Blog Tour: Fatal Music – Peter Morfoot

Synopsis:

Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to a potential crime scene – an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first it is thought that she died of natural causes, but a surprising link with Darac’s own life leads him to dig deeper. In doing so he uncovers disturbing proof that there may have been a motive to kill the woman, and there is no shortage of suspects…

Release Date: April 4th 2017
Pages: 352
Publisher: Titan Books
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads

Now read an interview with author Peter Morfoot!

1. For those that haven’t read Fatal Music, could you tell us a little about it?

Following Impure Blood, (Titan Books April, 2016) Fatal Music is the second novel in my series featuring the jazz-playing, quick-thinking, warm-hearted but combustible Captain Paul Darac of Nice’s Serious Crimes Squad, the Brigade Criminelle. Opening on the anniversary of the ban on smoking in public places in France, themes of change, loss and new beginnings run through the story which spans the full width of Nice’s social spectrum.

It begins with the discovery of the remains of a 71 year-old woman in her hot tub. When it is found that she had suffered from a heart condition and other maladies, death by natural causes seems the obvious conclusion. Although the death initially offers little of interest to Darac and his team, the dead woman herself comes to fascinate the detective. And then a series of anomalies starts to gnaw at him.

The case is complicated by a number of personal factors for Darac. But he must leave aside allegiances past and present to disentangle a story of greed, deception and escalating murder – murder in which Darac himself becomes a target.

2. Had you always planned to write more than one Darac novel?

Absolutely. I’ve said elsewhere that one of the things I enjoy most about reading crime series – Jim Kelly’s impressive D.I. Peter Shaw novels, for instance – is following the lives of its central character and supporting players as they develop over time. The same applies to writing series. Having created Darac, his team and his world, I can’t wait to see what will happen to them next.

3. What inspired you to write a dark crime series?

I’ve always loved reading crime fiction but for years I wrote nothing but comedy. And scripted comedy for broadcast, at that. It wasn’t until I’d written a successful comic novel that I realised I could tackle full-length prose work. I thought that the vibrant light of the South of France seemed the perfect backdrop for venturing into the dark.

4. Who are the authors that have inspired you most?

What writer wouldn’t be inspired by the 60-year career of Broadway playwright and Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht? Gifted as well as prolific, he wrote everything from tense thrillers such as Alfred Hitchock’s Notorious and Spellbound to fabulous laugh-out-loud comedies like The Front Page and Monkey Business. In terms of prose, I still get a buzz from reading the American hard-boiled trio of Chandler, Hammett and Ross Macdonald. And two contemporary writers make my starting line-up of inspirers: the peerless John Le Carré; and the quirkily brilliant Fred Var
gas. And see question 7 for a newcomer to my team.

5. With Fatal Music about to be released, what are you working on next?

Having already completed the third Darac story, Box of Bones, (Titan Books, April 2018) I’m excited at how the fourth in the series is progressing. In this new story… but that would be telling.

6. Was there lots of research involved in writing gritty and realistic fiction?

“If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is something of a cliché but researching adequately is an essential part of the process of writing anything. Like any crime fan, I’m fascinated by forensics and pathology so it’s no hardship to settle down with tomes such as Stevens and Bannon’s Book of Posions, (Writer’s Digest Books, 2007), and similar works.

though – initially in having to get to grips with a legal, penal and policing system that is very different from ours in the UK. In terms of the local situation, it’s been invaluable to talk to both beat and senior officers in Nice. As for the setting itself, I’ve got to know the city and its environs well over the years,
certainly well enough for it to feature as a character in its own right in the stories. And I hope that comes across. At times, the French setting of the Darac series has presented a challenge,

7. Finally, what’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Adam Mars-Jones is best known for his penetrating, sometimes lacerating, literary criticism. I discovered only recently that he writes novels, too. And he does so brilliantly. Pilcrow and Cedilla (Faber, 2008, and 2011, respectively) centre on the young life of John Cromer, a boy who suffers from a crippling form of arthritis. Physically tiny, immobile and vulnerable, the character nevertheless struts through his life with a chirpy confidence that is touching, funny and utterly compelling. Disarmingly, Mars-Jones has said that nothing much happens in the two novels and what does happen happens slowly. Every page, though, offers reading pleasures aplenty and having devoured Pilcrow more or less at one sitting, I got stuck into Cedilla immediately. It provided an equally delicious experience. Mars-Jones puts the reader so surely into the head and world of John Cromer that many readers assume the writer himself must have suffered from the disease as a child. He didn’t. That’s genius.


