Tag Archives: Adult Fiction

Spotlight – Christmas At Woolworths by Elaine Everest


Today I am over the moon to be shining the spotlight on a new gorgeous Christmassy historical adult fiction book, Christmas At Woolworths by Elaine Everest.

Christmas At Woolworths was released on the 2nd November published by Pan Macmillan and is set to get you in the Christmas mood.

So today I am shining the spotlight on this fab book and fab author in a spotlight post….


About The Book

Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . . 

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

You can buy a copy of this book here or from your local bookshop

Or why not add it to your Goodreads shelf here


About Elaine Everest

Elaine Everest, author of Bestselling novel The Woolworths Girls and The Butlins Girls was born and brought up in North West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, with both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to broadcasting on radio about our four legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many topics on radio from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.

When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school at The Howard Venue in Hextable, Kent and has a long list of published students.

Elaine lives with her husband, Michael, and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, in Swanley, Kent and is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Crime Writers Association, The Society of Women Writers & Journalists and The Society of Authors as well as Slimming World where she can been sitting in the naughty corner.

You can find out more about Elaine on her Facebook page – here

Or why not follow Elaine on twitter – @elaineeverest


Blog Tour

You can follow or catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour!

Have you read any of Christmas At Woolworths?  Did you enjoy?  What did you love about it?  What books do you like reading in the run up to Christmas?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – My 8 Favourite Historical Novels by Dawn Farnham


Today I am super happy to be part of the blog tour for a new historical fiction book published by Monsoon Books.

The Red Thread by Dawn Farnham is the first book in The Straits Quartet series and is a brilliant Asian Historical Fiction read.

Today I have the author herself sharing some of her favourite historical fiction books….


Set against the backdrop of 1830s Singapore where piracy, crime, triads, and tigers are commonplace, this historical romance follows the struggle of two lovers Zhen, a Chinese coolie and triad member, and Charlotte, an 18-year-old Scots woman and sister of Singapores Head of Police. Two cultures bound together by the invisible threads of fate yet separated by cultural diversity.


Favourite 8 Historical Fiction Books 

My novels are set in Asia so instead of going through all the usual and more recent suspects (a la Mantel), I would like to offer your readers and bloggers a few perhaps lesser known or older ones set in East and Southeast Asia.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck 

Perhaps she is somewhat forgotten now but that doesn’t mean she isn’t a great read. It won the Pulitzer in 1932. She won the Nobel in 1938.  All her books set in China are worth re-finding.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene

He’s a marvellous writer. Not strictly historical but he tells the story of foreign meddling in Vietnam and its consequences better than any history book.

Red Sorghum by Mo Yan

A splendid writer, also winner of the Nobel prize.

Shogun by James Clavell

Flawed and probably historical nonsense (so the Japanese say) but he tells a good tale.

Waiting and War Trash by Ha Jin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love almost everything by him.

Roshomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa

Classic Japanese tale transformed into many movies.

Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

Conrad set many stories in Southeast Asia where he spent a long time as a sailing man.  Beautiful writing and compelling stories.

You can buy a copy of The Red Thread here

The Red Thread is going to be FREE on Amazon from 17th – 25th September

Or why not add the book to your Goodreads here


About Dawn Farnham

Dawn Farnham is the author of The Straits Quartet (The Red Thread, The Shallow Seas, The Hills of Singapore and The English Concubine), as well as numerous short stories, plays and children’s books. A former long-term resident of Singapore, Dawn now calls Perth, Australia, home. Her new book, Finding Maria is published in October 2017. Learn more about Dawn at www.dawnfarnham.com.

You can also follow Dawn on twitter – @farnhamauthor

Or on Facebook here


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops


A huge big thank you to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour and to host this fab piece and to Dawn for writing it.

Have you read The Read Thread?  Did you enjoy?  What did you love about it?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of the post or tweet me on twitter using @ChelleyToy !

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – I Know Where She Is by S. B. Caves


I am thrilled to have been asked to feature a chilling extract from new adult thriller, I Know Where She Is by debut author S. B. Caves as part of this fab blog tour.

I Know Where She Is was released on the 14th August 2017 on e book published by Canelo and is set to be an explosive gripping thriller for fans of Karin Slaughter, Linwood Barclay and Karen Dionne.

So today I am shining the light on this gorgeous book and sharing that chilling extract…..


On the tenth anniversary of her daughter Autumn’s abduction, Francine receives an anonymous note containing just five words: I KNOW WHERE SHE IS

When a young woman approaches her the next day claiming to have sent the letter Francine wants to dismiss it as a cruel, twisted joke.

But the stranger knows things that only Autumn would know.

It soon becomes clear that Francine must go to dark places in order to learn the truth about her child’s kidnapping.

She will discover that danger comes from unexpected sources. She will do things she never imagined herself capable of.

But will Francine get her daughter back – or is it too late?


I Know Where She Is – Extract

Chapter 2

At five a.m., a full two hours before her alarm was due to sound, Francine kicked out of the twisted sheets and got dressed. She wasn’t sure whether she’d dozed at all, but guessed that she’d probably managed to snatch a few minutes of shallow sleep. Her mind had whirred incessantly, the caffeine and anxious excitement making it impossible for her to switch off.

It was still pitch black as she drove to the gym, but it had stopped raining. It wasn’t unusual for her to put a shift in on the free weights before work, but today she’d given herself enough time to swim too. The pool didn’t open until seven, so she did the rounds on the cross-trainer, the treadmill – upping the incline almost vertically – and her usual dumb-bell routine. All the while she’d been eyeing the punchbag. She’d always wanted to use it but couldn’t trust herself not to scream as she unloaded on it. She wasn’t really sure how to go about hitting the thing, but the place was virtually empty, so she could afford to look silly. She picked up a pair of gloves that lay by the side and slipped them on, then gave the bag a few jabs for practice. It felt good. Once she’d settled into a rhythm, the volume of punches increased, as did their ferocity. Soon her arms were throbbing and her lungs flamed inside her. She punched until she could no longer lift her hands, her slick forehead resting against the bag.

Afterwards, she swam for an hour without stopping. She couldn’t remember ever having done that before, especially after such a strenuous workout, but she wanted to push her body until she’d burned all that anxiety to cinders.

