Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Guest Review: High Force by L J Ross

Hell has unleashed a demon – and he’s coming for you…

Detective Chief Inspector Ryan’s worst nightmare has just become a reality. Notorious serial killer The Hacker has escaped prison and kidnapped one of his best detectives from her own home. His brutality is the stuff of legend – Ryan lost his sister and nearly his own life bringing the man to justice first time around. Can Ryan do it again to save his friend?

There’s a nationwide manhunt underway but the trail has gone cold and fear spreads like a virus. Ryan and his team must find The Hacker before he takes another life – but are they too late?

The clock is ticking…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Review: This is book five in the DCI Ryan mysteries series from LJ Ross. It follows on directly from where book four finished, and I would recommend reading that book first; but then, I am enjoying all of this series, and would suggest reading all the books in order anyway.

One of DCI Ryan’s team of detectives, DI Denise MacKenzie, has been abducted by the serial killer known as The Hacker, who has made a spectacular escape from his high security jail. Although fearing that she may already have been murdered, the team must use all the clues they have at their disposal to trace Denise. Meanwhile, the killer leaves a trail of death and destruction over the area in his obsession to have his revenge on Ryan, who had been responsible for his original capture and conviction. Even when the trail appears to have petered out, the detectives continue to dig, but can they unravel the mystery of The Hacker’s motivation and whereabouts before it’s too late?

This was a marvellously thrilling story. The author keeps you guessing right to the last page as to the outcome. I always find her stories really gripping, as you feel that nobody is safe; anyone could be the next victim. Once again in this story, the reader is treated to a bonus in the form of wonderful descriptions of the rugged Northumbrian landscape, this time including the impressive High Force waterfall of the book’s title, where it reaches its electrifying finale. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a good mystery, but be prepared for some pretty violent scenes.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Blog Tour: Review of Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Let it Snow by Sue Moorcroft. I have a review for you today and if you like the sound of that, the buy links are at the bottom of the post. Thanks to Sue for stopping by today and remember to check out the other spots on the tour for more exclusive content!

This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…
Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum's reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…
Review: I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this year’s Christmas novel from Sue Moorcroft. They are always full to the brim with Christmas spirit, but at the same time contain a story that will command the attention at any time of the year. In common with many of Sue’s stories, Christmas or not, this book is set in the little Cambridgeshire village of Middledip. I always enjoy meeting up with familiar characters in a book, and there are a fair few villagers that I recognise in this one. The book’s cover, however, definitely does not depict Cambridgeshire; it shows a lovely snowy scene with mountains and chalets that speaks of Switzerland.

The focus in this story is on Lily, who works part-time at The Three Fishes pub in Middledip, and Isaac, relief manager there while owner Tubb recuperates from a heart problem with his family who currently live in Switzerland. Lily comes from what some consider an unconventional family and has recently found out the identity of her father and, what’s more, that she has two step-brothers, one of whom is Tubb. Much against the wishes of her mother and sister, Zinnia, Lily sets out to get to know her brothers. Through her work as a self-employed exhibition designer, Lily has become involved in a trade show in Switzerland and has organised a visit there by a local choir who are to perform a Christmas themed programme. The visit is not without problems and suddenly involves Isaac as well, giving Lily the opportunity to get closer to him and the possibility for romance to blossom.

I really became immersed in this lovely story, full of snowy adventure but with serious issues at its heart. There were several medical problems along the way as well as a scattering of emotional dramas. It was good to be back in Middledip and find out a bit about characters I have got to know from previous books, but the trip to Switzerland was amazing. I really felt as if I was there amidst the snow and all the traditional christmassy celebrations going on; I even found myself joining in with the singing. It is clear that a tremendous amount of research went into the writing of this tale. It would be wrong of me to leave this review without mentioning another very important character - a rather alluring and good-natured Dalmatian called Doggo, who is there on the book’s cover. I definitely fell in love with him; what a marvellous companion. If you’re looking for a book to give you an injection of Christmas spirit and at the same time transport you to a place with its own Christmas celebrations, I can heartily recommend this one.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Monday, 21 October 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Post From Louisa Leaman Author of The Perfect Dress

 Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for The Perfect Dress by Louisa Leaman. The ebook is out now and the paperback comes out in February 2020. I have a fascinating post from Louisa today detailing the exquisite dresses featured in this novel. If you love the sound of that, you can click here to order the book now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews!

