I am delighted, if somewhat late today, to help kick off the Blog Tour for The Housewife by Alex Kane. This was a fabulous gangland crime thriller that I adored.
My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this cracking book.
Even perfect mothers have secrets…
Leah. She’s the perfect mum to ten-year-old Samuel, wife to loving husband Thomas, head of the PTA. But her closet is full of skeletons – and if the truth gets out, her world could be destroyed.
Annie. She’s the gangster’s moll with a brain. She might be a woman, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty to play the men at their own game. But what no one knows is the devastating secret haunting her.
Terry. He’s the king of Glasgow gangland, working his way up from estate to mansion. From drugs to guns, there’s nothing he won’t stop at to grow his dirty money. He might be a hard man, but his weakness is women.
As their three stories collide, the lives of each will never be the same. Because even perfect women hide dark secrets… Don’t they?
This is a fabulous crime thriller story that involves three main characters as well as a handful of secondary ones. The story revolves around the gangland scene in an area in Glasgow. An area where drugs are rife and lives are not lived, people just exist.
The author has woven such a brilliant story that focuses on Leah, a mother who has a secret that she is desperate to keep hidden from her son and husband. Annie has stepped away from her life and into that of the girlfriend of gangland crime boss Terry. Terry is the third main character, the boss who is not averse to breaking the law to maintain control of his area.
This is such an addictive read as I was drawn further into the three storylines. Throughout the story, I was taken into the murk and grime of an inner-city housing estate. The author built a picture of deprivation and drug addiction. There is one however who has seen what drugs do and steers clear of using and wants a better life.
Using to of the characters, the author has injected a secretive edge, it is one that kept me so intrigued as I desperately wanted to work out the connection. When that was eventually dropped I was shocked. Definitely a “I never saw that coming” moment.
I really enjoyed how quickly I was taken into the lives and the story. It is gritty as I was taken into the drug world from both the user and the dealer. As well as those who are involved through association. The stories are brilliantly worked and had a tense filled edge to them. A fabulous story from start to finish and it is one for those who love their crime thrillers on the dark and gritty side. I would definitely recommend it.
About the Author…
Alex Kane is a writer from Glasgow. She has been writing for ten years and in 2018 signed with Hera Books, a digital first publisher.
(2019) No Looking Back (2019) What She Did (2020) She Who Lies (2020) The Angels (2021) The Housewife
Alex Kane writes gangland crime and psychological thrillers and will read anything she can get her hands on from both genres. If she is not writing, she can be found relaxing at home reading, or drinking tea and/or gin (sometimes all of the above). Alex is currently working on future books but can also be found procrastinating on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I am delighted to day to share my review for The Darkness Within by Graeme Hampton. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I would like to say a huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for my e-copy of the book.
Here is more about the book…
You can run… but death will always find you
A man is discovered on a leafy North London street, fighting for life after a brutal beating. DI Matthew Denning and his team are quickly called in to to track down the monster responsible.
Except the victim is hiding secrets of his own. His name shows that he was reported missing two decades ago – but it’s clear that the missing person is not the same man lying broken in a hospital bed.
A visit to a squalid East London flat unearths a victim with his throat slit, his body left to decompose. A sad end to any life – but when it is identified as former DCI Frank Buckfield, star of the Met police, the case takes on a new significance.
Two seemingly unrelated cases – but as Denning, along with DS Molly Fisher, investigates further, they uncover links between the two victims that lead back to a ring of silence cloaking the blackest of crimes.
But as Denning and Fisher try to track down a killer with revenge on their mind, they find themselves pitted against a psychopath who will kill to keep their secrets hidden. Can they uncover the truth, before they end up the latest victims?
The latest in the gripping London crime series featuring DI Matthew Denning and DS Molly Fisher, The Darkness Within is a must-read if you like Angela Marsons, L.J. Ross or Joy Ellis.
This the first time I have read a book by this author, starting part way through a series is never the best idea but I do have to say that this book well as a stand-alone. The obvious benefit of reading in order means that you get to know the characters traits and how they interact, I soon found myself getting to grip with these as I read.
