cover reveal

The Cold Room


Karen Long


cover reveal

Publication Date: 8th May 2017

Series: Eleanor Raven – Book 3

Genre: Crime / Thriller

The brand new thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the author of The Safe Word and The Vault.

Winter is settling on Toronto and a series of seemingly unconnected murders are weighing heavily on DI Eleanor Raven. When an army veteran holds his family hostage, leaving chaos and an unidentifiable skeletal human hand in his wake, Raven is left tangled in a web of leads, lies, and secrets, with each thread leading her closer to the all too terrifying truth.

But with time running out, Raven needs to re-connect with her past life – the one she thought she’d finally escaped from – if she’s to find out who the killer is before they strike again . . .

Buy Links




cover reveal

Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.

She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.

Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website, where she posts regular blogs.

The Safe Word is Karen’s first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, later joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault.






All author or review enquiries, please contact Karen Long’s Personal Assistant J.B. Johnston –

Did you know that Eleanor Raven is also online?



2 lucky readers have the chance of winning a signed paperback copy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FIND ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE by Kate Hewitt #women’sfiction #giveaway

Willoughby Close

Find Me at Willoughby Close


Kate Hewitt

Willoughby Close

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 14/03/2017

Series – Willoughby Close #3 (can be read as a standalone)

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

Harriet Lang had the perfect life, so she’s left reeling when everything is taken from her in one fell swoop. Suddenly, Harriet learns her beautiful farmhouse in the Cotswolds is double-mortgaged, her husband Richard’s been unceremoniously fired—and he’s become a little too close to his young, sexy assistant.

Harriet moves into Willoughby Close with her three children, trying to hold her head up high. With the help of her neighbor and newfound friend Ellie Matthews, Harriet starts to rebuild her life–but dipping a toe in the dating pool feels strange and meanwhile, her children are struggling in different ways. She wonders if starting over is really possible…

Then Willoughby Close begins to weave its healing magic on both her and her children, and Harriet begins to see a way forward. She even starts to date sexy local vet Tom Roberts–but when Richard reappears in her life, wanting to make amends, Harriet must make the painful decision about how much of the past can be forgiven—and what kind of future she is fighting for.


“Come on,” Harriet said now, as she climbed resolutely out of the car and gave them all as cheerful a smile as she could. “Let’s check it out.”

The movers had already come; Harriet had marked what furniture to take from their house to Willoughby Close, and it had been a depressingly small amount. The big, bespoke kitchen table wouldn’t fit, and the huge dresser with all the pottery she’d collected over the years wouldn’t either. In fact, at least two-thirds of their furniture was going into storage, which was expensive, but Harriet couldn’t bear to lose all of it along with the house. They’d need it when Richard got his job, and they bought something bigger.

She’d spent hours and hours, weeks and months, selecting all the furniture for the house, with the help of the expensive interior decorator who had more or less held her hand through the entire process. She’d bought tasteful antiques interspersed with fresh modern pieces, carpets, and kilims from various holidays, watercolors and oil paintings of places that were meaningful to them. Sophie had once said, with admiration that bordered on envy, that Harriet’s house could be featured in Country Life.

And so it would again. This was a blip, damn it. Things were going to get better. Richard was going to find a job, he’d said so, and they’d get back their house or buy an even better house, and she’d live there without him, happy and defiant. Or something like that. She couldn’t picture specifics yet, but she couldn’t stand the thought of the rest of her life looking like… this.

The children trooped silently behind her as she fumbled with the keys and then opened the door to number two. The smell of fresh paint and emptiness hit her like a smack in the face. It was the smell of fresh starts, and she didn’t want one.

She stepped inside, reaching for the lights. Although it was only four in the afternoon it was already getting dark, the skies heavy and low with gray clouds. Spring felt a long way off, despite the fact that it was mid-February, and the spattering of snowdrops interspersed with an early crocus or two that she’d seen on the drive in.

“This is it?” Mallory’s voice rang through the empty space, scornful and incredulous. William kicked at the skirting board, scuffing the pristine white paint. Chloe stuck her thumb in her mouth.

