Saturday, 20 June 2015


My Thoughts on this intelligent and unsettling thriller ....


Published:  9 April 2015  (Paperback)
Publisher:  Penguin
Pages:  231  (Paperback)

Alice and Oliver Ryan seem blessed, both in their happy marriage and in their successful working partnership.  Their shared life is one of enviable privilege and ease.  Enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.

Afterwards, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story.  So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades.

It turns out that there is more to Oliver than Alice ever saw.  But only he knows what he has done to get the life to which he felt entitled.  And even he is in for a shock when his past catches up with him.

Award-winning writer of radio and television drama Liz Nugent's debut novel is a clever and page-turning story of why someone would suddenly change their behaviour in one terrible moment.

After Oliver's violent attack on his wife Alice, his life is seen from a different person's perspective, all people who have met Oliver from his early years to today, all stunned by his savage act.  We learn that he's selfish, controlling, a womaniser, unfaithful, but also a handsome and charismatic charmer.

But it's Oliver's story that makes for the most chilling reading.

We slowly build up a picture of Oliver, from his lonely school days in Ireland and his bitter and strained relationship with his father, an eventful summer on a French vineyard, to his successful career as a children's writer....all of which lead to the ultimate long-kept secrets.

This was a book that I couldn't put down, the writing was assured and compelling, never a sentence wasted, a very clever and dark look at how people can deceive and manipulate, all skilfully told.  I loved it!

Thanks to Catherine Ryan Howard at Penguin for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Available to buy from Amazon UK  -  Amazon US  -  Book Depository


About the Author

Liz Nugent has spent the last 20 years working in Irish film, theatre and television.  For the last decade, she has been an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults.

Follow her on twitter:  @lizzienugent


Follow me on twitter: @Cazbah88
Pinterest:  CaroleColbert
Bloglovin:  CarolesBookCorner

