#BlogTour : Illusion by @StephanieElmas with @EndeavourPress #BookReview

Illusion blog tour promo

“Illusion” by Stephanie Elmas is available as a paperback and also eBook.  Published by Endeavour Press.

Synopsis:

London, 1873.

Returning home from his travels with a stowaway named Kayan, Walter Balanchine is noted for the charms, potions and locket hanging from his neck.

Finding his friend Tom Winter’s mother unwell, he gives her a potion he learned to brew in the Far East. Lucid and free from pain, the old woman remembers something about Walter’s mother.

Walter is intrigued, for he has never known his family or even his own name – he christened himself upon leaving the workhouse.

Living in a cemetery with his pet panther Sinbad to keep the body snatchers away, word soon spreads of his healing and magical abilities and he becomes a sought after party performer.

During one of Walter’s parties, Tom is approached by Tamara Huntington, who reveals she is being forced to marry a man she does not love.

Will he and Walter come to her rescue?

Try as they might, sometimes all the best intentions in the world can’t put a stop to a bad thing, and she is soon married off to the cruel Cecil Hearst.

Drama and tragedy ensue, and Walter keeps his distance from Tamara.

That is until her stricken brother-in-law Daniel requires his magical healing, and he is forced back into her life.

With secrets beginning to emerge, Walter finds his mother may be a lot closer to home than he realised…

Filled with mystery, magic and larger than life characters, Illusion will keep you guessing until the very last page. 

My Thoughts:

Set in London 1873 with Tom Winter as he catches up with old friend Walter Balanchine and his stowaway Kayan.  Walter has been away travelling in The East learning healing and magic.  Walter is asked to perform magic at a birthday party and that is where Tom first sets eyes on Tamara.  She is there with her mother and a man presumed to be her father, but is actually Cecil Hearst, her soon to be husband.  As the story progresses a picture is built up that delves into the lives and histories of the main cast of characters, a world of mystery, suspense and intrigue.

The characters of this story cover a good array of different traits, personalities and social backgrounds, rich, poor, feeble, heroic, manipulative and downright loathsome and evil.  You will soon work out which character fits with which trait, who you will want to cheer on and who you will despise.  Each has a very memorable personality making them easy to remember as the plot is explored.  The plot itself is deeply twisted with an air of tension and suspense, taking the reader through many subplots.  The story expresses the atmosphere of the era very well with some wonderful descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells.

I would recommend this book to readers of period fiction, mystery,that oozes atmosphere, suspense, mystery and intrigue.

About the Author:

Stephanie ElmasStephanie Elmas was born in Hong Kong to an English father and Czech mother but spent most of her childhood in Bristol, England UK. She studied English at university in London. She has worked as a head hunter, taught English in Japan and returned to university to complete a Masters in Victorian fiction. It was here that she developed her interest in the dark dangerous world of Victorian sensation writing. Stephanie now lives in a chaotic house in Surrey, England UK, with her husband and three highly energetic but wonderful children.

Author Links: Website  Twitter

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 283 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (2 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1549655175
  • ISBN-13: 978-1549655173
  • Amazon UK

Links for Endeavour

Website: www.endeavourpress.com

Twitter: @EndeavourPress

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EndeavourPress/

Instagram: @endeavour_press

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Better still, go and buy the book.

#BookReview : Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe : pub @matadorbooks : @NetGalley : #ChristmasBooksforChildren

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“Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe” by S.L.Browne is available now in eBook and in paperback.  Published by Matador / Troubador Publishing

This is a children’s book recommended for ages 7-9 years.  A science fiction and fantasy read.  This is a book I read for as part of my idea for the books children would like for Christmas.

Synopsis:

In S. L. Browne’s debut children’s book, a small boy called Magnus is whisked away from a dying overheated Earth by his mentor Marlo, only to discover that he belongs to a tribe of aliens known as the Guardians of the Universe living in a different dimension. Marlo, a very ancient and disgruntled wizard, has failed to stop the evil Murdamond from destroying Earth through his unquenchable desire for shiny and beautiful things.

When Magnus arrives on his home planet, he finds that humans have not yet evolved and that dinosaurs still exist. Marlo tells Magnus that he fears that Murdamond will try to move to this new, healthy planet to steal all of its treasures now that he has ruined the old Earth. Upon their arrival in the Deruweld village, they discover that Murdamond has already arrived and he is holding Magnus’ parents hostage in the dungeon of his brand new castle.

