Monday 31 May 2021

#BlogTour Your Life or Mine by Vicki Bradley

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Your Life or Mine by Vicki Bradley.

About the Author

Vicki Bradley is a detective constable in the Metropolitan Police Service. She has had a varied career, as a uniformed response driver in Brent and then as a detective Constable in Southwark CID. She has managed High Risk Sex Offenders and worked on the Serious Organised Crime Command. 

Before I Say I Do won the Write Here, Right Now competition, came 3rd in the First Novel Prize and has been shortlisted for the Virago New Crime Writer 2017 and Peters Fraser and Dunlop Prize 2016. Vicki lives in London with her husband and baby. Follow @vbradleywriter on Twitter

About the book

Alana Loxton was part of the all-female team to take down Barratt, a notorious serial killer. He is safely behind bars when one of the detectives goes missing.

Her disappearance, and the connection to the killer, could be a coincidence – but when her body is discovered days later, a link begins to form. Then another detective from the team goes missing and the situation becomes horrifically clear. Someone is picking them off one by one – and Alana’s name is next on the list . . .


DC Alana Loxton, and an all-female police team, managed to take down a dangerous serial killer. Edward Barratt is locked up, well when he isn't trying to escape, and yet he still seems to be pulling the strings from behind bars. Who else could possibly be targeting the women brave enough to stand up to such a monster?

It starts with one. After a night out one of the detectives disappears, there is no trace of her and no clues as to when, why and to whom. The police focus on her boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, but Loxton is convinced that Barratt is behind the hunt on Loxton and her friends.

Cynics however would say that sometimes it isn't the most obvious solution, but perhaps the one you can see just out of the corner of your eye. The reader can see the discrepancies, but Loxton is far too blinded by all the trees in the forest.

It's a fast-paced crime read and I mean fast. You barely get over one victim when another pops up or gets dragged off. The main character seems to be a little blinkered when it comes to acknowledging the truth and ignoring what is right in front of her. If there is anyone left over after this lethal read then hopefully we will get to experience Loxton at her best, instead of charging ahead like a bull in a china shop. 

I liked the way Bradley gives readers the solution right there on a silver platter, then turns the tables in a way that makes you wonder whether the author really knows whodunnit. I'm still not entirely convinced by the way. Watch this space.

Buy Your Life or Mine at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Simon & Schuster UK pub date 27th May 2021 - Paperback £7.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Sunday 30 May 2021

#BlogTour A Public Murder by Antoinette Moses


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour A Public Murder by Antoinette Moses.

About the Author

Antoinette Moses a life - When I was young, your passport included your profession. I put writer. ‘Why writer?’ asked my then boyfriend, ‘You never write anything.’ ‘But I’m going to,’ I said. I always knew I was going to be a writer. It just took a while to get going. I kept getting distracted by other things.

First distraction: Editing. Journalism. - I had to earn my living and so I got jobs in journalism, publishing and as a staff writer for a photographic news agency. I also took time off to travel. That’s when I first lived in Greece which was on and off between 1973 and 1978.

Second distraction: Festivals. - I first helped run a festival in 1970. It was the Oxford Animation Festival, and it was a huge success. It ended with Yellow Submarine and the Beatles singing ‘You’re such a lovely audience’… I was hooked. Both on audiences and festivals.

When I came back to England in 1978, I re-founded the Cambridge Animation Festival, and was its director for six years. I also helped set up the Hiroshima Animation Festival, and worked for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. In 2013 co-founded the Festival for Literature for Young people (FLY) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). I was its producer until I retired in 2018.

Third distraction: Teaching: -  I started writing fulltime in 1994 and had several books published. Then I began writing plays which led to my getting an MA in creative writing at UEA, followed by a PhD on verbatim theatre, and ten years teaching as a lecturer in Creative Writing and Literature.

And so we come to the writing: My first published book was a guidebook to Athens, then I wrote a cookbook for dieters and then I wrote a number of short fictions for young people learning English. These were published mostly by Cambridge University Press and have won three Extensive Reading Awards; Jojo's Story was described by one critic as ‘a classic for all time’. Several became bestsellers. I’ve also published essays and stories.

I wrote my first play when I was 9. It was an adaptation of The Reluctant Dragon by Kenneth Graham and I performed it with my father at the family Christmas. (Poor family) I’ve written a number of plays which have been produced in Norwich and Cambridge and Heidelberg, and have received rehearsed readings in Ipswich, London and Paris. A few have won prizes and awards. 

And now it’s crime fiction. And finally I’ve launched the first Pam Gregory novel, A Public Murder. Follow @AntoinetteMose on Twitter

About the book

'My mother was a very difficult person, Inspector, and not always a very nice one. I can think of any number of people who would want her dead.’

The shocking murder of the archaeologist, Stephanie Michaels in the new Leotakis Gallery in Cambridge is clearly going to be a troublesome high-profile investigation from the outset. But to track down the killer, DI Pam Gregory has to travel to the Greek island of Crete where she finds herself on a journey she never expected, one which will change her life for ever.


Committing a murder is one thing, committing one that is supposed to draw attention to the act and victim, is quite another. Why would someone go to the trouble of killing an archaeologist in such a spectacular manner? What point are they trying to make?

It's up to DI Pam Gregory to follow the clues and stop a killer who is just getting started, and to try and keep the magnitude of the investigation and the murder under wraps, which is easier said than done. Fame hungry experts and billionaires who like throwing their weight around make things more difficult than they need to be. Although having to investigate in Crete, well it's not like that's a hard assignment is it, looking for a killer on such a beautiful history rich island - okay the murderous villain is a little bit of a mood spoiler.

