A Lover of Books

Guest Post by John Mayer ~ @CarolineBookBit @johnmayerauthor

I am delighted to welcome John Mayer, author of the Parliament House Books to my blog.  This series sounds really interesting and is one I hope to read at some point.  Links to the books are towards the bottom of this post.

John has written a guest post for my blog which I hope you enjoy.

 

Guest Post

On Writing – John Mayer

Writing is precious, or at least, it was. When people first began to write what we would call books – which was in Sanskrit – the technique was open and free for anyone to learn. As soon as writing spread to Europe, words were used to influence and even scare people into beliefs they didn’t have before and didn’t actually want.

With the advent of Amazon Books, I think book writing has come full circle and is once more open and free to learn. As a life-long learner though, I’d prefer the openness would not cause ‘us’ writers to dismiss the learning curve – with each book we write we strive to make it better than the one before.

A carefully crafted story which suspends the reader’s disbelief is a very difficult thing to do well and has to be both learned and practised regularly. After all, attentive readers appreciate and recognise quality when they see it. I’m proud to say that many reviewers of The Parliament House Books feel this way about my books. That’s very satisfying because quality lasts in the mind of readers and makes them eager for more, the next book of their favourite author. I imagine it is like dining out in a nice restaurant or eating a fast-food meal: the latter is to stop your stomach from rumbling, the first is as much food for thought as it is enjoyable to digest.

I like to think that my stories actually help people to shape their own opinions on the subject matter of my series, ‘injustice in high places.’ I feel very strongly about this. I have had feedback from readers saying that my books are different and that pleases me as my books and writing style are an intrinsic part of who I am.

How do I write? I don’t plan, or plot or stick to any kind of formula. I start with a single word: but that word has to be an important one which contains many ideas; not just legal ideas, but social and personal ones too. For instance, the words Cross, Cycle, Boots, Trial, Order, Bones, Trust all contain multiple ideas. Of course, I write about Parliament House and legal cases, with my twenty years’ experience as an Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland which gives me a unique depth of insight. I then develop the single word by imagining how it applies to people in a court case as well as how the court case impacts on their lives and the lives of those around them. The American lawyers who write books are all office lawyers, which is a world apart from Parliament House in Edinburgh. When I’ve got the word at the centre of a number of ideas, I then start to sculpt the word – which is like a stone block at this early stage – into a shape which, I imagine and hope, readers can appreciate from many angles.

My central character, Brogan McLane QC, lives in two worlds. One is the grandness and splendour of Parliament House in Edinburgh where he practises law at the Bar of the Court. The other is the Calton Bar in Glasgow where he grew up and has his blood brother – Big Joe Mularkey – by his side. The stories reveal how the low life in high places in the old town of Edinburgh are often disguised by their finery and the characters in each book have to look to another kind of Bar for help in getting justice. Mind, my books are fiction and this is not to say that all Advocates and Judges in Parliament House are corrupt or incompetent: but some are and they casually wreck lives on a regular basis.

Perhaps injustice sounds boring to you but to me, the burning pain of injustice is what motivates and drives me – imagine your loved one wrongly convicted. Anyone in that situation will tell you that the long hard slog trying to turn injustice into justice is a very humiliating and lonely place to be. Similarly in civil cases, trying to get justice for a wrongful act done to you in a few seconds, can take years and drain you of all your hard earned money. Those trying that task will tell you, that it eats into your soul so that you live and breathe the injustice, often for years or decades. There is an old Arabic curse which says ‘May your life be filled with lawyers.’ Anyone who’s had that experience will tell you that it wrecks you emotionally, financially and spiritually until many people surrounded by injustice take their own lives. Any politician will tell you that there are no votes in fighting injustice; but there should be. I think so.

I hope you will never have your life filled with lawyers. May you only experience that curse through the world of Brogan McLane QC in The Parliament House Books.

Best wishes,

John Mayer.

 

The Parliament House Books

Welcome to the Parliament House Books. John Mayer’s protagonist is Brogan McLane QC – who lives in two worlds.

McLane inhabits two worlds. One is the rarified world of Parliament House in Edinburgh, where he practices law, while the other is in Glasgow where he frequents the Calton Bar. To get in to the Calton Bar, you’ll need to first understand its ways. Those ways are to be found in the first and second prequels to the Parliament House Books, The Cross and The Cycle respectively.

The motto of the series is ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ and there is plenty of both in this series and, according to the author, in reality. Some Judges and Advocates in Parliament House are fine, intelligent and honest people. Others are mere pretenders. They are the schemers, members of secret societies from which they improve their chances of rising up the slippery pole of legal ranking.

 

The Prequels:

The Cross
The Cycle
The Boots

All three prequels are free to download at https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/

The Books:

#1 The Trial                http://getbook.at/TheTrial-JohnMayer
#2 The Order             
http://getbook.at/TheOrder-JohnMayer
#3 The Bones           
 http://getbook.at/TheBones-JohnMayer
#4 The Trust              
http://getbook.at/TheTrust-JohnMayer
#5 The House
            http://getbook.at/TheHouse-JohnMayer

 

About John Mayer

Like his leading character, Brogan McLane, John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent much of his time in the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds.

Having as the owner of a record company had a court battle with global giants, John decided to study law and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland – yes, at Edinburgh’s Parliament House. John acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John’s experiences as an Advocate are the foundation for his Parliament House Books, his battle to seek justice is what motivates and inspires his protagonist, crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane,  who fights injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

 

John Mayer on Social Media:

Author Website:           https://parliamenthousebooks.weebly.com/
FB Author Page:          https://www.facebook.com/JohnMayerAuthor/
Twitter:                         https://twitter.com/johnmayerauthor
Instagram:                    https://www.instagram.com/johnmayer_author/
Amazon Author Page: https://author.to/JohnMayer

 

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Blog Tour – ‘Hush Hush’ by Mel Sherratt ~ @AvonBooksUK @writermels

‘Hush Hush’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Avon on the 18th October 2018.  I have heard so much about Mel Sherratt’s books and was delighted when I was invited to take part in this blog tour by Sabah Khan.  I would like to thank Avon for my review copy.

I will tell you in a minute what my thoughts on ‘Hush Hush’ are.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

An unforgettable thriller that fans of MARTINA COLE and CARA HUNTER won’t be able to put down.

 

My Review

Wow! What a book. This was one fast-paced, gripping and gritty read. I literally turned the pages and wondered to myself why I hadn’t read any of Mel Sherratt’s books before. I totally loved the style of writing and the short chapters made this story all the more exciting. This book was so very hard to put down.

When DS Grace Allendale moves back to Stoke-on-Trent and starts a new job, she really doesn’t expect her first case to be quite so close to home. She has to confront her past which is naturally very hard, but she is made of much stronger stuff and isn’t about to give in. As the body count rises, Grace and her team are under pressure to find the killer before any more murders take place.

There were a number of characters in this story, many of them not very nice at all. The Steele family definitely weren’t the sort you would want to mess around with. Having said that, they also went through things in their childhood that they shouldn’t ever of had to. My favourite character was DS Grace Allendale and I really enjoyed getting to know her. Things weren’t made very easy for her because of her connection to the Steele’s. Despite all this she remained fairly level headed. She wanted justice for the people who were murdered and she wouldn’t give up until it was served.

I thought it very sad how things happened. Years of abuse led to desperate measures which in a way was a shame. I was a bit shocked at who the murderer turned out to be.