Here's what it's all about...

Fran’s wedding dress shop isn’t like any other. A treasure trove of history, filled with gowns from every decade for every type of bride. But not as you’d expect.
Something bold for the shy and retiring.
Something simple for the woman who is unafraid to stand out.
And something dazzling for the bride who wouldn’t normally dare to be different.

No matter your expectations, you’d never guess your own perfect dress. But Fran knows… she feels the wisdom woven into every gown, a gift from the previous owner waiting to be handed down to the next bride.
When Fran finds a dress that seems to be perfect for her she can’t wait to know its complex history which starts with her getting to know the son of the previous owner…

And here's that insight from Louisa Leaman, author of The Perfect Dress...

‘Its form: full-length, nipped waist, sweetheart-neck, elegant lace sleeves, a dramatic full skirt and a train that goes on for over four meters.  She sits motionless for a minute, the dress spread across her arms, barely able to see straight, barely able to think. The lace overlay is impeccable. French, surely? Its dense and detailed flower pattern is hypnotic to the eye . . . Such attention to detail, such hand-stitched care – one of those wedding dresses. In fact, it is more than that. This one is exceptional, once in a lifetime.’

This is the moment my wedding-obsessed heroine, Francesca Delaney, uncovers her dress of dreams in a house clearance. Writing the details of exquisite bridal wear in my debut novel, ‘The Perfect Dress’, has been a joy. I wanted each of the gowns to feel vivid and distinct in readers’ minds. It helped that I had a rich resource to inspire me. Prior to starting the novel, I had researched and written about wedding dresses for the Victoria & Albert Museum website. Their collection of historic bridal-wear spans five centuries and includes dresses, veils, shoes, groom-wear and under garments.

I’m often asked which of the book’s dresses is my favourite. The truth is I love them all, but I have to pay homage to the ‘Alessandra Colt’ dress described in the extract above, as it is the one that changes Francesca Delaney’s romantic fortune. The idea of it originated from a real-life Norman Hartnell gown in the Victoria & Albert collection, worn by a woman called Margaret Whigham (who later become the Duchess of Argyll) in her marriage to stockbroker Charles Sweeny, at the Brompton Oratory in 1933.

Norman Hartnell made a name for himself as the dressmaker of choice among London’s youthful society debutantes. He was best known for dressing the ladies of the Royal Family, including Queen Elizabeth II (watch Netflix’ ‘The Crown’ for a glorious reenactment of her dress fittings!). I was intrigued by the way in which designers of that era were so invested in their clients, building close relationships, often designing their entire wedding trousseaus, as well as evening gowns and occasion dresses. This inspired my fictitious fashion house, Garrett-Alexia.

Margaret Whigham loved publicity. Her daily life was chronicled in numerous gossip columns and she knew how to work the press (readers of ‘The Perfect Dress’ will see this echoed in fame-hungry reality-television bride, Karina T). Two thousand onlookers came to see Margaret’s nuptials and coverage dominated the next day’s front pages. The crowd was so large, traffic was brought to a halt, which can be seen in the newsreel clip ‘Brilliant Society Wedding’ on the British Pathe website.

For such a grand occasion Margaret Whigham required a dramatic dress. Norman Hartnell’s svelte design hit the mark, with its silk satin and tulle, embroidered with appliqués, seed pearls and glass bugle beads, hand-stitched by thirty seamstresses over six weeks. The most impressive feature, however, is its integral train, nearly four meters long and two meters wide. In my novel, Alessandra Colt’s dress was designed two decades after Margaret’s and represents a typical 1950s silhouette, but I knew I had to give at a Whigham-esque train. And where Margaret’s dress was appliqued with stars and orange blossoms, which have a traditional symbolic association with marriage, Alessandra Colt’s dress features humming birds, which represent infinity – ironic or a good omen, readers can make of that what they will.

Both dresses, real and fictitious, failed to secure lasting marriages, but they’ve each gone on to have exciting after-lives. Margaret Whigham’s dress has delighted and educated onlookers at exhibitions across the world, while Alessandra Colt’s dress has played its part in the realm of romantic happy endings, by encouraging good love between a pair of deserving souls.

