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Archive for the category “Blog Tours”

‘The Right to be Forgotten’ by Kris Rogers ~ @PublishingDavis #BlogTour #Excerpt

‘The Right to be Forgotten’ was published by Cahill Davis Publishing on the 20th May 2022 and is available in paperback and eBook format. As part of the blog tour I have an excerpt from the book.

Synopsis

“Do you believe her or not?

Is she really in danger or is it a prank?

There’s something in her eyes that tells Milly this is no game.

Stopped at traffic lights, a casual glance at the next car throws Milly into a situation she can’t get out of. She must make a split-second decision.

Follow the car. The life of the woman inside depends on it.

Will Milly catch up to them or is it already too late to save Hope’s life?”

Excerpt

Prologue

The frozen countryside slides by the windows as the local bus makes its way cautiously up the hill. Her nose is resting against the window. Every time she breathes, a pattern forms on the freezing glass, leaving condensation trickling down the inside. If she cranes her head, she can see the entrance to her road as the bus heads out of Mary Tavy village, on the edge of Dartmoor. With only four buses a day, she has to time her journey to and from Tavistock carefully.


She makes her way unsteadily to the front of the bus, holding on to the tops of the seats to stop herself from falling as the bus lurches up the hill trying to keep a grip on the icy road. The driver barely acknowledges her as he stops the bus to let her off, and before she’s fully clear, the bus moves off.


“Thanks for nothing,” she mumbles to herself, regaining her balance as she prepares to walk across Dartmoor to the cottage she now calls home. She is breathing heavily through her mouth as she attempts to negotiate the frozen ground back to the cottage, pulling her bobble hat lower to protect her ears from the bitter air that is stinging the back of her throat. From the main road where the bus dropped her off, a narrow, tarmacked road crosses Dartmoor, connecting Mary Tavy to Brentor. During the winter, it is often impassable to normal road traffic. The cottage is at the end of a lane just off this road, about halfway between Mary Tavy and Brentor village. Waddling like a penguin, feet wide apart to stop herself from slipping, she sets off on the thirty-minute walk back to the cottage.

When she chose this place, Phil was amazed at her choice, but its very remoteness had attracted her. Phil, her old friend from university, had found three suitable properties that were available to rent immediately, but only this one had felt safe to her.


Once she reaches the front door, she rummages through her bag to find her keys. Her fingers, warm from the thermal gloves, pull back momentarily from the icy feel of the old metal touching her skin. She puts her key in the lock and pushes hard against the door with her shoulder, the wood swollen with the damp and cold. A wall of heat engulfs her from the wood burning stove as she closes the heavy wooden door on the frozen countryside. Letting out a sigh, she rests her back against the door, relieved that she’s managed to negotiate another day without him finding her.

The cottage, a farm workers’ cottage at one time, belongs to Jenny’s parents, who own a farm nearby. Now, it’s used as a holiday cottage during the summer, attracting a constant stream of visitors who enjoy walking the Dartmoor countryside. Phil introduced her to Jenny and her family as his cousin, Anna Brown, which meant he could rent the cottage for her without any questions. He’s owned the café in which Jenny works in Tavistock for ten years. It converts into a bar come brasserie in the evenings. She felt a moment of disquiet on first meeting Jenny—the ease with which Jenny and Phil work together and their camaraderie initially suggested something more than an employer/employee relationship to her. Later, she was to learn that Jenny was his first and longest-serving employee. Gradually, he had been introduced to her family, sometimes hosting family celebrations at the café or attending them by
himself at Jenny’s home. It was only later that Phil mentioned Jenny’s partner Jez, who works for Jenny’s parents on the farm.


Putting her bag down on the old pine table in the kitchen, she lets her gaze travel once again over her surroundings. The kitchen is basic but cosy with a wooden floor that has seen better days and functional cupboards in need of re-staining. The Belfast sink with its brass taps gives the kitchen a shabby chic feel rather than just shabby. The kitchen is the hub from which the other rooms in the cottage sprout like the branches of a tree. The front door opens into the kitchen with the stairs directly in front and the kitchen table snuggled under them towards the back of the room. An outside door on the far wall of the kitchen leads into a small courtyard where a brick-built outhouse covers the oil fuel tank. Next door to it is another old building which houses the washing machine and a tumble dryer. To the left as you enter the kitchen is a pine door that leads into the sitting room—a perfectly square room with the same wooden flooring as the kitchen. The room is sparsely furnished with not much more than a sofa and a bookcase. All the furniture, including the small TV and the short wooden stand it sits on, looks as though it’s been well used but carefully looked after. It makes her think of the junk shops she used to visit on weekends when she was trying to furnish her first flat. Nothing matches but that somehow doesn’t seem to matter. Instead, it gives the cottage a warm, comfortable ambiance that’s often lacking in holiday accommodation.

You can purchase ‘The Right to be Forgotten’ by clicking on this link – www.books2read.com/trtbf.

About the Author

Originally from Northumberland but now based in Northampton, Kris was a Civil servant for 20 years before retraining in the charity sector. She has worked for some wonderful charities, starting with the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and is currently working for a homeless charity in Northampton as well as volunteering at Northampton Hospital.

Kris is married with 3 lovely step daughters and 6 step-grandchildren. When not writing she likes to travel; particularly to see family in Sardinia and Belgium.

While writing Kris likes to listen to Scala radio and Classic FM.

‘The Summer Fair’ by Heidi Swain ~ @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC #BlogTour #BookReview

‘The Summer Fair’ is being published by Simon & Schuster in paperback on the 12th May 2022. It will also be available in eBook format and Audiobook. I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy.

Synopsis

Join Sunday Times bestseller Heidi Swain back in Nightingale Square for a sunshine and celebration filled summer…
 
Beth loves her job working in a care home, looking after its elderly residents, but she doesn’t love the cramped and dirty house-share she currently lives in. So, when she gets the opportunity to move to Nightingale Square, sharing a house with the lovely Eli, she jumps at the chance.
 
The community at Nightingale Square welcomes Beth with open arms, and when she needs help to organise a fundraiser for the care home they rally round. Then she discovers The Arches, a local creative arts centre, has closed and the venture to replace it needs their help too – but this opens old wounds and past secrets for Beth.
 
Music was always an important part of her life, but now she has closed the door on all that. Will her friends at the care home and the people of Nightingale Square help her find a way to learn to love it once more…?

My Review

I absolutely loved ‘The Summer Fair’.  Having really enjoyed Heidi Swain’s last novel I couldn’t wait to read this one.  This was such a feel-good read.  The words just jumped off the pages and I really didn’t want to put this book down.

For me it was my first time in Nightingale Square but that didn’t spoil anything at all.  It became clear from the very start that I was going to enjoy this novel.

The characters were all really likeable.  I enjoyed following Beth on her journey and seeing how things worked out for her.  I also took great pleasure in meeting all of her neighbours.  There was such a good sense of community spirit and I think the things they organised were great.

I loved reading about the care home and all the antics some of the residents got up to.  Beth was like a breath of fresh air and what she achieved there was amazing.

‘The Summer Fair’ is a magical and heart-warming read.  If you’re looking for some escapism, then I highly recommend that you read this book.

I look forward to Heidi Swain’s next book.

‘The Summer Fair’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon.co.uk

Blackwells

Hive

WHSmith

Waterstones

About the Author

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk

‘The Hiding Place’ by Simon Lelic ~ @VikingBooksUK @Simon_Lelic #BlogTour #BookReview

‘The Hiding Place’ by Simon Lelic is being published in paperback by Viking on the 5th May 2022. It will also be available in eBook format and audiobook. I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy of the book.

Synopsis

‘It was only a game.’

Until a boy went missing.

‘No one was meant to get hurt.’

But a body has been found.

‘Just some innocent fun.’

Except one of them is a killer.

Ready or not, here I come.

It’s time to play hide and seek again.

A PULSE POUNDING DETECTIVE THRILLER: 20 years after a boy goes missing at boarding school, his body is found and his friends, now some of the most powerful people in the country, are the suspects – for fans of THE CHALK MAN PB and THE GUEST LIST.

My Review

This is the first book by Simon Lelic that I have read, and I enjoyed it tremendously.  I liked the style of writing and how the reader is given an insight into what happened all those years ago.  I found it hard to put down the book at times especially as I got further into the story when things got really exciting.  It was gripping with twists and turns aplenty that kept me guessing.

Out of all of the characters I really liked Detective Inspector Fleet and Detective Sergeant Collins and thought they had a good working relationship.  I think that is really important.  It was nice that they could talk to each other about private things too.

I was left shocked by the outcome and would never in a million years have worked it all out myself.  The author definitely knows how to tell a good story.

If you like crime fiction and police procedurals, then I recommend reading ‘The Hiding Place’.

I am glad I was given the opportunity to discover Simon Lelic’s work and I will definitely be reading more of his books.

‘The Hiding Place’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK.

About the Author

Simon Lelic is the author of seven highly acclaimed thrillers: Rupture (winner of a Betty Trask Award and shortlisted for the John Creasey Debut Dagger), The Facility, The Child Who (longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger), The House, The Liar’s Room, The Search Party and The Hiding Place. He has also written The Haven series for younger readers, twice shortlisted for the CrimeFest awards.

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‘The Fall’ by Rachael Blok ~ @MsRachaelBlok @AriesFiction @soph_ransompr #BlogTour #BookReview

‘The Fall’ was published by Aries Fiction on the 14th April 2022 in hardback. This book is also available in eBook format and audiobook. I am closing the blog tour with a review and would like to thank the publisher for sending me a proof copy of the book.

Synopsis

The sins of the past echo in the present in the new literary thriller from crime-critic favourite, Rachael Blok.

The bigger the sin, the further the fall…

With Easter approaching, the verger of St Albans Cathedral was supposed to be readying the church. Instead he discovers a man lying dead, fallen from the famous 150-foot-high tower. Did he jump, or was he pushed?

For DCI Maarten Jansen, it’s a simple case of suspected suicide. Until a stranger, Willow, who witnessed the jump, prompts a deeper investigation into a long-buried past, involving a psychiatric hospital, a pregnant woman, and fifty years of silence. As Willow’s own family history entwines with the case, Jansen starts to wonder how everything is connected.

The Fall is a haunting literary thriller about loss, trauma, silence, and how our past shapes who we are.

My Review

I really did enjoy ‘The Fall’ and thought it was a fantastic read.  I loved the writing style.  With its mostly short chapters I kept turning the pages eager to know what would happen next.  It was a gripping and exciting read and I found it extremely difficult to put the book down.

I liked how the story started with Willow arriving at the cathedral only to witness someone falling from the roof.  I knew then that I was going to enjoy the book.

As I got further and further into the story, I kept trying to work out what had actually happened.  There were so many possibilities.  I suspected at least a couple of the characters but even I couldn’t have guessed the outcome.  It was a shocker I have to say.

Reading about the psychiatric hospital and how people were just left there in those days made me feel sad.

‘The Fall’ is an atmospheric, shocking, and tense read.  It is definitely a must read.  You won’t be disappointed.

‘The Fall’ can be purchased from Amazon UK.

About the Author

Rachael Blok writes a psychological crime series set in the cathedral city of St Albans. Here, DCI Maarten Jansen struggles against his plain-speaking Dutch upbringing when faced with the seemingly polite world of the picturesque city. The series does not need to read in order.

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‘Six Days’ by Dani Atkins ~ @AtkinsDani @AriaFiction #BlogTour #BookReview

‘Six Days’ by Dani Atkins was published on the 14th April 2022 by Aria Fiction in hardback and is also available in eBook format and Audiobook. I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy.

Synopsis

Two people. One love story. Six days.

Gemma knows that she and Finn are destined to be together. They are soulmates. But then,on their wedding day, he never arrives at the church.

