#BlogTour #Review The Picture by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 @rararesources

Today is my stop on The Picture blog tour, I will be sharing my review of this book. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite.

The Picture
The Picture by Roger Bray
Published: 13th April 2018
Publisher: Undertow
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

My Review

Have you ever seen a photograph of unnamed people and wondered who they are and what they were doing when they were photographed? That question was in my mind while I read the blurb of this book and I had to jump at the chance to read it. The Picture is a thought-provoking, well-written read that showcases humanity in not only it’s good but also in it’s dark.

Roger Bray has written a brilliant book, I admit, the first few chapters I was a little confused – it started completely differently to what I was expecting. I thought I’d picked the wrong book to read on my kindle, however I was soon sucked in to the story of Ben and that picture.

This book is the story of what happens when a picture taken in the middle of an emergency goes worldwide – who owns the rights? Can people claim its them even if it’s not? We’ve all seen pictures coming out of unnamed people after terror attacks, natural disasters or crime scenes and I’m sure we have all wondered about that person/group of people. Who are they?

Ben has been captured in the aftermath of a tsunami in Japan comforting a young woman after her baby has died in her arms. He hasn’t come forward to say it’s him but someone else has claimed it is them. What would you do in this situation?

I loved this book, it was a wild thrilling ride that took me on a journey I wasn’t quite expecting to take. The characters are well-written and Roger’s writing pulled me in, within a few pages I was hooked! It keeps the reader intrigued which is well-paced and you just don’t want to stop reading.

This book would make a brilliant book club read as I’m sure it will affect people in different ways and it would be great to have a discussion regarding some of the topics addressed in the book.

This may be my first book I’ve read by Roger Bray but it definitely won’t be my last! I just loved it!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Social Media Links –  https://twitter.com/rogerbray22

                             https://www.facebook.com/rogerbraybooks/

                             https://rogerbraybooks.com/

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#CoverReveal Needle Song by Russell Day @rfdaze @fahrenheitpress @damppebbles #NeedleSongBook

When the lovely Emma at damppebbles.com asked me to be a part of the cover reveal for Needle Song I absolutely had to say yes. This book sounds amazing and I can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy.

Russell Day was snapped up by Fahrenheit Press after coming first and second for two short stories he wrote for Fahrenheit Press short story competition.

Let’s check out the blurb for this book first:

Spending the night with a beautiful woman would be a good alibi, if the body in the next room wasn’t her husband.

Doc Slidesmith has a habit of knowing things he shouldn’t. He knows the woman Chris Rudjer meets online is married. He knows the adult fun she’s looking for is likely to be short lived. And when her husband’s killed, he knows Chris Rudjer didn’t do it. 

Only trouble is the police disagree and no one wants to waste time investigating an open and shut case.

No one except Doc.

Using lies, blackmail and a loaded pack of Tarot cards, Doc sets about looking for the truth – but the more truth he finds, the less he thinks his friend is going to like it.

Ooooh doesn’t it sound brill?! Before we see the stunning cover, there is a little treat for you all.

FREE RUSSELL DAY SHORT STORY IN EXCHANGE FOR A TWEET:

Russell Day came to Fahrenheit Presses attention when they asked for submissions for their NOIRVILLE short story competition.  A panel of judges placed Day’s stories in first AND SECOND place!  Only one of the stories features in the NOIRVILLE anthology which means we’re giving the second story away for FREE, you lucky people!…….(well, free in exchange for a tweet!).

To receive a copy of Russell Day’s award-winning story, make sure you’re following @damppebbles (so you can receive the DM with the download links) and then tweet the following:

NEEDLE SONG by Russell Day (@rfdaze) published by @fahrenheitpress in eBook on Monday 30th April! #NeedleSongBook | @damppebbles.

http://www.fahrenheit-press.com/books_fahrenheit.html

No retweets, it has to be a shiny new tweet otherwise it won’t count!  Any problems then please contact @damppebbles.

So quick, follow those rules above for a free short story to whet your appetite for Russell’s writing! I definitely will be!

Now for that cover, check it out…

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I LOVE IT!!

The eBook is released on the 30th April 2018 so not long to wait now! If you prefer paperback, that will follow a week later. Pre-order here.

About the Author:

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Russell Day was born in 1966 and grew up in Harlesden, NW10 – a geographic region searching for an alibi. From an early age it was clear the only things he cared about were motorcycles, tattoos and writing. At a later stage he added family life to his list of interests and now lives with his wife and two children. He’s still in London, but has moved south of the river for the milder climate.

Although he only writes crime fiction Russ doesn’t consider his work restricted. ‘As long as there have been people there has been crime, as long as there are people there will be crime.’ That attitude leaves a lot of scope for settings and characters. One of the first short stories he had published, The Second Rat and the Automatic Nun, was a double-cross story set in a world where the church had taken over policing. In his first novel, Needle Song, an amateur detective employs logic, psychology and a loaded pack of tarot cards to investigate a death.

Russ often tells people he seldom smiles due to nerve damage, sustained when his jaw was broken. In fact, this is a total fabrication and his family will tell you he’s has always been a miserable bastard.

#BlogBlitz #Extract Daughter of War by S.J.A Turney @SJATurney @canelo_co #DaughterOfWar

Welcome to the third and final day of the blog blitz for Daughter of War by S.J.A Turney. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to read and review it but I have a fabulous extract for you that will leave you wanting more. The book is on my TBR pile so will hopefully get to it soon! Huge thank you to Ellie at Canelo for the invite.
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Daughter of War by S.J.A Turney
Published: 9th April 2018
Publisher: Canelo

Buy now: Amazon

Blurb:

An extraordinary, breathless story of the Knights Templar, seen from the bloody inside

Europe is aflame. On the Iberian Peninsula the wars of the Reconquista rage across Aragon and Castile. Once again, the Moors are gaining the upper hand. Christendom is divided.

Amidst the chaos comes a young knight: Arnau of Valbona. After his Lord is killed in an act of treachery, Arnau pledges to look after his daughter, whose life is now at risk. But in protecting her Arnau will face terrible challenges, and enter a world of Templars, steely knights and visceral combat he could never have imagined.

