Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books

Crab, Dab & Blenny Peta Rainford 5*#Review @PetaRainford @rararesources #ChildrensBooks #picturebook #kidlit #environment #plasticpollution #savetheplanet #CrabDabandBlenny

Crab, Dab & Blenny is a fun, rhyming picture book about the serious theme of plastics in the ocean.

Fish friends Dab and Blenny are upset by the plastic that washes into their lovely rockpool home. Crab, on the other hand, just LOVES the shiny bright colour… But when Blenny gets caught in plastic twine, Crab finally understands the danger of plastics in the ocean.

Crab, Dab & Blenny is a book that celebrates friendship and the vast variety of life that exists in a quiet rockpool. Perfect for early readers or as a bedtime story for four- to eight-year-olds.

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

My Thoughts…

Brightly illustrated, likeable characters help children learn about plastic pollution and how it damages the sea’s ecosystem. The rhyming text is appealing. It encourages interest in the world they live in. It will appeal to children in the target audience of 4 to 8 years with different levels of understanding.

Easy to read with fun characters, this vibrant book engagingly delivers an important message. This book makes visiting a rock pool a great idea.

Peta Rainford

Peta writes and illustrates her funny picture books on the Isle of Wight, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and hairy jack russell, Archie. In normal times, Peta loves going into schools to share her books and inspire children in their writing and art. She has appeared at a number of festivals and other events, including: Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Exmoor Dark Skies Festival and Ventnor Fringe. She is one of the organisers of the IW Story Festival, for children and families, which takes place every February half term.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Friendship, New Books, Romance

Elle’s A to Z of Love Claire Huston 4*#Review @ClaraVal #ContemporaryRomance #Romance #EllesAtoZofLove #UpLit #romance #family #friendship #community #village #contemporaryfiction #relationships @rararesources #BookReview #BlogTour

Haileybrook, a beautiful village in the peaceful Cotswolds countryside, is most people’s idea of heaven on earth. 

Born and raised in this small slice of paradise, Elle Bea can’t wait to leave.

It should be easy, but every time she packs her bags for exotic adventures, old loves and loyalties pull her back.

Will Elle be forced to forget her dreams of far-flung places and epic romance, or can she grab one last chance to have it all?

An uplifting, romantic story about friends, family and the relationships that make a place a home.

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

My Thoughts…

Elle, the focus of this story, has always longed to leave her childhood home to achieve her dreams. However, life intervenes at the most inopportune moments, and she starts to believe she’ll never leave or find her true self.

This is an emotional story as the reader follows Elle’s life in the village. The story has a strong thread of realism with many conflicts and mistakes. Elle is a lovely character, easy to empathise with but frustrating too. The relationships are written believably.

This story reflects its title. Elle experiences the whole spectrum of love as she finally finds herself and where she’s meant to be in this lovely, entertaining and emotional story.

Claire Huston

Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. Her debut, Art and Soul, a heart-warming contemporary romance, was published in 2020. Elle’s A to Z of Love is her second novel.

A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for over a hundred sweet treats at clairehuston.co.uk. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Historical Crime Fiction, New Books

A Deadly Coincidence Keth Finney 3*#Review @lume_books @ukcozymystery #cozymystery #Norfolk #WW2 @lovebookstours @lovebooksgroup #BookTour #BookReview #Ad #Gifted #ADeadlyCoincidence #ALiptonStFaithMystery

A deadly secret in the heart of a quiet country village.

In sleepy Lipton St Faith, the locals are getting used to their new rationing books and blackout curtains. The Second World War has brought much change to the small Norfolk village, as well as Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, on a mission all the way from America. But when the local postman is found dead, suddenly the war feels much closer to home…

The police are quick to declare it an unfortunate accident, but young, spirited Anna Grix is less convinced. After striking up a fast friendship with the newly arrived American, she teams up with Eddie to dig into this apparent accident. Full of unexpected twists and turns.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Norfolk during WW2, this is a cosy style mystery. The well-described setting and pertinent historical details set the scene for the two amateur sleuths independent, vicar’s daughter Anna and American Lieutenant Eddie Elsner, to solve the death of the local postman.

The story’s quick pacing engages the reader, and there is an interesting array of characters. The mystery has the necessary twists and a surprising ending. The dynamic between the two main protagonists is amusing but a little overdone. The dialogue reflects the historical period, but like some of the characters is a little stereotypical.

Overall this is a lighthearted cosy mystery in an atmospheric setting with a partnership that could develop into something special.

Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Crime, New Books

Coldharbour John Mead 4*#Review @JohnMeadAuthor @rararesources #PoliceProcedural #CrimeFiction #EastEnd #London #BlogTour #BookReview #MondayBlogs #Coldharbour

The Met Police’s Major Investigation Team East has its hands full: a rash of tit for tat gang related stabbings, a strangled housewife, the decomposed remains of a woman found in a ditch and more to come. Adding to their woes is their boss, Chief Inspector Matthew Merry, being distracted by his problems at home.

For Matthew’s wife, Kathy, her only concern is dealing with the aftermath of being drugged and raped by a co-worker. Will the trial of the man responsible be enough to give her the justice she demands. Or, as her therapist states, is it revenge she really desires. She doesn’t know. As her emotions see-saw from elation to depression, her only certainty is that her husband seems more concerned about his work than her.

And Matthew is only too aware of his failings both at home and work. But the police machine grinds on, seeking information and sifting evidence — justice is not their concern.

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

My Thoughts

This is a well-researched and written police procedural set in London and Europe. It is gritty and disturbing in parts, reflecting the seriousness of the crimes. DCI Matthew Merry is sometimes hard to empathise with. I liked and understood him better in this book. His self-insight is honest, and he endeavours to achieve a more equitable work-life balance.

A lot is going on in this story, which adds to its authenticity. The threads of most of the cases are drawn together well as the story unfolds. The engaging writing style immerses the reader in the investigation, which has cleverly crafted characters and a knowledgeably described setting.

John was born in the mid-fifties in Dagenham, London, on part of the largest council estate ever built, and was the first pupil from his local secondary modern school to attend university. He has now taken early retirement to write, having spent the first part of his life working in education and the public sector. He was the director of a college, a senior school inspector for a local authority, and was head of a unit for young people with physical and mental health needs. When he is not travelling, going to the theatre or the pub, he writes.

John is currently working on a series of novels set in modern day London. These police procedurals examine the darker side of modern life in the East End of the city

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Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books, New Books

Bertie at the Worldwide Games 3*#Review @WendyHJones @malcolmdown illustrator Barry Diaper @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #BlogTour #BookReview #kidlit #childrensbooks #picturebook #fantasy #teamwork #BertieattheWorldwideGames

 

Bertie the Buffalo is having fun on the farm where he lives in Scotland. Then a mysterious letter arrives inviting him to represent Scotland in the Worldwide Games. Bertie and his friends fly to Tokyo where they meet new and exotic animals and try to win first prize in all the different events. Bertie is sad when he isn’t winning any medals but finds out if he works together with his friends, he will be a winner in the end.

Amazon UK



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

My Thoughts…

This fantasy children’s book focuses on worldwide games and shows children how teamwork helps them succeed. The story is written in a rhyming format that appeals to young children. The illustrations are vibrant and comical, and the text is designed to be dyslexia-friendly.

A boldly illustrated, comical story with positive messages for children about working together.

Wendy H. Jones is the award-winning author of the DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries and Cass Claymore Investigates. She lives in Scotland and is also an international public speaker and the president of the Scottish Association of Writers.

Illustrator: Barry Diaper is best known for his cartoons and caricatures for The Beano. He was once short-listed for the Daily Mail’s ‘Not the Turner Prize’. He lives in Salisbury, England.

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

Under A Sicilian Sky Lisa Hobman 5*#Review @LisaJHobmanAuth @BoldwoodBooks #boldwoodbloggers #BlogTour #BookReview @rararesources #Sicily #MondayBlogs @bookandtonic #SocialMedia #Loss #Love #Romance #celebrity #Friendship #UnderASicilianSky

Global box office sensation, Ruby Locke, is a long way from her Yorkshire roots. Together with her fiancé, movie heartthrob Tyler Harrison, they are Hollywood’s new glitterati.

Overnight, however, Ruby’s life implodes when her social media accounts are hacked with a multitude of vile posts, turning her into an international pariah. Even Tyler breaks off their engagement.

Confused and heartbroken, Ruby escapes to the beautiful island of Sicily to avoid the media scrutiny and clear her name. With only a Yorkshire Terrier to comfort her, Ruby is befriended by a handsome neighbour and slowly begins to heal.

But who is this mysterious man and what are his intentions?

When her Sicilian hideaway is compromised, Ruby is once again forced to relocate, this time to the stunning Isle of Skye.

In the tranquil cove of Glentorrin, Ruby is left questioning not only who wants to destroy her career, and why but also if celebrity lifestyle is really for her…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Ruby’s success is threatened when her social media accounts are hacked. With no effective, quick way to clear her name, she loses more than her reputation. Her career falters, and her relationship folds. Serious threats force her into hiding in Sicily.

