Blog Tour: And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills

I am delighted to be one of today’s stops on the blog tour for And a Sixpence for Luck by Lilac Mills

There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.

 

Synopsis

Daisy Jones has hit rock bottom. Or so she believes.

A cheating boyfriend, trouble at work, having to move back in with her mother, and being forced to compare her brother’s loved-up, newly-wed status and spanking-new shiny house with her own dire lack of prospects isn’t what she imagined her life was going to be like at thirty. To top it all off, Christmas is just around the corner!

And when her ancient great-grandmother plants a silver sixpence in the Christmas pud, Daisy’s run of bad luck is about to get a whole lot worse.

Review

 

 

Many thanks to Lilac, Jenny and Neverland Blog Tours for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

 

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Blog Tour: December Girl by Nicola Cassidy {Review}

Today is my stop on the blog tour for December Girl, the fantastic debut novel by Nicola Cassidy.

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Synopsis

decembergirl-final.pngMolly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life she has faced troubles.

As a young woman her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery.

Then in 1896 her baby son is taken from his pram. Molly searches the streets for Oliver. The police are called but her baby is gone.

Why does trouble seem to follow Molly?

And will she ever find out what happened to her child?

December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.

Review

The harrowing tone of the book is set in the opening scenes where we first meet Molly Thomas. Already coming to terms with her past she now has to deal with the fact her baby son, Oliver, has been taken from his pram.

Readers are then taken back to into Molly’s past where were are guided through the events that set her on the path to becoming the woman we first meet. A couple of times the story left me a little lost as I tried to keep up with the characters. However, by part 2 I was fully invested in Molly and found mixed up in a roller coaster of emotions as we followed her story.

December Girl is filled with such amazing details of the period and paints a vivid picture of life in Ireland during the 19th century. What I loved most about the book though, was the path it took. Just when I thought I knew where it would lead, there was a twist in the plot and we were off in a totally different direction.

This is a fantastic debut novel from Nicola Cassidy and one I would highly recommend. It’s easy to see the work she has put into the book as it is extremely well researched and brilliantly written. I can’t wait to see what come next from Nicola.

 

Many thanks to Nicola Cassidy, Sarah Hardy and Bombshell Books for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

Nicci CassidyNicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland. She started her writing  career early, entering short story competitions, penning protest letters to magazines and making up characters in her head. These scribblings saw her place in a number of competitions as a child and encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at Dublin City University.

While working in political PR and marketing, Nicola studied a series of advanced creative writing courses at the Irish Writers’ Centre and set up a lifestyle and literary blog at http://www.LadyNicci.com, which was nominated in the Ireland Blog Awards in 2015 and 2016.

During her maternity leave for her first daughter, Nicola set about researching and writing a historical fiction novel, December Girl, inspired by true events and set in the mystical and ancient Boyne Valley, famed for its stone age passage tombs, near to where she grew up.

Nicola signed with US based Trace Literary Agency in 2016. December Girl was picked up by Betsy Reavley at UK digital publisher Bombshell Books in June 2017 and was published 26 October 2017.

She is an avid reader, inspired by the likes of Anais Nin, Joan Didion and Jessie Burton and is currently working on her second novel, also inspired by true events. She lives with her husband and two young daughters in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth.

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Blog Tour: Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour {Review}

It’s a pleasure to be part of the blog tour for Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour

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Synopsis

CW Cover

The silent chorus.

Just imagine you thought that you had met the man or woman of your dreams. This person was charming and you thought they were the one or perhaps that this was fate; it was just meant to be.

But as the months go by things start to change. Their behaviour towards you isn’t the same, they are more critical, more particular about your appearance, what you do, how you do it, who you see. Time goes by and you feel isolated from yourfriends and family because that behaviour has now changed to threats, maybe violence and you feel that your identity is all but gone. But still you stay. Where would you go? Who would help you? You are not worthy.

But you are.

A group of survivors have spoken about their own experiences. In their own words they show that survivors do have a voice and that it needs to be heard. They show that abuse isn’t unique or strange but that it is, unfortunately, a surprisingly common problem in today’s society.

The message of this book is one of courage, as with courage comes awareness and an ability to understand what has happened to you and take the steps needed to become a survivor yourself.

Review

It’s not often I open my reviews with a trigger warning but in the case of Clipped Wings by Jennifer Gilmour I feel I must. This isn’t the usual fiction books you see featured here, this book is made up of the real life stories from survivors of domestic abuse.