This story starts with the discovery of a body, that of an ex DCI. The crime is murder, the reasons for it are not easy to come by for DI Denning and his team. This case will test them all and when results are slow to come the hierarchy do what they do best and add unnecessary pressure. Another similar murder and some accusations and rumours start to emerge of historic crimes that may have been covered-up start to emerge.
I really enjoyed this book, it is not a fast-paced story and this was good for me as I got to know more about the characters as while they were dealing with the cases before them. Sometimes it is nice to get into a more detailed book as far as the investigation, the characters and the storyline goes. As the characters are new to me I did occasionally forget who was who, but this didn’t stop any enjoyment. The investigation is a slower more dogged one, knowing that something isn’t right and proving it are two very different things and this kind of sums up the story in a way. Finding the evidence, connecting the dots and proving that your gut instinct is correct provides a very gripping read.
I really liked this and yes I do wish I had read the previous books, this is a series I will keep going with. I really enjoyed the mix or current crimes with links to historical ones, the power struggles and how the case was worked through and sorted. A crime, with a strong police procedural and more of mystery aspect rather than a full-on crime thriller and one I would definitely recommend it.
About the Author…
Graeme Hampton was born in Paisley, and grew up in Stirling. After leaving school, he trained as a stage manager and worked in London for a number of years. He returned to Scotland in his late twenties to study for a BA in English Literature at Stirling University. His first novel, Know No Evil – featuring Met detectives DI Matt Denning and DS Molly Fisher – was published in 2019 by Hera Books. This was followed by Blood Family in January 2020. The Darkness Within is the third novel in the series. Graeme lives in Hastings, East Sussex.
I am absolutely delighted to finally share my review on the last day for Bliss Uncovered by Tony Forder. I am a big fan of this Author and my reviews of his books have featured regularly on my Blog. If you have never read one of Tony’s Bliss books then this could be just the place for you to start. Bliss Uncovered is a prequel novella that begins at the beginning, so to speak. It is a great intro for readers new to Forder and Bliss as well as working really well for established fans.
My huge thanks to Sarah at BOTBSPublicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and to Tony for supplying a early review copy. Now, let me show you what this is all about…
The bestselling author of the stunning DI Bliss crime series is back – this time with a thrilling prequel novella.
A double life – a single truth.
Fresh out of uniform, DC Jimmy Bliss finds himself at the centre of an undercover sting. Enlisted by a crew of villains to crack a safe, he fears his cover is blown when he’s seen in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But on the night of the job, things run smoothly enough until the gang leader changes the location of the heist. As the job spirals out of control, Bliss has to trust his instincts and buy some time. There’s just one problem: he has no idea if his team know what has become of him.
As the situation escalates, Bliss finds himself at the mercy of a violent criminal who will do anything not to be caught.
Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link and may earn me a small commission)
I am always a little wary and dubious about prequels that appear when a series is well established. Some work and some almost do, thankfully this author definitely made this prequel work!
Set in the early years of Bliss’ career I found a man who is a little cocky, little too sure of himself and already has a target on him from those higher up, oh and he is also a little opinionated! While he hasn’t got all the moodiness and wise-cracking repertoire he has in the series, there are elements of him still there.
I liked how the author made this a stand-alone read, yes it is part of the Bliss series as all the books are, but taking a step back in time gave this reader a chance to see a character who is not quite so cynical, battle-worn or weary around the edges. There is more of a lighter side to him, and if you know this series then you will know to what I am referring.
The plot for the story is an undercover one, Bliss is one of the thieves in a gang planning a robbery. Bliss is one of the new members of the gang so tension and mentions of being completed trusted are expected. A novella that does have quite a lot packed into it and not just a crime thriller read.
A wonderful prequel and it was wonderful to see a lighter side of one of my favourite fictional characters. If you have not read any of the Bliss series then this gives you a great intro, but the main series does start a few years in time. Given my initial trepidation, I am delighted to say that I would definitely recommend this.
