Friday 31 May 2019

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt @writermels BLOG TOUR @AvonBooksUK #TickTock

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.


Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She's discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

Time's Up...

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It's only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking....

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

The number-one best seller returns with a breathtaking thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt is the second in the DS Grace Allendele series, and was published in paperback by Avon on 2 May 2019.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

I read, reviewed and really enjoyed the first in this series; Hush, Hush last November. That was my first taste of this author's writing and I've been looking forward to this next instalment for a long time.

After a fairly tumultuous introduction to her new post, outlined in the first in this series; Tick Tock finds Grace at the beginning of a murder case.
A teenage girl is murdered, in broad daylight, just yards away from her class mates. There appears to be no motive.  The community are frightened and shocked and Grace and her team need to find this murderer quickly. Then, another body is discovered, and then another .... Grace has a serial killer on her patch.

There's a real humanity to Mel Sheratt's writing. Grace Allendale has become one of my favourite characters. She's sassy and smart, yet emotionally connected to her cases, and the insights into her private life are particularly well done and add more depth to her personality.

This is a complex and cleverly woven story with a couple of red herrings dotted along the way. The author paces her story so very well, it's atmospheric and realistic with a real sense of urgency running throughout.

Tick Tock is a very worthy follow up to Hush Hush. The slow but sure development of Grace's character, and links to her estranged family add something a little bit different to this series and I'll look forward to finding out where she and her family go next.

Gripping, very well written and hugely entertaining. Recommended by me

Mel Sherratt has been a self-described "meddler of words" ever since she can remember. 

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and her terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer, with some help from her Twitter fans), and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for some of her writing.

Website :
Author Page on Facebook
Twitter @writermels
Instagram : @mel_sheratt

Thursday 30 May 2019

Second Chances for Lottie Botte by Katy Lilley BLOG TOUR @KatyLilley @BooksManatee #MyLifeInBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Unhappy, friendless and dissatisfied with life in general, Lottie Botte isn’t afraid to let people know how she really feels.

When her husband Donald comes home and drops a bombshell, Lottie realises she is about to lose everything. Now is her chance to make some changes.

Second chances don’t come along very often, and Lottie must grab her opportunity with both hands, even if it means negotiating with the mysterious hot guy who is moving into her house… 

Can Lottie become someone else - a less grotty, snotty Lottie?

Second Chances for Lottie Botte by Katy Lilley was published by Manatee Books on 23 May 2019.
As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her in My Life In Books.

My Life in Books - Katy Lilley

Hi All, Katy here, with my mishmash of a list.

I think the first book I really remember (or think I do) was called Naughty Pussy Pickpaws.
It sticks in my mind, because just before my second birthday, my mum went to help my aunt, who was expecting her 4th child. (My cousin arrived the day after my birthday.) Evidently as my aunt told me the story ad nauseam, I exclaimed at every opportunity, ‘oh dear, naughty pussy Pickpaws. I don’t remember that, but I do remember it was on my bookshelf for years. I wonder what happened to it?

The next one is from a year or so later… Mitten the Kitten… (Is it any wonder I had cats when I got older?)  The cover was to me, as a toddler, lovely, a tiny black kitten with one white paw. I can even remember the repeated refrain Mitten ‘sang’. Ready? I’m Mitten the kitten, the kitten with a mitten, I’m Mitten the Kitten ho, ho.

Fast forward a few years to the Milly, Molly Mandy stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley and then…

The books that really hooked me on reading…

Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. All of them, though my favourites were Swallows and Amazons and then Missie Lee. I wanted to be an Amazon and be ruthless. Start to sail and go around the world. I managed to go on the broads, the canals and our local reservoir!

As a more ‘mature’ (haha) person, I moved on. (Though I still have them all in hardback)

Via Beverley Cleary and Sixteen. (Very ‘hot for a sixteen year old in those days. It mentioned breasts)

Now to Robyn Donald’s Return to Yesterday. Yes it’s a romance—I like romance stories. Her description of New Zealand made me want to go there and when our daughter did her gap year in NZ we got our chance. And the lovely Robyn invited me to tea, and told me I must keep trying, and not give up. Thanks Robyn.