She in turn will find a new destiny with the Knights as a daughter of war… Can she survive? And can Arnau find his destiny?

An explosive novel of greed and lust, God and blood, Daughter of War marks the beginning of an epic new series from bestseller S.J.A. Turney. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and Matt Harffy.

Extract:

‘I presume you have summoned me to confirm my inheritance of the estate of Santa Coloma?’ Titborga said, her tone almost challenging and certainly lacking in any meekness or deference. Arnau felt his skin prickle at the aura of tension and danger that suddenly filled the room. The Lord d’Entenza’s expression moved through a variety of emotions, settling into a furrow of disapproval.

‘Santa Coloma has long been a bastion of Christian pride in the north,’ d’Entenza replied coldly. ‘The sword of Santa Coloma has been raised against the enemies of the Crown of Aragon since the days of your great grandfather. And that is where the problem lies. We live in uncertain times, with the Moor in control of Valencia and hammering on our gates to the south, Castile offering only threat and disfavour to the west as they flounder and recover from the disaster at Alarcos, and the attention of our foreign allies still riveted to the Holy Land, the kingdom of Outremer and the infidel who defiles our holy places.’

Arnau saw Titborga’s hand grip into a tight fist. She knew what was coming. So did Arnau.

‘I am the lady of Santa Coloma, my lord,’ she said in a firm tone. ‘My father raised me to understand the estate and with the ability to manage it in his absence as my mother had done before me. No one knows Santa Coloma better than I.’

‘Lady—’

‘You doubt me?’ she snapped. ‘Santa Coloma, an estate worth almost two hundred thousand gold maravedi, including nine farms, four wineries, six fiefdoms and two castles, with fealty from a further eight fiefdoms. I could provide you with a breakdown of the details if you wish, including the number of men at arms the estate can furnish at the king’s call, how many cavalry, bowmen, crossbowmen.’

‘Your intellect and administrative abilities are not in doubt, my lady,’ d’Entenza said coldly. ‘But a powerful estate should be led by a strong sword arm.’

‘Your sword arm, I presume,’ spat the young woman, and Arnau marvelled at her nerve.

‘Hardly,’ snapped d’Entenza, becoming angry. ‘You are presumptuous, Titborga. Your father was soft on you. He spared the rod all too often, it appears, for you seem to forget your station.’

The young heiress wisely remained silent at that, though Arnau could see how her fingers had gone white with her powerful clenched grip.

‘No,’ d’Entenza said, sitting back in the old lord’s seat. ‘As your father’s liege lord, it is my duty to see to the disposal of the estate. I have come to an arrangement with Señor della Cadeneta.’

Titborga said nothing still, but Arnau could almost sense the blood draining from her face.

‘I have agreed that Don Ferrer will take your hand in marriage, joining the estates of Santa Coloma and Cadeneta under a strong military hand, as is appropriate in these dangerous times.’

‘Never.’

‘Do not test me, Titborga,’ d’Entenza snapped. ‘I held your father in great esteem and as such I seek the best interests of all concerned. You are too old for a virginal girl. You need a husband.’

‘I need no husband.’

‘The alternative is to hie yourself to a nunnery and I will acquire your estate on the authority of the crown.’

Arnau could see his lady beginning to tremble. With rage, he realised, not fear.

‘I will contest the disposition in the court of the king.’

‘My cousin will know where the good of the kingdom lies,’ snarled the lord from the chair.

‘You cannot marry me without my consent. I will seek an annulment from the crown on those grounds immediately.’

D’Entenza shot upright from his seat pointing at her with an angry, wavering finger. ‘By God, girl, you will do as you are told! The marriage is a fair deal. You will be entitled to one third of della Cadeneta’s estate in return.’

‘And while he takes the opportunity to sell off my family’s lands to adorn himself in gold, what am I supposed to do with a third of a chicken shed, two pigsties, and half an acre of mouldy turnips?’ she snapped back at him.

Arnau felt himself tremble. The sheer purple rage rising in the lord’s face was matched by the impossible smugness of della Cadeneta.

‘Enough!’ d’Entenza roared. ‘The match is made. You will give your consent or I will dispossess you on grounds of a vassal refusing her lord’s command. That, as I am sure you are aware, would go to the court of my own direct superior, Pedro the Second, and the king would look rather disfavourably upon your presumption, I can assure you. You will consent to the marriage, you will go to Cadeneta and you will accept my judgement on the matter. Now begone.’

‘Yes, my lord,’ Titborga hissed, fitting more bile and spite into the title

Check out the other blogs here:

Daughter of War Blog Tour Banner (1)

About the Author:

S.J.A. Turney is an author of Roman and medieval historical fiction, gritty historical fantasy and rollicking Roman children’s books. He lives with his family and extended menagerie of pets in rural North Yorkshire.

Twitter: @SJATurney

 

#BlogTour #Review #Giveaway The Penance List by S.C Cunningham @SCCunningham8 @rararesources

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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Penance List where I will be sharing my review, there is a giveaway after my review so stick around for that. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

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The Penance List by S.C. Cunningham
Published: 12th January 2013
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

This one comes with a warning – a steamy suspense-ridden psychological thriller – think Silence of the Lambs meets 50 Shades and hold on tight! S C Cunningham writes with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour and pulsating sex scenes. Grab a glass of wine, close the bedroom door and read alone!

What happens when opposites attract – when a scorned childhood sweetheart grows into a gorgeous sexual tour de force – when a fun loving career girl, her racy girlfriends and insatiable lovers get caught in his revenge – when sex becomes a weapon, hearts become bait and straight tastes gay – when hi-flying careers, clandestine affairs and wannabe starlets are hunted by celebrity hungry press? Obsession, kidnap, murder… and he’s just getting started!

My Review:

What an unsettling, disturbing and downright sexy ride this book is. Blimey, I need a cold shower and a cocktail after that! At first, I struggled to connect with The Penance List, I’m not sure why but I just didn’t seem to gel with it. However I stuck with it and I’m so glad I did.

From the first page, S.C Cunningham throws the reader in to the disturbing world that she has created between the pages. I don’t want to say anything about the plot as I found the brilliance of this book is best discovered in the relative unknown. The writing flows incredibly well and I quickly devoured the book, leaving me gasping for more.

