#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Lynne LeGrow (@fictionophile) #Fictionophile #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Hello and welcome to a new week of #R3COMM3ND3D2020. We’re just past the halfway point (providing I can fill all 57 places – a handful are still available if you would like to take part!) so I wanted to share some interesting #R3COMM3ND3D2020 facts with you. So far (before I reveal today’s blogger and their three picks) 84 (EIGHTY-FOUR!!) brilliant books have been recommended. I’m afraid that’s it for interesting facts today 😂. If I were my husband I would have spreadsheets and pie charts to share too, but I’m not so I’m afraid you’ll have to make do with my one interesting fact for now 🤣.

I am delighted to welcome one of my favourite bloggers to share the book love with us today, it’s the fabulous Lynne of Fictionophile. Lynne’s blog is hugely popular and it’s clear to see why. If you don’t already follow Lynne then I recommend that you change that! She’s a bookish gem and an asset to the community.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Lynne chose…

R3C20 all in her head

All In Her Head by Nikki Smith
This debut thriller is a mesmerizing page-turner which deftly portrayed mental illness and a tortured soul with clarity that was only too real. The ending was chilling and assured that I will read more by this talented author.
Lynne’s Review of All In Her Head

R3C20 the creak on the stairs

The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir
The murder investigation was a slow burn. Multi-layered, it exposed secrets, shame, and egocentricity. A small town mystery with myriad ties to past sins. With themes of grief, loss, child abuse, and more, this story was well written and compelling with some secrets exposed near the end. The ending was both satisfying and poignant in equal measure.
Icelandic noir at its very finest!
Lynne’s Review of The Creak on the Stairs

R3C20 the sea gate

The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson
A dual timeline saga featuring two women who were both strong and resilient. They had many things in common despite their sixty+ year age difference.
The story set during the war years was vividly rendered and well researched. The present day story was also quite compelling, including themes of family secrets, blackmail, and elder abuse.
The ending wrapped up the book perfectly. Poignant and hopeful in equal measure.
Loved it! Every minute of it!
Lynne’s Review of The Sea Gate

Three great choices, thanks Lynne. I think there are a couple of additions to the wish list there too!

If Lynne has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

All In Her Head by Nikki Smith
The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir
The Sea Gate by Jane Johnson

About Lynne:
I started my book blog to share my love of reading with others, and to document my own reading. I am a retired public library cataloguer, so blogging about books is a way of staying in touch with my bookish passions.
When not reading or blogging I enjoy the company of family and friends, gardening, red wine, and playing with my baby grandson.

Lynne’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Fictionophile | Twitter @fictionophile | Instagram @fictionophile56 |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre translated by Frank Wynne @maclehosepress #ThreeDaysandaLife #damppebbles

three days and a life“Antoine is twelve years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his mother in Beauval, a small, backwater town surrounded by forests, where everyone knows everyone’s business, and nothing much ever happens. But in the last days of 1999, a series of events unfolds, culminating in the shocking vanishing without trace of a young child. The adults of the town are at a loss to explain the disappearance, but for Antoine, it all begins with the violent death of his neighbour’s dog. From that one brutal act, his fate and the fate of his neighbour’s six year old son are bound forever.

In the years following Rémi’s disappearance, Antoine wrestles with the role his actions played. As a seemingly inescapable net begins to tighten, breaking free from the suffocating environs of Beauval becomes a gnawing obsession. But how far does he have to run, and how long will it take before his past catches up with him again?

Translated from the French by Frank Wynne”

Hello and a very warm welcome to the blog. I am delighted to be sharing my review of Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne) with you today. Three Days and a Life was published in the UK by Maclehose Press in May 2018 and is available in all formats. I received a free ARC of Three Days and a Life but that has in no way influenced my review.

I have read several of Pierre Lemaitre’s earlier novels and loved them. Alex and Blood Wedding come to mind in particular. But I have also read Irène and Camille which are part of The Paris Crime Files trilogy along with Alex, featuring Commandant Camille Verhœven. They are excellent books and I heartily recommend them all. I’m a huge fan of translated crime fiction so this author and his books tend to be on my go-to list of authors. Saying that, I’ve had Three Days and a Life sat on my shelf for a little while which is strange as it was one of the books I was most excited about when I received it in a goodie bag.

