Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Non-Fiction, Travel

In SatNav We Trust Jack Barrow 4*#Review @JackBarrowUK #Travelogue #BlogTour #BookReview @RandomTTours #Life #History #England #nonfiction #travel #InSatNavWeTrust

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a travelogue through the historic counties of England, with an engaging often humorous narrator. The book takes the form of a diary as he journeys through England with his truck (Mileage given at the start of each chapter), his tent and his thoughts on life and its mysteries.

Whilst travelling, the author shares his thoughts on aspects of life and his beliefs. Not all of these will be relevant to the reader, but if you like to understand others, there’s intrinsic value in this. Full of historical interest, authentic characters and vivid imagery this is a lovely book to read.

The only thing that’s missing is illustrations of the journey or photographs which would have added to the shared experiences.

Jack Barrow

Jack Barrow is a writer of books and blogs about ideas based on popular philosophy in modern life. He is a critical thinker but not a pedant. He has an interest in spiritual perspectives having been brought up as both a Mormon and a Jehovah’s Witness. He’s not sure, but he believes this particular  ecclesifringical upbringing makes him a member of a pretty exclusive club. He is also fascinated by science. At the same age as his parents were taking him to church services, he was also watching Horizon documentaries and Tomorrow’s World, becoming fascinated about science and technology. Perhaps around the time of the moon landings, when he was six or seven, he came to the conclusion that, sooner or later, people would realise that the sky was full of planets and stars, science explained the universe, and that there was no God looking down. He really thought that religion’s days were numbered. Declining congregations seemed to back that up, but since then there has been a growth in grass roots movements that seem to indicate people are looking for something to fill the void left by organised religion. He now has a particular interest in the way people are creating their own spiritual perspectives (whatever spiritual means) from the bottom up using ideas sourced from history, folkloric sources and imagination. Rather ironically it was members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who first introduced him to the landscape of Wiltshire, with its stone circles and ancient monuments, which later kindled his interest in spiritual beliefs taken from more ancient perspectives.

He has also written a novel; The Hidden Masters and the Unspeakable Evil is a story of a group of magicians who discover a plot to build casinos in Blackpool and so turn the resort into a seedy, tacky, and depraved town. During this hard-drinking occult adventure, with gambling and frivolous trousers, Nigel, Wayne and Clint travel north on Friday night but they need to save the world by Sunday evening because they have to be back at work on Monday morning.

Jack lives in Hertfordshire, England, where he earns a living writing about things in engineering; this usually means photocopiers and bits of aeroplanes. He shares his home with R2D2 and C3PO, occasionally mentioned in his blog posts. People used to say he should get out more. At the time of writing he is currently shielding from the apocalypse, having been of a sickly disposition as a child, and wondering if he will be able to go to a live music pub ever again.

Posted in Book Review, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Romance, Romance, Travel

The Second Marriage Gill Paul 5*#Review @GillPaulAUTHOR @AvonBooksUK @RandomTTours #HistoricalRomance #1960s #1970s #HistFic #BlogTour #BookReview #TheSecondMarriage

JACKIE
When her first marriage ends in tragedy, Jackie Kennedy fears she’ll never love again. But all that changes when she encounters…

ARI
Successful and charming, Ari Onassis is a man who promises her the world. Yet soon after they marry, Jackie learns that his heart also belongs to another…

MARIA
A beautiful, famed singer, Maria Callas is in love with Jackie’s new husband – and she isn’t going to give up.

Little by little, Jackie and Maria’s lives begin to tangle in a dangerous web of secrets, scandal and lies. But with both women determined to make Ari theirs alone, the stakes are high. How far will they go for true love?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a modern Greek tragedy, an epic love triangle, played out amidst the political and social turbulence of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

This fictional story delves behind the headlines to the people who make them. Two iconic women, one with an incredible musical gift and the other a magnet for power are drawn to an enigmatic man. One wants his love the other wants his protection. He wants them both surely a recipe for disaster?

Compelling and enthralling, this is an enticing mix of fact and fiction. Flawed, fragile and glamorous characters authentically written with flaws and incredible presence drive this story. Research underpins every scene making them believable and relatable.

Sensitively portrayed tragedy and sensual romance make this a must-read story.

Gill Paul

Gill Paul’s historical novels have reached the top of the USA Today, Toronto Globe & Mail and kindle charts, and been translated into twenty languages.