You may wonder why I’ve chosen to feature this book when the subject matter is so disturbing. Well I’ll tell you. I feel quite strongly about this subject and believe that it needs to be discussed so that anyone who is, or has, suffered domestic violence knows that they are not alone and that they can survive.  As you can imagine this isn’t an easy read but it was one that I determined to get to the end of.

Clipped Wings is collection of short stories told by survivors of domestic abuse and covers a range of perspectives. Each story is truly heartbreaking and as you are taken deeper into each person’s account, you can almost feel the pain and suffering that they have been subjected to. These people are some of the lucky ones (although it may not seem like that as you read their stories) as not all sufferers survive to tell the tale.

There are accounts from the male perspective too as they can also be victims of domestic abuse. Although to some this may seem amusing, I can assure you after reading their accounts that it is no laughing matter.

 

I can’t say that I enjoyed this book, but the bravery of the survivors in telling their tale compelled me to keep reading and I’m glad I did. I truly hope that this book helps to raise awareness of such a difficult subject.

Many thanks to Jennifer Gilmour and Emma Mitchell for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

Jennifer GilmourBorn in the North East, Jennifer is a young, married mum with three children. In addition to being an author, she is an entrepreneur, running a family business from her home-base. Her blog posts have a large readership of other young mums in business.

From an early age, Jennifer has had a passion for writing and started gathering ideas and plot lines from her teenage years. A passionate advocate for women in abusive relationships, she has drawn on her personal experiences to write her first novel ‘Isolation Junction’. It details the journey of a young woman from the despair of an emotionally abusive and unhappy marriage to develop the confidence to challenge and change her life and to love again.

Since the publication of her debut novel Jennifer has continued to be an advocate for those in abusive relationships through her blog posts, radio interviews and Twitter feed. Jennifer also gained a qualification in facilitating a recover programme for those who have been in abusive relationships.

Jennifer continues to publicly support those who are isolated and struggle to have a voice. Jennifer hopes that ’Clipped Wings’ give’s a voice to survivor’s experiences and raise’s awareness further of the types of unacceptable behaviour which fall into the category of domestic abuse.

 

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Blog Tour: London Noir by Ann Girdharry {Review}

I am delighted to be part of the one day blog blitz for London Noir by Ann Girdharry.

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Synopsis

LondonNoir high defcoverMemory loss, nightmares, the urge to kill – Sophie has it all.

Is it really Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Or something more sinister?

Kal is about to find out…

After a near-fatal road accident, Kal helps Sophie, a young girl in trouble.

The girl’s friends are being murdered one by one. Why? And who by?

Kal must kick start herself out of her downward spiral to save the young stranger.

But Kal is in the grip of the London Cartel, and is someone after the girl, or is the girl after someone?

Review

Having not read the first of this series I did wonder, as I usually do, whether or not it could be read as a standalone book. Well, if anyone else is wondering the same, I can confirm that it can. The author elaborates sufficiently about past happenings that you don’t feel like you’ve missed out too much. However, if you’re like me you may well want to go back and read the first book just to see what you missed in a little more detail (I now have Good Girl Bad Girl ready to read on my kindle).

Anyway, back to the book, and more importantly the main protagonist, Kal Medi. I’ve read a few books recently with female protagonists but not quite as intriguing as Kal. I was hooked the minute I met her. She has an interesting past due to her father and an uncanny ability to read people’s body language to subsequently manipulate the situations she inevitably finds herself in.

London Noir is a fantastic read and will grab your attention immediately. From there it will draw you in with a fast-paced plot and well thought out characters. There are twists and turns throughout that will keep you on your toes, all of which make for an amazing ride.

I’m usually pretty good at picking out the killer in books but on this occasion, it wasn’t until the killer was almost revealed, that I clicked who it was. I must say that this killer is among some of the most sadistic killers I’ve encountered this year and the chapters narrated in the first person, through the eyes of the killer are spine tingling to say the least.

I love the use of psychology within the book and feels it adds another level to the story. All in all, I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be adding this series to my ones to watch out for.

Many thanks to Ann and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads | Amazon US

About the Author

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Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.

A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.

She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.

Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, will be published October 2017.

She is also author of Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Short Reads.

