My Week In Books (w/e 18th Jan) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another week of the books I have read. Looking over the past week I shocked myself as I managed to read 6 books! Yes 6! To be fair however, 2 of those were non-fiction and were books that I was able to dip in and out of.

So here is what I have read…

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I had my review for this book up yesterday, hence me being a day later than usual with this round up post. The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton is a police procedural that has a mix of current and also historic crimes that Denning and the team are investigating. A slower -paced and absorbing read.

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Eat Better Forever by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a book I kind of liked but also one that left me a little disappointed. Half the book is about whole foods, what should be eaten, the benefits and all that sort of thing leaving the last half for recipes. Some of the recipes were very basic indeed and I felt that while they did have a reason for being in the book, they didn’t warrant whole pages. I did like the look of a lot of the recipes, but this is more a book about lifestyle changes rather than recipes.

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Owen Mullen is an author I will auto-read, in other words I won’t read the synopsis I will dig straight in. Family is his latest book and it is centred around the Glass Family, a crime family with Danny at the head, running the show. Full of corruption, feuds, infighting, and obvious criminal elements. Brilliant and very, very addictive reading. Full review as part of the blog tour.

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Another addictive read was Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardener. The main protagonist is Frankie Elkin, a recovering alcoholic who finds missing people. She isn’t a cop, reporter, a PI, she is just a woman trying to find people who have disappeared. This was a gripping story and I didn’t realise that there are actually people out there in the real world who try to find missing people, not for gain or fame just because that is what they want to do. Totally addictive and such a brilliant book.

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I do like my garden, both the veg and the flower growing so when I saw No-Waste Composting by Michelle Balz up on NetGalley I requested it. I do have a compost heap, yeah its a heap and it is contained in a wire frame work. As most gardeners know, one compost is never enough and even though mine is two sections I do need a bit more space for this years waste. This book is good as it does give various tips and advice as well as ideas for making a new composter. Recycling or upcycling materials as well as other really interesting info is included. A handy up-to-date book that would suit new and existing gardeners.

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Wow! Jack Probyn doesn’t hang around in The Conspiracy, talk about a fast-paced crime read or what! The pace does actually suit the story as rookie detective Jake Tanner races against the clock to catch a gang of thieves. This is the first in a planned series and one I am looking forward to and to see how the series pans out. Keep an eye for the the Blog Tour for this one.


Well there we go folks! An interesting week on the book front and this get me to double figures on my challenge for the year!

Wishing you all a great week ahead, Take care

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton @GHam001 @BOTBSPublicity @HeraBooks #BOTBSPublicity #crime #policeprocedural #bookreview

I am delighted to day to share my review for The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I would like to say a huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book.

Here is more about the book…

You can run… but death will always find you

A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.

Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.

A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.

Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.

But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?

The latest in the gripping London crime series featuring DI Matthew Denning and DS Molly Fisher, The Darkness Within is a must-read if you like Angela Marsons, L.J. Ross or Joy Ellis.

My Review…


This the first time I have read a book by this author, starting part way through a series is never the best idea but I do have to say that this book well as a stand-alone. The obvious benefit of reading in order means that you get to know the characters traits and how they interact, I soon found myself getting to grip with these as I read.

This story starts with the discovery of a body, that of an ex DCI. The crime is murder, the reasons for it are not easy to come by for DI Denning and his team. This case will test them all and when results are slow to come the hierarchy do what they do best and add unnecessary pressure. Another similar murder and some accusations and rumours start to emerge of historic crimes that may have been covered-up start to emerge.

I really enjoyed this book, it is not a fast-paced story and this was good for me as I got to know more about the characters as while they were dealing with the cases before them. Sometimes it is nice to get into a more detailed book as far as the investigation, the characters and the storyline goes. As the characters are new to me I did occasionally forget who was who, but this didn’t stop any enjoyment. The investigation is a slower more dogged one, knowing that something isn’t right and proving it are two very different things and this kind of sums up the story in a way. Finding the evidence, connecting the dots and proving that your gut instinct is correct provides a very gripping read.