Magnus realises he has been tasked with a dangerous and urgent problem to solve. He has to save his home planet, rescue his parents and save the Universe from the ghastly Murdamond and his henchmen. He must use all his wisdom and powers, along with his dinosaur friends and the strange Jewelled Book of the Universe that decides life would be more interesting if it transformed into a girl, in order to defeat Murdamond before it is too late.

Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe is the first book in a fantasy trilogy that takes inspiration from Roald Dahl and Dick King Smith. The book contains dinosaurs, space travel and time travel in a humorous and magical story that will appeal to young readers aged 7-9 years. S. L. Browne’s debut book also contains an important message about climate change.

My Thoughts:

This is an interesting book with some diverse themes running through it.  Magnus is shown how he can travel to alternate universes, though tornado’s with ancient monolith as a portal and the magic book being the key.  On arrival at this other world, he is told to expect a simpler lifestyle where greed and money do not exist, but dinosaurs do!  While here he discovers more about himself and his other abilities.

This is a mish-mash of things, a mix of The Wizard of Oz and a twist of Roald Dahl.  The book looks at the way humans treat the earth, exploring the effects of money, power and greed.  But even in this other world setting there are traces of these and they are getting stronger.  It does sound as if it would be quite heavy reading when the topics include climate change, extinction of animals and power struggles, but it has been done in a basic way, not to simple though. I felt it was a good book to introduce these themes and wrap them around a suitable story.

As I read this, I kept thinking back to the books I read as a child.  Would I like this one ? Yes, actually I think I would have enjoyed it.  My one criticism is that this story did finish a little too abruptly, I didn’t feel that it was finished properly. I am aware of it being part of a series and in my copy, there was a preview of the next book, but it was just a little sudden.

I think this book would appeal to readers of the indicated 7-9 year age range.  An interesting story with a very important message, but done in a very accessible and not over the top sort of way.

I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley and Matador for my copy of this eARC.  I requested it and my views expressed here are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

EDITION
ISBN
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#BlogTour The Mercury Travel Club by @Helen_Bridgett with @RedDoorBooks @rararesources @gilbster1000

“The Mercury Travel Club” by Helen Bridgett.  Is available in paperback and eBook format.  Published by Red Door Publishing.

Synopsis:

He took her to dinner: that was annoying

He slept with her: that was hurtful

He bought new underwear to impress her: quite frankly astounding

He left me to bloody wash his FILTHY WHORING PANTS: INFURIATING!

After twenty-four years and eleven months of marriage, Angie Shepherd is divorced, dejected and facing a future of cardigans and cats. Best friend Patty is having none of it, and launches Angie into a variety of crazy schemes in search of her lost mojo.

But it s just not enough; what she really dreams of is beating her ex and becoming Entrepreneur of the Year. Channelling her inner Richard Branson, Angie invests her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club, a travel agency with a twist. But as the club gets going, things don’t go according to plan, and in this digital age, a little chaos brings the recognition Angie’s been looking for.

Witty, entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, this feel-good novel shows that it’s never too late for a second chance.

My Thoughts:

Angela is coming up for her 53rd birthday, she is divorced, in a starter home and feeling a little sorry for herself.  Her marriage ended after 24 years and 11 months, not even long enough to get her silver wedding anniversary.  Her 23-year-old daughter Zoe, wants her mum to move on, just as Zoe’s dad has.  Patty has been a friend to Angela for over 30 years and is of the same opinion as Zoe, but her ideas are not the same as Zoe’s.  During one night out, the girls are trending on you tube, much to Zoe’s disgust!

Essentially this is a story of a 50 something trying to find out who she is, and also so much more than that.  As Angela takes steps to moving on she starts to change, initially outwardly, it is far easier to change clothes, hair and make up.  After a while she starts to change on the inside, she decides she is going to be priority and starts to gain the confidence to put herself first.  What started as a little idea, has turned into a success.  Her little idea of a travel club is now reality, as is all the hard work of organising, attending talks, group visits and the whole shebang that goes with it.

This is a great book, it is light-hearted and heart-warming.  I am not a big reader of this style of book, but as I read this I had a smile on my face, and several times sniggered at the antics.  It has a great deal of well written little stories within the main story, sort of anecdotes of things that happen in the characters lives.  The characters are wonderful, diverse and well described.  The plot of the story I really enjoyed.  As I mentioned, a 50 something woman finding herself, or should I say finding herself in situations that she would never have considered herself in as a wife. It is a warm, cosy, snuggly read, with some wonderful characters and really well written.

I would recommend this book to readers of chic lit, who like a good light-hearted, heart warming, humorous read with some memorable characters.  I will be looking out for more books in this series.

