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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

BLOG TOUR & REVIEW: The Man on the Roof by Michael Stephenson @filmbooksbball #TheManOnTheRoof #TMOTR

The Man on the Roof
by Michael Stephenson

Thank you to the author for this advanced copy!


Self-published
Publish Date:  June 22, 2018
Kindle Edition
Standalone
Genre: Thriller


“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk's dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for. 


Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again. 

A taut domestic mystery-suspense thriller, The Man On The Roof propels the reader through a tangled, volatile and suspenseful thicket of deception, murder and friends, inviting the reader to discover the murderer and who hides which lie. First there was Gone Girl. Then there was The Girl on the Train. Now, there's The Man On The Roof. 

My Review:

Let me start by saying to never EVER put comparisons to your book to the likes of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.  One, I'm tired as hell at seeing these comparisons and two, it very RARELY is the case.  Stop using these to try and force sales. Please.

I was excited to go back to my Ohioan days and read about a mystery back in suburbia.  Of course, I forgot I was going back to those tiny things that point in the direction of subtle racism.  For instance, one description of a character's eyes stated that "on a bad day, she could be mistaken for half Asian".  Well, as a half Asian woman myself, I'd say that's a damn GOOD day... but I could be biased.  However, I did almost dislocate an eyeball reading that as it clearly comes from the author's POV and not one of another character or the character herself.  I found this to come through in any type of non-American culture type descriptive.  Quite honestly, it soured me towards the rest of the book.  I've read a ton of books that could offend me in a zillion ways, but they were true to the CHARACTERS and necessary for the plot of the book.  Here, there's just basic miss of research or that slight back handed compliment that I was oh so used to hearing when living in that area.

There are a LOT of characters to familiarize yourself with which could cause some confusion.  I'm not sure if the transition is in the fact of the kindle version and may be different in a printed version?  Just a minor transitional issue.  The book was a tad bit longer than necessary.  I think with a few more rounds of editing a lot of these small issues could be set aside and we would get an even better piece of work from the author.

Overall I did find the plot to be pretty decent.  It really wasn't easy to guess who the culprit was, which is always a plus for me!  It was fun to be back in Ohio and seeing families taking off to Cedar Point and that neighborhood family feel - set with a cranky old neighbor you think is strange and yet still look out for.






**no rating as I skimmed through a lot, DNF

Sunday, June 17, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton @doubledaybooks @notorioustib

Social Creature
by Tara Isabella Burton

Thanks so much to Doubleday for these free copies in return for our honest reviews.
A creepy thriller that will have you questioning your friends.


Publisher:  Doubleday 
Publish Date:  June 5, 2018
Hardcover
273 Pages
Standalone
Genre: Thriller

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them... They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste...

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.


Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship. A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new.
 

My Review:


First, let me say what a deliciously creepy book this is.  Obsession, lying, conniving, compulsive... makes me question everyone around me!  Second, I've seen TONS of comparisons of this to The Talented Mr. Ripley... which I saw the movie ages ago and never read the book so while I can see how it is, that kind of got lost on me in making any type of comparison myself (which I'm grateful for).

The writing style was a bit different than what I'm used to.  Honestly, if I had to read Lavinia's name one more time, I was going to scream.  In one paragraph alone, it was used ten times.  I realize this was probably used to show just how crazy the obsession was and it definitely served its purpose.  

This crazy story shows the spectrum of lifestyles in NYC - the posh, rich, spoiled girl who spends money like it is nothing - ultimately buying her friends who somehow end up falling under her spell; the poor, living paycheck to paycheck girl with low self esteem that just wants to be noticed.  A chance encounter and the unstable relationship that ensues.

I absolutely loved the glitz and glamour and being able to know and vividly picture the various scenes around NYC.  😍  I recognized several places from the descriptions alone.

A different take on the obsession thriller that will have you cringing in the best way.

