Wednesday, 22 March 2017


Elementary She Read by Vicki Delany

Today is my stop on the Elementary She Read book tour  I am reviewing the book and I also have a fantastic giveaway for one print copy (US only)

Read the first chapter here.

Elementary, She Read: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany Cozy Mystery 1st in Series Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14, 2017) Hardcover: 
320 pages ISBN-13: 978-1683310969 Kindle ASIN: B01MT6H7O1

Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Elementary She Read is a thoroughly entertaining read that I devoured quickly and easily.  

Gemma is incredibly observant - she notices every little thing about everyone who comes into her shop - the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium.  This sounds a wonderful place, selling not just books but memorabilia as well and there's even a quaint little Tea Shop adjoining the shop.

When Gemma discovers a magazine in her shop that she knows is not hers she tries to find the owner but then this leads to a whole lot of trouble for both her and her friend Tea Shop owner Jayne.

I loved how Gemma's mind worked when trying to solve the murders, she was very methodical, just like Sherlock, but she isn't as serious, she is a fun character that I liked enormously.

The plot was easy to follow, with a few twists, some dodgy suspects, set in a beautiful part of the world, and with a couple of hunky men to distract Gemma, I'm already looking forward to the next in this new series.


Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series. The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books. Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada. Facebook: Vicki Delany & Eva Gates and twitter: @vickidelany and @evagatesauthor Purchase Links Amazon B&N

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Sunday, 19 March 2017


Today is my stop on the The Witchfinder's Sister blog tour.  I have reviewed the book and I'm also delighted to be able to offer you the chance to win five hardback copies (UK only)

Published by Penguin on 2nd March 2017

'The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six...'
1645. When Alice Hopkins' husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.
But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women's names.
To what lengths will Matthew's obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

The Witchfinder's Sister is an exceptional novel.  It begins in 1645 and is spoken by Alice Hopkins who seems to be held a prisoner, she has gone without food for 3 days.  It is Christmas which is a time for fasting not feasting now.  She decides to write down everything that she knows about her brother - she wants everyone to know the truth - and this is her story of what happened over the past year.
And what a horrendous story it is.
It all began when she came back home after losing her husband in London.  Her brother Matthew and she parted on bad words five years ago and she's fearful of his welcome.  She need not have worried as he is very pleased to see her ..... at first.
I could really connect with and identify with Alice.  She is such a kind person, and she always sees the good in people, including Matthew.  She believes the best of people, and she doesn't believe the rumours she hears from the servants that Matthew is writing names in a book and has become quite a powerful figure in the area.  She makes excuses for his bad temper.
The book has a sense of foreboding as gradually the truth slowly and horrifically dawns on Alice what and who Matthew had become.
On the surface he seems calm, polite and respectful, but underneath he is so frightening, unpredictable and compelling.  We only see him through Alice's eyes and so we only know what she knows.
I loved the way the novel was written - in a similar style to the talk of the 17th century.  It really gave an air of believability to the story.  
The writing is so descriptive, so powerful, I really had some sense of how superstitious the people were in those times.
A brilliant novel by a debut author.

Meet the Author

Beth Underdown lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester. Her first novel, The Witchfinder's Sister, is based on the life of the 1640s witchfinder Matthew Hopkins. Beth's interest in seventeenth-century England was sparked by the work of her great-uncle David Underdown, one of that period's foremost historians. She came across a brief mention of Matthew Hopkins while reading a book about midwifery, igniting an interest which turned into an all-consuming hunt for the elusive truth about this infamous killer.

I am delighted that I can offer one of FIVE Hardback copies of The Witchfinder's Sister to you.
Entry is by Rafflecopter below.
UK entries only please.
Giveaway ends Sunday 2 April 2017 at midnight.
If you're lucky enough to win this great prize I will email the winners shortly afterwards and obtain their addresses for the publishers to send out their prizes.

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Wednesday, 15 March 2017


Published by Penguin on the 23rd February 2017

1930, Rajputana, India. 

Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .

The lush, vibrant colours of India are vividly brought to life in this tale of romance, lies and deception amid the opulent castle of the Maharajah of Rajputana.

