Sunday, 30 June 2019

Blog Tour & Book Review ~ The Road to Cromer Pier by Martin Gore

Today, I am happy to be part of Martin Gore's blog tour for his new book The Road to Cromer Pier, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources Book Tours ..... check out my review below

Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after forty years. Those
were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach
holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into
one armed bandits.
The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime
Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the
recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter
Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on,
and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the
star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a
story of love, loyalty and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier
might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new

Cromer, a small seaside town in Norfolk, on the South East coast of England, is the setting for Martin Gore's second novel The Road to Cromer Pier.

The year is 2008 and the recession has hit that autumn, hotels are closing down in the town, Janet Wells, Proprieter of the Cromer Pier Theatre needs to cut the costs down over the winter but when the bank pulls the plug on them, she's devastated and doesn't know how she's going to tell the cast and crew.

The recession is hitting everyone except local businessman, Lionel Pemrose, he's ruthless, vindictive and a bully ....... and he's had his eye on the Theatre for a long time as he has big plans for it but, up till now, it's not been for sale and there's no love lost between him and Janet.

As Lionel's planning to turn the end of the pier Theatre into a Bingo Hall, we meet an assortment of characters, including Janet's first love, Paul, now a football manager who's had his worst day ever and has run away to his childhood seaside town to lay low for a while;  there's Les, an ageing comedian who's best days are behind him;  Cyril, the Punch & Judy man;  Lech, a Polish magician and also singer Lauren who came second in a TV talent show and who is headlining the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show.

There are many more entertaining characters who all contribute to this lovely story, full of warmth and humour, it depicts how these end of pier theatres struggle to survive in a competitive industry, how friendships are formed and lives are changed, and it was a pleasure to read this engaging tale.

Pre-order Links:


I am a 61 year old Accountant who semi-retired to explore my love of creative writing. In my career I held Board level jobs for over twenty five years, in private, public and third sector organisations. I was born in Coventry, a city then dominated by the car industry and high volume manufacturing. Jaguar, Triumph, Talbot, Rolls Royce, Courtaulds, Massey Ferguson were the major employers, to name but a few.

When I was nine year’s old I told my long suffering mother that as I liked English composition and drama I was going to be a Playwright. She told me that I should work hard at school and get a proper job. She was right of course.

I started as an Office Junior at Jaguar in 1973 at eleven pounds sixty four a week. I thus grew up in the strike torn, class divided seventies. My first career ended in 2015, when I semi retired as Director of Corporate services at Humberside Probation. My second career, as a Non Executive Director, is great as it has allowed me free time to travel and indulge my passion for writing, both in novels and for theatre.

The opportunity to rekindle my interest in writing came in 2009, when I wrote my first pantomime, Cinderella, for my home group, the Walkington Pantomime Players. I have now written eight. I love theatre, particularly musical theatre, and completed the Hull Truck Theatre Playwrite course in 2010. My first play, a comedy called He's Behind You, had its first highly successful showing in January 2016, so I intend to move forward in all three creative areas.

Pen Pals was my first novel, but a second, The Road to Cromer Pier, will be released in the Summer of 2019.  

I’m an old fashioned writer I guess. I want you to laugh and to cry. I want you to believe in my characters, and feel that my stories have a beginning, a middle, and a satisfactory ending.
Social Media Links

Check out the other Bloggers on the Tour

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Blog Tour, Character Profile & #Giveaway (UK & Ireland) ~ Lost You by Haylen Beck

Today, I am delighted to be part of Haylen Beck's blog tour for his new book Lost You with an exclusive Character Profile and the chance to win a copy of the book (UK & Ireland)

Genre:  Thriller
Hardback Published:  27 June 2019
Publisher:  Harvill Secker

When a little boy goes missing, his mother desperately wants to find him . . . before someone else does. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Cara Hunter.

Libby would do anything for her three-year-old son Ethan. And after all they’ve been through, a holiday seems the perfect antidote for them both. Their hotel is peaceful, safe and friendly, yet Libby can’t help feeling that someone is watching her. Watching Ethan. Because, for years, Libby has lived with a secret.

Just days into their holiday, when Libby is starting to relax, Ethan steps into an elevator on his own, and the doors close before Libby can stop them. Moments later, Ethan is gone.

Libby thought she had been through the worst, but her nightmare is only just beginning. And in a desperate hunt for her son, it becomes clear she’s not the only one looking for him.

Who will find him first?

