Tuesday 24 August 2021

The Perfect Life by Nuala Ellwood - Short Book Review - Book Tour

Today, I'm delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Nuala Ellwood's new psychological thriller The Perfect Life



Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That's how it started: looking round houses she couldn't possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn't.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.


And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him...

Well, this book really got me guessing as to which way it was going to go as Vanessa's life was gradually revealed in a series of Then and Now chapters.

We first meet Vanessa when she is taken in for questioning to the local police station and from then on the story veered one way and then another - I thought it was very skilfully written.

This psychological thriller is fast-paced, unexpected in places and a very, very good read.

Friday 9 July 2021

The Secret Notebook by Julia Wild - Blog Tour and Guest Post

I am so pleased to be involved in the Blog Tour for The Secret Notebook today and author Julia Wild has written a lovely Guest Post to accompany her novel

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

Purchase Link - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08RS6JBRJ/


Hello there, Carole and your Book Corner readers, thank you for having me as a guest here today!

I thought I’d write a bit about the settings for The Secret Notebook, an associated story and a couple of the fun facts I found out whilst researching – even the facts I thought I knew for sure – things I could have got very wrong!

The Secret Notebook is a work of fiction, however, the World War Two guest house where the trainee RAF hero and others are billeted is the same one that my own Mum and Dad ran for several years in Blackpool during the 1970’s, and where I had an attic bedroom as a teenager. I, like the war time heroine, was married from there, which is a lovely connection to have to the story. 

One hot Summer Day, Mum and Dad were working in the huge kitchen, the side of which is against a small service road. A work van was parked at the other side of the outer kitchen wall and there was a gas bottle on board the van – and it blew up! 

Crikey, a fire engine turned up and all the bedrooms with their open windows up that side of the building were blackened with smoke. How fabulous is it that all the amazing owners of the neighbouring guest houses in the street turned up with mops and buckets once the fire was out and helped to clean up the occupied rooms. My Dad had been stood quite close to the outside window and the source of the explosion and afterwards reported that his slippers stayed on the floor where they had been on his feet – and he landed several feet away – without them! What a shock that must have been for him.

As a writer, you often do a lot more research than you actually use – to help make certain you don’t drop any enormous clangers and along the way, some of the facts you uncover are plain funny. The following is one of the more amusing ones.

One of the facts is that all the street signs were removed so that if the Germans landed to invade by way of the beach in Blackpool, then they wouldn’t know where they were. That fact made me chuckle – the Blackpool Tower, all 158 metres of it – might well have given the German landing forces a bit of a clue! 

Another fact I found interesting was that when photographs appeared in the newspaper, Blackpool Tower was blanked out if it was visible – apparently this happened to landmarks all over the country to avoid areas being identified.

The house where I began my present-day story-line, was in West Hampstead and was a massive house that I’d had a bed sit in many moons ago; a close friend and I took a walk down the same road and took a good long look at the property and the area on a visit there when the book was almost finished. 

A friendly local fellow was out walking his dog and very helpfully pointed out all the homes belonging to famous actors and actresses in the adjacent road. The area had definitely come up in the world – it was lovely when I’d lived there in the tree lined street, and it was exceptional when I revisited!

One of the last facts that I checked was about the present-day Blackpool trams. As a teenager, I’d lie in bed at night and hear them returning to the tram sheds, a lovely if loud and distinctive clanking noise both at night and in the mornings when they awoke for business again! For some reason, I had always found these noises comforting. My present-day heroine had spoken of this – well, I had to take that out! The trams and the tracks were updated in 2012 and are now very quiet!

Writing The Secret Notebook was my first Dual Timeline story and the first time I’d written anything in World War Two, all my past published books are contemporary romantic intrigue stories. So, it was a very different and enjoyable learning experience.

Thank you again, Carole for having me on your blog, I’ve enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and your readers. Cheerio for now, Julia Wild x

Meet the Author

Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication. 

Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.

After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle. 

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.

Social Media Links –  www.facebook.com/authorjuliawild

Twitter: @juliawildauthor

Instagram: juliawildauthor

Website: www.juliawildauthor.co.uk

Please check out the other Bloggers who are also taking part in the Tour

Monday 28 June 2021

Between You and Me by Carol Mason - Blog Tour

I am delighted to be involved in the Blog Tour for Between You and Me by Carol Mason

Is her new husband really who she thinks he is?

