#BlogTour #Review #Giveaway Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping by Cheryl Denise Bannerman @cbannerman01 @damppebbles #AnnaRomanoMysteries #damppebblesblogtours

I’m so excited to be able to share my review of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping by Cheryl Denise Bannerman. There’s a giveaway after my review also, one for the US readers and one for the non-US readers so enter the right one! Huge thank you to Emma at damppebbles blog tours for the tour invite.

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Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping by Cheryl Denise Bannerman
Published: 24th September 2018

Blurb:

Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping” is the first novel in the Anna Romano Mystery Series. It is a funny, whimsical, murder mystery series that appeals to ‘mystery readers’ of all ages.

Anna Romano is a middle-aged, Italian woman who is also a successful published author, a lover of cats, and an excellent cook with a hankering for Italian cuisine. She lives by herself in her quaint house, in a quiet community, with a white picket fence in Central New Jersey.

When she is not writing her next book or hosting book-signing events with her publicist, she is cleaning litter boxes and baking Cannolis…but never at the same time, of course!

In this first installment, on a typical day in Anna’s somewhat-perfect life, a book-signing event turns her world upside down. Is it a case of mistaken identity or was she just being paranoid?

My Review:

From the fun cover, to the interesting title, to the fabulous contents, this book is an absolute corker. I will admit the title drew me in, it sounded as if it’ll be fun and not be serious which after some dark and heavy thrillers, sounded brilliant to me. The cover is just stunning, it’s perfect for this book and it just hints at what could be behind the pages.

Anna is a lovely character, I enjoyed reading about her and I look forward to getting to know her more in future books. Right from the start I knew Anna was going to be fun to read about and she kept me entertained throughout the book.

The mystery element to the book was well-crafted, I was kept on the edge of my seat as I was trying to figure it all out. Cheryl has built the suspense up well and it kept me intrigued to what was going on.

This book is witty and funny, I was chuckling to myself several times throughout and the dialogue is just perfect. It flows seamlessly and as it’s not a long book, it trundles along at a good pace.

Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping is everything the title suggests, fun, entertaining, witty and of course very curious. It’s a book that I’m glad I’ve read and discovered and I’ll be in first in line to read the next one! The next instalment is out in January so an excellent start to the new year that’ll be!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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Giveaway:

US residents:  There are two prizes up for grabs; entrants can win either a $10 B&N voucher or a signed paperback copy of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping.  To enter the giveaway to win one of these prizes click here.

Terms and conditions: One US winner will receive a signed paperback copy of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping and one US winner will receive a $10 B&N voucher.  The draw will be random and you cannot choose your prize.  There is no cash alternative.  The giveaway will close at midnight BST on Saturday 29th September 2018.  The winner of the paperback will need to provide their postal address.  The winner of the B&N voucher will need to provide their email address.  These addresses will be passed onto Cheryl Denise Bannerman for her to distribute the prizes.  The addresses will not be kept.  Good luck.

Non US residents: For your chance to win a Kindle copy of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping please click the following link here.

Terms and conditions: One non-US winner will receive a Kindle copy of Cats, Cannolis and a Curious Kidnapping.  The winner will need to provide their Kindle email address and add damppebbles@gmail.com as a Safe Sender to their Kindle account (information on how to do this can be provided upon request).  There is no cash alternative and the winner’s name will be selected at random.  The giveaway will end at midnight (BST) on Saturday 29th September 2018.  Good luck.

About the Author:

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Writing under pen name, Cheryl Denise Bannerman, Ms. Powell is an author of two self-published books, and an owner of a 22-year-old Training and Development company, specializing in eLearning, called Learn2Engage.

In her personal life and relationships, Ms. Powell has learned how to turn tragedies into triumphs through her strong will, faith, tenacity and most importantly, her quirky sense of humor. She now turns that keen knowledge of relationships and people, along with her various degrees and experience in Training and Development, into fun, engaging online courses for ‘Corporate America’, and, of course, in her works of fiction.

Within each of her works of fiction, a topic of social concern is addressed. From addictions to domestic violence, and suicide to molestation.

Her writings inspire people to live, laugh, love, learn and grow. She believes that when the world laughs at you, laugh harder. In Ms. Powell’s real and fictional world, she has learned how to create her own ‘happy ending’…one day at a time.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cbannerman01

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BannermanBooksdotCom/

Website: http://www.bannermanbooks.com/

Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/bannermanbooks18/

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#BlogBlitz #Review #PublicationDay The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor @SandyTaylorAuth @bookouture

It’s the start of a new week and I’m kicking off the blog blitz for The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor. The book is out today so happy publication day to Sandy! Huge thank you to Noelle at Bookouture for the blitz invite.