Her body was a patchwork of pain by the time she sat down at her desk. It was as though she’d given her mind a spring-clean, sifting all that sludge, and now she could focus. She worked solidly through to lunch, processing invoices and sending out reminders, only stopping to confer with colleagues where absolutely necessary. All of the six employees crammed into the tiny back office of Worldwide Golfing Supplies knew Francine’s story, and they had never tried to engage her beyond routine chit-chat. That suited her fine. When she’d first started, one of the other accountants, a divorcee named Henry who drank lots of black coffee and ate neatly cut ham sandwiches for lunch, asked her if she would like to go for a drink some time. Francine offered him only sincerity in her reply: no, she didn’t want to go for a drink – not now, not ever. She hoped her expression would dissuade any future attempts at courtship. He didn’t ask again.

As usual, she left her desk and went for a stroll during her lunch hour. She stopped at Starbucks for a cappuccino and bought a newspaper from the corner store before walking to her car. She liked having lunch in her car, comforted by the notion that at any second she could turn on the ignition and drive away forever.

She began skimming the newspaper, waiting for her cappuccino to cool. Quite suddenly, the lack of sleep and the exertion of her morning workout seized her. She could feel her eyes losing focus on the page, her head dipping. She placed the cup in the holder and closed her eyes. Very soon, she was out.

When she woke, her coffee was cold and a girl, maybe eighteen years old, was standing in the centre of the parking lot, staring at her. The wind whipped the girl’s hair about her face, tugging at her frumpy dress. She had scrapes and scabs lining her legs and was drowning inside a man’s bomber jacket. Francine yawned, looked at the clock, then back at the girl, who still hadn’t moved.

She got out of the car and stretched. The girl turned on her heel and cut briskly across the parking lot, casting glances over her shoulder before vanishing through the automatic doors of the small indoor market.

Francine returned to her desk ten minutes late from lunch, but nobody seemed to notice. While she was in the middle of composing an enthralling email to their suppliers regarding low stock on fluorescent golf tees, it began to rain again. The first drops plinked against the window, and then a low rumble of thunder distracted her. She stopped typing and looked out into the parking lot. The girl in the baggy bomber jacket was standing next to her car, peering curiously inside like a child at an aquarium. Francine stood up and watched as the girl cupped her hands around her eyes and pressed herself up against the car window for a better look, before walking round to the passenger side, idly running her finger along the bodywork, then scoping out the back seats.

‘What’s she doing?’ Francine muttered to herself. She walked out of her cubicle and left the office, hurrying down the corridor before taking the stairs two at a time. Pushing through the double doors of the reception, she marched toward the car. ‘Excuse me? Can I help you?’

The girl had been looking through the back window when she snapped upright at the sound of Francine’s voice. From a few yards away, Francine thought she saw something amiss in the girl’s expression. It was only as she neared that she noticed that she was severely cross-eyed, her pupils pulling away from one another like magnets. Kermit the Frog, Francine thought. She has eyes like Kermit the Frog. Given the distraction they presented, those eyes made it impossible to tell whether the girl was pretty or not. She appeared gaunt, birdlike almost, her hair a blonde so dull it bordered on silver.

‘I said, can I help you?’

‘I put a letter through your door. Did you get it?’

You can buy a copy of I Know Where She Is here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads List here


About S. B. Caves


S.B. Caves was born and raised in North London. He loves crime and thriller novels, classic horror movies, Korean/Japanese thriller films and true crime documentaries. He is also a huge boxing fan.

You can follow S. B. Caves on Twitter – @SB_Caves


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to S. B. Caves and Canelo for letting me share this fab extract and for having me as part of the blog tour.

Have you read I Know Where She Is?  Are you intrigued?  Do you love a good thriller?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – To Provence, With Love by T A Williams


I am super happy to have been asked to feature 4 brilliant excerpts from To Provence, With Love from the wonderful T A Williams as part of this fab blog tour.

To Provence, With Love was released on the 12th July 2017 on e book published by HQ Digital and is set to be a brilliant adult fiction romance novel with a beautiful setting.

So today I am shining the light on this gorgeous book…..



Escape to the south of France with this perfect feel-good summer romance!

 Struggling writer Faye Carter just can’t believe her luck. She’s off to Provence to write the autobiography of a famous film star and she’ll be staying in the stunning chateau!

So when she meets charming (and completely gorgeous) lavender farmer, Gavin, she knows that she’s made the right choice – even if glamourous, elderly Anabelle seems to be hiding something…

But when the sun is shining, the food is delicious and the air smells of honey, anything seems possible. Will the magic of Provence help Faye finally find a happy-ever-after of her own?


To Provence, with Love – Excerpts

Excerpt One

  The dog stopped dead, only a few feet from Faye and waited for his master. She was impressed and relieved. She loved dogs, but she was on her way to an interview after all, and the last thing she needed was to be leapt upon by a dog, however friendly his intentions might be. She took a step back and studied the man surreptitiously as he approached.

   He was wearing a battered T-shirt that had once advertised a Rolling Stones European tour. From its faded appearance, the tour in question had probably taken place in the years before the surviving members of the group had reached pensionable age – and that was a good while ago. On his feet were equally scruffy trainers and his strong, brown legs ran a long way up before disappearing into his sand-coloured shorts. He had hold of the dog by the collar and was bending over. Sensing her eyes on him, he looked up towards her and, to Faye’s considerable surprise, she realised that he was very, very good-looking. Somehow, out here in the wilds of deepest rural Provence, she hadn’t expected to meet a man whose face could have come off the front cover of a fashion magazine. She swallowed hard before answering.

   ‘Afraid so. Totally lost. I’m looking for St-Jean-sur-Sarde; the chateau to be precise. I was told to follow the signs for St-Jean and then turn right after the restaurant in the centre of the village. Only I can’t seem to find any road signs at all and I’m just going round in circles.’