Gemma is convinced Finn wouldn’t abandon her like this, even though he has disappeared once before. But back then he had a reason. She feels sure something terrible has happened, but no one else is convinced. Even the police aren’t concerned, telling Gemma most people who disappear usually turn up in a week… assuming they want to be found, that is.

For the next six days Gemma frantically searches for Finn, even though every shocking revelation is telling her to give up on him. Before long, even she begins to doubt her own memories of their love. How long can she hold on to her faith in Finn if everyone is telling her to let him go?

My Review

Wow!  What a truly wonderful and heart-warming read that was.  I loved this story from start to finish.  Dani Atkins writes so beautifully.  I really liked the style of writing and the way the story was set out.  I was totally invested in this book and the characters and didn’t want to put the book down for long.  When I wasn’t reading it I was thinking about it.

The characters in this book were all really likeable.  As the title suggests the story takes place over six days with Gemma doing everything she can to find Finn.  Gemma’s father and her best friend were both sure that Finn has stood her up, but she didn’t believe that for one minute and was determined to find him.  However, with each new discovery that she made things didn’t look good at all.

Gemma’s memories of her and Finn played a big part in the novel, and I think that’s what made this story so good.  Finn came across as being a really lovely man who wouldn’t do anything to hurt Gemma.  It was hard to believe that he would stand Gemma up, but it was difficult to tell for sure.  I was kept guessing as to whether Finn would be found or not.

If you like love stories, then I recommend that you get yourself a copy of ‘Six Days’.

I will definitely be reading more of this author’s books.

‘Six Days’ can be purchased from Amazon UK.

About the Author

Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut Fractured (published as Then North America) has been translated into sixteen languages and has sold more than half a million copies since first publication in the UK. Dani is the author of four other bestselling novels, two of which,This Love and A Sky Full of Stars, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, in 2018 and 2022 respectively. Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie. Follow Dani on twitter @AtkinsDani.

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‘The School Teacher of Saint-Michel’ by Sarah Steele ~ @headlinepg @sarah_l_steele #BlogTour #Extract

‘The School Teacher of Saint-Michel’ was published by Headline Review on the 17th March 2022 in paperback and is also available in eBook format and Audiobook. As part of the blog tour I have an extract from the book.

Synopsis

My darling girl, I need you to find someone for me . . .’

France, 1942. At the end of the day, the schoolteacher releases her pupils. She checks they have their identity passes, and warns them not to stop until the German guards have let them through the barrier that separates occupied France from Free France. As the little ones fly across the border and into their mothers’ arms, she breathes a sigh of relief. No one is safe now. Not even the children.

Berkshire, present day. A letter left to her by her beloved late grandmother Gigi takes Hannah Stone on a journey deep into the heart of the Dordogne landscape. As she begins to unravel a forgotten history of wartime bravery and sacrifice, she discovers the heartrending secret that binds her grandmother to a village schoolteacher, the remarkable Lucie Laval . . .

Extract

Prologue


In the peaceful pause between day and night, she steps out into the long shadows of the orchard, its treetops brushed with splashes of coral and gold. She weaves around the trees, her basket pressed against her hip, plucking the ripest cherries for her table, as she has done for countless harvests in this little corner of France.
Suddenly, like the deer in the woods beyond the stream, she freezes as dark clouds bubble on the horizon, extinguishing the last of the sun’s rays. Thunderous booms echo across the soft hills as bright flashes of light dance like fireflies in the distance. Yet this strange summer storm will not bring the release of the rain the parched ground craves, nor break the crackling tension in the air. And in the meantime, life must go on, even if it is a shadow of the lives they knew not so long ago. The children must go to school, the fields must be ploughed, meals prepared, livings made, prayers said in the cool, dark church, and the summer harvest collected.
A squadron of planes fly low overhead, shaking the ground as they mimic the annual migration of geese, and she quickly fills the basket before hurrying inside. She glances back, all the grief of the world in her eyes as she searches the darkness
, then pulls the shutters closed against the night. They have survived another day.

Gigi woke suddenly, her frail heart tapping out a frantic rhythm. Even after all these years, long-buried memories of the war still floated to the surface of her dreams as though it were yesterday, urging her not to forget the people she had left behind, and the debt she owed them.
She looked out of the window as a flurry of petals caught the breeze, a candyfloss cloud tumbling along the street, as blossom drifts gathered in gutters and around tree roots that burst up through the grey London pavement. How many springs had she watched the monochrome scene transform itself into a Japanese watercolour? And each spring the blossom awakened the burden that dragged on her like heavy fruit on the branch.
A group of young mothers walked past the wide bay window, babies in pushchairs in front of them and trailing toddlers behind. She watched a little boy stop at the tree outside, spinning around its trunk and laughing, and she was transported again to those long-gone days of her dreams.
She closed her eyes once more, and like an old cine film on a whirring projector, images of her beloved France flickered before her: the sun-bleached orchard and the shallow stream bouncing diamonds of light across its bubbling surface; a couple dancing beneath the trees to the strains of an old folk song whilst children wove around them, gorging themselves on sweet, sticky cherries, as for a brief moment the war raging across Europe was forgotten. This was how she wanted to remember her motherland during those terrible times – the memories of dark woods and dangerous city streets, damp cellars and abandoned buildings were too painful for her old heart to recall.
She looked now at the photographs on the mantelpiece: more than most, she understood the value of family, love, loyalty; knew how far it was possible to go in order to protect those one cared for. She knew too that the ties formed all those years ago had never weakened, and that those she had left behind would always be a part of her.
Again she felt her breath catch. She had become accustomed to this now: her heart was indeed broken, fighting to complete its lifetime’s allocation of beats. Only difficult, invasive surgery could help her now, and she was too tired. She had lived her life as best she could, and there was only one thing left undone, one debt unpaid.
She had waited too long. She could see that now. There would be no more springs, no more time to put things right unless she gave her story to another.
She reached across to the little table beside her, and picked up a photograph of her granddaughter as a little girl. She had been lucky: of course she adored her son, but the easy friendship with dear Hannah that had grown over the years was a gift she cherished. Gigi had passed on to Hannah the arts of perfect pastry and an exquisitely tied silk scarf, the bond between them as close as mother and daughter. And now that little girl had her own life and her own love, her own pain: her dear, kind Hannah who reminded Gigi so much of someone from her distant past, the bittersweet memories of those war-ravaged times tugging at her heart.
Hannah, her petite fille, who understood what it was to live with something that ate away at you, and for whom she prayed this task might offer some balm. Hannah, who might put things right for her.
She eased herself out of the chair, wincing as a pain shot down her arm, and fetched her writing paper and an envelope from the old bureau. Her arthritic hand paused over the tissue-thin paper, ink pooling at the expectant nib of her pen as she searched for the words.
My darling Hannah, she finally began, breaking off only to catch her rapidly shortening breath. And then, within a few short lines, it was done, and she folded the letter inside the delicate lilac envelope. The effort had drained her, and her beautiful copperplate handwriting wavered as she wrote Hannah’s name, the final h trailing across the paper.
She placed the letter beside her on the table and closed her eyes once more, unable to resist the weight of her eyelids and the sleep that overcame her like a sedative, so that dreams and memories were indistinguishable as she once again stood in a shady orchard, smelling the sun-warmed grass as a sudden peace wrapped its arms around her.
She had plucked the heavy fruit from the branch and handed it to one she trusted, and at last her heart was free.

‘The School Teacher of Saint Michel’ is available to buy from:-

Amazon UK

About The Author

Sarah Steele is the author of USA Today bestseller THE MISSING PIECES OF NANCY MOON and THE SCHOOLTEACHER OF SAINT-MICHEL, published in 2021.

After training in London as a classical pianist and violinist, Sarah joined the world of publishing as an editorial assistant at Hodder and Stoughton. She was for many years a freelance editor, and now lives in the vibrant Gloucestershire town of Stroud.

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‘The Christie Affair’ by Nina de Gramont – @NinadeGramont @MantleBooks @midaspr #BlogTour #BookReview

‘The Christie Affair’ by Nina de Gramont was published by Mantle on the 20th January 2022 in hardback and is also available in eBook format and as an audiobook. To celebrate its release a massive blog tour has been organised by Midas PR and today it is my turn on the tour. I would like to thank Amber for my proof copy. Read on to find out more about this book followed by my thoughts on it.

Synopsis

In 1926, Agatha Christie disappeared for 11 days. Only I know the truth of her disappearance.
I’m no Hercule Poirot.
I’m her husband’s mistress.

Agatha Christie’s world is one of glamorous society parties, country house weekends, and growing literary fame.

Nan O’Dea’s world is something very different. Her attempts to escape a tough London upbringing during the Great War led to a life in Ireland marred by a hidden tragedy.

After fighting her way back to England, she’s set her sights on Agatha. Because Agatha Christie has something Nan wants. And it’s not just her husband.

Despite their differences, the two women will become the most unlikely of allies. And during the mysterious eleven days that Agatha goes missing, they will unravel a dark secret that only Nan holds the key to . . .

The Christie Affair is a stunning novel which reimagines the unexplained eleven-day disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 that captivated the world.

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Christie Affair’ from start to finish and I found myself getting totally engrossed in the story, so much so that I even looked up Agatha Christie and her disappearance on the internet.  Though this is fiction it is based on true events.  No one actually knows where Agatha Christie went when she disappeared for 11 days in 1926.  In this book her disappearance is reimagined.  Quite a task I would have thought for the author but one very well done.

I loved the style of writing and thought the author described everything so perfectly.  The chapters were set out a bit differently than what I am used to, but I was fine with that.  It was obvious that the author undertook a lot of research for ‘The Christie Affair’.  I really liked the cover of the book; it is just so beautiful.

The novel is split into three parts.  Nan O’Dea, Archie’s mistress, is the protagonist and she narrates the story.  The reader also gets to learn quite a lot about Nan herself and the hardships in life she has had to face.  My heart literally went out to her, and I could see why she did what she did.

This story touches on a number of subjects including love, loss, friendship, heartache, revenge, war and illness.

I highly recommend this book especially if you like books set in the 1920s.  You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of Agatha Christie.  Having read ‘The Christie Affair’ though I will definitely be exploring Agatha Christie’s books.  The problem is where do I start?

I really hope there is lots more to come from Nina de Gramont.

A superb read.

‘The Christie Affair’ is available from:-

Amazon UK / Waterstones / Wordery / hive.co.uk

About The Author

Nina de Gramont (also known as Marina Gessner) lives in coastal North Carolina with her husband, the writer David Gessner. She teaches at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is almost always in the company of her two dogs, Missy and Isabelle. She’s the author of the acclaimed Meet Me at the River, Every Little Thing in the World, Gossip of the Starlings, The Last September, as well as The Distance from Me to You, which has recently been optioned for a movie.

Links

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I hope you enjoyed my post. Do check out the rest of this blog tour.

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ by Heidi Swain – @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC #BlogTour

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ is Heidi Swain’s brand new book. It is being published on the 28th October 2021 by Simon and Schuster and will be available in paperback, eBook and audiobook. To celebrate a blog tour has been organised and today I am one of the bloggers taking part.

I would like to thank the publisher for kindly sending me a paperback copy to review and for the lovely treats.

Synopsis

***The sparkling new Christmas novel from the Sunday Times bestselling author Heidi Swain!***

Wynter’s Trees is the home of Christmas. For the people of Wynmouth it’s where they get their family Christmas tree, and where Christmas truly comes to life.

But for Liza Wynter, it’s a millstone around her neck. It was her father’s pride and joy but now he’s gone, she can’t have anything to do with it. Until her father’s business partner decides to retire and she must go back to handle the transition to his son Ned.