I would like to say a big thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for bringing this book to my attention and allowing me a spot on the tour.  My thoughts here are my own and are unbiased.  I would also like to wish Helen all the best with this book and future books.

About the Author:

Helen Bridgett

Helen Bridgett was born in North-East England and now lives in Manchester having stopped off at a few places in between. Having failed miserably with every New Year’s resolution that involved giving up food or drink, one year, she set herself a completely different goal – to write a novel and give it as a Christmas present. The Mercury Travel Club was born and the characters took on a life of their own. Outside of writing, Helen loves hiking and wine – not usually at the same time.Helen is currently developing the next novels in The Mercury Travel Club series

Author Links: Website   Facebook    Twitter

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: RedDoor Publishing (16 Mar. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1910453285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1910453285
  • Amazon UK

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Better still go and buy the book.

#BookReview : Hit The Road, Jac! by Jacqui Furneaux @Bulletjac : @Propel_Tech : pub by Shuvvy Press

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I wish to thank Propel Technology for sending me a copy of “Hit The Road Jac” by Jacqui Furneaux.   The story of her journey over seven years to 20 different countries all on the back of a 500cc Royal Enfield Bullet, with no plan.

Synopsis:

“Read this and you’ll want to go on an adventure. Jacqui’s tale is not just obviously inspiring, but her story makes you think about the pleasures of nature and simplicity; about taking the time to just stand and breathe life in, something we all quite wrongly think we don’t have the time for. Her words reminded me of myself as a child, being inventive, imaginative and at times pretty cheeky to get what I wanted. Though clearly tough and dangerous at times, her journey seemed to create joy, a self-made joy. Nothing better. I’m a huge fan of her trip, it’s made me think…… I bet it will make you think too….!” SUZI PERRY

My Thoughts:

Wow!  is an understatement for what Jacqui has been through in her seven years of travelling and has described in this book.  She has pushed her way through things that most people would shy away from.  This lady certainly likes a challenge.  For her 50th birthday she bought her Enfield, in the following 7 years she travelled on it around India, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, South and Central America visiting 20 countries on her journey, with only occasional trips back to the UK to see her family.

As Jacqui leads you through her adventure you also learn of her own life.  She explains why she made the decision to travel and she does it in an honest way.  She is quite candid as she travels to new places and meets new people, as well as her own personal journey as she finds herself.  She shares how she dealt with the ups and downs of life, love, family, relationships and travel, just like the cover of her book.  A game of snakes and ladders, all ups, downs and working your way through to an end goal.

Along the way she became a well seasoned and respected traveller, keeping an account in her diaries.  She has learnt how to repair and maintain her bike that has taken her across mountains, beside volcanoes, deep gorges and passes with the occasional mishap.  She has been in the odd accident, bruises, scraps and broken bones, but has recovered to continue her journey and survived to tell the tale.

This book is written in a very easy to read style, it covers a whole range of things that make up a really interesting travel memoir.  It has a humorous side to it at times, and is also pragmatic.  It has an edge of the seat feel and a great all round read.  She shares her feeling on the places she has seen, the kindness of strangers and that some of the places she visited will never be seen again.  Her travels started in 2000 and since then their has been civil unrest, conflict and war that has changed the landscape as well as damaging or destroying buildings.  I love the fact that the bike is still going!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers of Travel Memoirs, Travel Guide, Educational, Reference, Biography and Non-Fiction books.  I can think of a couple of my own family members that would be interested in reading this book.  I think different people will take different things from it.

About the Author:

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Picking up my brand new Enfield from the showroom in Chennai, India.

In 1998, after bringing up a family and being a nurse and health visitor, I set out on a year’s journey, on my own for the first time ever. I started backpacking in Thailand and explored many South-East Asian countries armed only with wide-open eyes and a guide book. Six months into the trip and feeling quite the adventurous explorer, I went to Pakistan and India before returning to the UK.

But I found I really liked travelling and although at my age I really should have known better, I set off again, this time combining my love of travel with my other passion … motorcycling. I’d owned various Japanese motorbikes over the years since passing my test aged 24 but had never had an Enfield!

Exchanging guide books for road maps, for my 50th birthday I bought a 500cc Enfield Bullet in India and rode it, initially alongside the Dutchman who had suggested the idea. None of it was planned. I would not have dreamed I’d be having this chance of a lifetime when I should have been saving for my retirement. But life’s too short not to take a chance. 

