Showcase Sunday #85

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello everyone! How are you? Did you have a nice week? I’ve had another hectic week but I did manage to squeeze some reading in, which I’m really happy about. :) I also decided to change things up a bit and experiment with a new blog template. I like the colour and overall look of the blog but I’ve wanted to switch to a different template for a while and I figured this would be a good time to do it. Don’t worry, it won’t be a complete makeover (many of you complemented me on this design so I know you’ll pleased to hear this) but the blog will look a bit different. In a good way, hopefully. :D


The Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

thelieswetellourselves2.jpgThe Lies We Tell Ourselves

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No Time for Goodbye Readalong: Week 3

No Time for Goodbye readalong

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for the next No Time for Goodbye Readalong discussion! If you missed the previous two recaps, make sure to read them (you’ll find them here) before continuing with the story or reading this post, as it will contain spoilers. And if you’ve just found us and not sure what this event is all about, you’ll find all the information you need on the No Time for Goodbye sign-up page.

Chapters 21-30 seemed quite eventful and things are definitely getting more and more interesting. After Tess’ death in the previous chapters, there’s another mystery waiting to be solved. Terry gets a phone call from the wife of the private investigator they hired to help them find Cynthia’s family, who says she hasn’t seen her husband for a few days. The last thing they know about him is that he was on his way to talk to Tess. Tess is dead and the guy is missing. And the guy’s business card – which Tess pinned to her notice board – is nowhere to be seen. We don’t know what’s going on but it’s obvious someone wants the secrets of the past stay in the past.

A little bit later another interesting thing happens. Terry is going through the shoebox full of mementos Cynthia kept from her past and starts looking at the newspaper clippings Cynthia’s dad was collecting. They were all fishing related – Clayton was a big fan of fishing – but one of the clippings included a smaller section about a hit-and-run accident twenty something years earlier. At first Terry thinks it’s not deliberate but when he takes a closer look he notices that Clayton – or whoever cut this article – made sure the hit-and-run was part of the clipping. They don’t know why Cynthia’s dad might have wanted to keep something like that or whether he was connected to the incident in any way but it definitely makes things even more mysterious and confusing.

And, possibly the most important event in today’s 10 chapters is the anonymous letter Cynthia finds in the letterbox one morning. It’s addressed to her but there are no stamps or postal addresses – it was clearly put there by someone who knew where to find her. Inside, there is a hand-drawn map and a note saying it’s time for Cynthia to know what happened to her family and if she followed the map and the directions given there, she’d find her family. The map leads to an abandoned quarry a couple of hours’ drive of where they live. The odd thing about this letter – apart from the obvious fact that they have no idea where it came from or whether the person writing it really knows where her family is – is that it was written on Terry’s typewriter. Terry recognises it instantly but doesn’t know what to think. Their locks were changed after someone tried to break into their house a while ago, and Grace couldn’t have done it. That leaves his wife. He doesn’t want to go there but what else is there to think?

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CWA Dagger in the Library Award 2014

CWA Dagger in the Library award 2014

Attention, crime fiction readers!

For the first time ever readers will decide the longlist for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award as its sponsor Dead Good and the CWA relaunch the Award for 2014. From Friday 1st August crime fans everywhere can nominate their favourite authors online ( and the ten authors with the most votes will make up the long list. For the first time the vote will be digital only, making the CWA Dagger in the Library Award the only crime award to have an online reader nomination process.

Lynsey Dalladay, Community Manager for Dead Good, said: “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring this important award and giving it the attention it deserves. By asking the public to nominate their favourite talent, we’re putting power back into the hands of readers and allowing them to recognise and celebrate authors that consistently deliver top class crime fiction. Ours is the first crime award to do this, so we’re incredibly excited to see what crime readers choose.

Director of the CWA, Lucy Santos said: “The CWA is delighted to be working with Dead Good and to relaunch the 2014 Dagger in the Library. Not only is at an opportunity to celebrate the best in crime writing but it is unique amongst our Daggers in that the public choose who makes it onto the longlist. What better excuse to find a quiet spot, grab your favourite tipple and investigate all the great crime fiction out there.

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J Paul Henderson’s Road Trip Playlist

Hi guys! Today I’m happy to welcome J Paul Henderson, author of Last Bus to Coffeeville to the blog. Since summer is well under way and this is the time when most of us leave on holiday (or counting down the days like me), I wanted to bring you a blog topic fit for the occasion. And since my iPod and I are inseparable whenever I’m travelling, I thought I’d ask Paul to tell us about what kind of music he listens to when he’s on the road.

Coffeeville blog tour


Paul’s Coffeeville Road Trip Playlist

I’ve selected 20 CDs for a long road trip, and twenty tracks I’d be happy to play over and again on a shorter journey. All our in alphabetical order by artist.

20 CDs

Bad Company: Bad Company; Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band: Gorilla; John Cale: Music for a New Society; Captain Beefheart: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller); Captain Beefheart: Doc at the Radar Station; The Jim Carroll Band: Dry Dreams; Dandy Warhols: Come Down; The Doors: The Doors; Bob Dylan: Street Legal; Eels: Blinking Lights; Grateful Dead: Terrapin Station; Gruppo Sportivo: 10 Mistakes; Leo Kottke: Mudlark; Matching Mole: Matching Mole; Turbines: Last Dance Before Highway; Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes; Tom Waits: Asylum Years; Neil Young: Decade; Frank Zappa: Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch; and Warren Zevon: Transverse City.

20 Tracks
(click on the tracks to listen to them)

1. AC / DC: It’s a Long Way to the Top. One of the best rock songs ever recorded, though still not sure about the bagpipes. I feature this song in my next book: The Last of the Bowmans.

