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Cover and First Chapter Reveal – ‘The Things We Need to Say’ by Rachel Burton

I am thrilled to be taking part in the cover reveal for Rachel Burton’s new book.  ‘The Things We Need to Say’ is being published as an eBook on the 11th May 2018 by HQ Digital.

I hope you are ready to feast your eyes on the cover.  I really like it and think it’s beautiful.  It reminds me of long summer days.

Here goes……..

Book Blurb

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan


And now to give you a taste of this book here’s the first chapter.

Book Extract



It started at the party. His hands on my hips, my forehead against his shoulder. He asked me to dance but he didn’t know how. We stood together at the edge of the dance floor shaking with laughter at his two left feet. I don’t know how long we stood there. I don’t know if anybody noticed.

He’d waited for me, sitting with my friends, not sure if I’d turn up or not. I wasn’t in the habit of going to work Christmas parties; I only went in the end because he said he would be there, because he said he would wait for me. I arrived just as the main course was being served. I slipped into the seat next to him. His hand brushed against my thigh as I sat down. He held my gaze for longer than he should have done.

I fell in love with him that night as we stood on the dance floor laughing, my hands on his waist, feeling the muscles of his back, the warmth of his body, through his dress shirt, the press of him against my hip.

That was where it began. I sometimes wonder if that should have been where it ended.

But later that evening, as I got out of his car, and I said those words I should have kept to myself, we both knew there was no going back.


JULY 2016


She wakes up in the same position in which she fell asleep, her husband’s arms around her, their hands entwined on her stomach. Neither of them have slept that deeply for months. Fran remembers something: a hotel room on a Greek island, a feeling of hope, of new beginnings. She doesn’t allow the memory to linger. This is what they have now. They can be happy again if they allow themselves to be.

The hot, humid weather has broken in the night and she listens to the sound of summer rain on the roof. Will moves gently against her, pulling her closer. She feels his breath against her neck and the sensation of hot liquid in her stomach, a combination of desire and need. This is their second chance – she can’t let it pass her by.

‘I love you,’ Will says sleepily.

‘I love you too,’ she replies. It feels good to be saying it to each other again. She’s never stopped loving him; she just forgot how to tell him for a while.

‘Do you want me to go and make coffee?’ Will asks, nuzzling her neck.

‘Not just yet,’ she replies, turning around to look at him. His brown eyes are dark, impenetrable pools. His hair is pushed back off his face. Sometimes she forgets how much all of this has affected him too. Sometimes she forgets everything except her own pain. She feels his warmth against her, his strength. She feels as though the gulf that had been threatening to open up between them for the last year is slowly closing. She realises they have so much life ahead of them. So much time to learn to be happy again.

‘I thought I’d lost you,’ Will says quietly, reaching up to stroke her face. ‘I thought you’d gone, but recently I feel as though you’ve come back to me.’

She smiles softly. ‘I thought I’d lost you too,’ she says. ‘This last year has been …’ She doesn’t finish. She can’t finish.

She watches as a shadow of anguish crosses his face, as his brow furrows, as his jaw tightens. She recognises that look, recognises the pain he is trying to hide. She hears the shudder of his breath. His eyes flick away for a moment; he pauses for a fraction too long.

‘No,’ he says. ‘You never lost me. I’ll always be here.’

She kisses him gently then, and feels his hand drift down the bones of her spine.

Later, showered and dressed, they finally appear in the kitchen; Will’s younger brother, Jamie, is already sitting at the table drinking coffee. Will and Fran are hardly able to stop touching each other.

Jamie smiles at them, raising an eyebrow. ‘You’re up late,’ he says. Fran feels herself blushing, her stomach flipping over, and turns away towards the toaster.

‘Thanks for last night,’ Jamie goes on. ‘I needed that.’ Recently separated from his wife, living apart from his children, Jamie is lonely. Last night wasn’t the first Saturday night he’d spent with them. Fran knows Will has been throwing himself into cheering his brother up. She doesn’t mind. Jamie makes Will smile and it’s good to see him smile again.

