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Monday, 5 June 2017

Blog Tour - Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate (Hardback)I've planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don't you join me? Leave behind everything that didn't work out! When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women's House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason. Each of  the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd 
I really enjoyed this book - it is one of those books that once finished makes the reader consider their own lives and what is really important to themselves, being thankful for the good times and their nearest and dearest.
It would be a great book to take to the beach this summer and enjoy with the sound of the sea as a backdrop, imagining they are those from Fiji and not from good old Blackpool or Weston Super Mare.

Thank you to the publishers, Transworld, for sending me the book to review.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Blog Tour - My Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts


Today I am very pleased to kick off the blog tour for Caroline Roberts new release, My Summer of Magic Moments.



My Summer of Magic Moments: Uplifting and Romantic - The Perfect, Feel Good Holiday Read! (Paperback)
'A delightful, life affirming story. I wanted to retreat to a cottage by the sea after the first chapter!' Ali McNamara When a seaside escape spells a little romance ...Claire is ready for a bright new chapter. Winding her way to the coast for a cosy cottage retreat, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year. Claire's a survivor - she's growing proud of the scars that prove it - and she's determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its sparkle. Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. Will a little summer romance prove the worst distraction? Or might it be the perfect remedy? A gorgeous, heartwarming novel to make your heart soar from the author of The Cosy Teashop in the Castle.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers 
ISBN: 9780008236274 

I am very pleased to welcome Caroline to my blog where she has answered some questions about her magic moments.
If you had to pick one for this summer, what would you hope for the perfect ‘magic moment’?

My daughter gets married this summer, so I hope the day works out beautifully for them both and for all of our family and friends.

What’s the best piece of advice you've ever been given as an author?

Can I have two?

One: ‘Don’t get it right get it written’ – stop procrastinating or wanting your writing to be perfect especially at the first draft, just get the story down and keep going until the end. You can always edit later.

Two: Perseverance – especially for the submission process. If you really want to get published, it can take a long time and it can be hard facing the rejections (and there might be many!) as you will have put your heart and soul and many hours into your writing. Just keep learning, keep writing and keep trying. It is really difficult to find a publisher for most authors. It can be tough on you emotionally, but keep going, write what you love and are passionate about and don’t give up!

What do you enjoy most and least about being an author?

Most – creating these wonderful imaginary worlds and getting to know my characters.  Also, it’s just wonderful knowing that readers enjoy my stories too.

Least – marketing and publicity. Most writers aren’t naturally good at blowing their own trumpets or thinking about their books in a business-like way, they just want to write them, but it’s a necessary part of being a published writer these days. Having support from book bloggers, readers and reviewers is really great though.

What genre of books do you mostly read? And do you read anyone else while you’re writing your own books?

I have read widely in the past having taken an English Literature degree, but nowadays I mostly read contemporary women’s fiction. I really enjoy stories about relationships.
I do read whilst I write, usually in bed at night, but I try not to read anything too similar to my current themes, plot or setting, especially when I’m on the first draft stage.

Who are your favourite authors writing today?

I really like Jo Jo Moyes, David Nicholls, Khaleid Homeini, Rowan Coleman, Maggie O’Farrell, Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’, Helen Dunmore. I would love to read more, but time is an issue when I’m busy writing myself.

Thank you to Caroline for joining me on the blog today. I really enjoyed reading My Summer of Magic  Moment definitely deserved a break after her breast cancer journey and the recent breakdown of her marriage and the imminent sale of the marital home. The cottage sounded the perfect place to forget about daily life and enjoy the peace and quiet of the seaside - I must admit I would love to see the mysterious neighbour's early morning skinny dip each day!

The book was a great read and I really enjoyed it. It is a cosy read which is perfect for a summer holiday but as the story progresses the story gathers pace and when I was halfway through I thought I was going to be disappointed with the outcome, however I can safely say, that I was very pleased with the ending.

Each chapter begins with a magic moment and I found myself smiling as I started each new one. I really like Caroline's writing style. Her descriptive writing brought the village to life and there are some great characters within the story.

