Blog Tour: Extract from All The Colours In Between by @EvaJordanWriter @thebookmagnet

Having read and enjoyed 183 Times a Year, which this is the sequel to, I was thrilled to be able to be involved in this blog tour. I do have this book on my tbr pile but haven’t had the chance to  read it yet so I have an extract today, as well as a giveaway, so read on and enjoy!

Book info:

Release Date: 19th October 2017

Publisher:  Urbane Publications

Genre:  Contemporary fiction, women’s fiction
It’s not a life, it’s an adventure!

Lizzie is fast approaching 50. Her once angst ridden teenage daughters, now grown and in their twenties, have flown the nest, Cassie to London and Maisy to Australia. And, although Connor, Lizzie’s sulky, surly teenage son, is now on his own tormented passage to adulthood, his quest to get there, for the most part, is a far quieter journey than that of his sisters. The hard years, Lizzie believes, are behind her. Only, things are never quite as black and white as they seem… A visit to her daughter in London leaves Lizzie troubled. And that is just the start. Add to that an unexpected visitor, a disturbing phone call, a son acting suspiciously, a run in with her ex husband plus a new man in her life who quite simply takes her breath away; Lizzie quickly realises life is something that happens while plans are being made. Gritty but tender, thought provoking but light-hearted, dark but brilliantly funny, this is a story of contemporary family life in all its 21st century glory. A story of mothers and sons, of fathers and daughters, of brothers and sisters, and friends. A tale of love and loss, of friendships and betrayals, and coming of age. Nobody said it would be easy and as Lizzie knows only too well, life is never straightforward when you see all the colours in between.




2 x signed paperbacks and 2 kindle ebooks of All The Colours In Between (UK only)
Click here to enter



Thank you, god of chaos, as if today hasn’t been stressful enough. Thanks to the shat-nav in my car, I arrived at Haversham Hall, historic stately home of the notable Haversham family, an hour later than anticipated. An annual event, now in its tenth year, the Haversham Literary Festival is, apparently, the brainchild of the current Lord of the Manor, Henry Haversham. When the family fell on financial hard times, leading to the possibility of losing their beautiful home and gardens, it was the rather forward-thinking Lord Haversham that could see the potential of sharing the family’s grand house, and equally grand gardens, with the general public; for a generous fee, of course. 

After parking my car in the allotted space, where a large wooden stand displayed my name, I jumped out of my car and headed for the door. Somewhat flustered by my lateness I then spent ten minutes trying to push the pull door in to the main entrance, only to be saved by someone who looked remarkably like Stephen King. I thanked the stranger, who held the door open for me and walked on. However, the stranger, who may or may have not been one of the world’s most successful and prolific authors, insisted on opening a succession of other doors for me as he, too, headed towards the main hall, bringing me out in a cold sweat as I realised I was quickly running out of ways to say “thank you.” Having deployed; thank you, cheers, ta, thanks, and nice one, I quickly scuttled off in search of Michelle but hopefully not Oliver. 

I found her hovering by the main stage where a couple of comfy looking chairs and a small coffee table had been placed in readiness for a number of Author Q&A’s and interviews that had been booked over the next four days. I swallowed hard and felt my legs turn to jelly as I looked around and realised how fast the hall was filling up with people who had come to listen to me talk. I had attended this major literary event many times in the past, as a reader, this time I was here as a writer. With a little less than ten minutes to go (shielding my gaze from Oliver) Michelle draped a lanyard with a name badge attached, my name emblazoned in bold, black letters, over my head and introduced me to Michael, the appointed compére for my Author Q&A session. We shook hands and I followed him onto the stage. Somehow I managed to trip and head-butt him straight in the mouth as he turned to show me my seat. This saw us both flying across the stage, with me eventually lying astride my traumatised presenter when we both finally skidded to a halt. And, just to add insult to injury, Michael gained a fat, bloody lip to boot. Poor man. It was obvious he was in pain because he winced every time he asked me a question. 

