Saturday 24 July 2021

#Blogtour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit  

About the book

Welcome to Tecant. Nothing ever happens here. Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower. He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity. Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero. And if he fails, he’ll be dead.


This is the fourth book in the Lost Tales of Solace series. The books can all be read as standalone novels and yet they all connect on different levels. The same universe and systems viewed through the lens of individual characters and their experiences.

Interesting how the two parallels of the series, the technical and the human side, sort of come together in the character of Ruabon. He finds it difficult to connect to his colleagues and human counterparts. Instead he finds comfort in his drones, and creates a pseudo barrier of social interaction and connection  between himself and the inanimate objects by injecting them with their own personalities. He is very much the reluctant protagonist of this story. 

This story links into the Big Brotheresque nature of the surveillance noted throughout the series. In fact the planet itself, Tecant, is the link in the network of The Cordon. It's what makes the planet so important.

The speculative nature of this genre bending and mixing series is intriguing, the creativity and vision is extraordinary. Interestingly the books have a variation when it comes to their centre of gravity, which swings between human element and inanimate object element. This time I took a moment to wonder about the greater picture, which possibly either goes undiscovered in the vast creativity of the plot or only exists in the perception of my own frame of reference.

Are there correlations to be drawn between the our reliance on and the advancement of AI,  the egotistical assumption that we are the only life, the surveillance we allow to dominate and control our lives  - on a more base note the relationships that bind, support and keep us going. Solace - the gift that keeps on giving.

Buy Ruabon: Lost Tales of Solace at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Friday 23 July 2021

#LaunchDay #BlogTour Finding Fires and Other Stories by Rachel Churcher

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Finding Fire and Other Stories by Rachel Churcher. It's the seventh book in the Battle Ground series. 

To celebrate the launch of Finding Fires the author is offering the prequel, Making Trouble, for free - get it here  - Buy Finding Fires here

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.

Follow @Rachel_Churcher on Twitter, on Goodreadson Facebookon Instagram,

About the book

What happened between Margie and Dan at Makepeace Farm? How did Jackson really feel about Ketty? What happens next to the survivors of the Battle Ground Series?

Step behind the scenes of the series with six new short stories and five new narrators – Margie, Jackson, Maz, Dan, and Charlie – plus bonus blogs and insights from the author.

The Battle Ground Series is set in a dystopian near-future UK, after Brexit and Scottish independence. Spoiler warning: Finding Fire and Other Stories contains tie-in short fiction from across the Battle Ground series. There are spoilers for all the previous books in the series, including the free prequel, Making Trouble.


I have to give the author her dues when it comes to Author's note at the beginning of this book. There is a clear structure to this dystopian and speculative YA series, and the order in which a person reads the books can influence the reading experience.

Reading this one first - book 7 - for instance is a bit like collecting everyone's diaries and personal notes after being involved in many months of life changing events, and reading them out loud in front the class without having the right context to evaluate said information. The previous books give book seven all the right situational, emotional backstory.

Having read along on this experimental journey I think this adds to the speculative nature of the premise. I think the only downsides are the fact the series has to be read as a whole - as an experience - to get the full gist of it. The earlier books may seem to lack depth or perhaps context in some areas for instance, but as it evolves those areas are catered for retrospectively.

The author also uses Book Seven to evaluate some of her own characters and their actions. In fact it's almost like a special episode with special unseen footage and the author's comments. It's a nice closure, from an aesthetic point of view, not necessarily needed from a story point of view. 

Buy Finding Fires at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎Taller Books pub date 15 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Love You Bad by Louise Mullins

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Love You Bad by Louise Mullins.

About the Author

Louise Mullins writes full-time using the experience she gained in a prior life working in the field of forensic mental health, working with offenders and survivors of serious crimes.

 To keep up to date with her latest releases, visit her website: You can also find her on Facebook, @MullinsAuthor on Twitter and Instagram as: @mullinsauthor

About the book

Kerensa lives a life of privilege few could imagine. Loving husband. Luxury home. Financial security. But in the attic of their sea view mansion is a secret waiting to be discovered, threatening to destroy their perfect marriage. When their daughter’s au pair uncovers Dominic’s carefully constructed illusion, one lie at a time, it ends in murder. But whose?


