#BookReview: Halfway by B.E. Jones @TheCrimeVault @LittleBrownUK #Halfway #20booksofsummer20 #damppebbles

halfway

“Three women. One killer. No turning back.

The Halfway Inn is closed to customers, side-lined by a bypass and hidden deep in inhospitable countryside. One winter’s night, two women end up knocking on the door, seeking refuge as a blizzard takes hold.

But why is the landlord less than pleased to see them? And what is his elderly father trying so hard to tell them?

At the local police station PC Lissa Lloyd is holding the fort while the rest of her team share in the rare excitement of a brutal murder at an isolated farmhouse. A dangerous fugitive is on the run – but how can Lissa make a name for herself if she’s stuck at her desk? When a call comes in saying the local district nurse is missing, she jumps at the chance to investigate her disappearance.

The strangers at Halfway wait out the storm, but soon realise they might have been safer on the road. It seems not all the travellers will make it home for Christmas . . .”

Hello and a very warm welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my sixth 20 Books of Summer review with you, which is for Halfway by B.E. Jones. Halfway was published by Constable in November 2018 and is available in paperback and digital formats. I chose to read and review a free eARC of Halfway but that has in no way influenced my review.

If you’re a regular visitor to the blog you may be aware that one of my favourite books from last year was the absolutely outstanding Wilderness by B.E. Jones (it’s amazing, you need to get hold of a copy!). Jones has written a number of other books though, all of which look very intriguing, but there was something about Halfway which sang to me. The blurb, the cover, and the idea really appealed. And now, of course, I’m kicking myself that I haven’t read Halfway sooner because once again, it’s another absolutely outstanding novel. I LOVED it!

On a snowy December day near the isolated Welsh town of Pont, hitchhiker Lee is trying to find her way out. She’s cold, the weather is getting worse and she just wants to get as far away from Pont as possible. Desperate times call for desperate measures so she steps out in front of a car, the driver slams on the brakes and Lee invites herself into the warmth of local nurse, Becca’s, vehicle. But the car won’t start and both women know they need to find shelter from the snowstorm. So they head back the way Becca had come from, to a dilapidated pub further down the road. The landlord greets them less than enthusiastically, there’s a strange air about him. And why is his hand bleeding? As the day progresses, it becomes clear to Lee and Becca that not everything is as it seems at The Halfway…

In a similar vein to Wilderness, Halfway is as much about the setting as it is about the characters. The atmospheric descriptions of the vast Welsh countryside, with the added smothering effect of the snowstorm, the knowledge that one wrong turn could have you lost forever, made me feel quite claustrophobic, and I loved it. It’s really beautifully done and Jones is a master of making you feel as though you’re living the story along with the characters.

The characters are well-drawn and I made my mind up about them pretty quickly. But this is a crime thriller and nothing is ever as straight forward as it initially seems. The book has a wonderful darkness to it and I absolutely lapped it up. From start to finish, you know there’s something very wrong here and I found myself on the edge of my seat, loving the ominous feeling Jones’ writing gave me. I did have a few suspicions about where the story was going and despite being able to spot one big twist (because I’m Mrs Super Suspicious!) it didn’t detract from the story at all.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, yes! Without a moment’s hesitation. I loved Halfway and I’m so glad I read it. I loved the entire book but I really enjoyed the ending, which was blood-soaked and so very satisfying. I think one of the most impressive things for me though was how the author managed to completely change my opinion of two of the main characters as the end of the book approached. Beautifully written, utterly compelling and really quite addictive. Highly recommended, one for my top books of the year list and an author to watch.

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

Halfway by B.E. Jones was published in the UK by Constable on 1st November 2018 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 | Waterstones | Foyles | hive.co.uk | Goodreads |

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photo of Bev

Beverley Jones was born in the Rhondda Valleys, South Wales, and started her ‘life of crime’ as a reporter on The Western Mail before moving into TV news with BBC Wales Today.

She covered all aspects of crime reporting before switching sides as a press officer for South Wales police, dealing with the media in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.

Now a freelance writer she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.

Wilderness, her sixth crime novel follows the release of Halfway by Little Brown in 2018.

