Friday, 20 July 2018

In The Dark by Cara Hunter - Book Tour & Book Review

Today, I am thrilled to be part of Cara Hunter's blog tour for her brand new book In The Dark, thanks to Penguin

A woman and child are found locked in a basement room, barely alive ...
No one knows who they are - the woman can't speak, and there are no missing persons reports that match their profile. The elderly man who owns the house claims he has never seen them before.
The inhabitants of the quiet Oxford street are in shock - how could this happen right under their noses? But DI Adam Fawley knows that nothing is impossible.
And that no one is as innocent as they seem . . .

As soon as I had finished reading Cara Hunter's debut novel Close to Home I could not wait to read her next book and now that I've read In the Dark I just cannot wait to see what she has next planned for DI Adam Fawley.  Actually, I've just checked and No Way Out is not available until January next year in the UK.

What an utterly gripping and engrossing thriller of a story this is.

It was very, very difficult to put down and actually carry on with my normal life as I was so immersed in the storyline which is so complex, so clever.  Sometimes told in the first person by DI Fawley, along with media reports, interview transcripts, there are no chapters, the story jumps from one scenario to another which really keeps the reader's mind sharp trying to keep up with the fast moving investigation as Fawley tries to figure out how the girl and boy ended up there and why, along with their identities.

In the Dark contains all you would wish for in a psychological thriller - twisty plot, red herrings, intriguing characters, unreliable witnesses, exciting writing, secrets and lies.

I think I'm developing a crush for DI Fawley, his team fear and respect him but inside is a soft heart and he's not as tough as he appears, there are some genuinely tender scenes with his family situation which I felt were handled very sensitively.

His thoughts on the characteristics of two of his team:-

Gis, who has always been exceptionally good at knowing when to stop digging; and Quinn, who carries his own set of shovels.

I loved the writing, it's compelling and fast-paced with characters who are so well-developed and believable that I really felt I understood them......and I could never have guessed where the story would take me.

Cara Hunter has done it again!

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Friday, 13 July 2018

Tied Up With Strings by Madeline McEwen - Blog Tour, Book Review & #Giveaway

Tied Up with Strings (A Serebral Seniors Mystery) by Madeline McEwen

About the Book

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Imajin Qwickies, An imprint of Imajin Books 
(December 11, 2017) 
Print Length: 85 pages 
An Imajin Qwickies® Mystery/Crime Novella Big mysteries often come in small packages…

When curmudgeonly private detective Betty Grape visits a young friend, who is housesitting in a remote village in England for Christmas vacation, something seems out of place. Her friend, Catia, is visibly nervous. Is she worried about the young men in the decrepit caravan in next door’s back garden? Or is Catia involved in the disappearance of the homeowner’s invalid wife?
As an American, Betty discovers the locals are full of friendly gossip but taciturn about solid facts. Though they are determined to keep Betty from butting in on their territory, she blunders through the social morass of narrow-minded foreigners and their broad Dorset accents. Can she unravel the tight knots of this mystery? Will she find the perpetrator under thickly thatched rooves or behind floral chintz curtains?

The story opens three days before Christmas in a very snowy Devon village when Betty arrives to visit her young friend, Catia, who she hasn't seen for several years.

Right from their first meeting, Betty knows something is amiss, but she's not sure exactly why she feels like that.

Betty has a very suspicious nature, she questions almost everything, possibly due to the fact that, back home in California, she's a part owner in a detective agency and she trusts no-one!

There are several mysteries in this novella and the author manages to pack quite a lot of storyline into so few pages.  I thought some of the conversations were a little stilted and unreal, but the dialogue did move the story along at a rapid pace.  

Betty is a straight-talker and I liked this personality trait of hers, she asks questions of people and didn't hold back in her thoughts!

Overall, an enjoyable and quick read that neatly tied up all the loose ends!

About the Author

Madeline McEwen is an ex-pat from the UK, bi-focaled and technically challenged. She and her Significant Other manage their four offspring, one major and three minors, two autistic, two neurotypical, plus a time-share with Alzheimer's. In her free time, she walks the canines and chases the felines with her nose in a book and her fingers on a keyboard.

