So last week I managed to read 6 books. A good week for reading and a good week for reducing my NetGalley shelf to 14 now. Talking of NetGalley, I had a good peruse through and discovered that they send a weekly update for whats on my shelf. How had I missed this!!, it’s very handy because it lets you know if you have any books to download, how many are on your shelf to be read and also if a book on your shelf has been published.
I am also on Annual leave this coming week, and very pleased about that as well.
I have not got anything planned on the blog, and I may not be as active on social media either. So taking time out and a chance to do a bit of long over-due Blogmin 😦
So let’s have a look at what I read shall we…
The Darkness by Ragnar Jonasson – I bought this one and read it straight away, normally I buy a book and it sits on my tbr for a while. The reason I read this as soon as it arrived through my letterbox was because I had a very nice email from Michael Joseph books inviting me to read the 2nd book via NetGalley.
I loved The Darkness, loved its main protagonist Hulda and you can read my full review HERE
The Island by Ragnar Jonasson – Is the second in the Hidden Iceland Trilogy, and it is different in some ways to the first but still has the same wonderful descriptive, atmospheric details that I am coming to expect from this author. Again this is another one that I absolutely loved and now I have to wait till 2020 until the final book is released… I have it on pre-order
The Rumour by Lesley Kara – I have had this on my TBR since it was first published and I bought the hardback while doing my weekly shopping. I quickly got caught up in the story, a simple rumour that turns this story head over heels. I completely got caught up in this very clever story that had turns I didn’t expect and when I got to the end well… Holy Shit Bags!!!!
A View To A Kilt by Wendy Holden – I received this one via NG, I really liked the idea of the story and it looked like a fun read. While I did enjoy this story and the humour, it didn’t quite hit my expectations, but I still read it and enjoyed it.
The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans – Oh just look at that cover, if that doesn’t cheer you up on a miserable march day then I dont know what will. The story inside is just as stunning as the cover, it had me smiling and smirking on many occasions, some fabulous facts that compliment a not so straight forward romance story.
The Afghan by Andrew Turpin – I have been a fan of this author and his main protagonist Joe Johnson for a while now. I have read the previous books in the series and now there is a prequel, so if you have not come across this author then this is the ideal place to start. It is a prequel to the first 3 books and is a link to the 4th book ‘Stalin’s Final Sting’ Reviews for both books will be on their way soon.
Today I am delighted to be taking part in the Book Birthday Blitz for The Secret to falling in Love by Victoria Cooke. My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and to Victoria for my e-copy of her book.
Let’s see what the book is about…
Lifestyle journalist and thirty-something singleton Melissa hashtags, insta’s and snapchats her supposedly fabulous life on every social media platform there is.
That is until she wakes up on her birthday, another year older and still alone, wondering if, for all her internet dates, love really can be found online? The challenge: go technology free for a whole month!
Forced to confront the reality of her life without its perfect filters, Melissa knows she needs to make some changes. But when she bumps into not one, but two gorgeous men, without the use of an app, she believes there could be hope for love offline.
If only there was a way to choose the right guy for her…
This is a story that revolves around Melissa, her friends and colleagues, and her love life… or lack of it. How many of us use technology in our everyday lives without even thinking about it? Could you go a month without a computer? Yes? Are you sure? Going without tech of any sort is exactly what Melissa has to do for a month after her boss told her to put her money where her mouth is.
I really do like the idea behind this story, I thought that yes I could go without a pc, phone etc for a month. But then the quick messages to my friends asking how they are, or that I would be running late. Or how about setting up travel plans? It really made me wonder if I could actually do this! The idea sounds great putting it into practice ..well maybe not so much.
So when Melissa writes an article it is her boss who suggests this drastic plan for the social media junkie, Melissa. It means a huge change in everything she does in her daily life. Once the initial shock has worn off she starts to see things around her that she had never noticed before. Spends time with family, rather than just a quick call or message to keep in touch.
Now that she has more time, things around her start to fall into place. Her future love life is definitely moving, but it’s not all plain sailing. Who would have thought that ditching the dating apps would lead to not just one, but two men vying for her attention?
This is a charming story that had some really great touches, especially ditching the tech. This made me think about how I would cope, and as much as I would like to think that I would be okay with it, I don’t think it would be as easy as I think. I really like the romantic tussle and though I did think it a little bit predictable I really enjoyed the story, it moved along at a wonderful pace and I found it very enjoyable.
