Wednesday 31 July 2019

Life Ruins by Danuta Kot @DanutaJR BLOG TOUR #LifeRuins @simonschusteruk #Giveaway #Win #RandomThingsTours

This is Broadchurch meets The Missing – hard-hitting, pacey and with modern social issues at its heart.

In a small northern town, girls are disappearing.
You won’t see it in the papers and the police aren’t taking any notice, but the clues are there if you know where to look.

Becca sees that something is wrong, but she’s been labelled ‘difficult’ thanks to her troubled past. So when a girl is so savagely beaten she can’t be identified, and Becca claims she knows who she is, no one will believe her.

With the police refusing to listen, Becca digs for evidence that will prove what she is saying. But her search for justice will put herself and those closest to her in danger – and once she finds the truth, will anyone even listen?

Life Ruins by Danuta Kot was published in hardback by Simon and Schuster in February this year, the paperback edition was published on 25 July 2019.
As part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour today, I'm delighted to offer the chance to win a hardback copy of Life Ruins.
Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.  UK Entries only please.


Praise for Life Ruins

'A powerful, thought-provoking story, which perfectly evokes the bleak Yorkshire landscape . . . a vital read for any crime fan'  Kate Rhodes, author of Ruin Beach

‘One crime thriller that mustn't be missed’ Amazon reader

'Life Ruins has all the elements I love in a novel – complex characters, an insidious underlying menace, and haunting landscapes. This dark story will suck you in from the first page' Stephen Booth, author of Fall Down Dead

‘Poignant about the lives of people who struggle against grief, loneliness, abuse or hardship in their lives . . . A terrifically good read’ Amazon reader

'Explores real issues, from the perspective of real, damaged people, and told with a real warmth and understanding. Danuta Kot raises the bar for all crime writers' Michael Jecks, author of Pilgrim's War

‘A real belter of a book. There isn't a minute to catch your breath. Tension, suspense, mystery, it's almost supernatural. Highly recommended’ Amazon reader

One Hardback Copy of Life Ruins by Danuta Kot

Danuta Kot grew up with stories. 
Her Irish mother and her Polish father kept their own cultures alive with traditional tales they shared with their children. 
For many years, she worked with young people in Yorkshire who were growing up in the aftermath of sudden industrial decline. 
She uses this background in her books to explore some of the issues that confront modern, urban society: poverty, alienation and social breakdown, using the contexts of the modern crime novel. She now works as a senior education consultant, work that involves travel to establish education and training in other parts of the world. 
She is a regular academic speaker at conferences and literary festivals, and has appeared on radio and television.

Website :
Twitter : @DanutaJR

Tuesday 30 July 2019

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena @sharilapena BLOG TOUR @TransworldBooks #SomeoneYouKnow #RandomThingsTours

It can be hard keeping secrets in a tight-knit neighbourhood.

In a tranquil, leafy suburb of ordinary streets – one where everyone is polite and friendly – an anonymous note has been left at some of the houses.

‘I’m so sorry. My son has been getting into people’s houses. He’s broken into yours.’

Who is this boy, and what might he have uncovered? As whispers start to circulate, suspicion mounts.

And when a missing local woman is found murdered, the tension reaches breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they’re telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their secrets?

Maybe you don’t know your neighbour as well as you thought you did . . .

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena was published on 25 July 2019 by Bantam Press / Transworld. Huge thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour

Someone We Know is a wonderfully traditional murder mystery, with many twists. Shari Lapena, once again, has created a setting, and a cast of characters who totally draw in the reader. For me, her greatest strength is her ability to construct such multi-layered characters who never cease to surprise me.
The murder of a local woman is at the heart of the story, yet it is the amazing character development and delicious sense of place; almost claustrophobic and incredibly atmospheric that really won me over.

