Sunday, 18 April 2021

The Therapist by B.A. Paris - Short Book Review - Blog Tour

 


THE THERAPIST
BY
B.A. PARIS

Published:  15 April 2021

When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating, grisly secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbours are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…


My Thoughts:

The Therapist is one of my favourite books of this year.

It's creepy and unnerving in parts, the writing is compelling, and I really didn't know who to trust, who to believe.

The girl who used to live in Alice's house was called Nina and Alice becomes obsessed with her as her own sister was also called Nina.

Some of the situations Alice's finds herself were a little bit scary as I was reading it on my own at night, and I wondered if Alice's mind was playing tricks on her.  This was typical of the way the story was written, it kept me questioning everything and everyone.

The pacing was perfect, the characters were believable, there were secrets and lies, it was tense and twisty, and the overall story kept me glued to the pages.

Definitely one to recommend!

Thanks to Harper Collins for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Available to buy now from ~ Amazon UK

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Monday, 29 March 2021

The Ticklemore Tattler by Liz Davies - Book Blog Tour Promo

I'm thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for 

The Ticklemore Tattler 

by 

Liz Davies


Sometimes you have to write your own future…

The life of former journalist Juliette Seymour has been quiet and unassuming. Up until now, she’s been concentrating on running the local newspaper and raising her daughter. 


But all that is about to change when Juliette is informed that the Ticklemore Tattler is to fold and that she’ll be out of a job. She begins to wonder whether she can buy the newspaper and try to make a go of it herself.


Aware that she needs some advice she contacts Oliver Pascoe, little knowing that when her old colleague re-enters her life, his help isn’t the only thing she wants him for!


As she begins to fall in love, however, what she doesn’t realise is that Oliver has something he’s keeping from her.


A gorgeously uplifting story, perfect for fans of Holly Hepburn, Heidi Swain, and Isabelle Broom.


Purchase Link - mybook.to/TicklemoreTattler




Meet the Author

Liz Davies writes feel-good, light-hearted stories with a hefty dose of romance, a smattering of humour, and a great deal of love.

She’s married to her best friend, has one grown-up daughter, and when she isn’t scribbling away in the notepad she carries with her everywhere (just in case inspiration strikes), you’ll find her searching for that perfect pair of shoes. She loves to cook but isn’t very good at it, and loves to eat - she’s much better at that! Liz also enjoys walking (preferably on the flat), cycling (also on the flat), and lots of sitting around in the garden on warm, sunny days.

She currently lives with her family in Wales, but would ideally love to buy a camper van and travel the world in it. 



Website: https://lizdaviesauthor.wixsite.com/home 

Social Media Links – 

Twitter https://twitter.com/lizdaviesauthor

Facebook: fb.me/LizDaviesAuthor1

 

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Old Cases New Colours by Madalyn Morgan - Blog Tour & Exclusive Extract

I am thrilled to be a part of the Blog Tour for Old Cases New Colours by Madalyn Morgan and I have an exclusive extract from the book


Old Cases, New Colours  (A Dudley Green Investigation)

Sick of working in a world of spies and bureaucracy, Ena Green, nee Dudley, leaves the Home Office and starts her own investigating agency.

Working for herself she can choose which investigations to take and, more importantly, which to turn down.

While working on two investigations, Ena is called as a prosecution witness in the Old Bailey trial of a cold-blooded killer who she exposed as a spy the year before.


Purchase Links

UK  - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/

US - https://www.amazon.com/Cases-Colours-Dudley-Investigation-Sisters-ebook/dp/B08Y9887QM/


An extract from Chapter Twenty-six of Old Cases New Colours


Intro: Mr Derby-Bloom, the father of a friend of Ena’s, dies suddenly while recuperating in a nursing home after a knee operation. Ena’s friend, George, asks Ena to look into her father’s death as he was fit with no underlying health issues and she thinks his death is suspicious.  This extract is the second time Ena meets the nurse who looked after Mr Derby-Bloom.

  



‘Thank you for seeing us again, Nurse McKinlay. I was wondering if we might ask you a couple more questions?’

     Nurse McKinlay smiled. ‘Of course.’

     ‘Did Mr Derby-Bloom say anything before he died. 

     She looked at Ena thoughtfully and then her eyes widened and she took a long slow breath. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘he did.’ She turned to George, ‘I’m sorry. I was so upset when you were last here, I forgot.’ 