Thanks so much to Louisa for stopping by today and readers please do remember to stop by the other stops on this tour!

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Guest Post:Leading from the Front By Mike Gatting With Angela Patmore

'A good, rollicking and wholly impolitic read.'Leading from the Front is one of the' most controversial' memoirs of recent times This updated edition gives Gatting's view of the events surrounding this book, of his exit from the England captaincy and of the 1988 season ~ in which Middlesex won the NatWest Trophy.From child prodigy to leader of the decade's top County side and of England, plus an O.B.E., Mike recalls his struggle for, recognition as a master batsman. His . honesty, determination and courage explain why it is not just a string of trophies and the Grand Slam in Australia in 1986/87 that have made him so popular with public and players alike.Bravely, he has faced difficult issues like the Pakistan 'affair - detailed here by co-author Angela Patmore- into the open. Leading from the Front also:'...addresses the central question of whether the England, cricket team should continue to be managed on Incan lines -; making captains sungods for a while before subjecting them to public sacrifice.'

Review: This is the autobiography of Mike Gatting, a professional cricketer who played for Middlesex and England. He captained both sides, leading Middlesex to three County Championships, two Benson and Hedges Cup victories, two NatWest Trophy victories and one Sunday League Championship. He played in seventy-nine Test Matches for England, scoring a total of 4,409 runs. Between 1986 and 1988, he captained England in twenty-three Test Matches. His England career was not as successful as that with Middlesex, since he took a long time to secure a settled place in the England team and, under his captaincy, England won only two test matches. However, these two victories came in the successful tour of Australia in 1986-87 when, under his captaincy, England won the Ashes Test series 2-1, won the Perth Challenge Cup (held to celebrate the holding of the America's Cup yacht races in Australia) and won the World Series Cup, another one-day series.

His lowest point as England's Test captain came the following winter during England's tour of Pakistan. Just before the close of play on the second day of the second Test in Faisalabad, the umpire Shakoor Rana accused Mike of cheating. There followed a heated "exchange of views" between Mike and the umpire. The upshot was the umpire refused to take the field the following morning until he had received a written apology. In the end, Mike felt he had no choice but to issue a written apology, and play resumed on the fourth morning.

The book was published in 1988. Angela Patmore assisted in the writing of the book, but the chapter on the winter tour of 1987, regarding the unsavoury events in Pakistan, is attributed entirely to her. This may have been an attempt to circumvent Mike contravening his tour contract by discussing events on that tour before a specific time period had elapsed.

Ironically, Mike was sacked from the England captaincy during the summer of 1988, following a draw in the first Test Match against the West Indies. The reason given was that he had invited a woman to his hotel room for a drink during the Test Match. However, most people felt the decision to sack him stemmed from his row with the umpire the previous winter and the fact that details of it were published in this book (he was subsequently fined £5,000 by the Test and County Cricket Board for breaching his tour contract). Attempts to re-instate him as captain by the selectors the following year were vetoed by the authorities. Although banned for three years from the England team for leading a rebel tour to South Africa in 1990, he was selected again for England, playing his last Test Match in Australia in 1995. He retired from first class cricket in 1998.

I found the book very interesting, with little snippets from colleagues and family included in the text. It gives an insight into the personality of the man, presenting his side of the story, and will appeal to all cricket fans.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Review: To Drink Coffee with a Ghost by Amanda Lovelace

"You cannot have a funeral for your mother without also having a funeral for yourself."  This book poses the ever-lingering question: What happens when someone dies before they're able to redeem themselves?

From the bestselling & award-winning poetess, amanda lovelace, comes the finale of her illustrated duology, "things that h(a)unt." In the first installment, to make monsters out of girls,  lovelace explored the memory of being in a toxic romantic relationship. In to drink coffee with a ghost, lovelace unravels the memory of the complicated relationship she had with her now-deceased mother.

Review: I love Amanda Lovelace's poetry and have loved her previous collections so of course I was excited to read this collection. I loved this one just as much as the others. It delves into some different topics and some darker issues than some of her others. This is part 2 of the Things That Haunt duology and this duet is definitely a little more hard hitting than the Women Are Some Kind of Magic Series. I like the distinction between the two but all of her books comes with trigger warnings in the very front so make sure you practise self care when choosing whether or not to pick this one up. 

