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The New Mother, by Julia Crouch

The New Mother book cover

 

Famous influencer Rachel Rodrigues is taking her brand in a new direction: she’s pregnant! Behind her ‘authentic’ style is a team of experts and she decides to hire a mother’s help to care for her baby. She hires Abbie who is a huge fan. But both women are hiding secrets…
The New Mother is a psychological thriller and is the first book that I have read from this author.
It is not easy to like either of the main charcaters although both of them earned my sympathy at various points in the book. Rachel seems to have it all but she is suffering from frightening blackouts and is haunted by an event from the past. Abbie is shocked by the reality behind the brand that Rachel presents to the world. Her own deception involves lying to get the job and then hiding her past from Rachel.
There is an unsettling atmosphere to the book as we know that both lead charcaters are lying to each other. I spotted lots of clues that made me think ‘aha’ and then emjoyed seeing how the plot unfurled as the pace increased.
The book is written in the third person and alternates chapters with text from Instagram posts so that we see the power of social media. I read the detail of the IG posts versus reality with such a cynicism and a wry smile being a blogger myself!
The New Mother is thoroughly entertaining and I found myself caught up in Rachel and Abbie’s lives and deceptions.

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The New Mother book description:
Who would you trust with your precious family?
Wanted: full-time, live-in help for expectant mother. Must be organised, friendly and willing to do anything.
Rachel is determined to be the perfect mother. She has a birth plan, with a playlist and a bag ready by the door. She’s chosen a lovely light cream paint for the nursery, and in wide-eyed, innocent Abbie she’s found the perfect person to help her with her baby.
After all, every mother needs a bit of help, don’t they?
But Rachel needs a little more than most.
She still makes sure her bedroom door is locked before she goes to sleep. She still checks the cameras that are dotted throughout the house.
Rachel trusts Abbie. Even if Abbie’s smiles don’t always reach her eyes, and the stories she tells about her past don’t always add up, it doesn’t matter.
Because Rachel knows better than to trust herself…
From the bestselling author of Her Husband’s Lover, this is a truly gripping story about how far people will go to find a family. Filled with tension and twists to keep you glued to every page, it is perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari LaPena and The Girl on the Train.
author Julia Crouch
Author Bio:
Julia started off as a theatre director and playwright. While her children were growing up, she swerved into graphic design. After writing and illustrating two children’s books for an MA, she discovered that her great love was writing prose. The picture books were deemed too dark for publication, so, to save the children, she turned instead to writing for adults. Her first book, Cuckoo, was published in 2011, and she has been writing what she calls her Domestic Noir novels ever since. She also writes for TV and teaches on the Crime Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. She has three grown up children and lives in Brighton with her husband and two cats, Keith and Sandra.
http://juliacrouch.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/JuliaCrouchAuthor/
https://www.instagram.com/juliageek/
https://twitter.com/thatjuliacrouch
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://bit.ly/3a8iyJ3
Apple: https://apple.co/3FlxrGk
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3laxlJn
Google: https://bit.ly/3r9quRU

First Girl To Die, by Helen Phifer

First Girl To Die book cover
Detective Morgan Brookes is called to assist prevent the suicide of her childhood friend but Brittany’s behaviour is erratic and Morgan is not able to save her. The other former friends begin to act strangely too, possibly as a result of poison, and Morgan realises their lives are all in danger. Does the current situation relate to the death of a teenaged boy 5 years earlier…?
First Girl To Die is the fourth book by Helen Phifer to feature Morgan Brookes. I have reviewed all of the earlier books in the series: One Left Alive, The Killer’s Girl and The Hiding Place.
Morgan’s has personal involvement of the case and knowledge of the victims which increases the tension and emotion. She is also dealing with fallout from the previous books which involves her family and there are spoilers about her family members in this book.
Morgan’s boss Ben, with whom there is a spark of attraction, causes her great anguish in this book as he suspects her aunt of accidentlally poisoning the women using herbal tea. Morgan jumps straight to Ettie’s defence and finds herself increaslingly isolated within the police team.
The action is fast paced and there are plenty of victims despite Morgan’s frantic attempts to save her former friends. The chapters are quite short to maintain the momentum. The book is written in the third person, mostly in the present day but interpersed with chapters from 2016 to show the connection with the past.
First Girl To Die had me completely hooked and I look forward to the next book in the series.
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MEDIA PACK
Book: First Girl to Die
Author: Helen Phifer
Pub Day: Oct 11th 2021
Buy Links:
Amazon: https://geni.us/B0971BTGVGsocial
Apple: https://apple.co/3waIYTI
Kobo: https://bit.ly/3zhrgQv
Google: https://bit.ly/2TitVZB
About the Book:
Morgan shudders as she leans out of the window and takes in the familiar blonde curls and clear blue eyes of the fallen girl below. She knows this woman, and she realises with sickening certainty that her friend is now gone forever…
When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to the scene of a suicide, she’s devastated to recognise the young teacher sprawled out on the grass like a broken doll. She hasn’t seen Brittany for years. Not since the tragic death of Morgan’s high-school boyfriend ripped their friendship group apart. But when witnesses describe Brittany’s erratic behaviour and jumbled speech that morning, Morgan is convinced the fearless, life-loving girl she once knew didn’t jump of her own accord.
Traces of poison found in Brittany’s blood prove Morgan’s theory right, but no one can find the source. Then Morgan uncovers a distinctive jar in Brittany’s home filled with toxic herbs, and the sight of it turns her blood to ice. She has a jar just like it, a handmade gift from her aunt. Is this a coincidence, a set-up, or could the only person she’s ever trusted with her damaged past be capable of murder?
Then another woman from Morgan’s past is found, close to the scene of that fatal teenage party. Has Morgan been looking at this all wrong? Are these deaths connected to that deadly night? And how could someone from her own family possibly be involved?
With her aunt’s freedom and more innocent lives at stake, Morgan must dig deep into her painful memories for answers. Who else was there that night, and what exactly did they see? She must stop this twisted killer before any more of her old friends become new victims – but at what cost?
An absolutely heart-stopping and unputdownable crime thriller, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Lisa Regan and Rachel Abbott.

