#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Jonathan Mark (@jonmark1956) #TheLastMessenger

I am delighted to welcome the author of The Barnabas Trilogy, Jonathan Mark, to damppebbles today.  The first book in the trilogy, The Last Messenger was published in 2017 and is an action-packed historical thriller.  Jonathan has kindly agreed to share his #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads in the penultimate post of the series.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is an opportunity for book bloggers and authors to share and shout about three must-read books.  The only requirement, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Jonathan’s choices…

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Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
A fascinating exploration into the nature of faith and friendship from the perspective of three young Muslim women. One is a devout Muslim and one breaks all the rules. Peri the central protagonist is stuck in the middle, confused about her faith. She falls in love with an Oxford professor who leads the three friends to question everything including God, Life and Islam.

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
The Booker prize winner has done it again with this charming love story about Anjum who is a member of the Old Delhi Hijara (transgendered) community. It is funny and heartbreaking in equal measure and gives a wonderful insight into the complexities of the Indian tradition and culture.

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Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore
The final novel of Helen Dunmore before she died is probably her best. Set in Bristol at the time of the French Revolution, she captures the style of writers of that period and tells the story of a wife who is caught under the spell of her husband who stands to lose everything he has worked for in Bristol’s housing boom in Clifton. It is a historical psychological thriller.

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Great recommendations, Jonathan and thank you for joining me today.

If Jonathan has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books he recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak | The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy | The Birdcage by Helen Dunmore |

About Jonathan:
After nearly forty years working in finance in the City of London, he retired early to pursue his long-held ambition to write novels. He lives in Essex with his wife Lin. He also spends long periods in Cornwall where the restless seas and wild coastline provide inspiration for many stories, just as they did for Daphne du Maurier. To kick-start his writing career he completed an MA in Crime and Thriller writing at City University London. At the time, this course was the only creative writing MA in the country which focused on commercial crime fiction. The Last Messenger was the novel submitted to complete the MA. It is a story which evolved from a novel collecting dust in his desk drawer for over twenty years. Literary Agents advised that there was no longer a demand for conspiracy thrillers. Therefore, it is with a streak of bloody-minded and perhaps misguided optimism that he’s published this book.

About The Last Messenger:
the last messenger.jpgCRETE 1941 – A LOST SECRET IS DISCOVERED

During the German invasion of Crete, an air raid destroys a church revealing an ancient Christian scroll buried under its foundations. It is discovered by Callidora, a young Cretan shepherdess. She meets Hans, a German paratrooper who helps her understand the significance of the scroll. Callidora’s family accuse her of collaboration with the enemy and disown her. While Hans’ commanding officer, Captain Wolfgang Kohlenz, will stop at nothing to force Callidora to reveal the scroll’s secret.

LONDON 2005 – A GLOBAL CONSPIRACY

Richard Helford, an MI6 analyst caught up in the London bombings, helps Masood, a Muslim dying from injuries sustained by the bomb on the Piccadilly line. Masood appears to recognise Richard, who wonders whether they’d met in Iraq when he’d worked there during the occupation by Allied forces. Richard had returned to London, traumatised after his SAS bodyguard was killed by a suicide attack. The London bomb begins to trigger his recollection of the incident in Iraq which had previously been lost in his memory. As Richard searches for answers he discovers a family secret which draws him into a conspiracy of global significance.

What is the connection?

If its secret is revealed, it will invoke the terrifying predictions of the Book of Revelations. The book that predicts the end of the world. Arab terrorists want the prophecy revealed but the CIA, Mossad and MI6 want it destroyed.

What is the conspiracy of The Last Messenger?

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

Jonathan’s Social Media Links:
Website | Twitter |

My thanks to Jonathan for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I will be welcoming one of my favourite bloggers, Gordon Mcghie of Grab This Book.  Plus it’s my blogiversary!

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#BlogTour | #BookReview: The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer (@kate_hamer) @FaberBooks

the doll funeral.jpg“My name is Ruby. I live with Barbara and Mick. They’re not my real parents, but they tell me what to do, and what to say. I’m supposed to say that the bruises on my arms and the black eye came from falling down the stairs.

