Friday, 29 June 2018

The Bomb Girl Brides by Daisy Styles - Blog Tour & Exclusive Extract

Today, I am delighted to be part of Daisy Styles blog tour for her new book The Bomb Girl Brides, thanks to Katie at Publishers Penguin, I have an exclusive extract from the book

Published by Penguin (Michael Joseph)

Publication Date:  28 June 2018 (Paperback)

The life of a Bomb Girl isn’t usually glamourous. But Maggie is getting married, so she is going to make sure her wedding day is – even if she does have to spend every other day slaving on the factory floor.
This blasted factory was not what Julia had in mind either. She had always dreamed of attending Oxford University rather than getting her hands dirty and the easy laughter of the other women intimidate her badly.

But they are all here together in this munitions factory in a Lancashire mill town, sharing firsts, pitching in and getting on. These Bomb Girls are going to do their best at work, and in love.


1. New Digs

Flushed, hot and excited, Maggie and Nora staggered
into the cowshed, a modernized farm building that the Phoenix Munitions Factory had requisitioned to accommodate some of their residential female workers. Bearing bulging shopping bags and heavy suitcases, they were red in the face and gasping for breath.
‘I’ve packed everything but the kitchen sink!’ Nora
giggled as she collapsed on the sofa, which Rosa, already a resident of the cowshed, quickly vacated.
Keen to share her home with her best friends, she
gave both girls a quick kiss. ‘Benvenuto, welcome!’
‘I’m too tired to understand Italian, our kid, just put
kettle on for a brew,’ Maggie said affectionately to Rosa, who, though Italian, now spoke English with a heavy Lancashire accent and understood all the idioms her workmates used, though she still kept to Italian endearments for the ones she loved best.

‘Certo, cara,’ Rosa replied, as she quickly put the little
black kettle on top of the wood-burning stove that kept the cowshed warm and cosy all through the cold winter months. ‘Promise me you two won’t squabble when you’re sharing a bedroom together,’ she teased.
‘I’m so happy to be here I’d agree to anything,’ Nora
admitted with her sweet, gap-toothed smile.‘I’ll never
get over mi dad allowing me to leave home and come
up here to live on’tmoors with mi best friends,’she said with a rush of pure joy. ‘I feel right proper grown up now,’ she announced, as she handed round a packet of Woodbines.

Maggie eagerly accepted a cigarette, but Rosa pre-
ferred to roll one of her own strong-tasting cheroots.
‘Mi mother couldn’t get me out of house quick
enough,’Maggie confessed.‘I know I’ve been driving
her and mi dad round the bend and back again since me and Les got engaged.’

‘You can say that again!’ Nora exclaimed. ‘It’s wed-
ding this and wedding that with you these days.’
‘So?’ an aggrieved Maggie cried. ‘A girl only gets
married once in her life.’ ‘If she’s lucky,’ Rosa said sceptically. Seeing a hurt expression flash across her friend’s happy, glowing face, Rosa quickly adjusted her comment. ‘Though I am quite sure in the case of you and Les, your marriage will last a lifetime, carissima.’

When the little kettle whistled on the stove, Rosa
brewed the tea, which she then poured into mugs. ‘A
letter arrived from Gladys today,’ she told her friends
excitedly. ‘It’s to all of us,’ she added, as she drew the envelope out of her cardigan pocket.
‘Oh, read it out,’ Nora implored. ‘I miss her so much.’
‘Me too,’Maggie said.‘But, you know, we should be
grateful for small mercies: if it weren’t for Gladys going to London, we’d never be living here in the cowshed.’
All three girls smiled a little sadly as they recalled
darling Gladys with her long, dark-mahogany brown
hair and brilliant deep-blue eyes dancing round the
cowshed in her new nurse’s uniform. She’d had to re-
train as a nurse when her skin reacted violently to the cordite she handled daily. She’d struggled at first, but it turned out Gladys loved her new job, was born for it, in fact. She’d done so well she’d been offered a job working alongside her handsome boyfriend, Dr Reggie Lloyd, at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. But taking up that position had left an empty space not just in the cow-shed, where she’d lived happily for almost two years,but in her friends’ hearts too.