 

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Blog Tour: The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup {Review}

I am delighted to be part of the weekend blitz for The Forgotten Room by Ann Troup.

Ann Troup

Synopsis

DI4S26qXgAI9oXTCan the past ever be forgotten?

As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.

Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…

Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?

The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.

Review

This was my first Ann Troup novel, and it didn’t disappoint. It was dark and mysterious with unique plot.

The story-line was well paced for the post part and intricately woven together like a lace shawl. There were several dead ends before you finally reached the conclusion and I definitely didn’t see that coming.

The characters, although in abundance, were well developed. However at times it was a little hard to keep track of them and whether or not they were responsible or just another victim. As for the depiction of the old house, it was just the right level of creepy and set the scene perfectly.

I was completely hooked with this book and kept trying to work out how it would all end. Just to say I was completely wrong but nevertheless the ending was brilliant. I would highly recommend this book.

Many thanks to Ann, Jenny and Neverland Blog Tours for my advanced reader copy and inviting me on the tour!

Amazon UK | Goodreads Amazon US

About the Author

Ann TroupThe Forgotten Room is Ann’s third book, following on from The Lost Child and The Silent Girls.

She lives in Devon near the sea and spends her time either writing or dabbling with art.

 

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Blog Tour: Maggie by Netta Newbound

I’m thrilled to be helping kick of the blog blitz for Maggie by Netta Newbound.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the tour.

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Synopsis

PrintWhen sixteen-year-old Maggie Simms’ mum loses her battle with cancer, the only family she has left is her abusive stepfather, Kenny.

Horrified to discover he intends to continue his nightly abuse, Maggie is driven to put a stop to him once and for all.

However, she finds her troubles are only just beginning when several of her closest allies are killed.

Although nothing seems to be linking the deaths, Maggie believes she is jinxed.

Why are the people she cares about being targeted?

And who is really behind the murders?

Sometimes the truth is closer than you think.

Review

 

Having not read anything by the author previously I wasn’t sure what to expect from her latest novel, Maggie. Well I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Maggie is fast paced and highly intriguing and it will have you hooked from the beginning. There are twists and turns throughout the book and just when you think you have it figured out, something switches and you’re back to square one.

The characters are well written and you really do have to feel sorry for Maggie with everything she is going through. However, there were a couple of occasions when I forgot how old Maggie actually was due to her behaviour. At times she seemed a lot older than her sixteen years.

The pace of the story is perfect and the short chapters mean you can race along and get straight to the point which I loved and found to work extremely well with this story.

I would highly recommend this book and will be seeking out more by this author.

Many thanks to Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books for organising this blog blitz. Thanks also to the author, Netta Newbound, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.

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About the Author

Netta pic (1)My name’s Netta Newbound. I write thrillers in many different styles — some grittier than others. The Cold Case Files have a lighter tone and are full of fun. I also write a series set in London, which features one of my favourite characters, Detective Adam Stanley. These books are a little grittier. My standalone books, The Watcher and An Impossible Dilemma, are not for the faint hearted, and it seems you either love them or hate them—I’d love to know what you think.

Originally from Manchester, England, I have travelled extensively and have lived and worked in a variety of exciting places. I now live in New Zealand with my husband. We have three grown up children and four grandchildren.

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Blog Tour: Oh! What a Pavlova by Isabella May

I am delighted to be hosting an extract from Isabella May’s debut novel Oh! What a Pavolva as part of the blog tour.

There are still a few remaining stops on the tour, here’s where it’s heading next.

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Synopsis

Pavlova Book Cover

Kate Clothier is leading a double life: a successful jet-setting businesswoman to the outside world, but behind closed doors, life with Daniel and his volcanic temper is anything but rosy.

Some days – heck, make that EVERY day – cake is her only salvation.

Slowly but surely, the cities she visits – and the men she meets – help her to realise there IS a better future.

And the ley lines of Glastonbury are certainly doing their best to impart their mystical wisdom…

But will she escape before it’s too late?

Extract

Chapter One 

My infidelities had been set in motion some time ago, in Lyon during my Uni gap year, a mere three years into my relationship with Daniel.

I’d always dismissed my very brief fling with Pierre, the engineering postgraduate, as nothing more than getting things out of my system before settling down to married life. It colluded with the childishly sketched pictures of ‘our future country cottage’ that Daniel would send me, along with the lovesick letters which arrived in forlorn bundles begging me to always stay with him, have his children, cats and dogs. Even then it scared me sideways, the lengths to which he had water-coloured my life without as much as a consultation.

