#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…

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

I took part in six blog tours during November:

Five were review posts:

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

And one stop was an extract:

We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#BlogTour: We Have Lost The Chihuahuas by @QuiteFunnyGuy @WeHaveLostBooks | @emmamitchellfpr

WHLTChihuahuas_cover_small (2).jpg“London, 2046. The British Republic has a new First Lady. She’s Californian, ‘in-your-face, for sure’ and she’s got big plans for a Buckingham Palace refurb. When her three Chihuahuas go missing, one man is determined to avoid getting dragged into it all. His name is Pond. Howie Pond – presidential spokesperson, retired secret agent and cat lover.

Meanwhile, Howie’s wife Britt is handed her first assignment as a National Security and Intelligence Service rookie – to solve the mystery of the missing canine trio.

Will Howie manage to slope off to the pub before he can be roped into help? Will Britt unmask the dognapper and grab the glory? Find out, in the latest, crazy comedy-thriller from dog-loving British author Paul Mathews.”

I am delighted to be kicking off the We Have Lost the Chihuahuas blog tour alongside the fabulous Rae Reads and Bits About Books.  We Have Lost the Chihuahuas is book four in author Paul Mathew’s comedy thriller series ‘We Have Lost..’ and is published on 28th November 2017.

Today, I have an extract from the book to whet your appetite. So without further ado, grab a cuppa and have a read…

When it came to household pets, Howie had always been more of a cat-type of guy than a dog lover. And, as he stood shivering in the cold January air of London’s St James’ Park, watching a Chihuahua sinking his teeth into his chief press officer’s right ankle, he was pretty sure his views on the subject wouldn’t be changing any time soon.

‘Argh! Get off me, you four-legged eejit!’ screamed Conor O’Brean, yanking the dog’s lead so hard, it lifted off the ground and flew a metre in the air before rejoining terra firma.

Rather than risk his own ankles, Howie decided to beat a strategic retreat in the way that battlefield generals often did when things weren’t quite going to plan. He had full confidence in the Irishman under his command. Howie would allow Conor to regain control of the situation without a superior officer such as himself – who had no experience of hand-to-hand Chihuahua combat – getting in the way of the human-canine skirmish.

Once Howie was safely out of the line of fire, he noticed the other two dogs had also retreated. This clearly wasn’t the first time they’d seen their pack mate in full battle-mode.

‘Behave yourself, Donnie!’ yelled Conor, as he started to become entangled in the dogs’ leads.

The angry animal snarled with a ferocity that sent every bird within a fifty-metre radius fleeing for the treetops.

Conor upped the volume. ‘I mean it! Stop this nonsense or I’ll tell your mammy you’ve been a bad boy.’

Donnie stopped snarling and cocked an ear, as if daring Conor to repeat the threat.

‘I’m serious! I’ll tell your mammy and your pappy, too. And he’s the president, remember. You don’t want to get the wrong side of him, do you now? Or he’ll have you sent back to America.’

Donnie lowered his head slowly, flopped his tail between his legs in apparent surrender, and slunk up to Conor.

‘There’s a good little fella.’ Conor glanced at Howie. ‘I knew a bit of old-fashioned Irish diplomacy would make him see sense.’

Howie noticed the other two Chihuahuas were still keeping their distance, so he followed their example.

Conor reached down and patted the defeated dog on the head. ‘Peace has been restored to the fair land of Westminster. Hostilities have officially ceased. The battle of St James’ Park has been fought – and won – and shall never be forgotten by those who risked their lives so that three dogs could stretch their legs and empty their tanks.’

Howie made a mock salute. ‘We will never forget your sacrifice, Private O’Brean. I’ll be recommending you for a President’s gallantry award.’

Conor stared into Donnie’s chocolate-brown eyes. ‘We, who were once enemies … are now brothers in arms.’

Without warning, Donnie launched a counter attack and bit Conor’s right thumb, making him scream so loudly Howie had to pretend for half a minute they didn’t know each other.

The angry mutt then charged towards Conor’s left ankle. But the Irishman managed to block the advance with the sole of his boot. Amid all the conflict, the other two Chihuahuas sat shivering on the edge of the path watching their canine comrade – possibly also trying to pretend they didn’t know him.

‘Donnie, sit!’ shouted Howie from the safety of the grass verge – which was now doubling as an impromptu war room.

The dog froze – as if stunned that another human would be stupid enough to enter the fray. Once it got over the shock, it locked a wide-eyed stare onto Howie and raised its top lip to display an impressive arsenal of jagged yellow teeth. This dog was clearly a combat veteran.

We Have Lost the Chihuahuas by Paul Mathews will be published in the UK on Tuesday 28th November 2017 and will be available in eBook format.  If you would like to pre-order this fun-filled furry caper then please click HERE (amazon.co.uk link).

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about the author3

41lkaQvyNGL._SY200_.jpgPaul Mathews is a quite funny British guy who’s managed to escape his day job and is currently on the run as a comedy novelist. His sharp, satirical – often surreal – sense of humour draws on 20 years as a British Government press officer, during which time he encountered politicians, senior civil servants, HR managers, and lots of other people who really sucked at their jobs.

His popular ‘We Have Lost’ comedy-thriller series set in 2040s London, starring beleaguered presidential spokesman and wannabe secret agent Howie Pond, currently comprises four titles with more on the way. Paul has read all the books at least ten times and highly recommends them.

Make him happy by signing up for his ‘Very Funny Newsletter’ here: www.quitefunnyguy.com/newsletter. If you don’t want to sign up for it, stay calm and do nothing.

Paul also owns a cat, Lulu, who works as his assistant. All fan mail to her, please.

Author Links:Twitter |Facebook | Website |