Bev’s previous releases, Where She Went, The Lies You Tell, Make Him Pay and Fear The Dark are also available from Little Brown as e books.

Author Links: | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website |

#BookReview: The Proposal by S.E. Lynes @bookouture #TheProposal #20booksofsummer20 #damppebbles

the proposal“The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that I am dead…

Teacher Pippa wants a second chance. Recently divorced and unhappy at work, she uproots her life and moves to the countryside, determined to make a fresh start. But Pippa soon realises: your troubles are never far behind.

When Pippa meets blue-eyed Ryan Marks, he is funny and charming. He is haunted by his past – but insists he is a changed man.

He might just be the answer to all of her problems. And Pippa can tell the truth from lies. She’d know if she were in danger. Wouldn’t she?”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my first 20 Books of Summer review with you and it’s for a corker of a book – The Proposal by S.E. Lynes. The Proposal was published by Bookouture on 21st September 2018 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats. I chose to read and review a free eARC of The Proposal but that has in no way influenced my review.

Well, this book is a bit bonkers! And by ‘a bit’ I actually mean ‘totally and completely’ — and I loved it! What an intoxicating and unexpected ride the author took me on. I’ll be completely honest, from the design of the cover, I was expecting a fairly run of the mill psychological thriller. But I should have known better! S.E. Lynes is always pushing the boundaries and The Proposal is proof of that. I have loved this author’s work ever since I read her outstanding debut, Valentina, and I continue to do so (although I have fallen a little behind with her books I’m ashamed to say). If you haven’t read an S.E. Lynes book before, then I heartily recommend you remedy that as soon as possible.

Teacher and romance author, Pippa Gates, is uninspired with life. She’s recently divorced, has had a string of depressing Tinder hookups and is facing a deadline from her editor. The clock is ticking and she doesn’t have the foggiest idea of even the basic storyline for her next book, let alone any of the details her editor wants to hear. That’s when the doorbell rings. She’s not expecting company, but reluctantly opens the door and comes face to face with door-to-door salesman, Ryan Marks. Ryan has had a tough life but is trying to find his way back into society. It’s hard to describe, but Pippa feels an odd connection to this man. She wants to hear his story, it could help inspire her writing – the bestseller she’s dreamt of for so long could be stood in front of her – so she makes a proposal. She’s a street-smart and intelligent woman who knows exactly what she’s doing, doesn’t she…?

Oh my flipping goodness! What a compelling novel The Proposal is. There’s such a delicious sense of foreboding from the start and I was hooked instantly. I’m not sure I liked Pippa Gates, Novelist but I was more than happy to spend time with her. There’s ‘something’ about this character that made me want to follow her, I was drawn to her. The story is told in the main by Pippa in the form of diary entries. She speaks directly to the reader, which is only one aspect of the many in this book which I loved. She almost has a conversation with her reader, making judgements about you, your thoughts and your feelings. I loved it. And if you’re not a little intrigued by that first line: The first thing you should know, dear reader, is that I am dead… then WTF? There are also blog posts, references to Instagram posts and audio recordings which all put you thoroughly on edge and wanting to know more.

The first half of the book I devoured as I felt nervous as hell for a very reckless woman who seemed intent on putting herself in the most dangerous of situations. Lynes’s writing carried me along and I was lost in Pippa’s world. The second half of the book (it could have been the last third – I’m afraid I was so caught up in the action, I didn’t take note) slowed down a little for me as what I had feared, happened in full technicolour glory. The anticipation dropped a little, although my concern for Pippa certainly didn’t. This is one dark and devilish tale and I still stand by what I said earlier in this review – it’s a little bit bonkers. I was able to guess what one of the big twists was going to be but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book at all. In fact, it made me read faster as I was desperate to have my suspicions confirmed or proven incorrect.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! I would, yes. The Proposal is an edgy, no holds barred psychological thriller. There are times when the characters (or Pippa) do some pretty daft things, but just go with it. It’s such an intriguing, captivating, well-written book and goes to prove that Lynes is a ‘must read’ author (but I knew that already). Twisted, twisty and impossible to put down. Recommended.

