Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye with Rebecca Mascull @RebeccaMascull @HQStories #review of #MissMarley

I am absolutely delighted to be sharing my review for Miss Marley by Vanessa Lafaye and Rebecca Mascull. I was over the moon to be sent a copy by Joe Thomas HQ Stories. A wonderful cover for a wonderful book.

Synopsis:

Before A Christmas Carol there was… Miss Marley

A seasonal tale of kindness and goodwill

Orphans Clara and Jacob Marley live by their wits, scavenging for scraps in the poorest alleyways of London, in the shadow of the workhouse. Every night, Jake promises his little sister ‘tomorrow will be better’ and when the chance to escape poverty comes their way, he seizes it despite the terrible price.

And so Jacob Marley is set on a path that leads to his infamous partnership with Ebenezer Scrooge. As Jacob builds a fortress of wealth to keep the world out, only Clara can warn him of the hideous fate that awaits him if he refuses to let love and kindness into his heart…

In Miss Marley, Vanessa Lafaye weaves a spellbinding Dickensian tale of ghosts, goodwill, and hope – a perfect prequel to A Christmas Carol.

My Thoughts:

Have you ever wondered about Jacob Marley, how he became the ghost in A Christmas Carol? What did he do in life to deserve such a penance? I always have. So when the chance to read Miss Marley came along I jumped at it. Set as a prequel to A Christmas Carol, the author has invented a sister for Jacob, Miss Clara Belle Marley. Jacob’s story is told from her perspective.

As a reader I have always associated Christmas with Dickens, A Christmas Carol is one of those books that is synonymous with the festive season and has been the basis for many offshoots in the form of film, musical, and theatre. Miss Marley is a welcome addition and is the perfect book to accompany the Dickens classic. Dickens has some mighty big footsteps and I was a little wary as to how this book would fair. I have to say here and now it faired very well indeed and it complimented those footsteps completely for me.

From the outset I was transported and completely immersed into Dickensian London, slums, rough neighbourhoods, dank sewer lined streets and the notorious poverty. This was here I was introduced to two youngsters, Jacob and Clara. I followed them as they struggled to find food to eat, a roof and warmth to keep themselves healthy and safe. The story tells of a chance event that was to provide the start of a new life. A life that would see them rise from the gutters and to meet Ebenezer Scrooge. 

There are a few references to A Christmas Carol and these were perfect for setting the scene, the feel and introducing characters that follow in Dickens book. By the time I had finished reading Miss Marley, I found my reading appetite definitely whetted and was eager to continue into the book we all know.

You may notice that there are two authors mentioned for this book, I wasn’t really aware of this until I got to the end and read the afterword. The first author is Vanessa Lafaye, she wrote the vast majority of this book. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer before it’s completion. Rebecca Mascull then took on the role of finishing the final few chapters. The friendship, discussions and the love these two authors shared for Dickens really does show and I had no idea where one author left off and the other picked up. It wasn’t until I read the afterword that I discovered this revelation. It was a seamless transition between the two and an ending that I believe Vanessa would approve of (in my opinion). 

This is a novella that is an absolute must-read not only for fans of Dickens and A Christmas Carol but also for those that have not turned the pages of a Dickens before. It would be the perfect introduction to the style and feel of this great author. Everything about this book was absolutely perfect and spot on and it will be one that I will read again for the festive season years to come. This book gets an absolutely highly recommended from me.

About the Authors:

Vanessa Lafaye was born in Florida and studied in North Carolina. She moved to the UK in 1999 (having been deported once). She is the author of two previous novels, her first book Summertime, was chosen for Richard and Judy in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Historical Writers Award. Vanessa passed away in February 2018.