One Saturday I was whisked off to a ball with another English student friend. Both of us were stranded as teachers in a further education centre; a grey concrete jungle of nothingness, on the outskirts of the city. A mutual acquaintance just happened to be the not-much-older-big-sister of one of the engineering postgrads at Lyon University, securing us some much swooned over tickets.

The engineering ball was quite the grandest event I had been to at the time. Swarms of hot-blooded French men outnumbered the women four-to-one on the dance floor. The Teenage Wedding song from Pulp Fiction blared out and Pierre made his move: Quite from nowhere, quite a surprise, quite mmm. I played Ice Maiden admirably for a couple of verses.

“Je ne peux pas te baiser, j’ai un copain,” I protested feebly every time he dived in for an intoxicating kiss.

Before long, I yielded to his charm; the heady scent of his expensive aftershave helping things along. As the night drew to a close and I discovered the meaning of a real French kiss, he inscribed his phone number the length of my inner arm in pillar box red Chanel lipstick, blunting my favourite make-up as he swept back his long model locks to concentrate. I felt quite the tarte.

But I was too stunned by my actions to care about Daniel, except for a brief spell a couple of weeks down the line when he had caught the Eurostar over to visit. He was a shadow of his former self, having eaten barely a thing since I’d left. Then the guilt caved in. Then I felt utterly wretched for cheating. I worried myself sick when he left, that the next time we ‘met’ would be at his funeral. It was enough to make me abandon my studies and the silly year away. What was I doing to him? It wasmy selfishness and insistence on completing my language degree that had driven him to the brink of anorexia. Remembering the words his mother uttered just weeks before my departure hadn’t exactly eased my complex:

“But you’re not really going to go away and leave him, are you, Kate? I mean, you’ll jack Uni in and not abandon him on his own like this for a year, won’t you?”

“Appellez-moi,” Pierre ordered.

“Just you try to stop me from calling you,” I said, hardly believing my luck.

I managed to wait a whole twelve hours, unable to think of anything else but that kiss and the fire it had unleashed in areas it shouldn’t have. Then I called him, French script in hand, in case I needed a prompt and my throat froze over in pre-date silence.

Encounter numero deux was outside Lyon’s Opera House, where romantic took on a whole new dimension. Dressed in my Little Black Dress, I searched for him up and down, around and around the grand steps; a wanton mademoiselle struggling to catch her breath as a vision of floppy golden-haired loveliness appeared in the distance. In his long black designer coat, he was other-worldly. And I wondered just how many forbidden trysts had there been on those very same steps, beneath the watchful gaze of a French October sunset?

We walked side by side, sneaking furtive glances at one another, trying to hide our beaming smiles. I desperately wanted him to put his arm around me, but it was too early. Besides, this was no date as such. He’d simply invited me over to his apartment. Obviously I’d taken a small overnight bag with me anyway – just in case.

When we finally arrived, after striding through some ridiculously posh parts, I felt like a glamorous Screen Siren, transported back to the heyday of Hollywood. The apartment belonged to a class one needed to be born into. As for the bathroom, I’d never seen anywhere as stocked from floor to ceiling with expensive French aftershaves. No wonder the boy smelt good.

We spent a wonderful evening chatting, laughing, kissing, watching films. He had the most uncannily identical music collection. Although Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ raging across the sound system upon the flick of a hidden high-tech switch, was hardly the most appropriate of songs when things were getting raunchy, even if I adored Tom York’s melancholic warble.

Something happened after the fading of that song.

Many thanks to Isabella and Emma for inviting me on the tour!

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About the Author

20727954_1520842571287345_3297279732800217653_nIsabella May lives in (mostly) sunny Andalucia, Spain with her husband, daughter and son, creatively inspired by the sea and the mountains. When she isn’t having her cake and eating it, sampling a new cocktail on the beach, or ferrying her children to and from after school activities, she can usually be found writing.

As a co-founder and a former contributing writer for the popular online women’s magazine, The Glass House Girls – http://www.theglasshousegirls.com – she has also been lucky enough to subject the digital world to her other favourite pastimes, travel, the Law of Attraction, and Prince (The Purple One).

She has recently become a Book Fairy, and is having lots of fun with her imaginative ‘drops’!

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