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

The Proposal by S.E. Lynes was published in the UK by Bookouture on 21st September 2018 and is available in 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 | Book Depository | Goodreads |

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S E Lynes Author PhotoS E Lynes is the Amazon best selling author of psychological thrillers, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT and THE PROPOSAL.

After graduating from Leeds University, Susie lived in London before moving to Aberdeen where she worked as a producer at the BBC before moving with her husband, Paul, and two young children to Rome.

In Rome, she began to write, snatching time where she could. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University.

She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing. She has also published two children’s books in Italy.

Author Links: | Facebook | Twitter |

#BookReview: Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi (translated by Sam Taylor) @wnbooks #DontLetGo #damppebbles

don't let go

“Picture the scene – an idyllic resort on the island of Réunion. Martial and Liane Bellion are enjoying the perfect moment with their six-year-old daughter. Turquoise skies, clear water, palm trees, a warm breeze…

Then Liane Bellion disappears. She went up to her hotel room between 3 and 4pm and never came back. When the room is opened, it is empty, but there is blood everywhere. An employee of the hotel claims to have seen Martial in the corridor during that crucial hour.

Then Martial also disappears, along with his daughter. An all-out manhunt is declared across the island. But is Martial really his wife’s killer? And if he isn’t, why does he appear to be so guilty?”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. I am delighted to be sharing my review of Michel Bussi’s Don’t Let Go with you today. This holiday-themed thriller seems very apt at the moment as I was due to be jetting off to foreign shores myself soon. Instead, I’m settling for the gentle lapping of the children’s paddling pool and the soothing caw of a Red Kite as it circles overhead (do Red Kites caw? I don’t think they do! More of a shriek? Soothing shriek….?!). Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi (and translated by Sam Taylor) was published in the UK by W&N Books on 8th March 2018 and is available in paperback, digital and audio formats. I received a free eARC of Don’t Let Go but that has in no way influenced my review.

I’m a fan of translated crime fiction and have read several novels which have been translated from their original French, just like Don’t Let Go. The book has a wonderful French feel to it but it isn’t strictly set in mainland France; all of the action happens on the French island of Réunion. Réunion is where Martial and Liane Bellion have chosen to take a holiday with their six-year-old daughter, Sopha. They’re lounging by the pool, enjoying the luxury of their hotel when Liane decides to return to their room. From there the nightmare begins because Liane disappears. The room is in disarray, the smears of what looks like blood are impossible to ignore. The evidence is staring everyone in the face. Liane has vanished, but no one saw her leave. When Martial is brought in for routine questioning, his story begins to fall apart. So he runs, taking Sopha with him. All fingers point to Martial killing his wife. Why else would he run…?

I really enjoyed this book and I loved being immersed in the culture of this vibrant island which, until now, I knew very little about. The characters are strong and I particularly loved Captain Aja Purvi who is a kick-ass ‘get the job’ done kind of woman. I also, reluctantly, liked Second Lieutenant Christos Konstantinov who is a highly sexed, leering lothario easily distracted by drugs and women. He’s not the sort of character I normally warm to at all (in fact, he’s the type of character who would normally make me DNF a book), but in the end, he showed bucketfuls of heart when it was needed the most. The reader never really knows where they stand with Martial Bellion, who I thought was well-written. Is he a killer? Does he have another motive for stealing his daughter away and going on the run from the police? I was constantly doubting what I thought and couldn’t call it at all.

The plot was engaging and I was intrigued about where the story was going to go. The setting was gorgeous in parts and I could imagine lounging by the lagoon. You do get to see the less-touristy parts of the island, away from the exotic resorts and stunning beaches (it is a crime fiction novel, after all!). I was left with a few unanswered questions though, which I’m putting down to reader error (something I perhaps missed). The other thing I would mention is that this book uses a lot of footnotes to describe and explain unfamiliar words and phrases. On my Kindle copy, the footnotes were hard to use and ended up in all sorts of odd places. If I were to read this book again in future I would want to read a paperback copy, rather than a digital copy.

Would I recommend this book? I would, yes. I really enjoyed Don’t Let Go despite the points raised above. It’s a great character-driven mystery which in these times of lockdown and cancelled holidays was a welcome distraction. I have two other Bussi novels on my bookshelf and I’m looking forward to reading them. Engaging, interesting and quite the page-turner! Recommended.

