Monday, 21 August 2017
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Today I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour for The House by Simon Lelic and my review is below
Ebook published 17 August 2017
Paperback published 2 November 2017
by Penguin UK (Viking)
What if your perfect home turned out to be the scene of the perfect crime?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered. Right outside their back door.
And now the police are watching them...
This is an unusual and gripping read, told in dual narrative by both Jack and Syd who buy a house that Jack is not in love with but Syd is.
They started writing their experiences of what had happened at the house - what they thought and what they felt ..... "for authenticity" said Jack "so people will believe us". I thought this worked really well as we really got into their minds, about their unhappy childhoods and how they have come to be where they are now.
They had so many secrets from one another.
This wasn't the read I was expecting but, nonetheless, I did enjoy it. Jack and Syd are very charismatic characters, very compelling and so well developed.
The writing was compelling, with dark themes, twists, deception and lies and full of suspense.
My thanks to Penguin UK books for giving me the opportunity of reading this book and being a part of the blog tour.
Check out the other bloggers on the tour =
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Engaged in Trouble by Jenny B. Jones
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Sweet Pea Productions (March 30, 2017)
Paperback: 368 pages
Paperback: 368 pages
When a washed-up pop star inherits a wedding planning business, it’s all bouquets and bliss until a bride turns up dead.Paisley Sutton shot to stardom as a teenage rock sensation, but ten years later that star has fizzled out, just like her bank account. When she unexpectedly inherits her aunt’s wedding planning business, Paisley leaves the glamour of Los Angeles for a charming small town in Arkansas. Thinking she’ll arrive in Sugar Creek and liquidate the moldly property, Paisley’s shocked to find Enchanted Events has experienced a major makeover and is now the place for brides. She’s got two months to keep Enchanted Events afloat if she wants to sell and rekindle her music career with the profits.Paisley’s tossed into a world of vows and venues, but her most difficult challenge comes in the form of one demanding bride. When this Bridezilla’s found facedown in her cake, all fingers point to Paisley as the prime murder suspect. And she does not look good in prison orange.This former pop princess will need the help of her gun-toting, ex-CIA grandmother and her handsome neighbor, Beau Hudson, to unravel the mystery and clear her good name. As she and her unruly posse dig into Bridezilla’s life, she discovers the woman had a long list of enemies. The closer Paisley gets to the truth, the more her own life is in danger.Love is in the air this wedding season, but before Paisley can help the ladies of Sugar Creek say, “I do,” she’s got to unveil a killer. Or find herself the next target.Engaged in Trouble is the first book in the long-awaited Enchanted Events cozy mystery series by award-winning author Jenny B. Jones. If you like laugh-out-loud adventures, small-town romance, unforgettable, sassy characters, and a mystery to keep you guessing, then you’ll love this new page-turning series.
GUEST POST BY AUTHOR JENNY B JONES
Hi, I’m Jenny B. Jones, author of Engaged in Trouble, book one in the Enchanted Events series. When Paisley leaves Los Angeles and moves back to Sugar Creek, she knows she’s inheriting her great aunt’s derelict wedding planning business. What she doesn’t know is things have changed a lot in her old home town—including Aunt Zelda’s shop.
With coffee in one hand, I pulled Shirley into a tight-fitting spot on Main Street. Cars circled around the square, jockeying for parking spaces like buzzards swooping on prey. What was everyone doing downtown this morning? Was there some event Sylvie forgot to tell me about?
Without bothering to lock the car, I grabbed my purse and coffee and walked the flower-lined sidewalk to Sugar Creek Weddings and More.
Housed in a two-story storybook house the color of cotton candy, the little business had held its ground near the square for fifty years. Owned by my great-aunt Zelda, the place was known for putting on some of the worst weddings in the history of the state. If you wanted glam and glitz, you traveled a few towns down the road. If you were okay with sweating through your gown at the Sugar Creek First Baptist followed by watery punch in the basement, Zelda was your gal. She wasn’t known for quality, but she was known for her ability to throw a cheap wedding together in days. If a couple had reasons for a hasty, classless production that wasn’t even accompanied by some good cake, Great Aunt Z could fix you right up.
I noticed the sign change first.
When had Aunt Zelda changed that? I guess it was better than Sugar Creek Weddings and More, when everyone in town knew the more was the complementary eau du mothballs.
The door chimed the same familiar tune as I stepped inside the lobby.
But that brass bell above me was the only thing I recognized.
“Excuse me.” A woman sailed past me, carrying three wedding magazines thick as Encyclopedias and speaking into her headset. “Yes, we have the governor’s vow renewals scheduled for the twenty-fourth, then Elegant Weddings magazine have their photo shoot here on the twenty-fifth. Can you hold? Enchanted Events…”
I did a slow turn, wondering if that bump on my head last night had addled my brain or maybe sent me back to some alternate reality. This didn’t look anything like Aunt Zelda’s shop. Where was the faded orange hotel carpet? The samples of polyester wedding dresses on zombie-like mannequins? The lobby chairs that looked like the results of a bad dumpster dive? The Merle Haggard tunes on the crackling stereo? The shop had been totally renovated. It looked like. . . a real business. Walls of white shiplap, aged wood chandeliers above, seating areas with plush chairs, dark walnut floors. A handful of work stations flanked each corner with sleek white computers where waiting brides-to-be sat and flipped through gleaming photos on iPads while light instrumental music filled the air.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered to no one in particular.
