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#BlogTour #Review ~ Those Who Lie by @dianefjeffrey #Giveaway @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

Emily Klein doesn’t know she has killed her husband until the day of his funeral.

At first, signs point to a tragic accident. Yet, as Emily pieces together the events before his death – events which led to her own memory loss – she begins to suspect that her husband’s death may have been the result of more than a terrible twist of fate…
But the accident is only the beginning. Because while Emily’s physical scars will heal, the trauma of the accident has awakened old ghosts. She hears strange sounds, catches things that can’t possibly be there in the corner of her eye. Before long, everywhere she looks, she seems to see her husband.
And suddenly, Emily finds herself asking the most dangerous question of all.
Can she really trust herself?

Purchase Here

About the Author

Diane Jeffrey grew up in North Devon. She lives in Lyon, France with her husband and their three children, black Labrador and kitten.
THOSE WHO LIE is her debut psychological thriller.
Diane is an English teacher. She hates marking and Mondays. When she’s not working or writing, she likes swimming, running and reading. She loves chocolate, beer and holidays.
Above all, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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My Review

The synopsis of this dragged me in immediately .. imagine waking up in hospital with police offers next to your bed only to find out your husband is dead, you have no memory of it and then find out they think you killed him!

She was the driver when their car crashed, he didn’t survive the accident.

Emily has a history fraught with issues of anxiety, depression, childhood trauma so having memory loss just adds to her delicate state. With the help of her sister Amanda and her best friend Pippa by her side she attempts to come to terms with Greg’s death and prove her innocence. 

But weird events keep happening, she believes she sees messages on Facebook, has glimpses of him, receives texts, hears noises in the night, mislays things .. poor Emily is she losing her mind? 

The story alternates between two time periods so we find out what happened to Emily as a child and present day so can perhaps see how events may tragically repeat themselves. The finger of suspicion is pointed in several directions and the reader begins to doubt each person as well. 

Emily has a loving relationship with her sister, a strained connection to her recovering alcoholic mother, younger half-brother Matt was one of my favourite characters, he seemed to have her best interests at heart. And her father met his demise when she was younger.

There is tension throughout, just as you think you have reached a conclusion another obstacle gets in the way. The author has a unique way of leading you to the end of a chapter while holding your breath which then enforces you to begin the next one and repeat! I really enjoyed the complexities of the book, I had an inkling I knew who the guilty party was but I was wrong! 

Poor Emily was a pleasant character and I was rooting for her to have some peace of mind which isn’t easy when it seems everyone is out to get you or mess with your head. 

Great debut and I look forward to what comes next from this author. I really enjoyed the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ references in connection with Oxford, nice touch.

I read and reviewed voluntarily .. thanks to Neverland Book Tours, HQ Digital and Diane. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1st prize: eBook of Those Who Lie
2nd prize: Teddy and chocolates
3rd prize: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland notebook & chocolates

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#BlogTour #Review ~ The Difference Between You & Me by #Celia Hayes @aria_fiction

Can stepping out of your comfort zone lead you to ultimate happiness? A feisty rom-com, perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Tracey Bloom.
Trudy Watts has everything she’s ever dreamed of: a job that she loves, a successful boyfriend and an ultra-modern apartment in one of the most fashionable parts of London. With a long-awaited promotion due to come her way and her wedding just around the corner, Trudy’s life is just perfect…
That is until catastrophe strikes and her life is turned upside down. She’s transferred to Turriff, a remote Scottish town to manage a small, struggling bank branch.
Her arrival is traumatic and she wishes she was anywhere but here… Until she sees him – Ethan, the charming pub landlord, who seems to enjoy nothing more than to tease her. And it’s right there, in that pub, that her life will suddenly change…

Links to buy

Amazon
Kobo
iBooks
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About the Author

Celia Hayes works as a restorer and lives in Naples. Between one restoration and another, she loves to write. Her book, Don’t Marry Thomas Clark reached #1 in the Amazon Italian eBook chart.

Celia’s previous book, DON’T MARRY THOMAS CLARK is out now!

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My Review

Trudy’s life is going to plan, great job with an almost guaranteed promotion, nice flat, all mod cons, engaged to a ‘sensible’ man with the wedding imminent so what could possibly fill a book!?