I chose to read and review an eARC of Don’t Let Go. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

Don’t Let Go by Michel Bussi was published in the UK by W&N Books on 8th March 2018 and is available in paperback, audio and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepository | Goodreads |

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Michel Bussi
Michel Bussi is one of France’s most celebrated crime authors. The winner of more than 15 major literary awards, he is a professor of geography at the University of Rouen and a political commentator. After the Crash, his first book to appear in English, will be translated into over twenty languages.

#BookReview: The White Road by Sarah Lotz @HodderBooks #TheWhiteRoad #damppebbles

the white road.jpg“Adrenaline-junkie Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he’s met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he’s had a lucky escape.

But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.

Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he’s faced with an impossible task: he’s got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There’s only on place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.

But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak.

And Simon’s luck is about to run out.”

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. Today I am delighted to be sharing my review of my latest #bookhangover and the reason that I’m currently ‘book-less’ (because nothing else at the moment could possibly be as good as this book!), the incredible The White Road by Sarah Lotz. I am a huge fan of Lotz’s writing and have loved both The Three and Day Four. I’m not very good when it comes to Goodreads but both of these books sit proudly on a very exclusive shelf called ‘favourites’. The White Road will definitely be joining them there. I received a free ARC of The White Road but that has in no way influenced my review.

The White Road is sublime. Atmospheric, creepy and I was living the story from the opening paragraphs alongside our protagonist, Simon Newman. Simon and his mate, Thierry have started a website. In probably not the smartest of moves, they decide that filming the scene of a horrific caving accident, where three young lads died, could create the buzz they’re after, show their audience exactly what they’re about and get the site a few extra hits. The Cwm Pot caves are closed off to the general public because of the danger, but that’s OK because Simon has found an odd bloke called Ed on the internet who has offered to take him into the caves for a small fee. Once underground, things start going horribly wrong for the pair and Simon starts to wonder exactly what type of person he has stranded himself hundreds of feet underground with. Simon manages to escape the icy depths of Cwm Pot, frozen and traumatised by the whole experience. And with the camera footage which, of course, goes viral. The thrill of his new found fame and the adoration of the masses pushes Simon and Thierry on further, looking for the next big high and viral video. When Thierry suggests filming the dead on Everest, Simon doesn’t immediately jump at the idea – but he doesn’t refuse either and sets Thierry a challenge to raise the funds for the trip. Before long Simon is heading for base camp on Mount Everest. But this time, he may not be so lucky…

This book is so, so good and I relished every moment I had with it. Simon is a chancer, a bit of a lad and his morals are a little on the dubious side but I really liked him. As the book progressed I started to feel sorry for him and wished he had a little more backbone to stand up to Thierry and his astonishingly bad ideas. But Thierry had made his own, somewhat incomparable, sacrifices and Simon was committed. Taking on Mt. Everest without some form of knowledge or training seems like the most barmy of ideas but off the reader heads with Simon to Base Camp. I felt nervous for him, apprehensive, and the sense of impending doom gave me palpitations. The White Road really gets under your skin and it’s going to be impossible to forget this one!

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely, without a moment’s hesitation. I loved this book because the characters felt so very real to me. I loved this book because it’s like nothing I’ve read before. I loved this book because I think this is my first (literary) trip to Mt. Everest and I find it fascinating the need some people have to conquer the mountain, to risk life and limb, to push your body to it’s absolute limits. It’s chilling, it’s atmospheric and it’s totally involving. Impossible to put down, impossible to forget. An outstanding piece of fiction.

I chose to read and review an ARC of The White Road. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.

The White Road by Sarah Lotz was published in the UK by Hodder Books on 18th October 2018 and is available in hardcover, audio, paperback and digital formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links which mean I receive a small percentage of the purchase price at no extra cost to you): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.comWaterstonesFoyles | BookDepositoryGoodreads |

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sarah lotz.jpgSarah Lotz is a screenwriter and novelist with a fondness for the macabre and fake names. Incapable of holding down a ‘proper’ job, over the years she’s painted outrageous frescos for dubious casinos, written scripts for South Africa’s first full-length sci-fi cartoon show and lived homeless on the streets of Paris as a teenage runaway.

