#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Other People’ by @CJTudor #Suspense @Audible #BookReview

Last year I read and reviewed The Taking of Annie Thorne, an engaging and bloodcurdling thriller. by C. J. Tudor. I was really looking forward to her most recent thriller, The Other People, published last month, and I was not disappointed. So, today I’d like to tell you about her newest chilling and suspenseful mystery, not for the faint hearted!

The Other People audiobook cover art

From the Blurb

Driving home one night,  Gabe sees a little girl’s face appear in the rear window. It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy.

He never sees her again.

Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights travelling up and down the motorway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe that Izzy is dead.

Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the motorway. Not searching. But running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them.

Because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter. She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up with her and Alice . .

****

My Review

The Other People is a brilliantly executed and chilling thriller by C. J. Tudor.

Gabe’s wife and his daughter, Izzy, were murdered and buried, but he is convinced his daughter is alive, because he believes he saw her in someone’s car on the motorway, after she had supposedly been murdered. Nobody believes him, especially not the police or his wife’s parents, who are convinced he has lost his mind, but has he?

Gabe spends the following three years travelling up and down the motorway, looking for the car and Izzy.

The first half of the novel is slower, as all the players, who seem unrelated, are introduced. At first, I was wondering where the story was going, but it soon picks up, as Gabe discovers the lies and complex web he’s entangled in. Almost all the characters are hiding secrets and telling lies, and others are downright evil, but Gabe’s shocking past is the central piece of the puzzle.

The second half is fast paced and suspenseful and well worth the slow start, as everything starts to fall into place, but beware, there are more sinister characters and surprising events ahead. When I thought I knew where the story was going, there was another unexpected twist.

Especially for anyone who enjoys reading suspenseful thrillers with some chilling events and disquieting characters, and plenty of unnerving twists and turns.

I listened to the audiobook on Audible. Richard Armitage’s reading is brilliant, as always.

Audible link to The Other People

****

C. J. Tudor

C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

Follow her on twitter.

Tuesday

Photo taken on my morning walk, in Córdoba, 4th February, 2020

#SoCS Stream of Consciousness Saturday ‘Lips’ #FlashFiction

This post was written in response to Linda Hill’s weekly Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt. Follow the link on the banner for more information

This weeks prompt is“lip” I’m going to write a 100 word flash fiction story, because as soon as I saw the word, an idea flashed into my mind. I’ve been thinking about it and now I’m going to write it. I won’t edit, but I will weed out words to reduce it to 100 max. Sounds like fun, but let’s see how it works out!

****

Her Lips

She pursed her lips. Those soft, luscious lips that had caressed every inch of my skin. Only mine.

They sank into a hard, angry line.  Lips that had told me they loved only me.

I willed her lips to move, to show me there was still hope, but they remained rigid, while blood, as red as her lips dripped onto the floor.

I love you, I told her, and at last, those lips that made me lose my mind, twitched slightly, one last time.

She pressed her lips to mine and dug the knife further into the wound. It’s over, she whispered.

****

Sorry it was a bit dark, but that’s where her lips took me!

A psychological, tense thriller in 100 words. Does it work?

#AtoZChallenge 2019 #Audiobooks ‘D’ is for J. P. Delaney @Audible #Thriller

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with another of my favourite writers, J. P. Delaney, who I have just discovered is not a woman! I don’t know why, probably due to the use of initials, I assumed the writer was a woman, but I’ve just discovered on his Facebook page, that J. P. Delaney is a pseudonym and that he is in fact this man:

He has published two brilliant psychological thrillers, The Girl Before and Believe Me, and I’ve listened to them both on Audible. His third novel as J P Delaney (I’m not sure if he has other novels with another pseudonym), The Perfect Wife, which will be out in August 2019, is in my wish list.

The Girl Before: A Novel

When I reviewed The Girl Before, in July 2017, a few months after it was released on Audible, I called it a masterpiece.

It’s superb from the first word to the last. No one is who they appear to be and nothing is what it seems. Suspense is guaranteed from the first page to the last.

The Girl Before is the story of a very special house and its successive occupants. The author gradually builds an intense plot which is claustrophobic in its obsession to tell the story of the house at number 1 Folger Street, which will soon become a fictional landmark, like Satis House or Manderlay, and I don’t say that lightly, both Dickens and du Maurier are two of my most respected authors. In fact, I think ‘One Folger Street’ would have been a perfect name for the book!

