Book Cover Reveal:Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

I am excited to reveal the cover of a novel which is on my TBR list for next year – Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Book cover reveal: Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

 

Everything is Beautiful - Cover

Everything is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray

Title: Everything is Beautiful

Author: Eleanor Ray

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Piatkus

Release date: 4th February 2021

 

Blurb:

Sometimes it’s impossible to part with the things we love the most…

When Amy Ashton’s world came crashing down eleven years ago, she started a collection. Just a little collection, just a few keepsakes of happier times: some honeysuckle to remind herself of the boy she loved, a chipped china bird, an old terracotta pot . . . Things that others might throw away, but to Amy, represent a life that could have been.  

Now her house is overflowing with the objects she loves – soon there’ll be no room for Amy at all. But when a family move in next door, a chance discovery unearths a mystery long buried, and Amy’s carefully curated life begins to unravel. If she can find the courage to face her past, might the future she thought she’d lost still be hers for the taking? 

Perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant and The Keeper of Lost Things, this exquisitely told, uplifting novel shows us that however hopeless things might feel, beauty can be found in the most unexpected of places.

 

Pre-order Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray/dp/0349427437

US – https://www.amazon.com/Everything-Beautiful-Eleanor-Ray-ebook/dp/B087ZDNZM8/

 

Author Biography 

image0 (1)

Eleanor Ray

Eleanor Ray has an MA in English Literature from Edinburgh University and works in marketing. She lives in London with her husband and two young children.
Eleanor was inspired to write Everything is Beautiful by the objects her toddler collects and treasures – twigs, empty water bottles and wilting daisies. She is currently working on her next novel.

Social Media Links 

Twitter: @EleanorRayBooks
Facebook: @
EleanorRayBooks
Instagram: @
EleanorRayBooks

 

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources and Piatkus for inviting me to this reveal.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: 365 Days of Gratitude Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith @rararesources

Today I am pleased to share with you something different –  365 Days of Gratitude Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith

Book Review: 365 Days of Gratitude Journal by Mariëlle S. Smith

365 Days of Gratitude cover

Book Title: 365 Days of Gratitude Journal

Author: Mariëlle S. Smith

Publisher: Independent

Release date: 1st September 2020

Genre: Self-help

 

Blurb:

‘Gratitude is the wine for the soul. Go on. Get drunk.’ Rumi

Being grateful is easy…

…when everything goes according to plan.

But how do you keep at it no matter what life throws at you?

Enter 365 Days of Gratitude, the undated daily journal that will help you stay on track.

After years of barely surviving her own emotional minefield, writing coach Mariëlle S. Smith discovered the transformative power of practising gratitude. But, like no one else, she knows that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is easier said than done.

Complete with inspiring quotes, daily prompts, and recurring check-ins, the 365 Days of Gratitude Journal encourages you to create a sustainable gratitude practice too.

Ready to commit to the life-changing power of gratitude? Order your copy of the 365 Days of Gratitude Journal now.

 

Purchase Links

https://mswordsmith.nl/365daysofgratitude/

Get 50% off the printable PDF until 6 September 2020 with the following discount code: HAPPYLAUNCH. Go to https://mswordsmith.nl/365daysofgratitude or https://payhip.com/b/Hld2 to claim your copy.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08FV15CJN

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FV15CJN

My Thoughts

I am a great believer in the power of feeling grateful,  I rarely write my blessings down. This is where this journal was invaluable and made the difference. The daily record meant I could review the previous days as instructed to see what had been consistent, what had changed, and remember the fleeting moments I had forgotten about. For example, a dragonfly has visited our garden twice last month. In the past, I would have been grateful for seeing it but it would have been lost in my memories over time. With the journal’s help, I could recall tits arrival and the finer details of the day such as the blue sky, the summer heat and the joy of sitting in the garden drinking tea on a rare visit with my aunt. The journal became a record of small moments, but together the collection gave me more general sense of wellbeing.
With covid and the unrest in many parts of the world, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all and I have had times when cabin fever has set in because I am still spending shielding, thanks to my low immune system and dystonia.  This journal helped ground and remind me I have so much to be grateful for – friends I can chat to online, a writing tribe, technology to write and connect with people, my dogs, and a garden, I could go on. It made me concentrate on what I have rather than not, which was uplifting.

