Sunday, 16 April 2017

A Wedding in Italy - Tilly Tennant

A Wedding in Italy
by Tilly Tennant

About the book...
Sun, spaghetti and sparkling prosecco. When it comes to finding love, there’s no place like Rome… 

Kate is living the dream with her gorgeous boyfriend Alessandro in his native city, but the reality is sometimes a little less romantic than she’d hoped. Every day in her new home is a fight against leaking pipes, her cantankerous landlord and her less-than-perfect grasp of the Italian lingo. 

All around her there is talk of weddings, but when a secret from her past is thrust out into the open, Kate must fight to prove to Alessandro’s Mamma – and the rest of his formidable family — that she truly is Italian marriage material. 

With the women in Alessandro’s life on a mission to break them apart, the cracks begin to show and Kate starts to question if Alessandro really is the man of her dreams. Can love and the city of romance conquer all, or is that just a fairy-tale?

Let Rome steal your heart this summer in this gorgeously romantic escapist read. Perfect for fans of Jo Thomas and Abby Clements.

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About the author...
From a young age, Tilly Tennant was convinced that she was destined for the stage.  Once she realised she wasn’t actually very good at anything that would put her on the stage, she started to write stories instead. There were lots of terrible ones, like The Pet Rescue Gang (aged eight), which definitely should not see the light of day ever again. Thankfully, her debut novel, Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was not one of those, and since it hit the Amazon best seller lists she hasn’t looked back. Born in Dorset, she currently lives in Staffordshire with her husband, two daughters, three guitars, four ukuleles, two violins and a kazoo.

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My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Tilly Tennant's publishers in exchange for an honest review something I am more than happy to do.

A Wedding in Italy is the second book in this series and sees Kate returning to Rome to take a chance on love with Alessandro the dishy, Italian policeman whom we met in Rome is Where the Heart Is.  A Wedding in Italy has all the dream like qualities we encountered in book one, good food, home, friends and family everything should be perfect.

Kate desperately loves Alessandro and dearly wants to make a new life in the city she fell in love with but things are not as easy or as simple as she'd like. Struggling for work, the language barrier, missing her sisters, Alessandro's tight knit family and their values plus another woman determined to send Kate running for the plane home to England so she can claim Alessandro for herself all throw up obstacles and cause doubts.

This story focuses very much on family. I loved reading about the different values and traditions within an Italian family in comparison to a British one.  Italy is not far from England but the way of life seems more traditional and appears a bit old fashioned, add to that the language barrier too. Kate has left her family behind in England and misses them dearly, she's hoping to get the same closeness with Alessandro's family that she shares with her own but it doesn't happen instantly something which adds to her insecurities.  She didn't anticipate being out of work for so long either and this is another thing that adds to her worries. Without an income she fears she may have to give up on her dreams and return home. 

Tilly Tennant has created strong characters that demand respect - Respect, trust, honesty and loyalty are very strong values and form the very fabric of Italian family life — the Conti family like and love Kate but don't know her well enough to know she will be the right person for their son and brother Alessandro and initially close ranks to protect him.  It was lovely how Tilly developed the relationship of Kate and Alessandro's family, giving her time to shine and grow, allowing their trust to build to such an extent that when the chips really were down for Kate they closed ranks to protect and support her. 

I lost myself totally in this book and the Italian way of life was sold to me completely — so much so I have booked a touring holiday from Venice to Sicily for next summer.  It is a book that inspires hope, living for today and taking a chance on life.  It's good to dream but sometimes it's even better to live those dreams.

I highly recommend this book, but more importantly this author.  Tilly Tennant is a temptress of the highest order — only she would have me looking at flights and surfing the internet for the nooks and crannies she describes so well.  Please tell me the Gelato shop really exists?!  I so want to live inside her books, they provide the perfect amount of escapism — so a huge thank you to her and her publisher Bookouture.

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Spring at Blueberry Bay - Holly Martin

Spring at Blueberry Bay
by Holly Martin

About the book...
Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner… 

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined… 

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman. 

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again? 

About the author...
I studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of my colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years service was the moment when I knew I had to escape. I quit my job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, I emerged wide eyed and terrified that I now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. I taught for four years before History Off The Page came to my school to do a Tudor day. I now drive round the country in my little white van, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. 

I love to write. The characters do exactly what I want them to do, most of the time. Sometimes they do seem to go off and do their own thing without my permission. It is complete escapism into a world where I have full control.