I’m glad I chose to spend my monthly credit to listen to the audio version, which was fabulously read by three different readers.

Believe Me: A Novel by [Delaney, JP]

Believe Me is another 5-star read or rather, listen.

Again, nothing is what it seems and nobody is who they appear to be, and yet finally everything is exactly as expected, falling into place, with a nerve-wracking, yet satisfactory ending.

There was so much to enjoy in this novel, especially the constant references to Baudelaire and his work, Les Fleurs du Mal, as well as references to acting techniques, and personality disorders.

I highly recommend the audiobook version because of the excellent, multiple (5) audio narrators, and because there are some scenes in the novel, which are written as a screenplay, so the narrators vividly bring it to life.

Believe Me is undoubtedly the best audiobook production I’ve ever listened to, and I’ve heard plenty in the last two years.

****

J P Delaney’s novels are especially for readers who enjoy intense, twisted, tightly plotted and brilliantly written, psychological thrillers.

J P Delaney’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#AtoZChallenge2019 #Audiobooks ‘B’ is for Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @Audible #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with another of my favourite contemporary suspense writers, Shalini Boland author of six psychological thrillers.

Shalini Boland

I’ve read The Secret Mother and The Silent Sister on my kindle, but today I’m going to tell you about the two audiobooks I’ve listened to recently, The Child Next Door and The Girl From The Sea.

The Girl From The Sea: A gripping psychological thriller with a heart-pounding twist by [Boland, Shalini]

Mia is found on the beach, disoriented and not knowing who she is or why she’s there. She’s finally discharged from hospital and allowed to go home when her boyfriend recognises her.

But, who is Mia? She doesn’t even recognise her reflection in the mirror. Although there are some disjointed flashbacks, her memory doesn’t improve until the last few chapters, so throughout most of the novel, Mia is forced to gradually decipher her life with the help of her boyfriend, friends and family, but can she trust them? Why are they lying to her?

The novel is narrated in the first person by Mia. The audio version is brilliant, because as most of the novel is written in the present tense, it is like watching a suspense film. All the events are vividly portrayed, making it a thrilling read, with plenty of twists and turns, right to the last page.

The Child Next Door: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist by [Boland, Shalini]

The Child Next Door is gripping from the first line to the final chapter. It’s fast-paced and very well written domestic thriller about a group of neighbours with plenty of secrets.

Kristie is a teacher who is on maternity leave and is overly worried about her infant’s safety after hearing a strange voice on her baby monitor who wants to ‘take the child and go.’

The novel is narrated in the present tense in the first person from Kristie’s point of view. The events happen over a short period of time, so once more the suspenseful narration leads to an intense listening experience.

****

Especially for lovers of fast paced, psychological thrillers set in the UK.

Shalini Boland’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#FridayFictioneers ‘Rescuing Kevin’ #FlashFiction #100Words

I’m thrilled it’s Friday once again. Time for a new flash fiction episode for Friday Fictioneers featuring Alice, her best friend, Bill, and her parents Marsha and Kevin.

Kevin has been in serious trouble for the last three weeks, and now he’s missing, but tenacious Alice has found him…

Thank you Rochelle at Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple for this week’s prompt for hosting this fabulous weekly flash fiction challenge. Thank you  Ted Strutz for this week’s photo prompt.

PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

****

Rescuing Kevin

The captor smirked, pointing his gun. “Your farewell note was convincing. No-one is looking for you.”
Tied and gagged, Kevin gazed at the moon and thanked God that at least his family were safe.
***
Alice crept behind the bushes. “There’s only one man watching my father on deck. His accomplice just drove away.”
“He’ll be back soon. We have to be quick,” said Bill.
“I’ll distract him on the front deck while you use the taser from behind.”
“Are you sure, Alice? He’s armed and dangerous.”
Her eyes twinkled in the moonlight. “Come on, let’s rescue my dad.”   

****

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction stories, written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge, can be read as standalones, but if you’d like to read previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

#FridayFictioneers #FlashFiction ‘The Deserted Path’ #100words

I’m thrilled to be with you yet again with my Friday Fictioneers story of Alice Pendragon and her adventures, thanks to the photo prompts and inspiration provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields at Friday Fictioneers. Check out this weekly challenge here.