Unbridled anger and grief can turn into something lethal, something that appears completely normal in the mind of the person suffering, but to others it's an extreme leap. How do you stop someone who isn't thinking straight and thinks their actions will end their pain or at the very least put things right.

It's a crime story that is enriched with the vast knowledge of the surroundings and history. It's the first in the DI Pam Gregory series, but certainly the first of many more.

Buy A Public Murder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Black Crane Press pub date 1 Dec. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. At Waterstones. Via Black Crane Press.

BlogTour Matilda Windsor is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Matilda Windsor is Coming Home by Anne Goodwin.

About the Author

Anne Goodwin grew up in the non-touristy part of Cumbria, where this novel is set. When she went to university ninety miles away, no-one could understand her accent. After nine years of studying, her first post on qualifying as a clinical psychologist was in a long-stay psychiatric hospital in the process of closing.

Her debut novel, Sugar and Snails, about a woman who has kept her past identity a secret for thirty years, was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, about a man who keeps a woman captive in his cellar, was published in 2017. Her short story collection, Becoming Someone, on the theme of identity, was published in November 2018. Subscribers to her newsletter can download a free e-book of prize-winning short stories.

Follow @Annecdotist on Twitter,  on Facebook, Visit Anne's, her Youtube channel and

About the book

In the dying days of the old asylums, three paths intersect. Henry was only a boy when he waved goodbye to his glamorous grown-up sister; approaching sixty, his life is still on hold as he awaits her return. As a high-society hostess renowned for her recitals, Matty’s burden weighs heavily upon her, but she bears it with fortitude and grace.

Janice, a young social worker, wants to set the world to rights, but she needs to tackle challenges closer to home. A brother and sister separated by decades of deceit. Will truth prevail over bigotry, or will the buried secret keep family apart?

In this, her third novel, Anne Goodwin has drawn on the language and landscapes of her native Cumbria and on the culture of long-stay psychiatric hospitals where she began her clinical psychology career. Find out more on Matilda Windsor’s webpage


Matilda is a grande dame of drama, an woman with connections and also one who has lived for many decades behind the closed doors of a facility for the mentally ill. A small number of them are long-term residents., which means they fall to the side of the facility they live.

Henry is a man who lives in the past and wants to find the sister who disappeared when he was a young child. He doesn't understand why she didn't keep her promise to come back to him. Others in his small orbit tell him to get on with his own life and forget all about the woman who never returned.

This is tragic, perhaps more so because it's fiction with root in facts and reality. Although the story of Matilda is set in the early 20th century, what she experiences is a crime that has been committed against women and girls for many centuries. 

Lack of understanding at the biological functions of the female body and the possibly ensuing psychological and physical medical conditions, would result in them being deemed mentally unstable and retired to a hospital or lunatic asylum. If you wanted rid of your pesky wife then having them declared insane and locked away was a frequent solution. Any person of either gender who didn't conform to the norm or was classed as what we would now term as having additional needs would suffer similar fates. The patriarchal society used the powerlessness of the opposite gender to commit legal crimes against them.

Imagine spending half a century locked away for essentially being a victim and speaking your truth. In a place that eventually turns you into the unstable liability everyone says you are. Imagine being forgotten in an uncaring system with loopholes bigger than Swiss cheese.

It's an intricately drawn picture of a tragic family story. A series of mishaps shows the vast nature of surroundings, despite the fact it also speaks to the six degrees of separation that exists between us all. From what I can gather this might just be the start of Miss Windsor's story. I'm not sure how I feel about that, because this is an excellent standalone read, and you can't spoil the integrity or experience of that, so a sequel will be interesting.

Buy Matilda Windsor is Coming Home at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Inspired Quill pub date 29 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Inspired Quill

Saturday 29 May 2021

#BlogTour A Summer of Second Chances by Carol Thomas

 It's my turn on the BlogTour A Summer of Second Chances by Carol Thomas.

About the Author

Carol Thomas lives on the south coast of England with her husband, four children and lively Labrador. She has been a primary school teacher for over twenty years and has a passion for reading, writing and people watching. When she is not in school, chasing after her children, or stopping her dog from eating things he shouldn’t, she can be found loitering in cafes drinking too much tea and working on her next book.  

Follow on Twitter, on Pintereston Facebook, on Instagram, Visit

About the book

Does first love deserve a second chance? Ava Flynn sometimes feels like the clothes donated to her charity shop have seen more life than her, but ‘maximum dedication for a minimal wage’ is what it takes to keep her mother’s beloved wildlife charity, All Critters Great and Small, running – especially in the village of Dapplebury, where business is certainly not booming.

But when Ava’s first love, Henry Bramlington, returns to the village, suddenly life becomes a little too eventful. Henry escaped Dapplebury many years before, but now he has the power to make or break the village he left behind – All Critters Great and Small included. Can Ava trust the boy who ran away to give both her and her charity a second chance? 


The return of the boy who made Ava's heart beat just a wee bit faster seems like a token gesture from the heavens at first, until she realises he has business in mind. The kind of decision making that could put her mother's legacy at risk. Can she really keep attraction and business separated when it comes to Henry or will he use their connection to get what he wants?

Second Chance love stories are a bit of conundrum, because they are usually built on this fantasy of what would have been and has been denied. Having years or decades to pine over the apparently perfect partner one has been denied through fate or circumstance, well it gives the legend a chance to be fleshed out and sold to the people in question and to those around them.