I've been writing for four years now, every spare second I have, I'm scribbling ideas in a notebook or typing a scene on my laptop. I have written three romantic fiction books. Changing Casanova and The Chainsaw Masquerade were recently shortlisted for the Festival of Romance New Talent Award. My short story, One Hundred Proposals, won the Belinda Jones Travel Club short story competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology.

My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of Spring at Blueberry Bay as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review, something I am more than happy to do.

Holly Martin is one of my all time favourite, feel good authors.  You know before you even open the first page that you're going to fall in love.  Everything from the cover, which I have to say is one of my favourite, to the characters and location were just perfect.

Spring at Blueberry bay introduces us to Bella, her sunny, effervescent character leaps from the page - she's open and far too honest for her own good, the truth just falls from her mouth and to hilarious consequences,not always at the right time.  But, she also has an alter ego who is vulnerable and struggles to trust, believing herself to be unloveable.  surface.  

Spring at Blueberry Bay introduces us to her extended family and friends and from the very first chapter gives us a clear understanding of the 'real' Bella.  Despite being out of work and penniless herself when she encounters a homeless person camped outside her house her heart melts and she invites Zac into her home, offering him a bed for the night and shares the last food in her cupboard with him.

This was a book that made me smile throughout, there are hilarious moments that made me laugh out loud.  One such moment which I shall refer to as the 'sofa tango' had me literally crying laughing and at a totally inappropriate moment - I was sat on the train, next to a total stranger, that coupled with the 'incident' made me lose control.  This happens all the time when reading a book by Holly Martin - she adds empathy and warmth to all her characters with comic timing that is just perfect.

The one thing that shines out from this book for me is that with the support, love and trust of family and friends, determination, loyalty and a strong will anything is possible and Bella proves just that in Spring at Blueberry Bay.

I highly recommend this book, it truly is a another perfect slice of deliciousness by Holly Martin - a dream like book that totally melted my heart. I cannot wait for the next instalment. Bring on summer!

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Sunday, 9 April 2017

The Escape - C L Taylor

The Escape
by C L Taylor

About the book...
The new psychological thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Accident, The Lie and The Missing.

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"
When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.
The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.
What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.
No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

About the author...
C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. She started writing fiction in 2005 and her short stories have won several awards and been published by a variety of literary and women’s magazines. Cally has a degree in Psychology, with particular interest in abnormal and criminal Psychology. She also loves knitting, Dr Who, Sherlock, Great British Bake Off and Margaret Atwood and blames Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected for her love of a dark tale.

Her dark psychological thriller THE ACCIDENT was published in the UK by Avon HarperCollins in April 2014 and as BEFORE I WAKE in the US in June 2014 by Sourcebooks.

Her second psychological thriller THE LIE was published in the UK in April 2015. It became a Sunday Times bestseller and hit the #1 slots on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Google Play and Sainsbury ebooks. It will be published in the US in June 2016.

CL's third psychological thriller THE MISSING was published in April 2016 and was another Sunday Times and ebook bestseller. 
Connect with C. L. Taylor:

My thoughts...
I was given a copy of C. L. Taylor's latest book The Escape in exchange for an honest review, something I am more than happy to provide.

I have read all of Cally's books and the time in-between finishing one and the next being published is torturous. She is an author that gets inside your mind with characters that are engaging and demand to be heard.

The Escape was a book that I flew through, I lost all sense of time as I flicked through the pages at a rate of knots as the lives of Max and Jo Blackmore and their daughter Elise unravelled.

They are a family that are no strangers to heartbreak and tragedy having lost their first child Henry, their second chance with daughter Elise should be glue that holds them together when in actual fact the very fabric of their family is fractured. Both trying to live their lives together but, are in fact; very much apart. Living lives with increasing difficulty by Max and his job as an investigative journalist and Jo with her panic attacks and agoraphobia. 

To say this was an intense, fast paced read would be an understatement.  I picked this book up and literally didn't put it down until I had read the very last page.  Jo is living a manic existence and her life finally starts to unravel after reluctantly offering - though offer wouldn't really be the right way to describe the situation, a stranger a lift.   She finds herself racing against the clock to pick her daughter up from nursery and in a situation she clearly doesn't feel comfortable in - reluctantly agreeing to giving a lift to a person who once in the car - makes threats and demands of Jo, telling her to keep her daughter safe and telling her to pass a message to her husband Max telling him to return what he took!