We have some quite flawed and damaged characters to meet, at times I didn’t like any of them but there are a few that did grow on me. I found the characters to be wonderfully written, David especially. He’s a very sadistic and evil man who gets under your skin, at least he did for me.

This book had me looking over my shoulder one minute and gasping out loud the next. I didn’t know which way up my head was on occasions as I lost myself into this book. I’d advise to not read this book on public transport!

It’s sadistic, it’s passionate and it’s funny on occasion – it’s a mix that I wasn’t sure how it would work but my gosh it definitely does work! It’s not just about the gore and it’s not just about the sex, this book is so much more. It has depth, beautifully written words and it will leave you wanting more. I cannot wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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Giveaway

Win 1 x Signed Copy of The Penance List (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter here

About the Author:

The Penance List - Author Siobhan C Cunningham (2)

British Crime Investigator & Crime Writer, Siobhan C Cunningham creates steamy psychological thrillers and kick-ass paranormal romance with a skilled mix of fuelled tension, dark humour, and pulsating sex scenes. Having worked in the very industries she writes about, her novels offer a fresh level of sincerity and authority, rare in fiction.

An ex-model, British born of Irish roots, she married a rock musician and has worked in the exciting worlds of music, film, sports celebrity management and as a Crime Investigator for the British Police (Wanted & Absconder Unit, Major Crime Team, Intelligence Analyst, Investigations Hub).

Abducted as a child, she survived; and every night for months afterward, she prayed to God, asking for a deal. This personal journey sparked the fuse behind the intriguing and riveting fictional world she portrays in The Fallen Angel Series. Twenty years later she crossed paths with a violent serial attacker who haunted the streets of London, the seed for The David Trilogy was sown, book one is The Penance List, and has been adapted to film screenplay.

She is the proud mother to contemporary Artist Scarlett Raven and is owned by three dogs.

Social Media Links –

Website                                                – http://www.sccunningham.com/

Twitter                                                  – https://twitter.com/SCCunningham8

Facebook                                             – https://www.facebook.com/pg/sccunningham8/

Instagram                                             – https://www.instagram.com/siobhancunningham8/

LinkedIn                                                – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sccunningham/

Google+                                                – https://plus.google.com/+SCCunninghamAuthor

Amazon Author Page                     – https://www.amazon.co.uk/S-C-Cunningham/e/B002L3ZC2U/

#BlogTour #Review Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts @benaroberts @rararesources

Six Tinder Weeks

Today it’s my stop on the blog tour for Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts. Today is the final day so please do check out the other blogs, all details are on the tour poster after my review. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

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Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts
Published: December 2017
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

Helen’s children leave home at eighteen. She sleepwalked through her marriage of twenty years for their sake. But when they go, she leaves her husband. Her house is a mess, as is her image and Helen breaks down. Through her pain, she draws blood and allows the universe to guide her and her decisions.

The unexpected happens, scientist Helen gets thrown into a new life of hedonism, dating, and self-discovery. A charming lawyer steals her heart, but is Helen ready for the fast lane? Will the local village firefighter provide the romance of her dreams? Or the military spy CJ, who is convinced that Helen is part of a Romanian smuggling gang.

With the help of her sister Portia, Helen starts to transform her life. The universe guides her to finding something in herself.

Debut author Bena Robert’s provides a unique perspective in this witty black comedy. Dark humor meets chick lit with a robust and realistic voice.

My Review

Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks is a hilarious and refreshing read that looks at what happens when you decide to leave your dead-end marriage and try and find love. From the first chapter I was laughing out loud and I knew I had something pretty special to devour. It is a different and quirky read that I very quickly fell in love with.

Helen is in her 40s and after her children leave home, she realises she doesn’t need to stay with her husband Edward so she gets rid of him. Armed with a Groupon voucher she heads to a funky hair salon for a new haircut and Alex, the hairstylist, tells Helen about a new dating app.

Helen was such a fabulous character, she had real emotions that even though I’m a lot younger than her, I could still relate to her. Helen is the type of character you’d love to have as a friend I thought and of course get to know her hilarious dating adventures! I loved the journey we went on from leaving her husband to rediscovering who she was and what she wants from life.

Bena’s writing is just brilliant, it had me chuckling out loud throughout, I’d advise not to read this on public transport as you may get some strange looks! I loved the way Bena alternated voices throughout the book so we not only heard from Helen’s side but also the men she dates and her sister, Portia. I loved finding out who Helen would be dating, it really felt real and I felt I was going through the emotions with Helen.

I loved the setting in Germany, I love Germany, it’s one of my favourite countries so it was a fabulous surprise to discover it was set there.

This book is perfect for anyone who loves hilarious romance books, it would make a brilliant holiday read on the beach. So grab a cocktail and lose yourself in this brilliant and quirky read.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title romance adventurist! She graduated in England 1994 and then with a Masters in 1997.

Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’

Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog. However, her technology career ended after she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer in 2009. Since 2012, Bena has taught English in Germany and managed a small relocation business.

Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with a cup of Earl Grey.

Six Tinder Weeks, now Blind Dates, Big Love and Six Tinder Weeks is her debut novel. Other books include The Forever Night Stand, with Tammy & Lisa: Mum Detectives at the Village School available in 2018.

Twitter – @benaroberts

Amazon Author – https://www.amazon.com/Bena-Roberts/e/B076ZRDW8G

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17307556.Bena_Roberts

Blog – www.sixtinderweeks.com

#CoverReveal The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @bookouture

Eeeek, yes, it’s that time again. Another fabulous Bookouture cover reveal! Now it seems only last week we were revealing Shalini’s newest book The Child Next Door but now she has another one coming out in July!! Huge thank you to Kim at Bookouture for inviting me to a be a part of this reveal.

So, yes, The Silent Sister looks and sounds like a corker. I haven’t yet got to The Child Next Door yet so I may have a Shalini Summer Binge! Oooh, that’d be pretty fab!

Let’s check out the blurb first:

She used to be your best friend. Now she’s your worst enemy.