It seems to Kerensa and everyone around her that she lives a life of luxury, but appearances can be deceptive. The glue that binds the exterior of perfection is slowly disintegrating. Life as she knows it, which is quite confusing to say the least, is about to become more threatening.

I wasn't a fan of the misogynistic and crude way the character of Dominic used to describe the sexual interactions he had with the older woman with the no longer nubile body. The tropes just cement the image and perception of that age group and gender. It is part and parcel of why Dominic picks certain types and is able to manipulate the wealthy woman into marrying him.

Moving forward the reader experiences the story from Dominic and Kerensa's point of view. Dominic doesn't even to hide his true nature, which is abusive, controlling and he is a bit of a bully. Kerensa knows something is up, but can't really put her finger on the pulse of why her life is so limited and difficult at times, and why Dominic doesn't appear to really like her.

Mullins creates a crime within a crime in this dark domestic thriller. It's an interesting example of how easy it is for someone to get drawn into a toxic relationship and find it difficult to leave, especially when the world around you refuses to acknowledge the toxicity.

Buy Love You Bad at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Dark Edge Press pub date 18 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 22 July 2021

#BlogTour Love at Café Lompar by Anna and Jacqui Burns

 It's my turn on the BlogTour Love at Café Lompar by Anna and Jacqui Burns

About the Author

Jacqui and Anna Burns are a mother and daughter writing team. Anna, a doctor and trainee psychiatrist, and Jacqui, an English teacher, visited Montenegro in 2019 and were captivated by its beauty. Living over two-hundred miles apart, they wrote Love at Café Lompar by writing alternate chapters and emailing them to each other, keeping each other’s spirits up through lockdown and fulfilling a life-long dream. This is the first novel for both of them and they are working on a sequel, reluctant to leave the Lompar family they have grown to love. Follow @burns1jacqui on Twitter

About the book

Can a journey that begins in betrayal ever end in joy? Grace believed she had the ideal marriage, but after Dan dies, she finds proof he had another family. Kat can’t admit that her father was less than perfect. Mother and daughter go to Montenegro to find out the truth.

But when they track down Rosa and her son, while Grace is heartbroken, Kat can’t help being thrilled to have a brother. Kat starts helping out ‘just for a few days’ at Rosa’s restaurant, the Café Lompar. Soon both women are torn between their old and new lives, facing impossible choices.


Do you ever really know someone 100% or know all their secrets? The answer to that is no. There is always some element, secret or part of us that we keep hidden from those closest to us. Not opening up completely is one thing, keeping an entire second family hidden away in another country is another thing entirely.

The sudden death of her beloved husband is hard enough to cope with, but finding out that he has another woman and child is enough to break an already grieving heart. A second family, a lifetime of lies and fake moments. Grace finds it hard to reconcile the image of her family she has with the reality she is now presented with. Her daughter Kat however is excited by the prospect of meeting her sibling.

The Burns duo give readers the perfect heartbreaking conundrum. Do you let the disappointment you have with the person who betrayed you overshadow your life and possible future relationships? Or do you make the best of an uncomfortable situation?

I felt as if the authors hit upon an important aspect of Patchwork families and what defines the word family. It's also about picking up the pieces of the fallout caused by people who play fast and loose with the emotions and trust of their loved ones. It's an evenly paced lovely read.

Buy Love at Café Lompar at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Honno Welsh Women's Press pub date 15 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 20 July 2021

#BlogTour Girls Who Lie by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir

It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Girls Who Lie by by Eva Björg Ægisdóttir, translated by Victoria Cribb.

About the Author

Born in Akranes in 1988, Eva Björg Ægisdóttir studied for an MSc in Globalisation in Norway before returning to Iceland and deciding to write a novel – something she had wanted to do since she won a short-story competition at the age of fifteen. After nine months combining her writing with work as a stewardess and caring for her children, Eva finished The Creak on the Stairs. 

It was published in 2018, and became a bestseller in Iceland. It also went on to win the Blackbird Award, a prize set up by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Ragnar Jónasson to encourage new Icelandic crime writers. It was published in English by Orenda Books in 2020. Eva lives in Reykjavík with her husband and three children and is currently working on the third book in the Forbidden Iceland series. 

