#R3COMM3ND3D2017 with #Author Tracie Delaney (@tracie_delaney) #PassionateAboutBooks #WinningAce

I am delighted to welcome Tracie Delaney, author of the Winning Ace series of novels and blogger over at Passionate About Books, to damppebbles today with her three recommended reads published in 2017.  The latest book in the Winning Ace series, Mismatch, is published TODAY so many congratulations Tracie!  Have a wonderful publication day.

#R3COMM3ND3D2017 is where book bloggers and authors choose three MUST READ books published since January 1st 2017.  Not necessarily their top three, just three standout reads.  And they don’t have to be crime reads either.  I’m open to suggestions in any genre.

So without further ado, I’ll hand over to Tracie…

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Last Breath by Robert Bryndza (Detective Erika Foster #4)
I am a HUGE fan of Robert’s Erika Foster series. She’s everything I love about women protagonists; strong, fearless, passionate and, above all, flawed. Ever since I read Girl in the Ice, I wait—not so patiently—for the next in the series. In this novel, I think Robert broke the bar he’d set for himself with the previous novels. I loved how Erika had to fight for her place on the investigation team. And fight she did…tooth and nail. Robert’s writing continues to excel. I can’t wait to see where he takes this series.

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Over My Shoulder by Patricia Dixon
Oh my, but this was a difficult book to read. It reminded me of how I felt when I read Michael J Malone’s A Suitable Lie. The story follows Freya who falls under the spell of a very bad man. The menace builds slowly, and before she realises, Freya is in too deep to extricate herself. Patricia Dixon does a marvellous job of dealing with a very difficult subject. I actually found myself shouting at Freya to run, to get as far away from Kane as she could and that is the sign of a book that has me in its grip. Highly, highly recommend this novel.

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Forbidden Bonds by Lexi C. Foss (Immortal Curse series #2)
This novel is the second in a new PNR (Paranormal Romance) series. Now I’m a bit fussy about my PNR. In fact, very few authors excel in this genre. It’s one of those where you have to dig to find someone who does this well. J R Ward is the master, and I measure every PNR novel I read against hers. But with this second novel in her Immortal Curse series, Lexi C Foss has me desperate for more. The first novel was a little slow for me – but that often happens in PNR or fantasy where the author needs to build the world around the book, but in Forbidden Bonds, the world was established so the story could be told. Lexi is definitely a PNR author to watch – I can’t wait for the next in the series.

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Thanks so much for taking part in #R3COMM3ND3D2017 Tracie, and for your great suggestions.  If any of the books Tracie has recommended take your fancy or if you would just like to find out more. then here are the amazon.co.uk purchase links:

Last Breath by Robert Bryndza | Over My Shoulder by Patricia Dixon | Forbidden Bonds by Lexi C. Foss |

About Tracie:
Tracie Delaney writes contemporary romance novels that centre around strong characters and real-life problems with, of course, a perfect Happy Ever After ending.

When she isn’t writing or sitting around with her head stuck in a book, she can often be found watching The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or any tennis match involving Roger Federer. Her greatest fear is running out of coffee.

Or, for the latest news, exclusive excerpts and competitions, why not join her reader group (smarturl.it/lvtnjm) and those things will be automatically delivered right to your inbox, along with a special gift just for signing up.

Tracie lives in the North West of England with her amazingly supportive husband and her two crazy Westie puppies, Cooper and Murphy. Any tips on stopping them chewing the furniture would be gratefully received.

About Mismatch:
mismatch.jpgThe perfect life. A killer blow.

When playboy Rupe Fox-Whittingham wakes up in bed next to a dead woman, he’s charged with murder. His best friend, ex-tennis ace Cash Gallagher, arranges for frosty but brilliant lawyer, Jayne Seymour, to represent him.

Jayne swore off men after her husband’s terrible betrayal. She’s far too bright to make the same mistake twice.

Rupe wants her—and he always gets what he wants. Winning her heart won’t be easy. Still, he thrives on challenge.

When danger comes knocking, the mismatched pair are thrown together.

Can Jayne learn to trust again, before it’s too late? Or will fate step in to snatch her happiness away?

Mismatch is a fast-paced, suspenseful novel that can be read as a standalone. However, those who enjoyed the Winning Ace series will love catching up with old characters, and meeting fascinating new ones.

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

Tracie’s Social Media Links:
Passionate About Books | Facebook | Twitter | Website |

My thanks to the lovely Tracie Delaney for joining me today.  Join me again tomorrow when I welcome Anne Williams of Being Anne… to damppebbles.  And it’s the last #R3COMM3ND3D2017 before the Christmas break so don’t miss it!