They include THE SECOND MARRIAGE (titled JACKIE AND MARIA in the US), two bestselling novels about the Romanovs – THE SECRET WIFE and THE LOST DAUGHTER – as well as WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST, which was shortlisted for the 2013 RNA Epic Novel of the Year award, NO PLACE FOR A LADY, shortlisted for a Love Stories award, and ANOTHER WOMAN’S HUSBAND, about links you might not have suspected between Wallis Simpson and Princess Diana.


Gill also writes historical non-fiction, including A HISTORY OF MEDICINE IN 50 OBJECTS, and she speaks at libraries and literary festivals on subjects ranging from the Titanic to the Romanovs.
Gill lives in London, where she is working on her tenth novel, and she swims daily in an outdoor pond.

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Posted in Cover Reveal, Romance, Travel

The Night We Met @zoefolbigg #CoverReveal @Aria_Fiction @HoZ_Books #Romance #Preorder #Feb21

The Story…

 As a man holds his wife’s frail hand, he recounts a journey like no other…

Daniel and Olivia are destined to be together. At least, Daniel thinks this the night he sees Olivia across a sea of people. As he backpacks through Australia, Daniel and Liv continue to cross paths, yet never speak. Until one night, Liv joins Daniel for a drink. And that night everything changes.

Back in London, stuck in a monotonous routine, Daniel finds himself daydreaming of the woman with green eyes and fiery hair. Armed with only a name he begins a hunt to find her. With every passing moment, Daniel’s hopes begin to disappear. What if it wasn’t meant to be?

But then fate steps in, and Daniel and Olivia’s story can truly begin…

This is a tale of serendipity, missed chances and the power of love.

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Zoë Folbigg is a magazine journalist and digital editor, starting at Cosmopolitan in 2001 and since freelancing for titles including Glamour, Fabulous, Daily Mail, Healthy, LOOK, Top Santé, Mother & Baby, ELLE, Sunday Times Style, and Style.com. In 2008 she had a weekly column in Fabulous magazine documenting her year-long round-the-world trip with ‘Train Man’ – a man she had met on her daily commute. She since married Train Man and lives in Hertfordshire with him and their two young sons.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Literary Fiction, Romance, Travel

Displacement Anne Stormont 5*#Review Rachel&Jack: The Skye Series @writeanne @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #motivational #Displacement #Love #Loss #BookReview #BookTour #TravelTuesday #Skye #Israel

Divorce, the death of her soldier son, and estrangement from her daughter, leave Hebridean crofter, Rachel Campbell, grief-stricken, lonely and lost.

Forced retirement leaves former Edinburgh policeman Jack Baxter needing to find a new direction in life.

After Rachel and Jack meet on a wild winter’s night in the most dramatic circumstances, an unlikely friendship begins, despite their very different personalities. However, their feelings for each other gradually go beyond friendship – something neither of them feels able to admit. And, when Rachel leaves to go on a life-changing journey to the Middle East, it seems unlikely their relationship will go any further.

Can Rachel give her heart to Jack?

Can Jack trust himself not to break it if she does?

Set against the contrasting and dramatic backdrops of the Scottish island of Skye and the contested country of Israel-Palestine, Displacement is a story of courage and love – where romance and realism meet head on.

Displacement is the first of the three books in the Rachel & Jack Skye Series.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Displacement is an addictive emotionally satisfying read, from the stark beauty of Skye to the richness of the Israeli setting and the captivating, relatable characters.

Rachel’s life finally implodes after her mother’s death. Still reeling from her husband’s infidelity, her son’s death destroys her, and her daughter’s anger leaves her believing that life is over. Jack retired after a health scare is following a dream in Skye. He misses his career and wonders if his relationship with a married woman is his only choice.

Jack and Rachel have a serendipitous meeting, but have they met for a reason?

The characters are authentic and easy to empathise. Rachel comes to terms with devastating loss and learns to forgive herself for events beyond her control. Israel is enlightening, and the setting and political climate explored well.

The dynamic between Rachel and Jack is believable, in an engaging heartwarming read of loss and love.

Anne Stormont was born in Scotland and although she has travelled all over the world – including a teaching exchange to South Africa, four trips to Australia and several visits to the Middle East – it’s where she still lives.

