Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Blink by K.L. Slater @KimLSlater @bookouture #Review

Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace.
But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.
Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter.
A compelling, gripping thriller with a breathtaking twist that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the TrainBehind Closed Doors and The Sister.

Buy Link

So I have to admit to having Blink on my TBR pile for quite some time but I'm so glad that I finally picked it up. It really is an easy five stars from me, so what did I think...

If you are looking for a story that will keep you guessing than look no further, Blink pulled me in from the very first chapter. With a creeping amount of tension and suspense. I loved the way the story has two timelines one set in the present day and one three years earlier along with a chapters told from different perspectives. Now even though that may sound like a lot of information I never once got confused it just left me so very curious as to what happened to Evie. 

Toni is having a tough time of it and is trying to hold things together for the sake of her little girl Evie. There were times when I wanted to reach in and intervene and talk some sense into her. For me this is a sign of a great story one that easily makes me invested in the characters lives even if they do make mistakes. 

I read this book over an afternoon as I just couldn't put it down! K.L. Slater has written a very twisty story with surprises that had me constantly changing my mind about the story itself and the characters. There are some interesting and suspicious characters within this book which left me with plenty of suspects to choose from. 

Blink moves at a brilliant pace and left me eagerly turning the pages to see what would happen next!

With thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Monday, 23 April 2018

The Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman @NatKleinman #BlogTour @rararesources #Review

Thank you for stopping by for the start of a brand new blog tour for The Ghost of Glendale by Natalie Kleinman. I'm delighted to be sharing my review today but first of all let's take  look at the description for the book...

At twenty-four years old, Phoebe Marcham is resigned to spinsterhood, unwilling to settle for anything less than the deep love her parents had shared. That is, until adventurer Duncan Armstrong rides into her home wood, larger than life and with laughter in his eyes and more charm in his little finger than anyone she’s ever met before. Far from ridiculing her family ghost, Duncan resolves to help solve the mystery which has left Simon Marcham a spirit in torment for two hundred years.

Purchase from Amazon UK 

I really enjoy a regency romance so as soon as I saw the description for The Ghost of Glendale I knew I had to read it. The touch of paranormal to the story definitely intrigued me and I was interested to see how this part would play out. It was lovely to see Phoebe so involved in wanting to discover the mystery especially one that has been waiting to be solved for so long. I found the paranormal side of the book was just about right, it didn't overpower the story at all I think it just helped to enhance it.

The writing is very reminiscent of that time and easily pulled me into the story. I enjoyed seeing Phoebe and Duncan's friendship blossom as it was definitely a case of kindred spirits. From their first meeting I was looking forward to seeing how their story would develop and of course how everything would end involving the past with secrets just waiting to be discovered. The Ghost of Glendale is a short story making it pretty perfect to read over an afternoon or evening. 

A charming short story!

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources and Natalie Kleinman of my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

Natalie is a published novelist and short story writer whose addiction to the books of Georgette Heyer and love of The Regency have been the inspiration for her latest book, The Ghost of Glendale.
Working on the premise that you never stop learning, she goes to any and every writing event and workshop she can. In addition she attends The Write Place Creative Writing School in Hextable in Kent, one of the rewards for which is an abundant supply of cream cakes to celebrate the frequent successes of its students.
Natalie is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association, The Society of Authors and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She lives with her husband in southeast London.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @NatKleinman

Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Sunday, 22 April 2018

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

I'm delighted to be sharing an extract as part of the blog tour for The Picture by Roger Bray. First of all though let's take a look at the description for the book...

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.

Roger Bray on Amazon -

Context:  Vince Brown is a key protagonist in the story, he hits on the idea of a reality TV show focusing on natural disasters.  He thought of the idea after seeing how much money was donated after the Japanese Tsunami.  In a chance meeting in a bar with a TV producer he lets the other man think that Vince is the key figure in an iconic picture taken during the Tsunami relief effort, which he is not.  As a throwaway line he thought it unimportant but it takes on primary importance when the idea of a reality TV show is closer.  This part is when Vince is just starting with his idea, as his celebrity begins to grow.   

