Posted in Blog Blitz, Historical Fiction

A Painter in Penang Clare Flynn #BookBlitz @clarefly @LoveBooksGroup #LoveBooksTours #Comingof Age #HistFic #1948

Sixteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington hates everything about living in Kenya and longs to return to the island of Penang in British colonial Malaya where she was born. Expulsion from her Nairobi convent school offers a welcome escape – the chance to stay with her parents’ friends, Mary and Reggie Hyde-Underwood on their Penang rubber estate. But this is 1948 and communist insurgents are embarking on a reign of terror in what becomes the Malayan Emergency. Jasmine unearths a shocking secret as her own life is put in danger. Throughout the turmoil, her one constant is her passion for painting.

From the international best-selling and award-winning author of The Pearl of Penang, this is a dramatic coming of age story, set against the backdrop of a tropical paradise torn apart by civil war.

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Clare Flynn



Author Bio-Historical novelist Clare Flynn is a former global marketing director and business owner. She now lives in Eastbourne on the south coast of England and most of her time these days is spent writing her novels – when she’s not gazing out of her windows at the sea.Clare is the author of eleven novels and a short story collection. Her books deal with displacement – her characters are wrenched away from their comfortable existences and forced to face new challenges – often in outposts of an empire which largely disappeared after WW2.

Prisoner From Penang, was published on 17th April 2020. It is set in South East Asia during the Japanese occupation in World War Two.

Clare’s novels often feature places she knows well and she does extensive research to build the period and geographic flavour of her books.

A Greater World – 1920s Australia; Kurinji Flowers – pre-Independence India; Letters from a Patchwork Quilt – nineteenth century industrial England and the USA; The Green Ribbons – the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century in rural England, The Chalky Sea – World War II England (and Canada) and its sequels The Alien Corn and The Frozen River – post WW2 Canada. She has also published a collection of short stories – both historical and contemporary, A Fine Pair of Shoes and Other Stories.

Fluent in Italian, she loves spending time in Italy. In her spare time she likes to quilt, paint and travel as often and as widely as possible. She is an active member of the Historical Novel Society, the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors, NINC and the Alliance of Independent Authors.Get a free copy of Clare’s exclusive short story collection, A Fine Pair of Shoes, at www.clareflynn.co.uk.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Domestic Thriller, Friendship, Guest post, Psychological Thriller, Suspense

Do Her No Harm Naomi Joy #GuestPost @naomijoyauthor @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #Secrets #Lies #DomesticSuspense #Friendship #DoHerNoHarm

One unsolved murder. A best friend determined to right the wrongs of the past.

On the 21st August Tabitha Rice disappeared without a trace. All the signs point to murder, but no signs point to a murderer. The easiest answer is her husband, Rick. But he protests his innocence and there is little proof he is the murderer.

Annabella knows there is more to the story than what the police are telling. Tabitha was her best friend and she vows to uncover the truth.

As Annabella delves further into the past, she uncovers sides to Tabitha that she never saw coming, and she finds herself asking the question… Was this murder? Or is there more to Tabitha Rice’s story than meets the eye?

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Guest Post Naomi Joy -The inspiration behind Do Her No Harm

My novel Do Her No Harm – a play on the Hippocratic oath declaration Primum non nocere, ‘first, do no harm’ – was inspired by the current state of the non-surgical cosmetics industry in Britain. It’s not very well known, and it certainly surprised me, that in the UK, it is legal for procedures like Botox and dermal fillers to be injected by anyone, regardless of their training or experience.[1]

I was equally stunned to find out that Botulinum toxin – Botox – is the most poisonous biological substance known to humankind[2] – a couple of teaspoons would be enough to kill everyone in the UK – and yet it is so routinely used in an industry that is not currently well regulated.

The industry has seen a boom in recent years thanks, in part, to Instagram. The perfect pouts and filtered faces created in clinics across the country have led an increasing number of people to seek out cheap cosmetic surgery in order to emulate what they see on the platform. As a result, an increasing number are suffering the serious consequences of being injected by untrained and unprofessional individuals. In 2018, Save Face, a national register of accredited practitioners, received a whopping 934 complaints from patients regarding unregistered practitioners.

Another documentary, The Botox Bust, took this one step further and found beauticians across the country happy to give Botox to an undercover reporter without a valid prescription, and a struck-off doctor supplying Botox over the phone. The BBC’s One Show found that 17 out of 23 providers visited were happy to offer lip fillers to a 15-year-old.

I found all of this fascinating and just knew I had to write about it. In Do Her No Harm we meet Annabella, an aesthetic nurse who uses these toxins every day. In fact, her entire personality has been shaped by cosmetic procedures, nipping and tucking each time she wants to reinvent herself. With the news that her best friend, Tabitha, is missing, Annabella’s life begins to spiral: her only focus finding out what happened to Tabitha and bringing her kidnapper to justice.


[1] https://www.saveface.co.uk/about-us/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1128745/

Naomi Joy

Naomi Joy is a pen name of a young PR professional who was formerly an account director at a prestigious PR firm in London. Writing from experience, she draws the reader in to the darker side of the uptown and glamorous, presenting realism that is life or death, unreliable and thrilling to page-turn.