Is the Henry we know now still the Henry who was ripped unceremoniously from Ava's grasp? I very much doubt it and the same goes for Ava. Is the attraction based solely on nostalgia and imagined missed opportunities? Or do the two of them have a genuine connection that has lasted throughout the years, despite the intervention of others. 

I guess that is very much the core of this story, which is then combined with a colourful cast of characters, a tug-of-war of emotions and quaint surroundings as a backdrop to the tale. It's the perfect escapism read.

Buy A Summer of Second Chances at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Choc Lit pub date 27 April 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Diving for Pearls by Jamie O'Connell

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Diving for Pearls by Jamie O'Connell.

About the Author

Jamie O'Connell has had short stories highly commended by the Costa Short Story Award and the Irish Book Award Short Story of the Year. He has been longlisted for BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines Short Story Competition and shortlisted for the Maeve Binchy Travel Award and the Sky Arts Futures Fund. He has an MFA and MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. He has worked for Penguin Random House, Gill Books and O'Brien Press. Diving for Pearls is his first novel. Follow @jamieoconnell on Twitter, Visit

About the book

A young woman’s body floats in the Dubai marina. Her death alters the fates of six people, each one striving for a better life in an unforgiving city…

A young Irish man comes to stay with his sister, keen to erase his troubled past in the heat of the Dubai sun. A Russian sex worker has outsmarted the system so far – but will her luck run out? A Pakistani taxi driver dreams of a future for his daughters. An Emirate man hides the truth about who he really is. An Ethiopian maid tries to carve out a path of her own. From every corner of the globe, Dubai has made promises to them all. Promises of gilded opportunities and bright new horizons, the chance to forget the past and protect long-held secrets. 

But Dubai breaks its promises, with deadly consequences. In a city of mirages, how do you find your way out?O’Connell expertly weaves a delicate web of intertwining stories, combining dark wit, and devastating emotional truth as fates collide and lives are shattered.


What Diving for Pearls most definitely isn't is a crime novel. It's a contemporary read, a bit like a fractured tandem plot - equally weighted stories constructed around a slip of a narrative. The actual catalyst event, which is the death of the young local girl, becomes entirely inconsequential to all the surrounding stories and yet is the reason for all of them. 

Without Hiyam there is no story or connecting thread, and yet she is the least important aspect of the read. I have to admit letting go of the not knowing was a bit of a task, but then I also think that was the point. The lack of closure is synonymous with the lack of power, voice and control all of the characters have in common in relation to where they are and who they are.

A symbol of cultures dividing and simultaneously the acknowledgement that the East will not bend and the West must be submissive to their rules with the West and others bending until breaking point. I often wonder about the Westerners who like to play loose and fast at their own peril overseas - diving for those pearls, they are pandered to until it no longer suits the narrative. 

This is also evident in the stories of Lydia, Siobhan and Aasim. All three of them recognise the danger of being an outsider and being trapped in the claws of a regime that appears to be the picture of opulence, modern society and the face of the future. The truth is its the dark ages hidden behind a layer of gold, diamonds and a fantastical mirage.

It's literary fiction, a snake devouring its own tail, a beginning without an end.

Buy Diving for Pearls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Doubleday Uk; pub date 3rd June 2021 | Trade Paperback | £13.99. Buy at Waterstones.

#BlogTour Both of You by Adele Parks

Adele Parks is back with a cracking read again - it's my turn on the BlogTour for Both of You.

About the Author

Adele Parks was born in Teesside, North-east England. her first novel, Playing Away, was published in 2000 and since then she's had eighteen international bestsellers. She's been an Ambassador for The Reading Agency and a judge for the Costa and is a keen supporter of The National Literary Trust. She's lived in Italy, Botswana and London, and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey, with her husband and son.

Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit

About the book

Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmum to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband Mark says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She simply went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.

Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman, Daan, vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamourous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.

DC Clements knows that people disappear all the time – far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run towards, others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds, their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the DC believes they are.

How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.


It's going to be a bit of task to review the way I would like to without giving the plot away, but hey ho I'm going to try because its such an interesting premise. 

Two women, completely different women, disappear without a trace. The only thing they have in common is the fact they are gone and they vanished around the same time. The reader gets a glimpse of one in captivity - the other fate unknown. Meanwhile the outside world thinks they have gone because they are disgruntled and unhappy with their lives. No one is really looking that hard. Their husbands aren't looking at all. Who wants to hurt Leigh or Kai? 

The juxtaposition of the two women who have nothing in common is the most intriguing element of the read. Leigh the loving wife who has become the caring stepmother. She is chaotic, frustrated with dealing with an ungrateful teenager and often wonders why she is still with her husband

Kudos to Parks she is getting better with each book, which is quite a feat seeing as she has already written some humdingers. Also for the clever double entendre in regards to the book title. This does not disappoint and has her trademark depth and moral conundrum written all over it and of course it's a great read.

Buy Both of You at Amazon Uk o go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : HQ pub date 27 May 2021.  Buy at Amazon comAt Hive.

#BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin


It's my turn on the BlogTour Emmet and Me by Sara Gethin. It's truly an incredibly moving story. From the Not the Booker shortlisted author of Not Thomas comes the kind of book you never forget.

About the Author

Sara Gethin grew up in Llanelli. She has a degree in Religion and Ethics in Western Thought and worked as a primary school teacher in Carmarthenshire and Berkshire. Writing as Wendy White, she has had four children’s books published, and the first of these won the Tir nan-Og Award in 2014. 

