This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Silent Wife by Kerry Fisher

The Silent Wife: A gripping emotional page turner with a twist that will take your breath away by [Fisher, Kerry]
Would you risk everything for the man you loved? Even if you knew he'd done something terrible?

'A heart-wrenching and gripping tale. I was hooked from the very first page.' Write Escape

Lara’s life looks perfect on the surface. Gorgeous doting husband Massimo, sweet little son Sandroand the perfect home. Lara knows something about Massimo. Something she can’t tell anyone else or everything he has worked so hard for will be destroyed: his job, their reputation, their son. This secret is keeping Lara a prisoner in her marriage.

Maggie is married to Massimo’s brother Nico and lives with him and her troubled stepdaughter. She knows all of Nico’s darkest secrets – or so she thinks. Then one day she discovers a letter in the attic which reveals a shocking secret about Nico’s first wife. Will Maggie set the record straight or keep silent to protect those she loves?

For a family held together by lies, the truth will come at a devastating price.

A heart-wrenching, emotionally gripping read for fans of Amanda Prowse, Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain.

What everyone's saying about The Silent Wife:


'A compulsive read about secrets, lies, and the complexities of families.' Bloomin' Brilliant Books

'What a great novel this is! A very moving story filled with deception, betrayal and, contrastingly, loyalty, love, caring and forgiveness... and it has a brilliant ending!' Splashes Into Books

'Well, this book is a firecracker!...you will experience a rollercoaster of emotions, with laughter, sadness and a satisfying ending that will bring a lump to your throat.' Many Books Many Lives

'A fantastic, thought-provoking story, told with pace and style.' Laura Bambrey Books

'My heart broke … The plot is so well written that you begin to feel as though you are one of the family and it is packed with twists and turns.' The Reading Reverie

'A page turner - full of implied secrets, unravelling family lives, new family dynamics.' Bookworms and Shutterbugs

'An addictive novel about family dynamics, secrets and betrayals that will have your mouth hanging open in disbelief many times along the way.' Books of All Kinds

'A compelling, chilling and heart pounding read which will take you on a rollercoaster ride you'll never want to leave. Phenomenally written and undeniably powerful, Kerry Fisher has done it yet again.' The Writing Garnet

'My only regret about this book is beginning to read it at half term and not being able to finish it quicker. A gripping and emotional read.' De Ja Reads

'It is rare that a book will make you look at your own personality and inspire you to be a better person. A less judgmental person. A braver person. The Silent Wife did that for me – and in the most unexpected way … I gasped, laughed and cried.' The Glass House Girls

'I loved this book… I was riveted throughout. 5 stars.' Emma B books

'The Silent Wife had me engrossed from page one. Five Stars!Boon's Bookcase

'Another five star read from Kerry Fisher ... I love Kerry Fisher's books and this was no exception!'Strongly Review

'A wonderful, poignant, heart breaking, heart warming story of families and secrets, of hidden strength and unexpected friendship. Brilliant! Very highly recommended. Cannot wait for Kerry's next!' Renita D'Silva

'Another five star read from Kerry Fisher.' Judging Covers

'I loved this! It was absolutely unputdownable and I didn't want it to end.' Jenny Ashcroft

'A gripping, emotional novel ... a real page turner!' La Biblio de Cara

This book was previously titled The Secrets of Second Wives 

#free today!

5169u-JvaWL
 
 
"Anytime you give an electronic device a brain, it has the capabilities to outgrow the possibilities that were set forth in the plans."

The Unit by Katie Jaarsveld
From the Depths by McKenzie Richardson
Everything Has a Price by Sheri Velarde
Fulfilling Killingsby M Earl Smith
Touch by TW Iain
Dark Web Demon by Kevin S. Hall
Ocean’s Bounty by Andrew J Lucas
Catfish by Samie Sands
Viral Venom by Alex Winck
Domain of the Dragon by L.H. Davis
My Skin Crawls by Katie Jaarsveld
My Name Is Human by Rob Shepherd
 

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Bane by L.J. Shen

Bane (Sinners of Saint Book 5) by [Shen, L.J.]
NOW A TOP 10 AMAZON BESTSELLER 

From bestselling author L.J. Shen, comes a new, standalone, contemporary romance.