     Ena looked at George. ‘Do you remember what it was he said?’

     The nurse looked up at the ceiling as if the words were written there. ‘Yes, but I didn’t hear everything he said. He was speaking German.’ 

     ‘Are you sure it was German?’ 

     ‘Yes, quite sure.’

     ‘Try to remember what the words sounded like.’ 

     Nurse McKinlay looked thoughtful. She took a shaky breath and said, ‘I didn’t understand him at first because what he said didn’t make any sense.’ 

     ‘Could he have been hallucinating?’ 

     ‘No, I’m sure he wasn’t. He reached out and took my hand. I couldn’t hear what he was saying, so I leaned over him and put my ear near his mouth. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone speak German and I didn’t catch the first couple of words, but it sounded like, sie hat mich getötet. Then, I’m sorry, he’d gone.’

     George took a sharp breath, looked at Ena and then at the nurse. ‘Sie hat mich getötet?’     

     ‘Yes. He spoke quietly, but that was definitely what he said.’

     ‘And in English?’ Ena asked.  

     ‘She has killed me,’ George said. ‘Who did he think had killed him?’

     Before the three women had time to discuss the meaning of Mr Derby-Bloom’s last words, the nursing home’s manager, Mrs Sharp, opened the door. 

     ‘Before you leave, Miss Derby-Bloom, would you pop into the office? She left without waiting for George to reply.

     ‘It’ll be the fee for Dad’s stay here,’ George said, ‘I won’t be long.

     When George had left, Ena gave Nurse McKinlay a card. ‘If you think of anything else, anything at all, however insignificant you think it might be, would you telephone me on this number?’

     ‘Yes, of course.’

     ‘I see from your badge you’re a registered nurse. Jeanie.’

     ‘I was with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry during the war. I began nursing in 1937. I was one of the first recruits to train at the Nurses Preliminary Training School. Not all the hospital matrons approved of the training. Most preferred their nurses to learn on the wards, which I did eventually. It was a good foundation course, though. Two intensive months in the training school and we learned everything from medical and nursing theology to anatomy and physiology. But it isn’t the same practising on life size dummies.’

     ‘No. It must have been very different when you began working with real patients?’

     ‘It was. I spent two years on the wards and when war was declared I joined up and became a FANY.

     ‘And, do you mind me asking where you learned to speak German?’

     ‘Not at all. My first overseas assignment as a FANY was just after the Russian invasion of Finland in November 1939. I was one of forty FANY drivers in a convoy of ten ambulances that went to Norway. We arrived after the fighting in February 1940 but stayed on to help evacuate the hospitals and the refugees from Karelia.’

     ‘Finland would be cold at that time of year,’ Ena said.

     ‘February is the coldest month of the year. It was between minus five and minus ten most nights, but we were too busy to think about it. It was in Finland that I learned to speak German. I worked with an Austrian doctor who had spent ten years as a surgeon in Germany. He was fluent in German and English - and the languages of the countries that border Finland - Russian, Norwegian and Swedish. When I got back to England, a friend who had returned from Scotland as a driver with the Polish fighting units told me about an organisation that trained people with languages as wireless operators. She went off to work in a grand old manor house in Banbury, and because I understood German I was sent to the east coast to listen to conversations between Luftwaffe pilots and the top brass giving the orders.’   

     Ena had been an engineer making small discs and dials for coding and deciphering machines at Bletchley Park and Henry, already at Bletchley Park, worked on top-secret codes, so Ena knew how important jobs like the one nurse McKinlay did were. ‘An interesting job,’ she said. 

     ‘We coordinated what the wireless operators sent back with what we heard the pilots say, and the girls in the map room were able to plot their route within a mile, sometimes less.’

     ‘I remember my husband telling me that the RAF was often given information that enabled them to stop the Luftwaffe over the Channel?’

     ‘They were.’    

     ‘It must be gratifying to know that the work you did, stopping bombs from being dropped on factories and homes, saved lives.’ 

     ‘I suppose it was. I didn’t think about it at the time. None of the girls did. We just got on with it. I had learned Morse Code and hoped that with my knowledge of German, I’d be sent overseas to work as a wireless operator, but it didn’t happen.’

     ‘Your contribution to the war effort was of huge importance,’ Ena said. ‘I’m sure many operations were foiled because the RAF had information in advance of German air strikes.’ 

     Nurse McKinlay smiled.

