Blog Tours, Book review

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

It has been a busy week for blog tours and this is Friday’s review. Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the opportunity to read The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

 

Book Review for The Amber Maze
The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden

Title: The Amber Maze

Author: Christopher Bowden

Genre: Noir fiction, mystery

Release date: 6th September 2018

Blurb

While staying in a Dorset cottage, Hugh Mullion finds a mysterious key down the side of an antique chair. No one can say how long the key has been there or what it opens.
Hugh’s search for answers will unlock the secrets of the troubled life of a talented artist, destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late. And no secret is darker than that of The Amber Maze, from whose malign influence he never escaped.
The trail takes Hugh from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960s Camden Town, where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.
Delicately crafted noir fiction at its best.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0955506751
Amazon US –  https://www.amazon.com/Amber-Maze-Christopher-Bowden-ebook/dp/B07FRH481F/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1532280455&sr=1-1&keywords=the+amber+maze
Waterstones –  https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-amber-maze/christopher-bowden/9780955506758
Smash words –  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/880652

My Thoughts

With a beautifully written novel revolving around a forgotten key, dusty books, quirky personalities who visit a location close to my heart how could I not enjoy this enjoyable book? I loved the pace and language used. It suits Hugh Mullions, the protagonist well. He loves a challenging puzzle so when a key is discovered his obsessive streak shines through; he is determined to solve the riddle of The Amber Maze. His research takes him from a cosy cottage to a stately home and London as it leads him to troubled artist and the secrets urged me to continue reading.

There are a clutch of characters readers of his previous book, The Blue Door will know well  but this can be read as a standalone short novel.

As well as the promised mystery the mention of Camden in the blurb attracted me to this book. It was a place I visited as often as I could in my youth and I was impressed by the author’s ability to place the reader in the environment. Without being overly descriptive I was walking the streets alongside the characters which is always a pleasure in a book.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It’s different to my normal reads but is a refreshing a new genre for me to jump into; a perfect alternative to romance on comfy duvet days and ideal to read tucked up on a cold evening. Also with the book series surrounding the colour theme  it is one to remember for next year’s reading challenges for the ‘Read a book with a colour in the title’ because there are several books to choose from.

Author Biography

Book Review of The Amazon Maze
Christopher Bowden

 

Christopher Bowden lives in south London. The Amber Maze is the sixth of his colour-themed novels, which have been praised variously by Andrew Marr, Julian Fellowes, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Shena Mackay.

 

 

 

Social Media Linkshttps://www.facebook.com/christopher.bowden.90

Want to know more about this book and Christopher Bowden why not visit others on this blog tour. The schedule is below.

Happy reading!

Blog tour for The Amber Maze

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Book Review for Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer
Blog Tours, Book review

Book Review and Blog Tour: Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer by Lily Mae Walters

Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer by Lily Mae Walters

josiecoveringram

Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

Title: Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer

Author: Lily Mae Walters

Genre: Children’s fiction

Release date: 10th June 2018

Blurb

Josie James is an ordinary 13 year old until something extraordinary happens during her summer holidays.

Whist staying at her Great Grandmother’s cottage in the country she finds herself swept into the cursed world of Suncroft where it is perpetual winter.

Her new friends believe she could be the Chosen One who it is foretold will lift the curse, but there are more pressing matters.

The Teardrops of Summer – magical crystals that render the owner immortal – have been stolen. Along with her telepathic husky-dog Protector Asher and her new friends, Josie must race to find the
Teardrops and prevent catastrophe for their world.
http://mybook.to/Teardrops

My thoughts

First of all I love the cover of this book. It immediately drew my eye and if I saw this on a shelf in a shop I would have put it in my basket. I would have to know what lay behind the open doorway; I am one of those people who love old quirky doors for the stories they could tell and this one hides a highly imaginative and colourful, the first book in a series. Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer has sprinkles of magic seen in the classics of Tom’s Midnight Garden and The Chronicle of Narnia. Josie is a natural heroine and the characters she meets are memorable and delightful, especially Asher the cockney talking dog and the places she visits are enchanting; I long to explore the streets of Suncroft myself. As an adult I was eager to find out more so it will be a great read for younger audience. My only regret is my daughter is too old to read this. It has everything she would have loved when she a few years ago – a realistic, independent, and intelligent protagonist, magic, huskies and secretive adventures. It would have been a joy to snuggle up under the duvet and share this book together.