This story is going to touch many people and I am sure there are lots of Claire's within the world, who have or are fighting cancer and I think that Claire is a strong role model that people will relate to.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins, and Caroline Roberts for inviting me on to this tour and I am very excited to be kicking the tour off.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Blog Tour - Love Like Blood by Mark Billingham


Mark Billingham is one of my very favourite crime authors and his latest release, Love Like Blood, sees his books just getting better and better. It is a definite must for crime lovers this summer.

Love Like Blood - Tom Thorne Novels 14 (Hardback)A BLOODY MESSAGE As DI Nicola Tanner investigates what appears to be a series of organised killings, her partner Susan is brutally murdered, leaving the detective bereft, and vengeful. A POWERFUL ALLY Taken off the case, Tanner enlists the help of DI Tom Thorne to pursue a pair of ruthless killers and the broker handing out the deadly contracts. A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE As the killers target their latest victim, Thorne takes the biggest risk of his career and is drawn into a horrifying and disturbing world in which families will do anything to protect their honour. From number one bestseller Mark Billingham comes a masterful, intense crime novel that pits DI Tom Thorne against an evil beyond comprehension, yet shockingly real.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group 
ISBN: 9780751566888 

Mark Billingham's books feature the very popular DI Tom Thorne and this is the fourteenth book in the series. Die hard fans will have read all of them, however new readers will be able to pick up this book and delve straight in and be in awe of DI Tom Thorne.
Tom Thorne is reunited with DI Nicola Tanner, who he met in Die of Shame as she is trying to find out who killed her lover, who she believes was killed instead of herself, due to becoming too close to solving a crime. 
The storyline is brilliant and as with Mark's earlier book, the reader is lead on a trial which sees Thorne get deeper and deeper into the case, which is at times tough, as it involves honour killing across the religions where the modern world overtakes past beliefs. There is lots of great content and it gives the reader an insight into these homes where the younger generation are determined to make their own choices and not agree to those of their parents.
As with all of Mark's books, the reader makes many decisions about who is behind it all and what they believe to have happened but Mark always leaves a big surprise to the end and I was definitely not expecting this one!
Love Like Blood is definitely Mark Billingham's best book yet and I hope my blog readers enjoy it as much as I have.
Thank you to the author and Little Brown for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Blog Tour - Obsession by Amanda Robson


Today I am pleased to welcome Amanda Robson to my blog as part of The Obsession blog tour where I can share an extract from the book with my readers:

I’m FaceTiming you, Craig, because I’m missing you. I’m missing your comfortable arms around me. Missing the feel of you. The heat of you. I am not FaceTiming Luke and Mark because seeing me may unsettle them when they seem to be doing so well with you.

Your smiling face appears in front of me – a ‘beam me up, Scotty’ moment – a miracle too futuristic to be real. But it is real. You are smiling up at me from my iPad as if you were in the room. For a second I think I can smell the hard-edged scent of your favourite aftershave. It’s there for a second and then gone.

‘How’s it going?’ you ask, your face crumpling in concern.

‘She had a good day today,’ I say, trying to sound bright, trying to smile, wanting to let you know I’m not going to drag you down. That I can cope.

What I’ve told you is true; she has had a better day. But better is a comparative term. Still she has slept almost incessantly, like a small baby bird, bony and vulnerable, her Egyptian cotton bed sheets her nest. Still she hasn’t eaten, even though I tried to force a gel pack of sugary nutrients between her teeth. Still her chest wheezes like wind in the trees. But today, at least, morphine has contained her pain.

‘How are the boys?’ I ask.


‘Fine.’ You pause, watching me watching you. ‘Honestly,’ you add as if I might think you were lying.

Thank you to Amanda and the publishers, Avon, for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Blog Tour - Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre



I first met Chris Brookmyre twelve months ago at Chiplitfest, when I am unsure if his worried and vacant look was relating to my questions about his social media presence and use of blog tours t promote his latest book or if he was still looking for the answers to Saturday nights main event of Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Mark Billingham's Saturday Chiplit Quiz where the infamous picture and music rounds always leave people dumbfounded as they try and decide just who that famous author is or which author also has a secret profession as a song writer or singer. Chris was unsure what a blog tour was or how to organise one so I was really pleased when Grace Vincent, Little, Brown Book Group's Publicity Manager invited me to take part to celebrate the publication of Want You Gone, Chris' latest release.

