to get her marriage back on track. But Rufus isn’t sharing his feelings with her. He is, though, sharing with her best friend. Her best friend, Shannon.

The Truth about Love and Dogs by Lilly Bartlett is launched this month, in the UK and the US.

You can buy it from Amazon UK, or from Amazon US 

I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today, she's written a piece about book covers, and the differences between the book cover here in the UK and in the US.

UK COVER                                                         US COVER 

How often do you pick up a book because of the cover? I do it all the time. It’s what makes me take the time to look at the description, read the first few paragraphs, and, if I like all that I see, decide to buy it.

So, is it any wonder that covers cause us authors so much angst? They might even make us more nervous than writing the book itself. That’s because writing is an evolutionary process. It takes months to do, plus there are many rounds of editing. But the cover is the instant, one-and-only first impression your book will make. It’s like getting ready for a first date with someone that you really really want to impress! You’ve only got one chance.

Every single author I know holds her breath when that email comes through from the publisher saying “Here’s the cover art and we hope you’ll love it as much as we do.”

So here it is: my one chance. These are the two covers we’ve chosen to make a first impression for The Truth About Love and Dogs. 
What do you think? They’re very different from one another, aren’t they? That’s because tastes in romcom covers in the UK are so different from preferences in the US.

For the US cover – the basket of pups – we wanted something fun and eye-catching that conveys the book’s tone rather than the story exactly. Publishers go for the look and feel more than an image that literally tells you what the story is about (that’s the job of the title and the description). There are pugs in the book, by the way!

The UK cover might have a very different look, but its tone is the same. There, we wanted to project a cover the reader can fall into, with intriguing groupings of people that provoke curiosity.

I always ask my Facebook friends and newsletter followers for their feedback about my proposed covers, and the US readers mostly go for a photographic cover while UK readers love the illustrated ones. Does that hold true for you? 

Which do you like better?

Whichever cover grabs you most, I hope you’ll love the story inside!

Happy reading!
Lilly xo

If you want to connect with me on Facebook or through my newsletter then you can get involved in my next cover choices! 



Website :

Michele writes books packed with heart and humour, best friends and girl power. 
Call them beach books, summer reads, romantic comedy or chick lit... readers and reviewers call them "feel good", "thought-provoking" and "laugh out loud". 
She is both a Sunday Times and a USA Today bestselling author, raised in the US and living in London with her husband. 
She is very fond of naps, ice cream and Richard Curtis films. 

Michele also writes cosy chick lit under the pen-name Lilly Bartlett. Lilly’s books are full of warmth, romance, quirky characters and guaranteed happily-ever-afters.

Monday, 18 March 2019

*** COVER REVEAL *** Someone Is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst #someoneislying @JennyBlackhurst @headlinepg #coverreveal

I am absolutely delighted to be part of this Cover Reveal for Someone is Lying by Jenny Blackhurst, along with fellow bloggers CrimeBook Junkie, Chapter In My Life, Live and Deadly, Compulsive Readers and Liz Loves Books

Published in ebook on 5 September and paperback original on 14 November by Headline - take a look at this! 

It's been a year since Erica Spencer died in a tragic accident at a party, and the community where she lived has moved on with their lives. 

Everybody has secrets. But someone thinks it wasn't an accident. 

Someone thinks it was murder. 

Some are worth killing for. 

And when an anonymous podcast names six local suspects, shockwaves ripple through the neighbourhood. 

Before the podcast is over, the police will be opening more than one murder enquiry. 

Because someone is lying... But who?

Jenny Blackhurst grew up in Shropshire where she still lives with her husband and children. 
Growing up she spent hours reading and talking about crime novels - writing her own seemed like natural progression.

Twitter : @JennyBlackhurst

Thursday, 14 March 2019

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther @ellieanstruther @saltpublishing BLOG TOUR #MyLifeInBooks #APerfectExplanation @midaspr

Exploring themes of ownership and abandonment, Eleanor Anstruther’s debut is a fictionalised account of the true story of Enid Campbell (1892–1964), granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Argyll.
Interweaving one significant day in 1964 with a decade during the interwar period, A Perfect Explanation gets to the heart of what it is to be bound by gender, heritage and tradition, to fight, to lose, to fight again. In a world of privilege, truth remains the same; there are no heroes and villains, only people misunderstood. Here, in the pages of this extraordinary book where the unspoken is conveyed with vivid simplicity, lies a story that will leave you reeling.