The sheer desperation of Jo as she struggles to understand the situation she finds herself in leaps off the page and she appears to be slowly going mad.  There are so many twists and turns I couldn't decide who to trust and see-sawed back and forth trying to decide who was on Jo's side and who was double crossing her. 

A mother will go to any lengths to protect her child and Jo's ability to do just that is stretched beyond belief.  Cally Taylor is an author with huge insight and attention to detail,  She has a writing style that is dark and twisted yet demonstrates an insight into the complex psyche of people and situations that makes every chapter plausible and real.

My heart literally broke in two whilst reading this book, the pain and shear desperation shone through this novel as true stories both past and present became apparent.  

I highly recommend this book to all readers of psychological thrillers who will appreciate the sharp eagle eye of an author who is going from strength t strength with each book published.  I lent this book to a friend before I read it and a couple of days later burst through my front door hardly able to speak ' this is book of the year, you have to read this now!'.  Gill, I have to agree an easy five stars from me!

Huge, huge thanks to Avon for the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for C. L. Taylor and The Escape. 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Don't Stop Me Now - Coleen Coleman

Don't Stop Me Now
by Coleen Coleman

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About the book...
A hilarious feel good read about making lemonade when life gives you lemons, and finding the silver lining in every cloud.

Poppy Bloom planned to finish her PhD and walk straight into a job at her university. But here she is, unemployed, unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, and living back at her mum’s in her vampire-themed childhood bedroom.

Not exactly what she was hoping for.

But when Poppy sets her mind to something, nothing can stand in her way. She scores herself an internship at the hottest radio station in town, joins a netball team, and renews her friendship with her oldest friend Leanne. Spending time with Leanne’s gorgeous twin Tom is just a bonus…

But life has a way of tripping you up when you least expect it, and Poppy soon has to decide where her priorities lie… With new friends, a new career and a new romance, can Poppy keep everyone happy, or is everything about to tumble down around her?

A laugh-out-loud story about friendship, second chances, and new love, perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Marian Keyes and Jane Costello.

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About the author...
Colleen Coleman is an Irish-Canadian novelist. She is the winner of the much-coveted Novelicious Undiscovered People’s Choice Award launched to find the next ‘chick-lit star’. She spent over ten years working as a teacher of English and Philosophy before finally taking a deep breath, scrunching her eyes shut, putting her pen to paper and vowing not to lift it again until she wrote the words The End. As a result, her first novel was born. Colleen lives between London, Ireland and Cyprus with her very patient husband and very, very chatty twin daughters. Don’t Stop Me Now is her first book and will be released in March. 

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My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture, Coleen Colemans publisher.  This is something which I am more than happy to do.

Poppy Bloom has spent ten years working towards her goal of a Doctorate and her dream job as professor at Bainbridge University where she studied.  She has it all planned out, down to the decor and new shelving for her books. 

She is the highest performing student and the job is in the bag only for her world to come crashing down around her ears on graduation day.  Her live as she knows it changes instantly - she now has no job, no home and absolutely no idea what to do so escapes home with her mum and step father.

I loved this book, Poppy is an absolute delight - her confidence couldn't get any lower as she finds out her boyfriend and best friend have got it together whilst celebrating the professorships they've been awarded - her professorship that is! It doesn't get any better when a visit to the job centre seems to seal her fate, she has qualifications that even the job centre staff don't understand - her only hope is to try and wangle another job, somehow back at the university.

Back home, she has the support of her mum and step dad and a shopping trip puts her back in contact with a childhood friend Leanne and her twin Tom a boy she had a crush on at school.  Her first encounter with him is hilarious, I chuckled out loud as I am want to do in the office.  

Fate has a wonderful way of hitting you for six and putting your life in turmoil but when you're down the only way is up and Coleen Coleman has given Poppy her wings - bit by bit she claws her way back up and ends up with a life that is so far from her dreams she never would have thought it possible.

I loved this book, it was such good fun, I laughed and smiled throughout - Don't Stop Me Now is like a tonic, we don't always know what we want in life, we think we do but things happen for a reason and sometimes the reality is much nicer.  A fab, ready that has depth, fun characters, love and laughter - a perfect book to lift your spirits and make you smile.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Mystery at Maplemead Castle - Kitty French

The Mystery at Maplemead Castle 
by Kitty French 

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About the book...
Welcome to Chapelwick, a leafy English town in the hills of Shropshire, where chocolate pecan cookies come with a helping of sabotage.