When Lizzy Beresford discovers a threatening letter addressed to her, the words on the old, tattered paper chill her to the bone. But who sent it? Living in pretty cottage in a quiet country village, Lizzy’s never made any enemies in her life…

Except her sister.

Lizzy hasn’t spoken to Emma in years. Not since the argument which tore their relationship apart. Would her sister really want to cause her harm after all this time?

As Lizzy receives more disturbing messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her – her boyfriend, her best friend, her neighbours.

Because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And after a series of malicious incidents, it’s clear they won’t stop until they’ve destroyed her life.

Lizzy knows she must confront her sister. But can she trust her? And will she realise the shocking truth, before it’s too late?

From the bestselling author of The Secret Mother and The Child Next Door, this utterly addictive psychological thriller will have you gasping at every twist and will make you question everyone you know. If you loved Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Sister this book is for you.

Doesn’t it sound brilliant!! Before we check out the gorgeous cover, let’s find out more about the lovely Shalini.

About the Author:

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Shalini lives in Dorset, England with her husband, two children and their cheeky terrier cross. Before kids, she was signed to Universal Music Publishing as a singer/songwriter, but now she spends her days writing psychological thrillers (in between school runs and hanging out endless baskets of laundry).

Be the first to hear about her new releases here: http://eepurl.com/b4vb45

 
Okay, time for the cover now… It’s just stunning and I love it!
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I love it! Make sure to let Bookouture and Shalini know what you think of this cover – will it make you buy it? I certainly would and it’ll be another fabulous addition to my psychological thriller collection.
Pre-order: Amazon

#BlogTour #Review #Giveaway The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May @nicolamay1 @rararesources #TCSICB

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I’m so excited to be able to share my review for The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May today. There’s a giveaway at the end of the post so don’t miss out! Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me onto the tour.

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Cover.jpgThe Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May
Published: 9th April 2018
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

My Review:

I’m a huge fan of Nicola’s books but I will admit straight away, I believe this one is my favourite for hers so far! I absolutely loved it. Very quickly I got absorbed into this beautiful book with its gorgeous setting and wonderful characters.

Rosa has been left a shop in Devon by an unknown person with instructions that she can’t sell it. Rosa goes to Devon from London and dives in to running the shop. There’s a lot going on that keeps the reader hooked, within the first few pages I knew I was in for a delight. The setting is just stunning, this will be a perfect holiday read.

I loved Rosa’s character, I adored the journey she went on throughout the book and seemed to discover who she was more. And of course, I just loved her dog called Hot! Any book with a dog in is a winner with me!

Throughout the book there’s a lot of mystery regarding who has left Rosa the shop as well as romance. It kept me gripped wondering who it was, I loved discovering who it was along with Rosa. There’s a lot of different emotions explored which I loved as it became so much more than the usual chick-lit story. There was more depth which was fabulous and I just adored it! It’s heart-warming, it’s funny and it really did pull on my heartstrings.

Nicola’s writing seems to be improving with each book, I’m so excited to what she can produce next! So grab a drink, find a comfy seat and lose yourself in the magic that is The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Award winning author Nicola May lives in Ascot in Berkshire with her rescue cat Stanley. Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks and enjoying a flutter on the horses. Inspired by her favourite authors Milly Johnson and Carole Matthews, Nicola writes what she describes as chicklit with a kick.

Follow Nicola May

Website – www.nicolamay.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/NicolaMayAuthor

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nicolamay1

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/author_nicola/

Giveaway

Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter here

#BlogBlitz #Review The War Nurses by Lizzie Page @LizziePagewrite @bookouture

Today is the final day of the blog blitz for The War Nurses by Lizzie Page. Huge thank you to Kim at Bookouture for my tour invite.

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The War Nurses by Lizzie Page
Published: 17th April 2018
Publisher: Bookouture
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

As war takes its toll, the love and care of two brave young nurses will become everything to the wounded soldiers they tend. A gritty, emotional read for fans of Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin and A Shilling for a Wife.

1914 – Two young nurses pledge to help the war effort: Mairi, a wholesome idealist hoping to leave behind her past and Elsie, a glamorous single mother with a weakness for handsome soldiers. Despite their differences, the pair become firm friends.

At the emergency medical shelter where they’re based, Elsie and Mairi work around the clock to treat wounded soldiers. It’s heart-breaking work and they are at constant risk from shelling, fire and disease. But there are also happier times… parties, trips and letters. And maybe even the possibility of love with an attractive officer in their care…

But as the war continues and the stress of duty threatens to pull the two women apart, will Elsie and Mairi’s special nurses’ bond be strong enough to see them through?

A powerfully moving wartime saga – you won’t want to put it down!

My Review:

I will admit straight away that wartime sagas are one of my guilty pleasures, I love to get lost in a good saga with some brilliant characters. The War Nurses is probably at the top of the list for a good saga. I haven’t read many set in the First World War however this one I found to be absolutely brilliant.

Sadly, the First World War is something I don’t know much about, most of my war knowledge is about the Second World War so I haven’t heard of Mairi Chisholm or Elsie Knocker. These two are the characters in the book but they are also two real-life ladies that Lizzie has based this book upon. I greatly admire both of these and what they have been through. Despite the majority of this book is fictionalised, you can really appreciate the level of work and research that Lizzie has put into this book. It’s just brilliant.

Both the characters of Mairi and Elsie I loved but for different reasons. Mairi is young, at just 16 she’s on her way to Belgium to be a nurse despite not having a clue about nursing. I loved her first introductions to some of the work she would be doing, I could imagine that was the reaction by a lot of people not knowing what to expect. Elsie I found to be admirable, a single mother who is joining the war efforts and flirting with every man she could – the war wasn’t going to slow her down! I really loved the friendship that blossomed between these two unlikely friends. It felt real and it did warm my heart.

Lizzie has put a lot of care and effort into this book and as a result we have a brilliant read with believable characters and it is truly raw and emotional throughout. I am so happy that this is just book 1 of a trilogy – I can’t wait to read the next installment in this fabulous saga.

I adored Lizzie’s writing style, it flowed really well and before I knew it I’d read a big chunk of the book without even noticing. You get quickly wrapped up into the journey and the lives of these characters that it’s impossible to put the book down. Just a wonderful, emotional read that I won’t forget in a hurry.