Follow @evaaegisdottir on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreads

About the Translator

Victoria Cribb is one of Icelandic literature's best-known translators into English, working with Arnaldur Indriðason, Sjón, and Gyrðir Elíasson, among others. She became interested in Iceland as a teenager and taught herself the language with a 1948 Linguaphone set.

About the book

When single mother Maríanna disappears from her home, leaving an apologetic note on the kitchen table, it is assumed that she’s taken her own life – until her body is found on the Grábrók lava fields seven months later, clearly the victim of murder. Her neglected fifteen-year-old daughter Hekla has been placed in foster care, but is her perfect new life hiding something sinister?

Fifteen years earlier, a desperate new mother lies in a maternity ward, unable to look at her own child, the start of an odd and broken relationship that leads to tragedy.

Police officer Elma and her colleagues take on the case, which becomes increasingly complex, as the list of suspects grows ever longer and new light is shed on Maríanna’s past – and the childhood of a girl who never was like the others…


This is the second book in the Forbidden Iceland series and whilst both books can be read as standalone novels I highly recommend reading the first -  The Creak on the Stairs. 

The story begins with a homicide, a less than perfect mother is found dead - is it suicide or something more nefarious? Elma starts to reconstruct the dysfunctional family structure and ties, which leads her in unusual directions. What kind of person treats her child like a hateful mistake? It's a multi-layered story with plenty of areas that are neither black or white. Imperfect people with perfect little secrets, the kind of secrets that destroy people.

I was actually quite interested by the fact both books are very much individual experiences, despite some of Elma's personal experiences and history flowing into this one. To the point where I had actually forgotten the connection. It's the kind of book, and series, that makes a readers want to go back to the beginning, because you will almost certainly miss something the first time round.

It has the same noirish dark vibe that is tinged with an element of suppressed rage, frustration and despair. Ægisdóttir doesn't shy away from speaking truths to the side of motherhood society likes to ignore to a certain extent. It isn't all rainbows and daisies, sometimes it can trigger hormonal responses, and of course there are just some people who shouldn't be mothers or parents at all. It's a kaleidoscope of human emotions and mistakes, which bounce of each other to deliver a captivating read.

Buy Girls Who Lie at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orenda Books, pub date 22 July 2021 | Paperback Original | £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse.

About the Author

Lucie Whitehouse was born in Gloucestershire in 1975, read Classics at Oxford University and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of The House at Midnight, the TV Book Club pick The Bed I Made and Before We Met, which was a Richard & Judy Summer Book Club pick and an ITV3 Crime Thriller selection. Follow @LWhitehouse5 on Twitter

About the book

Robin Lyons is back in her hometown of Birmingham and now a DCI with Force Homicide, working directly under Samir, the man who broke her heart almost twenty years ago.

When a woman is found stabbed to death in a derelict factory and no one comes forward to identify the body, Robin and her team must not only hunt for the murderer, but also solve the mystery of who their victim might be.

As Robin and Samir come under pressure from their superiors, from the media and from far-right nationalists with a dangerous agenda, tensions in Robin's own family threaten to reach breaking point. And when a cold case from decades ago begins to smoulder and another woman is found dead in similar circumstances, rumours of a serial killer begin to spread.

In order to get to the truth Robin will need to discover where loyalty ends, and duty begins. But before she can trust, she is going to have to forgive – and that means grappling with some painful home truths.


Robin has to file away her own feelings of anxiety when the body of a young woman is discovered. It brings back unpleasant memories of what she nearly lost herself. When a second body is found soon after she realises they might be dealing with something more than a one-of.

Simultaneously Robin has to deal with the fractious relationships she has within her own family, especially as those problems seep into her day job and threaten to undermine her position.

It's a multi-faceted crime read. It has layers of a domestic thriller with a brutally honest Kodak snapshot of crime in certain areas of the UK. Then to add the cherry on top the political tension, due to the rising far right and racist sentiments, gives the read a sharp current angle.

Whitehouse delivers characters who seem comfortable and familiar to the readers  - a bit like old friends inviting us in for their dysfunctional family moments, the moral quandaries and murder most wicked. It's a riveting read.

Buy Risk of Harm at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Fourth Estate: pub date 8 July 2021 - £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Friday 16 July 2021

#BlogTour My Best Friend's Murder by Polly Phillips

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour My Best Friend's Murder by Polly Phillips.

