Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Family Drama, Friendship, Holiday Romance, Mystery, Romance, Travel

Aegean Sun: The Kafenion Stephanie Wood #BookPromo @stephaniewooduk @rararesources #AegeanSun #GreekIslands

The Kafenion has much more to offer than just coffee and cake!

The Kafenion is undergoing its regular seasonal change from traditional coffee shop and local hangout to summertime hotspot for the massive influx of tourists who visit the Greek island each year.

The furniture has been updated, the new signs for more specific coffee types have been installed, the basic cookies have been replaced with a tempting range of cakes and desserts and a fresh coat of paint has added an optimistic glow to the place, which always attracts the many visitors who are looking for a treat.

Jane has been working on the island for a few years and finds a job in the kafenion for her friend Helen, who is hoping for some fun and romance during the summer.

Xenon and Kyriakos both make regular deliveries of fresh produce to the kafenion and they find other reasons to want to visit when Jane and Helen are around, but are they both interested in the same girl?

Georgina discovers the kafenion while searching for information from her mother’s past, but does Pericles have all the answers or will he just cause more confusion?

Visit the kafenion during a Greek summer season to see how the staff and their regulars navigate their way through complex working and romantic relationships.
This is the eleventh book of standalone reads in the Aegean Sun series.

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Stephanie Wood

Stephanie Wood writes contemporary fiction in the form of novels, novellas and short stories and you can find the running order of her titles on the ‘look inside’ of any book.

She published the AEGEAN SUN series of books as a fly-on-the-wall vision of life in a Greek resort during the summer season, using her extensive experience as a holiday rep to bring some unusual incidents to life on the page. The series began as an exploration of the various ways in which tourists make the most of their holidays and how they interact with the locals while they are visiting. The later books in the series have taken a closer look at the locals themselves and show how their lives and relationships are sometimes changed by the regular influx of seasonal visitors.

The CHRISTMAS ON THE CLOSE series is set in a British suburban cul-de-sac over the festive period and visits each house individually to discover how the neighbours who live there celebrate the season in their own special way.

Stephanie lives in Lancashire where, apart from reading and writing, she loves gardening and cycling and is a huge fan of the soaps Emmerdale and Neighbours. If you would like to sign up to her newsletter list (with around four messages per year) you can do so on the contact page of her website and, as a thank you, will receive the free short story THE ZIA SUNSET EXCURSION.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Romance

The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse 5*#Review @KatieGAuthor @HQStories @rararesources #BlogTour #BookReview #Family #Romance #Community #SecondChances #Mystery #Secrets #TheSecretsofMeadowFarmHouse

Escape to the countryside with a heart-warming new novel from Katie Ginger, author of Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage.

Amelia loves her life in Paris. But with the surprise inheritance of her childhood home, Meadow Farmhouse, she has no choice but to return to the small village of Meadowbank to restore her great-aunt’s old farmhouse. However returning to Meadowbank means she has to confront her past, including old flame Adam.

When Amelia discovers a locket hidden in the farmhouse, containing the picture of a mysterious World War Two soldier, she starts to uncover the secrets of her great-aunt’s past and is drawn further into village life. Shocked by the warm welcome from the villagers and her own surprising feelings for first love Adam, Amelia is suddenly confused as to where she truly belongs.

Can Amelia finally confront her own past and find where her heart truly calls home?

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

All old houses have secrets, and Meadow Farmhouse is no different. When Amelia returns to her childhood home to sort out her unexpected inheritance, she finds a clue to her great-aunt’s past. Her childhood was not a happy one, but back at the place where she grew up, she is determined to evaluate her life and finding out why Vera seemed incapable of love is a part of this. Solving the mystery of Vera’s past adds depth to this story.

Amelia’s journey of self-discovery catalysed by returning home to Meadow Farm is an emotional one. Adam, her first love, is still in the village. The rekindling of their friendship, and the sparks of something more, add a believable touch of romance.

The villagers are an interesting mix of characters that populate a quintessential English village. They add gossip, humour and vibrancy to the story and make it authentic. Gentle pacing reflects village life.

This is an engaging story that immerses you in the details of village life and life choices, perfect escapist reading.