Ruby finds friendship and self-realisation and possible romance, but not everyone is what they seem, and she has to run again. In Skye, she finds community support and friendship, and the reader is returned to the setting of the first book in this series. Ruby is likeable, if a little naive, but you empathise with her. The romance is a slow burn but lovely. The community dynamic is authentic, and the story is contemporary and relevant.

This is an entertaining romantic story with a mystery to solve, adventure and beautiful settings that immerse the reader in island life.

Lisa Hobman

Lisa Hobman has written many brilliantly reviewed women’s fiction titles – the first of which was shortlisted by the RNA for their debut novel award. In 2012 Lisa relocated her family from Yorkshire to a village in Scotland and this beautiful  backdrop now inspires her uplifting and romantic stories.

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Posted in Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Revenge Fiction, Friendship, Suspense, Thriller

#Repost Ruthless Women Melanie Blake 5*#Review @MelanieBlakeUK @HoZ_Books #BlogTour #BookReview @MidasPR #SoapOpera #Thriller #Relationships #Friendship #Revenge #suspense #RuthlessWomen #Paperback

RUTHLESS WOMEN Melanie Blake

Published by Head of Zeus
8th July 2021 | Paperback Currently £7.19

Ambition can be deadly…

Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. Once one of the world’s most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American business woman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.  

Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.

As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.

In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long held friendships apart?

As the story reaches a climax so shocking readers will be talking about it for decades, one thing is certain: only the most ruthless woman will survive… 

Amazon UK

The Genre…

Over 25 million people in the UK watch soaps a week and now they’ll get a true glimpse of what really goes on behind the scenes of TV’s most  popular shows, and examples of the desperate trade off’s their beloved leading ladies go through to survive the very game they are in. Ruthless Women shows that what takes place behind the cameras is way more juicy than on….

Even the actresses, who Melanie was worried would be angry about what she’s written, are raving about Ruthless Women too.  Well, some of them are….

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

My Thoughts…

Scandalous, sexy thrillers based on real experiences and personalities are always addictive. Ruthless Women’s vibrant characters and vivid scenarios make guessing the inspiration behind them a must. The abuse of authority and prejudice are relatable, and the intelligent way the women fight against them believable. The female characters are flawed but easy to empathise. Hidden agendas and twists make this an intriguing read.

Scandal, secrets and sex underpin the story of a ruthless boss determined to make a once top-rated show great again. The dynamic between Farrah, Catherine, Amanda and Sheena is insightful and the force behind the story. It is both their strength and weakness, which Madeline exploits to her advantage.

This story has a poignant side which gives it depth and immerses the reader into the characters lives. The noir world simmering below the surface of television’s glamorous facade is the perfect setting for this story of ambition, friendship, revenge and scandal.

The suspense builds coupled with striking sensory imagery, as the story develops and the final chapters are full of twists, with a climactic ending.

I can’t wait for the next book.

Melanie Blake

At 15 Melanie Blake dreamed of being a writer, but was told by her English teacher that the only thing she’d ever write were labels for factory boxes. Severely dyslexic, and desperate to escape a childhood of poverty and religious extremism in Stockport, she left school with no qualifications and ran away
from home.

Against all odds, Melanie managed to blag her way onto the lowest rung of the showbiz ladders, working as an extra on Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders and a camera assistant on Top Of The Pops. It was during this time that she got her first big break aged 21, when soap icon Claire King chose Melanie to be her agent. Her agency was an immediate success, and she would go on to represent the likes of Patsy Kensit, Michelle Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Emily Lloyd, Denise Welch, Jennie McAlpine, Laila Morse, Daniella Westbrook, Amanda Barrie, Gillian Taylforth and Nadia
Sawalha; earning herself the tag ‘Queen of Soaps’.

Melanie wrote her first book The Thunder Girls when she was working in the music industry as a young woman. She was told no one wanted to read a book about middle aged female singers on a comeback tour and so it wasn’t until 2019, twenty years after she first put pen to paper, that The Thunder Girls was finally published by Pan Macmillan, becoming an Amazon number one bestseller. She adapted it for the stage herself and it went on to break box office records for a new work at the prestigious Lowry Theatre.

Her second novel, Ruthless Women has been an even bigger success, going straight into the Sunday Times hardback fiction chart at number four, staying in the top ten for a month, and also charting in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as foreign language translation rights being picked up by Russia, Romania and Hungary; meaning Melanie Blake is going global. Ruthless Women is inspired by Melanie’s behind-the-scenes knowledge of British soap operas. In the UK alone, over 25 million people a week currently tune in to watch the very stars Melanie represents in their globally syndicated shows. They say write about what you know, and in Ruthless Women, Melanie certainly has.