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The Little Orphan Girl by Sandy Taylor
Published: 24th September 2018
Publisher: Bookouture

Blurb:

Ireland, 1901: The work house gates clanged shut behind us, as me and the mammy walked down the hill towards the town. I was six years old and leaving the only home I had ever known…

When Cissy Ryan’s real mother comes to claim her from the workhouse, it’s not how she imagined. Her family’s tumbledown cottage has ice on the inside of its windows and is in an isolated, poverty-stricken village in the muddy Irish countryside. But when Cissy is allowed to help neighbour Colm Doyle and his horse named Blue on their milk round one morning, Cissy starts to feel as though friendship could get her through anything.

It’s Colm who looks in on Cissy’s grandfather when she starts at the village school, and Colm who tells her to hold her chin high when she interviews for a position at the grand Bretton House. But in the vast mansion with its shining floors and sweeping staircase, it’s Master Peter Bretton who captures Cissy’s heart with his dark curls and easy laugh.

As Cissy blossoms from a skinny orphan into a confident young girl, Colm tells her she’s as good as anyone and she begins to believe anything is possible. But not everyone with a kind smile has a kind heart, and Cissy doesn’t know that further sorrow lies in store for her.

When Cissy finds herself desperate, alone, and faced with a devastating choice, can she find the strength to survive?

My Review:

Wow, what a hauntingly beautiful book this is, right from the start I was hooked to the pages as I was swept away into Cissy’s life. We first meet Cissy when she is six years old, living in the workhouse and she believes she’s an orphan. Her real mother comes and collects her and takes her back home to Paradise Alley. Cissy soon settles into life with her mammy and granddaddy and makes friends with a local boy called Colm.

Very quickly I was sucked into the life of Cissy, I loved reading about her and getting to know her. I loved that we were able to watch her grow, make her own choices and go through her own struggles in life. Colm was another great character, he was sweet and charming.

The Irish setting was brilliant, I adored the Irish sayings and phrases throughout and I really felt I had been transported to 1901 Ireland. The time period was also great as I haven’t read many books surrounding the turn of the century. The workhouse fascinated me, I would love to read more books based around workhouses. Cissy goes to work at Bretton Hall, I loved reading about her job there and the friendships she makes whilst working there.

The book is full of joy and also heartbreak, there were times I was cheering for Cissy and encouraging her. Other times my heart was being wrenched out as we go through some emotional times with Cissy.

The Little Orphan Girl is an absolutely gorgeous story full of highs and lows. Sandy’s writing is brilliant, she swept me away to early 1900s Ireland and I couldn’t put this book down. The characters are realistic and the friendships that are formed in the book are believable. If you’re a fan of a good saga book, I highly recommend this one.

Buy now: Amazon

Check out the blitz here:

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About the Author:

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Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton.

There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library.

Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead.

This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand-up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandyTaylorAuthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SandyTaylorAuth

#BlogTour #Review Faith by Chris Parker @Chjparker @urbanebooks #LoveBooksGroupTours

Happy Sunday everyone! I’m on the final day of the blog tour for Faith by Chris Parker, huge thank you to Kelly at Love Books Group Tours for the tour invite.

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Faith by Chris Parker
Published: 20th September 2018
Publisher: Urbane

Blurb:

After the terrifying events of Belief, Ethan Hall has been charged with multiple homicides. His trial is about to begin – will it bring closure for Marcus Kline and those he loves? Ethan has been in solitary confinement in the medical wing of a prison for several months. However officers still have to interact with him and he has hypnotised two of them to kill ex-offenders. He has also chosen to defend himself in court. Surely justice will prevail?

Faith is Chris Parker’s thrilling final book in the Marcus Kline trilogy. Can Marcus Kline ultimately triumph over his deadly nemesis?

My Review:

I am a bit of an idiot and didn’t quite realise this was the third book in the series until I started reading and thought I’d joined a party too late. However this book works well as a standalone as I was able to follow the plot but I would love to read the other two now. Despite this, I loved this book, it was brilliant.

I love court room thrillers and the research Chris must have put into this book is superb and it really shines through as we navigate through the court case. Very quickly I was hooked to this book and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

As this is the final book in the series and I would hate to spoil anything, I won’t mention the blurb as knowing me I’ll ruin something for someone who’s only read the first book for example. We meet a whole host of different characters, all of them are brilliantly written and have their own distinct personalities.

Ethan Hall is one scary person, the things he could do with his power is incredible and I definitely wouldn’t like to meet him! I loved reading about him and he had me turning the pages as I had to find out the conclusion.

Chris’s writing was fabulous, I was hooked within the first few pages and I just knew I was going to love the book. I’m excited to go back and read the other books in this series and then come back and re-read Faith! It’s addictive and gripping, all things I look for in a thriller.

Faith is an incredibly well-written thriller with some great characters, that will have you turning the pages into the night. I do advise reading the others books in the series though, I know what I’ll do doing soon!

Buy now: Amazon

Check out the tour here:

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About the Author:

Based in Nottingham, Chris Parker is a specialist in Communication and Influence. A Licensed Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Chris is a highly experienced management trainer, business consultant, lecturer and writer. Books include Influence, Belief, Campaign It, Brain Always Wins, Diego Masciaga Way, The City Fox and Debris.

