Thursday, 19 July 2018

Million Love Songs
by
Carole Matthews




I don't know why, but whenever I go on holiday I always tend to take a Carole Matthew's book as my first read! I think it is fast becoming a Boon's Bookcase holiday tradition! Anyway, this year was no exception and I couldn't wait to dive into this one as I am a HUGE Take That fan and knew that this book had some reference to Take That (obviously by the title!) and in particular, my absolute favourite, Gary Barlow! My review is below and fans of Carole Matthews will not be disappointed!

Review
Newly divorced Ruby Brown has thrown in her safe job at the council and decides to become a waitress in a busy pub. There she becomes firm friends with Charlie who is a little bit obsessed with the amazing band, Take That. She follows them everywhere and even has a cardboard cut out of Gary Barlow in her flat, as does Ruby after going to a few gigs and realising they are rather good! (I seem to have far too much in common with Charlie, as I also have a cardboard cut out of Gary - don't judge me!).

One of the first things Charlie warns Ruby about is the pub manager Mason. She tells Ruby he is a serial womaniser and not to get involved with him in any shape or form. She will end up being another notch on his bedpost if she so much as agrees to have a drink with him.....

Ruby decides to take up scuba diving lessons - this wasn't obviously one of her better decisions when getting divorced as she has no interest in diving, until she meets her instructor Joe.

As in true Carole Matthew's style, Ruby gets herself in all sorts of dilemma's which include Mason and Joe! Will either of them turn out to be what Ruby wants after her disastrous marriage?

I won't say anymore as you will just have to read it, but I can guarantee you plenty of laughs along the way. I did have to chuckle to myself on more than one occasion as I had more in common with Charlie than I care to admit in the Gary Barlow fan girl department!

Thank you Carole for yet another corker of a book!

To order a copy of Million Love Songs from Amazon click here

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

** COVER REVEAL **

The Fake Date
by
Lynda Stacey




I'm delighted to bring you the cover for Lynda Stacey's new novel, The Fake Date, which is published ino 18th September and will be reviewing for you then. In the meantime, I have a little teaser below for you...


Blurb: 
Nine hours and eleven minutes…
That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead. 
She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly. 
Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women? Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill? 
Whoever it is, they will pay … all she has to do first is survive..!



Click here to pre-order your copy

Monday, 16 July 2018

The Lost Daughter
by
Gill Paul





I'm super delighted to be able to bring you an extract of Gill Paul's upcoming novel, The Lost Daughter. I am a huge fan of Gill's and I really can't wait to read this one! Do enjoy a sneaky peak of the new book which is published in October.

Extract
Little Alexei was still in terrible pain, with acute swellings in his joints after being bumped around so much on the journey. The girls took turns to entertain him, trying to distract him from his suffering. Maria drew pencil portraits of their captors and tried to amuse her little brother with humorous descriptions of their characters: ‘as pompous as a walrus on a beach’, she said of Avdeyev; ‘a slippery ferret in a rabbit hole’ of his deputy, Medvedev. The girls took turns to read to him from any books they could find, and they revived Three Sisters, the Chekhov play they had performed at Tobolsk. Sometimes Alexei was well enough for a game of halma, and they moved a table close to allow him to join in. 

One sunny day in June, Maria carried him down to the yard to get some fresh air. She had always been physically the strongest of the four girls and did her best to carry him smoothly, without jarring, but she could tell from the frequent intakes of breath that the movement was hurting.

She placed him in a bath chair, from where he surveyed the shadowy yard. Turrets were being built in the corners of the tall fence, and the men’s hammering mingled with the clanging bells of streetcars in the road outside.
‘Why are we here?’ he asked in a small, sad voice. ‘What do they want from us?’
Maria watched a blue butterfly flit past. ‘I suppose they want to keep us safe so we can be delivered overseas in due course. It is taking an interminable time, though.’
‘Why would we not be safe? I don’t understand.’
Maria shook her head. ‘Me neither. But I am sure it will not be much longer before we are in our new home. Where would you like to go?’
He considered this. ‘Perhaps Africa, where I could hunt lions, or India, where we could ride on elephants and shoot tigers.’
Maria laughed. ‘I hope your wishes will be taken into consideration.’ 