 

Things to be grateful for:

dragonfly visit

new dragon leggings

butterflies in the garden

and a man in the moon appearance in a cup of tea.

Contennt For 27 Book Street - 365 Worksheet Day 1

A sample page of the journal

 

Would I recommend?

Yes, I found it cathartic to use and helpful in these turbulent times but it does require a daily commitment to write in it for the full effect. The format is simple, clear an easily personalised with stickers and coloured pens. The quotes are beautiful and uplifting.

Author Biography

 

365 Days Author

Mariëlle S. Smith

 

Mariëlle S. Smith is a coach for writers and other creatives, an editor, and a (ghost) writer. Early 2019, she moved to Cyprus, and island in the Mediterranean Sea, where she organises private writer’s retreats, is inspired 24/7, and feeds more stray cats than she can count.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mswordsmith

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

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtnYOpjmj83mvMM2L348F1w

 

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this blog tour and providing me with an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest, unbiased opinion.

Do you keep a gratitude journal? Do you find it helpful?

Happy reading and keep safe!

Love

 

 

 

Book Review: The Last Charm by Ella Allbright

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terraces by Fay Keenan

I know it is only August and the sun is shining but it is never too early to add Christmas books on to your TBR pile for the darker, colder nights. The first festive novel of the year is Snowflakes over Bay Tree Terrace by Fay Keenan.

Book Review: Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terraces by Fay Keenan

Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terrace HI RES

Snowflakes over Bay Tree Terrace by Fay Keenan

Title: Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terraces

Author: Fay Keenan

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Release Date: 20th August 2020

Genre: Festive Romance, Women’s Fiction

Blurb:

As the snowflakes fall, new love blossoms…

When teacher Florence Ashton receives a surprise inheritance, she decides to make the life-changing decision to up sticks to the charming town of Willowbury in Somerset. With a new house and a new job, she’s too busy putting down roots to think about love.

Air Ambulance pilot Sam Ellis is definitely not looking for romance either, especially not on his doorstep. When Florence, his new neighbour, complains about his noisy housemate, he feels more cross than star-crossed.

But as the nights draw in and both find themselves thrown together in Willowbury’s seasonal drama production, will they overcome their differences and allow a little bit of winter magic to fall along with the snow? And what secrets will be revealed by the box of memories Florence finds in the attic at Bay Tree Terrace?

Let Fay Keenan transport you to the perfect country winter wonderland, with roaring fires, spectacular scenery, and unforgettable characters. Perfect for all fans of Cathy Bramley, Fern Britton and Katie Fforde.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3d1DPTC

My Thoughts

This is my first book I have read from this author and I wasn’t disappointed. It is always nice to have another author to look forward to reading on your TBR pile. The novel follows the lives of Florence and Sam in a will they/won’t they scenario set in a delightful country village. The setting adds to the warmth and festive feel of the story but it is the characters that shine especially Aiden, Sam’s brother. He is the reason the two protagonists meet and is the glue throughout the novel. His story about the trauma of leaving the forces is sensitively told and it was lovely to see an important subject threaded into commercial novel without it being the focus. His relationship with Sam and the realistic emotional interactions they had touched me.

Florence is a school teacher and it shows in her personality while ex-Navy Sam has taught himself to protect himself emotionally. I enjoyed the build up of the sizzling chemistry between them and following their trials and tribulations you need in a good romantic novel.

Would I recommend?

Yes. This is more than a quick uplifting festive read; the well developed characters, topics of discussion and beautiful prose make it one that you do not leave behind when the final page is closed.

Author Biography

F Keenan headshot

Fay Keenan

Fay Keenan is the author of the bestselling Little Somerby series of novels. She has led writing workshops with Bristol University and has been a visiting speaker in schools. She is a full-time teacher and lives in Somerset.

Social Media Links –

Twitter Profile: @faykeenan

Facebook Profile: www.facebook.com/faykeenanauthor

Instagram Profile: faykeenan

YouTube Channel: faykeenan

Pinterest Profile: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/faykeenanauthor/

Bookbub Profile: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/fay-keenan

Blog / website URL: http://www.faykeenan.com

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for an advanced copy of this book so I could give my honest review.