I really liked this and yes I do wish I had read the previous books, this is a series I will keep going with. I really enjoyed the mix or current crimes with links to historical ones, the power struggles and how the case was worked through and sorted. A crime, with a strong police procedural and more of mystery aspect rather than a full-on crime thriller and one I would definitely recommend it.

About the Author…

Graeme Hampton was born in Paisley, and grew up in Stirling. After leaving school,
he trained as a stage manager and worked in London for a number of years. He
returned to Scotland in his late twenties to study for a BA in English Literature at
Stirling University. His first novel, Know No Evil – featuring Met detectives DI Matt
Denning and DS Molly Fisher – was published in 2019 by Hera Books. This was
followed by Blood Family in January 2020. The Darkness Within is the third novel in
the series.
Graeme lives in Hastings, East Sussex.

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Forgotten Lives (A DCI Stirling Investigation #2) by Ray Britain #Forgotten_Lives @ray_britain @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain. This is a fantastic crime, police procedural book that I thoroughly enjoyed. My huge thanks to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for my spot on the tour and also for my e-copy of the book.

Here’s more about it…

A man is murdered with quiet efficiency on his doorstep. A strange emblem left behind suggests a gang killing but when more bodies are found with the same emblem, and one of them a cop, DCI Doug Stirling’s investigation takes a sinister turn.


But what linked the victims in life, and now in death?


When more deaths are uncovered, miles away and years apart, but all with the same emblem left behind, pressure mounts on Stirling. Is it the work of the same person? If so, why are they killing again, and why here? One thing is clear. The killer is highly skilled, ruthless, and always one step ahead of the investigation. Is someone feeding information to them?


Working in a crippling heatwave with too few investigators, too many questions and not enough answers, when wild media speculation of a vigilante at work sparks copycat attacks, demonstrations for justice and with politicians fearing riots, Stirling needs a result – fast!


Meanwhile, Stirling’s private life is falling apart, not helped when Lena Novak of the National Crime Agency is assigned to his team. But is she all that she seems? Things could not get worse. Stirling takes a call from a retired cop. Things just got worse!


As Stirling closes in on the killer he finds the killer’s trademark inside his home – he is being targeted.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My Review…

This is the 2nd book in this series, but the first one I have read so I can say it works very well as a stand-alone. I didn’t feel I was missing out on too much, but I do wish I had read the first beforehand.

So, DI Doug Stirling. Seems like a pretty decent guy, a workaholic who seems to spend more time awake and working than he should. But the demands of the job are as such that it cannot be helped. His home life is hit and miss with a relationship in the balance.

A body is reported, then another and another. There is no apparent link, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. What Stirling and the team don’t realise is that when this link is discovered things really get serious. Crimes from the past are starting to emerge leaving the reader wondering how far and for how long this enigmatic killer has been on the loose.

This book is a fair lump a book and I did a double-take when I realised how long it would take me to read. It turned out that this book needed to belong to get the questions answered from a series of long-running events, things needing to link up and to be done in such a way as to not falling place too conveniently.

There was something about the way this book has been written that struck me as slightly different from other crime books. This one seemed to have more of a technical, interagency, knows how things work set of feel. When I mention it has a technical feel, don’t think computer tech, but instead think of a more procedural line. There are several aspects that made me think that the author is someone that knows his stuff. Indeed, when I checked out his bio I could see straight away I was right. This definitely shows in the writing, the plot, the story and also how the interaction between hierarchy and other agencies have been worked.

The author has definitely taken a hard subject for a reader to read about, but I do think he has done it in a way that does not edge to the graphic, more insinuating events. I much prefer this approach when reading, in this case, less is more. It was the reactions, comments, and emotions of officers that gave the gravity of the crimes.

This is one of those books that has a lot going on in it if you tried to explain it, but makes perfect sense while reading. It is laid out in a way that makes it compulsive reading, it nagged at me when I put it down! It does have more of a slower pace as there is a lot of detail, but this really works well in this case, although the pacing did pick up.