★★★☆

Jessica's Review:


I'll start out with saying that this is an incredibly unique read. Tara Isabella Burton has a very distinct literary voice, and I loved it. SOCIAL CREATURE will be one that I can see having some readers divided, but there is no doubt that Burton can write some messed up characters!

We follow a new friendship between Louise and Lavinia. These two couldn't be more opposite of each other - Lavinia is everything that Louise wants to be and wants to have. Louise has to work multiple jobs to support herself while Lavinia is from a wealthy family that makes it so she never has to worry about finances. Louise quickly gets sucked into the glamour of Lavinia's life - parties every night with NYC elite, lavish living, and not having a care in the world.

Of course, this friendship isn't all that it seems to be. Are there ulterior motives at play? Who is using who? One thing I loved from the synopsis was: "A Talented Mr. Ripley for the digital age, this seductive story takes a classic tale of obsession and makes it irresistibly new." Any other fans of TALENTED MR. RIPLEY?

This story does take obsession to a whole new level and keeps it unique and fresh. Like I mentioned before, Burton has a unique literary voice and I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future. If you want a twisty, original, and dark novel about obsession, then this is the next book for you!

I give this 5/5 stars!

COVER REVEAL: Bequeathed by Melinda Terranova

Bequeathed
by Melinda Terranova

COVER REVEAL!

With a hopeful publish date of July 10, 2018, take a look at Melinda Terranova's debut novel!



Katalina is haunted by graphic nightmares in which she bathes in the blood of violently murdered young girls. Sent to Rome to visit her aunt, she discovers her family’s grim past. A past that involves a secret curse that catapults the women in her family down a path of eternal darkness-a curse she wants no part of. 

In the romantic surrounds of Rome, Katalina finds herself inexplicably drawn to the secretive and broody Dominic, and their holiday romance flourishes. When Katalina forms an unlikely friendship with the dangerously charismatic vampire Toby, she finds herself in a tangle of violent secrets and crossed alliances. 

Now that she is exposed to a world her mom and grandmother fought hard to keep her from- a world brimming with royal vampires, powerful witches, and dangerous hunters-Katalina must choose her fate or lose her heart forever.



Saturday, June 16, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Tell Me No Lies by A.V. Geiger @av_geiger @sourcebooksfire #ericthornobsessed

Tell Me No Lies
by A.V. Geiger

Jessica and I read Follow Me Back back in April and we both adored the book.  The ending left us wanting more so how happy were we that this was a duology! You can find our reviews for Follow Me Back HERE.

See what we thought of the ending below.  Thanks so much to Sourcebooks Fire for these copies.


Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire
Publish Date:  June 5, 2018
Paperback
336 Pages
Genres:  Thriller, YA

Love. Obsession. Jealousy. Murder.

No one knows what happened to pop icon Eric Thorn. His Twitter account? Frozen. His cell phone? Cracked and bloody, buried in the snow.

Agoraphobic fangirl Tessa Hart knows the truth, but she's finally left her #EricThornObsessed days behind. She has no intention of ever touching her Twitter app again. But Snapchat... That's safer, right?

After months of living under the radar, Tessa emerges from hiding, forced to face the deadly consequences of her past. But in the interrogation room, answers only lead to more questions in the pulse-pounding conclusion to the Follow Me Back duology.
 

My Review:


If there's one thing I can say about this duology is that it is ADDICTIVE.  The way it's written, in police transcripts, tweets, Snapchat DMs, view points of Tessa and Eric - this keeps you turning the pages.  I read book one back in April on a flight and could NOT put it down.  This book did the same.  I started it last night and stayed up late to finish it.  The format, the writing and the storyline does keep you wanting more.

I didn't find this one QUITE as compulsive as the first one.  It was a bit of the same but now with a different "villain" and a new way to communicate.  I will say one thing - it certainly has me looking at my electronic devices and wondering about who might be watching me while I don't know.  Technology is amazing but also scary in this day and age.  I do appreciate how Geiger brings in a new look at Blair in this book compared to book one.  You'll have to read them to know what I'm talking about.  No spoilers here.  