Buy now: Amazon

Check out the other blogs here:

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About the Author:

Lizzie Page

Lizzie Page has always loved reading the adventures of women in the past so it seemed natural to write historical fiction. The War Nurses is the first in a trilogy inspired by some of the incredible women who served on the Western Front. She likes to think its a ‘fierce-friendship-story’ and hopes the series helps shine a light on the achievements and relationships of women in war, and that you find all the books entertaining and moving.

#Exclusive #SneakPeak #Extract Dying Truth by Angela Marsons @WriteAngie @bookouture

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Woohoo, I’m so excited for this post and I hope you all will be too! I’m joining Bookouture and lots of other fabulous bloggers in revealing the prologue to Dying Truth by Angela Marsons. Now this is book 8 (yes 8, how did we get there?!) in the Kim Stone series, if you haven’t read them yet, hop to it now.

Before the prologue reveal, I’ll share some details of the book.

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Dying Truth – Angela Marsons
Published: 18th May 2018
Publisher: Bookouture

Blurb:

How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

The utterly addictive new crime thriller from the Number One bestselling author – you will be gripped until the final shocking twist.

Pre-order here: Amazon

Prologue

Saturday 7.52 p.m.

Kim knew that her left leg was broken.

She pulled herself along the path on her hands as the stone bit into her palms, shards of gravel embedding beneath her fingernails.

A cry escaped her lips as her ankle turned and pain shot around her body.

Sweat beads were forming on her forehead as the agony intensified.

Finally, she saw the light from the building as three familiar shapes hurtled out of the doorway.

All three of them headed towards the bell tower.

‘Nooo…’ she cried, as loudly as she could.

No one turned.

Don’t go up there, she willed silently, trying to pull herself towards them.

‘Stop,’ she shouted out as they entered the metal doorway at the base of the tower.

Kim tried to still the panic as they disappeared from view.

‘Damn it,’ she screamed with frustration, unable to reach them in time.

She gathered all her strength and pushed herself up to a standing position, trying to drag her broken leg behind her as though it didn’t exist.

Two steps forward and the pain radiated through her body like a tidal wave and brought her back down to the ground. She gagged as the nausea rose from her stomach and her head began to swim.

She shouted again but the figures had disappeared from view and were now in the belly of the tower, behind solid brick, mounting the stone steps to the top.

‘Please, someone help,’ she screamed, but there was no one to hear. She was a good eighty metres away from the school, and she had never felt so helpless in her life.

She glanced at her wrist and saw that it was three minutes to eight.

The bell was due to be rung bang on the hour.

The fear started in the pit of her stomach and grew like a cloud to fill her entire body.

She struggled forward another agonising step, dragging her useless leg behind her.

Torchlight illuminated the top of the tower.

Damn it, they were already there.

‘Stop,’ she cried again, praying that one of them would hear her even though she knew her voice wouldn’t carry that distance.

The shafts of light moved furtively around the tower balcony ninety feet up in the air.

She saw a fourth figure amongst the three that were familiar to her.

The watch on her wrist vibrated the top of the hour. The bell didn’t ring.

Please God, let them get down.

Her prayer was cut off as she heard a loud scream.

Two people were hanging from the bell rope, swinging back and forth, in and out of the torchlight that darted around the small space.

Kim squinted, trying to identify the two silhouettes, but they were too far away.

She tried to regulate her breathing in order to shout again, even though she knew no kind of warning would help them now.

Her worst fears had been realised.

‘Please, please…’ Kim whispered as she saw the bell rope swing back and forth once more.

One figure was snatched from the bell rope as the second continued to swing.

‘No,’ Kim screamed, trying to carry herself forward towards them.

The fear inside had turned ice cold, freezing her solid.

For a few seconds time stood still. The saliva in her mouth had gone leaving her unable to speak or shout.

Kim felt the ache that started in her heart when the remaining figure and the swinging bell rope disappeared from view.

Her ears suddenly filled with a blood-curdling, tortured scream.

But no one else was around.

The scream came from her.

Doesn’t it sound fabulous?! I’m so excited to get my hands on it!

About the Author:

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Angela Marsons is the author of the Amazon Bestselling DI Kim Stone series – Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead, Blood Lines and Dead Souls and her books have sold more than 2 million in 2 years.

She lives in the Black Country with her partner, their cheeky Golden Retriever and a swearing parrot.

She first discovered her love of writing at Junior School when actual lessons came second to watching other people and quietly making up her own stories about them. Her report card invariably read “Angela would do well if she minded her own business as well as she minds other people’s”.

After years of writing relationship based stories (The Forgotten Woman and Dear Mother) Angela turned to Crime, fictionally speaking of course, and developed a character that refused to go away.

She is signed to Bookouture.com for a total of 16 books in the Kim Stone series and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Her last two books – Blood Lines and Dead Souls – reached the #1 spot on Amazon on pre-orders alone.

#BlogTour #Review East of India by Erica Brown @baywriterallat1 @canelo_co

Today is my stop on the East of India blog tour. Many thanks to Ellie at Canelo for the tour invite.

East of India Cover.pngEast of India by Erica Brown
Published: 16th April 2018
Publisher: Canelo
Rating: 4 stars

Blurb:

India, 1940. When Nadine learns that the Indian woman she thought her nanny is, in fact, her mother, she rebels against her English father and he arranges for Nadine to be wed to an Australian merchant many years older. She whisked off to his plantation in Malaya but as the Second World War rages throughout the East, Nadine is taken captive by the Japanese. She is held at a camp in Sumatra with other women and forced to provide sexual favours for the soldiers. In the most unlikely circumstances, Nadine finds an ally and protector in a Japanese-American general, caught up in the war. The two bond over the conflicted identities and gradually fall in love. But can Nadine survive long enough to find happiness?

Don’t miss this emotional and powerful saga about a women’s determination to beat the odds, perfect for fans of Renita D’Silva, Dinah Jefferies and Julia Gregson.