Antoine is a fairly ordinary 12-year-old boy living a fairly ordinary life in a small French town. One fateful day his life takes a dramatic turn and he ends up as part of the most interesting event to have happened in Beauval, the disappearance of 6-year-old Rémi Desmedt. Crowds of people converge to find the boy, teams go out searching day and night but no trace of Rémi is found. Speculation is rife, rumours spread but no one seems to know where Rémi is. No one apart from Antoine…

Three Days and a Life is a slow and intricate unravelling of a well-drawn individual which I found to be highly compelling reading. This is not a novel full of twists and turns and that made me love it just that little bit more. Three Days and a Life shines a spotlight on a character I started out feeling a great deal of sympathy for. Then gradually through the years, the pressure of past events, of secrets hidden, begin to mould and shape the young boy into a rather frustrating young man.

The majority of this book is set over the three days of Rémi’s disappearance. But the tendrils – the secrets and lies – of those fateful days reach far into the future and that’s what I found so appealing about this novel. Antoine is forever looking over his shoulder, waiting for news, waiting to be discovered. The unease and the dread the character feels is palpable. As he matures, his need to escape the small town of Beauval becomes almost obsessive but those tendrils keep digging in, pulling him back.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Three Days and a Life is a compelling character study which I absolutely flew through. A suffocating and claustrophobic piece of well-written fiction. I found Antoine to be such an interesting character and felt I was there with him every step of the way. Elegantly written and beautifully subtle in its tone, you’ll struggle to put this one down once you pick it up. Recommended.

I chose to read and review an ARC of Three Days and a Life. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre (translated by Frank Wynne) was published in the UK by Maclehose Press on 3rd May 2018 and is available in hardcover, paperback, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Goodreads |

about-the-author3

pierre lemaitrePierre Lemaitre is a French novelist and screenwriter.

Awards: Prix du premier roman du Festival de Cognac 2006 pour Travail soigné – Prix Le Point du polar européen pour Cadres Noirs – Meilleur polar francophone 2009 au Salon de Montigny pour Robe de marié

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Frank Wynne was born in 1962 and grew up in Strandhill, Co. Sligo. His father – with T R Henn and others – was among the founding members of the Yeats Summer School in Sligo in 1959, and was President of the school until his death. Through the Summer School, Wynne was introduced to literary figures (whose lectures he recorded with a tape recorder), among them Richard Ellmann and Seamus Heaney

In 1984 he moved to Paris, where he stayed for three years. He moved to London in 1987, at first managing a small French bookshop in Kensington, which sold, among other things, graphic novels. Wynne became involved in the bandes dessinées movement in London and was hired to work on Revolver. From there he moved to Crisis before becoming managing editor of Deadline magazine, home of Tank Girl.

After the demise of Deadline in 1994-5, in part through the badly received film version of Tank Girl, he worked for a time as editorial director of AOL UK.
“I was employee number seven in AOL UK. I went from being the youngest person in every company I had worked for to being the second-oldest person in AOL.”
After he left AOL, he began translating the works of Michel Houellebecq. He now dedicates his time fully to writing and translations.

He describes himself as being of “no fixed abode”, having lived and travelled widely in Central and South America, the Netherlands, Hungary, Turkey, Ireland and the UK.
He has worked as a literary translator for many years translating the novels of Michel Houellebecq. He jointly won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award with Houellebecq for Atomised, his translation of Les Particules élémentaires. He has subsequently translated Houellebecq’s novels Platform and Lanzarote, together with novels by Pierre Mérot, Frédéric Beigbeder and the late Ivoirian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma.

His translation of Frédéric Beigbeder’s Windows on the World, a novel set in the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York during the September 11, 2001 attacks, won the 2005 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He also won the 2008 Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize for his translations of Beigbeder’s Holiday in a Coma and Love Lasts Three Years.

Wynne also translated a number of French bandes dessinées, including graphic novels by Enki Bilal, Lorenzo Mattotti, Max Cabanes and Édika. His first non-fiction book, I Was Vermeer, a biography of Han van Meegeren was published by Bloomsbury in August 2006. Between 1938 and 1944 van Meegeren forged seven paintings, passing them off as lost masterpieces by Vermeer. The works were authenticated by some of the finest art critics in Europe, among them Abraham Bredius, who acclaimed Van Meegeren’s forgery The Supper at Emmaus as “one of – I would go so far as to say * the* masterpiece by Johannes Vermeer of Delft”. Wynne’s biography, I was Vermeer has been serialised as the BBC Radio 4 “Book of the Week” (read by Anton Lesser) for August 7–12, 2006.