About the Author…
Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins,The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, will be joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.
Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder, and Cold Winter Sun.
In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins, released in November 2020.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.
I am absolutely over the moon to be one of the Book Bloggers opening the Blog Tour today for Fifteen Coffins by Tony J Forder. Regular readers of my blog will probably be aware that Tony is an author who is a favourite of mine. He is usually associated with his highly successful DI Bliss series, Tony has taken a step away from his series and written another stand-alone book and I adored it a lot!
I would like to thank Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of Tony’s latest book. Also to wish Tony a Happy Publication Day 😁
From the bestselling author of the DI Bliss series comes an enthralling mystery thriller.
The truth can set you free – or bury you.
When FBI Agent Sydney Merlot returns to her home town in northern California to wind down her late father’s PI business, she soon finds herself on the wrong side of the aftermath of a high school shooting.
Sydney’s childhood friend – who is now county sheriff – plus the local PD, the mayor’s office, and most of the town’s inhabitants, are convinced the horror ended when the gunman was killed. Now they just want to be left alone to mourn. But Sydney has other ideas – and she is not alone.
While having to work through her own personal grief, Sydney is openly intimidated and receives anonymous threats. After discovering she is under surveillance, she begins to fear for her life. During her investigation, she gains several allies, but as the days pass, Sydney doesn’t know who to trust, and which new friends might actually turn out to be foes…
Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)
This is one of my favourite authors and I adore his DI Bliss series so I was really looking forward to reading a book that is a step away from this series. Enter Sydney Merlot an FBI agent who has returned to her home to start to get her fathers Private Investigator business and house in order after his untimely death. A potential client of her fathers comes to her and asks if she would look into the case of his son. He was accused of being the gunman responsible for the deaths of 14 highschool children. He believes his son was a victim and not the one responsible.
I really enjoyed the intro to this new character from the author. Stepping away from the UK and onto US soil with different law enforcement agencies was a real treat. The usual suspense and twisted storyline that I have come to expect from this author is very evident, in some ways more so. I think taking a step away from his usual characters have almost given the author a free rein to explore different way s of investigating. With a change of country, it also opens up a different way of life than we are used to in the UK.
The story starts off as one that seems like a father not accepting his sons’ guilt, but there is something that grabs Syndey about his story that leads her to look further. This then begins the slope into something more than she bargained for. Coming home should be positive, but she wonders what has changed, who can she trust. I like the feeling that Sydney feels as she is spiralling and has trouble performing to her usual standard, it adds a realism to the story as after all she is still grieving for her father.
This is Sydney’s hometown, therefore she should feel confident about who she can trust. Things have changed, people have changed, they have different responsibilities, loyalties and priorities. Those she thought she could have banked on left her feeling unsure, this is really the tip of an iceberg. The author does a brilliant job with a sense of suspense and lurking danger.
I really enjoyed this book and I really hope this is top be the start of a new series. I like the character of Sydney, she is bull-headed, determined, stubborn and doesn’t take no for an answer if she thinks it should be a yes! A wonderful read and one that readers of crime and mystery will enjoy and it is one I would definitely recommend.
About the Author…
Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling DI Bliss crime thriller series. The first seven books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins, The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, Endless Silent Scream, and Slow Slicing, were joined in December 2020 by a prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.
Tony’s other series – two action-adventure novels featuring Mike Lynch – comprises both Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun. In addition, Tony has written two standalone novels: a dark, psychological crime thriller, Degrees of Darkness, and a suspense thriller set in California called Fifteen Coffins which was released just last November. Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently working on Bliss #8, The Autumn Tree.
Today I am delighted to share my review for Dead Perfect by Noelle Holten. This is the 3rd book in the series and another great read. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Bog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful book.
A murdered woman…
When the body of a young woman is found in a local park, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she’s dealing with no ordinary killer. The murder victim has been disfigured; her outfit changed to resemble someone else. Someone Maggie knows all too well…her close friend Dr Kate Moloney.