Would I recommend?

Perfect reading for 7 – 11 years who need a little bit of magic and adventure.

Author Bio

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/josiejames100/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/lilymaewalters/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/LilyMaeWalters1

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer (UK Only)*

I am extremely excited to offer you the chance to win a signed copy of Josie James and the Teardrops of Summer.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494132/?

Good luck and happy reading!

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Guest post

Guest post: Real History versus Fantasy History; or, the Dangers of Pushing Research Too Far by M.K Wiseman

I am pleased to introduce M.K Wiseman, as part of a blog tour to celebrate her book, The Kithseeker.  Welcome Duvet Dwellers Books and over to you.

Duvet Dwellers

Real History versus Fantasy History; or, the Dangers of Pushing Research Too Far

I almost went back to change the title of this post. In hindsight it comes across as quite menacing. But then, considering the topic at hand, I think I’ll keep it as typed. For you see, my writing jam is historical fantasy and sometimes real history just … *shiver

Have you ever heard of Hew Draper? I ran across his name while putting together a few fun table props for a convention I attended in August. ExpectoCon in Madison, Wisconsin is a new immersive wizards and witches weekend brought to you by the same mind that created the series of TeslaCon immersive steampunk conventions. As such, I needed a few really nifty outfits and a set of cool new props.

I decided to be so bold as to do a cheeky mild cosplay of one of my own characters. Well, more a nod than a true character cosplay. I fashioned Nagarath’s cinnabar staff and tried to have at least one of my weekend outfits resemble something akin to what I believe a 17th century Croatian wizard would wear. And I made reference books.

And to do so, I did (admittedly shoddy) research so that I could have with me the means to discuss, at length, various magickal histories. Books. Wizards. Strange facts (e.g. the history of the wand is quite fascinating). These filled my little note books in the hope that I could fill strangers’ ears with impromptu in-character lectures. To some extent, I was successful in this attempt and had a blast doing so. But to another extent this exercise mainly served to scare me.

Nicholas Flamel—made more recently famous through J. K. Rowling’s having dropped his history into the Harry Potter series—proved an interesting if non-threatening maybe-maybe-not wizard. I mention Hew Draper above. He managed something potentially more exciting. I say potentially for, no record exists of his having escaped the Salt Tower of the Tower of London on May 30, 1561 … but neither does there exist proof that he did not, in fact, conjure himself away after making the cryptic astrological carving on the wall of his cell.

And then there’s La Voisin. Catherine Monvoisin, French poisoner for hire for the aristocracy in the seventeenth century. Her fate we know. She was publicly executed in Paris on February 22, 1680. Charge of witchcraft (amongst other things.) I stopped researching when I found out how she was performing “black masses” and I figured I no longer wanted to know anything of real wizards from history.

I guess I’ll stick to fantasy for now?

 

The Kithseeker

The Kithseeker-front-cover

Title: The Kithseeker

Author: M.K Wiseman

Genre: Historical fantasy

Release date: 21st August 2018

Blurb

France, 1680

Liara’s defense of the Wizard Nagarath has rendered Anisthe incantate–bereft of magick–but even this cannot guarantee her safety. Because the death of her father-in-magick would seal the girl’s fate, necessity demands she and her wizard maintain a watchful eye on the war mage, while protecting her from his dark designs.

Anisthe has embarked on a journey across Europe, aided by his half-fey manservant with an agenda all his own. They search for a legendary mirror that contains the world’s most powerful magick. Although the stuff of fairytales, the possibility of its existence compels Nagarath and Liara to seek the artifact themselves. Both know that should Anisthe lay claim to that power, Liara would be at his mercy and not even Nagarath could save her.