Blog Tour: Done Dirt Cheap – Sarah Nicole Lemon

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Synopsis:

Tourmaline Harris’s life hit pause at fifteen, when her mom went to prison because of Tourmaline’s unintentionally damning testimony. But at eighteen, her home life is stable, and she has a strong relationship with her father, the president of a local biker club known as the Wardens.

Virginia Campbell’s life hit fast-forward at fifteen, when her mom “sold” her into the services of a local lawyer: a man for whom the law is merely a suggestion. When Hazard sets his sights on dismantling the Wardens, he sends in Virginia, who has every intention of selling out the club—and Tourmaline. But the two girls are stronger than the circumstances that brought them together, and their resilience defines the friendship at the heart of this powerful debut novel.

 

I absolutely loved this book, the two main characters, Tourmaline and Virginia are fantastic, and you can check out my review of Done Dirt Cheap tomorrow. In the mean time check out these fab character profiles!

Done Dirt Cheap was published March 7th by Amulet Books.


Blog Tour: Follow Me Down – Sherri Smith

Release Date: 21st March 2017
Pages: 400
Publisher: Titan Books
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads

Synopsis:

Mia has built a life for herself far from the small town where she grew up. But she is forced to return home when her brother goes missing. Once the golden boy of the community, Lucas has disappeared the same day as the body of his student is pulled from the river. Unable to reconcile the media’s portrayal of Lucas as a murderer with her own memories of him, Mia is desperate to find another suspect. But if Lucas is innocent, why did he run?

Review:

Follow Me Down is a wild ride of a novel that will have you hooked from the very first page. This dark and twisty thriller is going to be one of the most popular books of 2017 – I can feel it.

This book is a dark one, but in the best way. The characters are complex and often unlikable, but that adds an even more realistic quality to the story. I’ve read a few psychological thrillers recently, and this one is absolutely my favorite. I normally come up with a theory for a book like this, and stick with it for the duration of the story. But Follow Me Down had me creating new theories all the time, constantly trying to figure out what was going on. A lot of the time I guess correctly, but that absolutely didn’t happen with this one. I was kept in the dark right till the end.

The cover is also dark and alluring. It definitely draws you in – exactly like the plot of the book. Little hints and droplets of information are given throughout the story, but you’ll still be absolutely surprised by the twists and turns.  I don’t want to give any parts of the story away, this one is so wonderful you definitely need to read it unspoiled.

The story is told from Mia’s perspective, who is complex and dealing with more than your average protagonist. She’s a fascinating character, dealing with a drug addiction and it was really interesting to see the story unfold from her point of view. She’s a really complex character, and is fantastically well written. She’s a determined character, and she puts all energy into proving Lucas’s innocence.

This book has small town secrets and an unexpected murder. If you’re a fan of Gone Girl style thrillers, you should run out and buy this immediately, trust me you’ll be hooked straight away, and you won’t want to put it down.


Interview: Meg Howrey, Author of The Wanderers

For those that haven’t read The Wanderers, can you tell us a little about it?

A three-member crew of astronauts is being trained and tested for the first human mission to Mars by spending seventeen months inside a series of simulators. The story is told from the point of view of each crew member, and also from the people they will be leaving behind, and an observer tasked with evaluating the astronauts. It’s a story about inner space, ambition, the problem of deciding what is “real” and what “real” even means. It’s a space book about humans. To quote one of the characters: “It’s Chekhov in Space!”

