The Reach Of Shadows by Tony J Forder @TonyJForder #review

I am absolutely delighted to be bringing you my review of the 4th DI Bliss book, The Reach Of Shadows by Tony J Forder. I am a big fan of this author, I eagerly await the next book and one that I would automatically buy without reading the synopsis.

I was delighted to be chosen as a winner for a signed copy of this latest book in the series. I had already got this one on pre-order but waited until I had the actual paperback in my hand before reading it.

So let’s see what this latest book is all about…

Discover a bestselling crime series that will have you gripped from the explosive start to the heart-pounding conclusion.

Recovering from injuries sustained in a road collision, DI Bliss is taken directly from hospital to a fresh crime scene and ordered to investigate the vicious stabbing and murder of Jade Coleman.

When Bliss realises the victim had reported being stalked, and that two of his own team had been drafted in to take her statement, he is given the unenviable task of interviewing both of his detectives.

Increasingly it appears that the stalker may be their killer. However, several other people soon become part of the team’s suspect list.

Bliss also finds himself being questioned about his own past and has to battle to defend himself whilst continuing to investigate the murder.

Soon more questions arise.

Why would anybody target Jade Coleman?

Why are the team unable to identify the victim’s close female friend?

And why did Jade recently leave her job without any explanation?

With his work cut out, and his team under pressure, can Bliss solve the case before more victims show up?

Or will the shadows of his own past reach out and drag him under before he can succeed?

As this is the 4th in the DI Bliss and DC Chandler series I would say you really should read the previous books, though it could be read as a stand-alone. This series has gradually developed in terms of the characters and their own individual storylines. This book not only deals with a current investigation for the Peterborough based team it also delves into Bliss’s past, in fact delves, doesn’t even come close to it…

Bliss and Chandler are a great pair of characters and the author really does like to put the middle-aged DI through the wringer. Bliss is battered and bruised after a collision with a car, I have to say the banter that he received from his colleagues made me chuckle… sorry Bliss, but it did. Chandler is younger and really does look to Bliss for advice and I love that she is not averse to dishing out her own where he is concerned, especially when his personal life and past is called into question.

There are several other officers in this cast, they are making their mark in their own way, and while they are not in the forefront they do have their parts to play. Little snippets are gradually coming out about them, and also the build-up of respect and more importantly trust is ever increasing. I really do like Bliss and his “old timer” ways.

The investigation into the murder victim previously being in touch with the police is something that adds to the case. The “what if we could have prevented it” and also the “who can we blame” is present. It also has the whole team stumped as they have very little to go on with this somewhat of a lone woman, with very few friends to give valuable information to help the investigation move forward.

While this is going on there is another investigation, one that has its roots in the past of Bliss. It is an area of his past that he really does not want to get into again and to be honest I don’t blame him for wanting it left alone. But it does beggar the question…Does someone have it in for him? The answer…well Read the book and discover for yourself!

As this series goes on I get to know more and more about its 2 main characters. They have their own story to tell, they have been mentioned in the past and I now know more. By the end of the story, I felt as if the characters had actually got a chance to move forward, this is such a vague thing to say but I don’t want to give anything away. There have both had part of themselves hidden in the shadows and now they are starting to see some light, I do wonder how long this will last though…

This is a police procedural, murder mystery book. It has a pace that really suits the story, it is not fast paced, blood and guts flying type, it is slower as the head-scratching and information gathering sort as pieces of the puzzle are put together. I like how it is woven around the personal side of the main characters and I feel that both sides complement each other and I liked both of the stories equally.

So would I recommend? Oh yes absolutely!

Would I advise anyone who has not read the series to get it now? Damn, right I would!

In fact, here there are links below to all of Tony’s books. Happy reading folks!

Also available in the bestselling DI Bliss Series:

Bad to the Bone

The Scent of Guilt

If Fear Wins

The Reach Of Shadows

Or buy the 1st three-book set – (correct at time of writing ) 99p

Other books

Degrees of Darkness

Scream Blue Murder

Cold Winter Sun

Tony J Forder is the author of the critically acclaimed and best-selling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first three books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins and The Reach of Shadows.