Happy reading!

Love

Snowflakes Over Bay Tree Terract Full Tour Banner

Book Review: The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

Today I am pleased to share my review for Taryn Leigh’s new release The Secret Letters, a romantic suspense novel set in the beautiful setting of South Africa.

 

Book Review: The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

 

The Secret Letters Cover

The Secret Letters by Taryn Leigh

Title: The Secret Letters

Author: Taryn Leigh

Publisher: Kingsley Publishers

Release date: 9th August 2020

Genre: Women’s fiction, suspense romance

 

Blurb:

RACHEL, saved from an attack twelve years before by a faceless stranger, never got to thank him, never knew his name.

Despite the devastation she chose to rise above it to help others from their pain by becoming a psychologist…. Her only issue now is that she’s an expert at fixing everyone else’s problems, and blind to her own.

After a long relationship with her boyfriend WILL starts to go south, she turns to her best friend AMELIA for guidance.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down when tragedy strikes and she’s left with no one to comfort her but Will’s rude older brother RUARI.

Paralyzed by fear, she struggles to take grip of her life, until the day when anonymous letters begin to appear from the stranger who saved her twelve years before.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Letters-Taryn-Leigh-ebook/dp/B089GM73RS

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Letters-Taryn-Leigh-ebook/dp/B089GM73RS

My Thoughts

This is the second novel I have read from Taryn Leigh. The first one, Perfect Imperfections, stayed with me long after I finished it and I can not look at a toy giraffe without thinking about the principal character, Sarah. This shows the impact it had. When the opportunity arose for a place on this blog tour run by Rachel’s Random Resources, I grabbed it and I was not disappointed.

This romantic suspense novel is unusual and took me on an emotional roller coaster with dark moments, followed by lighter, joyous scenes before being hurtled back into despair. It gripped me from the first chapter when Rachel was introduced to the last page as it follows her recovery from traumatic events and the romantic possibilities threaded throughout.  It covers some harrowing topics with haunting realism including assault and mental health issues, but Taryn Leigh approaches them sensitively. I felt Rachel’s pain as she dealt with several events life sends her way and her dependency on the mysterious letters to gain strength and move forward.  I guessed where some of the story was going, but this did not distract from my enjoyment or desire to know more.

Mr Lemon provides welcome relief with a tale of his own and he was a delightful, memorable character.

The settings described in the novel are stunning including the jacaranda trees in Pretoria, South Africa portrayed on the book cover. The tea garden was calming and somewhere I would love to experience in reality. The inclusion of a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house was enlightening and the quote of his speech resonated with me during these uneasy times. I have all the places in this book to my dream globetrotting itinerary.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an emotional, beautiful read and like her debut novel will stay with me.

Author Biography

Taryn Leigh

Taryn Leigh

 

Taryn Leigh is a South African Author, who spent her childhood with her nose buried in books. Her love for reading transpired into her ambition to become an Author.

Taryn Leigh’s first book, Perfect Imperfections, is available in Paperback, eBook and AudioBook. She lives in Pretoria with her husband and son.

Social Media Links –

Website: www.tarynleighauthor.com

Instagram: @tarynleighbooks

Twitter: @tarynleighbook

Facebook: Taryn Leigh Author

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me on the tour and the advanced copy so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

If you want to know more about this book, why not visit others on the tour.

Happy reading and stay safe.

Love

The Secret Letters Full Tour Banner

 

 

 

Book Review: The Recovery Toolkit by Sue Penna

As some of you may know, Jennifer Gilmour, an advocate for survivors of Domestic Abuse has visited my blog previously about her work and her book, The Isolation Junction. I am pleased to review The Recovery Toolkit by Sue Penna, a project she has been involved in.

Domestic Violence can affect anyone and in recent weeks, thanks to the Covid crisis and lockdown, the situation has worsened. During lockdown the calls to domestic abuse charities increased by 49% and deaths doubled*. Now we are easing out of lockdown, charities are seeing more referrals for refuge places.** These figures highlight the importance of the charities work and resources like these. This book provides help for those who have left the violent relationship and are making steps to start a fresh.