Thus, the pair find themselves at Versailles, surrounded by agents who ferret out magick users and destroy them. Uncertain who is friend and who is foe, with their rival on their heels, they must discover the mirror before Anisthe releases its evil, or worse, it lays claim to Liara’s magick and brings doom upon them all.

Purchase Links
https://smile.amazon.com/Kithseeker-Bookminder-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07FMSMHW8/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kithseeker-Bookminder-Book-2-ebook/dp/B07FMSMHW8/

Author Bio

The Kithseeker - MKWiseman_pic

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in animation/video and library science – both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, her office is a clutter of storyboards and half-catalogued collections of too, too many books. (But, really, is there such a thing as too many books?) When she’s not mucking about with stories, she’s off playing brač or lying in a hammock in the backyard of her Cedarburg home that she shares with her endlessly patient husband.

 

Social Media Links 
https://twitter.com/FaublesFables
https://www.facebook.com/FaublesFables/
https://www.instagram.com/faublesfables/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7073540.M_K_Wiseman
http://mkwisemanauthor.com

Thank you for visiting M.K Wiseman and I love the idea of cosplay and hope you took lots of photos. I am also tempted to read more of the real wizards you researched.

For book reviews on her book The Kithseeker, why not pop in to other blogs in the tour. Details are below.

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Book Review: The Lost Children by Helen Phifer
Book review

Book Review: The Lost Children or Dark House by Helen Phifer

The first book I have finished this month, September is a complete contrast to the last book I read in August. From a heart felt romance, I Give You My Heart I have skipped to a cold blooded murder mystery The Lost Children by Helen Phifer. Confusingly it has been republished under the new name of Dark House.

I found this on the shelf at the library; the dark ominous cover and corresponding creepy blurb called to me demanding to be read.

The Lost Children by Helen Phifer
The Lost Children book cover

Title: The Lost Children

Author: Helen Phifer

Publisher: Bookoutre

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Blurb

A shadowy figure in the dark was dragging something heavy behind them. Lizzy pulled the covers over her head, then realised what was being dragged. She rammed a fist into her mouth to stop herself from screaming…

For years, the Moore Asylum housed the forgotten children of Brooklyn Bay. But now, a man is found brutally murdered in the derelict building, strapped to a steel trolley, launching a terrifying investigation for Detective Lucy Harwin.

Lucy quickly discovers the victim was once a Moore Asylum doctor, and when a woman also linked to the home is found murdered on her doorstep, Lucy knows she must dig into its history. What dark secrets lie within the asylum’s walls – what was the scandal leading to its closure thirty years ago?

With her own demons to fight, Lucy starts to uncover the shocking tale of the Moore Asylum children, and begins to wonder: who will be the next victim?

Just as Lucy thinks she’s closing in, a disturbing clue makes her suspect the killer is watching her every move. Can she catch this twisted individual before another life is lost, or will they get to her first?

A terrifying serial killer thriller that will chill readers of MJ Arlidge, Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott to the bone.

My Thoughts

The discovery of a body in the old asylum set the tone of this book and I was instantly hooked. DI Lucy Harwin was introduced and she was refreshingly not the badass loner detective with a tragic upbringing I have come to expect but a struggling stressed mum of a troublesome teenager. This made her instantly relatable. She has depth and a back story which I am sure will be revealed in future books as well as a the possibility of discovering more of her dating exploits.

The novel is gruesome without being gory and the pace is just right for it to be page turner urging you forward into the criminal investigation with its unexpected twists and turns. The case is creepy and dark; perfect for a thriller hit to read autumnal or winter evenings.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. As it says it would attract fans of MJ Arlidge and Sharon Bolton.

I have already ordered the next one of the series, Dying Breath and can’t wait to read it.

Discover more about the author on her website https://www.helenphifer.com/

Twitter @helenphifer1

Facebook @Helenphifer1

Have you read this series? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: I Give You My Heart
Blog Tours, Book review, Giveaway

Book Review and Giveaway: I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford

Today I am happy to bring you my book review for I Give You My Heart by SarahJane Ford as part of a blog tour from Rachel’s Random Resources. With a tagline ‘A terminal diagnosis. A life-saving sacrifice’ I was prepared with a box of tissues before I opened the first page.