Katie Ginger

KATIE GINGER lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse  is her seventh novel. She is also the author of theSwallowtail Bayseries – Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay and Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Cozy Mystery, Friendship, Humour, Mystery, New Books

Acts of Kindness Heather Barnett 4*#Review @WritesHeather @SerpentineBooks @rararesources #cozymystery #humour #village #mystery #BlogTour #BookReview #ActsofKindness

Dream Job. Fresh Start. Big Mistake.

When Bella Black arrives in a sleepy Wiltshire village, it seems like the perfect place for a new start: a lovely home, exciting job and an attractive colleague or two to take her mind off her recent divorce.

When people start disappearing, she realises she holds the key to a mystery bigger than she could have ever imagined.

Who is really pulling the strings at the secretive OAK Institute?

Can anyone be trusted?

Will Bella make the right choices before its too late?

Amazon UK Bookshop.org Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

Acts of Kindness has vibrant characters and an engaging cosy style of mystery. The chance of a dream job is just what Bella needs, but things are more complex than she thought. Bella undertakes some amateur sleuthing with amusing and sometimes dangerous outcomes.

Eccentric characters and mysterious goings-on make this an amusing escapist read.

Heather Barnett

Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.

Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.

Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.

Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.

Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Book Review, Crime, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Find You First Linwood Barclay 5*#Review @linwood_barclay @HQStories #BloggerDay #BookReview #suspense #mystery #thriller #CrimeFiction #FindYouFirst

Tech billionaire Miles has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of – except time. Now facing a terminal illness, Miles knows he must seize every minute to put his life in order. And that means taking a long hard look at his past.  

Somewhere out there, Miles has children. And they might be about to inherit both the good and bad from him – possibly his fortune, or possibly something more sinister. So Miles decides to track down his missing children.  

But a vicious killer is one step ahead of him. One by one, people are vanishing. Not just disappearing, every trace of them is wiped. 

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an immersive, intense and intricate psychological suspense. Miles, a successful app developer, discovers he has a degenerative inherited condition. Time is running out he wants to find his possible children, warn them and let them share in his wealth. There are numerous conflicts to this aim, but some surmounted with money, but why are his heirs disappearing?

This story has multiple characters, and points of view, which gives the reader an omnipotent view of events but no not every point of view is trustworthy, and this story has plenty of false leads. The suspense builds throughout, and the ending delivers shocks and surprises. The answers are in the story but well disguised by clever plotting, and fast pace. It’s a story that draws on contemporary themes and resonates.

Posted in Blog Tour, Guest post, Literary Fiction, Literary Humour, Mystery, New Books

Just Bea Deborah Klee #GuestPost @DeborahKlee @rararesources #homeless #uplit #selfdiscovery #mystery #BlogTour

Sometimes you have to stop trying to be like everyone else and just be yourself.

Bea Stevens and Ryan O Marley are in danger of falling through the cracks of their own lives; the only difference between them is that Bea doesn’t know it yet.

When her world is shaken like a snow-globe, Bea has to do what she does best; adapt. Homeless man Ryan is the key to unlocking the mystery of her friend Declan’s disappearance but can she and Ryan trust one another enough to work together? 

As the pieces of her life settle in new and unexpected places, like the first fall of snow, Bea must make a choice: does she try to salvage who she was or embrace who she might become?

Just Bea takes the reader on a heart-warming journey from the glamour of a West End store to the harsh reality of life on the streets and reminds us all that home really is where the heart is.

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Just Bea -Homelessness Guest Post Deborah Klee

I was inspired to write Just Bea as there were two occasions when women I knew said that they were tempted to offer a temporary home to a homeless man. The first was a single woman whose two children had left home for university. She came across a young man, a similar age to her absent son, who was living in a tent. It was winter and her heart went out to him. She seriously considered offering him a home rent free, until her children talked her out of it as they didn’t want their mother putting herself at risk.

Several years later a gentle, caring woman who lived in my village told me about a homeless man who had been sleeping rough in our neighbourhood. This was an unusual occurrence in our little community. This woman befriended the man, buying him food and giving him books to read. As she came to know him better, she was tempted to offer him a room in her house. Again, friends and family advised her not to do so as they felt it was unsafe.