When Liza arrives, she discovers a much-loved business that’s flourishing under Ned’s stewardship. And she’s happy to stay and help for the Christmas season, but then she has other plans. But will the place where she grew up make her change her mind? And can it weave its Christmas cheer around her heart…?

Underneath the Christmas Tree is the perfect festive read, promising snowfall, warm fires and breath-taking seasonal romance. Perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Cathy Bramley.

My Review

Wow!  That was a truly wonderful read.  It really was.  What a beautiful and entertaining story.  I feel all Christmassy now.

By that I think you will have worked out that I totally loved ‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’.  Once I started reading this book, I was soon turning the pages eagerly.  I found it very cosy and inviting.  The cover is just so beautiful.  It was like an open door enticing me in between the pages. just like a nice bar of chocolate.  Heidi Swain has a most wonderful style of writing, one that draws the reader in and gets them involved in the story.

Reading about Wynter’s Trees really made me want to be there.  I was wishing there was a special button in the book for me to press that would actually transport me to this wonderful sounding place.  If only!  Perhaps the author could arrange this for future books?

There were just so many lovely characters in this story and there wasn’t anyone I didn’t like.  Ned sounded like a total dreamboat and I loved reading about Bandit, his adorable dog.  I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it must have been for Liza to return to Wynter’s Trees and to face her past.  I think it was what she had to do though in order to try and move on.

If you are looking for some Christmas reads, then I can highly recommend ‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’.  It will entertain you and you will be left feeling all dreamy and Christmassy.  This book has all the ingredients necessary and more to really make your day.  With sadness comes happiness and I think the author had the right mix of both.

I hope that there are more books with Liza and Ned, and Bandit of course.  I for one would love to read more about Wynter’s Trees.

Thank you for writing this wonderful story, Heidi.  I am so glad I was given the chance to read it.

‘Underneath the Christmas Tree’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon.co.uk

Blackwells

Hive

Waterstones

Wordery

About the Author

Heidi lives in beautiful south Norfolk with her family and a mischievous cat called Storm. She is passionate about gardening, the countryside, collecting vintage paraphernalia and reading. Her TBR pile is always out of control! To find out more, follow Heidi on twitter @Heidi_Swain or visit her website: heidiswain.co.uk.

‘Black Drop’ by Leonora Nattrass – @LeonoraNattrass @ViperBooks #BlackDropBlogTour

‘Black Drop’, Leonora Nattrass’s debut novel, was published by Viper Books on the 14th October 2021. It is available in hardcover and eBook and is due to be published in paperback on the 12th May 2022.

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the publisher for my review copy which I received via NetGalley.

Synopsis

An atmospheric and brilliantly plotted historical thriller set in London during the uproar of the French Revolution

‘A fine debut [and] a gripping murder mystery’ – THE TIMES
‘As nimbly realised as by the genre’s master, Andrew Taylor’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
Black Drop is a joy from start to finish’ – ANDREW TAYLOR

________________________________________

This is the confession of Laurence Jago. Clerk. Gentleman. Reluctant spy.

July 1794, and the streets of London are filled with rumours of revolution. Political radical Thomas Hardy is to go on trial for treason, the war against the French is not going in Britain’s favour, and negotiations with the independent American colonies are on a knife edge.

Laurence Jago – clerk to the Foreign Office – is ever more reliant on the Black Drop to ease his nightmares. A highly sensitive letter has been leaked to the press, which may lead to the destruction of the British Army, and Laurence is a suspect. Then he discovers the body of a fellow clerk, supposedly a suicide.

Blame for the leak is shifted to the dead man, but even as the body is taken to the anatomists, Laurence is certain both of his friend’s innocence, and that he was murdered. But after years of hiding his own secrets from his powerful employers, and at a time when even the slightest hint of treason can lead to the gallows, how can Laurence find the true culprit without incriminating himself?

A thrilling historical mystery, perfect for readers of C.J. Sansom, Andrew Taylor, Antonia Hodgson and Laura Shepherd-Robinson.

My Review

It has been ages since I have read any historical fiction.  However, this book really appealed to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Black Drop’ and I found it to be an absolutely fascinating read.  It was very descriptive, so much so I could actually picture London and what it would have been like in those days.  At times I felt like I was actually there amongst the crowd walking the streets of Charing Cross and beyond.  I could literally feel the atmosphere in the Court during the trial and how tense things were.  I wanted to know what the verdict was going to be but at the same time I didn’t want to know, if that makes any sense.

I loved the author’s writing style and cannot actually believe that this is her debut novel. Her passion just flies off the pages.  It is this as well as the story itself that kept me reading on eagerly.

Laurence Jago was a great character and I found him to be really intriguing.  Through his confession I had my eyes opened and was left totally stunned.  To be honest I do not know how he managed to stomach some of the things he witnessed.  He had more fight in him than he thought.   

I did not know what to make of some of the characters and I found it hard to trust them.  There were a couple however that I really liked.   

‘Black Drop’ is historical fiction at its best.  It is a political thriller with all the ingredients to make this a great book.  Murder, traitors, spies, it has it all.  You will not want to put it down.

I have everything crossed that there will be more books from Leonora Nattrass.  This is an author to watch for sure.

‘Black Drop’ is available from:-

Bookshop.org

Waterstones

Foyles

Blackwell’s

Amazon.co.uk

Hive

About the Author

Leonora Nattrass studied eighteen-century literature and politics, and spent ten years lecturing in English and publishing works on William Cobbett. She then moved to Cornwall, where she lives in a seventeenth-century house with seventeenth-century draughts, and spins the fleeces of her traditional Ryeland sheep into yarn. Black Drop is her first novel.

Blog Tour – ‘The Devil Upstairs’ by Anthony O’Neill ~ @bwpublishing @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

‘The Devil Upstairs’ by Anthony O’Neill was published last September by Black and White Publishing in hardback and eBook formats.  It is being released in paperback next year on the 30th June 2021.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour.  It really is a pleasure to be taking part.

I have an excerpt from the ‘The Devil Upstairs’ for you all which I hope you enjoy.  Let’s just take a look at what this book is about first though.

 

Book Blurb

In a quiet corner of Edinburgh, Cat Thomas is going through hell.

She’s tried everything. He respects nothing.

If your neighbour was making your life hell …

Would you call upon the devil?

Cat Thomas, a brilliant fraud investigator, has just relocated from Florida to a dreamy flat in historic Edinburgh. Everything seems perfect. Everything seems serene. Except for the unbelievably noisy wannabe rockstar upstairs.

Soon Cat’s blissful new life is in ruins. Desperate, she’s willing to try anything. When all else fails, she makes an appeal … to Satan.

And suddenly everything is eerily quiet. But her nightmare has only just begun …

 

Excerpt

‘When I bought the place,’ Cat admitted, ‘I didn’t even realise there was an apartment upstairs. You can’t really see it from the street – the roof slopes in dramatically – and I just assumed it was a storage space or an empty loft or something.’

Agnes grunted. ‘Lots of buildings in Scotland have old nooks and crannies that’ve been converted into living spaces. You should’ve been more careful.’

‘Uh-huh. And then, for my first five or six weeks in Edinburgh, the flat was empty. The guy who lives there was away somewhere. I think he was away when I inspected the place, too, or just super quiet. But now he’s back. And suddenly I get why the previous owner was so eager to sell.’

‘He’s some sort of maniac?’

‘He’s a musician.’

‘Same thing.’

‘And he makes noise. Lots of noise.’

‘All musicians do.’

‘But it’s not just the music – though that’s bad enough. It’s all sorts of things. Dropping stuff. Stamping around. Banging doors.’

‘All through the night?’

‘Day and night. Every night. He never seems to sleep.’

‘Just kill the cunt.’

‘I wish I could,’ Cat said, grimacing. ‘I wish I could.’

It was an unusually humid early August evening and, with Agnes at the wheel, the two women were hurtling down the A91 towards Edinburgh after interviewing staff at the ABC branch in Montrose. It had only been Cat’s third such expedition since reviving her career in Scotland, so she had let Agnes take charge while familiarising herself with the local idioms and procedures. In fact, Agnes, though wildly different in most ways – as plump as Cat was slim, as loud and impulsive as Cat was prudent and methodical – had become her closest colleague in the department, and the nearest thing to a friend outside office hours, for all her fondness for booze, deep-fried food and the c-word.

‘Is the cunt renting?’

Cat grimaced again. ‘I don’t know . . . I don’t know.’

‘Complain to the landlord, if he is. Tenants need to maintain good records, you know – especially in a compact city like Edinburgh.’

‘The previous owner surely would have done that, if it was going to do any good.’

‘Complain to the factor, then.’

‘I don’t know what a factor is,’ Cat admitted.

‘The building superintendent.’

‘I don’t think there is one.’

‘How many flats in the building?’

‘Six, one atop the other.’

‘Maybe the place is too small.’

Honking the horn at a motorist who swung into her lane, Agnes mouthed the c-word again.

Cat shook her head. ‘In Florida I lived for a while in a condo, and there were strict rules in place. Anyone with floorboards had to cover at least seventy per cent of them to reduce noise.’

‘Got bare floorboards, has he?’

‘They creak like ship timbers. And – I swear to God – I think he deliberately leans on them, at their weakest points, just to make a racket.’

‘It’s an existential thing,’ Agnes said.

 

Like the sound of ‘The Devil Upstairs’?  It can be purchased from Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/372fbkd

 

About Anthony O’Neill

ANTHONY O NEILL is the son of an Irish policeman and an Australian stenographer. He was born in Melbourne and now lives in Edinburgh. He is the author of seven novels including The Dark Side and Dr Jekyll & Mr Seek, recommended by Ian Rankin as ‘clever, gripping and reverent’.

 

Links

Website – https://www.anthonyoneill.net/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/220734.Anthony_O_Neill

Blog Tour – ‘Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun’ by Pete Adams ~ @Peteadams8 @NextChapterPB @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

‘Road Kill: The Duchess of Frisian Tun’ by Pete Adams, is the first book in the DaDa Detective Agency series.  It was published by Next Chapter Publishing on the 19th August 2020 and is available in paperback and eBook formats.

I am thrilled to be a part of this blog tour and would like to thank Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to participate.

As part of this tour I am doing a spotlight post.  Read on to find out more about ‘Road Kill’.

 

Book Blurb

Cataclysmic events have occurred in the decorous upper middle class enclave within Southsea, Portsmouth, on the south coast of England.

But what were the circumstances that contributed to this violent clash involving a Sherman tank and a bazooka? The strange occurrence is Investigated by Lord Everard Pimple, a naive, upper class twit who not only inadvertently opens a can of worms, but has an introduction into the world of womanly wiles.

Everard’s life is about to blow up like an atom bomb… he just doesn’t know it yet. But after the dust settles, will he still be standing?

 

About Pete Adams

Pete Adams is an architect with a practice in Portsmouth, UK, and from there he has, over forty years, designed and built buildings across England and Wales. Pete took up writing after listening to a radio interview of the writer Michael Connolly whilst driving home from Leeds. A passionate reader, the notion of writing his own novel was compelling, but he had always been told you must have a mind map for the book; Jeez, he could never get that.

Et Voila, Connolly responding to a question, said he never can plan a book, and starts with an idea for chapter one and looks forward to seeing where it would lead. Job done, and that evening Pete started writing and the series, Kind Hearts and Martinets, was on the starting blocks. That was some eight years ago, and hardly a day has passed where Pete has not worked on his writing, and currently, is halfway through his tenth book, has a growing number of short stories, one, critically acclaimed and published by Bloodhound, and has written and illustrated a series of historical nonsense stories called, Whopping Tales.