He was so pale and thin, with his gangly limbs, that it was impossible to picture him as a big-game hunter. The haemophilia he had inherited from their mother’s side of the family ruled out any activities in which he might risk injury. He would never ride a horse or a bicycle, would never ski, and even running was risky. Yet he could still have his dreams; no one could deny him that.

On the day of Maria’s nineteenth birthday, the family gave her little gifts: a hand-painted bookmark, a volume of Russian poetry and a precious Fabergé box studded with diamonds and a topaz that had been given to her mother by her sister Ella the year before the war. The box was pretty and Maria knew she should be grateful, but all the same it was hard not to think of previous birthdays: even a year before, they had still been in the Alexander Palace, albeit under house arrest. Her parents had given her a handsome gold bracelet and dozens of other presents before holding a special birthday tea with pretty cakes and her favourite almond toffee. Here, the meal was a single course of stewed meat and boiled potatoes with no desserts. They were dependent on provisions brought each morning by the nuns from a local convent and there was not a lot of variety.

That evening, as they sat in the drawing room after dinner, there was a knock on the door and her father called, ‘Come in.’ 
Ivan popped his head inside, then walked in holding a cake on a plain white plate.
‘Good evening.’ He bowed his head to the company. ‘I hear there is a birthday today and thought you might enjoy some medovik.’ He seemed nervous in front of her parents. ‘I wish I could say I baked it myself, but it was my mother. I bring it with her compliments.’ He smiled at Maria, who jumped up to take the plate from him.
‘You’re unbelievably kind,’ she said. ‘Truly. Please give my warmest thanks to your mother and tell her how very touched I am by the gesture.’ 

The family looked at each other, eyebrows raised, as Ivan backed out of the room. Leonid Sednev brought plates and all had a slice of the multi-layered honey cake. It was the first such confection they had enjoyed for many months, and even Nicholas was moved to say that it was very kind of the guard and his mother. It lifted the mood of the entire party and the girls sang a popular song together, ‘Shine, Shine, My Star’.

Once they had finished, Maria excused herself and slipped out to the hall to thank Ivan in person. He was standing at his post by the top of the second staircase.
‘You are very clever for remembering my birthday,’ she said. ‘You’ve made this day special, something I never dreamed would be possible here. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

Ivan took her hand and pressed it to his lips. Maria glanced over her shoulder to make sure none of the family had followed, but all the doors were closed and there was no sound from Avdeyev’s office.

Ivan was still holding her hand and suddenly he pulled her in a swift movement towards a tiny alcove by the kitchen doorway. They huddled inside, bodies pressed together, and Maria trembled. Ivan looped one arm round her waist then stroked her cheek with his finger before leaning forward to touch his lips to hers.
‘A birthday kiss,’ he whispered, ‘for the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.’
Maria gazed at the soft lips that had brushed hers, and couldn’t help tilting her head for more. Ivan held her tightly now, his lips exploring hers, and she closed her eyes feeling giddy with excitement. It was the most delicious sensation she had ever experienced, quite different from a parent’s kiss, and she wanted it to go on forever. 
‘Skorokhodov!’ a harsh voice barked, and suddenly he was yanked away. Avdeyev and Medvedev were glaring at them.
‘Go to your room!’ Avdeyev snapped at Maria, and she scurried into the kitchen, terrified by his tone. She glanced back just before the door swung closed and saw Ivan being frogmarched down the stairs, one arm pulled up behind his back.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

How Far We Fall
by 
Jane Shemilt
BLOG TOUR
Guest Review
by
Julie Williams




Review by Julie Williams
How Far We Fall is a story of manipulation, betrayal and jealousy. When Beth meets Albie she believes her life is finally good again after her previous disastrous secret relationship with married top consultant Ted. However keeping secrets from her husband Albie isn’t a good start to a happy marriage and soon lies and deceit ruins not only their lives, but also others with horrifying consequences.


This book for me had a slow start and a little difficult to follow at first, which was a bit disappointing as I have thoroughly enjoyed this author’s previous two books, but as I progressed everything knitted together and I became more interested in the plot.


My thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for the ARC - these are my own thoughts of How Far We Fall. Also to Julie for posting this as guest reviewer on her blog. 







Saturday, 14 July 2018

Stalker
by
Lisa Stone
BLOG TOUR


It's my turn on the Blog Tour for Stalker by Lisa Stone and today I have an extract for you. I must admit that reading the extract has left me intrigued and wanting more!.....




