Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Long Shadow
by
Celia Fremlin
BLOG TOUR



It's my turn on the Blog Tour for The Long Shadow and today I have an extract for you. I love the cover on this one and having read some of this book already, I can see the similarities to Susan Hill's The Woman in Black. Enjoy the extract from this seasonal ghost story...

Extract
It was the grandfather clock striking midnight that roused her. She should be writing answers to these letters, not crying over them. In two whole months, she and Dot between them had answered barely a third; and they were still coming in.
‘Ten a day,’ Dot had proposed, in the heavy-handed, no-non-sense style that had kept her husband working late for years. ‘If we each answer ten a day, Imogen, then they’ll be done in— let’s see. Twenty a day is a hundred and forty a week . . . that’s a month, then. Just over a month . . . .’
Soon, though, it began to appear that five a day might have been a more realistic target . . . then three . . . and then two; and at this point the actuarial calculations became so depressing— the whole thing extending, it seemed, over the best part of both their lifetimes—that Dot decided that what was needed was a System. Hence the in-trays, and the cardboard boxes, and the slips of paper saying things like ‘To be answered before Dec. 7th’; or ‘Friends, current’; ‘Friends, Miscellaneous’; ‘Publishers etc., except for Charlie’; and ‘The Australian Lot’. Imogen found the principle of classification beyond her; but she could see that it was easier than actually writing the letters.

In the last resort, there is only one way of getting something done, and that is to do it. This was something you couldn’t really explain to Dot. She took after her mother, Ivor always used to say; which may or may not have been true. In all these years, Imogen had never actually met this earliest one of her predecessors, and so these paternal accusations were hard to assess.
Rubbing her eyes, still stiff and sore with crying, Imogen reached out blindly for the topmost letter of the nearest pile. ‘Take the one nearest you’, they always used to say when you were a child at the tea-table; and really it was good advice. Whatever this topmost letter was, important or unimportant, easy or difficult, urgent or otherwise, she would answer it—just simply answer it—here and now. Thus would be removed the awful burden of deciding where to start.
*
It would be this one! Well, wouldn’t it?—and no more than you deserve, my girl, leaving the thing to Fate like that. And you the wife of a Classics Professor, too—all those Greek plays. You, of all women, should know the kind of thing Fate gets up to when the Gods are no longer on your side . . . .
The widow of a Classics Professor, she corrected herself; and began to read. Twice, and then a third time, she read through the five closely-written pages; and then stared, for nearly a minute, at the heavy velvet curtains that shut out the night beyond the big windows.
At last, drawing the writing-pad towards her, she picked up her pen.



Monday, 12 November 2018


What's Left Unsaid
by
Deborah Stone


I would like to say thank you to the author for getting in touch with me and asking, very kindly, if I would like to review her book. I'm glad she did as I really enjoyed this one! Read my review of What's Left Unsaid below.


Blurb
Sasha is just about managing to hold her life together. She is raising her teenage son Zac, coping with an absent husband and caring for her ageing, temperamental and alcoholic mother, as well as holding down her own job. But when Zac begins to suspect that he has a secret sibling, Sasha realises that she must relive the events of a devastating night which she has done her best to forget for the past nineteen years.

Sasha's mother, Annie, is old and finds it difficult to distinguish between past and present and between truth and lies. As Annie sinks deeper back into her past, she revisits the key events in her life which have shaped her emotionally. Through it all, she remains convinced that her dead husband Joe is watching and waiting for her. But there's one thing she never told him, and as painful as it is for her to admit the truth, Annie is determined to go to Joe with a guilt-free conscience.

As the plot unfurls, traumas are revealed and lies uncovered, revealing long-buried secrets which are at the root of Annie and Sasha's fractious relationship.

Review

I was very kindly asked by the author if I would like to review this book and after reading the blurb, how could I refuse!

Sasha is married to Jeremy and they have a teenage son Zac. Sasha believes she has the typical "normal" marriage and family life, dealing with a husband who goes away for work much of the time, a teenage son who doesn’t know the meaning of the word Co-operation! The only one who seems to take any notice of her is Stanley, the dog.