It begins at her wedding dress choosing/fitting .. it seems she has half the damn family there giving their opinions. The future mother-in-law is the archetypal horror. Everyone has an idea about what Trudy should wear or do and I found this quite a tough section to get through without throwing my Kindle across the room. But bear with it .. little Miss Perfect is in for a shock when she discovers what ‘sensible’ Horace is up to!

Consequently her job doesn’t follow her mapped out direction and she is sent to a little town in Scotland to bail an ailing bank out of financial difficulty to ensure it doesn’t close.

Well, you’d think she was travelling to the end of the earth by crossing the border, she dislikes the area, weather, people and god forbid it must be medieval times when the WiFi stops working! 

This is a quick, easy read .. it gets a little more interesting when she meets Ethan .. then we have the classic will they, won’t they scenario but at least it heats up a bit.

If you are after a rom-com that you don’t have to think too much about and just enjoy for light entertainment then this will do the job. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Aria etc for the opportunity to read and review voluntarily 

#AudioBookTour ~ Onions in the Stew by #BettyMacDonald ~ #HeatherHenderson @AnAudiobookworm @Post_Hypnotic

Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours 40 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2016

Genre: Humor, Memoir

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The bestselling author of the American humor classic The Egg and I continues the adventure with this collection of tales about life on the fringe of the Western wilderness. Writing in the 1950s, Betty MacDonald, sophisticated and urbane, captivated readers with her observations about raising a family on an island in Puget Sound. As usual, humorist MacDonald is her own favorite target. She manages to get herself into scrapes with washing machines set adrift in rowboats, used cars, and a $25 Turkey Squasher. And then there’s the scariest aspect of island life — teenaged children.

Buy on Audible

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

 

 

 

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Click to listen to an excerpt of Onions In the Stew

 

This is the fourth Betty book I have listened to, by now I have come to expect a level of sardonic humour along with a big dollop of common sense. If any books can guarantee to put life into perspective if you are having a ‘down’ day then it has to be a ‘Betty MacDonald’. She was an absolute trooper of her day who stood no nonsense from anybody but at the same time usually averted a crisis somehow with her wit.

Life has moved on now and her and her husband and two growing teenage girls are living on Vashon Island, off of Seattle. So you can see where this story may lead, how to survive in the 1940/50’s with limited facilities (although I’m sure USA was far more advanced than UK) money being tight, concocting recipes from local sea food, gathering driftwood for the fire etc .. it sounds idyllic but was obviously  tough.

Betty still tries to find employment wherever she can, family life is fraught at times but beneath it all you get a feeling of genuine affection. As I have stated previously you have to remember these books were set/written a long time ago so there are many things which may not meet the realms of acceptance in this day and age of political correctness. The things they did without a second thought like smoking constantly, including the kids, the reaction to ‘foreigners’ but this is how it was in those days.

I find them a fascinating account of ‘real’ life from that era of a normal hard-working family trying to succeed or at best survive with all the associated problems they face. Admittedly I preferred the earlier books in the series but this one still stands the test of time.

The narrator as usual has a strong comforting voice, speaks clearly and makes it an enjoyable experience to listen to .. I will miss her as much as Betty! Having said that I have one more book lined up to enjoy!

Thanks to Jess at AudioBookWorm, Post Hypnotic Press etc .. I listened and reviewed this audio-book voluntarily. 

Onions In the Stew Giveaway #1

Onions In the Stew Giveaway #2

Onions In the Stew Giveaway #3

Mar. 11: terriluvsbooks (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 12: The Phantom Paragrapher (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 13: The Pursuit of Bookishness (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 14: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Mar. 15: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 16: Hall Ways (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 18: Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 20: Bound4Escape (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 23: He Said Books Or Me (Review)

Mar. 24: Just Us Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 26: Buried Under Books (Review)

Mar. 27: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Mar. 28: Babs Book Bistro (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Giveaway)

Mar. 29: Celtic Lady Reviews (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 31: Avid Book Colector (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Giveaway)

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#BlogTour #Review ~ Sins of the Father by @SherylBrowne #GuestPost @ChocLituk #DIMatthewAdams2

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the lovely Sheryl back to the blog today, she is becoming a regular 🙂 You may remember the first book in this series ‘After She’s Gone’ featured in my top faves of 2016 so I’m thrilled to bring you book 2 xx

What if you’d been accused of one of the worst crimes imaginable?
Detective Inspector Matthew Adams is slowly picking up the pieces from a case that nearly cost him the lives of his entire family and his own sanity too. On the surface, he seems to be moving on, but he drinks to forget and when he closes his eyes, the nightmares still come.
But the past is the past or is it? Because the evil Patrick Sullivan might be out of the picture, but there’s somebody who is just as intent on making Matthew’s life hell, and they’re doing it in the cruelest way possible.
When Matthew finds himself accused of a horrific and violent crime, will his family stand by him? And will he even be around to help when his new enemy goes after them as well?

