Wednesday 30 December 2020

#Blogtour The Smuggler's Wife by Evie Grace

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Smuggler's Wife by Evie Grace - published by Arrow 31st December.
About the Author
Evie Grace was born in Kent, and one of her earliest memories is of picking cherries with her grandfather who managed a fruit farm near Selling.

Holidays spent in the Kent countryside and the stories passed down through her family inspired her to write her Maids of Kent trilogy. Evie now lives in Devon with her partner and dog. She has a grown-up daughter and son. She loves researching the history of the nineteenth century and is very grateful for the invention of the washing machine, having discovered how the Victorians struggled to do their laundry.

About the book
Her heart led her to him, but will loyalty be enough to make her stay...
When the beautiful but naïve Grace Lennicker falls for Isaiah Feasey, son of a rival smuggling family and owner of a local tavern, her sisters try to intervene. But as tensions grow, there is another suitor also hoping to win her hand in marriage, the dashing and more favourable Albert Enderby, a young lieutenant in the Revenue.

Grace is unwittingly drawn back into the world of smuggling that her sisters fought hard to leave behind, and as the violence erupts, she finds herself unable to stand by, knowing the rival gangs will kill anyone who stands in their way.

When her husband becomes involved, Grace is forced to make a difficult decision - turn him in and risk her life, or stay loyal and risk the lives of those she loves.

This is the third book in the The Smuggler’s Daughters trilogy. All three books feature a different sister and can be read as standalone novels. Grace gives just enough of the other back-stories to get the gist of the relationships between the sisters and their story up to this point.

This time the focus is on the youngest Lennicker daughter Grace. She has set her sights on a man who is truly considered to be the enemy and aside from that he is a criminal and a rake. No wonder her sisters do everything to keep the two of them very far apart indeed, however the heart wants what heart wants or is that the body, then again it could just be the fact a bad boy always looks so much more charming than a good guy.

Little does she realise that she will eventually have to make a decision between her loved ones and the man she believes is the bees knees. Sounds like such a simple choice, well it would be if everyone wasn't knee deep in dangerous and ruthless situations the majority of the time.

What Grace does really well is present the other sisters as just that - sisters - and not, from a character perspective, from a pre-story or own story point of view. Which means Winnie is the stern somewhat snobbish woman concerned about neighbours and reputation, as opposed to the young woman having to deal with the scathing judgements due to her previous predicament. Similar applies to Louisa and perhaps more so to her husband, where previously rising in the social ranks and becoming part of the regime may have appeared exciting and romantic, in this book it takes on more of a serious tone.

The result is a premise that gives a certain vibe of historical romance, and yet simultaneously the author gives it a Cookson sign of times feel. Instead of a glossing over of problems of the time, although there is a certain element of humour, there is more of reality vs romantic imagery when it comes to the plot. Grace delivers an escapist read combined with a more serious tone.

Buy The Smuggler's Wife (The Smuggler’s Daughters #3) at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Arrow: pub date 31st December 2020. Paperback Original - £6.99. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org.

Thursday 24 December 2020

#BlogTour Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Winterkill by Ragnar Jónasson. This fabulous Orenda blogtour is breaking for Xmas and will be continued on the 5th of January - don't miss the rest of the stops on the tour.

About the Author

Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jónasson was born in Reykjavík, and currently works as a lawyer, while teacher copyright law at the Reykjavík University Law School. In the past, he’s worked in TV and radio, including as a news reporter for the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service. Before embarking on a writing career, Ragnar translated fourteen Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic, and has had several short stories published in German, English and Icelandic literary magazines. 

Ragnar set up the first overseas chapter of the CWA (Crime Writers’ Association) in Reykjavík, and is co-founder of the International crime-writing festival Iceland Noir. Ragnar’s debut thriller, Snowblind became an almost instant bestseller when it was published in June 2015n with Nightblind (winner of the Dead Good Reads Most Captivating Crime in Translation Award) and then Blackout, Rupture and Whiteout following soon after. To date, Ragnar Jónasson has written five novels in the Dark Iceland series, which has been optioned for TV by On the Corner. He lives in Reykjavík with his wife and two daughters.

Follow @ragnarjo @OrendaBooks on Twitter, on Goodreadsragnarjonassonwriter on Facebook, Visit, Buy Winterkill

About the book

Easter weekend is approaching, and snow is gently falling in Siglufjörður, the northernmost town in Iceland, as crowds of tourists arrive to visit the majestic ski slopes.

Ari Thór Arason is now a police inspector, but he’s separated from his girlfriend, who lives in Sweden with their three-year-old son. A family reunion is planned for the holiday, but a violent blizzard is threatening and there is an unsettling chill in the air.

Three days before Easter, a nineteen-year-old local girl falls to her death from the balcony of a house on the main street. A perplexing entry in her diary suggests that this may not be an accident, and when an old man in a local nursing home writes ‘She was murdered’ again and again on the wall of his room, there is every suggestion that something more sinister lies at the heart of her death…

As the extreme weather closes in, cutting the power and access to Siglufjörður, Ari Thór must piece together the puzzle to reveal a horrible  truth … one that will leave no one unscathed.