But there are things I won’t say. I won’t tell them I’m going to hunt for my real parents. I don’t say a word about Shadow, who sits on the stairs, or the Wasp Lady I saw on the way to bed.

I did tell Mick that I saw the woman in the buttercup dress, hanging upside down from her seat belt deep in the forest at the back of our house. I told him I saw death crawl out of her. He said he’d give me a medal for lying.

I wasn’t lying. I’m a hunter for lost souls and I’m going to be with my real family. And I’m not going to let Mick stop me.”

I am delighted to welcome you to the blog today as it’s my stop on The Doll Funeral blog tour.  The Doll Funeral is the second book written by Kate Hamer.  Her first, The Girl in the Red Coat, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize in 2015.  I had the pleasure of meeting Kate Hamer at the 2017 Wantage (Not Just!) Betjemen Literary Festival in October.  Hearing Hamer talk about her characters, her thought processes and how Ruby blossomed into life made me keen to read this beautifully haunting tale.

Ruby is different.  Ruby is able to see and communicate with the dead.  She has also had a harrowing upbringing.  A number of unsightly bruises and marks which need to be hidden away; she has time off school when the bruises get really bad but it’s OK, Barbara and Mick tell her what to say.  It’s never the truth.  The truth would cause too many questions, too many problems.  On her thirteenth birthday, Barbara and Mick share some news.  Ruby is adopted, she’s not their ‘real’ daughter.  The confirmation that she doesn’t belong fills Ruby with joy and she runs into the garden singing.  But this is just the beginning for Ruby.  She needs to find out where she belongs.  She must find her birth parents as she’s sure they want her back.

Ruby’s tale is a very emotional one.  So many issues that an adult would find it hard to cope with, dropped onto the shoulders of a thirteen-year-old child.  I personally struggled at times to see Ruby as a child in my mind’s eye.  Her wisdom, actions and attitude were more suited to a person in their late teens, a young adult, maybe? Perhaps Ruby is just one of those characters who are old before their time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the flashback sequences where we meet Ruby’s parents before her birth.  Seeing how her young mother, Anna, coped with the unplanned pregnancy.  The decisions that had to be made and the undoing of all of those decisions once the precious bundle of a newborn baby was placed in Anna’s arms.  Anna’s story broke my heart and I will remember it for some time to come.  Along with the names of Ruby’s adoptive parents, Mick and Barbara, but for completely different reasons.

The author has a knack of writing such beautifully descriptive and atmospheric prose that I was able to forgive some of the more far-fetched supernatural aspects of the story.  I want to put this out there so we’re all clear; I am a non-believer of ghosts and ghoulies.  Always have been and always will be unless someone can show me hard evidence of the spirit world existing.  I often struggle with a supernatural element in a book.  Sometimes it works for me, other times it doesn’t.

Would I recommend this book?  I would but it’s best to approach this novel thinking of it as a gothic ghost story (it crosses many genres but gothic ghost story prepares you for what lays ahead).  It’s enchanting, dark and multi-layered.  I would very much like to read Hamer’s debut now and compare the two works.

Four out of five stars.

The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer was published in the UK by Faber & Faber on 4th January 2018 and is available in hardcover, paperback, eBook and audio formats (the following amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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about the author3

kate hamer.jpgKate Hamer grew up in the West Country and Wales. She studied art and worked for a number of years in television. In 2011 she won the Rhys Davies short-story prize and her short stories have appeared in various collections. Her debut novel The Girl in the Red Coat was published in 2015. It was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize, the British Book Industry Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, and the Wales Book of the Year. It was a Sunday Times bestseller and has been translated into sixteen different languages. Kate now lives with her husband in Cardiff.

Author Links:Goodreads | Website | Twitter |

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Reviewer Claire Knight (@clairekreads) #CrimeBookJunkie

It is my great pleasure to welcome the lovely Claire Knight to damppebbles today.  Claire has been the awesome guest reviewer over at CrimeBookJunkie for a while now, alongside the fabulous Noelle Holten, and joins me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is a chance for book bloggers, reviewers and authors to share three recommended reads.  Three must-read books they want to share with the rest of us.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Claire’s choices…

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Enter the Dark by Chris Thomas
Oh Lordy, this book!!! It is so different and dark. Every time I think about it, it draws me back in! The concept of the book is justice but not a form of justice that you have seen before. Live broadcast justice on the dark web. It’s just ingenious!