Rebecca Mascull is the author of three historical novels and also writes saga fiction under the pen-name Mollie Walton. Visit her websites for more information: https://molliewalton.co.uk/ & https://rebeccamascull.co.uk/

She is currently hard at work on her next trilogy of historical fiction, with the first novel slated for publication in spring 2019 to be published by Bonnier Zaffre as The Ironbridge Saga. These will be published under the name of Mollie Walton and the first book in the series is set in the dangerous world of the iron industry: THE DAUGHTERS OF IRONBRIDGE.
Her first novel THE VISITORS (2014) tells the story of Adeliza Golding, a deaf-blind child living on her father’s hop farm in Victorian Kent. Her second novel SONG OF THE SEA MAID (2015) is set in the C18th and concerns an orphan girl who becomes a scientist and makes a remarkable discovery. Her third novel, THE WILD AIR (2017) is about a shy Edwardian girl who learns to fly and becomes a celebrated aviatrix but the shadow of war is looming. All are published by Hodder & Stoughton.

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Tilbury Talks To… Yvonne Bastian

Author Mark Tilbury very kindly let me chat about my love of books over on his blog today. He posed some very intriguing questions and I hope that you find my answers interesting.

Reblogged from – Source: Tilbury Talks To… Yvonne Bastian

Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


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The Uninvited by J.A. Baker @thewriterjude @Bloodhoundbook #BookReview

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Uninvited by J.A. Baker as part of the Blog Blitz with Bloodhound Books. My huge thanks to Emma for the invite and also the author for my copy of this book.

Synopsis:

A fragile woman. An unwelcome intruder. A house full of secrets.

Faye and her husband Hugh have had a traumatic year. Wanting to start again, the couple decides to buy a large rundown property, Cross House in a village in NorthYorkshire, hoping to leave the past behind them.

However, the tranquillity is soon ruined when Faye begins to awake, every night, to the sound of somebody creeping around the bedroom. She tries to explain it to Hugh, frightened for the safety of their children Aiden and Poppy, but Hugh dismisses her claims, thinking she is heading for another breakdown.

But when Faye discovers some diaries that contain secrets about the family that lived in the house before them, she starts to wonder if the intruder might be closer to home than she first thought.

Obsessed with finding answers, Faye is determined to learn about the Wentworth family, a fractured family with a tragic past.

And when she discovers that Hilary Wentworth fell to her death down the stairs in CrossHouse, Faye realises she is in mortal danger…

To purchase :- Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Faye and Mark, with their children Aiden and Poppy, move into an old, rundown house called Cross House. They have moved here because of past troubles, with a hope that a new house will give them the much needed new start they need. Faye is looking for a place to heal herself emotionally and mentally after being stalked and harassed and wishes to live a normal happy life with the past well and truly behind her.

With a setting of an old and unloved house that has been abandoned and neglected, this story had all the right vibes, and then there is the name of the property… Cross House… It is not long before a nervous Faye starts to hear and feel things, something she is reluctant to share with her husband given her past track record. It is understandable that she would be wary of broaching him given her previous experiences. She herself wonders if she is paranoid and second guesses herself at times, but there are things that cannot be overlooked. When things come to a head it is her husband that that tells her she needs to talk to someone about it, yep… the good old supportive husband and his delusional wife routine… Oh, but how the tables are turned and it was a real pleasure to see him experience things as well. Yes, I admit to taking great delight in this role reversal, maybe it is a bit of a mean streak in me, but I liked the way the author gave a balance and also a sort of support to Faye with this turn of events as things get a little spookier.

There are quite a few snippets and bits of information about other characters and their stories and this is one of those books that I felt that the house itself was a key character. Various revelations come to light that are woven together to provide a story that gave me a sense of chills and suspense in an atmospheric and slightly sinister spooky way.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the property and its gardens and the author made it very easy to visualise aspects from the descriptions given. I do have to admit that as much as I would love to get my hands on the house and bring it back to its full potential, I would be too much of a scaredy-cat to even step foot in it.

Gradually things are teased out and the links and connections are made, it tells a tale of its past inhabitants. A really good hauntingly atmospheric story with a lot of suspense and mystery, One I would recommend.

About The Author:

J.A.BAKER was born and brought up in North East England and has had a love of language for as long as she can remember.

She has a love of local history and genealogy and enjoys reading many genres of books but is an addict of psychological thrillers.