Purchase Here

About the Author

Sheryl Browne brings you edgy, sexy contemporary fiction and psychological thrillers.
A member of the Crime Writers’ Association, Romantic Novelists’ Association and awarded a Red Ribbon by The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, Sheryl has several books published and two short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies, where she completed her MA in Creative Writing.
Recommended to the publisher by the WH Smith Travel fiction buyer, Sheryl’s contemporary fiction comes to you from multi-award winning Choc Lit.

Author Links

Website |Twitter | Facebook | Amazon | Amazon US | Pinterest | Choc Lit

Guest Post

Thank you for featuring me on your fab blog, Ali. I thought I would take the opportunity to answer that puzzling question I’m often asked: ‘Why do you write psychological thriller?’

The answer is, I have no idea, other than a need to write about people and the whole gamut of emotion and traits that comes with them. There are many facets to the human character, no one can be truly good or irretrievably bad. Or can they? The driving force linked to most murders, I’m reliably informed by a former DCI, is humiliation. How many of us haven’t felt humiliated at some point in our lives? Who hasn’t wished for revenge, even if only in the form of hoping someone gets their comeuppance. In somehow being attracted to the darker side, wondering at what point the human mind crosses over into actively seeking revenge, I found myself wanting to explore the association between victim and offender. That’s when the ‘what if’ bit clicks in. What if the ‘good guy/girl’ isn’t all good? What if he’s fundamentally flawed in some way that might make him unwillingly/unwittingly hurt other people? If he admits his flaws, does this make him good? Or is he only good if he actively tries to fix his flaws? If his motives at heart are good, say, the protection of his family, would that justify him taking a life? Then there’s the ‘bad guy’? How deep does his humiliation run? Is it nature or nurture that makes him evil? Or has his humiliation eaten away at his very soul?
You get the picture. A writer’s mind thrives on exploration. Every scenario, every face, every place tells a story. A glimpsed situation, an argument between a couple, for instance, a verbal ‘slanging match’ in the street, and you have your stimulus for a story, upon which your overzealous writer’s mind will weave fictional facts. You simply can’t help yourself. So there it is. I have a need to explore the human psyche – and an overactive imagination.

My Review

After reading the first book in this series  ‘After She’s Gone’  and rating it one of my favourites of 2016 I was full of anticipation for this one. Could it possibly live up to my previous ravings, keep me in suspense, fulfil the emotional void etc … well the short answer to that is “Hell Yeah!!”

DI Matthew Adams is back, take a deep breath and delve in to see what extraordinary circumstances he finds himself in this time. I would heartily recommend you read these books in order to get the fullest enjoyment but if you can’t this one has enough recaps to ensure you are kept in the loop and know what is going on.

After the horrifying events previously that very nearly wrecked Matt and his family, caused by an evil monster Sullivan I thought possibly this would be a slightly calmer read but within pages Matt is in desperate trouble again.

Following a brawl between a lad and a girl during a wedding reception that Matt and wife Becky are attending things rapidly decline. Matt finds himself the centre of an internet/newspaper scandal. Is he innocent or are the clues all pointing towards him being guilty? Can Rebecca believe in him totally and love him unconditionally (again) or will this rip his entire family apart. Foster daughter Ashley and toddler daughter Mia are his life now after Sullivan caused the death of another daughter Lily.

Will Matt be forced to choose between himself, Becky or his children? Who is it that is creating so much trouble for him and will his former cop friend Steve be able to solve the mystery?

I read this with a mixture of anger, hope, sadness and a growing love for Matthew. I felt utter despair and was trying to get to the end faster so I could fathom out how he would fare. Things sure look bleak … a story of utter devotion. How far would you go to either get revenge or protect those you love?

Ashley is growing up and has matured into a loyal ‘daughter’ .. Mia is just too cute for words. Some of her sayings really lightened the mood. Becky is made of strong stuff, not sure I could tolerate as much as her if I was in her situation.