The way this is laid out is in days, with subchapter of hourly breakdowns. Giving the reader a time frame adds to the tension, the working pattern, the out of hours calls and the long working days. Again this and also mentions of budgets, cuts, not enough resources, all adding to the fact that the author has an experience. In fact, some of his bio does have similarities to that of his main character.

This really is a book that shows the pressures of the job, the stress on home life, the working pressures under tense and media-frenzied scrutiny. A brilliant read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Ray Britain’s second novel ‘Forgotten Lives’ follows closely on from ‘The Last Thread’ (2017) with a new investigation for DCI Doug Stirling, the toughest of his career.

As a police Senior Investigating Officer (SIO) Ray led specialist investigations. He was also a Hostage & Crisis Intervention Negotiator – a voluntary role –  responding to hostage situations, many firearms incidents and numerous suicide interventions, not all of which ended happily. His roles took him to the USA, India, Europe, Australia and elsewhere, receiving Commendations in recognition for his work.

Ray’s real-world experience puts the reader at the heart of a complex, fast moving investigation with all of its uncertainties, stresses  and frustrations, and of the dark, bitter sadness’s of people’s lives.

Ray also worked with the Serious Fraud Office and the Home Office, London, and with the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate.

When not writing, Ray might be found mountain hiking, following rugby, skiing, reading, sailing, or generally keeping fit..

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Alex Cohen Series Books 1-3 by Leopold Borstinski #AlexCohenSeries @borstinski @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours

I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour today for a fabulous Alex Cohen Series by Leopold Borstinski. I have been a fan of this series from the very start and when the lovely Emma at damppebbles asked for bloggers to share reviews I immediately jumped on board.

Today I am sharing snippets of my reviews for books 1-3 and the books are The Bowery Slugger – East Side Hustler – Midtown Huckster. They chart the rise of Alex Cohen in the early part of the 1900’s in America.

Three decades in the life of Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen, as he arrives in the US and forges a life for himself and his family using the blood, sweat and tears of those who stand in his way. 

This digital box set contains the first three books in the saga of Alex Cohen’s life: 

THE BOWERY SLUGGER

When Alex Cohen arrives in 1915 America, he seizes the land of opportunity with both hands and grabs it by the throat. But success breeds distrust and Alex must choose between controlling his gang and keeping his friend alive. What would you do if the person you trusted most is setting you up to die at your enemies’ hands?

PART OF MY REVIEW…

I do like historical fiction and when I love it when I come across something new or I learn something I didn’t know before. This book gave me loads of new words, they are Yiddish words and I thought there inclusion was a great addition to the story. Using them as part of conversations adds an authenticity to the story, it also keeps various characters voices in the style and speech of the time. It may be a stereotype that I hold in my head, but for me it gives a character life. This is where reading a digital copy came in very handy as I was able to use the dictionary as I read.

There are so many good things about this book that I liked, the characters were great enough for the story and it would have been easy to add too many as the story feels quite big, but the author got the numbers just right. The story line is one that I really enjoyed, in some respect Alex should be a baddie, but I actually liked him a lot.

EAST SIDE HUSTLER…

Alex returns from the Great War almost destroyed by the horrors he has experienced. When he is plucked from certain death by an old friend, he commits to making so much money he’ll never know that agony again. But the route to the top is filled with danger and every time he helps one of his powerful friends like Al Capone, he acquires more enemies who want to see him dead. The turmoil caused by the death of organised crime financier, Arnold Rothstein means Alex must once more fight for his life. How far would you go to seize the American dream? And could you protect your family along the way from the fellas who want to see you dead?

PART OF MY REVIEW…

Things are getting more dangerous for everyone in 1920’s America and as Prohibition looms things are getting tense. Prohibition strains all gangs and they are often at odds with each other, but also alliances are made. The meeting of new allies inevitably sees one of the most infamous names making an appearance in the story, that is one Al Capone.

This is a book that really does exude the roaring 20’s with mobs, gangs, prohibition and illegal drinking and gambling. While this is all going on Alex also has a family to take care of and like many other families, his also becomes a target.