Pete describes himself as an inveterate daydreamer, and escapes into those dreams by writing crime thrillers with a thoughtful dash of social commentary. He has a writing style shaped by his formative years on an estate that re-housed London families after WWII, and his books have been likened to the writing of Tom Sharpe; his most cherished review, “made me laugh, made me cry, and made me think”.

Pete lives in Southsea with his partner, and Charlie the star-struck Border terrier, the children having flown the coop, and has 3 beautiful granddaughters who will play with him so long as he promises not to be silly.

 

Links

‘Road Kill’ can be purchased from:-

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2XDyNrp

Amazon US – https://amzn.to/3kslSTh

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Peteadams8

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pete.adams.9256

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘Echo Hall’ by Virginia Moffatt ~ @aroomofmyown1 @unbounders @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘Echo Hall’ by Virginia Moffatt was published on the 28th November 2017 by Unbound and is available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook formats.

I would like to thank Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to participate.

I have an extract from ‘Echo Hall’ for all of you.

 

Book Blurb

Set against the backdrop of three wars – the 1991 Gulf War, World War 2 and World War 1 – the novel follows the fortunes of three women who become involved with the Flint family, the owners of Echo Hall.

Phoebe Flint visits Echo Hall in 2014, where she follows in her mother’s footsteps to uncover the stories of a house ‘full of unhappy women, and bitter, angry men’.

Ruth Flint arrives at Echo Hall in 1990 – newlywed, pregnant, and uncertain of her relationship with her husband, Adam. Ghostly encounters, a locked door, and a set of photographs pique her curiosity. But Adam and his grandfather refuse to let her investigate. And her marriage is further strained, when Adam, a reservist, is called up to fight in the Gulf War.

In 1942, Elsie Flint is already living at Echo Hall with her children, the guest of her unsympathetic in-laws, whilst her husband Jack is away with the RAF. Her only friend is Jack’s cousin Daniel, but Daniel is hiding secrets, which when revealed could destroy their friendship for good.

Rachel and Leah Walters meet Jacob Flint at a dinner party in 1911. Whilst Leah is drawn to Jacob, Rachel rejects him leading to conflict with her sister that will reverberate through the generations.

As Ruth discovers the secrets of Echo Hall, she is able to finally bring peace to the Flint family, and in doing so, discover what she really needs and wants.

Echo Hall is a novel about the past, but it is very much a novel of the now. Does history always have to repeat itself, or can we find another way?

 

Extract

2014

I should not remember this place, and yet every step towards the house unnerves me with its familiarity. The war memorial on the road from the village, the aromatic scent of the fir trees guarding the estate, the cawing of the rooks circling overhead, remind me that I have been here before. I was only a year old when I left. It should not be possible for me to remember this, and yet I do.

Perhaps it is because the stories our mothers tell us embed themselves so firmly in our DNA it is as if we lived the experience too. Or the location of our birth imprints itself upon our psyche, so that when we return it is as if we never left. Or perhaps it is just that Echo Hall has been on the edge of my memory for so long that being here feels like a homecoming.

Nonetheless, I hesitate before I pass through the large oak doorway, unsure whether I am prepared to become a tourist in my own life. Maybe it is enough to have reached its hard, grey walls, gazed up at the unforgiving windows, seen the skies louring overhead. And then I think how coincidental it is that I am visiting Sandstown on the weekend the National Trust has chosen to open the house. I realise the chance to visit my first home is too good an opportunity to miss; if I cross the threshold I might understand the past more fully.

So I enter, pay the fee and pick up a brochure describing the history of the Flints – a dry tale of dust and stone, slate and finance that misses the point entirely. Standing here, in the dark lobby, the grandfather clock in its rightful place, I am overwhelmed with a familiar sense of sadness. The ghosts may be long gone, but Mum was right – unhappiness seeps through the walls, even now.

I decide to begin at my beginning. I know exactly where to go: through the green baize door passing the old servants’ kitchens and turning right into the main kitchen. It has been reconstructed as it would have been 100 years ago, in my great-great-grandmother’s time, just before the war to end all wars. On the night Mum’s waters broke in here, there was an old gas cooker, an oak table and Formica cupboards on the walls. Now, the cooker has been replaced by a Victorian range; wooden shelves line the walls, piled with the cooking implements of the period; the table is laid as if the cook is about to prepare a meal, the walls adorned with recipes and household instructions relating to the Edwardian era. It is as if time has looped back on itself, returning the house to its starting point.

I wander back to the hall and enter the living room on the west side of the house – the site of my birth. An elderly couple are already there, examining the display of furniture separated from the rest of the room by a rope. The man is reading out a description of life for the lady of the house in a loud voice. The narrative grates; it bears no relation to reality – my great-great-grandmother was a dour woman, with no time for worldly distractions. It was her sister who enjoyed the finer things in life, although she lost them all in the end. The man finishes; his wife nods with interest, and they depart, leaving me alone.

I close my eyes, remembering Mum’s description of my delivery: how she crouched on all fours, gripping the sofa legs, grunting and screaming as I pushed my way from the silence of her womb into a dizzying new world. For a moment, I imagine I am there: the feelings are so strong my body shakes as if once more I am making that dark dangerous journey into life. I open my eyes, and steady myself on the wall. There is definitely something about this house; no wonder it had such a powerful effect on Mum.

My phone buzzes. It’s Dad:

How’s the revolution going , Comrade Phoebe?

He does love to tease. I’m about to text him an Emma Goldman quote when I remember it should be off. I shove it in my pocket. I will call him later for our weekly bout of political sparring, and tell him about this trip; but for now, I want to explore further. To my disappointment, most of the East Wing and the upstairs are still closed to the public. I glance at my watch. It is two o’clock; I have to be back at the conference by six. There is time for a walk, at least. I traipse back down the corridor by the kitchens, and out through the back garden. I climb the hill. I know instinctively where I will find the gap in the hedge, the gate through to the woods that will take me to Arthur’s Stone.

And, as I follow my mother’s footsteps, her stories lead me on.

 

About Virginia Moffatt

Virginia Moffatt was born in London, one of eight children, several of whom are writers. ‘The Wave’ is her second novel. Her previous publications are ‘Echo Hall’ (Unbound) and ‘Rapture and what comes after’ (Flash fiction collection published by Gumbo Press). She also writes non fiction. Virginia is married to Chris Cole, Director of Drone Wars UK. They have two daughters at University and a son still living with them in Oxford.

 

Links

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/aroomofmyown1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virginiamoffattauthor/

Website: https://virginiamoffattwriter.wordpress.com/

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3ggdZxJ

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/39IOFOn

Blackwells: https://bit.ly/3ffdouO

Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3gfNjgw

Hive.co.uk: https://bit.ly/3fiaV2C

 

 

Blog Tour – ‘One Fatal Night’ by Hélene Fermont ~ @helenefermont @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

I took part in the blog blitz for this book back in June and am delighted to now be participating in this blog tour.  ‘One Fatal Night’ by Hélene Fermont was published in May of this year and is available in both paperback and eBook.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and both Kelly and the author for my review copy.

I will tell you in a minute what I thought about this book after you have had a read of the blurb.

 

Book Blurb

One woman’s quest for revenge unearths a fatal secret from her past.

Astrid Jensen holds one man responsible for her mother’s suicide, and she’ll do whatever’s necessary to get close to Daniel Holst and destroy his life – even if it means sleeping with him to gain his trust. Astrid knows he’s not who he pretends to be. But before she can reveal his dark secret, people from her mother’s past start turning up dead, and it looks like she and Daniel are next. In order to survive, she might have to put her trust in the man she has hated for so long.

Daniel Holst has worked hard to climb into Norway’s most elite and glamorous circles, and he’s not about to let any woman bring him down. But when a psychopathic killer starts murdering people from his shadowy past, he discovers that the only person who might be able to save him is the woman who wants to destroy him.

As Astrid digs deeper into her past, she uncovers secrets long buried and realizes everything she once believed is based on lies. What began as a quest to avenge her mother’s death becomes a desperate struggle for survival and leads to the truth about what happened one fatal night ten years ago—and the surprising mastermind behind the most recent murders.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘One Fatal Night’.  I thought it was well written and I found this to be a gripping and exciting story which had me hooked.  I liked the short chapters, always handy when you only have time for a quick read.

This book was much shorter than the average novel but there was a lot to the story.  I thought the storyline was really interesting and I could not wait to find out where it went.  There were a few twists and turns throughout and a couple of shocks too.

Out of all the characters I really liked Astrid.  My heart literally went out to her.  Imagine living your life and then discovering things were not how you thought they were.  That everything you thought you knew was actually a lie.  She definitely had a lot to process in her mind.

I did like a couple of the other characters as well, but I am not going to mention them as I do not want you to work out who was good or bad.

I thought this was quite a poignant story in a way.  Some of the characters had had awful childhoods which affected them for years to come, including mentally.  It was a shame really.

I loved the ending and was really satisfied with it.

If you like crime fiction, then ‘One Fatal Night’ could well be for you.  I for one will definitely be reading more of this author’s books.

 

‘One Fatal Night’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

Kindle Edition – https://amzn.to/36XOxt3

Paperback – https://amzn.to/3dydhKS

 

About Hélene Fermont

Hélene is an Anglo-Swedish fiction author currently residing in her home town of Malmo, Sweden, after relocating back from London after 20 years.

Her thrilling character-driven psychological fiction novels are known for their explosive, pacy narrative and storylines.

Hélene is the proud author of four novels – One Fatal Night, Because of You, We Never Said Goodbye and His Guilty Secret.

 

Links

Website – https://www.helenefermont.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/helenefermont

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

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

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15484308.Helene_Fermont

Blog Tour – ‘Dear Emmie Blue’ by Lia Louis ~ @TrapezeBooks @LisforLia

Congratulations to Lia Louis whose new book, ‘Dear Emmie Blue’ was published yesterday the 6th August 2020 by Trapeze Books in paperback.  It is also available in eBook and Audiobook formats.

It really is a pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour.  I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘Dear Emmie Blue’.  In the meantime here is the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Emmie Blue has a secret…

A long time ago, Emmie Blue released a red balloon with a secret message hidden inside – and against all odds, across hundreds of miles of ocean, it was found on a beach in France by a boy called Lucas.

Fourteen years later, on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, Emmie hopes that Lucas is finally about to kiss her. She never expected him to announce that he was marrying someone else!

Suddenly Emmie’s dreams are shattered and the one person in her life she can rely on is slipping through her fingers. But what if Lucas isn’t her forever? What if her love story is only just beginning…

Don’t miss the love story that everyone is talking about this summer! Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary, Josie Silver and Cecelia Ahern.

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Dear Emmie Blue’.  I thought it was beautifully written and well presented.  This was a deliciously gorgeous story.  It took me a little while to get into it though, but after that I just wanted to carry on reading non-stop.

I really liked the plot.  It sounded like such fun which was why I was eager to read this book.  The idea of a balloon with a secret message being released to be found by someone else was just wonderful.

There were some great characters in this story.  Ones I won’t forget.  I warmed to Emmie straightaway.  She came across as such a genuine and lovely person who had had a bit of a rough deal.  I felt bad for her and what she had been through as a youngster.  I also really liked Rosie and Fox.  It was nice that the three of them got on so well together.  Lucas and his brother were really nice as well.  It was nice for Emmie that she formed a good solid friendship with someone she could rely on.  Someone who could make life that little bit more bearable for her.  And then there was Louise.  Such a dear and wonderful lady.

I totally loved the humour throughout.  The reference to avocados which Emmie made really tickled me.  I thought Rosie was a real hoot.  Some of the things she came out with.  She was just hilarious!

There was a lot of meaning to this story I felt.  Definitely a lesson or two to be learnt.

I have to say I had an inkling about what would happen, but it still made for an incredibly good read.