A Perfect Explanation by Eleanor Anstruther is published by Salt Publishing on 15 March 2019.

As part of the blog tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are important to her in My Life In Books

My Life In Books - Eleanor Anstruther

The Fifth Child – Doris Lessing
This short, and perfectly formed novel remains one of my all time favourites. It wastes no time, the chill creeping in before you, or they, know it.

The Collector – John Fowles
I was absolutely gripped by this, the skill of entrapment; reader and characters, both. Inescapably dark and brilliant.

Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
George Eliot is a must for any writer. The length, breadth and depth that she achieves, the complexity of multiple lines woven into one perfect tapestry. So hard to choose which of her novels has influenced me most. I had to stick a pin in it. It could have been any of them.

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
One of the best endings I’ve ever read. It leaves you knowing what is coming, with nothing you can do about it.

The Portrait Of A Lady – Henry James
Like Eliot, Henry James is a must for anyone learning to write. He achieves shifts in perspective, from internal dialogue to narrator with unparalleled skill, while seamlessly handling the complexities of human nature. If you want to write, study Henry James.

My Name Is Lucy Barton – Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is doing something that no other writer I’ve come across attempts; the brevity of her language bellies the sheer art of telling a story in the spaces where one sentence ends and another begins. Everything she writes is wonderful, but this is the best.

Angel – Elizabeth Taylor
Woefully underrated, this novel sums up her acute, unflinching observations of humans at their worst, and most damaged. The female protagonist of the title is an anti-hero to beat all others.

Orlando – Virginia Woolf
Impossible for me to make a list of my life in books without including Virginia Woolf, and this so influential, that I had to tear up everything I’d written before, and start again.

Nora Webster – Colm Tóibín
If you want to learn how to write quietly, and without pretension, read this. Colm Tóibín just gets on with it. He doesn’t look up to see how you’re doing, and nor will you.

Vanity Fair – William Thackery
Acerbic, pointed, sharp. Very little, at heart, has changed between the mores of our society, and the one he here lays bare.

Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
How to write funny, and awful, and can’t bear to look. Satire at its best.

Pet Sematary – Stephen King
Superb, shocking, the unravelling of sanity before your eyes. Perhaps it’s the subject matter that has kept it from winning literary prizes, or snobbery. He is an absolute master.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Leads the way in dystopian literature, a stand out premise and perfect ending.

She Came To Stay – Simone de Beauvoir
A story of love and betrayal, art and obsession, and contains the line “…we seek to create the exact reproduction of something that doesn’t exist…” I’ve never come across a better description of writing.

Other People – Martin Amis
This short early novel by Martin Amis achieves that quality of so many others listed here; contained, to the point, precise and with an ending that eats its own tail. Genius

Eleanor Anstruther - March 2019 

Eleanor Anstruther was born in London, educated in Westminster and read History of Art at Manchester University before travelling the world. 
Eleanor has ridden a motorbike from Mysuru in Karnataka to Manali in the Himalayas, has set up a commune in Surrey, ran a clinic for a Shaman and organised the building of the largest stone circle since Stonehenge. 

She currently lives in Surrey with her twin boys.

Instagram: @eleanoranstruther

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Pilgrim by Louise Hall @LouHallWriter @MercierBooks #Pilgrim - Book Review

In Dublin, fourteen-year-old Jen and her father, Charlie, are struggling to cope with the death of their mother/wife. Charlie, in particular, seems to have given up on life. When Jen's aunt, Suzanne, convinces them to go on a pilgrimage to a strange village in Yugoslavia, there is hope that some solace or healing may be brought to their broken lives. On their arrival, however, they find a village in upheaval. An influx of pilgrims have swarmed into the village, each looking for their own miracle. Then there are the local police, who aim to suppress this so-called `revolution'. Amid all this, Jen makes a friend, Iva - one of the children who claims to have seen the Virgin Mary. Told with a deep humanity and grace, Pilgrim is a story about a man who feels he has nothing to live for, and a daughter who is determined to prove him wrong. A nuanced and moving exploration of grief and faith. Unique subject matter based around the famed Medjugorje apparitions. The author already has a dedicated readership built up from her two non-fiction books on Medjugorje. This is her first fictional take on the story.