Author Links 
Website http://www.madelinemcewen.c

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Sticks and Stones by Jo Jakeman - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today, I am thrilled to be part of Jo Jakeman's blog tour for her brand new book Sticks and Stones, thanks to Publishers Harvill Secker!

Publication Date:  5 July 2018
Publisher:  Harvill Secker
Genre:  Psychological Thriller

Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son.

In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?

Oh my goodness!  What a dark and gripping tale!

The story opens at a funeral, for Phillip Rochester, a man who was a mean and controlling bully and in the congregation are three women who were all glad that he was dead.

Going back in time to the days leading up to the funeral we are introduced to Imogen, his wife who, we learn, was physically and mentally abused by Phillip.

I thought this way of telling the story worked really well, I knew Phillip was dead but didn't know how or why and, as the story unfolded, we learnt what a truly terrifying and manipulative man he was.  I wanted to keep reading to discover how the three women deal with him, his ex-wife, his current wife and his mistress!

It made for great reading to see how they all come together, even though at first the distrust and dislike is evident.

A real roller coaster of a read with brilliant characters who came to life on the pages.  It was tense, well-paced and a truly enthralling story.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Ivy & Abe by Elizabeth Enfield - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today I am delighted to be part of Elizabeth Enfield's Blog Tour for her brand new book Ivy & Abe, thanks to publishers Penguin

Childhood friends in the Sixties, Ivy and Abe were
inseparable until a chance event tore them apart.
Now in their early seventies, fate once again brings
them together - both grey-haired, Ivy hand in hand
with her grandson - to fill in the gaps of one another's
lives. Each has experienced great passions as well as
heart-breaking tragedies, but the time is finally right
for them.

Their love story seems, in the end, meant to be.
But what if…

…in a parallel universe, chance had intervened and
they'd met sooner?

…they'd met in their forties, both married to other
people and began an affair?

…they'd met before then and married, but the
daunting question mark over Ivy's health had
suffocated Abe's love for her?

…as lovestruck teenagers, one small moment had
sealed their fate?

Ivy & Abe is a wonderful intricately woven book

that I absolutely adored.

I love the idea of a parallel universe and I loved the

film 'Sliding Doors' so this was a perfect read for me...
what if we kept meeting the same person over and
over again ... would you or they be the same, would
the events be the same. Sometimes there were
recurring themes such as medical issues, but overall
each scenario was different.

The characters were so likeable, the writing was easy

to read, the storyline was so unique and clever.

A thought-provoking read.

About the Author

Elizabeth Enfield worked as a journalist and producer
for BBC radio before going freelance. She now
contributes to various national newspapers and
magazines. Her short stories have been broadcast on
Radio 4 and published in magazines including
Woman's Own and the Sunday Express.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today I am delighted to be part of Ruth Ware's Blog Tour for her brand new book The Death of Mrs Westaway, thanks to publishers Harvill Secker

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

Struggling to eke out a living by reading tarot cards on a seaside pier, twenty one year old Harriet is better at reading people than cards, a gift that comes in handy when she meets the Westaway family.

She is stunned to receive a letter about an unexpected inheritance, obviously sent to her by mistake. Heavily in debt, she decides to pretend to be this person - she figures she has nothing to lose and, possibly, everything to gain.

After the funeral, she goes back to the family's house .... a crumbling family estate in Cornwall, where a cantankerous housekeeper and an assortment of squabbling siblings all make her feel she's out of her depth and she continually questions whether she should carry on.

Dark and full of atmosphere with delicious secrets, intriguing characters, a wonderfully creepy setting, the writing plays with your mind and your emotions so well, together with the gothic house feel, it's like being transported back to a 1930's murder mystery.

This is the first book by Ruth Ware I've read and I absolutely loved it!  She has a fluid writing style that was at just the right pace. Overall a suspenseful thriller that kept me turning the pages until the very end.