About the Author

Polly Phillips currently lives in Australia, although she is originally from the UK. My Best Friend’s Murder won the Montegrappa Writing Prize at the Emirates Literature Festival in 2019. Polly has worked as a journalist in Australia, Dubai, Denmark and the UK. My Best Friend's Murder is her debut novel. Follow @perthectpolly on Twitter

About the book

There are so many ways to kill a friendship . . . You’re lying, sprawled at the bottom of the stairs, legs bent, arms wide. And while this could be a tragic accident, if anyone’s got a motive to hurt you, it’s me. Bec and Izzy have been best friends their whole lives. They have been through a lot together – from the death of Bec’s mother to the birth of Izzy’s daughter.

But there’s a darker side to their friendship, and once it has been exposed, there is no turning back. So when Izzy’s body is found, Bec knows that if the police decide to look for a killer, she will be the prime suspect. Because those closest to you are the ones who can hurt you the most . . .

The Rumour meets The Holiday in this compulsive thriller with a toxic friendship at its heart that keeps you in the dark until the final breathless pages.


Bec and Izzy. Best friends, childhood friends. Part of each others lives in every way and they have no secrets, right? Hmm perhaps the reports of their excellent relationship are exaggerated or viewed through a tinted lens.

Izzy has everything. Child, handsome husband, career, money and connections. So many advantages in life can make other people jealous, even people who are supposed to be their best friends. Maybe Bec hasn't quite gotten over the fact Izzy turns everything she touches to gold.

Does it all get too much for Bec or is there something else going on? How does Izzy end up the victim of a crime or an accident?

It's a really engrossing dark domestic thriller. The two main characters have a unique bond which is also completely toxic, so much for sisterhood and friendship. There is a clear imbalance in their relationship, but only one of them is actually aware of how malignant it is.

Phillips plays on the elements of friendships and how many people are often unaware that friendships can be toxic, much like romantic relationships can be, and don't always recognise when they are in the middle of one. Negative nuances are mistaken for offhand jokes or rather the receiver doesn't acknowledge what others interpret correctly for instance.

I liked the fact the ending was completely out of left field, although given the way the rest of the read was captivating enough to keep readers engaged until the end - it wouldn't have mattered whodunnit.

Buy My Best Friend's Murder at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Simon and Shuster UK pub date 8th July 2021 | Paperback Original | £7.99 | Publishing in Ebook and Audio onn 21st January 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Thursday 15 July 2021

#BlogTour Clarissa: Lost Tales Of Solace by Karl Drinkwater

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Clarissa: Lost Tales of Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

About the Author

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order. Click here to subscribe to his newsletter

Follow @karldrinkwater on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazonon Facebookon Instagram, Visit  

About the book

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped. Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up. Now I’m a prisoner on this spaceship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going. I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us. My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old. And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.


This is the third book in the Lost Tales of Solace series, but it is part of the bigger Solace universe - pun fully intended. It's a bit like solitary planets having their own stories and yet being connected by the fact they are all part of one universe. For readers who have read the rest of or part of this series they will recognise the connection for instance between Clarissa and her sister Opal, who is featured in previous novels.

What begins as a story that seems to be one of a young girl being kidnapped and separated from her sister, soon wanders into an entirely different realm of fear and uncertainty. Clarissa doesn't know why she has been kidnapped and her two guards play good cop and bad cop, but she knows enough not to let them know certain things. Like the fact she can see things they can't or what they perceive to be innocent objects are actually a way to facilitate communication. They clearly can't see what is coming straight at them - but Clarissa can.

It's speculative science-fiction that really does veer off into worlds, scenarios and experiences previously unknown. The melding of genres, possible storylines, of science, space, travel and the unknown, then pushing the boundaries to see where it takes both the readers and the author - trademark Drinkwater. 

The result is an individual experience each time. As if the challenge were to envision and give the reader a different perspective each time. Not of the same scenarios or the characters, but of the speculative nature of the unknown. Definitely a series I would recommend, perhaps more so because you just never know where the story will take you each time. It's creative and visionary.

Buy Clarissa at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Organic Apocalypse pub date 1 Jun. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Tuesday 13 July 2021

#BlogTour Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey.