Among other things, she writes horror/thriller novels under the name S.L. Grey with author Louis Greenberg, a YA pulp-fiction zombie series with her daughter, Savannah, under the pseudonym Lily Herne, and quirky erotica novels with authors Helen Moffett and Paige Nick under the name Helena S. Paige.

Stephen King said her solo novel The Three was ‘really wonderful’ (which made her cry in a very very good way) and Day Four was published in the U.K by Hodder & Stoughton in May, 2015.

She likes cake, scruffy dogs, fast cars and sitting in her attic making stuff up.

#BookReview: Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh @orionbooks @orion_crime #Thirteen #Th1rt3en #damppebbles

thirteen.jpg“THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.”

… … … …

No words.  Okay, one word. Woah! The word is WOAH!  Thirteen was published last year and it was MASSIVE.  It grabbed my attention then but Mrs-Slow-Reader that I am I’ve only recently gotten around to reading it.  It’s good, really flipping good. I enjoy legal thrillers but they aren’t my go-to sub-genre.  However, Thirteen got me in a choke hold and there was no way I was walking away unscathed.  I read an eARC of Thirteen from NetGalley but that has in no way influenced my review.

So this is the fourth book in the Eddie Flynn series.  I know many people don’t like to start a series a part way through – me included.  Did I feel I was missing some of the back story? Yes, I did.  But the author provides enough information so it’s not a problem.  You don’t have to have read the previous books in the series but I think it would help if you had.  Of course, I now have a much better idea about what I’m missing out on and I will be making a point of downloading and reading the previous books in the series.  It’s FOMO y’ know!

So as soon as I saw the cover of this book I was intrigued.  I love the title (unlucky for some!), I love the tagline (what? how can he be on the jury?!?), the colours are striking and oh boy, that blurb is something else.  Everything about this book is designed to perfection.

Eddie Flynn is about to take on the case of his life.  Hollywood movie start Robert Solomon is accused of murdering his starlet wife and their security guard.  All the evidence makes Bobby Solomon look like a very guilty man.  But Eddie Flynn knows a guilty man when he sees one and he knows that Bobby didn’t do it.  But if Bobby Solomon isn’t the murderer, then who is?  This is no big spoiler here (you’ve read the tagline, right?), but step forward Mr Average-Juror.  Or is he….?  Of all the bad guys in all the books I’ve read over the years (I’ve read a few) the killer in Thirteen was something else altogether.  He’s so evil, so remorseless, so utterly despicable that he made my skin crawl and I loved it!

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. If you haven’t read it then you must! It doesn’t matter if you’ve read the other books in the series or not.  YOU. MUST. READ. THIS. BOOK.  It’s so good and I will be downloading all of Steve Cavanagh’s other books shortly after finishing this review.  It’s tense, very gripping, supremely clever, edge-of-your-seat kind of stuff and I devoured it.

Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh was published in the UK by Orion on 14th June 2018 and is available in paperback, audio and eBook formats (please note, some of 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.ukamazon.comWaterstonesBookDepositoryGoodreads |

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steve cavanagh.jpgSteve Cavanagh is the bestselling author of the Eddie Flynn novels and standalone thrillers. In 2018 he won the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for crime novel of the year. All of his novels have either been nominated for awards, or have won awards internationally.

He is a practicing lawyer, and was born and raised in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where he still lives.  Together with Luca Veste, Steve hosts the popular comedy lit podcast Two Crime Writers And A Microphone.

Author Links:TwitterWebsiteFacebook  | Instagram |

Author bio © https://www.stevecavanaghauthor.com/

 

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018: The After Show Party #BookBlogger #Author #Publishedin2018 #MustReadBooks #damppebbles #BookRecommendations

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. More importantly, welcome to the #R3COMM3ND3D2018 after show party! Now, this post is a couple of days later than planned. But hey, all the best parties don’t go quite to plan – right?

And not going to plan is EXACTLY what #R3COMM3ND3D2018 did. Following my very best intentions to post your brilliant 2018 recommendations during November and December last year, I unfortunately fell ill and pretty much stopped blogging for a few months. But you can’t keep a good book recommendation down (nor a determined blogger!) and earlier this year, in the Spring, I restarted the series and posted all of the outstanding posts.