“Yes, this is it,” Harriet said, trying to pitch her tone somewhere between firm and bright. “It’s lovely, isn’t it?”







Willoughby Close

Kate Hewitt is the author of over 65 novels of women’s fiction and romance. Whichever the genre, she loves telling a compelling and emotional story. An American ex-pat and former New Yorker, she now lives in a small market town in Wales with her husband and five children. You can learn more about her books and life at



Goodreads Author Page:





1st Prize – £10 Amazon Gift Card

2nd Prize – a print copy of MEET ME AT WILLOUGHBY CLOSE (book 1)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

THE BLOOD DETECTIVE by Dan Waddell #guestpost #crime #giveaway

blood detective

The Blood Detective
Dan Waddell


blood detective

Genre: Crime

Release Date: 28/02/2017

Nominated for the CWA New Blood Dagger in the UK and Macavity First Book award in the USA, and winner of the Prix Cezam Littéraire.

As dawn breaks over London, the body of a young man is discovered in a Notting Hill churchyard. The killer has left DCI Grant Foster and his team a grisly, cryptic clue. It’s not until the clue is handed to Nigel Barnes, a specialist in compiling family trees, that the full message becomes spine-chillingly clear. It leads Barnes back more than one hundred years – to the victim of a demented Victorian serial killer. When a second body is discovered Foster needs Barnes’s skills more than ever. The murderer’s clues appear to run along the tangled bloodlines that lie between 1879 and now. And if Barnes is right, the killing spree has only just begun . . .

The Blood Detective is a haunting crime novel of blood-stained family histories and gruesome secrets.

‘Expertly plotted and with great attention to detail, this is the start of a series that has already put down substantial roots of its own’ – Mark Billingham.

‘A fascinating and original investigation into the dark roots of our family trees’ – Val McDermid

‘There’s panache aplenty in this intriguing tale. Sharp plotting, elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax. A series is promised. Bring it on!’ Reginald Hill 





The plot of The Blood Detective came to me quickly, once I had developed the premise. The main characters had also slotted neatly into place. Nigel, the eager genealogist who escapes into the past because he finds the present too jarring; Grant Foster, the detective who lives in the present because the past is too painful.

Yet I had nowhere to set it. Nearly all the crime novels I love have a sense of place; almost like another character. Think of Rebus’ Edinburgh, Marlowe’s Los Angeles, Philip Kerr’s Nazi Berlin. I knew I wanted London as a backdrop, but which part?

At the time I was living in North Kensington, on the outskirts of Notting Hill, then teeming with tourists expecting to see a floppy-haired Englishman like Hugh Grant around every corner. I knew and had witnessed a far seedier, edgier side to the area; its history was one of abject poverty, slum housing, and racial tension. The chocolate box image projected by the movie contrasted with the reality I knew, but still, I never thought of setting a book there.

That was until inspiration struck in the unlikeliest of places. A few things have happened to me in the back of black London cab, not all pleasant, but solving the final puzzle of a novel was a first.

I was riding back from Shepherd’s Bush through Notting Dale, the grubby, snot-nosed brother to the Hill’s sleek young man. As we approached the area where I lived, the driver pointed out a small street beside the railway arches, filled with a row of identikit 1970s houses.

‘You know what that used to be?’ the cabbie asked

Any Londoner knows that getting in a discussion with a black cab driver is unwise, unless you’re clinically insane or a purveyor of far right wing politics. So I feigned disinterest. But as any Londoner will tell you, disinterest does nothing to deter a chatty cabbie. Only outright disdain will do.

‘It was Rillington Place,’ he added.

Now I was interested. Rillington Place – the scene of the Christie murders, for which another man was originally wrongfully hanged. The case was turned into a film, with Richard Attenborough playing the murderer, the mild-mannered murderer next door and a recent TV recreation with Tim Roth as a far more sinister John Christie.

After he dropped me off, I went to back to Rillington Place and walked along it, counting the houses.

I stopped. There was no number ten.

The street name had been changed. It’s layout altered. The houses had been demolished and replaced. Yet they still couldn’t bring themselves to build a number ten. Instead, between numbers nine and 11, there was a narrow gap, filled only by a tree.