About the Author

Ruth Ware is the author of psychological crime thrillers In a Dark, Dark WoodThe Woman in Cabin 10The Lying Game and the forthcoming The Death of Mrs Westaway.  Published in more the 40 territories, Ruth is a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, and has been nominated for the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award, the British Book Industry Award for Book of the Year, and won the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Suspense Novel.  Film and TV rights have been sold for her first three three novels, and Reese Witherspoon is set to produce the film of  In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Friday, 29 June 2018

The Bomb Girl Brides by Daisy Styles - Blog Tour & Exclusive Extract

Today, I am delighted to be part of Daisy Styles blog tour for her new book The Bomb Girl Brides, thanks to Katie at Publishers Penguin, I have an exclusive extract from the book

Published by Penguin (Michael Joseph)

Publication Date:  28 June 2018 (Paperback)

The life of a Bomb Girl isn’t usually glamourous. But Maggie is getting married, so she is going to make sure her wedding day is – even if she does have to spend every other day slaving on the factory floor.
This blasted factory was not what Julia had in mind either. She had always dreamed of attending Oxford University rather than getting her hands dirty and the easy laughter of the other women intimidate her badly.

But they are all here together in this munitions factory in a Lancashire mill town, sharing firsts, pitching in and getting on. These Bomb Girls are going to do their best at work, and in love.


1. New Digs

Flushed, hot and excited, Maggie and Nora staggered
into the cowshed, a modernized farm building that the Phoenix Munitions Factory had requisitioned to accommodate some of their residential female workers. Bearing bulging shopping bags and heavy suitcases, they were red in the face and gasping for breath.
‘I’ve packed everything but the kitchen sink!’ Nora
giggled as she collapsed on the sofa, which Rosa, already a resident of the cowshed, quickly vacated.
Keen to share her home with her best friends, she
gave both girls a quick kiss. ‘Benvenuto, welcome!’
‘I’m too tired to understand Italian, our kid, just put
kettle on for a brew,’ Maggie said affectionately to Rosa, who, though Italian, now spoke English with a heavy Lancashire accent and understood all the idioms her workmates used, though she still kept to Italian endearments for the ones she loved best.

‘Certo, cara,’ Rosa replied, as she quickly put the little
black kettle on top of the wood-burning stove that kept the cowshed warm and cosy all through the cold winter months. ‘Promise me you two won’t squabble when you’re sharing a bedroom together,’ she teased.
‘I’m so happy to be here I’d agree to anything,’ Nora
admitted with her sweet, gap-toothed smile.‘I’ll never
get over mi dad allowing me to leave home and come
up here to live on’tmoors with mi best friends,’she said with a rush of pure joy. ‘I feel right proper grown up now,’ she announced, as she handed round a packet of Woodbines.

Maggie eagerly accepted a cigarette, but Rosa pre-
ferred to roll one of her own strong-tasting cheroots.
‘Mi mother couldn’t get me out of house quick
enough,’Maggie confessed.‘I know I’ve been driving
her and mi dad round the bend and back again since me and Les got engaged.’

‘You can say that again!’ Nora exclaimed. ‘It’s wed-
ding this and wedding that with you these days.’
‘So?’ an aggrieved Maggie cried. ‘A girl only gets
married once in her life.’ ‘If she’s lucky,’ Rosa said sceptically. Seeing a hurt expression flash across her friend’s happy, glowing face, Rosa quickly adjusted her comment. ‘Though I am quite sure in the case of you and Les, your marriage will last a lifetime, carissima.’

When the little kettle whistled on the stove, Rosa
brewed the tea, which she then poured into mugs. ‘A
letter arrived from Gladys today,’ she told her friends
excitedly. ‘It’s to all of us,’ she added, as she drew the envelope out of her cardigan pocket.
‘Oh, read it out,’ Nora implored. ‘I miss her so much.’
‘Me too,’Maggie said.‘But, you know, we should be
grateful for small mercies: if it weren’t for Gladys going to London, we’d never be living here in the cowshed.’
All three girls smiled a little sadly as they recalled
darling Gladys with her long, dark-mahogany brown
hair and brilliant deep-blue eyes dancing round the
cowshed in her new nurse’s uniform. She’d had to re-
train as a nurse when her skin reacted violently to the cordite she handled daily. She’d struggled at first, but it turned out Gladys loved her new job, was born for it, in fact. She’d done so well she’d been offered a job working alongside her handsome boyfriend, Dr Reggie Lloyd, at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. But taking up that position had left an empty space not just in the cow-shed, where she’d lived happily for almost two years,but in her friends’ hearts too.