Sasha’s Dad, Joe, died a few years previously, but tells part of the story in this book, which I felt was a really good touch and made a change!

Annie is Sasha’s Mum and Joe’s wife, who is sadly in the final stages of her life, but having spent much of it a heavy drinker, is paying the price and unfortunately this is affecting her memory as well.

When Zac comes home from school one day and confronts his mother about his feelings that he isn’t an only child, Sasha’s head starts to spin from this shock announcement. Where on earth did he get this information from and even more importantly, is it true?...

Zac isn’t convinced by his mother’s answer to his question and decides to get a film made where his family are interviewed about their lives. This idea goes down like a lead balloon but Zac is adamant he wants to find out about his family history. Surely this can only lead to skeletons coming well and truly out of the closet!

I really enjoyed this book and what I loved was the way the chapters involved Sasha’s Dad who had died, but still told some of the story. Very cleverly thought out.

A great mix of characters and when a character gets under your skin for all the wrong reasons, I do believe that is the work of a great writer! I found Sasha to be a bit weak at first, but she certainly came back fighting after events could have made her turn in a completely different direction!

I would certainly read work from this author again and would again like to thank her for asking me to review for her.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Snowflakes and Cinnamon Swirls at the Winter Wonderland
by
Heidi Swain
BLOG TOUR

Guest Review
by
Julie Williams





Review by Julie Williams
It always seems odd when I pick up my first Christmas book to read in August with the sun shining and the heat warming my bones, but that doesn’t stop the festive cheer and Christmas magic that exists in Heidi Swains Christmas novels. 

Going back to Wynbridge is a treat as is catching up with old friends residing there, as well as the excitement of meeting new characters. 

When Hayley Hurren catches her Fiancé Gavin literally with his trousers down at their engagement party in the local pub, she promptly moves into Wynthorpe Hall where she works, determined to go back to her fun loving ways. Hayley has no future plans of any further long term relationships. She feels totally at home and comfortable until new arrival Gabe turns up and a spark between them is lit.

Getting over the past for both Hayley and Gabe is easier said than done and quite a battle to overcome.
 
Full of romance, sparkle and special friendships this is a gorgeous read, reminding us that Christmas is a magical time of the year and not too far away. 


Thanks to Julie for allowing me to share my review on her blog as part of the blog tour and to Net Galley for the ARC this is my own opinion of this book.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Lizzie Flowers and the Family Firm
by
Carol Rivers

There’s not two months to go until Christmas 1934 and Lizzie Flowers’s new bakery is a roaring success.
But with Christmas fast approaching there are unexpected troubles ahead for Lizzie’s docklands’ tavern, the Mill Wall. If Lizzie had her sweetheart Danny Flowers at her side, there’s a chance she may be able to restore the pub’s reputation. But Danny’s head has been turned by the ambitious and scheming young widow, April Williams. With Danny seemingly unreachable and Lizzie’s heart broken, it’s down to family and friends to save the day. But even with favours called in, is it too late for Lizzie to avoid a Christmas disaster?

LIZZIE FLOWERS AND THE FAMILY FIRM from the Sunday Times and eBook bestselling author of A Wartime Christmas. Read as a riveting seasonal STANDALONE or enjoy as part of the Lizzie Flowers trilogy.




Review
This is the third instalment in the Lizzie Flowers trilogy and even though you could read it as a standalone, I love Lizzie so much that I would urge any saga lover to read her story from the beginning.

Lizzie is becoming somewhat of an entrepreneur these days in London town. No only does she have her finger in many pies (excuse the pun!) by running a bakery along with friends Jenny and Elsie, but also running the Mill Wall pub is becoming more dangerous, especially now that Salvo Vella, a local mafia type wannabe is sniffing around and wanting a piece of the action.

Danny is trying to bring up his ward with the help of his landlady, April. She seems to have Danny well and truly in her sights and is keeping everything crossed that he will propose soon enough, but Danny has also had dealings with Salvo Vella (who everyone calls The Prince).

