The Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski @borstinski #hist/fic @damppebbles #BookReview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on the Bowery Slugger by Leopold Borstinski. My thanks to Emma at damppebbles Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging my e-copy of this brilliant historical fiction book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

A turn-of-the-century Jewish boy punches his way into the gangs of New York.

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

The first book in the Alex Cohen series is a violent historical novel, which rips through the early years of the Jewish New York mob. Leopold Borstinski’s gripping crime noir beats at the chest of every reader with a bloody fist.

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This is the first time I have read anything by this author, but I have seen his books popping up just recently. I am so glad I grabbed a spot on the Blog Tour sign -up for The Bowery Slugger as it is a wonderful historical fiction book that was right up my street.

It is set in 1915 and I arrived to this story as Alex Cohen arrives in America. He and his family settle and Alex finds himself a job, he starts at the bottom and gradually over the next few months he starts to climb the ladder.

This is a belter of a read and if, like me, you read and loved “Gangs of New York, then you are going to love The Bowery Slugger. It is the the story of a young man who finds himself working for the Jewish Mob. This kind of caught me unawares as I tend to think of this being more a world associated with other nationalities. Surprise aside, I found this such an addictive read as I followed Alex’s story.

There is obvious mentions of strong arming, extortion, take overs and the like. I liked how the author didn’t go into full on bloody descriptions, he found just the right balance for me. Along side the gangs is the story of a more personal one Alex and his love life. He has his heart set on a girl who has heard rumours of Alex and his reputation is one that goes before him, there is a mutual attraction, but is it enough.

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

The story is a good pace and for me felt just right for the story. Alex seemed to be a character that had the confidence to stroll at his own pace and this pacing matched the story.

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

If you like historical fiction then I think The Bowery Slugger is one you should definitely buy. A fabulous book and it is also the first in the series with the next book due out spring next year, and I for one cannot wait for next year! I thoroughly enjoyed The Bowery Slugger and would definitely recommend it.

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

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

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

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Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll @WriterJustinC @CazVinBooks #Bookreview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for Hemlock Jones and the Underground Orphans by Justin Carroll. My thanks to Caroline at Bits About Books for arranging my spot on the Blog Tour and also for arranging a copy of this fabulous book. My apologies for being late with this review, I hadn’t realised the Tour dates had changed, but better late than never as they say 🙂

This is the second book in the Hemlock Jones series and I loved it as much as I did the first one. Before I get carried away singing the praises for this author’s Hemlock series, let me show you what it is all about…

When orphans vanish from their beds across Victorian London, twelve-year-old demystifier Hemlock Jones and her companion, Edward, take the case!


This time, the trail will lead them from their Baker Street home, along lost rivers and into the heart of the city, to face exotic enemies and a charming man with dark plans…

Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans is the second of the Hemlock Jones Chronicles, the award-winning series of detective adventures for children and adults.

Oh it is so good to be travelling around Victorian London with Hemlock and Eddie, oops sorry Edward! Hemlock and Edward are a fabulous combination. Hemlock is a demystifier, she takes the mystery out of criminal cases that she decides to investigate and Edward is her Associate.

Her latest case is one that involves the disappearance of orphans. She is approached as she had helped on a previous case, though her and Edward did not get the credit they deserved, instead it went to that other famous consultant from Baker Street! Though she did not get the credit, she is recognised as being a help, so she agrees to give her expert help in the search for the missing children.

Now, you know I mentioned how I enjoyed wandering around Victorian London with the duo? Well, this time I was glad that as a reader I can experience things from the pages of a book! I bet Edward would wish to be in my position instead of traipsing and crawling through the rat infested sewers!

This book is fabulous and has mystery, intrigue and uses powers of observation and deduction or should I say demystification! I should mention that it is aimed at a younger audience, but this grown up (depending who you ask!) reader loves it!

