Blog Tour & Book Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @RaRaResources

It is a miserable grey day outside and I am reluctant to move from under my duvet. I am pleased to share my review of Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman which brightened up these recent wintery days. Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for my free book and inviting me to this tour.

Book Review for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

Lakes yellow

Title: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Romance, General fiction

Release date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

My Thoughts

As soon as I met the main character of this book, Brie surrounded by snotty tissues while she dealt with her heartbreak I knew I was in for a treat. I love this book for three reasons.

1.The characters – Brie is an open-hearted, old-fashioned romantic and is usually a strong woman who is a defender of romance novels against those who look down at them. She comes across as balanced and despite her confidence plummeting at the beginning, current doubts and loneliness, she has a certainty about herself which makes this a refreshing read. Handsome Arran is aloof, and comes with a back story that drew me in, making me care for him. Along with Brie’s editor and best friend the characters leapt from the page making it easy to see the story like a good rom-com in my imagination.

2.The scenery – oh my! Lucy Coleman paints a picture with her words and I was there in the sunshine enjoying Lake Garda with Brie and strolling through the streets of the Italian towns. The landscapes are stunning making them the perfect location for some literary escapism.

italy-2441070_1920

Lake Garda, Italy

3.The writing tips – as an aspiring writer the tips and insights Brie offers her students at the writing retreat and the reader are invaluable. They are cleverly blended into the story but cover topics such as characterisation, writer’s block, doubts and joy of romance novels. It is a romance writing companion in disguise. I only wish I could be at the retreat in reality to soak up the tranquillity and expertise while learning how to write 3000 words before breakfast.

Would I recommend?

Summer on the Italian Lakes is uplifting and entertaining making it a perfect summer read or a pick me up on a grey, miserable day. With the characters, landscape, sun and chemistry I was reluctant to come out of the book into reality. It will be a story I will return to again and again.

Author Biography

LBH

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

Giveaway – Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)*

Writing Retreat Prize

Chocolate Dipping Set

Enter here

If you want to know more about the book and author why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour, details below.

Thank you again to Rachel at raresourses for inviting me to this tour and NetGalley for the chance to read it for free.

Happy reading and good luck.

Love

Summer on the Italian Lakes Full Tour Banner

Other bloggers on this tour.

 

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Advertisements

Guest post: When is a clever dog not a clever dog? When it’s a werewolf!

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s humorous and quirky A Spell in the Country as part of a blog tour and now they are back with a new book. I am pleased to have them here today to talk about clever dogs and a character Pickles in A Heart in the Right Place.

wolf-47329_1280

When is a clever dog not a clever dog? When it’s a werewolf!

Iain and I try not to tell the same joke or use the same idea across multiple books. Iain noticed, a few books ago, that we had introduced a clever dog into our work more than once.

This was partly based on the insistence of my husband, whose yardstick for an engaging book is Dean Koontz’s book Watchers. He declared that any book worth reading must contain a clever dog, so a super-smart border collie called Jessie was introduced in Heide and Iain’s second book, Pigeonwings, where an ancient plot is unravelled, partly by Clovenhoof, (Satan sent to live on earth), but Jessie plays an important part in solving the mystery.

Disenchanted gave us another dog called Buster, who wasn’t exactly super-smart, but who certainly livened things up when he teamed up with the unhelpful dwarfs who were tasked with keeping the fairytale on track, by fair means or foul (mostly foul).

Beelzebelle, another book in the Clovenhoof universe, featured a demonic Hellhound, created in a laboratory. Transformed into a miniature Yorkshire terrier, the Hellhound lives on in tamer form as a regular character after its reign of terror in this novel.

Iain had spotted a pattern. “No more clever dogs.”

This was a new informal rule.