Mel Sherratt has got herself a new fan and I am already really excited to find out that the next book in the series is coming out next spring. Somehow I get the feeling that we will be hearing from the Steele family again.

~~~~~

‘Hush Hush’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hush-million-copy-bestseller-gripping-thriller-ebook/dp/B07CKQV675/ref=la_B006L2BMLC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541349447&sr=1-1

 

About Mel Sherratt

Mel Sherratt is the author of ten novels, all of which have become bestsellers. In 2017, she was named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.

 

Links

Website – http://melsherratt.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MelSherrattauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/writermels

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5376849.Mel_Sherratt

 

Lynne Milford’s (aka LM Milford’s) Monthly Guest Post – October 2018 ~ @LMMilford

Lynne Milford won my Twitter competition to feature on my blog for a whole year with a series of guest posts.  There was no post last month sadly as it was my turn to take a break, but Lynne is back this month talking about the setting of novels and where hers came from.  I hope you enjoy it and please do feel free to let us know what you think of these posts.

 

All about Allensbury

Developing the setting of novel is important. Right out of the gate the setting will tell the reader what sort of book to expect. For example if it’s set on a space ship or involves dungeons and dragons you can probably assume that it’s sci-fi. Whatever genre you write in the setting immediately tells the reader what to expect.

It’s as important to get your setting right as it is to get your characters right. You want your work to be believable and as well as characters being realistic, your setting must fit the bill. I’m not just talking about a sense of place – atmosphere etc – I mean the actual stage where your story is set.

My first novel A Deadly Rejection is set in the fictional Kent town of Allensbury. I couldn’t tell you where the name came from. It’s been so long since I first wrote the book that the reasoning behind the name has vanished into the mists of my memory. But what I can say is there is a clear reason why the town looks the way it does.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog series, I’m a big fan of Agatha Christie. I love the tight social circles and country house settings and the tension that brings. I’m fascinated by the fact that in a place where everyone knows everyone’s business or can’t get away from each other, it becomes claustrophobic. Tempers can begin to flare and there’s extra pressure for those who have secrets they desperately need to keep.

So what I created was a medium-sized town, which looks very respectable. This was important because I wanted it to be a place which looks innocent on the surface but underneath it’s hiding a seedy side. It’s somewhere that bad things could happen without it seeming unlikely that the crime rate could be so high. It had to be big enough for a local daily newspaper – less common now than when I was first writing the book – but as my main character is a journalist I didn’t want him getting too bored. In reality, the Allensbury Post almost acts as a moral compass for the town, wheedling out the sins of its residents and holding them up to scrutiny.

Knowing that I wanted to use it in a series, the town needed to have a lot of different locations. Allensbury is a historic town, with a castle and an old fashioned town hall. It’s growing gradually as developers buy up land and build more houses -see A Deadly Rejection for what happens there.

We haven’t met a lot of these locations yet – a theatre which hosts plays and musical concerts, a museum and a dance and drama school. I’m sure there are other locations – perhaps the Fenleys department store – which may find themselves at the heart of Dan’s investigations or under the sharp eye of Detective Inspector Jude Burton and Detective Sergeant Mark Shepherd.

Will Allensbury turn out to be new Midsomer Murders with the highest body count in the south east? Who knows. All I know is that Allensbury has a lot more secrets to give up, whether it wants to or not. I just have to go and dig them out.

~~~~

A Deadly Rejection is available in ebook and paperback from Amazon. UK address is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0768WP1SB

Catch up with me on Twitter @lmmilford or visit my website www.lmmilford.wordpress.com

 

Previous Guest Posts

First guest post (January 2018) – My writing journey

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/lynne-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Second guest post (February 2018) – Where did A Deadly Rejection come from?

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Third guest post (March 2018) – Creating the perfect cast for A Deadly Rejection

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-march-2018/

Fourth guest post (April 2018) – Why you should write a series

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-april-2018/

Fifth guest post (May 2018) – What I do when I’m not writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-may-2018/

Sixth guest post (June 2018) – Extract + Competition

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-june-2018/

Seventh guest post (August 2018) – Why I love writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-august-2018/

 

Blog Tour – ‘A Ration Book Christmas’ by Jean Fullerton ~ @rararesources @CorvusBooks @JeanFullerton_

‘A Ration Book Christmas’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Corvus on the 11th October 2018.  I am beyond thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the lovely Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate.  I would also like to thank the publisher and author for my review copy of the book.

I will tell you what I thought about ‘A Ration Book Christmas’ in a minute.  First though, the important bit.

 

Book Blurb

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

 

My Review

This is the very first book by Jean Fullerton that I have read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was absolutely superb. I love sagas so this story was right up my street and I found that I didn’t want to put it down.

Set in 1940 during the Second World War, the author described in great detail the horrors of the Blitz and the people who lost their homes and/or businesses due to the bombing. The number of casualties kept growing on a daily basis and it didn’t look as if anything would improve anytime soon. So good were the author’s descriptions that I could virtually see the scenes in my head; the fires, the rubble from buildings which had been destroyed and the general mayhem.

I really enjoyed getting to know the Brogan family. Out of all of them my favourites were Jo and her grandmother, Queenie, who I thought was just hilarious at times. The war seemed to offer Jo a new-found freedom. She learnt quite a few useful skills along the way which meant she could do her bit. It was also when she fell in love, but as she was soon to find things weren’t as simple as she thought they could be. She fought for what she wanted thought. I thought Ida was lovely too, working hard and then going out in search of food for her family each day.

I really like how Jean Fullerton has added a couple of Ida Brogan’s Christmas recipes at the back of the book after the story. A nice finishing touch I thought.

