Posted in Book Review, Summer Impulse

5* Review The Girl Who Lied – Sue Fortin

 

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Winter Blurb

The truth hurts…

Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.

Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.

When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

 Amazon

Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lied

It’s the realistic ordinariness of this story that makes it so suspenseful.
Erin has secrets, she is not anxious to confront, until an email and a phone call make running no longer an option. Told from multi point of views, Erin’s and third person for the other players in the story, you find out some of their secrets but not all. Like a perfect murder mystery everyone looks guilty and has a motive but there still a few pieces of the puzzle annoyingly elusive.
A strong romantic thread runs through this story in Erin’s past and present. She travels a complex emotional journey when she returns home and realises that life is all about shade and light rather than being clear cut and defined. Erin emotional growth is a feature of this story and makes her a character worth rooting for.
This is a poignant tale outlining the power of family ties and the frailty of humans, when faced with life changing events. The female family bond is well written and integral to the story, which ties all the ends up nicely with a realistic and hopeful outcome.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin
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Posted in Author Interview

Wendy Lou Jones -Author Interview

An Interview with...

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 Today I have the lovely Wendy Lou Jones on my blog. 

What made you become a writer?

Oh, it’s so corny; I just woke up from a dream one day and was so captured by it that I started thinking about what might have happened to my heroine to get her to that place in the story and what would have happened after, if I’d stayed asleep. I wrote it all down, every night for 6 months. I guess it became a way of life.

Do you write full time or in addition to your ‘day job’? What’s your favourite time of day to write and why?

I’m fortunate to be a stay at home mum, so I write when I like. My favourite time of day to write is in the evening until late at night, but my favourite time to think is first thing in the morning. I think my brain is fresh from mulling things over in my sleep in the morning and I have nothing else to do in the evenings mostly, especially now there’s so little on TV, so that’s when I write.

You’re stories are deeply emotional and often contain an unexpected twist. Are these the type of stories you like to read? Has anyone inspired or influenced your writing style?

I do like emotional tales, it’s true. And I don’t like things to be too obvious. I guess you could say I write the kind of story I would like to read, yes. I love reading historical romances though, I’m just rubbish at history. I like their drama. Everything was so much more life and death in those days.

     As for inspiration, it was Lisa Kleypas who got me reading more than a couple of books a year. I love her historicals and have read many of them now.  I also love a lot of Nicholas Sparks’ stories. I guess, in the start, they were the kind of thing I aspired to write.

Traditional publishing or self publishing which do you prefer and why?

I think traditional publishing makes you feel more worthy of the title (it did for me, anyway) and it helps you understand the big picture of businesses. Having a publisher’s backing is like someone saying, read her, she’s great. It’s a very welcome thing for a new author. I do like the speed and control of self-publishing though. A best of both would be good.

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Your latest series is ‘The Echoes of Nutt Hill’ what inspired you write this series?

This series started when I was looking for something to write (years ago) and I went to a ploughing match near my village and saw a man who didn’t quite fit and then I spotted my local vicar walking into the field and I thought, hmmm, what if… Each book in the series has grown from a character in one before.

Read my review of ‘Finding Sarah’ here

SoSmini

Can you tell us more about ‘Echoes of Nutt Hill series?

These are love stories based in a single village. Think Midsummer Murders, but with less murder. They’re rural and probably because of that, quite old fashioned. The first story, Finding Sarah, is about a woman whose marriage had broken down and moves to the village to make a fresh start. The second book, Sun on Sundays, is about the girl who takes over from Sarah on Nutt Hill after she leaves. The latest book, Chances Are, publishing on Monday, is about Luke, the brother of Tom, the hero in book 2 and the final one, still being written, is about the sister of the girl in book 2. All are independent, you just might recognise some of the characters.

Where do you write? Have you a photograph you can share with us?

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Sadly I’m not a fabulously wealthy JKR yet, so I’m on my laptop at the kitchen table with a spare chair to the side of me, covered in notepads and books. But I do have a wonderful view. You can see the other tat-covered chair in this shot, but you can also glimpse my latest manuscript having been cut and reordered over the weekend, after I had a chat with a policeman about procedure.

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What are the best things and the worst things about being a writer?

Best… network of online friends and satisfaction of creating something.

Worst… backache from writing and the pay!

What’s next for Wendy Lou Jones?