Not only does this book have awesome poetry but that poetry is dressed beautifully with a wicked cover and some beautiful illustrations inside, some of them are just stunning and go so well with the poems they're with its just brilliant. I always read these books in one sitting marking off my favourites to go back to a re-read again. 

Some of my favourites in this collection include; I've Always Been Whole on My Own; How To Say I Love You ii; We're The Only Thing That Matters and You're Never Truly Alone With a Book. I so enjoyed carving out some 'me time' to sit down and devour these poems and I recommend all of Amanda Lovelace's work. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Blog Tour: Extract from Snowflakes Over Holly Cove by Lucy Coleman

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Snowlfakes Over Holly Cover by Lucy Coleman. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 
Here's what it's all about... 
As the snowflakes start to fall, Holly Cove welcomes a new tenant to the beautiful old cottage on the beach...
For lifestyle magazine journalist Tia Armstrong, relationships, as well as Christmas, have lost all their magic. Yet Tia is up against a Christmas deadline for her latest article 'Love is, actually, all around...'
So, Tia heads to Holly Cove where the restorative sea air and rugged stranger, Nic, slowly but surely start mending her broken heart.
Tia didn't expect a white Christmas, and she certainly never dared dream that all her Christmas wishes might just come true...
Set in Caswell Bay on the stunningly beautiful Gower Coast, the cottage nestles amid the limestone cliffs and the woodlands, where the emotions run as turbulently as the wind-swept sea.
As cosy as a marshmallow-topped mug of cocoa, fall in love with a heart-warming festive story from the bestselling author of The French Adventure.

And here's that extract for you-enjoy!

Welcome back, Tia, you’ve been missed. Glad to see you looking so well.’
Clarissa Cooper doesn’t do sympathy, or empathy. My gut instincts tell me that’s probably going to be the full extent of my back-to-work interview. Even the chief editor can’t ignore HR’s policy for staff returning to work after being out on compassionate leave.
In fairness, Love a Happy Ending lifestyle magazine is a little empire. With its print sales, website and app, it runs like a well-oiled machine. Since Clarissa took over two years ago, sales have steadily climbed and no one could ask for a better mentor.
I suck in a deep breath as quietly as I can, thinking that if I keep my mind focused on getting through this meeting, then I’m less likely to embarrass myself and dissolve into tears.
‘I have an exciting project lined up and the whole team agree that you are the right person to tackle it. How do you feel about three articles, each one looking at two very different types of relationship? They are due to run in the November, December and January issues and will look at what makes the relationships work.
‘We’ve already picked the couples from varying backgrounds and age groups. Our readers will be keen to know how they keep the love alive. How does love change as the years go by? What sort of gifts do they give each other at Christmas? I want pages oozing with sentimental festive cheer. And the January one should slant towards New Year resolutions and shared goals for the coming year. It’s going to be our biggest headline this winter and we’re all very excited about it. We’re going to run this in tandem with a series of competitions sponsored by Green Fern Spa Centres and we will be giving away one hundred vouchers for free his and hers pamper sessions.’
I was right. Her employer obligations have been fulfilled; box ticked, now back to the business in hand, which isn’t simply hitting those sales targets, but knocking them for six.
My stomach sinks into my boots. Clarissa Cooper’s steely-grey eyes sweep over me, appraising my reaction rather like a fine-tuned minesweeper in action. If I hesitate now she’ll know I’m not ready to come back yet, and warning bells will start sounding in her head. I can’t risk being side-lined for some younger, smarter version of me, because Mum would be horrified to see me throwing away all those years of hard graft.
‘Great. I love the idea – sounds exciting.’
My mother died four weeks ago today and it’s my first day back. Interviewing loved-up couples gushing over their wonderful relationships is about as surreal to me at this moment as the fact that I can’t pick up the phone and talk to Mum. Still, not bad, Tia, you managed to sound enthused. That’s quite an achievement, especially since you have just waved goodbye to thirty and obviously have no idea at all how to keep a long-term relationship alive. I ease my shoulders back and down, forcing my body not to sag and I seem to have convinced Clarissa I’m up to the task.
‘Well done, you. The sign of a true professional is someone who can roll with the punches and remain standing afterwards. I thought, given the circumstances, a little stay away from the madness of London might aid your concentration. The details are in here.’