2. Bad Company: Can’t Get Enough. Bad Company was the first album I bought when I moved to Mississippi. Every time I hear this track I’m reminded of living in the Colonial Arms Apartments in Starkville, MS.

3. Beatles: Hey Jude. My favourite Beatles track; unfortunately, it’s written by Paul McCartney.

4. Captain Beefheart: Pachuco Cadaver. Trout Mask Replica was the most difficult album I’d ever listened to: it took me three weeks just to differentiate the tracks. Once I had, though, I listened to the album for a solid year, and exclusively! (This is one of the songs Arnold Skidmore has played at his funeral).

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No Time For Goodbye Readalong: Week 2

No Time for Goodbye readalong

Hello and welcome to the second discussion of the No Time for Goodbye Readalong! I hope you enjoyed last week’s recap of the first ten chapters and are ready to continue with the story. If you’ve just found us and not sure what this event is all about, you’ll find all the information you need on the No Time for Goodbye sign-up page.

Last week’s chapters came to an end when Cynthia gets a call from the TV company – who’s filming a documentary about her family’s disappearance – saying that someone phoned in and might be able to help her find them. As it turns out, she’s a psychic. Terry is sceptical – as most of us would be in this situation, I think – but not having anything to lose, they decide to give her a shot. When it turns out that all she wanted was their money they leave and head back home.

And that is when it happens.

As Cynthia steps into the kitchen, she notices a well-worn fedora hat on the kitchen table – one that she’s all too familiar with and one that was definitely not there when they left the house that afternoon. All the doors were closed and nothing seems to be missing or broken or indicate that someone’s been inside the house. Apart from the mysterious hat. There doesn’t seem to be a logical explanation and the police can’t really help the Archers either. And that’s when Terry remembers. Just before they left for the TV studio, Cynthia ran back inside to fetch a box full of old family photos and other mementos, but seemed to take a long time to come back to the car. She was the last one to leave the house that day. There’s no sign of forced entry and the lost spare key Terry noticed a few days earlier is found in one of the kitchen drawers. Terry doesn’t say it but you can feel the thought had crossed his mind.

What if Cynthia is making this all up?

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Showcase Sunday #84 – Signed Goodies!

Inspired by Pop Culture Junkie and the Story Siren, the aim of Showcase Sunday is to highlight our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders each week. For more information about how this feature works and how to join in, click here.

Hello amigos, how are you all? How was your week? Can you believe it’s our last Showcase Sunday in July? I don’t know where the past few weeks went but I’m really looking forward to August. July was busy but August is shaping up to be even busier – and I’m off to Spain at the end of next month! I can’t wait. But, until then, I have lots of bookish goodies to show you.


Showcase Sunday | signed books

Showcase Sunday | signed books

Attachments | Winger | Grasshopper Jungle | Dead Ends

With the exception of Erin Lange’s Dead Ends, this week’s haul turned out to be a ‘signed books’ haul – which is kind of a rare thing, as I don’t usually get so many signed books at the same time. Anyway, first things first. Like so many of you, I was at YALC  two weeks ago, where I got to meet Rainbow Rowell. We were all allowed to get two RR books signed and, although I had Landline with me, I decided to buy a copy of Attachments before the signing because I’ve been meaning to read it for ages.

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No Time For Goodbye Readalong: Week 1

No Time for Goodbye readalong

Hello and welcome to the very first discussion of the No Time for Goodbye Readalong! I hope you’re all sitting comfortably (with a mug of tea and some snacks nearby) and are ready for today’s book chat. If you’ve just found us and not sure what this event is all about, you’ll find all the information you need on the No Time for Goodbye sign-up page.

Some of you who’ve been reading the blog for a few years might remember that I already read and reviewed NTFG on the blog a while ago. Quite a long time ago, actually. I still remember some details and what the book is about but – luckily for me – I can’t remember how it ends. I was trying to rack my brains when I picked it up to read the first few chapters yesterday, but my memories are quite hazy and I can’t for the life of me remember what happened to Cynthia’s family. So not only is this readalong a great way to prepare for the sequel but it’s almost like reading the book for the first time!

Anyway, this is what happened so far.

The book starts with a flashback scene in 1983, when fourteen-year old Cynthia wakes up one morning to find her house eerily quiet and her family gone. She’s had a row with her parents the night before so she assumes this is how they’re punishing her – and even though she finds it odd that both her parents and her brother disappeared without even leaving a note, she heads off to school, hoping she’s simply overreacting. But when it becomes clear that no one has seen her family since the day before, she panics.

Fast-forward 25 years and Cynthia, feeling apprehensive and terrified, is back at her childhood home for the first time, filming a documentary for a local news show about unsolved crimes. We learn that her family never came back after that day in 1983 – and it has haunted her ever since. Despite the speculations and many different theories (including ones which say it’s odd that Cynthia was the only one their kidnapper or killer left behind, so she must have been the one to kill them all), no one knows what might have happened. The police were baffled and closed the case after about a year, leaving Cynthia with no answers. We see how it has affected her life and her family’s life as well, and how, even after 25 years, she’s hoping they will come back.

We also meet Tess (probably one of my favourite characters from the book), a lady in her sixties and Cynthia’s aunt, who took her in after her family’s disappearance. And this is where the story gets tricky. Since she doesn’t have any children of her own, Tess has always lived alone. She didn’t have a well-paid job but she always managed as she only had herself to support. But with Cynthia and her education to cover, things should have been difficult. And that’s when the letters started to appear. As Tess reveals, someone left her a blank envelope with thousands of dollars in it every month until Cynthia graduated from university, along with an anonymous note which laid down the rules: she wasn’t to tell anyone about where the money came from, not even Cynthia, and wasn’t to try and find out where it came from. Ever.

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