Thursday, 4 March 2021

Jane Austen's Best Friend by Zoe Wheddon - Blog Tour Extract

I am sharing an Extract today from a new novel entitled Jane Austen's Best Friend by Zoe Wheddon


Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The life and influence of Martha Lloyd

All fans of Jane Austen everywhere believe themselves to be best friends with the beloved author and this book shines a light on what it meant to be exactly that. Jane Austen's Best Friend; The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd offers a unique insight into Jane's private inner circle. Through this heart-warming examination of an important and often overlooked person in Jane's world, we uncover the life changing force of their friendship. Each chapter details the fascinating facts and friendship forming qualities that tied Jane and Martha together. Within these pages we will relive their shared interests, the hits and misses of their romantic love lives, their passion for shopping and fashion, their family histories, their lucky breaks and their girly chats. This book offers a behind the scenes tour of the shared lives of a fascinating pair and the chance to deepen our own bonds in 'love and friendship' with them both.


Purchase Links 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Influence/dp/1526763818/

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Influence/dp/1526763818/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/jane-austens-best-friend/zoe-wheddon/9781526763815

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Hardback/p/18769









Extract

Helping our friends is one of life’s most rewarding things to do and helps to cement any friendship. Jane Austen fans dream of being able to do anything at all which might gratify or please their literary heroine and what could be closer to Jane’s heart than preparing her ink, quill, and paper. Would we not all love to make sure that her writing slope was kept in tip top condition, her chair made up to be its most comfortable and her table to be set ‘just so’ in her favoured position, next to the window? This passage talks about Martha’s part in helping her friend with these most practical acts. It is kind of mind-blowing to stop and realise that someone made the ink that fed the quill that followed the will of the writer. It was with Martha’s ink with which those words flowed and through which our beloved authoress’ characters came to life on the page. What a wonderful moment frozen in time that is. A friendship is all about the little things, but this one simple fact feels quite momentous indeed.

 

However, the recipe that excites everyone the most, even to this present day, is, of course, her recipe for making ink. How thrilling to think that Martha supported her friend Jane’s writing by supplying the ink to the very quill that allowed her ideas to flow forth. How special too to wonder that perhaps Martha’s own book was written, even in part, in that very same homemade ink. What we would all give to be able to bless our own words with the ink that wrote the words of Jane Austen.



Meet the Author



 'A native of Jane Austen's beloved county of Hampshire, Zoe Wheddon, lives in a village on the outskirts of the town that she and her husband Matt grew up in, with three grown up children and a cat called Leia.

 

She co-presents the popular podcast What Would Jane Do and writes articles and book reviews on matters relating to friendship, self-compassion and personal development on her blog. When not researching or writing her next book, Zoe can be found in the classroom teaching Spanish and French or singing ABBA songs loudly in her kitchen.'


Social Media Links –  Twitter: @ZoeWheddon

Facebook: Zoe Wheddon Author page.

Instagram: Zoe_Wheddon

Website- www.zoewheddon.co.uk 


Check out the other Bloggers on the Book Tour for more exclusive content




Saturday, 27 February 2021

The Night Has Seen Your Mind by Simon Kearns

I am delighted to be a part of the blog tour for The Night Has Seen Your Mind by Simon Kearns


Tech billionaire, Mattias Goff, has invited five creative professionals – programmer, pianist, writer, actor, and photographer – for a month long residency at Crystal Falls, his Arctic retreat.


Researching brain waves, and especially the enigmatic gamma wave, Goff asks his guests to wear a kind of EEG cap in order to record the electrical activity in their brains while they engage with their respective disciplines. Although they will be paid $5million each for the experience, they all start their sojourn a little wary – some more than others.


Cut off from the outside world in the stunningly beautiful, if stark, Alaskan winter landscape they immerse themselves in their work. Soon, though, reality seems to be shifting. What is Goff really researching? Are his guests only being observed, or manipulated?