Will Danny and Lizzie be able to fight off the likes of The Prince to keep their businesses legit, or will they sell their souls to the devil himself?.....

Another fabulous story by the equally fabulous Carol Rivers. Whether you are new to sagas or have read them for many years (like me), you will never be disappointed reading one of Carol's books. They are utterly addictive and beautifully written, leaving you with a mixture of emotions. You will be laughing one minute and crying the next, my description of a brilliant saga writer.

Thank you Carol for once again brining Lizzie back and I can't wait to read what happens next!





Monday, 29 October 2018

Hell Bay
by
Kate Rhodes




It's no secret that I am a huge Kate Rhodes fan and am sad to say that I am a bit late to the party with this new series set on the Isles of Scilly.

DI Ben Kitto returns home to Bryer to recover from the recent death of his best friend and colleague and to think about his future in the Police force. He is racked with guilt and has offered his resignation, but his boss has refused it, asking him to reconsider and take some time out.

When he arrives back home, along with a stray dog called Shadow (he hates dogs!), it doesn't take long before the detective in him has to take over when a local teenage girl goes missing.

When a body is found it is down to Ben to lead the investigation team and to try to catch the killer before they strike again.

I loved these new characters/location and the only good thing about reading this book now is that I won't have to wait too long for the next instalment (out in kindle now and paperback in February 2019) and I can see this series going from strength to strength. Thank you again Kate for writing such gripping novels that you just can't put down.



Tuesday, 23 October 2018

A Ration Book Christmas
by
Jean Fullerton
BLOG TOUR





With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London's East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe's nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.
For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?



Purchase Link: https://goo.gl/eZ4TD



About the Author 


Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer.  She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.
Social Media Links – 
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks  Twitter:  @JeanFullerton_





Review

I must admit and I'm sorry to say, that this is the first book I have read from this author and there's me blagging to anyone that will listen that I do love a wartime saga!

Jo and her younger brother Charlie are evacuated to the Essex countryside to live with a lady who runs the local village store. Unfortunately, as happened in a lot of cases, Jo and Charlie were not treated fairly and when Charlie is accused of stealing and with him trying to plead his innocence, but nobody believing him, Jo decides that enough is enough and they escape back to London.


Jo not only wants to see her family again, but the person she feels is the love of her life, Tommy. Jo's sister Mattie soon tries to put this budding relationship to rest by telling their mother and that is the reason she is packed off to Essex.


Tommy's surname is Sweete, but that doesn't mean his family are sweet in nature! They are a notorious family in the district and beyond but Tommy is determined to shed off this reputation for the sake of Jo and starts to write to her whilst she is away and vice versa, but soon the letters stop and neither have any idea why.

When both Jo and Tommy volunteer for war work, they didn't realise they would work so closely together! Tommy tries to make the best of it and try to get back in Jo's good books, only to be warned off by Jo's Dad!

Will these two ever rekindle their romance? or are they destined to fail if family on both sides keep poking their noses in!!

This is a fantastically researched book and the attention to detail is fabulous! Some absolutely belly laughing moments in the book, especially with Jo's Nan, Queenie! Had me actually laughing out loud on the bus at one point!

I really can't wait to read more from this author and if you are a WWII saga fan, this one is right up your street!

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel's Random Reads for sending me a copy of the book to review.









Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Lost Daughter
by
Gill Paul
BLOG TOUR




BLURB: A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret...

From the author of The Secret Wife, a gripping journey through decades and across continents, of love, devastating loss and courage against all odds.


1918

With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of Russia's imperial family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria Romanova captivates two of the guards, it will lead to a fateful choice between right and wrong.


Fifty-five years later . . .

