Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, Magic

One Night in Beartown Nick Jones Illustrator Si Clark 5*#Review @nickjonesauthor @rararesources #kidlit #PictureBook #childrensbooks #BlogTour #BookReview #OneNightinBeartown

From the award-winning duo that brought you Sarah’s Shadow comes another magical adventure…

When bear-mad schoolgirl Sandy Lane has her beloved teddy bear Berisford confiscated at school, she dreads the thought of going a whole night without his cuddles.

Little does she know that a bear-rilliant night awaits her, involving Berisford, a bear statue and many other wonderful friends!

Full Media Website Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

One Night in Beartown, set in Congleton, locally known as Beartown, is a lovely story aimed at young children. It explores bullying, being apart from someone you love and the life’s magic that’s always there if you look hard enough.

The illustrations are bright and engaging and illuminate the text in a way that appeals. The story is an easy read, perfect for reading to younger children or for older children to read by themselves. There is a magical feel to the story and a lovely twist at the end.

Nick Jones

I’m Nick Jones, an award-winning author originally from Bristol but now living in Congleton, Cheshire. I write books for kids and I’ve also written several joke books for adults. My first book, Gagged and Bound – A Book of Puns, One-liners and Dad Jokes, was a best-seller under Puns and Wordplay on Amazon UK, and two sequels soon followed. You can download a FREE collection of my jokes here.

In December 2017, I tried something different: a children’s picture book about a girl who loses her shadow. Illustrated by the super-talented Si Clark, Sarah’s Shadow has proved popular with kids and parents alike. In 2018 it won Best Children’s Picture Book in the 2018 Book Awards on international book review site Readers’ Favorite. My claim to fame is that the same award was previously won by none other than Jim Carrey, the Hollywood actor-cum-children’s author! Sarah’s Shadow also won Runner-Up in the Book Excellence Awards and received a Purple Dragonfly Book Award as one of the best picture ebooks for children aged 6+.

In 2020 I ran a Kickstarter campaign during lockdown to fund my next book, One Night in Beartown. It was inspired by the Bearmania event that took place in 2011. Thanks to amazing support from businesses and individuals in Congleton and beyond, I raised £4,000 to illustrate and print the book. It was published on 1 December and you can buy it on my online shop, on my publisher’s website or as an ebook on Amazon. For updates, please follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter!

Twitter Facebook Instagram

Posted in Book Review, Folk Tales, Non-Fiction

Botanical Curses and Poisons Fez Inkwright 5*#Review The Shadow Lives of Plants @rosdottir @liminal_11 @RandomTTours #nonfiction #illustrated #textbook #BookReview #BlogTour

Discover the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and malignant properties of toxic plants.

Poisonings are among the most memorable deaths in
history, from the Roman Empire to the Medieval era and
beyond. Concealed and deliberate, it’s a crime that must
be planned in advance. And yet there is a fine line between
healing and poisoning – Paracelsus argued that only the
dosage matters!

In Botanical Curses and Poisons, illustrator, author,
and folklorist Fez Inkwright returns to archives to uncover
the fascinating folklore, lurid histories, and untold stories
behind deadly plants, witching herbs and fungi.
Filled with beautiful illustrations, this treasury of
folklore is packed with insight, lore, and the revealed mysteries of everyday flora!

Amazon UK

I received an electronic copy of this book from the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Folklore, history, mythology, medicine and witches all have a part to play in this story of Botanical Curses and Poisons. There are lovely illustrations to illuminate the text and a fascinating A to Z of plants.

This is an intriguing, well researched, vibrant book about the secrets of everyday plants.

Fez Inkwright

Fez Inkwright is an illustrator, author and folklorist.
Her greatest passions are botany, nature, primitive
religions, and folklore, which flavour most of her work.
For the past eight years she has produced work for
children’s books, hand-drawn maps and tattoo design
and now spends her time indulging in conservation
work and writing. She lives in Bristol with two cats and
several hundred bees.

Posted in Cover Reveal, Fantasy, Paranormal

Dreamer Loretta Kendall #CoverReveal @LorettaKAuthor @CayellePub @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Dreamer

Luna suffers from an undiagnosed illness causing hallucinations and blackouts that have plagued her for years. The root of her bazaar illness comes to light when she meets her pro-wrestling hero, Gunner Cain, and his wrestling faction friends, The Tribe. Luna discovers her romantic connection to Gunner isn’t just a fangirl crush, he is her eternal soulmate.

