Saturday, 16 March 2019

The Forgotten Secret by Kathleen McGurl - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today, I am thrilled to be a part of Kathleen McGurl's Blog Tour for her new book The Forgotten Secret, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources ... see my thoughts below .....

A country at war
It’s the summer of 1919 and Ellen O’Brien has her whole life ahead of her. Young, in love and leaving home for her first job, the future seems full of shining possibility. But war is brewing and before long Ellen and everyone around her are swept up by it. As Ireland is torn apart by the turmoil, Ellen finds herself facing the ultimate test of love and loyalty.
And a long-buried secret
A hundred years later and Clare Farrell has inherited a dilapidated old farmhouse in County Meath. Seizing the chance to escape her unhappy marriage she strikes out on her own for the first time, hoping the old building might also provide clues to her family’s shadowy history. As she sets out to put the place – and herself – back to rights, she stumbles across a long-forgotten hiding place, with a clue to a secret that has lain buried for decades.
Purchase Links

The Forgotten Secret is a dual time narrative one hundred years apart and begins in 2016 when we meet Clare in England who has just inherited an old farmhouse in Ireland.  Her husband is a selfish, controlling, manipulative man who has eaten away at her self-esteem over their twenty year marriage and I was cheering her on when she decided to leave him and start a whole new life in Ireland.

In 1919, just as the War of Independence in Ireland was escalating, 18 year old Ellen is also beginning a new life, she's starting a new job as upstairs maid at Carlton House and is in love with Jimmy who's joined the Cause as a volunteer fighting for Ireland's future.  As she looks to a future full of children, Jimmy has his own dreams of a future for a free Ireland.

I must confess that I knew very little about this time in Ireland's history, I grew up in fear of the IRA's bombing spree in the 1970's and didn't particularly want to know then about their cause, or indeed understand it.  But after finishing this I can now understand some of their reasons and beliefs.

Author Kathleen McGurl very cleverly tells us the story from the other side and is very careful not to manipulate the reader as we are shown, in 1919, how the people went undercover, helping the volunteers and what they believed in and how they were prepared to die for their cause.  

Overall, it is also a story of two women who seemed very different at the start but whose lives were both changed by circumstances which made them grow in independence. 

The Forgotten Secret has treachery, secrets and betrayal but also love, compassion and friendship.

With main characters that I cared about, the story is well-paced, painting a picture of Irish life that kept my attention throughout, and I learnt a good deal about their history.

Meet the Author

KATHLEEN MCGURL lives near the sea in Bournemouth, UK, with her husband and elderly tabby cat. She has two sons who are now grown-up and have left home. She began her writing career creating short stories, and sold dozens to women’s magazines in the UK and Australia. Then she got side-tracked onto family history research – which led eventually to writing novels with genealogy themes. She has always been fascinated by the past, and the ways in which the past can influence the present, and enjoys exploring these links in her novels.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @KathMcGurl

Check out the other bloggers on the blog tour for more reviews and interesting content

Monday, 11 March 2019

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins - Blog Tour Spotlight

Murder Once Removed (An Ancestor Detective Mystery) by S. C. Perkins


About the Book

Murder Once Removed (An Ancestor Detective Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Minotaur Books (March 19, 2019) 
Hardcover: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 1250189039 ISBN-13: 978-1250189035 

Digital ASIN: B07D2BJ2JT 

S.C. Perkins' Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.

Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal proving Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death.
Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.

About the Author

S.C. Perkins is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up hearing fascinating stories of her ancestry and eating lots of great Tex-Mex, both of which inspired the plot of her debut mystery novel. Murder Once Removed was the winner of the 2017 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery competition. She resides in Houston and, when she’s not writing or working at her day job, she’s likely outside in the sun, on the beach, or riding horses.

Author Links o o o o 

Purchase links 
IndieBound Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-a-Million 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


March 5 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY 
March 5 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
March 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
March 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW* 
March 7 – The Book Diva's Reads – GUEST POST 
March 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
March 8 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
March 8 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT 
March 9 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
March 9 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
March 10 – Nadaness In Motion - SPOTLIGHT, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY 
March 10 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW* 
March 11 – Carole's Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT 
March 11 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW 
March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
March 12 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW 
March 12 – This is my truth now - REVIEW 
March 13 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW 
March 14 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW, RECIPE POST 
March 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW* 
March 15 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW * 
March 15 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT 
March 16 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
March 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
March 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower - REVIEW, INDIVIDUAL GIVEAWAY 
March 18 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW* 
March 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

Have you signed up to be a Tour Host? Click Here Find Details and Sign Up Today!


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

An Abiding Fire by M.J. Logue - Book Tour & Book Review

Today, I am delighted to be part of M.J. Logue's Blog Tour for her new book An Abiding Fire, thanks to Sapere Books ... see my thoughts below .....

How do you solve a murder when you are one of the suspects?
1664, London
Life should be good for Major Thankful Russell and his new bride, Thomazine. Russell, middle-aged and battle-scarred, isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect husband for an eligible young woman but the moment Thomazine set eyes on her childhood hero, she knew they were destined for one another.
But Russell, a former Roundhead, now working for the King’s intelligence service, was never going to have a simple life in Restoration London.
Unable to shake suspicions of his Parliamentarian past, someone seems hell-bent on ruining his reputation — and his life.
Whispers about his sister’s violent murder follow him and accusations of treason abound.
When more deaths occur Russell finds himself under suspicion.
He is ready to escape from the capital, but Thomazine is determined to find the truth and clear the name of the man she loves.
But who is the real killer and why are they so keen to frame Russell? More importantly, will they succeed?
And has Thomazine’s quest put them all in mortal danger?

Once I had got used to the quirky style of writing and settled into the book, I really enjoyed this historical mystery from the seventeenth century.

The main characters of Thankful and Thomazine are a delight to get to know, they're amusing, playful, romantic and I loved their sense of humour.  They are such opposites, thoughtful Thankful and tearaway Thomazine!

Though Thankful is not sorry that his murdered sister is dead, she was a cruel, unloving and vicious bitch, his reputation is at stake as rumours persist that he was the killer, and it's up to the newlyweds to discover who the killer is.

If you're looking for a historical mystery with a good dose of romance then this might just be for you!  I found it a totally entertaining read.

About the Author

M. J. Logue (as in cataLOGUE and epiLOGUE and not, ever,
loge, which is apparently a kind of private box in a theatre)
wrote her first short novel on a manual typewriter aged
seven. It wasn’t very good, being about talking horses, but
she made her parents sit through endless readings of it
Thirty-something years later she is still writing, although
horses only come into it occasionally these days. Born and
brought up in Lancashire, she moved to Cornwall at the turn
of the century (and has always wanted to write that) and
now lives in a granite cottage with her husband, and son,
five cats, and various itinerant wildlife.
After periods of employment as a tarot reader, complaints
call handler, executive PA, copywriter and civil servant, she
decided to start writing historical fiction about the period of
British history that fascinates her – the 17th century.
Her first series, covering the less than stellar career of a
disreputable troop of Parliamentarian cavalry during the
civil wars, was acclaimed by reviewers as “historical fiction
written with elegance, wit and black humour” – but so many
readers wanted to know whether fierce young lieutenant
Thankful Russell ever did get his Happy Ever After, that the
upcoming series of romantic thrillers for Sapere Books began.
Get in touch with MJ
She can be found on Twitter @Hollie_Babbitt, lurking on the
web at, and posting photos of cake,
cats and extreme embroidery on Instagram as 

Friday, 1 March 2019

Innocence Lost by Sherilyn Decter - Blog Tour Spotlight & Giveaway

When you mention the Roaring 20s you can’t help but think of Prohibition and the mystery surrounding it. Today, lets step back in time and see how a widow copes with criminal elements and comes to rely on a ghost from the past.

Author Sherilyn Decter is visiting today to share her latest release, INNOCENCE LOST, the first installment in her Bootleggers’ Chronicles. She also has a fun giveaway she’s hosting for the tour. Be sure to check it out at the end of the post.

In a city of bootleggers and crime, one woman must rely on a long-dead lawman to hunt down justice…
          Philadelphia, 1924. Maggie Barnes doesn't have much left. After the death of her husband, she finds herself all alone to care for her young son and look after their rundown house. As if that weren't bad enough, Prohibition has turned her neighborhood into a bootlegger's playground. To keep the shoddy roof over their heads, she has no choice but to take on boarders with criminal ties…
          When her son's friend disappears, Maggie suspects the worst. And local politicians and police don't seem to have any interest in an investigation. With a child's life on the line, Maggie takes the case and risks angering the enemy living right under her nose…
          Maggie's one advantage may be her oldest tenant: the ghost of a Victorian-era cop. With his help, can she find justice in a lawless city?

          Innocence Lost is the first novel in the Bootleggers' Chronicles, a series of historical fiction tales. If you like headstrong heroines, Prohibition-era criminal underworlds, and a touch of the paranormal, then you'll love Sherilyn Decter’s gripping tale.

Check out INNOCENCE LOST on bookfunnel and the Media Page on the author’s website. INNOCENCE LOST is also available to buy on Amazon.  