Maria in the Moon cover

Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech
This is not exactly a crime novel, but it’s a dark and emotional read. I adore Louise Beech’s writing, it’s addictive. She’s not someone to be pigeonholed, she is in a genre of her own!

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Forget Me Not by Kierney Scott
Alongside the Jake Boulder series by Graham Smith, this book has reignited my interest in Stateside crime novels. This book is brutal with the murders, packed with tension and a total rollercoaster! How is this the author’s first crime novel?

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Awesome recommendations, thank you Claire.  I’ve already downloaded ‘Enter the Dark’ thanks to your mini review above.  Sounds just my cup of tea!  And ‘Forget Me Not’ is now on the wishlist. (And I also loved ‘Maria in the Moon – pretty much a full house really!)

If Claire has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Enter the Dark by Chris Thomas | Maria in the Moon by Louise Beech | Forget Me Not by Kierney Scott |

About Claire:
I’m Claire and I’m a guest reviewer over at Crimebookjunkie. I have loved crime fiction since I discovered the secret seven and famous five before moving onto true crime and then into the more adult crime fiction.

Claire’s Social Media Links:
CrimeBookJunkie | Twitter |

Watch out for Claire’s very own blog coming to the internet on 1st February.  We’re sad you’re leaving CrimeBookJunkie Claire, but can’t wait to see your brand spanking new blog!

My thanks to Claire for joining me today.  Make sure you stop for the penultimate #R3COMM3ND3D2017 tomorrow when I welcome author Jonathan Mark.

#BlogBlitz | #BookReview: Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker (@Bookwalter) @bookouture

Keep-Her-Safe-Kindle.jpg“How far would you go to protect your child?

Maggie’s daughter Penny is her whole world… and she’d do anything to protect her. So when Maggie wakes one night to find a strange woman in her home, she runs to lock herself in her bedroom with her child. But Maggie knows why she’s come… 

Someone has been targeting mothers and offering them a choice: do as he says or their child disappears. This stranger in her home has until dawn to follow his orders… but Maggie too has the ‘choice’ to make. Can she put the pieces together to stop the cycle before her time is up?

An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the last page. Perfect for fans of Adam Croft and Tess Gerritsen.”

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to damppebbles today as it’s my stop on the Keep Her Safe blog tour.  Keep Her Safe is written by Richard Parker and is the third of Parker’s books published by the mighty Bookouture.  I am a great fan of Richard Parker’s writing having previously read and reviewed his other two Bookouture releases, HIDE AND SEEK and FOLLOW YOU.  I loved Follow You so much, it made it onto my Top Ten Books of 2017.

So, with this in mind, I was excited to make a start on Keep Her Safe.  Really, REALLY flipping excited.  And what a book!  What an absolutely brilliant hook!  Richard Parker has done it again, he’s created the stuff nightmares are made of.

Having sat here for 10 minutes staring at a fairly empty screen I have realised that this is going to be a hard review to write.  Not because I didn’t enjoy the book (I loved the book!) but because I don’t want to be the one dishing out spoilers left, right and centre.  There are things not mentioned in the blurb above which are key to the storyline.  Now I could bring them into my review but that seems totally unfair to you, the reader.  So I’m going to be as vague as possible and say that the impossible situation Parker’s characters get themselves into was the killer hook for me, it was everything and made me fall head over heels in love with this book!  Where Parker’s ideas come from, I would LOVE to know.  It really is the stuff of nightmares.