As Will and Jamie start talking about the cricket, she feels her husband’s hand on her thigh, the warm, solid sensation of him right there next to her. They have been given a second chance, and they have grabbed it with both hands. She isn’t naive enough to think everything is going to go back to the way it used to be, but she knows that they can move on; they can talk and heal together. They can take another chance on living, find a new kind of normal.

Will stretches, draining his coffee cup. ‘This weather isn’t going to let up is it?’ he says looking out of the window where the rain is rattling against the frames like beads in a jar. ‘I’m going to have to cancel the cricket.’ As captain of the village team it is up to him to reschedule this afternoon’s match. Fran is quietly delighted that the weather means she doesn’t have to spend her last afternoon with her husband before she goes away watching him play cricket. Will gets up and walks into his study, shutting the door behind him.

‘How are you feeling about tomorrow?’ Jamie asks.

‘Nervous,’ Fran replies. ‘It’s the first time I’ve been on a plane on my own, which is pathetic at my age, I know.’

‘It’s OK to be nervous.’

‘It’s the first time Will and I have been apart since …’ She trails off. Jamie knows what she’s talking about. ‘I’m worried about him too.’

Jamie smiles. ‘I’ll look after him,’ he says.

After a moment Jamie gets up and follows Will into his study. He doesn’t knock; he just opens the door and walks in. As Fran starts to clear the breakfast dishes she hears raised voices but can’t quite make out what they are saying. She rolls her eyes to herself. As an only child she has long since given up on understanding Will and Jamie’s relationship: best friends one minute, bickering the next. She just hopes Jamie doesn’t stay too long – she wants her husband to herself for the day.



It rains all day, the sky grey and waterlogged and heavy with cloud. After Jamie leaves, Will pulls Fran towards him, his hands at the back of her head where her skull meets her neck, where her hair is cut so short.

‘No cricket,’ he says. ‘I’m all yours.’

She smiles, standing on tiptoe to kiss him.

‘Can we just watch a film or something?’ she says. ‘I’m tired and I have to pack for Spain later.’ His stomach drops at the thought of her going away. He wishes he’d never encouraged her to do it.

‘I’d forgotten about Spain,’ he says.

‘No you hadn’t. It’s the only thing we’ve talked about for ages.’

Will had watched Fran spend the last few weeks flipping back and forth between excitement and terror at the thought of going to Spain on her own. He knew she was strong enough to do it; he knew she was stronger than anyone realised. But he also knew that she wondered if she was ready. When she first mentioned Spain to him he had seen it as a perfect opportunity to help her begin to put herself back together again after what had been the worst year of both their lives. He tried to believe that everything life threw at him was an opportunity.

Fran had been teaching at a studio in central Cambridge for six years and had been asked to teach for a week on a retreat in Spain. Will had always supported her teaching, always tried to put her career on a level par with his own and had done everything he could to help her find the strength to go back to work in January. None of it had felt as though it was enough. None of it would make up for the last year, the things he had said, the things he had done. Suddenly he is terrified about being on his own. Neither of them have been alone for months.

‘What do you want to watch?’ he asks, squatting down in front of the TV.

‘Can we watch Some Like it Hot?’ Fran replies.

Will rolls his eyes. He must have seen it a hundred times, but puts it in the DVD player anyway and goes to settle himself on the sofa. ‘Come here,’ he says, and she sits with him, leaning back against his chest.

‘Are you OK about Spain?’ he asks quietly.

‘I think so,’ she says. ‘I’m nervous, but I’m excited as well.’

‘Elizabeth will be there with you, won’t she?’

‘Yes, and Constance. In fact, I already know most of the other people who are going. I’ll be fine.’ She pauses. ‘Are you going to be OK?’ she asks quietly.

‘I’m going to miss you,’ he says, lying back on the sofa, wrapping his arms around her. He doesn’t know how to answer the question. He wants to tell her everything but knows that now is not the right time.