I am so happy to have discovered another author whose work is new to me and I really hope to read Jean Fulllerton’s previous books when I get the chance.

~~~~~

‘A Ration Book Christmas’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://goo.gl/eZ4TD5

 

About Jean Fullerton

Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born. She is also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

 

Social Media Links

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

My 7th Blog Anniversary

Seven whole years!  Gosh, where has the past year gone!!  It’s a bit like setting an alarm and feeling as if it’s gone off five minutes later when actually several hours have passed by.

Through good times and bad I have come to realise that blogging is definitely still for me and that books will always be one of my main passions.  No one and nothing will ever take that away from me.  This year has been truly wonderful for discovering new authors.  I reckon the list of books I want to read has tripled.  But that’s good, right?  All good.  I think I am at last becoming a bit more organised, or at least attempting to be.  I do wish that I could do a lot more blog posts, but life does get busy.  It really does take up a lot of time reading a book and writing a review.  But it’s one hundred per cent worth it.

My aim is to continue working on making my blog bigger and better and next year I am hoping to do some publisher/author blog events as well.  Who knows where my love of books could lead to.  To the moon maybe?  Perhaps not, but surely there’s no harm in trying.

 

Competition

To say thank you to all you lovely people who take the time to read and share my posts and who introduce me to great books, I am running a competition.  To enter just leave a comment.

1st Prize – Up to £25.00 worth of books from Amazon.

2nd Prize – Up to £15.00 worth of books from Amazon.

2 x runners up prizes – A mystery prize up to the value of £10.00 each.  It could be anything including stationery.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only (due to postage costs).

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 11th November 2018.

The winners will be notified within 7 days of the closing date.

 

Good luck! 🙂

Blog Tour – ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn ~ @HMLynnauthor

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ by Hannah Lynn, the first in the Peas and Carrots series, was self-published in paperback and as an eBook on the 18th October 2018.  I would like to thank Hannah for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and for my review copy.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought of this book.  First though, here’s what ‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

“A coming of age story for the mid-life crisis generation.”

When George Sibley dies, his only son, Eric, has no idea that his inheritance will come with conditions. Now, if Eric is to ever get his hands on his father’s treasured Aston Martin, he must somehow juggle his hectic career and family life in the city, with regular visits to the small riverside town of Burlam. Life for Eric quickly becomes a chaotic kaleidoscope of grumpy pensioners, wellington boots and vintage auto-mobiles, fraught with heavy machinery mishaps, missed deadlines and drug raids, the result of which leave his marriage, job and sanity hanging in the balance.

Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin is a light-hearted and humorous tale of a man who reluctantly goes digging amongst the weeds in order to discover his roots.

 

My Review

I somehow knew from the very start that I was going to enjoy this book. I thought the title to be very apt and fun sounding and I really liked the cover too. Hannah Lynn writes beautifully and with such confidence.

After his father died, Eric discovered that what he had inherited came with certain conditions. In order to keep the Aston Martin he had to maintain his father’s allotment on a weekly basis. Poor Eric had no choice but to keep travelling from London to Burlam whilst juggling his important job and family all at the same time. Personally, that would be enough to make me want to hibernate in bed for a year! It did all seem really unfair, but there surely had to be a reason why Eric’s dad had set out these terms.

Norman, who owned the next plot along didn’t exactly make things very easy for Eric at first and things really didn’t look good, but in the end they sorted out their differences and became friends. I grew very fond of Norman. There was much more to him than I thought and I loved his rather wicked sense of humour. He really had Eric going at times.

I think the allotment was a good thing as Eric and his family not only forged some friendships, but they also quite enjoyed the experience of growing vegetables and learnt lots of things along the way. It also gave Eric a chance to discover his roots and find out why his dad did what he did.

‘Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin’ is a charming, bittersweet and humourous story. I am so happy that this is the start of a series and I am really looking forward to reading the next book.

 

Giveaway

There is a competition being run to coincide with this blog tour.  One lucky person has the chance to win an Amazon gift card.  To enter just click on the link – Rafflecopter Giveaway.

 

About Hannah Lynn

Hannah Lynn is an award-winning, genre-defying novelist. Publishing her first book, Amendments – a dark, dystopian speculative fiction novel, in 2015, she has since gone on to write The Afterlife of Walter Augustus – a contemporary fiction novel with a supernatural twist – which won the 2018 Kindle Storyteller Award and the delightfully funny and poignant Peas and Carrots series.

While she freely moves between genres, her novels are recognisable for their character driven stories and wonderfully vivid description.

She is currently working on a YA Vampire series and a reimaging of a classic Greek myth.

Born in 1984, Hannah grew up in the Cotswolds, UK. After graduating from university, she spent ten years as a teacher of physics, first in the UK and then around Asia. It was during this time, inspired by the imaginations of the young people she taught, she began writing short stories for children, and later adult fiction Now as a teacher, writer, wife and mother, she is currently living in the Austrian Alps.

For up-to-date news and access to exclusive promotions follow her on

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HannahLynnAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/HMLynnauthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13830772.Hannah_M_Lynn

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hannah-lynn

 

Books

Amazon.co.uk – Amendments

Amazon.com – Amendments

Amazon.co.uk – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.com – The Afterlife of Walter Augustus

Amazon.co.uk – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

Amazon.com – Peas, Carrots and an Aston Martin

 

Blog Tour – ‘A Christmas Gift’ by Sue Moorcroft ~ @AvonBooksUK @SueMoorcroft

‘A Christmas Gift’ was published by Avon as an eBook on the 4th October 2018 and will be out in hardback from the beginning of next month.  I was thrilled to be invited along to participate in this blog tour and would like to say thank you to Sabah Khan and also for my review copy which I got from NetGalley.  I have since received a copy in the post and I can tell you now that the hardback really is lovely.  As you can see from the poster above there are lots of bloggers taking part in this tour, so do check their posts out.

I can’t wait to tell you my own thoughts on ‘A Christmas Gift’.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Georgine loves Christmas. The festive season always brings the little village of Middledip to life. But since her ex-boyfriend walked out, leaving her with crippling debts, Georgine’s struggled to make ends meet.

To keep her mind off her worries, she throws herself into organising the Christmas show at the local school. And when handsome Joe Blackthorn becomes her assistant, Georgine’s grateful for the help. But there’s something about Joe she can’t quite put her finger on. Could there be more to him than meets the eye?

Georgine’s past is going to catch up with her in ways she never expected. But can the help of friends new and old make this a Christmas to remember after all?

Curl up with the gorgeous new book from the Sunday Times bestseller, perfect for fans of Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Christmas Gift’ and absolutely loved Sue Moorcroft’s style of writing. I liked the opening of the first chapter and thought it to be very different. I soon found myself getting really involved in the story and the lives of the characters.

I warmed to Georgine straight away. I really liked her personality and her attitude in general. She put so much passion into her work and did a great job with organising the Christmas show. Left with a big financial mess to sort out which wasn’t even her own doing, Georgine got on with things as best as she could. She was just so lovely. I also really liked Joe. He didn’t have a very easy childhood and it was heartbreaking reading about what he went through. I’m so glad that his fairy godfather, so to speak, took him in and gave him a life he deserved, thus helping him to grow up into a responsible and caring adult.

I loved reading about the Christmas show and the rehearsals. It all sounded like so much fun as well as lots of hard work. But for Georgine, Joe, the rest of the staff and the students it was well worth it.

There were certainly a few shocks and revelations along the way. I bet Georgine wouldn’t have expected to find out what she did in a million years. I think her and Joe were a great help to each other as in they could finally face up to things that happened in the past.

‘A Christmas Gift’ deals with a number of serious issues such as debt, illness and alcoholism, but there is also lots of happiness thrown in together with a lovely magical ending. I really liked how Christmas seemed to bring people together.

I think it would be really nice if there could be a follow up to this book. I would love to know what happens with Georgine and Joe several years down the line.

~~~~~

‘A Christmas Gift’ is available to buy in eBook from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Gift-bestseller-returns-romance-ebook/dp/B07C217BV1/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1540027915&sr=1-1

You can also pre-order it in hardback:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Gift-Sue-Moorcroft/dp/0008260079/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1540027915&sr=1-1

 

About Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author, an international bestselling author and has held the #1 spot in the UK Kindle chart. She writes contemporary fiction with sometimes unexpected themes.

Sue has won a Best Romantic Read Award, received two nominations at the Romantic Novel of the Year Awards and is a Katie Fforde Bursary winner. Her short stories, serials, articles, columns, courses and writing ‘how to’ have sold around the world.

An army child, Sue was born in Germany then lived in Cyprus, Malta and the UK. She’s worked in a bank, as a bookkeeper (probably a mistake), as a copytaker for Motor Cycle News and for a digital prepress. She’s pleased to have now wriggled out of all ‘proper jobs’.

 

Links

Website – www.suemoorcroft.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/SueMoorcroft

Facebook – facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor

Instagram – suemoorcroftauthor

Book Review – ‘Gift Horse’ by Jan Ruth ~ @JanRuthAuthor

‘Gift Horse’ is Jan Ruth’s latest novel.  It was published on the 29th September 2018 as an eBook.  Jan asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her book.

I will tell you what I thought about ‘Gift Horse’ in a minute.  First though, here’s what its about.

 

Book Blurb

Imagine living eighteen years of your life around a mistake…

Caroline Walker’s daughter suffers a horrific riding accident. Her distraught parents wonder if she’ll ever walk again, let alone ride. And when Mollie’s blood group is discovered as rare, her husband offers to donate blood. Except Ian is not a match. In fact, it’s unlikely he’s Mollie’s father.

Eighteen years previously, Caroline had a one-night stand with Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. Caroline fell pregnant. Deeply flawed boyfriend, Ian, was overjoyed. And Caroline’s parents were simply grateful that their daughter was to marry into the rich, influential Walker family.

Caroline turns to Rory’s friend Connor; and although his almost spiritual connection with his horses appears to be the balm she needs, Caroline cannot forget Rory, or her youth – both lost to a man she never loved.

Eighteen years on and after surviving cancer Rory lives as a virtual recluse in the Welsh mountains. Through his well-meaning but interfering sister, he is shocked to discover he has a teenage daughter. Or does he? As the truth begins to unravel, Caroline finds herself faced with a complex trail of moral dilemma.

Someone has made a terrible mistake… someone is going to get hurt…

 

My Review

I felt honoured when Jan Ruth asked me if I would review ‘Gift Horse’, especially as I have only read and reviewed a couple of her previous books. I really liked the sound of this book and it appealed to me straightaway. I also thought the cover was gorgeous.

This story is set in the present but goes back to the year 2000, giving readers a very good insight into how Caroline knew Niamh and how she met Irish rock star, Rory O’Connor. I loved Jan Ruth’s style of writing and I found myself totally mesmerised by the story. Her descriptions of Wales and Bryn Teg were just wonderful and I almost felt as I was there at times.