Eliza loves to takes pictures .... 'she loved the way a photo could tell an entire story and preserve it in a single moment' ..... and she is both pleased and surprised at being asked to take pictures and have the run of the castle ..... but not everyone is happy to have a British lady around, for there are a number of people who hated the British and Eliza needed to be careful she didn't make too many enemies.

British educated Prince Jayant had a sort of wildness about him, and Eliza thinks he's arrogant and spoilt and he's intrigued by her.  He loved showing her round the castle and around the beautiful Indian country.

Author Dinah Jefferies paints a wonderful picture of Indian life, of the camel sales, puppeteers, markets, and the many unusual wild birds and animals.  I could smell the aromatic herbs, jasmine, honeysuckle and roses growing all around. And of course of the people who Eliza loved to photograph were described in intimate detail.

A very enjoyable story, beautifully told, and so very atmospheric.

My thanks to Josie Murdoch at Penguin for giving me the opportunity to read this lovely novel.

Meet the Author

Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. Her idyllic childhood always held a special place in her imagination, and when she began writing novels in her 60s, she was able to return there – first in her fiction and then on annual research trips for each new novel. Dinah Jefferies is the author of four novels, The Separation, The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Number One Sunday Times bestseller, The Silk Merchant’s Daughter and Before the Rains. She lives in Gloucestershire.

You can connect with Dinah at her website -  Twitter  -  Facebook

Thursday, 9 March 2017


Legacy: Love, Intrigue and Redemption Under the Scorching Spanish Sun (Andalucian Nights Trilogy)

Hannah Fielding

Published by London Wall Publishing
2 March 2017

Summer, 2011 – A troubled young journalist goes undercover in Spain, and finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth secrets she hadn’t bargained for.

When Luna Ward, a beautiful ice-blonde graduate, is commissioned by a leading New York science journal to investigate the head of a Spanish alternative health clinic, she jumps at the chance. But her life becomes far more complicated once she meets the man she has been tasked to expose. Luna finds Rodrigo de Rueda Calderon to be a brilliant, outspoken oncology specialist with irresistible, dark gypsy looks and a devilish sense of humour. The pair are irrevocably drawn to each other, but how can she give herself up to a passion that threatens to topple all reason? And how could he ever learn to trust the person who has kept her identity from him, even though he has a terrible secret of his own?

The lovers unearth dark and brooding dramas in their family histories, binding them together in a web of intrigue that threatens to bring their lives toppling down.

Excerpt of "Legacy"
by Hannah Fielding

Unexpectedly, at an abrupt bend in the narrow street, the sound of live, full-blooded flamenco music burst out once more, echoing through the night. It came from a nightclub a few yards away, its façade painted with warm sunny colours under the flashing fluorescent sign El Cabo de Oro.
Now, as she approached the tavern, Luna could clearly hear the loud clapping of hands, the olés, and the clinking of glasses. She hesitated outside the bright walls a few moments longer, a curtain of beads the only thing separating her from the exuberant sounds of the show.
Finally, she pushed it aside and went down the few steps leading into the dimly lit room below. Anti-smoking campaigns had obviously not reached this wild little world, she noted, engulfed by the hazy atmosphere.
Here, the cuadro flamenco sat in a semicircle on a platform at the far end of the room with that part open to the night sky. The troupe played its music at a fast tempo, while the audience clapped their hands and stamped their feet in rhythm on the tiled floor with cries of olé to encourage the young dancer. A girl was singing hoarsely, seductively, and her castanets marked their own syncopated rhythm.
Lamps on the red painted walls threw out a warm amber glow, illuminating an assortment of bullfighting posters, advertisements, and photographs of toreros and flamenco dancers. On one side, to the right, stood a long, wooden bar lined with endless bottles of different shapes and colours and topped by a row of gleaming glasses. Tended by a scraggy-looking waiter chewing a quid of tobacco, most of the clientele sat on cane stools along the bar, eating tapas or drinking around low tables made from empty wine barrels. To the left of the stage, an arched roof opened out on to a walled patio, where a small number of people sat drinking and chatting in the balmy evening air.
Luna made her way deeper into the room, looking for a table nearer the patio where she would be less affected by the fug of smoke. The tavern was packed. The audience was mostly men and what women there were, were all accompanied. Luna was the only single woman in the place, and it made her feel uncomfortable. She began to regret her rash decision. Back in New York she had never been to a bar alone, so why had she suddenly decided it was a good idea to do so on her first night in Barcelona? Her pale blonde hair and pearly complexion caused her to stand out starkly against the darker colouring of the Spaniards who filled the club.
There was a drop in the level of noise as she became an object of interest. Men’s eyes were drawn to her like a magnet. Some of them whispered to each other, casting sidelong glances. Women also stared, their eyes narrowing, reflecting quite a different sentiment altogether. The cuadro had stopped playing while the musicians sipped their wine and a new dancer emerged from the background to take over the lead. Luna stood at the side of the seated audience and glanced around.
Maybe I should go back, she thought, feeling distinctly out of place.
And then it happened ... their eyes met across the room and held for a long moment. The effect was electric and hit Luna like a bolt of lightning. His gaze, fringed by long black lashes, burned with a fire that scorched her as it moved slowly and deliberately over her face, then her body, with frank admiration, as if drinking in her every feature. Though she could not see the exact colour of his eyes at this distance, she knew they were paler than his tanned complexion – brilliant and alive with passion.
The man before her was mesmerizing in his perfect male beauty. His bold, open stare should have made her want to turn and run but something more powerful than she had ever experienced, a shot of pure adrenaline in her blood, had her rooted to the spot.