‘Dear Emmie Blue’ is a sweet, tender and heart-warming story.  If you love romance, then I recommend that you read this book.  You will be left with a big smile on your face.  I will definitely be reading more by this author.

 

‘Dear Emmie Blue’ is available to purchase from:-

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/dear-emmie-blue/lia-louis/9781409184218

hive.co.uk – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Lia-Louis/Dear-Emmie-Blue–The-gorgeously-funny-and-romantic-love-s/24955513

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dear-Emmie-Blue-gorgeously-everyones/dp/1409184218/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1596703900&sr=8-1

 

About Lia Louis

Lia Louis is a writer from Hertfordshire where she lives with her partner and three young children. In 2015, she won ELLE magazine’s annual talent competition with her contemporary love letter, #RelationshipGoals. Lia’s fascination with letters doesn’t stop with her writing: she also has a varied collection of old letters which are a source of inspiration to her. SOMEWHERE CLOSE TO HAPPY is her first novel.

 

Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LisforLia

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18604096.Lia_Louis

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Witch House’ by Ann Rawson ~ @RedDogTweets @AE_Rawson

Big congratulations to Ann Rawson whose new book, ‘The Witch House’ is out today in hardback, paperback and eBook, published by Red Dog Press.

I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be taking part in this blog tour and I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate and for my review copy.

I will tell you in a minute what I thought about ‘The Witch House’ after you have read the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

Who can you trust, if you can’t trust yourself?

Alice Hunter, grieving and troubled after a breakdown, stumbles on the body of her friend and trustee, Harry Rook. The police determine he has been ritually murdered and suspicion falls on the vulnerable Alice, who inherited the place known locally as The Witch House from her grandmother, late High Priestess of the local coven.

When the investigations turn up more evidence, and it all seems to point to Alice, even she begins to doubt herself.

Can she find the courage to confront the secrets and lies at the heart of her family and community to uncover the truth, prove her sanity, and clear herself of murder?

 

My Review

Oh Wow!  I cannot tell you just how much I enjoyed ‘The Witch House’.  When I first saw the cover of this book, I just knew I had to read it.  It is simply stunning and as I found out later actually holds a lot of significance.

I loved the way the story began.  My interest was piqued straightaway.  I liked the style of writing and thought the author was very descriptive.  The plot was fabulous.  It was extremely hard to tear myself away from this book.  I was totally gripped!  When I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.  Perhaps what I should have done was glue the kindle to my hand.  Then I could have read it constantly.

This was a story so full of intrigue that I just did not know what would happen next.  It kept me guessing for quite a long while.  I kept trying to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together but found it almost impossible to do so.  There were shocks galore and plenty of twists and turns.  It was creepy at times too.

Alice had not exactly had it easy what with her grandmother dying and then soon after having a breakdown.  To then be more or less accused of murder was not what she needed.  But things really did not look good for her and I for one could see why.

I think what happened actually helped Alice get her courage back.  I liked that not everyone judged her.  People like Professor Buckley were prepared to give her a chance whatever the outcome.

I found it hard to warm to a number of the characters.  To me they all had a motive for murder one way or another.

I loved reading about the house which Alice inherited from her grandmother and how it got its name.  I was also extremely interested in the pagan rituals.  Fascinating!

‘The Witch House’ deals with a number of topics including mental health, paganism, and greed.  If you like psychological thrillers with a difference, then I highly recommend this book.  Its one of my favourites of the year for sure.

I am looking forward to reading much more by Ann Rawson.

 

‘The Witch House’ is available to purchase from:-

Red Dog Press – https://www.reddogpress.co.uk/product-page/the-witch-house

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-witch-house/ann-rawson/9781913331405

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/31cPXgH

Amazon US – https://amzn.to/3i5oHaH

 

About Ann Rawson

Ann Rawson has long been addicted to story. As a child she longed to learn to read because she knew there was magic in those pages, the inky squiggles that turned into words and became images in her head – the stories that could transport her away from the everyday. As she grew older, she divined there was truth in books too. They were a glimpse into other minds. Her reading became the foundation of a deep and abiding interest in what makes people tick – and so she soon became hooked on crime fiction.

Age ten, she wrote to Malcolm Saville, author of the Lone Pine Series, enclosing her first short story. He wrote back and encouraged her to continue writing – and she is heartbroken that the letter is long lost. His book, Lone Pine Five, sparked a lifelong interest in archaeology, as it mentions the Mildenhall Treasure which makes an appearance in The Witch House.

A lapsed witch with enduring pagan tendencies, she lives on the south coast. She still thinks of herself as a Northerner, although she’s been in exile for many years. Almost every day she walks on the Downs or the white cliffs with her husband, plotting her next novel while he designs computer systems.

Ann’s debut novel, A Savage Art was published by Fahrenheit Press in 2016. She has published some short fiction, and in 2019 her memoir piece If… was shortlisted for the Fish Short Memoir Prize.

She is currently completing a memoir and working on her third novel.

You can follow her on Twitter @AE_Rawson (where she doesn’t go far, to be honest), find her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/aerawson/, and her blog is at www.strawintogold.co.uk

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Orphan Twins’ by Lesley Eames ~ @Aria_Fiction @LesleyEames

‘The Orphan Twins’ was published on the 23rd July 2020 by Aria Fiction.  It is available in eBook and paperback formats.

I would like to thank Aria Fiction for inviting me to participate in this blog tour and both the publisher and author for my review copy which I got from NetGalley.  It really is a pleasure to be taking part.  I have been following Lesley Eames on social media for a while now and have been intrigued by her books.

I’ll tell you what I thought about ‘The Orphan Twins’ after a quick look at the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

London, 1910. Lily is ten years old when she realises her grandmother, a washerwoman in the backstreets of London’s Bermondsey, is seriously ill. She’s determined to do what can she can to help and keep her grandmother’s illness a secret – even from her beloved twin, Artie. But Gran isn’t getting any better, and there’s only so much Lily can do…

When tragedy strikes and the twins are faced with the prospect of a workhouse or an orphanage, a benefactor offers to take Artie in and educate him. All Artie’s needs will be taken care of – but the gentleman has no use for a girl. The twins have lost everything they knew and loved, but they never thought they’d lose each other.

As the orphan twins grow up and take different paths, their new lives are beyond anything they could have imagined. Will they ever find a way to be together again?

 

My Review

‘The Orphan Twins’ is the first book I have read by Lesley Eames.  My verdict?  It was absolutely fantastic.  I loved every single minute of it, I really did.  The words just flowed, and I kept on reading getting deeper and deeper into the story and not wanting it to finish.  Through the author’s descriptions I almost felt as if I was actually there with the characters.

Set in Bermondsey, London, the story starts off in 1910 when twins Lily and Artie are living with their grandmother.  At only ten years of age they didn’t realise just how drastic things were about to become.  Their lives were going to change forever, and it was up to them to make something of themselves.

Lily appeared to have her head screwed on for such a young girl and was much more mature than her years.  She was kind and loving and even took the time to help her brother with his schoolwork.  Nothing seemed to be too much trouble for her.

Artie had it slightly easier in that he was given accommodation and an education.  Things were a bit more of a struggle for Lily, but she coped.  She wasn’t afraid of hard work and I think this together with her determination stood her in good stead for the future.

Within a few years the First World War began.  This was naturally a very worrying and emotional time for everyone, not knowing when or if their loved ones and friends would return home but having to get on with life as well as they could.  I loved the letters that went back and forth between Lily, Artie, and the others.  I think it is a shame that letter writing has more or less died out with technology.

There were some really charming characters in this story.  I loved Lily and Artie, the Tibbs sisters and Mr Bax.  All very memorable.

If you like sagas and historical fiction, then I recommend you grab yourself a copy of ‘The Orphan Twins’ now.  I really cannot wait to read more by this author.

Perhaps there could be a sequel to ‘The Orphan Twins’.  I think it would work out very well.

 

‘The Orphan Twins’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2WKCkV0

Kobo – https://bit.ly/2AMPw39

Google Play – https://bit.ly/2Zml1LN

iBooks – https://apple.co/2Aigxf0

 

About Lesley Eames

Winner of awards such as the Festival of Romance New Talent Award and the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Elizabeth Goudge Cup, Lesley Eames writes 1920’s sagas as well as short stories for the women’s magazine market. She is also a creative writing tutor, mentor and editor. Based in Hertfordshire, UK, Lesley loves working from home because she can share the adventures of her characters while wearing slippers and drinking copious cups of tea.

 

Links

Website – http://www.lesleyeames.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LesleyEames

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

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18057734.Lesley_Eames

 

Follow Aria

Website – http://www.ariafiction.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Aria_Fiction

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

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

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ by Juliet Conlin ~ @JulietConlin @bwpublishing @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ by Juliet Conlin was published in 2017 by Black and White Publishing.  This book is available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook.

I would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate and the publisher for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about this book.

 

 

Book Blurb

Approaching 80, frail and alone, a remarkable man makes the journey from his sheltered home in England to Berlin to meet his granddaughter. He has six days left to live and must relate his life story before he dies…

His life has been rich and full. He has witnessed firsthand the rise of the Nazis, experienced heartrending family tragedy, fought in the German army, been interred in a POW camp in Scotland and faced violent persecution in peacetime Britain. But he has also touched many lives, fallen deeply in love, raised a family and survived triumphantly at the limits of human endurance. He carries within him an astonishing family secret that he must share before he dies… a story that will mean someone else’s salvation.

Welcome to the moving, heart-warming and uncommon life of Alfred Warner.

 

My Review

I firstly want to mention the cover of this book which I love.  It shows the different stages of a human being, from when you are a baby to when you get old.  Very meaningful indeed.

‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ was an absolutely fantastic read.  The author has written an incredibly beautiful and unforgettable story.  I found myself totally engrossed and it was extremely hard to put the book down.  I thought the way the chapters were arranged worked out really well.  It was a bit confusing at first, but I could soon see exactly what the author was trying to achieve and why.

Alfred Warner at nearly eighty years old travels to Berlin to meet his granddaughter, Brynja.  He knows he doesn’t have much time left and he feels the need to tell her his life story before it is too late.  What follows is a truly remarkable and eye-opening look back at his life over six days.

This was such a wonderful book in so many ways and there was a lot packed into it.  I found Alfred’s story fascinating and could see why he wanted to share it.  There was so much tragedy in his life from a very young age and he suffered a lot of pain, but there were also good times.  It was great that Alfred found something that he actually enjoyed doing.  I loved reading about the gardening he did and the herbs.  He gained so much knowledge through books and it would prove useful for many years to come.

This may only be fiction, but Alfred really was an inspiration.  Even in death he was able to help someone.  You could say he left Brynja a legacy.

‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ is a stunning, heart-breaking and tragic tale which will stay with me for ages.  I recommend that you read this book.

 

‘The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Uncommon-Life-Alfred-Warner-Days-ebook/dp/B01MS4KUYU/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1595498972&sr=8-1

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-uncommon-life-of-alfred-warner-in-six-days/juliet-conlin/9781785300820

hive.co.uk – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Juliet-Conlin/The-Uncommon-Life-of-Alfred-Warner-in-Six-Days/20355364

Blackwell’s – https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Uncommon-Life-of-Alfred-Warner-in-Six-Days-by-Juliet-Conlin-author/9781785300820

 

About Juliet Conlin

Juliet Conlin was born in London and grew up in England and Germany. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Durham. She works as a writer and translator and lives with her family in Berlin. Her novels include The Fractured Man (Cargo, 2013), The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days (Black & White, 2017), The Lives Before Us (Black & White, 2019).

 

Links

Website – http://www.julietconlin.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/julietconlin

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/juliet.conlin/

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

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Storm’ by Amanda Jennings ~ @HQstories @MandaJJennings

‘The Storm’, Amanda Jennings brand new book, is being published on the 23rd July 2020 by HQ.  It will be available in paperback, eBook and Audiobook.