Book Review: The Recovery Toolkit: A 12 week plan to support your journey from domestic abuse by Sue Penna

RTK Book Cover

The Recovery Toolkit by Sue Penna

Title: The Recovery Toolkit: A 12 week plan to support your journey from domestic abuse

Author: Sue Penna

Publisher: Penna & Passmore Ltd

Release Date: 3rd May 2020

Genre: Non-fiction, Self-help

Purchase: The Recovery Toolkit on Amazon (universal link): http://mybook.to/TheRecoveryToolkit

99p_99c Kindle

Blurb:

Have you left an abusive relationship?

Are you still carrying guilt?

Would you like to understand, challenge and remove the voice of the perpetrator?

Do you still think what happened to you was your fault?

Do you find dealing with new people in your life something to be scared about?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the above questions you are not alone.

Many people who leave an abusive relationship behind are affected by that former relationship in many different ways. Perhaps you feel guilty when making decisions on your own? You may worry about what motivates others to befriend you? Maybe your children are having to re-learn who it is that’s the adult in the room now that your ex-partner has gone from their lives.

If this all sounds familiar then The Recovery Toolkit is the book for you. Written in an easy and accessible style, the book will take you on a journey that is part discovery, part guide.

Further details:

The book is based on the successful 12-week group programme of the same name created by author Sue Penna. It is also based on Sue’s professional and lived experience, having worked for more than 20 years for the NHS’s Mental Health Services. For the last 15 years, Sue has specialised in working with individuals who have experienced domestic abuse.

The Recovery Toolkit is crammed with superb observations and suggestions that will help you recognise that you weren’t to blame for the abuse you suffered in the first place and that the real you is still there, ready to emerge.

My Thoughts:

This book is designed for survivors who have left their abusers and are ready to reclaim their lives and not for those still living with their abuser. It does not promise to be a quick fix and requires patience and commitment to read a chapter every week and complete the exercises. It’s aim is to change the thought process from the negative to the positive, similar to CBT and step away from hearing the abusers voice to listening your own and trust it. It is easily accessible and the insights from Jennifer Gilmour in her own journey adds to the encouragement. This is important for when things become difficult to do. I have only read through a couple of exercises and it is clear it will be an emotional process to follow. For improvement to happen the reader has to open up and be honest with themselves.

Would I recommend?

Definitely. I love this book and the concept behind it. This is an in invaluable resource of surviviors and is a therapist in your pocket. The ability to download a copy to a Kindle also adds to the privacy of it. I am sure it will help many recover from their trauma in the future and give them access to guidance they need when they can not physically attend a workshop. This will help them and their loved ones have the life they deserve.

Sue’s biography:

Sue Penna Headshot

Sue Penna

Sue has worked with individuals who have psychological trauma as a result of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) for over 30 years in her professional life as a clinician, trainer and supervisor both within the NHS and independently.

She has specialised in writing psycho-educational programmes that promote trauma informed practice and a recovery model. Sue is passionate for the need for multi-agency working and committed to supporting front line workers to have the skills to support families with a trauma informed approach.

Sue has an extensive background in the domestic abuse sector and has written trauma informed domestic abuse programmes including the Inspiring Families Programme, Adult and Children and Young People Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit and the Sexual Violence Recovery Toolkit. Sue has also devised the ACE Recovery Toolkit written for parents and the ACE Recovery Toolkit for children and young people.

About Rock Pool:

Our vision is a society that is trauma-informed.

We support organisations that want to improve practice, share knowledge and expertise, and enable their workforce to inspire hope, promote resilience and aid recovery for people affected by trauma. Our innovative, practical solutions and training opportunities are informed by lived experience and what is known to work.

Social Media:

Sue Penna on Twitter: @SuePenna

Rock Pool on Twitter: @rockpoollife

Rock Pool on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rockpool.life/

Rock Pool website: https://rockpool.life/

Giveaway

I am pleased to share the chance to win a signed copy of The Recovery Toolkit, to enter click here

Thank you Jennifer Gilmour and Sue Penna for inviting me to take part in this important and exciting blog tour and providing me with an advanced copy to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

If you are affected by the issues above and still in the relationship, there is help available.

National Domestic Abuse helpline: 0808 2000 247

Refuge UK

Women’s Aid

Take care, stay safe and happy reading!