Melanie still represents some of the best-known faces on British television but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a columnist, producer, author and playwright. She lives in London and is available for interview and to write features, and this woman has got a lot of stories!

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Fiction, Mystery, New Books, Paranormal, Romance

The Last Daughter Nicola Cornick 5* #Review @NicolaCornick @HQStories #HistFic #timeslip #WaroftheRoses #supernatural #romance #Mystery #intrigue #secrets #family #BlogTour #BookReview #TheLastDaughter

A secret hidden in the past.A family bound by a dark legacy…

Ever since her sister disappeared eleven years ago, Serena Warren has been running from a ghost, haunted by what she can’t remember about that night.

When Caitlin’s body is discovered, Serena returns to her grandfather’s house, nestled beside the ruins of Minster Lovell Hall in Oxfordshire, determined to uncover the truth. But in returning to the place of her childhood summers, Serena stands poised at the brink of a startling discovery – one that will tie her family to a centuries-old secret…

Taking readers from the present day to the Wars of the Roses in the 1400s, and with an enthralling mystery at its heart, The Last Daughter is a spellbinding novel about family secrets.
____

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

A dual timeline novel set in Oxfordshire following the lives of Anne Lovell during the War of the Roses historical period and Serena, in current times, drawn to the area when her twin sister’s body is discovered. The two stories are linked believably, and the supernatural element is well written.

The historical element brings this tumultuous period of English history to vibrant life. The intrigue, mysteries and politics are dramatised fascinatingly. Serena tries to discover what happened to her sister as she researches her family history. Her memories return as she connects with the place and its past.

This is an absorbing story, both timelines draw the reader into their worlds, and the connections between the two are perfectly woven.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Horror Fiction, New Books, Noir, Psychological Suspense, Psychological Thriller, Thriller

The Runner P.R.Black 5*#Review @Aria_Fiction @PatBlack9 #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #CrimeFiction #horror #BlogTour #TheRunner #BookReview

You can’t escape him.

He abducts lone joggers and forces them to run for their lives. When he catches them, he pulls out his blade…

Now he’s locked away and will be in prison for years. They call him a psychopath, a murderer, the ‘Woodcutter Killer’.

But what if you just found out you’re supposed to call him father?

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

My Thoughts…

This is powerful psychological suspense with authentic characters and a compelling investigation that is addictive reading. Freya finds out her previously unknown father is in prison and possibly a notorious killer. She is determined to discover the truth. What follows is a true-crime investigation with two unlikely detectives and some grisly discoveries. Some of the descriptions are graphic but are integral to the twisty plot and impactful ending.

Pat Black is kind to spiders.

He is the author of The Long Dark Road and the Amazon bestsellers, The Beach House and The Family.

His short stories have been shortlisted for awards including the Bridport Prize and the Bloody Scotland short story competition. He was also longlisted for the William Hazlitt essay prize.

He was named one of the winners of The Daily Telegraph’s Ghost Stories competition, and his work has been performed on stage in London by Liars’ League.

He lives in Yorkshire, but will always belong to Glasgow. He knows full well what your opinions are about people who talk about themselves in the third person.

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Posted in Book Review, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Romance, Romantic Comedy

Secrets on the Italian Island T.A.Williams 5*#Review @TAWilliamsBooks @canelo_co #RomCom #Romance #Friendship #Elba #EscapetoTuscany #SecretsontheItalianIsland #PublicationDay #BookReview #Labrador @rararesources #Geologist #Environmentalist

Her work has got in the way of relationships before – but never like this

Anna’s job as a geologist takes her all over the world, including to the beautiful island of Elba, where she’s sent to look for precious metals. And the island isn’t the only thing that’s gorgeous – she can’t believe her luck when she meets windsurfer Marco and sparks fly.

But Anna must keep her role on Elba a secret to avoid upsetting the locals, which means lying to Marco even as they grow closer. When her old friend Toby visits, Anna suddenly finds herself torn between the attentions of the two men. However, Anna’s not the only one keeping secrets.

Is Marco being entirely honest with her? And why did Toby really come to visit?

A fun and escapist romance.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The perfect book to escape a rainy day. This story follows Anna, a geologist on the Island of Elba seeking rare geological treasures. There is a good mix of humour, mystery and romance in this story. Complex characters with secrets, not immediately obvious, to Anna add to the story’s conflicts. Anna’s life has lacked romance, but Elba is rich in men as well as minerals. Her encounters with Jack and Labrador George are insightful and poignant, adding emotional depth to this romantic comedy.

This is a heartwarming travel romance with vibrant characters, vivid settings and gentle romance.

T.A.Williams

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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