It is a story that is accessible and is at a pace that holds the attention, there are quieter moments in it but these are moments are essential to the case or are about the lives of the characters themselves. I think this story is ideal for giving a younger audience a mystery novel that has a feel of the classic Sherlock Holmes but in a more upbeat way, it has action and adventure as well as mishaps and danger. I remember trying to read a Sherlock story when I was younger and I was not old enough to understand it, but if I had access to Hemlock Jones I would have been so happy. I will add that as an adult reader I love the Sherlock Holmes books!

The story itself is good and holds the attention, there are mentions of the yuckier side of London and it also has reference to a poem / folk tale that I think would make for good further reading for the target audience. I love that the main heroes of the story are children and their escapades are in an adult world. They are given a chance to deal with an investigation that is adult sized, but its their belief in their own instincts and observations that lead to solving the case.

This is a fabulous read and I think that the younger audience would absolutely enjoy it. It is the 2nd book in the Hemlock Jones series and I would definitely recommend it.

Justin Carroll is an author who balances his love of comic books and games with a passion for martial arts and musicals.

Ever since he stopped wanting to be a dinosaur, Justin wanted to be a writer. He graduated with a degree in English Literature and Language from King’s College, London in 2004 and now, when not writing, he fritters away his time on all manner of geeky things.

Shortlisted for several international short story competitions, Justin was a finalist in the 2010 British Fantasy Awards with “Careful What You Wish For” (Wyvern Publishing) and placed in the top twenty of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge twice.

December 2012 saw the birth of Justin Carroll’s first novel: Everything’s Cool – a dark, psychological thriller.

His second novel, Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death, is a Young Adult novel and the first in a series featuring Hemlock Jones, the fiery 12-year-old demystifier whose brain easily equals and surpasses that of the famous consulting detective, Sherlock Holmes. “Hemlock Jones & The Angel of Death” won a Silver Medal in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards.

Now, Justin has published the second book in the Hemlock Jones Chronicles: Hemlock Jones & The Underground Orphans, perfect for all fans of 10 years and above of adventurous detective mysteries!

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The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton @rararesources #histfic #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts for The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton with you today. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful book.

Let me show you all about it…

Charlotte, daughter of Reverend Percival Hatton, has been content to follow the path laid out for her. Charlotte has an understanding with Captain Nicolas Paget – every inch the gentleman – who she expects someday to marry. But then she meets Josiah Martyn, and everything changes…

A driven and ambitious Cornish mining engineer, and the complete opposite to Captain Nicholas, Josiah has come to London to help build the first tunnel under the river Thames. When unpredictable events occur at the inauguration of the project, Josiah and Charlotte are suddenly thrown into an unexpected intimacy.

 But not everyone is happy with Charlotte and Josiah growing closer. As friends turn to foes, will they be able to rewrite the stars and find their happy ever after, although all odds seem to be stacked against them…?

Purchase LinksAmazon UKAmazon US

If you are looking for the ideal book to sit down on a Sunday afternoon then pick up a copy of The Rector’s Daughter by Jean Fullerton because it is fabulous and you will not want ot put it down until you have turned the final page!

Set in 1825 in the Rotherhithe area of London, it is where I meet Charlotte Hatton, the Rector’s daughter. She is a very charitable and is always trying to help those in need. She has an admirer in the form of Captain Paget, a chap I took a dislike to initially and if I am honest my opinion of him didn’t improve.

There are a lot of new people in the area as work to build a tunnel under the Thames is due to begin. One of the workers is Engineer Josiah Martyn a man who has worked his way up from the Cornish mines and learnt his trade. There is a spark between him and Charlotte but they live in different social classes. Charlotte has had her life mapped out and her father believes she should be wed to a man who can provide for her and maintain or better her social standing.

Living and working in the same area, it is inevitable that these two should meet. Josiah is a proud man and has good morals and understands that he is not looked on favourably. But will it be enough!

