Book Blog, Book~Reviews, Crime Authors, Orenda Books

The Other Twin By L V Hay @LucyVHayAuthor @OrendaBooks #LoveAudio #Review#TeamOrenda

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Hello Lovelies,
Today, I am so happy to share my review of the audio book The Other Twin By L V Hay. Published by Orenda Books. In celebration of the #LoveAudio week. Other formats including eBook and Paperback are also available.

Kelly xox

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Audio/Jacket Sleeve 

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister, Poppy, returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her?

Taking the listener on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is a startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade and where there is no such thing as truth….

My Review ~ By Kelly 

I think the key to a good audio book is a clear and concise narrator, which The Other Twin has with Kate Rawson.  Ms Rawson is very careful to keep up with the ever changing voices of the characters.  Next of course is having a meaty storyline to keep you engaged. Again that box is ticked, Lucy V Hay works wonders at leading the reader down a dark, gritty and heart thumping road.  It’s incredible that this is Lucy’s debut novel, it has a mature and extremely well-written style and is creatively clever.

I enjoyed the characters, Poppy is certainly memorable. My tiny niggle was that I would have liked to learn more about India. I wish we had a longer prologue with a hint of an emotional connection with Poppy and India.  But that is purely a personal preference.
We spend time with Poppy as she fights to find out if and why India committed suicide, not a spoiler, it’s on the book jacket. It’s nice to have a strong female as the main protagonist. Poppy is no push over and you will enjoy her journey.

I wouldn’t delay in buying this for a friend. Orenda has a knack for finding top notch writers with the ability to take us on haunting, terrifying and bare knuckle adventures and with The Other Twin and Lucy V Hay they have done it again.  Add Lucy V Hay to your list of must buy books and keep up to date with Lucy on Twitter and on her website.

You can order yours now and read a sneak peek, use the links below.

Thank you so much to Orenda Books, Lucy V Hay and Anne Cater for the opportunity to review.

Before you go, why not check out our review of Deep Down Dead with author Steph Broadribb.

CLICK HERE

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Audio Book, Book Blog, Book~Reviews, Kelly Talk, Orenda Books

Deep Down Dead By Steph Broadribb @crimethrillgirl @OrendaBooks #LoveAudio #Review #Giveaway

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Hello Lovelies,

Today I have the pleasure of sharing my review of the Audio copy of Deep Down Dead By Steph Broadribb, published by Orenda Books. In celebration of the #LoveAudio week, I will be reviewing a few Audio books this week on the blog.

I also have the opportunity for you to win your own Audio book of Deep Down Dead, courtesy of the team at Orenda Books.

Kelly xox

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Book Jacket/Audio Sleeve

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

Breathtakingly fast-paced, both hard-boiled and heartbreaking, Deep Down Dead is a simply stunning debut from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

My Review ~ By Kelly 

Well, I was super excited to be amongst the book bloggers who were invited to review the audio books for Orenda Books. I really enjoy audio books, they are a welcome break away from PC, TV and Tablet screens. When my eyes are tired but my ears are not.  They are my guilty pleasure.

So kick starting our #loveaudio reviews, I have Deep Down Dead by Steph Broadribb. First up it’s read by Jennifer Woodward, who is a well- versed voice actor. I have listened to a few audio books in the past by Jennifer and she is clear, precise and very good at changing her voice to fit each character.

With Deep Down Deep, it is spoken in a southern style drawl.  The storyline is superb, fast paced and sitting on the edge of your seat thrilling. But Jennifer keeps her pace perfect, never rushing.

Steph Broadribb just rose to the top of my list for best reads of 2017. From page one to the end I was hooked.  I actually had to stop ironing and sit on the bed. In my head, I was cheerleading for Lori the main character.  The story comes alive right before my ears, in this case, it plays like a movie. I could feel the heat in the car, the dust on the road.  Every detail is carefully placed.  Well written by Steph Broadribb, we have the roots of a hugely successful series. One I can see moving to the big screen very soon.

It ticks every available box and then some for top crime fiction. It’s a refreshing read with heart racing moments and gritty conclusions.

I thoroughly recommend it to you, it’s available in Audio, eBook and Paperback

You can order yours now and read a sneak peek, use the links below.

 

Win ~ Audio Book ~ Deep Down Dead By Steph Broadribb

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

UK Only ~ Closes 24/7/17

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Thank you so much to Orenda Books, Steph Broadribb and Anne Cater for the opportunity to review.

Before you go, why not check out our interview with Johana Gustawsson author of
Block 46. 

Click Here

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Author, Interview, Orenda Books, Q&A

Block 46 @JoGustawsson @OrendaBooks #Interview

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Evil remembers…

Falkenberg, Sweden. The mutilated body of talented young jewellery designer, Linnea Blix, is found in a snow-swept marina.
Hampstead Heath, London. The body of a young boy is discovered with similar wounds to Linnea’s.
Buchenwald Concentration Camp, 1944. In the midst of the hell of the Holocaust, Erich Hebner will do anything to see himself as a human again.