I Give You My Heart Cover
I Give You My Heart Book Cover

Title: I Give You My Heart

Author: SarahJane Ford

Release Date: 29th Aug 2018

Genre: Romance, Woman’s Fiction

Purchase from Amazon UKhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Give-You-My-Heart-ebook/dp/B07G3LHX7P/

Blurb

𝗔 𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗻𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘀. 𝗔 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲-𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗮𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗲. 𝗔 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁.
Alice Richards looked forward to watching the seeds of love she and her husband planted bloom and grow well into their old age. But her plans for the future shrivel up and die when she learns she has an inoperable brain tumour.
Determined that she won’t die in vain, she decides to become an organ donor. With a few precious months left, Alice begins documenting her fairytale romance—from their first meeting to the children they dreamed of having. She’ll pass on every detail to her heart’s next owner… along with careful instructions to send her husband reminders of her undying love. Before her time runs out, Alice must find the perfect candidate to guide her husband through unimaginable grief and hold the memory of their love in her heart.I Give You My Heart is an emotional romantic fiction novel with an uplifting message.

If you like strong-willed women, undying love stories, and honest portrayals of coping with a terminal illness, then you’ll love SarahJane Ford’s heart-warming epic.
An unmissable love story full of warmth, beauty and with a huge, beating heart. Perfect for fans of Cecilia Ahern’s ‘P.S. I Love You’ and Jojo Moyes’ ‘Me Before You’.

My Thoughts

This is a strong debut with a heart breaking but positive tale. It is the ultimate tearjerker celebrating true love and the joy of life.

Alice’s happy, upbeat personality, her zest for life and with her appreciation of all small things made me instantly connect with her and the more I read the more I wanted to have her as a friend. This was cemented further as she is a florist with the speciality of language of flowers which I have recently started to appreciate. From the start of this emotional novel, I felt her pain of diagnosis and love she feels for those around her as she creates the manual of her heart.  The book she writes is more than a list of instructions, it is a celebration of her overwhelming love for Alex and the strong bond she has with her best friend, Ryan. The positivity and happy memories shared made me want to experience some of it meaning hot chocolate was a must while reading as well as digging out the Abba CD to dance to when on my own.

By the last page, I was left wanting more. I feel the need for a continuation of this beating heart’s story. I want to know if the heart’s recipient goes along with Alice’s wishes or whether they are a little creeped out by receiving a manual alongside a much needed organ as I suspect I would. I want to know how Alex’s copes without her and whether he is as perfect as Alice believes.  This story will stay with me for a long time.

I am looking forward to reading more from SarahJane  Ford and follow her career.

Would I recommend?

Yes, but be prepared to use boxes of tissues and feel envious of the fairytale love most people can only dream of.

Author Biography

author-photo-1
SarahJane Ford

SarahJane is the debut author of ‘I Give You My Heart’ which is due to be published on September 1st 2018.
SarahJane was born in Scotland but grew up in the Cheshire countryside, which is home to her. After a few years living in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, where she went to secondary school, she has now settled back in Cheshire in a quirky flat surrounded by trees, birds and rolling fields.A marketing professional since finishing her formal education SarahJane is delighted to be following her writing dream. She still works part-time as a Marketing Manager, whilst furiously penning her second novel.
Harbouring an adventurous spirit, SarahJane loves to travel, be surrounded by the wilderness or be riding Cornish waves.
SarahJane loves to read (ideally by the sea!). She was raised on the greatest love stories, which is where her romantic soul comes from. She is in love with love…Mr Darcy’s brooding looks in Pride and Prejudice; Julia Roberts and Richard Gere’s arresting chemistry in Runaway Bride; the intensely emotional Titanic; going weak at the knees for Danny Zuko in Grease; Cecilia Ahern’s heartbreaking P.S. I Love You and Patrick Swayze’s mega moves in Dirty Dancing.
Social Media Links

Facebook : www.facebook.com/sarahjanefordauthor/
Website: www.sarahjaneford.com

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance for you to win signed hardback of I Give You My Heart with a personalised message (UK Only)*

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494128/?