When we came to write A Heart in the Right Place, somehow we broke the rule again. The dog that Nick christens Pickles is an unplanned passenger on the road trip that Nick takes with his father. Nick wants this trip to be perfect, hoping that it will patch up the slightly remote relationship between the two of them. Nick’s over-zealous approach leads to some unintended consequences like a body in the boot and that awful smell that isn’t discussed for many miles. Pickles, meanwhile is not the last of the dog-like creatures in this story, because somehow, Nick and his father have got involved with assassins, boars and werewolves. Will Pickles be a help or a hindrance? Almost certainly both! Is this the last time that Heide and Iain will write about a clever dog. Yes, almost definitely yes…

Here is a brief excerpt from A Heart in the Right Place, where it becomes clear that the dog is going on the road trip with Nick and Tony.

“Tony gave him a sceptical look but stepped up to the rear door. “And why’s there a dog in your car?”

Nick cursed his own stupidity. How could he have forgotten about the dog? “Yeah. Funny that. I’ve, um, got a dog. It was a fairly recent thing. Just fell in love with him.”

“Great stuff!” said Tony, reaching in to fuss the dog. “Joining us for the ride, huh? What’s your name then, pooch?”

“Pickles,” said Nick instantly. “He’s called Pickles.”

“Really? Well unless I’m very much mistaken, this is a bitch.”

“Yes,” said Nick. “And her name is Pickles. It can be a girl’s name.”

“But you called her he. Is this one of those gender things I hear them going on about?”

“Probably that. Exactly that,” said Nick. “I don’t want to put labels on things. He. She. Pickles can be what she wants to be.””

 

a heart kindle cover

A Heart in the Right Place

 

Title: A Heart in the Right Place

Author: Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Genre: fiction

Release date: 30th November 2018

Blurb

All Nick wants to do is take his dying father for a perfect father-son weekend in the Scottish Highlands. It’s not much to ask, is it? A log cabin, a roaring fire, a bottle of fine whisky and two days to paper over the cracks in their relationship.

However, Nick didn’t plan on making the trip with a dead neighbour in the back of his car. Or the neighbour’s dog. He really didn’t plan on being pursued by a psychotic female assassin intent on collecting body parts. And he really, really didn’t plan on encountering a platoon of heavily armed mercenaries, or some very hungry boars, or a werewolf.

A Heart in the Right Place – a horror comedy about setting out with the very best intentions and then messing everything up.

Purchase Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K4CCR74

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K4CCR74

Author Biography

 

a heart -iain and heide by pete c b+w

Heide Goody and Iain Grant

Heide Goody is the stupid one in the writing partnership and Iain Grant is the sensible one. Together, they are the authors of over a dozen books.

The ‘Clovenhoof’ series (in which Satan loses his job and has to move to Birmingham) has recently been optioned by a Hollywood production company.

Heide and Iain are both married, but not to each other.

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Clovenhoof-Books-285544508177333/

Website: http://www.pigeonparkpress.com/

Twitter: @HeideGoody and @IainMGrant

Giveaway – Win a gorgeous Moleskine Passion Traveller’s Journal (Open Internationally)

“The Moleskine Traveller’s Journal is a structured before and after record of every journey you make, from weekends away to life-changing trips and everything in between. Note down your travel plans before you leave and list all the things you hope to see and do, then add maps, photos, tickets and keepsakes when you r#eturn. The Traveller’s Journal is a place to dream, get practical and create a unique and lasting paper archive of your travels that you’ll want to revisit again and again.

a heart - giveaway prize - moleskin travel journal

  • premium box with themed graphics related to your passion
  • hard cover with themed debossing, rounded corners, elastic closure
  • 2 ribbon bookmarks
  • double expandable inner pocket
  • front endpaper with ‘in case of loss’ notice
  • ivory-coloured 70 g/m² acid-free paper
  • tabbed sections to guide your note-taking
  • themed introductory pages
  • 400 pages
  • themed stickers to customize your journal
  • Moleskine S.r.l. creates and sells FSC®-certified products”

Click here to enter

Thank you Heide and Iain for popping over. I agree with Heide’s husband a clever dog is always good in a book.