Her debut novel, Not Thomas, was shortlisted for the Guardian’s Not the Booker prize and The Waverton Good Read Award. While west Wales is still home, Sara spends much of her time in Ireland. Emmet and Me is her second novel for adults.  Follow @SGethinWriter on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

Summer 1966: When her father comes home with lipstick on his collar, ten-year-old Claire’s life is turned upside down. Her furious mother leaves the family and heads to London, and Claire and her brothers are packed off to Ireland, to their reclusive grandmother at her tiny cottage on the beautifully bleak coast of Connemara.

A misfit among her new classmates, Claire finds it hard to make friends until she happens across a boy her own age from the school next door. He lives at the local orphanage, a notoriously harsh place. Amidst half-truths, lies and haunting family secrets, Claire forms a forbidden friendship with Emmet ‒ a bond that will change both their lives forever.


Sometimes you get a book that has the capacity to smash your heart into a million pieces. I think given the extraordinary circumstances of the past year and a half there will be more open ears and eyes to this story. Dancing with fear, existential worries and our own mortality, and especially because many of us have been forced into spending time with our own thoughts, this story will perhaps garner more of an audience.

It is certainly deserving of it. It's power doesn't draw energy from gruesome details, but rather from the inferred burden of reality. The contempt, the neglect, the hunger, the abuse, the pain and the deaths. The generations of damaged children grown into broken adults. Who bears the guilt, shame or even the moral bill for these heinous acts? Why does the truth still fall on deaf ears and blind eyes even after so many years and testimonies? 

When their family is torn apart by a mother who puts herself first and a father who has been defined by cruelty, Claire and her brothers are sent to Ireland to live with their paternal grandmother. It's there that they learn how generations of adults were molded by sadistic neglect, families destroyed and how it in turn will change them forever too. 

The brilliance of Gethin's story is built within the sparse confines of subtlety and scarcity. The bare landscape, the isolation, the lack of anyone to turn to due to the ingrained indoctrination of religious authority, and the simple gestures and interactions of children.

I remember the sinking feeling of sorrow during the first scene between Claire and Emmet. Knowing even then that fantasy was an escape, conversation a gateway and the friendship a possible glimmer of hope in a preordained future. I knew what would come, and the fact the author was able to convey all of that without actually writing any of it, is a testament to her talent as a storyteller.

I loved it. I think it is an incredibly moving story. It's also a moment of truth, vindication and validation. The voices of many, the silenced and the forgotten, are held within the lines of this multi-generational experience.

Buy Emmet and Me at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Honno Presspub date 20 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Friday 28 May 2021

#BlogTour #LaunchDay Balancing Act by Rachel Churcher

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Balancing Act by Rachel Churcher.

The first book in the series 'Battle Ground' will be free to download on May 28th:

About the Author

Rachel Churcher was born between the last manned moon landing, and the first orbital Space Shuttle mission. She remembers watching the launch of STS-1, and falling in love with space flight, at the age of five. She fell in love with science fiction shortly after that, and in her teens she discovered dystopian fiction. In an effort to find out what she wanted to do with her life, she collected degrees and other qualifications in Geography, Science Fiction Studies, Architectural Technology, Childminding, and Writing for Radio.

She has worked as an editor on national and in-house magazines; as an IT trainer; and as a freelance writer and artist. She has renovated several properties, and has plenty of horror stories to tell about dangerous electrics and nightmare plumbers. She enjoys reading, travelling, stargazing, and eating good food with good friends – but nothing makes her as happy as writing fiction.

Her first published short story appeared in an anthology in 2014, and the Battle Ground series is her first long-form work. Rachel lives in East Anglia, in a house with a large library and a conservatory full of house plants. She would love to live on Mars, but only if she’s allowed to bring her books.

About the Battle Ground series

The Battle Ground Series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. Spoiler warning: Balancing Act is a tie-in novel in the series, revisiting the events of Darkest Hour, Fighting Back, and Victory Day. It is suitable for older teens and adult readers.

About the book

Corporal David Conrad has life figured out. His job gives him power, control, and access to Top Secret operations. His looks have tempted plenty of women into his bed, and he has no intention of committing to a relationship. 

When Ketty Smith joins the Home Forces, Conrad sets his sights on the new girl – but pursuing Ketty will be more dangerous than he realises. Is Conrad about to meet his match? And will the temptations of his job distract him from his target?


Although this is the sixth book in the Battle Ground series it is more of tie-in written through the eyes of one character, David Conrad, and it also veers slightly off the written path. I recommend reading the other books in the series to be able to get the full gist of this one, because it references certain people and events that take place in the previous books.

It begs the question whether David realises he is actually just a high priced hooker - oh wait, how about no fee hooker. Sourcing information or spying as we luddites like to call it, and using sexual encounters to do so, well I think David's horse is a little higher in his own mind. His own tune is very much one of a debonair Casanova in a dystopian world. Now that's a premise.

'I've marked her body, broken her skin' - This element of the story has a wee bit of a romanticised possessive slant to it. In general Corporal Conrad views himself as the gift that keeps on giving and as smarter than the average bear, but then perhaps that leaves him vulnerable for betrayal and being completely hoodwinked. 

Unlike the rest of the Battle Ground series, which falls into the sub-genre or category of YA, this has more of an adult tone and fits better in the NA slot. The dystopian revolution premise that has a sharp taste of reality to it, because it is set in a post-Brexit and Scottish independence world.

I'm in two minds about this book. It doesn't fit with the overall gist of the general Battle Ground vibe, but it does lend itself to a spin-off. I think these are two separate entities that can co-exist in the BG world-building, however they are targeting slightly different demographics. If you've read the rest of the books the background info and scenes in this book will make sense, but it will feel like a completely different read. Then again perhaps this will just more readers over to the dark side - they have cookies you know, and bombs.