I can understand how a compassionate woman might be persuaded to invite a homeless man into her home. Bea Stevens, the protagonist in my story has more reason than most: Ryan, the homeless man, is known and trusted by her friend Declan, Bea has had too much to drink at the office party and so her judgement is impaired, she spilt hot chocolate over Ryan’s sleeping bag, and it is snowing heavily.

‘Why don’t you sleep in my spare bedroom tonight?’ Bea blurted out and immediately regretted it. She didn’t know anything about him. But he was a close friend of Declan, and she owed it to Declan. It was too cold for Ryan to sleep outside.

            Ryan looked as though he too was surprised by her suggestion. ‘Because you’re a single girl. A slightly inebriated single girl. I’ve got a little sister, about your age. I would be telling her not to let a strange man into her home on any account – no matter what the circumstances.’

            But he’s not a stranger, Bea thought, and then she decided if Declan trusted him, then so could she. ‘Please. It would make me feel better about spilling hot chocolate on your sleeping bag. I could pop it in my washing machine and it’ll be dry by the morning.’

            ‘I’m not sure. This’ll be the booze a talking. You’ll wake up, forget you invited me in, and scream blue murder.’

            They looked at each other, each weighing up the risks. The snow whirled in the light of a street lamp and Ryan pulled his jacket closer around him. ‘I’d better be off. This isn’t going to let up.’

            ‘That settles it,’ Bea said. ‘Come inside before we both freeze to death.’

One day when I was walking across London Bridge on my way to work, I noticed a young Mediterranean looking man huddled in a blanket. I looked closely at his face and imagined him as a tour guide, a gondolier on a Venice canal, anything but a homeless man. He could have been anything. Anyone. He mattered. At that time, I was too shy to talk to him. Further along the bridge I noticed a woman ask another homeless man whether he would like a tea or coffee. I chased after the woman and asked her whether her offer was welcomed by homeless people or refused. She assured me that it was always appreciated. From that day on, I have always offered to buy a drink and sometimes food for the people I meet who are living on the street. It has also helped me in my research. One man told me that by listening to him I had given him all that he needed.

Everyone who becomes homeless has a story. It is easy to fall through the gaps as Bea and Ryan discovered in Just Bea.

Deborah Klee

Deborah has worked as an occupational therapist, a health service manager, a freelance journalist, and management consultant in health and social care.

Her protagonists are often people who exist on the edges of society. Despite the very real, but dark, subject matter her stories are uplifting, combining pathos with humour. They are about self-discovery and the power of friendships and community.

Just Bea is her second novel. Her debut The Borrowed Boy was published last year.

Deborah lives on the Essex coast. When she is not writing she combines her love of baking with trying to burn off the extra calories.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Historical Crime Fiction, Murder Mystery, Mystery

To the Dark Chris Nickson 4*#Review A Simon Westow Mystery @ChrisNickson2 @SevernHouse #TotheDark #historical #crimefiction #mystery @RandomTTours

Winter is about to take a chilling twist…

Thief-taker Simon Westow is drawn into a deadly puzzle when the melting snow reveals a dark secret in this gripping historical mystery, perfect for fans of Anne Perry and Charles Finch.

Leeds, 1822. The city is in the grip of winter, but the chill deepens for thief-taker Simon Westow and his young assistant, Jane, when the body of Laurence Poole, a petty local thief, emerges from the melting snow by the river at Flay Cross Mill.

A coded notebook found in Laurence’s room mentions Charlie Harker, the most notorious fence in Leeds who’s now running for his life, and the mysterious words: To the dark. What was Laurence hiding that caused his death? Simon’s hunt for the truth pits him against some dangerous, powerful enemies who’ll happily kill him in a heartbeat – if they can.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This historical crime mystery is atmospheric, menacing and realistic. It brings the crime-filled streets of nineteenth-century Leeds vividly to life. The third book in the series it provides adequate character backstory and relationship dynamics to make it readable as a standalone. The characters are shady even the protagonists have pasts and secrets. The story has many twists.

Seamlessly woven historical details immerse the reader in the place and time of this enjoyable story.