One I would recommend to romance and rom-com readers.
About the Author:
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester
before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives
in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at
home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in
the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight
by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an
invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing,
undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The
Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.
Giveaway – Win an ARC of The Secret to Falling in Love and a box of Belgian Truffles (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Talisman – Molly’s Story by Eliza J. Scott as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. Many thanks to Rachel for the invite and to Eliza for my e-copy.
Molly’s dream of taking over her childhood home at Withrin Hill Farm with husband Pip and their three children has finally come true. And, as they settle into the stunning Georgian farmhouse, with their plans to diversify into glamping nicely taking shape, the family couldn’t be happier.
But tragedy suddenly strikes, and Molly’s world is turned upside down.
Heartbroken and devastated, she struggles to face each day. True to form, her fiercely loyal best friends, Kitty and Violet, rally round offering love and support, but Molly doesn’t think she’ll ever be able to smile again. Until the day a tall, dark stranger with twinkly eyes arrives…
Follow Molly’s story in book 2 of the Life on the Moors Series set in Lytell Stangdale, a picture-perfect village in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors, where life is anything but quiet.
A heart-warming story of love, friendship and hope.
Pre-order Links – Amazon UK – Amazon.com
When Molly was a teenager she helped out Camm, a young gypsy boy, in return he gives her half of a talisman. He tells her they will meet again in the future. Years go by and she forgets about this encounter, Molly marries and has children, she has a wonderful life and is definitely part of the community that lives and works on the Yorkshire Moors. A hard life but full of love and happiness, a life that is complete.
I have to say that Molly is a brilliant character, fiesty to say the least, able to lower the tone of most conversations at the drop of a hat and someone I think I would definitely get along with. She has a great group of friends and family around her, a tight-knit group that are an absolute hoot. This closeness is something she will need and rely on to get her through and will keep her going when her world comes crashing so unexpectedly down around her.
The story itself has a real great feeling of togetherness, that is in the sense of living and working together. A story that had me snorting with laughter at some of the random characters and their antics. For example, the fumble-fingered text messages then there is Reg the Rooster and his determination to name a couple. Mixed in with the friendly characters, there are a couple of undesirables who keep popping their heads up on occasion.
The Yorkshire dialect features in the writing of this author in conversations. It is something I really like in a book and it helps to keep the setting and the characters firmly in the “where they are”. There was the odd word that stumped me but luckily there is a glossary at the end.
From the outset, I knew that something was going to happen. I thought I would be prepared, but Oh my goodness I was so not prepared in the slightest . The author really did pull my emotions and left me with leaky eyes on more than couple of occasions. The sense of loss and grief really did come through and it made its presence felt. The moving forward in life for all concerned was another aspect that again the author did a great job with. She managed to capture the emotions, the changes to daily life and adapting to challenges as they appeared. Dilemmas, decisions, feelings, and family again played a very big part.
This is a story I really did enjoy, a story of family, friendship, life, love, and living. One I would definitely recommend.
About the Author:
Eliza lives in a 17th-century cottage on the edge of a village in the North Yorkshire Moors with her husband, their two daughters and two mischievous black Labradors. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found with her nose in a book/glued to her Kindle or working in her garden. Eliza also enjoys bracing walks in the countryside, rounded off by a visit to a teashop where she can indulge in another two of her favourite things: tea and cake.
Eliza is inspired by her beautiful surroundings and loves to write heart-warming stories with happy endings.
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.
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.
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.
Yes this is a Christmas book and I am aware that we are now in a new month and a new year but I am playing catch up on some of my reviews. Before Christmas, I was lucky enough to win a copy of Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row by Emily Harvale. Not only did I win a copy of her book but I also won lots of other festive goodies.
Before I get to my review lets have a look at the…
It’ll take a miracle to make Juliet’s Christmas merry, but Mistletoe Row is the place to be when you need some Christmas magic.
The last person Juliet Bell expects to see when she returns home for Christmas is Harrison Bow.Especially with the most beautiful woman in the world by his side. Twenty years ago, Juliet and Harrison had the shortest romance in history, consisting of one date – and one blazing row. But Juliet will never admit when she’s wrong, and Harrison doesn’t forgive easily, so they haven’t seen, or spoken to one another since.