I'll admit I wasn't a fan of David's or his toxic masculinity, I found him creepy, possessive and a lot of words I that would be censored on many platforms. Does the story work in combination with the pre-existing info of the previous books - yes it absolutely does.

Personally I think it's time for Churcher to explore where her creativity is leading her, and perhaps that will be outside of Battle Ground - it's okay to let an established series learn to walk and run by itself. Then again perhaps this dystopian setting is just getting started.

Buy Balancing Act at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Taller Books pub date 20 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Rose's Ever After by Chrissie Bradshaw

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Rose's Ever After by Chrissie Bradshaw.

About the Author

Chrissie, 2016 winner of the Romantic Novelist's Association Elizabeth Goudge writing trophy, is a seasoned tea drinker who writes contemporary and historical family sagas.

Chrissie has always loved match-making a book to a reader. Writing the kind of book she loves to read takes this a step further. When Chrissie is not writing or reading, you will find her walking her dog on the beach, travelling or spending time with her family and friends. She would love to hear from readers.

Chrissie enjoys tweeting on @ChrissieBeee, Her instagram account is chrissie_bradshaw_author and she has a Chrissie Bradshaw author page on Facebook.

Chrissie sends out newsletters whenever she has news or something to offer and when you subscribe you receive a free prequel to The colliery rows series called ‘Rose’s War’ Just click here and scroll to the green button on her home page.

About the book

Rose has a promising future stretching out before her until a cruel twist of fate seizes it. Will she overcome her heartache as she tries to build a new life? Rose returns to the safe haven of Linwood colliery and her warm-hearted family. As she settles into life in the colliery rows, Rose makes an astounding discovery and a long lost family member appears who makes demands on them all..

Chrissie Bradshaw’s emotionally gripping historical reads have a northern Catherine Cookson vibe with a modern attitude. ‘Rose’s Ever After’ follows on from ‘Rose’s Choice’ yet it can be enjoyed as a stand alone novel

Read ‘Rose’s Ever After’ to follow the twists and turns of Rose’s eventful life. Will the rugged path ahead, full of challenges, lead her to a new ‘happily ever after’?


This is the second book in the Colliers Row series. The books can be read as standalone novels, but if you are following the characters I would recommend reading all the books in the series.

Rose is happy with Danny and has a beautiful baby, you would think that means she is happy and satisfied. Hmm, it's Rose and life always seems to target her when it comes to her trying to keep family, friends and relationships evenly balance. That's something she has to contend with and she does so usually with maturity, and yet her reaction to her Dad's news is a bit like a child not getting her own way.

She still has an incredibly strong connection to her mother, which doesn't seem to have lessened over the years, and is perhaps something akin to obsessive. The pressure of taking her place has made her defensive of her mother's place in their household, despite the mistakes her mother made.

As I have mentioned before Bradshaw's style is nod to Cookson with a modern flair and an eye for the rollercoaster dynamics this kind of genre and story needs.

This story did not end up where I thought it was going to end up at all. Much like life, the author also likes to throw out some curveballs, which keeps the plot fresh and leads nicely into the next possible book in the series.

And darn it I think I might just try Ginnie's Cinder Toffee recipe.

Buy Roses's Ever After at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Vallum Publishing pub date 11 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 27 May 2021

#BlogTour America's Wife by Celeste de Blasis

 It's my turn on the BlogTour America's Wife by Celeste de Blasis.

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.

About the book

1776. Addie’s world has changed beyond recognition. From her privileged position amongst Boston’s elite, she has embraced a dangerous new life with the American Revolutionary Army. While childhood sweetheart Silas risks all on the front lines, Addie waits anxiously for news. And when Silas does not return from the Battle of Monmouth, her worst fears come true.

Without thinking, Addie takes a horse and scours the now-calm battlefield for Silas, until word arrives that he has been captured by the British. And worse, by the troop of Scottish Highlanders led by the brooding general John Traverne. Addie hasn’t seen the powerfully built Loyalist soldier since she chose the Revolutionary cause over her own heart, and hearing his name sends butterflies to her stomach, even as she is filled with worry for Silas.

Disregarding her own safety, Addie leaves Washington’s camp and travels deep into enemy territory, determined to bring Silas home. But when she comes face to face with John Traverne once more, the feelings she has tried so hard to bury resurface and she must choose between the man she has pledged her life to, and the man whose dark eyes haunt her dreams. When Addie finally returns to her own camp, she carries a secret that could cost her everything she has fought for…

The second part of the spellbinding, emotional trilogy about enduring love and heartbreaking secrets amidst the birth of America. Readers who adored My Dear Hamilton and Flight of the Sparrow will love America’s Wife.


This is the second book in the America's Daughter trilogy and although it can be read as a standalone novel I would recommend reading the other books - if only to enjoy the rest of Addie's story. 

Addie's family has been ripped apart by the American revolution. Being at opposite sides of the spectrum politically, which includes aligning loyalty with different countries, can drive wedges between the tightest of friends and family. 

Addie believes in her country freeing themselves from the bonds of the British Crown and supports both her husband and brothers completely. She tries to ignore the thoughts of Traverne that creep into her head and heart now and again. She loves Silas, but it's hard to forget the fact she has the kind of connection to Traverne that is hard to ignore. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on who you are rooting for, fate intervenes in a terrible way.

It's a captivating family saga and historical romance fiction. A trilogy that is built upon identity building changes in history, which means the characters have a fascinating backdrop to interact with. De Blasis has clearly given us stories that will resonate with readers regardless of what era we are in - timeless as they say. 