A cardboard book belonging to my daughter when she was first talking. It was a counting book with rhymes and she learned it by heart, turning the pages at the appropriate time. ‘One little engine puffing down the track, two little engines back to back’. Argh…

Nora Roberts, The Witness. Enough to get your heart racing in places, made me laugh and cry as well. A great story.

Any Miss Read books. Her stories, telling tales set in country villages are superb. Thrush Green (Thrush Green, Winter in Thrush Green etc about everyone and everything) and Fairacre (Village School, Village Diary etc) are reminiscent of my childhood. Evocative and although written in a way that would perhaps be frowned upon now, hold my attention from start to finish.

Any Doreen Tovey book. (Cats in the Belfry, Cats in May etc) Again set in a different era, but you are there with her and her Siamese cats. Funny, sad at times but you can so see it all. I once wrote to her and got a lovely reply.

Devil’s Bride, Stephanie Laurens. When I wrote my first book with my alter ego’s hat on, (Regency) I hadn’t read Regency for years. Then someone recommended this book and I was hooked even more on the shenanigans of Regency times. This one had a great story, fascinating, and at one point quite heart racing sub plot, and really works well to get you to go back 200 years.

I can’t single out any one book by my favourite crime writes (Mark/Juliet Hebden, Bill Knox, Gerald Hammond, Peter Turnbull so I won’t ;) Or, rom com/chick lit. What means a lot depends on the moment.

I think it shows I have a weird taste in books, but each book (or series) I’ve mentioned are important, and matter a lot.

Katy Lilley - May 2019 

The softer, sweeter side of Raven McAllan, I write romance with sass.

Ever since I made up happy ever after stories to tell to my dolls, and then to my children, I've wanted to write them. 

It just took a long while to get there

Twitter @KatyLilley

Tuesday 28 May 2019

The Book of Wonders by Julien Sandrel BLOG BLAST @JulienSandrel @QuercusBooks #BookOfWonders @MillReid11

Thelma and Louis, it's always just been the two of them, Thelma and her beloved son, Louis.
But when Louis is involved in an accident, their lives are turned upside down, as Louis falls into a coma. Feeling lost without him by her side, Thelma finds Louis' book of wonders - a bucket list of all the things he wants to accomplish in his life. She suddenly sees a way to feel close to him: she will fulfil Louis' dreams, living them out for him, in the hope that it will inspire him to survive.
Thelma is about to set off on the adventure of a lifetime... and in a way, so is Louis...
The Book of Wonders is a heart-warming and charming story about finding the joy in every moment of life and making each and every day count. Perfect for fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and A Man Called Ove.

The Book of Wonders by Julien Sandrel is published by Quercus Books on 30 May 2019 in hardback. It is translated from the French by Ros Schwartz.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take part in this Blog Blast

The Book of Wonders is a story about realisation, and about taking stock. It contains a serious and often ignored message. It will make the reader think about what is important in life and why we spend so much time on the little things, instead of celebrating and enjoying the precious.

Thelma is a single mother to teenager Louis. They get along well, but Thelma has a busy job, with a demanding boss and Louis is a typical teenager. There are times when they get cross with each other, there are times when they ignore each other.

The story begins on one such day. Thelma has forced Louis out of his bed and as they walk down the street, she answers a work call from her boss ... even though it's her day off. Louis dashes off down the street on his skateboard ... straight into the path of an oncoming lorry.

From this moment on, life changes for both Thelma and Louis. 

Louis is seriously ill in hospital and Thelma is devastated.The reader is treated to both points of view, as the author cleverly incorporates Louis' own feelings along with Thelma's reaction to the trauma.
Thelma discovers that Louis has a 'bucket list' -  his Year of Wonders - a list of the things that he is determined to achieve. Feeling helpless and lost, Thelma makes the decision to do each of these things for him, on his behalf. Thelma believes that this will urge him on to recovery, and will help her to deal with her own feelings of helplessness and anguish.