   The man nodded. Satisfied that the dog wasn’t going to jump all over Faye, he released his grip on the collar and reached up to pull off his sunglasses. As he did so, Faye noted the network of lines around his eyes that would no doubt have been airbrushed away by a photographer. As it was, they only served to add character to an already remarkable face. His eyes met hers for a second before he dropped them again and, in spite of herself, Faye was fascinated. They were the most amazing and unusual colour; a very light yellowy brown. They gave her the surreal sensation of looking into the eyes of a lion or a tiger – and a very fine-looking male of the species, although by the look of him, a rather unhappy male of the species. She was wondering why the expression on his face was so glum when he shot a glance at her, his expression not exactly hostile, but definitely lacking in warmth.

Excerpt Two

   As she opened the car door, she heard a cacophony of barking and came close to closing the door again and locking it. It sounded as if the Hound of the Baskervilles himself was in there, straining to get out. Cautiously, she made her way up the steps until she was level with the half-glazed front door that was visibly shaking. By this time, Faye was also close to shaking. The door, set into a carved stone surround, was made of sculpted oak and, thankfully, it looked solid, even though the upper half was made up of little square red, white and blue stained glass panels. Staring at her through the base of one of these, was the source of the noise. A shiny black nose and an intimidating set of gleaming white teeth were very much in evidence, as were a pair of bright eyes that studied her approach. Then, as she and the dog made eye contact, the barking suddenly stopped, leaving Faye’s ears ringing. The dog dropped back to the floor, and in place of the barking, she heard low whines emanating from inside.

   At that moment, the door was opened by a slim, grey-haired man in jeans and a crisp white T-shirt, his other hand firmly gripping the dog’s collar.

   ‘Good morning. You must be Faye. We’ve been looking forward to meeting you.’

   He spoke in English, with a soft American accent, and he might have been seventy or so. He shot a glance down at the dog, who was wagging his tail so hard, the whole back half of his body was wiggling. ‘You must tell me your secret. I’ve never seen Marlon so pleased to see somebody before. I’ll let him go if you’re all right with dogs. He’ll probably try to jump up at you, but just push him down.’

   Faye looked at the dog whose intentions were now unmistakably friendly and nodded her head. ‘Hello, yes, I’m Faye Carter. Do let him go. I’ll be fine.’

   A split second later she found herself pinned back against the door by a pair of hefty, mercifully clean, paws; a big hairy Labrador head stretching upwards, a pink tongue trying unsuccessfully to reach her face. Marlon was definitely very, very pleased to see her. She recovered her balance, persuaded the dog to return to all fours and bent down to stroke him. As if by magic, feeling her touch, he slid down onto the floor and rolled over, all four legs in the air, emitting an assortment of happy canine grunts, his tail still wagging furiously, doing a very efficient job of sweeping the polished oak floor.

   ‘That’s quite amazing.’ The grey-haired man was still looking very surprised. ‘We normally have to shut him in the kitchen when somebody comes to the door.’ He stepped to one side and waved her in formally. ‘Anyway, welcome to St-Jean, Faye. My name’s Eddie Marshal. I’m Miss Beech’s PA.’

Excerpt Three

   Before they reached the Coq d’Or, Marlon led her off to the left along a narrow path and Faye was happy to unclip the lead from his collar and let him make the decisions as to where they should go. He was very well behaved and didn’t attempt to run too far ahead as they followed the path alongside a dry gulley running down towards the river in the valley below. From the collection of bone-dry branches and weeds caught in the bushes lining the gully, it was clear that this would turn into a raging torrent after heavy rainfall, but for the moment, there was no sign of water at all. Everything around them was terribly dry, the grass burnt brown by the sun. She picked up a stick and threw it for the dog. He ran for it, picked it up, but then steadfastly refused to bring it to her. Clearly somewhere along the line, his brain hadn’t quite got the hang of the retriever part of his ancestry.

   As they walked along, a succession of startled lizards ran frantically for cover and Faye found herself hoping there were no snakes about, and this reminded her of her father. She had texted him as soon as she had reached the chateau to let him know she was safe and well, and she resolved to call him later to tell him all about her first day. All around there was virtual silence, and for somebody used to the never-ending background hubbub of London, it was almost disconcerting. After a short distance, threading their way between dry stone walls, covered with wild vines, and among ramshackle old buildings, Marlon, still carrying his stick, turned left once more and led her over a bridge composed of a single irregular slab of limestone, well over six feet long. Faye wondered how many centuries it had been lying there and how on earth the people who had laid it had been able to do so in an era surely long before motorised cranes and mechanical diggers.

   On the other side of the bridge, she saw her first human being.

   ‘Hello, Marlon. Who’s this you’re taking for a walk, then?’ The voice came from the owner of a very large shaggy mongrel that looked like a cross between a sheep and a grizzly bear. From the wagging of tails that was going on, clearly Marlon and he were already on good terms, which was just as well because Faye had no illusions as to her chances if it came to having to step in to stop a dogfight with this monster. The dog’s owner, on the other hand, looked big and strong enough to separate a pair of fighting wolves, if he had to. He looked down at her, fortunately with a smile. ‘You’ll be the young lady who’s going to be staying at the chateau, I daresay?’

   Faye nodded and took a good look at the owner of the Beast of St-Jean. They say that dogs and owners often come to look alike and this pairing certainly added weight to that hypothesis. The man, maybe in his late thirties or early forties, was the size and shape of a wardrobe, with a hairstyle, if, indeed it could be called a style, not dissimilar to that of his dog. Fortunately, he was still smiling benignly at Faye and she summoned a nervous smile in return.

   ‘Yes, that’s right. I’ve just arrived. My name’s Faye. How did you know I was coming?’ She wondered for a moment whether this man mountain might in some way be related to Miss Beech, and it turned out she wasn’t far off the mark.

   ‘Name’s Albert. I’m the man who’s just spent a week redecorating the flat above the stables for you. My mum’s Miss Beech’s housekeeper and I do the garden and stuff.’ He extended a huge paw towards her in greeting. Gritting her teeth, Faye reached out and let him envelope her hand and shake it, mercifully remarkably delicately.

Excerpt Four

   Faye went over and clinked her glass against Miss Beech’s, then Eddie’s, and took a mouthful. She watched as Miss Beech sipped her drink pensively before looking up. ‘Here’s something you can put in the book, Faye. They say alcohol slows the activity of the brain, but every time I drink champagne, my mind’s flooded with memories of so, so many good times.’ She stared down into the wineglass. ‘To be quite honest, I’ve never really liked the stuff that much. Those bubbles always seem to go up my nose, but it’s what it represents, I suppose.’