As you can see, I’m busy trying to sort out the final Nutt Hill story, but I’ve also started another book I’m very excited about – reason being: I explained the plot to my hubby and eldest son and both of them seemed impressed!!!?  I just hope I can do the idea justice.

Thanks for having me on, Jane. Always a pleasure to talk books.

The latest book in the  Echoes of Nutt Hill series is out  today. This is the third Echoes of Nutt Hill novel. Individual stories based in the small village of Lower Nutton, in the heart of the English countryside. Love will always blossom, but will it ripen in the sun or rot in the rain? Set against a landscape of farming and families who have lived in the same community for generations, her stories reflect the struggles of a few of their inhabitants, in the ups and downs of village life, where everyone knows everything and nothing stays private for long.

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Poppy - Blurb

Luke is the man with the money, the fast car and the hot woman. There’s no way he would even think about getting serious, but a face he can’t remember soon threatens his calm.

Rebecca isn’t interested in a relationship, and definitely not with him. How could she, after all he put her through? She’s spent the last 4 years hiding away from society, a one woman crusade for children’s road safety. Who would have thought one fateful day, it might almost be her … again.

As two worlds collide, will opposites attract?

Not if she can help it.

Flowers - Buy Links

Finding Sarah 

Sun on Sundays

Poppy - Author Bio

Wendy Lou Jones was born and raised in West Sussex, in the south of England. At 18, she moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where she was lucky enough to meet her husband. She worked in hospitals, general practice and palliative care before starting a family, at which point she took a step back from medical life to concentrate on being a mum.

She now lives in a little village in Herefordshire with her husband and two grubby boys and discovered a love of writing not long after their youngest son started school. And if you were to ask her what it was that made her make the switch, she would tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.

 

Poppy - Links

 

Website/Blog 

Twitter 

Facebook  

Amazon page

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: Finding Sarah – Wendy Lou Jones (Echoes of Nutt Hill #1)

FSmini

Poppy - Blurb

Sarah, a mother of grown children, finds herself without a husband and starts over in the sleepy village of Lower Nutton.
But a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger wakens something inside her. Something long forgotten.
Can people from two different worlds really find happiness together?
In a village where everyone knows everyone, nothing remains private for long…

Flowers - Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Flowers - My Review

If you like realistic, often surprising, unique women’s fiction, then ‘Finding Sarah’ is for you. Sarah’s reasons for moving to Nutt Hill are not what I originally thought and the twists keep on coming, as her story progresses.

Sarah is a lovely woman, although her lack of self belief is frustrating. The reasons for this are not immediately self evident but when they are revealed, you understand why she doubts herself.

Sarah’s emotional past makes a simple romance unlikely, her children, although adult, still need her and are judgemental when she falls off the pedestal they’ve put her on. This coupled with the shadow of her past love, makes her new life complex and angst ridden right to the end.

Nick is not your typical vicar, or maybe he is? Nick blows away any preconceptions you have about country vicars. His flaws don’t dim his likeability and his attraction to and eventual love for Sarah makes him a keeper.

The village characters are vivid and recognisable. I especially liked Maggie, who is the archetypical fairy godmother, essential for romance to survive. The expert inquisitiveness, only found in small communities, punctuates Nutt Hill’s tranquillity. Some gossips are kindly but there are some with darker motives and these threaten Nick and Sarah’s happiness.

‘Finding Sarah’ is a delicious slice of village life, full of heartache, romance and the best and worst of human emotions. I’m looking forward to reading ‘Sun on Sunday’ and ‘Chances Are’, the next two books in the series.

Poppy - Author Bio

back to fz50 150Wendy Lou Jones was born and raised in West Sussex, in the south of England. At 18, she moved to Birmingham to study Medicine at University, where she was lucky enough to meet her husband. She worked in hospitals, general practice and palliative care before starting a family, at which point she took a step back from medical life to concentrate on being a mum.

She now lives in a little village in Herefordshire with her husband and two grubby boys and discovered a love of writing not long after their youngest son started school. And if you were to ask her what it was that made her make the switch, she would tell you quite simply, that it started with a dream.

 

Poppy - Links

 

Website/Blog 

Twitter 

Facebook  

Amazon page

Posted in Book Review, My Books, Sunday Snippet, The Dangerous Gift

Sunday Snippet: Cowboy or a Soldier?