Follow Jacqui on her Website  or Twitter , her website is well worth looking through, there is loads of great content.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Shuvvy Press (2 Sept. 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0956430562
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956430564
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

I would like to express my thanks to Propel Technology for sending me a copy of this book.  My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.  The pictures are from Jacqui’s website, a site I recommend visiting.

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, please give it a share.  Better still go and buy the book.

#BookReview : Into The Valley by Chris Clement-Green : http://bit.ly/YvonneBlog : @TheMirrorBooks @BookMachine : #BonusBlogTourExtra

 

I am delighted to share my thoughts on “Into The Valley” by Chris Clement-Green.  I was not able to read in time for the blog tour dates, but thanks to the generosity of  @laurasummersnow  at Book Machine  I have a bonus slot.  This book is available as a paperback and eBook and is published by Mirror Books.

Synopsis:

Encouraged by the sizeable pay increase and high divorce rate, Chris decided that answering a recruitment ad for the Thames Valley Police was just the thing for a much-needed overhaul of her life. It was 1984, a time before political correctness, at the height of the miner s strike and in the middle of five years of race riots. Perfect timing. Expanding her police knowledge, and her love life, undeterred by sexist remarks and chauvinists she decided to make her mark, kissing goodbye to her previous dull and conventional existence. Chris captures the colourful characters and humour in the situations she found herself in, but the job had its serious side, too. She was at the centre of a riot in Oxford, during which her life was saved by a young black man she had previously stopped and questioned, and was attacked by a man with mental-health problems a consequence of the decision to move care into the community . Consistently coming up against the effects of Margaret Thatcher s politics; from miner s picket-lines, covering (poorly) for striking paramedics during the ambulance dispute to everyday drunken disturbances caused by the haves (Yuppies and Oxford students) and the have-nots (alcoholic homeless and unemployed youth), Chris also tackled sex crimes and abuse. An often humorous, always candid and no-holds-barred reflection of the life of a policewoman in the 80s, this book offers a personal account of a life in uniform, while touching on the Newbury Bypass demos, the effects of Scarman, the Hungerford Massacre, the bombing of Libya, the AIDS epidemic and working under the notorious Ali Dizaei.

My Thoughts:

When the opportunity came through my email in box to read this book.  I was definitely interested in reading this, it was a book that was set during the 80’s.  For me I can remember seeing things on the news at this time, in 1984 I was 13 years old.  In 1984 Chris made the choice to join the Thames Valley Police Force.  This book covers the 16 years she spent in the force, telling of experiences, training and how things have changed over the time, both in a procedural sense as well as from a female police officer and the prejudices that were shown towards her.

Chris has had to deal with many things over the years in the force, but her dogged perseverance has served her well.  She gives a very candid account of things she has witnessed and  experienced, with stories that are a mix of various crimes she has been called to attend. Some are serious in nature, some are humorous.  It has been laid out in a very readable style, and charts her rise and her reasons for some of her decisions.  As she tells this account, she also adds what was happening in other police forces, especially notable things that made national news headlines.  It adds a good timeline perspective and helps to jog memories of where you were at the time, or what you were doing.  The book is set out in various chapters, and reads like short stories as well as continuing Chris’s story.

I really enjoyed this book, I found it quite educational at times, and it was nice to see what changes have been made within the force.  A book that I think will appeal to readers of Biography, True Crime, Politics and Society.

I would like to thank Book Machine Works and Mirror Books for my copy of this book.  My views expressed are my own and are unbiased.

 

About the Author:

Chris Clement-Green_smChris Clement-Green recently retired from Thames Valley Police after sixteen years as a uniform sergeant followed by five as a civilian investigator on serious and organised crime teams – which included working on several murder incident rooms. Her last job involved the management of sixty registered sex-offenders. She has now moved to rural Wales and set up The Welsh Writing Shed, from where Chris runs tutored and untutored writing retreats – thewelshwritingshed.co.uk

Her serious writing started in 2007 when she was encouraged to enter the National Association of Writer’s Groups annual short story competition. It was Chris’ first ever competition so she was astonished to win with Pebbles. The win encouraged her to undertake the Open University Creative Writing course in 2010 and Advanced Creative Writing in 2011, and she completed both courses with distinction. In 2013 she was accepted onto the prestigious Bath Spa University Creative Writing MA, where she completed a life-writing manuscript Into The Valley: Policing Thatcher’s Britain. Mirror Books has recently signed Chris and her memoir is due for publication in August 2017.