My Review:

Being a huge fan of both Renita D’Silva and Dinah Jefferies when I saw this book was perfect for their fans I had to dive in and read it. East of India is a powerful and moving read about the second world war and about a bit of the war that I have not much knowledge on myself.

Nadine has a British father and an Indian mother however she only finds out who the real mother is when it’s too late. Nadine starts to rebel against her father by taking up Indian style dancing however when her father discovers this, he arranges for her to be married to a much older man who has a plantation in Malaya. War then arrives in Singapore and we learn of the harsh brutalities that the Japanese put people through.

I will mention that there are some very vivid descriptions of the brutalities that Nadine and her newly made friends go through. I’m not squeamish at all, I read the most brutal books going but they are 99% crime books. I feel there is a time and a place for such descriptions and knowing who most of the readership audience of this book will be, I fear some readers will be put right off. For this reason, I’ve only given the book 4 stars. So if you don’t like big descriptions of rape, murder and abuse in the war camps this may not be for you!

Nadine is a brilliant character – she’s so determined and even when she is trapped in the camp, she’s looking for ways to escape. Of course, there are some characters I didn’t like – I don’t know much about Japan in the Second World War apart from Pearl Harbour so it was interesting to read more about them and the harsh way they conducted themselves.

Erica has written with some fabulous descriptions of the surroundings, starting in India and then next in Malaya and onto the camp. I could really imagine what it was like in those places and what the sights/smells/sounds would be. My heart broke in lots of places when reading about what these characters went through, at the back of my mind was the fact that this happened to lots of real people as well.

I found some parts to be a little slow however the pace for most of it was just perfect and it made me keep turning the pages. It is an emotional book so if you’re prone to shedding a tear over sad books, definitely have some tissues at the ready for this one! Overall it was a good read and a good introduction to Erica’s writing for me. I will definitely check out her other books in the future.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the rest of the tour here:

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About the Author:

Erica Brown is the pseudonym of a very successful author of women’s fiction and crime. She lives in Bath and has one daughter and twin grandchildren one of whom is dead set on becoming a writer.

#BlogTour #Review #Giveaway Lords of the Greenwood by Chris Thorndycroft @cthorndycroft @HFVBT

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Today I have the second half of my contribution to the blog tour for Lords of the Greenwood, my review of the book. Thank you to Amy at HFVBT for the tour invite.

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Lords of the Greenwood by Chris Thorndycroft
Published: 18th January 2018
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

Nottinghamshire, 1264.
England is on the brink of civil war. The barons are in revolt against King Henry III. Such times suit Roger Godberd, sergeant in the garrison at Nottingham Castle. After throwing in their lot with the barons who embark on a bloody campaign for control of England, Roger and his companions are betrayed and seek refuge in Sherwood Forest. There they begin their new lives as outlaws evading their old enemy, the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.

Yorkshire, 1320.
Wrongfully accused of murder, young Robert Hood of Wakefield finds himself outlawed with only his bitter enemy Will Shacklock for company. Taking to the woods of Barnsdale, Robert and Will agree on an uneasy truce and begin recruiting a band of robbers fleeing the chaos of the Earl of Lancaster’s rebellion against King Edward II. Eventually drawing the attention of the king himself, Robert and his band are given a choice; be hanged as common criminals or enter the king’s service as agents of the crown…

Blending real history with medieval ballads this is the entwined saga of two men, separated by a generation, united by legend, who inspired the tales of England’s famous hooded outlaw.

My Review:

I have a slight confession to make, despite growing up near Nottingham and learning a lot about Robin Hood at school, I have never really read any Robin Hood related books. So I was excited to be able to have a read of Lords of the Greenwood which Chris has taken the tale of Robin and has put his own spin on it.

We meet two characters that are separated by a generation – Roger Godberd in Nottinghamshire and Robert Hood in Yorkshire. These two stories link and interweave with each other. I loved finding out about them both and this kept me gripped to the book – I couldn’t put it down! Chris has done a brilliant job of bringing the characters to life and I was intrigued into both of the stories.

I loved Chris’s writing, he really drew me in to the pages and made me care about what was going to happen in the book. I read this book over a few night shifts I was doing and it really did keep me awake! Chris has taken time and effort with this book and you can really tell he has put hard work and care into creating it. The descriptions are vivid and you really feel part of the action as you read it.

The book is long and I admit sometimes I struggle with longer books however there’s lots of tension, fabulous characters and settings which I know about that I didn’t even realise how long the book was.

I did get sucked into this brilliant book and it’s really given me a push to check out more Robin Hood related books. Fabulous book, looking forward to seeing what Chris writes next!

Giveaway

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two eBooks of Lords of the Greenwood! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Enter here

About the Author:

03_Author Chris Thorndycroft

Chris Thorndycroft is a British writer of historical fiction, horror and fantasy. His early short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Dark Moon Digest and American Nightmare. His first novel under his own name was A Brother’s Oath; the first book in the Hengest and Horsa Trilogy. He also writes under the pseudonym P. J. Thorndyke.

For more information, please visit Chris Thorndycroft’s website. You can also find him on Twitter and Goodreads.

#BookSpotlight Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo @HopeVirgo @TriggerPub

Today I am highlighting another fabulous book published by Trigger who I featured on my blog the other day (read here). This one is Stand Tall Little Girl – Facing Up To Anorexia by Hope Virgo.

I must admit, I don’t know much about eating disorders apart from what’s portrayed on TV and in books. Stand Tall Little Girl seems like a raw, emotional and harrowing account by Hope of her battle with anorexia. Definitely a book I must read soon!

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Anorexia nervosa disorder affects millions of people each year, the majority of them teenagers, and 20% of sufferers die prematurely because of it. But to Hope Virgo, anorexia was not the enemy – it seemed like her best friend, protecting her from the difficulties of daily life, as her parents’ marriage crumbled.

Hope Virgo struggled with crippling anorexia from the age of 13, becoming a master of deception, somehow managing to keep her disorder a secret from her family and friends for four years. As her family splintered around her, and she was sexually exploited by a manipulative, older boyfriend, she found that controlling her eating and exercise was the only way she had any control over her own life.