Vince Brown waited in the wings of the stage. He had already had a peak from behind the curtain at the audience that had begun filing in over the past thirty minutes.
Good crowd again, he thought, probably over a thousand, closer to fifteen hundred.
And at fifty bucks a head that makes it a nice seventy-five grand for the night.
Take away the cost of auditorium hire, staff, and his manager’s twenty-five percent, Vince was still going to clear at least forty-five thousand for the two-hour talk, and that was before, getting near the end, he would start talking about the cost of these relief efforts, and the staff would wander the hall with their buckets collecting whatever money the crowd would give. Of course, Vince always showed the most grueling photographs as his pitch was starting.
Pictures of the dirty children sitting in the gutters surrounded by the remains of their lives, the wailing women, and anguished fathers. If the experience of the previous talks he had given was any indication, he would rake in another twenty to twenty-five grand purely based on the gullibility and false sympathy of people.
Groups were best, group bookings, five or ten people who, once the buckets appeared, would try to outdo each other in the donations, especially the ones who considered themselves bleeding heart liberals, democrats with deep pockets, and social consciences.
Vince was making money, and that’s all that mattered. Hell, he would even give some to a charity or two. Not much but enough to keep the IRS off his ass, that and his creative bookkeeping would keep the money rolling in until he set up his own charitable trust, which he alone would control, and which would be charitable only as far as Vince Brown’s bank balance.
And Vince always made sure that the pictures showed people who were as close to the people in the hall as he could. A picture of some starving kid in Ethiopia with the distended belly and a stream of snot coming out of their nose did not bring in as much money as a picture of some kid after Hurricane Katrina, standing in the remains of their home, clutching onto their bedraggled pet and with a battered Stars and Stripes in the background. Black, white, or Asian, it didn’t matter what the ethnicity of the subject was, if there was a Stars and Stripes and destruction, it was a winner.
This was relief work, but not aid. That was Vince’s pitch. Aid was becoming a poisoned word. Folks were overloaded with aid pictures and a lot now thought that it was wasted with tin pot dictatorships skimming off the top, and the money never getting to where it should have gone.
Depending on where he had been so far, he had sold the idea based on whatever natural disaster could befall the people in the audience, what made them realize they were only a stroke of luck away from being the pictures flashing up on the big screen, a procession of pictures of increasingly devastating hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, or floods. Local people with local disasters, they had all seen the pictures of the neighboring town or county after a fire had ripped through it, or a district that had had multiple tornadoes touch down over a few days.
These are the things that were happening, and Vince wasn’t asking them to donate any money to him, was he? If they did feel the need though, to place some generous amount in the buckets coming around, well Vince would go out of his way to make sure it got to where it was needed, which in Vince’s reality was his back pocket.
And what would the money be used for?
Well, it was relief not aid. Being neighborly, helping folks, folks like them, when something terrible happened. If someone’s house burned down, well then, would we all as a community rally around and help them? Provide shelter and food, clothes and whatever else was needed. Well, of course we would, he even managed to twist Roosevelt’s hose pipe analogy to his own use and the audience would nod along in agreement with Vince’s folksy interpretation.
He would tell of his experiencing this on a large scale, he knew how devastating these events were, Katrina, and wildfires and, of course the Japanese tsunami.
And then the picture would flash up, large and bright on the screen and the audience would applaud wildly and thrust their hands into pockets and purses determined to help.
And the money rolled in.

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 


Saturday, 21 April 2018

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

I'm thrilled to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May. You can catch my review today but first of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

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.

Buy Links

This book has pretty much everything to keep you entertained especially a likeable and loveable character in Rosa and of course a special mention has to go to Hot her wonderful dog! Now Rosa isn't perfect and her past has definitely influenced her but I loved her down to earth personality especially her friendship with Josh. There are secrets and a mystery at the heart of the story that definitely had me intrigued. I loved getting to know the various characters that Rosa meets once she moves to Cockleberry Bay. There was a lovely quirkiness to both the characters and story that made it feel so special.