‘I’m going to miss you too,’ she replies.

He kisses the top of her head as she presses ‘play’ on the remote control. He watches her as she watches her favourite film, her lips moving along with the characters – she still knows every word by heart. They used to spend rainy Sundays like this when they were younger, when life seemed easier.

Halfway through the film he realises that Fran is crying – fat, salty tears running down her cheeks.

‘Fran?’ he asks quietly, pressing pause on the remote.

Fran doesn’t reply, she just turns around and he takes her in his arms. He feels her body against his. She clings to him as though her life depends on it and he holds her close as she cries and cries. He can’t remember the last time he saw her cry like this. They had both done their grieving in private over the last year but to Will it feels as though Fran has been holding all this in for months, shutting herself down. He’s relieved that she finally seems ready to let go.

‘I want my old life back,’ she sobs. ‘I want to be happy again.’

‘So do I,’ Will whispers. ‘And we will, in time. I promise.’

‘I wish we’d never bought this house – we had so much hope.’

‘Shhh …’ Will says softly, stroking her hair as she weeps against him.



Hopefully your appetite for this book has been well and truly whet.  The good news is that it can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2kLqSYL


About Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….



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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bookish_yogi

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



Cover Reveal – ‘A Prosecco Christmas’ by Sylvia Ashby

This is the cover for Sylvia Ashby’s new book.  Isn’t it lovely!  ‘A Prosecco Christmas’ is the third book in the Pot Love series and here’s what it’s about.


Book Blurb

Family is where life begins.

And what better time to spend with your family than Christmas week?

Ashley and Giacomo go to Upper Swainswick, a postcard village ten minutes’ drive from Bath, to stay with Ashley’s mum and step-dad. It’s their last visit before the arrival of their first child.

But babies have a habit of being unpredictable.

So when Ashley goes into labour on Christmas Eve, three weeks ahead of schedule, it takes everyone by surprise.

She’s not ready! Her perfect Birth Plan is packed away in her hospital bag two hundred miles away, she has no going home outfit, and she has a live event planned on New Year’s Eve for her YouTube channel, The Sinking Chef. People have been signing up for it for weeks. She can’t possibly disappoint them on the last day of the year. What is she to do?

The tinsel gets even more tangled when Giacomo’s parents decide to fly from Italy to meet their first grandchild. Hotels are fully booked, so everyone has to stay under the same roof.

Would eleven people in the house, not counting the baby, turn out to be simply too much for Ashley?





About Sylvia Ashby

Sylvia Ashby is fond of the written word: books, blog posts, recipes, even an explanation to the HM Revenue & Customs as to why she thinks skirts should be exempt from VAT – she’s written it all!

She likes travelling and has lived all over Europe – London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Sofia, Bulgaria. Currently, she lives in Leuven, Belgium with her husband, daughter, son and a sparrow called Jack, who comes occasionally to peck the seeds she leaves for him on top of the garden shed.



Blog – http://www.sylvia-ashby.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bysylvia_a

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

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sylvia-Ashby/e/B00DK8M2NM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1495186857&sr=8-1


Blog Tour – ‘The Other Daughter’ by Sara Alexi

It’s a brand new month and I am absolutely delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for Sara Alexi’s new book, ‘The Other Daughter’ which is out today as an eBook.  Set in Yorkshire this is the first of a series.

I have an exclusive extract for all of you to read.  First though here’s what the book is about.


Book Blurb

The Other Daughter by Sara Alexi is a compelling and gritty tale, set amongst the wild moors and crooked streets of a Yorkshire Village, following one woman who finally untangles herself from the clutches of a painful past and a self-centred mother.

More than a decade after leaving home Dawn finds herself stuck in a dead-end job, in a rundown flat, while her sister has it all – the husband, children and prestigious job in sunny Australia. Their mum’s favouritism is palpable, and even as she has a terrible fall leaving Dawn to pick up the pieces, nothing Dawn does can live up to her perfect, absent sister.