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to join this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. If you would like to know more about the book and author why not drop into the other blogs below.

Happy Reading!

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

I Give You My Heart Full Banner

Blog Tours, Book review

Book Review and Giveaway: Angelica Stone by Susi Osbourne

Today I am pleased to share my book review for Angelica Stone as part of a blog tour. Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Susi Osborne for inviting me.

Book Review for Angelica Stone

Book Review for Angelica Stone

Angelica Stone by Susi Osborne

Title: Angelica Stone

Author: Susi Osborne

Genre: Fiction

Release Date: 26th July 2017

Purchase Details: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angelica-Stone-Susi-Osborne/dp/1911320947/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Blurb

Following years of sexual abuse, Angelica is brought up in care. As a teenager she absconds, living on the streets, before eventually being forced into prostitution to survive. She learns to rely solely on herself and is reluctant to allow anyone to get close to her, until she forms an unlikely bond with Lola. In contrast, Lola is from what appears to be a happy middle-class background – but all is not what it seems…
Slowly, as their friendship grows, cracks start to appear in Lola’s life, and a series of events leave her on the verge of ruin. Can these women break the cycle of their lives? Or will they succumb to the path laid out before them? Angelica Stone is an emotional rollercoaster of laughter and tears as the women embark on a journey of self-discovery, with the support of one another.

My thoughts

Beneath the gorgeous cover of purple and stars is an heart-rending novel about abuse, homelessness and poverty but ultimately it is a story of the strength of the human spirit and survival.

This book is an emotional ride through the harsh realities of abuse and the ongoing consequences for everyone who is touched by it. It is gritty, heartbreaking and hard hitting; it makes you cling to the thread of hope woven throughout. At times the story is difficult to read but Angelica’s voice is an important one to hear especially in light of the recent scandals such as those affecting the girls in Rotherham.

When Lola and Angel meet, they are opposites in every way with different characters, life experiences and problems but they are both strong. It was wonderful see their friendship develop and their relationship highlights the importance of support and having someone reach out in troubled times. There were moments when my heart stopped and I wanted to scream ‘Please no’ due to the attachment I felt for to both characters. They’ll stay with me for a long time.

Would I recommend?

Grab your hankies and read this book.

Author Bio

Susi headshot 1 1

Susi Osborne

Susi Osborne is the author of The Ripples of Life, Grace & Disgrace, Secrets, Lies & Butterflies and Angelica Stone. She lives in Cheshire with her Scottish husband, her actress daughter and their two mischievous little dogs. Susi also has an adult son and a grandson who live nearby. Amongst friends their house is known affectionately (she hopes!) as the Osborne madhouse, for obvious reasons.
Before she became a writer, Susi worked in libraries for many years. She also worked as a classroom assistant in a junior school. In addition to her writing Susi organises Northwich LitFest, which she has been running for the past seven years. Alongside the writing of her latest book, Angelica Stone, Susi has been raising money for Centrepoint, the charity for youth homelessness, and has set up a Just Giving Page for the charity in her name.
Susi is a firm believer in the fact that it’s never too late to do anything. ‘You only have one life – go out and grab it with both hands!’

Social Media Links

Facebook Susi Osborne – Author https://www.facebook.com/susiwritesbooks
Twitter https://twitter.com/susiosborne
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/susi.osborne/

Purchase details for her back catalogue

Secrets, Lies & Butterflies – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secrets-Lies-Butterflies-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846248914/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Grace & Disgrace – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Grace-Disgrace-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846244633/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
The Ripples of Life – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ripples-Life-Susi-Osborne/dp/1846241804/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Giveaway

I am pleased to announce a chance to win a copy of all 4 of Susi Osborne’s Books (Open to UK Only)*

Giveaway Prize books

Giveaway Prizes

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494123/

Good Luck and happy reading.