So to sum up another blinder from Sheryl .. make some time, lock the doors, ignore everyone and disappear into the world of Sin! Fast-paced, full of tension and a fair amount of ewwww moments, rats in case anyone is wondering!!

Thanks to Netgalley, Choc Lit and of course Sheryl for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

After She’s Gone
He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.
When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.
But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

#BlogTour #Review ~ Two Voices, One Story by #ElaineRizzo #AmyMasters @AuthorightUKPR @Authoright @gilbster1000

This is the true story of a girl called Amy and the English “mother” who adopted her from an institute in China when she was just a baby.
It’s a story about love, family and identity; and the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter.
When Amy came to be adopted in 1999, China’s then notorious one-child policy had given rise to a generation of missing girls. Amy was one of them, destined to life in an orphanage if she was lucky enough to survive. That is, until she was adopted by a loving British couple who were desperate to give her the home she deserved; Elaine and Lee.
In this moving autobiography, Amy and Elaine chart their own personal experiences of their shared adoption story. Theirs is not a political account, but one which is open about the challenges of adopting a child from a foreign country and the long journey that follows; from China to the UK and from infancy through to adolescence, as Amy and her new family learn and grow together.
Now a bright and ambitious young woman on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Amy is braced for an exciting journey into adulthood, one which her proud mother is delighted to be able to share.
Two Voices, One Story is a frank but uplifting account of the complex adoption process and the profound relationship between a mother and her adopted child.

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Clink Street Publishing (21 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1911110799
  • ISBN-13: 978-1911110798

Purchase Here

About the Authors

Elaine Rizzo (Elaine Masters) works in finance as a licensed insolvency practitioner for ClearDebt a company based in Manchester. Her daughter Amy Masters is now eighteen and at college. She enjoys art and design and her ambition is to become a photographer when she graduates. Both now live near Cardigan in West Wales.

My Review

This is something slightly different for me. The beautiful cover acted like a magnet to this book and it is very appropriate for the story which unfolds within.

Elaine and her husband suffer the loss of a baby, after much soul searching the long journey begins to adopt. The slight difference is they have decided to adopt one of the ‘lost’ baby girls from China. I clearly remember the programmes and news coverage of ‘The Dying Rooms’ at the time and the absolute despair for those children. Because of the Chinese one baby rule at the time so many girls were abandoned into these orphanages with the stark reality that they would stay there until old enough to cope alone.

For me personally it is the fact that Amy came from there that made the story more interesting otherwise it would be a standard account of two people plus a baby. But this family faced challenges from the outset. Amy had to learn or be taught everything, they bestow love upon her to make her believe she can trust them, and give her the best they can.

It is told in alternating chapters by mother and daughter .. mum seems incredibly protective yet proud of all Amy’s achievements. Amy’s story tends to be more realistic as a teenager, all she wants is to be normal, spend time with friends etc.

While I enjoyed reading it and I have admiration for the journey and lifelong commitment they made to their daughter, isn’t it what any ‘natural’ loving parent would do? Children are a blessing however they come to us and as a mother I adore mine but I don’t feel I put them on such a pedestal, that is the impression I got from this. By stating numerous times they have a unique unbreakable bond makes it seems as though they are trying to justify their relationship instead of simply being a mum and daughter who either love each other totally one minute and are at loggerheads the next .. or maybe that was just my experience with my mother!

There is no doubt it is a fascinating account of their life thus far and I wish them all the best for the future. It is also educational for those who don’t remember the era. I think it is well worth a read especially if you want a deeper understanding of the adoption process and the unconditional love required.

My favourite comment from Amy was ‘Mum is old now’ that rang very true of a teenager!

I read and reviewed this voluntarily, thanks to the authors and Clink Street Publishing. 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Dead of Winter by @bilbob20 #Giveaway @emmamitchellfpr

One missing baby! One runaway teenager! Coincidence?

Detective Kevin Wallace doesn’t think so. And neither do the residents of Golf Road, who are all too quick to point the finger at a man with severe learning disabilities. As Wallace and a colleague, who has already experienced the ugly nature of this particular community, get closer to the truth they may not like what is hidden behind closed doors.

This is a brand new mystery from the writer of ‘Lost Girl’ and ‘In the Wake of Death’. Let the chills commence.