Chris has had several articles and letters published in national UK magazines, most notably Writing Magazine, and in September 2016 she was published in The New Guard Volume V a literary journal based in New York. Chris has also been short listed in the Literature Works First Page Writing Prize and Writing Magazine’s Jane Eyre competition; she was also Highly Commended in the Penro Literary Festival’s memoir competition and most recently her fantasy short story, Layla, was published in Divinity Fantasia Magazine. Chris won the Oriel Davis Prose Competition in 2016 and she was also a finalist in the Women in Comedy Festival 2016 writing competition with her monologue Queenie.

Chris has just completed work on her debut novel The Soft Tread of Vengeance; a procedural crime novel which has at its heart, animal rights versus human welfare, what money can and cannot buy and the nature of terrorism and redemption. Chris is now working on the first in a series of crime novels – Come Join the Murder – which is set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s Britain.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Mirror Books (21 Sept. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907324720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907324727
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

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Better still go and buy the book.

 

#BookReview :Hortense and the Shadow by @oharasisters : @PuffinBooks @PenguinUKBooks

 

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“Hortense and the Shadow” by Natalia and Lauren O’Hara is available now in hardback or eBook.

As Christmas is fast approaching I decided that it was time to have a look at some children’s books, though at first a little unsure of where to start.  Then I had an email via NetGalley for this book, you may call it fate.  I call it magic!

Synopsis:

“Through the dark and wolfish woods, through the white and silent snow, lived a small girl called Hortense. Though kind and brave, she was sad as an owl because of one thing . . . Hortense hated her shadow.” A beautifully illustrated dark fairy tale that will remind you of the fables you read as a child. A treasure not to be missed.

Hortense hated her shadow. Everywhere she went, it went. Everything she did, it did. And every time night fell it grew, tall and dark and crooked.

So Hortense decided: the shadow must go! Only later, alone in the wolfish woods, she learned that a girl without a shadow is far smaller… a fairy tale about light and shadows. 

My Thoughts:

This is a beautiful book with a beautiful story.  It has an old story feel to it, when you read the bio of the authors it is obvious that old stories have been a big part of their lives. I was drawn to the artwork originally, the whimsical, delicate pastel illustrations are superb.  They manage to capture the atmosphere of the setting and the story.  The story itself is based on Hortense and her dislike of her shadow, it follows her everywhere, at night turning into a dark, creepy shadow that was scary. She manages to cut the shadow off, but can feel it’s presence, but one night it comes to her rescue.  Hortense realises her shadow is something that is an extension of herself, can make her appear taller, longer and reach further.

This is a book I would love to have read as a child, and would love to have read to my now grown up children.  It is a story with a message, is beautifully written and I loved the illustrations.

I would like to express my thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for allowing me a copy of this eARC.  My opinions are my own and are unbiased.

About the Authors:

Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairy tales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.

Visit their Website or on Twitter

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Age Range: 5 – 7 years
  • Publisher: Puffin (5 Oct. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141374020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141374024
  • Purchase from Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked this, give it a share.  Or better still, go and buy the book.

#Book Review : Living in Italy, The Real Deal by Stef Smulders @italie_verhalen

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“Living In Italy : The Real Deal” by Stef Smulders is available in paperback and eBook.

Synopsis:

Would you dare to follow your dream and move or retire to Italy? Stef & Nico did, although their dog Sara had her doubts. Now from your comfortable armchair you can share in the hilarious & horrendous adventures they experienced when they moved to Italy to start a bed and breakfast.