Most of the characters were genuine, some more flawed than others. It was really quite unfortunate how things worked out and I couldn’t help but feel for Caroline. The sad thing was that events wouldn’t necessarily have gone the way they did if it hadn’t been for a rather careless mistake being made. Poor Mollie was in hospital recovering from a riding accident and needed lots of support rather than her parents falling out. I actually think that Ian meant well but at the end of the day he couldn’t really give Caroline exactly what she needed.

Rory’s music sounded wonderful and I wish I could have heard it for real. I quite liked Niamh but I did feel that she interfered rather a lot, making things a hundred times worse for Caroline. So much heartache could surely have been avoided. In its own strange way though it was as if all that happened was meant to be. Caroline deserved true happiness.

The ending was just so beautiful and tender and it made me want to cry.

‘Gift Horse’ has got to be my most favourite of this author’s books so far. Jan Ruth is a truly gifted writer and I hope to be reading her novels in many years to come.

Thank you for a wonderful read, Jan.

~~~~~

‘Gift Horse’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

http://mybook.to/GiftHorseJANRUTH

 

About Jan Ruth

Jan Ruth lives in Snowdonia, a mountainous area of North Wales, UK. Jan writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic, often blending life in rural Wales with a touch of city business. Her style is best described as fast-paced and realistic, with a sprinkling of dry humour.

The real story began at school, with prizes for short stories and poetry. She failed all things mathematical and scientific, and to this day struggles to make sense of anything numerical.

Her first novel – written in 1986 – attracted the attention of an agent who was trying to set up her own company, Love Stories Ltd. It was a project aiming to champion those books of substance which contained a romantic element but were perhaps directed towards the more mature reader and consistently fell through the net in traditional publishing. Sadly, the project failed to get the right financial backing.

Many years later Jan’s second novel, Wild Water, was taken on by Jane Judd, literary agent. Judd was a huge inspiration, but the book failed to find the right niche with a publisher. And then Amazon changed the face of the industry with the advent of self-publishing. Jan went on to successfully publish several works of fiction under her own imprint, Celtic Connections.

After a brief partnership with Accent Press in 2015, Jan chose to return to the freedom of independent publishing.

Jan’s books are available globally via Amazon in paperback and for Kindle; and locally, you’ll find them in North Wales libraries and Hinton’s bookshop of Conwy.

 

Links

Website – http://janruth.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JanRuthAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JanRuthAuthor

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42090387-gift-horse

 

Book Launch for ‘Mind Games: Inside the Serial Killer Phenomenon’ ~ @urbanebooks @PHarrisonauthor

It has been a few months now since I last went to a book launch.  Myself and my husband were kindly invited by Urbane Publications to the launch of Paul Harrison’s new non-fiction book, ‘Mind Games: Inside the Serial Killer Phenomenon’ which was published on the 4th October 2018.  We joined in the celebrations yesterday evening at The Soho Collective in London.  The room the event was held in was lovely and cosy with nice views and we instantly felt at home, that is until we saw the imprint of a dead body.  Obviously a murder had not long taken place.

There was much chatter and laughter as more and more people arrived.  We were all offered drinks and there were nibbles too.  Matthew Smith, the Publishing Director of Urbane Publications introduced Paul Harrison who then talked about his book and told us all a true story.  People then queued up to buy copies of ‘Mind Games’ and to get them signed.

There were some very interesting people at the launch and I was absolutely thrilled to meet actor and director, Sven W. Pehla who travelled from Germany to help Paul celebrate his new book, dressed as Poirot.  Sven even let me have a picture taken with him.

It was also nice seeing the lovely Anne Coates who is a talented Urbane author again.

We thought this to be a brilliant night out.  It left me on a high and I am still really happy.  Urbane Publications are organising more and more book launches these days and it really is great to see their books out there.  Events like these are good for book bloggers so if you ever get the chance to go to one of these launches you really should consider going.

I am really looking forward to reading ‘Mind Games’ although I have been told it is a bit gruesome.  Perhaps I won’t read it in bed at night.

After the event my husband ate a burger.  I wonder what could have been in it……

 

Blog Blitz – ‘Burning Secrets’ by Ruth Sutton ~ #damppebblesblogtours @fahrenheitpress @ruthsutton

‘Burning Secrets’ was published as an eBook on the 24th June 2018 by Fahrenheit Press and is also available in paperback.  I was invited by the lovely Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Blog Tours to take part in this blog blitz.  This book really did appeal to me and I was looking forward to reading it.  I would like to thank both the publisher and Emma for my review copy.

I will tell you in a minute what my thoughts on ‘Burning Secrets’ are.  First though, here’s what it’s about.

 

Book Blurb

It’s the spring of 2001 and Foot & Mouth disease is raging across Cumbria.

Twelve-year-old Helen Heslop is forced to leave her family farm and move in with relatives in a nearby town because the strict quarantine means she can’t travel back and forth to school in case she inadvertently helps spread the disease.

As the authorities and the local farming communities try desperately to contain the outbreak, tensions run high and everyone’s emotions are close to the surface.

And then Helen disappears.

The police search expands all over the northwest coast where farms are barricaded and farming families have been plunged into chaos – not least the Heslop family, where potentially explosive fault lines are exposed.

Under the strain tensions build inside the police team too, where local DC Maureen Pritchard is caught between old school DI Bell and new broom DS Anna Penrose.

Will Helen survive? And can life for the Heslop family ever be the same, once burning secrets are discovered and old scores settled?

 

My Review

It is always a joy to discover another author and their work. ‘Burning Secrets’ was a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping read. I really liked the author’s style of writing. Ruth Sutton didn’t waste much time getting into the story which was great. There was definitely more to Helen’s disappearance than met the eye and it had me pondering and trying to work out the reasons behind it.

I thought the author did a really good job of describing what the atmosphere in Cumbria would have been like. Those poor farmers who lost all their livestock due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. Bleak times with no sign of things improving. My heart went out to them and also to Rose Heslop and her son, Brian.

I was extremely interested in the police procedurals and how the search for Helen was dealt with. They certainly had their work cut out for them. I couldn’t help wishing that DI Bell had gone with DC Maureen Pritchard’s instincts, though I suppose concrete evidence was needed. I enjoyed getting to know the police team as a whole. There was understandably some tension between DC Maureen Pritchard and DS Anna Penrose but events seemed to change their working relationship a bit.

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed by the outcome of the case. It just felt as if no one came out a winner. I was left asking myself questions with regards to the Heslops and their future. I guess what happens next is a secret, but there are certainly a couple of possibilities.

If you are a crime fiction fan then I really recommend reading ‘Burning Secrets’. I am looking forward to reading more of Ruth Sutton’s books.

 

About Ruth Sutton

Ruth is a very independent person, which – like many things – is good up to a point, but can get tricky sometimes. She lives in a very beautiful place, but it’s a long way to a cinema, or a big supermarket, and if the time comes when she can’t or doesn’t want to drive, she’ll have to move as there’s no public transport. She qualifies for a bus pass, but there aren’t any buses. Her daughter and her family live quite close by, and she loves to see her two grandchildren. After decades on her own, she has a partner whom she loves. They each have their own house, 40 minutes apart, and this life style suits them both. Ruth wrote her first novel after she was 60.

In addition, Ruth has self-published a trilogy entitled Between the Mountains and the Sea; A Good Liar tells the story of Jessie who risks career and independence with a love affair, whilst her secret past draws ever closer. Forgiven is set among the coal mines and fells of the Cumberland coast. Jessie’s struggle for happiness continues. Fallout features the nuclear disaster at Windscale, which brings a compelling stranger into Jessie’s world.

 

Links

Social Media

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ruthsutton

Website – http://ruthsutton.co.uk/wordpress/

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Ruth+Sutton&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Ruth+Sutton&sort=relevancerank

 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burning-Secrets-Ruth-Sutton-ebook/dp/B07F1GD8VX/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535918224&sr=1-2&keywords=burning+secrets

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Burning-Secrets-Ruth-Sutton-ebook/dp/B07F1GD8VX/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535918289&sr=8-1&keywords=burning+secrets+ruth

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/burning-secrets/ruth-sutton/9780992931438

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40788004-burning-secrets?from_search=true

 

Blog Tour – ‘Christmas on Lily Pond Lane’ by Emily Harvale ~ @rararesources @emilyharvale

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all well.  I am so pleased to be back blogging and what better way than to start off with a festive read.

‘Christmas on Lily Pond Lane’, a standalone novel in the Lily Pond Lane series, was published as an eBook on the 18th September 2018 by Crescent Gate Publishing and is also available in paperback.  I was invited by the amazing Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources to take part in this blog tour and would like to thank both the author and Rachel for my review copy.

I really can’t wait to tell you what my thoughts on this book are.  First though you’ll naturally be wanting to gaze at the beautiful cover and find out what ‘Christmas on Lily Pond Lane’ is all about.

 

Book Blurb

Snow is falling in Little Pondale, lights are twinkling and the smell of pine trees and roasting chestnuts fills the air …

But Mia Ward is in a bit of a jam. She’d planned to rent out Corner Cottage for Christmas but thanks to best friend, Ella Swann, it’s double-booked. Now Mia’s got to let one ‘party’ down, or find another cottage – fast.

Best friends and single mums, Cathy Cole and Christy Franks want their kids to have an old-fashioned Christmas. Ice-skating, carol singing, making decorations, and tobogganing are on their list of festive fun and Little Pondale is the perfect place. Especially as it has no mobile phone reception. That will make it harder for Cathy to be found.

City banker, Leo Hardman is wondering if renting a cottage for Christmas as an anniversary surprise for his parents, was such a good idea. Little Pondale may be where his parents met, but his mum doesn’t seem pleased to be back, and his brother, Hal isn’t happy that the village is so tiny and only has one pub.

Meanwhile, Jenny Lake is settling in at her cousin’s bakery, having left her (broken) heart in Florence, but Christmas was never her favourite time of year. And Reverend Glen Fox has taken over at St Michael and All Angels. He’s glad it’s a temporary post because village life is not for him.

But luckily, for locals and visitors alike, there’s a sleigh-load of Christmas magic heading for Lily Pond Lane; enough to put a sparkle in everyone’s festive season. Although Christmas may not go quite as each of them has planned.

 

My Review

The months are flying by and whether you like it or not it will soon be Christmas. This is my first festive read of the year and hopefully there’ll be many more to come.

I read the whole of the Lily Pond Lane series and loved it, so I was totally overjoyed when I found out that Emily Harvale had written a standalone novel. It meant I would get to visit the village again and have a reunion with all the characters so to speak. Happy days!

I loved, loved, loved this book. I was totally hooked from the first page. The author has a wonderful way with words and tells a very good story indeed. The descriptions of the village, the Christmas decorations and the festivities were simply out of this world. I couldn’t wait to catch up with Mia, Jet and their friends. Even better was getting to meet some new people. Oh, and then there was the bakery which was taken over by Justin’s cousin. The bread and cakes sounded divine. I think I would have been in there every single day somehow.

This really was a lovely and relaxing read. It was absolutely magical and I was left with such a warm feeling at the end. Even though it’s a fictional village, Little Pondale sounds like a wonderful place and I reckon it would look lovely on a postcard or a Christmas card.

‘Christmas on Lily Pond Lane’ can be read as a standalone novel but I recommend reading the series in full, preferably on a comfortable chair or a sofa with a nice hot drink.

This is without a doubt one of my most favourite books of the year so far. Thank you Emily Harvale for making me smile. I feel kind of sad leaving this lovely village and everyone behind. I hope they all live happily ever after for many years.