#CoverReveal Snowed in at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green @Rosie_Green1988 @rararesources

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I’m so excited to be a part of the cover reveal for one of my favourite novella series this year. Before I reveal the cover for Snowed In at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green, I shall share the blurb with you all first.

Blurb:

The biggest snowfall in years has blanketed Sunnybrook, cutting the village off from the outside world. For Fen, who finds herself snowed in at The Little Duck Pond Cafe, it’s little more than a minor inconvenience. Her love life is finally running smoothly; it looks as if she’s found the perfect man for her.

But then a shocking secret threatens to destroy Fen’s new-found happiness.

Will being snowed in be the final straw? Or will Fen find a way through the snowdrifts to the perfect love?

About the Author:

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Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love.

​Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. The first two stories in the series are: Spring at The Little Duck Pond Cafe and Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café.

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green1988

Now to see that gorgeous cover:

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Isn’t it stunning? I can’t wait to read this book, if it’s like the others I’m going to love it! The book is out on the 15th November 2018 but it’s available for pre-order now

#CoverReveal Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour @JenLGilmour @rararesources

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I have a fabulous cover reveal for you all this Saturday. Isolation Junction by Jennifer Gilmour is getting a makeover and today we get to see the new cover for the first time.

But first, what is the book about?

Rose is the mother of two young children, and finds herself living a robotic life with an abusive and controlling husband. While she struggles to maintain a calm front for the sake of her children, inside Rose is dying and trapped in ‘Isolation Junction’.

She runs an online business from home, because Darren won’t let her work outside the house. Through this, she meets other mums and finds courage to attend networking events, while Darren is at work, to promote her business.

It’s at one of these events that Rose meets Tim, a sympathetic, dark-haired stranger who unwittingly becomes an important part of her survival.

After years of emotional abuse, of doubting her future and losing all self-confidence, Rose takes a stand. Finding herself distraught, alone and helpless, Rose wonders how she’ll ever escape with her sanity and her children. With 100 reasons to leave and 1,000 reasons she can’t, will she be able to do it?

Will Tim help her? Will Rose find peace and the happiness she deserves? Can Rose break free from this spiraling life she so desperately wants to change?

About the Author:

Jennifer Gilmour

Born in the North East, I am a young, married mum with three children. I assist in running a family business from my home-base and I have a large readership of other young mums in business for my blog posts.

From an early age I have had a passion for writing and have been gathering ideas and plot lines from my teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, I have amalgamated and fictionalised other survivors experiences alongside my own to write my first novel detailing the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again. I hope that in reading my debut novel, I will raise awareness of this often hidden and unseen behaviour and empower women in abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and find the confidence to change their lives.

Amazon Author link: Author.to/JenniferGilmour

My online store: www.jennifergilmour.com/shop

Facebook: www.facebook.com/isolationjunctionbook

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jenlgilmour

Instagram: www.instagram.com/authorjennifergilmour

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/JenniferGilmour

Right then, let’s see the gorgeous cover then. It’s absolutely stunning.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?! The new edition is released on the 22nd October so grab your copy then from Amazon.

#BlogTour #Review The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd @HilaryBoyd @MichaelJBooks @PenguinUKBooks

My second blog tour for today is my review of The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd. Huge thank you to Tracy Fenton for my blog tour invite and to Jenny for sending me a copy of the book.

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The Anniversary by Hilary Boyd
Published: 7th September 2018
Publisher: Penguin

Blurb:

A deeply emotional new novel from the author of the ebook phenomenon Thursdays in the Park

Is the one you tried to forget the one you can’t live without?

Stella once thought that if she never saw Jack again, it would be too soon.

But life has other plans for her and her stubborn, handsome ex-husband.

Looking after their daughter in a time of need, Stella finds herself unwillingly reunited with the man she shared the best years of her life with – followed by the worst.

Where tragedy once tore them apart, now Stella and Jack are being drawn back together. But each of them has a new partner and a new life.

Should they fight temptation?

Should the past remain the past?

Or are some loves simply meant to be?

My Review:

I have only read one book in the past by Hilary Boyd which I enjoyed however The Anniversary was absolutely brilliant. Right from the start I was hooked, I started to care for the characters and oh the feelings, so many emotions I felt on the pages.

Stella and Jack were previously married but due to an event they parted ways and both have different partners now. They are brought back together by their daughter and both are anxious to see each other again.

I loved the fact this book focused on characters that were a bit older, both are in their sixties trying to understand what is going on. The book isn’t fast-paced but it keeps you turning the pages as you get swept away by the lovely characters.

The themes of second chances and life is too short is very moving and it’s very hard to not shed a tear or two whilst reading. I read this book around the same time as my partner proposed to me, I think it moved me even more as who knows what the future holds. Life is definitely too short so surround yourself with your loved ones and cherish them.

