Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan - Book Review & Giveaway

Barnabas Tew and The Case Of The Missing Scarab

by Columbkill Noonan

About the Book

Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Published by Crooked Cat Books
Release Date - June 3, 2017
Paperback: 274 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1546786078
Digital ASIN: B072JMJV1F

Barnabas Tew is a private detective struggling to survive in
his trade in Victorian London. Fearing that he is not as
clever as he had hoped to be, he is plagued by a lack of
confidence brought on in no small part by his failure to
prevent the untimely deaths of several of his clients.

Matters only get worse when Anubis, the Egyptian God of
the Dead, is referred to Barnabas by a former client (who
perished in a terribly unfortunate incident which was
almost certainly not Barnabas’ fault). Anubis sends for
Barnabas (in a most uncivilized manner) and tells him that
the scarab beetle in charge of rolling the sun across the
sky every day has been kidnapped, and perhaps
dismembered entirely.

The Land of the Dead is in chaos, which will soon spill over
into the Land of the Living if Barnabas – together with his
trusty assistant, Wilfred – cannot set matters to right. Pulled
from his predictable (if unremarkable) life in Marylebone,
Barnabas must match his wits against the capricious and
dangerous Egyptian gods in order to unravel the mystery
of the missing beetle and thereby save the world.

What a quirky and insane read this is!
Barnabas Tew used to dream of being the most successful
private detective in the world (like his hero Sherlock Holmes)
but, unfortunately, he has only solved a few cases, mainly
due to his self doubt.
He is such a likeable character but utterly hopeless!
His adventures in the Land of the Dead are very funny, as he
meets several gods along the way.
I enjoyed the interactions between Barnabas and his poor
assistant Wilfred, which probably should be the other way
round as Wilfred was sometimes far too clever for his own
I thought the writing was simple and silly, but, once I'd got
used to it, I just enjoyed it for what it was, it doesn't take
itself too seriously, it's just a unique, funny and entertaining

About the Author

Columbkill Noonan has an M.S. in Biology (she has, in turn,
been a field biologist, an environmental compliance 
inspector, and a lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology).

When she's not teaching or writing, she can usually be
found riding her rescue horse, Mittens, practicing yoga
(on the ground, in an aerial silk, on a SUP board, and
sometimes even on Mittens), or spending far too much
time at the local organic, vegan market.

Author Links

Purchase Link 


May 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

May 23 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW

May 24 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST

May 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 25 – Readeropolis – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

May 26 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

May 27 – Lori's Reading Corner - SPOTLIGHT

May 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

May 29 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST

May 30 – Queen of All She Reads - REVIEW

May 31 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 1 – T's Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

June 2 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The Purrfect Pet Sitter by Carol Thomas - Blog Tour Spotlight

Today the Spotlight is on The Purrfect Pet Sitter with Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours

Genre:  Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
Publication Date:  24 April 2018
Standalone Novel
Publisher:  Ruby Fiction/Choc Lit
Estimated Page Count:  320

Introducing Lisa Blake, the purrfect pet sitter! 
When Lisa Blake’s life in London falls apart, she returns to her hometown rebranding herself as ‘the purrfect pet sitter’ – which may or may not be false advertising as she has a rather unfortunate habit of (temporarily) losing dogs! 

But being back where she grew up, Lisa can’t escape her past. There’s her estranged best friend Flick who she bumps into in an embarrassing encounter in a local supermarket. And her first love, Nathan Baker, who, considering their history, is sure to be even more surprised by her drunken Facebook friend request than Lisa is. 

As she becomes involved in the lives of her old friends Lisa must confront the hurt she has caused, discover the truth about her mysterious leather-clad admirer, and learn how to move forward when the things she wants most are affected by the decisions of her past.

About Carol

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively young Labrador. She has been a playgroup supervisor and taught in primary schools for over fifteen years, before dedicating more of her time to writing. Carol is a regular volunteer at her local Cancer Research UK shop. She has a passion for reading, writing and people watching and can often be found loitering in local cafes working on her next book.
Social Media Links –

Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour!