The story is absolutely addictive, the mentions of the Brunels really does help fix the setting. The various mentions of living and working conditions are fabulous and I love it when an author uses comparisons in a story and Jean does this so well. These comparisons are so well worked into the story and give a wonderful cross-section of society.

The story itself is not straightforward and could have gone in various directions. There are many little twists and ruses on the way that kept this reader eagerly turning the pages. There are several characters that I met in this story, some I liked, some I did not which made for a good balance. I liked the different opinions and attitudes, they are suited for the time and I at times my blood boiled for the way that some of the characters acted and treated others!

The Rector’s Daughter is a fabulous read and I would love to think that there was another book to follow. I hope there is because even though this book finished in a brilliant way I am curious about what could possibly happen next.

A brilliant book that I adored and is perfect for readers of Historical fiction and Romance I would definitely recommend it.

Jean Fullerton is the author of thirteen novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

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The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott @CScottBooks @annecater #RandomThingsTours #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Photographer of the Lost by Caroline Scott. My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

Until she knows her husband’s fate, she cannot decide her own…
An epic debut novel of forbidden love, loss, and the shattered hearts left behind in the wake of World War I

1921. Families are desperately trying to piece together the fragments of their broken lives. While many survivors of the Great War have been reunited with their loved ones, Edie’s husband Francis has not come home. He is considered ‘missing in action’, but when Edie receives a mysterious photograph taken by Francis in the post, hope flares. And so she beings to search.

Harry, Francis’s brother, fought alongside him. He too longs for Francis to be alive, so they can forgive each other for the last things they ever said. Both brothers shared a love of photography and it is that which brings Harry back to the Western Front. Hired by grieving families to photograph gravesites, as he travels through battle-scarred France gathering news for British wives and mothers, Harry also searches for evidence of his brother.

And as Harry and Edie’s paths converge, they get closer to a startling truth.

An incredibly moving account of an often-forgotten moment in history, The Photographer of the Lost tells the story of the thousands of soldiers who were lost amid the chaos and ruins, and the even greater number of men and women desperate to find them again.

Caroline Scott is a freelance writer and historian specializing in WWI and women’s history. The Photographer of the Lost, partially inspired by her family history, is her first novel.

This is such a poignant, sombre, heartbreaking and beautiful story that I cannot do justice to with my review. It is set in 1921 as people are still trying to come to terms with the loss of family during the first world war. Edie is desperate to discover what had happened to Francis her husband, missing presumed dead does not give her any peace of mind. Is he missing, was he killed or was he suffering from amnesia, she wants to know. Harry served in the war along with his brother, Francis. Harry returns to France and photographs places and gravestones for those back home looking for some sort of closure. Harry cannot remember all that happened during the war and suffers from we now know as PTSD.

This was such a haunting read and I do admit it taking me a little while to get into. I did however go back to the synopsis and give it a proper read and it did make things a lot clearer and things started to fall into place easier. Once I got to grips with the style of the story and the characters I discovered such a beautifully written story. It is one that delved into the way people were coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones as well as how those involved in the fighting were dealing with their own trauma.

The author did such a wonderful job with the character of Edie and it really brought home how dealing with the unknown can stop you from living your life. Her personal pilgrimage to various offices, agencies and hospitals to try to find the slightest bit of information about Francis was powerful. A glimmer of hope that flicked and wavered as she went through disappointment of finding nothing.

Harry has his own journey and it is linked to Edies. He had taken his brothers profession and is a photographer. His work means he accepts commissions from those who want to know the final resting place of their loved ones or the last place they were seen. These photographs are the last touch for a family, a chance to say a final goodbye and have something that marks the end of a life.

This is a powerful story, one that deals with the time immediately after the war. People are trying to live and survive with their loss. There is still hope that those who are missing can be found alive. The story does flit between 1921 and as flashbacks to the war so there are two sides to the story and it makes for a very moving and emotional read.