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Thank you again Rachel Random Resources for the opportunity to read Angelica Stone in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tours, Book review

Book Blitz & Book review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three by Audrey Davis @raresources @audbyname #BookReview

The third and final instalment is here of The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three by Audrey Davis. I started reading the series in November 2017 so I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy from Rachel’s Random Resources in exchange for an honest review.  Did I enjoy it? Scroll down and see.

HH3finalcover

Title: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part Three

Author:  Audrey Davis

Genre: romance, woman’s fiction, supernatural

Release date: 30th July 2018

Purchase from Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haunting-Hattie-Hastings-Part-Three-ebook/dp/B07DT2P5Q3 

Blurb

Nothing lasts forever … Gary’s time on earth seems to be coming to an end. His visits are less frequent and his visibility is fading fast. But he still has a mission to accomplish, which involves Hattie and her ability to pass on a heart-rending message.

Best friend Cat’s ex-husband is determined to prove that he deserves another chance, but do leopards really change their spots?

Times are tough for Hattie’s mother Rachel, but where there’s life, there’s hope …
Meanwhile, is there someone already in Hattie’s life who can help her move on when it’s finally time to say goodbye?

Get your tissues at the ready – both for laughter and tears – with the final instalment of a trilogy that has been hailed ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’, and ‘a great feel-good read’.

My thoughts

This is a series to be read from the start rather than jumping in with this one. Without previous knowledge of the story line it maybe confusing and vital information would be lost. Reviews for Part One and Part Two can be found here.

It was lovely to catch up with Hattie and her companions after the break; I longed to discover what was going to happen next after part two’s cliffhanger. It leads straight on from the final scene of the last book so you are thrown straight back into Hattie’s life as she attempts to fulfil Gary’s request. The same characters appear and I loved seeing how they have developed from the beginning especially Cat, Hattie’s best friend. Her relationship issues could have a novel of their own. It is the ideal combination of paranormal, humour and romance as lovable Gary still visits and their relationship continues despite the obstacles death brings. From the start the love between Gary and Hattie has been realistic with their acceptance of each others faults.

I love books with a paranormal twist and this blend of ghostly visits and romance works well.  I did not want to be disappointed by the concluding book and I wasn’t. There is consistency in the writing throughout and the plot, pacing did not falter between books. Luckily, Audrey Davis has other work I can explore as I will miss these characters.

Would I recommend?

The series is a lovely, lighthearted humorous read; perfect for glorious sunny days on the beach. They deserve to be read in quick succession so treat yourself to a binge reading session.

About Audrey Davis

Book Review: The Haunting of Hattie Hastings by Audrey Davis
Audrey Davis

Audrey Davis survived secondary school on the West coast of Scotland. Rubbish at science but not too bad at English, she originally wanted to be an actress but was persuaded that journalism was a safer option. Probably wise. She studied at Napier College in Edinburgh, the only place in Scotland at that time to offer a journalism course.

Her first foray into the hard-nosed newspaper world was as a junior reporter in Dumfriesshire. Duties included interviewing farmers about the prize-winning heifers to reporting on family tragedies. She persuaded her editor to let her launch an entertainment column which meant meeting the odd celebrity – or just the downright odd. From there, she moved to the loftier rank of senior reporter back in her home patch. Slightly more money, fewer farm animals but a higher crime rate. As Taggart would say: ‘There’s been a murrrrder!’

After a stint in London on a video magazine – yes, she is that old – Audrey moved to Singapore with her fiancé. She tried valiantly to embrace the stinking heat, humidity and lack of jobs, although she did work briefly on a magazine which was banned by the government for ‘artistic’ use of naked men’s bottoms.