When young doctor Lauren Matheson meets Joe, an older divorced businessman, at a glittering poolside in California, it’s a chance encounter that seems life-changing for them both. Back home in London, their feelings only strengthen. But Lauren soon discovers that building a happy future with Joe is going to be an uphill struggle…

She’s determined to be a good stepmother to his children, four-year-old Toby and complicated teen Grace. But under the watchful eye of Meredith, Joe’s intimidating ex-wife, Lauren can’t seem to do a thing right. Why won’t Joe ever take her side against Grace? And what really happened between him and Meredith?

As her husband retreats into a cold, secretive version of the dashing man she met in California, Lauren starts to wonder if she’s made a costly mistake. Was Joe ever the man she thought she married?

Purchase Link - https://amzn.to/2Pu9BCM

Meet the Author

 Carol Mason is the Amazon Charts and Kindle #1 bestselling author After You Left (more than 300,000 copies sold), The Secrets of Married Women, The Last Time We Met, The Shadow Between Us, Send Me A Lover and Little White Secrets which hit the Bookstat digital bestsellers list top 3 in the week of its launch. She was born in the North East of England where most of her novels are set. She now lives in Canada with her Canadian husband, a rescue dog from Kuwait and a three-legged cat. When not writing, Carol loves to read, cook and binge watch Netflix. 

Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/CarolMasonAuthor



Please check out the other Book Bloggers on the Tour

Saturday 26 June 2021

Finding Jo by Frances Ive - Guest Post / Blog Tour

I'm delighted that author Frances Ive has written a special Guest Post for me today as part of the Blog Tour for her new novel Finding Jo

At breaking point Jo deserts her dysfunctional family and possessive boyfriend, making an uncharacteristic escape to the Himalayas in a bid for freedom and self-knowledge. The peace she finds there helps her to unravel her turmoil, but unexpected challenges test her new-found equilibrium to the limit.  

Finding Jo focuses on relationships between families, lovers and friends, and the resentment and long-held grievances that threaten to destroy them. Jo’s quest for a deeper purpose in life acts as a catalyst to her family, indicating that willingness to change and grow enables people to find happiness. 

Purchase Links 



What is a dysfunctional family?

‘All over the country people would be having dinners with their families. Loads of them would be as dysfunctional as hers, but some of them might genuinely enjoy each other, instead of pretending and acting out a farce.’  These were Jo’s thoughts on Christmas Day, when she made up her mind to get away from it all in Finding Jo.

We all know people who come from dysfunctional families, and most of us have stories about our own upbringing. In the worst cases children are neglected due to poor parenting, because the parent(s) have serious problems of their own. But in families like Jo’s no-one was physically neglected, and they were fed, clothed and sent to school.  Yet she and her siblings had an unconscious sense that something was wrong. Their mother was very unhappy and depressed so in turn her kids’ needs were not always met. This was never acknowledged in the family nor understood.   

As adults Jo and her siblings each had completely different types of problems.  Relationships between them were competitive and tainted by jealousy and disdain. That Christmas Day brought it all to a head for Jo and made her decide to do something about it by escaping without telling them. She left in a clandestine way and went to a retreat in the Himalayas in a bid to find peace of mind.

I have always been shocked at how family members can treat each other so badly for so long, when life is too short to spend it all fighting, or worse still, not even speaking. Some people are never reconciled to their family, causing all parties tremendous hurt while others do not come together until the end of their lives – what a waste of time. Brothers, sisters, parents, children, often have unacknowledged or misunderstood reasons for not speaking to each other or liking each other. Family feuds are not that unusual in real life and aren’t just the stuff of fiction. 

Families may go through bad phases and every family has its own foibles, but when all the children of a family grow up feeling that they were emotionally neglected, they often carry that for the rest of their lives, unless there is change. The undercurrents in Jo’s family had an effect on her, and her brother and sister. 

Children brought up in a family that doesn’t work for them may feel they couldn’t ever be their true selves, or that they played a role. There may have been favouritism towards one or other of the siblings, sometimes boys favoured over girls or vice-versa. Competitiveness rules as each child vies for the attention of one or both parents. The mistrust between parents is likely to be passed down to them and they can’t get on together as adults

Jo runs away from it all, which doesn’t in itself solve any of these problems. Could she not have communicated better rather than taking such radical steps? In her opinion it would not have worked, as they wouldn’t have listened to her. She also had her own problems and didn’t comprehend what was wrong with her parents and family. Some might say what she did was cowardly or dramatic.

Can one person changing their behaviour and acting out of character have a transformative effect on others in the family?  Jo leaving without telling them of her plans changed the family dynamics and forced some family members into opening up. Although this in turn prompted more disharmony, it also brought about change with some of them airing their grievances and doing something different.  Secrets and lies began to unravel. 