Love

Blog Tour Stops

*BBC news UK lockdown: Calls to domestic abuse helpline jump by half

**BBC news Domestic abuse charities predict call spike post-lockdown

Book Review: Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

I am pleased to share my review for Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir. This is my second book I have read by this author. The review for The Forgotten Children can be found here

Book Review: Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line by Isabella Muir

 

Title: Crossing the Line (A Giuseppe Bianchi mystery Book 1)

Author: Isabella Muir

Publisher: Outset Publishing for Sussex Crime and Mysteries

Genre: Crime

Release Date: 1st July 2020

Purchase: Amazon

 

Blurb:

 

Tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?

Retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, travels to England to escape one tragic death, when he comes face-to-face with another. When the body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.
 
National news reports of a missing twelve-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase ‘stranger-danger’ filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community. Families are not as close-knit as they first appear.
 
As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?
 

My Thoughts

There is something nice about curling up with a crime novel which is on the gentle side, they are compelling and urge you to solve the crime without providing the horror and grit which can leave you uneasy. This novel filled that expectation with an Agatha Christie/Heartbeat type crime and conclusion. 

 Based in the 1960s in Eastbourne, it was a joy to read the description of the era when life was at a slower pace. Isabella Muir captures the time perfectly, making it easy to slip into the story with the Beatles on the radio and the news of JFK’s assassination still fresh in people’s minds. It follows an intriguing Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi, who I loved. He has a backstory I long to know more of and a calm, knowledgeable personality making him the ideal person to notice things others have missed. Together with his junior reporter, Christina Rossi, they set out to investigate the death of a young boy, George. The suspects all have secrets leading you to question who had done what as the story twisted and turned. I guessed some twists, but it did not stop me enjoying this adventure. 

The dynamics of Giuseppe Bianchi and his cousin’s family, the Rossi’s were complex and made me feel this is much to discover about them in the upcoming series. For these characters alone, I am putting the next books on my TBR list. The death of George was the thread holding the story together, but I felt it was not in the plot’s forefront as I expected but the novel is about the detective himself which made it a delightful read.  

 

Would I recommend?

If you are a fan of gentle crime novels in the vein of Agatha Christie, you are in for a treat. The seaside location makes it an ideal holiday read even if you are stuck at home. I am looking forward to the next ones in the series. 


Author Biography:

 

the forgotten isabella muir

Isabella Muir

 

Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime Mystery series.  These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaMuirAuthor/

https://twitter.com/SussexMysteries

https://isabellamuir.com/

 

Thank you The Fiction Cafe Book Club for giving me an advanced copy to review. 

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review:Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

I discovered Jessica Redland books last year and I was excited when I heard her new release would be about hedgehogs, a creature I adore. The blurb grabbed me and I could not resist the book cover. As soon as I was invited to the tour I grabbed the opportunity, thrilled I would be able to read the book sooner- thank you Rachel Random Resources. Times like this I love being a book blogger.

 

Book Review: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

 

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow Cover

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Title: Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Author: Jessica Redland

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: 2nd July

 

Blurb:

Can love really be found when you stop looking for it…?

As Samantha Wishaw watches the love of her life marry another woman, she’s ready to give up hope of finding her happy ever after.

But when a chance encounter leads Sam to find friendship in Thomas – a lonely, grumpy elderly widower living at derelict Hedgehog Hollow – her life is about to change forever.

Glad to have a distraction from family feuds and match-making, Sam vows to fulfill Thomas and his wife, Gwendoline’s, dreams of restoring Hedgehog Hollow to its former glory, and to open a hedgehog rescue centre.

Throwing herself into the task at hand, little does Sam realise that the keys to love and happiness may also be found at Hedgehog Hollow, when she least expects it…

Escape to Hedgehog Hollow this summer with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for the perfect uplifting, feel-good read.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/2xrmxAo

 

My Thoughts

My excitement for this books release was more than justified; I lost count on how many times I cried while reading it but do not runaway with the idea that it is a sad book; yes, it has its emotional scenes but it is overwhelmingly warm, funny and uplifting. The characters sneak into your heart especially Thomas Mickleby (I love his name) and Sammie. It is this deep connection that allowed me to experience their feelings, hence the sobs. Tissues are required.

