Friday, 2 November 2018

Hush Hush - Mel Sherratt

Hush Hush
by
Mel Sherratt

About the book… 
A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

An unforgettable thriller that fans of MARTINA COLE and won’t be able to put down.

Extract....
Eddie Steele’s gaze rose up and Grace dropped her eyes immediately. When she looked again seconds later, he was staring her way. Their eyes locked for a moment, as if they were the only two people in the room, before Grace lowered hers once more.
She couldn’t hold her tongue. It wasn’t what she’d intended but she might as well come clean now. Really, was there any other way than to tell her work colleagues the truth?
Grace turned to the group and put her glass down heavily on the table, enough to get everyone’s attention but not to cause too much of a fuss so that everyone else looked their way.
‘You wanted to know all about me?’ She looked at each one of them in turn, knowing that, once she’d said the next few words, everything was going to become a whole lot harder.
‘They already know!’ Nick intervened.
Grace tried to stop a frown forming on her face.
‘I told them about Matt.’ Nick shook his head. ‘I’m sorry; I thought it would make things easier for you. I know how much you need a fresh start.’
‘Yeah, we’re all here for you,’ Sam said. ‘It must be really hard to deal with.’
Grace gave a faint smile. Nick stared at her. She could almost sense his thoughts, telling her to stay silent.
She didn’t want him to lie for her. She wanted to be honest upfront. But it was clear from the look in Nick’s eye that she needed to keep quiet.

She couldn’t tell anyone that Eddie and Leon Steele were her half-brothers. And George Steele, criminal, racketeer and murder victim, had been her father. 

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Mel Sherratt is the author of ten novels, all of which have become bestsellers. In 2017, she was named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.








Contact Links: 
Twitter: @writermels 

My thoughts…

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Thursday, 1 November 2018

Winter Without You - Beth Good

Winter Without You
by
Beth Good

About the book… 
What do you do when you lose everything?

After the tragic death of her boyfriend, Hannah Clitheroe is hiding away from the world. But when she discovers she's inherited a house in Cornwall, she knows it's time to face reality.

Her estranged grandmother lived in Kernow House for years, but Hannah soon realises someone else thinks it's rightfully theirs: Raphael Tregar, an intolerant and contemptuous man who quickly gets under her skin.

But as winter sets in, there's one more thing that keeps her up at night, and the rising fear that she may not find her true home in Cornwall after all…

Buy Links: 
Amazon Uk: https://amzn.to/2IUWeUP
Amazon USA: Winter Without You

About the author… 
I write quirky, romantic fiction, mostly with a comic twist, sometimes a little magical. Some are novellas, some are 'long' short stories, though I now have a full-length novel out, THE CORNISH COLOURING BOOK CLUB. 

The wondrous bestselling author Katie Fforde has said of my books, 'I love Beth Good's quirky style! A thoroughly enjoyable read.'

My stories are always romantic, sweet to a little spicy, and tend to feature either gloriously sunny Cornish beaches or snowy festive scenes, with heroes and heroines falling over each other in a futile effort not to fall in love.


I have too many children and not enough money, so need all the readers I can get. If you love talking to authors in real time, please chat with me on Twitter at @BethGoodWriter ... I'm there most days!

Contact Links: 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethgoodwriter
Blog: http://bethgoodwriter.blogspot.com/p/winter-without-you.html?spref=tw

My thoughts…
I favourite genre is thrillers, I read a lot of them but sometimes when life is full on I crave a gentle read, an antidote almost where I can escape into a story that isn’t quite so nail biting and fraught.  Winter Without You was my antidote and it hit the spot perfectly.

Hannah Clitheroe’s life changes direction when her boyfriend tragically dies and she finds herself in a dark corner of Cornwall in the company of a young solicitor.  It’s a miserable, winters afternoon and she’s there to view her inheritance - Kernow House.  The property has been left to her by her estranged grandmother - she fully expects to view it and probably sell it but the house draws her in and wraps itself around her.  Both she and the house have a history, both are at rock bottom and both are in need of more than a little TLC.

This was such a lovely story with characters that are eclectic to say the least - I’m not sure I know what I’d do if a knock at the door revealed a visitor who introduced herself as a sitting tennant who paid no rent but was a rat wrangler and would bring over a rabbit or two for the pot.  Then there was Raphael who was also laying claim to Kernow House, saying it was owned by his late grandfather.

This is a book of discovery and growth for more than a couple of the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed taking their journey with them.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a happy ending but in a book that isn't all predictable.  The characters are not ‘typical’ and had me smiling and laughing at times, I love a book set around Christmas time, reading about the traditions and customs of a local community that gradually sucked Hannah in as one of their own.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Winter Without You, losing myself in the plot.  Hurt, sadness and intrigue butted up to friendship and love. A perfect book to curl up with on a winters afternoon.

