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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Blog Tour - Obsession by Amanda Robson


Today I am pleased to welcome Amanda Robson to my blog as part of The Obsession blog tour where I can share an extract from the book with my readers:

I’m FaceTiming you, Craig, because I’m missing you. I’m missing your comfortable arms around me. Missing the feel of you. The heat of you. I am not FaceTiming Luke and Mark because seeing me may unsettle them when they seem to be doing so well with you.

Your smiling face appears in front of me – a ‘beam me up, Scotty’ moment – a miracle too futuristic to be real. But it is real. You are smiling up at me from my iPad as if you were in the room. For a second I think I can smell the hard-edged scent of your favourite aftershave. It’s there for a second and then gone.

‘How’s it going?’ you ask, your face crumpling in concern.

‘She had a good day today,’ I say, trying to sound bright, trying to smile, wanting to let you know I’m not going to drag you down. That I can cope.

What I’ve told you is true; she has had a better day. But better is a comparative term. Still she has slept almost incessantly, like a small baby bird, bony and vulnerable, her Egyptian cotton bed sheets her nest. Still she hasn’t eaten, even though I tried to force a gel pack of sugary nutrients between her teeth. Still her chest wheezes like wind in the trees. But today, at least, morphine has contained her pain.

‘How are the boys?’ I ask.


‘Fine.’ You pause, watching me watching you. ‘Honestly,’ you add as if I might think you were lying.

Thank you to Amanda and the publishers, Avon, for inviting me to take part in the tour.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Blog Tour - Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre



I first met Chris Brookmyre twelve months ago at Chiplitfest, when I am unsure if his worried and vacant look was relating to my questions about his social media presence and use of blog tours t promote his latest book or if he was still looking for the answers to Saturday nights main event of Chipping Norton Literary Festival, Mark Billingham's Saturday Chiplit Quiz where the infamous picture and music rounds always leave people dumbfounded as they try and decide just who that famous author is or which author also has a secret profession as a song writer or singer. Chris was unsure what a blog tour was or how to organise one so I was really pleased when Grace Vincent, Little, Brown Book Group's Publicity Manager invited me to take part to celebrate the publication of Want You Gone, Chris' latest release.

Want You Gone - Jack Parlabane 3 (Hardback)What if all your secrets were put online? Sam Morpeth is growing up way too fast, left to fend for a younger sister with learning difficulties when their mother goes to prison and watching her dreams of university evaporate. But Sam learns what it is to be truly powerless when a stranger begins to blackmail her online, drawing her into a trap she may not escape alive. Who would you turn to? Meanwhile, reporter Jack Parlabane has finally got his career back on track, but his success has left him indebted to a volatile source on the wrong side of the law. Now that debt is being called in, and it could cost him everything. What would you be capable of? Thrown together by a mutual enemy, Sam and Jack are about to discover they have more in common than they realise - and might be each other's only hope.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781408707173

Want You Gone is from the popular Jack Parlabane series, although if this is the first book you have read by Chris, it is a great introduction to Jack and his world. However if you have read and enjoyed the previous two novels I believe that you will enjoy this book as Chris grows in confidence and his writing style matures as he reintroduces characters from earlier novels back into his story. 
I was filling out a survey earlier today which was about another crime writer and one of the questions was about if the writing, plot line, characters and story were relateble and as I was thinking about it I realised that that perfectly describes Chris Brookmyre's books. There are many moments within the book that could happen to the reader or to their friends and family - one moment that springs to mind is after a burglary, during which a television is stolen and within the family, a little girl with additional needs has a moment because she can't watch her DVD's during her daytime routine - how many writers would include such a well thought out detail in their books? Chris Brookmyre has and it describes the situation perfectly and I really felt for the little girl and her family, victims of crime have to deal with so much and this is one of those effects that no one thinks about, unless they have a child with additional needs. 
There are computer hackers and financial fraud but also, on the other side, the benefits system and how it can go wrong as the reality of living within this system hits those hardest. I really liked the partnership and interaction between Jack and Samantha and the rollercoaster that they ride throughout this book is one that I wouldn't like to try but they are fantastic characters and I loved following them as the twists and turns are throughout and leave you on tenterhooks to the very last page.
I really did enjoy this book and I hope that my blog readers will give Chris Brookmyre a try. I hope that Chris enjoyed visiting my blog today and has enjoyed the blog tour experience.

