Monday, 7 October 2019

Book Review & Giveaway - Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert


Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (An Exotic Pet-Sitter Mystery) by Heather Day Gilbert

About Belinda Blake and the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

 
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Lyrical Press (October 1, 2019) 
Number of Pages ~195

Digital ASIN: B07M75GGX4
Exotic pet-sitter Belinda Blake is nervous about her new job at the White Pine Wolf Preserve, but it turns out that the care and feeding of wild carnivores may be the least dangerous part of the gig . . .
Pet-sitter Belinda Blake is no stranger to dealing with wild animals, but she’s wary when the owner of the Greenwich, Connecticut, preserve asks her to help out with her “fluffy darlings.” Her caution seems justified on her very first day, when she discovers a tour guide—dead, bloodied, and surrounded by wolves in the enclosure.
Was it death by predator or something more sinister? The body count rises, but something’s not adding up. As she gets to know the rescued wolves and wolf-dog hybrids better, Belinda realizes that her human colleagues are not above suspicion. With help from her own “pack”—her pregnant sister, Red the chauffeur/bodyguard, and hunky farmer Jonas—Belinda is hot on the killer’s tail, but if she doesn’t find him soon, he’ll do more than muzzle her to keep the truth from escaping.

If you enjoy your cozy crime featuring animals, and especially, wolves, then you are going to love this!

Not everyone would take on a job looking after wild wolves, but when Dahlia, the owner of the White Pine Wolf Preserve calls and asks her for help, then Belinda just can't afford to turn down this unusual pet-sitting job.

When one of the workers is found dead in the wolves enclosures it looks like they've killed him but Belinda is not so sure and she's determined to find out what happened and why?

I enjoyed this mystery, it had a unique setting in a Wolf Preserve, the author has obviously researched wolf packs and wolf behaviour and has skilfully managed to make them feel real and endearing.  I liked Belinda, she's a clever and caring protagonist who is quite an adept video game reviewer!

Belinda brings all her skills of reading people and especially her nosiness to try and discover who is trying to frame the wolves ...... with no shortage of suspects, some who have secrets, for her to check out.


About Heather Day Gilbert


 


Heather Day Gilbert, an ECPA Christy award finalist and Grace award winner, writes contemporary mysteries and Viking historicals. Her novels feature small towns, family relationships, and women who aren’t afraid to protect those they love. Like Belinda Blake, Heather plays video games, although so far she hasn't done any exotic pet-sitting or hunted any murderers. 

Author Links Website: http://heatherdaygilbert.com 
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Q6w6X 
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/heatherdaygilbert Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heatherdaygilbert/ Twitter: @heatherdgilbert 
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/heatherdgilbert/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7232683.Heather_Day_Gilbert 
Purchase Links Kindle Nook Kobo AppleBooks Google Play

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
October 1 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT - 
Sapphyria's Books 
October 1 – Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
October 1 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
October 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
October 2 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT 
October 2 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
October 3 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
October 3 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
October 3 – Maureen's Musings – REVIEW 
October 3 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
October 4 – I Read What You Write – GUEST POST 
October 4 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
October 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
October 5 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
October 6 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW 
October 6 – Diary of a Book Fiend - REVIEW 
October 7 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW 
October 7 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
October 8 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW 
October 8 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW 
October 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST      

Friday, 27 September 2019

Book Review - Dying to Tell by Keri Beevis - Blog Blitz

Today, I am delighted to be part of Keri Beevis's blog tour for her new book Dying to Tell thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books ...


As the only survivor of a horrific car crash, Lila Amberson believes she is on the road to recovery after she is released from the hospital. Her memories of the accident are blurred though and a series of unsettling incidents leave her fearing for her safety. Does she have survivor's guilt or is something more sinister at play?
Jack Foley is reeling from the shock of losing his sister in the crash and when he first meets Lila, he lashes out, blaming her for Stephanie's death. But when Lila gives him a locket that she believes belonged to his sister, it presents more questions than answers.
As Lila and Jack work together to find out what really happened on the night of the accident, they are unaware that someone is watching them closely. Someone who has much to lose if the truth comes out, and someone who is prepared to do everything necessary to ensure all loose ends are taken care of.