A determined detective…
Maggie is determined to keep her friend safe, but with Kate already struggling with a threatening stalker, Maggie now fears Kate’s life is in real danger. Who else would want to harm Kate and why else would the killer be turning his victims into exact replicas – his living dolls?
Can Maggie find the depraved killer? Or will Kate become his next living doll?
Purchase Links – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)
Dead Perfect continues where the previous book left off, with this in mind I do think it is a series that should be read in order, you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a lot of detail.
DC Maggie Jamieson is the main character and when her boss calls her to say there is a body that looks like one of her friends Maggie does go into a spin. Frantically trying to get hold of Kate who is notorious for not having her mobile phone with her! Kate is found and the story unfolds of a body that has a very specific wound, not a pleasant one as there is not the level of blood and gore that some murders have, but still an unpleasant one!
The author uses more of a police approach to this story as it is a focus on the investigation from Maggie’s perspective that takes s precedence. The previous books have had more focus on inter-agency involvement in her stories, while other agencies are mentioned in this story they do take more of a backseat.
For Maggie though, this is more personal, Kate is a colleague and also a friend. The author does bring the insecurities and worries from the previous case into this one and injects doubts. Maggie feels under more pressure and finds that her temper is frayed, her mood is short and I think the feeling of being on the edge of overwhelmed has been done so well.
This is story has a much more personal feeling, it is a story that explores Maggie’s emotions as well as how Kate deals with a stalker. For Maggie, the emotions and strain are more evident as she works in a team and so interacts with more people. I should also mention that there is another voice, it pops up occasionally and it is that of the killer.
Now, I did get the identity pretty early on, and I didn’t waver on my initial thought. Yes, I was right but the full extent of the why the crimes were committed was a revelation. It is a story about the journey rather than the who did it.
This is a police-procedural murder mystery book and one that general crime readers would definitely enjoy. I did and therefore I would recommend it.
About the Author…
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.
I am absolutely delighted to share my review for Slow Slicing by Tony J Forder. This is a brilliant series and this latest one is a fabulously dark read. My huge thanks to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side Publicity for spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.
I am away from Social Media at the moment so any shares would be massively appreciated ❤
Let me show you what this one is all about…
The bestselling author of the compelling DI Bliss crime series is back with another stunning novel.
WHEN DEATH BECOMES THE KINDEST CUT OF ALL When slices of flesh and body parts are discovered in different areas of the country, DI Bliss and his team are tasked with running the operation. After Bliss realises the victims have been subjected to a specific form of torture, it leads him to a cold case involving the brutal and bloody murder of a woman in London twenty-six years earlier.
As the team discover links between their victims, the murdered woman, and gangland crime, they begin a dangerous investigation into both the past and the present. But Bliss is stumped, unable to decide if the current spate of mutilations are acts of revenge or the result of ageing criminals seeking to hide their despicable actions. Following a leak to the media, Bliss’s reaction may have dire consequences.
With the hunt for the victims at fever point, Bliss uncovers evidence steering him in the direction of one particular individual. The only problem being, his prime suspect is the one person it cannot possibly be. When Bliss orders a sting operation, the astonishing truth is revealed. And that’s when things really start to go wrong…
The stunning DI Bliss series of fast-paced police thrillers will appeal to fans of authors like Michael Connelly, Joy Ellis, Peter James, Robert Bryndza and Angela Marsons. Tony J Forder is also the bestselling author of Degrees of Darkness, Scream Blue Murder and Cold Winter Sun.
Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)
Oh Wow! The author has really gone to the dark side with the 7th book in the DI Bliss series. It involves body parts turning up in random areas. When I say body parts, I don’t mean like a head, or a leg, I mean a chunk of flesh! I did say he had gone dark, didn’t I?
I felt that this is one of the more challenging cases for Jimmy Bliss and his team have had to deal with. There are three body parts and the first one falls under the Bliss’s team at Peterborough, when another two pieces are found in other areas it makes sense to form a Joint Task Force to pool resources.
