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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There’s Something About A Cowboy by Rich Amooi @RichAmooi @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for There’s Something About A Cowboy by Rich Amooi as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Rich for my e-copy.

Synopsis:

Rule #1: No Dating Cowboys.

A fake fiancé doesn’t count, right? Oh boy . . .

Amy Weaver is tired of her dad meddling in her love life. Fed up, she hires an actor to play the part of her fake cowboy fiancé when she goes home for her grandpa’s ninetieth birthday. Sure, Luke Jenkins has got looks, charm, and muscular legs, but this is business, pure and simple. Things are fine and dandy until she finds out he’s a real cowboy, not an actor. Now, she’s stuck between a rock and his chiseled jawline, falling faster than a sack of horseshoes. How the heck is Amy supposed to ignore the sparks between them and stick to her rule of not dating cowboys? All bets are off.

Purchase LinksAmazon USAmazon UKAmazon AUAmazon CA

My Thoughts:

Now I have seen various reviews mention fake dates being a popular theme over the years, but as a reader who is relatively new to contemporary romance and Rom-com I cannot make any comment on that. It is great to be able to find a genre that has no real prior expectations. So let’s get onto what I thought…

Amy Weaver has a thing about Cowboy’s for boyfriends, but does not have the best track record. She meets Luke Jenkins in a local bar and a challenge for a bronco bull riding is set. Amy is expected home and she is getting fed up with her father going on about how she should go back to her ex-boyfriend. Amy in her wisdom decides the only thing to do is take along a fake boyfriend and Luke just so happens to fit the stereotype bill.

This is a book I quite happily sat and read in one sitting. I really liked Amy, she is feisty, stubborn and a naturally competitive 40 something. She was such a good character to pit against the handsome and rough around the edges cowboy looking Luke, who also has a competitive streak. Amy believes Luke to be an actor who had been hired by the bar to help add to the atmosphere, well he definitely added atmosphere…

The author did a great job of capturing my attention from the first few pages as I was introduced to the main characters. Others were added along the way as the story required and by the end of the book I knew exactly who was who and a bit about them. I found them easy to remember and this gave me the opportunity to enjoy the story.

As the story unfolds there are some surprising revelations for Amy to deal with. Not everyone has had her best interests at heart and they shock her. They also give her a new sense of direction and a focus that maybe she had lost in her earlier years before she moved away.

This book should come with a literary health warning… Do Not Read On An Empty Stomach… the food and recipes that are mentioned throughout, yes throughout the story are fabulous. Wonderful culinary creations and delights are laid across the pages spare ribs, barbecues, fire pits, pies, crumbles and breads are just some of the delights. They sounded as yummy as Luke himeself…

This is a book that would appeal to contemporary romance and rom-com readers. It has a great storyline and cast and there are some surprises along the way. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and I will definitely be buying more. Ideal if you are looking for an escape into a pleasant, charming, at times humorous story. One I would recommend.

About the Author:

Fun, Quirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective. Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media LinksFacebookTwitterGoodreads

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The Road to Alexander by Jennifer Macaire @jennifermacaire @rararesources #review

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Road To Alexander by Jenny Macaire as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Jennifer for my e-copy of this book.

Synopsis:

What do you do when the past becomes your future?

The year is 2089, and time-travelling journalist Ashley Riveraine gets a once in a lifetime opportunity to interview her childhood hero, Alexander the Great. She expects to come out with an award-winning article, but doesn’t count on Fate intervening.

Alexander mistakes Ashley for Persephone, goddess of the dead, and kidnaps her, stranding her in his own time. Being stuck 3000 years in the past with the man of her dreams wouldn’t be so bad if the scientists of the Time Institute hadn’t threatened to erase Ashley from existence if she changes history.

Ashley must now walk a tightrope, caught up in the cataclysmic events of the time, knowing what the future holds for the people she comes to love but powerless to do anything to influence it.

Join Ashley on her hilarious, bumpy journey into the past as she discovers where her place in history truly is…

Purchase  Link – Click Here

My Thoughts:

This is the story of Ashley and how she travels back in time to meet one of her heroes, Alexander the Great, to interview him. Alexander unwittingly prevents Ashley from returning back to her time and she is left stranded in history and decides to embrace the predicament in which she finds herself.

Now I did wonder how I would get on this story, time travel and ancient history. I really should not wonder when it comes to reading as this author did an absolutely cracking job with the story and completely won me over. I will mention that the author stated in her notes at the end, that she has moved somethings and people around to help with her story. I am aware of something from the days of Alexander but I am not au fait with much of it so I just enjoyed the story as the author saw it.