Thank you to the publishers, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour in return for an honest review of the book. 



Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Blog Tour - The Woman who met her Match by Fiona Gibson


The Woman Who Met Her Match: A Funny Romantic Comedy That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud! (Paperback)What if your first love came back on the scene ...30 years later? After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she's got a good job, wonderful children and she's happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough. That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her - after thirty years. But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can't exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart ...can she? A wonderfully funny novel, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Joanna Bolouri and Milly Johnson.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008157029


Chick lit fan for the (slightly) older lady. Perfect for ladies aged in their 40's who want a light and fun read with a reminder of love from years gone by and the oppurtunity to rekindle in later life but will there be a happy ever after ending?
A perfect book to slip into holiday luggage and enjoy while lazing around the pool or on the beach. I enjoy Fiona Gibson's writing style - an easy read which is littered with Fiona's fantastic dry humour. The story covers many issues which are faced by women everyday including grief, bringing up children as a lone parent, the dynamics within a family and the strong bonds within. There is also the oppurtunity for second chances while also reliving memories from ones younger years. 
I must say a big thank you to the author, Fiona Gibson, who hand drew the gorgeous blog tour poster shown at the top of this post, it is fantastic and I feel honoured to be a part of her beautiful work.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

Blog Tour - The Wild Air by Rebecca Macsull

The Wild Air (Hardback)In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed. When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother's aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her. But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything - and everyone - Della loves.Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
ISBN: 9781473604438



I have always been a fan of Rebecca Mascull's books and I know that I am in for a good read with scenes where I get lost in the moment and The Wild Air, Rebecca's third novel, again transported me to Edwardian England where planes are taking the world by storm and there are, of course, mixed feelings about these new machines. The Great War is approaching and female pilots are increasing in number. 
I really enjoy Rebecca's writing style and as I previously said, I was transported into Edwardian England and I found myself liking the characters within this book. I really liked the characters of Adeliza, Della and Dawnay and enjoyed their wit along with their flamboyant style of speech. 
I think this book is a great tribute to the world's first female pilot and I am in real awe of the ladies who made this possible.

Thank you to the publishers, Hodder and Stoughton, for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Blog Tour - The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve


The Stars are Fire (Hardback)The brilliantly gripping new novel from the New York Times best-selling author of The Pilot's Wife (an Oprah's Book Club selection). Hot breath on Grace's face. Claire is screaming, and Grace is on her feet. As she lifts her daughter, a wall of fire fills the window. Perhaps a quarter of a mile back, if even that. Where's Gene? Didn't he come home? 1947. Fires are racing along the coast of Maine after a summer-long drought, ravaging thousands of acres, causing unprecedented confusion and fear. Five months pregnant, Grace Holland is left alone to protect her two toddlers when her difficult and unpredictable husband Gene joins the volunteers fighting to bring the fire under control. Along with her best friend, Rosie, and Rosie's two young children, the women watch in horror as their houses go up in flames, then walk into the ocean as a last resort. They spend the night frantically trying to save their children. When dawn comes, they have miraculously survived, but their lives are forever changed: homeless, penniless, and left to face an uncertain future. As Grace awaits news of her husband's fate, she is thrust into a new world in which she must make a life on her own, beginning with absolutely nothing; she must find work, a home, a way to provide for her children. In the midst of devastating loss, Grace discovers glorious new freedoms - joys and triumphs she could never have expected her narrow life with Gene could contain - and her spirit soars. And then the unthinkable happens, and Grace's bravery is tested as never before.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
ISBN: 9781408702987
This is the first Anita Shreve I have read in some time and it is definitely not going to be my last. I was drawn in to the story from the very start. I really liked Anita's style of writing, it is very atmospheric and I found myself living through the drought, snow and the fire. I really enjoyed reading about the style of living on the US coastline during 1947 and the dynamics within the families. It was a time where men went out to work and women stayed at home looking after the children and keeping house, however I think that life in America was different to that within postwar UK.

 I felt the story had a strong storyline, with characters who I sympathised with and I really felt for Claire, two young children and then pregnant with a third, which was conceived in violent circumstances. It is evident from the start that family life was not a happy place with Gene marrying Claire after loosing the love of his life. 