If you want a fast paced and easy read about today's obsessiveness with social media, pop stars and the scary side to technology, this is a great read for something that could be all too realistic.  While there were definitely some ok ok ok… AGAIN moments, I thoroughly enjoyed this.  It kept me up and I read this in one sitting. 

I look forward to more from Geiger and am satisfied with this duology as I think it ended where it needed to. 

★★★☆

Jessica's Review:


After flying through book one, FOLLOW ME BACK, I couldn't wait to grab book two! TELL ME NO LIES was just as addictive as it's predecessor. I highly recommend reading book one, otherwise you'll be very lost while reading the final chapter in this duology.

I can't give away too much of the plot simply because I don't want to ruin anything from book one. What I will say is that we are back with Tessa Hart after her days of Twitter and fangirling over Eric Thorn, a hugely popular pop star. She has sworn off the app, but hey, Snapchat is safer to use, right?

I love the use of social media in these books. The obsession that it can become and the role is plays in so many lives - this is how we stay connected and how people can feel like they know celebrities. At what point is it dangerous to be so present on social media? Geiger does a great job keeping up the suspense by having short chapters, bits of Snapchat and Twitter conversations, and then the police interrogations.

If you want a binge worthy thriller series, then I highly recommend picking up the FOLLOW ME BACK duology! I read both of these in two sittings and couldn't believe how fast they went. 

I give this 5/5 stars!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#allthebookreviews: Hangman by Jack Heath @hanover_square @hangmannovel

Hangman
by Jack Heath

Thanks so much to Hanover Square Press for these #giftedcopies. 
Jessica and I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Seriously - if you like dark and twisted and surprising - THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU.


Publisher:  Hanover Square Press
Publish Date:  June 12, 2018
Hardcover
368 Pages
Standalone
Genre:  Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction

A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a disturbing ransom call. It's only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads.


Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He's also a sociopath - the FBI's last resort.

But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he's faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he's so desperate to forget.

Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden.

And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one…

My Review:


Holy mother of all things twisted, gruesome, macabre, crazy and AWESOME.  I haven't read a book this good in a while.  Why is it so good?  Well, it brings us a unique and sociopathic lead character that for all purposes you should hate but I LOVE.  LOVE!  I shouldn't, but I'm dark and twisted so I can't help myself.  

All the surprises that the author brings - I didn't see a single damn thing.  At the end of Chapter Four, the last line...  I had to do a double take and then flip back to pages to see if what I read was really what I read.  Then I smiled and settled in, knowing this is my type of read. I don't even care about whether or not it was even remotely realistic or not. WHO CARES with this one?!  I even made a note about getting rid of bodies with acid in bath tubs - c'mon, Breaking Bad taught us this isn't a good idea.  🤣  Still, I was so engrossed with the story line, but mostly fascinated with one Mr. Timothy Blake.  He makes the story, he IS the story and I want more of him.  Hey Heath, you need to bring him back in another book please.. k, thanks!

I don't think this is going to be a book for everyone.  However, if you like dark, twisted reads that have a dark comedic flair to it, this is absolutely for you.  I highly recommend this and give it all the stars (and thumbs) in the world.  

★★★★★

Jessica's Review:


You know when you pick up a book and expect to enjoy it based on the cover? Well, this one I went into knowing very little about it and I did not expect to finish it in one sitting! HANGMAN by Jack Heath is one of those compulsive binge reads. Before I knew it I was halfway through and I powered through the rest of it.
Timothy Blake is not your average character. He is a civilian consultant for the Houston FBI Office. He is useful to them because he seems to be able to solve the impossible cases, but he is always their last resort. His specialty? Missing persons. The beginning sucks you in right away as you get to see his mind at work with the minute details he is able to put together to solve the case at hand.
Why does Blake help with these cases? He has a secret appetite he needs to have satisfied before it consumes him and he loses control. The head of the FBI field office has an arrangement made with him that no one else knows about, but it keeps Blake coming in to help on the seemingly unsolvable cases.
When he is brought in on a ransom case he quickly realizes he may have met his match. If he can’t solve these crimes, then his urges will go unfulfilled.
I loved all the riddles and puzzles at the beginning of each chapter! I’m happy I got some right – I’ll admit I had to look up a couple. Blake is such a unique character and Heath’s writing was so fluid, gritty, and fast paced. If you’re a fan of Hannibal and Dexter, then look no further for your next twisted read.
5/5 stars!