I had my setting. A theme, too. That no matter how hard we try, the past cannot be swept away. Places still bear the effect of what has gone on before, even if that imprint exists only in people’s minds.



blood detective
in London, Britain March 21, 2016
This image is copyright Suzanne Plunkett 2016©.
For photographic enquiries please call Suzanne Plunkett or email
This image is copyright Suzanne Plunkett 2016©.
This image has been supplied by Suzanne Plunkett and must be credited Suzanne Plunkett. The author is asserting his full Moral rights in relation to the publication of this image. All rights reserved. Rights for onward transmission of any image or file is not granted or implied. Changing or deleting Copyright information is illegal as specified in the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988. If you are in any way unsure of your right to publish this image please contact Suzanne Plunkett on +44(0)7990562378 or email

Dan Waddell is the award-winning author of more than 20 works of fiction and non-fiction, among them the bestselling book which accompanied the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? His first crime novel, the critically-acclaimed The Blood Detective, won the prestigious Prix Cezam Littéraire in France and was nominated for debut awards in the UK and USA. He lives in London with his family.



Goodreads Author Page:




An ecopy of the book!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Behind the Lie by Amanda James #psychological #suspense

A Sense of Place

Thanks for having me on your blog Melanie, to talk about my latest book, Behind the Lie. Here is a flavour of what the story is about…

Amanda James

Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.

Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.

Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.

This story is within the psychological suspense genre, and as well raising lots of questions about what will happen next in the readers’ mind, I have tried to create a strong sense of place. For me as a reader, ‘stepping into’ a story and feeling part of the characters’ lives is essential. Therefore as a writer, I don’t feel that I can see where I am going without having a firm sense of place. I am a visual writer, and one of my ambitions is to see my work on the TV, or even the cinema screen. Think big I say!  I have taken two extracts from Behind the Lie to illustrate.

I chose this extract to try and get across the feeling I have when I’m pottering about on the beach and sticking a toe in the surf! I want the reader to ‘see’ the scene in the story and the characters living inside it. See what they see, and empathise with their feelings. I think writing in the first person also helps to place the reader in the head of the characters. I hoped to get across the contrast between Cornwall and London too, within my main character Holly’s mind.

Paddling in the Atlantic in late March is not something I would go in for normally, but Demi’s enthusiasm wouldn’t let me sit on the dunes huddled in my duffle coat. A duffle coat and a blanket to be exact, because my coat will no longer fasten over my bump. So here I am, ankle deep in the surf and actually loving it, the biting cold has subsided and it feels almost warm.

            ‘So refreshing isn’t it?’ Demi asks rolling up the hem of her jeans which are already damp.

            ‘Actually yes it is. Makes you feel alive and connected to nature,’ I say looking at a fishing boat, a red splash on the horizon.

Talk of the city brings a disgruntled image of my husband’s face to mind, soft grey eyes steely with contempt. He wasn’t best pleased at all the other night when I told him I wanted to stay until tomorrow. I don’t normally go against his wishes, but I am just not ready to go back yet. I think it might be that I am at the nesting stage, and nests are built at home. I never think of London as my home, but I’d never tell Simon that of course. Also I wanted to spend another day with my bestie. It’s been far too long…and I am happier being here with her than I have been in a long time, if I’m honest with myself. I don’t usually allow that – honesty. It’s no good for me.

            ‘You okay?’ Demi asks and splashes a few droplets of sea water at me. I raise a quizzical eyebrow. ‘Well you look, kind of far away.’

            ‘I was back in London so yes, I was.’

I use a similar scene below to show how important Holly’s environment is to her healing. She has been told that her son died three weeks previously, and she’s struggling to come to terms with it.

At the water’s edge I roll up my crop trousers and splash through the waves. I slow my power walk down a few gears though; otherwise I’ll soon be drenched. The chill of the ocean climbs up my claves and cools my heated skin. I turn in a circle, tip my face to the sky and spread my arms. It’s a Tuesday out of season, so there’s not many here on the beach today to see me, and to be honest I couldn’t care less if they do. This place, the ocean makes me feel so free, so peaceful and calm. A deep breath fills my lungs with fresh ozone and seaweed and I close my eyes and let a little bit more pain slip away on the tide.

