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

The Promise Emma Heatherington 5*#Review @emmalou13 @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #Family #Romance #IrishFiction #Friendship #Love #relationships #loss #life #serendipity #BookReview #BlogTour #ThePromise

Some bonds can never be broken

One terrible moment changes everything for teenagers Kate and David. Brought together during the darkest of times, a spark of hope is ignited between them – a hand held in the darkness, a promise whispered. Neither of them will ever forget those moments.

It’s another ten years before they meet once more, and their lives are now so different. The promise they made to each other on that fateful day still binds them, but now they have so much more to lose.

Have they missed their one chance at happiness?

The only way they will ever know is to risk everything to be together. Is that too high a price to pay for love…?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins UK- Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This author writes about emotion and heartbreak in such an engaging way. The reader is immersed in the characters’ troubled lives, hoping they find the happiness they deserve. This story has these qualities the plot deepens with historical detail and experience of Ireland in the late 1990s. The story is relatable and thought-provoking. It explores Kate and David’s developing relationship from devastation and loss in an insightful and uplifting way. A believable and vividly brought to life setting makes the story memorable.

Emma Heatherington

Emma Heatherington has penned more than thirty educational short films, plays and musicals as well as eleven novels, two of which were written under the pseudonym Emma Louise Jordan.

Emma’s novel, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, was an eBook bestseller in both the UK and US.

She lives in her native Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her partner Jim McKee and their children Jordyn, Jade, Dualta, Adam and Sonny James.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Crime, Detective, New Books, Noir

Black Reed Bay Rod Reynolds 5*#Review @Rod_WR @OrendaBooks #DetectiveCaseyWray @RandomTTour #MeetCasey #BlackReedBay #BlogTour #DontTrustAnyone #BookReview #CrimeFiction #Detective #noir

Don’t trust ANYONE…

When a young woman makes a distressing middle-of-the-night call to 911, apparently running for her life in a quiet, exclusive beachside neighbourhood, miles from her home, everything suggests a domestic incident.

Except no one has seen her since, and something doesn’t sit right with the officers at Hampstead County PD. With multiple suspects and witnesses throwing up startling inconsistencies, and interference from the top threatening the integrity of the investigation, lead detective Casey Wray is thrust into an increasingly puzzling case that looks like it’s going to have only one ending…

And then the first body appears…and Casey’s investigation plunges her into a darkness she could never have imagined…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set in Long Island, this is a well-researched, atmospheric and immersive story featuring Detective Casey Wray. A driven, intelligent and believable character. She has the necessary insight and intuition for a good detective. Hampered by the political manoeuvring of her superiors, she has to battle to solve her cases.

Embroiled in the investigation, the reader has numerous suspects and misdirections to ponder. The plot keeps its secrets until the author reveals them in an impactful way. The detectives’ frustration and the underlying menace resonate.

Vivid sensory imagery draws the reader into a world where good and evil merge.

Rod Reynolds

Rod Reynolds is the author of four novels, including the Charlie Yates series.
His 2015 debut, The Dark Inside, was longlisted for the CWA New Blood Dagger, and was followed by Black Night Falling (2016) and Cold Desert Sky (2018); the Guardian has called the books ‘pitch-perfect American noir ’. A lifelong Londoner, Rod’s first novel set in his hometown, entitled Blood Red City, was published by Orenda Books in 2020.
Rod previously worked in advertising as a media buyer, and holds an MA in novel writing from City University London. He lives with his wife and family and spends most of his time trying to keep up with his two young daughters. Follow him on Twitter @Rod_WR.



Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, New Books

Daughters of War Dinah Jefferies 5*#Review @DinahJefferies @HarperFiction @fictionpubteam @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #France #Sisters #WW2 #DaughterofWar #MondayBlogs

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

The first book in this historical fiction trilogy set in WW2 is an emotional and sensory delight. Cleverly created characters draw the reader into their tumultuous lives in occupied France. The story focuses on three sisters living in an idyllic setting in Dordogne, France, which is blighted by enemy occupation and the ravages of war. Hélène, the eldest, a nurse and surrogate mother to the younger women. Elise, the rebel whose courage leads to impulsive acts that may have far-reaching repercussions and Florence, the youngest, a dichotomy of practicality and dreamer.