PHOTO PROMPT © Danny Bowman

This week I’ve written a suspenseful flash. Alice’s father, Kevin, seems to be in trouble. What’s the problem? Where is he? Can Alice and her mother help him? Will they arrive on time?

****

The Deserted Path

Our car bumped along the deserted path. ‘Are you sure this is the right way?’

My mother nodded, her lips pursed and her eyes glued to the road.

Above us, dark, heavy clouds loomed as the sun’s last pink-tinged rays faded into the horizon.

‘Will we make it on time?’ I asked. She didn’t answer.

The flash drive he had asked me to bring was hidden in my pocket.

‘What’s daddy doing here?’

A drop slid down her cheek, splashing on the hand that was grabbing the steering wheel with all her might.

Her voice trembled. ‘I don’t know, Alice.’   

****

All my ‘Alice’ flash fiction written for the Friday Fictioneers Challenge can be read as standalones, but if you’re interested in reading previous stories of Alice’s adventures, here  they are!

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Missing Wife’ #BookReview by Sheila O’Flanagan #amreading

Today on #TuesdayBookBlog I’m reviewing The Missing Wife, suspenseful, contemporary women’s fiction by Sheila O’Flanagan.

My Review

One day, insecure and shy Imogen vanishes into thin air without a trace. Everyone is shocked, especially her doting husband. Nobody knows where she is or why she has gone, but Imogen has a plan. As the novel unfolds, we gradually discover why she left and where she’s going.

Imogen embarks on a journey of self-discovery and liberation. I don’t want to include spoilers, so I’ll just say it was easy to sympathise with Imogen’s need to break away and go back to understand her past searching for answers to her present predicament and as a way towards her future. Drama unfolds as she finds out the truth about her past and starts to live a new life,  but not everyone is willing to let her move on.

Various family dramas unfold and eventually collide in the end when Imogen will have to decide who she is and where she wants to be, and prove to herself that she’s strong enough and ready to move forward on her own.

I enjoyed reading about Imogen’s geographical and emotional journey of self discovery. In spite of some very unpleasant events and circumstances occurring throughout her life, on the whole it was a feel-good read and an  optimistic take on a very dark family drama.

UK buy Link.

US Buy Link.

****

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Check out Luccia Gray’s Books on Amazon 

Check out Luccia Gray’s other reviews.

Check out Luccia Gray’s reviews on amazon

#FridayBookShare ‘And Then She Was Gone’ by Christopher Greyson @Chris_Greyson

#FridayBookShare was created by Shelley Wilson for book lovers to share what they’re reading. The idea is to answer a few simple questions about the novel and post on Fridays.

friday-book-share

Today, I’d like to share And Then She Was Gone by Christopher Greyson

First line of the book.

“Help me!” The old woman’s desperate plea rose above the din of the afternoon traffic.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Stacy Shaw has her whole life ahead of her. New job, new house and now a baby on the way—everything she’s ever hoped for is finally coming true. But on a warm summer night on the way home from work, she vanishes. The police race to find her, but the clues don’t add up. Conflicting facts emerge as her story twists and turns, sending the trail spiraling in all directions.

A hometown hero with a heart of gold, Jack Stratton was raised in a whorehouse by his prostitute mother. Jack seemed destined to become another statistic, but now his life has taken a turn for the better. Determined to escape his past, he’s headed for a career in law enforcement. When his foster mother asks him to look into the girl’s disappearance, Jack quickly gets drawn into a baffling mystery. As Jack digs deeper, everyone becomes a suspect—including himself. Caught between the criminals and the cops, can Jack discover the truth in time to save the girl? Or will he become the next victim?

And Then She Was Gone is part of the Detective Jack Stratton Mystery Series, which has more than 2,000+ five-star reviews and over half-a-million readers and counting. If you love a page-turning thriller with mystery, humor, and romance, pick up And Then She Was Gone today.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Jack is impulsive, big-hearted, perceptive.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

gone

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Especially for readers who like contemporary crime fiction, with lots of action and engaging and controversial characters.

Your favourite line/scene.

Jack and Chandler are two best friends who have met through the foster care system they’ve both been part of. Chandler is more sensible and helps Jack control his headstrong character. Their friendship and witty banter is one of the best parts of the novel.  

****

 The pull of hate and anger inside Jack was strong, and he found himself frequently drawn to the darkness. But Chandler always had a way of coaxing Jack back from the edge. The thought of what Jack would have become without all those years of his friend’s help made Jack’s stomach churn.

