Tuesday, 22 October 2019

#PublicationDayPush The Wife's Revenge by Deirdre Palmer


Today it's a pleasure to take part in the Publication day Push for The Wife's Revenge by Deirdre Palmer.
About the Author
I live in Brighton with my husband and a tabby cat called Chester. After a career in public sector admin, most recently at the University of Brighton, it was time to stop dreaming about being a writer and actually do something about it!  Fast forward to the present, and now I’m both traditionally published and self-published, with five women’s fiction novels under my own name, and five ‘cosy’ reads, writing as Zara Thorne.  I’ve also published a book of short stories, most of which were previously published in The People’s Friend magazine. ‘The Wife’s Revenge’ is my first foray into the psychological suspense genre.

Follow @DLPalmer_Writer on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreads, on Amazon,Visit deirdrepalmer.comBuy The Wife's Revenge

About the book
Sometimes the lie is safer than the truth.
Fran made the biggest mistake of her life when she had an affair with Ben. Both families live in the village of Oakheart; their children are friends. Fran’s guilt shadows her days. But it’s no more than she deserves, or is it? At least she’s managed to protect her husband, Hector, from the harsh truth.
But for how long?

Tessa has left her troubles in the past and now has the perfect life. Ben might have his faults, but his life has not been easy. They need each other, and Tessa will do whatever it takes to eliminate any threats to her marriage.
Threats from women like Fran.

A cliff overlooks a disused chalk-pit. The locals call it High Heaven. It’s a place of secrets. And it’s where Oakheart newcomer Maria died. When Fran discovers a link between Maria and Ben, disturbing questions arise to which she has no way of knowing the answers.

Faced with an ultimatum from Tessa, time is running out for Fran. She’s scared, every minute of every day.
But where does the real danger lie?

Review
From the outside Fran has a great marriage, three beautiful children and a wonderful life. But this is Fran now and not then. Not so long ago Fran was so happy with her life that she needed to seek more pleasure outside of her marriage. Pleasure with Tessa's husband. That's right with someone else's husband.

Tessa isn't blind to all the carnal shenanigans though. In fact she knows exactly when Ben starts to look elsewhere and stray. He can look and he can play for a while, but as soon as it gets serious Tessa has to take steps to ensure her family doesn't fall apart. Even if that means doing the absolute worst and unthinkable.

Palmer keeps the reader guessing when it comes to a question of guilt, because there are quite a few characters who appear to have a screw loose or are sailing close to the precipice of disturbed. Tessa is the classic jealous wife with vengeance on her mind and hatred in her heart. Ben seems to have some sociopathic tendencies he is hiding well, because he performs daily as the perfect and caring husband, and yet there is a dark and insidious side to his character.

The author plays with the different levels of culpability and guilt. How each character deals with it or not as the case may be. Humans are fallible - there is no such thing as perfection.

It's a riveting psychological thriller, a story with multiple layers of guilt and accountability. Palmer writes a gripping story. The kind that reels you in and keeps you on the hook until the last page.

Buy The Wife's Revenge at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Crooked Cat/Darkstroke books; pub date 22 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday, 21 October 2019

#BlogTour Christmas at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Christmas at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a £15 Amazon Gift Card (UK Only)
About the Author
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. Since 2007, she has had several novels published by small US presses, eight books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical.

In January 2018, she signed a four-book deal with Aria Fiction for a new Edwardian series set in Bath’s finest department store. The Mistress of Pennington’s released July 2018, A Rebel At Pennington’s February 2019 and Christmas At Pennington’s September 2019.

Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America and has thousands of social media followers all over the world. To sign up for her quarterly and new release newsletter, click here to go to her website: https://rachelbrimble.com/

Connect with @RachelBrimble @Aria_Fiction on Twitter, on BookBubon Goodreads, on Instagram, on Amazon, And with Rachel Brimble on FacebookRachel's Readers Group on Facebook,Visit rachelbrimble.blogspot.com
Buy Christmas at Pennington's


About the book
Gripping drama as Pennington's department store prepares for a glittering Christmas in 1911, but a killer stalks the women of Bath.

Christmas sees Pennington's at its most glorious, thronged with shoppers, its grand staircase and balcony adorned with holly, mistletoe, tinsel and lights. It should be the happiest time, but dramas are seething beneath the surface.

For Cornelia Culford, in charge of jewellery, a divorce hearing looms, where she could lose custody of her young sons to her overbearing and unfaithful husband.