Pilgrim by Louise Hall was published in paperback on 14 September by The Mercier Press. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

It's very rare that I stop reading a book half way through so that I can send an email to the author to tell them just exactly how their writing is affecting me. I did that whilst reading Pilgrim. My copy has so many turned down corners; marking passages and phrases that lifted my heart and made me stop and read them over again. 

I was brought up in England by an Irish Catholic mother and spend every summer of my childhood in Donegal, Ireland. Donegal is a hugely Catholic county and I remember clearly my grandmother and her friends discussing the miracles of Medjugorje, and Lourdes. There were regular pilgramages to Lough Derg and to Knock and the apparitions were believed and accepted, without a doubt.  We even had our own local shrine, just outside Dungloe, at Kerrytown.

Readers who are not familiar with shrines and apparitions would benefit from reading the Author Notes at the back of the book; to get a little insight into just how massively important these were to the Catholic people of Ireland.

Now, to the book. Pilgrim is exquisitely written. Louise Hall has the ability to totally transfix her readers; reaching out and grabbing them and thrusting them deep into the lives of her characters.

Oh what wonderfully created characters these are. A mixed and diverse selection of men, women and children who are all bearing their own burdens; be that grief, or guilt or just fear. Each and every one of them are carefully constructed, flawed yet incredibly human and so very believable.

This author has incorporated very modern-day issues and problems into her story. Some of these are so dark; death, recession, alcoholism, gambling and drug addiction are just a few, yet she writes with the humour and wit that the Irish are so well known for, and these flashes of brightness really lift the story.

As Suzanne notices a new second-hand shop that has just opened nearby, her reporting of the window display is just magical:
" Louis was standing inside the front window, trying to arrange some sort of attractive display that consisted of a Child of Prague statue with a missing arm and a bottle of 4711 perfume that looked the colour of a urine sample."
A very mixed bunch of people make a pilgrimage to Medjurgorje in communist Yugoslavia where six young children regularly see Mary, the mother of God appear to them. People are flocking from all over the world to this small, poverty stricken village in the middle of a war zone in the hope that they too will see her, and their worries will be banished and their sins and guilt absolved.

The story is narrated through different points of view; there's the Francisan priest and Jen; who is travelling with her father after the tragic death of her mother. We hear from Jen's aunt Suzanne, we also hear from Jen's father.  Each and every one of these voices is clear and crisp.

Ultimately this is a story of faith. The words are tender and gentle, despite some of the bleak and shocking events covered. We, as readers, take that journey alongside the characters. discovering more about them, and their life. Changing our judgements as we go and most of all, desperately hoping that they find their peace.

Pilgrim is at times wickedly funny and constantly deeply moving. It really is extraordinarily moving and elegantly written.  Highly recommended.

Louise Hall is from Malahide, Co. Dublin. 
She has previously published two works of non-fiction, 'Medjugorje: What it Means to Me' and 'Medjugorje and Me: A Collection of Stories from Across the World'. 
Her fiction has been published in 'The Irish Times' and been shortlisted for numerous competitions, such as the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Award, the Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition and the Jonathan Swift Creative Writing Awards. 

'Pilgrim' is her debut novel.

Website :
Twitter : @LouHallWriter
Instagram : @louisehallwriter

Mercier Press is Ireland's oldest independent publishing house, based in Cork. It was founded in 1944 by Captain Seán and Mary Feehan. The publishing house was named after Cardinal Mercier of Belgium, a man who in his day, proved himself not only a man of thought, whose mind ranged over every subject of vital interest to humanity, but a man of action in the varying circumstances of a life that shone before the eyes of a watching world. The voice of Cardinal Mercier could not be stilled and Mercier Press is proud to borrow from him the inspiration for its publishing programme, which is a belief in the importance of Ireland's ability to provide accessible histories and cultural books for Irish readers and all who are interested in Irish cultural life.

Website :

Pilgrim is going on a Blog Tour in April.