Lead character Olivia is a regular American Mom. Until the day that she finds out that her teenage son Raleigh has been breaking into houses in the neighbourhood. He's not a thief, he hasn't taken anything. He's a hacker; breaking into personal computer systems, snooping around and sending the odd spoof email from his victim's accounts.
Olivia is horrified and decides she must try to apologise for her son, but wants to keep him out of trouble. She writes an anonymous note to the two victims that she knows of; apologising and explaining what happened.

Amanda Pierce is found dead. In the boot of her car, submerged in water. She's been brutally battered around the head. It just so happens that Amanda and her husband Robert were one of Raleigh's targets, and Olivia's apology note could just be the thing that really tears the neighbourhood apart.

As the police try to find out more about Amanda, the reader is treated to a serious of hidden secrets and scandals that prove that we never do quite know 'someone you know'. We can live among a group of people; socialise with them; become friends, but there will always be things that we don't know, and in the case of this neighbourhood, we wouldn't even imagine.

Compulsive and clever, I cannot fault anything about this book. Tense and gripping, this is the ultimate page turner. I loved it!

 Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before writing fiction.
Her debut thriller, The Couple Next Door, was a global bestseller, the bestselling fiction title in the UK in 2017 and has been optioned for television.
Her second thriller, A Stranger In The House, and third, An Unwanted Guest, were both Sunday Times and New York Times bestsellers.
This is her fourth thriller

Twitter @sharilapena
Facebook /ShariLapena


Saturday 27 July 2019

The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds @amandareynoldsj @Wildfirebks BLOG TOUR #TheHiddenWife #RandomThingsTours

Every marriage has its problems.
But would Julia Blake really have just walked out of hers, leaving no trace?
Max Blake knows more about his wife's disappearance than he's letting on.
That's what the police think anyway. But with no body, the case is growing cold...
One young journalist thinks she can find out the truth.
But the more time she spends with Max at the couple's remote estate, the higher the risk to her own safety. And whatever happened to Julia Blake may be her fate next...

The Hidden Wife by Amanda Reynolds was published in paperback on 25 July 2019 by Wildfire. I'm delighted to share my thoughts about the book here today as part of the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

I was absolutely captivated by the Hidden Wife from page one. It has everything that I want from a psychological thriller; there's the big house setting, the mysterious disappeared wife and the creepy husband.  

I was totally committed to the character of Seren; the young newspaper journalist who is totally bored at work, until the day she gets an interview with Max Blake. Blake is not only a successful and famous author, he's also well known because his beautiful, younger wife Julia disappeared some months ago.

Max is a brilliantly imagined character; he's become reclusive, but is he reliable? I absolutely love a questionable character and the author shows great skill when creating the most fabulous of cast here.

Touching on more serious issues at times, and questioning the honesty of the characters at all times, The Hidden Wife is at times quite chilling and dark; there's an atmosphere of sharp tension that never quite leaves the reader.

Absorbing and totally gripping, the twists and turns keep on coming. It's a breathless read and recommended by me.

Amanda Reynolds is the ebook-bestselling author of three psychological thrillers that take inspiration from the stunning and atmospheric countryside and villages that surround her in the Cotswolds.

Her debut novel, Close To Me, published in 2017, followed by Lying To You in 2018. The Hidden Wife is her third book, published in July 2019. 

Her books have been translated into many languages for publication worldwide, including US, Poland, France, Italy, Russia, Brazil and China. 

In 2011 she set up Cotswold Creative Writing, teaching two writing classes per week for five years. 

She now writes full-time and teaches one-off writing workshops as well as offering mentoring to debut authors. She has also had a number of short stories published in national magazines.

Thursday 25 July 2019

The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings @MandaJJennings @HQstories #PublicationDay #Giveaway #Win #Competition

Some friendships are made to be broken
Cornwall, summer of 1986.
The Davenports, with their fast cars and glamorous clothes, living the dream in a breathtaking house overlooking the sea.
If only… thinks sixteen-year-old Tamsyn, her binoculars trained on the perfect family in their perfect home.
If only her life was as perfect as theirs.
If only Edie Davenport would be her friend.
If only she lived at The Cliff House…
Amanda Jennings weaves a haunting tale of obsession, loss and longing, set against the brooding North Cornish coastline, destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.