“My Anorexia gave me a kind of self-worth. I was so bad at life. I was so bad at saving my family … but I was going to be good at dieting and exercise. I was going to know everything that I needed to know about nutrition. And all that time researching gave me so much satisfaction.”

“I craved that sense of achievement; I wanted to switch off from my feelings, and my Anorexia was helping me, more and more. Over the weeks, months and years, my feelings of detachment became who I was. The control around food gave me direction, and a new purpose. These new thoughts in my mind were becoming a friend. A close friend. In fact, my best friend. She wasn’t going to let me down or leave me like others did, instead she was going to help me conquer life.”

Hope became ever more devious, vomiting, exercising in secret, and water-loading before doctor’s appointments, but it took a heavy toll. She was 17 and on the brink of death, with her skin yellowing, teeth rotting and heart rate failing, when she was admitted to a mental health hospital and finally began to receive the help she needed.

It has been a long, slow road to recovery, made harder by the deaths of several friends, and the loss of both her grandmothers. She has relapsed, and thought briefly of suicide. But she gets better every day, relying heavily on the support of close friends, family and understanding colleagues, and her love of running marathons. Now she sees her Anorexia for the false, unreliable friend she always was, poisoning her mind. “Every day that I shut out anorexia is a day that I win.”

Stand Tall, Little Girl is Hope’s harrowing account of her battle with anorexia and the web of lies she created to support her destructive ‘best friend’. Her mother, Caroline, writes about the pain, fear, and frustration of being unable to help her daughter, and the strain of Hope’s illness on the whole family.

This painfully honest, powerful combination of Hope’s struggle and additional insight from her mother will provide inspiration and motivation for all anorexia sufferers, and those who support them.

Hope Virgo lives in London, where she works for the Alzheimer’s Society. She also volunteers for charities supporting refugees, and young and abandoned children. She is a dedicated runner, competing in marathons, with a keen interest in maintaining good mental health through healthy eating and exercise. She campaigns for mental health awareness, and hopes by sharing her experience battling anorexia, she will help others.

Stand Tall Little Girl is the first book in Theinspirationalseries™, partner to Trigger Press’ innovative Pullingthetrigger® range. Theinspirationalseries™ promotes talking freely and without fear about mental Illness. Hope Virgo does exactly that in this first book of the series.

Stand Tall Little Girl by Hope Virgo, (Trigger Press, 6th March 2017, £11.99) Buy now

All proceeds from sales of these books support mental health charity The Shaw Mind Foundation.

#CoverReveal The Picture by Roger Bray @rogerbray22 @rararesources

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Today I have a fabulous cover reveal today of The Picture by Roger Bray. Many thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to part of the cover reveal.

So before we look at the gorgeous cover, I will share the blurb to this brilliant sounding book. I for one cannot wait to read it and I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for it!

A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.

But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

Doesn’t it sound intriguing? I love books set in Japan so this will be a great read.

Okay, let’s have a look at this cover then…

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I love it! It is one that pulls me in and makes me want to find out more about the book.

The book is published on the 22nd April 2018 and although there aren’t any pre-orders available, check out Roger’s Smashwords and Amazon pages as they’ll be updated as soon as the book is available.

About the Author:

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I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

Social Media Links –  https://twitter.com/rogerbray22

                             https://www.facebook.com/rogerbraybooks/

                             https://rogerbraybooks.com/

#BlogTour #Review #Giveaway This Fragile Life by Kate Hewitt @katehewitt1 @NeverlandBT

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Welcome to my stop on the tour for This Fragile Life by Kate Hewitt. Many thanks to Jenny at Neverland Blog Tours for inviting me onto the tour.

This Fragile Life
This Fragile Life by Kate Hewitt
Published: 20th August 2013
Publisher: Carina
Rating: 5 stars

Blurb:

You love your best friend. You trust her with your life. But could you give her the most precious gift of all?

Alex’s life is a mess. She’s barely holding down a job, only just affording her apartment, and can’t remember when she was last in a relationship. An unexpected pregnancy is the last thing she needs.

Martha’s life is on track. She’s got the highflying career, the gorgeous home and the loving husband. But one big thing is missing. Five rounds of IVF and still no baby.

The solution seems simple. Alex knows that Martha can give her child everything that she can’t provide. But Martha’s world may not be as perfect as it seems, and letting go isn’t as easy as Alex expected it to be. Now they face a decision that could shatter their friendship forever.

My Review:

Oh wow, just a second while I gather my thoughts and take myself off this emotional roller-coaster that was This Fragile Life. I don’t even know where to begin and how to give this tear-jerker justice, yes you will need tissues.

Alex and Martha are friends but are complete opposites to each other. Alex is a bit of a mess, she works in a cafe and teaches children art. She lives in a rough area of NY and she’s single. Martha is married to Rob, lives in a nice area of NY and has a job in advertising. Martha seems to have it all together however she’s missing a child from her life. After 5 failed IVF attempts, Martha and Rob call it quits, until Alex becomes pregnant. Alex can’t look after a child and there’s an arrangement where Martha and Rob will adopt Alex’s baby.

Now, I don’t know if I could ever give a baby up for adoption especially to friends but Alex is in a mess, she’s struggling. So it seems the best solution for all, but is it?

This book is emotional, it’s raw and it’s absolutely heart-breaking. My heart was in bits whilst reading this and throughout I had that question, what would I do if I was Alex? The characters are well-written and we alternate chapters between Alex and Martha’s voices so we get inside both of their heads and know what they’re thinking.

I found myself preferring Alex to Martha, Alex was more like me I found whereas Martha was more uptight and always had her mask on. Martha also seemed a bit of a bitch at times and everything had to be done her way, sometimes I felt really sorry for Alex and the emotions she went through. My heart did also break for Martha as I would also hate to be in her situation – last resort for having a child.

Kate’s writing is just brilliant, it flows really well and you just have to keep reading as you get sucked into the lives of Martha and Alex. It’s a touching read that will break the hearts of many but it is an important read. I’m sure there are lots of couples in the position of Martha and Rob and are wishing a friend would give them their baby, it would solve a lot of problems right? Well, after reading this, I don’t think it would solve anything. Read it for yourself and make your own mind up.