SPOTLIGHT: The Wild Birds by Emily Strelow @emilyastrelow @rarebirdbooks

The Wild Birds
by Emily Strelow


Happy to be Spotlighting Emily Strelow's DEBUT NOVEL, The Wild Birds!

Earning early praise:
"The Wild Birds ranges over the Northwest and across decades, circling a diverse cast on the blind hunt for happiness. A lovesong to the living world, this shimmering, intricate web of a book is going to capture hearts."
Karen Russell, New York Times bestselling author of Swamplandia! and Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Continue below for a synopsis and about the author.

🐦


Publisher:  Rare Bird Books
Publish Date:  March 13, 2018
Paperback
272 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Wild Birds follows the stories of four different Westerners spanning over 100 years - from the 1870s to the 1990s. They are all connected by a silver collection of wild bird eggs and the novel weaves together their lives and their connection to nature. With lush descriptions of place, time and complex relationships, the well-researched narrative threads take the reader on a journey through their difficulties and redemption. It is ultimately a story of the interconnectivity of humans and their environment.

In 1994, 15-year-old Lily lives on a hazelnut farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley with her mother, who has a drinking problem, anger issues and a secret she’s keeping from Lily. The tension between the two builds until their bonds are truly tested. Back in 1941, runaway Victor scours the Sierras and Mojave for answers about who he is and where he belongs in the world. And in 1874, 16-year-old orphan Olive pretends to be a boy to gain employment as a lighthouse assistant on the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco, where she encounters the “eggers” who harvest sea bird eggs there to fill the demand created by the gold rush.

As the narratives weave, everything the characters believe will be tested against their knowledge of the natural world. The animal characters, in particular the birds, become as important as the humans to the purpose of the storytelling. Drawing on both science and mythology, and that liminal point where the two meet, the story brings all the elements together to a thrilling and profound end.




Emily Strelow was born and raised in Oregon’s Willamette Valley but has lived all over the West and now, the Midwest. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Washington in Seattle and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. For the last decade she combined teaching writing with doing seasonal avian field biology with her husband. While doing field jobs she camped and wrote in remote areas in the desert, mountains and by the ocean. She is a mother to two boys, a naturalist, and writer. The Wild Birds is her first novel.



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

SPOTLIGHT & FREE DOWNLOAD! The Things We Learn When We're Dead by Charlie Laidlaw @claidlawauthor @accentpress

The Things We Learn When We're Dead
by Charlie Laidlaw

Happy to be spotlighting Charlie Laidlaw today!
And it's FREE to download on BOOKBUB from June 13th-27th! GO GET YOURS NOW!


Publisher:  Accent Press 
Publish Date:  January 26, 2017
Paperback
501 Pages
Genres:  Sci-fi, Fiction, Fantasy

The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is about how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, but how we can sometimes get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. 
It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN, because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… or does God have a higher purpose after all?
Despite that, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead is neither sci-fi nor fantasy. It is a book about memory and how, if we could remember things slightly differently, would we also be changed?

In HVN, Lorna can at first remember nothing. But as her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decisions to make and that, maybe, she can find a way back home.

About Charlie Laidlaw:

I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland (quite near Paisley, but thankfully not too close) and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember.

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in East Lothian.


https://www.charlielaidlawauthor.com/


#allthebookreviews: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent @gallerybooks @lizzienugent

Lying in Wait
by Liz Nugent

Holy roller coaster of a ride!  Jess and I absolutely LOVED this book! Go grab a copy NOW!
Thank you to Gallery for these #giftedcopies #ad #sponsor.