Friday, 11 May 2018

The Girls' Book of Priesthood by Louise Rowland - Blog Tour & Exclusive Extract

Today is my stop on the Random Things Tour for The Girls' Book of Priesthood - I have an exclusive extract from the book below

Publication Date:  8 March 2018
Publisher:  Muswell Press

‘I mean, you know, someone says “woman priest” and you think the
whole grey-hair-bobbly-cardigan-house-full-of-cats thing, right?’

Margot Goodwin is a young curate struggling to survive her trial year in the parish, when everything and everyone seems hell-bent on stopping her.

Success would mean becoming a fully-fledged priest, something she feels profoundly called to do. Failure would not only prove her father right, but would also delight all the antis who consider women priests at best a joke, at worst, an abomination. But from the very start, Margot faces a multitude of challenges, both personal and professional, from the hostile teenage daughter of her host family, to the married parishioner she is hopelessly drawn to.

Can she convince everyone - herself included - that she’s more than a lipstick-wearing, part-timer with a PhD, and realise her long-held dream of becoming a priest.

Meticulously researched, The Girls’ Book of Priesthood is being published
to coincide with the anniversary of women’s ordination in March


The Girls’ Guide to Priesthood – extract p97-98

She’s in the porch chatting to the tenor when the baptismal family make their entrance. Jeremy’s thumbnail was spot on, she realises. Carmen, stick-thin in expensive neutrals, and a labradoodle – which she refuses to leave outside – under her arm. Slick-haired Hugo, scrolling through his BlackBerry as they run through the order of service. She wonders whether they took her for the office secretary at first, as though everyone on the clergy team wears a dog collar, just like everyone working at Sainsbury’s wears orange and purple. It takes some nimble footwork to convince then of the unique symbolism of a woman carrying out a baptism, including
referencing the Madonna and Child and the pouring on of the waters of life.
There’s also an awkward moment when she takes
them to the font and Carmen has clearly been expecting fifteenth century craftsmanship, rather than a battered silver bowl perched on a scruffy wooden table.
Nothing in her eight years of study and training have prepared her for the terror of this. The entire congregation is now watching her trying to juggle baby Oscar into a more comfortable position
without dropping him or prompting him to throw up all over her surplice. He’s far heavier than she expected: a plump putto straight out of Raphael, dressed in what looks like expensive oyster silk.
Two hundred pairs of eyes are clocking her every move, gasping every time the baby wriggles. All these cloths and jugs and balms to negotiate with a writhing eight kilos in your arms. She can’t even
wipe her hand dry on her robes. Oscar’s tiny fat fingers are clamped tight around her collar as though even he knows he’s got the rookie.
This must be how a bomb-disposal expert feels removing their first live pin. Talking of which, Roderick’s supposed to be on standby
support, but he’s stayed way over by the altar rail, arms crossed, a tight smile on his face.
At least Jeremy will be thrilled when he hears how many are here, particularly as Carmen and Hugo have not only paid for the flowers and the service sheets and the post-service canapés, but also
donated a healthy cheque for ‘sundry expenses’. The vicar loves these cheques most of all.


Louise Rowland grew up in Bournemouth and studied English at Cambridge. She went on to work as a speechwriter, journalist and copywriter - including 11 years in Munich, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam. She has a Masters in Novel Writing from City University, where she won the course prize. She lives in London with her husband and has two grown-up daughters. The Girls' Book of Priesthood is her first novel.

Available from

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

One Summer in Rome by Samantha Tonge - Publication Day Book Review

Today is Publication Day for One Summer in Rome and I'm delighted to be sharing my review with you

Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Publication Date:  9 May 2018
Standalone Novel
Publisher:  HQ Digital

To Rome…with love?

Mary Smith is turning her very ordinary life upside-down! She’s bought herself a one-way ticket to Rome and is ready for a summer she’ll never forget.
Men might be off the cards for waitress Mary, but within hours of arriving at the utterly charming family-run La Dolce Vita pizzeria, she’s already fallen in love with the bustling capital!
Only Dante Rossi, the mysterious (and drop-dead gorgeous) chef seems displeased with her arrival. And in the heat of the kitchen, it doesn’t take long for long-buried secrets to surface and sparks to fly…
A deliciously heartwarming romance to have you dreaming of summer. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson and Caroline Roberts.