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Rae (@rae_reads1) #Rae Reads #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Hello and welcome to Sunday on damppebbles. I hope you’re managing to have a bookish weekend. Today I am delighted to welcome another wonderful book blogger to share three of their favourite 2020 releases with us. It’s the very lovely Rae of Rae Reads. I’m a huge fan of Rae’s blog so if you don’t already subscribe, that must change! You won’t regret it.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are Rae’s three #R3COMM3ND3D2020 picks…

R3C20 the nesting

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke
The Nesting was from the very beginning a special kind of story for me. It had a magical charm that captured my imagination along with a paranormal element that was woven in perfectly. The addition of dark folklore dotted throughout was guaranteed to make me love this book even more. At times I found myself smiling away at certain things the characters said or did. Both these lighter and darker moments show how well C. J. Cooke crafted her story into something extremely engaging for the reader.
Rae’s Review of The Nesting

R3C20 the thursday murder club

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
What a fun story this was! I couldn’t help but grow attached to this group. Even though they may live in a retirement village don’t let that fool you. These friends had lively and clever personalities that shined bright. I love cosy mysteries and The Thursday Murder Club is a brilliant example of one. With plenty of twists, surprises and secrets thrown in to keep me on my toes. There were moments that left me smiling, chuckling and maybe even a few times when I got a little teary. There is something very engaging about this book!
Rae’s Review of The Thursday Murder Club

R3C20 the return of the disappearing duke

The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple
As soon as I started reading this book I knew I would love it! Everything worked so well for me. From the setting in Egypt to the characters themselves. The Return of the Disappearing Duke really was the perfect escape. Let’s just say that they go on quite an adventure, one that captured my attention from start to finish. From a memorable first meeting between this pair to their travels across the desert. Their interactions were very entertaining from the playful barbs to the smiles they shared. With plenty of adventure, a hint of danger and a captivating romance The Return of the Disappearing Duke was brilliant!
Rae’s Review of The Return of the Disappearing Duke

Thanks so much for your brilliant picks, Rae. I loved The Thursday Murder Club and I can’t wait for the second book in the series!

If Rae has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
The Return of the Disappearing Duke by Lara Temple

About Rae:
I’m a mum of two and you can usually catch me reading or blogging about bookish things over on my blog. If I do find any extra time then I’ll probably be baking or knitting (badly) 😂

Rae’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Rae’s Reads | Twitter @rae_reads1 | Facebook | Instagram @raereads1 |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

#CoverReveal: The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite (@BCopperthwait) @bookouture #TheGirlInTheMissingPoster #damppebbles

Hello my bookish lovelies. I hope you’re having a splendid weekend. Allow me to make it a little bit better!

If you were online on Friday around 4pm you may have seen a rather stunning cover be revealed. Sadly, I wasn’t so I couldn’t take part. However, the author – Barbara Copperthwaite – is one of my favourite authors and quite possibly, the loveliest and most encouraging person in the book world. So I wanted to help share the love for her brand new book – which I hope explains why I’m a little late to the cover reveal party.

So, without further ado, let’s find out a little more about the brilliant new novel from the utterly fabulous Barbara Copperthwaite – The Girl in the Missing Poster! Here’s the blurb…

MISSING – Have you seen this girl? Nineteen-year-old Leila Hawkins was last seen on 24 June, 1994, when she left her parents’ anniversary party early and ran into the stormy night wearing her twin sister Stella’s long red coat. She was never seen again.

I wrap my arms around the tree trunk, pressing my cheek against it until the bark digs in and the missing poster is finally secured. I try not to look at the photograph on it. At the features so similar to mine. Perhaps this will be the year someone comes forward.

Were crucial mistakes made by detectives from the very beginning?

Could the pressure of living two lives have led my sister to run away – or even end it?

Or did someone in her tight circle of friends and family have reason to want her gone?

Someone out there must know something.