About the author

Lucy lives in the Forest of Dean in the UK with her lovely husband and Bengal cat, Ziggy. Her novels have been short-listed in the UK's Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards. Lucy won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award.

Follow Lucy:  

Twitter: @LucyColemanAuth

Facebook: @LinnBHaltonAuthor

Follow Aria
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

Thanks again to Lucy for stopping by the blog today and sharing that extract with us. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Guest Review: Angel by L J Ross

He’ll make you his angel, but first you have to die...

After a turbulent time, DCI Ryan’s life is finally returning to normal and he’s looking forward to spending an uneventful Easter bank holiday weekend with his fiancée.

Then, on Good Friday morning he is called out to a crime scene at one of the largest cemeteries in Newcastle. The body of a redheaded woman has been found buried in a shallow grave and the killer has given her wings, like an angel.

Soon, another woman is found at a different cemetery, followed quickly by another. Panic spreads like wildfire as a new serial killer is born, and Ryan’s band of detectives must work around the clock to unmask him before he can strike again.

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Review: This is the fourth book in a series by L J Ross about DCI Ryan and his team of CID detectives, working in the north east of England. This story is set in Newcastle itself. Although there is a certain amount of mention of characters and events from previous books in the series, this one can be read as a stand-alone, although I can recommend reading all the books in this series in order.

In this story, Ryan and his team are faced with the murders of young red-headed women and also some religious figures. The younger victims have been placed in local cemeteries and arranged in death to look like angels. The detectives must determine what the connection is between the two groups of victims and what motive the killer might have for the murders before he or she can be identified. The investigation leads Ryan and his superiors into confrontation with the Catholic church, both locally and as far as the Vatican. Unfortunately, while all eyes and minds are focused on this case, something equally sinister and dangerous is going on, culminating in a spine chilling conclusion to the book.

Once again, L J Ross has provided her readers with an intricate plot filled with twists and turns to keep them guessing and coming back for more. I am thoroughly enjoying this series and watching the relationships developing within DCI Ryan’s team as well as in their personal lives. I am looking forward to finding out how things develop in part 5 of the series.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Extraordinary Book Titles 14/10/19

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Well this is a fun one isn't it? I can think of lots of titles that I love so away we go...

What do you think? What would you add to the list?

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Post from Deirdre Quiery author of Eden Burning

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Eden Burning by Deirdre Quiery. I have a guest post from the author today talking about what can be learned from the book. If you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

Catapulting us into 1970s Belfast in the heart of the Troubles, Eden Burning pulses with conflict and introduces us to a cast of characters we profoundly care about, even when they are warring with each other. Above all, though, it is a novel with a true spiritual and emotional heart. --Rachel Connor, bestselling author of Sisterwives

Northern Ireland, 1972. On the Crumlin Road, Belfast, the violent sectarian Troubles have forced Tom Martin to take drastic measures to protect his family. Across the divide William McManus pursues his own particular bloody code, murdering for a cause. Yet both men have underestimated the power of love and an individuals belief in right and wrong, a belief that will shake the lives of both families with a greater impact than any bomb blast. This is a compelling, challenging story of conflict between and within families driven by religion, belief, loyalty and love. In a world deeply riven by division, a world of murders, bomb blasts and assassinations, how can any individual transcend the seemingly inevitable violence of their very existence?


My Uncle Francie was abandoned at the age of 3 by my psychopathic Grandfather and placed as a three year old with his 4 siblings into the hands of my mother who was then aged 16. It was 1942 and Belfast was blitzed. You will see a little of that story in Eden Burning when Catherine goes into hospital during the blitz and gives birth to twins. Faction meets fiction. 
Francie became a controversial person as he grew up. He was at first invited to weddings but after a series of punching people in the face and blood running onto the wedding field, he lost invitations to subsequent weddings and funerals. By the way funerals are very important in Irish life – you celebrate, dance, play music and tap your hand on the head of the deceased who is non-living in the bedroom. To be isolated from a funeral is the equivalent to being barred from a wedding.
What has that to do with Brexit and Eden Burning?
Well – living in Northern Ireland with flags from either community – floating as symbols of hatred and narrow mindedness formed my thinking.
I understand violence. I grew up in it. To be put out of your house at gunpoint, to see the houses of others who felt that their only power of response was to burn to the earth that which they had built as their home and where they had created their livelihood – I understood within the flaming fires and smoke - hatred.
I also learnt about love within this experience.
Brexit for me as an author is about – isolation, narcissism of culture, division and a lack of a sense of that we are all in this together. We are on this planet. We need to co-operate to let the next generations live. The vote to leave reminds me so much of the hatred and vitriol exclusion of others. It reminds me of Northern Ireland in the 1970s.
What I wanted to do in writing Eden Burning was to explore this hatred which we are all capable of holding within us and to offer an Exit of redemption and love. I believe Eden Burning tells a story of the insanity of fragmentation, isolationism and a way out of our craziness through forgiveness and love. 