For lovers of amusing travelogue memoirs who like a good laugh. And for those interested in practical advice on how to buy a house in Italy there is useful information along the way, pleasantly presented within the short stories.
Glossary of Italian words included! Learn the true meaning of Italian phrases and expressions like “non ci sono problemi“, “di fiducia“, “persone serie“, “tutto a norma” and many more. Learn a bit of the foreign language before going to Italy.
My Thoughts:
A while ago Stef asked me if I was interested in reading his book.  I was curious when I read the synopsis, of how Stef and Nico left The Netherlands to live in Italy running a B&B.  I had resisted the temptation to visit the website to see the before and after pictures, though I had seen a glimpse of them.  I wanted to read this book and build up my own image, from the descriptions Stef was going to describe on the pages of his book.
What started in 2007 with looking for a property to the end result of a beautiful home is remarkable, especially as you read all the hoops these two men went through to get to their dream.  All the rules and regulations seem to have been a minefield, with a lot of travelling between departments, authorities, bureaus, then there are the estate agent, owners, contractors and so many others.
2008/09 saw them in the property and as Italian residents, builders with extra unforeseen costs, weather, ground water and they still continued.  How Stef and Nico managed to remain calm and sane is remarkable.  Their patience was pushed to the limit, but they remained focused on their end goal.  They also started to build up a relationship with locals, going to see various attractions in the area.  They wanted to include a lists of places for their guests to visit.
I really liked this book, Stef has created a really great book of his  experiences.  He has the high points and the low points of the venture they embarked upon.  He has included a lot of Italian phrases and a very in-depth glossary, though as you read the phrases he has included meanings, it is very useful doing it this way as it saves flitting between glossary and story.  This is written in a very readable way, it kept me captivated from the beginning.  It is an account that is humorous at times and at others made me feel their anguish as they dealt with all the trials they went through.
So when I had finished the book I then went to look at their website ( you will find a link to this in the “About the Author” section below), and it is a beautiful house.  Did the descriptions I had read in the book match what I saw in the site ? Well yes they did actually, and I lost myself for a while looking and reading through the site.  I admit to being a little bit envious of their house, it is beautiful and in a gorgeous location.
I would recommend this book to readers who like to read about other people’s adventures in life, a non fiction, educational, reference guide to living in a different country.  It is well written, with great content and some weird and wonderful observations from Stef.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Stef for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.
About the Author:
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 Dutchman who moved to Italy in 2008 to live the good life wih husband and dog, welcoming guests in their Villa I Due Padroni B&B in the beautiful wine region Oltrepò Pavese, south of Milan.

Author of the Award winning book “Living in Italy: the Real Deal” with hilarious expat adventures.

Book Details:
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 949.0 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Babelcube Inc. (5 Nov. 2017)
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Better still, go and buy the book.

#BookReview : Mr Campions Abdication by Mike Ripley : published by @severnhouse from@NetGalley

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“Mr Campions Abdication” by Mike Ripley and published by Severn House Publishing.

It is available as a hardback or an eBook.

Synopsis:

So where exactly did Albert Campion stand on the Abdication?’ ‘Behind the throne, slightly to the left?’ suggested Commander Charles Luke.

Margery Allingham’s Mr Campion finds himself masquerading as technical advisor to a very suspicious but glamorous Italian film producer and her crew hunting for buried treasure that never was in the Suffolk village of Heronhoe near Pontisbright which used to host trysts between Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson.

‘When it came to the Abdication Crisis in ’36 those dirty week-ends in Heronhoe were quickly forgotten, except not by the Prince. The story goes – that when he married Mrs Simpson, in 1937 that would be, he actually sent a valuable thank you gift to Heronhoe. That was what became known as the Abdication Treasure although there’s no record of anything going to Heronhoe Hall, or of anybody ever receiving anything from the Duke of Windsor and nobody anywhere claims to have actually seen anything resembling treasure.’

‘So how is Albert Campion involved? You said the treasure doesn’t exist.’

‘It doesn’t,’ Lord Breeze said firmly, ‘and I have been instructed to tell you to tell Campion, that unless he wants to risk embarrassing Buckingham Palace, he’d better lay off. There’s no such thing as the Abdication Treasure, so there’s nothing to find and Campion had better make sure he doesn’t find it!’

My Thoughts:

Set in the 1970’s, Albert Campion has turned TV producer with an Italian filming company.  The film is to be about Edward and Mrs Simpson and their time at Heronhoe Hall.  The hall is the site of a historical dig, at the time it was hoped to be par with the famous dig at Sutton Hoo, but unfortunately it did not produce significant finds.  But there was a rumour that Edward had left a treasure at Heronhoe, it was known as the “Abication Treasure”.  A mystery, as no one knows who received it or if it was recieved at all. But Campion, with help of friends, family and archaeologists start sleuthing to discover the truth.

I really loved the way this book started and it had me hooked for a number of chapters, but I found that by the time I got to the middle the story started to become a little repetitive. With the same questions being asked of different people but receiving pretty much the same answers.  It felt to me, a little too padded out in the middle, but then towards the ends few chapters, it picked up again.

There are a lot of things about this book I enjoyed.  There is a lot of historical references, the characters are great, a real mixed bunch from varied backgrounds.  The plot was intriguing and at the start I really enjoyed it, and also the end, but as I have mentioned the middle section just didn’t quite do it for me. I also found that I kept forgetting the decade this was set in, and had to remind myself that it was the 70’s.

This is a book that had potential for me to love, but just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  I would recommend to readers of historical crime, thriller, mystery.  I do actually look forward to reading more by this author.

I wish to thank Severn House Publishing and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My views expressed here are unbiased and my own.