The beginning is shocking, dark and quite disturbing.  It made me think, ‘what if…?’.  The end took me to places I never expected it to.  It comes like a bolt out of the blue and knocks you sideways.  I promise you won’t see it coming.  I have to be 100% honest at this point and confess that at times, during the middle section, I did find my attention drifting a little.  There was lots of action but the initial hook had been blunted a little and the focus of the story had shifted elsewhere.  Still a terrific piece of writing but after the intense, high drama of the opening chapters, I guess I wanted more of that and less of the ‘comrades joining together against a common enemy’ (all very cloak and dagger but I’m trying to be vague, hahaha).  The spikiness of the story was suddenly less…spiky.  I liked the spikiness, I would have liked a little more spike in the main body of the story.  I’ll shut up now….

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!  It’s brilliant and the slightly slower middle section doesn’t change my opinion of that.  If you want a book that will, in parts, leave you breathless with shock then this is the one.  Totally gripping, very unexpected and leaves you asking yourself, ‘what would I do?’.  Another BRILLIANT thriller from the pen of Richard Parker.  I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next!

Five stars out of five.

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

Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker was published in the UK by Bookouture on 11th January 2018 and is available in eBook format (the following amazon links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

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about the author3

RichardParkerPicRichard Parker was formerly a TV script writer, script editor and producer before turning his hand to penning twisted standalone thrillers.

KEEP HER SAFE is the latest book to be published by Bookouture on January 11th 2018.

HIDE AND SEEK was his fifth book published in August 2017.

FOLLOW YOU was his fourth psychological thriller. Reviewers are saying it’s Bookouture’s darkest crime novel to date.

STALK ME was his third and rode high in the UK and US charts.

SCARE ME was his second. Hollywood movie rights have been acquired by major US studio, Relativity Media. Star of PRISON BREAK and screenwriter of dark horror thriller STOKER, Wentworth Miller, has written the big screen adaptation.

STOP ME, Richard’s darkly fiendish debut, was shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award.

Author Links:Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website |

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Blogger #Reviewer & #CrimeFiction #Commentator Ayo Onatade (@Shotsblog)

It is my great pleasure to welcome the fabulous Ayo Onatade of Shotsmag Confidential to damppebbles today.  If you’re a fan of the crime genre (and why wouldn’t you be?!) then you must start following Shotsmag Confidential as it’s non-stop crime fiction – absolute heaven.  I am thrilled to have Ayo join me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is an opportunity for book bloggers and authors to shout loudly about three of their favourite books.  The only proviso being, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Ayo’s choices…

bluebird, bluebird

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke (Highway 59)
A brilliantly written thriller that is the first in a new series where two killings expose small town tensions for a hard drinking black Texas Ranger. Injustice and institutional racism laid bare.

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Grandville Force Majeure by Bryan Talbot (Grandville Series)
An anthropomorphic steampunk roller coaster of thrills, humour, and mystery graphic novel that brings to the fore the enjoyment of cross-genre fiction.

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Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher (LA Trilogy)
This is the second book in a trilogy that features a PI turned hitman who is also the last working Robot.  Set in the 1960’s this is a mash-up science fiction and a noir mystery novel. Fascinating and intriguing a brilliant book if your reading tastes lean towards cross-genre fiction and you can also appreciate the Chandleresque atmosphere of the series.

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Brilliant recommendations, Ayo, thank you!  I have ‘Bluebird, Bluebird’ on my TBR and cannot wait to get to it.  The other recommendations I have added to my wishlist!

If Ayo has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke | Grandville Force Majeure by Bryan Talbot | Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher |

About Ayo:
Ayo Onatade is a freelance crime fiction critic and blogger. She has written a number of articles on different aspects of crime fiction and has also given papers on the subject as well. She has an eclectic taste in crime fiction, which runs the gamut from historical crime fiction to hardboiled and short stories. Her research interests include historical fiction especially crime fiction and crime fiction literary criticism. She is also a visiting lecturer at Kingston University.

Ayo’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Shotsmag Confidential | Twitter | Facebook | shotsmag.co.uk |

My thanks to Ayo for joining me today.  #R3COMM3ND3D is sadly drawing to a close for 2017.  But make sure you join me again tomorrow when I welcome the awesome Claire Knight, guest reviewer over at CrimeBookJunkie.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Rebecca Foster (@bookishbeck) #BookishBeck

I am delighted to welcome another brilliant book blogger to damppebbles today, Rebecca Foster of Bookish Beck.  Rebecca is an avid reader who manages to devour 300 books a year, although she is one of those lucky souls who gets to review books for a living.  I am thrilled to have Rebecca join me today to reveal her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I invite authors and book bloggers to share the book love.  To shout about three books they have loved over the past 12 months.  Any author, any genre providing the book was published in 2017.