Buy America's Wife at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bookouture pub date 26 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

#BlogTour The Secretary by Catherine Hokin

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Secretary by Catherine Hoskin.

About the Author

Catherine Hokin is the author of two World War Two inspired novels set in Berlin, her favourite city. Following a History degree at Manchester University she worked in teaching, marketing and politics, while waiting for a chance to do what she really wanted which was to write full time. Her short stories have been published by iScot, Writers Forum and Myslexia magazines and she was the winner of the 2019 Fiction 500 Short Story Competition. She is a lover of strong female leads and a quest.

Catherine now lives in Glasgow with her American husband. She has two grown-up children – one of whom lives, very conveniently, in Berlin – and a life long addiction to very loud music. Follow @cathokinon Facebook, Visit

About the book

The Tower House. Down a secluded path, hidden by overgrown vines, the crumbling villa echoes with memories. Of the family who laughed and sang there, until the Nazis tore them from their home. And of the next woman to walk its empty rooms, whose courage in the face of evil could alter the course of history…

Germany 1940. As secretary to the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later. Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…

A poignant and gripping novel about bravery, loss and redemption during the Second World War. An unputdownable read for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Alice Network.


Although it's fiction based on factual historical events on a larger scale, it's a story that is relevant now and serves as a reminder. The author gives readers a great read, but also gives them food for thought.

Set over a dual timeline, the story of Magda in 1940 and her granddaughter forty years later, we get an impression of a country under the thumb of two oppressive rules. First the Nazi's then navigating the dangers and difficulties of East Germany. Magda has to make a choice between comfortable safety and her soul, whereas Nina tries to escape the open prison East Germany has been turned into. Her pursuit of the truth in an attempt to connect with Magda's past reveals far more than she ever expected.

'They carry no guilt or responsibility for any of it.' For many men, women and children the Nazi regime is a way of life that was imprinted on certain generations, and even in the face of irrefutable evidence there is still this stoic usually silent affirmation of the aforementioned lack of responsibility in regards to the atrocities committed in the name of creating a superior race and country. 

Indeed if you still believe the indoctrination of the Jew at the core of all things wrong in the world, and that the Nazi regime acted in the best interest of country and people, then of course there will always be a lack of remorse. It's probably one of the longest running conspiracy theories, it is certainly one that has caused a plethora of victims.

Even now when we see history repeating itself, even after decades of Never Again, We Remember, it is blatantly clear that nobody has learnt any lessons. Well, I say nobody, but this time there are many voices and people willing to stand up and fight against this new tidal wave of anti-Semitism. New would also perhaps be the wrong word, because the hatred  and paranoia towards the Jewish community runs deep and is systemic - it's not new it's just getting louder, more volatile and becoming the norm again.

It's captivating historical fiction, a story of secrets buried deep in the past, and a family connection that has the kind of bond that grows stronger the more the past comes calling.

Buy The Secretary at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bookouture pub date 24 May 2021. Buy at Amazon comAt Apple. Kobo. Google.

#BlogTour The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan

 It's my turn on the BlogTour The Ballynoon Friendship Circle by Pauline Morgan.

About the Author

The call to Pauline Morgan’s native Northern Ireland was too strong and, after a fascinating stint overseas, she recently relocated there. Pauline had some unique mystical experiences in various houses she lived in and, as a result, self-published the paranormal Special Houses. She has been a member of the Romantic Novelist Association and participated in their New Writers’ Scheme.  She attended a day course in Editing, tutored by author/mentor Morgen Bailey. Pauline is a member of Writers Ink, a multi-award winning 

She has written short stories; published in Woman’s Way and Irelands Own iconic magazine. Pauline enjoyed entering Flash Fiction competitions and was long-listed at Kanturk Arts Festival. Her first poem Airborne, published on website March 2020 

Pauline has completed a women’s ‘fiction book called The Ballynoon Friendship Circle, her debut novel to be published by SpellBound Books in early 2021. Pauline is working on a standalone book Christmas novel. 

She engages with an extensive network of social writing groups on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Pauline turns her incredible imagination into words to create beautiful stories in different genres. She has a relaxed style of writing, and her mentor describes it as heart-warming and cosy. Pauline never shies away from any given written tasks. Follow @paulinemorgan56 on Twitter, on Facebook,

About the book

After finding her dream cottage in a magazine whilst at the hairdressers, Edel Marston, a fifty-year-old retired teacher, makes the life-changing decision to relocate back to Northern Ireland after the death of her husband Ben. 

A rocky start with the neighbours and the knowledge of her past is a little too close for comfort, leaves Edel full of self-doubt. Her emotions have become a law unto themselves and she keeps wondering if she’s made the right decision.

After giving herself a good talking to, she decides to join a local over 50’s club, in a bid to embrace her new life. However, after meeting the friendly ladies of the self-proclaimed Stitch & Bitch group, she’s left with further feelings of uncertainty.

Realising quickly how gossipy these ladies can be, Edel finds herself keeping more and more secrets, especially when her relationship with one particular friend develops into something much more.

Ultimately, Edel has to decide whether to trust again and let all of these new people into her life, warts and all or go back to being lonely but safe and with her secrets intact.


I can totally see a surge of Stitch & *itch groups being established around the country - what a great name for an over 50s group. It seems like the perfect place for Edel, who is a little bit like a piece of driftwood just floating aimlessly through life. She feels neither here nor there after the death of her husband.