Maplemead Castle is crawling with ghosts, and the new owners need them gone. When Melody Bittersweet and the Girls’ Ghostbusting Agency arrive on scene, they quickly identify the troublemakers swinging from the chandeliers… literally. 

A century ago, stunning trapeze artist Britannia Lovell plunged to her death, and has done every night since. But did she really just fall, or was there something more to her demise?

Forced to work with Leo Dark, her scoundrel ex, and infuriating, irresistible reporter Fletcher Gunn, Melody’s investigative powers are under strain (i.e. lost in a pink mist of lust and confusion). She needs her team on top form, but best friend Marina’s cake pipeline goes AWOL, assistant Artie’s distracted by a giant sausage roll, and the pug is scared witless by a lion.

Somewhere, hidden in the castle, is a heart-breaking secret, but what will it take to find it? And is there a chance it could set Britannia free, or is she doomed to repeat her last fateful act forever?

An utterly hilarious, gripping, spooktastic read for fans of HY Hanna, MC Beaton, Gina LaManna and Jana DeLeon.

About the author...
Kitty French lives in the Black Country with her husband, two young sons and two crazy cats. She’s a lover of all things romantic – songs, music, and most of all, books. 

Her USA Today best-selling Lucien Knight series topped the erotic chart on both sides of the pond, and she also writes romantic comedy as Kat French for Avon, HarperCollins. 

She’s over the moon to join Bookouture with her brand new paranormal romantic comedy series, Melody Bittersweet and the Girls Ghostbusting Agency.

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Mystery at Maplemead Castle
Melody Bittersweet Book 2
Chapter One