Hilary’s writing is brilliant, she poured plenty of emotions into the book and it really shows when you read it. This is a book to take your time over, savour it and ponder the wonderful words.

The Anniversary is a beautiful, heart-wrenching and moving read that will have you reaching for the tissues. Escape into the world of Stella and Jack for a while and just ride the emotions as they come. I will be now looking out for the other books by Hilary that I haven’t read!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

Boyd was born and spent the first six months of her life in Prestatyn, North Wales, where her father, an army major, was stationed after the war. She was later educated in London, then at the boarding school Roedean. She trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and subsequently as a marriage guidance counsellor with Relate before reading English Literature at London University in her late 30s.

After college, Boyd became a health journalist, writing about depression, step-parenting and pregnancy. She began writing fiction as a hobby whilst raising three children and working at various day jobs including running a cancer charity, Survive Cancer, working for an engineering company, and an online vitamin site.

#BlogBlitz #Review I Will Survive by Pippa James @PippaJamesbooks @bookouture

Today is the final day for the blog blitz for I Will Survive by Pippa James and I will be sharing my review. Huge thank you to Kim at Bookouture for the tour invite and for the copy of the book which I received via Netgalley.

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I Will Survive by Pippa James
Published: 19th September 2018
Publisher: Bookouture

Blurb:

Frankie is a single mother. She’s bold. She’s brave. And she’s winning at life… isn’t she?

Underneath her big smile and daring outfits, Frankie’s hiding a secret. Her five-year-old son Liam is awesome. But life as a solo parent is tough. Her job as a barmaid sucks, her meddlesome mother is taking over and she’s far from living her best life.

She’s lost her way and she’s starting to feel… lonely.

So when Frankie’s overbearing mother breaks her leg and has to go and live with her saintly sister, it’s time for Frankie to shake things up. Because she wants to turn things around for the little boy who holds the keys to her broken heart.

Surrounded by perfect mothers, Frankie quickly realises she needs some real mum friends to get her through repetitive school runs and red-faced dating disasters. The kind of people who don’t judge your shop bought cakes and bring wine to your door, just because.

So Frankie sweeps up anxious Kate and organised Alison in her whirlwind. As the unlikely trio face the trials and tantrums of motherhood, they learn that parenting is about surviving one day at a time.
And together they can wing it through anything, can’t they?

A hilarious, feel-good story for every parent who has ever struggled bleary-eyed through toddler tantrums, school fancy dress fails and found friendship over wine and cake. Perfect for fans of The UnMumsy MumWhy Mummy Drinks and Fiona Gibson.

My Review:

Now I don’t have kids yet but after working with a whole bunch of different children at different ages I can relate to some of the situations that unfold in this book. This book is not just for people who have kids as I thoroughly enjoyed it still. It’s made me feel better about myself for when I do have kids as I know I won’t be perfect!

Frankie, Kate and Alison are all very different in terms of their characters and their parenting styles. I loved getting to know all three of them and I loved the friendships that they built up through the book. They have more in common and it was fun to see them grow. All three characters are very likeable and I’m sure many Mum’s will be able to relate to each of them in different ways.

Pippa’s writing style is easy to read and she had me hooked so I just had to keep turning the pages. It’s one of those books to read on a Sunday afternoon with a few drinks and just lose yourself in the pages! It’s very funny and enjoyable.

This book is more than just a light read, it’s a feel-good read that will take you through a whole range of emotions. I adored the journey I went on with all three characters and I hope we get to visit them again in the future.

I Will Survive is a relatable, funny, emotional read that is easy to read, full of likeable characters and believable friendships. It’s got some drama, romance and plenty of laughs throughout the book. Pippa James is one author I will be looking out for in the future!

Buy now: Amazon

Check out what these bloggers think:

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About the Author:

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Growing up in Birmingham, Pippa James was never without at least one book on the go and therefore lived several different lives concurrently. As an adult, she would like to spend much of her time the same way, but she now lives a chaotic life in a small Derbyshire town with her husband and two children. Her writing is frequently interrupted by parenting duties and her day job as a teacher and the only way she can find a quiet space to think, is by taking her laptop to the pub to drink tea and write, which she does at every opportunity.

#BlogTour #Review The Fake Date by Lynda Stacey @Lyndastacey @RubyFiction @rararesources

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My second tour for today is my review of The Fake Date by Lynda Stacey. Huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

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The Fake Date by Lynda Stacey
Published: 18th September 2018
Publisher: Ruby Fiction

Blurb:

Nine hours and eleven minutes…

That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead.

She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly.

Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women? Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill?

Whoever it is, they will pay … all she has to do first is survive..!

My Review:

Right from the start of this book I was hooked and it was a very enjoyable, heart-pounding read. We first meet Ella in the aftermath of her attack, this was brilliantly written as I really got to feel for Ella and the emotions she must have been feeling. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have gone through something like that.

After the attack, Ella becomes a shadow of her former self, I really felt for her as she wasn’t happy and understandably was very wary of everything around her. I was hoping throughout the book that she’d find the answers she was looking for. I loved the journey we went on with Ella, it kept me turning the pages of the book.

