Good afternoon my lovelies,
On this cold, miserable Saturday evening I’m really pleased to be involved in the blog tour for the paperback release of Sam Carrington’s brilliant debt novel, Saving Sophie. I remember it’s publication-eve like it was yesterday, I had a little Twitter party with Sam, which basically involved us Tweeting each other all night with a count down to midnight, staying up really really late for a work night and then happy dancing when that ‘Pre-order’ button on Amazon changed to ‘Buy Now’.
And now, many weeks later, you can actually buy a physical copy! A real life book that you can pop on your shelf, once you’ve finished smelling it that is!!! And it is gorgeous! Definitely one you should be asking Santa for!!
I reviewed Saving Sophie before it’s original publication day, and you can read that here
And now, as part of this tour, I wanted to find out something different about out Sam, so here goes . . .
Sam . . . What are your five favourite, non-crime books?
I think it’s obvious I love psychological thrillers and crime novels – and it’s one of the main reasons I’ve chosen to write within this genre. BUT – I do read outside of my comfort zone too. When I joined my local book club seven years ago, my reading material was very limited: crime modern-day, nothing historical, dominated my shelves! Through their monthly book choices my horizon widened and I read many books that once I would have avoided picking up.
So, I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here are my top 5 books that AREN’T crime or psychological thrillers
The Secret Life of Bees – Sue Monk Kidd
This was a beautifully written book and one of the first non-crime books chosen in my book club. I’m so pleased I read this as it’s now one of my all-time favourite books. The novel is set in 1964. Fourteen-year-old Lily, a white girl in Southern Carolina, lives with her abusive father T. Ray and her only friend, Rosaleen – her father’s black servant. Lily’s life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Rosaleen insults three racists in town, her and Lily escape and find sanctuary in the home of three black beekeeping sisters. Lily finds refuge in their mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna and finally pieces together the circumstances of her mother’s death.
The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes – Anna McPartlin
Another book club choice. Now, this particular novel is one that hit me quite hard due to the timing. I’d lost my Mum to a brain tumour and a friend to cancer and so this was a real emotional ride. Let’s just say I cried. A lot. In public and everything! Not a good idea to read this where you can be seen snivelling. We meet Rabbit Hayes and her family as she is being taken to a hospice – she’s losing the battle with cancer. We not only see how Rabbit is coping with her imminent death, we delve into the minds of her family and friends too. But it’s not all doom and gloom, we also learn about Rabbit’s past, her hopes, her dreams and how she felt about the love of her life.
The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
This was a book I picked up in the bookshop although I’m not sure why it appealed to me. It might have been because at the time I was going through a few personal issues and it seemed like a good idea to read about someone else’s problems! I read this in two days while I was staying on my own in a flat by the sea. It was one of those books that kept me turning the pages, engrossed in Pat’s mission to get back with his wife, Nikki, as they are having ‘apart time’. Following his release from a mental-health facility, Pat goes to stay with his parents. We see how Pat’s relationships have changed with his family and friends, and how meeting clinically depressed Tiffany, who offers to act as a go-between for him and his wife, alters everything. This was adapted for film, although personally I didn’t feel it did the novel justice. Read the book!
The Three – Sarah Lotz
Although this is a thriller – it’s not quite in the psychological/crime thriller genre. I have a thing about creepy children – they really freak me out and this was one of those books that set me on edge! Another unusual choice for me (and not even a book club book).
I’d seen it recommended a lot by book bloggers – specifically Liz Barnsley (LizLovesBooks) and was suitably intrigued. It begins with a plane crash described through the eyes of a passenger – Pamela. It’s difficult to summarise this book, so I’ll just give you the blurb:
Black Thursday. The day that will never be forgotten. The day that four passenger planes crash, at almost exactly the same moment, at four different points around the globe.
There are only four survivors. Three are children, who emerge from the wreckage seemingly unhurt. But they are not unchanged. And the fourth is Pamela May Donald, who lives just long enough to record a voice message on her phone. A message that will change the world.
The message is a warning.
The Shock of the Fall – Nathan Filer
An amazing, original and well-written portrayal of Matthew, a young man suffering with schizophrenia. I loved the writing style as you really got inside his head. I felt so much sympathy for the character and his family, although it left me drained and a little sad. Matthew’s family suffered a terrible loss when his older brother Simon, who had Down’s syndrome, died tragically during a camping holiday when they were children. From Matthew’s viewpoint, we see how it affected him then and now, and we witness his struggle with feelings of guilt and loss. Because he is also struggling with the mental health system, he commences his own writing therapy using an old typewriter. Through this, and the interspersed doodles, letters and sketches, we see how his thoughts progress.
Thank you so much for joining me today Sam! It’s been great having you here and finding out a little more about your reading habits.
Now to order your copy in either paperback or eBook version, just pop over to Amazon UK
About Sam . . .
Sam Carrington lives in Devon with her husband and three children. She worked for the NHS for fifteen years, during which time she qualified as a nurse. Following the completion of a Psychology degree she worked for the prison service as an Offending Behaviour Programme Facilitator. Her experiences within this field inspired her writing. She left the service to spend time with her family and to follow her dream of being a novelist. Before beginning her first novel, Sam wrote a number of short stories, several of which were published in popular women’s magazines. Other short stories were included in two charity anthologies.
Sam moved quickly on to novel writing and completed her first project within six months. Although this novel attracted attention from agents, it was her next that opened up opportunities. She entered this novel, with the working title Portrayal, into the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award in 2015 and was delighted when it was longlisted.
Being placed in such a prestigious competition was instrumental in her success securing a literary agent. When completed, this novel became SAVING SOPHIE, a psychological thriller which was published by Maze, HaprerCollins as an ebook in August. The paperback and audio editions are publishing on 15th December.