Check out these blogs to hear more about the book 

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay @tatianaderosnay @WorldEdBooks BLOG TOUR #TheRainWatcher @WriterForster

It is raining non-stop over Paris. The Malegarde family - split between France, London, and the US - is reunited for the first time in years. When Paul, a famous yet withdrawn arborist, suffers a stroke in the middle of his 70th birthday celebrations, his son Linden is stuck in a city that is undergoing a stunning natural disaster. As the Seine bursts its banks and floods the streets, the family will have to fight to keep their unity as hidden fears and secrets also begin to rise.
In this profound and intense novel of love and redemption, De Rosnay demonstrates her wealth of skills both as an incredible storyteller and also as a connoisseur of the human soul.

The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was published by World Editions on 21 February 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

It's been a long time since I read anything by this author. It's over ten years ago that I discovered her via the wonderful novel Sarah's Key, and was delighted to have the opportunity to revisit her writing in The Rain Watcher.

Rain. Paris. David Bowie. Trees. Family. Secrets

Six words that are associated with The Rain Watcher.; six words that are the central themes.

This is a complex, character-led novel with such a tremendous sense of place. I was entranced from the beginning and became so engrossed as the author described the rising flood waters of Paris that I really did feel as though I were there; splashing along the pavements with the lead characters.

It's a simple premise; Lauren and Paul have been married for forty years and it's also Paul's 70th birthday. Lauren has planned a small family celebration for months. It will be just them, and their two children; Linden and Tilia. No partners; just the four of them, together in Paris as a family.

However, things do not go to plan. Paris is experiencing the worst floods since 1910. The rain is unrelenting and as the waters rise, so does the tension within the story. When Paul suffers a stroke during his birthday dinner and is rushed to hospital, and Lauren succumbs to flu-like symptoms, everything that they wished for crumbles away.

Tatiana de Rosney's characters are wonderfully created, and the story is told, in the main, from Linden's view point.
Linden was a troubled child, subject to school bullying. He left the family home at a young age to live with his Aunt. He came out to his Aunt before he told his mother, and this has always stood between them. His father, Paul, has never talked about Linden's sexuality, or made reference to his long-term partner Sacha.
Linden's sister Talia is also troubled. The memories of the horrific car accident that left all of the other passengers dead are ever present, and she has never spoken about what happened on that dreadful night.

Interwoven between Linden's observations of his family, and the ever increasing destruction from the flood waters, are diary excerpts that detail a terrifying incident. The reader is never quite sure who is narrating these, or how they fit with the story. Not until the very end of the novel do we realise that this historical event has shaped Paul, and his life and how he treats the rest of the family.

This is an intricate and sensitive portrayal of a family who have secrets. The author cleverly and carefully paints a portrait of a happy, successful family that is overwhelmed by shadows from the past. These shadows become dimmer as Linden gradually discovers just who his parents and sibling really are; he is helped by the music of Paul's idol David Bowie, with lyrics carefully woven through the story.

The Rain Watcher is a slow burning, evocatively written story with such a vivid sense of place and beautifully crafted characters. It really is quite stunning.

Photograph © Charlotte Jolly de Rosnay
Tatiana de Rosnay, of English, French, and Russian descent, was born in 1961, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, and raised in Boston and Paris. After studying literature in England at the University of East Anglia, Tatiana worked in Paris as a reporter for Vanity FairPsychologies Magazine, and ELLE. She has published twelve novels in French and three in English including New York Times bestseller Sarah’s Key, which sold over eleven million copies worldwide, and was made into a film starring Kristin Scott Thomas in 2010. Her books have been published in 42 countries and in 2011 she was listed by Le Figaro as the fifth most-read French author worldwide.

Author page on Facebook

Monday, 11 March 2019

A Day in the Life of Author Leigh Russell @LeighRussell #ADayInTheLife #Author @noexitpress #GeraldineSteel

A Day in the Life of Author Leigh Russell

Welcome to another edition of my occasional series; 'A Day in the Life of ..' 
I've invited authors to come and talk about what their average day looks like, we are trying to get rid of the myth that all authors laze around on a sofa bed all day, dictating their books and making millions of pounds! 

I'm delighted to welcome Leigh Russell to Random Things today. Here is her Day In A Life ...

I have to confess it’s quite tricky to describe a typical day in my life, because no two days are alike.

