Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Anything for Her by Jack Jordan


         Formats available: Paperback and ebook (Kindle/iBooks/Kobo/Nook +more)
         Paperback: 334 pages
         Date Published: 11/06/2015
         Language: English
         Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery

Amazon listing:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Anything-Her-Jack-Jordan/dp/1512205087/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435585466&sr=8-1&keywords=anything+for+her+jack+jordan

Many thanks to the Author for contacting me  to offer me a copy for review purposes.

Sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.  
Louise Leighton’s life has fallen apart, all because of one fateful night. Her husband is an adulterer, her sister is his mistress, and soon, Louise will lose everything she owns. But she never imagined she would lose her daughter.  

Eighteen-year-old Brooke Leighton is missing. It’s up to Louise and the Metropolitan Police to find her. Has Brooke run away? Or has she been taken against her will? And can Louise aid the investigation without mentioning the night where all of her troubles began? 

If she mentions that night, she will incriminate her daughter for heinous crimes. But if she doesn’t, she may never find Brooke; and if she has been abducted, the person who took her may come for Louise, too.  

Sometimes the past comes back to kill you.

My Thoughts:

In all honesty I did not know what to expect as I would think that this is on of the few self published books that I have read. Something about the cover design and the synopsis just drew me in and I just had to find out more.

I can say that this is a thriller of an extremely high standard. It had me hooked from page one. It was taut with a pace that just didn't taper off for a second. 

This is clever and skillful writing and the plot is weaved together intricately. As the events of the night the changed Louise's life slowly come to light bit by bit, we are given small glimpses at first and then it all starts to unravel almost at the same rate at Louise's emotions.

There is just enough mystery to keep the reader guessing and engaged to find out what happens and a few red herrings in there to throw you off the scent.

The author has created some despicable characters, but characters that jump off of the page for all of their nuances. I could feel myself feeling sorry for Louise's Son Dominic, an innocent and young bystander drawn into the cruelty of the adults. 

The ending of this book is superb and although I thought I had an idea where it was going, it went that little bit further than I had bargained for. To say more will spoil it for others. If you want to know more then you are just going to have to buy it and read it.

Highly recommended and Jack Jordan is certainly a writer to watch out for.



About the Author:
Jack is an introvert disguised as an introvert, an intelligent person who can say very unintelligent things, and a self-confessed bibliomaniac with more books than sense. He has been writing for over five years now, and is so excited to have finally published his debut novel. He also works in the health and social care industry, supporting people with learning and physical disabilities, which he says is such an emotionally rewarding job. He has been in the industry for over two years, and cherishes every moment of it.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

***BLOG TOUR INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff***


 
I am delighted to welcome you to the Cold Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff Blog Tour. Many thanks to the author for inviting me to take part and also for sending me the first book in the series and getting me absolutely hooked in.


Synopsis:


The hunt for mass murderer Cara Lindstrom is over. FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke has been working for this moment: the capture of a killer who savagely hunts the worst of humanity. But Roarke remains traumatized by his own near-death at the hands of the serial killer who slaughtered Cara’s family…and haunted by the enigmatic woman who saved his life.

Then the sixteen-year-old prostitute who witnessed Cara’s most recent murder goes missing, and suddenly pimps are turning up dead on the streets of San Francisco, killed with an MO eerily similar to Cara’s handiwork.

Is a new killer on the loose with a mission even more deadly than hers? In the pulse-pounding third Huntress/FBI Thrillers book, Roarke will have to go on the hunt…and every woman he meets, even those closest to him, may prove deadly.

My Thoughts:

So far I have read the first book in the series Huntress Moon. I am now totally addicted. I found the plot plausible, the pace of the writing fantastic and couldn't wait to keep turning the next page to find out what else would happen.

I finished the book at such a fast rate as I couldn't wait to read just one more page. It also left me with much to think about. A female serial killer is not something that happens so much in literature. I wonder why that is? 

The characters are all well drawn and it was interesting to gradually find out more of their backgrounds. I never thought I would have empathy for a killer but this book and the characters get under your skin. It is clever and I really love the psychological elements. 