It's always great to read a story with a main character who fits in the middle-aged bracket. Much like society women in this age range suffer from what I like to call an 'automatic invisibility cloak' as soon as they hit a certain age. Sounds depressing, but honestly it depends on how much weight you give to the opinion of others when it comes to your own self-worth.

Morgan combines grief with coming to terms with the next stage in life. It's about survival, self-belief and taking a risk. Letting people in again when you're in a dark spot and believe that no one wants you or will be willing to love you again, isn't easy at all.

It's an uplifting escapist read with plenty of home truths and a premise that veers close to reality. It's also a relatable read, because regardless of who you are, being welcomed into a circle of friends and being uplifted enough by them to enjoy your life to the fullest - that's always a good thing.

Buy The Ballynoon Friendship Circle at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : SpellBound Books Ltd pub date 21 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 25 May 2021

#BlogTour #WartimeClassics Sword of Bone by Anthony Rhodes

It's my turn on the BlogTour Sword of Bone by Anthony Rhodes, it's another novel in the Wartime Classics series by the Imperial War Museum. Sword of Bone by Anthony Rhodes will be on sale 20th May 2021; cost £8.99. It is published by IWM and can be pre-ordered at their online shop here: 

In May 2021, IWM will publish two more novels in their Wartime Classics Series which was launched in September 2019 to great acclaim, bringing the total number of novels in the series to ten. Each has been brought back into print to enable a new generation of readers to hear stories of those who experienced conflict first hand.

IWM Senior Curator, Alan Jeffreys, has written an introduction to each book that provides context and the wider historical background. He says, ‘researching the Wartime Classics has been one of the most enjoyable projects I’ve worked on in my years at IWM. It’s been very exciting rediscovering these fantastic novels and helping to bring them to the wider readership they so deserve’.

About the Author

Anthony Rhodes (1916 – 2004) served with the British Army in France during the so-called ‘Phoney War’ and was evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940. In the latter part of the war he was sent to Canada as a camouflage officer and was invalided out of the Army in 1947 having served for 12 years.

After the conflict he enjoyed a long academic and literary career and wrote on various subjects, including the 1956 Hungarian Revolution for the Daily Telegraph and well-regarded histories of the Vatican. 

About the book

First published in 1942, Sword of Bone is a lightly fictionalised memoir based on Anthony Rhodes’ own experiences during the Second World War – firstly during the so-called ‘Phoney War’ from 1939 – 40, followed by the terror of the evacuation of Dunkirk. Shortly after war was declared, he was sent to France serving with the British Army where his days were filled with billeting, friendships and administration – the minutiae of Army life. 

Apart from a visit to the Maginot Line, the conflict seems a distant prospect. It is only in the Spring of 1940 that the true situation becomes clear – the Belgian, British armies and some French divisions are ‘now crowded into a small pocket in the North of France’. The men are ordered to retreat to the coast and the beaches of Dunkirk where they face a desperate and frightening wait for evacuation.

The ‘miracle’ of Dunkirk was a brilliantly improvised naval operation that extracted more than 338,000 men from the Dunkirk beaches and brought them safely back to England. Some 850 vessels, including channel steamers and fishing boats, took part in this, Operation ‘Dynamo’. The final pages of the novel outline Rhodes’ experiences of the chaos of the evacuation where the scenes are depicted in vivid and terrifying detail.


I think what Rhodes does really well and in a very subtle way is create the actual comparison between the Phoney war and the complacent attitude, and the horrific reality when the war started in earnest. A day in life gives a Kodak moment of life for men who created bonds, friendships, but were unaware of what was heading their way.

Around 850 vessels took part in Operation Dynamo and managed to  extract more than 338000 men. I agree with Alan Jeffreys that the whole idea of the evacuation, and the way civilians and military men came together in such a brave way, was quintessentially British. 

Rhodes not only pinpoints the way the men experienced those days, but also how it happened. The strategic importance of the troops being funneled into a small vulnerable area and why the Germans were determined to achieve their objective. He also shines a light on the bravery of those people who would not be deterred by danger, trauma and even military orders. Returning over and over again to save men trapped in a no win and almost certain death situation.

More importantly the silent desperation of the men on the beach being ordered to queue up and wait their turn - very British - and the occasional disruptions. All of this sounds so normal and indeed Rhodes describes it with an almost unnatural calm, which I guess you can when you're writing it and are no longer in the moment. The truth is they were under constant attack and seeing their fellow comrades be killed.

Rhodes has a writing voice with a certain calmness and factual element to it, which lends itself to understanding and envisaging everything without the emotional layer, however one does wonder whether it's because he managed to take a step back from the trauma he also must have endured.

Buy Sword of Bone at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published in Paperback 20th May 2021 - £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

On the Imperial war Museum - IWM

IWM (Imperial War Museums) tells the story of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since the First World War.

Our unique collections, made up of the everyday and the exceptional, reveal stories of people, places, ideas and events. Using these, we tell vivid personal stories and create powerful physical experiences across our five museums that reflect the realities of war as both a destructive and creative force. We challenge people to look at conflict from different perspectives, enriching their understanding of the causes, course and consequences of war and its impact on people’s lives.

IWM’s five branches which attract over 2.5 million visitors each year are IWM London, which will open extensive new Second World War and The Holocaust Galleries in autumn 2021; IWM North, housed in an iconic award-winning building designed by Daniel Libeskind; IWM Duxford, a world renowned aviation museum and Britain's best preserved wartime airfield; Churchill War Rooms, housed in Churchill’s secret headquarters below Whitehall; and the Second World War cruiser HMS Belfast.

#BlogTour Body on the Rocks by Rachel Green.