Chilling, claustrophobic and disturbing, Winterkill marks the startling conclusion to the million-copy bestselling Dark Iceland series and cements Ragnar Jónasson as one of the most exciting authors in crime fiction.


This is the sixth and final part of the Dark Iceland series featuring Ari Thór. It can be read as a standalone crime novel, as can all the others in the series, however I would recommend the other books purely for reading pleasure. 

In this book Ari Thór is called to the scene of a tragic accident. A young girl has fallen to her death, which seems to have been of her own volition until questions begin to float to the surface and the police inspector wonders whether someone helped her fall. At the same time he is trying to navigate the painful and uncomfortable reality of co-parenting his young son, and not knowing whether he should fight for his relationship with the woman he loves.

I wish this weren't the end of this atmospheric and dark series. Jónasson has built his character and settings in a way that parallels progression in life and sometimes it's the right thing to leave and let be. It isn't necessarily the end of Ari Thór's story, actually perhaps it is a beginning, but it is the end of the road for the readers who have followed his progression.

Jónasson has this strangely captivating ability to draw the reader in with an almost soothing approach to crime. The surroundings add to the feeling of being simultaneously fascinated and burdened by the landscape, by the inability of a man unable to connect emotionally on a level that makes him happy. We plod along with him as he stumbles through life and crime with an almost accidental accuracy at times. It's charming and dark all at the same time.

One can only hope the author will return to Ari Thór one day, perhaps an older version made cynical by his experiences and yet still comfortable, because he feels at home and at peace. One can only hope.

Buy Winterkill at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones. At

Tuesday 22 December 2020

#BlogTour Children of the Valley by Castle Freeman

Today it's the last day and my turn on the BlogTour Children of the Valley by Castle Freeman.

About the Author

Castle Freeman is the author of seven novels, including the critically acclaimed Go With Me, which has been made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins, as well as two short-story collections. He has lived in rural Vermont since 1975.

Follow on Amazonon Goodreads, Buy Children of the Valley

About the book

Sheriff Lucian Wing goes to the aid of a pair of young runaways, Duncan and Pamela, who have fled to his backwoods county jurisdiction in Vermont. The girl’s powerful stepfather New York has set a smoothly menacing lawyer and well-armed thugs on their trail.

At the same time Wing must deal with his wayward wife’s chronic infidelity; the snobbery of Pamela’s cosmopolitan mother; the dubious assistance of a demented World War Two enthusiast – and the climactic, chaotic onset of a prodigious specimen of the local wildlife. Amidst it all, can Wing bring Duncan and Pamela to safety?


This is the third in the Lucian Wing series and can absolutely be read as a standalone novel, although I would recommend reading the others just for the read.

Lucian is sheriff in a backwoods rural community. The sort of place that tends to be filled to the brim with the kind of people others find odd, eccentric and and downright peculiar. He balances cross agency ambitions with the very special brand of loyalty rural life brings with it, and with a fiery relationship courtesy of his wife.

Lucian finds his feathers ruffled when a bigwig rocks up asking him to find a missing teenager for a rich client - her stepfather. Sounds simple enough, but all isn't what it seems to be when the sheriff takes a closer look and the bigwigs idea of 'finding' doesn't gel with his.

Can I just say that Big John deserves his own series, perhaps following his life as a hardened criminal with the talents of a particularly determined, elusive and ruthless Houdini. Between Big J and Wingate this cosy rural crime moves into its own comedy niche.

It's an unusual blend of Fargoism meets rural and cosy crime with an often acerbic dialogue and wit. I laughed out loud quite a few times. It just has these moments of unexpected hilarity. One of Freeman's strengths is his ability to give the characters depth with minimal world and character building.

I enjoyed it and wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by or recommend Freeman.

Buy Children of the Valley at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Farrago; 10 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Hive. Bookshop org. Waterstones.

Buy All That I Have ( Lucian Wing #1) and Old Number Five (Lucian Wing #2) by Castle Freeman.

Sunday 20 December 2020

#Review The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Don't miss this brilliant crime read in February 2021!
About the Author

Nadine Matheson is a writer of crime fiction, contemporary fiction and occasionally dips into the world of speculative fiction.

When Nadine is not writing, she works as a criminal lawyer and lecturer. She lives in London and in her fantasy life would write comic books for a living.

Follow @nadinematheson on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit, Buy The Jigsaw Man

About the book

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...

When body parts are found on the banks of the River Thames in Deptford, DI Angelica Henley is tasked with finding the killer. Eerie echoes of previous crimes lead Henley to question Peter Olivier, aka The Jigsaw Killer, who is currently serving a life sentence for a series of horrific murders.

When a severed head is delivered to Henley's home, she realises that the copycat is taking a personal interest in her and that the victims have not been chosen at random. To catch the killer, Henley must confront her own demons - - and when Olivier escapes from prison, she finds herself up against not one serial killer, but two.