I will be reading this series in the entirety and devouring it all, it is highly recommended that you do to. 

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Alexandra to the blog today and to thank her for spending time answering my questions. 



Author Interview:





1)      Where is your favourite place to write and is there any particular time that works better for you?



Weirdly, my favourite place to write is on planes, which is useful because I spend so much time in them – I’m American and my partner, the crime author Craig Robertson, is Scottish, and we live in both California and Scotland, so yeah, a lot of flying! I can get about three times more writing done in a day when I’m on a plane. I’m a full-time writer so I write most of the day, but the mornings are definitely best for me—I love starting to write before I’m really awake, so I can get that dreamlike quality onto the page. 



2)      Where did the idea for the series come from, and could you tell us why you chose to have a female serial killer?



The idea came to me at the San Francisco Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. One afternoon there were two back-to-back discussions with several of my favorite authors: Val McDermid interviewing Denise Mina, then Robert Crais interviewing Lee Child.



There was a lot of priceless stuff in those two hours, but two things that really struck me from the McDermid/Mina chat were Val saying that crime fiction is the best way to explore societal issues, and Denise saying that she finds powerful inspiration in writing about what makes her angry.

Write about what makes you angry? It doesn't take me a millisecond's thought to make my list. Child sexual abuse is the top, no contest. Violence against women and children. Discrimination of any kind. Religious intolerance. War crimes. Genocide. Torture.

That anger has fueled a lot of my books and scripts over the years.

And then right after that, there was Lee Child talking about Reacher, one of my favorite fictional characters, and it got me thinking about what it would look like if a woman were doing what Reacher was doing. And that was it—instantly I had the whole story of Huntress Moon.

Of course it didn’t really come all in a flash! I've been brooding about all this for decades, now. I've always thought that as writers we're only working with a handful of themes, which we explore over and over, in different variations. And I think it's really useful to be very conscious of those themes. Not only do they fuel our writing, they also brand us as writers. With the Huntress series I finally have an umbrella to explore, dramatically, over multiple books, the roots and context of the worst crimes I know. And at least on paper, do something about it.


3)      Are there any Characters that you would like to develop further in future, or a particular theme you would like to write about?

Most of the characters in the Huntress series are going to be coming back again in books 4 and 5, but I can’t say anything more about that without spoilers! In general, a constant theme with me seems to be putting a man and a woman together to solve a crime or crimes from vastly different perspectives. I’m fascinated with that alchemy, and the sexual tension it can create.


4)      Are you currently writing anything else?

I’m working on Book 4 of the Huntress series, Wolf Moon. Every one of these books has been harder than the last, because I feel like I have to keep upping the ante, and it’s the same with this one — it’s got a dual time line and I’m tearing my hair out over it.  

I’m also developing a new crime series set half in Scotland and half in Los Angeles. As they say “Write what you know.”  J  But I think that people on both sides of the Atlantic would be interested in learning more about the other side, and Scotland definitely has some interesting crime going on.


5)      Which Writers inspire you?

Well, besides the ones I talked about above! Ever since I was – well, way too young to be reading this kind of thing – I have loved Shirley Jackson, Mary Shelley, Daphne DuMaurier, the Bronte sisters, Anne Rice, and the lesser known but absolutely revolutionary Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who in The Yellow Wallpaper turned post-partum depression into a descent into hell that I personally may never recover from. These are authors who write deeply psychological suspense from a distinctly feminine point of view, and who write about evil so encompassing it’s almost supernatural. These days Mo Hayder and Tana French are doing that, as well as McDermid and Mina.


6)      Which book would you most likely give as a gift or recommend to other people?

The book I do give people quite frequently is The Gift of Fear. It’s a non-fiction book by security consultant to the stars Gavin deBecker that provides fascinating accounts of ordinary people’s lifesaving perceptions. I recommend it to my writing classes and to aspiring writers who want to write suspense, and I think it’s essential self-defense knowledge for all women and girls. And boys.