Val rushes to her father's side when she hears of his troubling end-of-life confession: 'I didn't want to kill her.' As she unravels the secrets behind her mother's disappearance when she was twelve years old, she finds herself caught up in one of the world's greatest mysteries.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, Another Woman's Husband, is about links you might not have been aware of between Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, and Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Gill’s other novels include The Secret Wife, published in 2016, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second daughter of Russia’s last tsar, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – "It's good for you so long as it doesn't kill you"– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls "research trips" and attempting to match-make for friends.
WEBSITE : www.gillpaul.com
TWITTER : @GillPaulAUTHOR



Review
Maria is the middle daugher of Tsar Nicholas and his wife and the story begins in 1918 when the whole family are imprisoned in Russia.

Maria is a naturally sweet, kind, talkative girl, who thinks that by being nice to the guards will not only pass the time, but will ease her family's suffering. She couldn't have been more wrong. One guard in particular, Anatoly Bolotov, is obsessed with Maria and this can only be a bad omen.

Soon after, the family are rounded up and taken to a different location and the orders are given for all of them to be slaughtered. Maria and her family are absolutely terrified and as things happen so quickly there are no thoughts of escaping from so many guards. The shots start firing and Maria sees her family shot down and stabbed and even Maria herself is wounded and feels herself losing consciousness. She thinks she is dying along with the rest of her family but then she realises someone is carrying her on his shoulders and running into the woods to safety. That man is another of the guards from the palace called Peter. 

Peter finds a place of safety in the woods and helps Maria recover. She is very wary of him at first, as she is terrified he will be as bad as Bolotov, but she couldn't be more wrong. Peter is kind and caring and does everything he can to help Maria back to full strength. So much so that Maria starts falling in love with Peter and as he seems to be the only person she has in the world now, they become close as time goes on.

Meanwhile the book skips to Sydney, Australia in 1973 with a lady called Val Scott, who has received news that her elderly estranged father is dying. She rushes to see him and one of the last things he says to her is "I didn't mean to kill her". What could this mean? Was her Russian father a murderer? 

Val is in a very abusive marriage and she needs to find all the courage she can to not only leave her husband, but to find the strength (and money) to visit the birth place of her father to finally find out what happened all those years ago.

The attention to detail in this book is stunning and you can tell that the author researched everything thoroughly and with such precision. I would really like to think that this story is true and it has inspired me to read more about the Romanov family.

Wow, what an amazing book this is. I have read all of this authors books and I can honestly say that in my opinion, they just keep getting better and better and this is my favourite one yet. 

Thank you Gill Paul for continuing to write fabulous books and to bring some history into our lives! I would also like to thank Anne Cater for sending a copy of the book and for inviting me to be on the blog tour.

I shall be recommending this book to anybody that will listen and I am putting it out there that it's my book of the year! 




Saturday, 13 October 2018

Betsy & Lilibet
by
Sophie Duffy
BLOG TOUR


When I read the blurb about this book, I just knew it would be "right up my street". I love a wartime saga and am a proud Royalist! Read my review below of this fabulous, witty, emotional book. I would like to say thank you to Lucy at Legend Press for sending me a copy of the book to review.



Review

When a baby girl is born on the same day as the future Queen, there is only one name to call her. Elizabeth (or Betsy as she will be known).

Betsy lives in South East London with her sister Margie (who reminds me of Princess Margaret with all her shenanigans!) and later her sister Mabel (Mab). Her parents own an Undertakers and as it's not long until the outbreak of WWII, they will find themselves more busy than ever!

Betsy has a good friend called Janet, who through a tragedy of her own, ends up living with the family and they treat her as one of their own.

As the war goes on and the girls grow up, Betsy meets Mick and falls head over heels. She even gets him a job in the family firm and they soon realise that they want to be together and Mick pops the question.

Meanwhile, Janet becomes pregnant out of wedlock and it is Betsy who comes up with the idea of sending her away until she has the baby and then Betsy bringing the baby up as her own. It seemed the perfect solution as Janet would be able to continue living her life and as Betsy and Mick had not been blessed with a baby, what could possibly go wrong! On paper, it seemed to be the perfect plan, until Betsy becomes pregnant soon after! How is she going to explain having 2 babies six months apart!