The beautifully described setting is evocative of the place and time. Intricate world-building and historical details bring the characters and setting to authentic and vibrant life. The plot reflects the dangers and deprivations of war in an immersive way. Empathy is the reader’s paramount emotion, as the sisters and the community try to maintain hope and humanity in dire circumstances. Emotive and thought-provoking, it resonates.

Dinah Jefferies
Posted in Book Review

Wolf Tones JJ Marsh 3*#Review @JJMarsh1 @RandomTTours #Psychological #Suspense #Thriller #Orchestra #Salzburg #WolfTones #BookReview #BlogTour

You escaped the past. Here comes the present.

Fifteen years ago, Rolf was destined for the gutter.

His luck has changed. Now a cellist with the Salzburg City Orchestra, he has his dream job and dizzying prospects.

All because of her.

Smart, sexy, well connected and crazy about him, Leonor is his fantasy woman. She made him and he’ll never forget it.

Neither will she.

She chooses Rolf’s diet, his friends, his decisions and career path. She knows best. When does a champion turn controller?

While he submits to domination at home, he struggles at work. The maestro is determined to break down and rebuild his new cellist. Clash after clash shatter Rolf’s confidence until he doubts everything about himself.

Then a rumour reaches his ear. Has he misjudged his new friends? Is something more sinister pulling the orchestra’s strings?

Regardless of the drama behind the scenes, the show must go on. It’s the only way to escape his past.

A classic artist, Rolf presents the best side of himself, hiding the pain of imperfection. A strategy with devastating results.

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Set mainly in Salzburg, focusing on a professional orchestra. Relationships, both personal and professional, control and power are the predominant themes in this story. The setting is vividly described, and the reader gets a good sense of place through the sensory imagery. The vivacity extends to the characters, some of who are unlikeable. Unreliable protagonists mean that it’s hard to decipher lies from the truth. The dynamics within the orchestra are fascinatingly described. This book focuses on issues of control and is disturbing reading.

It has originality and a rawness that will appeal to many readers.

J.J. Marsh

As an English teacher, actor, director and cultural trainer, I’ve lived and worked all over Europe. Now I’m a full-time author, publisher and audiobook narrator.

My crime novels in the Beatrice Stubbs Series have become international bestsellers.

Psychological dramas Odd Numbers (shortlisted for the 2021 Bookbrunch Selfies Prize) and Wolf Tones dig deep into the world of emotional dependence.

The Run and Hide Thrillers chase a hunted woman around the world.

I live in Switzerland with my husband and dog, taking advantage of the landscape, languages, Prosecco and cheese.

Website Twitter Facebook

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, New Books, saga

Olympus Texas Stacey Swann 4*#Review @StaceySwann @wnbooks @orionbooks #OlympusTexas @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #LiteraryFiction #Saga #Family #Mythology

A boisterous, big-hearted, thoroughly modern family saga set in Texas, in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare and secrets explode.

When March Briscoe returns to East Texas two years after he was caught having an affair with his brother’s wife, the Briscoe family becomes once again the talk of the small town of Olympus. His mother, June, hardly welcomes him back with open arms. Her husband’s own past affairs have made her tired of being the long-suffering spouse. Is it, perhaps, time for a change?

But within days of March’s arrival, someone is dead, marriages are upended, and even the strongest of alliances are shattered. In the end, the ties that hold them together might be exactly what drag them all down.

Olympus, Texas combines the archetypes of Greek and Roman mythology with the psychological complexity of a messy family. After all, at some point, we all wonder: what good is this destructive force we call love?

A big-hearted debut with technicolour characters, plenty of Texas swagger, a powder keg of a plot, Olympus, Texas is filled with all the ingredients of a great American novel: big family, dark secrets, adultery, betrayal, messy relationships, rage, grace, shocking revelations, addiction, pain and redemption. Perfect for fans of Meg Wolitzer’s The Uncoupling, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible andClaire Lombardo’s The Most Fun We Ever Had.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from W&N Books in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The story draws the reader into the Briscoe family’s life and the surrounding community, of Olympus Texas, with the first few pages of vivid description and vibrant characterisation. From the outset, it’s clear they are not a happy family, but despite this bound by powerful emotions.

