Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift - Blog Tour & Spotlight

Today, I am delighted to be part of Deborah Swift's blog tour for her new book Entertaining Mr Pepys

London 1666 
Elizabeth 'Bird' Carpenter has a wonderful singing voice, and music is her chief passion. When her father persuades her to marry horse-dealer Christopher Knepp, she suspects she is marrying beneath her station, but nothing prepares her for the reality of life with Knepp. Her father has betrayed her trust, for Knepp cares only for his horses; he is a tyrant and a bully, and will allow Bird no life of her own.

When Knepp goes away, she grasps her chance and, encouraged by her maidservant Livvy, makes a secret visit to the theatre. Entranced by the music, the glitter and glamour of the surroundings, and the free and outspoken manner of the women on the stage, she falls in love with the theatre and is determined to forge a path of her own as an actress.

But life in the theatre was never going to be straightforward - for a jealous rival wants to spoil her plans, and worse, Knepp forbids it, and Bird must use all her wit and intelligence to change his mind.

Based on events depicted in the famous Diary of Samuel Pepys, this is a historical novel bringing London in the 17th Century to life. It includes the vibrant characters of the day including the diarist himself and actress Nell Gwynne, and features a dazzling and gripping finale during the Great Fire Of London.

Entertaining Mr Pepys is the third in Deborah Swift's atmospheric trilogy, bringing to life the women in Pepys' Diary.

Each novel features a different character and can be read as a stand-alone book.


Deborah lives in North Lancashire on the edge of the Lake District, a beautiful area made famous by the Romantic Poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. In the past she used to work as a set and costume designer for theatre and TV, so she enjoys the research aspect of creating historical fiction, something she loved doing as a scenographer. Each book takes about six months of research before she is ready to begin writing. More details of her research and writing process can be found on her website. Deborah likes to write about extraordinary characters set against the background of real historical events.

Deborah’s Social Media links: 

Waterstones link


'Swift is a consummate historical novelist, basing her books on immaculate research and then filling the gaps between real events and real people with eloquent storytelling, atmospheric scene setting and imaginative plot lines' -- The Visitor

'a novel that transports readers with astonishing and engrossing detail' -- Readers Favorite 5*

'Pepys and his world spring to vibrant life...Gripping, revealing and stunningly imagined' -- Lancashire Evening Post

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Book Review - Magic Under The Mistletoe by Lucy Coleman - Blog Tour & Giveaway (UK only)

Today, I am delighted to be part of Lucy Coleman's blog tour for her new book Magic under the Mistletoe thanks to Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours .... and you'll find my review below .... along with a fabulous giveaway!

Magic Under the Mistletoe
Christmas and romance are in the air...
It's December 23rd and while everyone else is rushing home for the holidays, workaholic Leesa Oliver is dreading switching on her out-of-office for the festive season. And it seems her equally driven boss, Cary Anderson, isn't relishing spending Christmas at his family's country estate either.
So together, they draft an unexpected Christmas contract: They'll spend half of the holidays with each other's families, pretending to be a couple. Leesa knows the insufferably good-looking Cary will make her Christmas more bearable, but what happens after the last of the mince pies have been eaten...?
Leesa signed off on a sensible business agreement, but somewhere, amongst the fairy lights and carols something seems to have changed... It seems there might just be some magic under the mistletoe this Christmas!

Magic Under the Mistletoe is everything you would want in a Christmas read.  
Two workaholics are coerced into spending Christmas together, a family get-together time that neither of them are looking forward to with their respective families.
At the start, their relationship, travelling back from an assignment together in Australia, is very strained as Leesa struggles to contain her dislike of Cary, she finds him overbearing, intensely annoying and totally self-absorbed.
I loved Cressida, Cary's formidable grandmother, she was feisty and bright, and she dotes on Cary.  She's also an international best-selling romantic author!  Unfortunately, her grandson is not romantically inclined and he fears he is a disappointment to her.
During the course of the novel Leesa and Cary discover that they more in common than they thought.
It's funny, emotional, sad, heart-warming and has so much to recommend it.  I loved it!

Meet the Author

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton - who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman - says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’
Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.
When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.
Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.
Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.
Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Society of Authors. She writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links – 

Giveaway to Win a Signed paperback copy of Snowflakes over Holly Cove and Christmas Pamper Pack. (UK only)
*Terms and Conditions –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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves 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 Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Hazards in Hampshire by Emma Dakin - Blog Tour, Guest Post & #Giveaway (A British Book Tour Mystery)

Hazards in Hampshire (A British Book Tour Mystery) by Emma Dakin

About Hazards in Hampshire

Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Camel Press (October 15, 2019) 
Paperback: Number of Pages 190 
ISBN-10: 1941890601 ISBN-13: 978-1941890608 Digital ASIN: B07V2K7QTB 

Moving to a quiet English village should have been tranquil, but Claire Barclay learns that even an invitation to tea can be deadly. Who killed Mrs. Paulson, the president of the local Mystery Books Club? Was the motive for murder located in the archives of the book club? The members of the books club might have reason to want Mrs. Paulson’s out of the way. She had lived in the village all her life, been involved in many organizations and societies and knew many secrets of the villagers. Was one secret too dangerous for her to keep? She had been wealthy and left her money to a member of the club. Could the legatee have been impatient for her inheritance? Who cared enough to want her dead? Claire, an expert in solving problems in her job as a tour guide, decides to delve into the archives and into the lives of the villagers—and find out.