~~~~~

‘Christmas on Lily Pond Lane’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://newbook.at/christmasLPL

 

About Emily Harvale

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happy endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

 

Taking A Blog Break

I just wanted to let you all know that I am taking a blog break for a while.  There are issues going on in my family which are causing a lot of stress and heartbreak.  I have had my eyes opened and I really can’t believe that family can be so cruel and heartless.  I am finding that I cannot concentrate on my blogging and reading as much as I would like to and am basically mentally and physically exhausted.  Everything is starting to feel like a chore and I don’t even want to blog right at this moment.

Massive apologies to all the blog tour organisers whose blog tours I am going to have to drop out of.  I plan to be back at the beginning of October, hopefully all bright eyed and bushy tailed.

Thanks for your understanding.

 

Sonya xx

Blog Tour – ‘Angelica Stone’ by Susi Osborne ~ @rararesources @susiosborne

‘Angelica Stone’ was published in paperback a year ago by Book Guild Publishing Ltd and is also available as an eBook.  I was invited by Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources to take part in this blog tour celebrating the book’s first birthday.  I did read part of the book but sadly due to life getting in the way was unable to finish it.  I do very much hope to read and review it properly though at some point.

There is a brilliant giveaway being run to coincide with this tour which I’m sure you won’t want to miss out on.  First though, here’s what ‘Angelica Stone’ is about.

 


Book Blurb

Following years of sexual abuse, Angelica is brought up in care. As a teenager she absconds, living on the streets, before eventually being forced into prostitution to survive. She learns to rely solely on herself and is reluctant to allow anyone to get close to her, until she forms an unlikely bond with Lola. In contrast, Lola is from what appears to be a happy middle-class background – but all is not what it seems…

Slowly, as their friendship grows, cracks start to appear in Lola’s life, and a series of events leave her on the verge of ruin. Can these women break the cycle of their lives? Or will they succumb to the path laid out before them? Angelica Stone is an emotional rollercoaster of laughter and tears as the women embark on a journey of self-discovery, with the support of one another.

 

Giveaway

One Winner will win all 4 of Susi Osborne’s Books (Open to UK Only)

Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome. Please enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

About Susi Osborne

Susi Osborne is the author of The Ripples of Life, Grace & Disgrace, Secrets, Lies & Butterflies and Angelica Stone. She lives in Cheshire with her Scottish husband, her actress daughter and their two mischievous little dogs. Susi also has an adult son and a grandson who live nearby. Amongst friends their house is known affectionately (she hopes!) as the Osborne madhouse, for obvious reasons.

Before she became a writer, Susi worked in libraries for many years. She also worked as a classroom assistant in a junior school. In addition to her writing Susi organises Northwich LitFest, which she has been running for the past seven years. Alongside the writing of her latest book, Angelica Stone, Susi has been raising money for Centrepoint, the charity for youth homelessness, and has set up a Just Giving Page for the charity in her name.

Susi is a firm believer in the fact that it’s never too late to do anything. ‘You only have one life – go out and grab it with both hands!’

 

Links

Social Media

Facebook ~ Susi Osborne – Author: https://www.facebook.com/susiwritesbooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/susiosborne

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susi.osborne/

Purchase Links

Angelica Stone – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angelica-Stone-Susi-Osborne/dp/1911320947/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Secrets, Lies & Butterflies – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Lies-Butterflies-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846248914/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Grace & Disgrace – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grace-Disgrace-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846244633/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The Ripples of Life – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ripples-Life-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846241804/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Blog Blitz – ‘Fractured’ by Billy McLaughlin ~ @bilbob20

Big congratulations to Billy McLaughlin whose new book, ‘Fractured’ is out today as an eBook and is also available in paperback.  Having previously hosted Billy on my blog, I was delighted when he contacted me to ask if I would like to participate in a blog blitz.

Billy has written a special publication day guest post.  First though, here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

Even killers die!

A woman in a psychiatric hospital finds herself on the wrong side of the law when another patient is found murdered. Proving her innocence might have to wait though as she comes face to face with an old adversary.

 

Guest Post

Publication Day

So publication day for Fractured has finally arrived. A quick draft, consisting of approximately 20,000 words was written in May 2017. At the time I had just finished promoting The Dead of Winter and finishing up on The Daughter. In the year since the latter was released, Fractured has undergone several changes. I’m glad to be finally handing it over to you.