I am absolutely delighted to be participating in this blog tour along with a number of fellow book bloggers.  I would like to thank the publisher for the invitation to take part and for my review copy which I got from NetGalley.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘The Storm’.  Let’s have a look at the book blurb first though.

 

Book Blurb

Doesn’t every marriage have a dark side?

‘Beautifully written, chilling and absorbing’ Adele Parks, Sunday Times No. 1 bestselling author of Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck

‘Her best novel yet… Twisty, malevolent and gripping’ Lisa Jewell, No. 1 bestselling author of The Family Upstairs

To the outside world Hannah married the perfect man. Behind the closed doors of their imposing home it’s a very different story. Nathan controls everything Hannah does. He chooses her clothes, checks her receipts, and keeps her passport locked away. But why does she let him?

Years before, in the midst of a relentless storm, the tragic events of one night changed everything. And Hannah has been living with the consequences ever since. Keeping Nathan happy. Doing as she’s told.

But the past is about to catch up with them.

Set against the unforgiving backdrop of a Cornish fishing port in the ‘90s, this is a devastating exploration of the power of coercive control in a marriage where nothing is quite as it seems…

 

My Review

‘The Storm’ is a beautifully crafted book with a prologue which entices you to read on.  I absolutely loved the style in which this book was written.  It was well presented and very descriptive.

A family drama set in Cornwall, this story is narrated mostly by Hannah and occasionally by her husband, Nathan.  As the story starts to unfold the reader learns about Hannah’s past and the terrible tragedy which would change hers and others lives forever.  Although this was not a fast-paced story it was full of suspense and it had me trying to work out what had happened.

Appearances can be deceptive, and this was definitely the case for Hannah.  To the outside world she appeared to have the perfect marriage with a doting husband who provided for her and who was a pillar of the community.  Their marriage was in fact claustrophobic.

I really did not like Nathan at all.  He was a horrible character, almost sadistic.  Having said that I do believe that in his own way he loved Hannah even though he had a very strange way of showing it.  As the man of the house he liked to feel that he was in charge.  He was very controlling and the way he treated Hannah and their son was verging on mental abuse.  I was shocked at the way Nathan demanded to see all the receipts.

As I read on, I could see in a way why Nathan behaved how he did.  There was a lot more to things and I think they affected him more than was thought.  What he did still was not right though.  There really was no excuse.

I was most interested in the storm glasses which were used to predict the weather. They sounded so beautiful and delicate.

‘The Storm’ is a gripping, tense and chilling read.  It is a story about love and what sacrifices you would make to save someone even if it means virtually giving up the life you wanted for yourself.

This is without doubt one of my favourite books of the year so far.  I highly recommend it.  I really think that this would make a good television drama.

 

‘The Storm’ can be pre-ordered / purchased from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Storm-Amanda-Jennings/dp/0008287066/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1595068555&sr=8-1

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-storm/amanda-jennings/9780008287061

Blackwell’s – https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/9780008287061

Foyles – https://www.foyles.co.uk/all?term=9780008287061

hive.co.uk – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Amanda-Jennings/The-Storm/24235250

 

About Amanda Jennings

Amanda Jennings was born in London in 1973, and her family moved to a village in rural Berkshire when she was young. She accepted a place to read architecture at Cambridge University, but it soon became clear it wasn’t for her and after a year she changed course to History of Art. After she finished university she set up a company with a friend writing copy for a variety of small businesses and then a year or so later was offered a job as a researcher at the BBC. But when she had her first child she found it hard to juggle home life with working, and could no longer ignore her yearning to write. When she became pregnant with her second child, and encouraged by the success of a shortlisted sitcom script in a BBC writing competition, she took the opportunity to be at home with her children, and grabbed every spare moment she could find to write.

Sworn Secret, her first novel, was published in the UK in August 2012. On kindle it was #4 bestseller in the UK, a Top 100 bestseller in the US, and reached the #1 spot in Italy in translation. It was also published in Taiwan in translation. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was published in May 2014, and shortly after was optioned by a film and television production company. In Her Wake, her third, was a WHSmith Fresh Talent pick and will be published in Germany, Sweden, Turkey and Italy. The Cliff House is published by HQ, an imprint of HarperCollins, in hardback, audio, ebook, and paperback, as well as internationally. HQ are publishing The Storm in July.

Amanda enjoys appearing at events, is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club, and is a judge for the annual Henley Youth Festival writing competition. She has been involved in the WoMentoring Project, which offers mentoring support for talented female writers with women who work in the literary world, and run writers’ workshops.

Amanda lives just outside Henley-on-Thames and has three daughters and a varied menagerie. She is currently writing her sixth book, which will be set on Bodmin Moor. When she isn’t writing she can generally be found walking the dog or dreaming of mountains or the sea.

 

Links

Website – https://www.amandajennings.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/MandaJJennings

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/amanda_jennings1/

Blog Tour – ‘The Jansson Tapes’ by Colin Garrow ~ @colingarrow @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour and would like to thank the lovely Emma Welton of damppebbles blog tours for inviting me to participate and both the author and Emma for my review copy.

‘The Jansson Tapes’ by Colin Garrow is the third book in the Terry Bell Mysteries series.  It was self-published by the author last month and is available in paperback and as an eBook.

I will tell you in a minute exactly what I thought about ‘The Jansson Tapes’.  First though here’s the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

When a familiar leggy blonde slides onto the back seat of his cab with the offer of work, taxi-driver and amateur sleuth Terry Bell isn’t keen. However, compared to the tedium of driving a cab all day, the lure of another mystery is too strong to resist, and Terry agrees to help. Tracking down a missing writer and his tape recorder sounds simple enough, but following the clues to a remote village, the case takes a dangerous turn when the man turns up dead. After the police take over, Terry and his sidekick Carol return home to find their flat ransacked—and that’s not the only surprise. Caught between a suspicious detective inspector and the machinations of a mysterious woman, can the wily investigator unravel the mystery before the killer strikes again?

In this murder/mystery series set on England’s northeast coast, The Jansson Tapes is book #3 in the Terry Bell Mystery series.

 

My Review

‘The Jansson Tapes’ is the first book I have read in the Terry Bell Mysteries series and I absolutely loved it. I thought it worked well as a standalone novel. There was the occasional mention of previous investigations and characters within the story.

Oh My Goodness! This was such an exciting and entertaining read. I literally feel like I’ve been on an adventure. It was full of suspense and it kept me on my toes. This book is a bit shorter than the average novel, but it had so much packed into it. It was also laced with humour throughout.

I really liked how the story began and I loved how just about every chapter ended with a cliff-hanger. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant! This book had all the ingredients I wanted and much more besides. It really helped me to escape.

Terry Bell, taxi driver and amateur sleuth finds himself getting involved in another investigation. His job is to try and track down a missing writer. There is much more to things than meets the eye though as he is about to find out and he soon finds himself in danger, together with his girlfriend and his friend.

I really liked Terry and I think he makes a good sleuth. He was quick thinking which helped especially with the dilemma he found himself in. He had to literally think on his feet with not much time to waste. On a couple of occasions, I was really quite scared for him.

I am sure all Terry will want now is a peaceful life. Okay, maybe for a week or so.

So, having now read ‘The Jansson Tapes’ will I be reading the first two books in this series? You bet I will! My curiosity has been piqued you see.

If you like crime fiction which is gripping and fast-paced then I truly recommend this book.

I look forward to reading much more by this author.

 

About Colin Garrow

True-born Geordie Colin Garrow grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland and has worked in a plethora of professions including taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. Colin has published three stage plays, six adventures for middle grade readers, two books of short stories, the Watson Letters series and the Terry Bell Mysteries. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, The Grind, A3 Review, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. These days he lives in a humble cottage in North East Scotland where he writes novels, stories. poems and the occasional song.

 

Links

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colingarrow

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/colingarrowthewriter/

Website (adults): https://colingarrow.org/

Website (childrens): https://colingarrowbooks.com/

Website (The Watson Letters): https://thewatsonletters.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colinngarrow/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/colingarrow

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B014Z5DZD4

 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jansson-Tapes-Terry-Bell-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B088DC5G7Z/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+jansson+tapes&qid=1590325607&sr=8-1

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Jansson-Tapes-Terry-Bell-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B088DC5G7Z/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+jansson+tapes&qid=1590325731&sr=8-1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1021372

 

Blog Tour – ‘My Perfect Sister’ by Penny Batchelor ~ @RedDoorBooks @penny_author

It is an absolute pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘My Perfect Sister’ is Penny Batchelor’s debut novel and it is being published in paperback on the 18th June 2020 by RedDoor Press.  It is also available as an eBook.

I would like to thank Lizzie Lewis of RedDoor Press for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘My Perfect Sister’.  First though here is the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

How can you ever live up to the memory of someone you hardly remember?

Annie is five when her sister Gemma leaves for school one day and never returns. The family’s lives are changed forever with Gemma’s disappearance and Annie feels neglected and unloved. When she is just sixteen, she decides she can no longer live in the shadow of her perfect but absent sister and she leaves home, falling in and out of jobs and relationships, her resentment for Gemma always there, bubbling under the surface.

Many years later she reluctantly returns home to care for her mother, ill with cancer. Her anger only grows when she sees Gemma’s room still kept as a shrine while hers is now her mother’s sewing room, but as she cares for her mum she begins to soften and egged on by her best friend Priti she realises she has to uncover what happened to Gemma, for all their sakes.

Her research puts her in danger but with the help of a fabulous cast of characters and a satisfying twist in the tale, she finally discovers the truth but can she ever accept it?

 

My Review

I really did like the sound of ‘My Perfect Sister’ and was very much looking forward to reading it. I liked the author’s style of writing and the shortish chapters which had me turning the pages.

I found myself drawn to the story almost immediately. This was such an intriguing read and there were just so many questions going through my mind. I knew I would have to be patient though.

For Annie it must have been really difficult going back to look after her mother after years of hardly any contact. I cannot even begin to imagine all the emotions she must have felt. I would say it was definitely meant to be.

I think revisiting her past really opened Annie’s eyes and made her realise quite a few things. She was only five years old when her sister disappeared after all and she didn’t really have an easy childhood. But maybe things were not as she thought they were.

Throughout the story the reader is given an insight into what happened on the day Gemma disappeared. This I felt really spiced things up and added to the mystery.

I didn’t know what to expect with regards to Gemma’s disappearance and I found myself mentally making a list of who if anyone could have been involved. There were so many possibilities and at least two or three explanations as to what happened to Gemma.

There were some great characters in this story, some of whom were flawed. I really liked Aunty Lena, Annie and her best friend, Priti. They were my favourites.

‘My Perfect Sister’ looks at a number of topics including mental health. It is a thought-provoking read and has a lot of meaning. If you like family drama with a twist, then I highly recommend this book.

I will definitely be following this author’s work and I look forward to reading her next book.

 

‘The Perfect Sister’ can be pre-ordered/purchased from:-

RedDoor Press – https://reddoor-book-shop.myshopify.com/collections/new-releases/products/my-perfect-sister

Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2U4KKVj

 

About Penny Batchelor

Penny Batchelor previously had careers as a Content Producer at the BBC and Web Editor at various educational institutions but due to ill health now works at home as a freelance journalist and award-winning knitting blogger. She is physically disabled and is keen to bring disability into mainstream literature. She lives with her husband in Warwickshire.

 

Links

Website – http://www.pennybatchelor.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/penny_author

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

Blog Tour – ‘The Brave Daughters’ by Mary Wood ~ @panmacmillan @Authormary

‘The Brave Daughters’ by Mary Wood is the fourth book in The Girls Who Went to War series.  It was published in paperback, as an eBook and Audiobook on the 14th May 2020 by Pan.

