#CaseClosed: #November2017 #BookOfTheMonth #amreading #amreviewing #bookblogger #damppebbles

Happy last day of November everyone!  Is it just me or has November felt like it has lasted a lot longer than 30 days?!  Maybe it’s because it has suddenly become a lot colder, maybe it’s because I’ve been suffering the loss of my reading mojo this month.


Who knows.  I will be glad to wave goodbye to the month and welcome December with open arms and chocolatey fingers (yay for Advent calendars, double yay for my first proper Advent calendar in years – my thanks to Dead Good for sending this beautiful thing⬆!).  Please forgive my atrocious photography skills.  You’re looking at the reason I chose to read as my hobby, I don’t think I would have cut it as a photographer!

So back to #CaseClosed and my bloggish goings-on.  November has in one way been a very quiet month for me.  In another way, it’s been wonderfully busy.  I haven’t read very much at all this month and what I have read (bar blog tours), I’ve so far failed to write a review for (boo!).  In other news, my new #R3COMM3ND3D2017 feature has taken off with a rather large, ground shaking bang which I am thrilled about.  I’ll give you a short rundown of the posts so far in a wee while.

I took part in six blog tours during November:

Five were review posts:

Killing State by Judith O’Reilly | The Puppet Master by Abigail Osborne | Hell To Pay by Rachel Amphlett | CWA Anthology of Short Stories edited by Martin Edwards | Mother by S.E. Lynes |

And one stop was an extract:

We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews

With regard to reviews that’s it, I’m afraid.  I think you will all agree, a pretty poor month for me.  The good news (for you, if you like reviews that is) is that I still have three books waiting in the wings which need to be reviewed on damppebbles.  Ragdoll by Daniel Cole, All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker and the absolutely incredible The Wrong Child by Barry Gornell.  Look out for reviews coming your way soon.

So despite not reading very much during November, the blog hasn’t been quiet.  My #R3COMM3ND3D2017 has kept me (and hopefully you) busy.  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite book bloggers and authors to share three MUST READ books.  The only stipulation being that they must have been published in 2017.  I am thrilled to have had such an incredible response to this feature and I thank each and every participant, sharer, liker and retweeter for their support.  Thank you!  If you missed any of the posts you can catch up here:

Noelle Holten of CrimeBookJunkie
Nicola Smith of Short Books and Scribe
Joanne Nicholson, author of Positive
Jacob Collins of Hooked From Page One
Katherine Sunderland of BibliomanicUK
Phil Rowlands, author of Siena
Lorraine Rugman of The Book Review Cafe
Amy Sullivan of NovelGossip
Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed By Ink
Jeff Dowson, author of the Jack Shepherd Thrillers
Carmen Radtke writing as Caron Albright, author of A Matter of Love & Death

So far there have been no duplicates so if you’re looking for a book recommendation please do check out the above links as there are 33 brilliant book choices for you to pick from.

One last thing on the #R3COMM3ND3D2017 front; I plan to close the form this coming Sunday evening (3rd December GMT).  If you would like to take part (and I would LOVE for you to take part) then please make sure you have submitted your choices before then.  I am so pleased with how it’s gone this year I will be dragging it, kicking and screaming, back to damppebbles next year.  The form is already up and raring to go for next year, just click HERE to find it.

Changing the subject totally, I am over the moon to confirm that I have managed to steer clear of the dreaded #TwitterJail this month.  I have unfortunately reduced the number of posts I share to Twitter which is keeping the Twitter folk happy but making me a little sad.  Oh well, change sometimes takes time 😢.

And that’s pretty much it for November!  Apart, of course, from my book of the month…


I’m in a bit of a quandary at this point as I haven’t actually written my review for the most amazing book I’ve read during November – I only finished it today (it’s currently 8pm on 29th November, by the way).  It doesn’t seem right to post it without a review being published so I will pick the best book I’ve read and reviewed (which was also a brilliant read).  My book of the month is….

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Taddah!  CWA Anthology of Short Stories edited by Martin Edwards and published by the incredible Orenda Books!