Gunner wants Luna to become his Alpha dreamer mate, for as part of a prophecy written in the Lycan Oracle, Luna must choose to bond to the Alpha of the Tribe, or all will be stuck in wolf form, forgetting their humanity forever. Luna learns the steps they must take to complete the bonding ritual could also end a centuries-old curse, saving lone wolves abandoned by their packs and plagued with the dreaded Lycan fever. Gunner’s connection to Luna is more than prophecy fulfilled; it is hope for Lycan kind in this steamy shifter tale of prophecy and romance. 

Loretta Kendall is a professional image consultant, writer, and author of the new novel Dreamer. She started her life with a daydream and a story in her mind. As long as Loretta can remember, she was a storyteller sharing stories with her friends from her overactive imagination. After twenty-two years as a talent manager, professional makeup artist, and photographer for the entertainment industry, she revisited her love for storytelling.

Loretta is a hopeless romantic and lives for a good happy ever after. Her husband must agree because they have had twenty-four years of wedded bliss. When she isn’t reading or writing steamy stories, she’s probably singing, watching pro wrestling while yelling at the TV, or spending time with nature.

Twitter Facebook

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Murder Mystery

The Invisible Case Isabella Muir #Audiobook 4* #Review @SussexMysteries #HistoricalFiction #Histfic #Crime @rararesources Narrator Bridget Eaton #SussexCrimeSeries #1970 #TheInvisibleCase

Heartbreaking tragedy or cold-blooded murder…?

An Italian stranger arrives in Tamarisk Bay and brings with him mystery and intrigue….

It’s Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and some quality time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?

As Luigi’s story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.

Amazon UK Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an easy listening audiobook set in 1970 mainly in a Sussex town. It is reminiscent of radio plays of the same period and is well suited to this media. The narrator is clear and professional. Her character voices bring them to life believably.

The story is the third of the Janie Juke mysteries but my first. Well described main protagonists, gentle pacing and a recognisable seventies ethos make this an interesting listen. The mystery keeps its secrets to the end. Recognisable emotion underpins the story.

Isabella Muir

Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then has gone to publish five novels, two novellas and a short story collection.

The Invisible Case is the third book in her Sussex Crime Mystery series, featuring young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot – using all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. All three novels are now available as audiobooks.

As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.

Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who arrives in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to find a dead body on the beach and so the story begins…

Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.

Website Facebook Twitter

Posted in Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman 5*#Review @richardosman @VikingBooks @PenguinBooksUK #TheThursdayMurderClub #BookReview

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved killings.

But when a local property developer shows up dead, ‘The Thursday Murder Club’ find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

The four friends, Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron, might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Books UK-Viking via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a fun but insightful character-driven cosy mystery.

Wonderfully eccentric characters, all have illustrious pasts, investigative and observational skills and a desire for justice. The twisty mystery has numerous suspects and misinformation holding the readers’ interest. Whilst aspects of this story seem unlikely that doesn’t deter from the well-crafted plot and the authentic characterisation that defines it.

There’s recognisable English humour blended with emotion making makes the characters easy to empathise and relatable. The vivid sensory imagery makes the characters and setting come to life.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Murder Mystery, Romance

Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook 5* #Review @juliebeewriter @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #CozyMystery #MurderMystery #VillageLife #Detective #Friendship #DeadlyWhispersinLowerDimblebrook

When Isabelle Darby moves to the delightfully cosy village of Lower Dimblebrook, she’s searching for peace and quiet as well as a chance to escape from heartbreak. After making friends with Fiona Lambourne, another newcomer to the village, Issie is left reeling when tragedy strikes and Fiona is murdered, the second wife Anthony Lambourne has lost in unfortunate circumstances. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local gossips insist that Fiona had been embroiled in an affair before her death, something which Issie knows not to be the case. Determined to clear her friend’s reputation and solve the mystery of the rumours, Issie takes on both the gossips and the handsome but stern DI Wainwright, making both friends and enemies along the way!

Amazon UK Amazon Kobo

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Issie is a character that you quickly like. A kind woman who is still recovering from a betrayal. The loss of a close friend is not something she can easily cope with, and the range of emotions she experiences are authentic and relatable.

There are lots of villagey characters, a multi-layered plot and a taciturn and sexy detective. He and Issie frequently clash over the murder investigation. Madeline Issie’s landlord and neighbour is an enigmatic character who disperses advice humour and alcohol in a china teapot throughout the story.