   ‘Well, I haven’t had the opportunity to drink enough champagne in my life to develop a special taste for it, but this is gorgeous. By the way, talking of wine, thank you so much for all the food and drink you’ve put in the flat. The fridge is absolutely packed.’ As Miss Beech made a dismissive gesture with her hand, Faye took another mouthful of champagne. It really was excellent. She pulled up an ornate wooden stool and sat down to one side of Miss Beech, directly in front of the fireplace. ‘So, go on then, what’s running through your mind at the moment? What memories has this sip of champagne awakened?’

   There was a moment’s silence while Miss Beech reflected on the question and then, to Faye’s surprise, she started giggling like a schoolgirl once more. ‘To be totally honest, Faye, it reminds me of the night I tipped a bucket full of ice into my leading man’s lap in an Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills.’

   Faye gasped, feeling a fit of the giggles rising up inside her as well. ‘You did what?’ She watched as Miss Beech dissolved into laughter, her whole face flushed with pleasure as the memory returned. ‘It was at the end of a day’s filming of Faded Heart.’ Faye knew this to be one of Miss Beech’s best-known films. ‘All that day we’d been riding around on horses. As I recall, I was trying to show him how the stunt boss had been teaching me to jump onto a moving horse.’ She looked up. ‘We did a lot of our own stunts in those days, not like today – and as I leapt to my feet and stretched out one leg to demonstrate, my foot hit the bucket and … splash!’

   Faye was laughing by now. ‘Who was the leading man?’

   ‘Charlton Heston.’

   ‘Wow, and what was his reaction? Was he angry?’

   Miss Beech shook her head. ‘Not at all. He laughed his head off. Said it cooled him down. He was a good, kind man, was Chuck. Not like some others I could mention.’

You can buy a copy of this fab book here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads list here


About T A Williams

I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.

I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.

I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

You can find out more about T A Williams on his website – www.tawilliamsbooks.com

Or why not follow him on twitter – @TAWilliamsbooks

Or on Facebook here


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to T A Williams for letting me share some fab excerpts of the book.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour.

Have you read To Provence, With Love?  Are you intrigued?  Do you love a good romance novel?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Top Five Things About Detective Caelan Small by Lisa Hartley


Today I have a fab guest post to celebrate the release of Ask No Questions by Lisa Hartley.

Ask No Questions was release on the 10th July 2017 published in ebook format and is set to be a page turning adult fiction thriller that will set your pulse racing!

So today I thought we should find out a little about the main Detective in the novel, Detective Caelan Small…..


Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one

After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.

Soon Caelan is drawn back into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect – even close colleagues.

Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.

This isn’t an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.

The nerve-shredding new crime thriller from bestseller Lisa Hartley starts a must-read new series. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons and Robert Bryndza, it will keep you guessing until the very end.


Top Five Things About Detective Caelan Small

Thank you for the opportunity to write a guest post about Detective Caelan Small, the main character in my latest book, ‘Ask No Questions’. I’m so excited about bloggers and readers meeting Caelan, and stepping into her world. She’s a character I’ve really enjoyed getting to know, and as this is the first book in a new series, I feel there’s much more to come from her.

Here are five things to know about Caelan:

1) Caelan was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police, specialising in undercover work. At the beginning of the book, she has resigned from her job. Her decision was made when operation she was involved went disastrously wrong. During the fallout which followed, Caelan decided she could no longer work for the Met. She went on holiday to Egypt to recover, and to consider her options. Before long, she is offered an opportunity, and has decisions to make.

2) She is loyal to her colleagues, and willing to stick her neck out for the people she trusts. In her job, she and the people she worked with had to rely on each other, especially during undercover operations, when a mistake could have cost them their lives. She knows who she can trust, or believes she does. As the book progresses, and Caelan is drawn deeper into an investigation, she begins to question everything she thought she knew.

3) Caelan has lived in London for nine years, though she doesn’t feel as though she has explored the city as much as she would have liked to. She’s spent a lot of time getting to know the people and places of the darker side of the city, and not so much seeing the sights. She recently moved into an apartment in Rotherhithe, on the banks of the Thames, and previously lived in Camden.

4) She is confident in her own abilities, and knows her own worth. The head of her undercover unit describes her as “the best we have”, and most of her fellow officers agree. Some, however, believe Caelan is a liability, and aren’t afraid to voice that opinion.

5) Her name is pronounced “Kaylen”. Not Carlin, Callen or Colin. Some sources say “Caelan” is an Irish or Gaelic name meaning ‘powerful warrior’ or ‘child’. I’ve read it was originally thought of as a boy’s name, but more recently has been used for girls as well.

You can buy a copy of Ask No Questions here

Or why not add this to your Goodreads list here


About Lisa Hartley


Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.

You can find out more about Lisa on her website – www.lisahartley.co.uk

Or why not follow Lisa on twitter – @rainedonparade


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Lisa for a fab guest post and to Faye Rogers for asking me to be part of his fab blog tour.

Have you read Ask No Questions?  What did you think?  Do you love a good thriller?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment by clicking the reply button at the top of this page or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy

Happy Reading!

Spotlight – Shattered Minds by Laura Lam


I am super excited to have been asked to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book, Shattered Minds by Laura Lam!

Shattered Minds was released on the 15th June 2017 published by Macmillan and is set to be a brilliant Sci-Fi / Dystopian read.

Shattered Minds stars a female ‘Dexter’ with a drug problem and a conscience, in a terrifying near-future where technology rules our lives and haunts our dreams. It’s set in the same world as False Hearts.  The book tackles hacking, celebrity, unlikable female protagonists and villains and the blurred lines between them…

So today I will be spotlighting the book, sharing and extract and I also have a fab giveaway!


She can uncover the truth, if she defeats her demons

Ex-neuroscientist Carina struggles with a drug problem, her conscience, and urges to kill. She satisfies her cravings in dreams, fuelled by the addictive drug ‘Zeal’. Now she’s heading for self-destruction – until she has a vision of a dead girl.