Next on her adventures was a land Down Under where her main focus was raising Cost Centre One (aka firstborn) and coming to terms with the imminent arrival of Number Two. Still, she loved the Aussie way of life – BBQs, beaches and bring your own booze to restaurants – so it came as a blow when OH announced a move back to the UK. Not a job between them, the climate a possible deal breaker and an Exorcist-style vomiting infant on the flight home didn’t bode well …

Always a survivor, Audrey sought out similar-minded friends (i.e. slightly bonkers), got the children into a good school and thought about taking up writing again. Sadly, thinking about it was as far as she got, unless you count shopping lists. Then, hubby drops another bombshell. Switzerland. As in – it’s packing time again. Off to the land of cheese, chocolate, scarily efficient trains and a couple of teeny, tiny issues. Like driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and speaking a foreign language (French). The former was conquered fairly quickly (we’ll skip over the wall demolition in week two), the latter remains an ongoing battle of the hopeful against the hopeless. At least she provides amusement for the local workforce.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Audrey rediscovered her writing mojo with an online Writing Fiction course. From there, her first novel – A Clean Sweep – was born, although it took a bit longer than nine months from conception. A short, darker prequel – A Clean Break – followed, and in November 2017 she published the first in a novella trilogy, The Haunting of Hattie Hastings Part One. Part Two is published on 21 March 2018, with the conclusion following in July. After which she might have a wee lie down …

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/audreydavisbooks

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/audbyname

Have you read the series? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Or maybe you have a spooky story to share, I would love to here them.

Happy reading!

 

Book Review: While I was sleeping by Dani Atkins
Book review

Book review: While I was sleeping by Dani Atkins

It is sweltering here so all I want to do is read in front of a fan with a good book. I was grateful to have Dani Atkin’s new release on my Kindle. I have read many of her previous novels but will this one be up to her high standard?

While I was sleeping by Dani Atkins

While I was sleeping

Title: While I Was Sleeping

Author: Dani Atkins

Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK Fiction

Release date: 26th July 2018

Blurb

A brand new and brilliant emotional family drama for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson, from the bestselling author of Fractured.

I don’t remember what happened or what has changed.

I can still hear your voices but you can’t seem to hear me.

I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

Now I have to find a way back – to you, to our family, to us.

My Thoughts

To be honest, the first words I thought when I reached the end was ‘Bloody Hell!’ swiftly followed by ‘how am I going to review this without revealing any spoilers’. The answer is to keep it short and simple with no detail at all.

Dani Atkins’ strong talent drew me into all the characters lives and thoughts.  She made me care for both Maddie and Chloe before delivering the emotional journey she is known for. Readers of her other work will know you need to switch your phone off to avoid distractions when reading her novels and a big box of tissues has to be close by. For newbies  to her work, take heed once start you don’t want to be bothered by reality until end of the last page. I was grateful my body declared a duvet day so I could read it in a day.

I have read several of Dani Atkins’ novels and they just keep getting better. I loved the premise and characters even when I shouted at a couple of them. It shows a lot can happen while you are sleeping.

Would I recommend?

Oh yes. Buy or borrow the book and arrange a duvet day or time at the beach with plenty of hankies because you will be in for an emotional treat.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster UK for allowing me to read an advanced copy in exchange for an honest and impartial review.

Have you read this or any other books by Dani Atkins? Which is your favourite and why?

Happy reading!

Blog Tours, Giveaway

Giveaway: The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The Second Cup was originally published on 19 July 2017 and to celebrate it’s first anniversary, I am excited to share a chance to win a copy with you.  Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to share this news and happy anniversary Sarah Marie Graye.

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First book anniversary

The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

The SecondCup-FlatCover
The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye

Title:The Second Cup

Author: Sarah Marie Graye

Publisher: Pict Publishing

Release Date: 19th July 2017

Blurb

Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.
Faye knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.
Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.
Abbie finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor Olivia is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit Beth the hardest, even though she never knew him.
Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Amazon links

https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Both Amazon links are “universal” links, so you can use the same link for both UK and US links on your blog.

Social Media Links
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahmariegraye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/sarahmariegraye

Author bio

The Second Cup SarahMarieGraye-HeadshotSarah Marie Graye was born in Manchester in 1975, to English Catholic parents. To the outside world Sarah Marie’s childhood followed a relatively typical Manchester upbringing, until aged nine, when she was diagnosed with depression.
It’s a diagnosis that has stayed with Sarah Marie over three decades, and something she believes has coloured every life decision, including the one to write a novel.
Sarah Marie wrote The Second Cup as part of an MA Creative Writing practice as research degree at London South Bank University – where she was the vice-chancellor’s scholarship holder.
Sarah Marie was diagnosed with ADHD in November 2017 and published an extended edition of The Second Cup in February 2018 that included character interviews so she could diagnose one of her characters with the same condition.