A dapper man who could’ve been Idris Elba’s twin stopped beside me. “Is something the matter?”
I blinked my eyes and sniffed the air. “I don’t smell moth balls.”
“Enchanted Events is now known for something more than smelling like granny’s attic.”
“What’s happening here?” I couldn’t even seem to find the right questions to ask. “I’m—”
“Paisley Sutton,” he supplied.
“Uh-huh. And I’m supposed to be taking ownership of—”
“Sugar Creek Weddings and More. We’re now called Enchanted Events.”
“And I’m really—”
“Confused and overwhelmed.”
“Exactly,” I said. “And also—”
Not what I was going to say. “I’m here to meet the current manager of” —I waved my hand around— “this. But maybe I’m not in the right place?”
“You’re where you’re supposed to be. Alice, get us some tea,” he yelled over his shoulder. “And you might want to spike one of them.”
“This is not my Aunt Zelda’s wedding business. Her shop was a musty, dated, relic of a thing that she hung onto for a tax write-off.”
“Then she hired me.” He stuck out his hand to shake. “Henry Cole.”
“I was in Sugar Creek two years ago. I would’ve noticed someone totally transforming a family member’s business.”
“I started not too long after your wedding debacle. But we don’t have time to revisit your travesties or hear of my miracle-working powers right now.”
I dumbly followed him down a hall, taking in all the hustle and bustle, the charm and class. “You have at least five brides sitting out there.”
“And those are just the ones who could score an appointment. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.”
This wasn’t word of mouth. This was voodoo. This was sorcery. “Why didn’t my family tell me about this?”
He turned a corner “Sylvie swore us all to secrecy. Said you’d never come back if you knew the shop had gone big time bridal, given your own nuclear bomb of a wedding.”
“My grandmother is right—I want nothing to do weddings. I’m the last person you want making bridal decisions. So I’m just going to go on home and—”
“Not so fast.” He stopped in front of a door bearing his name. “You’re our boss.”
“But I don’t want to be.” My voice sounded small, whiny.
He slipped into his office and headed toward his desk. “And I don’t want to be a devilishly handsome black man who’s freakishly good at wedding details and rocking the business world, while simultaneously canceling out any hopes of the female population thinking I’m straight.”
“Uh-huh. Sounds like we’re both hitting hard times.” I fumbled in my purse for my car keys. “So it looks like you’ve got things under control here. I’d just mess things up. I’m gonna be one of those bosses who let’s her employees do what they do best. Nobody likes a micromanager.”
“You don’t have a choice,” Henry said. “I’m quite familiar with the terms of the will. You have to show up to work at least eight hours to get a paycheck while you’re here, plus, Lisa’s on maternity leave, and we’re short handed and need the help.”
“Is a newborn a good excuse to miss work? You should really be questioning Lisa’s loyalty.” I felt like I’d requested a ride on the carousel, yet unknowingly sat in the front cart of a roller coaster. This was so not going according to plan. One one hand, when I sold the business, it would clearly bring more money than I expected. But on the other hand, I was going to have to work in this frilly, frippy sponge cake of a store. “I have a lot to think about. Permission to take the rest of the day off?”
MEET THE AUTHOR
Award-winning, best-selling author Jenny B. Jones writes romance, cozies, and YA with sass and Southern charm. Since she has very little free time, Jenny believes in spending her spare hours in meaningful, intellectual pursuits, such as eating ice cream, watching puppy videos, and reading celebrity gossip. She lives in the beautiful state of Arkansas and has worked in public education for half of forever. She loves bluegrass, a good laugh, and strong tea. She adores hearing from readers.Author sites and social media:
Good Reads: www.goodreads.com/JennyBJones
Buy Links for Engaged in Trouble:
July 10 – The Book's the Thing - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 10 – Island Confidential - INTERVIEW
July 11 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 11 – Socrates' Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 12 – Bubble Bath Books - REVIEW
July 12 – Readsalot – GUEST POST
July 13 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 13 – Bookworm Mom - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 14 – Valerie's Musings - REVIEW
July 14 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW
July 15 – The Power of Words - REVIEW
July 16 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
July 18 – Carole's Book Corner - GUEST POST
July 19 – The Montana Bookaholic - REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 19 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 20 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW
July 21 – Bibliophile Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
July 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 23 – Varietats2010 - REVIEW, GUEST POST
Tuesday, 11 July 2017
I am thrilled to be involved in the blog tour for Ask No Questions and my review is below
Published by Canelo on 10 July 2017
Some secrets were meant to stay hidden… Trust no-one
After an operation goes badly wrong, undercover specialist Detective Caelan Small leaves the Metropolitan Police for good. Or so she thinks. Then the criminal responsible is seen back in the UK.
Soon Caelan is drawn into a dangerous investigation. But when the main lead is suddenly murdered, all bets are off. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone is a suspect - even close colleagues.