Purchase from Amazon UK:

One Summer in Rome is one of those books that really does have you dreaming of living there, the sun, the food, the people, the language, the sights ..... it all sounded so magical and wonderful.

Mary was so looking forward to starting her new life in a new country and leaving all her baggage behind her but some of the staff made her feel less than welcome, though she didn't give up, she had to toughen up and just get on with it.

She soon made friends, even starting to go to dance classes with the gorgeous chef Dante who seemed not to want her at the Pizzeria for some reason.

There are challenges for Mary, secrets to discover, delicious food to try and I enjoyed following Mary's journey in Rome.

This is an entertaining read, but it's not all fluffy, there are some serious issues which I though were dealt with very sensitively. A thoroughly enjoyable summery romantic read.


Samantha Tonge lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat who thinks it’s a dog. When not writing she spends her days cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. She has sold over 80 short stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Best Romantic Ebook category at the 2015 Love Stories Awards.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Murder At The Brightwell by Ashley Weaver - Book Review (Cozy Mystery)

Genre:  Mystery
Book 1 of 4 in the Amory Ames Mystery Series
Published:  23 October 2014
Hardback Edition - 352 pages
Publisher:  Allison & Busby

1932, Devon. Amory Ames is glamorous, wealthy and unhappily married to notoriously charming playboy Milo. She willingly accepts her former fiancé Gil Trent’s plea for help in preventing his sister Emmeline from meeting a similar matrimonial fate. Amory accompanies Gil to The Brightwell, the sprawling seaside resort where Emmeline and her fiancé, the impeccably groomed, disreputable cad Rupert Howe are holidaying, along with the other rich and sumptuously-dressed guests.
Champagne flows but the sparkle soon fades as a dark and unresolved history between Gil and Rupert surfaces. After a late night quarrel the luxurious hotel is one guest fewer by morning. When Gil is arrested for murder Amory is determined to defend his innocence. But if she’s right, the killer is still in their midst – can she prove it before she, too, becomes a victim? And what of the unexpected arrival of Milo? Extravagance, scoundrels and red-herrings abound as Amory draws closer to discovering the murderer – as well as love.

Have you ever picked up a book, read the blurb, looked at the cover and you just knew that you would enjoy it?  Well, this is exactly what I thought when I first saw the cover of Murder at the Brightwell - and I didn't just enjoy it - I absolutely loved it!
Amory Ames is a fabulous heroine, she's smart, not over confident, and unhappily married to the extremely wealthy Milo who she fell in love with five years ago after ditching her fiance Gil Trent.  But when Gil reappears in her life and asks her to accompany him to The Brightwell hotel to persuade his sister not to marry the odious Rupert, not only can she not resist him but she's secretly glad to be away from her husband for a while.
This leads to a will they won't they situation, which just added an extra romantic element to this mystery.
An eclectic cast of characters gather at The Brightwell hotel to enjoy a few blissful days of sea bathing, playing bridge, taking afternoon tea and dancing, people with past relationships, secrets, all with their own hidden agendas .... but a murder wasn't on their agenda!  
When Gil is arrested, after Amory overhears him arguing with the victim and reluctantly informs the police, she feels guilty and can't help getting involved in trying to discover the real murderer in order to help him.
I loved the easy pace to the story, it wasn't hurried, we were gently teased with the clues, as Amory and Milo, who turns up unexpectedly, try to prise the truth out of the holidaymakers, though Amory could be in danger herself.
The writing is sublime and feels of the time, the extravagance, the glamour, the 1930's clothes (I want some beach pyjamas!) the dancing to the bands, the slower pace of life ..... it's all here in this charming and utterly entertaining mystery.
I look forward to reading the next in the series Death Wears a Mask.

My thanks to the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this fabulous debut novel.
The Brightwell Hotel sat on a cliff overlooking the sea.  It was a lovely white building, sprawling, sturdy and somehow elegant at the same time.  There was something stately about the place, but welcoming as well.  It looked as though it would be equally suited to princes or pirates.

Available to buy from


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