Harrison Bow vowed he’d never visit his grandfather at The Grange, again, or drive along Mistletoe Row, the scene of one of the unhappiest times of his life. He hasn’t been back for twenty years and he’s only here now because his brother pleaded with him to come. At least with his executive assistant joining him, he’ll be able to do some work.
But Juliet’s sister, Zoe and Harrison’s brother, Luke have some surprises in store for their elder siblings, and so it seems does Fate. After Harrison risks his life to save Juliet, the least she can do is be nice. The problem is, Harrison is hotter than the log fire in The Mistletoe pub, and when she’s surrounded by twinkling lights and softly falling snow, it doesn’t take long for her to realise she’s in love with the man she thought she hated. Even if he doesn’t appear to be in love with her.
What readers and reviewers are saying about this book:
What an utter delight this book is, yet again Emily Harvale has written a Christmas book to be truly cherished and enjoyed. – Gilbster – TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is a beautiful romantic book that will make you feel jolly – Whispering Stories Book Blog – TOP 500 REVIEWER
Bells and Bows on Mistletoe Row is another alluring, heartwarming, delightfully magical tale by Harvale that is without a doubt one of my favourite holiday reads this year! – Zoe (whatsbetterthanbooks)
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time spent on Mistletoe Row with such a charming and magical book. – stacyisreading
The synopsis gives a wonderful indication of what this festive romance story holds. When I entered the world this author has built I was immediately whisked away into a wintery wonderland.
The story focuses on two families, the Bells and the Bows, yes a little tongue in cheek but as it happens the names feel just right for this book. Sisters Juliet and Zoe Bell and brothers Harrison and Luke Bow have similarities, the elder siblings had moved away and the younger ones remained. A seemingly coincidental invitation for the elder ones to return soon bring things to a head.
Twenty years ago Juliet and Harrison had a falling out based on a misunderstanding. The story reveals the Bell’s and the Bow’s have more than a passing acquaintance, they have a shared history and one that on the surface seems to be continuing its acrimonious course.
In the background a cantankerous family member makes their feelings felt. A Scrooge-like character came to mind as I read, mean selfish and rather moody.
This is a story that I sat and read in front of my fire and what better place to read while the cold wet wintery weather was doing its thing. This is definitely one for festive romance and general fiction lovers. It is enchanting, heartwarming, cosy and wonderful that evokes a Christmas feel. One that I would definitely recommend.
Let’s learn a little more about the Author:
Emily Harvale is a bestselling author and a member of the SoA, RWA PAN and a Pro Member of ALLi. Emily writes romantic comedy and women’s fiction and her stories are sure to bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart. Having lived and worked in London for several years, Emily returned to her home town of Hastings (famous for the battle of 1066) where she now writes full-time.
Emily says, “I write about friendship, family and falling in love. I believe in happing endings.” When she isn’t writing, she can be found enjoying the stunning East Sussex coast and countryside, or in a wine bar with friends, discussing life, love and the latest TV shows. Chocolate cake is often eaten. She dislikes housework almost as much as she dislikes anchovies – and will do anything to avoid both. Emily has two mischievous rescue cats, and says they spend almost as much time sprawled across her keyboard, as she does typing on it.
Today I am delighted to be sharing an extract with you all from The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard, it is one books in The Coco Pinchard Box Set by Robert Bryndza. I would have loved to have the time to read one of these for the Blog Tour by Sarah at Book On The Brightside Publicity. I do admit to having a couple of these on my kindle and while the blog tour in on Robert has a special deal where you can own the whole digital box set for only 99p… so yes I have also bought that as well 🙂
For the first time, all 5books in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard romantic comedy series are available in one! And this box set includes a new introduction by the author.
Book 1: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard
If you enjoyed flipping through Bridget Jones’s diary, you’ll love perusingCoco Pinchard’s emails! Coco confides in her quirky, supportive friends as she deals with her life falling apart. Read the emails that tell the heartwarming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good romantic Comedy.
Book 2: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding
Coco thinks she’s on the road to happily ever after with Adam until he inexplicably breaks up with her. Will one mistake cost them their whole future? Coco sets out to discover what has really happened and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy – the stand-alone sequel to no.1bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard. Book 3: Coco Pinchard, the Consequences of Love and Sex
Coco Pinchard has a great life, a bestselling memoir, and a handsome second husband. Things are going exactly as planned — until her adult son runs into disaster, her ex’s mother butts back into her life, and she finds out she’s pregnant! Maybe life is more fun if you throw your plans out the window… The third book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard series (which can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story) is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time.