Forty minutes (and several hundred apologies to Michael) later, listening to a playback of my Q&A session (kindly recorded by Michelle) I have now decided, upon hearing my recorded voice, it would be criminal for me to ever talk publicly again. And now, mid-afternoon and having a book signing to attend to, I find the familiar waves of nausea, which are far too familiar to my person of late, wash over me with uncomfortable immediacy. 

I look up and see a snake-like line of people politely forming an orderly queue in front of me. I sit down in front of the desk provided and take several large swigs of water from the complimentary bottle provided. A streak of yellow sun streams through the entrance to the marquee and a noisy throng of people gather to look at various bookstands or commissioned works of art by local artists. Looking down the line of readers eager to purchase a signed copy of my book, I am both overwhelmed and forever grateful to those willing to spend their precious time and money on the half-crazed ramblings of a middle-aged woman, such that I am. 

Author info:

Eva Jordan, born in Kent but living most of her life in a small Cambridgeshire town, describes herself as a lover of words, books, travel and chocolate. She is also partial to the odd glass or two of wine. Providing her with some of the inspiration for her novels, Eva is both a mum and step mum to four grown-up children. Her career has been varied including working within the library service and at a women’s refuge. She writes a monthly column for a local magazine and currently works as a volunteer for a charity based organisation that teaches adults to read. However, storytelling through the art of writing is her passion. All The Colours In Between is Eva’s second novel.
If you want to know more you can find Eva at all the usual places. She loves to hear from readers and reviewers so please feel free to contact her.


Twitter: @evajordanwriter



Blog Post: Extract from Zenka by Alison Brodie @alisonbrodie2

I am thrilled today to be hosting an extract from the fan sounding Zenka (which I am also reviewing in a few weeks). So, read on and see if this taster grips you as much as it did me…….

Blurb:   Ruthless, capricious, and loyal.

Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not.  Happily, she now has easy access to pistols and shotguns.

Jack learns he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold.  Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges.  Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she aims to turn Nicholas into a son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of.  And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them.  He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a crime boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Praise for Zenka:

“A riveting read.  Powerful.  Spicy” –D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

5*  “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5*  “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5*  “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5*   “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.







‘Look, stop blubbering and listen.’  His dad shoved a handkerchief at him.  ‘Your mum wrote that letter for a reason.  To bring us together.  So, do you want to be my son?’

Nicholas sniffed.  ‘Yes… Dad.’

His dad closed his eyes as if in silent prayer and when he opened them again, a tear trickled free.  ‘Bloody hell,’ he grumbled.  ‘Look at me.  You’re going to think I’m soft.’

‘No, I don’t.’

‘Good, ’cos I’m not.’  His dad drew away.  ‘First off, I want us to be honest with each other.  Agreed?’


‘Right, there’s good and bad in everybody.  People sometimes do things they regret – like you and your mum’s funeral.  You can’t wipe it away; it’s with you always, but you’ve got to move on.  Become a better person.  Now, I’ve done some things in my life that I regret but I’m making up for it.  You know that charity shop across from Cedars?’

‘Hasn’t it been made into a homeless shelter?

His Dad grinned.  ‘That’s me:  Murray’s Homeless Shelter.’


‘Yes, son.  This is only the beginning, though.  I’ve seen how those buggers live, and I’m going to give them food and shelter, and no fucking hymns!’ 

In that moment, Nicholas felt a lightness of spirit.  His father might look like a backstreet hoodlum but was, in fact, a philanthropist.  He glanced down at the letter.  ‘You own a car showroom?’

‘That’s correct.’  His father’s eyes gleamed.  ‘It’s in Hoe Street, Walthamstow …’  The sentence hung in the air, like a ball waiting to be caught.

‘Hoe Street?  But that’s where-’  Nicholas gasped.  ‘The Jaguar!’

His dad grinned.  ‘I couldn’t meet you, but there was nothing stopping me from giving you a little gift.’

‘A little gift?  That’s seventy thousand pounds!’

‘Peanuts.  I can buy you anything you want, ’specially with Christmas coming.’

‘Well … thank you.’  Nicholas was breathing rapidly.  This was getting better and better.

His dad waggled his finger in stern command.  ‘Don’t forget, a father is not just for Christmas, he’s a life sentence.’  He burst out laughing, and Nicholas merrily joined in.

The big man became serious.  ‘That’s why I’m here.’  He picked up his briefcase and clicked it open.  ‘To make sure you inherit if anything ’appens to me.  To do that, we need to prove legally that you’re my son-and-heir.’  He bought out a slim white box and showed it to Nicholas.  ‘This is a paternity testing kit.  We each take a swab of saliva then I’ll take it straight to the lab.’  He quickly added.  ‘I know one-hundred per cent you’re my son.  I don’t want you thinking I’ve got doubts about you.’

Doubts about you.  The words further relaxed Nicholas.  He had gone from questioning this man’s identity, to having his own identity questioned.  He was also being given the option to choose if he wanted to clinically establish a DNA match.  His dad had everything to lose, Nicholas had everything to gain.

Nicholas’s thought of all the things he could buy for Zenka:  the clothes, the jewellery…

‘What do you think, Nicholas?  Do you want to give it a go?’

‘Yes, definitely.’

‘Good lad.’

Nicholas wanted to cavort around the room.  He was going to be rich!  But how rich?   ‘And you’ve made your money from selling cars?’

His father hesitated.  ‘When I was a kid I wanted to be a vet.  I was bright enough.  I’d just sat my ‘O’ levels when this rape business hit me-’

‘How old were you?’


‘It must have been awful for you, being accused like that.’

‘Rajat and those Asian blokes gave me stick.  But you can imagine how they must’ve seen it:  a big hairy geezer like me with a cripple girl.  I was beaten up so bad, I was in hospital for over a month.  After I came out, I started looking over my shoulder.  I realised then, I had to get tough.’

Nicholas understood the broken nose.  His dad had gone into boxing to learn to defend himself.  ‘What happened to mum?’

‘She was sent away.  I never knew where, until I got this letter.  It was for the best, her not knowing how I turned out.’

‘In what way?’  Mentally, Nicholas was in Harrods picking out a diamond engagement ring for Zenka.

‘Listen.’  His dad rested his fists on his knees and scowled at the coffee table.  ‘I was a fence, got seven weeks, suspended.  Then I was domiciled in Blundeston for GBH-’

‘Sorry, I don’t think I quite understand?’

His dad looked up.  ‘What bit don’t you understand?’

Nicholas didn’t understand any of it.  ‘GBH?’

‘Grievous bodily harm.  You must know what that means!’  His dad, aggrieved by Nicholas’s look, added impatiently:  ‘I’m telling you this ’cos we’re being straight with each other, got it?’

Nicholas was quick to agree.  ‘Got it.’  His heart pounded.  A voice inside his head was saying:  Please, don’t tell me anymore, please.

‘I did two months for harbouring, eighteen months at Gartree for extortion, six years in Parkhurst for attempted armed robbery.  I sound like a failure, but I was a success.  In this business you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.  And there’s a lot of fucking rough, I can tell you.’  ’

Nicholas screamed inwardly:  My father is a mobster!

‘This must come as a shock.  But I want you to know I’ve gone straight.  All that malarkey’s behind me.  I’ve made a vow never to pick up another gun-’  He paused.  ‘You look doubtful?’

‘No, no.’  Nicholas cleared his throat but even then his voice came out in a dry croak,  ‘I was just thinking, well, you have quite a history.’

‘That’s one way of putting it.   I’ve done bad, but I’ve done good.  I’ve kept the skags off my turf and I’m busy eliminating the Romanians; although that’s not so easy.  And I’ve kept the peace for ten years.  Do you know how I do that?  By scaring the shit out of any bastard who wants to make trouble.’  Jack paused significantly.  ‘I’m keeping the clubs and showroom but there’s going to be no more thieving, no more violence.  And it’s ’cos of you, Nicholas.’  He drained his mug of tea.  ‘I had been planning a heist, but then five weeks ago I got Lakshmir’s letter-’

‘Five weeks?’