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

Him With The Beard - Pernille Meldgaard Pederson

Him With the Beard
by
Penille Meldgaard Pedersen

About the book… 
When nine-year-old Mille suddenly no longer believes in Santa Claus, it turns the house upside down.

Her mother, Stella, is in a pickle as the hunt to find Santa Claus unearths some family secrets. Christmas is at risk!


And there’s only one person who can save it.

Count down the days until Christmas with this tale about Santa Claus, family and Danish Christmas traditions.

Guest Post...
Santa Claus has almond brown eyes, smokes like a chimney, and loves wearing pink clothes.
Ahh, did I see you wrinkling your nose? But it’s okay – most people know that Santa is the world’s kindest man, laughs warmly, and wears a red coat with white fur trim.
But who says that my pink-loving, smoking Santa can’t be as good a Santa as the one we all know?

Santa changes his name and appearance depending on the country he is visiting. It must be hard enough to deliver gifts to all the world’s children in a single night. That he also has to change clothes as if he was in an award show can only make it even more difficult to finish in time.
If we look at Santa Claus historically, he dates back to the 3rd century. About 280 years after Christ’s birth, a boy named Nicolas was born near Myra, located in today’s Turkey.
It’s said that he spent all of his inheritance helping the poor and the sick. He was loved for his generosity.


One of the best-known stories about Saint Nicolas is when he helped a family where the father had no choice but to sell his three daughters because of poverty. Nicolas saved the three girls from a life of slavery by giving the family a bag of gold.

His popularity guaranteed him a place as the protector of children and sailors. Even when the reformation changed people’s faith, he was one of the few saints that people wouldn’t let go of. Saint Nicolas is something very special, but it’s far from everyone who knows the backstory about him, and the real question is whether it’s important at all.


Because who is Santa Claus?

The guy you meet in the mall?


Or perhaps the one who is invisible, but that you know has been there because he left a gift for you?


My Santa is always happy, has plenty of time, and loves to tease – but under the beard, I also know that he’s not a man at all, but a woman I know and love very much.

But that’s my Santa Claus – it’s much more interesting to hear who your Santa Claus is.


Do you remember that moment you stopped believing in Santa Claus?

Thank you so much to Dawn for letting me visit her amazing blog.

Buy Links: 
Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pernille-MeldgaardPedersen/e/B07HXLPDSJ/ 
Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/Pernille-Meldgaard-Pedersen/e/B07HXLPDSJ/ Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/him-with-the-beard
Itunes UK - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/isbn9788797086216
Itunes US - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/isbn9788797086216

About the author…
Pernille was born in 1988 and loves that she was born in the decade with the tallest hair, the most colourful clothes, and the best music.

Her imagination never stands still, and it’s often expressed in words and pictures.

She wrote her first story when she was six years old. It was about the cat she unfortunately never got but wished for more than anything.

She loves autumn and Christmas and believes in elves.

From day to day she is a knight in training, an animator, and a secret agent – she has saved the world a few times by now.

She’s also a professional daydreamer.


She thinks the recipe for a good book is the same as the one for having a good life – a sense of kinship, humour, love, and that one thing that gives you a daily smile.

Vestercity is a fictional city based on her upbringing near the city of Herning in Denmark. 


Win A Cosy Christmas Prize....
Help me celebrate my release by entering the rafflecopter below. Open internationally.

You can win this awesome prize: One Jim Shore Santa Claus Ornament, Santa Claus Marshmallows, A Chocolate Advent Calendar, A Pretty Christmas Storage Box and finally, A Signed Copy of my book Him With The Beard.


Click here to enter:a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Promise - Katerina Diamond

The Promise
by
Katerina Diamond
About the book… 
When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father.

As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait — but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

Katerina Diamond is back with a bang in this dark, twisted novel, perfect for fans of M.J. Arlidge and Karin Slaughter.

An Extract....
He looked around the tree house and felt a little glimmer of hope. There was no way his father would make it up here — he had a place where he could be by himself, without his father’s watchful eye, without the hand on his shoulder, without feeling like he was to blame for everything that was wrong in the world.Connor shuffled back against the wall and sat down with his beer in his hand, thinking about the different things he was going to have to get used to here in England. His father had always maintained he would never come back, but when his parents had died and left him the house, it seemed like a logical move after the incident back at home. If Connor was honest, he needed a change too. He couldn’t carry on being the person he was in California; people had started to notice that he wasn’t the same as them, and he couldn’t stand that.