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If you follow damppebbles regularly then you will know that I am a MAHOOSIVE crime fan.  Crime fiction is what I do.  I don’t tend to read anything outside of the crime genre.  I’m also a massive fan of international crime and that makes this book a perfect read for me.  The contributing authors were given the theme ‘Mystery Tour’ and the result is an engrossing mix of crime at home and away.  I loved it and gave the book an easy five stars!

“If I listed every story I enjoyed then I would be basically giving you the contents page! I love international crime so this was pretty much the perfect read for me.  Chock-full of GREAT stories, written by some remarkably talented people and the perfect Christmas gift for the crime fiction fan in your life.  This is a must-read book.  Don’t miss out!”

And that’s it for this month.  I have no blog tours scheduled for December and a mere two (they are stupendously exciting tours) booked in for January.  I think I’m managing this blog tour and new book ban rather well, even if I do say so myself!  You do have a whole month (bar Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day) of #R3COMM3ND3D2017 to look forward to though.  Plus my end of year post where I will tell you about my ten favourite books of the year (yes, it may look like thirty books but it’s actually ten.  Honest.  Your eyes may deceive you….it’s TEN!).

So if we don’t speak between now and then have a wonderful Festive season, full of good books and, well, more good books!  Maybe a mince pie or something as well (?).  Tarrah for now.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author @CarmenRadtke1 writing as Caron Albright @bombshellpub #AMatterofLoveandDeath

I am thrilled to welcome Carmen Radtke, who also writes as Caron Albright, to damppebbles today.  Carmen is here to recommend three MUST READS, three books published in 2017 which you just cannot miss.  Today is also a very special day for Carmen in the guise of Caron Albright, her women’s literature pen name, as her new book, A Matter of Love and Death is published by Bombshell Books – happy book birthday!

If you haven’t stumbled upon one of my #R3COMM3ND3D2017 posts before then let me explain.  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite book bloggers and authors to shout about three books published this year.  That’s the only rule, the books chosen must have been published in 2017.

So without further ado, here are Carmen’s choices:

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Dandy Gilver & A Most Misleading Habit by Catriona McPherson (Dandy Gilver Murder Mystery Series #11)
1920/1930s mystery series set in Scotland, full of wit, humour and clever plots.

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The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess (Amelia Peabody #20)
The last book by the late Grand Master. She never disappointed, and Amelia Peabody, Egyptologist and sleuth, is pure delight.

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The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
It’s funny, witty, romantic, plus he wrote The Rosie Project.


Thank you so much for joining me today, Carmen and for your three recommendations.

If Carmen has piqued your interest or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit by Catriona McPherson | The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters & Joan Hess | The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion |

About Carmen writing as Caron Albright:
Caron Albright fell in love with books as soon as she could read and never grew out of it. With one foot firmly planted in Fictionland ever since, she is moving from one adventure to the next (strictly on the paper of course). She also writes mysteries under real name Carmen Radtke.

About A Matter of Life and Death by Caron Albright:
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Adelaide, 1931. Telephone switchboard operator Frances’ life is difficult as sole provider for her mother and adopted uncle. But it’s thrown into turmoil when she overhears a suspicious conversation on the phone, planning a murder.

If a life is at risk, she should tell the police; but that would mean breaking her confidentiality clause and would cost her the job. And practical Frances, not prone to flights of fancy, soon begins to doubt the evidence of her own ears – it was a very bad line, after all…

She decides to put it behind her, a task helped by the arrival of their new lodger, Phil. Phil takes her to a night club, where she meets charming but slightly dangerous club owner Jack. Jack’s no angel – prohibition is in force, and what’s a nightclub without champagne? But he’s a good man, and when Frances’ earlier fears resurface she knows that he’s the person to confide in.