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Read my review of Do Her No Harm

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Guest post, Romance

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge #GuestPost @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHomes #Party #Toys #BlogTour #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

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Guest Post – Samantha Tonge – The Randomness of Life

Have you ever thought about the randomness of life? Sometimes, the way things happen by chance, scares me a little! It’s strange to think that if I’d got my first choice of university (bad interview – long story!) I’d never have met my husband, never have had my children. And when my two started their degrees I thought how strange it was that probably the closest group of friends they would develop for life was going to be determined by an administrator allotting them to a particular room in  a particular halls of residence.

Life is random and that’s why we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if things don’t always go to plan. In fact, the unexpected nature of our existence is, in my opinion, what makes it so exciting. I think back to my student days… I was never going to get married nor have kids, and I was focused on learning languages, translating, nothing to do with being an author. However for many different reasons, my life went down a different path – and who knows where I will be a decade or two from now.

That randomness is what I wanted to capture in The Winter We Met, by  lead character Jess sitting in the wrong seat on an aeroplane and by doing so meeting Nik,  a man who was going to change her life in ways she could never have expected.

Travelling is a great opportunity for chance encounters. I remember aupairing in the south of France when I was nineteen. One day I travelled on a bus to meet a friend. I sat next to a young Frenchman, an artist, and we chatted and laughed all the way. As we parted, both of us knowing we would never meet again, he reached into his bag and gave me a silver pocket watch to remember him by. I still have it today. And for several months afterwards he would send me a postcard with a watercolour he’d paint onto the front.

Then a couple of years later, I had a job in London and commuted every morning. I’d sit on the train reading a French magazine to improve my language skills. Often I’d catch the eye of a particular guy with lovely freckles and a great smile. Eventually we got talking – he’d assumed I was French. And that gave rising to another friendship forming and, under different circumstances, could have easily led to a romance.

Several of my books have been inspired by chance encounters. One Summer In Rome has a blind main character and he was inspired by an incredible woman I met and chatted to on a train, who couldn’t see – she travelled the country alone, with her job, training visually impaired people to use special technology.

Chance encounters, life’s randomness, it’s a wonderful thing because when things are going really badly, when you’re in one of life’s ruts, don’t ever forget that there is always the possibility that something totally unexpected will pull you out of it – and that could be just around the corner.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

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Read my review of The Winter We Met here

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Christmas Read, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Festive Read, Friendship, Romance

The Winter We Met Samantha Tonge 5*#Review @SamTongeWriter @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #festive #multigenerational #Family #Friends #Romance #Christmas #CareHome #Party #Toys #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday #TheWinterWeMet

When charming, mysterious, Nik sits next to Jess on a plane home from a Christmas toy trade fair, she never could have imagined the impact he’d have on her life. As they touch down in London, Jess is hesitant to let Nik walk away, and before she knows it, she’s invited him to visit.

As the two take in the delights of the toy store where she works, Jess gets an upsetting phone call. Willow Court, her Grandmother’s care home, is to close before Christmas. With the help of Nik, and her best friend Oliver, Jess is determined to find the perfect new home for her Gran – and throw the best Christmas party Willow Court has ever seen! But time is running out and Oliver isn’t the only one who has suspicions about charismatic Nik’s intentions.

Will a chance encounter on an aeroplane bring love to Jess’s life or is this Christmas miracle too good to be true?

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I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author always manages to capture the spirit of Christmas in her festive stories. They are fun and often romantic, but they have a deeper, more serious message too.

This story focuses on toy shops and care homes and their residents. It’s about family, friends, having fun and gets across the message that you don’t stop dreaming, feeling and hoping just because you’re getting older and your body and mind are diminishing.

Jess meets Nik on a flight back from a toy fair, they get along and when they land he visits the toy shop where she works. Nik appears to be a kind man, willing to help others, and Jess starts to fall in love with him. Is everything as it appears or is she missing something important?

The characters all bring something to this story. Trying to help them as they lose their security brings Jess and her friends closer to the residents and workers and all have interesting stories to tell. The dynamics of the relationship between friends and family are believable.

The romance is gentle, and a little mysterious for Jess but the ending is realistic and satisfying.

Samantha Tonge

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

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If you want to read Samantha Tonge’s Guest Post on The Randomness of Life. Click here

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, International Thriller, Political Thriller, Thriller, Travel

Hunter Killer Brad Taylor 4*#Review @BradTaylorBooks @HoZ_Books #International #Thriller #military #political #BlogTour #BookReview @sophmidas @midaspr #HunterKillerUK

The Taskforce tracks highly-trained Russian assassins to Brazil in this blistering, action-packed thriller from New York Times bestselling author and former Special Forces Officer Brad Taylor.

They’re killing his team. He’s coming for them.

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I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus Books via Midas PR in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This story gets your attention from the first page. Focusing on contemporary issues, it’s complex plot delivers an intense and often violent read. It’s part of a long-running series but reads as a standalone. Although to appreciate the team dynamic and character development, it’s advisable to read the books that come before, which I haven’t yet.

The setting is vividly described and evokes all the reader’s senses. The plot is fast-paced and keeps its momentum until the various sub-plots integrate into an impactful conclusion. The cast of characters is believable and the connection between the various team members, authentic and relatable.

Geopolitics, revenge and ruthless individuals define this story. Pike and his team are diverse and flawed, but their commitment to each other resonates.

Brad Taylor

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