Daisy Styles grew up in Lancashire surrounded by a family and community of strong women whose tales she loved to listen to. It was from these women, particularly her vibrant mother and Irish grandmother, that Daisy learned the art of storytelling. There was also the landscape of her childhood – wide, sweeping, empty moors and hills that ran as far as the eye could see – which was a perfect backdrop for a saga, a space big enough and wild enough to stage a drama, one about women’s lives during the Second World War.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Murder on the Green by HV Coombs - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today I am thrilled to be part of HV Coombs' blog tour for his brand new book Murder on the Green, thanks to Avon Books

Genre:  Humour, Mystery & Thrillers
Publication Date:  25 June 2018
Publisher: Avon

Midsomer Murders meets The Great British Bake Off in this foodie delight with murder at its heart.
Hampden Green has been quiet for months, allowing Ben Hunter to concentrate on running The Old Forge Café. That is until celebrity chef Justin McCleish announces he is opening a pop-up restaurant at the local opera festival and wants Ben to help out.
Ben couldn’t prouder or more flattered, until he discovers he hasn’t been hired for his cooking abilities… Justin is being blackmailed and he needs help to crack the case. That is, until extortion turns deadly!
Now Ben must do whatever it takes to find the killer before they strike again…

Murder on the Green is an entertaining read, full of humour and mystery, but also deals with more serious subjects such as anger management and blackmail.

It had quite a slow and steady start and I wasn't sure at first whether I liked Ben or not, though once it got going I really enjoyed the story and of how Ben was trying to positively change his life.

My only criticism would be with the cast of characters, there were way too many and too many that I wasn't interested in.

With several surprises and twists, this turned out to be a complex mystery with many funny moments, not to mention all the delicious food!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford - Blog Tour & Book Review

I'm thrilled to be sharing my review of The Hidden Bones with you today on the blog tour hosted by Publishers Allison & Busby

Following the recent death of her husband, Clare Hills is listless and unsure of her place in the world. When her former university friend Dr David Barbrook asks her to help him sift through the effects of deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart, she sees this as a useful distraction from her grief. During her search, Clare stumbles across the unpublished journals detailing Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, she cannot believe her luck. Finding the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. Determined to document Gerald’s career-defining find for the public, Clare and David delve into his meticulously kept records of the excavation.

But the dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as the pair unearth a disturbing discovery, putting them at the centre of a murder inquiry and in the path of a dangerous killer determined to bury the truth for ever.

The Hidden Bones opens in 1972 as a discovery is made of an artefact in a field ... this sets the scene for one of the mysteries in the story.

Moving along to 2013 we meet Clare, still coming to terms with her solicitor husband's sudden death in a car accident, who is given the chance to help her old friend David in looking through some archaeological archives.

When they discover that a gold artefact is missing, and then the remains of an old body is found, together with several 'accidents' on the dig site, they realise that someone doesn't want them meddling in the past.

I really enjoyed this mystery, the first in a new series, the plot kept me guessing to the end with a few surprise twists and I found the whole archaeological process fascinating.

The Hidden Bones is filled with some great archaeological knowledge, it's an entertaining mystery at a steady pace with plenty of dialogue to move the story along and with a likeable heroine in Clare, I look forward to her next 'dig'!

About the Author

Nicola Ford is the pen-name for archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. Through her day-job and now her writing, she’s spent more time than most people thinking about the dead. @nic_ford

Friday, 22 June 2018

Just by Jenny Morton Potts - Blog Tour, Guest Post & #Giveaway (Open Internationally)

I am delighted today to be featuring a new novel by Jenny Morton Potts called Just.  Jenny has written a fun guest post for my blog, about eavesdropping and you can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of Just

How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott
Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader,
Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but
Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much
more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set
in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and
Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land
and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our
catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.