He shoved Chandler’s shoulder, and his big friend laughed. Jack had never understood how Chandler and Michelle had turned out so normal. They’d lost their parents when they were both little, yet they didn’t seem to bear the scars Jack did. He felt like a jigsaw puzzle with a bunch of pieces missing. But them? They seemed happy all the time.

As they neared the end of the street, Chandler asked, “Are we cutting through?”

****

And Then She Was Gone is the first book in the Detective Jack Stratton crime thrillers. Jack is an underprivileged youth, living in foster care, who is eager to join the army before his life long dream to being a detective. Book two, Girl Jacked, jumps ahead nine years, and we meet Jack Stratton, the man who has finally become a police officer.

girl-jacked

Link to my complete review on amazon

#FridayBookShare ‘While my eyes were closed’ by Linda Green @LindaGreenisms

I’m joining in Shelley’ Wilsons’s Friday Book Share with some suggestions for entertaining books to read for the weekend.

Check out the hashtag #FridayBlogShare on Twitter.

You’ll get great ideas for weekend reading!

Friday Book Share banner

This week’s book is a family drama dealing with the disappearance of a child in a park in Yorkshire.

First line of the book.

Your body realises you have lost your child before your brain does.

 Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

THE #1 EBOOK BESTSELLER. ‘A beautifully crafted novel of knife-edge suspense’ Amanda Prowse. A nail-biting psychological drama for fans of Room, Behind Closed Doors and Between You and Me.

One, two, three . . . Lisa Dale shuts her eyes and counts to one hundred during a game of hide-and-seek. When she opens them, her four-year-old daughter Ella is gone. Disappeared without a trace. The police, the media and Lisa’s family all think they know who snatched Ella. But what if the person who took her isn’t a stranger? What if they are convinced they are doing the right thing? And what if Lisa’s little girl is in danger of disappearing forever?

 Introduce the main character using only three words.

Lisa is a busy and happy, young mother.

Muriel is a solitary, middle-aged woman suffering berevement.

 Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

While my eyes were closed

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

You’ll enjoy this novel if you like to read contemporary, British family drama and don’t mind a sad (although not too distressing) read, which has a poignant but relatively satisfactory ending.

Your favourite line/scene.

 The following lines capture the atmosphere of the novel.

 I go to Ella’s room first. It has become a ritual, checking on her like this while the rest of the house is sleeping. I don’t know whether there is a deluded part of me which actually expects to find her in there one morning or whether it is simply that it makes me feel close to her, but I can no longer imagine starting the day without doing this. I lie on her bed as usual, stroke her pillow, see her in my head smiling back at me. And then, as usual, reality kicks me in the teeth and all I hear is the silence of the room, all I see is the empty bed and all I smell is my own grief.

****

And it’s a bargain at 0.99!

Amazon UK

Amazon US

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Want to join in sharing a book you enjoyed?

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions based on a book you are currently reading/finished reading this week and use the hashtag #FridayBookShare. Grab the banner on Shelley’s blog.

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.

2016-08-26-12.54.03.jpg.jpeg

 

 

#Author Spotlight: Georgia Rose

This week’s Author Spotlight features Georgia Rose, author of The Grayson Trilogy.

A Single Step-FinalCover_Kindle

I met author Georgia Rose in the blogging universe last year when I read A Single Step, Book One of the Grayson Trilogy. I was drawn into this entertaining, contemporary, romantic suspense. It is so well written that you will sail through it smoothly, avidly turning the pages! Tension is gradually built up, as the exciting plot and incipient romance between two complex characters materializes. This well-devised, progressive build up becomes part of the enjoyment.

Before The Dawn - Final cover - Kindle

I went on to read Book Two, Before The Dawn. The suspense elements keep readers gripped to the story, avidly turning page after page as the characters’ motivations and backgrounds are revealed. Nobody is who they seem, even the idyllic location where the story develops, holds surprises. I strongly recommend reading books one and two first.