The reader accompanies Thelma on her adventures and what a varied and exciting adventure it is. The Book of Wonders is a quick and easy read, excellently translated from the French. I ripped through it in a day or so.
The author has a great way with words and whilst this story could have been overly sweet and predictable, it really isn't. Thelma is a great character, she has her flaws, but she is basically a very loving and concerned mother. 

A satisfying read and one that make you sit back and take stock of life a little bit. 

And, just in case you wanted to know!  Here's my top three bucket list items of my life:

To travel on the Orient Express
To eat in a three Michelin starred restaurant
To see Pink Floyd play live 

Julien Sandrel was born in 1980 in the south of France and is married and has two children.

The Book of Wonders is his first novel, La Chambre des Meveilles was first published in France by Calmann-Levy in March 2018.

He lives in Paris

Twitter : @JulienSandrel

Saturday 25 May 2019

Breakers by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #Breakers

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

Breakers by Doug Johnstone was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 16 May 2019. I'm delighted to share my thoughts about the book today, as part of the Blog Tour.

Quite possibly one of the more difficult reviews I've ever written. It's generally pretty easy to write about crime fiction; with the good guys and the baddies and the heinous crime at the centre. All are different, but that's the basic premise.

Not with Breakers! Oh no, Doug Johnstone has to be different, and whilst this is quite firmly a novel about crime, it's also one of the most expressive and insightful stories about modern families that I've ever read. This author just gets better and better; his ability to draw the most magnificent characters is astounding. 

We often hear about 'nature v nuture' and how much of an influence our parents and siblings have on us. The author takes that theory and really shakes it up a bit; this is not a  cliche-ridden, generation after generation dysfunctional family story at all. 

Tyler is seventeen and lives in the rough area of Edinburgh, in one of two remaining tower blocks, surrounded by building sites that will provide the dream houses for the up and coming, and with a view that includes the city hospital. He lives with his heroin addicted mother and his little sister, known as Bean.
Next door, in a flat acquired by forcing out a Syrian family live Barry and Kelly; Tyler's two older half-siblings, and their vicious, constantly barking dogs; Ant and Dec.

The family business is burglary. Breaking and entering the homes of Edinburgh's wealthy; taking whatever they can carry; selling what they can; keeping what they need. It's just their way of life; as far as they are concerned, those rich people can afford it; they have insurance; some of them don't even bother with alarms.
That's what Tyler has been taught, but he knows that it is all wrong. He's not like Barry and Kelly, he hates what they do; he hates Barry who is a cruel and violent bully. However, he has to protect Bean and if he doesn't go on the jobs, then they'll try to force her through the small windows instead. 

One night everything goes wrong. In explosive, dramatic scenes, this author relates the reality of burglary and its impact. However, this is not just any house, the owner of this particular house is going to make life for the three young burglars very very difficult. 

Sometimes Tyler breaks into empty houses just for some peace and quiet. Not to steal or be destructive; just for a chance to breathe, and be himself, away from the chaos of his family and neighbourhood. It's during one of these escapades that he meets Flick; a girl from the good side of the tracks; but underneath she's not very different to him. They are both unhappy, they both feel unloved, they both want more. Doug Johnstone gently unfolds their friendship in the most glorious of ways, giving such genuine insight into how two young people who have been nurtured in the exact opposite ways can be almost identical in nature. 

Breakers is a triumph. It's an exploration of community, family and friendship. It is dark and it is violent and it is full of grit, yet it is also warm and funny and ultimately uplifting.
An engrossing, taut tale filled with the largest of characters; some are dreadfully evil, some are an utter delight, but all of them are crafted with the highest of precision; believable and incredibly real.

I have so much admiration for this brilliant author and cannot wait to see what he comes up with next.