I have LOVED sharing your 2018 recommendations, and I hope you have enjoyed seeing which books have been chosen – and of course, the all-important WHY! If #R3COMM3ND3D2018 has managed to add only one book to your TBR then we’re doing a stonking job.

So, without further ado, here are the #R3COMM3ND3D2018 titles in all their glory…

Aren’t they beautiful?! If you took part in #R3COMM3ND3D2018 and the book(s) you chose aren’t here then please get in touch.

But what of the winners? Which books were recommended the most? I can’t quite believe it myself but there were SIX books which tied for first place. All six books had FOUR votes each which is amazing!

Here they are…

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How many have you read? I’ve read three of the six and thoroughly enjoyed them. They’re all very worthy winners.

Which leads us to this year. Who will come out on top? #R3COMM3ND3D2019 starts this Friday on 1st November (eek!) and runs every day until the end of December (except 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st December). Make sure you have your say by filling in the form below and casting your vote for the top books of 2019.

The biggest thanks to all of the book bloggers and authors who took part in #R3COMM3ND3D2018 and whittled their favourite reads down to three (an impossible task, I know!). Huge thanks for all the shares, likes, tweets and retweets – you make #R3COMM3ND3D such a fun feature to run ❤️.

If you’re a book blogger 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/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Joanna Wright (@bkslovelythings) #BooksandLovelyThings #damppebbles

Hello and the happiest of Mondays to you, dear reader. Thank you for joining me on this Autumnal October day where damppebbles is all about the book love (today and every day, really!). I am delighted to welcome another brilliant book blogger to share their #R3COMM3ND3D2018 picks with us today – the lovely Joanna at Books and Lovely Things. Now Jo is on semi-hiatus at the moment as she has her hands rather full but you should still subscribe to her beautiful blog. And don’t forget to check her out on Instagram too.

I have some news….this is the penultimate #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. On Thursday I will be sharing the last of 2018’s recommendations, shortly followed by an ‘After-Show Party’ post and then 2018s feature will sadly be over. But don’t fret, this year’s recommended starts on 1st November so it won’t be gone for long!

Allow me to explain what #R3COMM3ND3D is all about. It’s where I invite bookish types – book bloggers and authors – to share with us three books they love. They don’t have to be their top three of the year, just three books they thoroughly enjoyed reading. Any genre, any author, any publisher – but published in the same year. At the moment we’re concentrating on 2018 but very soon #R3COMM3ND3D2019 starts. If you would like to take part please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Joanna’s three choices…

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A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley
A forgotten classic that tackles the difficult topics of slavery, divisions of race and much more.
https://booksandlovelythings.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/a-different-drummer-by-william-melvin-kelley-review/

the songs of us

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper
It’s such a brilliant read with an original storyline- filled with laugh out loud moments, tragedy and joy.
https://booksandlovelythings.wordpress.com/2018/10/15/the-songs-of-us-by-emma-cooper-review/

one day in december

One Day in December by Josie Silver
It’s a cosy festive read filled with romance, emotion and real-life issues. Reminiscent of ‘One Day’, it spans nearly a decade and is a real page-tuner.
https://booksandlovelythings.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/one-day-in-december-by-josie-silver-review/

Thanks so much, Jo. Great to see a couple of #R3COMM3ND3D2018 favourites making an appearance!

If Jo has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

| A Different Drummer by William Melvin Kelley | The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper | One Day in December by Josie Silver |

About Joanna:
A wifdle and mum of a toddler who loves and hoards books!

Joanna’s Blog and Social Media Links:
| Books and Lovely Things | Twitter @bkslovelythings | Instagram @books_and_lovely_things |

If you’re a book blogger or author and you have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Kerrie (@lovedreadinthis) #ilovedreadingthis #damppebbles

Hello bookish friends and welcome to another brilliant #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. Today I am delighted to welcome another superb book blogger to damppebbles to share their three #R3COMM3ND3D picks from 2018 – the lovely Kerrie at ilovedreadingthis. If you haven’t discovered Kerrie’s blog yet then I suggest you head straight on over and say ‘hi’!