Someone in the Met is involved and Caelan is being told to Ask No Questions.
That isn't an option: Caelan needs answers… whatever the cost.
Ask No Questions is the first in a new crime series featuring Metropolitan Police Officer Caelan Small and, if this is the sort of situation she finds herself in then it should be a great addition to the crime genre.
The story is very narrative driven, the plot is unpredictable with lots of twists that I definitely didn't see coming.
Caelan Small is a very loyal person, she was the best undercover officer the Met Police had.
She kept going back in her mind to what happened the night a young boy was kidnapped, did she do everything she could to save him, she starts to doubt the circumstances of what happened and she starts to suspect even her closest colleagues are lying to her ...... but they also suspect her ..... which leads to an intriguing cat and mouse scenario.
This is about trust and betrayal and Caelan trusts nothing but her instincts, her training and her ability as an undercover specialist as she tries to find answers to the many questions scattered throughout the story, all of which kept me turning the pages eager to know!
Full of intrigue and suspense, with strong characters, Ask No Questions had me questioning all the time 'who do I believe and who do I trust'. The pace slackened occasionally while I caught my breath, the writing was never dull, this is one enjoyable read.
Meet the Author
Lisa Hartley lives with her partner, son, two dogs and several cats. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Studies, then had a variety of jobs but kept writing in her spare time. In addition to this new series with Canelo she is also working on the next DS Catherine Bishop novel.
Be sure to follow the other Bloggers on the Tour
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
I am thrilled to be today's stop on the Practice Makes Perfect Blog Tour with my review and a fabulous piece by author Penny Parkes
Published by Simon & Schuster on 29 June 2017
The Practice at Larkford has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight – and its nomination as a ‘NHS Model Surgery’ is causing the team major headaches. should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, – but she is worried that the team is prioritising plaudits over patients, and her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining , is facing a difficult diagnosis. Add to that the chaos of family life and the strain is starting to show.
Dr Dishy obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere – he can’t persuade girlfriend to settle down. It’s only as Julia’s mother comes to stay that he realizes what she has been hiding for so long. joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco quickly wins everyone round – which is just as well, because Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own. Can they pull together and become the Dream Team that the NHS obviously thinks they are?
Practice Makes Perfect is the second novel in the Larkford Series - the first book Out of Practice won the Romantic Comedy of the Year category of the RNA Awards.
I really liked the first book and wondered whether the second could be as good, well it's not as good - it's even better!
Holly's twins are just as boisterous and funny, Dan and Taffy are still having silly bets with each other, I chuckled at the teasing between them, Larkford's resident celebrity Elsie is still as ascerbic but funny as ever, even though her health is not good, though that doesn't stop her from enjoying life!
There is also a new doctor, Alice, who has fitted in nicely, along with her lovely medical assistance dog, which I thought was a great idea, and taught me so much about these fabulous animals who can save lives.
Add to this scene, a TV reality crew who are following Julia around creating problems for her and the lovely Dan, plus the fact that the Practice have been nominated for a Model Surgery award, which comes with its own problems for the staff ...... and you have a story that's full of warmth, humour, never a dull moment, plenty of laughs, but also deals with the more serious side of life. A great achievement all in one book!
I am so happy that Penny Parkes has written a guest post all about ......
The Making of Larkford
It’s a wonderful thing to create an entirely new world and Larkford is no exception. In fact, the joy of cherry picking different aspects of all my favourite Cotswold places has been the gift that keeps on giving, because now when I return to these much-loved haunts myself, I am seeing them afresh, alert to any nuance or detail that might have escaped me over the years of familiarity.
I have often joked that Larkford is the love-child of Cirencester, Bath and Broadway, but indeed she is – from the honey-coloured rows of cottages that line Broadway’s high street, to the pastel shades of Cirencester’s market place. And of course, Elsie Townsend’s house required a little extra finesse, and where better to find that, than a Georgian townhouse lifted straight from the streets of Bath.
It’s no coincidence that these three places hold a special place in my heart for, having lived in (or near) all three, they have also provided the backdrop to most of my life.
It was a surreal moment indeed, for example, standing in the heart of Broadway in a wedding dress, fresh from the church and wielding champagne and roses, to have a couple of Japanese tourists ‘crash’ the party, snapping away with their Nikons. An undeniably odd thought that our wedding might actually be in their photo album somewhere, when we’ve yet to put our own pictures of The Big Day into an album sixteen years later!
As for Bath, the many, many happy years my husband and I spent hopping from one flat to another as we negotiated our way into the working world and set up home together will forever be a special and memorable time in our lives. Indeed the amount of time I spend poring over the property pages might yet suggest that a reprise might one day be in order.
But right now, our home is in the Cirencester countryside, where The Ginger Ninja and I can take to the fields and our village provides the sense of community we craved as we started a family. Where Market Day is the perfect excuse to swing by a bookshop, pick up a coffee and drink in the joys of a country market town, before going home and writing about one. And maybe one day we’ll find our Larkford too – the perfect combination of all three.
Thank you Penny, for a lovely insight into how the wonderful world of Larkford was created!
Don't forget to check out all the other lovely bloggers on the blog tour