DI Angelica Henley is still recovering from the physical and psychological impact of taking the Jigsaw Man down. She is finally back at work and eager to prove to all the doubters that being the object of interest of a serial killer hasn't had an impact on her expertise or work ethics. It's just her luck that a copycat has left his special brand of greeting card scattered around town.

Henley knows she locked up the right man, so this has to be someone new, but how does he know how to commit the crimes? Is it possible that the Jigsaw Man has had something to do with the copycat? Or is this someone who has just spent a lot of time studying a whole load of gruesome crimes.

I can only hope that this was just the first of many encounters with DI Anjelica Henley. Matheson really knows how to write the kind of crime read that keeps you riveted from start until the very last page. Her main character is a flawed individual who struggles with the reality of being both mother, wife and career woman. Is torn emotionally and constantly trying to suppress what she wants.

The flawed, yet tough and determined DI, combined with a Prodigal Son type killer makes for a premise that never stops giving. A villain who is both antagonist and protagonist at times, even if his motives are purely ego driven, and a DI determined to stop him. A cracking read. 

Buy/Pre-order The Jigsaw Man at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ pub date 18 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At Waterstones. At

Tuesday 15 December 2020

#BlogTour The Viscount's Convenient Bride by Josie Bonham

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Viscount's Convenient Bride by Josie Bonham.
About the Author

Josie lives in the English midlands, surrounded by towns full of history such as Evesham, Stratford-Upon- Avon, Warwick and Worcester. Which is perhaps why her favourite reads are historical. Out of all the periods to choose from the Regency Era stirs her imagination the most. The true Regency lasted from 1811 until 1820 but dates as wide as 1789 to 1837 have been included in the extended Regency period. For Josie the true flavour of this period emerges after the iniquitous hair powder tax of 1795, unsurprisingly, scuppered the fashion for hair powder almost overnight. 

Josie has always dabbled in stories but it took the combined efforts of her sister and eldest niece to set her on the path to writing novels. Her Regency romances, with a dash of adventure and intrigue, are the result.

There is more information on her website at  

Follow @BonhamJosie on Twitteron Goodreads, on Amazon, on Facebook, Buy The Viscount's Convenient Bride

About the book

Luke, Viscount Enstone’s, resolve to avoid a love match is tested to its limit when he accepts responsibility for the Davenport family.

Luke has found it hard to sort out his late father’s affairs. A dishonest secretary and ailing land agent have left the family estates in disorder. With new people in place, he sets off to one of his smaller properties to discover the extent of an obligation that seems out of keeping with the cold-hearted father he remembers. Who is the young woman living at Shepley Hall and what was her connection to his father?

Miss Kitty Davenport has waited for a long time to find out if the new Viscount Enstone will continue the support his father gave to her family and her patience is wearing thin. Will he carry on paying for her young brother’s education and even assist him in finding a career? For herself, all she needs is help to find a suitable position as a companion and to escape from the unwanted attentions of a persistent suitor.


Kitty is a victim of societal rules and structures, in a world where women have to rely on the men for everything and are also at the beck and call of said men. Trying to keep herself afloat and her brother in his expensive school is proving hard, and her predicament has made her the target of an unsavoury gentleman wishing to exploit her vulnerability.

Luke arrives at Shepley Hall with the sole purpose of finding out what connection Kitty has or had to his father. Is he walking into some strange illicit arrangement or is it simply a case of not having all the information to understand the situation. He feels responsible for the young woman and her already damaged reputation, which is the beginning of a relationship that is fraught with misunderstandings and insecurities.

Bonham gives readers the climax readers expect from this kind of historical period romance. The tussle, the pull and the physical attraction. The inevitable, which is delayed by the ever evolving obstacle course of emotions and the rules of the upper echelon.

This is the second book in the Reluctant Brides series, both of which can be read as standalone novels.

Buy The Viscount's Convenient Bride at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Pitcheroak Press; pub date1 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. 

#BlogTour Belvedor and the Four Corners by Ashleigh Bello

Today it's the last day and my turn on the BlogTour Belvedor and the Four Corners by Ashleigh Bello.

About the Author

Ashleigh Bello graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in International Studies. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where she maintains a full-time career as a marketing professional. When she's not writing, she spends her free time with friends, practicing yoga, and daydreaming about her next adventure. 

Follow @AshleighBello on Twitter, on Amazon,Visit, Buy Belvedor and the Four Corners

About the book

Arianna has only ever dreamed of winning her freedom from the Four Corners—a cold and cruel city where all the children of the world are kept, each with an opportunity to earn their citizenship upon their seventeenth year. Just months away from her ultimate battle, she is certain that her notable skills as a warrior-slave will give her an edge during the annual Free Falls Festivals: Free for the slaves who earn their citizenship; Falls for the ones who die.

But Arianna’s talent with a sword cannot outmaneuver the burning curiosities of her heart, leading her to reveal a shocking secret about King Devlindor and his long-standing reign as High King of Olleb-Yelfra. The world as she knows it is a lie, its true spellbinding history exploited and suppressed under centuries of deceitful acts.