In the calm and peace of Jasanghari, a Himalayan retreat, Jo opens up about why she left home and starts to learn how she can express herself better and speak her truth. She is put into a position of having to cope with a family member whom she is not close to, but their hostility and confrontation leads to them saying things to each other that would never have talked about before. 

Jo’s departure from home acts as a catalyst to other members of the family, who realise that they need to take action and change behaviour to enjoy a better life.  

Finding Jo, Frances Ive

Meet the Author

A career as a journalist/PR led to health writing for UK nationals newspapers and consumer magazines. Out of the blue I was inspired to write a novel, Finding Jo, which has taken some years to come to fruition, self-publishing in January 2021. I travelled a lot in my 20s and I have drawn on my three months’ trip to India in Finding Jo.

Social Media Links –   Twitter: @healthysouluk   

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FindingJoFrancesIve   

Please check out the other Bloggers on the Tour

Thursday 24 June 2021

Being Netta Wilde by Hazel Ward - Blog Tour & Guest Post

Today, I am thrilled to be involved in the Blog Tour for Being Netta Wilde and author Hazel Ward has written a special guest post for Carole's Book Corner all about the joys of plundering the past

An uplifting story of love, loss and second chances that celebrates friendship and human connections.

Netta Wilde was all the things Annette Grey isn’t. Netta Wilde was raw, unchecked and just a little bit rebellious. She loved The Clash and she loved being Netta Wilde.

Annette Grey is an empty, broken woman who hardly knows her own children. Of course, it’s her own fault. She’s a bad mother. An unnatural mother. At least, that’s what her ex-husband tells her.

The one thing she is good at …
the one thing that stops her from falling …
is her job.

When the unthinkable happens, Annette makes a decision that sets her on a journey of self-discovery and reinvention. Along the way, her life is filled with friends, family, dogs, and jam. Lots of jam.

Suddenly anything seems possible. Even being Netta Wilde again.

But, is she brave enough to take that final step when the secrets she keeps locked inside are never too far away?

Purchase Links

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Being-Netta-Wilde-Hazel-Ward-ebook/dp/B0947351XQ

US - https://www.amazon.com/Being-Netta-Wilde-Hazel-Ward-ebook/dp/B0947351XQ 

The joys of plundering the past.

These days, I find myself increasingly interested in history. Especially the last century. Actually, let me clarify that. I find myself increasingly interested in the people who lived through that time. Of course, I lived through some of that era so, I’m part of the history too. Perhaps that’s why I like to include it in my stories. 

Most of Being Netta Wilde takes place just a year or two ago but there are a couple times when the main character, Annette Grey, remembers key events that happened in the eighties and the early noughties. Having lived through those eras myself, I thought I’d be able to remember them pretty well but I was surprised by how much fact checking I had to do, just to make sure I’d remembered correctly. Unsurprisingly, I found one or two failures of memory, particularly with the timing of pop music that was around in the eighties.  

Researching those years wasn’t too difficult because it didn’t take up a large part of the book. But, what if all of your story takes place in the past? Being Netta Wilde is the first book in the ‘Netta Wilde’ series. A companion novella, Being Doogie Chambers, is already available, free to members of my Readers’ Club. Doogie was Netta’s first serious boyfriend. The novella tells the story of some of those events from his point of view and takes place entirely in those times. 

So many more chapters to cover and so much more research but how lovely to get back into the mind-set of being young in the 1980s when mobiles, social media and emails weren’t a way of life. When you agreed a time and place to meet someone and that was it. When you left a hastily scribbled note on the door to tell someone where to find you if you didn’t want to miss them. Music features a lot in Doogie’s story and, being a bit of a music lover myself, it was wonderful to be reminded of the thrill of buying actual records rather than downloading them. Happy days.

The next book in the series, Finding Edith Pinsent, goes back much further. It’s about Edie, the elderly spinster who lived in the house before Annette. In book one, Edie has already died so we only get to know her through her diary entries and what other people say about her. This time we meet her from a young age and, as her story unfolds, we discover the real Edie. 

Her story begins in the middle of World War Two which is most definitely before my time. So, extensive research has been necessary. I’ve read a number of books about that era, fiction and non-fiction, and have done more than my fair share of online research on all sorts of things from WAAF operations to the fashions, music and films of the time. 