As I said earlier, it did take me a little while to get into, but once in I found it very difficult to put down. If you are looking for a book that deals with WW! and how people are affected than you really should pick this one up, it is definitely worth it and I Definitely Recommend it.

About the Author Caroline completed a PhD in History at the University of Durham. She developed a particular interest in the impact of the First World War on the landscape of Belgium and France, and in the experience of women during the conflict – fascinations that she was able to pursue while she spent several years working as a researcher for a Belgian company. Caroline is originally from Lancashire, but now lives in southwest France.


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Until We Meet Again by Rosemary Goodacre @RoseGoodacre @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Until We Meet again by Rosemary Goodacre. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful historical fiction book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

The Great War drove them apart – but love kept them together

Summer 1914: Shy young woman, Amy Fletcher, lives a quiet life in Sussex. An office worker, she lives at home, along with her parents and spirited younger brother, Bertie. But her life is transformed when she meets handsome young man, Edmond Derwent, son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Larchbury, and student at Cambridge University.

The couple are falling deeply in love when war breaks out and, eager to do his duty for England, Edmond signs up as an officer. The couple plan to be wed, eager to start a new life together – but their happiness is short-lived when Edmond is sent to Flanders to lead his men into battle. Amy trains as a VAD nurse and is soon sent to France, where she sees the true horror of war inflicted on the brave young men sent to fight.

Separated by war, Edmond and Amy share their feelings through emotional letters sent from the front line. But when Edmond is critically wounded at Ypres, their love faces the biggest test of all – can their love stay strong while the world around them is crumbling?

A romantic, emotional saga set in WW1 – readers of Rosie Goodwin, Katie Flynn and Val Wood will be captivated by this story of love.

Purchase Links – Amazon Apple Kobo

This is the story of Amy and how she met Edmond and it begins just before the start of WWI. They are a couple from different backgrounds, she working class and him from a wealthy background. When war is finally declared Edmond does the honourable thing and signs up and they plan to marry before he goes away. Things however do not quite work out as they should!

This is such a fabulous story that pulls in various things from the time. The Suffragettes and Suffragists, the tensions and fears of the possibility war, people being lost killed or injured in the war and how life must carry on as best it can with a world in turmoil. The author weaves a fabulous story of love and hope in amongst the backdrop of heartbreak and devastation.

I loved the difference of opinion between the two different families. Amy’s’ family are down to earth and humble and they are a contrast to Edmond’s family who hold lavish parties and holiday on the continent. there are some wonderful scenes that are portrayed in the story that highlight these differences, though not so wonderful for Amy.

As Edmond does his duty, Amy feels that she wants to do her part in the war effort and so trains to become a nurse. War affects everyone and so it is for Amy and Edmond when he is wounded. Their spirits are kept strong by letters they write to each other and also from family and friends. This was such an important part of peoples lives as it was the only way of keeping in touch. The real hardships were kept out of these communications and so what people were really going through often went unsaid.

This is a story that is captivating and is a beautiful story of young love that has its challenges against the horror of war. The author captures moments of their story through the letters and also of their brief and infrequent visits.

This is a story that I loved and did shed a tear or two for, it is emotional but also very down to earth in the way it is written, by this I mean it is a story of two people who have met and fallen in love but have a sense of duty to their country.

The author does not over dramatise the wounded and the battlefield situations but does enough to provide a good general picture of life and conditions.

If you like historical fiction and romance then I really do think that you will enjoy this one, I know I certainly did and I Definitely recommend it.

Rosemary Goodacre has previously worked in computing and teaching. She has had short stories published and a novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.

Her father’s family came from continental Europe and she loves travelling.
She enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives with her husband in Kent, England.

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The Holiday by T.M Logan #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for The Holiday by T.M Logan. Let me show you what it is all about…

For fans of Harlan Coben and Shari Lapena, and from the bestselling author of LIES, comes the Sunday Times bestselling Richard and Judy Book Club thriller. Take a holiday you won’t forget . . .