Book Details:

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd; First World Publication ed. edition (10 July 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727887351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727887351
  • Purchase link to Amazon UK

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#BlogTour Dark Chapter by @winniemli with @Legend_Press #BookReview

 

I have read this book as part of the tour for this heartbreaking, emotional, inspiring book.  This book is available as paperback, hardback, eBook, audio-book and audio CD.

Synopsis:

An astonishing and unique novel inspired by the author’s own story

Vivian is a cosmopolitan Taiwanese-American tourist who often escapes her busy life in London through adventure and travel.
Johnny is a 15-year-old Irish teenager, living a neglected life on the margins of society.

On a bright spring afternoon in West Belfast, their paths collide during a horrifying act of violence.

In the aftermath, each is forced to confront the chain of events that led to the attack.

Inspired by true events, this is a story of the dark chapters and chance encounters that can irrevocably determine the shape of our lives.

Praise for the Book:

Winner of The Guardian Not The Booker
Prize 2017

As covered by YOU Magazine, Daily Mail,
Daily Telegraph, The Times, Metro, The Weekender, The Stylist, Irish Sun, Irish
News, The Scotsman, Irish News, Books Ireland Magazine, BBC World Service, RTE
Radio, BBC Radio Ulster, London Live, The Pool, Crime Writers Association,
English PEN podcast.

STYLIST magazine Top 10 debuts to look out for in 2017

‘An important and moving book’ Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘Complex and rewarding… an important book’-Stylist

‘Dark Chapter is a must-read. It’s gripping, compelling and all the more authentic for inhabiting both voices so completely. Stunning.’ Erin Kelly

‘An authentic, courageous debut, told with unflinching honesty and exceptional insight.’ A.D. Garret

‘A powerful story, compassionately told.’Ros Barber, winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize and The Author’s Club First Novel Award

‘An accomplished debut, an honest and unsparing story.’ Cath Staincliffe

‘I have never found myself rooting for a heroine with more urgency’ Kate Rhodes

‘Deftly written, pacey and unflinching, I could not put it down. Winnie Li is a rare talent with an explosive and timely story. Do not miss it.’ Marti Leimbach, best-selling author of Dying Young and Daniel Isn’t Talking

Highly Commended for the CWA Debut Dagger

My Thoughts:

When I was approached by Imogen Harris at Legend Press to read this book and be part of a blog tour , I did not respond straight away, I thought about it first.  I am not a reader who likes to read about rape, so why would I want to read this? Then I read that it was based on a true story by the victim of this attack, it did make me re think.  I changed my mind because I wanted to support this lady, my way of offering my support is to read her book.  Her experience inspired the story.

So onto my thoughts regarding the story.  At first it was a little confusing, starting at the end, then jumping to the beginning. Then onto the  childhood of Vivian, living in America, her education and her love of travel  with her arrival to the UK.  At the same time as Vivian’s story we are told about Johnny, a teenager of Irish Travellers, his upbringing is very different and hard.  Once I had gone a few chapters into the book and understood the switching between characters, then I was well and truly hooked.

The book tells how two people come to be in one place at the same time.  How that meeting changed both of their lives.  What I found interesting was how the author had also incorporated the thoughts of both the victim and the attacker.  It gave a very deep and in-depth perspective.  Two views that are so opposite to each other.  The characters are different in their mannerisms, outlooks on life, their education, their everything.   The book, once I had got used to the style, was then set out in a very logical way.  It gives details up to the attack, the attack, the trial and also the after effects of the attack  As I read the section regarding the trial especially, I had a lump in my throat, just holding back the tears until the verdict was delivered.  At this point I had to put down the book, I could not see through my tears.  I was amazed at how caught up I had got in this story.

I found once I had started this book, it was very difficult to put down.  There are some uncomfortable reading moments as you would expect.   It has  an honesty that is heartbreaking, emotional and inspiring.  I would recommend this book to readers of contemporary fiction, women’s fiction, crime genres.

I wish to thank Imogen Harris and Legend Press for my copy of this book.  My thoughts expressed are my own and are unbiased.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Legend Press (1 Nov. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1785079069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1785079061
  • Amazon UK  Amazon US

About the Author:

IMG_9929 LR final.jpg

Winnie M Li is a writer and producer. A Harvard graduate, she has written for travel guide books, produced independent feature filmes, programmed for film festivals and developed ecotourism projects. After graduating with Distinction in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, she now writes across a range of media (including the Huffington Post), runs arts festivals, and is a PhD researcher at LSE. Winnie lives in London, yet is somewhat addicted to travel Follow Winnie on Twitter

 

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you like it, please give a share.  Better still, go and buy this book.