If you would like to read more on this writing duo and reviews for A Heart in the Right Place why not pop over to the other blogs on this tour.

Good luck in the giveaway and happy reading!

Love

a heart in the right place full tour banner

Blog tour dates

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide 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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blog Tour: Book review for The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer

It is the start of a new week and there are rumours the weather is turning bitterly cold so I am pleased to bring you a review for Jenni Keer’s debut The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker. You may be tempted to stay under the duvet, in the warm with a cup of tea and read.

Book Review: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

the hopes and dreams final cover

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker Book Cover

Title: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

Author: Jenni Keer

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 10th January 2019

Blurb

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

My Thoughts

When Brenda with her purple hair, mystical air and cheeky side arrived in the first few pages I knew I would love this book. The warm, honest writing style drew me into Lucy’s life and kept me there until the last page.

This charming, quirky story is driven by the characters Jenni Keer has created; I loved them all from the main ones Lucy, Brenda and George to the men in the warehouse where Lucy works and Scratcat the stray. They all have distinct personalities and feel real. Where I could relate to Lucy with her tendency to prefer romantic books and knitting to experiencing life or rock the boat by saying “no”, it was Brenda who captured my heart. She is who I would like to be when I am older; full of life, humour and kindness with a penchant for magic. I did not want the book to end because I did not want to leave her behind. Maybe a prequel of her youth is needed, I am sure she will have an interesting tale to tell. Her battle with dementia is heartbreaking but the topic is dealt with sympathetically and gives an insight into the pressures of caring and the challenges it creates. The love and deep friendship between Lucy and Brenda shines and proves age does not matter when you are friends.

The introduction of Scratcat, George and the locket created many memorable moments and I will never forget the knitted Poldarks which also feature in this tale of friendship, love and personal growth. I enjoyed Lucy’s journey as she tackles the insecurities at work, her colleagues and potential relationships. This debut has got under my skin and I am still thinking about the characters a couple of weeks since I read The End.

I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

img_20181122_065632_030

Knitted Poldark one of the stars of the book

Would I recommend?

This beautiful story is perfect for snuggling down under the duvet with a cup of tea or on the beach in the summer. The humour and strong characterisation means I will revisiting this book in the future and needs to be on my forever shelf.

Author Biography

the hopes and dreams jk mono 2

Author Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.
Social Media Links

FaceBook Jenni Keer Writer

Twitter @JenniKeer

Instagram jennikeer

Website – https://jennikeer.co.uk/

Competition

I am pleased to share with you the chance to win a bundle of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker goodies (UK only – sorry)*. The prize contains – Thornton’s fudge, a Nu notebook, a Hopes and Dreams bookmark and a set of five “Scratbag” blank greetings cards designed by Jenni Keer.

the hopes and dreams giveaway prize

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker prizes

Enter here

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and the opportunity to read this book early. This my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading!

Love

the hopes and dreams of lucy baker full tour banner

*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.

Book review: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe

I love this time of year. There is nothing quite like reading a festive book surrounded by Christmas decorations so I was excited to be invited to take part in this tour for Helen J Rolfe’s novel Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin. Grab a hot chocolate, tea or coffee and scroll down for my review.

Book Review: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin by Helen J Rolfe

Christmas miracles for amazon and websites etc

Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Title: Christmas Miracles at the Little Log Cabin

Author: Helen J Rolfe

Genre: Romance

Blurb

Do you believe in Christmas Miracles?

Holly is looking for a change and even though not everyone agrees with her career choices, she’s determined there’s more to this life than the long hours she works as an editor in New York City. What she doesn’t expect is to meet Mitch, a recluse who’s hiding more than she realises.

Mitch does all he can to avoid human contact, spending his days in the little log cabin out in the woods behind Inglenook Falls where he owns a Christmas tree farm, so when Holly falls into his life, he’s not sure how to react. All he knows is that something needs to change if he ever wants to get his life back on track.