Now, I have read some reviews of this book that have completely spoiled it, thankfully I read them after I read this book. So if you are intrigued about this book, don’t go searching for more reviews as you’ll be shocked and annoyed by what some of the reviews have revealed. Just grab a copy of the book, some chocolate and tissues and settle down for the day.

Buy now: Amazon

Giveaway

A paperback copy of Kate’s new book out in June A Mother’s Choice. Open internationally.

Just enter here

About the Author:

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Kate is the USA Today-bsetselling author of over 60 books of women’s fiction and romance. She is the author of the Hartley-by-the-Sea series, set in England’s Lake District and published by Penguin. She is also, under the name Katharine Swartz, the author of the Tales from Goswell books, a series of time-slip novels set in the village of Goswell.

She likes to read romance, mystery, the occasional straight historical and angsty women’s fiction; she particularly enjoys reading about well-drawn characters and avoids high-concept plots.

Having lived in both New York City and a tiny village on the windswept northwest coast of England, she now resides in a market town in Wales with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katehewitt1

Website: http://www.kate-hewitt.com/

Spotlight on Trigger @TriggerPub @TriggerPubPR @kirbs1964 @BelascoAnnie @Karen_Manton

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Today I am hosting a feature on Trigger who publish books dedicated to mental health. Now, mental health is something that I am a huge advocate for and it is something that I will always want to raise awareness for so it’s with my huge pleasure that I have Trigger on my blog. I have battled with depression, self-harm and anxiety (anxiety is still on-going) in the past and it was through reading other people’s stories that I felt was a real turning point for me.

I have been following Trigger for a while on Twitter but it was only when they were coming up to their second birthday that I had a proper look on their profile (I know, shame on me!) Now it was with my huge excitement that they are based in Newark-on-Trent in Nottinghamshire which is where I work as a support worker. I feel there is nothing better than supporting not only a local publisher but also one that specialises in mental health, yes I need to shout about them for days on end!

So who are Trigger?

Taken from their website, this explains it brilliantly.

In 2016, The Shaw Mind Foundation set up Trigger, a global trade publishing house devoted to opening conversations about mental health. We tell the stories of people who have suffered from mental illnesses and recovered, so that others may learn from them.

Why are they called Trigger?

In our first book, Adam Shaw, founder of The Shaw Mind Foundation, spoke about his experience of living with OCD, anxiety, and panic attacks. For years, he avoided the things that would trigger his mental health issues. However, after meeting co-author and renowned psychologist Dr Lauren Callaghan, everything changed. Lauren encouraged Adam to not hide away from the things he feared but, rather, to face them. To pull the trigger on them.

And that’s why we’re called Trigger.

They have very recently had a re-brand and now I think they are looking fabulous!

I am delighted to be able to share three books published by Trigger, they are three different but very fascinating sounding books. Ones that I would love to read myself.

Today, Just like Yesterday: Defying Dysthymia One Challenge at a Time by Richard Kirby

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In 2004 Richard Kirby was diagnosed with depression. It was a label he hated.

A decade later, however, he found out that his underlying problem was actually dysthymia, a chronic but mild form of depression from which he had almost certainly – and unknowingly – suffered since junior school.

As his 50th birthday loomed ever closer, Richard decided he wanted to do something meaningful with his experiences of depression and dysthymia. With this in mind, he set out over the next few years to undertake 100 mental, physical and emotional challenges designed to raise awareness of the condition. Each challenge would require him to ask another person to help him – a reflection of the brave decision he made, at his lowest ebb, to seek help from a doctor.

Today, Just Like Yesterday tells the breathtaking story of one man’s efforts to tackle stigma around mental illness – in the most challenging way possible.

Published: 12th April 2018
Buy Now: Amazon / Trigger

Love and Remission: My Life, My Man, My Cancer by Annie Belasco

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In her mid-twenties, balancing a stable job and a partying lifestyle, Annie was also on the hunt for a man. She wanted to find Mr Right, get married, buy a house, and live the life she’d always wanted. But then one day, she found a lump … Breast cancer. The two words that would derail Annie’s life. Suddenly she realised how short her life had been, and the very idea of finding love seemed impossible. As her hair fell out, and her social life crumbled, her mental health deteriorated. She began to question if she would actually survive. Struggling with an identity crisis and worryingly low moods, she wondered if she’d ever be able to live the normal life that had been within her reach only months earlier. Love and Remission tells the tale of a young woman in search of love and mental wellbeing.

Published: 20th June 2018
Pre-order now: Amazon / Trigger

Searching For Brighter Days: Learning to Manage My Bipolar Brain by Karen Manton

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Karen Manton was born in Grangetown, Middlesbrough in the North East of England. From leaving school she worked for the local authority. Having suffered from Bipolar Disorder from the age of 17 Karen retired at a very young age on ill health.

Growing up in a deprived area of North East England in the 1970’s, alcoholism and violence played a huge role in Karen’s everyday family life. But things were only to become more difficult when, at the age of seventeen, she began her battle with anxiety and depression, an illness nobody recognised. At times feeling as though she was locked inside her own mind, Karen tried to make sense of her heightened and intense emotions. Her reality became a devastating, deteriorating state of existence, and no one seemed to understand what was happening to her.
A number of harrowing, recurrent and often bizarre episodes – including a phantom pregnancy, a nightclub assault, and an unhealthy obsession with a celebrity – eventually lead to Karen being sectioned under the mental health act and taken into hospital. It then took years and many more dramatic relapses before doctors would finally give her the correct diagnosis of bipolar disorder.
This is a no-holds-barred, inspirational true story of how, despite losses and difficulties along the way, Karen Manton learned to manage her illness, stay out of hospital, and find those ‘brighter days’.

Published: 27th September 2017
Buy Now: Amazon / Trigger

I hope this feature has been enough to whet your appetite about Trigger, I know non-fiction isn’t for everyone. To be honest I very rarely read non-fiction but I would love to read every single one of Trigger’s catalogue! They sound inspirational and emotional.

Please support them and their books/authors. I’m hoping to get to Newark Book Festival this year who Trigger are sponsoring so there will hopefully be some blog posts about that in the future.

http://www.triggerpublishing.com/

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