#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Jackie Baldwin (@JackieMBaldwin1) @KillerReads #DeadMansPrayer

I am delighted to welcome author Jackie Baldwin to damppebbles today.  I read and reviewed Jackie’s debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, towards the end of last year and I absolutely flipping loved it.  Click HERE to read my review.  Jackie has kindly joined me on the blog today to share her three recommended reads published in 2017.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where I ask book bloggers and authors to recommend three must-read titles.  I have only one stipulation and that is the books must have been published in 2017.  Easy, right?

Here are Jackie’s recommendations…

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
I loved this book principally because it was like nothing else I have ever read. The ending made me gasp and it really demands to be put away for a few weeks before the exquisite delight of reading it again. Right from the first page I was sucked in to the world of the characters. Louise was warm, funny and engaging and Adele, well she was something else! A character with more layers than an onion and incredibly complex. I don’t think I have ever been so intrigued by a character or so eager to get to the bottom of a mystery. The pace never flags, cranking up throughout until you are almost unbearably tense. Totally lived up to the hype!

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I have read so many books but this one I am confident will stay with me forever. I loved Eleanor to the extent that I felt a strong urge to be her friend and protect her. Super intelligent, friendless, spiky and scarred she determinedly navigates her way through a confusing world anchored by her unyielding routine and a vodka habit. Her world slowly starts to tilt when she helps an elderly man who has collapsed and as a result is drawn inexorably towards abandoning her life of careful solitude and confronting her painful past. For me, it was in turns, tragic, funny, touching and ultimately uplifting. A celebration of what it is to be human and how we all need to love and be loved.

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The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond
This had an intriguing premise. A loved up newly married couple are offered a strange wedding gift which is membership of a club that promises its couples will never divorce. They sign The Pact and are in awe of the glitzy parties and prestige that membership conveys. Things quickly turn dark, however, when one of them breaks the rules. The punishments for infringement become more and more severe until they are trapped in a living Hell rather than the marital bliss promised. They can either conform and stay safe or fight the club to live their marriage on their terms. Their very lives could be at stake. This was an intriguing premise and an exciting rollercoaster of a read. I read it really quickly as I couldn’t bear to put it down. In some ways it made me think about a film I’d enjoyed called The Box in that from the moment they signed on the dotted line, things quickly spiralled out of control and about how one decision can have devastating and unforeseen consequences.

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Thank you so much, Jackie.  Brilliant recommendations.  I have ‘Behind Her Eyes’ on the TBR and I’ve added ‘The Marriage Pact’ to my wishlist!  EDIT: Having written this post a week or so ago, imagine my surprise when I received a NetGalley email offering me a copy of ‘The Marriage Pact’ (which I obviously accepted!).  Anyone else ever feel like you’re being watched….?!

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

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman | The Marriage Pact by Michelle Richmond |

About Jackie:
Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins.The second in the series is due out in the Spring.

About Dead Man’s Prayer:
514ibchgoml-_sx325_bo1204203200_A dark and gripping crime debut, the first in an exciting new series. Eighteen years ago, DI Frank Farrell turned his back on the church. But when an ex-priest is murdered in his hometown, he has no choice but to delve into his past. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, James Oswald and Val McDermid.

Ex-priest DI Frank Farrell has returned to his roots in Dumfries, only to be landed with a disturbing murder case. Even worse, Farrell knows the victim: Father Boyd, the man who forced him out of the priesthood eighteen years earlier.

With no leads, Farrell must delve into the old priest’s past, one that is inexorably linked with his own. But his attention is diverted when a pair of twin boys go missing. The Dumfries police force recover one in an abandoned church, unharmed. But where is his brother?

As Farrell investigates the two cases, he can’t help but feel targeted. Is someone playing a sinister game, or is he seeing patterns that don’t exist? Either way, it’s a game Farrell needs to win before he loses his grip on his sanity, or someone else turns up dead.

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

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

If you are a book blogger or an author and would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017, please complete the form below (last chance to join in!  Form closes Sunday evening GMT):

#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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

#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.

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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 #Author Joanne Nicholson (@jolnicholson) #Positive

I am delighted to welcome Joanne Nicolson, author of Positive: She Longed for a Positive Pregnancy Test, to damppebbles today.  I have seen Joanne’s latest release mentioned on a few blogs of late so I was thrilled when she wanted to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is my new feature where I invite authors and book bloggers to recommend three of their favourite reads from 2017.  There is one rule; the books must have been published this year, in 2017.  #R3COMM3ND3D2017 is all about books approaching their first birthday!

Here are Joanne’s recommendations…

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The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney
This thriller is unlike any novel I’ve read. The story is set in a house that incorporates cutting-edge technology, minimalistic living and psychological testing for the resident living there. The strange dynamic of the home almost feels like it is controlling whoever lives within its walls. When Jane discovers the girl who lived there before her, Emma, met a suspicious death she tries to unravel the mystery of how she died. The chapters are broken into Jane and Emma’s points of view, and the story unfolds with twists and turns. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but I would highly recommend reading ‘The Girl Before’.

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Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
This story starts slowly as a typical love triangle when Louise kisses a man in a bar who she later finds out is her new boss, David. David’s beautiful wife Adele is aware of the affair and she befriends Louise, but asks her to keep their friendship secret from her controlling husband. The reader is left wondering if David is a narcissist or if Adele is a psychopath. The motivations for the characters actions are unclear until a twist at the end that you won’t see coming. Well thought out and cleverly written, I would put this novel on your TBR list now.

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
This memoir depicts the life of Pino Lella as World War II hits Milan, Italy. He is a teenager who is sent to the alps for safety and he begins his life as part of the resistance guiding Jews over the border to safety in Switzerland. Before his 18th birthday, his parents make him enlist with the Nazi party to keep him away from the front line. He is injured when on duty and by chance is then put into the position of driver for the 2nd highest Nazi officer. He takes this opportunity to spy on the German war efforts. An amazing tale of courage, love and loss. This story is at times heart wrenching and at others heartwarming. The writing is beautiful and conjures up a clear portrayal of life in Italy in war times. Not my normal reading choice but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Thank you so much for your recommendations, Joanne.  You’ve made me want to read ‘The Girl Before’and I’m pleased to say I already have ‘Behind Her Eyes’ on the TBR.

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

The Girl Before by J.P. Delaney | Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough | Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan |

About Joanne:
Joanne Nicholson is an Australian author of contemporary women’s fiction. Outside her passions of reading and writing, Joanne is a busy mother of four who enjoys exercising, boating, skiing, travelling, listening to music and playing with her dog. Her new release ‘Positive’ is available on Amazon Kindle. Her other titles include ‘Intuition’ and ‘In Another Life’.

About Positive:
positive.jpgRuth’s dreams of getting married and having a family seem set to become a reality until she is stunned to find herself dumped. In her mid-thirties and with her biological clock ticking loudly, Ruth goes to extreme lengths to become a mother. She is in shock when she finally gets a positive test result back from the doctor. With the love and support of her friends and family, she adapts to her new condition and prepares for the challenges ahead of becoming a single mum. Set in Australia, this contemporary fiction novel explores the modern day conundrum of internet dating, IVF and raising a child as a single parent.

amazon.co.uk | amazon.com |

Joanne’s Social Media Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram |

If you’re a book blogger or an author and would like to join in the #R3COMM3ND3D2017 fun, please complete the following form.  I will use every single response I receive: