#PaperbackPublicationDay for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

It’s Happy Paperback Publication Day for The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and to celebrate Quercus Books are giving you the chance to win a copy of The Flatshare with its brilliantly quirky new cover!

To win a copy just leave a comment underneath this post!

About Beth O’Leary

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.

You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

Follow @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks on Twitter, on Instagramon Goodreads, Visit theflatshare.co.ukBuy The FlatShare


This book surprised me. It has the kind of charm that makes it memorable. The main character, Tiffy, is a kind of anti-Eleanor Oliphant and yet at the same time in a way a part of her is an Eleanor. This book has the same kind of quaint je ne sais quoi. An indescribable element which draws readers in.

Tiffy is looking for a place to live and Leon is looking for a flat mate. Neither of them have a lot of choice, which is how they end up coming up with a strange living arrangement. Sharing the same bed, but never at the same time – sounds like a really bizarre way to share a living space.

Leon’s girlfriend, yes he has a girlfriend, just has one rule. Never the twain shall meet. Tiffy and Leon must never be in the flat at the same time.

This is how the most entertaining part of the story evolves, as the two of them inadvertently become involved in each others lives and build a friendship without ever meeting each other. The fine lines of friendship are woven through communication, common concerns and an instantaneous emotional connection.

The other aspect of this book is how Tiffy slowly comes to the realisation that her relationship with her ex might have been anything but perfect. It’s interesting, albeit perhaps not what friends would do, how they are all invested in Tiffy making the connections herself. She isn’t swayed or convinced by anyone, she just starts to see events, actions and remarks in a different light.

The flashbacks she experiences are the beginning of an epiphany. Instead of remembering the loving boyfriend she suddenly feels different emotions. Fear, apprehension and the feeling of being manipulated. Is this because she wants to hate him for leaving her and for cheating? Or is there something more nefarious going on?

It’s a witty contemporary rom-com with endearing characters and a compelling plot. O’Leary brings humour, emotional turmoil and intense relationships to the table, she also weaves more serious topics into the story.

How easy it is to be controlled and abused without realising it and how some people can suck the life out of their partners with their sheer selfishness. Simultaneously it’s also about the fragile bridges of love and romance that can be built over distance and time without any physical interaction at all. It’s a really lovely read.

Buy The Flat Share on Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus; pub date 18 April 2019. Buy at Amazon comat Waterstones.

#PaperbackPublicationDay The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby

Today it’s Paperback Publication Day for The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby. You can get the ecopy for just 99p for a limited time! Don’t miss out on this fantastic read!

About the Author

Originally from Sunderland, Carolyn Kirby studied history at St Hilda’s College, Oxford before working for social housing and then as a teacher of English as a foreign language.

Her novel The Conviction of Cora Burns was begun in 2013 on a writing course at Faber Academy in London. The novel has achieved success in several competitions including as finalist in the 2017 Mslexia Novel Competition and as winner of the inaugural Bluepencilagency Award. Carolyn has two grown-up daughters and lives with her husband in rural Oxfordshire.

Follow @novelcarolyn @noexitpress on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit carolynkirby.com, Buy The Conviction of Cora Burns

About the book

With the power and intrigue of Jessie Burton’s The Silent Companions and Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done, Carolyn Kirby’s stunning debut takes the reader on a heart-breaking journey through Victorian Birmingham and questions where we first learn violence: from our scars or from our hearts.

Birmingham 1885 – Born in a gaol and raised in a workhouse, Cora Burns has always struggled to control the violence inside her. Haunted by memories of a terrible crime, she seeks a new life working as a servant in the house of scientist Thomas Jerwood. Here, Cora befriends a young girl, Violet, who seems to be the subject of a living experiment. But is Jerwood also secretly studying Cora…?


This is an intriguing read, but it will keep the grey cells busy as you track each thread. The author has built the plot in a way that asks the reader to backtrack and follow the main character through many doors, years and supposedly unimportant connections. Cora takes us on a trip to learn the truth about herself and her life.

Born to a prisoner and raised as an orphan in a workhouse, Cora has always been on the rough and more unlucky side of life. The only happy memories are the ones she made with her fellow workhouse friend Alice. Together they bonded over their loneliness, their tears and fears, and the instinct to cause trouble and harm.

When Cora is released she is determined to find Alice and reconnect, and perhaps fill in the blanks about something awful Alice did when they were younger. Instead her journey takes her on a trip that confronts her with her own past and how she became the Cora Burns we learn to like, but perhaps mistrust.

Aside from the tragedy of how the mentally ill, especially women, were treated during the 19th century this is also about how society treated women and children in general. At the very core of the premise however is the debate about nature vs nurture in regards to a propensity for violence, and the type that leads to violent crimes and homicides.

Scientists have been able to find a high correlation between certain genes and violent acts. The question is whether the genetic coding in combination with an exposure to neglect, abuse, trauma and maltreatment as a child, is a definitive recipe for a violent offender. In this story the question is whether the evil or propensity to commit violent acts is passed down genetically.

The doctors and scientists used lunatic asylums as a place to try out a variety of inhumane methods to cure patients, so it’s not unusual for David Farley, the Assistant Medical Officer in Birmingham Asylum, to be using a relatively new method to help patients. He is using, or trying to use, hypnotism to prove his theory that there is a correlation between mental health and the economic status of a patient. In a way his research helps to connect the dots in this story.

It’s historical crime fiction, it’s a mystery and it’s also a story about whether we are driven by our genetic code and instincts or by what we experience in our lifetime. I think the truth is somewhere between the two.

Buy The Conviction of Cora Burns at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: No Exit Press; Paperback pub date 24 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at No Exit Press.