What inspired you to write The Wanderers?

I read a newspaper article about a project called Mars500. This was a study done by the European and Russian space agencies. Six volunteers spent 520 days in a specially constructed module, with the idea of trying to understand some of the psychological stresses a crew might experience in a real Mars mission. I couldn’t get the story out of my head, and even though I’d never written anything remotely to do with space science, I had to try.

What was the research process like, given the novel deals with space exploration?

People did not see me for long periods of time, because I was buried under books and papers. I went to lectures, I did a space science course (Space Camp!) and booked sessions in a sensory deprivation tank. (Very relaxing, actually.) It was wonderful, but it took time, about four years to write the book.

The cover for the book is absolutely stunning! Did you have any input on the cover, and what was your reaction when you saw it?

Oh, thank you, isn’t it beautiful? My publishers actually tried a couple of different versions before we got to this one. I was so impressed with how hard people worked, how much they cared about getting it right. When they sent me the final version, I was stunned. It’s absolutely perfect.

What’s on your to read pile at the moment, are there any new releases you’re particularly excited about?

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, Rachel Cusk’s “Transit”, and a Shirley Jackson short story collection: “Let Me Tell You” are up next. I’m also really looking forward to Elif Batuman’s novel “The Idiot.” I loved her book of non-fiction essays.

What are you working on next?

I’m working on a new novel now, but can’t say much about it yet. Books are beasts and can run away or bite, so you have to approach carefully and with patience.

Finally, what’s your favourite book you’ve read recently?

Sometimes I like listening to audio books, as a way of re-reading a novel I haven’t picked up in a while. I just finished listening to Claire Danes perform Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It’s a book I read many years ago, and before I started writing myself. This time, I was in awe of the enormous craft of the book’s precision and pacing, and deeply enjoying that, and also chilled and horrified by the vision, by how close it feels, how plausible. It’s a terrible book to read right now, and the perfect book to read right now.

The Wanderers by Meg Howrey is published in hardback by Scribner at £14.99.


Blog Tour: The Special Girls – Isabelle Grey

Series: DI Grace Fisher #3
Release Date: April 6th 2017
Publisher: Quercus
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.

Detective Fisher is back with a new case.

Synopsis:

A seemingly perfect man is accused of horrendous crimes. It should be an open and shut case – but is there more to it than meets the eye?

A young psychiatric registrar is found dead in the woods outside a summer camp for young eating disorder patients, run by the charismatic, world-renowned Professor Ned Chesham. DI Grace Fisher investigates, but it is not long before she is pulled from the case – to head up a Metropolitan Police review into a cold case involving Chesham himself.

Nearly twenty years ago, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her. The investigation at the time found no conclusive proof, but Grace soon discovers another victim, and a witness whose account never reached the police. Does this mean the original investigation was bungled? Scotland Yard would certainly like her to conclude otherwise.

As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the young doctor’s murder, she discovers the full extent of the damage done to Chesham’s ‘special girls’ – and the danger they are still in.

Review:

Welcome to the first stop on the blog tour for The Special Girls! This is book three in the DI Grace Fisher series, set between Essex and London. This story is dark, grisly and a really exciting crime thriller.

I don’t want to tell much of the story – it’s a wild ride and one you’re absolutely going to be absolutely hooked on from the get go – but the main focus of the investigation is child abuse. I found this a really thought-provoking read, especially given that such stories are now often in the daily media. This book is a really realistic book, and one that explores a really important issue.

I personally haven’t read the previous books in this series, but that absolutely didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book. It can definitely be read as a stand alone, and I for one am now desperate to read the previous two books in the series. Grey writes in a well written and very character driven plot. The book is very realistic, with the characters seeming very human and lifelike. The police proceedings too seem very believable, and that helps to continually suck you back into the story.