Purchase Links 

http://bit.ly/TheNightHasSeenYourMind

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Has-Seen-Your-Mind-ebook/dp/B08RSKDCPZ/











Meet the Author

Simon Kearns was born in London in 1972 and grew up in Northern Ireland. In his teens he returned to London to study philosophy. At the end of 2004 he moved to the south of France where he lives with his partner and two children. His debut, Virtual Assassin, (Revenge Ink, 2010), explores personal responsibility in a corrupt society. It was followed by Dark Waves, (Blood Bound Books, 2014), about a powerful haunting and the scientist determined to debunk it. His stories have appeared in publications such as The Future Fire, Litro, The Honest Ulsterman, and on numerous websites. He revels in etymology, guitar, gaming, and the science of superstition.



Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/simonkearns13

https://twitter.com/spiralisation

http://simonkearns.com


Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour



Thursday, 25 February 2021

The Survivors by Jane Harper - Short Book Review

 


The Survivors
by
Jane Harper

Publication Date:  21 January 2021
Publisher:  Little, Brown

Synopsis:

Kieran Elliott's life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that haunts him still resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.

Kieran's parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother Finn.

When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge in the murder investigation that follows. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away...


My Thoughts:

Jane Harper has done it again!  She has conjured up another amazing psychological thriller that kept me gripped to the end.

I have read and loved all her books and I think The Survivors is one of her best.  She is so adept at small town dynamics.

The Survivors is told through Keiran's eyes and I enjoyed this style of writing, getting to know him and his thoughts but not of the townspeople, so this kept me guessing as to what they were really thinking and what they actually knew.

A story of secrets of long ago, writing that really draws you in and doesn't let go until every last secret is revealed, shocks and surprises, all excellently written with such depth.  I can't wait to see what Jane Harper does next!

Read my thoughts on the other books

My thanks to publishers Little, Brown for giving me the opportunity to read The Survivors.

Available to buy now from








Thursday, 18 February 2021

Who Took Eden Mulligan? by Sharon Dempsey - Short Book Review

 


Publication Date:  18 February 2021

Publisher:  Avon Books


Blurb:

‘They’re dead. They’re all dead. It’s my fault. I killed them.’

Those are the words of Iona Gardener, who stands bloodied and staring as she confesses to the murder of four people in a run-down cottage outside of Belfast.

Outside the cottage, five old dolls are hanging from a tree. Inside the cottage, the words “WHO TOOK EDEN MULLIGAN?” are graffitied on the wall, connecting the murder scene with the famous cold case of Eden Mulligan, a mother-of-five who went missing during The Troubles.

But this case is different. Right from the start.

Because no one in the community is willing to tell the truth, and the only thing DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey can be certain of is that Iona Gardener’s confession is false….

A creepy, gritty and very compelling crime novel, perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons and Jane Casey.



My Thoughts:


This is a multi layered mystery with many strands, set in a Belfast now free of The Troubles in the 70's and 80's.  But someone doesn't want the past to be left there, as the words 'Who Took Eden Mulligan?" are there for the police to see, left after the shocking murders of four people.


Rose Lainey has come back to Belfast to attend her mother's funeral, she and Danny were at Liverpool Uni together and she agrees to help him with this baffling case.


I enjoyed the chemistry between the two, their interactions felt natural.


Who Took Eden Mulligan? is more than a murder mystery, it's about the assumptions people make, of living in fear in Belfast in the 1980's, fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, I could almost feel that claustrophobia in the writing, which was excellent from beginning to end.


The tension is slow and steady, gradually building up to a fast pace at the end.....and I thoroughly enjoyed reading a book of many layers.


I would love to read more of DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey and see where their next case takes them.


My thanks to Avon Books for giving me the opportunity, via Net Galley, to read this book.



Available to buy now from Amazon UK - Amazon US











Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Cover Reveal for The Serial Killer's Wife by Alice Hunter

I am thrilled to be sharing the Cover Reveal for The Serial Killer's Wife by Alice Hunter


They’re saying he’s a monster. And they’re saying she knew.

Beth and Tom Hardcastle are the envy of their neighbourhood – they have the perfect marriage, the perfect house, the perfect family.

When the police knock on their door one evening, Beth panics. Tom should be back from work by now – what if he’s crashed his car? She fears the worst.

But the worst is beyond imagining.

As the interrogation begins, Beth will find herself questioning everything she believed about her husband.