What I love about this book is that it starts with Betsy talking in 2016 when she is in a care home by the seaside, having fractured her hip and then her reminiscing about the old days. The chapters alternate between wartime and now and everything that happens in between, until the current day. Very cleverly written and worked fantastically well.

I also love the fact that it was based in South East London (where I was born and lived for nearly 30 years) and also mentions places near where I live now (London/Kent border). Not to mention the little quotes from Queen Elizabeth II herself along the way!

This is a wonderfully written book which will leave you in tears one minute and chuckling with laughter the next!

Thank you again to Lucy at Legend Press for sending me a copy to review.


Monday, 8 October 2018

Starlight on the Palace Pier
by
Tracy Corbett
BLOG TOUR

It's my turn on the Blog Tour for Starlight on the Palace Pier by Tracy Corbett. I have an extract for you today, but love the sound of this one, so hope to add it to my TBR pile!

Extract
She swiped at the cat, but her reflexes were too slow to outwit her nemesis. Maude’s orange fur expanded as she clawed at her enemy’s leg. Why her mum put up with such a psychotic animal, she didn’t know. Surely it couldn’t be good for business? But then, Maude didn’t pick on anyone else. It was only Becca she had a vendetta against.
Grabbing Maude by the collar, she prised the cat away, knowing she only had seconds to make her escape. Chucking Maude onto the beanbag, she hobbled for the door, slamming it behind her and holding on to the handle. For all she knew, the damn cat could open doors.
Various screeching noises could be heard from the other side. Becca waited until it had gone quiet before she let go and limped downstairs. Bloody cat.
She was so distracted, she nearly knocked into an elderly woman heading into the dining room. ‘Goodness, where’s the fire?’ the old woman said, looking alarmed.
‘I’m so sorry. I didn’t see you,’ which was hardly surprising; the woman was barely four feet tall. Okay, bit of an exaggeration. But she was tiny. ‘Are you okay?’
‘Of course I am.’ The woman sounded indignant. ‘How frail do you think I am?’
Becca figured this was a trick question, so refrained from answering. ‘It was my fault entirely. I was escaping Mad Maude. I’m not a fan of cats,’ she added, feeling an explanation was required. ‘Particularly not ones with a personality disorder.’
The woman laughed. ‘In that case, you’re forgiven. I’m familiar with Maude’s antics. You must be Ruby’s daughter? She mentioned you were arriving. Delighted to meet you.’
The woman’s eyes travelled the length of Becca’s body, taking in her ripped jeans, leopard-print nails, big hoop earrings and blue-tipped peroxide hair. Her expression indicated disapproval.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

The Makings of A Lady
by
Catherine Tinley
BLOG BLITZ


I'm delighted to be a part of the Blog Blitz for The Makings of a Lady by Catherine Tinley and below I have an extract for you. What a fabulous cover this novel has as well! Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources for letting me be a part of this Blog Blitz.


EXTRACT

This extract is taken from chapter five. Lady Olivia and her friend Lizzie are staying at Monkton Park, a country house, as part of a house party. The guests include Jem Ford, for whom Olivia had an embarrassing infatuation four years ago. Olivia has been enjoying a flirtation with a handsome but intriguing stranger, George Manning.

Lizzie and Olivia had developed the habit of chatting in animated tones after each ball, picnic and rout, speculating about the young men and enjoying the thrill of the attention they received as young ladies. If she and Lizzie could flirt, then why should she feel uncomfortable with the men who dallied with them in turn? Especially when she now knew that Mr Manning was a man of integrity, beneath the flirtation.

Yet something about last night had rocked her. She felt unsure, as if her peace was threatened. Anxious knots had formed in her belly. Logically, though, she could not identify the threat.

Perhaps it was just that George Manning seemed so much more dangerous than the young men that she was accustomed to. He was like a romantic hero from a Gothic novel. She easily could picture him fighting heroically in battle, rescuing damsels in distress and defeating one’s enemies.

Ooh, she liked that idea! Were she ever to be in distress, she could think of worse fates than to be rescued by the dashing Mr Manning. She resisted the idea of placing Jem in that role in her imagination. It was altogether too disturbing.