If you’re new to damppebbles then please allow me to explain what the Dickens I’m on about. #R3COMM3ND3D2018 is all about sharing the book love. Three books from one year which you think everyone else should really make a point of reading. They can be any genre, written by any author and published traditionally, by an indie press or by the author themselves.  At the moment we’re looking at books published last year in 2018 but very soon (1st November *soon*) it will be all about this year’s releases. If you’re an author or a book blogger and you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 then please fill in the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Kerrie’s choices…

the immortalists

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
An interesting and thought provoking read based on the premise, ‘if you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? Well written in 4 distinct parts telling the story of 4 children who visit a fortune teller who tells them the date they will die. Just Brilliant!
https://wordpress.com/post/ilovedreadingthis.wordpress.com/2498

us against you

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
The sequel to Beartown, set in the world of Ice Hockey. Backman writes superbly about people and life, good and bad in a small community in Northern Sweden, told through the lens of Ice Hockey with the most engaging characters. One of those WOW reads, that I truly loved and will be recommending everywhere.
https://wordpress.com/post/ilovedreadingthis.wordpress.com/2691

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys.jpg

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys
A glorious summer read set in the French Riviera post war. A truly escapist piece of fiction encompassing all the glamour of this time and location while the protagonist seeks to discover why she has been left a mysterious inheritance. For me it was the perfect read at the perfect time.
https://wordpress.com/post/ilovedreadingthis.wordpress.com/2358

Brilliant choices and a couple of #R3COMM3ND3D2018 favourites! Thank you, Kerrie.

If Kerrie has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

The Immortalists by Chloe BenjaminUs Against You by Fredrik BackmanFatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys |

About Kerrie:
Hi, I’m Kerrie and I have been an avid reader all my life. I have been blogging for over a year now and I enjoy reading a range of books. When not blogging I am parent to a teen and tween and I work full time.

Kerrie’s Blog and Social Media Links:
ilovedreadingthisTwitter @lovedreadinthisInstagram @lovedreadingthis |

If you’re a book blogger or author and you have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Suze Clarke-Morris (@SuzeCM) #SuzeReviews #damppebbles

Hello bookish friends and a very happy Friday to you. The weekend is just around the corner – phew! I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles and to another awesome #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post. Today I am joined by the very lovely Suze of Suze Reviews…. I absolutely insist you give her blog a follow as it’s chock full of bookish delights.

I would hope, by now, that you may be fairly familiar with my #R3COMM3ND3D series but if not, please allow me to explain. #R3COMM3ND3D is about sharing the book love and shouting about three books you think everyone else should read. They can be written by any author, in any genre and published in any way. The only catch is that they must have been published in the same year (which sounds easier than it is when you’re selecting your three). At the moment we’re shouting about books published in 2018 but I only have FIVE 2018 posts left to share with you. Come 1st November the focus will move to books published this year in 2019. If you’re a book blogger, an author or you work in publishing and you would like to take part in #R3COMM3ND3D2019 please complete the form at the bottom of this post.

Here are Suze’s choices…

presumed dead.jpg

Presumed Dead by Mason Cross
The fifth in the Carter Blake series and, in my opinion, the best yet, Presumed Dead also works great as a standalone.

Carter Blake is doing what he usually does – looking for someone, but she’s supposed to be dead…

The book is beautifully written, with well fleshed out characters. It has a real cinematic feel to it. Brilliant pacing, with the tension mounting throughout. It’s a book that keeps you wanting more – I read it quickly because I couldn’t wait to find out what happens, but then was sad because it was over. And the last couple of chapters – wow!
https://simplysuzereviews.blogspot.com/2018/04/presumed-dead-by-mason-cross.html?m=1

savage lies.jpg

Savage Lies by Peter Boland
Peter was a new author to me, but what a fantastic book to be introduced to him with. It took me to a place I wasn’t expecting it to – I thought I knew where the story was going, then it veered off in a different direction. And I loved the hero, John Savage.

It’s a brilliant book which zips along, twisting and turning as it does, and the tension never lets up.