In December 2016 she was signed by BloodhoundBooks who published Undercurrent. 
Her second novel, Her Dark Retreat was published in October 2017 and The Other Mother was published in December 2017. Her fourth novel, Finding Eva was published in August 2018

J.A. Baker has four grown up children and one grandchild. She lives in a village near the river with her husband and madcap dog and when not working part time in a primary school, she spends her days trying to think up new and inventive ways of murdering people.

She can be reached on any of the links below and loves hearing from readers.

Twitter – Facebook – Website


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Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell @angelabritnell @rararesources #BookReview

 

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Angela for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting TomChambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Feefinally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life– and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

When things get really tough in Fee’s life her Doctor advises taking time out. Fee is a photographer and has witnessed human life at it’s worse and documenting the evidence has taken it’s toll. Under the advice she finds herself in Tennessee at the town of Pine Ridge and the remore Black Cherry Retreat. A collection of cabins owned and run by Tom. There are sparks aplenty, but is it enough to help Fee?

The contrasts between Fee and Tom are extreme, to say the least as far as their lifestyle choices are concerned. Fee a nomadic photographer, she has sporadic relations with her mum. Tom has a huge family, and when I say huge I mean it and now happy to remain at home. They do however have one thing in common, well actually two things. One is the tragic loss they have suffered and the other is that they are lonely.

Their loss have left a huge gaping void in them that leaves scared, scarred and nervous. The story gradually took me through the turmoils they have both experienced and I gradually got to know the characters a bit better as I learnt more. They gradually start to open up to each other, and I was never 100% sure if they could put their past lives and hurts behind them.

Tom’s family…Wow! they are fabulous and they did kind of steal the lime light at times with their family gatherings and impromptu visits and advice. It added a huge amount of warmth, caring and love to the story that was aside from the two main characters.

The setting… well what to say apart from it would be this bookworms idea of perfect, it is isolated and remote, no wifi or phone signal, stunning sounding scenery… Oh yeah and Tom 🙂

This is a festive romance that deals with difficult pasts, hard to accept presents and hopeful futures. This is an ideal wintery afternoon read by a fire or under a blanket and is one I would recommend.

About the Author:

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband, she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years, she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the RomanticNovelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music CityRomance Writers.

Follow Angela 0n: Facebook – Twitter – Website – Instagram

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Galaxy Girl by Bev Smith @BevSmith612 @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway (UK only)

Today I have my review of Galaxy Girl by Bev Smith to share with you all. My thanks to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for the invite and to Bev for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

You hate school. Your family is beyond annoying. Your only friend comes from a different planet, and she’s about to leave.

What’s a girl to do?

Fed up with life on Earth, Esme stows away on the spaceship taking Stella back to Planet Kratos.

So begins Esme’s adventure into a world beyond the stars. A world of strange creatures, thrilling journeys, heroic rescues, and instant fame.

Oh, and school. Lots of school.

Along the way, she discovers that friends may be greener on the other side, but they still can’t be trusted.

Millions and billions of light years away from earth, she sets in motion a plan to escape. Unfortunately for her, they aren’t about to let their prize exhibit leave anytime soon…

Purchase Links  Amazon UK  – Amazon US

My Thoughts:

When Esme has the chance to run away with her new alien friend Stella, it isn’t your usual pack your bags and thumb a lift type of runaway plan. Instead she hops onto a spaceship that takes her to a different galaxy and to the planet of Kratos.

Esme feels she is being ignored by her mum, and that her brother and sister get more attention than she does and no-one at school seems to like her much either. This is a story with feelings that a few children will be able to associate with as they grow up. Deciding her life would be better spent elsewhere, she decides to make the most of this offer of a journey. It is a journey that is the proverbial “the grass is greener on the otherside”.

There are various things I liked about this story and at times I felt there were aspects that reminded me of Roald Dahl, the names of teachers is definitely something that would appeal to younger readers. The way the shop names on Kratos were altered made me scratch my head a couple of times until the penny dropped. There are tentative steps into global warming and saving animals from extinction I thought these had been incorporated into the story well. 

Essentially the story of Esma is one of how she feels in her role within her family and also with people around her. As we know the grass is rarely greener on the other side, Esme needs to discover this for herself and experience other things. The story is told through Esma’s blog, updates of her new life, memories of her old life, realisations, and thoughts are all included and each entry is signed off in her unique style.

