Attend – West Camel @west_camel @orendabooks

 

attend selfie
Orenda really know how to do covers. This is another stunning design, utterly ruined by my beardy mug, by Mark Swan, aka Kid Ethic. Bravo, Mark.

 

The little old lady looks up at you in astonishment: you can see me? she says. You look around for an escape route as, frankly, she has a slightly rheumy, crazy look in her eye and you are beginning to get worried. She shuffles closer, peering up at you, a questioning almost disbelieving look on her face. You mumble an almost imperceptible “yes” and begin to edge away. But she is a stubborn little woman, and she suddenly holds up a tattered old Tesco bag-for-life in your face. The bag looks like it has come to the end of its life and there’s a slightly musty, damp, muddy smell emanating from it, but the little shrunken woman waves it enthusiastically about in front of you. Do you want to see, she asks. No, you really don’t want to see what you strongly suspect are her unwashed undergarments, but she now has you backed up against a wall and your escape routes are becoming more and more limited. Reluctantly you agree and with a huge, toothless grin the walking, talking walnut in an overcoat grabs your hand and suddenly starts to pull you down the street toward a little used, darkened alleyway. “Woah, woah, wait a minute…”, you start to protest, but this old lady has surprising strength and her grip is like iron. She drags you into the alleyway saying that her house is just at the end, round the corner and next to the creek. The creek? That’s where the bodies always get washed up, and you start to sweat with worry, and no little embarrassment, that you have been apprehended maybe to be murdered by a desiccated old woman. Oh, the ignominy of it all. You wish you’d worn clean underwear. Suddenly the sweat oozing from your palms enables you to pull you hand free and the two of you fall apart; the momentum causing the old lady to fly off into the wall ahead and her bag is thrown into the air. The contents spill out over you as you fall with a thump to the ground. Its contents revealed you discover that it is not her unwashed smalls that you have spread across your face, but pieces of fabric embroidered with something neat and intricate. The old woman curses a little under her breath as you stare in amazement at the detail woven into the cloth. You are mesmerised and jump as the old woman appears next to you out of nowhere. She smiles, offering a helping hand as you stand. She lays the cloth out on the floor of the alley, all thoughts of abduction, murder and the smell of fresh piss – your own as it turns out, adding to the ignominy – forgotten as she begins to explain what the tiny stitching means.

What is revealed is something truly magical.

Something you will never forget and will live to tell your children and grandchildren about.

You thank the fates that you met this old woman as she reveals to you her….blurb.

 

Under their feet lies magic…

When Sam falls in love with South London thug Derek, and Anne’s best friend Kathleen takes her own life, they discover they are linked not just by a world of drugs and revenge; they also share the friendship of the uncanny and enigmatic Deborah.

Seamstress, sailor, story-teller and self-proclaimed centenarian immortal, Deborah slowly reveals to Anne and Sam her improbable, fantastical life, the mysterious world that lies beneath their feet and, ultimately, the solution to their crises.

With echoes of Armistead Maupin and a hint of magic realism, Attend is a beautifully written, darkly funny, mesmerisingly emotive and deliciously told debut novel, rich in finely wrought characters that you will never forget.

 

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Good Samaritans – Will Carver @will_carver @orendabooks @annecater #GoodSamaritans #BlogTour

GOOD SAMARITANS AW PR1.indd

 

You’ve been watching the house across the road from your little Skoda for a while now; what the hell is going on over there? The man that you presume lives there has been acting very oddly for a few weeks now. Yesterday he came home with several bags filled with what looked like bottles of bleach. Maybe he’s just a germaphobe about to give the house a damn good scrubbing? Whilst you eat the last chunk of your chocolate bar his car appears out of nowhere, pulling up abruptly in his drive. Wiping a chocolatey dribble from your chin, you watch as the man sits there in the driver’s seat for a few minutes before getting out and popping the boot open. It’s dark now and you struggle to see what he is getting out of the boot, but it looks like a large roll of…carpet? It’s definitely cylindrical and about the size of…a human? No, don’t be silly, that stuff only happens in movies or in badly written book reviews. Still, you watch as the man struggles to keep a grip of the object, taking photos on your phone’s camera. Suddenly the man’s feet give way from underneath him and he falls to the ground, dropping the object onto the floor. He swears loudly as it rolls away from him. He manages to grab one end, but that only causes the object to unravel  towards your car. You watch in horror as the object unfurls before you, but instead of a body inside you see, writing? Surely you are mistaken, but what appears to be inside the object is far more disturbing than a body.