To begin with, very little writing happens on the day of my two-year-old granddaughter’s weekly visit. Painting? Yes. Reading? Certainly. And this hot summer we spent a lot of time playing with water in the garden.
But writing? Not a chance. In addition to looking after my granddaughter, I spend one day a week visiting my father, and another at the University of Westminster as a Royal Literary Fellow helping students who struggle with their writing. All of which leaves me two or three days a week free for writing. It’s time that I certainly need, as I typically have two books published a year.

Fortunately I write very fast, typically 2,000 words a day, so completing a book in six months shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
At first glance one book would seem to take around three months’ work. But writing a book is so much more than typing out words in a coherent order.

Each book demands a great deal of thought. Eugene Ionesco wrote: “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of writing or thinking about writing.” 
Or, as Agatha Christie put it, “The best time for planning a book is when you’re doing the dishes.”
So a book written in three months might take as many years to develop, because the thinking time can be considerable.

Once I have come up with an idea, the next step is research. This can take many forms, from travelling to exotic locations - the Seychelles, Paris, Rome, New Orleans, Athens - to visiting police cells and prisons, five star hotels and homeless shelters, museums and markets, as well as consulting forensic experts and scientists, and investigating information online.
It’s important for me to have my story worked out in detail before I start my research as it can be very distracting and I am, first and foremost, a story teller. So I include very little actual procedure in my police procedural novels, which focus on character and plot rather than routine procedure.

Yet even after an idea has been worked out, the relevant research has been done, and the writing completed, the process isn’t complete, because there are still edits to work on.
I have been extremely lucky with my editors who have all been brilliant.
My Geraldine Steel series has enjoyed the benefit of one exceptional editor throughout, and I am grateful for her expert guidance. Structural edits have become less time consuming as I have grown more experienced at writing. All the same, despite having had twenty books published, I still feel as though I’m learning my trade.
At some point in my career I hope to begin to feel confident in my abilities but that hasn’t happened yet, and I wonder if it would take the edge off the thrill that fuels my writing. Fear and excitement are so closely related and I suspect complacency might dull my creativity. So perhaps I’m better off as I am, afraid that every new book will be the one that finally bombs, because this run of success can’t continue indefinitely, can it?

After the structural edits, the manuscript is passed to a copy editor. Revisions I am expected to carry out at each stage have lessened significantly since I started writing. And finally, after all that, comes the proof reading, with every change submitted to me for approval.
A series of editors and readers have eyes actively on the manuscript before it is published, but it is my name on the cover of the book. I am the story teller, and the characters are my creations. And we’re still not done. I sometimes joke that it takes longer to think of a title for a book than it does to write it.
Acknowledgements need to be written, and a dedication, and a cover chosen, although I have minimal input into the design of my books.
I am a wordsmith. Sadly my skills do not extend to anything that requires a visual imagination. And that’s it. The book is published. But in the modern world the work of an author does not begin and end with the writing process.

The buzz word in publishing is ‘discoverability’.
Anyone can write a book and post it online, but how do we draw attention to our work so that readers buy our books and enable us to earn a living from writing fiction?
Apart from a very few very rare individuals whose publishers provide the ‘hype’ to create a bestseller, authors today are expected to speak at literary festivals, visit bookshops, talk in libraries and universities and colleges, and generally make themselves available in the physical world, as well as spending time on social media in the virtual world.
With two books published a year, much of my time is spent writing posts for blog tours, and doing book tours in the physical world, to promote my latest book.

As for when I am able to stay at home and devote myself to writing, which doesn’t happen often enough for my liking, my day follows a fairly regular rare routine.
My day starts with breakfast in bed, a luxury I couldn’t enjoy when I was obliged to leave the house at an almost impossibly early hour to get to work. After that, I spend a few hours dealing with emails, and attending to social media. After a cup of coffee I am usually sufficiently awake to begin writing.

Depending on where I am in a book I might spend anything from four to twelve hours planning, researching, and writing. Sitting at a desk typing might sound easy, but it can be mentally draining, so by the evening I am usually exhausted on a writing day. If I'm not going out, I might read, or put the television on and write a blog post, like this one. Or I might just be unable to stop writing.

As an author, there is always something to do. But would I change my life as a full-time author? No way! As the late great William McIlvanney said, Writing is an inexplicable compulsion.” Once you fall in love with writing, it’s impossible to stop.

