Liz Currently Loves….Tenacity by J S Law.


Publication Date: July 30th from Headline

Source: Netgalley

Suicide must be investigated
Especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine, only days after his wife’s brutal murder.
Now Lieutenant Danielle Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacityto determine if there’s a link.
Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival.
Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out.

I started Tenacity last night and apart from a short sleep, a work shift and you know, feeding the kids, I didnt put it down until I finished it just now. Really, don’t start this book until you have a chunk of time free.

Tenacity is a claustrophobic, addictive and brilliantly constructed thriller that just won’t let go, utterly gripping and pretty perfect. Dan, a woman in a man’s world, is superbly drawn, anchoring the tale, allowing a lot of fairly dark themes to be explored all wrapped up in a truly terrific mystery story with a deeply disturbing but completely enthralling edge.

A lot of it is in the setting – a huge part of this novel takes place in the confines of a submarine – nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, Dan must track down a killer and she is entirely isolated in this task. This allows for some really creepy and edge of the seat moments that are written so well you may find it hard to breathe yourself. The author manages to bring the atmosphere to vivid life, descriptively speaking this is magnificent stuff, deceptively simple seeming prose that just gets into your head and puts you right there.

There is a hugely organic flow to the writing that keeps you staying up just “ten more minutes” for “just one more chapter” that then turns into a good few more chapters and a good many more minutes – the sign for me of a really really good book.

In the case of “Tenacity” there is no compromise on character to create thrills, the characters ARE the thrills, not only Dan but every single one, bad guys and good guys alike. If you want a thriller that truly works on every level then “Tenacity” is for you.

The ending made me beautifully madly insane – but was pitch perfect. I loved every minute of this, from the opening shots across the bow so to speak to the adrenalin filled final pages that had me madly downing sherbert dib dabs – yes I eat silly sweets when I’m tense – and I really cannot recommend it highly enough.

Just hurry along the next one for heavens sake. That is all!

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The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter – Blog Tour

THARP coverKate 1

Falling in love is never simple. Especially when you’re dead.

When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world’s worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she’s actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she’s still here.

Slowly the mystery unravels, but there are many other secrets buried in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh, and nobody is as innocent as they first appear. Aided by the unlikeliest of allies in her investigation, Rosie discovers that life after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when you might just be falling in love . . .

In this hilarious, life-affirming and romantic journey through Rosie Potter’s afterlife, she shares the ghostly tale of how she lived, she died, and she loved (in that order).

Ok so the very first thing I want to say about “Rosie Potter” is that it is hilarious. So funny – I spent an awful lot of the time either smiling or giggling as Rosie wakes up one morning to discover she is dead, sets off to discover why and finds out all sorts of things about her life and those in it that she never even suspected.

Not usually being a fan of this type of book (the whole “Dead girl” aspect having drawn me in to read it) I was genuinely surprised and delighted at how much I enjoyed it. That is down to the gorgeous flow of the writing and Rosie herself – a beautifully drawn character who just pops off the page and makes you fall in love with her. There is a bittersweet poignancy as well to the knowledge that she is gone, still she is vibrantly beautifully alive while you are reading her story.

Very intriguing as well – it had me considering what it would be like to suddenly be a “Fly on the wall” and see what people were really like – Rosie’s journey of discovery leads her to all kinds of secrets and it is truly addictive as you wait to find out what happened on that night and, indeed, what may happen next. In between the fits of laughter there is an alluring emotional undercurrent running throughout the story which gives it a great depth even through the fluffier lighter moments.

Kudos to Kate Winter for turning a story about a girl struck down in the prime of her life and making it into a witty, insightful and truly life affirming tale – considering the subject matter there is simply nothing at all depressing about this book – you will come out the other side of it feeling great. Ok yes as I said, bittersweet perhaps but still, this novel is definitely one you should read if you need a bit of a lift, want to be genuinely entertained and feel the need to leave the duller aspects of life behind you for a while and spend a few hours with a smile on your face.

Loved it.

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(Paperback available from 21st May)

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Liz Currently Loves…Starborn by Lucy Hounsom


Publication Date: Available Now from Tor UK

Source: Purchased Copy

Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age – powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

I came across this book by chance – gatecrashing the launch party while I was at another across the road  – I was lured in by that gorgeous cover, so I purchased a copy, met the author, got it signed and could not resist reading it almost straight away.

So glad I did. Starborn is a beautifully imagined fantasy tale with some really engaging characters and a rich and deep mythology running through it that is very compelling and utterly addictive.