Publisher:  Gallery / Scout Press
Publish Date:  June 12, 2018
Hardcover
320 Pages
Genre:  Psychological Thriller

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.
On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

My Review:


Nugent is the queen of the opening liner.  In both Unraveling Oliver and Lying In Wait, she draws you right in from the very first sentence.  While the former was a bit of a slow burn for me, the latter was quite the opposite.  With this particular book, she drew me in and then never let me go.  

Bouncing back and forth between Laurence, Lydia and Karen (the sister of Annie), Nugent creates a puzzle and then methodically puts the pieces back together in an intricate way that while I did see some parts coming, it wasn't until right before the reveal that I was like OH SNAP!  Normally it can get a bit redundant when you certain parts of the book through each character's eyes.  But not in this case.  With this, we get a full circle feel and you really feel like you're with this crazy cast.  

I haven't seen a character like Lydia in quite some time.  Obsessive, compulsive, manipulative, sociopathic, narcissistic and completely unlovable.  Well, I loved her but for the aforementioned reasons.  Poor Laurence having to endure a mother like her. Just when you think it's safe.... There were definitely some moments that were a bit over the top but never done TOO over the top - it added a sense of levity and amusement to the storyline that was otherwise grimy and seductive. 

I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to see what Nugent has for us next.  Add this to your TBR.  Then come talk to me when you're done reading it!

★★★★★

Jessica's Review:


Who doesn't love a good psychological suspense with some crazy family dysfunction? LYING IN WAIT has plenty of that and features manipulation at its finest. While this has been said to be a thriller I would definitely categorize is as more of a suspense and drama - so that's always good to know when starting.

One night can change everything and secrets can tear a family apart. "My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it." Talk about an opening line! Lydia and her husband Andrew find themselves in trouble when they kill Annie Doyle one night in 1980. A secret that they are burying deep in their garden. With their son, Laurence, suspicious and Karen, Annie's sister, determined to find her this proves to be a lot to handle for the couple.

Lydia is obsessed with keeping up her image and that of her family. A picture-perfect life of luxury is how she wants to continue to be perceived by those around them. Of course, nothing is every as it seems.

We jump between Lydia, Laurence, and Karen throughout the novel. Nugent did a fantastic job intertwining these stories and the characters. I also loved how she peeled back the layers of each character and events were slowly starting to make sense. All I have to say is that Lydia is the epitome of manipulation. I could not believe the extent of her control as the story unfolded! That ending? Was not expecting it to go in that direction, at all!

If you want a great psychological suspense novel that centers around family dysfunction and lengths a woman will go to keep her son safe, then this needs to be on that summer TBR!

I give this 5/5 stars!



SPOTLIGHT: Mulberry Lane Babies @anneherries @aria_fiction

Mulberry Lane Babies
by Rosie Clarke

Excited to be today's stop on the Blog Tour for Mulberry Lane Babies!
Continue below to learn about the book and then continue to read an adorable and very informative About the Author I had the pleasure of receiving from Rosie herself!


1941 Mulberry Lane, London. War rages but new life brings new hope. Perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Cathy Sharp.

Times are hard for all on Mulberry Lane as the war rages into yet another year. Desperate times push people into dangerous situations, and the residents of Mulberry Lane are not exempt.

Menacing shadows lurk on dark street corners, threatening the safety of those who are alone and vulnerable. When Peggy's twins are born early Maureen and Nellie are there to lend a helping hand.

The mothers of Mulberry Lane stick together despite the grim conditions of war torn London and a shadowy fear that stalks their lives. Neighbours and friends look out for each other and new life brings hope and joy to the Lane.

Amazon: mybook.to/MulberryLaneBabies

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2Imz1d6

iBooks: https://apple.co/2swKoIP


Google Play: http://bit.ly/2IV3x1U

About the author

Rosie is happily married and lives in a quiet village in East Anglia. Writing books is a passion for Rosie, she also likes to read, watch good films and enjoys holidays in the sunshine. She loves shoes and adores animals, especially squirrels and dogs.