Monday, 15 June 2015

Spotlight and Giveaway of BYE, BYE LOVE BY KJ LARSEN

Bye, Bye Love

by KJ Larsen

on Tour June 2015


Chicago’s Pants On Fire Detective Agency targets liars and cheats. But PI Cat DeLuca is once again up to her smokin’ skinny jeans in murder.
Cat is out running in a neighborhood park when she crashes over the faceless body of Bernie Love. Bernie was the finance guy to the scary Provenza family, with whom he grew up. And friend to Cat’s shady, Ferrari-wheeling-cop Uncle Joey. As she hauls out her phone, Cat is assaulted by someone with a Rolex, stun gun, and wheelbarrow. When the cops show up, the killer is gone. And so is the body.
Captain Bob, a stickler for habeas corpus, blows off Cat’s story. Stung by a chorus of snickers from the Ninth Precinct, home base for DeLuca men, Cat vows to make her case and goes after Rolex man. The murderer, desperate to silence the only person who can place him at the park, comes after Cat. She’s quickly on a collision course with the deadliest adversary she’s ever encountered—but she has the help of her beagle partner, her gun-happy assistant, an ex-spy (or two), and her outrageous, interfering Italian family. Meanwhile, her hot, FBI-boyfriend seems sidelined in Vegas.
In Bye, Bye, Love, K.J. Larsen delivers another nail-biting tale rife with unexpected plot twists, zany characters, fabulous food, and laugh-out-loud humor.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: Aprl 7, 2015
Number of Pages: 28
ISBN: 9781464203831
Series: Cat DeLuca Mystery #4 (Each is a Stand-Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One
I was staking out the LeGrande Hotel on Asher and sucking the creamy filling out of a cannoli. My fingers absently drummed out a beat on the steering wheel while I kept an eye on a brunette in the hotel parking lot. Her name is Cookie Allen. Cookie’s married to Jerry, a wiry man with a birdlike face and a wild nest of yellow hair. Jerry’s an inquisitive kind of guy. He wants to know why his wife reeks of Brut Cologne.
It’s not exactly rocket science. Cookie Allen has a lover. She left telltale signs and a big trail of cookie crumbs. A dumbass could figure it out. But not Jerry. He’s hired me to spell it out for him.
I’m a great speller.
My name is Cat DeLuca and I’m a Private Dick—though I prefer Jane. I don’t investigate for insurance companies or work for ambulance-chasers. I won’t find your high school sweetheart. But if you’re in Chicagoland and you suspect your partner is stepping out, call me. I kick ass at catching cheaters.
Last week Jerry showed up at my office, his brain in deep freeze. His wife’s betrayal was slapping him in the face, but he was swimming in denial. It happens in this business. You know your relationship is in the toilet but you’re not ready to go there. So your mind creates an alternative scenario as a coping mechanism. It’s a temporary state of insanity.
That’s where I come in.
“What do you think is happening with your wife, Jerry?”
His small, birdlike chin quivered. “What do you mean?”
“I dunno. The late nights, unexplained absences. A sudden disinterest in sex and all things you.”
“I think it’s the change. I hear it affects women that way.”
“Your wife is twenty-six years old.”
“It’s not the change.”
Jerry scrunched his face, searching for an explanation other than the obvious. I stopped him before he could decide his wife had a part-time job moonlighting for Brut.
“The Brut Factory is in Texas,” I said.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Just sayin’.”
Jerry sighed and gnawed on beakish lips. “I don’t wanna make no trouble.”
“God, no.”
“So what will you do?”
“I’m gonna shadow her.”
His eyes flashed alarm. “If Cookie thinks I don’t trust her…”
“She won’t know I was there. It’s what I do”.
He dragged out a roll of antacids, popped a handful in his mouth, and chewed furiously.
“Here’s the plan. I’ll be in the hospital parking lot when your wife’s shift ends on Sunday. I’ll tail her—”
His eyes widened.
“Not to worry. I’m the queen of discretion. I’ll keep a diary of her movements. Make a note of anyone she has contact with.”
He nodded staring through me, his brain still on ice.
I wanted to shake him, but I put a hand on his arm and flashed an encouraging smile.
“I got this, Jerry. You’re going to be OK. I’m armed with spy-eye binoculars and my super, high-powered camera. I’ll snag some steamy 8 by 10 glossies and when I deliver them to you your brain will thaw.”
He nodded and then his head did a double take. “Huh?”
A horn blared from the street in front of the hotel. Cookie was too busy fidgeting with her hair to notice. She was primping for Brut Boy. I popped the newest Pink album into the CD player, stretched my legs, and waited.
Cookie Allen works as an X-ray tech at Mercy Hospital and I was waiting when her shift ended at 2:30. At 2:31 she bolted out the door and barreled to her car. She gave her face a five-minute touch up and perked up the girls before pulling the red Mazda Miata out of her parking spot. I was on her like sauce on spaghetti. She headed down Twenty-sixth and hit the Dan Ryan toward the west end, hell and gone from her house in Bridgeport. Her first stop was a dry cleaner’s on South Ashland. Cookie dropped off a small bag of clothes, then took a quick spin by Lovers Package. Next stop was Walgreen’s for a Snickers bar, some mints, and a copy of Soap Opera Digest. And like a cherry on top, a can of whipping cream. I didn’t have to be a top-notch detective to know one thing. Some Mama’s son was gonna get lucky tonight.
The G in the neon LeGrande Hotel sign sputtered, making it quiver almost hypnotically. I mentally slapped myself and opened my surveillance cooler. It was stocked with Tino’s pizza, sausages, and Mama’s Mediterranean chicken. As well as her unrivaled cannoli. It will drop you to your knees.
I tossed a sausage to the beagle in the backseat. Inga is my partner at the Pants on Fire Detective Agency. She has soulful brown eyes and an ever-joyful tail. She’s fiercely loyal and better company than most people I know.
I poured a cup of coffee and let the steam warm my face. I get what Jerry’s going through. My brief marriage to Johnnie Rizzo was a crash course in infidelity. It was like a knife to the gut. Johnnie was a serial cheater, scoring like an Olympic athlete.
But then, love can be brutal.
Sometimes you gotta get up, brush yourself off, and take your life back. You go out with your friends and exorcise your lying ex with shameless quantities of tequila and chocolate. You listen to the voice inside you that says you’ll create a better life than you ever imagined. Even if it’s the tequila talking.
A cool late autumn breeze blew off the lake. I hunched down in my silver Honda Accord and tugged my coat tighter around me. I didn’t want to fire up my engine and draw attention to myself. I figured this gig wouldn’t last long. The LeGrande is known for renting rooms by the hour. I doubt the sheets change as often as the guests.
Inga kissed my cheek and jumped into the passenger seat to negotiate for more sausages. A beat up blue construction van pulled into the hotel parking lot. Cookie lept from the car, feet dancing, before Brut Boy killed the engine. Her husband, Jerry, may look like a bird. But her lover was a big burly bear of a guy with dark curly hair exploding from his neckline. Cookie seemed to be exploring a wide spectrum of the animal kingdom.
They ran into each other’s arms and held tight for a long time. When they pulled back, they gazed deep in each other’s eyes and laughed.
I’ve been in this business a long time. And I’ve found people are driven to cheat for a variety of reasons: for the thrill, revenge, self-undoing, conquest, boredom, emptiness, or a sense of loss. Sometimes, it’s just for a lack of good sense. Some people cheat because they think they won’t get caught. Others just wanna get busted.
I’d probably never know how the affair between Cookie and her bear of a lover began. But I believed she was here today because they were in love. I aimed my camera, knowing I’d hate passing the pics on to Jerry. Cookie’s lover wore a wedding ring. I knew Cookie and Jerry didn’t have kids. It would be too much to hope her lover’s marriage would dissolve so cleanly.
She put an arm around his waist and they drifted my way. I buried my face in the latest O! Magazine. The lovers ambled past me and into the hotel, his hand resting on her bum.
I tossed another sausage into the backseat. “Back in a flash, Inga. This won’t take long.”
I grabbed my flower print handbag with the hidden camcorder and strode to the heavy oak and glass doors. I was locked, loaded, and ready for love.
Or at least ready to expose it on 8 by 10 color glossies. I paused a moment beneath the quivering neon G and taking a deep, heady breath of Brut, tromped into the hotel behind them.

Author Bio:

authorOne day three sisters, linked by a voracious love of mysteries, set off to write their own. Hunched over a mojito and bucket of steamer clams, the Pants On Fire Detective Agency was born. Julianne, Kristen and Kari Larsen, (horse trainer, minister and irreverent baker) deliver a sizzling read and easy smile. Liar Liar is the first book in the Cat DeLuca mysteries. The sisters live in the Pacific Northwest and Chicago area and are currently at work on Cat’s next, most fabulous adventure.

Catch Up:
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Tour Participants:

Don't Miss this Snazzy Giveaway:

Open to US only

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for KJ Larsen & Poisoned Pen Press. There will be one winner of 1 Box of Poisoned Pen Press books including Bye, Bye Love by KJ Larsen. The giveaway begins on June 1st, 2015 and runs through June 3rd, 2015
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