Exclusive Character Introduction Profile of Libby

Libby and her husband Mason divorced when their son Ethan was just six months old, and he’s moved to Seattle since then. He visits twice a year, but Libby has brought Ethan up single-handedly. Her son is her world, and she’d do anything to protect him.
Libby is a writer, editing her first novel, so when her literary agent Donna insists she needs a holiday, she considers it. Her winter was already looking busy, with editing and starting on her second book too, so a trip away would be something to look forward to. Donna sends her the link to Casa Rosa in Naples on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
It looks absolutely perfect… 

Meet The Author
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Haylen Beck is the pen name of Stuart Neville, the  established major talent and Richard & Judy WH Smith Book club crime writer. Writing under his own name, Stuart won the LA Times Award for his debut novel The Twelve, and he has received critical acclaim for his Serena Flanagan detective series set in Belfast. His Haylen Beck novels are set in the US, and the pen name is a nod to two favourite guitarists, Jeff Beck and Eddie Van Halen.  Stuart plays lead guitar with the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a rock and roll band comprising of crime writing pals Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, Doug Johnstone and Luca Vesta, that regularly gig at literary and music festivals around the country, including GLASTONBURY 2019!

Check out all the other Bloggers on the Tour!

Open to UK and Ireland only
Ends 12 July 2019

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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Book Review, Blog Tour & #Giveaway ~ The Body in Belair Park by Alice Castle

Today, I am thrilled to be part of Alice Castle's blog tour for her new book The Body in Belair Park, thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources Book Tours ..... check out my review below .... and enter the Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy of the book

Genre:  Cozy Crime
Publication Date:  25 June 2019
Publisher:  Crooked Cat Books
Standalone Sixth Book in the London Murder Mystery series

Beth Haldane is on the verge of having everything she’s ever wanted. Her son is starting secondary school, her personal life seems to have settled down – even her pets are getting on better. But then the phone rings.

It’s Beth’s high maintenance mother, Wendy, with terrible news. Her bridge partner, Alfie Pole, has died suddenly. While Beth, and most of Dulwich, is convinced that Alfie has pegged out from exhaustion, thanks to playing with Wendy for years, Beth’s mother is certain that there is foul play afoot.

Before she knows it, Beth is plunged into her most complicated mystery yet, involving the Dulwich Bridge Club, allotment holders, the Dulwich Open Garden set and, of course, her long-suffering boyfriend, Metropolitan Police Detective Inspector Harry York. The case stirs up old wounds which are much closer to home than Beth would like. Can she come up trumps in time to stop the murderer striking again, or does the murderer hold the winning hand this time?

In the sixth of the London Murder Mystery Series we get to know Beth's mum, Wendy, a little more.  As we discover, Beth and her mum don't always get on, Wendy lives a well-ordered life, revolving around the Bridge Club at Belair House and, well, Beth's life is anything but well-ordered.  She's one of life's procrastinators and is constantly worrying - usually about how her 11 year old son Ben is coping at his new school, her diminishing finances, her work as an archivist at Wyatt's College and about her relationship with the lovely D.I. Harry York.

This time Wendy is convinced that Alfie, her long time Bridge partner, has not died of natural causes and persuades Beth to dig up some clues while being dragged in as a reluctant bridge partner to her mother.  Who knew that a bridge club could be so full of jealousy and rivalry with all manner of sneaky goings on!

I do enjoy this quirky little series, the plots are never too complicated to understand, author Alice Castle really brings Beth to life, I almost feel as if she's one of my best friends, she's dizzy and disorganised but lovely with it.  With eccentric suspects, red herrings and humorous moments, The Body in Belair Park is an entertaining and easy-going mystery that fans of cozy crime will love.

If you want to check out my thoughts on the earlier stories here they are in order

Check out all the other bloggers for more reviews and other content

Purchase Link

Author Bio –

Before turning to crime, Alice Castle was a UK newspaper journalist for The Daily Express, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Her first book, Hot Chocolate, set in Brussels and London, was a European hit and sold out in two weeks.
Death in Dulwich was published in September 2017 and has been a number one best-seller in the UK, US, France, Spain and Germany. A sequel, The Girl in the Gallery was published in December 2017 to critical acclaim and also hit the number one spot. Calamity in Camberwell, the third book in the London Murder Mystery series, was published in August 2018, with Homicide in Herne Hill following in October 2018. Revenge on the Rye came out in December 2018. The Body in Belair Park will be published on 25th June 2019. Alice is currently working on the seventh London Murder Mystery adventure, The Slayings in Sydenham. Once again, it will feature Beth Haldane and DI Harry York.

Alice is also a mummy blogger and book reviewer via her website:

Alice lives in south London and is married with two children, two step-children and two cats.

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Body in Belair  (Open to UK and US Only)

*Terms and Conditions –US and UK 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.

Monday, 10 June 2019

Book Review ~ Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas

Genre:  Psychological Fiction
Publication Date:  27 June 2019
Publisher:  Penguin

Everything changed the night Flora Powell disappeared.
Heather and Jess were best friends - until the night Heather's sister vanished.
Jess has never forgiven herself for the lie she told that night. Nor has Heather.
But now Heather is accused of an awful crime.
And Jess is forced to return to the sleepy seaside town where they grew up, to ask the question she's avoided for so long:

What really happened the night Flora disappeared?