In Dying to Tell the story centres around Lila Amberson, who survives a car crash with very little memory of what happened. Occasionally the odd flashback has her perplexed and scared and she feels she is being watched.
Jack, one of the victim's brothers, helps Lila to discover more about the crash, and in so doing assists him in his grief at losing his sister.  But many people have secrets that they do not want discovering and Jack and Lila have opened a door that doesn't want opening.
The story holds strong throughout with an imaginative plot, that leads us down different paths, there are no shortage of unlikeable suspects, with strong characters and vivid surroundings, at a steady pace.
Jack and Lila have their differences, which makes for interesting interactions between them, I enjoyed their constant toing and froing!  
As the clues were dropped, I was glued to the pages, my mind going this way and that, with the tension gradually building up slowly.
Dying to Tell is an edge of the seat psychological thriller and I will look out for more novels by Keri Beevis.


Keri Beevis wrote her first novel at age twenty, but it was a further twenty years before she was published after entering the Rethink Press New Novels Competition 2012. Her entry, Dead Letter Day, was a winner, earning her a publishing contract, and the book proved to be a minor hit, leading to a sequel, Dead Write. However it was Keri's third novel, standalone mystery thriller The Darkness Beneaththat gained her the most success, along with many new fans, both in the UK and the USA.

 Born in the village of Old Catton, less than a mile from where Anna Sewell was living when she wrote Black Beauty, Keri had a passion for reading and writing from a young age, though her tastes veered more to the macabre. 

 Today she still lives in Norwich, along with her two naughty kitties, Ellie and Lola, and a plentiful supply of red wine (her writing fuel), where she writes a comedic lifestyle column for a local magazine. She loves Hitchcock movies, exploring creepy places, and gets extremely competitive in local pub quizzes. She is also a self-confessed klutz.

 Keri’s previous books have all been US based and she is looking forward to the release of her first UK based novel, which is set in her beautiful home county of Norfolk.

Check out other bloggers on the tour for exclusive content










Sunday, 22 September 2019

THE BIRTHDAY MYSTERY BY FAITH MARTIN - Book Review



Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Published:  11 December 2018

The Birthday Mystery was first published as Birthdays Can Be Murder under Faith Martin's pen name Joyce Cato

Discover a new series of whodunits by million-selling author Faith Martin. These classic-style mysteries will have you scratching your head to work out who the murderer is. Meet Jenny Starling: travelling cook and reluctant amateur detective.

Jenny Starling is catering the twenty-first birthday party of a pair of posh twins, Alicia and Justin. But when she arrives at their parent’s country house, she is immediately met by the police. A young man has drowned in the pond. Was it an accident or murder? 
Then just after midnight everyone gathers for a champagne toast. But one of the guests falls down dead. 
The police are baffled and there is a whole party full of suspects. 
But when it comes to someone adding the extra ingredient of poison to her own precious recipes, Jenny isn't going to take it lying down. She has a reputation to protect. Jenny Starling won't stop until the murderer is found.


The Birthday Mystery is the first in a new series of cozy mysteries and features caterer Jenny Starling who travels around cooking for whoever employs her.

Arriving in her old red van, she is tasked with carrying out the catering for a wealthy family, who already have a murder in the grounds of their stately home, which is full of tension and strife.

When another murder is committed and her food is implicated, Jenny is determined to clear her name.

Jenny is likeable, she has a quick mind, a kind heart, and is perceptive.

This is an enjoyable, complex, but not complicated, mystery with several suspects, a good assortment of characters, some likeable, some disagreeable.

Although I enjoyed this story, my only gripe would be the many references to Jenny's size which got slightly tiresome after what felt like the hundredth time, such as this quote

Like many before him, Keith was beginning to suspect that this strange, large but sexy and deeply enigmatic woman saw a whole lot more than you wanted her to .......

Yes, Jenny is a buxom lady in her late 20's but do we really need reminding of this in every chapter!

However, I am always on the look out for more good new cozy mystery series and in Faith Martin's new series I think I've found another one to add to my favourites!

My thanks to publishers Joffe Books and Net Galley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this novel





Thursday, 29 August 2019

Spotlight on Nadine by John Steinberg

Today, I am delighted to be part of John Steinberg's blog tour for his new book Nadine thanks to Rachel's Random Resources Book Tours ...