Today will be a day of reflection, nervousness and excitement. Many of you who pre-ordered woke up to find it on your kindle this morning. I know some of you have voraciously inhaled the past books within days of release. I imagine a couple of you might already be on Chapter twenty. I simply cannot write at the speed some of you read. I’m very impressed, if a little frustrated. The eighty stories in my head, the twenty five semi-written books on my laptop and the thousand other ideas on the backburner just won’t write themselves quickly enough for your liking, or mine.

So today I plan on spending the evening with some other writers, some readers, some family and friends as we all get together for a little online launch party. I’ve managed to get a few book prizes from some fellow authors as well. It is officially my last day as the sole owner of Fractured, and that’s a terrifying but thrilling thought. I really hope that you all enjoy it as much as I want you to, and as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I have one ritual when publication day comes. I just take a deep breath. That’s what I’m doing now as I bring this mini-blog blitz to a close and gear up for tonight’s online get together. I really want to thank ‘A Lover of Books’, and all the other bloggers who took part over the past five days. Good luck with all the prizes and see you soon.

Billy x

~~~~~

‘Fractured’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fractured-Billy-McLaughlin/dp/1724959778/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1535653001&sr=1-1

 

About Billy McLaughlin

Billy McLaughlin is the author of the Glasgow based DI Phil Morris series. Opening with the #1 thriller ‘Lost Girl,’ he followed it up with ‘In the Wake of Death’ & ‘The Daughter’. Work on a fourth DI Phil Morris entry is now underway.

His novelette ‘Invisible’ first arrived in March 2016 to rave reviews and was then followed by stand-alone novella ‘The Dead of Winter’ and the award-winning ‘Krampus’, a novelette released to raise money for an illness called NKH.

Boasting nearly 20,000 downloads in 2 years, McLaughlin unleashes his seventh release ‘Fractured’ on 31st August. The story reveals the fate of a character who previously graced the pages of his work, whilst spinning an entirely new twisted tale about two traumatized women who seek vengeance.

To see more information on future releases, please see http://www.facebook.com/billymclaughlinbooks or contact him on billymclaughlinbooks@gmail.com

 

Links

Amazon Page – https://mybook.to/BMB

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/bilbob20

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/billymclaughlinbooks

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part Four: Trick or Treat’ by Emily Harvale ~ @rararesources @emilyharvale

‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part Four: Trick or Treat’ was published as an eBook on the 7th August 2018 by Crescent Gate Publishing.  I would once again like to thank Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in this blog tour and the author for my review copy of this book.

I will tell you in a minute what my thoughts are on the final part of this serial.  First though, let me remind you all what Part Four is about.

 

Book Blurb

Mia Ward was amazed to inherit her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda. She was even more astonished to discover she’d only inherit the place if she lives there for a year.

But a lot can happen in a very short time, and life in Little Pondale is not going quite as Mia hoped. She may have finally beaten one fear, but now heartbreak threatens to drown her.

And when at last, she starts to unravel the mystery of Matilda’s past, she uncovers an extraordinary plan for her own future. Now just who can Mia trust?

As the nights draw in and cold winds steal through Sunbeam Cottage, she turns to an unlikely source for comfort and support. But with the fortune teller’s warning still ringing in her ears, is Mia about to make the biggest mistake of her life?

 

My Review

Wow! What an action packed last part that was. You wouldn’t think that so much could happen in such a short time. Part Three of this serial left me totally intrigued with lots of questions going around in my head and I’m glad to say that they were all answered. There were also a few shocks and surprises along the way which even I didn’t expect.

After a few months of trying to discover more about her great-aunt Matilda and not having much luck, Mia finally found what she is looking for. But the icing on the cake wasn’t to be revealed just yet. No, that would be way too simple. It just meant that Mia had to be patient for a little while longer. I was totally intrigued by what she found out about Matilda’s past and almost felt as if I was sitting there with Mia and her friends in the kitchen learning about her great-aunt’s life. Fascinating stuff. Matilda was a genius. She obviously cared greatly about Mia and her happiness even though she had never met her. It’s like she waved a magic wand.

This was an absolutely delightful read and it left me with a lovely warm feeling. Everything seemed to come together in the end. The residents of Lily Pond Lane are like old friends to me now. I hope Mia has many happy years there.

All in all this was one fantastic serial and I would say that readers are definitely in for a real treat. Thank you for the many hours of pleasure Emily.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

~~~~~

‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part Four: Trick or Treat’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

http://newbook.at/Trickortreat

 

Read my review of ‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part One: New Beginnings’ here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/16/blog-tour-the-cottage-on-lily-pond-lane-part-1-new-beginnings-by-emily-harvale-rararesources-emilyharvale/

Read my review of ‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part Two: Summer Secrets’ here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/blog-tour-the-cottage-on-lily-pond-lane-part-two-summer-secrets-by-emily-harvale/

Read my review of ‘The Cottage on Lily Pond Lane – Part Three: Autumn Leaves’ here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/blog-tour-the-cottage-on-lily-pond-lane-part-three-autumn-leaves-by-emily-Harvale/

 

About Emily Harvale

Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings where she now spends her days writing… and chatting on social media. Emily is a Member of the SoA, a PAN member of the RWA and a Pro Member of ALLi. She’s an Amazon bestseller and a Kindle All Star. Emily loves writing and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.

Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/emilyharvalewriter

Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/emilyharvale

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/emilyharvale

 

Lynne Milford’s (aka LM Milford’s) Monthly Guest Post – August 2018 ~ @LMMilford

It’s always a pleasure welcoming Lynne Milford back to my blog.  She has been writing a series of guest posts, having won my Twitter competition to feature on here for a whole year.  Last month Lynne took a well earned break and is now back nice and refreshed with a lovely post about why she loves writing.

 

Why I love writing

If you’ve been reading my monthly posts, you know that I love writing. I love reading too but I love writing more. It’s not easy and at times has me pulling my hair out, but I couldn’t live without it.

Imagination and creativity have always played a big part of my life. When I was a child I was always making up stories and wishing for Famous Five style adventures, although they were more likely to be played out in my head. Even now I can turn the slightest hint of a story into a game of ‘what if?’ and who knows where that may take me. (This is one of the best ways to generate ideas!)

It’s a small step from coming up with ideas to actually writing them down. The much bigger step is developing those ideas into a plot that works. It takes patience and a lot of determination to keep your bottom on the chair. It’s a bit like training for a marathon really, in that you have to put in the work, learn from your mistakes and be prepared to keep going even when the going starts to feel very tough.

But there is no feeling like looking up from your computer or notebook and realising that you’ve finished something. Of course, the act of writing itself is great, but finishing something – particularly something the length of a novel – gives a real sense of satisfaction.

Recently I suffered from a bout of exhaustion. It sounds silly and self-indulgent, but bear with me. I was so desperate to finish the latest round of edits on my second book that I’d bookmarked six or seven hours each weekend day for about six weeks to work on it. Add in my full time job and you can see why I was exhausted. Sadly I hadn’t listened to the warnings and niggles my body was giving me until it started to shout. Three days of aching head-to-toe was not a good sign. I was fortunate that I was going to Harrogate Crime Festival and so I had to step away from writing for three whole days*. I was completely away from home so I couldn’t take editing with me. I had the Monday off work and had planned to edit all day. Instead I took the morning off, pottered around, went to the library and sat in the garden to read. That meant when I went back to editing later that day I was refreshed.

But (the reason for this story) it gave me a chance to look at my life and see how I was using my time. It also gave me a look at what I would do without writing in my life.  I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t give up writing – I missed it too much even just after three days. It’s so much part of my life and something I enjoy too much to give it up.

So writing will always be a part of my life and there are so many things I want to accomplish through it. But, and this is a biggie, I’ll make sure it doesn’t completely take over – or at least, I promise to try!

