Saturday, 22 September 2018

Costa del Churros by Isabella May - Blog Tour & Giveaway

Today, I am delighted to be part of Isabella May's blog tour for her new book Costa del Churros, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources

Genre:  Contemporary RomCom
Publication Date:  19 September 2018
Publisher:  Crooked Cat Books
Standalone Novel
Estimated Page Count:  250

The rain in Spain doesn't mainly fall on the plain…
Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more
than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce
to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.
Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town's
flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she really be the
answer to their prayers? 
One thing's for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same
Purchase Link - 

Meet the Author

Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her
husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea
and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and
eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying
her children to and from after school activities, she can
usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former
contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine,
The Glass House Girls – – she
has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her
other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and
Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book
Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!
Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books,
following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and
The Cocktail Bar.

Social Media Links –
Twitter - @IsabellaMayBks

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open
*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

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Holiday Read Short Review - The New Mrs D by Heather Hill

I've just come back from a week's holiday and this is one of the books I read


Publication Date:  2014
Four days into their honeymoon in Greece, Bernice and David Dando have yet to consummate their marriage and after having accepted his almost non-existent desire for sex throughout the relationship, Bernice finally discovers the reason; he is addicted to porn. Learning that the love of her life chooses the cheap thrill of fantasy over her is devastating but then, 'every man does it; it’s just looking, right?’ If she leaves the relationship because of virtual adultery, will she be labelled as pathological, overreacting, or even worse, frigid?
When funny, feisty, forty-something Bernice plans the adventure trip of a lifetime, she doesn’t expect to be spending it alone. But as it turns out, unintentionally contributing to a Greek fish explosion, nude karaoke and hilarious misadventures with volcanoes are exactly what she needs to stop fretting about errant husbands and really start living. But when Mr D tries to win her back, Bernice has a decision to make: is this a holiday from her humdrum life, or the start of a whole new adventure?

The New Mrs D is one of the funniest books I've ever read!  It is just my kind of humour and is full of embarrassing incidents which just happen to Bernice all the time.

After sending her new husband packing, she decides that she would do all the things on her own that they had planned to do together, so painting lessons, Greek cooking lessons, a volcano tour are just some of them, along with making new friends and realising what she's been missing in her life.

Bernice is funny, lively, adventurous and a good sport.  I loved following her around and I was chuckling by the pool and giggling hysterically on the beach at some of her hilarious attempts.

This is not for the easily offended, some of it read like a Carry On Film with the innuendoes!  If you're looking for an easy read with likeable characters who are not perfect I would highly recommend you give this a go.

Overall, this was the perfect holiday read for me, especially as I was in Greece too.

I received an ebook copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Available from

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Stepsister by Jenny O'Brien - Cover Reveal

Today, I am delighted to reveal the cover of Jenny O'Brien's new book The Stepsister, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources

When a stranger leaves step-sisters, Victoria and Ness, a half-share in a house in Holland, they think it must be a mistake.

But there's no mistake when Ness goes missing. 
Desperate for the truth, Victoria heads to Holland to find out what happened to her. Has she, as her texts show, embarked on a whirlwind romance? Has someone abducted her or even worse?

But there’s someone watching, and that person wants her dead. 

Can Victoria find out the truth before it’s too late? 

Pre-order on Amazon UK -


I died yesterday, or so I’ve been told.
Yesterday is the day my life changed but how or why is still a mystery. There are things I know and there are things that they’ve told me but I can’t seem to trust any of it.
I know I’m a woman but I don’t know my age. I know how to hold a cup in the same way I know it’s rude to stick the end of a knife in my mouth. So, somewhere along the way, someone cared enough to drill manners into me. Those are the things I know, the things I can trust but as for the rest…
They tell me I’m in Holland but can I believe them? I don’t remember if I’m Dutch but I also don’t remember if I’m not. I can’t speak Dutch. I’ve been trying all morning but can one lose a language overnight? I seem to have lost everything else. Who knows? Maybe I took the wrong train or something and just rolled up in the wrong city. That would make sense except that it’s not just my sense of place that’s missing. It’s my sense of everything. I have no name, no age and no identity. Yesterday I died and today I’m still here.