Every now and then someone tells me how lucky I am to be able to see ghosts and I bite my tongue and sit on my hands so I don’t accidentally punch them in the face. Honestly, I know it might seem interesting, fun even, from the outside looking in, but if I could trade places with a regular Joe I’d do it in a heartbeat. It’s a gift and a curse in unequal measures, but one I’m determined to make best use of by building my fledgling business empire around it.
‘Hey, Bittersweet.’ 
I look up as Marina bounces a balled-up chewing gum wrapper off my head to get my attention.  
‘That’s the third time I’ve said your name.’ She folds the stick of gum in half before she puts it in her mouth. ‘What’s got you so distracted?’ 
I shrug. ‘Just thinking about this afternoon’s meeting at Maplemead. I can’t remember the last time I went inside an actual castle.’ I avoid places steeped in history on account of the fact they’re usually also steeped in ghosts who want to hassle the hell out of me, but this is for work purposes so I’m breaking my own rules. We’re meeting later today with the American couple who recently moved lock, stock and barrel to England after buying Maplemead Castle over the Internet. I know. Who does that?
‘Do we need to buy caps to doff?’ Marina asks, her dark eyes dancing. She’s not one for taking things too seriously, unless someone winds her up or threatens us, in which case she morphs into a crazy woman and you don’t want to be the one she’s gunning for. It’s her Sicilian heritage. Luckily for us, she also has a Sicilian nonna, or gran to you and me, who is a stonkingly good cook. Therefore, Marina comes in most days armed with something fabulous in her vintage biscuit tin. 
‘A quick tug of our forelocks should suffice,’ I say, pulling ineffectually at my fringe.  
We both look up as our assistant Artie comes through the door, all long legs and wide, nervous eyes. 
 ‘Morning.’ He grins, then drops to his haunches to greet Lestat, my utterly uncivilised pug. He hasn’t been with us very long, but he already has his paws firmly under my table, his ass in my bed, and his furry flat face in Nonna’s biscuit tin too if he can find a way to get at it without being seen. He’s a ninja when it comes to food, but it’ll take a faster pug than him to come between me and my next sugar hit. 
I’m not a girl with that many vices, but sugar is definitely near the top of my addiction list. 
‘What time are we due at the castle?’ Marina asks.
 Glenda Jackson, our part-time secretary, taps the end of her pencil against the diary that’s open on her desk. ‘You’re due at Maplemead Castle for two o’clock.’ She glances at her watch. ‘It’s going to take you approximately forty minutes to get there in pre-rush-hour traffic, so you’ll need to leave immediately after lunch.’ 
Glenda doesn’t even look up as she imparts this information, because her fingers are flying so fast over her keyboard that it’s a wonder her hands don’t levitate. She’s worked for my family for more than a decade, and she now does a couple of hours each morning here at the agency before going back to her regular job next door with my mother and gran at Blithe Spirits. Some people would find it difficult to be the sole administrator for two businesses at once. Not Glenda Jackson. Monday to Friday she packs her curves into sexy little power suits, piles her red and gold curls on top of her head, then steers both of the Bittersweet ships whilst doing the cryptic crossword in her downtime.  
We are an unlikely company, all round. Glenda Jackson, aka superwoman in a sexy power suit. Artie, snake-charmer, tea-drinker, trainee ghostbuster. Marina, my wisecracking, loyal right-hand girl since we were scabby-kneed kids; a gum-chewing, fiery Sicilian beauty queen.  
And then there’s me. The short, quirky girl in jeans and Converse who sees dead people, fantasises about superheroes and prefers sugar to sex. Actually, that is a complete and utter lie. I don’t prefer sugar to sex, but I’m not getting any of one so I overindulge on the other. God, imagine if I could combine the two! For a moment I let myself imagine being boffed by Fletcher Gunn – the local hot-shot reporter who I have a love–hate relationship with – whilst eating a Curly Wurly, and it’s so frickin’ fabulous that I feel my cheeks heat up and wonder if the others can tell I’m suddenly on the brink of a saccharine orgasm. 
  ‘Stick the kettle on, Artie,’ I say, reminded of my need for caffeine as he pulls a little plastic Ziploc food bag from his pocket and deposits his weekly supply of tea bags on the tray beside the jar of coffee. He’s an oddball in all the best ways, our Artie. At first glance he seems gawky and awkward, and actually he is both of those things, but there’s so much more to him too. He has his own special way of looking at the world; pragmatic to the tenth degree and a knack for stating the obvious in a way that cracks me up. 
It strikes me suddenly that Marina has yet to produce Nonna’s special biscuit tin from her bag. I go icy-cold with fear. Please don’t let this be the day Nonna Malone has decided we don’t need her sugar fix to set us up for ghost-hunting because, as far as I’m concerned, that day will never come.  
‘Coffee, Marina?’ I say, hoping to jog her memory without needing to ask outright. If she doesn’t get the hint, I’ll face-plant myself in her cavernous suede hobo bag and wear it as a hat to snout out those biscuits. 
She nods, looking at me coolly. ‘I don’t know how to break this to you gently, so I’m just gonna be fast and blunt. Brace yourself. Nonna’s gone back to Sicily for a week. There are no biscuits.’ 
I gulp, and stare at her in wide-eyed horror. ‘You must have known she was going,’ I whisper hoarsely. ‘You could have prepared me.’ 
She looks at me with a helpless shrug, which might mean there was a family emergency prompting Nonna’s trip but, more likely, means she was too chicken to tell me.  
Artie plonks his lunchbox down on my desk and opens it. ‘You can have my egg sandwich if you want,’ he offers. I appreciate the gesture of solidarity. He feels the same way about his mum’s egg sandwiches as I do about Nonna’s biscuits. 
‘I’m going to cry now,’ I say. ‘Because my life is practically ruined.’ I shoot Marina a dark look. ‘Glenda, cancel the appointment at Maplemead. I’m going to go to bed for a week. Wake me up when Nonna Malone comes home again.’ 
Glenda watches me have my sugar-free meltdown with calm, doe-like eyes, then silently reaches into her desk and hands me an unopened box of shortbread. It’s quite fancy, as it goes; proper Scottish stuff dipped in white chocolate for good measure. I feel my blood sugar start to rise in anticipation and decide that perhaps I don’t need to hit the sack after all. See what I mean about Glenda Jackson? She’s Wonder Woman without the Spandex.  
Lestat barrels across the room as I pick the end of the biscuit box open and our eyes meet as he ducks under my desk, skids to a halt and puts his stubby little foot on my knee.  
‘Not a chance, Mutt-Face,’ I growl, as protective of the shortbread as a mamma tiger with her newborn cub. ‘Go hunt your own kill.’ 
I feel absolutely no guilt as he slinks away across the office to his bed, shooting me daggers as he stomps around his cushions in ever-decreasing circles to get comfortable.
 ’I’ve printed out the recent sales particulars of Maplemead Castle.’ I pause to hand the copies I made earlier around. ‘It’s worth us all taking some time to familiarise ourselves with it. There’s also a potted history attached at the back, although we’re going to need to go deeper after our initial assessment this afternoon.’ 
‘It’s quite a place, isn’t it? I always hoped they’d open it up to visitors but the family were very private,’ Glenda murmurs, admiring the moat and handsome facade. She isn’t wrong; it’s a beautiful sandstone brick building that has been cared for and modified over the years to keep it in service in various guises, and its many-mullioned windows glint in the sunlight behind the grand stone steps leading up to the entrance. 
Marina flips the top image of the castle over and whistles as she glances over the details. ‘Seventeen bedrooms!’  
Aside from the numerous bedrooms, the castle has a library, a billiards room, various attics, cellars and an old dungeon. 
‘I vote we don’t set foot in the dungeon,’ I say. I’m not the bravest when it comes to the dark. 
‘Lois and Barty Letterman have been living at Maplemead for a month or so now, and in that time they’ve witnessed an array of paranormal activity; objects being moved, thrown, that sort of thing, that they attribute to ghosts,’ Glenda says, reading through the notes from the booking-in telephone conversation. ‘They’re not unduly bothered for themselves, but a film crew are due in at the beginning of next month and the leading lady has already made it clear that she won’t step foot inside the place while there’s so much as a sniff of ghosts and ghouls.’ 
From what I can gather, the Lettermans are planning to run the castle as a business, hiring it out as a party venue and film set. Privately, I’m hoping the first movie being made at Maplemead will have a distinctly superhero vibe; I mean, it isn’t a deal-breaker that it has to star Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, but it sure would help oil the wheels. Or would it? I’m not sure I’d get much done, mainly because I’d be stalking him and trying to cop a feel of his iron helmet. That’s not even a euphemism. I like his actual helmet; all of that wizardy gadgetry stuff makes me come over all Gwyneth Paltrow and want to be his Girl Friday. Or maybe just his girl. Anyway, you get the idea. I’m not exclusive to Iron Man though. I’m a superhero junky; I’d be just as happy to see Captain America or Spidey rock up to the portcullis at Maplemead. 
Surreptitiously scribbling on my jotter block, I clear my throat and whip quickly through the other bare-bone details we already know about Maplemead, mostly just the basic timeline of the castle that I’ve dug up from the net. There’s not very much to go on yet; we need to get over there and try to assess what’s going bump in the night before Hollywood descends and all hell breaks loose.  
Glenda rules a neat line to close off the morning meeting in the diary and, as we slowly disperse back to our relative perches, Marina leans over my shoulder and reads my scrawl in the jotter block, then rolls her eyes. 
Buy Curly Wurlys.  