*(I should add that I was a bit naughty while away at Harrogate and I did start on a new piece of writing with a new character – and not in Allensbury where my novels are set. But don’t tell anyone because I told them I was resting!)

~~~~~

A Deadly Rejection is available in ebook and paperback from Amazon. UK address is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0768WP1SB

Catch up with me on Twitter @lmmilford or visit my website www.lmmilford.wordpress.com

 

Previous Guest Posts

First guest post (January 2018) – My writing journey

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/lynne-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Second guest post (February 2018) – Where did A Deadly Rejection come from?

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post/

Third guest post (March 2018) – Creating the perfect cast for A Deadly Rejection

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-march-2018/

Fourth guest post (April 2018) – Why you should write a series

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-april-2018/

Fifth guest post (May 2018) – What I do when I’m not writing

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-may-2018/

Sixth guest post (June 2018) – Extract + Competition

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/lynne-milfords-aka-lm-milfords-monthly-guest-post-june-2018/

Guest Post by Fiona Perrin ~ @fionaperrin @Aria_Fiction

I am delighted to have Fiona Perrin on my blog today.  Her book, ‘The Story After Us’ was published as an eBook on the 14th July 2018 by Aria Fiction and is also available in paperback.

Fiona has written a guest post in the form of Questions and Answers.

 

Tell us about The Story After Us…

It’s a story for everyone who found out that happy ever after had a sequel and for everyone who’s faced irreconcilable differences and survived. Here is the blurb:

If she tries very hard, Ami can remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her… 

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become – or why she and her husband can’t even be in the same room anymore. 

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off ‘consciously uncoupling’ like a celeb. But she’s starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be… happier? 

 As funny as Helen Fielding, as poignantly touching as Marian Keyes, Fiona Perrin’s dazzling debut is a story that is as much about finding out who you really are again, as it is about the exhausting balancing act of motherhood. Unmissable for women everywhere.

 

What was your inspiration for The Story After Us?

I wanted to write about messy, modern love. I know lots of women whose families don’t look like they belong in a magazine spread, but are filled with happiness, humour and hope. I am divorced myself – a long while ago – and good mates and parents with my ex-husband while happily married to my second. I’m a mother and stepmother to four kids and have had a fairly full-on job while they’ve been growing up. Ami’s story isn’t mine, but I hope it’s one thats relatable to lots of women – and makes them laugh.

 

How did you write it?

I’ve always written but, in 2012 I signed up for the Curtis Brown Creative writing course with a very rough draft of a novel. I learned loads about great storytelling during the short course and threw away most of my word count. Then, with the help of a spin-off writing group that met every Monday fortnight for years, I wrote it again.

Eventually I was lucky enough to get the editorial input of my agent, Diana Beaumont, who helped me write it again a few more times. Then Aria wanted to publish it, and everything got really exciting.

 

Are you writing another book?

I am. Again, it has a mad, modern family with a difficult dilemma at its heart. It’s different the second time – I have a lot more certainty about what I’m doing.

 

So, what’s writing life like?

I’m working as a freelance now so that makes everything a lot easier. And the kids are older and lovely (not that they weren’t but you know…) and I’ve got a study by the sea at the end of the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall. We call it life on the edge because it is (of England) and so far, it’s pretty great.

 

Links

‘The Story After Us’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-After-Us-Fiona-Perrin-ebook/dp/B07BM58ZNN/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521988626&sr=8-1&keywords=the+story+after+us

Website – http://www.fionaperrin.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/fionaperrin

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fionajperrinauthor/

 

Blog Tour – ‘Smart Moves’ by Adrian Magson ~ @DomePress @AdrianMagson1

‘Smart Moves’ was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 16th August 2018 by The Dome Press.  I am thrilled to be part of this blog tour and would like to thank Emily Glenister for inviting me to participate and for my review copy of this book.

I have both my review and a guest post by Adrian Magson for you.  First though here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

International troubleshooter Jake Foreman loses his job, house and wife all in one day. And when an impulsive move lands him in even deeper water – the kind that could lose him his life – he decides it’s time to make some smart decisions.

The trouble is, knowing the right moves and making them is a whole different game. And Jake, who has been happily rubbing along doing things he always suspected were just a shade away from being dodgy, finds it all too easy to go with the flow.

Now he’s got to start learning new tricks. If he doesn’t, he could end up dead.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Smart Moves’ and thought it to be very cleverly written. I liked Adrian Magson’s style of writing and the fairly short chapters kept me reading on.

I really felt for Jake Foreman. Not only did he lose his job, but he then discovered that he had lost his wife and his home all in the same day. I mean surely you can’t have so much bad luck in one day. I guess this is proof that things really do come in threes.

Jake soon managed to get a temporary job via his friend and it seemed that things were starting to look up for him. He got to travel around again which maybe wasn’t such a bad thing. That is until he was given one particular assignment. Little was he to know what he would end up being involved in. Somehow I knew it would be trouble. That’s when the story itself started to hot up and things got really rather exciting. It was as if Jake had been given several lives, much like a cat. He actually managed to cheat death.

I liked how things started to fall back into place for Jake and I was just as made up for him as his brother was. Jake went through some bad times, but he learnt a few valuable things along the way. He made some new friends and realised what real friendship was. He also met someone special. The rest I guess is left to the reader’s imagination but hopefully everything will work out for Jake.

‘Smart Moves’ is a story about what happens when you lose virtually everything in your life and the choices you make. It’s a serious read with a bit of humour added. I am certainly interested in reading more of Adrian Magson’s books and I would like to thank both him for and The Dome Press for several hours of pure entertainment. I am really liking what this publisher is publishing and I hope they continue to grow.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

 

Guest Post

BELIEVE IN RANDOM

I’m a great believer in random. Things surprise us that we haven’t planned for, circumstances change without warning, and we get caught short through no fault of our own. Stuff happens.

Most of us try to control our lives. We might end up swimming against a current now and then, or take a detour here and there to get where we want to go. But we usually push through in the end.

After writing a number of crime and spy thriller series (some 22 books in all), with determined and focussed lead characters, some of them women (as in the Riley Gavin series and the Ruth Gonzales duet) some men (as in the Harry Tate, Marc Portman and Insp Lucas Rocco series) I got the urge to try something a little different.

How about, I thought, instead of writing about characters whose lives are closely controlled through training and instinct, where they assess risk and cater for the unexpected, I write about Joe Ordinary, whose life simply isn’t like that? This Joe – or Jake, in my latest book and first standalone, ‘Smart Moves’ – isn’t expecting bad luck, but suddenly finds himself on the nasty end of a severe kicking from circumstances he hasn’t seen coming. As a friend tells him afterwards, that’s what happens when you don’t pay attention to detail.

For Jake, it couldn’t be worse. His wife doesn’t want him, his job’s redundant and his home has been overtaken by a bunch of Kiwi tree-huggers. The only way is up. However, making the right decisions after years of going with the flow doesn’t come easy, and Jake’s soon in hot water up to his ears. If he wants to survive he’s got to do something radical.

This means making some smart moves. Of course, we can all say we‘ll do that but as Jake discovers, there’s always random just waiting round the next corner.

Fortunately, he also finds that random isn’t always bad.

 

About Adrian Magson

Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian had written 21 crime and spy thriller books based around:

Gavin & Palmer (investigative reporter Riley Gavin and ex-military policeman Frank Palmer; Harry Tate, ex-soldier and MI5 officer; Inspector Lucas; Marc Portman (The Watchman); investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik.

Adrian also has hundreds of short stories and articles in national and international magazines to his name, plus a non-fiction work: Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book (Accent Press).

Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean and rumours that he is building a nuclear bunker are unfounded. It’s a bird’s table.

 

Links

‘Smart Moves’ can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2vWqzwM