Buying links:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

About the Author

Billy McLaughlin is a Glasgow born author who released his first novelette ‘Invisible’ in March 2016. Receiving glowing customer reviews, he followed up with the gritty novel ‘Lost Girl’ which introduces readers to the mainstay characters Phil & Kate. In September 2016, his third book ‘In the Wake of Death’ was released, re-uniting audiences with Phil & Kate as well as throwing a brand new mystery that has been praised for its unique twist.

McLaughlin welcomed 2017 in celebrating that ‘Lost Girl’ peaked at number 2 in the crime thriller charts the previous August and gained the coveted number 1 slot in the Scottish crime charts with ‘In the Wake of Death’. His fourth book is released on 13 March 2017. ‘The Dead of Winter’ will appear to be a stand-alone mystery, but introduces a brand new character that is already set to make a splash in the 3rd DI Phil Morris mystery ‘The Daughter’ which is due in summer 2017.

Keep your eyes peeled for more news at the following social media platforms;
Facebook
Twitter

You can also contact Mr McLaughlin directly at billymclaughlinbooks@gmail.com

My Review

I have grown fond of Billy’s books, they are gritty, always have a twist but manage to portray human emotions and an understanding of friend/family relationships, quite a fine line to incorporate all into what is essentially a story to give you goosebumps.

Two missing persons, a baby and a teenager .. how will the police deal with the situation, will priority be given to one? Could there be an obvious connection .. this is where the mystery lies.

Tension mounts, tempers are frayed, fingers are pointed at a vulnerable adult who seems to be unfairly maligned by the entire street. There is a lot of background divulged about the families involved and a not all is positive. There is an unsettling mix of characters and the police have their work cut out to resolve this case before a tragedy occurs but it could befall a number of people.

Gripping novella, a lot of action crammed into a short amount of space that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Nice short chapters, the writing is well defined and a pleasure to read. I know I will devour more from this author .. he is one to keep an eye on because each book gets better. For entertainment value, spine chills and potential nightmares, I without a shadow of doubt give it 5 stars!

I read and reviewed this voluntarily .. thanks to Billy for my copy and Emma Mitchell PR 

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#BlogTour #Review ~ To Rome, with Love by @TAWilliamsBooks #Giveaway @HQDigitalUK @KCAuthSolutions

Title: To Rome, with Love
Author: T.A. Williams
Release Date: February 17, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Publisher: HQ Digital

It’s a summer of second chances…
Just a week before her big day, Sarah returns home to find a note from her husband-to-be – the wedding’s off! So when her boss decides to send her on an epic cycling trip, from Venice to Rome, it seems like the perfect distraction…
Although she never expected the distraction to come in the form of her oh-so-handsome, but slightly serious, cycling companion, Miles. And with still 600 miles of beautiful scenery, mouthwatering food and delicious wine yet to cover, anything could happen!

Where to find TO ROME, WITH LOVE
Goodreads
Amazon
iTunes
B&N

About the Author

Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds”, one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.

Where to find Trevor
 Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Amazon Author Page

My Review

Now as we all should know by now I am a huge fan of Trevor’s books, you can dip in and immediately be transported to an idyllic world. The writing flows and instinctively I feel as though I am enjoying  Jackanory (for those of a certain age) it’s comforting and endearing, with luscious descriptions of food, vivid scenery, likeable characters and thankfully the inclusion of the faithful Labradors this time. All of Trevor’s trademarks that ensure a perfect story.

Sarah returns home to find a note from her fiance James .. the wedding is off! Well instead of mooching around heartbroken she finds herself suddenly thrown unexpectedly into a work challenge. She is used to leading groups of tourists on holidays but this time due to a previous participant having an injury she needs to actively take part in a charity cycle ride as part of the vacational tour. A ‘simple’ case of cycling from Venice to Rome! 

To add to the potential nightmare her new bosses, brothers Paul and Miles are going along for the ride. What follows is a charming account of all the picturesque scenery en-route, the camaraderie of the group, a slight rumble of the natural kind resulting in an earthquake, plenty of delicious meals described in detail to make any readers mouth water. Some wonderful humour .. ‘take your pants off’ at the dinner table springs to mind! 

Sarah strikes up an easy rapport with the brothers but is aware their father owns the travel company so she attempts to keep feelings on a professional level, especially after her recent break-up .. but will the journey and time spent together ignite any emotion or passion along the way?