It’s ultimately a book about fear of those different to ourselves, ignorance, bullying and brainwashing. It’s original and timely, well written, with great characters and a brilliant storyline. Definitely one of my favourites of last year.
https://simplysuzereviews.blogspot.com/2018/06/savage-lies-by-peter-boland.html?m=1

the janus run.jpg

The Janus Run by Douglas Skelton
A complete change for Scottish author Skelton, The Janus Run is set in New York and features American characters.

Coleman Lang, a man with a secret past, wakes up to find his girlfriend dead in bed next to him, and he’s the prime suspect. He teams up with an unexpected partner as he searches for the truth, pursued by the police, the US Marshals and the mob.

The result is an action packed, fast paced thriller that doesn’t let up for a minute. It features a cast of richly drawn, colourful characters, including several strong women. It was easy to forget that this wasn’t written by an American author. But there are hints of Skelton’s dark humour throughout, and you can tell his love of film – another visual piece, this is a chase movie on paper. A triumph.
https://simplysuzereviews.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-janus-run-by-douglas-skelton.html?m=1

Thanks so much, Suze. Great choices and a couple of additions to the wish list there!

If Suze has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Presumed Dead by Mason CrossSavage Lies by Peter BolandThe Janus Run by Douglas Skelton |

About Suze:
Mum, proofreader and copy editor, reader, blogger, crocheter. Love my boys, my family and friends, books and yarn.

Suze’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Suze Reviews…Twitter @SuzeCMFacebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)

 

#R3COMM3ND3D2018 with #BookBlogger Kate (@bantambookworm) #PortableMagic #damppebbles

Hello and welcome to damppebbles. I hope you had a brilliant weekend and that you got to spend some of it with a good book! As it’s Monday it’s time for another fabulous #R3COMM3ND3D2018 post with one of my favourite book bloggers – the lovely Kate at Portable Magic. Kate’s blog is all kinds of brilliant so if you haven’t discovered it yet then what are you waiting for?

#R3COMM3ND3D2018? What’s that all about then? It’s about sharing your love of books and naming three books you think the rest of us should make a point of reading. There’s always catch though, right? Any author, any publisher, any genre (so far, so good). Providing the three books were all published in the same year. At the moment we’re sharing the 2018 book love but soon (1st November to be exact) #R3COMM3ND3D will shine the spotlight on this year’s releases. If you’re a book blogger, an author or you work in publishing and you would like to take part, please fill in the form at the bottom of this post with as much detail as possible. But be quick! Places are limited and they’re being snapped up.

Here are Kate’s choices…

three things about elsie

Three Things About Elsie  by Joanna Cannon
It is beautifully written with wonderfully endearing characters. There is also an element of mystery and a twist to finish – both things I love in a good book.
http://portablemagic.net/reviews/joanna-cannon-three-things-about-elsie

the old you

The Old You by Louise Voss
It is classic domestic noir. There are plenty of twists and tricks and turns which kept me hooked until the end. I also enjoyed learning about the effects of Picks disease.
http://portablemagic.net/blog-tours/louise-voss-the-old-you

the lion tamer who lost

The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech
It’s beautiful. The descriptions are exquisite, and the story is incredibly well told and made me feel every human emotion.
http://portablemagic.net/blog-tours/louise-beech-the-lion-tamer-who-lost

Great choices, thank you Kate. And they are all old friends of #R3COMM3ND3D2018 too. I think your votes take all three books up to having FOUR votes each. There are three other books also with four votes each at the moment so who knows who will come out on top. Maybe it will be a six-book tie! Wouldn’t that be splendid?

If Kate has managed to tempt you, or if you would like to find out more about the books she recommends, please see the following links:

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna CannonThe Old You by Louise VossThe Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech |

About Kate:
I’m Kate and I live in Leeds with my other half. I have been blogging for almost 3 years with Portable Magic being my main website since October 2016. When I am not reading, I can be found shedding tears of despair watching Bradford City.

Kate’s Blog and Social Media Links:
Portable MagicTwitter @bantambookwormFacebook |

If you’re a book blogger, author or you work in publishing and have three books published this year that you want to shout about then please complete the following form (or click this link: https://forms.gle/PE483qCyrKEgV5Uq6)