‘You’ve left it five weeks before coming to see me?’

‘I did want to come sooner.’  His dad shifted.  ‘Problem was, I had enemies.’

Nicholas went cold.  ‘What sort of enemies?’

‘Nasty ones.  There were two in particular.  Brothers.  Vicious bastards.  If they’d known about you they would’ve hurt you.’

‘And what happened to them?’

‘They got sorted.’

Nicholas was thinking:   GBH.  Armed robbery.  And … murder?

‘And you’ve got no more enemies, nobody who’d want to hurt me?’

His father hesitated.  ‘Well, there is somebody, but he’s not an enemy.  He works for me.  Tell you the truth, I’ve been like a dad to him for close on twelve years.  His name’s Lloyd, Lloyd Gibson.’

Nicholas closed his eyes against the wave of dizziness.  He fell forward, feeling the rush of blood to his head.

‘What’s up, Nicholas?’

Nicholas had an image of Lloyd, his eyes dancing merrily, his lips pursed in a kiss as he dangled the mistletoe above the dead man’s head.  

‘Do you want a glass of water, son?’

‘I’m … I’m fine.’

‘So, as I was saying:  Lloyd’s been like a son to me.  I just haven’t worked up the courage to tell him about you.’

Nicholas struggled to breathe.  ‘And … um … how do you think he’s going to react when you tell him?’

‘He’s not going to be happy.’

Nicholas nodded while his brain wailed:  A homicidal maniac.  Not happy.  About ME!

Jack continued.  ‘What I want is for you and Lloyd to become brothers.’

‘Brothers?’  Nicholas couldn’t recognise his own voice.  His forehead was slick with sweat.  He wanted to vomit.

‘Sure you don’t want some water?’ his dad asked.

‘I’m fine, just indigestion.’

‘It might be an ulcer.  Do you worry a lot?’

‘Not usually, no.’

Author bio:

. Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side. 

Brodie is an international, best-selling author.  Her books have been published by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).  Reviews for her debut, FACE TO FACE:  “Fun to snuggle up with” –GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Pick of the Paperbacks.  “Vane but wildly funny leading lady” -Scottish Daily Mail. 

Brodie has now gone “indie”.  Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books.  

BRAKE FAILURE:  “Masterpiece of humor” -Midwest Book Review

THE DOUBLE:   “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.

ZENKA (to be released 6 Nov, 2017):  “ZENKA is top of my list for best fiction this year.  If Tina Fey and Simon Pegg got together to write a dark and hilarious mobster story with a happy ending, ZENKA would be the result.”  -Lauren Sapala, WriteCity






Blog Tour Guest Post: The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby. @NeverlandBT @bysylvia_a

I am thrilled today to be on this blog tour with a fascinating guest post from Sylvia Ashby, author of The Sinking Chef. I also have a giveaway for an Amazon voucher and a copy of the eBook so look out for that when you’re reading the post.  

BLURB:   “Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.  James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago.  She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.”

The book is exclusive for Amazon & in Kindle Unlimited


UK :


GIVEAWAY (International)

1st prize: £25 Amazon voucher and an eCopy of the book

2nd and 3rd prize: ecopy of the book

Click here to enter the giveaway. 


Every profession has questions it can’t escape. If you become a lawyer, for example, you know you’ll get asked for free legal advice. For doctors, it’s information about medical complaints. Shopkeepers – discounts. Plumbers – leaks.

For authors, it’s where we get our ideas from.

When I was first asked this question, it was so early in my career I hadn’t even published a book yet. I gave a long and somewhat tedious lecture about the creative process. I talked about asking yourself questions and letting your imagination roam. I talked about following leads, allowing characters to be themselves and not forcing them to do things that don’t feel natural.  