GUEST POST by Emma Dakin

What is the most rewarding aspect of cozy mysteries? Meeting all those imaginary characters who have such interesting lives. I enjoy Phryne Fisher’s wardrobe (Kerry Greenwood); I’d like to drink as much as 
Angela Marchant (Clara Benson) with as little effect. I’d certainly like to have the faithful servants so many have to look after the housekeeping that somehow, in my house, is my job without any social conscience about difference in opportunities. I love living in those imaginary worlds where justice is served and protagonists are miraculously protected from death and poverty by their industry and tenacity. It’s lovely. It seems when I’m reading a novel that the world of the protagonist with its plot twists and turns unfolds easily, smoothly as if the writer woke up one morning and the story simply unfolded. The humour, pathos, challenges and resolution appear to be totally logical and intriguing as if they dropped onto the paper or into the ebook as a whole. Well, they did arrive that way to me, the reader, but not, to me the writer. As a writer, I spend hours with my protagonist, writing her back story, very little of which appears in the novel, writing her likes and dislikes, coming to terms with her ambitions, her strengths and her limitations. It takes days, weeks even. Then, I write about the people she loves and the people she meets. The setting is always in my mind when the character arrives. She belongs in that setting and I couldn’t move her. If I moved the setting (no publisher has ever asked me to do that. They must understand how difficult that would be). What would likely happen in that setting? From there, I start on the plot. I have been known to drive my friends and family crazy working out a plot, because I will suddenly have an idea about what might happen and need to write it down before I do anything else. Immediately. The idea might fly into the ether and I’ll never find it. Luckily, I usually have my iPad with me which has a note page.  Since I type the notes, I can read them later. Scribbles on pieces of paper are useless, as I can’t read my own writing 
When the first draft is finally completed, I feel as though I can now begin the novel. The first draft nails down the plot. The magic of writing comes in the re-write, and I totally love doing it. I don’t even mind doing it six or eight times. As long as the plot works—and I have worked very hard to make sure it does—then I know I can make it wonderful. 
Can I explain all this to a first-time writer? Not all of it. The new authors I have met do not seem willing to completely overhaul their first draft. I’m not sure why. I don’t want to criticize too much as it is difficult to hear criticism of something you have worked hard on, but I would like to advise new authors to embrace that re-write. It can be fun. You already have the basis of the novel; the tough thinking is over. Now, you have the joy of making it better. Not flying with you? Well, I can sympathize, but it’s rare to write the best book on the first draft. Good luck. 

About Emma Dakin

This is Emma Dakin’s first series, set in Britain the homeland of Emma’s grandparents. Emma channels her mother’s inherited English culture along with the attitudes and sayings of the modern Brits. She travels widely in England and at one point this May while travelling through the Yorkshire Moors she had all the tourists in a tour bus looking for a good place to hide a body. As Marion Crook, she has published many novels of adventure and mystery for young adult and middle grade readers as well as non-fiction for adults and young adults and non-fiction on social issues. Firmly in the cozy mystery genre now, and committed to absorbing the culture and changing world of Britain, she plans to enjoy the research and the writing of cozies.

Author Links 

Purchase Links - Amazon Digital 
Amazon Paperback 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

November 11 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 11 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 
November 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 13 – Literary Gold - SPOTLIGHT 
November 14 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
November 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST 
November 15 – eBook Addicts - REVIEW, RECIPE 
November 15 – Hearts & Scribbles - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
November 16 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder - REVIEW, RECIPE 
November 17 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 19 – Carole's Book Corner – GUEST POST 
November 19 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
November 20 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
November 21 – That's What She's Reading - REVIEW, GUEST POST 
November 21 – Laura's Interests - REVIEW 
November 22 – Diane Reviews Books - REVIEW, RECIPE 
November 23 – I Read What You Write - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 23 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST 
November 24 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
November 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW  

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

One Week 'Til Christmas by Belinda Missen - Book Review

Today, I am delighted to be part of Belinda Missen's blog tour for her new book One Week 'Til Christmas thanks to Rachel's Random Resources Blog Tours .... and you'll find my review below ....

Two people. One chance meeting. Seven days to Christmas.

Isobel Bennett is waiting for the number 11 bus when a man quite literally falls into her lap. Snow is falling, Christmas lights are twinkling, and a gorgeous man with dark brown hair has just slipped on ice and is now pressed against Isobel.
Isobel knows she’s not imagining the chemistry between them. But then his ride arrives and, embarrassed, he beats a hasty retreat, murmuring apologies – and Isobel realises only too late that she didn’t manage to catch his name…
When she runs into him again the next morning, she decides it’s fate.
It’s a second chance for Isobel and Tom – but there’s only one week until she’s leaving London for good. Seven days of enjoying all the festive delights the city has to offer: ice-skating at Somerset House, mulled wine on the Southbank, Christmas shopping at Liberty.
There’s magic in the air and mistletoe in the trees – but what will happen when the week is over?
For fans of Josie Silver, Lucy Diamond and Marian Keyes, this is one Christmas romance you don’t want to miss!