‘Olivia?’ Everyone was looking at her.

‘Sorry, I was wool-gathering and daydreaming! I did not sleep very well last night. What did you say?’

‘Just that we should probably bring shawls for our walk. There is apparently a blustery wind this morning.’

In truth, the day was rather breezy. Olivia nodded. ‘I know—I was out riding before breakfast.’

She could feel George’s eyes on her. Avoiding his gaze, she nevertheless felt a slow blush flood her cheeks. Oh, why had she mentioned that?

Faith was frowning. ‘I am so sorry that you did not sleep well, Olivia. I do hope your bed was comfortable. Or was it, perhaps, something you had at dinner? I did wonder about those prawns…’

Olivia was mortified. ‘Oh, no, Faith, you mustn’t think that! The food was delightful and the room so comfortable. But you know me of old—I often struggle to sleep when away from home—especially on the first night.’

She continued to reassure Faith as the ladies all climbed the stairs in search of shawls. She would hate for her thoughtless words to upset her hostess, who had been so kind. As they continued along the landing, Olivia absent-mindedly noticed Miss Manning enter one of the bedrooms. It was only when she got to her own chamber that she thought about what she had seen. Miss Manning had gone into George’s room!

She shook herself. That should not surprise her. Miss Manning’s shawl might be in George’s bedchamber—she might have left it there at some point. The woman was perfectly free to enter her brother’s bedroom if she wished. Olivia shrugged.

She picked up her own shawl—a beautiful, soft Indian wrap in subtle shades of blue—checked her appearance in the mirror, then hurried back downstairs. As she descended, she became aware of male voices below. Jem and George were conversing.

‘Delightful! Mr and Mrs Foxley have been most kind.’ George’s voice.

‘They are generous and trusting people, that is for sure.’ That was Jem, but there was a puzzling edge to his voice. ‘Some might say they are too trusting.’

‘And do you say so, Mr Ford?’ Now it was George who sounded strange. His tone was silkily polite, but there was a barb in it. Olivia’s pace slowed. What on earth was happening?

‘Time will tell, no doubt, Mr Manning. We all of us must navigate our way through life as best we can, balancing generosity with self-interest.’

‘Indeed.’ George’s tone was curt. Olivia was now at the bottom of the staircase and George’s eyes flicked briefly towards her. ‘I am one of those who will always put others first.’ His voice was a little louder. ‘Self-interest is unknown to me.’ Now he turned towards her ‘Ah, Lady Olivia!’ He swept forward, making an elegant bow. ‘So happy to see you again—and what a fetching shawl!’

Olivia could feel herself blushing. His gallantry was pleasant—but she must not let him see that. She kept her tone even. ‘I have only left you for five minutes.’

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The Fake Date
by
Lynda Stacey


It's publication day and I would like to thank the Author, Lynda Stacey, so much for asking me to review The Fake Date. I have hosted Lynda a few times now on Boon's Bookcase and she is always so lovely and so when she contacted me to ask me to review her latest book, I jumped at the chance! Please find my review of this great thriller below. Thanks again to Lynda for sending me a copy of The Fake Date for review.




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 Ella has to do first is survive …







Review
Ella Hope has been beaten so badly and left for dead after a date and she is just looking at her watch waiting for either someone to find her or for death to arrive. The opening chapter in this book is amazing and so detailed, that I found myself holding my breath with anticipation of someone finding Ella before it’s too late!

All Ella wanted to do was find a good story for the newspaper she worked for as a reporter, but as she can’t remember much about the date before she was attacked, will she be able to bring the attacker to justice?

Rick is standing trial for the brutal attack of Ella and is strongly defending his innocence. Can Ella remember enough of that night to put him behind bars, or is she clutching at straws and convincing herself he did it?

This is a great psychological thriller and one where I thought I knew what was going on and then the plot thickens and I started doubting myself! 

I would thoroughly recommend this book as it certainly keeps you on your toes from start to finish!

Thank you to the author for sending me a copy for review.