Along with friends Cleo and Darcy, Holly is determined to bring joy back to Mitch’s life, but will he appreciate their interference? And when a business proposition throws everything up in the air, will it do more harm than good and ruin lives forever?

Both Holly and Mitch must learn that on the surface people aren’t always what they seem…but if you dig a little deeper, they can take you by surprise.

Curl up this Christmas for plenty of snowflakes, roaring log fires, a marriage proposal, unlikely friendships and second chances as we return to the much-loved characters in the New York Ever After series.

Purchase Link

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Miracles-Little-Cabin-After-ebook/dp/B07HJ78RWY

My Thoughts

This is the first book I have read by Helen J, Rolfe but her others are now firmly on my TBR list. Reading this novel it was obvious it is part of a series but this does not detract from the enjoyment and it can be happily read as a standalone. As with all series, if you have read the others you would probably have an added element to it.

I was instantly transported into Holly’s life as she leaves the comfort of a secure well paid job to become freelance photographer. I loved her natural flair, determination to succeed the balance work and passion for something she loves, and morals. Her time is split between the bright lights and festivities of Manhattan and the calmer, idyllic town of Inglenook Falls and of course, the little log cabin. It has a festive setting for everyone and are all special in their own way.

The hunky man in the woods, Mitch, has a story I was eager to discover and had to keep reading to find out more. With his log cabin and a sprinkle of snow this book has a festive feel throughout that increases as it continues. My enjoyment rose when as the story developed and by the end, I was ready to celebrate the big day with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.

Would I recommend?

This is a delightful feel good book – perfect to read in the twinkle of Christmas lights, drinking hot chocolate when you need to escape from the hectic activity this season can bring.

Author Biography

Author Photograph Helen Rolfe (4)

Helen J Rolfe

Helen J Rolfe writes contemporary women’s fiction and enjoys weaving stories about family, friendship, secrets, and community. Characters often face challenges and must fight to overcome them, but above all, Helen’s stories always have a happy ending.

Location is a big part of the adventure in Helen’s books and she enjoys setting stories in different cities and countries around the world. So far, locations have included Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Connecticut, Bath and the Cotswolds.

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/helenjrolfewriter

https://twitter.com/HJRolfe

www.helenjrolfe.com

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-j-rolfe

Thanks again Rachel Random Resources for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

What are you reading over the Christmas period? Have you read this series? Let me know your thoughts below.

Happy reading!

Book Review: The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

I love this time of year for reading; the chilly days, long evenings in front of the fire make it ideal for curling up under a duvet to read. With the Christmas tree sparkling and festive music playing it is time to read some Christmas themed books. The first one I would like to share is The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan.

Book review for The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

 

Title: The Christmas Lights

Author: Karen Swan

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Release date: 1st Nov 2018

Blurb

Set on the scenic fjords of Norway, The Christmas Lights by bestselling author Karen Swan is a moving Christmas tale of love and heartbreak.

December 2018, and free-spirited influencers Bo Loxley and her partner Zac are living a life of wanderlust, travelling the globe and sharing their adventures with their millions of fans.

Booked to spend Christmas in the Norwegian fjords, they set up home in a remote farm owned by enigmatic mountain guide Anders and his fierce grandmother Signy. Surrounded by snowy peaks and frozen falls, everything should be perfect. But the camera can lie and with every new post, the ‘perfect’ life Zac and Bo are portraying is diverging from the truth.

Something Bo can’t explain is wrong at the very heart of their lives and Anders is the only person who’ll listen.

June 1936, and fourteen-year old Signy is sent with her sister and village friends to the summer pastures to work as milkmaids, protecting the herd that will sustain the farm through the long, winter months. But miles from home and away from the safety of their families, threat begins to lurk in friendly faces . . .

The mountains keep secrets – Signy knows this better than anyone – and as Bo’s life begins to spiral she is forced, like the old woman before her, to question who is friend and who is foe.

My Thoughts

Norway is one of the places I would love to visit so the blurb instantly attracted me to the book with the added lure of the possibility of reading about the Northern Lights which have been on my wish list of things to see forever.