Happy Publication Day to Amanda Jennings!  The paperback version of The Cliff House is out today from HQ Stories

To celebrate, I have one paperback copy to give away to one blog reader.  Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.  UK Entries only please.   Good Luck!

Here's a re-cap of my review of The Cliff House, previously published here on Random Things in April last year:

"Once more, Amanda Jennings has set her story in Cornwall, and whilst her characters are perfectly formed, it is the house itself that steals the limelight. The Cliff House is a dark, alluring magnet to lead character Tamsyn. It's the place that she went to with her beloved Dad, just before he died.
Tamsyn is drawn back to the house, time and again. It's not only the building that entrances her, it's the occupants too; the Davenport family, up from London and exuding glamour and wealth; a million miles away from Tamsyn's quiet and lonely life in the small Cornish town that she's never left.

The Cliff House is set in the 1980s, it has a distinct feel of the 50s, despite the modern references; there's an air about this story, and the setting that feels beautifully nostalgic, almost as though the real world has crept on and left the occupants of The Cliff House behind.

Tamsyn yearns to be part of the Davenport's life. She doesn't see the danger, or the darkness and unhappiness that is evident to the reader; she sees champagne, and steak, and glittery parties. There's an innocent vulnerability to Tamsyn that is exploited, in different ways, by each member of the Davenport family. Young Edie Davenport is a victim, although she appears confident and brash on the outside. Her heart is heavy with sadness and feelings of abandonment and betrayal.

With a dangerous obsession at its heart, 
The Cliff House is a coming-of-age story with a haunting and dark difference. This author excels at creating atmosphere, and mystery and the reader is always just one step behind her clever plotting. There are shocks and unexpected twists galore, but this is not a fast-paced drama, it's a gentle untangling of lives and secrets. 

The reader becomes totally immersed in this story, it's an impressive and captivating tale, oozing with beautiful words. A fabulous read, I loved it."


Absorbingly atmospheric … beautiful and sinister.’ The Times

‘With a page-turning plot, brilliant sense of place and beautifully-drawn characters The Cliff House deserves to be one of the biggest hits of the summer.’ Cass Green

‘A very special and utterly unforgettable tale of obsession, desire, grief and deceit – read it.’ Heat
‘Haunting and evocative.’ Clare Mackintosh

‘Immensely atmospheric, with vividly drawn characters and a set-up fraught with tension.’ Lucy Atkins

Addictive and utterly compelling … a clever, thoughtful and page-turning novel.’ Hannah Beckerman

One Paperback copy of The Cliff House by Amanda Jennings

Amanda Jennings lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, three daughters, and a menagerie of animals. She studied History of Art at Cambridge and before writing her first book, was a researcher at the BBC. With a deep fascination on the far-reaching effects of trauma, her books focus on the different ways people find to cope with loss, as well as the moral struggles her protagonists face. When she isn't writing she can usually be found walking the dog. Her favourite place to be is up a mountain or beside the sea.

Find out more at
Follow her on Twitter @MandaJJennings

Wednesday 24 July 2019

The Swap by Fiona Mitchell @FionaMoMitchell #TheSwap @HodderBooks #HolidayReads

Two women. Two children. But whose is whose?

When two strangers, Tess and Annie, undergo IVF at an American clinic, their embryos are mixed up and each woman gives birth to the wrong child.
The women only discover the devastating error three years later. Tess wants to swap the children back; Annie doesn't. As the pair wrangle, neither of them expect what unfolds.

The Swap by Fiona Mitchell was published in hardback by Hodder Books on 18 April 2019, the paperback edition will be published on 19 September 2019 here in the UK.