     Ena liked her. She was easy to talk to. Now, Ena thought, would be a good time to ask her about the staff and the other residents in the nursing home. 





Meet the Author


I was brought up in a pub in a small market town called Lutterworth. For as long as I can remember, my dream was to be an actress and a writer. The pub was a great place for an aspiring actress and writer to live with so many characters to study and accents to learn. I was offered Crossroads the first time around. However, my mother wanted me to have a ‘proper’ job that I could fall back on if I needed to, so I did a hairdressing apprenticeship. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, I gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business in the theatre for a place at East 15 Drama College and a career as an actress, working in Repertory theatre, the West End, film and television.

      In 1995, with fewer parts for older actresses, I gave up acting. I taught myself to touch-type, completed a two-year correspondence course with The Writer’s Bureau and began writing articles and presenting radio.

    In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, I moved back to Lutterworth. I swapped two window boxes and a mortgage for a garden and the freedom to write. Since then, I have written nine novels. The first four, The Dudley Sisters’ Saga, tell the stories of four sisters in World War 2. My current novel, Old Cases, New Colours, is a thriller/detective story set in 1960. I am writing Christmas book - Christmas Applause - and a Memoir; a collection of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns from my days as an actress.

 

Social Media Links – 

Madalyn Morgan’s books- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Madalyn-Morgan/e/B00J7VO9I2

Blog – https://madalynmorgan.wordpress.com/ 

Facebook – www.facebook.com/madalyn.morgan1 



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Monday, 22 March 2021

You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham - Blog Tour - Mini Book Review + Giveaway

I'm delighted to share my review and be a part of the Blog Tour for You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham and there's a chance to win one of three paperback copies


After her beloved grandmother Rozenn’s death, Morane is heartbroken to learn that her sister is the sole inheritor of the family home in Cornwall—while she herself has been written out of the will. With both her business and her relationship with her sister on the rocks, Morane becomes consumed by one question: what made Rozenn turn her back on her?

When she finds an old letter linking her grandmother to Brittany under German occupation, Morane escapes on the trail of her family’s past. In the coastal village where Rozenn lived in 1941, she uncovers a web of shameful secrets that haunted Rozenn to the end of her days. Was it to protect those she loved that a desperate Rozenn made a heartbreaking decision and changed the course of all their lives forever?

Morane goes in search of the truth but the truth can be painful. Can she make her peace with the past and repair her relationship with her sister?


Purchase Links 

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/You-Let-Me-Eliza-Graham-ebook/dp/B08HN92DLQ/ 

US - https://www.amazon.com/You-Let-Me-Eliza-Graham/dp/1542017106 



My thoughts

I have read several books by Eliza Graham and I think that You Let Me Go is one of her best.

I loved the dual timeline narrative, in present time by Morane and in 1941 by Rozenn, they both gave me a real sense of how they were both struggling in life - Morane with her money and business problems and Rozenn with her family problems and the fear of living under Nazi occupation in a small French village.

I could totally understand Morane's need to find out about her grandmother's decision to leave the cottage she loved to her sister and not her. I was willing her to discover more about her grandmother's past.

The writing is slow and steady going, gradually building up to the truth of what really happened and the suspense was a real page turner.

A great read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Meet the Author


Eliza Graham's novels have been long-listed for the UK's Richard & Judy Summer Book Club in the UK, and short-listed for World Book Day's 'Hidden Gem' competition. She has also been nominated for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction.

Her books have been bestsellers both in Europe and the US.

She is fascinated by the world of the 1930s and 1940s: the Second World War and its immediate aftermath and the trickle-down effect on future generations. Consequently she's made trips to visit bunkers in Brittany, decoy harbours in Cornwall, wartime radio studios in Bedfordshire and cemeteries in Szczecin, Poland. And those are the less obscure research trips.

It was probably inevitable that Eliza would pursue a life of writing. She spent biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the textbooks, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and history lessons she sat right at the front, hanging on to every word. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth. During school holidays she visited the public library multiple times a day.

Eliza lives in an ancient village in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family. Not far from her house there is a large perforated sarsen stone that can apparently summon King Alfred if you blow into it correctly. Eliza has never managed to summon him. Her interests still mainly revolve around reading, but she also enjoys walking in the downland country around her home and travelling around the world to research her novels.