Although it starts in the 1940s, it moves on through the proceeding decades. It’s been fascinating following everyday life through those years but I’ve had to pull myself out of it now so that I can get the book written. Its official publication date is 1st March 2022 but I’m hoping to bring it forward to autumn/ winter of this year. That’s if I can stop myself from sliding back into the past on the pretence of double checking just one more little detail. It’s hard to stop when it’s such a joy. 

By the way, if you want to get hold of a copy of Being Doogie Chambers you can do so here. Finding Edith Pinsent is now available on pre-order.

Meet the Author

Hazel Ward was born in a back-to-back house in inner city Birmingham. By the time the council knocked the house flat and packed her family off to the suburbs, she was already something of a feral child who loved adventures. Swapping derelict houses and bomb pecks for green fields and gardens was a bit of a culture shock but she rose to the occasion admirably and grew up loving outdoor spaces and animals. Especially dogs, cats and horses. 

Strangely, for someone who couldn’t sit still, she also developed a ferocious reading habit and a love of words. She wrote her first novel at fifteen, along with a lot of angsty poems, and was absolutely sure she wanted to be a writer. Sadly, it all came crashing down when her seventeen-year-old self walked out of school after a spot of bother and was either too stubborn or too embarrassed to go back. It’s too long ago to remember which.  What followed was a series of mind-numbingly dull jobs that paid the bills but did little to quell the restlessness inside. 

Always a bit of a smart-arse, she eventually managed to talk herself into a successful corporate career that lasted over twenty years until, with the bills paid and the children grown up, she was able to wave it all goodbye and do the thing she’d always wanted to do. While taking a fiction writing course she wrote a short story about a lonely woman who was being made redundant. The story eventually became her debut novel Being Netta Wilde.

Hazel still lives in Birmingham and that’s where she does most of her writing. When she’s not there, she and her partner can be found in their holiday home in Shropshire or gadding about the country in an old motorhome. Not quite feral anymore but still up for adventures. 

Social Media Links – 






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Saturday 5 June 2021

The Web They Wove by Catherine Yaffe - Blog Tour

I'm delighted to be involved in the blog tour for The Web They Wove by Catherine Yaffe

Not all killers are who they first seem..

The mutilated body of a young female is found in a popular recreation ground in Leeds city centre. DI Ziggy Thornes and his team are at once assigned to close the case. 

With little to no forensic evidence left at the scene at first Ziggy struggles to put the pieces together. When a second body turns up in the same place, Ziggy starts to feel the pressure from his bosses and the media as fear spreads through the city. 

Realising that victims have been held captive prior to their deaths, Ziggy delves deeper and relentlessly chases down every lead, taking him close to breaking point.

When the investigation leads him dangerously close to home, will time run out before the tangled web of evil he’s uncovered destroys everything he holds dear? 

Purchase Links 

UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Web-They-Wove-Tangled-Book-ebook/dp/B0937K58PF/

US - https://www.amazon.com/Web-They-Wove-Tangled-Book-ebook/dp/B0937K58PF/

Meet the Author

Author Bio – Catherine Yaffe is a full-time writer of crime novels, based in the North of England. The Web They Wove is Catherine’s second novel and continues the theme of questioning how well we know those around us. Her debut novel ‘The Lie She Told’ in October ‘20 was received with widespread acclaim, and so far, has gained over 50 five star reviews across Goodreads and Amazon.  

Social Media Links –

Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour too!

Wednesday 2 June 2021

The Ticklemore Treasure Trove by Liz Davies - One Day Blog Blitz

I am excited to be involved in the One Day Blog Blitz for The Ticklemore Treasure Trove by Liz Davies

Nell Chapman has always assumed that one (or the other) of her twin sons would help run her antique shop once they finished university. The boys, however, have other plans, when they announce they're going backpacking for a year, leaving Nell feeling bereft and lonely.

Not only that, but with their father (her lying, cheating ex-husband) back on the scene and demanding half of the business, there might not be anything left for her boys to help manage when they return.

However, she hasn’t counted on the unexpected support of local landscape artist, Silas Long. And neither has she considered the possibility she might fall in love again – especially since Silas is so distant and moody, and has his own cross to bear.

Should Nell take a chance and risk her heart, or should she leave well alone?  And why has Silas painted her portrait if he doesn’t feel anything for her?

A perfect romantic read for fans of Heidi Swain and Sarah Morgan

Purchase Link - http://mybook.to/TicklemoreTreasure

Meet the Author

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat - she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper can and travel the world in it. 

Social Media Links – 

Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LizDaviesAuthor1

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor


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