Doug Johnstone is an author, journalist and musician based in Edinburgh. He’s had nine novels published, most recently Fault Lines. His previous novel, The Jump, was a finalist for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. Several of his other novels have been award winners and bestsellers, and he’s had short stories published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines. His work has been praised by the likes of Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Irvine Welsh. Several of his novels have been optioned
for film and television.
Doug is also a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow. He’s worked as an RLF Fellow at Queen Margaret University, taught creative writing at Strathclyde University and William Purves Funeral Directors. He mentors and assesses manuscripts for The Literary Consultancy and regularly tutors at Moniack Mhor writing retreat. Doug has released seven albums in various bands, and is drummer, vocalist and occasional guitarist for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He also reviews books for The Big Issue magazine, is player-manager for Scotland Writers Football Club and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Friday 24 May 2019

The Women by SE Lynes @SELynesAuthor BLOG TOUR @bookoutre #TheWomen

The night she moves in with Peter, she’s so happy, so exhilarated, so in love. Later, she will remember a much smaller feeling, a tiny one percent in her gut. And she will remember pushing that feeling aside…

Samantha Frayn doesn’t know why Peter Bridges picks her – a nobody with bitten fingernails and a troubled childhood behind her – but she falls quickly. He’s older, charming, likes fine wine and French films, and his beautiful home has real art on its walls. 

Peter transforms Samantha’s life in an instant. He sees the better version of herself – the one she’s always wanted to be. It’s only normal that there’s a little friction, when she moves in, over domestic matters like where things are kept, or the proper times to eat, sleep and shower. She’s lucky to be with someone who can help her find a new job, move on from childish friends, and speak with greater sophistication.

But as Samantha notices, more and more, Peter’s temper, she starts to wonder if there might be consequences to breaking the rules of the world he has so quickly built around her.

And then she receives an anonymous note that makes her ask: is she the first woman to feel trapped by Peter? Is she being paranoid, manipulated, or could she be in danger?

You can tell the truth about your life, but someone needs to be listening. Someone needs to trust you. And someone needs to save you from the man you thought you loved.

The Women by S E Lynes was published on 20 May 2019 by Bookoutre. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take place on this Blog Tour.

I started out writing a long long review of The Women; there's so much to say and to discuss. Characters and themes to take apart and examine. Underlying themes to discover and think about.

I may have said too much though and I've now scaled this back a bit. None of you want to read a dissertation about the book, you just want to know if I like it, and if you should buy it. Well, yes ... and yes.

The story opens in  Rome, on a sweltering day, thronged with tourists. Samantha and Peter are on honeymoon with their small daughter Emily. What should be an exciting and happy time is marred by Peter's reluctance to embrace the tourist traps of the city; and the heat and the crowds. It's a great introduction and perfectly sets the scene.

The author then takes us back a couple of years and we discover how Samantha and Peter met. There's a big age-gap between them. Samantha was a fairly innocent student at University, a little in awe of her surroundings and peers, having been brought up in Yorkshire on a farm. Peter was an esteemed university lecturer; admired by women, a flashy dresser who drove around in a vintage Porsche.
When Peter actually noticed Samantha, and then took her back to his sumptuous home, she was in awe; not really believing that he could be interested in her.

Right from the beginning of their relationship, I had a very strong gut feeling about Peter. There's one sentence that he says; the morning after their first night together, when Samantha texts her room mate to let her know where she is. Alarm bells rang ... loud and strong.

The reader becomes the third person in their relationship as we join them when Samantha moves in with him, and then has a baby. We are there when Peter arranges for Samantha to teach a Creative Writing class, and when she discovers the frightening and mystifying notes in her paperwork. Notes that imply that Peter may not be everything that he claims to be. 

The Women is a complex and intelligently woven story by an author who gets right under the skin of her readers. The characters and the plot lingered in my head for days after I finished reading it. 
The development of Peter's character is carefully done; such an insidious person; a man who has spent a lifetime gradually and carefully causing hurt.
Samantha is naive and in love with the thought of being in love. However, she's bright and sparky an despite her initial eagerness to please, she does question her life.

Dramatic and thrilling with an explosive and extremely clever ending, I was gripped by this clever, nuanced psychological thriller. Superb and highly recommended by me.

Amazon best selling author of 'intelligent and haunting' psychological thrillers VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL. THE WOMEN out for pre-order NOW. 

S E Lynes is a writer, tutor and mentor. Formerly a BBC producer, she has lived in France, Spain, Scotland, Italy, and now lives in Greater London with her husband, three kids and her dog, Lola. 