But the last thing I ever expect is a direct response from the person who took Leila. Wracked with guilt and completely alone in the world without the other half of me, I have no choice but to agree to his strange request: private, intimate details of my life in return for answers.

As the final moments of my sister’s life play out before me, I feel closer to her than I ever dreamed I’d be again. So close, it could almost be happening to me. But when I finally realise who is behind this terrifying tragedy, will I make it out alive?

From the bestselling author of The Perfect Friend, this absolutely gripping psychological thriller will keep you up all night and leave you sleeping with the light on. If you lovedGone Girl, The Girl on the TrainandThe Wife Between Usthis book is for you!

Now doesn’t that sound AMAZING?! I can absolutely guarantee you will be hearing more about this book on damppebbles when it’s released in February. Without a shadow of a doubt.

And now, here’s that gorgeous cover…

tgitmp_

I love it! What an eye-catching cover. I cannot wait to read this book!

The Girl in the Missing Poster by Barbara Copperthwaite will be published in the UK by Bookouture on 23rd February 2021 and is available to pre-order now (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | apple books | kobo |

about-the-author3

j1g1dqoj5e1ufe7m2e3u5htf2f._US230_Barbara is the Amazon, Kobo and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, HER LAST SECRET and THE PERFECT FRIEND. She has a new book coming soon!

Her writing career started in journalism, writing for national newspapers and magazines. During a career spanning over twenty years Barbara interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

Her first book, Invisible, was ‘totally gripping, and scarily believable’ according to Bella magazine. Its success was followed by Flowers For The Dead, which was the Sunday Mirror’s Choice Read, beating Lee Child’s latest offering. ‘Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,’ their review read.

The Darkest Lies came next, published by Bookouture, and became a USA Today bestseller. The follow-up, Her Last Secret, hit the Number 1 spot on Kobo. The Perfect Friend is a No 1 Kobo and Amazon best seller.

When not writing feverishly at her home in Birmingham, Barbara is often found walking her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy, or hiding behind a camera to take wildlife photographs.

To find out more about Barbara’s novels, go to:
Website: http://www.barbaracopperthwaite.com
Blog: http://www.barbaracopperthwaite.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorBarbaraCopperthwaite
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/BCopperthwait
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/barbaracopperthwa

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Jen Thomason (@jenthomason1109) #DandelionsInspired #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Hello and happy weekend! I hope you have lots of bookish plans in store for the next two days. It’s day 28 of #R3COMM3ND3D2020 and today I am delighted to welcome another brilliant book blogger to share the #R3COMM3ND3D book love and help increase our tottering TBRs. It’s the very lovely Jen of Dandelions Inspired. I think, if memory serves, that Jen’s blog was one of the first blogs I followed when I first started damppebbles. If you don’t already, head on over and subscribe!

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Jen chose…

R3C20 142 ostriches

142 Ostriches by April Davila
142 Ostriches is completely different than anything I’ve read this year. It is a debut novel with exquisite writing, characters that jump off of the page, and every single line is meaningful and important. This definitely helps you out of a reading rut when you need something different and special.
Jen’s Review of 142 Ostriches

R3C20 big lies in a small town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Read this for two strong female characters! This novel includes internal conflict, mystery, racial tension, and flawless descriptions of Edenton, NC. I was completely engrossed in the novel that is also rich with history and lessons.
Jen’s Review of Big Lies in a Small Town

R3C20 the pretenders

The Pretenders by Agatha Zaza
This novel tackles a huge variety of issues in a gripping and addictive way. This is a surprising story about flawed characters and all of the secrets they keep. It also begs the question, “what are you willing to tolerate to be with the one you love?”
Jen’s Review of The Pretenders

Thanks so much, Jen. I love the sound of all three books so they’re going straight on the wish list!

If Jen has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

142 Ostriches by April Davila
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
The Pretenders by Agatha Zaza

About Jen:
I’m a wife, mom, and dog mom in Roanoke, VA. I am always reading and more often than not, writing reviews!