Extract
An hour later the clock on the mantelpiece struck six o’clock and Elsie heaved herself out of the chair and went into the hall to phone her sister. Why they didn’t have a phone in the living room like her sister did, she’d no idea. Her sister’s answerphone cut in so she left a message saying she was home and thanking her for a nice time. Then she took her case upstairs to set about unpacking. Derek would be home for his dinner before long and she’d need to check what was still in the fridge and freezer as she doubted he’d restocked it while she’d been away. She and her sister had ordered a Chinese takeaway one night, which her sister did at least once a week. She and Derek never had takeaways; perhaps she’d suggest it for tonight. But then again Derek was very conservative and set in his ways when it came to food, indeed as he was in most things so probably wouldn’t like Chinese.


Elsie returned her empty case to under the bed, dropped her dirty washing in the laundry basket in the bathroom and went downstairs. Opening the freezer door, she found to her small surprise it was still fully stocked; none of the meat or ready meals she’d left for him had been touched. She took out a steak pie for them to have and then looked in the fridge to see what vegetables were left. All of them, and the cheese, yogurts and cold meats were untouched too. What had he been living on? A couple of eggs were missing and a few rashers of bacon, hence the dirty pans. She looked in the bread bin and saw the packet of six rolls and the small loaf she’d left for him for sandwiches were untouched. Her puzzled expression gave way to a wry smile. Was it possible Derek had finally found himself a girlfriend and he’d been seeing her while she’d been away? Well, well, who would have thought it? She couldn’t think of any other rational explanation as to why he hadn’t been eating here, and if she was right she couldn’t wait to tell her sister. Derek was normal after all!


At seven o’clock there was still no sign of him so a little miffed, Elsie sat at the table to eat alone. Once she’d finished she washed the dishes and returned to the living room and the television. An hour passed and when Derek still hadn’t arrived home or thought to phone, Elsie was more annoyed than worried. He was probably with a client or his new girlfriend. If he was going to eat with her then she needed to know so she didn’t waste any more good food. His mobile number was in their address book on the hall table. Elsie seldom needed to use it as Derek was such a creature of habit. Silencing the television, she went into the hall, found his number and keyed it in. A recorded message said straightaway: ‘This phone is switched off, please try again later.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Her Name Was Rose
by
Claire Allan
BLOG TOUR

GUEST REVIEW
BY
JULIE WILLIAMS


Welcome to the first stop on the Blog Tour for Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan and I have an extract and also a review from Julie Williams for you.


Extract

Her funeral was held at St. Mary’s Church in Creggan – a chapel that overlooked most of the city of Derry, down its steep hills towards the River Foyle before the city rises back up again in the Waterside. It’s a church scored in the history of Derry, where the funeral Mass of the Bloody Sunday dead had taken place. Thirteen coffins lined up side by side. On the day of Rose Grahame’s funeral, just one coffin lay at the top of the aisle. The sight stopped my breath as I sneaked in the side entrance, took a seat away from her friends and family. Hidden from view.


All the attention focused on the life she’d led, full of happiness and devotion to her family and success in her career. I thought of how the mourners – the genuine ones dressed in bright colours (as Rose would have wanted) – had followed the coffin to the front of the church, gripping each other, holding each other up. I wondered what they would say if they knew what I knew.


I allowed the echoes of the sobs that occasionally punctuated the quiet of the service to seep into my very bones.


I recognised her husband, Cian; as he walked bowed and broken to the altar, I willed myself not to sob. Grief was etched in every line on his face. He looked so different from the pictures I had seen of him on Facebook. His eyes were almost as dead as Rose’s had been. He took every step as if it required Herculean effort. It probably did. His love for her seemed to be a love on that kind of scale. His grief would be too.


He stood, cleared his throat, said her name and then stopped, head bowed, shoulders shaking. I felt my heart constrict. I willed someone – anyone – to go and stand with him. To hold his hand. To offer comfort. No one moved. It was as if everyone in the church was holding their breath, waiting to see what would happen next. Enjoying the show


Review by Julie Williams
What a fabulous eerie journey this book took me on. It delivered all the suspense a psychological thriller should do with nail biting moments and plenty of surprises along the way. 