They’ve left me alone now while they try to puzzle out what to do and in the meantime I’m going to try to remember stuff. I don’t know how long they’ll leave me alone but I need to take this opportunity to come up with some answers to all the questions they’ve been throwing at me like who the hell I am.
Slipping out of bed I recoil as bare feet meets cold tiles, but that’s not going to stop me. Pulling the back of the hospital gown closed in an effort to retain some degree of dignity, I shuffle over to the bathroom and then the mirror only to stare into the face of a stranger.
It doesn’t matter what I look like or that I’m suffering from the worst case of bed-head known to man. It doesn’t matter that my eyes are green or that my hair is that shade of nondescript mouse that keeps colourists in business. The only thing that matters is my reflection, which holds no clues as to my identity. I’m a stranger to them. I’m a stranger to me.  
My body holds a clue though - just one.
I push up my sleeve again to stare at the tattoo on my arm. The tattoo puzzles me. It’s not me, or part of me or who I think I am and yet it’s there, a large indelible letter V.
I have no idea what it stands for. Oh, I’m not stupid or anything or, at least I don’t think I am. I can’t quote which exams I’ve passed or if indeed I’ve ever attended school but I do know V stands for victory. But what does it mean to me? Am I victorious? Am I making a statement about something? It must be important because it’s the only tattoo I have. It’s also the only clue.
I’m tired now. My eyelids collapse over my eyes even as I struggle to shift them upwards as I remember the cocktail the nurse told me to swallow like a good girl. I want everything to go away. I want to hide under the blankets and forget. I’ve already forgotten…

Meet the Author

Jenny O'Brien was born in Ireland and, after a brief sojourn in Wales, now resides in Guernsey. 
She's an avid reader and book reviewer for NetGalley in addition to being a RoNA judge.
She writes for both children and adults with a new book coming out every six months or so. She's also an avid collector of cats, broken laptops, dust and happy endings - two of which you'll always find in her books.

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You'll be pleased to note she won't be entering Bake-Off. 

Readers can find out more about Jenny from her blog:

Saturday, 15 September 2018

If They Knew by Joanne Sefton - Blog Tour & Extract

Today, I am delighted to be part of Joanne Sefton's blog tour for her debut book If They Knew, thanks to Sabah at Avon Books, and I have an exclusive extract!

I know who you are.
I’ve come to pay you back.
Nobody in Barbara Marsden’s family knows about her past, least of all her daughter Helen. When she is diagnosed with cancer, her secrets are no longer safe. Someone wants the truth to come out.

Desperate to keep her mother safe Helen will stop at nothing to uncover the truth of her past, but the consequences might hurt her own fractured family and put Barbara at risk…

What really happened all those years ago? And who is going to end up paying the price?

A gripping family drama where love and betrayal go hand in hand, perfect for fans of Lisa JewellKerry Fisher and Adele Parks.


Her phone rang just as the children were finishing their food. Helen answered, then tried to balance the slim handset between her ear and shoulder so she could bend to wipe Alys’s mouth, but the child was too quick for her, wriggling off her stool and smearing jammy stickiness down Helen’s clean tights. She let her go, too bone-tired to do anything more.
‘Sorry, I didn’t catch …’ she started to say.
‘It’s Dad, Helen.’
‘Oh, hi, just a sec …’ She paused to push down the door handle for Alys, allowing her to make her escape. Even through the confusion, Helen caught a weight to her father’s tone, and registered that it was odd for him to call when he must have known it was the children’s teatime.
‘The kids on good form then?’ he asked.
‘Yeah, they’re both fine.’
‘They’re not too …’
She heard Neil try to shape the question on his tongue and pictured his fingers worrying at the grey hair that was still thick behind his ears. Eventually he gave up, failure escaping his lips as a gentle sigh down the line.
‘They’re doing fine,’ she repeated, making an effort to say it more gently. ‘But what about you – is everything okay?’
Another breath down the line – this one heavy, steadying.
‘Your mum was up at the hospital today, love.’
Helen racked her memory, uncertain whether this was an appointment that she was meant to have known about. Had Barbara’s eye problem flared up again? Was there anything else that she’d mentioned recently?
‘Right …’ she stalled.
‘It’s not good, Helen.’
His voice cracked on the ‘H’ of her name and she felt her heart jump, then race.
Her father continued, ‘She had a mammogram … They’ve found a lump.’