The principal character, Sammie, is lovely and someone I would love to have as a friend even if she is underappreciated by many around her.  I related to Sammie within the first few pages and the more her life was revealed, the more I cared. Many of Sammie’s experiences with toxic relationships hit a nerve and they were dealt with in a sensitive, loving way. It highlights how family members influence our lives for the better and worse and in turn help form our personalities. The depth of characterisation drew me into the story before I met the hedgehogs, and there are many references to them. Hedgehogs are one of my favourite animals, and reading about them made me reminisce about the hoglets we cared for over a harsh Yorkshire winter. It was a special experience, but very pongy at times. The hedgehog storyline has been well researched and a lot of information is dripped into the story so anyone who reads this will come away learning something about these delightful creatures and their plight for survival.

The setting for Hedgehog Hollow is stunning.  I currently live in the Wolds, and the descriptions in this novel capture the essence of the landscape perfectly. I longed to be there and sit with Sammie and Thomas to experience the meadow in its full bloom.

The relationships Sammie forms with the people she meets have a magical quality about them, especially between her and Thomas.  I enjoyed watching them grow and evolve into a family-like bond. This is a story about friendship, hope,  and learning to believe in your ability to shine.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I have read a couple of her previous novels and love her warm style, but this one is special. A paperback will purchased for my forever shelf for future rereads. It is emotional, uplifting and full of spiky lovable creatures to warm the heart further. I did not want the story to end, so I am grateful it is the beginning of a series. Just make sure you have hankies nearby.

 

Author Biography

 

Finding Love - Author

Jessica Redland

 

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links:

 

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

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

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

Own website – https://www.jessicaredland.com/

Blog – https://jessicaredlandwriter.wordpress.com/

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jessica-redland

Mailing list sign up – http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

 

Thanks again Rachel for inviting me to this tour and an advanced copy of this delightful book to review and give my honest opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe,

Love

 

Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow Full Tour Banner

Book Extract: Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

July is here and I am delighted to bring you an extract from Warbringer by Aaron Hodges to celebrate its 2nd year book birthday. Enjoy!

Book Extract: Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

 

Warbringer Cover Final

 Warbringer by Aaron Hodges

Title: Warbringer

Author: Aaron Hodges

Publisher: National Library of New Zealand

Release date: 2nd July 2018

 

Blurb:

Centuries ago, the world fell.
From the ashes rose a terrible new species—the Tangata.
Now they wage war against the kingdoms of man.
And humanity is losing.

Recruited straight from his academy, twenty-year-old Lukys hopes the frontier will make a soldier out of him. But Tangata are massing in the south, and the allied armies are desperate. They will do anything to halt the enemy advance—including sending untrained men and women into battle. Determined to survive, Lukys seeks aid from the only man who seems to care: Romaine, the last warrior of an extinct kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Queen’s Archivist leads an expedition deep beneath the earth. She seeks to uncover the secrets of the Gods. Their magic has been lost to the ages, yet artifacts remain, objects of power that could turn the tide of the war. But salvation is not all that waits beneath the surface. Something else slumbers in the darkness. Something old. Something evil.

Purchase Links

UK –  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08653PM1L/

US – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08653PM1L/

Extract:

 

Prologue – The Warrior

Romaine shivered as a breeze shook the treetops and somehow found its way through a gap in his clothing. He pulled the cloak tighter around his shoulders, eager to keep the winter cold at bay. The soft thump of falling snow came from nearby and he chuckled as two of his companions flinched. Settling himself more comfortably in the saddle, he flicked the lieutenant a glance.

“Want me to check it out?” Romaine asked, voice serious but the hint of a smile betraying his mirth.

The lieutenant scowled, though Romaine noticed the man loosened his sword in its scabbard before urging his mount onwards. Shaking his head, he let the lieutenant take the lead. The four other scouts fell in behind Romaine, nervous eyes on the dense forest to either side of the deer trail.

They were right to be nervous. Ten miles south of the Illmoor River, they were deep in no man’s land, far from the paved roads and walled cities of the northern nations. This was Calafe, a land of seemingly endless forest and great plateaus of tussock, of rugged hills and racing streams, with only the occasional settlement to prove the existence of humanity. This was his country, his home.

Or at least, it had been, until the Tangata.