Lynda has created an engaging read that has some twists and turns in it, some that I wasn’t expecting. We meet the character of Will, who is Ella’s neighbour and who has also suffered through an ordeal. Together can they heal themselves? I found Will to be a lovely character and I enjoyed reading about him.

I wouldn’t class the book as a psychological thriller however, I’d call it more a romantic suspense. I still enjoyed it though but I just feel some thriller readers might be disappointed.

The Fake Date is a gripping and exciting read that did have me hooked. At times I didn’t know which way the book was going to go and Lynda has written it well with some likeable characters. The romance is believable and the suspense is tense at times.

Buy now: Amazon

Check out the rest of the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Lynda grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire,

Her own chaotic life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of psychological / romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.

Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secretswon the Choc Lit Search for a Starcompetition.

She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her husband, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.

Facebook

www.facebook.com/lyndastaceyauthor

Twitter

@Lyndastacey

Website

www.Lyndastacey.co.uk

#BlogBlitz #Review The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor @jennie_ensor @Bloodhoundbook

I’m thrilled to be sharing my views on The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor today. Huge thank you to Bloodhound Books for the invite onto the tour.

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The Girl in His Eyes by Jennie Ensor
Published: 18th September 2018
Publisher: Bloodhound Books

Blurb:

Her father abused her when she was a child. For years she was too afraid to speak out. But now she suspects he’s found another victim…

Laura, a young woman struggling to deal with what her father did to her a decade ago, is horrified to realise that the girl he takes swimming might be his next victim. Emma is twelve – the age Laura was when her father took away her innocence.

Intimidated by her father’s rages, Laura has never told anyone the truth about her childhood. Now she must decide whether she has the courage to expose him and face the consequences.

Can Laura overcome her fear and save Emma before the worst happens?

My Review:

Wow, this is one hard-hitting book, it’s dark and it’s disturbing. It does focus on child abuse but it isn’t graphic in any way, it’s the emotion that pours off the pages that’s more hard-hitting.

Laura is a young woman who is still struggling with what her father did to her a decade ago. Understandably. But then she hears of another girl who could be his next victim, she has to step up and do the right thing.

Despite the subject content, this is beautifully written and I couldn’t tear myself away from the pages. I read on in horror as to what has happened to Laura in the past and the emotions are incredibly well explored. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be abused by someone in the family but this book shines a light on what it would be like for everyone involved.

This book is emotional and very powerful, I was hooked to this terribly fascinating read that is dark and really made an impact on me.

Jennie’s writing was addictive and I will definitely be looking out for more books by her in the future. The Girl in Her Eyes was a raw, hard-hitting and deeply disturbing read that had me looking on in shock and despair. An excellent read, not for people who don’t like dark and disturbing reads!

Buy now: Amazon

Check out the blitz here:

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About the Author:

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Jennie Ensor lives in London and has Irish roots. During a long trip overseas she obtained a Masters in Journalism and began her writing career as a journalist, covering topics from forced marriages to accidents in the mining industry. Her debut novel BLIND SIDE was published by Unbound in 2016. In January 2018 her short story ‘The Gift’ was placed in the Top 40 of the Words and Women national prose competition. Her poetry has appeared in many UK and overseas publications, most recently Ink Sweat and Tears. She sings in a chamber choir.

Author website & blog: https://jennieensor.com

Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JennieEnsorAuthor

Twitter: @jennie_ensor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennieensor/

 

#BlogTour #Review #PublicationDay #Giveaway Costa Del Churros by Isabella May @IsabellaMayBks @crookedcatbooks @rararesources

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I’m excited to be one of the bloggers kicking off the blog tour today for Costa del Churros by Isabella May, it’s out today so a huge happy publication day to Isabella! There’s a fabulous giveaway running as well for you to check out after my review. Huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

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Costa del Churros by Isabella May
Published: 19th September 2018
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Blurb:

The rain in Spain doesn’t mainly fall on the plain…

Brits abroad Belinda, Julia, Laura and Georgina need more than the sweetness of churros with chocolate dipping sauce to save them from their unsavoury states of affairs.

Cue Carmen Maria Abril de la Fuente Ferrera, the town’s flamboyant flamenco teacher! But can she really be the answer to their prayers?

One thing’s for sure: the Costa del Sol will never be the same again.

My Review:

I’m a big fan of Isabella’s previous books so of course I had to jump at the chance to be able to read her latest offering. Costa del Churros is as delicious on the inside as it shows on the cover, right from the offset I was addicted.

The book focuses on the lives of 4 different women and we get a glimpse into what life would be like for expats in Southern Spain. I enjoyed getting to know the women, as the book progresses and we get to know them more I really started to gel with the characters.

Isabella’s writing is fabulous, like her other books this is beautifully written and I really got involved with the book. There are some funny moments which had me giggling into my kindle and the characters are well-written.