The Bowery Slugger saw Alex Cohen starting his journey into the gangs, East Side Hustler sees him making his mark as a major player and they are both excellent reads.

MIDTOWN HUCKSTER…

Alex runs Murder Inc for Lucky Luciano. After the death of Prohibition he must find a new way to make money, just as the cops are baying at his heels. When Luciano goes down for racketeering, Alex loses his protection and is arrested for tax evasion-he must decide between saving his skin and ratting out his friends. If he chooses prison time then his gang will fall apart and he will end up with nothing. If he squeals then he will have to flee the city he loves and the family he once adored. What would you do in a world where nobody can be trusted and you have everything to lose?

PART OF MY REVIEW…

The book once again uses various points of history to keep the story in the right period, with mentions of Thomas Dewey who was a New York City prosecutor in the 1930’s and whose aim was to beat organised crime. I like these historical mentions as it makes for great additional reading outside of the story.

Times are changing and not necessarily in Alex’s favour. As he has had his fingers in many pies and looks for more ways to earn a living, the more the investigators have to go on, and what they can’t find well…

OVERALL – THE STORY SO FAR…

I absolutely love this series and even though Alex is essentially a bad guy, I do have a soft spot for him. The author has shown the growth of Alex through the decades and keeps it in line with historical events. Alex is one who will find himself in deep water given the nature of his business, but how he emerges out the other side, is always something that me as a reader on my toes. This is a series that has been brilliantly written and really does feel right for the period of history it is set in. Book 4, The Casino Chiseler is the next one and is also an excellent read with Book 5 due out soon.

If you like American Historical Fiction then you really should look to pick this series up. You will not be disappointed!

PURCHASE LINKS – AMAZON – UK US

About the Author…

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Many thanks for reading my post, like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Fragile Planet – The Impact of Climate Change by Collins Books #nonfiction #climateawareness #photography #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for a book that I read before Christmas, in fact I think it was November when I read it! Fragile Planet – The Impact of Climate Change and published by Collins Books, this is a book that shows the images of changes rather than going into the science. Sometimes images work better than words to give a bigger impact. Let me show you more…

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A striking look at climate change through dramatic photographs
This unique book provides a striking look at the dramatic changes that are happening to our planet. Containing over 230 stunning photographs, this important book documents the effects of climate systems and forces of nature on our world alongside images which strikingly show the impact of climate change.


With unique photographs of locations including;
American, European and Asian glaciers
• Australian bushfires
• Pacific Islands under threat
• Rivers drying out
• Cities flooding
• Alaskan coastline
• Advancing deserts
• Greenland’s shrinking ice


Fragile Planet also contains images taken during the recent global COVID-19 pandemic, showing clearer canals in Venice and cleaner air at India Gate in New Delhi. 

My Review…

Sometimes it is far better to see the dynamics or rather the dramatics of changes when you sit down with a book and see the images. I think this is what makes this such a good book to sit down with.

I originally just started to flick through it, but then soon found myself working through each image from the beginning. Each image does contain a description of where and when the photo was taken. In some cases, there are two images that range from a couple of months to several decades between them. These show surprising dramatic differences, and some of them are very startling.

In a time when climate change and the damage to our planet are more in the spotlight than ever before it is a good time to see a book full of images and not too much focus on the science. Sometimes the best impact is via a visual route.

This is a gorgeous book to flick through which sounds quite odd to mention when the subject matter but what I mean is the quality of the book, the soft softback cover and the glossy images are really first-rate. The descriptions are to the point and make this ideal for flicking through or sitting and giving more attention to.

I really like this book, it is ideal for many different age groups as a general interest book, as well as being a coffee table book that makes you more aware of the world. I would definitely recommend it.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Captive by Deborah O’Connor @ZaffreBooks #NetGalley #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Captive by Deborah O’Connor. This is such a brilliant book and, well I’m going to stop there and show you what the book is about first…

Hannah knows the cage intimately. Small, the size of a shopping mall parking space. A bed, a basin, a table and chair. A hatch and metal drawer through which to exchange food and other items.

Then there’s him. Always there on the edges of her vision, no matter how hard she tries to block him out.