Her world turned upside down with new, unfathomable knowledge, Arianna must make a choice that could change her life forever—ignore the truth and continue following the path laid out for her since birth or break free from her chains and carve her own way… if she can survive.

Immerse yourself in this addictive YA Epic Fantasy adventure as Arianna is thrust on a thrilling journey to uncover magic and earn her right to freedom.

Belvedor and the Four Corners is a recipient of the 2017 Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Award.


Arianna is bound to a life of slavery and dreams of being free. She is a warrior slave, taught to fight and survive the coming battle for her freedom. Her world is turned upside down when an unexpected event exposes her to world of lies and betrayal. It changes her perspective on everything.

Shades of Logan's Run came to mind when it came to what Arianna thinks she is working towards. Achieving certain things and age to be released from the life of a slave, to be released from the daily fear of being picked out and disposed of like a piece of rubbish.

Bello has created an interesting premise, however the story does need to be tightened up a bit. Certain plot elements are drawn out a little too long and there's this feeling that the YA category is curbing the development perhaps. And for someone who is supposed to be a warrior she gets her butt whooped quite a bit - she has an anti-heroine vibe going on, which is balanced out by her age and naiveté. 

I think as the author hones her craft the saga and story will become stronger. A YA epic fantasy with plenty of potential.

Buy Belvedor and the Four Corners at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Northwoods House Publishing; pub date 1 Oct. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Sunday 13 December 2020

#BlogTour Aunt Ivy's Cottage by Kristin Harper

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Aunt Ivy's Cottage by Kristin Harper.

About the Author

Ever since she was a young girl, there were few things Kristin Harper liked more than creative writing and spending time on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with her family. Eventually (after a succession of jobs that bored her to tears), she found a way to combine those two passions by becoming a women’s fiction author whose stories occur in oceanside settings. While Kristin doesn’t live on the Cape year-round, she escapes to the beach whenever she can.

Follow @KHarperAuthor on Twitter, on Amazon, on Goodreads,Visit, Buy Aunt Ivy's Cottage

About the book

Clearing out the attic, Zoey opens the carved trunk and smiles as she picks up the small, leather-bound diary hiding inside. Curious, she leafs through the pages, and realises this will change everything…

All Zoey’s happiest childhood memories are of her great-aunt Ivy’s rickety cottage on Dune Island, snuggling up with hot chocolate and hearing Ivy’s stories about being married to a sea captain. Now, heartbroken from a breakup, Zoey escapes back to the island, but is shocked to find her elderly aunt’s spark fading. Worse, her cousin—next in line to inherit the house—is pushing Ivy to move into a nursing home.

With the family clashing over what’s best for Ivy, Zoey is surprised when Nick, a local carpenter and Ivy’s neighbor, takes her side. As Zoey finds comfort in his sea-blue eyes and warm laugh, the two grow close. Together, they make a discovery in the attic that links the family to the mysterious and reclusive local lighthouse keeper…

Now Zoey has a heartbreaking choice to make. Nick’s urging her to share the discovery, which could keep Ivy in the house she’s loved her whole life… but when Zoey learns that Nick and her cousin go way back, she questions if the man she‘s starting to have feelings for really has Ivy’s best interests at heart. Will dredging up this old secret destroy the peace and happiness of Ivy’s final years—and tear this family apart for good?


On the surface this is a story about a family squabbling over a possible inheritance. Is it a tale of greed or one of family and identity? Zoey is determined to protect her Aunt Ivy from those who seek to use her age and vulnerability, even if it is the people closest to her. 

Zoey seems hypersensitive to Nick at times. Her reactions a tad overzealous and based on snap judgements, even if they are driven by the disappointments of past decisions and relationships. It's hard for her to see the man without the implications of her experiences.

Set in the landscape of Dune Island and a particularly enchanting house, this is a fictional read that delves into the reality of families having to accept that life eventually comes to an end, and loved ones become fragile and vulnerable. Vulnerable and open to manipulation and deception.

Harper gives readers a tale of nostalgia, secrets and misconceptions. Proof that how we only know what people want us to know is what ultimately determines how we experience them. The fact they have a lifetime of decisions and experiences all tucked away in memories, and behind lock and key, is something we just simply forget. That is captured accurately in this story.

Buy Aunt Ivy's Cottage at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bookouture; pub date 7 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At Waterstones. Kobo. Google. Apple.

Saturday 12 December 2020

#BlogTour A Cornish Promise by Terri Nixon


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour A Cornish Promise by Terri Nixon.

About the Author

Terri was born in Plymouth. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn -- North Hill -- where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.

As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice.Terri's self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is now complete and available in paperback and e-book.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens.

About the book

1929, Cornwall. Fiona Fox, youngest child of the celebrated Fox family, is a devoted volunteer at the local lifeboat station, giving all her free time and her energy to the selfless crew. But when she seizes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do more, she sets in motion a chain of events that sparks danger and intrigue at Fox Bay Hotel.

The stranger she brings into her family home provides an unsettling presence over Christmas, and when visiting 'Hollywood Royalty' is drawn into the web, Fiona has to decide how much her promises are worth after all.