For Stephen Gower, being head of security at Pennington's is the perfect refuge from a tragic past at Scotland Yard. But soon the past will call him back, as Joseph Carter and Elizabeth Pennington beg him to help solve the murder of Joseph's first wife, now that it seems as if the killer has struck again.
For Joseph and Elizabeth, their marriage depends on exorcising the past. But can it ever be laid to rest?

Review
Although this series is more of a cosy romance series that addresses important topics of the times, this book seemed to take it up a notch. The crime element of the story was a bit more gritty and full of emotional turmoil, and the domestic violence element played out quite well.

Brimble brings the confusion, behavioural issues and the blame game of the children to the plot, and shows the extreme situation Cordelia finds herself in.

There is a lot going on in this story, the murder, the domestic violence, the aspect of child abuse and women living in a patriarchal society, and much more. At times it seems as if one storyline has to be cut short to make room for another one, sometimes less is more.

Saying that, the author manages to maintain the feel of the Pennington books and the aura Elizabeth brings to the story. The elegance and atmosphere of the store, the struggle to claim her place in society because she has no rights as a woman. More importantly the strong friendships and bonds that form despite class and gender distinctions.

It's a cosy romance and crime with poignant social issues of the era woven into the plot. The author wants readers to take something away from the story, whilst simultaneously giving them a good read.

I enjoy the contradiction of the pleasant and controversial in the same plot - it makes for a good read.

Buy Christmas at Pennington's at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Aria pub date 19 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Mistress of Pennington's by Rachel Brimble
Read my review of A Rebel at Pennington's by Rachel Brimble

Enter the Giveaway to Win a £15 Amazon Gift Card (UK Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

Saturday, 19 October 2019

#BlogTour Silent Money by G.D. Harper


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Silent Money by G.D. Harper.

About the Author
I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.

In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells' Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.
I went to Glasgow University in 1975 and lived in the city’s West End, the time and place for the setting of the majority of Silent Money.

Follow @harper_author on Twitter, on Facebookon Goodreadson Amazon,Visit gdharper.com
Buy Silent Money
About the book
Glasgow, 1972. Michael Mitchell is ambitious, talented and determined to succeed. But he learns the hard way that he will never achieve his goals in life – unless he plays by a different set of rules.
He partners with a small-time crook to help the Glasgow underworld launder the proceeds of their crimes. As the operation grows, Michael is forced to become more and more ruthless to protect what he has built.

Shocked by who he has become, he vows to leave the criminal world behind and start a new life. But the past has a way of catching up. Finally, he gambles everything on one last desperate attempt to break free.

Review
This is the prequel to Love's Long Road, which tells the story of Michael's lover Roberta. This story is all about Michael Mitchell, and the third part in the trilogy, A Friend in Deed, features the story of Duncan. Although all three books in the trilogy are intertwined when it comes to the characters and the environment, each one of them can be read as a standalone novel.

There are certain career paths that are made easy and scattered with gold-plated nepotism and class snobbery. Where you come from, which school you went to and which social class you belong to matters more than talent and experience. Imagine being on the short end of the stick regardless of how hard you work and how much you deserve to climb up into the upper echelons of the career ladder.

That's exactly where Michael finds himself. Passed over again and again for promotions he deserves, and treated as if he were someone inferior and unworthy. The fact he can run rings around the privileged men who are handed the career opportunities that should be coming his way - well it makes him think twice about where he belongs.

The rejection makes him wander off the path of respectability and straight into the path of the criminal world. If his employers aren't going to embrace his talents then he will find someone who will.

Harper makes some intriguing points in this urban crime series. The way class structure works in a discriminatory way towards everyone below the upper and middle upper class. When there is no realistic option to rise to the top for said lower classes does that equal a valid excuse to take the road into criminal activity, or rather do they think it does?

It's an urban crime story with determined and driven characters. Harper keeps his characters realistic and down-to-earth, whilst giving the reader a gritty plot.

Buy Silent Money at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador; pub date 28 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Love's Long Road by G.D. Harper

Friday, 18 October 2019

#BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox


Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox.

About the Author
Hester Fox lives near Salem, the location of the historical Salem witch trials. She is a keen painter and has a masters degree in historical archaeology, as well as a background in Medieval studies and art history.