Tony’s dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, featuring ex-detective Frank Rogers, was also published by Bloodhound Books. This is a stand-alone novel, and delves into the mind of a serial-killer.

Scream Blue Murder was published in November 2017, and received praise from many, including fellow authors Mason Cross, Matt Hilton and Anita Waller. The sequel, Cold Winter Sun, will be published on 1 November 2018.

Tony is now a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK.

Visit Tony on – Twitter Website Facebook

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Marked For Death by Tony Kent @TonyKent_Writes #review

I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of this book August last year on TBC, and yep I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

Marked For Death is the second book in the series by Tony Kent. In my usual style, I have still got the first book Killer Intent to read, it is now sat glaring at me from my TBR. I bought Killer Intent before I had even got through the first few chapters of Marked For Death, that gives you an indication as to how much I enjoyed reading it.

Now let’s see what Marked For Death is all about…

A thrilling follow-up to one of 2018’s hottest debuts, Killer Intent

When London’s legal establishment is shaken to its foundation by the grisly crucifixion of a retired Lord Chief Justice, Detective Chief Inspector Joelle Levy is tasked with finding his killer. With fifty years of potential enemies to choose from, only the identical murder of former solicitor Adam Blunt offers a ray of hope: what is it that connects these victims who met such a gruesome end?

Assigned to the story from the start, news reporter Sarah Truman sets out to investigate on her own, not suspecting that the trail will lead straight back to her own front door and her fiancé Michael Devlin. A criminal barrister determined to prove the innocence of his own client, Michael is at first oblivious to the return of the murderous figure from his past – until tragedy strikes closer to home.

Struggling with his grief and guilt, and now caught up in a madman’s terrible quest for revenge, Michael must race to bring the killer to justice – before it’s too late.

I am not one for reading the synopsis immediately before I start reading a book or the author bio for that matter, I usually leave it till the end. For some reason, I decided to read both beforehand. It made me wonder how much of the authors’ experiences would show in his story and also how would they come across to me as a reader. He is a Barrister, Ex-Boxer and Crime Writer, well that’s an impressive resume! Well, I immediately felt that the author had an advantage, the legal stuff (stuff is not very technical I know!) had extra details, not that I am knowledgable in this area, but they had that extra something to them. The boxing details again showed themselves and added the air of someone who really knows what they are talking about. The writing well if I say I loved this book I think that will give a pretty good indication of how much I enjoyed it. I think 3 out of 3 is pretty spot on.

Right to the story itself then… this is a thriller that is fast paced, it has brilliant courtroom scenes, an intense investigation and if that is not enough, there are friendships and relationships that intersperse and link the various different characters.

The characters themselves are brilliant and it did not take me long to become familiar with them, they have interesting traits that make them stand out from each other. Many come across as strong and have their own determined presence, they really suit and complement this style of story. A weaker character just wouldn’t cut it in this powerful cast.

The plot or I should say plots are carefully entwined and full of surprise. They are clever and twist their way through the story, full of red herrings and blind alleys. I loved that I could keep up with all these without feeling confused or lost and it left me to thoroughly enjoy this intense story. The courtroom scenes I really enjoyed, especially while witnesses where being interrogated, sorry questioned, especially when those cocky, so sure of themselves ones, got so tangled up they fell flat on their faces.

The police investigation that is part of the story is also linked in with a news reporter. The pressure that DCI Levy is under to solve the case is evident and believe me when I say she is not a woman to be messed with, I really liked her tenacity and principles, but she is a woman with a past and would love to get to know her a bit more.

I have to give mention to the bad guy, Oh he is a real nasty piece of work and such a cleverly put together character.

So, a mix of courtroom drama, police investigations, thriller, crime and full of action from start to finish. For me, this was an absolutely brilliant read with so many aspects that hit the mark for me. It is one I would Highly Recommend.