It's my turn on the BlogTour Body on the Rocks by Rachel Green.

About the Author

Rachel Green is the pen name of a writer from the UK. Rachel has twice been longlisted for both the Bath Novel Award and the BPA First Novel Award, as well as being on the shortlist for the Capital Crime New Voices Award. Rachel lives in a tiny village in England, but travels frequently to the south of France where the stories from the Madame Renard Investigates series are set.  Follow @AuthorRachelG on Twitter, on Facebook,

About the book

Mourning the death of her police inspector husband, Margot Renard moves to a small seaside town in the south of France. But when the body of a small boy washes up on a beach, Margot is drawn into a dangerous world of drug smugglers and people trafficking, and forced to cross paths with two feuding gangsters.


A few pages in and I was already smirking, which then quickly turned to a frown of displeasure. The discovery scene is just so villagey and human. It gives a sense of normality to an otherwise tragic moment, which of course is very much the contradiction of the situation. Modern crimes, slavery in new shapes and forms, and profiting from the vulnerability and tragedy of others. Grotesque.

It is unfortunately a sign of the times this indifference to human life. This tribal like patriotism that fears the migrant, the stranger, the foreigner. Cynics question the veracity of children's corpses, rescued babies and the plight of desperate fellow men and women. There is no attempt to understand the why, no compassion.

Margot Renard is there when the body of a young boy is fond on the rocks. She seems to be the only one who questions the narrative of his death. Her investigations throw a completely different light on everything. On the machinations of ruthless criminals only interest in profit. It's a pity the police show no interest in the truth at all and they certainly haven't reckoned with the relentless drive of Margot.

This is the first of what promises to be an invigorating crime series. One with heart and a moral compass, and a main character who turns her personal pain into justice for others. Definitely a series to watch out for.

Buy Body on the Rocks at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour This Other Island by Steffanie Edward

It's truly a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour This Other Island by Steffanie Edward. 

About the Author

Steffanie Edward was born in St Lucia, brought up in London and now straddles between the two.

Anancy, Crick-crick and other Caribbean folk stories have been a part of her life since childhood. In her late teens she enjoyed reading Susan Howatch and books on slavery. Her absolute favourite reads have been Wild Seed by Octavia E Bulter, and Woman At Point Zero by Naawal El Saadawi.

Her writing career started with short stories, five of which have been published. Her first attempt at writing a novel was over twenty years ago, whilst living and working in Abu Dhabi. That novel, Yvette, didn’t make it into print, but the main protagonist, Yvette, has muscled her way into Steffanie’s debut novel, This Other Island. Follow @EdwardsaEdward on Twitter, Visit

About the book

Things between me and Papa are so different to what me and Mum have. It’s been that way since the first day. An invisible bond. Papa was the one who never stopped encouraging me to strive for my goals. ‘Take every opportunity dis country give you, ich mwen,’ he’d always said…

When Yvette receives a call to say her estranged father Joe has been attacked in a seemingly random act of violence, she rushes to his side. She’d stayed with her mother after her parents separated, but never forgot her father’s kind and caring ways. Memories of his wide smile and loving embraces – so different to her mother Doli – have always sustained her.

But when she arrives, ready to make peace and help him in any way she can, she finds a man different to the larger-than-life father she remembers. Joe is fighting for his life, but is also haunted by memories of his past. He begs Yvette to help him find out the truth…

About the journey that brought him and a beautiful young woman called Doli together, as they both travelled – as part of the Windrush Generation, to start new lives in Britain. About the lives they left behind in St Lucia. And about a dark secret – one that he has carried with him since stepping off the ship that wet and chilly August day. That threatened his and Doli’s marriage from the very beginning…

Only Yvette can find out what really happened on that crossing. Because, for forty years, Joe has believed that he killed a man. A man who had had feelings for Doli too. And who – as Joe knows – might hold the key to Yvette’s own story…

What follows is a heart-stopping debut novel about family, identity, secrets, lies, and the journeys that define us. It will grip you, challenge you, and ultimately break you into a thousand pieces. Perfect for fans of Small Island and Girl, Woman, Other.


Told by mother and daughter it's a story of family, complicated relationships and of betrayal. Also one of new beginnings and pining for lives left behind.

The reader gets a hint of what is really at the core of this story towards the very beginning when the return of Yvette to her family goes hand in hand with a change in name. It solidifies the before and after aspect of her life or perhaps the duality of it. The duality that exists within the majority of those who leave their homes and country to seek a better way of life elsewhere. Forever linked to the past and eager not to let that aspect of themselves, their culture and identity be swallowed up by the new life and culture, perhaps even more so when the new life means acclimatising to a predominantly white culture and society.

I can imagine there is always this feeling of both nostalgia and acknowledgement that no matter how immersed in the new country and society, it isn't home and the new neighbours never let you forget it. Nothing makes this point with more noise than the way the Windrush generation have been treated by the British government.

Which brings us to the duality of identity when it comes to race and skin colour, because the tiers created by colonialism and white supremacy are ingrained in the very fabric of society. 

It's in this backdrop that the story of identity, connection and family is set. It very much mirrors whether we are driven, formed and ultimately take our place amongst others based on the strength of nature or nurture.

This is a debut novel novel - it's evident that Edward has opened the door here and there an inch, which has culminated in a complex and yet realistic image of dysfunctional family reality. I say open the floodgates and let's hear what really wants to come alive and be seen in the open. I'll be looking forward to see where she takes us next.

Buy This Other Island at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Bookouture pub date 21 May 2021. Buy at Amazon com.