Thicker Than Water - Final cover - Kindle
The final part of The Grayson Trilogy, Thicker Than Water, which has just been released, is a great ending to the series. The Emma Grayson we have grown to love and worry about is an enigma. The reader guesses that right from the beginning. There is more to Emma than would appear, even more than she knows herself. Although Emma is an honest character, I have been wondering if she has been truthful, and this is one of the delight of first person narrators, they are so deliciously unreliable! This means that readers are forced to read between the lines, look for clues, and reinterpret their version of the story. There are many surprises right at the beginning of this novel, which make you wonder which direction the story will be taking, but Georgia Rose manages to build up suspense and twist the plot to unexpected territory. I can say no more without spoiling the reader’s enjoyment.

You will not be disappointed with the ending to this entertaining trilogy, on the contrary, the ending makes having read the series worthwhile. Lucky those of you who have not read it yet! Do so now as autumn is setting in!

I’ve asked Georgia to join me today and tell us more about herself and the Grayson Trilogy.

Georgia Rose

What would you say to a potential reader to convince him or her to read the Grayson Trilogy?

I would say that I started writing because I wanted to write books that I would like to read and I strongly believe these books appeal to a wide range of tastes. They are mysterious and romantic adventure stories written from the heart and have the ability to provoke an emotional response in the reader. They have also been described as romance that men can read and one of my biggest surprises has been just how many have read them!

Written in the first person my protagonist is Emma Grayson, a strong woman, who has had more than her fair share of tragedy and is looking to start afresh when she takes on a job looking after the horses on the Melton Estate. Though seeking solitude, she instead starts to meet others who work on the estate including the antagonistic Trent, who has his own issues to deal with.

Emma comes to realise that there is more to the estate and the lives of those on it than she originally thought but not until she has had to deal with a threat to her life. There are revelations about Trent’s past in the first book, dangers that threaten all those on the estate in the second and in the final book more intrigue that challenges everything Emma ever thought about herself.

I would end by saying that the first book, A Single Step, is currently on offer for 99p/99c as an ebook so if you fancy dipping your toe in the murky waters of the Grayson Trilogy there couldn’t be a better time.

Where did the idea or inspiration for the Grayson Trilogy come from?

I made the decision in 2012 that I thought I’d try my hand at writing something. I’ve had various ideas over the years but never anything that had both a beginning and an end…or in many cases a middle! But I’d seen a disused cottage on a large estate a few years before when I was waiting in a queue for an event and I started to imagine what it would be like to live there. Before too long I’d built up a whole world around this cottage and then while on holiday began to thread in a few more storylines and by the end of my week on a sun bed I had the whole thing planned out.
All I then had to do was come home and write it!

How do you feel now you’ve published the complete trilogy?

Thrilled and very relieved! It has been non-stop, particularly with the relentless schedule I set myself this summer and I can’t believe it’s finally done. However, for the first time I had a moment to stop and think yesterday and I suddenly realised that I’ve now left these characters and as they’ve occupied many of my thoughts for the last 3 years that feels strange and a little bit sad. I think that might hit me more over the next couple of weeks.

Can you tell us something about your next project?

Well, following on from the last question I was asked this week about doing a spin off from the Grayson Trilogy. As one who has very kindly read all the books Luccia you will know that the estate is still there and is populated with a large cast of characters all of whom have their own story to tell, else why would they be on the estate? I hadn’t thought about this before but there are certainly opportunities there.

However in the meantime I have already got a couple of stories in mind to take on next, one feels like a novella and the other a novel and I don’t think I shall be tackling another trilogy for a while – you know exactly what a challenge that is!!

Firstly though I’m looking forward to doing a huge amount of catching up with everything in my life including reading and reviewing, because I have a backlog of great reads that I’m looking forward to getting to.

****

Thank you so much for being with us today, Georgia, and telling us more about the Grayson Trilogy and your future projects. I personally look forward to reading more about the other characters on the Melton Estate.

You can find Georgia on Twitter:- @GeorgiaRoseBook and Facebook
This is her Amazon Author Page

Links for A SINGLE STEP
Universal link for A Single Step at Amazon:
Smashwords:
Kobo:

Links for BEFORE THE DAWN
Universal link for Before the Dawn at Amazon

Links for THICKER THAN WATER
Universal link for Thicker than Water at Amazon

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I’ll be doing Author Spotlights regularly from now on. I’m aiming for once a week. I have quite a few lined up for the following weeks, but if you are an author and you would like to be featured, please let me know. I’m especially keen on featuring debut and independent authors. I enjoy all sorts of novels with engaging characters and compelling plots, especially romance, historical, and suspense.