Frances and Jack’s hunt for the truth puts them in grave danger, and soon enough Frances will learn that some things are a matter of love and death…

Carmen’s Social Media Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Book Bloggers and Authors, if you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017 then please complete the form below (I have had a fantastic response and will be closing the form at the end of this week so if you would like to take part, make sure you send your details before Sunday evening!):

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Jeff Dowson @Jeff_Dowson #JackShepherdThrillers @willandwhiting

It is my great pleasure to welcome author Jeff Dowson to damppebbles today with his three 2017 recommended reads.  Jeff is the author of the Jack Shepherd thriller series and his latest release, ‘Cloning the Hate’ is available to purchase now.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite authors and book bloggers to share three of their favourite reads.  Easy enough, right?  There is one catch though, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Jeff’s choices…

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Taking Liberties by Helen Black
No punches pulled storyline, some diamond-hard dialogue and a truly ‘in your face’ style.


Siena by Phil Rowlands
A genuine, deeply engaging story of how grief drives a character to extraordinary lengths.

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The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt
Actually written in 1986, but newly re-published by Pushkin Vertigo. Subtitled “Requiem for the Detective Novel” it’s a brilliantly re-working of the post-war European noir style.


Excellent recommendations, thank you Jeff.  I’m a huge fan of the Pushkin Vertigo books myself and always recommend ‘The Tokyo Zodiac Murders’ which is a must read but that was published in 2015 so I probably shouldn’t mention it here!

If Jeff has tempted you with his choices, or if you wish to find out more about the books he has recommended, then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

Taking Liberties by Helen Black | Siena by Phil Rowlands | The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt |

About Jeff:
Jeff Dowson began his career in the theatre as an actor and director. He moved into television as a writer/producer/director. Substantial screen credits include arts series, entertainment features, documentaries, drama series and TV films. Turning crime novelist in 2014, he introduced Bristol private eye Jack Shepherd in “CLOSING THE DISTANCE”. “CHANGING THE ODDS” followed, and the latest in the series “CLONING THE HATE” was published in August 2017. Jeff is a member of BAFTA and the Crime writers Association.

About Cloning the Hate (Jack Shepherd thriller #3):
Cloning the HateWhen you open a can and it has prunes in it, it’s a can of prunes. Confirms all your expectations. But open a can of worms and your expectations go viral.

Alfie Barnes, brother of Jack Shepherd’s close friend Linda, is beaten to death on the Downs.

Shepherd is warned to stay away from the active police case.

Then Danny Malone, a violent and dangerous ex-copper, knocks on his office door.

amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

Jeff’s Social Media Links:
Website | Twitter |

If you would like to be a part of #R3COMM3ND3D2017 then please complete the following form:

#BlogTour | #BookReview: Mother by S.E.Lynes (@SELynesAuthor) @bookouture

Mother-Kindle.jpeg“How far would you go for the perfect family?

When Christopher Harris climbs into his family’s dusty attic, he finds a battered old suitcase containing a letter. Inside the letter is a secret; a secret about his mother that changes everything. 

Every mother loves their child. Every child deserves to be loved. But Christopher has grown up so lonely it hurts. 

Finally, Christopher thinks he has a chance at happiness. A happiness he will do anything to protect, whatever the cost…

An unputdownable thriller about the lies we tell and the secrets we keep, Mother will hold you breathless until the very last page and leave you reeling. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, The Sister and Apple Tree Yard.”

I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles today as it’s my turn, and the final stop, on the Mother blog tour.  Mother is the brand new psychological thriller from one of my favourite authors, S.E. Lynes.  I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Susie’s debut, Valentina.  So much so, I encouraged my own mum who is brand new to the psychological thriller genre to read it.  Needless to say, she loved it!  It also featured highly on my ‘top books of the year’ list in 2016.  If you would like a recap or if you missed it the first time, check out my review of Valentina HERE.

This is S.E. Lynes first release with Bookouture.  It is also one of my most eagerly anticipated books of the year.  No pressure, huh?!  I can’t deny, my expectations were high.  I felt nervous, excited and a little apprehensive as I started to read the first page on my Kindle.  The prologue is wonderfully violent and immediately appealed to my darker side.  However, from there the story takes a more sedate turn.  The writing, as I would expect from S.E. Lynes, is excellent.  I just wanted something more to happen.  I’ll lay my cards on the table as I’m one for 100% honesty in reviews, I really struggled with the first half of this book.  Not all psychological thrillers are a thrill-a-minute joyride, I understand that.  I have enjoyed the slow build to a shocking conclusion.  I have enjoyed a particular character’s torment as their impending comeuppance looms with sharp fangs in the shadows.  I just didn’t get that with the first half of Mother.  Something, for me, was missing in that first half.  However, the second half was a different story altogether, I absolutely loved the second half of this book.