Thanks to Deirdre for stopping by today and readers remember to check out the other stops on the tour!


Thursday, 10 October 2019

Review: The Girl at the Window by Rowan Coleman

A house full of history is bound to have secrets...
Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It's also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from...
Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.
While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present...

Review: This book was a balance of contemporary and historical fiction and it switches seamlessly between the two in alternate time lines and points of view. I found the way the two sides of the book intertwined really interesting, as the book progresses you see more and more links between the two narratives and I really liked the way that progressed. 

I loved the relationship between mother and daughter and mother and son and again this grows and changes as the novel progresses. I really enjoyed seeing their relationships blossom and finding out what had happened in their lives that had affected their lives now. Will is a great character, I love when a novel has a full storyline for a child character and he provided some light relief and some interesting philosophy on the events that were happening in other parts of the book. 

Trudy is very into books as well and this, combined with the historical side of the novel, means that this is a must read for an Bronte fan. It is set in and around Haworth and so as you can imagine, it is a love song to Emily Bronte in particular. The historical side of this novel does mean that a level of concentration is involved when switching between the time lines and taking in the historical detail so your full attention will be require for this story. 

I really enjoyed meeting Trudy and Will and being introduced to Ponden Hall and I am sure you will too. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Guest Review: A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

The eagerly anticipated new Christmas read from the Sunday Times bestselling Sarah Morgan!
In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie's whirlwind Christmas wedding.
First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.
Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…
Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she's not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

Review: I love a Christmas story and look forward to this time of year when festive novels begin to hit the shelves. I also know that I can rely on Sarah Morgan to provide her readers with a lovely Christmas tale in a stunning location. This latest book definitely falls into that category. It was one I literally couldn’t put down and, at the same time, felt sad when it was finished.

The setting for this story is the Colorado ski resort of Aspen, where the White family members are gathering for the Christmas Eve wedding of younger daughter Rosie to local man Dan. First to fly in from London are mum and dad Maggie and Nick. Maggie has many reasons for dreading this whole experience, ranging from a fear of flying to worry about a hastily arranged wedding and mostly keeping a secret from the rest of the family. Rosie’s older sister Katie, a stressed accident and emergency department doctor who has been having a particularly difficult time of late, arrives a day later; she also has misgivings about her sister’s whirlwind romance and is determined to stop her making a big mistake. However, best man Jordan keeps distracting her from her goal. Rosie herself has been experiencing doubts about her upcoming nuptials too. High in the beautiful snow covered Rockies staying in the luxurious and romantic Snowfall Lodge Resort, can the family relax and heal in time to enjoy Rosie and Dan’s big day?

This is another great story from Sarah Morgan, combining family dramas and romance with comic interludes, all in a wonderful setting. I loved the way in which the story was told, each of the three women in the White family taking turns at centre stage. Each of them had problems of their own but was willing to put them aside to support the others. I’m sure many readers could identify with lovely mum Maggie who is feeling a little adrift now that her girls have left home; having put her ambitions on hold to care for the family she now wants more. However, for me, her arrival at Denver airport was the funniest scene in the book; absolutely hilarious. Although the story is very much centred on these three women, the men play important roles as well; three men and three women, but will any of them be together at the end? This well written story kept me guessing. I became so absorbed in the lives of the characters that I didn’t want it to end. This book is one to curl up with in front of the fire and would make a great Christmas gift. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Monday, 7 October 2019

Blog Tour: Extract From One Day in Winter by Shari Low

Today I am very excited to be part of the blog tour for One Day in Winter by Shari Low. I have an extract to share with you today and if you like the sound of that, you can click here to order your copy now. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about:

Caro sets off to find the truth: has her relationship with her father been based on a lifetime of lies?
Cammy can't wait to surprise the woman he loves with a proposal. All he needs is the perfect ring.
Lila can no longer hide her secret. She has to tell her lover's wife about their affair.
After thirty years, Bernadette knows it's time. She's ready to leave her controlling husband... and never look back.
Over the course of twenty-four hours, four lives are about to change forever...