I was not disappointed; Karen Swan has a talent of taking you into the stunning landscapes she describes with her characters. I could visualise the scenery and experience the smells, weather and drama along with Bo, the main character and this book does not skint on taking the reader on an adventure without leaving the sofa.  I have added many places on my virtual bucket list to visit because Bo is an Instagram influencer who visits extreme places to delight her followers.

For me, this book was a perfect Christmas read for many reasons beyond the scenery; the characters have depth beyond many in this genre,  the sense history as the tale of Signy is revealed,  and Karen Swan’s storytelling drew me in until the end. It has everything suspense, drama, history and romance entwined with snow, log cabins, trees and Christmas as Bo discovers more than waterfalls in Norway.

It is one of my favourite Christmas books this year and I would love to share it with you. Pop over to my Facebook page or Instagram for a chance to enter a giveaway to win a copy along with other goodies – hurry the deadline is midnight on 14th December.

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read an ARC in exchange for a honest review.

What are you reading in the run up to Christmas?

Happy reading and good luck!

Katie signature pink

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.

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!

 

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/

The Vanished Child Full Tour Banner

Book Cover Reveal: An Artisan Lovestyle by Kiltie Jackson

Last year, I placed Kiltie Jackson’s debut Rock’n’Roll Lovestyle in my top reads of 2017 so I am thrilled to be able to reveal the cover of her upcoming novel An Artisan Lovestyle. I loved her style of writing and the characters in her last book so am looking forward to reading this one. The blurb has grabbed me already.

Blurb 

Are you ‘living’ your life or just living your life?

Elsa Clairmont was widowed barely five years after marrying her childhood sweetheart. She has struggled to come to terms with the loss and, six years later, has almost ceased to live herself. She does just enough to get by.

Danny Delaney is the ultimate ‘Mr. Nice Guy’. He’s kind, caring and sweet. A talented artist in his teens, his abusive mother ruined his career in art and he turned his back on his exceptional gift. Now, he does just enough to get by.

On New Year’s Eve, both Danny and Elsa die in unrelated accidents.

Thanks to some poker playing shenanigans, Elsa’s husband Harry, and Danny’s old Art teacher, William, manage to orchestrate a deal with Death that allows Danny and Elsa to live for one more year on the condition they both agree

to complete three tasks.

They have until the last chime of Big Ben on the 31st December

to fulfill their quests.

If they succeed, they stay in the world of the living.

If they should fail, however

An Artisan Lovestyle’ is a story of personal growth and self-discovery as two people find themselves forced to make overdue changes in their lives, changes in other people’s lives, and all with the added challenge of

finding true love before their time runs out.

Will they do it?

Can they do it?

After all, it’s a matter of Life or Death…

Pre-order Link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07D23TM38

Book Cover

So without further ado, this is An Artisan Lovestyle’s book cover

An Artisan Lovestyle - Hi-res

An Artisan Lovestyle Book Cover 

 

AUTHOR BIO

Head Shot Piccie (1)

Kiltie grew up in Glasgow in Scotland,
This is a very unique city with a very unique way of looking at life.
When she was old enough to do so, she moved to London and then,
after several years of obtaining interesting experiences -which are finding their
way into her writing – she moved up to the Midlands.

Kiltie currently lives in Staffordshire with five cats and one grumpy husband.
Her little home is known as Moggy Towers, even though despite having plenty of moggies, there are no towers!

The cats kindly allow her and Mr. Mogs to share their house on the condition
they keep paying the mortgage!

She loves reading, watching movies, and visiting old castles.
She really dislikes going to the gym!

Her biggest desire is that one day she can give up the day job
and write her stories for a living.

Kiltie’s debut novel, ‘A Rock ‘n’ Roll Lovestyle’, was released in September 2017 and won a

“Chill With A Book – Reader Award” in December 2017.