 

#GuestReview: Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan (@eva_dolan) @HarvillSecker @Tracie_Delaney

watch her disappear.jpg“YOU CAN RUN FROM YOUR PAST. BUT YOU CAN’T RUN FROM MURDER.

The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.

With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.

Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…”

Welcome, lovely people, to another fabulous damppebbles guest review post.  Today I am thrilled to welcome the very lovely Tracie Delaney back to the blog with her review of Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan.  Tracie blogs at the fabulous Passionate About Books and previously featured on damppebbles with her brilliant review of Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall.

Here’s a little more information about Tracie:

tracie.jpegI’ve been obsessed with books for as long as I can remember. As a child, I could be found with one of two things in my hand; a book or a bridle (I was an avid horse rider in my younger years).

Reading is a wonderful form of escape. I love the way books transport you to different worlds and allow you to be a part of so many character’s lives.

I blog and write under the pseudonym Tracie Delaney. My first novel, Winning Ace, is due out in May 2017.

And here are Tracie’s thoughts on Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan:

My heartfelt thanks goes to Emma Welton at damppebbles.com for giving me the chance to read and review Watch Her Disappear.

Police are called to a horrifying scene early one morning; the body of a woman has been discovered by a river, a popular spot with runners. The woman has suffered severe facial injuries and has been strangled with the cord from her music earphones, dragged from the path while she took her morning exercise.

When Detective Inspector Zigic, Head of the Peterborough Police Hate Crimes unit is called in, he’s confused. Surely this is more a case for CID?

But then it is revealed that the woman, Corinne Sawyer, used to be Colin Sawyer. Halfway through her transition, she presented in real life as a woman, but Zigic has to consider whether she was killed due to mistaken identity, or was there a murderer on the loose targeting transexual females?

As Zigic and his partner, Ferreira, dig deeper into the closed and secretive world Corinne belonged to, they begin to uncover hidden and unreported crimes from a community living in fear.

And alongside this murder, CID are embroiled in investigating a series of brutal rapes. Is the serial rapist escalating? Are the cases connected? And if they are, will Zigic struggle to hold off CID from wanting to reassign Corinne’s case into their own department?

I absolutely adored this novel. I’ve never read anything by Eva Dolan before, but believe me, that will be rectified.

This book is a slow burn mystery/thriller. It isn’t one of those books where you are left breathless as wave after wave of shocks come at you, thick and fast. In this book, the author builds the tension slowly, carefully—and realistically.

The story is told over one week, from the time of Corinne’s death to the eventual capture of her killer, but through that relatively short timeframe, the author digs deep, showing the level of scrutiny and work I would imagine goes into a real murder investigation.

I loved DI Zigic. You got to see two different sides to the same character – Exhausted husband due to newly-born daughter Emily keeping him awake at night to tenacious and integrity-fuelled DI, determined to find the killer while at the same time, desperately trying to stop the case being returned to CID.

Ferreira, his partner, took me a little more time to connect with, although as the story went on, it left me thinking that she’s exactly the sort of copper I’d want if I ever found myself in a similar situation to Corinne’s family.

This author is clearly very talented; from the way she strings a sentence together that leaves you in awe, to the careful pacing of plot and the full and rounded characters she lays on the page.

As the front cover states in a quote from Ian Rankin – She’s top drawer.

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Thank you for this fabulous review Tracie.  I really want to read this book, and hopefully soon (luckily I still have a copy on the #terrifyingTBR).

Watch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan was published in the UK by Vintage Books on 26th January 2017 and is available in hardcover and eBook formats (with the paperback to follow later this year) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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eva dolan.jpeg

Eva Dolan is an Essex-based copywriter and intermittently successful poker player. Shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Dagger for unpublished authors when she was just a teenager, Long Way Home is her debut novel and the start of a major new crime series.

Author Links:Twitter |

#GuestReview: Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall (@RuthDugdall) @Legend_Press @Tracie_Delaney

nowhere girl.jpg“When Ellie goes missing on the first day of Schueberfouer, the police are dismissive, keen not to attract negative attention on one of Luxembourg’s most important events.

Probation officer, Cate Austin, has moved for a fresh start, along with her daughter Amelia, to live with her police detective boyfriend, Olivier Massard. But when she realises just how casually he is taking the disappearance of Ellie, Cate decides to investigate matters for herself.

She discovers Luxembourg has a dark heart. With its geographical position, could it be the centre of a child trafficking ring? As Cate comes closer to discovering Ellie’s whereabouts she uncovers a hidden world, placing herself in danger, not just from traffickers, but from a source much closer to home.”