Jen’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Dandelions Inspired | Twitter @jenthomason1109Facebook |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Lisa from Read and Rated (@ReadandRated) #ReadandRated #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Welcome to Friday on damppebbles! The weekend is in touching distance and, as it’s Black Friday, bargains galore are to be had. But…asking for a friend…are books included in the Black Friday deals? 🤔

Today I am delighted to welcome a fabulous book blogger to share the book love. It’s the very lovely Lisa of Read and Rated. Lisa’s blog is absolutely gorgeous and well worth checking out. Head on over, say hi and hit the subscribe button.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Lisa has chosen…

R3C20 The secrets of strangers

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman
Such a simple concept and yet utterly spellbinding. I loved it. All the feels with this one.
Lisa’s Review of The Secrets of Strangers

R3C20 Three Hours

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
Ah this book! It broke me in places, being a mum of two boys will have had something to do with that… I just felt every emotion, it is a beautiful yet awful book. Wonderful.
Lisa’s Review of Three Hours

R3C20 stolen children

Stolen Children by Michael Wood
There is a missing child in this series and the author had made this feel so real that I am utterly desperate for him to be found. Fabulous crime thriller that I hope to one day see on TV – like Vera. This is a massively under appreciated series.
Lisa’s Review of Stolen Children

Three brilliant choices, thanks Lisa. I’ve read (and really enjoyed) Stolen Children and I have Three Hours on my terrifying TBR, which I can’t wait to read. And this is the second time we’ve seen The Secrets of Strangers so, along with She Lies Close by Sharon Doering and The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor, it’s now in join first place! I wonder if one of these three books will be our eventual winner!

If Lisa has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

The Secrets of Strangers by Charity Norman
Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton
Stolen Children by Michael Wood

About Lisa:
I’m ‘that‘ girl, you know the one who always has her nose in a book. The one who always has a book on the go. The one who is reading a different book every time you ask her ‘what ya reading?’; I am her, she is me. I am also the girl who collects authors on twitter – you can find me there as @ReadandRated (where I mainly focus on books….) and also as @CoffeeCurls (where other stuff filters in too).

At ReadandRated.com you can find honest reviews and ratings for books. I also post reviews onto Good Reads, you can access my account there via the widget on the right had side of this blog, and I post reviews onto Amazon. If I review a book for you and you want a review posted onto a particular site just let me know.

Taking part in #R3COMM3ND3D has been difficult as it is SO hard to narrow the answers down to just three books. I would add to this that ANYTHING by Amanda Jennings, Jane Isaac, Lisa Hall, Simon Kernick, Stuart MacBride, Rob Ashman, Noelle Holten and Alison Bruce (to name but a few) is also highly recommended. [Ahem, hold up there! Are these extra #R3Cs?? Adjudictor…??? 😲😂]

I live very near Cambridge with my wonderful family which consists of one great bloke, two great boys and two purrrfect cats and a beautiful black Labrador. The rest of the time I am slightly fixated with cats, coffee and books.

Lisa’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Read and Rated | Twitter @ReadandRated | Twitter @CoffeeCurls | Facebook | Instagram @readandratedbookreviews |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Sarah Swan (@Sarah_Swan2) #SarahsVignettes #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Before I go any further I would like to wish all of my American followers a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful day!

It’s day 26 of this year’s #R3COMM3ND3D and what a gorgeous collection of books we’ve had so far. Adding to the #R3C masterpiece today, I am delighted to welcome another brilliant book blogger. It’s the lovely Sarah of Sarah’s Vignettes. If you don’t already subscribe to Sarah’s blog make sure you head on over and change that.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are Sarah’s three #R3COMM3ND3D2020 picks…

R3C20 below the big blue sky

Below the Big Blue Sky by Anna McPartlin
Below the Big Blue Sky is the sequel to The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – one of my all time favourite books. It follows Molly Hayes and her family as they navigate life after Rabbit dies from cancer.

The story was everything I had hoped it would be: big-hearted, amusing, compassionate, emotional, and truly Irish. You will laugh through the tears and feel the warmth, compassion and love of the Hayes family radiate from the pages.

Although it is a sequel, it could be read as a stand-alone as Anna McPartlin has carefully weaved enough back story in for each character. However, I do think that it’s worth reading The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes or listening to the audio version to understand this family and their quirks. It will make you appreciate the story even more.
Sarah’s Review of Under a Big Blue Sky

R3C20 the life we almost had

The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley
The Life We Almost Had is not a typical love story but it is Adam and Anna’s love story. It is beautiful, heartbreaking, poignant, and sprinkled with a bit of magic.

