Secrets and Lies – Heirs #1 – Elleby Harper – 4*Review

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Winter Blurb

Welcome to 1985 and a glitzy, ritzy, glam-filled year in Heirs. Maixent, heir to the most glamorous throne in Europe, is as cool as stone-washed jeans and Charley, heir to one of America’s greatest political families, has big hair and is not afraid to use it. But will their hearts find love or will a deadly secret from their mothers’ past rip apart a royal dynasty and a political succession?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

Heirs Book One Secrets & Lies

This is a very readable and cleverly draws on historical events and people to add authenticity to the characters and plot. This story’s secret is a long time coming. It’s not what I imagined it to be. No doubt there will be more secrets in subsequent books.
Split between the late nineteen fifties and the nineteen eighties, the story moves between two generations effortlessly. A possible attraction between the offspring of the two former best friends opens up a ‘Pandora’s box that cannot be closed and threatens the stability of two families and a country.
The eighties setting is unusual and very topical with the current preoccupation with the eighties in fashion and popular culture. The story captures the ethos of this period; the glamour, preoccupation with wealth and the shallowness of society. The characters are complex and flawed, making them interesting and in most cases, easy to empathise with.
I’m intrigued enough to want to read what happens next.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Heirs Book One Secrets & Lies by Elleby Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Heirs Book One Secrets & Lies by Elleby Harper

Elleby Harper

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate- Inspiration behind the story – Linn B Halton- 5* Review

Linn  is one of my favourite authors,  like me she believes there is more to this life than we can see with our eyes and this always makes her romantic stories special.  I asked her to tell me what inspired her latest story ‘ A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate.

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A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate – who doesn’t have a secret, or two, to hide from the world?

I suppose the idea for this novel was sparked by the way a celebrity’s life is often aired on TV, in magazines, and in daily newspapers, whether or not they are seeking the spotlight. There must be times even an A-lister wants to sink quietly into the background to keep a few things secret from the world. In a way it is nice to know that even the rich and famous go through the same trials and tribulations as their fans, but would you want to go through those awful moments in the public eye? After all – we’re all human and the path we travel is never an easy one.

As for secrets? Well, mine (but don’t tell anyone) is that I’m painfully shy. When I’m nervous I chat, which makes people think I’m outgoing but it really is only the nerves talking! So what’s YOUR little secret?

My latest novel is really about someone who glosses over the problems in her life because she is one hundred per cent focused on her career. But what happens when you reach those dizzying heights: you are the best at what you do? And what if one day a panic attack signals the start of a new journey?

Blurb 2016- 2

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s a lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”.

But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to redeem herself before all is lost.

At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling.

But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

Buy Links 2016 -2

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Links 2016-2

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My Review 2016-1

 A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate

Kristi, has it all, or so her fans believe. A celebrity lifestyle coach, she is famous for identifying what’s wrong in people’s life and telling them how to make it better. So, her life should be perfect, right? Unfortunately, not. Kirsti’s determined to fix it, she just doesn’t know how. She runs from her relentless lifestyle but is she taking the right path, or just inviting more problems?
A voice in her head seems to be directing her actions but she doesn’t understand it. Seeking Patrick’s help is out of character. He’s a psychic medium but she is out of her depth. Their interactions lead to more questions than answers and force them both to look at their lives more deeply.
Told in a light-hearted way, this story deals with strong emotions and tragic events. Kristi tries to follow her own life mantra’s but putting her theories into practice is not as easy as she thought and the psychic interference only makes it more difficult for her to choose the path to take.

Kristi is a likeable character full of human flaws but with a heart full of goodness. Tom, a permanent fixture in her life, is her friend/lover but is he the man of her dreams or an emotional crutch? Patrick soon becomes her mentor but he wants more.