It is…. a blurb.

 

One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach

Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.

But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…

And someone is watching…

Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.

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The Doll Collector – Joanna Stephen-Ward @operalover12 @damppebbles @bloodhoundbook #blogtour

The-Doll-Collector-Kindle

You are starting to become a tad worried. The new neighbour in the flat next door is beginning to creep you out. At first you thought that you may have been overreacting; she was just being over friendly, a little too confident, nervous about meeting new people maybe? But then you noticed things going missing at home: the ring you were given by your mother has gone; the little yellow duck that you’ve had since you were two and won in a Hook-The-Duck game at the fair; the conker you had pickled after it won fifteen, yes fifteen games in a row and made you into a playground sensation for the whole of the half term; and, most upsetting of all, the little pendant containing the small, dark, curly hair that you found in the urinal after you followed Brian May into the toilets in Selfridges one Christmas. You wonder whether they got lost in the move, but you’re sure that they were there before. Then there are the other things: the TV being left on a different channel to the one you know you left it on; the coffee spoon being clean and put back into the drainer; the letters on the side table all being straightened up and neatly aligned in size order. You start to think you’re being haunted by a ghost with OCD, but the rational part of your mind suspects the new neighbour. And then there is the letter addressed to you personally, in a childish writing. You found it on your door mat when you came home. You open it and pull out the piece of paper inside. You stare in disbelief at what is written on it. You can’t believe anyone would stoop so low as to write this.

In your trembling hands, sweat pouring from your brow, scarcely able to believe it, is written…..a blurb.

 

Murders that look like accidents. An accident that looks like murder.

A couple and their young son burn to death in a house fire.
A girl dies from a nut allergy.
A woman falls under a train during the rush hour.
An accountant falls down the steps to his basement.
Their deaths appear to be accidents but Gloria knows they were murdered because she murdered them. And every time Gloria kills she buys a doll.
But how many dolls will she need to keep her satisfied?
When Gloria takes a room as a lodger her behaviour starts to spin out of control. Gloria wants love and happiness and friendship and she will do anything she can to get what she wants..

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Her Last Move – John Marrs @johnmarrs1 @amazonpub @emmafinnegan #blogtour #HerLastMove

Her Last Move cover

 

It’s not easy being the baddie: erasing evidence; disposing of bodies in ever increasingly different and hard-to-find ways; watching out for CCTV cameras; researching into the intended victim’s routine and every move; thinking of an imaginatively appropriate method of killing them… seriously, it is exhausting. This last one was particularly tricky – getting the tube of Pringles inserted into their fundement, and getting Sniffles the gerbil to actually go inside, was way harder than he imagined it would be –  but that makes it all the more satisfying in the end. Now he gets to settle back and bask in a job well done. After all, they had it coming to them and no one is going to cry after them once he tells everyone what they were really like. As always, he uncorks a bottle of his favourite red wine, opens a new packet of Tunnock’s Tea Cakes (for some reason Pringles no longer appeal), and settles down to celebrate in his own little way. The tea cakes are sticky and delicious as always, and as he takes a sip of wine – raising a small toast to the forever traumatised, reluctant, and now sweetcorn averse, accomplice Sniffles, who hasn’t even touched his celebratory teacake – he mentally goes back through the moments immediately after the kill, and, in a moment of clarity – or Clarety, if you will – he spits out the wine in a spray covering the packet of Tunnock’s and the the table in front of him.

He’s forgotten something.

He’s left something behind at the scene of the crime. Something he was not supposed to.

He left behind….a blurb.

She’s chasing a killer. He’s watching her every move.

He hides in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment. Each kill is calculated, planned and executed like clockwork.

Struggling to balance her personal and professional life, young DS Becca Vincent has landed the biggest case of her career—and she knows that it will make or break her. But she can’t catch the culprit alone. Together with facial recognition expert Joe Russell, she strives to get a lead on the elusive murderer, who is always one step ahead of them.

Time is not on their side. The body count is rising, and the attacks are striking closer and closer to home. Can Becca and Joe uncover the connection between the murders before the killer strikes the last name from his list?

Continue reading “Her Last Move – John Marrs @johnmarrs1 @amazonpub @emmafinnegan #blogtour #HerLastMove”