London 1974 – and Peter Greenberg is riding high. Thanks to his magic touch, every play he puts on in Theatreland is a hit and the money is rolling in. The young man’s empire feels secure – but then everything changes. One evening, he calls in to see a rival’s musical and falls head over heels in love.
The beautiful Paris-born dancer who catches his eye is Nadine – a major star in the making. Like Greenberg, the young dancer too is in love – but with someone else. The eternal triangle is complicated by the birth of a child, and by tragic secrets that go back before World War Two; slowly, those secrets reveal themselves in a drama that out-performs anything on the West End stage or Broadway.
Nadine is a poignant story of unrequited love, a love that will one day be returned – and in a most unexpected way…




Purchase Links: 




John Steinberg was born in 1952 and spent many years in business before becoming a writer in 2007. Since then, he has co-written and produced comedies for the stage and has created a series of books for children. Nadine is his third novel. He is married with three children and lives in North London.
Social Media Links – 




Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Another You by Jane Cable - Guest Post

Today, I am delighted to be part of Jane Cable's blog tour for her new book Another You thanks to publishers Sapere Books ... and I am delighted that Jane has written a lovely guest post about her inspirations


Sometimes the hardest person to save is yourself…
Marie Johnson fell in love with The Smugglers pub when she first moved to Dorset with her husband, Stephen.
But when Stephen’s wandering eye caused the breakdown of their marriage, and the costs of running the pub started to mount, Marie felt her dreams crashing down around her.
With local celebrations planned for the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marie is hopeful things will turn around.
But she could never have predicted the ways her life will soon be changed forever.
A charming American soldier walks into Marie’s life, but it becomes clear nothing is really as it seems...
Why is Marie suddenly plagued by headaches? Is her American soldier everything he seems to be?
Or could the D-Day re-enactments be stirring up something from the past…?




Inspirations Great and Small – Jane Cable
The inspirations for Another You, as with many books, are wide and varied. A place, a moment in time, a scrap of conversation – all these and more add up to form the basis of a story – sweeping historical events and the smallest detail coming together to make a novel more than the sum of its parts.
The dedication at the front of Another You reads as follows: ‘In memory of my parents, the six men who died at Studland on 4th April 1944, and a whole generation who sacrificed so much.’ More than anything, it was these people who inspired the book and the character of George is their representative within its pages.
Let me explain. Looking back with the benefit of years, there was something very special about being brought up by parents who had survived the Second World War. Although I was born almost twenty years after it ended, the influence of the wartime generation was keenly felt. Stories were told first hand; nothing was wasted; and you put your head down and battled your way through any adversity. That’s not to say it was a heavy yoke of discipline, it was more a state of mind.
My family suffered no personal losses during the war. My father was born in 1926 and was drafted into the Royal Marines when he left school in 1944, but was such a terrible soldier he was sent to Cambridge until the war was safely over. My mother’s parents lived in a village just outside Cardiff where only one bomb fell. Her older brother would have loved to have joined the RAF but was in a reserved occupation.
It was my mother who made the greatest sacrifice in my family and proved the biggest influence on my own life. In 1937 she started grammar school in Barry, which entailed a train journey into Cardiff and then out again. In the height of the blitz she was trapped in a siding on more than one occasion, with bombs raining down, and her parents decided enough was enough. Her ambitions to be a teacher ended when she was fourteen and she went to work in the civil service, just a child really, collating information about casualties at sea.
After the war she and her girlfriends made the most of their newfound freedom and the money in their pockets. As Europe opened up they took foreign holidays and were amongst the first tourists to visit Spain. They had fun, married in their thirties and kept in touch throughout their adult lives. The value of female friends was drummed into me from an early age – as was her wanderlust – although when I was a child there was no money to indulge it.
There was no money because my mother wanted me to have the education that she had never been able to complete and to achieve this I was catapulted into the private system. This involved large financial sacrifices on the part of my parents and I am hugely grateful they prioritised this. Not that they ever put me under pressure. Whatever my best proved to be, it would be enough.
Once the tumultuous teenage years were over (let’s face it, very few mothers and daughters get on at this stage), my mother became my best friend. She always encouraged my writing, and it was she who suggested I enter the Alan Titchmarsh Show’s People’s Novelist competition. I reached the final and did her proud, and she lived long enough to read the resulting book, The Cheesemaker’s House, before she died in early 2015.