I would definitely say this is a historical romance as well as being a historical fiction read. It is about two people from very different times, backgrounds, interests, and experiences. The author has managed to inject some humorous aspects into the story that had me smirking, Ashley uses phrases and words that would not have been around at that time, and it gets some of the historical characters scratching their heads. For them, it adds to the mystery behind who or what they believe her to be.

I really liked the way a lot of historical facts has been mixed in with the fiction it made reading details much more interesting. Essentially turning a list of dates, people and places into something a lot lighter reading. There are mentions of battles, gods, religion, philosophy and the beliefs of the time. There is so much from the daily life, health, hygiene pretty much everything you would expect and a lot I didn’t even think about.

While Ashley is the main part of the story, her focus is on Alexander, the man, and the legendary historical figure. By the end of the story, I realised that this author really knows her stuff and has an obvious love of this time period, as it really does show in her writing. I came away knowing so much more than when I started this book, that is a big bonus for me.

I did mention it had a romantic aspect to it. Ashley initially is a little aloof and comes across as cold, where as Alexander is definitely a hot blooded male… thats all I am saying at this point, it does make for some very interesting reading! As the story develops Ashley then seems to thaw a little and others start to see a change in her, she becomes more emotionally engaged.

This is the first book in a series and I cannot wait to see what comes next. This is a really good book and one that I think would definitely appeal to readers of historical fiction and romance readers. It is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in Paris. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories

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The Greek Affair by Linn B Halton @LinnBHalton @rararesources #Giveaway (UK) #Review

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Greek Affair by Linn B Halton as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My huge thanks to both Rachel and Linn for my e-copy of this book. I can honestly say it was nice to read something set in a warmer environment as I sat in a chilly Cornwall.

Synopsis:

More than just a holiday romance?

Her daughter, her job and divorcing her untrustworthy ex are Leah’s main priorities. She isn’t really bothered that her life might be missing a few things. But after winning a prestigious travel blogger award, she’s inundated with offers to review glamorous holiday destinations. Lying around drinking exotic cocktails and being paid for it! What could be better?

Perhaps a romantic trip to idyllic Greece to find the one man who might make Leah risk her heart again…

Purchase Link Click Here.

My Thoughts:

When she wins the Travel Blogger Award doors open for Leah and her daughter Rosie. A short solo cruise for Leah and a meeting with Harrison makes her realise that she has never really dealt with the emotions of being a single parent. Harrison is the perfect gentleman and a wonderful friendship builds up. A trip to Greece with Rosie during half term is another eye-opener for Leah as she meets another single parent in the form of Daniel. Rosie strikes up a friendship with his daughter Belle and it gives Rosie a chance to realise that she is also missing something in her life.

This is a fabulous mix of travel, family, home-life, separation and difficult pasts. As I read, especially the sections that gave descriptions about Greece, I couldn’t help but think that this author has surely been here as her descriptions were wonderful. I have never been to Greece and I loved the quirky little asides about structures, doorways, a little about the architecture and foods. It had such a great feel to it and it was easy to lose myself in the vivid imagery that she had created.

I really liked that the young daughter had a say in her mum’s blog and in fact had her own segment. Working together and encouraging each other really stood out for me with this mother and daughter team.

The story has its emotional up’s and down’s as things progressed at a pace that felt very appropriate. Again this was where the author really got it right as far as how she portrayed the dilemma’s, anxieties and uncertainties when entering relationships where children are involved. Mixing various scenarios and giving things priorities for the main characters made for a really interesting read, with a few surprises along the way for good measure.

It is a romance but not the slushy lovey-dovey type and this made for a more realistic read. The main characters are 30 something parents who lead very different lives, I felt the romance had a more practical, no-nonsense approach with the adults dealing with not only their own possible futures but also that of their children and families. It played out very well indeed.

This is a book that has a good selection of things that I enjoy in this style of book, yes there is drama and romance but it is nicely balanced with the more practical everyday feeling of life in the real world and with a tantalising Greek backdrop. 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 Linn on her: WebsiteFacebookTwitter

Giveaway :

Giveaway to Win Rose Wine and Chocolates (UK only)

If you would like to be in with a chance to win a lovely rose wine and chocolate gift set, click on the link below and follow the instructions. Good luck!

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway **HERE**

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then 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 be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfillment of the prize, afterwhich time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell @alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be finally sharing my review for The Other Mrs. Bates by Allie Cresswell. I say “finally sharing” as I completely messed up on my diary entry for this book, putting it in for January! When my turn for posting on the Blog Tour came I was only able to share a promotional post…I was not a happy bunny. So without further ado, let us see what the book is about and then get to what I thought. 