The world building is fantastic, done intelligently and with a touch of class, as Kyndra sets off on a journey of discovery you are right there alongside her observing and learning about the expansive places and people beyond her small village as she does. Legend and superstition abound, the story unfolds in glorious vivid ways, the characters are immensely intriguing – Kyndra herself is a perfect anchor for the reader to follow along with and this is a story you can sink right into and leave the real world behind for a while.

This is old school fantasy in a lot of ways but brought into the modern era with a delicate touch, really well written, taking some classic genre staples and giving them a new edgy and gripping focus – a real page turner. Plenty of heart stopping action, some purely emotional moments and a cast of eclectic and alluring characters to give it all focus and life.

Overall then really terrific. The ending was such that I am REALLY looking forward to whatever comes next. This comes highly recommended from me for fans of Fantasy – taking it back to its roots and making me remember why I loved the genre in the first place.

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The Killing of Bobbi Lomax by Cal Moriarty. Blog Tour.


Publication Date: Available Now from Faber

Source: Advanced Reading Copy

CANYON COUNTY, HALLOWEEN 1983 .Bobbi Lomax was the first to die, the bomb killed the prom queen on her own front lawn. Just moments later one of the nails from the city’s second bomb forced its way into the brain of property investor Peter Gudsen, killing him almost instantly. The third bomb didn’t quite kill Clark Houseman. Hovering on the brink, the rare books dealer turns out to be Detectives Sinclair and Alvarez’s best hope of finding out what linked these unlikely victims, and who wanted them dead and why. But can they find the bomber before he kills again?

The Killing of Bobbi Lomax is a superb crime debut – multi layered, with absolutely fascinating characters, terrific descriptive prose and a really really intriguing tale. Set in “God” country in the 80’s Cal Moriarty manages to bring that time and place to vivid stunning life giving this novel a terrific atmosphere and telling a beautifully managed and addictive mystery story.

This is old school storytelling set in an old school world – the detectives having to go about things the old fashioned way, the age of super electronics and internet still years away – this gives such an added depth to the mystery element, an almost Christie-esque feel to it that is both wonderful and nostalgic.

Add to that some remarkably authentic and well drawn characters – I adored Clark Houseman, such an engaging and sometimes hilarious protagonist, I think his parts of the book were my favourite – also, rare book dealer – what else needs to be said? Our detectives are a superb duo – so beautifully normal and casting a wry eye over events as they try to unravel the various elements and track down a bomber before he can strike again.

Overall then a rich, diverse and gorgeously written page turner with some interesting themes set in a captivating time period with a riveting and highly stimulating story.

Highly Recommended

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Liz Currently Loves…..A Killing Moon by Steven Dunne



Publication Date: Available Now from Headline.

Source: Bookbridgr

A young student is kidnapped on her way home from the pub, but her nightmare is just beginning…DI Damen Brook is assigned the case but starts to realise that this might not be an isolated incident. With very little to go on, Brook trawls through the murky world of cheap labour and prostitution but comes up against a brick wall. But then bodies start turning up and the case is blown wide open. Who is kidnapping these girls and why? Brook has to put the pieces together before the next victim is taken…

So a 5th outing for DI Damen Brook then, one of my favourite literary detectives and this one packed a hell of a punch – straight into the action, no time to breathe and off we went.

This instalment centres around a whole bunch of missing girls who nobody realises are actually genuinely missing. Until Damen Brook, avoiding another rather boring assignment, sits up and takes notice. At the same time the reader is given a snapshot of one of the missing girls – Caitlin – what is happening to her is horrific, violent and will have you begging Brook to save her. But there is a lot more going on here and he will have his work cut out for him as he unravels a mystery with a heart of darkness.

The Brook novels are always really terrifically constructed to give the most emotional impact – in the case of “A Killing Moon” this is achieved through Caitlin’s character and through that of others who are caught up in this thing and you have a genuine sense of urgency as you are immersed in the tale. As time runs out for Caitlin and a whole load of other things start muddying the waters, it is addictive and totally heart stopping.

I do love Brook as a character -whilst he is in a way the quintessential “cop with issues” in his case it does not feel at all cliched. Brook embraces his flaws, is open about his previous mental health issues and with each novel takes a step further away from them – Steven Dunne has given his main protagonist an actual healing process, a journey that the reader can get behind and root for. An authentic one at that – he takes steps forward and steps back like the rest of us, there is a realism and gritty irony to that thread of the story that reflects  life very well.

Brook is not alone – the author surrounds him with many other well drawn and intriguing characters (Angie is going to end up being a member of the team right? RIGHT?) and the mystery element is, as always, pitch perfect and often surprising. I’m willing to bet that a fair few readers are going to let out an actual cheer at the end of this one – it was a fantastic ending to what had been a scintillating read.