7)      Could you share with us something that other people don’t necessarily know about you?

What always springs to mind when people ask this is: I’m a licensed minister in California. I got a license when two friends wanted me to officiate at their wedding, and then people kept asking me. And all the couples I’ve married are still together!

8)      If you could have written any book from the past, which would it be?

Wow, that is a really good question. I think I would say The Haunting of Hill House, not just because I love that book but because I would like to know what it was like to be Shirley Jackson. Such a brilliant mind and such an interesting life. But if I can include plays in the question, it would be Hamlet, hands down. My brain might explode, but I’d like to be inside that mind, even for a few moments.


9)      What do you like to do in your spare time?

I have two major addictions: travel and dance. I’m extremely lucky that Craig and I both love travel and are paid to do it for work—we’re both asked to appear at various writing events, so we get funded to go to some amazing places. And the dance thing – I was a theatre kid before I ever started writing and I trained in jazz, ballet, tap and modern dance. As an adult I discovered swing and salsa. I can’t get enough of dance, any kind, really!


       Thank you!

Thanks a million for having me!



 
About the Author:

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award -winning, Bram Stoker and Anthony Award-nominated author of eleven supernatural, crime and paranormal thrillers. As a screenwriter she has sold original scripts and written novel adaptations for numerous Hollywood studios, and teaches the internationally acclaimed Screenwriting Tricks for Authors workshops. She lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland.  

Links:






 
Book links:
It is strongly recommended that you start this series with Book 1!

Huntress Moon

    - Amazon US   http://amzn.to/1z3pSh5

    - Amazon UK  http://amzn.to/1wEwxZo


 
But here are the links to all three books as well:
 
UK  Huntress Moon  http://amzn.to/1wEwxZo
UK Blood Moon  http://amzn.to/1CPG4Uw
UK Cold Moon  http://amzn.to/1xBtA2U  
 
 
US Huntress Moon  http://amzn.to/1z3pSh5
US Blood Moon  http://amzn.to/1EqoKax
US Cold Moon   http://amzn.to/1ymNA6b


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 9 July 2015

***BLOG TOUR*** Beyond the Sea by Melissa Bailey

 It is my thanks to the Author and the Publisher for sending me my review copy. It is available for £8.99 from Arrow Books.


One summer's day, Freya's husband and son vanish at sea.


A year on, and struggling to cope, Freya returns to the lighthouse-keeper's cottage on a remote Hebridean island, where she and her family spent so many happy times.


Haunted by visions of her old life, Freya's dreams are dark and disturbed. And when a stranger, Daniel, is washed ashore during a storm, they turn even more menacing.


As dream and reality start to merge, Daniel seems to be following Freya's every move. What does he want from her and is he everything he seems to be?


Is her mind playing tricks? Or is the danger that she senses very real?

My Thoughts

Initially I would just like to say that it took me a few chapters to settle into this book, that happens sometimes doesn't it. A book sometimes isn't a perfect fit straightaway. Maybe that happens only to me?

I am so glad that I continued though because I was richly rewarded with a strong and accomplished story of myths, folklore, legends, families and a unique take on grief. There is also a historical element with the addition of a series of old letters that were found. I was expecting a dramatic tale of woe, where the tears didn't stop flowing. This book isn't that, it is in the subtleties that the beauty lies.

Firstly the setting for this story is wonderful, the Hebrides sound like a beautiful place. The sense of scenery in this story is my favourite part. It is descriptive, flowing and evocative.

I took meaning from this book in that Freya's emotions are much like the landscape that surrounds her. She feels like one of the islands, isolated and largely alone in her grief. I found the evening when she went up to the lighthouse tower so emotive. As the waves crashed against the tower you could almost feel the connection to the waves of grief beating in her heart.

I found this to be an enjoyable and unique story and I wish the Author every success.


                                                 --------------------

Melissa has very kindly allowed us to post the prologue for the book today, I hope it gives you a real sense of the story.