They’re husband and wife – till death do them part…




So addictive it should come with a warning… 

So twisted it’ll keep you up all night… 👀

So plausible it’s terrifying… 😱

 

The Serial Killer's Wife by Alice Hunter is available to pre-order now. 

Out 27th May. 


#DidSheKnow?



Monday, 15 February 2021

Only When It's Love by Olivia Spring - Blog Tour Promo - Book Birthday Blitz

Today, I'm thrilled to be a part of the Book Birthday Blitz for Only When It's Love by Olivia Spring


Only When It’s Love: Holding Out For Mr Right

Alex is tired of being single. After years of disastrous hook-ups and relationships that lead to the bedroom but nowhere else, Alex is convinced she’ll never find her Mr Right. Then her newly married friend Stacey recommends what worked for her: a self-help book that guarantees Alex will find true love in just seven steps. Sounds simple, right?

Except Alex soon discovers that each step is more difficult than the last, and one of the rules involves dating, but not sleeping with a guy for six months. Absolutely no intimate contact whatsoever. Zero. Nada. Rien. A big challenge for Alex, who has never been one to hold back from jumping straight into the sack, hoping it will help a man fall for her.

Will any guys be willing to wait? Will Alex find her Mr Right? And if she does, will she be strong enough to resist temptation and hold out for true love?

Join Alex on her roller coaster romantic journey as she tries to cope with the emotional and physical ups and downs of dating whilst following a lengthy list of rigid rules.

Only When It’s Love is a fun, feel-good, romantic comedy by British author Olivia Spring, about self-acceptance, determination, love and the challenge of finding the one.

The sequel, When’s The Wedding? will be published on 25th March 2021.

Purchase Link



Meet the Author

Olivia Spring is a British, London-based writer of contemporary women's fiction, sexy chick lit and romantic comedy. Her uplifting debut novel The Middle-Aged Virgin, which was released in July 2018, deals with being newly single in your thirties and beyond, dating, relationships, love, sex and living life to the full.

In addition to The Middle-Aged Virgin, Olivia has published four novels: The Middle-Aged Virgin in Italy, Love Offline, Losing My Inhibitions and Only When It's Love. When’s The Wedding?, the hotly anticipated sequel to Only When It's Love and Olivia’s sixth novel, will be published in March 2021.

When she's not writing, Olivia can be found travelling to Italy to indulge in pasta, pizza and gelato and of course, seeking inspiration for her next book!


Social Media Links – 

Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @ospringauthor 

#OnlyWhenItsLove




Thursday, 11 February 2021

Locks by Ashleigh Nugent - Blog Tour + Extract

Today, I am delighted to share with you an extract by Ashleigh Nugent of his novel Locks


LOCKS: A Story Based on True Events

“1993 was the year that Stephen Lawrence got murdered by racists, and I became an angry Black lad with a ‘chip on his shoulder’.”

Aeon is a mixed-race teenager from an English suburb. He is desperate to understand the Black identity foisted on him by racist police, teachers, and ‘friends’. For want of Black role models, Aeon has immersed himself in gangsta rap, he’s trying to grow dreadlocks, and he’s bought himself some big red boots.

And now he’s in Jamaica. 

Within days of being in Jamaica, Aeon has been mugged and stabbed, arrested and banged up. 

Aeon has to fight for survival, fight for respect, and fight for his big red boots. And he has to fight for his identity because, here, Aeon is the White boy.


Purchase Links 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/LOCKS-Story-Based-True-Events-ebook/dp/B08JCZ9D71/ 

Orders also available from: www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk















Extract

LOCKS is based on a true story. It's 1993. Aeon, our protagonist (based on me), is a mixed-race teenage boy from a leafy English suburb. Having faced racism in his home-town, he visits Jamaica in search of roots and belonging, and to define his identity as a Black man.

Once there, however, Aeon discovers that he doesn’t fit in there, either. He is mugged and stabbed, arrested and locked in an underground dungeon. There he is beaten unconscious while a group of boys chant: ‘Fuck up the White man.’

Finally, Aeon is forced to try to flee Jamaica illegally. 

The following extract is the first page of LOCKS. It introduces the two main characters, sets up the narrative arc, and introduces the reader to the style of the book: political, funny, and tragic. 