Follow @HesterBFox on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit hesterfox.comBuy The Widow of Pale Harbour


About the book
A town gripped by fear. A woman accused of witchcraft. Who can save Pale Harbour from itself?

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that hunt him after his wife's death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe's darkest tales.

Review
Gabriel Stone is a man with many secrets. The kind of secrets that can destroy the life he is intent on carving out for himself in the community of Pale Harbour. Perhaps that is why he connects instantly with Sophronia Carver - a woman with secrets.

She has become the target of malicious rumours and a concentrated effort to malign her character and to scare her. Is she a witch? Did she have something to do with her husband's demise? Is someone in her inner circle guilty of the worst betrayal?

Gabriel is surprised when rumours and reputation don't line up with his personal experience and encounters with Sophronia. What is it about this woman that evokes such negative reactions and has set someone on a murderous course of action?

Fox uses the works and myth of Poe to insert a macabre and gothic vibe to the story. Each moment of fear or horror is woven through the fabric of his work. Although this isn't a new angle per se, I liked the idea of a perpetrator who is influenced by the words of an author, but in a historical context, ergo not a modern era. Nowadays criminals are allegedly influenced by what they watch, read and play, which is a common theme to us. Taking that perspective on criminality, and perhaps even accountability, and creating the same kind of stepping stone was interesting.

It's mystery, murder and crime, a psychological thriller in a historical setting. Fox balances romances, fear and mystery meticulously to create a gripping read.

Buy The Widow of Pale Harbour at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 17 Oct. 2019.Paperback £7.99 - Available in eBook and Audio. Buy at Amazon com.


Thursday, 17 October 2019

#PaperbackPublicationDay The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth


It's the Paperback Release Day for The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth. To celebrate Paperback Publication Day you can win a copy of The Rival courtesy of Quercus Books!

To win a copy of The Rival just click this link to retweet and follow @charduck @QuercusBooks!

The Rival is an incredibly powerful novel. Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women's fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.
About the Author
Charlotte Duckworth is a graduate of the Faber Academy’s acclaimed six-month ‘Writing a Novel’ course. She studied Classics at Leeds University and then completed a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism. For the past 15 years she has worked as an interiors and lifestyle journalist, writing for a wide range of consumer magazines and websites. In 2011, she completed a postgraduate diploma in Screenwriting from London College of Communication. She lives in Surrey with her partner and young daughter.

Follow @charduck @Quercusbooks on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit charlotteduckworth.comBuy The Rival

About the book
NOW:
Living in her home in the countryside Helena is a career woman without a job and a mother without a baby. She blames Ashley for destroying her life. But is what happened really Ashley's fault?

THEN:
When Helena hires Ashley to work with her, she's startled but impressed by her fierce ambition. They form a dream team and Helena is proud -maybe this is the protégé she's always wanted to have? But soon Helena realises that nothing will stand in the way of Ashley's drive to get to the top. And when Helena discovers she is pregnant, she quickly realises how vulnerable her position is, with devastating consequences.

The Rival is an addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, mental health and motherhood and how far you'd ever go to get what you want.

Review
The reader is taken from the present to past and vice versa, as we meet Helena and her ambitious co-worker Ash. In the past Helena doesn't notice how Ash is encroaching on her terrain until it is too late to do anything about it. In the present the intelligent career woman has been reduced to a blubbering mess incapable of coping with life in general. Her job and career have disintegrated, and the house is now no longer filled with the sounds and smells of a baby.

Even when one takes the archaic patriarchal system into consideration and the fact there is still inequality between men and women, I still stand by the fact that women are often the greatest opposition to other women. The situation between Ash and Helena is an example of the way women think they should achieve and get rid of the competition in the workplace. Ash does what a lot of women do, especially in the world of business, she believes she has to be one of the men to succeed. Treating pregnant colleagues with disdain, judging their appearance instead of their professional capabilities, and being completely ruthless to get ahead.

Regardless of which aspect of this story you look at or connect with, it all comes back to support. The majority of us need support at some time or other during our lives, but I think the support women sometimes need is at the forefront of this read.

Motherhood is a topic that causes a lot of controversy, especially between women. Women who choose not to have children sneer at women who do, women who have children think childless women are missing out and aren't complete women. Women who have c-sections are told they aren't real mothers because only vaginal births count. Stay-at-home mothers are called lazy by career mothers, and career mothers are called neglectful by stay-at-home mothers. The author begins her story with a simple anonymous quote - Every mother is a working mother - and that is the truth. The above mentioned controversial and often hotly debated topics are just a few examples of how we degrade, demean and bring each other down instead of supporting and raising each other up.