Giveaway

I am excited to reveal there is an opportunity to win one of 3 signed copies of The Second Cup by Sarah Marie Graye (Open Internationally)*

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494107/?

Good luck and happy reading!

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

 

Blog Tours, Book review

Blog tour and review: The Vanished Child by M J Lee

Today I am happy to be on the tour with M J Lee and his fourth book in the series Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery The Vanished Child. I was attracted to the book by its distinctive sandy cover showing a seemingly barren land, cross monument and smiling boy as well as its blurb. I was left heartbroken and shocked when I watched the film Oranges and Sunshine based on a true story which covered the same time period so I was intrigued on reading another viewpoint on the dark time in our history.

The Vanished Child by M J Lee

The Vanished Child Cover EBOOK
The Vanished Child

Title: The Vanished Child

Author: M J Lee

Purchase LinkmyBook.to/vanishedchild

Blurb:

What would you do if you discovered you had a brother you never knew existed?
On her deathbed, Freda Duckworth confesses to giving birth to an illegitimate child in 1944 and temporarily placing him in a children’s home. She returned later but he had vanished. 
What happened to the child? Why did he disappear? Where did he go? 
Jayne Sinclair, genealogical investigator, is faced with lies, secrets, and one of the most shameful episodes in recent history as she attempts to uncover the truth.
Can she find the vanished child?
This book is the fourth in the Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery series, but can be read as a standalone novel.
Every childhood lasts a lifetime.

My thoughts

On the surface this book appears to be a light mystery; M J Lee’s gentle writing style is easy to read and quickly draws you into the story but the heartbreaking and traumatic thread running throughout when investigations reveal a murky secret in our recent history make it a deeper and more important book to read. It is a secret everyone should know about.  Tissues are required so grab some before you start.
The unusual premise of a genealogy mystery is fascinating. I have dabbled in searching for my own ancestors online and know how addictive unearthing stories can be. There are so many things you can find and it is clever to blend this into fiction. Though this book is part of a series, it was easy to slip into the characters lives without reading the previous books and I developed a connection with both protagonists Jayne Sinclair, the genealogical investigator and Harry, the vanished child she is hunting for. These connections are important as they make you care. I enjoyed Jayne Sinclair as a character but it was Harry’s story who made me turn the pages. He is migrated to Australia as part of Britain’s shameful scheme, Child Migration Programme. Between 1920 and 1970’s more than 130,000 children former colonies especially Australia and Canada by churches and charities. The aim was to populate the Instead of the better life they were promised many were sent into hard labour or servitude* It is a difficult subject to write about but M J  Lee dealt with it sensitively and obviously well researched.

Would I recommend?

The Vanished Child is well worth reading and  several more books have been added to my TBR.

Author Bio

martin2Martin has spent most of his adult life writing in one form or another. As a University researcher in history, he wrote pages of notes on reams of obscure topics. As a social worker with Vietnamese refugees, he wrote memoranda. And, as the creative director of an advertising agency, he has written print and press ads, TV commercials, short films and innumerable backs of cornflakes packets and hotel websites.
He has spent 25 years of his life working outside the North of England. In London, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, winning awards from Cannes, One Show, D&AD, New York and London Festivals, and the United Nations.
When he’s not writing, he splits his time between the UK and Asia, taking pleasure in playing with his daughter, researching his family history, single-handedly solving the problem of the French wine lake and wishing he were George Clooney.

Social Media Links –

Websitewww.writermjlee.com

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WriterMJLee

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/writermjlee

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and M J Lee for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

 

*https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/feb/27/britains-child-migrant-programme-why-130000-children-were-shipped-abroad

https://www.childmigrantstrust.com/our-work/child-migration-history/

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