The reader is introduced to a young man by the name of Christopher Harris.  Christopher finds out by chance that he is adopted.  Something he has secretly known for many years.  After all, he doesn’t ‘fit’ with his family.  The discovery is made just as departs his Morecambe home for Leeds University.  Turning his back on his parents, Margaret and Jack, and their reserved way of life, he heads out into the big wide world with one mission; to find his birth mother.  Christopher is a restrained chap so follows the correct procedures in his search, an emotionally charged search which leads him to Liverpool and to the arms of Phyllis, the mother he’s always wanted.  Christopher is a new man.  He dresses differently, he behaves differently, his life is finally what he has always wanted it to be.  But when someone threatens his perfect life, Christopher needs to act.  How far will he go to make sure his life remains perfect…?

Christopher doesn’t tell his own story which I thought was an interesting way for the author to tell his tale.  The detective in me spent most of the first half trying to work out who the narrator was and I’m pleased to say I got it right fairly early on (but then convinced myself otherwise as the story progressed!).  I found the relationship between Christopher and his birth mother, Phyllis, a little odd.  Actually, scrap that, it was uncomfortably intense which is why I think I struggled to connect with any of the characters in Mother.  I desperately want to talk about the second half of the book but fear in doing so I’ll be dropping spoilers left, right and centre.  So I’ll just say the last half of the book is deliciously dark and quite surprising.

Would I recommend this book?  I love Lynes’s writing and I would pick up another book by the author in less than a heartbeat.  However, I did find the first half quite slow but I’m so glad I persevered as the last half is really rather wonderful.  Christopher’s story took a little too long to get going for me.  But that’s just me, you may have a totally different experience.  I would recommend this book but with a caveat, that being the first half may not grab you as would hope.  Stick with it, it’s worth it.

Four stars out of five.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Mother.  The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Mother by S.E. Lynes was published in the UK by Bookouture on 22nd November 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

S E Lynes Author Photo.pngAfter graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington. Her first novel, Valentina, published by Blackbird Digital Books, came out in July 2016. Her follow up novel, Mother, is published by Bookouture.

Author Links:Twitter | Facebook |

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Naomi MacKinnon (@_ConsumedByInk) #ConsumedByInk

When I first started to plan this feature I got really excited about being able to promote not only some brilliant authors and their wonderful books but the incredible book bloggers out there, many of whom I consider dear friends.  What I didn’t consider is that it would allow me to discover new blogs.  And that is exactly what I have done with the brilliant Consumed By Ink, run by Naomi MacKinnon.  Consumed by Ink focusses mainly on Canadian fiction and I’m now a fully fledged follower (stalker) of this awesome site.  Definitely worth a visit!

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite both book bloggers and authors to step up to the plate and recommend three must-read books.  That’s pretty much it as far as rules go, apart from the three books chosen must have been published in 2017.

Here are Naomi’s choices…

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The Widow’s Fire by Paul Butler
It’s the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. If anyone’s already re-read Persuasion and looking for something more, this is a great option. Butler doesn’t mess with the story already written, but extends it instead, showing us a darker side of some of the characters and of Jane Austen’s world. Very well done.

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Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt
I’ve been reading through a list if fiction novels set in or around Halifax before, after, or during the time of the Halifax Explosion (December 6, 1917). Dazzle Patterns is a new addition to this list, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I’ve read several now, so it’s no small accomplishment to wow me at this stage. And it’s come out just in time for the 100th anniversary of the event.

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The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie by Cecily Ross
A couple of years ago I read Susanna Moodie’s book, Roughing It In the Bush, which is about her experiences as an immigrant to Canada in 1832. I found her first-hand account fascinating. The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie is a fictional account, written in diary form, of Susanna’s life starting at the age of 12, long before her move to Canada. It filled in a few gaps and put an emotional spin on things. I loved it.