Seven days. Three families. One killer.

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Provence. 

But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends. 

One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. 

Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.

‘Perfectly plotted and riveting with an exceptional ending’ Diane Jeffrey

‘I loved the intrigue – it makes you think twice about going on holiday with friends‘ B A Paris 

‘Perfect summer reading’ S R Masters

Another blistering page-turner’ Chris Whitaker

This is a Wow book for me. I loved the slower style of the story as I gradually got drawn into the story. It is told from the perspective of Kate as she and her best friends are on holiday in France. As they have got older their lifestyles, goals and interests have changed. This adds an underlying tension to the story but, they still have a strong bond, well that is until thinks Kate thinks her husband is having an affair with one her best friends and the trip away may give her the proof she needs.

I love the way that cracks start to show in the friendships, being away on holiday should put you at ease but when there is a doubt in the air relaxing on holiday is the last thing that is needed when you need to watch your every word! This is when a slip-up can happen! Because the synopsis hints at the doubts, I found myself wondering who to trust. It is a great way of adding intrigue and doubt.

This is a fabulous book that I got completely hooked into and found hard to put down for a moment. It is a book I want to tell you so much more about than I have but that would just spoil it! It is one that I would definitely recommend. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and has left me wanting to read more.

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All Summer With You by Beth Good #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts with you for All Summer With You by Beth Good.

Let me show you what it is about…

There’s no place like home…

Nursing a broken heart, Jennifer Bolitho retreats to Pixie Cottage. Her new landlord – a former soldier turned movie heartthrob – has grounds so large, she’s sure the little house nestled in the woods will bring her solitude.

Alex Delgardo also has reasons to hide away. Seeking refuge after a tragic incident turned his world upside down, he knows that the most important thing now is to care for his ailing family.

But when Jennifer enters their lives, that changes. Because, as they both learn, you can’t heal others until you learn to heal yourself…

When Jennifer moves into the cottage that adjoins the estate of film star Alex Deldgardo, there are certain clauses attached. One is that she should not trespass onto his property. She has no intention of doing so, unfortunately or fortunately a goat has different ideas. Jennifer finds a friend in an elderly lady and feels welcomed. Alex on the other hand is moody, grumpy and quite rude.

The author does such a fabulous job of entwining all things Cornish into this story. From local foods, plants, folklore, language and stories and weaves them wonderfully into the story that unfolds. Jennifer is a story teller and the author uses this character to introduce some well known Cornish stories into her tale.

The main characters of Jennifer and Alex both have histories, Jennifer is using the solitude to write her next book while also trying to come to terms with a break-up. Alex is also recovering, though from something quite different. I liked how the author took an unusual approach with his back story and as I learnt more my initial thoughts on him changed.

The author weaves a thoroughly enjoyable story the inclusion of various Cornish elements was great and very recognisable to me as I have lived in this county for 20 years. Including the language and stories was wonderful and the way they were included added an extra element to the reading. Often descriptions of scenery and food are mentioned in Cornish based books so it was a treat to see some of the extras.

The story flowed along at a really nice pace and had some really good heartwarming and also heartbreaking moments, and also the odd humorous moments as well. There were various elements that complemented each other so well.

This is a story that is a tale of coming to terms with the past and accepting that some things are out of your control. It is a story of life, love and loss and is one that I would definitely recommend.

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Notting Hill In The Snow by Jules Wake @Juleswake @rararesources #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Notting Hill In The Snow by Jules Wake. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this wonderful festive book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

It’s mayhem in Bethlehem…unless they can work together!

Viola Smith plays the viola in an orchestra (yes really!), but this year she’s been asked to stretch her musical talents to organising Notting Hill’s local nativity.
Nate Williams isn’t looking forward to Christmas but as his small daughter, Grace, has the starring role in the show, he’s forced to stop being a Grinch and volunteer with Viola.