Another tremor slid down his spine, though this time it had nothing to do with the cold. For ten years he’d fought to halt the Tangatan advance, ten long, brutal years of war. He’d been a simple woodsman once, but everything had changed with the destruction of their southern fortress, the Castle of Agzor. For a century it had barred the Tangata from the kingdoms of man, but with its battlements broken, its citadel cast down…nothing could halt the enemy advance.

And so those ten years of battle had proven futile. Just a few short months past, the last of Calafe’s territory had been lost. The allied armies had fought for every patch of earth, but in the end it had not been enough. The tide of the Tangata could not be stopped.

It had pained Romaine to leave behind his nation. Most of the Calafe army had already fallen by then, and yet more of his fellows had chosen to remain with the rearguard. They had been overwhelmed before the ships could return for them. Injured aboard one of the vessels, Romaine had been forced to watch as his comrades perished.

Thankfully, the enemy had not yet sought to strike across the Illmoor river. Some said they would remain in the south, but Romaine knew it was only a matter of time before they came. After all, people had once said the same of the Agzor Fortress, that it would stand forever against the beasts.

Romaine’s horse was struggling now, the snowdrifts growing deeper as they tracked their way eastward into the foothills of the Mountains of the Gods. Ahead, the lieutenant started to curse. Grimacing, Romaine edged his gelding alongside his superior.

“We’d best turn back,” he grunted. He didn’t bother with any honorifics—he rode with the Flumeerens, but he was not one of them. “If we press hard through the afternoon, we might make the crossing before nightfall.”

The lieutenant flicked Romaine an irritated glance. He was a young man, still in his mid-twenties, the son of some minor noble. Romaine could almost see the gears turning behind his eyes. Reaching the river before dark meant shelter over their heads and a hot meal for the night. But if they abandoned their path and missed some enemy movement…

“A little further,” the lieutenant replied finally. “We’ll turn around if the way becomes impassable.”

Romaine responded with a grunt. Pressing his horse forward, he continued along the trail, eyes on the way ahead. The storm had come upon them unexpectedly in the night, howling through the fir trees like a beast unleashed and burying the world in white.

They should have turned back then, but the lieutenant was new, still earning his stripes. Their orders had been to spend three days scouting for signs of the enemy. This being only their second, Romaine should have guessed the lieutenant would be hesitant to return. No doubt he feared the failure would be a black mark against his name.

It was an infuriating thought—evidence that the Flumeeren did not truly understand what came for them. They and the dregs of Perfugia might have fought alongside Calafe this last decade, but it had never been their land at risk, never their families, their very way of life.

That was about to change.

For if they could not stop the enemy at the Illmoor, Flumeer would be the next to fall.

Returning his thoughts to the present, Romaine scanned the path ahead. The snow had thinned again and the horses were making better progress. At least the fresh snow made Romaine’s task easier; not even the Tangata could move in these conditions without leaving tracks—

Romaine pulled sharply on his reins, bringing his horse to a stop. Beside him, the lieutenant cursed, but Romaine didn’t spare the man a glance. His eyes were on the trees, scanning the upper branches, the shadows beneath the broad trunks, seeking sign, however small, of an ambush. The wind had fallen off now, and he saw no movement. He let out a sigh as the others began to murmur. Breath fogged before his face as he returned his gaze to the trail.

Two sets of bootprints led away from them in the snow.

“What is it?” the lieutenant asked sharply as he got his horse under control. He had not noticed the tracks.

“Tangata,” Romaine replied.

The word cut through the whispers like a knife. Silence fell like a blanket over the six riders. The men looked to Romaine, faces as white as the snow all around them. Romaine might have laughed, if not for the racing of his own heart. Unlike the others though, it was not from fear.

This land had been abandoned months ago. There was no one left, not of his people, at least. It meant the general’s fears were true. The Tangata were moving north.