Daisy Styles grew up in Lancashire surrounded by a family and community of strong women whose tales she loved to listen to. It was from these women, particularly her vibrant mother and Irish grandmother, that Daisy learned the art of storytelling. There was also the landscape of her childhood – wide, sweeping, empty moors and hills that ran as far as the eye could see – which was a perfect backdrop for a saga, a space big enough and wild enough to stage a drama, one about women’s lives during the Second World War.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Murder on the Green by HV Coombs - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today I am thrilled to be part of HV Coombs' blog tour for his brand new book Murder on the Green, thanks to Avon Books

Genre:  Humour, Mystery & Thrillers
Publication Date:  25 June 2018
Publisher: Avon

Midsomer Murders meets The Great British Bake Off in this foodie delight with murder at its heart.
Hampden Green has been quiet for months, allowing Ben Hunter to concentrate on running The Old Forge Café. That is until celebrity chef Justin McCleish announces he is opening a pop-up restaurant at the local opera festival and wants Ben to help out.
Ben couldn’t prouder or more flattered, until he discovers he hasn’t been hired for his cooking abilities… Justin is being blackmailed and he needs help to crack the case. That is, until extortion turns deadly!
Now Ben must do whatever it takes to find the killer before they strike again…

Murder on the Green is an entertaining read, full of humour and mystery, but also deals with more serious subjects such as anger management and blackmail.

It had quite a slow and steady start and I wasn't sure at first whether I liked Ben or not, though once it got going I really enjoyed the story and of how Ben was trying to positively change his life.

My only criticism would be with the cast of characters, there were way too many and too many that I wasn't interested in.

With several surprises and twists, this turned out to be a complex mystery with many funny moments, not to mention all the delicious food!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Hidden Bones by Nicola Ford - Blog Tour & Book Review

I'm thrilled to be sharing my review of The Hidden Bones with you today on the blog tour hosted by Publishers Allison & Busby

Following the recent death of her husband, Clare Hills is listless and unsure of her place in the world. When her former university friend Dr David Barbrook asks her to help him sift through the effects of deceased archaeologist Gerald Hart, she sees this as a useful distraction from her grief. During her search, Clare stumbles across the unpublished journals detailing Gerald’s most glittering dig. Hidden from view for decades and supposedly destroyed in an arson attack, she cannot believe her luck. Finding the Hungerbourne Barrows archive is every archaeologist’s dream. Determined to document Gerald’s career-defining find for the public, Clare and David delve into his meticulously kept records of the excavation.

But the dream suddenly becomes a nightmare as the pair unearth a disturbing discovery, putting them at the centre of a murder inquiry and in the path of a dangerous killer determined to bury the truth for ever.

The Hidden Bones opens in 1972 as a discovery is made of an artefact in a field ... this sets the scene for one of the mysteries in the story.

Moving along to 2013 we meet Clare, still coming to terms with her solicitor husband's sudden death in a car accident, who is given the chance to help her old friend David in looking through some archaeological archives.

When they discover that a gold artefact is missing, and then the remains of an old body is found, together with several 'accidents' on the dig site, they realise that someone doesn't want them meddling in the past.

I really enjoyed this mystery, the first in a new series, the plot kept me guessing to the end with a few surprise twists and I found the whole archaeological process fascinating.

The Hidden Bones is filled with some great archaeological knowledge, it's an entertaining mystery at a steady pace with plenty of dialogue to move the story along and with a likeable heroine in Clare, I look forward to her next 'dig'!

About the Author

Nicola Ford is the pen-name for archaeologist Dr Nick Snashall, National Trust Archaeologist for the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site. Through her day-job and now her writing, she’s spent more time than most people thinking about the dead. @nic_ford

Friday, 22 June 2018

Just by Jenny Morton Potts - Blog Tour, Guest Post & #Giveaway (Open Internationally)

I am delighted today to be featuring a new novel by Jenny Morton Potts called Just.  Jenny has written a fun guest post for my blog, about eavesdropping and you can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of Just

How far would you go to save a life?

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott
Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader,
Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but
Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much
more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set
in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and
Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land
and at sea. 

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our
catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.