Every day, the same thoughts run through Hannah’s mind:

What if he speaks to me?

What if he hurts me?

What if he gets out?

My Review…

Oh, this is so good! I love the concept of this book and I have to say the author has done a brilliant job with weaving a story around a country with no prisons. Yeah, you read that right, No Prisons! What you have instead is a money-saving scheme by the Government, obviously, and the prisoners now live in a cell in the victims home!

I cannot think of anything worse than having to face the person who killed your partner or loved one on a daily basis. Or being their keeper, making sure they are fed, clean, have access to phone calls and basically being part of your everyday life. This is known as restorative justice. While I do understand victims wanting to voice their feelings to those who committed the crime, having them live their sentence out in your own home is taking things to the next level. I mean spending 20 years living together. This is what Hannah, the main character has to do with Jem, the man who murdered her husband.

I do think they are several routes the author could have gone with this plot, it is only now after I have read the book that I can see this though. I have to say that the author decided on a brilliant route and got me completely hooked in the story of Hannah, her life as it was and is now. Having Jem in the house when she works at home definitely would test anyone.

This is a book that has a basic synopsis, it gives you a simple idea and then the author works her magic. It has a chilling edge to it with loads of intrigue and it also kept me on my toes with changing attitudes as the story went further. I am not divulging anything more about the plot, even though I seriously want to!

I thoroughly enjoyed this one and it is one for those who like a domestic noir edge, who likes a book with a good sense of intrigue, mystery and that gets you thinking about possible scenarios after you have finished the book. I mean can you imagine being in lockdown under this system! Sorry I digress yet again!

Excellent concept, brilliant story and very definitely recommended.

P.S. I don’t think I have ever used so many !!!!!!’s in a review before!

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

My Week In Books (w/e 10th Jan) #booklove #bookupdates #MeAndMyBooks

Welcome to another weekly bookish round-up, well I say bookish but I’ve also been watching stuff as well! Another slightly quiet week as far as reading goes, also a week that was definitely on the “dark side”!

A while ago I binged on The Mandalorian on the Disney Channel, and then decided to re-watch the Star Wars Films. It definitely helped with understanding The Mandalorian . I have stuck with the main films and so far havewatched the Original Trilogy, The Prequel Trilogy and am currently on The Sequel Trilogy. I didn’t realise just how many other spin off’s and other films there actually was until I started to look for the chronological order!

Last week I mentioned the new version of Stephen King’s The Stand, I watched the first episode on Starz and I enjoyed it, so far so good. Slightly different timeline format to the original but still very enjoyable so I am definitely going to stick with it.

BOOKS…

So the Dark Side with the films, The Stand features the Dark Man and the reading this week has been more on the darker side of crime fiction.

Forgotten Lives by Ray Britain is a fair lump of a read at just over 400 pages, with every page very worth it. One that I really, really enjoyed. It is the second book in the series and yes I do wish I had read that one first, but Forgotten Lives does work very well as a stand alone. Keep an eye out for the review soon.

I almost missed reading this one in time and I am so glad of an email that was sent out a few days before the tour was due to start! Dishonoured by Jem Tugwell is a cracking read, twisted, full of dead ends, brilliantly written and had me absolutely hooked. I am so glad I read this in time and you can see my full review HERE.

All done for another week, I do have a couple of books on the go at the moment. I don’t often read more than one book, but one is a cookery book… its an excuse that is as good as any! 😂😂

Happy Reading folks, and have a good week ahead.

Yvonne xx

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Dishonoured by Jem Tugwell @JemTugwell @SerpentineBooks @rararesources #psychologicaLthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to be one of the Book Bloggers launching the Blog Tour today, and to share my review today for Dishonoured by Jem Tugwell. This is a riveting psychological thriller that completely reeled me in. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of this fabulous book.

Here is what it’s all about…

WE’RE ALL ONE MISTAKE FROM RUIN… 
Dan has worked hard for the perfect life. He has a loving wife, beautiful kids, a fabulous home and is a successful businessman. 