About the Author

Although brought up in Cardiff, Jane Cable now lives in Cornwall and is a full time writer. Another You is a moving saga of family life in the 21st century which draws on the horrors of combat, both in modern times and World War Two as down-trodden Marie fights to reclaim her identity and discover what really matters to her. Jane’s next book, Winter Skies, will be available for pre-order from Sapere Books soon.
Follow Jane Cable on Twitter @JaneCable, on Facebook at Jane Cable, Author (https://www.facebook.com/romanticsuspensenovels/), or find out more at www.janecable.com.
Purchase Another You at http://getbook.at/AnotherYou

Check out the other bloggers on the tour for reviews and exclusive content

Jane and her mum at Bournemouth




Friday, 9 August 2019

Spotlight on Land of Last Chances by Joan Cohen

Today I am featuring a new book by author Joan Cohen and I have an exclusive and dramatic extract from Land of Last Chances ...... it sounds like quite a fascinating novel



Published:  13 August 2019
Publisher:  She Writes Press
Genre:  Fiction
Paperback:  256 pages


When Jeanne Bridgeton, an unmarried executive in her 40s, discovers that her expected menopause is an unexpected pregnancy, she realizes her risk-management skills don’t extend to her private life. She’s not sure who the father is, and worse yet, a family secret uncovered reveals she may carry a rare gene for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. With no time left for genetic tests, she must cope with her intense fear of risk and wrestle with a daunting question: Should her own needs prevail or her child’s?


EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT

Jeanne pulled into a parking space opposite her office building,
turned off the motor, and peered at her face in the rearview
mirror. It was irrational to think her pregnancy could show in
her eyes, although the purple shadows beneath them testified
to her poor night’s sleep. Other than those, the usual Jeanne
looked back at her. She would be at her desk soon, immersing
herself in her work and grateful to be dealing with quandaries
strictly business related.
Suddenly, face out of focus, her eyes sought the reflected
action in the background. “No!” she yelled, whipping her head
around, but her voice had no effect on the blue Toyota Camry
smashing through the lobby entrance. The thunderous crash
shattered plate glass and bent steel. She raced for the door
that was no longer there.
The car had made it almost to the reception desk and was
surrounded by giant shardsThe white-haired driver in the
front seat didn’t move, and she imagined his face mirroring
the front of the building, which looked like a gaping mouth with
its teeth punched in. She steadied herself against the brick
exterior and reached for her cell to call 911. Eduardo, the
jockey-tiny Cuban who manned their reception desk, had
flattened himself against the lobby’s rear wall. He genuflected
and slid down to the floor. From behind the couch, CEO Jake
Tyler rose, wild-eyed and ashen as the rising plaster dust.

Meet the Author





Originally from Mount Vernon, New York, Joan Cohen received her BA from Cornell University and her MBA from New York University.
She pursued a career in sales and marketing at computer hardware and software companies until she retired to return to school for an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

She has been a Massachusetts resident for many years, first living in Newton, where she raised her family, and later in Wayland. She now resides in Stockbridge, in the Berkshires, with her husband and golden retriever.



Sunday, 4 August 2019

Book Review - The House of Birds by Morgan McCarthy


Genre:  Literary Fiction
Published:  Nov 2016
Approx Page Count:  439

Oliver has spent years trying to convince himself that he's suited to a life of money making in the city, and that he doesn't miss a childhood spent in pursuit of mystery, when he cycled around the cobbled lanes of Oxford, exploring its most intriguing corners.
When his girlfriend Kate inherits a derelict house - and a fierce family feud - she's determined to strip it, sell it and move on. For Oliver though, the house has an allure, and amongst the shelves of discarded, leather bound and gilded volumes, he discovers one that conceals a hidden diary from the 1920s.
So begins a quest: to discover the identity of the author, Sophia Louis. It is a portrait of war and marriage, isolation and longing and a story that will shape the future of the abandoned house - and of Oliver - forever.

A Feud, a Lie,
A Death.
A Life Rewritten


The House of Birds is a beautifully told story spanning one hundred years.

When Oliver first sees the house with the beautiful bird wallpaper, as a child, he is smitten with it, and after a chance encounter years later with school friend Kate, who has inherited the house, he becomes slightly obsessed with it.......and the 1920's diary he finds hidden away.

Oliver is a daydreamer who overthinks everything, but he also follows his intuition, and I really warmed to him and his need to discover what happened to the writer of the diary, while also trying to discover who he is as well.

The novel's writing is so detailed and so lavish, I felt immensely drawn into the words and the descriptions of a 1920's Oxford where women were not allowed to walk into the Bodleian Library on their own.

It's a story of the human effects of war, the aftermath, lies and bitterness, the constraints of women, and their frustrations ..... and hope.  And one that I found hard to put down.

The story and the characters will stay with me for a long time.


My thanks to publishers Tinder Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.








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