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

My Thoughts:

This is the second in The Highbury Trilogy and it is the authors’ interpretation of what precedes Jane Austen’s Emma. I have read the first book and I would recommend you doing the same, it is definitely worth the time and if you like your Classic Literature then you will love these books.

So, having read and loved the first in the series and loving it I was keen to start the second. This is the story of Miss Jane Bates, she decides to take a position in Brighton as a companion to Mrs. Seally, an invalid who is not as Jane expected. The social “snakes and ladders” are as rife in Brighton as they are anywhere and the pecking order and finding suitable husbands or wives is very apparent. It is not a trap Jane gets caught up in but she does play witness to it.

Brighton is the up and coming place “to be seen” in this Georgian Regency era of British history. People attended functions, took walk and seemed to be out in public rather than being wherever they were staying.

This book was such a delight to read and right from the off I was transported in the era of its setting. The mannerisms and phrases just seemed perfect for the era of the story and also for my expectations. The author has in my mind given an interpretation that precedes Emma very well and has continued in the style.

After finishing this book I am so eager to pick up Emma, but I am holding back until I have read the third and final instalment as this will then lead very well into the classic itself. 

This is an absolute must read for fans of Classic Literature, Jane Austen, Historical Romance and those wanting to try it. It was a real joy and pleasure to read and is a book and a series I would absolutely recommend.

If you want to read my review of the first book in this trilogy, Mrs. Bates of Highbury, you can read it here

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons, and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – Website – Facebook – Twitter

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The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell @Alliescribbler @rararesources #review

I am delighted to be a spotlight post today for The Other Miss Bates by Allie Cresswell as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. I read the first book in The Highbury Trilogy and thought it was absolutely wonderful, so when the invite to join this one arrived I immediately accepted. Now confession and apology time…I should be posting a review for this book and my organisational skills have shown themselves to be severely lacking. I have this tour in my diary, and you may think this is a good thing… the only thing is it is next years diary for January…me and myself need to have serious words… So huge apologies to both Allie and Rachel for my lack of review at this time 😦  So, for the time being, I will shine a spotlight on the second book in the trilogy and a review will be following in the very near future.

Synopsis:

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs. Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.

While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Janeis kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.

When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.

Purchase link   Amazon UK

If you want to read my review of Mrs. Bates of Highbury, the first in the series then CLICK HERE

About the Author:

Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.

She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series

Social Media Links – WebsiteFacebook Twitter

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Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair @mayfairmegan @rararesources #BookReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Tangled Vines by Megan Mayfair as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. May huge thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Megan for my e-copy of her book.

Synopsis:

Amelia O’Sullivan is a photographer who has always viewed herself through the wrong lens. When her marriage publicly crashed around her, she flees to the safety of her aunt’s country property to pick up the pieces. Can she adjust her focus to what she really wants from her life? 

Born into a wealthy and powerful family, Frederick Doyle may seem like a man who has it all, but behind the scenes, a bitter business feud threatens an irrevocable family split. As he fights for control of the winery he’d built from the ground up, he finds a supportive ally in Amelia and becomes increasingly beguiled by her creative spirit. 

Jill McMahon is a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block over her latest manuscript. Finding her niece, Amelia, at her door, reminds her of the bonds of family, but in seeing Amelia andFrederick’s relationship grow, a long-forgotten and painful secret threatens tore-surface. 

Can Amelia, Frederick, and Jill untangle themselves from their pasts or will history simply repeat itself? 

PurchaseLink  – Here

My Thoughts:

I usually start a my thoughts with a bit of my own synopsis, but this time I am not as I would pretty much duplicate what it says so I will go straight into what I thought.

This is set in Australia and is a wonderful read that captured my attention from the outset and held right the way through until the end. The story is about three key characters and how they know or come to know each other. It is a story about their lives, their worries, their loves, and losses. Decisions that need to be made for their own individual future need to be made and they all seem to have come to a crossroads in their lives and they have to decide what, who and where their possible and potential happiness lies. The story is about finding an inner strength and confidence in making their decisions to move towards starting the next chapter in their lives and, it is not going to be plain sailing. Important decisions are not easily made.

Even thought there are some heartbreaking revelations, the author has not dwelt too much on them. The story has a pacing that keeps the story moving forward as I followed the characters on their uncertain futures while still dealing with ongoing grief and worries. 

There are various friends, family and colleagues that accompany the main characters and they each have their part to play in the story. I soon worked out who I liked and didn’t and I am sure you will have similar views.