Halfway through my answer I realised the poor woman’s eyes had glazed over. I realised she was bored out of her mind. She hadn’t signed up for a lecture. All she had done was ask the first question that popped in her head when she had heard the word “writer”. I finished my lecture because I had already started it, but I never gave a long answer again. Instead, I tried to reply flippantly. I said I buy my ideas from a small shop in Dell Quay. Or that I dream them up, which is a lie.

Nowadays, I answer truthfully.

When I’m asked, and I get asked this a lot, I simply say “I don’t know.” I say that the ideas are not important – everyone has them. They’re five a penny. It’s the hard work to turn them into books that counts. That doesn’t seem to be the right answer either.  People seem to think that I’m being intentionally cagey, because I don’t want to give up trades secrets or something. That I’m being borderline rude.  

My latest book, “The Sinking Chef” came out a couple of months ago. It’s about a talented chef and the man who keeps trying to bring her down. It’s set in London, in beautiful Belsize Park and is part romantic comedy, part mystery. And I’ve tried long and hard to remember where I got my ideas for it because I know I’ll get asked.

For every book I publish, I have to slide out of bed, shake the cookie crumbs, come out of my lair and talk to people. A writer’s life is absurdly secluded to a point where we lose essential social skills. In order to reconnect with society, I have to do some rehearsing in front of a mirror. 

The question I try to answer the most while staring at my pasty-skinned reflection in the mirror is “Where do I get my ideas from?”  In the case of “The Sinking Chef” I think the ideas came from asking questions: How do we overcome our insecurities and fix the mistakes we make? How do we react when we face awkward moments? And, most importantly, where do we find courage? What inspires us to fight for the things we believe in?

In “The Sinking Chef” the answer to all these questions turned out to be one and the same: love. Ashley loves Giacomo with all her heart. She can’t let things go. She has to stand up and fight to keep him, and the life she loves, safe from harm.

It’s the same for me, I realised. I still don’t know where I get my ideas from, but I know what helps me turn them into books: love.

Love for writing.

Love for reading.

Love for everything to do with books.

Author bio: Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all! 

She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.


Twitter: @bysylvia_a

Blog Tour Review : One Day in December by @ShariLow @aria_fiction

Many thanks to the publisher and author for letting me have a copy of this book for the blog tour. I loved it so read on to see my review and find out more about it!

About the book

By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December.

One morning in December… 

Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies. 

Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair. 

Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved. 

And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back. 

One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…
Buy links:




Google Play: 

Shari’s previous books are out now!

My Rating: 5/5

Review:   I loved this book and read it in a day which is something I rarely ever manage. The book is set over one day and the story progresses in 2 hour chunks during which we get to see the 4 characters make decisions and react to what is going on around them. This book is so well-written that these changes are clear and the story is easy to follow which is not always the case in stories with multiple main characters. 

The characters are really well-written and come alive off the page. I was rooting for some of them and feeling bad for others. It certainly tugs at your heart-strings. It’s a brilliant story which is well crafted and shows how decisions that people make can have unexpected consequences and not always go to plan. This is a book that I didn’t want to end it was honestly that good. 

I cannot recommend this book anymore than I have done already. I’ve struggled to write this review because I wasn’t sure how to do it and do justice to this book. I cannot wait to read more by this author. 
About the author

Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.

Follow Shari


Twitter: @ShariLow

Blog Tour Review: Deadly Burial by John Richter @NeverlandBT @RichterWrites


When DI Chris Sigurdsson is assigned a grisly murder case on remote Salvation Island, he knows that it might be his strangest yet.

A forgotten wrestling star of the 1980s has been poisoned whilst in the ring, and amidst the slippery lies of his dangerous opponents, unravelling the victim’s murky past is almost impossible.

And as a storm threatens to cut Salvation Island off from the mainland, the race is on for Sigurdsson to find the ruthless killer before he strikes again…
Book links:

Book is on sale at Amazon at the following link:

The shortened ‘Bitly’ version is as follows:

Review:  Sadly I haven’t been able to finish this book due to other commitments but I have been able to read enough of it to form an opinion on it. 