But the glamorous visitors have their own secrets, and their own reasons for hiding out at Fox Bay. As those reasons become apparent, Fiona must choose between betraying a close friend, and keeping her word... And lives are at stake whichever way she turns.


This is the second book in the Fox Bay series. It can be read as a standalone novel, although the setting and the majority of characters remain the same. This time the story focuses on the younger daughter Fiona, although everyone tends to circle around the orbit of Helen.

Fiona is confronted with stereotyping when it comes to her interest in wanting to be part of the group of people who guard the innocent souls endangered at sea. Even she recognises what her weaknesses are when she finally finds the opportunity, against the wishes of the crew, to embark upon a rescue mission. The events that take place change her life forever.

Combine a mysterious survivor with the often eccentric and privileged guests of the Fox Bay Hotel and you get a read full of emotional turmoil. A story of family, friendships and relationships - of mysteries, secrets and loyalty.

It's a busy book full of dark impulses, doubt and good intentions, which lead to Fiona becoming immersed in complicated lies and machinations. Although this is a family saga it also has the vibe of a mystery.

The next book in the series is A Cornish Homecoming.

Buy A Cornish Promise at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Piatkus; pub date 3 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At At Waterstones.

Friday 11 December 2020

#BlogTour Red/Black by Rachel Atherton-Charvat

Today it's my turn and the last day on the BlogTour Red/Black by Rachel Atherton-Charvat.

About the Author

Rachel Atherton-Charvat is originally from Norfolk and later moved to Gloucestershire. 

She is married to a serving Army Officer and is currently accompanying him on an overseas posting in Turkey. She has previously worked as a history teacher and a photographer, exhibiting her work in the UK, USA and Cyprus. Red/Black is her debut novel.

Follow on GoodreadsBuy Red/Black

About the book

Sarah Hughes. Wife, mother, secret gambler. - Her life is one of stability and security. Settled in Cheltenham, married for over twenty years, lovely children but her inner trauma of losing a child in a car accident in which she was driving is reopened when her husband accepts a full-time posting to a military camp in Germany. Upon arriving in Germany, her underlying depression returns and she starts gambling online. The isolated posting and pressures of army life exacerbates her struggle and exposes the frailties of her marriage. The stakes rise as her gambling escalates and she starts to realise her husband is not all she believed...  

Red/ Black is a carefully constructed story that deals with very modern themes of mental health and gambling.


Sarah is a wife, a mother and a woman on the brink of self-destruction. Her grief is like a PTSD that simmers in the background and is awakened now and again. Certain triggers cause flashbacks and a fall into depression. Her husband is less inclined to understand what she is going through, because his attitude is get over it - it was a long time ago.

Can you ever really get over the death of a child though, especially when you are consumed with a misplaced sense of guilt. Sarah sinks slowly into a dark mood, which is only alleviated by a game of luck here and there. Her personal struggles lay the weaknesses in her marriage bare and she discovers that her husband is no longer the man she thought he was.

The author gives an in depth insight into the vicious cycle of gambling. I think people get a certain image in their head when they hear the word gambler. Not necessarily the loving mother, the dutiful housewife or the grieving mother.

The pull of being convinced that the odds are in your favour, despite the fact you know it is merely a game of chance. Seeking a way to still the inner torment, the grief she carries with her every day. Every minute is a distraction from the real distress.

The story lacks depth and emotional draw from character to the reader - nothing that can't be honed as an author though. Kudos for the epilogue it gives a particularly interesting insight into the draw of gambling.

Buy Red/Black at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador; pub date 11 Aug. 2020. At Hive. At At Waterstones.

#PublicationDayPush Sleepless by Louise Mumford

Today its the Publication Day Push for Sleepless by Louise Mumford.

About the Author

Louise was born and lives in South Wales. From a young age she loved books and dancing, but hated having to go to sleep, convinced that she might miss out on something interesting happening in the world whilst she dozed – much to her mother’s frustration! Insomnia has been a part of her life ever since.

She studied English Literature at university and graduated with first class honours. As a teacher she tried to pass on her love of reading to her students (and discovered that the secret to successful teaching is… stickers! She is aware that that is, essentially, bribery.) 

In the summer of 2019 Louise experienced a once-in-a-lifetime moment: she was discovered as a new writer by her publisher at the Primadonna Festival. Everything has been a bit of a whirlwind since then. 

Louise lives in Cardiff with her husband and spends her time trying to get down on paper all the marvellous and frightening things that happen in her head.

Her debut thriller, Sleepless, will be published by HQ on 11th Dec 2020.

Follow @louise_mumford on Twitteron Facebookon Goodreads, on Instagramon AmazonBuy Sleepless

About the book

Don’t close your eyes. Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let them in.

Thea is an insomniac; she hasn’t slept more than three hours a night for years. So when an ad for a sleep trial that promises to change her life pops up on her phone, Thea knows this is her last chance at finding any kind of normal life.

Soon Thea’s sleeping for longer than she has in a decade, and awakes feeling transformed. So much so that at first she’s willing to overlook the oddities of the trial – the lack of any phone signal; the way she can’t leave her bedroom without permission; the fact that all her personal possessions are locked away, even her shoes.