This is a story that has humour, heart, and morals and comes across very well. A story I think would appeal to younger readers and one I would recommend.

About the Author:

Bev Smith has been a secondary schoolteacher, saleswoman, waitress, wages clerk, youth worker, and holiday park entertainments manager. She has scuba dived the Barrier Reef, lived in a village in Namibia, worked for a charity in Thailand, flown over Victoria Falls and paddled in the sea at Bournemouth. 
Having single-parented her three daughters, she’s been ferociously playing catch up with this writing lark.  She recently completed a Masters in Writing for Children at Winchester University. #galaxygirl is her debut middle-grade book.  
SocialMedia Links – Twitter – Facebook

**Giveaway**

Giveaway –Win 2 x #galaxygirl Mugs and a signed copy of #galaxygirl (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the theRafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random viaRafflecopter 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 be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Hellbound Anthology by David McCaffrey @daveymac1975 @BOTBSPublicity #MakeoverCoverReveal

CoverReveal

Today I am delighted to be taking part in a makeover cover reveal for the Hellbound Trilogy by David McCaffrey as part of the Blog Tour with Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity. I must get around to reading my copies of these books, I have bought them all and now need to find the time to read…

Let’s see what the books are all about first…

Hellbound:

Between Heaven and Hell lies the soul of a killer.

Award-winning author, David McCaffrey, brings you a serial killer like no other.

Obadiah Stark aka The Tally Man, is executed at ADX Absolom, his death sentence watched by the world’s media, victim relatives and one investigative reporter, Joe O Connell.
Penning an account of Stark’s personal history and subsequent crimes in the hope of determining what makes the sociopathic mind tick, Joe discovers inconsistencies which cause him to investigate Stark’s execution.
While this is happening in the real world, Stark awakens to an afterlife where he has a wife and daughter bound to his childhood hometown. Following his natural predatory instinct, Obadiah proceeds to torment the town, committing multiple murders before being gunned down by the police. He awakens to find that everything has reset, with no one recalling his murderous spree.
A reality where he is forced to submit to emotions he has never experienced before… and with them, a poisonous dose of morality.


In Extremis:

  1. Whitechapel. Think you know the story? You don’t know Jack…
    James Maybrick had secured his legacy as the most infamous serial killer of all time…his diary would one day shock the world.

    Thomas Quinn wants revenge…his actions will give birth to an organisation of unspeakable power.

    Together, they unwittingly set in motion a plan that will one day lead to the serial killer, Obadiah Stark.

    Stark became The Tally Man.

    They were The Brethren.

    Maybrick is known to history by another name…


Nameless:

‘There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men
long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.’
Ernest Hemingway

One serial killer terrified the world. Imagine what an army of them could do…

A cult member is arrested at the scene of a brutal murder. She will only speak to former crime reporter, Joe O’Connell.

Joe’s obsession with Obadiah Stark a.k.a The Tally Man cost him everything.

He is about to learn that Stark’s message did not end with his death.

They believe in what The Tally Man stood for.

They believe in what The Tally Man did.

But he was one, and they are many.

Once they have you, they will never let you go…


About the Author:

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David McCaffrey was born in Middlesbrough, raised in West Sussex and now lives in Redcar. He worked in the NHS for many years, his last position being Lead Nurse in Infection

Prevention and Control at James Cook University Hospital.

He started writing following the birth of his first son and in 2010 was accepted onto the writing coach programme run by Steve Alten, international bestselling author of Meg and The Mayan Prophecy. Hellbound was the result and the rest, as they say, is history (cliche, cliche).

Though psychological thrillers are his raison d’etre, David is also an activist for bullying and harassment in the NHS. His book, ‘Do No Harm: Bullying and Harassment in the NHS’

went to Number One in the Nursing and White Collar Crime categories of Amazon Kindle charts in November 2018 and was the Number One bestselling book in the U.S Amazon

Kindle charts for more than three weeks in the Issues, Trends and Roles category. David is a proud supporter and donator to the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which tackles

bullying across the board, from schools to the workplace. He had the honour of being invited to speak at the Standup Foundation’s Inaugural Conference in November 2018.