Today I’m sharing a snippet from The Dangerous Gift  and  Past Shadows.  So you choose Cowboy or Soldier?

Jared in The Dangerous Gift

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 Justin in Past Shadows

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#SundayBlogShare

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The Dangerous Gift is currently on #sale at Amazon

99 c at Amazon

99 p at Amazon UK

 Also on Kindle Unlimited

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Blog Challenge

Author Blog Challenge: Overcoming Writers Block

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Writer’s block is the inability to think of something to write, or continue with something you are writing. This condition is usually temporary and more a state of mind rather than a physical incapacity.

Overcoming writer’s block is always a popular blogging topic for writers but it’s not something I have much experience of.  When I actually get the opportunity to sit  down and write my books,  the ideas are brimming over and it’s usually more a case of writer’s cramp than `writer’s block.

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So whilst I don’t purport to be an expert on writer’s block  here are a few ideas to overcome it.

Only write when you have something to say, if the words aren’t flowing, do something else. I know this is difficult, especially for those who must write so many words per day but a short break can work wonders. Let your mind drift and that insurmountable problem will suddenly have an answer.

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My ‘go to’ relaxation is to walk my dogs but a little retail therapy or coffee with friends is often just as good.

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If taking a break isn’t an option then work on something else. Writing is writing after all and a blog post or a book review is just as creative as a chapter of your novel. Once you realise you can still write… Well you get my drift?

So if neither of the above works,  then just write. Even if the words you’re writing aren’t what you really want to say, sometimes just writing helps the creativity. Remember, you can always change it later but you can’t edit a blank page.

 Finally if all else fails, sleep on it. I often problem solve most effectively when I’m asleep and that goes for real life problems too, not just creative ones.

 

If you have your own solutions to writer’s block comment below or tweet me at @jolliffe03 using #LifeBookswriting

Posted in Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Wilde for You – Marianne Rice

WILDE FOR YOU EBOOK - BN

 

WILDE FOR YOU by Marianne Rice

The Wilde Sisters, Book 3

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Blurb - Coastal

Event planner Sage Wilde has lots of lists and no time for a relationship… 

Precise to a fault, Sage plans everything—meetings, meals, and sex. But when she learns her youngest sister can’t carry a child, she steps up and commits to the role of a surrogate mother. It’s not out of sentiment, because Sage doesn’t do love or touchy-feely, but out of practicality. She doesn’t plan on marrying or having children, so why not rent out her unused space, right? 

Luke Riley is a sexy firefighter who’s looking for love in all the wrong places… 

Luke’s morning gets a little brighter when he’s called to a clinic and spots a blonde beauty wearing killer red boots. Though she doesn’t seem interested, he manages to introduce himself. It’s unusual for a woman to push away his advances, but Luke is attracted to her confident nature and strong personality. It’s not long before he wears her down, and she finally agrees to a date. 

Who says you can’t mix work with pleasure? 

Sage blames her growing affections for Luke on pregnancy hormones. But one last hurrah before her belly swells sounds like a well-deserved thrill. After a few passionate nights, the line between love and lust begins to blur—leaving her more confused than ever. 

Luke is mesmerized by her keen wit and social charm. She may claim not to want children, but when she befriends his troubled foster sister, it proves there’s a heart inside of Sage waiting to be loved. 

Will Sage’s surrogacy unlock her willingness to commit? Or will Luke stand by as the woman he loves plans a future without him? 

WFY purchase

 Buy Links - Coastal

Available on Kindle Unlimited!

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK 

 WILDE FOR YOU_jacket

THE WILDE SISTERS SERIES:

Sweet on You FRONT

SWEET ON YOU, Book 1

AMAZON US 

AMAZON UK 

 Then Came You FRONT

THEN CAME YOU, Book 2

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK 

Author Bio

  Marianne Rice writes contemporary romances set in small New England towns. Her heroes are big and strong, yet value family and humor, while her heroines are smart, sexy, sometimes a little bit sassy, and are often battling a strong internal conflict. Together, they deal with real life issues and always, always, find everlasting love. When she’s not writing, Marianne spends her time buying shoes, eating chocolate, chauffeuring her herd of children to their varying sporting events, and when there’s time, cuddling with her husband, a drink in one hand, a romance book in the other.