As odd as it may sound, the further two body parts were kind of a lead that Bliss and his team needed, their investigation had fallen flat, no leads, no clues and no evidence. With more discoveries, the emphasis and drive to solve the case is renewed. Again another dark side!
With a large investigation, there are a lot of moving parts, pressure mounts and nerves are frayed. The team are tired and still, the investigation goes on. Bliss may be a blunt and to the point old boy, but he does have a very big heart and this is very evident in this story. The author has woven a sense of doubt into Bliss and this leads him to think back over his past and think about the future. He loves his job, in fact his job keeps him sane but he does stand on a few toes.
This is a complex story and it has many parts that are all linked, so in some respects, it has one storyline. There are lots of little parts that need slotting into place before the bigger picture is seen, very much like a jigsaw that has no picture on the box and you are left puzzling which bit fits where. But at no time did I feel lost or confused, I felt in the loop of the story and was more curious with each chapter.
This is a brilliant story and one that I got into from the very first dark and disturbing chapter. The banter between Bliss and his sidekick Penny Chandler is great and at times hilarious and definitely had me laughing. The story didn’t feel fast, but methodical and deliberate and this kind of matched the storyline, it wasn’t until later that the pace picked up and for me, it made it a cracking read.
If you haven’t yet read any of these books and you are a crime reader who loves police procedural books then you really do need to look at this series. I suppose you could read Slow Slicing as a stand-alone but in my opinion, it is much better if read in order as you get a chance to get to know the characters and the bonds that they have formed over the previous books.
Slow Slicing is a dark read, the author doesn’t elaborate too much on the nature of the crimes, but gives enough for the reader to imagine and often I felt myself cringing and making that funny “urghhhh” sound! A must read for crime fans and one I would definitely recommend.
Tony J Forder is the author of the bestselling crime thriller series featuring detectives Jimmy Bliss and Penny Chandler. The first six books, Bad to the Bone, The Scent of Guilt, If Fear Wins,The Reach of Shadows, The Death of Justice, and Endless Silent Scream, will be joined on 10 August 2020 by Slow Slicing, and in December by the DI Bliss prequel novella, Bliss Uncovered.
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 serial-killer novel. Scream Blue Murder, an action-adventure thriller, 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, was published in November 2018.
In November, Tony will release a new standalone suspense thriller set in California, called Fifteen Coffins.
Tony lives with his wife in Peterborough, UK, and is now a full-time author. He is currently editing a new novel, and has also started on Bliss #7, Slow Slicing.
Today I have something a little different for you. I have a wonderful Q&A with Cali Bird, the author of Tales of the Countess. This is one for chicklit fans and here is what it is all about…
How can a woman so capable at work be so useless at getting a man?
Kennington, London, 1998
The Countess of Kennington awakes one morning after a heavy night and realises it all has to stop.
She has to stop drinking her problems away. She has to stop acting irresponsibly. And she has to stop obsessing over the MSL: the Man She Loves.
But things are often easier said than done, and when she discovers the MSL is attending a conference where she is presenting, she cannot hold back her burgeoning hopes.
In a Sex In the City meets Toy Story scenario, the Countess lives in an unusual household where her chief confidantes, known as the accessories, are a collection of beloved handbags, a beautiful sheepskin coat and her teddy bear who provide her with support and advice.
As the conference gets underway, the Countess tries hard to focus on work, but encouraged by the accessories, she cannot resist the draw of the MSL.
The bags might talk but this is no kids book…
Tales of the Countess is a highly original chicklit novel by British author Cali Bird, about the need to find happiness in yourself before you get your man.
Buy it now for the perfect piece of romantic escapism.
Now for the Questions & Answers…
Hi Cali. Tell us about Tales of the Countess.What’s the book about?
The book is about the need to be happy in yourself and then you get your man. The main character, known only as the Countess is a modern woman, living in London, who is very capable in her work but useless on the relationship front. She drinks and parties too much and is faced with a situation where she really needs to sort herself out.