One Week 'Til Christmas is one of the sweetest stories I've ever read.  

Isobel is a travel writer, she's going back home in seven days and when Tom bumps into her on a cold, wintry December morning I was instantly hooked by their fun banter and this continued throughout the story.

I loved how they met again the next day, coincidentally, and they decided to spend the next few days just enjoying a Christmas in London.

They have a lot in common, enjoying all that the capital has to offer, they experienced the Christmas Market, Nutcracker on Ice, Christmas shopping, even meeting Father Christmas!  

Isobel narrated the story and I really enjoyed getting to know her and Tom's shared experiences, their expectations and their happy times.

Overall, a fun read that gave me a warm and fuzzy Christmassy feeling inside.

Meet the Author

 Author and sometimes foodie, Belinda is a ridiculous romantic who met her husband after being set up by a friend two states away.
Residing in country Victoria, surrounded by books, cat-fur, and half-eaten cake, Belinda divides her days between writing rom-coms, baking, and indulging her love of comic books.
Social Media Links –

Instagram @belinda_missen

Purchase Links:

Check out all the other bloggers on the tour

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Book Review: Blog Tour: A Legacy of Murder by Connie Berry: Cosy Mystery: #Giveaway

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery by Connie Berry

About A Legacy of Murder

A Legacy of Murder: A Kate Hamilton Mystery 
Traditional Mystery 
2nd in Series Crooked Lane Books (October 8, 2019) 
Hardcover ~336 Pages 
ISBN-10: 1643851543 ISBN-13: 978-1643851549 
Digital ASIN: B07NKQDYM3

American antique dealer Kate Hamilton's Christmastime jaunt to a charming English village leads to an investigation of a missing ruby...and a chain of murders.
It's Christmastime and antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is off to visit her daughter, Christine, in the quaint English village of Long Barston. Christine and her boyfriend, Tristan, work at stately-but-crumbling Finchley Hall. Touring the Elizabethan house and grounds, Kate is intrigued by the docent's tales of the Finchley Hoard, and the strange deaths surrounding the renowned treasure trove. But next to a small lake, Kate spies the body of a young woman, killed by a garden spade.
Nearly blind Lady Barbara, who lives at Finchley with her loyal butler, Mugg, persuades Kate to take over the murdered woman's work. Kate finds that a Burmese ruby has vanished from the legendary Blood-Red Ring, replaced by a lesser garnet. Were the theft and the woman's death connected?
Kate learns that Lady Barbara's son fled to Venezuela years before, suspected of murdering another young woman. The murder weapon belonged to an old gardener, who becomes the leading suspect. But is Lady Barbara's son back to kill again? When another body is found, the clues point toward Christine. It's up to Kate to clear her daughter's name in Connie Berry's second Kate Hamilton mystery, a treasure for fans of traditional British mysteries.

If you like your cozy crime set in a quintessential British village with a nearby crumbling stately home full of antiques and family secrets - then this is the perfect story for you!

Antiques dealer Kate Hamilton is a typical nosy amateur sleuth, she can't resist a good mystery and when a young girl's body is found she makes it her business to try and solve it, especially when her daughter is implicated.  I enjoyed their interactions, as their relationship is not perfect, and this helped to make the story realistic to me.

As this is the second Kate Hamilton Mystery some mentions were made of what happened in the previous book which didn't include spoilers so if I wanted to go back and read that I could do with an open mind.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Legacy of Murder, it had the right amount of dodgy suspects, an appealing storyline at just the right pace, a quirky feel overall, with a good mix of red herrings and clues, and characters that I felt that I could identify with.  Author Connie Berry's obvious love and knowledge of antiques shines throughout.

About Connie Berry

Like her protagonist, Connie Berry was raised in the antiques trade. After teaching theology for twenty-five years, she took up writing mysteries featuring high-end antiques and the legacy of the past. Connie loves history, cute animals, travel with a hint of adventure, and all things British. She lives in Ohio with her husband and adorable dog, Millie. 
Author Links: 
Website – 
Twitter @conniecberry 
Goodreads – 

Purchase: Amazon Barnes & Noble Indiebound Kobo 
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

November 1 - Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
November 1 - The Power of Words – REVIEW 
November 1 - Literary Gold – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 2 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
November 2 - MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 3 – Carole's Book Corner – REVIEW 
November 3 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW 
November 3 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT - 
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers 
November 4 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW 
November 4 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT 
November 4 – Diane Reviews Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
November 5 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
November 5 – Brianne's Book Reviews - REVIEW 
November 5 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST 
November 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower - REVIEW 
November 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
November 7 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
November 8 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
November 8 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
November 8 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – GUEST POST 
November 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 
November 9 – The Bookwyrm's Hoard – REVIEW 
November 10 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW November 10 – Here's How It Happened – GUEST POST 
November 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW 
November 11 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW 
November 11 – Christa Reads & Writes – REVIEW 
November 12 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
November 12 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT 


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