Wednesday 30 October 2019

Guest Review: The Christmas Invitation by Trisha Ashley

Meg is definitely not in the Christmas mood. She’s never gone in for tinsel, baubles and mistletoe, and right now she’s still getting over an illness. Yet when she’s invited to spend the run-up to Christmas in the snowy countryside, rather than dreary London, she can’t refuse.
Arriving at a warm and cosy family home in a small hilltop village, Meg soon begins to wonder what a proper Christmas might be like. But just as she’s beginning to settle in, she spots a familiar face. Lex.
Despite the festive cheer, Meg suddenly wants nothing more than to get as far away from him, and their past secrets, as she can. But if she stays, could this be the year she finally discovers the magic of Christmas...?

Review: I always enjoy a book written by Trisha Ashley, and ones set around Christmas in particular. This book did surprise me a little, as I struggled a bit to get into the story, but once I got going, I literally didn’t want to put it down. It’s one of those books that I miss now that I have finished it; I’m sure other readers will recognise that feeling.

The central character in the story, Meg, is a skilled artist recovering from a recent bout of pneumonia. She is approached by a rather forceful lady, Martha, who wants her to paint portraits of her and her husband, Henry. The request is accompanied by an invitation to spend the festive season with the couple in their country house set in a small hamlet high on the Lancashire moors. Having been raised in a commune, Meg has never celebrated a ‘conventional’ Christmas, and accepts the opportunity to experience something different. Once she arrives at Martha’s home, she finds herself enveloped in a household full of interesting characters. Unfortunately, one member of the extended family is Lex, someone with whom Meg has an unfortunate history. She hopes that if she can avoid him, her stay may still be an enjoyable one, but fate seems to have other ideas. There are quite a few other surprises in store for her too during her snowy Christmas visit.

This is another delightful tale from Trisha Ashley, filled with amazing characters and wonderful settings. Martha’s house and household were so warm and welcoming that I would love to be snowed up there for Christmas myself. Fans of her books will recognise quite a few familiar names from Trisha’s previous stories. I loved all the twists and turns in this book; I was never quite sure what would happen next and who would turn up. As well as drama and romance, there was a nice amount of humour in the story. I can’t fail to mention a very cute little dachshund who quite stole my heart. I can certainly recommend this book to anyone, especially those who enjoy a really snowy Christmas tale; it would also make a perfect addition to a Christmas stocking.

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

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Review: Black Canary Ignite by Meg Cabot

Thirteen-year-old Dinah Lance knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and where she's going. First, she'll win the battle of the bands with her two best friends, then she'll join the Gotham City Junior Police Academy so she can solve crimes just like her dad. Who knows, her rock star group of friends may even save the world, but first they'll need to agree on a band name. When a mysterious figure keeps getting in the way of Dinah's goals and threatens her friends and family, she'll learn more about herself, her mother's secret past, and navigating the various power chords of life. Black Canary: Ignite is an inspirational song that encourages readers to find their own special voices to sing along with Black Canary!

Review: Well I enjoyed this graphic novel a lot more than I expected to. I had just watched the movie Joker and so my head was already in Gotham City so it was good to imagine myself there but this graphic novel gives a really good setting and the illustration of the characters and the background is excellent. 

My big takeaway from this book was female friendship which I love in any kind of book so it was wonderful to find it in this DC series. I loved the female friendship between the main characters and liked the context of the school and the band. 

I also really enjoyed the family in this novel. The parents both relate to our main character in different ways and for different reasons (no spoilers here) but they both love her and support her in their own ways. I would love to hear more from this world and can't wait to read the other graphic novels in the series. 