Grey is really fantastic at keeping the tension going. As the story continues on and you begin to have lots of questions about the investigation (because trust me you will) and Grey manages to keep the tension going, whilst giving you a few surprises along the way. If you’re looking for a well written police procedural book, with plenty of twists and turns, The Special Girls is exactly what you’re looking for.

 

 


Cover Reveal: Skin Deep – Laura Wilkinson

Synopsis:

It’s what’s inside that counts…

Art student and former model Diana has always been admired for her beauty, but what use are good looks when you want to shine for your talent? Insecure and desperate for inspiration, Diana needs a muse.

Facially disfigured four-year-old Cal lives a life largely hidden from the world. But he was born to be looked at and he needs love too. A chance encounter changes everything and Cal becomes Diana’s muse. But as Diana’s reputation develops and Cal grows up, their relationship implodes.

Both struggle to be accepted for what lies within.

Is it possible to find acceptance in a society where what’s on the outside counts for so much?

Doesn’t it sound fantastic? The book is published on the 15th of June 2017 by Accent Press! Finally, here is the cover!

What a fantastic cover! What do you think? Tweet the Accent Press team and let them know what you think, or comment below!


Blog Tour: Geekerella – Ashley Poston

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the gorgeous Geekerella, I reviewed this book a few months ago, and you can check that review out here!
Now check out a guest post from the lovely Ashley Poston  about her first fandom, and the age of livejournal!

 

My First Fandom:


Come back with me to a time when Little Ash was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and knew little of the world outside of books an
d Mario Kart. Come, come back when LiveJournal was a fresh land of imagination and wonder…

And let me tell you about my first fandom.

I stumbled into it quite by accident. I think most of us do. We’re kids, or teenagers, or adults, searching for something that will fill a small, secretive space of ourselves that nothing else has. Perhaps we search for the fandom itself, or perhaps people to share it with—someone else with the same sort of spark. And it just so happens that most of us find each other online, in message boards or geocites or LiveJournal communities. We each, in our own time, embark on this quest when we hear the call.

I just so happened to embark when I was twelve. I remember the moment my spark ignited—it was a rainy afternoon after school and there was nothing else on TV. This was back when the local cable channel aired a kid’s block after school. It was a Thursday at four o’clock in the afternoon.

And so, without anything else on TV, I succumb myself to a show about a children’s card game. Episode Seven. The Evil Spirit of the Ring had trapped our heroes into their favorite cards, and so it was the duty of the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle to duel for their souls. Not like pistol duels. But with monster cards. I know—I know.

That was the end of my simple life as I knew it.

You could say it was fate, or destiny, or the heart of the cards guiding me to that singular moment in time—but let’s face it: I was bored and curious.

If you haven’t guessed it by now, my first fandom was Yu-Gi-Oh! And I was absolute trash for it.

Like you know all those old early-2000s binders with clear plastic outsides? Mine were filled with fanart of my OTP—I will puzzleship until I diewhile the inside held print-outs of my favorite fanfics. And inside those thin computer pages was where my real fandom heart began to beat in earnest. I poured over the craft—and by “craft” I mean the mechanics of my favorite ship(s). How they functioned together, how different authors wrote my ships differently, what I liked (and what I disliked), and what I wanted to emulate.

I remember this one fanfic—I found in on LiveJournal back when LiveJournal Communities were a thing and people waited eagerly for the newest installation of their favorite fics. It’s been so long, I can’t remember the title of the fanfic in question, and I’ve since lost the binder I had printed it out and stored it into, but I remember how I felt while reading it. It was a fic that followed the arc of one of the seasons, and the author wrote about the down-times not otherwise specified in the anime or manga

The best I can describe it is this way—you know a Miyazaki film? How his films, for the most part, are filled with dips and lulls of the unseen? His movies take a slower pace, lingering on blades of grass, on mundane chores and slices of life. He once described these moments to Roger Ebert as “ma”—and clapped three times. The spaces between his claps were the “ma” or the “dead time.”