With the sparks between them hotter than the chestnuts roasting in Portobello market, Nate and Viola can’t deny their feelings. And as the snow starts to fall over London, they find themselves trapped together in more ways than one…

Purchase Links – Amazon – UK US

This is such an addictive book and has a very festive Christmas feel to it. Viola Smith is a viola player and is asked to help with a local school nativity as part of an outreach program. Viola has never organised anything like this before and she is supposed to have help from one of the parents, Nathan Williams.

Nathan is a lawyer and Viola doesn’t have a good track record with them, but, Nathan and his daughter Grace are dealing with life alone as Elaine, the wife and mother, is currently working away. Viola offers to help Nathan and Grace as they all juggle work, schedules, shopping and the upcoming preparations for Christmas.

I love the feel of this book as it really does bring together the traditional Christmas vibes. As well as the main story of a friendship between Viola, Nathan and Grace, there are other things also going on in the background. Viola has a rather demanding family and think that she is at their beck and call because she is single! Talk about running herself ragged, poor girl! She is one of those people who will put others before herself and this means she is going to have let some people down. Who and why is revealed as the story progresses further and further.

There is a strong underlying attraction between Nathan and Viola and things are not easy as there is Grace who is at the centre of any decisions and don’t forget Nathan also has a wife, albeit in New York…

The setting of Notting Hill is done so well, the author has managed to create an almost village like setting as she describes this busy area of London. This adds to the overall warm snugly feel of the story. Her descriptions of more traditional Christmas festivities are wonderful, from the gaudily decorated Christmas trees to the mugs of hot chocolate and stockings at the end of the bed are just superb.

This is a terrific read and I was hooked from the very first pages, I like the tentative tiptoeing around the romance and the obvious attraction between Nathan and Viola and yet all the while there is a feeling of this could go wrong at any point. Story-lines and themes have been wonderfully woven like tinsel on a Christmas tree and the overall effect is stunning.

This is a wonderful book that readers of romance and festive fiction will absolutely adore. I would definitely recommend this wonderful book.

Jules Wake announced at the age of ten that she planned to be a writer. Along the way she was diverted by the glamorous world of PR and worked on many luxury brands and not so luxury brands. This proved fabulous training for writing novels as it provided her with the opportunity to hone her writing and creative skills penning copy on a vast range of subjects from pig farming and watches, sunglasses and skincare through to beer and stationery.

She writes best-selling warm-hearted contemporary fiction for One More Chapter as Jules Wake and under her pen name Julie Caplin, she writes the Romantic Escapes series.

Between them, the two Js have written twelve novels, Notting Hill in the Snow being the latest.

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Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter @RunAmok_books @theodorecarter2 #Bookreview

I am delighted to share my thoughts on Stealing the Scream by Theodore Carter. I would like to thank the lovely people at Run Amok Books for my review copy and apologise for not getting this post wrote up sooner!

Let me tell you what it’s about…

In 2004, masked thieves stole Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” from an Oslo museum. Norwegian police recovered the painting two years later but never explained how or where they had found it. Stealing The Scream examines/re-imagines the event, offering a tantalising account of what happened through fictional characters, Percival Davenport, an artist whose obsession with Munch leads him to steal “The Scream” and Leonard, a museum security guard and amateur sleuth, whose interest in Davenport’s art leads him and the police to the artist’s door, setting up a tense climax and a satisfying if unexpected ending to the story.

The author has used the theft of Edvard Munch’s iconic painting as the basis for his story. He has then created and wrapped a fictionalised story around it, and what a great story it is too!

Starting with the theft of the painting in 2004, the author then goes back in time 2001. From then he gradually introduces the reader to Percival Deavenport, a soon to retire CEO who, with plenty of tie and money on his hands decides to return to his love of painting. This provides a link to the art world and also starts an intriguing storyline that then brings the reader up to events of theft and after.