Nicola May has a writing style that will warm your heart and completely pull you into the story. There are some darker moments as not everyone Rosa encounters is likeable, however it all balances out to create a really rounded story. I spent an evening reading this book and I didn't want to put it down!

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay has a little bit of drama, witty writing and characters to fall in love with.

Five stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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/


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.

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

I'm delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for Blind Dates, Big Love & Six Tinder Weeks by Bena Roberts and sharing my review today. First of all let's take a look at the description for the book...

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.

Links for Blind Dates, Big Love & Six Tinder Weeks

I really enjoyed Bena Roberts writing style it was witty and had a down to earth feel to it meaning I was either smiling or giggling away to myself. Helen's escapades in the world of online dating were lots of fun. Helen threw herself into some pretty funny situations and I couldn't help but hope for a happy ever after for her. Especially after having being in an unhappy marriage for so long. Even though Helen was going through a rough patch I loved her determination and upbeat personality and how she just picked herself back up and carried on. 

Helen meets a variety of people from the selfish to the strange on what I guess you would call a journey of discovery. There really is a complete mix of characters that made things very entertaining! The plot moves quickly and with it being a short read I ended up reading it in one evening. I just had to know how it would all end! 

Different, fun and entertaining!

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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.
Author Links
 Why not follow along with the tour, see below...

Thursday, 19 April 2018

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

Thanks for stopping by on this very sunny afternoon, I'm thrilled to be sharing the cover reveal for The Silent Sister by Shalini Boland.

So what are we waiting for let's take a look...

What do you think?

Now we have seen the brilliant cover let's also have a look at the description for the book...

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.

Pre-order Link



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

The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams @onesweetday48 #Review

Copy received from author.

What happens to toys when children don't play with them?

Where do toys go when their children grow up?

What happens when too many toys are in one house?

Find out when Samantha goes on an exciting underground adventure as she tries to find her best friend after they were separated.

Buy Link

It is so lovely to sit down with my two children and read a story whether that be via a physical copy of a book or as an ebook. If I'm being honest I would say that my children prefer a paper copy mainly because they like to turn the pages themselves although I encourage them to do the same with an ebook and tap the screen. I guess the point is as long as we get our children interested in reading does it really matter what format that is in.

So as we cuddled up and began this story and my little ones were interested to see what would happen to the toys. This book uses words that my children are familiar with so it was easy for them to understand and the illustrations were simply drawn and colourful which made them engaging. It's a lovely little adventure that the toys go on and the length is just about right as it kept their interest to the end. It's a lovely concept especially as children end up with a lot of toys and obviously can't play with them all. Then there is the question of what happens to our toys after we grow up. 

A delightful short story that has adventure and a lovely message.

Four stars from me!

With thanks to Jessica D. Adams for my copy. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

When I was a little girl, I loved to play with my sister and all of our toys. We usually both received the same type of toy so we would not fight over them. I was talking to my mom one day. I told her I was worried about my toys when my sister and I grew up. I was very attached to my toys and wanted to bring them with me when I moved out of the house someday. I knew my sister would want to take her toys with her too. What would happen to our toys if they did not have their twin toy friend? My mom told me not to worry. The toys would find each other. This is how the idea of The Underground Toy Society was born.
My mom passed away due to breast cancer in 1995 when she was 43 years old.  I had to go on with life without her.  I graduated from Southern Columbia Area High School.  I went to Bloomsburg University for two years, and Thomas Jefferson University for two years.  I graduated with honors with a degree in Occupational Therapy.

I still have a soft spot in my heart for my toys.  I saved all my toys from when I was a child so I could give them to my own children someday.  After getting married and having two children, I never expected they would be so blessed to receive so many toys.  The only problem was, it broke my heart to see so many toys not being played with due to an overabundance in the house.  I told my kids they better take care of their toys and love them all, or they might just leave and get help from the Underground Toy Society.