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

Monday 28 October 2019

Cover Reveal: The Final Trail by AA Abbott

I have a very exciting cover reveal for you today. Happy publication day to AA Abbot The Final Trail is out today and I have all the information you need, plus that fabulous cover below. You can click here if you want to order your copy now. 
Birmingham has well and truly been put on the crime thriller map with the success of the TV series Peaky Blinders but for bookworms amongst us the popular Trail Series has long brought readers into the modern day 21stcentury with its tense storylines, murder and intrigue set in and around the city.
The Trail series features a vodka business, a cancer cure and obsessive killers. Every book is a good read in its own right – each is a great crime story with terrific twists to keep the tension mounting - but together, they follow the same characters over several years.
The Trail series author AA Abbott also known as Helen Blenkinsop, has been compared with the likes of Ruth Rendell, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer.  She lived and studied in Birmingham for nearly 20 years and her passion and love for the city became the inspiration for the Trail series.
Now, after four successful editions the last storyline will be revealed in the publication of THE FINAL TRAIL which will be launched in Birmingham on 28th October.
Here's what it's all about...

Family feuds just got bloodier… A gripping thriller, and a great story of death, revenge and vodka.

To save glamorous Kat White’s life, Ben Halloran killed his gangster father. Now his brother wants to even the score.

The gripping Trail series of British crime thrillers reaches its dramatic conclusion in this compelling page turner.  

And here's that chilling cover... 

Isn't it stunning?

In the last book ..."Glamorous Kat White has built a successful craft vodka brand in Birmingham, but she has an uneasy relationship with her business partner, Marty Bridges. Her mother had previously supplied with poisonous vodka. Marty doesn't trust Kat, resents having to depend on her for commercial success, and isn't thrilled that his eldest son wants to marry her. That's not his biggest problem, though. He's trying to develop a cancer drug with Kat's brother, Erik, and it's draining money he doesn't have. Just as he finds an investor with pockets deep enough to fund their research, Erik is lured to the former Soviet Union and thrown into jail. Meanwhile, Ben Halloran, who killed his father to save Kat's life, is faced with the twin risks of a murder charge and his brother's deep-seated desire for revenge. Can Ben escape with his life and liberty? And can Marty save both Erik and his business - and learn to trust Kat?"
Helen said “I’ve been writing about these amazing characters for over 5 years, so you can imagine, they have become a part of my life. It’s been a great journey and they have come through so many storylines that it feels right for them to achieve their dreams at last.”
Most of the action in THE FINAL TRAIL takes place across the city and features the famous Rose Villa Tavern and 1,000 Trades in the Jewellery Quarter; The Mailbox, home to the BBC in Birmingham, Holloway Head by the famous Pagoda Island and locations in Harborne and Edgbaston.
Helen added “It’s going to be very sad to launch the last book as the stories and characters have built up such a following but it will give me the opportunity to weave new and exciting tales - I have so many ideas buzzing in my head.”
THE FINALTRAIL is a perfect read for those who like a fast-paced crime thriller combined with suspense, humour and plot twists.  It’s ideal to take away on holiday and provides a great read during the autumn/winter nights.
Website:    Twitter:  @AAAbbottstories

Friday 25 October 2019

Review: Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) adores Christmas. It's always the same – Mum and Dad hosting, carols playing, Mum pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the next-door neighbours coming round for sherry in their terrible festive jumpers.

And now it's even easier with online bargain-shopping sites – if you spend enough you even get free delivery. Sorted!

But this year looks set to be different. Unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocado, Becky's parents are moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch and have asked Becky if she'll host Christmas this year. What could possibly go wrong?

With sister Jess demanding a vegan turkey, husband Luke determined that he just wants aftershave again, and little Minnie insisting on a very specific picnic hamper – surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear . . .

Will chaos ensue, or will Becky manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas?

Review: Oh it was wonderful to be back in Becky Bloomwood's world again. I re-read the entire series leading up to publication day of this one and so I left right off of Shopaholic to the Rescue to read this one. It was so good spending time with Becky at Christmas again and it was every bit as magical, and hectic as you might imagine. 