I enjoyed getting to know what life would be like in Spain for British expats and it’s clear that this is something Isabella knows well. Isabella has written this book with a lot of love and it really shines through the pages.

Costa del Churros is a fun and engaging read that features some believable friendships, some fabulous characters you’ll learn to love and all written in Isabella’s beautiful writing style. I look forward to seeing what delights she will write next.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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Giveaway:

Win a signed copy of The Cocktail Bar (Open Internationally)

Giveaway Prize - The Cocktail Bar

*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:

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Isabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing. As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One). She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’! Costa del Churros is her third novel with Crooked Cat Books, following on from the hit sensations, Oh! What a Pavlova and The Cocktail Bar.

www.isabellamayauthor.com

Twitter – @IsabellaMayBks

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

Instagram – @isabella_may_author

#BlogTour #Review After He Died by Michael J Malone @michaelJmalone1 @OrendaBooks @annecater

Today I am sharing my review of After He Died by Michael J Malone, huge thank you to Anne for the tour invite and to Orenda Books for sending me a copy.

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After He Died by Michael J Malone
Published: 30th July 2018
Publisher: Orenda Books

Blurb:

You need to know who your husband really was…

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed…
When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought they knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.
Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets…

My Review:

After He Died is a dark and disturbing read that took me on a journey I didn’t expect. This is my first book that I’ve read by Michael but I have the others on my kindle, if this is anything to go by I am going to LOVE his others!

The story starts at the funeral of Paula’s husband Thomas and some woman slips a note into Paula’s jacket. Later when she reads the note, it contains a chilling message, one that is going to turn Paula’s world upside down. That’s all I want to say about the blurb as I feel you’ll benefit so much more going into the book blind.

The twists and turns throughout the book is more than a rollercoaster and I loved every single second of it. I gasped in shock and in horror throughout as I was pulled deeper into the web that has been created.

Michael’s writing is just perfect, it flowed seamlessly and after reading half the book in one sitting, I just had to carry on. I was sucked deep into the tense situations the characters are in. At times I had to remind myself to breathe!

The characters are likeable and believable, all are well-written and I enjoyed getting to know them in this fantastic book. You can really feel the grief coming from Paula as she struggles to not only having to cope with losing her son years ago but also now her husband is gone too.

The setting of the book is great, I don’t know much about Glasgow and it was a real eye-opener to have the contrasts between the rich and the poor. It really seems to be a city of two halves and Michael has portrayed it brilliantly.

After He Died is a riveting, compelling and addictive thriller that will really make you think, can we really trust our loved ones 100%? It’s eye-opening, dark and tense that will have you turning the pages long into the night. If you’re a fan of twisty psychological thrillers that will leave you wondering which way is up, this one is just perfect!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, in Ayr. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for MaliceThe Guillotine ChoiceBeyond the Rage and The Bad Samaritan. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number one bestseller on AU/UK ebook charts, and House of Spines soon followed suit. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelJmalone1

#BlogTour #Review Perfect Girls by Alison James @AlisonJbooks @bookouture

I’m thrilled to be able to share my review of Perfect Girls by Alison James, huge thank you to Noelle at Bookouture for the tour invite.

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Perfect Girls by Alison James
Published: 18th September 2018
Publisher: Bookouture

Blurb:

Phoebe. Tiffany. Melissa. They all made one little mistake…

When twenty-five-year-old Phoebe Stiles opens the door to her perfect apartment she doesn’t realise it’s the mistake that will kill her…

The body of the beautiful English girl is discovered months later – dumped behind the back of a department store. But who was the stranger she let into the safety of her home?

As Detective Rachel Prince pieces together the mystery surrounding Phoebe’s death, another young, blonde girl is found brutally murdered and abandoned in the grounds of an old theatre.

In the most dangerous case of her career, Rachel must track down the faceless individual to stop the body count rising. But to uncover the shocking truth, Rachel has to put herself at risk… can she catch the twisted killer, before they catch her?

A gripping page-turner that will have you completely hooked until the utterly jaw-dropping twist. Fans of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Karin Slaughter will love this crime series, featuring unforgettable Detective Rachel Prince. 

My Review:

Perfect Girls is the third addition to the DI Rachel Prince series, it can be read as a standalone but starting from the beginning is better as they are so good!

In this book, Rachel is jetting off to LA, whattt she’s going on holiday, I hear you cry?! No, she’s helping out on a case where a young English woman has been found dumped behind a store. Rachel works together with Interpol and the police to try and figure out what has happened and why Phoebe was there. Then another body is found…

I loved this book and I loved the fact it was different to the others in the setting. Mostly set in the States, Rachel travels around the country following leads and I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure it out.

Rachel is still one of my favourite detectives, every book in the series I read, I get to know and understand her more. This series is definitely one of my favourites, the books are fast-paced, unnerving and very addictive. There are twists and turns throughout, left me breathless as I was turning the pages on my kindle. Alison has a wonderful way with words that within the first few pages I’m hooked and I know I’m settled down for the night.

