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I am so excited to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for “99 Red Balloons” by Elisabeth Carpenter (stop singing the 1980s pop song by Nena!) and share an extract from this gripping thriller!

Description:

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Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

This is a gripping psychological thriller with a killer twist that will take your breath away.

You can buy a copy of “99 Red Balloons” via:

Amazon
Wordery
Book Depository


Extract: Chapter 20 p.105-107

The bingo restarts, but I still can’t concentrate. Without saying, Jim has taken over my next card. I look at him from the corner of my eye. He never was a looker, bless him, but he looks better now he’s older. What’s it they say about growing into your face? It must be the case with Jim. I think about what’s happened over the last couple of days and I don’t know what I’d have done without him.

‘Come on then, let’s get your winnings,’ he says.

‘They can’t have played three games already.’

‘They have indeed. You’re away with the fairies. But I don’t blame you. You’ve enough on your plate.’

Jim’s up and ready in seconds. He kept his coat on the whole time we’ve been here. He must have cold bones these days. He stands waiting, patiently. I know I’m being slow, but there’s something about that woman that unnerves me. I’m in no rush to get to her.

He almost drags me there; my feet are so heavy. She watches us while we walk and stands when we reach the table.

‘It’s nice to see you, Maggie.’

She holds out her hand. I’ve never seen her before in my life. Her hair is too dark for her age; she must dye it – there’s not a grey in sight. She’s wearing a velvet blouse in maroon that reminds me of my great-grandmother’s curtains.

‘Do you two know each other?’ asks Jim.

‘I’ve never met you before,’ I say to her.

‘Sorry about that, love,’ Jim says to the stranger. ‘Not one for niceties, isn’t Mags.’

‘That’s okay. Sorry,’ she says. ‘I could’ve sworn we’d met before.’

She sits back down. I look at the table and what I thought were playing cards have strange pictures on them, rimmed with gold.

‘I’ll just get your prize ready.’

She counts out five ten-pound notes and puts them in an envelope. Before she seals it, she puts in what looks like a business card. She looks up. ‘Just in case you need to contact me.’

I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. Why would I need to contact her?

Jim rubs his hands, again. ‘I’m just off to the gents while we wait for the taxi. Won’t be a min.’

I want to follow him, but that would be a little undignified.

‘I’ll wait in reception,’ I say, trying not to look at her.

I only get a few feet away when I feel a hand grab my elbow.

‘Wait, Maggie.’

I turn slowly, knowing it’s her. ‘How do you know my name?’

She glances at the floor, before looking me straight in the eye.

‘I’m sorry,’ she says. ‘My name’s Dee. I remember you from years ago. When your poor granddaughter went missing.’

‘Right.’

I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before, but strangers haven’t approached me for years. I knew they meant well, but it was mortifying, heartbreaking. It was why we hardly went out.

‘I’d better be going,’ I say.

‘Maggie, please wait a minute.’

‘Hang on. Why do you keep calling me Maggie? I was always Margaret in the newspapers.’

She comes closer to me; I step back.

‘I know you probably think I’m insane – I get that a lot. But . . .’ She takes a few breaths and taps her chest. ‘Zoe’s still alive.’

 


I don’t know about you, but that’s got be seriously intrigued and desperate to know what happens next!

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour:

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I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour for Angela Clarke’s “Watch Me” and share my review of this brilliant thriller.  Even more excitingly though, Angela has teamed up with the wonderful Cass Green and Tammy Cohen to offer you the chance to win a copy of The Woman Next Door and a copy of First One Missing as well as her own book – details below!

watch-me

Published: 12 January 2017
Reviewed: 3 January 2017

5 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by publisher as part of blog tour

Description:

YOU HAVE SIX SECONDS TO READ THIS MESSAGE…

The body of a 15-year-old is found hours after she sends a desperate message to her friends. It looks like suicide, until a second girl disappears.

This time, the message is sent directly to the Metropolitan Police – and an officer’s younger sister is missing.

DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton will stop at nothing to find her. But whoever’s behind the notes is playing a deadly game of hide and seek – and the clock is ticking.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO SAVE THE GIRL’S LIFE.
MAKE THEM COUNT.

My Thoughts & Review:

As the second novel in the Social Media Murders Series I was intrigued how this novel would pan out.  Having quickly read “Follow Me” before delving into this book to make sure I had a good grounding in the series and of DS Nasreen Cudmore and journalist Freddie Venton, I can honestly say this is superb “follow” up (see what I did there?!).  I want to stress that “Watch Me” can be read without having read “Follow Me”, there is enough detail for a reader to appreciate the previous case and the relationship between Cudmore and Venton.