After the birth of her third child, she completed an MA in creative writing from Kingston University. Her critically acclaimed debut, VALENTINA, was published by Blackbird Digital Books in July 2016. Her second novel, MOTHER was published by Bookouture in 2017, followed by THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL in 2018. In August 2018, VALENTINA was published in a new edition by Bookouture. 

Susie Lynes has also published two children's books in Italy: Il Leopardo Lampo and La Coccodrilla Ingamba, both available at

Find her on:
Facebook S E Lynes Author
Twitter @SELynesAuthor

Thursday 23 May 2019

Little Big Love by Katy Regan @katyreganwrites #LittleBigLove @panmacmillan @MantleBooks

Liam Jones is the love of Juliet’s life. He was her brother’s best friend first, then hers, then the father of her son. In those shining weeks after Zac was born, she’d never been happier, and neither had Liam.
Until the night he disappeared without a trace.
Zac is now ten, and collects facts: octopuses have three hearts; the world’s heaviest man weighed over 100 stone; only three species of animal have a blue tongue. The one piece of information he really wants, though, is the truth about why his father left.
His family refuse to talk about that night but when Juliet inadvertently admits to him Liam is the only man she's ever loved, Zac decides to find him and give his mum a second chance at happy ever after.
After all, nothing can stand in the way of true love . . . Or can it?

Little Big Love by Katy Regan was previously published in hardback on 19 April 2018 as 'Little Big Man' 

The paperback edition was published on 18 April 2019 by Pan Macmillan / Mantle Books.

This was one of my top books of last year, it's absolutely stunning. I reviewed it for the Daily Express and also here on Random Things and I'm delighted to re-share my review to tie in with the paperback publication.

Ten-year-old Zac lives on a council estate in Grimsby with his single mother Juliet. He has never met his father Liam but Juliet, his nan and grandad have always told him that Liam was uncaring, selfish and that he scarpered before Zac was born.
But one night Juliet goes out on a disastrous date, has too much to drink and when she gets home she reveals to Zac that Liam is the only man she has ever loved.
This is enough to convince Zac that he must track Liam down and bring his parents back together. Along with his best friend Teagan, Zac formulates a plan, little realising that he hasn’t been told the full story.
The real strength of Little Big Man is Katy Regan’s ability to create such convincing and endearing characters.
The setting of a grim council estate in a town devastated by the decline of the fishing industry is gritty and dark yet this is balanced by warm humour and a sense of community binding the characters together.
Regan brilliantly portrays Juliet’s struggles as a single mother whose dreams were shattered by an unexpected pregnancy, the death of her beloved brother, the disappearance of her partner and the impact of these events on her parents.
There is also a heartbreaking poignancy and bravery to Zac’s struggles with bullies in school and his desperation to find his father.
Little Big Love is a compelling, provocative and astute story of families and long-hidden secrets

Katy Regan was born in 1974 and brought up in the northern seaside town of Morecambe. She went on to study English and French at Leeds University where she became features editor of the student newspaper before moving to London. 
She wrote for various magazines and newspapers before becoming Commissioning Editor at Marie Claire magazine. 
Katy’s first novel, One Thing Led to Another, was published in 2009 and her second, The One Before the One, in November 2010. 2013 saw the publication of How We Met, closely followed by The Story of Youin 2014. 
Little Big Man is her fifth and newest novel. Katy, who has one son, now lives in Hertfordshire.

Follow her on Twitter @katyreganwrites 

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Sleep by C L Taylor @callytaylor BLOG TOUR @AvonBooksUK #daretosleep @Sabah_K

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…
To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret, but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they're on the island. There's a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they've set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.

Sleep by C L Taylor was published in hardback by Avon Books on 4 April 2019. My thanks to the publisher who sent my proof copy for review and invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

It feels as though I've been reading CL Taylor's books for a very long time, it's actually only five years though; since she released her first book The Accident, in 2014.

It's now a yearly event; the anticipation of looking forward to her next book and knowing that you are in for a damn good read. Sleep doesn't disappoint; it's a pretty meaty book at almost 400 pages in the hardback, but it returns the reader to this authors trademark twisty, dark writing with a bang.