But it soon becomes clear that the trial doesn’t just want to help Thea sleep. It wants to control her sleep…


Thea is coming to the end of her tether. Trying to survive on only an hour of sleep a day or none at all is taking its toll on her, so when an ad for sleep therapy turns up she can't wait to grasp the straw held out to her.

Shipped off to isolation, when she agrees to take part in a scientific sleep trial, to what appears to be a new age health resort, Thea starts to experience the advantages of the ideas this strange cult like company suggests. However something isn't quite right in the sleep lab or with the sleep community. Something rabid lurks just outside waiting for someone or something.

I can imagine it is quite hard for someone who has never had to endure insomnia to understand what it is like to be completely and utterly exhausted, and yet unable to sleep night after night. No warm milk, honey, soft music or lavender will help. Staring into darkness as others regenerate and enjoy their slumber.

Mumford uses the utter desperation insomniacs feel as they are willing to grasp at any possible remedy and turns it into a game of illusions, control and mind games.

Buy Sleepless at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ Digital; pub date 10 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At At Waterstones.

Thursday 10 December 2020

#BlogTour A Time to Lie by Simon Berthon

Today it's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Time to Lie by Simon Berthon

About the Author

Simon Berthon worked at the top of the television industry for nearly four decades as an executive producer, producer, director, and writer. He was a founding partner and Chief Executive of the successful independent production company, 3BM Television, and was Vice-Chair of Directors UK from 2007-2011. Dividing his time between London and Wiltshire, he now writes thrillers and works independently as a freelance executive producer and consultant.

Simon has written three non-fiction books to tie in with his award-winning television programmes. In 2016, he wrote his first thriller which was fiercely fought over by agents and publishers and came out as Woman of State in 2018 (it was retitled in paperback as A Secret worth Killing For). He has since written The Inquiry  (published 2019) and his third thriller, A Time to Lie, is published in December 2020. 

Follow @simonberthon on Twitteron Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit simonberthon.comBuy A Time to Lie

About the book

A divisive prime minister. A long-buried body. A plot to bring him down…The bigger the secret the more dangerous it is to lie…

On the morning of the Tory Party conference, the bones of a young woman’s hand are discovered in a London building site.

Jed Fowkes, Special Adviser at the Treasury, confronts Prime Minister Robin Sandford with a terrible accusation. He claims the hand belongs to someone they once knew well: a young woman whom Sandford murdered years ago.

With his career on the brink of ruin, the Prime Minister’s only hope is to enlist the unofficial help of MI5. A decision which leads him into a new world of espionage, illegal trafficking and murder. And the deeper he goes, the more treacherous the game becomes. Because now it’s not just his life on the line; it’s the future of the state itself 


When a body or part of a body is uncovered someone starts to panic about the consequences. At the same time it is just the right leverage to get powerful people to do exactly what others want.

Set to the backdrop of a fictional Britain changed and jaded by the political grandstanding, false promises and ramifications of privileged men, the current Prime Minister has reason to be worried about an old friend popping up accusing him of the worst crime. He is eager to keep his nose and name clean and not to go under with the dregs of society. 

Quine is hired to give the PM a nice little PR job in the form of a biography in order to make him shine brighter than the full moon. Not an easy task when there are ruthless powers willing to destroy the very basis of democracy to achieve their goal. But then perhaps the PM isn't as squeaky clean as everyone thinks he is.

I have to say the underlying political story is very much an accurate description of the last few years. Berthon is right on the mark and as sharp as a knife. A political commentary and plot that reflects the manipulation, idiocy and grandstanding, which has and will change the landscape and fragile peace forged by and with the blood of others.

In combination with political power games and a possible career changing crime Berthon gives readers a sharp-tongued read with plenty of machinations and betrayals.

Buy A Time to Lie at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 10 Dec. 2020. At Hive. At

Tuesday 8 December 2020

#BlogTour Blood Brothers by Heather Atkinson

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Blood Brothers by Heather Atkinson.

About the Author

Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books - predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow begins with Blood Brothers which will be published in December 2020.

Follow @HeatherAtkinso1 on Twitteron Instagramon Bookbub, on Facebookon Amazon,Visit, Buy Blood Brothers

About the book

When you’re running the streets, loyalty is everything…Gangs rule the streets of the rough Gallowburn Estate in Glasgow, but the deepest rivalry of all is between Jamie Gray and his friends, known as the Blood Brothers, and their enemies, the Lawsons.

The two gangs clash frequently, but when a phone containing incriminating evidence disappears after a particularly brutal run-in, the stakes are higher than ever.

Jamie’s mother Jackie is as hard as nails and is not going to let anyone hurt her boy – even if she has to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in. What she wants more than anything though, is to see Jamie turn his back on the street life. And when he meets spoilt rich-girl Allegra, who has a penchant for shoplifting, Jackie thinks she could be Jamie’s way out.