#PaperbackPublicationDay The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth

It’s the Paperback Release Day for The Rival by Charlotte DuckworthTo celebrate Paperback Publication Day you can win a copy of The Rival courtesy of Quercus Books!

To win a copy of The Rival just click this link to retweet and follow @charduck @QuercusBooks!

The Rival is an incredibly powerful novel. Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women’s fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.

About the Author

Charlotte Duckworth is a graduate of the Faber Academy’s acclaimed six-month ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She studied Classics at Leeds University and then completed a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism. For the past 15 years she has worked as an interiors and lifestyle journalist, writing for a wide range of consumer magazines and websites. In 2011, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Screenwriting from London College of Communication. She lives in Surrey with her partner and young daughter.

Follow @charduck @Quercusbooks on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit charlotteduckworth.comBuy The Rival

About the book

NOW: Living in her home in the countryside Helena is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley’s fault?

THEN: When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she’s startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud -maybe this is the protégé she’s always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley’s drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

The Rival is an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, mental health and motherhood and how far you’d ever go to get what you want.


The reader is taken from the present to past and vice versa, as we meet Helena and her ambitious co-worker Ash. In the past Helena doesn’t notice how Ash is encroaching on her terrain until it is too late to do anything about it. In the present the intelligent career woman has been reduced to a blubbering mess incapable of coping with life in general. Her job and career have disintegrated, and the house is now no longer filled with the sounds and smells of a baby.

Even when one takes the archaic patriarchal system into consideration and the fact there is still inequality between men and women, I still stand by the fact that women are often the greatest opposition to other women. The situation between Ash and Helena is an example of the way women think they should achieve and get rid of the competition in the workplace. Ash does what a lot of women do, especially in the world of business, she believes she has to be one of the men to succeed. Treating pregnant colleagues with disdain, judging their appearance instead of their professional capabilities, and being completely ruthless to get ahead.

Regardless of which aspect of this story you look at or connect with, it all comes back to support. The majority of us need support at some time or other during our lives, but I think the support women sometimes need is at the forefront of this read.

Motherhood is a topic that causes a lot of controversy, especially between women. Women who choose not to have children sneer at women who do, women who have children think childless women are missing out and aren’t complete women. Women who have c-sections are told they aren’t real mothers because only vaginal births count. Stay-at-home mothers are called lazy by career mothers, and career mothers are called neglectful by stay-at-home mothers. The author begins her story with a simple anonymous quote – Every mother is a working mother – and that is the truth. The above mentioned controversial and often hotly debated topics are just a few examples of how we degrade, demean and bring each other down instead of supporting and raising each other up.

This story is meticulously plotted, it doesn’t go in the direction you think it will and ultimately doesn’t focus on the element of the plot you think it might.I don’t want to reveal the twist in the plot, although I would love to talk about the ending. Kudos to the author for highlighting the issues. It’s an incredibly powerful and well thought out debut by Duckworth and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.

Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women’s fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.

Buy The Rival at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus Books, Paperback pub date: 17 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

#PaperbackPublicationDay! The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

Today it’s Paperback Publication Day for The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts. To celebrate Bloomsbury Raven has given me two copies of this spectacular book to give to two lucky readers!

To enter the Giveaway just leave a comment below. Trust me you don’t want to miss this cracking read.About the Author

Alice is a former human rights lawyer who used to work for the UK Government. As a litigator, she worked on cases involving Winnie Mandela and the rapper Snoop Dogg. She re-located to the tropics and now lives in wonderful Singapore.

She also writes short stories which have been published in various anthologies. And when she’s not writing, she is running The Singapore Writers’ Group which she founded in 2012. This is a fantastic group of both professional and amateur writers who meet monthly and attend workshops and critique sessions.

Follow @aclarkplatts @BloomsburyRaven on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebook, Visit aliceclarkplatts.comBuy The Flower Girls

About the book

The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…


Laurel and Primrose are little girls who like to play in the woods. Two little girls who take a baby with them into the woods and only two of the three little girls come back out again. The world despises them, the nation spends years hunting them, but only one of them spends time behind bars,

Even after so many years the public believes Laurel and Primrose deserve to be punished until they themselves take their last breath.

Laurel, the elder of the two, is seen as the main perpetrator and locked up. The youngest girl is renamed Rosie and is raised normally in society as if the events had never taken place at all. The public and the family members of the victim keep finding out where she lives, so she feels like a hunted animal.

When another young child goes missing where Rosie happens to be spending the night she becomes an instant suspect, thanks to the help of a writer, who is hungry for a sensational story. She is then forced to reconsider her attitude towards Laurel and whether or not she should help her get parole.

There are definitely parallels that can be drawn between the Bulger case and the fictional Flower Girls, and it invites the reader to ponder and perhaps even debate what happens when a child kills another child. When children commit a heinous crime, it’s perhaps worse than the horror of any adult on child crime, because it is so hard to fathom how a child can do such a terrible thing.

The author goes for the more hard-nosed approach with this plot, so you might think it is going a specific way, but it doesn’t. Clark-Platts allows the story to hover over the dark abyss and takes the reader on the steep decline into the desolate landscape of a cruel and calculated mind.

The Flower Girls is a tense psychological thriller, which takes the reader on a difficult journey of justice and morality. Is there any right or wrong in such tragic circumstances? Then just when you think, as a reader, you have come to a conclusion you feel comfortable with, the author blindsides the reader with the truth. Not a read you should miss.

Buy The Flower Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Raven Books; Hardcover release 24 January 2019

Don’t forget to comment below to enter the Giveaway to win a copy of The Flower Girls!!