"BEST BOOK OF 2018!" - Sophie, Bookalicious Babes Blog.
"Honestly the best novel L.J. has written to date." - Ratula, Bookgasms Book Blog. 

Roman 'Bane' Protsenko
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I'm more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all--looking humbled.
Thing is, I'm on a boycott. Literally--I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I'm falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn't aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She's a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.

*This book contains material that might be offensive for some or elicit a strong emotional response.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Living on Borrowed Time by Samie Sands

thumbnail_sense-pre-made-2018-Samie-Sands
This isn't your ordinary love story...

Lara Rogers isn’t supposed to be here. She was supposed to die over a year ago from a long-term illness, yet somehow she managed to make a miracle recovery. The only problem is now she has an endless future stretched out in front of her—one that she wasn’t expecting, and one that she has no idea what to do with.

After she got the positive diagnosis, she moved to the big city where she knows no one to become another anonymous face, but this life isn’t making her happy. In fact, she’s more miserable than ever.

An unexpected night out with a girl that seems to want to be her friend leads to all sorts of new experiences, including one that might even be love...

The only problem is Lara has spent so long not knowing who she is, that she doesn’t know how to act around all of these new people, and slowly things become increasingly difficult for her. She begins a negative spiral into self-destructive behaviour, sinking deeper and deeper until she isn’t sure that she can ever get out.