But still Dawn persists with taking care of her aging and fragile mum, until one day it begins to feel like the only thing standing between Dawn and her happiness is her mother’s continued, pitiful existence…



There are more paintings in there, too – ones that Dad collected. It’s strange to remember him when he was alive. Even when he was alive, it was like he wasn’t. Her memory is of a hunched-over man in a drab dressing gown, moping his way from one room to another. Always in that dressing gown. There was another man, too, of whom she only caught brief glimpses – a man who was almost never there. He wore a white shirt, and always a tie and jacket, and he worked long hours. Mum has never been one to talk about the past, or emotions, or say anything worth actually saying, but Dawn has pieced it together, and it came as a bit of a shock that these two men were one and the same. Both were her father: one when he did nothing but work, and the other when he was depressed. He died of lymphatic cancer when she was thirteen, on the day of the school dance, which she had been so excited about, and because he had died she was not allowed to go. She did not need telling she could not go; a death is a shock. She was not very upset, though; he had never been around anyway, and what difference did it make to her? The word ‘father’ meant nothing to her, and surely it was better to live whilst she had the chance. Of course, now she can see why they stopped her going: it was a matter of respect. But at the time it had felt unfair.



Hopefully the extract has left you dying to read ‘The Other Daughter’.  If so, it is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://snig.gr/13

Sara Alexi’s Amazon Page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sara-Alexi/e/B008M6D60K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1503513777&sr=1-2-ent

Website – http://www.saraalexi.com

Twitter – @SaraAlexi


Blog Tour – ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ by Ross Greenwood

‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is Ross Greenwood’s third novel. It was published on the 1st October 2017 and is available both in paperback and as an eBook. I felt honoured when Ross Greenwood asked me if I would like to take part in his blog tour, especially as I haven’t read his previous books. My thanks go to Ross for providing me with an ARC of ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ and to Caroline Vincent for organising the tour. Read on to find out what I thought about this book.

After a childhood accident, Vincent loses his memory. This causes him to become sensitive and anxious around others. At school Vincent is bullied because of his differences and this is when his family come to his aid.

Soon after the devastating loss of his parents, Vincent meets a woman and a remarkable one at that. She teaches him to embrace life and bit by bit he begins to realise that the world is far more forgiving then he ever imagined. Maybe things aren’t so bad for him after all. Then Vincent starts getting flashbacks and he slowly begins to unravel his past.

Who was his mother? What kind of man was his brother, Frank? And why does death surround him?  As Vincent is about to discover, fate is cruel, the past is dark and things are not as they seem.

As mentioned above, this is the first book by Ross Greenwood that I have read and I’m so very glad that I did. ‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is quality at its very best. Beautifully written, this story takes a hold of you and keeps you reading.

The story is narrated by Vincent (known as Vinnie to many) and starts off from when he was fourteen years old, seven years after his accident. As a teenager Vincent seeked solace in books, reading practically everything he could lay his hands on and travelling many worlds. We get to learn about his life over the next thirty-six years and what he went through. I felt really sorry for Vincent as he did appear to be the victim. At one point he seemed to be getting his life together and then everything changed just like that. He did achieve quite a lot in a way though.

The majority of the characters in this story were flawed. As Vincent was later to discover, his mum wasn’t who he thought she was. She had done some shocking things. Frank, his brother, had reason to behave the way he did. He came across as a bully but was he really?

‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is an outstanding and thought-provoking read and it will stay with you long after you finish the last page. I look forward to reading more books by Ross Greenwood.

I give this book 5 out of 5.



I hope my review has left you dying to read this book.  If so, you’re in luck as there is a chance to win a signed copy of ‘Fifty Years of Fear’.  Just click on this link Raflecopter Giveaway.

The closing date is 12:00 pm. on the 10th October 2017 (the last day of the blog tour).  It is open to UK residents only.