But with the Lawsons closing in, and everyone taking sides, there is only one way out for Jamie, and to triumph he must take out his biggest enemy…


It's an urban crime story with the type of estate flair that can only come from certain places. Where gangs run amok and rule the streets, where violence begets more violence. Young men find pleasure in bloody fights and vicious taunts. They think themselves larger than life and indestructible.

For some it isn't enough though. Greed makes people impulsive and lack the caution needed to survive on the streets. The Blood Brothers rule their part of the neighbourhood until an encounter and a missing phone puts everyone in jeopardy. Someone stumbles on information that was supposed to stay hidden. Their rivals the Lawsons are out for blood.

I think Jamie's mother probably deserves a book of her own. Life before Jamie - Jackie as a young woman, who learns to be the tough protector and the kind of girl who wouldn't hesitate to take down someone who threatens her own. Just Saying.

Atkinson writes a Top Boy gangland kind of story, but in more of a lesser criminal league and with a tough Scottish vibe. Atkinson gives the read a bit of a young adult feel, despite the subject matter. Young men on a dead end path to nowhere, which makes some people willing to do dangerous and drastic things. It's a fast-paced read with a realistic vibe.

Buy Blood Brothers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books; pub date 8 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive.

#BlogTour A Wild Heart by Celeste De Blasis

It's a pleasure to be taking part in the BlogTour A Wild Heart by Celeste De Blasis. A Wild Heart was originally published as Swan’s Chance.  
About the Author
Millions of readers have fallen under the spell of the lush, enthralling and bestselling novels by Celeste De Blasis. Tales of adventure and romance set against the sweep of history—all are storytelling at its finest. After graduating from Pomona College, Celeste devoted her life to impeccable research and spellbinding writing.  A native Californian, Celeste grew up on the historic Kemper Campbell Ranch in the Mojave Desert, where she lived until her death in 2001. 

Follow Celeste De Blasis on GoodreadsBuy A Wild Heart

About the book
Alexandria Falconer gazes around the honeyed land of Wild Swan, the extraordinary horse farm she built up from nothing in the border state of Maryland. It has been Alex’s sanctuary through years of turmoil, and she has come of age in this land of opportunity. But the storm clouds of civil war are gathering, and Alex knows she has a choice to make to protect her family and maintain the precarious peace at Wild Swan.

When Alex’s son dies tragically, she is shattered. It is only through caring for her adopted daughter, two-year-old Gincie, that Alex starts to overcome her grief and find comfort with her beloved husband Rane once more. But when Rane is called away to aid the Union war effort, she is left bereft.

Alex’s heart is with Rane, but at home she has the sole responsibility of shielding Gincie and the rest of her family from the danger creeping ever closer to their door. When a charming soldier arrives at Wild Swan, Alex reluctantly gives him shelter, but the two form a bond and when news arrives of Gettysburg, she is torn with worry for men on both sides of the battlefield. With Gincie by her side, she undertakes a dangerous journey to fight for her family, her principles, and the man who holds her heart…

This is the second book in the Wild Swan trilogy, and although it can be read as a standalone novel I would certainly suggest reading the first book A Wild Hope, too. It gives the reader a complete picture of the trials and tribulations Alex has to overcome and because it is a family saga it also gives a gist of the entire story as we follow the family through different generations.

In this book the world Alex inhibits is changed forever when the family experiences tragedy and betrayal on a certain level. Comprehending that she is unable to keep everyone she loves safe is perhaps one of the reasons she finds comfort in those who share her passion for the four-legged gracious animals she loves.

Set within the traumatic and turbulent times of the American Civil War in a country torn apart by differences that would divide families and a whole country, we meet Alexandria Thaine now Alexandria Carrington Falconer as she does everything to ensure her family isn't destroyed during destructive times.

Blasis combines the vibe of a bodice ripper with the important social and political issues of the era it takes place in and melds it with an intense family saga. She doesn't shy away from the uncomfortable reality of those times, although they are presented in a manner befitting the charm of the genre. Slavery, women's rights, the fate of immigrants and of course a war that was to change the landscape of a country and influence its people for many decades to come.

The breeding of thoroughbreds is linked intrinsically to the main character and mirrors the love, passion and idea she has of belonging and family. The horses are part of her legacy and very much a link to her past, present and future.

The result is a nostalgic read not because it is historical fiction, but because the genre is approached differently now in the 21st century. This has the feel of a certain style and voice that was popular a few decades ago when it was written, and indeed many a mini-series was made from books like this - not sure how many people remember North and South by John Jakes for instance. A specific type of romantic escapism that readers were eager to consume, perhaps just the right read to distract people from the worries we have in this era.

Buy A Wild Heart at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bookouture pub date 8 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At Apple. At Kobo. At Google.

Monday 7 December 2020

#BlogTour The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman.

About the Author

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys.

Follow @LucyColemanAuth on Twitter, on Facebookon Amazon, on Instagram, on Bookbubon Goodreads, Visit Buy The Villa of Dreams

About the book

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page. 

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true?

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.


Seren left a disappointed father and her entire life behind to follow her dreams and ambitions. Lisbon is the perfect place to experience and grow from the beautiful surroundings. Her day job brings her into the inner circle of Reid, an international artist of great esteem.