Well, do you? Listen in to other people’s private conversations
? I certainly do. I have a pressing concern for matters which
don’t concern me. In fact, I’m in trouble for it, from time to
time. It usually happens on holiday. That’s when I get most
of my café entertainment. And my partner, quite rightly,
expects my full attention, and conversation. I do give it
freely but, I don’t know, something just comes over me
when the couple at the next table start to talk. I lean in and
curl my long hair behind my ear. Of course, as a writer, I am
able to excuse myself. ‘This is my work, darling. It’s dialogue
research. Why don’t you order us another Venti, sugar-free,
non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot,
peppermint white chocolate mocha with light whip and
extra syrup. Perhaps. Or get the menu. I’m suddenly
It doesn’t even seem to matter to me when the language is
one of which I have no knowledge. I still need to examine
their facial expressions, their body language, their mood;
their intention! Sometimes, it can be a whole family I am
eavesdropping on. Preferably, there has been some sort of
disgraceful incident. Usually the youngest child (like I was,
and technically still am). But mostly, I home in on couples,
because they have only one another, an intimacy which gives
them no-one to deflect and nowhere to hide. And in the
couple category, the most fascinating of all is the one which
doesn’t speak! You often get this in couples who have been
married for a duration which is longer than homo sapiens
were ever designed to live. And then there is the absolute
piece de resistance sub-category: the young couple who
don’t speak at all. That means… a rift, an argument. And
in my defence, because I’ll be glued to them at this point,
hardly able to conceal my ardour, I am a writer. Did I
mention that? Once upon a time, this last sub-category
came my way and I almost got out my notebook. But I think
my partner might’ve hurled it into the Danube had I tried
and so I held myself in check. Listen, this was the scenario:
We were in a riverside café in Budapest. So far, the weekend
had been idyllic. Fabulous hotel room overlooking the Chain
Bridge. Playing chess on a pontoon in the sulphuric hot
spring baths. Lots of us time… So I was very much in credit,
as regards behaviour. And that’s when I saw them. A young
couple disembarking from one of the cruise boats. She was
walking well ahead, since her pace was furious and his gait
was reluctant. He was looking down, head slumped into his
shoulders like a pissed off tortoise. She got to the café and
roughly pulled a chair out from the table next to us. Reader,
I couldn’t help it, my eyes saucered and I noticed when the
man reached our new neighbour’s table too, that my
partner’s eyes had closed in resignation.
‘Well?’ he said. (Yes! English!) ‘May I join you? Or are you
going to carry this thing on and on and on?’ (What thing?
What thing? I felt my fingers swiping at my phone for voice
recorder. My partner grabbed the device and pocketed it.)
The girl’s chin jutted out towards the river. ‘You can sit
where you like.’ She gestured around at the empty tables.
‘Fine. Ok fine. We’ve wanted to see Budapest for, like,
forever, but if you’re going to be like this, I might as well go
back on board and catch up on some work.’ (They’ve
wanted to see Budapest for, like, forever’ but they’re
only about twenty five. I had to wait till I was in my forties.
‘Some work? Catch up on some WORK!’ She stood up
abruptly, the feet of her metal chair shrieking on the
cobbles. ‘How practical. How very sensible. Good for you.
It’s only your fucking honeymoon!’ And she ran, yes ran,
off into a large crowd nearby, who were listening to a folk
group on the quay.
Reader, my cup ranneth over. The girl was lost in the milieu
before her new husband went after her. When I could see
them no longer, I looked at my lovely partner, who was
holding out my notebook, grinning.


Author Bio –  Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and
playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she
was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to
make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was
happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped
out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her
socks off.
Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries
that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily,
and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take
herself too seriously.
Social Media Links –

Giveaway – Win  5 x e-copies of Just by
Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. 
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner
will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid
entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no
response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right
to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged
18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the
competition entry is used for this purpose only and will
not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the
winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway
organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after
which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

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