About the Author

Catriona Silvey was born in Glasgow and grew up in Perthshire and Derbyshire, which left her with a strange accent and a distrust of flat places. She overcame the latter to do a BA in English at Cambridge, and spent the next few years there working in scientific publishing. After that she did a PhD in language evolution, in the hope of finding out where all these words came from in the first place.

Following stints in Edinburgh and Chicago, she returned to Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and a very peculiar cat. When she’s not working as a researcher studying meaning in language, she writes. Her short stories have been performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Follow @silveycat on Twitter, Visit

About the book

Thora and Santi have met before… Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead.

They will meet again… They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other.

But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why? They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever. 


What's interesting is the fact both Santi and Thora give themselves and readers the connection and the same clue in every scenario that eventually leads to the solution and conclusion of this story. Not necessarily one you filter out, perhaps because it becomes one of the features on a loop, which makes  the two characters identifiable to each other and to us.

The inter-personal relationships change, the power structure and the hierarchy between the two of them. One of the constants is the place, Cologne, which is woven cleverly into the fabric of each loop. Are they loops though or are they glimpses of parallel timelines, reincarnations or jumps in time. Are Santi and Thora trapped in a ever repeating cycle where one of them knows what the inevitable conclusion is and the other is determined to try over and over again.

What sets this apart from other books with a similar premise is the way Silvey creates this visceral connection to the place, much like historical fiction, and the speculative nature of their meetings, all of which culminates in a fascinating ending.

I enjoyed the way the two characters are fused together like soulmates who are destined to repeat the same unfulfilling ending, and yet at the same time are on two different paths. One believes every path is set in stone by a higher power and the other believes the opposite, and yet in a bizarre way Thora also acts as if everything is preordained.

It's a fascinating and often emotional read, and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Buy Meet Me in Another Life at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Voyager pub date 8th July 2021 | Hardback | Ebook | Audio | £14.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at

#BlogTour Under a Greek Moon by Carol Kirkwood

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Under a Greek Moon by Carol Kirkwood

About the Author

Carol Kirkwood is one of the BBC’s most loved TV presenters, best known for presenting the weather. She lights up viewers’ homes every day, appearing on programmes such as BBC Breakfast, Strictly Come Dancing, Wimbledon Tennis Fortnight, and Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

She is hugely popular with fans and Carol frequently trends on Twitter. Beyond the television screen, she can often be found ensconced in a book, singing, dancing, and driving fast cars. Follow @carolkirkwood on Twitter 

About the book

Hollywood actress Shauna Jackson left the Greek island of Ithos twenty years ago and thought she would never return. Reeling from a scandal that has tarnished her success, she is drawn back to the beautiful olive groves and endless azure skies – and to the secrets she has tried hard to forget.

Looking down from his hilltop villa, enigmatic tycoon Demetrios Theodosis knows he can’t change the past, and looks to the future through his tempestuous daughter Ariana, but in trying to tame her free spirit, is he driving her further away?

Set against bleached white houses bounded by a sapphire sea, a yearning for the truth will compel them both to confront their shared past, and take them back to a distant summer that seemed to hold so much promise …


Shauna has always had to swim against the tide when it comes to proving herself, especially to her parents. Never quite good enough and unwilling to follow the path laid out for her, she embarks upon the kind of adventure only teenagers and young adults can embrace so enthusiastically. Now decades later in the aftermath of death and a scandal she drawn back to those sun-filled days of happiness.

Demetrios has come to a time in his life when he is looking back upon what he has achieved, where his life could have gone and the feeling that perhaps he took a wrong turn somewhere. His present appears to tick all the boxes, doesn't it?

This story has the undeniable influence of the romance stories of 80s and 90s. The heart wrenching confrontation and mystery of Shirley Conran's Lace and the queen of drama herself, Jackie Collins. It is a tale of coming-of-age, love, passion and secrets that refuse to go away.

Kirkwood writes the kind of feel good story that delivers a little bit of everything, but not too much of one thing, which creates a perfect balance and a good read. For me it evoked feelings of nostalgia because it reminded me of the books, and often subsequent television series, that always promised a few hours of escapism.

Buy Under a Greek Moon at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HarperCollins pub date 8 July 2021 | HB | £12.99. Buy at Amazon com.

Monday 12 July 2021

#Blogtour Death and Croissants by Ian Moore

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Death and Croissants by Ian Moore.