‘Fifty Years of Fear’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FIFTY-YEARS-FEAR-Ross-Greenwood-ebook/dp/B075FFQVK9/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Website – http://www.rossgreenwoodauthor.com

Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/RossGreenwoodAuthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/greenwoodross


Blog Tour – ‘The Darkness Within’ by Lisa Stone

‘The Darkness Within’ was published on the 13th July 2017 in paperback and as an eBook by Avon.  I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in this blog tour.  I have an extract for all of you to read but first here’s what the book is about.


Book Blurb

From global bestseller Cathy Glass comes a gripping new crime novel under the name Lisa Stone.

You know your son better than anyone. Don’t you?

When critically ill Jacob Wilson is given a life-saving heart transplant, his parents are relieved that their loving son has been saved.

However, before long, his family are forced to accept that something has changed in Jacob. Their once loving son is slowly being replaced by a violent man whose mood swings leave them terrified – but is it their fault?

Jacob’s girlfriend, Rosie, is convinced the man she loves is suffering from stress. But when his moods turn on her, she begins to doubt herself – and she can only hide the bruises for so long.

When a terrible crime is committed, Jacob’s family are forced to confront their darkest fears. Has the boy they raised become a monster? Or is someone else to blame?



Chapter 8 pp. 46-47

Continuously examined by doctors who discussed him as though he was theirs, so that he felt his body was no longer his own. Everyone seemed to have a claim on it and knew more about it than he did. And all the advice about his recovery, although necessary and well meant, had become suffocating, as was being constantly fussed over, not only by the nurses but by his parents and Eloise. Some blokes might have enjoyed all the attention but he didn’t; it had reduced him to a childlike dependency, humiliating and degrading. It would be a sharp learning curve before his parents and Eloise saw him as an inde­pendent bloke again, if he’d ever been one, which he was starting to doubt.

He’d had too much time to think in hospital; indeed there hadn’t been much else to do. He’d spent hours, days thinking about his life – the years before his illness. Gradually he’d come to see that he’d never carved out an identity, a will, a personality of his own. He’d always toed the line, done as he was told and what was expected of him. He’d worked hard at school, learnt to play the organ so he could help out in church, been polite to his father’s parishioners, and had tolerated the down-and-outs and misfits who’d arrived regularly at their door in the city looking for help and a handout. Even as a teenager he hadn’t rebelled. In fact he’d been a bit of a mummy’s boy. And away at university he could only remember one instance of drunk and loutish behaviour, before he’d joined the Christian Union and met Eloise.

Eloise was a nice girl; kind, well-mannered and polite. His parents had taken an immediate liking to her and were soon treating her like the daughter they’d never had.

Jacob was looking forward to seeing her again tonight and hopefully having sex – the first time since he couldn’t remember when – sometime before he’d become really ill. When he stayed the night at her house her parents gave them a double room, but when she stayed with him his mother showed her to the guest room. They then had to wait until his parents were asleep before he could creep along the landing and into Eloise’s room to make love to her. Although he apologized for his parents’ Victorian and prudish attitude, he had to admit that the secret risqué nature of their liaison added to his enjoyment.

Tonight, however, there was an additional hurdle to be overcome. The list of dos and don’ts included post-operative sex with the warning that his breastbone mustn’t be put under any pressure until it was fully healed, which ruled out the missionary position – the one they usually used. After some thought Jacob decided that the best way – perhaps the only way – would be for her to sit astride him as he lay on his bed. And as he pictured this, the conservative, rather prim Eloise bouncing up and down on his erect penis, it caused it to come to life. A very good sign, he thought, for one of the possible side effects of his medication was impotence, which would require more pills and be yet another blow to his manhood.


About Lisa Stone

“As a writer of suspense thrillers I often ask myself what if? What if this happened instead of that? Or why a particular person reacted as they did. So often fact is stranger than fiction; these books start with a fact which I develop.”

Lisa Stone lives in England, has 3 children, and 27 books published under the pseudonym Cathy Glass, many of which have become bestsellers.