The parallels with mythological characters give the story added depth and interest. The family members are driven, and in most cases, unbending. Their behaviour mirrors the attitudes of the gods they represent.

The quotes, and chapters that explore the event that define the characters, are particularly illuminating. Whilst many of the characters are unlikeable, the story is addictive and compelling. The relatively fast pacing holds the reader’s interest.

This is an original blend of family drama and ancient mythology in a setting that complements both.

Stacey Swann

Stacey Swann holds an MFA from Texas State University and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She is a native Texan. Olympus, Texas is her first novel and will be published in the USA by Doubleday Books in May 2021.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Friendship, Historical Fiction, New Books, Parenting and Famlies, Political Thriller, Romance, Saga, Travel

Soul Sisters Lesley Lokko 4* #Review @panmacmillan #LesleyLokko @RandomTTours #SoulSisters #HistoricalFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Sisters #Politics #SouthAfrica #Family #Friendship #Secrets #BlogTour #BookReview

Two women raised as sisters. Bound by a secret that could tear them apart . . .

Since childhood, Jen and South African-born Kemi have lived like sisters in the McFadden family home in Edinburgh, brought together by a shared family history which stretches back generations. The ties that bind them are strong and complicated.

Solam Rhoyi is from South Africa’s black political elite. Handsome and charismatic, he meets both Kemi and Jen on a trip to London and sweeps them off their feet. Kemi, captivated by Solam and wanting to discover more about her past, travels to South Africa for the first time. Jen, seeking an escape from her father’s overbearing presence, decides to go with her.

In Johannesburg, it becomes clear that Solam is looking for the perfect wife to facilitate his soaring political ambitions. And as the real story behind Jen and Kemi’s connection threatens to emerge, Solam’s choice will have devastating consequences for them both…

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is a compelling and complex, mainly historical saga that spans continents and cultures. At its core is the sisterly bond between two women who grew up together despite having different birthplaces, cultural identities and families. The story begins in Southern Rhodesia in 1921 and concludes in 2010 in Cape Town. Short chapters and parts propel the reader through family history and political change until we reach the time when the sisterly bond is tested and family secrets revealed.

Well researched historical details and realistically crafted characters make this an absorbing read. It does move through time quickly, but the story’s focus is on the sisters and how their bond is tested. Solam is a pivotal character who represents South Africa’s changing political climate. His political ambition makes him manipulative and ruthless, especially in his interactions with the soul sisters.

This book takes the reader on an emotional journey filled with betrayal, love and secrets. It explores culture, family, identity and political change with rich sensory imagery and believable characters that bring the story to vibrant life.

Lesley Lokko

Lesley Lokko is a Ghanaian-Scottish architect, academic and novelist, formerly Dean of Architecture at City College of New York, who has lived and worked on four continents. Lesley’s bestselling novels include Soul Sisters, Sundowners, Rich Girl, Poor Girl and A Private Affair. Her novels have been translated into sixteen languages and are captivating stories about powerful people, exploring themes of racial and cultural identity.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Contemporary Fiction, Family Drama, Literary Humour, New Books

The Black Dress Deborah Moggach 4*#Review #DeborahMoggach @TinderPress @headlinepg #Age #Women #Relationships #Humour @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Tinder Press in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Reading the blurb for this story evoked a whole series of images in my mind, which compelled me to read the book. The reader is introduced into Pru’s life when she buys the black dress, and then the reasons for her purchase are revealed intimately and insightfully from the main protagonist.

The writing style is full of sensory imagery, which makes it an easy read. Pru is a conflicted but fascinating character. She appears transparent in her revelations but is really an unreliable narrator. What comes across strongly in this story is her loneliness and how it defines her. Whilst she enjoys a series of adventures, many of which end badly, her need for companionship and identity motivates her.

Sophisticated humour and wit make this an engaging read, but it’s the underlying sadness that resonates.