She began making up stories as a child in order to entertain her four wee sisters. But as an adult, being busy with motherhood and working as a teacher, it took a long time and a mortality wake-up call for her to get that first book written.

She’s a compulsive crossworder, yoga practitioner, avid reader, keen walker and enthusiastic gardener. She can be a bit of a subversive old bat, but she tries to maintain a kind heart. She also loves tea, penguins and being with her grandchildren.

Change of Life was her first novel and she has since published three more. Her books are all set in Scotland and are contemporary romances where the main characters may be slightly older but are not necessarily wiser.

You can find out more about Anne and her books at her Website 

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, Romance, Travel

Under a Siena Sun 5*#Review @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co @rararesources #UnderaSienaSun #publicatonday #Romance #Travel #Siena #Italy

Lucy needed a change of scene. She didn’t expect the change of a lifetime.

Doctors Without Borders has been Lucy Young’s life for the past four years. After being rescued from a conflict zone, she’s making a change from saving lives under gunfire to practising medicine in safe, serene Siena.

Now treating wealthy patients at a private clinic, she’s never felt less comfortable. She’s used to helping those in dire need – not those in need of a nip and tuck. Her turmoil grows when she encounters injured tennis star David Lorenzo, whose smiles make Lucy forget her aversion to the rich.

She’s soon falling for the sportsman but is she losing herself in this world of excess? All she’s ever wanted was to help the underprivileged, so can her future lie in Siena at the clinic – with David?

Amazon UK Kobo

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

My Thoughts…

This author is always good for romance, storytelling and travel. This book has all of these, but this is more than a lighthearted romantic travelogue. Lucy is a dedicated doctor working in war-torn areas of the world. The beginning sets the scene for her recent life.

Life in Italy is idyllic but conflicted for Lucy, the social inequality of healthcare disturbs her, as does her role in it. The romance with a rich reclusive man is intriguing and realistic. Vivid imagery and first-hand knowledge describe the setting, which is a sensory delight.

The perfect Summer escapist read, especially as I am writing this review amid rain and thunder.

T.A.Wiiliams

I’m a man. And a pretty old man as well. I did languages at university a long time ago and then lived and worked in France and Switzerland before going to Italy for seven years as a teacher of English. My Italian wife and I then came back to the UK with our little daughter (now long-since grown up) where I ran a big English language school for many years. We now live in a sleepy little village in Devonshire. I’ve been writing almost all my life but it was only seven years ago that I finally managed to find a publisher who liked my work enough to offer me my first contract.

The fact that I am now writing romantic comedy is something I still find hard to explain. My early books were thrillers and historical novels. Maybe it’s because there are so many horrible things happening in the world today that I feel I need to do my best to provide something to cheer my readers up. My books provide escapism to some gorgeous locations, even if travel to them is currently difficult.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Gone With The Waves Brian David Bruns 4*#Review #BrianDavidBruns #Travel #Romance #romcom @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #GoneWithTheWaves #TravelTuesday

He’s emerged as a swanky, tuxedo-wearing, cruise-ship rock star. But will it be enough to win his girlfriend’s heart?

Brian would walk the plank if it plucked Romina from her awful bottom-of-the-boat job. But knowing that their only way out of the hellish working conditions is to beat ships at their own game, he bids her adieu to learn the competitive trade of art auctioneering. And though he takes his fair share of hard knocks, he’s finally hitting the big time.

Becoming a master auctioneer, he lives like a cigar-smoking king aboard elite luxury liners with access to anything he wants. But when he returns victorious to whisk his love away to better things, Romina mysteriously refuses. And he worries that, in chasing his ambitions—regardless of good intentions—he may have lost her forever…

Can Brian persuade Romina that the world is their oyster, or will she push his grand vision overboard?

Gone with the Waves is the dramatic conclusion to the Gone with the Waves romantic comedy series, entirely of real events in the author’s life. If you like charming humor, conflicted hearts, and more twists than a whirlpool, then you’ll adore Brian David Bruns’s sweeping odyssey.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The final book in the Gone with the Waves series continues Brian and Romina’s tempestuous relationship whilst they both sail the high seas usually separately. There are emails from Romina and entries from Brian’s diary which show how hard work is on a ship, and how lonely a long distanced relationship is.