Sudice Inc. damaged Carina when she worked on their sinister brain-mapping project, causing her violent compulsions. And this girl was a similar experiment. When Carina realizes the vision was planted by her old colleague Mark, desperate for help to expose the company, she knows he’s probably dead. Her only hope is to unmask her nemesis – or she’s next.

To unlock the secrets Mark hid in her mind, she’ll need a group of specialist hackers. Dax is one
of them, a doctor who can help Carina fight her addictions. If she holds on to her humanity, they
might even have a future together. But first she must destroy her adversary – before it changes us and our society, forever.

You can buy a copy of Shattered Minds here or from your local bookshop!


Extract

THREE (cont)

CARINA

The Zealscape, Green Star Lounge, Los Angeles,

California, Pacifica

 Carina stumbles home, clutching her coat around her thin shoulders.

The police who came to the Green Star Lounge wanted to interview her about what had happened, but she put on the ‘I’m-an-unhinged-Zealot’ act, flying spittle and all, and they left her alone pretty quickly.

They decided she was lucky to be the only survivor. They let her go. One drug-addled woman is clearly not the cause of the malfunction of the Zeal lounge. It’d been a slow day, but thirteen Zealots are now dead. Who will mourn them?

The images play in her mind as Carina totters on unsteady feet. The bee. The rose. The thorn. The blood. The eyes. And then the dead girl with the same mismatched eyes. Carina knows her Zealscape intimately. Every corner. Every seam. Every brick. She’s built it so carefully over the last six months.

This is something else.

She reaches her apartment, tucked into the Chesterfield Square neighbourhood of South Los Angeles. Once, these few blocks had one of the highest crime rates in the world. Now, most of the inhabitants are Zealots plugged into their dreams. It is a ghost town.

The entrance to the apartment building senses her VeriChip and she sends the passcode from her eye implants to the door. The metal grate scrapes open. She makes her slow progress up the stairs, pausing to catch her breath every few steps, her knees shaking. This apartment was cheaper than one with an elevator. She underestimated how quickly her health would start to deteriorate. Falling against her front door, she sends the next passcode to the lock.

Once Carina was tidy, but now her clothes are scattered around the apartment, and she hasn’t even bothered sending the bots around to clean. She tends to throw away clothes when they’re too dirty to wear, buying cheap new ones from the replicator. The sweat-stained sheets on her bed need changing. This is the place where she has a few hours of fitful sleep or eats some tasteless, vaguely nutritious food before going back to the Green Star Lounge.

This is the place where she looks at the scan of her brain, trying to find out why it’s broken and she now wants to kill everyone she comes across. Setting the program to load, she goes to the bathroom.

Her tooth is still there, the eroded root crusted with dried blood. She washes her hands, and the tooth disappears down into the pipes. She tongues the empty space in her mouth where it used to be, wincing at her sore gums. It could be fixed, but it’d mean more time out of the Zealscape or away from the project.

Then it hits her: the lounge will almost certainly be closed tomorrow and she doesn’t know how she will get her dose of Zeal.

She should care more about the people who died. She should worry that going back to the same lounge, or another one, means it could happen again, and she might not be so lucky if it does. But she can’t care about anything except finding that next hit.

Carina collapses on the sagging couch. The wallscreens are always turned off. The kitchen cupboards are empty, so if she wants to eat, she’ll have to order NutriPaste from the replicator, as that’s all she can afford. The thought of its chalky texture turns her stomach. So she sits. Bee. Rose. Thorn. Blood. Eyes, one green, one blue.

What do they mean? Is it gibberish, some strange side effect from a virus let loose in the Zeal program subsystem? The bit of her that was once a neuroprogrammer is curious, but that part is mostly swallowed up by Zeal apathy. She can only care about her main project.

Her brain scan has loaded. It floats in the middle of the living room, taking up most of the space. Her implants are old and need refreshing, but they work well enough for the Zeal, and that’s all she cares about.

Carina can find nothing physical to explain the gradual unravelling of her mind. Her prefrontal cortex seems normal. Her ventromedial cortex is not shrunken, so decision-making should also still be fine. Her dopamine receptors are shot, but that’s more thanks to the Zeal than any existing precondition. The way she processes emotion and empathy is different, but she’s been like that since she was a teen and it doesn’t really show on her brain. Once, her emotions had been entirely walled away. For years, nothing had touched her.

It was only once she started feeling again that she also started wanting to kill.

She’s been trying to get back to how she was five years ago. She might have created a somewhat workable code, but she doesn’t have the proper equipment, nor a lab. Once, she toyed with going back to Sudice for access to the Los Angeles lab. It would have meant Roz would find out her address, but Carina thought enough time had passed that it might be all right. Her recent Zealscape vision, if it’s true, kills that plan.

She sends her brain scan away, too tired to try and puzzle over the code any more. She hasn’t made any real progress in months, anyway. Her concentration is shot, and she’s lost her touch. Somewhere deep inside her, she wonders if she’s too far gone ever to find some semblance of normalcy. Or if she even cares.

Carina turns on her implants and brings up photos of the old team at Sudice. There’s Dr Mark Teague, smiling and waving at the camera, his tanned skin glowing, silver hair glinting in the overhead lighting of the lab. There’s Dr Aliyah Zahedi, with her enigmatic smile, dark skin, orange hair a little mussed from running frustrated fingers through it all day while running her trials. She’d been the quietest of the bunch, but with a wicked sense of humour. And there’s Dr Kim Mata – part-Japanese, hair just starting to grey and cut into a short bob. Even though Mark is twice her age, Kim looks older, as she’s one of the few people in Pacifica not obsessed with flesh parlours. Carina hasn’t thought of Kim, her constant nicknames, her wheedling jokes, in months.

Dr Roz Elliot is not in the picture.

Carina hasn’t thought about any of them much in the last few months. When she left Sudice eight months ago, they were often in her thoughts. Then the Zeal took over. She’d befriended them, as much as Carina could be friends with anyone. She’d grown used to them, admired their minds enough that they became real to her. Even when she started wanting to kill everyone around her, Mark, Kim and Aliyah were safe. Fundamentally, they were good people, and Carina only kills criminals – at least, so far, though she fears her control weakening.

Carina opens the staff image of Dr Elliot and narrows her eyes as she takes in the perfect dark-blonde bob, the bland smile for the camera. There’s a criminal. There’s someone Carina wouldn’t mind hurting.

