Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Mystery, Romance

A Summer to Remember in Herring Bay Angela Britnell 4*#Review @AngelaBritnell @ChocLituk @rararesources #Mystery #Family #Romance #Friendship #Comminity #Coastal #Cornwall #BlogTour #BookReview

Essy Havers is good at finding things. Her company specialises in helping clients track down anything, from missing china pieces to rare vintage clothing. But now Essy has something more important to find: herself.
Essy has always been curious about her mother’s secret past and her Cornish roots. So, when the opportunity arises, she hops on a plane in Tennessee and ends up in Herring Bay in Cornwall; the village where her mother grew up.
But once there, she’s mystified by the reactions of the villagers when they realise who she is. Was Essy’s decision to visit Cornwall a mistake, or will it lead to a summer she’ll never forget?

AmazonUK

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

My Thoughts…

Essy visits her family in Cornwall when a work opportunity arises she’s keen to know why her mother won’t talk about her past. Her aunt is pleased and surprised to see her, but the welcome isn’t universal. Essy meets Ruan, and they find they have a lot in common. Ruan’s family seems tied up with her mother’s past, and so they investigate but is this wise?

This is a family mystery story full of angst and secrets. The characters are relatable, and each plays a part in the story. The setting is coastal and well-described and complements a plot with some original touches.

Gentle romance, family mystery and a community that needs mending all make this an enjoyable summer read.

Angela Britnell

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) follow her social media.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction

The Awakening Of Claudia Faraday Patsy Trench 4*#Review @PatsyTrench @rararesources #HistFic #1920s #Women #Society #BlogTour #BookReview #RoaringTwenties

‘It got better, in time, though to be truthful it always felt more of a duty than a pleasure: a little like homework, satisfying when over, and done well, but never exactly enjoyable. But then nobody had ever suggested it could be otherwise.’

This was the view of Claudia Faraday, 1920s respectable wife and mother of three, on the subject of sex. That is until an unexpected turn of events shakes her out of her torpor and propels her back into the world revitalised and reawakened, where she discovers, as Marie Stopes might have said: Approached in the right way, even homework can be fun.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

I rather enjoyed this exploration of Claudia’s life when she is left alone in the family home wondering what next? Constricted by society expectations but changed in the aftermath of WW1, Claudia realises she’s missing out and that a wealth of experience awaits her if she’s open to it.

Claudia is a rule follower, sexually naive and prejudiced about anything she doesn’t understand, but this story shows her character developing in positive ways. There are parallels with contemporary society for women who feel they are invisible after a certain age.

The witty writing is sensitive and often humorous in a self-deprecating way. The author describes the 1920s succinctly with salient historical details and real historical characters. Authentic dialogue and events that illustrate this as a time of celebration and change.

Patsy Trench

Patsy Trench lives a quiet and largely respectable life in north London. Claudia’s story shows a side of her normally shy and reserved nature that is little known, even to her friends and acquaintances. Her previous books, about her family’s history in Australia, are entertaining and informative accounts of that country’s early colonial beginnings. She began writing late, and in a previous life she was an actress, scriptwriter, playscout, founder of The Children’s Musical Theatre of London and lyricist. When not writing books she emerges from her shell to teach theatre and organise theatre trips for overseas students. She is the grateful mother of two clever and grown-up children, and she is addicted to rag rugging and, when current circumstances permit, fossicking on the Thames foreshore for ancient treasure.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Folk Tales, Magic, Young Adult

Finn and the Wild Goose Sammy Horner 5* #Review @malcolmdown @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #Finnwildgoose #SammyHorner

Amazon UK Paperback

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

My Thoughts…

Finn and the Wild Goose is a lovely fantasy story for children.

Based on Irish folklore this is an exciting, poignant journey which I loved.

The story immerses the reader in Granda and Finn’s quest to find Evie. The writing style is lyrical and poetic, full of folklore and fantasy creatures, some good, some bad.

Woven seamlessly into the story are life messages. This is not just a children’s book. It made me cry, laugh and think. It has many layers and levels of understanding there’s something for everyone here.

I read the paperback which has lovely illustrations of the characters, and a glossary of Irish terms.

This is a magical tale of good and evil, not judging things by appearance, and the importance of love.

Sammy Horner

Sammy Horner is an Irish Musician, Recording Artist, Pastor, Author who spends all his time traveling around the world trying to make it all a little better. When he isn’t in remote parts of the world teaching life skills (practical trade skills, he is also an electrician and a qualified teacher) he tours with his wife Kylie as half of the Americana / Folk Duo, ‘The Sweet Sorrows’. He has two children and two grandchildren. Sammy lives in Wexford Ireland and occasionally gets to live in his own home for part of the year

Posted in Cover Reveal, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Young Adult

Tree Slayer Harriet Springbett #CoverReveal @HarriSpringbett @ImpressBooks1 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TreeSlayer

Nine months after the events of Tree Magic, Rainbow is struggling to come to terms with how she’s changed. Her bond with trees has grown, but now they’re under threat from the Tree Slayer.

To save them, she’ll need to leave everything she knows and loves. It will be her greatest adventure yet – but she cannot succeed alone.

She’ll have to enlist the help of Eole, an enigmatic scientist and sceptic.

Does Rainbow have what it takes to face the Tree Slayer? And can she trust Eole, who has powers of his own?

Amazon UK

Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Friendship, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Suspense

The Unquiet Spirit Penny Hampson 4*#Review @penny_hampson @darkstrokedark @rararesources #Mystery #Suspense #Gothic

A new beginning. A house with a past. A man with secrets.

It was a dream come true…that turned into a nightmare.

Kate Wilson thinks moving back to Cornwall might be the answer to her prayers. But it isn’t long before she begins to have doubts. Is the house she inherited from her godmother haunted? Or is she going out of her mind? With a stalker, threats, and attempted break-ins, Kate’s troubles multiply.

Then there’s her enigmatic neighbour, the brooding Tom Carbis; a man with secrets he doesn’t wish to share. Can she trust him when he says he wants to help?

In her quest to unravel the mysteries surrounding her, will Kate uncover more than she bargains for?

Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Unquiet Spirit is a gripping suspense with paranormal and romantic elements.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an atmospheric story that is full of historical detail that adds to its authenticity. Kate unexpectedly inherits an old house from her godmother in Cornwall. Eager for a new start, she travels to Cornwall to claim her inheritance. A house with secrets.

Mystery, paranormal, romance and suspense are weaved into the well-paced plot. Engaging characters and detailed imagery makes this an enjoyable reading experience. The suspense building and paranormal twists immerse the reader in Kate’s world with an interesting conflicted, but romantic relationship with Tom, a man with secrets.

This is an engaging read with a wide reader appeal because of its cross-genre approach.

Penny Hampson

Some time ago Penny Hampson decided to follow her passion for history by studying with the Open University. She graduated with honours and went on to complete a post-graduate degree.

Penny then landed her dream role, working in an environment where she was surrounded by rare books and historical manuscripts. Flash forward nineteen years, and the opportunity came along to indulge her other main passion – writing. Penny joined the New Writers’ Scheme of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and  three years later published her debut novel, A Gentleman’s Promise, a  historical mystery/romance. Other books in the same genre soon followed.

But never happy in a rut, Penny also writes contemporary suspense with paranormal and romantic elements. Her first book in this genre is The Unquiet Spirit, published by Darkstroke.

Penny lives with her family in Oxfordshire, and when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, walking, swimming, and the odd gin and tonic (not all at the same time).

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Posted in Blog Tour, Extract, Friendship, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

Even If We Break Marieke Njjkamp #Extract @mariekeyn @SourceBooks @midaspr @amberachoudhary #Mystery #Thriller #YA #EvenIfWeBreak

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marieke Nijkamp comes a shocking new thriller about a group of friends tied together by a game and the deadly weekend that tears them apart.

For five friends, this was supposed to be one last getaway before going their separate ways—a chance to say goodbye to each other, and to the game they’ve been playing for the past three years. But they’re all dealing with their own demons, and they’re all hiding secrets.

Finn doesn’t trust anyone since he was attacked a few months ago. Popular girl Liva saw it happen and did nothing to stop it. Maddy was in an accident that destroyed her sports career. Carter is drowning under the weight of his family’s expectations. Ever wants to keep the game going for as long as they can, at all costs.

When the lines between game and reality start to blend with deadly consequences, it’s a race against time before it’s game over—forever.

Amazon UK

Extract from – Even If We Break MARIEKE NIJKAMP

 MARIEKE NIJKAMP is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends and Before I Let Go. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globetrotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, has served as an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, and is the founder of DiversifYA. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Mystery

The Merry Month of Murder Nicola Slade 4*#Review The Fyttleton Mysteries @nicolasladeuk @darkstrokedark @rararesources #Mystery #historicalfiction #Family #romance #PublicationDay #BookReview

It was teatime on Tuesday, and nobody had died yet…

May 1918

In a world where the men are at war and the women keep the home fires burning, Christabel Fyttleton is faced with domestic crises involving lodgers, rationing, maypole dancers and Kaiser Bill (don’t ask!) – as well as her most daunting challenge ever.