This odd Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic was filled with dead time, and it was the most interesting thing I had read. Not because it was fast-paced or dramatic, but because it lingered. It moved from one scene to the next with an exquisite eye for detail. I poured over that fanfic. I studied the dialogue, the emotional cues, the character arcs.

I wish I could find that fanfic again. Perhaps I remember it better than it actually was, but reading that fanfic helped me decide to write it. That story pushed me just enough to build a dreamwhere, someday, my words could mean as much to someone as those words meant to me.

And so, I wrote my first fanfic and I tumbled into the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! And from there, a book I never knew open wide to all of its glorious pages, and I found myself surrounded by people with that same flickering spark inside.


“Oh,
you too?” my spark would blink.

And theirs would always answer, “Me, too.”

Since then, no matter where I found myself in life, I could just look to my spark, and knew that wherever I was—I was home.

What was your first fandom? Comment below!

 

About Ashley:

Ashley Poston’s fangirl heart has taken her everywhere from the houses of Hollywood screenwriters to the stages of music festivals to geeky conventions (in

cosplay, of course). She lives in South Carolina, where she hangs around the internet tweeting at @AshPoston.

Geekerella is published on the 4th of April 2017 by Quirk Books. 


ARC Review: The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel

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Release Date: 7th March 2017
Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Pages:  288
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.

This is one dark and twisty thriller.

Synopsis:

Beautiful.
Rich.
Mysterious.
Everyone wants to be a Roanoke girl.

But you won’t when you know the truth.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls.

But what she doesn’t know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice…

Review:

I first heard about this book on Twitter, and it was getting a lot of buzz around it quite early on. It sounded so mysterious and the synopsis gives so little away that I was completely desperate to read it. The tag line of ‘most taboo thriller of 2017’ also definitely piqued my interest. However will all the hype I was a bit concerned it wouldn’t live up to expectation. I can safely say after about two chapters I was completely hooked and all productivity went out the window as I always dying to know what was coming next.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of Lane, and alternates between the summer she spent in Roanoke, and the current day. I sometimes found this a little jarring, not quite being sure whether we were in present day, that fatal summer or sometimes a flash back to Lane’s life before she moved to Roanoke. There are also chapters from the other Roanoke girls, telling the story of what happened to them. These were really fascinating, even if I had to flip back to the family tree in order to work out which girl was which. Despite the plot really kept me hooked, giving you little hints and ideas about what is going, and really drops some bombshells early on, grabbing you hook line and sinker.

Lane returns to Roanoke because of her cousin Allegra – all the Roanoke girls disappear, and Lane comes home to find out why her cousin has disappeared. I developed loads of ideas about what had happened to her. I did guess correctly, but it took me a while to figure that out, and my knowing that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the ending at all. It’s fantastically written, and the dark, foreboding atmosphere continues to build and build,  making for a really tense story.

One of the most stand out things about The Roanoke Girls are the complex characters. From Lane and Allegra to Tommy and Cooper, everyone has their own dark motivations, and each character is very well thought out and introduced. They’re complex three dimensional characters and really bring the story to life.

The Roanoke Girl is dark, with some seriously messed up characters. I know the taboo aspect will put some people off, but this is a powerfully written and haunting story that makes for one hell of a read.


Blog Tour: Where the Wild Cherries Grow – Laura Madeleine

26210511Welcome to the Where the Wild Cherries Grow blog tour! Check out an exclusive extract below!

Synopsis:

I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before. It was like tasting for the first time. Like discovering colour . . .

It is 1919 and the war is over, but for Emeline Vane the cold Norfolk fens only are haunted by memories of those she has lost. In a moment of grief, she recklessly boards a train and runs from it all.

Her journey leads her far away, to a tiny seaside village in the South of France. Taken in by cafe owner Maman and her twenty-year-old son, Emeline discovers a world completely new to her: of oranges, olives and wild herbs, the raw, rich tastes of the land.