About the Author
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean. 

Hannah Fielding can be found at her website and at the following places

Facebook -
Twitter -
Pinterest -
GoodReads -
Amazon -
IndieBound -


I am thrilled to be able to offer one print copy of Legacy to one of my lucky readers
US entries only please, sorry to everyone else
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Wednesday, 8 March 2017


The English Agent was published in paperback by Simon & Schuster on 23 February 2017

How far will two women go to survive a war? 

Having suffered a traumatic experience in the Blitz, Edie feels utterly disillusioned with life in wartime London. The chance to work with the Secret Operations Executive (SOE) helping the resistance in Paris offers a fresh start. Codenamed ‘Yvette’, she’s parachuted into France and met by the two other members of her SOE cell. 

Back in London, Vera desperately needs to be made a UK citizen to erase the secrets of her past. Working at the foreign office in charge of agents presents an opportunity for blackmail. But when she loses contact with one agent in the field, codenamed Yvette, her loyalties are torn…

Told from the perspective of three people, The English Agent tells the story of how they all become involved in the WW2 occupation of France and of the work of the Special Operations Executive organisation.

Edie is a young girl who was parachuted into France to be a wireless operator, Vera, her dispatcher who sees off many of the British Agents at the airfield and then there is Gerhardt a young German translator.   All from very different backgrounds.

It was fascinating to see how their lives changed during the course of the story, I really enjoyed the story of Edie, and how she was stronger than she appeared, when confronted with the horrors of the war, how she was tested.  Vera feels a connection with Edie as they're both running away from something in their past.

Though this is a work of fiction, this is a tribute to the bravery of the women who were plucked from their ordinary lives and put into extraordinary situations.....of how they coped.

Wonderful storytelling with believable characters, I was eagerly turning the pages, anxious to find out what would happen to them all, this is one of those stories that really makes you grateful that you were born after the war and didn't have those choices to make.

The real Vera Atkins

It was also interesting to read after the end that some of the characters were based on real people, such as Vera Atkins.....I found a picture of her (above) to see that steely determination in her eyes.

A recommended read if you're looking for an enthralling wartime story, with spies and double crossing agents.

Author Clare Harvey recently wrote a guest post especially for my blog on how images have inspired her while writing her story.  You can read the full piece here.  She believes that every picture tells a story.

Huge thanks to Jess Barratt at publishers Simon & Schuster (UK) for giving me the opportunity to read this novel.

Available to buy from Amazon UK - Amazon US

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Showcase, Excerpt & Giveaway: A GHOSTLY MORTALITY BY TONYA KAPPES (Cozy Mystery, Paranormal)

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 - March 30, 2017


A Ghostly Mortality

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.
But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a... ghost.
Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)
Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.
I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.
“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”
“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”
“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.
“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.
“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”
The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.
“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.
My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.
“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.
“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.
“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.
“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.
“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.
“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.
“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”
“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.
Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Tonya KappesTonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

Catch Up with Tonya Kappes on her Website , Twitter , & Facebook 


Tour Participants:



This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-6 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on February 27th and runs through April 2nd, 2017.
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