Anne Bonny #BlogTour Q&A with @mredwards #Author of #NewRelease In Her Shadow #Suspense #Psychological #Thriller @AmazonPub #InHerShadow

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In Her Shadow by Mark Edwards
Review To Follow
Synopsis:

Isabel’s life seemed perfect. Successful business, beautiful house, adoring husband. And then she was dead.

For four years Jessica has never doubted that her sister Isabel’s death was an accident. But when Jessica’s young daughter seems to know long-forgotten details about her aunt’s past, Jessica can’t shake the feeling that there’s a more sinister truth behind the tragedy.

As Jessica unearths disturbing revelations about her sister, and about the people she loved and trusted most, it becomes clear Isabel’s life was less than perfect and that Jessica’s might also be at risk.

Did someone murder Isabel? Are they now after Jessica and her family? The key seems to lie in the hands of a child. Can Isabel reveal the truth from beyond the grave, or is the answer closer to home?

Q&A:
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) I come from Hastings on the Sussex coast, famous for its battle. I’m not sure if that has any relevance but it’s possible that the salty air combined with constantly hearing stories about a man getting an arrow in his eye may have done something to my brain and imagination.

My new novel, In Her Shadow, is about a woman, Jessica, who lost her more glamorous older sister, Isabel, a few years ago. Isabel was found dead beneath the balcony of her beautiful home and the death was ruled accidental. But now Jessica’s four-year-old daughter seems to be communicating with Isabel. She knows things she can’t possibly know. She is acting up at school. And as Jessica is forced to question everything she believes, she starts to investigate what really happened to Isabel.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) This is my eighth solo novel; fourteenth if you include the books I co-wrote with Louise Voss. I came up with the idea for In Her Shadow when I was halfway through my previous book, The Retreat. I thought of it as Big Little Lies – with its focus on female relationships and school gate drama – crossed with The Sixth Sense, with its child who sees dead people. My regular readers will know that there is always, in the end, a rational explanation for everything that happens in my books, and the big challenge was figuring out what was really going on with Olivia. Once I worked that out, it was relatively easy to write. It was also influenced by a big story that was happening in the news at the time I was writing it, a story about sex and power, but it would be too spoilery to reveal what it was.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I read loads and I’m always worried about missing people out when I start listing my favourites, but a few books I’ve read recently that I loved are Skin Deep by Liz Nugent, Take Me In by Sabine Durrant and A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. All beautifully written and, most importantly, utterly gripping.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) I used to read lots of Doctor Who books when I was about 11 or 12. I collected them and read one or two a week. I was obsessed with Doctor Who! Then I moved on to Stephen King and James Herbert. The scarier, the better…Herbert’s The Fog had a profound and disturbing effect on me. Also, his books were pretty rude and we used to read the most outrageous scenes out in the playground. Ah, the good old days!

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) I could mention my seven No.1 bestsellers or receiving an award from my publisher for selling two million books but don’t like to show off. The best moments are usually spent at festivals with my writer friends, especially at Harrogate, which I attend every year. The crime writing community is filled with funny, clever, irreverent people and I love hanging out with them, drinking too much and, occasionally, doing karaoke!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) My wife, Sara, is incredibly supportive and helpful. She has to put up with me rambling on about my writing, talks to me about my plots and helps me untangle the knots I’ve created. She listens to me and, most importantly, locks me in my office until I’ve written my daily 2000 words.
I’m joking about that last bit. Kind of.

ME
Mark Edwards
Website ~ where you can sign up to get a free box set of scary short stories
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Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

***Don’t miss the other bloggers on the blog tour***
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Anne Bonny #BookReview The Lost Daughter by @GillPaulAUTHOR 5* Genius #NewRelease #HistoricalFiction #RussianHistory @headlinepg ‘It is a beautiful story of the hardships people can endure and their desire for a better life. A story of hope’ #TheLostDaughter

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The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul
Giveaway winner copy
Synopsis:

A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret…

From the author of The Secret Wife, a gripping journey through decades and across continents, of love, devastating loss and courage against all odds.

1918
With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia’s imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong.