 

Author Biography

 

Warbringer Aaron Hodges Author Picture

Aaron Hodges

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and explore the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School (titled The Sword of Light) and began to rewrite the story. Six months later he published his first novel, Stormwielder, and hasn’t looked back since.

http://www.aaronhodges.co.nz/

https://www.facebook.com/Aaron-Hodges-669480156486208/

 

I hope you have enjoyed the snippet of the book. Why not visit the other blogs on this blitz to find out more about this book.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Book Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I needed to read it. Ever since I heard the story of Eyam on a school trip it fascinated me and somewhere I always wanted to revisit. In 1666  the village locked itself down to prevent the plague reaching others, a place of sacrifice for the greater good. For an author to take a place I loved and blend it into a book advertised as a must for Barbara Erskine fans, an author I adore, it seemed a match in heaven.

Book Review: A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

A Shadow Beyond

A Shadow Beyond by Emma-Nicole Lewis

Title: A Shadow Beyond

Author:  Emma-Nicole Lewis

Publisher: Twilight Moon Publishing

Genre: Historical Suspense Ghost Story

Release date: 28th Feb 2019

Purchase: Amazon UK

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmmaNicoleLewis

Website: http://emmanicolelewis.co.uk/

Amazon Author Page

Blurb:

For fans of Kate Morton and Barbara Erskine, comes a thrilling and beautiful dual-time novel, set in the present and during 1665 – 1666, when plague broke out in the Peak District village of Eyam. A Shadow Beyond is a heart-rending and chilling tale of sacrifice, love, obsession and tragedy.

Lost in the folds of time, behind one village’s brave sacrifice, is the tragic and chilling secret of Thornycroft Hall….

Locked away in the top quarters of Thornycroft, a large house on the edge of the historic village of Eyam, is a centuries old secret.

Escaping the chaos of a complicated break up, Kate Saunders travels to the Peak District to stay with her Great Aunt Edie who has suffered a fall. Thornycroft is the perfect bolthole for Kate, peaceful and providing plenty of distance from her obsessive ex.

But when Kate stumbles across a diary and an ancient bogwood jewellery box in the top of the house, the tranquillity she had expected is shattered. She is shocked to discover that Edie has been tampering with the supernatural and as Kate reads the contents of the diary, the shadows of Thornycroft’s past begin to stir.

Kate becomes fascinated by the history of the house and the legacy of the villagers who made a brave yet devastating decision during the outbreak of plague. The more she discovers, the more she realises that, hidden behind Eyam’s tragic story, is a dreadful family secret.

Stalked by her ex and restless spirits who harbour a dark secret, Kate realises she’s in danger – not only from the living, but from the dead.

As the haunting intensifies and layers of time peel away, Kate starts to uncover a chilling truth that has remained buried for centuries…

My Thoughts

This book was everything I wanted it to be. With a tagline mentioning one of my favourite authors, Barbara Erskine, I had high expectations and it did not disappoint. Eyam captured my imagination as a child, so walking through its streets and landscape in the present and past was fascinating. Both timelines drew me in, unlike some dual timeline books where there is always one you prefer more. I did not want the book to end.

It is a novel of two halves. In the present, Kate is dealing with a nasty breakup with fears of its ramifications and returning to Eyam to care for an aunt seems to be the ideal solution. The supernatural incidents and ghosts add tension into her life but are not full on horror, which adds credence to the plot and gives it a sense of authenticity. The sense of menace lurking in the shadows was well written, sending shivers down my spine.  I loved the characters, especially Nick who has his own problems to cope with. The way the past and present collided was very much like Barbara Erskine’s style but the history was more accessible, allowing me to be immersed in both heroines lives easily.

I found Rachel’s story absorbing and though I figured out one twist from the start; I feel it was one to lead the reader deeper in to the plot to see if they were right. It brought the sad disturbing tale of Eyam and its experience with the plague to life with eerie parallels with our current pandemic with social distancing and isolation. It adds poignancy to Rachel’s tale and an urgency to her plight. The grief of the town was tangible, making it an emotional read.

Would I recommend?

Yes, I loved this book and the author’s style. The balance of a contemporary ghost story and historical fiction was perfect giving an emotional, spooky and disturbing read. This would be ideal to read in October when the evenings draw in. It is one for my Kindle forever shelf to reread in the future.

I am relieved Emma-Nicole Lewis has a back catalogue of novels I can add to my TBR.

Thanks to The Fiction Cafe for a copy to review and give my unbiased, and honest opinion. You have given me a new favourite author to follow.

Happy reading and stay safe!

Love

Katie signature pink