I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate in this tour.  I am running my post a few days later than my original date as I am hosting an extract and it was better that they were kept in order so as not to confuse readers.

Before the extract lets take a look at the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

A moving and emotional family drama set between France and Britain from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

They would fight for their country, at all costs . . .

When Sibbie and Marjie arrive at RAF Digby, they are about to take on roles of national importance. It’s a cause of great excitement for everyone around them. Perhaps they will become code-breakers, spies even? Soon the pair embark on a rigorous training regime, but nothing can prepare them for what they’re about to face . . .

Amid the vineyards of rural France, Flora and Ella can’t bear the thought of another war. But as the thunderclouds grow darker, hanging over Europe, a sense of deep foreboding sets in, not just for their safety but for the fate of their families . . . With danger looming, as the threat of war becomes real, Flora and Ella are forced to leave their idyllic home and flee. Can they make it to safety, or will the war have further horrors in store for them?

 

Extract

CHAPTER TWO

Laurens, Hérault, France Ella and Flors

Flors smiled bravely as she stood on her doorstep and waved and waved until her husband Cyrus’s car, carrying their sons, Freddy and Randolph, was out of sight. The agony that she and Cyrus had been through, since the conscription papers had arrived, had almost defeated her. Now the pain set in, as the reality of what Freddy and Randie would face if war broke out took root.

Ella stood by her side. ‘Come on, Flors, let’s do as the British do and put the kettle on.’

‘Oh, Ella, to think of them having gone is unbearable.’

Ella clutched Flors’s hand even tighter and whispered, ‘Hug?’

Painful memories of the past and fears for the uncertain future vied for prominence in Flors’s heart as they hugged tightly. She knew that dear Ella would be feeling these same emotions, too.

As they emerged from the hug, they linked arms and went into the kitchen. A snore made them both jump, and nervous giggles consumed them. Rowena could sleep through any – thing when she was in her favourite rocking chair by the side of the stove. Even on a hot day like today, she professed that she felt the cold in her old bones. Rowena had known Flors since her childhood in Stepney, and now lived with her.

Flors felt glad of the light-hearted moment. She’d been on the brink of crying, but hadn’t wanted to; she’d save her tears for her own bed at night, when she was snuggled into the arms of her beloved Cyrus. Sighing, she told Ella, ‘It’s as if my nest is emptying all at once.’

‘I know. My darling Arnie is even saying that he will volunteer, if Britain ever comes under threat. And Paulo talks of going too, if necessary. It doesn’t bear thinking about.’

‘Oh no. Oh, Ella, everything we know and have built up, since the terrible things we went through in the last war, is under threat.’

‘They say we should be safe here in the South of France, and it’s the north-east that will bear the brunt, if an invasion does happen. But Hitler is threatening Poland at the moment, and I’m so worried about my sister, Calek.’

‘I don’t know what to say, Ella. We can only pray that the Germans don’t succeed in their quest to invade Poland, or that a miracle happens and they heed Chamberlain’s ultimatum.’

‘They have to. Oh, Flors, it’s Calek’s and Abram’s only chance; I fear they are in grave danger. Look at how Germany is treating its Jewish community, if the rumours of their cruel treatment are to be believed . . . Oh God, I can’t think about it. My dear nephew Zabrim is only fourteen.’

‘And there’s no answer to your last letter yet? Surely they will take up your offer to come here?’

‘I am praying for that, but I haven’t heard from them. At least if they sent Zabrim to me, that would ease my mind a little. I’m thinking of going to Poland to find out how they are. I checked and all the trains are still running. Maybe if I do, I can persuade them to come back with me.’

‘No, Ella, no! It’s too dangerous. Please think again, Ella, please. What does Arnie say about it?’

‘I haven’t discussed it with him.’

‘You haven’t discussed what, darling?’

‘Oh, Arnie, I didn’t see you. I – I . . . well, nothing – nothing really. I’ll tell you later.’

‘There’s no time like now. If you can share whatever it is with Flors, then you can share it with your husband, can’t you? Come on, old thing, what is it?’

As Ella poured out her thoughts, Arnie surprised Flors with his response. ‘I think that unless you do this, you will have an agonizing few years ahead of you, Ella – and I don’t want that. But I also think that you should wait to see if Hitler decides to take heed of Britain and France’s ultimatum – which I don’t think he will. If he doesn’t and invades Poland, it will be too dangerous for you to even think of going.’

Flors couldn’t believe the enormity of what Ella had proposed, and even less so that Arnie was partially agreeing that she should go to Poland. After all, she had the feeling that Hitler would find a way of doing as he had in Czechoslovakia and fully invade Poland. And what if that happened when Ella was there? ‘

I know what you’re thinking, Flors, but I understand Ella better than she does herself. Now that she has her family back in her life, it will kill her to think of the unspeakable things that might happen to them under a German regime.

 

‘The Brave Daughters’ is available to purchase from:-

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brave-Daughters-Girls-Who-Went/dp/1509892613/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1589732367&sr=8-1

 

About Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page.

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

 

Links

Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary

 

Blog Tour – ‘Just My Luck’ by Adele Parks ~ @HQstories @adeleparks

Congratulations to Adele Parks whose new book, ‘Just My Luck’ was published in hardback, as an eBook and Audiobook on the 14th May 2020 by HQ.  This is her 20th novel.

It is a real pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour along with loads of other book bloggers.  I would like to thank the publisher for inviting me to participate and for my proof copy.

I will tell you all in a minute what I thought about this book.  First though here is the book blurb.

 

 

Book Blurb

What if winning means losing everything?

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.

Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping take on friendship, money and betrayal, and good luck gone bad…

 

My Review

Wow! Well, I never expected that. Never expected that at all.

I was really looking forward to reading ‘Just My Luck’. Having now read it I have to say that Adele Parks certainly knows how to weave a good tale. I loved the style in which the book was written and thought the author was very descriptive. This was such an addictive and exciting read and it was pretty hard to put down.

I absolutely loved the storyline. It was much more complex than I imagined it would be. There were shocks galore and, in the end, I didn’t really know who I could trust. Surely nothing else could happen I thought, but I was proved wrong again and again.

I didn’t like the majority of the characters apart from Lexi, her children, Toma and Gillian. Lexi came across as a really lovely person. She wanted to be able to help as many people as she could and was definitely in the right job. I could understand her frustration at not being able to do more for others.

Lexi was the most level-headed person as far as the lottery win went which is more than could be said for the rest of her family. She was sensible about what she wanted to spend the money on.

I have always thought that I would like to win the lottery. We all have dreams after all. I would hopefully put the money to good use after the initial excitement. After reading this book though I think I would have to be careful how I went about things. It is quite a scary situation to be in really.

‘Just My Luck’ is a story about greed, secrets, betrayal and lies. It will leave you shocked, and you will never think about winning the lottery in the same way again. It is definitely not all it is cracked up to be.

Go buy a copy of ‘Just My Luck’. It is superb and is an eye-opener of a read.

 

‘Just My Luck’ can be purchased from:-

HarperCollins – https://www.harpercollins.co.uk/9780008410575/just-my-luck/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Just-Luck-bestsellers-including-bestseller-ebook/dp/B081D4N6T3/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1589608334&sr=8-1

Waterstones – https://www.waterstones.com/book/just-my-luck/adele-parks/9780008410575

Hive – https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Adele-Parks/Just-My-Luck/24893081

 

About Adele Parks

I was born in Teesside, NE England. Since graduating from Leicester University, where I studied English Language and Literature, I’ve worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University.

I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel – Playing Away – was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London’s ‘Twenty Faces to Watch’, which was very nice of them!

I like to keep busy and am pretty flattered when I’m described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn’t like that?!) Three and a half million copies of my UK editions have been sold and I’m translated into 26 different languages. I’ve published nineteen novels in nineteen years, and I’m lucky that they’ve all hit the bestseller lists. I have written 16 contemporary novels and two historical ones, Spare Brides and If You Go Away, set during and after WW1. All my novels examines issues that are important to us all. I like to scrutinize our concepts of family, our theories on love, parenting and fidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. Whatever period I set my novels I’m known for examining the thorny issues of the lives people lead with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style.

I write numerous articles and short stories for national magazines and newspapers and often appear on radio and TV talking about my work and related matters. You know, basically a talking head. This works well for me as I’m very chatty and fairly opinionated. I think it’s true to say once I get going, it’s quite hard to shut me up.

I passionately believe that reading is a basic right. I’m a proud Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge, a scheme that encourages emerging adult readers who are becoming passionate about books. In 2008 I wrote a Quick Read, Happy Families as part of the celebrations of World Book Day, which went on to win Quick Read Learners’ Favourite Award, as voted for by the public.

I am a judge for the Costa Book Awards and The British Book Awards which is a great privilege and an amazing experience. During my career I’ve lived in Italy, Botswana and London. Now I live happily in Guildford, Surrey with my husband, teenage son and cat. I guess, that’s it, so far…

 

Links

Website – https://www.adeleparks.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/adeleparks

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

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

 

Blog Tour – ‘The Scribbler’ by Iain Maitland ~ @RKbookpublicist @SarabandBooks @iainmaitland

I am beyond thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘The Scribbler’ by Iain Maitland was published in paperback and as an eBook on the 7th May 2020 by Contraband and is the first of a series.

I would like to thank Ruth Killick for inviting me to participate and both Ruth and the publisher for my review copy.

You will find out in a minute exactly what I thought about ‘The Scribbler’ after the all important book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

“He’s back, Carrie. The Scribbler is back.”

DI Gayther and his rookie colleague DC Carrie have been assigned a new caseload. Or rather, an old one… cold murder cases of LGBTQ+ victims.Georgia Carrie wasn’t even born when the notorious serial killer began his reign of terror across the East of England, but Roger Gayther was on the force that failed to catch him and remembers every chilling detail.

Back in the Eighties, Gayther’s team hadn’t been assigned sufficient resources. But now, after all these years, there’s a sudden death featuring The Scribbler’s tell-tale modus operandi. Gayther and Carrie have to find and bring him to justice to stop the killing once and for all.

 

My Review

Oh My Goodness! How did I not know about Iain Maitland and his work before now? I mean what planet have I been living on all this time? I feel like I have just made one of the greatest discoveries on Earth. Literally I do. What a mind this author has.

I thought ‘The Scribbler’ was a fantastic read. I really liked the author’s style of writing and I could almost feel the atmosphere at times.

This was one of those books I could not wait to get back to, especially as I got deeper and deeper into the story. It was like falling into a hole and wanting to get to the bottom to find out what was there.

There were certainly some interesting characters, many of whom I just didn’t take to. I liked DI Gayther and DC Carrie and I thought that they had a really good working relationship. Together with Thomas and Cotton they made a good team. I was most interested to see how far they got with the cold murder cases of LGBTQ+ victims.

The Scribbler was just so evil and twisted. How he could live with himself I really do not know. There was another side to him though surprisingly and it seemed that he did have a heart somewhere. He was very protective of his family, especially his sibling. As I read on it became apparent as to why The Scribbler had become the way he had, not that murdering people was any excuse. I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit sympathetic for him and his brother.

‘The Scribbler’ is a dark, gripping, creepy and tense read. It deals with a number of issues including mental health, homosexuality, abuse and loss.

If you are a fan of crime fiction, then I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of ‘The Scribbler’ now.

I was over the moon when I discovered that this was the first book in a series, and I will wait patiently for the next one. In the meantime, I will definitely be buying Iain Maitland’s first two novels, there is no doubt about that at all.

I think this is another book to add to my favourites of the year.