Fifty-five years later . . .
Val rushes to her father’s side when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: ‘I didn’t want to kill her.’ As she unravels the secrets behind her mother’s disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world’s greatest mysteries.

I was super lucky to win a very early proof via Twitter which came with a box of treats which I have to share……
cof cof cof cof

My Review:

When I opened this novel, it was so much more than I was expecting. It is a story of endurance, sacrifice and humanity, that spans the decades. It is undeniably moving and emotive. I shed so many tears. I cannot recommend this novel highly enough!

The novel centres around the plight of the Romanov family and specifically middle daughter Maria. It is set from 1918 onwards, when the Russian government turned against the aristocracy. I personally found that the novel struck at the chords of your heart by focusing on one family’s struggle to survive. There are obviously historical/political references and the accuracy is outstanding. But by keeping the focus on one family in particular, you begin to question the humanity of their situation. You begin to feel as though you are with the family in their struggle against oppression.

Maria’s father was a Tsar and her mother a Tsarina. Their titles entitled them to a life of luxury and wealth, that few Russian citizens had ever known. Commissar Avdeyev removes them from Alexander palace (their previous home) and places them under house arrest. They are forbidden to leave the house and are told they will be exiled. They spend 14 months as prisoners and begin to wonder when and how it will all end.

‘It’s more like a mausoleum in which we have been interred’ Anastasia

The novel focuses on the siblings, sisters Anastasia, Olga and Tatiana and brother Alexei. Maria is the chatty and inquisitive child, who dreams of marriage to a Russian officer. She is young and naïve, which shows when she decides to befriend the officers on guard. A situation she will later come to regret.

Under house arrest are the seven members of the Romanov family and several members of their staff. Eventually the staff are slowly stripped away; and the family must learn to fend for themselves without servants for their every whim. Which is more difficult for Alexei, who suffers from haemophilia and requires extra supervision. Tatiana is fearless and outspoken, she makes regular demands of Avdeyev.
She is also determined to find the family a way out.

Maria continues to befriend the guards and on her 19th birthday Ivan Skorokhodov even brings her a birthday cake. A luxury they have not been afforded in captivity. However, this simple act of kindness will have much greater repercussions when the commander and guards are all replaced.

‘He never looked directly at any of them; it was as if to him they were not human’

The new commander Yakov Yurovsky, allows his guards to make lurid comments towards the daughters and treat the family with utter contempt. When Maria mistakenly attempts to befriend guard Anatoly Bolotov, it will have a devastating impact on her future and emotional state.
Tatiana has a daring plan, but before it can be executed. . . .
The family are. . .

‘Tsar Nicholas Romanov guilty of countless bloody crimes against the people, should be shot’ Yurovsky

Maria is saved, but what will become of the young woman who trusts so easily. . .

The novel then jumps to its other narrative, the life of Val in 1973 Australia. Val has known a difficult childhood, with her Chinese mother walking out on the family. Leaving her to be raised by a cold and heartless father. She has been married to husband Tony for 18yrs and they have a daughter Nicole (3yrs).
But it is a marriage tainted by domestic violence control and fear.

Val receives a call from Sandy bay nursing home, where her aging father resides. They have been estranged for many years and he is not suffering with dementia. The staff inform her, he has been making wild claims and ask if she can shed any light on the meaning. . .

‘I didn’t mean to kill her’
‘There was so much blood’

The novel fully explores Val’s childhood and marriage. It also draws from the 1970s attitudes towards domestic violence; as something that can be justified and explained away. The only positive in her life, is her love for her daughter Nicole. Which gives her life a form of meaning. But when Tony crosses the line and physically disciplines Nicole. Val knows she has a choice to make.

The novel jumps between the narratives of Val and Maria. Weaving its magic through the decades. I was absolutely captivated by the story and couldn’t put the book down. There are so many themes, it is impossible for me to cover them all in one review. I think this novel is perfect for book groups and historical groups.

It is a beautiful story of the hardships people can endure and their desire for a better life. A story of hope. 5* Genius

GP
Gill Paul
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***Currently just 99p On Kindle Ebook***