Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Lost Child by Ann Troup - Guest post plus giveaway!

Today I'm joining the Neverland Blog Tour for Ann Troup's book The Lost Child. Ann is holding a fantastic giveaway, and there's a great guest post below as well!

About the book:

Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.

Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.

As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…

About Ann:

Ann Troup tells tales and can always make something out of nothing (which means she writes books and can create unique things from stuff other people might not glance twice at). She was once awarded 11 out of 10 for a piece of poetry at school – she now holds that teacher entirely responsible for her inclination to write.

Her writing space is known as ‘the empty nest’, having formerly been her daughters bedroom. She shares this space with ten tons of junk and an elderly Westie, named Rooney, who is her constant companion whether she likes it or not. He likes to contribute to the creative process by going to sleep on top of her paperwork and running away with crucial post-it notes, which have inadvertently become stuck to his fur. She is thinking of renaming him Gremlin.

She lives by the sea in Devon with her husband and said dog. Two children have been known to remember the place that they call home, but mainly when they are in need of a decent roast dinner, it’s Christmas or when only Mum will do. She also has extremely decent stepchildren.

Find Ann here:  Blog     Twitter     Facebook

Guest Post:

The one overriding element from all of the reviews for The Lost Child is how much people like Brodie Miller, the young protagonist in the story. She is always the character that people connect to most and even my husband says that she needs a book of her own! I may have to take his advice on this because although all of the other characters have managed to leave quietly, Brodie remains in my imagination as a very loud and larger than life presence. She’s quite a demanding little soul, so I thought you might like to see how we communicate ;)

ME: So, you’re not going to go away are you?

BRODIE: Uh, no! You want to play Frankenstein, you’re gonna get stuck with the monster – you made me, now you’re lumbered with me. Besides, consider it revenge for sticking me with those two old biddies in that hell-hole Hallow’s End! I mean, what kind of author comes up with that?

ME: Good question, but it all turned out all right in the end didn’t it?

BRODIE : Yeah, eventually – no thanks to you though – I mean, really? Like REALLY?? There were points in that book where I honestly thought you were going to bump me off, and there’s gratitude for you, like you’d have even had a story without me!

ME: Well, I must admit you are a key player, but it wouldn’t have been much of a story if I hadn’t stuck you up a few trees and thrown rocks at you.

BRODIE: Yeah, but there are rocks and there are rocks innit? I mean, take Fern – she isn’t exactly a pebble is she? If we’re talking rocks lobbing that one at me was like shooting a boulder from a rocket launcher! So yeah, thanks for that!

ME: But I did give you Dan and Elaine to make up for it…

BRODIE: *shrugs* S’pose. Could’ve been worse. Could have ended up stuck with Fern for life! *shudders*. So, now it’s all over, and we’ve established I ain’t going nowhere, when do I get my own book? Huh?

ME: What did you have in mind?

BRODIE: Dunno, I quite fancy being really kick ass, like I dunno, going out there and putting the world to rights or something.

ME: Or something?

BRODIE: Yeah, or something – you know what I mean! Sheesh, you’re the bloody writer, make something up! But I wanna be grown up, and tough, but you know, kind of nice too – and I want  boyfriend, no, wait, I want loads of blokes all after  me but like I’m all aloof and stuff…

ME: Whoa there missus – I don’t write romance!

BRODIE: *smirks*, Yeah you do, you just sneak it in where people aren’t expecting it. Anyway, so I’m getting a book right?

ME: We’ll see, I’ll think about it.

BRODIE: *punches the air* Yessss!!!

ME: I said, I’ll think about it.

BRODIE: *Smirks, pokes tongue out, folds arms, grins*.

ME: Did you just give me the ‘it’s in the bag’ look?

BRODIE: Might’ve.

That’s how it goes folks, the little blighter never lets up!

Giveaway (A Kindle Paperwhite, a Kindle Paperwhite cover, Amazon and Costa vouchers)

Tour hosted by:

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Under My Skin By Zoe Markham Blog Tour and Giveaway!

What if we're all monsters, on the inside?

Chloe was once a normal girl. Until the night of the car crash that nearly claimed her life. Now Chloe’s mother is dead, her father is a shell of the man he used to be and the secrets that had so carefully kept their family together are falling apart.

A new start is all Chloe and her father can hope for, but when you think you’re no longer human how can you ever start pretending?

A contemporary reworking of a British horror classic, Under My Skin follows seventeen-year-old Chloe into an isolated world of darkness and pain, as she struggles to understand what it really means to be alive.

Set against the familiar backdrop of everyday, normal teenage worries, Chloe's world has become anything but... 


Drawing more and more into myself, the biggest change I notice is in my nightmares. Ever since it happened, there’s only ever really been one – the same scene playing out in the same way every night. There was a brief respite when we first moved in, but now it’s back, and it’s starting to feature a whole new opening scene that makes no sense. Dad and I have talked about the dreams, because it’s kind of hard not to when you wake up screaming most nights. I’ve been trying to get my sleep during the day, to keep the tears and the terror away from him. Sometimes it works, sometimes I can read all night and sleep up in the attic most of the day, but it seems more and more that the only place I can really settle to a book is up there, and sleep tends to find me after my bath and my meds no matter what.
    There’s another reason I’d rather not wake him: when I wake up terrified, and he’s there beside me trying to comfort me – when I should feel safe and secure in his presence – I really don’t. I feel the exact opposite. He’s the last person I want to see; I’m scared that if there was anything dangerous in my room, or if I was stronger, or faster, I could really hurt him in that one, painfully clear moment when I remember what he did to us.
   I never hear him have nightmares. I’ve always wondered why.
   The dream has only ever starred me, Mum and Dad, but now a new character has found his way in, and I don’t really know what to make of him. He feels like some kind of doctor maybe, wearing a long, dark cloak with a hood that falls down low over a breathing mask with heavy ventilators to each side, and the combination of the two completely obscures his face. I don’t know who he is, or why he’s there, and it’s weird because everything else I dream about is so personal, and so real. He doesn’t speak, or even do anything. He’s just there. The only thing I hear is his breathing, rhythmic and ragged through the ventilator. I can’t see his eyes, but I can feel him watching me, and that’s all he does, watch, and breathe. He’s only ever there at the very start of my dream. He’s waiting for something, I think. I’m not sure I want to think about what.
    He makes me feel even more ‘unclean’, even more repulsive somehow. Like my body is such a perversion now that even the air around me has become dangerous. Like no one could ever be safe near me.
    The point at which he melts into the blackness around him is when my dream begins in earnest, and from here it’s always the same. Back to normal. I have to live through the experience over and over, every time I fall into a deep sleep.
    Don’t think.
    I try not to think so much, for so long, that sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left of me.

Author Bio

Zoë writes Young Adult fiction, blending dark twistiness with urban Britishness to produce unique, unsettling tales.

A full-time editor by day, Zoë writes by night, fueled by endless mugs of tea and an increasingly blurred distinction between fantasy & reality.

Zoë lives in the wilds of West Oxfordshire with her husband, son, and the obligatory two cats.

Giveaway - £25 Amazon giftcard!

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