Not only that! There’s a sudden death – again – as though she hasn’t enough to cope with already.

But is it murder, misadventure, or merely misfortune?

Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This historical mystery set in 1918 has a lovely sense of place and time. The author captures the essence of 1918 England, with the war nearing its end leaving a trail of devastation, grief and emancipation in its wake.

The story focuses on the family of three sisters, grandmother and mother and their menagerie of animals. The cast features many characters living in the village who all contribute to the vibrancy of the story. The story is simple but engaging with humour, poignancy and romance all interwoven into the historical mystery.

The mystery surrounding the body is one element of this, but the enchantment is in the everyday lives of the Fyttleton women at such a historically iconic time.

Nicola Slade

Nicola Slade is an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in and around Winchester and Romsey in Hampshire – which is where she lives. The House at Ladywell – a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes – won the International Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019.

She is the author of the mid-Victorian Charlotte Richmond mysteries and the contemporary Harriet Quigley mysteries. The Convalescent Corpse, published November 2018, an Amazon best-seller, the first in a new series, The Fyttleton Mysteries, set in 1918.

The Merry Month of Murder, the second book in The Fyttleton Mysteries – Published 10th September 2020

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult

The Adventures of Ellie and Bo Millie Kerr 4* Review @millieckerr @BookGuild @rararesources #conservation #youngadult #nature #blogtour #bookreview #TheAdventuresofEllieandBoo

A nature-loving cat and her conservationist mum team up to save endangered species!
Boo the tabby cat is born on a Lincolnshire farm and seems destined for a simple life. Everything changes when she’s put up for adoption and is taken in by Ellie Caldwell, an adventurous Cambridge graduate student who loves animals and is studying to become a wildlife conservationist.
Between lectures, Ellie heads to the countryside for camping trips, her Instagram-anointed ‘adventure cat’ in tow. On rocky trails, Boo discovers that, like Ellie, she has a passion for the natural world, and because she’s able to communicate with all animals, she can relate their challenges back to Ellie. But there’s a serious problem: whenever Boo tries to tell Ellie something, all Ellie hears is “Meow.”
Can they work out a communication system, and in doing so, save endangered animals from harm while encouraging public support of nature and wildlife? 

Waterstones Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a conservationist book aimed at older children and young adults. The main protagonists in this tale are a young women studying for a post-grad and her cat Boo.

Superficially this is a lovely adventure fantasy story about a cat talking to other animals and then learning to communicate with her human. As an adult you may have to suspend belief to accept this concept, but for children who are more receptive to the extraordinary, this concept should work.

The underlying messages are valid, and the motivations of Ellie, Boo and their friends positive. It’s an engaging story with relatable characters and teaches whilst it entertains.

Millie Kerr

Millie Kerr is an author, journalist and photographer focused on wildlife conservation. A former lawyer, Millie uses storytelling to help people see splendour and fragility of the natural world. Her creative essays and reported articles—which predominantly involve travel and wildlife—have appeared in dozens of top-tier American and British publications, among them The Economist, National Geographic Traveller, Popular Science, and The Wall Street Journal. Millie has also worked for numerous global conservation NGOs, both as an in-house writer and an external consultant; and her legal career saw her working in private practice and government. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Masters of Philosophy in Conservation Leadership and has lived between the UK and USA for fifteen years. Her adopted cat, Baboon, has been her constant companion, although unlike their fictitious counterparts, they only enjoy indoor adventures.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Young Adult

Tree Magic Harriet Springbett #excerpt @HarriSpringbett @ImpressBooks1 #YoungAdult #Fiction #Fantasy #Magic @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TreeMagic

A life fractured into parallel worlds. A quiet magic to accept or ignore. A decision to make.

Escape from difficult family dynamics is teenager Rainbow’s desire. When she discovers a strange gift for communicating with trees, she thinks she’s found her salvation. Even better, a mysterious but gentle man living in her Dorset village helps develop her powers.

But when tragedy strikes, Rainbow’s life is torn apart, creating parallel worlds in the process. In one life, the vulnerable Rainbow strives to salvage her family. In the other, her alter-ego, Mary, flees her past. Over the next few years the two versions of Rainbow follow very different lives. The source of their grief, however, is the same – a confession buried deep within their memories.

Could France offer more than a mere escape? As the two worlds draw closer and memories resurface, Rainbow and Mary’s futures must be determined. Can they receive the healing they need? Or will the renewed pain be too much to bear? Only by risking their lives will they know.

Amazon UK

Excerpt from Tree Magic – Harriet Springbett

Rainbow thought she’d died in the accident. She had to be dead because she could see Amrita Devi, and Amrita came from a Bishnoi legend.