Follow Rosie

Twitter: @AnneHerries

Hi from Rosie Clarke!
I’ve been asked to tell you a little about myself and my work.  I have written under several pseudonyms.  People often ask why I’ve had different names and my answer is that it was mostly at the request of my various publishers.  I wrote historical love stories as Anne Herries but when I turned to sagas, that wasn’t suitable.  The two genres are so different and readers want to know what they are getting.  Fans of historical romances do not necessarily want to read about war time hardship and vice versa.  So my publisher asked for a different name.  When I wrote my first sagas I used my own name of Linda Sole, but later I changed publishers again and was asked to pick up a new name.  The publisher wanted a fresh start and I know the same thing has happened to other authors.  Even some of the well-known authors have chosen to write under different names because the genre was slightly different.

I am a prolific author and I write quite a few books; I do publish other books under different names but I don’t want a conflict of interest so I don’t mix them, though all the details are on my website for those who are curious.

I usually decide on a theme for a series of books first and then decide on the characters I want.  Once I start to bring them to life the book begins to have a life and a purpose all its own.  My people will have their own voices and it is not always my opinions that they speak – in fact I often play Devil’s advocate and champion something I do not personally agree with to challenge my character’s strength of purpose and beliefs.  It’s fun, because I hold their fates in my hand and if I really hate them I can find something awful to put them in their place.  In real life I’m not vindictive at all – no, honestly, that’s true – but between the pages of a book I never hesitate to slay those I think need it.  I could write some spine chillers if I wanted to but for the moment I like my sagas and the characters’ suffering is more subtle than a serial murder cutting up his victims.  J

My husband laughs when I watch murder and mayhem on TV.  He’s not too keen and prefers family stories set in the last war, though we both loved Peaky Blinders and Spartacus – the big series.  Also, the Borgias!  That series ended too soon!  I love to read about struggle and I’m currently reading a series of Viking books, though the hero has a heart – which doesn’t often happen with Vikings.

My own stories rely on emotions and the feelings of normal people in abnormal times and situations.  They suffer because of war but also because others hurt them and let them down, which is real life.  Half of the pain and grief felt by us all is caused by the unkindness and ill-use of those we thought loved us.  That is why I never have a shortage of ideas.  I only have to listen to the news or read a newspaper and I have a scenario in my head.  Most books start with one emotional scene that comes to me.  It may not appear in the book until halfway through or even the end – and it might even get cut – but it is what starts the ideas running and so a book is written.  If it is part of a series then one thing leads to another.  Hardly any stories end between the pages of one book, even if the author leaves it there.  No one just goes on to be happy ever after without some ups and downs – even the luckiest of us will have either grief or sickness strike at some point.  That is why there is a never ending supply of stories set during the first and second world wars.  They were such terrible times and so many suffered and died – and some went on paying the price for years.

What we all want is a lovely happy ending when we read a book and mostly we get at least a semi-happy finish.  That is great but it always leave me thinking, what if …

Thank you for reading this and I hope you enjoy the latest in the Mulberry Lane series: Mulberry Lane Babies.  www.lindasole.co.uk  www.rosieclarke.co.uk

Follow Aria
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

1941 Mulberry Lane, London. War rages but new life br
ings new hope. Perfect for fans of Katie
Flynn and Cathy Sharp.
Times are hard for all on Mulberry Lane as the war rages into yet another year. D
esperate times
push people into dangerous situations, and the residents of Mulberry Lane
are not exempt.
Menacing shadows lurk on dark street corners, threatening the safety of those who are al
one and
vulnerable. When Peggy's twins are born early Maureen and Nellie are there to lend
a helping hand.
The mothers of Mulberry Lane stick together despite the grim conditions o
f war torn London and a
shadowy fear that stalks their lives. Neighbours and friends look out for each
other and new life
brings hope and joy to the Lane.