I do love a good prologue, and who could fail to be hooked by a prologue letter? Especially when it begins with 'if you are reading this, I am dead' ..... OK, so it's been done before, but nevertheless, it's a fabulous hook.

Lead character Anna is a complex individual. The story begins as she's driving home from a work event, with three male colleagues in her car. In a matter of seconds, two of the men are dead and one crippled for life. Whilst the accident was clearly not Anna's fault, and the lorry driver who hit them is prosecuted; Anna'a life begins to crumble as soon as she wakes in the hospital.

She's convinced that she's being followed and finds various terrifying messages, telling her to 'sleep'. The strain of dealing with this impacts heavily on an already fractured relationship with her boyfriend, and before long Anna has decided that she needs to leave everything behind and make a new start.

She really couldn't get much further away! She takes a job in the only hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, working for the owner, David.
When a group of guests on a walking party arrive, and then a storm, Anna quickly begins to realise that maybe she hasn't left her past behind her at all. Those 'sleep' messages were not confined to home and it's clear that she's been followed.

Littered with red herrings and twists galore, this is a great take on the locked-house mystery style of story with a cast of characters headed by the enigmatic and sometimes a little odd, Anna.
The author excels in creating a claustrophobic and chilling atmosphere within the house, although I would have loved a little more of a Scottish feel to the environment.

Sleep is gripping and although it's a large book, it's a quick read as it's difficult to stop yourself from racing through it, greedily turning the pages to see if you've guessed correctly. I invariably hadn't!

Chilling and deliciously creepy. Recommended by me!

C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of six gripping psychological thrillers. They are not a series and can be read in any order:

2015 - THE LIE

2018 - THE FEAR
2019 - SLEEP

She has also written a Young Adult thriller, THE TREATMENT, which was published by HarperCollins HQ and is currently writing her second, which will be published in June 2020.

C.L. Taylor's books have sold in excess of a million copies, been number one on Amazon Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play and have been translated into over 25 languages and optioned for TV. THE ESCAPE won the Dead Good Books 'Hidden Depths' award for the Most Unreliable Narrator. THE FEAR was shortlisted in the Hearst Big Book Awards in the 'Pageturner' category.

Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014. She lives in Bristol with her partner and young son.

Sign up to join the CL Taylor Book Club for access to news, updates and information that isn't available on the web, as well as exclusive newsletter-only competitions and giveaways and the books that CL Taylor thinks will be the next big thing. You will also receive THE LODGER for free when you sign up:

Because Of You by Helene Fermont @helenefermont BLOG TOUR @BOTBSPublicity #BecauseOfYou

When Hannah and Ben meet at a friend's party, he knows she's The One. But Hannah's in an intense relationship with Mark and planning to return to her native Sweden to embark on a teaching career.

Desperate to make Ben fall in love with her, rich spoilt heiress Vanessa sets in motion a devious string of events that ultimately changes the course of four people's lives indefinitely.

Hannah is the love of Ben's life, yet Vanessa will stop at nothing to claim the man she is convinced is her destiny.

Because of You is a dark, morally complex and cross-generational story of enduring love, fate and destiny.

I'm delighted to join the Blog Tour for Because Of You by Helene Fermont today which was organised by Sarah from  Book On The Bright Side Publicity.