Links

 

Limitless Publishing

Facebook 

Twitter

Website 

Posted in #Sale, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Excerpt, Extract

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe – Debbie Johnson – Extract

Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe

Definitely one of my favourite books this summer from the lovely Debbie Johnson,  I’m sharing my review again, now that the paperback has been released.

Blog Image- My review

Even at the story’s poignant beginning, the humour shines through, in the words of the enigmatic Laura, the heroine of this unusual story. I loved that we gathered all the necessary back story information, in letter form, as she answered a unique advertisement for a strange but intriguing, lifestyle job.

Laura is honest, loyal and has a lovely self -depreciating humour that is recognisable to most women, who have families, where they are the unappreciated lynchpin. The journey to their new adventure shares similarities, with most people’s long car journeys, with children and animals. The realistic dialogue and bordering on chaos scenarios made me giggle and reminiscence.

 Despite Laura’s fragile emotional state, a delightful sense of humour runs through this story. From the first meeting with the ‘Tall bloke.’ the visuals are great, so easy to imagine, especially ‘the flying undies as the top box is unpacked’.

The VIPS that make up the cafe regulars, all have a story to share as they reveal idiosyncrasies and secrets. Laura starts to heal as she listens to the cafe’s regulars stories and Matt (the tall bloke), help’s her discover the side of herself she never really knew existed.

This is a story of healing, family and being brave enough to dip your toe back in the pond again, after life’s unpredictable knocks. I would love to find this Cafe that restores your faith in human nature.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins in return for an honest review.

EXCERPT

‘I am feeling suddenly very tired and very sad. The absurdity of my situation flashes across my mind: I have uprooted my children, myself and my very elderly dog on some kind of wild-goose chase, pursuing God knows what. Happiness? Progress? A break from the underlying misery that seems to have been wrapped around my heart every day since David died?

Well, whatever it is, I’m not pursuing it fast enough – all I’m finding is exhaustion, grumpy kids, senile dogs and a caffeine overload. That and chronic embarrassment as I apologise to a mostly naked man, in the dark, in a place I’ve never even visited before – a place I’ve unilaterally decided to make our home for the summer.

I clench my eyes together very, very tightly, squeezing back any watery signs of self pity that might be tempted to overflow, and force myself to look at the man instead of the dog.

I can only see bits of his face reflected in the silvery lighting, but he looks about my age. Maybe a little older, I’m not sure. His hair is definitely a bit too long, and will probably dry a lighter shade of brown once it’s not soggy. His eyes seem to be hazel or brown or green, I can’t really tell, and he’s not smiling.

He was smiling when he was playing with Jimbo. But now he’s not. Now he’s looking at me. I guess I just have that effect on tall, handsome strangers.

’Are you all right?’ he asks, gruffly, frowning at me with such style and finesse that I instinctively know he frowns at least as much as he smiles. I suspect he’s one of those people who vastly prefers animals to people, and communicates much better with dogs than humans.

’Oh, yes, thank you… just tired. We’ve been driving all day and now we’ve got to find our cottage and unload the roofbox, and I don’t know how I’m going to do that because I didn’t bring the foot stool and I’m too short, and the kids need some dinner and I need some coffee… well, probably wine, to be honest, and…’

I catch a glimpse of his expression as I ramble incoherently, and note that he looks slightly frightened. I realise I sound like a crazy person and as I have the kind of hair that expands in heat and I’ve been stuck in a hot car all day, I undoubtedly look like one too.

’And yes, I’m fine, thank you,’ I say, firmly. ’Do you happen to know where the Hyacinth House is? I have the keys.’

’I can help you,’ he says, looking away from my eyes and gazing off into the distance. He sounds a little bit grumpy, a touch reluctant – as though he knows he should help, but doesn’t really want to engage.

’No, I’m all right…’ I insist, wondering how I’m going to get Jimbo off his feet without appearing rude.

’Let me help. I don’t have any wine, but I can help with the other thing.’

’What?’ I ask, staring up at him in confusion. ’You can help me stop being too short?’

Quick as a flash, a grin breaks out on his face and he lets out a laugh. It doesn’t last long and he seems to clamp down on it as soon as he can, like he’s not used to hearing the sound in public.

’Sorry, no. I’m a vet, not a miracle worker. But I can unpack the roofbox for you. I’ll get dressed and come round. Hyacinth is just back there – next to the swimming pool. This is the nearest you can get the car, but I’ll help you unload. I assume you’re Laura?’