Amrita was hugging a silver maple tree on the edge of a wood. A heaven full of trees seemed fitting to Rainbow, though lightning had split this particular maple and one of its two branches was almost dead. It needed some good hugging.

The Bishnoi girl was exactly as Rainbow had imagined: small and sprite-like with long black hair, and wearing a colourful sari in pinks and reds. Rainbow’s mum had told her the legend nine years ago, when Rainbow was four. According to the fable, Amrita had tried to save an ancient tree from woodcutters.

Amrita lifted her head from the trunk and beckoned to her. Rainbow crept through the silence to the silver maple and mirrored Amrita, lacing her arms around its trunk and hugging it. Then she closed her eyes and let herself be drawn into the tree’s reassuring comfort. It was as if she, Amrita and the maple were one, holding and healing each other. This was definitely heaven.

She opened her eyes to tell Amrita how great it all felt. But Amrita raised a finger to her lips and pointed towards a figure that had just arrived. It was another Rainbow.

This Rainbow looked angry. She kicked through decaying leaves, her hands shoved deep into her jean pockets. When she heard Amrita’s low call, she stopped and stared at them both. Her face was shock-white and her lips frozen blue.

Amrita stretched a hand towards her, inviting her to join them at the silver maple. But this strange Rainbow refused to come closer. Amrita pleaded, her voice an ethereal shimmer. “Xylem and phloem, xylem and phloem,” she said. “You’re not cambium. You shouldn’t have divided. Come! Be healed!”

The strange Rainbow ignored Amrita’s peculiar entreaty. She turned her back and stamped away.

Rainbow realised she’d been holding her breath. She let it out in a sigh of relief. She didn’t want to share Amrita and heaven with this imposter. She tried to catch Amrita’s eye and smile at her, but Amrita was no longer as solid as before. The whole of heaven rippled, like a bubble in a breeze. The colours weakened. Each separate entity blurred into a red-gold fuzz of whirling leaves. Then the bubble burst.

Excerpt from Tree Magic by Harriet Springbett
Harriet Speingbett

Harriet Springbett’s childhood on a small farm in West Dorset gave her an early exposure to nature, which continues to inspire her writing.

She qualified as an engineer but, during a Raleigh International expedition in Chile, she realised she preferred words to numbers. She abandoned her profession, moved to France, studied French and then worked as a project manager, feature writer, translator and TEFL teacher. She now lives in Poitou-Charentes with her French partner and their teenage children.

Since her first literary success, aged 10, her short stories and poetry have been published in literary journals and placed in writing competitions, including a shortlisting in the 2017 Bath Short Story Award.

Harriet leads writing workshops, has judged the Segora international short story competition and blogs at https://harrietspringbett.wordpress.com

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Mystery, Paranormal, Psychological Thriller

Siren Song Rebecca McKinney 5*#Review Harrison Jones and Amy Bell Mystery @BexMcKinney @lovebooksgroup #SirenSong #lovebookstours #Psychic #Detective #PsychologicalThriller #Crime

A man who glimpses other people’s inner worlds, and a woman who can foresee death. Can they trace a missing girl before the worst happens?

Harrison Jones is a university lecturer with a secret: he moonlights as a psychic detective. Amy Bell is a paramedic who has the uncanny knack of knowing things are going to happen before they do. From their first accidental meeting on an Edinburgh bridge, both of their lives are destined to change.

Harrison invites Amy to help him investigate the disappearance of a beautiful young singer. The search will lead them into the murky world of human trafficking, from Edinburgh to the streets of Athens, and into the darkest corners of the human mind…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A book like this succeeds on the quality of its characters, and these are easy to empathise, intelligent and relatable. Harrison is a university lecturer in social anthropology he meets Amy at a low point in her life and saves her. Amy is a paramedic, and ex-military with similar psychic skills to Harrison agrees to work with him to find a missing girl.

The dynamic between Amy and Harrison is believable. A formidable team, stronger together than apart. The case is a noir crime. The immersive writing style draws the reader, into a world of abuse, and trafficking. The well-paced plot has twists and uses vivid imagery to portray psychic experience and settings.

There is a poignant ethos which illustrates the despair of the victims with claustrophobic intensity.

Despite the sadness, this book is enjoyable, and the suspense builds to a justifiable conclusion.

Rebecca McKinney is a writer, therapist and community development practitioner, living and working in Midlothian, Scotland. She shares her home with her husband, two teenagers, three cats, and a growing collection of musical instruments.

Previous novels:

The Angel in the Stone: shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize, 2017: Sandstone Press

Blast Radius: 2015: Sandstone Press