Is there any man in particular that the Countess has fallen for?
Yes. It is someone that she used to work with in New York. There had been a few sparks between them but he always insisted on remaining friends because of their work relationship. The book opens with her having left that job and returning home to London. She tries to get over him but then runs into him again through her work. She discovers they will both be going to the same conference which makes it much harder to put him out of her mind.
I’ve heard that some of the characters are handbags that talk. Is this true?
Yes. They are inspired by a collection of handbags that I already owned. I loved the film, Toy Story¸ where the toys are their own community and do their own thing while their owner, Andy, isn’t around.
I imagined the same thing happening with my handbags when I was out at work. When I bought a new one, and it became my new favourite, I always wondered what the others made of this and whether they were jealous.
Unlike Toy Story, the bags interact with the Countess. They try and advise her on her love life. When she gets upset because something has gone wrong, which seems to happen a lot, they support her through her emotions.
How did you decide what characters to give them?
That happened quite naturally as I started writing. One of them is very bitchy, while another is a girly-girl true romantic. The Countess’s teddy bear also features. I’ve always thought that teddy bears are very wise and her bear is no different. He works with the bags to try and support her. Later in the story she buys a beautiful sheepskin coat which has more of a tough-love personality and tells her a few home truths which initially, she doesn’t like.
Was it easier to write for them than the people in the book?
Yes. I always found that the conversations between the bags, including their squabbles, flowed easily.
With the people characters it was important to make sure that they were realistic and carried the story forward in a way which works for the reader.
Do you have a favourite bag?
Tough question! The bags in the book vary between something you’d take clubbing, a formal handbag and some beautiful fake fur casual bags. The formal bag is called the Queen Mum bag. I bought it in the late 90s at the end of the January sales. It has a cream tortoiseshell patent print and I used it for work. Wherever I went with it, it was men, not women, who commented on how much they liked it. It must have reminded them of their grannies or something! I used it for years and eventually the clasp broke. I sought out a specialist handbag repair shop but they couldn’t fix it without changing the look of the bag, which was a heart-breaking moment.
Recently I bought a bag by Aspinall which is very similar to it. I call it the Queen Mum Redux and I am often found stroking it and referring to it as “my precious”.
The book is set in the late 1990s. Is that when you started writing it?
I started writing it in 2000. I’d had the idea for a few months. For a laugh, I used to call myself Countess Cali of Kennington. In 1999 I started writing and as I worked through some creativity exercises, I realised that there would mileage in a fictional version of the countess and her handbags.
It originally began as a short story but kept growing. I worked on it for a few years but then run out of steam as my own life had moved on and I was no longer single. I parked it for nine years and it sat in the proverbial drawer. During those years I learned a lot about story structure and other novel writing techniques, and worked on other projects. Three years ago, I decided to return to Tales of the Countess and this time was determined to get the story fit for publication. Twenty years after I began writing about her, the Countess is finally out in the world.
How does the book mirror your life?
I was single when I started writing it, and suffering one of many heartbreaks. Another liaison with someone I liked didn’t go the way I would have wished. Initially I was attracted to writing the story because, unlike real life, I could choose the ending!
Once I got into writing it though, the story took on a life of its own. As I revised it, the elements in the initial draft which had been based on real events dropped away. Over time it developed its own truth.
I guess I’m similar to the Countess in that at the time I was doing the same kind of work. She’s much more capable than me though. I’ve been too busy playing around with creative stuff!
Thanks very much Cali. It sounds like a fun read.
Thank you. That’s the feedback I’m getting from people who have read it. It seems to be the perfect piece of escapism for the current times.
Cali is in her mid-fifties and lives in Bedfordshire. She was single until she was nearly forty and used to be the archetypal career girl, living in Central London and working in investment banking. One day, she had an epiphany, realised that she needed to honour her creative side and started writing. Since then, she had various side projects including running a life-coaching business, giving self-development talks and blogging about creativity at www.gentlecreative.com. She has practised Buddhism for over thirty years and is a self-confessed tree-hugger.