One afternoon Dan steps onto his usual train and sees the waitress who served him an hour earlier. It all seemed so normal, but it was the most dreadful mistake. Four stops later, Dan is a criminal who has lost everything. He’d only just met her, so why did she destroy him—and why did she say ‘Sorry’? 

Dan battles through a web of lies and deceit to clear his name and win his life back, but first, he needs to find out who plotted his downfall.

Purchase from Waterstones – Amazon UK or US

My Review…

Well, this is a book that took me completely by surprise! I really wasn’t expecting it to resolve the story in the way it did, and, the way it was done brilliantly!

The main character of the story is a high-flying businessman who has just done a very, very financial lucrative deal. It means that finally after years of long working hours he finally has the pay off he has worked so hard for. Well, it almost did until he finds himself in the midst of an event that causes him to lose everything.

This is a riches to rags story that really did have me on the edge of my seat. How could someone take absolutely everything from Dan? Also, why would anyone want to? Money and greed go in partnership together and Dan wonders who in the business world would benefit from his demise.

The author really did a great job of firstly reeling me into the story, then twisting and turning my opinion as to who had a motive as well as the means or connections to see Dan treated so cruelly. It has been brilliantly worked and the flow of the story works so well. There are a few characters that do have roles to play, but this book isn’t overloaded with them. To be honest, it didn’t need to be and it is so good because of it.

This is a psychological thriller, of that there is no doubt, but it doesn’t really emerge until later in the story. It happens after the author has set the field up, lined the players up and then started moving things around. It gave a cat and mouse feel to the story as avenues were explored before they turned into dead-ends. When the truth finally hits, and boy does it hit, I was stunned.

My first experience with this author and it has left me with a WOW! Yes, it is a brilliant read, wonderfully put together with twists, turns, shocks and surprises to keep you hooked. Excellent read and one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Jem Tugwell was born in Berkshire and Dishonoured is his first psychological thriller.
Jem’s first two critically acclaimed novels, Proximity and No Signal are exciting crime fiction novels set in the near future, featuring DI Clive Lussac and his partner Zoe Jordan.
Jem has a Crime Writing MA from City University, an MBA and a BSc in Computer Science and in a past life, Jem had a successful career in IT and investment management. Jem’s loves are snowboarding, old cars and bikes. He lives in Surrey with his wife and has two children.

Social Media Links – Website Twitter Facebook InstagramBookbub Goodreads

Serpentine Books – Website

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The Lake House by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

What an absolute pleasure to share my review today for The Lakehouse by Christie Barlow. This is part of the Love Heart Lane Series and I have loved every book. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of Christie’s latest book.

Here is more about it…

There’s a newcomer to the village of Heartcross and she’s never been more in need of a friend. Ella is ready to start afresh ––and that could mean there’s love on the horizon in the form of the gorgeous Roman, the local water taxi driver. Every day Roman is there to ferry Ella to the restaurant on the other side of the lake and every night he makes sure she gets home safe. But Roman has secrets of his own…
Can the Love Heart Lane community offer Ella a chance of a new life? Or will the ghosts of her past catch up with her?

Purchase Links Amazon UKUS

My Review…

What an absolute treat to be back in the village of Heartcross in the 5th book in the Love Heart Lane series. The focus for this story is on Ella. After losing her parents, her fiances disappearing, her inheritance all gone she is definitely on a low. She is struggling with life and it takes her good friend Callie to give her a hand up. Callie insists that Ella comes to live in Heartcross with her.

As anyone who has read any of these books knows, Heartcross looks after those who are struggling and it wraps them in its fabulous embrace. The author really does nail the sense of community and friendship.

Callie has lined Ella up with a job in The Lakehouse, a bistro that is accessible by boat only. Enter the gorgeous Roman as he ferries visitors, friends and workers to and fro from the island. Like Ella, he has had his problems, while Ella’s seem to be settling, Roman’s are still causing heartache. Becoming friends is something that both characters gravitate to and as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

Now as much as I adored these two characters I have to mention the fabulous Delores. Wow! She is a brilliant character and I absolutely adored her, she could have very easily taken over as she is definitely a handful, in a very good way. I am impressed by how the author kept her under control. The emphasis is on Roman and Ella, and as is appropriate in love stories there are some choppy times.