The world of an Art Auctioneer on a ship is a fascinating and glamorous one. They have the potential to make lots of money and enjoy the high kudos that goes with it. Brian risks all to succeed.

Love is rocky, and monogamy is difficult, but differences in culture mean that the love story sails on. This is a true love story, but does it have a happy-ever-after? It depends what you mean by happy and forever, but the ending surprised me.

This is full of quirky anecdotes, vibrant characters, and vivid imagery. You can experience life, love and travel without leaving your home when you read this series.

Brian David Bruns has adventured in over 60 countries to gather material for his books and won dozens of literary awards, including the USA REBA Grand Prize. Since his debut, Cruise Confidential, became a national bestseller, he has been featured on ABC 20/20, CBS Inside Edition, and in articles translated for a dozen nations.

Bruns writes of his global experiences with a self-mocking wit, an astute insight into human behavior, and a love of quirky history. After several years residing in Dracula’s hometown (yes, really), he and his Romanian wife now live in Las Vegas with their two old rescue cats, Julius and Caesar.

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Read My Review of Book 1 : From Romania With Love

Amazon UK

Read my review of book 2: Wet Orpheus

Amazon UK

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

Wet Orpheus Brian David Bruns 4*#Review #BrianDavidBruns #Travel #Romance #romcom @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #WetOrpheus #GoneWithTheWaves #TravelTuesday

He chose her over the company. He’s about to find out the real cost of romance…

Brian’s love for Romina may be strong, but he’s sailing into troubled waters. And he’s even prepared to endure torturous months apart working like a dog on another ship, if it means he can get them back together. Though he’s unprepared for the sadistic challenges his cruel new boss implements to break him body and soul.

Enduring extreme anti-Americanism, food deprivation, and 100-hour-long work weeks, Brian’s only beacon of hope is the messages sent from his soulmate. With her emails to sustain him, he vows to stay the course and outsmart the higher-ups of the cruise-line giant.

Can Brian survive the stormy conflict threatening to drown his hopes of reuniting with Romina?

Wet Orpheus is the second book in the wild Gone with the Waves romantic comedy series, entirely of true events in the author’s life. If you like insider accounts of work below deck, heart-aching emotion, and passionate love stories, then you’ll adore Brian David Bruns’s tale of overcoming impossible odds.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

After discord and separation, Brian and Romina meet again in Romania for a well deserved holiday. Each of these chapters starts with an entry from his diary, which shows how he is feeling. The chemistry is still there, his closeness with her family is evident, but he worries about the future once they return to work on separate ships. The writing is descriptive and touches on the revolution and how it affected Romina. The differences in culture and language provide some humorous and thought-provoking moments.

After the holiday they go their separate ways. This is an insightful but painful time for Brian. His fears and realisation of how much he cares are poignant.

The description of cruise ship hierarchy is informative, and there are plenty of anecdotal moments and memorable characters cruising in the Caribbean. Romina’s emails keep his fantasy alive amidst the hard, relentless work aboard ship.

This is a literary portrait of a man in love. Its sensory imagery draws the reader into the book, which has a real-life love story full of pain and passion at its heart.

Brian David Bruns has adventured in over 60 countries to gather material for his books and won dozens of literary awards, including the USA REBA Grand Prize. Since his debut, Cruise Confidential, became a national bestseller, he has been featured on ABC 20/20, CBS Inside Edition, and in articles translated for a dozen nations.

Bruns writes of his global experiences with a self-mocking wit, an astute insight into human behavior, and a love of quirky history. After several years residing in Dracula’s hometown (yes, really), he and his Romanian wife now live in Las Vegas with their two old rescue cats, Julius and Caesar.

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Read My Review of Book 1 : From Romania With Love

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Travel

The Bird in the Bamboo Cage Hazel Gaynor 4*#Review @HazelGaynor @HarperFiction #HistoricalFiction #WW2 #China #ForgottenHeroes @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #TheBirdintheBambooCage

Published August 20 in Hardback

China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.

Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.

Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Stores inspired by true-life events are always engaging. This book tells of the courage, hardship and strength of schoolchildren and their teachers who became prisoners of war in China during WW2. This historical fiction is well researched, from the recorded war events to the human experience.

This is an emotional, character-driven story told from Elspeth, teacher and Nancy, a school child’s viewpoints. It explores the atrocities, depravations and inhumanity of war. The darkness balanced by the children and their teachers’ courage, friendship and fortitude.