Here are Rebecca’s choices…

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The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel David Huber
The name Margery Williams Bianco might not seem familiar, but chances are you remember her classic children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit. This lovely debut novel is about Margery and her daughter, Pamela Bianco, a painter and child prodigy. Themes of creativity, mental health, and motherhood are nestled in a highly visual book full of cameos by everyone from Pablo Picasso to Eugene O’Neill.

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Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby
This is a vivid, compassionate set of stories drawn from the author’s long career in heart surgery. Westaby conveys a keen sense of the adrenaline rush a surgeon gets while operating with the Grim Reaper looking on. I am not a little envious of all that he has achieved: not just saving the occasional life despite his high-mortality field – as if that weren’t enough – but also pioneering various artificial heart solutions and a tracheal bypass tube that’s named after him.

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The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
Though it seems lighthearted on the surface, there’s a lot of meat to this tale of the long friendship between two female animators. The cartooning world and the Kentucky–New York City dichotomy together feel like a brand-new setting for a literary tragicomedy. I appreciated how Whitaker contrasts the women’s public and private personas and imagines their professional legacy (plus I love a good road trip narrative, and this debut novel has two).

***

Thanks so much for joining me today, Rebecca and for your brilliant recommendations.

If Rebecca has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about the books she has suggested then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel Davis Huber | Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby | The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker |

About Rebecca:
Rebecca is an American transplant to England. She is a full-time freelancer, editing science journals and reviewing books for a number of print and online publications on both sides of the pond (besides her blog!).

Rebecca’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Bookish Beck | Twitter |

My thanks to Rebecca for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by the blog again tomorrow when I will be welcoming Ayo Onatade of Shotsmag Confidential with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Rachel Emms (@emms_rachel) #ChillersKillersandThrillers

I am thrilled to welcome another of my very favourite bloggers to damppebbles today, the very lovely Rachel Emms of Chillers Killers and Thrillers.  Let’s face it, if I were setting up my blog all over again then I would want to call it Chillers Killers and Thrillers!  I’ve always been a little bit smitten with Rachel’s blog (and the name of it!).  Rachel has kindly agreed to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads with us today.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is a chance for book bloggers and authors to share three of their favourite books with the rest of us.  The only requirement being, the books must have published in 2017.

Here’s what Rachel chose…

quieter than killing

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary (DI Marnie Rome #4)
It has everything you can want from a gritty police procedural; surprising twists and shocking truths, a compelling plot and a fantastic cast of characters who you can get under your skin in a number of ways. A brilliant story from the DI Marnie Rome Series.

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The One by John Marrs
I just loved every minute of this book which had me literally gasping out loud with the many surprises and twists I couldn’t keep up with. The author expertly weaved five different point of view characters while still keeping a tight plot. I’m still not sure whose story was the most disturbing which made it all the better.

SIX STORIES BF AW.indd

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski
This novel just packs a punch and is such an original and refreshing read, where the story is told in a series of Podcasts which allows the reader to come to their own conclusions about what exactly happened with this crime.

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Fabulous recommendations, thank you so much Rachel.  I am SO HAPPY to see ‘Six Stories’ appear on your list.  I have so much love for this book and it’s sequel, ‘Hydra’.  Both brilliant books.

If Rachel has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary | The One by John Marrs | Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski |

About Rachel:
I’m Rachel, a twenty-seven year old lover of books. And when I say I love them, I mean I obsess about them so much that I literally start dreaming about them.

I absolutely adore immersing myself in stories, for me reading is a type of escapism which transports you into another world with characters who you like, hate, or just generally get frustrated at. A story is full of emotion; makes you laugh, cry and is just pure entertainment, which is one of the reasons why I would love to write and publish my own stories one day.