It is a page turner and could easily be read in one sitting. It has short chapters, which keeps up the pace of the story and some longer ones where it is necessary. There are some heart pounding moments. Just when you think you’ve worked out where it’s going, Amelia Henley pops in a plot twist and bam! You’re off in a completely different direction. The intricacies in the plot and the rich level of detail show that Amelia Henley knows her characters and their stories inside out. This makes for a brilliant read!
Sarah’s Review of The Life We Almost Had

R3C20 under a wartime sky

Under a Wartime Sky by Liz Trenow
Set mainly in Felixstowe, Under a Wartime Sky starts in 1936 and tells the story of how radar was developed at Bawdsey Manor, Suffolk, in the run up to WW2. It is told through the eyes of 2 characters: Kathleen Motts, a local girl, and Vikram Mackensie, a scientist recruited to work on the radar. The story also follows their friendship and slow burning love story whilst telling Bawdsey’s story.

I love books and films set in World War II and I thought I knew a lot about it. However, before reading Under a Wartime Sky, I had never heard of Bawdsey Manor and knew nothing about the important work of the scientists, engineers and WAAF radar operators did there during WW2 and how they helped Britain to win the war.

I loved how Liz Trenow brought Bawdsey’s story, Kathleen and Vikram’s friendship, and the social history of the time together into an enjoyable and important historical read.
Sarah’s Review of Under a Wartime Sky

Some lovely choices, thank you Sarah. I’m delighted to see The Life We Almost Had on your list as, although I haven’t read it myself, I’m a huge fan of the author under another guise.

If Sarah has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

Below the Big Blue Sky by Anna McPartlin
The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley
Under a Wartime Sky by Liz Trenow

About Sarah:
Hi, I’m Sarah. I have been reading from a very early age and before I could read, I was always flicking through picture books – I’m sure I was born with a book in my hand!

I read a wide range of genres and I am willing to try most genres once, but I do keep going back to both contemporary and historical fiction more than anything else.

Books are a big part of my life and I started my blog, Sarah’s Vignettes, and my social media pages so I could share my love for them.

Sarah’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Sarah’s Vignettes | Twitter @Sarah_Swan2 | Facebook | Instagram @sarah_swan22 |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

#BookReview: Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims @gollancz #ThirteenStoreys #damppebbles

thirteen storeys

“You’re cordially invited to dinner. Penthouse access is available via the broken freight elevator. Black tie optional.

A dinner party is held in the penthouse of a multimillion-pound development. All the guests are strangers – even to their host, the billionaire owner of the building.

None of them know why they were selected to receive his invitation. Whether privileged or deprived, besides a postcode, they share only one thing in common – they’ve all experienced a shocking disturbance within the building’s walls.

By the end of the night, their host is dead, and none of the guests ever said what happened.
His death remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries – until now.

But are you ready for their stories?”

Hello and a very warm welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of the excellent Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims. Thirteen Storeys is published by Gollancz today (that’s 26th November 2020) and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats. I chose to read and review a free eARC of Thirteen Storeys but that has in no way influenced my review.

Some books pass you by. They’re instantly forgettable and not your thing at all. Other books – like Thirteen Storeys – have the ability to stop you dead in your tracks and make you feel like you’re missing out on something incredibly special if you don’t read them. I saw this book reviewed on another blog and it absolutely sang to me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I couldn’t get the cover out of my head. I feel like I’m being very melodramatic but oh well, it felt like there was an actual real life connection between me and Thirteen Storeys. And what a corker of a read it was!

Normally at this point in one of my reviews I would recap the blurb for you. I’ve decided to not do that when it comes to Thirteen Storeys as the publisher’s blurb tells you everything you need to know and I think my ‘take’ on it wouldn’t add anything. In fact, I’m concerned I may say something I shouldn’t so, to save my blushes, please refer to the blurb if you haven’t done so already 😂

This cracking book opens with a newspaper report on the anniversary of the death of multi-billionaire, Tobias Fell. Fell’s many achievements – including the commission of a high rise tower block in Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets called Banyan Court which, incidentally, is the home of many of the guests – is noted. But what the reporter really draws attention to is Fell’s very unusual and highly suspicious death. Witnessed by thirteen guests at a very exclusive dinner party, no one is really sure how he died (quite so horrifically) and one thing is for sure, they are certainly not going to talk about it. Each chapter tells the story of one of those thirteen guests in the lead-up to that notorious dinner party. Giving the reader a tantalising and intriguing glimpse into thirteen very different lives and what ultimately connects them. There are strange and creepy goings-on at Banyan Court and the author has done a masterful job of creating an outstanding cast of characters, all of whom pull the reader into their world.