Perfect Girls is my favourite book of this series so far, it’s fast-paced, gripping and will have your heart beating and your mouth dry. I can’t wait for the next book!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Born in the Cotswolds, Alison spent most of her formative years abroad. She studied languages at Oxford, then became a journalist and author, returning to university after her two children to take a law degree. After a three-year stint as a criminal paralegal, Alison worked as a commercial copywriter and then a TV storyliner, before coming full circle to write fiction again.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alison.james.90226628

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AlisonJbooks

#BlogTour #Review The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper @ItsEmmaCooper @headlinepg @annecater #TheSongsOfUs #RandomThingsTours

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I am over the moon to be kicking off the blog tour for The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper, I shall be sharing my review. Huge thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours for the invite and to Headline for sending me a copy of the book.

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The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper
Published: 20th September 2018 (paperback)
Publisher: Headline Review

Blurb:

If Melody hadn’t run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn’t be left with a condition that makes her sing when she’s nervous. And she definitely wouldn’t have belted out the Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’ in assembly at her son’s school.

If Dev hadn’t taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn’t have happened. He wouldn’t have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life’s heart.

But if they hadn’t seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be ‘Us’.

My Review:

Wow, what a rollercoaster ride of a book this is, I laughed and I sobbed my way through this book. Emma Cooper you are one talented writer!

Right from the start, I was addicted to Emma’s beautiful writing style and I felt at home. I sunk a little bit further into the sofa and let myself be swept away by the stunning writing. I don’t want to say too much about the plot as I loved discovering what the book was all about blindly.

Melody is a lovely character, right from the beginning I loved her and she had me in stitches throughout as well as leaving me breathless with lumps in my throat. All the characters in the book are well-written with their own distinct personalities that really shine through the pages.

I was shocked to discover this is Emma’s debut novel, wow, I’m so excited to discover what she can write next! Just the way she hooked me to the pages within minutes of me picking up the book proves how good a writer she is. The plot is well-paced and I couldn’t put it down.

There’s so much more to this book than I first expected, the journey we go on with these characters is just incredible and this book is something special. I urge everyone to read it and I beg you not to be swept away by the characters, the plot and the writing.

The Songs of Us is a thought-provoking, emotional, funny and addictive read that will have you laughing and then sobbing the next. Beautifully written with some characters I really got to care for. Just fabulous. Read it now and discover the very talented Emma Cooper, she is one author to watch out for!

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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Emma Cooper is a former teaching assistant, who lives in Shropshire, with her partner and four children. Her spare time consists of writing novels, drinking wine and watching box-sets with her partner of twenty-four years, who still makes her smile every day.

Emma has always wanted to be a writer – ever since her childhood, she’s been inventing characters (her favourite being her imaginary friend ‘Boot’) and is thrilled that she now gets to use this imagination to bring to life all of her creations.

The Songs of Us was inspired by Emma’s love of music and her ability to almost always embarrass herself, and her children, in the most mundane of situations. She was so fascinated by the idea of combining the two, that she began to write Melody’s story. Working full-time with a large family meant that Emma had to steal snippets of ‘spare’ time from her already chaotic and disorganised life; the majority of her novel was written during her lunchtime in a tiny school office. She never expected to fall so deeply in love with the King family and is overwhelmed that others feel the same.

Twitter @ItsEmmaCooper

Facebook Author Page

#BlogTour #Review How We Remember by J.M Monaco @jm_monaco2 @RedDoorBooks #HowWeRemember

My second tour for the day is my review for How We Remember by J.M Monaco. Huge thank you to Anna at Red Door Books for my tour invite and for the copy of the book.

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How We Remember by J.M Monaco
Published: 13th September 2018
Publisher: Red Door Books

Blurb:

Family Secrets. Sibling Rivalries

The blood ties that have kept Jo and her brother Dave together are challenged when an unexpected inheritance fans the flames of underlying tensions. Upon discovering her mother’s diary, the details of their family’s troubled past are brought into sharp relief and painful memories are reawakened.

Narrated with moments of light and dark, J. M. Monaco weaves together past and present, creating a complex family portrait of pain and denial in this remarkable debut novel.

Perfect for fans of Anne Tyler and Sylvia Brownrigg, this is a novel that will stay with you long after you stop turning the pages.

My Review:

What a beautifully crafted read this is, I can’t believe this is J.M Monaco’s debut novel, it reads as if it’s written by someone who has several books already under their belt.

We get insight into the life of Jo who left the States for a new life in London however on the event of her Mother’s death she returns to the States. We go on a journey with Jo through her past and present and some shocking secrets are uncovered.

It’s not a fast paced read, it’s more a character driven novel that is a slow burner. Jo is a wonderful main character, right from the start I was drawn to her and I did gasp in horror at some of the things she has endured in her life. Family is the main topic of the book and I felt sorry for Jo as to how her brother and other family members treated her.