Chris Nickson

Chris Nickson has published 28 novels, all historical crime, most of them set in Leeds, whose people and history are his passion. The Richard Nottingham series began things, taking place in the 1730s, followed by the Tom Harper novels, which begin in 1890 and have now moved to the 20th century. Between them, Lottie Armstrong, Urban Raven and Dan Markham cover Leeds from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The three books featuring thief-taker Simon Westow explore a changing Leeds, growing rapidly in the 1820s as industry – the factories and mills and belching chimneys – comes to dominate the town. The Hocus Girl, the second in the series, received starred reviews from Kirkus, which called it a “tour de force,” and Publishers Weekly, which declared “historical mysteries don’t get much better than this.’

Chris grew up in Leeds, but lived in the US for many years, making his living as a music journalist. He still reviews occasional releases, but his focus these days is fiction.

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

Her Banished Knight’s Redemption Melissa Oliver 5* #Review @melissaoauthor @MillsandBoon @HarlequinBooks @rararesources #HarlequinHistorical #MillsandBoonHistorical #BlogTour #BookReview #NotoriousKnights

A lady’s need for protection 
A knight’s chance for redemption

Exiled Knight William Geraint answers only to himself. Yet, a mission to find and reunite lost heiress Lady Isabel de Clancey with her family is Will’s chance to finally atone for the torment of his past. With every rushed mile, their intense attraction becomes dangerously thrilling. He swore to protect Isabel not seduce her, but their desire for each other could threaten the redemption he’s worked so hard to achieve…

Mills and Boon Harlequin Books Amazon UK Amazon

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

My Thoughts…

This is a historical tale of betrayal, chivalry, mystery and romance set in the 13th century. A daring rescue of a young girl by a young squire forms a bond between Isabel and William. Meeting again twelve years later, they undertake a dangerous journey to solve a mystery and find love.

With its adventure atmospheric historical setting and chivalrous romance, this is an exciting tale. This is a complete story but is the second book in the Notorious Knights series.

Melissa Oliver

Melissa Oliver is from south-west London where she writes historical romance novels. She lives with her lovely husband and daughters, who share her passion for decrepit, old castles, palaces and all things historical.
Melissa is the WINNER of The Romantic Novelist Association’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers 2020 for her debut, The Rebel Heiress and the Knight –  Book 1 Notorious Knights.

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Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Travel, Young Adult

The Island C.L.Taylor 4* #Review @callytaylor @HQStories Narrators Olivia Dowd, Sam Newton, Sarah Ovens, HQ Young Adult #YA #Romance #Teen #Mystery #Psychological #Suspense # audiobook #Relationships #Phobias #BlogTour #FridayMorning #Thailand #TheIsland #HarperCollinsAudioUK

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful story about six teenagers marooned on an island. Their darkest fears materialise as someone is turning paradise into hell. The characters are authentic and behave relatably. After witnessing an adult tragedy, the team dynamics start to crumble. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses rule each of the teenagers’ motivations. A vividly portrayed island setting is integral to the suspense. The dual point of views are both unreliable protagonists can their accounts be trusted?

The story has psychological suspense and insights into team dynamics and how stress affects individuals and the group. There are poignant moments and twists with a satisfying ending. It’s a fast-paced read which keeps you turning the pages.

The audiobook’s narrators bring the characters to life the different people and their changing emotions and reactions to each other are easy to discern. The narration is professional and builds the suspense and tension in the story well. It’s an easy book to listen to, and you soon become involved in the action and emotions

This audiobook is an addictive medley of naivety and noir that will appeal to its intended audience and adults who like psychological suspense and atmospheric settings.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Travel, Young Adult

The Island C.L.Taylor 4* #Review @callytaylor @HQStories #YA #Romance #Teen #Mystery #Psychological #Suspense #BookReview #BlogTour #FridayReads #Thailand #TheIsland

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re becoming a reality.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a suspenseful story about six teenagers marooned on an island. Their darkest fears materialise as someone is turning paradise into hell. The characters are authentic and behave relatably. After witnessing an adult tragedy, the team dynamics start to crumble. Vulnerabilities and weaknesses rule each of the teenagers’ motivations. A vividly portrayed island setting is integral to the suspense. The dual point of views are both unreliable protagonists can their accounts be trusted?

The story has psychological suspense and insights into team dynamics and how stress affects individuals and the group. There are poignant moments and twists with a satisfying ending. It’s a fast-paced read which keeps you turning the pages.

It’s an addictive medley of naivety and noir that will appeal to its intended audience and adults who like psychological suspense and atmospheric settings.

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.

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