What Katie Did

Cross Her Heart Book Cover Cross Her Heart
Sarah Pinborough
Fiction, suspense, thriller, psychological
HarperCollins UK
May 14, 2018
384

The explosive follow-up from Sarah Pinborough, author of the NUMBER ONE Sunday Times bestseller Behind Her Eyes.

‘Cross my heart and hope to die…’

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?

A secret no one could ever guess.

Someone is living a lie.

Is it Lisa?

Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.

Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?

This book kept me hooked.

You think you know the story but you don’t – the twists and turns and slow reveal of the real truth behind, was very well done.

You have tears in your eyes when you find out Charlotte’s childhood story and then Daniel’s is revealed and oh how you hope that their parents are in prison. And never coming out.

But you never suspect what Katie did. Not until her history is revealed too and her mother’s action causing such a reaction.

An excellent, cleverly crafted story, well told with empathy and understanding of how childhood trauma can affect future behaviours.

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If He Wakes: Zoe explains

If He Wakes Book Cover If He Wakes
Zoe Lea
Fiction, thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
April 30, 2018
300

You can always trust your best friend... can’t you? When Rachel discovers a Twitter message arranging a romantic liaison she assumes her husband is having an affair, and follows him. What she witnesses is so much worse: a hit and run using his car. Meanwhile, Rachel’s friend and business partner Suzie is increasingly worried about her fiance, who’s not been in touch for days. When Suzie learns of huge debts racked up in her name she fears he has run out on her, but then the threatening calls start and she thinks something terrible has happened. Rachel and Suzie are both about to learn shocking things about the men they love, worse than they could ever imagine... Can their friendship survive? 'A tense, pulse-quickening tale. If you read the first chapter, you can’t help but read the second. I flew through this perfect summer read of best friends in turmoil in one feverish session.' Paula Daly

ZOE LEA – IF HE WAKES

 1.Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

I got the initial idea for If He Wakes, and that very early idea would just not leave me alone.  I wrote about it because I couldn’t not write about it, and I realise how corny that sounds!
The idea of complete betrayal appealed to me, and although If He Wakes is similar to a lot of other books out there in this genre, I think the way it handles female friendship is a little different. In so much as it’s the central characters friendship that’s the narrative spine of the book, not the horrific acts that surround it.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

I usually think about a topic for quite a while before starting to write about it.  I like to keep a note book and write down the initial premise and then continue to add to it until I’m pretty sure the structure the book will take, by that time, I know if I’ve got a whole book or not.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

I’m lucky in that I have several friends who work in the force and one in particular that is happy to answer all of my questions!

  1. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted?

Too many times to remember!  I’ve been writing in one from or another for years so getting rejections is part and parcel of it all.

  1. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

This is hard one because there are two schools of thought, I know people who have an amazing online presence and because of that, have been approached by agents and publishers.  However, if the book you write isn’t up to scratch, I don’t think it will make any difference how big your audience is.  It always comes down to the quality of work in the end.

  1. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I like to read a good escapist novel when I’m looking for a book to nurture me, something that will help me forget where I am and transport me to a different world.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Mystery and crime.  It can be any genre, so long as there’s an element of mystery or crime to the plot, I like to read something and try to solve it.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

Stephen King has had the biggest influence on me and my writing.  His book, ‘On Writing,’ is a must read for anyone who is writing at the moment or thinking of becoming a writer.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Zoe Lea lives in the Lake District with her husband, their two children, three dogs and peregrine falcons. She has previously worked as a teacher, photographer and freelance journalist and is a writer in the day and a reader by night. If He Wakes is her debut novel.

Twitter: @zoe___lea

Instagram: ZoeLeaWriter

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How do you know if he is the Right Man? Kate White explains

The Wrong Man Book Cover The Wrong Man
Kate White
Thriller, Psychological Thriller
Canelo
9th October 2017

A moment of pleasure leads to a deadly game of cat and mouse in this slick and suspenseful thriller.

Kit Finn meets handsome sculptor Matt Healy on a business trip and the two share a night of passion. They arrange a second date, but when Kit arrives at Matt’s apartment she is greeted by a stranger claiming he is the real Matt and that his identity was stolen.

Realising she has been duped Kit decides to put the encounter behind her. Shortly after, the police ask her to identify a man killed in a hit and run, carrying only her business card, and she is shocked to find the dead man is the person she knows as the genuine Matt Healy.