I feel a jolt of surprise that he knows who I am and also a jolt of a stubborn desire to continue insisting that I don’t need any help at all. I settle for just nodding and giving him a half-hearted smile as he extricates his bare feet from underneath the snoring dog’s tummy.

’Thought so. In that case, if I know Cherie, she’ll have left wine in the cottage – so all your problems will be solved.’

Ha, I think, watching him disappear off up the path and noticing Lizzie still tapping away on her phone, face scrunched up in that very deliberate expression of vexed boredom that teenagers specialise in.

If only.’

Want to read more? Summer at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson is just 99p on Amazon!

 

Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Maybe Forever – Keyanna Butler

Front Cover

MAYBE FOREVER by Keyanna Butler

Release Date: July 19, 2016

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS

Tagline: “The definition of family only requires one word…love.”

Blurb -2

Family. Harper Montgomery has been trying to define the term for years…

When Harper got pregnant at fourteen, her family abandoned her to be a single mother with no support system. She survived the only way she knew how—hard work and determination. Now she is a nurse in her early thirties, and her son Jamie is ready to embark on high school. Harper can finally say they’ve made it. She can’t take all the credit, though. 

Dakota Daughtry isn’t family, but when he signed on to be a Big Brother to Jamie, he finally felt at home…

Joining the Big Brother community program was only meant to boost Dakota’s resume while working on his GED. Once he met Jamie and his mother Harper, he finally found a place where he belonged. Years later, Jamie is graduating the program, and his obligation to hang around is over, but he can’t make himself leave. Jamie is more like a son than a little brother now, and Harper…well, he’s been trying to deny his feelings for her all along. 

Jamie is thrilled about the blossoming relationship between his mother and Dakota. His birth father Aiden, not so much…

Aiden doesn’t want Harper—he’s too focused on his career for that—but he doesn’t want Dakota to have her either, and he’s willing to play dirty to ruin Harper and Dakota’s chances at becoming a real family. But things get complicated when Aiden starts to develop actual feelings for Harper’s best friend, and a secret is revealed about Dakota’s past that could change everything…

Harper must choose…family or love? Or can she finally have both?

Untitled

Author Bio -1

Keyanna is a simple girl living in mostly fantasy worlds. She’s been writing since she was 13 years old, jotting down full length stories on construction paper and reading them to her childhood friends for entertainment. She’s a self-proclaimed dork extraordinaire and a library card carrying book nerd taking mental residence in the Wizarding World, coffee in an IV, collecting movie stubs like memories, and constantly contemplating what life would be like if she were one of the Avengers. Her hobbies include TV, sushi, Facebook, and incorporating movie quotes into everyday conversation.

Links -1

Limitless Publishing 

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter 

Posted in Book Review

4* Review: The French Retreat – Sue Fortin (Falling for France #1)

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Blurb 2016- 2

Losing her job and her home, wasn’t on Marcie Grainger’s wish list for the new year. In a bid to reassess her life, she heads off to the only place she has ever felt content – her brother’s farmhouse retreat in rural France.

Marcie isn’t the only one looking to escape. Ex-soldier Will hopes the gentle pace of French life will help to banish the ghosts of his past and offer him the fresh start he desires.

However, all is not what it seems at The Retreat. Fuelled by a string of strange happenings and local rumours, Will and Marcie are pushed together as they try to discover who or what is behind it all. In so doing, they are faced with a moral dilemma and question if doing wrong is doing right?

The French Retreat is a story of human compassion, hope and love.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review

The French Retreat (French Mystery Series Book 1)

Marcie and the establishment have come to blows when she seeks solace in France, at her brother’s aptly name home, ‘The Retreat’. The mystery starts when she meets Will, an ex soldier who is staying at the retreat. Will’s attraction to Marcie is undeniable but can it overcome the demons he is battling?
The vividly described setting is lovely and makes the perfect backdrop for the mystery that unfolds. Although the plot isn’t complex, there are enough twists to make you think one thing, when in fact the truth is something else entirely. The fast paced story keeps you interested and the moral dilemma it poses, makes you wonder what you would do faced with the same set of circumstances. The unsurprising, romantic ending, is satisfying and sets the scene perfectly for book 2.

 

The French Retreat by Sue Fortin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The French Retreat (French Mystery Series Book 1) by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin

View all my reviews