‘The Darkness Within’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Darkness-Within-Lisa-Stone/dp/0008236690/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501522609&sr=1-1&keywords=the+darkness+within

Twitter – @LisaStoneBooks


Interview with PJ Whiteley

I am delighted to have PJ Whiteley back on my blog.  His new book, ‘Marching on Together’ was published last month and I asked him all about it.


As you know I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Marching on Together’ when it was a work in progress.  For the benefit of my readers can you tell me a bit about it please?

Thanks Sonya. Marching on Together is about belonging, family and memory, with a hint of romance. A short description would be: ‘Last Orders meets Fever Pitch’. It follows six Leeds United supporters, two of them brothers, on a sojourn to Bruges and the Flanders battlefields in August 2014, for the centenary of the start of the First World War. Yvonne, a central character, has cause to reflect on how a sporting controversy from 1975 continues to haunt her. She was caught up in some post-match violence after a major final, then a transport strike; the combination knocked her young life off course, for reasons that become clearer as you read the book. At the age of 56 in 2014, she has the opportunity to reflect, but also, finally, to move on.


Where do you get your ideas from?

I love to combine depth and humour, and to have characters reflect on the most profound matters in quite mundane settings. Other writers can do war, murder and tragedy; I’m more fascinated by how a seemingly small turn of events can alter our life course, and even how we view the world, a bit like in the movie Sliding Doors. Sport and a sense of identity and belonging are also fascinating themes for me.


Are you a sports fan?

Yes, and I like to explore the comedy and tension that can lie when one person is devoted to a sport and their significant other is not! In Marching on Together I invert the stereotype because Yvonne is the obsessive football watcher and her husband becomes disenchanted, and feels left out. In Bruges, she has a bit of an argument with a German football fan, but then discovers he loves the band Genesis, and they bond over that. Plus, she fancies him.


What do you hope readers will get from ‘Marching on Together’?

I’ve had some very positive feedback, and strong start to sales; I think people engage with the characters. There’s drama in the fine line that can separate good and bad fortune in life – whether it’s on the football field or in your love life.


What would you do if one of your characters knocked on your door?

They wouldn’t dare: I know too much about them 😉


Can we look forward to more books from you?

Yes. I will write books for as long as I’m breathing. The third novel is called The Rooms We Never Enter, and it’s a spin-off from Marching on Together; it’s a romance, and there’s only a little sport this time!


Can you describe Urbane Publications in twenty words?

Urbane Publications is an innovative, independent publisher that dares to publish original voices and empowers authors. It deserves success.


How has social media helped you?

Facebook and Twitter are essential for an author, when you don’t have a huge publicity budget. You can build a readership, and engage with existing readers.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

From my first magazine editor Roy (can’t remember his surname), in 1988: ‘Tell such a strong story, in such an elegant style, that the reader doesn’t notice it’s written; they’re just caught up in the narrative.’


If you had a second chance at life would you still write books?

Yes, and I would start at a younger age.


Who are your favourite authors?

I love a lot of the greats: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens. I’d like to give special mention to two very underrated post-war British authors: David Lodge and David Nobbs, whom I’ve sought to emulate in combining humour and depth. Javier Marias is an astounding author, so is Donna Tartt and Louis de Bernieres.


If you were only allowed one book on your bookcase what would it be?

La Peste, by Albert Camus, still the finest novel I’ve ever read: poetic, beautiful, bleak in its description of the harshness of fate, yet heart-warming in its portrayal of human friendship, funny and astonishingly profound, philosophically and politically.