The two are connected through their love of creativity and artistic expression. They bond over the beauty of what others see, but rarely take in its entirety. What begins as a common interest blossoms into something more. Their connection is threatened by the commitments and baggage Reid comes with, which includes a particularly possessive ex.

It's a romance, a relationship that grows steadily as Seren and Reid get to know each other. A read that gives readers a moment of escapism and joy.

Coleman gives readers a real sense of the surroundings. The emotions that awaken when confronted with creations infused with talent and vision. The complicated reality of new relationships, failing to live up to expectations, and the fear of actually being brave enough to follow your dreams.

Buy The Villa of Dreams at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Boldwood Books; pub date 1 December 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Hive. At Waterstones.

#BlogTour Becoming Alfie by Neil Patterson

Today it's my turn on the Blogtour Becoming Alfie by Neil Patterson.

About the Author

Born in South Essex close to the River Thames and directly East of London, my childhood was peppered with memories of the mighty river itself.

We would swim, fish and discover hidden treasure in the tidal mudflats with the fragments of clay pipes we found taking us back to another era. It was here that my inspiration for writing was born. I began to keep a diary of my observations from life and documented my feelings and thoughts.

My wife was twenty two and I was twenty four when we migrated to Australia with a glorious expectation. The sun was shining, the people were friendly and Sydney Harbour simply magnificent. Together we were committed to making the most of this opportunity beginning the next step in our lives. Everything was new which gave me endless writing opportunities that I recorded in my diary which had spilled over into a number of books. We travelled around this incredible country meeting people from all walks of life and from many nationalities. We lived and worked in a variety of capital cities enjoying each and every experience. All this was tremendous fodder for my writing.

I began to write short stories and poetry, none of which I sought to publish. By my fifty second birthday I was able to finish working and focus full time on my writing, the results so far are The Alfie Norrington Series with Becoming Alfie the first in the series of four. I hope that you enjoy reading Becoming Alfie as much as I did writing it.

Follow Neil Patterson on Facebook, on Amazon, on Goodreads, Visit, Buy Becoming Alfie

About the book

Alfie‌ ‌Norrington‌ ‌was‌ ‌born‌ ‌into‌ ‌poverty‌ ‌in‌ ‌London’s‌ ‌East‌ ‌End‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌minute‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌twentieth‌ century.‌ ‌His‌ ‌life‌ ‌was‌ ‌a‌ ‌battle.‌ ‌From‌ ‌the‌ ‌Brick‌ ‌Lane‌ ‌markets‌ ‌where‌ ‌young‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌pilfered‌ ‌and‌ pickpocketed,‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌trenches‌ ‌of‌ ‌Flanders,‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌fought‌ ‌every‌ ‌step‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌way.‌ ‌ ‌

Almost‌ ‌killed‌ ‌by‌ ‌a‌ ‌trench‌ ‌bomb‌ ‌he‌ ‌battled‌ ‌to‌ ‌recover‌ ‌and‌ ‌while‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌military‌ ‌hospital‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌made‌ ‌a‌ ‌promise‌ ‌that‌ ‌dramatically‌ ‌change’s‌ ‌his‌ ‌life.‌ ‌A‌ ‌true‌ ‌East‌ ‌End‌ ‌hero,‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌begins‌ ‌his‌ ‌journey‌ ‌away‌ ‌from‌ ‌poverty‌ ‌armed‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌robust‌ ‌moral‌ ‌compass‌ ‌and‌ ‌an‌ ‌open‌ ‌heart.‌ ‌

Becoming‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌is‌ ‌the‌ ‌first‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌Norrington‌ ‌series.‌ ‌It‌ ‌follows‌ ‌the‌ ‌life‌ ‌of‌ ‌a‌ ‌man‌ ‌who‌ ‌positively‌ ‌influenced‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌people.‌ ‌The‌ ‌world‌ ‌needs‌ ‌more‌ ‌individuals‌ ‌like‌ ‌Alfie‌ ‌Norrington,‌ ‌that‌ ‌give‌ much‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌they‌ ‌take.‌ 


Alfie isn't exactly born into the lap of luxury. Rags, poverty and a family with too many mouths to feed. A drunk of a father with a violent streak, but the children are committed to each other as only fellow victims of dysfunctional families are.

The story follows Alfie as he goes through pivotal moments in his life. The street-smart boy becomes the brave teenager willing to protect his country, although he is still but a child. Patterson goes into the trauma of war, when trauma was still an unknown entity or diagnosis. The suffering of the soldiers who survived WW1, despite being the so-called lucky ones because they returned.

The author draws a web of connections, which can only be created by family and people bonded via traumatic events in their lives. He takes the fragility and simultaneously the rapid changes during the early 20th century to create a story built on love, support and belief in each other.

With a few nips and tucks this could become a series readers will be eager to follow. Less rushed, more depth and better dialogue. This family saga, with a focus on one member in particular, is filled with moments of clarity and truth, as a young boy becomes a man under the burden of war.

Buy Becoming Alfie at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comAt Hive. At