About the Author

Ian Moore is a leading stand-up comedian, known for his sharp, entertaining punditry. A TV/radio regular, he stars in Dave’s satirical TV show Unspun and Channel 5’s topical comedy Big Mouths. He is also the author of two memoirs on life in France. À la Mod and C’est Modnifique. Ian lives in the Loire and commutes back to the UK every week. In his spare time, he makes mean chutneys and jams. Follow @MonsieurLeMoore on Twitter, Visit

About the book

Richard is a middle-aged Englishman who runs a B&B somewhere in the Loire Valley. Nothing ever happens to Richard, and really that’s the way he likes it.

One day, however, one of his older guests disappears, leaving behind a bloody handprint. Another guest, the exotic Valérie, persuades a reluctant Richard to join her in investigating the disappearance. Richard remains a dazed passenger in the case alongside Valerie until someone also murders Ava Gardner, one of his beloved hens.


Richard is one of the lesser known species that chooses to move around like a cuckoo looking for a nest for its egg. He has retired to France and runs a B&B, however one could say that he does most things with a unhealthy reluctance.

Things take a turn for the worst when someone kills the glorious Ava Gardner - how dare they -  and  leaves Rita Hayworth and Lana Turner very distraught. Bloody handprints are one things, but killing iconic movie stars is quite another. Richard is on the case.

Snark, self-deprecating humour, and an element of chaos and eccentricity. It's a very specific type of cosy read. Similar to the Thursday Murder Club, but with a main character who isn't exactly a willing sleuth - in fact he prefers his life to be a little more peaceful.

I can see this being the kind of series that gains traction as readers get to know Richard and his life in the Loire Valley, as crime follows him around like a little black rain cloud. I liked the hint of nostalgia courtesy of Richard's love of old films and the nod to the original Avengers - style, charm and panache of course.

Buy Death and Croissants at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Farrago pub date 1 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Saturday 10 July 2021

#BlogTour Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls.

About the Author

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire. Rosie’s brand new saga series, Welcome to Harpers Emporium began in December 2019. Click here to sign up to Rosie Clarke's newsletter

About the book

London 1917 - As the Americans enter the War, there is renewed energy in the war effort. With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work. With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?

Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more.

And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea. As Christmas 1917 approaches what will the future hold for Harpers, its girls and their men at War?


Although this can be read as a standalone novel, I would definitely recommend reading the others in the series, You can follow the entire lives of the characters that way.

All the women find their lives changed drastically by wartime. Relationships are strained by worry, a sense of duty and the need to adapt to the situations arising due to the war. Sally's worries for Ben are replaced by something akin to fear when she realises she is being followed by a  strange woman.

Maggie, who has proven to be fearless, a role model and she has discovered a real talent for caring for others. Her life is changed abruptly, so it's a question of finding something just as fulfilling to do when she returns home.

It's an escapism read, a saga built around female characters who have to persevere through the quickly evolving changes of the 20th century, and in this book they learn to navigate the difficulties of wartime. It's a book that tackles some difficult topics, but the escapism element means they are touched on and they don't go into much depth. 

The Harper Girls are worth a follow - strong women facing what seem like insurmountable obstacles, pain and difficult situations - it's a read that has something for everyone.

Buy Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Boldwood Books 6 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Friday 9 July 2021

#BlogTour After the Rain by Natália Gomes

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour After the Rain by Natália Gomes.

About the Author

Natália Gomes has an MLitt in Scottish Literature & Creative Writing and an MEd in Education. Inspired by her experiences as a special education coordinator in a public school district in the US, Natália started writing fiction with a focus on mental health among young adults. Her debut novel Dear Charlie is endorsed by Amnesty International and was longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award.

Natália currently lives in Scotland with her chocolate labrador Charlie, and is completing a PhD in English Studies. Follow @nd_gomes on Twitter, on Instagram

About the book

'We’re alive. So let’s start living.' - Two strangers - Jack was sporty and outgoing. Alice was bookish and introverted. Their lives were on completely different paths.

One life-changing tragedy - That is before the day they were in the wrong place at the wrong time: before the day their lives were torn apart in a bombing.

A hopeful new friendship - Struggling to cope with their new worlds, their unlikely new friendship helps them find hope. But can they help each other rebuild their lives and start again?