Available to buy from

Friday, 7 September 2018

Sleeping Through War by Jackie Carreira - Blog Tour & Book Review

Today, I am delighted to be part of Jackie Carreira's blog tour for her new book Sleeping Through War, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources

Genre:  Literary/Contemporary Fiction (20th Century Historical Fiction)
Publication Date:  28 February 2018
Standalone Novel

Set against the backdrop of real, world-changing events, these are the stories that are forgotten in the history books. The year is 1968 and the world is changing forever. During the month of May, students are rioting and workers are striking across the globe, civil rights are being fought and died for, nuclear bombs are being tested, there are major conflicts on every continent, and war is raging in Vietnam. Against this volatile background, three women strive to keep everything together.
Three different women, three different countries, but all striving to survive - a courageous attitude that everybody can relate to
Purchase Links

Sleeping through War features three very different women and of how they are living through the changing times in 1968.

Amalia is a young widow who lives with her eleven year old son in a small apartment in Lisbon, Portugal.  Her husband died five years ago in the Angolan war.  She's only 28 but she's tired, tired of making ends meet and tired of having to be nice to people she despises.  She has hopes that her son will get a good education and leave her world to live in a better place.

Rose lives in London but has come from St. Lucia for a better life, she's a nurse and works in a care home.  

A mother in Washington whose story is told from the hopeful letters she writes to her son who is fighting in the Vietnam war.  She misses him so much and pours her feelings out to him.

All three women are trying to be strong in the face of adversity.

Interspersed with their stories are news items from actual world events which gave a sense of what was happening outside their lives, but which in ways touched all of them.

This is an intriguing and fascinating snapshot of life in 1968 and I was left feeling sad to leave them at the end as I had got to know these women so well, I was left wanting to know how their lives over the last fifty years had developed.  A wonderfully written novel.

Meet The Author

Jackie Carreira is a writer, musician, designer, co-founder of QuirkHouse Theatre Company, and award-winning playwright. She mostly grew up and went to school in Hackney, East London, but spent part of her early childhood with grandparents in Lisbon's Old Quarter. Her colourful early life has greatly influenced this novel. Jackie now lives in leafy Suffolk with her actor husband, AJ Deane, two cats and too many books.
Social Media Links –  FACEBOOK: @SleepingThroughWar

Check out the other bloggers on the tour for exclusive content

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Rufford Rose by Margaret Lambert - Blog Tour Spotlight

Today, I am delighted to be part of Margaret Lambert's blog tour for her new book The Rufford Rose, thanks to Faye at Authoright

Genre:  Historical Fiction
Release Date:  4 September 2018
Publisher:  Clink Street Publishing

When gifted young woodcarver Cuthbert Watts is sent to assist in the building of a new hall in Lancashire in 1530 little does he realise what difficulties lie ahead. The Master builder, Abel, resents his presence, refusing to see his work whilst Abel’s apprentice, Will is a lazy, jealous young man who thwarts Cuthbert at every turn. Supported by his fellow workers Cuthbert perseveres and after saving his life, befriends the young son of the owner, another reason for Abel to hate him. What is the reason behind this animosity? What great secret dominates Abel and Will’s life to the extent that lives are threatened, jealousies grow and violence, arson, kidnap and murder are committed?

Set in the Lancashire countryside in the 16th century this is a story which combines the practical difficulties of building a Tudor Hall with the loves and jealousies of those involved. When will Abel realise the value of Cuthbert’s work, when will Will realise he is not who he believes he is and can Cuthbert win the heart of the girl he loves. Follow Cuthbert through the trials and challenges of his new life and discover whether the hall can finally be completed.

Amazon Link:


Margaret  Lambert has  always lived in  Preston, Lancashire.  Married with two grown-up  sons, she trained as a Geography  teacher but also taught History and  Religious studies in secondary schools.  A member of the National Trust for nearly  fifty years, Lambert has volunteered as a guide  and conservationist at Rufford Old Hall for the past  thirteen years, during which time it has been extensively  renovated.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Summer at Hollyhock House by Cathy Bussey - Blog Tour & Guest Post

Today, I am thrilled to be part of Cathy Bussey's blog tour for her new book Summer at Hollyhock House, thanks to Sapere Books and I am delighted that Cathy has written an exclusive piece all about how she names her characters!