He pulled out the Zippo his father had given him as a gift for his sixteenth birthday and struck the wheel with his thumb, watching the flame flickering in the light breeze that ran through the empty tree house. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it before peering through the window again. The woman next door was up on the countertop now, her legs wrapped around her partner’s waist, his trousers around his ankles. Upstairs, he could see into what looked like a girl’s bedroom; she was sitting at her dressing table, with a lamp on. It was the girl he had seen earlier when they arrived. As Connor watched, she undid the plait in her hair and started to brush it out.

Buy Link: 

About the author… 
Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives on the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. She is a Sunday Times and Kindle bestseller



Contact Links: 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheVenomousPen
Author Page on AmazonKaterina Diamond Books

My thoughts…
Oh my giddy aunt Katerina Diamond is a master at weaving intricate tales and The Promise is woven so tightly there are no chinks that allow for guessing the outcome.  There are so many parts to this story that cross over and touch each other it was impossible to imagine how they were all relevant and linked. Inspectors Imogen Grey and her partner Adrian Miles were really up against it with this one, each also battling their own problems that meant their focus was not always 100% on the game.

The clock is literally ticking and once again Imogen finds herself as bait to lure a serial killer out into the open.   Katerina Diamond doesn't waste time padding out and gently building up the story she just dives straight in, getting to the point and leaving nothing to the imagination  her descriptions are graphic and direct. I was left holding my mouth and  'Oh My Godding' every other page. At the same time there is a back story being told every few chapters and also the story of Connor and his abusive father who have moved back from America to England for a fresh start  but from what, Katerina leaves us dangling for a good while.  Connor is a troubled soul and has a difficult time at the hands of his father yet there's something about him, he sensitive under the shell he's had to build around himself. 

The pacing of the story had me totally on edge  it hurtled me headlong into situations that are so awful I felt physically sick and at other times were deliberately, just that tiny bit slow.  Slow enough to have me praying to get to the end of the chapter - Katerina Diamond writes books based in a dark, twisty world inhabited by sick evil monsters, as a reader I want to read the outcome but alternate between not wanting to either. This is a book that took me way outside my comfort zone.

This was one of those stories that I was glad I read in the daytime  scenes so graphic and gory I wanted to read with my eyes closed.  It's also an emotional read with every feeling under the sun brought to the fore at one point or another.  Fear, hatred, hurt, sadness and pity being the most prominent  although there are a couple of lighter moments towards the end that re-dress the balance somewhat.  Katerina has left us dangling, there are so many threads not quite knotted off - I literally cannot wait for the next instalment.

I highly recommend this book to all crime, thriller readers.  Katerina Diamond is up there with the best and the opportunity to read one of her novels will become a compulsion just like mine I bet!

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Monday, 1 October 2018

Coming Home to Maple Cottage - Holly Martin

Coming Home to Maple Cottage
by
Holly Martin

About the book… 
This utterly addictive new novel from bestselling author Holly Martin will make you smile until your cheeks hurt, sob tears of pure joy and fall head over heels in love with a totally unforgettable romance…

Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.

Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.

As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.

But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?

A glorious, feel-good romance that will make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket with a hot chocolate and the one you love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.


About the author… 
Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She 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 her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books


My thoughts…
I couldn't agree more utterly gorgeous, Coming Home to Maple Cottage was pure indulgence.  Holly martin has the ability to make you lose all track of time and before you know it you've lost the morning and only have 20% left to read so it would be rude not to.

Coming Home to Maple Cottage focuses on Isla, Leo and Elliott.  Isla and Leo had a one night stand four years previous, felt a connection but never pursued it - Leo has a reputation for being a bit of a bad boy, a serial womaniser so why would you?  They are brought back together when Matthew, Isla's brother, is killed in a car accident and Isla is left with the job of bringing Elliott up, supported by godfather Leo.

This is a story that pulls at your heart strings, Elliott is an absolute dream, I wanted to gather him up and cuddle him - he's confident and happy and his open questions and statements had me guffawing more than once.  Leo and Isla have a connection that is clear to everyone around them but to each other - neither is able to make the move.  Isla doesn't know whether her feelings are reciprocated and Leo has such a bad reputation he doesn't want to tarnish her with it.

Holly intricately weaves their lives around each other, their family and friends want them to get together but the town is against it.  I so was in their corner, cheering them on from the side lines, smiling and laughing out loud.  Holly Martin writes some of the best one liners ever and the way she fed them through the mouths of babes made for a hilarious read at times.  Add to the mix Leo's aunt Agatha, a character that is so unlike any elderly aunt I've ever met.  She's wacky, outspoken and openly discusses and advises Leo and his brothers on bedroom activities that she thinks they should pursue in front of the whole town, she's taken the idea of an agony aunt to a whole new level.