Well, do you? Listen in to other people’s private conversations
? I certainly do. I have a pressing concern for matters which
don’t concern me. In fact, I’m in trouble for it, from time to
time. It usually happens on holiday. That’s when I get most
of my café entertainment. And my partner, quite rightly,
expects my full attention, and conversation. I do give it
freely but, I don’t know, something just comes over me
when the couple at the next table start to talk. I lean in and
curl my long hair behind my ear. Of course, as a writer, I am
able to excuse myself. ‘This is my work, darling. It’s dialogue
research. Why don’t you order us another Venti, sugar-free,
non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot,
peppermint white chocolate mocha with light whip and
extra syrup. Perhaps. Or get the menu. I’m suddenly
It doesn’t even seem to matter to me when the language is
one of which I have no knowledge. I still need to examine
their facial expressions, their body language, their mood;
their intention! Sometimes, it can be a whole family I am
eavesdropping on. Preferably, there has been some sort of
disgraceful incident. Usually the youngest child (like I was,
and technically still am). But mostly, I home in on couples,
because they have only one another, an intimacy which gives
them no-one to deflect and nowhere to hide. And in the
couple category, the most fascinating of all is the one which
doesn’t speak! You often get this in couples who have been
married for a duration which is longer than homo sapiens
were ever designed to live. And then there is the absolute
piece de resistance sub-category: the young couple who
don’t speak at all. That means… a rift, an argument. And
in my defence, because I’ll be glued to them at this point,
hardly able to conceal my ardour, I am a writer. Did I
mention that? Once upon a time, this last sub-category
came my way and I almost got out my notebook. But I think
my partner might’ve hurled it into the Danube had I tried
and so I held myself in check. Listen, this was the scenario:
We were in a riverside café in Budapest. So far, the weekend
had been idyllic. Fabulous hotel room overlooking the Chain
Bridge. Playing chess on a pontoon in the sulphuric hot
spring baths. Lots of us time… So I was very much in credit,
as regards behaviour. And that’s when I saw them. A young
couple disembarking from one of the cruise boats. She was
walking well ahead, since her pace was furious and his gait
was reluctant. He was looking down, head slumped into his
shoulders like a pissed off tortoise. She got to the café and
roughly pulled a chair out from the table next to us. Reader,
I couldn’t help it, my eyes saucered and I noticed when the
man reached our new neighbour’s table too, that my
partner’s eyes had closed in resignation.
‘Well?’ he said. (Yes! English!) ‘May I join you? Or are you
going to carry this thing on and on and on?’ (What thing?
What thing? I felt my fingers swiping at my phone for voice
recorder. My partner grabbed the device and pocketed it.)
The girl’s chin jutted out towards the river. ‘You can sit
where you like.’ She gestured around at the empty tables.
‘Fine. Ok fine. We’ve wanted to see Budapest for, like,
forever, but if you’re going to be like this, I might as well go
back on board and catch up on some work.’ (They’ve
wanted to see Budapest for, like, forever’ but they’re
only about twenty five. I had to wait till I was in my forties.
‘Some work? Catch up on some WORK!’ She stood up
abruptly, the feet of her metal chair shrieking on the
cobbles. ‘How practical. How very sensible. Good for you.
It’s only your fucking honeymoon!’ And she ran, yes ran,
off into a large crowd nearby, who were listening to a folk
group on the quay.
Reader, my cup ranneth over. The girl was lost in the milieu
before her new husband went after her. When I could see
them no longer, I looked at my lovely partner, who was
holding out my notebook, grinning.


Author Bio –  Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and
playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she
was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to
make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was
happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped
out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her
socks off.
Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries
that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily,
and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take
herself too seriously.
Social Media Links –

Giveaway – Win  5 x e-copies of Just by
Jenny Morton Potts (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. 
Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner
will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid
entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no
response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right
to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged
18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the
competition entry is used for this purpose only and will
not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the
winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway
organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after
which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for
despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

The Poison Bed by E.C. Fremantle - Blog Tour & Book Review

A Marriage.  A Murder

One of them did it.

Which of them will die for it?

The Poison Bed
E.C. Fremantle

Published by Michael Joseph on 14 June 2018

Autumn 1615. Celebrated couple Robert and Frances Carr are imprisoned in London on suspicion of murder.

SHE has been rescued from an abusive marriage by Robert, and is determined to make a new life for herself. Whatever the price …

HE has risen from nothing to become one of the country’s most powerful men. But to get to the top you cannot help making enemies …

Now a man is dead. And someone must pay with their life.

Frances knows the truth can kill. Robert knows a lie can set you free. Neither understands their marriage is a poisoned bed …

Set in 1615, a time of intrigue and scandal at the court of King James I, The Poison Bed is narrated alternately by Frances and her husband, Robert, who are both in prison awaiting trial for murder.

We learn of Frances' life before, of how she was born into a high-ranking family, how she had no choice in her marriage of convenience to the unlikeable Earl of Essex, and how she met the charming and beautiful Robert Carr. She was clever, well-bred, and had no shortage of admirers.

They are both looking back to see how they had arrived at this precarious situation.

Robert Carr is an intriguing and infamous character, he was a 'favourite' of King James and also became quite powerful having the king's ear and his trust. He was obsessed with Frances from the moment he saw her reading the young Prince's palm at court.

The Poison Bed is a compelling historical mystery of a real life scandal of the time - the suspicious death of Robert's former lover, Thomas Overbury.

Full of treachery, betrayal, obsessive love and deadly secrets, The Poison Bed is a wonderfully written and well researched mystery.

About the Author

Elizabeth Fremantle is the critically acclaimed author of Queen's Gambit, Sisters of Treason, Watch the Lady and The Girl in the Glass Tower. She holds a First for her BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck. She lives in London.


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