This book delivers a rich reading experience with intimate portrayals of relatable characters and vivid sensory imagery.

Hazel Gaynor

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Irish Times, bestselling author of historical fiction, including her debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown award. She is published in thirteen languages and nineteen countries. Hazel is co-founder of creative writing
events, The Inspiration Project, and currently lives in Ireland with her family, though originally from Yorkshire.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Travel

The Eliza Doll by Tracey Scott – Townsend 4*#Review @authortrace @Wildpressed @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #TheElizaDoll #1980s #FamilyDrama #Love #Friendship #relationships #SelfRealisation #BlogTour #BookReview

Ellie lives in a campervan with her dog, Jack, selling her handmade dolls at craft fairs. There is one doll that she can’t bear to finish until she comes to terms with the truth of what has happened.

The Eliza Doll is an uncompromising family drama about upheaval, off-grid living and living on the dole in 1980s England.

Set in East Yorkshire and Iceland from the eighties to the present.

WildPressedBooks Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a poignant story of a women’s life. It is part historical as it traces her time as a young woman in the 1980s with elements of family drama and relationships too. This is a relatable story of hardship, love and loss. It shows the relentless push forward of time and the fleeting quality of life.

Ellie appears to have muddled through life, but when she suffers unbearable tragedy and feels her best years have gone, she is easy to empathise. The grief process and the need to be valued for yourself underscores this story.

The flashbacks to the 1980s brought back memories for me too.

This engaging, lyrical story is full of angst and love with a believable and hopeful ending worthy of the main character.

Tracey-Scott-Townsend is the author of six novels — the most recent The Vagabond Mother (January 2020) and Sea Babies (May 2019) — all published by Wild Pressed Books and Inspired Quill Publishing. Reviews often describe her novels as poetic or painterly.

She is also a poet and a visual artist. She has a Fine Art MA and a BA (Hons) Visual Studies. She has exhibited paintings throughout the UK (as Tracey Scott). She has a long career as a workshop facilitator with community groups and in schools.

Tracey is co-director of an up-and-coming small independent publisher, Wild Pressed Books, which has a growing roster of authors and poets.

Mother of four grown-up children, Tracey spends as much time as possible travelling the UK and Europe in a camper van with her husband and two dogs, writing and editing while on the road. 

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Travel

From Romania with Love Brian David Bruns 4*#Review #BrianDavidBruns #Travel #Romance #Romania #romcom @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours

He found his one-and-only on land. But now that they’re at sea, will passion stay full steam ahead?

Brian never thought a single conversation could steal his heart and expand his world. But when he strikes an instant connection with a Romanian beauty, he gets swept up in a hilarious, carefree, romantic escape to her native Transylvania. So when she must leave to work on a cruise ship, he impulsively dons his sailing cap and follows her aboard.

Though he was unprepared for the grueling onboard training of new hires, his determination to be with her surpasses his awkward American moments. But as the reality of long days and seasick nights sets in, dark secrets surface that threaten to pull their courtship under…

Will Brian need a lifejacket to keep his relationship afloat?

From Romania with Love is the first book in the delightful Gone with the Waves romantic comedy series, entirely of true events in the author’s life. If you enjoy travelogue-like settings, witty banter, and reckless hearts, then you’ll adore Brian David Bruns’s continent-spanning adventure.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Humour, romance, secrets and travel are the components of this romantic comedy based on the author’s real-life experiences. The author has written the best-selling series Cruise Confidential, and this is a spin-off concentrating on his romance with the love of his life Romina.

Told informally and inclusively the reader shares the author’s love story, which has the same ups and downs, as travelling on the cruise ships. This is a delightful tale with an abundance of angst, laughter, poignancy, and romance. Being based on reality gives the story a unique appeal.

Brian David Bruns has adventured in over 60 countries to gather material for his books and won dozens of literary awards, including the USA REBA Grand Prize. Since his debut, Cruise Confidential, became a national bestseller, he has been featured on ABC 20/20, CBS Inside Edition, and in articles translated for a dozen nations.

Bruns writes of his global experiences with a self-mocking wit, an astute insight into human behavior, and a love of quirky history. After several years residing in Dracula’s hometown (yes, really), he and his Romanian wife now live in Las Vegas with their two old rescue cats, Julius and Caesar.

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