 

‘The Scribbler’ can be purchased from:-

Saraband – https://saraband.net/sb-title/the-scribbler/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1912235803?pf_rd_r=F917907HFJGYKDDY0DCR&pf_rd_p=e632fea2-678f-4848-9a97-bcecda59cb4e

 

About Iain Maitland

Iain Maitland is the author of thrillers: The Scribbler (2020) Mr Todd’s Reckoning (2019) and Sweet William (2017) as well as two non-fiction books on mental health: Dear Michael, Love Dad (2016) and Out of the Madhouse (2018). An ambassador for Stem4, the teenage mental health charity, Iain also speaks on mental health issues in the workplace. A writer since 1987, he is a journalist and has written more than 50 books, mainly on business, which have been published around the world.

 

Links

Website – http://www.iainmaitland.net/home

Twitter – https://twitter.com/iainmaitland

Blog Tour – ‘The Inheritance’ by Anne Allen ~ #LoveBooksTours @lovebooksgroup @AnneAllen21

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour along with a number of fellow book bloggers and would like to thank Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me to participate.

 

‘The Inheritance’ by Anne Allen is a year old. To celebrate all seven books in The Guernsey Novel series will only be £1.99 on Kindle for a limited time. Each of the books can be read as a standalone too.

I have an extract from ‘The Inheritance’.

 

Extract

 

Chapter five

Eugénie’s Diary – Guernsey March 1862

 

‘Ah! La pauvre petite! And how are feeling today? You have some colour in your cheeks, which is good.’ M’sieur Hugo strode into the drawing room and came straight to the chaise longue where I waited, nervously twisting my fingers. Lifting up a hand, he kissed it, accompanied by a slight bow. I lowered my head in acknowledgment.

‘I am much improved, m’sieur, thank you. Madame Drouet has been a wonderful nurse.’

He sat in a chair opposite me while she took a seat on the chaise. He looked like a genial grandfather, his thick white hair and beard in need of a trim while his oddly black moustache virtually erased his mouth. Two small, dark eyes studied me and I dropped my gaze.

‘Yes, she has indeed.’ He leaned forward and patted her hand. Turning to me he went on, ‘I owe you an apology for my reaction when we met the other day. The shock of seeing a young woman the very image of my deceased daughter affected my brain for a moment. Do you believe in spirits, the afterlife?’ He sat, his hands placed on his splayed legs, looking very much the great thinker and writer.

‘I…I don’t know, m’sieur. Although I was raised as a Catholic, I am not particularly religious and not in awe of a God who allows so much death and misery to be endured on this earth.’

His eyes sparkled.

‘Well said! I am of a similar turn of mind and it has been many years since I entered a church, except for burials. But spirits cannot be so readily dismissed. Why, my own house is haunted and I regularly have conversations with ghosts who seem to frequent my bedroom. Which is why I thought, for a moment, you were the spirit of my dear Léopoldine, come to be reunited with me.’ He sighed and his eyes clouded with sadness.

 

 

The Inheritance – Book 7 – https://amzn.to/352abv5

How close were Victor Hugo and his copyist?

1862 Young widow Eugénie faces an uncertain future in Guernsey. A further tragedy brings her to the attention of Monsieur Victor Hugo, living in exile on the island only yards away from Eugénie’s home. Their meeting changes her life and she becomes his copyist, forming a strong friendship with both Hugo and his mistress, Juliette Drouet.

2012 Dr Tess Le Prevost, Guernsey-born but living in England, is shocked to inherit her Great-Aunt’s house on the island. As a child, she was entranced by Doris’s tales of their ancestor, Eugénie, whose house this once was, and her close relationship with Hugo. Was he the real father of her child? Returning to the island gives Tess a fresh start and a chance to unlock family secrets.

Will she discover the truth about Eugénie and Hugo? A surprise find may hold the answer as Tess embraces new challenges which test her strength – and her heart.

 

The Betrayal –  Book Six – https://amzn.to/2yCvCqE

Book Six of The Guernsey Novels is another dual-time story set during the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal particularly to fans of the book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Treachery and theft lead to death – and love

1940. Teresa Bichard and her baby are sent by her beloved husband, Leo, to England as the Germans draw closer to Guernsey. Days later they invade…

1942. Leo, of Jewish descent, is betrayed to the Germans and is sent to a concentration camp, never to return.

1945. Teresa returns to find Leo did not survive and the family’s valuable art collection, including a Renoir, is missing. Heartbroken, she returns to England.

2011. Nigel and his twin Fiona, buy a long-established antique shop in Guernsey and during a refit, find a hidden stash of paintings, including what appears to be a Renoir. Days later, Fiona finds Nigel dead, an apparent suicide. Refusing to accept the verdict, a distraught Fiona employs a detective to help her discover the truth

Searching for the rightful owner of the painting brings Fiona close to someone who opens a chink in her broken heart. Can she answer some crucial questions before laying her brother’s ghost to rest?

Who betrayed Leo?

Who knew about the stolen Renoir?

And are they prepared to kill – again?

 

Echoes of Time – Book Five – https://amzn.to/2wZgeE5

The fifth of The Guernsey Novels, Echoes of Time is a dual-time story set in the German Occupation and present-day Guernsey and is likely to appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Betrayal, injustice and revenge echo down the years…

1940. Olive marries farmer Bill Falla. The Germans occupy Guernsey.

All too soon Olive realises she has made a mistake. Her life changes when she meets Wolfgang, a German officer-however there’s a price to pay. . .

2010. Natalie Ogier returns to Guernsey to escape an abusive relationship – only to be plagued by odd happenings in her beautiful cottage on the site of a derelict and secluded farm. Disturbing dreams, disembodied voices and uncanny visions from the past. She becomes increasingly ill at ease as someone else’s past catches up with her own…

Her only immediate neighbour, Stuart, is the grandson of the original owners, Bill and Olive.

Thrown together in a bid to find out what happened to Olive, can they each survive the repercussions of the past and move on?

 

The Family Divided – Book Four – https://amzn.to/34TXLWd

The fourth of The Guernsey Novels, covering both contemporary Guernsey and the time of the Occupation. Likely to appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

One family, divided by death – and money

Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?

With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Andy is introduced to Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. They meet when she returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and Charlotte becomes involved in Andy’s family history.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

 

Guernsey Retreat – Book Three – https://amzn.to/2VswgzT

The third in The Guernsey Novels series, likely to appeal to fans of the best-selling book The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Two violent deaths. Separated by time, but with a fatal connection…

A man loses his father. A young woman loses her mother. Both in tragic circumstances that lead, when they meet, to surprising revelations from the past.

Louisa needs to find the father she has never known, to warn him of possible danger – for them both. Her search takes her from England to Guernsey. Malcolm’s journey is more complicated: conceived in Guernsey, his bereaved mother emigrates with him to Canada. Many years later he arrives in India, and from here he is led back to Guernsey to open a health centre at La Folie. This was his father’s home and where he was killed at the start of the Second World War.

At the heart of the two deaths lie stolen jewels. Valuable enough to kill for. Twice.

Finding her father brings Louisa more than she bargains for, and her life is transformed, while Malcolm learns that life is, after all, for sharing

 

Finding Mother – Book Two – https://amzn.to/2VrLl4u

Three women. Three generations. Sacrifices for love…

Who is she really? Nicole is about to find out as she searches for her real mother; the woman who gave her away at birth. With her marriage in tatters, she sets out from England: travelling to Spain, Jersey and Guernsey before the extraordinary story of her real family is finally revealed.

Nicole becomes an unwitting catalyst for change in that family. Two women are forced to reveal long-buried secrets. One going back as far as the Second World War. Lives are transformed as choices have to be made and the past laid to rest…

 

Dangerous Waters – Book One – https://amzn.to/34TE4O2

Dangerous Waters is the first of The Guernsey Novels, linked but standalone stories, which will appeal to fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Tragedy seems to follow Jeanne Le Page around . . .

Can she really go through it again and survive?

She is lucky to be alive … at sixteen Jeanne was almost killed in a boating accident which brought heart-breaking family tragedy. Now, fifteen years later, Jeanne returns reluctantly to the island of Guernsey following the death of her beloved grandmother. Struggling for breath as the ferry nears the island; she is overwhelmed by a dark foreboding as hazy memories of that terrible day resurface…

Only returning to sell her inheritance – her grandmother’s old cottage – Jeanne has no intention of picking up her old life. But the cottage holds a secret, dating back to World War II and the German Occupation, and Jeanne becomes drawn into discovering more. Then, soon after her arrival, a chance meeting with an old teenage crush leads her to thoughts of love.

Jeanne is forced to face her demons, reliving the tragedy as her lost memory returns.

When the truth is finally revealed, her life is endangered for the second time…

 

About Anne Allen

Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result, she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learned to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and two small grandchildren. Her restless spirit has meant many moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks

By profession, Anne was a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write and Dangerous Waters, her first novel, was published in 2012. It was awarded Silver(Adult Fiction) in TheWishingShelfAwards 2012. Since then she has published six more books in The Guernsey Novels series; Finding Mother, Guernsey Retreat, The Family Divided, Echoes of Time- winner of The Diamond Book Award 2017, a finalist in Readersfavorite awards and granted a ChillWithABookAward, The Betrayal, and The Inheritance, published April 2019.

 

Links

Website – http://www.anneallen.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AnneAllen21

Blog Tour – ‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’ by Kim Sancreed ~ @Bookollective @kimsancreed

I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour today.  ‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’ was published as an eBook on the 26th January 2020 by Wildword and is also available as a paperback.

I would like to thank Bookollective for inviting me to participate in this blog tour and the publisher/author for my review copy.

Before I tell you what I thought about ‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’ here is the book blurb.

 

Book Blurb

A witty, off-beat romance set in Cornwall. New member of faculty Kate finds herself living below one of her colleagues in a converted engine house on the cliffs. Everyone can see they are made for each other, but he’s a little too in love with his surfing, and she’s a little too focused on her career. Under the merciless gaze of their students, Dave and Kate dance around each other through the highs and lows of a school term. Will they manage to get out of the way of their own happy ending?

 

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’ and I loved the writing style. I really liked how the story opened. This was such a light-hearted and humorous read and it was one I couldn’t wait to get back to.

In the first couple of chapters I was introduced to some of the teachers and students. I also got a good feel for St Petroc’s and the daily routine and lessons. I felt I was given a behind the scenes look at the work that goes on in a school which was good.

I liked reading about Cornwall especially the beach and the café. How lucky to have that virtually on your doorstep.

There were some quite interesting characters in this story. I liked Dave and thought he had such a nice personality. He was a bit laid back sure, but there was nothing wrong with that at all. I did feel if anything that he needed a bit of encouragement as he was actually really good at what he did. I also liked Kate and felt from the beginning that she would be good for the school. I absolutely loved Frances as well.

When Dave and Kate met, they didn’t exactly get off to a flying start. There was definitely some chemistry there though and I couldn’t wait to see what if anything would happen between them.

It was interesting reading about the students and learning about their various backgrounds and their personal lives. I really think Kate did wonders with one of them in particular and I was actually quite amazed at what she managed to achieve.

Some parts of the story were predictable, but it was all good. There was one thing I couldn’t get into and that was the golf playing though what happened afterwards was I thought quite spectacular in its own way.

If you are looking for a relaxing read then, I recommend ‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’. It is certainly worth investing your time in. I really hope there is more to come from the author.

 

‘Mentoring Mr Singleman’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mentoring-Mr-Singleman-feelgood-Cornish-ebook/dp/B0847RVVL9/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1588517086&sr=8-1-spell

 

About Kim Sancreed

Kim Sancreed is a writer who lives in Cornwall and blogs on living, writing and enjoying the Arts in West Cornwall.

 

Links

Website – https://www.wildword.co.uk/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/kimsancreed

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

 

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