‘Marching on Together’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/marching-on-together/

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marching-Together-P-J-Whiteley/dp/1911129333/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1489606690&sr=1-1

‘Close of Play’ is available to buy from:-

Urbane Publications – http://urbanepublications.com/books/close-of-play/

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Close-Play-Philip-Whiteley-ebook/dp/B01080YEAI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458070338&sr=1-1&keywords=close+of+play

Website – http://www.whiteleywords.com/

Blog – http://felipewh.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @Felipewh

Blog Tour – ‘In Her Wake’ by Amanda Jennings

Blog Tour Poster

I am absolutely thrilled to be part of this blog tour.  ‘In Her Wake’ has already been on one hell of a journey this year and it’s only April.  It’s been published as an eBook, limited edition hardback of which I am the proud owner of a copy and now it’s out in paperback as well.  How amazing is that!

Imagine living your life and then one day discovering that it was all a lie and that you are not who you think you are.  Unthinkable isn’t it?  That’s exactly what happened to Bella.  When a tragic family event turns her whole world upside down, Bella makes the decision to find out the truth.  After a bit of digging around she embarks on a trip to Cornwall where past betrayals and 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.

You know when you open a book, read the first page and you know straightaway that it’s for you?  Well, I can’t tell you just how much I enjoyed ‘In Her Wake’.  It’s a truly wonderful and beautifully written story which I absolutely loved.  Full of twists and turns and shocking revelations it kept me reading and dying to know what was going to happen next.

There were some interesting characters in this story.  I really wasn’t too keen on Bella’s husband David though.  He was a control freak and that together with the suffocating childhood she had did nothing to really help Bella, though at the time I guess she wouldn’t have seen it that way.  I think she was very brave to go it alone and discover the truth for herself.  It helped her grow as a person.  What Henry and Elaine did was totally wrong and not acceptable at all but as you’ll find out later there was a reason why they did what they did.

I enjoyed reading about Cornwall where the story is mostly set.  It sounds beautiful and is a place I would really like to visit one day.

I have already read a number of great books this year but ‘In Her Wake’ is definitely on my list of favourites.  This is one brilliant psychological thriller which I won’t forget in a hurry.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


About Amanda Jennings

Author Photo

Amanda Jennings made her literary début with the internationally bestselling novel Sworn Secret. Her second book, The Judas Scar, was optioned by a film and television production company shortly after release. She is fascinated by the ways people react to trauma and deal with its long-lasting effects, and also the complex relationships within a family unit. She used to work at the BBC, but now writes full-time and looks after her three daughters and a menagerie of animals. She writes a popular blog and is a regular guest on BBC Berkshire’s Book Club. She enjoys running writing workshops, is a judge for the Henley Youth Festival creative writing competition, and is involved with the Womentoring Project, which offers free mentoring by professional literary women to talented up-and-coming female writers who might otherwise not have access to such an opportunity. She is a regular speaker at festivals and book events, combining her childhood love of the stage with her love of writing. She likes to be active, preferably beside the sea or at the top of a snow-covered mountain, and when she isn’t writing she can usually be found walking her dog and enjoying the peace and solitude of the great outdoors.


‘In Her Wake’ is available to buy from Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Wake-Amanda-Jennings-ebook/dp/B016721USK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460204931&sr=1-1&keywords=in+her+wake



‘Silver Rain’ by Jan Ruth

Silver Rain

Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction about the darker side of the family dynamic.  She very kindly sent me a copy of ‘Silver Rain’ to review a while back.

After failing to save his marriage, Alastair Black decides to return to his childhood home at Chathill Farm for a while.  His brother George isn’t very welcoming though and would rather that he isn’t there.

Kate has recently lost her husband and is finding that she is increasingly being put upon by her daughter, sister and mother.  At over fifty years of age she is already beginning to feel that her life is over, until she meets Alastair that is.  He is everything she isn’t but there’s definitely more to him than meets the eye and it is up to Kate to find out what that is.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Silver Rain’.  Told by the two main characters, Al and Kate, I found myself feeling as if I knew them both.  I loved the setting of this story.  Chathill Farm sounded lovely.

It was obvious from the start that Al and Kate were attracted to one another, but things weren’t that straightforward.  In fact it was all very complicated.  For a start off Al had lots of skeletons in the cupboard, one of which was a bit of a shocker.  Al had a great sense of humour, but he was a very sad and lonely man.  I felt sorry for him and wished that he and Kate would get together.