Twitter @LeighRussell

Leigh Russell's latest Geraldine Steel novel; Rogue Killer is published on 21 March by No Exit 
Follow the blog tour to read the reviews

Thursday, 7 March 2019

On My Life by Angela Clarke @TheAngelaClarke BLOG TOUR @MulhollandUK #OnMyLife

Framed. Imprisoned. Pregnant.
Jenna thought she had the perfect life: a loving fiancé, a great job, a beautiful home. Then she finds her stepdaughter murdered; her partner missing.
And the police think she did it...
Locked up to await trial, surrounded by prisoners who'd hurt her if they knew what she's accused of, certain someone close to her has framed her, Jenna knows what she needs to do:
Clear her name
Save her baby
Find the killer

On My Life by Angela Clarke is published by Mulholland Books. The ebook is out today; 7 March 2019, followed by the paperback on 11 July 2019.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take part in this Blog Tour

I've been a fan of Angela Clarke's writing since she published the first in her Social Media Murders Trilogy; Watch Me, in December 2015.

I was both excited and intrigued to learn that she'd written On My Life, a standalone novel with no trace of the characters from her series.

'I'm innocent. I didn't do it." Probably the sentences spoken most often within the criminal justice system. I've worked within the system; with young offenders and with men serving life sentences for some of the most horrific crimes and I heard these words every day of my working life.

Opening with just a few short sentences, titled 'The Start', this novel will blow your socks off. From that terrifying and startling beginning, through the cleverly structured story told in the 'then' and 'now', you will be kept guessing throughout.

Jenna had it all. She'd worked her way up from her tough council-estate childhood, with a drug addict mother who had numerous boyfriends.  Jenna met Robert through her work in PR and within months they were living together and planning their wedding. Robert's family couldn't have been further away from Jenna's. Living in the grounds of a country estate, with all the glamour and trappings that go alongside it. 

So, why is Jenna being bundled from a court room, with a crazed mob shouting and trying to grab her? Why is she being bundled into a prison van that stinks of vomit, with hand cuffs biting into her flesh?

Jenna is accused of the murder of her teenage stepdaughter Emily. Jenna was discovered, covered in Emily's blood, cradling her body, with an expensive kitchen knife laying nearby. Robert is nowhere to be found and to cap it all, images of child pornography have been found on Jenna's computer.

Angela Clarke's depiction of a women's prison is terrifyingly real. From the first impression of the grey, dour building and the stern staff with no compassion; to the indignities of using the toilet in front of some you've just met, and the constant fear of violence from fellow inmates. This is a dark and very uncomfortable read.

Jenna not only has to deal with prison life, she's also determined to prove that she is innocent. She adores Robert and Emily. Why on earth would she kill her stepdaughter, and how did those awful images get on her PC? She's convinced that she's been framed, but who by, and why?

The author's clever use of the 'then' and 'now' allows the reader to learn more about Jenna and her life, and as Jenna looks back and reflects, the reader can pick up clues that life maybe wasn't quite as perfect as it appeared for her. 

This is a startling and very realistic depiction of life behind bars. The fear and potential violence is overshadowed at times though as the author creates some very amazing and supportive relationships, especially that between Jenna and her cell mate Kelly.

With red herrings and plenty of twists and a final reveal that made me shout WHOA!, On My Life is thrilling and fast paced. Totally addictive, shocking and completely convincing. I loved it.

Angela Clarke is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Social Media Murders series. 
Her debut Follow Me was named Amazon's Rising Star Debut of the Month, longlisted for the CWA's Dagger in the Library, and shortlisted for the Good Reader Page Turner Award. 
Angela has appeared on CBS Reality's Written In Blood, on stage for BBC Edinburgh Fringe and on BBC News 24's Ouch comedy special Tales From the Misunderstood, at Noirwich, Camp Bestival, Panic! (in partnership with the Barbican, Goldsmiths University and the Guardian), at City University, at HM Prisons, and she hosts BBC 3 Counties Tales From Your Life, and the Womens' Radio Station Three Books show. 
She won the Young Stationers' Prize 2015 for achievement and promise in writing. 
A sufferer of EDS III, Angela is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into publishing. 
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Author Page on Facebook

Monday, 4 March 2019

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce @harriet_tyce BLOG TOUR @Wildfirebks @jenniferleech1 #RandomThingsTours #BloodOrange

Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise - she's just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems...
Just one more night. Then I'll end it.
Alison drinks too much. She's neglecting her family. And she's having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.
I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.
Alison's client doesn't deny that she stabbed her husband - she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.
I'm watching you. I know what you're doing.
But someone knows Alison's secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she's done, and who won't stop until she's lost everything....