Photo Credit – taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Tony Kent’s first novel, KILLER INTENT, was one of the ‘must reads’ of 2018. It was selected for the Zoe Ball Book Club and is now to be adapted for television, directed by the award-winning filmmaker Duncan Jones.

Tony Kent grew up in a close-knit Irish family in London and studied law in Scotland.

A top-ranking barrister, Tony’s case history includes prosecuting and defending many high-profile, nationally reported trials.

Before his legal career, Tony boxed internationally as a heavyweight and won a host of national amateur titles.

Tony’s love of crime thrillers was inspired by powerhouse writers like Lee Child, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, David Baldacci and Frederick Forsyth.

Follow or visit Tony on FacebookTwitterWebsite

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The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah. My thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for accepting my request to review this book.

Let’s see what it is all about…

The world’s most beloved detective, Hercule Poirot – the legendary star of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and most recently The Monogram Murders and Closed Casket—returns in a stylish, diabolically clever mystery set in 1930’s London.

Returning home after lunch one day, Hercule Poirot finds an angry woman waiting outside his front door. She demands to know why Poirot has sent her a letter accusing her of the murder of Barnabas Pandy, a man she has neither heard of nor ever met.

Poirot has also never heard of a Barnabas Pandy, and has accused nobody of murder. Shaken, he goes inside, only to find that he has a visitor waiting for him — a man who also claims also to have received a letter from Poirot that morning, accusing him of the murder of Barnabas Pandy…

Poirot wonders how many more letters of this sort have been sent in his name. Who sent them, and why? More importantly, who is Barnabas Pandy, is he dead, and, if so, was he murdered? And can Poirot find out the answers without putting more lives in danger?

Hercule Poirot is accused by four different people of writing letters that accuse them of murder. The problem is that Poirot did not send the letters, he has no idea how sent them, but he does think that something more sinister and dangerous could be afoot…

I have not read the previous two books in this series and to be honest this one reads very well as a stand-alone. I think this mirrors the way Christie herself wrote, each of her books could be picked up and read in any order.

So did this mysterious tale feel right? Actually yes it did, there was a lot of misdirection, clues that only came clear at the end, a series of possible characters who could have dunnit and who had the motive and of course there is a body.

I enjoyed the slower pace of this mystery novel and felt that the author did a really good job of creating a story with the infamous Poirot. Various mannerisms, quirks, and phrases felt right.

The plot is one that I was happy to sit back and watch (so to speak) as it worked its way through to the grand unveiling of the guilty party and the reasons why.

I have read all of Agatha Christie’s books, though it was several years ago now, and I found there were some good similarities between Sophie Hannah’s Poirot and the original. It was an enjoyable read and ones that I think would appeal to fans of cosy mystery and also of Christie fans as well.

Sophie Hannah
Photo taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets. 

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

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The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK #NetGalley

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley. It is hard to miss a cover this bright and also there has been a lot of publicity for this book on social media. These two things are what attracted me to read the synopsis and then to request a review e-copy from the publisher Harper Collins via NetGalley.

For fans of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a shivery, atmospheric, page-turning novel of psychological suspense in the tradition of Agatha Christie, in which a group of old college friends are snowed in at a hunting lodge . . . and murder and mayhem ensue.

All of them are friends. One of them is a killer.

During the languid days of the Christmas break, a group of thirtysomething friends from Oxford meet to welcome in the New Year together, a tradition they began as students ten years ago. For this vacation, they’ve chosen an idyllic and isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands—the perfect place to get away and unwind by themselves.

They arrive on December 30th, just before a historic blizzard seals the lodge off from the outside world.

Two days later, on New Year’s Day, one of them is dead.

The trip began innocently enough: admiring the stunning if foreboding scenery, champagne in front of a crackling fire, and reminiscences about the past. But after a decade, the weight of secret resentments has grown too heavy for the group’s tenuous nostalgia to bear. Amid the boisterous revelry of New Year’s Eve, the cord holding them together snaps.

Now one of them is dead . . . and another of them did it.

Keep your friends close, the old adage goes. But just how close is too close? 

The synopsis for this book does a really great job. A story of friendship that once held these people together through their younger days but now appears to be heading towards its best by date.

I really enjoyed the style this book has been laid out in. It has quick chapters that flit back and forth between the groups’ arrival at a Scottish Lodge, there pasts and then forward to the day that a body is discovered.

Another alternating factor is that of the characters, as their chapters also change as sections are told from them and fro their own perspective. The gave additional insights into each character, so I got to see them as they think they are seen and also how they are actually seen. The characters give memories, events, relationships and also interactions that gradually builds up a picture of how this group came together and what keeps them in touch with each other.

With all the toing and froing, you would think it would get a little bit confusing, but this is really not the case. I soon discovered that I was able to easily keep up with this and the reading was understandable.

I really liked the way the author kept the ID of the victim secret all the way through the story. This gave me a chance to try and work out who the victim was. I could say that I worked out who it was, but the truth of the matter is that there were several people who I guessed, so in actual fact, I didn’t really guess at all. Oh and the perpetrator, well I didn’t guess that one either.

This is a story that had a feel of Agatha Christie about it, I say this because of its isolated setting and that it was closed off to outsiders which meant it had to be one of the group. Also, there were the pieces of the puzzle being brought together at the end.

I really enjoyed this story, the style in which it was written and it worked really well for me. It is a murder/ mystery/ whodunit/ who was the victim style that I think would appeal to a variety of readers. It isn’t a hard crime book but more towards a cosy mystery. It is one I would definitely recommend.

Lucy Foley
Picture Credit
From the Authors Goodreads Page

I live in London, but love traveling – both in real life and on the page (hence the appearance of some far flung locations in my writing). 

My latest novel is The Invitation – set in the film world of the 1950s, along the Italian Riviera. 

My debut novel, The Book of Lost & Found, published in early 2015.

You can find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter

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

The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver @sweavermph @rararesources #review

Today I have something a little different to share with you. The Migraine Relief Plan by Stephanie Weaver is a book that I definitely wanted to read as part of the Birthday Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for accepting my request to be on the tour and also to Stephanie for the book.

Let’s have a look and see what the book is about…

The Migraine Relief Plan: An 8-Week Transition to Better Eating, Fewer Headaches, and Optimal Health

In The Migraine Relief Plan, certified health and wellness coach Stephanie Weaver outlines a new, step-by-step lifestyle approach to reducing migraine frequency and severity.

Using the latest research, her own migraine diagnosis, and extensive testing, Weaver has designed an accessible plan to help those living with migraine, headaches, or Meniere’s disease. Over the course of eight weeks, the plan gradually transitions readers into a healthier lifestyle, including key behaviors such as regular sleep, trigger-free eating, gentle exercise, and relaxation techniques. The book also collects resources—shopping lists, meal plans, symptom tracking charts, and kitchen-tested recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—to provide readers with the tools they need to be successful.

The Migraine Relief Plan encourages readers to eat within the guidelines while still helping them follow personal dietary choices, like vegan or Paleo, and navigate challenges, such as parties, work, and travel. A must-have resource for anyone who lives with head pain, this book will inspire you to rethink your attitude toward health and wellness.

Purchase LinkClick Here

As a hereditary sufferer of migraines, I was eager to read this book. My father found that acupuncture worked for him as well as having an allergy test to see what foods were his triggers. I found some of the same foods triggered my migraines, but I also discovered that hormones had a part to play as well. In some respects I am very lucky as I don’t suffer from them often, but when I do…

This book is a lifestyle guide, it has a great introduction about the authors’ experiences. I think that knowing the author had first-hand experiences made me more willing to pay attention. I am a believer that you don’t truly know what someone experiences until you experience it yourself, you can empathise and offer support but it’s never quite the same.

The book is quite intensive and packed full of so many useful advice, tips and ideas. Taking small steps rather than jumping in at the deep end and ditching the stuff in cupboards and fridge seems to me to be a very sensible approach. The focus is on building up a regime that is manageable and more importantly maintainable. Often diets and lifestyle changes fail as there is too much too soon and the novelty wears off.

There are lots of tips throughout this book, and while I did find some that were useful there were some that did not really apply to me. This is not a criticism in any way, as each sufferer is different, therefore there will be things that are more relevant to some.

Now to the recipes, they have an American feel to them as I would expect given the author is herself an American. There is a range of snacks, lunches, desserts, dressings, and sauces, some of these have a budget rating.

The book is a guide, it is about a change to not only your diet but also the lifestyle. It starts as an 8-week plan but encourages a longer period for better results. This is a well laid out book. It is not a cure-all, and it does not report to do that, it is a guide of things that can help people to manage and maintain a lifestyle. It looks at a whole-body approach rather than just pinpointing one specific area, so health, fitness, sleep as well as diet are dealt with.

I think if you are looking for this sort of approach that could help with reducing symptoms and works alongside your already prescribed medications then I think this book will be beneficial. I found it interesting and I did take quite a lot of things from it that I can easily work into my own lifestyle. It is a book I would recommend.

Stephanie Weaver, MPH, CWHC, is an author, blogger, and certified wellness and health coach. Her recipes have been featured in Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Parade, and more. She lives in San Diego, CA. 

Social Media Links Facebook TwitterInstagram

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No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley @MichaelJBooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for No Further Questions by Gillian . My thanks to the Publisher Michael Jospeh for accepting my request to review this ebook via NetGalley.


The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Original, devilishly clever and impossible to forget, this is a thriller with a difference. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the trial that will determine both sisters’ fates.

The synopsis for No Further Questions is perfect, it has the right amount of tension and intrigue to make me want to pick and read. In fact it did such a good job that not only did I originally request it via NetGalley, but I also bought the ebook from Amazon, then forgetting that I already had it, I also bought a paperback copy from the supermarket when I went shopping 🙂 I am gutted this has been on my TBR for this long as it is a cracking read.

It is a mix of courtroom drama and revisited memories that kept me eagerly turning the pages. To be honest, if work wasn’t essential I would have read this in one sitting.

So where to start? Okay, the sisters, Martha and Becky, both married, both have a child, and both sisters are very different from each other. One of the sisters needs help as she tries to run her business and look after her 8 week old, in steps the other sister and they work out a plan that in theory will fit them both. Being sisters this seems to be the ideal choice.

Now to the parents of the sisters, how the mind boggles with this aspect. Wanting to be supportive of both daughters and yet one is in the dock being accused of murdering the daughter of the other sister… Was the sister guilty, she professes her innocence, was it an accident or murder?

The story is told in thought-provoking daily chapters from the perspective of the sisters and some of the other characters. There are subchapters as well  that give details from those involved each day, including those that have been called to give evidence.

It was so easy to get into this story and the further I read the more engrossed I got. I was never sure if the sister was guilty, part of me wanted her to be innocent, but there was also a seed of doubt that hovered in the background. Then further in I started to get this horrible nagging feeling, a “What if” moment. It was a feeling I hoped I was wrong about, but by the end of the story, I was right. Now this really didn’t matter, yes I worked it out, but it was all about the story getting me to that point. Even when the truth was revealed I was still shocked as I was so caught up with the story on such an emotional level, I really did not want to be right.

This is a wonderfully gripping story that explored many emotions and dilemmas for the main characters. A story of a family that are dealing with a tragic loss and could be potentially ripped even further apart. This is a tense, powerful, heartbreaking and thought-provoking read that I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio taken from the Authors Page on Amazon UK

Gillian McAllister is the Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling author of Everything But The Truth, Anything You Do Say, and No Further Questions. They are all standalone and can be read in any order. She is published in ten countries around the world. The Good Sister is her US debut, coming June 2019 from Penguin USA, and is the American title for No Further Questions. The Evidence Against You is her next novel, out April 2019 in the UK. 

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @gillianmauthor. She also blogs at http://www.gillianmcallister.com.

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

Tempests And Slaughter by Tamora Pierce #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I have my review for Tempests And Slaughter by Tamora Pierce. My thanks go to Harper Collins UK for accepting my review request for this e-book that I received via NetGalley.

Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!

This is the 8th book in the Tortall series, but book 1 in the Numair Chronicles. This book, as it happens, turned out to be the right choice for me as I had not read anything in the series or by this author before.

In the Imperial University of Carthak there are three students who are ahead of others in their age group and also those older in terms of their abilities. They are Varice, often referred to as the “kitchen witch”. Prince Orzone was known as the “left-over Prince” and then the youngest Arram Draper. It is Arram’s story that is experienced in this book. The three students form a friendship that is needed, singly they would probably stand out more and be loners, open to bullying, insult, and attack. Together they are strong.

The story follows their progress through their studies. It focuses mainly on Arram and how he and his fellow students’ magical gifts are developing. Arram’s magic stands out more as it seems to be more natural, wild and if not careful, uncontrollable. Yes, this is a story about magical abilities but it has so much more to it than that. At times it has a historical fiction feel to it with mentions of Emperors, Royalty, Slavery, Gladitorial battles, and traitors.

The three friends have very different backgrounds and ideas, they have different subjects that will help them in their respective futures, whatever their futures may be…

This is a fair paced story and I found it really easy to get into, the characters were very quick to become memorable as I read. Mixed in amongst the learning, magic and daily life are mentions of various gods. Some make themselves known and in their respective forms, and if I were to meet one I wouldn’t hang around. The story has a very nice flow to it, I guess what I mean is that it is very easy to involved in, relate to some of the dilemmas of the students and just to be able to follow the story and enjoy.

As I said earlier, this is the first time of reading anything by this author and I can definitely say it will not be the last, I am looking forward to reading further books in this series and then I am eager to reading the follow on series. It does have the feel of a new series to it, groundwork, history, all the building blocks are being laid down, as many first in a series books do. It is a series I am very interested in and will continue with. I think this is one that readers who don’t often read fantasy would get on very well with, yes there is magic, but there are other things as well. Ideal for fantasy readers and I think general fiction readers as well, and one I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio from the Author’s Page on Amazon UK

Tamora Pierce was born in South Connellsville, Pennsylvania and her parents were originally going to call her Tamara, but the nurse who filled out her birth certificate had never heard of that name before and accidentally misspelled it. However, Tamora likes her name and in case you’re wondering how to pronounce it, it sounds just like a camera. She was a passionate reader from an early age, devouring encyclopedias, Dr. Seuss books, and J.R.R. Tolkien. Writing helped Tamora get through her parents’ divorce and in her junior year at college she sold her first story and went on to publish The Song of the Lioness, originally with adult readers in mind, but found success when she turned it into a quartet for teenagers. The rest, as they say, is history! Tamora lives in New York with her husband.

Author Links – Amazon Author Page

Purchase Link – Amazon UKTwitterWebsite

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Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman @ @rararesources #Giveaway #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman as part of the Blog Tour. My huge thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Lucy for my e-copy of her book.

Let’s see what the Summer on the Italian Lakes is all about…

Synopsis:

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Purchase your own copy from – Amazon UK or Amazon.com

My Thoughts:

A romance author, a history author, Lake Garda, Italian Villa, writers retreat… what more could you possibly want in this fabulous Romance read.

What a great story or rather stories within a story. Brie, the romance writer has had a real tough time and it is her editor that suggests going to the writing retreat. She will be able to help out another author while she is there. That is where Brie meets the fellow author, villa owner and retreat organiser Arran. He is in a bit of a pickle with his life and his manuscript. Contrasting characters with contrasting style…will they mix?

Oh, what a readers dream, I loved the way that I felt I was getting inside an authors head. Brie was a brilliant character and straight away I knew I was going to get on with her. Recent events have knocked her confidence, she is not going out so much and is eating junk food. So the retreat seems like a good idea to help get her back on track, meet new people and get over her writers’ block.

Arran, I didn’t quite know what to make of him at first, he felt dismissive and a little judgmental. Then I got to know him a little more and things started to fall into place. His retreat and the villa are are fabulous sounding places to be.

The author really did a great job of giving a tiny peak into the world of writing, editing, contracts, and publishing showing me a different side to the cover if you like. The author mixed so many things into the story. The tips and advice given by Brie and Arran throughout are really interesting for aspiring writers, writing processes, works in progress and unwarranted media attention feature in this very captivating story.

With a wonderful villa on Lake Garda and also Brie’s home in the UK, I felt completely spoilt with idyllic settings. Romance is surely to be in the air with these stunning locations. As is the way of life though, nothing planned goes to plan, and plans can change or be forced to change very quickly. Tentative steps can lead to giant strides and that is certainly the case with this story.

I really enjoyed this story, learning about Brie and Arran, getting to know them a little more and what makes them tick. Discovering more about writing retreats and the downsides to being a known author. This story ticked so many boxes and was a wonderful read for a cold, wet wintery January day. Perfect escapism for a few blissful hours. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Follow the author on – Website FacebookTwitter

Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)

*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 Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley #review

Today I am sharing my review for a fabulous book, The Lost Daughter by Gill Paul. I would like to thank the publisher Headline for accepting my request to read an e-copy of this book.

A Russian princess. An extraordinary sacrifice. A captivating secret….

From the number one best-selling author of The Secret Wife, The Lost Daughter is a sweeping, moving story of the tenacity of love and the power of forgiveness. Spectacular, enthralling and romantic, Gill Paul’s latest novel will stay with you forever.

1918. With the country they once ruled turned against them, the future of the Romanov family hangs in the balance. When middle daughter Maria captures the attention of two of the guards, it will lead to the ultimate choice between right and wrong….

Fifty-five years later…

‘I didn’t want to kill her’. With these cryptic words Val’s father dies, leaving her to unravel a mystery which unites two families who have faced unspeakable tragedy and perhaps to finally offer an explanation which has been long overdue. 

I am going to start by saying that this is a stunning historical fiction read that has been sat on my digital TBR for far too long. I really wish I had picked it up sooner.

It has two timelines, one in 1918 and the other in the 1970s. I was curious how these two would eventually link up as they also span two different continents. A story of tragedy, love, betrayal, and heartbreak amongst the turmoil of 1918 Russia, and in the 70s a daughter trying to discover the meaning behind her fathers’ mysterious ramblings.

What an absolutely fabulous read, full of emotion and completely addictive. From the start, I noticed the details that showed the evidence of a well-researched book. I was immediately transported with the authors take on the story of the Romanov family. Maria is one of Tsar Nicholas II daughters. At 19 Maria is taken from the opulent lifestyle. Russia is in a period of transition, a period of turmoil and suffering that many experienced for many years to come.

In the 70s I met Val, she is confused with her father. He has dementia and is dying, but she wonders if his mysterious conversations have anything to do with his past. They are troubled words and she finds herself unable to leave them alone. She sets out to discover the truth and also finds herself making decisions about her own future.

There is something about the history of the Romanovs and Russian history of this era that really does pique my interest. It may seem a morbid thing to be interested in, but my interest lies in the social class and structure of the time. A time in history that is tragic as people of all classes are persecuted, depending on who is in power. But it is the human resilience and inventiveness of trying to stay alive, rather than bowing down to an authority that would rather you were dead than oppose them. The Author has done an amazing job of mixing fact with fiction to give a glimpse into Russian life at the time.

The story between the two times was one that had me hooked. I found the characters were very easy to follow and recognisable. The alternating timelines were again very easy to keep up with. I found a story that was heartbreaking and hopeful. Heartbreaking because of what had happened, but hopeful towards the possibility of a better future. It had a dramatic and at times tense atmosphere to the reading, I found myself constantly wondering and worrying about the fate of some of the characters. I was totally caught up and mesmerised by the whole story.

The story of Val is a gradual one, she slowly starts to unravel a decades-old mystery that has kept its grip on her father. Her story really did compliment that of Maria. I was unsure how they would link, but when I started to see little things coming together I was even more compelled to read. By the end of the story I was a bit of an emotional wreck… enter the box of tissues…I found the concluding chapters brought everything together beautifully and completely, although I was gutted to have finished the story.

This was an absolutely wonderful read, it has an amazing balance of human endurance to overcome heartwrenching odds. In case you have not guessed it yet, I absolutely adored this story and it is one I would Highly Recommend. Also, it has left me wanting to read more by this author.

Image and Bio taken from the Author’s Page at Amazon UK

Gill Paul is an author of historical fiction, specialising in relatively recent history. Her new novel, The Lost Daughter, is about Maria, the third of the Romanov daughters, who befriended the guards in Ekaterinburg, and a Sydney woman called Val Scott, who is trapped in an abusive marriage. 

Gill’s other novels include Another Woman’s Husband, about links between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana, and The Secret Wife, about the romance between cavalry officer Dmitri Malama and Grand Duchess Tatiana, the second Romanov daughter, who first met in 1914. Women and Children First is about a young steward who works on the Titanic. The Affair was set in Rome in 1961–62 as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton fell in love while making Cleopatra. And No Place for a Lady is about two Victorian sisters who travel out to the Crimean War of 1854–56 and face challenges beyond anything they could have imagined.

Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A History of Medicine in 50 Objects, and a series of Love Stories, each containing fourteen tales of real-life couples: how they met, why they fell for each other, and what happened in the end. Published around the world, this series includes Royal Love Stories, World War I Love Stories and Titanic Love Stories.

Gill was born in Glasgow and grew up there, apart from an eventful year at school in the US when she was ten. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, then English Literature and History (she was a student for a long time), before moving to London to work in publishing. She started her own company producing books for publishers, along the way editing such luminaries as Griff Rhys Jones, John Suchet, John Julius Norwich, Ray Mears and Eartha Kitt. She also writes on health, nutrition and relationships.

Gill swims year-round in an open-air pond – “It’s good for you so long as it doesn’t kill you”– and is a devotee of Pilates. She also particularly enjoys travelling on what she calls “research trips” and attempting to match-make for friends.

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

Visit the Author on – TwitterWebsiteFacebook

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The Secret to Falling In Love by Victoria Cooke @victoriacooke10 @rararesources #review #Giveaway (UK only)

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the Book Birthday Blitz for The Secret to falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Victoria for my e-copy of her book.

Let’s see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.

That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if, for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!

Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.

If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…

My Thoughts:

This is a story that revolves around Melissa, her friends and colleagues, and her love life… or lack of it. How many of us use technology in our everyday lives without even thinking about it? Could you go a month without a computer? Yes? Are you sure? Going without tech of any sort is exactly what Melissa has to do for a month after her boss told her to put her money where her mouth is.

I really do like the idea behind this story, I thought that yes I could go without a pc, phone etc for a month. But then the quick messages to my friends asking how they are, or that I would be running late. Or how about setting up travel plans? It really made me wonder if I could actually do this! The idea sounds great putting it into practice ..well maybe not so much.

So when Melissa writes an article it is her boss who suggests this drastic plan for the social media junkie, Melissa. It means a huge change in everything she does in her daily life. Once the initial shock has worn off she starts to see things around her that she had never noticed before. Spends time with family, rather than just a quick call or message to keep in touch.

Now that she has more time, things around her start to fall into place. Her future love life is definitely moving, but it’s not all plain sailing. Who would have thought that ditching the dating apps would lead to not just one, but two men vying for her attention?

This is a charming story that had some really great touches, especially ditching the tech. This made me think about how I would cope, and as much as I would like to think that I would be okay with it, I don’t think it would be as easy as I think. I really like the romantic tussle and though I did think it a little bit predictable I really enjoyed the story, it moved along at a wonderful pace and I found it very enjoyable.

One I would recommend to romance and rom-com readers.

About the Author:

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Follow Victoria on –FacebookTwitter Instagram

Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Many thanks for reading my post. Good luck if you have entered the Giveaway. A like or share would be appreciated 🙂 xx