Each story is individual and stands tall, but the tendrils of Banyan Court run through them all with familiar characters appearing all over the place and memorable events being seen from different view points. I loved this book and found the author’s approach very refreshing. It’s a short story collection, but not. All of the events and characters in Thirteen Storeys are under one big horror laden umbrella. It’s a very clever and well-written novel.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. Thirteen Storeys is a beautifully written contemporary horror novel that I know for sure will leave its mark on me. I don’t remember reading anything like this before and it was an absolute delight. The excitement I felt as I approached the end of the book, having lived through the characters’ trauma with them, was palpable. I couldn’t wait to find out what had happened to Fell. It was a thrilling ride and I was deeply satisfied with the stomach-churning conclusion. I loved this book and would happily read more by this author. Highly recommended.

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

Thirteen Storeys by Jonathan Sims was published in the UK by Gollancz on 26th November 2020 and is available in hardcover, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | Goodreads |

about-the-author3
Jonathan Sims is a writer, performer and games designer whose work primarily focuses on the macabre, the grotesque, and the gentle touch of creeping dread. He is the mind and the voice behind acclaimed horror podcast The Magnus Archives, as well as story-game design duo MacGuffin & Co., and some of your favourite nightmares. He lives in Walthamstow with the two best cats and an overwhelming backlog of books that he really should get round to.

#R3COMM3ND3D2020 with #BookBlogger Veronika Jordan (@cookiebiscuit) #CookiebiscuitsBlog #damppebbles #BookRecommendations #publishedin2020

Hello my bookish friends and welcome to another cracking day of #R3COMM3ND3D2020. Today I am delighted to welcome a blogger I discovered earlier this year. It’s the very lovely Veronika Jordan of Cookiebiscuit’s blog. I am such a huge fan of Veronika’s blog and reviews. If you don’t already subscribe then that must change! You won’t regret it.

So, what is #R3COMM3ND3D2020? It’s about sharing the book love. It’s a chance for authors, book bloggers and bookstagrammers to shout about three (yes, *only* three) books they love. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way (traditionally, indie press or self-published). But there is a catch. All three books must have been published in 2020. To make things interesting I have added a couple of teeny, tiny rules this year which are; 1) the book must have first been published in 2020 and 2) special editions and reissues do not count. I like to keep you lovely people on your toes. 😉

Here are the three books Veronika chose…

R3C20 the miseducation of evie epworth

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor
For someone like me who grew up in the sixties (though I am quite a bit younger than Evie) I found this book absolutely hilarious. Laugh out loud at times. The characters are richly drawn often to the point of caricature, but not enough to be unbelievable. And some of Evie’s ‘misadventures’ will have you crying with laughter. But one of the stand-out things for me about the book is how the author has managed to capture perfectly the ‘playful’ (his word) voice of a 16 year old girl in the sixties.
Veronika’s Review of The Miseducation of Evie Epworth

R3C20 miss benson's beetle

Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
This story will stay with me for a very long time. It’s warm and funny and sad and evokes every emotion you can think of. I loved it.
Veronika’s Review of Miss Benson’s Beetle

R3C20 when the music stops

When the Music Stops by Joe Heap
Every now and again I come across a book that is so unique, so different, that I am left reeling. When the Music Stops is one of those books. Towards the end I was totally overwhelmed and had to take a break or I would have started crying and not been able to stop. Even writing the review made me cry. It is rare for a story to have such a profound effect on me and make me feels so happy and sad at the same time. This is one book I will definitely read again (and I almost never do that).
Veronika’s Review of When the Music Stops

Wonderful choices, thank you Veronika. That’s the second time The Miseducation of Evie Epworth has been chosen (and twice in two days!) so that makes it the joint leader with She Lies Close by Sharon Doering. Woohoo, the race is on!