Extract:
I shouldn’t be here.
No, not here, in the hot, sweaty kitchen of this rundown diner—although, to be honest, I highly doubt I should be here either.
No, I shouldn’t be alive.
I was supposed to die eighteen months ago. That was supposed to be it for me.
I was ill for a very long time, so getting that final diagnosis of six months to go was as reliving as it was devastating. To be honest, my emotions about it were completely mixed. I didn’t want to die necessarily—not that I think anyone does really—but I was so sick of the constant round of doctors, hospitals, tubes, pills, sickness...it was exhausting, and the thought of escaping that was something of a relief.
I just wanted an end to it.
Of course, not everyone felt the same. At least, not at first, but once my family and friends got used to the idea that I was dying, that I was going to be relieved of my suffering, they were intent on making my final months amazing, and boy did they succeed! I went travelling, I had parties, I did everything that was on my bucket list—except bungee jumping. I bottled that at the last second. It was fabulous, a real whirlwind of fun and excitement. Of course, there was the odd interruption with my health, but somehow we managed to work past that. Sure, we were all acutely aware of where it was heading but it didn’t taint the mood. Not really. 
“Lara what are you doing just standing there? I pressed the bell about five minutes ago...these burgers aren’t going to take themselves to table twelve.” The grumpy head chef, Alfie yelled at me. He didn’t care about my internal struggle. He had no idea what it was like to know that you should be dead. All he cared about was getting this disgusting, fatty food out as quickly as possible so he could return home, to his sad middle-aged man ‘bachelor pad’ to smoke and drink his wages away.
I snatched the plates out of his hand and stalked moodily over to the table, where a couple were sat there smiling intently at each other. This could have been their first date, or they could have been married for years—that wasn’t what I noticed. It was the light that was shining in their eyes, as they gazed at one another. Happiness. An emotion I couldn’t even begin to understand anymore.
I shoved the food on the table in front of them, asking them if there was anything else they needed in the flat, monotone sound that had somehow become my voice. They didn’t even acknowledge my existence, they simply waved me away. I was nothing to them, just as I was nothing to everybody.
I’d been that way for a very long time now.
Once my deadline had passed, and the high started to wear off, I wondered what was happening, why I was still alive. Confused, I took myself to the doctors and after a whole range of invasive tests, they told me something unexpected, something miraculous—that I was actually starting to get better. Against all odds, I was somehow surviving.
I felt numb as he said those words. I know he expected me to celebrate, to be happy with the news that I would get to live longer, but I wasn’t. I’d gotten so used to the idea that I was going to die. I’d even adjusted to it, become comfortable with it, that to hear otherwise was utterly overwhelming. I had become so used to living in the moment, not worrying about the future because I was never going to have one, that with a long, black emptiness stretching out in front of me, I felt terrified.
What was I supposed to do? I had no future, no dreams, no plans. I had no idea where I was supposed to go next, how could I? How was I supposed to craft a new beginning out of zilch? It seemed like a ridiculously impossible task, that I couldn’t even begin to overcome.
Then again, I still had no prospects, no real education, no interests, no desires...nothing, and I no longer had any excuse for that. A year and a half had passed. There was so much that I could have done with that time, but I hadn’t.
I’d done absolutely nothing with it, I’d merely existed. 
Every day it hit me how I would have been better off dead. I might as well have died, because since my positive diagnosis I was just living on autopilot, going through the motions aimlessly.
My friends and family couldn’t understand how I just seemed empty after I got the good news, and as I continued to improve, to get better, they got more and more frustrated by my increasingly negative attitude. One-by-one they became annoyed by me. I did something to piss all of them off and now, none of them bother with me anymore.
Not that I bother with them either. I feel like too much has passed; there’s too much negative water under the bridge to even think about repairing those fractured relationships.
When my mum eventually asked me to move out because I was putting too much pressure on everyone else in the family, I left quickly and got an apartment in the nearby city. I couldn’t stay in that little, suffocating town anymore, where everyone knew absolutely everything about me. I had no excuse to remain there anyway; it didn’t hold anything for me anymore, except for memories and bad feeling. I desired to be anonymous so I could wallow in my own misery in peace, without anyone trying to cheer me up. I didn’t want anyone else to feel responsible for my own happiness, when it was so clear that nothing could be done about it.
So I upped and left, without even glancing backwards.
I got everything that I ever wanted—a tiny, albeit grotty apartment that was just for me, a job in a diner where no one bothers to try and find out more about my life, and no one to speak to. Perfect.
Yet, of course, I still wasn’t happy.
“Got much planned over the weekend? You have tomorrow night off, don’t you?” Amy, the eighteen-year-old waitress, who was constantly chewing gum and nosing about in other people’s business, asked me in her typical over-the-top fashion.
She didn’t care about me of course, not at all. To her I was just another loser waitress, but she always tried to rile me up for some reason, and she quickly discovered that my non-social life was a sore point for me. I don’t know whether I was just a game to her, if she really wanted to piss me off, or if she just wanted to make herself feel better by commenting on my sad existence. Either way, it drove me crazy.
“I dunno...not really.” I kept my eyes fixated on the floor as I spoke, praying that she would take the hint and leave me alone.
“Why are you so boring? You never seem to do anything!” She laughed, genuinely thinking she was joking.
I looked up and smiled blandly at her, hoping that she would assume I took the joke in light humour, but the look she was giving me suggested that she might just be able to see the vulnerable weakling behind the cold exterior mask I gave myself.
The thought of anyone seeing any of the real me filled me with an intense fear that gripped tightly onto my heart, so I instinctively turned away from her, trying to discretely wipe the frustrated tears from my eyes before they fell onto my cheeks.
Idiot! I thought to myself. What the hell are you doing?
Hiding emotion was something I thought I’d become particularly good at, but with one look, Amy—a girl I barely knew—had managed to revert me back into a blubbering mess.
“I’m going out to that new club tomorrow night with a group of friends. Do you...would you maybe want to come?” She asked, with a kindness to her tone that I hadn’t ever noticed before.
Pity. It had to be.
Normally, I would have shot her down right away. Even the thought of going to a club filled me with fear—the drinking, the dancing, the socialising...it all felt a little too much for some like me. I’d never really done anything like that before, and it was intimidating as hell. Even at all the parties that had been held for me, I’d avoided alcohol due to the medication, I’d been too tired for dancing, and socialising hadn’t been too much of an issue because it was with people I’d known my whole life. Plus, my best friend Daphne had always been there to protect me if things got too much.
Daphne.
I instantly forced myself to shake the image of her from my mind, in the way I always did when she cropped up. Daphne was a no-go now, there was no point in even giving her a seconds thought. I didn’t want to upset myself over nothing.
“Sure.” I eventually replied, distractedly. I wasn’t really thinking about my answer, I just wanted the conversation done, and it was a shortcut way to achieve that.
“Oh...” Amy sounded incredibly shocked—understandably so. “Okay cool. We’re meeting up at about eight-ish so...” She looked at me strangely, as if she was wondering what the hell was going through my mind. “I’ll see you there I guess.”
As she wandered off, a sinking feeling set in. Why the hell had I agreed to that? I didn’t want to go out to a club! Keeping my existence simple and straightforward was the only way I managed to get through everyday life. Now, I’d just agreed to something that threatened to send me into an anxiety meltdown, just to shut her up.
I was an idiot!
No, I would have to phone Amy tomorrow with a plausible excuse. I needed to get out of going. Disrupting my routine with something so terrifying could only have negative results.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Disappearance at Oare by Julie Wassmer