And here's that extract for you...

When Gran and Granda passed away, their house had been left jointly to Mum and her sister, Auntie Pearl. When Auntie Pearl married and moved out, they’d worked out a rental agreement and Mum had stayed behind, living on her own until she’d met Jack Anderson at college, got pregnant, married him and he’d carried her over the threshold into the home she’d already lived in for twenty-two years.
Not that Caro could ever remember him being there full-time. He probably was for the first few years, but then he’d capitalised on the oil boom, and ever since then he’d been gone more than he’d been home. Some months he’d be home for a few days, sometimes two weeks, rarely more. She’d never felt neglected or that she was losing out in any way. It was what she’d always been used to and, as Mum always said, just one of the sacrifices they had to make because Dad had a Very Important Job.
The payback for the sacrifice? A couple of years ago, just as her parents should have been starting to contemplate cruises and bucket lists for their early retirement, Jack Anderson had walked out of the door to go to his Very Important Job and he’d never come back.
Caro felt the familiar inner rage start to build now and she squashed it back down. He’d left them a week before her thirtieth birthday, so she was old enough to process her parents splitting up by some mutual consent. Yet she couldn’t. Because it wasn’t mutual and he’d bolted when her mother had needed him most, walked out to a new life and he hadn’t looked back.
For a long time, Caro didn’t understand why.
Only now, did she realise that on the Importance scale, the job was up there with his Very Important Secret.
She still didn’t believe it to be true.
She must be wrong.
Mistaken identity.
Yet, here she was, sitting on a train, on a cold December morning, on her way to Glasgow.
She pulled her iPad out of her satchel, logged on to the train’s Wi-Fi, then flicked on to the Facebook page she’d looked at a thousand times in the last few weeks.
It was one of those coincidental flukes that had taken her to it in the first place.
It had been late at night, and she’d been sitting beside her mum’s bed in the hospital, feeling like she’d been battered by the storm that was raging outside. She shouldn’t even have been there because it was outside of visiting time, but the nurses overlooked her presence because her mum was in a private room at the end of a corridor, and they made exceptions when it came to patients at this stage in their lives. Yvonne’s eyes were closed, her body still, but Caro wanted to stay, whether Yvonne knew she was there or not. It was the first night of the October school holiday, so she didn’t have to get up early to be the responsible Miss Anderson for a class of eleven-year-olds the next morning.
Instead, she could just be Caro, sitting there passing the time catching up with Facebook. She only dipped in and out of it every few weeks, caught up with a Carpool Karaoke, the launch of a new book, or maybe a movie trailer.
A promotional link appeared for the new Simple Minds tour, twenty dates around the country, yet another band riding the nostalgic affection for the eighties and nineties.
Before she could stop it, the opening bars of Jim Kerr’s voice belting out ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ flooded her head and she felt the bite of a sharp-toothed memory. Her dad had been a big fan, their music playing alongside Oasis and Blur on his CD player when he was home or in the car on the few mornings he was around to take her to school, and that had been his favourite song.
The irony in the title didn’t escape her. Don’t You Forget About Me. If only she could forget he ever existed, then she wouldn’t have to deal with the soul-sucking fury that he wasn’t here.

About the author

Shari Low is the No1 best-selling author of over 20 novels, including One Day In Winter, A Life Without You, The Story Of Our Life, With Or Without You, Another Day In Winter and her latest release, This Is Me

And because she likes to over-share toe-curling moments and hapless disasters, she is also the shameless mother behind a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. 

Once upon a time she met a guy, got engaged after a week, and twenty-something years later she lives near Glasgow with her husband, a labradoodle, and two teenagers who think she's fairly embarrassing except when they need a lift. 

Follow Shari:
Facebook: @ShariLow
Twitter: @sharilow

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