Monday, 17 September 2018

** COVER REVEAL **

Today I am delighted to be able to show you the cover for Jill Mansell's new novel, Maybe This Time. You will have to wait until January until the hardback is published, but by the look of the fabulous cover, it will be worth waiting for!

You can pre-order this book on Amazon by clicking here







Wednesday, 12 September 2018

A Letter from Paris
by
Louisa Deasey
BLOG TOUR
It's my turn on the Blog Tour for A Letter from Paris by Louisa Deasey and what a fabulous cover it is! 





A Letter from Paris is a memoir for Paris lovers everywhere. When Louisa Deasey receives a message from a Frenchwoman called Coralie, who has found a cache of letters in an attic written about Louisa’s father, neither woman can imagine the events it will set in motion.

The letters, dated 1949, detail a passionate affair between Louisa’s father, Denison, and Coralie’s grandmother, Michelle, in post-war London, and take Louisa on a journey to discover who her father - who had died when she was six - really was.
She uncovers his secret service in WWII, his integral role in the international art scene, and his career as a writer, swept under the carpet by a family that considered him a black sheep. Her journey of discovery takes her all the way to the City of Lights and connects her with an extended family she never knew existed and a stepmother she thought she’d lost forever. 



Extract
It was late on Saturday night when Coralie first contacted me. Despite a sudden summer storm, my inner-city apartment was stifling. I’d returned from a friend’s house for dinner. An amazing cook, she’d made a small group of us seafood and salads, and we’d talked into the night as we waited for the storm to settle. Dinner at Carmen’s was the highlight of an awful week.
In the space of seven days, I’d attended a funeral, been to the emergency ward, and had to call the police because my downstairs neighbour had gone off the rails.
I’d quit my job at the University a fortnight earlier after an impossible situation, and the prospect of starting from scratch depressed me. The job had been so ideal when I’d started, and ended so awfully, leaving a sad hollow in my stomach, a resistance to giving anything else my all.
I wanted to write, maybe freelance again — but I had to come down from the year-long stint at the University, the disappointment I felt at how that had all turned out. There was no space in my head to plan and dream — everything felt a bit scary. I wondered if there was something wrong with me, for not being able to ‘hack’ the situation at the University, if only to keep earning a regular income.
I felt caught between worlds, unsure of who I was or what I wanted, restless but tired. Anxious and disorientated. Disappointed in myself, somehow.
I sat trying to remember who I was, and what I wanted — if I could trust myself to want something again.
A Facebook ‘message request’ appeared on my phone as my neighbour’s shouts of abuse reached up from her balcony below.
30 January 2016
Hello Louisa,
I hope you won’t mind me contacting you in such an unsolicited way.
My name is Coralie. I live in Paris, France. My grandmother, Michelle Chomé, recently passed away and we found in her apartment a stack of letters written during the year 1949 to her parents in Paris. At the time she was an au pair in London.
In these letters she speaks of an Australian man called Denison Deasey. She met him on the train to London — he was there that same year with his sister. It seems he took her on some very special outings around London ... she was very smitten with him.
Are you related to Denison Deasey? Again, I hope I am not disturbing you in any way ...
Denison. His name was a shock and a surprise, like the stranger who typed it. I hadn’t thought about dad on any conscious level for such a long time. His story was a scar that still tugged and pulled whenever it was exposed.
Seeing his first name and reading of him was an unexpected visitation. It brought him back, it called him in. I realised just how much I missed him without knowing him, how much I still wanted to know.
I returned to that long-familiar longing, the knowing but not knowing, the unfinished story. Unsure what to hope for, unsure if I should.
I’d only reactivated my Facebook account that morning after a two-week break, to stop getting alerts from University pages. Even odder, I’d then changed my profile picture to an old picture I’d taken at the Louvre, an unexpected pang to return to France having surged over me as I sat up in bed after waking. I’d been trying to think of something that excited me, since I was feeling so lost.
I have to go to Paris again this year, I’d written in my diary.
But here was a message — from Paris. It seemed like a confirmation. I had to get back there. But how?