This story is meticulously plotted, it doesn't go in the direction you think it will and ultimately doesn't focus on the element of the plot you think it might.I don't want to reveal the twist in the plot, although I would love to talk about the ending. Kudos to the author for highlighting the issues. It's an incredibly powerful and well thought out debut by Duckworth and I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.

Let me just say that although it fits into the genre of psychological thriller it is also in its own way an empowering piece of women's fiction and a reminder to pay more attention to the people around us.

Buy The Rival at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Quercus Books, Paperback pub date: 17 Oct. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

Review
It takes a talented scribe to write about mathematics and keep non-maths enthusiasts captivated. Luckily Chung does so quite successfully by weaving the facts with the fiction and the complex theories of mathematics. Chung manages to take the world of numbers and meld it perfectly with history, and with the turmoil of emotions we humans bring to the table.

In essence this a story about a woman achieving recognition in a man's world and simultaneously about Katherine discovering her true past and heritage. Even in the face of pure talent the majority of her peers and tutors refuse to acknowledge said talent, which leads to betrayal, disappointment and defines her path in life.

Without giving too much of the plot away, there is a moment in this story, which is filled with gender inequality, misogyny and oppression of intelligent women and women in general, when the betrayal comes from someone who knows firsthand how hard it is to succeed as a woman in a patriarchal society. I think this moment is one of the most poignant, because Katherine bows down and accepts the oppression out of a false sense of loyalty towards a fellow woman.

In a way the fate of her parents becomes like one of the unsolved mathematical problems. Riemann's hypothesis becomes a metaphor for the unsolved mystery of Katherine's parents.

It's historical fiction, women's fiction and a mystery to boot. Chung wades through oppression and ventures into empowerment, whilst weaving in and out of the secrets of the past.

Buy The Tenth Muse at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group - ebook pub date June 2019 - Hardback pub date 7 November 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Follow @chung_catherine on Twitter, on Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit catherinechung.com

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

#BlogTour Reach For a Star by Kathryn Freeman


Today it's  my turn on the BlogTour Reach For a Star by Kathryn Freeman.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

About the Author
A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.

With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn't always about hearts and flowers - and heroes come in many disguises.

Follow @KathrynFreeman1 on Twitter, on Facebook, on Goodreadson Amazon,  kathrynfreeman.co.uk, Buy Reach For a Star


About the book
What if your dreams were so close you could reach out and touch them?
How could anyone resist Michael Tennant, with his hypnotic blue eyes and voice like molten chocolate? Jessie Simmons certainly can’t. But Jessie’s a single mum who can’t sing to save her life – there’s no way she’ll ever cross paths with the star tenor.

At least that’s what she thinks until she’s unexpectedly invited to take part in a new reality TV show. The premise? Professional singers teach hopeless amateurs how to sing. The surprise? Jessie’s partner is none other than Michael Tennant!

As she becomes better acquainted with the man behind the voice, will Jessie find out the hard way that you should never meet your idols? Or will she get more than she bargained for?
Review
Jessie's sons think they are doing their mother a favour by applying to a reality show. Giving her a chance to sing with her idol, the singer Michael Tennant, in front of the whole world. She may sound like a rusty pipe with drainage issues, but what's a little lack of singing talent matter in singing competition, eh?

What starts as an opportunity to meet her crush and perhaps show everyone what she is made of quickly turns into something quite unexpected. Michael likes Jessie. Is that even a scenario worth considering? The star and the single mother of two teenage boys, could it really be more than just a short blip in the exciting world of Michael?

Freeman makes an important point about the desirability of women who aren't super young and childless. Even if society, especially the patriarchal system, tries to convince women that being a mother and a caregiver also equates to being a non-sexual being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Taking care of tiny humans doesn't lessen the desire to be wanted or considered an object of desirability.

Jessie has to confront her fears and needs simultaneously, and be honest about what she wants and deserves in her life. A message the majority of us can comprehend and relate to.

It's a passionate story about love, family and romance. The normal Mom finding out love is written and spoken in the same language everywhere - no matter how rich, famous or everyday normal you or you life may be.

Buy Reach For a Star at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Choc Lit; pub date 24 Sept. 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a PB copy of Oh Crumbs by Kathryn Freeman (Open INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.