As I mentioned earlier, the past has a part in this story and it plays out very well, and the author dealt with some aspects very well, one in particular was the anxiety that one of the characters has to deal with, for me this was a key trait of this character and it gave an insight into the reactions, emotions and also the personality of said character.

This is a story I really enjoyed, I found myself wondering as to how things would pan out as nothing was clear cut. Nothing was guaranteed to follow a certain pattern and this added a good deal of  subtle dramatic suspense. This is a romance that is not overly romantic which sounds a really odd thing to say. What I mean is that there is a romantic thread, but it is also about family, life, experiences, disappointments and new beginnings as I followed three people dealing with major decisions that could have implications for their futures and goals.

A story that would appeal to romance and also general fiction readers and is one I would definitely recommend.

About the Author:

Megan’sstories are about families, intrigue and love. Every book contains a bit of humour and a lot of heart.

Megan lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children and has a background in public relations and higher education.

She drinks far too much coffee and has an addiction to buying scarves. She interviews with other authors for her blog series, Espresso Tales, and loves a bit of #bookstagram.

Her debut novel, The Things We Leave Unsaid, was released by Crooked Cat Books in 2018. Tangled Vines is her second novel.

Social Media Links – Instagram – Facebook – Twitter – Website


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Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell @angelabritnell @rararesources #BookReview

 

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for Christmas at Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Angela for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

What if you had nowhere to call home for Christmas? 
When Fee Winter books a winter break at the remote Black Cherry Retreat in the small town of Pine Ridge, Tennessee, it’s with the idea that the peace and quiet will help her recuperate from her hectic life as a photographer.

But what she didn’t bank on was meeting TomChambers and his huge, interfering yet lovable family. With them, could Feefinally experience the warmth and support that’s been missing from her own life– and maybe even find a place to call home in time for Christmas?

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK –  Amazon US

My Thoughts:

When things get really tough in Fee’s life her Doctor advises taking time out. Fee is a photographer and has witnessed human life at it’s worse and documenting the evidence has taken it’s toll. Under the advice she finds herself in Tennessee at the town of Pine Ridge and the remore Black Cherry Retreat. A collection of cabins owned and run by Tom. There are sparks aplenty, but is it enough to help Fee?

The contrasts between Fee and Tom are extreme, to say the least as far as their lifestyle choices are concerned. Fee a nomadic photographer, she has sporadic relations with her mum. Tom has a huge family, and when I say huge I mean it and now happy to remain at home. They do however have one thing in common, well actually two things. One is the tragic loss they have suffered and the other is that they are lonely.

Their loss have left a huge gaping void in them that leaves scared, scarred and nervous. The story gradually took me through the turmoils they have both experienced and I gradually got to know the characters a bit better as I learnt more. They gradually start to open up to each other, and I was never 100% sure if they could put their past lives and hurts behind them.

Tom’s family…Wow! they are fabulous and they did kind of steal the lime light at times with their family gatherings and impromptu visits and advice. It added a huge amount of warmth, caring and love to the story that was aside from the two main characters.

The setting… well what to say apart from it would be this bookworms idea of perfect, it is isolated and remote, no wifi or phone signal, stunning sounding scenery… Oh yeah and Tom 🙂

This is a festive romance that deals with difficult pasts, hard to accept presents and hopeful futures. This is an ideal wintery afternoon read by a fire or under a blanket and is one I would recommend.

About the Author:

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee. A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. After more than three decades of marriage to her American husband, she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after. Over the last twelve years, she’s been multi-published and sold over 25 novels. She also writes short stories for women’s magazines. She is a member of the RomanticNovelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music CityRomance Writers.

Follow Angela 0n: Facebook – Twitter – Website – Instagram

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Galaxy Girl by Bev Smith @BevSmith612 @rararesources #BookReview #Giveaway (UK only)

Today I have my review of Galaxy Girl by Bev Smith to share with you all. My thanks to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for the invite and to Bev for my e-copy of the book.

Synopsis:

You hate school. Your family is beyond annoying. Your only friend comes from a different planet, and she’s about to leave.

What’s a girl to do?

Fed up with life on Earth, Esme stows away on the spaceship taking Stella back to Planet Kratos.

So begins Esme’s adventure into a world beyond the stars. A world of strange creatures, thrilling journeys, heroic rescues, and instant fame.

Oh, and school. Lots of school.

Along the way, she discovers that friends may be greener on the other side, but they still can’t be trusted.