Emily D’Arcy craves a perfect life and when she witnesses a stranger, Rose, knocked down and killed in front of her Emily steps into her life with dire consequences. Emily is an extremely vulnerable young woman carrying a disastrous previous relationship on her shoulders and to me appeared emotionally unbalanced with obsessive traits. But I also found her to be a kind, caring person which shone through with her bond with Jack who is Roses' son and Donna, her work colleague.


If you are into this genre then this is a must read as it ticks all the boxes to take you on a dark journey.


Thanks to Avon for the ARC supplied to Julie Boon which she kindly gave to me to review for the blog tour.







Sunday, 1 July 2018

The Dead Ex
by
Jane Corry
BLOG TOUR


Guest review
by
Julie Williams


It's my turn on the Blog Tour for The Dead Ex by Jane Corry. I was lucky enough to meet the author last year at the London launch for her previous book and what a lovely lady she is! Today, I have a review by the equally lovely Julie Williams for you!


Review by Julie Williams

This is the first book that I have read by Jane Corry but she has another two published. I had the privilege of meeting Jane at a book event in London and as I have a particular passion for reading thrillers, I had no hesitation in reading this complex, twisty story. I must admit that I found the first third of this book very confusing with the continuous jumping of characters and time lines, but I fortunately persevered as there are many twists and surprises as the tale concludes. 

Once I got to grip with the connection of the characters I found myself enjoying it more and started to read large chunks at a time rather than in short bursts which helped the story flow.

The Dead Ex is built around an ex Prison Governor Vicki and her ex-husband who proves throughout that he is a deceitful, lying, cheating man, who Vicki for some strange reason still has great affection for. 

My wish is that I found myself willing the female characters of this book to be stronger and not so love struck that they fell so easily for his awful behaviour. I liked the insight into prison life and the twists that popped up along the way.

Saturday, 30 June 2018

A Summer Scandal
by
Kat French
BLOG TOUR

Guest Review
by
Julie Williams



I do love Kat French's books, so am delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for A Summer Scandal. I have an extract and a review from Julie Williams has reviewed this one for you and I am hoping to get to read this one soon!

Review

An easy quick read that I devoured over the bank holiday in the sunshine!

Set on the South Coast of England Violet is thrown into turmoil when two events occur in her life simultaneously. First she discovers she is the benefactor of a seaside apartment and pier and secondly an unexpected marriage proposal. 

Knowing that she is not ready to settle down she decides to put some distance between herself and her family and boyfriend and move into the decadent apartment previously owned by her grandparents.

Violet unearths secrets through a diary and locals and finds her own life being mirrored with that of her Grandmother who died many years ago.

This is a story of romance, memories and hidden secrets. There are some colourful characters and of course true to Kat French’s writing a gorgeous sexy love interest. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel but missed the lack of humour I have come to expect from this author’s books.



Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A Room At The Manor
by
Julie Shackman


GUEST PIECE


I am absolutely delighted to be promoting the debut novel A Room at The Manor by the lovely Julie Shackman.  Julie has very kindly written a guest piece especially for Boon's Bookcase and I really hope she has lots of success with this book as she is such a joy to know on social media. All the best Julie and I hope everyone goes out and buys a copy of A Room at The Manor!

Guest Piece by Julie Shackman




To the Manor, Vaughan! By Julie Shackman


When I was pulling together the character for my hero for A Room at the Manor, I quickly realised that Vaughan Carmichael would be a sculptor.
This moody, handsome, Christian Bale look-a-like, with artistic talent flowing through his fingertips, is proud of his heritage and firmly protective of Glenlovatt Manor, his family home.
From first imagining him with his unruly layers of dark, shoulder length hair and wolfish blue eyes, Vaughan is loyal, passionate and intelligent. But his ability to seduce any woman he pleases, is put to the test by the arrival of my protagonist, Lara McDonald.
This striking, determined young woman with the pre-Raphaelite red curls, explodes into his life and it was so enjoyable to witness Vaughan’s reactions.
I wanted to craft a hero who readers feel they could fall in love with – but also have a stern word to say to, to try and tame that stubborn streak of his.
Vaughan can create beauty and drama easily out of lumps of clay and marble – but many other elements of his life are not so effortless to control once Lara arrives.
Some of the book heroes who I have read about and loved in the past, such as Jack Wolfe, from Hazel Osmond’s “Who's Afraid of  Mr Wolfe?” are irresistible but flawed; alluring but infuriating.
And let’s face it – no-one is perfect. I’ve tried to make Vaughan a combination of all of these things, in the hope that readers fall under his magnetic spell.
I have to admit that I didn’t find it at all a hardship spending so much time with him….!
I hope you enjoy reading about Vaughan every bit as much as I did writing about him. 
 