Half of all profits from ‘Do No Harm’ go to the Ben Cohen Foundation.

David lives with his wife Kelly, has a Jakey, a Liam (a.k.a Gruffy) and a Cole (a.k.a Baby Moo Man) They also have an Obi… who’s the dog.

He decided to go back and revisit his first three titles in the Hellbound Anthology for many reasons; the main ones being to correct mistakes in there from the first time around, to expand upon the storylines where original ideas were edited out (nothing major, but small sections that he always loved) and to completely redesign the covers to make them look more like the series they were always intended to be.

Whether he has accomplished any of the above, he shall willingly leave up to you, dear readers.

Links: Twitter


Now for to share the new makeover cover for this amazing sounding trilogy…

HellShadow 3Name

A Little Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources @ChocLitUK #BookReview #Giveaway (Open Int’lly)

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I am delighted to be sharing some festive fiction with you today in the form of A lIttle Christmas Charm by Kathryn Freeman as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. Huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Choc Lit for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

A Little Christmas Charm

Would you swap sea and sunshine for tinsel and turkey?
Gabby Sanderson is used to being let down – even at Christmas. Which is why she’s happy to skip the festive season completely in favour of a plane ticket and sunnier climes.

But this Christmas could be different, because this time she might not be spending it alone. Can Owen Cooper charm Gabby into loving Christmas in the same way he’s charmed his way into her life, or is he just another person who’ll end up disappointing her?


Purchase Link – 
 Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

Festive fiction and romance lovers will love this wonderful story about Gabby and her trust issues and Own the office flirt. A story about two people that looks at first glance like it should fail before it starts, but when you get under the bluster and bravado you find two people who are more than first meet the eye. Add into the recipe a young girl, an unwavering PA, a grumpy old man and a mother, mix them all up and you will get a book that will add some festive sparkle and cheer.

Oh, this story really did suit me, picked it up to read a few chapters, and then read a few more and didn’t actually put it down until I had run out of chapters to read. I had reservations about Owen, the office flirt, but after a few cha[ters I got to know the man rather than the facade. As for Gabby, she was so aloof and standoffish but here again I got to see what made her tick. There was so much more to the story than I first realised, and also to the shiny, polished, professional exterior of the characters as well.

Trust is a delicate thing for Gabby and at times it leaves her irrational to least but, also vulnerable as she doesn’t always get the way things work. Getting to know how she sees life was a journey that added many emotional ups and downs. I liked the additional characters and the way they were introduced into the story, adding sparkle along the way.

There are some wonderful heartwarming moments as old wounds and grievances are looked at and explored. Past hurts are finally addressed and it was nice to see Owen’s patience and understanding. It gave a wonderfully uplifting and heartwarming feel.

A story that has a great feel-good factor to it, definitely festive in feeling and perfect to read by a roaring fire or snuggled under a blanket. One I would definitely recommend.

 

About the Author:

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A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links –  Website – Facebook –  Twitter

Giveaway –

Win a paperback copy of A Little Christmas Faith by Kathryn Freeman

(Open Internationally)

A LITTLE CHRISTMAS FAITH_FRONT_150dpi.jpg

*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. *****ENTER HERE*****

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The Lingering by SJI Holliday @SJIHolliday @OrendaBooks @annecater #BookReview

The Lingering front FINAL

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for The Lingering by SJI Holliday as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours and also Orenda Books. A huge thank you to Anne for the invite and to Orenda for my copy.

Synopsis:

Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history

When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…

At once an unnerving locked-room mystery, a chilling thriller and a dark and superbly wrought ghost story, The Lingering is an exceptionally plotted, terrifying and tantalisingly twisted novel by one of the most exciting authors in the genre.

Purchase your own copy from Amazon UK

My thoughts:

Ali and Jack arrive at Rosalind House, a former psychiatric facility and now a commune for those wanting a fresh, slower paced, quiet and calmer lifestyle. Things at Rosalind is idyllic sounding until the arrival of the newcomers. In an atmospheric setting with an unsettling past history, this is a story with a good deal of psychological suspense.