Millions and billions of light years away from earth, she sets in motion a plan to escape. Unfortunately for her, they aren’t about to let their prize exhibit leave anytime soon…

Purchase Links  Amazon UK  – Amazon US

My Thoughts:

When Esme has the chance to run away with her new alien friend Stella, it isn’t your usual pack your bags and thumb a lift type of runaway plan. Instead she hops onto a spaceship that takes her to a different galaxy and to the planet of Kratos.

Esme feels she is being ignored by her mum, and that her brother and sister get more attention than she does and no-one at school seems to like her much either. This is a story with feelings that a few children will be able to associate with as they grow up. Deciding her life would be better spent elsewhere, she decides to make the most of this offer of a journey. It is a journey that is the proverbial “the grass is greener on the otherside”.

There are various things I liked about this story and at times I felt there were aspects that reminded me of Roald Dahl, the names of teachers is definitely something that would appeal to younger readers. The way the shop names on Kratos were altered made me scratch my head a couple of times until the penny dropped. There are tentative steps into global warming and saving animals from extinction I thought these had been incorporated into the story well. 

Essentially the story of Esma is one of how she feels in her role within her family and also with people around her. As we know the grass is rarely greener on the other side, Esme needs to discover this for herself and experience other things. The story is told through Esma’s blog, updates of her new life, memories of her old life, realisations, and thoughts are all included and each entry is signed off in her unique style.

This is a story that has humour, heart, and morals and comes across very well. A story I think would appeal to younger readers and one I would recommend.

About the Author:

Bev Smith has been a secondary schoolteacher, saleswoman, waitress, wages clerk, youth worker, and holiday park entertainments manager. She has scuba dived the Barrier Reef, lived in a village in Namibia, worked for a charity in Thailand, flown over Victoria Falls and paddled in the sea at Bournemouth. 
Having single-parented her three daughters, she’s been ferociously playing catch up with this writing lark.  She recently completed a Masters in Writing for Children at Winchester University. #galaxygirl is her debut middle-grade book.  
SocialMedia Links – Twitter – Facebook

**Giveaway**

Giveaway –Win 2 x #galaxygirl Mugs and a signed copy of #galaxygirl (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the theRafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random viaRafflecopter 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 be passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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The Raven Tower by Emma Miles @EmmaMilesShadow @rararesources #Giveaway #Extract

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Today I am sharing an extract from The Raven Tower by Emma Miles as part of the Mini Blog Blotz with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. A book that I would love to have the chance to read but time does not allow. Have a read of the extract and while you are here why not enter the Giveaway to win one of five signed copies, it gets better as its Open to International readers as well… Good Luck xx

Synopsis:

The Raven Tower

What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.

Purchase Links Amazon USAmazon UK

Extract:

In this extract, Dia Icante, the ruler of the Fulmer islands, heads out to look at the aftermath of one of the Borrowmen raids. With her are her bodyguards, the twins Heara and Shaherra, her apprentice, Pirelle and a young warrior called Dorthai.

Heara went ahead again and Shaherra stepped back to Dia’s side with her hand on her dagger hilt. There was a strong smell of smoke and burnt wood long before they stepped out of the trees and onto the beach. The ship had been broken up by the sea and a large part of it had washed up against the rocks. Planks and long crates had been thrown up onto the pebbles and sand along with several bodies. Gulls and crabs swarmed the beach, but one area was notably empty of carrion hunters.

‘That’s the head,’ Dorthai whispered.

Dia’s skin tingled and itched as though she’d walked through an invisible spider’s web. She shuddered and then asked Pirelle, ‘anything?’

‘I … I want to say no but that isn’t quite the case. I don’t feel the emotions of a person but there is a wrongness here; it makes me feel queasy.’

Dia called up her own knowing and immediately tasted the sour fear from Pirelle and Dorthai. The twins were uneasy but alert, concentrating more on their surroundings than their emotions. She picked up on what Pirelle had tried to describe at once; it was a feeling of impending danger such as a lone person might feel on hearing a large predator growl. Life pulsed in the severed head at the same time as death ate at it. For a moment Dia found herself rooted to the spot in dread, but she forced herself to move.

‘The head is alive, it’s watching us,’ she said.

Shaherra drew her dagger and Heara nocked an arrow to her bow. Dorthai gripped the torch he carried in both hands like a club. Pirelle shrank back behind them as Dia stalked forward. The eyes of the head followed her as she approached, the slack mouth contorted as though attempting a grin.

‘Who are you?’ Dia demanded. ‘Why have you attacked the Fulmers?’

‘I’ve come for you, Icante.’

Giveaway – Win 5 x Paperback copies of The Raven Tower (Open Internationally)

*****TO ENTER CLICK HERE*****

*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.

About the Author:

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Author Bio-

I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.
My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.

I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.

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