Thank you so much for your recommendations, Naomi and for joining me today!

If Naomi has tempted you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she has chosen then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Widow’s Fire by Paul Butler | Dazzle Patterns by Alison Watt | The Lost Diaries of Susanna Moodie by Cecily Ross |

About Naomi:
I’m a reader, book blogger, and CanLit enthusiast from Nova Scotia.

Naomi’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Consumed By Ink | Twitter |

If, like Naomi, you would like to feature on damppebbles with your three 2017 recommendations then please complete the following form:

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Amy Sullivan (@novelgossip1) #NovelGossip

I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Amy Sullivan of NovelGossip to damppebbles today.    Amy has kindly agreed to take part in my #R3COMM3ND3D2017 feature and I can’t wait to see what she has chosen.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 gives authors and book bloggers the opportunity to recommend three must-read titles.  There is only one catch, the book must have been published in 2017.

Enough of my wittering, here are the lovely Amy’s choices:


Sirens by Joseph Knox (Aidan Waits #1)
I was just completely blown away by this debut, it was such a unique read and Knox has such a strong voice. I fell a little bit in love with the protagonist, Aidan as well.

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Slaughter is my favorite author in the world, I just loved this book. I don’t often experience a strong, emotional, visceral response in a crime novel and this book broke me. I mean that in the best possible way and think she’s the best there is.

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The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This one took me by surprise, I was initially drawn to the cover but it’s SO much more than just a pretty cover. It almost read like a hugely entertaining biography but it was fictional, it was like an epic saga of one amazing woman’s life.


Awesome choices, thank you Amy.  I have ‘Sirens’ and ‘The Good Daughter’ on my TBR.  As for ‘The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hugo’…I’m a bit mesmerised by that cover!

If Amy has tempted you or if you would like to find out more about the three books she has recommended then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Sirens by Joseph Knox | The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid |

About Amy:
I’m Amy, a busy wife and stay at home mom to three kids who is passionate about reading. Diving into a new novel is one of my favorite ways to escape from reality. Gossiping about novels is my obsession. Whether it’s a book I read in the past, or a upcoming new release from one of my favorite authors, I am always ready to discuss all things book related.

Amy’s Blog and Social Media Links:
NovelGossip | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

If, like Amy, you would like to feature on the blog with three 2017 book recommendations then please complete the form below:

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Lorraine Rugman (@ReviewCafe) #TheBookReviewCafe

I am thrilled to welcome another great blogger pal to damppebbles today and it’s the lovely Lorraine Rugman from the fabulous The Book Review Cafe.  I’ve been following Lorraine’s blog for quite a while now and it’s easily one of my favourites.

Lorraine has joined me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 choices.  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I ask book bloggers and authors to recommend three books you MUST read.  The only catch is that they must have been published in 2017.  So without further ado, I’ll hand over to the lovely Lorraine…

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Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson
Nothing, and I mean nothing could have prepared me for Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson, if you are looking for a unique, nail-biting and gripping tale look no further than this book, it’s going to sound cliched but it literally left me speechless (not an easy task let me tell you!).


Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (Detective Erika Foster #5)
Now I’m sure it won’t come as a big surprise to many of you but I just happen to be a huge fan of Robert Bryndza’s and the Erika Foster series, so when I realised Cold Blood was available on NetGalley I dropped everything to start reading it and I mean everything, even the current book I was reading, so apologies to Harlan Coben, but a sacrifice had to be made! Oh my god I’m so glad I did, Cold Blood is one twisted tale, it’s gruesome, it’s dark, all the things I love a crime thriller to be and more. A must read crime series.

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The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker (Detective Sam Porter #1)
Oh my god I absolutely loved The Fourth Monkey by J. D. Barker, what a deliciously dark and utterly gripping novel this one turned out to be. I’m the first to admit you can’t beat a good serial killer in a crime thriller (hmmm I’m not sure what a psychologist would make of that) but believe me when I say they don’t come more twisted than The Fourth Money (or 4MK as they are known) but it certainly made for a brilliant read. Masterfully written, fast-paced thriller this novel made for a riveting read.