Classic chick-lit, easy and fast to read, enjoy this book in one sitting if you have the time available and allow yourself to be transported to Italy, especially welcome if it’s a rainy day but will also be enjoyable poolside. If only real life was as quickly rectified, Sarah managed to recover from her broken heart speedily.

Thanks to Netgalley, HQ Digital, Karan Eleni and Trevor for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

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#BlogTour #Review ~ Cursed by @EngerThomas ~ @OrendaBooks

ORENDA BOOKS (21 Jan. 2017)

What secret would you kill to protect?

When Hedda Hellberg fails to return from a retreat in Italy, where she has been grieving for her recently dead father, her husband discovers that his wife’s life is tangled in mystery. Hedda never left Oslo, the retreat has no record of her and, what’s more, she appears to be connected to the death of an old man, gunned down on the first day of the hunting season in the depths of the Swedish forests.

Henning Juul becomes involved in the case when his ex-wife joins in the search for the missing woman, and the estranged pair find themselves enmeshed both in the murky secrets of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, and in the painful truths surrounding the death of their own son. With the loss of his son to deal with, as well as threats to his own life and to that of his ex-wife, Juul is prepared to risk everything to uncover a sinister maze of secrets that ultimately leads to the dark heart of European history.

Taut, chilling and unputdownable, Cursed is the fourth in the internationally renowned series featuring conflicted, disillusioned by always dogged crime reporter Henning Juul, and marks the return of one of Norway’s finest crime writers.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Thomas Enger (b. 1973) is a former journalist. He made his debut with the crime novel Burned (Skinndød) in 2010, which became an international sensation before publication. Burned is the first in a series of 5 books about the journalist Henning Juul, which delves into the depths of Oslo’s underbelly, skewering the corridors of dirty politics and nailing the fast-moving world of 24-hour news. Rights to the series have been sold to 26 countries to date. In 2013 Enger published his first book for young adults, a dark fantasy thriller called The Evil Legacy, for which he won the U-prize (best book Young Adult). Enger also composes music, and he lives in Oslo.

Twitter

Website

My Review

This is the first book I have read by Thomas, as soon as I was offered a place on the blog tour I knew it was going to be a scorcher because Orenda have some brilliant books. Cursed is in fact the fourth in a series so I was a little concerned I might struggle but there is enough back story to enable it to be a stand alone. It is translated brilliantly but I have to confess some of the names took me awhile to get to grips with.

It has a brutal beginning and keeps the tension ramping up through out. Henning and Nora are both journalists and their young son Jonas tragically died .. they have separated but continue on a friendly basis to investigate the disappearance of  Hedda, a local woman that was supposedly going on holiday. Is there a connection between her mystery whereabouts and the murder at the start of the book?

I really liked both Henning and Nora their history and the way they dealt with life crap was written so genuinely. A whole book of interwoven events are explored. Once again we find families can have the deepest, darkest secrets. This is a story which will capture your imagination, not just because it is Nordic Noir but the crimes are being investigated by journalists which puts a nice spin on the norm.

Prepare to set aside some time to get enthralled because once you begin this you will simply be absorbed and want to finish it! I liked the writing style it is fresh and inviting. My only problem now is after reading this I want to read the previous three so my TBR pile is going to topple over .. I need more hours in a day! Thanks to Orenda for my copy .. I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#PublicationDay #BookReview ~ Plan Cee by @feelingbeachie #BookBoost

I’m excited to welcome Hilary back to the blog today because it’s Publication Day for Plan Cee .. wishing you a lovely day of celebrations sweetie 🙂 xo

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

Purchase Here

About the Author

By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island. 
 
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My Review

After reading Plan Bea I knew instinctively I would enjoy this one. We meet up again with Bea, Walter, Anna and Cole. But this story revolves primarily around Anna’s best friend Cecelia.

Cee is happily married to Bryce has toddler twin sons and all is well until they attend Bea and Walter’s wedding. Cee has the shock of her life when she realises the official at the marriage is a heart-breaker from her past.

This is a brilliant tale that explores how our thoughts, actions and reactions can affect us from childhood and throughout our lives. So many questions revolve around in Cee’s head, what, why, how and the biggest regret of all ‘What If’?

After the initial shock Cee doesn’t really take anyone else’s feelings into consideration. She has suffered assumed rejection all of her life and now isn’t going to be any different.