I love this series and the sense of coming back to friends I get whenever I pick a new book up. The author really has made the village of Heartcross something special and the characters are definitely unique. The only problem with this book is that I didn’t wan tit to stop, I finished it far too quickly!

I am going to say that all of the books work well as stand-alone, but read in the order you get so much more out of them. There are relationships and events that have happened in previous books that show the links between friends and community and it is this that makes the books very special. Also, you would be missing out on more fabulous reads.

Another book in the series that I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Christie Barlow is the author of ten bestselling romantic comedies including A Home at Honeysuckle Farm, Love Heart Lane and Clover Cottage. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.
Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.
When Christie isn’t writing she enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.
Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.
Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Social Media Links – InstagramTwitter Facebook

Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Editing Your Novel’s Structure by Bethany A Tucker @rararesources #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Editing Your Novel’s StructureTips, Tricks and Checklists to get you from Start to Finish by Bethany A Tucker. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Blitz today and for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Here is more about it…

Editing Your Novel’s Structure: Tips, Tricks, and Checklists to Get You From Start to Finish

Before it’s time to check for commas and iron out passive voice, fiction writers need to know that their story is strong. Are your beta readers not finishing? Do they have multiple, conflicting complaints? When you ask them questions about how they experience your story, do they give lukewarm responses? Or have you not even asked anyone to read your story, wondering if it’s ready?

If any of the above is true, you may need to refine the structure of your story. What is structure you ask?  Structure is what holds a story together. Does the character arc entrance the reader? Is the world building comprehensive and believable? These questions and more have to be answered by all of us as we turn our drafts into books. 

In this concise handbook, complete with checklists for each section, let a veteran writer walk you through the process of self-assessing your novel, from characters to pacing with lots of compassion and a dash of humor. In easy to follow directions and using adaptable strategies, she shows you how to check yourself for plot holes, settle timeline confusion, and snap character arcs into place. 

Use this handbook for quick help and quick self-editing checklists on:

– Characters and Character Arcs.
– Plot.
– Backstory.
– Point of View.
– A detailed explanation of nearly free self-editing tools and how to apply them to your book to find your own structural problems.
– Beginnings and Ends.
– Editing for sensitive and specialized subject matter.
– Helpful tips on choosing beta readers, when to seek an editor, and a sample questionnaire to give to your first readers. 

Grab your copy of Edit Your Novel’s Structure today! Now is the time to finish that draft and get your story out into the world.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK US

My review…

As someone who still hopes to one day publish a full length novel, I found this a really interesting book to read. Essentially this is a guide that takes a new author through some of the basics of sorting you work into a better and more readable story.

While the basics of a story having a start, a middle and an end is till relevant, there is more that can be done. Whether it is fleshing or developing your characters or creating back stories, this book gives you tips and advice that is definitely helpful.

The author doesn’t go in-depth but gives pointers. She uses her own experiences from her starting to publish as well as from reading others work. These examples do help to make a point. While some of the information is obvious, there is also a lot more that I hadn’t thought about, but does make perfect sense.

This a book that the author suggests is for those either writing their first book or those that have a couple of books under their belt. It is definitely a handy guide and it’s laid out in a very accessible way. It isn’t a heavy rule book of do’s and dont’s but just a book of no-pressure advice.

A handy guide for helping with structural work for budding authors. One I would recommend.

About the Author…

Bethany Tucker is an author and editor located near Seattle, U.S.A. Story has always been a part of her life. With over twenty years of writing and teaching experience, she’s more than ready to take your hand and pull back the curtain on writing craft and mindset. Last year she edited over a million words for aspiring authors. Her YA fantasy series Adelaide is published wide under the pen name Mustang Rabbit and her dark epic fantasy is releasing in 2021 under Ciara Darren. You can find more about her services for authors at TheArtandScienceofWords.com. 

Social Media Links –   theartandscienceofwords.com, mustangrabbit.com

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx