Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore @CeliaMooreBooks @rararesources #review #Giveaway (open Int)

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Fox Halt Farm by Celia Moore. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and also to Celia for my e-copy of the book. Have a look at the end of my post, to enter the Giveaway to stand a chance to win a Gift Voucher.

Opening on a cliff edge, Billy finds herself alone and betrayed. She believes everyone and everything she loves is threatened. Richard’s world is aglow with wealth, love and unswerving family loyalty but then his perfect life crosses Billy’s. He could save Billy, her beloved dairy cows and Fox Halt Farm but this young woman isn’t in the mood to be rescued.

Nothing will stay the same. Should they trust each other? Will their secrets tear their lives apart?

Fox Halt Farm is hard to put down. The story cracks along and you are caught up in Celia Moore’s vivid storytelling from the start.  If you love novels by Jill Mansell, Fiona Valpy, Lucinda Riley, Maeve Binchy and Danielle Steel you will love this novel too!

Purchase Link

Fox Halt on a £1.99 promotion until 12th April 2019

Thi story took me a few chapters to get into, but once I got to understand the timeline and to recognise characters I suddenly found myslef hooked. This was a book that I read over a couple of evenings, the second evening involved me telling myself “just one more chapter”, well this continued until I had finished the book just before 1am.

THe story is of Billy and just to clarify, Billy is a female with the masculine spelling of her name and an explanation is given in the story as to why. So Billy makes quite a shocking and startling introduction to the story. The story unfolds over several years, and over the course of the book I got to know Billy, her family, especially her Mum and her friends.

The story revolves around Fox Halt Farm, its visitors and the journeys made to and from the farm by various people, for various reason over the years. These people are part of Billy’s life in different ways. Troubles, disasters and heartbreak make up part of the story, also other aspects of hopes, the future and also family and friends brought many other things that I really enjoyed

The book also has a few other tricks up it’s sleeve, a story about life never being simple or straight forward, with many twists and turns and unexpected dramas unfolding. It shows that despite many knock downs, it is possible to get back up even though sometimes it can take a lot longer to get up and that sometimes you need help.

This was a wonderful read that, once I got to grips with, I just flew through. A nicely paced story with some really interesting characters. It is one I would recommend to other readers and I am looking forward to the next book by this author.

Celia Moore (1967-now) grew up on a small farm near Exeter. She had a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor working in the City of London before working her way back to Devon. In 2000, she left the office to start a new adventure as an outdoor instructor, teaching rock climbing and mountaineering. Today she gardens for a few lovely customers, runs and writes (accompanied at all times by a border terrier x jack russell called Tizzy). She is running the London Marathon in April 2019 for three cancer charities.

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Giveaway to Win a £15 / $15 Amazon Gift Card)

*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.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER AND GOOD LUCK XX

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The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce @NPryce_Author @rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int) #review

I am delighted to be bringing you my review for The Cornish Lady by Nicola Pryce as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Nicola for my e-copy of the book.

This is the 2nd book I have read by this author and it is the 4th in the Cornish Saga series. The books can be read as a stand alone, and I will be reading the rest. Let’s have a look and see what The Cornish Lady is all about…

Cornwall:1796

Educated, beautiful and the daughter of a prosperous merchant, Angelica Lilly has been invited to spend the summer in high society. Her father’s wealth is opening doors, and attracting marriage proposals, but Angelica still feels like an imposter among the aristocrats of Cornwall.

When her brother returns home, ill and under the influence of a dangerous man, Angelica’s loyalties are tested to the limit. Her one hope lies with coachman Henry Trevelyan, a softly spoken, educated man with kind eyes. But when Henry seemingly betrays Angelica, she has no one to turn to. Who is Henry, and what does he want? And can Angelica save her brother from a terrible plot that threatens to ruin her entire family?

Purchase Links: UK US

This is set in the Truro and Falmouth area of Cornwall in the mid 1790’s. The main character is Angelica Lilly. The background of her, her brother and other members of her family and their friends are gradually revealed over the course of the story.

Angelica interacts with various people along the way, from all walks of life and with the same ease, though she thinks she is an impostor in the more aristocratic of houses. Despite her lack of confidence she is well thought of and often invited to visit the lavish estates of her friends who hold her as an equal.

Now you may think that Angelica will be very lady like, well that’s not always the case. She is not adverse to a spot of tree scaling or climbing out of a window, or in for that matter. She is a bit of a tomboy at heart and has an awareness of things of importance going on not only in the are but also around the world. She understands and holds intelligent, well supported conversations of the topics concerning others at the time.

Various characters are introduced during the story and I found them very memorable for various reasons, some good some bad and I’ll let you decide for yourself. Lords, ladies, gardeners, actors, guards, apothecaries, and old friends are all mix together in the book.

The plot revolves around a few things, some of the main ones for me were discovering exactly who Henry Trevelyan is. What Angelica’s brother had got himself caught up in. There are many other things going on and they flowed seamlessly into one another making for a hugely enjoyable read. Add into this prisoners and a bid for freedom, love and confusion, some devious plots and you have grounds for a really good story.

I really enjoyed the historical aspect of this story, various items of the time have been woven in and the pace really does suit. I really enjoy the inclusions of those all important sights, sounds and smells, though maybe not all the smells… added to that the mannerisms, costumes, foods and leisure activities and just about everything was just spot o for me. It was very easy to visualise the settings, but I do have a slight advantage in that I can see Pendennis Castle and Falmouth from my house. It’s only 9 ish miles as the crow flies, a whole lot longer by road.

This is another compelling read and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is a historical fiction / romance that has so many interesting sides to it and it is one I would highly recommend.

If you fancy reading a copy why not enter the Giveaway below and see if you can win your very own.

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Cornish Lady, a box of Cornish Fudge and some bookmarks (Open Internationally)

*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.

Enter by clicking Here Good Luck xx

Nicola Pryce came to writing after a career in nursing. She has an Open University degree in Humanities and is a qualified adult literacy support volunteer. She is lives in the Blackdown Hills in Somerset and when she isn’t writing she’s probably gardening or scrubbing the decks. She and her husband love sailing and for the last twenty years they have sailed in and out of the romantic harbours of the south coast of Cornwall in search of adventure: it is there where she sets her books.

The Cornish Lady is her fourth book: The others are Pengelly’s Daughter, The Captain’s Girl, and The Cornish Dressmaker.

Nicola is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Historical Writers Association.


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The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes @endeavourquill #review

Today I am delighted to be joining the Blog Tour for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes. My thanks to Hannah Groves at Endeavour Quill for the invite and for arranging my e-copy of this book. This is due for Publication in e-book and paperback on 18th March and is also available on kindle unlimited. Here’s the link.

In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them…

As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.

And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.

Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.

The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth-century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenaline-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.

The synopsis does a really great job of describing this book. It’s a story that starts at the end of WWII and finished 70 years later.

I found this to be a complex story and one that took me a little longer to read than usual for a book this length. It has two main timelines, with the appearance of a couple of others as well, these additional ones are very relevant to the story. The main timelines have been expanded on so it is not just a basic then and now. At the start of each chapter. It is obvious where you are as they start with the date and then through the rest of the chapter I was taken to different characters, subchapters if you like, and these began with the same day or the next day. This may sound a little confusing, but it really wasn’t, I always knew where and when I was.

The plot is one that I am struggling to define as such as I found there were many plots, but they also had a link. There are those from the past that have revenge to them and the more recent one is more about the discovery of the truth. The hints and what links everything gradually becomes more clear as the story goes on. The story is of human tragedy with the origins being in the past. It tells of wanting justice and the sense of what justice is depends on the relevant person. Revenge is also mixed in as well as a hunt for a missing girl. This leads to a very dark discovery.

There is a lot of historical detail in this book, it delves into the murky world of Secret Police, Russian and German involvement with political prisoners. While I am aware of secret police and their roles I am not that knowledgable about the numerous departments, but I did get the feeling that the author does know a lot or he has done a good deal of research.

This story is intense and shows the lengths people can and are willing to go. Revenge and guilt, as well as the road to truth, are definitely in play with this story.

This for me was a complex and intense story, it did require concentration and I did enjoy it. It took me a while to get the basics settled in my head and once that was sorted and I was then able to settle into the book a lot more and found it was quite a compelling read. If you like intense, dark crime thriller reads then I think this is one that you would enjoy, it has WWII atrocities, Russian and German Secret Police, that is a mix of murder/ mystery and historical fiction. It is one I would recommend.

Bestselling Thriller/Crime novelist published by HarperCollins/Endeavour Quill. Gary Haynes studied law at university before becoming a commercial litigator. He is interested in history, philosophy and international relations. When he’s not writing or reading, he enjoys watching European films, travelling, hillwalking and spending time with his family. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization. 

Visist Gary on – TwitterGoodreadsWebsite

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GIVEAWAY ON GOODREADS

Before I finish off this post…

There is a Giveaway being run on Goodreads to win 1 of 10 copies of this book. If you want a chance of winning a copy then follow the link HERE

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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. 

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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 Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott @ElizaJScott1 @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Eliza for my e-copy.

Synopsis:

Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.

But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.

Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…

 Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.

A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.

Pre-order Links – Amazon UK – Amazon.com

My Thoughts:

When Molly was a teenager she helped out Camm, a young gypsy boy, in return he gives her half of a talisman. He tells her they will meet again in the future. Years go by and she forgets about this encounter, Molly marries and has children, she has a wonderful life and is definitely part of the community that lives and works on the Yorkshire Moors. A hard life but full of love and happiness, a life that is complete.

I have to say that Molly is a brilliant character, fiesty to say the least, able to lower the tone of most conversations at the drop of a hat and someone I think I would definitely get along with. She has a great group of friends and family around her, a tight-knit group that are an absolute hoot. This closeness is something she will need and rely on to get her through and will keep her going when her world comes crashing so unexpectedly down around her.

The story itself has a real great feeling of togetherness, that is in the sense of living and working together. A story that had me snorting with laughter at some of the random characters and their antics. For example, the fumble-fingered text messages then there is Reg the Rooster and his determination to name a couple. Mixed in with the friendly characters, there are a couple of undesirables who keep popping their heads up on occasion.

The Yorkshire dialect features in the writing of this author in conversations. It is something I really like in a book and it helps to keep the setting and the characters firmly in the “where they are”. There was the odd word that stumped me but luckily there is a glossary at the end.

From the outset, I knew that something was going to happen. I thought I would be prepared, but Oh my goodness I was so not prepared in the slightest . The author really did pull my emotions and left me with leaky eyes on more than couple of occasions. The sense of loss and grief really did come through and it made its presence felt. The moving forward in life for all concerned was another aspect that again the author did a great job with. She managed to capture the emotions, the changes to daily life and adapting to challenges as they appeared. Dilemmas, decisions, feelings, and family again played a very big part.

This is a story I really did enjoy, a story of family, friendship, life, love, and living. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.

Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.

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The Suspect by Fiona Barton @figbarton #RandomThingsTours @annecater #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Suspect by Fiona Barton as part of the Blog Tour with Anne at Random Things Tours. My huge thanks to Anne for the invite and to Fiona and the Publisher for my copy of the book.

Let’s see what the book is about…

Synopsis:

THE NEW MUST-READ STANDALONE CRIME THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERS AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICKS THE WIDOW AND THE CHILD


When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing on their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft and frantic with worry.


Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth – and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, who she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling. This time it’s personal.


And as the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…

Purchase Link – Amazon UK

My Thoughts:

The synopsis did a great job of giving an idea of what I would find within the cover of this book. This is the first time I have read a book by this author and based on what I found with this book, I will be reading more…

Two girls go to Thailand and then go missing. It is the stuff of nightmares for parents. This is something that reporter Kate Waters is well aware of, as her son went there a couple of years ago, and though there is random calls, he is essentially out of touch. When she goes to see the parents of the missing girls, she has somewhat of an advantage given her experience of having a child the otherside of the world.

The author did a good job of portraying the emotions of the parents, helplessness, hopelessness, heartbreak, grief and anger were some that spring to mind. The plot istelf worked along at a good pace and I found myself eagerly turning the pages. I do admit that there were a couple of times where I did guess the outcomes, but that really didn’t matter as there were also some that I didn’t see.

Along with the disappearance of the girls, there is also the story of Kate’s son and their story. Also intertwined is that of the Detective on the case. These add an extra dimension to both the reporting and the investigation. It made me realise that while you are doing your best for others you still have your own life and responsibilities to deal with.

The story is told in very quick snappy chapters that keeps the story moving on. Each chapter is time stamped, and most of them have a subtitle, such as Mother, Detective or Reporter.

The setting of Thailand is not the glossy brochure one the travel agents sell. Instead it is one I am aware of from newspapers and documentaries that are usually the drug and drink filled back streets just off the tourist track. The streets are not for the naive and is one that the girls would not have been prepared for.

I really enjoyed this story and happily read in a couple of days. It is one I would recommend this to readers who like crime, mystery and suspense novels.

About the Author:

Fiona Barton’s debut, The Widow, was a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller and has been published in thirty-five countries and optioned for television. Her second novel, The Child, was a Sunday Times bestseller. Born in Cambridge, Fiona currently lives in south-west France.
Previously, she was a senior writer at the Daily Mail, news editor at the Daily Telegraph, and chief reporter at the Mail on Sunday, where she won Reporter of the Year at the British Press Awards.


While working as a journalist, Fiona reported on many high-profile criminal cases and she developed a fascination with watching those involved, their body language and verbal tics. Fiona interviewed people at the heart of these crimes, from the guilty to their families, as well as those on the periphery, and found it was those just outside the spotlight who interested her most . . .

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Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow @ChristieJBarlow @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for Love Heart Lane by Christie Barlow. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to Christie for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

Welcome to Love Heart Lane…

When Flick Simons returns to the small village of Heartcross she only expected to stay for a few days. The white-washed cottages of Love Heart Lane might be her home, but the place holds too many painful memories, and of one man in particular – Fergus Campbell.

When a winter storm sweeps in, the only bridge connecting the village to the main land is swept away! As the villagers pull together, Flick finds herself welcomed back by the friends she once left behind. And as the snow begins to melt, maybe there is a chance that Fergus’s heart will thaw too…

Is your book part of a series / standalone? There will be more books based around Love Heart Lane – even though this is the first one in the series they can be read stand alone too.

Purchase LinksAmazon UKAmazon US

My Thoughts:

Felicity makes an emotional visit to her home of Heartcross. What she did not expect, was to be cut off and stranded there by bad weather along with the rest of the residents of this community that she no longer feels completely part of.

There is one thing this author manages to do and that is to create a story that completely wraps me up in the lives of her characters. Felicity has had a rough time and has been avoiding her past. There is a reason why she left her home years ago, and while it takes a while for that explanation to be known, once I did I understood her reluctance a little more.

Being stranded in the village has opened her eyes to the changes that she had been unaware of. It hits home that life in Heartcross has moved on and she feels a little left behind. It was inevitable that she would bump into her ex, Fergus. Their first meeting on her arrival was definitely out of the blue, and both were caught unawares, making this encounter as cold as the weather they were caught up in.

Felicity and Fergus were characters I really liked. The history of their time together and also after their separation was told, I found myself becoming more emotionally attached to them. They both really did struggle through what life had thrown at them.

Community plays a large part in this story and the author did such a great job with community spirit. There was a nice balance of a little mistrust and tension as well as that spirit of togetherness. Friendships that had been neglected over the years had a nice dose of peevishness to them, as you would expect if you had been ignored.

This is a story about family, friends, community and togetherness. Dealing with chaos and catastrophe and dealing with past issues. Old wounds are opened and some long over due heartfelt confessions, feelings and truths are dealt with. This visit home is tinged with sadness but turns into something very special indeed.

This is the start of a new series and I am really looking forward to reading more about Heartcross. This is the ideal introduction to this author if you have not read anything by her before, as well as being one that fans of her work would also really enjoy. It gets a definitely recommended from me xx

About the Author:

Christie Barlow is the author of A Year in the Life of a Playground Mother, The Misadventures of a Playground Mother, Kitty’s Countryside Dream, Lizzie’s Christmas Escape, Evie’s Year of Taking Chances, The Cosy Canal Boat Dream, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Love Heart Lane. Her writing career came as somewhat a surprise when she decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. The book she wrote to prove a point is now a #1 bestseller in the UK, USA & Australia. 

Christie is an ambassador for @ZuriProject raising money/awareness and engaging with impoverished people in Uganda through organisations to improve their well-being as well as Literary Editor for http://www.mamalifemagazine.co.uk bringing you all the latest news and reviews from the book world.

Visit Christie on her – WebsiteTwitter Facebook

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Shadows of Regret by Ross Greenwood @greenwoodross @CarolineBookBit #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Shadows of Regret by Ross Greenwood as part of the Blog Tour with Caroline at Bits About Books. My thanks to Caroline for the tour invite and to Ross for my e-copy.

Synopsis:

If your life was ruined, would you seek redemption
or take revenge?

From the #1 bestselling author of Fifty Years of Fear, SHADOWS OF REGRET is the unforgettable story of a woman’s struggle to rejoin society.


Katie committed a terrible crime. Sixteen years was the price she had to pay.

Once released from prison, she finds the world has changed. Her chances appear bleak, but Katie is a survivor.

Isolated and alone, she struggles to make sense of her new life. Starting again isn’t easy, especially after what she’s done.

Despite not feeling free or safe, Katie overcomes her fears and confronts the future. But history won’t remain forgotten.

Gradually, memories of the past are revealed. When Katie finally exposes the awful truth and sees there are others who share the blame, she must choose her path.

Will she seek redemption, or will she take revenge?

“If you enjoyed Eleanor Oliphant’s journey but prefer your stories darker, this is perfect for you.”

There are writers, good writers and ones that have the power of words to captivate you in an instant. Ross Greenwood has this in spades.”

‘Shadows of Regret’ on Amazon

My Thoughts:

Katie is released on after serving a 16 year prison sentence. Adapting to life and the changes in the world outside is a shock, society has moved on a lot. She finds herself running to catch up and to adapt to these changes and each one brings its own set of challenges. Memories of her life before and during her sentence are something that she personally has to come to terms with. She also has to work out who she can trust, and it is not always the ones you expect to be able to trust that are worthy of that.

This is powerful and emotionally charged, it is something I have come to expect from this author. Katie is one hell of a character and one I took an instant like to. Yes she has done some bad stuff in her life. It hasn’t been easy. She is a fighter to a certain extent but also somewhat of a loner who has never quite been able to fit in.

The first meeting with Katie is in the present and her story is told in quick chapters that alternate into her past. The chapters of her past are referred to as Memories, they are milestones in her life that build up a picture of a girl who has been through an awful lot. It gives valuable insight into why she is the woman she is today.

This story has such a strong, realistic feel to it that I often found myself forgetting it is a work of fiction. There are so many aspects that could be easily and unfortunately based on actual accounts of real life lives, on things heard in news reports and documentaries. This makes it very hard reading at times.

The story took a route that completely caught me unawares and so off guard and in a way that made me wanting to see what the next page held. It was addictive, compelling and powerful. Katie has a story that I would love to reveal more about, but in doing so I think some of her strength would be lost if you have not yet read this book.

The author has done a magnificent job with the story-line, the characters and the plot. This has been a wonderful read and also thought provoking and emotional. It is one I would definitely recommend to readers of Crime, Thriller and Mystery books.

About the Author:

Ross Greenwood was born in 1973 in Peterborough and lived there until he was 20, attending The King’s School in the city. He then began a rather nomadic existence, living and working all over the country and various parts of the world.

Ross found himself returning to Peterborough many times over the years, usually, so he says “when things had gone wrong.” It was on one of these occasions that he met his partner about 100 metres from his back door whilst walking a dog. Two children swiftly followed. And, according to Ross, he is “still a little stunned by the pace of it now.”

Lazy Blood book was started a long time ago but parenthood and then four years as a prison officer got in the way. Ironically it was the four a.m. feed which gave the author the opportunity to finish the book as unable to get back to sleep he completed it in the early morning hours.

Ross Greenwood’s second book, The Boy Inside, was picked up by Bloodhound Books, and in September 2017, Fifty Years of Fear was published. The year 2018 saw the publication of his next psychological thriller, Abel’s Revenge. All his books are thought provoking, and told with a sense of humour.

Ross Greenwood hopes you enjoy reading them.

Visit Ross on – WebsiteFacebookTwitterAmazon Author PageBookBubGoodReads                                     

Books By Ross:

The Dark Lives Series:
#1 Fifty Years of Fear – Here
#2 The Boy Inside  – Here
#3 Lazy Blood – Here

Abel’s Revenge – Here
Shadows of Regret – Here

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Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven @ @rararesources #Giveaway (Open Int’lly) #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Return To Hiroshima by Bob Van Laerhoven. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Bob for my e-copy of his book.

Synopsis:

1995, Japan struggles with a severe economic crisis. Fate brings a number of people together in Hiroshima in a confrontation with dramatic consequences. Xavier Douterloigne, the son of a Belgian diplomat, returns to the city, where he spent his youth, to come to terms with the death of his sister. Inspector Takeda finds a deformed baby lying dead at the foot of the Peace Monument, a reminder of Hiroshima’s war history. A Yakuza-lord, rumored to be the incarnation of the Japanese demon Rokurobei, mercilessly defends his criminal empire against his daughter Mitsuko, whom he considers insane. And the punk author Reizo, obsessed by the ultra-nationalistic ideals of his literary idol Mishima, recoils at nothing to write the novel that will “overturn Japan’s foundations”….


Hiroshima’s indelible war-past simmers in the background of this ultra-noir novel. Clandestine experiments conducted by Japanese Secret Service Unit 731 during WWII become unveiled and leave a sinister stain on the reputation of the imperial family and the Japanese society as a whole.

Purchase Links

Amazon.comAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon FrAmazon Es

My Thoughts:

I think the cover for this book is quite grim and sinister looking. The story inside is as equally as grim and definitely more sinister than I was expecting and also very intense. It did require a lot of concentration on my part for the beginning 25%. Characters were quickly introduced in rapidly alternating chapters. At times it was a struggle to keep up with who was who and what role they were going to play. Then suddenly I started to get a feel for them, starting to recognise them easier and started to be able to pay more attention to the story instead and then I really was able to enjoy it at a whole other level.

The story is one of a dark and drug-fuelled nature with corruption and the search for power and dominance. There was a heavy feel of Japanese culture and society throughout and the expectations of the different generations. Expectations of themselves as well as others. I found the concept of anyone not being 100% Japanese and therefore seen to be an outcast, a hard one to read about, though I do understand it as part of the culture of the time.

Society clashes between the older generation and their demand of respect and obedience against the new younger culture seeking their own lives and enjoyments to be very interesting. It was a good blend and balance of the old and the new. There is some hard reading when dealing with the camps and research centres during WWII. Some horrific experiments and treatments tried and given to prisoners was appalling, but I understood its place in the story. This period in history, that includes the Atomic Bomb, is a hard part of human history.

This is definitely a book that you can say has a plot that is definitely multi-l;ayered. As I have mentioned the prison camps and atomic bomb have a part in this story, as well as the 1995 Sarin gas attack in Tokyo. Te author has mixed and intertwined fact with dark and disturbing fiction to create a intricate, mysterious and intense reading journey.

The characters are as intense as the plot itself. A Yakuza boss who believes he is a Japanese demon, a Police Officer who is of mixed race, A German Photographer, a Belgian diplomats son are just the tip of the iceberg. It seemed that each character had a secret or something to hide and I wondered who I could trust and if any of them were actually telling the truth. Even now I am not completely sure who was truthful or in fact were they believing their own idea of their own version of the truth.

There is no mistake this is a dark noir read, the descriptions and vivid imagery are amazing and do at times make for uncomfortable reading. This is not a book I would recommend to readers who are after a quick read. If however you are after a book that requires patience and concentration, especially at the beginning, then this is the one for you. I found myself taking regular breaks as I read to be able to absorb the details.

This is a book I would recommend to readers who like crime, thriller, and mystery that is dark and definitely on the noirish side. I did check to see if “noirish” was actually a word and checked out the Collins Dictionary and this is what they had as the definition for

Noirish “2…a genre of crime literature in which the characters are tough or cynical and the settings are bleak…” and that definitely applies to this book.

About the Author:

A fulltime Belgian/Flemish author, Laerhoven published more than 35 books in Holland and Belgium. Some of his literary work is published in French, English, German, Slovenian, Italian, Polish, and Russian. Three time finalist of the Hercule Poirot Prize for Best Mystery Novel of the Year with the novels “Djinn”, “The Finger of God,” and “Return to Hiroshima”; Winner of the Hercule Poirot Prize for “Baudelaire’s Revenge,” which also won the USA Best Book Award 2014 in the category “mystery/suspense”.

His collection of short stories “Dangerous Obsessions,” first published by The Anaphora Literary Press in the USA in 2015, was hailed as “best short story collection of 2015” by the San Diego Book Review. The collection is translated in Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish.  “Retour à Hiroshima”, the French translation of “Return to Hiroshima,” is recently finished. In 2018, The Anaphora Literary Press published “Heart Fever”, a second collection of short stories. Heart Fever, written in English by the author, is a finalist in the Silver Falchion 2018 Award in the category “short stories collections”. Laerhoven is the only non-American finalist of the Awards.

Social Media Links –

Book Trailer on YouTube

Author social media links: Facebook Twitter Pintrest

Author websites

Website (NL/FR/EN)

Russian website for Месть Бодлера, the Russian edition of Baudelaire’s Revenge

GIVEAWAY – OPEN INTERNATIONALLY:

Giveaway to Win 2 x Return to Hiroshima Paperbacks (Open Internationally)

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

CLICK HERE TO ENTER – GOOD LUCK XX

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