Prologue

The boat glided effortlessly across the water. Not bad for an old wooden tub, Jack thought. Whatever Freya said about it, he loved this boat. No doubt it needed a new motor, but it would last another summer. Angus at the boatyard had assured him of that. He listened carefully but all he could hear was a contented purring. Perhaps it would last the winter season as well.
The sea was peculiarly peaceful for this time of year, as if it were a lake rather than the open Atlantic. One of those perfect days, with a deep blue, cloudless sky reflected in the calm water. He grabbed his binoculars and looked towards the horizon. But even further out, where the rise and fall of the waves would be more pronounced, there was little movement.
He turned around to Sam, seated at the back of the boat, nose down in a book of seabirds. ‘Do you want to come into the cabin to steer the boat for a while?’ Jack called.
‘No,’ his son replied without looking up.
‘Well, are you warm enough out there?’ Even though the sun was shining, it was still spring and there was a cold breeze on the water.
‘I’m fine.’ Sam looked up this time and grinned.
‘So what have you seen so far?’
‘Well, I think they were fulmars. Although they look quite like gulls or kittiwakes so it’s not easy to tell. Dad, do you know what fulmars do to protect themselves from predators?’
‘No,’ said Jack, increasing the motor’s speed. The thrum of the engine became more pronounced.
‘They squirt the contents of their stomachs out through their noses at them. It’s a gross, smelly liquid.’
‘Sounds like a pretty good way of keeping things at a distance.’
‘They learn to do it as chicks. Pretty cool, huh?’
Jack smiled. ‘Certainly is.’ He increased speed again and could hear the slight strain of the motor. But it was nothing it couldn’t handle and now they were really covering ground. He grabbed the binoculars again and surveyed the horizon. Clear. Nothing out of the ordinary. It would all be plain sailing.
A few minutes later Sam shouted, ‘Hey Dad, look at this.’
Jack turned to see his son, his own set of binoculars in hand, pointing skywards. But he couldn’t make out anything from inside the cabin.
‘What is it?’ he said.
‘A big white bird. Very high up. On its own.’
Jack twisted around but again couldn’t see. ‘Any ideas?’ he said.
Sam was scrutinising his book of seabirds once again. ‘It’s got a big wingspan and black wing tips. I think it might be an albatross.’
‘An albatross? I don’t think so. They’re generally found in the south and the Pacific. In which case it’s a long way from home.’
‘But it says here that they range over huge stretches of ocean and regularly circle the globe. So it could be.’
‘Well maybe,’ Jack conceded. ‘But I think it’s more likely that it’s a gannet. They’re common around here.’
‘Yes, but they don’t really fly alone. Albatrosses do. It also says that gannets glide low over the ocean. And this one isn’t doing that.’
Jack smiled. This seabird book his father Alister had bought had fast become the ornithological bible. But he had to admit that it was very accurate. ‘Maybe it’s going to feed. Gannets fly high and circle before diving into the sea.’
Sam was silent for a while, and Jack hoped perhaps that was the end of it. But, knowing his son, he suspected not.
A few moments later, Sam spoke again. ‘Well, I don’t think this gannet is all that hungry. He’s still just hovering high up on the thermals. Come and have a look, Dad.’
Jack still couldn’t see the bird from inside the cabin and he knew that his son wouldn’t be satisfied or move on unless he had seen it properly.
He powered the engine down, but as he slipped it into neutral it stalled. ‘Shit,’ he said. It had a nasty habit of doing that. But it wasn’t usually a problem, so perhaps rather than fiddle with it now, he’d leave it until they were ready to go again.
‘Ooh. You’re going to be in trouble with Mum. She’d kill you if she knew the engine was off way out here.’ Sam was smiling and laughing as Jack stepped out of the cabin.
‘Well, no one has to tell Mum,’ said Jack, looking upwards. For a moment he couldn’t see anything, the glint of sunlight catching in his eyes. But finally he made it out. A solitary white bird, high up in the sky.
‘Let me take a look with your binoculars.’
Sam passed them to his father and then moved impatiently from foot to foot while he waited.