Really really excellent crime fiction. Roll on book 6.

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Renegade by Kerry Wilkinson. Blog Tour/Giveaway


So tomorrow, 7th May 2015, the second book in the Silver Blackthorn series – Renegade – is released. I am so happy to be part of the blog tour today and to welcome Kerry telling us a little more about Silver. I have a copy of the book to give away – simply comment on this post or tweet me @Lizzy11268 and tell me why you would like to read it for a chance to get your very own copy.

Silver in the real world

One of the great things about writing books is that, if you’re really lucky, your books can be read by people all around the world. It’s always lovely to receive emails from readers who want to ask or talk about the books – but it gives a special sort of buzz when you get one from some far-flung place to which you’ve never been.

What many people might not realise, even UK readers, is that Silver’s universe very much fits around the real world.

The place from which she comes – Martindale – is real. It’s about 10 miles from Penrith in the Lake District, carved onto a beautiful set of hills with crumbling roads that are better for cycling than they are cars. It’s not really a village, more a collection of farms, but it’s there. I’ve beefed it up in the books, making the hamlet a proper village to where refugees were re-homed during my fictional civil war.

The Gully is a real place, too. Just north of Martindale is Ullswater lake ( It’s long and thin – about nine miles from end to end but less than a mile across – and home to all sorts of water sports and fabulous views. I figured what better way to describe its beauty than to drain the water and fill it full of the nation’s rubbish to the extent that it is a giant landfill in the series!

Windsor is, of course, real – as is the castle. I always wanted the King to rule from a castle and there’s not really a more famous one in the country.

At the end of Reckoning and the beginning of Renegade, Silver and her friends are holed up in a village on the other side of “what was once a wide six-lane road” – which is meant to be the M42. That puts them in somewhere like Beaconsfield, Bucks, with the early part of Renegade taking part in the Chilterns.

There are lots of other places, too – but to mention them here would mean having to spoil things to come, so I’ll leave it there.

You can always email me to ask, though … especially if you live in some far-flung place!

Thank you!



Silver Blackthorn is a fugitive from the law.
Silver Blackthorn has committed treason.
She is dangerous. Do NOT approach her.
A large reward is on offer. Report any sightings to your nearest Kingsman.
Long live the King.

Silver Blackthorn is on the run. She fled Windsor Castle with eleven other teenagers, taking with her something far more valuable than even she realises: knowledge.

With the entire country searching for the missing Offerings, Silver must keep them all from the vicious clutches of King Victor and the Minister Prime. Until now, no one has escaped the king and lived to tell the tale.

Or have they?

With expectations weighing heavily on the girl with the silver streak in her hair, will she ever find her way home?

I was a HUGE fan of the first novel in this series, so to say I was happy to get to read the next one a little early is putting it mildly. And for me it was worth every second of the wait.

Silver and friends have escaped the immediate clutches of the King and are on the run. Decisions have to be made and everyone is looking to Silver to make them, she however is not sure she is the right person for the job.

Renegade is very addictive – whilst Kerry Wilkinson expands and deepens the mythology he has also written a bit of a thriller, a bit of  road trip drama and given our characters a lot of emotional upset to deal with. He keeps things rocking along at a heck of a pace, introducing new places and people, giving Silver a lot to handle and solidifying and intensifying the relationships between our core group. It is engaging and compelling throughout.

I am entirely in love with this series, one of those times I can’t really tell you why – although it probably is mostly to do with Silver as a character who is a gorgeous mix of strong independent woman and ditzy teenager. You just want to follow along with her, a bit like her fellow runaways – one of those brilliantly written characters that just pop off the page and become very real.

I’m being careful not to say too much about the story itself just in case you have not started this series yet – but I will say it is excellent – great writing, great characters, terrific world building, at least several bags of maltesers worth of reading joy.

The end drove me nuts – yep thanks for that Mr Wilkinson – now the wait begins for the finale. I’m going to be first in the queue. Everyone had better stay out of my way!

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In the village of Martindale, hundreds of miles north of the new English capital of Windsor, sixteen-year-old Silver Blackthorn takes the Reckoning. This coming-of-age test not only decides her place in society – Elite, Member, Inter or Trog – but also determines that Silver is to become an Offering for King Victor.

But these are uncertain times and no one really knows what happens to the teenagers who disappear into Windsor Castle. Is being an Offering the privilege everyone assumes it to be, or do the walls of the castle have something to hide?

Trapped in a maze of ancient corridors, Silver finds herself in a warped world of suspicion where it is difficult to know who to trust and who to fear. The one thing Silver does know is that she must find a way out . .