Jack and Alice become part of each others lives and forever entwined when they are both part of the same tragedy. It's an event that changes both of them. Having to come to terms with the trauma, the pain and the guilt is a completely different journey for Alice and Jack.

The What If factor plays a role for the two of them. If they had gone their individual paths a few seconds earlier or one of them had gone in a different direction. What doesn't really occur to either of them is that any of these alternatives could also have equalled death.

It's not really about the two of them saving each other, although in a way they do that from time to time. It's really about recognising that there is a way forward for each of them individually, but only after they have recognised what they need to heal, cope and move on.

Kudos to Gomes for keeping it simple and not feeling the need to add to the scenario, for not making this into another YA love goes into the night romcom. No really - it would have spoilt the whole premise. Grief, fear and survivor's guilt should remain at the core of this story from start to finish. They do, which is why it is a good read.

Buy After the Rain at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎HQ Young Adult pub date 8 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Dolly Considine's Hotel by Eamon Somers

 It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Dolly Considine's Hotel by Eamon Somers.

About the Author

Eamon Somers was born and grew up in inner city Dublin. He was a campaigner and spokesperson for Ireland’s fledgling lesbian and gay rights movement in the early 1980s. During the economic downturn he was made redundant and, having moved to London, spent two years working in Haringey’s Lesbian and Gay Unit until Clause 28 and Council Tax cuts sent him into the charity housing sector where he continues to work.

Eamon’s story Spring in the Country won the Carmarthen short story  competition sponsored by BBC Wales. Other stories have been published in Chroma, Tees Valley Writer, and ABC Tales. Eamon is a graduate of the certificate in creative writing at Birckbeck College London - the forerunner of the current MA. He is the father of three wonderful children. He and his Civil Partner (Tomás) are very proud of their three-year-old grandson Daragh. 

Follow @mustbeeamon on Twitter, Visit

About the book

Julian Ryder (aka Paddy Butler) is an eighteen-year-old aspiring writer fleeing a life unlived. Dolly McClean (née Considine) is knee-deep in running a hotel populated by family secrets and Irish republicans. They seem to have little in common – until Julian rescues Dolly's barmaid-cum-cleaner from a supposed IRA thug. It doesn’t take long for him to embroil himself in the gossip of the bar and the guests’ bedsheets. Dolly and her entourage quickly become fodder for his literary ambitions and soon it becomes impossible to extricate reality from fantasy...

Moving fluidly between the 1950s of Dolly’s youth and Julian’s 1980s summer of unrequited love, Irish recession and emigration, the hotel becomes a stage for farce and tragedy. As statues give birth to fully grown men while swordwielding Irish dancers perform for party politicians, Julian’s fictions, Dolly’s secrets and political intrigue threaten to tear them and Ireland itself apart in the run up to the Pro-life Constitutional Amendment of September 1983.


Okay, there is a lot to unpack here and unfortunately I can't do that to the extent I would like to because it would spoil the read for others. I absolutely think this is the kind of story readers return to and in doing so discover hidden nuances and perhaps parts of the story that flow quietly alongside, whilst the other storylines and characters march pounding through the pages.

One of those marchers, rebels, voices of resistance and change, is of course Dolly herself. A woman, much like many other in the world, who is defined by what profits and pleasures others, as opposed to the changes she is trying to invoke. Take away the hotel for instance and make Dolly a 24/7 stay at home mammy who has played her part in political change or skirmishes, and you will find she will always be defined by the term mammy and housewife. It's this inequality of perception due to gender, well it really burns and enrages Dolly. Just how much, and what type of hardened steel she is made of, is evident in the last few chapters

The story itself is an interesting conundrum of fact, fiction, truths and misconceptions. No matter who takes on the role of narrator they are usually unreliable. With a wee bit of a Hotel New Hampshire vibe, which is taken up a notch to mirror the political hot cauldron of the times, the story also questions the boundaries of artistic licence.

Somers delivers a deep multi-layered piece with an avant-garde approach when it comes to the style. I enjoyed it. I have left my review blank of the majority of details, so readers can experience it as unbiased as possible.

Buy Dolly Considine's Hotel at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎ Unbound Digital pub date 8 July 2021. Buy at Amazon com.