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Monday, 20 March 2017

The Missing Ones - Patricia Gibney

The Missing Ones
by Patricia Gibney

About the book...
The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror. 

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? 

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal. 

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger? 

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice. 

Fans of Rachel Abbott, Karin Slaughter and Robert Dugoni will be gripped by this page-turning serial killer thriller, guaranteed to keep you reading late into the night.

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About the author...
Patricia yearned to be a writer after reading Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene and even wanted to be Nancy Drew when grew up. She has now grown up (she thinks) but the closest she’s come to Nancy Drew is writing crime!

In 2009, after her husband died, she retired from my job and started writing seriously. Fascinated by people and their quirky characteristics, she always carries a notebook to scribble down observations.

Patricia also loves to paint in watercolour and live in the Irish midlands with her children.

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My thoughts...
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Patricia Gibney's publisher in exchange for an honest review - something which I am more than happy to do.

Wow, where to begin with this one?  This is a crime thriller that will grab you by the throat - literally!  A story that will grip you from the start, it has a dizzying amount of characters and unexplained events that conspire to confuse and throw you off the scent. Who would be a police detective?  The story is told from the voice of many characters and it is the job of Detective Lottie Parker, side kick Boyd and her team to unravel the motives for so many seemingly random murders.

Almost each and every character within The Missing Ones has a back story and not all of them visible or obvious - add to that a detective with her own issues and problems and you can imagine how cloudy the waters are!

The story is told over a nine day period set in the present but periodically flicks back to a narrative from the 1970s and a children's institution it is a heart pumping, dark and twisted tale that at times is so awful t's difficult to read, yet you're compelled to keep turning the pages.  Events unfurl at a lightning pace - so many events and incidents seem to occur to many people all at the same time leaving no time to second guess the next move or connection.

One thing I am sure about though is, events that happen in our childhood shape the adults we become — not always for the best and not all of us get the solid foundations we should -each turn of the page in The Missing Ones sees a number crumbling that you wouldn't expect. A brilliant debut and a fantastic start to a new detective series.

I highly recommend this book, it is compulsive reading above and beyond and once you've read the prologue you'll be speechless, turning the pages in search of answers.

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