Cali has known her husband, Graham, since they were at school together. Although they once had a smooch when they were nineteen, they didn’t get back in contact for many years. Within a month of their first date, they realised they had found someone special in each other, but it was another few years before they were married at the tender age of forty-six. It’s never too late to find love!
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of reading The Place We Call Home by Faith Hogan and I am delighted to reshare my review of this wonderful book as part of the Blog Tour for the publication of the digital version.
Let me show you what the book is all about…
Welcome to Ballycove, the home of Corrigan Mills…
Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Irish countryside the famed mills have created the finest wool in all of Ireland. Run by the seemingly perfect Corrigan family, but every family has its secrets, and how the mills came to be the Corrigan’s is one of them…
Miranda and her husband were never meant to own the mills, until one fateful day catapults them into a life they never thought they’d lead.
Ada has forever lived her life in her sister’s shadow. Wanting only to please her mother and take her place as the new leader of the mill, Ada might just have to take a look at what her heart really wants.
Callie has a flourishing international career as a top designer and a man who loves her dearly, she appears to have it all. When a secret is revealed and she’s unceremoniously turfed out of the design world, Callie might just get what’s she’s been yearning for. The chance to go home.
Simon has always wanted more. More money, more fame, more notoriety. The problem child. Simon has made more enemies than friends over the years, and when one of his latest schemes falls foul he’ll have to return to the people who always believe in him.
Ballycove isn’t just a town in the Irish countryside. It isn’t just the base of the famous mills. It’s a place to call home.
Best-selling author, Faith Hogan returns with a family tale of love, loss, secrets and finding yourself.
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Well I have to say that the imagery that this author has created in this book is exceptional, I loved reading the sections about the mills, the countryside and life that Miranda experienced as a child.
Then add the present-day settings as Miranda, the owner of Corrigan’s Mill, is starting to feel her years, her health is not as it once was. In the wings her three children try to work out what their mum is going to do with a lucrative business and also worry about her remaining years and their futures.
These timelines have been brilliantly woven to create such a wonderful stroll through the Irish countryside and community as I was transported into the Corrigan family through the years.
This is such a gentle read and it was an absolute pleasure to disappear between the pages and discover a life that has had it’s up’s and downs over the years. Miranda was a lovely character and I soon warmed to her in her childhood and admired her resilience in her adult years. She brought up three children who are very individual and very different characters.
Ada is the more serious one, Simon is always looking for the next big deal and Callie a big name in the fashion world. Each child has a good life and in theory, they should be happy, but each one seems to have a crisis and this is what finally brings them home and together again. It is only Ada who has remained at home over the years.
This is a family that should be strong together but are actually fractured. They have had opportunity and chances and yet can’t seem to see what they have. As hard as it is for Miranda to try and keep them all happy, and even with her health, they seem as distant with each other as ever.
This is such a wonderful story that opens old wounds and confronts new ones that are still raw, resentment and anger are as rife as frustrations and honesty start to make themselves shown. It is an emotional book and I did have the odd watery eye moment, but this is not what I would call a heartrendingly sad book. There are heartbreaking moments, but the story is also heartwarming as realisations are finally acknowledged.
This was a terrific read and one that I sat and read in one sitting. It was a story that drew me in and had me totally captivated with the gentle pacing and also the compelling storyline. This is a really good read and one I would definitely recommend.
Faith Hogan is an Irish award-winning and bestselling author of five contemporary fiction novels. Her books have featured as Book Club Favorites, Net Galley Hot Reads and Summer Must Reads. She writes grown up women’s fiction which is unashamedly uplifting, feel good and inspiring.
Faith’s latest book, The Place We Call Home is published in January 2020.
She writes crime fiction as Geraldine Hogan – Her Sisters Bones is available now!
Faith gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway.
She is currently working on her next novel. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, four children and a very busy Labrador named Penny. She’s a writer, reader, enthusiastic dog walker and reluctant jogger – except of course when it is raining!