J.M. Monaco has a brilliant way with words, right from the start I was hooked as the secrets are unveiled. It’s raw and it’s honest, the book doesn’t shy away from difficult topics however it’s all fabulously written with great care and sympathy. The majority of the book does jump around between the two timelines however I did find it easy to follow and it wasn’t confusing.

How We Remember is a remarkable read, I finished reading it and just sat for a while just contemplating what I’d just read. It’s real life in it’s rawest forms with some shocking and at times unbelievable secrets that are unveiled. Fantastic read, I absolutely loved it.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

J.M. Monaco grew up in the northeast region of the USA where she studied English and Creative Writing at undergraduate level. She worked in a variety of areas before taking up postgraduate studies in England where she completed her PhD. She now lives in a buzzing city in the South West of England with her husband and children.

#BlogTour #Review Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg @llamamum @rararesources

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Happy Sunday everyone and I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers kicking off the blog tour for Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg. Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

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Haircuts, Hens and Homicide by Stephanie Dagg
Published: 10th February 2018

Blurb:

Megan finds mayhem when she arrives in France to bury her Gran and sort out her affairs. She expected difficult encounters with civil servants and red tape but not with wandering chickens, an imperious policeman and a dead body. Together with her unlikely new friend, the elderly and grumpy Alphonse and his canine equivalent, Monsieur Moustache, Megan becomes involved in investigating the fowl-related foul play that’s at work in this sleepy part of rural France.

She’s helped but mainly hindered by the people she comes across. These include the local mayor, who wants Megan to stay and set up a hair salon in his village to help keep it alive. There are the cousins Romain, the gendarme, and Nico, the clumsy but hunky farmer. They have always clashed, but do so constantly now that Megan is on the scene. Michelle, Romain’s terrifying ex who wants him back, appears along the way, as does Claudette, a wheelchair-bound old lady, and Kayla, Megan’s best friend, who is hugely pregnant but not above taking on the forces of French law and order when Megan finds herself the prime suspect after Alphonse is stabbed.

There’s excitement, humour and lots of ruffled feathers in this rom-com slash cosy mystery, the first in a projected series.

My Review:

Oh my goodness, with a title like Haircuts, Hens and Homicide, you just have to read it! I just loved the title and it sounded as if it would be funny which is exactly what it is. I very rarely comment on covers in reviews but I adore this cover, it suits the book fabulously and it really draws your eye in.

Anyway, enough about the cover and title, what did I think of the actual contents? To put it simply I loved it! It was fun, it was exciting and it was different – all things that I look for in a book.

Megan is on her way to France to bury her Grandmother, what follows when she arrives is hilarious. That sounds weird, yes it is a sad subject having a family member to pass away but Stephanie has put a comical spin on everything so don’t feel bad for laughing at this book! I won’t mention anything to do with the events in the book, just be warned, once you start reading you won’t want to stop!

The setting of France is brilliant, I loved the descriptions about French life and I fully immersed myself into the adventures Megan goes on. The characters she meets along the way are sheer gold, they are diverse and all brilliantly written. Megan as a character was great, I loved getting to know her and she was a delight to read about.

As the title hints at, this is a cosy mystery, I don’t read too many of these books but it was gentle and entertaining. Usually preferring my crime books to be dark and gruesome, it was a pleasure to read something lighter.

Haircuts, Hens and Homicide is a fun and entertaining riot of a read that will have you laughing away as you follow the adventures of Megan and co. It’s well-written and set in a gorgeous place, I loved my trip to France via this book! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Buy now: Amazon

Follow the tour here:

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About the Author:

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I’m an English expat living in France, having moved here with my family in 2006 after fourteen years as an expat in Ireland. I now consider myself a European rather than ‘belonging’ to any particular country. The last ten years have been interesting, to put it mildly. Taking on seventy-five acres with three lakes, two hovels and one cathedral-sized barn, not to mention an ever increasing menagerie, makes for exciting times. The current array of animals includes alpacas, llamas, huarizos (alpaca-llama crossbreds, unintended in our case and all of them thanks to one very determined alpaca male), sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys, not forgetting our pets of dogs, cats, zebra finches, budgies , canaries, lovebirds and Chinese quail. Before we came to France all we had was a dog and two chickens, so it’s been a steep learning curve. I recount these experiences in my book Heads Above Water: Staying Afloat in France and the sequel to that, Total Immersion: Ten Years in France. I also blog regularly at http://www.bloginfrance.com.

I’m married to Chris and we have three bilingual TCKs (third culture kids) who are resilient and resourceful and generally wonderful.

I’m a traditionally-published author of many children’s books, and am now self-publishing too. I have worked part-time as a freelance editor for thirty years after starting out as a desk editor for Hodder & Stoughton. Find me at http://www.editing.zone. The rest of the time I’m running carp fishing lakes with Chris and inevitably cleaning up some or other animal’s poop.

Social Media Links – @llamamum