I really do feel like Becky has grown as a character over the course of this series. Hosting Christmas is the ultimate adult responsibility and I feel like that is a symbol of where she is in the Shopaholic world and where this author has decided for her to go next. It was great seeing her with Mini and Luke, with her family and her friends and I feel like the author was really true to the character in terms of the choices Becky makes in this novel and the ways she behaves. The only character missing from this book was Danny, but then adding him into the mix I think would have cause a catastrophe at Christmas so long live the new characters we did get to meet. 

I love the fact that we have your traditional 'Don't Panic, do not panic' moments from the rest of the shopaholic series, but now they are Christmas themed. We know that things tend to get hectic and all go wrong at Christmas and we know that things tend to get a bit hectic and often go wrong for Becky, put these two together and you have the perfect mix. Plus we all have our own little traditions at Christmas and so do Jess and Tom, Janice and Martin and Becky's mum and dad and they all want it done their way-what's a girl to do?

There are some really heart-warming moments for Becky and Mini with their new school friends and there are some lovely moments between Becky and Luke, I have loved watching their marriage over the years. There were a couple of moments that took me aback too however. I felt that Suze was a little judgemental in this book whereas in the beginning when Becky's spending was REALLY bad, I never felt like Suze was judgey in any way, perhaps she has changed for the worse or perhaps this was just necessary for the plot but I do feel like she took it a little too far. And another choice that shocked me was that a character in the book who is adopted was written to be wearing a shirt that says the word recycled on it. Again I might be reading a little too much into it but I did really gasp at that point because I was shocked that this author would choose to use that particular word in that instance. 

Overall though, I really enjoyed this book. Becky at Christmas with all the shopping to be had and now with all the online ordering to be done-it really is superb reading and I feel like even if you haven't read the rest of the series, you're going to enjoy this one as a standalone novel about what happens when you host Christmas for the first time. 

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

Thursday 24 October 2019

Review: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

The greatest love story is the one you least expect . . .
Alice is stifled, bored, and misunderstood.
So when she meets wealthy and handsome American, Bennett Van Cleve, she is quickly swept off her feet.
Marrying him and moving to America seems like a great adventure - but life as a newlywed in stuffy Baileyville, Kentucky, is not at all what she hoped for.
Until, that is, she responds to a call for volunteers to start a travelling library, surprising herself by saying yes, before her husband can say no . . .
Led by feisty and rebellious Margery O'Hare, this unlikely group of women travel far and wide on their mission to bring books and reading to those that need it, and Alice finally finds the freedom, friendship and love that she's been looking for.
But not everyone approves of what they are doing, especially her new father-in-law. And when the town turns against them, will their belief in each other and their work be enough?


Review: I decided to read this novel on audiobook and I am glad  that I did because this books takes place in Kentucky but with an English main character and the narration really brought this alive, the contrast between the accents and the contrast between Alice's way of life before and after her move to Kentucky. 

This book is very much a plot driven book and so even though Alice is the main character and the person that we get to see the story unfold with, this book is about the whole community and it is also about the magic of libraries and the librarians who share their love of books with the people in that community. I love that this is such a love letter to books. It is just so wonderful to see on the page the power that books can have in so many different ways for so many different people. I loved seeing these librarians overcome the obstacles that they have to face and seeing them sharing their passion through the snow and the blistering heat and that was my takeaway from this novel, books are magic, libraries are the keepers of the spells. 

Alice was an interesting character to spend time with over the course of this novel. She has string beliefs but she has been held down by the men around her her entire life and so when she begins to be able to show her strength it is a truly magical thing. She is appropriately surprised by the people and the way of life she finds out in small town Kentucky, as she would have been in the days before Wifi and YouTube. I loved the way she grows over the course of the book and I love the community that she finds with the people surrounding the library. 

There are some care warnings that come with this book for domestic abuse definitely so just be aware of that when picking this one up. I felt like it was dealt with really well as part of the story and felt that it was fully explored in the context of the society and the time and so to me it just felt like part of the plot and part of showing the importance of having that community behind you. 

I really enjoyed this novel, I really recommend the audiobook but highly recommend the book as a whole. 

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

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

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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?