She manages to alienate her friends along with her husband to a point where she only thinks of herself. I sympathised with her at the beginning but as the book progresses her actions become increasingly selfish .. will she see the light before it’s too late!?

This kept me glued to the page, during the first book Bea was a difficult/obnoxious woman, it was nice to see how she has changed. Anna is a sweetie who has Cee’s best interests at heart as does Meredith but Cee can’t always see/think straight. I particularly liked the beach location it made it a pleasure to imagine lazing in the sunshine.

An enjoyable book that actually makes the reader stop and ponder some life events. It does follow on from Plan Bea but can easily be read as a stand-alone if you so desire.

Thanks to Hilary for my ARC .. I read and reviewed this voluntarily. 

I read and Reviewed the first book Plan Bea and until the 11th March you can download it FREE 🙂 Here
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Plan Bea

We live our entire lives thinking we know those closest to us. But do we ever really?

On the outside, Annabel O’Conner has it all – the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother’s love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life. 

Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance to open her heart back up to her family?

Beatrice Buchanan has spent more years than she can remember distancing herself from everyone close to her. She barely has a relationship with her grandchildren. The only time she manages to have a one way conversation with her daughter is during her weekly fifteen-minute commute to the nail salon. When Bea meets Walter on a cruise she realizes there may be more to life than designer clothes, killer handbags, and impressing the ladies at her posh country club. 

As the mother and daughter duo team up to plan “Long Island’s wedding of the year” they confront the secrets and lies that have defined them. This humorous emotionally honest women’s contemporary fiction novel will tug at your heartstrings and the twist ending will shock you.

#BookReview ~ The Vets at Hope Green Part 3 by @NortonSheilaann ~ @EburyPublishing

Things are finally starting to look up for Sam – a chance at her dream job as a vet, and a new friend (who is a huge animal lover himself – a very important detail!) What more could she ask for?

But a something is eating away at her: her boss Joe is acting strangely around her – he’s definitely hiding something. And having dreamed of being a vet for so long, she cannot afford to put a foot wrong.

When a call to tend to a sick pony comes into the practice, it all strikes too close to home for Sam and Joe. The odds are stacked against her, and she risks losing everything…

Note: this is part three of a four-part serialised novel. The full length paperback will be available in June.

Purchase Here available 16th March

About the Author

Sheila Norton lives in Essex and worked for most of her life as a medical secretary, until retiring early to concentrate on her writing.

Her most recent novels are published by Ebury (Penguin Random House) and are contemporary fiction with animal backgrounds: ‘The Vets at Hope Green’ was preceded by two ‘cat’ stories: ‘Oliver the Cat Who Saved Christmas’ and ‘Charlie the Kitten Who Saved a Life’.

Sheila’s first novel was published in 2003 and most of her earlier books were of the ‘chick lit’ style of women’s fiction, apart from two books set mostly in the 1960s and one book about grandparents.

She has enjoyed writing all her life, but her writing career first really took off in the 1990s when she won two first prizes for her short stories, and went on to have over 100 stories published in women’s magazines.

Sheila enjoys hearing from readers and can be contacted through her website where you can also ask to be added to an email mailing list for updates about Sheila’s books and writing life.

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My Review

After the enormous cliff-hanger at the end of book two I was desperate to read this one and discover what happened. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This story is really pulling together now and the characters are well and truly ensconced in my head, it feels as though they are part of my family and I was waiting for a ‘gossip’ update.

Little Sam is still working with grumpy Joe the Vet, but there is an insight now as to why he is acting the way he is. She is also introduced to his young daughter who has a pony. This seems to give Sam flashbacks but she is the adult and has to behave accordingly. 

David the dog-walker is still as chatty and obsessed with Sam, they have fun and bond over window boxes! Sam is beginning to feel a sense of belonging in the village and resents anyone who thinks she should leave Nana and head back to London to her former boyfriend, her friend Claire pays her a visit, with friends like her I would stay where I was if I were Sam!

Lots of emotion in this segment and it is ramping up nicely for a mega finale. I can’t wait to read the conclusion especially as this one has ended at a crucial spot as well .. the publishers/author are really teasing us.

Highly entertaining for a short novella and ideal to escape into the country for a while. Thanks to Netgalley/Ebury etc for the opportunity to read and review voluntarily.