Are the two murders the work of a serial killer, and how are they connected to shocking events at Buchenwald?

Emily Roy, a profiler on loan to Scotland Yard from the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, joins up with Linnea’s friend, French true crime writer Alexis Castells, to investigate the puzzling case. They travel between Sweden and London, and then deep into the past, as a startling and terrifying connection comes to light.

Plumbing the darkness and the horrific evidence of the nature of evil, Block 46 is a multi-layered, sweeping and evocative thriller that heralds a stunning new voice in French Noir.

Q&A with Johana Gustawsson

Describe yourself using three words?

Certified totally crazy!

What inspired you to write your first novel?

My paternal grandfather’s life story inspired Block 46: he was a French resistant who was deported to Buchenwald in 1943. He was neither a loving father nor a caring grandfather, and I was always intrigued by the fact that everyone in my city used to praise him and talk about the hero he was. I knew of course about his involvement in the war, but I didn’t really understand what it implicated physically, morally and mentally, until I dived myself into the Nuremberg trials and the testimonies of the survivors, surrounded by the barbarity, the violence, the hunger and the desperation. I then understood that the trauma was so deep, that he could not be a man anymore, he could just be a hero.

What time of day do you like to write?

I write whilst my little one is at pre-school, but my favourite part of the day is early mornings when the city and the house are still quiet… which I won’t have for long as I am expecting twin boys!

What is your favourite book and why?

Ooooh! So hard to choose! But I would say Les Fleurs du Mal, a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. The writing is sublime and reading it feels like listening to a divine music.

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How did you pick the title of your book?

I originally named Block 46 “Y”, as this novel talks about paternity and transmission, but my French publisher didn’t like it, so I thought that Block 46 was very adequate, as the block 46 in Buchenwald concentration camp is where the story begins.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

A few years back, I read a book about a South African profiler: Micki Pistorius. I admired her passion, devotion and focus, which inspired me for Emily Roy. About my other female protagonist, Alexis Castells, I have to admit that we share the same European background, between France, London, Spain and Sweden!

Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

Oh, I definitely am the planner type! As I need to carefully plant clues here and there in order to make it difficult for the readers to find who did it, I set up the skeleton of the book before writing.

Who is your favourite Author?

If I really have to choose one, it would be Agatha Christie. Since my youngest age, her talent has mesmerised me; she shaped crime writing and left us unforgettable plots and characters.

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You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

Hercule Poirot, my dear Belgian detective, who I met at 7 reading The Mysterious affair at Styles; I have been utterly devoted to him ever since; Miss Marple, another of the unforgettable characters created by the Queen of crime; Sherlock Holmes and his brilliant deductive mind; and finally, Tom Ripley who would be killed during the pre-dinner drinks. The perfect occasion to witness Hercule, Sherlock and Jane Marple at work, don’t you think?

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What book are you reading at the moment?

A Darker domain by Val McDermid, but in French… as I need not lose touch with the language I write with! A gripping read.

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Where in the world is your happy place?

Anywhere, as long as I am with my family.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

I am hesitating between Mr Hyde and Dr Hannibal Lecter…

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Are you working on a new project?

I am currently working on Roy & Castells 3, as number 2 was published in March in France and will arrive in the UK in May 2018. This time, I am diving in the Franco dictatorship years, in Spain: terrifying times…

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

Oh yes! I will be at Waterstones Piccadilly in London on the 17th of May with fourteen wonderful Orenda authors who are travelling from all over the world for the occasion; I will also attend Crimefest, in Bristol, from the 18th until the 20th of May, and I have been invited to The Felixstowe book Festival the Sunday 2nd of July. Hope to see you at one of those events!

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Thank you, Johana Gustawsson and Orenda Books for allowing me on this fabulous tour!

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Interview, Orenda Books

Reconciliation For The Dead ~ @Hardisty_Paul @OrendaBooks #Interview

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Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonorable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one oh the finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.

My Q&A with Paul Hardisty 

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Describe yourself using three words?

Intense. Honourable. Flawed.

What inspired you to write your first novel?

I have wanted to be a writer ever since I can remember. For a long time, however, fiction writing eluded me. I wanted to, but found that I hadn’t lived enough to be able to process the depth that I believe fiction requires. So I wrote non-fiction, specifically scientific papers, newspaper articles, and textbooks, all the while secretly keeping my fiction journals. My first novel was born from experiences I had while working in Yemen as the 1994 civil war broke out, which left me disillusioned and angry. Ten years later, they started coming together as a novel.

What time of day do you like to write?