A Room at the Manor is released in paperback and Kindle on 27 June. It is available in the UK online at this link https://www.bookdepository.com/Room-at-the-Manor-Julie-Shackman/9781760632861 
In Australia & New Zealand, it is also available on-line, as well as in all good bookshops.
















Blurb - A Room at the Manor - Julie Shackman
When her Maltese love affair turns sour, Lara McDonald returns to her quiet Scottish hometown of Fairview heartbroken, yet determined - instead of looking for another PR position, she decides to follow her dream of baking. She impulsively takes the first job offered and finds herself working for local dragon Kitty Walker in her tea room, True Brew.

Lara's life is full of surprises, however, not the least being an unlikely friendship forged with one of Kitty's elderly customers, the former laird Hugo Carmichael. The Carmichael family has lived at the beautiful Glenlovatt Manor for almost three hundred years and, although in need of renovation, Hugo, his son and grandson currently make it their home.

There's something about Lara that Hugo likes, and when Hugo suddenly passes away, Lara is stunned to discover she is mentioned in his will. But not everyone is happy with the old Laird's faith in Lara.

A story of love, family, hope and trust, A Room at the Manor will delight every reader keen to find their place in the world.








About the Author


Julie Shackman lives in Scotland and is married with two teenage sons.
Julie trained as a journalist and studied Communication & Media but has always wanted to be an author.
She also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies.
When not reading or writing, Julie is a keen walker and loves music.


https://www.facebook.com/julie.shackman

Sunday, 17 June 2018

The Mum Who'd Had Enough
by
Fiona Gibson
Blog Tour







I love Fiona Gibson's books and so am delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for The Mum Who'd Had Enough (what a fabulous title!). I have an extract for you today, so sit back with a cuppa (or something stronger if you prefer!) and enjoy.....


Extract
The trouble with being left a note like that is that you need time to figure out what the hell’s going on. Ideally, you also want access to the person who wrote it to see if they really meant it, or just lost their mind temporarily.
I mean, my record collection! Is it Springsteen that’s tipped her over the edge? One too many playings of Born to Run? I need to know as a matter of urgency, but it seems that Sinead’s phone is turned off.
The other trouble with this whole list business is that real life must continue, which means putting on a great show of everything being normal. It’s 7.46 on a bleary Thursday morning, and our son must still go to school, even if he does have a selfish incompetent father, and I need to go to work – plus, obviously, track down my wife.
While Flynn showers, I try to keep calm and not overreact, and only call her mobile eleven times.
Hi, you’ve reached Sinead. Please leave your number and I’ll call you right back … 
Such a warm, cheery voice, husky with a soft Yorkshire lilt; the voice of a woman who has always embraced life, who has reams of friends – from childhood and her art school days, and even more through being Flynn’s mum. Everyone knows her as being supremely capable, great fun, delightful company and, of course, a fantastic mother. We’d have had more babies – a whole gang – if we’d managed to conceive after having Flynn, but it only happened once. Sinead miscarried at ten weeks, when Flynn was three, and after that it just didn’t happen at all. We’re not really into ‘signs’, the two of us, but we consoled ourselves that this was probably nature’s way of urging us to count our blessings and focus fully on our son. So we didn’t go down the IVF route. Our friend Abby did, and she reckons the stress and disappointment killed off her marriage. Plus, with Flynn’s condition, Sinead and I spent enough time in clinics and hospitals as it was.
I hear Flynn emerging from the bathroom. Once he’s back in his room, I dive in, turn on the shower and take another look at the list, as apparently I hadn’t quite got to the end.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

The Hidden Bones
by
Nicola Ford
BLOG TOUR




It's my turn today to host the Blog Tour for The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford. This sounds a fabulous read, so another one that is going to be bumped up my TBR pile! Meanwhile, I have an extract for you which is in fact, Chapter Two and I have included a link for you to read the Prologue and Chapter One. Enjoy....