But when a love affair develops, as passionate as the flavours of the village, secrets from home begin blowing in on the sea wides. Fifty years later, a young solictor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary, and begins to trace a story of betrayal, love and bittersweet secrets that will send him on a journey to discover the truth…

 

 

 

March 1919

 

For the second time that day, a scent pulled me out of sleep. At first I was confused in the darkness, but it found me again, impossible to ignore: onions, frying fish, spices that hovered at the edge of recognition. I pushed myself up on to my elbows and sniffed. I had no notion of how much time had passed, or even what day it was. All I knew was that I was ravenous.

I crawled from the blankets. Tiredness clung to me as I found the wooden shutters and pulled them open. Outside, it was dark. Carefully, I shunted open the frame, too. The noise of the sea rushed up to greet me. I had no idea it was so close. I could smell it, mingling with the scent of cooking from below.

And there were voices, many voices, talking, laughing. Light spilled from the ground floor of the Fourniers’ house, stretching across a dirt road and down on to what looked like a beach. Occasionally, a wave would catch the edge of the light.

I crept down the creaking staircase, like a child at a party. The smell grew stronger, the heat of cooking wafted up to greet me and my stomach growled. My body had definite ideas about what it wanted and that was food, and drink – and soon. I stepped into the kitchen.

Clémence stood at the stove. It dominated the space, a huge black range fuelled by wood, which added its irresistible scent to the cooking. Dozens of pots and pans and skillets hung from the walls, blackened from use. Shelves on either side held jars and tins, bunches of dried herbs, bottles of liquid. A shallow bowl sat near Clémence’s elbow, filled to the brim with glistening sea salt.

She was tending to three pans at once. In two, chunks of white fish were frying, a coating of flour turning them crisp and golden. In the third, I could see onions and herbs bubbling in oil. A heavy thud from the table made me jump and I turned to see Aaró, a mallet in his hand, crushing something on a wooden board.

‘It smells wonderful,’ I called over the sizzling. ‘What are you cooking?’
Clémence flipped the fish deftly with one hand, reaching for a tin with the other.
‘Dinner.’
I watched, fascinated, as she shook a bright red powder into the onions. Immediately a scent rose, sweet and smoky, turning everything in the pan a deep crimson. Swiftly, she added the fish, a slosh of wine from an unmarked bottle, a ladleful of broth from a pan at the back of the stove.

I’d never seen anything like it. No weights or measures or hesitancy. She cooked by instinct, moved like lightning, as if her hands knew what to do on their own. At my cooking classes, we had been taught to work slowly and prudently, in pinches and thimbles and tiny slivers.

She slurped a bit of the bubbling sauce from a wooden spoon, nodded once and pushed it to a cooler part of the stove.

‘If you want to help,’ she said over her shoulder as she glugged oil into a new pan, ‘ask Aaró.’

The young man was still using the mallet to crush something up, making noises to himself that I knew he couldn’t hear. It was garlic, I saw, two entire heads of it. The smell was intense; it made my eyes and my mouth water at the same time. We had never used garlic at my classes. The teacher had deemed it ‘too coarse’ a flavour for the palate of young ladies. She would’ve swooned at the sight of this. I smiled and Aaró looked up, with his bright grey eyes.
‘Can I help?’ I pointed to the garlic and to me, hoping that Clémence would step in and translate, but she was busy slapping another half-dozen pieces of fish into a pan. Aaró frowned, looking down at the garlic, not understanding. I tried again, pointing to me, then him, then a bowl, to no avail.

Perhaps it was my useless expression, but abruptly he glanced at his mother, clanging away at the stove, and his face lit up with realization. He beckoned me forward.

He dumped the pulverized garlic cloves into a huge pestle and mortar that stood beside him, threw in a handful of rough salt, and began to mash it all into a paste. He had strong hands, I saw, as tanned as his face and callused across the fingers. I had never known a man who could cook, but Aaró moved like his mother, swift and comfortable. It was wonderful to watch.

He waved his hand before my face to get my attention. I nodded to show I was watching. He took up a tin can with a long, thin spout and dropped a tiny amount of golden-green oil into the garlic. He worked it in, slowly and methodically, then added another few drops, before handing over the tin to me.