Claire Douglas's fifth novel has one of the most dramatic opening chapters that I think I've ever read!  March 2012 - seen through the narrator's eyes as they stand outside a house, shotgun in hand, seeming very calm and in control.  This sets the scene and forms the basis of what is to come.

Then She Vanishes is not only a gripping whodunnit but it's also an enthralling whydunnit and I could not turn the pages fast enough as the whole chain of events leading up to this horrific and shocking crime unfolded slowly and skilfully.

The story goes back and forth in time between 2012 and the summer of 1994 when the fair came to town and sixteen year old Flora disappeared and never came home again, leaving behind her bewildered mother, Margot (a character I really warmed to and felt empathy for) and younger sister Heather.

As Heather lies in a coma due to a shotgun injury, her then best friend, Jess, now a journalist working for the local newspaper, and no longer in touch with the family, has to return to her roots and obtain a story, while confronting her own conscience and guilt about that night Flora disappeared.  Margot was a mother figure to Jess in those days and the way in which their friendship was slowly and tentatively re-ignited was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is a complex story rich in detail, with family secrets, divided loyalties, betrayal, selfishness, guilt and fear with sympathetic and well drawn characters.  It has surprises and shocks - the story was at just the right pace - the perfect read for anyone who likes a good mystery full of suspense.

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

Available to buy from Amazon UK

Available from Amazon US

Available at 

Monday, 3 June 2019

Book Review & Blog Tour: Scared to Breathe by Kerena Swan

Today, I am excited to be part of Kerena Swan's blog tour for her new book Scared to Breathe, thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books ..... check out my review below ....

When Tasha witnesses a stabbing at the train station in Luton, she is compelled to give evidence in court that leads to Dean Rigby being convicted. But when Lewis, Dean’s brother, vows revenge, Tasha is afraid and no longer feels safe in her own home.
Tasha’s partner, Reuben, hopes to marry her and start a family soon. But Reuben is concerned about Tasha’s state of mind and urges her to see a doctor 
When Tasha is left a derelict country house by her birth father, she sees an opportunity to escape Luton and start a new life. After visiting Black Hollow Hall she sees it as the perfect opportunity to live a life without fear. 
At first Tasha feels liberated from her troubles. The gardener, William, who is partially paralysed but employed to maintain the grounds of Black Hollow Hall, is welcoming. 
But soon Tasha realises the Hall is not quite the idyll she imagined.
When she discovers that a woman jumped to her death there years ago following the murder of her husband, strange events begin to take place and Tasha fears for her safety.
Have the Rigby family found her?
Is someone trying to scare her into selling the house?
Or is she suffering from paranoia as Reuben suggests?  
As Tasha’s sanity is put under pressure she begins to wonder if Black Hollow Hall is going to be her salvation or her undoing…

Scared to Breathe had so much going on that, at times, I felt dizzy trying to keep up!

Tasha is happily living in Luton with fiance Reuben, until one day her life is turned upside down when she witnesses a horrific stabbing and, after the verdict, the perpetrators brother threatens Tasha.

She is quite a nervous and anxious person normally, but after the court case she is even more jumpy, she lives her life in fear, jumping at shadows, terrified that someone is out to get her.

After inheriting an old country house, she is desperate to live there and she finally feels at ease, she loves it, but Reuben is not so keen.

But strange things start happening there, scary things, but is it her mind playing tricks or has the brother found out where she's living now, or is something else going on?  I was never really sure, and I kept wondering how many more awful things were going to happen to her.  

I liked Tasha and did sympathise with her a lot, she had plenty of shocks but she kept focused and tried to keep normal.

This is a story full of suspense that kept my attention throughout, with twists, an old country house next to a deep dark lake, odd characters and plenty of unexpected events.

About the Author

Kerena Swan trained as a Social Worker and worked for Social Services for over 25 years. For the past 14 years she has owned and managed an ‘outstanding’ rated care agency for children with disabilities. Following serious illnesses she decided to fulfil her long-held ambition of writing a book and getting it published. ‘Dying to See You’, published by Bloodhound Books, was her debut novel.
After many years of writing professionally in the course of her work, Kerena has discovered the exhilaration and deep joy of writing fiction and can be found at all hours in front of her computer. She has recently completed her second novel 'Scared to Breathe' which is being released on 3rd June 2019.
Kerena lives with her family in a small village in Bedfordshire, UK and her books are set in the surrounding areas.
Drawing on her extensive knowledge and experience of the problematic world of social work and social studies, Kerena adds a unique angle to the domestic noir and crime genre.
If you would like to hear more about new releases, read Kerena's blogs and download a free short-story - the prequel to Dying to See You - then visit and join her mailing list.
         Author links
Twitter: @kerenaswan
Facebook: @kerenaswan

Available to buy from


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