I can only write fiction in the morning. I life to get up reasonably early and write until I run out of grunt, usually around one in the afternoon.  By then, it’s just gone. I have worked full time until very recently, so it’s been great to be able to get up and do that most mornings, rather than just once in a while on a weekend or holiday.

What is your favourite book and why?

I think A Farewell to Arms is about the best book I’ve ever read. That and Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I like the clean, hard prose, and the desperate glory of the tales.

How did you pick the title of your book?

My new novel is called Reconciliation for the Dead. It’s the third in the Claymore Straker Series. In the book, Clay returns to South Africa to testify to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is seeking amnesty and absolution for his actions of fifteen years earlier, when he was as a young paratrooper in the apartheid – era South African Army, fighting the communist insurgency in Angola.

Are the characters in your book based on real people?

Only one is – one of the villains.


Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?

I am an engineer by training. So I plan out the overall arc of the story from beginning to end before I start. I need to know where I am going to end up. Then I break down the story into components, which I then plan out. Then, when I am writing, I allow myself some latitude to develop the story in directions that feel natural and right, as I go.

Who is your favourite Author?

Balzac. French is my first language.

In English – Cormac McCarthy.


You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?

Lady Brett, from The Sun Also Rises – because I have always fantasised about meeting her.

John Grady Cole from All the Pretty Horses – my kind of guy. Brett would probably fall for him, though.

Raskolnikov – to ask him why he really did it.

Jacques Bernis from Courier Sud by Antoine de Saint Exupery – to hear what it was like to run those airmail routes from Europe down to Africa and South America during the 1920’s.

What book are you reading at the moment?

I just finished A History of Seven Killings by Marlon James.

Where in the world is your happy place?

Wherever my family is.

If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?

Tough one. You just can’t fight destiny.

Are you working on a new project?

I just finished a collection of short stories which knits together as a novel, and am now working on the fourth book in the Claymore Straker series, called The Debased and the Faithful.

Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?

I will be at Newcastle Noir in the UK at the end of April, and Crimefest in Bristol in May.

I will also be at Bouchercon in Toronto this October.

Purchase your copy here: Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Paul Hardisty, Karen ~ Orenda Books and Anne Cater for the honour of being on the tour!

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Book~Reviews, Guest ~ Reviews, Orenda Books

The Man Who Loved Islands @dfr10 @OrendaBooks #GuestReview J A Warnock

The Man Who Loved Islands By David F Ross

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The Disco Boys and THE Band are BACK …

In the early ’80s, Bobby Cassidy and Joey Miller were inseparable; childhood friends and fledgling business associates. Now, both are depressed and lonely, and they haven’t spoken to each other in more than ten years. A bizarre opportunity to honour the memory of someone close to both of them presents itself if only they can forgive … and forget.

Absurdly funny, deeply moving and utterly human, The Man Who Loved Islands is an unforgettable finale to the Disco Days trilogy.

Buy your copy: Amazon

The Review By J A Warnock

In the course of the couple of days, I’ve spent reading David F. Ross’s ‘The Man Who Loved Islands, I have come to think of it almost as one would think of a friend with a dissociative identity disorder. I say, friend, because there is much about this novel that I like but the personality of the book is, I think, disjointed and a little inconsistent. I put up with the aspects I didn’t like because there are others I liked immensely.
Ross creates a wonderful sense of time and place in each of the locations of this book by filling them with very specific musical, cultural and political references. This style occasionally meanders off into a brief treatise on the history of music mixing or the rise of capitalism but on the whole draws the reader in (or age permitting, takes them back) to an iconic era of change and fractured possibility. If you are under 35, you may need a little help from Google else gloss over some of the more oblique pop culture references.
I will confess a real fondness for novels set in towns I know so also very much enjoyed this trip down memory lane. The Kilmarnock references, in particular, are entirely recognisable and should seem familiar to anyone with knowledge of that place.  It is always good when a novel captures the feel of a location as well as its description and Ross does this in spades.
The timeline jumps about a bit, not only via the dated chapters but also through the reminiscences of the characters within so beware it will keep you on your toes. There is a real feeling of loss in this book partly for events that unfold but more for life’s ability to unravel, to get away. Many, though thankfully not all, of the characters’ achievements are tinged with sadness and regret. As the novel progresses and the time lines converge we become witness to their attempts to confront, avoid, reconcile and obliterate various aspects of their pasts. This makes for an interesting if not always uplifting read.
‘The Man Who Loved Islands’ is cleverly constructed, well-paced novel that zips around the world and spans 40 years. My head is still spinning from both the tangential route and genre splicing soundtrack.
Check out these other titles available from @OrendaBooks
Huge thanks to David F Ross @dfr10 , Karen Sullivan @OrendaBooks and Anne Cater @annecater  for the opportunity to be on the tour and for the review copy. 

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