author Helen Phifer

Author Bio
Helen Phifer’s love of reading began with Enid Blyton, before progressing on to Laura Ingals Wilder and scaring herself with Steven King. If she can’t write for any particular reason she finds herself getting itchy fingers and really irritable. She loves reading as much as writing and is also very fond of chocolate, Prosecco, The Lake District, New York, white Zinfandel wine, her children and grandchildren, her friends, porn star martini cocktails, Stephen King, watching scary films, Marilyn Monroe, Melissa McCarthy, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Spandau Ballet, The Munsters and coffee. In no particular order.
Social Media
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenphifer1
Website: https://www.helenphifer.com/
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer/

#MischiefAndMemories blog linky 33

Say hello again to #MischiefAndMemories

Great to be back in action, sorry for the missing fortnight but sometimes life gets a little overwhelming. I hope you are all ok and have some fun planned for half term or Halloween.
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3 children’s books to get in the Halloween mood

The nights are drawing in and Halloween is approaching! I had a look through my children’s bookshelves to find some stories to encourage some spooky enjoyment.

First up is Spookyrumpus by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker-Rees. The scary Halloween charcters are gathering at midnight. Witches, ghosts, spiders, skeletons and more! This is a rhyming book with bright colourful pictures. The characters come to life in the illustrations but are not scary. The book counts backwards from 10 so also has an educational angle.
A book from my childhood that I have now shared with Anya: The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy. A classic novel of magical mayhem courtesy of inept witch Mildred Hubble. A new student at Miss Cackle’s Academy, she has a best friend Maud and nemesis Ethel as she tries to learn magic. But the school is threatened and Mildred is their only hope…
I was a bit late to the Harry Potter scene, not reading the first book until after the third was published. I was then firmly hooked on the series and queued at midnight to buy the final installment in 2007. Last year I began to read the books to the children each night and it has been lovely to share Harry’s adventures (we are currently reading Deathly Hallows and should be finished before Christmas)

Do you have any favorite books for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

 


The Secrets of Hawthorn Place, by Jenni Keer

 

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place book cover

1890s: Percy Gladwell, an architect, designs a beautiful house and falls in love with the woman who commissioned it. Will his love remain unrequited…?
Present day: Molly is unhappy in her job and is then dumped by her boyfriend so loses her home. She turns to her mum and stepdad for financial and emotional support but they are due to go abroad so encourage her to visit her grieving step-grandad. But she goes in a cupboard and emerges somewhere totally different…
The Secrets of Hawthorn Place is a dual timeline novel set in the 1890s and present day. It is the first book I have read by this author but won’t be the last as I loved it!
Molly is pampered, self-absorbed and plays the victim rather than taking responsibility for her life. She expects to be looked after and is shocked when her parents force her to stand on her own two feet. Molly has multiple dimensions and is a character who was interesting to follow over the course of the book.
I really enjoyed the dual timeline concept and admit that I hadn’t read the blurb so was transported just as magically as Molly when she finds herself in Norfolk. The mystery and connections between the past and present and the two houses had me captivated throughout.
The Secrets of Hawthorn Place was hugely entertaining. The combination of plot and characters worked together so well alongside an engaging writing style to bring the book to life.

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The Secrets of Hawthorn Place
Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always.
When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.
But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.
Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason.
What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…
Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/HawthornSecrets

 

author Jenni Keer

Author Bio –
Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.
Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.
Social Media Links –
FB Jenni Keer Writer
Twitter @JenniKeer
Instagram jennikeer

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Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

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