Disappearance at Oare (Whitstable Pearl Mysteries Book 5) by [Wassmer, Julie]

The Whitstable Pearl restaurant has been busy all summer while Pearl's detective agency has brought few interesting cases - until a prospective client calls...

Christina Scott confides that seven years ago she had the perfect life with a seaside home, a confirmed pregnancy and Steven, a loving husband - until one morning she woke to find herself alone. Christina's husband had vanished, taking nothing with him but his car - which was later found abandoned at the beautifully mysterious Oare Marshes.

Now, with the legal presumption of Steven's death about to be made, Christina shows a photograph to Pearl. It's not of him, but of her young son, Martin, who has grown up without his father but Christina is adamant he now deserves to know the truth. And will Pearl help her solve the riddle of Steven's disappearance?

DCI Mike McGuire warns Pearl she's on a fool's errand but the case resonates with Pearl as she begins to uncover secrets and lies that take her on a dangerous journey back into her own past, as well as Christina's...

'A tried-and-tested crime recipe with Whitstable flavours that makes for a Michelin-starred read' Daily Mail

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Now on #KindleUnlimited!

As we connected, I found myself staring for much longer than I intended to. I drank in his full appearance unabashedly as he did the same to me. My mind was going crazy with anxiety, begging me to look away, but my body was only concerned with him, and the fact that he was making me feel in a way that I never had before—and a way that I really didn’t want to stop feeling. He had dark, shaggy hair which hung past his eyebrows, giving me the almost uncontrollable urge to push it to one side. 
Beneath his glasses I could see dark, brooding eyes which seem to be full of mystery and laughter, and he was tall...much taller than me—not that that was difficult—and he was kind of muscular too, but not too much so. He had his hands shoved into his jeans pockets and I scanned my eyes over his t-shirt, which was of some band I didn’t recognize. He had a real geeky rock star look about him, and something about that was making my legs feel like jelly. I didn’t even realize that this was the sort of guy I would feel any kind of attraction to, yet here I was almost falling apart at the mere sight of him. 
He smiled brightly at me, and for a second, I was completely blindsided by him. My heart started hammering like crazy and butterflies tickled my tummy. I didn’t recognize this feeling, not at all, so I was actually glad when the connection broke and my body started to return to normal. Having my body go all crazy like that was bizarre. It may have felt nice at the time, but it wasn’t something I was ready to go through again. Not until I had deciphered every second of that brief interaction.
LOBT New.jpg

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Charlie: Living on Borrowed Time


Have you read Living on Borrowed Time yet? Want to see through Charlie's eyes? Read on...