We worked that way, heads close, until the mortar was magically filled with a smooth, cre
amy, yellow substance. Smiling to himself, Aaró stuck his little
finger into it and tasted before indicating that I should do the same.

The flavour exploded on my tongue. It was like nothing I had ever eaten, strong and rich and sweet all at once. Forgetting myself, I reached out again, only to find my hand slapped away by Aaró. We smiled at each other, and once again I felt that strange urge to step closer, to study his face.

But Clémence called me over. She was pouring the steaming stew into two enormous serving bowls.

‘Take these if you want to help.’ She shoved several loaves of crusty bread into my arms and pointed to a tray. I was so preoccupied with hunger and cooking with Aaró that I had forgotten the sound of voices from the front of the house, didn’t even consider it until I stepped through a curtained doorway and was confronted by the sight of two-dozen strangers.

 

Where the Wild Cherries Grow is absolutely fantastic, publishing June 15th from Black Swan. Make sure to check out the other stops on the tour, and stop by later today for a review of this gorgeous book!


Blog Tour: Boundary – Andrée A. Michaud

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Synopsis:

Where deep woods cover the Maine border, blending together two countries and two languages, the summer of 1967 is a time of fear. Teenage beauties Sissy Morgan and Zaza Mulligan wander among the vacation cottages in the community of Boundary, attracting the attention of boys and men, before they’re found gruesomely murdered — felled by long-dead woodsman’s bear traps. Andrée, the little girl whose name nobody can pronounce, watches the police investigate, unaware of how profoundly these events will impact her passage into womanhood.

Reminiscent of Scandinavian thrillers by Asa Larsson, Henning Mankell, and others, Boundary was a crossover hit when first published in the French, winning both the Governor General’s Award for literature and the Arthur Ellis Prize for mystery novels. By weaving a tale of unbearable suspense and meticulously evoked atmosphere, Michaud transforms endless forests, haunted people, and primal terror into an irresistibly gripping summer read.

Guest Post:

Now read on for a guest post from Andrée about the locations within the novel!

Most of my novels take place in the country, in small communities surrounded by woods, because nature is part of my universe and always becomes a character among other characters.

It’s therefore not a surprise that I chose Boundary Pond, a place where my father used to take me when I was a little girl, to be one of the characters, if not the main character, in Boundary. The last time I went to Bondrée (as we say in my village and the nearby towns) I must have only been eight or nine, but my memories of the lake, of the mountain, and of the fog cascading down it, always remained very clear in my mind.

I admit it’s perfectly possible that I remodeled these memories, as the years went by, to embellish the landscape of Boundary in the same way we embellish a lot of memories from childhood, but what’s important, for me, is that I never forgot the place nor its atmosphere. It’s this atmosphere I tried to create in the novel, accentuated by the presence of the mountain, the lake and the deep forest. On that subject, I have to say there is always water in my books; if not a lake then a brook, a river, a shore, a canal in Venice, to reflect both the dark and the light sides of the story, the feelings of the characters, the fear you sometimes experience when standing in front of what is hiding from you, in front of depths you cannot reach.

The Bondrée I knew was, however, very different from the Boundary of the book. There were only two or three cabins around the lake, and only a few hunters during the Fall. In Summer, the place was given back to nature and looked like, I presume, the Boundary that Pete Landry knew, the trapper who is at the origin of the whole story, even if he’s dead when it starts. I somewhat reimagined the place for the purposes of the book. I stretched the lake a little, added some cottages and a camping site, a shining sun at the summit of Moose trap, the mountain, and I was ready to let Pete Landry’s traps raise from the soil, to let foxes cross Otter and Weasel Trail, and to introduce to this landscape a number of characters who are blissfully unaware that the Summer of ’67, the so-called ‘Summer of Love’, would for them be a season of fear and incomprehensible violence; a season at the end of which they would never be the same again.

It’s what you should expect when you lose a paradise.