I thought Fran was just so lovely.  She doted on the animals she took in at Chathill Farm.  If money wasn’t an object I reckon Fran would have possibly opened an animal sanctuary.

I’m so glad that I read ‘Silver Rain’.  I think it’s great that Jan Ruth has written a novel where the characters are that little bit older and I will definitely be checking out some of her other books.

I give this book 4 out of 5.


‘Silver Rain’ is available to buy on Amazon:-


To find out more about Jan Ruth and her books visit her website – http://janruth.com/


‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan


Today is the first day of this blog tour in which we are celebrating Darcie Chan’s second novel, ‘The Mill River Redemption’ which is being published tomorrow by Sphere.



I was asked if I would like to review ‘The Mill River Redemption’.  I had never heard of Darcie Chan until then but the book sounded both interesting and intriguing so I decided to give it a go especially as it is recommended for fans of Maeve Binchy whose books I absolutely love.

Josie DiSanti had no idea about what was about to happen and she certainly didn’t expect to lose her husband.  With no way to support herself and her two young children, Josie has little choice but to go and live in the small town of Mill River with her Aunt Ivy.  Rose and Emily, Josie’s daughters, are totally inseparable and look out for each other whilst they are growing up.  But then something tragic and unforgiveable happens which tears the two sisters apart and they go their own separate ways.

Many years later, Rose and Emily are contacted with news that their mother has died and they find themselves back in Mill River for the reading of her will.  Josie tried her best to get her daughters talking again but was unsuccessful in her attempts.  Still determined she has left them a task in which she hopes they will work together and reconcile their differences.  In order to comply with her wishes Rose and Emily must move to Mill River and live in neighbouring houses.  The two sisters reluctantly get on with the task at hand.  But will they succeed in completing it and will it bring them together?

I really liked the cover.  The colours go well together and it is such a lovely peaceful image.  I wouldn’t of minded living in one of those houses.  Set in 2013, this novel goes back and forth from 1983 onwards so that the reader gets to learn the whole story.  The chapters which are based in the past are clearly marked.

Out of the two sisters, Emily was my favourite.  I found it hard to warm to Rose even though she had issues and needed help desperately.  I absolutely loved Aunt Ivy and reading about her bookstore.  I could have spent hours in there!  I wasn’t sure what I thought about the twist towards the end of the story.  It was a bit of a shocker and rather drastic.

This story is about family, love, forgiveness and facing up to your problems.

Having enjoyed ‘The Mill River Redemption’, I do hope to get round to reading ‘The Mill River Recluse’ at some point soon as it is about one of the earlier character’s mentioned in this story.

I give this book 4 out of 5.



Darcie Chan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Mill River Recluse. Her second novel, The Mill River Redemption, is also set in the fictional town of Mill River. Darcie has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. She writes fiction full-time and lives just north of New York City with her husband and son.

Follow her on twitter @DarcieChan


‘The Mill River Redemption’ by Darcie Chan (Sphere) is available as an eBook from tomorrow.

‘A Place for Us – Part One’ by Harriet Evans

A Place for Us - One

Today saw the publication by Headline Review of the first of four instalments of this book.  It is available in ebook with the next part due out on the 28th August 2014.  The complete novel will be published in January 2015.  I was kindly sent a copy to review.

The story starts off with an element of intrigue.  It is August 2012 and Martha Winter’s eightieth birthday is fast approaching.  She had made a huge decision, one which is set to change things for good.  It’s time to tell all.  But how will Martha go about doing this?

The first part of ‘A Place for Us’ gives the reader a good introduction to the Winter family with each chapter being narrated by an individual character.  I felt that this worked well as it told me a lot about their lives.  I also like the way the story has been set in different locations.

A complex family with secrets from the past, I reckon Part Two is when things will really start to hot up.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

I give the first part of ‘A Place for Us’ 4 out of 5.


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