I really liked the writing style and he has a very easy to follow flow that I found quite addictive. I liked his approach to the theft and it felt very coy. By this I mean that he has taken several steps to distance his characters from the theft, it is not until later in the story he gradually tip-toes them closer. By this point a lot has already happened to Percival in his personal life and his changes are rather strange and it makes for an almost unsettling glimpse into his character.

Percival has a right-hand woman in the form of Lucinda and she is responsible for keeping an eye on him, this is far easier said than done. Also joining them are Will, Leonard and Red. These additional characters have very different roles and their role size varies. For me they were good stable characters who are able to keep Percival grounded, well they do until later in the book.

This story had quite a few surprises tucked within its pages. It is one of those stories that is almost quiet, it sits simmering gently and then it gradually starts brewing with intrigue and suspicion and the tempo and pacing is upped until the arrival at the surprising end section of the book.

This is a book that sounded intriguing and was one that I thought “Yeah! I might like this!”and I’m so glad I picked it because it very quickly became hard to put down and was such an unexpected and wonderful read.

Its a story that has crime and mystery and also leans towards the contemporary fiction style because of the dynamic that is involved with Percival. This gets a Definitely Recommended from me, thoroughly enjoyable and addictive reading.

Theodore Carter is the author of The Life Story of a Chilean Sea Blob and Other Matters of Importance (Queens Ferry Press, 2012), Frida Kahlo Sex Dreams and Other Unnerving Disruptions, and Stealing ‘The Scream’ (Run Amok Books, 2019).

His fiction runs the gamut from humor, to literary fiction, to horror. He’s appeared in several magazines and anthologies including The North American Review, Pank, Necessary Fiction, A capella Zoo, The Potomac Review, and Gargoyle.

His street art projects, which began as book promotion stunts, have garnered attention from several local news outlets including NBC4 Washington, Fox5 DC, and the Washington City Paper.

Carter lives just outside Washington, DC in Takoma Park, MD. 

Many thanks for reading my post:) xx

Reach for a Star by Kathryn Freeman @KathrynFreeman1 @rararesources #Bookreview #choclit #Giveaway (open INT)

I am delighted to share my thoughts for Reach For A Star by Kathryn Freeman. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite onto the Blog Tour and also for arranging my e-copy of this book.

Let me show you what it is all about…

What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them? 
How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor. 

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?

Purchase Links – Amazon UK or US

When Jessie’s two boys Luke and Jack set their mum up and enter her into a singing TV competition she is stunned. She gets to sing with her favourite singer Michael Tennant, in fact he isn’t just her favourite singer he is her idol and she has a real fan girl crush on him. Oh! Did I mention that she is not a very good singer!

I love the way this author has used two people from very different worlds as the focus of this story. Jessie is a single mum with two sons, works in a pharmacy and is friends with her ex-husband. Michael is a famous tenor, travels the world and has adoring fans and gorgeous women who admire him. But what the author has done is go beneath the fame and the everyday to create a magical and heartwarming story. It is a story full of endearing moments, insecurities, guilt, low self esteem and lost confidence.

Using the main two characters the author has created a story that focuses on the problems any new relationship has, but has taken it further as this relationship comes with some additional obstacles. This made for a story that had me guessing all the way through as to whether the differences between Jessie and Michael could ever be overcome.

I loved the cheeky comments from Luke and Jack, they added a down to earth feel to the story. They reminded their mum that she had responsibilities tot them as well. Again this added to the will they / wont they aspect of the story.

This is a fabulous read that had me welling up with tears one moment and laughing the next, with the occasional heart in my mouth moments added for good measure. A great balance of emotions and intrigue with some wonderful dry humour.

If you love Choc Lit books then you are going to love this. I read it easily in one sitting, I had to know how things ended. A fabulous read and one that I would Definitely Recommend.

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

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Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

*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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Many thanks for reading my post, if you entered the Giveaway I wish you Good Luck 👍😊