Carina has no recording of that vision in the Zealscape. If she had, she could send it to the authorities, let them deal with whatever Roz has done. No proof, no crime.

Opening up the other staff photos, her gaze lingers on Kim. She’s a head and a half shorter than anyone else on the team. Flyaway hair always escaping her bun and framing her face. Kim could probably tell her something about what happened today, but Carina doesn’t want Kim to know just how far she has fallen. She looks at Kim’s wide smile as she displays one of her precious collectable figurines, proudly balancing it on one palm, its tuft of pink hair almost tickling her nose. Kim looks goofy and playful, and not at all like one of the best neuroprogrammers in Pacifica; not like a woman traumatized by the murder of her wife. Carina turns off her implants.

She sits and stares at the blank wall for hours, blinking slowly. At some point past midnight, basic human survival instinct kicks in. Mechanically she goes to the bathroom, then the kitchen to order some NutriPaste from the replicator, grimacing at the taste and drinking water to wash it down.

Zeal withdrawal is already kicking in. Her limbs twitch as though they’ve been electrocuted. Her mouth is dry no matter how much water she drinks. The synapses in her brain aren’t firing quite right – thoughts spiral into nothingness. There are no urges to harm anyone in this plane of reality. They are safe, as long as she has her dose.

The images are still loud and clear. The dead girl’s face, staring ahead, accusatory.

‘I didn’t kill you,’ Carina says out loud to the blank wall. ‘Get out of my head.’

The girl doesn’t answer. She can’t. Carina bashes her fist against the wall. It hurts, but even the pain is distant.

She isn’t sure whether she wishes she’d died tonight or not. Admitting that uncertainty only cements the fear lingering in her fractured thoughts. Sometimes Carina wants to fix whatever’s wrong with her and find a way back to life. Other times she wants nothing more than, if not to die, then to cease to exist. A subtle difference. That feeling is growing stronger as more of her is consumed by Zeal.

 Carina doesn’t sleep. She waits for morning, where she’ll find another Zeal lounge and plug back in.

SHATTERED MINDS by Laura Lam is OUT NOW, published by Pan Macmillan, £12.99 Hardback.


About Laura Lam

 

Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.

You can find out more about Laura on her website – www.lauralam.co.uk

Or why not follow Laura on twitter – @LR_Lam


Giveaway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With thanks to the lovely people at Macmillan I have a signed copy of False Hearts and a copy of Shattered Minds by Laura Lam to giveaway to one lucky winner!

You can enter on twitter by clicking here

UK Only

Ends 27th June 2017

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

You can catch up on the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Laura and Alice at Macmillan for having me as part of this fab blog tour and for asking me to host the giveaway. 

Have you read any of the Shattered Minds?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Tales Post – The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett – Extract


Today I have a fantastic chapter one extract of a new sci-fi novel which is released on the 1st June 2017 published by Macmillian and I am super excited to be part of the fab blog tour to celebrate it’s release.

The Space Between The Stars is a novel of love, loss and second chances from debut novelist Anne Corlett, perfect for fans of Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven.

So sit back and relax and read this exciting extract!

I also have a fantastic giveaway!


The Space between the Stars by Anne Corlett is an enthralling novel of love, the choices we make, and what it means to be human. It’s also a dramatic road-trip across the stars, as a woman journeys across a plague-ravaged universe to the place she once called home, and the man she once loved.

How far would you travel to find your way home?

Jamie Allenby wakes, alone, and realises her fever has broken. But could everyone she knows be dead? Months earlier, Jamie had left her partner Daniel, mourning the miscarriage of their baby. She’d just had to get away, so took a job on a distant planet. Then the virus hit.

Jamie survived as it swept through our far-flung colonies. Now she feels desperate and isolated, until she receives a garbled message from Earth. If someone from her past is still alive – perhaps Daniel – she knows she must find a way to return.

She meets others seeking Earth, and their ill-matched group will travel across space to achieve their dream. But they’ll clash with survivors intent on repeating humanity’s past mistakes, threatening their precious fresh start. Jamie will also get a second chance at happiness. But can she escape her troubled past, to embrace a hopeful future?


The Space Between The Stars – Extract

Chapter One

She knew it was the third day when she woke. Even in the twists and tangles of the fever, her sense of time had remained unbroken. More than unbroken. Whetted into a measure of such devastating accuracy that she’d wanted nothing more than to die quickly and be done with that merciless deathwatch count of her last hours. And dying was quicker, according to the infomercials that spiralled out from the central planets when the virus first took hold there. Most people were gone by halfway through the second day. If you were still lingering beyond that midpoint, chances were you’d still be there after the fever had burned itself out in a last vicious surge on the third day. Jamie could taste blood in her mouth, bitter as old coins, and her back was aching with a dull, bed-bound creak of pain. But her bones were no longer splintering in some unseen vice, and there was none of the twisting vertigo that had flung her about inside relentless nightmares. In the throes of the fever, skeletal horses had leered at her, and an organ-grinder who was nothing but teeth and hands had turned the handle faster and faster until it all blurred into nothingness. Her senses were slowly coming back online. She could hear her own ragged, uneven breathing, and she could smell the reek of sweat-stained sheets. She was alive. That realisation brought no leap of joy or relief. There was a nag of unease working its way around the edges of her thoughts.

Survival was something she’d never dared hope for in those interminable days before the virus took hold on Soltaire, when there’d been nothing to do but wait for the inevitable to hit their planet too. The disease’s long incubation period meant that it had already reached every corner of settled space before the first symptoms appeared on the capital, Alegria. The messages from Alegria and the central worlds stopped a week or so before the sickness hit Soltaire. The infomercials had already given way to blunt emergency transmissions. As the days passed, the silences between them grew longer, the messages shorter, less coherent, as though the airwaves were fraying. But by then they knew what was coming. The virus was terminal in almost all cases.

Ninety-nine point nine nine nine nine per cent, one of the ranch hands had said. Jamie didn’t know where he’d got that figure, but it spread and became fact. The day he said that was the day they all stopped looking at each other. How many of them could hope to make it into a minority so staggeringly small? The odds were akin to launching a paper plane off the planet’s surface and hoping to hit a target back on Earth.