Fabulous choices, Lorraine.  Thank you so much for joining me today.  I have read both Block 46 and The Fourth Monkey, both very dark reads but in different ways.  And my apologies to Robert Bryndza for being so far behind in the Detective Erika Foster series (and I call myself a crime fan, pah!).

If Lorraine has tempted you with one or three of her recommendations then please click the following amanzon.co.uk links for more information:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson | Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza | The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker |

About Lorraine:
My name is Lorraine and I love books and coffee so there was only one thing to call my blog, it had to be the book review café. I love reading and always have a book or my kindle in my hand, and more often than not a cup of good coffee. I love reading and reviewing Crime and psychological thrillers.

Lorraine’s Blog and Social Media Links:
The Book Review Cafe | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

If, like Lorraine, you would like to recommend three 2017 books on #R3COMM3ND3D2017 then please complete the form below:

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Phil Rowlands (@PhilRowlands2) #Siena #WilliamsandWhiting

I am delighted to welcome author Phil Rowlands to damppebbles today.  I’m absolutely loving my new feature but it has been a little book blogger heavy so far (not that I’m complaining mind you, it’s what us book bloggers love to do after all!  And I’ve been incredibly lucky to receive such wonderful support from some incredible people #bookbloggerlove) so it’s great to have an author on board today.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is my new feature where I invite book bloggers and authors to give the titles of three MUST READ books.  I’m not one for making thing complicated so the only rule is that they must have been published in 2017.

Without further ado, here are Phil’s choices…

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Cloning The Hate by Jeff Dowson (Jack Shepherd Thriller #3)
It’s a great detective thriller, contemporary issues, empathetic characters, terrific lead in Jack Shepherd and a great story. Set in Bristol, a city with shadow and sunshine.

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Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet by Reed Farrel Colman (A Jesse Stone Novel)
Jesse Stone is a fantastic character, engaging, flawed, instinctive with a great balance of crime and relationship. Reed Farrel again takes over seamlessly from the late great Robert B Parker as Stone copes with grief, loyalty and an increasing body count and PR nightmare.

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The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye: continuing Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Series by David Lagercrantz
The brilliant, flawed, Lisbeth Salander and Millenium magazine’s Mikael Blomkvist, and a breathtaking search for truth, each with their deep and painful past driving them. Exciting, moving and explosive.


Thank you so much for your recommendations, Phil, and for joining me today.  I have to confess that my wishlist has just increased by three stonking books.  They all sound incredible reads!

If you’re as tempted as I am by Phil’s recommendations, or if you wish to find out more about the titles he has mentioned then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Cloning of Hate by Jeff Dowson | Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet by Reed Farrel Coleman |

About Phil:
After many years as a working actor mainly in film, tv and radio, I moved into the production side as a freelance writer and film producer. I’ve written feature films, TV and radio dramas, documentaries and animation series and worked as a script doctor. Currently, I’m in development as writer/producer on a movie set in Wales and Canada and as writer on a three-part drama series set in the UK.

I am founder and MD of Funky Medics, a production company focussing on innovative health education and is an Honorary Associate of Cardiff University. Funky Medics is currently developing projects in India, Europe and the UK. For over ten years I’ve also been a freelance project consultant with various Foundations and NGOs mainly working in India. I live in Penarth near Cardiff. Siena, my first novel, was published in August 2017. Single Cell my second is close to final draft.

About Siena:
siena.jpgWelsh artist Sara Llewellyn’s husband and young son are killed by chance during the shooting of a wealthy Italian in London. The killer disappears and Sara’s pain and grief drive her to the edge of madness. She hides away as her life spins out of control until she meets a Canadian academic researching his Welsh roots. He helps her find some balance and light and provokes a positive start to her recovery. She goes to Italy alone to find answers and is drawn into a world of art, culture, beauty and betrayal that leads to a shattering discovery at the explosive climax of the Palio in Siena.

amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

Phil’s Social Media Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger or an author and would like to feature on #R3COMM3ND3D2017 then please complete this form:

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Katherine Sunderland (@KatherineSunde3) #BibliomaniacUK

It is my great pleasure to welcome one of my favourite bloggers, Katherine Sunderland, to damppebbles today.  Katherine is the lady behind the awesome BibliomaniacUK and is here today with her #R3COMMEND3D2017 books.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is my new feature where I ask book bloggers and authors to share three books which they feel you MUST read.  The only proviso is that the books must have been published in 2017.  And yes, I am an avid fan of the crime fiction genre but I don’t want to limit anyone’s choices so all 2017 publications, no matter what the genre, are eligible to be chosen.