After the fire, life changes for the neighbourhood and while Gene is lost Claire has the oppurtunity to stand up and make things better for her family. The mysterious pianist who Claire finds squatting in the home previously owned by her mother in law, is the sunshine in her life for a short time but when he leaves Claire continues to work hard and gains independence making a better life for her and her family. However this is short lived when the police turn up on her doorstep and Claire's fortunes change again and a difficult decision must be made.

I really enjoyed the story and I think that although the story is set in 1947 and in America it is still relevant today. Women across the world are living in fear, with husbands who take charge or monopolise their families, leaving women and children living in daily fear (of course many men are also living in abusive relationships), however stories like this show that these relationships can be escaped and people can have a life after their fear. 

I think this is one of those books that could give many of its readers a positive message that things can improve and I hope that it is a book that is shared because it it a great story but also one that can give hope,

Thank you to the publishers, Little Brown, for inviting me onto this book tour in return for an honest review. 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Blog Tour - The Beachside Flower Stall by Karen Clarke


The Beachside Flower Stall: A Feel Good Romance to Make You Laugh Out Loud - Beachside Bay 2 (Paperback)Carrie Dashwood fled Dorset ten years ago when her best friend Megan stole her love, local heartthrob Tom. Now she’s back to help run her aunt Ruby’s flower stall in idyllic Shipley. 

Trying to persuade herself that her feelings for Tom are in the past, Carrie plans to avoid him and Megan completely. But it’s not to be, because Ruby’s Blooms are arranging the flowers for Megan and Tom’s wedding. 

Soon Carrie’s crawling under the stall to hide and accidentally inventing an imaginary boyfriend... But with the stall’s finances in jeopardy and Ruby needing her niece more than ever, Carrie has to keep her emotions in check.

With bouquets to arrange, family secrets to uncover, and Tom unavoidably a part of her life again, can Carrie keep her cool, save the stall, and find her very own happy ever after?

Publisher: Bookouture
ISBN: 9781786811578




The Beachside Flower Stall is a return to Shipley, the second installment in the the Beachside Bay series. The book contains a whole new cast of characters although a few favourites from The Beachside Sweet Shop pop up too.

I really enjoyed The Beachside Sweet Shop and was looking forward to the second book, although unfortunately this book didn't grab me as quickly. However, I did enjoy the story as it got going, particularly as the meaning behind individual flowers were entwined into the story, reiminscent of Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers.  There are a number of storylines throughout the book but I really enjoyed Ruby's story which was a heartwarming storyline.

There were also a number of times during the book when Karen Clarke's humour shone through and I found myself laughing out loud. 

The book can be read as a standalone novel, however it is the second visit to the beachside town of Shipley and the series is introducing the reader to a great cast of characters who I hope to meet up with again soon.  Karen Clarke has created a great setting and I look forward to returning again soon.

Thank you to the publishers, Bookouture, for inviting me to take part on this blog tour in return for an honest review. 

Friday, 14 April 2017

One Happy Tiger by Catherine Rayner

One Happy Tiger (Board book)

"Catherine Rayner has the marvellous gift for capturing the souls of animals in a few, rich washes of colour." - The Daily Telegraph. Help your toddler learn to count from one to ten with this stylish counting book from Catherine Rayner. The simple text gently touches on themes of happiness, friendship and the natural world, making it the perfect companion to the classic picture book, Augustus and His Smile. With sturdy board pages for little hands to turn, this beautiful tall-format board book encourages your child to practise their first numbers and develop their counting skills - and it's a wonderful gift for babies and toddlers too.
Publisher: Little Tiger Press Group
ISBN: 9781848692343

Catherine Rayner is a fabulous illustrator and one of my favourite books by her is Abigail, about a giraffe who is teaching others to count, and I often read this book at storytime with children.  
One Happy Tiger is about a tiger and is again a book about counting. Catherine has illustrated this book with her stunning illustrations which all feature a tiger, who is beautiful, striking and friendly and are accompanied by butterflies, insects and fish. I would love to have some of Catherine Rayner's artwork on my wall but I love having the books to hand to look through until such a time.
The book is toddler friendly with a sturdy board cover and thick pages for those small hands to enjoy.
Thank you to the publishers, Little Tiger, for sending me the book to review.