Have I ever mentioned that my TBR is pretty darn scary?  Hmmm…think about it, it may be difficult to remember (hahahaha).  OK, so I mention my #terrifyingTBR in virtually every post I write, and I can guarantee that it’s not getting any smaller.  Hello, my name is Emma and I’m a book addict.  So it’s time to do something about it and I will do that with the help of some incredibly generous, amazing guest bloggers and reviewers.

And the first willing volunteer (notice I didn’t say ‘victim’!) is the very lovely Tracie Delaney over at Passionate About Books.  Not only is she a fantastic blogger but she’s just about to release her debut novel!

IMG_1003.jpegHere’s everything you need to know about the very lovely Tracie:

I’ve been obsessed with books for as long as I can remember. As a child, I could be found with one of two things in my hand; a book or a bridle (I was an avid horse rider in my younger years).

Reading is a wonderful form of escape. I love the way books transport you to different worlds and allow you to be a part of so many character’s lives.

I blog and write under the pseudonym Tracie Delaney. My first novel, Winning Ace, is due out in May 2017.

And here’s Tracie’s review of Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall:

When I offered to read and review Nowhere Girl for Emma Welton over at the fabulous damppebbles.com, I had expected a new arrival on my Kindle. So when an actual book arrived in the post, I was super excited. The first thing I did on opening the package? I opened the book and sniffed the pages. Now, to non-book people, that would seem very odd, but to us book-types? The most normal thing in the world!

When seventeen year old Ellie Scheen goes missing at the local fair in Luxembourg, the police don’t appear to be taking the disappearance seriously. After all, this isn’t the first time Ellie has gone missing.

And when a witness at the fair reports that she saw Ellie’s mother, Bridget, hit her daughter and, on further investigation, it doesn’t seem to have been the first time, the police start to focus their attention on Bridget.

Cate Austin, the partner of Olivier Massard, the detective in charge of the case, doesn’t think the police are taking Ellie’s disappearance seriously and so decides to investigate Ellie’s disappearance for herself.

 My Review

The blurb of this book really intrigued me and I was very much looking forward to reading it. However, I didn’t enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. The story is intriguing and all the elements of a great novel are there, but it just didn’t hit the mark.

The present tense style of writing is not one of my favourites, but I can easily get past that for a great story, but in this novel, I found it rather distracting. The pacing of the novel was extremely slow. If 20,000 words had been cut during editing, it wouldn’t have hurt the story; in fact, it would have helped to create a faster paced novel with more tension and intrigue. The pacing picked up as we reached the climax of the novel—as it should—but at least seventy five percent of the novel was too slow for my tastes.

I also found it difficult to connect to any of the main characters, apart from Amina, a young Algerian girl smuggled illegally into Luxembourg in the hope of a better life. It was almost like watching a movie through a pair of net curtains. You could kind of see what was going on, but the detail was missing. I wanted to get deep inside the character’s minds, to really feel what they were feeling and experience their terror, horror and panic at what was happening, but the author fell short in translating that closeness from page to reader.

Despite the novel’s blurb telling us that Cate decides to investigate matters for herself, I found she was very easily persuaded onto a different path. With a few sharp words from Olivier, Cate seemed to oscillate between half-hearted attempts to find out what happened to Ellie, and then, just as quickly, she would decide she couldn’t do anything. In those moments, her purpose in the novel seemed to consist of taking her daughter to school and walking the dog. Again, it was the last quarter of the novel where Cate digs her heels in and, despite her better judgement telling her to leave well alone, she finally finds the grit and determination to bring Ellie home.

This novel deals with very serious subjects; the hopelessness of people in certain parts of the world, the risks they will take to secure a better life for themselves and the horrifying reality of the hidden crime of child trafficking. However, for those concerned with that subject, it is dealt with very sympathetically, and there is only hints of what is going on, rather than graphic description.

I wouldn’t put anyone off reading this novel if, like me, they are intrigued by the blurb. The very parts that didn’t suit me may be exactly  what others love to read.

My heartfelt thanks, once again, goes to Emma Welton at damppebbles.com for giving me the chance to read this novel.

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Thank you so much for your fantastic review Tracie.  I rather like this guest reviewer lark so if you are a blogger or reviewer and would like to read one of my (many) books then please let me know and I’ll send you my epic book list.

Nowhere Girl by Ruth Dugdall was published in the UK by Legend Press on 31st October 2015 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |

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ruth dugdall.jpgRuth studied English at university and then took an MA is Social Work. Following this she worked in the Criminal Justice System as a social worker then as a probation officer. Part of this time was spent seconded to a prison housing serious offenders. She continues to work within the Criminal Justice System, most recently in Luxembourg.
Ruth’s novels are informed by her experience and are “authentic and credible”.

Author Links:Website | Twitter | Facebook |