Social Media Links – 

Website www.elizagrahamauthor.com

Facebook ElizaGrahamUK




Giveaway to Win 3 x Paperback copies of You Let Me Go by Eliza Graham (Open to UK / USA only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK and USA 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

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Friday, 19 March 2021

Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding - Mini Book Review

 




BRIGHT BURNING THINGS

BY

LISA HARDING

Publication Date:  4 March 2021

Publisher:  Bloomsbury


Synopsis:

Being Tommy's mother is too much for Sonya.

Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy's life is in her hands.

Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O'Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy - forever.


My Thoughts:

Bright Burning Things is the kind of read that I couldn't stop thinking about, days after finishing it, it stayed in my mind, I kept thinking about Sonya and Tommy and wondered how they were coping now.

I loved the first person narrative by a hyper-active Sonya, her jagged words and thoughts and deeds, she tried so hard to be a good mum, without her own mother to guide her, she often failed, but where she didn't fail was in her love for her son.

The writing was mesmerising, I was transfixed, I didn't care much for Sonya at the start but my feelings gradually changed throughout the book as Sonya gradually changed.  

Though some of Sonya's actions were difficult to understand like driving too fast with Tommy in the back whooping, not sending him to school, not feeding him enough .....  which I found hard to read at times, I could not put it down.

One to remember!

Thanks to Laura Meyer at Bloomsbury Books for giving me the chance to read this special book


Available to buy now from Amazon UK - Amazon US






Thursday, 4 March 2021

Jane Austen's Best Friend by Zoe Wheddon - Blog Tour Extract

I am sharing an Extract today from a new novel entitled Jane Austen's Best Friend by Zoe Wheddon


Jane Austen’s Best Friend; The life and influence of Martha Lloyd

All fans of Jane Austen everywhere believe themselves to be best friends with the beloved author and this book shines a light on what it meant to be exactly that. Jane Austen's Best Friend; The Life and Influence of Martha Lloyd offers a unique insight into Jane's private inner circle. Through this heart-warming examination of an important and often overlooked person in Jane's world, we uncover the life changing force of their friendship. Each chapter details the fascinating facts and friendship forming qualities that tied Jane and Martha together. Within these pages we will relive their shared interests, the hits and misses of their romantic love lives, their passion for shopping and fashion, their family histories, their lucky breaks and their girly chats. This book offers a behind the scenes tour of the shared lives of a fascinating pair and the chance to deepen our own bonds in 'love and friendship' with them both.


Purchase Links 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Influence/dp/1526763818/

https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Influence/dp/1526763818/

https://www.waterstones.com/book/jane-austens-best-friend/zoe-wheddon/9781526763815

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Jane-Austens-Best-Friend-Hardback/p/18769









Extract

Helping our friends is one of life’s most rewarding things to do and helps to cement any friendship. Jane Austen fans dream of being able to do anything at all which might gratify or please their literary heroine and what could be closer to Jane’s heart than preparing her ink, quill, and paper. Would we not all love to make sure that her writing slope was kept in tip top condition, her chair made up to be its most comfortable and her table to be set ‘just so’ in her favoured position, next to the window? This passage talks about Martha’s part in helping her friend with these most practical acts. It is kind of mind-blowing to stop and realise that someone made the ink that fed the quill that followed the will of the writer. It was with Martha’s ink with which those words flowed and through which our beloved authoress’ characters came to life on the page. What a wonderful moment frozen in time that is. A friendship is all about the little things, but this one simple fact feels quite momentous indeed.

 

However, the recipe that excites everyone the most, even to this present day, is, of course, her recipe for making ink. How thrilling to think that Martha supported her friend Jane’s writing by supplying the ink to the very quill that allowed her ideas to flow forth. How special too to wonder that perhaps Martha’s own book was written, even in part, in that very same homemade ink. What we would all give to be able to bless our own words with the ink that wrote the words of Jane Austen.



Meet the Author



 'A native of Jane Austen's beloved county of Hampshire, Zoe Wheddon, lives in a village on the outskirts of the town that she and her husband Matt grew up in, with three grown up children and a cat called Leia.

 

She co-presents the popular podcast What Would Jane Do and writes articles and book reviews on matters relating to friendship, self-compassion and personal development on her blog. When not researching or writing her next book, Zoe can be found in the classroom teaching Spanish and French or singing ABBA songs loudly in her kitchen.'


Social Media Links –  Twitter: @ZoeWheddon

Facebook: Zoe Wheddon Author page.

Instagram: Zoe_Wheddon

Website- www.zoewheddon.co.uk 


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