Want You Gone - Jack Parlabane 3 (Hardback)What if all your secrets were put online? Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Who would you turn to? Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything. What would you be capable of? Thrown together by a mutual enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise - and might be each other's only hope.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781408707173

Want You Gone is from the popular Jack Parlabane series, although if this is the first book you have read by Chris, it is a great introduction to Jack and his world. However if you have read and enjoyed the previous two novels I believe that you will enjoy this book as Chris grows in confidence and his writing style matures as he reintroduces characters from earlier novels back into his story. 
I was filling out a survey earlier today which was about another crime writer and one of the questions was about if the writing, plot line, characters and story were relateble and as I was thinking about it I realised that that perfectly describes Chris Brookmyre's books. There are many moments within the book that could happen to the reader or to their friends and family - one moment that springs to mind is after a burglary, during which a television is stolen and within the family, a little girl with additional needs has a moment because she can't watch her DVD's during her daytime routine - how many writers would include such a well thought out detail in their books? Chris Brookmyre has and it describes the situation perfectly and I really felt for the little girl and her family, victims of crime have to deal with so much and this is one of those effects that no one thinks about, unless they have a child with additional needs. 
There are computer hackers and financial fraud but also, on the other side, the benefits system and how it can go wrong as the reality of living within this system hits those hardest. I really liked the partnership and interaction between Jack and Samantha and the rollercoaster that they ride throughout this book is one that I wouldn't like to try but they are fantastic characters and I loved following them as the twists and turns are throughout and leave you on tenterhooks to the very last page.
I really did enjoy this book and I hope that my blog readers will give Chris Brookmyre a try. I hope that Chris enjoyed visiting my blog today and has enjoyed the blog tour experience.

Thank you to the publishers, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour in return for an honest review of the book. 



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Blog Tour - The Woman who met her Match by Fiona Gibson


The Woman Who Met Her Match: A Funny Romantic Comedy That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud! (Paperback)What if your first love came back on the scene ...30 years later? After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she's got a good job, wonderful children and she's happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough. That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her - after thirty years. But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can't exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart ...can she? A wonderfully funny novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Joanna Bolouri and Milly Johnson.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008157029


Chick lit fan for the (slightly) older lady. Perfect for ladies aged in their 40's who want a light and fun read with a reminder of love from years gone by and the oppurtunity to rekindle in later life but will there be a happy ever after ending?
A perfect book to slip into holiday luggage and enjoy while lazing around the pool or on the beach. I enjoy Fiona Gibson's writing style - an easy read which is littered with Fiona's fantastic dry humour. The story covers many issues which are faced by women everyday including grief, bringing up children as a lone parent, the dynamics within a family and the strong bonds within. There is also the oppurtunity for second chances while also reliving memories from ones younger years. 
I must say a big thank you to the author, Fiona Gibson, who hand drew the gorgeous blog tour poster shown at the top of this post, it is fantastic and I feel honoured to be a part of her beautiful work.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Blog Tour - The Wild Air by Rebecca Macsull

The Wild Air (Hardback)In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed. When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother's aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her. But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - Della loves.Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9781473604438



I have always been a fan of Rebecca Mascull's books and I know that I am in for a good read with scenes where I get lost in the moment and The Wild Air, Rebecca's third novel, again transported me to Edwardian England where planes are taking the world by storm and there are, of course, mixed feelings about these new machines. The Great War is approaching and female pilots are increasing in number. 
I really enjoy Rebecca's writing style and as I previously said, I was transported into Edwardian England and I found myself liking the characters within this book. I really liked the characters of Adeliza, Della and Dawnay and enjoyed their wit along with their flamboyant style of speech. 
I think this book is a great tribute to the world's first female pilot and I am in real awe of the ladies who made this possible.

Thank you to the publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.