The plot keeps its secrets well and has lots of false leads. The ending is climatic and revealing in lots of ways and worthy of such an engaging tale.

Julie Butterfield

Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!

Twitter Website Facebook

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance -Dark and Steamy

The Deal S.C.Cunningham 4*#Review @SCCunningham8 Narrator Susan Knight The Fallen Angels #Fantasy #Romance #Paranormal #Audiobook #BlogTour #TheDeal @rararesources

Wouldn’t it be nice to have hot, funny, feisty, rule-breaking angels protecting and fighting your corner? Keeping an eye on those who slip through law enforcement’s fingers? 

Well here you go…the Fallen. You’re welcome!

At the age of four, Amy Fox was taken…. She survived….

A week later, another little girl was taken…. She didn’t.

Angry, Amy made a deal with the heavens. Decades later her lifeless body was found beneath a London commuter train and she became an angel. But for how long? Lusting after her partner, competing with hell warlords, avenging personal scores, and dishing out tough karma on evil exes, crime gangs, traffickers, drug dealers, rapists, abusers, trophy hunters, trolls, and serial killers, all without her units authorization, will have her thrown below ground. Running with a world network of fallen angels, Amy has never worked so hard in her entire earthly life. She has to wonder if making a deal was a mistake.

Amazon UK Amazon Audible Audible UK

I received an audiobook from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This audiobook creates a believable world where fallen angels bring evil humans to justice. This is a hard-hitting series with disturbing themes. It’s difficult to listen to in parts because of the detailed descriptions, but the author creates a world of avenging angels who don’t follow the rules to achieve what human justice systems cannot.

It works well as an audiobook, with the narrator distinguishing between the characters and bringing them to vivid life. This is an adult story, the action and language befitting the evil portrayed. Relatable characters and relevant themes make this an absorbing story to listen to for adult fantasy fiction listeners.

S.C.Cunningham

CUNNINGHAM writes suspense thrillers and paranormal rom crime with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating passion. Having worked in the industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and worked in music, film, sports and crime (CID, Wanted/Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Crime Investigations).  She is owned by daughter (artist Scarlett Raven), three dogs and two cats.

And GlamMa to a brand new grandson who has stolen her heart.

SUPPORTS CAUSES Veterans. Mental Heath. Animals, Environment & Child Protection.

THE FALLEN ANGEL SERIES

‘The Deal’, ‘Karma’, ‘The Calling’ (tbc)

Website  Twitter Facebook Instagram Linkedin YouTube

Amazon author page Amazon UK author page

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Crime, Friendship, Murder Mystery

The Marlow Murder Club Robert Thorogood 5*#Review @robthor @HQStories #BlogTour #BookReview #MurderMystery #Detective #Women #TheMarlowMurderClub #cosycrime

To solve an impossible murder, you need an impossible hero…

Judith Potts is seventy-seven years old and blissfully happy. She lives on her own in a faded mansion just outside Marlow, there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink, and to keep herself busy she sets crosswords for The Times newspaper. 

One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. The local police don’t believe her story, so she decides to investigate for herself, and is soon joined in her quest by Suzie, a salt-of-the-earth dog-walker, and Becks, the prim and proper wife of the local Vicar.

Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.

When another body turns up, they realise they have a real-life serial killer on their hands. And the puzzle they set out to solve has become a trap from which they might never escape…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This story grabs your immediate attention. Judith is a remarkable woman. Eccentric, independent and intelligent she is the perfect advert for the older person, and it’s no surprise when she witnesses a murder she wants to find out who committed it and why?

There is a good balance of amateur sleuth and professional policing in this tale, and the reader can imagine how it will develop as the series progresses. The other constituents of the Marlow club are equally enigmatic, although more contemporary than Judith. This story sees a believable team dynamic evolve between unlikely allies and shows positive character development in all of the women. There are insights into these women’s lives which are relatable and immerse the reader in the story.

The multilayered plot keeps the reader engaged. It is solvable, which is important in these type of mysteries, rather like the crosswords Judith writes clues for.

This is an enjoyable read, humorous, poignant and satirical with memorable characters. I look forward to more books in this series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Romance, Travel

The Silver Rose Dating Agency Angelena Boden 4* #Review @rararesources #Cozymystery #PeakDistrict #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs

When lonely widow Kitty Merriweather moves to Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, she joins the Silver Rose online dating site because it offers a safe place for the over sixties to find romance.