Don’t forget you have a chance to win a copy of “Renegade” by following the instructions in the introduction.

Happy Reading Folks!

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh. Blog Tour.

I Let You GoClare Mackintosh



Today I am pleased to welcome Clare Mackintosh, author of the brilliant “I Let You Go”  to the blog telling us about writing a first draft…

Writing the first draft

Most discussions within the writing community about first drafts seems to divide authors into two categories: ‘plotters’ and ‘pantsers’. The first term is self-explanatory: writers who plot out their stories in advance, often knowing exactly what will happen in each chapter, scene, even paragraph. The second category refers to those writers who fly by the seats of their pants, letting the words tumble out with little more than a vague idea of what the end result is and how they plan to get there.

When I wrote I Let You Go I was a plotter. Spread sheets and complex tables told me exactly what happened when, with special colours for ‘reveals’, ‘plot twists’, and ‘secrets’. Writing that way meant I never suffered from writer’s block because there was never a blank page to fear: I knew exactly what I had to write every day. When it was finished, I had a book.

But it wasn’t the right book. My obsessive plan had been so rigid that it hadn’t allowed my characters to make their own choices. The result was a plot-driven story that didn’t ring true with the individuals who inhabited it. ‘When Patrick finds out about Jenna’s past,’ my editor said, ‘do you think that’s how he would react?’ I thought for a moment; picturing him in my head, remembering where he’d grown up, thinking about his relationship with his parents, with his previous girlfriends. ‘No,’ I concluded, with a small sigh. ‘He really wouldn’t.’ I had to go back to basics, working through the story as my characters saw it, not in the way I saw it. At each crossroads I let them make the choices that felt right for them, and coped with the plot fall-out as it happened. The end result was a much more authentic story than that first draft.

As a result of this experience I have moved away from being a ‘pure’ plotter. I could never be a ‘pantser’ – far too terrifying – but I have adopted a hybrid approach that seems to be working much better for me. When I started working on book two I developed the backbone of the story and shaped it just enough to know what major events were going to happen, but I didn’t spend time sketching out the entire anatomy before I started writing. As I wrote the story evolved, and I didn’t think too closely about whether that chapter was too long, or that scene needed to be in a different place.

I also stopped editing as I went: endlessly going back over what I’d written the previous day, changing a comma for a semi-colon and then changing it back again on the next

read. Going through the editing process with I Let You Go made me realise just how many changes I would make to a book before it hit the shelves: what was the point in fiddling with sections of prose I might not even keep? If I couldn’t think of exactly what I wanted to say I simply wrote notes in capitals and carried on going, avoiding getting lost in internet searches, or trawling through the manuscript for someone’s last name.

When I wrote the first draft of I Let You Go I was trying to make it perfect, without realising that until the structure is right, perfection is impossible. Now I write very differently, and my first drafts are about getting the story down in as complete a way as possible, ready to be shaken up and put back down again. Only when that structure is right, will I start fiddling with commas…



I Let You Go


In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.

First of all I have no problem saying that this is the best psychological thriller I have read this year, no prevarication. For sheer addictive reading and utterly compelling character arcs, a very emotional storyline and some exquisite twists and turns throughout I loved this one very much.

Jenna has retreated from life after a tragic accident left her bereft – but in the small Welsh community she ends up in there is hope of a new start and a brighter future. However some things are difficult to let go of and as Jenna attempts to move forwards there are things pulling her back into her past, things she must face if she is ever to find happiness again.

This is a totally haunting read -Jenna is a brilliantly drawn character who you will feel for every step of the way. To suffer as she has is unimaginable, and putting the rest aside this is a very emotional and heart wrenching look at how unexpected tragedy can torment us and affect our very soul. The heart of the novel is right there in Jenna as she struggles with the mundane day to day and attempts to move on, her attitudes and expectations of the new people in her life are very well described and utterly authentic.

Added to that very human story is a terrific mystery element that keeps you avidly turning the pages to find out the truth of the matter – Jenna aside there is a terrific range of characters to follow along with as things become untangled and slowly but surely we are lead towards a brilliantly poignant and touching conclusion.

Overall then a truly magnificent tale and one that I have no trouble at all recommending to everyone – If you love reading you will love this. Simple.


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The Corpse Role by Keith Nixon – Blog Tour


Publication Date : Available Now

Source: Author review copy

Not everything that gets buried stays buried… sometimes things have a nasty habit of resurfacing…

When the body of a security van driver implicated in an unsolved £1.2 million heist turns up in a shallow grave two years later it’s just the beginning for Detective Inspector Charlotte Granger.