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce was published by Wildfire Books on 21 February 2019. As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here today.
She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Harriet Tyce

Milly Molly Mandy Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley - the first book I read by myself from start to finish when I was around 5 (no early reader, me). I loved her and the idea that she could chop and cook onions on her own without adult supervision. I was fascinated by cooking from that point on.

The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden - a powerful indictment on bullying and racism from the perspective of a young Romany girl. This has stayed with me ever since I read it when I was 12.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein – this is probably the trilogy I reread most often. I remember the sheer terror I felt the first time I read about the Nazgul as they hunted Frodo through the Shire in The Fellowship of the Ring, and it still has the same effect now.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie – my first Agatha Christie, at the age of 11. Oh my, it terrified me. And then I couldn’t get enough of them. I may not have read every single Agatha Christie, but I’ve certainly given it my best shot.

Arabella by Georgette Heyer – this is one of the best Georgette Heyer books, but then there are so many others that I could name (These Old Shades, Devil’s Cub, Frederica…). I return to them year on year for comfort and consolation when the days are bleak.

Poetry by Philip Larkin, Louis MacNeice, Sylvia Plath and ee cumming - though there are many other poets I should include, these are the first that come to mind in terms of helping me fall in love with language.

Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin – the first of the Rebus series which I borrowed from Central Library in Edinbugh, the only police procedural series I’ve bought and read religiously each year since the start. The other two detective series I follow religiously are the Matt Scudder series by Lawrence Block and the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr.

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson – I read English Literature at university and I wanted to do a dissertation on lesbian detective fiction in 1994. Oxford was not ready for such a thing at the time, so in the end I wrote a dissertation on Clarissa, the epistolatory novel about virtue and consent that’s so long you could use it to club someone to death. This was not wasted as I referred to it in a dissertation I wrote on crime fiction when doing my Creative Writing MA a couple of years ago.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murukami – I know it would be cooler to cite one of the magical realist works such as A Wind Up Bird Chronicle or A Wild Sheep Chase, but I loved this when I read it, and I still love it. A coming of age story with a doomed love affair and a woman who brings smell and colour into the protagonist’s life – just beautiful.

Out by Natsuo Kirino – female centred and truly dark account of four women’s attempts to cover up a murder and how the situation spirals from there out of control. One of the first feminist revenge fantasies I ever read, I think of it almost every time I shower and watch the water go down the drain.

2666 by Roberto Bolaño - another lethal weapon of a book due to its heft, this epic five part novel veers from a German novelist to a series of murders of women in a Mexican city based on the real life murders in Ciudad Juárez, it has one of the greatest points of story reconciliation I’ve ever read, where all the disparate strands come together in one big moment of ‘ah’. Hugely satisfying.

In A Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes – I’ve been obsessed with this book since I read it on my MA course. Whilst written from the point of view of a male serial killer, it’s a gleeful subversion on the trope of the femme fatale, and for once, female characters are given proper agency.

Harriet Tyce - March 2019 

Praise for Blood Orange

'Shocking, addictive, dark domestic noir' SARAH PINBOROUGH
'Breathes new life into the domestic noir genre and grips until the final page' DAILY EXPRESS
'What a twist at the end!' LISA JEWELL
'Gripping' Daily Mail
'Sizzlingly addictive' Heat
'Glittering and fierce . . . a glorious bonfire of a marriage thriller' Irish Times
'A smash hit' Best
'A very impressive debut' Observer

'Complex and compelling' Clare Mackintosh

'Dark and disturbing' Louise Jensen
'A superb, compulsive read' Tess Gerritsen
'Gloriously twisted' Emma Flint

Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. 

She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before gaining legal qualifications. 

She worked as a criminal barrister for ten years, leaving after the birth of her first child. 

She completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at UEA where she wrote Blood Orange, which is her first novel.

Twitter : @harriet_tyce