It is an interesting premise for a story which is full of larger than life characters.  This is a well-woven tale which takes the reader into the world of wrestling and is written in such a way that even if you have never been a fan of the sport you will still enjoy the story.  The flashback parts are helpful in giving a background to the victim and the other characters but it also lets you learn about the victim from himself, not just from other people’s viewpoints. While this is something that doesn’t always work it is handled well here and as such adds to the story rather than detracting from it. 

This is my first read by this author but it is certainly something I would recommend.  A worthy addition to the crime grenre. 


Prize is an eBook copy of the book:

Click here to enter. 
Author bio:

Jon Richter lives in London and spends most of his time hiding in the guise of his sinister alter ego, an accountant called Dave.  When he isn’t counting beans, he is a self-confessed nerd who loves books, films and video games – basically any way to tell a good story.  Jon writes whenever he can and hopes to bring you more disturbing stories in the very near future.  If you want to chat to him about this, or about anything at all, you can find him on Twitter @RichterWrites, or at his Facebook page at

Guest Post from Holly Seddon @HollySeddon

I am thrilled today to have on my blog a guest post from the amazing Holly Seddon, author of Try Not To Breathe and Don’t Close Your Eyes.  We hear a lot about how authors write so I’m excited to share with you Holly’s post about how she got published so read on to see what she has to say.  
How I got published

I’ve always written. I think it’s probably a clichéd thing to hear published authors say, but it’s true. As soon as I could write, I was writing little stories and I never really stopped. 

There were years where I wrote far less fiction, because I was trying to break into journalism and then because I was writing a lot in my day job. There were also years where I wrote terrible fiction, because that’s an important step to finding your voice. But I always wrote. 

I often started writing novels but I’d never finished one until I found my feet with Try Not to Breathe. I started It in 2010, took a little break in the middle and had a ‘finished’ (I thought!) draft at the end of 2013. I sat on it for a little while, out of fear of rejection, I think. But then I had a rough Christmas and a crappy January that led to me being off sick, recovering from an operation and utterly miserable. So I thought ‘what the hell? The worst that can happen is not as bad as this’.

I had a little shortlist of agents I wanted to try first. After they inevitably rejected me, I planned to make a longer list. Initially, I chose agents who worked with authors in similar genres, and who had done work with new writers, such as through creative writing courses and novel writing academies. I figured they’d be most likely to get behind the book but also to be patient and guiding – and help me grow as a writer. 

I put together a covering letter and a synopsis (ugh, I hate these!) and sent them with the first three chapters to my top choice agent, Nicola Barr. Then I decided it would take forever to do it one by one, and felt too optimistic, so I sent it to the next on the list too. Forty-five minutes later, I was shuffling around my kitchen and idly refreshing my email. There it was, a reply from my top choice agent asking to see the rest of the manuscript. 

I sprinted around the house, which was a mistake as I was still recovering and nearly burst my stitches! When I calmed down (sort of) I got the wobbles and decided to re-edit the whole manuscript before sending it. I stayed up until the early hours, tinkering like a nut. It eventually reached her the next lunch time. 

The following week, Nicola emailed to say she loved it. It needed work, of course, but that she’d love to help with that. I got that email while shopping, which is how I came to be openly crying with joy in the milk aisle in Sainsbury’s, while other shoppers studiously avoided me. 

We worked on it for months, Nicola helping to coax out the book I wanted to write all along, and giving me the confidence to go for it. In summer, it was finally ready to submit to editors. Of course, everyone was on holiday so it took longer to hear back than it usually would. When an editor likes a book, they need in-house support from people like sales and marketing. And to get support, those people need to read the manuscript too. Even when editors were excited, the other people who needed to be excited were often on a beach somewhere. Anyway, eventually autumn rolled around and I finally received that magical email saying that the deal had been done. I signed to the brilliant Corvus imprint at Atlantic Books and then several foreign rights deals came in too. I’m writing this as if that’s just a normal thing to say, but this was life-changing. And it was more than I’d ever dared hope was possible. 