I am delighted to share my review today for That Holiday in France by Rhoda Baxter. I would like to thank Sarah at Book on The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
When Ellie’s boyfriend forbids her from going to France to attend her best friend’s wedding, she decides she’s had enough. She dumps him and goes to France by herself. But travelling alone is scary and Ellie realises how reliant she’d become on the men in her life.
On holiday, she learns to trust her own judgement and grows in confidence. Just when she decides she doesn’t need a man to complete her, she meets Ash, who is everything her ex wasn’t. But is Ellie willing to give up her new found independence and link herself to another man?
Friends to lovers
Heroine asserting her independence
Summer in France
That Holiday In France is a standalone story set in the little Yorkshire village of Trewton Royd. Ideal for fans of Mhairi McFarlane or Sophie Kinsella.
What a fabulous read this book was. Right from the get go I liked Ellie, and within a few chapters I definitely didn’t like her overbearing boyfriend Luke. I was so glad that Ellie decided to stand up to him and go off to France for her best friends wedding. She did almost leave it too late to attend as she did what Luke had wanted and stay home instead.
While in France, Ellie had a bit of an eye-opening experience as she found that she shared some similar view to her Dad and Luke. These were very one-sided and also not pleasant. Luckily for her a good friend of hers put her straight and she began to enjoy herself and gain a bit of confidence.
This was such a lovely story to read and one that I read in just a few hours. I loved the way Ellie stood up for herself and then started to work out who she was and what she liked. The author did a brilliant job of creating a character who had low self esteem, saw others as being better than her and someone that had no belief in herself.
In some ways this is a story of stigma and uncompromising opinions based on a past event, but it is also a story of self discovery and belief with a wonderful romantic thread woven through it. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.
Rhoda Baxter writes romantic comedies about strong heroines and nice-guy heroes. Having studied microbiology at university, Rhoda likes all things science geeky. She also loves cake, crochet and playing with Lego. She lives in Yorkshire with her young family and wishes she had more time to bake.
You can find out more about her (and get a free book by signing up to her newsletter) on her HERE on her Website.
I am delighted to share my review today for The Price by Kerry Kaya. This is my first time reading this author and it will definitely not be the last time! I would like to thank Sarah at Book On The Bright Side Publicity for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant book.
Let me show you what it is all about…
For most of his life Fletch has looked out for his younger brother Spencer and he will do anything and everything he can to protect him. Together they work for notorious East End gangster Billy King. Across the water in South London is Billy’s rival George Bannerman and the two firms are locked in a bitter turf war.
Amid murder, drug deals, and rival firms, Fletch is harbouring his own secrets and it’s only a matter of time until those secrets are revealed, and when you break the rules you have to pay the price.
This is the first time I have read a book by this author and I absolutely loved it. The author starts her story in the past in the first chapter, it sets the scene for what is to follow. What followed was an addictive one sitting read for me as I followed the brothers of Fletch and Spence, they work for local gangland boss Billy.
I really liked how the author focused on the relationship of the brothers rather than violence in this story, although the main focus is Fletch. He has a bit more savvy and has more front to him. Although there are mentions of violence, it wasn’t that brutal in the reading.
The brothers are loyal to each other and their Mum, things in the past were tough and it is now that things seem to be working out. Only thing with being part of a gang is that there is always another gang that wants to make a move.
The story took various turns that I found really intriguing, not just a straight forward rival gangs read, but something with much more heart and human interest to it. Getting to know the brothers through the story was a good way to make a reader kind of connect to them, but even though I really liked them there was always that air of danger about them.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this story, a brilliant read that wasn’t what I expected and I found it really hard to put down. I think this book would suit various readers, especially those that want a crime read that has a slightly different angle top it. I am looking forward to reading some of the previous books by this author, and as for this book, well I would definitely recommend it.
Kerry Kaya is a British gangland crime Author, born and raised on the outskirts of East London.
She is an avid reader and has a passion for books. From an early age she began writing stories, and in her later years those stories went on to become full length novels and novellas.