The plot is the work of sheer genius, taut and intense, goading the reader to ‘just one more chapter’.  The brilliant use of timings on each chapter, telling the reader how long is left makes the pace almost frantic, and really adds a sinister edge.  I’m not a fan of rehashing the plot and spoiling the book for others but I will say that this twists and turns in ways I would not have expected and it certainly gave me pause for thought with the current trends in Social Media.

It’s fair to say that Angela Clarke has secured her place on my list of favoured authors after this book, the way that she struck a feeling of great unease within me whilst I read this was impressive.  The characters she has created are very well rounded and so well developed – the relationship between Cudmore and Venton is wonderfully written and it is nice for fans of the series to see these characters grow both individually but still retain that connection from the case involving ‘The Hashtag Murderer’.

Overall I would say this is a book that most crime fiction fans would appreciate, it’s edgy, fast paced and utterly brilliant!

You can buy a copy of Watch Me here.


About the Author:

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Angela Clarke is an author, columnist and playwright. Her debut crime novel Follow Me (Avon) is out now. Follow Me is the first in the Social Media Murders Series.

Her memoir Confessions of a Fashionista (Ebury) is an Amazon Fashion Chart bestseller. Her debut play The Legacy received rave reviews after it’s first run at The Hope Theatre in June 2015. Angela’s journalist contributions include: The Guardian, The Independent Magazine, The Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan. Now magazine described her as a ‘glitzy outsider’. Angela read English and European Literature at Essex University, and Advances in Scriptwriting at RADA. In 2015 Angela was awarded the Young Stationers’ Prize for achievement and promise in writing and publishing.

She is almost always late or lost, or both.

Find out more at: http://angelaclarke.co.uk


Giveaway

As part of her blog tour, Angela has teamed up with numerous authors to offer you lucky readers the chance to win a copy both her book and that of the featured author’s each day of the tour!  Today there are two other author’s books up for grabs  “The Woman Next Door” by Cass Green and “First One Missing” by Tammy Cohen. – can’t say Avon Books don’t know how to spoil their readers!

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A No.1 e-book bestseller, perfect for fans of HER by Harriet Lane and IN A DARK DARK WOOD by Ruth Ware.

Two suburban women. Two dark secrets. The almost perfect murder.

Everybody needs good neighbours…

Melissa and Hester have lived next door to each other for years. When Melissa’s daughter was younger, Hester was almost like a grandmother to her. But recently they haven’t been so close.

Hester has plans to change all that. It’s obvious to her that despite Melissa’s outwardly glamorous and successful life, she needs Hester’s help.

But taking help from Hester might not be such a good idea for a woman with as many secrets as Melissa…

Cass Green is the pseudonym of Caroline Green, an award-winning author of fiction for young people. Her first novel, Dark Ride won the Rona Young Adult Book of the Year and the Waverton Good Read Award. Cracks and Hold Your Breath garnered rave reviews and were shortlisted for eleven awards between them. She is the Writer in Residence at East Barnet School and teaches Writing for Children at City University. Caroline has been a journalist for over twenty years and has written for many broadsheet newspapers and glossy magazines. The Woman Next Door is her first novel for adults.

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A support group for families of victims of the same serial killer, where everyone is grieving and everyone has secrets. Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Tammy Cohen (who also writes as Tamar Cohen) is a freelance journalist writing for national magazines and newspapers. After a late start, she has now written six novels – The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, Someone Else’s Wedding, The Broken and Dying For Christmas and First One Missing – all published by Doubleday/Black Swan. She is a member of the Killer Women crime writing collective and lives in North London with her partner and three (nearly) grown children, plus one very badly behaved dog.

How To Enter

  • Please share the pinned post on Twitter to spread the word about the launch of Watch Me –  you will find it over on @TheQuietKnitter.
  • Giveaway is UK only (sorry!).
  • Closes at Midnight on Monday 23rd January, the winner will be announced on Tuesday 24th January.
  • One winner will be chosen at random (names in a hat & first one drawn wins).
  • The winner’s address will be passed to Avon Books who will arrange for the bookish delights to be sent out.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for giveaways and reviews, and remember to check back to previous days for the posts you might have missed!!

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eBook & Paperback publishes 23rd February 2017

‘A stunning read from a superb storyteller.’ Clare Mackintosh

 

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence travelling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

You can pre order a copy via Amazon

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