If Veronika has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books recommended above, please see the following links:

The Miseducation of Evie Epworth by Matson Taylor
Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
When the Music Stops by Joe Heap

About Veronika:
My name is Veronika Jordan. I live in the Cotswolds with my husband and an elderly Jack Russell named Pancake. I have two sons and three beautiful granddaughters. I write poetry and short stories and have published a book of short stories and a novella. I also paint a bit which seems to take up much of my free time. I am also an avid book reviewer as you can see from my recent posts. I review on Goodreads, Amazon, NetGalley and here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my reviews.

Veronika’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Cookiebiscuit’s blog | Twitter @cookiebiscuit | Facebook | Instagram @cookiebiscuit10 |

If you’re a book blogger, bookstagrammer or an author and you have three books published this year which you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/kHTQeQdiUNZTsW4d6)

#BlogTour | #GuestReview: Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham (@MitchamJoseph) @cobaltdinosaur #WhereIsTonyBlunt #damppebbles

Where is Tony Blunt_ cover Final High resHas the hornets’ nest been kicked too hard? Having taken down some of the most dangerous members of the UK Terror Watch List – Alex is persuaded to return to help track down the unrelenting Islamist terror organisation ‘the Interest Group’ – Tony Blunt is the only lead.

Where is Tony Blunt? The apparently radicalised former Paratrooper has gone to ground without a trace. Alex finds himself at the heart of the effort to find him. Working with a multi-agency force to track him down, can they find Blunt before he executes his masterpiece?”

Hello! Ryan here. Emma has left me in charge of the blog so I can share my review of Joseph Mitcham’s second book in the Atrocities Series – Where is Tony Blunt? – with you.  I enjoyed the first book, and was keen to find out what happened next…

I chose to read and review a free eARC of Where is Tony Blunt? but that has not influenced my review.

Joseph Mitcham has done it again. Another excellent book which builds to a powder-keg conclusion. Mitcham is an author who trusts his readers. He recognises that not many readers want continual action, and is prepared to blend slow build pressure and fast action strands together into his books.  This book bubbles up to perfection as slowly the atrocities planned by Tony Blunt become clear and we realise that the opportunity for Alex, John, Lucy and the team to stop him is held on a knife-edge.

If you enjoyed The Watch List you have to read Where is Tony Blunt?  After a cleverly written prologue to give us more back story on the mysterious Blunt, we are reunited with Alex in the café where The Watch List ended. Alex is an interesting choice as the lead character for these books. Rather than the go-getting, confident and charismatic leader so many authors choose as their main character, he is a techie who is often having to perform at his best to keep up with others when the action starts.

Mitcham creates a strangely forlorn villain in Blunt. From the prologue there is a temptation towards sorrow for this social misfit, but as the book evolves it becomes clearer that his history has led him to a place where he doesn’t want pity. He wants revenge. It was fascinating to see his doubts in his own ability – certainly he was no egotistical supervillain as you see in some stories, but a human plagued by the same self-doubts many feel in their day to day lives. But I assure you by the end of the book, your pity for this evil character will have gone completely!

The characters are once again well written and the team trying to stop Blunt’s attack are well balanced and generally likeable, yet clash against each other as group tensions and individual priorities threaten the operation.

I would happily recommend this book. The ending may leave room for the next instalment so book me in for that as this is a series that is growing in stature and quality and Mitcham must be one to watch for the future.  Is he on your watch list?

I chose to read and review a free eARC of Where is Tony Blunt? The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Where is Tony Blunt? by Joseph Mitcham was published in the UK on 12th November 2020 and is available in paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which means I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you):
| amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |

where is tony blunt banner

about-the-author3

Joseph Mitcham - reducedJoseph Mitcham served with the British military in elite and technical units for over 16 years. His service not only gave him a thorough tactical and technical understanding of some of techniques and processes employed in his first novel, it also provided him with the opportunity to develop himself, earning a first class honours degree in business leadership by the end of his service.

His debut novel, The Watch List, was published in 2019.  The inspiration for writing ‘The Watch List’ was taken from personal experiences from the roles that he has served in and characteristics from some of the people that he has served with. Joseph has written an incredible, yet compellingly credible story that plays out in our world as he sees it today.