Extract - Chapter Two

‘Take a look!’ Muir stabbed his finger at the sheet of A4.
David glanced down at the paper lying on his head of department’s desk without speaking.
‘Well!’
‘Well what?’ To everyone except Muir himself and the vice-chancellor, the bald-headed Glaswegian was known as the Runt. He was renowned for both his complete disregard for anyone or anything other than his own future prospects and his apparent obliviousness to the universal detestation with which he was regarded by other members of the department. The VC had parachuted him into the chair of archaeology over the tops of the heads of several better qualified candidates – David included. But it wasn’t personal jealousy that was fuelling the Runt’s ire this morning. Today’s topic of conversation was David himself.
‘Don’t play games with me, Barbrook. You won’t like the consequences.’
‘Is that supposed to be a threat?’
‘I don’t need to make threats.’ He gesticulated at the sheet of paper that lay between them. ‘The figures speak for themselves.’
Muir seemed to have acquired his management style from old Jimmy Cagney films. It was all David could do to stifle his urge to laugh. Normally he wouldn’t even try, but something in the Runt’s demeanour this morning told him he’d be wise to suppress his natural inclinations. He picked up the paper and made a show of examining it. In reality, he was only too well aware of the contents of the departmental email. It demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had brought in significantly less research funding than any of his colleagues in the department.
‘Well! Don’t you have anything to say? You might be determined to spend your entire academic career in the gutter, but I’m damned if I’m going to let you drag the rest of us into it with you. I won’t have it.’ 
David replaced the email on the desk and settled himself into the sleek leather chair that Muir reserved for favoured guests. He could see that his choice of seat hadn’t improved the Scotsman’s humour. ‘Look, can we drop the amateur dramatics?’
‘How dare you—’
Before he could finish his sentence, David raised his hand. Starting from his chin and working its way upwards across his balding pate, Muir’s face flushed a vibrant shade of pink. For a moment, David thought the Scot was going to have some sort of seizure. ‘I could sit here and listen to you outlining my manifold failings, but frankly I’m tired of playing that scene. So why don’t I save us both the pain of enduring unnecessary time in one another’s presence. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my academic credentials; my submissions for the last research assessment exercise scored higher than anyone else in the department. I’m not some simple-minded dullard. I know the game has changed. Research scores are only a means to an end. We both know that the bottom line is cash.’
Muir made no effort to contain his sarcasm. ‘Well, glory be – he’s seen the light. Now what exactly do you propose to do about it?’
David was well aware that from the moment Muir had set foot in the department he’d viewed him as nothing more than an irritating tick whom he had every intention of crushing underfoot. But thus
far he’d failed to do so. And David had every intention of ensuring he remained firmly embedded under the Runt’s skin.
His adversary leant back in his chair, arms folded, drumming the fingers of his left hand against his right forearm, anticipating victory. It was clear from the Scot’s face that he had absolutely no idea what was coming.
‘I have British Heritage project funding to the tune of half a million pounds.’
‘Pull the other one, Barbrook. You haven’t managed to pull together a viable funding application in the whole of the three years I’ve been here.’
‘Well, I have now.’
‘And exactly what is this fictional funding for?’
‘To analyse and publish the Hungerbourne archive.’
Muir’s mouth broke into a self-congratulatory smile. His target was within range. ‘You’re a fantasist, Barbrook. The Hungerbourne archive went up in smoke – in much the same way that I intend to see that your academic career does, unless you can provide me with some genuine evidence that you’re pulling your weight in my department.’ 
David reached into the bag that he had placed by his chair. He extracted its contents and slapped them down on Muir’s desk. Before the Runt had a chance to respond, David turned the hardback notebook through one hundred and eighty degrees so that the Scot could read the fading black ink on its tattered cover.
Muir glanced down. There was no mistaking the words on its label, but they clearly weren’t what he was expecting. Hungerbourne Barrow Cemetery Excavation Diary 1973. G. Hart.
Muir opened the book and began leafing through it. He looked up, his eyes boring into David’s. ‘Where did you get this?’
‘Hungerbourne Manor – along with . . .’
‘Why didn’t I know about this?’
Muir knew full well what the answer was. David didn’t dignify it with a response. If he’d told the Runt that he’d found the Hungerbourne archive, he would have insisted he head up the project himself.
David picked up the notebook and, placing it carefully back in his bag, turned to leave.
As he opened the door, Muir said, ‘Make no mistake, Barbrook. One more fuck-up, just one, and it will be the last thing you do in this department.’
David closed the door behind him without a backward glance.