The second book in the series, TASTING THE APPLE, is available to pre-order.  

For those unfamiliar with the author, here’s a bit of background on her.

The Roaring Twenties and Prohibition were a fantasy land, coming right after the horrors and social upheaval of World War I. Even a century later, it all seems so exotic.

Women got the vote, started working outside the home, and (horrors!) smoked and drank in public places. They even went on unchaperoned dates (gasp)! Corsets were thrown into the back of the closets, and shoes were discovered to be an addictive fashion accessory after hemlines started to rise. And thanks to Prohibition, suddenly it was fashionable to break the law. The music was made in America- ragtime, delta blues, and of course jazz. Cocktails were created to hide the taste of the bathtub gin. Flappers were dancing, beads and fringes flying. Fedoras were tipped. And everyone was riding around in automobiles (aka struggle buggies and I leave it to your imagination why- wink.)

Bootleggers’ Chronicles grew out of that fascination. Writing as Sherilyn Decter, I will eventually have a series of historical crime fiction novels dealing with the bootleggers, gangsters, flappers, and general lawlessness that defined Prohibition. The Bootlegger blog rose out of all the research that I’ve been doing about this incredible era.

Growing up on the prairies and living next to the ocean, I am a creature of endless horizons. Writing allows me to discover what’s just over the next one. My husband and I have three amazing daughters, a spoiled grandson, and two bad dogs.

Sherilyn Decter is enthralled with the flashing flappers and dangerous bootleggers from the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition. Through meticulous research, that lawless era is brought to life. Living in a century-old house, maybe the creaking pipes whisper stories in her ear.

To get the inside skinny on the Bootlegger’s Chronicles, you can reach Sherilyn at the following links:


Author Sherilyn Decter is giving away two autographed paperback copies of INNOCENCE LOST. Each of the books comes with a couple of sheets of flapper paper dolls. Click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instruction to enter. If you can’t see the widget, just click HERE.

Thanks for stopping by today. Be sure to comment on the post and enter to win your copy of this tantalizing tale.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Winterman by Alex Walters - Book Tour & Book Review

Today, I am delighted to be part of Alex Walters' blog tour for his new book Winterman, thanks to Bloodhound Books ...... please check out my review below .....

DI Ivan Winterman is a man with a troubled past. The Blitz
has left his young son dead and his wife seriously injured. He
has made enemies in high places and, with his career going
nowhere, he returns to his home town in East Anglia, seeking
to rebuild his life in a country gripped by post-war austerity
and the coldest winter on record.

As the first snow begins to fall, a drunken ex-clergyman
stumbles on the semi-mummified body of a small child
concealed in a ruined cottage. Days later, a second similar
child's body is found in a Fenland dyke. Both bodies have
been dead for several years, preserved in the Fens, the
cause of death unknown.

Winterman, supported by a small team of assorted misfits,
finds himself leading the investigation, uncovering a web of
connections and secrets in the small rural community.  When
a further murder victim is discovered, Winterman discovers
that the secrets are darker and the threat far more
immediate than he'd ever envisaged.

And, as the snow finally begins to thaw over the Fens,
Winterman realises that his worst nightmares are about to
come true…

Winterman opens in the summer of 1940 as a group of teens

are enjoying the sun and swimming.
Cycling home later they realise that one of them isn't
following behind, but when they go back to try and find him
they discover that he has disappeared without trace.........

We are transported next to the winter of 1947 when D.I.

Winterman is assigned to the small village where he grew up.
Two years after WW2 ended and we find that Britain is still
struggling to rebuild, coal is in short supply, food is still
being rationed and there's a general air of depression in the
rural village.

When the skeletons of young children are discovered, along

with another body, then the story really picks up and I was
totally engrossed, trying to work out what was going on.

The main character of D.I. Winterman is well-drawn and I

did feel some sympathy for him and his tragic past.

Overall, a complex and compelling mystery.

Meet the Author

Winterman is Alex Walters's first historical crime novel. He is
the author of Candles and Roses, Death Parts Us and Their
Final Act, all featuring DI Alec McKay and set in and around
the Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands. He has also written
five books set in and around Manchester – Trust No-One and
Nowhere to Hide featuring the undercover officer, Marie
Donovan, and Late Checkout, Dark Corners and Snow Fallen,
featuring DCI Kenny Murrain – and three crime novels set in
modern-day Mongolia, The Shadow WalkerThe Adversary 
and The Outcast.  Alex has previously worked in the oil
industry, broadcasting and banking and as a consultant
working mainly in the criminal justice sector. He now
runs the Solus Or Writing Retreat in the Black Isle with his
wife, occasional sons and some cats.

Twitter - @mikewalters60


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