Charlie
What the hell am I doing here?
That thought swirled around and around in my brain as I glanced my eyes around the room, drinking in the slow descent of what promised to be a very legendary house party. As I looked at everyone I could see in turn, I quickly realized that they were all faces I barely recognized—sending me back to another time in my life. One where I spent most of my time at parties with people I didn't know.
I clutched the bottle of beer tightly between my fingers, recalling how it didn't matter back then because I would always manage to find a way to get myself so wasted that I didn't care. I thought the screwed up, off-my-face version of Charlie was a whole heap of fun.
Now I could see that he was just another fuck up with no future ahead of him.
I wasn't sure why I had allowed myself to get talked into this night, but the more that time passed, the more I regretted it. The home belonged to one of my old school friends, someone that I bumped into randomly a few days ago. At the time, I thought it would be good to reconnect with some of my old crowd, the ones I knew before everything went wrong, but since I'd been here, I hadn't actually managed to see a single one of them.
I sighed deeply to myself, making the smart decision that this one drink would be my only one. After I finished it I would make my way back home, where I could reflect in peace about the prospect that I had finally reached that grand old age where I was too old to party—where it wasn't as much fun anymore. I'd probably gotten there much quicker than everyone else because of my past, but they would eventually catch up to me and see that this lifestyle was pointless.
It was time to move on, to start thinking about settling down and really carving out a future for myself. Everything else was futile...pointless.
I hadn't done bad, considering. As soon as I discovered that Olivia—my much older girlfriend who had been integral in setting me down the wrong path in life—was cheating on me, my crappy life crashed around me leaving me with only two choices.
Did I take the easy way out and carry on down the shitty route that I was currently traveling down, or did I really put in some effort and clean myself up, to try and achieve something more? After all, I had been filled with a whole heap of potential and promise not that long ago—everyone told me that!
Sticking to the difficult option was not a simple one. In fact, I almost went back on it more than once, but now that I'd seen the light at the end of the tunnel, and I'd dragged myself through it, I could see how worthwhile that journey had been.
The only problem was I'd been left with some quite serious baggage. I didn't like to let anyone in too close anymore, and I'd purposely made decisions to help me with that. I started up my own graphic design business, which after a slightly rocky start was actually starting to do well. It was great to have something so intense to throw myself into, but it isolated me too. It kept me locked in my office, in solitary confinement, while I completed very intricate, time-consuming jobs. It gave me a whole heap of my own company, and no headspace to think.
At one time, that had been perfect, but as time went on I started to realize just how lonely that was, and now I wanted more. I wanted to meet someone, to start a future with her, to get over the trust issues that Olivia had left me with.
But I was utterly terrified to take that first step.
Maybe that was why I'd agreed to come here, maybe I was hoping that it would help lead me back into socializing in a normal way, rather than what I was used to.
Sighing dejectedly, I slowly made my way towards the kitchen to chuck my bottle away. There was an intense disappointment crushing down on my insides, hurting me because tonight hadn't gone the way that I wanted it to. I allowed it to consume me for a few seconds, knowing that I needed to really feel it before I could brush it to one side. I had gotten into plenty of trouble in my life by trying to ignore all of my issues, so I was perfectly aware that this was the only way...
Woah.
As I stepped into the kitchen, my eyes instantly fixated on the lone girl gripping tightly onto what I knew was a bottle of very strong whiskey. I stared in fascination as she poured three glasses of the stuff, wondering how the hell someone so petite and waifish would be able to handle something like that.
Maybe she didn't know what it was, maybe she was just about to make the hugest mistake of her life—one that would lead her to throw up all over someone's home, completely humiliating herself.
Warn her! I tried to tell myself, by my racing heart and my bone-dry mouth was too scared to speak out. Tell her, she needs to know.
"Strong choice," I eventually managed to blurt out, in a nervy-sounding voice that I was certain would put her off me forever.
But as she span around, and our eyes connected, a burst of electricity bolted right through me, so powerfully that it almost knocked me backward. I smiled—or at least, I tried to—while I soaked every inch of her in. That sleek auburn hair, her pale, almost translucent skin, the body language that seemed to scream 'fear'. But what drew me in most of all were her eyes. They were a deep, ocean-like blue—a color that I had never seen before—and they were windows to her soul, and what I could see in there was a reflection of myself. That deep, intense sadness, that hollow, empty feeling, that sensation of being lost.
I knew at that moment that I had found a kindred soul, one that needed me, one that I would do just about anything for.
This is the one, I decided as she finally forced our eye contact to break. The one that will change me forever. Maybe I was being naive, maybe not, I wasn't sure—but for the first time in my life, I was willing to find out...