There is a love triangle of sorts in this story which adds a little spice, in what is a journey of discovery for the main characters; Kristi, Patrick and Tom. The psychic element is intrinsic to the plot and adds an interesting dimension to this engaging romantic tale.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate by Linn B. Halton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate by Linn B. Halton

Linn B. Halton

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One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay – Zoe Cook – 4* Review

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Blurb - Coastal

Lucy, hi. It’s Tom. How are you? It’s been a while. I’ve been meaning to get in touch but it’s hard to know how to after so much time. I hear you’re doing really well up there. I knew you would be.

You should come here, you know, back to Hideaway bay. Come and see everyone, see how little it’s all changed. Feel the sand between your toes, the Cornish sea breeze on your face. When the sun hits the surf in that way it does, it’s as magical as ever.

That’s why I’m writing to you, actually. I want to get the gang back together again, one last time before…well…just one last time. You should come too. The four of us, a summer on the beach, like old times. We all want you here for it. I want you here for it. It’s been so long since I saw you.

I still think about you.

Tom.

Buy Links - Coastal

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review - Coastal

One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember

This story gets better with every page you read. The first few chapters, authentically set in London’s celebrity and media culture, highlight Lucy’s superficial character. Lucy‘s self destruction imminent, as she seeks the ultimate career high.
There are references to drug taking, which I disliked but this are important indicators of Lucy’s deterioration and the culture she is part of. Similarly, smoking is a legacy of her teenage.
Flashback chapters in Hideaway Bay feature teenage Lucy and introduce the other three friends, who are linchpins of this story. Lucy wants to escape the seaside town, even though most people would love to live there. The phrase ‘you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone’, comes to mind.
This story has plenty of surprises that inform Lucy’s current emotional state. The cast of characters both in Hideaway Bay and London are vivid and believable. For me, it is the last quarter of the story that tugs at the heartstrings. The twist is unexpected and poignant. You really care because the characters are like old friends by this time.
Well written women’s fiction, a lovely balance of humour, romance, sadness and secrets in a charming seaside setting.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

ne Last Summer at Hideaway Bay: Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


One Last Summer at Hideaway Bay Escape to Cornwall for a summer to remember by Zoe Cook

Zoe Cook

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5* Review The Girl Who Lied – Sue Fortin

 

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Winter Blurb

The truth hurts…

Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.

Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.

When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

 Amazon

Winter My Review

The Girl Who Lied

It’s the realistic ordinariness of this story that makes it so suspenseful.
Erin has secrets, she is not anxious to confront, until an email and a phone call make running no longer an option. Told from multi point of views, Erin’s and third person for the other players in the story, you find out some of their secrets but not all. Like a perfect murder mystery everyone looks guilty and has a motive but there still a few pieces of the puzzle annoyingly elusive.
A strong romantic thread runs through this story in Erin’s past and present. She travels a complex emotional journey when she returns home and realises that life is all about shade and light rather than being clear cut and defined. Erin emotional growth is a feature of this story and makes her a character worth rooting for.
This is a poignant tale outlining the power of family ties and the frailty of humans, when faced with life changing events. The female family bond is well written and integral to the story, which ties all the ends up nicely with a realistic and hopeful outcome.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

Sue Fortin
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4* Review: The Secrets of Castle Du Reve – Hannah Emery

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Historical Blurb

In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…

Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…

In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?

In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.

Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…

 

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Historical My Review

 

This book has three stories carefully interwoven; revealing the secrets and legacy of The CASTLE DU RÊVE. Each of the women introduced have unique, poignant and often sad lives. The Castle and the life it once represented, connects them all. What make this story intriguing are the subtle, less obvious similarities in their lives, which resonate with the reader and make the characters believable and memorable.

Evelyn’s story starts in 1939, when the castle becomes home to evacuees from London. New friendships and an unlikely discovery change the course of her life. The aftermath of WW2 and a fatalistic meeting seal Evelyn’s fate. Evelyn’s life is vivid and tragic, especially when seen through the eyes of Victoria the second woman in this saga.

Victoria’s story is particularly poignant; she is a victim of circumstance and the suffocating moral code the‘Swinging Sixties’ rebelled against. Her innocence and misplaced trust make Victoria’s the saddest story. Although a victim of circumstance her optimistic outlook remains.