Nought point nought nought nought one per cent.

She felt stiff and brittle, like she’d snap if she moved. Her senses had turned on her. She could hear all the noises that her home wasn’t making. The generator at the main house was temperamental, and it wasn’t unusual for it not to be running. But she should have been able to hear the distant hum of machinery from the logging station over at the lake, or the farmhands calling to one another and swearing at the cattle. Instead, all she could hear was the soft, barely-there swish of the station’s turbine, and the squabbling of the immigrant sparrows in the trees behind the croft.

That was it. No human sound.

The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett is published by Pan Macmillan, 1 June 2017, £12.99 hardback.

You can buy a copy here or from your local bookshop!


About Anne Corlett

Anne Corlett has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has won a number of awards for her short stories, including the H. E. Bates Award. She works as a criminal solicitor and freelance writer, and lives with her partner and three young boys in Somerset. The Space Between The Stars is her first novel.

You can find out more about Anne on her website – www.annecorlett.co.uk

Or why not follow Anne on twitter – @ConsummateChaos


Giveaway

With thanks to the lovely people at Macmillan I have one copy of the brilliant book to giveaway to one lucky winner!

I am running this giveaway through my twitter account here!

UK Only

Ends 4th June 2017

Good Luck!


Blog Tour

You can follow or catch up on the rest of the fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Anne and to Alice at Macmillan for asking me to be part of this fab blog tour and for an awesome giveaway!

Have you read The Space Between The Stars?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and grab a copy?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Sweetpea – The Playlist by C J Skuse


I am super excited to have our British Books Challenge author of the month for April, C J Skuse on Tales today with a brilliant playlist to celebrate the release of her first adult thriller Sweetpea which was release on the 20th April 2017.

If you’ve not read Sweetpea yet then your missing out!  It’s deliciously thrilling and I loved it!

C J Skuse was our #BritishBooksChallenge17 author of the month for April 2017!

Check out the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Spotlight on C J and her books and find out why people love her so much – here

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here


About Sweatpea

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

’I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.’

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…


Sweetpea – The Playlist

Music is my co-writer and always has been. Certain songs unlock certain scenes and sometimes have the effect of reimagining scenes in my head. For Sweetpea, a lot of my ‘writing’ has been done on long car journeys – whole scenes conjured up while driving along. And when I’d get home, they’d pour forth onto the screen almost exactly as I’d imagined them (but not as good, obvs – they never are!) Here are 10 songs which leant themselves very well to scenes from my first ever adult novel, Sweetpea

Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

I heard this song and knew my main character had to be called Rhiannon. Her original name was Tamsin. The lyrics She’s like a cat in the dark and then she is the darkness and She rules her life like a bird in flight and who will be her lover?’ are about a Welsh witch but they just spoke to the exact kind of person I was trying to create – mysterious, sexually-powerful and highly secretive.

Cheap Thrills – Sia

The lyrics depict a woman getting ready to go out for the night to dance and have fun but in my head mean something completely different. ‘Baby I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight.’

Glory Box – Portishead

Insidious, creepy, perfect. And the band are from Bristol which makes them even more perfect. Through this new frame of mind, a thousand flowers could bloom.

Milkshake – Kelis

She’s just reeling them in, all the time … ‘I know you want it, The thing that makes me, What the guys go crazy for. They lose their minds, The way I wind, I think it’s time…’

Them Bones – Alice in Chains

This song gave me my ending, along with a tide of goose bumps when I realised what she was going to do next. *FUN FACT*- I really, really didn’t want the book to end that way. Unfortunately, Rhiannon did. And she always wins.

Daddy Lessons – Beyonce

I could have put every Beyonce song on this list to be honest because she was in my head throughout the whole writing process. The lyrics of 6 Inch and this song in particular really sum up exactly where Rhiannon’s coming from in my mind. She learned an awful lot from watching her dad.

Candy Shop – 50 Cent

I love the predatory tone of this and though the lyrics are obviously about something else, when you apply it to Rhiannon’s predilection for murder, it bears a whole new meaning. Well, it does for me anyway. In Sweetpea, the roles are reversed –

You could have it your way, how do you want it?

You gon’ back that thing up, or should I push up on it?

Temperature rising, okay, let’s go to the next level

Dance floor jam-packed, hot as a tea kettle

I break it down for you now, baby it’s simple

If you be a nympho, I’ll be a nympho

In the hotel, or in the back of the rental

On the beach or in the park, it’s whatever you into…

Nirvana – Dumb

She’s an unhappy little soul in many ways and does what she can to get by. Murder is the troubling addiction to which she clings. ‘I’m not like them but I can pretend, The sun is gone but I have a light, My heart is broke but I have some glue, Help me inhale and mend it with you…’

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed

This song is overflowing with meaning for me and also carries on the flowers theme in a dark little way which I really love. The Disturbed version is better than the original, in my opinion.

…because a vision softly creeping

left its seeds while I was sleeping…

And the vision that was planted in my brain

still remains within the sound of silence…’

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

You’re going to reap just what you sow …

You can buy a copy of Sweetpea here or from your local bookshop


About C J Skuse

C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. Sweetpea is CJ’s first adult novel.

You can follow CJ on twitter – CeejaytheAuthor


You can find previous posts from CJ on my blog or by clicking on the links below …

Hot Boys In My Books!

Hidden Easter Eggs In Books

I also love this article by CJ of 10 Things I’s Like My Readers To Know here


A huge thank you to C J for such a fab post and embracing the #BritishBooksChallenge17

Have you read Sweetpea?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and grab a copy?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – The Location Of Crimson Lake by Candice Fox


I am super excited to have the awesome Candice Fox on Tales today chatting about her new adult thriller, Crimson Lake!

Crimson Lake is due to be released on the 4th May 2017 published by Arrow and is set to be a mystery that will keep those pages turning.

“One of the best crime thrillers of the year.” (Lee Child)

“A bright new star of crime fiction.” (James Patterson)

“A masterful novel … Definitely a writer to watch.” (Harlan Coben)

Today Candice shares a little more about the location of Crimson Lake and why she chose to write about it in this fab guest post….