Website – https://www.adrianmagson.com

Blog – https://adrianmagson.blogspot.co.uk

Twitter – https://twitter.com/adrianmagson1

Facebook – https://facebook.com/adrianmagsonbooks

Cover Reveal – ‘What Happened to Us?’ by Faith Hogan ~ #ChristmasinAugust @Aria_Fiction @GerHogan

I have something very exciting for all of you today.  Yes, the lovely Faith Hogan has got a new book coming out and I am joining in with a number of other book bloggers to help reveal the cover.  I can tell you now that you are in for a real treat because it is absolutely gorgeous.

‘What Happened to Us?’ is being published on the 2nd October 2018 as an eBook by Aria Fiction.

Right, are you ready to feast your eyes on the cover?  Is that a YES I can hear??  You’ve waited long enough so without further ado I present to you this wonderful creation………

WOW!  This really is a beautiful cover.  I feel all Christmassy all of a sudden and it’s only August.

Now to find out what this book is about.

 

Book Blurb

A heart-warming story full of winter warmth and new beginnings. Perfect for the fans of Cecelia Ahern.

Carrie Nolan is devastated when she is dumped by Kevin Mulvey after more than a decade without even a backwards glance! On reflection, she has sacrificed her own long term happiness establishing their critically acclaimed Dublin restaurant and pandering to his excessive ego.

Meanwhile Kevin can’t believe his luck. Valentina, their new waitress is a stunner, the kind of girl that turns heads when she walks in a room and surprise, surprise she has chosen him! He is living the dream!

Carrie seeks solace from a circle of mismatched friends who need her as much as she needs them. Jane, who struggles to run the pub on the opposite side of the street, Luke, who has stopped drifting while his father settles in a nearby nursing home and Teddy, a dog who asks for nothing more than the chance to stay by Carrie’s side.

With Christmas just around the corner, all is not quite as it seems and a catastrophic sequence of events leads to the unthinkable…

How far do you need to fall before you learn the true value of family and friends? And is it ever too late to start again…

 

About Faith Hogan

Faith lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and two very fussy cats. She has an Hons Degree in English Literature and Psychology, has worked as a fashion model and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.

 

Links

Follow Faith Hogan via:-

Website – http://www.faithhogan.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/GerHogan

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/faithhoganauthor/

‘What Happened to Us?’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://amzn.to/2Oz1mPV

Faith’s previous books are available from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2vqXwRN

 

Follow Aria Fiction via:-

Website – http://www.ariafiction.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Aria_Fiction

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ariafiction

Instagram – @ariafiction

Blog Tour – ‘Sky’s the Limit’ by Janie Millman ~ @DomePress @ChezCastillon

‘Sky’s the Limit’ was published on the 2nd August 2018 in paperback by The Dome Press and is also available as an eBook.  I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank Emily Glenister for inviting me to participate.

I have an extract from the book for all of you.  First though, here’s what it is about.

 

Book Blurb

Sky is devastated when she finds that her husband is in love with someone else, even more that it is her oldest friend, Nick. She has lost the two most important men in her life and can’t ever trust either of them again.

To escape, she goes alone on a dream trip to Marrakesh and meets Gail, on a mission to meet the father of her child, a man she loved but thought did not want her.

In Marrakesh, Sky and Gail both find unexpected joys – and surprises. For Sky, these lead to France, to a beautiful Chateau and a family whose relationships seem as complicated as her own.

With a rich cast of characters, beautiful locations and an ending that will make you smile, this is the perfect summer read.

 

Extract

‘You’re going off with Nick, “the person who makes you feel complete”. While I’m left with my world crumbling around me.’ My breathing was ragged and I felt as if I was drowning. ‘You know what really hurts the most? The fact that you didn’t even talk to me about it.’

‘I had no idea what the hell was happening to me! One moment I was a happily married man and the next moment I was having feelings for your closest friend, the nearest thing you have to a brother, what the hell could I have said?’

‘I don’t know, but you could have tried. We always said we would try to be honest with each other.’

‘It wouldn’t have made a difference.’

‘You don’t know that, do you?’ I couldn’t bear his calm certainty. You don’t know that because you didn’t try, you were too bloody scared. You didn’t trust me. We could have tried to work things out.’

‘You’re right. I was scared.’ He threw up his hands in defeat. His left cheek was still bright red. ‘I was absolutely terrified and I still am.’

There was another silence. A deafening silence. We glared at each other, like boxers in a ring. I was waiting for the next punch.

‘What hurts most, Sky?’ he finally asked me. ‘The fact that I am leaving you, or the fact that I am leaving you for another man?’

‘I honestly don’t know.’ I really didn’t know, my head was spinning. ‘Maybe I should be grateful that you aren’t leaving me for a young blonde with big tits, but then again maybe I should have cut my hair short, left off the facial waxing and grown a moustache.’

‘Oh, Sky.’ Miles grinned ruefully.

‘What really hurts is that the two men I love most in the world have been suddenly taken away from me.’

‘We are still here for you. We both love you so very much.’

‘How can you be here for me?’ I was incensed by his insensitivity. ‘How can you possibly be here for me when you’re there for each other?’

‘Sky, please, we can work this out. Think of everything we’ve been through together, think of everything we’ve shared.’

‘And now you’re sharing with each other.’ I couldn’t face hearing another word. ‘I want you to go now.’

‘But…’ He reached out to touch me.

I couldn’t bear to look at him. I turned around and stood still. ‘Now, Miles.’

 

After the door had closed I sank to the ground. My legs simply couldn’t support me anymore. I couldn’t move a muscle. I stared at the floor tiles, willing the tears to come, but my eyes stayed resolutely dry. I have no idea how long I sat slumped and motionless on the floor. It could have been minutes, it could have been hours. I think I wanted to die then, I think if an angel had come offering me oblivion I would have accepted. But no angel appeared. Instead the telephone began to ring, bringing me slowly out of my trance. I heard the answering machine kick in. I knew exactly who it would be.

‘Sky, it’s me. I know you’re there.’ I heard the intake of breath as Nick inhaled his cigarette.

‘Skylark, I love you.’ I winced at the use of his pet name for me. ‘Jesus, I don’t know how the hell this happened, but it has and we’ve got to get through it. I’m not losing you, Sky. You mean too much to me.’ He paused. ‘We have to talk whether you want to or not…’

‘No, we don’t!’ I yelled. I staggered to my feet and the room swayed dangerously. I grabbed the phone. ‘I never ever want to speak to you ever again, never.’ Flinging the phone to the floor I ground it beneath my feet. ‘Never, never, ever again, never ever…’

I collapsed onto the floor as, from deep within, a keening noise erupted, a sound I didn’t recognise as being my own. And then the tears started. Oh boy, did they start. They seemed to flood from every orifice: they poured from my eyes, my nose was streaming, and bubbles were coming out of my mouth. I wondered briefly if it were possible to drown in your own tears.

 

Nick stared helplessly at the phone. It was, of course, the reaction he had expected. He could hardly blame her. It was al his fault. Christ, what a mess. What a bloody awful mess. He stubbed out his cigarette and immediately lit another.

He could picture her now, her lovely face white and bloodless, the freckles standing out on the bridge of her nose and her dark blue eyes wide with shock. She could be hugging her arms to her chest with her face turned to the wall as if to shut out the world. He wanted nothing more than to rush over, pull her into his arms and comfort her as he had so many times before.

They had met on their first day at primary school and he could remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday, this tiny young creature standing alone, shy and uncertain. He had thought she looked like a fairy. He had walked towards her, held out his hand and said, ‘Let’s go in together.’

She had placed her small hand trustingly in his and smiled, her whole face lighting up with joy.

And now he had hurt her, his precious Sky, his soul mate, his fairy queen. He put his hands to his head and screamed.

~~~~~

Hopefully the extract has left you needing to read this book now.  If that’s the case then you can purchase it from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2Mowep6

 

About Janie Millman

Janie Millman is an actress, writer and co-owner of Chez Castillon.

She met Mickey, her husband, playing romantic leads in a summer season of comedies at The Little Theatre, Sheringham, on the Norfolk coast. Both actors for more than twenty years, their roles have ranged from Ninja Turtles, to acting in Olivier Award-winning stage productions and working on-screen with Hollywood stars.

Although still acting, Janie is now concentrating on writing. Her debut novel, Life’s A Drag, was published first in July 2015 by Accent Press and went on to receive highly acclaimed reviews.

It was then rebranded by The Dome Press and republished in February 2017.

Janie’s next book with The Dome Press, Sky’s the Limit, will be published in August 2018.

 

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChezCastillon

Website: www.chez-castillon.com

 

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