Rachel’s Blog and Social Media Links:

Chiller Killers and Thrillers | Twitter |

My thanks to Rachel for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by damppebbles again tomorrow when I will be welcoming Rebecca Foster of Bookish Beck with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Becca Burnton (@ifonlyread) #IfOnlyICouldReadFaster

It is my great pleasure to welcome the ever so lovely Becca Burnton of If Only I Could Read Faster to damppebbles today.  Becca has kindly agreed to hop over to damppebbles HQ and share her three #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is an opportunity for book bloggers and authors to share the book love.  An opportunity to shout about three MUST READ books.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published in 2017.

Here are Becca’s picks…

a dangerous crossing

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys
I absolutely loved reading this book. It is actually the first historical fiction book that I have read having been convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy the genre. But I had decided that I needed to try and see if I really wouldn’t like the genre and I knew that this was the book to read as it had had so many amazing reviews. And now I know why! This book read so well and I could really feel the story, smell the smells and, well I just loved every page of it.

eleanor oliphant

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This book has had a lot of hype but I read it before that started. At first I wasn’t sure about it, the main character sure has a strange way of talking for a start, but I soon got used to it and began to care really quite deeply about her. This book was wonderful, really well written and Eleanor is such a special character that will have a place in my heart for a long time to come.

broken bones

Broken Bones by Angela Marsons (Detective Kim Stone #7)
If you have read any of the Kim Stone series by Angela Marsons then you are really missing out. Broken Bones is the seventh book in the series, but not one of those books has been anything less than brilliant, but this one might be the best one yet. I loved reading it, the storyline was great and I really feel like I know the characters now. Marsons is a fabulous author with a real talent and I can’t wait for book eight!

***

Thanks for your super recommendations, Becca.  Glad to see a few familiar faces here (and yes, I still need to get myself a copy of ‘Dangerous Crossing’).  As for the Kim Stone series, I’m in catch up mode at the moment.  Love the Kim Stone series so much.

If Becca has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends then please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | Broken Bones by Angela Marsons |

About Becca:
I’m Becca, a forty year old single mother of boy/girl twins who are seven and a dog called Dotty. I’ve had various jobs over the years, from being a midwife and counsellor to working in a pet shop and boarding kennel. I love animals, cactus and hummingbirds.

Becca’s Blog and Social Media Links:
If Only I Could Read Faster | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

My thanks to Becca for joining me today.  Pop by the blog again tomorrow when I will be welcoming Rachel Emms of Chillers Killers and Thrillers with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Claire Ayres (@BrizzleLass) #BrizzleLassBooks

I am thrilled to welcome another superb book blogger to damppebbles HQ today – the lovely Claire Ayres of BrizzleLass Books.  What I love about Claire’s blog is that she tends to focus on Fantasy and Romance books, two genres which I don’t normally read but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to keep up to date with what’s going on!  Claire has joined me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is a chance for book bloggers and authors to share three books they love.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published last year in 2017.

Here are Claire’s choices…

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Blackwing by Ed McDonald (The Raven’s Mark #1)
I’m rarely completely speechless after finishing a book, I normally have a lot to say good or bad, but Blackwing left me utterly gobsmacked. It’s an exceptional debut by Ed McDonald which I couldn’t put down with a likeable but roguish lead character and world building which was intricate but easy to follow. I was completely absorbed into this novel and I have recommended it to people consistently since I read it in July.

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Godblind by Anna Stephens
Not many people can pull off a book told from multiple points of view, with so much blood, guts, and gore that it’s practically pouring from the pages and yet Anna Stephens does it beautifully. This book is a bloodbath, it’s brutal. Each chapter is from a different point of view we have I think it’s ten characters to get to know, understand and follow and yet this author makes it so easy. I became invested in this story very early on. I also became incredibly attached to one of the most evil characters in the book, how does an author do that? This book is just everything that any fantasy fan should be looking for.