Kit fears she has become unintentionally embroiled in a sinister web of deceit. With no real evidence to take to police, Kit resolves to unravel the mystery herself. But can she do so before more lives, including her own, are put in danger?

For fans of psychological suspense and compulsive mysteries, don’t miss this tense and page-turning novel.

Kate White answers some questions
  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique? The Wrong Man opens with a woman going, by invitation, to the apartment of a man she slept with on vacation, and the person who opens the door is not the man she expects to find there. Life is filled with unexpected twists and discoveries, some very unsettling, and I love thinking and writing about them.

     Though the twists in my book tend to be bigger than ones I’ve faced in life, I’ve had my share of rude awakenings. I dated a guy in my twenties who turned out to be a huge liar and it was unsettling to eventually find that what I assumed to be reality wasn’t at all. Those experiences ideally teach you to be better at reading situations and trusting your gut. And writing about them helps, too

How is my book different than others? I’ve never actually read a plot exactly like this, though many thrillers have details in common. For instance, I love the new thriller The Flight Attendant by Chris Bojalian. It opens with a woman waking to discover that the man she spent the night with his lying stabbed to death next to her. That happened in my psychological thriller Hush. It was really fun for me to see what another author did with the same basic idea.

 

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time? I start with a germ of an idea and then I think about it over several months. (I often have to do this while I’m finishing up another book). I like to know the ending of a book before I start and also have a rough idea of all the major plot points.

     Funny you should ask about a notebook because I do keep one for each book. In the beginning I use it to jot down all sorts of questions about the plot, and somehow my subconscious gives me the answers, sometimes even as I’m making notes. I read this technique somewhere and it works fantastically (even for life in general).

Eventually I use the same notebook to do a rough outline of each chapter before I write it.  And to be honest, I love feeling a little like a schoolgirl again–but without the angst!

  1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book? I research when I’m developing the idea and then research other details as I write. I’m often still researching when I write the final chapter.  So in a sense it’s always a year.
  2. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote? I use the Internet constantly for research, but I also like to actually go to a setting I’m writing about. The Wrong Man opens in the Florida Keys and though I researched the area thoroughly online, I ended up going down there for a few days (you should have heard me explaining the need for my trip to my husband!) When I started up the writing again after the trip, I didn’t change the opening chapter much (though the trip gave me the idea to have a gecko dart up a tree), but I felt more confident about what I’d written. While in Florida, I also visited the Miami morgue for a later scene in the book and that was a very gripping experience.
  3. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience? I’ve found that police and forensic experts are more than happy to help. You just have to get up your nerve to ask and make sure your questions are smart. And thank them in the acknowledgements!
  4. How many times have you been rejected before your first novel was accepted or before this book was accepted? My first mystery was accepted with only four chapters written and the publisher gave me a two-year contract. But I was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan then and had written several non-fiction books, so they had confidence I wouldn’t flake out on them. It was a bit of a fluke situation.
  5. Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist? From what I’ve picked up, self-publishing can be fruitful and some authors have done really well with it. But many people in the business say that it still pays to be published, if possible, by a major house. I love to write so much that if a publisher stopped wanting to publish me, I definitely try self-publishing.
  6. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened? For me being an author has been a real financial success, but that’s in part because for many years I combined it with having a day job. My day job provided me with a pension and health insurance and the like. I wrote my first eight mysteries while still at Cosmo. Yes, it can feel like burning the candle at both ends, but I do believe it’s best to try to really establish yourself as an author before you quit that day job. I didn’t leave until I had all my ducks in a row financially and knew I could afford to live even if my books stopped selling.

           And though it may not sound very creative, I think it’s important to approach the situation like a business.  Get a sense of what genres are selling and where there may be room for you.  I’ve heard great writers recommend that write the book you’re dying to write, and there’s truth in that, but I think if you’re writing a thriller or mystery, it can be smart to know the marketplace. As an entrepreneur once said to me, “It’s not enough to think about what you want from the world. You have to think about what the world wants from you.”

  1. What is the funniest thing that happened to you on a book tour? I did a major event with several other authors and the event planners had a set designer create a scene from each of our books. They were all terrific, except I don’t think the designer realized that with the scene he created for my book, he was giving away the killer and the ending. Oops! I just had to laugh to myself and hope no one realized it.
  2. What do you read when you are ill in bed? I love mysteries and thrillers at all times but I find they’re particularly good as “comfort” reading.
  3. What is your favourite genre? I love literary fiction, books that stay with you forever, like Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending or James Joyce’s The Dead. I love to go back and read those books again and again and think about them endlessly.
  4. If you recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author? Someone who comes to mind right away is American writer Anita Shreve, who just passed away at 71. Her novel The Last Time They Met is one of my favorites.
  5. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre? I can’t name just one. I have so many favorites. In terms of mysteries, I am a total sucker for Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series. It helped me learn to be better at creating red herrings and legitimate clues and not being unfair to the reader by having a killer no one would have ever expected.
  6. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing? I don’t read a lot of humor though I’m enjoying the new memoir Just the Funny Parts by screenwriter Nell Scovell. If Hollywood intrigues you, you’ll like it.
  7. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why? No, not at all. My favorites are so talented I couldn’t come close.
  8. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school? I saved everything for years and when moving left them in my then-boyfriend’s parents’ basement, in a suitcase. They threw everything out my mistake. It made me ill, and it took a long time for me to just let it go and accept. I know a lot of it was silly, but I’d love to get a peek at the girl I once was.

Author Bio:
Kate White
is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve works of fiction: seven Bailey Weggins mysteries and five stand-alone psychological thrillers, including most recently, The Secrets You Keep. For fourteen years she was the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2013 to concentrate on being a full-time author and speaker.

Twitter: @katemwhite

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

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When you’re trying not to kill….

Leine Basso the Assassin Book Cover Leine Basso the Assassin
Leine Basso #3 books
DV Berkom
adventure, action, thriller
Duct Tape Press
July 31, 2015
272

When a former assassin's daughter is abducted, she's drawn into the twisted game of a serial killer who may be a grisly remnant from her past. What happens when a reality show turns deadly? Determined to leave her old life behind, retired assassin Leine Basso accepts a job working security at one of television's most popular reality shows, Serial Date. When a contestant is found dead in the prop closet, it appears the killer is one of the 'bachelors' on the show- an ex-con billed as a serial killer- but the detective in charge of the case isn't so sure. When Leine's estranged daughter is abducted by a man claiming to be the real killer, she's forced to rely on old skills to find her, and must come to terms with who she really is. She soon realizes the murderer may be a grisly remnant from her past and she'll need to use all of her cunning to stop him... ...and rescue her daughter. "If you like fast-paced action, great lead characters, and don't mind a few F-bombs and the occasional gore, DV Berkom is the author for you." BloodWrites "Serial Date has everything a mystery/thriller needs to be successful, fast-paced and action packed, strong and memorable characters and a story that will grab you from beginning to end..." Confessions of a Reader "Why should you read it? In a nutshell it's a fast-paced, non-linear story with some creepy elements mashed together with a splash of romance and dark humour. What's not to like?" Indie eBooks

 
I like DV Berkom’s writing and bought this set having read her previous series about Kate Jones – a PI.

Now Leine is trying very hard to leave her previous life behind – and not to kill people – but is constantly being thwarted. By  her ex-boss. By Russian gangsters. By psychopaths. And so it goes. She is a little rusty and her skills are not quite what they were, but she remembers her Krav Magma and can even teach it. She remembers how to shoot cleanly. But she does seem to forget one thing – author note this – she might clean her gun but she forgets to clean off any cartridges/bullets left in the gun and she doesn’t wear nitrile gloves – when loading.  Big oops these days.

That aside.

I enjoyed the book set but do feel that she has really run her course of stories and won’t purchase any more.

  1. Serial Date

2. Bad Traffick

3. The Body Market

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How well do you see?

A different female detective. One not racked – completely – with angst. Thankfully.

And she comes from an ethnic background and is local to her policing area.

This story is set in an area of London I know quite well. I know of the cultural inheritances and the issues that came as new cultures came in and the local and new clashed – from the time of the Huguenots and before! See the Roman Road… Immigration to the UK has often come through the Docks and this affects the architecture as well as the culture.

I did think that the problem of distinguishing between forced and arranged marriages was portrayed well and the tip-toeing around not to tread on toes that is so common that it actually lets illegal activities occur rather than disturb certain elements of the community. As there is often a wall of silence and united front before outsiders this doesn’t help discover the truth.

I thought the author dealt quite well with the issues of inequality as I have seen this area transform – patchily – from nearly slums to desirable residences.

Overall a solid first book in this  new series.

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