This was one of the most touching books that Holly has written, softening the edges with humour, funny and embarrassing moments to lighten the more serious content.  I loved every single page and can't wait for the next instalment. 

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Factory Girls of Lark Lane - Pam Howes

The Factory Girls of Lark Lane
by
Pam Howes

About the book… 
The Factory Girls of Lark Lane: A heartbreaking wartime family saga. 
The struggles of war will build the strongest of friendships…
1940, Liverpool: Best friends Alice Turner and Millie Markham work for the war effort at Rootes munitions factory, making shell caps and Halifax bombers. Alice’s sweetheart Terry is home from the front for a brief period of leave, and the women are excitedly planning a whirlwind wedding.
But the honeymoon is soon over, and the ever-present air raid sirens quickly bring Alice back down to earth. When a terrible explosion at the factory leads to a tragic death, and a loved one is announced missing in action, it’s only their friendship and the support of the other factory girls which help to keep Alice and Millie’s spirits up.
As the war stretches on with no sign of an ending, can Alice and Millie help one another make it through – and find happiness even in the darkest of times?
The Factory Girls of Lark Lane is a heart-wrenching family saga about women in World War 2, the strength of friendship, and hope. If you’re a fan of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Kitty Neale, you’ll love Pam Howes!

Buy Links: 
Buy now via Amazon: mybook.to/TFGoLLSocial

About the author… 
Pam is a retired interior designer, mum to three daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren and roadie to her musician partner.
The inspiration for Pam’s first novel came from her teenage years, working in a record store, and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. The first novel evolved into a series about a fictional band The Raiders. She is a fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to begin writing.

Contact Links: 
You can find Pam on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PamHowes1
You can find Pam on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Pam-Howes-Author-260328010709267/?fref=ts

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture,  Pam Howes publisher.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

Reading The Factorg Girls of Lark Lane was pure nostalgia to me.  It took me straight back to my teenage years where I worked in an office on an industrial estate in Speke, Liverpool. I spent my lunch breaks reading books set in the city during the war years by Maureen Lee, Helen Forrester and Lyn Andrews.

Pam Howes more than lives up to these icons and has captured the true essence of a city and period of time where your friends were your family and people shared what little they had - pulling together to support each other during desperate times.

Despite the hurt and tragedy that affected the tight knit community there was also fun and laughter, everyone appreciating the small things and each other, grateful that they survived the night through another air raid, huddled together with neighbours and friends listening for the bombs that devastated whole streets at a time - the sense of pride, generosity and support spills from the pages of this beautifully sad yet uplifting story. 

Despite not reading any other books in this series I was soon wrapped up in the lives of friends Alice and Millie and their families. It's hard to imagine being married for a day and your husband going off to war, leaving you expecting a baby and no idea of when you may see each other again - the strength of character and acceptance of life and it's restraints  is demonstrated throughout this book beautifully.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Island Villa - Lily Graham

The Island Villa
by
Lily Graham

About the book… 
Marisal. A villa on a sleepy Spanish island. A place that time had forgotten. A place of long ago summers, sun-kissed memories and one terrible betrayal …

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish Island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heart-breaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

Buy Links: 
Amazon Buy Link: mybook.to/TIVSocial

About the author… 
Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she'll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.




Contact Links: 

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture, Lily Grahams publisher.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

The Island Villa is a beautiful read.  It begins as Charlotte and daughter Sage have lost their beloved husband and father James to cancer - neither can contemplate life without him and are getting through each day - just.

On the day of his funeral Charlottes brother hands her a letter from her husband, a letter that contains only a few words but will change her life completely.  He has bought her a house, not just any house but a house that used to belong to her family on the island of Formentera, a Spanish island off Ibiza.

As Sage heads back to University Charlotte plans a trip just to look at the house - she cannot contemplate life as a widow and doesn't know how to even begin to pick up the pieces.

The Island Villa holds the key to her past and her future, Lily Graham has intricately pieced together Charlottes past and future like a jigsaw - inserting one, then another as the past meets the present.  I was touched and saddened by the back story yet it's that that lifts Charlotte out of her 'funk' to a point where she can contemplate the future.  The story unfolds around a community, shared meals and the Villa and is totally bewitching, I was totally lost, my heart sqeezed with sadness, then lifted as the sunshine and happiness gradually began drifting through the threads of the story.

I've never read a Lily Graham novel before but this will definitely not be my last - sensitively constructed, totally absorbing and mesmerising.  A beautiful read that I have no hesitation recommending.

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