I have seen some wonderful reviews for this book and, as you can imagine, I was eager to read this book. Things seem okay as I joined Ali and Jack, there is a sense of their apprehension at leaving their old lives behind. I felt that their hope for their new fresh start was tinged with scepticism as they meet the other residents. I did wonder why two professionals would choose such an isolated and complete change to their lifestyle. By the end of the book, I could completely understand why and my wonderings were definitely laid to rest.

From the start, this book developed into a story with a mystery. This mystery gradually grew and evolved as the suspense and that gnawing, haunting feeling grew. What I didn’t expect was the many “bloody ‘ell” and ” Oh! That’s good” that left my mouth along the way. This is a story that turned my initial perceptions of some of the characters on its head, I love this when an author keeps me on my toes like this.

The story is told from the perspective of mainly Ali and Angela. Angela is a fellow resident along with another chapter contributor Smeaton. Scattered through the book are diary entries, these I absolutely loved as they gave an insight into the House when it was still in use as a psychiatric facility. It gave a chilling glimpse into the treatments and problems from days gone past.

These quick chapters gave me a chance to really get to know the characters, their motives… yes there are motives, there are also disasters and chilling turns of event that made for wonderful and addictive reading.

A story that had such an idyllic and simplistic sounding lifestyle change that turns into something very sinister. A disturbing, haunting, psychological, suspense-filled mystery,

A brilliant read and one I would highly recommend.

About the Author:

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S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December. Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’ She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.

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The Raven Tower by Emma Miles @EmmaMilesShadow @rararesources #Giveaway #Extract

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Today I am sharing an extract from The Raven Tower by Emma Miles as part of the Mini Blog Blotz with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. A book that I would love to have the chance to read but time does not allow. Have a read of the extract and while you are here why not enter the Giveaway to win one of five signed copies, it gets better as its Open to International readers as well… Good Luck xx

Synopsis:

The Raven Tower

What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.

Purchase Links Amazon USAmazon UK

Extract:

In this extract, Dia Icante, the ruler of the Fulmer islands, heads out to look at the aftermath of one of the Borrowmen raids. With her are her bodyguards, the twins Heara and Shaherra, her apprentice, Pirelle and a young warrior called Dorthai.

Heara went ahead again and Shaherra stepped back to Dia’s side with her hand on her dagger hilt. There was a strong smell of smoke and burnt wood long before they stepped out of the trees and onto the beach. The ship had been broken up by the sea and a large part of it had washed up against the rocks. Planks and long crates had been thrown up onto the pebbles and sand along with several bodies. Gulls and crabs swarmed the beach, but one area was notably empty of carrion hunters.

‘That’s the head,’ Dorthai whispered.

Dia’s skin tingled and itched as though she’d walked through an invisible spider’s web. She shuddered and then asked Pirelle, ‘anything?’

‘I … I want to say no but that isn’t quite the case. I don’t feel the emotions of a person but there is a wrongness here; it makes me feel queasy.’

Dia called up her own knowing and immediately tasted the sour fear from Pirelle and Dorthai. The twins were uneasy but alert, concentrating more on their surroundings than their emotions. She picked up on what Pirelle had tried to describe at once; it was a feeling of impending danger such as a lone person might feel on hearing a large predator growl. Life pulsed in the severed head at the same time as death ate at it. For a moment Dia found herself rooted to the spot in dread, but she forced herself to move.

‘The head is alive, it’s watching us,’ she said.

Shaherra drew her dagger and Heara nocked an arrow to her bow. Dorthai gripped the torch he carried in both hands like a club. Pirelle shrank back behind them as Dia stalked forward. The eyes of the head followed her as she approached, the slack mouth contorted as though attempting a grin.

‘Who are you?’ Dia demanded. ‘Why have you attacked the Fulmers?’

‘I’ve come for you, Icante.’

Giveaway – Win 5 x Paperback copies of The Raven Tower (Open Internationally)

*****TO ENTER CLICK HERE*****

*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.

About the Author:

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Author Bio-

I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.
My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.

I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.

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