#BlogBlitz Scream Blue Murder by @TonyJForder with @Bloodhoundbook @sarahhardy681 #BookReview

Tony J Forder - Scream Blue Murder_cover_1

“Scream Blue Murder” by Tony J Forder is available in eBook.  Published by Bloodhound Books.

Synopsis:

Mike Lynch is going through hard times. But things get much worse when he witnesses a murder in a lay-by. Snatching the victim’s car in order to get away, Mike soon makes a shocking discovery – the victim’s young daughter and her nanny are hiding in the rear footwell. This is when the real trouble begins.

Mike wants to go to the police, but the nanny, Melissa, wants to delay until the daughter, Charlie, is somewhere safe. Mike agrees to this request before finding out the seriousness of the situation, and just how much danger they are really in.

Who exactly was the man he saw murdered? And who is the man he saw pulling the trigger?

In a situation where nothing is what it seems, Mike will have to fight for his life to protect a woman and a child he doesn’t know. And when the death count rises, he will discover what kind of man he really is.

When you can’t identify the victim, how can you find the killer?

My thoughts:

When I was approached by Sarah to see if this would be a book I would like to read, I all but snapped her hand off.  A couple of months ago I read Degrees of Darkness (Amazon link) and when the offer of reading Scream Blue Murder came along, I have to admit to not reading the synopsis.  I went with the fact that I had read one book by this author and loved it, so would trust that he could deliver again. So as I read this one, I was not expecting to come out with so many what the hell’s, no way’s, bloody hell’s, and what the f.. well you get the idea.  I was also glad I read it on my kindle, if it had been in book format I would have lost my page so many times, as I threw my hands up in the air on several occasions.   I must quickly add at this point, all these exclamation are good ones,  I loved it so much.  I rated his last book as a 5 star on Amazon and Goodread’s, now want to know where the button is to add a 6 star review.

Anyway, to the story.  Mike Lynch has had a really bad day.  When you think of the phrase “wrong time, wrong place” this is Mike, he really was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  He only pulled into a lay-by to stretch his legs, when he witnesses a murder, he sees one option, to jump into the waiting car and drive off.  The car is the victims car and he discovers it has two passengers hiding behind the seat, a young woman and a child, they add to the problems.  What follows is something much more than a problem, it becomes a matter of survival.

The author has managed to create an deeply intricate and twisted plot line.  There are so many stories and threads that have been manipulated to create a very fast paced, action packed, well written story.  There are quite a few characters  in this book, but the main focus is really on Mike and Melissa, how they work through to discover the why’s and the who’s of this murder.  As they get to know each other the reader is given a great background into their histories, and  what makes them tick, but more importantly the reasons behind their actions and reactions.

The author has not missed a beat with this book, well in my opinion he hasn’t.  He has covered so many angles, throwing so many curve balls, giving outcomes that I did not see coming at all, and when they were delivered it was without warning, with a punch.

Highly recommend this book to readers who like action packed, hard hitting, hold nothing back murder, mystery, thriller, crime books.  It has memorable characters, is addictive from start to finish, with great plots and twists and is well written.

I would like to thank Sarah Hardy and Bloodhound Books for my spot on the tour.  Also huge thanks to Tony for an amazingly brilliant read. My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

Bloodhound-Author-Meet-89

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed crime thriller Bad to the Bone, the first in a series featuring DI Jimmy Bliss and DC Penny Chandler. The second book in the series will be released in 2018, with a third currently in progress.

On 19 September 2017, Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This was intended to be a stand-alone novel, but Tony is now considering the possibility of a follow-up.

On 8 November, Bloodhound Books will publish Tony’s new fast-paced action thriller, Scream Blue Murder. This is the first novel in an intended series, and has received praise from both Mason Cross and Matt Hilton.

Some years ago, Tony won a short story competition judged by an editor from Pan Books. The story, Gino’s Bar and Grille, went on to be published in Dark Voices 2, part of the celebrated Pan Book of Horror series. Three further short story sales followed: Book End, published in Dark Voices 4, Character Role, in FEAR magazine, and finally A Grim Story, which featured in A Rattler’s Tale. It was the start of Tony’s publishing journey.

Tony is signed to Bloodhound Books for a minimum of four books, but believes there is much more to come.

Follow the author on Facebook  |  Twitter

Book Details:

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2387 KB
  • Publisher: Bloodhound Books (8 Nov. 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Purchase from  Amazon UK

Many thanks for reading my post.  If you liked it, give it a share.  Better still, go and buy the book.