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Mel Comley: Twisted Revenge

Book blurb

Did Alistair really deserve to die such a heinous death? A man with no known enemies, so why did someone want him dead?

DI Sara Ramsey is about to tackle one of her worst cases to date. The more she digs, the more secrets she uncovers within a seemingly loving family.

Can Sara sift through the lies to reveal the murderer and their warped revenge? Available here

My review

I have a few go-to crime fiction writers when I need a crime hit, which includes LJ Ross, Clare Chase, Joy Ellis and Mel Comley. As a writer in this genre I made the decision years ago to never read crime fiction when I have a pen in my hand. Instead my go-to books when I’m writing are historical romances. It would take a better writer than me to fit the odd Barouche in the middle of one of my books lol – thank God for the Guardian who now allows me to read such books with impunity. How terribly…kind of them 🤨

Back to the book.

I raced through this in one sitting. The thing about Mel’s writing is that she never disappoints. Her words are clear and concise and the plot is paramount. She had me at page one and kept me reading right up to the end. Oftentimes I find myself skimming through large swathes of words that add nothing to the plot. This never happens with Mel’s books. I’m in awe as to how she can keep delivering the goods and at such speed but just thankful that she does. I don’t give away plots but let’s just say that Alistair Daly’s perfect life turns out not to be so perfect.

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WINTER BOOK ROUND-UP

With Spring bursting upon our garden in a fiery glory of daffodils, tulips and Iris I thought I’d give an update as to my winter reading. And apologies, Guernsey is far south. Spring hits us first, it seems, although I am being a little optimistic :).
These are in random order and apologies that each book doesn’t get the single post it deserves but, with 3 books to edit and one to write, my time isn’t my own anymore.  
  • Susie Lynes. CAN YOU SEE HER. A haunting depiction of what it’s like to grow old in a media-filled world full of beautiful people and a warning of what might happen as a result if things aren’t allowed to change. I felt this was a bit of a shift of Susie, I’ve read a couple of her previous books but, that said. I loved it. This had the edge but for the life of me I can’t put that into words. IMHO her best yet. Buying link here 
  • Beth O’Leary. THE SWITCH. I adored THE FLATSHARE so downloading THE SWITCH, whilst obvious, was also a worry as I loved her first so much. Also having read, watched this trope until it’s been overdone like a cooked goose I was, to say the least, worried. However O’Leary’s take of Leena swapping with her gran was the proverbial breath of fresh air needed to swat images of Hayley Mills and Tom Hanks off the page. Another feelgood fantastic read. Buying link here
  • Carol Wyer. THE SECRET ADMIRER. This, the second book that I’ve read by this writer, continues to explore DI Natalie’s complex personal life while she struggles with her work one. Gemma, a Uni student, gets acid thrown and subsequently dies. But all is not as it seems with her tender life. Another stonking read from a great crime writer. The characters are spot on. The plot and twist gasp worthy. Buying link here 
  • Shalini Boland. ONE OF US IS LYING. So I seem to have arrived late to the Boland party, something I regret (you’ll be pleased to know that I intend to rectify my tardiness post haste). This is a densely plotted book and very cleverly written. The start drew me in with the biggest hook. Out of the mouths of babes, the truth or a version of it – but which one? Boland = Breath-taking. Buying link here
  • Peter Swanson. RULES FOR PERFECT MURDERS. Okay so I was swayed by the media storm hitting this book and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I don’t know about you but setting a book around a bookshop is one sure fired way of drawing me in. I also like crime fiction with an unusual premise and executing murders in a recipe-style killing spree and drawing on the works of other writers to boot, is pure class. The deadliest of combinations – unusual and enjoyable. Buying link here
  • Sue Moorcroft. SUMMER ON A SUNNY ISLAND. Another slice of delight from one of my favourite romance authors, a view held by many. The characters just jumped from the page and, like all her books, there’s lots of backstory to keep the plot moving. Malta, I’ve never been and, in truth, it wasn’t on my bucket list. It is now. Buying link here
  • CL Taylor. STRANGERS. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have found Taylor’s books. SLEEP was amazing and STRANGERS is just as good. A story told from 3 strangers’ unique viewpoints. Magnificent plot. Great characters – what more can a reader ever want? Buying link here
  • Sarah Morgan. FAMILY FOR BEGINNERS. Okay so I’ve read pretty all of Morgan’s books – call me a fan. I don’t really care. A fan and proud. Someone once said she was a magician with words. That still stands. Flora the florist 🙂 A new man. Teenagers. You might guess some of the rest but the writing… Buying link here
  • Melissa Hill. THE SUMMER VILLA. My second book by this author. I read through this in one sitting. It was raining. I wanted to be dragged away to some sunshine. Hill certainly didn’t disappoint. Three women. three viewpoints. Two different timelines and a twist – simply perfect. Buying link here.
  • Claire Allen. THE LIAR’S DAUGHTER. Now this was an interesting one, which dealt with complex issues but with sensitivity. A dying man and his 2 daughters. Did one of them kill him and, if so, why? What a tangled web… This is a worthy follow-up of Allen’s succes with HER NAME WAS ROSE. Buying link here
  • Clare Chase MYSTERY ON HIDDEN LANE. I have long been a fan of Chase since her early days with Choclit and have watched her growing talent and success with a huge smile. Chase has a way with words. A way with plots. A way with characters. But more importantly, a sense of place. Eve Mallow, an obituary writer, is carefully crafted and comes with a whole pile of back story. These books have been likened to Midsomer Murders. I think they’re better. Buying link here 
  • Valerie Keogh NO PAST FORGIVEN. And last but not least… I was lucky enough to read this a while back. I just adore Garda West. Keogh was writing Irish detective fiction when other Gaelic authors were still sharpening their pencil and her experience shows. I love the unfolding hint of romance, but not too much. The location of Clare Island is a winner and the plot… It’s rare not for me to work it out. I was stumped. Buying Link here
Jenny O’Brien Wife, mum, nurse, writer (Indie and HQ Digital) SILENT CRY available to pre-order for 99p Buying link here
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Exciting announcement 

My journey has been a long one, longer than most it seems. I started writing when the twins were babies, they’re now mid-teens. I didn’t have the time to write but I had a story, a story about a little boy called Dai Monday. I wasn’t a writer and it took me a year to find the courage to put pen to paper, in between my nursing job and family commitments. It took another seven rejection-fuelled years to self publish Boy Brainy. But I found I enjoyed writing and more books followed.

Five years later I’m still writing and, up until the summer, I was still sending out querying letters, albeit half-heartedly. I never thought my time would come. In the race to find a home in traditional publishing I was the snail and not the sleek race horse I desired to be. There’s nothing wrong with being an Indie writer but I wanted to find a niche I could sink into. A home for my writing. An affirmation if you like.

20200117_213558

I’m delighted that Abi Fenton, the Editorial Director for HQ Digital, Harper Collins, saw something in my scribbles. I’ve listened to many writers achieve similar goals and tell others to never give up on their dreams. All I can add is that if I’d known it would take this long I’d still have travelled down the same road. I’ve met some amazing people in the writing industry over the years and view other authors, bloggers and readers as the most supportive bunch. So thanks to Valerie Keogh, Susan Godenzi, Adele Blair, Jo Robertson, Beverley Hopper, Michele Turner, Suzie Tullett, Claire Chase, Jane Linfoot, Sam Tonge, Sue Moorcroft, Natasha Orme, Rachel Gibney and a bundle of other amazing people including the lovely members of my street team.

My journey, already thirteen years long, has only just begun.

Silent Cry, the book that started it off (previously Missing in Wales) is available to pre-order here.

Jenny x

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Anne Allen. The Guernsey Novels ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


I read The Inheritance at the start of the year and promised myself that, when my latest book was completed I’d treat myself to the other books in Anne Allen’s series. I’d already read the first Dangerous Waters, but it had been a while. 

Wow. Anne Allen is the queen of duel time-line suspense and dysfunctional families. Her writing is easy to read and her books drew me in from page one.  I read these back on back and just loved that they were all set somewhere that I know and love – Guernsey. I cannot wait for her next. Individual reviews on Amazon. Books available here

DANGEROUS WATERS – 

Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .

Can she really go through it again and survive?

She is lucky to be alive … at sixteen Jeanne was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island; she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…

Only returning to sell her inheritance – her grandmother’s old cottage – Jeanne has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II and the German Occupation, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.

Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.

When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…
FINDING MOTHER

Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…

Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.

Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in that family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…

GUERNSEY RETREAT –

Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…

A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past. 

Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger – for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm’s journey is more complicated: conceived in Guernsey, his bereaved mother emigrates with him to Canada. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father’s home and where he was killed at the start of the Second World War. 

At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice. 

Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing… 

THE FAMILY DIVIDED

One family, divided by death – and money

Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Andy is introduced to Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. They meet when she returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and Charlotte becomes involved in Andy’s family history.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

ECHOES OF TIME
WINNER OF THE DIAMOND BOOK AWARD 2017 

The fifth of The Guernsey Novels, Echoes of Time is a dual-time story set in the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…
1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.

All too soon Olive realises she has made a mistake. Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-however there’s a price to pay. . .

2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…

Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.

Thrown together in a bid to find out what happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on? 
THE BETRAYAL

Book Six of The Guernsey Novels is another dual-time story set during the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal particularly to fans of the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return. 
1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth…

Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?

Who betrayed Leo? 

Who knew about the stolen Renoir?
And are they prepared to kill – again?

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One Christmas Star


Book Blurb 

Emily Parker is set to have the worst Christmas ever!

Her flatmate’s moved out, she’s closed her heart to love and she’s been put in charge of the school original Christmas show – with zero musical ability.

Disgraced superstar, Ray Stone is in desperate need of a quick PR turnaround. Waking up from a drunken stupor to a class of ten-year-olds snapping pics and Emily looking at him was not what he had in mind.

Ray needs Emily’s help to delete the photos, and she needs his with the show. As they learn to work together they may just open their hearts to more than a second chance…
Available here 

My Review

Christmas reading at its best. Two people who, under normal circumstances would never meet. But when Emily’s friend walks out and Ray, singer-songwriter with nowhere to go and media on his tail, get together sparks fly. An interesting inclusive take on the usual school Christmas offerings with lots of fun and high jinks from the year 6 kids to add both humour and back story. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Christmas Calendar Girls. Samantha Tonge 

Book blurb

This Christmas fall in love with the town of Chesterwood…

Christmas is meant to be a time of giving, so with Chesterwood food bank under risk of closure Fern knows just what to do to save it. She’s going to get the town to create a living advent calendar.

Fern, and her best friends, call for help from the local community to bring this calendar to life. When Kit, the new man in town, offers his assistance Fern’s heart can’t help but skip a beat (or two).

As they grow ever closer, Fern must admit that Kit’s breaking down the barriers she built after the death of her husband. But his past is holding him back and Fern doesn’t know how to reach him. No matter how hard she tries.

In this town, Kit’s not the only one with secrets. Domestic goddess Cara is behaving oddly, burning meals in the oven and clothes whilst ironing, and Davina’s perfect children are causing trouble at school leaving her son, Jasper, desperately unhappy.

Can the Christmas Calendar Girls find a way to bring the community together in time to save the food bank, while still supporting their families and each other? Can Fern find love again with Kit?
This is a story about kindness and letting go of the past. It’s about looking out for your neighbours and about making every day feel like Christmas.

Pre order here

My review

There’s nothing like a bit of festive cheer to make the world seem a happier place and Sam’s latest piece of glittery tinsel certainly ticks all my boxes.  But the book isn’t just that…

There’s tragedy here. Fern, still reeling from the death of her husband’s, moves with her daughter, Lily to pastures new in an attempt to move on with her life. But, instead she soon finds herself embroiled in trying to save the local food bank, coming up with a unique fund raising idea and, in the process stumbles on a new friendship with Kit. The sense of community spirit adds a richness to the plot as does the side stories seamlessly threaded through the story. Another well-written winner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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The Birthday – Carol Wyer.

Book Blurb

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …
Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken? Available here

My review

OH MY DAYS! This is my first book by this author but not the last. I read this in a couple of sittings, soaking up the sun down in Hossegor, while the kids were playing around in the surf. Within seconds Wyer had dragged me kicking and screaming from the south west of France and into the nightmare of a missing child. I could have been sitting on a drizzly beach on Clacton-on-Sea for the difference it made, my eyes clued to the screen as the plot unfolded on every parents worst nightmare.

The writing is strong, the plot fluid and, probably more important for me, believable. So many books these days are far-fetched and with that new baddie character shoe-horned in over the last couple of chapters. This was good honest reading and tightly plotted fiction. I’ll be adding her to my list of favourite writers.

5 shiny pointy things

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Stabbed in Wales: Cover Reveal

Today I’m delighted to reveal the cover of book two in my Detective Gabriella Darin series of Welsh-set crime thrillers. Eip cover.pptx

In stabbed in Wales, Gaby has moved from St David’s and up to Llandudno, with FLO, Amy Potter, and it’s here that the craziest of cases is pushed into her lap.

Christine de Bertrand certainly got more than she was expecting from the casual hook-up after a night celebrating the anniversary of her divorce. Arrested at the scene she has no explanation or alibi. She also has no one on her side apart from her ex-husband. She’s as confounded as everyone else as to the unexplained presence of the dead body in her bed – the dead body of a woman when she’s positive she went to bed with a man…

Stabbed in Wales is now available for pre-order. Missing in Wales is out on Saturday – both books only 99p/99c here.

Happy reading

Jenny x

 

 

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Missing in Wales: Introducing Bucket @scribblerjb

With Missing in Wales on the 10 day countdown I thought it was time to introduce you to Bucket.

Demi and Ishy (Bucket)

Bucket started out as Ayesha – H Rider Haggard’s character from ‘She’. But Ayesha soon got shortened to Ishy when She became He 🤣

He was our first cat, the first of many. Snowy white and with the most amazing disposition imaginable. We’ve only had one pure white moggy but I think one is enough. No white cat could compare. He wasn’t perfect and just how he managed to get that seagull through the cat flap… The hall has never been the same since! Not to be left out, the cat on the right is Demi. Sadly we only had her for a year but a year of happy memories…

Back to Bucket.

Bucket is a major player in MISSING IN WALES. Found abandoned in an upturned bucket on the coastal path in Abereiddy, (St David’s), he’s Izzy Grant’s best friend, sometimes her only one. When Charlie, her partner of 9 months abducts Alys, her 7 day-old baby, without Bucket she often thinks that the madness in her soul would have spread to her mind.

Including animals between the pages of a book somehow seems right and something I’ve done many times before. When I draw from my own personal experiences it’s as if they’re still right by my side.

We lost Ishy, aged 16, nearly 10 years ago. Now he’ll live on.

MISSING IN WALES out in paperback for £7.99 pre-order here for 99p/c

Jenny x

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Using PowerPoint to create book promotions @scribblerjb

I’ve been asked how I created book promo posters on PowerPoint. So I’m an author and not a publicist or vlogger but here goes 🙂

1, Set up a new doc and, going to design, set up your poster size. This is mine.

2, Go to ‘insert’ and choose background photo.

3, Insert photo of book cover. Right click and choose bottom option ‘format picture’, as shown.

4, Go to 3D rotation and play around. I used pre-sets for mine, as shown.

5, Go to 3D Format and have a play. The options I used are shown. This gives your book depth.

6, Choose Text Box option from top, and place on your poster.

7, Play with font size and colour. I used 2 text boxes.

Finally go to file, ‘save as’ and choose Jpeg file. Ta da! Ready to share on Social Media.

Hope this was useful. Lots more on YouTube which is where I learnt from many artists too numerous to mention.