In my mind’s eye I place an image of a happy little boy playing on the dunes behind me with his sister. He’s wearing a white sunhat and dungarees, his sister is dressed the same, apart from a yellow, hat and they are laughing and digging in the sand. Of course I realise this can never happen, but it helps a little to picture it. Ruan was a part of me, albeit for such a brief time, and he always will be.

And here I use an idyllic scene in order to contrast with the turmoil in Holly’s mind. Hopefully the reader can also ‘look’ out at the landscape while empathising with Holly. They see what she sees, feel what she feels.

A recent summer shower has awakened the verdant green of the landscape – a patchwork of hills and valleys dotted with brown farms and white sheep. Crystal blue skies growing in confidence soon banish the remnants of rainclouds, and once again, beyond the car windscreen, the world looks idyllic. Inside my head things are very different. Inside my head are a tangle of thoughts and feelings, clashing, writhing and tying themselves in knots.

There are of course many other examples but I’m sure you don’t want the whole book, Melanie! I hope your readers will have enjoyed the little visit into my head … and to a speedy virtual look at Cornwall of course. 🙂

Amanda JamesAmanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.

Amanda has written many short stories and has five novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success.

Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins)

Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

Author links – Amanda’s blog –

Twitter – @akjames61

Facebook mandy.james.33

Buy Links –

Summer in Tintagel (Urbane Publications July 2016)
Cross Stitch (Choc Lit December 2014)
Somewhere Beyond the Sea ( Choc Lit April 2014)
Dancing in the Rain (Choc Lit March 2014)
A Stitch in Time (Choc Lit) –
Righteous Exposure (Crooked Cat) –

Amanda James

THE LISBON LABYRINTH by David Ebsworth #political #thriller

lisbon labyrinth

The Lisbon Labyrinth


David Ebsworth


lisbon labyrinth

Genre: Political thriller

Release Date: 1 May 2017

Publisher: sBooks

Lisbon, 1974. Journalist Jack Telford must hunt down a killer, solve a deadly riddle, renew his acquaintance with an old flame, and survive Portugal’s revolution in this taut thriller with a life-and-death finale, which Jack may survive, but only at great cost.

There is a dossier, upon which the whole of Portugal’s future may hang, and Jack’s quest to find both the killer and the lost documents will drag him into a labyrinth of deception and danger. Will his best-intentioned actions perhaps have the worst of consequences?

Is it too late for Jack’s past to be finally redeemed by love? And, in a world where nobody can be trusted, can Jack even trust himself?


Jack Telford had been tortured in the past. In Spain, more than thirty-five years earlier. In ’38. It had cost him his left eye and much more besides. His interrogator now, as then, was a lieutenant. On this occasion, the fellow had introduced himself as Tenente Estéves. Slim and slight. A neat civilian suit, naturally, but a lieutenant – a lieutenant firmly in the pay of a secret police force deployed by the regime that had ruled Portugal with an iron fist over the past four decades.






lisbon labyrinth

David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer Dave McCall, a former negotiator for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife Ann since 1981.

Following his retirement, Dave began to write historical fiction in 2009 and has subsequently published five novels: political thrillers dealing with the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, the battle of Waterloo, warlord rivalry in sixth-century Britain, and the Spanish Civil War. His sixth book, Until the Curtain Falls – published in May 2017 – returns to that same Spanish conflict, following the story of journalist Jack Telford who, as it happens, is also the main protagonist in The Lisbon Labyrinth.

Each of Dave’s novels have been critically acclaimed by the Historical Novel Society and been awarded the coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion for independent authors. His work-in-progress is a series of a further nine novellas, covering the years from 1911 until 1919 and the lives of a Liverpudlian–Welsh family embroiled in the Suffragette movement.



Goodreads Author Page:





Celtic Connexions – My Scottish roots and writing by Melanie Robertson-King