From the New York Times bestselling co-author of Never Never comes an ingenious and edgy suspense novel that will keep you guessing to the very last page . . .

12.46: 13-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop

12.47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her

12.52: The girl is missing . . .Six minutes – that’s all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey’s life.

Accused but not convicted of Claire’s abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy no.1. Maybe it’s her murderous past that makes her so good as a private investigator, tracking lost souls in the wilderness. Her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own – so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is: Ted Conkaffey.

But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move. And for Ted, a man already at breaking point, this town is offering no place to hide . . .


The Location Of Crimson Lake

I’ve always said that if I wanted to run away and start again, I’d go to Far North Queensland. The closer you go to the equator in this country, the wilder things get. Everything grows bigger there – the mosquitos are twice the size they are in Sydney, and there are spiders there as big as dinner plates that will trap and catch small birds. It always seemed like a place under the magnifying glass, focusing the heat from above, slightly warped and shimmering. It’s a place where things grow insatiably. You throw a handful of seeds out the window in the Cairns wetlands and in days you’ll have a smattering of different plants growing and curling upward from the black soil.

It seemed an appropriate place for someone wanting to hide, because in this tangled wonderland one could hope to be covered over and forgotten by those growing plants. It’s a shadowy place, somewhere people don’t ask a lot of questions of one another. It also seemed appropriate for Amanda as a permanent fixture, because as we learn in the novel, her own skin is an example of the growing-over of the past by colourful tangles of things.

You can buy a copy of Crimson Lake here or from your local bookshop!


About Candice Fox

Hades, Candice Fox’s first novel, won the Ned Kelly Award for best debut in 2014 from the Australian Crime Writers Association. The sequel, Eden, won the Ned Kelly Award for best crime novel in 2015, making Candice only the second author to win these accolades back-to-back. Her third novel, Fall, was shortlisted for the 2016 Ned Kelly and Davitt awards.

In 2015 Candice began collaborating with James Patterson. Their first novel together, Never Never, set in the vast Australian outback, was a huge bestseller in Australia and went straight to number 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in the US and also to the top of the charts in the UK. The sequel, Fifty Fifty, will be released in August 2017. They have also co-written a prequel novella, Black & Blue, as part of the James Patterson BookShots series.

You can find out more about Candice on her website – www.candicefoxauthor.com

Or why not follow Candice on twitter – @candicefoxbooks


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to Candice for a fab blog post!  And to Gemma at Penguin for organising and asking me to host and be part of the blog tour!

Have you read Crimson Lake?  What did you think?  Are you intrigued to go and grab a copy?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button above or tweet my on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

Guest Post – Five Interesting Things About Dreaming Of Venice by T A Williams


I am super happy to have been asked to feature another brilliant guest post from the wonderful T A Williams as part of this fab blog tour organised by PR Extraordinaire Faye Rogers.

Dreaming Of Venice was released on the 24th April 2017 on e book and is set to be a brilliant adult fiction romance novel with a beautiful setting and a little comedy.

Today T A Williams tells us a little more about Dreaming Of Venice…..


Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice.

Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.

It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.

But can dreams come true?


Five Interesting Things About Dreaming Of Venice

I have to confess that Venice is one of my favourite places in the whole world. Choosing to set a book in that enchanting city was, therefore, a very logical step and it gave me the chance to wallow in my memories of a city that is without question unique in the world.

So, five interesting or surprising things about the book, eh?

It may come as a surprise to readers to find that our heroine, Penny, doesn’t actually get to Venice until about halfway through the book. Of course, she’s constantly dreaming of visiting Venice (hint: the clue’s in the title) and everything in the first half of the book is leading inevitably to that glorious moment when her plane comes in low over the lagoon and lands at Marco Polo airport. From then on, it’s Venice all the way.

I always try to put a big black dog in all my books (it’s a long story and I won’t bore you with it here), but with Venice there was a problem. You see, dogs need space to walk, to explore and, <polite cough>, to poop. Venice has very little in the way of grass or open spaces for dogs so I decided to insert the black Labrador into the first half of the book that takes place in England. Hence the canine exercise and poop problem was averted.

The hotel in Venice where Penny goes to stay is the world-famous Hotel Danieli. If you’ve ever seen a movie called The Tourist with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, you will recognise it. The Danieli has hosted princes, presidents, celebrities and, two years ago, me. My wife and I got a really good deal just before last Christmas and had the chance to sample the lap of luxury for ourselves. Fabulous, and not in the least bit snooty as I had expected. A great historic, beautiful hotel with helpful, friendly staff. If you win the lottery, try it!

I’ve wanted for some time to write a book dealing with the phenomenon of love at first sight. Does it exist? As far as Penny is concerned, at least at the start of the book, the answer is very definitely NO. She even comments on it. “Surely it’s impossible. I mean, the man could be a mass murderer or, even worse, a house agent or something.” As the book develops, she finds herself hearing about it time and time again. Could it really be a thing?

Finally, when she gets to Venice, Penny spends half her time there getting lost. I can quite honestly say that this is not just poetic license. It really happens. I like to think I have a reasonably good bump for direction, but my wife and I regularly got lost in the maze of narrow alleys that make up the old town. It’s a truly fascinating place where you can feel the history oozing out of the brickwork all round you. Set off for a walk and who know where you will end up?

So, in conclusion, although I am in no way sponsored by the Venice Tourist Board, my advice to anybody reading this would be to start saving up. It’s not cheap, but Venice is unique and unforgettable. I hope at least some of its charm spills over into “Dreaming of Venice”.

You can buy a copy of Dreaming Of Venice here

Or why not add it to your Goodreads here

You can also find previous posts from T A Williams on Tales by clicking on the below links….

The Research Behind Chasing Shadows


About T A Williams

My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…

My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.

I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.

I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.

You can find out more about T A Williams on his website – www.tawilliamsbooks.com

Or why not follow him on twitter – @TAWilliamsbooks

Or on Facebook here


Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of this fab blog tour at the following stops!


A huge thank you to T A Williams for a fab guest post.  Also a huge thank you to Faye for asking me to be part of the blog tour and for organising this post.

Have you read Dreaming Of Venice?  Are you intrigued?  Have you ever been to Venice?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !

Happy Reading!

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