Excerpt from LOCKS Part 1 - Gifts

Something had to happen.

Loads of things had happened to Increase.

‘Well, we will be in Jamaica in just over 10 uncomfortable hours,’ said Increase looking at his watch as we walked through Departures, Terminal 2, Manchester Airport. ‘This should be great,’ he said, exaggerating a toothy grin at me, ‘apart from all the niggers, of course.’

He said it loud so the two massive Black girls walking in front of us could definitely hear.

I wondered what they must have thought.

It was Friday the 16th of July, 1993; 15 days before my 17th birthday.

1993 was the year of the Malcolm X movie and Snoop Doggy Dogg’s debut on ‘Dre Day’. Black people were popping up all over the place. There was a time when the only person on telly that everyone in school could say that I looked just like was Trevor Macdonald. By the time 1993 came around, I’d been told I that looked like Frank Bruno, I’d been accused of looking like Andy Peters, and once someone even said I looked exactly like Mr Motivator. And I thought Joe Shirley was genuinely trying to be nice when he said, ‘Don’t worry about it, Aeon. You don’t look nothing like Mr Motivator.’ He went on, ‘You’re not even a proper Black. You’re like more like that other fella . . . ah, what’s his name?’ His eyes lit up: ‘Gary Wilmot,’ he chuckled.

Gary fucking Wilmot!

1993 was the year that Stephen Lawrence got murdered by racists, and I became an angry Black lad with a ‘chip on his shoulder’.


LOCKS is available on Amazon now


Meet the Author




Ashleigh Nugent has been published in academic journals, poetry anthologies, and magazines. His latest work, LOCKS, is based on a true story: the time he spent his 17th birthday in a Jamaican detention centre. LOCKS won the 2013 Commonword Memoir Competition and has had excerpts published by Writing on the Wall and in bido lito magazine. Ashleigh’s one-man-show, based on LOCKS, has won support from SLATE / Eclipse Theatre, and won a bursary from Live Theatre, Newcastle. The show has received rave audience reviews following showings in theatres and prisons throughout the UK. Ashleigh is also a director at RiseUp CiC, where he uses his own life experience, writing, and performance to support prisoners and inspire change.

Social Media Links – 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LocksBook 

Twitter - @LocksBook

Instagram - @locksbook

Youtube Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8TVrX7J2j4


Now check out the other Bloggers for more exclusive content, including reviews



Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Preserved by Fiona Sherlock - Publication Day Blog Tour

I'm delighted to be a part of the publication day push for Preserved by Fiona Sherlock


She's stuck in the past, the killer wants to immortalise his future. When a local farmer announces on social media that he has discovered a bog body in Ardee, the world’s historians are keen to explore the secrets of the life and grisly death of the victim. Antique journalist January Quail is fighting to keep her newspaper job and uncovers far more than she bargained for. 

The victim is actually a recent murder, and January uses her nose for the truth to investigate the County Louth town. From shopkeeper to the publican, everyone is a suspect, but when the Gardai can’t find the killer, can January? 

Once she sets down the liqueur glass, January gains the confidence of the lead garda investigator. Within days, the case unravels into a much more dangerous situation with a killer on the loose. 

Despite the risk, January is electrified that this newest discovery has come at the perfect time to inject some colour into her flailing career. January relinquishes her old ways to fight for survival, abandoning her antiques column and vintage corsets to solve a cryptic crime that has the experts puzzled. This woman who longs to lives in the past must now fight for her life in the present.


Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Preserved-Fiona-Sherlock-ebook/dp/B08R7QNCSN/ 

US - https://www.amazon.com/Preserved-Fiona-Sherlock-ebook/dp/B08R7QNCSN/







Meet the Author


Fiona Sherlock is a crime writer from Bective, in Ireland. Her murder mystery games are played across the world.  She also writes poetry and prose but cannot stay away from a good murder.  After spending a decade in Dublin working in public relations and journalism, she moved to the country for mid-day fires and elderflower champagne.

Social Media Links – 

http://instagram.com/fionasherlock

https://twitter.com/fionasherlock

https://www.facebook.com/DionysisDiary/



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