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Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney
I’ve just realised I’ve picked all debut novels for this, it’s been one of those years. Watching Glass Shatter broke me apart. I went through an entire box of tissues reading this book. It’s contemporary fiction at it’s best, a family devastated by the loss of its patriarch left with a mystery to unravel which brings with it the realisation there are a lot of secrets that need to be revealed. There are laughs, love and, well as I’ve said so many tears. This is an author who knows how to pull on the heart strings and get you to feel everything the characters are feeling.

***

Thanks so much for your recommendations, Claire.  I’m quite giddy because I’ve added ‘Godblind’ to my wishlist.  My first fantasy read in a good few years.  How could I not though when you use words like ‘brutal’ and ‘bloodbath’ and of course my favourite three words, ‘blood, guts and gore’!

If Claire has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about her recommendations then please click the following amazon.co.uk links:

Blackwing by Ed McDonald | Godblind by Anna Stephens | Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney |

About Claire:
I’m BrizzleLass, aka Claire, I blog mainly about Fantasy and Romance, I live in Bristol and when I’m not blogging I can be found writing, volunteering at a mental health charity or going to a gig. Books are my bag as they say and if you want to talk about books I have all day free for you.

Claire’s Blog and Social Media Links:
BrizzleLass Books | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

My thanks to Claire for joining me today.  Tomorrow I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Becca Burnton of If Only I Could Read Faster, so make sure you stop by again then.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #BookBlogger Karen (@karen55555) #GoBuyTheBook

I think I’ve mentioned before how wonderful this feature has been in helping me discover new book blogs.  And today I am delighted to welcome another ‘new to me’ blogger – Karen of Go Buy The Book.  Karen has kindly joined me today to share her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where book bloggers and authors get to shout about three books they love.  The only stipulation being, the books must have been published last year, in 2017.

Here are Karen’s choices…

hope to die

Hope To Die by David Jackson (DS Nathan Cody #2)
The second in the Nathan Cody series sees a serial killer targeting people in various places of worship around the city of Liverpool. I’m a big fan of crime novels set in my home city and this one ticked all of the boxes for me with many iconic locations providing an atmospheric backdrop in a gripping, well-written book. The next book in the series is due for publication in 2018.

the perfect victim.jpg

The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson (The Sophie Kent series)
This is a book that completely throws you off the scent and really makes you wonder if you can believe anything you are reading. When a woman is found drowned, journalist Charlie Swift is named as the prime suspect when it is revealed that they have been having an affair. His friend and colleague, Sophie Kent, is adamant that he is innocent but as more evidence comes to light, she begins to doubt herself. This is one of those books where you can’t bear to put it down as more and more revelations are made.

the chalk pit.jpg

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths (Dr Ruth Galloway Mysteries #9)
I’m a big fan of the Ruth Galloway books by Elly Griffiths and this one was probably the most topical to date. When bones are found in tunnels underneath Norwich, DCI Nelson and his team fear that a serial killer may be targeting homeless people. A very well-written, emotive book that surely cements Elly Griffiths as one of the best crime writers around today.

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Thanks for joining me today, Karen and for your excellent suggestions.  My wishlist has just increased by two books!  I’m 100% in agreement with you about David Jackson’s ‘Hope To Die’ as well, a brilliant series and one of my top reads of 2017.

If Karen has managed to tempt you or if you would like to find out more about her choices, please see the following amazon.co.uk links:

Hope To Die by David Jackson | The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson | The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths |

About Karen:
My preferred genre to read is crime/psychological thriller/ police procedural etc. This stems back to my teenage years when I used to enjoy watching the Ruth Rendell Mysteries on television and was prompted to work my way through the series of Inspector Wexford novels. I was truly devastated when Ruth Rendell died as it meant no more Reg Wexford! I suppose, though, my first dalliance with the genre was as a child reading books by Enid Blyton – to this day, The Mystery of the Missing Necklace remains one of my favourite stories! In recent years, I’ve also developed a penchant for genealogical fiction. Again, though, this genre tends to have a mystery aspect attached to it.

Karen’s Blog and Social Media Links:

Go Buy The Book | Twitter | Facebook |

My thanks to Karen for joining me today.  Make sure you stop by tomorrow when I will be welcoming Claire Ayres of BrizzleLass Books with her #R3COMM3ND3D2017 reads.