Book 4: A Very Coco Christmas
It’s 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard is home for Christmas after her first term at University. She’s fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, but Coco’s mother wants her to be with Kenneth, the son of posh friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas.
As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. Avery Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone prequel short story to Robert Bryndza’s smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.
Book 5: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story
A sparkling feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy?
It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy -almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and CocoPinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old sonRosencrantz.
From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that four-year-old Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.
We got to Whitechapel at eight this morning. There is nothing more depressing than a shabby Victorian-era hospital on a cold grey day.
When we arrived at Intensive Care and saw Ethel, I knew that we were making the right decision. She was dressed in a fresh gown. A nurse had just finished bathing her. He was a nice chap but he had very bony fingers. Ethel hates bony fingers, they give her the creeps.
The fluorescent light fizzed and the rhythmic sound of the ventilator sucked air in and out of her lungs. Her fringe had been combed off her forehead, which she would have hated, and without her teeth, her scowl was sunken and diminished.
“I think we should all like say something, before we do this,” said Rosencrantz.
We took it in turns. Rosencrantz went first and told her he loved her. He said that he would endeavour to sleep with Rupert Everett, like he promised her he would.
“I always thought you would live like long enough for me to like tell you all about it,” he said.
There were raised eyebrows from everyone. Tony went next, and promised her coffin would be of the best quality.
“We’ve got a marvellous selection in at the moment, cherry, maple, oak, all with lovely brass features. Goodbye.”
Meryl went next. She was crying so much she could barely speak, so she just kissed Ethel on the cheek. Then it was my turn.
“Ethel,” I said, “goodbye. I know we have had our differences but I hate that this has happened to you… and in case you can hear, they asked me to press the switch. I didn’t volunteer.”
I took her comb and combed her fringe back over her forehead, just how she always wore it.
Daniel went last, and if I’m honest, he did go on a bit, giving a long lament that she will never get to see him realise his full potential. I half expected Ethel to open one eye and croak, “Pull yerself together, yer big girl’s blouse.”
The consultant was getting twitchy, as this had gone on for some time. He gave me a nod, and I walked over to switch off the life support. I was confronted by a confusing array of plugs. The hospital hadn’t said exactly what I had to do, and I didn’t feel like I could ask. I took a deep breath and pressed a switch. A pedestal fan by the bed sprang to life and swirled all Ethel’s get well cards off the bedside cabinet. The second switch turned on the television and the opening credits of This Morning boomed out.
“Excuse me,” said Meryl to the consultant, as if she were lost in Sainsbury’s, “could you direct my sister-in-law to the correct switch?”
I felt an inappropriate laugh rise up in my chest, which burst out. They all exchanged scandalised glances.
Apologising, I took a deep breath and pressed the correct switch. The ventilator filled her lungs one last time and slowly wheezed to a stop.
“Her chest is still rising!” cried Rosencrantz.
“This is sometimes normal,” said the consultant kindly. “Many patients do carry on breathing for a few minutes.”
“So right now she’s like dying?” said Rosencrantz.
We all looked at Ethel. She had a serene scowl on her face. Meryl gave a deep sob so Tony and me took her out, and Rosencrantz and Daniel followed. We had no interest in seeing what little colour Ethel had left drain from her face.
We went down to the cafeteria, ordered coffee, and sat staring into space. I don’t know how long we had been there when the consultant appeared at our table.
“It seems Mrs Pinchard is breathing unaided, and with a stronger pulse,” he said. “Now, this is an awkward crucial time, it could go either way, but she has shown stronger life signs in the last hour. Much stronger than we’d expected.”
We are still at the hospital. Ethel has now been breathing unaided for four hours. Meryl is in on the phone trying to get in touch with the Steakhouse we had booked for a memorial lunch. Tony had put down a deposit of fifty pounds. He is pacing up and down saying, “I know this is an emotional time, but fifty pounds is fifty pounds.”
Robert Bryndza 2012
About the Author:
Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over one million copies. The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath, and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets, has just been published.
Robert’s books have sold over 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.
In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.
You can find out more about the author at Website and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza
Sign up to Robert Bryndza’s New Release Mailing List here: HERE
I am sharing my thoughts today on Perfect Match by Zoe May. You can get you own copy from Amazon UK
Can you ever find true love online?
Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…
After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.
Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?
A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!
Sophie has tried most of the on-line dating apps. Her latest date is boring her with random facts about food. Sophie and her flatmate Kate make a list of who Sophie’s perfect date would be. So when Mr.Perfect actually turns up Sophie is bowled over.
This is such a fun read and had me sniggering when Sophie and Kate made their Mr Perfect list. When Daniel walks in and is everything Sophie wants she is waiting for the catch. When she realises he is what he appears to be she starts to relax.
Daniels world is so far removed from Sophie’s and there are so many differences in their lifestyles. There are a few characters that make this story move along at a nice pace.
The story is not just about Sophie’s relationship with Daniel. It also has Sophie’s close friends and also her work colleagues. With using the characters, the author has done a great job of showing what sort of person Sophie is and also her values as a person. Sophie is so desperate not to be the last shoe in the shop as people around her seem to be married or in relationships.
This is ideal for readers who like a romance with some humour, a good story line and plenty of fun moments. One I would recommend.
About the Author:
Zoe May lives in south-east London and writes romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She moved to London in her early twenties and worked in journalism and copywriting before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!
As well as writing, Zoe enjoys going to the theatre, walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading.
Zoe loves to hear from readers, you can contact her on Twitter and Instagram at: @zoe_writes
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be brilliant 🙂 xx
I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts today on Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg as part of the Blog Tour with Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources. My thanks to Rachel for the invite and Stephanie for the copy of her book. You can buy your own copy HERE.
Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens, an imperious policeman and a dead body. Together with her unlikely new friend, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Monsieur Moustache, Megan becomes involved in investigating the fowl-related foul play that’s at work in this sleepy part of rural France. She’s helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across. These include the local mayor, who wants Megan to stay and set up a hair salon in his village to help keep it alive. There are the cousins Romain, the gendarme, and Nico, the clumsy but hunky farmer. They have always clashed, but do so constantly now that Megan is on the scene. Michelle, Romain’s terrifying ex who wants him back, appears along the way, as does Claudette, a wheelchair-bound old lady, and Kayla, Megan’s best friend, who is hugely pregnant but not above taking on the forces of French law and order when Megan finds herself the prime suspect after Alphonse is stabbed. There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers in this rom-com slash cosy mystery, the first in a projected series.
When Megan’s Gran dies, it’s up to Megan to travel to France to sort out her Gran’s things, the farm, the legal stuff, the chickens and duck. Oh and the body…
When I read the synopsis for this book it was one that sounded fun and one I definitely wanted to read, it came across as a wacky and fun story-line. As Megan makes her way around this rural area of France she meets a real mix of characters. As word gets out that Megan is a hairdresser, her services are called in and she chops and trims as she goes. A great way to meet and get to know people.
From a visit to the vet with a hen on the back of a scooter and discovering her Gran’s business dealings, Megan had me smirking and chuckling as I read. The characters are fabulous Romaine and his clumsy cousin Nico, Alphonse and Monsieur Moustache are just the tip of the iceberg.
The idyllic setting belies a slightly more sinister side that Megan found herself caught up in. As I got to know Megan I also got to learn some of her own story, as well as her family. The story of the family is one that I am looking forward to knowing more about and it has been wonderfully wrapped in and around the hair cutting, hens and the homicide…
This is a book that I could have easily devoured in one sitting as I was taken by scooter and tractor and police car around rural France.
This is ideal for readers who like a Rom-com, cosy mystery, and a dash of drama. A great first book in the series and left me wanting to know more. One I would definitely recommend.
About the Author:
I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. I now consider myself a European rather than ‘belonging’ to any particular country. The last ten years have been interesting, to put it mildly. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie, makes for exciting times. The current array of animals includes alpacas, llamas, huarizos (alpaca-llama crossbreds, unintended in our case and all of them thanks to one very determined alpaca male), sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, not forgetting our pets of dogs, cats, zebra finches, budgies , canaries, lovebirds and Chinese quail. Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep learning curve. I recount these experiences in my book Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France and the sequel to that, Total Immersion: Ten Years in France. I also blog regularly at http://www.bloginfrance.com.
I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.
I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. I have worked part-time as a freelance editor for thirty years after starting out as a desk editor for Hodder & Stoughton. Find me at http://www.editing.zone. The rest of the time I’m running carp fishing lakes with Chris and inevitably cleaning up some or other animal’s poop.