In January 2016, Try Not to Breathe was finally published. It was six years from start to finish but it was worth every late night, early morning and almost-burst stitch. 


You won’t be able to put it down.

Just remember to breathe.

Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she’s cut herself off from everything but her one true love – drink. Until she’s forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy.

Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She’s as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands.

Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma…


Two sisters. A lifetime of secrets. One terrible reckoning. 

The astonishing new thriller from the bestselling author of Try Not to Breathe. Get ready to be #hookedbyholly 

In a novel that is stunning in its twists, shocks, and gripping psychological suspense, two sisters find themselves on the razor’s edge of sanity.

Untold secrets, a ghastly lie, and suffocating guilt hold them back. Only one astounding act can set them free. And one last revelation will leave readers gasping in surprise.

Robin and Sarah weren’t the closest of twins. They weren’t even that similar. But they loved each other dearly. Until, in the cruellest of domestic twists, they were taken from one another. 

Now, in her early 30s, Robin lives alone. Formerly a famous rock star, now agoraphobic and suffering from panic attacks, she spends her days pacing the rooms of her house. The rest of the time she watches – watches the street, the houses, the neighbours. Until one day, she sees something she shouldn’t…

And Sarah? Sarah got what she wanted – the good-looking man, the beautiful baby, the perfect home. But she’s just been accused of the most terrible thing of all. She can’t be around her new family until she has come to terms with something that happened a long time ago. And to do that, she needs to track down her twin sister.

But Sarah isn’t the only person looking for Robin. As their paths intersect, something dangerous is set in motion, leading Robin and Sarah to fight for much more than their relationship..

Author bio:  

Holly Seddon is a full time writer, living slap bang in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. 

Her first novel TRY NOT TO BREATHE was published worldwide in 2016 and became a national and international bestseller. 

Her second novel DON’T CLOSE YOUR EYES was published in July 2017.

Blog Tour Review: House of Spines by Michael J. Malone

I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for House of Spines, a most unusual book and quite unlike anything I have ever read before. Many thanks to Orenda books and Michael Malone for letting me have a copy of the book and a space on the tour.

Blurb:  A terrifying psychological thriller cum Gothic mystery, as a young man with mental health issues inherits an isolate mansion, where all is not as it seems…

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror… the reflection of a woman…

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

Rating: 5/5

Review: I can honestly say this is the most perplexing story I have read in a long time, possibly ever. It only works because it is exceedingly well-written, if this were attempted by someone less talented it would be nonsense but in Michael Malone’s hands it is a story which seeps into you every time you pick up the book. Every little thought and feeling that Ran has is so well described (without being laboured) that it’s almost as if you are him rather than just someone reading a book. 

There’s not a lot I can say about this book without giving away too much but I can say the majority of it takes place in the house Ran inherits. The house and it’s environment are so skillfully constructed that each time I’ve picked up the book I’ve felt apprehensive and wary, basically the exact feelings Ran has for a large part of the story, and in the times when I haven’t been reading the book has been calling to me, something I have never experienced before. 

I tend not to enjoy books that don’t flow well. For me the act of reading automatically conjures up a movie in my head as I read. Poorly written books are like a movie reel that stutters and so I struggle to read them. Well-written books like this one flow smoothly and without any prompting or thought on my part. This is particularly impressive in the case of this book because it is, as I said, quite perplexing. The main character is constantly confused or doubting himself and the story jumps sometimes from one time or place to a different place or a few hours later without warning. In many books this would be a problem but in this one it isn’t simply because of the skill of the author.  

I already knew how good a storyteller Michael Malone is because I read and reviewed A Suitable Lie last year but this has surpassed even that and I can’t wait to see what he produces next. 

Author bio:

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage.  His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number one bestseller.  Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.