Isobel is a contemporary woman and even though she succumbs to an age old condition, the way she and those around her deal with it makes her life full of hope and promise.
This is a well written women’s fiction story both contemporary and historical, with an interesting twist.

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

Secrets of Castle du ReveThe Secrets of Castle Du Rêve: A thrilling saga of three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets by Hannah Emery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Hannah Emery

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Guest Post: The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE – Hannah Emery

Today I have author Hannah Emery as a guest on my blog.

She reveals some of the secrets behind her exciting new story;

‘The Secrets of CASTLE DU RÊVE’, published by Harper Impulse.

Secrets of Castle du Reve

 

Historical Blurb

In the quaint, seaside town of Silenshore a legacy of secrets is about to be revealed…

Growing up in the imposing Castle du Rêve during 1940s wartime, young Evelyn longs for a life outside the castle walls. She dreams of attending glamorous parties, gracing the silver screen and being swept off her feet by a dashing, debonair beau. But innocent Evelyn is unaware that her bid for freedom from the oppressive castle will change the course of more than just her life…

In the early Sixties, sweet, intelligent Victoria meets the man of her dreams! Yet the expression of their love comes with consequences. In the shadow of the mysterious castle, is their relationship doomed from the start?

In the present day, Isobel has just learned she’s pregnant. An unexpected challenge she can only hope she’s up to. Except living in the father of her child’s family home, beneath the eyes of the castle, all is not as it seems… Soon secrets that have been hidden for decades threaten to change the lives of Isobel’s new family irrevocably.

Three women’s lives tangled together in a web of secrets, scandal and deceit, as the legacy of Castle du Rêve is finally discovered…

 

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Mother and Baby Homes

A few years ago, when I was starting to think about ideas for The Secrets of Castle du Reve, I came across an article on homes for unmarried mothers. I’d heard about the homes before that, but reading about individual women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies in secret, sometimes not even telling their families because of the scandal that it would cause, really touched me. Soon after I read the article, I saw an episode of Long Lost Family that outlined the case of a woman who had been sent to a mother and baby home in the 1960s when she was seventeen. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and about how different life is now.

Motherhood was particularly significant to me at that point because my first daughter was about two years old then and I was feeling stunned by how powerful and intense it all was. I already knew that motherhood would be an important part of my book. The idea of having to hide a pregnancy, and the different ways relationships have been seen throughout the last hundred years or so added a whole new dimension to my plot. It took ages to decide on how to include something about mother and baby homes. I wrote so many different scenes, and even had some poor characters that didn’t make it into the first draft.

I didn’t know much at all about the homes before I started writing the book, so I read a lot of accounts of women who’d been forced to go away to have their babies, and I stared quite endlessly at pictures of the places they’d stayed in, imagining what it must have been like for them. I read about the types of lives the women had before they’d become pregnant, and the stark contrast of their times in the homes. Once I’d done my research, I enjoyed placing Isobel in 2010 alongside Victoria in the 1960s. Both women fall in love quite quickly and have such different experiences, mainly because of how much things have changed for women in a relatively short amount of time.

The clichéd writing advice that people always seem to share is: write about what you know. But I like writing about things that I don’t know. I love learning about times that have passed and bringing them back to life. For me, that’s what curling up with a book is all about.

 Thanks for revealing some of the secrets behind your story Hannah. I certainly agree that its much more fun to write about things that are new to you because the research is such an  important part of the writing process. I am currently reading  this intriguing story and I’ll be reviewing it here later this week.

e176263a92251467e5ea7882edf4e3dcAuthor Bio -1

 I have written stories for as long as I can remember. I love writing about how fragile the present is and how so much of it depends on chance events that took place years ago. I studied English at the University of Chester, and I know work in a College where I mentor degree students. The most important things in my life are my family, my friends, books, baking on a Saturday afternoon, getting glammed up to go out for champagne and dinner and having cosy weekends away. I live in Blackpool with my husband and our two little girls

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