‘Hmm. I know what you mean. The colour of the wing tips means it could be either. It’s big for a gannet, but it’s pretty difficult to see the beak and tail feathers clearly.’ Jack lowered the binoculars, blinked hard and then tried again. But the bird was partly obscured by the glare of the sun. ‘I still think it’s unlikely to be an albatross, Sam.’
‘Aww.’ His tone was one of disappointed sulkiness. ‘It would have been really cool to have seen one. Mum would think so. She read me “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.’
‘Did she now?’ Jack frowned. For God’s sake, he was only ten. But Freya had always done that. Read him stuff that was way beyond him. ‘And can you remember any of it?’
‘Hmm. Not really.’ Sam laughed.
Jack pulled his son to him and ruffled his hair. ‘Well, while we’ve stopped shall we have our lunch? It’s about time.’
For half an hour Jack and Sam talked, ate and drank on the deck at the back of the boat. When they were finished and ready to carry on, Jack grabbed Sam’s binoculars again. The bird, whatever it was, was still hovering above them.
‘Strange,’ Jack muttered, and continued to scout the sky. It was only then that he noticed a black cloud growing on the horizon west of them. ‘Where did that come from?’ He watched it for a little while longer and then scanned around them three hundred and sixty degrees. Every horizon showed nothing but sky and sea. He handed the binoculars back to Sam and looked over the ocean. It was building swell, the once-still blue water now rippling and murky. Then he caught sight of shadowy trails of movement, swift blurs of grey here and there.
A moment later, Sam’s voice rang out excitedly. ‘Dolphins.’
Jack nodded as he looked. It was quite a big pod if he wasn’t mistaken. ‘Are they feeding? Looks like they might be.’
‘I think so,’ said Sam, hanging over the side and trying to touch them.
‘Be careful,’ shouted Jack.
‘I will, Dad,’ said Sam, rolling his eyes.
They watched the dolphins jumping and playing, criss-crossing beneath the boat from one side to the other. Sam shouted and pointed as he caught sight of them dancing beneath the surface, leaping momentarily into the air and then disappearing once more into the darkness. Eventually the pod overtook them and vanished.
‘That was sooo cool,’ said Sam, still dangling over the edge of the boat.
‘Yes it was,’ said Jack. But he had already turned his gaze back to the horizon. The cloud was growing and he didn’t like the look of it. He dropped his eyes back to the ocean. Could he still see traces of grey flashing beneath the surface? Perhaps, he wasn’t sure. But surely the pod had moved on by now? He scrutinised the surface of the ocean, tried to see beneath it, but he couldn’t tell. As he looked he felt a strange dizzying sensation, suddenly conscious of the miles of water beneath them. His skin prickled. Ridiculous, he said to himself.
Moving into the cabin, he turned on the radio and listened. Cloud was building, the weather turning and heading their way. ‘Sam,’ he shouted, ‘I’m afraid we’re going home. There’s a storm coming.’
‘Aww,’ he heard his son cry again from the back of the boat. The sound gave him comfort. It was fearless and indifferent.
He wrapped his fingers around the ignition key and faltered for a moment as he felt an odd sensation of giddiness and nerves. What had got into him? They had plenty of time. With a bit of luck they would be home in an hour. He breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly. But the vertiginous feeling was still there, lurking in his stomach.
From the back of the boat he could hear Sam chatting away to himself. ‘Well, I think it has webbed feet, which gannets don’t have. So I’m still not one hundred per cent convinced.’
Jack looked out of the cabin window and caught sight of the bird. It was still hovering above them but it was lower now. It seemed larger, darker. He frowned. And he was not one for omens. But as he turned the ignition key, the words of the poem he had been trying not to think about jumped into his head.

‘Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.’



 Melissa Bailey read English at Oxford, before studying law in London and then pursuing a career in Media Law. Beyond the Sea is her second novel. She lives in London with her partner, a human rights lawyer.You can find out more at her website
http://www.melissabailey.info/

Above is the list of the other stops on the blog tour, I would be thrilled if you checked in with the other bloggers.