I'm sharing an extract from the book for you all to enjoy

Arriving at the Primrose Hill venue at 8:00pm on the last Saturday in September, Hannah arranged with the cab driver to pick her up at midnight. Wearing a blue sequinned dress accentuating her figure and small waist, she stepped out of the car, carrying a bouquet of flowers and Belgian truffles. As she entered the foyer of the large premises to be surrounded by strangers, she heard someone call her name.
“You must be Hannah, Mel’s friend?”
Turning to see who it was, she found herself gazing into the friendliest pair of blue eyes.
“My name’s Matthew Jacobs – Mel’s fiancé and associate – I’m pleased we finally get to meet.” With his tall, athletic build, short brown hair and big smile, it was easy to understand why Melanie had fallen in love with him.
“Mel’s instructed I take extra good care of you! She’s busy with all the guests.” Taking her arm, he proceeded to introduce her to groups of people, all curious to know what it was like to live in Sweden. A passing waiter offering sparkling champagne. Discreetly watching her take a sip, Matthew agreed with his fiancée.
She was completely oblivious of her own beauty and of everyone staring at her, the red hair reminiscent of a rich burgundy wine.
Engaging in small talk, Hannah asked if he minded Melanie having a career.
“Not at all. I want her to be happy, she’s the woman I love.”
Just then, they were interrupted.
“Hannah! Just look at you. That dress is simply divine.”
Embracing one another, Melanie exclaimed, “I’m so happy you’re here!”
“Your fiancé’s been very nice to me. Congratulations on turning twenty-five and getting engaged!” Hannah handed her the flowers and chocolates.
“How wonderfully decadent! Sweets aren’t good for the figure . . . What the heck, it’s not every day one gets the opportunity to celebrate!”
“You’ve nothing to worry about – I’ve never seen you as gorgeous as you look tonight.” Radiant in a red gown, with matching lips and nails, Melanie wore her hair in a sleek pageboy cut, emphasising her dark blue eyes.
Steering Hannah towards the back, she put an arm around her.
“What do you think?”
“Wow! I never saw anything like it!” Hannah gasped at the sight of pink tablecloths on the buffet, candles and roses.
“There’s someone I want you to meet . . .” Walking arm in arm in the direction of a small group of people talking amongst themselves, Melanie made a formal introduction. “This is the girl I’ve been
telling you about. Hannah Stein – Benjamin Isaacs. Ben’s my oldest friend, Hannah’s over on a gap year, staying with an adorable lady in Golders Green.”
His eyes glued on the pretty woman in front of him, Ben replied, “Mel’s been singing your praises, Miss Stein. Now I know the reason.”
Eyes locking, both felt an instant chemistry, quite unlike anything they’d experienced before. Tall, dark and handsome, Ben bore an uncanny resemblance to Sean Connery, each muscular with dimples in their cheeks. What attracted her most was his impeccable accent, deep voice and big brown eyes, seemingly looking behind the exterior into her soul.
From a distance Hannah heard Melanie say, “I’ll leave you to it, you’re bound to have plenty to talk about. . .”
“I’m honoured to sit next to you, Miss Stein.” Flattered that he’d pulled out a chair for her to sit, Hannah felt his eyes on her.
Overwhelmed by her presence, beauty and charm, Ben was acutely conscious of the fact he’d never met anyone like her; the fiery red hair, delicate features and emerald green eyes.
Dinner consisted of melon with port, rack of lamb and sorbet with almond biscuits; everything tasting delicious. Ben entertained Hannah with stories of the time he and Melanie were enrolled at nursery, while Hannah told him about her country, silently comparing his interest in everything she told him to Mark, who rarely listened to anything she had to say.
After dinner there were birthday speeches, including one from Ben, who told everyone how fortunate he was to have such a caring, loyal friend in Melanie.
“She’s a lousy loser, though. I lost track of all the times I let her beat me at a game,” he teased, raising his glass in a toast to her and Matthew, before returning to his seat.
Touched by his words, Melanie blew him a kiss across the table. They’d celebrated her and Matthew’s engagement at her parents’ house the previous weekend. At twenty-seven, Ben was the brother she had never had.
Turning his attention to Hannah, Ben asked, “Are you planning on leaving in the near future?”

Hélene Fermont writes character-driven psychological crime fiction with a Scandi Noir flavour. 

Known for her explosive, pacy narrative and storylines, she has published three novels - Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret - and two short story collections - The Love of Her Life and Who's Sorry Now? Her fourth novel is due for release in the summer of 2019. 

After 20 years in London, Hélene recently returned to her native Sweden where she finds the unspoiled scenery and tranquillity a therapeutic boost for creativity. 

Enjoying a successful career as a Psychologist, when she's not working her 'day job', Hélene spends her time writing, with friends and family, or playing with her beloved cat, Teddy.

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