Deborah Moggach
Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Crime, Icelandic Noir, International Thriller, Noir, Nordic Noir, Psychological Suspense, Scandinavian Crime

Girls Who Lie Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir 4*#Review @evaaegisdottir @OrendaBooks #Translator Victoria Cribb #ForbiddenIceland #GirlsWhoLie #IcelandicNoir #RandomThingsTours @annecater @GoldsboroBooks #BlogTour #BookReview

At once a startling, tense psychological thriller, and a
sophisticated and twisty police procedural from a rising star in
Icelandic literature

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the
childhood of a girl who never was like the others…

Amazon UK Orenda Books

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

My Thoughts…

The second in the Forbidden Iceland series is a multi-layered plot with clever twists and believably crafted characters. Chilling, compelling and complex, it keeps the reader engaged. An absorbing balance of psychological suspense and police procedural, the Icelandic setting reflects the story’s noir ethos. The reader gets to know the investigation team and what motivates them. This is an emotional, poignant and thought-provoking story.

Eva Bjorg AEgisdottir

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir studied for an MSc in globalisation in Norway before returning to Iceland and deciding to write a novel – something she had wanted to do since she won a short-story competition at the age of fifteen.

After nine months combining her writing with work as a stewardess and
caring for her children, Eva finished The Creak on the Stairs. It was published in 2018, and became a bestseller in Iceland. It also went on to win the Blackbird Award, a prize set up by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson to encourage new Icelandic crime writers. It was published in English by Orenda Books in 2020.


Eva lives in Reykjavík with her husband and three children and is currently working on the third book in the Forbidden Iceland series.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Humour, Literary Humour, Murder Mystery, Mystery, New Books

Death and Croissants Ian Moore 4*#Review @MonsieurLeMoore @farragobooks @BGLitAgency @RandomTTours #cozymystery #France #Rural #MurderMystery #humour #mystery #FolletValleyMystery #DeathandCroissants #BlogTour #BookReview #publicationday

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

This is an originally styled cosy mystery set in rural France with an unexciting Englishman and a mysterious French woman as the amateur sleuths. The writing is full of sensory imagery, which makes the reading experience enjoyable. It’s easy to imagine the characters and settings. It would translate well to television.

Richard is eccentric and innately humorous. Valerie is glamorous and secretive, and they form an unlikely but mutually beneficial crime-fighting alliance. Whilst the plot is simple, the characters’ dialogue and the vividly described action make this enjoyable.

Ian Moore

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian, known for his sharp, entertaining punditry. A TV/radio regular, he stars in Dave’s satirical TV show Unspun and Channel 5’s topical comedy Big Mouths. He is also the author of two memoirs on life in France. À la Mod and C’est Modnifique. Ian lives in the Loire and commutes back to the UK every week. In his spare time, he makes mean chutneys and jams.

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

A Murder At Rosings Annette Purdey Pugh 4*#Review @APurdeyPugh @honno @RandomTTours #MurderMystery #JaneAusten #CrimeFiction #HistFic #BlogTour #BookReview #AMurderAtRosings

Amazon UK

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

My Thoughts…

Using the setting, some notable characters and style of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this is a classical mystery story investigating the death of Mr Collins.

The lyrical writing style is engaging, and the characters vividly portrayed. The main protagonists’ are constable Archer and magistrate Sir John Bright, the investigation team, but Jane Austen’s characters have delightful cameos which add depth to the well thought out plot. The vulnerability of the servants and their indebtedness to their employers is explored in an insightful way reminiscent of Austens’ acute observations on gender, social class and society.

The mystery is cleverly plotted with comprehensive interviews of the numerous suspects, full of historical details that give an excellent sense of place and time. This is an enjoyable Jane Austen style murder mystery.

Annette Purdey-Pugh

Annette Purdey Pugh grew up in Flintshire and graduated in English from Lancaster University. In a varied career, she has worked as a medical librarian, an optical assistant, and a milkwoman, bottling and delivering milk for almost twenty years to customers in Ceredigion. A writer from childhood, she has won awards for her short stories and poetry at the National Eisteddfod of Wales but was inspired to take up her pen more regularly following an Open University course in CreativeWriting.

A Murder at Rosings is her first novel, and has its roots in a lifelong love of Jane Austen. She still lives on the family farm in West Wales with her husband and three hundred sheep.