There, she meets the enigmatic Harvey, a scientist working on a conservation project in Bali who promises her “hot days and stormy nights.”

Love blooms quickly but Kitty breaks all the rules laid down by the agency, putting herself at risk. When little things don’t add up she dismisses them as being unimportant. Nothing matters more than her plans for them to live happily ever after.

When she confides in her new friend, Edna Reid, octogenarian and former café owner, Kitty gets angry at Edna’s implication she is likely the victim of a scam. The more Edna hears about Harvey, the more she is convinced he’s only interested in Kitty for her money.

Using her knowledge of computers Edna finally uncovers the truth, but where does black magic and murder fit into this intriguing cosy mystery?

Amazon UK  Amazon

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is an engaging multi-generational cosy mystery with topical messages in the plot. It’s the second book in the series but reads well as a standalone. Edna is a lady with a talent for mystery solving, a kind, recently bereaved woman.

Relatable characters reflect the setting and a well-paced mystery keeps you guessing. There’s a good mix of humour and poignancy. The quirkiness of this story will appeal to many.

 Angelena Boden has spent thirty- five years as an international training consultant, specialising in behavioural management and conflict resolution. She trained in Transactional Analysis, the psychology of communication and behaviour, her preferred tool for counselling and coaching.

She originates from the Peak District but has spent a life time travelling and living in places as far apart as Vancouver, Dubai, Paris, Seville and Iran. Now semi-retired in Great Malvern, she writes every morning, walks the hills and paints landscapes every afternoon and fits family and reading in between.

She is the author of two novels published by Urbane Publications (rights reverted) and two self-published cosy mysteries and a number of business books (Management Pocketbooks). Angelena is a regular blogger for a mental health publisher (Trigger) and Autumn Voices website which promotes authors over 60.

Website

Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Humour, Mystery

The Mystery of Montague House Emma Davies 4*# Review @EmDaviesAuthor #BookReview #SummerandWynterMystery #Mystery #cozymystery

When Summer meets Wynter…

With enough rooms to fill a Cluedo board several times over, Montague House has often been the subject of rumour and gossip. Tales of strange goings on, an owner who disappeared one day and was never seen again, not to mention the treasure that rumour has it lies at its heart… But now the present owner has died and the house is to be sold. It looks as if the opportunity has come to finally settle the stories once and for all.

Clodagh Wynter doesn’t believe in ghostly goings on and tall tales of secrets. She has her feet very firmly on the ground and, tasked with the job of valuing and cataloguing the house and all its contents, she’s simply looking forward to working in such a glorious setting. And if she happens across a priceless painting, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

Andie Summer is a Finder of Things and desperately needs this job; she’s down to her last few tins of baked beans. So looking for hidden treasure sounds right up her street, even if there was something very fishy about the mysterious Mr Mayfair who hired her. Because it’s just like she said to her faithful Basset Hound, Hamish; I saw something out of the corner of my eye as I was leaving, and you know what that means. It’s never good news when I see something out of the corner of my eye…

As the unlikely pair are thrown together, it soon becomes very clear however that they are not the only ones searching for the treasure. And they’re going to need all their ingenuity, resourcefulness, not to mention chocolate biscuits, if they’re ever going to untangle the web of secrets that surrounds Montague House. One that reaches even further than they ever thought possible...

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A brand new cosy mystery series features Summer and Wynter, two women who develop an unlikely partnership, being very different personalities. The need to solve the mystery of Montague House draws them together and a friendship forms.

This story builds from slow beginnings to an absorbing, humorous and poignant cosy mystery. Character-driven, there is a cast of characters who mislead and finally surrender the secrets of Montague House.

The setting is atmospheric with undercurrents of menace. Animal friends Smoke and Hamish have cameo roles in this murder mystery which add to its authenticity and make it an engaging read.

Detailed characterisation and intricate world-building make this the first step in a promising new series.

Emma Davies

After a varied career, Emma Davies once worked for a design studio where she was asked to provide a fun and humorous (and not necessarily true) anecdote for their website. She wrote the following: ‘I am a bestselling novelist currently masquerading as a thirty-something mother of three.’ Well the job in the design studio didn’t work out but she’s now a fifty-something mother of three and is happy to report the rest of her dream came true.

After many years as a finance manager she now writes full time, and is far happier playing with words than numbers. She lives with her husband and three children in rural Shropshire where she writes in all the gaps in between real life.

Twitter Facebook Instagram