She embarks on an investigation that takes her into dangerous territory – a world of dirty cops, dodgy private investigators, local villains and nosy journalists. Meanwhile events from Granger’s own past are threatening to come back and haunt her..

Really terrific crime fiction from Keith Nixon – I basically read it in a day, bit of a page turner, some great characters and an authentic and hard hitting storyline.

Told in two timelines, brilliantly constructed and ever engaging, there is a beautiful flow to the prose that keeps you hooked right in, some twisty turny goodness and a jaw dropping ending.

Some really excellent plotting adds extra depth to both characters and storytelling, the past element being really most addictive – this is a crime thriller with heart, a mix of police procedural and thriller with intelligent storytelling and a sometimes almost noir feel.

You’ll note I havent said too much on the tale itself. For very good reason. Go find out!

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Author Interview: Gary Meehan. True Fire and True Dark.


I recently read the first two books in the True Fire trilogy – SO addictive and with some truly terrific main characters and really strong female leads which I always love in a book, I basically read True Fire in one sitting. True Dark followed very shortly thereafter, now I’m really REALLY impatient for the final novel. I will have a full review up for both books in the Fantasy section of this website very soon and they absolutely come HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from me. In the meantime I tracked down the author and asked him a few pertinent questions. Well, stuff I really wanted to know anyway….Here is what he had to tell me.


What was the inspiration behind True Fire, what started the idea in your head?

The initial idea was that of a girl swimming through a submerged tunnel, fleeing from something, looking to cleanse herself of what had been done to her. I came up with the notion of a returned Evil Force and kicked the idea around for a while, might have been years. It was only when I thought about stripping all the actual fantasy from the fantasy story that everything clicked. I was going to have a religious war based in a typical western medieval fantasy world, but instead of magic one side was going to have gunpowder. And not the good side.

There are several strong female leads in the series – do you have a favourite?

As a man of a certain age, I have to nominate Eleanor. I wanted an adult character in a YA novel who wasn’t incidental or useless or evil. She’s snarky, a bit of a snob, and is possibly too fond of a drink, but she’s loyal and fierce and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She also has her own agenda too, and it doesn’t necessarily coincide with Megan’s, so you have underlying conflict between the two of them to season the mutual dependence.

The dialogue is often very humorous – How hard is it to walk the line between humour and the serious side of the tale.

Very hard, if you ask my editor. You adapt the humour to the scene. A fast-moving action scene has a lot less gags than a fireside chat, and what jokes there are tend to be blacker and more desperate. I do think a comic edge is essential in writing, otherwise you end up with something po-faced and flat. Plus, we’re British though, making jokes about everything and anything is what we do.

Can you give us any hints as to what might be coming in the finale?

About eighty-five thousand words at this rate.

Okay: a pair of queens; the return of a prodigal; an unlikely romance; the turning of tables; friends becoming enemies; enemies become, well, not friends but less enemy-ish.

One book you recommend to everyone.

Nineteen Eighty-Four. It’s not only a powerful story about a man’s struggle against the system, but it’s packed to the brim with ideas on politics and society and language and manipulation and just how far we’ll sink when threaten with the rats.

Best book you have read this year.

This is where I’m going to have to admit I’ve not read much this year: been busy with work, writing and fighting with the cat for possession of the chair. I’m going to nominate Us by David Nicholls, which is about a middle-aged scientist trying to save his marriage to his arty wife and connect with his teenage son. After reading mostly YA recently, it’s nice to have something that speaks to you personally.


Thanks Gary!



Sixteen-year-old Megan is pregnant.

As she prepares to tell her family, the unthinkable happens. Her village is razed by soldiers: her grandfather murdered, her twin sister taken.

On a desperate mission to rescue her beloved Gwyneth, Megan discovers a terrifying truth – that the destruction of her old life is inextricably linked to her unborn child. The feared witch soldiers, vanquished a generation ago, have returned to see the fulfilment of a prophecy: one that will put Megan and her new friends – Eleanor, a fiery ex-aristocrat, and Damon, a wayward charmer – at the heart of the greatest war her world has ever known.



With the help of her two companions–Eleanor, an eccentric aristocrat and skilled swordswoman, and Damon, a strong-willed charmer with a dark past–and armed just with her wits and determination, teenaged Megan now faces a world of danger with a newborn infant on her hip. The unstoppable witch army is growing in strength as it strives to seize absolute power, but a prophecy hints that their aims are connected to the fate of a child–Megan’s newborn daughter. Hordes of witches are closing in on the small group of adventurers, but they may have underestimated the lengths to which the newly empowered Megan will go to protect her child.

Reviews coming very soon but seriously you don’t need to wait – if you love YA Fantasy you will adore these!

Happy Reading Folks!