If you want to read the Prologue/Chapter One then click on the link below:-

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Her Mother's Secret
by
Rosanna Ley
Blog Tour


Blurb
For many years Colette has avoided returning to her homeland - the magical island of Belle-Île-en-Mer in Southern Brittany - afraid to confront the painful memories she left behind. She is living on the Cornish coast when she hears about her mother Thea's failing health and realises that the time has come for her to go home. But can Colette ever forgive Thea for what she has done?
Despite Colette's wariness, romantic Belle-Île still fascinates her. She takes on the running of her mother's flower shop and makes friends with Élodie from the Old Lighthouse where Thea once worked as a nanny and with the enigmatic Étienne who shares Colette's mixed feelings about the island. As Thea opens up to her for the first time, Colette finds herself softening and being drawn back into the landscape of her past. But can Belle-Île also be a part of her future?
The ghosts of that past still linger. What happened all those years ago and how did it cause the rift between mother and daughter? It becomes clear that the beauty of Belle-Île hides a devastating family secret - one that Colette is determined to unravel at any cost.




It's my turn on the Blog Tour for Her Mother's Secret by Rosanna Ley. This is the first novel I have read by this author, but have interacted with her on Twitter and Facebook and she is lovely! She also lives in my favourite part of the world, Bridport in Dorset! I would like to say thank you to Anne Cater and Quercus books for sending me a copy of the book and you can find my review of this lovely book below.





Review
Colette has received a letter to say that her mother, Thea, has Leukaemia and that she must return home to the island of Belle-Île-en-Mer before it's too late. It isn't an easy decision for Colette to make as she and her mother have been estranged for many years and she has her fiancé Mark to think about. How will he react to her just upping sticks and returning home indefinitely to help her mother and to keep the little florist shop going that her mother built up from scratch?

Colette's mother Thea knows she doesn't have very long left and wants to make amends not only with Colette, but with Élodie and Jacques, the children she looked after until a bitter disagreement with their mother Mathilde and Thea is sent away disgraced and wondering what she is going to do with the rest of her life.

Meanwhile as Colette is returning to the island to see her mother, Etienne is also back on the island to finalise things following the death of his own mother. He too is finding it difficult being back and memories of his childhood almost prove too much for him. Will a chance meeting with Colette, who is going through similar feelings as him, be able to convince him to stay a while and see what Belle-Île-en-Mer can offer?

Obviously by the title of the book, you can imagine there are secrets and ghosts that Colette has to deal with when she returns to care for her mother, but I thought I had worked out what the "secret" was, but even I didn't seem that one coming!!

This is the first book I have read by Rosanna Ley, but with her exquisite detail, I will definitely be reading more from her. This is quite a long book, but justified in my opinion as the precision to detail is amazing and the amount of research it must have taken about the location, certainly shines out in this story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would certainly recommend this book. A great summer read!






Tuesday, 5 June 2018


** COVER REVEAL **

The Shrouded Path
by
Sarah Ward




I am absolutely delighted to be able to show you the cover for the eagerly awaited next instalment of the DC Childs series, The Shrouded Path by the fabulous author Sarah Ward. Although this is about the one detective, I think that all of the books can be read as stand alones. I have loved all of these books, but by looking at this cover, I think this is going to be a corker!! You will have to wait until September for publication, but I just wanted to wet your appetite as to what to expect! I can't wait!

Saturday, 2 June 2018

MAD
by
Chloe Esposito
BLOG TOUR



Today, it's my stop on the Blog Tour for MAD by Chloe Esposito and below I have an extract for you.


Extract

DISCLAIMER here’s something you should know before we go any further: my heart is in the wrong place. So is my stom- ach, my liver and my spleen. All my internal organs are


on the opposite side, in exactly the place where they shouldn’t be. I’m back to front: a freak of nature. Seven billion people on this planet have their hearts on the left. Mine’s on the right. You don’t think that’s a sign?
My sister’s heart is in the right place. Elizabeth is per- fect, through and through. I am a mirror image of my twin, her dark side, her shadow. She is right and I am wrong. She’s right-handed; I am left. In Italian, the word for ‘left’ is ‘sinistra’. I am the sinister sister. Beth is an angel and so what am I? Hold that thought . . .