She first began writing her debut novel eleven years before it was released but shelved
it as she didn’t think it was very good.

In November 2016 when having read more on a best-selling author who had begun
her own career as a self-published author, she was inspired to revisit the unfinished

manuscript and finally finish what she had started.

Since beginning to write again, the ideas have not stopped flowing.
‘An Artisan Lovestyle’ is the second book in the Lovestyle Series.
Work is due to begin on book three (not yet titled but also part of the Lovestyle Series)
in the Summer of 2018.

She currently has a further ten plots and ideas stored in her file (it’s costing a
fortune in USB drives as each story has its own memory stick!) and the ideas still keep on coming.

Kiltie now lives her life around the following three quotes:
“I love having weird dreams, they’re great fodder for book plots!”
“Why wait for your ship to come in when you can swim out to meet it?”
“Old enough to know better, young enough not to care!”

 

Website www.kiltiejackson.com

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/KiltieJackson

 

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for letting me have a sneak preview of the cover and good luck Kiltie Jackson with your new release.

Happy reading

 

Book Review and Blog Tour: The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton

It is publication day for Rachel Burton’s  The Things We Need to Say. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this emotional, gripping novel in and I loved it.

 

Book Review for The Things We Need to Say

The Things We Need to Say by Rachel Burton

Title: The Things We Need to Say

Author: Rachel Burton

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Publication day: 11th May 2018

Purchase on Amazon UKhttp://amzn.to/2kLqSYL

Blurb

Sometimes the things we never say are the most important.

Fran loves Will with all her heart. They had a whirlwind romance, a perfect marriage and a wonderful life. Until everything changed. Now Fran needs to find her way again and teaching a yoga retreat in Spain offers her just that. Leaving behind a broken marriage she has some very important decisions to make.

Will needs his wife, he needs her to open up to him if they’re to ever return to the ways things once were. But he may have damaged any possibility he had of mending their relationship and now Fran is in Spain and Will is alone.

As both Fran and Will begin to let go of a life that could have been, fate may just find a way of bringing them back together.

 Perfect for fans of Katie Marsh, Amanda Prowse and Sheila O’Flanagan

My Thoughts

Poignant, honest and beautifully written, I instantly connected with Fran and Will as they stand at a crossroads in their once secure, loving marriage. This book made my heart ache with emotion as the story unfolded.  This book emphasises how important the things we do not say are and the importance of communication and connection in relationships even when trapped in dark depths of grief.

Fran and Will have had years of heartache with miscarriages when life gives them another blow to deal with. Fran goes to a yoga retreat to heal and make decisions. There she meets a collection of yoga students where secrets revealed and bonds formed allowing hope to form. Rachel Burton deals with the topic sensitively but honestly. Be prepared to cry and your heart to hurt.

Partly set in glorious Catalonia, Rachel Burton paints the landscape with her words. Her descriptions of yoga and the calm and emotional release it gives reminded me why I loved the exercise so much. It has given me a nudge to look into it again.

Fran may not be one for fate but this book arrived at the perfect time and once read  I felt I had been on the retreat myself;  I felt calm and the world was a little bit clearer.

Would I recommend?

Definitely but get some hankies first. I am now nudging her previous book The Many Colours of Us to the top of my reading pile as I love her reading style.
Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and Rachel Burton for writing a touching and important book.

 

 

Author Bio

 

IMG_o7m8wq

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton has been making up stories since she first learned to talk. After many false starts she finally made one up that was worth writing down.

After graduating with a degree in Classics and another in English, she didn’t really know what to do when she grew up. She has worked as a waitress, a paralegal and a yoga teacher.

She has spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Leeds with her boyfriend and three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Her debut, The Many Colours of Us, was an Amazon Kindle bestseller. Her second novel, The Things We Need to to Say, is released on 11 May 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in which the heroine follows the love of her life to live in a city in northern England. It has no autobiographical elements at all…..maybe.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or search Facebook for Rachel Burton Author. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….

 

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bookish_yogi

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