Let’s see what the lovely Katherine has selected for us today:

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Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
Stunning writing! A fantastic historical mystery set on a ship, full of tension, suspense, and fascinating characters. It was absorbing, intriguing and I was totally immersed in the story.

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Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
Absolutely nail-biting and every parent’s worst nightmare! So evocative, well executed and compelling. One sitting read!

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Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon
Full of tension and suspense and absolutely psychologically thrilling with two characters who are exceptionally well crafted. The plot is complex, intense and full of incredible twists.


Brilliant recommendations, thank you Katherine.  I would love to read all of these.  I have recently (thanks to a very kind friend) acquired a copy of ‘Fierce Kingdom’, so look out for a review coming to damppebbles soon!

If you’ve been tempted by Katherine’s recommendations or if you would just like to find out more then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys | Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips | Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon |

About Katherine:
I love reading and spend all my free time buried in the pages of my latest book. I also love talking about books and sharing recommendations on my blog. I organise author events in my local town.

Katherine’s Blog and Social Media Links:
BibliomaniacUK | Twitter |

Are you an author or a book blogger?  Do you have three 2017 titles you are desperate to recommend?  Then please fill in the form below (if you have any problems with the form then please email your three choices, your reasons for choosing these books, your bio, any social media links you would like included and, if you’re an author, the title of any books you would like me to include in the post, to damppebbles@gmail.com):

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Jacob Collins (@collinsjacob115) #HookedFromPageOne

I am delighted to welcome Jacob Collins to damppebbles today.  Jacob is the blogger behind the wonderful Hooked From Page One and has kindly agreed to share three book recommendations which he feels you MUST READ!

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is my new feature where I invite book bloggers and authors to share three recommended reads with us.  The only rule being that the books must have been published between 1st January 2017 and, well, now!

So without further ado, here’s what Jacob recommends:

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All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker
All the Wicked Girls was an utterly absorbing read. Once I started reading I didn’t want to put it down, it’s one of those books that you don’t want to end. Great characters, great plot and a great setting, Chris Whitaker has become one of my favourite writers.

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Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary (DI Marnie Rome #4)
This is the fourth book in the DI Marnie Rome series. Sarah Hilary has created an engaging series with unforgettable characters. I rarely look at the blurb for Sarah’s books as I know straight away that I’ll enjoy it. I had to choose this book as one of my top reads because I was lucky enough to feature as a character in the book. As with all of her books, she has created a really engaging storyline. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

the binding song

The Binding Song by Elodie Harper
I read this novel quite late in the year, I was so excited when I finally got round to reading it as it had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Elodie’s writing is exceptional, very atmospheric, she paints a vivid picture of the Norfolk landscape and the story will keep you turning the pages. I loved it.


Great choices Jacob.  I have recently read and enjoyed The Binding Song myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the Marnie Rome books I have read (not made my way to QTK yet) and have All The Wicked on my radar for reading in the next couple of weeks!  Thank you for joining me on damppebbles today.

If Jacob has tempted you with his recommendations or you’d like to know more, then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker | Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary | The Binding Song by Elodie Harper |

About Jacob:
My name is Jacob and I am in my early twenties. I have been blogging since June 2016. I have loved reading since I was a child; I was always up the local library and I loved listening to audiobooks, The Famous Five and the Horrid Henry books were among my favourites. I am also currently working on my own crime novel which I am hoping to finish early next year.

Jacob’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Hooked From Page One | Twitter | Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger or an author and would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017 then I would be thrilled to hear from you.  Just complete the following form (if it crashes, as it has been doing, or you would prefer the form by email then please let me know via damppebbles@gmail.com):