I read this book whilst on holiday in Corfu at the beginning of June and enjoyed every page of it. The concept is intriguing and it's really well executed.
I'm often wary of plot lines that involve the mother/child relationship as I don't have children and quite often I find it difficult to put myself in a similar situation. I'm not a hard, heartless person, but it can be a barrier to my enjoyment of a novel.
However, I am a daughter, I do have a mother, so I know that incredible, no holds-barred love that mothers exude. I know that regardless of how many mistakes I make, my mother will still be there, still loving me, still protecting me, even in my 50s.

The Swap revolves around two very different families.
Tess and her family live in England, her youngest son Frankie was conceived by IVF, and whilst Tess does love Frankie, she finds it very difficult to like him. She was desperate for a daughter to complete her family, and Frankie is not like her other sons. He looks different, his behaviour is challenging; she finds it so difficult to bond with him.

Annie and her family are based in the US. A small, but perfectly happy family of three. Her daughter Willow is also an IVF baby; conceived in the same clinic as Frankie. Willow is everything that Annie dreamt of; the perfect beautiful daughter that she longed for.

Tess and Frankie are involved in a car accident, and whilst neither of them are badly injured, this accident will transform their lives forever. Blood tests reveal that it is impossible for Frankie to be their son. Whilst this news is devastating; it also means that Tess can look for her real child.
When Annie receives a letter from the clinic to inform her that there was a dreadful mistake made, and that Willow is not her daughter, she goes into denial. There is no way that Annie is letting Willow go, as far as she is concerned, she is every bit her daughter.

What follows is a complex story that follows the almost impossible dilemma faced by these two women, and their partners. The author writes so sensitively, taking into account the differences in circumstances of the families and their totally opposite opinions.

The searing anguish experienced by the characters in The Swap is so very well portrayed, and I found myself questioning the characters, and myself at many times throughout the story.

This is powerful stuff, excellently written, with characters who are lifelike and credible. I enjoyed this so much and look forward to more from this author in the future.

Fiona Mitchell's second novel, The Swap, published by Hodder & Stoughton, looks at what happens when two women who undergo IVF are implanted with the wrong embryos, but only find out three years later.

Her first novel, The Maid's Room, focuses on modern-day servitude in Singapore. It has won many plaudits from newspapers and magazines including Heat who called it 'genuinely excellent.'

A former journalist, Fiona also writes short stories for which she has won various awards. 

She blogs at You can also find her on Twitter @FionaMoMitchell

Sunday 21 July 2019

Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale @emilyharvale BLOG TOUR @rararesources #Giveaway #Win

Everyone’s got a secret wish in Little Pondale this summer.

Mia’s been exceptionally lucky since moving to Lily Pond Lane. But even on her honeymoon with the man of her dreams, she still has one remaining wish.

Ella wishes Gill would propose. But since Mia’s wedding something’s changed in their relationship. Now he’s spending time with newcomer, Tabbie Talbaine, Ella wishes Tabbie will leave as quickly as she arrived.

Tabbie wishes she hadn’t driven her car into a pond. But it could be the best thing that’s ever happened to her. When she discovers Hollywood heartthrob, Justin Lake’s staying in the village, getting an interview for her popular blog isn’t her only wish.

Bree was told she couldn't have a baby. Now she’s expecting twins and is simply wishing it all goes well.

And as for Hettie ... she wishes she could get her hands on an old map of the village. Because there’s something hidden in Little Pondale that Hettie Turner really wants to find.

Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale was published on 24 June 2019.
I'm delighted to feature the book and the author on Random Things today, as part of the Blog Tour organised by Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources

There is a chance for you to win a signed paperback of Secret Wishes and Summer Kisses, a pen, novelty sticky notes and a bookmark. The competition is open internationally.

Entry is simple; just fill out the competition widget at the end of this post.


*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Why not check out this interactive map of Little Pondale; the setting for the novel?

Enter the Competion here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing... and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She's an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, "I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings." When she isn't writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies - and will do anything to avoid both.