One long summer changed Faith forever…
Faith Coombes should have been over the moon when her long-term boyfriend proposed to her. But instead, she broke up with him. Rob was safe, reliable, nice and … boring. Nothing like the only person who had ever broken her heart…
Unable to afford the rent on another flat and desperate for a new start, Faith takes the plunge and moves back to the village she grew up in, returning to the house that holds so many memories for her.
Hollyhock House, the family home of her best-friend Minel, also belongs to the boy who meant so much to her all those years ago…
As Faith falls back in love with the sprawling surroundings at Hollyhock she also finds herself falling all over again for the only person who has truly hurt her.
Can Faith come to terms with her past? Did she make the wrong decision in breaking up with Rob?
Or does her heart really lie at Hollyhock House?

Summer at Hollyhock House is a charming romantic comedy full of lost loves, missed opportunities and second chances.


How I named my characters

I have favourite names. For a long time my female leads were called Leonie, then Laurie, then Chloe, and for a while Jemma. Jemma is short for Jemima but she’s never referred to as Jemima, except by people we don’t like, a snooty mother-in-law, for example. I still hope Jemma will see the light of day, or rather publication, one day.

But in recent years I’ve favoured Faith for a female character and it’s Faith who takes centre stage in Summer at Hollyhock House.

I can trace the origins of this name back to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. There was something about the name Faith, the way it rolls off the tongue, the emotions with which some of the characters pronounced it. Faith was uttered in varying states ranging from anger to admiration to desire to love to fear to hatred – but rarely neutrally. Faith is power, Faith is blind devotion at times, but Faith is always rewarded.

I wanted to write a Faith because I see faith as an incredibly positive force. I certainly have a great deal of faith in many things myself, even if religion is not one of them. The Faith I created has little in common with Faith From Buffy although if Eliza Dushku wanted to play Faith in the movie of Summer At Hollyhock House, I would consider that my own Faith rewarded.

My central male character is called Tariq, but he’s always known as Rik. I had a scene where he and Faith meet when they are young, and they argue about the correct spelling of Rik. He insists it’s R-I-K ‘like Rik Mayall’ and she’s adamant it should be R-I-Q and he thinks this is too girly and – it’s very silly. The scene got cut but I quite liked the chemistry between the characters.

The name Tariq came about because a very long time ago, probably when I was in my mid-teens, I had a chat with my cousin on the phone and she mentioned having a crush on a guy at school called Tariq, and I said I would write him into a novel for her. I thought it was a pretty sexy name and Rik an extremely sexy shortening of it, and it’s quite important that I crush on my male lead. I was never going to crush on a Brian or an Alan, was I?

And the final character whose name is worthy of note is a dog called Tackle. Tackle is the only character in the entire book who is not a figment of my imagination but based on a real dog, of the same name, who belonged to a friend of mine when I was growing up. Let’s just say he was aptly named.

Summer at Hollyhock House is available to buy now and is published by Sapere Books


Cathy is an author, journalist and hopeless romantic who wrote her first book at the tender age of six. Entitled Tarka the Otter, it was a shameless rip-off of the Henry Williamson classic of the same name, and the manuscript was lost after she sent it to her pen-pal and never heard a jot from her since.
Fortunately reception to her writing became more favourable and she spent ten years working for a range of newspapers and magazines covering everything from general elections and celebrity scandals to cats stuck up trees and village fetes. She has been freelance since 2011 and written for The Telegraph, Red Online, Total Women’s Cycling and other lifestyle and cycling publications and websites.
She is the author of three non-fiction books and her debut and thankfully non-plagiarised novel Summer at Hollyhock House has been published by Sapere Books.
Cathy lives on the leafy London/Surrey border with her husband, two children and a dog with only two facial expressions, hungry and guilty. Her hobbies include mountain biking, photography, wandering around outside getting lost, fantasising about getting her garden under control, reading, looking at pretty things on Instagram and drinking tea.
You can find her there @cathybussey1 (,
on Twitter @CathyBussey (
or visit her website


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