The funny thing is that to look at us, you can’t tell the differ- ence. On the surface, we’re identical twins, but peel back the skin and you’ll get the shock of your life; watch in awe as my guts spill out all mixed up and topsy-turvy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. It’s not a pretty sight.

We’re monozygotic, if you want to know; Beth’s zygote split in two and I materialized. It happened at the very earliest stage of development, when her zygote was no more than a cluster of cells. Mum had been pregnant for just a few days and then – poof – out of nowhere, I show up, cuckoo-like. Beth had to share her nice, cosy amniotic bath and Mum’s home-cooked placenta.

It was pretty crowded in that uterus; there wasn’t a lot of room for the two of us and our umbilical cords. Beth’s got tan- gled around her neck and then knotted pretty badly. It was
touch and go for a while. I don’t know how that happened. It had nothing to do with me. 


Scientists think identical twins are completely random. We’re still a mystery; no one knows how or why I occurred. Some call it luck, coincidence or chance. But nature doesn’t like random. God doesn’t just play dice. I came here for a reason; I know I did. I just don’t know what that reason is yet. The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.


























Saturday, 26 May 2018

Sunshine and Sweet Peas in Nightingale Square
by
Heidi Swain
BLOG TOUR


I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for Heidi Swain's new book Sunshine and Sweet Pease in Nightingale Square. I have met Heidi a couple of times and she is a lovely lady and lives in a fabulous part of Norfolk that I can't wait to visit! Today, I have an extract for you so sit back and enjoy an extract. By the way, I love the title!





Prologue

'Are you sure you’re all right, Kate?’ David asked as our
honeymoon flight finally touched down and I twisted in my
seat to catch my first glimpse of an Italian sunrise. ‘I know
she said something to you.’
‘Honestly,’ I said, shaking my head and dismissing the harsh
words my mother had used to warn me that my marriage
would last six months, if I was lucky. ‘I’m fine. It’s nothing.’
‘But you were late to the church,’ David persisted in spite
of my reassurance. ‘Very late.’
‘I’ve already told you,’ I laughed, reaching for his hand and
kissing it. ‘That was down to Dad dithering about. He was
more nervous than I was.’
David nodded.
‘Did you think she’d finally got to me?’ I asked, halfjokingly.
‘I hope you didn’t think she’d made me change
‘The thought did enter my head as the seconds began to
tick by,’ he admitted with a boyish grin.
‘Then you’re more deluded than she is,’ I tutted. ‘I love
you, David and no amount of mithering from my mother
could ever change that.’
It was true. I loved the man in the seat next to me body
and soul. I had from the very first moment I laid eyes on
him. Yes, he had a dubious relationship history but I knew he
wasn’t the same person any more. Unfortunately, my mother
didn’t share my belief, but had she paid half as much attention
to the impeccable present as she did to the promiscuous past,
she would have seen for herself just how well- suited we were.
David hadn’t so much as looked at another woman since
our relationship had turned from casual to serious and sitting
on that flight, poised to explore Rome, Venice and beyond,
I could see both my marriage and my career comfortingly
stretching out ahead of me. David and I were to be partners
both in our lives and our work in the antiques trade. Granted
we had each chosen to make sacrifices to make our relationship
work, but we were both equally determined to make a
success of it all.
‘She still doesn’t know you like I do,’ I said consolingly,
‘but she will. In time.’
David didn’t look convinced.
‘I just wish I could make her see how much I love you,
Mrs Kate Harper.’ He burst out, more serious all of a sudden,
‘I just want her to understand that I would never hurt you,
that this old leopard really has changed his spots.’
‘Hey,’ I cut in, feeling giddy at the sound of my married
name, ‘less of the old, thank you very much! There aren’t
that many years between us.’
David was not to be distracted from making his heartfelt
declaration.
‘No,’ he said, ‘I mean this, Kate. You’re the best thing
that’s ever happened to me. You’ve been a breath of fresh air
since the first moment I clapped eyes on you and I would
never, ever do, or say, anything that would hurt you or
make you doubt me. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of
us, all I need to know is that you trust me with every bit of
your heart.’
I closed my eyes as he tenderly cupped my face in his hands
and brushed his lips lightly against mine. I had never felt so
happy, so loved and cherished. I held tight to that moment
and locked it away for safekeeping.
‘I trust you,’ I whispered, looking deep into his eyes.